Wednesday , 24 May 2017
Go ahead—say it out loud: I am wonderful. Well, yes, I’m wonderful, too, but tell yourself you are wonderful. Pat yourself on the back. Give yourself one of those weird self-hugs. Affirm yourself, because most of the time, nobody else will.

A Pep Talk on Self-Promoting

JimmyTan Self Serve/Surf Art Canvas paper print 10"x14"inch

JimmyTan Self Serve/Surf Art Canvas paper print 10"x14"inch

Good morning to all of you wonderful people!  Go ahead—say it out loud: I am wonderful.  Well, yes, I’m wonderful, too, but tell yourself you are wonderful.  Pat yourself on the back.  Give yourself one of those weird self-hugs.  Affirm yourself, because most of the time, nobody else will.  They’re too busy looking for their own affirmation.  Now, quit digging through your mental Saturday Night Live video clips and let’s get back on track here for a minute.  I’ve got a porch to finish painting, so I’m going to keep this post short.  That’s the plan anyway.  Let’s see what today’s definition of short is, lol.

You have got to self-promote.  Love your product so much that you really think everyone should have one.  Then go and tell them about it.  For instance, when I make a trip to the post office, I always share with the postal team what I’m shipping and what my latest shop item is.  They have electrical cords to cover, too!  They also have friends and family that might like one of my hymn art selections or a piece from my vintage collection.  (Vintage Wilton Holly Hobbie cake pan anyone?  It’s about time for her to be popular again.  She’s hanging out with the Ziggy cake pan.)  And I don’t just go to the same post office.  I have access to three different post offices, just depending on what my schedule is for the day.  And trust me, by the time I leave, everyone in line and behind the desk knows that I am a local stay-at-home mom who has an online business.  I’ve got business cards at the ready.

I am installing chandelier cord covers at a local restaurant.  It just so happens that the only chance I can stop by to get measurements is during one of their busy times.  Nothing gets a person’s attention like a woman climbing up in a chair with a tape measure.  And when I go install them, there will be a live-action before-and-after.  Coincidentally, I’m running a special for my local shoppers.

As much as I hate to go grocery shopping, you can bet I’m chatting it up every chance I get in the grocery line, checking out their cart for a lamp or something with a cord, lol.  Something else that I do is talk to the clerks about my online business.  The area I live in is just a backwoods East Texas area, and a lot of people get stuck working their job checking out groceries at Wal-Mart.  I try to shed some light into their life.  I share with them the wonderful things Etsy has done for me.  I am successful, and I live in Montalba, TX!  That girl might be the best grocery-checker out there, but she might also have a passion for fashion.  She might make the cutest hair bows you ever done did see ‘round these here parts.  With an online business, no one has to know you sound like a hillbilly.  Unless you use it as part of your blogging vernacular.

Now grab all of your packages, your grocery list, and your business cards.  Then find a popular place to eat on the way home and see if there’s some marketability there.  One thing I learned as a bill collector many years ago is that it never hurts to ask.  The worst someone can do is say, “No.”  Another thing I learned as I tried my hand at Mary Kay was to get a stack of playing cards.  Every face card is a “yes”.  Shuffle the cards, and turn them over one by one.  You might get 10 “no”s in a row, but eventually you are going to get a yes.  Unfortunately your business will not respond to pixie dust, but it will respond to hard work, great customer service, marketing, and faith and trust in yourself and your abilities.

In closing, I want to say how much I adore the picture I selected for this article.  He is definitely “making it happen”.  Or he could be a she, I suppose.  Regardless, this gender-neutral elephant is using the “git ‘er done” method.

Mama Melly’s definition of “short” today is 703 words. 

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25 comments

  1. Great post, Melinda.

    You’re right: we have to become our best advocate. Cuz ain’t nobody else gonna do it for us.

    Have a successful, self-promoting day.

  2. I have a trip planned to Lowe’s later in the day and they just happen to have a huge lighting section, lol. Thank you so much for the comment. Each and every comment thrills me! Hey, what can I say? I’m a cheap date ;)

  3. You know, I did this very thing this morning with the xray techs at the clinic and the Costco checker. No one will know about Hide A Heart and have the opportunity to begin keeping a perpetual love note in circulation with the ones they love if I don’t spread the word.

    • Awesome! I was at the bank yesterday and they had a cord cover in the lobby and it was not well made at all. It didn’t even have elastic in the ends and it kept slipping down the lamp. I am going to make them one for free and take it up there with a fabric tag on the outside for free promotion. Cuz I’m sneaky like that!

  4. Great post. I know you are right and I wish I had your guts.
    What about those of us who are really, really shy? :-)

    • I was thinking about that while I was writing the post. And then I thought about it some more when I was lying in bed this morning reading your comment. And I’m still thinking about it, lol. So now I’ve got some ideas together, I think I’ll write a new post because it’s kinda lengthy. You’re not surprised, right? haha

  5. I always admire your attitude and great product photos Melinda. I like your idea about giving the bank a free cord cover. My dentist office needs new art for their waiting room…I think a QUILT :)

    • Why thank you, ma’am! Neither of them happened by accident. My parents divorced after 20 years of marriage when I turned 14. It was bad enough being a teenager but having all of those emotions compounded by a divorce really hit me hard. I was one of those teens that wore black and stayed in my room all the time listening to Metallica, and of course drugs, sex, and alcohol came into play. I married at 17 (I wasn’t pregnant, just stupid, lol) and was in a horrible, abusive marriage for 5 years. Thankfully, we did not have any children. It turns out I didn’t need him to drag me down. I was my own worst enemy.

      It’s so strange to look back on that person now, but here I am! What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I’ll be 35 this year and in the last 8 years I have just decided to embrace life and live each day to its fullest. What’s the point in being a negative Nancy? While in line at Walgreens once, the clerk asked an elderly gentleman “How’s your day today?”. He replied, “Great! And if it’s not, it’s my own fault.” What an awesome concept!

      I have been with my second (and hopefully final!) husband for 12 years. He treats me like a queen, and I adore him. So now y’all have a bit of an insight as to why I go on and on about my wonderful husband.

      And the pictures were birthed out of sheer determination! If other people can have a successful Etsy shop, why can’t I?

      I can not write all of that without giving God the glory for creating in me a clean heart and renewing a right spirit within me. My husband and I both have amazing testimonies and are actually in the ministry. (Prison ministry) We are selling our house and will be embarking on the journey of evangelizing. But, don’t worry, I can blog on the road. ;)

      Wow, I haven’t even had my coffee yet. Okay, I’m shutting up now. :)

      Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly through my shop if you want to give me advice for my next article: “The Power of a Short Blog Post–Includes a Special Section on Commenting” lol

  6. Great tips! I thought I was the only chatty one in the Post office line up! :)

  7. I would love to learn to be chatty. I am so shy in public, yet feel okay with promoting myself behind a computer. Can you write something that helps that particular quandry? LOL! Thanks, Mel for all that you do!

    Diane

    • You’re onto me, Diane! I’m going to have to dig deep on this one, though, because I have NEVER been shy. Google awaits….

      If anyone has any tips that worked for them, send them to me through my shop at http://www.MamaMellyMartin.etsy.com and I’ll use them in the article, crediting the original source of course. Nothing like a little extra shop promo!

      This is going to be a fun article. My brain is overloading already with great stuff to say. Guess I should switch over to Word and get it down. Most of my really great articles I write in about 10 minutes, straight from the heart with no editing, like this one.

      They’re all straight from the heart, but some of them require editing to get out excess wit ;)

  8. Thanks for the pep talk!!
    I really needed it!
    :-)

  9. I love this! My problem is like some of the others that have commented. I don’t know that I am really shy, but I have a terrible fear of getting the “no”. I think I take it personally. I hesitate to ask people b/c I don’t want to hear them say “no”. I guess that’s something I’m going to have to get over myself. The fear of rejection.
    Thanks for the great article!

  10. This is so true! I was at a baby shower this weekend where I made a blanket for my close friend, and included my new business card in the basket. The two ladies next to me asked about my store and what I do, and it was great!
    I do need to work on incorporating self promotion even more, though. I work in a corporate environment where its not about me and what I do as an individual, but I can still wear my accessories. I even share my blog with people when they ask what I’ve been up to.

  11. Self-promoting is actually very easy if you can eliminate your self-consciousness. I stopped in a store the other day and told the manager that the men in my apartment building loved my men’s jewelry and he agreed to look at some samples for the xmas season. I am doing a happy dance for being so forward in my self-promotion of my work.

  12. this is one of the great pep talks! I love your enthusiasm. good thing that is a contagious. It is more difficult for me to talk up my Toekini’s unless I am wearing them, which I do almost all the time. People often don’t like to talk about feet……
    but I do try, and mention other things in my shop as well. I am still waiting for that waitress to place an order tho…

  13. I am so shy too, but only when it comes to my work. I don’t know why. guess It’s from all the years of being told I’m not good enough. I’ll show them! Guess that’s what I say to myself every day. Thank you ever so for the pep talk.

  14. It was ingrained in me when I was a child not to toot my own horn. Self-promotion has been one of the hardest things for me to do. I’m trying though. So go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/jejeweled and get yourself one of my fabulous fabric covered button items. It will brighten your day. Okay, how was that?

  15. This is very interesting. I never self-promote when I am out and about. I’ll have to think about that. I always figured google searches, a facebook page, a big circle and visits to my blog were all I needed. Maybe I’ll make a business card :) My mind set as been….have a huge circle, favor their things constantly when they are on line and see that they immediately favor me back. If they never favor me back (especially if they are on line at the same time) I take them out of my circle. I tend to add people to my circle that have favored tens of thousands of things, because I know they will be favoring my things on a regular basis. There are shops that I have added each item to my favorites over 100 times!! I have noticed some shop owners that obviously only favor items they like. LOL It’s always the same type of thing. I think, what? It’s about promoting other shops and getting promoted back, right? I think some shop owners don’t know you can favor and unfavor. The more I am on doing that, the more I sell. Any opinions on that? I have a twitter account but, find it annoying when people post their items non-stop and I won’t do it. I’d rather post my blog posts and if they wander into my shop that way…cool. Enjoyed your article. New follower!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/KarenMaryButterfly/rearrange?page=1

  16. You are amazing and God’s light sure does shine through. I am fine self promoting behind a computer and when I get out…which is not very much…I make myself get out of “self” and promote myself. I can wear my jewelry so that is a step up. I give my cards out when people compliment my jewelry. Right now I am wearing a ring I made to test it out and I will show this ring to whomever I can. I am so glad you are here.

    Helen
    http://watchesbyhelen.etsy.com
    http://helenslightreadings.etsy.com

  17. Comment and a suggstion:
    Wonderful article, I have a real problem with promoting myself but trying harder.
    My suggstion: I like to copy these articles and keep in a notbook. Is there a way to have a button to click for a printable format so that all the ads on the side don’t print out?

    Thank you.

  18. Your enthusiasm and self motivation is admirable.
    I am always shy when talking about my artwork, and have missed countless chances to make sale.
    Thanks you very much.. I learn a lot from this article.

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