Crikey Moses – remember your legal pages !!!!!

I didn’t, and I was sat wondering why the hell Google had an issue with my site, was it personal? I was getting pretty paranoid I can tell you.

No it wasn’t personal it turns out that as part of any theme on shopify there is a section specifically in the site settings that deals with returns policy and terms of service and so on, I thought creating a page with these in would be enough but no, I guess that Google knows where to look and just didn’t want to tell me what was wrong !!!!

Sorry for quick post but thought it might help.

Be Careful What you Wish For…

Odd title I know, but I will explain as quickly as I can, you see I really wanted my own supplement company, and I mean my own brand, I wanted my name and my marketing and it was a vision of success and big cars, but the problem is I got it….

You see before looking into any other option, I simply found a supplier that had a low minimum quantity and purchased from them based on the lack of competition at their quantity level.

OK So How Wrong Was I This Time?

Immeasurably, I was so wrong I could happily hang my own head in shame, what I didn’t think about was the fact that I was starting with an unknown brand, no name no promotion already in place nothing.

The time and resource that is required to move a brand from unknown to big enough to supply the manager at wherever you work the bird and walkout for a better life is massive, and much bigger than I thought.

How I intend to Fix it…

I intend, and in fact have already ordered from a wholesaler that I found so that I can start selling mainstream products, those that people have already spent millions promoting, and I will use the profits from that to build my brand to a point where it can compete, exactly what I should have done in the first place.

Conclusion

I am a TOOL, simple as that, do yourself a favour and if you take no heed of anything I ever say at least follow this bit of advice, make sure that you really want to do what you think you want to do before you do it!!

Maximize Short Term Giveaways and Stay Away from Longterm

Although I have said in the past that the internet provides the ability for the small player, the person without too much money, to compete with the larger companies and the bigger advertisers There are limitations to this,  one of those is offering free postage and packing,  although this may not seem to be a huge issue you have to run the numbers before you start and that is where unfortunately dear readers, I went wrong this time.

Learning is Painful – Really it is!

 you see your product isn’t worth anything if you don’t make any money for it simple as that, that’s what we’re all here for and whilst we want to entice people to buy our products giving stuff away in the short term is a one-off cost let’s say,  providing a service however such as free postage and packing is a much longer term commitment and consideration.

If I listened to myself all would be well 🙂

 so let’s take a look at just how badly I screwed the Pooch this time, the sale totalled £33,  the profit on those two products  was a roundabout £11,  but because we have decided to run before we could walk and have therefore offered free postage and packing we lost the vast majority of that profit due to the £8.99 postage and packing cost.

 as the free postage and packing was my idea you can imagine that my business partner was not that pleased with me,  and so lesson learned,  fortunately for us this time,  the damage is actually fairly easy to the limit, we are experiencing some footfall  if you can call it that in a virtual world,  but not enough, and not enough engagement with advertising to mean that withdrawing free postage and packing would cause any kind of damage to the brand.

 where I went wrong in this particular instance (and it was me that went wrong)  was I got carried away with the idea of simply shifting products,  and that is the fundamental mistake that I made and the fundamental mistake that I don’t want you to make,  remember why you started this,  you started to make money that is your primary Motivator,  your primary Motivator is not to shift products,  and whilst that sounds screwy let me explain.

 if somebody right now said I will give you £200 a day to do absolutely nothing,  you don’t have to sell,  work or suffer,  you simply need to sit on your backside and earn the money and that is literally it,  I would imagine that the vast majority of people reading this would jump at the chance and all be earning their £200 a day before finishing the end of this post (if anybody ever does).

 and that actually is entirely the point the fact is you are not trying to move your products the only thing you are interested in is getting the money, and money lost is money lost,  the idea of a “ loss leader”  a concept that is employed by the vast majority of supermarkets,  is that one loses money on a product to entice a customer further into the shop where they will then see more expensive products at a higher profit margin and the money will be returned and increased,

 however as in my case,  you simply make a situation whereby your paying customers to take your products that is not a loss leader that is simply a loss.

