From my own experience I know that artists and creative professionals need a different approach to marketing than most other businesses.
The power artists, musicians and writers have is: "to inspire".To inspire means also "to give" something, a value is created for those who are able to see the beauty in things.
I have come across various sources for marketing and social media but found only a few suitable for creative freelancers.
What I observed is that there are some overlapping aspects in different marketing strategies, from the psychology of persuasion, to copywriting and internet marketing, the goals of most marketing approaches are all equal: "to inspire action" and to gain a "win-win-situation".
Regardless if it is the book publishing company, the architect, or the freelance programmer, their goals are all the same, to ignite enthusiasm on the right people.
If you can ignite a spark of inspiration by someone who is into a business which can benefit from your work, there are bigger chances to get proposals, than if your aim is to sell something, People have a sense for solicitors attitudes.
- The question "why"
Determine the reason why you do something and change your communication towards these simple 3 letters. Typically everyone knows "what" they do and "how" they do it, but only a few know "why" they do it. This question should be answered in the following manner and has a critical impact on the following points as well: Why do you do, what you do? Are you hobbyist, or living as freelancer? The goals can be utterly different and expectations from clients as well! Define yourself and build communication around this word, for example if you begin a sentence with "why" in mind, you start with a "because" in a sentence, the result is more persuasive because it automatically brings authenticity to the table.
- The "Eiko" benchmark
In a previous post I have explained my version of the definition on how Eiko Ishioka juried great design, her keywords for this benchmark are: Timelessness, Revolutionary and Originality. If your work can stand this critical test, the result is most likely ahead of any competition.
- Are you "good" enough
With "good" I don´t mean skilled or talented, rather if you have a positive mindset. It is crucial that every communication is positively tuned. There is a bigger chance that prospective clients want to work with you if they do a research and find almost only positive marks from you on the internet or publications, or wherever you may roam. Some artist play drama queen and enjoy results of having people talk about their case of this and that... there is just a tiny problem: the internet does not forget something, information are available forever and people remember always the first impression about someone. My aim is to write always in a manner that prospective clients can imagine a communication on a project as pleasant and fun.
- Know, Like & Trust
The three pillars of effective content marketing apply to artists more than to any other group, nothing spreads easier than images, music and stories through the world wide web. If people get to know your stuff and decide they like it, they are more likely to share it and the more people share your stuff, the more trustworthy you are. If people don´t talk about your stuff, then...think twice, start over and create "something to die for".
- Do you have permission?
Permission presumes trust. Permission is valuable and at the same time it has become a commodity, especially since social media. Permission marketing is valuable, because if used right, you give the right people permission to send you a newsletter, great offers and information (win-win-situation) as they become available. It´s also valuable to have the permission to send the art-director a mail that you are available for hire or your subscribers a newsletter with information regarding an exhibition or simply the permission to show some new works from time to time. Facebook and twitter made all of that easier, but the result is a flood of input and in this allowed scenario of information overload it is vital to stand out: speak only when you have to say something important, post new work when you think it is good enough, put the status quo into question and tell your story instead of doing what everybody else is doing. Enjoy the silence!
When we understand the true meaning of inspiration, we understand marketing.
Artist don´t create stuff with the intention to sell it in the first place, the only way to make a living as artist is to adopt the habit to create stuff with the intention to inspire.