This past weekend was action packed for me. We strolled through Austin’s Pecan Street Festival filled with the best artisans in Texas selling their work. What was so important about this is it gave me the opportunity to say what I do – as in out loud to real people. I’ve been building my business almost in a vacuum for the past few months. This Winter was a time of intense reflection and hardcore visioning for my brand. I focused so much on the online aspect that the offline part had been a little neglected.
The question “Tell me about your products/what you do” can be the most show-stopping question because our brain tries to get all the beautiful idiosyncrasies of what we do and why we love it out at once. This usually results in awkward silence, too-long pauses and tripping over too many words and sounding like a weirdo. I’ve been there plenty of times so I can say this with confidence!
You can spend time crafting the perfect words for your website, but it’s not the same as talking to people about what you do and why you do it.
If you love what you do, it should be no problem to naturally talk about it to the people who could benefit from your hard work. This is what I experienced this weekend. I tried out all different ways of saying what I do and leading into it in a natural way without seeming salesy or like I only cared about getting money from people.
Artisans go through this all the time. We are much more comfortable in the workshop, the sewing room, or at our drawing table and would rather stick a fork in our eyes than try to sell to someone at an event. This is all part of the process, though. Your people that are really INTO what you do want to know more, what your process is and how what they can purchase will be a special item in their lives.
Practice saying what you do or make and how it will benefit your customers over and over in different ways that are genuine, not scripted.
It’s not enough to do this at home in front of the mirror, or to the dog if you’re anything like me! Get out there. Sell your items at events, attend conventions or workshops in your niche or join a meetup group.
If you’ve been a creative entrepreneur for awhile, you probably know that what I’m talking about is essentially an elevator pitch, which is getting to be an icky word in my opinion.
Instead, let’s go over a few ways you can focus on how your product/service is unique from the rest, who your customer is, and why you do what you do.
Your product and why you are unique
Why is your service/product/business different from others in your industry? Having an elegant brand and presentation is the first step to draw people in and make them stop, but then you need to educate them on why what you do is special from the rest.
Are you using all organic ingredients?
Are you creating with only recycled materials?
Do you have an inspiring story behind the making of your line?
So instead of
“I make candles with essential oils”
“I craft therapeutic candles with essential oils that target your specific stress type. My background is in psychotherapy and I found that burning certain fragrances helped calm my patients.”
Boom! How can you not be into that back story and want one of you own?
Your people and why they will benefit
Who do you have in mind when you are creating? If the answer is everyone, you’re wrong. Knowing your people and being able to articulate who they are is very important in a creative business.
Think about the pain points of your customers and what you are trying to help them with. Yes, even if you create jewelry or fashion, there are pain points that make them buy from you as opposed to big-box stores.
So instead of
“ I make jewelry for stylish women”
“I create pieces that are subtly sophisticated without being too feminine. I always found it hard to find jewelry that was minimal and not too sparkly, so I decided to make them for the rest of us!
I would buy from this person in an instant.
The takeaway: Saying what you do or make, how you do it and who it’s for on a regular basis will start to be less scary and flow out of you as well as your creations do. Try it out in different ways and a variety of circumstances until it feels like second nature.
Now get out there!