Ever feel stuck? Like you just don’t have any motivation or inspiration to complete the task at hand? Yeah, it happens to the best of us. Gladly, summer is right around the corner and most of us will be taking some time away from the things we do every day. During this time, I encourage you to do something different so you can get inspired and find stimuli for the next time you’re feeling stuck. You’d be amazed what a fresh wave of creativity and inspiration can do for you, and furthermore, for your marketing communications. I’ve pulled together a list of things folks can use in personal and/or professional capacities to keep those creative juices flowing.
These things can get you inspired both personally and professionally:
- Paint a wall.
Color has a huge impact on us all, and many of us hardly even notice. After you paint, think about how it changes your emotions and perception of different things. When you get back to the office, consider your marketing materials and the colors you use and the effect they might have on your end user. Not sure where to start? Here’s a pretty cool website that’s full of inspiration for color palettes.
Read a book.
What better way to get inspired than to pick up something that tells its own story. Whether it’s fiction or a bit of industry data, a good book can help you take on new perspectives, which always helps when it comes to communications. We actually just finished putting together a list of good reads for the summer. Check it out.
Look at sites created specifically to inspire.
Sites like Pinterest are full of inspiration you can use at home and in the workplace. They can show you popular trends and give you a glimpse into what inspires others, including your target audience.
Here are a few sites folks around here keep bookmarked (mind you, these would probably be more for inspiration in your workplace):
The Design Blog
You may also want to check out this cool resource list for designers.
Looking for inspiration specifically for work? I’d suggest the following:
[Re-]decorate your workspace.
Your workspace should be one of your biggest sources of inspiration. Specifically, you could:
Fill it with images, words and other things that get your creative juices flowing.
Surround yourself with things that reflect your brand’s voice and values so it’s easier to carry that same tone into your work.
Keep things around that constantly remind you of your target audience and why they rely on you.
Ray has done an amazing job making sure our office space is modern, vibrant and open for collaboration, which aligns pretty much spot-on with to how we want our clients to see us.
Sit in a park and observe your surroundings.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, you’re in the business of influencing people. It’s always interesting to sit and observe people on their most basic human level – no buying habits, or mulling through the websites they visit – just basic human behavior and interactions. It really helps when trying to figure out what to say to your consumer, and the best way to say it.
Study the business model/marketing strategy of a brand in a completely different industry.
Sometimes it takes looking beyond competitors and brands in your industry to get ideas. Look at successful brands that have absolutely nothing to do with your market, and see what insights you can get about your own strategy.
Spend time browsing trending topics on social media.
You can’t truly connect with your audience, if you don’t know what your audience is talking about. Social media allows you to listen in. Get a taste of what folks are talking about and then find out how/if your brand can get in on the conversation.
Play customer and interact with your brand from strictly a consumer’s perspective.
Sure you’re on summer vacation – but you’re probably obsessing over something work-related, anyway. Instead of finishing up an uninspired task – do something different. Do a little role playing and interact with your brand from your consumer’s point of view. Whether it’s going through the process of submitting an online payment, downloading a report, or signing up for a newsletter – get a taste of what it’s like on the other side of the tracks.
Inspiration is all around you. Sometimes it just takes a conscious effort to find it. Make that effort this summer, and you’ll be sure to see the difference it makes in your communications.
Do you have your own method of finding inspiration? Have you tried any of what I mentioned above? How did it work out? Join us in this conversation on Facebook or LinkedIn, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.