by Susan C. Daffron
Many creative professionals don’t have big money to spend on promotion. If you are desperately seeking a few easy and inexpensive ways to get start getting the word out about what you do, here are five ideas.
- Figure out who your market is and create things they want. “If you build it, they will come” is simply not true. Online you can hang out on discussion boards and see what questions pop up over and over (e.g. I hate my Web developer…he doesn’t understand my industry and he charges gazillions of dollars, I wish I had a Web site I could update myself.) That’s an opportunity to create a turnkey system for a vertical market. Complainers are everywhere TELLING you what they need. Listen.
The most expensive product or service is the one that doesn’t sell. So do surveys or talk to people to find out what they need.
- Adopt a marketing mindset and make time for marketing. Self-promotion is a necessary part of being an artist or creative person. It doesn’t devalue what you do. It makes it possible for you to do what you do! Always be on the lookout for new markets you can serve and new opportunities. Set aside time and a budget for marketing.
Educate yourself on marketing tactics. Once you have accepted that you need to market, go to the library and start learning about tactics. Also don’t be afraid to talk about what you do.
Focus on action. Doing something is better than doing nothing. And whatever you do be consistent. For example, I have been sending out regular newsletters for about 8 years. It’s inexpensive and has led to more opportunities than I can count.
If you are really strapped for cash, focus on online marketing methods. The beautiful thing about online marketing is that you can so easily track what works and what doesn’t. Say you spend $100 for an ad in a magazine. You never really know if it did much of anything. If you spent that same $100 on creating a Web site and starting a newsletter, you can track who clicked through from your newsletter to your Web site. You can tweak and change your message endlessly, until you find things that work for your market.
Susan Daffron aka The Book Consultant is the President and Webmaster of SPAWN. She is the author of 12 books, including Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book That Promotes Your Expertise. Susan owns a book and software publishing company called Logical Expressions, Inc., which offers book layout, design and consulting services.
You can read more of Susan’s publishing articles on the Book Consultant Web site.