Why Are Creatives, Such Reluctant Marketers?

Whether you run a regular business or are a creative business owner if you are reluctant to embrace marketing then your business is doomed...

Marketing (even for creatives) is simply about putting the right offer in front of the right audience at the right time.  Word of mouth is marketing but its not scaleable or predictable. 

In order to grow a business you want predictability in all areas...

  • If you have no leads, then its unlikely you will make sales...
  • Without sales you have no cash….
  • Without cash you cannot invest in marketing to grow leads and sales….

It's a vicious cycle at times...

And... if you are not clear on who you serve you cannot target your marketing effectively.

Being clear on your business purpose and then targeting your ideal clients with relevant information and offers is the simple strategy to growing your creative  enterprise.

Whether you choose to accept it or not - marketing is everything and everything is marketing.  

A few months back I connected with Facebook Ad's Guru Kim Barrett from Your Social Voice a company called based in Perth , Western Australia.   Kim is a marketing and Facebook expert for small businesses (but has also run marketing campaigns for Gary V in Australia and Reese Witherspoon so is by no means a small player)

I was able to pull some strings with Kim and we did an interview while on the ferry coming back from Bintan Island to Singapore. I wanted to ask him how you - the freelance filmmaker and creative small business owner could best use the limited resources available to create more reach and advertising.


Den: As filmmakers we particularly we just want to make  great films for clients. So one I'm a great believer in playing to your strengths.  If there’s something you can outsource to an expert company then that makes a lot of sense.  In order to do that you need to create some consistent sales to pay for it and that requires marketing, so what are some of the basic things people could be doing,  to be more visible online?


Kim: The funniest thing that I always find is that anyone that’s great at something and normally doesn’t do what they do for their clients for themselves. So first of all, would be hopefully you have a great film of your own company would be number one.

Because video marketing across the board everywhere you can do it is the easiest and most effective way to get in front of people. I always tell people, step one is have or create a great video that you can market on Facebook, you can put onto your youtube channel you can have on your website. So grab their attention and normally especially for filmmakers it’s like, well that’s the easy thing.

For most other business owners it’s the hardest. But I think any form of video that you can have dramatically increases the interaction with your clients and actually shows your professionalism, especially in this business. So having those videos there is step one because step two is then anyone that watches them you can then also capture them as a lead after they’ve watched it.


Den: So websites are obviously still important but I always think of websites now as digital business cards. It's where  people can check you out to check you're real. How important is a good Facebook profile, a LinkedIn profile, how are important are your public profiles and social media?


Kim: Well the biggest thing to remember is that you’re going to be, whether you like it or not, advertising at some point. You have to do some form of marketing, so it’s kind of the same thing as going, well if you’re going into an event that you’re going to meet prospective clients how are you going to dress? Are you going to go in board shorts, thongs and messy hair like you just woke up in bed or are you going to present yourself in the best way possible?

I think that it is extremely important to not only showcase yourself and your professionalism but also to show what value you can bring.

What I mean by that for example, Facebook have video covers on your cover profile.

They have videos for your profile picture, for your business page.

Linkedin is now becoming more of a hub for video as well, especially for this industry I think it’s hugely important to be able to leverage that and go ... ‘Cause when they see that they come and go wow, these guys are ahead of the curve because you’re not what everyone else has.

Those video covers I especially because you guys are filmmakers and it’s like if you have this on that, wow I never knew you could do that. I didn’t even know that’s another application for video, so if you have a little 30 second highlight reel at the top and have featured videos and you can actually now segment your profile as a video creator.

That gives you more options to display your video and actually presents it better for those people that create videos.

It’s not really for companies, it’s more for influencers and things like that but being filmmakers that gives you even more opportunity to leverage.


Den: So essentially you can hack the back element of the social profile, which is ... They’re calling video creators, content creators but if you’re a filmmaker or a producer of content for third-party business and you can essentially can have, that’s a great tip.

