What Every Creative Should Know About Marketing

Paint brushes

Image via Wikipedia

Starting a creative business is exciting. You’re full of ideas and energy. You want to make money. You’re passionate about what you’re doing. However, that’s not enough. Marketing your creative business requires a plan.

I just read something (sorry, can’t share details) by someone who set up his business without thinking through his marketing.

If you want your creative business to succeed, there are six key tips you should know about marketing before you open your doors, set up your web site, or start printing business cards.

What have you got?

What is it you’re selling? Illustrations? Web sites? Training programs? Be very clear and very specific about what it is you do. The kinds of illustrations, what sort of training you provide.

Who wants it?

This is your tribe. Your people. The group (large or small) that will buy your products.  For example, they might be startups with small budgets who need a simple website (or blog) set up quickly. Or, people who need an ebook designed and don’t have a graphics department. Know exactly who your “fish” are, and the problem of theirs (not yours) that you solve.

Why you?

The why is more important than the what. Why buy from you? People buy from Zappo’s because their service is ridiculously good. They don’t really deliver shoes. They deliver happiness.

Why them?

What connection do you have with your tribe? Are you passionate about what they do? Is there a problem they have that nobody else is addressing? (Jonathan Fields tells the story of a woman who loved yoga, but found that all the mats got slippery. She invented one that didn’t slide around and started selling it).

Where are they?

How do you find them? Once you know who your market is, how do you find your ideal client? Are they reading Wired or reading National Geographic ? And where are they physically located?

How do they get your product?

Buy it online? Pick it up in a store? Click on a link? Respond to an email message?

Figure all of this out before you spend one minute on social media or one cent on marketing.