An accident that derailed my launch at Sock Doggo

An accident that derailed my launch at Sock Doggo

When I started this Journey on the Roadmap to $50K, I envisioned this perfect path I would follow.
I even broke it down into a success path so that people could see the progress we made at each stage.

It goes like this:

I think we did a great job with the foundation Blueprint. We walked you through the early stages

  • How to choose a product that will support a profitable business
  • Product sourcing (importing)
  • Samples
  • Building a Social Media Following

All of this leads up to our Proof of Concept Event, and a wrap up of our Foundation Blueprint.

I was ready to tell you all about the wrap up and talk about my next steps, and then; one little mistake.

A mistake that put an end to my launch plan.

Here’s what happened:

We made one product live to test the cart. We placed an order, and then we set the product back to “not available”

We did not use the test mode. And that was the little mistake that derailed my launch.

You see, we had set up the Klaviyo Back in stock flows on our products.

And I’d been driving traffic to the products, all through the month, as we worked through Traffic Bootcamp in the Inner Circle.

And, because I was sending the right traffic (yay, Traffic Bootcamp) people were signing up to be notified as soon as the product was in stock.

So, when we made that one product live, for just a few minutes, we inadvertently triggered a bunch of emails to people in the Back in Stock flow.

And before you know it, we were getting messages from people who were trying to buy.

Even though I question my sanity all the time, I’m not crazy enough to turn down sales.

So I made the decision to pull the plug on the launch plan, and go live.

And, the good news is, some people got out their credit cards, and bought some socks.

Even though it wasn’t the launch I had envisioned, we got sales.

You would have died laughing if you had seen my face the first time my Shopify app made that cash register “ding”. You might have thought I won the Lotto.

Thank you Madison R xoxo

So here’s the genius lesson:

Even though I talk about building a list of people who are waiting for your products ALL THE TIME, I actually never thought about using the Back in Stock flow for this.

—> If you don’t have Klaviyo, you can get an app that does the same thing as Klaviyo Back in Stock Flows.

And that got me thinking. Could I do this again?

Could I do it with products I’m just thinking about creating?

Of course, I could! So I am. Stay tuned. I think this is a genius way of hedging our bets, and getting the information we need to make good decisions about products, PLUS, we can get some sales.

What’s up next?

Look out for a report on my first month in business. What I did, the sales we got, and what it cost me.

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!

Here’s what our Partnered Event cost, and what we got in return

Here’s what our Partnered Event cost, and what we got in return

Last week I shared the results of our first ever Event at Sock Doggo.

If you missed it, find it here.

We partnered with AmericanDoxie.com to run a fun event that built our email list and got sales.

You might remember that I wanted to establish Proof of Concept. I wanted to be sure that if I got my product in front of the right audience they would buy. Would they pay our premium price?

So the good news is the American Doxie audience voted with their credit cards, and the answer is a big huge YES.

The bad news is that I actually don’t have an audience anywhere close to the size of American Doxie. So I know that these people will buy, but I won’t get results like this until I build a similar audience.

That’s ok. I know how to build an audience, so I can keep going.

I’ll share HOW I’m doing that in future posts.

This week, I want to share with you what it cost me in dollars to partner with American Doxie, and also what I got in exchange for my investment.

You can read on, or watch here:

Here’s why I partnered with American Doxie.

When people set out to work with a partner for an Event, I think most people are concerned with the audience size and engagement.

While I think that those are valid points, for me the most important thing is audience behavior.

Yep. Behavior.

When I say behavior, in terms of e-commerce, I’m really talking about purchase behavior.

I think people like us should care about audiences that CLICK and BUY.

That’s why working with Mark at American Doxie made perfect sense.
American Doxie has an audience that contains BUYERS.

Here’s what our agreement looked like

The good news: American Doxie has an audience of Buyers, and an Email list which means they can get the offer in front of their audience often and without a big spend.

The bad news: American Doxie is also selling products, and it might seem like a bad plan to promote other products to their audience. I had to get creative to make it work.

The solution: A simple win/win.

In a traditional Influencer or Referral agreement, I would have paid a fee up front or a commission on sales. You don’t get access to a valuable audience for free.

Instead of paying a fee upfront, I made American Doxie an offer that had a high ROI for them and a low cost for me.

It’s this:

I gave American Doxie a credit for 100 units of product for their offer.
(100 boxes + 100 individual socks)

In dollars and cents, the Partnered Event cost me about $987. (100 x $9.87 which is my cost for the product)

The sales American Doxie generated from the product were $3695.00.

It was a win/win. American Doxie got far more revenue than they would have if I had simply paid a flat fee.

And I got:

More than 1500 emails for my list. I made a custom audience of that email list and I’ll use it as a warm audience for Facebook ads.
I also made a Lookalike audience of that list, and I will use that as “as a warmish cold audience”
I will make an offer to this list by email.

I also got sales. My agreement with Mark was that he could sell as many units as his audience would buy. He ran his Perfect Giveaway Funnel for 8 days and sold 181 units. We agreed that I would invoice American Doxie for all the units sold, and I would credit them for 100 units. The difference ( 81 units) would be payable at wholesale prices.

Here’s what that looks like for me:

81 boxes at $16.00 = $1296.

81 single units at $8 = $648
My Total Sales = $1944

And here’s American Doxie’s Profit:

Sales of 100 offers = $3695.00
Profit on 81 offers = $1049
Total profit = $4744.

Wow, right?

It cost me $987 to grow my email list AND I got sales of $1944. A big win for a brand new Business with a teeny tiny audience and no sales.

But it’s also a big win for American Doxie. They made a lot of sales, also grew their email list AND had a massively profitable week.

If you’ve got questions, comment below and ask. I’d love to hear what you think, and how you might take my idea and make it work for your business!

It’s time for me to put my head down and start working on building the audience and the business.
I’m simply going to follow the success path we lay out for our Inner Circle Members.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share by showing what I’m implementing, and how I’ll build a solid foundation, step by step!

Interested in learning more about the Inner Circle? Click here.

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.

Z

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!

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!

A look at the website that will take us to $50K

A look at the website that will take us to $50K

It’s been a whole month since I updated you on my new project.

I’m building a new business, and I’m sharing the details – all of them as I start from zero, and work my way towards the first $50K in sales.

Last week, we launched our website.

Granted, it’s a bare-bones version, but it’s a great start.

You can see it here:  sockdoggo.com

You might have all sorts of questions like:

  • How did you go from concept to live site?
  • Why launch your site, when you don’t have product to sell?
  • When will you start selling?

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!

This Week’s Dilemma

This Week’s Dilemma

Do you ever feel like your business takes two steps forward and one step back?

That’s me, with our new sock business on Shopify.

This week, two steps forward – samples are approved. Whoop!!

And then a step back – ugh. A new dilemma.

Watch and you’ll see how we navigate this latest challenge, and even better, how we turn this setback into progress! 

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!