You’ve got a business idea but aren’t quite sure exactly what it looks like and how you’re going to attract customers. And sometimes a little voice pops into your head that makes you second guess pursuing it because building something new is hard and staying status quo is easier. Sound familiar?
I have built an entire program around building a creative business from the ground up because I am passionate about helping others create income for themselves in a way that lets them be who they want to be and breaks away from patterns and situations that stifle them. It is a robust program that starts with the twinkle of an idea and nurtures it through to creation, launch, and scale. But if I could only give one piece of advice to my clients, it would be to build trust with your ideal customers. When it comes right down to it, regardless of the product or service you are selling, if your customers trust that you have the solution to their problem, they will come to you to buy it when the need arises. And just like any relationship, building trust with your customers relies on your ability to form meaningful connections with them.
How do you do that with a broad audience that you don’t personally know? Build your KNOW, LIKE, TRUST and WANT factor. Intentionally building your reputation with the customer in mind means answering any questions they may have about your offer through your marketing efforts. Give them what they want to know without having them ask you for it first. Establish a connection with them that ensures they know who you are, they like what you do (and who you are), and they trust that you can help them. If you can get to this space with them, you’re more likely to have them reach out to you when they want to buy what you’re selling. Once they do reach out, be sure to provide a level of customer service that reinforces the fact that they LIKE you and will WANT to return to you when they need to make another purchase in the future. Not only will you have a repeat customer, but you’ll have gained someone who shares who you are, what you do, and why someone should buy from you if they want what you’re selling.
Show up, whether it’s going Live on the social media platform of your choice, or sending weekly email newsletters (to name only a couple of options), you want to show up and share about things that matter to your ideal customer in relation to your business. You want to give your potential customers an opportunity to meet you and get to know your style, your personality, and your approach so they start to know you even though you may have not actually met. Live authentic video is a great way to accomplish this because it’s you on camera, but if you’re not yet comfortable with that, sending newsletters written in your voice that include your photo can also accomplish the KNOW factor over time. The key is to show up regularly and consistently so you remain top of mind and they know when to count on hearing from you.
They know who you are because you show up consistently and authentically. And this is also the key to getting them to like you as well. The secret is to be authentic and relatable. Own your space, whether it’s online or in their inbox, and let them really get to know you so they have an opportunity to like you (or not). And if they don’t like you, it’s not the end of the world. You’re not going to be for everyone, but you will most definitely be for someone, and that’s what really matters. Provide a product or service you can truly stand behind that fills a need for the customer, and when you tell them about it, be real, be relatable, be vulnerable, and be honest. Be you.
Show that you are knowledgeable and always be giving value when you show up. Offer free training or free product samples and show the results real people have experienced from using your product or service. Building trust depends on your ability to show that what you are offering works and why, so you want to establish yourself as a trusted expert on the product or service you offer. You also want to make yourself accessible to others so that if they have questions or comments, they know how to reach you and can count on you for sound advice.
If you did the work to identify your ideal customer appropriately and built a product or service that serves them specifically, you know you are offering something that meets their need and is something they want to purchase. And if you established your KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor, when the time comes that your ideal customer is ready to purchase what you’re offering and WANTS to buy, they’ll think of you. Because your KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor reinforces that you’re able to help them with what they want when the time is right.
I wouldn’t be a Creative Business Consultant if I didn’t encourage you to apply your creativity here as well. Have fun with your approach and form connections that fuel you as much as you fuel them. You have the opportunity to build a business that provides a product or service for the people you want to serve. Whether you sell widgets or are a service provider, the way you approach your marketing (which is what builds your KNOW, LIKE, TRUST and WANT) will either help or hinder your reach to the people you want to connect with.
And being a creative business owner is really all about tapping into what you’re passionate about. It’s not about being an artist or whatever else people typically think of when they hear the word creative. As a creative entrepreneur, you build on your passion and pour yourself into what you do because there isn’t any other option for how you approach it. Engage with it at such an authentic level that your ideal customers can’t help but meet you where you’re at.
Show up for them. Advocate for them by offering things that help them. Show them that you can help them get what they want. Be authentic. Be relatable. Always give value.
If you can do that, you’re well on your way to owning a profitable business.