In my article, 3 Habits to Revitalize Your Creative Practice, I highlighted the three practices that are core to operating professionally and profitably. Number one was get your finances into a proper accounting system like QuickBooks. Second was to start recording all the time you spend on your business, not just your project time. And the third was to find a focus for your marketing.
I then suggested, based on that focus, to set up a website landing page that features examples related to this focus, and perhaps write a few blog posts that describe the specific problems you solved in these projects.
Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level
These two steps would be a great start for any creative entrepreneur. But even better would be a sustained content strategy, further articulating the patterns and solutions you bring to your chosen area of focus. Ideally, one or two blog posts per month.
Maybe you haven’t been producing any content of this kind or perhaps your blogging history follows the almost universal pattern among creative professionals of starting off writing a couple posts per month, then one, then every other month, then one per quarter, then… If that’s your content history, you might think that writing two thoughtful posts per month would be impossible to sustain!
The Reason Content Strategies Fail
But there is a reason why blogging frequency drops off. It’s a symptom of a lack of focus. Not only is coming up with ideas for generalized content hard to sustain, but it’s also ineffective. Most designer’s blogs consist of posts more relevant to their peers than to their prospects. And all the effort needed to maintain a content strategy, combined with its lack of impact, stymizes most creatives.
But when you have a clear focus that features a limited set of deliverables, centered around one kind of client, articulating insights is not nearly as hard as blogging as a generalist. You see, insights expand in inverse proportion to the narrowness of your focus. The more limited your focus, the more expansive your insights. And when a prospect discovers this content, immediately validating your suitability—perhaps your irreplaceability—for their needs, that content becomes a powerful marketing and sales asset indeed.
A Content Strategy for All Seasons
Sustaining insights and promoting this content among your prospects adds another valuable attribute to your content marketing strategy—timeliness. You can reach the perfect prospect, with a perfect pitch, matching an exact need, but see no return if your timing is off. But when you can sustain a content strategy, keeping valuable insights before potential clients, it’s only a matter of time before your efforts pay off.
When it comes to marketing your creative service, a carefully targeted content strategy is without doubt the most effective path. And devising, maintaining, and sustaining a content strategy does not have to be hard. Content strategy is sustainable and effective when the path has been cleared through narrow positioning.
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