You probably know this by now, but marketing is a beast of a business topic to tackle. At least it feels that way for so many creative entrepreneurs I know. And I get it.
When my hubby Jesse and I first started Limelife Photography ten years ago, we were overwhelmed by our abundance of ideas and simultaneous lack of direction. It’s a paralyzing combo.
We failed along the way.
But, we also discovered what works and what works really well!
Now, as business coaches for creatives over at Idealust, marketing for creatives is what we coach on most with our clients.
While it’s nearly impossible for me to get into all of it with you right here, I am going to demystify marketing a bit and share some quick and easy marketing moves for creatives, so you can gain some momentum in your business. You’ll see a recurring theme of connection, strategy and calls to action…
No. 1: Ask for Google reviews.
First up, if you’re not already asking happy clients for reviews, it’s time to start! Maybe you’re collecting reviews on WeddingWire, Facebook, Yelp, or somewhere else. Cool! We recommend asking clients to copy and paste the same review to Google, too.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re searching for something?
You Google it!
Imagine your ideal clients searching for a _________ (fill in your city, type of work, etc.) wedding photographer, website designer or event planner and seeing 5-star reviews pop up next to your name! Instant, built-in credibility! Free marketing!
Nothing you can say to a potential client (who’s just met you) will be as believable as what someone else (who’s been in their shoes) has said about you, what it’s like to work with you, how you’ve helped them, how you made their life better, etc.
Take it one step further and add a P.S. to your inquiry responses with a link to your Google reviews. Click here to read more about getting Google reviews for your creative business.
No. 2: Reply to inquiries with a video message.
Speaking of inquiry responses, use this communication point as a way to stand out! Your potential client may have just emailed a handful of other businesses in addition to inquiring with you. Take the time to show them you’re excited! Bring the enthusiasm! We believe the best way to do this is by showing your smiling face.
Keep in mind: The purpose of the video is to connect and get a consultation on the calendar, not to book them on the spot.
Our coaching clients have found huge success tweaking this one thing in their businesses.
So, how do you actually do this?! We use and love Vidyard for all of our video emails.
Take it one step further and think about how else you can use video in your business. Here are a few of our favorite ways.
No. 3: Update your Instagram bio link.
What link do you have in your Instagram bio: your website, a recent blog post? Let’s make this better! How can you create curiosity at this connection point with potential clients that are finding you on Instagram?
We like to do this, and encourage our coaching clients to do the same, use this little spot to either add value (think things like: a What Kind of Bride are You quiz or 5 Website Must-Haves Most Creatives are Missing) or something exciting, fun, entertaining (think things like: The Most Beautiful + Exotic Destination Wedding Spots or 7 Ideas to Up the Ante on Your About Page).
Use that bio link to guide potential clients closer to you and your brand by giving a specific call to action that piques curiosity.
No. 4: Offer specific value.
“Let me know if there’s ever anything I can do for you!”
When was the last time you took someone up on this?
I’m guessing probably never. Same goes for all those industry friends you’ve been getting to know and throwing this phrase at in passing. It’s a good first shot, but you can make this so much better.
Building relationships is our favorite marketing tool for creative entrepreneurs because it’s fun and you actually end up with real life friendships.
When done right, you gain friends and business! We think that’s pretty rad.
If you want to encourage, show you care or over-deliver for someone you’re building a business relationship with, offer specific and relevant value. Maybe that’s new headshots for a wedding planner’s website because you heard her say she hates the photos on her site. Maybe that’s a mini session (on the house!) because a florist friend just had a new baby. Maybe that’s designing a freebie (on the house!) for a new industry friend. You get the idea.
No. 5: Get strategic with your content.
Lastly, take a step back and look at what you’re putting out in the world.
What are you posting on Instagram, your blog, in your newsletter? Why are sharing the content you are? Because other creatives are doing it, or because you know what you’re sharing connects with your ideal client?
I know it’s not fair of me to just lump this big topic in here, so I have a free little something for you to help set you straight and gain some momentum on Instagram, Facebook, your blog and with your newsletter. It’s our Content Creation Kit for photographers and other creatives, too.
Yes, there is a lot to marketing. No, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. Before you add more to your plate, take a step back and see how you can improve all the connection points you’re already making with potential clients.
If you do these things, you’ll start to see more and more potential clients become actual clients. Let us know how it’s going! Can’t wait to hear the marketing improvements, connections and money you’ve made!
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