Category: Featured News

What We Learned from $1 Million in Ad Spend in One Month!

We spent over $1 Million in January…here’s what we learned.

In January we spent over $1 Million on Facebook ads in one of our businesses…

But don’t worry… I don’t expect you to believe me without proof…

Here’s the Amex statement for January…

And if you still don’t believe me or think I made this image up, then feel free to close the page, never return, and forget we exist…no offense taken.

I mean seriously, if you had told me one year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I’d be doing $1 Million in advertising in one month!

But advertising, marketing and sales is really what makes a business grow. So if you aren’t willing to spend time and money on marketing, you aren’t really expecting to grow your business.

(Visit www.AngelInvestorsNetwork.com/evaluation to get your free business evaluation today)

Now, I’ve run multi-million dollar organizations before, but they were all someone else’s, so I wasn’t involved in every aspect of the business.

With this business I’ve been very involved in everything.

Now, in full disclosure, this is an eCommerce business selling products online all over the world…

Not a coaching business, info business, or service business, but real products to real people.

During that time we did over $2.4 Million in sales, so our marketing cost was about 42% of sales.

Again, I don’t expect you to believe me (and honestly don’t care if you do), but here’s the Shopify dashboard just in case:

Okay, so I’m assuming if you’re still reading then you are at least somewhat curious what we did, how we did it, and what we learned, right?

Well what we did was simple:

  1. Find great products people really want
  2. Create engaging advertising that will entice people to buy
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
  4. Sell the product
  5. Deliver our product to the customer and keep them happy!

How we did it is simple as well:

  1. We ran video ads on Facebook
  2. Retargeted customers who went to our site
  3. Created email follow up campaigns
  4. Optimized everything
  5. Rinsed and repeated…

Now, the important part you need to know are the lessons learned. If you are looking to scale a business, then these lessons will serve you very well.

I’ve run everything from a one-man shop, to a small healthcare practice, to a large division in a billion dollar company, and I can tell you these lessons serve well for all different size businesses.

(Want a free business evaluation? Head over to www.AngelInvestorsNetwork.com/evaluation)

Major Lessons Learned

  1. Communicate with Your Customers!
    I can’t stress this one enough. No matter how great your product is, how loveable you might be, or how incredibly popular your brand, poor communication can kill your chances of success at any stage!Have you ever placed an order at a restaurant and the food came out all wrong? How did you feel when you got your order? Like they didn’t care and didn’t listen, right?Well it doesn’t matter if you’re a solo-operator or a billion-dollar brand…If your customers don’t feel they are being heard, they will turn on you. This means checking in on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, google reviews, Yelp, your website – anywhere and everywhere your customers are looking for answers! We even had someone report our business to the Better Business Bureau because they thought we were a fraud…turns out that our email was in their spam box, so even when you do try to communicate it can backfire. Luckily we did follow up and communicated even more after receiving the notice, so the dispute was dropped.
  2. Never Rely on One Avenue for Customers
    This is not a new lesson, and one that you wouldn’t think needs to be stated, but it’s true:If you are relying on one media source for your customers to find you, you are dooming yourself from the start!We relied heavily on Facebook, and at one point we were doing over $50k per day in ad spend on that site. Well, one of our ads was deemed in violation of their guidelines, and as a result the entire business manager was shut down! 😡😡😡Imagine having a blazing fire keeping you warm in the midst of a blizzard and all of a sudden your fuel supply is stolen! Not a good place to be.This brings me to number three…
  3. Always Have a Backup Plan
    We knew that this was a possibility, so we had several business managers with several logins, and several credit cards just in case one of these was shut down. We ended up needing all of them, and we kept having to resolve disputes and errors to ensure that the business stayed open.We call these redundancies, and you need them for your advertising, your fulfillment, your databases, computer systems, suppliers…anything and everything that you rely on to run a business. If you have just one of anything that is critical to running your business, you are asking for problems.
  4. Build a Strong Foundation Before You Build the Walls!
    Ever seen a house built? Did they start with the ceiling first, or the foundation?Stupid question, right? Well unfortunately most people build their businesses using the wrong sequence. There’s a fine line you have to walk when building a business, and there’s always a Catch-22 you need to be aware of:Your business can only scale as fast as you can deliver on your sales promises!When you sell something, you are under a legal, ethical, and moral obligation to provide that thing or service to your customer in the way they expect to receive it! This is critical…If you aren’t ready to fulfill on your promises (i.e. deliver the product, complete the service, etc.), then you should not be selling it! This is different than “sell it before it’s ready”, which is what we coach entrepreneurs to do…I mean that if you can’t feasibly fulfill your orders in a reasonable time, or have no way to catch up if you catch a massive wave, then you shouldn’t be selling it!The foundation of a business is the ability to deliver to the customer what you promised. This is the operations-end of the business. Not sexy or fun, but vital to lasting success and continued growth.
  5. Know Your Numbers!
    It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of selling your products or services, but don’t ever take your eye off the bottom line!For example, we were selling thousands of products daily around the world (God bless the internet!), and we had to know which products we could buy, sell, and ship profitably…Not on a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly basis, but ON A DAILY BASIS!Imagine spending $50k per day on ads, another $50k per day on products and fulfillment, and then only making $75k per day in sales…How long would it take to go out of business? Maybe a day or two for some, a week or two for others, right?Don’t be fooled by big businesses with billion-dollar top line revenues, wishing you could be like them…Many of them are losing money by the fistful day in and day out because they aren’t accounting for their business properly.If you run a business, you need to know both the static fixed costs, as well as the variable costs that eat away at your profit. And anything is better than nothing…we had to estimate shipping, merchant fees, chargebacks, and refunds until we had a track record we could rely upon…

