I've been in the digital marketing space for more than 10 years now.
I entered into the space through copy writing. I was fortunate to go to an amazing private school in Seattle, WA called Lakeside that taught me amazing writing skills. That combined with my fascination for human psychology and made me a naturally good copy writer. In business, everything you write is all about connecting on an emotional and psychological level with your customers.
In college I was looking for gigs to make some spending money and I went to Craigslist and discovered the vast number of writing opportunities that existed on the platform back in 2010. I started picking up all different types of writing jobs, from email marketing to digital affiliate products and programs to blog articles and content marketing articles.
My first Business - Diffuser Beads
I was enjoying it so much more than my chemistry or calculus classes so after 3 semesters I dropped out of college and started writing full-time. That lasted for a year and a half before I started up my first business with my husband Ben, and we created and sold a product called "Diffuser Beads". It was a smoking accessory that sold for $10-15 retail and we wholesaled for just $5.
This is where I really took my dive into social media. Although we did all forms of marketing to get sales from endless hours of cold-calling (which we both hated) to email marketing, having our own website, Facebook, Etsy, Amazon listings, and finally Instagram account.
I Discovered the Power of Instagram
And Instagram is really where I discovered the power of social media. Ben was never good with technology, the internet, social media or marketing, and I had always been interested in and had a background in those areas, so I took on 100% of the marketing effors outside of cold calling, which we split.
Instagram had something unique about it both in my ability to create a beautiful portfolio of pictures of my product, but also a place where I could post an image that hundreds would see and engage with, and then I could close sales through 1-on-1 interactions in the direct messaging feature knows fondly as the "DMs".
With the use of our Instagram Marketing efforts combined with cold calling and email marketing we were able to make several hundred thousand in sales of our product that no one had ever heard of before in just our first 2 years of business. The success was beyond what we expected, because to be quite honest, the products wasn't all that great. It was colorful, the perfect price point, and did have function, but it was ALL THE MARKETING that was the cause of our success.
Switching Gears - Stickers and Tshirts
After 2 years, we got burned out of filling jars and selling a singular product. It wasn't something we felt proud of, so I switched gears and dove into sticker printing and tshirt printing. I found out that there was a large market for companies who wanted stickers with their logo at a decent price but wanted to deal with a real person and not order through a big faceless website. I made stickers and tshirts for many different businesses but ended up making a lot of these for glass artists and smoke shops.
Many of the artists I wanted to have as my customers didn't have a budget for stickers, but they always had extra glass pieces, so I got the idea to start trading stickers for glass art and then flipping the art myself. I ended selling more glass than i did stickers. So naturally i had to at least try out glassblowing and see if I could make the pieces myself. I mean it HAD to be more fun than cutting stickers and peeling vinyl for shirts.
My Glassblowing Business
Sure enough it was. Monkey Boy Art was created and in our first 3 years we had huge success on instagram, sold a lot of glass, and built a large online following and in person reputation and brand. In year 4 we continued to grow our customer base but sales dipped as our Instagram reach all of a sudden declined in a dramatic way. We struggled in year 4 as i tried to see a long term vision for what I wanted the company to be.
This is when I hopped onto TikTok after listening to GaryVee rave about it for months. Within 2 weeks I had my first viral vidoe of 10 million views. A month later I had 100K followers and started a 2nd account as proof of concept for everything i was learning and discovering about the app. A month later I started my LinkedIn Account and posting to that daily about my experiences on TikTok, and with my previous businesses.
Now as I'm writing this it is March 18, 2020 and I have 1.7 million followers on @worldofglass, 570K on @joyoffood, more than 14K on LinkedIn, and endless opportunities ahead of me. I've converted more sales, added new revenue streams, and created priceless new personal and business relationships. I'm excited to share my insights with you so you can succeed in whatever endeavors you seek.