Do you find it hard to come up with creative marketing ideas for your business?

Don't worry, we all do.

Fortunately, creativity isn't a gift bestowed upon a fortunate few with all the "good" ideas. It's a skill you can work on relentlessly until you have a breakthrough.

Ready to start thinking creatively? Here are 7 ways to use your dormant creative marketing genius effectively.

1. Free write daily.

Freewriting is an excellent way for you to grab ideas or emotions and record them for the future. Set a 30 minute time frame each day to write anything that comes to mind. You may get stuck deciding what to write about in the beginning and that's normal - your mind's not used to writing down these authentic thoughts just yet.

So start with your wildest ideas, hopes, dreams, or aspirations for your business. Go back and read your notes every few weeks to see if any of the ideas are worth revisiting for action.

2. Job swaps.

Sometimes you need to immerse yourself in a new role to have an idea breakthrough. Job swaps are a great opportunity for business owners and employees to understand each moving part of a business. A higher level of understanding will cultivate new ideas.

Swap each staff position for a day and then hold a meeting to discuss how each role contributes to the value of your product. Once you and your team have experienced each facet of operation you may have fresh ideas to bring to the business and marketing outreach.

3. Keep a notepad & pen.

Do you ever have amazing ideas and forget them an hour later? Start keeping a notepad or keep your smartphone notepad app handy. Write down all ideas you have, no matter how off the wall or impossible they may seem. As long as you're thinking creatively, nothing is off-limits.

Take this notepad around with you everywhere you go. Like commuting, eating, running, showering, and sleeping. Yes everywhere. You never know when inspiration will strike.

4. Play word association games.

Here's another opportunity to reach out to others for help thinking creatively. Play word association games with your employees, friends, and family. This tactic is perfect for marketing ideas because you can pinpoint the feelings your product evokes in people.

Ask participants to state the first thing that comes to their mind when you say a word. Use a few random words to get started and then insert the services and products of your business and note their response. Put together the most influential words, reflect on them, and think of ways to include them in your marketing outreach.

5. Ask your customers.

Why not ask customers directly for their ideas to get your mind jogging creatively. After all, your customers are who you want to please, so find out what makes them tick.

Ask for their take on your business, products, or services. Sure, the ideas you get may not all be constructive. However, one may develop into a new idea that you may never have considered.

6. Make a vision board.

Use vision boards to grow creatively with imagery. Get one magazine and create a board with pictures and letters that represent your company. Using only one magazine limits your resource and pushes you to be creative in how you use each page.

What should you include on your vision board if you're looking for marketing ideas? What your product is, who your customer is, how your customers feel before and after using your product. Anything that gets you thinking of new ways to reach your ideal customer.

7. Stay organized.

Once your mind is really working creatively you must figure out a way to organize your thoughts. If you skip organization, you'll never be able to plan and act out on all the creative ideas you work hard on.

Mind mapping is an awesome tool to manage your thoughts. Create your own mind map with one of the many free mind mapping templates online. Or try a mind mapping software platform.

Time for some action.

As you continue allowing your mind to think differently, you'll start to realize that creative ideas come easier. Once you have a few solid ideas, choose your best ones, and create an action plan.

Do you have any other ways to be more creative? Share below!

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may apply to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your plan.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.