What’s the problem?
A lot of small businesses, especially creatives, find it hard to promote themselves. And there lies exactly the problem: they try too hard thinking about how to promote themselves. The secret, however, lies in the fact that you shouldn’t focus so much on yourself, but instead put the spotlight on your client.
Your ideal client has a problem (a need) and you can solve it for them. If you make sure your message is clear and it convinces them that you are the expert and can be trusted, you have a much bigger chance of selling to them. That is basically the most important thing you need to remember, in all of your marketing.
Let that sink in.
What is your message right now? What solution are you offering to your clients? How are you communicating this in your web content, your social media posts and other marketing? Are you talking about yourself only….or also about their needs?
Find your niche and build on that
To become more successful in business, you need to define your niche. Don’t solve a hundred different problems for a hundred different clients. Zoom in on one or two things you do really well, which your ideal client will be looking for. What is it that your ideal client needs and how do you solve this problem? This will be your key message in all of your marketing.
How does this work for creative businesses?
Now, the phrase ‘solving a problem’ sometimes causes a bit of confusion. What if you’re a painter? A cake decorator? A writer? Talking in problems and solutions may feel a bit alien to you, because after all, you’re just creating something and trying to sell it to whoever wants it, right? Not quite. You still need to tweak your message to attract the ideal client. Because that client will love you, and is willing to pay the highest price.
Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades
As a painter you still solve somebody’s problem, even though it may not feel like that. If you are an artist who paints pet portraits or large abstract canvases, you will be offering a solution to clients looking for a business that does just that (their ‘problem’ is that they need a painting of their dog, or they have just bought a house and the walls are empty). That is your niche. The images are of course very important, but if your message is vague, you will lose out. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades; be clear about what you offer and to whom.
This is the same for someone looking for vegan cosmetics, crystal healing, kids’ party decorations, beautiful houseplants or inspiring audiobooks. All those products have a specific audience looking for a ‘solution’. Ask yourself: what would this client type into Google? Make sure they find you.
Focus on the client’s needs
What most businesses do wrong in their communications, is that they only talk about themselves. They think, well, if I just explain what I make or offer, then the clients will be able to decide for themselves whether to buy from me. It sounds logical, but you need to work a bit harder than that. People who look you up online, have the attention span of a goldfish. To keep them on your page and convert them into paying clients, you need to convince them. And to convince them, you share your values.
Next: share your values
Once they know that you are possibly offering a solution to their problem, you have to make sure they trust you enough to take the next step: contacting you and/or buying.
To convince them, you have to tell them about your values. Why are you so passionate about your business? Why should they come to you? You may be a great painter, but how do they know you will deliver on time? You may be a massage therapist, but how do they know they are assured of a relaxing experience?
Write down your values.
Throw in some emotion. How will it make them feel if they buy from you?
They can be your personal values, your business values, or an overlap of the two. They can be values to do with the product or customer service, or the way you deal with customers, the way you work, etc. What makes you stand out from the competition? Those values will help to convince a customer to make that call.
Take a closer look at your website and especially your About page. Now see how you can improve this by focusing on:
- Your niche, or the problem of the client
- The solution you are offering to them
- The values that will convince them to buy from you
Example 1: health coach
If you are a health coach who offers coaching help with diet and lifestyle, your ideal client may be someone dealing with weight issues or health problems. Your values could be ‘health’, ‘motivation’, ‘achievement’, ‘commitment’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘life changing’. You will be helping them solve their problem by offering expert advice on diet and lifestyle, so their health – and life – improves, long term.
Example 2: A designer
Another example can be a designer creating unique, personalised wedding invitations. Your values could be ‘unique’, ‘creative’, ‘high quality’, ‘fast working’, ‘beautiful’ or ‘good communication’. The ideal client will be young couples who are engaged and value a creative take on traditional invites. And of course they need to be sure that they will get them on time to be able to invite their guests. The ‘problem’ you are solving for your ideal client is to offer beautiful personalised wedding invitations that arrive on time.
Need more support and inspiration as a creative business?
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