• Advice

The 6 most effective marketing tools for creative professionals in 2017

Have you noticed that there are way too many marketing tools to promote yourself? Maybe you’re even using them and feeling totally overwhelmed.

It’s a huge problem.

Worse, I’ll bet the ones you are using are not necessarily the most effective ones, though they may be the easiest and most accessible, like social media.

The result: you may be diligently doing some marketing, but getting no results.

I think I know why: you’re not connecting the dots.

Here’s what I mean:

You have to have the right mindset and use the right marketing tools in a way that speaks to the right people—loud and clear—at exactly the right time. That’s a tall order but it’s not difficult – if you know which are the right tools.

I’ve identified the 6 that work best together, especially for creative freelancers.

These 6 work hand-in-hand as a system, reinforcing each other and amplifying each other’s effect, which is essential if you’re going to get that most elusive of prizes: your ideal client’s attention.

So if want to hit the ground running for the new year, here’s where to focus – and ignore the rest:

  • Your Elevator Pitch: Make sure yours shows how you’re perfect for your ideal clients and how you’re different from your competitors.
  • LinkedIn: Use it to support your positioning message and to research and connect with your ideal clients.
  • Your Marketing-Smart Website: The 6 Most Effective Marketing Tools for Creative Professionals in 2017 Make sure the homepage message speaks directly to your ideal clients so that when they land there, they say, “This is exactly who I need!”
  • Networking: Meet your ideal clients in real time and in person, if at all possible. Travel if you need to. If you can’t find them in person, find a virtual space online where you can network with them. (Start your search with this list of trade associations.)
  • Content Marketing: Cultivate trust with your ideal clients and stay on their radar via “auto-drip” – a monthly email marketing message. That way, you come to mind when they have a need. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind – it’s never been more true!
  • Outreach: Reach out in the most personal of ways, via LinkedIn and warm email messages and even with very special snail mail. Introduce yourself, follow up and stay in touch with your ideal clients for as long as it takes.

Remember, none of these work in isolation. You have to do them all together.

You can’t pick and choose from this list based on what you like or don’t like doing, or what you are or aren’t comfortable with. Learn what you need to do them well.

When you do, here’s how they work in real life to connect the dots of your marketing:

Let’s say you attend a networking event where your prospects will be. Use curiosity to eliminate the stress of “What will I say?” Replace that stress with questions you want answers to – questions that allow you to learn more about your prospects and your market and therefore respond more naturally with your solutions and ideas.

Then, build on that with generosity, by sharing your ideas and solutions to the problems they share with you, ideally offering your services and resources as part of the solution.

Then, use what you learn from the people you meet to create a related blog post or content for an email newsletter, so that when you follow up with those you met, you can point them to it.

Later, when you reach out to others in the group whom you may not have met yet, you can point them to that content and share what they might have missed. That’s generosity at work!

Ready to hit the ground running so you can get better clients with bigger budgets in 2017?

Check out these additional resources:
How to Reach Out to Your Ideal Clients (podcast)
How to Connect the Dots of Your Marketing (podcast)
Download Marketing Mentor’s 10 Point Marketing Checklist at

Ilise Benun Ilise Benun is the founder of, the go-to online resource for creative professionals who want better projects with bigger budgets.

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