This week we continue Market Yourself March, our series of posts on getting the word out about your creative enterprise with tips and practical project ideas from creative business folk. Today, Rae from ARMOMMY visits with some encouraging words on discovering your personal strengths and using them in your creative business endeavors.
Hello, friends! I’m so excited to share some marketing tips with you today! A little background before we get started; my name is Rae and I own a creative business with my mom (Jane) called ARMOMMY. We’ve been in business now for six years and have experienced lots of successes and failures.
Two of the greatest turning points in our business came when we 1. defined what our strengths are, and 2. leveraged our strengths in our marketing. So, let’s talk about number 1! We tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what we aren’t good at or should be better at and very little time thinking about what we are good at.
If I asked you, “what are you good at?” what would you say? Do you know? Are you confident in those strengths? Or do you just know that you are creative? That’s a good place to start, but it’s still pretty broad and can feel overwhelming. If you are like I was about a year ago, and have no idea how to answer the above question, here are a few ideas that might help you:
- Read the book, Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. They also have a website and strengths test you can take here.
- Email those closest to you and ask them what your top three strengths are. This might feel awkward, but will payoff.
- Do some soul searching and ask some specific questions. What do you love to do the most? What do you get the most positive feedback about? What have you been successful at?
- Find a place to record what you’ve learned in a way that is simple to read and easy to see (such as bullet points pinned to a board).
Your personality is always a strength, so share it with the world by using it in your marketing. Are you sweet and sentimental? Do you make friends quickly? Maybe you are good at encouraging people. Whatever it is, use it in your social networking, status updates, blog posts, business cards, packaging, campaigns, and any other copy you share with your customers and potential customers.
The picture above is an example from my own life. When I received an email inviting me to do an interview and home tour on a well known mommy blog, I immediately went to the site to see what other people had done before me. What I discovered were beautifully decorated homes that had been remodeled and staged and my mind immediately started focusing on how I’m not good at displaying things on my shelves, etc. However, when it came time to take the pictures I resolved to be myself. Which includes messes and playtime, and working around the kids and wearing my workout clothes. I was scared to death about what people would think, but the response was amazing. (You can see and read more about that interview here.) Lesson learned.
Time is precious. Especially if you are growing your own small business. So, use your talents to help you decide WHAT you should spend your time doing. For instance, do you love long projects? Prepare a four-part remodeling series on your blog. Are you good at sharing details and keeping in touch with people? Promote your Instagram feed, Twitter feed, and Facebook page and keep them updated as a way to grow your audience. Are you good at public speaking? Look for opportunities to teach classes or speak at events. Do you love starting conversations and meeting new people? Say yes to farmers' markets and craft fairs!
Last but not least, look for people you can trade services with. If you are really good at writing product descriptions and you have a friend that is a talented photographer, ask if she would like to do a work swap. You write her product copy and she can take pictures of all your products. The best part is that it will result in less work (it usually takes us less time to do what we are good at) and everyone will be happier with the results. So in short-- define what you are good at and apply those things to your business and specifically your marketing. Then when you are on a roll, start to build some of the skills you wish you were better at and outsource those tasks you know you will never want to do! Hopefully this information was helpful for you… I would love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!