Viewing entries in
Marketing

5 Steps for Effectively Telling Your Story

Comment

5 Steps for Effectively Telling Your Story

You are the only ______ (fill in the blank: freelancer, artist, designer, singer...) in the world who does exactly what you do in your unique way.

So how do you let your potential clients know who you are and what you do in a way that feels powerful and genuine? How do you recount your professional history, products and services in a compelling way when your work isn’t there to visually speak for you?

HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR TELLING YOUR UNIQUE STORY:

1. CARVE OUT THE TIME TO GET IT RIGHT

You need to set aside time for yourself to craft your unique story. Take a look at your schedule and determine when you most like to write and feel self-reflective. Over morning coffee? At night after a day’s work? On the weekend?

Make it count! Schedule a few hours in your calendar and show up. This is a very important meeting you have with yourself.

2. REFLECT ON WHY YOU ARE AWESOME

It doesn’t matter if you hate writing, despise thinking about yourself, loathe self-promotion, and would rather crawl in a hole. Now is the time to pat yourself on the back a bit, reflect on all of the amazing things you have been doing and think about why you are so awesome.

Let’s get started. Answer the questions below honestly and with as many descriptive words as possible in a free-form style. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or coherent thoughts, just write and avoid jargon. Be yourself. No one is reading this except for you.

  • What do you do? What does your work look like? (If you make visual or physical products, get down into the nitty-gritty and describe one of your most successful projects or pieces in great detail. If you offer services, write out the exact steps you take on a project from beginning to end with an ideal client.)
  • How do you do it? (List the cold, hard facts about how you do what you do. Take nothing for granted. For the makers: how much time does it take, what kind of materials do you use, what does it look like in space? And if you offer services: how much time does it take, what is your approach and attitude, where do you do it? What are the results that people get from you?)
  • How did you arrive at this kind of work? (What is your applicable personal and professional history that has led you down this unique path? What inspired you to start doing this? Go back in time and think about the days before freelancing, or that amazing project that launched you.)
  • Who are you as a creative professional and how do you want to be defined? (As a creative, you might wear many hats, but only state the thing that you want to be known for by your ideal clients.)

OK, you’re done! Save your writing and get ready to move on with your day.

But first, schedule a time tomorrow to review this. It should only take about 30-45 minutes. Do it. Show up. Don’t wait until next week!

3. WHAT NICE THINGS HAVE OTHER PEOPLE SAID ABOUT YOU?

So you currently have a giant document full of information about your work that applies only to you. These notes provide the actual words that reflect your very own personal and professional history that drive your creativity and passion for what you create.

Next, you need to remember the nice and amazing things that clients have said about you and your work.

Write from memory, and if you have some great testimonials kicking around then copy them into this doc.

4. SHOW WHY YOU CARE

You’re more than just your work.

Your career path and personality make you unique, so just describing yourself as a “designer” won’t help you get new clients. Tell us exactly what you design, why, what it means to you, and how you got there. Give your clients something to care about and remember.

With that frame in mind, review your notes and take the first stab at writing your unique story as if you were telling the story to someone who loves what you do. Don’t bore them, engage them.

Set your timer for one hour.

First, clearly state what you do and the services you offer. Tell us why your services are unique and how and why you do them. Next, reflect on any interesting tidbits of your professional path or applicable personal details that make you stand out from others in your field. And finally, what are the amazing results that clients get from working with you?

Sleep on this first draft, take a day or two, and better yet, engage the help of a friend and schedule in your next meeting to whittle this beast down to a manageable statement that you can use on your website and other marketing materials. It will also translate beautifully to how you talk about what you do.

You’re close. We know you can see the light.

5. KEEP REFINING

The goal for the next sixty minutes is to finish editing your draft down into a manageable professional story that is engaging, genuine, and all you. The goal is to have one to two concise and powerful paragraphs that are malleable enough to share on your website, use in your marketing efforts and feel proud of.

Spoiler alert: this step really isn’t the last, since your unique story will be ever-evolving and changing as you do. Roll with it and come back to these questions often when you feel a shift in your work or when you know that you have something wonderful to add.

How do you tell your story? Let us know!

