Hi Cheryl and all people in this forum,
I totally agree with your post to my sales pricing query. Your suggestions are great and I downloaded your book and David's book as recommended in another post thread. I'm writing this reply here rather than as a private message because I believe there are others like me out there who are coming from the same place and perhaps there will be some answers that will help us all bridge the gap. I know there's got to be a better way for all of us internet business people whether we're artists or marketers. We need each other and we need to find a healthy generative way to work together for the benefit of each of us as individuals and for the forward movement of the whole.
The problem is that I need help (the action oriented kind) and I don't have any so I have to do it all by myself and I 1) don't want to 2) don't have the time to learn how to be a salesperson/marketer in a professional sense of the meaning 3) have no income so can't hire out in the traditional way.
I'm not complaining, just stating a fact that probably speaks for a lot of artists, writers and healers who are wearing all the hats because we don't know how else to do it, and it' not getting us where we need to go. It's not even that we don't know how to do it most of the time because forums like this provide great information from people who are so willing to help by offering excellent advice and there is a LOT of free information available from so many sources. It comes down to a time and money factor and a way of working smarter, not longer hours.
I'm just putting this out there because I know there are some good minds on this forum and perhaps we can come up with some solutions that will help all of us increase our wealth abundance. Generally speaking, artists (and I'm referring to the collective group of individuals who live in a very right brain state of creative existence for the majority of their lives) have little interest and no time to wear the marketing/sales/business structure hats; and marketers/sales people are not usually the ones who paint whole shows of beautiful mystical landscapes or have developed their natural intuitive healing abilities. That doesn't mean we all can't do both or that many people aren't doing both. What I'm saying is that rarely are both ends of the spectrum successful without the help of the other.
My sense is that there are a lot of excellent unknown artists, writers, musicians, healers out there who aren't making a living from their heart-inspired talents who need the help of marketers, biz professionals and salespeople and can't afford it with the traditional use of money exchange. And I bet there are a lot of marketers/salespeople out there who would love the challenge of helping an artists, etc. make a successful business from their passions and increase their own profits doing it. So what is the creative answer for all of us?
For example, right now I am trying to finish pulling the products for my package together. I've just finished editing both hardcopies of my 2 books. I have a third one, the lesson book/workbook, to edit, then a workbook for one of the other books to create and some bonus items to put together. Takes time and whille I'm doing it there is no money coming in. Plus I've been trying to redesign the front page of my website http://loves-angel.com/spare/fun-test-page
. A web coder is helping me with that but I still have to do the design and come up with all the salescopy, images, audio, etc. Then I have to figure out how to print, ship and deliver a hardcopy version of my package which includes print and audio media. The shipping for the test copies of my print books and audio media is ridiculously expensive from Lulu.com and they don't do double CD sets, so that means I either have to record my own, which apparently might not work on everyone's CD player, or I have to purchase a large number from a manufacturer. I'm very optimistic, devoted but I may not get it all done until 2040.
Cheryl, you are very correct in the 5 problems with selling products. I know I'm not getting the right message to the right people. I've known this for quite some time and I keep clarifying my message and my target audience. Because of the no income thing I've had to seek out where I can advertise for free. There are lots of places and ways to advertise for free and David really knows his stuff, but I'm still not reaching the people who are looking for what I have to offer. And it's not just about the message and the method, it's about the website and all that comes after a person lands on my site. And I'm not into the mindset of having to persuade someone to buy something. They either want it or they don't. I know what I want and what I don't and no amount of "selling" me is going to make me change my mind. So I believe this of others, although it may not be true.
And like most artists I still have no idea how to price my specific products/services, even though Andy and others have made some very useful and informative suggestions. And yes, I am selling myself short because I need to sit down with someone who knows how to price to give me some tangible suggestions. Because as all artists know, pricing is not about adding time + materials to = price. It's what I as an experienced professional with life experience, knowledge, wisdom, intuition, developed skills and all the rest, bring into my work. It's not even about the value my work brings another because a painting can do nothing for one individual and inspire the greatest healing and enlightenment in another. How does one price that? All I realy want to do is help people who want a happier life work through their issues because this is what I'm best at. Men especially find it very easy to open up to me, which dramatically helps them heal old wounds and move forward in life. And I want to do my art and write my books. That's all.
On a personal, slightly divergent note, I'm seriously considering taking a certified training program through the Institute of HeartMath in California which will teach me to teach people to reach a state of heart coherence. Although I would still be working one-on-one with clients it has different components that are directed to specific groups of people, like business people, athletics for sports performance, health, stress management, etc. The program comes with workbooks that the clients use and a structure for me.
4 one hour phone consultations for $495. I think this would be a perfect adjunct to my business but I still have to market to the right clients and that is my downfall. Plus I have to take time to find grants for the $3000 training fee because, as I mentioned before, I don't make money yet.
But the point is that I'm drawn to following my passions in ways I am particularly suited to helping others. It's like being a musician who just wants to play music, but instead I have to learn how to make the instrument, then I have to make the instrument before I can play. Plus while I'm learning to make the instrument and actually making the instrument I have to keep up my practicing somehow. When in truth there are those who love to make the instrument for people like me who just want to enrich people's lives with the music, or with a painting or with a story.
As many of you well know, we are quickly moving into a time where entrepreneurship is the name of the game for everyone. We will have more successes and a stronger economy when we all join together rather than each individual having to keep reinventing the wheel in a physical sense. I totally believe that I, (and everyone) can have a successful internet business, one where I do what I'm best at and I hire out the jobs that I don't want to do.
In the meantime I will keep putting one foot in front of the other because it's all I know how to do at the moment.
I realize this post might trigger some people in ways that are not necessarily positive, but please read it for the higher values and concerns that I am trying to get across and find answers to, not just for myself but other who are intelligent, talented, hardworkers and are struggling with the same concerns that I am.