How to meet shoe brand founders
1. Message them out of the blue
You can find new and established shoe brand founders on social media. You can DM them or send them an email, but most likely, they’ll ignore you because they’re busy, they don’t know who you are, and they don’t know what you want from them.
2. Visit shoe trade shows
Shoe trade shows can be small and manageable or massive like MICAM or MAGIC. The big ones take advance planning, so that you can make the most of your time there. Work out which brands’ stands you most want to visit and where they are located.
When you arrive, strike up a conversation with the person on the stand if they’re not already talking to someone. If they are, come back later. Arriving early can mean that stands are a bit quieter.
If you’re lucky and if the brand is small, the person on the stand might be the founder and could be willing to share some first-hand experience of their journey with you. If not, the person on the stand might be a sales rep or agent and they might be willing to share some insights. Either way, be careful not to monopolise their time and move along when you see real customers approaching.
3. Build a relationship
Commenting nicely on shoe brands’ social media posts is a way to gently introduce yourself to their founders. Don’t just copy and paste, but comment with something relevant, personal and meaningful.
Do this consistently over time, and then send them a DM or email.
Consider what you need, and what’s in it for them. For example friendship or the feeling of helping someone at an earlier stage than themselves. Be humble and have low expectations.
4. Join a ready-made group of shoe brand founders
The Shoe Community is an online membership group for shoe brand founders at pre- or post-launch stage. It’s never too early to join, even if you only have a concept and are just starting to look for resources to help you progress towards launch.
In The Shoe Community, shoe start-ups and small shoe brand founders help solve each other’s problems. Members receive regular online live masterclasses with relevant experts, and virtual community meet-ups. When you join, you will also receive access to the extensive archive of previous masterclass recordings.
Find out more about The Shoe Community, and apply to join here.
I hope you have enjoyed discovering how to meet shoe brand founders. I would love to welcome you into The Shoe Community when you’re ready.
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