In my years doing the Low Hanging System, one of the common reservations people express is they worry they’re not artistic or experienced enough.
They think they lack the creativity or skills to come up with and create design ideas to put on their products.
And while you actually do NOT need to come up with amazing designs (using SpotNiches or creating formulas is all you need – especially in the beginning), I thought I’d share some tips for getting inspiration anyway — just so you have a little bit of an extra edge.
These ideas are all super easy, some are even fun. And you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to implement any of these suggestions.
Let’s take a look…
Greeting cards are chock full of brilliant design ideas. They pertain to every occasion under the sun and come with all kinds of great images and messages, ranging in tone from knee-slappingly funny to heartbreakingly poignant.
And you don’t have to go to places like CVS, Walgreens, or the grocery store to browse greeting cards.
Most greeting card manufacturers have websites. So if you’re in need of some fresh design ideas, check out a few of the following greeting card websites for inspiration:
You can look for general messages or those that pertain to specific occasions or events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
NOTE: You never want to directly copy any image or message you find in a greeting card. You just want to use what you see as a source of inspiration.
Instagram consists mostly of pictures. But memes and other forms of content do get floated around as well.
For text-based designs, which is what I generally recommend since they are the simplest designs to create, I’d suggest looking for Instagram accounts to follow that post a lot of textual content, be it funny, inspirational, or whatever else.
Here’s a list of suggestions:
None of these accounts are private so you don’t need permission to follow them. Check out their latest posts and see if you can find any content to inspire your designs.
Trending headlines in the news
It seems like one crazy thing after another has happened this year. If you pay attention to the news, you can find a lot of inspiration for your designs. There’s always something interesting going on in the world of politics and entertainment, especially (which often seem to overlap).
Also, if you do a Google search for “good news,” you can find positive news stories on the more traditional news outlets, including Fox and MSN. (I often find I draw more inspiration from positive news stories, so that’s why I mention this).
Old designs you’ve made
Sometimes, the best source of inspiration is yourself. Take a look through your old design files and see if anything sparks your imagination.
You might be able to riff off of a design you made a while back to create something fresh. Or you might find that with a tweak or two you can apply an old design to a new niche.
For example, if you have a design that says, “Pit bulls are my favorite. They make the best pets,” you could take the template “_____ are my favorite. They make the best _____” and apply it to a variety of other niches, such as, “Guitar players are my favorite. They make the best boyfriends” or “Lawyers are my favorite. They make the best moms.”
Browse through your old inventory and see what you can come up with. You might find a treasure trove of great ideas right under your nose.
Friends and family
Another thing you can do is talk to friends and family to see if they can come up with any ideas.
Or you can ask them what kinds of designs they’d most like to see. Maybe they can point you toward a unique niche you hadn’t thought of.
Or you can ask if they’ve seen any memes or heard any jokes or special sayings that would work well for your products.
So the next time you’re communicating with a friend or family member — be it over text, the phone, or Zoom — pick their brain. Use all of your available resources. They’ll likely be happy to share their input.
Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit
Quora and Reddit are popular Q&A websites on which people can post questions or scenarios to get advice. You can post on these sites and ask people about the kinds of designs or themes they’d like to see on your products.
You aren’t guaranteed to get responses. But these sites are really popular, so there’s a good chance that at least one or two people will weigh in and hopefully provide decent feedback.
Word association games
Playing word association games can help get your creative juices flowing. And your responses may lead to new design ideas or get you thinking about different niches to explore.
Here are two word association game suggestions:
Simple word association
This is best played with another person. But it could also work on your own.
If you’re playing with someone else, one person starts by saying a word — any word — and the other person says the very first word that pops into their head based on what the first player said. Then, it goes back to the first person again.
For example, if the first person starts with the word “dog,” the next person might say “puppy.” Then, the first person might come back with “cute” and the next person might say “baby” and so on and so forth.
…This won’t always help you come up with fresh ideas necessarily. But it can be a good way to stimulate your brain and get you thinking more creatively.
Word association topics
This is a great game to play if you want to come up with new niche ideas. It’s similar to the simple word association game. But instead of saying whatever the first word is that pops into your head, you need to think of words that relate to a particular topic.
The way it works is someone comes up with a topic. It can be anything. Then, players take turns saying words that relate to that topic. For example, if the topic were dog breeds, the first player might say pit bull. Then, someone could say golden retriever, followed by chihuahua or poodle and so on until neither person can think of any more dog breeds.
This is a good game to play if you want to take an idea you already have and come up with new ways to spin that idea.
The next time you listen to the radio or Pandora or Spotify, pay attention to the lyrics you hear. You might hear words or phrases that you could riff on to turn into text-based design ideas.
For example, if you’re a Lizzo fan, she has some fantastic lyrics, especially in her song “Truth Hurts.” It is jam-packed with all kinds of clever lines. (NOTE: This song does contain adult language.)
You obviously don’t want to steal lyrics, though. This suggestion is only meant as a means of getting inspired.
Personally, I find lyrics to country songs to be especially inspirational. Country songs often tell stories and include play-on-words.
But again — and I can’t stress this enough — you never want to directly lift lines from songs. When you hear something you think is clever or impactful, you can put your own spin on the sentiment behind the lyric. Your ideas can be inspired by what you hear, but you never want to copy someone else’s art.
Family sayings, expressions, or inside jokes
You might not think personal things would make good design ideas. But if something is funny or meaningful to you, it just might resonate with someone else as well.
A lot of times, friends and families have unique sayings, stories, or pearls of wisdom you can draw inspiration from.
For example, in my family, my mom, especially, has all kinds of funny expressions. As a term of endearment, she calls people “Goofy grape.” Or if she’s frustrated with someone, she’ll say “What a doorknob!”
I’m sure your friends and family members have unique things like this too. Do you know someone who’s always cracking jokes or dishing out really good advice? Pay attention to these things. You might come up with some really cute and/or poignant design ideas, which would be extra meaningful since they come from your family or close friends.
Quotes from people you admire
Everyone has people they admire. And if it’s someone famous, such as a celebrity, a politician, or a notable name from history, you can probably find quotes online.
You can read these quotes and pull text-based design ideas from the sentiments behind what’s said.
Or you can simply search for quotes pertaining to a particular niche — for example, “quotes about pit bulls.” After running this search, I found things like…
“Pit bulls are…Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices.”
“You think pit bulls are dangerous? Have you seen who’s running our country?”
“Punish the deed, not the breed.”
…But as previously noted, looking at quotes should be a means of gaining inspiration. You never want to steal someone’s work or their words. But there are plenty of ways to riff on the quotes you find to come up with something original for your designs.
As a final bonus suggestion, you also have SpotNiches at your disposal, which is a super useful tool that’s helped me make a ton of sales.
SpotNiches provides you with specific phrases that people are searching for and it tells you the number of search results that each phrase has on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
SpotNiches also lets you sort by “opportunity” so you can discover the niches with the most searches and the fewest number of product results, meaning niches with high sales potential and low competition.
This way, you can cater your new design ideas to these untapped, under-serviced niches and get more sales.
You can learn more about SpotNiches here.
What do you think of this list of ways to come up with new design ideas? Do you have any other suggestions you can share? Leave a comment below and let me know! Also, if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with your friends and followers.