As I mentioned in an earlier post, online marketing can work for your business regardless of what products or services you offer. However, you need to choose the right online marketing techniques for your business, personality, products and services. You also have to use them in a way that is appropriate for your audience. Let me go over a few of them and show you what I mean.
Article marketing is writing short articles and posting them online to help drive traffic to your website. Posting articles to article directories, writing for services such as Examiner.com and blogging are all ways to do article marketing.
Article marketing works very well if you have information to share. That is, you want to be seen as an expert in a topic. For example, if you are a writer of historical romance, you could write article about the periods in history that your stories are set. If you are photographer who teaches photography, article marketing could help potential students find you. If you are an artist who not only sculpts, but lectures on the history of sculpting, article marketing can help support your expertise status in this topic. If you are a chef, and don’t mind sharing some of your recipes, you can post recipes to article directories, too!
However, if you only want to do your particular creative expression and not be known as an expert in this area information-wise, article marketing probably won’t be a good way for you to spend your marketing time.
With email marketing, you build a list of prospects’ email addresses and you communicate with them on a regular basis (at least monthly) via email. This is pretty much a necessity for a sustainable business, but can be challenging to implement if you don’t know what to share with your audience.
In this case, you need to create a game plan. Develop an editorial calendar of topics you want to cover in your monthly email. It can be simple text email or a fancy HTML newsletter. The format is not as important as the content.
You want your email messages to have a balance of content and promotion. If all you send out are promotions, people will unsubscribe and your list will atrophy. But if you provide content that your subscribers look forward to and/or find valuable, they’ll stay on your list and perhaps even refer others to it.
Content that creative professionals can use include:
- Tips and tricks about their craft
E.g. how to paint with acrylics, the size of the egg matters in recipe, photographing children, etc.
- Calendar of events
E.g. where can people meet you in person? Where are you going to be lecturing, signing, demonstrating technique, etc.
- Fun facts and historical notes
E.g. who invented pastels?, the rise and fall of the Disc camera, when cake wasn’t cake, etc.
Your content needs to keep your prospects and fans interesting enough to keep receiving your email so that when you do promote something, they will open the email and see what you have to offer.
Social Media Marketing
Depending on your particular craft and your particular audience, you’ll want to maintain a presence on one or more of the big social media sites. These include:
Each site has a most common demographic associated with it. For example, folks on LinkedIn are more business like. Folks on MySpace tend to me young and media-focused. Do some research and find out where your audience hangs out and then hang out there, too.
For some tips on how to use some of these networks, check out these related posts:
- Using Social Media to Grow your List
- Marketing Your Book on Facebook
- Branding Tips: Facebook
- Using Online Video to Market Your Book
- Branding Tips: Online Video
- Branding Tips: LinkedIn
- Marketing Your Book on Twitter
- Branding Tips: Twitter
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