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The Bright Ideas eCommerce Business Podcast | Proven Entrepreneur Success Stories
53 minutes | 4 days ago
BI 360: From Dunkin Donuts Dumpster To the Fastest Profitable Company to Become a Unicorn (Ft John Hefter)
Episode Highlights [05:34] — What is Thrasio, and how do they buy a business?Thrasio had humble beginnings. Their office used to be adjacent to a Dunkin Donuts dumpster, but they’re now the fastest-growing profitable company in American history, Thrasio is an Amazon-based company that buys a business and operates them. They focus on sound operational systems and companies with a small-scale mentality.[11:05] — Early experiences and lessonsTheir methodology of trying to turn-around declining companies proved ineffective and challenging. The seminal brand 'Angry Orange' marked their major hit and initial story as a company.[14:52] — The initial steps in creating a big hitTo make something go viral, John believes that it has to be attention-grabbing, 'in your face,' and vibrant. People should pause and 'see light' when they see your creative branding.John recalls a story of working with Snoop Dogg. Listen to the whole podcast to learn more about it![18:08] — Focus on your business instead of your competitorsThe primary goal of the company is operational excellence.There's plenty of room for other people to come in and build a healthy, thriving market.An abundance mindset certainly helped their business avoid distractions, evolve rapidly, and create gold rush ecosystems.[24:42] — Being operationally superior is paramountHaving expertise in virtually every field, such as supply chain and branding, assures their clients that they will grow an Amazon business.The sense of security businesses have from being taken care of by them cannot be equaled by most upfront payments.Their average company grows at a rate of 158% from just the first year of acquisition.[28:17] — The recipe for a winning productWhenever the company does a product launch, they do it with purpose, care, and a differentiation strategy.To increase your chances of success, you should leverage one asset to send traffic to another product rather than grow something from scratch. Focus on long-term viability, instead of short-term profit, when launching a product.Pay attention to "stupid-smart" ideas that seem obvious. Don't always chase the silver ball in front of you.[37:35] — Stimulating the Amazon systemThe tough nut to crack in terms of product launches is: making the Amazon algorithm believe that people want your product.You also have to focus on outside traffic to generate traffic from multiple places.People generally want to find the hack or shortcut around success, but the non-hacky way is usually the best way to do something.[44:02] — Useful advice for future brand ownersBuild a business for yourself without the perfect goal of being acquired. Focus on excellence.Don’t look for someone out to buy a business. Instead, ensure that you have relevant expertise and you can optimize your operations.They buy a business based on products that are boring and stand the test of time.Brand owners should work on having good creatives and making sure that the product sells.[49:50] — What is next for Thrasio?The company is buying businesses at a rate that is both 'exciting' and daunting. Precisely, they predict a jump from 100 brands to 200 brands in a year.Their goal is to continue to be the best Amazon and eCommerce operators on the planet. They don't want to rest on their laurels.
38 minutes | 11 days ago
BI 359: Building A Company Culture To Ignite Massive Growth (Ft Cameron Herold)
Episode Highlights[03:19] Cameron introduces himself and his entrepreneurial careerHis father highly influenced Cameron in seeking an entrepreneurial life.He’s the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK.Cameron now coaches CEOs all over the world and founded a new company - COO Alliance.[04:53] Why build a world-class culture?Culture will attract the talent you need in your business.Culture also energizes your employees to move forward. For Cameron, culture is a core reason for their growth as a company. Culture provides the means in scaling a business. [06:13] What is culture?It is aligned with your vivid vision and core values.Culture also entails getting rid of toxic negative energy, meaning getting rid of employees who don't live under your core values. [09:03] How to build culture for scaling a businessStep 1: Be aligned with your vision. The vision must not only be held by you but also by your employees and business partners.Step 2: Have an obsession with your core values. You should understand your core purpose. Focus on four or five core values.Step 3: Have a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) and commit to fulfilling that goal in mind. [16:12] What are the keys to executing your vivid vision?Let your employees, customers, and even potential employees know your vivid vision.Use your vision as a guide in your executive meetings.[18:44] How to avoid common mistakes within the companyOutsource people who can help you with your tasks.Outsourcing lets you delegate tasks to other people. Obsess over revenue-generating projects. Raise your prices and charge more. [24:50] How can you use technology to lighten your work?All of Cameron’s content is either automatically done or outsourced.Technology helps lighten the work for the team.[32:08] Cameron shares wise words for every entrepreneurThere’s so much more in life than making money. Your business and money should not be the reason for your being.What you do with our friends and family while we are on this planet is far more important than money.Take a moment in your daily life and be grateful for the things you are having now.
46 minutes | 25 days ago
BI 358: How To Start A Newsletter For Profit (Ft Codie Sanchez)
Episode Highlights[04:11] — Codie introduces Contrarian Thinking and her background Codie started as a conflict journalist working in Wall Street asset management. Her experiences led her to create a newsletter dedicated to sharing knowledge with others and help people gain financial freedom. The newsletter aims always to ask questions about what we think we know about finance. [08:42] — What are the pros of having a newsletter? Having an email campaign is more reliable than social media platforms. Social media platforms can change their algorithms, directly affecting you. An email campaign ensures that you have a direct link to your readers and consumers. With more media going for clickbait, there will be a rise in local newsletters and those that have a specific niche. Newsletters have a great margin for profit. [12:29] — What are the cons of having a newsletter? You have to produce content regularly. Also, newsletters are less scalable than other businesses. There are also a lot of people who have newsletters and email campaigns. People often underestimate and are not aware of what can be monetized in this business. [13:52] — Codie shares her revenue lines Codie shares her different revenue lines for Contrarian Thinking: info products, premium membership, mastermind, ads and sponsors, affiliates, ancillary channels, and merchandise. She encourages people to start first with info products and eventually to build more revenue lines. For more information about the different types of revenue lines, tune in to the full episode! [17:44] — How to continuously grow your subscribers Codie shares her first time reaching out to immediate contacts about her new venture. She eventually reached more people through social media marketing. Cross-promotion is also encouraged — Codie shares how she reached out to other newsletters to do this. You need to be consistent with your content. Even if you lose subscribers, don’t feel discouraged. You need to get over the hump and continue producing content. [23:29] — How to know if you can handle having a newsletterCodie advises understanding the 3 C’s before starting a newsletter. These are cash, check, and curiosity. You need to make sure you have something that people can pay cash for. Next, you need to check how big the potential market is, and true fans will only make a small percentage. Be curious about everything. Continuously learn from people and situations around you. [26:57] — Codie’s reminders about newsletter growthThere will always be pushback in your success. Your growth can make people in your life nervous. You will not be able to know what will happen to you.You cannot answer everyone. There will be times you have to say no to people reaching out to you. [33:14] — How to buy newsletters instead of building from scratchIf you don’t want to build a newsletter, you can buy it from someone else instead. At its core, newsletters are assets and can be sold. You just need to know how to value them properly.You can also use other newsletters to support and funnel their subscribers back to your newsletter. There are several platforms where you can buy newsletters. Tune in to the full episode to hear Codie’s discussion. [39:27] — Where to start a blogCodie herself uses several platforms to host her blog, each with different pros and cons.Now, she is using Substack, MailChimp, and FUB (FollowUpBoss).Listen to the full episode to hear Codie’s experiences with the different platforms!
