Monday, January 10, 2011

Creative Growth: Three Methods of Battling Self-Deprecation

Are you proud of what you create? Most of us are! Then why is it such a struggle to wear our own pieces or use our own creations and sing our own praises? There is a certain vulnerability that goes along with putting your own creations out for the general public to judge, and a common defense is to play down the importance of our pieces. In order to be your own best marketer, you need to break this cycle. It is not just something your made – it is something that you lovingly, carefully, and skilfully created with your own time and talent. So what are your options:

  1. Direct. This method takes guts and grit, but also discretion and balance. When your receive a compliment: thank the person, tell them that you made it, describe the piece and where they can buy your work. If you choose this method, you need to keep your response informative but brief, and your light and friendly otherwise such a direct response may come across as pushy or a “hard sell” which will often turn off a potential customer. Let your enthusiasm and individuality shine through, not your salesmanship.
  2. Indirect. Admittance is the first step towards self-PR. When your receive a compliment: thank the person, tell them that you are a designer. If they express further interest, engage in a conversation about your piece, your designs, your shops etc. You let the other person guide the discussion, but carefully plant ideas and drop key words about your business.
  3. Discrete. If you aren’t ready to put yourself out there as the designer, you can opt for a discrete approach and drop your details without personalising. When your receive a compliment: thank the person, tell them that you bought it from (insert name of your business here) at (insert name of your market/shop here)."Oh thanks, isn't it great?  It is by indie designer blah blah - you can find her on Etsy."  Choose this option with caution. It certainly works for the shy, but might cost you the opportunity for a truly personal connection.  You may also come off a bit odd if your photo is all over your shop/blog/website if the person is truly interested and goes to check it out! :)
How you deal with compliments and how your sell your creations are both very personal decisions and it may vary with the item or the situation. There is no right or wrong response…although replying with “This old thing?” or “Its just something I made” is not your best marketing position.  I am typically an Indirect.  I freely admit that am not a hard-seller. There are a few business cards in my purse, but no ready-to-sell pieces nor have I ever felt inclined to sell a piece that I was wearing on the spot. That isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with doing those things – it just isn’t my style. I'm pretty shy about what I do. Perhaps there would be more sales if it were, but its simply not who I am. That doesn’t mean I am not a seller – it would be pointless having a creative enterprise and not sell any of those creations.

How do you handle compliments and self-promotion opportunities? I would love to hear your suggestions on battling the beast of self-deprecation.


  1. What a great post! I definitely want to be more confident this year.

    I find that I don't wear enough of my products or bring it out with me when I hang out with people. I'm always very careful at telling them that I'm an illustrator and that I make my own products. I'm quiet and shy in real life so when they find out about Little Mo and Friends, they are surprised, but then they say, "it sounds like just the kind of talent you would have!" Which is lovely.

    So I think this year, when people ask me what I do, I'll proudly say "I love to draw..maybe you can stop by my website or my online shop!"

  2. Sounds like a great plan. :) We sound much the same! Creatingis putting a little bit of yourself out there for the world to judge, so it is natural to be a bit shy about it - and being inherently shy makes it that much harder.

    Little Mo is very cute and sure to be well-received, so try to put your worries aside and share her (and her friends) a little more openly this year.

  3. very interesting information! .

  4. thanks, very good =)

  5. Always glad to read amazing articles.. Will be back for more for sure! Thank you for sharing


  6. I want to point out my admiration for your kind-heartedness giving support to those people who actually need assistance with the theme:)


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