Figure Out Your Creative Concept (Without Driving Yourself Crazy – and/or off a cliff)
Let me preface this down and dirty how-to with a little full-frontal honesty: there is no one way to do this, just like there’s no one way to design an off-the-shoulder runway gown or bake a batch of cookies. That said, the following steps will get your creative concept juices flowing like fine wine. (Now we just need to find some cheese.)
Now, then. Behold the starting process.
1 | Check out your competitors. Are they working off a theme? If so, try to put it down into adjectives. Obviously, you’ll want to look for something decidedly different, which means keeping a keen eye out for The Thing that stands out. It’s about capitalizing on what they aren’t.
2 | Write down what you do. What are the benefits of working with you or buying your products? Check out the words you use and pinpoint if and where you can conjure up a metaphor that relates. For example, if you’re always talking about raising the bar, maybe your metaphor is quite literally a bar—happy hours, martinis, beer, wine, etc. (You get it.) So that might make you a business bartender, serving up strategic advice on the daily that’s shaken (not stirred).
3 | Look at your story. What about you is noteworthy? What are your favorite past times, past lives, or interests? I once worked with a lawyer couldn’t figure out how to stand out, until we found out she was a semi-professional figure skater earlier on in life. This immediately gave us spools of creative fodder. (People come to a lawyer because they feel like they’re skating on thin ice, or moving in endless figure 8s. They want their lawyer to remain cool under pressure.) You get the picture, right? One thread from her past became the entire fabric of her business, giving her an icy blue palette for her site, and a client base that inspires awe. What can you play up?
4 | List what you have that your audience wants. For example, Melanie Duncan (a past client) is all about the I’ll-have-what-she’s-having effect. As an international impresario and stylish entrepreneur-at-large, your success speaks for itself; we just needed to give it the proper voice, visuals, and venue—and of course, a cohesive concept. Ultimately, we zeroed in on Melanie’s Instagram feed—an illustrious photographic glimpse into the glamorous life of a successful entrepreneur. It’s inspirational and aspirational , which is what attracts other online entrepreneurs to her. They want to live that life. They want what she has. They’ll have what she’s having. Not sure what your audience wants? Ask them. (I pinky promise you’ll likely be a little surprised by what they have to say.)
And once you’ve got all that down?
Let it all bake, simmer and stew. (Or whichever other cooking analogy suits you best.) You’ll be thinking in your sleep, ruminating in the shower, and muttering to yourself in the car. Honestly, when you really get to thinking about something, you’ll be awe-struck by the ideas that pop up simply by giving them some brain power. Yes, it’s not a one-hour process that can be tied up a satin bow. But it is what it needs to be. Don’t rush the future of your success.
So there you have it. 5 simple(ish) steps to finding your own creative concept.
Roughly eleventy billion possibilities for you to create a love affair with your clients that’s so steamy, you’ll have ‘em clutching their single-strand pearls.
(I’m going to call this a win-win.)