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The online world is an ever-expanding digital vortex, exerting such gravitational pull that the creative output of an entire continent can be condensed into a mile-a-minute social feed where only the flashiest entries get any lingering attention. You have things to say and points to make, but so does everyone else. What's special about your perspective?
This is a worry for every business, no matter the size. Still, it particularly concerns for small or medium companies that don't have the hyper-inflated budgets that allow industry leaders to throw money at their problems. They want - need, even - to be seen, acknowledged, and trusted, but it's tough to make that happen.
There's no easy answer, but perhaps the best (and most cost-effective) thing you can do is find ways to improve your creative process. Whether it pertains to how you come up with ideas or how you turn those ideas into realities, a simple boost to your pipeline can pay off substantially.
To that end, let's take a look at four ways in which you can make such a difference overnight:
Suppose that you were trying to build a house. You could have all the right materials, a sensible plan, and the necessary time and resources, but if you had to punch all the nails in then, you'd have a difficult (and painful) time. In other words, the simple addition of a superior tool can radically change how quickly and effectively you can get things done. In DIY, it might be a hammer. In content production, it's likely to be a piece of software.
Take something like the process of preparing social media posts. The copywriting component doesn't need much, but the visual component can be really tricky for people who don't know much about graphic design. That's where a tool like PixTeller's photo editor becomes such a valuable addition.
It makes it possible for total novices to put together decent-looking images perfectly suited to social media platforms - and if you slot it into your workflow, you can likely boost your productivity and free up more time for ideation.
Now that so many of us are working from home, variability in office organization can prove surprisingly significant in determining results. If you have a finely-tuned office space with everything you need and nothing you don't, you can achieve a great level of focus - and if you have poor lighting, just barely revealing items scattered everywhere, you'll end up weary.
It would help if you had as big a monitor as you can afford and make it reasonably color-accurate (important for working with graphics).
Grab an ergonomic keyboard and a mouse that fits your preferences. If you work on a lot of big files - if you produce videos, for instance - then get a hard drive docking station to facilitate the use of external storage. It's all about tweaking things to suit your unique needs. The better your surroundings fit you, the easier you'll find it to avoid distractions and get things done.
And if you have employees, then you should empower each of them to do something similar with their working space. Fund the process to whatever extent you can. If it's going to help your business, then it's absolutely worth buying someone a new monitor or even a more comfortable chair. A one-time expense can return significant value for years to come.
How does your creative process work, going from start to finish? This might not be something you think about very often, which is why there's such value in carrying out a one-time review. You'll need to gather everyone involved in it and start asking probing questions about how it could be improved. What holds things up? Is anyone dissatisfied with their role? Is everyone communicating effectively? There may be something obvious getting in the way.
And while you can't find plausibly correct every identified issue overnight, you can correct at least one or two things. Perhaps you can patch up a grievance between two colleagues or correct a basic mistake that's holding things up. By taking this comprehensive approach to the process, you can understand how the component parts are working together.
You may note, for example, that one of your rivals is ignoring Facebook altogether and putting all of its social-media efforts into Twitter. Digging into analytics focusing on ROI may confirm the inference that your Facebook traffic, however impressive on paper, isn't actually delivering any value. It's hardly uncommon to keep doing something because you assume it's helping, but those assumptions can be hugely damaging if never challenged.
If another company is getting many more views and interested prospects than you are despite offering products and/or services that are no better than yours, then it's clearly doing something better.
Picking through the component parts of its overall strategy will allow you to figure out which aspects you can add to your strategy. If you do this well, you can end up with an approach that's better than both of those that gave rise to it.
Whether you're adding a piece of software to your arsenal or addressing a small error in your working process, it's perfectly possible to improve your creative production process overnight. Try one or more of these suggestions out to see how you fare. You should be able to make some progress.
Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Rodney Laws