As a creative business owner, you are probably constantly thinking about how you can grow your business. I know I am! You wonder if this activity will bring more customers, or if this blog post (yes, this one!) will be the one that speaks to someone and they pick up the phone to hire you or buy your work of art. You spend a lot of time wondering. And probably worrying too. You aren't alone.

Here are five tips to help you grow your business. Do all five, or just pick the ones that make the most sense to you. But just remember to always be doing something to move yourself forward and grow your business.

Tip 1. Get in front of your right people

If you've never heard the term "right people" before you might think I don't like lefties! You'd be wrong because it just so happens, I'm a leftie. Your right people are the people you want as your customer or client. They are the person that you envision walking into your shop or clicking the 'add to cart' button on Etsy. They are the person you want to get your product in front of and deliver your marketing message to as well.

In order to get in front of your right people, you will need to determine who they are. Take a few moments and envision your ideal customer walking into your brick and mortar store, perusing your Etsy shop or looking at your portfolio. What do they look like? Are they male or female? How old are they? Write down as many characteristics of this ideal customer as you can. Now think about where you will find them both in person and online. How will you reach them? What do you want them to do once you are interacting with them? Put a lot of thought into this because if you don't know who your ideal customer is you will waste valuable time and energy on the wrong folks.

Tip 2.  Get on social media

Do you pine for a private moment to peruse Pinterest? Do you take to Twitter during your favorite TV show? Is Facebook your favorite free time indulgence? Is inspiration abound after bouncing through the blogosphere?

We all have our favorite social media platforms for personal interaction, but where should you be hanging out to build your business? If you did the exercise in Tip 1 to identify your ideal customer, you should have a pretty good idea of where you will find these people online. If you sell jewelry, you will want to use the social media platform that will not only allow you to showcase your jewelry at its best, but also showcase it to your right people. You might find that Pinterest is the best place to share your jewelry. If you set up a business account on Pinterest you will be able to use the available analytics to see how many people are viewing your pins and determine if they are, in fact, your right people. 

Marketing your goods and services on social media is an ongoing activity and it take a little time to get serious results. It will also be a bit of trial and error as you determine which platforms will get you in front of your right people. Give yourself a goal of at least six months and create a plan of action to ensure success!

Tip 3.  Do some networking

One of the best ways to grow your business is to network with not only the people you would love to have as clients and customers, but also your peers. Some of you may be wondering how networking with your peers could help your business grow, but bear with me! Imagine you are a graphic designer and you really love creating logos and branding packages, but you really don't dig designing wedding invitations. When you were first starting your business you probably took every job you could get your hands on, but as time goes on, sometimes it makes complete sense to only take the work that not only puts money in your pocket, but also fuels your passion to design. So, if you regularly network with your peers you might just find that Mary loves to design wedding invitations but doesn't get excited about creating logos. Maybe you can mutually refer clients with one another, thereby giving you both work and creating synergy in your creative community.

Of course, the networking activities you should focus on, are the ones that will get your closer to your ideal client or customer. So get out there and start some conversations, pass out some business cards and get some more work!

Tip 4.  Plan for success

Especially when business is a little slow, you should take time to reevaluate how your business is doing and adjust anywhere you feel you need to in order to maintain a path to success. Sometimes you might need to sit down and create an actual plan for success. This plan can start as a brain dump of all of the ideas you have to grow your business, become more successful, make more money, develop new products, and so on. Once you have all of your ideas and dreams out in front of you, create an action plan. Create SMART goals full of intention and most importantly, with realistic deadlines. Revisit your plan every month to keep you on track.

Tip 5.  Recharge your batteries

Many times when we need out business to grow we're too exhausted to think about getting any busier or having to expand. This is the perfect time to take a day or two off from the daily grind of creative entrepreneurship and recharge your batteries. Sometimes all you need, is a little downtime to do something fun or creative that isn't your creative business. For me it's getting on my bicycle and riding the greenway or on a mountain bike trail for a few hours. While I'm on my bike I can't do anything else but think about where I am going (especially in the woods on the mountain bike trails) and what I am seeing. Disconnecting myself from the distractions of work, even for a few hours, gets me recharged for creativity. Give a try the next time you are ready for some changes in your business!

I would love to hear your own tips for growing your business! Please leave me a comment with your tips or share mine if you like them. 

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

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