Behind the Scenes

Learn From the Best: Ecommerce Advice from Shopify’s Own Mastermind

by Ezra Firestone



Whenever I meet a fellow entrepreneur, something strange comes over me. I can’t help myself… I need to ask them questions.

I want to hear their story and learn what’s working in their business, so that maybe I can use those same strategies in mine.

Because in ecommerce it pays to be a student — to constantly soak up any information you can — and I know from experience that networking leads to major leaps in your growth.

So you can probably imagine my excitement when Shopify introduced me to a few of their most successful store owners at their private mastermind.

I was able to interview these top experts of Amazon, Print-on-Demand, Facebook advertising and affiliate marketing, and they shared the tactics and strategies that are working for them.

In this blog post, a few of Shopify’s biggest success stories share their expert advice on how to launch new products and build an online business that people will love.

Below are some of my favorite highlights from our conversations — but if you really want to soak up all this valuable content, I recommend you watch the video. Enjoy!

Words of Wisdom from Shopify’s Ecommerce Experts


CHRIS RECORD on rising above the noise and building a community who knows, likes and trusts you:

People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust, K-L-T. You have to find a way to be able to rise above… You have to be familiar to them… They want to know this person. Then if they know you, they get to like you, and that’s through charisma and communication. Then if they know you and like you… show them results in their life. Feed them value, constant and never-ending value, every single day.

Once somebody knows you, likes you, and trusts you, they’ll gladly do business with you, for years to come.”



NISHANT BHARDWAJ on finding successful ideas for print-on-demand products:

With Print-On-Demand, it’s not just fashion. It’s more like a statement you’re trying to make… people want to spend money on things that they actually care about. >strong>It’s not just about buying basic products anymore, because they could just buy those on Amazon. So what would make someone buy from a small guy like me?… I have to be able to stand out in print-on-demand.

You know, it’s gonna sound so cliché, but I see a lot of people try to find these small hacks. Hey, you know, one thing here, one thing there. I always say that if you want to become successful — let’s say if you want to make a million dollars — you’re not gonna make a million dollars by one hack. You will make a million dollars by becoming a very good marketer.” 



ADAM MALTAIS on how to become an influencer and better networker by giving away your best resources:

“I think people don’t network and they don’t try and add value to people’s lives because they don’t think they know anything. But what everyone needs to understand is that you always know something that can help somebody out. You try and give value everywhere you can, little by little, and generally, [Ezra] would agree with me, that it’ll come back when you need help. When you need a favor, people will know you as a person that adds value, and so they’ll be more than happy to help you.

One of the biggest things is don’t hold onto your contacts. Don’t hold on. Everyone wants to keep, ‘Oh, this is my graphic designer. This is my friend, Ezra…’ Like, give that away. One of the most powerful things I learned from someone a long time ago is that connecting two people is one of the most powerful things you can do. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. It takes one email sometimes, and you’re connecting two people together. That blossoms into a relationship. They both look at you like the guy that created massive value for them, and it took you maybe one email.”



DIMITRIS SKIADAS on scaling your brands through customer data and location-based advertising campaigns.

“If someone’s starting out right now and feels like Google Analytics is overwhelming, I would say two quick things. The first things first, just install Google Analytics. Let the data roll, because you have to understand better your audience, you know, where they’re coming from, which products are converting, which are the devices, desktop, mobile, and all that kind of great stuff. It’s not really that you have to be a scientist.

The second thing is a single tracking sheet… As a business, as a business owner, you have so many expenses. So you have your revenue, daily sales, PayPal fees, Shopify fees, all the expenses that you have. You see, day to day, if you’re making money.”

The basic mistake I see is most of the people target [the entire] United States. That’s it. You can see that if you go inside Analytics, and you can click on the United States, you can see all the different states…You see that, ‘Okay. I’m doing a decent job in California. But, man, I’m killing it in Colorado.’ So I would say create — if you’re running Facebook ads — create a different ad set for Colorado only. If you want to take it a step deeper, you can click on Colorado, for example, and you can have all specific cities.”



WILL MITCHELL on turning one Amazon product into a 5, 10, 15-product brand with a raving fan base:

“The main thing I look at with growing Amazon businesses is the scale-ability of the business. I think way too many people right now are focused on the get-rich-quick aspect of it. That’s important… We have to get that product selling. We have to get reviews on that product. That’s all important to get started. What I think people really miss the ball on though, in terms of the upside of these businesses, is if you just go out there, and you sell a bunch of random products, you end up just hustling. All of a sudden, you’re not running a business. You’re controlled again by your business. You’ve created the jail cell for yourself. 

