2015 Fourth Quarter Wrap Up

2015 was a bumpy ride. Generating money in the ecom department didn’t flow as easily as I thought it would. I started selling shirts in 2014 which was my first time I ever tried selling physical products online.

Prior to 2014 I was a struggling affiliate marketer who had just quit his job to travel the world. I put my goal of travelling ahead of my business goals because it was time to have fun. Eventually 2014 came around I landed back in London and Don Wilson landed on my Facebook newsfeed. I bought his product and six figures later I moved into building my own e-commerce stores.

A lot of 2015 was slow for me. I am stubborn and with my stubbornness I cut off my nose to spite my face. I would not let go of my previous successful niches and venture into bigger and better things. Instead I stuck with my niches which still generated money BUT the audiences don’t venture outside of a 1,000,000 people. You can’t have 10,000+ teespring campaigns from small audiences.

So I stuck with what I knew and continued to stay within niches that brought me my riches from 2014. Not a bad thing but if you’re in the t-shirt business you know as word spread of the success people were having the competition grew. Copycats were round every corner and finding ways to hide your campaigns for as long as possible was more and more important. The money was not as fruitful as it was in 2015.

Fourth quarter could not come fast enough. November and December rejoiced me with the five figure months I once knew existed.

Was it my mind set? I think it’s partly to blame. Once your stuck in a rut it’s hard to get out. I won’t bang on about it but I sucked at selling items while everyone else around me in Facebook groups were having six figure months (in revenue anyway).

Luckily good old surveying my audience (that “thing” I always bang on about) saved the day. Running into December I asked them what their favourite phrases were and built shirts around what they wanted. This gave me some successful shirts and one really successful shirt that is continuing to sell successfully into 2016 with no sign of slowing down yet. The rest of the money came from relentlessly emailing previous buyers every day. Sales rolled in and the bank account grew. Finally!

For me Shopify is a far superior way to run a business than with Teespring. Teespring is more a handsfree model because all you have to do is send traffic to a URL and let them handle the dirty work. However my problem with Teespring is that people are going to find your winners no matter what. I know there are shopify spying tools out there but less people are going to find your best selling items. If you sell 20,000 units through a Shopify store no one knows unless you brag about it or they find your viral posts on Facebook. Sell 20,000 units through Teespring everyone knows how much you sold because it’s displayed on the campaign page. It’s not long before you have 1,000 copycats selling your shirt without thinking twice about it.

So 2015 was wrapped up nicely with a sigh of relief and overall it’s been a good year. I have learned a lot. Going into 2016 I have the knowledge to make it a great year financially, just got to wake up and get it. I also hope to take more holiday this year as it’s my 30th.

Not sure what else to add except it’s time for bed. Tomorrow it’s back to cracking into the big niches. 2016 is not going to be about the little niches with a 1,000,000 audience. I want a piece of the pie that comes with niches that have over 50,000,000 people in them.

 

 

My progress or lack of it with Shopify

That sounds like a negative title. It is in the sense of I’m not where I want to be right now and I did expect to be making more money. BUT  I am making money which is a good thing.

As usual life does get in the way, well not life but other business ideas or t-shirt campaign in other niches that have steered me away from focusing 100% on my store.

Let’s look at my progress over 6 weeks. I started sending traffic to my store on the 13th of July.Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 02.29.14

You can see from the stats I’ve been on and off. I haven’t been sending traffic to it every day or every week for that matter. The good news is I am making money from it. Not a lot but it’s a start considering I haven’t been running constant ads and this is just one niche. I am still running shirt campaigns for other niches that I can’t use on this store.

I signed up for Don Wilsons Dropship program. That’s right I believed in it and I’m a founding member. Couldn’t pass up on such an opportunity.

I haven’t made the most of it just yet. I am waiting to get the app into my store and I’ll be running. This is another reason why my sales have not been consistent. I was running a necklace campaign around the 30th of July. It was doing great but I stopped after I got into the program so I can continue selling them with the dropship program and a lower base cost. I should the app configured this week so I can continue with the campaign.

I changed fulfilment companies for my clothing!

I started off with “Theprintful” and what a joke they are. The customer service is great, no faults there but the prices! In what planet are they living on. Cheapest base cost item is $13 + Shipping = $18+. This means if I sell a shirt for $30 (including shipping) I make $12 before paypal, Shopify or Stripe take their fees!

I recently switched over to Teelaunch. So far so good. A couple of problems but that’s expected for a company providing a new app to Shopify users. Chris has handled any problems great so far so I’m happy.

With Teelaunch the base cost for men’s shirts is $8.50 + $4 Shipping, which is $12.50. Almost $6 cheaper than Theprinful’s cheapest item! So I make $18 per sale now, that’s a 30% increase!

My store can be doing a lot better. There’s things I can improve on like social proof and making my site more trusting to potential customers.

Today I setup my second store with the hope to 10x my sales. My initial store is focused one one niche but this store is going to serve any niche I decide to enter. I already have my niches that I sell in so this means once I get a few items I can get started right away. I can’t wait.

As soon as this dropship app is configured properly with both stores, I can start running more consistent campaigns and bring in money every day.

Google Adwords is something I will look at next. Just one term gets 50,000 searches every month and my store provides what they are looking for. Really need to test this because I am leaving soo much money on the table here.

I will update again after I have a consistent couple of weeks to reflect on and hopefully some sales from my new store as well. See ya soon.

 

Launching My First Shopify Store And Dealing With Those Voices In My Head

Way back in January I made a goal to have my first shopify store up and running and admittedly it’s taken me a lot longer to get running than I wanted. A LOT LONGER. I was beginning to think I’d never do it.

