Gain Exposure For Your Etsy® Shop
Before we go on, I want to talk to you about exposure. I love to talk about exposure. In fact when I wrote a book about advertising, I wrote a whole section on exposure. We're gonna talk about it right now. Exposure, the definition of exposure is an act or instance of being uncovered or unprotected. So when I tell you that we are going to put yourself out there. We're gonna market and we're gonna advertise. And I tell you we want to gain big exposure for your brand, I want you to know that I've been through it. And we are actually talking about something vulnerable. It's not always exciting when you get started because exposure is an act or instance of being uncovered or unprotective. This is a leap. And this is a leap you're going to take with your business. So marketing is the act of putting yourself out there. Marketing is a vulnerable act of being exposed. Creatives a lot of times post on social media, and then they're calling that marketing. And that's not enough. That's a safe pl...
ace for the actual business owner because it's safe to post on marketing. But when you're doing it with purpose and when you're doing it with an ask, oh boy, that starts to get a little bit, you know, iffy. You start to get nervous about that. You also probably don't know others in real life that do the same thing that you do. I know it's like, you know. I always think of that tee shirt that says I'm a really big deal on my blog because no one -- (laughs) No body in real life has any idea of what any of this is about. They don't know about creative online business. They don't know about blogging. They don't know about anything. And even though we might not knowing everybody in our daily life, it, there are still millions out there that are like us that are doing this. So I think getting comfortable with exposure is the key to any marketing or advertising strategy. And I would encourage you to find, join communities, and find more people doing what you do. I think that almost normalizes it. It's my number one reason I like to get on the phone with other creative businesses. So we talk numbers. And we talk numbers like I'm thinking about branding my website for $8,000. Now, could you imagine telling somebody in real life I'm thinking about -- (laughs) I'm thinking about spending pretty much a used car payment on a website that you've never heard or you don't understand. But these kind of investments are real. They're required of us. They're required of us to become professionals. And I like talking to other people going through it and spending that kind of money and making good money because it normalizes those numbers. And it's so, it's such a, creative business is such a do I belong here for such a long time. Like do I belong? Have I professional enough? Can I get some validation to prove that this is working? And so exposure and getting that community and talking to other people is really important I think. Normalizes it. And I also like to read a lot of books from other people that have done what I've done or what I want to do so that I have that perspective of somebody that I can count on, or I can trust to normalize this experience which is very rare, very creative, and unique and fun. But, you know, who can you talk that can relate to you and what you're doing? Who can you talk to? So creatives also get nervous with the ask of the marketing itself. And because this is business and because this is so personal to us all to all of us, I hear creatives relating marketing and selling with negative undertones. Or I don't know they that's the groups I'm finding online, but it seems that everybody looks down on marketing and looks down on selling. But if that's not what we're doing, what are we here for? Why are we trying to build businesses if we don't want anybody if we don't want to sell our product to people? So I see it as you're going to ask somebody for something if you're going to call this a business. And you're gonna either ask your customers to buy from you and support the business, or you're gonna ask yourself and possibly your family to justify this expensive hobby that you have because nobody's going to be buying into it if you're not asking them to. So there are three steps to mastering exposure. The first step is to get comfortable with exposure because your product is personal. Your business is passionate, and your perspective is always too close. I promise you that. It is always too close, always. When we start a creative business, we really hold it in here to ourselves. It's in our homes. It's in our hearts. It's a creation we just made. And when you want to build a small business that you want to succeed, it has to be very out there. So there's a big difference between how we hold our products like a baby. In here, it's our own personal thing, and we have to be very careful. Don't judge this 'cause it's mine, and it belongs to me versus out here. I want everybody to see it. I don't care what you think about it, but everybody's gonna know I have arrived with this product. Huge difference between the two. And so at first when I opened my Etsy store, I held back sharing. I was worried about what everybody would think. It was very abnormal that somebody was gonna say I have an online business. And I was actually waiting for some kind of big break to come in and validate me. And if it did, then I was gonna tell everybody that I had this business running. And I tried that for a whole year until I realized that strategy just doesn't work. Telling nobody about my business and waiting for a big break, is it practically impossible. So I decided a year in, no more holding back. No more keeping it in here. I was going to let myself be vulnerable. I was gonna let everybody know that I was doing it. I was going to charge full steam ahead for it, and I was going to go get it. And along the way, I have made serious mistakes. I have wept, dropped to the ground at rejections that I've gotten. Like counting on something to come through and been rejected and just calling my husband, sliding to the ground weeping. I've made products that nobody wanted. I have created services nobody wanted to buy into. I've lost money. I have a story that I hold so close to my heart where I invent like I put $1,000 down payment on something, a retreat that I wanted to have, and I lost the entire thing. And I never got that money back. And I can't tell you to this day, how it still makes my stomach sink. I've wasted resources. I've bought supplies. I was never gonna use again. I've spent hundreds of dollars chasing ideas that never panned out. Do you think me a failure? I, of