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The Inbounder London - 2. May 2017 - Hannah Smith


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Going down the rabbit hole final

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The Inbounder London - 2. May 2017 - Hannah Smith

  1. 1. Hannah Smith Going Down the Rabbit Hole Chaos, Curiosity & Creativity @hannah_bo_banna
  2. 2. @hannah_bo_banna going down the rabbit hole… chaos, curiosity, & creativity @hannah_bo_banna
  3. 3. @hannah_bo_banna hello there!
  4. 4. @hannah_bo_banna my team’s job is to make things that journalists want to write about & people want to share
  5. 5. @hannah_bo_banna huh?
  6. 6. this was created for Expedia, it’s a series of vintage travel posters commemorating the wildlife we’ve lost
  7. 7. links from over 150 domains
  8. 8. this was created for Sage, it explores what these $1bn start-ups & the people who founded them have in common
  9. 9. links from over 240 domains
  10. 10. this was created for GoCompare, it reveals the movies with the highest on-screen death counts over the past 80 years
  11. 11. links from over 500 domains
  12. 12. @hannah_bo_banna last year we created 50 thingers (so we were launching at a rate of about one per week)
  13. 13. @hannah_bo_banna this year we’re doing 75 (or maybe more…)
  14. 14. @hannah_bo_banna here’s the thing I don’t normally admit
  15. 15. @hannah_bo_banna for every twenty ideas I come up with, only one is likely to be worth making
  16. 16. @hannah_bo_banna on this basis I’ll need to come up with around 1,500 ideas this year
  17. 17. {insert your own expletive here}
  18. 18. fortunately I’m not alone J
  19. 19. @hannah_bo_banna nevertheless, on this basis we’ll need to come up with around 1,500 ideas this year
  20. 20. {insert your own expletive here}
  21. 21. @hannah_bo_banna so creativity is something I think about a lot
  22. 22. @hannah_bo_banna or, more accurately, what it means to be creative
  23. 23. @hannah_bo_banna creative having a good imagination or original ideas
  24. 24. @hannah_bo_banna raise your hand if you think you’re creative
  25. 25. @hannah_bo_banna so the rest of you do not consider yourselves creative
  26. 26. @hannah_bo_banna raise your hand if you used to make up games as a child
  27. 27. as an adult you see a cardboard box
  28. 28. but as a child you saw a treasure chest
  29. 29. a boat
  30. 30. a transmogrifier
  31. 31. a time machine
  32. 32. @hannah_bo_banna we were all creative
  33. 33. @hannah_bo_banna raise your hand if you used to make up stories as a child
  34. 34. after I saw jaws for the first time, aged 7, I wrote my own version
  35. 35. @hannah_bo_banna I felt that the sea was too limiting in terms of potential terror
  36. 36. @hannah_bo_banna so in my version jaws could swim through the earth’s mantle & pop up through the crust to terrorise people
  37. 37. @hannah_bo_banna as stories go I thought it was pretty great
  38. 38. @hannah_bo_banna I gave it to my dad to read
  39. 39. @hannah_bo_banna my dad said that the earth’s mantle was mainly solid so jaws couldn’t swim through it
  40. 40. @hannah_bo_banna he also said that the mantle was too hot (between 500-900 degrees)
  41. 41. @hannah_bo_banna he said jaws would not be able to breathe in the mantle
  42. 42. @hannah_bo_banna he mentioned something about it being pretty tough to break through the earth’s crust
  43. 43. @hannah_bo_banna [tough review]
  44. 44. @hannah_bo_banna I responded that jaws had been stung by a radioactive jellyfish & had special powers now
  45. 45. @hannah_bo_banna I said it was a bit like what happened to Peter Parker
  46. 46. @hannah_bo_banna I took two things I liked & mashed them together to make something new
  47. 47. @hannah_bo_banna jaws + spiderman = a better story (according to me, aged 7)
  48. 48. @hannah_bo_banna we all used to do this, it’s how we came up with games & stories
  49. 49. @hannah_bo_banna somewhere along the way most of us stopped
  50. 50. @hannah_bo_banna & now we say we’re not creative
  51. 51. @hannah_bo_banna but we are
  52. 52. @hannah_bo_banna I just think that how we define creative is a bit broken
  53. 53. @hannah_bo_banna creative having a good imagination or original ideas
  54. 54. @hannah_bo_banna children are creative
  55. 55. @hannah_bo_banna they imagine all sorts of things
