Creativity isn't just all about having a skill set or hobby and it is certainly not something that is just possessed by artists, writers or musicians etc. Creativity is in fact a mind-set, one that each and everyone one of us has the ability to tap into.
For context, I myself come from an extremely creative background. I loved art and reading as a child, which are two very prominent interests that help feed the right hemisphere of our brains - the most innovative part to be specific. This passion however never left me - as it can do with many children as they grow older - which means the most creative section of my mind over time has only strengthened, to the point where this type of thinking has become second-nature to myself.
In 2021, the 'side hustle' became an increasingly popular trend due to the effects of Covid-19. It was a time where people had to learn how to not only promote their products or services, but also themselves. Lockdown become a period of thousands of people tapping into their creativity, but not just in starting small businesses or producing new products. We had to get creative in how we communicated, how we could stay in contact and do things with our time, meaning every single person on this planet will have used that creative part of themselves in some shape or form, proving we can all be innovative in our own way. And when it comes down to promoting yourself or your business, this also proves we are all capable in doing so.
I started my side business 'MbCreative' in early 2021, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I quickly discovered that my brand is ultimately an extension of who I am, which is what helped me when it came to advertising my services. It also made me realise that this applies to all companies and individuals wanting to promote their business or themselves, you have to really know what you want to put out there for your audience, you have to know what you yourself would think if you were on the other side looking in. Put yourself in the consumer's shoes, take them for a walk and see how they fit. Does it appeal to you? Does it stand out? How are they different to others in the business? What are they not doing, that others are? Asking yourself these kinds of questions constantly are crucial.
We are currently living in the most ground-breaking era of our time when it comes to technology and innovation. Companies and influencers have more power now to promote their brands than ever before, and as scary as that can be for people and businesses who are unfamiliar with this world, I cannot stress enough how important it is. Just like I did, you need to take a leap of faith, take videos, involve the public, make yourself feel and seem more relatable, don't take yourself or your business too seriously (unless it's necessary of course), reveal your ups and downs, show how you overcame mistakes and what you learned from them, sign up to as many social media platforms as you can and utilise their features, let your audience see what goes on behind the scenes, discover what is trending, ask yourself what is happening in the world right now, and how can you can link that to what you do or what you offer.
It isn't as simple as drawing a picture and selling it, or writing a novel and publishing it, being creative is about understanding the world we live in right now and understanding how your business can fit into it. Just because an insurance company is in the financial industry, or a travel agency is in the tourism industry, doesn't mean they can't portray or promote themselves as creatively as the artistic world.
If I were to give one bit of advice from my experience, it would be to always keep trying new things and to never stop discovering different ways in promoting yourself. In the end, you can only learn from it and quite possibly make your business even stronger.
By Marybeth Simpson,