Managing your website would benefit you in the long run. Timothy Bush talks with Andy Seeley, the CEO of Creatively Disruptive, about healthy diversification and how you quiet the noise and make your product sales grow. He shares different aspects in his entrepreneurial journey and how he grew his business through effective marketing strategies, email marketing, Facebook Ads, and other social media platforms. Join Timothy and Andy as they explore the social media tools used to drive traffic to your website and eventually boost your sales and achieve profit goals.
Listen to the podcast here
How To Use Facebook And Your Website To Grow Product Sales With Andy Seeley
If you’re wondering how retail’s been, retail has been amazing. We launched one of our clients on Walmart store shelves in a 100-store test and one of our clients had their very first airing on QVC. That was amazing to see them up there talking about their product on QVC and watching the sales go crazy. That was a good time. Now, this didn’t all happen in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been onboarding with these retailers for months but that the culmination of that happened. We confirmed that another one of our clients got a spot on The View TV show. I’m super excited about that and that opportunity that’s going to bring to her brand and her brand awareness.
Things are happening at TLB Consulting. Things are happening and business is strong. Retail is strong and I hope that you guys are seeing that exact same thing. One of the things the pandemic has taught us, though is that you can’t put your eggs in one basket. You can’t do one thing and think that everything is going to be okay. You got to come at it from multiple angles and that’s why I brought into the conversation a gentleman named Andy Seeley. Andy Seeley is the CEO and Cofounder of Creatively Disruptive. That’s a digital marketing agency built by a team of professional nerds that work together as the small business champions. Andy is a small business marketing expert. He is committed to helping businesses keep up with all the latest algorithms to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth for their online advertising, especially during the current economic climate.
I wanted Andy to speak to a couple of things. We had a great discussion, great time. It was great to meet him and he is a wealth of information and I probably am going to use his agency for a couple of things that I have coming up. The two things that we keyed in on this conversation were how do you grow sales on your website? Forget about Amazon. Forget about retail. What about your website? Do you ever remember that you have a website? When was the last time that you even started driving business on your website?
You got to remember, that is the most profitable channel of business that you have for your products. That was one topic. The other one is Facebook. How do we unlock that? How do we get into the millions on Facebook without spending millions upfront? Andy helps us understand that if you’re struggling with those too. If you’re struggling with your website and you’re struggling with Facebook, this is where you’re going to need to go. I’m super excited to have this conversation. Read on. I’ll see you on the other side. Let’s get right into it.
Andy, welcome to the program.
Thank you. I’m happy to be here.
When you connected with me, there was a couple of things that you mentioned that you work with that I was like, “My readers need to hear a little bit more about that.” Our readers are called Big Boxers, not like the underwear, but people that are wanting to get into a big-box and their biggest reason that they read is for a better understanding of how to sell their products and get their products on the shelf of retailers and get the word out. Right now, I think content, it’s a sea of noise out there and so how do you quiet the noise and make your product stand out? At some point, we’ll get into those things, but before we do, let’s introduce you and what you do and how you got there and give us the one-minute breakdown.
To give you a little bit of a background with me, I came over to the United States in 1999. I met a girl on my way to go to England. Now we’ve been married for many years. I have a little boy. I was here for six months and on my way to the United Kingdom and I need a gymnastics coach and she convinced me that I should be staying in the United States. I convinced myself as well, so we will start it there. My degree, funnily enough, was in sports science, so I was in more team management and then cycle. That was my background through college but I’d always been in sales and marketing. That always been my job. In the United States, I realized that rugby, which was what I specialized in, wasn’t going to pay much. Rugby wasn’t like a big sport here and I decided I needed to get into something real and started to work here in sales and marketing. My first job in the United States was traveling around the country, opening CarMax stores. They were superstores back in the day. I opened about four CarMax stores across the country. As a sales manager, got my teeth cut there, understanding the American market and how people operate, hiring, firing and all that good stuff. In 2004, we branched out and that was the beginning of my entrepreneurial foray, which turned me into a not a very good employee because I could not be hired by anybody ever again.If you've got a product that people care about, you know what you’re going to do on Facebook to boost sales. Click To Tweet
It spurred on this journey that we’ve gone on to grow businesses, build businesses and went through a publishing period where I was a publisher for a magazine in the media. I was a sales director for a television station for a few years. In 2015, my business partner and I had been working on another project with the publishing company that I ran for about eight years. We decided to sell the company. It was a tourism-based publishing company. We sold the company and started up Creatively Disruptive, mainly because we wanted to help any business. Tourism is specific to like activities and restaurants and stuff. Very localized. We wanted to help any business across the world that needed the help.
