In China today is the singles day and US$84.54bn of sales were made on the Alibaba platform, which shows just how much people like to give, and to receive, presents. Now any company can give unique merchandise to their customers, partners and staff using print on demand services like the one I am using called Printful. The Entrepreneur Merch Co on Etsy. I explain how to design a range of products, using a virtual assistant, and to then connect the merchandise to Etsy. I explain the costing of the phone case which I gifted to myself which arrived today from the Printful plant in Latvia.Descript is what I use to edit the show.
Were you one of the people that bought somebody, something else today? Well, in China, some 84.5, $4 billion worth of gifts were bought today on what is the 1111 it's the famous singles day, really pioneered by Jack ma and the Alibaba group. This is the big festival of spending. It's like the Valentine's day on steroids in China. Now, why am I talking about this in, in the context of a public relations show? Well, the reason is because giving things to other people. Is a really powerful way of building a relationship. And I don't mean bribery. Now, what I'm talking about is the opportunity to build your own brand using customized merchandise. Now I'm also quite excited it's not a day that I was given something by somebody else, but when something arrived for me, I have been building out the unnoticed entrepreneur merchandise and today from Latvia arrived, my mobile phone. Now my platform of the unnoticed entrepreneur is these 19 dots. It's the same on the book. And it's the same, uh, on the, uh, all the merchandise is the idea that. Only 5% of the population are entrepreneurs. And so I have 18 dots plus one and roughly 5% of my dots are unique, just the one.in the middle. So my phone case has arrived with my design and this is, uh, the advanced God, because coming soon from Spain on my hat and my teeth. Now the reason I'm sharing this is because other than an unashamed plug for my merchandise, it's just to give insight into an opportunity for every business owner now to create branded products at a fraction of the cost with a much greater range than was ever possible before. Now, I want just to explain to you how I've done it, but there are other ways to do it as well. What I've done is to work on a platform called Printful and working with a VA in the Philippines. We've made the designs of the logos, uploaded those to Printful and applied them to a number of the products that are available on Printful. So Printful is got everything from clothing. To, uh, ceramics to drink where to home, where I've already chosen. For example, to have my, uh, noticed entrepreneur dots, applied to hats, t-shirts tote bag, um, cooking apron, a water bottle mugs. And of course my new handphone. All the products appear to be really good quality. And what's really fascinating about this from an entrepreneur's point of view is that you don't have to buy any stock. So you upload the design and then if you want to order a sample or an order individual items, then you can make. And of course there are others like Vista print here in the UK does this. There's also spring, formally Teespring, and there's also one called red bubble for t-shirts. So there are a number of these P O D platforms as they're called, which enable entrepreneurs, business owners to design. Products, either as merchandise or actually to sell. Now, in my case, I have designed the merchandise to compliment this podcast. And of course I have the book and I have my speak PR methodology. So I want to have the design applied to other items. To support the overall brand proposition rather than to make it into a commercial enterprise. I do want it to wash its face, but I'm not trying to go for huge volume and low cost of production. And here really is why I think a pod is a great opportunity for all of us because. The pod companies, also the drop shipping companies, as they sometimes go where you buy and sell without actually taking delivery of the goods, enable us to design something like. Uh, handphone cover Printful will meet the design and that also do all the shipping to the end customer. And what this means is that I can market the, my design or I can buy any number of my own designs to deliver, to, for example, a customer or a member of staff or a partner without having to buy large volumes of them in the past. When we. Company merchandise. We had had to buy a minimum order of t-shirts or of, of notebooks or of mugs in the end. It would lots of them left over in the cupboard, but that has all changed now with the pod, with Printful, for example, with my, um, my phone case, which is made of biodegradable materials. Uh, it comes in a number of different colors and I have one today that's delivered it's it's, it's a red with white dots and it costs me 11 pounds 19 for the individual, uh, individual item three pounds, 29. For the shipping. Uh that's because this one was made in Latvia, although they are now opening in the UK, this