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What Do You Do When Inspiration for Your Content Marketing Wanes? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

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What Do You Do When Inspiration for Your Content Marketing Wanes? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Are you inspired?

I was struck by a long article I read last weekend. In it, a content marketer lamented the state of content marketing and thought leadership.

His primary complaint? The increasing uselessness of content platforms like Medium, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even trade publications. The author pointed to algorithmically driven content marketing as the culprit.

Headlines such as 6 Easy Steps To Solve X Problems make it easy to spot the content marketing articles, which he claimed offer few helpful ideas or education but inevitably contain a product pitch. 

“Is this proliferation of bad content the beginning of the end of content marketing?” he wondered.

Is content marketing dying?

I don’t think so. But it may enter a new phase where you can no longer rely on algorithms to feature differentiating content.

Let’s put that aside for the moment.

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The disappointment in the author’s piece struck me more than anything he wrote. He’s lost inspiration for his practice.

Has the overwhelming content environment sucked the inspiration out of your content? It’s all too easy to dismiss an idea by saying, “Oh, I’m sure that’s been covered a million times. Who are we to try and answer that?” So you don’t.

Has the overwhelming #content environment sucked the inspiration out of your ideas, asks @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Have you lost your inspiration?

It’s a funny word: inspire.

Most people think of inspiration as something ephemeral. It’s that burst of emotional energy that comes from a supernatural place and propels you toward something. It is, in a word: awesome.

When you’re inspired, you jump into life with both feet. Every opportunity seems to awaken another. You transcend the normal experience of whatever you’re doing – playing a sport, performing your art, designing your business strategy, or even changing a diaper. You’re present. No one is better at that thing at that moment than you are. (By the way, science has proven this.)

It’s the best of all possible drugs. Why would anyone allow themselves to lose inspiration?

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You don’t lose inspiration. Inspiration loses you.

You don’t lose inspiration. Inspiration loses you, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Inspiration is not motivation

When people lack inspiration, they sometimes think getting it back is a matter of moving, acting, and pushing to yield better results. But that thinking confuses inspiration with motivation.

Inspiration is different. The word itself has interesting origins. It means “influence of the divine” and, literally, “to inhale” or take a breath. It is when you are pulled to action effortlessly. Instead of pushing things to happen, you simply allow them to happen through you.

When you lose motivation, you lose confidence in the usefulness of the task. When you lose inspiration, you lose confidence that you are the person to do the task.

In the article I referenced earlier, the writer suggested an antidote to the content marketing overwhelm. It was a plea to the world (mostly content marketers) to slow down and only say things when you have meaningful things to say. While I love that sentiment, that kind of slowdown or thoughtfulness seems unlikely in today’s world. The bystander effect is in full effect. The more people participating, the less likely anyone will take helpful action.

What can you do? How do you make sure you don’t lose the inspiration for your craft? You know you can’t force inspiration to happen. But can you increase the chances that inspiration doesn’t lose you or you inspire others?

As it turns out, you can.

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How to stay inspired

Researchers point to several things that can help. Two stand out to me.

The first is “an openness to experience” – be more open to ideas and be conscious of that openness to trigger more of them. That’s where the breath comes in. Take a breath or give one to your audience. Relieving the pressure to be inspiring might actually give you a better chance of finding it.

The second key to increasing inspiration is exposure. These researchers found the more inspiration people are exposed to, the more inspired they become. If you find yourself lacking inspiration, you may be in need of a good fix of the movie Rudy, a Maya Angelou poem, or (my favorite – turn it up loud) Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Fixes for the inspirationless? Be open to experiences. Look for more inspiration, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Here’s the thing. I got into content marketing because it’s my job to become inspired, so I inspire others. Imagine having a job where your purpose is to find a light to shine on universal truths, lead thoughts, entertain, and deliver value through media.

