Creative entrepreneurship has been on the rise in recent years. More and more people are leaving their cushy corporate jobs to make an income from things they are actually passionate above.
So, who exactly is a creative entrepreneur?
A creative entrepreneur is any person who’s started their own business based on their own creative skills.
Here are a few examples:
- Someone who loves to sew starts selling their designer clothes.
- A small-time blogger publishes a full length book.
- An artist sells digitized versions of their art online.
Do you use your creative talents and abilities to make an income? Well, then you are a creative entrepreneur!
While the creative spirit will go a long way in sustaining the business, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to actively pursue online marketing tactics as well to get their business found online.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 online marketing strategies you can employ as a creative entrepreneur.
1. Launch a Website
The best thing you can do for your creative business is launching your own website. While you can start off by selling your product/services on online marketplaces and third party websites, having your own websites comes with its own perks.
- You can host all your products/services under one roof
- Your website belongs to you, and you alone
- You have complete control over what’s published on your site
- You don’t have to abide by the marketplace’s rules and regulations
- You don’t have to pay a third party a hefty commission
While it might take a while to design and launch your own website, it’s well worth the effort. It gives potential buyers a place to look around before they make their final purchases.
Here are some resources to help you start your own website:
- 75+ Resources to Help You Design Your Website
- 100 Tips to Build Better Websites
- 17,000+ Free Design Resources for Online Marketers
2. Blog Consistently
Once you’ve set up your online home in the form of a website, the next step is to get people to visit it. Content plays a major role in how people view your site. If you provide good, relevant and helpful information, more people are likely to visit it.
Install a blog on your website, plan a few topics you can elaborate on, map out a blog posting schedule and get started. Make sure your articles add value to the reader and are relevant to issues they may be facing pertaining to your niche.
You do not have to exclusively write articles, though. You can mix it up and publish video blogs, infographics, inspirational graphics, audio podcasts, or even offer free eBooks and printables.
Here are some resources to help you build your blog content:
- Free eBook: Online Content Writing for Entrepreneurs
- Six Reasons Why Content Marketing is Important
- The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing
3. Build Your Brand
The best way to stand out among your competitors is by building your creative brand. Branding involves a lot of moving pieces such as:
- A professional business logo
- Catchy business name and tagline
- A unique selling proposition (USP) that offers something of value to clients
- Consistent presentation on all pages of the website
- A voice that resonates through useful content
- Providing helpful information as and when needed
- Being available to interact with potential customers
- Maintaining honest and integrity in all transactions
As you remain true to yourself and your audience, you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your niche. People will start trusting you more, they are more likely to follow through with your recommendations and eventually start purchasing from you.
Here are some resources to help you build your brand as a creative entrepreneur:
- What’s Your USP? How Different Are You?
- The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand
- 8 Free Branding Resources for You
4. Gather Your Tribe
When it comes to business, a tribe is essentially your audience – they people you want your business to attract. The key to gathering your tribe is to first identify who they are.
Make a list of characteristics that identify the target audience of your business niche. Your products/services are all aimed at this particular segment of people. When you have a clear picture of who your business wants to serve, it also gives you ideas on how you can help them solve certain problems they may be facing.
For example, if you are a business that sells kid’s clothing, here are some challenges your audience may be facing:
- Lack of good quality clothes at a decent rate
- Keeping up with kids’ growth spurts
- How to rotate kids’ seasonal wear
You might be able to solve these issues by:
- Provide an inventory of budget kids clothing
- Write an eBook on how to dress up growing kids
- Shoot a video on how to rotate clothes based on the seasons
Now these solutions can be presented to your audience, and they’ll eagerly take it all in because they were looking all over for it. When you provide a solid resource such as an eBook or webinar, your tribe is drawn to it.
You could also take advantage of the freebie marketing trend and offer these resources free in exchange for your customers’ email addresses. You can use this to contact them with more resources or offers at a later date. That’s how you gather your audience!
Here are some resources to help you build your tribe:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Building an Audience
- How to Decide on Your Freebie – 5 Tips
- 60+ Places to Promote Your Freebie Online
5. Network with Others
Networking is absolutely crucial for business growth. There are three levels of networking that you have to indulge in as a creative entrepreneur.
- Influencers – You need to connect with the big names in your niche and get them to share your business with their audience. This can be done through guest posting or just sharing free resources on your site.
