Personal projects are the most exciting ways of marketing your business because first, you pick something that you really want or like doing, and then you make it outstanding.
In this episode, we are going to talk about creative ways to market your business with personal projects.
We will talk about the projects that were realized and different ideas of what you can do such as organizing an event, exhibition, get published in online or offline media, get connected with authorities and influential people in your industry.'First, pick something that you really want or like doing and then make it outstanding!' ~ Marina BarayevaClick To Tweet
In this episode, we will cover:
- [00:22] About this episode and how personal projects can help your marketing
- [00:44] How Marina come up with the idea of organizing a fashion show with her friend
- [02:38] Think about what you always wanted to do and put the idea into the project
- [03:39] Personal projects are the excellent ways to expand your service
- [04:46] The idea for your personal project should excite you as it will help you to realize it and bring more people to help you with it
- [05:16] The ideas of personal projects we will talk about in the episode
- [06:24] List everything you need to realize your project even if it seems unreal
- [08:13] What you may need if you want to do an exhibition of your work
- [09:27] You no need a lot of money to work on amazing things and your personal projects, think about the value you can bring to people as an exchange
- [10:41] The ideas on how to collaborate with other businesses
- [12:23] Work all together with the team and everyone who involved in the project to market your event or promote a personal project
- [13:54] The challenge that almost ruined Marina’s fashion show
- [16:33] How to get media involved in your personal project
- [18:32] One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they reach out media
- [18:44] Work on the round-up post as a personal project to get extra promotions or new connections
- [20:42] If your dream always was to have a published book and easy way to write it is interview the experts what you want to write about
- [22:41] One of the ways to connect with influencers or include the projects with important or famous people in your portfolio is to do a project for them for free
- [23:59] Not everything you can buy for the money and not always you have to pay
- [24:56] For the show notes go to marinabarayeva.com and subscribe to the Marketing for Creatives show
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Creative Ways to Market Your Business with Personal Projects – Interview Transcription
In this episode, we’re gonna talk about creative ways to market your business with personal projects.
Guys, this is my favorite topic to talk about. First, we’ll pick something that you really want or like doing and then we’ll make it outstanding.
Let’s start with a story. Several years ago, I came to my friend, and we were sitting, talking about everything and we were talking about dreams, and she said “I had a dream to make a fashion show: the hairstyles and beautiful dresses, music, everything. I always wanted to do that!”
I was like, “OK, let’s do it. ”
She was like, “What?!”
“Yeah, let’s do it. We can do that!”
And she was like, “OK.”
We started thinking right away what we need, how we want to do it. I asked her questions. I brought my ideas because I’m a photographer and how that can benefit both of us, how it can be interesting for both of us.
That was a dream for her. And for me I do love different creative projects, organizing all this stuff.
So, we started to think about what do we need, who we need and how to do this. We set a deadline for each of us like three weeks. We needed to find a place, we needed to find the models, clothes, come up with ideas for all of these creative things and at the end, we wanted to take pictures, and we’re thinking how else it can benefit us at the end.
Three weeks we were working on this. We were thinking how to make those ideas come true and there were a lot of challenges. We will talk about that more, but at the end we made it. We had this fashion show; we had the publication about this and people remembered that for a long time.
For us, that was our creative project, the personal project. And this is what you can start with.
Just also sit with your friend or by yourself with a piece of paper and start thinking about: What are those ideas you always wanted to do? Even if this sounds so crazy like a fashion show. I’ve never done this before, and that’s OK.
Magazine publication, write a book, start interviewing people just because you want to have the podcasts. You want to have your show. You want to have your talk show. Anything.
What is that one thing that you always wanted to do? Or if you don’t have these exciting ideas, don’t have enough creativity, think about what would you want for your business or yourself What people would you like to reach? What would you like to have?
Would you like to have the publication where people would talk about your business, or you want to create a portfolio? For example, you’re a videographer or photographer and you start from nothing, and you need to create a portfolio.
Or you are switching to the different niche. If, for example, I am a portrait photographer and I would like to shoot the wedding, I will need to have the new portfolio. What else?
Or you’d like to get more writings, more expression for your ideas. And again, another publication, whether it’s online media or offline media. What is that one thing that excites you the most? Or you want to do videos of yourself? You want to do a short video.
