9 Hacks for Easily Being Creative, from Edwin Edlich at Marina Maher Communications
By Daniel Denning
On Tuesday, February 7, in the COM 400 social media class, students got to meet Edwin Endlich, Director of Content Marketing at Marina Maher Communications. Endlich started his career as a writer at Comedy Central, and eventually moved on to marketing. He has since held many creative roles, including being a creative director at Red Fuse Communications.
Luckily for us, he shared his 9 hacks to easily being creative:
1. Stop Asking Questions
Yes, his first piece of advice was to ask a limited amount of questions when given a task. For example, if you are a creative working on an account at an ad agency, don’t ask the client too many questions. Edwin suggests no more than two. Asking too many questions limits your scope and hurts potential creativity. It’s better to keep things simple.
2. Keep Your Hands Busy
Edwin suggests keeping something around to play with while you’re brainstorming. Toys and Play-Doh are two great options. “When you keep your hands busy, something opens up in your brain that makes you think,” he said. He likes to keep paper clips around and uses them to spell out his name. “It makes ideas come faster,” he says.
3. Organize Your Thoughts
It’s important to keep everything organized. A good way to do this is a good, old-fashioned notebook or just a pen and paper. You should write down everything that you think of, so you can see it in front of you. It’s the best way to ensure you don’t forget your big idea!
4. Do a Copy Audit
A copy audit is when you break the words of a tagline down and look for as many similar words as possible to say the same thing. Write down a tagline you come up with, or one that already exists for a brand, and rewrite it with synonyms for every single word. This is a great way to improve your own writing, as well as a way to kickstart creativity.
5. Fill in This Sentence…
I used to ____________________,
Now I ______________________.
This is a fun exercise for improving creativity. It works especially well for advertising creatives because it can spark ideas that convey a brand’s positioning. What did people think of the brand before? What does the new message convey about the brand now?
6. Improve upon Existing Ideas
Sometimes, creativity is as simple as taking an idea that has already been done and just making it better. “Apple didn’t invent the first MP3 player, but they improved upon it when they created the iPod,” Edwin said.
7. Say It Clearly
When you have an idea, say it with confidence. Never question or qualify your ideas, even in your own head. If you do that, you will limit your creativity.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
This one is self-explanatory: keep practicing. At work, always go to creative meetings and pitch ideas, even if your ideas have never been chosen. Being persistent and consistent is important. People will notice it, and the constant practice will improve your own creativity.
9. Find Your Creative Place
This is one of the most important items on the list. Not everyone is creative in the same place. According to Edwin, only about a third of people say they can maximize their creativity in a group thinking or brainstorming session. Everyone’s best brainstorming is done in a different place. It is important to find your own. If you’re working in a creative position, Edwin advises to tell your boss that you have an idea, but want to think about it more in your creative place. You can leave the office to go to that space and promise to return with an amazing idea. This gives you “creative swagger.” It will for sure make you stay consistently creative.
It was really eye-opening for us to hear all of these tips. Definitely give these a try the next time you are having a creative block!