eCommerce Brand Academy
A Step-By-Step Breakdown of a “Simple” Business Most People Get Completely Wrong
Why is this info Free?
Without having to buy any course online or paying a dollar, I give you everything you need to start an eCommerce Business, Free. From finding products, setting up ads, and more. I’m confident you’ll find it more useful, in-depth, and relevant than any course you’ve purchased in the past. It’s more than just the courses or my Academy that make your business work, it’s the mindset and expectations.
Recently there’s been an influx of eCommerce “experts” flooding the online marketplace. There’s a lot of outdated information on eCommerce, and outdated marketers teaching it. You’re not sure who to listen to, who to trust, and who’s just trying to make a buck off you. I even have a guy who copied this article word for word and published it as his own. Sad.
Many people get caught in the web of buying courses, attending webinars, and watching YouTube videos… yet never even making ONE single sale in their eCommerce store (or even get their store up). Or worst, people paying for a Shopify subscription month after month, yet never make any progress. If that’s the case, Shopify has a free 90 day trial, cycle through those until you can pay for it month to month is my suggestion!
With this post, we hope to solve that problem.
Unlike the YouTube “sensations” and “gurus” out there, we are a REAL, professional organization. We didn’t “build the fastest growing Shopify store of 2017” and then go into teaching.
We’ve been in business since 2015, and our team has over 30+ years of combined eCommerce experience with over $400 million dollars in accredited ecommerce sales. Last year alone in 2019, we were directly apart of over $75m in sales!
Every day, we work with individuals who are starting and growing their stores. Some of which we’ll discuss in this post.
My hope is that you read the post, soak it in, and use it for your business.
And that if you like our strategies and how we operate, you’ll consider scheduling sharing more about your eCommerce aspirations and seeing if we can help. This is a consultation where we’ll help you map out a game plan to start/grow your store, and get it making sales fast.
Grab a beverage, a notepad, and get cozy.
If you have any interest in starting or growing your own successful ecommerce brand, you’ve just stumbled upon my exact formula to accomplish that.
And it’s COMPLETELY different than anything you’ve seen before.
You’re welcome to read this entire post from top to bottom…
I have 3 things we focus on here at the eCommerce Brand Academy; Products, Funnels(stores) with Offers, and Paid Ads. Buckle Up.
Here’s a Table of Contents to find sections most relevant and beneficial to you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- What We’ll Cover
- Who This is For
- How I Got Into eCommerce
- How We’ve Helped Others Start and Grow Their Stores
- Why We Stopped Dropshipping From China
- The 5-Step S.A.L.E.S. Outline
- Why You MUST Sell “Social Media Friendly Products”
- An Amazing Resource to Find Product Ideas
- Building a Store With Authenticity
- The Power of Laser-Targeting (Not What You Think)
- How We Turned This Boring Product Into An Exciting Product
- Why You MUST Learn How to Evaluate Your Ad Data
- The Two Phases of Scaling Once a Product is Selling
- TL;DR – Summary For
- If This Describes You, Apply to Work With Us
You see… there’s a lot of non-sense floating around about how to build a successful brand.
Most of it is hype, fluff, and designed for people desperate to make a quick buck.
On top of that, most of it is outdated, ineffective, and flat-out does not work.
This post is different…
In this post, you’ll learn how to grow a REAL brand… that can not only make $$$, but is designed to last long-term.
The common drop ship model you hear about is:
• Put up a store.
• Add products from Chinese marketplaces like AliExpress.
• Run Facebook ads.
• Make sales.
• Order the product from the Chinese marketplace, and have it shipped to your customer.
• They receive their item in 2-4 weeks.
While we’ve done this in the past…we’re gonna turn it on its head today :).
Here’s What We’re Gonna Cover
The 5-Step S.A.L.E.S Outline we use to launch and grow Shopify stores from scratch… and how we do it using USA suppliers.
An EXACT strategy we use to find products (…WITHOUT looking for products).
How it’s easier than you think to find good USA suppliers… or suppliers in whatever location you’re targeting, so you can offer fast shipping to your customers.
How you can work with our team to start and grow your own brand
This is For You if:
– You’re a current Shopify store owner, but not getting any traction. Or perhaps you have a bit of traction, but want a *better* way of doing things.
– You sell on Amazon, but want to diversify into running your own store.
– You’re an existing entrepreneur, looking to grow a store as a secondary business to what you’re already doing.
– You’re a business professional, looking to diversify your income, or eventually turn your store into a full-time business that can replace your current job/occupation.
– You want the sales potential that a dropshipping store can provide.
– You want the freedom and flexibility that a dropshipping store can provide.
