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Aliens are attacking the U.S. artists!
Hey everybody. Hope this newsletter issue finds you hungry enough for some cool stories!
You think the headline is weird? No, it’s not! When I immigrated to the US they gave me an “Alien Number” — it’s a routine procedure! And this issue is all about new “alien” creatives that are joining a global digital economy. Sit tight!
Last week I got a beautiful email from a talented designer in Ecuador who just signed up for my newsletter. Since what he shared with me is one of the reasons that I started NXT ANIMAL, I asked him to publish part of his email. Thank you Alejandro!
I mostly work in furniture design, contemporary and collectible furniture. At the moment I'm developing a furniture brand which I intend to export mainly to the US.
Most of the challenges in developing the brand are not designing or sourcing, they are more on the business side. Especially finding physical or digital platforms to directly connect to potential customers/buyers. I'm aware these are regular difficulties, but creating an interest and trusted bond of art and design goods with a customer is harder than expected.
I feel you, my friend! Marketing, especially building an audience, is the hardest part of any online business. But I’m sure you can see the opportunity here as well: You just started in South America and are already planning to target U.S. customers.
With the digital economy, it was expected for BIG companies to expand their business in a global market. But now, creative individuals, local brands, and upcoming studios work from anywhere in the world and ship whatever they want to their ideal clients.
You might think, “why would American customers want to buy a piece of decor from Ecuador?”
Let’s discover some more stories:
For a fraction of the Valley cost!
At the beginning of this year I was providing consulting services for a new startup in Silicon Valley. They needed an affordable solution for their huge and ongoing content pool. Through my research, I came across this studio in Ukraine and the slogan on their main page amazed me:
We produce videos in Kyiv for a fraction of the Valley cost.
I couldn’t resist and I emailed them:
I'm a filmmaker based in L.A. One question: Are you guys referring to the Valley in LA?
They answered back with only one line:
Do you disagree?
This is part of what I wrote back:
I've been working and watching the changes in creative industries all over the world. You guys are delivering great quality while undercutting Los Angeles's agencies from Ukraine! This is a new world, and everyone should be ready for this game. Feel free to continue the conversation.
We did continue our conversation. Such a nice team with a great attitude! And they already had some clients in San Francisco!
Access to a very fast internet and so many new digital tools and platforms for creators made this possible! You know what will be even crazier? Sooner or later this will become routine, and then you won’t even need to undercut anyone to get a share. It’s already yours.
Do yourself a favor and before going to the next part, reflect for a moment: Does that scare you? Or is it an opportunity?
Trust me, you can dance!
This month we bought mezcal from a small local brand in Oaxaca, called Doña Vega. Why? Because most Mezcal and tequila brands in the U.S. are just bottling and packaging other products from Mexico.
What I’m looking for is the true craftsmanship of the spirit: honest local experiences vs. greedy corporate vibe. Doña Vega lets their plants mature for up to nine years before hand-selecting the best ones to make their high-quality mezcal.
How did we find them? The journey is interesting:
My wife has recently started the Keto diet, and she was looking for a low-carb drink. She found DoñaVega’s Instagram page through a micro health influencer. We followed their page for a while and we fell in love with the personal stories (The founder left her job in PR industry to run this risky business!) and their strong human touch. And that’s how they became the icon of tequila and mezcal in our mind!
The new internet is bringing back what globalization almost killed in metropolitan areas: Access to the local brands and stores!
It’s a direct-marketing revolution, which cuts layers of distribution, customized and personalized products and moves from the local to the global level.
Here are your takeaways
Don’t let your geography limit your vision. The world is your playground now. This newsletter has readers from Singapore and Buenos Aires to New York! If you are a little bit more unique than others and personal enough, you can sell your talents from Ukraine to Silicon Valley!
Whatever digital business you want to run, it’s better to start by building an audience first. The journey will be very slow and long, but also very rewarding.
The best marketing strategy? Be YOU. Start sharing your backstory with your audience. Start sharing your behind-the-scenes stories. People will buy from people.
That’s all for now folks!
Please help me to spread the word and share this post with another amazing creator! Next week is either going to be about lo-fi aesthetics or the no-code movement! Both can help you save tons of money and move fast with your ideas.
Stay sane! Stay yourself!
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