As a content marketer, I have a lot of things on my to-do list. From learning the needs of my clients to helping them tell their story in a unique way, I like to spend my time checking off as many things from that to-do list as possible. But having a job in a creative field gives you a unique problem when it comes to productivity: without inspiration, you hit a wall.
When I first started writing professionally, I often overlooked taking time to dig for inspiration. It’s easy to get caught up in the things that need to get done on a tight schedule. Time spent looking for something to inspire you doesn’t directly turn a profit, so it’s easy to fill up your time with more lucrative tasks.
Truly great creative work comes from an inspired mind. One open to new ideas and looking to take things that have been done before and put a new spin on it. At Imagebox, we’re encouraged to read books, takes classes and join networking groups where we can share new ideas, learn new tactics and get a fresh outlook on our industry.
In my down time, I don’t stop searching for inspiration. Here are few places I look when I’m trying to come up with the next big thing in content marketing:
Pinterest: I have boards for both my personal and professional life on Pinterest, and whenever I need to begin a new creative project, Pinterest is the first place I look to get my brain going in the right direction.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn isn’t just a tool to connect with other professionals and serve as an online resume. LinkedIn provides you with the latest and greatest industry news, articles and tips. Best of all, it’s customized to you.
My peers: Having a network of people in your industry isn’t just useful when it comes time to hunt for a job. I love having conversations over drinks about SEO, social media and any other topic I can think of – and sometimes the experiences I hear about from my peers are more inspirational to me than the articles I read online.
Twitter: Twitter is one of my favorite places to go for inspiration. If I want to know something about Facebook, I just search for relevant hashtags on Twitter and see the top stories people are talking about. And it’s a great place for local networking, too, which can lead you to meeting some inspirational groups. Doing a search for #Pittsburgh brings up great news and events that can be useful to you on a professional – and personal – level.
A long walk: One thing I’ve learned since entering the working world is that you need to spend time away from your desk. Yes, it’s productive to get on a roll and crank out content for hours on end. However, a creative person sometimes needs to take a breath of fresh air in order to come up with their best ideas. I’ve found lunchtime inspiration on billboards, posters and bumper stickers as I’ve walked around the neighborhood. When you can’t find inspiration at your desk, try looking down the street.
No matter how you get inspired, it’s important to make inspiration a part of your day. Stale thoughts don’t benefit you or your clients, so take time to step outside of the box and let something move you!
You can add Jessica to your circles on Google + and follow her on Twitter: @jessbrown.