The most successful form of marketing for creativepreneurs is what I call Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing. Which means that whatever kind of creative entrepreneur you are–actor or activist, healer or educator, designer or diva–you also need to be a “publisher” these days.
I'm using the word “publishing” here in the oldest sense of the word: to make public.
We need to reclaim that wider meaning of the word.
For creativepreneurs, publishing isn't something that happens in bookish Manhattan and London. We need to understand the power of our publications (text, video and audio) to spread our message, attract our community and make our enterprises scalable and sustainable.
Putting ourselves out there, letting people know they can trust us is key to success for creativepreneurs–both creative and commercial success.
With the average urbanite now said to exposed to as many as 5000 advertisements a day, nobody wants to see more ads.
Creative publishing instead attracts attention by explaining your value and offering it freely. In return for being entertained, informed or inspired, your potential customer then gives you access.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Publishing
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) marketing is a two-stage marketing method that has creative publishing at its heart. It has six steps, all about offering captivating and valuable experiences through the creative publishing of audio, video or text.
The ACCESS Marketing steps are Attract (Captivate, Connect, Engage) and Subscribe (Send). You can read about how to implement them below.
Your publications like blog posts or checklists or infographics or prints or cartoons are connectors. They help people understand the value you are offering and at the same time spread your message and grow your influence and impact.
They support each step of your marketing, spreading the message and values you want to spread as a creativepreneur, building your influence and impact, while connecting you with the people who most value what you do.
The whole structure of ACCESS marketing rests on creative publishing. What this means for you, as a creativepreneur, is that in the making stage you are not only making your core product, what you'll offer for sale, you are also making these connector publications that will draw your community in closer to you.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Prep
When we use Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) marketing, we don't release your product until we know we have enough subscribers to do well on launch.
- Before we begin the process of publishing to attract, we work out how many sales we need to make a profit and how many subscribers we need to make a sale.
- And we don't release our project or product until we reach that subscriber target.
We also plan for creativity. Each step of the way, we aim to attract, captivate, connect and engage.
We recognize that each interaction, from our social media to our emails and sign up forms, is an opportunity to go creative, to show what we're made of.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Six Steps
It all rests on creative publishing. To show our work and what we’re made of, we need to create connectors each step of the way.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Attract
First, you attract. Work out who you want in your community and why. Then give them a gift.
This is not a product for prospects, something you give to get. This is freely given to the community you love, with no expectations beyond making a connection.
What would like to give and who would you like to give it to?
Draw those people to your own website if you can, though sometimes social media makes it more practical to do it there. For example, this blog is one of my giveaways and hosted on my own site.
Another giveaway is the creative flow practice (meditation and f-r-e-e-writing) that I do Monday to Thursday in our closed Facebook Group. This I do on Facebook because they make recording a live video so easy and it is more easily accessed by the group there.
You captivate people with one of three things: knowledge, entertainment or inspiration. The best publishers provide all three, to some degree, but major on one. Which are you best at, which most excites you as a prospect?
Deepen the connection by offering a way to contact and connect with you. A contact form on your website. A regular presence on social media.
As they come closer to you, engage. Email them directly. Offer a chatroom on your website. Reach out on social media. You're still not trying to sell anything. Your creative intention still is to connect, to mutual pleasure, around something of mutual interest.
Build your brand of knowledge, entertainment or inspiration into each interaction you have with people. All of this will feedback in a very positive way into your core products and projects too.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Subscribe
Once you've connected and engaged, you ask them to subscribe.
Often this is achieved by offering them some free samples of what you do, in exchange for their subscription.
By now they know, like and trust you and so it should be easy to get them to subscribe. Most commonly, the subscription is in the form of an email address but depending on the nature of your business, and how much work you do offline, you may want them to subscribe in a different way.
Whatever form subscription takes, you make it easy and enticing for them to sign up.
Keep on offering your brand of knowledge, entertainment or inspiration throughout the subscription process.
Follow up with them, ask for their feedback, thank them. You can set up auto-responders to do this.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Sending
Few businesses are doing this sort of marketing well. This is where we creativepreneurs can come into our own. We have the passion, we care, we are creative.
What we're not so good at is working out how all that connects to profit.
And that's where the ACCESS marketing steps begin, with that initial assessment of how many sales we need to make a profit and how many subscribers we need to make a sale.
This sort of marketing and selling method suits creativepreneurs very well. There is no direct, face-to-face selling. We don’t have to beg people to buy.
When we get this right, they are begging to buy from us.
Attract and Subscribe (ACCESS) Marketing: Publish
What we publish is up to us, there's a huge variety to choose from: blogs, videos, infographics, gifs, memes, case studies, white papers, checklists, interviews, poems, social media updates and yes, books. And a proliferation of platforms to take them out to the world.
As we make our stuff, we turn our passion not just into the core product we will offer for sale but also the publication products–the connectors–we will release around it.
Is it hard work? Yes, it is. Does it challenge us to go to the source and work out what we're offering? You bet.
And it's never fully resolved, always a work in progress.
But the great thing is, it works. It feeds your mission and passion and purpose, it's far more likely to deliver profit, and you can start now, wherever you are, whatever you're currently bringing forth.
What small connector could you create today that would further your core project and connect with your community?
Doing that well is what puts the “creative” into creativepreneur.