Let’s start with a definition of marketing : “the strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to particular groups of consumers”
Think of marketing like securing a date and it will all make sense, I promise. Stay with me.😅
Mistake number 1: not having a strong online presence.
It’s the equivalent of hoping to be discovered with no or little effort.
How likely is it that you will find a suitable date if you keep yourself to yourself and nobody knows you exist?
Slim to none, right? But meeting people online /offline would increase your chances.
The same logic applies for finding a patron, consumer for your art, novel or product.
The craft may take the lion share of your time. But your creation needs to be put before those who will enjoy it at the very least, yes?
In a world that is so distracted, so full of noise and competition, attention is a valuable currency.
Unless you strategically showcase your art, no-one will know it exists. Whether your choice is Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram , Linkedin, Facebook (or a combination thereof), social media is crucial these days for visibility.
For this reason, I spend more time marketing my creations than creating them.
Mistake number 2: not engaging genuinely with your space
So, you are on the dating scene, looking good, getting some attention but within the first conversation, you ask potential dates if they want to marry you. Will they fall at your feet?
Hmmm… Even if you are unfeasibly attractive, I think it’s safe to say it’s gonna be a no.
Again, the same logic applies for appealing to your audience.
Unless it’s to buy a commodity they can get anywhere, people will need to know you, feel comfortable with you, before a transaction takes place.
Marketing expert Dr Jeffrey Lant postulated there has to be (on average) 7 interactions between you and your prospect before they buy.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this too: people send me pitches as a first interaction.
It’s too soon. We don’t know each other. The message generally ends up unanswered (sorry, not sorry) unless it’s got some personal touch and I can feel some connection.
The moral of the story is interact with and get to know your audience. You have to be interested to be interesting. Be present. Do not make unsolicited pitching your strategy. Build rapport first. Aim to let things flow more naturally.
Mistake number 3: thinking all marketing is bad
Back to you looking for your significant other. What would happen if you refused to date because of fear of it going bad (maybe from bad experience)? How else can you find the one? Painting everybody with the same tarnished brush will work against you, and anybody who deserves a chance.
Let’s face it. There are a lot of scammers out there, coming up with new ways to shortcut the system. They’re getting more and more sophisticated. Have you experienced number spoofing? Anyway I digress.
The thing is that there’s best practice and bad practice. There aren’t just scammers out there.
Good marketing is the reason why toothpaste is nowadays mainstream (the prevalence of tooth decay wasn’t enough to convince us as a society)
Good marketing is a way to educate, inspire or otherwise appeal to a market to buy something of value. Bad marketing is just pushing the right emotional buttons purely for monetary gain. No thought into whether the product is valuable.
Bad marketers have given marketing a bad name. They garner more attention partly because they leave a bitter taste. But the bad apples should not make us hate apples in general.
Mistake number 4: not making it about your audience
Now, you look good, you attract dates but you only talk about yourself and how great you are. Will they look at you with starry eyes and beg to be with you? Meh.
It’s true that celebrities can share anything about themselves and seem to get a ton of attention/traction.
I wouldn’t advise emulating a celebrity though. Flip the script. Don’t confuse validation with contribution. You can have a ton of engagement but it doesn’t necessarily mean your followers are interested or even know about your art.
The aim is to attract your real tribe, your peeps, your possee (who even say that anymore? 😅)
It’s about how you make your audience feel, not so much how they make you feel. Bring value consistently (whether it be entertainment, inspiration, education…) and amazing things will happen.
You will come to understand your audience better, their hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows.
Your insight into how they feel will help you become better at reaching them. As a result they will come to value you and what you stand for.
Mistake number 5: using social media haphazardly.
One thing that can make potential dates flee is what people say about us. Anyone who has been in contact with us contributes to what our reputation is. A reputation is typically based on hearsay, which means it may be completely inaccurate. It may be based on just impression. So we have to think of managing what kind of energy we project.
I have personal accounts, which I keep private and I have business accounts. I keep them separate.
I share of myself on both but not with the same goal in mind.
It means that I try not to vent or rant, or contradict myself by posting things when I’m not in the right place emotionally.
I am more intentional with each post, authentic but measured.
To be honest I am the same in my personal accounts. I use all social media as a brand.
It’s to build a reputation, identify and bring some value to a tribe I have affinity with.
If the message I’m thinking of sending is not on brand, I usually refrain from posting (or I take them down sharpish 😅. Noone’s perfect!)
So, decide what you are trying to accomplish with your social media. Make it a priority over how you personally feel at a given moment. A reputation takes time to build but can collapse in an instant.
Now let’s recap.
Marketing is like dating. It’s like attracting the right kind of people in your life and build a mutually beneficial relationship. And every relationship needs work.
From looking your best to building and keeping trust, it requires intentionality, integrity and empathy.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!