[155] Magnetic Marketing with Shannon Bush

Does your marketing copy sometimes just feel a bit… blah?

Like – you’re not quite sure what to say to really explain how awesome your product actually is?

In this episode, you’ll learn a key tactic that will make your product descriptions SO much more powerful and persuasive – and it’s called the benefit statement.

My guest today is Shannon Bush, who has been working with businesses of all shapes and sizes for over 10 years, helping them overhaul their messaging and grow their reach.

In this episode, we talk about her concept of magnetic, or ‘lean in’ marketing – how to draw people to you rather than pushing them away with shouty marketing tactics – and we go in-depth on the process of crafting a benefit statement for your products and business.

So get your notebook ready, and prepare to create powerful product descriptions that will tap into the wants and needs of your ideal customer, and get you more sales!

(P.S. I totally used Shannon’s tactic to write that last sentence…)



Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle, which gives you access to exclusive members-only episodes (and SO much more). Without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.



Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • You are never done with business – there are always new things to learn and try.
  • Magnetic marketing is about finding your own magnetism and creating an approach that is genuine to who you are.
  • Aim to create the “lean in effect” where people want to engage with you, find out more about your products and are drawn to you and your story.
  • Take the extra time and effort to connect with your customers and build a relationship.
  • “People buy from people – remember the human element” {Shannon}
  • Your marketing helps people understand what you sell and why they should select you rather than others in the same field.
  • Jess recommends the book “The Fortune Cookie Principle” by Bernadette Jiwa
  • “The descriptions of what you sell are critical” {Shannon}
  • Each of your products has a why. Consider why you started making, why you chose those components, why you designed your product this way.
  • “People do invest based on that perceived benefit” {Shannon}
  • When writing product descriptions outlines its features and then outline the benefits. This is wordier but it provides customers with why they need this product in their lives.
  • “Just because you are making something that doesn’t have a practical purpose doesn’t mean that people don’t need it in their lives” {Jess}
  • Use the language customers are leaving in reviews for your products to help shape your benefits text.
  • Linking statements are the words between the list of features and the list of benefits that provide extra dynamism. Examples include “so you can”, “allowing you to” and “reminding you that”.
  • With descriptions, remember to speak to the person directly and use “I” and “you” not “we” and “they”.
  • Magnetic marketing can feel very easy because you get to be “you”. Be genuine, build relationships and keep it real.



[153] The New Etsy Seller Fees – Let’s Compare the Cost…

So – Etsy are putting their fees up for the first time in 13 years. And a lot of people are unhappy about it.

I’ve shared my brief thoughts on this already on social, but I thought it would be helpful to put together an episode outlining my thoughts – as well as some financial comparisons so you can make an informed choice on this change.

I’ve researched and compared the fees of Etsy, Shopify, Amazon Handmade, Bigcartel, Ebay, and your own website (using wordpress and woocommerce) to give you a feel for where Etsy stands in the marketplace after these fee changes. (I’ve shared the maths below for you, as well as some comparisons of old/new fees).

In short: I don’t think this is a big deal. Considering Etsy has NEVER put their fees up in 13 years of business, and the fact that it’s a minor increase hasn’t got me worried, personally. I know that’s different for some folks (especially those who sell inexpensive items or supplies) but I share my detailed thoughts on this in the episode below.

My main point for you to take away from this episode: if your price is so low, or your margin is so tight, that this small fee increase will break your business – you need to review your pricing!

If you have feedback or thoughts to share, please do so over on Instagram (look for my post about this @createandthrive) or on Facebook. And if you find this episode useful, please do share it so other people can listen in, as well. Pin an image from the page, or take a screenshot of this post or your podcast app and share it on your IG story.


Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.





Quotes & Highlights from this Episode:


1. I am not overly bothered by the fee increase – it’s small, and still very affordable compared to other venues. It will ALWAYS cost money to do business, it’s about finding the best value for money. Etsy brings me customers. Most of my sales there come from Etsy search, so the work they do to advertise the platform and bring shoppers in works for me, and I’m happy to pay for that. Let’s do a comparison…

  • Etsy: 20c listing fee. 5% transaction fee. Plans – Plus starting at $10 (going up to $20) (CORRECTION – I believe I may have referred to the Plus plan as the Standard plan in this episode. Etsy will have Standard (free) Plus (as costed here) and Premium (as yet uncosted) plans.)
  • Amazon Handmade: 12% transaction fee – this may be 15% for some (or min $1 referral fee)? I found details a bit conflicted and hard to come by. $39.99 pm as of Jan 1 2019.
  • Ebay: 50c listing fee. Up to 9.5% transaction fee. $24.95 pm biz seller (This is Australian and in AUD, all others fees here are in USD)
  • Shopify: Basic plan is $29 pm (up to 100 listings). CC and other payment gateways like PayPal range from 1.75% to 2.9% and a 30c transaction fee (free if using Shopify payments with stripe).
  • Bigcartel: Up to 100 products $19.99 pm
  • Own Website: $12 domain OR included with hosting. $8 pm with Dreamhost. Security $200 ($17 pm). Backup $5 pm.

DON’T COMPETE ON PRICE. Be a brand, not a commodity. Competitive doesn’t mean cheapest! (Anecdote about $20 sterling rings).

Further listening on this: Episode 72 – Stop Focusing on Number of Sales and Start Focusing on the Numbers That Really Matter

2. Fees on shipping has made me decide to offer free domestic (and maybe international, still working that out) shipping storewide, and just put the shipping cost into my product price. I always avoided this in the past because Etsy didn’t take a percentage of shipping.

I can do this as my shipping is pretty low already, so it’s been the kick in the pants I needed to make this change. If I’m paying a fee on shipping now, I may as well gain the psychological benefit of shoppers seeing ‘free shipping’. They’re still paying for it, just not in the shipping section.

If you can move your domestic fee into the item price, that then lowers your international fee, too!


3. I will be putting my prices up a little to compensate. I am lucky enough to have the margin to be able to do this, but I understand some folks with lower-priced items may find this challenging. Remember though – it’s a percentage, so you may only need to add a small amount to make up for it on the lower priced items.

Some example cost comparisons:

$5 item with $5 shipping

  • 3.5% product only fee: 17c
  • 5% product & shipping fee: 50c

$50 item with $10 shipping

  • 3.5% product only fee: $1.75
  • 5% product & shipping fee: $3

$100 item with $10 shipping

  • 3.5% produce only fee: $3.50
  • 5% product & shipping fee: $5.50


4. I don’t yet see any benefit to any of the ‘packages’ for me. I’ve been experimenting with promoted listings, and will keep trying that for a while. So I’m glad they aren’t (yet!) taking away any of those tools. I have – and will always have – my own website, so the .com etc. doesn’t do anything for me. I am curious as to what the premium package will offer, though!


5. One concern I heard mentioned: they are making it easier for ‘big brands’ to use the platform, so I hope they don’t go too far in that direction.

6. Overall – if this means Etsy continues to focus back on their core offering (being THE place to shop for handmade, vintage, and supplies online) and grow the platform by doing more advertising, then that will only benefit me and other people in those niches in the long term. They have never put their prices up in 13 years of business, so if it pays off, I do believe we, as sellers, will benefit. But yes, always do remember – they are a for-profit, public company, and they have to always now be thinking of their shareholders and profits, too.




[152] How to Get More (& Better) Product Reviews {Premium Episode}

This month’s member-exclusive episode was inspired by a question asked on our last Thriver Circle monthly call.

“How do I get more of my customers to leave reviews?”

I had a pretty lengthy answer on the call, and I realised… I have quite a few strategies that I use to improve the quality and quantity of customer reviews – no matter whether you sell on Etsy, your own site, or elsewhere.

In this episode, I share 7 strategies you can implement to improve the number and positivity of your customer reviews – without bugging your customers.


To get immediate access to this premium episode, become a member of my private membership community for makers – The Thriver Circle.


Once you join you’ll get access to this, and all previous premium podcast episodes, as well as:

  • Hundreds of fellow makers in our vibrant private community.
  • Live coaching calls and video mastermind sessions with Jess each month.
  • Your Year to Thrive – an epic year-long course – to super-charge your biz growth.
  • A library of video workshops on all aspects of handmade business.


Join now or find out more.


Have a sneaky listen to part of this episode below…

[150] 10 Unmissable Episodes from the Last 3 Years


To celebrate hitting the 150 episodes milestone, I’ve put together a roundup of 10 unmissable episodes from the last 3 years of the show!

It was a tough choice – but I’ve narrowed it down to 5 solo shows and 5 interviews that will inspire you, educate you, and give you a ton of practical advice to help you grow your handmade business.

I also want to give a HUGE thank you shout-out to all the wonderful members of the Thriver Circle.

I know that most of you didn’t join the Circle to support the podcast – but you are, anyway.

The same goes for anyone who has ever bought a course, guide, critique, or anything else from me over the years.

I don’t accept sponsors on my show – it is completely self-funded – so to those of you who have trusted me enough to purchase one of my products – thank you.

You are a patron of the podcast, and I couldn’t do it without your support.



The Episodes…

Solo Shows




Browse all previous shows here.

Get access to the Handmade Biz Toolkit – including the downloadable pdf of the ’25 Essential Tips’ by joining the C&T email list here.

Learn how to take stellar product photos from an expert in the C&T Guide to Product Photography.

Become a member of our amazing community – the Thriver Circle.



[149] Improve your Handmade Biz Workflow with these Awesome Digital Tools


Today I’ve got a suite of awesome digital tools and apps that will help you more effectively and efficiently run your handmade business.

There are all tools I’ve tried and/or use on a regular basis to manage my own businesses – and I’ve shared a number of them over the last 6 months during my Facebook Live Q&A sessions. Today I’ve brought a number of them together into one big toolkit of things to try.

If you know of or use any particularly awesome digital tools or apps to run your handmade business, I’d love to hear about them!

Share them in your IG Story and tag me @createandthrive so I can check it out. I’ll be re-sharing a number of these to my own Stories!




Quotes & Highlights:

Here are links to all the tools I mentioned in the episode:

What are they? You’ll have to listen to find out! Or, you know, click through the list 😉




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