Everyone wants to be more creative.
How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of, “I wish I was more creative so that I could be a better writer, artist, strategic thinker, fill in the blank”? I bet a lot.
👉 But here’s the thing, in saying this, people are selling themselves short. They’re limiting themselves with the simple belief that you’re either creative or you’re not. But recent research suggests that may not be the case, and that certain activities may increase creative problem-solving abilities.
That’s because creativity is a skill, not an innate ability. And just like all skills, it’s something that needs to be developed and nurtured.
In this podcast, Dave sat down with Allen Gannett, the CEO of TrackMaven and newly published author of The Creative Curve, to discuss exactly this. They shared their thoughts and experiences around the creativity myth, and how to strategically consume content to unlock your inner creative genius.
Whether you want to step up your copywriting, podcasts, social posts, or videos, this podcast will help you level up your game and get over your creative curve.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:03 – An introduction to Allen Gannett, the CEO of TrackMaven and author of, “The Creative Curve.”
05:40 – What Allen has learned in the 8 years since founding TrackMaven, and why he leans on side projects to stay level-headed.
06:57 – The misinterpretation about what it takes to be creative and why Allen wrote his book, “The Creative Curve.”
09:13 – The one thing DG did to unlock his inner creative genius. Hint: You need to constantly consume.
10:48 – Why most creative geniuses use other people’s content to feed the right side of their brain and unlock their own ah-hah moments.
16:00 – A discussion on pattern matching and the two things that drive a huge degree of preference: familiarity and novelty.
21:00 – The writing process behind, “The Creative Curve.” How Allen found successful creatives and academics to interview, the tools he used (Workflowy and Rev.com), and why he focused so heavily on outlining before writing.
24:43 – Allen’s tips behind creating an actionable marketing plan for his book, “The Creative Curve,” and what his proposal did (and didn’t) include.
26:05 – Allen’s thoughts on getting feedback from publishers, writing his manuscript, and working with creatives and illustrators to bring the book to life.
29:39 – How Allen got LinkedIn video access during it’s beta phase, the process and apps he currently uses for LinkedIn videos, and why you need to be using captions in your videos.
3 Key Points:
1. The art of being creative requires hard work that often goes unseen. Not every idea is going to be a game-changer. Therefore, in order to be successful as a creative, you need to generate a multitude of ideas in order to find the one silver bullet that will lead you to success — and that takes time and effort. Steven Pressfield said it best in his book The War of Art, “When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
2. To have aha moments, you need to feed your brain and give yourself space. All successful creatives are successful because they make time to look at others’ work and then give themselves time to think. As such, Allen says that in order to come up with the best ideas of your career, there are two critical things you need to do:
- Have prior knowledge about what you want to have aha moments about. This means getting exposure to new ideas and feeding your brain a steady supply of new information.
- You need to give the left side of your brain (the logical side of your brain) space and time to calm down in order to allow the right side of your brain (the creative side) to kick in.
3. There is a bell curve relationship between familiarity and novelty that drives a huge number of preferences. Imagine you see an ad once — you probably don’t care. Similarly, if you see it ten times you’re over it. But, if you see an ad 5-6 times, you’ve got just the right amount of exposure — that’s the sweet spot. The lesson here: there are diminishing returns on both sides of the curve and this is what Andrew Chen calls the law of shitty click-throughs. Once you find a marketing strategy that works and start to scale it, you often see the effectiveness of your campaign wear off. To create successful marketing strategies you need to pay attention to frequency, as well as making continuous optimizations.
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