Is the content approvals process killing your creativity?

Messy paint table with lots of colours

If you’re a creative mind working as a content writer or creator in a highly regulated industry, you might feel like the choke hold on your creativity is getting tighter each day. However, there are ways you can take back creative control.

Well paid and handcuffed

In financial services content marketing, for example, being creative is a tough gig. Usually it’s very well paid, so you just suck it up and get on with it. But the longer you accept mediocre, the harder it is to believe that you’re a creative, talented content writer or creator. That’s the compromise.

It’s not anybody’s fault really. It’s a bi-product of the very strict regulations and the potentially huge reputational and financial repercussions of falling foul of those regulations that strangle ideas in strictly controlled sectors like financial services, pharma and gambling.

3 ways to rediscover your content writing creativity

Being creative takes a massive amount of effort. Not necessarily coming up with the ideas themselves, but the research, the business case, the competitor analysis, the strategy, and so on.

So, if every time you or your team has an idea that gets watered down to something people have watched or read multiple times before, it doesn’t take long to fall in line and stop generating ideas at all. But there are ways to combat this fatigue. Here are three to get you back on track:

1. Read, listen to or watch one creative thing a week

Finding time to do anything other than cross stuff off your growing to-do list feels impossible these days. You need to build this into your virtual commute, actual commute, bedtime routine or half an hour in the day, and be strict about it.

You could get a shower radio and tune into a breakfast show, subscribe to a podcast or TED talks, find a blog writer or content creator that you love, or get something inspirational delivered to your inbox.

2. Schedule creative content collaboration time every week

This sounds so counterintuitive (creatives are not about schedules and processes), but as we said, being creative takes effort. Set 30 minutes aside each week, get at least three people to commit and set an agenda that looks something like this:

  • Share the best thing you’ve seen, heard or read since last week and why you loved it.
  • One challenge you’ve faced when trying to be creative in the last week and either how you overcame it or why you didn’t overcome it.

Make the session your own, of course, but these are easy ways to get people talking creatively and analysing why stuff works.

3. Collaborate with people outside your organisation

That might mean getting a mentor, getting your partner content agency to run workshops each month, or just brainstorming ideas occasionally. Whatever it means for you, getting an outside opinion is not only good for getting the creative juices flowing, but it’ll also probably result in content that’s more relevant and exciting for your audience.

Remember the Febreze ‘nose blind’ ad? Working creatively in house can result in something similar for the brain…ideas blind? Let us help you spray some sweet-smelling creativity, just like we’ve done with these Contented clients.

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