Creating a Marketing Plan, Part Four: How To Implement your Marketing Plan

This is the fourth in a four-part series on Creating a Marketing Plan for your arts business.

In our previous posts we discussed Who is Your customer? Where is Your Customer? What Matters to or Bonding with your Customer. In this post we look at some ideas for How to Implement your Marketing Plan.

Now that you know who your customer is, where they hang out and what matters to them, you are ready to start marketing.

The good news?  There’s more than way to accomplish this goal. Here are some tips that have worked for us.

  1. Get a system. Create a calendar to regularly put action into your marketing plan. We recommend a simple spreadsheet using MS Excel or Apple’s Numbers. There are apps you can download to integrate your calendar with other functions. Or use Google Plus where you can use the calendar, store and share documents and more. You can even go low-tech and use a paper calendar. It doesn’t matter. Just have a system. And. Use. It. If you schedule web site updates for 3PM Sunday, keep that promise to yourself or reschedule within 24 hours.
  2. Plot out your plan. Research how often you can message your customers without losing their trust. For some it’s daily, others, weekly. You might get away with sending a weekly blog or newsletter (with four times more info as sales copy), (which is tweeted and shared on Facebook automatically); two additional Facebook posts (which are automatically tweeted) and one presentation at a non-profit luncheon where you get to sell your books/CDs. Your research will dictate your frequency. Follow others in your industry. Are you comfortable with their frequency and messaging?
  3. Pre-fill content, wherever and whenever possible. For example, you can write ten blogs one weekend and schedule them to release once a week over the next two and a half months. Prepare content ahead even if you can’t have it generate automatically. You have a system, remember? You can write all your Facebook messages for the month. Collect your images, links, etc. in a file on your favorite device. They’re ready to copy and paste into your posts as you need them. With some preparation your Facebook chores can take only a few minutes each day. Technology can help. Often you can set it up so that when your blog goes live, it notifies your social media of choice. Linking the channels you use is easier than ever and will save time.
  4. Focus. You can’t do it all. Some say it’s better to NOT be on a social media channel if you aren’t active. Pick the top two or three media your audience uses and wow them. If you’re wildly successful and have more resources, you can expand your channels in the future.  If you’re on Facebook, be there. Answer comments. Share information interesting to your tribe. Be frequent and regular. If YouTube is your main channel, do it well.
  5. Measure and test everything. For example, install analytics in your web site so you can see who visited, how long, which pages they clicked on, how long they stayed on the page (were they reading it or just passing through?); all vital information. Test Facebook posts by posting the same message twice, each time with a different title. Which title garnered more likes/views? These are more clues to what resonates with your customer. Test email subject lines by sending the same message to two different groups using two titles. Measure which title elicited more reaction.

We’ve really only scratched the surface of Creating a Marketing Plan but if you implement a few of these tips you will enjoy exponential growth over doing almost nothing!

If you’re serious about making money from your art business, Create a Marketing Plan. If you need help, let us know.

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

 

Creating a Marketing Plan, Part Two: Where is Your Customer?

This is the second in a four-part series on Creating a Marketing Plan for your arts business.  Link to Part 1, Who is Your Customer?

Part Two: Where is Your Customer?

In Part One of Creating a Marketing Plan we identified who our ideal customer is and what matters to him/her. Now that you know that information, finding your customers will be easier. Here are some tips for where to find your customers.

  1. Create a list of possible media. Your list might include your web site, your blog and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat; traditional media like print (including books/magazines), radio, TV; and newer media like podcasts, YouTube and webinars. Business cards, postcards, brochures, and promotional gifts (pens, water bottles, bags) are all part of your marketing, as are how you dress, how you speak; even the cleanliness of your car sends a message to clients.
  2. Now that you have your list, it’s time to analyze each medium’s effectiveness in reaching your ideal customer. For example, if your ideal customer is a soccer mom, you will likely find her on Facebook. If your client is the CEO of a small company, good luck reaching him on Facebook! Odds are LinkedIn will be his social media of choice. This might require you spending time on the various media to find out who’s there and what they’re saying.
  3. If you don’t know where your customer hangs out, do some research. Ask past customers how they like to communicate with you. They might like frequent short messages on Twitter rather than reading a long technical blog article. They might prefer podcasts because they spend long hours in a car. They might like to post pictures on Instagram. 

