Two Big Reasons Creative People Struggle with Marketing


by Susan Daffron

As a creative person, you may find marketing a struggle. It’s easy to see why creative folks struggle to promote themselves. We’re not like other people! Here are two reasons you may find marketing challenging and how to cope with them.

  1. You “think differently.” Right-brained creative types often are “divergent thinkers” and jump from one thing to the next.

People accuse us of having a “short attention span, but this “divergent thinking” doesn’t have to be considered a bad thing. Being able to juggle a lot of things at once is actually a great advantage when it comes to marketing and self-promotion. You can easily switch from one marketing tactic to the next without plodding along and ruminating like a more linear left-brained type might do.

For example, today apart from client work, here are some of the promotional things I’ll be doing. I’m going to work on the cover design for my latest book, participate in a teleseminar, communicate with leads and prospective clients via email and Facebook, and write my newsletter. I’m taking the afternoon off to go hang out with a friend, so the afternoon has no promotional activity.

I love the fact that I get to do so many things over the course of a day. But for some people that would absolutely drive them nuts. So embrace the fact that you can be creative in your work life.

  1. You love creating (but selling not so much). The other reason many creative people don’t like marketing and self-promotion has to do with the fact that they want to spend time creating (doing their art, writing, whatever). They don’t want to spend time “selling” stuff. For many anything having to do with “sales” is a big turn off and makes you think of the used car salesman. But selling doesn’t have to be sleazy. It can be honorable.

Marketing is really about making people aware of products and services that can help them. Once you turn around the concept of “selling” to “being of service” the concepts are a whole lot more palatable (at least to me).

For example, at this point, I offer book-publishing services like layout and cover design. This morning I got an email from someone who has just discovered that the person who has been supposedly working on laying out her book has made a huge mess of the job. There is no way it can be printed as it is. In short, she has a problem.

She found out about what we do and is beyond thrilled. If my information were not “out there” she’d still be looking. What you do solves a problem for someone. All you are doing is letting them know you exist.

When people encounter that problem, if you have been consistently marketing your creative service or product they realize, “oh I remember there is someone who does that.” And the “problem” can even be something less tangible like, “wow that wall is so ugly…I want a painting there.” If they have run across your work in a gallery, they might think, “hmm, I loved the work by that painter. I think I’ll go visit the gallery now.”

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.


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