To kick off the 30th Anniversary of my business, Colleen Gratzer, a Marketing Mentor client, interviewed me about how I got here for her new podcast, Design Domination.
I really love this interview and the show notes are amazing too! They include all the links mentioned PLUS a transcript of our conversation, during which she asked me:
How do you own a market?
What is the biggest marketing problem that creatives come to me with?
What should we keep in mind when deciding on a niche?
Is LinkedIn a good place for creatives to market themselves? and more...
Listen here or below and scroll down for an excerpt from the transcript -- it's full of marketing tips!
Colleen: And what do you think is the biggest marketing problem that creatives come to you with? I know there’s so many, but if you had to pick one, what do you think is the biggest one?
Ilise: I think the biggest one is … It’s a combination. The hardest thing is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and speak about their problems that you solve as opposed to the services that you offer. Often when I start with someone, start working in the mentoring process, we have to separate, “All right, here’s what you do, but you can’t talk about it in that way, because that language doesn’t really mean anything to your prospects who have a problem.” You need to almost learn how to speak another language that they will be able to understand.
Colleen: So you’re speaking about the results and how you can help them and what it’s going to do for them as opposed to, “Oh, I’m just going to design a brochure for you.”
Ilise: Exactly. You’ll get much further if you explain how you can solve their problems, as opposed to focusing on what might also be called a scope of work or a deliverable, and that’s again hard for someone to get out of their own shoes and put themselves in the other person’s shoes. It’s interesting because often designers, this is exactly what they do for their clients, but they have a really hard time doing it for themselves. It takes distance.
Colleen: It really does. How does a designer’s marketing affect the clients that they attract and maybe the type of work that they end up getting?
Ilise: Your marketing has to be done in a very strategic way, with the ideal client in mind, first of all. It can’t be done in a haphazard way, which is often what happens during feast or famine, because suddenly you have no work, so you absolutely need something quickly, and you put something out there and it doesn’t usually work because it takes a long time to cultivate these relationships. The idea is that you are focused on the end result, what you’re trying to accomplish, and who you want to work with, and then all of your marketing tools are connected such that it reaches the right person at the right time with the right message, and the right time is their moment of need.
Read the rest here and, if you want guidance to get better clients, sign up for a free mentoring session and we'll brainstorm what the market needs from you, no matter what services you're offering.