If the stay-at-home mandate putting you in a creative rut, you’re not alone. Freelancers heavily rely on networking and their social lives outside of their homes to find creative inspiration, and the pandemic is unfortunately making this almost impossible to do. In fact, a recent study shows that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more freelancers are reporting job-related stress. Their number one struggle? Staying productive. And when you work a job like freelance marketing where creativity and productivity go hand in hand, this can be an issue.
If you’re frustrated about your lack of inspiration or motivation to come up with a great idea for your client’s next campaign, here’s a few ways to freshen up your perspective without needing to leave the house.
1. Follow other innovative marketers or brands in your client’s industry
Social media has made it easier for us to see what our favorite brands are up to no matter where they are in the world, right from the comfort of our own homes. Marketers can exploit that and use it to their own advantage.
Follow industry-leading brands to see how they garner so much attention online. Maybe you’ll find a social media post that’ll give your creativity that “spark” it needs to start on your next campaign. Brands aren’t the only ones online that you can follow–look to other inbound marketing experts—such as Heidi Cohen or the former CEO of MOZ Rand Fishkin—for marketing tips and see what it is about their social media posts that attracts followers.
You can also network by checking out profiles of other freelance marketers on Ureed.com. Send them a message and spark a conversation about the latest marketing trend or your favorite marketing channels. You can even ask them where they get inspiration for their campaigns, and they can refer you to online resources that might be of use to you.
2. Attend a virtual conference, a webinar, or a live session
Checking Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and then doing a repeat of this grueling cycle can take a toll on the creative abilities of even the most seasoned freelance marketer. Sometimes, all you need is a little boost and some direction from someone who understands your struggles.
Check out if there are any virtual conferences that you can attend soon. While some charge ticket fees, others are completely free. There are plenty of inbound marketers, both local and global, that do live sessions on Facebook or LinkedIn on a regular basis. One simple example is TED Talks. Here’s one: a 15-minute TED talk by psycho-economist Sheena Iyengar who hones in on a fascinating, psychological aspect of marketing.
3. Find a new angle
Instead of looking at what competitors are doing, figure out what it is they’re not doing.
When you look at their ads or posts on social media, try to find out ways you can take that same idea and approach it from a completely different angle. Take out a piece of paper and brainstorm other ways you can recreate their social media posts by taking a look what they haven’t done yet.
Is there another need you can address? Is there an important point they continue to ignore in all of their posts? Walk a mile in the customer’s shoes; are they getting all their answers from competitors’ social media posts? Is there something that maybe you can answer for them in your next marketing campaign? Something else you can try is browsing through projects on Ureed.com’s platform to get a sense of what kind of marketing campaign or type of content clients are asking for. This could give you an idea of what other businesses might be looking for in online content.
You’ll soon find yourself with pages-worth of notes and ideas that you can apply to your next marketing campaign.
4. Gain insight from customer feedback
What better way to know what people want than by asking the people themselves?
Ask your client to fill you in on customer feedback to find out what they are saying about your client’s company or product. If they don’t have this kind of data, create surveys and contact forms and have their customer service reps send them out. It might take more effort on your part, but you’ll definitely see more ROIs.
Are there any questions that keep coming up over and over again? Do you notice a certain pattern in the negative or positive feedback? Use those questions or their feedback to help you come up with content ideas for blogs, email newsletters, videos, or future social media posts.
5. Don’t skip the commercials
We all get those pesky ad commercials that pop up whenever we’re trying to watch and enjoy a YouTube video. We eagerly await that “Skip Ad” button that appears after the first five seconds of a YouTube ad, but if you’re a freelance marketer, you might want to hold off on pressing that button.
YouTube ads—no matter how annoying—might actually give you some inspiration for your marketing campaigns. Even if it’s a company in a different industry targeting an entirely differently audience, you might spot a marketing tactic that would help push customers further down the marketing funnel. So before you skip ads, pay attention to them.
We hear about innovative leaders finding creativity in the weirdest places all the time, so maybe the same will happen to you.
6. Get off your laptop and do something different
It’s easy to get swept up by the confusing world of marketing and get overwhelmed in the process. Going over post, after post, after post on every social media account to spy on your client’s competitors can sap your energy right out. Have you thought of stepping away from the screen and doing something completely different?
Stand up and walk around, exercise, take a walk in the park, call up a good friend, doodle, read, or do anything else outside the realm of marketing. Taking your mind off of marketing will freshen you up and rejuvenate your creativity.
You can be just as creative sitting at home all day as you would under more normal circumstances
The pandemic may have limited your options, but it’s not going to stop you from getting your creative juices flowing. The digital age has made the world more open and varied than ever. All you need to do is look in the right places & stay socially – if not physically – active to keep your mind refreshed.
Want to work on exciting new projects as a freelance marketer? Sign up now on Ureed.com & browse through hundreds of projects everyday. Find your next passion project today!