Damian J, $4k/m, FaceBook DropShipping Interview Summary
- Extra Valuable Info is Highlighted in Green
- Mateen, (Interviewer): Bold and Italic Text
- Danny McMillan: Normal Text
Have you always been a bit of a hustler at school or is this something you stumbled upon?
Not really, I started this online thing recently. I’ve done a few offline things in the past but wasn’t successful. I’m in pharmacy school and I just started this online thing probably about 9 months ago.
Before that you didn’t do any eBay or Anything like that?
No nothing online, I’ve done kind of craigslist kind of stuff about a year and a half ago or something. I live in an area where there’s a lot of snow and ice and things so what I would do is that there’s a lot of ice on peoples roofs and a lot of old people are scared and don’t want to go up there so what I would do is I would post an ad on craigslist saying that if you need your roof cleaned – I would also go to barber shops and where a lot older people go and so they would call me and I’d put an ad on craigslist for someone to go do it so that was a little thing I did I made a few thousand dollars but it wasn’t anything big but more of a fun thing I did.
It wasn’t anything big but was during a time when I saw that I could make some money so I just kind of went for it. Almost similar to the online thing.
Let’s talk about ecommerce. How did you stumble upon drop shipping, was it somewhere online?
I’ve been working around people who are pharmacists and in pharmacy and all different kinds of pharmacy and I don’t see myself being in one of those positions so i literally typed into google, ‘how to make money online’ and that was something that popped up and your blog was one of the places I went to learn.
Really? Usually when you type in ‘how to make money online’ the first few results are an ebook or something dodgy.
You started 9 months ago, how long did it take you to build your store? Are you one of those perfectionist types? Or are you the type to just put something out there and see what happens. How did you go from building your first store to getting your first sale.
Well, I would say, I used to be what you would call a perfectionist so I’d try and do everything to a tee and follow all the rules but I realised when I was getting into this that that kind of thinking and that kind of action is not what’s going to get me where I want to go.
It can be a deterrent sometimes
For sure, 100% if you keep thinking of the color of your website or the color of the menu bar for 3 days straight. I would think of one thing like the name of the website, I didn’t care if it was something stupid, I just spent about half hour brainstormed and took one and just ran with it and I wasn’t really scared if it was something stupid because I could change it just like everything just like campaigns, I can change the websites, I can change campaigns, I can change what products I’m testing so once I had that in my head you know, I’m not going to die, I’m not going to lose 1000’s of dollars then it wasn’t a big deal for me so I just threw something on there and see if it worked, if it didn’t, I’d change.
What did you find that contributed the most to your success? Was it the little things that mattered?
No, of course not. The biggest thing was putting in real work. Like changing the color of your button isn’t real work, going and searching online for the perfect product is not real work. Real work is, seeing a product, whether it looks good or not, whether you think it’s good, the actual work of putting it on your store, making a campaign, spending money, looking at the stats and then going from there. And it’s hard and I think that’s why people try to avoid doing that you know they spend hours on something stupid instead of just putting in work.
I like how you called it real work because there is a difference between just normal work and the actual work that makes a difference. So you can watch youtube videos and read blogs for ages but you’re not actually doing the thing that brings people to your web store and gets you data.
I think that’s the hardest thing for people that want to get into entrepreneurship to get through because that’s the scary bit.
For sure, and it’s not like it’s hard like you’re trying to lift 1,000 pounds or something like that it’s just that it used to be scary and that’s the biggest thing like you don’t want to put yourself out there but that’s what you have to do. In ecommerce you’re not really putting yourself out there but you’re putting your time on the line. Something could happen like you launch a campaign and you get bad comments or you’re getting emails, you know. It’s signs of success that stuff is going to happen. If you do something and you know stuff is going to happen than you should do it instead of watching youtube videos.
Did you find that churning out products/launching campaigns was the best way to do it? Or did you find your research was something that you focussed on. Where did you find you spent the most time in the whole process of FaceBook DropShipping?
I would say finding products, at least to start with and then just putting them on my store and making campaigns for them. Later down the line it was mostly just putting them on the store and making campaigns for them for sure were the biggest time drags for me. Something that I should have outsourced right at the beginning.
