I have a love/hate relationship with quotes. On one hand, I see the value in using a group of words as a source of inspiration, but on the other hand, I think they are abused for the sake of personal gain.
In transparency, I’ll fully admit that I am not without fault on the latter, as I’ve used them to build the No Sidebar Facebook page—and I’m using them again to build a presence on Instagram for Authentik.
According to Meghan Monaghan of Smart Bird Social, using quotes can be an effective strategy for building an audience. She says that content is meant to foster positive relationships that increase trustworthiness and perceived value.
Here’s a list of reasons why Meghan thinks they matter:
- Quotes are brief and easily consumed.
- Quotes arouse an emotional response.
- Quotes support influencer outreach.
- Quotes make easy visuals.
- Quotes make branding simple.
- Quotes are informational and educational.
As a creative, a few of these reasons resonate with me far more than others do. In particular, the “emotional response” and “simple branding” reasons are why I’m choosing to use quotes to help build the Authentik brand.
With No Sidebar, the strategy was to choose quotes that had a greater chance of being shared. And it worked: this quote has been shared nearly 250,000 times, and this one more than 200,000 times.
Success, right? Well that’s a subjective question.
While going viral and making the rounds on Facebook, that sort of distribution left me feeling like I had made a wide impact, rather than a deep one. (More on wider vs. deeper in an upcoming post.)
A Greater Purpose
A few weeks ago, I decided to re-watch a video from Jeremy Cowart on YouTube: I’m Possible. Something he said really (like I mean REALLY) stood out this time. Click here to watch it specifically. Here’s what he said:
So I did it. I made it. But wait. So what. Seriously, who cares? Was being a ‘photography rockstar’ really my goal? I realized that I shouldn’t aim for greatness and stop there.
And then he said some really heavy and impactful words:
Greatness should serve a greater purpose.
Words that spoke so loudly to me they instantly brought me to tears. Not crocodile tears, but tears of emotion that affirmed something that I have spent years searching for. I finally know exactly what I love, what I love to do, and who I want to do it for.
Carve out 25 minutes in your schedule where you will not be distracted (that means shutting down social media and turning off notifications!) and watch (not just listen to) his video. Let’s just say it helped Inspire Authentik, and will be 25 minutes you won’t regret.
That afternoon, I developed a content strategy for the Authentik Instagram account. I wanted to combine the “emotional response” and “simple branding” reasons mentioned above, and come up with something that was visually stimulating, but also elicited some heavy thinking.
So I had a little fun that day—here’s what I came up with:
I will continue to create and share words of wisdom that inspire me, and words that I think will inspire you. It’s my hope that they help you in your journey, and encourage you to pursue an intentional and meaningful life.
Quotes to Inspire Your Creative Journey
Here are ten quotes that have impacted me, and I hope they impact you:
1. “Greatness should serve a greater purpose.” —Jeremy Cowart
2. “Create with your heart and you will never go wrong.” —Brian Gardner
3. “What art offers is space—a certain breathing room for the spirit.” —John Updike
4. “You don’t have to be ‘a creative’ to be creative.” —Droby Ben-Menachem
5. “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” —Salvador Dali
6. “No one ever discovered anything new by coloring inside the lines.” —Thomas Vasquez
7. “Every great design begins with an even better story.” —Lorinda Mamo
8. “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.” —M.C. Escher
9. “The world needs your art. Go forth, and create it.” —Brian Gardner
10. “It’s not the idea, it’s never the idea, it’s always what you do with it.” —Neil Gaiman
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