A marketing content writer spins inspirational web and print copy endlessly. True or false?
In reality, even the most successful creatives struggle with inspiration occasionally. Plenty of lackluster ideas, drafts and even finished concepts get tossed aside. And, the same is true for business owners, marketers, accountants and, well, everyone.
Inspiration helps solve problems of all kinds by allowing people to see beyond the issue and current solutions. This trait opens the mind to new possibilities which lay undiscovered when all goes as planned. An inspirational boost helps every writer, designer and business person.
So, what is inspiration? How do you get more of it? And, is this the sole solution to your content issues or do you need a marketing content writer?
What is Inspiration?
Understanding inspiration and its impact on human behavior clues you into using it wisely in content marketing work. Where this elusive trait comes from, the actions which enhance it and the space required for it, make sense of the stories about it. Plus, these factors teach how to best use it. (Yes, inspiration is within your control. Read on to find out more.)
Substance of Inspiration
Looking to Merriam-Webster, inspiration means “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions”. In other words, influence.
This ability to impact others (or be impacted) exists in the artistic realm but also in business ventures. In essence, inspiration is a form of problem-solving. It ignites the mind and produces innovative thinking. The actions which result are considered “inspired”.
But, the amazing part is that being inspired remains under your control, my control. No magical muse arrives to deliver this quality on a whim. Individual choices and behaviors lead to inspirational thinking.
For a content marketing writer, inspiration works to birth original copy. However, it also works to move an audience to action when reading content. Both prove vital.
Source of Inspiration
If asked, where does inspiration come from?, some might say the mind sparks it without warning. Others might cite a mythical muse. And, while moments of inspiration seem unpredictable, something outside the person actually plants the seed.
The source of inspiration varies by person. And, the list of possible catalysts is nearly endless. However, personally identifying inspiration triggers and practicing habits which cultivate it reap rewards of innovative thinking.
In the Crisis Moment
In the moment of crisis, brains shut down and ideas fail to flow. The brain goes into survival mode leaving bodies primed for fight or flight and minds paralyzed to new thoughts. Fortunately, whether writing content, designing a Web site or developing an infographic, certain triggers jump start the creative ideas.
When stuck, consider the following sources of inspiration:
- Music, especially stimulating, complex melodies.
- Nature, particularly vibrant green or bright colorful settings.
- The Web.
- Exercise, dance or movement.
- Stories of inspiring people.
Furthermore, a great solution to stuckness proves to be movement. Take one step at a time. Type one word after the other. Just do something. And, often inspiration follows.
In a similar vein, tackle small problems first. These victories decrease feelings of being overwhelmed by chipping away at the task list. Plus, they gain momentum for the big issues.
Finally, shift your mental thinking to the positive. Angela Duckworth, founder and CEO of Character Lab, states it this way, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Enough said?
Laying the Foundation
When not experiencing paralyzing moments, cultivating certain behaviors builds a foundation for inspirational ideas to thrive. Taking time to incorporate these habits into your routines decreases the likelihood of staring at a blank screen with a blank mind.
To construct a broad foundation for inspiration in general:
- Grow a can-do attitude.
- Break the routine.
- Get out of your head.
- Find different surroundings.
- Experience something new.
- Read numerous books.
- Learn. Learn. Learn.
- Hang with smart people.
- Stop what you are doing.
- Fail. (Failure opens new doors of insight.)
By following these tips, you plant seeds of creativity. Each of these methods brings a renewed or novel perspective, the fuel of inspiration. The next step is to cultivate and nurture this quality by giving it space.
Space for Inspiration
The idea of controlling inspiration seems absurd. And, many stuck writers and artists testify to its elusiveness. Yet, designing an atmosphere friendly to it is within your control.
The Science of White Space
Juliet Funt, founder and owner of WhiteSpace at Work, battles reactive activity which buries talent. She boldly reminds us that “Innovation and creativity are withering under the false god of busyness.”
Creating space to hear your creative voice requires intent. Personally, the most innovative ideas come to me in the shower. While I thought this idiosyncrasy belonged to me alone, I came across an article specifically titled, Why We Have Our Best Ideas in the Shower: The Science of Creativity.
Come to find out science backs the combination of dopamine release, distraction and a relaxed state (all present in the shower) as highly conducive to inspiration. Who knew?
Evidently, not all white space takes place in the shower. Yet, planned times of distraction and disengagement prove vital to doing the best work. Counterintuitive, productivity increases by taking time off.
Carving out room to take advantage of this science is not easy in the quest for success. Yet, it brings a sense of balance and the ability to prioritize with it. Starting each day with 10 minutes of stillness allows you to experience the benefits.
Consider these additional tips to develop a sense of space. Begin with one and add others as you are able:
- Avoid overscheduling.
- Practice saying no.
- Clear distractions.
- Take vacations.
- Schedule breaks.
- Rest well.
As you intentionally create space in your schedule, carry a notepad (paper or digital) to jot ideas as they come. In the busyness which is sure to follow, your inspired thoughts tend to get lost. Listing them keeps them fresh and at the ready.
Creating space waters the seeds of inspiration. Business Creativity expert, author and speaker, Fredrik Härén, sums it up well when he says,”The greatest ideas come when you’re doing nothing. And that’s what people forget.”
