Why I give so much of my knowledge away for free

Why I give so much of my knowledge away for free

I get people asking me sometimes: “Why do you give so much information away for free in your Facebook group, and in your blog posts?” It is true, I share a lot of knowledge and tips on how to market your business, and I don’t ask anything in return (well, a few likes are always welcome!). Why do I do this? Doesn’t that mean that nobody will buy from me, because they can get it for free?

I am going to say something that may surprise you a little. Giving away stuff for free, or sharing your knowledge freely with potential clients, is something that can help you in growing your business. This sounds a bit contradicting, doesn’t it? After all, you want people to pay for your services, otherwise you may as well give it all up. But I am a creative business coach, and sharing my expertise online for free, is something I do on purpose. I tell you why, and how you can use this too in building your audience.

Building trust, authority and connection

So I have my website, with all my coaching and training offers, and my pages that explain what I do and for whom. All very clear, and hopefully interesting for my target audience. But I don’t automatically get lots of clients calling me up each day to say they want to work with me. This takes time, and especially, a lot of effort. Because, you know why? People don’t know me yet. They don’t know who I am, how I work and why my services are something that is worth investing in. That all needs nurturing. Not in a sleazy, or dishonest way, but in a way that helps potential clients understand that by working with me, they are going to earn more money as a creative.

And to help them on that journey from follower to client, I give them lots of value. For free. I know that a lot of people will never become paying customers, and that is OK too. I know not everyone is in the position to hire a business coach, book themselves onto a high ticket marketing course, or even hire a freelance copywriter – which I am as well. I am OK with that, and I still hope that these people will get a lot out of my free information, the Facebook group and my marketing tips. It’s there for the taking! But my goal is that others will see the benefit of working with me, and that it is worth investing in their professional development by hiring a coach, or signing up for a course.

marketing course for artists

It’s all out there for free anyway

By the way, I am not the keeper of all knowledge. I mean, you can find anything I say or share on the internet. For free. So you don’t need to pay for anything really, if you don’t want to. It’s all out there. But that is not the point. You hire a creative business coach because you feel that on your own you get stuck, or you start procrastinating, or you just give up and end up doing the same old thing. You feel strongly about growing your business, really want to get to the next level, but need someone to hold you accountable. A buddy, to guide you, hold your hand, and to make marketing easy and lighter for you, so you will achieve those goals and increase your sales. It is the personal, tailored approach and delivery you are paying for, not the actual information.

And by sharing my expertise for free with my followers online, I put myself forward as an authority, someone who knows her stuff. In my videos you can get to know me a bit better, see my face, and just like in this podcast, you can decide whether you like my personality. If you don’t like my face or voice, then we’re not a match! That’s OK! It is all about building that trust and authority in your industry in order to attract clients. And that is what I am trying to do with valuable, free content.

Selling is about being helpful

And no, I’m not trying to reel you in, or trick you with my free stuff. Authentic marketing is all about being transparent and honest. That’s why I decided to write this post today, to tell you a little about my own marketing techniques in building my creative coaching business. It’s all about showing up as your authentic self, sharing your knowledge, and being consistent in your message. Selling is nothing more than trying to be helpful. And I like helping people. I give people a free taster of what I can do for their business, and if they understand that paying for the whole package is actually worth the money, I’m here for them.

How can giving things away help you grow your own following? If you are a service-based business, you can do more or less the same as I explained before. Set up a Facebook group, or just share lots of value in any of your social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, videos and emails. You just want people to get to know you and trust you.

marketing support valencia

People love a freebie, give it to them

You can organise a free beginners masterclass as a photographer or graphic designer to make people get familiar with your skills and who you are, or do a free online taster session of a dance class you’ve got coming up. If you are a product-based business it is a little harder to give stuff away for free all the time, but you can still build a big audience by showing up online and sharing your expertise on your subject. If you sell home decor, jewellery or clothes, for example, show people how to style them, or care for them. The possibilities are endless, really, and with your creative brains I am sure you can think of a lot more.

Designing a free e-book or PDF is also a great way of building an email list. Offer something that is of value to your ideal client, for free, in return for their email address, and start connecting with them through a weekly email. I did this myself by offering a free social media planner as a download on my website, and I am growing my list like this every week without having to do anything else for it.

So don’t be afraid to give away stuff for free. You are only building your reputation as the go-to person in your industry. People like a freebie, it makes them feel good, and they will remember you.

Ready for the next step?

If you feel ready for the next step in your business and need that expert buddy to take you there, book a free 30-minute call with me to see how we can best work together.

Starting a business in Spain, where do you start?

Starting a business in Spain, where do you start?

