A huge element to successful self-promotion, and marketing in general, lies in motivating the right people, namely your target market (your potential clients, fans etc) to take action.
This could be in the form of using your services, commissioning work from you, buying your products, spreading the word about you, and so on.
Obviously producing unique and high quality work as a creative will be one of your primary means of motivating people. However, there are several other ways to quickly motivate people to take action through activating appropriate emotional responses, as well as highlighting the benefits you offer.
Here are 13 ways to do this:
1. Create the impression of scarcity
Increase the assumed value of your products and services by emphasizing their rarity. For example, you might display limited stock quantities for products you might be selling or giving away. When it comes to your own work, the best way to increase a sense of scarcity is in producing work that is unique and remarkable.
You might also emphasize the scarcity of your services in the way you describe yourself, such as in highlighting what you do that few others can. Really pick out and clarify your strengths when doing so.
2. Build a sense of obligation
You can motivate people to take action when you give something away, or in helping people, which will trigger a sense of indebtedness or liability in them. By giving something away, such as in the form of free information through a blog post, this will unconsciously drive people to feel the need to give something back to you.
3. Express yourself
Revealing your personality, your passion and your character through everything you do online, particularly through your own work, but also through your writing, the design of your site and in the way you interact with people, will appeal to people in a big way, and will get people quickly interested in you.
Visitors will be more motivated to buy into your ‘brand’ after they have witnessed some of your self expression. This will manifest itself for a large part in your own work.
4. Limit options
By cutting down on the choices you offer to people, whether this be all the products you want to sell them, or in the various services you might offer, you will reduce the issue of ‘decision paralysis’, which restricts one’s ability to make a decision at all. By minimizing choice, options become clearer and easier.
Those who you’d like to take action will be more motivated to make decisions if the options in front of them are not complicated. This includes simplifying the navigation and design complexity of your site/s.
5. Evoke desired emotions
In the world of ‘cognitive marketing’ expert marketers suggest embedding messages into your writing (or spoken word) to affect people’s thought patterns through evoking positive feelings like excitement, curiosity and interest. The best way to sell yourself, products and your work is to have prospects and customers associate positive feelings with them.
Think of this as helping people better understand your benefits and not as an exercise in deceit! You can use motivational statements here and there in any persuasive communication you do to motivate people positively, such as:
“What would it feel like to have a beautiful, clean new website?”
“See how you’re getting excited about the prospect of having a print on your wall”
6. Tell stories
Weave stories into any copy you have that seeks to persuade people in the content of your blog and articles, for example. You don’t need to go overboard with telling stories but they have been shown to grab the attention of viewers and readers very effectively. Grabbing attention through intriguing stories is a powerful way of motivating people to take action in the ways you want them to.
7. Get people to make a small step
People are much more likely to make a decision or take action if they have already done something small towards it or in relation to it. According to psychologists, a small commitment in this way activates a commited ‘persona’ in the person, which they will then look to maintain with future commitments.
So, if you provide the ability to leave comments or feedback on your site, for example, this can lead to people taking further action in committing to you if the opportunity is there.
8. Activate the brain’s survival instinct
Triggering the survival instinct in a certain part of the human brain will have an effect on people’s attention, and in getting them motivated.
Three things are linked closely to the this survival trigger: sex, food and danger. Consider incorporating these themes and images relating to them into the headlines you write, your articles, images you include on your blog and in the work you create to grab attention and motivate people to act.
9. Present quick results
Promise a ‘quick service’, ‘instant download’ or ‘super fast shipping’ in the details you include with products and services you offer. Only do this if you can deliver on what you have promised. People are much more inclined to be motivated by getting something quickly.
10. List key things first
Anything you list first, such as a point on a list, or an illustration in your portfolio, will be prioritized by your visitors. So, if you want to get people motivated about a particular thing more than anything else you have to offer at that point, make sure if is listed first in a sequence to boost the priority people give to it.
11. Demonstrate ‘Social Validity’
Showing that you and what you offer is liked and respected by others, has a strong motivational effect on people. Social validation in this way triggers the part of the unconscious brain’s urge to ‘belong’, and hence will attract people to you and your work.
You don’t need to be the most popular kid in school to do this, just make sure you give preference to such validity whenever the opportunity arises.
Social validity can be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Showcase any ratings, testimonials and reviews others have made on your site.
- Enable and encourage commenting, but delete spam and any overly negative comments.
- Display popular posts and articles.
- Install social media buttons like Digg and Tweet and recently introduced Facebook ‘reshare‘ buttons.
- Display your RSS subscriber and Twitter follower numbers.
12. Use the word ‘you’
People’s attentions will be drawn to this word, and being spoken to directly, because we all give priority to ourselves in an evolutionary, survivalist sense. Speak directly to your visitors and you will see improvements in your own persuasiveness.
13. Be professional
This applies to how you present and apply yourself in carrying out your creative work with clients and in the areas surrounding this, such as interacting with prospects, and presenting your work (in the form of your portfolio site etc).
Make sure that you treat everyone you deal with with respect and courtesy, as this feeling of importance has a strong motivational drive behind it for others. Be professional as you go about writing your blog and designing your site too as this will instill a sense of enthusiasm in people as they engage themselves with your professionalism.
Let the community know if you can think of other ideas and if you have other views with regard to anything that has been mentioned.