Copywriters are under a constant amount of pressure to deliver the most amazing, gripping, irresistibly absorbing piece of copy ever.
But what really elevates a good copywriter above the rest is being able to generate the kind of ideas that define an ad campaign. This kind of idea making can transform a brand overnight, as well as define it, while changing the way people think about that particular product.
So what's the secret to generating these amazing ideas?
How to See Things Differently
How do writers come up with winning ideas everyday?
Copywriting is like any other skill in life, it's a discipline that allows copywriters to enter the zone of creativity. Whether they want to or not.
The scary truth that most writers and copywriters face regularly is that the well can run dry at the most inconvenient of times.
This usually happens at the worst moment, which could be a hanging deadline, dangling over your head like the sword of damocles.
So how do copywriters get their creative juices flowing again?
Here is a comprehensive list that pro-copywriters use to jump-start their creative juices and produce extraordinary ideas.
1. Learn to be a Lateral Thinker
What is lateral thinking?
According to Oxford Languages - the solving of problems by an indirect and creative approach, typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.
This term was invented by Edward de Bono and this is what he had to say about it:
"With logic you start out with certain ingredients just as in playing chess you start out with given pieces. But what are those pieces? In most real life situations the pieces are not given, we just assume they are there. We assume certain perceptions, certain concepts and certain boundaries. Lateral thinking is concerned now with playing with existing pieces but with seeking to change those very pieces."
So how do you become more inventive with your ideas?
Here are some quick tips to get you started thinking laterally:
Many problems come with many obvious answers, so it can be useful to take some time to think laterally on the problem. This can be done by training your brain to think more naturally creative, and help you to discover better solutions to your copywriting problems.
Discovering new ways
Most people are taught how to do things in a certain way, but there are other ways to do things in a more efficient and effective way. By using lateral thinking you can achieve not just your copywriting goals but also your writing goals.
Master your creativity
You can spend as little or as much time as you like thinking outside the box and trying things in a different way. If you can't answer your problem through lateral thinking, use your old way. As long as you use a portion of time to think laterally every once in a while, you'll do just fine.
2. Revise the Question
As I mentioned above, lateral thinking is about escaping conventions and preconceived ideas.
Try coming at your problem from a different angle, and throw away any preconceptions you have. In other words revise or change the question.
3. Unlock New Possibilities
Most of the time we tie ourselves down by certain constraints and rules, but the reality is we're surrounded by new perspectives and possibilities, because many of these constraints are self-imposed.
Trying the same thing over and over again may not be very productive, but changing our direction altogether may bring something new to the table.
This perhaps is true in copywriting where flexibility and creativity are primary factors to idea generation.
Here are three take away points:
1. Understand your own perception.
2. Accept new perspectives.
3. Don't be bound by a problem - seek new solutions by defining the problem in a new way.
Sometimes thinking illogically can be the best thing you can do to solve a problem.
4. Do More Research
Preparation is key to any writing project you work on, so why would copywriting be any different.
If you're not properly prepared for the project in hand it will show, and will leave you staring at a blank page if your ideas aren't flowing.
You'll know that you've done enough research when you can't stop the ideas from coming out.
Your mind requires exercise and fuel, so fill it with as many ideas, concepts and theories as you can on the subject you're writing about.
Find a point during the day when you can comfortably jot down ideas, and immerse yourself in this information.
The creative process won't begin until you're drinking and sleeping this research.
You can never know too much of one thing, and this may prove valuable information when you're trying to connect the dots.
5. Keep Your Inspiration Fires Burning
Make it a regular part of your writing work life to ensure your creative fires are burning. Create a notebook, make a file on your computer, or create a file full of marketing material to keep those creative juices going.
6. Big Things Have Small Beginnings
Where does a good idea come from? What does it look like?
It's very easy as a copywriter to bypass the small stuff and only look at bigger things. When in reality it's the small beginnings of an idea that are usually the best.
A simple tip to remember: learn to embrace all ideas, good, bad, small and even incredible. Even the most stupid idea that comes into your mind, write it all down.
Always sleep on it, and see what it looks like the next day.
Somewhere in that stack of ideas will be a really good one.
A copywriters biggest problem is coming up with a masterpiece every time.
"Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way." Edward de Bono.
7. Be Unconventional
Are you making the most of your weird ideas?
Unconventionality works together with creativity, seeing the world in a new light brings new creativity.
As children we're taught to conform and adapt, but not to be individuals. Thinking out of the box isn't something that you learn at school, that's why you need to tap into your creative side and bring it out.
There's no time like the present to embrace the weird and wonderful side of your creativity.
8. Throw Logic Out the Window
The copywriting arena requires writers to produce great campaigns on tap. The best way to do this is to change your point of view, and play around with what you have.
You never know what you might come up with.
9. Go Outside
A blank computer screen will kill any creativity you might have. Routines are great, but there's nothing like taking a walk to blow the cobwebs away, and to get your creative inspiration going again.
The world can look completely different once you start discovering parts of your neighbourhood you've never visited before.
Any person in an industry that runs on creativity will tell you their best ideas came when they were experiencing life outside of the office, not when they were stuck at a desk.
10. You Don't Need to Start at the Beginning
As crazy as that sounds, you can start in the middle. You can write in the middle, even if it feels a bit strange, but you can always go back to the beginning and tie everything up properly.
11. Do Some Freewriting
Use freewriting and have a brainstorming session, all you have to do is write continuously. This can be about the product, or experience of trying to write about it. Or maybe you just want to get your thoughts of that moment on paper. The only thing that matters is that you put all of these thoughts and ideas out in the open on paper or on your computer.
Freewriting will literally free any thoughts locked away in your unconscious mind, some writers use this technique before they start their own writing session.
12. Sleep On It
Tapping into your unconscious mind can be a great help when you need to start your creative process. The easiest way to do this is to sleep on it.
Leave your thoughts and ideas to digest overnight and see what you come up with the next day. There's no harm in keeping a pen and paper by your bed, in case anything comes into your head while you're sleeping.
Would love to hear your comments about you get your ideas flowing in the comments section below.