The Ecommerce Influence Podcast: Advanced Acquisition and Retention Strategies for Fast-Growing Online Brands

You look up at the clock and realize you’ve been working for 14 hours.

You’ve still got a dozen more emails to respond to before you can go home, maybe spend a little time with your family, then get 4 hours of sleep and start the cycle again the next day.

Sound familiar? This, my friends, is the recipe for burnout.

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get addicted to your work and feel like if you’re not spending 16 hours a day trying to grow your business, the person who is will beat you to the top.

Burnout isn’t talked about enough in the ecommerce world.

But today we’re changing that in our conversation with Mike Jackness, Co-Founder of EcomCrew and someone who has built and sold multiple businesses.

Mike shares the story of how he got started in ecommerce, his criteria for buying a business, and what it means to deal with entrepreneurial burnout.

This conversation really hit home for us, and we hope you get a lot out of it.

Episode Highlights

  • 6:28 Mike’s life on the road for the last several months.
  • 7:52 Who is Mike Jackness and how did he get started in ecommerce?
  • 9:30 From ice wraps to adult coloring books: the variety of businesses Mike’s been involved with over the years.
  • 11:49 Big opportunities in ecommerce right now that will help your brand stand out.
  • 14:27 The criteria Mike’s looking for as he’s thinking about buying another business.
  • 18:53 Strategies for increasing average order value and customer lifetime value.
  • 23:24 If you’re going to launch a new product, make sure it has synergy with the rest of your brand.
  • 26:05 The truth about entrepreneurial burnout and the importance of having connections and support.
  • 30:05 Things to watch out for to help prevent yourself from burning out and the ongoing struggle of running a business.
  • 34:35 How do you create an environment where you don’t have to compete?
  • 36:25 The importance of identifying the time when you’re actually being productive.
  • 39:12 Technical challenges of living on the road.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_223_Mike_Jackness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

We’re in the midst of the busiest time of year for eCommerce. Will Q4 craziness get the best of you, or will you come out on the other side with your sanity intact?

Today we’re sharing five tips that will help you keep you from losing your mind this holiday season.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 5:36 Tip #1: Communicate holiday availability expectations early for both your team and your family.
  • 8:55 Tip #2: Plan, plan, and plan again.
  • 10:11 Important components of your marketing plan.
  • 14:13 Tip #3: Evaluate your success based on execution, not outcome.
  • 17:29 Tip #4: Be nice to your service providers.
  • 19:11 Tip #5: Lean into the season.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_222_Surviving_Q4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

What if you could double your business with Facebook over the next year?

That’s exactly what happened for Oral Essentials when they doubled-down on their FB advertising and focused on scaling up.

Oral Essentials CMO, Justin Maddahi, joins us today to discuss some of the game-changing tactics that have helped him grow the business with Facebook. He talks about why he’s shifted to nearly all user-generated content, how he approaches creative testing, and why he’s managing all aspects of Facebook in-house.

If you’re trying to scale up your advertising, you won’t want to miss this episode.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 6:15 The birth of Oral Essentials and what separates them from other oral care brands.
  • 8:11 Justin’s journey from science major to CMO.
  • 9:48 Why Justin decided to expand the business beyond Amazon and start owning his own channels.
  • 11:56 The Facebook tactics that helped Oral Essentials see massive growth, including what Justin says you must start doing right now.
  • 13:00 Why shifting to user-generated content is key to Facebook success.
  • 16:01 How Oral Essentials got into influencer marketing and the main metrics to look at when deciding which influencers are best for your brand.
  • 20:44 Justin’s approach to A/B testing Facebook ads and how much he recommends tweaking an ad before giving up on it.
  • 23:45 Why it’s worthwhile to sacrifice a lookalike audience for the sake of testing.
  • 25:12 The reason Justin hasn’t tried Facebook’s new Dynamic Creative Testing feature yet.
  • 27:24 Don’t get hung up on targeting -- creative is what changes the game.
  • 29:29 From ad agency to in-house: why Justin first outsourced his ads, and then decided to bring then back in.
  • 31:37 Pro tip: engage with your audience when they comment on your ads.
  • 32:47 Oral Essential’s growth strategy: why they’re expanding into retail stores and the impact their increased Facebook budget has had on retail sales.
  • 35:00 The two most important things Justin’s learned while doubling the business over the last 12 months.
  • 38:41 If you truly want to see success with your Facebook ads, get help from an expert.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EIP_221_JustinMaddahi_Klaviyo_Holidays.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

If someone tells you the secret to success is working as much as you possibly can, they’re wrong.

Successful, productive people don’t work more, they work on fewer things that have greater impact.

Today we’re joined by productivity expert and ex-world champion poker player Chris Sparks, who is also the founder and CEO of The Forcing Function.

Chris helps entrepreneurs identify what they truly want in life (step #1 to increasing your productivity) and then works with them to achieve their goals in the most effective way possible.

We talk with Chris about how to figure out what you actually want, the importance of leveraging your unique assets, and why reflection is the missing ingredient to progress.

Episode Highlights

  • 6:44 Introducing Chris Sparks and how his obsession with productivity began at the poker table.
  • 10:12 Why Chris decided to forego a job opportunity at Ford to become a professional poker player.
  • 14:56 The double-down inspiration for Chris’ new book: Experiment Without Limits.
  • 19:46 What sets Chris’ action-oriented (and free) productivity workbook apart.
  • 22:33 The first question Chris asks when he starts working with a new client.
  • 23:38 The difference between peak performers and those who are not.
  • 25:42 Common myths about what productivity actually looks like.
  • 28:39 Why it’s better to take one small step forward every single day rather than make big changes all at once.
  • 32:12 How to figure out what you actually want.
  • 38:18 What to do when your business has incredible momentum, but it’s costing you the lifestyle freedom you dreamed it would give you.
  • 44:28 The importance of reflection to your productivity and progress.
  • 47:04 The biggest weapon in any entrepreneur’s arsenal.
  • 48:23 Tools Chris uses every day that increase his productivity.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_221_ChrisSparks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

Do you ever get into a rut with your marketing ideas?

If you’ve been spinning your wheels looking for a new way to move some inventory and surprise and delight your customers, you don’t want to miss this episode.

Meri Geraldine, founder of the sustainable jewelry brand Gardens of the Sun, joins us to share the creative way she moved $25K in product in just a few hours.

Meri also talks about building an ethical supply chain, ingraining her personal values into the ethos of her business, and how she grew from a small Etsy shop into a full-blown ecommerce store.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 5:55 Introducing Meri and how she transitioned from working as a sustainability consultant in Indonesia to creating Gardens of the Sun.
  • 9:18 How Meri’s quest to meet everybody in her supply chain led to the creation of a sustainable gold mining cooperative.
  • 12:15 From an Etsy shop to a full-blown business.
  • 14:49 The unexpected joys and challenges of growing a successful business.
  • 16:38 How Meri incorporates her values into the ethos of her business.
  • 18:53 Benefits of having a Bali-based business.
  • 21:16 Maximizing your VIPs: How Meri sold $10K of inventory live on Instagram in just a few hours.
  • 25:55 Smashing her monthly sales record with a specialty live sale on Facebook.
  • 28:01 How Meri manages invoices and missed payments during live sales.
  • 31:53 The other advertising levers Gardens of the Sun uses.
  • 33:05 Lessons learned as a sustainability consultant that made Meri a better entrepreneur.
  • 34:31 The 3 things Meri is trying to grow in the future: sapphires, creatives sales, and marketing through storytelling.
  • 36:59 Resources Meri recommends to other business owners and marketers.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_219_MeriGeraldi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

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