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Part Two: Answers To The Original Three Marketing Questions

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

I skipped giving you those answers in the last post and went right to what you should be asking me about: delegating. Your staff has the skills (and often the time) to be an active part of your marketing efforts. Get them on board, and watch your marketing transform (and your to-do list shorten).


Now, let's go back to the beginning.


Studio owners ask me these three questions more than any other:

1: So much falls under marketing. How do I keep it all organized?

2: How do I know what's most important?

3: At the end of the day, how do I know what works, what doesn't and what I'm missing?



So much falls under marketing. How do I keep it all organized?


Print the two-page Marketing Planner at the bottom of this post, then complete the form on page two. Get it all down: how do you promote your business in your studio, online and in the community? Keep in mind that what marketing channels you use are as important as the channels you do not use. Just say NO to the marketing efforts that don't align with your customers habits.


Trying to be everywhere, to everyone, all the time wastes your time and your money. You lose focus on what IS working and growing that engagement and audience.


As I've discussed previously, delegate some of the marketing to your staff or hire a VA (virtual assistant).


What's most important is consistency. (See the highlighted text below.) Schedule your posts, send your emails, update your website and update your in-studio marketing (posters, fliers, displays) on a consistent schedule. Use a copy of the marketing calendar at the bottom of this post every month. Do not stop. Engage regularly, be consistent and be on brand.


And how do I know what's most important?

A few considerations fall under this question:


Your message is very important: what are you directly - and indirectly - conveying in your stories, your posts, your emails, website, signage, etc. etc?


Your consistent message can be a tag line. For example:


The paint Box: Your favorite place to create and celebrate


or


The Paint Box: Live a colorful life


or


The Paint Box: Relax, enjoy and create


Or a theme that is used in your images that makes your images recognizable: all pieces are held in one hand while you take a photo with your other hand, with a recognizable background.


What is your studio's message? If you are sending different messages on all fronts, it's not necessarily confusing, but you are not sticking to a common thread that all marketing follows. (Again, see the highlighted text below.)


Also, what's important are your customers: where are they? If you're marketing in place and they're not there, you'll hear crickets (and waste a lot of time and energy). Please, please, please do not jump on a new platform because others in your niche are doing it (and doing it well or not). See the highlighted text below (again) for the first reason not to have FOMO. And the second reason: just because it's there and popular - even if you love it - does not mean your customers are on it.


What's most important is that you are engaging your customers where they are. How do you know where your customers are? Ask them! Use an email trick, or a simple form at your POS like this one. And ask them in person! Get into the habit of asking them at checkout. Have your staff ask - make a contest out of it.


At the end of the day, how do I know what works, what doesn't and what I'm missing?


Marketing is a long game: it takes time and non-stop effort to establish yourself in any format. (How often do people ask you that dreaded question: "how long you've been open?" And you've been open for 12 years?!)


If you bounce around from platform to platform and have no consistency to any message or marketing channel, you will not have a dedicated, engaged following of your people. Don't make it hard for them to find you, see you and buy from you.


If you put just one of my recommendations into action, let it be this one: repurpose your content. An engaging post is not a one-and-done. A photo with a high click-through rate is not meant to be posted once then kept hidden deep in your cell phone photo gallery. A question that generates a huge response is not asked just once.


Do not create more work for yourself! Continue to schedule those high-performing posts, repeat these emails and share those engaging images. It certainly makes posting easy and quick (how to schedule social media posts). BONUS, they're a proven winner, so they already have some traction. Start a list of your most engaging marketing material and then track the frequency of posts and the results.


Example: this post was from my studio a few years ago and was my most-repeated post format on FB. It was a homerun EVERY TIME.


Why?


- I started every post with "Baby shout-out!"

- I asked for help in exchange for a small freebie (with a photo specific to what I needed help with - and I was specific about the ages I needed)

- It was enticing ("My baby can be a handprint model? Sign me up!")

- It created engagement from mom's and their friends (aka tags GALORE) - especially new mommas

- FB loves all of this engagement, pot shares and comments

- for all of these reasons, the post visibility was sky high, every time

- BONUS: it always drew in new "like's" on my page and walk-ins to my studio. Win-win-win-win-win-win all day long


What are you missing? You may not be missing anything! Stay on top of your marketing list and monthly planner. Continue to do a quick review of the previous month and your numbers including email opens, website hits and social media reach.


Which platforms/channels are not seeing the results in the form of sales based on the time you put into it? It's not performing? Stop doing it. ("The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," Albert Einstein).


Continue having discussions with your customers: where so they see you and what platforms are they on?


Of course, you don't know what you don't know. Is another social media platform a good fit? Do some research first (again, are your customers there?) and set up a three-month trial. Closely look at your metrics and what worked the best, and the worst.



Do not forget your in-studio marketing. Keep your posters, fliers, front windows, displays and seasonal areas updated - all conveying your consistent marketing message.


Now it's time to organize, plan and delegate. YOU GOT IT!


TCR Marketing Planner
.pdf
Download PDF • 78KB


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