Call me a conservative. A creature of habit. I like things to always be the same. In the same place. Right where I can find them. Right where they make me feel secure, that even in the dark I know where and what I’m confronted with.
Change is inevitable.
How does one embrace change? I don’t know. I’m still learning. These past few months have been a challenge for me. Today, I’m not the same person I was yesterday. Except part of me yearns to have back what I’ve lost. Life doesn’t always seem fair. Ask my eight year old who stomps up the stairs at night after he’s been asked to help clear the table after dinner. Or any of my children who sit down to a dinner that is prepared by their father instead of their mother.
This is change. This is life as we now know it. This is me working full-time outside of our home and leaving the house duties to my husband.
I take this new journey one day at a time. Each morning with a prayer that employment will soon find its way back to my husband, and that I will once more be able to resume my old life of house work, child care, and dinner duty.
And I know I am not alone in this journey. There are many out there searching for jobs, trying to climb over the hurdles that life has placed in front of our path, and just trying to survive this inevitable thing called change.
I take comfort in knowing that I do not take this journey alone. What challenges are you facing? What changes have turned you in a new direction?
I love to hear from you all.
Let’s give your shop a “shout out” and let people know you exist. No, I don’t mean standing out in the middle of the street and shouting. Not only could that be dangerous, but someone might think you’re a little off your rocker today.
But don’t let me discourage you if that’s really what you want to do. There are, however, other ways you can tell others about your great shop of handmade goodies.
1. Tell your friends you’ve opened up a shop. Not strangers, your friends. Those people you see most often and on a regular bases.
2. Make an announcement to interested parties. For example: Writers often announce when new books are coming out. Why? Because over time they develop a readership who are interested in reading their books, or a certain type of book. When you announce you have a new product, certain type of product, it generates excitement through interested parties.
3. Create memorable advertising flare. Leave business cards or little samples after you’ve gone to a restaurant, at conferences on freebie tables, and other tactful places where some might pick up your shop name and hold on to it.
4. Become and accessory to a charitable event. There are many charitable organizations and other types of fund raisers that are looking for small businesses to donate to help raise month for their cause. This is where you give your best work, not that painting that just didn’t come out right or the half bent book cover copy that isn’t of any value to you. Here is your chance to shine, and do something good for other. It will come back to reflect brightly upon you if completed in a professional and resonating way. Customers like to see that shops they buy from are involved outside their studios and craft tools.
5. Throw a party. I think I may have mentioned this back in January. But hey, throw a party anyway. Invite friends to invite there friends. Share your new space (studio or store front), have an online gathering with hash tags from twitter or a facebook fan page commodore. You get the picture. And don’t forget the candy! You need to feed your attendees. If you’re having a physical party, throw out the party platters and open the buffets of snacks and punch.
If your party is virtual, then you need to give them some eye candy to go with all that reading and waiting in front to the computer. Free samples, games that lead to a chance to receive discount coupons or free goodies from your shop.
Now that’s the kind of party I like!
How will you tell others about your shop?
In the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise plays the role of a sports agent. Cuba Gooding Jr, plays the role of a football player that is a veteran of his career. During the movie Maguire (Tom Cruise) goes out on his own and works his butt of to get this high school kid a place with a well known football team, while still trying to hold on to Gooding’s character Tidwell.
At one point in the movie, Tidwll says to Maguire, “Show me the money.”
Maquire has to prove himself worthily by getting Tidwell a new contract, meanwhile he finds that the high school kid has already signed with another agent and his efforts were for nothing. But, Tidwell remained a loyal client.
In the end, Maquire showed Tidwell the money.
That’s exactly what your customers, readers, and clientele expect from you. Show them the money….show them your product is worth the price and their time.
Nora Roberts didn’t become a best selling author because the only thing she could do was write. She became a best selling author because she proved to her readership that she was worth their time and their money. She gives them the stories they want that promise to be better and better with each new book she puts out there.
She’s just one example. Artists, crafters, your work is just like a book. Maybe you’re a writer and it really is a book, but no matter what you create you need to put your worth into the work. Let your passion and talent shine through that customers will keep coming back to see what else you’ve got.
Show them the money and they’ll show you a whole new world of expanded clientele. Because when one person is in love with something, they recommend and share it with a friend.