Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how creative folks can tell the story of their business and I came up with 5 easy ways to share the story of your creative business. There are several reasons why telling your story is important so I'll cover some of those first so you'll have a starting point for how to tell your story.

4 reasons to tell the story of your creative business

1. People want to know why, how and where you do what you do!
2. Shedding light on your personality makes it easier for people to like you!
3. People do business with people they like and know!
4. Your story may inspire someone to start their own creative business!

Take a moment and think about what you would share when telling your story. Grab and pen and paper and write down the first 3 to 5 points that came to mind. These are the things you'll definitely want to cover in your story. It's your story, so you're the only one who knows how to tell it. Now it's time to decide how to tell the story!

These are my top 5 ways to tell the story of your creative business and you'll want to choose at least one method, but choosing two or more will help you craft a well-rounded story you can share on different platforms. I'll explain more about how to use the different methods together below.

5 easy ways to share the story of your creative business

1. Blogging

Blogging is the absolute easiest way to tell the story of your creative business. Chances are you are already blogging and maybe you have been telling your story without even thinking about it. If you've done a few posts that give the background of your business or tell how you create, then all you have to do is refresh those posts and reshare them or create some new content using the older posts as a guide.

Blogging your creative business story can be done in a single post or a series. It really just depends on whether or not you like to blog. Add photos to increase visual engagement with your readers. Be sure to include photos of you doing what you do, your workspace, your creations and maybe even some work in progress images. Breaking your story up into a series may increase readership of your blog as well as give you the opportunity to share different parts of the story over time. Remember, blogging isn't like writing a book, it can be short and to the point, but if you love to write, by all means let the words flow in your own authentic voice.

Level (1 easy to 5 hard): 1 to 2 depending on your love of writing

2. Photo essay, slideshow or video of still images

As I mentioned above, photos are essential to increasing visual engagement with your existing and potential customers or clients. Images can show so much more than you can say in words, am I right? The whole picture speaks a 1000 words thing is so true, so why waste your precious time writing when a collection of great images can do it for you. 

Assembling your images into a photo essay covers the visual engagement while giving you a chance to say a few words about each image. An essay is perfect for behind-the-scenes and sharing work in progress stories. The key here is to use only the best images, so you may want to consider hiring a professional or asking a friend with great photography skills to take the photos.

Another way to tell your story with images is to create a slideshow or a video using still images. There are many different ways to create a slideshow, whether as a stand-alone or incorporated into a blog post. A quick Google search should produce a list of suitable options, but I highly recommend using Animoto. Animoto has a lot of really cool features to create a unique video with still images, text and even videos. Check out the options and decide whether the free or paid version suits your needs.

Level (1 easy to 5 hard): 1 or 2 depending on your photo and tech skills

3. Video

Like photographs, video is a very visual medium that can include sound, which can save you from typing out words. Not everyone enjoys writing, so video is the best medium for folks who like to talk and tell their story in their own words and voice. Break your story down into several short videos and tell your story in bite-sized pieces. This is a great way to easily create more content to share with your audience over time. 

Creating videos can be as easy or challenging as you choose. Keep it simple and use your smartphone to record and edit the video quickly and easily. Or work with a videographer or similarly talented friend to produce a high-quality video with crisp audio. Either option is acceptable so don't feel limited by your resources of time, money and skills.

Once you begin creating videos to tell the story of your creative business, you may even consider starting a podcast to share more about yourself and your business. Speaking to your audience is a great way to let them get to know you because your personality will come through in the video.

Level (1 easy to 5 hard): 3 because video may involve some tech like editing, video capture, and audio.

4. About you/us page

Most websites or blogs have an About Me/Us page where you can find out more about the person or people behind the business. This is also a great place to share some of your creative business story. How many times have you visited a website or blog and thought "I really like what this person has to say/do/show"? How did you find out more? Most likely you clicked on their About page and had the opportunity to read a little bit more about them.

Giving visitors to your blog or website a glimpse behind the curtain is both entertaining and an easy way to increase engagement. You may also want to include links to videos or blog posts that tell your full story. Take advantage of the platforms you are already using and put them to work delivering your story. Make sure you write in your own authentic voice!

Level (1 easy to 5 hard): 1 because you already know all about you and this is easy writing in your authentic voice.

