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EXECUTION Creating my own product in eCommerce

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Jeannen

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Heya !

I posted almost 1 year ago about starting an ecom biz. Long story short, the first one failed, the 2nd one (dropshipping) is still running to that day without putting much effort into it. It generated some profit. I used ~$1500 personally and I keep what's left to invest later into new projects (into this one). Most of the profit has been eaten by an email marketing agency (lol) I was paying $3000/month

Not necessarily a huge ROTS (Return on time spent), but with more than 15k emails and consistent sales without working on it, that's an asset I could sell later.
Background:
Everything
In the meantime, I left my place, 95% of my stuff, my 2 years girlfriend, stopped working with one of my biggest clients that were annoying me (+ draining my energy), and moved to the opposite side of the world (France to Mexico) with a suitcase and a backpack.

Radical change, it was 1 month and a half ago, I feel like it's been 6 already. Damn.

I currently live from my freelancing revenues, and I want to try to stop depending on my time input to earn money. Might give more details about my background later, but as stated in my last post, I'm not starting from scratch, I have now +3 years of experience in eCommerce, marketing & FB ads.

Anyway, now, I want to try to create my own product. I'm making this post for accountability, and to keep a track of my progress.

Not going to disclose the product here, at least until launch or if it fails.

Here is the global plan:
  1. Market Analysis (finding ideas and making a hypothesis about the audience)
  2. Audience research (finding specific segment that could be interested)
  3. Funnel & automation setup (Lead capture page with email sequences)
  4. Pre-launch lead capture using ads
  5. Launch (Crowdfunding)
  6. Scaling if success
I expect to do this over 10 weeks, so around 15 weeks by taking the unexpected into consideration.

Let's start !

P.S. I'll try to check at least once every few days to answer questions if there is any.
 
Last edited:

Jeannen

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13/03/2021
I selected the product I wanted to begin with. Might not be the one I'll end up with, but I need to start with something. The mains criteria that made me choose this product are the fact that it's a pretty simple product, it already exists but can be improved (based on some reviews)

Current focus:
Learning more about the persona that could be interested by this product.
 

Jeannen

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21/03/2021

I'm making a spreadsheet with all the possible competitors, blogs, youtube channels, etc...

It's long to do, I HATE doing that (pretty much anything involved in market research), so I'll likely put one of my assistants on it.
I haven't progressed much, I only did a persona hypothesis and the positioning of the brand, I mostly focused on developing personal skills this week.

It's already the end of March, shit
 

mdot

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Good luck; Following this thread. I like that you set a timeline. I've never set timelines in the past and so things get done whenever they get done (read: way later than I would like).

What is your approach for step 4.5 (actually developing the product)? Are you designing and building it yourself or going for consultant/contract manufacturing?
 

Jeannen

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Good luck; Following this thread. I like that you set a timeline. I've never set timelines in the past and so things get done whenever they get done (read: way later than I would like).

What is your approach for step 4.5 (actually developing the product)? Are you designing and building it yourself or going for consultant/contract manufacturing?
Haha, yeah, timelines are good but 90% of the time they don't get respected.

For steps 4 & 5 I'm going to use a 3D render to see if the product gets some traction. People will subscribe to the email list, if I see that I have lots of subscribers, I'll try to source it. I don't have the slightest clue on how ot manufacture a product but I'll figure it out
 

Jeannen

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27/03/2021

Got stuck into analysis paralysis.
I have another product that might have a good opportunity but is a bit trickier to manufacture.

Option 1:
  • + Already kinda exists (means there is demand for it)
  • + Probably easy to create
  • - Hard to make content for it
  • - Don't know if it would actually sell
Option 2:
  • + Only found one competitor, who isn't a brand targeted to my audience
  • + Easy to make content for this niche
  • + No real competitors
  • - The audience might not be in the "high income" range (no data to prove that)

I need to pick something, try it, but I can't seem to make a decision.

My freelancing works takes me most of my time too, that doesn't help, but it will allow me to fund this project properly
 
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Raja

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27/03/2021

Got stuck into analysis paralysis.
I have another product that might have a good opportunity but is a bit trickier to manufacture.

Option 1:
  • + Already kinda exists (means there is demand for it)
  • + Probably easy to create
  • - Hard to make content for it
  • - Don't know if it would actually sell
Option 2:
  • + Only found one competitor, who isn't a brand targeted to my audience
  • + Easy to make content for this niche
  • + No real competitors
  • - The audience might not be in the "high income" range (no data to prove that)

I need to pick something, try it, but I can't seem to make a decision.

My freelancing works takes me most of my time too, that doesn't help, but it will allow me to fund this project properly
do both, test, go with the winner.

you won't know which will perform better until you sell, It's all just a guess before then.
 

Jeannen

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do both, test, go with the winner.

you won't know which will perform better until you sell, It's all just a guess before then.
Yeah, definitely
I won't have enough time to test BOTH at the same time (Freelance work taking most of my time) but yeah, I just need to pick the easiest one to start with
 

Jeannen

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29/03/2021

One of the products I wanted to test has already been made with all the improvements I had in mind. Since those guys seems to know the niche very well, it will be hard to compete with them for innovation/improvement. Their marketing seems pretty bad, but I can't just rip-off their product and promote it with better marketing.

My assistant keeps working on the market research for both, but I feel like I'm swimming into jelly. Everytime I move forward, I end up stuck because there is no demand or it has already been done by someone else.

I'm also getting more and more pissed with my clients, but I'm happy it's the case, it's like blowing on a fire, it gives me motivation.
 

Raja

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I can't just rip-off their product and promote it with better marketing.
Actually you can, read the book ready, fire, aim.
 

Raja

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Yeah, definitely
I won't have enough time to test BOTH at the same time (Freelance work taking most of my time) but yeah, I just need to pick the easiest one to start with
Just test the idea with ads 100uds will give you a fair idea(you don't actually have to sell it, show out of stock or reject their card). A good product matters but selling will solve all your problems.
Want to develop a better product, sell, generate cash flow, improve.
Need fancy office, sell, generate cash flow, build a fancy office.

First focus on selling then on product improvement.the catch is product needs to be "good enough"
 

Jeannen

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Just test the idea with ads 100uds will give you a fair idea(you don't actually have to sell it, show out of stock or reject their card). A good product matters but selling will solve all your problems.
Want to develop a better product, sell, generate cash flow, improve.
Need fancy office, sell, generate cash flow, build a fancy office.

First focus on selling then on product improvement.the catch is product needs to be "good enough"
I'd need to have something to show for this, I plan to get 3D rendering, but I'd need a design for this
 

Jeannen

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31/03/2021

I picked one of the products and started moving to my next phase, design, 3D rendering, and building the landing page.

I have no fking idea on how to make a design, especially since I'll mostly create the product based on the feedback I have from my audience. I'll make a basic sketch and pay someone on upwork / Fiverr to make a basic 3D rendering

The market research is mostly done, so I'll start by doing what I do the best, making the landing page, while keeping the design as a background task until I can figure a proper way to do it.
 

Jeannen

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01/04/2021

I started to make some sketch about the product
1617319278596.png


This is not an april fool lol

No idea where to start, to I just picked up my drawing tablet and draw what I had in mind. Of course, I'm not going to say here what it is here, I just wanted to give an idea of how shitty my sketch is to start with.

I'm very happy of my progress, I finally picked something and started "real" work: Buying domain, installing wordpress & Divi to make the future landing page, etc...

I need to keep thinking about improving my sketch, and then I'll send it to someone to make a 3D render and then start the landing page. (of course, this picture is not the whole sketch, only a part of it to give some context)

This is for a product that already exist, but this one has been improved to fit a specific audience (hopefully).

I had some feedbacks from my initial ideas for this product that made me change it into this. My assistant is still fishing for blogs, competitors etc... in the market research spreadsheet. I think that I'm the first one to come with this very specific design.

-----
Not related to this but still relevant:
I lost a client today (clients of a client actually)

We had issues with communication, delays, and he made everything to complicate the work.

Tbh I'm happy, because it was starting to be annoying to work with him, especially considering the price I'm paid and theheadache it was

One hour later,one of my long-term client called me and told me he wanted me to work on 2 of his projects and asked me to send him a quote (FB ads managing + some marketing strategy overall)

This client's projects are paid WAAAAAY more.
One lost, 2 (potential) found.
 

Jeannen

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02/04/2021

I had trouble falling asleep yesterday, but that actually helped me to think about the product design. I learned the basics of 3D modeling today and did a (shitty) render of my product. Really handy to help me visualize things better.

From that, I made new sketches looking way better than the other one.

The process I'm following is from a course, but the more I progress, the more I feel like it's not detailed enough. The part related to landing pages is pretty shitty, they don't give any technical details just a global overview. Good thing I'm already all set up for this.

I contacted a member, and he told me the program was really not that good, as it doesn't dive deep into the details.
That was a bit expected, I'm paying $750/month for that shit, they sold it as a full program to learn product creation, but it's not. Hell, they even put links to free blog articles in some places. I'll contact them to tell them I find the program too light for the price, and if that doesn't improve, I'll stop paying.

In general, every time I feel something is "easy" and do-able, it's because there is something hidden behind the hill.
So far, I have an idea, sketches of the product, a shitty 3D render, proof that similar products have been funded on crowdfunding platforms (some up to $700k), and some cash to invest in.

Well, back to the doubt, I don't really know what the next steps are anymore, I guess I'll have to figure things out by myself.
 

mdot

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If your product is electronics-based the book Prototype to Product might be a good read. It goes through a few recommended engineering design steps, walks you through how electronics are manufactured and explains some gotchas like required certifications and stuff. The second half of the book is general electronics design for things like power supplies and different microcontroller selection etc.
 

Jeannen

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If your product is electronics-based the book Prototype to Product might be a good read. It goes through a few recommended engineering design steps, walks you through how electronics are manufactured and explains some gotchas like required certifications and stuff. The second half of the book is general electronics design for things like power supplies and different microcontroller selection etc.
Thanks for the recommendation !!

The product won't have any electronics, as I wanted to have something simple, to begin with. Once I'll get more experience on creating my own products, that's something I'll try !
 

SjCurless

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Heya !

I posted almost 1 year ago about starting an ecom biz. Long story short, the first one failed, the 2nd one (dropshipping) is still running to that day without putting much effort into it. It generated some profit. I used ~$1500 personally and I keep what's left to invest later into new projects (into this one). Most of the profit has been eaten by an email marketing agency (lol) I was paying $3000/month

Not necessarily a huge ROTS (Return on time spent), but with more than 15k emails and consistent sales without working on it, that's an asset I could sell later.
Background:
Everything
In the meantime, I left my place, 95% of my stuff, my 2 years girlfriend, stopped working with one of my biggest clients that were annoying me (+ draining my energy), and moved to the opposite side of the world (France to Mexico) with a suitcase and a backpack.

Radical change, it was 1 month and a half ago, I feel like it's been 6 already. Damn.

I currently live from my freelancing revenues, and I want to try to stop depending on my time input to earn money. Might give more details about my background later, but as stated in my last post, I'm not starting from scratch, I have now +3 years of experience in eCommerce, marketing & FB ads.

Anyway, now, I want to try to create my own product. I'm making this post for accountability, and to keep a track of my progress.

Not going to disclose the product here, at least until launch or if it fails.

Here is the global plan:
  1. Market Analysis (finding ideas and making a hypothesis about the audience)
  2. Audience research (finding specific segment that could be interested)
  3. Funnel & automation setup (Lead capture page with email sequences)
  4. Pre-launch lead capture using ads
  5. Launch (Crowdfunding)
  6. Scaling if success
I expect to do this over 10 weeks, so around 15 weeks by taking the unexpected into consideration.

Let's start !

P.S. I'll try to check at least once every few days to answer questions if there is any.
Good luck buddy im interested to know how your getting on
 

MattL

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Most of the profit has been eaten by an email marketing agency (lol) I was paying $3000/month
Could you expand on this a bit?

I assume they handled the whole email side of things for that price?

And their efforts didn't yield a positive ROI?

P.S. Super interesting thread. Good luck, following!
 

Jeannen

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Could you expand on this a bit?

I assume they handled the whole email side of things for that price?

And their efforts didn't yield a positive ROI?

P.S. Super interesting thread. Good luck, following!
Yeah, basically it's that. I paid them and didn't really put that much attention into it, assuming they were going to do their job (I got them from a recommendation).
Oh boi, disappointed I was. Their flows performed less than those I already had and felt spammy as f*ck.

I won't take an agency in the future, I'll just hire someone who is passionate about the niche, train him for content writing and tell him to create content lol
 

Jeannen

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03/04/2021

So, I actually noticed a flaw in my design. The problem is that I have 0 engineering notions or whatsoever. I also can't make a "homemade prototype" because I don't even have paper or cardboard right now lol

I think I'll have to pay someone to make an "engineer" concept. To,, this is my roadblock for now.
 

Jeannen

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How's the concept design coming along?
I moved from Mexico to Indonesia so I haven't been able to work much on it, since I had lots of things to catch up

I plan to make a 3D render anyway and start collecting feedback on the concept, and if I see some traction, then hire someone to make an actual prototype
 

Jeannen

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10/05/2021

After one month, I'm working again on the project. I had a few ideas coming, and I made a new prototype based on those ideas.
The best one was during a one-hour massage where I was really able to relax and think, didn't happened for a long time lol. I feel like working too much is counterproductive, I wasn't able to have a clear mind before taking a weekend.

I made a new basic 3D model based on this, and I paid a 3D render guy to make a photorealistic model. Once it's done, I'll build up a landing page and get some feedback asap.
 

Jeannen

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  1. Find your perfect ecommerce website builder.
  2. Choose the best plan for you.
  3. Get a domain name for your store.
  4. Pick your ecommerce template.
  5. Customize your ecommerce template.
  6. Add your products.
  7. Set up payment methods.
  8. Sort out your shipping settings.
Yeah ?

I use Shopify
 

Jeannen

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How’s it coming along?

Interesting thread btw, I just came across it!
I hired a guy to make the 3D-render, but it takes so long, it's probably stuck for at least 1 months and half now, it should have taken 15 days
 

Jeannen

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Well, I finally got my 3D render

Not going to post it here for obvious reasons, but I'm not satisfied entirely with the work, so I'm going to find another freelancer to make photorealistic renders. Once it's done, I'll make my landing page and start running ads on it to get leads & feedback

Total spend so far:
3D Render: $500
 

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