We felt like we had some stuff to give. We started up there. We had a major focus, we’ve got three niches that we focus on. That’s small business. My heart is with the small business operator a little bit. When I say small business, 100 employees at least. I enjoy it because it’s tangible seeing the difference that happens in their life that you get with working with small businesses that I find is a big pay off personally. I enjoyed that. We work with activities into type like large gyms, large gymnastics, kids’ activities and all those things, basically activity centers, local driven and then big time on eCommerce. We’ve had some major success managing millions of dollars a year on ad spend on eCommerce and driving eCommerce and to a large degree. People go, “You work with small business. That must mean that you work with a mom and pop with two employees.”
The small business in the real sense 150, 100 people or less and 99.9% of businesses are small businesses. Most businesses aren’t much larger than that. Even if we’re doing large numbers and some of our eCom is doing very large numbers, they still only have 45 people employed with them so they might not think of themselves as a small business, but they are because it’s based usually on employees. It’s a good ride. It’s exciting. I feel like we started Creatively Disruptive right at the start of where online marketing was getting very serious, where it was starting to be seen as this is something to happen. We started in 2015. It feels like an age ago, if I’m honest. What we were doing in 2015 is nothing like what we’re doing right now and five years before that, some platforms weren’t even in existence. Five years before that, Facebook wasn’t even in existence and everyone was using Yahoo to search for stuff. Things changed so quickly. I do feel right now that’s the golden age where we’re hitting in the beginning of maybe a long extended period that could be many years, the golden age of online marketing. It’s exciting and things are happening so quickly. These opportunities have never happened before. If you have a product that is good, you can sell it online and sell it in the millions.
You don’t have to wait for a Bed Bath & Beyond to put it on shelf number 45 at the back of the store. You can get your product upfront and sell it online in front of the person that’s most likely to purchase it and start selling millions of it to them if you do it right online and have control over your destiny. I think some manufacturers tins and give their destiny to others and hope that it all works out because they think, “If I get my product into Best Buy or Bed Bath & Beyond, whatever big-box retailer there is out there, that will make me rich.” Sometimes they might put you out of business, too. You hear it all the time.
What I think is important is healthy diversification. There are people that start a business and they put all their products on Amazon and they think that they have a company, but they don’t. They have a product and it’s on Amazon and they lower the price to keep the buy box in check and then next thing you know, their product starts to decline. Here’s how it works generally for me because I work with a lot of Amazon sellers that want to get into retail and their products are going up and then it tapers off. They start to lower the price and then it starts to decline and that’s when they call me. They don’t call me because they have a strategy. They’re calling me because they’re in a panic, “I got to do something different. My sales are tanking now on Amazon.” I’m like, “You should’ve called me here when the product was on its massive rise and that’s where you diversify.” It’s like any stock portfolio. You can’t keep all your eggs in one basket.
People have this misnomer that Amazon cares about anything to do with the people. Amazon will turn you into a supplier and that is it. The customer is not yours. You have no customers. The customer that you have is Amazon and Amazon is in charge, so Amazon is your boss and your customer. All of the customers that you’re selling to are their customers and they protect them aggressively. If you do poorly and you won’t sell anything, you might even struggle and go out of business. If you do well, Amazon will start producing your product for themselves and puts you out of business either way. Amazon is not the manufacturer small businesses framed at all. Oftentimes you end up competing against Chinese products that throw everything up there at next to nothing. Especially if you’re a US manufacturer, you’re going to struggle. You got to come eventually okay, so Amazon doesn’t go, “That’s a hot product. We’ll make it,” because Amazon will do that and has done that many times.
