Creative Marketing 101

We're going to answer the million dollar question: What exactly is Marketing and what does it do for your pattern design business? 

There are 3 main goals with Marketing:

  • Increase your visibility
  • Increase your credibility
  • Make Sales

Marketing is simply the process of using a strategy to attract customers for the patterns, products and services you offer. Everything you do that helps you attract your customer or audience is marketing. But marketing is often confused with some of the other elements included in a marketing strategy. 

  • Branding is the process of deciding how your customers/audience will perceive you
  • Advertising is the process of paying for exposure through third-party outlets
  • Selling is the process of generating income

A marketing strategy is a plan to bring in more money to your business using all the tasks that you do every day for your business.

For your customer, a marketing strategy gives you the opportunity to answer the one question that matters to them: “Why should I care?”

Marketing can be one of the biggest sources of frustration when it comes to building your business. That’s because it includes so many tasks.

You may not realize that a huge majority of what you do for your business is marketing related.

If you aren’t sure what business tasks helps you attract customers; sign-up to download your ‘What the Heck does Marketing Cover, Anyway?’ guidebook at the end of this article.

Why Marketing is Important

Wouldn’t be nice if you didn’t have to deal with marketing? 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a steady, magical, stream of crafting customers constantly buying patterns in your shop? Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way.

Without marketing no one would even know your shop existed. That’s why it's so important. The process of marketing helps your customer 'see' your business.

Marketing can be difficult because it includes so many different elements and what’s popular this month could change in the next. Marketing is also very important because so much of your revenue depends on a successful marketing strategy. Without one, your business can be just an expensive hobby.

What is Successful Marketing

What does successful marketing look like?

How do you know when you’re doing a good job marketing?

Answer: Your marketing is successful when your revenue is steadily increasing.

If your marketing is successful, and you're offering your customer a product that they value,  your website traffic and  sales should be steadily increasing. It doesn’t matter how fast it’s growing as long as your sales are increasing. 

Did you notice that I’m not saying profit, I'm using the word revenue. That’s because there’s a BIG difference between profit and revenue. Having more pattern sales, more repeat buyers and customers who purchase more and more of your products and services increases your revenue. 

Finance is the process of managing revenue so that your expenses aren’t larger than your income. The money you have left over after expenses is your profit.

Here’s the rub: If you do a great job at marketing, your revenues will increase. If you do a good job managing your finances, your profits will increase. That means in order to take home more money from your business, you have to combine good marketing with good finance.

The 3 Common Mistakes in Creative Marketing

The three most common mistakes in marketing is confusing it with the elements that make up marketing. Branding, Advertising and Sales are elements of marketing but can't stand alone. A marketing strategy includes all three elements working together to help your target audience 'see' you and what you offer.

Confusing Branding with Marketing:

Branding is your image. It’s the expression of the value you offer. Marketing is how you bring attention to that value. Branding is about perception, it's a strategy used to attract a certain type of customer/audience. Marketing is a strategy used to target that customer/audience to get their eyes on your business and patterns, products and services. 

In order to determine what your business represents, you need to ask yourself a few questions: 

  • What are your core principles and values?
  • What is the mission of your business?
  • What inspired you to build your business?
  • Why did you choose your target audience?
  • What makes your patterns unique?
  • What's your design sense of style?
  • What's your communication style?
  • How will you communicate with your customer?
  • What do you want to come to mind when someone hears your business name?
  • How do you want people to feel when they think of your business?
  • How do you want customers to describe you as a company?

These are the questions I can help you answer in The DESIGN YOUR BRAND workbook. Click to learn more.

Confusing Advertising with Marketing

A lot of creatives believe that if they spend a lot of money on advertising or a shiny new website, they’ll get more business. That’s partly true, because we humans can’t help but be attracted to the next new bright and shiny thing. But spending money on advertising without a marketing plan or strategy can be a waste of money.

Advertising is paying for exposure that announces something, or communicates a message to persuade your customer into action. Advertising is a component of marketing but isn’t marketing in itself, although, advertising can be your biggest marketing expense. 

The best way to tell the difference between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a whole pie. Advertising is only one slice of the pie in marketing. 

A marketing strategy is all of the slices of the pie working together and independently towards the bigger goal of generating sales and creating a loyal, engaged following. 

Marketing is a process that takes time to be effective. Advertising helps this process by targeting the audience your message is exposed to. Remember this: the quality of the people you advertise to, is more important than the number of people you advertise to.

When your advertising is effective, it delivers the right message to the right people at the right time in the right way.

Sign up below to get your ‘What the Heck does Marketing Cover, Anyway?” task list so you’ll know which business tasks helps to attract your audience.

Developing a Marketing Plan is a step-by-step process that determines what makes you unique and creates a message that helps express that uniqueness while communicating who your ideal customer is. This plan becomes the guiding theme that helps you attract and engage your target audience.

Your marketing plan can help you create advertising and develop growth strategies that help you create, develop, explain, teach and promote your products and services. 

If you don’t know how to start, The Design Your Brand Workbook will help you create the perfect Marketing Plan and Growth Strategy for you.

Confusing Sales with Marketing

Selling is a transaction. It's the goal of your entire marketing strategy. Sales is an agreement between you and a crafter on the price and value of your pattern. Marketing is what brings your pattern and the crafter together. 

There’s only one goal with sales: Getting paid! 

With marketing the goal is always centered on positioning. What’s positioning? It’s aligning your business in a particular niche and with a particular audience.

Sales has three distinct differences from marketing:

Selling concentrates on the customer
Marketing concentrates on the product

Selling is about what your business needs
Marketing is about what your customer needs

Selling involves exchanging products for money
Marketing involves identifying what your customer wants

The whole point of marketing is to sell a product or service. It’s a process that can take a while to master because there are so many changing elements at play. 

To Get your “What the Heck does Marketing Cover, Anyway” list of tasks that are directly marketing related, fill out the form below.

Sign up below to download your guidebook to learn more about the everyday tasks you do to attract your audience like:

  • Blog Marketing
  • Brand Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Other tasks you didn't know attracts your audience

If you need help developing a marketing plan that attracts, engages and converts your target audience, check out the Design Your Brand Workbook.  

What are you doing now to attract your ideal customer to your patterns, products and services? I'd love to know. Tell me in the comments below. 

Here’s a quick way to remember the differences between branding, marketing, advertising and selling: 

Branding says: This is what I do and the values I represent
Marketing says: This is what I offer to my target audience
Advertising says: Hey ideal customer! Look at me and the special offer I made for you!
Selling says: Buy me! This is perfect for you!

Remember, marketing is a process that takes time to develop. Having all the elements of your marketing strategy successfully working together will help increase your sales.

Sticks & String,