Jewelry Business Insider:
Rena’s Exclusive Interviews with the Experts
Interview with Bonnie Marcus by Rena Klingenberg
RENA: Why does the idea of promoting ourselves and our jewelry creations make us feel afraid or uneasy?
BONNIE: We feel afraid and uneasy because we feel vulnerable.
It’s one thing to sell someone else’s jewelry, but we are most vulnerable when we are selling our own creations.
We tend to take the rejection personally and so we are afraid to really put ourselves out there because we don’t want to have people reject our work (and reject us).
It’s way too personal.
RENA: We often give ourselves very legitimate-sounding excuses to delay or avoid promoting our business.
How can a jewelry artist recognize when the true issue is fear of self-promotion?
BONNIE: Marketing or self-promotion needs to be a major part of your weekly activity.
I would suggest blocking out time during the week when you are devoting your time to marketing and not creating. Once it’s on your calendar, it’s harder to overlook.
Also, you can recognize when your true issue is self-promotion if you recognize intellectually that you need to do this for your business, but emotionally you cannot do it.
You will do almost anything but promote yourself – and as a consequence, your business will fail.
RENA: If you were a jewelry artist held back by the fear of promoting yourself and your art, what specific action steps would you take right now to get past that fear?
- Think of marketing yourself as having conversations with people. There is give and take in a conversation where you are asking questions and getting to know someone and vice versa. Don’t worry about making a pitch or formal presentation and just let the conversation flow.
- Write out your personal story and what you love about what you do. How is your personal story related to your work? What prompted you to do jewelry design? These questions can serve as the basis for creating an interesting story about yourself and your work that really attracts people and interests them. People love stories and they remember them. Create your story.
- Don’t focus on the outcome. Stay in the present and engage with people and build relationships. Let them know what you do and your story. Make it personal. Making jewelry is a very personal art form and the purchase of jewelry is also very personal. Don’t worry about whether or not they are going to buy. Instead focus on the relationship and getting to know them and letting them get to know you. People buy from people.
- Understand that you have a unique gift to offer the world. This helps to change your mindset. Instead of trying to convince people to buy your products, you are letting them know about your special gift and how it can benefit them. Let go of trying to sell everyone.
- Collect testimonials and review them to get a better perspective on what is your unique gift and talent.
RENA: Thank you, Bonnie, for giving us these strategies for getting past the fear of self-promotion!
About Bonnie Marcus
Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., CEC, is a Certified Executive Coach, author, and professional speaker. As the founder and principal of Women’s Success Coaching, Bonnie assists professional women to position and promote themselves to advance their careers. Forbes.com honored Women’s Success Coaching in 2010 and again in 2011 as one of the top 100 websites for professional women.
Bonnie’s weekly radio show, GPS Your Career: A Woman’s Guide To Success, provides practical tips and resources for professional women to succeed in business. She is also a contributing writer for Forbes.com, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and CIO Magazine.
Bonnie has held executive positions in startup companies and Fortune 500 companies.