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Marketing… WTF Is It, And Do Freelancers Even Need To Worry About It? | Back To Basics

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We're navigating a series right now that we've lovingly titled “Back to the Basics.” I'm particularly excited about today's episode where we peel back the layers on a topic that's often shrouded in mystique, over-complication, or sometimes, just plain neglect: Marketing.
 
You might ask, what exactly is marketing? Well, let's simplify it. As I've mentioned in previous episodes, the core of marketing is about presenting the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
 
Yes, it really can be as straightforward as that. When you unpack and understand each element of this mantra, you're well on your way to attracting more clients and growing your income from your creative prowess.
 
Now, I know what you're thinking. Many of you creatives might be wondering, “Marketing? Isn't that for big businesses??” Well, yes, and no.
 
Let's put it this way: To truly thrive in your freelance career, you need to embrace both the creative and the entrepreneurial spirit.
 
Also, you may be apprehensive about the idea of marketing, worried that it's a slippery slope toward becoming one of those overly pushy salespeople. I get it. But here's the good news – marketing doesn't have to be an “icky” process. Quite the opposite, in fact…
 
It can be a natural, authentic way of expressing the value you bring to your clients, without compromising your integrity or your creative soul.
 
So, for all of you freelancers who are passionate about your craft and want to learn how to generate a healthy income without feeling like you're selling out, this episode is designed for you.
 
We're going to break down the basics of marketing, helping you understand its core principles and showing you how it can be a positive, empowering part of your business.
 
Join us on this journey back to the basics, and let's redefine marketing together. No jargon, no fluff, just the essentials.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • The definition of marketing
  • Marketing vs advertising
  • Advertising vs. marketing
  • The four Ps

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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time joining me on the show today, first of all, welcome. We're in the middle of a series right now called Back to the Basics, and today's episode is going to be about the basics of marketing.

[00:00:12] Brian: Specifically, what the is marketing when it comes to talking about the basics, this is about as basic as it gets. What is marketing? What is the definition of marketing? I think a lot of people either overcomplicate it in their heads or they don't ever think about this at all.

[00:00:25] Brian: Especially you creatives listening right now. They're like all creative, no entrepreneur. So today I wanna dive into what the is marketing? Nice. Bleep there. Thank you, Leland, for the bleep.

[00:00:33] Brian: So that we're all on the same page.

[00:00:35] Brian: by the way, if you're a freelancer who's trying to make more money from their creative services, and you wanna do it without selling your soul, You're in the right place right now.

[00:00:42] Brian: That being said, you have to understand marketing and that's why this episode is one of the ones that I've been looking forward to in this back to Basic series because we get to just talk about the basics of marketing. Now, let's bring this back really quick. The definition I've said in the past on multiple episodes in our backlog for our returning listeners and our regular listeners for our long time listeners, the simplification I've had for marketing for [00:01:00] years has just been this marketing boiled down to its essentials are putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

[00:01:07] Brian: That's basically it. And if you just understand what each of those pieces mean, you are on the path towards getting more clients, making more money from your creative skills. And you can market, by the way, without selling your soul, which is a wonderful thing. Marketing doesn't have to be this icky, gross thing, just like sells, doesn't have to be this icky, gross thing.

[00:01:22] Brian: wanna find this quote. It's from, author named Alan Dib. I think it's from his book, one Page Marketing Plan, which is a wonderful book for those creatives who are trying to figure out what marketing is at a fundamental level and put a plan together. I can't recommend that book highly enough, it may not be this book.

[00:01:34] Brian: He specifically got this quote from, but I, I read this from him and I was like, this makes a lot of sense and it really clarified some things from me. here's his definition of marketing as a whole. He said, here's the simplest, most jargon-free definition of marketing you are ever likely to come across if the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying the circus is coming to the showground this Saturday. That's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. now, if the elephant [00:02:00] walks through the mayor's flower beds and the local newspaper writes about it, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. And if the town citizens go to the circus, you show them all the different entertainment booths.

[00:02:12] Brian: Explain how much fun they're gonna have, spending all the money at the booths and answer their questions. And ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus that's sales. And if you planned the entire thing, That is marketing.

[00:02:23] Brian: So to just kind of zoom out really quick, marketing is the organization of all of these different elements.

[00:02:28] Brian: Now if you go to like I believe any college class, I didn't go to college by the way, so if I'm misquoting this my bad. But if you look up any basics of marketing, like the fundamentals, I believe they teach us in any marketing classes at universities, they teach the something called the four P's. And the four P's are this product pricing.

[00:02:43] Brian: Place promotion. Those are the four P's. There's different variations of the P's, but those are the four P's in a nutshell.

[00:02:49] Brian: And how we put together these four P's goes back to a, that circus story I just told you and how all these elements come together to form marketing. And my original definition, which is marketing, is the right message to the [00:03:00] right person at the right time.

[00:03:01] Brian: let's dive into what these four P's mean as freelancers, and then how they tie back to marketing as a whole. And then I'm gonna have separate episodes and each of these four P's, or at least three of the four P's, I think one of these four is kind of irrelevant to us, but let's just talk through the four P's as they, relate to freelancers as a whole.

[00:03:15] Brian: First is product. This one's simple. It's just service you sell.

[00:03:18] Brian: or for some of you who have multiple services, it's these services you sell. That's product. So obviously not hard to Come together with that one. Next is pricing. That is how you price your services, whether it's a package or whether it's retainer, per deliverable flat rate, whatever.

