122 | Four key take-aways from Paper Camp
I’m recording this on a Sunday evening, just two short days after I finished hosting our 16th Paper Camp conference and I’m just now getting a chance to reflect on everything we did at Paper Camp and the amazing feedback we had from our students. In this episode, I want to share some of their key take-aways with you here on this episode.
But first I want to preface this conversation by saying we cover a lot of ground at Paper Camp. This is our signature program and we’ve helped over 1,000 small businesses on how to get their products on the shelves on their favorite retail shops. We talk about product development, sales tools for wholesale, sales strategies - working with reps and tech solutions like Faire, marketing to wholesale buyers and the nuts and bolts of exhibiting at shows.
As you can imagine, it is a very rich, full two days.
I tell you all of that to let you know that we modify each Paper Camp conference for the cohort that is there. They tell us where they are in their business and what they need help with. So, we tailor each conference and course to the attendees that are in attendance; and that is what is reflected in these student take-aways.
Now, let’s get to the meat of it. Here are the top four take-aways our students left with:
Validation. They are on the right track, making smart decisions in their busines and they are not alone. They left feeling validated in the decisions they’ve made thus far and confident in the steps ahead.
Road Map. They have answers and know where they are going next. They were given strategies, tools and next steps for their specific business at Paper Camp and now they just need to do the work. Many of them felt relief knowing they have a road map in place.
Community. So often creative entrepreneurs feel like they are working in silos. So, to sit in the same room as people who understand them, are working towards similar goals and building similar businesses is refreshing. Having an safe space to openly share resources and strategies without feeling like you’re in direct competition is a special thing.
Options. They realized they have a lot of options for how to create their work, diversify their revenue streams and build a sustainable company. There is no one size fits all approach, but now they have information to make the best decisions possible for the business they want to build
In addition to the student’s takeaways, I also want to share with you our speakers’ final parting words of wisdom:
Rachael Hetzel from Pistachio Press reminded people that there is no one way to build a business. We all do things differently, and that’s what makes our products & business unique. Doing what you love and being confident in your decisions is what will make your business grow stronger. We’re in a unique and supportive industry that o
Kimberley Yurkiewicz from Crow & Canary reminded people that they are not alone. If they have a question, its likely someone else has that same question. So, reach out to the community, lean on your peers and leverage the Paper Camp community as you continue to grow.
Katie Wilson from The Good Twin encouraged our students to embrace incremental growth. She acknowledged that everyone is building their businesses in a unique way and there is no “right way” to launch to wholesale or release new products. She reminded everyone that even though they all have the same tools, advice and strategies from Paper Camp, that their journeys will be unique. Take comfort in your path and be proud of what you’re building.
Carina Murray from Crow & Canary advised people to push themselves to cultivate a unique point of view with their products. While there is an insecurity around being different, embrace it -- buyers are hungry and want to see innovation.
And, I reminded everyone that slow steady growth is how strong businesses are build. Be intentional, strategic and confident once they decided on a path. Trust yourself to make the right decisions
These are just some of the things we talked about at Paper Camp. I wanted to take you behind the scenes as to what we do at Paper Camp as well as what our key take-aways were. I hope you find it helpful as you’re navigating decisions in your own business.
And, I want to remind you that our online program -- the Paper Camp E-Course is open for enrollment and we only have a few seats left. Registration will close this week and we’ll start classes on September 30th. Get more information and register at proooftoproduct.com/papercamp. I look forward to working with you!