Stories of Inspiration
These ideas look great on digital paper. But, the true test of tips and hints plays out in the real business world. While a search of the Internet reveals ample reading, let me inspire you with two stories.
Space to Get Creative
Ladies Learning Code co-founder and HackerYou CEO, Heather Payne, boldly demonstrates the power of two inspiration-boosting tips. She combined time off with engaging a new experience for renewed inspiration.
Payne’s study trip to Hong Kong, a break from the rat race of business, inspired the nonprofit, Ladies Learning Code. Two youth versions of the how-to-code program followed shortly after her return.
Payne admits the trip birthed her courage to take on the projects. Check out her story here.
Looking Ahead With History
Often businesses fall into the trap of thinking only new, cutting edge ideas move companies forward. However, the past offers meaningful insight and inspiration as Sam Calagione discovered.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewing founder, Calagione, went outside the water-yeast-hops-barley beer brewing methods. His exploration of history led him to successfully experiment with ancient ales “inspired by historic and molecular evidence found in tombs and dig sites.”
Calagione proves inspiration comes from anywhere. Read his story and more in The Wall Street Journal article.
Marketing Goes Beyond Inspiration
Inspiration comes from nearly everywhere if the time is taken to recognize it. Keeping busyness at bay with space to develop yourself and ideas fosters this quality. But, content marketing goes beyond creativity.
If inspiration alone produces great content, the above strategies become your lifelines. And, the whole of the Internet proves better for it. However, more than one tool is needed in the content marketing writer’s tool shed.
Working to build your inspirational voice on the Web requires more than penning post-worthy quotes. Building authority and trust with an audience requires additional knowledge and skills.
Plus, creative words sprawled across your site reap minimal rewards if your traffic slows to a crawl. No traffic means no readers which leave no one to inspire. SEO strategies become necessary in the writer’s toolbox as well.
Let’s take a closer look.
Inspirational at its Core
The heart of marketing is to inspire. The goal aims to influence the actions of readers within a target audience. To evoke a change in emotional or mental states. To prompt action.
But, to do so, you must establish a reputation with your audience which makes you worth listening to and following. You must prove credibility. Otherwise, why would readers listen to you?
Building Inspirational Voice
Earning a reputation which influences audiences takes time. Consistent representation of your brand moves you in the right direction by breeding familiarity. And, quality content posted regularly gives an audience an idea of what to expect from you.
To further build your inspirational voice:
- Demonstrate initiative.
- Remain true to your brand.
- Stay focused on your goals.
- Be authentic.
- Foster trust and authority.
Skills in branding and quality content grow your inspirational voice. Plus, the ability to develop a content marketing strategy keeps you on track as you do so. Additional skills required.
Inspiring Readers With Content
The content of your content matters as well. Readers are inspired by blogs, articles and other copy which speaks to their human experience and lifestyle. On the contrary, if they cannot relate, the audience remains uninspired.
Content marketing offers inspiration to readers by:
- Sharing a blueprint of achievement.
- Mentoring readers digitally.
- Curating useful information.
- Posting content worth reading.
- Sharing ideas, tips and how-tos.
Thinking outside the box further develops the breadth of your content. Skills in listening to your audience and speaking to its needs and interests raise the level of your copy. Furthermore, capabilities in infographics, videos and other creative means of inspiration attract consumers.
Fredrik Härén states, “There is one thing people care much more about than your story, and that is what they can learn from your struggles.” Imparting wisdom in a way which benefits readers hits the target. But, beware, skill is required to be authentic and professionally transparent in sharing your experience.
Need More to Get Noticed
A great idea left in the mind accomplishes nothing. Inspirational content lost in a deluge of Web copy rewards little. The truth is that content marketing requires more than posting exceptional, targeted, well-written content. You need the skills to get your material noticed.
At its heart, inspiration means to influence a person to take action. If content goes unseen, how effective is it in moving anyone?
Search engine optimization (SEO) moves content higher in rankings which get articles, posts and sites noticed. While Google loves original content, SEO strategies do not stop at well-written copy. They also include expertise in:
- Short-tailed and long-tailed keyword use.
- Descriptive, keyword-relevant URLs.
- Meta-description construction.
- Content length recommendations.
- Link and backlink building.
- Traffic boosting efforts.
- User experience improvements.
- Mobile compatibility strategies.
- Local search optimization.
In addition, clearly stated mission and vision statements, as well as objectives, decrease the number of ideas tossed into the circular file. Why? These elements bring focus to a content marketing campaign. Skills are required here as well.
Inspiration or Marketing Content Writer?
Where is the gap for you?
Do you lack inspiration? Or, the needed skills?
A marketing content writer requires both to inspire readers. And, as a result, success increases along the sales funnel.
If you are short on either, be bold. There is no shame in admitting when help is needed. In fact, this strength leads to success.
Juliet Funt says it well. “This driving, insatiable culture has turned the average work day into a sprint of frenzied, reactive activity, squeezing out the time to think.” Sound like your every day?
The time has come to take back the space needed for getting creative. Problem-solving across all aspects of your business suffers without it.
If inspiration is your ally, but you lack the skills, hiring a marketing content writer frees white space. And, you, your company and your readers benefit.
Is it time to look beyond your own creative capability for help with your content marketing? Contact us today for your free consultation.
P.S. Comment below on where you find inspiration particularly when you are stuck.