Most of these posts I write are for the intent of selling my pick. While I recognize this as necessary, and I do my best to put my heart into it, I really don't care for the marketing aspect of the industry. As the title states, this one is just for me. I don't want to put off the wrong impression because I do want to sell my guitar picks but, I want to put something out there that tells a little more about me and what my intentions are.
I have done fairly well so far with respect to the response that I have received from the players willing to try The Dragon's Heart but, it still is not enough to keep this product alive. We are very close as of right now to being able to pay the bills that will keep The Dragon's Heart going and available to the players, but I still have to split my time between this business and the other work that I can find to help pay the bills. I spent 13 years of my life in the United States Marine Corps, and this business was started from my concept and design of the ideal guitar pick combined with what little money I could save during that time. Everything I have has been invested in to this.
It might seem silly to some but I spent a lot of time (and money) perfecting a guitar pick for myself. It was only by showing off my work to others that I realized it might have a place in the market. When the time came to leave the United States Marine Corps or reenlist, I chose to leave and pursue this. Most of my time and all of my savings have gone into making this available to the world. I still have a long, long way to go to get the word out to the whole guitar playing world. Even though this does not (and may never) fully support me and my family, I stand by this product and my decision to bring it to the market.
My time in the United States Marine Corps taught me a whole lot about a lot of things. It is the sole reason that I was able to develop such a great product and get it as far as I have. Most of you probably don't realize, but the United States Marine Corps has the smallest budget of any military branch. Most Marines learn very quickly how to do a lot more with a little less, we even have dedicated training to further this concept. Had it not been for this, I can tell you for certain that the Dragon's Heart would either be much more expensive or it would have to be made overseas.
I started this business with a very simple concept; do something I believe in. My goals were; to create something I love and share it, to contribute the the US economy and create jobs, and to leave behind something that people will remember. I worked very hard to develop the ideal guitar pick. I worked even harder to make sure it was 100% made in USA.
All of my experience, training, and hard work has done well so far. I was able to maintain my high quality standards, keep the price low, and bring this pick to the entire world. To date, we have had 5,775 visitors to our site. From that, 244 orders have been placed, and we have shipped a total of 461 picks. That is a 4.2% conversion rate. From what I'm told that is really good with respect to standard internet conversion rates, especially considering I only have one product.
In addition, the response from the two shows I have done so far has been even more promising. At the shows we have to work hard to get players to stop and try these, but we sell to more than 4 out of 5 players that sit down and try them. My collected data actually shows 84%, but it is hard to keep accurate records at the shows because we are very focused on the players. Let me just inject a very special thank you to my family for supporting me at these shows. I would be alone and lost in this effort with out them.
The percentages and response are good. So good that one might think that I would barely be able to keep up with business. This is not the case. The simple fact is; I am not reaching enough people. This is where I really start to really get frustrated. You might think that the answer is as simple as one word, advertise. I do advertise, in every way that I know and can afford. I have also spent most of the past 5 months feverishly researching and learning as much as can about advertising and marketing. While I have done fairly well on a small budget, I can tell you one thing for certain; marketing is all about the money.
I currently pay for any advertising that I can afford. I cannot afford much and thankfully the great people at Wired SEO believe in me and my product. They have done so much for me and asked for little in return. Beyond the help I get, I am also always trying creative new ways to get the word out for little to no cost. The bottom line remains, the marketing game is all about money.
As I stated, I have some wonderful people helping me with marketing (thank you Wired SEO), and they have performed near miracles with almost nothing. Unfortunately, these feats pale in comparison to what can be done with a big budget. This next statement is loaded but I have come to believe it to be true based on my research and study. No one wants to believe this, even I want to reject it, but nothing I have learned thus far can refute it.
Effectiveness of marketing is more important than the quality of the product, and your marketing reach is directly proportional to your budget. I have come to realize this as fact and, if you know something that proves this incorrect, please (PLEASE!!!) share. Few things would make me happier than to prove this wrong. I created my pick with quality in mind and it makes me very sad that many players might not see it because I can't afford the means to show them.
I have good start and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for all the support that I have received from my family, Wired SEO, and the players. Unfortunately one simple, inescapable fact remains. My business is not supporting my family. I still have to take the work that I can get and, let me tell you, it's hard to find full time work when you have spent the last two years of your life building a business that is still growing.
Rest assured, the Dragon's Heart Guitar Pick will carry on, one way or the other. I am a United States Marine, and I will never give up. No good Marine ever gives up. Also, no Marine ever stands alone. Stand with me, if you will. Your support shall not be for nothing.
Unitl next time... Play with fire, in your heart!!!
And Semper Fi,
AKA: SSgt Bell, Corey W.