So I think the big thing is really focusing on what is the long-term potential of this product. How can I turn this product into a brand with a raving fan base that are gonna buy additional products as I launch them? In that way, you roll out, you know, a >strong>5, 10, 15-product product line, that you can really go push out there, rather than just selling random things.”

I love doing product inserts. What we have is what we call our beta tester club. So when we do product inserts, we’ll have this thing on there that basically says, “Hey. Join our beta tester club. Put your email address in on this website, and you’re gonna get first access, free product, discounted product, all sorts of stuff. You basically create a list of your early adopters. So now, as you launch more products on Amazon or on your own site or your Facebook profile or whatever you want to do now, you actually have an audience.” 



ADRIAN MORRISON on how to pick a winning Amazon product without reinventing the wheel:

“You know, most people try to market something that they think is cool, and, inevitably, it fails. So what I do to find products is I figure out what the world wants… I actually go for very generic-style products… Oftentimes, it’s things that I’m really not even interested in, but it’s stuff that sells.

I’m not a creative thinker, in terms of finding [products]. I’m in the same position as everybody else, but what I do is I look at what’s successful already. I think about what other people want, and then I just duplicate that.”

One of the biggest things I’ve seen success with lately is print-on-demand connected into Shopify. There’s these great apps that connect into Shopify and have fulfillment services. I mean I’ve sold over $1 million worth of pillow cases…”



I always love talking to experts, hearing their stories first hand and really getting a sense for what they specialize in.

I hope this has helped you and given you ideas that you can use to grow your business. Stay tuned from more in-depth interviews from Shopify’s NYC Mastermind coming soon!

Video Highlights:
0:03 Networking can lead to major leaps in growth for your business
1:03 Interview with Chris Record
1:50 Communicate and Resinate with your audience
2:53 Once somebody knows you, likes you and trusts you, they will do business with you for years to come
2:56 Interview with Charles Ngo
3:20 Take advantage of Facebook video ads
4:09 Interview with Nishant Bhardwaj
6:07 Touching on someones life experience to sell physical product
6:42 People want to spend money on things they actually care about
7:50 Interview with Matt Schmitt
11:15 Pre-purchase upsell provides a great way for you to make money
11:28 Interview with Sebastian Gomez
13:46 YouTube skyrocketed Sebastians personal brand
15:19 Interview with Adam Maltais
16:30 Connecting two people is one of the most powerful things you can do
17:38 Interview with Dimitris Skiadas
18:06 Install Google Analytics and let the data roll
20:48 Interview with Will Mitchell
22:00 How can i turn this product in to a brand with a raving fan base
22:25 When you customer is buying from you, they are buying a feeling
23:55 Interview with Adrian Morrison
24:35 Look for what the masses want
24:48 Pay attention to Google search trends and other peoples ads of Facebook



Click Here For Video Transcript

Ezra: Hey. Ezra here, and networking can lead to major leaps in growth for your business. I recently was invited to a Shopify Affiliate Mastermind. This is, like, everyone who was there, trying to look super cool in this picture, by a good buddy of mine, named Adam Altase [SP]. Now this is a bunch of folks who are, like, high-level affiliates for Shopify. So it’s a bunch of people who are doing the same thing. You can even see some Shopify swag in the picture.

As with any time that I’m invited to be with a like-minded group of people, what I like to do is try to learn as much as I can from every person, find out their story, find out what they’re up to, find out what’s working for them, because I feel like we are all ever the student. There’s always more to learn. You can always pick up something cool from folks that you meet, who are in the same field as you. So I did a couple interviews. I got some folks on camera, asked them some questions, and I’d love to share that with you. So let’s hop in and check out what some folks had to say.

Just in case. Hey. Welcome behind the scenes here with Chris Record. Now, you’re definitely doing something that’s resonating with people. So if you had to communicate with, you know, a group of eCommerce business owners that are all interested in that, they’re interested in having a connection to a community, like, what are some…As someone who’s done this super successfully, some advice you might give in that direction?

Chris: Yeah. I think…I mean, first of all, it’s been a lot of learning. Connecting with a community is a way to be able to rise above the noise. Right now, there’s a lot of attention distraction. I mean you can go on YouTube and get sucked in for hours. You can go on any social media platform, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, you name it, and there’s just distraction everywhere.