    And we simply used a Google Sheet to track it! You don’t need to be overly sophisticated to know your numbers, but you must know your numbers! We had to shut off ads and products within hours of turning them on, but wouldn’t have been able to without knowing our numbers.

Shoring Up Your Business

Running a business is hard enough, but scaling a business significantly is a real challenge. There are so many little things that can go wrong and eat your lunch.

We don’t want that to happen to you, and if you’d like to someday be doing over $1 Million per month in sales (let alone advertising), then you need to really focus on shoring up your business.

This is the SSOS of running and growing a business…

  • Structure your business properly with the right tools, technology, and people.
  • Systemize your business using automation where possible and standard operating procedures everywhere!
  • Optimize everything from your sales and marketing, to your people and processes on a regular basis.
  • Scale your business only after you know the wheels won’t fall off the bus as you speed up.

If you want to learn how you can build and scale your business the right way, then head over to www.AngelInvestorsNetwork.com/evaluation to receive a free business evaluation and determine the red flags in your business!

Daymond John’s Top 7 Tips on How to Launch Your Product Like a Shark

We called the multi-millionaire fashion mogul to glean his tips on how to promote your product like a shark. Here are his top seven:
1. Know what your customers will want.

Your first step when launching a new product is to think backwards, John says. Brainstorm on ways you can make the product something your target customers would want to buy in the first place.

“Like I did with FUBU, we created a product for people who understood us and who were just like us, people who love rap music and who love rap culture,” he says. Envision your ideal buyers — what they generally like and dislike, what pains they have that need to be solved — then build your initial product concept in a way that will “speak to them.”

2. Directly involve your target customer in the creation of your product.

“You don’t build it and they will come,” John says. “You have your target customer be an integral part of your entire launch, from concept and beyond.” For example, when he came up with the concept for his latest book, he polled his followers on Twitter and other social media platforms on what color they’d like the book cover to be and which topics they’d like to see broached in individual chapters.

“I gave them choices so they felt part of the launch process, rallying them around the product and driving up the likelihood that they’d actually want it,” he says.

3. Build a vocal community around your product ahead of launch.

Brand ambassador community-building is key long before you launch, John says. Like he says he did with The Power of Broke, if possible, send out early versions of your product to potential brand ambassadors, influencers on social media with large follower counts who can amplify news of your coming launch. The end game is to preemptively build brand loyalty through early brand ambassadors.

John did this long before social media came on the scene, in the heart of his stomping grounds in Queens. “Before FUBU got to the LL Cool Js of the world, before we became official and before social media got big, I made sure all the coolest kids in my neighborhood that everyone respected had my stuff on,” he says. “They took a bullhorn and talked it up in the rap community, which then influenced the influencers and maximized our reach — from neighborhood to city to world.”

4. Gather as much feedback on your product as you can. Then gather some more.

To attract brand ambassadors who get behind your product and promote it, John suggests collecting their first impressions and making any necessary tweaks before you launch. “To get people who will truly love your product and spread the word, make them proud of it and make sure you don’t embarrass them by putting something out there that isn’t 100 percent,” he says.

Be sure to ask the brand ambassadors you recruit what they do and don’t like about your product. What would they like to seem improved and why? “Pay attention to what they say because it’s critical to your product’s success,” John says.

5. Cross-promote your product with power players.

O.P.M. doesn’t just mean other people’s money, John says. “It can also be other people’s momentum, other people’s mind power, other people’s marketing and other people’s manpower.” You should strategically latch onto all these things when releasing a product via power players in the realm or industry you’re selling in.

For example, John tapped marketing pro and Entrepreneur contributing writer Jeffrey Hayzlett to cross-market his new book when it launched. “I say cross-market because this is where it really goes both ways,” he says. “I promote Jeffrey and then he promotes me, on his Twitter on his podcast — wherever is going to make the highest impact. I borrow his audience where they live and the same goes for him. We’re in a mutually beneficial relationship. My book is being moved and he’s passing value on down to his readers and listeners.”

6. Get your product on local retailers’ shelves first.

Think locally, aim globally. The reality, John says, is that small mom-and-pop shops will promote your product far more than a larger, big-box retailer. “Neighborhood boutiques and small, local retail shops are the fabric of communities,” he says. “Important conversations happen there. The owners typically have trust with the neighbors who shop there and their endorsement of your product goes far.”

If your wares become successful from initial small-store sales and the buzz grows loud enough, the big retailers will eventually come knocking. “They’ll see that they don’t have to risk too much because they’ll see and know that your product is working and they’ll want to back it as well,” he says.

7. Don’t forget to say “thank you.”

The final step in promoting your new product is to do something your mom taught you to do: express your gratitude by saying thank you often and genuinely. “Once people are part of your brand tribe, show them you’re thankful for their purchase, then show them you mean it,” John says. One way John did this with his FUBU customers was to send them free products when they’d bought a certain amount of items.

More recently, with his newest book, John personally thanks people who buy the business how-to at his book-signings. “I look them in the eye, connect with them and say ‘thank you.’ They then snap a picture and spread the moment on social media,” he says. “They’re going to remember me over the person who just took their money and said an empty ‘thank you.’ At the end of the day, the reward is loyalty.”

Is The Instagram Algorithm Change A Good Thing?

Instagram recently dropped the news that it will be adapting a non-chronological newsfeed order, similar to its big brother, Facebook. Instead of sorting posts in a familiar linear order, the new algorithm will weigh in a variety of social signals, such as a number of post engagements. It will also consider content you liked before in an attempt to sort images in the order of “relevancy,” or as what Instagram perceives to be of most interest to you.

Instagram has already carved out its place among top networks for businesses, thanks to its almost exponential growth. What started as a teen photo-sharing app bought by Facebook in then-incredible $1 billion deal, the network is projected to rack in $1.86 billion in revenue this year as its user base growth outpaces general social network usage.

The update, however, has caused a storm of complains. It went as far as to prompt a petition on Change.org asking Instagram to leave its chronological feed alone. The outrage was mostly caused by comparing this change to Facebook’s algorithm. Notorious for discriminating business pages’ content, it upset many business owners when organic post reach plunged to unbelievable lows. In a lot of cases, Instagram was their network of choice because of its chronological order and an unlimited reach of posts.

However, the comparison of the two networks is unfair. Unlike Facebook, Instagram does not separate “personal” from “business” accounts. As of right now, a profile is a profile, independently of its use. So, this move is not discriminatory of businesses (I am looking at you, Facebook).

So let’s examine what this change in algorithm really means and whether it’s as scary as it looks to marketers.

Chronological newsfeed was truly effective only in two instances: businesses posted to Instagram every half an hour or their followers had a very limited number of handles they followed. This cannot be a widespread trend, because according to Optical Cortex data based on 20,000+ Instagram users, average number of people they follow is 822. So, for a majority of brand’s following those images most likely weren’t the first thing they saw; and that chronological order didn’t really matter anyway.

Now what really made a difference, and still will continue to do so, is getting ahead of the game with smart strategies. What you have (to continue) to do as a smart marketer is to focus on quality content that drives engagement.

Instagram was so gracious to let marketers know of its algorithm change before it kicked in. Use the little time that’s left with chronological newsfeed to jumpstart your new marketing strategy. Make an extra push to increase engagement now. Start to finally notice those comments people leave on your images! Respond to them! Use this as an opportunity to strike a conversation.

A lot of people who follow brands and celebrities will deliberately go to the handle to see what’s new. People follow Nike, Lexus or Kylie Jenner, because they know that each new post will be amazing (whatever their definition of amazing is). So, strive to make your Instagram account a mecca for striking visual content. This is the only way to ensure people won’t stop engaging with your content, whatever the algorithm is.

There are also a few other tactics you can employ to stay ahead of the curve. For example, if you are seriously using Instagram to grow your business, you already track and analyze results. You already know when your audience is online. You can still schedule your posts to go out at those times and increase visibility of fresh content.

Another reason to dive deep into analytics is to see which hashtags perform the best. Always test which hashtags improve engagement, always vary them to improve your odd of being discovered by a new group of people. Finally, constantly monitor trending hashtags (didn’t you already?) to see if any of the applicable and relevant hashtags are popular, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a remarkable rate of impressions. Yet, don’t go for an overkill. Don’t spam people with irrelevant content and thirty hashtags – that won’t increase your engagement or chances of being lovable.

Plus, while being strategic about your visual content (that has to rock their socks off), you should also become extremely strategic about your captions. It is proven that captions with a call to action are beyond effective in getting desired results. Do you want more engagement? Just ask for it! Foundr Magazine, for example, ends a lot of their captions with “double tap if you agree,” or “tag your friends.” What’s an easier way to gain numerous shares and an audience insight than to simply ask for their opinion?

Businesses that enjoy high engagement rates know their respective audiences very well. They know what type of imagery is catchy, what content needs to serve; and these companies have also figured out a context for consuming this content. They cater to their audience, so the latter wants to stick for the ride ahead.

Finally, don’t shy away from occasional boost. Employ the power of Facebook advertising capabilities on Instagram and target the right people.

So, after all, the change in algorithm might be for the better. If you post amazing content, it’ll be waiting for your followers in their newsfeed even if it was posted a few hours ago. Instagram user survey indicated that 60% of Instagrammers learn about products and services on the network and 75% take action after being inspired by an Instagram post. Now is the time to bring your A-game on.

.Green Turns To Crowdfunding & Bankroll.Ventures Offering Investors an Equity Stake in the Green Economy

[youtube id=”UjZX9N1ydUM” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Internet Company Behind .Green Domain Name Turns to Crowdfunding in Offering Investors an Equity Stake in the Green Economy

DotGreen Community, Inc. Retains JOBS Act and Crowdfunding Expert Kendall Almerico for $3.5 Million Regulation D 506(c) Private Placement for Accredited Investors and Upcoming Regulation A+ Crowdfunding Filing

LARKSPUR, CA–(Marketwired – Jan 26, 2016) – DotGreen Community, Inc., the company behind the new .GREEN top level domain name, part of the largest expansion of the Internet ever, announced today the launch of an Internet capital raising campaign to raise $3.5 million. The first offering, a Regulation D 506(c) Private Placement solely for accredited investors, provides an early-stage opportunity of common shares with voting rights for accredited investors looking to own an equity stake in the green economy and green movement. A Regulation A+ “equity crowdfunding” filing is scheduled for early 2016. The Company will use the proceeds to fund its rapid global growth.

With exclusive global rights to the sales and renewals of the .GREEN domain name, DotGreen provides an online platform where companies can consolidate and showcase their green initiatives and connect with the growing, more values-driven consumer base. Investment in the green economy is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2020.

The Regulation D, Rule 506(c) offering, available to accredited investors only, beginning on January 26th, 2016 at RegD.green, takes advantage of the JOBS Act-mandated easing of restrictions of Regulation D filings.

“.GREEN is positioned to take its place alongside .com, .net and .org as one of the most recognized domain names globally and the world’s first and only Internet platform for the global green movement,” noted DotGreen Community CEO, Jeremy Coon. “Our mission is to build a powerful, all-inclusive voice, and crowdfunding is a democratization of early stage investment opportunities and a way for everyone to participate and own an equity stake in the rapidly growing green marketplace.” Also a DotGreen Co-founder, Coon participated in the first $5 million raised by the Company from private individuals. He has committed to the purchase of additional shares through the Regulation D offering.

Since March, 2015, when .GREEN domain names became available, businesses ranging in size from start-ups to General Motors, along with individuals and NGOs have acquired their .GREEN names.

DotGreen has retained JOBS Act expert and the leading crowdfunding attorney in the country, Kendall Almerico, to oversee both its Regulation D, Rule 506(c) offering and the Regulation A+ filings.

DotGreen will list its offerings at BankRoll Ventures, a website that allows startup and emerging companies to raise millions in new capital from “the crowd” online. “The JOBS Act removed barriers for both companies looking to raise money and investors looking for early stage opportunities, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to connect investors with the DotGreen opportunity on BankRoll,” said Tess Hottenroth, Co-founder of BankRoll Ventures.

About .GREEN
DotGreen Community, Inc., with roots in the Northern California environmental movement and Silicon Valley innovation and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, was founded in 2011 to support the green movement. DotGreen Community, Inc. manages and markets the new domain address, .green and donates a percentage of sales to organizations supporting sustainability around the world. Visit www.going.green for more information. Follow on Twitter @DotGreenTLD and Facebook at DotGreen Community, Inc.

About Kendall Almerico
Kendall Almerico was the top ranked practicing attorney on VentureBeat’s list of the 20 most influential crowdfunding thought leaders in the world. Kendall practices law with DiMuro Ginsberg firm in the Washington DC area.

About BankRoll Ventures
BankRoll (http://www.BankRoll.Ventures) is the premier Regulation A+ and Mini-IPO website that assists companies with raising millions of dollars using new JOBS Act laws. BankRoll is operated by BankRoll Ventures, LLC, which is not a registered broker-dealer, and does not give investment advice.

The Formula To Double Your Revenues In The Next 12 Months

[youtube id=”4SoHv8Gi3DQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Here is the formula for doubling YOUR revenues in the next 12 months…

L x C x M x F = Growth Potential

Here’s the legend…

  • L = leads
  • C = customers
  • M = margin
  • F = frequency of purchase

It looks like this…

Leads x Customers x Margin x Frequency = Growth Potential

Doubling any of the variables above (leads, customers, margin, frequency of purchase) will double your revenues.

Double them all and you will 16X your business.  Can you double them all?  Doubtful.

Can you double one of them?  Two of them?  Even 3 of them?

Absolutely.

In other words, there are 4 levers you have available to double your revenues in 12 months…

  • Increase the number of leads
  • Increase the number of customers
  • Increase the margin
  • Increase the frequency of purchase

Work on optimization of everyone one of these areas and you are virtually guaranteed to double your revenues.  To get more info on marketing please check out Angel Money Marketing LIVE

Angel Money Marketing LIVE

Scroll to top