Advertising for Something That Doesn’t Quite Exist Yet.

I’m not a marketer, but I’ve read through enough marketing books to know the important stuff:

  1. Focus on human emotions ❤️
  2. Create “Brand-Advocates”, not just customers 📣
  3. Marketing is forever changing ✍️

Seems simple enough, right? Before you DM me saying there’s so much more to marketing than that, just keep in mind that A) I managed to raise only 50K in funding for an idea that spawned from a YouTube channel, B) don’t have enough money to pay myself, and C) barely have enough money to pay two developers. I can’t afford a full time marketer, and I’m not the kind of person to spend 10K on someone who gives themself the title of “marketing consultant”. At 19 years old this entire entrepreneurial experience for me is an attempt. So I’m going to attempt to be a marketer as well.

As of June 1st, The Storybook Factory is live for anyone to access and sign up for. We spent the previous year developing the service, building our email list, cold calling potential buyers (schools), and putting together marketing material. The difficulty with all of this was trying to find a way to introduce The Storybook Factory to an audience without calling it the X for Y, i.e “The Netflix for children’s books”. The solution came from understanding the important stuff (numbered above).

Focus on human emotions.

Every single parent wants the best for their child. For us, we put the focus on how and why we want to help children read.

Why: Kids are out of school

How: Access to a diverse library of enhanced books

Create “Brand-Advocates”, not just customers

This is a fun one. People like to feel special, so when you give them value they will give you value back. We are unique in that our Brand Advocates are not just our customers, but our authors as well. By showcasing their work and talents, we can effectively award them with the value they deserve. Some of our favorite books come from self-published authors who just want to share their work with others.

Marketing is forever changing

Stay trendy — that’s it. If you have big goals but a small startup like The Storybook Factory, you can’t afford to stop adapting. The moment you stop adapting is the moment your brand will start to die. Fortunately for us, we live in an incredible time where there is a seemingly endless number of ways to market to potential customers. Personally, I hate being marketed to through obvious advertisements. Take a look at @doubleshot or @DennysDiner. They are both great examples of the approach we are taking. Less emphasis on the product and more engaging content.

So what didn’t work for us?

Well, we found out that people don’t like knowing that they are being sold to…even when it’s advertising a discount. This is when we realized we needed to shift our focus from selling the product to creating more engaging content and focusing on emotions instead.

Ineffective ad.

Now time to drop some raw knowledge here… You don’t know what your potential customer will want until you put 1$ into different Facebook ads to see what they actually like. We did this, and for only a dollar a day we could see which ads proved more popular among others and then put a larger budget on the more effective ads. As expected, the ads that followed the three tips above had the strongest impact.