How to Sell Your Work and Not Feel Sleazy

jenna rainey

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How to Sell Your Work and Not Feel Sleazy

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How to sell your work and not feel sleazy?

I hear this from SO many creatives: I SUCK at selling. Most probably envision a pushy marketer they follow whose sales tactics are aggressive and obnoxious.

The question I’m sure you ask yourself frequently is, “How do I sell my work without feeling sleazy?”

Well, guess what? Not all selling can be treated equally. A good “sales pitch” is usually not about the selling part at all:

It’s a story, valuable tip or bit of information with a subtle nudge to your product or service.

We’ll still use language like “buy now,” or “purchase here,” etc. because people need clear and direct lingo that clicks in their brain and triggers them to buy.

But gone are the days of shoving something down someone’s throat to buy. That’s icky for the customer and it’s also icky for you! No one wants to feel pushy!

Ultimately, becoming good at selling starts with you believing in yourself and in what you do.

If you don’t, it will never come across as truly genuine. 

Let’s say you own a nontoxic skincare brand. You sell moisturizers, face cleanser and makeup. Maybe someone found your website via Instagram or an ad on Facebook, or through Pinterest and they see  an opt-in form that gets them free shipping for their first purchase if they sign up. Inside of your email list, they’re hearing your story about how you suffered from hormonal acne that you couldn’t get rid of. You created these products and voila! Or, you may share before and after photos customers have sent you.

You’re not aggressively shoving your product down someone’s throat, you’re telling the story and allowing them to decide for themselves, “Yes! I want that transformation, too!”

Each email in your list or each touch point you have with this potential customer or client outside of your email list should be created to bring this person one step closer to buying. If you don’t know who you’re talking to and why they need your products or services, when it does come time to sell to them, you’re going to fall flat. BUT, if you know who your ICA (ideal customer avatar) and the pain points they need to address in order to be in a perfect buying position for your products, services or courses, this can transform your results when you sell!

Related: The Power of Niche Marketing

But, it’s not just about more money. It’s about providing value to your customers and helping them. You may be asking yourself at this point, Well, what’s the value I’m giving to my customer? I don’t have a life-changing product like a cure for dark circles, and I’m not a how-to, teacher-type…what’s my value?

Let’s have a quick huddle.

Whether you sell prints of your artwork, are a wedding photographer or a surface pattern designer, you do, in fact, provide value to your potential clients and customers.

Value is subjective and is a sliding scale.

For those of you who sell greeting cards—you’re providing a unique, one-of-a-kind note that provides memories. You can educate your potential customers in your sales funnel series on tips for having better handwriting, or where to find really cute postage to go with your greeting cards, or a gift guide to go with your hand-painted Valentine’s cards!


You’re providing education that’s centered around your product or service, without having to even sell to them!

The value you’re giving them is YOU and your experience, your touch, your brand.

No, we don’t have the cure for dark circles or cancer here, but when you start to adopt that perspective, your potential customers get a sense that you LOVE what you do and are worth purchasing from because you CARE about your products and customers.

If you’re a wedding stationery designer, sharing stories with them about how to make the wedding planning process run more smoothly, or providing more tips about skincare and nutrition if you sell skin care products. These are all ways to incorporate education, transformation and adding value to your customers, so they see the value in whatever it is you sell. You’re sharing useful tips and real-life valuable information that’s going to keep them hooked and coming back for more!

In fact, selling is all about nurturing and cultivating a relationship with that potential buyer, educating them on your products or services (or about the problem you help solve). These elements of selling are subtle nudges and ways to point your customer towards taking action with you…not pushing your product on them or begging for the sale over and over again.




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