So in this…Let’s just call that all noise, and this noise…You’ve got to be able to find a way to rise up above the noise, to be able to gain attention, and then when you have attention, you have to be able to capture it and hold onto it. So the way to do that is to be able to communicate and resonate with your audience.

One of the ways that I do that is through transparency. People don’t want to do business with a company. They want to do business with a person. So when we were developing our brand, I thought, “How can I bring…How can I personalize our brand, without making it all about me?” I want to have a company I eventually don’t have to be there every day. But at the same time, people don’t resonate with a company. They resonate with a person. Same way I resonate with you. When I see you, you’ve got this very good brand about you. It’s easy to resonate with. It feels real, versus just XYZ corporation.

Ezra: Sure.

Chris: People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust, K-L-T. They know you, like you, and trust you. So they have to get to know you. You have to find a way to be able to rise above. And once they get to know you, they have to remember. You have to be familiar to them. People want familiarity. There’s already enough change out there. They just want the…They want to know this person. Then if they know you, they get to like you, and that’s through charisma and communication. Then if they know you and like you, and they trust you, they trust you to serve them. Show them results in their life. Feed them value, constant and never-ending value, every single day.

Ezra: Yeah.

Chris: Once somebody knows you, likes you, and trusts you, they’ll gladly do business with you, for years to come.

Ezra: Hey. I’m here with Charles Ngo, who is the man when it comes to teaching people affiliate marketing. Everyone is always interested in strategies, tactics, techniques, kind of ways of looking at how to amplify their brand through buying advertising. So if you were to kind of give our group a couple thoughts on where you see things right now, where you see things going, strategies in that direction, what would you say?

Charles: So my biggest tip right now is to take advantage of Facebook Video Ads. So I do a lot of eCommerce these days, and whenever I look at eCommerce products, I’m looking for something that’s very visual, very high impact.

Ezra: Sure.

Charles: The quickest, the easiest thing to do is to always focus on the pain. You want to highlight the pain, and you want to solve it in a very visual way. A, visual. B, solves a pain.

Ezra: Yeah.

Charles: So whenever I look for a product, I’m always looking for that kind of stuff. I don’t do like cat socks or any of that because there’s no pain. It’s not visual.

Ezra: Sure.

Charles: And the most important thing is the first five seconds. What me and my team like to do is we create these videos. We just use iMovie, or you can even just use your phone app. Just download the videos. Ask a call to action. Add some text to it, and give some direction. Make sure, within the first three seconds, it has a huge impact.

Ezra: Hey. I’m here with Nishant. Thanks for coming on, man. How you doing?

Nishant: You’re welcome, man. Doing great.

Ezra: So you know, you have this, like, amazing success story of you started an eCommerce business, and it’s doing really well. So a little tiny bit about kind of how that came down.

Nishant: Yeah. So actually started about four years ago. I had the dream job, so to speak, the corporate-America gig, but I was just too tired of working in that environment. Luckily I found online marketing industry, and from there on…Very early on in my career, I stumbled upon this thing called Print-On-Demand, which was very early stage, and what…

Ezra: Wasn’t quite as popular within the industry yet.

Nishant: No.

Ezra: Yeah.

Nishant: Yeah. So what it is is, basically, you have an idea of a particular product or design. You take that idea, and you take it to actual physical product, like a T-shirt or leggings or shoes or not…

Ezra: You do a drawing, or you have a quote or what. Yeah.

Nishant: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah, and you sell it. And from there, you know, we ended up selling over $10 million in last three years, off Print-On-Demand products.

Ezra: Like, where are you going to source these ideas for your products, like, that you’re gonna, you know, create? Where’s this inspiration for a potential hit design or quote coming from?

Nishant: Yeah, that’s actually a very good question and, actually, one of the most common questions I get. So I say it’s a two-step process. First thing is you, you know, you have to know something about something. You don’t necessarily have to know, but it always helps if you know something. So that’s a…

Ezra: About a subculture.

Nishant: Subculture.

Ezra: Let’s say, for example, ping-pong is a sub-community.

Nishant: Ping-pong. Yeah.

Ezra: Or Jiu-Jitsu is a sub-community.

Nishant: Yeah, yeah.

Ezra: So you have some insight into the lingo or into the…

Nishant: Yeah. What would make someone emotionally attached is…We…You know, with Print-On-Demand, it’s not just fashion. It’s more like a statement you’re trying to make. So one of my most popular campaigns…Actually it’s a funny shirt. I borrowed the concept. It’s a T-shirt that said, “I just look illegal,” which is a funny little, you know, saying.

