With so much free information on the internet these days, it’s normal to question whether or not to invest in mentorship via an accelerator program. This article is for those of you go-getters who are self-funding your business and want to know the best way to allocate funds that will most benefit your brand.
What to expect from accelerator programs
If you’ve ever asked yourself if you should invest in mentorship or if it’s the right time, this is for you.
Get a clearer roadmap to clarity.
Lack of knowledge and guidance was one of the biggest roadblocks many of you shared with me in my survey.
For those of you who relate to that struggle, group programs are complete game-changers for anyone who has the passion to grow a brand but lacks the know-how of how to run a successful brand.
In an accelerator program, you’ll have a clear roadmap of exactly what next steps to take that give you maximum ROI. You can go from lost and confused, to serious, confident, and impactful.
“Aggie helped me realize what it means to be a professional brand. You can have an idea of what you want to do, but thanks to our discussions and me getting to see the journey from the other people in the group, I was able to see and understand what it really means to launch a product and to have good marketing and communication. [The C2C program] helped me to be more focused and more professional. I learned how to have a brand mission that’s also connected to my personal story.”
– Anne-Laure Dessimoz, C2C graduate and founder of Valyxir, an organic skincare brand with Swiss roots
2. Have strategies that you can replicate again and again.
One great thing about a group program that’s evergreen is that it’s not a one-time thing. An evergreen mentorship program offers step-by-step clear action with proven strategies that will come majorly in handy time and time again, even years after you graduate.
“As I’m in the process of developing and building the brand, I took the information that I was given and that I learned throughout C2C to apply it to all of those different components in my brand. I still have the worksheets and all [the course materials] to go back to.”
– Elise Minton Tabin founder of teenage skincare line Twiish and graduate of Cult to Conventional Status beauty accelerator program
3. Save years of time and thousands of dollars
Regardless of what step you’re at in your business, joining a group program is truly priceless. The earlier you work directly with someone who learned everything the hard way before, you’re able to skip countless costly and potentially make-or-break mistakes.
The fact is that quality mentorship is hard to come by. And it isn’t cheap. While it costs an average of a 5 figure minimum investment to work with a leading expert or agency in your brand’s industry, group programs are significantly more affordable. A group accelerator program makes it so that mentorship is no longer for the privileged. Plus, they’ll connect you with a network of peers holding you accountable. More on that in a second.
“Aggie really specializes on the individual. She really wants to know your passion, and she really understood my business and the industry. And so the advice she was giving me, even though sometimes we’re in a group, was always great.”
– Raquel Guardia, founder of StellaSimone Salon Systems, a haircare brand for multi-textured hair and graduate of Cult to Conventional Status
4. Be a part of a community of others on the same journey as you.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to feel lonely. While starting off as a solopreneur has its drawbacks when it comes to networking and socializing, a group program connects like-minded members that can remedy that and offer you a much-needed support system of people who actually “get it.”
“I liked having accountability partners to talk to every week, and to see these people going through this same process and the same challenges, struggles, work-life balances, and maintaining relationships [while launching a brand]. That’s been huge.”
– Andra Maddox, founder of skincare line Zia Botanics and a graduate of C2C ad Insider’s Circle (our graduate beauty founder program)
5. Take your business to the next level.
Once you invest in your brand like this, there’s no going back. Accelerators are known for their ROI as they offer better and faster results than you can get trying to figure everything out on your own.
So many people are ready to get more serious about their business but aren’t sure where to start. That’s why finding the right mentor is the surest solution to moving forward from a stagnant rut and finally getting serious about scaling.
“[C2C] helped me show up more in general. From being consistent with newsletters, posts, welcome series, and most of all getting ahead of this holiday launch, I can say that I am sure I will see more consistency in sales in the next year.”
– Lissette Monzon, founder of organic mind-body care line Lilly Be and graduate of Cult to Conventional Status
Pros and cons of different accelerator programs
What are the pros and cons of joining a comprehensive group program, retail accelerator or DIY digital course?
Retail accelerator programs
Large retail accelerator programs like Sephora’s and Target’s offer benefits like the fact that they’re free of charge. They also tend to offer stipends to their students. They are however limited to training solely regarding that retailer so if you’re not sure if that retailer is your end goal, then consider an accelerator or group program that is more comprehensive and all-encompassing.
Some retail accelerators have unique requirements to join their cohorts as well. For example, one of the Target accelerator programs requires information on your manufacturing and supply-chain processes as well as the type of category your products fall into.
Good For: Those who have their sight set on a specific retailer like Sephora or Target and want to know exactly what those retailers are looking for from new, emerging brands.
Comprehensive live accelerator programs
Comprehensive live accelerators and group programs can be similar to getting an MBA in a consumer goods business. Programs like our very own, Cult to Conventional Status for beauty brands is conducted live, with only one to two cohorts offered per year. This program is selective and intimate, leaving each member with a lot of high-touch, one-on-one attention. Beauty founders in the program also get accountability support from other members and access to the community’s wide-reaching skills and connections.
Comprehensive live programs like C2C offer more varied education and training. This program isn’t limited to just Sephora’s specific retail strategy but rather walks you through the step-by-step process for pitching and landing boutique retailers as well as big-box. You also get access to varied beauty industry experts with guest masterclasses taught on legal, formulation, PR, social strategies and so much more.
Having one-on-one hot seats with your coach and weekly live lessons with your fellow members offers a truly irreplaceable support system.
One con of comprehensive live accelerators is that the community and comprehensive training on growing a business involves an up-front investment like an MBA. At the same time, they offer mega ROI with evergreen strategies you can go back to again and again.
Good For: Brand founders who have a beauty product and are ready to catapult their business to cult-status success and consistent sales. If you’re looking for that additional support, accountability, and community and you want a program that’s specific to the beauty industry then consider a comprehensive group program like Conventional to Cult Status.
“I’m not going to lie, I was hesitant about the financial investment of C2C, but I just knew deep down that this is what I needed. I knew where I wanted my business to be, and I knew that I needed the program to help me get in that direction, and I was right. I got what I was looking for. Now I have a greater understanding of my brand identity, my purpose, and my customer. I really nailed it down and got detailed with it in C2C. C2C helped me act like a big brand. Now when I look at a big brand that I aspire to be like, I’m like ‘oh, that’s totally possible.’”
– Heather Lentz, Cult to Conventional Status graduate and the founder of Koi Botanicals
What about digital courses?
Digital courses have become all the rage over the last few years and are more readily available than retail accelerators and group programs. There are several courses like Foundr, Multi Stream Machine and our very own, The Beauty Brand Launch Method out there that are quickly accessible and less of an investment than C2C.
These do-it-yourself digital courses can be accessed instantly, meaning you’re able to binge them all at one time or take it slow and follow the lessons at your own pace.
However, typically, if you’re looking for live support, expert access, accountability and community, you’ll want to consider upgrading to a live group program or accelerator.
Good For: If you’re someone who’s self-motivated and likes to do things at your own pace and on your own time, then consider a DIY digital course to help you build and grow your beauty brand.
And at the end of the day, these are all great options that aren’t mutually exclusive. You can learn retail strategies from joining a big retailer’s cohort or a digital course and then join Cult to Conventional Status (or do it in the opposite order) for a much more A-Z grasp of growing a must-have beauty brand. In C2C we have Sephora and Target graduates and digital course participants who still found major value in our program. Join the waitlist here to be considered for the next cohort!