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17 Proven Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Whether you’re solving a problem, writing a blog post, crafting a review or creating your next product, creativity is one of your best tools for getting the job done with finesse and style. With that in mind, here are 17 methods anyone can use to become more creative.

17 Proven Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Free write – This is where you just start writing anything and continue to write as the words and ideas flow. At first it may be silly nonsense, but you’ll be surprised how fast your words and ideas can coalesce into something truly inspired.

Carry a notebook – By jotting down ideas as soon as they appear, two things happen. First, you don’t forget your ideas because you’ve got a written record. Second, the act of writing them down tells your subconscious that you want ideas, which will encourage it to give you even more.

Make lists – The very act of writing things down frees up your mind to be more creative.

Take breaks from your work – Get up, walk around, play 5 minutes of hopscotch – whatever. Just take a breather.

Get up and go – Leave your computer at home, take your notebook and get away from the office. Go anywhere – a park, the mall, a coffee shop, a museum – just get out, get away and soak up some different surroundings.

Get near water, especially if it’s moving – Studies show that being near moving water floods you with negative ions, which makes you feel good and can boost your creativity. Remember how you get some of your best ideas in the shower? That’s part of the reason why.

Talk nice to yourself – Positive self talk on how creative you are will produce more ideas. Beating yourself up for being a dummy won’t.

Have caffeine – If you don’t normally drink caffeine, one cup of coffee or tea can have remarkable effects on your thinking.

Clean off your desk – Nothing stifles creativity like a messy, cluttered desk.

Read something different – Read an article on a topic you know nothing about, a page out of the dictionary, a chapter out of a random book, etc. Learning outside the box can trigger many new ideas for you.

Practice writing or bouncing a ball with your non-dominant hand – This can help activate the connection between the two sides of your brain.

Be open to new ideas – All too often we dismiss an idea before giving it a real chance. Even if you think it’s a bad idea, try playing devil’s advocate and find all the reasons why it’s a good idea – you might be surprised.

Collaborate and mastermind – Two heads are better than one, and 5 are better than 2. Form a mastermind group, present a problem, and then let the ideas flow. The only rule: No one shoots down an idea.

Sleep on it – Give your subconscious your problem or need: “I need 3 new blog post ideas by tomorrow morning.” Then let it go and see what your subconscious finds for you.

Make friends with mistakes – When you goof up or make the wrong decision, realize it’s not the end of the world. It’s simply something that didn’t work at the moment. This allows your creativity to continue to flow.

Purposely break rules – Don’t break the big ones like “do not steal,” but do break the little ones like “this is what a blog post / new product / video should look like.”

Be you – Don’t worry about what others might think because no great idea is without naysayers anyway. In fact, if everyone thinks your idea is great, then it’s probably not.

One last tip: Ask “Why?” and “Why not?” a lot. Often times we just accept things as they are, when there could be a whopper of an idea just staring us in the face the whole time.

Conquer Your Fear of Failure in Business

Personal question: Is it possible that you already know everything you need to know to be successful online – but something other than knowledge is holding you back?

Conquer Your Fear of Failure in Business

If it’s as simple as the mechanics of online marketing – setting up websites and so forth – you can always hire someone to do that part for you.

But if it’s a lack of confidence, or fear of failing that’s holding you back – then it’s up to you to squash that particular bug, or at least quarantine it to the furthest corner of your house.

And if the thought of failing is enough to keep you from starting your online empire, then welcome to the club. Fear of failure is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. Fear of failing is so oppressive and destructive, it can cause you to willingly set aside your dreams – forever.

So why do we fear failure so much? It goes back to life experiences that inadvertently taught us it’s better not to risk, than to risk and lose. When you fail at something, it’s natural to worry what other people will think about you and if they will lose interest in you. You worry about how smart and capable you are, and whether you can effectively pursue future endeavors. In fact, when you fear failure you’re actually worried about an entire host of possible outcomes, most of which will never come to pass no matter how many times you fail.

But the mind isn’t rational, and simply talking yourself out of being afraid doesn’t work any better than trying to manifest an iron will.

