Give your audience the one thing they really want...
(no not an ocean-view hut in Bali complete with sexy masseuse although that would be nice...)
Which means you don't need to work 24/7 / shout like a banshee / wear stilettos and sultry eyes to get the attention your business needs.
Although sultry eyes do come in handy.
But I digress.
Let's be honest. Sales funnels, conversion analysis and A/B testing don't really make you want to swing from a chandelier with glee, do they? I didn't think so. (Except of course when your conversions start racing upwards - that's when things get exciting. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...) And if you're like me, the thought of spending 3/4 of your day on marketing makes you want to hibernate with your cat, Haagen Dazs and a very big spoon. What you really want is to immerse yourself in creating (and the ensuing audience worship).
So... you're gonna' love this. Those other people have it all wrong. The Marketing AKA Manipulation people. We're not like that. And best of all, we don't have to be to get what we want.
In 2007, I started my design business with a website decorated with puppies and kittens (and I expected people to take me seriously). No phone number (unheard of for a local business). Using only my first name. (I was very private for years, then did a complete 180 and told my story of abuse publicly. Woman's prerogative and all.) I didn't go out networking. I didn't use social media. I just created. All day. Our favourite kind of day, right?
Shouldn't have worked.
But it did.
Because I gave my clients what they wanted. And I don't mean the design work. I made them feel like they were in the right place.
...You know that feeling when you both know exactly what the other is thinking? (cue twinkling eyes)
...The triumphant breath you take when someone interrupts that self-righteous know-it-all and totally validates your point?
...When your partner says you deserve a day at the spa (which you totally do)
Those are feelings of belonging, validation, of knowing you matter.
***Cue drumroll (because this is important)***
You make people feel this way every day in real life. So why not your customers? Under every desire / decision / purchase is a human feeling. Even the strongest, most practical people are motivated first by their emotions and second by logic.
A quick story to demonstrate (because it's more fun than an article called 80 Steps to Modern Marketing, right?)...
A long time ago, I was on a date with a guy who fancied himself so much, he didn't even notice me secretly texting my girlfriend to please SAVE ME. So out of boredom, I started throwing come hither looks at the friendly looking guy across the room, then *accidently* spilled blueberry pie and sangria all over Mr. Wonderful. He of course rushed off to get his Armani suit dry cleaned because obviously his appearance was more important than why I would dump purple and red slosh on his lap.
Then Friendly Guy invited me to join his party and for the rest of the night, he made me feel like the most important person in the room. We laughed and joked and he totally got me. We related on so many levels. I felt elated in his presence. I wanted more. And who wouldn't?
Wait not that kind of fantasy (although we could have fun with that). Before you work on whatever you're putting out there, you *must* take time to understand your favourite kind of client so you can build something that speaks to her. I promise you she's not interested in your "cutting edge technology" or "proven systems" or your 50 steps to anything. She wants to know you understand. (As as side note, I forbid you to use these daft phrases because 1. This is not the eighties and 2. They're far too generic for a modern, sassy woman like you.)
Then you can quit flinging mud at the wall, hoping it'll stick. You can reclaim Friday nights with the girls and Sunday morning sex AKA have a spicy life again.
Once you know how to connect with your visitors and clients (versus shove your message down her throat), you and marketing will get along just fine. Trust me on this. (And you should trust me because like you, I secretly want to be a burlesque dancer which obviously makes us kindred spirits.)
Building your audience can be as natural as sharing secrets over wine with your best girlfriends. You share. You commiserate. You laugh together. You offer support. They trust you. And they can't wait until they see you again.
Get to know what your audience is feeling, looking for, and hoping to feel. Whatever you do, look at it from their perspective. Choose an objective person to review it too, because when it comes to our own work, we're far too familiar with it to see what a stranger sees.