This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore.
A friend of mine recently wrote a beautiful blog post, and when I complimented her on it, she replied that she was worried about it because her husband had suggested she leave a couple key components out.
My response: “He’s not your target market.”
In creative businesses, we often have to make things up ourselves as there are not abundant points of reference to draw from. This usually leads us to asking those closest to us for their opinion and advice.
This is a terrible thing to do. While these people do love you and do have your best interests at heart, this strategy nearly always leads to self-doubt and insecurity.
Unless the people that you are asking for an opinion are part of your key target market, their advice is meaningless to you in your business.
Instead, when asking for a second-opinion or feedback, how can you reach out to people who are most like your current customers?
If you do not already have your own community of people, one option is to see if there is a group that already exists. There are so many groups on artists on facebook and etsy that offer feedback and advice. See if there is one for your particular craft, jump in, and start talking! (Bonus: if these people are so similar to your target market, more eyeballs on your biz could mean more sales!)
Alternately, you can create your own group. Reach out to a few etsy sellers you trust and admire or email some crafters you know to see if they might be interested in starting something like this. OR leave a comment on this post, check out who else comments and then make it happen. Remember, we often have to create what we need for our businesses. This is your chance. (Yes, this option might be scary. Do it anyway.)
What kind of support do you need in your creative business?
PS. When you receive advice or feedback that you disagree with, a simple “thank you.” is a sufficient response. You are under no obligation to take anyone’s advice. Ever.
*image via BS and RS: letterpress “thank you card”