The secret to overcoming fear of failure? There are several, but I’ll give you one here that you can use right away.

Experiments in the 1970’s showed that there are two distinct groups of children when it comes to learning new skills. There are the “ego oriented” children whose main concern is to not lose face in front of their friends. Some of these children fear failure so much they invent ways to get out of the activity, do the activity in such a way that they cannot fail, or make it impossible to succeed so that failing doesn’t hold a stigma.

The second group of children is what they term “mastery oriented.” These kids don’t care as much about losing face as they do about acquiring a new skill. In fact, they realize that initially failing is simply a part of the process of learning and take it in stride. These kids are happier and succeed much faster than those who fear failing.

Thus, if you can change your focus to acquiring a new skill and deciding that no matter what happens along the way, you’re going to enjoy the process – you are on the way to overcoming your fear of failure.

Gradually Overcoming Your Fear of Failure

You might start small with something that doesn’t hold a great deal of significance, such as learning a new game. Let’s say you’re going to take up billiards for the first time in your life. Your focus would be on learning how to hold and shoot the cue, the angles to use, the rules of the game and so forth. When you miss a shot or scratch, it’s no big deal because you know that’s part of the process and you’re just learning.

You might be astonished at the difference it makes. You’ll be happier, you’ll have less stress, and you’ll learn your new skill much faster.

From here you might stretch yourself further by doing things that scare you. For example, if you’re a shy person you might ask 15 strangers a simple question (“Do you have the time?”) in the space of 30 minutes. Note how you feel after the exercise. Odds are you’ll not only have conquered a fear of talking to strangers, you’ll also get a boost of confidence, which leads us to our next point…

Are You Lacking in Confidence?

You’ve got a great idea for a new business, but frankly you just don’t have the guts to go for it. Or maybe you do decide to go ahead with your idea, but then someone says it’ll never work and you chuck the whole thing. Why? Low self confidence. This goes hand in hand with the fear of failure.

So why doesn’t someone have enough confidence in themselves? Usually it’s because they judge themselves unworthy, or they see major disconnects between what they think they’re capable of and what they’re actually doing.

Growing Unshakable Self-Confidence, Step by Step

The good news is, self confidence can be raised with every new challenge met, no matter how small. Remember the exercise to talk to 15 strangers? I can almost guarantee your self-confidence to talk with strangers will be significantly raised after you do this.

In fact, if you will make it a habit to do one thing every single day that is out of your current comfort zone, you will find that your confidence improves immensely within just a few short weeks.

Make yourself a list of all things you’d like to do that you’re not doing. Maybe you’ve wanted to join a group, take up a new hobby, try a different sport or go to a fancy nightclub. Maybe you want to get better at talking with the opposite sex, or at making friends, or get better at making online contacts. Maybe you’ve wished you could get 5 minutes with the big guns in your niche, or regularly post to forums and blogs.

Whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t, put it on the list. Even small stuff like taking a walk around your neighborhood and ringing doorbells of neighbors you haven’t yet met can go on the list, as well as chatting up that stud or beautiful woman who works in the supermarket. Write down everything you can think of that you’ve been holding back on. Add in skydiving if you’re inspired to do that kind of thing, and keep adding to this list daily as you think of new things.

Now that you’ve got your list, pick one thing and do it right now. That’s right – do it now, or at least before you go to bed tonight.

Notice a difference in how you feel about yourself? You should.

When we don’t do the things we wish we would do – for whatever reason – we lose self-esteem. But when we finally do those things, not only do we become more self-confident, we also find we’re happier, more fulfilled and more ready to take on even bigger challenges.

You’ll notice that most of the examples I’ve given haven’t been IM related. That’s because raising your confidence in any one area can help you in all other areas as well. When you have success learning tennis, you can use that boost in confidence to tackle website building or product creation. And when you overcome your fear of talking to strangers, it gets easier to network on Facebook with people you don’t know.

One last thing – it’s far better to take multiple baby steps than try to overcome the world in a day. Making slow, steady progress anchors your triumphs and makes it that much easier to achieve a little bit more tomorrow.