course not. I mean, there's nothing failure about my story. Over those course of all those mistakes that I've just said, you never thought one thing less of me. It was some of my most vulnerable moments. I was deeply exposed. But I've learned value, valuable lessons. I've learned things through that trial and error that no business school could ever teach a person, ever in life. And I've earned richly deserved success. I, there's no question I don't feel like an imposter. I feel like I belong here. You better believe I've paid my dues. And so all of that came with getting exposure. So before we talk marketing strategy, let's all agree that as you go forward, you're gonna own this business. You're gonna own it. And you're gonna telling everyone about it. And you're gonna let your enthusiasm escape you. Business comes with trial and error but know this. It is always a mistake to think you can limit yourself and expand at the same time. Know it. Learn it. Understand it. Anytime you feel yourself holding back because you're scared, think about this. It's always a mistake to think that you can limit yourself and expand at the same time. We're gonna talk about marketing, and I'm gonna give you some strategies and some campaigns that you can employ in your business today. But I can not guarantee that they're all gonna pan out. I can guarantee that it's gonna be worth it to try. I can guarantee that you're gonna walk away from everything that you try even if you fail with valuable lessons that are going to really help your long-term strategy for success. So the second step to getting comfort to exposure is getting comfortable asking for exposure. We are all different personalities. And we all come from different comfort zones. We are introverts and extroverts alike. I, myself, is am an introvert. None of what I do online where I'm really am stretching and pushing and reaching for customers is comfortable to my personality. But I have agreed a few years ago, I agreed, I made an agreement with myself that I was going to stretch my comfort zone to a place on constant expansion. And you'll know you're here when being uncomfortable becomes kind of comfortable. (laughs) Because I know that when I'm nervous to take the stage at Creative Live but I take it anyway, it's gonna be one step to further my career. So I ... Around the time that I realized the no more holding back for me, I realized that my business was gonna call me to present. I knew this, okay? So this is about two years in. This is about 2012, and I feel like I'm not holding back anymore. My business is gonna cause. It's gonna call me to present so I have to learn how to present myself. I really did not know how to present myself. So I learned. I trained to become a Zumba instructor. And the whole point of it, it was because I like to exercise and because I'm a good dancer. (laughs) The whole point of it was to learn to take the stage and own the stage and overcome the fear of the stage. So I learned to present myself. So the, so when you go through Zumba training, it's really fun 'cause you dance, and you do Zumba the whole time. When they release you with your certificate, they say go out and contact other instructors and ask them if you can do a song in their class. 'Cause you can't just go out and teach a class 'cause you don't know yet, you know? That would be crazy. So you contact all the local ones, and you say can I teach a song? I'm learning. I'm a new instructor. And it's set up to be very supportive like that. So I started doing that. I asked Zumba instructors in the local area. Could I start taking the stage for a song in their classes? They said yes. So the first time that I danced on stage, I held my breath the entire time. I was so scared that every movement that I did for that song took forced effort, forced energy to take. I probably stayed right here and did the whole dance in this tiny, little space, holding my breath and about to pass out. I was not comfortable with the stage. I was not comfortable with exposure. I was not comfortable presenting myself. So with some practice and over the course of a lot of practice actually, a university hired me to teach a weekly class. And when they hired me, they said come, come, you're you did great. Like I had to do a whole class by myself. They said you did great but come learn from our greatest instructor. See her before you take the stage again. And I learned from her. And when she presented, she owned the stage. She used every square inch. Like she had her Lady Gaga on, and she was just owning it. There was so much movement and so much drama in her presentation. And when I was in the audience taking her class from her, I didn't think any of it too big. I didn't think any of it misplaced. I thought she belonged there. She looked like she belonged there because she was taking up all that space. So I think that's important to know. When I was teaching myself to present when I was teaching myself to start asking for exposure, what I realized is that going big, going hard, is expected. Not only is it expected of me if I want to take a stage, it's respected when I do that. Everybody in the class starts having a more, a better time. And so as I learning from her and then working the stage and getting more comfortable about it, my movements got bigger. My classes got bigger. People were like lining up to take dance classes with me because I had learned how to have a good time on stage, and I learned how to get comfortable with exposure. So it's important to remember that it's your job to market your business. And that means charging, charging towards it. That means turning those big ideas that you have, that you're scared to try, into actual plans and then actually presenting those plans to others. Actually letting people know what you're gonna do and go charge toward it. Use every space. Take up all the space that you have. Take it up and demand more and start to own that. So this is a mindset and getting comfortable with exposure is a mindset. And once you've adopt it, the better you'll start to see the opportunities surround you. The more you'll see, the easier things will flow, and the more traction your business will gain. So the third and final step to getting exposure is that once you get comfortable with it and once you get comfort with asking for it, ask for it all the time. So looking at my business, I have a decent amount of traffic to my website. I have a glorious number of email subscribers. I love email subscribers. And I teach privately to clients and in groups. So one of the biggest questions that I get from all of the people that I talk to in