Growing a Brand on Shopify with Caulen Foster from Brainpower Agency - Part 1

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A. Part 1

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Transcription in this episode:
[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the [00:00:02] spk_0: seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with and er not and amy [00:00:07] spk_1: Wiis. Mm hmm. Hey what's up everybody? This is amy weeks and er not out today. But we are recording episode 110 of the seller round table and I am here with my friend Colin Foster from brainpower. Hey Colin, what's up? [00:00:30] spk_0: How are you? How are you? Good to be here. Thanks for having me. [00:00:34] spk_1: Yeah. So you know, we always start our episodes just getting to know you a little bit better. So tell everybody as much or as little as you want to tell if you want to provide a blood sample, that's okay. But [00:00:47] spk_0: hello ancestry dot com. Entire family tree here for you. [00:00:52] spk_1: Exactly. So just tell us where you're from and a little bit more about you and your background and Yeah. [00:00:58] spk_0: Yeah sure. No problem. So, so I'm from Miami which is probably why you see so much sun in the background of my video here of my zoom. Um, so I got started in e commerce about seven years ago. Um, I had my own probably still have my own brand named Almond Pro and big big on Shopify. We started actually with click funnels and I kind of navigated my way through the e commerce journey, so to speak and I, you know, I had a mentor lead me along the way um, and just taught me kind of the ins and outs of the industry, got me thankfully involved in copyrighting very early on and really, you know, really emphasized the importance of being able to write copy. So that was kind of where my trajectory went when it came to like where I was putting my energy and learning the most outside of just like pure digital infrastructure, right? Like what else can I use here? And copy is where that fell. And um over the years I've used that across, you know, different performance projects. I've worked with influencers, you know, doing selling online education. Um, lots of DTC stuff. My, that's my favorite thing to sell is direct to consumer obviously, especially in the CPG space. Um, I love things that are just package, it can be scold quality products, right? Um, which is kind of the premise of all the products that we work with, we do have some clients to do online education, but CPG is our jam. So, um, and yeah, I've been with a brain power now in the president and um, I'm also in charge of product and client selection because we're very selective about the products that we picked because one thing we'll probably talk about today is how not all products that are on amazon work on Shopify. So we have to be selective. Yeah, Like I said, selective on how we choose our products and who we work with. But I think that's uh that's the best I got right off the top of my head. How is that? [00:02:44] spk_1: I love it. So, I'm now seeing why you and I get along so well, because I also love sales and copyrighting. I think that everything that you do in the sales side is about how you communicate with the customer and how you make them feel along the journey and you know, customer when you can gain that trust. Um It really makes a difference. Customers buy from brands that they know like and trust and copy is where that's at. So I love that. I love that you have a background in sales. Mark Cuban once said that if he lost his billions, um he said, you know, do you think he lost everything? Do you think you could get it back? And he said, you know, if I lost my billions, I would, I don't know if I'd be able to get it all back, but I would get a job in sales and I'd at least be able to make a million back. So it's huge. I mean, so do you think that, I mean this is a random question, not related to Shopify, but do you think that anyone can learn how to be a good copywriter or do you think it really takes a certain Jenna sequel? No. [00:03:52] spk_0: Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I think, I think you can, I think you can, especially if you are passionate about your product because chances are, if you're passionate about the product that you sell your probably very in tune with the benefits and the features of your product. and if you can learn to differentiate between the two, I think the outside the box thinking kind of has comes with time. Even me. Like, I'm, I I use, I'm definitely little bit more right side of the brain, a little bit more creative and stuff, but it still took me a while to, I guess, I hate to say, I think like a copywriter, but I, when I talk to people, I actually hear copy sometimes, it's pretty weird. You know, like, somebody will say something to me and I'll be like, oh, that's a good headline right there. I'm writing on my phone, like, that's that's that's definitely a good attention grabber. So I think, I think over time it's something you just kind of get a knack for. But yeah, there's definitely some that just some of the greats, but there's some amazing books out there that can definitely help big time. [00:04:47] spk_1: Yes, love that. Well, let's get into it. You grow brands on