There’s no such thing as talent or creativity.
Are those fighting words? Before you put the gloves on, hear me out. Words like talent and creativity can restrict us when we abstract them as innate qualities that someone either has or doesn’t. If we follow that logic, then creating content for social media becomes a mysterious guessing game. We’re hoping to roll the dice and get lucky, or somehow tap into a latent streak of creative genius. Not only is that approach unhelpful, but it also leads us down unproductive and wasteful paths.
Much of what we ascribe to luck, timing, or talent is actually a result of a carefully studied and executed process. For example, Max Martin is the Swedish music producer responsible for 21 number one Billboard hits, including mega-hits for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift. Martin developed a recipe for writing hit pop songs, and his successful formula, (dare we call it a process?), has launched scores of musical artists’ careers.
At Hook Point we frequently hear a common frustration: “I’m just not creative enough to come up with original ideas and viral content.” Let’s deconstruct the phrase “original ideas.” One of the most viral content creators is a psychologist who uses everyday household items to describe profound human experiences. Dr. Julie Smith (3.7M followers) uses the power of metaphor to explain complex topics in a relatable and entertaining way. Trauma (12M views) uses a wastebasket and crumpled paper to deliver a life-affirming message.
Dr. Julie didn’t discover the metaphor. Public speakers, teachers, authors, and musical artists regularly use metaphors to express complicated and profound truths to instruct and entertain audiences. It’s not original; it doesn’t require talent or creativity, but it is clever. The viral result indicates an intentional process, a well-researched strategy to employ reliable storytelling tactics for maximum effect.
It’s time to abandon the “creativity and talent” myth and get to work. We have the data that shows how and why content goes viral, and anyone can learn how to use research and a tested process to break through.
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