Conclusion

 the moral of this particular sad Tale,  is simply that you need to do complete research and by complete research I mean you need to look at what you are going to sell why you are going to sell it and what you’re looking to get out of it,  if what you are looking to do is make money,  then you need to run the numbers accurately,  the numbers are the most important part of this you need to run them and you need to know them,  business has always moved quickly,  people that are able to move quickly and are versatile make money in business and those that take forever to shift or to move to a new product ultimately will always fail,  this can be seen with the recent events and the fact that the high street is dying as a result,

 it could be argued the High Street was already dying, I get that,  but certainly because shops and bricks-and-mortar unable to move quickly to respond to buyers trends they are stuck and their costs are still fixed so basically on a huge scale they are doing exactly what I’ve just done.

  good luck all remember to run the numbers and hopefully I’ll be back with some more more positive news in the very near future (tomorrow).

Hey Hey Progress update – read all about what I screwed up this time!

So I have sold something, no not my soul, although if there are any takers (Mega Lolz).

No I actually sold a product, 2 to be precise, and have learned a lot since I last posted, these were hard lessons for me and to be fair they probably won’t be that easy to hear, but if successful you can drown your sorrows in piles of cash!

Harsh Lessons In List Form.

  1. You are not the magical marketer you think you are, unless you are selling products so quick you can’t pack them, something is wrong, I didn’t know S**t as it turned out and that is why my marketing sucked, stop, take a good look at the competition and work out what they are doing.
  2. Just because you would buy product from yourself doesn’t mean anybody else will, this little fact was very harsh, I thought I was great but no, I had to spend time learning what people actually wanted.
  3. Nobody is going to help you unless there is something in it for them, OK not everybody but most, after all every post I do provides a linkback to my shop so even I am not doing this for free!
  4. There are a million ways to skin a cat, but only one way to get noticed in a sea of people all trying to make money online, shout louder than them, but don’t spam as it will damage you beyond recognition.
  5. Instagram is good, but you need numbers, sorry but the 500 followers you have don’t mean s**t, take a moment to look up Gary Vee on the subject, I did and followed his advice and started growing users exponentially, still not rich though! bummer hey?
  6. Don’t whatever you do give up, I work 18 to 20 hours a day and haven’t made a cent, but I have hope and with hope anything is possible.

Conclusion

So there it is, all I have learned in the past week, harsh lessons but valuable, keep trying, don’t lean on anybody cos they will buckle, and make your business a success!

Progress at last!

Ok so finally things are moving, the new ad is running and the focus groups are working well, our store session rate has gone up 400 percent!

That actually sounds better than it is because of the low number to begin with but I’ll take the glory for now.

So are you rich now?

Hell no! Still not sold a single thing so now we need to address two possibilities

  • The store sucks ass, as uncomfortable as it may be to think this, it is a real possibility that your idea of a store, or mine in this case, just isn’t good enough so we will be looking at that to see if we can get a conversion rate at all!
  • It could just be in the numbers, the reason people can make so much money on the internet is because of the sheer size of the customer base, we are only selling in England so we have a smaller base than others but still, a good conversion rate is 1.5 to 2 percent so the more customers the more conversions! I hope so anyway.

So that’s it for this rant, hope your business is doing better than mine and that I catch up to you soon if it is !

Shopify channel or straight through facebook? You tell me!

So after the major schoolboy error of not adding my target audience to the campaign I fixed it and wouldn’t you know it hits again!

Shock horror, advertise to the right people and bam you get a result.

However my question to anybody who has an opinion is, is it worth using the shopify channel api? After all direct through Facebook is much more flexible and the analytics are more complete.

I am going to try and run some different campaigns direct for the next couple of days and see how it goes, but I would live to hear from anybody with more experience than me (which will be the vast majority of you) if you have an opinion either way.

Mega facebook fail OMG!

So I did say that this would be warts and all account of my attempts to build a business this is real short because it was a single mistake that is actually a bit schoolboy error.

Don’t ever and I mean ever forget to ADD the target interests for your audience in your facebook ad settings.

Before you say it, yes I am aware how stupid that sounds but I did forget and thought I’d just point it out.

Changing Tack – when to give stuff away

So when do you start giving stuff away? well for us it is now, we are trying to capitalise on the gyms reopening on the 24th July (for the UK), a lot of the big players are offering silly discounts like 90% and we did consider it but we would have run at such a massive loss, so we have opted instead to run a promotion that we can afford and see if that makes a difference to our sales.

The lesson here really is that you cannot compete with companies that have so much more money than you, if you have money then you can compete with companies that are established already, it is literally a war, whoever runs out of money first loses.

So I will run the AD’s now and see what kind of uptake we get, we are also re-designing the landing page of the site to still try and combat the bounce rate.

Why is this blog so short?

Because nobody reads the long posts, it is as simple as that, I am trying to help people to start making money online, not by preaching about how wealthy I am (as I am not) and not by simply setting out steps that in an ideal world would make a successful business, if you follow me and keep up you will hear first hand the mistakes we made and hopefully avoid them yourself, the internet is a huge cash machine there is plenty for all!!!

Quora sucking the life from online marketing.

When I started this blog one of the suggestions was that I use Quora to help promote my blog and gain followers, as you can see from my rather poultry amount it clearly didn’t work! seriously though I want to give this warning Quora for marketing is a waste of time.

Problem with Quora

The main problem is the sheer amount of time you will spend answering inane questions that go nowhere, things like “My chest hurts when I bench press, should I stop smoking 100 cigarettes a day?”

And that is before I get the raft of people that just want to see boobs without searching on their own phone by asking “What are some stunning pictures of (insert name of instagram model here)

You spend the time answering these questions and then adding your tagline to help point people to your site and and guess what ? Quora remove the post because it is advertising, What the hell do you think we do it for morons ???

Do something productive

If answering questions to point people at your content is your thing then join the many online forums that exist exactly for this purpose, no matter what your site is about you will find a community that will discuss it at length, from string theory to the erotic qualities of glove puppets.

On a serious note

This is of course, just my two cents, if Quora is your thing then crack on, for me it was just a massive waste of time, and I mean massive, the internet is a place of words, your words and your media sell you and your products, therefore they have value, and just like any investment it matters where you apply that value, if you just flush it down the Quora toilet then it will be for nothing.

So have a great day everybody and keep on trying to make that money, there is a better life out there for anybody who puts in the hours to get it, enjoy!

Progress short and sweet – read on

Ok so from now on I am going to keep these post really very short and sweet for a couple of reasons.

The first is simply that I am not convinced that anybody actually reads the lengthy posts that go into detail, preferring instead to read posts going over the same tired old ideas of how to make a successful blog by doing nothing but holding an audience.

Instead of this my plan is to simply continue on the path I was on before which is to try and help people that are trying to make money online to do just that by avoiding all the pitfalls that we make while launching our supplement company .

Shopify So far

Well we haven’t sold a goddamn thing! this is not shopify’s fault however so a couple of things that are far more important than you give them credit for are.

Bounce Rate

Holy Moly this one is a nightmare, being successful online is never going to happen while this number is high, pay really close attention to the design of your website to make sure that people stay on it.

Tutorials

Are you too busy to use the tutorials that are on the site? then you are too busy to make money online simple!

Don’t waste traffic

We did and it really stresses me out, after generating traffic to the shop we left it til the traffic dropped off before asking why nobody was buying.

If you knew it all you’d be rich

If something doesn’t make sense ask for god’s sake, in this instance I cannot praise Shopify enough, they have helped me through every issue I have had from the really counter intuitive right through to the down right idiotic fat fingered mistake.