Ezra: That’s also heavy. It is. It’s heavy. You know?

Nishant: It is, especially in today’s environment.

Ezra: Yes.

Nishant: So we sold over six figures of that T-shirt, just using Facebook traffic, a lot of funny quotes.

Ezra: So what you’re doing is you’re touching on someone’s life experience.

Nishant: Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. Yeah.

Ezra: You know. Yeah.

Nishant: So, like, for a single mom…I’m actually a single father. So one of…Another very popular campaign was, “Try pimping, because being a single dad ain’t easy,” which was like a popular quote.

Ezra: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure.

Nishant: We took that and spun it out, and then we took that and applied that to 50 different professions, like, “Try pimping, because being a police officer ain’t easy.” So you take something that is catchy.

Ezra: Then you can kind of use that for different sub-communities.

Nishant: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. The thing is, the way that I look at this is that the way this whole marketplace eCommerce is moving, people want to spend money on things that they actually care about. It’s not just about buying basic products anymore, because they could just buy those on Amazon. So what would make someone buy from a small guy like me? It’s…Hey. You know? I have to be able to stand out and print on demand.

Ezra: Well, you’re touching…

Nishant: Exactly.

Ezra: You’re resonating with them.

Nishant: Yeah.

Ezra: You’re creating something that isn’t anywhere else, that’s sort of specific to a viewpoint they hold or an experience they’re having. So interesting. If you were to say kind of one tip for folks who were getting into that industry, what would you tell them?

Nishant: I would say really learn to become a good marketer. You know, it’s gonna sound so cliche, but I see a lot of people try to find these small hacks. Hey, you know, one thing here, one thing there. I always say that if you want to become successful…Let’s say if you want to make a million dollars, you’re not gonna make a million dollars by one hack. You will make a million dollars by becoming a very good marketer.

Ezra: Learning advertising, learning email marketing.

Nishant: Exactly. Yeah.

Ezra: Conversion rate optimization. Follow my blog.

Nishant: So it’s a process. Yeah, exactly. Follow his blog. It’s a process, and you go through the process. Then after that, you know, nobody can take those skills away from you. So, like, niche…

Ezra: Yeah. You’re developing a skill set that you can leverage in any market.

Nishant: Exactly. Yeah.

Ezra: Mighty Matt Schmidt. What’s up, dude? How you doing?

Matt: What’s going on, man?

Ezra: Thanks for coming on.

Matt: Absolutely.

Ezra: You have such a great business. You have this kind of unique part to your business where you’re doing, like, charitable work, and you’re also incorporating that in your marketing, and I think that’s a fascinating sort of style and fascinating model. I’d be curious to know how you came to that, how it’s working for you, what it does for you, from a business perspective and also from in your personal life, how it makes you feel.

Matt: Yeah. It’s always something that’s been close to home for me, before I started all this e-com stuff. Right? So even when I was working at my day job, I was still trying to give back where I could and things like that. The cool thing was that when you get out, and you start doing this e-com thing, you’re doing your own thing, growing your business, now you can have more of a direct impact than just maybe giving money over. So I do a lot of stuff in the print-on-demand world. So we’ve started using charities that are close to home. We branched out from there. But, like, dog rescues or military veterans or police and wounded warriors, things like that. We started giving to those communities by creating things that allow them to be very prideful, and they get to show that out.

Ezra: So actually creating product for that community.

Matt: Yeah. Exactly.

Ezra: Like, targeted towards that community, and then also, taking some of the profit from that venture and giving to charities that support that community.

Matt: Absolutely. Yeah.

Ezra: That’s cool.

Matt: You see the impact that you’re having on people’s lives. You get to change it not only in the financial sense. Maybe the, you know…There’s something that they needed money, monetarily-wise, but then they have a lot of pride in the product that they’re displaying on their chest, on their T-shirt or their hat, whatever it is.

Ezra: Yeah. I also think there’s an intangible sort of energy that comes with when you feel like your venture has purpose. You know?

Matt: Yeah.

Ezra: Like, when you’re doing something good, it gives you some kind of little oomph. You know?

Matt: Yeah.

Ezra: I love the…Take some of the surplus that you’re generating. This is something we practice as well. And put that towards causes that are good things in the world.

Matt: Yeah.

Ezra: Such a cool thing to do. How did you come to that?

Matt: You know, we tested it out. I’m not gonna lie. It was a great marketing angle.

Ezra: I mean…Hey.

Matt: And I wanted to see if it worked.

