Creative online marketers are growing in number as content marketing becomes the new currency on the Internet. As online marketers our challenge is how we can create unique content, innovative products and services that are perceived to be of high value to those we want to reach. In order to do that we need to employ creative talent.
Becoming an effective creative online marketer means mastering many aspects of the web from SEO developments to social media presence, PPC advertising and brand management. To truly stand out, however, and be successful we need to employ then master our creative genius.
Creativity is the one aspect above all human activities that comes closest to providing us with the fulfillment and meaning in our work that we seek and yet the majority of folks choose to believe that creativity is the exclusive preserve of a gifted few rather than our birthright.
As work patterns change and constantly evolve creativity and innovation become bigger issues for everyone not just the need of the self employed online marketer who wants their content marketing noticed and promoted. Creativity will become the norm.
Creative Barriers That Preclude Breakthroughs Include;
- The need to look for the “right ” answers.
- The obsession with always trying to be logical and rational.
- Following the rules and conformity behaviour.
- Becoming far too specialised and narrow, a concept frequently cited as being the critical key to online marketing success.
- Not wanting to appear foolish online.
- Convincing yourself you’re not creative by expressing that view continuously to yourself and others.
Creative flow builds motivation and engagement, improves relationships, develops talent and provides the necessary skills for adapting and coping with uncertainty but in order for creativity to be unleashed it needs to grow through 4 stages;
1. Prepare The Ground
Stage 1 is about preparing ourselves and allowing ourselves the time to develop what needs to come through us.
Creativity loves solitude. Creative online marketers understand that their energy needs to be fed with short bursts of activity then balanced with quiet periods of self reflection and rest to unlock that creative self. That means you’ve got to overcome the fear of being alone because time alone enables your unconscious mind access to your conscious mind. You can begin to listen to your thoughts and develop your focus for the here and now.
2. Activate the Imagination
Stage 2 involves activating our imaginations lets call this the incubation phase.
Imagining is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.
George Bernard Shaw
Effective online marketing is about alternating between imagination and fantasy and practical grounded every day reality. Imagining new possibilities, ways of working, etc starts the process of turning concepts into concrete reality. Tapping your creativity might start with brainstorming, a more structured and traditional way of thinking then develop into a more divergent form of thinking by asking dumb questions, flipping the problem upside down and using more inspiring methods such as meditation techniques, “what if” explorations and visualisation.
3. Developing Playfulness
It’s about having the curiosity of a child again and seeing the world anew whilst thinking in a different way that leads to the breakthroughs.
One very useful exercise I utilise within my coaching practise is the three questions, an exercise that helps my clients identify their core values and what they mean to them then develop a short list of real world work experiences that might actually embody those values.
The three questions are;
What would I do if I had only 6 months to live?
What would I do if I had all the money I needed?
What will my work environment look like five years form now?
We start to move from “means” goals to “end ” goals which is a much more effective way of reviewing underlying drivers which often get masked by deep-seated fears and excuses.
Another good exercise is the “I wish or “wouldn’t it be nice if” process because wishing helps expand thinking and helps us go beyond the sensible, practical and the feasible. We literally step outside of the box and act as if the box isn’t there. For example;
“Wouldn’t it be nice if cars didn’t need any fuel.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always be on holiday.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could play more and work less.”
4. Self Reliance Builds Creativity
Creative types are typically extroverts and introverts, in other words, they build their own energy reserves and will power by exploring their inner world which in turn builds self reliance, inspiration, self acceptance and self expression. This evolved sense of self reliance increases their desire to make a useful contribution to society. Always observant, creative people are fascinated by others and open to learning recognising that everyone has something to teach them.
Let’s call this the illumination stage when we begin to gain clarity and build that inner knowing when we can see what’s possible before it comes to form. It’s our “eureka” moment that we’ve come up with something both original and valuable.
5. Pride and Humility
Successful online marketers have a strong sense of self worth and know how to speak up for themselves by blowing their own trumpets. By the same token they acknowledge the importance of staying humble because you’re only as good as your last piece of work. They put their creative output down to the influences of others such as role-models who have not been afraid to move the boundaries and take the necessary risks.
6. P is For Passion
To develop decent online marketing you need to have passion and to be able to defend your work whilst at the same time remaining open and objective to improvements if that is going to make all the difference between large scale success. Creativity needs openness and sensitivity but this often ends up leaving us feeling exposed. Because our work matters, any form of perceived criticism can be tough yet failure to listen and adjust can risk failure big-time. Its a fine line between caring about your material enough to nurture and improve it yet inviting others to offer their opinions that can facilitate large scale momentum.
This is effectively the verification fourth stage of the creative process where we share our ideas and wait to hear the feedback. In doing so we’ll refine and re-think based on the degree of interest we receive.
And if you’re a creative “purist” with little knowledge of how to sell your creative talents online then you might benefit from reviewing more online marketing strategies in the blog-post archives and reading this article ;
So there you have it 4 stages to the creative cycle and 6 habits to make second nature if you want to become a creative online marketer. Enjoy this, we hope so, then be a love and share it!