the creative businesses is how do I get found. And I always do a 180 on that question. If somebody's looking at me and saying how do I get found, I would want to turn them around, have them look at the world, and say no how do you go find your customers. This is the different mindset that you need to adopt because that's marketing. It's turning away from the community and turning out into the world and saying where are you. How do I find you? Because I know you're out there. And it's believing it, and it's charging straight toward them. So remember that when I was looking for ways to reach my customers, I came up with 42 ways off the top. Aside from the obvious, I used social media. And that obvious from motion, I've sent the direct mail campaigns as I said. I rented a public list of home addresses, and I sent them random postcards in the mail. That didn't pan out very well for me. I've attended local shows like I've tried craft shows. That didn't pan out for me very well either. I've emailed supply manufacturers like if I love a supply, I will start to have conversations with the president of that company that makes my supply to say you know, I do this. We could work together. Maybe create some tutorials, maybe. Like I have all these different ideas. If I get an idea, I just start contacting people to collaborate. I have paid to gift on the red carpet so I was on the Golden Globes in the gift bags in the red carpet. And as I said before, the more important question is not what have I tried to get new customers for my business, but what haven't I tried to find new customers? And that's what I'm asking all the time. And that's what I want you to be asking with your marketing campaign. None of it comes easy. This is not my comfort zone. It is not in my comfort zone to build an online business. It is not in my comfort zone to stand on stage and be filming live broadcast. It's not in my comfort zone to teach Zumba which I learned to help better my business. But ... It's all paid off. It's all what's required of me. If you want to charge hard towards something, you have to charge with no limits, no barriers. So you're not gonna like every aspect of running your business, and you're not gonna like every aspect of marketing. It's going to stretch your comfort zone, but it's still your job. It's still what your business requires of you. Exposure is not always easy and comfortable, but it's still your responsibility.
Great. So we have a question for you, Lisa, from the online audience. And Megan Perry says do you have any tips for introverts when it comes to networking with both the customers and fellow makers?
Yes. What I would say is that there is. We are yin yang people. We are not just yin people. So I'm telling you, I am a serious introvert. I am like 90% introvert, but there is an extrovert in me that I, that I can connect with people. I can go to a party. I know that I don't like small talk, but I know that I do personal in-touch talking very well. So when I'm marketing online, I don't worry about doing small talk. It doesn't come natural to me. So I keep it with, I keep things real. I contact when it feels right and compelling, and when I'm compelled to talk to people. And so, there's different ways that I found it. And also, I'm an introvert. Like I said, I realized that there was, there was a place in my business where I was, I didn't have the training to present myself. And so I figured out what I needed to do to get that training so I could start presenting myself. And that's how I am able to stand on stage now and talk comfortably and public speak and do everything that I do now absolutely in the way that I do it. So I trained myself out of some of that. And I got out of my comfort zone. I'm still an introvert. I still very much appreciate my introvert ways. When I go home, I will recover for an entire week with behind closed doors and absolute solitude. Because it's not even until I get home and I lay my head down at night, that I even realize what all went on in the day. I just operate differently. So I'm, so I, there's ways that you can incorporate more business and more exposure and really hone, home in on your marketing skills. And then still very much appreciate and honor that introverted side of yourself.
Great. I can't tell you how inspired people have been by this lesson including myself. And just to hear of your experience and your experience in terms of making mistakes and getting through them and having struggles and you know, dealing with exposure when you're feeling vulnerable. 'Cause I think all of us go through that, and it's such a powerful thing to come out on the other side. And that you're proof of that coming out of it, to the other side.
Oh thank you. That's great. Thank you.
And I wanted to read a few of the comments online of people really getting inspired by this work. Time Capsule says many successful people had to start at one place to focus on to, and you too can do this. Lisa made serious mistakes along the way. We are all human. And Sherry says glad I'm not alone. I guess I'm scared of having those vulnerable moments, but of course, it's part of growth that I must accept. Thank you for smacking me to snap out of it. (laughs) And Kelly Jane Creative says we're all freaked out and overwhelmed. We just focus on one step at a time. And Little Girls Pearls says the most important part is sticking with it. It is so hard, but it's so worth it. And it's just a sign that we're all in this together and so much learnings, you know, we all make mistakes. And often times, I think we beat ourselves up over it. But if we don't make mistakes, we don't have the learning, right? It's always good to make mistakes so we have that learning.
Absolutely. And I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade a thing about any of the mistakes that I've, that I've gone through or any of the struggles that I've overcome because it made me stronger. When you're charging, you have to be charging hard. And all of those things gave me a tougher skin to go hard, not care what anybody thinks, not be vulnerable about it but just charge toward it. Such, such a valuable thing. And I'm glad people were getting a lot from it because I think it's really important, a really important. I'm glad we talked about it before we got into the marketing.
Oh, it's so inspiring. And Cupcakes by Silas just sent us a chat message, and she said I feel my courage developing.
So it's working. Spooky Moo also says it's all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Think about two steps forward and one step back. Do that a few times, and you are way ahead of that safety zone.