Is there such a thing as automating your creativity? Perhaps not, but there is a way to automate your creative development process in a way that clears the decks for you to maximize your output.
If you’re like most marketers, you’d love more time for creative development. According to the 2017 State of Marketing Work Report, the average marketers spends 62% of their time on emails, meetings, admin, and the flotsam and jetsam of office life. That leaves little more than a third of your week for moving the creative needle.
It takes time to set up automation, but the thing is: that time is an investment. Let’s say you spend two hours writing a post. Then you have one post done, and the next post is likely to take you about two hours as well.
Now compare that with spending two hours to set up a post template. Let’s say you’ve set up the text styles so you don’t have to format each time, pasted in the call to action you always use, and added the hashtags. After two hours, you don’t have your blog post done yet, so that can feel a little defeating. But what you’ve done is set up a system that saves you, perhaps, twenty minutes on each post. Over the next year, you’ve saved yourself about 17 hours of work.
Would that make each post less creative at all? No way.
By automating administrative tasks, you actually clear the road for your creative brain to have more space and time during the creative development aspect.
Here are three main ways you can automate:
Templates can be created for almost anything these days, from emails to blog posts to image editing settings. Look for places in your workflow where a template would save you from starting from scratch each cycle. This is especially important if you’re handling project or job requests from clients or other teams. Creating a reusable form or request template will radically simplify your life when it comes to collecting all the info you need to get working quickly.
Scheduling can be a real time saver, allowing you to make the administration aspects of your job more hands-off and letting you focus more deliberately on creative challenges. Use software to schedule your posts and reminders and leverage your project management solution to create a task management workflow so you spend less of your limited time babysitting deliverables.
Set recurring times for creativity
Lots of aspects of creative development aren’t as urgent as emails or deadlines, so you have to make space for them. If you create a weekly calendar meeting with yourself to feed your creativity, you’ll have more output. During this time, you’ll want to take in the best in your field by reading or browsing the work of people you admire. You’ll want to brainstorm. And perhaps you’ll even want to invite team members into the fold discuss new ideas or novel solutions to stubborn creative challenges.
Think about what you do over and over that’s not creative, and look for a way to automate it. You’ll soon find more space for the love of creativity that got you in the marketing game in the first place.