3 mistakes creative entrepreneurs are making when it comes to CTAs

If you get our weekly emails, then you saw the flyer I “designed” (if you can even call it that!) for our brand new photography business nine years ago. Then, you clicked over to this post because you wanted to find out what I was doing wrong with that flyer. (Besides the obvious, not having a designer design it!)


That, my friend, was a call to action. I wanted to make sure you knew the rest of the story…the most important part…


Understanding where I went wrong, so you don’t have to go wrong in your business, too!


My flyer wasn’t the worst of the mistakes I made with that newbie marketing plan. The bigger mistake was that I put a strong call to action in front of people who didn’t even know me. I wasn’t bridging the gap between my world and their world and naturally guiding them to the next step of the customer journey I wanted them to be on.


Instead, I was basically saying, “Hey! I’m Becky! Hire me to take your family photos!”


The response I got was a lot of, “Ummm, who are…what…umm, okay???…” looks.


Not the response I was going for 😉


Unfortunately, a lot of creative entrepreneurs are making that same mistake or a different one when it comes to CTAs. (And that’s bad for biz and for your bank account.)


If you’re anything like us, you spend a lot of time and energy taking care of your clients, creating valuable content (blog posts, Instagram posts, videos, etc.) for your audience and nurturing relationships with industry friends and potential clients, too.


And, just in case you didn’t know it yet…we’re rooting you on to get your biz where you want it to go (we believe you are wildly capable, you might just need a helping hand)!!!!


So, we’re sharing the 3 mistakes creative entrepreneurs are making when it comes to CTAs and how you can steer clear of them so your ideal clients quickly start to know, like and trust you. When you organically guide them down your customer journey, they’re much more likely to end up where you want them to go, which is probably hiring you or buying from you! (This is much better for your biz and for your back account.)


First up, just so we’re on the same page…


What is a call to action?

A piece of copy, a video message, encouragement, etc. that asks readers or viewers to click, buy, enter an email address, watch, or do something else that intentionally guides them closer to where the content producer or business owner wants them to go.


This is you proactively and intentionally looking at every connection point you have with your audience or potential client and deciding where you want them to go next, and giving them an opportunity to keep moving right along!


We’ll show you some real life examples in a sec, but first…


3 mistakes creative entrepreneurs are making when it comes to CTAs


  1. Too much too soon. (Like what I did.)It doesn’t make sense for a guy to ask his date to marry him on the first date. (Unless, you’re on the Bachelor.) It didn’t make sense for me to ask people who didn’t know me to hire me, without bridging the gap with connection. If it’s a potential client’s first time seeing your blog, they might not be ready to inquire with you, but they might happily follow you on Instagram.The general rule we follow: The bigger the CTA, the more connection time you need. CTAs must feel organic if your readers, viewers, fans, followers and potential clients are going to respond positively and without hesitation.


  1. Underusing CTAs. (Or, never using them!)I know my “brilliant” marketing idea (handing out flyers in the park to moms) makes you shake your head a bit and think, “Come on, girl! You can do better than that!” Trust me, I agree.But, the opposite side of the coin is that creatives are often too cautious, ignoring or overthinking (and therefore, not giving) CTAs which leaves your audience, well, it leaves them at a dead end as far as your biz (and bank account) are concerned.I get it. You don’t want to be too pushy. You don’t want your peeps to think you’re trying to sell to them. EVER. So, you don’t.But, I have good news for you!! The more you organically and gradually guide potential clients through your customer journey, the less “selling” you’ll have to do. Promise 😉


  1. Saying the same things over and over again. (The quickest way to bore your potential clients and, in turn, encourages them to take a hike away from your brand.)Not every CTA is created equally. You can say, “Check out my new post on the blog!” 18 times in a row. But, I guarantee your followers and potential clients will quickly start tuning you out.Instead, think about what makes that project or shoot or client noteworthy! What was exciting, new, different, attention-getting?! Lead with that instead of saying the same old thing. Heck, maybe even get readers’ attention by mixing in a video intro, too!?


You’re almost finished reading this article. And once you’re done, I have a CTA for you 😉


First: Figure out where you want your audience, readers, potential clients to end up in your customer journey.


Second: Take a look at all the connection points I mention below and see where you can step up your game.


Where creative entrepreneurs can add CTAs

  • Blog posts
  • Instagram posts
  • Instagram stories
  • Newsletters
  • Emails to inquiries
  • Emails to industry peers
  • In-person consultations
  • Phone consultations
  • Video consultations (I think you get the idea about consultations!)
  • About page on your website
  • Facebook posts
  • Facebook lives
  • YouTube videos
  • When your awesome clients finish working with you

(Side note: I get that this list above might be overwhelming all by itself, without CTAs. We’ve got your back. Click here to get our free Content Creation Kit and then hop back over here to see how you can make that content work for your biz and bank account even more!)


Want a quick jumpstart?! Thought you might. Here are a few quick ideas for getting started…


A few examples of CTAs for creatives


  • Add a link to a value-based blog post to your Instagram bio, instead of just having a link to your homepage on your website.
  • Add a CTA at the bottom of a value-based blog post for a freebie that gets readers to your email list.
  • At the end of a consultation, be brave and ask, “Does this sound like what you’re looking for?”


Here’s the deal: If you’re not actively guiding your audience or potential clients from one thing to the next, you’re leaving so much up to chance, hoping your ideal potential clients will actively search out what’s next. And, if you’re anything like us, you’d rather not leave the fate of your business up to chance.


(If you are bummed you missed out on seeing my first attempt at designing a flyer for our photography business nine years and you’d love to start getting our emails so you can learn from and laugh with (at?!) us, click here to get a free gift and you’ll automatically get next week’s email, too!)



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