It can be hard to learn how to merge business savvy and creativity without the sales pitch. No one wants to sound like a used car salesman, but let’s face it…you have a product to sell. So how do you successfully market while combining business acumen with creative drive? Lose the sales pitch. Or, even better, don’t pitch in the first place.
FACE YOUR DILEMMA HEAD-ONE
When implementing a successful business and creative plan, identify where you are on the food chain. Are you a large corporate company? A freelancer? A small business? Each tends to bring its own set of challenges, so being aware of what you’re facing is key.
Larger companies for example, are often seen as impersonal and anonymous. As a result, it can be hugely challenging to sell your product without coming off as a Special Forces unit. Those who are actually the “face” of their own business or product on the other hand, often suffer from feeling like they’re being too pushy, too aggressive, or fake. That selling their product is akin to selling themselves.
YOUR PRODUCT AS A REFLECTION OF YOU
In her book, Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, author Susan Harrow offers some advice you might find refreshing. A supportive guide to business promotion, Harrow speaks at length about how to market and promote genuinely and within the boundaries of comfort for each person.
Interestingly, one of the first things she discusses is how reluctant most people are to promote themselves. Afraid of being seen as flashy, fake, grovelling, or (insert negative quality here), the reality is that most of us simply do not feel comfortable with self-promotion. Sound familiar? We thought it might.
If you’re worried about coming off as “salesy” it’s usually because you’re attempting something that is not natural to you. Meaning: If you’re an introverted carpenter trying to sell your products by making high-energy YouTube videos, you will feel like a fraud because, well…you are. You don’t have to compromise your values, become someone else, or leave your integrity at the “like” button to be successful. You just need to know who you are and what your limits are.
Think of it in other terms. Your product, book, service, or philanthropic venture is a direct extension of you. It is a reflection of who you are, how you were raised, your values, likes, and passions. If you can incorporate that message–whatever it is–into your business, it will succeed.
PUBLICITY OVER ADVERTISING
Also mentioned at length in Harrow’s business plan is the sheer power of publicity. We all know that people pay for advertising, but publicity is different. Publicity means you have an interesting story that people want to share. Now that’s powerful.
So let’s go back to our carpenter. You know, the quiet guy who has spent his life inside a workshop. He knows every kind of wood from here to Timbuktu; he’s passionate about the environment and creates beautiful pieces from reclaimed wood he picks off the beach.
Sounds like a story worth telling to us.
This could be as simple as a short video that shows how he chooses his wood, or him explaining the process of designing a cabinet from scratch. With a little elbow grease (which our carpenter is used to), he can put a press package together and send it along with his video to a local design magazine. Maybe that magazine has a big feature on reclaimed household treasures coming up and… You get the idea.
SAY IT AGAIN, SAM
Break it down to the basics. Be honest with yourself about your limits; know why your business is important to you, and the ways you’re comfortable telling its story. If you can do this, you’ll never have to write another sales pitch again.
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORY
At Media Button, our passion is helping people like you tell their story through words and video. If you would like to talk about how to make your ideas a reality, give us a call. We would love to hear from you.