The Perils of Cupcake Marketing Strategy
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
Last week I had an amazing workshop with a roomful of women dedicated to creating success in their business and in their lives. There’s been a terrific buzz all over town since. Attendees have called to say the information I shared is helping them increase their business income already. I’ve gotten offers for more speaking engagements and it just goes on and on.
Which is great but I keep thinking about the women who said “no.” It seems like some women declined out of fear. I wonder how far these women will ever grow with their home-based businesses?
Let’s be honest. A lot of women say they’re dedicated business owners but they really have an expensive hobby. So, when asked to consider a small investment to discover easy, testosterone-free ways to grow, they’re not interested because they don’t want to grow. They take mincing steps forward and question spending ten bucks on flyers. But they spend hundreds on a new outfit or purse. They drive a great car. It’s all about priorities.
I call it Cupcake Marketing Strategy.
You know how women used to always get asked to bake cupcakes for the bake sale for their kid’s school, the church, the library or whatever? They were asked to bake, so they did. Some women still do – every time. Many women always comply when asked – and never ask for anything in return. Then the organization sells their hard work and ingredients, the cupcakes, for a dollar each. Eventually, many get a little peeved that they’re always asked. But they wouldn’t dare say “no.” After all, they want to “be nice.” Nice is more important than their time or their money.
Pitching in and giving everything away is admirable when it comes to helping out in the community. However, it can spell disaster in business when we use that same penny-pinching thinking and don’t speak up for ourselves.
I’ve met women who seriously undercharge for their products and services because they lack the marketing skills and confidence to charge what they’re worth. They think they’re “being nice.” However, “niceness” results in a constant squeeze for money. To compound matters, they end up having a tough time getting new customers because people mistake “niceness” for incompetence. They think, “Gee, you don’t charging the going rate. Must be because you’re not be as good.”
Being “nice” is a totally different thing from being “pleasant” or “polite.”
Here’s the crazy part: instead of learning to politely decline, they keep doing it. Einstein said, “Insanity means doing things the way you’ve always done them and expecting a different result.”
Next these ladies try to figure out ways to get things free or discounted from other women – because they’re financially strapped. They wouldn’t DARE ask a man to discount his prices. This results in more women with financial challenges. They feel they can’t say “no” because they want to be nice. Maybe they’ll gripe to someone else – but never the person who asked them. After all, they don’t want the other person upset.
Oh, puh-leez… can we all just grow up a little?
The whole thing has spiraled out of control like an over-sized swirl of buttercream frosting on top of a Red Velvet cupcake. We are held to a totally different standard of “how to do business” from men. In so doing, we’ve created a pink collar ghetto of women entrepreneurs struggling to avoid getting a real job. Women who say, “everything is great” when they meet others. Most aren’t thinking about thriving – they’re too busy just surviving. In my experience these women believe someday:
* I’ll be able to charge full price
* I’ll gain the respect I should have
* People will see my true worth
* I’ll make enough money to end the struggle
* I’ll stop working like crazy with very little reward
It’s like believing someday your Prince will come. He’ll sweep you up in his strong, muscular arms and take you away from all the financial stress. If you’re really nice it’ll all work out and you’ll be rewarded for that. Well, yes karmically I believe that what goes around comes around – but if there isn’t a focus on financial gain – it won’t necessarily come back as financial good.
Someday is today. Nothing will sweep your stress away if you don’t figure out effective, testosterone-free ways to create more business income. There are three ways to build more business income:
* Get more customers (new and repeat business)
* Charge more for what you do
* Get customers to make larger purchases when they buy
Prince Charming in your business is about increasing your confidence, your marketing and your testosterone-free selling skills.
Stop waiting for people to notice your worth like you waited for the cute boy you passed in the hall in high school to notice you. That’s okay in dating – but will spell disaster in your business.
Shift your thinking, level of “deserving-ness” and marketing skills, chances are you’ll your business income will increase. No one taps you on the shoulder and says, “Okay, the coast is clear. You can now charge $XXX per hour instead of $XX per hour.” No one gives you a raise or permission. You must give yourself permission. Validate yourself. Take yourself seriously.
If you have the intention and you’re willing to do what it takes to make it happen – then you’re dedicated. If this describes you send me an email at mentoringwithDenise@gmail.com and I’ll put you on my list of people interested in possibly attending my next workshop. It’ll be held in Las Vegas sometime in February or March of 2010 and it’ll probably be a two day event. Worth traveling to if you don’t live here already.
The point is I’ve watched enough victims of cupcake marketing who don’t even realize they’ve fallen prey to it’s perils. If you’re ready to stop struggling and live an abundant, financially prosperous and deeply satisfying life say, “ENOUGH!!!”
Denise Michaels is author of the business bestseller, “Testosterone-Free Marketing.” You can get your copy by clicking here. And you can get Denise’s weekly empowerment and marketing tips by clicking here. Come join Denise Michaels in a movement to empower women business owners to be all that they can be and to have more joy, more fun and more success in your life.