Last month, I blogged about helping clients achieve their super powers. A key part of this is encouraging them to think creatively and dream big. I have a confession, though – despite the fact that I work in a creative industry with some amazingly creative people, creative thinking is not my strong suit. I’m much more analytical and detail-oriented. This can be a bit of a challenge when I’m supposed to be helping clients strike creative gold, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to help bring out my big-idea side even though such thinking doesn’t always come naturally to me.
First, as the song goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” I have a whole crew of incredibly creative colleagues who are magically able to come up with inspired ideas on the spot. I love to pick their brains, either informally as we chat on a quick walk around the block, or in one of GroundFloor Media’s out of the box brainstorms. In these, we pull in colleagues from different teams/areas of the agency to get new ideas and fresh perspectives on a particular project or campaign. It’s amazing what a co-worker who’s used to working with food and beverage or technology clients can come up with for a client in the health care world (and vice versa).
Second, I read… a lot. Reading books, case studies and articles about what other marketers have found success with is a great source of inspiration. While I’d certainly never encourage copying an idea outright, learning from others’ successes can definitely help spark new ideas that can be applied to a client I’m working with.
Finally, sometimes all it takes is a good, long shower or a slow-moving traffic jam. I try to use these down times to think back over previous projects I’ve worked on, case studies I’ve read and brainstorm sessions I’ve participated in. Recalling what has worked in the past – or even recalling ideas that were discussed but rejected previously – and then tweaking or expanding those to fit a current challenge can also lead projects in an exciting, new direction.
As helpful as the above tricks can be, I’m always looking for new ways to nurture my creative thinking. If you have any suggestions or tricks that work for you, send them my way. I’d love to hear them!