I have a client and he had a modest niche business on Amazon. He was doing well. He still had his job, but he was having a successful second gig. This other company, maybe twenty times his size, reproduced his product and where he had his differentiator was in this wording. That’s all he had a trademark on was the wording that was on his product. They chose different words, but they made the product the exact same, changed the words, but wrote them in the exact same way. They skirted around any proprietary thing he had and then they threw it up for $10 less than his. They are a $150 million companies so they can outspend him. One day he was doing well, he had a good second gig, then his business was 10% less, 20% less. To your point, once you’re on the radar, once you start showing up in Helium 10 and Jungle Scout searches, then people are going to come after you. It’s not even Amazon. There are ruthless sellers on there that all they want to do is take your idea.
To a degree, that can happen anywhere, right?
This is not as easy if you’re on the shelf at Bed Bath & Beyond.
What’s selling well here, let’s go to Amazon and find it and let’s start producing that. I think what people miss out on because Amazon has total control over the customer basis, building your following, building your customer base. People discount how important email is, but to give you an example. We had a client that we grew from $5,000 a month revenue in online business and $10,000 a month in-store business, so they were like basically a hobby business. They grew to $870,000 a month in online revenue. We built that in a year. This is a thing that we’re still working on. She went from next to no understanding about what’s going on and so forth, making a nice product to probably doing $300,000 in email marketing sales alone a month. It’s $3.6 million. I don’t know if that’s money that is important to anybody out there, but $3.6 million for somebody who was a one-person band.
That’s $300,000 a month so it’s $3.6 million in email marketing and it showed me that email marketing is something that is still absolutely viable and it’s something that many businesses ignore, but how do you get the emails? How do you grow at that base? You grow it through your Google. You grow through Facebook. You grow through those sales on those platforms. Facebook is not always the most profitable platform, to be honest. It’s not going to give you the biggest return on investment like your biggest profit margins and so forth. What Facebook does do amazingly well, probably even better than Amazon, is introduce you to new people and grow your product. If you have a product that people purchased multiple times and if it’s a consumable or something that every few months you’ve got a purchase, Facebook is wonderful to be on.
You purchase that product. It’s good, I use it. “I’m going to go back and purchase some. I purchase it directly or I purchase up through email. I never go through your Google clicks or Facebook clicks or whatever. I’m purchasing directly and I’m growing that fan base will that following base through Facebook and any company can do it.” We were talking earlier about the fact that there’s a lot of noise on Facebook and so forth. There’s actually less noise right now than ever before because iOS 13 came in and kicked off all of the little tiny players that were clogging the system up. We were very concerned as an agency about iOS 14. If you don’t understand what iOS 14 is, Apple has changed its operating systems to iOS 14.iOS 14 specifically was a big privacy update. What you had to do and you might’ve noticed that if you’ve got an Apple phone, all of a sudden, all your apps are asking you, “Do we have permission to track you and so forth?” If you like having specific ads that are specific to you that you enjoy, you should say yes to Facebook. If you like to get ads that have no relevance to you and they’re going to be a bunch of draws, say no. We found that whilst we were very concerned about seeing the data and being able to track the information and be able to see what’s going on, we’ve seen a very stable reporting happening.
Our assumption is that the sales are happening and we can’t track them because we don’t have the same data that’s coming through. Sales are going up for our clients so from a Shopify or from an in-store online store standpoint, we’re seeing sales go up. From a Facebook standpoint, we’re seeing a continuous train. There’s not been a drop-off, which we were somewhat concerned about. What that has told us and what we’ve heard through the grapevine is lots of the little guys that don’t know all the hoops that had to be jumped through because you had to register a domain. There’s a whole heap of hoops that you had to jump through with Facebook to stay online. When iOS 14 came out with Facebook, it laid down the hammer.
This is how it needs to work. Lots of accounts were shut down. Right now, it’s less noise the normal on Facebook. The downside to Facebook is that the tracking is not as accurate, which is like, “How accurate is that advertising on television? What’s your reporting mechanism in the newspaper? What’s your reporting mechanism on all those traditional media outlets that people spend millions of dollars on? It’s probably not as good as Facebook is right now even with the iOS 14 update.” Facebook in itself, I believe, is the number one place to launch and to get in front of people who are most likely going to enjoy your product. Let’s say you come up with a new product that no one’s ever heard of, but it’s amazing. How are you going to get that out there? Are you’re going to go and shop it to every single big box? I think if you can get in using you guys, great, but then again, the big-box has control over your life a little bit. As you see, diversity is king. You want to be in the big-box, you want to have a little bit of Amazon spread, you want to be around and you want to have control over your destiny. Having control over your ecosystem is I would say it’s probably more important than anything else, so you can control your destiny. What happens if the big-box decides to go in a different direction or goes out of business because they’ve got their pressures on them? Are you going to tie your destiny and your future to them or do you want to have some control over yourself?