Shopify and you and I were talking about brands and what makes a good brand for Shopify? Can you talk a little bit about the best products to grow on Shopify? [00:05:04] spk_0: Oh, yeah, totally. So, um I always say that when you're, when you're, when you're selling on Shopify right, you're you're not really just competing or just trying to get your not just competing with your competitors, right? You're you're competing with distractions. So the number one thing you're really looking for in your product and your marketing is capturing attention, right? Like, you need to captivate attention, you have to have a product and a marketing campaign and a marketing strategy that is strong enough to retain that attention and, and, and then get engagement, because, like I said, you've got, it's not just your your your your competitors sending out ads, it's also your text messages going off your phone ringing, you know, so there's a lot of variables that you have to take into consideration when you're when you're selling on these mobile predominantly platforms, right? Because you're not, you're doing most of the traffic on your mobile to the States. So the best products are those that number one capture attention. They have to be very unique. Um, we used to, we like to say, they present a new opportunity to the market. You know, um, a great example of an opportunity would be like um, Uber and taxis. Right? So, you know, back in the days, um, I know the taxis were extremely unreliable, they cost a lot of money. It was not something that you could use on the daily basis. And then here comes Uber with this amazing new opportunity to just have a car right at your doorstep within seven minutes. Right? So we look for something that presents a really strong new opportunity to the marketplace, usually a very strong, unique selling proposition. And another thing that we look for is we look for desire, right? Like do people want this is this is something that exists within um, people at a primal level. So, you know, in a lot of instances when we want to buy something, um it's not, it's not that somebody created that desire in us. It's that they tapped into it because desire can't really, it's like energy, you can't really created or destroyed. It just exists. So you can only tap into it. So we look at, does this product tap into desire right into a primal desire? Some something might like traveling or eating. [00:07:07] spk_1: I think it's also, you know like Donald miller puts it as survival right? The way to tell a really good story is how all of us humans are have a desire to survive. Like something that's going to help us survive or thrive in some way. So I think that, you know that taps into that survival mechanism, you know, if you don't have this in your life, what is it going to be like? Right. Um and it just taps into that desire side. So I love that you put it from the desire side of things because I've heard it from the survivalist kind of playing things, but love the desire side. [00:07:44] spk_0: Yeah. Yeah, that's a great way to put it. I've never seen vice versa, I've never heard of the way you put it in that at a primal level really does, you know, our our our surroundings have changed, right? As human beings, but our instincts really haven't as much as we think they have, they really they really haven't. Um So we like to tap into obviously that desire. Um and then we look for two last things um which is an experience or a mechanism like what changes in the process and when it comes to the problem that you're solving the opportunity that you're presenting to the marketplace, um You know, think of like we'll go back to the sentence we're talking about primal, you know, stuff real quick, we could say um when people are hungry, they could eat maybe a chicken, rice and a glass of water. They could have that every single day applied for the rest of life and survive for a very long time, right? Or maybe even something plant based. But humans don't want that, they want to change. They want a new mechanism. They want to introduce a new experience whenever they eat breakfast, lunch dinner, Right? So people like to see um that kind of change when it comes to solving problems. Think of bubble baths and bath bombs, right? They do virtually the same thing, but the mechanism and the experience completely changes. Right? A bath bomb that kind of explodes right into the, whereas one just bubbles up. So we look for a new experience, right? And we could go back to the ipod, nano ipod cd player, big new experience, their digital and the last thing, um, which is really one of the most important things is what are we replacing in the marketplace? Right? Like what, what is currently in the market place that we can do not only better, but completely get rid of it because human beings at a primal level don't like to just improve. They like to replace improvement offers will usually not do as well as replacement offers. It's kind of when people go to get a new car, they don't really need a new car most of the time, they just, instead of just improving it or getting new tires or maybe tinting the windows and I'm tired of it. I want to get a new one. So we always look for the bigger, the bigger the bigger the gap there, the bigger of an indication that we have a really solid product. So that's how we actually, that's literally like the foundation for how we look at what products we're gonna choose and what products we're gonna market. There's a lot more stuff. But I think for like for your listeners for like four things opportunity desire, um, replace experience and replacement. Those four components are like literally the backbone of our business. [00:10:01] spk_1: And you know for all of your private label sellers out there who are trying to do product research, you should use that as your guideline. You should think about when you're thinking about that product that you're thinking about bringing to market, you should really think about, okay it doesn't have a strong U. S. P. Does is there a desire in the marketplace for it? What is the experience compared to what I call reasonable alternatives? So what I call these reasonable alternatives? Whenever I'm working with inventors and they're looking at this new cool idea, I'm like okay but how many reasonable alternatives are there in the marketplace? And are they significantly cheaper? Like how does yours bring that additional value? Right. And then the replacement, what are you replacing? I love that way of thinking about it instead of just reasonable alternatives. Like why would they choose yours? Right and not this other. [00:10:52] spk_0: Yes, I [00:10:53] spk_1: love that. That's such a great way to break down for things. [00:10:56] spk_0: Yeah. I can also tell you that like that formula I kid you not, I've used it in every product that I've launched and you know, it doesn't, it's not always a rocket to the moon, but it has even on my, even on the days where I hit the ignition button and the rocket doesn't jump up as high as or you know, shoot off as high as I wanted to. It has always proven itself to be a very solid baseline model for how I'm going to market products as well. So, you know, everything can always be optimized. That's what we do any commerce uh, most of the time. Right? Um, but that that formula right? There is like I said, it's the foundation of, of everything we've built our product selection on. So um, it works. [00:11:36] spk_1: Love that. So let's talk about a real brand. So what makes a real brand in your eyes versus just like an amazon only product? [00:11:47] spk_0: Great question. So I would say I actually had a conversation with a pretty big client of ours and he said he said something that was really cool and it kind of, we just had a conversation, it's directly responsible you're saying cause he sold on amazon first, right? And um he said that his product was driving his product, we was driving the brand right? Like his sales entirely. We're driving about like he stopped marketing or stops spending on ads. His business wouldn't really perform how it was performing to him. Um The message is what drives is when you drive a brand right? Like when your message and what your mission statement, your purpose, when you're, you know, a purpose driven company, um, that message is what actually what drives the brand, the sales supported, right? But the driving force becomes the vision. It usually takes, um, you know, especially when we're, when we're doing a lot of PPC, a lot of customer acquisition, customer acquisition when you're doing it like that as opposed like a boots on ground organic, you know, those, that's the benefit of the boots, the ground organic method, you're gonna get more, you're gonna get more of a personalized touch when it comes to acquiring customers, speaking to people, building that mission from, from kind of inception. But most of us in e commerce aren't really building like that. Most of us are acquiring, acquiring, requiring, requiring. So what happens is when you stop acquiring, what happens, right? Like do your sales fall off, Right. And I mean that goes back into retention and great products, right? So I would say that really getting into that people become advocates. They want to become advocates or your business. It's, it's not just about the product. The product doesn't drive the brand, the mission drives the brand, you know, and I have a saying is attention gets the sale product, that's the scale. So like you can capture people's attention to these days. It's not super easy to sell things online, but it's a lot easier than it was 20 years ago, right? We know where people are in the funnel, we know where they are in terms of engagement. We know everything about people when it comes to media buying. So at this point it kind of looks like, you know, you can have, you can get sales, but that doesn't mean you're going to grow up a scalable business, you have to have a great product. And that product usually translates into some sort of mission that people then used to drive the business. So they kind of like kind of Transfer from 1 to the next, right? [00:14:08] spk_1: I like to think of it as whether your reviews come naturally, you know, the amazon sellers are always trying to get more reviews. They're always like, how do I get more reviews while you're selling a light bulb? And so I'm sorry, but you're not going to get out more reviews. But if you really do, if you connect with the mission, if you have your brand to the feeling that that customer gets when they buy your product and you're replacing all the things that we talked about that make up a brand, um you're really helping them with something in their life and you're making a difference in their life. They are just naturally going to leave a review without you even asking like we get new five star reviews for our my invented products all the time because it just saves people so much time and money and they're just like I have to leave a review. This is the best thing ever. So it's just really, it's easy if you have one of those products and I think that is every major brand that we ever think about, that we know I can trust brought one of those products to market that really made a difference in our life. Yeah, a [00:15:17] spk_0: good thing. Well, the good thing about another thing that you touched on it, it's really important is just, you know, the products like the experience, right? What happens is when people trust products, they then trust the manufacturing, the supplier and the producer of the product, right? So when your mission is authentic and your product is good, what happened is that what happens is it makes your mission in your, in your, your goal with the business much more authentic to your consumers, right? Because you're now relatable, you're trustworthy. You're actually selling a good product, You deliver the product on time, You have a great experience. There's great packaging. These are all the things that like, you know that I don't think you talked about enough when it comes to Shopify and not even just Shopify, but like utilizing outside traffic platforms, like even social media advertising, right? You can sell on facebook and you can do facebook as well. A lot of people don't remember realizes that you can also engage with people who ask questions immediately, right? Like you can, somebody can ask you, oh well how many calories are in this product? And you can literally, this is a perfect opportunity For you to have an immediate piece of engagement with your customer at the advertising level. Like no media in history has ever really had that power, right? Like when you think that, that's something that nobody talks about, like when we get, when we get customer service, we literally have somebody who is literally designated for Facebook comments to be extremely thorough. It doesn't just say, Oh, how many calories? 158. It's Hey, thanks so much for reaching out. Great to hear from you. Um, there's 158 calories in this product. Do you have any additional questions? Like create an experience when you do stuff like that from like inception on the acquisition side using page media. like if you carry that all the way through, good messaging on your email, people are just naturally going to like your product. Like why wouldn't they if it's a great product? So that's really where the brand is the differentiator, like the communication with your customer. They're like, you know, we're all any uh many commerce world. So I look at data all day, right? But at the end of that piece of data is, is a real human being that at a primal level always wants a positive relationship, human beings want positive relationships in their life. So even though we're brands and products and we sell as such, we still have the capacity to develop very, very strong relationships with brands and after Covid especially, that's mostly what's driving businesses right now, that's separating like e commerce products and e commerce brands. You know, [00:17:34] spk_1: I love that, that's just so strong. So let's get into what it takes to grow a brand on Shopify because I know so many amazon sellers will reach out to me and they'll say amy I want to get a Shopify store up and running and I just, I don't know what I should do. Can you tell me Colin when I talked to you last time you told me about you basically like every angle you have thought of, every angle of growing a brain, like you create multiple funnels, you do split testing, you have like follow up emails sequences for every one of your funnel funnels that's personalized to that, to that landing page. Like you have created a machine, you have created a system for growing a brand on on and off of Shopify really, but really helping people grow their following and everything like And of course shopping is just the method that you used to do that and you do other things often Shopify. But let's talk a little bit about your process and how you go through the process of growing a brand on Shopify and some of the marketing funnels and copyrighting that's involved. [00:18:48] spk_0: Yeah. Great. So yeah, our process, basically, we start with we have a strategy session that we go with and we basically we go really, really deep on who our customer is, right? We're learning about basically everything and anything um that basically resonates with our customer in terms of what No, I don't want to see what their what their values are, right. But we're trying to take them from an imperfect present to a desirable future, right? And we want to understand the pain points that they're going through. We want to understand kind of the problems that are that they're experiencing. How do we make these problems, you know better and solve them? And we solve very specific problems and