[MUSIC PLAYING] Module 3, start selling. Before you start selling, it might help to create a vision board or a mood board that serves as a place for you to just come back to when you need inspiration specifically for photography. You can create a physical one or create a board on Pinterest which is what we do. Use this to gather inspiration from a lot of different places and what you want your brand and product to look like, what you would want your Instagram feed to look like, and how you ultimately want your customer to feel about your brand.
Add lifestyle photos, colors, random pictures that paint an entire picture of what you want the brand to feel like. Once you get your first sample, you can always take a few pictures yourself. Our first product shoot was actually done with an iPhone camera and by placing the samples on my bed. If you scroll down to one of the first pictures of ours on Instagram, you will still see those photos there.
Don't be afraid to be scrappy, and find ways to do this in a way that doesn't require much of an investment but still looks good and does your product justice. These will be beneficial in setting up your social channels. If you feel like you need help on the branding side, there are always branding agencies who specialize in things like this and who will help you with your initial mood boards, photography, and brand feel, although that will require more upfront capital.
There's no right or wrong way, and it totally depends on how much you're willing to put in and how much capital you have access to before you find product market fit. I personally didn't use a branding agency and I think it's very possible to do it all yourself, especially if you're your own customer and you already know what you want to see. Once you place your first sample order or sample run, find a photographer whose photography style matches your mood board.
When we first started our first photographer was found in a photography group on Facebook. You can ask friends who are creative to help or look for people within your network. Create a short list and share your mood board with this photographer so that you're aligned on the vision of the brand and the shoot. Take 10 out of 10 photos, videos, and any content you think will help a potential customer understand your product.
Imagine you were a customer who had never seen your product before. What would you want to see in order to understand what it was and for you to become a customer? Don't go short on making your product look appealing. If it doesn't sell well, you don't want to wonder whether it was because the photography wasn't great. Photography is everything. It's the only thing that a customer can base their decisions on, especially at the beginning.
Now it's time to put up your Shopify store. Set it all up and then make Facebook ads, TikTok ads, whatever channel you feel your customers or target audience are hanging out at. Add your photos, keep building your social channels, and be creative in how you lunch and market these. Once this is all set up, you can begin taking preorders. Preorders are great because the preorders would provide upfront capital to help make your larger order, they bring in cash flow for more ads and more growth, and they quickly tell you whether you have a winner or not.
If things go well, you can keep growing. And if not, you've saved yourself tons of time and capital and you can start the process again. You can make a small order to fulfill the preorders or cancel them and refund your customers. At this point either way, try and get as much feedback as you can. If you have happy customers, ask them why they were happy. Ask them if they would recommend your product to a family member, ask them what they would like to see from you next, and most importantly, how you can improve.
This constant feedback loop is something that has helped us tremendously as we've grown. As for feedback at every step, try and learn as much as you can. Again, be customer obsessed, and know that because you're a customer and the market you're in is always evolving, it's going to be your job to keep up and stay ahead of the curve. Feedback has been so important to us.
We've evolved through feedback and we try to involve our customers in everything we do so that we're able to serve them well. [MUSIC PLAYING]