5 Creative Tips for Non-Creatives
by CHRISTINA PILARSKI
Originally Published in Fernie Fix | August 2018 Issue
Music sparks creativity. Every business strategy needs elements of the right-brain to bring a corporate story to life. And, as someone who is a big fan of a well formatted spreadsheet I find the creative folks on my team invaluable. The ability to be creative is a gift – especially for those of us who would rather paint-by-number.
Recently CIPR’s Creative Lead, Courtenay Davidson, equipped our team with 5 creative tips for non-creative people. These tips can be used to create unique polish on your social media accounts, update your branding, and focus your marketing materials. ‘Not being creative’ can not be an excuse for a poor execution of your business’ social media and communications program.
1. Take a walk - Walk away from a project for a half hour (or a week) and come back refreshed. And if your timeline allows it, take as much time as you need to workshop your ideas. Being creative is a process – it is putting a true face to your corporate identity – it shouldn’t be a quick fix.
2. Be honest – Don’t hold yourself accountable to unrealistic deadlines around your creative needs. Courtenay reminds me that her time is better spent shaking out the cobwebs than doing Buzzfeed quizzes about 90s’ boy bands. Speak up about creative block with your team and schedule some time to brainstorm together.
3. Cheat – There are many amazing design resources available online. Need a new suite of social media layouts? Buy a bundle of Photoshop templates. Envato Elements is a subscription-based site that supplies you with unlimited downloads of well-designed, customizable templates for all the little things. Save your creative genius for the more intensive projects like your brand and next marketing campaign. Using templates allows you to put your best foot forward on external facing communications, including your social media. When your brand looks polished it will get more attention.
4. Get Critiqued – There are plenty of online places where you can get feedback from skilled designers. Reddit Design Critiques (ruthless and so helpful), The Designers League (Facebook group created specifically for getting feedback on your designs), The Graphic Design Forum (you can get critiqued and get technical help with your software here) are all available to you no matter your creative skill level.
5. Use Quality Photography – Your content should be supplemented with beautiful photography. Even if hiring a photographer is not in your budget utilize free photo sites to supplement your content. A few of Courtenay’s favourites are Unsplash, Pixabay, and Burst. They are free for commercial use without payment or credit to the photographer (although credit is appreciated) but be sure to read the copyright agreements and brush up on your understanding of “creative commons” before publishing. Also make sure that the photo is relevant to your business and your story – just because a photo is beautiful does not mean it is right for your business.
Creative elements should be a key component of your social media strategy. Photos and graphics should be used to tell stories, show your personality, and extend your brand awareness. Whether you consider yourself creative or not we are hoping these tips lead to some inspiration as you start to curate your online content for the rest of 2018.
Show us what you have been working on and share your own creative questions by tagging @CIPRComs on social media; I’ll make sure our Creative Lead sees your comments. Use the hashtags #PRPower and #FernieSuccess to extend your reach.