28 Apr Some thoughts on selling from a not-entirely-comfortable salesperson
I'll start by saying this - I understand fear. I am intimately acquainted with its deviousness and its overwhelming power, and I'm pretty damn good at finding ways to outsmart it. However, I am pretty scared right now.
Why? Because I'm about to embark on something I find terrifying: selling.
I'm relaunching my Make Your Mark course for the first time as a Big Thing, and this time, rather than slip in under the radar with a couple of quiet 'sorry to bother you' type emails and a Facebook post or two, I'm going all out. I have a whole bunch of pre-launch list building content to make, plus webinars, video, Facebook ads, membership sites... The whole nine yards. It's fair to say I'm a little overwhelmed!
This sales thing pushes all my buttons, and triggers my fear response on several different levels, for example:
I'm scared of being visible & being rejected
This is a biggie - I'm scared that being more visible will mean that there are more responsibilities, more overwhelm, more trolls. It worries me that I might not be able to cope and I'll be seen as flaky or incompetent. I'm scared I won't be enough, or I'll be too much, or people just flat out won't like me.
I'm scared of failing
I've never really had to try too hard to achieve the things I've wanted to achieve in my life. I've always been clever enough to sort of coast through - it's not something I'm particularly proud of, but there it is. It means that if I've failed, I can always fall back on 'well, I didn't really try' as the reason. With this project, I'm really trying. I'm putting everything on the line. If I fail now it's because I'm (whisper it) not good enough. Gasp! Now I know I am good enough, and my worth is not dependent on my successes or failures, but that little gremlin pops up from time to time anyway.
I'm scared that I won't be able to figure out all the tech
Facebook ads, webinars, video editing, email sequences, if this then that etc etc. There are so many moving parts and a lot of them I'm unfamiliar with. So many places where I could potentially look (at best) unprofessional or (at worst) like an idiot.
I'm scared that I'll be too FLEB-y or not inclusive enough
If you haven't heard of the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand concept, then pop over to Kelly Diels blog and read her explanation. In a nutshell, it's a peculiar internet phenomenon where white women use status and 'empowerment' symbols to exploit their customers into buying overpriced stuff from them. It's more complicated than that, but you get the gist. They use the same sort of persuasion tactics promoted by pick-up artists and it's all super sleazy. I don't want to have anything to do with it! I don't want to manipulate people into buying from me or trick them or anything like that. However, I also want to be successful selling stuff on the internet and these guys are the ones peddling all the advice. It's a minefield, to be honest.
I'm also very aware that I am a western white woman living one of the richest and most privileged countries in the world. When I share sneaky peeks of my behind the scenes, my life looks a certain way. And I'm aware that that may be exclusive to some people.
I think here is a good place to pause and say that everyone is welcome here in my corner of the internet, no matter what colour, creed, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, or whatever you are. I will do my best to reflect that in my copy and images, but I'm feeling my way (if you have any tips or advice or things that you would like to see then get in touch and let me know). The only thing I ask of you is this: don't be a dick to anyone. If you can manage that then we're good.
I'm scared of being a nuisance
Another big personal trigger for me. I have to be all over the internet for at least a month shouting about the thing I'm trying to sell. I have to talk about it over and over and over until I'm sick of the sound of my own voice. I have to send my email list an alarming number of emails, and I'm super scared of being seen as annoying. The 'good girl' in me wants to shut up and not say anything, or at least be self-deprecating about it!
And the one thing that's making me do it anyway
The one thing that's driving me through all this fear is that I know, in my heart of hearts, that I have made something incredibly valuable and worthy and it belongs in the hands of the people that need it most. This ecourse, Make Your Mark, that I'm on the cusp of launching, is the culmination of ten years of working with creative people and hearing their stories and their fears, their excuses and their motivations, and learning how to best serve them so they can make the art they want to make.
I know that I have the skills and experience to help, and I have a list of testimonials a mile long saying just that. This work is what I was born to do.
And the best part, is that the principles and techniques I teach in Make Your Mark are the very ones that I'm using to get all this work done in spite of the fear. Most notably I am focusing on the process and forgetting about the results (as much as humanly possible anyway!). I am concentrating on getting the one thing in front of me done, and done well, before moving on to the next bit.
It's the only thing I can do.