So you’re taking the necessary steps to create killer content and you’re finally starting to develop a good arsenal of published materials. It’s time to brainstorm ideas for new content topics and the inevitable happens…. You hit the dreaded creativity block. What can you do to get back on your content creation A-game without sitting around wasting precious time while drawing a blank?
Creating content that is truly valuable to your customers is vital to accelerating the B2B sales cycle and generating leads. When you experience a creativity block, you might find yourself tempted to settle on topics that you know aren’t up to par, but quality is just as important as quantity. Hang in there and don’t settle on topics that aren’t going to legitimately create value for your customers, or you’re just wasting everyone’s time and setting yourself up for failure.
Next time you find yourself stuck in a slump, don’t worry. There’s a few simple tactics to get your creative juices flowing again:
- Go AWOL
Close out of your inbox, turn off your phone, turn off your computer, etc. Take a minute to disconnect from all distractions and give your eyes a break from all the different screens you’re constantly staring at. You can sit at your desk and meditate or lean back in your chair and daydream for a bit, or if a change of scenery sounds nice you can leave your desk or office completely. Disconnecting is a great way to clear all the clutter and distractions that contribute to a creativity block and be alone with your thoughts for once.
- Call your mom
Whether you actually call your mother, father, sibling, relative, friend, etc., talking to someone who isn’t a coworker and has no expertise of your industry can be surprisingly enlightening. Sometimes we get so caught up in writing for our targeted buyer personas that we can forget to keep it simple and throw ourselves into a creative rut by overcomplicating things. Call your mom and ask her what she thinks about any given industry topic that you’re trying to create content for. She might just ask a question or make a comment on something that will spark that “ah-ha!” moment and get the ball rolling for you again.
- Meet with a colleague that you click with creatively
If you’re lucky, you’ve got a few people that you naturally click with or that you’ve worked well with creatively in the past. Ask one of those people to go to lunch and bounce ideas around with them, or have them hear you out and tell you where they think you’re going wrong or why you’re missing the mark creatively. They might be able to point out the little detail that takes the mediocre idea you’re struggling with to the next level.
- Take a nap
How much sleep did you get last night? The night before? Being sleep deprived, or just tired in general, works against us in countless ways, and definitely puts a damper on our ability to think creatively. Take a quick nap, and you’ll more than likely wake up with your creative batteries recharged and ready to go.
- Pick your favorite client’s brain a bit
Call your favorite client and chat with them for a little and ask if they have any ideas off the top of their head or if there’s anything that’s been challenging them lately. Ask them to try and remember the most recent industry-related question they’ve asked. Remember not to make this a habit and take too much advice from your clients though, as Steve Jobs said, “it’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”
- Take a walk
This is similar to number one on our list (going AWOL), but taking a walk is one of the best ways to clear your mind and hit your creativity’s reset button. If the weather doesn’t allow for a walk outside, at least try to take a walk around the office if you can.
- Get old school
When I was in grade school, I remember a method for brainstorming that I was always taught to use in my English classes when we were learning to write. It’s often referred to as “mind mapping.” Our teacher would tell us to start with a main idea/topic and write it in the center of a piece of paper, draw a circle around it, and then write related topics around it and connect them to the idea in the center by drawing a line, and then do the same for each subtopic created that way. This kind of diagram is a great way to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper, which might either help you see them clearly, or spark ideas by seeing them in a more organized way.
- Get organized
If you’re anything like me, your desk kind of looks like a bomb went off by around 2:30pm, and it always drives me nuts. All the clutter in your workspace might be contributing to the clutter in your head that’s blocking your creativity. Organize your desk and then try again.
- Laugh at something
When we try too hard to generate creativity, we actually block creativity more and tend to overthink and complicate things for ourselves. Close all the windows open on your computer and pull up YouTube and search for some funny videos. If you’re a smartphone user, download the Vine app and search for funny vines. I’ve found vines on that app that have made me laugh out loud countless times, and a quick 10 minute break full of laughter always has a surprisingly focusing effect on me.
- Feed off of current events or other people’s ideas
Do a quick Google search about your industry. Read the news. Maybe there’s something going on in the news that you can relate to your industry and create content that is not only valuable and informative to your potential customers, but also incredibly relevant and in-tune with current events. If you’re checking out content from others, you might just come across a blog post that you can feed off of and spark new ideas from to use in writing your own content.
The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to overcome your creativity block is why you’re even working so hard to be creative in your content brainstorming process in the first place. Keep striving for effective content that brings value to your potential B2B customers and, in turn, your company, and you will be creating sales growth that is predictable, sustainable and scalable in no time.
Have any tips for overcoming a creativity block? What's worked for you in the past? Leave a comment below and let us know!