What is Creativity?

After developing hundreds of ideas for a project, a client made the comment that  they weren’t creative enough. While the comment stung for a second, I realized it was important to consider, what is creativity? What does that mean to this client? And what does it mean to me?

Creativity is a term that comes loaded with your own baggage. For me personally, creativity is marked by the freedom to generate ideas without judgment. Professionally, creativity mingles with — and is limited by — time, an essential ingredient of the professional creative process. It’s also peppered with audience awareness, which enhances marketing magnificence. When it comes down to it, it means very little to bring creative ideas to the table if they aren’t targeted at some audience with a clear goal in mind.

I believe that part of the issue of undervaluing the creativity presented to this client was that he was not clear on his goal for the project. He was still undecided on what he liked and what he wanted from the project. He wasn’t yet prepared to accept ideas that met his initial criteria.

Even if you’re not a creative type, as a business owner, it’s good to think about the type of creative work you like before you take on a marketing project working with freelancers or a creative firm. What are you drawn to? Which ads or designs drive you nuts? And what are your goals for a creative project? Put some of your own thought into it first, and write those ideas and goals down. Then, you’ll be better poised for a successful creative marketing venture.

3 Tips for Better Email Marketing

Email. Seems like we’re all on email overload these days, but it’s still an inexpensive marketing option, and one of the most flexible ways to communicate with your audience. Emails can be fairly straightforward or very creative.

After hearing DJ Waldow speak at a social media conference last year, I read The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing by Waldow and Jason Falls. Being used to the rules surrounding email marketing, but having a rebellious nature at times, this book unveiled a few myths about emails that I intend to break.

It drove home a few basic points that I’d like to share with my clients:

Set goals. What do you want to accomplish with your email marketing? It’s better to have a strategy and set up a regular schedule than to be sporadic or haphazard. With email as one channel you can use for education, think of themes you can use to educate your clients. Set it to the ups and downs of your business and take it from there!

Build your list. Get a signup form on your website as soon as humanly possible. It’s one of the most effective ways to develop a strong list.

Set up a welcome message. Most email providers have a way of setting up an autoresponder, so when people sign up for your email, they receive a welcome message. This is a brilliant idea that enhances the perception of your customer service. Even though you don’t have to do a thing after you set it up, it makes a good first impression. Take advantage of it!

Email marketing can be fun, creative and educational. Start with the basics and see where they lead!