Top 5 Marketing Tips For Creative Entrepreneurs
When Lindsay White first reached out to me, I could tell right away she was a go-getter. The kind of person who doesn't sit and wait for life to happen but instead, goes out to make it happen. Then I learned about LOT801, her quirky-cool + off-beat children's clothing line, and how in a little over a year, she'd gotten it featured in national magazines, major websites, and TV shows. Who doesn't dream of going viral?! So I knew I had to pick her brain a little more.
Since then, she's launched LOT801 Marketing, where she works with entrepreneurs to help them gain brand exposure through social media, and best of all- how to get press without hiring a PR firm. Dying to know more? Keep reading!
Everyone has big dreams for their business. Maybe your goal is a six-figure salary. Maybe you dream of hiring a team to create the ideal workplace. Maybe you want to create a brand so strong that people take one look at your logo, and know exactly what it stands for. (Hats off, Nike.) But the hard part is often the small steps... the day-to-day decisions. Do I invest in a new printer or a VA? Do I post this picture or that one? If I post a photo of my new eye candy stock photo, do I let it speak for itself or direct my followers to buy it? I know I personally have struggled with that question. The fear of seeming cheesy or salesman-y is so real! But Lindsay is very clear- if you don't ask, the answer is always no.
TIP 1: CREATE A CALL TO ACTION
"How can you sell a product, if you never ask anyone to buy it?
Let me ask you one simple question, how much of your most recent content has a call to action? Let this question sink in… I’m guessing you’re twiddling your thumbs here.
Posting on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc., or writing a blog post or article without a call to action is pretty much a dead codfish… useless. People need and want to be told what to do. Say you just released this amazing new product that you know everyone will love. You’ve got awesome photos of this product and can’t wait to post it on your social media accounts. You start posting some photos with a fun caption like, “We’re so excited to be releasing XYZ product. We know you guys are going to love it”.
Your image may be the coolest thing I've ever seen and your caption may get me excited, but I'll just continue scrolling through my feed (I may hit the like button, but I move on). You didn’t give me any direction on what to do next. Something like, “We’re so excited to be releasing XYZ product. Click the link in profile to get it just in time for Christmas”… or “We’re so excited to be releasing XYZ product soon. Click the link in profile to read more about its time saving features, you don’t want to miss it”. Implement this one tip and your sales will skyrocket… I promise you.
On my most commented photo to date (581 comments), I inserted the call to action in the content itself and people shared it on their own pages like nobody’s business, driving tons of traffic back to my account." - Lindsay White
It's so easy (and normal) to look around you and think everyone else has it all figured out... in many ways, comparison is how we gauge our own success! And it can be intimidating to try to reach out to people you feel are more successful than yourself. But you know what I've found? One, people are usually much friendlier and more open than you might be scared of- most everyone loves to meet new people, especially ones who are genuinely interested in what they're doing. And two, some of my FAVORITE creative friends are people I took a chance on and extended a hello to. Which has led to some of my best, most favorite collaborations.
TIP 2: BE A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
"You know that blogger or fellow entrepreneur that you have a girl crush on and secretly want to become BFF’s with? How in the world do you ever expect them to even know who you are if you don’t get out there and start being social? Start following and consistently commenting on the people you look up to in your industry and get their attention (share their content with your audience). When making these connections you’re networking in a way that used to not be available to you even 10 years ago. Take advantage!!!
This can lead to so many possibilities that you’re currently missing out on, like collaborations, sharing each others content with each others audiences, interviews, podcasts etc. All of these things build and grow your brand. People hear about you and want to share your content, which leads to more traffic to your website and most importantly… more sales!' - Lindsay White
*BONUS LINDSAY TIP* - Write down the top 3 people you want to connect with this year. Follow them on all social media accounts, start commenting on their content and share their content, Then reach out with an email to say “hey girl, hey!”
Have you ever seen a business or person featured on a major blog/website and thought "how did they do that?!" I mean, honestly, most of us dream about getting major features, and when they happen, they're always cause for celebration. So I was all ears for this next gem...
