I’ve been hearing various comments lately here and there, about how my friends and family like quiet. “I don’t hardly ever play music,” my friend Brittany (a mom of three) said—“I just love the quiet.”
I don’t have any children, and often have a podcast or music playing if I’m not busy writing. But there IS one place I get tired of noise: online and in marketing. I love working online, in many ways. Sometimes though, it just feels like too much clamor and noise and all I want to do is plug my ears and go to sleep.
It’s frustrating, however, because when we’re selling something we truly believe people need/want, we have to somehow let them know that we can provide that service or product for them.
There’s a growing number of us designers, photographers, writers, and creatives that are trying to do something that’s a little different: sell what we offer without screaming for everyone to buy it. The question is, can we? How do we do that? How do we sell things a little more quietly?
Let’s look at four ways to market your business without constantly feeling like you’re shouting.
1. Take time away from the noise.
I was going to have this point be the last one, but I think it actually is the most important. If you are constantly surrounding yourself with the online noise, other businesses, other people’s ideas—it will be much harder to not feel like you have to yell to be heard above it all. If you can create and market your service out of a place of quiet confidence, it will shine through in every Instagram post you create and every ad you schedule.
Take time away. Turn your phone off, often. It will be worth it.
2. Be honest about who you are.
You guys. Saying “be yourself” feels so old and like “Abby, we’ve heard that all before.” I would argue, though, that the concept is still true. Trying to be someone else will make your marketing feel clangy and loud, like the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal in 1 Corinthians 13. Don’t try to fake who you are. Honesty doesn’t need to shout: it automatically shines.
3. Mind the gap.
The third way to not have to shout in your marketing? Find the missing piece in your industry, and show up there. Ask questions like: what is no one doing/saying/offering? How can I fill that need? Then slide into that void and fill it.
4. Avoid trying to fit in.
One of my biggest insecurities when I was a little girl with boring straight hair and wire glasses (classic baby writer, I know), is that all I wanted to do is fit in. And I still feel that way, some days: “Maybe if I just do it like SHE does it, then I’ll be successful.”
There is so much that creatives can learn from each other. And we should. But especially in your branding, voice, and marketing, don’t try to copy someone else. Narrow in on exactly how your specific gifts can meet a need, figure out who it is that needs what you offer, and go forward confidently.
It’s a balancing act, this business of marketing well without shouting at the tops of our lungs. I believe in you though, friend. I think we can make business and marketing into something more refreshing, less like a siren wail.