Don’t kill the creative process – how to avoid these 4 common mistakes

Oct 3, 2023

Originally featured on

From lacklustre lightbulb moments to sure-fire creativity-killers. If you’re looking to get the freshest creative ideas for your business, then check out these 4 ways to avoid crushing the creative bit.

Think of it like a creative SOS.

Briefing for creative work isn’t easy. The pressure to deliver creative content is becoming increasingly competitive – whether it’s stopping the scroll, capturing attention to really engaging consumers, getting YOUR content to hit the creative high-bar counts.

But in the quest to create something different, accidentally sabotaging your own creative vibe is oh-so easy to do. If you’re looking to write a brief that allows the best, most creative ideas to thrive and wheedles out the boring mainstream mediocre ones, then check out these 4 ways to avoid crushing the creative bit.


Getting fresh thinking for your business means you’ve got to put your trust into the companies that you work with. Beautiful things happen when you get the right creative partnership. When it comes to picking the perfect production company, knowing what you’re trying to achieve from the start means you can pick a production house that has the right sort of aesthetic and visual vibe you’re aiming for.

If you’ve watched their reel, and liked their work, if you’ve briefed them to come up with the next-best-thing, then sit back and trust in the process. Let them ask questions, let them challenge your thinking to develop new concepts. From initial brainstorm to final edit, the right production company can help you make the best creative choices to meet your business goals. If, of course, you let them.

Top Tip: If you like a production company, ask to see more of their work. Spend time getting to grips with their processes and working style. From brief to shoot, a good production company will work like an extension of your team so getting the relationship right from the start is totally worth the effort.


Creativity-killers are more than just badly written briefs. One of the easiest ways to kill creativity is to stifle ideas by spending time stuck in the detail. From judging ideas too early to second guessing the outcome, it can all lead to creative inhibition. Overthinking everything can be the certain death of a great idea that just needed a bit of oxygen to breathe. Evaluating the creative process isn’t about judging an idea’s ‘worth’ when it’s in its early stages, it’s about exploring provocative thinking. You see, you’re not supposed to start an idea at a sensible place – or heck even a comfortable place.

But don’t get confused. Letting creativity blossom doesn’t mean you’re encouraging poorly thought-through ideas or flogging bad ideas to death, it means separating the creative process from the negative process.

Top tip: Try and cultivate an environment that allows creativity to thrive. Take time to explore ideas, no matter how controversial. Try techniques like Edward De Bonos “Six Hats” approach to evaluating an idea’s worth, and make sure you allow time for proper creative incubation. You might be surprised with the results!


Madness, they say is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The same thing applies here. If you’re always circling back to the same ideas or find yourself leaning towards content styles that you’ve already tried, then building your creative courage is key. Fear is the fastest way to kill creativity. Getting stuck in a creative rut *shudder* is all too easy to do.

If you’re looking to raise the visual ante on your content, staying safe won’t give you the results you crave. But if the thought of heading into the creative unknown gives you nosebleeds, then start small. Working with a different production team, photographer or agency can help you ‘freshen’ your content in a jiffy. A new set of eyes can help you shake things up and present an alternative to your status quo.

Top Tip:  Start every project as blank slate. As easy (and safe) as it is to use the same photographer, production team, or agency, why not mix it up? Sprinkle a bit of flavour into your briefing process and see what happens.


A constantly changing goal automatically crushes creativity. It results in mixed up mashed messaging with a significantly inferior outcome. Nine times out of ten when goals change mid production, companies go into panic mode, and resort to adjusting existing work to ‘fit’ the new goal. Think of it as a death knell to any creative spark that’s left.

If your projects seem beset with constant scope creep or marred by unrealistic, changing project expectations, maintaining the creative clout of your work will be nigh on impossible.

The answer? As simple as it sounds, a well-written brief will save you time, stress and money. Knowing the purpose of your content from the start, being laser sharp on who you’re targeting and having a crystal-clear budget will guarantee your project stays focussed. Then you can allow the creativity to do the talking.

Top Tip:  Ironing out all the niggly bits at the beginning with a well written brief will save you from serious headaches later down the line. Need a helping hand? Try using our easy guide on how to write a kick-ass video brief.

Whether you’re in a creative rut or looking to channel a new creative vibe, if you’re looking for wow-worthy content, flexing your creativity is, without a doubt, the best way to produce content with some serious clout.

If you’re looking to inject some fresh thinking into your content, then why not get in touch? Turning creativity into a powerful business advantage for our clients is what we’re all about.

At Theory we don’t just make video, we tell stories.

We’d love to tell yours.


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