Or you’re an actor, and you’re looking for some extra work. You can film little videos and do those creative projects. When you will come to audition you will have something outstanding to show to people, to show to a casting director or producer. And it’s all so interesting.
This is the foundation. It’s the main thing that people miss when they start, but they want to choose something. You need to have the idea and this idea you should excite you because when it excites you, you spread the word about this, you will talk about this.
It will be much easier for you. People will feel that you want that and when you will ask for help, we will talk about this more, people will want to help you because when they feel that fire in people, they want to be part of something big. They want to…
The life is boring for a lot of people. Let’s face it. There’s a regular life for most people on the earth, and they want something different in life.
Number one thing which we started with is your idea. Let’s pick several.
I will share more about our fashion show. It can be, let’s say publication. Or you want to reach more people. You want to reach specific people. Maybe these are experts in your niche, or those are the authorities who you maybe want to ask a question or maybe you want to get in touch with and then do business together. Then you can get connected with them and use their mane for marketing your business.
Maybe it sounds not so good, but it is what it is. Sometimes we just hang out with the right people, it grows up your authority in other people’s eyes, and it brings you more business.
OK, you got your idea. When we wanted to create our fashion show, we needed to write down what things we need. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have anything now you just need to write down what you want to have there, what you need for that.
For that fashion show, we needed models, so we put together 10 to 15 models. We had to find dresses. We needed a venue. We needed the music. We needed to market the show somehow. So we listed all of those things.
Then we started from the very first thing – we needed a place. And we started thinking about other friends who we know and who either have the place or who have different connections. We found one friend who has connections with different people around the area. We’ve done this fashion show in Miami.
And by the way, the time when I was there, I was just a few months there. I didn’t know anyone. I knew several people, and all I’ve done is when to different events and knew more and more people.
We were thinking about one of the friends who my friend knew and who I met in one of the events. We came to him, and we say, “You know, we want to do a fashion show. We’re Russian girls, we want to do it here, and we just needed help.”
We shared with him our idea. And he was like, “OK. I’m working with one guy there, and they have a restaurant, they have a lounge. And we said, “OK, we need to meet this guy.”
Then we started looking for models and closers, and another friend introduces to a designer who also owns the model agency. She said she’s going to provide us the models and clothes, everything. And we found another DJ who said that he would help us with the music.
Let’s say you’re going to start your project now. Whether it’s going to be an event… So in our case, it was a fashion show. In your case, it can be… If you want to do an exhibition, you can do a lot of things. For example, if you want to put your art there, whether you are an artist or photographer or even the hairstylist.
If you want to put your pictures on the wall in front of other people, there are a few things you need to think about: you need a venue, you need the place where you want to put it and you need to think about the place which will either attract people if you’re going to have those pieces on the wall for some time or where people will be willing to go to visit so you can attract more people and also is that place we will help you to promote your events somehow, or maybe they work with your audience.
Always think about how you can reach more people and when you come to the place, you want someone to ask about hosting the event, think about what value you can bring to people. The saying that people have is just, “I don’t have money for the event or the publications or other marketing promotions.”
This is the point. This is what we’re talking about today. You no need money. It may sound crazy, but you need maybe a little bit of money, get creative and think about what value you can bring to other people.
If you go to the place, yes, they may rent it for a certain amount of money, but what else you can offer them. Can you offer your services as an exchange? For example, if I would come as a photographer, I could suggest “I can photograph your place, I can photograph your area, or I can help you with promotion of your place.”
This is what most areas will accept. If, for example, you have some followings or you have good connections, and you can explain it to the person, to the manager who will talk with like, “OK, I’m gonna help you to promote your place, but can we host an event here? One of the evenings when you have nothing here. We’ll just bring people here to you.” This is one of the things.
Then OK, let’s say we found the place where we want to host our event, then you start thinking about what other people do you need.
If you need models or you need some entertainment, you can collaborate with other businesses in your niche and just come, for example, if you’re a makeup artist and you can cooperate with some hairstylists and do a live show on the stage.
Show how to do the makeup, show how to do the hairstyle, bring some people from the audience and just do it live right on them. Show them how they can do this.
