Slime isn’t just for preschoolers anymore. The shapeshifting substance has gotten more popular over the years, ignited by a Gen Zers on social media, but also used by people of all ages as a wellness tool, a salve for anxiety and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Across social platforms a quick search for “slime” yields countless channels, pages, and profiles dedicated to stretching and showcasing slimes in different colors, shapes, and molds.
When Angelina Ly was 14 years old in middle school, she noticed the slime trend take off. Inspired, she began making her own slimes and showcasing them on social media—creating pages on Instagram and TikTok that rapidly grew. Her followers started requesting that she sells her creations. This was the start of Fireflyslime, an ecommerce business selling colorful and creative slimes—from products crafted in the likeness of an acai bowl to others resembling “cookies n cream frosting.”
In the last five years, her business has exploded, moving from Etsy to Shopify as it scaled. Along the way Fireflyslime has sold tens and thousands of slimes to customers, to $100,000 in annual revenue, and Angelina has traveled around the country to conventions meeting other slime enthusiasts. Today she is running her company full-time—developing new slimes, growing her social media following, and packaging every order—all while studying business as a full-time college student.
Listen to one of our podcast’s youngest ever guests discuss learning from fellow business owners, effectively managing her time as a student entrepreneur, and much more.
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How Fireflyslime Mastered the Art of the Product Drop
Angelina has grown Fireflyslime to a successful business, all without spending a dollar on advertising. Her secret? Creating buzzy product drops for new and re-released slimes, building hype and anticipation before a release amongst an audience of over 500,000 social media followers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
When Angelina drops a new slime—a limited product release—she’s seen 90% of her stock sells out within 10 minutes. This isn’t an accident. Instead, these product drops are a carefully crafted marketing tactic that she’s mastered by working strategically with online influencers, leveraging multiple social media channels and building anticipation amongst her online audience..
Working strategically with influencers
Angelina has built her own significant following on social media for her company. But part of the success of Fireflyslime’s product drop campaigns is working with influencers—primarily slime and unboxing creators—to build excitement and hype around new drops on their social channels.
Here are four influencer marketing tactics Angelina uses to get the most out of collaborating with creators:
- Find an influencer with the right audience demographic. Angelina focuses on finding influencers with a younger demographic—her primary slime customers. She often reaches out to influencers with unboxing channels, a format that lends itself nicely to slime products.
- Send influencers your product for free. While Angelina does not pay influencers for marketing, she does send them products for free. While many influencers also request payment for featuring products, this can be bypassed by working with smaller or niche creators.
- Get specific with your ask. When Angelina is in talks with influencers, she opts for specificity instead of ambiguity when it comes to deliverables. She asks them to release videos and photos around her drop campaign dates to strategically build hype during the right time frame.
- Cross-post to get the most out of the collaboration. After a collaboration with a creator is live, Angelina gets the most out of the content by reposting it on her own social media channels and adding videos to a page on her Shopify website as social proof.
These influencer marketing strategies have paid off, introducing Fireflyslime to customers across the internet. “If I only promote through my own platforms, there are only so many people that I can reach,” says Angelina. “If I reach out to other people that have a different audience than I do, I’ll get some more people that have never heard about me,” she adds.
💡 Advice on working with influencers
Working with online influencers can be an effective marketing strategy to find new customers and make sales. Read these resources to learn more on the power of influencer marketing and how to find the best creators to work with your brand:
Leveraging social media platforms and building an audience
Fireflyslime’s social media following has been an important tool in their advertising arsenal. “All of my followers on Tiktok, and Instagram and YouTube have been organic,” says Angelina. “I’ve grown them for the past five years from my own content. And I have never purchased any advertising,” she adds.
Part of her social strategy is using differentiated content across her multiple social channels, rather than using each platform in the same way. Her initial success was on Instagram, where she was one of the first big slime pages—at the start, she would refresh her profile and have a few hundred new followers each time. She grew her Instagram with longer videos, polished pictures, and using extended captions to convey a breadth of information.
But with the rise of TikTok, she had to come up with a new strategy for the then emerging platform. “With TikTok, I make all of my videos very straightforward. I go to the best parts and make everything under 30 seconds if I can, with a good hook in the beginning,” says Angelina. “You want to prevent people from scrolling past your video,” she adds.
Today she creates many types of videos on TikTok, hopping on existing trends but also showing the behind-the-scenes of her business, creating popular ASMR videos featuring her slimes, and even packing orders for customers on camera to build excitement and awareness around her product drops.
@fireflyslime Our holiday punch-boxes are finally back in stock! Available in 4 different tier prices ❤️ #adventcalendar #christmasgiftideas ♬ Let It Snow, Let It Snow (Christmas Instrumental) – Saxophone Rufus
“Especially with the packaging videos, it shows people that these are things that you can order. It gives a personal aspect to the whole process,” says Angelina. “People are excited to order when they have the packaging video option, because they want their own video of packaging their order.”
Building anticipation for unreleased products
Before a new or re-released product is listed on the Fireflyslime website, Angelina shares it first on Instagram and TikTok in anticipation of an upcoming drop. By advertising a product before it’s live, she’s giving her audience a sneak peak of what’s to come—building excitement and interest for the next release in the days or weeks before it’s listed on her site
“I post my products that I’m selling on my social media [channels] first. I mention in the caption or in the video, or even in the comment section…that this slime will be restocked on a certain day,” says Angelina. “I cater my products very heavily towards the launch day.”
In the days leading up to a product drop, she drives interest through additional posts, letting people know to “set their alarms”, sometimes timing launches with flash sale discounts. This method has been effective, often selling out her products and leaving customers asking for more. “People email me saying ‘Oh, I’ve been trying to for two weeks, and I can’t get this one product,'” Angelina says. Those who miss out eagerly watch her social media pages, waiting for the next drop.
Building a successful product drop strategy to drive sales is just one of many topics covered in this week’s Shopify Master’s episode with Fireflyslime’s Angelina Ly. Here are a few other things we touched on:
- The learning-as-you-go framework that has helped Fireflyslime grow through trial and error.
- The convention event strategy that Angelina has used to take her business in-person and meet fellow entrepreneurs and customers face-to-face.
- The Google calendar technique that Angelina uses to manage her time as she balances her days as a full-time entrepreneur and full-time college student.
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