FILED IN: Education, M&G Happenings, Speaking Engagements
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman, Founder
When I was asked by educational conference owner Jon'll Boyd to take the stage as a speaker at The Planners Suite LIVE 2020, I wanted to select a subject that felt more on the unique side and something I haven't spoken about in prior presentations I've given. With an audience full of wedding planners and corporate event planners, I wanted to tackle the subject of "Innovation Over Duplication" and ways to remain unique and establish your own creative identify rather than merely imitating others' work.
Immediately upon arrival, I noticed that the vibe of the conference was upbeat and celebratory with bright colors and gorgeous signage everywhere I turned. They also had a huge photo backdrop made entirely of balloons...so fun! But don't let the festive vibe fool you. The attendees were dead serious about learning and upleveling their businesses. Having such a warm welcome coupled with such an engaged audience made me fully relaxed while taking the stage!
While I won't reveal the entire presentation, here are a key few tips that I shared to wrap up the talk:
INNOVATION IS A MINDSET
Much like people regularly devote time to other areas of their business such as accounting, customer service, and marketing, innovation must be revered in the same manner. It's deserving of its own time slot. Schedule time to work solely on innovation or else time slips away and one runs the risk of becoming stagnant. Innovation is a discipline but once it's made it a part of the weekly or monthly routine, the benefits will become apparent.
PAUSE THE PINTEREST
If you think about it, if something is shared on Pinterest, it's already done. So in essence, if someone is actively looking for inspiration on Pinterest, they automatically run the risk of imitating rather than innovating. I encouraged the audience to take a break from Pinterest altogether and find inspiration elsewhere to see how this furthered their quest to bring something unique to the industry. I suggested seeking inspiration from their travels, interior design, art, books they're reading, movies they're watching, and most importantly...their clients!
PUT YOUR BLINDERS ON
If you find yourself in the habit of scrolling on Instagram for hours on end and beginning to compare your work to the work of others' and it's impacting your mindset negatively, it's okay to make the decision to put your blinders on and avoid scrolling altogether. You obviously want to be part of a community and support others but you first must take care of yourself and your own business so that the business survives. (You can't be a part of a business community if you're no longer in business!) This may mean avoiding consuming social media except for a pre-planned time slot of the day where you consciously decide to engage and be supportive of others and then once that time slot is over, you turn it off for your own good.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Take time to put into words exactly why you're doing what you're doing. Then take time to pinpoint exact who you're doing this work for. Once you have a good idea of these two things, it will be much easier for you to "stay in your lane" and develop your own signature style much more quickly. If you take every single client who inquires, or let them talk you into merely replicating things they may have themselves seen on Pinterest, then you're never going to achieve uniqueness. When someone hires you, if they ask you to duplicate something exactly, have the confidence to remind them why they hired you in the first place. After all, everyone likes to be unique and feel that their event is special. It may be scary to remind clients of this initially but the more you do it, the easier it will become. The first step though is knowing your 'why'!
Along with these four tips, I stressed that attendees should always "Focus more on your clients than you do your competition". This means that if you serve your own clients well, you'll develop your own signature style much sooner and in turn, be more inclined to produce unique work. It will also keep you from falling into the comparison trap and keep your mindset positive which helps with creativity. If you're constantly consumed with what your competition is doing, there is little space remaining in your brain for innovation.
A huge 'thank you' to TPS LIVE 2020 for having me! It was such an incredible honor to speak to your audience about a topic that is so near and dear to my heart! For media and speaking inquiries, visit here.