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EXECUTION My process of selling a product online. Brand from the mind to reality.

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BigDaddyKane

Contributor
Jan 19, 2011
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83
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Ok let’s get started.

I’ve been a member of this forum as far back as I can remember. High school in-fact (2011). And I’m happy to say that there's a reason I’m still here - the principles and frameworks I’ve learned here have molded me. Shoutout MJ. Now, there’s a dichotomy in me saying this because I am a freelancer, and have been for the past 5 years, and so, my time is tied to my income (contrary to NECST) for the most part (I’ll explain later). Here’s a little background on me:

I have literally devoted my LIFE to business and personal development. To the point of obsession. Almost disease-like. I have done so since I was a child. As a sophomore and throughout high school I would regularly skip class and go to the public library just a few blocks down where I would consume books like a rabid dog. Book gluttony. A very close friend of mine, who I practically grew up with, was in his family business of real estate investing, so naturally I mostly chose books on real estate - everything from Robert Kiyosaki, Trump, Dave Dinkel (local guy but a heavy hitter), literally hundreds of books. You get the point.



Anyway, I’ve done dozens of side hustles from flipping on craigslist to landscaping services. From tattooing underage kids out of my bedroom in high school to buying/selling goods at estate auctions and even some real estate wholesaling. I feel like I’ve lived 10 lives in the sheer volume of shit that I’ve done. I even started a janitorial service named Mop Jockeys that miserably failed, not because it wasn’t viable but because I had deep rooted insecurities that literally wouldn’t allow me to pick up the phone and call ONE SINGLE prospect. I was 17 at the time. Well, after reflecting on those insecurities I knew I NEEDED to fix them. So I got a job at a local SEO marketing company as a telemarketer. A cold caller. Needless to say, this changed my life. Under pressure and with my name on the sales board (with the number zero next to it) I made my first cold sale on the second day on the job. HOLY SHIT! From zero to a 4 figure cold sale.



How it happened I don’t know, but what I do know is from that moment on I KNEW that it was possible. Possible to sell to strangers. And all through the power of the voice. Until that point, remember, I had never heard a cold call. Sure, I had seen them done in the movies but that was just the movies right? Haha. Also keep in mind that although I had made money in all sorts of side hustles, I never had to “sell”. Profits were always made by a matter of price spread/arbitrage in the marketplace - ie: craigslist flips. Anyway, I’m telling you this because it plays a critical role in where I am and where I’m going. Keep reading.



So 5 years ago, at the end of 2013 - I decided, along with a friend at the University of Florida to start an aerial photography business. At this point, it was barely if at all a thing. While not completely scalable in my mind nor fulfilling the element of time I decided to move forward. This was a commitment on my part to stick to a single business idea. “No more side hustles!” is what went through my mind. I needed a singular goal to strive toward. And so, along with a mutual friend, we got to work on our photography service company. We set up shop on the lawn of our house and low and behold, taking what I learned from my sales job, I picked up the phone and called EVERY SINGLE real estate agent and construction company in the metro Tallahassee area. In the first week we had a paying customer. We used the customers deposit money to partially pay for our equipment (at the time it had to be fully custom built by myself DIY style) and we scrambled to friends and family to get a loan to pay for the remainder of the equipment.



“Ok great! This shit is working…” is what was going on in my head at the time. Let’s rinse and repeat.



So for the next 2 years we built up this little business - and quite successfully I would say. I believe because we were so early in the game (and I mean EARLY) it definitely helped us. In fact, we landed our first big sale in the third month for 20k to a creative media agency in Fort Lauderdale. Another “holy shit” moment for me as far as I was concerned. My partner focused on the finances, talking to inbound leads and customer service. I focused on cold calls, outbound sales and general marketing activities including reaching out to blogs, some growth hacking stuff, paid ads and social media.



Fast forward to today:


As it stands today, I’ve worked for myself for 5 years now. Something I’m proud of. But as always - it’s time to level up.

The photography business still supports me in a few ways - traditional photography projects serving the creative and industrial sectors, which I usually coordinate and outsource to other photographers (mostly all word of mouth and search engine inquiries) and passive income from licensing photos and videos across various platforms online. Fun Fact: I actually logged into one of my stock photography accounts last month which I had not checked in a few months and found to my surprise over 6k in funds from licensing sales, all from work that was done years ago. A little “taste” of the commandments of time and scale, and I want more lol.



Oh I forgot to mention - about 3 years ago, as my contacts and skills in the above business naturally developed, I started a second company that provides services to content creators and businesses. It grew quickly to become a very respectable company in my hometown city and in the past 3 years I’ve worked with hundreds of music artist, businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers in helping them create top tier content to build their brands in the entertainment industry.



Here is where this progress thread comes into play…



Over the years, through all the insights I’ve gained from serving the entertainment and media industries, I’ve been able to, with lots of reflection, to develop my own philosophies on where the media business is going. It’s a sector that I’m absolutely fascinated by. The reason it’s so exciting is because the barriers to entry to creating really compelling content at every level is decreasing, and along with this lowered barrier to entry there are many changes coming - if not already here.



I’ve worked with many top talented people during this time, arguably some of the best in the creative world. I say this not to boast, but because I’ve gained a unique perspective in regard to content creation that I hope to share here with you all. My hope is for this to be an exercise in me “thinking out loud” as I pursue the next steps in my venture.



I’ll be updating this thread regularly with thoughts and progress as I ramp up the next phase in my career. So to recap, here’s where I stand:



Service 1 - Still brings in income. Some “passive” in the form of intellectual property licensing fees.

Service 2 - My main focus for the last 3 years. Has fully supported me and still does. I LOVE producing films and storytelling so this isn’t going anywhere and I will do it until I’m old and wrinkly.

Product 1 - This is where my focus for this thread will be. Currently researching a number of products to sell online/direct to consumer.



I’m sure I’ve probably left out a lot so if you have any questions or are curious about more let me know. Again, I’ll be updating this regularly so eventually it will all come out.



Also… this will be THE home-base for documenting this new venture (aside from my physical notebook) and as such will contain more detail, unseen facts, commentary, etc. than other online sources for you all like Reddit, Quora, etc. (as those are a part of the strategy as well. I have a certain loyalty to this forum and the mindset that resonates here and feel good about sharing this process and the confidence to know ill get solid feedback from all the folks here.
 

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B. Cole

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Awesome execution so far, true entrepreneurial spirit you have. Looking forward to your story!
 
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BigDaddyKane

BigDaddyKane

Contributor
Jan 19, 2011
51
83
128
Second update of this series. I feel good with progress so far. Just have to maintain my consistency on this particular project aside from my work as a freelance film/video producer.

Averaging $550/month from photography stock licensing sales. Not crazy but considering I literally took all the images years ago not bad. Those are split with a former partner in that business.

The Written Word and Blog

I’ve been writing very aggressively the last few days. These writings will make up the majority of the content on the blog which will be tied to the brand, first product and series of products thereafter.

Goal is to get a solid 10 posts written up before official site launch. The blog must be up by the time I launch the Kickstarter campaign. Reason for this is because I want to start capturing emails from the get-go on here.


The good thing with the blog is, I feel I have a lot to say in the products market/niche so choosing topics shouldn’t be a problem for me. The strategy will be to write very well thought out, long-form posts. I really do believe that the quality matters and I’m ok with putting the time to make sure it’s quality. Biggest challenge with these long-form posts is that because of the depth that I’m going into on the subject matter, organizing the information takes much longer than writing the content itself.

Content System

So since I’m growing this thing from nothing, content will be key for me. Here’s the system I’ve got going so far and the plan moving forward:

Real quick, for context, here’s my view on “content”: Whatever the medium, (blog post, video, podcast), it must get recorded somehow. All content BECOMES content as soon as it is recorded onto something - analog or digital. Record it on a cassette if you have to. Before then, it’s just in your head.

Ok so, as soon as an idea that is related to my business enters my head, I write it down in my notebook. If the situation calls for it I will create a voice memo - and then I write it down. This is very important because this becomes the mothership of all the other content. I also have an excel sheet where I write down future article headlines/topics. It’s filling up quickly lol. Not gonna focus too much on it but it’s good for reference and its part of the overall system. I have various other sheets with lists that I update as I go along. They are a mix of various business development opportunity lists from potential clients, partners, and more. Like I said these just get filled in as I go along as they are opportunities that my gut tells me will come around.

Nothing new aside from the intense writing the last few days (I’ve got about 3 posts so far). Going to follow up with manufacturing quotes this week. Flying back to my home city on a one-way to visit mom and my brother (and snuck in a meeting). It’s always nice to see my family. They’re why I do this. Going to take advantage of the flight and write some more. It’s actually been pretty enjoyable. It’s been 3 days of 12-hour writing sessions with a 1 hour workout in between. I know I’ll have to kick into another mode and put on one of the many other hats that we wear as entrepreneurs soon so I’ve really just been going with it.
Writing GIF.gif
 
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