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

Every business has its unique set of growth challenges.

Zach Stuck spent several years working for a digital agency before deciding to go out and start an agency of his own, Homestead Studio.

Now he’s in the process of building his agency business. He’s on the front lines of trying to help clients grow their ecommerce brands.

Today we’re covering a range of topics with Zach. We dive into some specific paid social tactics and what’s working right now for Zach’s clients, and we talk about the onboarding process Zach uses for his clients to ensure both his clients, and his agency, can be successful.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 5:58 How Zach went from working at an agency to starting his own.
  • 8:07 Changes in Zach’s role from agency employee to agency owner.
  • 9:52 Resources Zach used to help a client grow from zero to a million in their first year.
  • 11:26 Common paid social misconceptions Zach hears from his clients.
  • 14:33 What’s working in paid social right now and how to successfully approach dynamic creative testing.
  • 17:33 Value-based lookalike audiences and how to easily start using them.
  • 19:07 The state of social proof in 2020 - does it really matter?
  • 23:37 If you don’t have a large customer audience to run social proofing to, what can you do?
  • 24:31 A little known fact about 1% lookalike audiences.
  • 27:07 Crucial steps for successfully onboarding new clients and building a strong ongoing relationship.
  • 32:00 What’s keeping Zach up at night.
  • 34:20 You can’t outsource your growth.
  • 37:16 The challenges with growing an agency and how finding clients who are the right fit is key to success.
  • 43:20 How Zach’s avoiding the churn and burn that happens so often to agencies.
  • 44:57 What Zach’s eating, is he working out, and what his daily life looks like.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_245_ZachStuck_JustUnoUpdate_Covid19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

We're in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis and a time of much uncertainty.  

Some of my clients are businesses are experiencing growth, and others are down by 50% or more.

Even if this crisis leads to an economic recession, you get to choose whether or not you want to take part in it.

Today I'm sharing a special recording of one of my recent members-only webinars where I talk about how to lead your ecommerce business during uncertain times, and how to transform this uncertainty into a time of abundance and opportunity for your business (without exploiting anyone).

In this episode we'll talk about:

  • The three things business owners should be focused on right now.
  • How to think about cash management during a crisis and why you must use this as an opportunity to build a rock-solid financial future.
  • Why playing offense is going to become more important than playing defense in the coming months.
  • How to lead (not manage) your way through this crisis and come out stronger on the other side.
  • How to bring your team together during uncertain times and to build a resilient remote culture.
  • How to react if your business HASN’T been impacted by COVID-19 and how you can ethically use this to your advantage.

We will get through this together.

Links And Resources

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

In part 4 of our Scaling Series we’re talking about Growth Mode.

You’ve made your first seven figures and now you’re scaling up to eight figures. You’ve figured out something that works and you might be starting to feel overworked and overwhelmed.

Now is the time to make those key hires and/or outsource channels you feel like you’ve maximized. It’s time to go from the day-to-day manager of your business and grow into the true role of CEO.

In this episode, we’re talking about how to start getting things off your plate, managing inventory issues, and how to determine whether it’s time to focus on a new marketing channel.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 5:38 One of the biggest issues in Growth Mode: Superhero Syndrome.
  • 7:57 Implement systems to help you get more off your plate.
  • 11:10 Why inventory issues often arise at this stage of growth.
  • 13:20 How to solve your inventory issues.
  • 16:01 Challenges you might face as you’re trying to hire, and what not to do.
  • 18:32 Strategic issues that arise during Growth Mode.
  • 20:54 Things to look at to determine how much more room there is for growth with a specific marketing channel.
  • 22:06 How to successfully onboard an agency or a new in-house hire.
  • 24:33 Businesses that take it to the next level offload successful channels and dive into learning the next one.
  • 26:44 Slow down to grow faster.
  • 28:14 Remember why you started your business in the first place.
  • 29:17 Your transformation from day-to-day business manager to CEO.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_244_Scaling_Series_NoBrex.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

If you're struggling to make SEO work for your business, this episode is for you.

Our guest today is a dual-threat. He’s building an ecommerce brand while also running a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO. Not only does he get to see what’s working for his clients, but he’s learning from what’s working in his own business.

Eagan Heath is the owner of The Splendid Beast and Founder of Get Found Madison. Today he’s doing a deep dive into ecommerce SEO and talking about how to avoid keyword cannibalization, how to get started with SEO (and if it’s even a good idea for your business), and tips for better tracking attribution.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 6:11 The dual-threat that is Eagan Heath.
  • 9:20 What it takes to grow your skills as an agency and the currency you should be selling in.
  • 11:21 The different approach to capturing leads as an agency vs as an ecommerce business.
  • 13:16 The complex order process for Splendid Beast and the advantages of a highly custom business.
  • 16:21 The strategy Eagan used to double his business over the last four years.
  • 18:09 How to avoid keyword cannibalization and appear higher in search results.
  • 20:05 When you should start thinking about SEO (and whether you should be thinking about it at all).
  • 23:43 How to get started with a very small budget.
  • 27:34 Why it’s critical to remember that you are not your customer.
  • 32:45 The huge value of having a business coach.
  • 35:14 What gives Splendid Beast longevity as a business and differentiates it from competitors.
  • 38:01 The issue with attribution on Google Analytics and the solution Eagan is using to work around it.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_243_EaganHeath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

In part 3 of our Scaling Series, we’re talking about traction to scaling, the period after making your initial $100K to surpassing the million-dollar mark.

There are a number of challenges you’ll face at this stage, including becoming overwhelmed with possibilities, losing strategic focus, wearing too many hats within the business, and more.

Today we walk you through how to tackle these challenges and the things the most successful businesses do at this stage to continue growing to 8-figures and beyond.

Enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 4:41 The first problem we see at this stage? Mindset and losing focus.
  • 7:53 Why most business owners lose strategic focus at this stage.
  • 8:53 If you’re overwhelmed and losing focus, it’s time to hire.
  • 10:05 The critical role you have to hire for if you want to continue to grow.
  • 10:42 The second problem business owners run into at this stage? The year-over-year mentality, and why you have to get out of it.
  • 13:40 It’s time to get serious about email marketing.
  • 15:10 Other things you can do to increase average order value and lifetime value.
  • 16:30 The companies growing fastest at this stage all have this in common.
  • 17:38 Why connecting with other successful business owners is critical to your success.
  • 19:51 Challenges with cash flow at this stage, and how you can alleviate cash-related issues.
  • 22:31 More commonalities between companies succeeding at this stage of growth.
  • 25:56 If you’re ready to take it to the next level, it’s time to get some outside help.

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_242_ScalingSeries_P3_NoBrex.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

There is more than one way to create wealth in ecommerce.

While many entrepreneurs follow the path of bootstrapping a business and hoping to one day be acquired, another option is to start on the acquisition side, and grow a portfolio of successful companies.

Our guest today has done both. Drew Sanocki is CEO of AutoAnything, owner of PostPilot, and an expert at lifecycle marketing.

He joins us to talk about the evolution of lifecycle marketing and the big role direct mail is playing in brand loyalty and repeat purchase rate, as well as how mergers and acquisitions can help your brand, and why M&A are his big focus for the upcoming year.

I always learn a lot when we chat with Drew and I hope you enjoy!

Episode Highlights

  • 9:05 Why Drew is so excited about direct mail marketing.
  • 12:08 The role of direct mail for Drew's 9-figure dropshipping company.
  • 14:54 Bringing direct mail into traditional lifecycle marketing and how it enhances your brand.
  • 18:55 Exploring brand partnerships in the direct mail space.
  • 19:46 Prospecting with direct mail.
  • 21:56 Syncing direct mail with Klaviyo and segments that are working particularly well.
  • 27:48 The shifting customer journey and how Drew sees it evolving in the near future.
  • 32:49 Why merchandising can be the best kind of marketing.
  • 36:11 What Drew’s excited about in this new decade and what he sees as the quickest way to grow a company.
  • 39:13 Merger and acquisition opportunities that can help your brand.
  • 42:38 Why most business owners have a blind spot to the acquisition process and how Drew would get started building a portfolio.
  • 46:15 Bootstrapping vs acquisition -- does it matter which comes first?

Links And Resources

Direct download: EI_241_DrewSanocki.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am CST

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