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How to Brainstorm Effectively and Come up with Awesome Ideas


Brainstorming is important in all areas of life, but especially when you run an online business. You always need fresh ideas and the marketer who comes up with the one nobody else has thought of wins.

For Sam & I it’s hitting it at the right time.

For Me A Cup of Coffee Helps!

Forcing it doesn’t work for us and that’s why I tend to always keep a small notebook with me, so that when I see, hear or just dream up something I note it down before I forget it. Then when we need a brainstorm session we have the nucleus of some ideas to start us off, but read on and discover other key tips and techniques

So, what do you do when you’re stuck for ideas? You might take a walk or do some Web surfing; but what I want to talk about are some universal tips that I’ve learned over years of experimenting.

Short Bursts Daily

When you’re trying to think of ideas, you might decide to shut yourself up in your office and cut off all contact with the outside world, but I don’t recommend this. Instead, brainstorming works best when you do it in short bursts daily.

It probably has something to do with the mind being fresh and sharp. When you run it into the ground in a long brainstorming session, you end up without a lot of good ideas at the end. When you decide that you’re going to brainstorm like mad for the next ten minutes, your mind is like horses jumping out of the gates. They’re off!

I also recommend brainstorming daily instead of just once to come up with ideas. For example, you’re trying to think of a name for your website. Instead of setting aside an afternoon, set aside a little time each day. You’ll be inspired by different things you’ve seen or that have happened to you on each day.

Unexpected Ideas

The best ideas come from the strangest places where you wouldn’t expect to find them. You probably look at blogs and forums when you need ideas, but I’m going to suggest a few more radical measures.

One of the things that has worked best for me is to take a normal idea that makes sense and turn it backwards. Take a regular, common sense idea and argue the exact opposite. This tip is dynamite when you’re writing articles. You’re guaranteed to write something original

Another great way to get ideas is to ask somebody who knows absolutely nothing about it. Ask your kids what to name your website. Ask your grandma how she’d drive traffic to a site. Talk to some random strange who knows nothing about Facebook and have them suggest ideas for building your brand.

Get Crazy and Don’t Worry

When you’re brainstorming, don’t think about the ideas you’re coming up with. You have to get into a kind of Zen state of mind where the ideas are just flowing. NEVER look at something you just wrote down and go, ‘That’s silly.’ Just get down as much as possible and don’t pass judgment on it.

Later on when you look at your list, the ones you thought sucked will be the best. The ones you thought were really hot will turn out to be the worst. You’ve got to separate your brainstorming mind from your considering ideas mind.

Of course, you should also keep track of all the times you regularly get good ideas. I mentioned walking before. When you need ideas, go for a walk and bring a notebook. Find those times and places, and use them when you need them.

Toby & Sam Russell

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