The One Thing Killing Your Most Creative Content Ideas (and How to Stop It)

The One Thing Killing Your Most Creative Content Ideas (and How to Stop It)

We’ve gone from pitching wildly creative ideas every day to floating mildly interesting ideas once every six months. Our pitches are. This is how most people pitch a new idea. LEGO publishes a magazine every other month and they’ve had huge success. And if we’re going to be successful pitching new ideas, we have to do it, too. When you start your pitches by sharing what you’ve observed in the world, you give people context. When you preface the explanation of how you generated your idea with the observation, distillation, and relation to your brand, you can hone in on why your observation matters – and how it has an opportunity to create value for your organization. The content pitch framework in action Think about the pitch we started with (“LEGO publishes a magazine…. Once you get into the habit of pitching this way, you’ll realize that successful pitches don’t depend on divine inspiration, but rather on refining your pitching process over time. Soon enough, you’ll be as excited to pitch creative ideas as you were during your first year on the job.

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one-thing-killing-ideas

Creativity. We all want it. Unfortunately, we tend to give up on it over time.

When we’re just starting our careers, we’re excited. We’re going to take the world by storm. We approach our boss every morning with a new, brilliant idea. Getting a “yes” on something truly different seems like just a matter of statistics: The more we swing, the greater the chance we’ll get a hit. We have a high tolerance for risk and a high tolerance for rejection.

Ten years into our careers, we’ve taken our share of bumps and bruises. We’re still optimistic, but we’ve learned to test the waters before throwing out something crazy to see if people bite. We might email a wacky YouTube video to a few people on our team to test the response. If they tell us it’s fun but completely unrealistic for our industry, we cross it off our secret list of possibilities. We’ve gone from pitching wildly creative ideas every day to floating mildly interesting ideas once every six months.

By the time we’ve invested two decades in a stable career, we’ve got a lot to lose. At this stage, we may only pitch a new idea once every two years or so. Even then, it’s often just a rehash of something we’ve done before. Something safe.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s not that content marketers lack ideas. We’ve got a million of them! And it’s not that our ideas are bad. It’s just that we’ve been beaten into believing that we’re not creative because we’ve heard “NO!” for so many years.

The art of the content project pitch

Our ideas aren’t bad. Our pitches are. And bad pitches kill great ideas.

This is how most people pitch a new idea.

You: I have a great idea! LEGO publishes a magazine every other month and they’ve had huge success. We need to publish a magazine too!

lego-magazine

Your boss: Are you kidding? (Select any of these excuses …)

  • We’re not LEGO, we don’t have a budget for that.
  • That would never work in our industry.
  • Our products are too boring.

And on and on with excuses for not testing a new, creative idea.

Every idea needs support if it’s to go anywhere. The problem is, we don’t know how to get support for our ideas.

You’re probably familiar with the “four Ps” of marketing (price, product, promotion, and place). I’d argue that it’s the art of the fifth P – pitching – that leads to brilliantly creative projects.

Every successful creative pitch accomplishes three things:

  1. It creates an idea journey. A successful pitch brings people along for the ride. It starts with an inspiration and ends with…

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