Analytical + Creative = Social Media Success

doug_patchWhat are the characteristics that drive success in social media? As we continue to grow at work, we’re looking for talent and need the right mix.

My son is an honors math student… and a musician. My daughter is a singer… and a math wiz. I’m very analytical… but love being creative in my writing and design. Music is definitely a key to success for both my son and daughter. I’m not a musician, but the creative hobbies I work on have helped my success. I believe practicing creativity outside your job helps when analyzing and problem-solving in your job – an ultimately leads to your success.

I don’t think of myself as an expert in Social Media but I have had enough experience in it to help guide companies through the mine field and help them leverage the mediums involved. Almost every day I’m working on blog posts, presentations, speeches, email designs and web designs. Each of these are a creative outlet for me.

If I were to chart my time, it’s ~50% creative and ~50% strategic/analytical. I’m not sure that I could be as creative in the solutions I work on with clients and co-workers if I didn’t have some sort of outlet that required me to practice on a daily basis. I’m thankful that I’m constantly challenged to come up with creative solution – whether it’s a user interface design or the words to an entertaining blog post.

As I look to many of my friends in the business who are successful, they have similar outlets of creativity. Many of them do both development and graphical design. Some are musicians and others are photographers. Quite a few are athletes… but not simple athletes, they’re white water rafters, adventure racers or marathon runners. I can’t imagine the creativity it requires to enable your body to push through those challenges.

I’m always amazed to hear what my friends do outside their job. A lot of folks don’t distinguish between the creative side of my job and the analytical, but it’s definitely something I’ve been able to tap into. I know when I’m using solutions from each type of thinking to help solve the other and I have to do it very often. It takes constant practice and fine-tuning.

99% of the time, in my experience, the hard part about creativity isn’t coming up with something no one has ever thought of before. The hard part is actually executing the thing you’ve thought of. Seth Godin

I’d love for readers of this post to share their creative side and either blog or comment on how it successfully impacts the ability to execute their job responsibilities. Please share!


  1. 1

    When I was first starting my career, I would spend my days writing and art-directing direct mail efforts. Very right-brained. Then at night, I’d write database programs to track mail results for my non-profit clients who couldn’t afford the customized fund-raising packages out at that time. Very left-brained.

    Later, when I was less involved in the creative side of direct response, my wife and I co-wrote a one-panel cartoon for a weekly newspaper (the Milwaukee version of Chicago’s “The Reader,” called Milwaukee Weekly). I did all of the cartooning for it.

    It’s been interesting to see how often I try to blend both types of activities. It’s one of the reasons I’d do what I do for a living even if I didn’t get paid for it.

    Thanks for bringing up this interesting topic (to ME at least!). I look forward to what others do to scratch both creative and analytical itches!

    • 2

      “I’d do what I do for a living even if I didn’t get paid for it.” – that says it all, Jeff! I think I’m in a similar situation… although I’d have to do something to pay the bills. 🙂

  2. 3

    I’m a graphic designer by day, but during the months of January-April, I take on a second job doing taxes. Since the two are radically different, I don’t get as brain-tired as I would having a second part time job doing something more similar to my day job.

    When I’m designing something, using both sides of my brain helps me be both practical and creative. It’s also made me invaluable in the office, I’m able to suggest ideas that can help with our business, yet are a little out of the ordinary to give us an edge.

  3. 5

    I work with technology, but I’m also a musician. I think being able to vent my musical energy helps clear my focus and enables me to work more efficiently.

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