So many people dream of moving abroad, but the biggest barrier is usually income. How are you going to earn money overseas, if you have no job lined up? I moved to Valencia, Spain in 2018 with no clear idea of where my income was going to come from. I had left a lovely role back in Scotland, as marketing manager for a multi-arts centre, and I was hoping to somehow find something similar in my new home town. Little did I know, that apart from having to be fluent in Spanish (and Valencian, often the spoken language in the public and cultural sector), getting jobs in Spain is all about whom you know. I had neither of those benefits, so I had to think of an alternative. How was I going to earn money?

So working as an employee in the arts was no longer an option, but I knew I could write. I had also set up my own business before, and I knew how to market myself. So I decided to set up as a freelance copywriter. I promoted myself on social media, and on freelancer platforms Fiverr and Upwork, and soon had a steady stream of international clients to pay for my services.

Be flexible and try things out

I since have branched out and launched The Creative Business Coach, because you can’t keep a true creative soul away from creatives. Writing about lease cars and light bulbs gets a little boring after a while (yes, it does!), and I knew I had a lot of knowledge to share with people who needed it. The copywriting was an easy way to start earning money in Spain as a foreigner, and I had to be flexible when first arriving in Spain without work. But after three years I knew it was time to pivot the business.

My point: you can work anywhere! With the right mindset, attitude and flexibility you too can move abroad and generate an income. You just have to get rid of the fear, prepare well, and take it one step at the time. I know a lot of people dream about moving to a sunny country, and don’t think it is possible for them. But it is, as long as you do your homework. How do you start a business in Spain?

starting a business in spain

Valencia, the best city for expats!

Valencia has been crowned number #1 city for expats in the world last year, in a research done by InterNations. I am biast, of course, but I agree. Valencia is great. My husband asked me the other day:”Why do you love it here so much?” It’s everything. It’s the perfect mix of beaches, parks, culture, history and a vibrant big city atmosphere. Oh, and a fantastic climate with plenty of sunshine. I felt almost immediately at home, when we moved here in 2018.

You find plenty of expats here who have their own online business, or have a remote work contract with their employer overseas. This, of course, is ideal, as you can pretty much live anywhere as a ‘digital nomad’. Especially non EU-citizens often have this construction set up when moving to Spain, as with a ‘non-lucrative visa’ you are allowed to live here longer than three months, as long as you don’t take a job in Spain. Remember, even if your business is registered overseas, or you have a work contract abroad, you still have to declare your annual income to the taxman in Spain – this is law, when you live here for more than 183 days a year.

Starting a small business in Spain as autónomo

What you see most, however, is that expats are starting up a small business in Spain as self-employed or ‘autónomo’. It is not easy to make your way into the Spanish working world if you don’t have the contacts (it’s very much a ‘who you know’ kind of system), but there are thousands of expats living here, who could well be your ideal client. Just see in the Facebook expat groups how many people are asking for an ‘English-speaking’ (fill in the blank: builder, carpenter, taxi-driver, babysitter, cleaner, hairdresser, teacher, fitness instructor, chauffeur, doctor, psychologist, accountant…). The options are endless.

If you have a skill, monetise it! Most people start out working for cash only, to see if there is a market for their services. Once the business is growing, or when customers need invoices, you have to register as ‘autónomo’ with the tax office.

Buy my e-book and have all information in one handy download!

how to start up a business in spain

To register as autónomo, I recommend you contact a relocation agency, or someone else who knows about this kind of thing, as it’s a bit complicated. They can accompany you to the tax office, help with the language and documents required, and it just takes the headache out of things. To be honest, I find all things to do with taxes in Spain complicated, and would also advise anyone to hire an accountant (‘gestor’) to do the quarterly VAT returns for you, as well as the income tax. The VAT rate is 21%. The income withholding tax (or IRPF) is 20%.

What are the fees for an autónomo in Spain?

If you are starting a business in Spain, there is a “flat fee” for new autónomos for the first two years, which makes it much more accessible for new entrepreneurs to get started and grow their business. Paying this fee gives you access to Spain’s public health service, you start building up a government pension, and you have the right to maternity pay and benefits when you somehow become incapable of working. The fee is normally €50 a month for the first year. For the next six months, the fee goes up to €137.97; and the last six months of the second year, the fee will increase again to €192. Self-employed workers in Spain who have been registered for a period of more than two years pay a minimum monthly fee of €286.10 euro.

These fees are the same as in 2020 and are not subject to review/change until 1 June 2021. The general autónomo fee in Spain will then be set at €289 a month. When you register as an autónomo, you can choose to pay the minimum fee or pay more than what you owe to slightly increase your government pension in the long term. Most people opt for the minimum fee and start a private pension scheme under their own conditions.

starting a business in spain

How to get clients in Spain for your business

If your ideal client is local, then find out where they hang out – online and offline. The expat groups on Facebook are a good way to promote your business, in any of the weekly ‘promo threads’, or do some ‘bread crumbing’, which means replying to other people’s comments by being helpful and more subtly mentioning your business. Also, when possible, try and attend networking events around town. There are a lot of coworking spaces in Valencia, and some of them organise events where it’s great to mingle with other entrepreneurs.

