Creative people are usually of the opinion that if what they have created is pleasing to them, the general public will hold a similar opinion and will be beating a path to their door to buy it without too much effort. There are some creatives who seem to have the ability to draw the attention of the buying public almost at the drop of a hat.
A look behind the scenes will reveal that a lot of time and effort has been put into product development and marketing. To make sales and put some money in the bank, one has to put in sustained marketing campaigns to have a consistently growing turnover.
Interestingly, many creatives are not comfortable marketing their work, the rest of them have managed to balance the scale between the creative side and the business side of their gifts and talents. The former would readily work for ‘the joy of it’ than have to negotiate, put a price on, or have to convince you to buy their work. If you happen to fall in that category, the sad news is that marketing is a necessary evil if you intend to make money off your work.
Fortunately, technology has made marketing both easier and cheaper. Today, there are numerous social media avenues to market your work and they require minimum cost, knowledge and setup procedures. All you need to do is create an account and you are good to go.
Social Media Options
The advent of the internet, and more recently social media, has made it possible for people to advertise their work for free. All you have to do is post images of your work on your profile and invite the people who have befriended you to make a purchase. It is a good idea to separate your business profile from your personal profile.
The key thing is to understand how social media works and which platform works best for you in the area of you end product. The amount of resources you invest in marketing your product on social media should be determined by the location of your target market. If they are on social media, then by all means, invest in marketing on social media. But if they are the more traditional type, then all the social media marketing will not matter at all.
Rather than try and remain relevant on ALL social media platforms, pick the one where you know your potential customers are, and become a guru at it. If you want to try your hand at being the best at all platforms, maybe you are in the wrong business; you should become a social media expert.
A few of the social media platforms are Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and YouTube.
Good photos go a long way in marketing a product. Smart phones have turned all of us into budding photographers, and everyone is clicking away. To be able to produce above average images, visit the numerous blogs and e-books that give tutorials on how to take good photos and how to use photo editing software. Picmonkey and Google Photos are some of the photo editing software that are straightforward to use and are available for free on the Internet. If you are a bit more tech savvy and want more options to create a professional finish you can use Photoshop.
A brand-new camera is not a necessity when you are looking for good photos of your work. A basic point and shoot or a good phone camera can work as well as the best of cameras. Taking time to understand how the settings on your basic or phone camera work and when to use them, will put you a step ahead of many.
Mastering the basics of photography such as the rule of thirds, and how to find the right type of lighting to bring out the best of your product will boost your photography skills immensely.
As you put the basics into practice, feel free to experiment and take pictures of your product from different angles. Also, the use of a prop may add some character to your image or give potential customers ideas on how they can be creative with your product.
The wording you use to caption your images is also important. A picture is worth a thousand words, but when selling your products online, words are required to accurately describe what you are selling. This is because unlike a product on a shelf, the customer is not able see or touch the product for themselves and they have to rely on the information you provide. Scroll through some of the social media groups that allow you to market your products and see the comments that follow great images that have little or no information. It is query after query on product details.
The words that you choose should simply describe your product while providing all necessary information in such a way that it is possible for any potential customer to feel like they are holding your product in their hands. Include information of the dimensions, textures, weight, materials used, to give a clear picture of what is being offered.
Responding to feedback
The beauty of social media is that you can get instant feedback on your products. The challenge with social media is being able to manage that feedback. Both negative and positive feedback will be on display for everyone to read and see how you deal with it. Do your best to respond positively to any form of feedback and do it in a timely manner.
If you are not able to immediately respond to inquiries or comments, let your customers know so that they do not perceive your slow response to be poor salesmanship. Where possible, encourage customers to get in touch with you via email or direct messaging for a more personalized touch.
Keeping in touch
After you have made contact with your customer, through purchases or general inquires or engagement on social media, find a way to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Some of the options are to open up an account on one of the many mass e-mailing solutions and periodically send your clients a newsletter to let them know what you have been up to and what is currently available for sale. Alternatively, you can create a website or blog that customers can subscribe to in order to follow your work. Marketing your products on social media is not rocket science. Owning an android or iPhone puts apps and other tools in your hands making it easy to put your product out there. Understand the rules of social media marketing and you are good to go.
For more insights on marketing your creations, gifts and talents, we recommend the book “BRAND YOU: Turn Your Unique Talents into a Winning Formula” by John Purkiss & David Royston-Lee
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou