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I really do love my job. My work makes people smile. And, I’ve been doing this for nearly seven years. But I admit that I’ve not really grown my business; I’ve kept it at just above what would be considered the hobby level. I’ve honed my skills and I’ve developed a lot of new flavors over the years but I’ve been horrible at an important component of building a business. Marketing.

Oh, sure, I’m able to make small talk at parties when the question comes up, “what do you do?” I’m able to casually let people know what I do but I stay in my sphere of comfort. I don’t want to impose myself on strangers. I don’t want to be obtrusive. I’m not really an “in your face” type of person. And, heaven forbid I should make, COLD CALLS!

Which is what I’ve had to start doing. Just the thought makes my palms sweat and my heart race. I do anything to avoid it. I’ve always been this way. I’m a horrible sales person.

Since I’ve moved my business in with a baker downtown, my overhead has increased. But, with the increased expenses have come increased opportunities. The woman I sublet from is really wonderful. She makes the most gorgeous wedding cakes. If you go to the site, [Link Removed] and click on the cake section of the site, they‘re all hers. And, she’s been so generous with her contacts. She made a list of people she deals with, people who would probably not even give me the time of day, and offered to make the introduction. She’s very connected with the wedding planners on the island, heck, she’s even been featured in Martha Stewart Magazine for her wedding cakes - more than once!

So, I’m here to say that, I’m a whimp when it comes to marketing my business. And, I have to step out of my comfort zone, sweaty palms and all, and get serious about it.

What makes you uncomfortable? What would you consider stepping out of your comfort zone?

At least I can say I’m good at the creative part of my job. I was goofing around yesterday and came up with a new flavor. I took my caramel, melted in some dark chocolate to cut the sweetness, and created a smooth chocolate caramel center.


Chocolatier, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Well Lots of things make me uncomfortable when it comes to doing for self.

      Sooooo....

      Send me your contacts/numbers/info and I will cold call for you



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Chocolatier: have you considered individual wrapped these up - may be a smaller portion and carry in your purse?  If other ask what do you do, you can give them one and say something fun, like “I create something special that melts in your month and in your heart.  Here, give this a try?”  Just a thought.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Cold calling to me is not effective as all.  It is never on my marketing strategy.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Wow, Vikki! Just the vote of confidence for my chocolates alone gives me a little boost!

      I have often carried small sample boxes with me, in Hawaii, that can be a challenge with the weather. I also prepare small boxes and give them to people I already have some dealing with like the pharmacy, my vet’s office, the post office. That has helped. And, actually, cold calling is necessary with the wedding planners, CD, otherwise they would have no idea who I am and that I make wedding favors. One good source of increased business for me here has been to prepared the table favors for charity events. When I do that my contact information is listed on their program.

      Thank you for some good ideas.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Thanks Cynthia... in such case, I suggest you network with wedding planners, bridal shops, anyone that has connection in wedding, priests, etc.... Word of Mouth worths tons.  Good luck.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Cynthia,
      I’m gonna steal a line from Mr. T and say “I pity the fool” that has not tried your chocolates!! Girl, toot your own horn, you are the bomb! If I lived anywhere near Maui I would be a walking Cynthias Chocolates spokesperson!
      Hell, I would even tell them I was much lighter skinned until I took a dip in your sweet chocolates! Talk about advertising! estatic
      Oh, your new concoction sounds like heaven! You know I’m a fiend for caramels, so anything with extra chocolate in it is a bonus!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Even though I have spent years speaking to the public, I have a problem with cold calls. I am starting to carry samples as well. Once my new site is done I won’t have to be embarrassed to send folks there.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Cynthia, this same sort of thing make me sweat too! I find it very hard, since I’m really asking people to support our ministry with not exchange of commodity. “Hey give me your money, just because it’ll make you feel good!” Of course, I don’t really say that! But raising money is the hardest thing I have to do!!!

      You have a wonderful product to offer people, but you may have to let them know!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Cynthia, I have complete confidence in you. You will find a voice and a way to get your business (chocolate) out there.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Feb 27, 2009
    • For Hannah’s soaps we have gotten lots of responses using twitter, and connecting with other bloggers. We’ve done a couple of giveaways, mailed out samples, and gotten lots of re-orders that way. I consider the give-aways a part of advertising. Now I have to get her a site built that I am not ashamed to send people to. :) Lucinda, I am anxious to see yours and get some input from you. Branding is a key - especially if you are marketing online. That is the piece we are missing.
      I am still in the ‘almost there mode’ - lost another inch in the hips but I am determined to drop another off my waist before I indulge! :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lizzee Torres wrote Feb 27, 2009
    • wow.. Maui—try searching for corporate gigs, get involved in online Event Planners group in yahoogroups.com

      Announce your chocolates, they‘re always looking for sweet stuff - and basically, make friends online. Or google any local school fairs, Spring events, get in as a vendor, samples, flyers and order forms.

      By the way, how does one get featured in Martha Stewart? I’m curious.  I own my business called BagTags USA—Take a peak, visit my website:  www.bagtagsusa.com
      I design and create these hip-cool and durable bagtags.

      Keep in touch! you‘re chocolates sound yummy..
      cheers, Lizzetteestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • Cynthia,

      If you really hate sales, you may consider hiring someone who loves it.  One step in growing your business is learning how to outsource.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Sep 2, 2009
    • I am the same way. I much prefer creating my art to marketing it. If I ever get the money I am going to buddy up with someone (a partner) and have them do that side, Faye



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