The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Marketing about 10 years ago (and before) involved paying money for ads and hoping that the right people would stumble across it and be intrigued. Times are definitely changing! These days, just getting in front of random people with a paid ad is not going to convert them to a paying customer, especially with a specialized creative business. I don’t know about you, but I’m mentally ad-averse. I don’t even look at something if it looks or sounds like an ad or a banner.
The old-school mentality of marketing online has been replaced with a new model of sharing. Now the model is to give, give, and give some more to earn the trust of your audience, then remind them of your service or products.
How do you do this? There are plenty of ways to contribute to this sharing economy. Below are a few tips to help you get started. Follow these tips, and you will attract the right customers who will want (and maybe even beg for) what you have to offer, instead of being repelled by you shouting “Buy my thing!”
Your Own Content
Using your knowledge to create some seriously helpful content for your audience is the new way to attract and convert readers into customers. This is called “inbound marketing” in marketer-speak.
For most businesses, this means sharing content in the form of blog posts. Before you run screaming “I don’t have time for a blog,” hear me out. It can actually be quite fun!
When you share your knowledge on a consistent basis, you will see the clients or customers coming to you, instead of you having to go find them. You get to have your own publication where you show your personality and unique approach to your business like you just can’t on the rest of your website. This is where you get to be real and talk directly to the people you want to work with.
To learn an easy way to do this, check out my previous post: The Creative’s Method for Sharing Content Consistently.
If you are completely blog-averse, there are ways of Sharing Your Expertise Without a Blog.
Curate Others’ Content
Curation is a practice that is close to my heart. I love to filter and edit the influences in my own life, and it’s very valuable to do this for your followers. You should get very specific about what it is that you and your brand are about, and then intersperse helpful articles along with your own in your social media shares. There is way too much information out there for your people to sift through. Do them a favor and share the information from your favorite influencers that will genuinely help them out with their struggles.
*Bonus: Be sure to tag the source or let them know you’ve shared their post. This helps you start building your own community and make friends online!
Giving away advice or simply being helpful to your peers or audience is a fast-track way to building a great reputation online and off. You can do this through your email list, blog posts, in person at events, and through social media. Think about what you do on a daily basis that could inspire and attract the right people to your business. A good way to get ideas is to simply put yourself in the right company and talk about what you do. Sometimes removing yourself from your daily work and surrounding yourself with like-minded people can produce great ideas for quality content.
Are you an organic-minded company? Talk about where you source your supplies from and the vendors you support in your process.
Did an event happen in your life that changed the way you approach your business? Share this story and what you learned. People relate more to a person, not an entity, and will appreciate you putting yourself out there.
Do you do something on a daily basis with your business that is easy to you, but others are struggling with? Join Facebook groups that match your target market, introduce yourself, then offer advice when people post questions you can help with.
Opportunities to share are all around us. When you genuinely care about what you do and who you do it for, this new way of marketing will become second nature with a little practice.
This post is a sample from my free email course, Your Creative Business Up & Running. If you are an entrepreneur that needs to go from creative idea to online presence in a calm and focused way, this is for you.