It’s a combination of everything, which is why we’re talking about it. Walmart can’t be your only customer. At some point, Walmart is going to ask you to do something that you’re either not able to do, you don’t want to do and then all of a sudden you go out of business because you can’t work with them anymore. It’s a combination of a lot of things. I want to back up, but before I do, a lot of what I’ve been hearing on Facebook is in order for you to sell on Facebook, you got to dump a lot of money in there, like $10,000 a day or whatever to get those algorithms working to find the people that are going to buy your product. Is that true? Is it not true?
No. You have to put money in it, so there are two ends of the stick. We’ve got those people that think you got to spend $10,000 a day, which is $120,000 a month or those people that think that I can make $1 million from spending $5 a day, which is the minimum that you can spend now on Facebook. The reality is it’s somewhere in the middle when we bring on a new client, we do a lot of testing. We don’t care how big you are. We’ll probably start off at about $100, $200 a day. If you spend about $100 or $200 a day, that allows us to push through enough information for us to start seeing the trends in the algorithm to start kicking in.
In that learning period, when you build an ad, you’ll see you’re on the campaign that will say learning and that’s the algorithm trying to figure out what’s going on. Over time, the more you spend, the pixel starts calculating all that data and collecting that data and then getting better and better, but you don’t need to be spending $10,000 a day. It’s important to spend a decent number in two weeks, but it’s in the hundreds not in the thousands. If we’re spending $10,000 a day, it’s because we know what is going on. We’re seeing what the algorithm’s telling us what we want to see and we’ve started the scale. At that point, the scaling part is where things can get a little hairy because there’s so much more data coming through, there’s so much more stuff happening on and you’ve got to control that as you’re scaling up.
If you want to test the market to see if the market wants your product, you can do that with a few hundred dollars. Then it’s about scaling up to $10,000 a day and holding the line. We might end up getting like four times growth as a return on ad spend. For every dollar that you spend, you get $4 back. We want to times that by $10,000 but how do we do that? We start going up through that. Our highest spending client per month is probably on about $100 thousand a month.
What percent of their sales is that?Sales are happening and we can’t track them because we don't have the same data that’s coming through. Click To Tweet
They’re a subscription box company so it’s based on new stuff and because of the type of subscription box company, they have a reasonably high chain rate. You’re probably looking at about 20% of the revenue. That is derived from $100,000, so it’s probably spending $100,000. It’s probably about 10% of their revenue.
Let’s say we have a product line and like this company that’s about to go on QVC that we work with. Their product is consumable and people love it. It’s the perfect Facebook product, honestly, so they can spend a couple of hundred dollars figuring out where do you know that people want it. It was on Good Morning America and in eight seconds, they sold something like 4,500 units. How long should anyone person, even starting from scratch, expect that they’re going to spend money on Facebook without getting much back, the whole figuring out period?
If you’ve got a product that people care about and you know what you’re doing on Facebook.
Let’s say we don’t know that yet and these guys weren’t where they are. Let’s say they came to me, they had this idea, they’ve made it into a product and now we’re going to figure out whether people want it.
If it’s a product that no one wants, it will never happen, though.
Let’s say we don’t know.
Let’s talk about two things. Usually, we have an idea about what kind of products would work and what won’t. We spoke to a prospective client and I was looking at it and it says that it’s a product that I’m looking at and I think this will be good. Your QVC guys, when they’re looking at products, they can probably look at it and go, “We think this is going to go pretty well.” Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t even work with it because it’s air time and it’s valuable time. They don’t want to put it up there for three minutes and get no sales.
Getting on board with QVC is worse than an IRS audit. It’s crazy.
