ARE YOU ASHAMED OF YOUR CRAFT

How Do You Embrace The Ugly Sides Of What People Feel About Your Craft?

 

I had been invited to the church to share with some youth on how they could better their craft by embraceing the digital world and help themselves financially.

I was in high spirits because I always love to talk about how the digital world, especially social media, helped me to become the brand that I am today.

In the audience was a girl and I observed how she fixed her eyes on me all through the duration of my talk.

When I was done, she approached me. She told me she had graduated as an accountant from the University of Port Harcourt. She said she had been at home for a year.

I took a quick look at her. She looked scintillating and appealing. Her hair was as neat as it was excellently packed into a ponytail. Her hair was dark and shiny, an indication of good care.

In her hand was a smartphone that I figured cost 5 figures. She looked dope.

I kicked in with my questions and found out she stayed with her parents. When I asked her if she really needed my advice, she told me to shoot.

And I did. As always I shot to the moon with examples and statistics and possibilities.

I told her to take a walk to all the small companies/enterprises (the Emeka & Sons type) and offer to work their books for a month for free.

I bet her my wedding ring that after a month, 2 out of 10 of them would keep her for a fee.

While I talked, her face lit up with the possibility of the future and I was happy.

Emeka, two weeks or so after that conversation I ran into her. I was excited to see if she had put what we discussed into action.

“Sir, err, I don’t think I can do that work oo. I like to wear nice shirt and shoes and stay in an AC office. I’m still looking for bank work.”

My lower lip wanted to hang low, but I struggled to hold it up. I simply smiled and wished her good luck.

 

As we parted I remembered when I was invited to a friend’s wedding in Aba.

I knew that my friends from back in the days would be attending. I packaged 20 copies of my book and went along.

During the reception, and as all of us sat at the table, reminiscing and cracking jokes, I mentioned that I’d written a book.

Shocked, they asked how possible it was for an engineering graduate to write a book.

I promptly brought out the copies and placed before each of them.

That day I returned with N18,000. 2 paid me later.

What if I had felt intimidated or claimed “big boy”? Would I have made sales?

Sadly, those two are what mar many of us in the practice of our craft.

When we either feel ashamed to tell people what we do or adopt the “big boy” attitude to our expressions.

You don’t want your friends to know you now sell oranges after bagging a degree or you decided to follow your heart to sew clothes after making a first class in Physics.

You think they’ll tell you that it’s dumb, so you hide your sun in a duffel bag of obscurity.

Back then I was still working as an engineer and my salary was well enough to sustain me, but I needed to get the works done.

And yes, who sells books at a wedding? Oh well, the guerilla fighters are good soldiers to learn from. They don’t give a damn about the rules of engagement.

The guerilla marketer tells someone in the elevator what he does as a craft when they strike a conversation.

A guerilla marketer always finds ways to stir conversations intelligently towards their offerings of help.

A typical way I share is when I thank people for sharing my post on Facebook. When they respond, I initiate a conversation that is non-salesy.

Do you have people sharing your Facebook post? You may start by first scoping the profile of the person and seeing if they fit well into your avatar of ideal client.

A good way to start could be, “I was just wondering why you had to share my post. To be frank, I feel like I won a Pulitzer. What do you think?”

The conversation can now move from the comment to their inbox. If you know your onions, you may end up sending them a freebie which could make them opt in to your list and become one. If you’re a bulldozer, you may also end up making a sale.

In many churches, I’ve heard it being preached, “A closed mouth is a closed destiny!”

In this business of utilising your gifts, experiences, expertise and knowledge, that holds so true.

Your call!