Once you’ve determined where your customers are, the next step is to join them there. Set up your Facebook account, start writing your blog or the script for your video, decide if you’ll find your following on Pinterest or Instagram or neither! (Where NOT to be is as important as where TO be!)

Finding your tribe is a process. Very few get it on the first try.

Most artists, authors, speakers and other influencers are not using the same media nor speaking to the same audience with the same message in the same way they were two decades ago!

So be kind to yourself as you build your business. Baby steps!

If you need help setting up your systems, call us.

Once you find your following, what are you going to say?

In Part Three of Creating a Marketing Plan, we cover “Bonding with your Customer” or Matching your Message to your Customer.

 

Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

 

Link to Part 1, Who is Your Customer?

Blogging for Business

Businesses that blog get 70% more leads than businesses that don’t.

I read this in a marketing newsletter a few years ago. It surprised me and maybe that’s why it stuck in my head.

Since then I’ve learned that consistent blogging is useful for building your brand. It makes sense that the more you contact your customers, the more they trust you. Ideally they think of you when they need your product or service.

I put this to the test last spring when I teamed up with two expert gardeners to create a series of workshops on growing food. We were on a shoestring budget so we blogged every other day to start. Then we went to twice a week, then weekly.  It wasn’t too difficult with three of us contributing. (See www.GrowFoodCalgary.com.)

The results were amazing! Within days of launching our blog we shot up to the top of search engine rankings on many important keywords.

Of course blogging wasn’t the only tactic in our strategy but I became a believer in blogging. Now I counsel all entrepreneurs to blog.

5 Reasons to blog:
  1. Blogging is an inexpensive way to have conversations with your customers and potential customers.
  2. Blogging is a personal touchpoint. To build a brand (bond) with your customers, you need many touchpoints. Personal touchpoints like blogs outperform ads.
  3. Blogging helps you position yourself as an expert. Increased credibility leads to trust, which leads to sales.
  4. Blogging boosts Search Engine Optimization (which means people looking for you or what you have to offer can find you by inputting certain words into a search engine.) SEO almost takes care of itself when you blog. Save money on SEO by simply writing good content that is relevant to your audience.
  5. Blogging leads to more income. Better relationships with your customers translates into increased revenue.

Are you convinced to blog yet?

You’ve decided to start blogging, but how?

10 Tips on Blogging Successfully
  1. Brainstorm topics. Create a list on paper or your favourite device of all topics, catchy titles, questions, anything related to you, your art, and the people you’d like to buy your art.
  2. Select a blog provider. There are many. This blog is on WordPress. Choose from dozens of free templates and start almost immediately.
  3. Begin writing your first blog. Choose a topic that you know well from your list. Create an outline: Here’s one way: Grab your audience with a good title, hook them with a great opening, tell them an engaging story, make a  compelling  point, and finish by helping your audience apply it to their lives.
  4. Keep it short. 350 to 500 words is enough. The thought of writing a huge article can be daunting and cause procrastination and paralysis!
  5. Read it out loud. It’s amazing how stilted our written work can become. You’re having a conversation so keep it real.
  6. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit mercilessly, removing any words that don’t need to be there. Check spelling. Improve grammar. Choose stronger verbs.
  7. Enlist an editor/proofreader. A fresh set of eyes make a difference. (Your spouse or co-worker will do!)  We tend to get wrapped up in our work and we miss errors.
  8. Include a good quality image. Ideally you have your own pictures but accessing free and low cost images is easy. Readers are more likely to read blogs with images.
  9. Do not neglect the details. In WordPress, they provide a TAGS section where you can input keywords. This step is vital for Search Engine Optimization.  A well-written blog will include words and phrases that your audience will use in their searches. (See the tags for this blog below).
  10. Add blogging to your calendar. For example: make an appointment to write your blog outline on Thursday. Flesh it out Friday. Edit Saturday. Share with your editor/proofreader  Sunday. Post Monday. The most effective blogs are consistent. Adding blogging to your calendar helps you be consistent.
Blogging Bonus

Besides creating a stronger bond with your customers, positioning yourself as an expert,  and attracting new customers, here is another bonus to blogging:

If you were to blog weekly, (with two weeks vacation!) in one year, you have 50 chapters in your book!

Some of the best-selling books were born from the author’s weekly blog or email newsletter.

Writing a book is a great way to position yourself as an expert. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, blogging could be the push you need to get going.

Blogging is good business. Are you convinced yet?

 

Shelley Goldbeck is a partner in S2Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills.