Creativity isn’t something to be feared. When it comes to creating marketing materials or content that connects with your audience, creativity is your friend. Though it can often feel like an elusive, hard-to-define quality, the truth is, the more we practice creativity, the easier it is to be creative!

If it still seems like a mystery, don’t worry. The following tips will help you foster creativity and brainstorm successfully.  

1. Show Perfectionism the Door

Many people believe that something isn’t worth doing if it isn’t done right. Or, they only want to release their best work into the world. This type of thinking actually hinders creativity. If we get hung up on creating content that we perceive as being perfect, we often don’t take risks. And risk-taking is vital when it comes to letting creativity flow!

Creativity is not someplace we’re trying to get to, but the journey we take to get there. This mindset sets us up for success and frees us from putting our creative ideas into a box.

2. Try the Cluster or Bubble Technique

When we’re trying to generate ideas, one of the best things we can do is to try the cluster or bubble technique. This is also referred to as mind mapping. No matter what we choose to call it, this technique really works!

To create a mind-map, write a central idea in the middle of a piece of paper. Then, from the central idea, generate additional ideas and sub-ideas. This is a way of “free-associating.” There’s no pressure to put the ideas in a specific order.

You’ll be able to generate many ideas through this form of brainstorming, making it a great technique to return to, time and time again, to re-ignite creativity.

3. Use Post-its or Index Cards to See Ideas Differently

Post-It Notes are great for drawing up quick little sketches. They can also be used to collect creative ideas in a fun way. At Historic, Post-it Notes are a vital part of our Design Sprints.

We start by reserving a large space, such as a whiteboard or wall, stating the problem or the campaign that we want to bring attention to at the top, and then distributing Post-it Notes and something to write with to everyone participating in the sprint.

After a set (short) amount of time (hence the word “sprint”), we have each person bring up their Post-its and place them on the wall. When we have a full board, we look for similarities and group the ideas based on themes that arise.

Once our ideas are grouped, we can assign next steps to different team members and get creating! 

4. Capture Ideas When You Don’t Need Them

Having a central spot where you save ideas as they come up can be a great way to develop a database that you can come back to when you feel stuck. Similarly, saving “Swipe Files” of proven templates and examples can help kickstart the brainstorming process for new projects.

Whether it’s on a Google Doc, in Evernote, or even on Pinterest, create a place you know you can turn to when you’re needing some extra inspiration.

Creative inspiration can often feel like a daunting task, but the good news is that we don’t have to be afraid of the creative process. By putting the suggestions above into practice, creativity is sure to follow!