Ezra: Serve the world, unselfishly, and profit. It’s our business model.

Matt: Yeah. Exactly.

Ezra: So be…You know what I mean? You will profit if you’re in a role of service. Right?

Matt: Yeah, and it’s a win-win for both of them. So I tested it out early on, when I was just slinging T-shirts on T-Spring.

Ezra: Yeah.

Matt: As I moved up and as I’ve gotten more control, more systems in place, more people working for me, it’s become more and more of a drive force because I can have a handle on it, more control on it, and grow it.

Ezra: Now let’s kind of shift the conversation. I knew who you were before we ever got connected because I was familiar with your Shopify app company.

Matt: SMAR7.

Ezra: SMAR7. The reason I know about that is because a lot of people, a lot of my subscribers, have asked me to integrate my apps to your apps. Now we’re gonna be working on deeper integration and stuff like that. But can you talk a little bit about what those apps do and why they’re valuable and stuff?

Matt: Yeah, so we have three main apps right now. We have a timer, and we have a bundle app that allows for up-sells, pre-purchase…

Ezra: Yeah, that’s the one that everybody was wanting access to integrate it.

Matt: Exactly. Then we have a fulfillment app that helps simplify things. But yeah, the bundle app provides an opportunity. We did it in a unique way. We’re not the only company that does it, but what we did was we gamified it. So if you use our app on the screen, it’ll pop up. It’ll reward you with some interactions and things like that. It does it in a way that increases the conversions, exponentially, that we saw, you know, not doing it that way and then the way we were doing it. But that pre-purchase up-sell, if you do it in the right way, provides a great opportunity for you to make money, but your customers get a good opportunity for savings.

Ezra: I think I had been sleeping on pre-purchase up-sells, because I’m so in the post-purchase world. But now that we’re combining both…

Matt: It works really well. Yeah.

Ezra: It’s like…It’s awesome. The young gun, Sebastian. Thanks for coming on.

Sebastian: Good to be here.

Ezra: So I’d love to hear a little bit about kind of how you had the confidence to get started so young and a little bit about your journey.

Sebastian: Yeah, yeah. So I started when I was in high school, 16-years-old, around 16-years-old, just, you know, typing all the profitable keywords in Google, make money online, online business, all that stuff.

Ezra: Sure. You kind of come up…You’d heard about the concept of the potential of earning money on the Internet, and you thought, “I’m gonna check this out,” or…

Sebastian: Yeah, I just…I mean my brother started, and he was in all this entrepreneurship topic, but I was just like following his steps. You know?

Ezra: Yeah.

Sebastian: Really, at that point, I just wanted to make money to, you know, buy video games and stuff, but then I started, you know, focusing more like freedom, time freedom for the future, etc.

Ezra: Yeah.

Sebastian: So I, like, honestly, didn’t get results for around two years or so.

Ezra: You’re just working at it, and just no successes.

Sebastian: Yeah, just working at it, biology classes, English classes. My teachers hated me.

Ezra: Where are you from?

Sebastian: Costa Rica.

Ezra: Okay. Cool.

Sebastian: So I was just grinding, grinding. You know? It was around a year-and-a-half ago that I learned about eCommerce, where I actually started seeing success. Before that, I didn’t have money. I was not seeing success. I lost money in pretty much everything I went to. But what I started doing was I started selling services to make money. You know?

Ezra: Yeah, a way to make a little cash, help someone out, because you learned something about digital marketing. So you went and said, “Hey. I can help you with your website,” or something.

Sebastian: Exactly. I was actually selling websites for free. So I was telling people, “Hey. I’m gonna make your website for free. You just have to get the hosting through my affiliate link.” Right? So then I make $120 affiliate program. So that was really good. Right?

Ezra: Yeah, yeah.

Sebastian: So I was just messaging, what, 50 people a day, in high school, and doing three sales per day. You know?

Ezra: Wow.

Sebastian: Yeah. So I was making around $9K-a-month profit.

Ezra: Just selling websites.

Sebastian: Yeah, selling free websites. Right?

Ezra: Wow. That’s awesome.

Sebastian: Then I used that money to invest on a mastermind, Facebook Mastermind, CPA and stuff.

Ezra: Yeah.

Sebastian: I learned Facebook. Then I was introduced to eCommerce. And when I combined, let’s say, the Facebook knowledge that I had with an e-business model, I started getting some results from there.

Ezra: We’re talking about, like, drop-shipping or print-on-demand. Or what kind of a model?

Sebastian: Yeah, drop-shipping from China and, yeah, pretty much.

