Wednesday, October 12, 2011

give it away, girls.

Hi ladies! Jessi here. 
It's tips and tricks day! 
Now, this site is for all women, but we hope this is an encouragement especially to you ladies pursuing your own creative endeavors: blogs, shops, photography, etc. 

When women email me asking for advice on how to break out in the blog/shop world, I do three things immediately: 
#1. I ask them to check and make sure they meant to email me. Hahahhaha. 
and #2. I usually advise them to get on twitter and start jabbing (another post in itself)
and #3. I suggest that they start giving away SOMETHING.
free ad space, product, services, SOMETHING. 

recycled paper gift wrap

Now, don't stop reading, cause I want you to hear me out. 
This isn't the old, ask a blogger if she'll wear your necklace/eat your food/talk about your stuff so that you can get more exposure. I don't think there's anything wrong with that if your goal is just to make dollars, but I think if you're reading this - you're probably after more than that. You want to be a blessing. 
So keep reading, ok. 

1. Giving people your product blesses them. At the end of the day, as women of God, we want to be a blessing to the world around us. I'm learning that the kind of "love" I show others that doesn't cost me anything, isn't all that loving. So even if it costs you in product or in shipping or in time, the point is - you're still blessing someone and that is good. Whether it's sending some goodies to a friend having a hard week, surprising a fellow blogger or shop owner, donating your items to a giveaway or raffle, just give it away. Let's say that your business is in a slump and you're bound to make no money for an entire week. You can either make no money and have not been a blessing or you can make no money and have really made someone's day by gifting them with a little bit of your gift. 

2. Giving away your product, in reasonable doses, adds value to your product.  I think that as women of creative endeavors, we often have a hard time valuing the work of our hands and seeing it as profitable. But if the Lord has enabled and called you to this work and He is providing the time and creativity, it is valuable. Because of this, I'm not suggesting you never let people pay you for your goods or services. I had (and still have) a hard time with this if I have a friend who wants to spend money on my shop. I think letting people pay for something you've worked hard on is a great way to value the work of your hands, but I've also learned that by occasionally blessing people and perceiving their joy over that blessing -  I know that I can and should move forward in my craft. 

3. If you're ready to hear, you can get some feedback. Guys - I know it's hard. I'm about the most sensitive person in America. If you've been working hard or dreaming about your creative goodness for awhile, it can be hard to hear that it's not EXACTLY what makes someone stay awake at night excited. But I think it's so important to push past this point. Don't get offended when you ask friends, family, fellow creative ladies what would make your product or service the absolute best it can be. Listen to their wisdom and if it's constructive and helpful, take it!

So I'd love to hear from ya'll.
How do you feel about giving your goods away? 
Do it all the time already? 
Let's chat. 


  1. Great advice. For my friends that help with product photos they always get to pick their favorite item because I appreciate their help, plus they are great friends. There are also some friends in the bloggy world who have just been an encouragement to me, so I have sent some of them some of my product.

  2. Sometimes I feel really awkward giving a product away. I feel that way because especially now that I am looking into selling my hair clips, I feel like I might have ulterior motives. How do you make sure that you are giving just to give and not to promote yourself? Or is it alright for that to happen too? I guess that's my most recent struggle as I am just beginning.

    Also how do you select who you give to? I only have about 7-8 products made & I don't know how many to give away/who to give it to... Advice?

  3. This just lifted a giant brick off my heart. What great perspective. I love it!

  4. Alys, I had to set myself a limit/ goal of how many items to give each month. Sometimes I was giving way too much and never charging and sometimes I wasn't blessing anyone with my products at all. Now I have a guideline and it helps me to feel really free to give it because it's budgeted :)

    Also, I think if you happen to get promoted just be thankful!! If your product was a blessing to that person and they want to bless you right back hallelujah!

  5. what a great subject. and a tricky one too. i definitely have those completely selfish moments where i don't want to give away things i've spent so much time working on. and that's just it – it's selfish. ugh.

    definitely a great reminder for me. and giving to others of the things i've made has in the back of my mind for a few months. it's time for me to get over myself and just do it. thanks jessi!

  6. It's funny that this is the subject of today's post! I recently decided that in an effort to get some traffic to my blog and bless others, I would email some random etsy shops and ask them to do giveaways on my blog. It's free advertizing for them and free content for me, and so far the response has been overwhelming!

    I hope this is an appropriate place to do this, but if you're a shop owner looking for somewhere to do a giveaway, please feel free to contact me!

    life in the married lane - my little blog, full of inspiration!

  7. Great post Jessi! AND I'm looking forward to your post on why twitter helps. Because I hate to admit this, but I don't get it that much. I feel like I have so little time on the computer during the day. And then at night if I have free time I want to be creating. So I'd love to hear why twitter can help..but I know you said that's another post.

    As for giveaways, I have donated to fundraising efforts, but hadn't done a giveaway. I wanted to, but was waiting until my shop got bigger and I had more to offer. I'm still not where I'd like to be in terms of offering different kinds of items.

    But I had been praying about it and in the time I began praying about it, three different bloggers have contacted me to see if they could do giveaways. So I've said yes and I think in the next few weeks the giveaways will begin.

    I often give things to people locally that I know, but in terms of doing giveaways online through someone else's blog I haven't yet. I'm looking forward to it though.

  8. Awesome post! I actually just did my first giveaway this week, and I was blessed to hear how elated the winner was. Made me proud of my product and that I had something to bless her family with.

    Also, I love what you had to say about budgeting what you give, Ashley! I'm going to approach my giving in the same manner. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Girls be proud of me! On Saturday I am going to give away some of my products!! I'm nervous but so excited at the same time! Let me know how ya'lls give aways go :)

  10. I've been debating all week about doing a giveaway. This just confirmed it. Going to write the post now :)