32 minutes | a month ago
BI 357: The Science of Successfully Sourcing Products From China (Ft Nathan Resnick)
Episode Highlights[04:14] — Nathan shares how he started product sourcingHis background as a foreign exchange student in China led him to import products from Asia.Sourcify is a B2B eCommerce manufacturing platform helping hundreds of high-growth eCommerce brands.Nathan is also the founder of Bubble Hotels.[05:27] — Launching SourcifyThey initially charged companies upfront to manufacture products for them. They have teams all over Asia handling supply chains of over 150 mid-sized eCommerce brands and numerous Fortune 500s. [06:38] — How Nathan funded SourcifyThey went through Y Combinator, which is an accelerator program for startups. Through the three-month program, they raised $2.5 million.Nathan was one of the only non-technical solo founders to ever go through Y Combinator. Most companies have co-founders and technical teams.[09:25] — How they acquired their first customersNathan used his content marketing background to put out valuable content.His approach focuses on providing value and bridging the content space gap instead of pitching.Within the first few months of business, he was writing in major eCommerce blogs. It was possible because he built relationships with the blog owners and writers.[15:06] — How Sourcify increased its top of the funnelThey built a software tool for product management and manufacturing. Their sourcing teams in Asia do the behind-the-scenes work.At the same time, they can also sell the project management system to the brands they handle.[17:50] — Questions Nathan considers when building a businessAm I going to regret not doing this in the future?”“Is it going to be fun and enjoyable? Is it something that I want to learn?”[18:24] — Sourcify’s source of growthSourcify’s growth is all inbound and referral base.Sourcify comes up as one of the top search results when you search China or Vietnam manufacturing.They ask for referrals from existing customers after proving their success in their service.[19:35] — Sourcify’s customer onboarding processThe company sends their specs and samples, which they send to their main office.They'll choose a handful of factories and assess which is the best fit to produce samples.After approval from the customer, they start the production.They make sure to have third-party inspections before shipping the product.Customers either already have specs and designs or want to improve an existing product line.[22:17] — Gotchas and best practicesThe main approach is going to Alibaba and other global sources to find suppliers based on the same products.Nathan suggests reaching out to 10 to 20 factories and getting samples from two to three factories. Getting products from other companies or looking at bad reviews of products helps you see how you can improve — and later sell — products.The 30-70 payment term is the most typical in product sourcing and is where third-party’s importance comes in. The production generally takes 30 to 60 days.Supplier platforms have their internal advertising platform. Hence, the top search results are not necessarily the best supplier.[28:44] — Going viral with FUDuring Conor McGregor’s fight with Floy Mayweather, McGregor wore a suit with FU pinstripes.When it went viral, Nathan had the idea to recreate it in other products. It was a success as their products went viral in a week.
26 minutes | 2 months ago
BI 356: The Business of Buying And Selling Amazon FBA Brands (Ft Mark Lewyn)
Episode Highlights[02:28] — Who is Mark Lewyn?Mark co-founded Sorfeo — an eCommerce company that acquires Amazon private label brands.Mark was the managing director of JEM Partners. They used data analysis to create and distribute popular consumer products through a global network of eCommerce platforms.Mark is also the owner of his private label brand that he created from scratch.Finally, he is the author of a book called The $500 Start-up on Amazon: How a dad of three launched a business on Amazon and escaped the hamster wheel of nine to five.[03:35] — Coming up with new product ideas that have something to do with the patent officeMark recalls when he came across a product that costs $80 on Amazon but only $5 on Alibaba. Out of curiosity, he started researching the product and found out that the patent has recently expired.He realized that he can compete by charging a lower price and still be making a very nice profit.[6:08] — Sorting through products on the Patent and Trademark Office websiteLike most websites, the Patent and Trademark Office website has a search function you can dig through to find products with expired patents.Utility patents typically last for 20 years. Meanwhile, design patents usually last about 15 years. [7:35] — What’s next after finding an opportunity? Once you find a product you’re interested in, begin the standard product research. Nine out of ten times, you’ll see that they are charging a premium for that product.Check out Mark’s book to know more about how he sells these products on Amazon.[12:04] — Mark’s advice in starting a businessGet over the analysis paralysis problem — take the first step!You don't have to spend much money to start a business. You can usually start with a small amount and get the real product going.Don’t be afraid of failure; flops provide valuable lessons to learn.Go through a whole bunch of different ideas. It’s a process of going through good and bad ideas. Mark settled on the Amazon private label model because of the low cost. He saw it as an exciting opportunity.[17:00] — Amazon FBA brands Amazon’s private-label ecosystem has been booming recently. About eight or ten companies are in the business of buying existing Amazon FBA brands. This is a massive opportunity for people who want to sell their businesses.[21:04] — Want to sell to a roll-up company, but you don’t want to start from scratch?One strategy is to buy a couple of microbrands and pool them together. Then streamline operations and grow sales. In 18 months, sell it to a roll-up company. The research process in finding microbrands can be systematized and handled by a VA.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
BI 355: Selling Your Company For Maximum Value (Ft John Warrillow)
Episode Highlights [3:16] — John shares the current trends on how to sell a businessThey analyzed the data on pre-COVID value builder questionnaires last November. The results showed that the pandemic had made material differences on how to sell a business.Business owners are looking to sell 20% sooner, and they’re looking to sell to a third party.[4:50] — John identifies the biggest mistakes in selling a companyHis book's whole idea was to provide a playbook on the best practices in selling a business.The most common mistake is getting lured into a proprietary deal. In this kind of deal, the buyer offers lower, knowing that there is a lack of competition. They may also protract diligence, leading to retrading or value diminishing.[7:00] — Why businesses should create a market for their companyCreating a market for your company will guarantee that the offer you’re getting is fair market value.Two to three legitimate buyers are enough to ensure a fair offer.[9:44] — John shares the effective process of planning and preparationHe uses the analogy of staging in home selling. Doing a "renovation" is a valuable strategic process. It is building a transferable business.Process documentation is a big part of the renovation project.