What about, you know how people get very overwhelmed with ... They’ll try one thing, they’ll try and do some Facebook ads and they’ll do way too broad targeting and they’ll spend over budget and have a really crappy offer and then go, “oh I tried Facebook marketing and it didn’t work.”

Some people will say, "well I’ve heard SEO is dead or I don’t want to pay for AdWords". There’s a lot of conflicting opinion and confusion in amongst the chat rooms and the groups. What’s your advice to the small creative business owner  who perhaps isn’t doing any advertising.


Kim: I would say, like you said earlier, even if it’s a one page website it’s always great to have for authenticity. Like someone checking your business name certificate, just to see you’re real. But then I would say choose one platform, I think for most filmmakers my recommendation would be Facebook or Instagram depending on what they’re most comfortable with.

And get to the point where you’re not flat out but you’re very happy with the growth of your business and then add on additional marketing arms when you’ve got a team and you’ve got time and you’ve seen what works, what doesn’t work.

And start small, Facebook is the best or Instagram because they run on the same ad platform, to do one, two, three, five, ten dollars a day. You don’t have to spend thousands. You can start with that, see the engagement, get the belief over yourself that it works. Then start to extrapolate from there.

But I wouldn’t say go in, do everything, like I’ve done ads for a bit, Facebook ads, I’m starting to get some consistency now I want to get my website up in ranking, let’s do a bit of SEO, now I’ve got that I just want to get a couple of keywords I want to have an ad word running so that I’m seen in more places.


Den:  Earlier we were talking  and you said marketing is like having spokes of a wheel. You can’t have a wheel run on one spoke. I’ve heard it referred to as the marketing Parthenon where you get lots of pillars.

What would be the minimum that a  filmmaker who is thinking about doing a bit more production, wants to start his own website. They want to start a production company, what would be the minimum recommendation for just making sure the consistency across social profiles?


Kim: So for me, I’m all about diversity and the reason why I think of it as a wheel and spokes is pretty much you can see if you have one it would flop, if you have two it would flop, three you could kind of get away with a little bit of bumpiness.

So whether that’s just your website, your Facebook or Instagram, and I probably think that Facebook and Instagram would be the two core ones for filmmakers just because they’re the most set up to allow you to display your skills and maybe LinkedIn as back end or youtube.

Maybe for those two, back end. I think Instagram and Facebook would be the best to leverage.


Den: We’ve actually found many filmmakers getting a lot of success with LinkedIn. It’s a very deliberate connection strategy and forming connections with potential clients and building that over time. That’s quite an involved commitment. And one thing that I hear a lot and I’m always baffled by it,  but people will say to me, "but oh I don’t think my corporate clients will be on Facebook?"


Kim: Which is to put it nicely, rubbish, basically. Everyone thinks of corporations as corporations, but someone runs that corporation and makes a decision and they have family, they have friends.

It’s funny, I ran into a guy who we now partner with, he’s like I’ve been watching your stuff on Facebook. He’s sold half a billion dollar mergers and acquisition company in the UK and most people if I was trying to tell them that’s who I now am partnered with in some aspects, and he found me on Facebook would be like, no that’s not possible.

But everyone is. Just because the company is corporate its still run by people...

The head of Rio Tinto still has a Facebook profile and sends his friends messages, so they’re all there.


Den: It’s no longer the case that one person makes the decision in an organisation especially at corporate level. Let’s say a company is thinking of getting some videos made, it’s no longer one persons decision.

The CEO doesn’t say, I know Den Lennie so I’m going to get him to make the video. He’ll pass it down to his marketing division, they’ll pass it down to their marketing department. Their marketing department will probably say to their marketing assistant or even intern, please search video companies.

One thing that I see a lot of is very me-too website’s, me-too profiles. Front pages saying , "we’re passionate about making films," it’s a “we’re passionate about your story” Headline, no lead capture, it’s often all about them, where’s the value for the client?

