An image of a lit up light bulb and 5 colourful scrunched up pieces of paper - image depicting a lack of ideas.

Top 7 tips for being inspired (when you’re anything but inspired)

Apr 14, 2021 | Content Marketing, Marketing best practices, Tips for small businesses

We get it. We really do. It’s often tricky to be constantly inspired in new ways when you’ve been working for a company for a while. This is especially true when you’ve got small budgets and there’s a lack of resources, or when you simply feel tired and lost. 

This doesn’t stop you from having big ambitions though! You may want to embrace some new ways of working to challenge and inspire your team. Or perhaps you’d like to surprise your customers and give them new incentives. You may even want to give your brand a refresh to ensure you stand out of the crowd in a busy market. And most of all you want to be positive and look forward. We know the feeling.

The problem

Sometimes you just want to get going. You want the ideas to flow and you just want to make progress quickly! It’s not always easy to come up with new ideas when you’re under pressure though. Maybe you need a new angle for your traditional summer sales campaign, maybe you need to make your product appealing to new customers or maybe you need a new ‘easy-income’ service to ensure you can pay the bills in these turbulent times. 

There may be many times in your career, a year, in a month or even a day that you struggle to think creatively and realistically. And that’s okay. We are confident that if you start to think differently then you can come up with new and clever ideas to save your business or solve a problem. 

Here are our top 7 simple tips to get inspired!

1. Ask the opinion of someone who knows nothing about your business

As we said in our article about what we learnt about starting up our own business, sometimes asking non-marketers about our business can be really helpful. These people might not be your target market, but they can offer a fresh perspective, e.g. they might notice something obvious that you’ve missed because you’re too deep. Ask a close friend or family member; they know your values and your approach but they may not know the detail and specifics behind your brand. We’d also recommend asking someone who is the exact opposite of your ‘target market’. It may be that you’ve assumed too much and you haven’t explored your audience potential enough. If you want to appeal to a mass market and they don’t get your concept – do you need to review things?

2. Go for a walk or have a break 

This is an oldey but a goody. Sometimes we just feel too overwhelmed and we can’t pass through the angst or we can’t get over the negative vibes around our problem. A walk is a simple and free way to clear your brain and reset your thinking pattern. A change of scenery is great to provide a distraction or a little bit of daydreaming. Just having a break can do you the world of good and give you a clean start with your brainstorming and your creative thinking. Maybe you can take half a hour out to watch your favourite Netflix show, or to have a cup of tea and biscuits and gaze out of your rainy window. You’ll more than likely come back to your desk with new energy, feeling calmer and with a bit more enthusiasm than you originally had. 

3. Check out what your favourite brands are doing (or your competitors)

Sometimes 20 minutes of Googling is actually a good bit of time well spent. We suggest you write down 3 brands you admire (they don’t have to be in your sector) and 3 brands that are similar to yours. Check out their websites, their social channels, their messages, their offers and their general approach to life right now. We would always encourage originality – it’s never cool to copy – but you may get inspired in some way by what they’re doing well and what they aren’t doing so well. You might realise what’s trending in terms of marketing generally, or maybe you realise that one channel is currently the best way to reach your audience or perhaps you might realise it might be good to join forces with a similar brand and create a unique partnership. 

4. Use your imagination and turn your problem into a film (bear with us…!)

This may sound ridiculous but sometimes you have to be farfetched to dare to dream big! Imagine if your typical customer was the lead character in a Hollywood blockbuster. Nothing is impossible in films and anything can happen. Whilst this may seem like you’re wasting your time daydreaming about a fantasy world – this may help you challenge your small-scale and safe thinking. Why can’t you do something big, bold and a bit daring? Why can’t you experiment and try again if it doesn’t work out? We (Saltoria) are born storytellers, so our imaginations can easily go wild in this scenario. For some this might not be easy, but indulge yourself and let your imagination take over – you may be surprised and your plotline may be a realistic solution! 

5. Create a good old fashioned ‘spider diagram’.

This one might remind you a bit too much of school. At that time, we had a ton of ideas, opinions and ‘solutions’. We had lots to say but often no clear direction. Spider diagrams were a perfect way to get everything down and get a big overview of all our thoughts and ideas. This is a great way to identify what’s good and not so good and, to be honest, it can be therapeutic! So, get your ideas down. ‘Off-load’ all the hype in your mind onto a physical space. This will help you prioritise whilst thinking about the bigger picture. It will also sort procrastination – which is often just fear of failure masked. Get going and then adapt and evolve as you go. We would also encourage you to do this individually and as a team and compare and contrast your results. 

6. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes 

This one is simple! Imagine you were your customer. What do you need to make your life easier and solve your problem? What can entertain/educate/empower you? Creating personas is a really useful way to explore this further and really get to know your typical customers. Remember that not all approaches will work for all your customers. So splitting them out into key segments will help you become more tailored and personalised with your approach. We also encourage traditional market research to find out more about what your customers actually want in 2021. The world has changed massively in the past 12 months and you can’t rely on assumptions or previous research. Ask the same questions again, ask new questions and be open to change. 

7. Dance it out

This might seem silly, but sometimes silliness works. Maybe you’ve been trying to write a blog article for two hours and nothing is flowing, maybe you need to create a new special offer but you’re finding it hard to be original. Take 10 minutes and put on your favourite album or your favourite playlist and simply dance like you don’t care! This may be easier if you work from home – BUT why not do it when in the office?! The beauty of this activity is that it’ll probably make you laugh, it’ll make you less stressed, it’ll get you moving and away from your desk and it’ll take your mind off the problem. We can’t guarantee that you’ll suddenly have your best idea yet after listening to Britney’s Greatest Hits for 15 minutes – but we can guarantee that you’ll feel more relaxed and calm. 

What’s next?

Everyone is unique and we are always open to new ways to inspire ourselves and our clients. It could be that none of these methods work for you, but you’ve had some ideas that you might want to experiment with as a result of reading this. Maybe it’s about choosing the right time of day or day of the week to get in the zone, or maybe it’s about creating a comfortable environment to feel safe to explore new and different ideas. We genuinely believe committing to not always assuming you know best is a great attitude to have. There’s the famous quote ‘If nothing changes, nothing changes’ (Earnie Lawson). Be brave, do something new, try things out and be prepared to make mistakes. This is the only way you can truly create exciting new ideas that will attract the right audience. 

Have you got any tips that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear how you get inspired (when you feel anything but inspired!). Share your thoughts in the comments. 

Moving forward…

Do you feel uninspired right now? Are you on the lookout for some new ideas? Do you need a sounding board or a fresh perspective? We’re here to brainstorm ideas with you and support you.

Why not sign up for a free 20-minute consultation? We’d love to chat! 


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