Proof of Concept event Sock Doggo

Proof of Concept event Sock Doggo

What is Proof of Concept?

Ordered a small quantity of product and created an event to test the viability of the product. The goal is to get in front of an audience of people who should be interested, and to get their response in a bankable way – so we’re looking for sales

We test to see:

Do people like it?
Will people buy it?
What will they pay?

Why we did it

This is a step many people skip, yet it’s one of the most valuable things you can do as you’re setting up your business or even launching a new product line.

At the very least, it will give you a chance to tweak your product, your pricing, or your messaging before you’re fully invested.

At the other end of the spectrum, testing for proof of concept can prevent you from wasting years and thousands of dollars trying to sell a product that doesn’t have enough demand.

I’ve seen too many people lose too much money by charging ahead – ordering all their product, investing in a website, and spending money on ads, only to see their products, and their dreams sit on the shelf.

Some people don’t do it because they don’t know they should. Some people are so confident, they don’t think they need to do it, and others neglect to do it because they think it might make them look unprofessional, or like they’re unsure of what they’re doing.

But here’s the thing. Getting Proof of Concept is the best thing!

When you show product to people who aren’t your mom, your friend, or your sister, and they buy it, you know for sure you’re on the right track.

I’m pretty good at marketing products online. I know that I can set up a plan to sell pretty much anything.

I know I can teach most people to sell pretty much anything

But what I didn’t know was this:
Would people buy socks with weiner dogs on them? (or Corgis, or Poodles)

And what would they pay?

And so even though I’ve done this all before, I wouldn’t skip the proof of concept stage.

There are several ways to get Proof of Concept. More on that later.

We used a collaboration for our event. And the reason I choose to do it that way was that the most important thing about proof of concept events is the audience. It’s imperative that you get your product in front of people who are likely your ideal client.

What we did:

Because I’m selling socks for people who love dogs – our socks have dogs on them, I chose to work with Mark Rusin, who owns Americandoxie.com

Mark has exactly the audience I’m looking to attract, so when I decided I would make the socks, I approached Mark.

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Insider Tip

Because I’m starting at zero, I asked Mark to participate in the design process.

I feel like this made sense (he knows what his audience likes) and the strategy is repeatable when I move into other breeds.

Remember, all I’m looking to do is prove the concept and test the price.

Phase 1

The first thing we did was build a launch list.

We used a version of The Perfect Giveaway, a lesson from the Inner Circle training. It’s the best list building event. I used it all the time at Wee Squeak, and our members love it because it helps them build their lists fast.

We launched the Giveaway on October 20th.
Here are a few samples:

We increased the reach by sending samples to two American Doxie Brand Reps. They created some content that was shared with their audiences.

We were so successful with our Brand Rep Program at Wee Squeak, we created Brand Rep training in the Inner Circle.

If you haven’t used Brand Reps before, I highly encourage you to give it a try.

We amplified the reach on the Giveaway by running some ads.

In total, the cost of running the ads was $119.67

The giveaway ran from October 20th through October 24th.

In total we collected 1608 email addresses.

Phase 2

On October 25th, the products went live on American Doxie.

An email went out to the Giveaway list first with an offer:

“Buy a Box of 3 Doxie Socks, and receive a bonus pair free”

A second email went out to the complete American Doxie engaged email list.

A short funnel of three emails (Perfect Giveaway style) went out to the lists.

And here’s what happened:

And because our sales are always the SUM of ALL of our actions…

Here’s what REALLY happened:

Here’s what I learned:

My goal was always to get proof that people would buy our socks.
And I needed to know that they would actually pay a price that defined our product as a “want” because perceived value is a key for those of us that are selling items that are a “need”

More on that here.

Mission Accomplished.

I know if I do the work to build my audience and I make them an offer, this is the right product.
I can invest in my website, and in more product with confidence that I have a good concept.

Now the real work begins.
Stay tuned. I’ll share my next steps shortly.

Here’s what you can take away from this:

I ran this collaboration because I wanted proof of concept.

But here’s the thing. If you want to grow your business, you’d be smart to think about audiences and specifically WHO has an audience that might be interested in your product.

While this might seem overwhelming, and you may not know where to start, I promise you, it’s not that hard.

There has never been a better a time to find the perfect audience, and negotiate a collaboration that will get you access.

And while I know this is true for getting Proof of Concept, I believe it is also true for when you want to find new customers.

I’ll be talking more about this, and sharing the dollars and cents of how I put together this collaboration with Mark at American Doxie, in an upcoming post.

For now, a big THANK YOU to the team at American Doxie, and another big THANK YOU to you for sticking with me on this adventure!

Not in the Inner Circle? Get on the list to be the first to know when we open the doors on January 8th, 2020! Click here.

If you have questions, comment below and ask me!

So, here’s what I need you to do next.

First, sign up to get updates in your inbox:

Then, be sure to Like and Follow my page on Facebook. I’ll be posting regular updates there!

That’s it! It will be a fun adventure, all the way from 0 to $50K on Shopify!

November 2019 Reliable Revenue Schedule

November 2019 Reliable Revenue Schedule

November 1st – Submit your worksheets

Make sure you submit your worksheets so that you can schedule your private planning session with Susan.

November 7th at 12:00pm EDT – Reliable Revenue Accountability Meeting

We will discuss actions for the month and you will have an opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm with each other.

November 12th at 5:00 pm EST – Walk-In Clinic Q&A

Do you need a little extra help? This is your chance to get all of your questions answered. Join us live in the Inner Circle Facebook Group so that we can get you the help you need. If you can’t join us live, post your questions in the Inner Circle Facebook Group using hashtag #walkinclinic, or send us an email. We’ll make sure you get your answer.

November 18th at 3:00 pm EDT – Planning Session with Susan and Jasmine

This planning session is all about how to prepare for a successful Black Friday! If you have any questions please feel free to email us, or tag us in the Inner Circle Facebook Group.

November 21st – Reliable Revenue Private Planning Sessions with Susan

*Note* – You must turn in your worksheets before you are able to schedule your Private Planning Sessions with Susan.

November 2019 Inner Circle Schedule

November 2019 Inner Circle Schedule

November 12th at 5:00 pm EST – Walk-In Clinic Q&A

Do you need a little extra help? This is your chance to get all of your questions answered. Join us live in the Inner Circle Facebook Group so that we can get you the help you need. If you can’t join us live, post your questions in the Inner Circle Facebook Group using hashtag #walkinclinic, or send us an email. We’ll make sure you get your answer.
 

November 18th at 3:00 pm EDT – Planning Session with Susan and Jasmine

This planning session is all about how to prepare for a successful Black Friday! If you have any questions please feel free to email us, or tag us in the Inner Circle Facebook Group.
 

The real reason I’m afraid to launch SockDoggo

The real reason I’m afraid to launch SockDoggo

I have good news and bad news.

The good news first. We have product. I’m in business.

The bad news?

I’m afraid to launch. Can I really sell 2400 pairs of socks?

Hard to believe, right? I have years of experience growing successful businesses, and yet, I’m having trouble pulling the trigger.

What’s holding me back?

I know everything isn’t perfect, so I’m waiting until it is.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, and I just need a few more weeks to remember all the things.

I’m afraid that nobody will buy our socks, and then what?

I’m afraid to fail.

You know that voice in your head? The one that stops you from moving forward? The one that gives you permission to make excuses?

That voice has been loud for the last few weeks. I’m sharing this with you because I bet you know how I feel. It happens to most of us.

And I’ve decided a little fear is a good thing. It keeps us in check. But, even if all the bad things happen, we’ll just create a new plan. That’s the best part about e-commerce. We can switch it up, and try again.

Nobody’s really watching.

And if we keep trying and learning, we’ll make progress. We don’t have to be stuck. And we don’t have to be afraid to try new things.

So, if you feel a little stuck today, or a little lost. I get it. But I promise you, for almost every business I’ve seen, there is a path to success.

It’s highly likely that it will take a few tries to find it. And that’s ok. Most people quit too soon. Or just never really start.

So, I’m just going to start.

This week, we’re running an event for “Proof of Concept”. I’ve partnered with an Influencer for this one. Let’s see what happens when we make an offer to a curated audience.

Stay tuned and I’ll tell you what we did and how many socks we sell.

After that, no more excuses. I’ve got to sell some socks!

If you have questions, comment below and ask me!

So, here’s what I need you to do next.

First, sign up to get updates in your inbox:

Then, be sure to Like and Follow my page on Facebook. I’ll be posting regular updates there!

That’s it! It will be a fun adventure, all the way from 0 to $50K on Shopify!

Have you done the planning you need to do to have your best November on record?

Have you done the planning you need to do to have your best November on record?

When I owned Wee Squeak, I learned that I was in control of my sales.
That I didn’t have to just take what came my way.
That really, I was in charge of what happened and that if I showed up consistently and had a plan, the results were mine.

Black Friday, and every year I owned the company, I made it my mission to make it the best year ever in terms of both sales and profit. My first few Black Fridays were kind of ho-hum, but my last few? Amazing. Home runs.

And over the years, it became pretty clear to me what the difference was between ho-hum and home run results.

There were three things I did that changed everything.

#1: Craft a simple, clear offer for the whole weekend

  • Too much talking means too much thinking for your customer, and that’s a conversion killer
  • Make sure a 10 year old can understand it.
  • No gymnastics at the checkout
  • One line – memorable

Here’s an example of a couple of good offers:

  • 25% off, site wide
  • Buy one, get the 2nd 50% off

And these, not so good:

  • 25% off Friday, Free gift Saturday, Free shipping Monday
  • 25% off excluding XYZ
  • 25% off tops, 15% off bottoms, free shipping over $100

#2: Create a List building Event Now

Build your list now, before the holidays. Time after time, I see email as the top converting source of traffic. This is your opportunity to add in a bunch of new contacts that will be recent and therefore more engaged.

At Wee Squeak, our email traffic converted at 7%.

Simply put, every 1000 more emails I could collect before Black Friday = 70 more sales

Armed with this knowledge, it’s a no brainer to run an event designed to get emails.
Consider partnering with someone who shares a similar customer.
Do it now!

#3: Build a Black Friday VIP list

Why? Because when you tell people what to expect, they’re more likely to take action.
And when you create a new level of service or exclusivity, people love it.

Take the time to create this list and expect open rates and sales to double when you send your VIP email.

So – let’s wrap this up…

Go grab a notebook and write it down.

  1. One simple clear offer
  2. Build your list now
  3. Build a Black Friday VIP list

I challenge you to invest a couple of hours building out a plan – and watch what happens!
You know I love to hear from you, so please get to work, and report back with your results!

Interested in learning more about our membership group for ecommerce entrepreneurs, the Inner Circle? Click here.