Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Month: November 2011

Pricing is not a Benefit

Last week I shared the BOOK with its first readers and the most-beloved little segment is something that came right from the blog. Since it struck a chord with readers, I thought it might be time to re-share it:

A client recently asked:

“How am I supposed to compete with Wal-mart? They have low prices, lots of different colors, and a huge advertising budget.”

I answered them simply:

You are not competing with Wal-mart.

And not just because you can’t (really, you can’t!) but because your Right People don’t want you to be Wal-mart.

They want originality.
Personal connection.

Wal-mart provides cheap, mass-produced goods, cheaply.
You make hand-crafted, high quality, one-of-a-kind goodness to people who are willing to pay for it.

As long as you think of Wal-mart as the competition, you’ll spend your time explaining how you’re better than them.
But that’s a waste of time.

Remember how your English teacher used to say “Show, don’t Tell”?

Show your personality. Show your originality. Show your Youness.
And you’ll never have to mention “low prices” or “great deals.”

Here’s a short list of general benefits (the things that make you awesomest):

  • You are a real person. The buyer gets to interact with a real person. And not just ANY person, a person who MADE the thing they’re buying.
  • Your can provide awesome, agile customer support.
  • You are an artist. People adore supporting artists and the artist community.
  • Your thing is one of a kind. The buyer will have something that no one else has.

Of course, you probably know this.

But do your customers know it?
Do you make it ultra-freaking clear that what you make is valuable?


If you’re not sure how to make it clear  (or what the benefits of your specific goodness is), the Starship (and the many smart Captains aboard it) can help you with that.

Holiday Sanity and Starships

When I tweeted a link to last year's free guide and was overwhelmed with thank you tweets and emails, I realized I needed to share it again:

It's a quick-to-use, silly little guide with handdrawn lists and goofy metaphors.

Yet, it works.
It helps you get a handle on what's coming next and it makes it all more do-able.

In the Starship, we're doing weekly check-ins on ho and I'm (again) surprised by how much just  a bit of planning + a dash of accountability can improve your experience of the holidays.

So much so, that I was starting to doubt closing the Starship until January.
Last night, after chatting with Starshippers, someone said “Once again, I'm surrounded by smart and understanding people” and there was a round of “yay starship!”s.
I realized: yes, it's easier for me to manage everyone's membership if I wait to reopen enrollment until January….but this is the time of year people need help. And community of like-minded friends. And encouragment.

Thus it's decided: the Starship is now open to new Cadets.

If you're feeling a little worn out, a little apprehensive about the oncoming rush of holiday sales, and holiday shopping, and holiday gift-making, the Starship is here for you:
Community, weekly check-ins, accountability partners, everything we can do to make the holidays sane.
Oh yeah, and access over $500 worth of classes + tools. For 13 months.

Come aboard here