In an industry of self-promotion, how do you stand out?
The ugly (and beautiful?) truth is that there’s actually no secret hack around how to grow your audience on social media. Good marketing is all about highlighting what makes you unique and relevant to your audience, so it is so depending on the individual creator and their audience. But creators who really understand how to market to their audiences reap the benefits: larger audiences, increased fan engagement, and more effective monetization of their content.
But “marketing” is a not just a multi-billion dollar industry with what feels like a billion subsets—it’s also a term that gets tossed around and can feel intimidatingly vague. It’s hard to know where to start, and let’s face it, some strategies are just not as good as others.
So what’s worth the time and effort, and what’s not? What are the best marketing tips that creators can start using today to build their brand?
Below, we’ll cover ways that top creators market themselves to increase engagement and reach.
No marketing certificate required. We’ll break down real examples of creator marketing in practice along with actionable advice to apply to your own creator brand.
How to grow your audience on social media (the specific marketing strategies for creators)
Good marketing helps you attract the right kinds of fans that at the right time. This is the kind of growth you want—these are the fans that will stick around and help you build a loyal following.
There are five strategies to start with when marketing your creator content:
- Build a link in bio page or personal website
- Send email updates to your fans
- Create a consistent posting schedule
- Read and react to industry news and trends
- Connect with other creators in your community
Let’s get into each one below.
1. Build a link in bio page or personal website
A landing page for your fans acts as your home base on the internet. It’s the one place you can always direct fans from any of your platforms to find all of the content you want to highlight and promote—whether those are links, storefronts, digital products, new music, artwork, writing, courses, designs, or other social platforms.
It’s the number one way to increase visibility across all your platforms and projects.
A link in bio allows you to create a page like this in minutes, without the overhead work of creating a new website. A tool like Beacons Link in Bio is also flexible and customizable, so you can always highlight your newest and most relevant content in a style that is consistent with your brand.
For example, @FoodieOnFleek's link in bio page has a personal description, links to all the ways to connect with her across different platforms, a link to her Beacons Media Kit, and an email signup form. A quick look at her link in bio page tells you everything you need to know about her work and gives you a ton of ways to get in touch and follow her content.
Whether you create a link in bio page or a website, this concept is popular for a reason—you’ll drive traffic and engagement and give fans one easy place to find everything they need related to your brand.
2. Send email updates to your fans
It’s time to do some mythbusting.
There are two big myths around email marketing that are probably holding you back from growing:
- Emails won’t drive engagement. (This isn’t true.)
- My fans don’t want to receive emails from me. (Also not true!)
More people use email worldwide than all the social platforms combined. If you want to reach your fans, you need to be emailing them.
But more importantly, Shopify reports that email is “incredibly effective” at driving sales. Email is the best channel for what marketers call “deep conversions”—this is getting someone to do something a little extra, like make a purchase or a download. That means if you want to get your fans to interact with you on a deeper level, email is the way to go.
Secondly, your true fans probably want to hear from you more! In fact, if you collect contact information through an email sign up, and someone inputs their email and signs up, they’ve done the internet equivalent of asking you to the Sadie Hawkins dance. The users on your subscriber list are looking forward to hearing from you!
What’s more is that these results are in the stats—by sending a real time welcome email to users who sign up for your mailing list, you can engage these users right away and make the most of this peaked interest.
Real time welcome emails get an 88% open rate on average. And this engagement sustains—subscribers who receive welcome emails exhibit 33% more long-term engagement than those who don’t.
The email has time sensitive and relevant information and tells her fans everything they need to know about the class at exactly the right moment, when they’ve signed up and their excitement is at an all time high. A tool like Beacons Email Marketing will allow you to set up a real-time welcome email so you can automate this process and get your most engaged fans the right information at the most optimal time.
3. Create a consistent posting schedule
Morning coffee, afternoon walk, daily post from your favorite creator—it’s nice to have little things to look forward to every day. Humans are creatures of habit, and if you can build expectation with your followers for posts on a consistent schedule, you’ll become part of their routine and they’re seek out your new content regularly.
Lifestyle creator Claudia Walsh does this perfectly with daily “morning vlogs” on her TikTok account (@iwantcandy77).
She posts these vlogs consistently each day, and the comments on her videos show how her fans look forward to these videos that they’ve come to expect—and even miss them when she doesn’t post.
You can keep track of your posting goals and activity on whatever platform you use—or, for a more strategic and cross-platform approach, you can use a tool like Beacons Post Activity to automatically sync and monitor all of your posting activity in one dashboard.
And don't worry— if daily vlogging isn’t your thing, that’s okay! You can hold an AMA weekly, do a special post each month, or even do a challenge by posting consistently for a certain time period. Choose something that feels manageable and let your fans know what you’re doing, so you can build the expectation and build loyalty every time you come through.
4. Read and react to industry news and trends
Staying up to date on topics and trends in your industry helps you build your brand as a thought leader in your niche.
Not only does this help foster trust in your thoughts and opinions, by joining in the conversation about current events related to your interests, you make your content more relevant and visible.
For example, creator Coco Mocoe (@cocomocoe) has built a reputation in the social media and marketing industry for razor sharp analysis of social media phenomena and predictions for future trends. Her content is forward-looking and she gives thoughtful analysis while asking her audience to respond with their own opinions.
The best way to do this yourself is to read up on the latest news in your industry each day or week:
- Look for email digests or social accounts that have summarized updates on news and trends
- Sign up for a more general newsletter like The Publish Press for updates on the creator industry as a whole
Not only will this help you stay informed, it will help you feel more confident in the topics you want to cover in your content. This confidence, when it’s authentic, translates into authority and respect in your niche.
5. Connect with other creators in your community
Connecting with other creators in your niche has so many benefits: you get to meet other like-minded people, learn from one another, and even collaborate. You introduce opportunities for awareness growth within a new audience, and fans usually go crazy when they see their favorite creators collaborating. It’s a win-win strategy.
The easiest way to connect with other creators is through a creator community. You can find communities by searching online. One place to start is the Beacons Creator Community, which has creators across all niches and platforms that discuss content strategy, industry updates, social trends, and creator advice.
Beyond communities, the best way to connect with creators you admire is to reach out and start building a relationship. Even though this might seem intimidating, most creators are just like you and would probably be excited to connect with another creator who is also a fan. You can start by:
- Following them
- Engaging with their content—commenting, liking, saving, and sharing
- Reposting and sharing their content on your own page with a shoutout
When you’re comfortable, you can reach out to them directly through a DM! If you’d like to propose a collaboration, you could send information on your channel, like engagement statistics and audience breakdown in a Media Kit. But if you want to keep it more casual, you can always start by sending a friendly hello and a compliment on their content!
Lead with authenticity for strong marketing
Smart marketing starts with a strategy. Choose one or two methods to start with and plan how you’ll execute on them—maybe you’ll set up your Link in Bio this week, and build your first welcome email the following week. With consistency and planning, you’ll grow a larger and more engaged audience.
The most important thing to remember is to lead with authenticity. Promote the aspects of your content that you genuinely feel confident about and lean into what makes you unique. This is what will resonate with your true fans and what will enable you to build a strong, differentiated brand.