How we sourced assets for our brand


We have worked with amazing companies so far in our short journey, helping them grow their businesses with Creative AI 🎨🤖. We have shared frameworks for testing, business methodology, and good old fashioned creative variations.

Something we always found lacking was our ability to share real information about running an e-commerce store and how to grow that with the help of ads. That hatched an idea, what if we launched a brand? Could we apply all of our learnings and apply them to a brand we have full control over.

That’s why we started The Pencil Company, so we could dogfood the process we see and advise on daily then share our first party learnings with you in real-time. The goal is to de-mystify what is takes to grow a brand.

What are we planning on selling, well Pencils and Erasers, of course. 😉 We hope you come along for the journey with us!

Now, onto the fun stuff. 👇

You want to grow your business. You know one of the ways is running more ads on paid channels. There is a bridge you need to cross between those two points. That bridge is paved with raw assets.

Consistently sourcing new creative is difficult, time consuming, and expensive. The two biggest challenges:

  1. How long are the assets viable?
  2. what if the assets don’t work?

These two issues alone can stop you in your tracks. As we were getting ready to launch our website and start building ads (using Pencil) for the brand. We needed product images + viable video content to use. We went to three different vendors to supply these.

  1. Soona for Product Shots
  2. Social Media Packs for High Quality - Work Related Stock Video
  3. Billo for UGC Content


The process was very simple.

  1. You choose what type of shoot you are looking to do
  2. How many shots you are looking for
  3. What type of shots (lifestyle, etc.)
  4. Give details
  5. Ship products

We did a virtual shoot and the process was seamless as we live chatted with our in study photographer.

They shot a large amount of content. Here are our selects but these are only 4 of 50 images they created.

Note: the photographer was tagging the images she liked most in real time, I thought that was a nice touch.

All together - sending the product, scheduling the shoot, and receiving finished assets took around 2 weeks. The process felt seamless, we will absolutely be using them again or going back into the backlog of creations from the original shoot.

For all the content we spent: $156

Social Media Packs

This is a simple process. Social Media Packs has beautiful video content that you can buy a full annual subscription to their content library or buy individual content packs. We went with this vendor because we wanted to try something different from the usual shutterstock content brands use.

We purchased the CEO pack, that includes 4 videos.

The pack cost us: $19 for a standard license that we can use across paid social ads.


Now onto UGC (user generated content)! We used Billo to source our talent:

  1. Create a project
  2. Select the types of UGC you want
  3. Create your products, with the benefits you want the talent to mention
  4. Submit the project
  5. Choose the talent you want based who has submitted to your project
  6. Send Products to your talent
  7. Approve ads once they have been submitted

These are the three videos we had created. The process all in took about a month, variability of talent is a HUGE factor here. The service is relatively easy to navigate but you are still dealing with people at the end of the day, who have schedules and do things in their own time.

For the cost, it’s still a very good option.

We spent $168 for our 3 videos.

Total Content Cost: $343


  1. Paid Social
  2. Website (Homepage, Product Pages)
  3. Blog Posts
  4. Organic Social Content

There are more providers out there but these made the process incredibly easy so we were flush with content that could be used across multiple channels at a good price. Let us know who you have used and if there is someone we should test out.


Made By Machines,
Loved By Humans

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