by guest blogger Kimberly Houston
In my work as a copywriter and marketing strategist for artists and other creatives, I tend to see the same three marketing mistakes over and over again.
In fact, when I hung out my shingle as a freelance writer and marketer and put up my first website a few years ago, I committed these same three mistakes myself, which is why I failed to get any real traction in my business for a very long time. So long, in fact, that I almost gave up entirely.
Luckily, I didn’t give up. Instead I decided to figure out what I was doing wrong and correct it. And once I did, everything started to change.
The Three Marketing Mistakes
The three marketing mistakes are: #1, not knowing who your ideal clients/collectors are, #2, not knowing what your USP (unique selling proposition, or what I call your “meaningful difference”) is, which leads to #3: generic website copy that lacks a clear, persuasive marketing message, the kind that compels your visitors to stick around and explore your website, your work, and become interested in buying.
Doing the foundational work of figuring out your ideal client/collector and your USP, and writing your website copy to reflect these insights is what will set you up for online success. No, it’s not the only thing you need to do, but it is one of the most important.
Because without the kind of marketing clarity that comes from this foundational work, your website and the copy on it will not connect with your target audience. That’s because you won’t know who you’re trying to attract or who you’re speaking to, so your website copy will be generic and lackluster, and there will be no emotional resonance with those buyers who are just right for you
And without knowing what your USP or “meaningful difference” is and expressing that on your site, what you have to offer will be indistinguishable from the thousands of other artists online who are also competing for those buyer dollars.
But once you know who you’re trying to reach with your work, that is, your most likely buyers, you can speak to them directly with a targeted and persuasive marketing message. And once you know how you’re different from the other talented artists with an online presence, you’ll be able to write your website copy to reflect this, helping you to connect with your target audience and convey what makes you and your work unique, special and must-have for those who fit your ideal collector profile.
How do you determine who your ideal collector/buyer is and your USP or meaningful difference?
It’s a process that can take several weeks, and one you’ll be iterating over the course of your business as you gain further insights into your audience.
In a nutshell, here’s what I did:
I determined who I’d most like to work with as clients, then what made my work, my process, my services, or the way I did business different, better, more special, or more compelling to these ideal clients than others who do what I do.
I then rewrote my website to reflect these new insights.
Once I did that, I went from getting very few client inquiries through my website (which meant I had to constantly hustle to do live networking, email prospecting and other forms of direct outreach), to consistently getting the majority of my business directly from my site. This allowed me to cut way back on direct outreach, saving me loads of time and stress.
Not that there’s anything wrong with direct outreach, mind you, it’s just that we creative types would usually rather spend more time working on our craft, whatever that may be, than doing the constant business hustle.
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