We all know that marketing is crucial to help us get seen, sell more products or get more clients. But do we really understand what is marketing? How do we market ourselves as creatives? I know you have a lot of questions and this episode will have the answers that you’re looking for.
Marketing, marketing, marketing. We’ve been hearing this term every single day from fellow creatives, friends, our coaches, and mentors, people we follow but do we really even understand what it is? I know you have lots of questions like – how do I market my work? or How do I sell my products or how do I get more clients? All of them are marketing-related questions.
But let’s not make things too complicated. I want to make this really easy for you.
Simply put – marketing is finding people who are going to work with you, hire you or buy your products. And in this episode, we’re going to talk about a few things that can help you get started in your journey to finding the right people for you and your business.
I’m going to give you 5 tips that you can do right away to start marketing your creative work so you can get more eyeballs on them, get hired, and sell your products.
So grab your pen and paper and be ready to take notes as you follow along.
Have a Social Media Presence
If you already have an existing social media account – you’re already a step ahead. Years ago, having a website has been crucial in building an audience for our businesses. But with the rise of social media, it became a whole lot easier for people to get seen. You no longer need to pay for expensive ads for your marketing campaigns because you can do it for free on any of your channels.
However, I want you to understand that while it’s easy to create an account and it’s free to post on social, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to get the attention of your target market. We often see so many successful creatives who have built their business on social and they made it look easy but here’s the thing. Building a following and converting your followers into paying customers will take time.
Your baby – aka your work, your courses, your workshops, your products will need time to establish before they can grow. Just like how plants are. Plants need some time to establish their roots before they start having new leaves and grow even more. That’s because the roots are needed to anchor the plant in place. They are the lifeline of the plants and they take air, water, and other nutrients from the soil. So before they can help the plant, the roots need to establish their rooting system first.
The same goes for our business. We need to establish ourselves first before we can grow and for us to do that we need a place to do it. Social media happens to be one of them. So don’t get frustrated if you’re not getting a lot of likes and comments just yet or your following is not growing as fast as you’ve anticipated. You need to be patient and consistently produce helpful content for your audience.
Your skills will improve. You’ll gain better knowledge over time and when you’ve established your own rooting system, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to grow.
Identify Who Your Potential Customers Are
We are in the age of the internet and it has changed the way we market our business to our customers. Pushy sales ads no longer work and shouting “buy my product” to everybody is no longer effective. If you really want to make more sales or get more clients, you need to understand your market. Specifically, who do you want to market your work. services or products to.
And before you start protesting that “Mye, I don’t want to alienate people in my community” – hear me out. Trying to talk to everybody is a losing game. Because of the many offers that we see out there every single day, we started to look for specialization and we look for a person who is NOT DOING EVERYTHING. You’ve heard of the phrase “Jack of all trades” right? It’s basically the same, except this time, you’re not trying to do many different things but you’re trying to reach out to different types of people – who have different needs. And in doing so, you’re showing different things to your audience which often causes confusion and overwhelm.
And what happens to a person when their confused or overwhelmed? They don’t take action – they don’t buy your products, they don’t like your posts or they don’t follow you. So if you’re in the early stages of your business, don’t worry, it doesn’t happen overnight. You’re going to have to do the work to figure out who your target market is:
- Start by looking at your business – what is it that you really love to do? is there a skill or knowledge you can share with your audience?
- Then think about the people who you want to help or serve. from there narrow down further. For example, if you say you want to help people prettify their homes or studios by offering them art prints. narrow it down further to a specific group of people – are they moms, real estate agents, etc.
- And if you still can – narrow it down further to a specific person. Give this person a name – and envision in your mind their life and their needs.
- Why will they want your product? Why will they care about what you do?
- If you can relay that message to your audience, you’ll get to connect with the right people.
Start Building Your Own Customer Database
A.k.a. your email list, You’ll be hearing me talk about the importance of this marketing tool many times in this podcast and I will not get tired of doing it. If you don’t believe in the power of email marketing, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
While social media is great to start building your audience and connecting with them, you don’t own the platform. You have no control whatsoever as to how the owners of these platforms will run it. You are at the mercy of the algorithm. And the worst-case scenario, you can lose everything without warning.
We’ve heard it time and again. There are people whose accounts are getting shut down for no apparent reason. And I’m not trying to scare you. I just want you to be prepared.
When you have an email list, you own your database of potential customers. You can connect with them a lot easier and you can build a relationship with them better because emails are sacred to most people especially these days. So if someone allows you to be in their inbox, it means they want to hear from you. So provide them with valuable content to build your authority and credibility.
If you want to know how to get started with an email list, episode number 15 has all the information you need.
Establish a Relationship with Your Audience
If you want people to buy from you or hire you, they need to care about what you do. And for them to care about what you do, They need to know you first. Share your story. Talk about your experiences, your struggles, and how you’ve overcome them. Sometimes we’re too scared to share our story because we think people will not care. And they won’t be interested in what we have to say.
But you don’t really know that until you do, right? I used to think that way. I was scared of sharing because I thought – How is it even connected to what I’m doing? But I was wrong. When I shared our story with the world – I was able to connect with people who have similar journeys as me and people who had challenges like I did. My posts started resonating with the right people and eventually, I’ve built my own community. People cared about what I’m doing because they understand the reason why I’m doing it.
There are many different ways to build a relationship with your audience but sharing your story would be a great start. And I’m not saying to share everything in your life. Not at all. Share only the things that matter most to your audience. Why should they trust you? Start with that.
Share What You Know
When I started lettering again in 2015, there wasn’t many information about lettering. And back then, people are very protective of their work and their knowledge because most creatives think that everyone could become a competitor. Not many people would want to share their ideas or their workflows and processes. I had to figure out many things on my own. So when people started asking how to do lettering – I never hesitated to share what I know. I created a guide on how to letter which I called Styling the Alphabet which up to now is still available on my website.
With this guide, I was able to help many artists learn how to draw letters from scratch. Sharing what you know is helping your audience. And helping our audience is the new marketing.
By sharing your knowledge, you’re establishing the know, like and trust factor with your audience. Remember, your audience needs to know you, in order to like you and eventually, trust you enough to buy from you (or hire you).
Stop thinking about competition. it’s not a healthy mindset. When you think of everyone as your competitor, you won’t be able to build a community.
And just so you know – from that simple guide that I created, I was able to turn it into a book and a year and a half later, into an online course that made 6-figures from its initial launch.
Sharing is powerful and if you want to win the marketing game, you need to start thinking more about serving your audience rather than how you’ll benefit from them.