27 Ideas to Break Your Creative Slump

27 Ideas to Break Your Creative Slump

“Don’t you know what to create?” Blink. Well, instead of watching a mocking cursor, take a tip (or 27) from your fellow marketers on how they get out of a creative content marketing slump. Expand an old blog post based on industry-wide changes. When this happens, take a mind break and experience a different type of creative environment. Tyler Tassinari, digital marketing strategist, Three29 Web Design and Digital Marketing Stay in the lines (or not) Coloring is probably one of my favorite ways to combat a work slump. We promoted the magazine and restaurant and all their followers with several shares. Making a list is a great way to keep your brain engaged, while taking time away from the task at hand. Creating the list actively stimulates your brain. This allows us to really nail that one piece because we focus all our energy on the visuals, the writing, the outreach, etc. If one relates to your business, consider creating a piece of content about it.

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“When are you going to start?” Blink.

“Are your fingers frozen?” Blink. Blink.

“Why aren’t you typing?” Blink. Blink. Blink.

“Don’t you know what to create?” Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

The cursor is a silent but pesky critic.

Do you ever want to curse the cursor when you’re in a slump?

You can’t write that lead. You can’t come up with the visuals to illustrate the story. You feel like you’re crafting the same content you did yesterday. Wait, or was that last week? You can’t imagine how to find another way to talk about your core topic.

Well, instead of watching a mocking cursor, take a tip (or 27) from your fellow marketers on how they get out of a creative content marketing slump.

Grab some toys

LEGO blocks are great. The same blocks used to build a house can be used to make a Death Star. Get a bucket of blocks (use DUPLO if you want bigger ones). On each block, write one word or phrase that relates to your products and services: attributes, content themes, personas, customer challenges, stage in the buyer journey – anything that relates to your marketing. Color code them if you wish and start playing.

Bring together random blocks, then look at the connections. Write them down. See if they can be brought together to create new content angles or ideas. Pull apart those blocks and start again. You can apply some rules too. For example, put together one persona-related block, one block about the customer journey stage, two challenge blocks, and one product block.

The idea is to get away from the linear thinking and play around with different ideas and connections that you might not have ever thought of. All the combinations – and resulting ideas – can be examined and expanded to see if they can be viable.

André Rampat, director and co-founder, CorporateLeaders Communications

Dig in the content archives

Search through your blog or other content archives for posts or topics that can be expanded, updated, or adapted. Expand an old blog post based on industry-wide changes. Update best practices content for a new year or season. Adapt a popular text-based post into an infographic, video, or tool.

Revisiting old content refocuses the mind on an easily accomplished creative task, which then sparks new ideas to lift you out of that slump.

Stuart Ridge, chief marketing officer, VitaMedica

Grab a pen

Physically writing may be a little old school, but there is something empowering and motivating about it. Simply put pen to paper and let the ideas flow.

Katie Derrick, content marketer, Anglo Liners

Get out

When you’re consistently trying to use your creative brain power, it’s easy to hit a snag and become exhausted. Suddenly you can’t get yourself to produce any one complete thought because you are pushing your brain too hard.

When this happens, take a mind break and experience a different type of creative environment. Visit a museum or a new coffee shop. Sometimes experiencing new scenery can bring about fresh perspectives and stimulate the brain.

Amber Masciorini, team lead digital PR and social media, RelationEdge Digital Agency

Look at someone else

Bring in fresh eyes. This could be fellow marketers, friends, college students – anyone who’s creative, passionate, and willing to give you an hour of their day.

Give a short overview of your company, what you’re focusing on, and anything else helpful. Then let them go. Don’t shut them down or tell them why an idea wouldn’t work. Write everything down, explore ideas that resonate with you, and let their enthusiasm re-energize you. Keep that list and reference it whenever you get in a slump. Then bring them in again.

Chelsea Cole, digital marketing trainer, chelseacole.co

Find the one thing

When I feel unmotivated about a project or task, I try to find one element of it that is unique and interesting. This can be tough, but typically one piece relates to my life or catches my attention. Once I’ve found that element, I research the heck out of it and focus on that concept. Even if this concept is only loosely related, it will generally pull my brain out of a rut.

Tyler Tassinari, digital marketing strategist, Three29 Web Design and Digital Marketing

Stay in the lines (or not)

Coloring is probably one of my favorite ways to combat a work slump. Not only does it reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and increase my focus, it’s also fun and fosters a creative mindset. I have a few adult coloring books and a good set of colored pencils.

Coloring brings you back to childhood, and we all know how imaginative and creative children are. Picking colors that bring the pages to vibrant life is therapeutic. After coloring for just 15 to 20 minutes, I feel re-energized, and I’m ready to start working again.

Angela Reina, digital marketer, Bloggers Buzz

Become a thief

Stealing ideas from wildly different industries or mediums has always been my favorite way to get out of any creative slump. I once based a plumber’s web design on a cool-looking bag of beef jerky.

Jeff Goldstein, SEO director/operations manager, Contractor Calls

Loosen up

If you feel like you’ve exhausted topics, engage with your audience by creating lighter content. If you’re appealing to your customers’ emotions, they’re more likely to trust your brand.

Britt Armour, digital marketing manager, Kibii

Walk out

Get out of your everyday environment. Take yourself and a colleague (or your team) offsite for a brainstorming session. Make sure there’s no access to work…

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