If we don’t know, if we’re trying to test the market, we probably spend about six weeks doing that at most. Maybe two months, if there was some mistake, may hide or some issue came up. Unfortunately, with Facebook, the way the systems work, sometimes we had one client that was shut down because during the election because the algorithm thought that it was a political statement where it wasn’t. It was donating money to women that would have been human trafficked then they were selling jewelry. Twenty percent of their revenues was getting donated to women that were recovering from human trafficking and Facebook, because it was the crazy election time, made the assumption that they were a political cause and shut them down.
As long as something like that doesn’t happen, maybe it would take two months to test it. The reality is if it’s something that people like, if it’s a good product, you start getting sales pretty quickly. The beauty of Facebook is that we have an idea. A good example is a product a couple of years back when we had our little boy, I bought this cool baby carrier. It looked like a military flak jacket. If I was babysitting, it looked like I was ready to get a shot at. For dads, that’s obviously pretty cool. It’s very dad-focused.
It’s for people with young kids and it’s an easy market to target. If we know who the target market is and we can get that product right in front of them and we think it’s a good one, we can get sales pretty quickly. Within the first week, you’ll start seeing some products and then it’s about figuring out how to scale it. Obviously, you don’t want to be selling onesies and twosies. You want to be getting into the hundreds a day to thousands a day range if you can and scaling into that. There are like 2.6 million births a year in the United States, so that jacket probably has a 5 million market.
How many of those are engaged ads that are on Facebook? Remember that Facebook in the United States has 166 million users out of 300 million, so 50% of the country are using Facebook. That’s not including all the little kids and maybe the nine-year-olds that may be active on Facebook. That means a lot of those 5 million dads that are out there are probably using Facebook. If I can put that thing right in front of those people, you can get sales pretty quickly.
If you put it in front of the dads or do you put it in front of the new moms to buy for the dad? Women buy 80% of things for the house.
My wife would never have bought that thing. She would’ve bought a Baby Bjorn, but I was unaware of Baby Bjorn.
I wore Baby Bjorn and I loved it. I didn’t know I could have had a flak jacket. I didn’t know I could have looked like I was Call of Duty.
We went on a trip to New Zealand and that’s the only time I used it. I used it for like a couple of weeks. I probably used it twelve times and it cost $300. Facebook has that power to get people like myself who’s all excited about this new little baby that we have and wanting to have this cool flak jacket. I bought it and I was very happy. I still got it. I want another baby so I can use that thing.
One thing that I’ve noticed about Facebook is whenever I buy anything off of Facebook, it takes a million years to get it and I don’t know why that is.
That’s not a Facebook thing. That’s whatever company you’re filing.
I understand that, but it seems more prevalent and maybe I’m all conditioned that if I buy something on Amazon by noon, I can get it that day.
It’s a little bit of that. I also think this is a lot of stuff out there that’s on Facebook, especially that’s drop shipping stuff as well. The problem with drop shipping is because you’ve got an intermediary, like if I built a dropshipping site, all I am is running a site. I’ve got to send the order to who is the manufacturer. The manufacturer packages and sends it. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff is coming from China as well so you add the shipping and all of the stuff that goes with that. I bought a shaver and I think it was in August. I got it in January and I got to the point where I thought I’d lost my money, but I looked into it and it was shipped from a Chinese drop shipper.
One thing that I would say is we don’t work with drop shippers as an agency. We won’t work with them because they can be difficult. We only work with manufacturers and people where the product is their product and those who typically will get like a 4 or 5-day turnaround. It’s not Amazon next day or the same day. One time, I ordered a table and I ordered it at 9:00 in the morning and I had it at 3:00 in the afternoon. That’s crazy.When you build an ad you’ll see you’re on the campaign, you learn and that’s the algorithm trying to figure out what’s going on. Click To Tweet
That’s the one thing that when Amazon works, it works good. You can one-click something and have a same day or at the very least the next day as a Prime member. What I’m gathering from you then is I should expect, though, to spend at least $5,000 figuring things out. For instance, if I hired your agency, I had a product, I’m going to be in there. My ad spend, that doesn’t even cover paying you guys, but my ad spend is going to be $500 washed down the toilet to figure things out before it starts turning me on some money. I’m a big believer that once you get that algorithm going right and maybe it’s 20% of sales, as long as I have that built into my cost, it doesn’t matter how much you spend. You can spend $1 million a month as long as I’m making $4 to $5 million in sales.
