Craving a Creative Kick? Try These Seven Tricks
by Lisa Sparks
As business and creative types we have to keep those greatbusiness ideas flowing otherwise the market will move rightpast us. Anytime I hit a creative block I pray. Then I useone or a combination of these seven steps.
1. Forget about it! Walk completely away from the projectyou're working on. Do something completely opposite. Ifyou're writing a brochure or an article, work on invoices orconcentrate on administrative tasks for an hour or so.You'll feel so grateful to get back to something fun,such as writing, that those hidden ideas will come.
2. Raid your 'samples file' - or get one quick. If you don'talready have a bank of other people's work such as brochures,newsletters, ads, even newspaper articles, you need to startone and fast. Any time you get stuck on a project, just lookat your "idea bank" for inspiration. The most off-the-wallthings will inspire you to complete that project.
3. Review you audience profile. This audience profile shouldlist your audience's hot buttons and their most common questions.Try to answer those questions and hit on those hot buttons inyour project. That way your audience will see themselves inwhatever you do - even if it's just a small ad or an invitationto an event.
4. Go back in time. View your audience's previous behavior,what have they responded to. What gets them calling or e-mailingyou for more information. If you don't already have a way totrack that, consider starting an e-mail newsletter campaign.You can track which articles your audience reads by trackingthe click-through rate. Many e-mail marketing vendors oftencalculate this rate for you. My favorite: Constant Contact,http://www.constantcontact.com.
5. Have a chat. Consider just calling one of your customersor clients to "check in." Try to start a conversation andask about the client's needs. You can also discuss ideasthat have worked for the client in the past. Take notes.Review them after the conversation and watch the wordsjust come to you.
6. Review your idea notes and tapes. Remember when you weredriving along and a great idea just popped into your head?Of course you wrote it down on your trusty dashboard memopad or you recorded it in your mini-tape recorder. Thosestray thoughts that come to you in the most ho-hum momentsare the ones that will pull you out of creative oblivionin the future.
7. Go where you had your last great idea. Where did yourlast good idea hit you? The movies? Your bedroom? In theyard while you were pulling weeds? Wherever it was, go backto that scene and literally wait for inspiration. Keep trackof your best idea places on a piece of paper that you tackabove you desk or on your computer. You could even keep itin a file on your computer. Note: If you don't have time toget there physically, consider imagining you're there. Andkeep your pen and paper handy, you'll need it for all thegreat ideas that will pop into your head.
(c) Lisa Sparks 2003
Lisa Sparks, President and Founder of Integrity Writing,Inc., specializes in writing business newsletters, brochures,advertisements, articles, sales letters and press releasesfor leading companies worldwide. Sign up for her monthlywriting tips at http://www.integritywriting.com/
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