Want Ad Exercise Hot Seat Pt 2
My name is Susan Joy Brownstein and my new jewelry line, Primitive Modernism, will be coming out by the end of this month, once I implement all this. (laughing)
Awesome. Are you wearing your jewelry?
Okay, thank goodness. That important. I want that necklace. (laughing) All right, what are your customers trying to accomplish? What kind of change are they hoping to make in their life? What do they want more of?
They want to stand out from the crowd.
That's great. Stand out.
And they want to have a story or a meaning behind what they're wearing. Not just wear something to wear it.
Feel like they represent a story.
Everything I have is very wordy.
I don't know how to make it concise. (laughing)
I will be a whiteboard pro by the end of the weekend.
They're trying to accomplish? Learning about different cultures of the world and history.
So, they're worldly. Kay. Anything else? How else do they wanna feel? Just like kind of li...
Is confident one?
But it's still, it's just a boring word.
Sometimes these things are really ubiquitous because a lot of people really want them, right?
And so, you lose out if you don't actually use them. For a long time, I wanted to avoid telling people that I could help them make more money. I don't know why that was such a trigger for me, but in my business, at all the other business coach. I'll help you make six figures. I'll help you do this. I was like, "Okay, great, that's awesome for you. "That's not what's important to me. "There's other things that are important." And at the same time, my clients wanna make more money, too. And as soon as I started incorporating that, and I don't need to say I'm gonna help you build a six-figure business or a seven-figure business, but when I just was able to say let's start making you more money it really changed how people were interacting and engaging with my offers. So, don't underestimate just these kind of not quite cliche but these just kind of like really ubiquitous things that women want, or that we want as human beings. We all want confidence, so if your product help deliver confidence, if that's something that you can do, call it out, name it.
And stand out from the crowd is the same as being unique.
Sure, but we can write it down, too. All right, who is this woman?
Who is she? She's worldly, she's artistic, design conscious.
One thing I had to ask you is what other brands is she already buying? (sighing) Because these are things that, it's not just your product that's helping her accomplish these things. She's buying all sorts of products that are helping her accomplish these things. So, if you can identify her, if you can help tell her story through the other brands, or help you tell that story to yourself about what other brands she is buying.
That would do these things for her?
It'll help you get an idea of who this person. 'Cause you could actually... If she shops at, well I don't know. Is 10,000 Villages a thing out here? No, it's an East Coast thing. So, 10,000 Villages is this really awesome store chain. They're a non-profit, and they bring in--
Like artisans from around the world.
Exactly, yes. But they've got this immense chain in the mid-Atlantic. So, 10,000 Villages I would say is probably a brand that she would, she'd be at least aware of it, probably really into it, too.
Okay, so what comes to mind is the Sundance catalog.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Great. Anything else?
Hoo. A woman.
And I really think all ages.
All ages. Yeah, I would say so, too. Are there any career fields you think she gravitates toward?
Well, if she's anything like me, she's possibly, not that I'm an architect, but I'm really into architecture so I could see--
I think that's great.
People in a design field, like interior design, architect, being interested in that stuff.
Sure. Awesome, yeah, I love that. All right, so, give me your description from your want ad again.
Well, it's repetitive.
A worldly, artistic, design-conscious woman.
Artistic. I'm gonna write designy woman. Seeks?
Seeks. So, I purposely didn't put the word jewelry in.
Okay. So, it's seeks a way to make her stand out from the crowd and have an interesting story to tell.
Make. Another thing that I'm hearing here is ice breaker. Right? Sometimes our fashion, our jewelry, or all of those choices are ice breaker choices. So, this idea of feeling like she represents a story, feeling like she has a story to tell, she wants an ice breaker. Maybe your customer's a real extrovert who really likes talking to people and would love the chance to have that ice breaker, to create a relationship.
Well, I was imagining a woman, somebody coming up to a woman, oh, I love your necklace. And instead of just saying, being like, oh thanks, they would be like oh, well it's a really interesting story behind it, it was influenced by this pyramid, and that sort of thing.
Yeah, so I mentioned Evernote earlier. I'm also a huge fan of MOO, moo.com--
Oh, I just ordered business cards.
