Strategies to Successfully Market Your Creative Business Online
As creative business owners, we always need to be on the lookout for the newest form of communicating with and reaching potential clients, networking, and marketing to our followers. As the creative industries gain traction and social media remains king, we should always be looking for ways to reach our customers or followers through many different avenues. Today we're sharing 4 simple ways to successfully market your creative business.
1. Tag local businesses, clients and relevant people in your Facebook posts.
Facebook has started making this tricky to do, but currently you can still do it successfully. Businesses are easy to tag. Let's say you have just shot a beautiful wedding with gorgeous details. Post photos of the details and tag the vendors in them on your photography Facebook page. Chances are the vendors you tag will share your photo on their own Facebook page. This is great news for you, because Facebook is deciding what content is relevant. So if people are sharing and "liking" the photos you post, this increases the chance of Facebook deeming your content worthy of being shown on your fans' newsfeeds.
If you just returned from shooting an engagement session, post a sneak peek and tag your clients. This was one of the biggest ways for me to grow my followers in 2014. First, you will have to become friends with your clients on your personal account. You can set the friendship to "restricted" to keep your private life, political views, and children's pictures private. Next, you go to your business Facebook page, click onto the comment section on the photo of your clients, change your account to your personal account (do this by hitting the tiny button to the right of the comment bar) and then you can tag your clients. Their friends and family will see the beautiful photo and you have just guaranteed your page some action, thus increasing your potential to be seen organically.
Another trick I use is writing "To be the first to see more of Jane and John's wedding photos, 'like' Ashley Slater Photography!" This is a great way for my page to gain more followers.
These same tips can be used regardless of your profession. If you're an interior designer like Michaela, you can show sneak peeks of your client's homes and tag the retailers you used in the rooms. Wedding planner? Post photos of your bride and groom, along with some gorgeous detail shots and tag the artists involved.
2. Boost the post when you need to.
It's a sad thing when someone has become a fan of your Facebook page and then they aren't shown your content, due to some recent Facebook algorithm changes. However, Facebook is a free tool and is a pretty amazing for small business owners to utilize. Currently, to ensure more people are seeing your posts to your business pages, you will probably have to pay to boost certain posts. If I have to pay $5-20 every now and then to promote something I really want people to know about, I will. I generally always get my monies worth in return, either through new clients hiring me or other job opportunities.
For The Bloom Workshop Facebook page, we will boost posts when we are doing a giveaway of a free ticket for one of our workshops. We can even directly target the city or state we want to reach, so we ensure the right people are seeing our posts. The more hype ("likes", comments, and shares) we get on those posts, the better! If our workshop we are promoting hasn't yet sold out, we always have people buy tickets after these giveaway posts, so we know boosting the post is worth it for our business.
3. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
As Facebook grows and changes, Instagram is quickly catching up with over 300 million users. It's fast, easy to communicate, and gives our creative entrepreneur friends the visual content they crave. This has become a huge tool for spreading the word about both Michaela and my businesses. Almost weekly, we both get inquiries from potential clients who say they have found us on Instagram. Bloom's largest social media following is on Instagram, so we are sure to utilize it a couple of times daily. Many people have signed up for our workshops through leads they found on Instagram.
All of that to say, spread your social media presence out between Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.
4. Spread the word with newsletters.
Sharing insider information, news, sneak peeks, sales and promotions within a newsletter is key to reaching a different audience. Perhaps you have a few readers who don't have time to deal with social media, and instead prefer receiving email newsletters. With a newsletter, we know the information we want to be shared is going directly to someone's inbox, and with free services like MailChimp, it seems like a no-brainer way of communicating. Also a perk is the fact that you can see how many people opened it, which links were clicked on within the newsletter, and other helpful stats.
We started sending out useful business tips and information about our workshops via our newsletter and have seen great results. Since sending out our first newsletter back in March, our subscriber list has quadrupled and continues to grow daily.
As business owners, especially creative ones, we are going to face obstacles and challenges in trying to market our services or products. Constantly adapting is the name of the game! More than likely Facebook will change their rules and design again (don't you love how right when you get used to the new look or algorithm, it changes on you?!) and new forms of social media will rise to the top. It's paramount that we stay flexible and willing to grow in order to stay relevant in an ever-changing market. If we can do that, our business's live to see another day.
What have you seen helpful in successfully marketing your creative business? Check back soon for a list of creative ways to spread the word about your business and make genuine connections online!