© 2018 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Comment

5 keys to Marketing for Shy Artists

Comment

5 keys to Marketing for Shy Artists

MANY ARTISTS AREN’T OUTGOING. HECK, MANY ARTISTS ARE INTROVERTED. WE KNOW THAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE OUR WORK AND GET IT OUT INTO THE WORLD, BUT THIS TASK CAN BE STRESSFUL. ON TOP OF THIS, OUR WORK CAN SOMETIMES BE DEVELOPED FROM A PERSONAL PLACE, AND IT’S HARD TO SHARE IT IN A WAY THAT FEELS GENUINE AND NOT LIKE YOU ARE BEARING YOUR HEART TO THE WORLD.

Luckily, you don’t have to be the life of the party to succeed at marketing, you just have to be clear and confident in your story. Marketing for artists is a necessity to get the opportunities you want. They won’t be achieved in a vacuum.

Here are 5 ways to overcome marketing anxiety if you have social anxiety:

  1. Get your Unique Story down pat. It’s a curated version of who you are, the one that is clear, accessible and helps you share the story behind your work, but not every personal detail. So that right there is a great way to put yourself out there in a way that is controlled but still relatable.

  2. Practice and memorize a really nice elevator pitch. This is a 1-2 sentence summary of who you are and what you do. Just memorize it so it sounds natural and conversational– not like a robot.

  3. Make sure your website is amazing. This is one of your biggest assets. Even if you have terrible social anxiety when talking about your work (most of us do!!!), then your website will speak volumes for your amazing work and professional acumen.

  4. Assure your visuals and documentation are gorgeous. Go back to the last point. This is a must for artists of any temperament, but especially important for people who will do a lot of their marketing online.

  5. Get really good at one social media platform. You can build a solid community of friends and supporters online. If you dedicate yourself to sharing your work and unique story on Instagram, for example, you will be marketing your work in an inspiring way without ever having to speak to anyone!!

© 2018 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Comment

Your website: does it open up doors of communication?

Comment

Your website: does it open up doors of communication?

As you know, your website is an incredibly effective and important tool for your art practice and creative business. Beautiful, well-maintained, current sites evoke confidence in your work, in you, and open up doors of communication. We liken it to looking at a neighborhood of homes. Your ideal audience is more likely to want to walk up to the front door of a home that looks clean, has a beautiful yard, and doesn't have too many winding paths and obstacles that prevent them from ringing the door bell. The same idea applies to your site: you want to give your viewers an accurate and positive sense of who you are right off the bat. Don't be a mystery!

Here are a few ways to assure that your website is working for you, not against you:

  • Include a photograph of yourself, your team and/or your establishment. We know that solopreneurs and artists can be shy, but posting a nice, professional photograph of yourself on your website will immediately make people more comfortable reaching out to you.
  • Don't make people click too much. Operate on the assumption that your audience does not have a lot time, so make it easy for people to see the work that you want them to see at a glance. Too many clicks might make your audience give up and move on.
  • Make it easy to understand what your work really looks like. We may have said this a million times already, but gorgeous images of your work are a must for any successful website. But if your work is better seen in context or in detail, be sure to share these images as well!  And don't forget to label your work and add descriptions as necessary. Better to be overly descriptive than to assume your audience knows what they are looking at.

We help people create their own beautiful websites all the time. You won't have to rely on someone else maintaining it for you, you'll know the content is perfect and it will be an amazing way to showcase your work. Get in touch.

Comment

Your new best friend: the editorial calendar

Comment

Your new best friend: the editorial calendar

The editorial calendar is your vehicle for staying organized, maximizing your time and maintaining a clear communication plan.

As an artist you are a small business owner. You are responsible for making the work, the business side and the marketing side. We understand that it is really overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be.

Our philosophy: once you develop your unique story verbally and in writing, create beautiful documentation of your work, the rest of the marketing stuff falls into place with good design and a clear plan, and some minimal maintenance along the way.

I have heard content management/managers before. What is it? What do they do?

A content manager is you, or someone who will make sure that your work is updated on your website, documented and shared in a consistent, clear and compelling way online to achieve results.

What exactly is an editorial calendar?