- Connectors – These are people who may not be influencers or your target audience, but they could share a good word about your business and bring more people to your site. Make genuine friendships with connectors, do something special for them and it’ll serve you well in the long run.
- Customers – This is your actual target audience. You can connect with them through email updates, or even sending them bonus offers or freebies once in a while.
Here are some resources to help you network well:
- 7 Practical and Powerful Tips to Accelerate Online Networking
- A 10-Point Plan for Connecting with Online Influencers
- Stay in Touch With Your Audience Using E-mail Updates
6. Become Social
Social media is a great avenue for creative entrepreneurs to boost their business reach. The key is to first identify which networks where your potential clients are likely to hang out, and then create profiles on those channels.
Social media marketing can get a bit overwhelming if you take on too much at once. It’s recommended to start off with just two or three channels first and build up engagement before moving on to other new channels.
You can use social media to:
- Candidly interact with your updates
- Share real life photos/videos of projects you are working on
- Publish links to helpful information on your site or other external sites
- Connect with people on an individual basis
- Share offers/deals on your latest products/services
Social media is great for getting people interested in your business and what you have to offer. There’s also a higher likelihood that your existing customers may share your business with people in their spheres of influence, thereby increasing the reach of your business.
Here are some resources to help you with social media marketing:
- How to Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar
- 6 Simple Steps to Create a Social Media Strategy
- The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media
7. Get Found Online
One of the best ways to get your creative business found online it to get your business listed in search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge topic that has many components. But it all boils down to this: identify keywords related to your business that people are searching for online and publish content around it.
If you can get your website to the top of search engines, it’ll bring in more traffic, which translates to better conversions and more revenue.
It’s essential to also have your website listed on major online directories, especially those related to your niche. If you have a physical address, make sure to get that listed as well in local online directories.
Here are some resources to help you get your business found online:
- 5 Essentials for a Search Engine Friendly Website
- How to Write an SEO Friendly Article in 6 Simple Steps
- How to Increase Website Traffic with SEO
8. Set Up Processes
As your business grows, it’s going to become more complicated to keep track of the various projects that are running simultaneously. It’s essential to identify the different components of your business and streamline the processes within each.
For example, here are some systems that your creative business might require:
- Website maintenance
- Social media interaction
- Product creation
- Publishing blog posts
- Email monitoring
- Customer support
- Shipping and delivery
Once you know the different areas of your business that need to be streamlined, you can set up the process using an online tool, a spreadsheet or a plain old notepad.
Jotting down the various tasks involved in each system, helps you keep track of what needs to be done and also who needs to do it.
Here are some resources to help you create systems for your business:
- A 3 Step Process to Simplify Your Online Business
- Process Mapping and Process Improvement for the Small Business Owner
- The Practical Guide to Creating Bulletproof Processes to Scale your Business
9. Invest in Yourself
A creative entrepreneur is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It’s your creative brain that keeps your business going, and it’s essential to invest in yourself if you want to see your business grow.
An investment could require a good portion of time, effort and money, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Here are some ways you can invest in yourself, and thereby, in your business:
- Purchase books or courses to further your skills
- Register for a conference
- Take time to do things you enjoy as an individual
- Hire someone to take the load off
- Splurge on professional services to spiff up your business
As a creative entrepreneur, you are at high risk of getting burnt out, especially as your business starts growing. At those times, it’s important to invest in the things that matter and keep going at a steady pace without stressing yourself out.
Here are some resources on investing in yourself as a creative entrepreneur:
- An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Investing in Yourself
- 5 Ways to Get Unstuck in the Face of Creative Burnout
- 6 Books to Take Your Online Business to the Next Level
10. Be Excellent
In the end, the best marketing strategy is to be excellent at what you do. Word of mouth marketing is still making its rounds in the digital era. If people are happy with the products you sell and the services you provide, they’ll be sure to share it with others who may be interested.
You need not strive for perfection; just excel in everything you do. Whether it is packaging a product or responding to a client email, be your best. The idea is to not just meet client expectations, but exceed them.
Here are some resources to inspire you to excellence:
- The 10 Traits of Successful Creative Entrepreneurs
- Eight Tips for Success in the Creative Industries
- 12 Creative Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Business Advice
We hope this article has given you a comprehensive look at top online marketing strategies you can employ as a creative entrepreneur. While it might take some time to see tangible results, all your hard work will be worth it when you see you profit margins soar!
If you need help with online marketing for your creative business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to assist you in any way we can!