As an entrepreneur in the creative field, it's imperative that I have an active digital presence to market myself and get new clientele. Through my many moments of trial and error as I strengthen the digital marketer I am today, I'm not surprised that others struggle to make an impact and figure out how to market themselves on the Internet. While it may seem impossible, how to consistently attract clients in the digital space just takes some dedication:
Provide them with content of value, free of charge
I'm a full believer in content marketing, a type of marketing that insists on the brand providing content of value, free of charge, that then translates into loyalty and trust. This can be given in a variety of formats: email lists, blog posts, freebie libraries, social media content.
As long as you are giving your audience that they're looking for: free tidbits from your niche, you're already winning. Put in the research. Find the stats. Discover the latest trends. Then share them freely.
They will quickly learn that you care about them, have endless passion in your work and are here to serve. Leaving the correct first impression is key. The biggest lesson I've taken away? Quit stealing content and using trendy slang - keep making your own magic and BE. YOURSELF. The people that are meant to buy from you will love you for you.
Invite opinions and welcome discussion
Open up the discussion to include their opinions and questions. Create a brand hashtag that invites them to engage with you on social media, always pose a question at the end of your blog posts and request replies in your next email campaign.
Encouraging your audience to engage is a surefire way to attract more clients, again reaffirming that you care about them and value their thoughts. After all, you wouldn't be around if it weren't for them!
Curate something beautiful
The worst thing you could have is unpleasant marketing collateral. Take it to heart when you're designing your brand and pay attention to the details that will stick with you for a long time to come. Care about how your social media profiles look and how they are optimized.
Pay attention to white space. Think about the balance in the photos you share. Choose complementary fonts and colors. Express your mission, vision and values in everything. Hire a branding photographer who knows what they're doing and brand yourself intentionally.
The other day, I walked into a local food establishment and noticed that the owners had walked in behind me and my team member. I shook the man's hand and the first words to come out of his mouth were: "You do the Fashionably Frank stuff on Instagram, right? I have to tell you, I follow so many things and so much stuff is in my feed, but whenever I see your posts, I know it's you - your imagery has such a distinct look to it. Your posts are great."
Make them remember you by what you share. Tell a story in your visual and written branding. Connect on an emotional level. Cause them to feel something. Move them to action with your beautiful presentation and words. You got this!
Don't Overly Promote
I like to follow the 80/20 rule. Some may say promote 40%, have fun 60%... I don't think so. For every 80% of engaging, informative and fun pieces you share, promote your items/services/self 20%. The less promotional, salesy posts you can create is best.
Think of it this way: you're using your fun and educational posts to connect with an audience and promote you and your work. You can promote and sell without being salesy. You can lead by showing your knowledge and insight in your field, making a lasting impression.
When you promote yourself, make sure you always relate it back to their pain point (see below) and make it about them and what you will help them achieve. You are simply the guide, they are the hero in their own story.
Engage, engage, engage!
Using my recommended method for Instagram engagement, transfer this engagement across all platforms possible. Comment on others' blog posts. Respond to email lists. Most importantly: stay active on social media and actively approach your target audience.
Discover where they spend their time. Join private groups and forums. Attend meetings and conferences. If you're present where they are, you're bound to make natural connections.
Own your worth to work, don't work to prove your worth
In my opinion, the only thing worse than someone with a swell head (and I might know a tiny thing or two about that!) are the ones who so desperately try to come off as hotshots. I mean, if Kanye West begged us to pay attention, I wouldn't respect him half as much. He knows he's good at what he does and certain people fiercely listen to him because of it.
Oh, and stop using the terms "expert" and "guru" unless other people are the ones using them.
You got into this business because you KNOW your SHIZ, so own it! Don't feel as though you need to preach about how great you are in every promotional material and prove your worth - those who are looking for you will believe in you when they find you... and they'll fall in love with you for your balance and authenticity.
Most importantly: have a clear picture in mind of your dream client/customer and talk with that person in mind, knowing they will appreciate you for you. Don't try to be everything to everyone or you'll end up being nothing to no one. Your niche exists for a purpose!
Optimize your website
Make sure that your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is on point for your website. If you offer a specific service or product in a certain location, make sure you rank high (ideally on the first page if possible) in search engines for your associated niche phrases and keywords.
SEO isn't everything, though. Optimizing your website also means having high quality imagery, copy (text) that converts and a visible, colorful Call to Action button on each page.
Make sure you have a clear display of your testimonials, an About page that resonates and a very descriptive page detailing your services and/or products. You want personality, pizzazz and professionalism all tied together with a pretty little bow.
Speak to their pain point
Everyone has a paint point - an issue, a problem they need to solve. But: we can't solve our problems alone. We need a guide, whether this is a person or a product. As a marketer, my clients' problems range, but most commonly, they suffer from a lack of knowledge in the marketing department, a lack of time or interest in learning, or a fear of missing out (FOMO).
My goal is made clear in my business' tagline:
Transcend overwhelm. Discover balance. Leave impact.
My clients need to be able to focus on the vital aspects of running their biz and forget the all-so-time-sucking social media and web work. They need to find work/life balance. All while leaving impact in the digital space and staying at the forefront of their clients/customers' minds. This is where I come in.
I solve their pain point by giving them more time with their families, time to focus on the important things and a pride in their online presentation/overall branding. While profit is ultimately one of our goals, there are so many reasons one would hire a digital marketer. Making this pain point clear in your marketing materials is so necessary. Whether you're increasing their self-confidence, giving them healthier lifestyle alternatives or simply making their home more beautiful and joyful with your art, you are so, so needed.
What methods have you found successful for consistently attracting clients?
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THE BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating college in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to life's problems + that all women should embrace a #girlboss mantra.