Brandability review – Design4Dollars (D4D)

building a brand

If you do print on demand and follow Merch Money, Design4Dollars, or Brianna Moller Greene on social media, you’ve probably been hearing about their Brandability course. I will tell you my experience with it so far.

Late last year, when they opened it up for the first time, I was immediately intrigued because I had already started working toward building my own brand. I was seeing more and more that it isn’t good to put all one’s eggs into Amazon’s basket by doing only Merch by Amazon. Or even Etsy’s basket or any of the other PODs.

Those are all excellent income streams, but the platforms still belong to someone else in the end, and you have to abide by their rules. In addition, you aren’t always privy to the data that you really need in order to build a business.

I didn’t have the money for the course at the time, so I continued to learn about it with interest but knew I wasn’t going to be able to join them.

However, one evening I was watching a tangentially related webinar or Facebook live, can’t remember which, put on by the members of D4D (Design4Dollars.com is a POD design/training service run by Aaron Englert, Brianna Greene, Christina Sisson, and Dennis Duncan – whose initials by happy coincidence are A, B, C, and D.)

They decided on the spur of the moment to offer a free membership to Brandability by drawing a name from the attendees at the end of the show, and I was lucky enough to be that name!

So on January 7, 2019, I started the 12-week course with the rest of the students. As I write this, we are working on week 7, so I can’t review the entire thing, but because they are starting a new group of students on March 4, I decided to review it so far so that those who are considering it can learn about the pros and cons.

Pros

STRUCTURE – Each Monday we receive an assignment along with several videos to instruct us on how to fulfill that assignment. We work on it throughout the week and then tune in to a live call on Thursday afternoon where we can get our questions answered directly by the D4D team (there are replays available for those who work a 9-to-5 and submit their questions via email). Friday we turn in our work (but we have till Sunday if we need it). Feedback is provided every week to each student individually.

ACCOUNTABILITY – Because of the above-mentioned structure, there is accountability to complete the work. They keep track of us like a bunch of little ducks following mama duck. This is great for people like me who tend to procrastinate at times or get distracted.

FOCUS ON THE FOUNDATION – What I mean by this is that the first few weeks of the course are all about setting the foundation for the rest of the brand-building process. We learned how to do niche research, keyword research, and niche validation so that we’re not building a brand that nobody is interested in. Too many people skip this step and then wonder why they’re not getting anywhere.

ENERGY – This team is incredibly motivated and energized. They clearly love helping people succeed. Brianna in particular is always posting ideas, helpful extra training videos, and doing impromptu live calls to help anybody who feels stuck or needs assistance. The rest of the team is great as well.

EXPERIENCE – A, B, C, and D are all successful at what they do and have a wealth of experience that they share with us. Their connections, influence, and ideas are just what a lot of us out there in POD land need because many of us are starting from absolute scratch and don’t know what resources are available to us or how to make use of them.

SCOPE – This course covers just about everything you can think of: several sales channels, several social media platforms, several print-on-demand companies, and tons of web sites and apps to help you build a real business that you could even sell if you like. They don’t just cover one thing and expect you to find the rest of what you need on your own. They even go beyond POD and talk about how to put affiliate offers out there as well as other ideas for diversifying our income.

FLEXIBILITY – Because of the scope previously mentioned, it’s easy to customize the course to your own needs. For example, if you hate Pinterest but love Instagram, you can focus more on the platforms that you enjoy and less on those you don’t. You don’t have to do every step in the course as thoroughly as others might. We’re all different and have varying needs and abilities. That’s allowed for in this program. The pace is flexible too. They recognize that not everyone has the same amount of time available each week to do the lessons and they work with you on that. But even for those who work full-time, there’s not so much work each week that it would be difficult to keep up.

SUPPORT/LONGEVITY – The D4D team has promised support that goes beyond the 12 weeks – in fact, they say once you’re in, you’re in for life! It is comforting to know that they will still be there to help us going forward.

EXTRAS – Brandability students also get free access to all the other training D4D has put out: Easy Etsy course, Easy Amazon course, a Merch Wizard Mastery course, additional niche and keyword training, and more. You can’t beat that with a stick.

Cons

Of course it’s not perfect, so I’ll tell you what could be improved. (I don’t sugarcoat reviews even when I’m an affiliate of the product or service.)

ORGANIZATION – At times, the training videos will mention a link below the video but it won’t be there. This is just an oversight and when we mention it, they fix it pronto. Sometimes too they’ll forget to delete a reference to a previous lesson and that can be confusing and make navigation a bit tricky. But again, they are fixing these issues as they arise, so by the time you read this, it may not be an issue.

TIMING – For me, this isn’t a problem, because I don’t have a “real” job so the way the course is set up works fine. But for those who have to work outside the home, the Thursday live calls have to take place without them. As mentioned above, they can still submit their questions by email and then get the answers from the recorded replay. But there is a lot of value in being on the live call and being able to interact directly with them in real time.

COST – There’s no question, it’s a chunk of change that most people don’t have lying around. But when you consider what you’ll have at the end of the 12 weeks, it seems inexpensive by comparison. If you simply don’t have the money and can’t get it, I understand that. I could tell you it’s worth it till I’m blue in the face and that wouldn’t change your financial situation if that’s what’s stopping you. But if you could move some money around and come up with the enrollment fee, then a discussion of whether it’s worth it makes sense. And it definitely is.

CONCURRENT COURSES – This is actually something that could be in the pros AND cons categories. As each new group of students starts the course, there are more and more people in the Facebook group and on the calls who are at different points in the course. So you may find that they’re covering stuff you already went through. However, this can be good. More than once I’ve found that hearing the original stuff again reminded me of something I forgot to do or clarified something I didn’t fully grasp before I moved on. It can be a tad confusing but it is also good to reinforce those original lessons. So I can’t really call this a total drawback.

CURRICULUM INFO – We don’t have a printed curriculum so that we know exactly what’s coming in each week’s lesson. They have talked about providing this in the future, though, so that may change. It would be nice to know what exactly will be covered and when.

Final thoughts

I will definitely update this review as we move along through the second half of the course. But so far, I am very happy with it and have learned a TON, even though I actually had much of the assignments done before I started – I had a Shopify site already up and running, had much of the social media in place. So for those who are starting from scratch, there is no question that this course is exactly what you need in order to get all those pieces in place. I know if I’d had the course when I was setting stuff up, I would have gotten it done a lot quicker and with fewer headaches.

Is it going to solve ALL your problems and make you a fortune in 12 weeks? No, of course not. But I can’t imagine a better, more comprehensive foundation for making bank with your POD business as you progress.

BONUS!

Anyone who signs up for Brandability using the link below will also get free permanent access to my POD Squad Graphic Design and Photoshop training course. It’s not open for public enrollment at this time but you can get in with this bonus.

Just message me on FB, email me, or use this contact form once you’ve purchased and I will get you set up.

Getting started

If you’d like to get started, click here: https://store.design4dollars.com/product/brandability-early-bird/?d4d=laburke

That is an affiliate link, which means I make a commission if you use it, although it doesn’t add anything to your cost. I only promote products and services I use myself and/or strongly believe in the value of. I can do that wholeheartedly because I am a student myself and am loving the course.

Note: If you are reading this and March 4, 2019, class start date for Brandability has already passed, check out the link to see when the next class starts.