The ironic thing about that content-marketing-overload article is that breath. In the first breath, I found it disheartening the author had lost his inspiration. In the second breath, look at what it inspired? That author inspired me. In a sea of content marketing, I was inspired.

To overcome his particular challenge, all you, as content marketers, can do is allow for inspiration. A great place to start is a simple question: “Who is the audience?  What does the audience value?”

Whatever that is, do more of that.

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Every great inspirational story starts without revealing how it’s going to turn out. Take a breath. Open up to possibility. What happens next might inspire you.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries
Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.
Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Achieving the Perfect Work-Life Balance with Coworking

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Achieving the Perfect Work-Life Balance with Coworking

Do you have a job that allows you to work from home? If you’re like many small business owners, you keep telling yourself that the money you save from not renting a separate office is justification enough to let your office take over your living space. Is it the best option to work from home given your small business enables it? Many small business owners prefer to work from home, but does it provide you with the work-life balance you require? You may discover that it has certain disadvantages.

Work-life balance is more complicated than you would assume. It can result in a loss of productivity, extreme burnout, nervousness, stress, insomnia, and more. Unfortunately, traditional offices and the work-from-home strategy do not allow employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. On the other hand, shared offices can make a significant difference in this area. Let’s look at how coworking office spaces can help you strike a work-life balance.

To Improve, Get Social and Get To Work.

Many smaller businesses have discovered that coworking has helped them avoid the problems that come with having a home-based firm. Coworking allows you to communicate with others while avoiding the isolation that comes with working from home.

Coworking provides an ideal environment for networking, business growth, and simply socializing. A coworking space can assist freelancers, entrepreneurs, persons in the creative sectors, and others. It provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to both inspire and be motivated by people around you.

If you currently work from home and find it difficult to strike a work-life balance, consider joining a coworking space. Almost every big city has a number of coworking places where you can work for little or no money.

Flexibility

One of the most important aspects that helps business owners combine personal and professional life of employees is flexibility. Many studies show that allowing employees to work at their leisure and at their preferred location improves employee satisfaction and reduces stress levels.

One of the most significant benefits of coworking spaces is that they allow for flexible work arrangements. Employees that operate from a shared office have more influence over their schedule. For example, based on their most efficient work hours and schedules, individuals can start right away or work late. Flexi plans are available from all major coworking office providers, allowing members to take advantage of flexible work hours.

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Productive Workplace Environment

There is, in fact, a strong link between your workplace and your work-life balance. You will be unable to complete your job if you work from an office or home office that lacks all of the necessary amenities. Unfinished tasks accumulate, sabotaging your work-life balance by eating into your personal time and weekends.

Because of the variety of amenities and distraction-free work environment, coworking spaces make it easier to achieve a work-life balance. From well-equipped desks to comfortable furniture to specialized meeting rooms, entertainment areas, community spaces, and cafeterias, shared offices have everything you could want to boost productivity. As a result, you complete more tasks, freeing you more time for your private lives.

The Importance of Motivation

Another important component that impacts your work-life balance is motivation. Your productivity rises by many notches when you are inspired. It assists in allocating time between personal and professional lives. However, staying motivated while working at home or in regular office spaces, especially as a freelancer or entrepreneur, is difficult.

Because of its community-inspired structure and nature, coworking office spaces might help you achieve a better work-life balance. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people and have the chance to meet and network with mentors. To put it another way, help is available when you need it. All of this contributes to achieving a healthy balance between your professional and personal life.

Conclusion

Coworking spaces can help you strike the perfect work-life balance by giving you the opportunity to separate your professional and personal life. With so many different options for coworking, it’s easy to find one that meets your specific needs. Whether you need a quiet space to focus or a place to collaborate with other professionals, there’s a coworking option out there for you. Let us help you find the right space for you! Have you found a great coworking space that has helped you achieve better work-life balance? The benefits of coworking spaces are totally up to you. You may not be eligible for all of the benefits, but the ability to tailor them to your business needs is the most valuable bonus of all.

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