5. Social media

I saved this little nugget for last because it is the easiest and most efficient way to share your story. You may want to incorporate using your social media platforms in conjunction with any or all of numbers 1 through 4 above. For example, if you are creating a series of blog posts to tell the story of your creative business, you may want to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at different times to increase their reach and engagement. It's kind of like double (or triple or quadruple) the content without creating any extra content!

Social media also gives you the opportunity to share your story in more places easily. Post something on Facebook on Friday, then share it on Twitter on Tuesday and so on. You'll likely have a mix of different followers on each platform, as well as some of the same, so your story has a good chance of reaching more people with each platform you add to the mix.

Remember these posts telling the story of your creative business shouldn't be the only thing you are sharing on these platforms. Keep a steady mix of retweets, your regular tweets and links to those great blog posts you read, so your feed doesn't look like it's all about you. Keep it simple and engaging!

Level (1 easy to 5 hard): 1 to 2 depending on how many social media platforms you utilize
As you can see some of the ways to share the story of your creative business are very easy and a couple will require more skills and effort if you want to tackle them yourself, but don't let that stop you from sharing. Share your stories with me as links in the comments via email, I'd love to hear the story of your creative business!

You might also like these posts:
5 Tips for Marketing Your Creative Business With Little or No Money
5 Reasons You Should Be On Twitter

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!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
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So, which one is it? Procrastination or poor time management? Sadly, it's probably a little of both. Most of us fail to plan our days properly. This week I have been struggling and it's because I didn't plan my week out in advance. Admittedly, I had a crazy weekend which was part of the problem, but that isn't a good excuse. There isn't any excuse. I just didn't plan.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on the road with our local mountain bike club, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, to generate support for Knoxville to win a $100,000 grant from Bell Helmets to build a super awesome downhill trail. My husband has become the group's official volunteer photographer and I was along for social media support and to be a smiling face. It was a fantastic weekend as we traveled in what is referred to as the #SoKnoLimo from Knoxville to Snowshoe Mountain, WV and on to Washington, DC meeting lots of people and getting votes for our Urban Wilderness Gravity Trail. We also got to do some mountain biking and I rode the downhill trails at Snowshoe for the first time. (More on that experience later...)
Our journey started early Friday morning with some local news spots and then we drove Downtown and our city Mayor, Madeline Rogero, spraypainted the last window before we took off down the highway. I knew I should have taken my Day Designer with me, but I was trying to downsize my belongings so I left it behind in my office. That was my first mistake.

My Day Designer is what keeps me organized. It's a fabulous planner with a page for each day where I can make of list of what needs to be done, with a special section for my top 3 to-dos, and there's a place where I can put appointments or block out time for projects. Without this planner, I am lost. For real. While I was on the road, I should have taken a few minutes and planned my week rather than thinking I would figure it all out when I got to the office on Tuesday. 

Wrong! A shortened work week means you have to fit more activity into less time. It means deciding what is important and what can wait. It may mean that some tasks get crossed off the list completely. Allan and I were already behind with editing and culling images from shoots we had done over the past few weeks, so those deadlines were no longer valid when Tuesday rolled around and it caused me some unnecessary stress. 

Stress. Ain't nobody got time for that. And it often leads to more of one of the topics of this post, procrastination. In my experience, if you don't plan, you get stressed and you end up procrastinating because you haven't created a good plan, with tasks in order of priority, of what needs to get done. Note that I said in order of priority. It's important. Yes, we can all make a list of stuff we need to get done, but if you don't assign any priority (or more to the point, a deadline) you will just stare at that list and do nothing. Are you nodding your head in agreement? Can you recall a time when you felt this very same way? Was it today? Like, maybe right this second...

So, now you understand how failing to plan is one of the ways procrastination sneaks into your life and stops you from doing whatever it is you should be doing. Procrastination also sneaks in wearing the disguise of being busy. This one is my favorite!

