This is in the top three questions I often get asked.
As we look back at 2010 and look forward to 2011 here are my top 10 tips for marketing and promoting yourselves (not in any particular order):
1. This is very important: if you survived 2010 without a website, it should be at the top of your list to make one.
If you already have one, make sure you update it at least twice a week. (Yes, I know it’s time consuming but it’s a MUST.)
2. Describe your services in a list of at least three sentences. Clarity is most important for this list.
You’ll need this when making a business pitch. Your services should be easy to communicate in a way that can be understood by anyone.
3. Identify who your clients are. It’s challenging to market and promote yourselves without identifying with whom you’re speaking.
4. Identify your competitors and their price points. Getting this information is tricky, yet necessary. You do not want to over price or under price yourself out of the market.
5. Make a choice about what market you’d like to develop and stick with it. Do you want to be in the high-end market, medium range market or low-end market?
All three are perfectly acceptable as long as you can make a profit. This concept, of course, is debatable. Some folks start low and develop to high, however I still think making a choice and sticking to it is the best way to go.
6. Make a list of three things that make you different. If you do not have these things, DEVELOP them. This is what will set you apart in your marketplace. And remember, you’ll get potential clients because of them.
7. Once you identify what market you are in and who your clients are, create a promotional campaign. This could be as basic as calling your favorite local magazine or newspaper once a week and offering them three special ideas or designs to publish.
Remember that they are all craving original ideas. One of them could be yours.
8. Do not be afraid to promote yourself and your brand in your own way.
Make it up as you go along. Marketing is an art, and like any artistic endeavor it requires originality.
As you can see, I try many different marketing strategies on my website, to see what works. The great thing is that I am also learning as I go along…
9. Be completely open to switching ideas or marketing plans if what you’re doing is not working. A lot of ideas look good on paper, but when you put them in practice they simply do not work.
How do you know when a plan or idea is not working? If after 6 months, you are losing money with this concept. I try to have a few concepts going at once–usually at least one works out well.
10. Marketing and promotion does not just happen. You need to make time to make the gain. Spend at least 8 hours a week dedicating time and energy to your marketing strategy.
What marketing strategy is your strong point? And which one do you need to develop?
Do you find it easy to say, “I am a great artist” without feeling like you are showing off? (This is important. If you do not believe it, neither will anyone else.)