Yeah! So, they make really fun business cards for cheap. The quality is really good. They're awesome. And one of their value propositions on their website is that it's not just don't just give someone a business card, give them a conversation starter.
That's great! That's great! So, your jewelry can also be a conversation starter, an ice breaker, sure, something, a story. Yeah, I love that. Cool. What are these details?
So, these are wordy.
And I might not've done it right. Interested in learning about the variety of different cultures of the world.
Let's write culture conscious. Okay.
Interested in a designer's inspiration for a piece.
Wants a deeper meaning within everything in her life. Doesn't wear something just to wear it, there's a reason that she's wearing it. There's probably a more concise way of saying that.
That's okay. (laughing) So, in your case, this is great because your product isn't necessarily going to change because of what your customers are trying to accomplish. And I think this is one place where makers get a little stopped up with developing their business model and thinking about what it is that they're offering. So, it's not necessarily that you're creating new products although you might, by this greater understanding of what your customer's trying to change or accomplish, but what I see here is a real blueprint for how you design your website, how you design your photography, how you dress the models that you wear your jewelry on. For instance, I had a client named Jenny Hoople, who was a jewelry designer. She uses stones in all of her jewelry. It's very geological. I believe her degree is in geology, or she at least has a minor in geology, and so that really earthiness, that earthy quality, is really important to her and it's really important to her customers. She was looking to boost her sales. They weren't bad but she knew they could be better, she knew her work was really unusual. And so, when she came to me, I said, well, you don't have your jewelry on any models, and I don't know how big this is, 'cause it's rocks, right? I don't know how big this is, I don't how this product relates to me. I think you should put it on models in your photography and I think this is an opportunity to tell more of a story. So, we talked about how that kind of earth-conscious, dirt-conscious, stone-conscious customer might come from somewhere like California, the Pacific Northwest. What kind of brands would she be wearing? Well, she might be wearing Columbia, or she might be wearing Marmot, or she might be. (mumbling) Well, there's a whole outfit that you could imagine this woman from Northern California or Oregon wearing. Right? And so you take a woman, you dress her that way, you put her in that weekend hike setting, and you put the jewelry on, and suddenly that photograph has told a whole story about all of these things. Your photograph is not going to look the same way, but you could absolutely use this to tell a story about everything we have on this board in one photograph.
So, that's my idea is my debut line is called excavation and everything looks like it was dug up in an archeological dig--
Artifacts. So, what I want to do in the photo shoot is have women look like cave women with little toga-esque wraps and dirty, and no regular clothing on but this fabulous jewelry.
Fun, very fun. Another idea, I think, is that, so excavation, I immediately think museum. Right? Where does the jewelry go after it's excavated, but in the museum. So, who's the museum shopper that's coming through. I love the idea of merchandising the jewelry that way in photographs, but what if you also did sort of like a complimentary photo shoot where it had more of that museum theme. Like these are women who are interested in going to the Natural History Museum or going and checking out different cultures from all over the world and she's wearing it. What would she, what other fashion would she be wearing? How would her hair be done? Where would she be? So, there's all sorts of opportunities--
Because that's the very dramatic, inspiration point of the jewelry is this whole cave woman thing, but in reality, who's actually wearing it are very artistic people who are into art and--
So, you can tell one part of the story with that photograph concept that you have. Then you can tell another part of the story. You're kind of making that connection. You want to be connected to this vast history that we have and all of the diversity of culture that we have connections to on a daily basis. Yeah, I think that sounds great. All right, so that's kind of how you can use this exercise.
Yeah, you're welcome. Thank you. (clapping)
Now, Tara, do you want to risk doing something virtually?
I can try, yeah.
Now, we don't have a lot of information to go on, but I'll tell you what we have. We don't have it in this exact format, but it might be worth giving it a try.
It's gonna be cool. We gotta do it.
Absolutely. Let's give it a risk. Okay, so this is Jake2014. Now, here's our guy earlier who said he's watching with four people, it's interior designer, the furniture retailer, the massage instructor therapist, and the real estate agent. So, Jake's saying I'm an interior designer with a specialty in color and small space. Been in business 15 years. They've hit a plateau. He's burnt out at the height of his success.
He now wants to relaunch according to his niche, which is blog, create online and in-person courses.
So, he feels like he's starting from square one, he wants to do it right this time, and compete in very difficult markets. Now, we don't have much more to go on there. Now, he's described what some of the people, the four people he's working with, the furniture retailer, maybe we should just focus on Jake.
Yeah, let's focus on Jake for now. I think Jake, here's the thing. I don't think you have to reinvent the wheel to format your business completely differently. So, that's essentially what I'm hearing. You've got a vast amount of experience, like Robin was talking about earlier. You've got a unique niche in the market and that you're focused on small spaces, and that you're focused on color, and you have probably a really in-depth understanding of exactly who your customers are and what they're trying to accomplish. In terms of small spaces, people want to be able to utilize space. They wanna feel like maybe they've got more than they do. Maybe they love the feeling of being cozy. You've got all of that information at your fingertips from just the immense years that you've been at this. Don't try and start over again. Start with that information. Start with all that social information, start with the years of consultations that you've done, the work that you've created. And think about the new ways that you can format that. So, I would essentially do this exercise that we just did, answer those two questions, do the want ad exercise, and start with the things you know your customers are trying to accomplish. Then fill in all of the details about who those people are, and then do the want ad exercise, just like you would have in your, let's call it your old business. The old incarnation of what you do. Once you've got that done, I want you to think about not how you've done it in the past, but what it could look like now. You were probably thinking a lot yesterday about the life you want to live now, how much you need to earn to get there, how man hours you wanna work. Use that context. We're gonna talk more later, we're gonna talk more in the next segment about how to format this bad boy. So, you can start brainstorming now about all the different ways that that looks. You can use the information you have about your customers and what they want to accomplish to affect the brand, the blog that you put out and affect the things that you write about, the editorial that you put out there. And by really using that, by going deep in this very narrow field, you'll be able to really stand out in what is a crowded market. There's a very well-established market in terms of interior design online, but what you've identified is something really interesting and you've got years of client experience that back that up and that give you more information, so use that but think about all the new ways, all the innovative ways you can deliver those services.
Fantastic. (mumbling) That was difficult, 'cause you didn't have much to go on, but that was terrific, so thank you.
We have some questions, though.
We have a couple questions.
So, Eva wants to know does this want ad method work for business-to-business solutions, or situations, sorry.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, with business, it's not unlike what we were doing with Brianna earlier. With a business, you've got both the information that the business has, or the information that you know about the business. What they do, what they're trying to do, what the problems are, and you've got decision makers in that business. So, whether you're working with a business of one where the business owner, or the person you're talking to is the decision maker, or whether you're working with larger organizations, maybe there's one person there that they're tasked with making this decision, they're tasked with hiring someone new, you wanna focus both on the needs of the business, and identifying what that kind of business is that you wanna work with, and you wanna focus on that decision maker. Who is she? Who is he? What is important to him? Who does he need to impress? What are his personal goals? What are her professional goals? What are her goals for the organization? If you can answer all of those questions in both of those context, both the business and the individual decision maker, you'll be able to use this exercise no problem at all.
Fantastic. Now, we do have some more questions, but I'm interested if any of our students have any feedback for our other students. Got anything that Sasha, Brigitte or Susan shared. Robin, any thoughts on what you were hearing from them of how you might apply it to you?
I just kept thinking of what I can do better and how I can hone in on who we're trying to reach. But it's kind of given me a lot of ah ha of not just the jewelry design. It's the support. It's the confidence. The kind of so many different things that this person is feeling, and their research. We provide a lot of resources actually that they would take forever to find, and a support of like-minded people. So, not feeling alone would kind of fall into that, so it's a different way of looking. So, it's kind of opened me up to different ways of looking at this. But I had the pleasure of working with you before. So, I've been enlightened a little bit. (laughing)
Yeah, but I think all of those things that you just mentioned, right, is a slightly different way to tell the story. Or maybe it's multiple different ways to tell the story. Maybe you identify that this segment of customers really responds to this story and this segment of customers really responds to this story. And so all of those different stories are different ways of positioning and different ways of making an offer that is more compelling to the customers that you have or the prospects that you have.
And I think the biggest thing was the alone aspect. So many designers feel completely alone because they're scared to share any information because someone's gonna steal it or take it, and we don't believe that at all. We believe in sharing.
Same thing at kick-start labs. The theme is feeling independent shouldn't mean, or being independent shouldn't mean feeling alone. Absolutely. Yeah.
Great response. Anybody else? Tiffany, any thoughts you wanted to share, maybe?
Well, sort of building on that, I guess, just watching all the other business models in various different areas really tied together that you could utilize this one exercise in many different realms, in many different ways. So, I can take individual products and reuse it and it can look different for each individual item that you kind of go for, so it all tied together.
Absolutely. Now, you had that ah ha moment earlier about you wanting to go deep as opposed to going wide. I'm curious if you brought that to bear at all in this exercise?
What was funny about this exercise, and I guess, what I gravitated to was what my best seller and what I felt comfortable with, because I already have a really great idea of kind of who this person is. And so, I really wanted to go a little more in depth into that, so I ended up utilizing sort of something I'm already giving, which I thought was funny because I thought I would've taken the deeper one and I didn't. It flowed for me. But what it did for me was kind of made me realize that maybe I can take this model that I'm already developing and tweak it because I am so comfortable with it, to just go into a different niche that maybe I don't need to--
Reinvent the wheel.
Totally reinvent the wheel. Yeah.
I never recommend reinventing the wheel.
No, so it kinda opened my eyes a little bit to that there's more possibilities to do that.
Well, thank you for sharing. Appreciate that. Do have another question, actually, from Sophia. Sophia's saying at what point do you put in something as a defining characteristic that might be just to out of sync with your client that will actually quickly turn them off? She's saying perhaps you had too many assumptions in that case.
Remember I mentioned earlier that experimentation is really key here. And there's different ways that you can experiment with the brainstorming that you're doing in this exercise. So, if you've made a whole list of details or a whole list of, just as you've said, assumptions, these are assumptions, and they're the same kind of assumptions we make when we're meeting someone new while we're out, or we're meeting a friend of a friend. We've got certain assumptions about these people, right? It's the same way with your customers. Most of the time, you're gonna be right. Every so often, you're gonna be wrong. The way I test for what I'm wrong about is through social media. So, social media is such a great tool and way too often we use it only for promotional purposes. I very often am throwing out assumptions that I've made about my customers, or I'm kind of echoing back what I've heard to see if what they're saying is actually what they're feeling. So you know that's a quick status update. Oh, I'm really thinking about this particular business problem or I'm betting you guys are out doing this right now, or I really like doing this, how about you? I know that sounds really silly, but it's a great way to use social media in a way that's not only interactive but that gives you the information that you need to test whether those details are on-point or off-point. So, yeah, so use social media to test whether you're right or not before you go developing a product that might take a lot of your time or energy.
Here's one last one, you're gonna kill two birds with one stone on this one.
What if part of you is actually scared or nervous of changing from a struggling business to a thriving one, how do you get past that metal block? That's from Crafting Emma and then, Sephori says I have that same question.
Okay, fantastic. So, I would ask yourself where are your fears coming from. Where are your fears coming from? Is it a fear that if you are successful, you will sell too much and you won't be able to keep up with demand? In that case, there are lots of things you can change. You can adjust your business model. You can adjust the amount of products that you're selling. You can adjust your prices. You can outsource labor. Are your worries coming from the way other people will react to you. I think for a lot of business owners, there is a fear that if they become successful in their business, their friends or their family will think negatively about them, and unfortunately, I think sometimes those fears are well-founded. I always encourage people to find friends, find a support group that is encouraging of your success, encouraging of your ambition. If you don't have friends that are as ambitious as you are, it's really hard to make the changes that you need to make to move from struggling to thriving. I always recommend Twitter for finding new friends 'cause that's where I found all my ambitious friends. (laughing) So, I think those are the two big things. Where are you fears coming from? Often, they're coming from a fear of the logistics of success, and often they come from how people will react to you if you are successful. So, I would examine those two things and there are actual changes that you can make based on those answers.
Tara, got part two that's coming up. What are we gonna be talking about in our final session today?
Yeah, so we're gonna examine the next two question, which are what kind of relationship do you want to have with your customers. We're gonna do a quick before and after exercise there. And then we're also going to talk about what format these products could be taking. So, we're gonna revisit that want ad exercise. So, during the break, I'd say, maybe come up with a few more iterations of your want ad and see what happens.