You want to do this while avoiding all the headaches…like crazy-long shipping times from China, tons of customer service (where’s my order!?), & selling the same ‘hot product’ that everyone else is selling.
Before we move forward, there’s something I need to get off my chest…
I’ve been selling physical products and doing eCommerce for nearly 10 years now…
And I do not like the way eCommerce is talked about and positioned in the online marketplace.
You’ve probably seen it…
People make it seem so easy…
Like it’s some “quick-start hobby.”
You put up a store, toss some products in it, and before you know it… you’re living on a beach somewhere, without a care in the world.
I’m not a fan of that mentality at all.
Plenty of people are willing to sell you the “get rich quick” dream, but you will NOT find it here. There’s no guarantees you will succeed with an online store or any type of business. As with anything, results will vary, based on many factors.
That said… to give yourself the best chance at success in both the short and long-term… you have to treat this like a real business, because it is.
It’s not just some “internet venture.”
You have to be willing to do what other’s won’t.
You have to take steps others aren’t willing to take…
Like using USA suppliers and selling products other people are too lazy to research (I’ll show you how to do both).
If you take the extra steps and have the right mindset… you can build something awesome!
Something that can last more than a month.
A long-term business you can be proud of.
Now, at the end of this post, if you like the way we do things, you’ll have the opportunity to Fill Out an Application to work with us
What we do is not for everyone. If you qualify, we will help break down your current store or ideas and help you set up a plan to succeed.
But I urge you to read this entire breakdown before considering filling out the application.
Let me tell you how I got into eCommerce…
You might remember when selling t-shirts on Facebook was all the craze.
Around 2012-13 is when it really began to take off.
I was hired by Target.com to run their Paid Social Media ads in 2012. They wanted to launch the new APP called Cartwheel. Running app download ads. There was no way to track that or do that effectively and we pretty much invented that in 2012.
Over 100,000+ downloads in the first month, we would create special IN STORE discounts that you could only redeem if you downloaded the app, went in the store, and redeemed the code on the app to buy the product. WOW. Selling retail products online. Yeah that’s me.
Next, we wanted to figure out how to use Facebook ads to sell products on Target.com – but here’s the deal, we were Target.com. We were dropshipping and didnt even know it! Maybe we invented dropshipping? No clue, but we did almost $50m in sales through Facebook ads alone in 2012 spending around $13m in ads.
I wasnt selling T-Shirts like the rest of the world. I was selling $4500 patio furniture with a Facebook ad. Crazy!
Here’s the crazy part…
At the time, I was just a paid employee managing a small team at Target doing what I thought was normal stuff.
A campaign with Justin Timberlake and Target.
The first person to run a Twitter Ad.
Inventing how to track sales for app downloads (we used a thing called a pixel) who knew that would be the thing of the future of Facebook ads.
Listen, I am not sitting here telling you I’m gods gift to Facebook Ads, but I damn near invented them FOR Facebook and alot of its features.
Here’s the deal…
Once I got good at Facebook ads and selling physical products…everything changed.
I wanted to do this for myself. So I did.
I opened my own Screen print and embroidery shop where I could make my own products to sell and….
I literally went from an employee making $10,000 per month… to sometimes making that in a single DAY!
That seems like a long time ago… but since starting that eCommerce journey, we’ve not only generated over $400m in sales, but along with that:
• We’ve been fortunate enough to build a following of thousands of customers in the Facebook advertising world.
• We’ve owned and managed over 400 brands ourselves that did nearly $75m in 2019 alone.
• Six figures of net profit in a month on one store was the usual.
• And we’ve made an 8 figure exit in selling stores and an eCommerce Agency.
But here’s my favorite part of this journey.
We’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow their own stores… some of which have turned into 6 and even 7-figure stores themselves.
How Learning to Sell Stuff online Changed My Life
Just so you know, I’m not really a dramatic person…
I don’t follow the typical “guru” marketing model.
So I don’t have some ‘rags-to-riches’ story to share… and I refuse to make one up just to impress you.
But online marketing impacted my life in a very positive way. Learning how to sell stuff with ads really changed my life…and I want to tell you exactly how.
I initially went the traditional route, obtaining my undergraduate and Master’s Degrees, while studying business and education.
I thought I was going to play Major League Baseball. Until I didnt.
I then turned into a digital marketing from day one in the real world.
After about a year, I was doing and selling anything online I could help people with.
That’s when I got into sales and realized I could sell to more people leveraging the internet to get my opportunities.
I was doing okay…I was part of a startup that was sold for $13m… I received a measly $12k for their sale… I sold $7m for them that year. Hm. I was confused. I needed my own business and product to sell.
I always had it in the back of my mind that I wouldnt never sell someone elses stuff.
