This is the third in a series of posts by the amazing Andrea Mansfield of Brand and Bloom.  We’ll be sharing her posts on Tuesdays for one more week!  Please let her know if you loved this third piece by leaving a comment!

Selling is like a conversation with your best friend.

Think about chatting it up with your best friend, pretty easy to do right? You aren’t too worried about how you sound or where the conversation goes because it’s your best friend! What if selling your work was just as easy? Today I will show you how it already is, all you need to do is let your guard down.

Anytime I chat with a great friend, especially one I haven’t talked with in awhile, the conversation always begins with what’s new. In those moments I am happy to share how new things have come about, the process, and why I am excited for what’s to come. There is enthusiasm in my voice because I genuinely care about what I am talking about. You may not realize it but this is selling at it’s best.

The most effective way to sell yourself and what you do is to stop trying to make a sale. You don’t share with a friend the technicalities of your work–you share in the experience of your work. For example, do you talk about how long you have been in your business and what title you have with friends? Probably not–you are more likely to talk about how great it felt when you accomplished something or how a customer’s reaction made your day.

I will share a little secret, when you lead with these experience people genuinely love listening. These experiences are the benefits of what you do. You make people feel better in one way or another, sell with it! Lead with your single most beneficial feeling and you will open up relatable conversations with your potential customers.

We don’t buy things because the maker is an expert–we buy things because it makes us feel something we believe we need. Sure we feel better when we are supporting our local economy and locally made products. But if that locally made product also makes us feel better in some way this is more likely to seal the deal. Lead with this when you set out on a mission to sell.

Here are my 3 tips for being a pro when it comes to selling your work:

Be about your customers.
Truly and honestly why should your most ideal customer buy from you? If your working on website copy who is reading your site and what do you want them to do? If you are in-person how were you introduced? For example, I recently attended a small women’s creative gathering and after listening to the group talk I heard similar topics and frustrations come to light. Some of which were things I help people solve everyday. When asked what I “do” I brought it back to the language I heard knowing this would grab their attention. The result? Two new clients. Why? Because I made it about them.

Be your most confident self; it’s sexy.
If you don’t give what you do much attention no one else will either. But wait, no one knows more about what you do and why you do it better than you! Don’t shy away from conversations or opportunities to talk about how you make people feel great with your work.

Although we believe that if we just build something great then it will sell, in reality it needs some more love than that and from you. Give your work the kind of positive attention when selling as you did when you created it. What were your motivations, how did it make you feel? Now relate it back to who you are selling to.

Climb off your soapbox.
Do you like being sold on something from someone you just met in less than three minutes? Didn’t think so! Drop the soapbox talk–it’s boring and one-sided. If you don’t like being sold to your customer won’t either. Open up the conversation by genuinely being interested in the person you are selling to.

The next time you are in a room full of potential buyers and are asked about your work I recommend two simple things–one, use the feelings your work invokes to answer, and two direct the question back. BUT in place of saying, “what is it you do?” ask what they love about their work and why they enjoy being a part of their industry. Wouldn’t you love to be asked this? Then watch a selling conversation in disguise unfold.

From your friend,