Creating lead capture and giving away some sort e-book or video series is a great way to build a relationship with someone. Yet so often  I can hear people saying, "but email won't work in my market and SEO is dead".

What’s your view on front-end marketing with the view to getting people offline to email?


Kim: I think email is still very important. Nothing is every dead, generally when someone says it’s dead it just means they suck at it, and there’s opportunity for everyone else. I remember there was a time when everyone would keep saying with Facebook there’s different ad positions. Oh in the news feed the right hand column is dead, you can’t run ads there. Soon as everyone started saying, I started turning all my ads into right hand columns, so I’ll get less competition.

I highly believe in taking people off line, I agree with you as well about the whole me-too thing. I would say it’s even more powerful, again if you can make sure you have your niche.

That doesn’t mean you only work with that type of client but as soon as you do niche, for example we only work with small businesses in this sector, you make films for them.

Or we did videos for them, great that makes it so much easier when people see your website to identify exactly who you want to work with, very specific.

I have a friend who did that, and he’s now one of the only film makers for Russell Brunson. He only works with him, pretty sure Russell owns part of his company.

But it’s purely from working that process and going cool. You don’t have to not work with anyone else but it makes it very easy to see that, okay I work with people that I want this outcome and seem to be this industry or this type of person.

Cool, here is the e-book for this type of person. We have a generic e-book Get Five Clients, but we have Get Five Clients for yoga teachers, Get Five Clients for finance brokers, it’s just the same e-book with a different cover.

But because we specify to them our leads are half the cost on those pages than our general one. People are more engaged because it’s specifically for them.


Den: Of course the added benefit of being niche is that you can target more specifically because Facebook is a very, very powerful platform. It's a huge platform with hundreds of thousands of variables if you’re trying to target everyone - it doesn’t work .

It’s like setting a fishing line out in the ocean, with no bait on 

How would you advise small businesses to do their very first campaign?


Kim: Like I said, first of all, you do need to have that niche. For a lot of people, I think they look bigger than they need to be to start off with. For example, I live in Perth. A lot of people when they live in Perth, even if they’re kind of national, they can sell things nationally they’ll market to the whole of Australia.

Cool, well start off in your local area of Perth, or for example me, West Perth. Cool, so then the marketing campaign to your ideal market in that area is going to be a lot smaller, and probably some people would say it’s too small to market to, but realistically you’ve got 10,000 people in a suburb or even a couple thousand if you’re in regional.

First of all, a lot of them may already know you. So you’re going to get a better result than when you try to market to the whole huge area.

We do some work, we call one of our programmes Mogul. How can you become a mogul in your industry and just become that local celebrity? It’s a lot easier when you’re there and you walk around and you do other things and you network and people see more and more of you.

It’s way easier to convert than trying to market to the whole of Australia and reintroduce yourself.


Den: I wanted to touch briefly on some of the technological side, see if what’s going on in Australia. Facebook Messenger is providing a huge opportunity and I know you guys have been doing a lot of work in that space. What’s your thoughts, where are you going with that? With the Messenger bots?


Kim: At the moment it’s kind of like the early days with any new technology. It’s like a land grab, a lot of people are trying really hard to build this stuff. It’s the same as an email list at the moment, so you get people that become the subscriber and if you want to you can send broadcasts out to them.

I feel like now, while it’s all available I can’t tell whether it’s going to be like that forever. Whether they may ever doing or anything like that, but the price is so much cheaper to get someone to send you a message versus just asking for their email address.

You can also get them on your email list after, but I find it so much cheaper, more efficient ... If you look at your email open rates, if you’re tremendous maybe you’re at 40, 50 percent of people opening your emails. If you’re regular, ten to 15. messenger bots are at 80% + so its a big deal.


We'll be following up with Kim again soon to ask him  more about Messenger Bots and the latest Facebook marketing hacks.  You can find Kim at http://www.kimbarrett.com.au/ and https://www.yoursocialvoice.com.au/


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