If it’s been proven that 90 percent of a purchasing decision is emotional, then you would think creatives have a leg up in the sales department. Speaking for us creatives, we are hard-wired to produce work that ignites emotions, be it through our words, images, sounds, flavors or the textures we create.
So why then do so many creatives come up short when marketing and selling their wares and services? Here are three simplified guide points that can help our marketing and sales approach.
- Be a Co-Creator
As creatives, we are used to having free reign to produce according to our own aesthetic, and our work is a direct reflection of our viewpoint. While this unique take may be the very reason someone chooses to work with us, it is important to include your prospect in the process. Remember, this is about them, not you. They must feel you understand them, represent them, value them and most importantly…hear them.
- Shut Up and Listen and Then Engage
Which brings me to my next guide point, get better at the art of two-way conversation. As creatives, we tend to fall in one of two camps; either afraid to engage, choosing instead to stand back from our work so as not to frighten away the discerning audience, or more than willing to go on and on about our work as we are genuinely excited and want to share everything!
Learning to ask good questions that provide better information, patiently listening to the answers and crafting that information back into a more user-friendly product that is connected to the needs, personality, and desired outcomes of our audience will demonstrate we can create in harmony. And that will establish the know-like-trust that is the foundation of a sale.
- User-Friendly over Aesthetically Pleasing
This is both the easiest and the hardest fix. As creatives, we produce exquisitely designed business cards, creative business names, and colorful marketing collateral. Unfortunately, much of this is lost on our audience as the emphasis is on the creativity and not on making our marketing collateral easily digestible and useable for our intended audience.
Striving for a balance between creative and user-friendly will directly and positively affect your marketing and sales efforts.
For example, business cards:
- Your business card has to be something people can easily write on to take notes for themselves. This means it can’t be all black, glossy on both sides or metal. You get the idea.
- You need to leave room for notes. I like providing prompts and space on the back for ‘where met, why call, and when’.
- An eye-catchingly beautiful card is great only if it conveys what you do, and even better, what it is you can do for them. A pithy, catchy name, play on words, or creative logo only works if it clearly communicates your value-add.
Becoming increasingly comfortable melding your creative side with strong, straight-forward business skills will go a long way to ensuring you will not be living the life of the ‘starving artist’.