9-Step Video Formula that Sells Like Crazy

It’s important to realize that with the exception of creating a video purely for entertainment purposes (cute kitten videos fall into this category) or simply to inform, in nearly every video you make, you are selling something.

9-Step Video Formula that Sells Like Crazy

Often times you’re selling a click. You want them to click a link in or below the video that takes them to where you want them to go, whether it’s a squeeze page, a sales page, a blog or whatever.

Sometimes you’re selling them on picking up the phone. Sometimes you’re actually selling your product on that very page where the video appears. The point is, you’re selling something, and this is the common point for all videos and the basis of the video script I’m about to share with you.

NOTE: Even if you are making a purely informational video, I suggest you use at least a portion of this script because YOU ARE STILL SELLING. Now then, I can hear your thoughts:

“I’m not selling, I’m making a video to convey info only.”

But if you think about why you are creating a video ‘for info only,’ odds are one reason is because you want to appear as the trusted authority you are. Thus you are selling your viewers on YOU.

You’re also selling them on the material you are presenting. After all, what good does it do to teach something or demonstrate something if no one uses the information you’re presenting, or even believes that it’s true?

Thus when you are making videos, you are almost always selling something.

With that said, here’s the 9 steps to make a video that SELLS LIKE CRAZY…

Your first step is easy – decide what you want your viewer to DO. Do you want them to click an affiliate link? Go to a squeeze page? Make a phone call? Buy a product? Everything else is built on this, so if you’re not clear on what you want them to do, get clear.

The second step to creating your video is to know WHO you are creating the video FOR. Let’s say your video is promoting an affiliate product, and you want them to click a link that takes them to the sales page. (Not really recommended – You should try to capture their email address first and then show them the sales page on the exit regardless of whether they give you their email address.)

But in our example you want them to click your affiliate link. Ask yourself: WHO ARE THEY? Are they a 40 year old woman who needs to lose weight? A 65 year old man concerned about his health? A 22 year old college grad looking for a job? Figure out who it is that you’re targeting and get detailed. You might even create an avatar of this person, with age, gender, income, location, fears, desires, etc. The better you know your prospect, the better you can tailor your video to them.

Here’s where I see people go wrong: “I’m targeting all parents of all children.” That’s not targeting, that’s trying to throw a net over 3/4’s of the entire planet and it doesn’t work very well. Instead, choose to target specifically, such as young middle class parents of preschool children. Your video will be better for it, and parents of older children will actually respond BETTER than if you tried to target every parent on the planet.

This has been proven to work. Narrow down your niche and TARGET. Write down who your viewer is and then every step of the way, imagine you are targeting this video for that exact person because you are.

Third step: Research your visitor. Let’s say you’re targeting new parents – go to forums and find out what they’re saying, what they’re asking and how they’re asking it. Copy and paste some of their best quotes. Now go to Amazon and read the reviews of products similar to the one you’re promoting and again copy the best quotes. If you clean these up and use them in your actual video script, you will sound as though you know and understand their biggest concerns, worries, fears, dreams and desires.

And everyone wants to feel as though they’re understood. In fact, it’s crucial that you come across as someone who is very much like them, because people TRUST those who have a lot in common with them. Don’t believe me? If someone is a Republican, who are they going to trust – a Republican or a Democrat? The more you can sound just like they think, the more influence you will have on them.

Fourth step: Make the promise complete with a hook. You want them to watch your video but they’re not going to do it out of charity. You’ve got to make them a big promise in the beginning that will entice them into watching.

Let’s say you’re promoting a weight loss product – you might grab their attention by revealing the 4 So-Called ‘Healthy’ Foods That Are Secretly Making Them Fat, or the 1 Weird Exercise Trick That Burns 3 Times As Many Calories.

If you’re doing a product review, it’s not enough to say, “Here I Give My Honest Review of ABC Product.” Everyone does that, which is exactly why you SHOULDN’T do it. Instead, reveal “The diabolical technique on page 42 of the product that should be illegal.”

Which video would you watch – another boring review, or a video that actually reveals something you don’t know?

