When Not To Be Creative

  Boring is bad, and being just like everyone else generally won’t get you very far, in life or in business. But there are times it pays to blend in with the standard, even if it means being a little bit bland. I mean, you wouldn’t put “Email: sexyhotchick666@yahoo.com” on your resume, would you? Of course not, because when you’re job hunting you need to be professional, so you’ll do what everyone else does and use your name as your email address.

Use your real name/title

  When else is it a bad idea to get creative? On your social media profiles. Because sexyhotchick might be a fun name for a Youtube account, but it’s not going to bring viewers swarming to your videos. At least, not the viewers you’re looking for. Because the potential customers out there in Youtube-land won’t have any idea who you are or why they should care about your videos. You want a username that will tell them exactly who you are, so that they will notice your videos and know which awesome company masterminded them. And if you set up your account using your company’s name, interested consumers who want to know more about your company will be able to search Youtube and find what you want them to see.

   The same is true for Twitter. If you want people to follow you, you have to give them a reason, and that reason is going to have something to do with who you are. When you’re marketing your business, you don’t want to hide behind an anonymous nickname. You want to announce, “This is who I am, this is what I do, and this is why that’s good news for you.”

Some rules aren’t worth breaking

  Here’s another standard that’s not worth messing with: your website navigation menu. The goal of a website is to be user-friendly. You may think it’s fun and cool to change what you call everything to fit in with your theme, but all it will be really do is confuse people. If someone can’t figure out how to get back to the home page, or where your contact information is, or your privacy page, just guess how much time they’re going to be spending on your site. Don’t try to outsmart everyone by changing conventional page names into some “cool” code that makes sense only to you. Using too much creativity here will just end up chasing away potential customers.

It’s a cliche because it’s true

   Sometimes you get the urge to break the mold and try something that’s never been done before that’s sure to get you instant fame. But the rest of the world will almost never see things your way. The flash of inspiration that gave you the greatest idea ever for a Youtube username will accomplish nothing except to prevent your target audience from finding and watching your videos. The fun new name you came up with for your Contact Us page will just make it harder for people to find it and make them more likely to give up on your site. The idea of following convention here may bother you, but it is the right decision. The conventions are there because they work, and they’re what customers expect and want to see. 

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