Thursday, September 22, 2022

Creative, Creativity

Kick-Starting Creativity

Let’s set the scene.

It’s Monday morning. You’ve done the chitchatting with coworkers over coffee and you’re heading into your first meeting of the day. Everyone logs on. Pleasantries are exchanged. Someone inevitably forgets they’re on mute. A quick project overview is shared, initial ideas are thrown around and brainstorming is in full swing. Then, it happens. Your client pipes up.

“We’re still unsure about which direction we want to go in. Can we ask you to get creative and present a couple different ideas and we’ll see which one we like best?”

At this point, you’re either over the moon or wallowing in despair. Some of us thrive with a no-holds-barred prompt and others of us…well, don’t. Regardless, here are a couple of tips to help you find inspiration in your hour of need.

A Fresh Pair of Eyes

When you and your team have exhausted every tangent and gone down every rabbit hole, it’s time for a new perspective. Trying to decide between two ad layouts? Debating giveaway swag for an event? Second-guessing dry humor in a social media post? Tap someone outside of the project for a fresh take. When we allow projects to become siloed, it shows. Pro Tip: Third-party proofreading for grammatical errors doesn’t count. If you’re struggling with a concept, ask for their opinion while they’re double-checking your use of the Oxford comma.

Do Some Sleuthing on Your Target Audience

If you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas for a project, take a step back and do a deep dive into your target audience. A concept you think is cool might not be the home run you think it is. Just because you’re the one coming up with and/or executing an idea doesn’t mean it will resonate with your audience. Pro Tip: Know someone who belongs to the community you’re trying to reach? Ask them how they first got involved, what matters most to them, why they continue to rock climb, try new recipes, attend IMSA races, etc. Actually, we can answer that last one. Ask us!

Don’t Force It

Know when to step away from the keyboard. You can only work on one task for so long before you want to beat your head against the wall in the hope of coming up with a solution. When in doubt, take a break. Switch gears. Change lanes. Enough with the automotive puns—you get the idea. Occasionally, the best lightbulb moment is the one that knocks you off your feet when you’re in the middle of something else. Pro Tip: Don’t push for an idea that’s not coming together. You’ll hate it, and the client will definitely know you hate it.

Here we go. Quick recap.

That’s all, folks. Until next time.


Todd Steen
Kristie GraySmith
Jackson offices