[11:17] — John explains pre-diligencePre-diligence is having answers to all the questions you might be asked when marketing the business.Doing a full pre-diligence project ensures that the due diligence goes smoothly. Also, it signals to the acquirer that they have to compete with other potential buyers.Pre-diligence is having all possibly necessary documents on hand and in one place, such as your leases or employee agreements.Documenting your processes prepares you for pre-diligence and due diligence.[20:26] — What’s the importance of having SOPs in how to sell a business?Having SOPs eases fears that business buyers have.Massively-acquired companies have tremendous resources and people, making it easier to run after the acquisition.Individual investors, who often acquire small businesses, need the checklists and a manual on how to run it themselves upon acquisition.[22:42] — The three types of buyersIndividual investorsPrivate equity groupsStrategic investors[24:30] — How to gain leverage during the negotiation phaseSigning a no-shop clause will make you lose your leverage in the negotiation. Before signing a letter of intent (LOI), ensure that the acquirer is aware of the other competing offers.Make sure you negotiate any conditions that are vital to you before signing the LOI
39 minutes | 2 months ago
BI 354: B2B Sales Hacking For SaaS In 2021 (Ft Max Altschuler)
Episode Highlights [3:27] — Max’s background on B2B salesMax joined the sales side of Udemy, an online education marketplace.He wondered how he could generate more revenue with fewer resources, which became the sales hacking foundation.Max started his company, Sales Hacker, which grew from 0 to 80,000 subscribers.In 2018, Sales Hacker was acquired by Outreach, where he took over as the VP of Marketing for Outreach and then transitioned to the VP of Sales Engagement.[5:53] — Why sales have become more difficult through the years The number of companies selling keeps growing. There are now a lot of channels for people to sell on.Sales became more competitive when SaaS companies started to blow up.When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses became limited to online channels of selling. This means that the market has become saturated. If they want to survive in the competitive environment of sales, businesses must know how to experiment and adapt using A/B testing.[8:39] — Strategies to grow SaaS salesUpsell your current base.Get a list or database of your target market.From that database, find trends that you can use for lead scoring.Think about how to reach the different cohorts of that database.Gather good reviews from supporting customers to help attract future customers.Collect important information from potential customers like their needs, interests, and resources. [17:18] — Scaling up your business and building a team Sales are not one-size-fits-all. Try experimenting, see what works, and iterate on that.Understand your customers’ day-to-day. Then design a process for reaching out to them.Make sure that you are seen as a trusted consultant, not as a salesperson.[22:29] — How to design your outreach campaign for desktop emails and mobile emailsYou can do longer subject lines for emails your customers will view on a desktop. You can also get creative and send PDFs or images.For mobile emails, do shorter and more conversational subject lines. Think about the process of closing a deal step-by-step.[26:28] — A product-led growth strategy can impact your messaging approachIn product-led growth, there’s no need to employ as many salespeople. This can mean lower costs compared to sales-led growth.Sales become more transactional rather than conversational.You’ll still want to highlight the benefits of your product.Whether you employ a product-led growth strategy or a sales-led growth strategy, you'll still need to hire salespeople or support to ensure your product's success. [29:35] — Other mistakes that people make in their B2B sales effortsThe silver bullet strategy doesn’t allow you to apply the appropriate marketing methods to some of your customers.False attribution or tying attribution to the wrong metric can mean that you can't accurately measure your progress. [31:46] — Max’s favorite sales hacking training resourcesIn 2015, Max wrote a book called Hacking Sales, which goes over many sales tools and technologies. Max’s latest book, Sales Engagement, is about engaging with companies in this ever-changing world.Other books that Max likes include Chris Voss’s Never Split the Difference, Mark Roberge’s The Sales Acceleration Formula, Trish Bertuzzi’s The Sales Development Playbook, Keenan’s Gap Selling, and books by Anthony Iannarino and Jeb Blount.Max also uses the Outreach software as his sales engagement platform. He also recommends having net new data sources from companies like LeadIQ, Seamless.AI, and Dun & Bradstreet.Having software like Bambora, Terminus, Demandbase, and Sixth Sense will tell you which companies you should target. [34:39] — Sentiment tracking by Outreach Reply rates as a metric of success isn’t enough. It's also essential to analyze reply intent, such as positive replies, objections, and unsubscribes. Outreach has recently released a sentiment tracking tool that better measures your success using a reply intent metric.This tool enables companies to understand if certain email sequences are truly working or not.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
BI 353: Knowing When To Stop Being CEO (Ft Tucker Max)
Episode Highlights[03:09] Scribe MediaA lot of people needed scribes—people who put other people's thoughts into words.A woman asked Tucker if he could be her scribe to get a book out without the typical painstaking effort of writing a book.Scribe Media now has 260 employees and has done 737 books with almost a total of 200,000 reviews on Amazon.[05:24] Hiring Someone Else to Be Scribe Media’s CEOTucker kept hiring people who were better than him to do his job.Tucker eventually hired a professional CEO who made his business perform 20 times better than when Tucker was in the position.[06:51] The Importance of Bringing In Experienced LeadersIf someone is good at finding needs in the market and figuring out a way to satisfy those needs, then they’re probably not good at all of the other skills of running a business.Being an entrepreneur is the rarest thing right now.It’s easier to find people that can take established roles to scale the entrepreneur’s ideas.If you try and do everything, you’re going to do most things poorly.You'll be a lot more successful if you focus on the things you love and are good at.[09:09] Tucker’s Annual Revenue Before Firing HimselfTucker’s company reached $1.5-2 million in their second year.He decided that he wasn’t the best person for the role anymore — he needed real, experienced leaders.[10:22] Step One: You’re Not the Best Person for the JobIt's challenging to let go of the position because your ego can get in the way.Tucker realized that he was suffering and wasn't enjoying how he spent his days.He valued his company’s mission more than his image, so he needed to get out of his position and hire someone else.[18:27] Step Two: Understand Who You’re Looking ForNo one’s going to knock on your door and beg for the CEO position. You have to find that person.Tucker painted an attractive vision of Scribe Media. JeVon, the new CEO, wanted to be a part of that vision.Tucker offered JeVon the opportunity to be the head of Scribe Media and take the credit.Scribe Media was JeVon's lowest-paying opportunity, but he was working for more than just money.[21:54] Evaluating Your New Hire JeVon was first brought in as an advisor but soon started running meetings.Tucker tested JeVon’s honesty by taking appropriate opportunities to be vulnerable around JeVon and sharing personal sentiments, and seeing if he would be vulnerable in that situation as well.Traveling with someone can also help in getting to know them.[24:22] What to Do to Find Another CEOCreate an avatar CEO—think about what type of person you need to run the company.Then determine how you’re going to sell to that person.Prepare against the counterarguments to your sales pitch.[27:29] Compensating Your New CEOJeVon was outperforming his contract, and the company was scared of losing him because he was still getting offers from other companies.Tucker always made sure to know what JeVon wanted.After a year and a half, they were able to figure out their final situation.They were open and honest about what they wanted and had an evolving conversation about it. Business and personal are not separate.[33:36] Vetting Your New CEOTucker would not only evaluate the prospects in meetings but also in informal events such as dinners, drinks, and dancing,They also put the prospects in casual situations. The evaluation begins as soon as the new hire arrives at the airport.Make use of referrals/[39:18] How Tucker’s Life Changed After Giving Up His JobTucker is doing two new projects.One is a memoir program. The other is a new publishing arm.He’s becoming the best version of himself, and no one bothers him.
34 minutes | 3 months ago
BI 352: How To Get Started Selling Private Label Products On Amazon (Ft Eleonora Pogorelova)
Episode Highlights [03:50] — eCommerce trends in late 2020 and going into 2021There is a decrease in restaurants, travel, and luxury products.Ten years of eCommerce growth happened in just three months of the pandemic.The consumer behavior shifted to online shopping with the convenience of fast delivery.The costs of acquisition right now are much higher compared to 2019. Meanwhile, there is a reduced cost of entry as website building has become cheaper.[08:51] — Establishing a private label business on Amazon Choose the professional account when setting up on Amazon and make sure you have all documents ready.If you have a product already, you’re all set. However, if you don’t have a product yet, you have to make sure that it is marketable.Invest money in advertising and growing your brand.[12:47] — The characteristics of successful and unsuccessful Amazon sellersSuccessful Amazon sellers: They educate themselves, have dedication and persistence, and share their expertise.Unsuccessful Amazon sellers: They keep their expertise to themselves, and they don't ask for anyone's help.Unsuccessful sellers also go for trendy products that may not last.[18:38] — Best practices for sourcing productsA profitable product has a high demand and low competition. Avoid products that are easily breakable and have chances of becoming obsolete.You have to consider factors like profit margin and market depth analysis in identifying preliminary products. Product matching allows you to evaluate the cost of the product and the return on investment.Set aside money for marketing, shipping, and other business growth strategies. The average budget for private label sellers is around $2,000 to $5,000.[26:53] — How did product sourcing change over the past year?While there were issues in delivery times when the pandemic started, there were no significant product sourcing changes. [27:38] — Biggest mistakes and tips in sourcing productsThe first mistake is going all-in without a concrete plan. The second biggest mistake is going after a trendy product.Before working with a supplier, make sure to see samples, reviews, and prices.Remember that you have more business elements (marketing and shipping) to spend on other than the product cost itself.[31:14] — Who is IO Scout?IO Scout is an all-in-one tool for Amazon sellers. It includes a product finder tool, product tracker tool, keyword research tool, sales estimator, and FB calculator.They also offer a Google Chrome extension and inventory management.Their ideal customers are any Amazon seller, from newbies to experienced sellers.They go after wholesale businesses, private label businesses and force arbitrage businesses.According to Eleonora, IO Scout is a one-product-fit-all.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
BI 351: How Nutribullet Achieved 134% YOY Revenue Increase (Ft Jason Magee)
Episode Highlights[02:54] Scaling Marketplaces with Jason MageeJason is a Senior Director of Sales and Business Development at Teikametrics.His job involves helping retailers scale on the most valuable marketplaces such as Amazon.Incrementality answers the question as to whether investing money in advertising isn’t moving the needle in top sales.According to Jason, incrementality is what Nutribullet wanted.Once Jason helped Nutribullet rebuild its campaign, the company was able to reach a 134% increase in revenue.[06:00] Beginning with AdvertisingAccording to Jason, if you like burning money, advertise right away.Before going into advertising, the first thing you have to do is to understand the most critical business metrics such as top-line sales, profitability at a company level, and advertising performance.In addition to business metrics, you also need to understand product metrics. These include pre- and post-advertising profitability, product goals based on its lifecycle, and how people buy your products.[08:46] Listing Optimization and Best Practices for ImagesA product should convince a customer to purchase based on high-quality images alone.The first best practice you have to observe is that the image must be on a white background. Images also need to highlight the product’s details.You can also optimize your listing with a video. Videos should show the actual components of the product.Videos and images should tell the story of your products.[13:04] What Comes After Listing OptimizationThe most fundamental way to advertise is through sponsored product advertising. It is search-based, wherein a keyword would ensure that your product shows up at the customer’s search.This allows you to leverage advertising even if your product does not rank well organically.Sponsored product advertising is a blend of automatic and manual campaigns. [14:44] Segmenting Your CampaignsIn addition to your own brand terms, you also need to use competitor and generic terms.You need a strategy for each segment.Identify where your audience is in their buyer’s journey.Learn more by tuning in to the podcast![17:44] Biggest Advertising MistakesOne of the biggest mistakes is advertising without considering your goals and margins.It is all about context because if you don’t know anything about the product, how could you effectively advertise it?[19:10] All About Teikametrics and FlywheelLooking at the evolution of Teikametrics, it was one of the first API partners of Amazon. They were very ad-focused.With Flywheel, they’re not only bringing in the advertising component in the app, but they are also incorporating inventory.Another exciting thing about Flywheel is the ability to understand market intelligence.Join Flowster’s Teikametrics webinar on February 11!
34 minutes | 3 months ago
BI 350: How New Entrepreneurs Can Create A Launch Pad For Their Online Empire
Episode Highlights[03:44] — A Launchpad’s BenefitsMost businesses are not scalable: more customers are offset by needing more employees.A launchpad business focuses on leveling up and career progression.After you succeed with your business launch, you can think about products or building marketplaces.[06:12] — How Eric Bought Single Grain, for $2In 2012, Google’s updated algorithms rendered Single Grain's business model useless.Eric owned 10% at the time, and all the other investors jumped ship.He bought two 10% stakes from his colleagues at a dollar each.For the rest of the equity, he negotiated and eventually acquired 100% ownership of the agency.[09:38] — Tips on Getting Your First ClientWhen starting, scour for emails or LinkedIn accounts that can connect you with potential clients.Catch a client’s attention is by offering free services.In Eric's case, he offered 20-minute diagnosis videos of the mistakes his leads were doing when managing their websites.Eric says that a 10–20% response rate is good progress.Check out the resource section for a list of valuable podcasts and books that helped Eric win his first client![11:47] — Attracting the Initial Wave of CustomersIf you have a full-time gig, it would be best to ask for testimonials instead of charging fees immediately to establish social proof.It is possible to arbitrage the price of marketing efforts offshore, but make sure you have a system set up first.A mistake many first-time business founders make is not verifying.[13:28] — The Importance of SpecializationFor Single Grain, they focus on SaaS companies, specifically paid ads and SEO work.It’s essential to figure out what you are interested in and where you have experience.If you don’t specialize, you’ll end up doing mergers and acquisitions.[15:26] — Baby Steps of Building a TeamSingle Grain was left with one employee and had to reset itself.Outside contractors will never be aligned with the company culture.His first most vital hire was an account manager that had multiple responsibilities.The company founder is the visionary; an integrator (or operations person) implements the founder’s ideas.[18:30] — Finding Online OpportunitiesAmazon is still a leading opportunity, with lots of tools that you can use to jumpstart your online business.Exploding keywords and influencer marketing are trends that you can focus on.YouTube and content creation is a big opportunity at the moment.Gaming is also on the rise.[19:42] — Biggest Back-Breakers as You Approach the Million-Dollar MarkAs much as young people need a chance to grow, promoting them too quickly can prematurely cap out their skills.Experienced, high-level seniors are worth the premiums you pay them.If you want to lift strategically and have less time taken out of your day, proactive and experienced employees will do the job.There's still a time and place for hiring rockstars versus having systems run by average employees, and it's all relative.[25:49] — How to Level Up Your Business After the Initial Business LaunchIt's time to transition to high leverage activities, whether learning new skills, establishing relationships, or creating content.Ask yourself what you can invest in, whether that's your systems or new small-scale online businesses.An audience is one of the most prominent forms of leverage that you can have.[29:39] — The Content and SEO Strategy for a Successful business launchGoogle always tries to fill its index with niche content.Attacking something brand new allows the algorithm to rank you high.Any form of content marketing is a long-term journey.Eric used to bring in guest posts to establish link authority.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
BI 349: How Brendan Kane helped scaled A Supplement Brand from $1M to $100M in 2 years
Episode Highlights[3:07] – Brendan Kane talks about how he grew a company from $1M to $100M in revenueBrendan was able to grow two companies in just two to three years.Brendan works with companies first to assess a company’s strengths and weaknesses.From here, he can determine what aspects you can focus on to scale your business.Know your media buying techniques, your actual creative, and your conversion mechanism.[9:53] – Brendan shares his methodology for testingBrendan shares that you should look within and beyond your industry.Look at both positives and negatives — you can learn from failures and successes.After collecting data, you can form a hypothesis that you can test.If the strategy you test doesn’t work, that’s where Brendan pivots and moves onto the next thing.[12:37] – How does Brendan drive traffic into platforms like Amazon?Brendan shares that you can use platforms outside of Amazon to drive brand awareness.This brand awareness, in turn, will increase your brand’s lifetime value.The visibility from social media platforms becomes transactions on Amazon, which helps you further scale your business.[13:37] – Brendan talks about choosing the right keywordBrendan comments on the bell curve of keywords and how marketing all boils down to choosing the right keyword.Brendan says every keyword depends on the product, as each product is different.There’s no hard rule: choose the right keyword, choose the right creative.[16:10] – How Brendan optimizes his CPABrendan sets a 30% rule for himself to optimize CPA, for example.It’s not always a guarantee he can bring down CPA even with his rules, but Brendan says the more data you have, the smarter you get.[17:56] – Brendan discusses how to relate to a consumerBrendan shares how to change the dynamic of a conversation.He describes questions you should ask when you look for strategies to help scale your business.You should figure out what a consumer wants first, and from there, bring attention to the product you are selling.[20:35] – Brendan shares how to disrupt patterns to grab a consumer’s attentionBrendan says that in this digital age, you’re competing with everyone who publishes content, not just your direct competitors.To grab a consumer’s attention, sometimes you have to take a different route and disrupt the pattern.One way to disrupt a pattern is to subvert expectations or present an idea that goes against cliches.Brendan gives an example using meditation and how you can say it hasn’t worked for you to gain empathy and establish a connection.[24:42] – Why Brendan believes you should master one channel firstRather than spreading yourself too thin, Brendan believes you should master one channel first before moving on to the next.Beyond Amazon, there are limitless ways you can drive traffic and build your brand’s following.Be ready to pivot off your top-of-funnel awareness strategy
28 minutes | 4 months ago
BI 348: How to be a Part Time Entrepreneur Without Quitting Your Job
Episode Highlights [4:29] — Patrick talks about how he started in entrepreneurshipPatrick first started his career in Wall Street, following the usual finance and MBA route.He left after many team eliminations, with the 2008 financial crisis being the last straw.During this time, he transitioned to Silicon Valley because it continued to boom despite the financial crisis.He used to be afraid of full-time entrepreneurship because he didn't have an idea yet, and he was very risk-averse.With 10% of your time, you can invest in a side venture and build it into something valuable.[8:58] — The importance of creating different streams of incomeThere are many strategies regarding passive income, but the main point is being a shareholder for as many ventures as possible.Side-hustles and freelancing are okay for paying the bills but not for generating wealth.Taking ownership and growing your business should be the end goal.[11:19] — Investing in companies and gaining equityProviding labor through having an advisory role can be an excellent method of sweat equity.Patrick recalls a time where he did consulting work in exchange for a percentage of the company.Seeing the trajectory of your equity's value raise over time is critical, but don't forget that the end goal is to monetize your share.Ultimately, your stock certificates won't be able to feed you. Create an exit plan.[13:23] — How to become an entrepreneur by starting part-timePart-time entrepreneurship can be the gateway to full-time entrepreneurship.Patrick's friend was able to simultaneously work at a bank and launch a successful seafood business.Entrepreneurs who start part-time are less likely to fail because of the chance to experiment.[15:22] — The pros and cons of part-time entrepreneurshipBeing a part-time entrepreneur means that you are diversified.Full-time entrepreneurship is stressful. You can still develop entrepreneurial skills without going through the traditional pressure.Sometimes full-time entrepreneurs already have the luxury of starting capital either from family inheritances or other existing businesses.The media often glamorize entrepreneurship, but they don't show the failures and sad endings behind it.[19:06] — Obstacles to getting started with entrepreneurshipNot having money and time can be solved by assessing priorities, budgeting, and allocating what you can, even if it's small.Identify what you're good at and what you want to do by thinking thoroughly and carefully looking at what you do in your day job, such as Excel and PowerPoint.It's essential to know how to deal with the office policies in your work regarding entrepreneurship.Confident business leaders who provide flexibility to their employees can be a retention tool that will make them value their job more.[22:21] — Patrick's advice to his younger self on how to become an entrepreneurIt takes a lot of time and patience. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and commitment.Finding the first business investment is the hardest part of learning how to become an entrepreneur. It gets less complicated once you get the hang of it.Take more calculated risks to make the initial process easier.[24:34] — Initial concrete steps to start your entrepreneurial journeyPre-pandemic, Patrick would advise aspirants to go to as many conferences as possible to network with many people.Now, they can simply go online and make connections there.LinkedIn is a powerful tool to expand your network, gain knowledge, and get recognized.Figure out your topic of expertise and unique selling proposition. Ensure that you also overlap the things you love to do, as having a passion will give you the drive to go for it.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
BI 347: How to Achieve Max Growth on Amazon and Set Up a Profitable Exit
Episode Highlights[3:35] — Ryan's background and business growth on AmazonRyan is the CEO of Recom Brands, a company focused on buying and growing businesses on Amazon.In their second year on Amazon, they made $15 million through wholesale trading of footwear and apparel.Although Ryan's background is in physical commodities trading, he saw Amazon as an opportunity, and this led him to the eCommerce path.[8:03] — Recom Brands' business growth and shift of focus to acquisitionAmazon's Terms of Service used to make it difficult to own more than one Amazon account.As Amazon loosened their policy, Recom Brands was able to buy and acquire businesses.The company raised $2 million in debt financing from an investor to boost its growth.eCommerce has so much opportunity that they changed their model a few times before finding their sustainable niche.[13:07] — Why buying and acquiring is better for business growthBuilding a business from scratch is extremely difficult.The risk-to-reward ratio for buying existing and functioning businesses is better than launching one yourself.It is easier to take over and keep the business afloat from a risk-adjusted point of view.On the other hand, Amazon has made it easy for third-party sellers to start a business.Online businesses are faster but riskier. It is not as straightforward and can be tricky.[19:47] — Identifying the right company to buyThe primary criteria they look for in brands are great reviews from a solid product.They tend to prefer mature products that have been in the market for at least two years instead of new products that have been available for a few months.Favor sustainable products with stable sales instead of trends and fads that only had a surge in demand.Their company is open to any product category.For more information, tune in and listen to the podcast.[23:03] — Valuing a company's purchase priceThe math behind the purchase price is from a multiple of the seller's discretionary earnings.A business with a lot of skews will be valued less because it is more difficult to manage.Another factor is the competitive landscape of the business and whether there's room to improve.[25:00] — Managing the risk of having a single channelThey manage separate accounts just in case.If your product is authentic and you follow the rules, your account will get back up even if you get suspended for some reason.Amazon will not be getting rid of the third-party marketplace anytime soon as it constitutes most of the platform’s volume.[26:43] — Recent progress for Recom BrandsThey currently have ten acquisitions.The company is starting to gain momentum, with as much as acquiring three brands a month.In the following weeks, they expect more financing and funds raised to expand further.With the abundance of competition, they just focus on themselves and being more efficient every day.They are taking a long-term approach by building their reputation and network.
37 minutes | 4 months ago
BI 346: Using Only Social Media, This Guy Sold 375 Home In One Year
Episode Highlights [02:56] — Jimmy introduces his workJimmy has been a real estate agent for 15 years in the state of Utah.He also developed a coaching program. To this day, he runs the Jimmy Rex Show podcast.He has also written books in real estate and entrepreneurship.[03:28] — How Jimmy began learning social media strategiesJimmy relied on traditional calls for the first five years in the business.Garrett Gee and Charly Jordan inspired him to look into digital marketing for his business.His social media strategy built a consistent lead generation that works faster than one-on-one calls.[08:05] — Jimmy shares how he built his followingAt first, Jimmy tried to use different platforms but eventually focused on Instagram and his podcast.Jimmy was able to get guests on his podcast that attracted people to his social media pages.His social media focused more on building a platform for his voice rather than just selling all the time.[10:22] — The importance of reaching out Jimmy reached out to people for his interviews, even the high profile guests.The more his podcast grew, the more he could use it as a presentation card for potential guests.Developing relationships requires providing value.Work with your existing circles and continually expand.[15:37] — How does Jimmy view his podcast?Jimmy makes sure that he studies his guest before the interview.Being prepared allows him to get into details about the topics he discusses with his guests.Getting good guests is more important to him than getting sponsorships.[19:11] — Social media strategies from InstagramHe talks about the importance of consistency.It is essential to understand how a platform works.Focus on five things that make you interesting.Partner with others.Choose your target followers.[25:08] — On practicing authenticityWhen people build their pages, there is a tendency to focus on selling all the time.Use the page to track and attract people first.Jimmy wanted to show who he is behind the real estate agent.[26:45] — On content planningWhen he was first building his platform, he planned to post once a day.He does not post as regularly as before since he is not trying to grow his following anymore.Instead, he focuses on providing value to his current followers.[28:03] — Different platform, different social media strategyAll social media platforms have different purposes.Jimmy curates his content depending on which platform he's going to post it on.[29:09] — Discussing common social media mistakes Do not sell all the time.Before posting anything, ask yourself if this is something you will share with your friends.Maintain consistent quality.Take your social media strategy seriously.If one platform does not come naturally, find others that will.[33:06] — Jimmy's social media strategyPick five interesting categories to post about.Have a system to post once a day for 60 days, cycling between categories.If the system works for you, stick to it. But it's okay to abandon it if it doesn't.Know that this takes effort and time. You need to take it seriously.
29 minutes | 4 months ago
BI 345: How This Product Had a Six-Figure Launch on Social Media
Episode Highlights [3:16] — Brian introduces himself and his company, Posted SocialBrian is the CEO and owner of Posted Social.Posted Social is a digital marketing company specialized in eCommerce sales through social media advertising and B2B lead generation.[4:25] — Brian introduces their recent product launch, the Hurt SkurtThe Hurt Skurt is an ice pack sleeve that has compression built into it. It can easily slide onto your arm or leg and stay in place.People can use it for postoperative rehabilitation or everyday knee or elbow pain.The Hurt Skurt’s 30-day trailing sales after its product launch was $130,000. Currently, the product’s trailing 30-day sales already increased by 20%.[6:54] — How did Posted Social and Hurt Skurt start to collaborate?Brian's partner in another business held a pitch event, where the inventor of Hurt Skurt pitched a wine bottle cooler. Brian's partner suggested using his items on people's bodies instead.Posted Social focused on building traction through advertisements and Amazon before the product launch of Hurt Skurt on social media.The leading demographic of Hurt Skurt is 45- to 55-year-old females.[9:06] — Creating an eCommerce campaign for Hurt SkurtPosted Social did not have a previous customer history with Hurt Skurt, so they had to start from the ground up.The best-performing assets for their ads are ten second-long cellphone videos.Posted Social collected data and tested different audiences on Facebook to find their buyer. After that, they used that look alike data from purchases and tracked them.Currently, their highest return is on ad spend, where they are working on retargeting audience.Hurt Skurt is not the type of product that takes time to decide a purchase. Nonetheless, Posted Social still tried a funnel.[17:39] — What are the best practices in scaling up the ads for an eCommerce campaign?They duplicated their ad campaign after they hit a plateau with their previous ads.The offering was hindering the performance of their ads.[20:31] — Learning opportunities from Hurt Skurt's eCommerce campaignFocus on selling to a specific demographic, your sure-paying customers.They learned that you have to spend a little money to keep learning.[22:08] — Channel expansionThis month, Hurt Skurt is finally going to be on HSN. Thanks to having one all-star entrepreneur for HSN partner and to having a product that fits HSN's crowd of 58-year-old females is that they were able to get in.Expanding to Instagram is not fruitful, so they are focusing on Facebook through the holiday season.They created an Amazon account three months prior to the Facebook product launch. Instead of going to their website, people search for the product on Google and buy on Amazon.
34 minutes | 5 months ago
BI 344: How Swag.com Growth Hacked Their Way to the Inc 5000 List
Episode Highlight[04:13] – Jeremy gives a background of his businessJeremy started a product distribution company online called Swag.com in 2016.He discovered a problem with antiquated catalog presentations.His solution was to streamline the entire experience allowing buyers to personalize their products.[05:20] – What is so special about Swag.com?Swag.com is different because of the product personalization and distribution platform.What is being distributed is an experience.Sales talk is not always required to sell products.[07:21] – How Swag.com gained tractionInitially, they targeted big brands to build strong client portofolio.A catchy name was essential. For Jeremy, Swag.com says everything about the business without having to say anything explicitly.With consistent content creation, they built a strong SEO strategy to increase their organic visitors. Their main focus is not on making viral posts but on getting to their target customers.[8:25] – Getting the domain and starting up the businessJeremy got the domain from day one with no funds thanks to a deal they made with the owner; they eventually paid $200,000 for it.An outbound strategy works in the initial stages of startup businesses.Starting from top to bottom is not disadvantageous contrary to what other entrepreneurs believe.Rise above the challenges, get in the door and do everything you need to do.[14:48] – Strategies to control trafficUsing Google is too expensive to focus all your strategy based on it.One content strategy is creating consistent content to catch the attention of potential customers.From an SEO perspective, using longtail keywords in blog posts is effective when it´s focused to a specific target audience.Using traction channels or joining partnerships is a strategy in growth hacking.[24:29] – Best conversion hacksThe first conversion hack is to label products with Swag’s tagline “we made this”.After expansion, they started adding shipping labels saying “powered by swag.com” to every package.To gain more organic buyers, conducting giveaways is useful.Reciprocity helps solve the problem of cold outbound emails.The best way to raise money is through the press.[30:58] – Jeremy’s number one goal for the year aheadJeremy intends to push hard on the Swag distribution platform.The platform will have unbelievably new features by then.The next phase is for the platform to allow people to automate Swag distribution by themselves.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
BI 343: How to Double Customer Engagement By Leveraging Chatbots
Episode Highlights [3:45] — Mackensie shares how she got into Messenger chatbot marketing Marketing and business were the last thing in her mind upon graduating. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and worked as a clinically-certified psychogeneticist for a decade.She decided to find a job that didn´t get her stuck in the lab with her outgoing personality and allowed her to work from home and be with her family. That’s when she found out about digital marketing and chatbots.[7:02] — The current landscape of chatbot marketing Because of the user complaints on pages who are spamming messages, Facebook created the 24-hour rule. With this, carriers can only message users who engaged within 24 hours of their previous message engagement.However, there are some ways to reach subscribers outside those 24-hours like: Message tagsConfirmed event updatesAccount updateOne-time notificationPaid ads[12:23] — Navigating the one-time notification (OTN) settingsWhen users opt into OTN, they will get a message from your page. Every time they click the 'Notify me' button, you get a token.Once the 24-hour window opens up, you can send another message and a follow-up. Make sure to make your message template conversational.[16:04] — Why you should use a multi-channel communicationIf your traffic is not yet in a chatbot and SMS, you can include a link called Ref URL Growth Tool. It is a tool in ManyChat which will take them into Messenger.Once they're in Messenger, you can ask them to opt-in for SMS notifications.You can use ManyChat to accomplish all of these.[17:49] — Mackensie shares the most effective strategies to get people into your bot funnelGetting people into your funnel would mainly depend on your type of offer and business.You can use paid ads, organic strategies like email, and engaging strategies like quizzes, giveaways, and coupons.[20:47] — What are the best customer engagement strategy practices?Segment your users. You have to make sure that your messages are relevant to your users. Otherwise, they will ignore your promotions.Ask people about your message and get their feedback.Provide them with your latest offers. [24:23] — The importance of the 24-hour windowEven a button click counts as an engagement. You have to make sure that the attention is back and forth.Don't be spammy. Remember that you won't keep the 24-hour window opened repeatedly. Make sure to get your engagements' contact information within the initial 24-hour window.You have to re-engage engagements both outside and back into Messenger to reopen the 24-hour window.[26:39] — What are the most common mistakes in chatbot marketing?Not setting up your foundational botCopy-pasting messages out of email campaignsNot utilizing reminders or follow-ups
