Thursday, February 8, 2024



So you’ve launched your product, service, business–whatever it may be–and now…

Now, the real work begins.

One of the biggest difficulties (and second-most-popular question I get) of running your own gig is actually the day to day marketing and content creation. You can’t just throw this puppy out into the world and expect people to find it as-is.

Marketing is tricky because it should be unique to you and what you offer. You have to come up with things that showcase you PLUS in a way that helps your audience connect with you on a personal level (circling again back to Simon Sinek’s Start With Why that I mentioned in the last Freelance Friday article HERE.) 

So while I can’t tell you exactly how to run your business or marketing plans, because that’s unique to you, I can give you some pointers. 

DO study the algorithms for your platforms…and stay up-to-date. Hashtag importance comes and goes, likes, views, etc. not to mention a whole host of other things. Some quick Google searches for the social media platform and the current year will help! While it’s boring and somewhat technical to learn algorithm hacks, it’s critically important to growing your platform and establishing healthy posting habits. And I promise that studying the algorithm and working with it DOES help a lot. 

DO watch some solid webinars. Note that I said solid–I’ve read a lot of muck from the marketing world, folks who promise that if you do XYZ, everything will fall into place and you’ll retire at 30. While maybe it worked for them, it’s not the end-all-be-all, and what works for them might not work for you…and what works for me might not work for you, etc. Find highly-recommended books, attend a webinar or two. Make sure their offering aligns with your own goals, too. If you know fellow business owners/freelancers/indie artists who are well-established, you might even ask them for a conversation or two if they’re approachable and you have a good standing rapport with them. The discussions I’ve had with such people have been absolutely invaluable. 

DO create your own brand while you’re at it. I will add here that marketing and branding are a bit different: marketing is for your product, and branding is for you. Think about some things that are really important to you, or to the persona you portray online. People crave authenticity, so your “brand” is intended to help your audience feel connected to you, feel like they know you, and your brand is also intended to help you stand out from the crowd. Is there a certain aesthetic you love, like vintage or cottagecore or minimalist or bold colors? Employ that in such a way that people scrolling by will instantly pick out one of your posts from the crowd. This may take some time to settle into, and maybe it will shift over time as you gain more experience and get comfortable. But getting started (even before you have anything to sell, if you’re ahead of the game and awesome) is the most important step. So you love flannels, vintage LPs, and hazy vignettes? Snap a shot of your favorite LP and use a caption to chat about what you have to offer or why you do what you do. Take shots of yourself in flannels or perusing LPs at the local antique store…and so on. 

DO plan ahead. The most important thing you can do for content creation is planning ahead. You never know when something will happen or you’re just too busy to work on your content creation. Planning ahead will help take a load off your shoulders and free up time to work on what actually brings finances in.

I personally take half an hour or so to make a plan for the entire month ahead, then another couple hours to take photos or make graphics, etc., and another day to schedule them, type captions, etc. spread out over a few days or weeks if I have to. That way, I have most of the month to work while my posts are (hopefully) posting themselves. I do try to take time to interact with folks on my posts and add stories to Instagram, but that’s secondary and takes a LOT less time than actually planning it out.

DO try new things. While staying true to your brand, don’t be afraid to stretch and try new posts that are a bit out of your comfort zone. For example, I started recently sharing more about my own books (and showing pictures of my face) in 2023 and found that I get much more personal interaction on those posts even though I personally hate doing them. Reels? Try ‘em. Lives? Why not? Longer captions? Worth a shot! Experiment and have fun with it. 

DO make sure your audience is getting something out of interacting with you. Maybe they need edification. Maybe they need a pick-me-up or a hard reminder. Maybe they could use a silly post to lighten their day, a question to answer, SOMETHING. Audiences are more likely to interact when they feel welcome to do so, and they’ll stick around if they feel like they’re getting something out of your account. 

DON’T copy what others are doing. Gathering inspiration from others is fine, maybe even crucial as you are starting out and learning. But never straight-up copy them–first of all, what they’re curating and what you’re curating may be completely different.

DON’T worry about hitting every mark every time. Some posts will just flop, and that’s okay. But:  If there’s a pattern of low interaction, it might be time to look at when you’re posting (days of the week as well as time factor into that), what you’re posting, the hashtags you’re using, and the algorithm for your platform(s) overall. There are a lot of moving parts to the content creation game. Consistency (i.e. posting regularly) is the most important thing you can do, but if you miss a post or something comes up, it’s not the end of the world. 

DON’T be too repetitive. Consistency doesn’t mean you post about the same topic over and over–it’s more about scheduling than the content. Make sure to give your audience a bit of variety with what you offer and talk about. (For example, if you sell crochet projects, every single post doesn’t have to be about crocheting. You could do an update on your business-oriented goals, something you’re learning in life, a new stitch or yarn you’re trying, some of your favorite tools to use, why you enjoy crocheting, etc — see the variety there?)

DON’T only share your products exclusively. Especially as freelancers, entrepreneurs, or indie artists, community is critical. Build friendships and working relationships with others in your field and celebrate their achievements too. Audiences will see someone who’s willing to work with others, who’s friendly, and who is confident enough to rejoice with others about their success. Likewise, don’t be afraid to advertise your products from time to time–just balance it out! 

SO: the beast of content creation and marketing is pretty wild, and sometimes it’s like riding a tornado because you just aren’t sure where the next twist or turn will take you. BUT not only is it important for what you’re offering, it can be brought under control to a manageable level for your personal goals. Taking time to plan is critical and while I will say it takes time to get used to, it’s doable! Not only that, you’ll get to meet people along the way who are as passionate about what you do as you are–and sometimes that’s the biggest reward of all.

What are some of your favorite marketing tips and tricks? Sound off in the comments!


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