Ezra: Cool. You mentioned earlier that, like, you’re into YouTube. I think that YouTube is something you’ll hear us talk a lot about at Smart Marketer, over the next sort of six to eight months, as we develop more training on it. We are investing really heavily in YouTube as a visibility source. So kind of what are you doing on YouTube that’s working for you? And how are you using it?

Sebastian: So YouTube pretty much skyrocketed my personal brand, pretty much, really quickly. I started YouTube something like five months ago. All I did is I started recording one video every single day, free lessons, like the kind of lessons that you would see on a paid course. I gave them away for free. I started making research on [inaudible 00:14:01]. What are they struggling with? I saw that they were struggling with ads, optimization, all that stuff. I was recording one video every single day. I created a playlist on my YouTube channel.

Ezra: I just want to make a note here that every time we hear about someone who’s doing well with content, they’re doing it consistently. You’re doing it once a day. I mean that’s like a level of consistency. So it’s enough for people to, you know, get…really follow you and not have you be filtered out with the noise.

Sebastian: Yeah. People see the consistency. Right? So what I did is I put all this content inside a YouTube playlist, massive value, and then what I did, I started running traffic to the playlist, directly.

Ezra: Right. Yeah.

Sebastian: And you know people…

Ezra: From Facebook? Or from YouTube?

Sebastian: Both. Both from YouTube and from Facebook.

Ezra: Yeah.

Sebastian: All to my playlist.

Ezra: Yeah.

Sebastian: From a playlist, you know, people saw the value. They started learning and started following me from there, to different social media platforms, but everything started from the daily videos on YouTube.

Ezra: Totally agree. Really smart. When you look at YouTube advertising, one quick question. Are you doing, like, true view? Are you doing where it plays before the ad? Or what are your kind of main YouTube ad strategies?

Sebastian: Yeah. So I’m doing in-stream ads, and I pretty much tell them like, “Hey. Sebastian here. I am doing this, these numbers, just to motivate you. Blah, blah. You want more free training? Check out my playlist for free. You don’t have to opt in. You don’t have to give me your email address, none of that stuff. Just check it out for free.”

Ezra: The alligator, Adam Maltais. What’s up, dude?

Adam: Hey.

Ezra: So listen, man. You have this knack for the ability…I’ve said this before on the blog. You can create intimacy with people very quickly. How do you go about adding more of that to your life? Because we know that there’s power in groups. How can someone be more like you?

Adam: I think people don’t network, and they don’t try and add value to people’s lives because they don’t think they know anything. But what everyone needs to understand is that you always know something that can help somebody out. You try and give value everywhere you can, little by little, and generally, you know you would agree with me, that it’ll come back when you need help. When you need a favor, people will know you as a person that adds value, and so they’ll be more than happy to help you.

Ezra: Let’s…I feel like, “Adds value,” is a lingo term that is just thrown around. What’s it even mean?

Adam: Yeah. Practical.

Ezra: When we say, “Add value,” that means like, literally, just chat with someone. Talk. You know? They say something. Give them a resource if you have one.

Adam: Yes. Exactly.

Ezra: Make a connection if it’s available, just whatever you can do.

Adam: Yeah. One of the biggest things is don’t hold onto your contacts. Don’t hold on. Everyone wants to keep, “Oh, this is my graphic designer. This is my friend, Ezra. This is…” Like, give that away. So when you…One of the most powerful things I learned from someone a long time ago, that connecting two people is one of the most powerful things you can do. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. It takes one email sometimes, and you’re connecting two people together. That blossoms into a relationship. They both look at you like the guy that created massive value for them, and it took you maybe one email.

Ezra: You know so many people. How do you manage all that? You know what I mean?

Adam: Yeah. I think when your network grows, yeah, you need some sort of system to keep up with people. So what I do is I have a spreadsheet, and based on how often I think I should keep up with them, I’ll tag the person with that time frame. That could mean I, you know, ask them how their daughter is that was in the hospital.

Ezra: Commented on a Facebook post.

Adam: No, no. Any interaction at all, and it’s not dishonest. It’s that I care. I genuinely care about them, and i want to keep up with them.

Ezra: It’s amazing.

Adam: My mindset towards it is not going and hitting them up to ask them for things. It’s literally just like…Even my friends, like, in the industry, like close people, you, like, people are on it, so that it forces me to be like, “Keep up with people. Ask how they’re doing, not ask things from them.” Just keep up with people.

Ezra: Dangerous Dimitris. So I kind of think of you as like a data scientist. You’re one of these guys who’s really paying attention to the numbers, to looking at data sets and how to optimize. So if you’re maybe a business owner who hasn’t yet confronted all of this data that’s available, kind of what would be some advice you might give someone where they could get started in that direction?

Dimitris: If someone’s starting out right now and feels like Google Analytics is overwhelming, I would say two quick things. The first things first, just install Google Analytics. Let the data roll, because you have to understand better your audience, you know, where they’re coming from, which products are converting, which are the devices, desktop, mobile, and all that kind of great stuff. It’s not really that you have to be a scientist. Just look at your numbers and numbers…I can tell you a whole bunch of lies, but numbers will never lie.

The second thing is a single tracking sheet, where…As I said before, as a business, as a business owner, you have so many expenses. So you have your revenue, a Google sheet from Google Drive, daily. So you have your revenue, daily sales, [inaudible 00:18:44] fees, PayPal fees, Shopify fees, all the expenses that you have. You see, day to day, if you’re making money.

Ezra: So when you start to analyze some of this data set, what are some of the first ways that you have people optimize? Is it like, “Hey. If you see most of your traffic is coming from California, raise budgets in California?” Or what are some…Like, what’s one of the steps you might take towards optimization?

Dimitris: So the most…The basic mistake I see is from all the people that are doing. Most of the people target United States. That’s it. You can see that if you go inside Analytics, and you can click on the United States, you can see all the different states. So you can see that, okay, in California, I have a really, really good conversion rate. So I will let that roll. But based on the specific sessions, specific users that you have from California, and the conversion rate, it’s not really that good.

So you really start analyzing all the numbers. You see that, “Okay. I’m doing a decent job in California. But, man, I’m killing it in Colorado.” So I would say create…If you’re running Facebook ads, create a different ad set for Colorado only. If you want to take it a step deeper, you can click on Colorado, for example, and you can have all specific cities.

Ezra: Look at those cities.

Dimitris: Cities.

Ezra: Yeah, you’re running campaigns specifically to cities, just…

Dimitris: Specifically to the cities. You can even call out people. Hey. I don’t know any Colorado cities, by the way, but…

Ezra: Boulder. You know what I mean? Denver.

Dimitris: Hey, Denver people. Watch out. This is an extremely great product, what’s out, and stuff like that. The second one that really blows my mind is that so many people are still using desktop, especially bigger ages, especially when you see that ages from 45 and above. Usually they spend way more time in your store. They see more pages per user, and usually the conversion rate is double.

Ezra: Yeah, or triple.

Dimitris: And when it’s…Or triple. When I show that to people, and they realize that, “Why?” Because you are on a stable place. You have your desktop. You have a bigger screen. So more time people spend on your store, the more the ability you have to sell them more.

Ezra: Wild Will Mitchell, the startup bro. What’s up, dude?

Will: How’s it going?

Ezra: Because you’re a bro, I’m just gonna go ahead and just pound it.

Will: Pound it. Nice.

Ezra: Just bro out. So you know, you are one of the most prominent Amazon educators, and a lot of people have an Amazon business. By the way, the crowd is there for you. You can also talk to me. When you kind of look at getting started in Amazon today or growing an Amazon business today, what are…Are you still looking at reviews? Doing discount campaigns? Are you looking more at sponsored ads? Kind of what are you looking at?

Will: Yeah. I mean the main thing I look at with growing Amazon businesses is the scale-ability of the business. I think way too many people right now are focused on the get-rich-quick aspect of it. That’s important. Like, we have to get a product up. We have to get that product selling. We have to get reviews on that product. That’s all important to get started. What I think people really miss the ball on though, in terms of the upside of these businesses, is if you just go out there, and you sell a bunch of random products, you end up just hustling. All of a sudden, you’re not running a business. You’re controlled again by your business. You’ve created the jail cell for yourself.

So I think the big thing is really focusing on what is the long-term potential of this product. How can I turn this product into a brand with a raving fan base that are gonna buy additional products as I launch them? In that way, you roll out, you know, a 5, 10, 15-product product line, that you can really go push out there, rather than just selling random things.

Ezra: Yeah, so you have like a bunch of base hits. Like, you really focus on that expansion of brand in that same category, looking at what are frequently bought together kind of thing?

Will: Yeah, that kind of thing and just ways you can serve your customer further. You know? When your customer buys something from you, they’re really buying a feeling. Right? So when I go buy a home security system, I’m buying the feeling of security. I think a lot of people don’t realize that we’re buying feelings with our purchases. If you can dig down and figure out what are the feelings that your customers are buying from you, now you can easily go and sell them additional products, up-sells, cross-sells, that aren’t gonna be offensive, that aren’t gonna feel sell-y or sales-y.

Ezra: Sure.

Will: They’re gonna feel natural, and they’re actually gonna thank you for the up-sell because it’s so perfect with the feeling and the problem that they’re trying to solve right now.

Ezra: Are you doing that, like, through Amazon post-purchase emails in the system? Or getting people’s, you know…

Will: I like post-purchase emails. That’s a good strategy. I do product inserts a lot more though.

Ezra: Okay. Got it.

Will: So I love doing product inserts. What we have is what we call our beta tester club. So when we do product inserts, we’ll have this thing on there that basically says, “Hey. Join our beta tester club. Put your email address in on this website, and you’re gonna get first access, free product, discounted product, all sorts of stuff.”

Ezra: Get them in that sort of club that’s engaging with the brand, where you then give them discounts, and when you…You use them to launch new products and stuff.

Will: Exactly, and you basically create a list of your early adopters. So now, as you launch more products on Amazon or on your own site or your Facebook profile or whatever you want to do now, so you actually have an audience now. You can, you know, actually turn that into money, in several different ways, not just with that one product. Right?

Ezra: Totally. Totally. Adrian Mighty Morrison. For those of you who don’t know, Adrian Morrison is a very prominent educator in our space. Thanks for coming on the show for just a minute.

Adrian: Absolutely.

Ezra: One of the things that people are always asking me is like, “Hey. If you were gonna start now, what kind of product would you select? And why?” I’m like, “Go talk to Adrian Morrison.” You know what I mean?

Adrian: Thank you. You know, I’ve always said to my students, “Number one rule about marketing is forget what you think.” You know, most people try to market something that they think is cool, and, inevitably, it fails. So what I do to find products is I figure out what the world wants, like, what the masses want. I actually go for very generic-style products, like stuff in the dog niche, stuff in the cat niche or the tactical niche. I just look for what the masses want. Oftentimes, it’s things that I’m really not even interested in, but it’s stuff that sells.

Ezra: Do you look at, like, Google search trends? Or kind of what are you…How are you seeing that? You know?

Adrian: Yeah. So I pay attention, obviously, to what’s trending on Google. I pay attention to other people’s ads in Facebook. You know? I’ve always said, “Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just get one and, you know, figure out how to make it start spinning and rolling.” So I actually look at a lot of other people’s ads on Facebook. When I’m on Facebook, which is my…

Ezra: Saving those ads.

Adrian: Yes. I hit that little “Save” button. I’m looking what people are doing. You know? I’m not a creative thinker, in terms of finding…I’m in the same position as everybody else, but what I do is I look at what’s successful already. I think about what other people want, and then I just duplicate that. I do Ali Express type stuff. If you’re watching this right now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Ali Express. It’s huge. I don’t typically go, you know, in deep dive in there and look at a zillion types of products. If I’m going to Ali Express, I already know what I’m looking for.

But one of the biggest things I’ve seen success with lately is print-on-demand, connected into Shopify. There’s these great apps that connect into Shopify and have fulfillment services. I mean I’ve sold over $1 million worth of pillow cases with…

Ezra: Pillow cases with just like images on them?

Adrian: There’s no pillow in them. It’s just the case. Yeah, it’s just got images on them. Like we…One campaign we did looked like it had spilled wine on it, and people love their red wine.

Ezra: They love a picture with it spilled on a pillow.

Adrian: Yeah, spilled red wine. Yeah. It’s crazy we sold so much of those. So we do a lot of print-on-demand, but it’s all drop-shipped and fulfilled from China.

Ezra: That’s cool because it’s sort of like you can do…Like, you can have such a variety of product.

Adrian: Right.

Ezra: And that’s a wrap. We shot a bunch of videos. It was super fun. We’ll actually release some long-form interviews of each person as well, as we have…as we edit those. But I always enjoy talking to people and hearing their stories and hearing kind of the way they look at things. So I hope you enjoyed getting a sense of some of the folks that were there and kind of the ways that they’re looking at the things that they specialize in, in business. I hope it’s helped you and given you some ideas and ways that you could potentially grow your business. Please stay tuned to the Smart Marketer blog and to the Zipify Apps blog, for more content like this. Ezra Firestone here, and thanks so much. I’ll see you in the next one.

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