If you’re drawing a blank or lacking serious imagination, don’t panic – inspiration is always around the corner. Take stock of your situation, sit down and put pen to blank paper using these handy brainstorming techniques and tips.
1. Mind map
Draw it out. Instead of mentalising or just visualising ideas, why not map them out in a visual chart – definitely one of the best brainstorming tools. By seeing a sea of ideas you will be able to pick out the best ones. Keep hold of all of your ideas that arrive though – something that might not work right now could be perfect a year or two down the line when you need a dose of fresh insight.
2. Study the competition
What are your peers doing? Keep an eye on your fellow YouTubers and other content creators or production companies that you admire – how are they ensuring success? How are they growing their views and audiences steadily? What content styles or themes are they using? This isn't to say replicate directly what they do - or even steal - their ideas, but actually, it might inspire something inside you that they didn’t do or an angle that they missed that you feel is unique. It could be a great base to jump from.
3. Find fresh eyes
It’s always good to get feedback on the content you’ve produced to date. Ask family, friends or even acquaintances to look at what you have produced and offer constructive feedback on what you’re doing right and wrong. Pairs of fresh eyes will spot areas for improvement or suggest opportunities that you might not have considered. As you are so tied into the work you’re producing, you may have your blinkers on and might not be looking at the fuller picture.
4. Consider your audience
Instead of scratching your head for ideas for content you want to produce, take a few moments to jot down some ideas for what your audience might want. After all, your audience is a huge part of why you keep creating content so try to switch focus onto the audience to get the creative juices flowing. Better yet – why not ask your audience directly? Run a Twitter poll, send a newsletter with a link to a survey, open your Twitter DMs, ask for comments on Youtube or Facebook…
5. Visualise the bigger picture
Instead of going from video to video day-to-day trying to think up new ideas, sit down and map out a long-term plan. What are the long-term plans you as a brand, company or creator want to achieve? Five years down the line, what are the big projects you want under your belt, clients you want to work with or type of people you want to attract to your audience? If you have your focus on a long-term goal it’s easier to map out the stepping stones that you need to get there.
6. Ideas per day
As a challenge and a healthy exercise for your mind, spend five minutes a day coming up with five new ideas for projects, videos or content you could potentially produce. Flex your brain muscles and channel inspiration every single day to make yourself more of a regular ‘ideas person’. The more you sit down and force yourself to come up with ideas regularly, the more automatic the activity will be. You will soon find ideas fall in front of you the more you challenge yourself and succeed.
7. Refresh, reuse, recycle
Instead of coming up with something new, upcycle an old idea. Update something you’ve done previously, produce a new slant to outdated content, use your experience in the present day to address something you produced when you started out – just because something lives already doesn’t mean that’s where the story ends.