Before I launch into the 7 steps let’s just get a couple of things straight.
Yes, obviously, creativity is VERY important in copywriting. There’s an art to it, for sure.
But what you’re seeking with your copywriting is NOT creativity itself.
The outcome you’re looking for is a RESULT.
This could be getting someone to take a free action (e.g. signing up for your newsletter, taking a survey, watching your video) or persuading someone to make a purchase (of your book, a tick for your seminar or workshop, your training programme, your webinar coaching series, your DVD set, your membership programme or Mastermind group).
Whether you do it forcefully or softly, you want your words to “sell”.
To achieve those kinds of results, it helps to think fresh and think creatively.
The 7 Steps For A More Creative Mindset
So, here’s 7 quick steps to help you get thinking, and into a creative mode and mindset.
Step 1: Go for a walk – it’s one of the easiest and best ways to clear a busy or stressed mind, unlock great ideas and give your brain a break before returning to draft copy and polishing it into something even more powerful and compelling.
Step 2: Practice a Quiet Mind – Take regular time out of your week to put 100 per cent focus on quietening your mind. This could be through meditation, yoga, Pilates or Mindfulness. Find yourself some space, get comfortable, switch off your phone and laptop, tell people you don’t want to be disturbed and place your attention on you, your body and your mind. It really does make a BIG difference.
Step 3: Read a book – As TV, tablets, Social Media and mobiles take up ever increasing hours of our lives it’s easy to forget the simple pleasures (and creative benefits) of reading a book. You could grab your kindle or tablet but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as holding a real book in your hands and turning over the pages by hand.
Pick up a copy of that book you always had in mind to read one day or just pop into your local bookshop and buy something that takes your fancy (you can shop online, of course, but it’s not the same experience as browsing on foot). And don’t forget your local library can help, too.
Step 4: Get Puzzling – Do a crossword, summon up the courage to tackle a tough Sudoku, do a jigsaw or even have a go at some lateral thinking puzzles (The brilliant Paul Sloane has written a string of books with these in so give them a go).
Step 5: Do Something Different – Change your route to work for a week, visit somewhere you’ve never been before, just head off on a Friday evening for a weekend away without planning too much, take a short break to a different country, take up a sport or hobby you’ve never tried before, learn something new (a language, an art or craft, a bit of software, a business skill… copywriting, for example). It fires up your brain, boosts your creativity and adds to the perspectives you have on life.
Step 6: Participate in a creative thinking conference – This is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to creative thinking or develop your existing skills and knowledge. You also get the opportunity to meet some of the brightest, humblest and most entertaining people on the planet.
I attended a couple of the excellent creativity conferences at the University of Greenwich in London, both as a delegate and a guest presenter. I not only learned so much I also made connections which remain strong today, a number of them I warmly regard as friends. The generosity of the creative thinking community never ceases to astonish me.
Creativity Practice Makes Perfect (Well, Almost) Creativity
There are some fantastic events to look out for and three of the best are:
CREA creativity conference (the next one is in Italy in April 2015)
ACRE (Annual Creativity Conferences in South Africa – running in October 2014)
CPSI (pronounced “Sip-See” – an annual event organised by the Creative Education Foundation – next event in 2015)
Step 7: Be open to continuous learning – copywriting is a profession where you learn hard and fast how to work, how to do things right, and how to meet your clients’ needs beyond the standard.
If you want to be effective at marketing, copywriting and being creative it’s a good idea to continue your “education” every week. I read books on copywriting, sign up to marketing newsletters, watch how other marketers are promoting to their lists and write something EVERY day.
Which step are you going to take today?
I’m off to take Step 3 – with “Creative Thinkering” by Michael Michalko and “Never Be Closing” by Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne.
Just need to decide which book to read first.