Is marketing scary?
When I started out in business, I hated the thought of marketing. I’m shy, I’m not good at talking about myself and I’m constantly questioning and second-guessing my decisions. In addition to this, I thought that advertising my photography – my art – somehow cheapened it.
And I think a lot of creative minds have these same misconceptions when it comes to marketing. Let’s look at the three biggest misconceptions when it comes to marketing.
1. Promoting my business means I actually have to talk to people…about myself! I am the original introvert. I get all hot and sweaty when I think about meeting new people. And promoting myself? Hell no! I can’t do that!
2. I can’t market my business because I don’t have lots of money! I need a huge advertising budget in order to market my business right? Newspaper adverts, mail outs, online advertising…Marketing is only for the big boys.
3. I’m a creative mind. I don’t understand marketing. I’m not good at business-y things. My work will speak for itself.
Stop thinking like that!
Let’s break down these myths…
1. Marketing is simply getting other people to talk about your business. And there are heaps of ways to do this. Heaps!
- For a start – talk to your friends and family about your business! It’s not bragging or showing off…it’s sharing something you’re passionate about, something that’s important to you. And friends and family can be your best cheerleaders!
- Next, network with local businesses. Always approach other businesses with a “What can I do for you?” attitude. How can you help out other local businesses? Remember to target businesses with the kind of clientèle you want to attract to your business, even if they’re in a very different industry.
- How else can you get people talking about you?
2. Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. Or anything at all.
- Start an email database for all current and potential customers. Direct marketing is hugely effective and really low cost. You can send messages direct to people who you know are interested in your business!
- Start a referral program. Get your current customers to talk you up and recommend you to their friends. Give them a reward for doing this. Make it easy for them to do this.
- Try Facebook advertising. It can be low-cost and highly targeted (especially when compared with traditional advertising such as newspaper and television). NOTE: I’d recommend you research the ins and outs of Facebook advertising before you start. It’ll only take a couple of hours and you’ll be in a better position to get the most out of it!
3. Marketing is creative.
Creative minds are often the best at marketing. That’s because the marketing ideas that work the best are new, creative, different and funny. They stand out and quickly become viral. Stop thinking of marketing as a business thing and start thinking of it as a creative thing.
Let’s share in the comments – what’s your favorite marketing campaign?!
The Business Plan Homework
- Open your freakin’ awesome business plan document.
- This section is about what marketing you will be doing over the next year.
- Brainstorm all the marketing possibilities you have in the next year.
- Can you create a promotion around different holidays?
- Can you put on an event or two for customers?
- Will you start an email database?
- What kind of social media promotions can you run?
- What businesses can you network with? How can you run a promotion together?
- Be creative…think outside the box. The crazy ideas are the ones that work!
- Now open your calendar and schedule them in! Also schedule in planning time (1-2 months before promotion starts, depending on how big the promotion is), and start promoting the event or campaign 2-4 weeks before it starts.
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