*What’s up? I’m George. I used to work with Dave at Drift and now help to manage his content at DGMG. I’ve been known to sling copy from time to time, so Dave asked me to throw a blog in here and there.
Wednesday brain dump here.
As marketers, a lot of our job is creation. Graphics, copy (case in point), campaigns, whatever. We’re creating something new every day. That goes double for me. Content is literally in my job title 👇
I help with social, email copy, the blog, videos, you name it at DGMG. I have to wake up ready to put out a LOT of content. And guess what…
…I don’t always have my A-game.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to create content. And I have the perfect place to do it working for Dave at DGMG. But there are still plenty of days where I’m not feeling particularly creative, or my mind is on something else, or I just flat out don’t want to create anything that day. But I still make my daily social posts. I still write blogs. I still help with videos, write descriptions, send emails, etc etc etc.
And I’ve found I’m able to do so, even on my worst days, because of certain practices I’ve adopted in my work life. Here are 3 little things I do every day to maintain marketing inspiration:
A lot of my content is inspired by other people. Whether it’s a passing comment from my roommate, a text with Dave, or interaction with someone in the DGMG Community, I create my best stuff when I have someone to build out an idea with.
Let me give you an example from my Drift days. We had this expression, “We eat in our own restaurant,” meaning that we use our own product to do our jobs. You’ve probably heard it as “We eat our own dog food.” One time I mentioned at lunch that it would be funny if we had a Drift restaurant and used the phrase literally. A friend on the video team (shoutout Actual Dan) heard me and said, “Why don’t we actually do that for a video?”
So for the rest of the day he and I went back and forth building out a video concept and a rough script around this phrase. I put together a makeshift dining setup in our studio, brought in some leftover spaghetti & meatballs and wine from my apartment, and forced one of our product marketers to pose as a waiter. I then brought in unsuspecting sales reps to explain the “eat in our own restaurant” phrase and how it applies to what we do at Drift, while I housed spaghetti like a slob:
The result? The video has to this day, the most: LinkedIn views (6716), clicks (507), and impressions (21,065) among all Drift videos ever posted on social. It was a major brand play that came about because of a throwaway comment at lunch and a ton of collaboration between two coworkers. Full video is here if you’re interested.
You have colleagues, friends, family, mentors — an entire network of people to bounce ideas off of. Yet so often we keep our ideas to ourselves because we think they’re stupid or wouldn’t work. Just throw something out there and see what people around you think. You’ll be surprised at what turns into a winner.
2. Go Outside (For a While)
I just went to a chiropractor because my back hurt so much from sitting in my desk chair all day (and poor core strength or whatever).
But seriously, this sounds easy, but far fewer people do it than you think. When you have writer’s block or find yourself stuck in a creative rut, you have to give yourself a mental break. A tired, frustrated mind will never create anything great.
If your routine is work all day, then Netflix all night, of course you’re going to be burnt out and unable to create. You’re just bombarding your brain all day with work, then shutting it off completely from dinner to bedtime. You never let your mind just wander and come up with new ideas. So when you have a spare hour in the day, go out and get some lunch or a coffee. Take a walk in the woods if you’re a burbs person, or find a park and just hang out on a bench for a half hour.
And do it Dave’s way:
Don’t just bring work and distractions outside. Give yourself time to unplug and think. I promise the creativity will start flowing and you’ll be sprinting back to your computer to write down your ideas.
3. (Literally) Set Your Clock to It
This one seems like a cop out, I know. Hear me out. There’s a William Somerset Maugham quote (or Faulkner quote, depends on who you ask) that Dave uses a lot and I’ve kind of adopted it as my own:
“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at 9 o’clock sharp.”
When you wake up in the morning until you log off at night, choose to be creative. Whether you’re writing, designing, whatever — just start creating and don’t stop until you have something you’re happy with.
Yes, it’s pithy and sounds like it should be burnt onto a piece of reclaimed wood and sold at HomeGoods — I agree. But it honestly does work. There’s certain content pieces I need to put out every day. And I don’t hit a homerun on all of them. But I always put out some content that I’m proud of because I know that while I’m working, my job is to create. It doesn’t matter if “I’m not feeling it” that day. I sit down, start writing, and find the inspiration as I go.
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Crush the rest of this week.