If your business is completely online, then it’s a different matter. Depending on where your ideal client hangs out, tell your story, and share your message consistently on social media, your blog, and through email lists. For freelancers, there are also very useful platforms out there to offer your services, including Upwork and Fiverr. Other ideas are selling products online, setting up an online store, or writing e-books, teaching online courses and offering your 1-to-1 services through Zoom.

I know plenty of expats here in Valencia who have found their niche, and offer their services online, such as yoga teachers, nutrition experts, life coaches, and psychologists. With the internet, the possibilities are really endless, and the world is your oyster – while working from your laptop in sunny Valencia.

Markting and business support

If you are a small business and need marketing help, feel free to check out my services (I offer 1-to-1 coaching and group courses, as well as copywriting services). You can also join my Facebook community for free daily marketing and business tips and support, and regular live training.

How and why your brand should feel like ‘you’

Guest blog post

How and why your brand should feel like ‘you’

How and why should your brand feel like you? In today’s guest post, London-based designer Jane McGrath shares her expertise on branding, and how we can do this best for our small business.

First, let’s talk about 2 different brand types, a personal and a business brand.

A personal brand is all about one individual. It is about building a connection between that person and their audience. Good examples of this are marketing gurus Jenna Kutcher or Jasmine Star. They are very much at the forefront of their marketing.

A business brand is a larger company, with many employees. It’s not usually focused on one person. Think Asos or Anthroplogie.

Why you should build a personal brand

If you are a small business, or solopreneur – you have a huge advantage over large corporations. Your Uniqueness! You have the ability to connect with your audience on a personal level and engage with them in a way huge companies can’t.

It begins with your story, your values and your reasons for starting your own company. Your personal brand goes way beyond font and colour choices, it should embody who you are, what you believe in and what makes you feel good!

Branding for artists
Jane McGrath

How to build a personal brand

1: Your magic

In a world where tools like Pinterest and Instagram are so accessible, it is really easy to look at your competitors and want to imitate them – be it in their visual brand, their content or their messaging. This will not get you clients. You need to stay in your own lane and create a brand that is fresh, new and YOU.

People buy from people, and they want to see who you really are, and connect with you.

Yes, you may offer the same service as someone else – but you are completely different. Think about what sets you apart from others, and how you can communicate that across your brand. Do your research into your clients problems, and think about how you solve them in your business – in a way that someone else might not. 

For example, I recently did a brand identity for a baby sleep consultant. When we really delved into her WHY, and her business journey – she told me she’s always wanted to help people holistically. That she didn’t want new mothers to struggle in the way that she did and that her service also focuses on connecting other mums, so they also have a social interaction to help build their confidence.

The result? We totally focused on this nurturing nature of her brand. This is her magic. What’s yours?

2: Attracting your ideal clients with your visual brand

Being authentic and communicating your values across your messaging and visual brand also attracts like-minded individuals.

Think about your dream clients. Those projects / workshops etc that you have run that have gone SO well you just didn’t want to stop working with them. Think about WHO they are, and chances are, they will have similar values / passions / interests as you.

Your visual brand will play a big part of this – it is the first impression that your audience will see. It needs to communicate your personality, your business and your values. A cookie-cutter Etsy logo is not going to do this, it’s about creating a complete identity that is personal to you that will grow with your business and attract those dream clients.

For example, I recently worked with a marketing coach. Her style is casual and informal. She is a mum of two and is very honest and wanting the work / life balance in her brand message. The result? We created an identity that would attract similar clients, with a laid back feel that was non-corporate and set her apart.

Branding for artists
Image: Jane McGrath

3: Building a cohesive brand

A complete cohesive brand is when your brand message is communicated across everything. 

If, for example, you sell eco-friendly clothing, these values and your WHY need to be obvious across your website, social, emails, and your visual brand. When this is clear, your audience gets a real sense of you and your business, and this establishes credibility and trust.

When you feel connected to your visual brand – you show up differently.

This is something that my clients always validate. Prior to working with me, they didn’t really have the confidence to market themselves at all, or were embarrassed to send potential clients to their website. When everything is aligned you feel an inner confidence that shines. 

Jane McGrath is a brand designer. She creates visual brands to help women to stand out from the crowd and attract their dream clients. Download her free 5-step guide to creating a successful brand, or check her website for more information about working with her.

How to write a clear marketing message (watch my Masterclass on video)

How clear is your offer? What are you telling your clients? How do you describe what you do in only a few sentences? I will teach you which ingredients to include to write a clear and targeted message, which you can use in all of your marketing, so you attract the right people. How do you describe what you do in such a way that your ideal client thinks: “Yes! That’s for Me! I want to find out more!”

In this 30-minute mini Masterclass for creative entrepreneurs, you will learn about the main ingredients to remember when writing down your offer.

Five tips on how to increase your profits as a creative business

Money is dirty…and artists are poor

Creatives and money…artists and money…they make such an odd couple, don’t they? We all claim to run a creative business, but I bet you most of us have (or had) big money blocks to overcome, in order to start earning a good income from doing what we love. Why is that?

I worked for the ‘not-for-profit-sector’ myself for many years, which says it all, really. Working in the arts, but not in it for the money, because…well, the salaries are rubbish, and you are dependent on public funding. Often half of your job is made up of applying for funding to pay for your own salary. I mean…(eye roll). And making money is, well, for commercial outfits, right, not for ‘the likes of us’. Anyone who has ever worked in this sector, will probably know exactly what I mean.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

But if you run your own business, you have full control over your destiny, and those old beliefs or previous experiences don’t have to define you. You can earn as much as you like. I know, scary, isn’t it?

Running a creative business means by default that you are doing business, and need to make money. Otherwise, you’d better call yourself a creative hobbyist. So let’s stop fooling ourselves about the myth that we’re never going to get rich as a creative, because, really, mindset has a lot to do with it.

What does money mean to you? Can creatives be rich? Should artists be rich?

In this week’s Thursday Live broadcast in my Facebook community, I interviewed money expert Aleksandra Kohut, who shared some amazing tips and tricks with us, on how to increase profits as a creative business. I have summarised them below.

making money as an artist
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

1. Get rid of those money leaks.

See it as plumbing. If you have a pipe under the sink with a small leak in it, that produces a small drip, you will hardly notice the water leak. But if the hole gets bigger, you suddenly feel terrible and panicky, because all the water is pouring out! So keep on top of the small leaks, and repair them on time. What kind of leaks are we talking about? Subscriptions for example. Software and online subscriptions you may have accidentally signed up for after a free trial, like LinkedIn Pro, social media scheduling platforms, and of course Netflix and Spotify. But also that gym membership you took out in January and are actually not going to use. Cancel them if you don’t use them! Another leak can be those invoices you still haven’t sent for a number of jobs, or the ones that are overdue. Chase them up!

2. Go on a date with your finances.

Oh, yes baby, it’s time to get up close and personal with those numbers. Don’t hand it all to your accountant! Get intimate with your own money! The buck stops with you, after all. Go on a date with your finances, once a week, for half an hour, looking at your bank balance, and your cash flow right now and for the months ahead. What do people owe you? Do it on a Friday, so you can treat yourself to a large Gin and Tonic and feel really smug. You may even get a kick out of the numbers game.

how to make money as an artist
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

3. Feel confident about your offer and adjust your pricing.

Low prices or discounts tell the customer that you are of low value. Are you thinking your prices are too high? Or that nobody will buy from you? Then you are likely suffering from a money mindset problem. It’s not your offer (your services or products are probably amazing!), but it is your feeling of self-worth. If you feel confident about yourself and your offer, and know how much value you are giving the customer by selling it to them, then you can ask whatever you want. But if you are all apologetic, and whisper the price in your client’s ear because you feel embarrassed about taking money from them…what does that say about your offer?

4. Get rid of products that don’t make you any money.

You may love to make a certain product or offer a certain service, but adding up your time and costs, how much money is this product making you? It may be hard, but getting rid of the things that are keeping you from increasing your income, is better for your business in the long run. You’ll save time, can focus on other stuff and will increase your profits as a result.

5. Read and get excited about making money

“You Are A Badass At Making Money” Jen Sincero
The 9 steps to financial freedom” Suze Orman
Ask and It is Given” Jerry and Ester Hicks
The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” Catherine Ponder
The Education of Millionaires” Michael Ellsberg
Money: A Love Story” Kate Northrup
Overcoming Underearning!” Barbara Stanny
Price Charming Isn’t coming: how women get smart about money” Barbara Stanny
Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki
Secrets of Six Figure Women” Barbara Stanny
Smart Women Finish Rich” David Bach
The Tapping Solution” Nick Ortner
Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill
Get Rich Lucky Bitch” Denise Duffield-Thomas
The Money is coming” Sarah Askiwombe
Millionaire Success Habits” Dean Graziosi
The science of getting rich” Wallace Wattles
The Soul of Money” Lynne Twist

Watch the Thursday Live video:

Your guide to marketing your art without being pushy

Explaining to someone why they should buy your art… the horrible feeling you may come across as “salesy”, pushy, or desperate. Do you recognise that? Unfortunately, your work doesn’t speak for itself. You need to learn how to explain your work and connect it to your audience in order to make the sales you want.

Guess what, running a creative business…is just like running any other business! That means, knowing your audience, and your ideal clients, and learning how to speak to them about your work. You need to be able to write and talk about your art in a way that allows potential buyers to recognise its value, to feel a connection with you and the work, and to realise they need it in their lives.

This is marketing.

art marketing techniques
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Step 1. Know your audience

Who are your customers? Who are you targeting? Is it a specific age group, gender, type of lifestyle, etc? What are their interests? Outdoor life, city life, bright colours, human interest travel, etc.? The more you know about the people who follow you as an artist or maker, the easier it is to connect with them and sell to them. Think about a customer you loved selling to in the past, and what they like and why they were attracted to your work.

Where do they hang out?

Once you know your target audience, or ‘dream client’, you can start to brainstorm about where those particular people gather, both on and offline. This means you know where to share your information, and build up a connection with them. Choose those social media platforms where your potential customer hangs out. You don’t have to be on all of them. It is better to choose one, and do it well. If your audience are mainly older people, don’t put all your energy in creating funky Instagram Reels. But they may be on Facebook, or prefer a weekly email.

It is better to niche down, than to try and have “something for everyone”.

A vague message like this is confusing, people won’t know whether you have what they need or are looking for, and it is much harder to create a strong brand that people connect with. When you search for something in Google, do you click on the result that is most specific, or the one that has a very generic description? The more specific your offer, the better you can target your niche audience.

art marketing techniques
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Step 2. Use storytelling in building that connection

Everybody enjoys a good story, so use these in your marketing! Stories are the ideal way to share the personal journey behind your work, how you made it, why you made it and what inspires you. Share photos of your environment, your studio, your creative process. Stop posting only photos of your work, thinking this will somehow keep the audience hooked. We want to know about you!

How engaging is a cold Facebook post of a photo of an artwork, with the caption: “Still life. 90 cm x 90 cm, mixed media. Price €395“? What am I suppose to do with that information?

Exactly. No wonder you get tumbleweed on your account sometimes. Time to jazz that up a bit! Stories are more engaging for your audience, which means they’ll be paying more attention. Tap into emotions, by talking about your life as an artist and connect on a deeper level with your audience. They will remember your story, which means they are more likely to remember your work. You want people to talk about your work to their friends, and spread word-of-mouth. Next time they need a gift or something for their home, they will probably check out what you have on offer.

art marketing techniques
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

Step 3. Focus on their needs, not yourself

Your work is about you and how you see the world. Your marketing, however, is all about your audience. Everything in your marketing needs to be focused on your client and what’s in it for them. OK, so you sell art. So what? Why should I care?

Learn about your audience, tap into their emotions and lifestyle, and build trust. Nurture your audience and connect with them through your stories and posts, but talk about the benefits of your work to their life, when you are trying to sell. If a piece makes them happy, convince them they will want to see this work every day in their own homes. If it is a scarf, a designer brooch, a vase or other usable art, you can talk about the benefits of high-end materials, unique and handmade products, personalised design, excellent customer service / fast delivery, etc.

In every phrase in your marketing, always ask yourself:”So what?”

Step 4. You are being helpful

I get it. All this marketing-speak is quite off-putting sometimes, and you don’t want to come across as pushy. You just hope someone will stumble upon your work, like it, and buy it. Here’s a trick for you: pretend like it is someone else’s work, and you’re recommending it to a friend. Detach yourself from it, as if you are recommending a good restaurant or film, and you’re listing all the reasons why your friend should check this out.

You are trying to be helpful here! Ignore that you’re going to make money off of the transaction and instead, try to connect it with that customer or client. When you recommend something to a friend, you’re not doing it for money, you’re doing it to help them experience something you thought was great.

Hey, and isn’t your work worth recommending anyway?

art marketing techniques
Photo by Meru Bi on Pexels.com

Step 5. Don’t forget that call-to-action

So often I come across a great Instagram feed, Facebook page or website of an artist whose work speaks to me….only to get frustrated by the fact that it’s me having to do all the hard work finding out how to freakin’ contact them. Make it easy for people to find the link to your shop, or you will lose them. Have a portfolio available, or an online shop with your work, listing as much detail as possible, if you want them to order online. You don’t want to raise more questions, so be clear and helpful! Make sure your links and call-to-action buttons are working on all your platforms.

If you want more sales, make buying a breeze.

PS: Don’t forget to collect email addresses on checkout, you will want to keep these people close to you. For recommendations, or repeat purchases.

Download my Lazy Social Media Planner for Busy Creatives for tips on how to feel more in control of your posts, and make them more engaging.

How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your Etsy shop

Are you an Etsy seller? Then you know how hard it can be to be visible on this huge platform. So many sellers, worldwide, so many products. How do people find you? Using the right keywords in your product descriptions is very important, of course, plus making sure your photographs are appealing and the written copy is clear and selling. Most Etsy sellers also use social media to drive traffic to their store, with Instagram being one of the most popular platforms for promoting. But did you know Pinterest is a very powerful tool to share your products and get people to buy? Here’s how.

Why is Pinterest good for Etsy sellers?

Pinterest is a very visual platform. People go there to get inspired. Whether it is ideas for decorating a room or tutorials for Christmas crafts, people save pins they like and create boards to collect images for their project. What’s more, Pinterest shows your pins to the people they think are most likely to love them, based on what they pinned before. This means, that your pins will automatically be shows to potential clients.

Some interesting statistics:

As a product-based business or Etsy store, who is your ideal client?

  • 80% of Pinterest users are women. 8 out of 10 mums are pinners! Who does the (Christmas) shopping in your household?
  • High income households are twice as likely to use Pinterest, especially in the UK.
  • Shopping has become a top priority of nearly 50% of Pinterest users.

With everyone going online for their Christmas shopping right now, you need to be on the ball and draw these people in!

Pinterest tips for etsy sellers

How do you set up a business account on Pinterest?

First things first: set up an account. As an Etsy seller it is recommended to go straight for a business account. If you already have a personal account on Pinterest but want a business profile, you can convert your personal account to a business one on a desktop and keep your Pins and followers. You can switch back to a personal account at any time.

Setting up a Pinterest business account is free, and it gives you the benefit of statistics and the option to promote certain pins through advertising, if you wish. Once you’re all set up, you can start pinning.

  1. Set up your business account: follow the prompts to complete your business profile:
  2. Enter your business name
  3. Add your website, if you have one
  4. Select your Country/region
  5. Select your Language
  6. Create boards (collections of pins)
  7. Start pinning: upload pins straight from your Etsy store
Pinterest tips for etsy sellers

Uploading images from Etsy to Pinterest

You can create and edit pins directly from the Pinterest app or a desktop site. You can make one pin at a time, or upload images in bulk.

Size matters

Using high-quality, vertical images will stand out in people’s feeds. A 2:3 aspect ratio (e.g. 1,000 x 1,500 pixels) is recommended. Other ratios may cause your pin to be cropped, or may negatively impact performance.

Add a tiny logo

To build your brand on Pinterest, put a logo on every pin you make, but keep it subtle. Avoid the lower-right corner, since that spot gets covered up by the Pinterest product icons.

Text overlay

Text overlay is another very good way to be ‘re-pinned’ by visitors. When you scroll the Pinterest feed, images with a title or phrase capture the attention and generally perform better. Text overlay is the copy that goes on your pin image to make it stand out. Keep your copy concise for readability on mobile.

Title and descriptions

Don’t forget the pin title and descriptions! People search for things, so make sure you use keywords that people are looking for. Think of colour schemes, seasonal words, techniques, tutorials, etc. Clear titles and descriptions help your pin get discovered in search. You can use up to 100 characters for your title and up to 500 characters for your description.

Check your links

Last but not least: make sure your links work! That was the whole point of setting up your business account. If your pin includes a link, check that the link is active.

More tips on how to be successful on Pinterest: How to make pins

Join our free Facebook group for creative businesses for more support:

How to look good on a Zoom call! Five tricks to impress your audience.

Until recently, we were happily working from home in our pyjamas or yoga pants, but video calling has become a daily routine. Zoom calls, Google meet, Facetime and Whatsapp calls. They have become indispensable since 2020. And although we were all complaining about it at first, planning a meeting online is so much more efficient than in person. Remember the days when everyone had to grab their agenda first and nobody could agree on a date, or half the team was “stuck in traffic” and showed up late?

Scheduling online meetings is easy, but what should we wear?

But although it no longer matters where you are, you will still have to look as if you are in the same room. During an appointment with a client or customer, you wouldn’t normally show up in your bathrobe. By the way, did you know plastic surgery was booming last year, because of the rise in video meetings? I know, crazy! Now I am not suggesting we should all run to the nearest botox clinic, but we can start making an effort and have some fun with it. And there are some simple tricks to make you look great online. So how do you look good on a Zoom call?

What should you wear? And how do you look good on screen? How do you set up that laptop? And what do you do with the background?

Here are five tricks you can start applying to smash your next video call.

how to look good in zoom meeting

1. Zoom has a filter… for when you haven’t had your coffee yet

Zoom has a secret button to hide the bags under your eyes. Say what? Yep. When you are in a Zoom call, you can click on Video Settings in the bottom left corner. Then you click on Touch Up My Appearance and suddenly your skin looks smooth as a baby’s bum. Nobody needs to know that you were up all night binge-watching the new Netflix series. Or that you were just too lazy to put on make-up.

