Creative brainstorming is a powerful tool! But when it comes to creativity, many of us may think it’s a gift, a special talent, or something reserved for “artists”. In reality, creativity is a skill we all possess. The human mind is built to create—and each of us can and should explore its power! Creativity brings change, unlocks potential, and drives the very world we live in!
But if you’re not sure where to start, or haven’t been able to nail that great creative idea, it doesn’t mean you can’t! You might just need the right process to get those creative juices flowing.
Here are Elevate’s five foolproof steps to unleashing your inner creative.
1| Set the goal
The first and most important step is to always set a goal. Take the time to establish your core objective—ask yourself, “what do I want to achieve?” For example, if you’re designing a creative marketing campaign, begin with the fundamental three: why, how, and what. Why am I doing this, how I’m doing it, and what is it that I’m doing? These three questions alone will give you a strong basis to build your story and creative idea.
If you’re building a piece of creative content, it’s important that you define 2 – 3 key messages you want people to take away from it. For example, is it educational? Is it aspirational? This process will give you a frame to work within and will help keep your ideas focused and on message.
2| Fill your cup
“Creativity is joining the dots between two existing things to create something new.”
When you set out to be creative, whether it be brainstorming with others, or pondering to yourself with a notepad and pen, the more information you have the better. The more stimulus you have to “join the dots”, the easier you’ll find it to come up with ideas, and the better those ideas will be.
Find stimulation by gathering as much information you can on your topic or target market. This might include reading articles, chatting to people with knowledge on the topic, or simply listening to a podcast. The goal at this point isn’t to form ideas, but rather to “fill up your cup” so you can launch into your creative brainstorming from a solid base of knowledge. The key is to stay open minded and receptive!
Ideally you’d do this at least 24 hours before the brainstorming begins to allow the information time to assimilate in your mind.
3| Activate creative mode
You’re now ready to get creative! If you’re someone who spends your days in an analytical, problem solving mode, you might need to consciously activate your creative mode. It can be like wearing a different hat! A great way to do this is with a simple exercise, like the “3 Reasons Why” game. Once activated, get ready for the fun part!
4| Turn off your inner critic
The key to successful creative brainstorming is to let go! The creative process is messy. We have to wade through bad ideas to get to the golden ones. More often than not, one idea leads to another, and before you know it you’re on a roll and the ideas are coming thick and fast! Let it happen, go with the flow, and enjoy the ride. You’ll get less stuck and you won’t shut down a brilliant idea before it’s even formed. The below image brilliantly captures this flow!
5| Stress test & review against objectives
Once you’ve reached the “this is awesome” stage, it’s crucial you stress test your ideas. You can easily get carried away by the excitement of a great idea and miss the fact that it isn’t logistically feasible, or it won’t actually meet your core objective. Go back and review the idea against the goal, strategy, and messages you devised in step 1. Walk through the practicalities of actually making it happen, and even present it to your most cynical and pragmatic colleague. Having another set of eyes critique your idea will give you insight into how others might receive the idea if and when it goes live. This step is crucial!
Following these 5 simple steps will have you well on the way to fresh ideas, exciting solutions, and powerful creativity. They give you the framework needed to unleash your inner creativity while also keeping you focused on the goal.
If you’re looking to learn more or seeking help with creative campaign development for your business, reach out to us at Elevate. We love putting our creativity to the test!
Email us at email@example.com to set up your creative session.