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For many marketers, most of our success comes from creativity. This is a skill that can be trained and cultivated, but not everyone has innate creativity. With the threat of AI taking over a portion of the job force, now is the time to find something that you can do, that no one else—or no computer—can. You need a ‘niche’—if you will—in your skill sets.
Being a creative is difficult. You have to constantly come up with funny, witty, motivational, heart-wrenching, mind-bending material…and sometimes it can feel like there is no good idea in sight. Sometimes the creative well within is all dried up.
So, what can you do to make sure that you stay consistent?
Literally, the ‘ABC’s’ of creating, Always Be Creating. That means, if you are one of the lucky folks who does not have a set work schedule, make one!
A wonderful example of a creative genius who practices this very thing is Christoph Neimann. As you can see in the wonderful docu series, Abstract, Christoph is an accomplished illustrator (amongst other things) who has scheduled studio time (that he sets for himself), similar to a 9am to 5pm gig in order to keep up with his creative schedule.
In the documentary, he talks about how a lot of creatives say that they have to be ‘in the right mindset’ or ‘feel the creative spark’. However, Christoph’s views are much more realistic. It is his job to be creative, so he does not wait for a magic moment, he sits in his studio and makes them happen!
That being said, schedule creative office hours for yourself. Whether or not you are creating for a client, or just trying to get some ideas flowing, during this time you should absolutely be putting your pen to paper, your mouse to Photoshop, or any other medium you choose, and create!
As I have mentioned many times before, I am a firm believer in continuing education, whether that be through podcasts, books, courses, or—if you are like me—all three. In the creative world, changes come along frequently. If you want to be a success, you need to keep up with your industry.
Just as you should be scheduling your creative time, you should schedule learning time as well. I block out Wednesdays from 11am to 4pm as a sort of sacred learning time. In these hours I can do any number of things as long as it has to do with improving my marketing skills.
I am currently taking classes in Udemy for PPC (second round of PPC courses!), listening to podcasts, and reading two marketing books. With a good mix of learning material, I never get bored and I definitely don’t ever skip my learning time.
No matter how great a creative one may be, they are still influenced by someone. It is incredibly inspiring to watch your heroes create and push the envelope. These inspirations often lead creatives to take a larger leap as well.
Follow your industry heroes on social media, add their blogs to your Feedly account, subscribe to their email newsletters. You can learn so much from those who influence you that at some point you will be on their level and maybe you could even become someone who inspires your greatest hero in return!
What a thought.
This is all very generic advice, written about dozens of times, but people still do not follow it. I didn’t even follow it at first. Once you add something to your calendar and use that time wisely, it becomes a habit, and then slowly becomes something that feeds you. I couldn’t stop learning if I tried. I would get bored with the skills that I have already matured. You can train yourself to crave learning and creating, you just have to make yourself do it!