eCommerce Lifestyle
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biggest-regret

My 2nd Biggest Regret & Why I Wish I Had Started Sooner

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I recorded today’s episode early this morning… right before I was interviewed on another podcast.

If you’ve been following the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, you’re probably aware that I do a lot of these “guest appearances”.

In today’s episode of the podcast, I share why I do so many, and why my biggest regret is only that I had started sooner.

Mentioned in this Podcast:

My Second Biggest Regret as an Entrepreneur

Hey, what’s up everybody? Anton here from eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. Right now, I am actually driving home from the office. It’s like 7:30 in the morning and feeling good. I already got into the gym today and then I just stopped by the office for a little bit to get a few things done there and pick up a couple things to bring back to my home office and headed home. I’m gonna do some training videos today and I also am going to do a podcast interview at 9:00 a.m. Those things I do from the office sometimes, but I feel more comfortable in my home office, because it’s just more relaxed and I think a better place for me to actually create content that I then distribute online.

That’s not what I want to talk to you about today, but I did want to talk to you about why I do podcast interviews, why, depending on what industry you’re in, you might have seen guest blog posts I contributed to, eBooks that I’ve been part of, YouTube channels I’ve been on, and just really collaborative efforts that I’ve been part of.

If you click on this episode from iTunes or Pocket Casts or whatever, you probably saw that it’s called “My Second Biggest Regret,” and the reason why is because this whole thing, what I’m talking about, kind of being out there and doing guest appearances if you want to call it that, is something I didn’t do for a really long time in business. Not because I didn’t want to, not because I thought I was above it or anything, but it just didn’t pop on to my radar. The thing that I guess I want to get across to you and hopefully a lesson that I could share, no matter where you’re at in your business with your eCommerce business, the sooner you can star networking with people that are either in your industry or in related industries, and the sooner you can do things publicly with them, the sooner your business is gonna just grow. It’s a really simple concept, but again, something that I didn’t do. Maybe you’re not doing it either.

Here is basically how this works. What you’re gonna want to do is simply know who your competitors are, know who your suppliers are, know who the trade shows are in your industry, know who different service providers are in your industry. Basically, you’re gonna want to know everything about your industry. Let’s just say you sell, I don’t know, surfboards, and I’m gonna probably just keep using that example in the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, because why not? Then we can all pretend we have a surfboard store. But let’s say you sell surfboards. Well, if you did, you’d obviously want to know who all of your competitors are, but you’d also want to know who all the different manufacturers are, who the different brands are. Then you’d want to know who all the accessories are, like who makes all the different accessories for the surfboards? Then you’d want to know what industry events there are, what surfing competitions? What trade shows? What other industry events do they have? I don’t even know. What podcasts are there about surfing? What YouTube channels in the surfing industry have the most subscribers? What blogs do people go to to learn about surfing?

You may think when you’re first starting an eCommerce store, or even after you run it for a while, that just setting up Google traffic and having people come to you when you buy ads is enough to have a business, and that’s true, again, it’s true. You could do a lot. I should say this, you can not do a lot of things and still have a very successful business, but there’s some things that when you start implementing your whole business will just grow.

Build a Brand Which Stays in People’s Minds

drop ship lifestyle

We’ve kind of alluded to this in different episodes of eCommerce Lifestyle so far, but the people that want your products, they are already out there. You’re not creating customers for yourself. These people are out there, they just haven’t found you yet. Keep that in mind. Again, when you’re learning your industry, whether you’re just getting into one or whether you’ve been in it for a decade, you’re basically gonna want to create different Excel spreadsheets and, that’s what we do, and in these spreadsheets we have different columns for different things. Again, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, trade shows, suppliers, accessories, online courses. So the surfboard one, let’s just say if there’s any like Udemy courses or any courses on ClickBank that sell surfing lessons and whatnot, even surf camps around the world, who are the biggest ones?

I hope you see where I’m going with this, but the point is, this industry that you’re in as an eCommerce seller, as an online retailer, is a lot bigger than just your store, and the biggest regret that I have in different industries that I’ve been involved with for over a decade now is that I didn’t … I don’t want to say I didn’t notice this sooner, but I didn’t start building relationships with these other companies sooner, with all the different events and with all the different people that run blogs and with all the YouTube creators, and the reason why is because once you establish these relationships, which by the way, don’t have to be monetary at all. You don’t have to be giving them money and directly buying ads from them, which of course you can, but just having some kind of relationship where you can do things like guest blog posts for them, where you can do things like maybe create a module in their surfing course, when you can do things like go on their podcast and be interviewed or appear in one of their YouTube videos or contribute to their forum or comment on their blog posts or speak at one of their trade shows or sponsor a booth or whatever, show up at one of the surfing competitions and give out t-shirts with your company information on it.

There’s a lot of different ways to get involved and to kind of be everywhere in your industry, but the thing that I regret, the second biggest regret I have from when I got into eCommerce for probably the first five years or so I just didn’t do this was not forming those relationships. I almost looked at everyone as competition or I looked at things like, “Well, this guy has a blog and he’s already promoting for products X, Y, and Z. Why is he gonna want to talk to me?” Or, “Why should I be on this podcast? Why should I even reach out? I don’t want to sponsor this event because it costs all this money and there’s no return.”

