Today I wanted to do a little review of Marketing for Creatives* by the lovely April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle. I’ve had this ebook for a while now, and find myself coming back to it again and again whenever I’m spending time planning my marketing strategy.
The great thing about this guide is that it doesn’t just launch into ‘how to market’ – April starts by leading you through a few crucial steps that you need to take in your business before you even think about marketing.
A few of these key steps are photography, trust and fascination.
She discusses why these things are SO vital for selling online, and how you can make sure you’re doing your best to take fabulous photos, build trust with your customers, and incite fascination with your work!
She also challenges you to answer that ‘big question’ – the Why of your business.
The next section of the book tackles something I know a lot of us struggle with – our target market and ideal customer. April leads you through some exercises that will help you zero in on your ideal customer, which will help immeasurably with your marketing strategy – because, after all, how can you plan your marketing if you don’t know who wants your stuff?
Do you have a blog? Do you struggle with what to blog about, and how to use your blog to grow your biz? April goes over both how and why to blog, but also how to leverage other people’s blogs to your best advantage. She discusses how to build relationships with other bloggers, and also how to go about guest-posting as a method of growing your brand awareness.
April and I agree on one of THE most crucial marketing tools you can have – an email newsletter. She explains why this is so important, and how you can use an email newsletter to your best advantage. I am a HUGE advocate of having a thriving newsletter – it can make an enormous difference to your bottom line. (For example, I recently had a big birthday sale – sent ONLY to my mailing list subscribers – and turned over a four-figure number in just 24 hours. Newsletters work, but they take time to grow).
She also discusses one of the advertising tools that crafty biz misuse and misunderstand the most – and how to avoid this pitfall.
April also covers the ‘launch process’. If you’ve never actually launched a product line before (as opposed to just trickling out products willy-nilly as you make them) this will be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal. The launch process makes a huge difference to your brand and sales – that’s why every big company go through a ‘launch’ process with a new product – think of Apple as the shining example of this.
One thing April doesn’t cover – probably because you could write a book about it specifically (or a course, as I have) is social media marketing. If you’ve been around here a while, you know how crucial I think using social media is in an indie biz’s marketing arsenal, so I would recommend that you don’t neglect including social media in your marketing strategy.
Every step of the way, April leads you through exercises to help you find answers to every question, so you come out the end of this book with a much stronger understanding of not only marketing, but your business and brand, too.
At just $22, this ebook is a steal, and I would wholeheartedly recommend that you grab yourself a copy if you’ve been struggling to put together a cohesive marketing plan for your biz. You can grab a copy here.
Oh, and make sure to visit April’s blog – she posts fabulously helpful videos every week!
*I am an affiliate of this guide, which means if you decide to grab a copy through the link above, I get some of the profits. I only endorse things I truly support and believe in.