Let’s say you’re an artist and you want to have your exhibition, put your art on the walls of one of the restaurants. You get together with a restaurant manager, you talk to them, and then you still need to market yourself somehow, you need to promote your event.
Why don’t you partner, let’s say with a drama school and ask them to do a performance that day? In that case, you will market the event. They will market the event, and that will be something interesting to talk about. Right? A restaurant will have some entertainment.
Or you can ask some musicians if they want to perform at your event. You can say that “OK, we’re going to have people there and let’s just get together. And to everyone who you come asking for helping you tell:
What is your idea about?
Why do you do this?
How is it going to be?
And when you tell this, that’s why I told you, pick something that you’re really excited about your dream or something, they will be more willing to help you. Especially if you bringing them something, they’re going to be part of the big project, and you will help to market them too.
The next thing is marketing of your event. Ask all the members of the… all participants of the event to promote on their social media, among their friends, invite their friends or families, everyone. Bring the crowd altogether. You can ask your close friends and relatives to promote your event too. Ask to share with their friends.
You can do some flyers and leave them in the area where your audience, the people who you want to bring to the event, hangs out.
Or you can create a little brochure about that and also a giveaway to people. Everyone who you meet at the other events during your preparations for your event or someone who you meet even on the street and the coffee shop. If you will talk about the project and that will be interesting to them, why won’t you invite them to your event?
If you’re going to have the opening for your event or it’s just one-time event, ask the venue if they can provide you meals or you can also collaborate with some restaurants or catering services so they can bring some food in you’ll cross promote each other. In our case, the restaurant helped us with some food and some snacks.
Basically, we prepared everything. We planned the show. We saw the places. We were thinking about the decoration and everything. We planned the whole program for the evening, but whatever you do, it’s always challenging.
In our case, two days before the show, the woman who promised to give us models and dresses and helped to promote, she just said, “Oh, you know, my husband and my producer talk to me many times. Nobody does a fashion show within three weeks. I’m sorry we are out.”
Can you imagine what I felt? When she called me I was down. Two days before the show and we got zero because she said that she’s not going to participate. And the big process, the big part of it: the models and all the dresses were from her, and the preparation for the event was with her models too.
But it is what it is. We had to do something, and we just reach everyone who we could. And within 24 hours we had all the models we needed, we had the dresses, we knew which hairstyle we’re going to make, we… basically, the few hours before the show, I was finishing writing the script for my host speech.
That was crazy. That was stressful. But we made it, and that was super cool and very exciting.
And when we planned the project, we were thinking how to bring more value to people, how to give something to community because this is a part which we do in one thing for ourselves, for maybe some marketing for something which we wanted to do, but also how we can bring something to the society.
This fashion show was for a charity. That was right before the Christmas time. We collected money for that, and we supported the local children organization. The whole process, the whole event, the whole idea was very interesting. And before our show, we reached a few media to see if someone can help us to write about us.
Several media posted about the event as an upcoming interesting thing to do. And one of the publication gave us the whole spread about the event full of pictures, credits to everyone.
The most exciting thing that even in a few months people saw us and they were like, wow, that was a cool event. They remembered that they were talking about it.
And this is one of the ideas what you can do. So for example, if you have your events or whatever projects you’re working on, and you want to get some extra exposure to that, then you can reach some local media and see if they would be interesting to share your story.
You can write them “Hi, my name is Marina Barayeva. We’re going to do this event soon. We’re going to have a stunning fashion show for charity, and we would like to invite you to be our guest and see if you would be interested to share the story about us.”
Some media will say no, but there may be someone who may say yes, and then you’ll have a free marketing promotion. Sounds good?
OK, let’s come up with another idea. For example, if all you want is just some publications about you and your business. Having a project and reaching out media is one of the simplest ways and more interesting, because in that way you are pitching the publication with the interesting story, not just asking them about promoting your business.
If you would want some exposure for yourself, I would recommend you to get in touch with some media which with your audience which work with your niche. First, if you want to publish your articles or some of your materials, you can ask them directly. Just send them an email and say like, “Hi, my name is Marina Barayeva. I would like to get published in your magazine. Here are my photos and here’s the story which I want to apply.”
