As business owners, we’re well aware of the importance of devoting time and resources to marketing. It’s hard to make sales when you’re not getting your business in front of the right people! But when you’re busy focusing on those revenue-generating activities that pay the bills, it can be easy to let marketing fall to the wayside. Get back on track, slowly but surely, with these straightforward yet productive action items every creative entrepreneur can do. These marketing tasks won’t take you long, but each one can make a big impact.
1. Update your website bio.
Take a close look at your website bio. Is your picture so outdated it doesn’t even look like you anymore? Do the words on the page still accurately represent you? If it’s been more than a year since your About section was updated, it’s probably time for a quick refresh. Not sure which details to include? May we suggest the 7 Ingredients Every About Page Needs …
2. Plan two weeks’ worth of social posts.
Or three, or four. Depending on how frequently you post each week, set aside a chunk of time to go ahead and write thoughtful captions for several weeks’ worth of social posts. Effort on the front end means consistency in your online presence without even having to think about it for a while! If you’re not already using a social media scheduling or planning app like Planoly, Unum or Preview, now’s a good time to download one and crank out lots of quality posts.
3. Send three industry friends a quick message of encouragement.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly marketing-related, but we all know that cultivating friendships within our industry is incredibly important and a long-term factor to our success. This is the one action item on this list that isn’t really about you or your business, but you can’t underestimate the impact of recognizing and praising others’ triumphs. Maybe you’ve noticed someone going above and beyond for their clients, or maybe you’ve seen someone try a completely innovative strategy for their business niche. Or maybe, you’ve noticed a fellow entrepreneur going through a challenging season (we’ve all been there, right?). Send them a quick message to say you admire what they’re doing and how much they inspire you. You’ll never know the difference this can make!
4. Email four recent clients to thank them and ask for a review.
Wondering why you’re struggling to get more glowing reviews from clients you know are happy? Have you tried simply asking them to leave a review? A few positive, thorough reviews beats several mediocre reviews any day, so identify a small group of recent clients you know were satisfied with your week, send a short, personalized email and ask them to leave a review. Let them know how impactful great reviews are for your business, and make it easy for them by leaving a link to your preferred review site along with specific instructions. If they oblige, follow up with a token of thanks!
5. Create a Google My Business profile.
This is a FREE tool that can help you attract more customers and help you take control of how your business shows up in search results. And did we mention it’s free? Even if you don’t have a physical storefront, you’ll want to take advantage of this listing (the one that pops up with business hours, a map, phone number, website, reviews, etc. when you Google a local business name). This allows customers to easily find you, call you, read reviews or head to your website as they search for a business that meets their needs. A Google My Business listing allows you to post photos of your best work, a short description of your business and even coupons for customers to claim. You’ll also get insights and analytics to see who’s engaging and clicking through. Trust us, this is one must-have for every creative business owner.
6. Revisit that responsive email clients receive upon inquiring.
If you’re using a client management system to organize inquiries, chances are, you’ve already got a template set up or maybe even an auto-response email prospective clients receive when they inquire. This one email might arguably be the single most important piece of communication of your entire client relationship – it’s the one where they hear from YOU and get the details that hopefully can convert them into a paying customer. It’s important for this email to be reflective of your personality, easy to digest and inclusive of all the must-know details. Revisit your email template to make sure you’re addressing all the pain points that might keep a potential customer from continuing along your sales funnel.
7. Write a blog that answers a question your clients want to know.
If you’re a creative business owner, you’re an expert in something, no doubt. But if we had to guess, you’re really an expert in many things! Think about a question you get frequently that may not have the simplest answer. Can you explain it in a blog post? Or maybe you know a skill that others might enjoy learning. No need to give away your business secrets, but can you teach your audience something? A blog post is a wonderful opportunity (especially when it’s shared across multiple platforms – don’t forget Pinterest!) to connect with current and prospective clients and to solve a problem for them, teach them something or simply inspire them.
8. Update client materials with recent imagery.
Time to comb through your recent image files and make sure all client-facing materials include images that reflect both your current work, as well as current styles and trends. This may include a physical folder or handout clients receive upon booking, perhaps your website home page or portfolio page, or even images that might be sprinkled throughout the digital booking process. Reach out to photographers and fellow vendors to get access to recent galleries and update, update, update!
A few of these marketing tasks are so quick, you could knock them out in half an hour or a short afternoon. Others may take the better part of a full day to devote your thoughts. Regardless, you should be able to tackle all 8 within one month, and we believe knocking out some or all of the action items on this list will set the groundwork for a better sales season ahead. We’re rooting for you!
Written by Kaitlyn Bullard