  56. 56. @hannah_bo_banna but they don’t sweat the originality bit
  57. 57. @hannah_bo_banna or rather, they arrive at originality via a roundabout route
  58. 58. @hannah_bo_banna jaws + spiderman = a better story (according to me, aged 7)
  59. 59. @hannah_bo_banna two ideas smooshed together = an original idea
  60. 60. @hannah_bo_banna right now you’re probably thinking
  61. 61. @hannah_bo_banna what has this: jaws + spiderman = a better story
  62. 62. @hannah_bo_banna got to do with stuff like this…
  63. 63. @hannah_bo_banna I think that if you need to come up with 1,500 ideas
  64. 64. @hannah_bo_banna you stand a better chance of succeeding if you ditch your obsession with originality
  65. 65. @hannah_bo_banna (trying to be original is crippling in any case)
  66. 66. @hannah_bo_banna instead, find things you love & build upon them to make something new
  67. 67. @hannah_bo_banna were inspired by these…
  68. 68. @hannah_bo_banna Mythical Beasts - a series of vintage travel posters by graphic designer Fro Reza (who was likely inspired by someone like David Klein)
  69. 69. @hannah_bo_banna was inspired by this…
  70. 70. @hannah_bo_banna was inspired by this…
  71. 71. @hannah_bo_banna find things you love & build upon them to make something new
  72. 72. @hannah_bo_banna I feel like I sort of knew this already
  73. 73. @hannah_bo_banna but it wasn’t until I read this that it clicked for me
  74. 74. @hannah_bo_banna but wait, stealing is bad, right?
  75. 75. @hannah_bo_banna don’t *just* steal
  76. 76. @hannah_bo_banna steal like an artist
  77. 77. @hannah_bo_banna know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ theft
  78. 78. bad theft = just make some more vintage travel posters of mythical beasts
  79. 79. bad theft = steal the data, redesign it, maybe change the name
  80. 80. bad theft = just make this beautiful
  81. 81. @hannah_bo_banna sometimes the line between good and bad theft is blurry
  82. 82. @hannah_bo_banna I can’t tell you where the line is
  83. 83. @hannah_bo_banna but just because you *can* get away with it doesn’t mean that you should
  84. 84. @hannah_bo_banna steal responsibly in order to come up with ideas
  85. 85. @hannah_bo_banna what does that look like?
  86. 86. @hannah_bo_banna in the past, when people asked me how I came up with ideas this was my answer
  87. 87. @hannah_bo_banna I do hours and hours and hours of research, I drink a lot of coffee, I lose my mind because all my ideas are terrible, I decide f*ck it, I get drunk…
  88. 88. @hannah_bo_banna the next day… I regret getting drunk, I do more research, I try harder to come up with ideas, I typically lose my mind again...
  89. 89. @hannah_bo_banna I keep on doing this until I come up with some stuff I think might work…
  90. 90. @hannah_bo_banna it’s not an especially helpful answer, huh?
  91. 91. @hannah_bo_banna today I want to try to give you a slightly better answer
  92. 92. @hannah_bo_banna this stealing like an artist thing helps
  93. 93. this is the research phase
  94. 94. @hannah_bo_banna step one
  95. 95. ‘find things you love’
  96. 96. @hannah_bo_banna do this constantly
  97. 97. @hannah_bo_banna there’s likely to be something in every book you read, every film you see, every song you listen to, art in all its forms, the stuff you see online, on street signs, in slogans, in overheard conversations…
  98. 98. @hannah_bo_banna here are a few examples…
  99. 99. @hannah_bo_banna “it’s often a person’s mouth that broke their nose” ~ overheard on the last train home
  100. 100. great ape-spectations (
  101. 101. @hannah_bo_banna “making a killing on Wall Street might be a harmless turn of phrase, but it only enjoys traction because of the culture it takes place in” ~ Irvine Welsh, intro to American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  102. 102. @hannah_bo_banna make it your mission to constantly capture this stuff
  103. 103. ‘find things you love’
  104. 104. @hannah_bo_banna step two
  105. 105. @hannah_bo_banna when it comes to concepts for clients finding things *I* love can be tough
  106. 106. @hannah_bo_banna but actually, *I* might not need to love them
  107. 107. ‘find things you love’
  108. 108. ‘find things which provoke an emotional response in your target audience’
  109. 109. @hannah_bo_banna huh?
