Premium member Genevieve Rosen-Biller is the founder of 100% French flax linen bedding company, Bed Threads. Starting her brand in 2017, Genevieve sold out of stock just three weeks after she launched. We asked her how she did it.
When it comes to creating a business, the process can often go a little something like this: dream up brilliant business idea, create and perfect product, start selling and marketing said product.
It seems counterintuitive to launch your business’ social accounts before you’re even offering a product, but creating a platform and building an engaged community before bombarding them with sale messaging and product drops could be the secret to a successful launch.
In the case of my e-commerce business, Bed Threads, building a social following (on Instagram, particularly) in the months before launch was key to our initial success. It was a free and effective way to market to potential customers, gave us an easy introduction to like-minded influencers and accounts, and allowed us to evoke what we were about – visually, and in terms of our unique service proposition – so when we launched our website, we had a community of potential customers in the pipeline. It’s not a fail-safe way to launch a business (there’s no such thing!) but it helped us sell out of our initial round of stock in three weeks.Starting your own business ? Here are three key tactics that could help.
1. Start your social media channels early to generate interest
Linen, bedding and homewares is a competitive category so instinctively I knew that we needed to build hype and interest if we wanted to have cut-through in this space. We started our social media strategy around six months before our website went live. In that time, we built a following of 2000 who were interested in the brand and we had many enquiries to buy well before our products launched. Many of these followers had also subscribed to our newsletter, too – so we were able to launch with an invaluable database.
Your social media channels are an important way to communicate what’s different about your product and the earlier you can do this, the better. Sharing our aesthetic, our high quality range and our lower price point difference with potential customers well before our launch date meant that we built anticipation and a need for our products. If you start your social media strategy just before you launch, you miss a lucrative opportunity to foster demand for your product and a connection to your brand.
2. Share your brand, not just your product.
When starting your social media channels well before you launch your product, it’s crucial to focus on your brand over your product alone. Break up your product shots with lifestyle content so you build a positive sentiment towards your brand and aren’t pushing salesy content onto your community constantly. Bed Threads have published our own recipes, decorating tips, content created in collaboration with influencers and more.
Your followers need to be getting something of value from you that they can’t get anywhere else – think of your followers as an audience, instead of just customers, and serve them with relevant content. Your pre-launch social media strategy is less about focusing on building profits and more about building a brand. If your content is of a high calibre, it will have a knock-on effect to the rest of your business and your following (and sales!) will grow organically.
3. Make a commitment and stick to it.
When you’re starting a business there are so many things needing your attention that often “social media” can fall to the bottom of the pile. Don’t view cultivating your social media following early on in the piece as a waste of time, it’s a long-term play that will pay dividends later on. Bed Threads’ social following has now grown to 19,200 in around a year and a half and a lot of this is thanks to us starting early.
Our amazing followers gave us feedback on what they wanted in those early days (for example, our best-selling Rosewater set came about due to customers asking for it) and have helped us to hone our offering to their needs. It’s important to create a social media strategy early on but it’s equally as important to stick to it. In the early days, I would spend around one to three hours on our social media channels daily. This included replying to DMs, curating the feed, posting content, using relevant hashtags, collaborating with influencers, sharing product previews and ensuring everything we put out was inspiring on on-brand.
While social media is just one part of your pre-release marketing strategy, neglecting it will essentially deprive you of a ready-made, interested customer base come launch time.
Connect with Genevieve Rosen-Biller here.
Premium member Genevieve Rosen-Biller is a journalist-turned-entrepreneur and the founder of 100% French flax linen bedding company, Bed Threads. Bed Threads’ signature product is a pure 100% French Flax Linen Bedding Set that includes two pillowcases, a duvet cover and a fitted sheet, offered at an accessible price point, delivered free Australia-wide.