Self Esteem Issues for the Self-Employed

Let’s have a chat about self esteem issues, and how that affects your business when you’re self-employed, shall we? I believe it really needs addressing.

I have a pet-peeve. I can’t stand pity sales. I cringe when I hear someone trying to drum up business by attempting to make the customer feel sorry for them. I am a firm believer in having self esteem… maybe just a little pride… especially if you are self-employed and trying to sell a product or service. It’s a great idea to leave your self esteem issues at the door.

Self Esteem Issues

I have worked with other hairstylists in the past who would stand behind the chair and tell the customer all about their hardships, especially financial hardships.  Of course, we all have conversations in the salon, and sometimes even I mention how much things cost (like back in January when my electric bill sky-rocketed to over $800), but I try not to ever come across as needy, or desperate. I don’t work with anyone who does this now, and I’m so thankful.

I see this type of thing more when I’m working my second job, my Etsy shop.  I participate in a few groups online to help promote my handmade business.  These are groups of other handmade sellers (and potential buyers), whether on Etsy or another online venue, and the purpose of the group is to help each other.   At least once a day I will see a post similar this:

I’m just going give up and close my shop!  I haven’t had a sale in two months, my views are horrible, and I really don’t think Etsy is ever going to make me money!  Please take a look at my shop and let me know what you think.  Should I just quit? [insert shop link here]

Let me rip this apart real quick:

  • If you close your shop, that is entirely your choice, not something you should do because some strangers on social media told you to.
  • I would not want to buy anything from you now, because it sounds like your items have no appeal, what with no views or sales.  You just succeeded in making me think your stuff is crap.
  • Etsy is never going to make you money, because it is not Etsy’s job to make you money.  It’s Etsy’s job to provide a place for YOU to make money.
  • Your shop link there with the ‘advice question’ is not fooling anyone.  We all know that the entire point of your ‘pity me’ post is to share that link, even in groups where it is not allowed.
  • You have now given me the impression that you are lazy and undetermined.

Believe In Yourself, And Your Brand!

I completely get that it is easy to become discouraged when trying to promote your online business. It is a huge sea that can make you feel like a little bitty fish.  I also realize that it isn’t always easy to promote yourself, because you don’t want to sound too arrogant or prideful. The thing is, confidence is key, and if you don’t believe in your product or service, why would the customer?   I do get discouraged myself sometimes, but the last thing I would do would be to announce that in public, or in a room full of my target market.

You are not only selling a product or service, but you are selling yourself, as well.  Chances are, whatever you are making and selling on Etsy, someone else is doing it, too.  I know that I, for one, would choose to buy from someone who is positive, up-beat, and confident in their product!  I would want to buy from  one who seems to love making the product, and sells it by promoting it and talking up how wonderful it is!  I certainly would not buy from someone with obvious self-esteem issues, whose pitch was might go follows:

If you have time to look at my shop I would appreciate it!  My items are growing cobwebs on them, and I guess they’re just not any good at all.  My family and I are starving, so if you could find it in your heart to help me out, I sure could use a sale [insert shop link here].

Sure!  Let me go grab my credit card, right after I shoot myself! If you say your products are no good, why would you expect your potential buyers to think any differently?

self esteem issues

Here is my list of Do’s when it comes to promoting:

  • Have confidence in yourself and in your product!
  • Keep all promotional posts on social media positive and upbeat!
  • Use your own products, and then give them great reviews!
  • Ask your current customers to promote your product or service!  They love it, or they wouldn’t be a customer!
  • Be realistic and don’t set lofty goals, but set small ones and celebrate the victories!
  • Be thankful for every sale, every customer, and every review (even the bad ones, because they help you improve)!
  • Leave your self esteem issues at the door! (I said that once already, no?)

This concludes my Sound Off for this Friday, but to end on a positive note:

My hope is that everyone reading this today who is self-employed has a GREAT day!  May your sales be plentiful and your confidence soar high….and may you never speak ‘whine-ese’ on the internet again!

Now, go work on those self esteem issues! Practice in the mirror if you have to. Repeat again and again that your product/service is EXCELLENT and everyone WANTS it and that this is going to be the BEST week you’ve EVER had!

X,O,X,O,   Martie