It’s always good to do it yourself at the start though.
Oh yeh for sure. Or you wouldn’t know it would take so long if you didn’t do it yourself. Anything you’re doing, try it yourself first before hiring anyone because then you’ll know if they’re good or not.
Alright so let’s get more specific. I know there’s a lot of debate with FaceBook ads, PPE or CTW, (clicks to website), etc, what do you think worked best with you?
I forgot what resource I used but it was one of the first guides I used about doing a FaceBook ad and they listed all the different types and the one they said got the most conversions was the one with the pixel optimised for purchases so literally I didn’t have any purchases but I just did that.
Maybe a week or two weeks into product launching I just found something and it just worked and that’s what I used the entire time I didn’t feel a need to test it because some products were just converting at a great rate for me and I didn’t feel there was anything wrong.
When something works with FaceBook I’ve learned not to touch anything. You can touch the other ad sets but don’t touch what works.
For me it was actually the budget, for some reason I had a really consistent campaign, it was around $20 a day and was going really good so I decided to bump it really high to about $100 and it just went really bad and was never really the same. I made a copy of the campaign and set it back to $20 a day and it went back to the rate that I wanted.
I’ve realised the ones that you can bump the budget really high are the ones that are giving you a crazy ROI like you’re spending $5 and getting like a few hundred dollars back but when you do you have to accept a drop in ROI.
So you found that you didn’t really need any purchases to make CTW ads work, did you find that the magic was in the product?
Oh yeh for sure. I think that’s the biggest thing other than targeting, their really close. The products is the biggest thing for people when their scrolling on FaceBook while their on lunch break or bored in class, they see something really cool, they’re going to click on it and if it’s not catchy then they won’t. The whole point of FaceBook advertising doesn’t work at that point.
If I go down the newsfeed I always find myself stopping only at pictures and videos that are cool or catchy. If it’s not then i scroll right past it.
It has to look good too. The picture has to be a good picture, it has to look like something that you want to click. It can’t be a blurry picture or the color just doesn’t go well.
You found that the product selection and interest targeting were the biggest factors? You’d tell the newbies getting into ecom to focus on those two? Not to worry about getting everything else right?
Yeh, even those two don’t really worry about them too much like the products. Find a tonne of products and just try them. You’ll learn more launching 100 campaigns 100 different products instead of being on AE for 5 hours going through 1000’s of products not doing anything.
Some of the products that have worked for me have been ones that I didn’t really think would work but I just put it on the list. And when I tested it, they actually worked. If I actually go though the list I think a good 50% of them have actually been like that.
I remember this one product that I just put it on there as a joke but it actually got sales. I don’t know if you’ve seen it on AlieExpress but it’s an attachment to a toilet that lights up in the dark. Kind of like a night light for kids. At night time it’s just some light that comes out of the toilet. It just looked super funny when I saw it so when I put it on the store the targeting was the hardest part. That gave me quite a few sales so anything is possible.
I see a lot of people commenting on the forum and they say they’ve got this product they’ve spent $x on it what’s my next step, should I change the ad, should I change this or that, my answer is the same, just stop the ad and find another product. If you train that into you then you start to think of the whole validation thing so say you’re selling a product or a service you can put some marketing to it and see if it works.
Because that’s the biggest thing but let’s say your targeting is crap but you have some brains in it, let’s say like a dog product with some dog interests but if it’s a product that people like, you’ll still get some buys so at that point, even if it’s not converting at the best rate, you can change it from there so get one purchase. If you spend $10 and get one purchase you can look deeper into it but you spend $10-$15 and you’re barely getting any clicks than don’t bother.
With the products, did you focus on a specific niche?
At first I tried all the big niches like the gun, pet and grandma niche, etc. I found targeting the most feminine interests, for some reason, gave me the most ROI.
Is that just campaigns in general?
Yeh, I think the more girly it was the more buys I got I don’t know if it’s because there are more female shoppers.
One of the niches I found was good was the cat niche specifically. It’s huge, there’s a million products and I had a lot of success in it. Specifically phone covers. Basically phone covers in the cat niche. What I found that the niche was saturated for the iPhone users but not many were saturated in the Android users so I basically found all the best products for iPhone niches in the cat niche and found the same ones for Samsung and tried to market in the Samsung Audience. Not just the cat niche but things iPhone related I tried to sell to Android or Samsung users. Like the Pokemon Go Phone cases I had a lot more success with Android over iPhone.
It’s a good example of testing things and letting the data guide you. You would think that iPhone covers would sell best for some reason.
yeh but i did try the iPhone cases first and I was getting some sales but I wasn’t getting much profit but I started changing the targets and devices and it just gave me great ROI marketing to the Samsung users I was spending less than $2 per purchase for $10 profit campaigns so I rode that wave for a long time.
We don’t have much time, are you still doing ecom?
Not really, I’m now doing local advertising for restaurants. So basically you can make FaceBook ads that say ‘claim offer’ and they give you a code or a ‘scan’ a discount so you can send them customers which is proof that you’re working so it’s kind of something that’s trackable. A lot of restaurants are paying for yelp but don’t know if it’s working. They’ll be paying $600 a month but don’t know if it’s working. They pay $200 for a video on their yelp page but again don’t know if it’s working.
For me I like to do something that I can show them that’s making them money. I’ve been pretty successful in that even when I’m at school. Especially my way which is to walk into restaurants and showing them what I can do. It’s hard to set appointments, etc.
That’s awesome you’re really getting in there and walking right into the restaurant.
Yeh I’ve tried Instagram or twitter or emailing them but the best way is to honestly to go right in there. They’re not going to tell you to get out of there. A lot of them will talk to you so once they start talking to me I can show them what I’m doing and they’ll get interested thinking they might make money doing this because a lot of them are old and don’t know much about Social media but know their daughters on FB for 9 hours a day so they know there’s something to it.
I assume they’d be quite impressed when they see someone walk in the door with a coupon from your ads.
Yeh for sure, I was doing some research into the lifetime value of a good restaurant customer and it was like $6,000 or something like that which is awesome because it’s all from word of mouth because if someone likes it they’ll tell their friends and it just grows like that.
For anyone listening it’s a great thing to get into. just need to be able to make an offer on FaceBook which is the same thing as ecommerce ads. I just use canva to create the image and it’s great and works for me.
Do you find it’s challenging to get those conversions? How do you target a restaurants user base and wouldn’t that conflict with other client restaurants?
Yeh that’s one of the things I talk about with other restaurants that they have exclusivity with me and that’s why I charge a higher rate and so if I’m doing a pizza shop in a town I’m not going to do another pizza shop in the same town or at least in the same vicinity, maybe if it’s 10 miles away maybe, but not less than that or I’m just competing against myself.
But for targeting I literally put in the address of the restaurant and I test 1-5 mile radius. A lot of times what these businesses want is for me to get them business at lunch hour which for most people are dead time so I’ll have a lunch hour sale which will get customers and from there they come back for the weekends.
I can see how restaurants would work really well with the whole FB model because they always have coupons.
Do you find some businesses it works, some businesses it doesn’t or did you decide to just focus on restaurants?
Yeh for now I want to focus on just restaurants as they’ll give me good testimonials as I’m looking for other businesses.
What’s your current plans and future plans? Do you want to grow your consultancy, any chance to jump back into ecommerce?
For sure, I might jump back into ecom but I just gotta finish school because ecom is a lot of work but for me it’s simple so I can see how you can make money off of it. It’s something I’ll get into later on when I have more time.
I think the balance you have now is pretty good because of the consistency of income. Since if you win over a customer and give them business I can’t see them changing so the income is more stable unlike ecom where a winner will die out and stop brining you sales.
Yeh but sometimes there’s customers that’ll just be a nagger and they’re never pleased so it feels more like a job so it’s good and bad for everything so you just gotta go out there and put stuff up and see what sticks instead of just sitting at home and reading and watch youtube videos then nothing is going to happen unless you do something.
Alright Damian, I think we’re going to end it there, thanks for sharing everything.
No worries, thanks for having me on!