1395192379 avengers21 What Small Businesses Can Learn from the Creative Community: Share the JourneyOne of the things that I love about social media is that my feeds become newsfeeds of all sorts of great information. Some of the best content that comes across my radar from others is stuff that lets me in on the creative process.

For instance, just the other day I spotted an article featuring some of the concept art from upcoming Marvel films, including the next Avengers movie. That film isn’t even due to hit the big screens until sometime n 2015, but seeing the early concept art and drawings is enough to draw someone like me in. I know that as the release date gets closer, more information and images will be leaked, and then we’ll be treated to various versions of the trailer.

Creatives like musicians and artists have become really good at drawing us into their work by sharing their creative journey with us. I love when my musician friends use Soundcloud to post a bit of audio from a work in progress song. I love when my artisan friends share pictures of how they made their latest creation from start to finish.

Small businesses can learn a lot from this. We tend to be so focused on the final product, that we rarely show our audiences what goes on in the process that creates the final product. For restaurants, we see pictures of food, but rarely see the prep work that results in that magnificent culinary masterpiece. Social media is a great outlet for photos, videos, or blog posts that show us the man (or woman) behind the curtain.

Not long ago, one of our local small businesses was shut down for nearly a month in order to do some renovations. Sadly, they also shut down their social media efforts for that month. Not only did they miss out on an opportunity to show the renovations in progress, and get customers excited about the reopening, but they also went AWOL. Out of sight, out of mind. If you are active on social media, and slow down your efforts, you’ll lose ground and momentum. Plus, if you stop updating on Facebook, it’s as if you don’t exist, and the Facebook algorithm will work against you when you start up again.

On the other end of the spectrum, my friend Wendy Edsall-Kerwin blogs regularly about the process of her work as a jewelry maker and metalsmith, and shares that process on social media channels. In fact, the other week she shared her frustrations with some of the problems related to her trade that can lead to mistakes. Artists are known for baring their souls in their art, but Wendy exposes hers a bit more by sharing the entire creative process with her readers. This helps us to get to know her better, and have a deeper appreciation for her work.

Most retail stores don’t just throw stuff on shelves and racks and open the doors for a sale. The items are chosen carefully, with purpose. They are then placed around the store with real intent, and perhaps a bit of creativity and science. Showing this process gets us interested and builds anticipation.

Take your customers behind the scenes and behind closed doors. Show them the things they never get to see. It might make them appreciate you and your products and services even more, and truly understand the value of those products.

Have you shared the journey you take every day with your customers? What are you doing in your business that you haven’t show to your customers yet?