Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

share your thing

Bake Sale Jitters: I don’t want to be annoying!

Bake Sale Jitters is a regularish look at the stuff that keep our business from being as much fun as a bake sale. If you have something that's giving YOU the jitters, let me know.

Along with fear of rejection (we'll get to that tomorrow!), the biggest thing y'all tell me about Sharing Your Thing is that you don't want to be annoying.

And of course you don't! Who does?
(Other than 10 year old boys. They seem to thrive on annoying. If you doubt it, lemme send you one of my little brothers.)

First, acknowledgment.

Being annoying is one of the least pleasant things ever.

(I was a very talkative 12 year old. I know this feeling-annoying-thing intimately.)

And being surrounded, as we are, by annoying marketing, it's sometimes hard to see how we can share our thing without grossing people out.

Even after all this time, I still have little moments of Oh no! What if that's totally annoying?

(Top Secret: I just had that feeling, right before sending my tweet about how Tuesday is the last day to sign up for my Bake Sale Fun class.  That's when I decided I should write this.)

It doesn't have to be annoying

First, remember this: Sharing a message isn't, on its own, annoying.
It's the way you share it.

Just think of the friend who calls to tell you that gas is $.20 cheaper down the street. She shared a message. Was it annoying?

Now, if that same message was tweeted 20 times in an hour by the gas station, you'd be annoyed.

But sometimes it is

Let's figure out what annoys YOU about marketing*, especially as we see it on Twitter, Facebook and via email.

*Marketing (in this context) = the sharing of a message that the sender hopes will lead to action (sale, info, etc) .

This is what annoys me:

  • Unwanted
  • Interrupts the conversation
  • Repetitive

Your list of Annoying Things may be totally different. It'll help if you make up a little list right now and keep it in mind.

Go on, make your list, I'll wait.

Ok, now. This? The above list? Is NOT the only way to share your message.

Be unannoying

One of the easiest ways is to pretend that it's Opposite Day.

If you were one of the slimy people sending a message on Opposite Day, what would your message look like?

Mine would be:

  • Wanted
  • Timely
  • Interesting
  • Connect-y (meaning it deepens our already existing connection)

Notice that the first thing on the list is Wanted.

This is HUGE.

If people WANT the thing you're selling, than they will be THRILLED to hear about it. They are waiting to hear about it. They are on the edge of their seats excited.

So if you only ever talk to those people, in a way that respects them and your own human-ness (don't act like a robot or sales-machine), you won't even come close to annoying.

Take your own list and flip it.

What would your Opposite Day super-awesome messages look like?

I know! We so totally just scratched the surface here. We'll talk more about the specifics (where and how) to share your thing in a non-annoying way in the new course. Registration closes tomorrow.

When your Thing is a Bake Sale

(you know, your thing, the thing you make and want to sell)

It's easy to talk about.
It's FUN to talk about.

You can't help but give out tasty samples.
You can't  help but snack on the goodness yourself.

You are SO proud of what you've made.

You tell everyone + don't worry that you might be annoying.
You don't even think about rejection, connection, buzzwords; you're just in the flow of being excited about your thing.

New ways of telling people come easily.
Maybe it's not easy to do the work, but the idea, the energy the whole process flows.

Your thing is darn tasty and you can not keep it to yourself.
You know the people who want a taste of it and you're ready to share it with them.

That's when your thing and your business is a bake sale.


The truth is, your business, your thing isn't always a bake sale.
Sometimes you feel stuck or stuttery or shy.
You lose the fun, the joy, the ohmygoodness, youmusttasteTHIS immediacy of sharing it.

I'm actually in that shy+stuck place now and have been for the last few weeks.

So I'm going back to the basics.
The foundation of making my thing easy to talk about (by me and my fans).
The system of making sure the word is spreading even when I'm not spreading it (fancypants call this a marketing plan).
Reconnecting to the fun, to the bake-sale-joy of sharing my handmade goodness.

I'm doing it personally and I'm sharing my system in the new class:

Because this share-your-thing thing isn't just for newbies.
Yeah, figuring this stuff out is ultra-important when you first get started.
But it's ALSO helpful once you've been going and feel stuck or tired or suddenly shy.

I'll be talking about the in-the-soft stuff (the be-ok-with-doing-it stuff) here on the blog and the in-the-hard stuff (do-this-next steps to actually DO it) in the class.

No matter what part of the journey you join me for, I'd love to know what your stuff-that-keeps-you-from-DOING-it, questions and fears are. Please share your concerns or ask your questions privately here or by leaving a comment below.