  110. 110. @hannah_bo_banna we only share things if they make us feel something
  111. 111. @hannah_bo_banna which makes social shares a reasonable proxy for strength of emotional response
  112. 112. @hannah_bo_banna to begin, figure out where you want coverage (start with 5-10 sites)
  113. 113. @hannah_bo_banna find out which content is most shared on those sites
  114. 114. @hannah_bo_banna actually, while we’re here…
  115. 115. @hannah_bo_banna don’t just find out *what* people share, try to figure out *why* people are sharing this stuff
  116. 116. @hannah_bo_banna especially if you it’s not something you care about it
  117. 117. nearly 14k people shared this on facebook?!
  118. 118. @hannah_bo_banna talk to a human being who cares about this stuff
  119. 119. @hannah_bo_banna if you don’t get your target audience, it’s likely they won’t get your content
  120. 120. @hannah_bo_banna figure out where you want coverage (start with 5-10 sites)
  121. 121. @hannah_bo_banna find out which content is most shared on those sites & why
  122. 122. money, life hacks, mindfulness, happiness
  123. 123. leadership, intuition, intelligence, instinct
  124. 124. money, cost of living, happiness leadership, power, influence
  125. 125. @hannah_bo_banna read the articles, make notes, & create a separate list of topics to explore further
  126. 126. save anything worth stealing
  127. 127. @hannah_bo_banna now do this again with [site + each topic] (leadership, life hacks, money, happiness, intuition, intelligence, instinct, power, influence, cost of living)
  128. 128. save anything worth stealing
  129. 129. @hannah_bo_banna start with 5-10 sites [search site] make a note of topics [search site + topics] note down more topics [now you’ve explored a subset of topics across 5-10 sites]
  130. 130. @hannah_bo_banna now do this again with [each topic] (leadership, life hacks, money, happiness, intuition, intelligence, instinct, power, influence, cost of living)
  131. 131. @hannah_bo_banna create a separate list of sites to explore further
  132. 132. save anything worth stealing
  133. 133. @hannah_bo_banna now do this again with [new sites + each topic]
  134. 134. save anything worth stealing
  135. 135. @hannah_bo_banna start with 5-10 sites [search site] make a note of topics [search site + topics] note down more topics [now you’ve explored a subset of topics across 5-10 sites] [search topics] make a note of sites you’ve not explored yet [search new sites + topics] [now you’ve explored a subset of topics across many more sites]
  136. 136. @hannah_bo_banna now take your list of topics & come up with a bunch more related topics
  137. 137. @hannah_bo_banna now do this again with [each new topic] (efficiency, productivity, creativity, work life balance, problem solving, prioritising, all of the above + apps and tools)
  138. 138. @hannah_bo_banna create another list of sites to explore further
  139. 139. save anything worth stealing
  140. 140. @hannah_bo_banna now do this again with [new sites + each of your previous topics]
  141. 141. save anything worth stealing
  142. 142. @hannah_bo_banna start with 5-10 sites [search site] make a note of topics [search site + topics] note down more topics [now you’ve explored a subset of topics across 5-10 sites] [search topics] make a note of sites you’ve not explored yet [search new sites + topics] [now you’ve explored a subset of topics across many sites] come up with more topics [search new topics] make a note of sites you’ve not explored yet [search new sites + all the topics] [now you’ve explored a bunch of topics across many sites]
  143. 143. @hannah_bo_banna are your heads spinning?