Understand like most people do I suffer from procrastination, stress, fear of failure and other demons that live in our heads. On top of all that I wanted my website to be perfect!

I invested in courses to help me get my perfect website running.  They showed me the correct apps to have ready, email sequences to follow, how to set up funnels that take people by the hand and walk them to where I want the to be, how to write product description copy and what to put on your website that builds trust with visitors so they feel comfortable to purchase with you… There’s lot’s I’ve missed out and believe me all of this cannot be done within a week unless you have an efficient team behind you.

I decided to go at it alone for my first store. I want to know exactly how my business is running, inside and out.

I switched from Aweber to Activecampaign. It took a week or two to get my head around it but now it seems to be working. It’s an amazing tool, especially for people who want to use segmentation which is vital for my business.

In the background of all this action taking there were two voices fighting against and each voice had it’s own good pros and cons.

The first voice I listened to every day was FUCK IT. Just send traffic to it now and make sales.  This was the voice that told me, you need to start making some money from your store, you have to get paid for all this time you’ve been spending on this thing.

Second voice had the essence of Jay Abraham behind it. It advised me to be patient and take my time. You’ll make more money launching something that’s got a backend. If you launch it too soon money will be left on the table.

Time was dragging and I couldn’t take it anymore. I could feel myself beginning to hate it because I was getting impatient. Will it ever be ready?

Then one day I said FUCK IT. I wrote down the 15th of July as my launch date and if it wasn’t ready tough. My goal was to get at least one sale.

What happened? I launched a new shirt that I had been waiting for months to share with my niche. I spent $12 and within 24 hours I got three sales bringing in $133. Not bad!

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 01.34.06

The next day I decided to pause my ad because Paypal was not setup. I was using stripe which meant peopel had to whip out their credit card to make a purchase. I wonder how many sales I lost?

To use Paypal I needed a number customers could use to contact me and the problem or excuse I was facing was I am in the UK and my customers are in the USA. How do I get a number setup? I worked it out and today it was sorted. My store now has a toll free number people can call and it forwards to my UK phone number.

Undoubtedly there will be some problems that will arise but I am just glad to get it sorted because now I can get back to getting Paypal up and running on my store.

Believe me when I say, just to get it up and running was a relief.

 

Do You Sell T-Shirts On Facebook? Survey Your Audience

millbank-view

My view of London at Fabcon 2015, inside the Millbank Tower.

Recently people have been reaching out to me for advice on what T-Shirt course they should take. I always send them to the videos from Fabcon 2015. The content shared in these videos is all you need to get started not only because they are free to watch but also because the content is really good.

These videos contain the same content that the most expensive T-Shirt course is teaching. Training that I paid thousands of dollars to learn is inside these videos. Save your money because this is all you need to get started.

Back in February I attended Fabcon 2015 in London. It was an event put together by Fabrily and Teespring.

They managed to bring in guest speakers from all over the world who have been very successful with selling t-shirts online. Arjun Ohri was one of those speakers and his talk was really REALLY good. Not only was he a great public speaker but the content he shared was worth so much more than what everyone paid for the event.

I know because last year I spent a lot of money on a Teespring course and Arjun uses similar strategies which he shared that day at Fabcon.

Luckily for you Fabrily recorded all the speakers at the event and put the videos on their blog so that other sellers can benefit. The stuff Arjun shares in this video, particularly the part about surveying your audience, is really worth paying attention to.

Below is Arjun’s presentation from Fabcon 2015. Make sure you take notes!

IMPORTANT: You should also watch the rest of the videos from that day and you can put everything Arjun teaches into action. Follow his advice and you will sell t-shirts. All the videos from that day can be found here: http://fabrilyblog.com/2015/03/13/fabcon-2015-videos/

Watch the video and try to use what he teaches in your t-shirt selling strategy. The content in these videos is enough to get you on the right track.

Andy

Time To Get That Recurring Income

The three big things I want to concentrate on in 2015 are; building out into my own online store, outsourcing my business and building a recurring income stream.

Today I want to talk about the recurring income stream. I have built a free membership group from one of the t-shirt niches I am involved in. I set it up way back in October and it has over 250 members today.

That group runs by itself now. I have literally put one post inside the community when it started and over time as I have added people they answer each others questions and post videos for help. I do not have to do anything.

The next step is to create a bridge page that takes people from my Facebook page to a sales page before they become a member. So I hired a copywriter to write the sales page. I found my copywriter on Facebook by using the Cult of Copy Job Board.

I got my copy back a week ago along with an email sequence and I am currently constructing it into a slick funnel on Clickfunnels.

This is where I am at so far. I need to set up a recurring payment button with Paypal and I’ll be ready to go.

It sounds simple but I’m sure there will be a couple of road bumps over the next few days.

So the plan… I am going to offer new members $1 for the first month and $10 per month after that. I will setup the funnel and use Facebook and Google ads to attract new customers.

The DREAM is to have 1,000  paying members. The first big mile stone is my first 10 subscribers, so let’s start there!

GOAL – Have 10 paying members by the end of May. Maybe that’s not ambitious enough, however I am moving to Australia for two months and I leave in just five days. I have a cruise planned for one week and will be doing a lot of visiting for the first week I am there. Maybe getting 10 members will be too ambitious… We’ll find out.

Like I have mentioned previously a recurring income is great because you will have guaranteed money coming your way every month without having to do anything. This will allow you to take time away from your business without worrying about how you will pay the bills next month.

This is just the beginning. Once I get this down and I know the process, it’s something I can replicate into other niches that I currently sell physical products.

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