I’ve received a few responses to my Tuesday emails saying I’ve “gotten a bit salesy” lately, which is something I find very interesting– and worth addressing.
My Tuesday emails are always an honest reflection of whatever I’m thinking about week to week, which makes them really easy to create because I’m constantly reading, learning, and thinking about topics relevant to body image, gender, self-esteem, social justice, and sexuality.
Sometimes I have a million things I want to write about, and I try to choose the one that’s most relevant to my audience. Other times I’m occupied with one idea, and simply have to write about it.
I recently began a 3 month mastermind program on ethical marketing and branding, which is undoubtedly why my attention (reading, writing, and learning material) has been drawn toward exploring things from a “salesy” perspective. It’s an honest reflection of what I’m thinking about lately!
What interests me though is what this “salesyness” brings up inside my readers.
I remember years ago, reading the email blasts of a female coach whose work I really admired, and feeling betrayed at the end when it inevitably turned into a sales pitch. Granted, she didn’t write a single email without a sales pitch at the end, so I don’t know why I was so surprised every time, but her writing felt so penetrative and vulnerable. It hooked me deeply, and I would think: ‘this time, she’s going to just let me have this’.
And then… BAM! Every time, it finished with something like “to learn my secrets, click here to buy such and such program” and I felt like she had betrayed me. Eventually I took myself off her email list.
Note: An interesting phenomenon that I find happens almost exclusively with female coaches, is that people expect them to either do their work for free, or for super cheap. I think the idea is that since we’re doing heart-centered work that we believe in, we should just give it away! I believe this has to do with the way we perceive/expect women to be nurturing and selfless caregivers– food for thought. 😉
When I look back on my response to that woman’s newsletter, I’m struck by the fact that it was my stuff, not her stuff. At the time, I was an insecure people-pleaser with no boundaries, and I really loved this woman’s perspective, I respected her as a coach and a person. I wanted to make her happy, and do what she asked, because I wanted her to like me and approve of me.
This made every sales pitch excruciating. It gave me so much anxiety to know that I was letting her down, or not doing what she wanted. I felt like a failure, like if she ever met me she wouldn’t like me or approve of me because I hadn’t bought anything, and the whole thing made me stressed and sad.
The same thing used to happen in stores, when a sales clerk asked me if I needed help, or recommended I get something based on my skin tone or body shape or whatever. I would panic, because how do you say no?? Nine times out of ten I would just flee the store, even if I really wanted something, just because I felt so guilty. (The worst was aggressively haggling sales people, the kind who would throw in extras, or offer me a “special offer” if I bought on the spot. The panic was so intense I would totally leave my body.)
At the time, I was terrified to let people down (or disappoint them, or offend them) by refusing their suggestion or offer. I didn’t know how to stand my ground, so these offers felt like attacks. It royally sucked, and I would never want my readers to feel that way.
That’s why I want to make it very clear that I approve of you, and I like you, and I don’t take it personally if you never buy anything from me.
That said, I don’t pay for advertising, so the only way people find out about the resources I offer is when I directly tell you about them via email or social media. These programs and resources help people who need them, so on a regular basis I need to be mentioning that they exist– so that the people who need them can find them!
I create programs because I recognize that this body confidence and self-worth shit is complex, and it requires that we go way more in-depth than a weekly email can ever take us, and I do private coaching because having someone listen and compassionately hold space as you unpack your deepest shame and fear has the power to change your life.
Despite the fact that I regularly make offers though, I don’t think you suck, or are failing, if you don’t buy.
Unfortunately there’s no way to know exactly which people will need which kinds of resources, and when (otherwise I’d be a marketing guru lollll), so I just have to tell everyone! Along with my free content like emails, social media posts and youtube videos, I also make offers for my programs and coaching, and share the details of those offers.
But that doesn’t mean you need to buy them! I wish I had known all this back when salespeople used to cause immense anxiety: it’s always completely valid to say no and not buy anything. Literally, like you don’t even need to justify your choice! If you’re not 100% super psyched and ready to buy something, I don’t want you to buy it.
I’m curious, if any of this resonates with you:
How much more might you enjoy the free content I share, if you didn’t experience internal resistance to the sales information I sometimes present?
How much more would you get from my work, if you explored your relationship to saying no when someone makes you an offer?
Let’s try it right now. I invite you to notice your response to this offer, and what feelings come up as you read.
. . .
I still have 3 private coaching spots available for the fall!
If you’re interested in working with me one on one (from anywhere in the world!) to heal your relationship to your body, improve your self-worth, and embrace your true nature, apply for coaching here.
. . .
How did that feel? Did the offer interest or apply to you? What feelings came up as you read it? Did you feel stressed or anxious? Why, or why not? Did you feel like I would be disappointed in you if you don’t click the link? Did it change the way you felt about this email?
I want all of my readers to feel 100% confident in their own agency and autonomy, and their ability to say no. Learning boundaries and self-advocacy are important parts of cultivating a strong sense of self-worth, so if you feel resistance when I make offers for my programs or coaching, I invite you to explore that.
I can’t (and won’t) stop presenting the information of my paid offerings along with my free content– after all, even the free version of Spotify makes you listen to ads!
If this is a major problem for you, feel free to hit the unsubscribe button. (It’s right at the bottom of the email.) Again, I promise I won’t be offended. 😉
But I encourage you to take this opportunity to examine your relationship to boundaries, sales pitches, and saying no– and please feel free to hit reply and let me know what you think!
In business and love, <3 Jessi
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