It’s late January. The nights are still dark and the days are still bloody cold. The festivities of Christmas and New Year are well and truly over and it’s been raining solid for what seems like about five years. What a wonderful time to be alive.
I feel bad for January – it’s the Monday of months. Almost everyone is either counting calories, pretending they’re getting their monies worth with that brand-new gym membership or god forbid are taking part in Veganuary. Yeah, cause that’s a thing now. There’s lack of alcohol, sunshine, and general merriment. It’s all gone. So how does anyone get inspired this time of year?
Normally when people start talking about what inspires them, I feel an eye-roll coming on. As I can almost guarantee someone is going to use the word ‘passionate’ and this makes my skin just about crawl right off my body. But when I had a long old think about what it was that inspires me, I actually came up with a pretty good list.
When I was working in the city, my boss used to host sessions in our team meeting that were all about inspiration. We’d each have to come up with an idea based around a brief for a marketing campaign. We’d do this in the hope of not only winning the admiration of the rest of our team, but often a much-coveted prize purchased at Costco. And while the session was frequently pre-empted with a quiet panic taking over the team a few hours before the meeting, it was most definitely where some of our most impactful marketing campaigns were born.
So even if the thought of inspiration might give me a bit of the heebie-jeebies, it’s actually a really important part of keeping things fresh in your business and really stretching the creative part of your brain.
With that in mind, here’s my list of where to go when you’re looking to get inspired.
Pinterest: an obvious source of inspiration, even when you’re not planning a wedding
I’ve always been a really visual person. I prefer Instagram over Twitter, and can’t even entertain a cookbook that doesn’t have pictures. If this rings true with you, then Pinterest is ideal.
When I was planning my wedding, I spent the best part of 23 hours a day on Pinterest. A few months ago, I mentioned Pinterest to a newly engaged friend of mine. When she said she’d never used it, I had to recommend it with a fairly serious caution. It’s like a digital rabbit hole that will lead to you looking up and realising it’s 1am and you’ve lost the last three hours of your life.
Beyond wedding planning though, Pinterest is still my go-to inspiration site. But you need to use it with a very specific idea in mind. It’ll often be more useful in helping you to execute an idea once you have the bare bones, rather than just going in blind. Think of it as the Google of Inspiration, with nicely curated lists and profiles that you can follow.
If you’re a Pinterest First timer, here are some quick steps to get the most from the platform.
- Find some accounts to follow to get your feed populated with some content. If you’re foodie looking for inspiration, here’s a couple of accounts: Poppy Talk, Fake Ginger, and Damn Delicious.
- Once you’ve chosen an area or two that you want to concentrate on, your feed will start filling up with a bunch of content for you to browse. Keep clicking on the Pinterest Icon in the top left of the page to refresh your feed with the latest and most popular content.
- The best feature of Pinterest is its predictive search. I use it all the time to get a more specific search result. Start typing your chosen area and it’ll come up with some more detailed search terms, profiles and boards that you can look at to get the content you’re after.
The Pool: the website for women who are too busy to browse
I love love love this website. Not only does it cut out all the click bait that you’ll find on other sites, but its content curation is second to none. They send a daily email that gives you five or six really quick snippets of information about new content, that nine times out of ten I want to click on. The way the site is set up, you can often be guided into reading content that you didn’t even know you were interested in and learn something new.
They also have an excellent section called ‘People’ where you can watch videos and read stories of truly inspiring people (usually women). Some of them famous, some of them not so much. Well worth a lunch hour browse.
In navigating the site you’ll notice that they’ve grouped all they content to guide you to where you need to be. Each of the articles it gives an indication of how long it will take you to get through it – love that.
Some areas of note: