Founder of BombTechGolf.com
Teaches and Blogs at FiredToSuccess.com
From losing a job 4 years ago to be on Track to do $7M in 2017, HUGE success story
$60k from a single FaceBook post!
Rapid Growth by Youtube Influencer Reviews
4 Years in Business
Worked with University Students to build product from scratch
Podcast Transcription Summary
- Mateen (Interviewer): Bold and Italic Text
- Tyler: Normal Text
- Extra Cool Info Highlighted in Green
Tyler how are you?
Another busy day hanging in, selling some golf clubs so we can’t complain.
Awesome, thanks for being on the show man. Usually I don’t get people that have ecommerce brand so it’s always good to get someone that has actually built something from scratch.
What’s your product and how did it come about?
So I started bomb tech golf, bombtechgolf.com. I started it, it’s been over 5 years now, I can’t believe it. I was just a passenger golfer that love golf, I was obsessed with specifically golf drivers, I had 40 in my bag at one point. I just felt like there was a need for a better performance at a better value. I was no engineer but I was talking to a friend of mine about golf, and I was like I really like to make my own clubs, coz I was doing custom clubs and I was selling some stuff on our website, and I just wasn’t happy with the products.
I called University of Vermont, the college where I went to. And they said we got to cap some project, you can work with a group of 5 seniors. It was such a cool experience, we really had no expectations, no barriers. Luckily it was a full year to make the designs. During that process I was able to get an introduction to a really high end over seas manufacturer, which was not easy. They made the design and I took a huge risk and at that point I was all in. So we made our first sample and when it was done I went to a local driving range, I wore sunglasses and a hoodie coz I didn’t want anyone to recognize me, this is the first time hitting the product so I was so nervous.
It’s been almost 2 years to finally get the finished prototype. We had cab models, plastic prototypes, multiple variations but at some point you gotta go make your own tooling. So I went out to test it, and there was one other in the golf range, I took two swings and I hit it dead straight 300 yards, I couldn’t believe it. And the craziest thing is, this guy next to me two bays over is like “Hey, what is that?”.
That’s pretty awesome like a customer can see exactly how the product is being made.
This is the first time I’ve ever been to swung it, it didn’t even exist yet. I wasn’t ready to pitch anyone, and this guy asks what is that, and I was “oh, it’s the grenade, I made it with UVM, they engineered it”, “what do you mean you made it?”. I told him the whole story and he asked if he can hit it. I was like this is it, our moment of glory, why not? So I gave it to him.
He was a good golfer, better than myself. He took two swings and didn’t say anything and I’m like he hates it, and he goes “How d’you do this?” “What’s wrong, what happened?” “I hit that better and straighter than my brand name driver” And I’m like “It’s the grenade, come on”.
This is the coolest part, the next morning he was the first person to ever buy our products. The first person to hit it, not even pitched him, just bought it. Right there was our moment of glory.
That’s when you know you got something great.
Yeah, it was a really exciting moment. Then the real work began, which was building a brand online, building an ecommerce store. It’s been a crazy journey since then, but that was our first ever dual cavity design was what was unique about it, that was 5 years ago.
So what’s the difference between your driver and the other ones out there? Is there something you guys focused on?
They focused on aerodynamics, there’s two large cavities, they’re massive and painted green at the bottom. They essentially breakout the air flow to reduce drag so it’s designed to be slightly more aerodynamic. One of the benefits is we had a great manufacturer, and it was just the combination of good design, good manufacturer, we made a solid product.
I’m a risk taker, we did pre orders before we had products. One of the things I’m asked all the time is ‘how do you start an ecommerce business?’. If you’re making your own products and tooling, it is not cheap. I can’t sugar coat and say just try it, if you got something unique it costs money. I was very fortunate and lucky via old school facebook, this is 2012 where you had a 100% percent reach on your news feed. I only had like 2,000-3,000 people but I was able to pre order like $10,000 worth of products.
So how did you demonstrate? With your golf club it seems like you had to use it to see the benefit of it or were you able to demonstrate it through the ad?
That’s a great question. My approach in our growth pattern was it wasn’t done on purpose, I’d be lying if I said I had a plan on how to grow this business. But we were essentially doing influencer marketing before influencer marketing was a thing. That is funny when that term started, I was like “We’ve been doing that for 4 years”. So what I did is get the product out there, I started sending clubs out to different bloggers, different youtubers and getting third party reviews that were outside of us, that gave us validation.
The first review we got back we sent it to golfball.com, they did a review against 5 major companies. I was freaking out,and they didn’t even tell us we just did it. Again this is an independent review, we didn’t pay them we just sent them our club. The results were in, to our surprise, shock and awe, I’m happy to say we beat everyone; distance, accuracy and ball speed, every category we won. So that gave us some initial velocity for sales, exposure, some buzz. It was really just utilizing the product, getting it right to people’s hands.
And it was a slow growth, it took a while dialing the website, getting the content right, figuring out what options do people want. It took years and years; I think on our first year of business we did a 100,000 it was just me, the second year was 450,000 just me. And the third year this was kind of when facebook started doing video. And I did a video in my backyard with a budget camera and me swinging this thing on to a net and it makes this really loud noise, this simple video ten seconds long, I put one line that says ‘does your driver sound like this?’ or something to that effect.
Because facebook video was so new, this video with me doing ads with no skill, no background but with good copy, good content and good video. Instantly we were getting views three tenths of a penny or even less. I think that video has over a million views on such a small budget. We grew from 400,000 and I started hiring guys to 1.2 million.
Yeah, and then the all has been since then is we built a brand so people don’t, it’s not like we’re doing long term seo on people searching long distance golf driver. They search bomb tech golf, grenade golf, because they’ve seen us so much on social media we have been fortunate to get in some press, we were in entrepreneurial start ups magazine. We’ve been in a number of outlets and overtime help build your brand.
Now we sell full bag of clubs, last year we did 4.2 million, and this year so far today we’re at 2.1 million on track on about 7.2 million.
The growth is insane and we’re still a small team, we’ve got 3 guys on house, one marketing guy and myself.
So what did you do before all of this?
This is another interesting story. I was a sales director for an engineering company and bomb tech was just a side hustle. It was something I was doing on the side, sales we’re like 10k a month but the cash flow wasn’t like I was on bank roll. It wasn’t bad, but I’m grinding. I was working a full time day job but I hated it and one day I got a new boss who comes in in my office, and my job was to sell there and our sales were up like a 100%. And he goes, “you gotta come with me, come down to my office”.
Usually not a good thing.
So I walked down to his office, and the HR woman is there and I’m “Oh shit”. I go what’s up, and he was like “Today is your last day and your last paycheck was last week”.
Not only that, my wife we just found out she was pregnant. It’s so cliche and really crazy.
It’s like a movie.
So actually I told the guy, “I’m gonna get some water so I don’t knock you out”. So I stood up, got water, composed myself, came back in to the room I said “You’re gonna pay me all my bonuses, you’re gonna pay me what you owe me, the rest of the month’s pay coz that’s illegal, and if you don’t do that you can physically try and remove me”.
So they ended up paying me. I got home early and wife is like “what are you doing home?”, “I got fired”. She’s like “Are you gonna do bombtech and go for it?”. She supported me and she’s amazing.
I’ll be honest though, from being fired to the point where it was sustainable with real income was tough. We had a newborn, my credit card’s dead, I worked 20 hours a day with a newborn. This was back when I use to close myself in the basement. We had some tough times, with no money but we worked it out. It’s a real underdog because we’re going up against major brands and entrepreneurial magazine wrote an article about us saying “It’s a cool story, it’s a good product but they’re not gonna make it because they can’t compete with the large brands’ reach, marketing span, their pro budget”. And our whole model is the opposite, we don’t pay pros, we don’t sell retail and we sell a premium product at a fair price and it’s all about the customer. Just taking care of our customers no matter what, that’s why we’re growing so fast.
I think once you become a big brand you just have to spend so much on marketing as well. With you guys, you know how your roi comes in and you know you have a really good product so definitely you guys can compete and grow a lot quicker as well.
It’s interesting the whole industry in general for golf is down, they’re really hurting and they’re really struggling and we’re growing so fast and no one can figure it out and we know why. It’s such a simple formula, we’re really the only true direct consumer brand and we put customer ahead of anything. And by treating every customer like they’re our only customer; people when they buy our product they don’t just buy and use it, they go to the golf course and they’re so excited coz it’s something new, they’ve seen us online or someone has it. They’ll go and tell everyone I got the grenade, I got the bombtech, then someone else hits it they’re like this one’s for real, this is legit. So now what we’ve done, our whole focus now is making our product line deeper.
It seems like you really have a good product and a lot of people, especially when they’re starting off with an ecommerce website or an ecommerce business. For them it’s a lot of going back and forth to find tune that product but it seems you guys just hit everything perfectly on the first shot literally.
We got lucky a little bit I’ll be honest. We did try another manufacturer, so we kinda went all in with one manufacturer, the reason is that this manufacturer just does such a great job. We’ve been with him for 5 years now, we did get kind of lucky too.
Is there anythings that you feel like were really big hiccups during the starting phase?
There’s so many hiccups. Back in the day we used to source different products from different companies and I’ll just assemble them. Inventory issues were insane, I was constantly selling out our products, selling out the wrong stuff coz I had no fore casting skills. And then I had no cash on my other stuff coz I over stocked on the wrong stuff. It was such a lesson on inventory management, cash flow, fore casting. The funny thing is I was building clubs, but I was live chatting, shipping products, taking phone calls, doing emails. It was insane but you got to start somewhere. But now, we’re at a point where we have a fulfillment center in California, all of our clubs are fully bar coded, ready to go, scan, ship. We can ship out 5,000-10,000 in a day if we need, that would be in a good day. We haven’t hit that mark yet, I think our best this year was 600 clubs in a day, 600 order which is like 1,500 total of clubs or something.
But yeah there’s a lot of challenges, we moved fulfillment centers 3 times, I launched on three different platforms, we were on wix website and that was horrendous. I moved to volusion, volusion was the first website platform where I started to get some real sales.
Wix has an ecommerce integration?
I think it was just a paypal checkout on wix, so basic, I literally did a couple of thousand on that platform. Then made a move to volusion that started to do well, I think that’s where I did the hundred thousand but they didn’t have a mobile option or responsive. So I made a move to big commerce, it was fully responsive, we could use the inventory system they have, email system etc. That was a huge move in the right direction, everyday, every week we try to become more efficient streamline. And now the whole business has standard operating procedures, our fulfillment’s dialed in, our website’s dialed in. So now our main focus is on content, offer, exposure, the things that actually move the needle.
When I was first starting as a new entrepreneur, ecommerce especially, I focus on stuff that has no impact. Really at the end of the day I believe, you got a good content, you have a video, the stuff that you’re putting out on social, you have the right offer and your website works and you engage your customers, you’ll crush it. And obviously the product should be good.
Yeah definitely. I think you’re right about a lot of people focus on the little things that don’t matter. For me, especially with stuff that I do with facebook and drop shipping, I’m always just throwing products on facebook and seeing what works. And it’s always just been the product predominantly, it has to be very catchy, it has to be what the audience wants and kind of match the two together then you make ton of sales.
One thing we do which is interesting, I never know which product is gonna do well, we used to debate stuff in the office. But we no longer do that, we got a system in place, everything’s about system at this point in the scale. So we think we’re gonna launch something new, we’ll have a design or whatever, we’ll throw the mock up on the website and take sign ups. We use instock notifier, just an app; we don’t even want to look fancy, we want to look like regular product with the out of stock notice, and if we get enough people to sign up, we’ll make the products, then what we do from there is we do pre orders.
Are you good on keeping on your finances?
I’ve got guys that do that now thankfully. If you’re drop shipping ten thousand, it’s different because, you get ten thousand in sales right you turn around and buy it so you’re not out catch right, but your manufacturer we’re paying in up front to start manufacturing and then once it’s shipped we have to pay him more money. That’s what you don’t realize if you get ten thousand sales and you have to do an order half way through selling those, you just don’t have enough money left. So pre orders and doing that as a method, sign up, pre order, launch; it change our entire business so we got way more cash flow to do things that we want like launch more products and test new things. So that system there has been totally game changing, there’s no more debating. And really at the end of the day everything we talk about comes back to the consumer and what they want. We ask and really use their feedback in every situation we can, I was able to build the world’s second largest golf facebook group, it’s got 20,000 members, so not bad.
Facebook groups are so much better than pages coz they got that reach, every one in the group sees whatever you post.
It’s amazing, again we’re just, I’ve done a little bit ahead of the curve, we did the group before groups were hot. And I remember we launched a new wedge, 3 wedges for $97, because of the group, we didn’t send emails, we didn’t promote it, nothing special, just in the group we posted wedges are available to buy. This was a 2 years ago and we sold $60,000 that day, one post. And the next day we had $55,000 and it’s been at the root of the business, our group. Our page is like a 100,000-120,000 email subscribers. I think on facebook though we’ve got almost 20 million video views from 5 years, so that alone just helps with people searching and knowing who we are from a branding stand point.
Seems like you have the fundamental set out, you got the assets in place. So whenever you’re launching something, you’ve got the audience to support that. Even just the group the email is 120,000 that’s a ton of emails.
That’s the real thing at this point, like I think back when I was starting, someone is like hey we should start a new business and I’m like no. Because it took years to build up all those assets, the facebook group, the page, twitter, instagram, views, emails. Everything now is a system, it makes it easy coz really what I’ve said before the content and the offer, those are the things we’re gonna focus on. We’ve got our pillars, facebook page, group and emails are all pillars and you just distribute through those and always grow or they should be growing. We actually had a pretty good month in April, we did 600,000 for the month. So close to and I’m hoping to a million.
We had some launches in there where our email list, we just send an email for a new product, a new bundle whatever it is, it’s a legitimate list coz we’ve been on it for so long. It makes launching your products now exponentially better, so every time we come up with something new it just gets easier and easier. The one thing I’ll say that’s offline coz we’re an online company, the one thing that’s changed after being 5 years of being an ecommerce brand is now people see us in real life. So a lot of phone calls and emails we get are “I saw you guys on facebook, but, I then was playing golf and saw your club”.
So you feel like it’s reaching that tipping point where it’s becoming a common place?
I wouldn’t say common place, but it’s making the marketing more effective, because, you know it’s tough we sell a product that’s demonstratable in some manner. We do have a 60 day guarantee so you can try it out which usually overcomes anyone. But the guys who are still on the fence that are like, “yeah I’ve seen their ads, read their reviews but I just can’t do it” but if they go see it on the golf course which is happening more and more or they see us there, it just makes the whole thing easier.
Kind of like a social affirmation that someone else is using it and seeing it around.
And the guys that’s usually using it, were so thankful and we try to treat these guys, our customers like gold. They’re usually so pumped when someone says “oh is that a grenade or a bomb tech golf club?” They’re so excited because they believe, we believe in good product and great price and just supporting them.
A lot of our post now in terms of content for social is empathy where in we’re thanking them for their business because really we are super thankful, because we’re one of the few underdogs to make it in this industry. Almost everyone else that tried to do it has failed because it’s so tough.
Do you find that they just didn’t have the right product or other things?
I think that it’s product, story, community building. Coz that’s all we’ve done, we’ve got a good product, priced low, a good story and then we take care of our customers and we’ve built an audience. Really at the end of the day, gotta have an audience and you got to have brand position, I see a lot of these ecommerce companies are newbies, they’re in the middle, they’re vanilla, they try to please every one.
Listen, we have haters right, I’ve got memes about me, my friends love it they think it’s hilarious but it’s brutal. But that is just validation, every time you see a hater, actually that means our post is gonna perform better because they’re gonna comment, so that’s lower ad cost. The ad evoking enough reaction or emotion that either causes to buy or hate. If an ad causes no emotion, then you’re in trouble. So we’ve got a very specific brand position, we piss some people off and we don’t care. The golf industry guys hate us, some of the guys that would never buy our product anyways, you know the elitist. The guys that drive a certain car or buy a certain brand coz it makes them feel a certain way, they’re never gonna buy our club and they may talk crap but that’s fine. But what we do and this is the difference is we look at those haters and we actually communicate with them. Because they just want to be heard, so we don’t ignore them. We say “Oh I understand you may not like our product. Have you tried it?” “Oh no, I haven’t tried it” “Why not?” and usually we can turn most of them around to at least give us a shot.
If we communicate with those haters in a way that’s professional and authentic, the lurkers and the people watching, they give us more credit. And this is how we are anyways, not of this intentional, we never did this to sell more product. I just got fed up I’m like listen why are you hating? But it’s really just because the stuff we do evokes reaction and that’s why we’re having a lot of success on social media. We’re not on the middle, we know some people hate us and that’s ok and it’s all we laugh about. The last two weeks in the office, it was quiet, no one was hating, everything was kumbaya. Another blogger just posted about us and there’s always haters so it gave us an opportunity to go in and communicate. It’s free exposure; if you’re gonna be a social company and you’re gonna sell online and you’re gonna grow, you better embrace it and it’s validation you’re doing it right. I used to get so emotional about it but it’s just part of the process.
Specially with facebook where everyone has something to say, there’s always gonna be someone hating on your post, no matter how good it is.
Yeah and that’s the thing, it is what it is. Even though I’m saying this to you, I still struggle with it, even if one person doesn’t love their club, it still hurts me no matter what. But it’s just part of the deal and especially if you’re gonna push it and get a lot of exposure and be out there with some interesting unique content, you’re gonna get it. So it’s something we look forward to now.
You talked about the launch a little bit let’s visit that space a bit more. I assume a lot of ecommerce business newbies, the most difficult for them is getting their product to get consistent sales. Did you really have to push for that to happen, were you out there kind of giving people the golf club on the golf course? How did you build up that consistency in sales happening to the point where you saw it happening more and more often?
You probably won’t like my answer but it’s a pretty simple answer. It’s just pressure over time; there is no get rich quick, there’s no hockey stick growth, it’s consistent exposure with the right content, the right offer, in front of the right people. It’s just one those things where I was working as many hours as I could in a single to get our product to the right people so they can talk about it. If you got your own unique product, your own brand, I would right now send products to anyone relevant in your space that can do a video for you to their audience but also give you that video content. This is something I am really big on, if we can get third party videos, we can then test more ads and almost every time third party videos validate who we are and the conversion rate’s better.
I also was grinding to get press, so it’s a combination of content, time, some press and just getting the right people to talk about it. It’s not a simple formula, if someone just wants to come out of the gate and I’ve seen some of these other people teaching ecommerce courses and it’s been pulling my hair on, like these guys are just full of it. There’s no way you just launch and you sell 2 million dollars and whatever, maybe you make no money coz you spend 5 million on ads. I do think facebook ads is a unique platform where it is now because you can target so well. But that’s only one piece, that’s just facebook targeting. You got to have everyone talking about you, so if someone goes to google you or go on twitter or instagram, you got to be everywhere. Some multi touch point; so you just got to be consistently putting out real authentic content. And I think the turning point for us is when I embraced myself as being part of the company. Once I started putting myself whether I was hung over, look like crap that day, didn’t sleep, I just started doing videos of myself because I’ve built a relationship with the audience.
So did you have a youtube channel?
It was really youtube but mostly facebook videos at that time. It’s one to started doing facebook videos at that time in the world. It was just one of those things where people like, oh it’s not just the brand it’s Sully. They feel like they’re buying from me and the other thing too is, and this is what I’ve been telling newbies. Even if you don’t have a product or don’t have a store, you can still document what you’re doing and make videos on a page or youtube channel or instagram. Bring people along to that journey, because before you even have the product I started documenting and showed that this is what we’re doing. It takes so much time, that’s the real equation to really build a brand. But I got them accustomed to who I was and just started documenting what I was doing throughout the process. So when the product came to exist, I didn’t have a big audience but I had an engaged audience and one that knew the whole story coz they’ve seen me for almost a year and a half before I had anything to sell.
So you were communicating the whole production of the whole thing as well?
Totally, I was doing blogs I was just talking. I was just communicating, this is how basic, this a way to think of it. I was designing the logo and I was hand sketching it, I had a facebook page with 400 people, it was bomb tech golf under the brand name.
I just had an idea, I had a trademark name that I got so I thought it was cool, that was it nothing else.
It is pretty cool.
Thank you. I just made a page, this is before pages were really big. I was basic and just saying “Hey what’s up? I’m Sully, I just started this page, if you guys golf let me know.” “Hey here’s my first logo I just sketched this, what do you guys think?”. And they were like “Looks cool” “Looks crap” and then I just started engaging with them, “oh thanks for your feedback”. Engagement doesn’t have to be crazy but if you want to build a long term brand, you say “thanks I appreciate it” “cool” “awesome” and actually what I did is I used them almost like a beta or a test group. So when we started designing things I literally said should we go green or black and I’ll let them vote. They were a part of the company; at the core of bomb tech is us asking and listening what they want and involving them in the brand development and that was really at root of it, it’s just documenting. So when the driver came out, all these guys felt like “oh man, I picked the green” “I voted for that”.
So they felt like it was a bit of their product as well.
Totally! and I was in sales forever and one thing that I always no matter what sales job I was in; I was very successful in sales always the top rep in the country whatever. But I always ask questions; everyone else would go in and say “I’m great, my company’s great, our prices are good, you should buy it” and I’m just like “What are your needs, what do you have now, what can I do?” They’re like “woah woah, you’re asking us questions?” I’m like yeah, how am I gotta get you what you want unless I ask you. So I literally took that same mindset and this is not intentional I just brought that into social and people loved it. And we built an audience based on what they really wanted, and again I had a website up with no products coz it was in production. We were just taking sign ups back even then and just getting people pumped up.
I think business is simple, I think people make it complicated.
I think in a lot of the instances as well, they don’t know how much patience and persistence comes in to the part of the process. Because you mentioned it took you a whole year to create the product and to some people that doesn’t even register. Five to six years, a lot of people want to achieve that in one or two years. To some extent, a lot of the success stories I see out there, they try to imitate that straight away but they’re not ready for the whole starting phase of the process which is usually quite long.
It’s been really interesting to talk to these newbie ecommerce store owners coz I’m in some mastermind groups. I’m essentially doing what I did in golf, I’m just documenting what I’m doing on bomb tech on there just to give value. But a lot of people reach now and it’s so funny, they’re like I’ve got drop shipping site or I got an idea for a product, and I’m like ok where are you at? Oh I have an idea, I did talk to one supplier but it seemed to difficult. I’m like woah, so you quit? and he did. The reality is this is a business, anyone that’s telling you that’s it’s super easy, just launch a site, grab some product, sell some stuff and you’re gonna do a couple million, I don’t believe that. I think if you’re gonna build a true sustainable brand, you have to have something unique, a unique brand position.
It’s a business.
You got to be willing number 1: Have some capital.
Number 2: Have a ton of patience.
And the other thing that drives me insane is, these random trends people are trying to grab. I talked to someone the other day that has an amazon store selling spatulas. Ok why spatulas? “Oh it’s a hot trend”. And now she’s trying to launch an ecommerce store, she’s gonna make videos on spatulas, she doesn’t even cook.
If you’ll really do it and grow it to 7 figures, you gotta just do something you would do anyways. So for me the first 3 or 4 years, I love golf, this is what I would do anyways. So although it’s work, I don’t look at what I do as work. I just delegate it to my guys all the stuff that I don’t want to do. But really that’s the thing it’s got to be something you’re really passionate about. And if you chase a trend, by the time you try to chase that trend, it’s gonna be gone and you’re probably gonna be stuck with the inventory you can’t sell.
I have a different approach because this is all I know. This is how I got here, it’s just hard work, engagement, good product, persistence over time and you got to be willing to make video and have good content. These newer ecommerce stores are like I don’t want to do a video, I’m like I don’t care, you think I want to do a video, but I’m going to.
I think you’re definitely right, like I know a couple of people in my circle that have quite good ecommerce stores but they’re not ready to put themselves on video, put them selves out there as the face of the brand. And I feel that’s very important because I think in many instances people trust the person and if people trust the person then they’ll kind of look more into the product.
People buy from people and now larger brands I believe people are less apt to buy from major corporations, they’d rather buy from small business if they can. At the end of the day if you’re gonna use social media, it’s not just the product, I mean if you look at our stuff we definitely post a lot about product because we’re a product company don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we try to tip around we made products, we talk about them right. But we, I make sure myself, the guys, we spend time going facebook live, making video, just talking to the audience because they want to buy from us and I accidentally became somewhat famous online. People make memes, it’s comical but it was and totally accidental, but it’s definitely at the root of some of the successes that I was willing, and I didn’t know what I was doing, it took me a year to figure that out, I didn’t even know what to do. But that’s the thing people try to create, whatever you’re doing just put that on camera with your iphone, record it in five mins and say I’m thinking about launching this product and post it to your audience and say what do you guys think? It can be that simple.
You don’t have to get a good camera and has to be 1080p and all that kind of stuff.
It doesn’t have to be any of that. Half the videos that we make- we did hire a crew for this last product launch and it was like 5 6 grand or something. Super high quality, HD, 4k whatever, professionally cut, guess what, it did worse. Than the uncut raw authentic videos, all day.
I think it’s more on an emotional connection because people see, to them it’s not a professional organization, it’s just some guy using a good product and he enjoys it.
It’s keeping it real, social is all about being authentic. Commercials don’t work, there’s a reason why people fast forward them on tv, there’s a reason why they don’t engage with them on social media. It’s just have fun be yourself, and I’ll be honest, not everyone should run their own ecommerce business or run their own brand and this is gonna hurt for some people. I’m definitely the best looking and the best skilled, but I’m willing to execute and do stuff and some people will try and do stuff and they may not be that skilled or actually earn the business. I feel like you have to do content that’s so good and have such good products and be actually be skilled on social media, the actual content to earn someone’s business. I don’t think everyone deserves to sell products, I think you have to earn the right from a customer to earn their business.
I think you’ve got a point there. You also talked about passion a little bit, and I know a lot of successful people touch on that point of passion. The reason why I think it is important because it’s such a long journey and if you’re passionate, you’re gonna give up.
I’ve had many many moments where I had sleepless nights more than prized nights I slept well. Today I woke up excited, pumped whether it’s nervous or not. If you’re gonna go big and I think if you’re gonna any business, ecommerce, offline, anything, you got to do something you love. I mean what’s the point, you’re gonna run a spatula shop that you don’t care about, then it’s gonna turn into work. When you’re blogging or doing a video on spatulas, you tell me that that’s fun? Because chased some trend?
Do what you love and you’ll be authentic and it’ll show. And that’s the one I’m thinking with these guys like “well I don’t know what I like to do” and I’m like “too bad dude, you shouldn’t do it, don’t start a business”. Like you said, not everyone should do it, not everyone can do it. Regardless of ecommerce or not, entrepreneurship, building businesses, the struggles that come with it, the cash flow, the taxes, the checks; it’s not easy you’re gonna get kicked in the nut a lot. It’s the best the school you can go through, and if you can do it and be successful and if you are patient, you can do it and be successful and if you are patient, you can do it or at least give it a go. But it’s the patience, I would say 99% of the people never get far enough to know if they would make it anyways.
That’s true. A lot of people don’t have the patience to really stick it out with business. I know with my local circles and people that I communicate with around me, I don’t there’s even one person that have actually followed the business route to a point where they’ll be making money. Like they’ll get to a point but 99% will give up, so I think to a degree it has to be a part of you.
I think one factor that made me do it is when I got fired. Because this was just a side hustle but when I found out my wife was pregnant and I got fired, I didn’t really have a choice. Looking back at it, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. But man, if I didn’t have that kick in the ass, I don’t know if I would’ve made it. Because today it’s hard and it’s so much easier to just get to work if you get a paycheck. If you get fired and you realize how unstable working for someone else is, that was the motivation for me.
Before, my wife and I was working 20 hours a day with the newborn. So I have another kid now who is only 11 weeks old and now it’s amazing, so I delegate most of my work; I work 4 days a week and work 3 hours a day, so 12 hours a week in the office.
We’re talking about one day a week playing golf, but we’re not there yet, hopefully next week. So I work 12 hours a week because most of the stuff, and this was the hardest for me to get over, I thought I had to be busy to make actual impact and really now I only focus on the things that actually move the needle and have movement on the business and that’s changed my whole mindset. Coz before I got to go work, I got to do this, I got to edit the website, I got to edit that email and it was all stuff that end of the day had no impact.
So how did you realize the ones that did have impact, was that just a realization you sat down?
It hasn’t been long since I’ve done this, this was before I had my second kid. And it’s funny, I was working regular schedule and working a lot of nights too, I was preping the guys in the office coz we got three guys to keep the ship afloat. I say guys I’m not gonna be coming as much, you need to start FIO (figuring it out), you guys just have to do these things. And what I slowly did, I slowly started coming in less, doing less and guess what, the sales actually went up. Coz I wasn’t screwing with stuff that didn’t needed to be screwed with. Then right before when I the kid, I said I had to go down on a really low schedule, prep for the kid and when we have the kid I’m not gonna work for a month and half and that’s essentially what I did and guess what, it had no impact on sales. Because all of our standard operating procedures are in place and all the things we do are already there.
So it’s like delegating number 1, number 2, it’s always like the outside things that force me to realize stuff. But it made me realize, I don’t need to be doing these things coz it’s not changing the revenue and the stuff that we definitely know does like commenting, posting, doing the email, all the stuff we know that does stuff in making content we just have people do that. And it’s just a process, so now I’ve taken on definitely more of a founder-owner role and I definitely help the guys and support them. But I’m way more hands-off and it’s actually better for the business, because there’s a lot of activities that actually hurt us, tweak this, change that. That’s the problem, you want to think you’re busy but it’s actually not doing anything.
It’s hard for someone to realize that until they actually pull themselves off and it’s kind of realizations you make on the way right?
So did expect business to do better when you pulled yourself out?
No, I was freaked out, I was scared. I like slowly pulled the band aid off and it was because the kid was coming. I remember we took a vacation which we haven’t taken in 5 years, we took one week off. And I only worked when my kid was napping for an hour to two hours a day and the sales were great, life is great, it was mind boggling to me. I was like what if I can actually do this where I can only work when my kid takes his nap just to check on things, make sure we’re good. We have a system, processes, I don’t have to do anything, and again this takes years, establishing standard operating procedures. But the biggest thing is just getting initial attraction and the patience to make content consistently, at first you’re gonna have to do it.
In the start you were kind of figuring out the systems right? I guess that’s where the hard part is.
Totally. You don’t even know what to do, you don’t even know what the website should look like, you don’t know who to talk to. All the basic stuff that I take for granted for base knowledge, so you have like what I call website basics, and then you need third party exposure. So if you get you’re website up, you need a guaranteed phone number, physical location and some trust symbols and then from there that’s like basic framework.
It doesn’t take much effort if you know what you need. I screwed around the website for years, wasted years tweaking stuff that probably had no impact, literally none. But now looking back at it, you just have to have these things, you got to have people talking about you, this is how you do it: you send product to people in the industry, influencers, the right ones, you utilize your product. Then you build your pillars, facebook, your group, your snapchat, twitter, instagram and then when you start building those you have to start some money to get the audience up, build you emails, get you email system in, have the flows going. At that point you just got to have something unique. You can’t all be selling the same spatulas, that’s my point.
And I think the problem with the uniqueness for many people is that a lot of people can’t digest the concept of their product not being in the hands of everyone. They want this product to be bought by every person with a house or that has money to buy it. So when they have to kind of make something unique, it’s usually they have to cut off a certain section of that pie. Which is what I think a lot of people have a difficulty in especially at the start, but they’re really not doing much business to begin with.
Totally and to even know or have an engineer or designer to design something unique, that’s a struggle. And your brand position, honestly the first year or so, you just got to ask questions with who you think your audience is and that will help form who your brand is. For us is took years to figure out what exactly who we are, what we stand for. It came in a form of feedback from customers and then customers started uploading content figuring out who they are. You got to engage on social and get those people to communicate with you and then really find where you fit in the market place.
You got to research, got to talk to your audience and you’re gonna build your brand of what they’re saying, and that’s how you become a brand.
Let’s talk more about this fired to success website more of a blog type thing, what kind of content would it have on it?
I wish I started this earlier. With bomb tech I just started documenting where I was doing what developing a golf brand. All I’m doing with fired to success and it’s my story of how I got fired and now I’m successful hence the name. I’m just documenting what’s working, what’s not working at bomb tech for ecommerce. So I’ve got blogs, doing videos, going live, I was gonna launch a course but I haven’t earned the right to sell a course coz I don’t know what exactly people want. We just did our first facebook live on there yesterday, it’s funny coz our other page has a hundred thousands fans so when we go live the comments just go flying, there’s like hundred of people 300-400 people watching live and get like 20,000 views. We have 4 people..but the cool thing was we just started to document and engage, I had one woman, she came online told me about her brand, we broke down her website, we talked about it. She’s been direct messaging me, I gave her 10 things to change her business, all these things she’s missing, she’s got a great a product she makes it herself, she’s got a brand, it’s a great story.
I feel like it’s the natural progression for me, if I can help someone else make their own living and start their own journey on their entrepreneurship on ecommerce, that’s kind of my dream.
She asked me much do I cost for consulting and I said listen “Take all of what I’ve just taught you, for free and just make some money and change your life”. And I hope it really makes a difference.
It’s a good thing you didn’t start both of them at the same time. Focus is really important, you have to be really involved to grow.
That’s a good point. Bomb tech may have never have gotten to where it is if I didn’t have laser focus.
Alright Tyler let’s end it over there, a lot of good information. My audience with the podcast, you guys know that most of my interviewees are actually drop shippers so this the first time I got someone who has grown a brand from start to finish. Pretty cool stuff so thanks for being on the show and teaching us all how to do it right!
I’m glad to be on the show, looking forward to hearing it and giving it out to our audience to listen to.