guest post | what do you really sell?

today we have a guest post by Natalie Gowen of Moxie Tonic : marketing and business savvy for creative entrepreneurs


Making a purchase is an emotional decision. If it were a rational one, we’d squirrel away our hard-earned money and never buy anything beyond basic survival needs.

But we like things, lots and lots of nice things. We like things that express our personality. We like things that make us comfortable. We like things that are fun. We like things that make us feel important.

And while different people buy things for different reasons – if you tap into the emotional need your product fills and tell your customers about it – that is striking marketing gold.

Telling your story

The true power of your marketing lies in the story that drives your business. People love stories. They especially love stories that are compelling, engage their imagination and tap into powerful emotions. The massive lines to see a midnight showing of Harry Potter proves people will do crazy things for stories they love.

Your business isn’t going to attract star-struck fans, but you can develop a cult following of your own – people who will stick by your side, buy everything you offer and refer all their friends to you. To do this, you have to tell the story of why you do what you do.

The why behind your business

Discovering the story you want to tell your customers takes a little soul searching. It isn’t a cobbled together tagline or even a mission statement. You have to dig down and really explore the passion that drives you and your business forward.

After you understand your true motivation, turn the story around and focus on your customer. Start to think in terms of: How does your business improve their lives?

If you’re an accountant – your services may be balanced books and accounts paid. But that’s not actually what you sell. You sell your client a good night’s sleep and peace of mind that all the financial i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.

Your story then becomes telling people about the luxury of going home at the end of the day, setting aside business and focusing on family and personal time.

If you’re a graphic-artist selling your eclectic designs on t-shirts – that’s your product. But what you sell is self-expression for people who refuse to blend in. You give them a voice and an identity.

Your story is the process of your inspiration, the unique journey to the final design and the statement it makes.

Discovering the story

The thread for your story is out there. You can find it by looking in your Twitter-feed or Facebook wall. You target market is out there complaining about something wrong in their life. When you discover their problems, figure out how you can tell your marketing story, one that shows you are tuned in to their problems and are passionately providing the solution.


Natalie Gowen is passionate about helping creative business owners thrive in their home and business. Follow her on Twitter @MoxieTonic or visit where you can get her free ecourse for Etsy sellers: 7 Keys to Unlocking Etsy Success.