  144. 144. @hannah_bo_banna you’re not done yet
  145. 145. @hannah_bo_banna now google your topics
  146. 146. @hannah_bo_banna try google image search
  147. 147. @hannah_bo_banna search reddit
  148. 148. @hannah_bo_banna go to the library
  149. 149. @hannah_bo_banna (these are just examples, there’s loads more you can explore)
  150. 150. @hannah_bo_banna by the end of this, you should have tonnes of stuff worth stealing
  151. 151. @hannah_bo_banna you’ll have a much clearer idea of the content landscape
  152. 152. @hannah_bo_banna & you’ll have a better understanding of what your target audience share & why
  153. 153. @hannah_bo_banna step three
  154. 154. @hannah_bo_banna take the stuff you love
  155. 155. @hannah_bo_banna & try to mash it up with the stuff your target audience care about
  156. 156. @hannah_bo_banna use both as building blocks to make something new
  157. 157. @hannah_bo_banna wait, that sounds hard… how do you do that bit?
  158. 158. @hannah_bo_banna I’ll try to explain with an example
  159. 159. @hannah_bo_banna back in 2014 I had a client that sold books
  160. 160. @hannah_bo_banna I love books (so I thought this would be easy)
  161. 161. @hannah_bo_banna research suggested that the most voracious readers are often would-be writers
  162. 162. @hannah_bo_banna I wanted to make something for those voracious readers & would-be writers
  163. 163. @hannah_bo_banna they say everyone has a novel in them & I wanted to prove that it’s never too late
  164. 164. I’d seen how successful this was…
  165. 165. & this is (very loosely) based on that - it shows how many books the best loved authors published, & when they published their breakthrough: from Jack Kerouac aged 26, to Rosamunde Pilcher aged 65
  166. 166. @hannah_bo_banna the message was, there’s still time to write that first novel
  167. 167. @hannah_bo_banna actually that’s a pretty sanitised version
  168. 168. @hannah_bo_banna I eventually arrived at that piece with a coherent message
  169. 169. but, I disappeared down a bunch of rabbit holes first
  170. 170. @hannah_bo_banna I trawled the book sections of news sites and book specific sites to try to get a handle on what content was most shared
  171. 171. @hannah_bo_banna at the time the most shared piece of content on Book Riot was: 16 things Calvin & Hobbes said better than anyone else
  172. 172. possibly the most true statement ever
  173. 173. @hannah_bo_banna I spent a bunch of time on this Calvin & Hobbes idea
  174. 174. @hannah_bo_banna but no matter what I did I couldn’t get it to a point where it was anything other than a listicle of comic strips
  175. 175. @hannah_bo_banna comic strips that we weren’t likely to be allowed to use
  176. 176. @hannah_bo_banna & of course the client wasn’t likely to go for it
  177. 177. @hannah_bo_banna rabbit hole L
  178. 178. there was also tonnes of stuff about amazing bookshelves
  179. 179. @hannah_bo_banna but what do you do with that?
  180. 180. @hannah_bo_banna could we design our own bookshelves?
  181. 181. @hannah_bo_banna why?!
  182. 182. @hannah_bo_banna could we imagine how would famous authors would design bookshelves?
  183. 183. @hannah_bo_banna that’s crazily tenuous
  184. 184. @hannah_bo_banna what would that even look like?
  185. 185. @hannah_bo_banna rabbit hole L
  186. 186. @hannah_bo_banna wait… what about libraries?
  187. 187. @hannah_bo_banna libraries are cool
  188. 188. @hannah_bo_banna what about libraries in movies?
  189. 189. the breakfast club is set in a library
  190. 190. in ghostbusters, the 1st ghostly encounter occurs in the NYC public library
  191. 191. what about superman’s fortress of solitude? that’s kind of a library right?
  192. 192. @hannah_bo_banna oh god what am I doing?
