for creative entrepreneurs

Episode 103: Data Driven Marketing?

Today’s marketing activities are trackable and measurable in so many ways, it can be downright creepy. Isn’t that right, Daniel, from Sioux City Iowa—I know that you’re listening right now while driving down Steuben Street on your way to buy a garden hose from Home Depot. Of course I’m kidding, podcasts are one of the few forms of media that don’t deliver personalized data analytics—so you can keep listening in anonymous bliss. But other online activities and transactions are anything but anonymous. Modern marketing is overwhelmingly data-driven. But fortunately for you, marketing a creative practice does not require you to be a data guru. 

Today’s marketing landscape is criss-crossed by the information highway, flows with streams of data, and stretches across an ever expanding range of channels and methods. If you were trying to sell a consumer product in a highly competitive market, you’d have no choice but to become an expert in data analytics. 

Marketing consumer products requires advanced research to find targeted channels. Product marketing uses advanced methods such as ad retargeting techniques. Consumer marketing uses psychological tactics that play on a buyer’s fear of missing out through limited time offers. Product marketing studies user interactions with careful A/B testing experiments. And all these tactics are measured and adapted based on real-time data extracted from each user’s data profile and online activity. 

But lucky for you, marketing a professional service is not nearly so daunting. In fact, data analytics are more often an impediment to marketing a creative service than a help. The biggest problem facing creative entrepreneurs is learning how and what to ignore as you focus on the more basic methods that are needed to market your practice effectively.     

Professional services are not sold in the same way as consumer products. Lawyers don’t market their services with glowing buy now buttons and limited time discounts. Doctors don’t use in-game advertising to find new patients. Professionals sell through reputation and trust. And cold, technical digital marketing methods don’t help with that kind of effort—in fact, they’d more likely hurt. So you can ignore 90% of the fast-paced, technology-driven, methods that you see used all over the internet. That said, you do still have to do something. It is still essential that prospective clients find out that you exist, and keep you in mind for projects when the time is right. 

And so marketing your professional creative services will require you to learn some new methods, and you can certainly benefit from many of the tools available in digital marketing, but you don’t need to become an SEO expert, or an online advertising guru to market your creative practice. What you really need is just some good ‘ole fashioned elbow grease and perseverance. Making contact with prospects, introducing yourself and your services, and staying in touch is the essence of marketing a professional service. And that requires effort, but it’s not high tech and it doesn’t involve complicated data driven methods.

Of course there are many ways you can leverage digital platforms and use technology to help you with your marketing, but you don’t get overwhelmed or sucked into sophisticated digital marketing funnels, when all you really need to do is say Hi to prospects, and stay in touch.   

If you need help staying focused on the essence of marketing your creative practice, or some direction in using technology the right way, check out my new course, Marketing Mastery for Creative Entrepreneurs at And if you buy before the end of this podcast you’ll receive a 75% discount—again, just kidding—but seriously, I do offer my podcast listeners a $50 coupon, just use code 5mce during check out. And I’ll then start tracking every web page you visit forever—bwhaaa. 

Until next week: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business. 

Are you ready to take the struggle out of finding new clients?