company Printful they have America and Australia as well as content or Europe, and then have a, a two pound 90 VAT. So the cost of a customized phone case is 16 pounds, 78 designed and delivered a one-off. So this is an amazingly affordable entry-level promotional idea. That I can give to either member of staff or to a partner or to a customer. Now you can actually personalize a number of the items. So you could put someone's name on for exact. And have the design. You could have individual companies names. So the ability to brand an individual product with the name, for example, the recipient is going to be a fantastic way to. Uh, relationship. And I think this is really important because as we're not seeing one another anymore, um, people are not going to the retail stores or they're not going to the warehouse. And if they are not going to events, although that is opening up now, but they're not spending as much time in the office. How do we keep people? If you like connected to our brand without selling them something every day and merchandise branded. T-shirts hats, mugs, water bottles, iPhone cases, computer bags, backpacks. All these items can help keep a brand in and around. The lifestyle or the office working area of the people that we want to do business with. Now, what I have done with my Printful account is I connected that to an Etsy store. So one of the reasons I chose this Printful platform is because they have an automatic API, a set of application protocol interface. So. What happens is that I basically load up my store with my design products in Printful and I connected it to my Etsy store. I can also connect it to a Wix platform. I can connect it to Shopify. I can connect it to a number of other stores, like shop envy, and then I can actually monetize the merchandise. So my own brand. Now I'd like to think that the unnoticed entrepreneur merchants. Looks great. And we'll hopefully be a way for entrepreneurs to recognize one another. So someone's carrying the phone case and someone else's kind of the phone case or a water bottle with the design. My ambition is that people recognize an entrepreneur in the other person who was carrying or wearing the, I noticed entrepreneur merchandise. That's my bigger picture of. Some people may like that enough to want to buy it. And I have actually now already sold a number of items on my Etsy store. So that's going to give me a little bit of revenue, but be a great opportunity as well, to build a profile on social media. That's visual for my brand. If everyone's selling a service, one of the hardest things to do is to visualize that serve. And we can't just keep giving people our logo or maybe doing a talking head video. Merchandise gives us a chance to either put a logo or a strapline or anything that we like on social media. And we all know that picture superiority effect overwhelms text. And so we can take the merchandise and even put it into a short video using a platform like Lumina five or video. Which does full animation of a small picture. So using a platform, which is a pod light Printful and there are others like Vista print in the UK, but they don't have connections to stores. Like Etsy gives us the opportunity to a, be a little bit creative with our own brand, but also to monetize our brand. If we want to. But also create a value of perceived value of the goods that we're going to give to our valued customer. So if I have, for example, my phone case on my website at 24 pounds 99, and I give that to someone, the perceived value is nearly 25 pounds. It actually is only costing me 17 pounds. So it gives me the opportunity to give favorites and to review. People that I want to thank for, for working with me. So Valentine's day, of course, is in February, in, in Western Europe, in China, 1111, which is today is the big day $84 billion worth of orders. Gross merchandise value in one day. Now, apparently that was a 14% increase from the year before. This is all according to Reuters. But what it really shows is that giving as a central part of what we need to do as human beings. And as we haven't been seeing one another, anywhere near as much as we might've done in the past, creating a bond through a gift is a really powerful way of ensuring relationships are lasting and that our brand and our proposition is there top of mind, when that person is started to consider. Working with us or buying from us. My story is called the unnoticed entrepreneur merchant company on Etsy. So if you fancy villain for the entrepreneur merchant company on Etsy and liking it, that'd be fantastic. Check out the merchandise, check out printful.com and the, see it as a way for you to start to build your brand with. Phone case one hat one. T-shirt at a time. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Jim James. If you've got any questions, do just reach out to me, Jim, at east west pr.com. Always happy to answer your questions. You've been listening to the unnoticed entrepreneur, and I really hope that you get noticed for all the great things that you do.