TIP 3: BECOME AN EXPERT/ PRESS COVERAGE
"All it takes is one mention in a major website and your industry instantly views you as an expert. This tip is often overlooked simply because people are under the impression that this will never happen to them or because they don’t have stacks of “dolla bills” to hire a PR firm. I’m telling you right now… that’s total BS!
Remember tip #4 Be a Social Butterfly? This same strategy can work to get the attention of writers and editors. They may see your product or an article you wrote, be impressed and use you in their next story (trust me, it happens all the freaking time).
Take it a step further and use HARO, a service that connects journalists and editors with people like you to help finish their story. I have a full post about what it is and exactly how to use it here. Whether a product based business, service based business or blogger, HARO is your new best friend. " - Lindsay White
I personally have a very defined style in my art and photography. I like bright colors, bold images, things that pop. And that niche style is not for everyone. If they're after neutral minimalism, I'm definitely not their girl. But the people that like it? LOVE it! And that makes me so happy... because I know I can put my efforts into what I love to create and work to refine that point-of-view, and that my audience and customers will respond to that. Which ties right in with Lindsay's next tip...
TIP 4: ONLY MARKET TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE (SCREW EVERYONE ELSE)
"Stop trying to appeal to everyone under the sun. Too often I see brands trying to sell to everyone. I know what they’re thinking, the more people we target, the more sales we’ll get… WRONG! It’s actually quite the opposite. Sit down and really decide who your target audience is and only worry about them…. everyone else, doesn’t matter!
The more you focus in on one specific individual to sell to, the more engaged your audience becomes, you’ll start getting raving fans and you’ll sit back and watch your sales skyrocket because your audience will feel like you created this product specifically for them. From here on forward, anytime you’re creating content, specifically create it for your ideal customer, that one person and no on else. When they see it, they’re going to think… "I swear they know me!" This is exactly what you want. They’ll become your biggest fan and spread the word for you (ding ding, free advertising)." - Lindsay White
I think this next tip is one of the most important, though hard to swallow in some ways. When I first started documenting my work on social media, I shared a little of everything. The start of a new canvas, the date night I was about to go on, the fact that I was running on 3-hrs of new baby sleep. Through time (and some smart friends), I realized... customers don't care about that. Your mom might, but your followers don't They want to see something that makes them smile or think or laugh. They want to be entertained! The best way to build an engaged audience and customer base, is to put the effort into producing really. solid. content. I know for myself and Violet Tinder Studios, the moment I decided to get serious about the content I put out on social media, is the moment my true following began to grow.
TIP 5: PRODUCE KILLER CONTENT
"It’s not enough to just create content and put it out there for the world to see. I cannot stress enough how important it is to create content with a purpose. Social media has made it far too easy for anyone to create content and just throw it out there. I’m telling you it’s crap, don’t do it.
Instead, focus on creating content that will make your audience FEEL something. An image, blog post or article is much more memorable if your audience feels something about it. Whether that be interesting, scary, strange, shocked… I don’t care. But they’re going to remember you and want to come back for more.
Instead of just taking photos of your products, try using photos of people using your products and show how it makes them feel in the photo. That feeling will come through to your audience. A good example of this is the company Frank Body. Checkout their Instagram (@Frank_Bod) and notice how their feed makes you feel a certain way." - Lindsay White
Ok, I said Top 5 Tips... but I couldn't let Lindsay go without one more!
BONUS TIP 6: TURN A TRAGEDY INTO AN OPPORTUNITY (THAT CAN GO VIRAL)
"This may be my most favorite marketing tip ever! I’ve used this on multiple occasions and it’s definitely increased my sales and gotten my brand in front of people that normally I may have never reached. You can get this 6th tip here." - Lindsay White
Thank you SO MUCH Lindsay, for your insight! I don't know about you, but taking in fresh, new approaches to things always motivates me in new ways.
CHEERS TO AN AMAZING NEW YEAR!!