Marketing that Speaks without the Slimy Ways + 40 Ideas to Get You Started

miss modish, jena coray, marketing tips, small business marketing, mindful marketing

by Jena Coray of Miss Modish

It seems sometimes in conversation the word “marketing” feels like a four-letter word. Beyond the fear, confusion and overwhelming feelings it can instill into the heart of many-a business owner, marketing seems to also just feel so icky sometimes.

Why is that?

Is it because it feels like selling? aka: selling out? aka: selling yourself? Does marketing mean you’re getting greedy? Do you have to try to spin yourself the right way to be successful? Do you feel you’re just hawking your products like a sales(wo)man instead of the artist you really are? Does it sometimes feel like you’re just trying to convince people to buy what you have to offer?

Well sheesh, no wonder marketing can sometimes leave you with a slimy feeling on your skin!

But it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. There is a way to market yourself and your business that not only totally takes the ick-factor out of the equation, but actually makes marketing feel easy, natural and dare I say it, even fun!

Tell Your Story

Marketing gets really easy, and really honest, when you stop trying to “sell” your product or services and just start talking.

I think sometimes we struggle to find the right words to represent our work and our creations. Take product descriptions, for instance. I’ve seen that struggle lead to descriptions that are either totally boring: “handmade beaded necklace. I used purple beads.” (Ok, that’s drastic, but you get the point!) Or to something that’s too salesy sounding, like what we think we’re supposed to say: “Looking for a gift for someone special? For your bridesmaids? For yourselves? I have just the perfect gorgeous and sparkling wonderful thing you’re looking for!” Ooh see? There it is- that ick factor we were talking about.

Your product descriptions and about page, what you choose to blog about or talk about on twitter, how you approach blog editors or boutiques and even your customer service- ALL of these things are marketing. Use them as opportunities to tell your story, to be honest, to establish a connection. It’s amazing the sparks (and sales!) that can fly when we just start a conversation with someone!

miss modish, jena coray, marketing tips, small business marketing, mindful marketing

Here are 40 non-icky ideas to get you started in telling your story, and finding ways to communicate what’s truly unique about you and your business!

  1. Let your product descriptions speak in bits of recollected memories.
  2. Or make us laugh.
  3. Or educate us.
  4. Or make us think.
  5. Or give us a sense of your inspirations and emotions behind the item.
  6. Put a big picture of your beautiful smiling face on your about page
  7. Or a video of your beautiful talking face on your blog
  8. If you’re excited about something, tell us.
  9. If you’re proud of something, tell us.
  10. If you’re fascinated by something, tell us.
  11. If you’re frustrated by something, tell us.
  12. Share the things you truly like on your blog, odd or unpopular or not- let people discover your unique taste.
  13. Keep your content as original as possible instead of relying on re-blogging what others have said and shown before.
  14. Talk about your kids if you want moms to relate to you. Talk about your cats if you want cat-lovers to relate to you. Talk about your experience as a business owner if you want other entrepreneurs to relate to you.
  15. Ask your readers what they think every once in awhile. Often even.
  16. Have an FAQ.
  17. Toot your own horn.
  18. Hey, you’re talented! Create a DIY tutorial or how-to article for your blog.
  19. Or share a recipe if that’s more your thing.
  20. Or maybe you like graphic design and could do a free printable for your readers.
  21. Have you done a studio or home tour yet, you stylish thing you?
  22. And don’t forget about approaching other blogs that you can pitch those same sorts of things to (like Oh My Handmade, for instance!)
  23. And please, pitch one blog at a time.
  24. Say yes to interviews.
  25. Say yes to guest posting.
  26. Twitter with your fellow creative entrepreneurs. We get it, and hey- we shop too!
  27. Get out and meet fellow indie business people in your town in person, over coffee or craft fair browsing.
  28. Get out and go to networking events that seem intriguing for your business. And actually talk to people while you’re there.
  29. Speaking of talking, when’s the last time you talked to a customer or client over the phone, instead of thru email?
  30. Send a hand-written thank you along with your orders, addressing your customers by name.
  31. Send a little gift to a past client specially chosen from their etsy favorites list.
  32. Teach a class.
  33. Or an e-class.
  34. Write an article.
  35. Or an e-book.
  36. Trust in your innate abilities and talent.
  37. Trust that you have something unique to offer the world.
  38. Speak with confidence.
  39. Speak with honesty.
  40. Speak with joy and enthusiasm.

What do you have to say? What can you share? How can you truly connect with your readers, customers and clients in a way that feels natural and authentic?

When you begin to tell your story, it means looking a little deeper inside yourself, acknowledging that you have something truly unique to share, and it means getting a bit personal in a really public space. All of those things can absolutely be terrifying in various ways, but if you can overcome the fear and hesitation and instead start to open up? You’ll discover that your “right people” will begin to find you.

They may even flock.

By sharing your personality, your talents and your interests with your readers, customers and clients, you’ll engage them. You’ll become relatable to them. And most importantly, you’ll make them feel comfortable enough to do business with you.

Because you’re more than just a salesman behind a brand- you’re a human, having a conversation with another human, about something you are truly passionate about. And that’s a powerful thing. Powerful enough to drive traffic and sales your way without having to feel like marketing at all!

{Jena Coray is the PR proprietress and marketing mistress behind Miss Modish, where she helps creative entrepreneurs like you find their marketing mojo!}


  1. Thank you for this helpful list of story-starters! Great point – that a genuine story is the most persuasive and builds the best relationship. People want truth and real stuff. I always read a good product story in a catalog or online storefront – but rarely read an entire “marketing ick” blurb. 🙂

  2. Marianne says:

    What a wonderful article to remember how to stay authentic in marketing so that it feels real and honest. Sometimes marketing can feel icky and fake and always staying true to who you are brings you to a whole new level with yourself (and others). Be authentic!

  3. Rebecca says:

    This is a really inspiring post, I really struggle with the whole selling thing, your suggestions about telling the story is something I feel much more at ease with. Not sure I can bear putting my photo out there but perhaps inwill try…

  4. Melissa says:

    These articles are always so inspirational and seem to always cone at the right timing for me. Thank you for always blogging such good content for your readers.

    Honesty and confidence seem to stand out the most to me. We have to remember, people like ‘hand made’ for a reason. Before Etsy or other online shops, people shopped for art and handmade items at craft festivals and galleries, places where you felt like you knew the person that created your wonderful item.

    It’s really that simple. Be yourself and be proud(we often need reminders;) of what you create. Selling this way will be way more fulfilling. Now I just need to listen to my own advice!!

  5. Reyes says:

    Dear Jena, thank you so much for this very inspirational post which I have recommended to all my crafting friends here in Spain. You give marketing a more “human” aspect, I love designing and creating but hate the “sales marketing” aspect of the process. Your article opens for me a whole new world of possibilities! Thank you again!

  6. Tracey says:

    Loved this article. So many points rang true and came on the right day! So many others were a good reminder of things I had in my to-do list that I need to get to for good reason! And other positive affirmations I need to tell myself on a daily basis. Thank you!

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