Bake Sale Jitters is a regularish look at the stuff that keep our business from being as much fun as a bake sale.

The foundation of Bake Sale Marketing is that it (all of your promotion + sharing + stuff) is coming from you: from your passions, your joy, your essence. It's not icky because it's not manipulative. You aren't faking your excitement and you're truly making + sharing your thing because it is awesome.

But this focus on you-ness can be uncomfortable.

As one of my clients recently said about her writing,

“I'm afraid to make it sound like me…because what if the people get to know me?”

This may be, a little bit, about fear of rejection (which will talk about later in the week), but I think it's also an issue of safety.

What if you're uncomfortable having YOU out there?

First, acknowledgment.

This IS hard. And scary.
It is so much bigger than just our business. It's our relationship to ourselves, others, the world.

Also, please know: It's not just you, lots of crafty artistic types worry about this.

And reassurances.

You don't have to do anything that feels uncomfortable.
Really.
We can find a way to craft a delightful and passionate business that feels safe.

Some ideas:

  • Create an alter-ego.
    I started with an alter-ego, because I was much to shy to share my yarn with the world.
    Yours could just be a nom de plume or it could be an entire character.
    This isn't inauthentic, as long as it's still you behind it all.
  • Keep it a well-kept secret.
    Whether from your mother or your co-workers, you do NOT have to tell your real-life people about your thing.
    Keep your blog password protected when you get started, if it will make it easier to write. Lock your tweets. Don't friend people on Facebook.
    Remember that it will be harder for people to find out about your thing if you keep it a secret, but that doesn't mean you have to jump out of the shadows before you're ready.
  • Be hard to get.
    For us crafters, our thing is already limited; we can only craft so many things in a given day. Play with that hard-to-get-ness by highlighting  + promoting this fact.

    Maybe you only offer things once a month.
    Maybe you only sell at select venues.
    To make this work, find a place you are VERY comfortable and work on making it a sustainable venue.

  • Set boundaries.
    Guess what? YOU get to the be the person who decides how much of your youness gets shared.
    Maybe it's just your favorite color on the background of your website. People don't have to know that's why it's there, you can just do it.
    Maybe you make a line of pins inspired by a beach. You don't have to share every memory of that beach, or even when you went there, or even that you went there. Just share the part that feels good.

The coolest thing about creating safety is that  you don't have to sit down and plan it out.
You can, if that helps, but you can also bake it right in.
As you write a description, add what feels right.
As you tweet, decide to write what makes you feel safe.

You never have to share more than you want, but I encourage you to think of some things that you would be comfortable sharing.
Knowing what parts of your you-ness you want to share will give you a starting point as we work on drenching your business with joy + you-ness.

PS. I really need to put this PS on everything I ever write, ever: everything I know about putting-your-thing-out-there and acknowledging-the-scary, I learned from Havi. Specifically her Blogging Therapy series.
Well, that and life and trial and lots of error.

  • It’s reassuring to know that other people feel this way too. When I see someone who has actually “made it” they seem so confident in their products and it makes me feel even more intimidated! Thanks for posting this!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Beth, be assured that nearly ALL of us feel this way at some point!
    Even after 4 years of selling my yarn (and REALLY loving it and believing in
    it), I still get shy or worried or weird!