7 Go-To Websites for Overcoming a Creative or Strategic Rut
Inspiration is a funny thing.
It usually hits you when you least expect it and when you really need it, it’s nowhere to be found.
As annoying as this can be, this spontaneity is both inspiration’s biggest flaw and its greatest beauty.
Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, but when you're under a time crunch as a marketer, you don't have the luxury of just sitting around and letting it come to you.
With this in mind, I went to my IMPACT teammates and asked where they turn when they are struck in a creative rut.
Here's what they had to say:
“It might not seem like the best source of professional inspiration, but you’d be surprised how many times a midnight scroll through BuzzFeed has sparked a new content idea for me.
With it’s wide range of topics from news and current events to movies and food, the site gets me thinking outside of the box.
Whether it’s a silly quiz or a detailed news piece, I can always find something new and interesting to pull me out of my creative rut or help me brainstorm.”
“When it comes to general inspiration, I’m also a huge fan of Mashable. Like Buzzfeed, simply scrolling down Mashable’s homepage gets my mental gears in motion, and with its dedicated pages for business, marketing, advertising, social media, and tech news, it’s a goldmine of relevant content.” - Ramona Sukhraj, Content Marketing Manager
“Recently, I have been looking to Crayon for inspiration for specific page designs or niche industries.
Their website is fantastic for discovering new trends and investigating how your competitors or influencers might be implementing them. As you’re looking, Crayon let’s you segment the websites you like into different lists and save them to look at later.
Also, if you happen to know an impressive site page others could benefit from, you can submit it their database. The database is always growing!” - Christine Austin, Creative Lead, Marketing Team
4. “The Competition”
“My go-to inspiration is always a competitor’s website. What better way to know what to do next than to see what you’re up against?
When I get there, I ask myself a handful of questions:
- What are they saying? How are they saying it?
- What are they saying that is not immediately clear?
- What is the most desired conversion point? Where is it and what value is there behind it?
- How do they interact with their visitors? Is there an option to visit them on another medium?
- What are their key differentiators?
The answers to those questions guide the way I structure messaging on my own client’s websites. I look for common areas that are unclear or fuzzy. If multiple websites are doing it, then that’s something that needs to be a focal point.
By having crystal clear messaging, I’m able to differentiate my brands, capture the visitors that I want, and funnel them into my desired conversion point more effectively.
Competitors in any industry tend to have similar messaging as well. It’s common to see the same strengths and the same weaknesses, and that’s always an area in which I try to make my clients stand out.” - Derrick Weiss, Account Executive
Codepen.io! I like to think of Codepen as a front-end developer’s “code playground” with a social sharing atmosphere. In this community, users can share their work to help inspire others and get feedback. Where nerds show off for other nerds, great things happen.” - Kyle Bento, Growth Strategist
Good ol’ Google Images. If I’m stuck for an idea on something graphic, I’ll run a Google image search to see what people have already been doing on the topic. Unlike other dedicated communities, Google Images pulls from all corners of the web, giving me a ton of different perspectives. There are no limits.
Dribbble is also awesome for checking out what other designers are doing. Try searching your topic and type of project separately to get the creative juices flowing.” - Marcella Jalbert, Creative Lead
“The first site I always check for inspiration is Dribbble. The team there has built one of the most impressive design communities on the web so I’m always able to find something to spark some inspiration.” - Joe Rinaldi, Creative Lead
About Ramona Sukhraj
As Content Marketing Manager, Ramona approaches marketing not only as a profession, but as a creative outlet. She has a passion for all things artistic and strives to create content that is educational, yet quirky and entertaining as well. With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona is a frequent contributor to the HubSpot blog and a nonprofit consultant. Outside of IMPACT, she is a design, movie, and pop culture buff, and a fierce advocate of free hugs.