The majority of digital professions require us to be experts in our fields – and we often are. We surround ourselves with our peers on Google+, Twitter and read various industry online or offline publications.
We even dress similarly (the dreaded plaid shirts)…
To be truly effective and expand and improve in our great jobs and advance in 2014, I believe we have to step out of the silo and go cross-vertical (apply different services to different niches – single service agencies and single medium campaigns are dead).
Part of our jobs and the new threshold of success will be approaching topics in new ways, being creative and doing things differently.
Here are my proven ways of getting out of the silo, which allowed me to look at day to day things from a different perspective:
- Get out there
We spend way too long in front of our screens – both the large static ones and the ones in our hands. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Android or an iPhone user – you probably, like myself, check Twitter and Facebook way too much. I even have different sounds & different LED colours set up for different notifications…
Thanks to my friends at DontBelieveTheHype and DigitalBinx I was invited to the TuneUpFestivals concert in Brighton – an event aiding the War Child charity – which helps children who are victims of war.
It wasn’t exactly my kind of music – but I managed to get my friend a ticket too (a friend from real life – not twitter, can you believe?) and we both had a great night out.
Now – I’m not the kind who enjoys live music, I have been on two live events in the last 3 years which shows how much this is outside of my usual activity. But this allowed me to experience something outside of my everyday life.
Getting out from in front of the computer and going to places and events you haven’t experienced before is crucial for the expansion of your consciousness.
- Expand the list of your influencers to other interests
The second proven way of expanding your point of view and your mind is to start following people from outside of the industry. In particular in SEO – we have plenty of people who only follow other SEOs and wouldn’t follow or read anything about self development or even worse – something not work and God forbid OFFLINE related 🙂 .
- Learn something new and different
It’s important to remember that things are happening outside of the internet…
If you’re an SEO – learn some programming, if you’re a PR professional – start a blog and optimise it, if you’re a more offline type of a marketer – learn more about social media and online relationship building.
Memrise is great for learning new stuff, they have tons of free lessons ranging from cooking or coding to Mandarin.
- Become more mindful and present
Recently I’ve read a great book called ‘How to have kick ass ideas‘ where one of the sections mentions ‘being in the state’. Apparently in order to be creative on cue we have to learn to be in a certain state.
One of the ways of being in the state of creativeness is first realising what state we’re in. One of the ways to overcoming the ‘stuckiness’ we sometimes experience when trying to come up with ideas or a new approach is to change your state.
Next time you’re stuck with a SEO audit or figuring out why a site lost visibility try one of these:
- Go for a walk
- Grab some water or a coffee
- Stop, breathe deeply 3 times and check for tension within your body and relax
- Question everything
Very often when we work on something that interests us we see new angles and approach the issue in a creative way.
One of the best and most universal ways of getting out of your fixed silo is being curious and questioning different aspects of things and topics.
Asking questions helps us find out new things. Knowing new things leads us to new questions etc New knowledge and more questions leads to increased creativity and having more ideas in the long term.
I hope you’ll try a few of these ideas, make 2014 a year of learning and expanding onto other areas.
*Featured photo credit: Eirik Refsdal