How to Get Creative

My job is mostly about being creative, coming up with web content ideas, creating headlines, writing copy etc. It’s usually quite easy for me to do this and I have always thought that this could be taught, which is what I do at Linkbait Coaching.

Because I feel that it’s simply about having the right mind set, being in the correct mode and not having to be some mad creative genius.

Today I came across a video that reinforced everything that I believe about being creative. The video is by John Cleese, and it is well worth watching. But if you are in a hurry I had jotted down some notes below.

<- Notes begin

"Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating", John Cleese

Creativity is not an ability that you either have or do not have, it is absolutely unrelated to IQ as long as you are above a minimum.

The most creative people simply have developed a facility to get into a certain mood or way of operating to allow there natural creative to function. In other words an ability to play and to play for it’s own sake.

The closed mode is a business at work mode, but it is not creative. The open mode is more playful there is no pressure, there is time to play.

Open mode is the curiosity

We need to be in the open mode to ponder a problem, but then switch to the closed mode to implement it decisively, undistracted by doubts about its effectiveness.

There are certain conditions that are conducive to the open mode

Space
Time
Time
Confidence
Humour

Space and time is needed for unlimited play

It’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent and it’s easier to do little things than things we are not sure of.

Most creative professionals are prepared to spend more time with a problem and so create more creative and original solutions.

Keep you mind gently around the problem

Notes end->

I strongly suggest you watch the video if in any way you are connected to creativity. I provide the open mind, the playful creative space. If you find creativity difficult when it comes to content creation and mostly want to get on with implementation then you can hire the creative aspect at Linkbait Coaching.

We are always playing and always have a free roaming mind generating threads and threads of creative goodness on the forums.

Sometimes it simply makes sense to hire a specialist than to try and muddle through.

Gremlins in the Machine 24 hour delay to launch Linkbait Coaching

As always with a product launch the Gremlins attack.

The launch of Linkbait Coaching 3.0 is going to have to be put back 24 hours. Membership will be available on Friday 23rd of March.

Apologies if you were itching to get cracking, but some things I can’t control.

I was asked about the price and I’m going to keep the price the same as it was two years ago. £200 a month.

But I am offering a Linkbait Coaching Plus account which will have a bunch of extras and get you a month free, more on this later.

I will be posting a full list of all the new stuff that is going to be in the latest incarnation.

Quick Few Thoughts on Content Marketing Before I finish my Porridge

The online marketing industry is using the term “content marketing”, widely and consistently. Which means I must use it too, even though I have an urge to write a 10k word essay on the subject of why it shouldn’t be used.

Thinking, rather than acting can sometimes (not always) hurt the bottom line.

As Linkbait Coaching 3.0 is about to launch it makes sense to start a Content Marketing course.

Most people still don’t get blogging.

Deeper thinking about the technique will always win, unless you are selling a content marketing course and then it makes more sense to say the stuff is easy. I can’t do that, which I understand does affect business and I really have tried to sell out and be a commerce whore but it goes against my OS. So, always market to those who seek high ability over a quick fix.

All online output is communication and all communication is marketing, even down to the privacy policy.

Basic, bog standard link building still works. Get in touch and I can sort you out with something very tasty.

Why Content Marketing is the Wrong Way Round

Content marketing is the wrong term, as I have discussed before, you are not marketing content, you are using content to attract people to you website to be persuaded to perform specific actions such as purchasing, lead generation etc.

You are not marketing content, but creating magnetic content. Content that not only attracts, but is sticky, and embeds into the sub-consciousness.

But, the term content marketing has taken hold, and propagated mostly by people wanting to sell to people who lack understanding over the form.

Why is this important?

Putting too much emphasis on the content rather than the purpose of the website can take your eye off the ball. Its not abut the content, the content is merely a tool, a mechanism. Some content creators miss this aspect and end up having the cart pulling the horse.

It’s understandable because whenever the term content marketing is raised the cliched terms of “quality content! and “content is King”, are not far behind. And like all cliches, there is a foundation of truth, but not the whole truth.

I think the reason for the over focus on “content”, rather than the purpose of the website is because most content creators still don’t get the reason web content exists and what it can be used for.

A lot of content is created for the purpose of link building, if the content is created and then marketed its the wrong way round. To create content and then market the content is wasteful and inifficient. The marketing should be first and the content comes after.

You find out what the linkerati want and then you create content.

It’s odd how many come up with the idea for content before fully analysing the needs of the market they are targeting.

Find out what people want and give it to them.

Most people think the content they should be producing should be the content which they like, rather than what the market requires.

Marketing then content

Not

“Content marketing”

But I’m afraid it doesn’t scan well.

Its not simply about being pedantic, its about creating creating the correct mindset and work flow.

Developing The correct mindset is something that is crucial to creating magnetic web content and I am going to be blogging about this later.

You may not think this matters much, but if you don’t have the right content creation processes in place and most don’t then your content efforts will never reach their full potential, whilst your competitor gets it together.

Content Marketing Training or Linkbait Coaching?

I had a feeling it was coming about a year ago.

A new term to describe something that doesn’t really need a new term and yet at the same time is meaningless.

But lets put aside such semantic discussions for those who chose to burn time on such matters.

The term “Content Marketing” is here and lets embrace it like a long lost friend.

I don’t have to buy into the artifice that this is a new technique, all shiny and fresh. The readers to this blog are mostly hard nosed online marketers who know that knew terms like this are only created so the same old stuff can be repackaged and sold as a new marketing concept.

And so a writer, now becomes a content marketing consultant.

OK, it’s not exactly like that and there are nuances to the term and it’s meaning, blah blah blah.

The term “linkbait” went through a similar process when it stuck its mongrel head out the hole from whence it came. Lots of screen reading time was devoted to its true meaning and whether the £800 suited marketing exec of an International Corporation should be told he needed “Linkbait”, without implying it’s something found on a pavement after a crack addict has vomited on it.

And so it’s natural that the term, “content marketing” has kicked linkbait off the charts. Just like New Wave replaced punk, these things go in cycles.

I know what you are think, “yeah but linkbait isn’t anything like content marketing….” yada yada yada.

You are missing the point.

The reasons these terms exist in the first place is purely economic. They exist so we can sell stuff to clients who don’t want a two hour insight into the nuances of the technique.

The terms do not have defined meanings (a Wikipedia entry is not indicative of a defined meaning) and so when talking to a client the term can be shaped to suit the objective.

The term can now describe a range of things that were not bundled together before. Which is very useful when explaining things to a client, as they do not have the time to understand detail.

Maybe I am being a tad cynical, but I like the thought process to be transparent and it helps me when people say, “Dude, just get over it, content marketing is King“.

Now, as I train people in the dark art of linkbaiting, it’s not too much of a leap to repackage that training into content marketing training.

To my pals who agree with me that calling it “content marketing” is naff and really just a mind job, if the mainstream are running the term, may as well rank for it.

The process of going over to the dark side started last year, may as well embrace it and move forward.