Attention all lingerie designers, sex toy sellers, and fetishwear creators: just how serious are you about your erotic retailing business?
Are you in the erotic retailing business for ego or for profit? Make your mind up. For everyone’s sake.
In short, there’s a few reasons as to why you’d want to be in the erotic retailing industry. Some of these are more notable – and noble – than others. Talking of the ‘others’….
- Is it just a hobby for when you’re bored?
- Is it something for you to do just so you can brag and gain social proof by exclaiming “I sell sex toys! I design lingerie!”
- Perhaps it’s something you want to shock your stuffy relatives with over the dinner table, and no more.
- Maybe you think it’s something which will excite potential boy- or girlfriends.
Perhaps you’re spending more time posing for and uploading self-validating images to Instagram rather than actually getting down to the hard graft.
Or perhaps you’ve established a drop shipping account to sell sex toys, and set up a cheap looking website that’s devoid of any personality or distinctive identity. I’ve seen so many of these without any identity, enthusiasm or personality that it’s almost enough to make a marketer weep. And that’s never a pretty sight.
Let’s not pull any punches here. If you’re going to be lackadaisical about not only your marketing but the way you run your entire business, don’t be surprised if your (lack of) effort results in equally lacklustre revenue and profits. Why the hell should prospects give a damn, never mind their credit card details, if you can’t even be bothered to introduce yourselves to them or engage with them to any meaningful degree?
Running a successful business isn’t easy, otherwise any damn fool would be in this game. That said, it could be argued that – through no fault of their own – sex toy drop shipping enterprises and online marketplaces such as Etsy have done exactly that: opened the doors and facilitated the proliferation of erotic industry ‘wannabes’: whether dreamy lingerie designers who are wonderfully creative but lack the necessary grit and business acumen, or the stack ‘em high (or dropship) and sell ‘em cheap sex toy tat peddlers.
Because, make no mistake, with non-existent entry barriers, there are plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of new ambitious, #sexySME entrepreneurs – I also like to call them Risqué-takers – who HAVE entered the industry. There’s also the hard grafters who’ve been in the industry for years who’re still surviving through blood, sweat, tears and acquired industry nous. You’ve come across both types in my interviews. And they mean business. They’ll also be laughing at (your?) vapid social media posts or personality-free websites while they’re slogging away, slowly but surely building traction, following a plan and standing out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
Let’s sort out the men and women from the boys and girls, shall we? Question time:
- Do you have a clearly defined mission specifying why you’re in this business and what you hope to achieve?
- What are your marketing and overall business objectives for the next 3 / 6 / 12 months?
- Where are your efforts to be concentrated upon to achieve these objectives?
If you can’t answer these questions reasonably quickly, then you have to ask yourself with brutal honesty where exactly you sit on the wonderful Give-A-Damn-Ometer™. Is this a mere hobby for you or something that directly determines whether you have food on the table and your bills are paid each month?
Think about the time and effort and money spent on developing a website or even a bricks and mortar store. How can you not be trying to recoup the investment, and meet your sales targets without the requisite marketing effort ?
If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, n’est-ce pas?
You get out of this what you put into it. So if you are indeed serious about surviving and thriving in this industry, then act like it.
Don’t procrastinate. Answer these questions right now:
- Where are you now?
- Where do want to go?
- How will you get there?
- How will you know you’ve arrived?
Sure, these are baby steps when it comes to marketing your lingerie, sex toy or fetishwear business. But if you’re reading this and haven’t even thought about these questions before let alone answered them, then it’s imperative to walk before you try running.
You’ve only got one life. Make it count. If you’re not serious about being in the erotic retailing business, then get out of it. Don’t waste another second of your time. Take up a new hobby, follow your passion. Life is too short by half to be dedicating your precious time and effort and possibly money to something that doesn’t captivate you and make you lose track of time when you’re doing it (even the boring admin).
For the rest of us, you’re also doing us a favour by bowing out (preferably as soon as possible). And before you metaphorically turn off the light and close the door behind you, do please deactivate your business social media accounts as well so you’re not clogging up our ‘who to follow’ lists years after you’ve shuffled off. Twitter is awash with the ‘bodies’ (lapsed accounts) of failed erotic retailers. We don’t want yet another one to add to the heap.
So what’s it to be? Are you going to get serious about sexy, and give it your all? Or is it time to call it quits on your time-consuming hobby, and use your time more passionately and productively on something else?
And if you’d like to not only stay in the industry, but get some help so you can survive and thrive, well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how we can help.