I'm too busy. We've all said it. Some of us say it more than others. Try not saying it. Try an honest response. Here's an example so you can better understand how this is really procrastination in disguise. Your friend asks you to meet after work for a glass of wine (or a beer, whatever) and you say you can't because you're too busy. Your friend asks why and you say it's because you have to work through the night to finish a project for a client by noon the next day. Your friend asks why your client wants you to work through the night. And that's when you make up some lame excuse. You do this because the truth is that you didn't plan properly and you procrastinated and now you're stressed out AND you're "too busy" to have a drink with your bestie (or your boyfriend, whatever).

Here's a little homework assignment for you to get out of the lame "I'm too busy" rut. Every time you start to answer with "I'm too busy", stop and think about why you are "too busy". Is it because you've taken on too many projects, you didn't plan you day properly, you took a long lunch, you got up late? Start being honest with why you are "too busy" and a weight will lift from your shoulders and you will feel free of the "too busy" monster! We all have the same hours in a day, how you use them is the key to getting more done and not being roadblocked by procrastination.

So, what's stopping you? Is it procrastination or the other equally annoying culprit, poor time management. As I mentioned earlier, it may be both, but here are some ways that poor time management can be stopping you from reaching your most awesome potential.

As I mentioned above, not planning your day, week, month, year, etc. can lead to problems. Properly managing your time is critical. If I create a realistic plan there is no reason why I can't knock out a blog post, write a newsletter, do a branding photo shoot, ride my mountain bike, eat three meals, drink two beers, watch an hour of TV, respond to email, tweet some tweeps, post a few important tidbits on Facebook and pin some cool places to mountain bike on Pinterest, attend a meeting for an organization with which I volunteer and get 7 hours of sleep. Seriously. I do this almost every day. It's only possible because I manage my time. I don't schedule too many appointments and I guard my personal time like it's a baby gorilla. (We just had two baby gorillas born at the Knoxville Zoo this week, so I have gorilla babies on my brain!)

What does your productivity and time management look like? Hopefully not like a baby gorilla. I mean they are cute and all, but I doubt they can take care of themselves let alone plan their time well. Your homework assignment is to analyze your time management and productivity. Write down everything you do for one week (two is better, but one will do the job if you are "too busy") from the time you get up in the morning until you lay your head on the pillow and go to sleep. Be sure to include what you do from the time you actually wake up and get out of bed and the same when you go to bed. I don't mean anything overly personal, but we're all guilty of checking our phone or playing Words with Friends when we're supposed to be sleeping or getting up. 

Keeping track of what you do while you're awake will help you see how you are using your time- the good, the bad and the ugly. Once you've tracked your time for seven days you will be able to see some patterns. Are you going to bed really late and trying to get up early only to fail and fall back to sleep and wake up late? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you eating three (or more) meals per day and properly hydrating yourself? Are you getting the important work done or are you fooling around on Facebook and Pinterest? This is an exercise of honesty. Track everything!

The point of tracking everything is important for several reasons. One, you will see where you are spending your time and you will be able to determine if that's where you really want to be spending it. Two, you will be able to figure out where you need to make improvements either in your time management, prioritization or grouping of smiliar tasks. Three, you will discover you are wasting a lot of time on unnecessary tasks. Trust me on that last one. 

Here's what to do next to get better at time management and avoid procrastination. Take at least 10 minutes at the end of each day to plan the following day (or days, for you overachievers). Write down the tasks you need to accomplish, note the priority of these tasks. This is important if you day goes sideways and you might end up with fewer hours in your day than you planned. If you have kids, pets, parents or other obligations, you know what I am talking about. After you have planned your the day(s), take a moment to see what you actually did get accomplished on this day and determine if you could have done better, or if you need to adjust the time allocated for any recurring tasks. Example: Maybe you figured it would take 30 minutes to write that blog post, but you discovered it really took 1.5 hours. (Like this one...)

Being agile with your time management is a bonus. Very rarely will your plan work out 100% as planned. It might be close, but you will always need to be ready to make adjustments. This ability to adjust should also help you avoid procrastination. Instead of saying you don't have time to complete the task, maybe a lower priority task can be moved to another day or it doesn't need all of the allocated time. Be flexible, but know your priorities.

Procrastination and poor time management can be eradicated from your life if you do the homework assignments and follow these suggestions. It may take some time as you work through changing long-established habits and learn to be flexible, but it will happen. And you won't have so much stress. And you will feel better. And you'll get to ride your mountain bike more. Or whatever.

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!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram