Shadow My Day as a CMO at Dotfully in San Franciso

Lily Dotfully
Lily Profile Pic

Lily Xu  |  Dotfully
Hi, my name is Lily and I am the cofounder and CMO at Dotfully, a peer-to-peer platform for people to swap unused cosmetics. My startup is at its beginning stages. We are not yet funded but our team is devoted to the idea and will bootstrap it all the way to make the site come to life! 


7:00 am Excercuse — Nope.  I did not misspelled “exercise”. I simply merged it together with “excuse” and made-up a new word. There is no better word that describes my mornings. “Should I go to the gym or stay in bed? Gym or bed…..”  75% of the time, I stay in bed. 

Lily at work

8:00 am Getting to the office — I live in Alameda with my parents. Why is a 30 year old living at home? Well, I have good reasons. 1) I’m a poor entrepreneur and 2) my father is sick (he will get better!). I would like to spend as much time with my family as possible.

Tiny Warrior Coffee

Traveling to my sf office (my cofounder’s old office) is a bit of a hassle. The bart tends to be packed with people. I’m lucky if I could move an inch. When I get off on 16th Mission, I like to grab myself a coffee from Tiny Warrior Coffee (they have delicious coffee with chocolate ice cubes) as I walk to my office at Activspace. 

Dotfully workspace

9:00 am Touch Base with Cofounders — Our office is a tiny room that fits 3-4 people. We have this huge white board where we do all the brainstorming and goal setting. Today, we chatted about how we should do our social media outreach. We go over our previous techniques, what was working? What was not? What are the steps moving forward? We decided that the channel that responded the most to our idea were Facebook swap group communities. 

10:00 am Strategy Meeting — After our touch-base, we come up with a strategy almost immediately. Execution starts right after the meeting. This is very different from my corporate days since each strategy will probably take a week or two to discuss and another week to execute. At Dotfully, if we all agreed that was the right strategic move, execution is immediate. We like to try different routes to test the different outcomes before spending time/capital to focus on one. 

Dotfully Lunch Pho

12:00 pm Lunch — Our team usually hit up the Vietnamese restaurant down the street. We have an event coming up so our team needs to stay in shape. That Vietnamese place has a lot of healthy options so our team loves to go there quite often. Today, I got a chicken soup with fresh veggies. You can’t get healthier than this! 

12:45 pm Heading back to the office — We are pretty efficient with our time and don’t like to spend too long eating. Once we rush back to the office, we are back to work. No goofing around! 

Dotfully Youtube Shoot

1:00 pm Youtube Shoot — As part of our social media outreach strategy, we’re doing a Youtube collaboration today with a local fashion startup to showcase the latest makeup trend — Kylie Jenner Lips. Back in the office, we help our cameraman and makeup artist setup their equipment for the shoot. For the video, I’ve asked two of my pretty girlfriends, Michelle and Alicia, to be models. 

Lights. Camera. Beauty. Go! 

Including the setup and prep time, the entire shoot took a total of 2 hours. We managed to do it all in one take. We’ll be looking to give a sneak peek of the video by end of day tomorrow as we finish the editing process later this week. 

Dotfully Fan Mail

3:00 pm Second Touch Base — After cleaning up, I share with my cofounders some of the items I’m tackling. I mentioned that I intend to send out 300 cold emails tomorrow to influencers. As for Facebook communities, I would like to host a give-away contest to entice people to come to Dotfully. I also intend to send out an email campaign at 5 pm to share updates with our users. 

5:00 pm Leave the Office — Wait! Before you say “oh what…you guys have a 9-5?”, you need to know that that’s not what it seems. On the surface, it’s a 9-5 job..but I bring my work home. Just wait…

6:00 pm Dinner — I get home around 6:00pm, just in time for dinner. My mom makes delicious Cantonese-style soup. 

8:00 pm TV & Work — I fight over the remote control with my brother to watch “The Bachelorette”. It’s a show that doesn’t require me to think too much and allows me to unwind and relax. With the show playing in the background, I  continue to work on my outreach plan.

Dotfully Social Media

9:00 pm Social Media — Based off of the meeting this morning, I continued to build my social media outreach strategy while also continuing to work with Facebook communities (our most responsive channel). I started researching on the different influencers I could reach out to. I used excel to build out my list of emails. I also spent some time on Famebit to do some influencer postings. My budget was $300. Hopefully, an influencer with 100k followers would want to make a video about us. Fingers crossed. 

Everything’s scheduled to go for tomorrow morning.

10:00 pm Developers — My developers are based in India. I usually go online around that time to chat with my developers on the different features or bugs that needs to be fixed. This usually last 2 hours. 

12:00 am Sleep — I would pick up a manga book from my bookshelf and fall asleep reading. Tomorrow is a new day.