we just go into an in depth research process where we learn everything and anything that we can about our customers. A lot of it revolves around review research. So we do review research where we'll look at 11 star reviews, three star reviews and five star reviews. Um, typically, you know, cool tip for your, for your listeners is one of the things that we do on each of those reviews is we copy and paste as many of the reviews we can, and we use what's called a word cloud generator. So we can look at the one star reviews will copy as many will get, you know, say brand has 3000 reviews. Well, get as many of those reviews we can, we'll put them in a word cloud generator and the word cloud, we're literally pick the most popular words, so you'll know with unbiased, like there's it's just data, right? The lead. They don't, there's no there's no subjective nous to it, right? It will show us all the keywords that are in a one star review. Like what are the number one things that people are complaining about? It, extract the most common words? Three stars. We do the same thing in five stars, we do the same thing. And what's cool about that is you get like the really, really bad, right? This was the worst product that I've ever had in my life reviews. You get the fives, which is this is the best product I've ever had in my entire life and it's a light bulb, so it's probably a little exaggerated, right? But you also get the three stars, which is I liked it. But and that is that is that's where the gold is because now you know like because you know with with one stars you're gonna get a lot of product damage stuff. It came, they sent me the wrong item, they sent me the wrong flavor, five stars. Sometimes they're a little exaggerated. Three stars are like when we get the sweet spot because it's the most objective and neutral opinion you can get from somebody. Somebody is taking the time to say, you know what, it wasn't that great, but it wasn't that bad. So what what made it in between and where can we where can we use that to exist on this side of the spectrum, on the five on the five star side. So anyway, we, that's just a little tip that we use because it works really well for, for learning, you know, where your product is and [00:21:31] spk_1: you know, we're so gonna cut that tip out of this episode, it's so good. That's a great tip. I love word clouds and I've never thought about using them in that way. Right, awesome. I'm so, I'm sorry, keep going, keep spilling the gold. We're listening. [00:21:49] spk_0: Yeah, no, no, no, for sure, for sure. So, so we'll look, we'll look at a lot of that stuff. And I always say at the end of the day, it all boils down to research and that's just a copywriter at me. Like we researched so much, you know, we look up um news articles, you know, like I said, the reviews, audience insights, unfortunately it's supposed to be disappearing. So I didn't want to talk about it too much um from facebook, but facebook audience insights, you know, it's still up and running now. Um but it's such a powerful tool but I believe in july 1st it's supposed to be going on the way. I'm not I don't know how what they're gonna be replacing it with, but I I know there's been some notices on that. So anyway, um research is number one. Um and then you kind of start going and you build infrastructure around that. When we talk about infrastructure, I typically like to do one of two things. It depends on the client and it depends on where people are at in their business. Some people we'll have a Shopify store um that has some basic, you know, it's got like a homepage and it's very, very basic, right? What you could do is if you wanted to test to see if Shopify would be a good option for your product, um you know, to to sell it. Um, what I would probably do is leave the site the way it is, without having to build too much and build an acquisition. What we would call an acquisition page, right, or or landing page. And what that landing page does is is you basically put your product on there and you write copy. You think of it like a funnel, right? You know, I I use that term very carefully because, you know, I love clinic funnels, but there's just a little difference between [00:23:20] spk_1: almost like an amazon product listing page. It's just that product on the page and we're trying to take them through the journey of that product and take them all the way through to the point of purchase. Right? [00:23:31] spk_0: Exactly. And, you know, one of the most important things just so everybody listening. One of the most important things on that page besides the copyrighting, and, you know, the creative and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Um is the offer. The offer is super, super important. Um Most of the time when people think about offers, like if you tell somebody, oh, you know, um you know, your offer isn't that great? If I tell somebody they're offer isn't that great on the page. So a lot of people immediately think that I'm telling them to lower the price. Um but really what developing offers is about, it's not really about price, it's actually more about value. So people don't really never people very rarely don't buy because of price. It's because they didn't see the value in the price that you are presenting to them, Right? So what we what we're trained to do and what we do during our offer development processes, we look at what you have in your business or what we can find source or be creative with the e books or whatnot that we can give to your consumers when they purchase, when they when they purchase this act was your product through an acquisition offer. Right? So I'll give you a great example. Um One of our clients, they sell organic supplements right there, they're pretty large stellar of organic supplements on amazon. They were having a lot of trouble with their website in general. But they want we wanted to test to make sure that it was, you know, we could get something going before we went and built out all this expensive infrastructure. Right? So we built them a landing page. And then in the offer development, what we did was we got them these, I helped him source this um toward electric tornado bottle um overseas and it's just basically it's like a shaker. But instead of being a sugar, it's got like a plastic spinner in there and you press a button and it turns on it and it blends for you. And we got a bunch of really cool creative in there was it was very, very cheap to to source and we bundled it with the product and we gave it to people for free and we were able to charge right around the same amount of right, right around the same price for the product without having to discount it too much because we created more value. Right? So we we factored that into the price and that's one of the things you can do on the acquisition side um to start bringing people into your brand, right and then sell them things on the back end. Right is usually with a good product that experience. So I would usually recommend. Obviously first thing is research, Next thing is probably a single product landing page. I don't know how it depends on many excuse you have. I think it goes on a case by case basis for the purposes of this podcast. I don't want to be too generic because every case is different, you know? Um, but in a lot of cases, what we do is we test the single product landing page. Um, and then we run traffic to those pages. One of the things that people don't get told enough, um, as, as another tip for your listeners because there's no, there's no shortage of media buying companies out there that want your business, right? There's plenty of facebook buyers out there and um, you know, google ad buyers and all that good stuff. Um, but what a lot of them, you don't want to see what a lot of them will tell you, that just sounds like they're being shady, but it's not, but I think a common misconception is that people think that they have a page or a piece of infrastructure that's even ready to have traffic sent to it, right? Just because you have a website on Shopify does not mean that the traffic should be sent there, right, Because it's, it's probably not going to convert this 2% number that everybody thinks just magically exists. That's the, that's if you have pretty solid infrastructure, pretty decent copyright, you'll probably converted 2%. If you don't have the right basic tools, you won't even convert even half that. I don't think so. Um, it's about making sure that you have the right components, you know, copyrighting, that works an email marketing, you know, some sort of email marketing flow or campaign that's going out to your customers. But landing page right with the right components and then you go to market with traffic, right? And then traffic is sent to the page. Um, the, uh, facebook instagram or still, even though there's a lot going on with facebook right now with IOS 14. Um, I don't know if your, I know your listeners obviously, probably a lot more on the amazon side. So IOS 14, there's a lot of going, a lot of things going on right now just with facebook being able to track things and attribution and all that other good stuff that facebook uses, but it's still a powerful channel. Um, and we use traffic from that source or other external sources to then convert people and then start bringing them into uh, the brands that we work with. [00:27:47] spk_1: And I think the key to that you build out is you also think about what do how do we communicate with that customer after they make a purchase or after they visited the page. And I think so many people don't really think all the way through the funnel right there, creating that facebook ad and they're like okay, I got traffic, how many conversions am I getting? And they're just waiting for that conversion to happen and they haven't built anything other than just you sign up for my email list. Right? But you're building ahead of time, You're thinking all the way through that tunnel and you're building out that follow up sequence that specifically to that. [00:28:31] spk_0: Thanks for tuning in to part one of this episode, join us every Tuesday at one pm [00:28:36] spk_1: pacific standard time for live Q. [00:28:37] spk_0: And A. And bonus content after the recording [00:28:40] spk_1: at cellar round table dot com, sponsored [00:28:43] spk_0: by the Ultimate software tool for amazon sales and [00:28:45] spk_1: growth seller s [00:28:47] spk_0: c o dot com, and Amazing at home dot com.

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