How a Flood of Content Creates a Sense of Scarcity

 Which is better? Who knows. Which is better value? You can't say.

What you can say is if you wait, one option will disappear.

You can think about it later. If you don't grab one of those widgets now, you might never be able to.

Rewind the clock a few centuries and this principle helped build empires. Colonies halfway across the world from their motherlands discovered new flavours - spices, meats, vegetables and recipes never seen back home.

What was their appeal? Were people that eager to eat something different?

Yes, that's part of it.

But it was viable to haul ingredients across the ocean because you could sell them for a fortune. At first at least, supplies were low. If you wanted to taste this exotic flavour, it would cost you.

The rules of the economy have changed. These words aren't scarce. They can reach every corner of the web (and therefore the globe). People can copy and paste them a billion times.

So, what's the answer? Constrain your marketing so only a tiny number ever see it?

That doesn't sound right.

I imagine you want people reading your ads...

But you can create Scarcity around your marketing. If your content marketing is entertaining and informative enough, it becomes a product.

One you only offer it to people on your email list - a tiny fraction of your potential market.

And since they've opted in, they're automatically more interested than the average schmuck.

Then you find yourself in the strange position of having to tell people about your email list - you advertise your advertisements, in other words.

Personally, I don't use this approach. While I have an email list, you don't need to be on it to read content like this. I have my reasons for sharing this content freely, though I can see myself locking my content down more in the future.

But whether your advertising itself is scarce or not...

What you're selling should be.

As a coach or hypnotherapist, you have Scarcity built in - you're a service provider with only so many hours. And so many hours means only so many clients.

Some ideas to play with:

If you have a waiting list, emphasise that. Don't go nuts about it but make it clear people can't just walk into your office. Your sessions are a limited resource.

You can have Scarcity around how people reach you. If you're great on the phone, then take all email addresses and contact forms off your site. Making it harder to reach you can motivate people to want to.

Working only (or mainly) by referral immediately restricts your supply. If someone can be referred to you, it's almost physically painful to go with someone else... even if your skills are the same as theirs.

As for me?

I go full Scarcity in a couple of ways:

The first is that I've niched hard. Will I work outside the coaching and hypnotherapy industries? If the job is right, maybe If you're in those industries, then you have an easy in with me that few people share.

The second is I only work with a few clients at a time. I can go from wide open to booked solid in a heartbeat.

We all experience a drought of ideas once in awhile, even those of us who consider ourselves pretty creative.  For myself, I used to think something drastic or out of the ordinary had to happen for me to get back on track.  Lately I have realized that seemingly small things in everyday life can help give me a jump start. Here are some of the simple ideas which have worked for me.

1. Take a different route.

This is one of my favorites.  Sometimes just altering the way you get to a frequently visited destination can seem to rearrange things in your brain.  If you work in an office, try it on your way to or from work.  If not, switch up your route to the gym or the grocery store and see what happens.  We do so many things on autopilot every day--it can pay to shake up the routine.

2. Read an interesting book or watch a movie in a different genre than you are used to.

This can get you thinking, feeling and talking about long-buried or rarely-broached topics and questions.  Who knows what might come up?

3. Journal.

As someone who has kept a journal on and off since I was 8 years old, I can definitely attest to the power of this one.  You can use this to do a stream of consciousness thing or a more structured exercise like a Q and A with yourself. Marketer Ali Brown mentioned on a recent teleseminar that when she's looking for answers she simply writes down her question in a notebook with an "A" after it.  Often she will come back to that space and have an answer to fill in. Try this method.  Bottom line, give yourself permission to dream, vent or even just doodle in your journal.  It's cheaper than therapy!

4. Nap Time.

Some of us never take naps in the middle of the day because we don't think we could ever get that tired that early.  Some people just adamantly consider themselves non-nappers.  But all of us have felt drained at some point well before bedtime. Give it a shot--lay down and let yourself doze off.  Whether it's for an hour or two or a quick 20 minutes, sometimes giving our brain a rest can do wonders for renewing our innovative spirit.

5. Rearrange the furniture.

This can feel so good once you've done it.  Whether you decide to go feng-shui with your home office or just move the sofa to the other side of the room, deliberately shuffling the patterns of your brain can give a boost to your creativity.

6. Engage people you usually ignore in conversation.

It could be the girl who always looks down that works in the local drugstore or the quiet doorman in your building. You'll be surprised at where the conversation goes, or at the very least, feel proud of yourself for facing and engaging that person you usually try to avoid.

7. Chunk it.

In Harry Alder's book Boost Your Creative Intelligence, he explains this as "taking a problem to a higher or lower level."  For example, Alder uses a word like "dog."  Logically chunking up would go to "pet" then "mammal," "animal," "living thing" and so on. Chunking down would go to a part of a dog like "tail" or a breed like "dachshund."  An activity like this can sharpen your focus as well as alleviate overwhelm if that is what has you stuck.

8. Dust off that dictionary.

While I often jump on to look up a word in a pinch, there is something to be said for cracking open the old-school version.  Pick out a random word and then try formulating ideas, sentences or scenarios around it.  While giving yourself the freedom to let your mind wander often works well, purposely being restrictive with your thoughts in this way can also enhance the creative process.

These tips usually help me a lot better than mindlessly web surfing or channel flipping.  For me, when I start doing those things out of frustration or because I'm experiencing a writer's block, I know I am only temporarily escaping the "stuckness" without really alleviating it.

Try some of these and see how they work for you.   Whatever you do, don't just stare into a blank Word document waiting for inspiration to strike!  At the very least, get up and get the blood flowing.  Happy creating. :)