Here’s the thing to think about Facebook too. Don’t think of it as a profit machine. There are other things that can be more profitable. Think of it as a branding and introduction machine. If you’re wanting to get into a big-box store and if you’re wanting to work with you to help them get into those stores. If you’re doing a great campaign on Facebook and you get hundreds if not millions of people seeing what you’re doing and liking your product, how much more ammunition does that give you to go into like Bed Bath & Beyond if you’ve already got massive sales, following, massive everything? People have heard of you and you’re not like this unknown product that no one’s heard of? It’s like, “Bed Bath & Beyond can go to your Facebook page and see that there are 500,000 people that are following you. You can show your orders and you’re selling $800,000 worth of products a month.” That’s a lot more compelling than, “I’ve got this cool product. Can I put it on your shelf?” That shelf space is premium.
Here at TLB, we call that your sales story and the sales story is not necessarily a story of how your product came to be. I came up with that term because it’s a story of the trended sales and marketing of your product. If you’re going to talk to a Target buyer, they need to know first, “Why do you feel like you should even be in front of me right now? I’m a buyer for Target. I’m not the buyer for ABC, Bob’s Gifts. I’m the buyer for Target.” You have to show them this progression of improvement. To your point, my motto is always, “If you have a good following, good engagement, yes, mention it and talk it up. If you don’t, don’t mention it at all.”
This was some years ago and I remembered it as a turning point in my business. I’m sitting in the offices at Target, having a meeting with a buyer, the first time any retail buyer, it was a Target buyer for me. They asked me what we were doing on social media. Up until that moment, no buyer ever asked me that. I remember I was like, “That right there is a shift and it’s only going to be a bigger deal.” Let’s move really quickly to your website because, like I was telling you before started, I think a lot of my clients forget that they even have their website. The sales are dismal there. They’re using it as a landing page, branding opportunity, “Yes, I’m legit.” I’m always talking to them about selling on your website as the most profitable place that you can sell so why not do what you can? Is it impossible to sell products on your website with Amazon out there and Facebook and all these things that we talked about? Does it make it almost obsolete?
I think especially if you’re a manufacturer, especially if you’re the creator of your goods, you should absolutely be doing that. If you’re the manufacturer and the creator of your goods, you have a leg up on a lot of people that are selling on Amazon. Remember, mostly Amazon people that are selling on Amazon, they’re selling someone else’s product. There are so many people on Amazon that have stayed off Amazon stores and they’re selling other people’s products. They’re not selling their own. If you’ve got your own product, sure, be on Amazon, be in the big-box stores, you have those different parts. I look at it as if you’ve got a stall you only have one leg on it. Have three legs on it and one of those legs should be your store.
If it’s your product that you’re manufacturing, you’ve got a massive competitive advantage against most of the other noise, as we call it, out there in the marketplace and you should have control over your product. That means if Walmart decides to change the terms or do something different if you’ve got your store rolling, you’ve still got something to fall back on. It should be a significant part of what’s going on. If you want to be more than a supplier of a product and actually be a business that makes money, I’m guessing most people get into manufacturing. They get into business to actually make money to make the lives better and get kids to college and all of that good stuff.
If that’s important to you, have control over your destiny. Have your own storefront online, which with the pandemic especially, because the pandemic has pushed this forward. We’ve seen this in the numbers in a big way. People are buying online more than they ever have and we do not think that will ever change. I think that push with the pandemic is made people that when purchasing stuff online because they didn’t have much of a choice. Now they’ve realized that, “This isn’t a bad way to purchase stuff,” and they’re going to continue. There are orders of magnitude more people purchasing. Retail used to be everybody’s doing business in retail knows this amount and eCommerce was always like dragging behind. I think eCommerce is right up the amount from where people are spending the money.
Retail is maybe more neck and neck now, so if you’re not online, you’re losing an opportunity and money. If you do it right, and I do believe you shouldn’t think of getting an agency, don’t try to do it yourself. I don’t have any employees that can do Google, Facebook, email marketing and website optimization all in one person. There are so many specialties going on. There are so many changes that one person can’t be amazing at all four of those practices and then there are other platforms coming up. TikTok is starting to show it as a place that maybe people need to be. It might seem like a stupid thing, I don’t even have a TikTok account. I’m like, “Twelve seconds of dancing like the silly idiot,” is what I see TikTok as but I know for a fact that serious businesses are making millions of dollars of sales on TikTok right now.
