Are you an artist, musician, writer or freelancer? You want and need more work or gigs but you just can’t stand social media and the la-de-da of promoting yourself? Or perhaps you just don’t see what the point is? It’s loads of hassle, you have to keep up with learning it all and it is just not worth the effort.
Many people do feel like this. But how is anyone going to know you exist if you don’t take any steps to show you exist in the first place…
Your first step might be as simple as starting a Facebook page, Instagram account or just pop up a simple blogging website. It is okay not to have everything perfect and lined up all at once.
The key is consistency and just being yourself.
Don’t think of it as ‘marketing’:
You are providing a service, so you shouldn’t feel bad or that you have to manipulate people because you are ‘marketing’ yourself – you need to promote yourself so people know you exist. People often confuse marketing with advertising, you don’t have to be a “snake oil” salesmen to sell your wares.
Cutting through the la-de-da of it all, ‘marketing’ is actually just building a reputation in your area of expertise. You could be the most talented artist, musician or designer on the planet but if you don’t tell anyone about what you do, or show what you’re capable of then no one can hire or commission you to do work and, well, then you have to get some dead-end job to pay those bills. Where is the joy in that?
Shape who you are:
Shaping your own reputation and thus building a ‘brand’ is so easy these days with social media. You don’t have to make it all about you, why not re-share blog posts on your channels which are of interest to you and those who like what you do. Let people get to know the real you – you can do this by sharing a combination of interesting articles, fun posts or inspiring quotes to keep your audience engaged – people don’t like the hard sell, so if that doesn’t work for you anyway, why do it?
You don’t have to broadcast every aspect of your life; you can just share what you’re comfortable with. Perhaps just joining closed groups of like-minded people is enough for you. Private Facebook groups or newsletters can be a simple way of communicating what you’ve been up to lately.
Play to your strengths – often just showcasing what you can do is a powerful way of promoting how you can help or serve others without boasting. A portfolio or gallery on a website, Instagram or Facebook account is a great way of modestly doing this.
Do it when you’re in the mood:
The scheduling abilities of various platforms make the task of having social media accounts much less of a headache, so you don’t have to focus on promoting yourself or your business every single day. Why not do a week’s worth of posts or blog-writing when you are in the right headspace?
Don’t go it alone:
If you don’t feel comfortable with promoting yourself all the time, why not collaborate with others so they can promote you instead? Partnering with other people means you can get involved in exciting projects, help others and all those involved get to share what it is they’re doing – talking about the project instead of just about yourself or your business.
Slow and steady wins the race:
You don’t have to become a crazy, always on hyperdrive- marketer and talk about yourself non-stop. Building a reputation takes time, doing just one thing a day can make a big difference. Often making things become naturally part of your routine means doing the things you need to do to promote yourself become less scary and just part of your day-to-day operations as part of being self-employed or running a small business.
Marketing is simply communication – talking to people.
Conversation is part of any relationship, especially if you want people to know you’re out there.