As we proceed through season 6 of Creative Freedom, we're going to be talking more and more about your marketing strategy. This includes both online (digital) and offline marketing tactics. Some businesses try to develop two different "strategies" - one for online and one for off. But remember, a strategy is a collection of tactics used in pursuit of a specific goal. So, having 2 strategies means you're chasing 2 different goals, and that can be pretty overwhelming for a small or micro business.
One goal. One strategy. You're going to hear me say that a LOT this season!
There are lots of tactics you could use. It's like a full-stocked toolbox. Remember, though, that you don't need to use every tool in your toolbox. And not every tool is going to bring the results you want. The right tool for the right job, as they say. There's a proliferation of digital tools available. From social media platforms to email marketing, to webinars, and more! Trying to be everywhere all the time is a stress-inducing nightmare for most solopreneurs.
Repeat after me: "I am NOT Gary Vee"
It can be pretty overwhelming when you're being told every day to try hop on yet another platform. And watching guys like Gary Vee show up all over the place can make you feel like that's what you have to do if you want to be a successful creative entrepreneur, too.
But you don't. Gary's playing a much different game at a different level than you or I. He's running a media company, for crying out loud, so it's his job to know about all kinds of media. That's not YOUR job!
Here's another hard truth: that kind of #hustle isn't sustainable for a solopreneur. Gary's got a team of people cropping, slicing, dicing, and re-using his content all the time. When you have as many minions as Gary has, then feel free to be ubiquitous. For the rest of us, we need to be more judicious about where we're investing ourselves. Maximize the return on your investment of all your resources: time, energy, money, effort, and attention. You simply can't be everywhere all the time, so it makes sense to be where you get the most bounce for the ounce.
But, if you've been doing one thing for a while and it isn’t bringing the results it once did, it may be time to switch it up! Gone are the days when I could point to five figures of income that came directly from my time on Twitter. I still have a presence there, but I shifted my resources and focus on other platforms now. And I know that it will probably change again in the future.
So, how do you know when it's time to change things up in your marketing? Here's three places to look:
Your content plan
Your content plays a significant role in the success of your digital marketing. Your Raving Fans will consume as much as you're willing to crank out. That doesn't mean you need to be creating all the time. It DOES mean you need to be clear and consistent with what you are creating. Hiring a professional who offers an effective content generation service may be fruitful.
According to one survey about 40% of social media users admitted to unfollowing a company for posting too often, but more than 35% unfollowed because of a lack of engagement. So being consistent is important, but "consistently" does not necessarily mean "frequently". Create content on a schedule that works for you and communicate that schedule to your audience so that they know what to expect.
Remember, too, that YOU do not live in a vacuum. You care a living, breathing, changing, human being. Give yourself permission to change your content plan to continue to work for for you.
Listen and Engage
Usually, digital marketers tend to forget about the importance of customer service - and marketing is a form of customer service!
You are not just trying to keep your customers entertained; you want to give them a reason to stay too. Every interaction your customers (existing or new) have with your business are marketing moments for your brand. A satisfied customer tells their friends. A dissatisfied customer tells EVERYONE!
When you show up in email, on your blog, or your social outposts, take a personal approach. Listen, engage. Make sure your Raving Fans have the chance to be seen and heard. To a certain degree, you can even automate some of this personalization. Custom fields in your email make it easy to address a subscriber by name. You can also use tools like FAQs and Chatbots to satisfy your customers with speedy feedback on their enquiries - visit this webpage to learn more about AI for customer service. A robot isn't a suitable replacement for ALL customer service, but it can certainly help you listen to what your customers are asking and see more clearly where they need your support.
Explore Other Platforms
Your website, social media, advertising, podcasts, and webinars are some of the many digital marketing channels you can explore and experiment with to find what works for you. Diversifying your digital marketing strategies can help you build more web traffic and promote your brand more widely. AND, it's silly to jump into a new platform (or a new way of showing up on your existing platforms) and expect an immediate payoff. You are experimenting and it takes time to work out the bugs. Remember: Plan. Do. Evaluate. THEN Celebrate. Give yourself enough time to actually figure things out before you write off a new approach to your online tactics.
Digital marketing is useful for the creative entrepreneur, but everything has the potential to have diminishing returns over time. As a business owner, it's up to you to keep course correcting on your strategy so that you keep moving toward your dreams and goals.
Need support with your marketing strategy? The doors to the Creative Freedom Incubator are now open. We provide coaching and business support to help you grow a business doing what you love without selling your soul to do it. If you're brand new to business, be sure to register for the FREE Rising Tide learning library and start building your plan with Dreamblazing, the same tool I've used for decades to grow and navigate changes in my own business.