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, 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 when it gained 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 unprotected. This is a leap and 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 lots of times post on social media and then they're calling that marketing. And that's not enough. That's...
a safe place 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, starts 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 t-shirt that says, "I'm a really big deal on my blog." because nobody (laughs) in real life, nobody in real life has any idea 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 know everybody in our daily life, there's still millions out there that are like us, that are doing this. So, I think, getting comfortable with exposures, the key to any marketing or advertising strategy, and I would encourage you to find joint communities and find more people doing what you do. I think that almost normalizes it. It's my number one reason I'd 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 $8000." Now, could you imagine telling somebody in real life, "I'm thinking about, I'm thinking about spending pretty much used car payment on a website that you 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'd like talking to other people going through it and spending that kind of money and making good money because it normalizes those numbers. And so, it's such a creative businesses such that do I belong here for such a long time? Like, do I belong? Am 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. It 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 if that's just the groups I'm finding online but it seems like 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 gonna call us 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's 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 it'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 some of you, I was gonna say, that 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 practically impossible. So, I decided that 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 gonna go get it. And along the way, I have made serious mistakes. I have wept, dropped to the ground at rejections that I have gotten. Like counting on something that 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 am that, like I put $1000 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 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 tell 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 it's gonna 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 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, am an introvert. None of what I do online, where I 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 of constant expansion. And you'll know you're here when being uncomfortable becomes kind of comfortable (laughs) because I know that when I am nervous to take the stage of creative life but I take it anyway, it's gonna be one step to further my career. So I, around the time that I realized that no more holding back for me, I realized that my business was gonna call me to present. I knew this, okay? So this was about two years in and this is about 2012 and I feel like I'm not holding back anymore. My business is 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 liked to exercise and because I'm a good dancer (laughter). 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 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 will 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'd 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, 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 though 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 wanna 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 towards it. And 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 adopt it, the better you'll start to see the opportunities around you. The more you'll see, the easier things will flow and the more attraction 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 comfortable 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 the people that I talk to in the creative business 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 wanna 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 use social media, and that obvious promotion, I've sent the direct mail campaigns as I said, I rented a public list of home addresses and I sent them random post cards in the mail. It 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 the 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 a gift on the red carpet so I was on the Golden Globes and 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 was 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.
So, we have a question for you, Lisa, from the online audience and Meghan Perry says, "Do you have any tips for introverts when it comes to networking with both the customers and fellow makers?"
Um, 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'm a serious introvert. I am like 90% introvert but there is an extrovert in me 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 and 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 then also, I'm an introvert. Like I said, I realized that 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 a training so I can 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. And I used to operate differently. So I, there's ways you can incorporate more business and more exposure and really hone it on your marketing skills and 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.
And 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 will 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. OnTimeCapsule says, "Many successful people had to start at one place to focus on, too, 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 Curtis says, "We're all freaked out and overwhelmed but we just focus on one step at a time." And Little Girl says, "The most important part is sticking with it. It is so hard but it is 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 that 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 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 are getting a lot from it because I think it's really important, really important. I'm glad we talked about it before we gotten into the marketing.
Oh, it's so inspiring and CupcakeSpaStylus just sent us a chat message and she said, "I feel my courage developing."
So, it's working. SpookyMoo also says, "It's all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Think about two steps forward and one step back. Do that at few times and you are way ahead of that safety zone."