Our goal as creators and content marketing practitioners is to create new clichés and to do that, we need to start reevaluating the way we work, how we think and redefining our methodology. We need to get back in touch with our oldest friends – our inner child.

Be Child-Like, Not Childish in Content Marketing

You don’t need to slap on a cap and grab a skateboard to think like a child; you just need to get rid of all the things you think you know, in favour of ideas and rules that are more useful to creative thinking.

Adult Can Be…Dumb

No offence, but as we get older, we take ourselves more seriously. We become more certain; confident in our opinions and get rewarded for this in the form of accepting nods and willing subservience. As managers, leaders and motivators, this kind of confidence or bravado can be useful, but as creators in content marketing, it’s limiting. That may seem like a small word, not worth worrying about, but as a creator, being limited is a disastrous scenario, as it means you don’t have access to new ideas or innovative thinking and lack the ability to understand anything outside of your own opinion.

Kids don’t know anything, that’s why they’re smart.

When you were young, your mind was free and you didn’t care about being right or wrong. As a result, you could recognise inspiration when it occurred, you would stop and think about it, allowing it to morph into something more – an idea or belief. There was no concern as to whether this idea could mess with your existing thoughts or values, there were no internal civil wars raging as to how this idea stood with your existing position in the world, and you couldn’t have cared less if you stood to upset the status quo with this new way of thinking.
Thoughts weren’t currency, they were simply a part of life to be explored, developed and played with. Kids take their inspiration from anywhere – a book read by someone else, a bird flying by (“why can’t I do that? Grab me a sheet and a roof,”) or a comment made by a friend. Unfortunately, we don’t listen to children, for the exact reason that we should; they don’t have our experience. The good news is, the child version of you didn’t disappear when you turned eighteen, it just lay dormant, as it does now, waiting for you to listen again, pay attention to his or her, potentially naïve, but possibly world-changing opinions and stop taking yourself so seriously.

It’s Easy to Wake Up Your Inner Child

Kids don’t hold grudges or spend time wondering why someone took a certain action or the reasons behind a perceived betrayal. Your inner child is no different; they’re waiting to be unleashed and eager to re-enter the world with all the resources they never possessed when they weren’t taken seriously and had to be replaced by an adult. And that’s the trick, to wake up your inner child, you need to start questioning what you hold to be ‘true.’

“Truth” is an adult concept.

We tell children what’s true, as if it was handed to us as knowledge from some all-seeing, all-knowing being. However, most of what we share is hearsay or opinion, and as children we’re taught that adults know everything, so we want to be adults. Then we grow up and things get weird as we learn that nobody knows everything and truth is emotive, but we join the game anyway, pretending that we know what we’re doing, all the while our inner child chooses not to judge us, rolls over and goes to sleep. Because children don’t judge.

To wake up your inner child, bring back your curiosity.

“Why is that the way we do things?”
“Is there a better way?”
“Why does that work like that?”

Begin allowing these kinds of questions back into your life. This is the place from which great ideas come from; asking why things are as they are and considering how they could be better. This is the source for every great idea, joke, song, and quote that has ever occurred. It’s what’s been referred to as inspiration, innovation, the great idea, a white light and so on. When you open yourself to learning, through questioning what’s around you – especially things you hold true – there’s nothing you can’t rethink, redo, change and improve. This is where great ideas begin.

It all starts with fear

Feels weird, doesn’t it? You’re likely choosing a few things that are true, parts of your personal and professional life that you cannot question because they would change your core values. If you’re a large car fanatic, you’re not going to consider smaller vehicles as being an improvement, right? If you’re a banker, then why would you question the virtues of capitalism, or look at options outside of the free market?

If you can’t, you must

These are the beliefs to mess with, and it won’t be easy because creation is a violent, often painful event and to create something that will change the world and make your own spine shiver, and you give it life through pen and paper, camera or brush, you must be prepared to face your own demons, because content marketing isn’t about preaching what you think, the basis of greatness lies in your ability to face your own fears, confront your demons and slaughter your sacred cows.
When you’ve read incredible articles, seen great art or watched brilliant television, you’ve felt the creator pass through fear and grow as a person. You’ve seen the power inherent in all of us but unleashed fearlessly in a solitary individual who chose not to limit herself through what was obvious and easy.
Beyond fear lies freedom, and greatness. And it’s through questioning all that you hold dear that you’ll discover ideas that you never imagined existed, and because like attracts like, you’ll discover more, think differently and see the world in a whole new way. You’ll give yourself the chance to change your industry for the better because change comes through new ways of looking at the things that people take for granted.
Today, we’ll begin rethinking the world, and unknowing all the things we hold to be true.

Today, we’ll unleash the child within us who’s been sleeping for far too long.

Action Steps

  1. Pick two beliefs that you hold to be true, and write them down.
  2. Question their validity, not as you but as a third party with no emotional connection to the beliefs.
  3. Consider the beliefs openly and without bias, present all viable arguments.’
  4. Realise that your opinions don’t change reality, they only broaden your understanding of it.
  5. Apply that to your content marketing efforts.

 

Check out Content Marketing That Changes The World – Section 1