5 Tips to Boost Creative Performance
Are you looking for ways to improve your creative output? Do you feel you aren’t performing at your best and want real ways to improve your creative process? Whether you’re a graphic designer looking for added inspiration or a marketer wanting to inspire your team to greater heights, here’s some helpful, practical tips to boost creative performance you can put into play.
#1. Measure Results
It might seem odd to come at inspiration in reverse, as it were, but let’s be honest: humans are results-driven creatures. While it’s become commonplace, indeed essential, to include data-driven analytics and metrics measurement to assess how your various pieces of content perform, it’s still not common to see this as a holistic aspect for your full team.
Typically your graphic designer or creative team passes their work on, and someone else assesses how it performs. Sometimes, the people who design the campaigns aren’t even the people who will create them. All of this leads to a disconnect with the work that can be very detrimental, pulling down creative performance as it goes.
Integrating these two aspects, on the other hand, can motivate creative performance and encourage those who create and storyboard your content to be as driven by, and as invested in, the metrics as your campaign managers. There are many ways to do this.
You could invest in something like the yellowHEAD graphic design studio, which automatically integrates ROI-boosting suggestions into your designer’s work through analytics and suggestions. Or you could simply make sure that the two departments work more closely together. But let your creatives see how their work is helping shape your goals
#2. Key An Eye On Trends
In any creative profession, it’s frighteningly easy to fall into a rut of producing the same thing. Graphic design trends do change over time. For instance, color blocking has had its time to shine recently, and now we’re seeing a lot of flat, almost abstract, Japanese-influenced work.
While you don’t necessarily need to trend-chase, and it’s not always wise to completely overhaul a client’s branding just to stay trendy for a year or two, it’s good to know what’s going on in the greater design world.
This also helps the designer refresh themselves and keep clear of a rut. Even if they’re not actively using a trend, simply seeing it– and the creative things others are doing with it – can refresh and inspire their own design choices. Creativity starts with inspiration, and actively seeking such inspiration will have great effects on your creative performance.
#3. Don’t Work ‘Til You Drop
Another thing that’s very hard to remember when you’re on deadline and under pressure is how valuable rest breaks are to the overall creative process. The human mind is not a machine, and is simply not meant to churn out fantastic work for 10 hours a day, every single day, with no breaks.
There’s a wider world to this than just stepping away from the PC for a bit, however. Dull and miserable office surroundings are hardly going to power a creative mind. Blue light actively saps it.
Incessant nagging from Zoom or the management team interrupts creative flow. Poor sleep, too much caffeine, a bad diet, hours crunched over PC keyboards, and lack of vitamins all contribute to a sluggish brain that can’t perform at its best.
We’re seeing an overall shift away from the “worker bot” mentality into a model that encourages better work-life balance, and it’s critically important in any creative industry to understand how profound these effects can be.
And remember on the management side that all the time you’re spending in meetings and blowing up the DMs of your creatives is time they aren’t producing the items you need. Hold up, consolidate your workflows, and let them work their magic.
In any results-driven industry like marketing, it’s very easy to fall into a hoarding mentality and want to keep all of your “trade secrets” away from anyone else. And yes, there’s always a risk when creatives get together. But there’s a whole lot of space between giving away trade secrets and never interacting with others.
Without fresh eyes and fresh minds, the risk of stagnating creatively is massive. Sure, too many cooks can spoil the broth, but adding a line cook or two can make the broth even tastier, especially when they’re the one noticing the chef has left out the salt!
Even if you prefer to work as a loner on most creative items, occasionally pulling in other designers for feedback, input, or just a cup of coffee and some chit-chat can be an invaluable way to refresh your own creative reservoirs.
#5. Understand Client Expectations
It is very common for creatives to be perfectionists, too. And sometimes, that’s great. At other times, that’s how you get hung up on some tiny detail or other and watch your project slowly drift far away from the client’s needs and expectations. And then it’s disheartening to hear bad feedback when you worked so hard on what was only ever wasted effort.
Spend some time on getting proper briefings – and yes, some clients can be painful with this. Understand things about the project like whether they need something quick but impactful, or long-term and perfect. Is this going to shape the entirety of the brand, be the backbone of a campaign, or simply boost engagement for a week or two?
While all creative parts of a marketing campaign are important, you need to know how to understand and prioritize the work effort you put in. That way, you can deliver to meet client expectations and motivate yourself and your creative journey in better ways.
And there you have it! With these 5 tips to help you boost your creative performance and get better, data-driven results from creative aspects of your campaign, you’ll soon feel refreshed and ready to go with all your creative efforts. Which areas of your creative journey will you be focusing on first? Be sure to let us know!