While some of that can be true, that’s not the point. The point is that there’s a lot of people that are looking for content. They’re also looking, just like we are, to build relationships with them. They’re looking to build relationships with people like us, and the more relationships you have in your industry, again, whatever that industry is, and over time, the more guest appearances you make, if you want to call it that, what’s gonna happen is the people that are already in that industry, they’re gonna hear your name more and more, they’re gonna hear it from all different angles, someone’s gonna hear you on a podcast today and then two years later might see your company again, again, giving out t-shirts at one of the … at an industry event. Or they might see you on someone’s YouTube channel a month later, or they might see your store in their Google search results when they’re looking for a surfboard two weeks later.

The point is, the more of this you do, it just kind of snowballs and eventually, it does take time, but eventually after just doing this consistently and methodically and actually making an attempt and building it into your marketing calendar, doing this outreach, what’s gonna happen eventually is you’re gonna have everyone know about you. It’s just gonna help.

It’s gonna give you a lift from every angle for your store for sales. Again, not only will people hear you on a podcast and let’s say you got interviewed on a surfing podcast and you were talking about the best new surfboards for the summer of 2018. Now, that on its own is not gonna drive a huge influx of buyers to your store that are gonna just be like, “Oh, I heard Anton on this podcast. I’m gonna go check out his surfboards and buy right now.” That’s not gonna happen. But what’s gonna happen, again, is your name now and your store’s name is gonna be stored in the listener’s mind. It’s gonna be in there. It’s gonna be implanted. Then again, when they hear about you the next time and when they see your ad and when they’re ready to buy, they’re so much more likely to do business with you. It just gives you, again, a lift from literally every angle of your business, and it’s something that is free to do.

There is More Than One Way to Generate Revenue

antons travel setup

Again, you could do things like sponsor different events or you could pay to advertise on podcasts or on YouTube channels, which definitely has its place, but what I’m talking about as my biggest regret isn’t that. I’ve always bought traffic from all those different websites in my industries, but the biggest regret is not just forming the relationships, not just sending an email to a blog and saying, “Hey, I love your blog. I would love to create this post for you and talk about the top five surfboards of the summer.” Or reaching out to a podcast and saying, “Hey, I listened to a few episodes of your podcast, really enjoyed episode 110 and my name is Anton, I own this store dot com, and I’d love to get on the podcast and talk about topic X, Y, Z.”

Again, the more you do this, the more your business is just gonna grow and the more value it has, because then you’re not just relying on search traffic and paid search, which again, is fine, that makes money, but you’re gonna just get a lift because people will know you by the time they see your ads.

I guess a few other things I could say about that, you might be wondering like, “Okay, Anton. You’re second biggest regret is not forming these relationships and kind of reaching out. So what’s the first?” I haven’t talked about it on eCommerce Lifestyle yet. I will. I’ll do a whole episode on it, but the number one has to be just completely neglecting the fact that I should use email marketing and email automations in my businesses. Again, probably for five years, my first five years or so in ecommerce, running a multi seven figure ecommerce business when I was just starting out, I was not collecting anyone’s emails besides customers and I was only collecting customer’s emails, because when they buy, they have to enter their email address and I was never following up with them and never sending them different promotions and asking for testimonials and cross selling and up selling and making niche related offers and basically I went on for years and easily, easily, easily knowing what I know now, lost out probably on five million plus in revenue.

Yeah, not a fun thing to think about, but if anyone’s wondering again what the number is, it was not focusing on collecting emails and marketing to them earlier on. By the way, if you want to learn how to do that, it’s been one of the highest revenue generators for our businesses in the past seven years now. If you want to learn about that, go to ecommercelifestyle.com, click on courses, then check out inbox funnels. So ecommercelifestyle.com, click on courses, then check out inbox funnels. That’s where I share all of our top email automations that again, literally lift our sales 30 to 40% a month in any given business that we have.

With that being said guys, I am home now from the office. What was that 10 minute drive? And gotta get ready for my interview, get prepared so I can turn this person’s followers and audience into my followers and audience. I’m gonna go ahead and get that done and I really, really, really can’t stress it enough and recommend if you’re listening to this, you have a store and you haven’t spent the time yet to form relationships with people in your industry, get on Google, find out who everyone is in your industry and in related industries, add them all into a Google sheet so you can keep track of them. Actually follow them for a bit, see if you actually like the content they’re putting out and if you do, reach out to them, send them a cold email, send them a LinkedIn message, tweet them, DM them on Instagram, message them on YouTube, do what you gotta do, but reach out. They’re just normal people and they might be a lot more receptive than you think to having a conversation introducing you to their audience, which of course is gonna just give your business a big lift overall.

Hope you found that one useful guys. Again, I’m gonna go get my day officially started. I guess part two of my day. Hope everyone has a great day, gets a lot of sales, and I will see you in the next episode of eCommerce Lifestyle. See ya, everybody.

 

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