2. Get all pro with good lighting

We’ve all been there. Looking at our mobile or laptop from above. Not so flattering, that double chin. How do you fix that? Place your computer higher than eye level, for example by placing your laptop on a stack of books. It makes a difference! Also place a lamp next to your laptop; just a little further back. Choose your “best” side of your face and place the lamp on that side. The light highlights your face so beautifully.

what to wear in video call
Photo by Yan on Pexels.com

3. The trick with the white sheet of A4

With the lamp switched on, now take a white plain sheet of A4 and place it on the table you are working on, in front of you. The light is reflected and gives you a healthy appearance. Try it!

4. Put on your best clothes!

Oh my goodness, how long has it been since were last getting all dressed up to go out? Forget about the ‘working-from-home-comfy’ style you’ve been rocking since March 2020, it’s time to bring out your best pieces, and wear them in your Zoom calls! Only the top half of your body is in the frame, so you could still wear those comfy trousers underneath. But there is no reason why you couldn’t go bold and bright on the top half. Choose nice blouses, colourful jackets, a funky top and don’t forget that statement jewellery you’ve been hiding away in the drawer. Going out on the town may not be an option at the moment, but you can still dress-to-impress on screen.

what to wear in a zoom call
Photo by William Mattey on Pexels.com

Pick a nice background and clean up your mess

Last but not least: make sure your room looks presentable. OK, you may be at home, but no one wants to see a spilled laundry basket or dirty socks in the background. Also check the details. Inappropriate photos? An unmade bed? Dirty coffee mugs on the shelf? Clean it up. Select a permanent place for your video sessions and make it look good. A plant, a bookshelf and a nice framed poster work wonders. Natural light is good as well, rather than a dark space, or sunlight shining straight at you.

Have fun Zooming!

Coaching for creative professionals, how does it work?

Giving creatives the marketing and self-promotion skills they need

Coaching for creative professionals, how does this work? You may be a self-taught artist or creative entrepreneur, or perhaps you graduated from art school in the past. But you would describe yourself as a creative professional, that’s what you do, that’s what you love. The issue is, with many of you, that during your professional training, the marketing part is often forgotten, or at least not given enough attention. This is why I decided to offer help as a creative business coach, to fill that gap.

If you’ve been through art school, you’ll probably admit that the focus lies particularly on developing your own, new ideas, and producing the highest quality work. You go through the course, and finish with a fabulous graduation show where all eyes are on you. Feeling like a celebrity and ready to take on the art world. You are now a professional artist with a degree to prove it!

So you end on a high, only to feel lost and deflated after all the initial attention dies down. The fact that most of you will not win the Turner Prize, and somehow need to earn a living, suddenly punches you in the face.

Moving into successful creative entrepreneurship

I know, this may all sound a bit harsh, and I am aware that this is not the reality for all art school students, but I have come across enough in my career to know that it is not a total myth. And the fact that you are reading this post, probably means that it resonates somehow. But how do you move into successful creative entrepreneurship that earns you a good income?

Get the marketing support for creatives by someone who knows the arts

Perhaps at some point you searched online for marketing courses to up your skills. Not because you wanted to, really. Ugh, you’d rather not. I can imagine you probably felt even more confused by all the results Google came up with. There are plenty of marketing courses and business coaches out there, for sure.

But how many of them can emphasise with someone like you? An artist or creative entrepreneur who has little to no affinity with the corporate world, and would rather hide away in their studio?

These standard marketing courses quickly bore you to tears. Right?

I get you! I have always been a bit of a rebel myself, and the thought of working in a commercial outfit never appealed to me whatsoever. As an art marketing manager, I worked in the not-for-profit sector for most all of my adult life. Surrounded by creative brains. But you know what? The basics of running a business are the same.

You have a product, you need to attract an audience, you need to earn money. And there are ways to achieve this, which I can teach you. Wouldn’t it be nice to work with a business coach who understands what it is to run a creative business? As a creative professional myself I worked with hundreds of artists in my career. Motivating and inspiring them is what I love doing most.

Coaching for creative professionals: this is how we can work together

So how can we work together to help your creative business? As a coach and marketing expert for artists and creatives I work with clients all over the world, teaching them about the missing links to make their business succeed. We connect, I listen, we agree on what you need, and we schedule the calls via Zoom, at suitable times. You also get access to many of my resources during our collaboration, such as worksheets, check lists and e-books. Nothing too exhausting, I promise. No jargon. Pure, practical help.

We can enter a 1-to-1 coaching programme for creative professionals, of six weeks or longer, where we look at your needs and together create a solid marketing plan. We will define your niche and marketing message, and help you to attract more clients who are willing to pay your prices. The transformation I offer will be huge, making you feel empowered about marketing and ready to grow your business.