A lot of magazines have submission page, and they accept different publications, different stories. Make sure that you read their guidelines so you will follow them and it will be easy for them to process. And make sure that you looked at the style of the magazine or media which you want to work with. So you will fit their style.
One of the biggest mistake… what people do is they do not treat anything and send random emails to people which completely out of what they usually publish.
You want to have some promotion and get some connections, one of the interesting ways to get published is to do the roundup posts.
This is one you come up with a question, you can do some interviews, or you can just have one question and ask different authorities in your niche, whether they’re online authorities or if you want to get in touch with local businesses.
You can just give one question to all of those businesses who work with your audience and collect their emails, and then you can publish either on your website, or you can reach some online or offline media and say, “I’ve done some researchers. I talk to those people, and I think that will be interesting for your audience.” There’s a big chance that they will publish you.
You can add your answer there too. You can even ask like, “I’ve finished this article. Maybe you can modify it somehow, and you can even publish under your name. It’s not necessary to be my name there, but just keep my answer there.”
So you also get some kind of exposure, and when they publish the article, you tell all of these people from who you ask the question or who you interview that, “Here’s the article. It got published, thank you so much. I would appreciate some sharing.” Or even often when people get published, they are willing to share with their social media followers or with their clients, or if this is the published magazine, they can put it on their table in their office.
Imagine if you get in touch with 10 people, you’ll get published, the whole 10 people will talk about the article, and they will share. They will share not only their part, but you also will be there, you also will get noticed.
Then let’s say your dream was always to write a book. Maybe you want to express yourself, but maybe you just want to have a book where you want to share some knowledge with people and use it for marketing.
One of the easiest ways, it’s again to find experts in your niche. You can bring your value, but it takes a lot of time, and not everyone can write a lot and express themselves well, but you can also reach the experts in your niche and ask them about the topics which you want to include in your book.
Make sure that you sign the release with them either in the electronic form or written form, so they allowed you to distribute and reproduce the interview that you had with them.
Another one of my favorite ways to use in marketing is get connected to influential people within your niche or with other businesses.
Those are people who are known by many other people. So when you will market yourself, you can use their name, you can say like, “Oh, I worked with this person,” or “I’ve done the project for this girl,” or “We had an interview with that guy.” In a friendly way, “Oh, I had the interview with them. We just kind of get together and talk about different things.”
People will know that that business or that person worked with you before, your potential clients will be more willing to work with you. It will be easier for you to sell.
For me personally, the easiest way to start connections with those people is just interview them. For example, this podcast is my other crazy personal project, and I interview a lot of people here. They are so amazing. It’s it sounds like I have a mentor in every area and I share that with you and bring you value too.
In other ways, you can offer some of your services for free to people who you would like to work with. It’s better if you’ll search the internet or look for more information about them.
A lot of people have books already, so maybe you’ve read their book, or maybe you use their services before. That way you can give some feedback, and it’s easier to connect. You can write them “I read your book. That’s fantastic. I used these tips, and I like this part. I don’t really agree with this part.”
Whatever is an honest opinion on that book, or publication or the project will be more likely welcomed by the person because they know that you put an effort to learn more about their stuff. Then, when you find out what they need, you can come to them and say, “I’m a big fan of you, and I would like to just do this project for you. I want to say thank you for what you’ve done for people, and that’s it.”
It’s an amazing way to create the relationship, get some names in your portfolio, get connected to those people. Maybe you’ll work on some other projects together. Maybe they will help you with marketing your business. Not everyone will do this, but many people still do.
Remember one important thing in life, not everything you can buy for the money and not always you have to pay for something.
The best way is to find what another person wants or need, and that’s not always money, believe me. So here was a lot of information for you today and I encourage you to try one of them. Or realize one of your dreams.
If you have any questions about the process, you get stuck somewhere working on them or made them come true leave me a comment below and I’ll try to clear things up.
Marina Barayeva is an international speaker and a host of the popular podcast Marketing for Creatives. She is known authority in helping entrepreneurs become influencers in their niche. She is a TEDx speaker, has presented to audiences in Asia and North America, and has been featured in such media as ArtPeople, CCTV, China Radio International, and others.