Marketing Success: Replace digital overwhelm with simplicity

© Kelli Knack - 2 Seconds Along the Saco River

© Kelli Knack – 2 Seconds Along the Saco River

Meet cafe member, Kelli Knack.

This week’s connection Thursday introduces you to the remarkably talented Kelli Knack.  Since high school, photography has been Kelli’s life. Although she did attend art school briefly, she considers herself to be self-taught. Her greatest mentor was her grandmother, who taught her how it feels to create something beautiful, something captivating, and something uniquely your own. And for Kelli, there is no word in the English dictionary to describe that feeling.

Visit Kelli’s online gallery here and add her to your network through her channels on Facebook and Twitter.

I interviewed Kelli back in December with great interest in learning more about her work and sharing her story with fellow cafe members.  Like Kelli’s artwork, her approach to marketing is to focus on simplicity. She lets the artwork do its job. And, I think she’s on to something. Below are my key takeaways from Kelli’s expertise.

Keep your marketing simple.

As Kelli advises, let your product do it’s job.  One of the biggest turnoffs on a website is too many third-party advertisements. I’ve been drawn to a business through their content and then turned away because of the distracting advertising.  Without naming names, one business I wholeheartedly support has so many pop ups and blinking advertisements, I can’t bring myself to recommend them anymore. It’s a shame, too, because their content is contributed by thousands of experienced entrepreneurs and offers information you can’t really find anywhere else.

© Kelli Knack - Composure

© Kelli Knack – Composure

Keep your customer experience simple.

Whether selling online or at an event, Kelli’s customer experience is focused on the customer.  One of the first actions I take with a new client is walking through their customer experience. If your customer experience is too difficult, you could be losing business you didn’t even know you had. The marketing focus today is on customer engagement, and while that is very important, we need to identify the right amount of engagement.

In this article by the Harvard Business Review, we learn “the rising volume of marketing messages isn’t empowering—it’s overwhelming. Rather than pulling customers into the fold, marketers are pushing them away with relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage.” This reminds me of a sales tactic I was taught: you have to tell them 20 times before it sticks. Repetition is very important when distributing the message, but there is a fine line we need to watch.

Find ways to present in front of your audience.

One benefit the digital era offers is the ability to reach thousands of prospects without leaving the office. The problem is we need to leave our office. We need to be in front of our audience just as often as we are marketing to them on our digital channels.   Even if your business is strictly an online store, don’t dismiss the importance of connecting with others offline.

Connecting could come from local trade shows, exhibits, and gatherings–but it can also include interactive webinars and Google Plus Hangouts.  Kelli’s marketing strategy focuses heavily on festivals where she can talk to her clients.  She says she can’t think of a better way to promote her work.  It gives her the opportunity to share her story and her personality, and it resonates very well with her clients. In addition, she matches her online persona to who she is professionally. Her website is as creative, yet simple, as she is.

Look for opportunities to grow your business.

List-building has proven to be a powerful way to stay connected with your audience and remain top-of-mind.  The key for success comes with asking for the connection.  Kelli asks those who stop by her exhibits to sign up for her email list. She garners 95 percent of her list from this tactic.  Other ways she is considering as strategies for drawing attention is to focus on promoting the industry through her marketing channels.  Ideas include featuring other artists and writing reviews for the art shows she attends.

  • Small Biz Vantage That is so true! I’ve also learned that if you want people to consider you and refer you, it’s best to tell them exaclty how. We shouldn’t make them work!  Thanks for stopping by the cafe. 🙂

  • Well done Kelli Knack. My favorite is “Look for opportunities to grow your business” We often meet people through associations or events but asking to connect “stay in touch” is something I had to work on.

  • Word Ninja  Thank you for visiting my website! It’s true about too many ads – not only does it distract, it also tells me the owner of that site is more interested in making money (off the ads) than me (potential client). If you truly believe in your work, focus on that and that alone.

  • Word Ninja  When I went to Kelli’s site, I found it so calming. It’s like an online spa. Her personality shines through in her ‘about’ section and her blog posts. I’ve always loved the white background with beautiful artwork.  You’re welcome for the link–thanks for the great content. 🙂

  • What incredible work she does! I was just on her site. The takeaways your share are perfect (and I just noticed you linked to my guest post, thx!). I am attracted to simple, clean and calm sites…maybe b/c of digital overload. Her site complements her work and that allows, as you mentioned, her art to speak for itself. I feel that’s more of a challenge with sites that are more copy heavy. And I might be missing out on ads on my site, but I agree with you…if there are too many on a site, I don’t stay for long.

  • jstolarsmith  Great advice, Joan!  Clutter will certainly increase the bounce rate on our website.  Your priority to focus on the customer experience is very important. I like that you look at it from their needs and not just for informational purposes, especially looking at physical needs and appealing to emotions.  Excellent input!

  • Great reminders!  I like simple and clean when I visit a website — too much clutter is real turn-off for me — so I want our own website to be simple and clean as well. And the more I read, the message I get is one of knowing my customer, my audience, and focusing on meeting their needs, physical and emotional.  I hope I can do that with our new website and with some in-the-works articles!