But learning eCommerce changed all that. I started selling others stuff for Target and realized I didnt need my own stuff I could build brands online selling in niches and gathering all the products for others in that niche to buy in one spot.
I was able to start my own businesses and mix dropshipping with my own custom products. I sold apparel, batting gloves, fishing poles, and even alcohol I made myself.
I get to do things I love…when I want to do them (like skiing or swimming in the pool on Thursday at noon).
I can work from a laptop (from anywhere…including vacation!). Although that is overplayed as the goal, its not, thats just the glory of selling online. All you need is the internet.
I’m fortunate that I get to focus on the things that are important to me in life.
But like I stated earlier…perhaps my favorite thing of all, is that this journey has given me the ability to influence others and change their lives too!
We’ve helped all types of people start and grow their stores!
Existing Store Owners…
Local Business Owners (Brick & Mortar)
Real Estate Investors…
And many other types of entrepreneurs and business professionals, who wanted to start/grow a store for a variety of reasons.
Here is a recent testimonial from some of our clients that I’m very proud to share.
From 0-$300 in the first day.
Christiana is a normal person, with a normal life…who one day decided she wanted to try and build a successful branded store.
• She was working full time.
• She began watching YouTube videos and reading on how to build a successful store.
• She launched a store.
• And she couldn’t make sales.
BUT… it just wasn’t working.
And that’s the case for many people when they don’t have clarity and guidance (…which I hope to give you through this post).
Anyways… they came into our program and we helped her find good products, build a store that converts, and run effective Facebook ads.
And today, she has a branded store around her niche!
How cool is that?’
It’s amazing what’s possible with the internet.
Another story I love is Scott.
• He is a baseball coach and has always wanted to sell online.
• He decided to build an online store.
• He experimented with the ‘dropship from China’ stuff. Took some courses, but realized most of it was fluff.
• Started working with me, found a brand and they hit their stride, and are still going strong.
Here’s an update he posted on an ad just a day ago!
It’s safe to say that eCcommerce has had a big impact on my life and others I’ve worked with.
Before we get into the good stuff, let me tell you about a revelation I had that completely changed the way I create and run dropshipping stores. First, I don’t call them dropshipping stores…although that is what they do, I call them BRANDS!
Check this out…Want some PERSONALIZED help as you start or grow your store? Fill out the application to see if my team can help!
Here’s a screenshot of a store that did huge numbers during a recent Q4 period:
Super impressive, right?!
Don’t get me wrong… that much revenue is great.
But for this store, we were primarily dropshipping products from China.
I still think this can be a viable model for a drop shipping store.
We’ve done it in the past, and had great success with it.
Heck… people are STILL having great success with it.
This is what most people teach.
But here’s what I learned through those experiences…
Dropshipping from China has it’s fair share of ‘headaches’.
You’re familiar with these if you’ve done this dropshipping model before.
• Lots of customer service (where’s my order? where does this ship from? etc…)
• LONG shipping times
• Vanishing orders
• PayPal issues
I had to learn these lessons the hard way.
It was during the busiest buying season of the year – Quarter 4.
From that point forward, I was committed to finding a way to never have to deal with this again.
I started educating myself on how to work with USA suppliers and how to make it work with a drop shipping model.
Basically…I wanted the ease of drop shipping…WITHOUT all the headaches I experienced when drop shipping from China.
Along this journey, I learned a lot… what I learned was AMAZING:
– Many of the products you might be drop shipping from China, are now available in the USA for similar pricing.
– Even better, you can find a ton of great products from USA suppliers, that aren’t available on popular sites like AliExpress!
Note: If you’re targeting the UK, Australia, or another country…this still works.
You can find suppliers in any country you’re running ads to, thus getting your customers their items FAST.
This is a key to growing a REAL business… not just some “hobby.”
Today, I’m going to share everything I learned…and how we now use these concepts for every new store we open.
Now…everything I teach you today is worthless, if you don’t understand ONE very important concept…
We all have a friend like this, right?
The friend that tells you they’re going to get in shape!
MONDAY they are starting a new diet and workout plan.
And they expect to be in great shape a few weeks later.
A bit unrealistic…huh?
Well… unfortunately, many people treat their online businesses the same.
They expect to be overnight success stories.
The reality is, growing a successful business is NOT easy. Our success and the success stories we share are exceptional results, not the norm. The clients we spotlight put in a TON of work. It’s not typical to grow a successful store, which is why the average person who tries, doesn’t.
You can’t expect to work on your business for a couple hours a week…then suddenly retire on the beach next month.
Don’t be that person!
Instead, work each and every day to seize the opportunity in front of you.
Get out of the “make money fast” or “get rich quick” mindset. It doesn’t exist and we don’t believe in it.
But… we live in a an awesome day and age, where we can grow a business on the internet quickly.
The time is NOW!
It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur.
So let’s dive into the process we use to start and grow stores!
The S.A.L.E.S Success Recipe: An Innovative Way to Build a Shopify Store (Without Dropshipping From China)
What I’m about to share with you today will COMPLETELY blow you away, because it’s different than anything you’ve ever seen before.
But this isn’t for everyone…
It’s designed for people who want to build a profitable eCommerce store, that’s built to last LONG-TERM. Who see past the shortcuts, and want a unique and PROVEN framework to grow a store that makes sales like clockwork, while also providing an amazing customer experience.
Sound like you?
Cool… you’re in the right spot!
This is the framework we’ve used to start and grow our own stores, and help hundreds of other entrepreneurs as they’ve started and grown their stores too.
Our team has over 30 years of combined eCommerce experience, so we’ve got some good knowledge to share with you.
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to install this unique and proven five-step framework into your store, into your business, and watch the sales flood in.
Here’s a high-level overview of what the framework looks like.
The 5-Step “S.A.L.E.S Success Recipe to Building a Profitable and Long-Term Shopify Store (… doing dropshipping, but not from China).
The S.A.L.E.S Success Recipe consists of 5-steps.
S: Social Media Friendly Products
A: All-Around Authenticity
L: Laser-Targeting (not what you think).
E: Effective Evaluation
S: SMART Scaling
As you can see, when you get them all right, it spells SALES (I know… I’m so creative).
I’m about to breakdown every component of this strategy, but you might be thinking:
“Why is this called a RECIPE?”
Check out this quote from entrepreneur and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.
“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”
Not only do you need ALL the ingredients… you need them in the right proportion.
If you make a cake and it sucks, something went wrong. Either you had a terrible recipe, used the wrong ingredients, or used the wrong proportion of the ingredients you had.
Here’s what most people look like when they’re building their store.
Most people don’t have the ingredients to a successful store in the right proportion.
In fact, most people don’t have the right ingredients at all.
The majority of marketers trying to grow successful dropshipping stores are starting with the wrong recipe altogether!
But once you have the right recipe, you’ll know EXACTLY how to find the right products, how to make them sell, and how to build a business that can succeed today and in the future.
S: Social Media Friendly Products
We coined this phrase several years ago, because we noticed most people try to sell the WRONG products when they open up their store.
Have you ever heard of the “Threshold Model of Collective Behavior?”
Don’t worry, I hadn’t either.
I didn’t understand this concept until I was researching how Netflix disrupted the movie rental industry several years ago, and put companies like Blockbuster out of business.
Here’s a quick description from a Forbes article:
“For any given idea, there are going to be people with varying levels of resistance. As those who are more willing begin to adopt a new concept, the more resistant ones become more likely to join in. Under the right circumstances, a viral cascade can ensue.”
So imagine you’re at a play or performance and the music stops. You’re thinking, “do I clap, do I not clap… wtf do I do???”
All of a sudden one person starts clapping.
Now EVERYONE starts clapping.
That’s the Threshold Model of Collective Behavior in action.
So here’s why that principle is so important to the products you choose to sell.
Imagine you put up an ad for a product, and basically there’s no likes, no shares, no comments. Well, there’s going to be a lot of people that they won’t click and buy that because there’s nothing there. There’s no social proof. They don’t wanna be the first person to do it.
However, if the product you’re selling is “Social Media Friendly” you’re going to get those “early adopters.” They think the product is so unique and relevant to them, that they’ve gotta have it.
Then what happens?
“…the more resistant ones become more likely to join.”
So you start to build up those likes, those comments, those shares. Facebook sees who buys your stuff and starts showing them your ads. More sales come in.
And as the Threshold Model of Collective Behavior stated above,
“Under the right conditions, a viral cascade can ensue.”
Just like you see those ads that have a million views and thousands of likes and comments.
BUT… none of this is possible if you don’t initially sell the right types of products.
So let me explain what a social media friendly product is.
Remember that nobody wakes up and decides to go buy something in their newsfeed. Nobody thinks they want to buy something on Facebook or Instagram.
Most people try and sell normal everyday products that don’t create impulse purchases, and then they wonder why they don’t make sales.
YOU need to market and sell products that vibe with the platform you’re selling them on (ie. Facebook and Instagram).
This is an alarm clock.
It’s $15.99 on target.com.
If I needed an alarm clock what am I gonna do?
I’m gonna go to Target, Walmart, Amazon or somewhere else and buy a freakin’ alarm clock.
I’m NOT gonna go on Facebook and think, “Hey… maybe today I’ll see an ad in my newsfeed for an alarm clock. Since I need one, I’ll just buy it from there!”
Which leads to what we already know:
People who NEED products will go FIND products to buy.
So if you understand this one principle, you give yourself a HUGE advantage over most other stores out there.
Everybody goes one way, trying to sell the same old everyday products, and YOU will go the complete opposite way.
How do you do that?
I know this will sound crazy and completely counterintuitive.
Stop looking for products and instead look for IDEAS that lead you to products.
Like I said… I know this sounds weird…but this ONE concept will be worth your entire time reading this article.
This goes against everything every other “guru” teaches.
In fact…if you see someone else teaching product research this way, chances are they snagged the idea from me :).
What does everyone do when they want to find products to sell in their store?
They go out and search for products.
Seems like the natural thing to do…right?
And while this can work…searching for IDEAS for products, can work even better.
So the way it works… is you’re not actually searching for products.
You start out searching for ideas.
And then these ideas will LEAD you to products.
Check this out:
All I did was type in a short phrase and a letter after it (“c”), and suddenly a bunch of ideas pop up.
Check out the one I highlighted.
Have you ever said:
“Hey honey, today after work I need to go to the store and buy an alarm clock with a coffee maker?”
THAT’S a Social Media Friendly idea that would then lead us to a Social Media Friendly Product.,
Here’s a store I found selling this type of product for nearly $260!
If this was being marketed on Facebook and Instagram, it would naturally vibe with those platforms. It will capture the attention of someone browsing their newsfeed. It’s different, it’s unique, and we found it not by looking for it, but by searching for IDEAS.Enjoying the content of this blog post and want some PERSONALIZED help as you start or grow your store? Click here to schedule a free “Store Acceleration Call” with our office
Here’s an AMAZING resource to find tons of IDEAS for products!
Wanna see a secret resource we use?
Image Source: AnswerthePublic.com
Believe it or not, this gray-bearded man can literally be the key to building a successful dropshipping store, and I’m about to explain how.
This website is called Answer the Public (AnswerthePublic.com).
What it does…is provide you with all the auto-suggest phrases people search for on Google and Bing.
In other words, you put in a keyword, and Answer the Public literally shows you everything people search related to that keyword.
This site gives you SOOOOO many ideas you otherwise would never think of.
Let’s do a quick example….
This is a real search I did recently that led me to an awesome product… and I’m going to show it to you right now.
I was eating breakfast the other morning, and after finishing, I was wiping down the placemat on the table.
My wife says I make a bigger mess than the kids sometimes…so yeah, there’s that.
I decided to hop on over to Answer the Public and put in the keyword “placemat.”
This is how I find the best ideas sometimes…just inserting random keywords from my everyday life.
Image Source: AnswerthePublic.com
Once you insert a keyword, Answer the Public literally shows you a wealth of data.
Go check it out.
Anyways…I like to scroll down to the “Alphabeticals” section.
Here’s an example of what that section looks like, and one IDEA that stood out to me.
Image Source: AnswerthePublic.com
Hopefully you can see the phrase I highlighted in the image above, “placemat lunch box.”
I really have no clue what this means.
Is it a placemat to put a lunch box on?
Is it a lunch box that looks like a placemat?
That’s the fun of it!
I don’t go out looking for specific products.
I look for IDEAS… and those IDEAS lead me to products!
The first thing I like to do after finding an idea, is pop over to a marketplace (think eBay / Etsy) and put it in the search box.
I do this for a few reasons:
#1: Many times you’ll find vendors selling awesome products that ship from the USA. You can sometimes reach out to them, strike dropshipping deals, and instantly have a cool product to sell, that ships from the USA (or whatever location you want).
#2: These marketplaces show all types of products…and I may be able to find a product I never thought of, and then find a supplier for that product.
So I went to eBay and searched “placemat lunch box.”
I dug through the results a bit, and found this thing:
Image Source: eBay.com
It’s called the “FlatBox.”
After looking at the page in more detail, I see it’s a lunch box that turns into a placemat!
How freakin’ cool is that??
If we use our “Social Media Friendly” radar, we can easily see that this passes the test.
It’s not just a lunch box…
Because if I just need a lunch box, I’ll probably go to the store and buy it or order one on Amazon.
But this is a lunch box that unzips and turns into a placemat.
Very creative and very useful if I had a child.
Unzip, fold it out, and boom…a placemat to eat lunch on.
Now…if this product was unbranded and generic, I might reach out to this eBay seller.
But since it has a brand name, I’m gonna take things a step further.
NOTE: What I’m about to show you will literally take you further than 99.9% of drop ship store owners, who are lazy and just want to sell products from China.
I go to Google and do a “groundbreaking” search…
Wait for it…
I know, I know…
I’m a trailblazer.
And the first result that comes up is a wholesale website called “The Grommet.”
And what’d ya know when I click…
Image Source: wholesale.thegrommet.com
There’s the FlatBox
And this site let’s me buy it at a wholesale price, so I can then mark it up and sell it in my store.
Even better…look at how this website describes itself:
“We help Retailers save time finding unique, innovative products. Browse and buy from many different Makers in one place.”
NOTE: Don’t focus so much on this specific product or website. That’s not the point. The point is to show you that doing things a little differently can bring amazing results!
There are plenty of sites like this that want to work with businesses just like YOU.
Image Source: wholesale.thegrommet.com
Did you think I was done?
Nope…it gets even better.
I started out looking for one product, but look what happens when I click on the “Best Sellers” tab:
HUNDREDS of other really cool, Social Media Friendly Products:
Just a sample of some of the products on the site. Image Source: wholesale.thegrommet.com
And here’s the best part…
There are tons of websites like this out there!
They have cool, innovative products.
And they want your business.
This is how you begin to build a REAL eCommerce business.
Not one that’s dependent on items coming from China that take 2-4 weeks to reach your customer.
And doing it this way just feels better and more fulfilling.
Now once we find the right products, we’ve still got work to do.
A: All-Around Authenticity
This is a fancy way of saying you should have a long-term perspective with your store.
How do we do that?
By treating your business like a baby!
Let me explain.
Brian Smith is the the Founder of UGG Boots, and he sums this up perfectly.
He said, “When we’re confident in an idea, we want it to succeed immediately.”
That’s human nature. We all want to have success right away with our businesses. But what he’s saying is that you need to treat it like a baby. He says that expecting your business to take off right away is like expecting your two-year-old to head off to college tomorrow.
What happens when we get into this mindset of wanting something to succeed right away?
We take shortcuts that may seem to help our business in the short-term, but DRAMATICALLY hurt our businesses long-term.
You know… when you make it seem like a product is almost sold out (false-scarcity). We’ve tried them in the past and they can work, but they’re very gimmicky. It’s not the way to build authenticity in a long-term store.
You can succeed without them.
A Store You Put Together in 18 Minutes
If your store looks cheap, no one will find it trustworthy. You need your About page, shipping details, contact info, nice pictures, and more.
Remember… don’t rush your 2-year old off to college :).
Don’t sell shoddy products just to make a buck. It’ll come back to bite you in the form of bad reviews, returns, and a lack of future customers.
Facebook has cracked down on bad brands, so make sure you are selling good products from good suppliers.
Long Shipping Times
Make your customers wait 4 weeks for their orders to arrive? Goodbye repeat customers! In the past, we dropshipped from China. Been there, done that, found the holes, and realized that’s not the type of businesses we want to build.
Now we use USA and domestic drop-ship suppliers.
These are suppliers that can get our customers their items very fast. And they’re not as hard to find as people would lead you to believe.
In short, avoid short-term hacks or poor products that basically jeopardize your authenticity to your customers.
Have a long-term perspective.
Check out what can happen when you do this right:
This is a screenshot of a customer who came to one of our stores.
They bought for the first time on August 24th (very bottom of image).
Look what happened a week later on the 31st… they came back and they bought again.
Two days later on September 2nd, they bought again.
And then about two months later, they came back and bought a fourth time.
Now, imagine if we were dropshipping from China and they bought on August 24th. They may not have even received their item by October, because of the long 4-6 week shipping times.
But because we work with local domestic suppliers and USA suppliers, they got their item within a week. They came back and bought again. Then they bought again. Then they bought AGAIN.
People have this misconception that it’s more expensive to use USA or domestic suppliers. It’s not in the long-term, if it helps you build a real business that gets repeat buyers.
Plus… it’s completely different than what everybody else is doing/teaching about dropshipping. Mostly because they don’t know how.
Remember: Have a PURPOSE and treat your store (and business) ‘like a baby.’
Now let’s chat about Laser-Targeting!
L: Laser-Targeting (Not What You Think)
When most people think of targeting, they just think of which interests to target with their Facebook ads.
But there’s actually three components to laser targeting.
Component #1. The Angle
The angle is simply WHY your product is a good fit for a certain person.
Think of an everyday item like a banana. I know it sounds silly. But imagine a banana rack at the grocery store, and it has a sign that says, “Get Your Bananas — a Great Low-Calorie Snack!”
Now, imagine on the other side of the store, there’s another rack of bananas, but this time it says, “Get Your Bananas — a Great Way to Replenish Carbs After a Hard Workout!”
Two completely different angles for the same product. One marketed as a low-calorie snack, one marketed as a great post-workout source of carbs.
Those messages are going to attract two different people, and they’re going to speak to each person and say, “Hey, this product is for YOU.”
That’s what we mean by the angle, which then leads you to the audience.
Component #2. The Audience
Let’s stick with the banana example.
The angle we choose is going to impact who we target.
Someone in the “Weight Watchers Recipe” audience is probably interested in low-calorie snacks.
Someone in the”P90x” audience would be more intrigued by a good source of carbs, post-workout.
See how that works?
Then it leads to the final component of Laser-Targeting.
Component #3. The Actual Ad
Now we’ve made things simple.
Our ad copy is simply going to reflect the angle we chose and the audience we are targeting.
If we targeted Weight Watchers, we’d discuss why the banana is great for anyone looking for a healthy snack.
If we targeted P90x, we’d obviously change our ad message to talk about how replenishing carbs is important after a workout, and a banana is an easy and great source of carbs.
Compare our Laser-Targeting strategy to what most people do.
If they have a product that’s intended for people who like to fish, they target something like, “I love fishing.”
Can it work? Sure it can. But that’s kind of an old way of doing things and it’s not really as effective.
Check out this example below of how we took a broad product and implemented our Laser-Targeting Strategy.
It’s basically one of those hand putty products that you squeeze.
I really had no clue why people would buy a product like this. I knew that it sold well, but I wasn’t really sure why.
So I went looking for ANGLES.
One of the best strategies to find angles is to look in the reviews of products. See why people bought it. And in the reviews, I stumbled upon a ‘golden nugget.’
This person said they bought it for their sister’s birthday. And she put, “She knits a lot and it helps her hands to play with the dough.” In other words, it helps her sister’s hands recover from from knitting, right? It also says, “It’s wonderful for those with arthritis.”
That’s an angle!
We just took a product that looked so generic and we found an angle: People who knit and/or people with arthritis.
So next thing I would do is go to Google and look for knitting websites.
I found one called the “Ravelry,” billed as a knit and crochet community. So my next step would be to go to Facebook Ads Manager and see if that’s an interest I can target.
So now I’ve got an angle, an audience, and ad copy. They all flowed from one another.
I can discuss how this product is GREAT if you knit, and helps your hands recover.
We turned a completely broad product into something specific for people who knit.
So if you’ve the right products, authenticity, and laser-targeting… your next step after running ads would be knowing what to do next.Like what you’re reading and want some PERSONALIZED help as you start or grow your store? Click here to schedule a free “Store Acceleration Call” with our office
E: Effective Evaluation
Most People: Spend money on ads, see if they made sales, shut ad off if they didn’t, leave ad on if they did.
Effective Evaluation: Understanding how to read the RIGHT data, interpret it, and make decisions moving forward.
Many times something may initially look like it didn’t work, but could be misleading… and you could be onto a “winning product” without even realizing it!
Here’s an example of a student we worked with. He turned off some ads because he didn’t know how to properly read the metrics. Then he hopped on a call with a coach from our community.
If you can’t read it, basically he turned off the campaign. Our coach noticed some metrics that looked REALLY good that the student had overlooked, and told him to turn the campaign back on.
Next Day: Sales bay-bay $$!
And they learned how to better evaluate data as they make decisions.
Now, that’s a small example, but I also wanna share a BIG one with you.
The 5-Figure Per DAY Store That Almost Wasn’t
These are two of our students: Kodi (left) and Chloe (right).
Awesome couple, who found themselves in the loop of watching YouTube videos, attending webinars, and basically doing everything except building their store :).
They came to work with us, and like 6-7 weeks in, they got on a call with us and they were like, “We just don’t feel like we have any traction here. We can’t find anything going right.”
And one of our coaches took a look at their ads and saw something they’d turned off that was actually profitable.
When he pointed it out to them, they didn’t realize they had done that.
Soooo… they turned it back on… and that actually launched them into a winning product that would do up to $20,000 – 30,000 per DAY in sales. And they ended up starting a whole brand around that product. They built a whole niche store around it… all from an ad set they had turned off.
If they had never had somebody effectively evaluate their ads for them, they may have never known that product was gonna be such a huge winner.
Who knows what would have happened and where they would be today!
Alright… now once you’ve got something working, it’s time to scale it, so let’s dive in!
S: SMART Scaling
If you use the strategies above to find the right products, build a business with authenticity, laser-target potential buyers, and effectively evaluate everything that’s happening… you’ll hopefully get to the point where you have a product selling well and are ready for SMART Scaling.
There’s actually TWO phases to SMART Scaling.
When most people think of scaling, they just think of the first phase, which we call “Growth.” This is basically doubling-down on what’s already working. If a product is selling well and making you money, well… you wanna sell MORE of that product and make more money.
But there’s also a second phase of SMART Scaling that most people don’t pay attention to.
