Lately I have been having 30 minute one on one jam sessions with people about their businesses. It's something that I love doing and so I am doing it for FREE, with no catch, as a way to help people grow their businesses. If you are interested in having one with me make sure you check out this blog post on how to contact me to get one scheduled - One on One.
Recently I did one with artist and calligrapher Aubrey Hart and she wrote me after with this review,
“T.J.’s one-on-one business consultation was such a breath of fresh air! I loved how enthusiastic and focused the 30 minutes was. Plus, T.J.’s (and Brooke’s) enthusiasm gave me a real sense that they genuinely cared about my business and wanted to help. I would totally recommend this for anyone who’s in the wee stages of building a business or someone who has been in the game for awhile. Everyone can benefit from T.J.’s insightful and almost 'outside of the box' advice."
Yesterday I had two one on ones and during my second one I was only able to answer one of his question because we spent so much time going back and forth on ideas. So, I told him to e-mail me any other questions he had and I would answer them. This morning I had an e-mail with the following questions. I figured it would probably be helpful to answer them for everyone and not just in an e-mail back to him! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to e-mail me - [email protected]
1. What is your pre-launch strategy for new products?
We are actually getting ready to launch the walk in love. Summer 2016 collection. It's called Shine and we are so excited about it! It really is unlike anything we've ever done. When we launch new products we realize that things happen so fast in today's world so, we don't like to have extended periods of build up to a launch because people get tired of it. We tease collections two weeks before the launch date. That's enough time to get people excited without going over board. If you spend too much time telling people big things are coming then they feel like they waited too long and are not interested. I would spend more time if I was launching a whole new brand but because we are already established as a brand two weeks is more than enough to get our following pumped up about products!
For Shine we plan to spend a lot of time previewing new items on Snapchat because we want to grow that following. We believe if we keep telling people to see the new items on Snapchat then they are more likely to follow us! So, if you want a preview of Shine make sure you follow us on Snapchat. Username - shopwalkinlove
Tactically, our launch strategy will look like this:
- This Friday (Two weeks before launch) - We will post the main Shine graphic with release date on Instagram + all other socials
- Every day for two weeks we will preview a new product on Snapchat
- April 9-10 - Brooke will be shooting the campaign photos in Raleigh North Carolina! She will be sharing behind the scenes Snaps and Instagrams to get people excited!
- For two weeks we will probably spend a post a day on Instagram teasing new items with lots of excitement and emojis! If we can't be super excited about it how can we expect others to be.
- We will release the collection on April 15th with discount code!
2. How were you able to build a personal brand?
I originally had this idea that I would be this really great blogger that only talked about super deep spiritual things and I really struggled to write at the beginning. I ended up burning out because that's just not how I am. I do like talking about spiritual things but also love talking about business, ideas and loving my family. Last year when I "re-launched" this blog I decided I wasn't going to pigeon hole myself or try to be like other bloggers out there. I was just going to be the best version of myself I could and if people connect with that then awesome. If people don't then I would have a written history of my ideas, thoughts and challenges all in one place to show my kids when they are older. I think the best way to "build a personal brand" is to stop trying to build a personal brand and lean into who God created you to be, tell that story and tell it as well as you can. If that means writing about business then do it, if it means writing about unicycles then do that!
3. Do you do much SEO or is it just social media and word of mouth advertising?
I have literally never spent a single second working on SEO. We try to spend all our time creating a product people love and telling a story people connect with. If we can do that then it doesn't matter where we rank in google because people are going to tell their friends about us. We recently have started Facebook advertising because it can be so direct, which is awesome, but up until that it's been all about social and word of mouth, which are one in the same now!
4. What are your top books for business?
Here is a list on Amazon of my favorites - #TJSFAVORITEBUSINESSBOOKS
5. How do you move your company goals forward each month? What are your benchmarks and how do you measure them?
Our goals are always sales related. If we are beating last years sales then we are hitting our goals. I don't get too caught up in the, "we have to grow by X% every month" Any growth is good and we celebrate that. We compare every month to the same month last year as our benchmark. We use Shopify as our online store platform which is the best in the business and gives you so many tools to run reports and see how you are comparing to a previous period.
6. If you were to start walk in love again would you do it by yourself or would you still have a team?
When I started walk in love. I was by myself for many years and did everything for the business. I didn't have a team until I started dating Brooke. The biggest the team has ever been was 10 but that was mostly a retail team. Even now the team is just three of us, which I love. I like keeping the team as small as possible, but that's just a personal preference. I handle the management and vision of the business. Brooke handles the creative aspects of everything because she is brilliant and Alexa handles all the customer service. That is it. I would encourage people to start their first business on their own so they can learn all aspects of it. If you need a partner to start then so be it but make sure things are clear up front on who does what!
Again, if you have any questions please e-mail them to me and I will try to answer them in a blog post or video. My e-mail is [email protected]!