Marketing-ugh! Websites, social media, blogs, trade shows, networking, business cards, postcards, and a host of other materials makes marketing your business a confusing proposition. Remember when you started your business all you wanted to do is create your unique art, then you started the business and found out that you had to do all this other stuff to get your name out? If you talk to a consultant or marketing company they will tell you you have to do this or do that. Some will even tell you there are certain items that should be put on social media or in a certain formula to be successful. So what do you do?
Do you follow the route and do what others are doing or do you find a creative way to market your business and talents?
The problem is that no matter who you ask on how to market your talents it will bring in the same answer. As a consultant I work with many entrepreneurs on how to market their business and tell them the same as all the others, they have to post regularly, they have to post at certain times and so on. This is where most go wrong. People don”t know what to post to market their business so they post what others are doing and that leaves them looking the same as everyone else.
So what should you do to market your creative business?
The trick is to do what others are doing, but do it using your unique creative voice. In today’s world of marketing you can’t just push your message out and expect people to buy. You would get sick of seeing a message such as, “Buy my paintings they are really beautiful!” How many of you if you saw that in your Facebook feed would go and buy those paintings? It may work once, but you would probably go crazy and even go as far as deleting the person from your feed if you saw it too often. You have to get your name out there, but there is a creative way to do this without driving those reading your message crazy.
Think of a baseball diamond and structure your marketing the same way. Home plate is your website and where you want to drive all your traffic. Spend your time and money making sure this is in good shape and represents what you do. First base is print material as that is what you will hand out to people you meet in person. This is first base because first impressions count and these are the customers that will be your primary market. Second base would be where you are networking? What groups are you a part of and attending where you are meeting other people and provide value? Third base is social media and what you post to those that don’t know you. All of those bases should guide people back to your website to learn more about you. If your business is primarily online you may change the structure around in the opposite direction.
What should you market?
What you post will depend on your creative niche. Lets stick with a visual artist such as a painter as that is what we started with. On your website you should have paintings, information about you, what inspires you, and how people can buy or learn more about your art. On your print material you should have a representation of your art but also think about your brand as a whole. That means using colours that represent you and your business.
For networking join groups that are of interest to you and where you may find your customers. Many artists join art groups and wonder why they don’t sell any art. Most in that group are trying to sell their art. Join those groups for your own development and network, but if you are looking for art sales try joining the Chamber of Commerce or other group that has people that enjoy buying art.
On social media don’t just put out messages such as “Buy my art” but show all aspects of it. Choose different days of the week to post different messages, but make them all about your art. Post to your website first and share from there to your social media platforms. Lets say on Mondays you post a painting from your collection. On Tuesday post about your inspiration for a painting. On Wednesday you post something about the equipment you use such as brush types, paper and so on. Maybe Thursday you talk about how you got into your art and Friday you offer a tip on how what you found painting in your style. What this does is showcases you as the expert yet shows off your art.
Think about your marketing as a whole and you will find it is easier to see what you need to promote your creative venture. I wish you luck and all the best.
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, and speaker. Bruce is a professional illustrator, published author, business consultant, and business and leadership speaker. He has experience in various industries and has been an entrepreneur for over ten years. You can learn more about Bruce from his website bruceoutridge.com or bruceoutridgeproductions.com. If you are looking for more tips to improving your creative venture check out his new podcast called “Cashing in on Creativity Podcast” starting on January 1st 2017.