5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Marketing My Creative Business


Editor’s Note: Today I bring you this super insightful and wonderful post by April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle about Marketing for creative businesses. In case you are wondering, I agree with all of it, save for the part about guest posts because mostly I stay in my bubble… Enjoy!

When I started my creative business, I didn’t grasp how important marketing would be to my success. I saw people starting and building creative businesses and figured that if you had a good product, you wouldn’t need to work so hard on marketing.

I was so wrong. I soon realized that the saying, “Build it and they will come,” didn’t apply to small, online businesses. After I understood the importance of marketing, I became a devoted student reading books and blog posts on marketing, experimenting with different techniques, and even attending conferences that focused on marketing. And, I’ve learned a lot. Today I thought I’d share a little bit of that with you.

1. The most important piece of your marketing is your “why.”

Why do you do what you do? You need to have a clear answer for this question, and you need to be able to convey your “why” to potential customers, current customers, and press. When you build your business around your why, you also build a loyal following of people who share your values and beliefs. That will lead to a long-term, successful business.

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” –Simon Sinek, Start With Why  {Video worth watching.}

2. You have to remind people that you’re around.

People are busy. They forget about your amazing products and services even though they love them. A potential customer might fall in love with your handbags in August and plan on getting a few for Christmas gifts for family members, but if she doesn’t remember how to find your shop again, you’ve lost those sales.

The best way to keep in touch with potential customers and current customers is through an email newsletter. Most people check their email regularly, so if you email your list consistently, they’ll remember you exist. That potential customer will remember to buy her Christmas presents from you when you send out an email reminding your customers to place their orders by a specific date in order to ensure they receive the products before the holidays.

I have four times the amount of people subscribed to my email newsletter than I do subscribed to RSS. I would be losing out on a HUGE amount of potential customers if I didn’t have an email newsletter.

3. People want what other people want and have.

It’s true. I know you want to believe that you aren’t influenced by your peers, but you are. That’s why you have to use social proof to your advantage. Make sure you’re using testimonials throughout your site and shop and if you’ve been featured on popular blogs or in magazines, flaunt it.

I saw a large increase in sales when I started using testimonials wisely and when I added an “as seen on” section on the sidebar of my blog.

4. Landing guest posts and interviews is much easier than I thought.

I was nervous when I submitted my first guest post pitch and when I submitted my first interview pitch. I didn’t realize that bloggers, editors, and writers are constantly looking for valuable information for their audiences. If you can provide it, they usually want it.

If you’re looking for a way to increase your blog or shop traffic in a short amount of time, pitching guest posts, interviews, and features is the way to spend the time you set aside for marketing.

5. You always need to be marketing.

Successful entrepreneurs know this to be true. Even when the sales are rolling in, you should continue to spend time on marketing. If you don’t, your sales could suddenly decrease, and then you’d have to work extra hard to get it going again. My advice is to spend time learning about marketing and implementing what you learn every week. It’s worked for me.

I hope you benefit from some of the lessons I’ve learned.


April Bowles-Olin helps creative entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality through her website, Blacksburg Belle, where she writes about marketing, blogging, and increasing business success. Want more information on marketing your creative biz? Check out April’s digital guide, Marketing for Creatives: How to Spread Your Message and Boost Your Sales 


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Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) merriweathercouncil.com Thanks for stopping by.

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