  193. 193. @hannah_bo_banna yet another rabbit hole L
  194. 194. @hannah_bo_banna but I think you have to go with it & allow yourself to get a little bit lost
  195. 195. @hannah_bo_banna sometimes those ridiculous rabbit holes will lead you to an idea that will work
  196. 196. @hannah_bo_banna ok, let’s wrap this thing up
  197. 197. @hannah_bo_banna rubbish in = rubbish out
  198. 198. @hannah_bo_banna every day you’re exposed to stimuli – there’s the damned internet, but there’s also books, music, conversation, art…
  199. 199. @hannah_bo_banna be mindful about what you’re exposing yourself to
  200. 200. ‘find things you love’
  201. 201. @hannah_bo_banna be curious
  202. 202. @hannah_bo_banna seek out the things that your target audience care about & try to understand why
  203. 203. @hannah_bo_banna especially if they’re things you don’t care about
  204. 204. @hannah_bo_banna know the difference between ‘good’ & ‘bad’ theft
  205. 205. @hannah_bo_banna do this first and foremost because it’s the right thing to do
  206. 206. @hannah_bo_banna but also…
  207. 207. @hannah_bo_banna ‘bad’ theft can lead you to create ‘bad’ content
  208. 208. @hannah_bo_banna honor vs degrade is this just a dumbed down version? is it worse than the original?
  209. 209. @hannah_bo_banna skim vs study do you have a deep understanding, or are you creating something shallow or patronising?
  210. 210. @hannah_bo_banna steal from one vs steal from many what are you adding here? what’s new or different?
  211. 211. @hannah_bo_banna the final 3 are really just about being a decent human…
  212. 212. @hannah_bo_banna credit vs plagiarise you learned this at school
  213. 213. @hannah_bo_banna transform vs imitate imitation is not flattery
  214. 214. @hannah_bo_banna remix vs rip-off you know the difference
  215. 215. @hannah_bo_banna embrace the chaos
  216. 216. @hannah_bo_banna disappear down rabbit holes
  217. 217. @hannah_bo_banna trust that one of them will lead you somewhere
  218. 218. @hannah_bo_banna “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward…” ~ Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement, 2005
  219. 219. @hannah_bo_banna others echo this sentiment
  220. 220. @hannah_bo_banna “ideas are born out of the stuff populating our memories… creativity is simply the capacity to put those together in incredible new ways” ~ Maria Popova,
  221. 221. @hannah_bo_banna don’t lose heart
  222. 222. @hannah_bo_banna plunging headlong into a sea of self-doubt because you think all your ideas are ‘bad’ is counter-productive
  223. 223. @hannah_bo_banna we are all creative
  224. 224. @hannah_bo_banna it’s just that no one really talks about how much hard work is involved
  225. 225. @hannah_bo_banna you will find it hard, because it is hard
  226. 226. @hannah_bo_banna work *really* hard
  227. 227. @hannah_bo_banna for the most part, the difference between an idea that will work and one which won’t, is just a whole bunch of work
  228. 228. @hannah_bo_banna so do the work J
  229. 229. @hannah_bo_banna & finally
  230. 230. @hannah_bo_banna it *might* get easier over time
  231. 231. Paula Scher designed the Citibank logo, in seconds, on the back of a napkin, in an early client meeting
  232. 232. @hannah_bo_banna “it’s done in a second, and 34 years… it’s done in a second, and every experience, and every movie, and everything in my life that’s in my head” ~ Paula Scher
  233. 233. @hannah_bo_banna when we’ve been doing this for 34 years, maybe we’ll get there faster J
  234. 234. good luck out there x
  235. 235. @hannah_bo_banna Hannah Smith Head of Creative Verve Search send questions and/or pictures of cats to: tweet things @hannah_bo_banna
  236. 236. @hannah_bo_banna Big love to the team at Verve who helped me put this together J Images: down the rabbit hole: unknown tourism: unicorn league: director’s cut: jesus titty christ: cardboard box: jaws: mythical beasts: david klein: billionaires league: deadliest films: steal like an artist: beer: great ape-spectations: buzzsumo: too late to start: calvin & hobbes: read: the breakfast club: ghostbusters: fortress of solitude: danbo - unicorn - Credits