I spend a lot of time marketing my business. To be heard over the ‘online noise’ and reach a lot of relevant people throughout the world is a trying challenge. It requires much more than banner ads and press releases.
While I am learning about all the things that possibly work with online marketing, it seems that doing things “well” require me to be creative at all times. However, every once in a while, a lot of us get the ‘creative-block.’ Or is it just me? Here are a few things that I do, to get inspiring ideas that move the dial:
Overcoming Writer’s Block
A lot of us write online – on our own blog or guest posts, business or personal. I am writing this article right now, I write product updates on my own blog and emails communicating what we do, to prospective customers and partners. However, I often stop writing when I do not have fresh thoughts. I envy folks that can produce words and articles on demand.
To overcome this, I came up with “story-telling” my thoughts. If I am thinking about a topic or a discussion or my product – I start writing a story around it. The best part about this is that it is honest. It requires no superficial effort to come up with dangling thoughts. The story will be a free-flow form of writing and you can extract the facts from it to write a more concise post.
While it is great to have access to where all your website visitors come from, it can be very frustrating when a good part of them fall under “direct” traffic. This means that they came to your site by typing your company URL or feeding your company name into Google. Hence, you do not know for sure where they heard about you or what source, referral or marketing activity worked. You could try asking them during a signup form, but usually that field has to be optional.
You have to use some broad-brush approach to carry on all the wonderful things you are doing for marketing. Check the day’s or week’s traffic and if there is a spike, try to understand what happened during that period. Did an article or review on your company get published?
The point is you cannot stop doing something which will give you consistent, long-term results just because you do not see traffic coming from that activity in real-time. There are word of mouth and gradual brand building efforts, which I have seen grow to a formidable number in our business.
You are doing content marketing and high energy social media stuff. Now what? Maybe a channel partner would really make an instrumental difference. You reach out to a few suitable partners and let them know how awesome you are. Some may respond or initially you may get nothing.
You need to keep reiterating on what kinds of incentives make sense for different partners. Additionally, some of these partners may respond to you when you have more traction or frequent press. Reinventing and improving your proposals is not only going to land you good channel partners eventually, but also teach you more about your industry and product. While pursuing such initiatives, the creative aspect is in thinking of how you can help others. People will help you grow, if you can help them grow as well.
What do you do to stay creative at work?
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Great article. I wouldn’t say this is ‘how I stay creative’, but more how I work at being creative.
There are times when creativity comes more easily than others. When I hit those ‘veins of creativity’ I run with it. I’ll drop all the non creative activities and do all my creative work in bunches. Then, there are times when I work better at the structured stuff… then I do all the structured stuff then. Basically, just go with the flow.
Thanks for this fantastic article! I write for a living, so I’m with you on sometimes being creatively blocked. I try to stop thinking about what I should write about, relax, and I usually find ideas inspired from real life!