For most of us, one very difficult aspect of owning your own creative business is self-promotion. We often see it as a necessary evil and aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Many of us think of self-promotion as “bragging” about ourselves or our work and we are well aware of how annoying constant advertising can be. So many times we don’t do any self promoting (or very little) and then we wonder why our sales aren’t what we would like them to be.
However, the truth is that without self-promotion, your business won’t survive. Think about it – what will you do when your family and friends have bought all they can buy? How do you get the word out to new customers? How do you tell previous customers about new inventory, products or offerings?
The nice thing in this social media driven world is that quite a lot of self-promotion can be done without talking to anyone face-to-face. That’s a bonus for people with “day jobs,” young families or shy personalities. It’s also a low-cost way to start getting used to the idea of promoting yourself.
So how can you get started?
The first thing you can do to promote yourself and your business is set up a website. This is a great first step because there are no networking events to attend and ways to speak face-to-face. In fact, you can even stay in your pajamas while you create your website. There are several platforms for setting up free or cheap websites and they usually require no coding or HTML knowledge. Some of the newer platforms simply require you to drag, drop and go.
Remember though that when it comes to websites, you definitely get what you pay for. Cheap and easy websites can lack many of the tools you will want as your knowledge and business grow and often have very little room for customization. On the other hand, if funds are nil and time is of the essence, they can be a good baby step.
Another step after the website is to set up yourself or your business on various social media platforms. Outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs give you a way to build a fan base, share your products and even do research on new lines or products by asking for opinions among your fan base.
I highly recommend building your social media in a slow and organic way for customers who will become loyal, long-term fans. Be yourself and promote your brand in a way that YOU would appreciate if you were on the other end of the computer monitor.
What’s your favorite method of self-promotion?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess