In September 2017, I started a business.
It’s called Big Day Birding — the objective is to raise money for conservation, make connections, and hopefully to make birding (a term for seriously intense birdwatchers) cool. As a hardcore birder myself, I saw an increasingly young population of birders and decided to fill the niche. I designed a range of birding-themed items for dropshipping: mugs, hoodies, notebooks, shirts and more. Birding is twice the size of the hunting industry in the USA, and growing at an incredibly rapid rate– my idea was to ride that wave and create an Arc’teryx-styled apparel company for birders, mostly on the younger side. I pledged to donate 10% of annual earnings to the Nature Conservancy.
As of September 28th 2019, Big Day Birding’s Facebook page has 457 likes, while its Instagram has 1,587 followers. The business has been quite lucrative, and my investments (site, light Facebook advertising campaigns) have been robustly exceeded by Big Day’s profits. Big Day has sales in 28 states and 6 provinces.
Tactics I used to promote the business include the Birder Of The Week project, wherein I featured an impressive contribution to birding from that week and gave that person a code for a free item. Some of the Birder Of The Week posts received hundreds of shares — I was even interviewed and featured in Maclean’s magazine because of them.
I also use the page as a platform for conservation messages. This branded image advising cat owners to keep their pets indoors garnered over 700 organic shares and was seen by over seventy thousand people.
I also encourage people to send back images of their purchases, leading to some incredible pictures: here’s a Common Nighthawk on a shirt called “Nighthawks”, sent to me by an American bird rehabilitator.
Intense work and school schedules since the summer of 2018 have required me to strongly cut the amount of time I put into the business, leading to a lack of social media presence in that time period. The website is still running, though, and I’d invite you to check it out! www.bigdaybirding.com . Here’s a couple images from the Instagram account.