2018 Debrief: A Year in Review
2018 Debrief: A Year in Review
Oh, hey there.
What a year of learning. A year of working an online market, learning what people need and getting clarity on who we are as a brand.
To celebrate Teakie’s first birthday, I thought it would be cool to share my journey with you and give you some updates. Hope you find it interesting and useful.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
After launching Teakie in November of last year, things developed quickly. I received a sudden, somewhat unexpected interest in custom design & digital work. These were projects that were super exciting, stimulating and involving some amazing people and businesses.
So grew the offering. Teakie Studio, or simply the Studio.
The Studio is a wonderful part of the business. I like working with larger projects, supporting freelancers and small shops. It also allows us to really deliver a magnificent end-result because we get to marry amazing talent with strategy and execution.
Design and digital projects take up time though. Months, really. For a good part of the year, it’s where I put much of my focus and that will continue through 2019.
Takeaway: Put yourself out there. Take opportunities as they come. Enjoy the unexpected.
TEAKIE’S FIRST PROJECT
Teakie’s very first real project was getting hired to create marketing materials for a food & bakery packaging business called Enjay. Enjay offers a wide range of cake & deli boards, cupcake and muffin cups, piping bags and more to grocery stores and bakeries across North America.
What made it even more amazing was getting to collaborate with two talented creatives and friends, Alex and Karlee. We brought our best across borders and time zones. Texas, Oregon, Montreal. So dope.
Karlee is the food blogger and stylist behind Olive and Artisan, 2018 Saveur’s Best Food Photography Winner. She is so talented and has found a really unique style. You’ll definitely want to check out her blog and Instagram.
Alex is the founder and CEO behind The Routine Creative, graphic design house for intentional brands. He has an impressive roster of projects. Check them out here.
I’m currently working on a digital360 project for a multi-family office in the high-net-worth space here in Montreal. Will be hiring for this project in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Ultimately, I want to use our platform to help support your craft. One objective for next year is to share work opportunities, referrals, product launches and collaborations within the TK community.
If you have anything you want to share or promote, I’ll be taking submissions for inclusion in our newsletter.
CREATING A PRODUCT-SERVICE
I also got a lot of requests from incredible business owners who were not at the stage where they were ready to invest thousands in a custom design.
And there are SO many moving parts to a website and online presence—graphic design, web design, photography, copywriting, marketing, technology—it can be hard to keep up. If someone wanted to outsource ev-ery-thing, it costs big bucks to do it right.
But I wanted to serve them. To figure out a way to provide a product-slash-service that incorporates all the moving parts of an online brand, from website to marketing, in a beautiful, results-focused and cost efficient manner.
So, came what is now called “TeakieCare.”
TeakieCare is fun because it allows us to really work with our clients in areas they need to succeed online, and otherwise would take time, skill and brain space to master. It also gave a real, hands-on experience on figuring out what people want, value and need.
If you’re a designer, marketer or social manager, TeakieCare could be a cool product at your disposal. If you’re looking for rapid, stylish and robust web development with a focus on marketing for you clients, we may just be the perfect match to complement your offering!
To learn more, check out our TeakieCare website.
Takeaway: Focus on solving a problem. You won’t solve it overnight. Keep refining. You never really know the market’s response until you try it. Listen to the response.
As you may or may not know, I’m a one-woman show, bootstrapping a small tech company from her room in the North. No outside funding. No fancy rounds of venture cap. Just a girl with a plan and a hustle to match.
Because I’ve been so busy serving clients and developing the platform, marketing had to take the back seat. It was time this changed.
As Amy Porterfield said, I had to get my content house in order.
To overcome this challenge, I needed a clear strategy, action plan and at least a month’s advance on my content. So I buckled down, made a plan and created a ton of content in batches. I’m super excited because now, I have a wild amount of resources and content coming your way.
Takeaway: A year in entrepreneurship has ultimately been a year in defining priorities, strategic planning and goal setting. Without it, it’s like steering a ship on the open sea without a compass.
As for the Marketplace & Directory, there are some neat plans for 2019 that I’m very excited about.
We have an incredible platform. A fully functioning marketplace for digital products that can be a great source of passive income for business owners and content creators. A beautiful directory that combines form and function like no other.
One important lesson was understanding our distinct audiences and buyer personas: Designers, Content Creators and Entrepreneurs. Each with very specific needs, skills and know-how.
In 2019, we will be focusing on:
- Realigning target market
- Developing product offering
- Increasing marketing + content
- Opening up the platform
- Hire, hire, hire!
More to come in the coming weeks.
Takeaway: Get to know your customer better than they know themselves. Give them what they want.
I love the directory. Truthfully, I do. Over the past year, I realized realized that it needs more room to breathe—to be free in all its glory—literally. Free. In order to do that, I wanna open up the platform and share it with you. To use it as you wish. Ask for features. Make it yours. Grow our businesses.
Search for specialists, share referrals, work opportunities, collaborations and latest launches. I’d also like to support your initiatives by sharing them in our newsletter.
More details to come in the upcoming weeks.
Takeaway: Create something and give it away for free. You don’t have to monetize everything.
WITNESS A BRAND IN EVOLUTION
All of this has culminated in the expression of the evolution of the Teakie brand. You can say, she’s going through an exercise in identity. This is exciting, especially as the company takes in everything it’s learned and transforms that into visual and digital mediums.
And for you, as a reader, you can watch me navigate it as I experience it.
I kinda like where it’s going.
YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL ALONE
As the year came to a close, one of my biggest (and most exciting!) realizations was that it was time to hire.
It is so exciting to be able to take Teakie to the next level. If you’re a self-starter, looking for a challenge, with an open mind and a strong work ethic, reach out to me directly at email@example.com.
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR
- Online Courses & Education
- Affiliate Program
- Influencer Campaign
- Features & Collaborations
YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND
I’m open to feature requests. Anything that you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments section below and let’s chat!
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse behind Teakie. As always, thanks for the support.