It’s a real shame that not all creative entrepreneurs achieve success. It’s an even greater shame when those with the best idea, product or service fail. If the free market worked perfectly, everything would eventually work out. But more often than not this doesn’t happen for one simple reason. Those struggling entrepreneurs aren’t the best sales people.
I know, “selling” is a horrible word to swallow, especially for a creative like you. It’s hard not to think of “selling out”. And for good reason.
I’m sure you too can think of a friend or someone you followed online who became so obsessed by profit that you can’t even recognize them anymore. That’s the future of selling you want to avoid. Changing from the independent creative to the sleazy sales person.
The good news is that you can sell without selling out.
Why you have to sell
If you want to keep a business going let alone growing, you need to be making money. Money is the lifeblood of a business. There are different ways to get that money, including:
- selling a product and attracting customers,
- doing one off work for a client for a fee,
- creating things of value and asking for donations from one or many people,
- or providing the money yourself from your day job.
The last is the way most people start but there will always be limits there. Even if you could divert all your earners from a day job and all your spare time, there’s a limit and you will burn out.
Plus even when you self-finance, you need to know how to share what you’ve made in a way that catches people’s attention.
You need to be able to sell.
Knowing how to sell provides stability and growth
Selling is more than just the words you say, it’s who you make something for and how it is different from other things on the market.
Selling involves telling the story to a potential customer or client about why what you’re offering is the best for them. It doesn’t have to be the best overall, but it needs to be the best for them.
When you can sell, you can reach a specific group of people you want to help and they give you the privilege of helping them. When you can’t sell, they will choose to go with someone else, and that person may not care the way you care.
If you find the right group to help, your business will be buoyant and you will get the money you need to not just keep existing but expanding.
When you charge a good price — that is higher than you probably first think you should — everyone wins.
- You set yourself a higher standard to deliver to the customer.
- You get more money in the bank so you can stop your day job and give more time, or hire a new employee.
- The customer or client will value the service more.
It might seem selfish to charge more, but in fact everyone wins.
If you don’t learn how to sell…
The other path is one that many people have trod. It’s the long winding road to nowhere.
It’s the frustration when no-one contacts you to enquire about your service. When you wait for months for anyone to press “buy” on your sales page, when any client discussions you have ultimately lead to you sending another “just checking in” email as they ghost you.
All the while you are still working your 9-5 plus the side hustle in your spare time. You continue to invest your money and the bills for your hosting, email service, and other costs of doing business keep coming in and adding up.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have those bills covered by your business not by you. To have that proof that people do value what you are providing?
It is possible when you learn a few simple things about selling.