[00:03:30] Brian: There's, an episode I did back in a few weeks ago, episode 2 47 called the three Building Blocks of a Fine Tune Freelance Business in that one of the things I talked about was a proven business model or a proven pricing model. So if you really wanna know a lot about pricing, go back to that.

[00:03:43] Brian: Otherwise, I'll cover in a couple episodes from now. Under the back to the basic series, the third P is place. Another way to think about this is platform. Cause a lot of these, like marketing principles are catered towards old school business or you know, they've been teaching this stuff for years.

[00:03:57] Brian: But the way it relates to modern businesses and especially [00:04:00] freelancers, is what's the place that you sell your services? so there can be platforms that can be marketplaces, like Fiver. I really try to push people off of those if, you can help it. Not a bad place to start, really bad place to live long term, but the place you sell your services, it can be marketplaces, but you can also do what's called direct to consumer or direct to client.

[00:04:16] Brian: In our case, that's what I advocate for as a freelancer. I want us to be in control of how we sell our services, what we can and can't sell. Like If you're on these platforms, you have to follow their rules and they can just, Pull the rug out from you at any time. So when it comes to the place that we sell our services, I always advocate for you control it.

[00:04:32] Brian: You are direct to consumer or direct to client. And then finally, promotion. The fourth P is just essentially creating awareness for your services. If you go back to episode 225, it's, call it something like How to build your Client acquisition machine, something like that. That's where I really talk about how to build that machine.

[00:04:46] Brian: That is your direct to consumer way of getting clients versus relying on fiber, all the marketplace sites to get clients.

[00:04:52] Brian: But those are the four P's, and if you go back to that, initial definition, the right message to the right person at the right time,

[00:04:58] Brian: your product and your pricing has a [00:05:00] lot to do with your messaging. Because the product is solving a need that they have, the pricing, it has to match the price that they want it at. So that's part of the right message.

[00:05:06] Brian: And then getting that message to the right person at the right time is kind of the second two Ps here. It's platform or place and promotion. A lot of times these marketplaces are the platforms or if you're an old school business where you have a place of business. On a street where there's already traffic, or if you're selling a widget on the internet on Amazon where the traffic already is, that's a form of promotion where you're getting your stuff in front of the right people.

[00:05:28] Brian: but for freelancers in the way that I like to think about it and the way I like for people, people, to think about it, put it back into your hands. I want you to be the captain of your own ship and getting that that message you create, which we'll talk more about that in later episodes in this Back to Basic series.

[00:05:39] Brian: And there's plenty of episodes to talk about this stuff on the backlog of the podcast. If you wanna search through our backlog over 250 episodes to go through plenty of stuff that talks about this in depth, but getting that right message to the right person at the right time takes promotion.

[00:05:51] Brian: And promotion could come in a, bunch of different flavors in a bunch of different categories, a bunch of different places.

[00:05:55] Brian: But if you have something that people genuinely value, good at what you do, you solve a, a [00:06:00] real need for people, and you promote that to people at the right time.

[00:06:03] Brian: And they understand because you've messaged it correctly. They understand the value you provide. They need your service or services because you, presented yourself to them at the right time. Then you get clients I don't know of an another way to simplify it More than that, putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

[00:06:18] Brian: is coordinating all of these things together.

[00:06:20] Brian: So if you don't have enough clients, it's likely because you're not doing any sort of marketing, you're not doing any sort of promotion is usually the, key area that you're struggling with. Or if you are going through feast or famine mode, there's some consistency issues there. You don't have systems in place to make sure these things are happening on a regular cadence, is completely normal.

[00:06:36] Brian: If you go through famine, it's typically. You market hardcore. You're promoting, you're doing things on social media. Maybe you've been running ads, maybe you're doing cold outreach, maybe you're networking with people. You do all that. Get a bunch of clients. Now you have to fulfill the work, and then while you're fulfilling the work, everything else falls on the wayside because you're so busy fulfilling the work.

[00:06:52] Brian: We'll talk about the stuff in the future episodes. We've talked about it before. We'll talk more about balancing things in future episodes of this back to basic series, But on a [00:07:00] fundamental level, I wanna make sure that we're both on the same page of what marketing is and what it's not.

[00:07:04] Brian: And as long as you understand that you're in a better place than I'd say 95% of freelancers who never think about this stuff, They never think about what is the right message that conveys the value I provide as a freelancer. who are the right people, that I can help the most with my service, and they definitely never think about what's the right time in that person's life to get in front of them.

[00:07:21] Brian: If you really think through those three things, that's the 80 20 of Mar Marketing. That's the 80 20 of success and client acquisition. That's the 80 20 of, we should, probably do an episode on the 80 20 principle, but that's the 80% of the stuff that matters. with 20% of the effort involved.

[00:07:34] Brian: so these episodes are short and sweet. They're meant to be. Just going back to the basics as a freelancer, skip ahead of the next episode if it's already out where I'm gonna talk about

[00:07:42] Brian: the first of the four Ps where we're gonna talk about product. And how your service can really make or break you as a business owner. We're gonna talk about three different ways

[00:07:49] Brian: can create that product or you can shape your service as a freelancer and all three are a different level of value and one is better than the other two. go ahead and skip to the next episode of [00:08:00] us already out episode 256. I believe it'll come out Tuesday if you're listening to this as these things air. So that's it for this episode. Short and sweet, next time, thank you so much for listening to the Six Figure Creative.

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