It's simply an organized personal calendar that outlines your content for sharing online in different formats. This can be everything from establishing monthly content themes, determining what products/services you are sharing over the course of a year or month, updating your website or blog, sharing events, and planning all of the online content (social media, newsletters, press) that you will share to tell your ideal audience your unique story, so that they will know you, love you and buy what you do. The editorial calendar is your vehicle for staying organized, maximizing your time and maintaining a clear marketing plan.

The key is that you need to figure out the big goals first before you can get your editorial content active and working for you. Let's review the big stuff that you need to consider before you develop your editorial calendar:

1) Do I have a firm grasp on my unique story verbally and in writing? Can I write and speak clearly about what I do that feels natural and is memorable? This is fundamentally the most important part of telling the world about what you do. It's also one of the hardest things to do.

2) Am I aware of my ideal audience? Your audience should never be "everyone." It's important to define who they are. Once you narrow this down you will know who you are creating content for and it will be much easier to speak to them directly about what you do specifically. Your ideal audience might only be 50 people to start. That is ok.

3) What are my goals? Why am I sharing my work? Are you looking to get people to hire you, create awareness around your practice, or sell a specific product? Before you start dreaming up amazing content to share, you should be aware of what you want it to accomplish. Of course, you don't want to sound salesy or pushy, no real people do. But you won't achieve your goals without sharing your work in an effective, clear way. Operate under the premise that there is no one waiting to discover you in hiding.

No matter what your end goals are, we believe that online content management can develop two very important things around an artistic or creative practice:

  • It creates a community around your work. By engaging on social media, sending newsletters, writing guest articles, or simply sharing your work, you are creating conversations, building an audience and rallying support. People care!
  • It is the opportunity to create a personal online archive of your work, interests, passions and life as a professional. When you look back through a Twitter feed or Instagram account, for instance, you can see exactly what you have shared that builds a story about who you are and what influences your work. Your ideal audience will be very interested in this.

That is the big picture assessment of why it's extremely important to have a firm footing in your goals and unique story before launching into the development of your editorial calendar.

Comment

10 Subjects to Cover in Your Next Newsletter

Comment

10 Subjects to Cover in Your Next Newsletter

Sending out a newsletter is a great way to inform and connect with your audience. Don't let them forget about you!  People often ask us what they should include in their newsletter and how often they should sent it. Answers below.

First, send your newsletter consistently. If you're super busy with your creative practice, send a newsletter once a month to let people know about your events ahead of time. If you're super busy with your life and can't be bothered to send a newsletter every month, that is ok. But be sure to one out every few months with ample time before important events you want people to attend and when there is something exciting to share. Trust us, you have wonderful news to share all the time, it's all about how you package it.

Here is a list of ten topics you can cover:

1. Your recent work. Share images of your work, or perhaps you've updated your website recently? Share it!

2. Upcoming events. Plan ahead and invite people! If they're interested they will save the date and join you. Don't forget to remind people. We're all busy.

3. Views inside your workplace or studio. Is your workspace unique and amazing? A peek behind the scenes with gorgeous imagery can add wonderful insight into how you work.

4. A great project from your archive. Is any of your past work relevant to current events or a current project happening in your life? Re-share it with your audience.

5. Work from friends. Share projects from your friends and colleagues, and vice versa. It's a great way to reach a new audience and support your community.

6. A call to action. Do you need your community to sign a petition, watch a specific video or do you want to share information about something relevant to your work? This is a great platform for it.

7. Links to sell your stuff. Do you have an online shop or an upcoming sale of any sort? Spread the word!

8. Posts from your blog. Visual or written, a blog can be a really interesting introduction to your work. If there are any posts that are particularly strong or relevant, be sure to share them.

9. Your work on view. Has your work been shown somewhere recently or shared online? Give your audience a link and offer a description.

10. Highlights from social media. Do you have some great images from Instagram, Pinterest boards or other highlights from social media that are relevant to your work? Let people know that you are active and alive online, they might want to follow you there, too!

Good luck! Remember that services like Mailchimp and MadMimi are wonderful resources to send out professional newsletters and please make sure your images are strong and you link to your website and other relevant sources. 

Comment