I’m about to give you permission to have more fun in your job. Creative thinking requires raw material. If you find yourself in need of fresh ideas or a new perspective in your digital marketing, one of the best ways to generate intuitive insight is to browse through magazines, the internet or even stock photography at random. As ideas, images and unrelated concepts enter your mind from these sources, you will be surprised at your capability to relate them to your own situation. It’s one of the reasons I find social media so engaging and not the time suck it might at first appear.
When short on marketing ideas, many will run straight for the business section of the nearest Borders bookstore. Certainly every business person should know and understand the basic marketing principles and the standard techniques of telling their story and cultivating a clientele. However, remember too that every other business person in your community is reading those same books. That is why so much marketing activity looks the same and too often lacks an essential ingredient – personality.
Reading is a great way to stimulate the creative “right side” of your brain to help develop new energy. Magazines often represent the work product of some of the best and brightest minds. The millions of dollars that companies spend in articles and advertising creative can give you some ideas of your own. Subscribe to or read as many magazines not related to travel as you possibly can. Make the topics diverse, but of some interest to you and seated in popular culture. Oprah, Men’s Journal, Photography, Popular Mechanics, Cosmopolitan….whatever you can handle.
Another technique is to browse sites on the internet that you might otherwise not ordinarily visit such as IO9.com (they come from the future). I will also often turn to stock photography sites like www.thinkstock.com. These magazines and web sites each have a readership and a core demographic that may be very different from your own. When you browse through these magazines, you expose yourself to new perspectives, concepts and ways of thinking that will serve to move you from your own settled ways of thinking.
Not all productive activity looks like work. Sometimes it involves feeding your mind the raw material it needs to stay refreshed and healthy.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson