I Created a Dropshipping Store in 30 Days to Learn Facebook Ads, Copywriting, and Shopify Web Design
I’m participating in a program called Praxis. The bootcamp and apprenticeship program helps you develop professional and personal branding skills, as well as a portfolio of projects to land an awesome job at a growing tech startup. I started in February, and I’ve grown so much already through documenting tech tools that I’ve learned and learning how to write effectively and present myself professionally.
This month, I decided to create a dropshipping store for home decor called Decor Premier. I really love interior design and aesthetically pleasing homes, so I thought this would be a fun area to focus on for my store. I want to learn about Facebook Ads and apply that knowledge, and I’m also really passionate about e-commerce. I really miss running an e-commerce business after I started my nonprofit almost a year ago, so this is a very exciting opportunity for me.
Check out my store here.
Skills I’ve Gained
Building a dropshipping store has allowed me to gain skills that will serve me well beyond the world of e-commerce. Hard skills I’ve gained:
#1: The ability to design a compelling website and digital storefront.
- Using Photoshop to bring products to life. Using Shopify’s existing tools and customizing the design elements of a website.
#2: A mastery of data-driven digital advertising strategy.
- Principles of ad strategy remain the same across different situations, just different puzzles to solve.
#3: The ability to visualize and create ads that are engaging and highly converting.
- Understanding which types of ads are effective online, visualizing ads for my own brand, and bringing ads to life.
#4: Mastery of messaging, sales strategy, and visual components that resonate with potential customers.
- Engaging captions, emails, product descriptions. Writing copy that converts.
And soft skills:
- Time management
- Project management
- Ability to be self-directed and learn independently
- Critical thinking/problem-solving
- Thinking like an entrepreneur
- Communication and writing
Links to Posts and Videos I Created
- Blog Post on Product Research and Niche Selection
- Path From Dropshipper to Brand-Builder
- Spider Web Facebook Ad Strategy
- Facebook Ad Setup and Creatives Blog Post
- Video Showcasing my Shopify Store
- Spocket and Oberlo Overview
- Entrepreneurial Mindset Blog Post
Why I Did This Project
I am very passionate about e-commerce, and I wanted to broaden my understanding of the industry after launching a nonprofit skincare brand. I definitely see myself revisiting e-commerce and doing e-commerce long-term. Although my project was building a dropshipping store, I hope to build a sustainable, trustworthy, and high-quality brand in the future. I’m also very passionate about interior design, which is why I eventually decided on the niche of home decor.
Because I want to start a digital marketing agency, I thought that building a dropshipping store would give me hands-on experience with creating and running Facebook ads.
What I Would Have Done Differently
I really struggled with solidifying a project idea this month, which was frustrating. If I did this project all over again, I would have thought more deeply about how to connect this project to my career aspirations. I also would have been more proactive in seeking help.
Be more proactive in seeking help
After meeting with a Praxis advisor, I had a much clearer picture of how to pursue my project. Because of her, I realized that it doesn’t make sense for me to create several infographics, since I am not applying for design positions. It’s good to ask for help from people you’re working for, as opposed to waiting for them to reach out to you. Learning from this experience will benefit me when I’m an apprentice.
Pivoted my project earlier
I wish I had pivoted sooner as well. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time researching how to connect SEO and infographics. I later realized that I should pivot completely, as my project idea wasn’t exciting to me.
Get clear on my project goals earlier
Additionally, my project organization wasn’t ideal. I started off with using Trello but quickly realized that I disliked using the tool. I ended up using Notion. I also had a poor sense of what I needed to accomplish, so I ended up doing a lot of research instead of getting things done during the month-long project.
I also struggled with motivation and feelings of isolation.
Finally, I wish I wasn’t so much of a perfectionist. Everything on my website had to be perfect, so I spent a lot of time on tiny details. I guess being extremely meticulous and paying attention to details isn’t always a bad thing.
I had so much fun with this project this month, and I’ve grown a lot since the beginning of the month. As a result, I’ve gained the confidence to learn in-demand skills quickly on my own, build cool things from those skills, and write about my experience.
I realized that working on something you’re super passionate about makes the time fly by and makes doing somewhat tedious work a lot more bearable. I feel alive and energized when I am involved in entrepreneurial ventures. I’m definitely going to return to e-commerce in the future, using the skills I’ve gained this month. For now, though, I’m going to focus on other pursuits, including building my agency.
This was such an awesome learning experience!