36 minutes | 5 months ago
BI 342: How to Ignite Scalable eCommerce Growth with Brent Weaver
Episode Highlights [2:56] — Brent introduces his business, uGurusHe runs a company called uGurus. They do business training and coaching programs for digital agency owners and entrepreneurs.He founded the company in 2012 after he sold his successful web agency that ran for 13 years.[3:55] — The most significant threats for agency owners todayThe reliance on referrals and word of mouth is the biggest challenge of agencies.Most agencies are busy working with their clients; they don´t take the time to work on their own business.Due to the pandemic, many agency owners got caught up and had to pause or delay projects for not having strong lead generation and marketing engines.[6:13] — The importance of selecting a niche for your businessA generalist motto is saying yes to every business.If you choose a specialization, you will have to turn down clients that don´t align with your niche.In choosing a niche, it should directly relate to your level of expertise.[8:48] — Finding solutions for your chosen nicheFinding your niche or specialization might not work on the first try.Define your target audience and figure out where those people hang out.Create awareness about your business.[10:35] — Brent shares how to test ideas and see what works for the businessTo know the language that his market responds to, Brent uses ad platforms to run ad tests. Advertising is an excellent scale platform when you're ready to scale in your market.Go slow, go smooth so that you can go fast. Find inroads with people who have embedded in your target market with trust and credibility and do customer development interviews. Create more exciting marketing opportunities, such as publishing your niche, content, and webinars. Use ads as an amplification and leverage tools in the market.[14:47] — Know your target audience and talk to your customers to know how to grow your business onlineAsk your clients about their experience using your products or services and how you can better market your products. By building a relationship with them, you can grasp how to grow your business online effectively.Through conversations with your customers, you can generate a marketing strategy for your business.Brent shares that they used their customers' language, quotes, and phrases as content and marketing strategy.[21:11] — Why should you niche down?Some companies that serve broad audiences today were once very niche. Going from specialized to a more general market has helped some companies gain clients.Brent saw that service companies, once they specialized in a niche, they tend to stay in their domain and become even more experts in their space.The specialization provides a better path to generalization than generalization does the specialization. [24:46] — Get Rich in the Deep EndGet Rich in the Deep End is a book where Brent tells his and his client's stories.The five A's in the book are: Audience, Awareness, Attract, Authority, and Acquire.Ensure that when you publish content, you do it where your target audience will listen and read. Don't fall into the garage band trap by not taking risks
41 minutes | 5 months ago
BI 341: Learn To Be A Better Leader - Live Coaching With Gene Hammett
Episode Highlights [03:16] — Who Gene is and his work as a business coachGene is a Leadership Executive Coach, working with fast-growing company’s founders and CEOs, some of which are part of the Inc 5000.The podcast will be in a coaching format where Gene will be the interviewer and ask questions to Trent.As a coach, Gene doesn’t focus on just accountability but more on helping leaders figure out the significant insight that will help them grow and evolve.[05:37] — The podcast discusses how to be a better leader for your teamTrent listened to an audiobook about being a better leader and a multiplier before recording the podcast. The problem with books is that they don’t talk back to you; it requires a caring, understanding, passionate coach to make those words come to life.The big idea of being a better leader, according to this podcast, is to trust your team and put them first.Employees aren’t as replaceable as customers, and employees can take care of many customers.[11:30] — Current stressors and frustrations when it comes to business and leadershipTrent is currently pursuing a different market, but he doesn't know this customer segment as well. At the moment, they are at risk of having no traction and effectively wasting time and money in marketing efforts.Trent’s biggest fear is not losing money, but losing time and the frustration that comes along. But he learned that failure is not to be avoided but to be managed and understood.Most of the time, we focus on the things that might not work out instead of the favorable scenario of it working out.Companies that embrace failure as part of the process grow more than risk-averse companies.[19:18] — The vision of both the better leader we aspire to become and the team we should haveTrent believes that a better leader has confidence in his team and empowers them to perform their best in bringing a vision to reality.It is essential to include a team of talented individuals with extensive experience and strong collaboration skills in your leadership vision.For Trent, it’s about letting employees do their own thing and trusting they will aim for the team’s best interests.Setting expectations is crucial in building trust and knowing how to become a better manager.[24:22] — Communication and the science of having insightful relationships with your teamIn one on one conversations and meetings, try to learn more about the other person's past and interests, and build trust by letting them do their job.As a leader, you provide the vision, and after that, you trust your people to do their best to get there. Create a culture where the best ideas win.[31:48] — Radical transparency and the need for honestyBusiness is a game. It's essential to give the employees all the rules and explain to them how to score so they know whether they're winning.Let your team solve their problems instead of doing it for them and create a culture of collaboration and empowerment.[35:33] — The podcast tells what to focus on to become a better leaderGet a clear vision not just for the company but for the entire team as well.Don’t micromanage work. Lead the people to become self-confident.Coaching is not just telling them what to do. It's empowering people to take the next step.Pay attention to the history behind their motivations. Support your team by helping them address their underlying fears.Take the time to have conversations with your team and build relationships with them. Slow down to speed up.
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