Everyone falls into a rut sometimes. We all have distractions, and it's simply part of our nature to grow accustomed to a routine. This can often mean that our creativity suffers, and it can be difficult to haul ourselves back
Everyone falls into a rut sometimes. We all have distractions, and it’s simply part of our nature to grow accustomed to a routine. This can often mean that our creativity suffers, and it can be difficult to haul ourselves back up onto the creative “road less traveled.” If you could use some help kickstarting a fresh flow of ideas and/or trying to get around a creative block, this post is for you.
My “Top 5” Tips:
1. Say Yes to Something New
Routine is the quickest way to build a creative block. When we develop habits and routines, our minds can go on autopilot, and we no longer feel challenged or excited by the world around us. It can be even more difficult to break out of this rut when you realize that you need to step outside of your comfort zone.
Start with something small that’s completely new or foreign to you. Sign up for a local class. Try an intriguing recipe. Accept an invitation to a party you would normally decline. Shoot, try a sci-fi Netflix binge. I like to say, sometimes you need to “contaminate” you’re thinking to shake your mind out of its stupor.
2. Feed Your Mind With “Creative Snacks”
Chances are good that you encounter plenty of inspiration in your day-to-day life, even if you don’t realize it. “Creative Snacking” is simply allowing yourself to notice these things.
When you’re running errands, take a moment to appreciate the aesthetics of a store display. Pay attention to color stories and patterns in shop windows. Search Instagram accounts that feature unique images and design ideas. Even if you aren’t actively cataloging these things for a specific project, your brain will remember them for future endeavors, and you’ll be more aware of the world around you.
3. Give Yourself Space to Create…or Not Create
It’s far too easy to fill up your day with tasks that make you busy. In today’s society, being busy is often equated with being successful, but what often happens is you come up with some strategic ideas, then you get so invested in the delivery of those ideas that you run out of time for new ideas. Instead of stuffing your calendar full, set aside a few blocks of time that are solely for creating.
You can use this time to work on active projects, come up with new ideas, or feed your imagination with fresh fodder for later projects. Give yourself space to work on something you enjoy, but allow yourself to just be still and refreshed if you’re not feeling inspired. Whether you create or don’t, having dedicated time to look forward to can release stress and allow you to be more open to creative pursuits.
4. Start “Creativity Cross-Training”
Often, one of the best ways to find inspiration is by switching mediums. If you’re a painter, try drawing or sculpting. If you like word games, switch to numbers. If you enjoy writing, why not choose a style completely opposite your own? Even if you’re not comfortable in this new medium, you can learn a great deal and find fresh ideas.
5. Switch From Brainstorming to Mind Mapping
Instead of listing out ideas in a brainstorming session, try mind mapping. This is a visual tool that helps you organize ideas, notes, projects and problem-solving in a creative, connected way. Allowing yourself to use pictures, colors, and connecting lines to organize information can lead to solutions you may not have otherwise considered.
These small, simple ideas are excellent and easy ways for you to reignite the creative spark of your imagination.
The two terms might seem similar but they are very different things. Entertainment Marketing (today more commonly known as “Influencer Marketing”) is a strategy that leverages influential brands and/or personalities to promote a brand/product (most often a celebrity or the new bread
The two terms might seem similar but they are very different things. Entertainment Marketing (today more commonly known as “Influencer Marketing”) is a strategy that leverages influential brands and/or personalities to promote a brand/product (most often a celebrity or the new bread of “social media influencers”). Sometimes they are more intentional endorsements, e.g., Ellen, “I’m easy, breezy, beautiful, CoverGirl”, other times it’s less obvious product placement, e.g., Marky Mark pounding a Bud after saving the day. The concept is not new but has evolved over time (I’ll have a post on Influencer Marketing in the coming weeks).
As for “Marketing Entertainment”, a topic I’m often asked about, there are certainly some nuances that are unique to the entertainment space. (The following dives into live event entertainment marketing. I’ll post something soon with more focus on recorded/studio entertainment marketing).