There are all these things happening constantly and my advice to anybody that’s out there that wants to get serious about making sure that they have diversity in their sales structure is to be online and to hire probably an agency. I hate to plug myself a little bit, but hire an agency that all they do is stay up-to-date on that stuff. As a manufacturer, you’re busy with all the different moving parts because there are so many moving parts to manufacturing that it’s crazy. I don’t even want to get into it because I probably don’t even know it all. You don’t want to suddenly dump into the online marketing world where everything is changing month by month. Facebook and Google are different months by month. Tik Tok is changing month by month and Instagram changes month by month. Shopify, WordPress, it’s all different.
Website platforms are changing monthly, either little incrementally, which can cascade into something quite large, which shuts down the whole thing. You want to make sure you’ve got a team that knows what’s going on in preparing so you don’t get hit by it. I want to say this too. When you’re out there looking for somebody to work on new products and to market your products, maybe as an agency, look for an agency that will tell you, “I don’t think this product will work.” We won’t work with a company that we don’t feel the product will work. The way we have set up in most of the agencies that are set up, they will have some bonus structure on sales.
Surely it might be a retainer, but the good agencies, the retainer is the beginning. When you’re making $3 million worth of sales a year, I want to have a little share of that. That motivates my team because they get a bonus, I’m motivated to make sure you’re getting things done. I think from an American spirit standpoint, most Americans liked the thought of, “I like the fact that you got skin in the game kind of thing.” Most good agencies are going to be that way and there’s going to be an element like QVC, maybe not as bad as QVC, where are we going to vet the clients that we represent because we only want to work with those that are going to do well. I don’t want to be charging you a retainer. I want to be charging your retainer plus bonuses. From a website standpoint, I’ll give you an example. if you’re manufacturing steel chicken feeders, be online. Our chicken feeding client that we work with went from a little company in New Zealand selling about $40,000 with the chicken feeders a month to now they’re up to about maybe $1.2 million chicken feeders worldwide. Our little New Zealand-based company, three years down the line, that $1.2 million they’d been able to expand into Australia, but now selling thousands of chicken feeders a month in the United States. They’re now selling in the UK. Those two little 60-year-old guys figured out how to build a cool chicken feeder out of aluminum and suddenly they’re selling all over the world.
That’s the stuff that could happen. If you’re a little bit more sophisticated than two retirees who figured out a cool chicken feeder, you can do the same thing if you’ve got a product that people care about. The beauty of Facebook and Google, especially Facebook, is the trick of Facebook is getting the right product in front of the person that’s most likely to buy it. You do that with a compelling message that catches your attention that means something to them, they’ll buy it from you. It’s simple as that. If you’re not getting sales on Facebook and you have a good product, it’s probably because you’re not doing something right.
You got it in front of the wrong people or you’re not telling the right people the right thing.
To get you to get excited, I’ve got to talk to you the way that you get excited. I don’t talk to you the way that I get excited.
People on Facebook know. Facebook’s algorithm knows that I like cool wallets so they’re always sending me the coolest, newest wallet and I’m pretty much a sucker for that. They also know that I’m always looking for the coolest crossbody bag to carry my crap in so I get tons of advertising, but I like it because I want to know. I’m constantly waiting to see the bag that’s like going to be my go-to bag so I like getting all those ads because I feel like one day, the right bag will come across and I’ll be like, “That’s it.”
