focus on the goods

July 7th, 2011   |   Business Advice

Hey guys, I’m feeling a little feisty this afternoon. After watching many new business owners and business “experts” talk on and on and on about how to increase sales, grow a following, and “hit it big,” I’ve come to a moment where I just want to scream, “Stop and focus on the goods!”

Yes, there are lots of ways to sell, market, advertise, and get your products in front of customers. Yes, it does take some level of skill and ability to do it well (but then again, sometimes that’s not the case – dumb luck can be a factor too). But no matter how well you plan your marketing plan, your products aren’t going to sell if they aren’t what people want to buy.

What do people want to buy?

All sorts of things. They want the cheapest doodad, fastest doodad, original-est doodad, prettiest doodad, expensive-est doodad, coolest doodad, or most useful doodad. One or all of these factors can be at play in any purchasing situation. The key is to make sure that your products align with what your customers are looking for.

A spiffy website, cool branding, and enormous Twitter following are not going to compensate for a less than awesome doodad. In an effort to get a company or idea off the ground, people often speed through the product development and go right to the sales side.

As Gary Vaynerchuk says, marketing is queen, but content is king.

Make better stuff. Then go out and improve your marketing efforts.

If your doodads look like lots of other doodads and there is no catch to reel your customer in, you better start making better doodads. Then when people find you they’ll want to buy that really awesome doodad you made.

New to doodad making? That’s okay, just get started and keep designing better doodads. After all, that’s how I got started.


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  • Awesome post Jess! You are so dead on with this. I sometimes have to remind myself of this very thing. I tire easily of my branding/blog design, etc, etc. and sometimes get bogged down in “the look” of my business when I could be spending that precious time painting furniture. That’s what actually makes me money. Great advice!


  • Oh, that is good! You are so right and honestly that reason alone is why I only have about 5 or 6 products right now because they each have to be GOOD. I can’t just release a cruddy “doodad” into the world. However, still trying to reach the right consumer. Slow and steady and good wins the race? (Or the consumer!)

  • I always enjoy your post especially this one. After seeing so many postings on branding, blog content and increasing visitors I always felt what was missing is the key focus —the product. I wish I saw more blog post focus on creating great products. This is a refreshing post after being overwhelmed at times with all the other stuff. Thanks

  • SO TRUE! My store hasn’t been in business a full year yet, and I have redesigned it endlessly, and spent hours focusing on marketing. Thank you for the reminder to shift my focus back to why I am doing all of this; my love of making jewelry.

  • So true! Anyone can make just anything, being original and true to your designs is what will help you stand out. Great post!

  • Good reminder! You are right that with all the marketing gurus out there- someone needs to remind me: CONTENT FIRST!!!

    Thanks 🙂

  • I’m so happy to hear that you all are getting (or staying) focused on the products that will build the successful businesses you are working on!

    Sometimes I find it hard to find a way to tell people when they ask what they can improve to sell more – but it’s really quite simple: focus on the goods!

  • I love when you get fiesty! 🙂

    This is such a good reminder and I am thankful for it. It’s always worthwhile to be striving to offer the best…

  • Lauren

    Seth Godin’s book “Purple Cow” is all about this – the best marketing plan is to have a remarkable product. No remarkable product, no sales!

  • Um amen! 😉 Well said sister! It’s really bizarre how many sites and books there are that only focus on sales. They instantly assume you have a great product. Plenty of makers think they’ve got a great product. Maybe it’s time for makers to stop listening to steps they totally aren’t prepared for and to get back to basics.

  • SherisaD, I totally agree, lady! 🙂

    Lauren, I LOVE Seth Godin! I read his blog daily, but haven’t read his books yet. Will put that one on the to-read list.

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