Sorry for the clickbait headline, but it got you here, so let’s dive in on why it is that females* are evolutionarily wired to do a crappy job at marketing our gifts to the world.
* = Actually, *first* let me state for the record that I know that this sort of brain stuff doesn’t fall evenly down gender lines and that “gender lines” aren’t even what I grew up knowing them to be. Absolutely, where brain science is concerned, there’s a lot that’s still very new when it comes to cisgender vs. transgender vs. non-binary data. So, while I’m gonna use the identifier of “female” here, please know that my own research on this falls more down the artist/creative/empath vs. more patriarchal/capitalist/hustle culture type, which have nothing to do with gender at times.
TL;DR of the * = I’m going to use the word female and I’m meaning anyone who comes at the world from a more healing-centered worldview, which of course could be ANYONE. Thank you for understanding my heart and my antiquated shorthand.
Okay, disclaimer out of the way, here’s this: IN GENERAL, females want to help solve all the problems at once, as efficiently and quickly as possible. This, RIGHT HERE, is at the core of why women suck at selling.
If I have the solution to a problem you’re having, not only do I ACHE to solve it, to help you see it as solvable, to share with you everything I’ve got in the arsenal that could possibly allow you to get out of the pain you’re in due to that problem you’re having… I actually feel it’s CRUEL to withhold from you ANYthing I know about how to help you.
So. I’m a woman. With a product/service/whatever to offer and you’re my buyer. I’m going to overpack whatever I’ve created with so much stuff that it’s overwhelming on the receiving end. You don’t get the quick dopamine hits that are a massive trigger for signaling value off a freebie, a sample, a tripwire offering. Because I give you SO MUCH AT ONCE, even if you *could* make wanted and necessary changes in your life with the info I’ve shared, you’d find the changes are not sustainable because of how much I handed you all at once.
From a marketing perspective, this means I’m giving away all the goods (usually in a freebie or low-cost first offering), leaving nothing to be bought afterwards for maintenance or upleveling support, and all of this give-give-give behavior certainly doesn’t create a relationship in which I’m perceived as the ESSENTIAL the go-to for premium level work in my niche. (Someone who knows way less than I do, who gets less-stellar results than I do, but who knows how to market and withhold and build tension in the buyer brain makes millions off curriculum *I* created from scratch. Fact.)
My flagship offering for showbiz professionals and other creative entrepreneurs is an enoughness journey called Get in Gear for the Next Tier. It’s Self-Management for Actors business and mindset curriculum built off three essential ingredients to success, divvied up into 100 days of easy-to-consume lessons. Honestly, though? I could teach everything I’ve packed into those 100 days in about 4 days.
It would never change lives the way it does if I presented it as quickly as I could get through it as a giver/teacher/guide. I actually *forced* myself to spread the curriculum of Get in Gear for the Next Tier over 100 days because I’ve learned how the tendency to overgive, undercharge, and overwhelm my audience of beautiful creatives is NOT serving anyone. And wouldn’t you know it, for the first time in my life, the Self-Management for Actors curriculum is presented in a thriving membership that has brought in nearly half a million dollars in its short life.
So… forcing myself to spread OUT that material… to present it in tiny, daily lessons… not only makes it material that our members can actually consume, apply to their own lives, and see results from FAST… it actually helps me NOT suck at selling after all.
We — women, empaths, creatives, healers — overgive in our newsletters, blog posts, freebies, podcast episodes, livestreams. We underprice our paid offerings and make them available anytime. (Because it would be CRUEL to withhold the course with an arbitrary “cart closed” enrollment window situation if someone NEEDS what’s inside, right?) And then we wonder why we don’t have a line around the block of folks eager to join us in our membership or begging us to help them get started NOW.
Those bits of tension and scarcity and willingness to only share a tiny bit of what helps are excellent motivators to buy. The buyer brain wants — with far more urgency — the thing we can’t have, the incomplete puzzle, the next step after that first quick win. And since there’s a need to SERVE, to HEAL, to GIVE in this creative population I count myself a member of, it’s quite challenging to do things like say, “I’m sorry, we’re full” when it’s a freakin’ online course. Or, “I’m sorry, enrollment closed yesterday” when we freakin’ decided that date and have no bosses we report to about any decision we make. And the hardest one for me is, “I’m sorry, THAT information is only available behind the paywall.”
Of course, that’s why there are more than 4 million words from my decades of columns and articles and blog posts all over the internet for you, for free. Thousands of hours of livestreams and podcast episodes and other vid content, free. What coming inside the instructional dojo does for you is give you framework. A process map. A guided experience through the organized information (vs. the whole of the internet with you hoping you’re getting the order of operations right). At a certain tier, you’re getting customization for your exact situation. We’re building your brand together. We’re refining your messaging together. We’re building those muscles for knowing YOU ARE ENOUGH together. (More like… you’re building the muscles and you’ve got me as your spotter for the heavy lifting. 😉 Yeah. That’s how that works.)
I wonder how many times YOU feel you could’ve been the one cast or hired or selected or given the chance if only you had NOT overgiven. If you had NOT made yourself or your material *so* available. If you had, essentially, chosen a less female selling style.
In bouncing this week’s BonBlast concept off the hubs, I was reminded of another truism of being female vs. male (and, again, forgive the gender assignment I’m using here, for the sake of simplicity): Women will assume, when you don’t understand us, that we could’ve communicated better. Men on the other hand assume you weren’t listening or weren’t paying attention. The “flaw” in understanding is assumed to be on the receiver’s end for men… but on the giver’s end for women.
Of course, as I’m all for dismantling the patriarchy, white supremacy, and a whole bunch o’ other stuff that champions the hustle and profits off the struggle, I’m looking into ways the inherent strengths of my gender (to overgive, to help at all costs, to not withhold my gifts EVER, to assume I could communicate better if ever I’m misunderstood) could actually be GOOD BUSINESS.
While I’m learning from how men sell (OMG, please watch this vid from my dear friend and money mentor Denise Duffield-Thomas) and doing more of what works as long as it doesn’t turn me off, I’m asking, “How do I want people to FEEL?” when it comes to our business. Oh, and I don’t just mean y’all. 😉 I don’t just mean readers, email subscribers, social media followers, livestream watchers, and buyers. No… I also mean my TEAM. I mean the hubs. I mean ME.
How do I want people to FEEL when they’ve come into my world?
At ease. Empowered. Heard. Stronger. Capable. Seen. Relaxed. Safe to be their most authentic selves. Ready for the work involved in navigating to the next tier.
And if I’m “leaving money on the table” (a bro-dude marketing phrase I hate almost as much as “trading hours for dollars”) by sucking at selling, oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I like sharing my toys. I like giving away a LOT. I like being accessible. I like celebrating what we ALL can do with the brain-babies I’ve birthed in my lifetime.
What do YOU like about what you put out into the world? And HOW you put it out there? Do you suck at selling? Share in the comments below how you’re going to create strengths out of your neurological setpoints. I love these convos so much!