How’s your year going so far? Did you wake up January 2nd just as pumped as the day before? I would love for each day to build more excitement and momentum than the day before, even if that’s just not how life or business works. Can you imagine the kind of work you’d be creating by October if every day kicked the next one up just a little bit higher?
A lot of times I feel like whenever I sit down and build up some motivation the glow wears off faster than I can act on it. Goals seem too crazy big, something doesn’t click into place at just the right time, a car breaks down, I can’t see the next step, or life just gets too busy. To take the big jumps that bring life changing moments, there are three things I think you really have to do.
- Get Clear – Know what you want, who to serve, and exactly what you count as meeting your goals
- Take the Daily Steps – Life rarely changes in an instant. Once you have things clear, you have to put your long term goals in front of you and take actions that continue to build toward them.
- Learn to Put Yourself Out There – This is about both courage and skill. Your goals almost always require someone else to buy in. Can you sell them on it?
I skip this step so often. It seems like busy work. I feel like I’m too short on time. I just try to take one little shortcut and move right on to action. And you know what? The times I skip it, my goals usually fall as flat as my cookies when I rush through and melt the butter in a hurry. (Except my chocolate chip cookies still taste delicious. Yum.)
You need to define your path or you’ll never know where to direct your efforts. This is the single best way to prevent the feelings of overwhelm I hear about so often from coaching clients. What do you want? Who are you serving? What do you provide?
Put together a clear vision. Know who you are and where you want to go. Be clear about who you want to work with and what you work for. You need a blueprint. You need a manifesto (check out this post for a great “blow your mind” manifesto how-to). You need to define all the little details about your ideal work and client.
Do this stuff at least once a year if you can. It really grounds your work and reminds you why you do what you do. And if you’re preparing for a specific project, take the time to define what you’re aiming for and what you think you’re going to do. This is when bouncing ideas off of a friend, colleague, or coach is a huge help.
Done with clearing everything up? Now take a look at how you can get to work.
Do it Daily.
I read this Feet on the Street post by Seth Godin a long time ago and it’s stuck with me since. I can’t say I always follow through, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that the times I commit to and act on specific steps each day are the times I’ve seen drastic growth in my business.
People who buy from you are people who trust you. People who trust you have seen you around and know they can’t wait to work with you. Even if this is all virtual, you have to pound the pavement. You don’t have to pull an all-nighter. Just pick the small daily actions that will help you reach your biggest and most clear goal.
Want more accounts? Make an extra call to a potential buyer every day.
Want to sell to more brides? Find one extra way to reach out to someone each day (new clients or follow ups).
Want to draw in more followers? Do one extra thing to expand your reach each day (online or in your community).
I’ve heard a few different stats on this, but a common idea is that it takes seven points of contact to close a sale. Think about that. Are you doing enough to reach each potential customer? There are typically about 240 work days a year (4 weeks off a year, 5 days a week). Imagine if you reached out to customers 240 extra times, just one more time a day. That’s 240 points of contact. That could mean over 30 extra deals closed a year, for something that probably takes you 10 minutes or less a day.
I’ve had some designers that have been over the moon their dream store contacted them unannounced and asked for a trunk show or a chance to see their dresses. If that’s ever happened to you, I’m sure you know how exciting that is. The truth though? It’s not going to happen to everyone and it certainly won’t happen often.
If you aren’t already a “household name” in the industry, buyers and brides aren’t typically beating a path to your door. You need to make the call, do the work, post the pictures. You have to create and take the risks. It’s hard to make something and put it up for the world’s approval. It takes guts. But without it, no one sees. And if no one sees, no one buys.
You have to love what you do. You have to know your own value and the value of your work. You have to be willing to make the call, send the email, put up the post, and in general sell others on why your work is worth their time, attention, and money. You need to convince them to give you all three or your business will fail. Plain and simple.
Just want to create pretty things in your studio and revel in the peace and calm of low pressure non-judgmental creativity? Great! I’d love that too. But it will be a hobby. You won’t make any money if you never sell.
Selling is a skill and art. It can be learned, so don’t worry if you feel like it isn’t your thing right now. It’s not icky and it doesn’t have to be high pressure. The beauty is you can develop a sales technique that reflects you and your business to a tee. You’ll feel great about how you do it, and it will resonate perfectly with your ideal client.
I know seeing your steps and following through are so hard. Really, it’s killer. And to do it yourself with no one setting the stage or holding you accountable takes a special kind of person. You make the choice each day to drive your own dreams and run your own business. Frankly, it’s darn impressive.
But you don’t have to do it alone. Find a group to bounce ideas off of. Gather support and accountability. Pick the experts to give you clarity and a boost. It all helps.
If you want the help to sell more and struggle less, I really hope you’ll take a look at working with one of our groups or one-on-one with me. It could be the perfect next step to make this your year!