Are you here to unravel a few tips to move your company in the right direction?
If so, welcome! If not, stick around – because if you haven’t heard of the dynamic husband and wife duo behind wellness brand, Arrae, I promise you that their story is one worth reading.
Whether you’re excited to grow your established business, or you’re just getting started, one thing is for certain: no one knows your product and company better than you.
But what are the steps and resources that can help you spread the product story you know so well?
Smart Marketer’s Molly Pittman sat down with Nish Samantray to answer just that! We’ll lay out the blueprint to his success story with cofounder and wife, Siff Haider, and dissect a few key points that helped them get off the ground. In turn, we’ll help you do the same.
Because a company doesn’t exist without customers and customers don’t exist until they know you do!
But before you soar, let’s start off by introducing Nish and how the Arrae brand went from $0 to $1 million in its first 8 months!
Great! I hope you’re ready… set…
GO! Find a gap in the market and close it.
Ok. It’s time to answer the million-dollar question – who are Nish and Siff and how did they build their health and wellness brand, Arrae?
So glad you asked!
Nish Samantray had a history with Smart Marketer long before it even existed – but we’ll get to later. Put a pin in that for now, and we’ll first start by rewinding the clock a little further.
Nish’s brand began when he and his wife, Siff, were traveling. Usually, when packing, there are too many shoes, clothes, cleansers, etc. but in this case, they were weighed down by too many supplements.
“Do we really need to pack all of these supplements?” Nish asked.
Turns out… no, not really.
As very routine people, both coming from jobs within the beauty industry, Siff and Nish started troubleshooting – “If we have routines for our skin, why don’t we have one for our internal health? Why aren’t supplements ritualized and why don’t they come manufactured by people we trust?”
And BOOM! They found their niche in the market. There was a gap in the health industry for efficacy, ritualization, and curated products that had a trusted face behind them.
As Smart Marketer’s Molly Pittman put it, “At its core, why your business works is because you created a product out of a need that you already had. It’s that simple and that complicated in one sentence […] and saying that your supplements ‘work within the hour’ is such a unique sales proposition.”
Nish commented that when you’re putting something into your body, it’s of utmost importance that it’s quality you can trust.
Most supplements you’ll wonder if they’re even working. But Arrae crafted their supplements with trusted doctors to target very specific issues. Hence, why you’ll feel the effects within the hour and never be left to wonder.
Arrae has a product that speaks for itself, but how did it get there and what does zero to 1 million look like?
Well, in March of 2020, their company started moving when everything stopped. A year before Arrae’s launch, Nish and Siff curated their products with trusted health professionals. Before taking any leaps, they needed to cultivate a wellness supplement that added value to people’s lives – and so they did.
Then came the question that turned products into business – how do we find more customers?
Here are the key tips Nish used to answer precisely that!
1. USE YOUR EXISTING NETWORK
It’s easier to talk about how successful businesses go from 1 to 10, but what about 0 to 1? Those first steps are vital and often don’t come with as many resources and provisions. You have to be scrappy, and you have to use what is at your disposal.
The second Nish and Siff had their final product, they focused their efforts on spreading the word with limited funds.
According to Nish, “The first thing that we really focused on wasn’t actually paid advertising. It was more than anything else, just tapping into existing networks.”
So, they distributed their supplements to their friends, friends of friends, and sent it out to influencers.
“We did a lot of work just to get to these influencers. And what we said was, ‘Hey, we started a company, here’s [blank that it can help you with]. Please try it. By the way, you don’t have to do anything for us in return.’ ”
Their product would arrive beautifully packaged with a personalized handwritten note and a picture of them and their story. All they asked was that those who received it talk and write about how the product made them feel.
The next step for Nish and Siff? LISTEN.
“We’d use a lot of their [feedback] on our website and copy,” Nish said. “Our initial go-to-market strategy was to give [our product] to as many people as possible […] then we received a bunch of emails and were getting orders every other minute just two months into launching the business. And we just kept doing that with as many people as we thought aligned with our brand and our values. This actually took us from 0 to 1. This took us from 0 to 1 million dollars in about 8 months. By December of 2020, we had $1,000,000 in revenue.”
To tap into that organic network, they needed to:
A) Create buzz by being real and being human.
Today’s customers live in a world of filters, social feeds, and automated bots that leave them craving real people and real connections. We want stories that are digestible and relatable, but polished enough to be remembered. Nish’s product distribution was more like a letter off the pony express than a quick message – and felt like a note you should keep rather than a text to delete for more storage space.
B) Build relationships and listen to feedback.
A product feels trustworthy when it speaks for itself. So, put it out there and let the news spread organically. Then, LISTEN. When you pay attention to your customers’ needs, you understand how to write to them, develop for them, and build messaging around them. Once you know who your target audience is and what they want, you’ll know how to market and where to expand growth.
2. USE RESOURCES TO SCALE, BUT KNOW YOUR STUFF
A) No one knows your company and value proposition better than you.
A common mistake that people make in the early stages of business is handing everything over to an agency with the attitude of “now go do it, make me money”. When an agency and company are void of relationship, the psychology behind marketing, avatars, hooks, etc. isn’t properly laid out and the agency is just left pressing buttons. It’s important to remember that while agencies are a huge resource in scalable growth, they aren’t the lifeblood of your company – YOU ARE!
B) Keep learning to make educated decisions.
When trying to find the right agency, Nish told Smart Marketer, “It came to a point where I wanted to understand how to [market] myself. I didn’t want to just hire any other agency because I had no idea how to vet them. So, I found the TMTP course. I signed up and I just powered through every single course. Now, when I’m having a conversation with an ad agency, I know if they’re decent or not, because I, myself, have learned and gained a certain level of expertise.”
Knowing the basics and doing a bit of the work yourself won’t make you an ad expert overnight, BUT it will help you decipher which ad agency is worth their salt. It also sets realistic expectations for the fluctuations and complexities of digital advertising. Which bring us to our next point…
3. MARKET, MARKET… AND THEN MARKET SOME MORE
Now, remember in the beginning when I mentioned Nish having a long history with Smart Marketer before it even existed as an agency?
I thought you would!
Now it’s time to take the pin out of that topic and dive into how he became the Smart Marketer Agency’s first client.
Nish knew that the next step in scalability was finding a way to get Pep, a Dutch freelancer at the time and present CEO of the Smart Marketer Agency, on his team. By the time Nish discovered him, Pep wasn’t taking any new clients… but he was determined to charm his socks off, and it worked! Nish landed him.
“I went down to Amsterdam to build a relationship with this guy, and so we hired Pep and it was really amazing. And we were at $25-30K in spend per month on advertising. And in the first 2-3 months, we got to well over $100K [in ad spend].
This is just because we were able to write copy better. We were able to buy ads better. There’s nothing more to it. And then after that, I would write a bunch of different types of copy and would just give it to PEP [to diversify it across media channels]. We didn’t even create new content or new videos. We just got good at different types of messaging.”
Not long after the SM Agency opened, Nish signed up 6 months before services were even offered. And since signing on in January, his company growth moved his ad spend from $25K to half a million.
Let’s pause on that for a moment. In 2020, Nish went from a business of net zero to 1 million. Now, he’s spending half a million on ad spend each month.
Once you let that sink in, UNPAUSE!
Now, let’s move on to one more key variable in his success.
4. SOLVE 5 PROBLEMS PER MONTH
Here’s the not-so-secret secret: fires never stop burning and there will always be something to put out. The reality is you can’t spray water on all of them at once. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll be able to release some of that entrepreneurial stress.
Take your time.
As Nish puts it, “My monthly goals consist of five bullet points. So, on the first of every month, I write down five things that I must do in order of importance.
I would say, okay, what do I need to do to be able to achieve this goal? And when you start learning these things yourself, you really are able to think about [business] holistically, because [there are so many moving parts] to making it scalable. It took so much learning to understand exactly how this entire process works and solving each [problem] one by one got us here.”
In addition, find people to free up your time to solve those priority problems and put out those fires. Because what got you from 0 to 1 on your own won’t be scalable enough to get you from 1 to 10, let alone 10 to 25 and so on. Finding the right agency, employees and aid might just be what takes you from your zero to a million.
NO TIME IS EVER WASTED
Our time is coming to an end, but if there’s one thing to remember as we close, it’s this: don’t ignore the beginning steps of a business and know that your efforts are never in vain. Experience at other corporations, past failures, etc. are the stepping stones that lead you to building a successful company.
It’s easy to look at a grand success as intangible and unattainable. And when given advice, remember that what they do now uses resources that aren’t available to the average start up… because the reality is, they DIDN’T start there!
When ideating and creating something you’re passionate about, learn that passion project forwards and backwards. You’ll always be the best salesperson and expert on your products – you’re the key holder to your story. Now, make that story tangible, accessible and relatable. We hope these key points will help get you there!
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