Lifestyle ~ From Patent to Product to Profit | Selling on Amazon & Shopify + Video


How to write a Patent, Legalzoom

I can't believe that my Wig Support Strap Patent published on Nov 2013 is 2yrs old and that I am selling a product in the American marketplace. Fast forward to 2015, I have learned a lot about marketing and selling products. I started out selling on Etsy, then I moved to Amazon which I'm currently selling on and just recently opened my online store on Shopify. Between Amazon and Shopify, I am doing pretty good but there's always room for improvement.  I have set some pretty amazing goals for my product this year which includes advertising and networking for more exposure.

INCOME STREAMS
How to write a Patent, Legalzoom

1) Amazon - I have been selling on Amazon since Mar 2014 and have my two products listed on Amazon here and here.  Amazon gives us free advertising and my lace straps always come up in the first 10 listings in the Google search engines when someone searches for "lace wig straps" "lace straps" "wig straps" or a combination thereof. With Amazon, I don't have any control over the shipping cost, Amazon makes everyone pays shipping per each item and they set the shipping cost according to weight. My package weight is 3ozs so my shipping is set to $4.95. If you order 3 straps, it'll cost you $14.85 for shipping. This is every seller's biggest pet peeve with Amazon and there's nothing we can do, it's how they make their money.... along with our seller fees (another story entirely!)

2) Shopify -  I have been selling on Shopify since April 2015. I wanted my own personal website so that I could have total control over my products and also over the shipping cost. I chose Shopify based on some of the reviews that I read which were amazing. Since I've set up shop, my only form of advertising has been through all my social media channels along with FB groups and Google+ groups that I belong to.  My YT channel is also one of my biggest forms of advertising because I have lots of videos demonstrating how to using the straps.  Click Here to find out more about selling on Shopify!

3) Fullscreen (YouTube Partnership) - Everyone that has a YT channel and watches YT already knows about the ads that appear across our videos. I choose to join a network because I didn't know any better, it's been 3yrs since i've been with my network and every year before my anniversary date, I say i'm going to "request to unlink" and never do.  Honestly, there's really good things about being with a network and there's negatives as well.  I won't get into them here but if you're interested in my experience with Fullscreen, comment below and I will write a blog post.  Click here to find out more about becoming a Fullscreen Partner!

4) She Knows Media (Formally BlogHer) - I have all of my social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Youtube) linked with them for sponsorships. I apply for campaigns that involves posting and promoting ads across these channels and get paid for posting.  I do not have my Blog linked but it's something that I have thought about. Honestly I don't want to give anyone control of my Blog. I've had offers to link with other media companies such as Glam Media, but I have always declined.

5) Google Adsense - The amount shown is from the ads appearing on my two Blogs, this one and my business blog entitled WigWeaves. I have them separate simply for tax reasons. I can write off quite a lot under my WigWeaves blog, whereas this blog is primarily about beauty and makeup and nothing business related. Thank goodness I have a husband that is knowledgeable in taxes and advises me on what to do, separating the two blogs was his idea. I was even able to write off my entire Patent expenses under my WigWeaves LLC because he figured out a way to tie it to my Wigmaking Blog.

MY  PATENT PRODUCT
The Design Patent is called "Lace Support Straps" (the name "Lace Wig Straps" was already taken in the patent world with a totally different design). I was issued this patent because it did not violate any other patented design using the fasteners.  Now fasteners and adjustable straps are on every Bra worn by almost every women (and teens) in the world. I took the Bra strap and modified it to a "closed" design and therefor my Patent was approved because it does not look like a Bra strap. Bra straps are "open", therefore I did not violate the Bra Strap Patent.
Lace Wig Straps

MY STORY IN VIDEO
I wanted to share my story  in a video (located below) of how it all started for me because I know some of you might be interested in what I have to say.  I know that I have received a few inquiries on how to write a patent so I covered that also. I decided to post my annual earnings so that you can see how detailed it can become when running your business from home... especially the tax reporting side and how I organize everything. In the video, I compared my Amazon 2014 earnings to my Amazon 2015 earnings so you can see the progress.

In the video I didn't get into the advertising part because I haven't really done any paid advertising.  I've been just promoting my product across all my social media channels and it has taken off from there. I also have never attended any hair expos or trade shows, but this is on my list of things to do this year.  I'm also going to invest more in marketing materials and perhaps work with a few hair vloggers to review the straps on their blogs and vlogs.  I have allowed myself an advertising budget for this year, something I've never done before so we'll see how it goes.  All in all, i'm excited to see what this year brings and hopefully come a little closer to my goals.