Mind you, if you use this technique in lieu of a typical review, you’re not going to reveal all of the contents of the product. But you can let a detail or two slip out, especially if you’re telling them WHAT to do and not HOW to do it.

This tells your viewer that you’ve actually looked at the product and you have inside information as to what’s inside. And it’s a great way to wet their whistle and get them wanting to know more.

So regardless of whether you’re selling a click or a product, lead with a big promise that contains a hook. What’s a hook? “22 Ways to Improve Your Golf Score” is a big promise, and “22 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Golf Score Using Chicken Eggs” is a promise with a hook. The hook in this case is the chicken eggs – who wouldn’t be curious to know how the eggs come into play with improving golf scores? Even I want to know that, and I don’t golf.

What if your video is actually selling a product? Then you still want a big promise with a hook to get them to watch. You can’t really tell people, “Hey, go watch my sales video!” because no one wants to be sold. But you can certainly say, “Hey, here’s my video on the 7 foods that make you lose weight faster than a snowman in Florida.” I’d watch that video, and I bet you would, too.

Fifth step: Lead with a story. You’ve made your big promise with a hook, and you’ve targeted it to the exact person you want to reach. Now before you reveal your great info, it’s time to tell your story. Maybe you’re promoting a program on how to raise amazing kids. Your story could be how terrified you were that you were going to thoroughly screw up your own kids. Use quotes you found from the forums and Amazon reviews to help you write this.

Your story might be: “I researched and struggled and tried to find the answers but everyone just told me, “Hey, do the best you can.” And it was hard because I couldn’t seem to get through to my son and he was driving me crazy. But then I made a discovery and that’s when everything changed, and now I get comments all the time on what a terrific, confident parent I’ve become. Now my son listens to me and our relationship is amazing, and I want to share what I’ve discovered with you because I know it’ll help you, too.”

Sixth step: Next you tell them the secrets you promised in the big promise. But also tell them that those secrets are just the tip of the iceberg, and all the best stuff is found in the course you’re promoting or selling, or the free report you’re giving away.

See how easy that is? If you’re thinking, “Hey this is a lot of work,” then let me clue you in – the entire process can be done in an hour or two if you know your market. And what you’ll end up with is an impressive video that CONVERTS. So hang in there – we’re not quite done yet.

Seventh step: Educate – this one I actually covered briefly in step 6 – fulfill your big promise. If you said you would show them 3 ways to increase their bowling score by 20 points, then do it. But here’s the thing – as much as possible, tell them WHAT to do and not HOW to do it. You’re walking a line here, revealing some info but not too much info. You want to get them interested and excited to know MORE but not satiated. You’re building a hunger in them that can’t be satisfied until they take the action and get whatever product you’re promoting.

An example: Your big promise is 3 ordinary spices that speed up weight loss. In this case, you tell them the spices, but you let them know they have to be combined in such a way and at a certain time of day to be truly effective.

Or maybe you’re promoting a physical product and your big promise is to add points to their bowling game. You tell them they can instantly do this by simply wearing a special wrist cuff, but of course they have to buy the cuff for it to work.

Eighth step: Proof. The best way to use proof is to weave it throughout your presentation when possible. “Emma Jones of New Jersey has been an avid bowler for 14 years and was certain this gizmo couldn’t possibly improve her score. But ever since the day she put on the Wonder Wrist Band, her average has improved by 19 points and she refuses to bowl without it.” “Bill Heisenburg reports he was a total skeptic, until he used just the technique on page 142 to get a date with 3 gorgeous women in one night.”

Ninth step: Call to action. This one’s easy – tell them or suggest to them what to do. I ‘don’t know how many times I see people forget to do this in their videos. It’s simple: “Click the link to discover how to ___” Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it. It’s best not to get too pushy on this, by the way. Calls to action like, “If you want to know how a one legged golfer cut his golf score in half in two weeks, click here” tend to work well because you’re not actually telling, you’re enticing.

That’s it – the recipe to make an effective video that converts like gangbusters. Of course you’ve got to add your own special sauce, whether it’s your personality, your fun quirky nature, or whatever it is that makes your videos unique.

Use this script in good health, and it’ll make you plenty of money.

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