We call it “Expansion.”. This is based on maximizing the data you already have.
So let’s say I’m selling a product that’s intended to be a gift for a grandmother. And it’s selling really well. So I’m going to scale that up with a Growth scaling, and sell more of that product.
BUT… if I’m already selling to people who are buying a gift for a grandmother, well maybe I can find a product that could be given to a grandfather, right?
So that’s what we mean by Expansion.
I’m expanding into something different, but similar, based on the work I’ve already done.
This is when things can get fun :).
TL;DR (Summary For You
Lazy Busy People Who Don’t Wanna Read 7400 Words)
I’m kidding (kind of).
I know I threw a lot at you… but you literally have the framework we use to grow successful dropshipping stores!
Here’s a recap:
• Most people build dropshipping stores all wrong. They’re in it for a quick buck… so they don’t build a store that can last long-term. They view an online business as some “get rich quick” hobby, and then get frustrated when they don’t see success right away.
• We used to dropship from China, but then realized it’s just as easy to use USA suppliers (or suppliers in whatever country you’re shipping to). This creates happier customers, repeat buyers, a better brand, and an overall more sustainable business.
• I shared our strategy for building a dropshipping store that can provide everything you want out of an online business (more freedom, sales, etc)… but WITHOUT all the headaches that come with the “old way” of doing things.
• eCommerce changed my life (and business)… and has done the same for many of our clients. I shared the story of how it happened, and how we developed this formula for building successful stores.
• It’s called our S.A.L.E.S Success Recipe.
• First, you find “Social Media Friendly” products.
• The way to find awesome products, is by NOT looking for products at all. Instead… look for IDEAS for products (again, scroll up if you’re confused). This is such a “sneaky” way to find awesome product ideas!
• Then you make sure your store and business is built/run with all-around authenticity. No short-term hacks or gimmicks.
• Then, you use Laser-Targeting to create ads that convert. You start by finding unique angles. You find these angles by researching what real people say about a product/niche. Scroll up for examples.
• Then… you’ll find audiences that convert, based on your angle! And when you do this, your ad copy will speak directly to them, and make them more likely to buy. Your ads will look completely different than most stores!
• During all this… you wanna make sure you know how to effectively evaluate what’s happening. Understand what’s working and what isn’t, and make decisions from there.
• Finally, when you have a product selling well…it’s time for SMART Scaling. Remember… this involves Growth AND Expansion. Fun stuff!
And that is the formula we use to grow dropshipping stores for ourselves and our clients!
Is this you right now…?
Image Source: https://www.tigerdroppings.com
You might be sitting at your computer…
You’re like…“It’s all happening!! I finally get this this stuff!”
You’re feeling really good.
You finally feel like you stumbled upon a REAL and genuine breakdown of building and growing stores. Not like the junk you’re used to seeing.
If that’s how you feel… I’m glad.
That’s what I was hoping to provide you through this post, since I know you see so much information on dropshipping and are unsure who to listen to.
Before I go any further…I have a question.
If you implemented all 5 steps of the S.A.L.E.S Success Recipe I covered today… do you think you could grow a successful store?
Could you legitimately see yourself doing this?
I truly hope you do… but I also realize you might have more questions.
And so much more!
This stuff can be overwhelming on your own.
If you’ve read through this entire post, I’m assuming a few things about you:
And I’m pretty sure you’ve seen lots of people posting their success with dropshipping, and it’s peaked your interest.
If any of the above sounds like you, and what I discussed today resonates with you…
But… as you’ve likely learned, we like to do things a bit differently.
We don’t focus on short team hacks… we focus on long-term strategies.
And we don’t insult your intelligence by pretending this is easy and you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
We’re a REAL, professional organization, that helps entrepreneurs grow their online stores.
• On your call, we can take you through the EXACT process you need to grow an online store.
• You’ll get personalized feedback from a member of our team. We have experts in every area of eCommerce. Combined, we have over 30 years of experience with this stuff!
• We’ll share what’s working for us, and even talk about what it would look like to have our team do a lot of the work with you and FOR you (if that’s something you want to discuss).
Thanks again for taking time to read this post.
I hope you got some value out of it
One last thing… make me a promise.
Even if you don’t schedule a call, promise me you will NOT settle, and go back to the “old way” of doing things.
Don’t go and start trying to sell the “hot” products everyone else is. Don’t take shortcuts at the expense of building a long-term business. Don’t just throw up ads with no thought into angles, audiences, and ad congruency. Don’t just turn ads off or leave them on without evaluating them correctly. And if you get into a position to scale, don’t do it halfway. Fully MAXIMIZE it.
That’s all I ask… do not settle!
That’s all I’ve got for ya! I hope you enjoyed reading .