My dad loves watches so he gets all watches coming on there and he’s 77, but he’s actively on Facebook because his kids are spread around the world and he’s like, “This is a way to keep in touch with everybody,” but what are these ads? He has tons of watch ads. Every time he sees a watch on Facebook, he clicks on it and has a look because he loves watches. He gets more of it and he doesn’t mind it because he likes it. He has a few too many watches now because he buys them and it works well. I tend to get a lot of gadgets and travel stuff because I like gadgets and traveling. I get a lot of travel stuff and gadgets. I enjoy it and I purchase it.I purchased so much silly stuff on Facebook because I’m that guy that if I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning would be watching all those infomercials with those cool little gadgets and I’ll be calling up my credit card, asking for the stupid thing that I use three times. I love gadgets and I love to see how they work and what they do and Facebook has figured out that, “That’s what Andy likes.” Facebook’s figured out that you like wallets. Facebook’s figured out that my dad likes watches and we’re getting targeted with those things that we like, which is much more likely that you’re going to buy a wallet. My dad’s going to buy a watch and I’m going to buy a gadget. If you can step into that realm and do it correctly, it’s amazing what can happen. Facebook, if done right, it can be life-changing. I’ve seen it time and time again.
I hate to wrap things up, but I’m glad we had a chance to talk about that. I think it makes a lot of sense. Big Boxers, obviously you guys are paying attention. Andy, maybe sometime we’ll have you in the VIP group. I have a big VIP group of people that could use that are all in this pre-launch stage of getting their products out there so that would be fun. Any last thoughts?
The last thought that I would have, which is I think a big thought in your head, is if you’re a manufacturer, have control of your destiny. Get your website up to speed where you can do transactions on it and start building, even if you’re doing it incrementally and slowly, your ability to manufacture the product and sell it to the end-user. There’s nothing dangerous about that at all. There’s no downside to that in any way. Start building that third link on your store instead of balancing on 1 or 2 of them. It is a very good way to go about it and to some degree that will recession-proof your company.
Ultimately, when there is a recession, even if it’s a great recession or a great depression, it usually affects about 20% of the population. That means 80% still got money. Even if it goes down to 70%. Back in the day when it was retail outlets, that would affect you. Now that you can actually cut right through and get right to that 70% and go away from the 30% because the algorithms can see who’s purchasing at this moment and who’s doing stuff, you can recession-proof yourself if you do things correctly online. That is amazing.
That’s the quote of the day. If you want to recession-proof your business, you’re going to have to get with Andy to get that. Andy, it’s been wonderful speaking with you. I’m sure we’ll connect again. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the Big Boxers. We’re very much appreciative. Take care.
Big Boxers, welcome back. Andy’s left the building, but he’s no joke. I was not lying when I said that him and his company can get you to where you want to be on your website on your Facebook advertising. He makes it sound very relatable like it’s actually achievable and that you should do it. The one thing that we were calling out, certainly in the show, was your success relies on diversity. Not putting all your eggs in one basket. You can’t go with Amazon. You can’t go with retail. You have to have multiple streams in multiple places that you’re selling your product so that if anyone thing falls down, falls by the wayside, it doesn’t work, gets shut down.You have other areas where your product is still selling. That’s the key to sustain success. Andy, thank you so much for being on the show. It’s great to meet you. It’s great to talk to you. I’m sure that we will talk again. There’s so much information that we didn’t go over. I can’t wait to continue the conversation. If you want to know how to get ahold of Andy or Creatively Disruptive, we have his information, so no worries there. It’s good to connect with you and bring you some interesting content. If you haven’t gone to the new website, TLBConsulting.com, please do that. Please, take a look at the VIP experience. I want to see you there. If you want to check it out, “What’s it all about? What is it like being in a session?” All you have to do is send me an email at Tim@TLBConsulting.com and I’ll send you the link and you can sit in on a session for free and see what goes on. See if it makes sense for you. The coupon to join right now at 50% off is joinnow30. I look forward to seeing you in the VIP group. Until next time, I look forward to seeing your products on the shelf.
About Andy Seeley
Andy Seeley is a master in sales and digital marketing, having led a number of companies and clients to achieve success. His work redefines what it means to be a people-person, putting the best interests of everyone from individual team-members to each client account at the forefront.
Andy’s previous experiences have taken him from the retail spaces to the publishing world. Today, Andy leads a team of digital marketing mavens as the CEO and Co-Founder of Creatively Disruptive. In addition to his role as CEO, Andy also actively mentors other business owners and offers timely tips and tricks in Facebook Advertising Originally from Hamilton, New Zealand, he currently resides in Surprise, Arizona.
Outside of the office Andy can be found listening to YouTube videos while driving around town, or volunteering his time coaching kids sports teams.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the On The Shelf community today: