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woken

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I gave some thought to the above and decided to pursue it.

So far via Fb Ads I’ve been going directly for the sale, with mediocre results.

I will continue to use fb ads to get emails and do most of the marketing via email.

The new strategy, as opposed to the “direct to the sale” will be
get email -> deliver value, value, value and then ASK.


It’s more common for services or something you’d see on higher priced items or courses, but I am willing to give it a try.

I will implement, test and come back with the results.
 
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woken

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Great day so far !

The treadmill arrived, got 30 mins of walking/running. Burnt 200 calories. Might be laughable if you're running daily, but for me it's a start. Burning around 400 calories in 35 mins is the goal.

I finished a 10 page guide that I'm using as a lead magnet.
I went up a notch with the email marketing. Implemented a lot of variants and conditional splits with conversion as the end goal.
Not spammy, but persistent.

FB Ad is up, optimized for leads on the website. On the page itself there's just a photo and email form sign up + 3-4 lines of text.

I did not want to go full 'guru get my course' mode with those 30 minute scroll pages. Maybe they work? That's why everybody's doing them?

After I get some conversion I'll see at what point people drop and fix that.

So far, It's been an amazing day. I've lived a perfect day. Exactly like I've always imagined myself living.

Let's see if this strategy converts better / is cheaper !
 

woken

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So far, at the current rate I need a 6% conversion rate to break even :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Man I don’t know! I’ve got some content coming in I am putting together a video ad, maybe it works better.
 

woken

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Small update :



Passed £2k/ month, although everything goes a bit slower.



It doesn’t feel consistent.

Fb ads are hit or miss.



I still have no source of traffic outside of paid advertising, which sucks.



I don’t want to do anything spammy.

Posting my products in fb groups is spam.



My etsy traffic also dies a little bit everyday.



So I have major problems :



  • No free traffic
  • Influencer marketing that I’ve done is worthless
  • Email Marketing worthless as well.


I don’t want to be the guy that spends 999k to make a million, so I have to change the strategy, although I must admit I’m a bit lost at the moment.
 
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Conversion rate can definitely hit 6% if you know what you are doing.

It might be easier to increase your aov, maybe offer a deal for buying 2 until you have more products.

influencers should not be used to generate sales, instead use them to generate content and use that content as ad creatives.

combine a better conversion rate, a higher aov and better ad creatives and you’ll be on your way. Stay away from shiny objects until then.
 

woken

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Small update.
Everything is going good and I’m still at Facebook’s hand, only spending a maximum of £36/day. I’d be way ahead of where I am, but yeah..

Waiting on two more products that I designed that are in the making since May.

Not getting discouraged, but I feel like I could map out a plan for any other business apart from mine and my niche.

It always looks easier from outside.


Definitely a lot of shiny objects syndrome ruling my days, weeks and months. Not actually pursuing anything else. But since my actual orders are pretty much the same day, I pack them, ship them out and that’s that. Not really working on the business itself and ways to grow since the only way of bringing sales( that I can navigate )only lets me spend £36/day.

The “infatuation” period is over. Scroll above and see how I was excited to pack each and every order. Well, that feels like a chore now because of the routine.

Again, every other business I look at I can map out a progress plan for. When it comes to mine, I’m like a 4 year old trying to write a book on quantum physics.

As mentioned in earlier posts, a lack of guidance is what I miss. Even though it seems silly and straightforward( spend more on ads, make more sales) I reached a mental block.

I appreciate any replies !
 
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woken

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What's the progress woken? I've just finished reading your updates and I am pretty curious if you managed to push forward mentally and in business.
Done £3k last month, looking forward for the same or better.

I’m currently 1 month in my 2 month holiday and only focusing on designing new products/ talking to my manufacturer.

Since I’m away from the UK, I arranged for somebody to pack & ship the orders.

Funny enough, I stopped posting that often on Instagram but I get more sales. :wideyed:


My main focus now is getting ready the new products.

I know it’s counterintuitive taking a holiday a few months in after starting a business, but I’m not trying to change the world.


Since I’m on holiday, my shiny objects syndrome is all over the place. Ideas flowing everyday. I do keep track of them.

I’m starting to believe this might be a blessing in disguise and will eventually cure itself once I have something running at the level I want. Since I can’t stop thinking about pursuing new ideas, although bad, I’m devising a plan on how to act on them fast without affecting my day to day business activities. I can afford that because this current business doesn’t take too much of my time.

The less it takes to launch a new business, the better.

I might not end up with a single
business doing £10k/ month, but I can definitely take 10 businesses to £1k/ month.

We’ll see. I will post again from time to time once I have my plan.
 

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Happy to hear that you're doing progress and didn't give up. Things need time, today it's 3k, but in a few months, it might be 20k. I feel like patience is often crucial and needs to go hand in hand with actions.

Good luck!
 

woken

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I might not end up with a single
business doing £10k/ month, but I can definitely take 10 businesses to £1k/ month.
I realized this is not the best strategy for me and switching up again..
Hey woken, how is the business going? I've seen your comment on my thread, but I haven't seen you here for a while. :)
Thanks for coming back to this.
I will am writing a detailed update in the next post.
 

woken

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Health wise,

Things have been great while on my two month holiday in Italy. While that might paint a sophisticated picture, I stayed for my duration there with my future in laws, so don't imagine some high baller lifestyle.

I've always been a lone wolf since childhood. I enjoy the company of others, yet I'm very comfortable on my own too. Since I moved to London 7 years ago, I felt caged. I kept comparing my life as a teenager with what I believed was being an adult( 18 years old).

I was reminded of my 'freedom years' during my two month holiday in Italy. Life is great, I did not have to worry about one single thing and income was coming without me doing anything.

As my holiday days were almost gone, things started falling apart.

My manufacturer screwed up big time my products, costing me thousands in the process and more importantly, a lot of time. Not a lot to elaborate on here, just that I ran out of products and bills began pouring in. I started feeling more stressed and stressed.

Coming back to London, I never managed to take the business further than £3k a month. I could have, but facebook restricted my budget to £36/ day since the beginning and then suspended the ad account completely.


With stress pilling up from all directions, I decided I need to have the covid vaccine. I'm not for or against vaccines, so please, don't make my thread about that.

I did not book it but only decided a week earlier that "I'm going there on Monday."
Every single day leading up to the vaccine I was reading everything bad there was about it. Come Sunday night, I was as stressed as one could be, couldn't sleep all night thinking about having heart complications from the vaccine. One could argue it was peer pressure, but in the end it was my decision.


Something in my gut was not right. Shaking and crying, I told my girlfriend I couldn't bring myself to go and that I haven't slept all night. She was reassuring, kept telling me everything was going to be alright, stop thinking about it and leave it for now.

On Monday I had what I thought was a heart attack. My heart began racing, I wanted to run far away from the impeding doom I was feeling. I did not call an ambulance but packed my bags and moved in with my girlfriend with my mom.

Went to a private doctor, had an EKG that told us there was nothing wrong with the heart but she gave me heart beating regulating pills and 2 xanax / day. Since I couldn't take the vaccine, I could not bring myself to take the beta blockers or xanax. I knew something was wrong, not with my heart, yet she gave me heart pills and xanax.

Being so paranoid lately, I wanted a second opinion. I waited 6 hours in the emergency room at my local hospital, just to be told there's nothing wrong with me or my heart. Still, the doubt and palpitations were telling me that something is causing them and at this point, stress should've subsided.

Booked another consultation with my GP, which reassured me my heart is fine, got some blood and stool tests. Turns out I had a panic attack , not a heart attack.

I was diagnosed as prediabetic with a A1C of 6.0%. (Canada, US and UK all have different ranges). Normal range is under 6.0%, 6.5% and above is considered diabetic.
Also, I tested positive for helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that causes bloating, stress, palpitations, high sugar in blood, anxiety, loss of appetite and weight loss.

I went from 104kg in September to 88kg on November 22(today). Lost a total of 16 kgs/35lbs because of this bacteria and stress.

I am taking some antibiotics which should treat it and cut my carbs to under 100g a day in order to lower my A1C. I do believe it is this high because of the bacteria and stress, as I'm not eating lots of sugar anyway.
I plan on retaking the test to verify the eradication of the bacteria and later redo my A1C.

Mentally I am much better, yet sometimes I feel afraid to be alone. I am optimistic things will get better both mentally and physically.

Business wise,

As mentioned above, my manufacturer screwed up big time my products. Not being able to recoup losses, facebook closing down my ad account and everything else happening for me, I closed down my website.

I ended up switching from highly optimized, branded website to Etsy. I also switched from custom made products to generic ones.

Revenue dropped to £0 as I was basically starting out from scratch again and two months later I am here :

revenue.jpg



While it still makes me money, there's no brand anymore and no point in scaling. At any point Etsy could decide to close it down.

Yet, there's lots of light and optimism as I'm planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign for my old yet new clothing brand.

I don't care about copy cats yet won't share the product until I have my pre launching campaign ready.
This will be the only execution I am fully dedicating myself to and putting my name out there behind it.
Also, this will be my last attempt of building a productocracy .

Most probably I will have a MVP by early January. MVP for a clothing brand ? I know, it sounds weird, but stay tuned to find out why :).

Health is wealth.
 
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Frost

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What a crazy story! Take care of yourself man!

I know I'm a bit late to the party, and reading about your troubles with FB ads reminded me a lot about stories I heard from other people as well.
I'm going to start with Pinterest ads soon. While they don't have the same reach as FB, it seems to be much easier working with them. You can actually make appeals and have a human being to talk to about the issue and your account
 
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woken

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I'm going to start with Pinterest ads soon.
How is that going for you?


I’m currently doing some research into building momentum.

Here I am, digging the forum for gold nuggets. Found some by @Johnny boy , where he mentions an article with low budget viral ads.
Nonetheless, lots of us heard about the Dollar Shave Club and their ‘viral ads and referral program’.

But how much of it was real ? And how much engineered?

If you browse the Fastlane Forum you’ll quickly learn that nobody suggest the cliché “ fake it till you make it.”

Yet, it seems to work.
Coming back to my Dollar Shave Club dilemma, I decided to investigate a bit further.

They had a good campaign, good results and most important, they had momentum. However, what is going on right now with their social accounts?

Blame it on the mother of all algorithms, this doesn’t happen. A facebook page with over 3 million followers does not, under any circumstances, get 3 likes on average per post. For comparison, my personal facebook page with 100 friends has an average of 60 likes. And I haven’t posted there in 6 years.

Their instagram page has 235K followers with an average of 100 likes and 0 comments. Both the .au and .uk instagram pages of theirs have around 15k followers with an average of 20 likes.

Sure woken, but they had sales, and it all that matters. If your success metric is based on instagram likes, you’re doomed.

Am I really though?

Social proof is a must. But clearly their numbers are fake. I wonder how that affects their reputation, if at all, since they’re in retail stores too? Also, I’m pretty much tending to believe it helped them during their launch, making it seem bigger than it actually was.

@Andy Black what are your thoughts on this?

If anybody has a socialblade subscription and would like to share their stats from the beginning, please send me a PM!
 

Andy Black

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Social proof is a must.
Beware the words "need", "should", "must". They often indicate there's a limiting belief somewhere. Do you really need social proof to make a sale?

As for big accounts that don't have much engagement on their posts... there's plenty of them. It doesn't mean they have fake followers. The platforms only show posts to a small % of our followers, and we have to actively work to keep that % up, or grow it, and get content in front of new people.

You're investigating Dollar Shave Club? Didn't they get bought out? Who's running their social media campaigns now? The same crowd who growth hacked their initial success?

I'm not great at posting content on Facebook or YouTube to get eyeballs and lead people into my world. It's not really been my thing to date. (Rachel Miller has great content on growing Facebook pages organically btw.)
 

woken

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Beware the words "need", "should", "must".
You’re right. You don’t need it to make a sale, but it’s a step closer towards one.

Social proof helps, nonetheless.
The platforms only show posts to a small % of our followers, and we'd have to actively work to keep that % up, or grow it, and get content in front of other people.
Although true, come on Andy..
Have a look at their facebook page, please. They are active. I refuse to believe facebook only shows the posts to 30 people out of 3 million.
The same crowd who growth hacked their initial success?
Probably not, but still a mystery why they only get 3 people to engage per post.

It might seem like I’m trying to look for dirt but I’m just genuinely intrigued.
 
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Andy Black

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Have a look at their facebook page, please. They are active. I refuse to believe facebook only shows the posts to 30 people out of 3 million.
There could be loads of reasons. Maybe they got followers years ago because of their viral videos and those followers weren't interested in any of their later content? Why not look at small/medium accounts trending at the moment and see what they're doing, rather than try to piece together why some account isn't working?
 

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If you could accomplish 1/50th of dollar shave club's success you'd have an exit worth 20 million. I would not throw too much shade on their marketing campaign lol. And I wouldn't pay any attention to anything DSC did after selling the company to Unilever. In my opinion, it's like when Cuban sold broadcast.com to yahoo. Big giant boomers buying a hot company from a very very intelligent founder. They always screw it up. 2016 revenue: around 250m, 2020 revenue: 100m

DSC's marketing strategy would not work 100% as well but it would still work. It just needs tweaking for success in 2021-2022.

If your business model doesn't fit this style of marketing then find something that fits better. Different industries/products/services are best sold in different ways.

Usually fb ads for products is like this <10% are profitable and it's because of an EXCELLENT campaign, along with a highly profitable product with broad appeal and manufactured by the same company doing the advertising and then 90% is people who are testing out their ads to find that they aren't making much money.

It's not 2008 anymore. Easy money from fb ads is GONE.
 

woken

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I would not throw too much shade on their marketing campaign lol.
Although it looks like it, I’m just trying to understand what is going on with their socials.
Big giant boomers buying a hot company from a very very intelligent founder. They always screw it up.
I think I found my answer. Went a bit deeper and found socials looking dead is a common thing with Unilever brands. I guess it doesn’t matter if you have top of mind awareness anyway.

Thanks @Andy Black @Johnny boy

Well, another day another lesson. :hilarious:
 
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Although it looks like it, I’m just trying to understand what is going on with their socials.

I think I found my answer. Went a bit deeper and found socials looking dead is a common thing with Unilever brands. I guess it doesn’t matter if you have top of mind awareness anyway.

Thanks @Andy Black @Johnny boy

Well, another day another lesson. :hilarious:

For Unilever, they are so big that before any competitor gets a shot to be in Safeway or any big store, I'm sure someone gets a call and it goes like
"Hey Unilever c-suite guy, this company that's selling shampoos wants to get into our stores"
"hahaha f*ck them. Tell them to kick rocks. Thanks for the call Dave, you wanna go golfing later?"

They don't need to care about their instagram page.
 

woken

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@MJ DeMarco

Could you please rename this to “How to build a brand” ?

Thank you :)

As stated before, I plan on keeping only this thread so I can have a clear start - to - finish journey.

In a few days I’ll be sharing the next steps for my upcoming project. ;)

Will it be enough? I guess we’ll find out soon.
 

woken

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New Year, New me?

Not really.

I’ve debated for a while wether to post about this or not and I finally decided that there’s no good reason why I should not. There’s also no point to create another thread just for this. This is about a hobby of mine. One I’ve started out of need, but it turned out to be rather fun.

As mentioned numerous times, I have started a clothing brand some time ago. Because of not enough capital and bad allocation, I couldn’t bring to the market the full collection. I was using high end materials for the clothes, including Swarovski crystals. As you can imagine, I was left with quite a few crystals.

One random afternoon I was scratching my head for birthday gift ideas for my uncle’s life-long friend. He loves apples.

So, what could I get him? My choices were a bit limited. Apple cider? Apple vinegar? Apple juice? Plain apples?
Well, you get the point.

I wanted to gift him something that he would keep forever, not something perishable.

That’s when it hit me. I could make him an apple covered in Swarovski crystals.

Obviously, I had to outsource the apple itself, which is made out of porcelain. A couple of red porcelain paint that I made sure matched the colour of the stones, and voila. I had a red, porcelain apple. All that was left was to cover it in stones.

For my clothes I was creating templates. Sure, it involves work, but you don’t place every stone by hand.

After countless days of setting over 5500 stones by hand, it was done. (Phone cameras don’t do justice to the way it sparkles. )
4CC8DB6F-8615-4472-8C36-8377F8CD4BBA.jpeg




Over the coming months, I’ve also made a panther. A3077125-3C07-4892-BC53-220466C373BE.jpeg
A chess horse.( I don’t have any finished pictures and I’m not at home currently)
This piece is the first out of a very long project I embarked on in my spare time. In the end, I want to have a large, full chess board.
412DE69D-C630-4295-AA7C-8D82C6A85073.jpeg

And more recently, for my girlfriend’s uncle & aunt, which are dentists, this tooth.


I find it amazing how in the beginning I‘m always thinking :
“Will I ever finish this?“ and once I start focusing on setting each stone perfectly my mindset shifts to:
”This looks amazing and it will be done soon.“


I have never wanted to sell these, as my previous experience taught me that I need a rather large budget to get in front of the right people. And also, I consider these pretty high ticket, which I have no idea how to sell.

Just as an idea:
The apple itself was a mere £20.
Paint & Swarovski Crystals - £300
Hours worked - 50. If I was to pay myself the new UK minimum wage, that would amount to £475
Total costs to make - £795



This is my progress thread and I figured I could share a bit more about myself here. Am I wasting my time? Not really, as I have gifted people something they will have for life.
Also, a lot could be improved in the way of stone setting. I always try to follow the natural curves of the object itself. If you ever need an everlasting gift, let me know. I am not charging anything apart from the materials.

Video links for convenience:

View: https://imgur.com/a/faITuaT

View: https://imgur.com/a/qm5GFYn

View: https://imgur.com/a/jDrBxNd


Edit : This is not my main project, just a hobby.
 
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100k

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You should try to cater to your past customers more.
Its 10x cheaper to get them to buy again then getting new customers.
They can also recommend you to their friends.

Skew more value to your current customers.

Send them e-mails wishing them a happy new year (make a personal video). Nothing to sell, just wish them a happy new year.... (even better if you did it to each person individually ... by mentioning their name) and asking them how they're doing etc. build a bond ... that's how you build a brand.

I like that you used to send out your things within the hour... and you delivered to 1 customer within 1 hour of them ordering... are you still doing that?

THAT is the sort of stuff that will get you to get new sales through word of mouth.

Try to do something special to your e-mail list... especially those that have bought from you.

Start dialogues with them... find out how they found your product, if they are still using it, why they bought from you in the first place... ask what's the 1 thing you could do to make your product and business perfect in their eyes.... whats going on in their lives right now, hows the lockdown treating them etc. ?

F*ck FB... zuckerberg is a hater, he'll block your a$$ if your ads go viral.... 5000 leads using a give-away is the reason you got banned. Been there done that.

Increase the over-all lifetime value of your customers... so that you can WOW them from day 1.

If you know your customers are going to be worth on average $1000 to you over the course of your relationship with them....

Why not spend $100-200 doing something AMAZING for them that will make you stand out like no other brand in your niche?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMk1x5R72RU&t=40s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjCr3N0Zkzc

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sLoHbAGCwE&lc=
 
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TedM

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Thanks for sharing your journey. I know you've got other things going, and eventually you'll find the right mix to meet your needs.

I feel that this thread, and many others like it, are the initial efforts most of us need to go through to get to the results that will eventually meet goals. I've tried, failed, tried some more... I firmly believe the only ones who truly fail are the ones who give up.

This time, I'm being modest in my goals, in my spend, and just trying to do at least 1 thing every day for my product....

Just soldier on....
 
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woken

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Send them e-mails wishing them a happy new year (make a personal video). Nothing to sell, just wish them a happy new year.... (even better if you did it to each person individually ... by mentioning their name) and asking them how they're doing etc. build a bond ... that's how you build a brand.
That’s exactly what I’m doing for my current business. Thing is, I cannot bother current customers with a product in a different industry so basically each time you start from 0.

I like that you used to send out your things within the hour... and you delivered to 1 customer within 1 hour of them ordering... are you still doing that?
Yes, most are out within the hour. I had 9 more customers nearby that I could deliver to myself, within the hour.

Like I keep saying, most methods / systems I do for one business can be used for other ones, so I like to believe I keep building on top of something.

One might argue going the extra mile to deliver within the hour did not help me one bit in the short term. True, if you‘re not looking to build a brand. Most people don’t understand that not all brands become international conglomerates. And most people are not looking to build brands, they just want to make some quick £££.

If I keep doing whatever I can to overdeliver and provide value, the ideas keep flowing. If you don’t start walking you’re never going to run.

Anyway, back to the upcoming project.

This is the packaging. And no, I’m not thinking backwards and losing time thinking and doing everything in advance. This are repurposed from a previous project. The box is also magnetic, so it can be kept and repurposed by the customers.

4CACC548-D0F6-445F-A0F8-5236FD9BB7EE.jpeg


Do you guys like it ?
 

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Very nice.
How much does it cost and what is the average retail price of a purchase? Does your cost / profit ratio support this easily?
 

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