If you just need that person to brainstorm with for an hour, to fire you up with fresh ideas, you can also just book a single ‘power hour‘, where you can ask me questions about anything you struggle with in your business, We will aim to find some quick wins and possible long-term solutions. I am usually full of art marketing ideas and love to see clients get those light bulb moments!

art marketing

Helping talented professionals find their clients

In my free community on Facebook there are many creative entrepreneurs just like you, who are in the same boat. I share daily tips in there, while the members themselves also help each other find answers to specific issues. They are all talented, ambitious people, who offer beautiful products and services, but find it hard to attract a steady stream of customers. They want to get a grip on social media, writing emails and promoting themselves, rather than the hit-and-miss way they do it right now. They need some sort of strategy and guidance, like you.

I teach professionals like yourself the skills to make marketing less of a chore and a natural part of your business. Through coaching programmes, but also masterclasses on specific topics. On blogging, for example, or copywriting and social media, but especially on helping you to see the wood from the trees. So you feel more in control, and promote your business in a targeted way, rather than shooting random messages into the world and hoping for the best.

If you feel like connecting with me, don’t hesitate to send me a message. If you would like a free social media planner, please leave your email with me and I will send it to you.

Authentic marketing, what does it mean?

It’s a bit of a buzz word, nowadays, isn’t it? Authentic marketing. But what does it actually mean? What is the definition of authentic marketing? And how does it apply to your own creative little business? In this blog post I will tell you a bit more about what this type of marketing means and how you can implement some aspects in the way you promote yourself online.

Authentic marketing versus old-style marketing

So, what is it all about, and how is authentic marketing different from the kind of marketing we’re used to? Until not so long ago, marketing was something that mainly belonged in the corporate world. You know, companies with a ‘marketing department’, and an advertising budget, looking at the best ways and places to present products, so you would buy them. Marketing meant boasting about a product or business, making it look all shiny, shouting about how good it is and why you should not miss out on buying.

Those days are over.

Marketing trends show us that, undoubtedly because of the influence of social media, that customers don’t simply trust a brand any more by seeing a flashy advertisement. People are doing a lot more background checks before parting with their money. They read reviews, listen to what their friends recommend, and may follow your business on social media for a while before deciding to buy from you. They want to get to know you.

marketing tips for artists

Honest, transparent and personable

What does this mean in terms of your marketing message? First, you need to be honest. Authentic marketing means being transparent. If you are a bad lier, then you’re likely pretty authentic already in what you put out, but if you have been bigging up your business online big time, you’d better stop. You’ll get found out at some point, either through reviews or because people simply don’t find your business very relatable.

Don’t make your product look or sound better than it really is. Be honest and transparent. It goes a long way.

What does this authentic marketing look like?

1. Share your story

Show the human face behind your business. Tap into the emotions of your clients, by sharing your passion, your big ‘why‘ behind the business. People want to buy from a real person, not from a faceless shopfront. So show your passion in pictures of your work space, show yourself making stuff, show your messy desk. Keep it real. People love seeing the story behind the product that they buy, and they love buying from a real person with a passion.

2. Go Live and share your life

If you feel confident enough, go Live on Instagram or Facebook and talk about your business. Tell people about your week, share some insights, maybe even give a mini masterclass about something you know and your clients would love to learn. Going Live is scary (I know!), but the more you do it, the easier it gets, and it is a great way of letting your personality shine through.

If video is not your thing (yet), start with photos. Share an honest selfie of you at work or out and about, and write something that adds value to your business. A bit of background info, a fun fact about you, a useful tip. You can also have some good photos and headshots taken by a professional photographer, which you can start dotting around your website and social media accounts. Do what feels natural to you. Don’t compare yourself to others. If sharing pictures of your family feels too private, then don’t. Stick to yourself and your business. There is plenty to share and photograph.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

3. Look at the pain points of your client

No, I don’t mean whether they’ve got a sore back, or a migraine. I mean the problems they have that you can solve. Although authentic marketing is all about being yourself and building trust, at the end of the day you are a business, and you have to try and sell stuff. By looking at the needs of your client, and highlighting those in your marketing, they will be more likely to come to you for help. If you can solve their problem, they are willing to buy.

If you tap into the pain points of your customer, and make them feel understood, you are one step closer to making a sale. And there is nothing sleazy or sneaky about that! Selling is not sleazy, it is nothing more than offering a solution to someone with a problem. This problem could be an empty wall in a new house, and they don’t know what kind of painting would look good in their home. If you have an eye for decor, and a collection of suitable artworks, you are the right person to advise them.

marketing tips for artists
Photo by Collis on Pexels.com

4. Keep it real, but show up consistently

So keep it real, be relatable, be yourself. But the most important thing: be visible! No matter how much of an introvert you are, if you want to grow your business you have to show up. There is no way around it. Post every day, ideally, and be consistent and clear in your message. Show people who you are, and why you do what you do. Talk about it, share your story, show your work, show face. And it does get easier, I promise.

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