Previously we’ve looked at aligning your products with your brand, thinking about who your target customer is & how you’ll find them?
Learning to sell without using cheesy selling techniques is the next step… this is where story telling comes in to play.
It’s our desire at Creators Nest for customers to invest in us because they have an emotional connection to what we create & why… not just because they have the means.
I witnessed the perfect example of connecting emotionally to an item when Master 17 recently bought his new guitar.
Five minutes after walking into the music store, being asked what he was looking for in a new guitar he was presented with one that ticked all the boxes (theoretically).
But there was something missing, not even the bonus hard case was enough to sell him on it.
Many more questions later, digging deeper into what he was actually after in a new guitar I selected one from the rack, that to me, looked to meet his needs & wants.
I asked the sales assistant to tell us more about this guitar.
He started with; “Let me see, they’re made by a family owned business…”
BAM that was it! Master 17’s eyes lit up.
This was something he could relate to, it was a part of his own story.
The sales assistant proceeded to give us more factual information about the size, shape, sound, timber used to make it etc…
But from the moment he’d said it was ‘a family owned business’ Master 17 was connected to the instrument.
It took a few moments for him to make the final decision, but his whole expression demonstrated this was it, it was the one.
He started to justify why it didn’t matter that it’d cost him more than the other, didn’t come with a hard case, as it’d likely fit in the repurposed blanket case I’d made for his previous guitar (which it did)… deal was done… SOLD!
What customers are buying into
How artisans spend their days, is a big part of what makes their story interesting. Sharing the passion a your craft with potential customers gives them reason to invest.
The romantic notion of someone spending their days creating beautiful products to earn an income is something our customers rarely get to experience themselves.
Fear of not being able to meet costs of living are real and a very good reason for people to stick to the safety net of a secure income even if it’s not inspiring or creative… so when customers buy from artisans they’re buying a piece of a life that they personally don’t have on a day to day basis.
I’m not trying to fool anyone into believing working for yourself is easy, doesn’t take a lot of hard work and at times sacrifice, it’s not all roses & red wine… there are a lot of unknowns & risks involved.
Which is why when customers seek to invest in those who do, they genuinely admire what we’re doing and want to be a part of that.
Sharing the stories of our makers
When I tell visitors to Creators Nest about the products we sell I don’t just give them tech specs on each piece I tell them romance behind it… the couple who live in a timber yurt on a bush block with an outdoor kitchen, creating their wares in the elements, travelling to trade, splitting their time between Australia & France. Often calling while reclining in a hammock, just before going for a swim in the river or surf at the beach.
I’m not making this up, this is truly how they live.
Recently they crossed the dessert with a camel caravan and filmed a documentary. This couple doesn’t live a life of predictability, convenience & comfort, they live a life of flexibility, passion & adventure.
But they also create products with passion & dedication to quality craftsmanship.
Their story adds to the value of their products, they’re not mass producing to make millions they’re creating small runs with respect for the earth, while funding their adventurous lifestyle.
Creating the story you wish to share
While traveling to trade I discovered a lot of makers at markets who share a similar life story of doing as much as they could to live the best life they can, growing & making their own food, creating homes that not only inspire but add depth to their story, aligning their values with their lifestyle.
Not all artisans live a life of freedom & flexibility… but many do live a life of passion & adventure.
I started my artisanal business based on the fact I wanted to be able to earn an income doing what I love, working within the constraints of my family.
After years of working long hours away from home as a professional photographer struggling to have another child, I decided to establish a new career that enabled me to truly work at home, only travelling occasionally to trade my wares.
Adventure came for me through venturing off to trade my wares, which is actually how met a lot of the makers & designers I now sell on behalf of through Creators Nest.
Our move to the country changed my story somewhat, by this stage I’d had a second child, built my artisanal business with kidlets in tow, but was then faced with the challenge of isolation living out of town.
It also introduced me to the reality of pest control, in terms of kangaroos, foxes, wild deer & goats.
The experience of isolation led me to establish Creators Nest, taking my workshop into town, representing professional creatives of our region, sharing the space & journey with others.
While the exposure to culling & dumping led me to want to use kangaroo leather more, reducing the waste of resources, while honouring the animal & minimising the impact of culling on our immediate environment.
My WILD HIDE range is all about using resources sourced as locally as possible, bringing balance back into our eco-system, all while contributing to revenue streams of farmers in our community who’ve struggled through bushfire & drought.
When creating a business that aligns with your values, telling your story to customers becomes the reason they invest in what you do.
Many of my bespoke order customers know the why behind my work and the contribution they’re making to their community through supporting it.
Facts tell… stories sell
>> Take your journal out & write down what comes to mind about your story, as well as the story behind your products. Just free write, don’t edit yourself, let the thoughts flow.
>> Once you’ve done this, sum up your story in one short paragraph. You’ll likely find what you’ve written is quite extensive, but look for the key words or phrases that you can string together to give a snap shot of the essence behind why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Read these regularly, recite them if you have to, so that it rolls off your tongue when you’re asked about what you do. The more you practice sharing your story the easier it’ll be to tell.
In my next post I want to share with you how you get your story out there, when & where to share it.
Looking forward to soaring alongside of you…
Ps. New to this series of posts on earning an income through doing what you love?
Want to catch up on what you’ve missed out on so far.
Here’s a list of the previous posts:
- Want to start your own artisanal business but don’t know where to begin?
- What’s Branding & why it’s important for a small artisanal business.
- Who do you want to see too & where will you find them?