Navigating Your Idea Debt

Navigating Your Idea Debt

I recently attended a social media conference in NYC, an annual pilgrimage to the big apple that involves learning some new tricks of the trade. Flexing the old brain muscle with some of best marketing minds in the business always makes for a productive few days, but it also involves a lot of filtering on my end – filtering through the mass of information to glean what is relevant to our smaller businesses here on the Eastern Shore. One idea that rang particularly true for me was when one speaker cautioned everyone against ‘falling into idea debt’, which leads us to today’s topic:

Idea Debt

The general premise here is that oftentimes, particularly for the creative, business-minded, or savvy souls out there, ideas flow steadily. When you sit down to brainstorm ideas for marketing your business, you probably find yourself jotting down all sorts of winners, from ideas for social media posts, to holiday giveaways, to videos promos. If you’re in a group setting, idea generation can be even more contagious, with everyone piling on more and more options for customer appreciation parties, photo shoots, blogs, and more. But then reality sinks in and you realize you now have a mountain of ideas to capitalize on, with no plan, budget, or time to execute on them. My friends, you’ve landed in idea debt.

Climbing Your Way Out

So you’ve got a ton of ideas in your arsenal, but what you don’t want to do is to look back six months from now and realize those ideas are still sitting idly in the old memory bank, with your stale marketing remaining on the forefront. So how do you avoid falling into idea debt? Take a few of these tips to heart:

  • Prioritize Your List: What does your business need the most right now – a social media revamp? A new video/commercial? Email marketing? New photos? Prioritize what will have the biggest impact and rearrange your list accordingly.
  • Set Realistic Goals & Expectations: Ok, you’ve got an awesome idea for a video or holiday giveaway, but take a step back and ask yourself what is realistic for your budget and time. That’s not to say you can’t dream big but dream big within reason.
  • Create a Timeline (and Stick to it): After you’ve set some realistic goals, hold yourself accountable by creating a timeline. For example, know that by next month you will be posting daily to your business’s social media accounts, or that by the end of the month you’ll have a plan for holiday promos in place, or that by the end of the week you’ll have scheduled a photo shoot.
  • Don’t Give Up!: Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to not give up on your marketing. Don’t fall into idea debt and drown, but also be sure to avoid the barren wasteland where no marketing ideas are generated at all. To thrive, your business needs a steady flow of fresh new ideas that keep you and your customers excited and engaged.

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by Ali Baker

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