Part of your project is you

If what you’re making isn’t something that everyone is going to buy, like plastic sandwich bags, then your reputation, personality, and helpfulness should be part of the project.

I’ve been in coffee shops that have signs stating how patrons there are helping to send the owners daughter to college, rather than buying Howard Schultz another yacht.

That’s powerful.

So is your reason why.

There’s a reason that you put in the effort, even if it’s not totally customer serving. That coffee shop sign, doesn’t serve the customer, but it’s relatable. And a project could live or die, based on how much of yourself is put into it. A small business is usually indistinguishable from it’s owner.

Here’s a few thoughts:

  • Sell some in-person at swap meets, farmers markets, trade shows, etc. Anywhere your audience is, be there. Meet people, talk about their experiences, listen to them. Learn about them. They’ll like you more and be more likely to buy the goods. Don’t sit and wait for someone to approach while browsing your phone. Be standing, willing to listen and talk. Smile at people walking by. More people talking to you will draw more people to look. I learned this selling at farmer’s markets and attending craft shows with my wife.
  • Tell people what drives you. How your product came to be, everyone loves a great story. Don’t worry if it’s choppy at first. Keep telling and tweaking. After 100 times, it will be good, after 1000 times it will be great. Then put that on the website, or the marketing materials.
  • Put your face and your voice somewhere on your website. People should feel like they know you, even if they’ve never seen you in-person. You’re not a brand yet, you don’t have a reputation, so they need to feel as comfortable as possible from who they’re buying.
  • Always start with why.

This isn’t an inexhaustible list, just some ideas that might help you get a little more traction.