Monday, August 30, 2010

mary, mary: handmade business tip #2

i know you doubted whether or not I would ever revisit this,
but HERE I AM!
back with tip # 2 for growing your business.
this tip came about in conversation with a sweet friend. i couldn't believe it when i found out she a little shy about using this practice in her own business. i mean really, the girl is gooooood. so, i share with you what i shared with her.

handmade business tip #2: 
sell yourself
you heard me right.
there are 2 ways that i get the word out about my business EVERY single day.
1) I rarely leave the house without wearing my own product
2) every email i send has a link to allora handmade and the queen bee market
now, these things may seem simple. they may seem obnoxious to some who are nervous to put themselves out there. here's how i see it:
i am my own best advertisement.
i can't tell you how many people have stopped me in a store to ask about my products.
i can't tell you how many people (even close friends and family!) didn't know i had a shop until i added it in my signature. so, let's break it down.
1) wear/use your own product:
I can't emphasize this enough. Don't feel silly being a walking advertisement! How can you expect other people to want to wear/use your product if you aren't willing to? Here's the deal. The hardest part for me in the beginning was knowing what to say when I got a compliment. Because the compliments will come, no doubt, but using them to your benefit is entirely up to you. I was terrible at this in the beginning. Someone would say "your headband is adorable!" and I would bashfully say "thanks!" and just hope they asked me where I got it. Until my other great friend and I were shopping at a local handmade boutique and people kept asking about my necklace. Each time someone complimented me she was quick to say "she made it! isn't it cute? Here... take her card." I was amazed. It was that easy! Suddenly my customer base became every one I came into contact with. Now, when someone compliments me I say "Thank you! I made it!" Plain and simple.
sorry for all of the lame pictures of me. i'm trying to make a point here. don't make fun.
 You don't have to sound like you are bragging or self-promoting, just stating a fact. Now, it's important not to be obnoxious and go around starting up a conversation with everyone you meet by saying "Hi, don't you love my _______? I made it and I sell them if you want to buy one." Goo. Awwwwkward. Please don't do that. Just fess up to the fact that you are awesome (without saying so) when they compliment you and you'd be surprised how many friends and strangers turn into customers. And carry your business cards ALWAYS. (you carry them, right??)
Ok, moving on.
2) If you don't already have a signature on your email, stop what you are doing right now and get to it!! It is so easy (just hunt around in your settings and options) and will only take a minute. I am constantly emailing. By adding my signature I am sending each message with an invitation to view what else I do. Mine is simple and looks like this:

no biggie right? But people tell me all the time: "Hey, I didn't know you owned your own businesses! I love your stuff! I checked out your links!" Easy peasy. Doesn't get easier than that.
Hopefully you are already doing these things and I am not telling you anything new. Because this tip is by far the easiest way to grow your business. Constantly expose people to your products!
Now, what are your favorite ways to self-promote?


Melissa said...

I love that when we saw you at the beach you were wearing a necklace. That was so perfect because I didn't have to remind Michelle about the cute headbands I wear. I could point right to you and your product. You are so right. And smart! :D

Senja said...

Awesome advice! :) I already had my shop, etc in my signature in gmail but I updated it now so that it looks nicer.

Thanks so much! :)
Much love from Sweden, your fan,

becca said...

i think this is really great advice! &, also? you are just too cute!

meganluvsjewels said...

Thanks for another great post! I've learned that self-advertising can be so helpful already & have started doing it all the time! Your kind words provide so much encouragement for all of us!

allison @ said...

great tips! haven't started the etsy business, but plan to and this is so helpful!! thank you for sharing!!

Nicole M said...

oh man, i needed someone to tell me that it's ok to wear the things i make and then admit to making them when asked. I have always been so shy to do this. But it is ok...It Is OK! (deep breath) THanks for the great advise. You are AWESOME!!

Hannah said...

thank you for the wonderful advice!! i definitely want to see more in this series! mostly because you are awesome.

Gussy said...

rarr i love you.
{who says that?}

xoxo. 14 days!!!

Kim said...

delicous advice. yes, delicious.

lindsey said...

thanks for reminding me to go put on some pleated poppy. great advice!

Aedriel said...

Thank you for reminding us it's ok to talk about ourselves. :) I think it's hard for women to do that sometimes. Great advice! I can't wait to read more.

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