Finding Creative Direction/Inspiration for Your Brand
Whether you are an artist, graphic designer, photographer, or a skilled chef, it can be overwhelming even to consider what your artistic style truly is or what it may mean. You may define yourself by your job title, or only claim you “paint portraits” or “cater at elegant venues.” This is great and all, but it often poses a challenge when trying to truly branch out and develop your own unique business and brand. Finding creativity and inspiration in your brand is the first step towards a successful venture. Without that overwhelming feeling of courage and can-do attitude, you’re likely to fall flat.
You’re a Social Butterfly
In today’s busy world, remaining as social as possible is vital for any growing brand. There are so many different networks to take advantage of, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. You should know what your followers are tweeting about, what the big topics are on news feeds, Tumblr, and Reddit. If your chosen social media network has search functionality, be sure to check in on hashtags and keywords every so often for a big of insight. Of course, these keywords should pertain to your industry.
Social media also allows you to keep a close eye on the competition. By browsing through their content, looking up their relevant hashtags, and reading through comments from their community members, you gain a bit of insight and inspiration. This is a starting point, of course, but even the smallest post can bring about a spurt of inspiration for your brand and help to reach a new audience. Work with what you have!
Invest Your Time
Have you ever heard the saying that to be a great writer you need to read every single day? Well, to find creative direction or inspiration for your brand, you need to accomplish the same thing. It may not have to be reading novels in your spare time necessarily, but researching and browsing the web can be perfect for finding inspiration.
It is vital to remain up-to-date with everything going on in your industry. You should certainly not consider this portion of your day to be work. Instead, dedicate 30-60 minutes each day – whether it be in the morning or the evening – to read your favorite blogs or a relatable book. You’ll quickly begin noticing the various trends and talking points of your industry, which will, in turn, bring about inspiration in your work.
Pick and Choose
As a business owner, you have the right to pick and choose your projects. It is entirely reasonable to say “no” to a project that you feel does not fit into your overall brand style or direction. You may have an open-ended approach to development and projects, but your approach to bringing in new clients certainly does not have to be. It is important to select only those who inspire or motivate your work and abilities. If you don’t feel that overwhelming sense of creativity or the burst of energy from a new project, it is okay to turn it down.
While this may seem counter-intuitive to running a business, you are still a creative professional. Without that creative drive, any work you produce may suffer, which is worse for both the client and your needs.
Utilize the Minds Around You
Chances are you probably have a team – no matter how small – working on the same project/business with you. If so, be sure to use their talent and creativity. Sit everyone down one day and sift through thoughts and ideas about brand direction and voice. If people would prefer to remain anonymous, have every staff member write their idea down on an index card, then, when complete, share the cards amongst the group and hold a discussion.
Following a clear and concise discussion on each topic, elaborate on each idea. By singling out one idea, you limit yourself and your potential brand to a very narrow path. Instead, try to focus on each idea and expand upon what makes said idea so great. Alternatively, try not to focus solely on the good. Don’t just pull negative aspects of each thought out of the air, but if there are clear cons to the idea, be sure to state them. This will allow you to grow and blossom the idea into something more streamlined and as close to perfect as possible.
Direction and Inspiration
As a brand owner or manager, you should never feel the need to stifle your creativity. By limiting your capabilities, you are grounding the business or brand and limiting your customer-retention potential.
Utilize the above tips and seek out creative direction or inspiration for your brand. In today’s busy world, a boring concept will drive your business into the ground before it ever has the opportunity to flourish. That’s simply not something we can allow.