Last Saturday, I went to the farmer's market in my small town. Three street blocks with rows of little 8x8 white tents were filled with artists, farmers, creatives, and vendors selling their wares. (Read to the end to see what I bought!) Each stall had a sign with their business name on it and products out on display. Instantly, I knew what each person was selling as my brain did a quick inventory of what was on offer — CBD oil, jewelry, crushable cowboy hats, purple carrots, origami birds, organic honey. If interested, I turned into the stall. I browsed, I smiled, sometimes I purchased. Then, on to the next one. At no point did I feel any pressure or obligation to buy. In fact, I didn't even feel like I was “being sold to”, which is funny because that is literally why the vendors were there -- to sell me their products at the market. For us service providers, we don't have the convenience of having a product. Sure, we could write down our offerings on a printed flyer and display it in a pretty white tent, but we all know that nobody reads anymore! ;)
Marketing is simply telling people what you do and how you can help. So, we have to tell people what we do. In fact, I like to think of marketing as simply "telling people what I do and how I can help". It doesn't matter what platform I choose — I can do this in the dog park, on LinkedIn, at the doctor's office, through an email, or via text. We can package it however we want, as long as we commit to the telling.
When I tell people what I do and how I can help I'm not expecting that they hire me or even necessarily care. It's like telling people my name or my astrological sign. Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm a Pisces. I also build websites and write content for small business owners who want to share their message. It's not "salesy" or icky. It's neutral. I have zero expectations after telling them what I do. I simply tell them. It's the equivalent of putting my products on display. When I was at the farmers market, it dawned on my that every single one of those tent stalls was a potential person I could help. After all, I build websites and write content for one-person owned businesses. And, practically every tent represented a one-person owned business!
Now, did I go around just yammering like an animated espresso bean about what I can offer to every stall owner? Of course not! I browsed, I chit-chatted, I was truly curious about their products. If they happened to ask me what I did, I told them. Out of visiting about twenty stalls, three people asked me what I did. And all three times, I could barely finish my answer before they said, "Oh my gosh, I could really use your help!"
People need your help.
That's the thing! People need your help. They need coaches to help them get clear on their goals and dreams. They need writers to write engaging content that people want to read. They need fitness trainers to help them feel better physically and mentally. They need plumbers to fix their boiler so they can take a hot shower after a mountain bike ride. People need you! We can't do everything by ourselves. So let's do everyone a solid and just start telling people what you do and how you can help. And please don't get hung up on the platform — it really doesn't matter. Pick the one that is most comfortable for you, even if that means going to A LOT of farmer's markets!
Here's a picture of me, sportin' my crushable cowboy hat and $14 shades from the Farmer's Market!
Enjoyed this article? My newsletter subscribers receive these articles long before they are published anywhere else. Sign up below to receive the latest inspiring articles fresh off the presses into your inbox every Friday.