How Your Family Affects Creativity and Your Content Marketing Success

family affects creativity

By Justin P. Lambert, {grow} Community Member

With so many strategies and processes being thrown around, all focused on content marketing, it might seem odd to talk about something as seemingly mundane as your family.

But there’s a very good reason why the way you were brought up has a bearing on how successful you might be as a content marketer.

Standing Out vs. Fitting In

It’s fairly easy to “fit in” these days when you’re creating and distributing content. There are a handful of truly talented and creative individuals and companies out there who are spearheading the movement — think HubSpot or {grow} — and there are thousands of “me too” artists who mimic what they do and say, hoping to ride the wave.

Standing out, on the other hand, is difficult. It’s uncomfortable. It’s time-consuming, and – in many ways – it’s more personal, and risky.

But it’s also the single most important factor in content marketing success.

How you were brought up – whether good, bad, or indifferent – can potentially impact what you’re going to create, and how well you’re going to stand out in the crowd. It’s also a key factor in forming, recognizing, and capitalizing on that elusive super power: your unique voice.

So let’s delve a little deeper into your upbringing and how it impacts your creativity. (Please note: when I use the term “parents” throughout the rest of this post, insert whatever major adult influences you had in your own childhood. The principles are the same.)

Family Affects Creativity

Creativity is a complex subject. Science hasn’t come to any concrete explanations as to how it works, although they’ve learned a lot about it in recent years.

If your parents were creative themselves – actors, writers, artists, architects – then they probably brought you up in a creative environment. If they were office drones and TV addicts, then your creativity may have been stifled somewhat.

Think back: when your parents brought home a surprise from the store, was it a coloring book or a video game? Did they read you a bedtime story, or tell you one they made up?

There’s no “right” answer, and there are certainly exceptions to the rule. However, the extent to which your creativity was nurtured as a child can have an impact on your creativity as an adult.

As noted by parenting expert, Dr. Laura Markham, “We can’t give people talent, but we can train the eye and the ear and the mind, and we can help our children gain access to a creative way of seeing. We can also help them gain the concentration, competence, perseverance, and optimism necessary to succeed in creative pursuits.”

In an excellent article entitled, “Nurturing Your Child’s Creativity” she goes on to list nine different things parents can do to help do just that for their children.

  1. Neatness is over-rated.
  2. Children who experience frequent limits train themselves to think inside the box.
  3. Focus on play and process, not productivity.
  4. Give your child permission to be different.
  5. Let toddlers experiment with manageable messes that they help clean up.
  6. Establish a place for art supplies early on, that is both easily accessible and neat.
  7. Make creative art play easy.
  8. Help your budding artist stay centered.
  9. Don’t be afraid of boredom.

As you look through that list, think about how your own creativity was – or was not – nurtured as a child. And consider what you have – or have not – done since then to improve your creativity.

How does this affect your content marketing?

Content marketing is a skill set that fuses creative and non-creative elements. And while there are aspects of a successful content marketing strategy that will make analytical numbers-people jump for joy, there’s no getting around the fact that creating stellar content requires creative juice. Without it, you’ll your content will be dull, dry, and ineffective.

As researchers have noted, while your upbringing plays a role, creativity can also be learned.

So no matter where you fall on the spectrum right now, don’t count yourself out. Just be aware and move forward with that awareness in your back pocket.

And most importantl, use this awareness as a power to craft content in your own unique voice.

Justin LambertJustin P Lambert is a content marketing specialist, owner of Words That Begin With You, author of The Content Marketing Hurricane: How to Use Proven Content Marketing Principles to Blow Your Competition Away! (available for free July 7-11, 2014), and Chief Meteorologist at the CMH Stormwatchers Community.

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