Write hot. Edit cold. Throw around your first few creative ideas, then dig deeper.

Creative services are a lot like any piece of conceptual art – they are rarely never perfect in the first draft.

As a hardened conceptual problem solver, I live by the Constitution of the Creative Process:

  1. As soon as you get your assignment (write a headline, draft a web page, create a new campaign, position the product with a new benefit, sell an anvil to a drowning person, etc) research, research, research.
    • What is the product/service about?
    • What is the main benefit of the product/service?
    • Who is the target market?
    • Does the target market know about the product/service?
    • What are the current opinions or perceptions about the product/service?
    • How would you like to change the opinions or perceptions?
    • I want to know everything I can about my assignment, what I’m selling, how I can impact the current brand perception and so forth. Only when I have devoted my brain to the research, data, or marketing objective, will I move onto:
  2. Initial creation mode. By this point, my brain has been nurturing idea seedlings, and this is where anything goes. No matter how stupid, inane, or incomprehensible your idea may seem, write it down!
    • Churn the possibilities
    • Turn any obvious solution upside-down or inside-out
    • Ask “what if”
    • No judgements! (yet)
    • Set up your workspace, schedule, whiteboard, or whatever else to allow the ideas to run wild.
  3. Analyical editing mode. Did you strike gold? Did you come up with anything decent? Can you imagine pitching anything on your sketchpad, smartphone or cocktail napkin?

If not, then repeat steps 2 and 3 until you drown in the surge of ideas. Then it’s easy, whether you are working in-house, or as a freelance creative. Simply refine, perfect, and execute.

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