When marketing events and/or entertainers, the strategy is to create emotional excitement. Marketing entertainment is about motivating or inspiring an audience to purchase something that they “want” vs. “need” by selling the thrill of being there to witness that once-in-a-lifetime event and be part of something larger than themselves.
Direct off of a former office wall: “Our mission is to lift the human spirit by gathering communities around exceptional live experiences. These indelible memories echo long after the last bit of confetti is swept. It’s what lights up the eyes and gives hearts something to hold onto when times are tough. Sacred moments that will never be reprised in exactly that same way.”
Marketing Venues – Most artists set shows prices the same regionally regardless of theatre, so that’s not a differentiator. You’ll focus on your venue’s “value proposition”. Why/how would the guest experience be better at your venue? I’ve been told things like “but my venue is pretty standard, other than the act itself, there’s not very much interesting about the venue.” Challenge yourself to be creative and go beyond what others are too lazy to do.
Start by finding stories to tell, the history or inspiration of the venue, the ownership, or the location. Even food vendors’ stories or recipes can provide good content. Share a time lapse of the setup before or teardown after a show. Take the tips from the “plan your visit” section of your site and make that more fun and interesting. Reproduce as infographics or videos.
Create/activate iconic areas or elements of your venue (possibly my favorite example would be the elevator at the Beacon Theater), social channel #hashtags & filters, and any other ideas to help guests create that “FOMO” feeling amongst friends/followers.
Besides shows, entertainment destinations like gaming halls or casinos have to recognize that you are not competing with other casinos, you are competing with anything else there is to do nearby. Bars, bowling alleys, etc. You sell an experience, sell it.
Marketing Shows – Again, this is purely an aspirational purchase. No one “needs” to see a show, your job is to excite and invite your guests. The perception is that most guests are looking for the best price, my experience has shown that guests are actually looking for the best value. There is a big difference. Guests want to feel like they are part of something relatively exclusive and something they can relive (and brag about) later. Pro tip: That also creates a great opportunity for organic promotion “customer endorsement” (which carries much further than your paid media efforts).
The obvious place to start is with any history the event/performer(s) might have at the venue. For example, let’s say there will be a tribute concert to someone at the exact venue where that “someone” got started. Further, let’s say that that “someone” was popular in the 1970s. The person in charge of marketing entertainment might, in addition to doing straight-up advertising of the tribute concert itself, leverage the nostalgia that fans felt 40 years ago when that first concert got started. The event could be presented as a “leisure suit and platform shoes” shindig, and guests at the event could sip 1970s wine vintages (*sponsorship opportunity) while waiters with 4-inch lapels served them.
As marketers “today”, we are lucky to be able to listen to what consumers want (in real time). We know audiences, or “fans” follow and engage directly with celebrities and brands, do a little research for your promotion strategy and see what, and who, you can leverage.
Marketing Celebrities – Despite what many may think, famous/influential people are not all the same. I used to believe that the longer someone has been “famous” the harder it is for them to hear “no”, and although that is something of a theme, there are many exceptions so be careful of that. The reason I emphasize this is, perhaps, needless to say, there is no better promotion vehicle than the artists themselves. What’s crazy is that some artists (without dropping any names) won’t promote their own show without getting paid…to promote their own show…on their own accounts!
Always ask (and try to get it in the contracts) but also try to get other celebrities to help promote, get the label to promote (and push for support from other artists on the label). Always tag the artists in your posts and get some tickets over to your local outlets to help promote. At the least, you’ll likely get support from the fans 😉
In conclusion, “Entertainment Marketing” (or Celebrity Endorsement/Influencer Marketing) can be used to “Market Entertainment” (shows/events, brands/bands/entertainers/personalities, etc.), but they are two different terms for two very different things. Entertainment Marketing is exciting (and creates the opportunity for marketing folk to mingle with celebs), but there’s a lot of fraud happening these days, so be careful. Also be careful who you align yourself with. Market Entertainment is just damn hard (super exciting) work :).