Struggling to get found?

Do you feel like you’re struggling to get found in an overcrowded marketplace? I have some tips that will help you stand out + an amazing lesson plan you don’t want to miss!

Illuminate the Creative Business Course: Get ready for the spotlight

The most frustrating obstacles in creative business are the ones you just can’t figure out how to surmount. You see people in the industry succeeding and making sales, yet you just can’t seem to wrap your mind around exactly how they created those results. What do they know that you don’t? Where are they marketing? How are they investing their time and money? What’s a girl gotta do to breakthrough to the next level of success already?

And if you’re anything like I was, you’re showing up year after year in business doing the same things and expecting different results. Let me save you the five years it took me to learn this lesson: That strategy just doesn’t work!

Today I want to share a few tips that will help you stand out in any overcrowded marketplace and talk more about my brand new creative business course, Illuminate (exclusively for members of The Luminaries Club). However, before you set out to shine the spotlight on your business, be sure you’re attracting the right people.

Find More Paying Customers

By “right people” and “paying customers”, I mean targeted marketing. As handmade artists, you offer a unique value: you provide your customers that special feeling only an item made from passion can produce. Artists and crafters love what they do so much that they often cringe at the idea of targeted marketing. In fact, the notion of cold-selling what’s been made with a warm heart makes many creatives downright uncomfortable.

However, targeted marketing simply means finding the customers who desire your work. It’s introducing yourself to people who think you’re a Pablo Picasso, rather than waiting a lifetime and beyond hoping that they’ll stumble across your most famous piece. It’s time you show the world what you’ve got to offer and find more paying customers for your creative business because …

do what you love to do

It’s time to replace the cringe of old-fashioned marketing with the warm and inviting smile of today’s socially-acceptable advertising. Messages no longer blare, flash, or otherwise interrupt your life … unless you give them permission to do so. In fact, permission marketing (where customers sign up, request more, and voluntarily follow what you’re doing) is what’s happening in the advertising world today. And there’s nothing cringe-worthy about giving customers what they’re asking for. You don’t cringe when you hear from your favorite artists, companies, and stores! You don’t cringe when filling an order, and you absolutely shouldn’t cringe when letting customers know you’re out there thinking of them, creating for them, and ready to exceed their expectations. In fact, keeping them up-to-date and informed about your work turns interested people into paying customers.

the value of art

Once you have a quality product, the question becomes: How do I find the people who value my art? In other words, how do you find your paying customers? In the handmade community, we often count fans, sales, followers, and favorites, but the number that adds to your bottom line, the audience who will truly help you fund your passion is composed of paying customers. They will help your business grow, your talents expand, and your skills improve. This audience is composed of the people who “get you” and they want what you’ve got to offer. These are “your people.”

How to Find “Your People”

If you say “your product is for everybody”, you might as well be saying it’s for nobody, because nothing is for everybody. Realize that your product isn’t for everyone; it’s for a select few who share your taste, and have an eye for your art and a love for quality handmade. If you could tell the whole world about your product right now, and then separate the interested buyers from the rest of the population, you could never keep up with the demand from that interested sea of paying customers … not by yourself, anyway.

In order to find “your people,” you have to identify them first. Do this by narrowing it down to one person: the ultimate fan of your art. Now, about that person:

  • Would it be a male or a female?
  • How old is he or she? {I’m going to refer to the person as a she for the rest of the questions.}
  • Is she single or married?
  • Does she have children or not?
  • Does she exercise, and if so, what’s her preferred method?
  • Is she city or country?
  • Is she conventional or quirky?
  • Does she like to stand out from the crowd or not?
  • From which genre does she buy most of her books?
  • Which magazines does she subscribe to?
  • Where does she take her vacations?
  • What are her favorite television shows?
  • Is she laid-back or adventurous?
  • Who are her role models?
  • What hobbies does she have? Is she a crafter or artist too?
  • What is she afraid of?
  • Is she a blog reader or not?
  • What does she dream about?
  • How do (or will) your products make her feel?

When I first started doing “your people” exercises, Pinterest wasn’t even a thing yet! Now it’s easier than ever to pinpoint an ideal customer and get ideas (from their Pinterest boards) to find more of their interests. There are many benefits to answering these types of questions about your target audience. Identifying this person will help you to generate a whole list of ideas on where she’s hanging out (and how you can find her). It will help you determine your niche market, because your niche market is the sea of people doing much of the same as she is.

Next, it’s time to show ’em what you got. Let’s talk niche appeal!

Targeted marketing creative business

Now that you know who that audience is and where they are hanging out, it’s time to help your shop stand out for your potential customers.

Catch Their Eye

You have style that appeals to your niche market, otherwise they wouldn’t be “your people,” but are you doing a good job of showcasing your products for them? Are you catching the customer’s eye? Sparking their desire? Making their mouth water for your art?

Pinterest is a great way to see what styles, fonts, and images appeal to your potential customers. For example, I have an Energy Shop Pinspiration board. There I pin pictures that remind me of or represent my brand, quotes that resonate with me, “Repin it to Win it” contests, and bracelet-making tutorials. Not only is a great place for customers to get to know me better, it’s also an opportunity for me to understand their style.

Checking out your customers on Pinterest can offer fantastic insight. My customers often pin products, websites, and interests that spark new marketing leads for Energy Shop Jewelry.

Speak Their Language

Product understand if my buy, you can’t using the language can I’m how? Which clearly proves my point:

If you can’t understand the language I’m using, how can you buy my product?

Take the time to learn the language your customers are speaking. For example, I called the jewelry in my shop “spiritual bracelets” for more than a year … until I realized I was the only onecalling them that. My customers call my products “energy” or “yoga” bracelets, and when I learned their language, I could alter the keywords in my shop so that more potential buyers could find me.

A better way for me to explain this point is with Marketing Creativity. I only speak handmade to you, dear reader, and I know that you’re largely a community of Etsy sellers like me. Even if you’re not, I trust that you’ve been around long enough to know what a “convo” is. Too often, I read this terminology in listings, when sellers tell potential buyers to convo them. That’s probably not the customer’s language; that’s Etsy-speak. It would be more appropriate to invite them to send you a message or use the “contact” button, as there’s a contact button on every page of your Etsy shop.

Value Their Needs

Too often in the marketplace, handmade products are pushed by the artist, for the artist. You should absolutely push your products, but for the customer.

Now that you’re speaking your customer’s language, copywriting comes into play. Copywriting is what you might already be calling a “listing” or “description.” It’s when the text you use is written to advertise your product. Copywriting is about understanding the customer’s needs and what they want from your shop. You must help your potential customers envision using what you have to offer, because they’ve probably never seen your product in person before.

The key here is to describe, not just the features and dimensions of your product, but the benefits as well. Think from the end and imagine your ideal customer with your creation in their hand: What are they feeling? What are they thinking? How does your product improve their day? Include the answers to these questions in your listings to help your customer imagine how your items will fit into their lives.

Illuminate: The Creative Business Course


Ready to Take it to the Next Level?

I’m launching something revolutionary this month – something that does not exist specifically for our industry, something that “business gurus” charge thousands of dollars for, and something I’ve created just for you (at a price you can afford).

I can help you define your success, map your journey and get started on your dream career. Please be sure to check out my latest offering, Illuminate: The Creative Business Course available exclusively for members of The Luminaries Club.

Imagine knowing what you need to work on every day and following through on your tasks. Imagine having a smart and organized business plan that’s designed to deliver you to your desired results. Inside The Luminaries Club, I’ll show you exactly how to create that for yourself. Here’s what you can expect from Illuminate, the best creative business course on the market:

  • How to create your own career breakthroughs (versus waiting for the ever-elusive “big break”)
  • The psychology of selling and how to overcome the fear of self-promotion
  • How to rise above a crowded marketplace and appeal to your niche
  • Word-for-word marketing scripts that feel good and convert sales
  • The psychology of pricing (and what yours is saying about your product)
  • How to stop worrying about the competition (and leave them in your review mirror)
  • Conversational scripts to help you turn new visitors into raving fans
  • A marketing playbook! An easy-to-follow template that helps you know what to promote and when
  • Tips to help you turn your storefront or blog into a cash machine (because that’s its most important job)

Again, this offer is available exclusively to members of The Luminaries Club. When you take the course, you also get everything that comes with the club! Until next time and all the best,

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