Marketing is about manipulation and convincing people to buy something they do not need.
This is what I have personally believed for a long time.
I also thought that being in the creative industry, people will just come and buy from me because they love my pictures. None of these ideas are actually true.
Marketing is the single most important tool of any business, from the local shops around the corner to the big companies such as Apple. For all of us, it is a question of either doing marketing, or going out of business.
But there is so much resistance around marketing because we see it as a sneaky an dishonest technique to brainwash people. The real truth is that yes, there are some people who do that, but many of us in business are here to serve who we are meant to serve. And we love it. We truly are passionate about what we do.
So how can we communicate that love in a way that is truthful and fun too?
1. Spread the love
Think of your business as your house.
I guess you love to have your friends around your house, right?
So, what happens if you invite your friends for dinner and you do not give them your home address? They will never show up. And there is no point in getting mad at them, or thinking your cooking skills are not good enough if you don’t give your friends the possibility to reach you.
This example applies to your business in exactly the same way. So now, let me ask you a question. If nobody knows what you offer and where to find you, how can people buy from you?
As I see it, marketing is about spreading the love and passion you have for your own business.
Marketing does not get you necessary the sale, it gets people aware and interested in what you have to offer. It can be the person you are talking to, or someone in their network that maybe will buy from you, however, that is not the main goal of marketing.
Marketing is about making you visible to those who want to buy from you and need – and love – what you have to offer. Until then, they simply do not know you exist.
If you believe in what you do, and you are passionate about serving others, marketing is the sparkle in your eyes when you talk about what you do. If your business is your passion, there is no reason why you should not be doing something to make it easy for people to find you and let them become passionate advocates of your services and products. Apple started as small as you are starting now, why would you think it was different for them?
2. Authentically connect with your audience
Marketing does not have to be a boring chore. Actually, the best kind of marketing is done when you are not trying to market at all.
And yes, I truly believe in what I’m saying.
There is no better time to be in business and especially in the creative industry. People are going back to what humanity is all about. They are happy to pay a premium for items beautifully handcrafted, exquisite individual experiences, and that particular something that is tailored on their individual taste. The world is waiting for you to make your mark and be out there.
Today you do not even have the excuse to be needing a lot of money to do marketing, because those magazines spaces we often believed would make a real difference in our business, do not work anymore. People read, buy, and socialise via the Internet.
Today we have Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media, plus blogs that are pretty much free to utilise that will make you reach a massive audience around the world.
The only downside of social media is noise. We receive tons of e-mails, texts, twits and status updates, and the only way to cut through the social media noise is to be yourself and give your audience something authentic and valuable to share with their network.
Be generous. Do not hold back.
Share your unique experience, valuable information you have acquired and would have loved someone to tell you when first starting out, opinions, reviews, how tos and deadly mistakes to avoid.
Tell honestly your story.
Tell why you got into business in the first place.
Talk about your ethics, your values, and why you love what you do. Be personable. Be you.
People crave valuable information, love a good story, and can sense your authenticity. People are smart, do not try to fool them or your silly tricks will bite you in the back big time!
Good marketing will allow you to filter who is your customer from who is not, which is vital. You are not going to be everyone’s piece of cake, and you should not try to be it either. People who see the world through different lenses, probably will not buy from you. And that is ok.
The most important truth to embrace about marketing is that marketing is the story of your love story. Your love story with your business and the people you want to serve.
And who does not like a love story?