How Marketers are Building Million Dollar eCommerce Businesses with Teespring | AWasia 2016


Hello, everyone! Welcome to The Breakout Stage at AWA 2016. We’ve got an exciting lineup of speakers here, ranging in all kinds
of interesting topics. Now, we have a Teespring panel on how to put together
a million dollar empire, ecommerce empire. We have two really great affiliates
who’ve built great businesses with Teespring, and we also have Craig Roberts.
Craig can you come up here? Craig is the commercial manager at Teespring.
He’s all about unlocking potential for affiliates and designers
on the Teespring platform, one of the most exciting ecommerce platforms today.
Testing, testing. Yes, it works. Hey, everyone. As Eric said, I represent Teespring.
I’ve been with them over a year now, almost two years, and basically I’m here
to tell you guys about the opportunity that exists to create
an ecommerce business. Essentially, Teespring makes it super, super easy
for people to kind of come on board in ecommerce in a very easy way.
You don’t have to worry about fulfilment, customer service, payment processing,
all that kind of boring stuff. Essentially, what Teespring does is
that we do all that for you. So a little bit about myself,
I manage what you guys would call “affiliate world” but what we call “sellers”
so people that sell on our platform. I’m sort of involved in all wide-ranging aspects of that.
But yeah, let me go back a little bit. So essentially what Teespring is,
is you plug in Teespring. All you need to do is create an idea,
find your niche, and create a product. For example, if you were
in the horse riding niche, you could create a product around horse riding
for a particular audience on Teespring. You would then combine that with targeting,
you know, Facebook is obviously one of the best sort of targeting platforms right now,
you could target that and the outcome is bags and bags of money.
In a nutshell, how much money? Well these are kind of the screenshots of some of what
the sort of top sellers are doing right now on the platform.
So I guess numbers in red speak for themselves. That’s the opportunity that exists.
Obviously, not everybody’s doing that, but these are kind of what the top tier guys
are doing right now. Ronnie and Albert are going to talk about that a little bit later. So Teespring today, you know, we’ve been around since 2013.
20 million products shipped, that’s globally. That’s to 150 countries around the world.
We get orders from US, Europe, Canada, Africa, all over the place.
Basically, people are buying custom merchandise. This is very much a result of
the sort of wide range, scope that Facebook has, and people buying off that. It’s all about creating your store and your brand
through Teespring. So you can come on, create your products,
create your sort of niche, and build a bit of an identity around your products
that you’re selling on the platform. And basically, that’s what we do.
We take building this niche, building this brand, building your business
We make it super, super easy for anyone to do that. So anybody here who’s interested,
this is a great place to start. This is an example of one of my favourites.
It’s Farm n’ Fancy. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of people out there
that like ferrets who are also mothers. And this is just a great example of
finding a niche, creating a product for it, and then sort of scaling that out.
So you can buy on Farm n’ Fancy’s store, all sorts of different
farm-related, animal-related products. And that’s essentially it
in a nutshell. But we’ll go into a little bit more detail later on. Alright, let’s get the brain trust up here. Let’s get the panel members.
Have a seat. Come on up, Ronnie and Albert. First, we have Ronnie McKenzie,
bachelor number one. He’s an affiliate marketer who launched
a 6-figure tshirt empire after capitalising on a controversial local law.
We have Albert Leonardo here, who spent 12 years as a math and science teacher,
and he capitalised on the ultimate limited-edition opportunity
celebrating Pi Day of The Century. It’s exciting. Welcome, everyone.
Everybody, give these guys a warm welcome. So Craig, you talked about your sellers.
What percentage of your sellers are affiliate marketers? Is it all affiliates?
What does that look like? It’s kind of changing, you know.
We’re sort of three years into this thing now.
When we first started, I would say 90-95% were affiliate marketers, which is huge right?
But now we’re kind of seeing a bit of a mixture of YouTubers,
influencers, as we call them. Twitch casters, all sorts of different people
using the platform. But you know, essentially, I think affiliate marketers
are primed to succeed in this business because of the sort of
targeting know-how that they have. Exciting. So Ronnie and Albert. Albert, we’ll start with you because you’re to my left here. How did you get started on Teespring? So back then, in 2014, I wanted to learn affiliate marketing,
and then I started to look into some courses. In one of the courses,
the author said that if you want quick and easy money, you do Teespring. Everybody want that
quick and easy, of course I want that. Why? Because you say that
on Teespring, they handle the fulfilment, the shipping
the logistics, customer service, for you. So you can just focus on the selling and the design idea.
So I think, alright, if I want to make it quick and
you know in affiliate marketing, you have to learn about building site,
tracking, cloaking, and stuff like that. It’s impossible to learn all of that
in such a short time. So I think, if there is one thing that I can learn
to be successful in internet marketing, I decided that will be driving traffic.
That’s why I chose Teespring, because I want to focus on learning how to drive targeted traffic.
Because I believe that if you know how to drive targeted traffic,
then you can sell anything. So that’s how I got into Teespring.
Nice. How about you Ronnie? I saw a lot of ads sort of popping up in my newsfeed.
And I was quite dubious, initially, about the sort of numbers that were being
claimed that were coming into people’s bank accounts, primarily due to affiliates.
And, you know I, used to be targeted with that sort of offer.
I think it’s about six months between seeing it for the first time,
and actually getting stuck into it, I just gave it a go, and very quickly learnt
that it was legitimate. So, I stuck around.
So, just to talk about the size of the opportunity, Craig. What’s the most
someone has made on Teespring? Can you talk about that a little bit? The biggest sort of affiliate marketers are doing a couple million a year.
I think, to date, the sort of top sellers are doing between $3 and $5 million every year.
So it’s a serious opportunity. When you get to that kind of scale,
there’s a bit more complexity, you know. A lot of these people have
teams of people, teams of designers, just pushing out ideas,
teams of people launching campaigns, teams of people managing ads. So it becomes
a bit more complex once you scale it out. But some of the guys, Ronnie for example,
Albert, you guys work on your own, and they do decent numbers.
I’ll let you guys talk to that. It’s such an interesting platform because
it allows you to really monetise sheer creativity, and at the same time,
you’re actually selling a real product which is something that’s not always the case
in affiliate marketing. So I can imagine it’s kind of a rewarding thing
to be able to be shipping real goods out to people and kind of making their day
with these these interesting tshirts. You guys wouldn’t be up here
if you haven’t done well for yourselves. Albert, you apparently sold 20,000 tshirts
for The Pi Day of The Century. Can you walk us through that?
About how you did this and what kind of money you saw from that campaign. One way to find the idea for the tshirt design is you look for upcoming holidays
or unique celebrations. There’s one site that you can go to
which is HolidayInsights.com. There is a list of holidays
and unique celebrations in the States. Back then it was January 2015, last year.
I searched for the March celebrations. There was a National Pi Day.
And I’m not sure because nobody’s celebrating Pi Day in my country,
so I did some research. I went to Google Trends. If you go to Google Trends
and you see fluctuation of the traffic, that’s what I saw on the Pi Day.
I know that people are celebrating it, so I created the design.
Actually, I asked my designer to do it and I tested it with $12 budget per day
and I directly saw a 500% ROI. So I know that I’m going to kill it with this design.
I told my wife, I’m gonna spend less time with you,
a few days ahead because I want to concentrate
on this campaign. So I scaled it hard, and I sold 20,000 plus tshirts
in one and half months, and it earned me $250,000
in one and a half months for that design. That’s incredible.
And again, it’s the ultimate limited-edition because it’s only happening once in our lifetimes,
once ever? Right, because that’s the Pi Day of The Century.
Yeah. Very interesting. You know, I’ve been targeted by Teespring. So I’m a marketing director at Go2mobi
and I got an ad that was like, it’s a marketing director thing.
You wouldn’t understand. I was like, “I’m not gonna buy that necessarily.” So when you think about your audience,
you think about your markets. When you’re targeting,
so who’s gonna get a Pi day tshirt? It’s probably gonna be a geek. How do you find the markets?
What makes an ideal market? Is it housewives in the Midwest?
Is it grandmothers? Can it be anyone,
depending on how well you market it? Yeah so the easiest way is you go
to the audience insight on Facebook, right, and you search for Pi interest,
so there was Pi interest there, Pi and Pi day, and then I targeted the teacher,
and then science stuff keywords. What was interesting was that
I ran page post engagement ads so because people kept referring to their friends, 95% of my campaign objective
was page post engagement. So that’s how I got so many sales,
because people keep referring their friends. It just went viral, more or less? Yeah, viral. That’s what it was. Interesting. How about you, Ronnie? What kind of
numbers have you seen from your campaigns? Our best, over a fairly long period of time,
was my partner’s shirt. It was a camping niche shirt
and he’s probably sold about 15,000 to 20,000 of it, and it was an evergreen product where you don’t have to do much to it
other than monitor it, really. The other is like, you’ll have the odd unicorn
that is selling like 1,000+ in a very short period of time and if you scale them out fairly hard,
they drop off and don’t get the evergreen
sales that, ultimately, we want. But then with your process,
we’re just launching all the time. 50-100 shirts a week
and this comes down to a team. Craig was saying before that I work alone. I do, for the most part, but I do
have people working with me so I don’t have to manage that whole process.
I’ve got designers, videos to launch those ads. Anything to make it as easy as possible. So thousands is what you want, but the bread and butter is a couple
of hundred or even in that 50-100 bracket. If you’re selling that a week,
of a shirt, and got a couple of them, you’re making pretty decent income. How quickly did you guys
realise that you had to grow it? How big are your teams
and how quickly did you realise that in order to really scale this opportunity, you’re gonna need a team
and how did you go about building that team? Is it mostly all virtual assistants
or do you have partners in the space? Talk about your team’s a little bit. We’re very slow to
realise that we needed a team. Initially, when I started,
I was doing all the designing myself, and Suhail was doing a lot of the launching
and taking care of that. We’d sort of flit in between things.
He would occasionally dabble in design but he quickly realised that he wasn’t a
designer and I think maybe 12 months we’ve been doing it that way
and we did really well out of it but to build out that process,
we knew we needed designers and just get the sheer numbers of campaigns up
to get the level of money that we’re after. We had two designers working full-time and they’ll take care of posting all that
or uploading all the campaigns at Teespring. They’ll post the pages and just set it up
so all you have to do is go in and target it and just make your job easy. So Teespring has been
a foundational member of AWA. It’s been at every AWA or AW event,
Affiliate World Europe as well so Craig what’s changed in
the Teespring business since we were here a year ago, probably, at Affiliate World Asia? What were some of the developments
that have changed the business? Yeah, good question. I mean, a year is a long time or a short time, right,
depending how you look at it. We’re kind of going through a bit of a
transition phase at the moment at Teespring. We were just a fulfilment provider
back in the day, you know do the shipping, the printing, everything else. Teespring’s kind of reach that scale. We’re becoming more of a marketplace,
so we’re seeing a lot of people. it’s becoming a destination site essentially,
where people are coming, looking for products, you know. They’ve bought 20 million plus products before.
Not one person obviously, but people have bought so many products
and have so much engagement with the brand. The people are coming back and they’re shopping
and they’re looking on the homepage. If you go to Teespring’s homepage,
it has changed a lot. It’s more of a search functionality now, where people are going and looking for
those things that they’re interested in and they like, which essentially means
more free traffic for marketers. So you know, we’ve created out this marketplace.
We’re doing more sort of our own marketing boosting activities as well. So we’re actually seeing a lot of people that are just
throwing up designs in the marketplace, very much like what you would do in Amazon or eBay. You just put your designs on there
and let sales trickle in. And guys, I think Albert was telling me earlier
that he gets about 10-20% of your sales just from that traffic,
that organic traffic that’s looking for product so that, I think, is the biggest change. We’re also starting to introduce new products. We’ve had things like mugs, tote bags,
and that’s gonna kind of ramp up as we go so there’s gonna be things like yoga trousers,
yoga pants or leggings as we call them. So yeah, more products,
more organic sort of traffic for marketers. Yeah I mean, it’s interesting. Interesting times. Do you guys have any tips for people? You know, people starting out,
they’re gonna create a store on Teespring. Is there a way that you can think
to capitalise on this organic traffic better? Is it an SEO-type algorithm?
Is it really just about finding the right niches that people will search for? Is that really how you
get ahead in the organic game? Craig? Yeah I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about
how the mechanisms work with the SEO stuff but I think, definite tag your campaigns so when you’re launching
just tag them as whatever they are. If they’re sort of math-related
then tag obviously maths or whatever other tags
you think are relevant for that. And the titles and descriptions and things like that. I think we have a team of people
to curate stuff and move it up and down. The more traffic and more interest
the campaign is getting, obviously the more likelihood it has
of getting featured up in the searches. But I think the big one is just
putting more content out there, you know? The more content you’re getting out there,
the more value you’re providing to the ecosystem,
the more value you will get back essentially. And have any of these changes
that have happened in the past year, the addition of new products,
changed either of your businesses? Albert? Yeah, like I said before,
it attributes like 10 to 20% of the sales coming from the marketplace. But what about the other products?
Have you added any other products online? I did leggings, the pants, hats and mugs. Nice. So with the pants,
are people printing words on these or is it just patterns more or less,
like the crazy leg style? I started with the all-over print.
And it’s selling well. What are the pros and cons of selling on Teespring
and ecommerce in general? Ronnie, do you have
any overall thoughts on that? I’m the eternal optimist
so it’s just one big pro for me. The con is that I can’t
completely outsource everything. There is a bit of time where
I have to spend doing the ads, like just the management of it all. The pros, they’re numerous,
like all we’ve got to focus on is the design and running the traffic
and making sure that it’s manageable, sort of thing. You don’t have
the headache of fulfillment. Teespring takes care of customer service,
all that sort of stuff. So it’s great. It’s less headache.
I came from a background where I did everything in a new business,
from the pick and pack to uploading all the campaigns to just the nightmare of calling supplies
and getting that stuff on board. These guys take care of all that. Design and sell, it’s easy. Simple. How about you, Albert, any cons? We know it’s all pros. Any cons? The cons is maybe the limitation of the product priority at the moment
because of the scalability right? So at the moment they
have t-shirts, pants and stuff right, so the cons is that if you have your own
ecommerce store, then you can sell anything that you can find
on AliExpress or Alibaba, but with Teespring, no. But compared to the cons,
the pro for me is that you know, my night time
is the US day time and vice versa so it’s impossible for me
to take care of the customer service and I hate it. So I leave
that to Teespring and I do what I love, which is marketing, Facebook marketing. Talk a little bit about the geos.
What are the hot areas where your business is based, more or less,
when it comes to selling these products, international or is it
localised to where you live? Mine is like 95% based on US so if I have a winning design
I would try to sell it to Europe and usually you will see like
30-50% of increase in sales numbers. Yeah. Primarily the United States.
Everything is launched there first. I figure that with the process,
launching there is because there is such a
huge network of people that are targetable, if it takes off there then
just scale into other countries. It just comes in to the scalability of it all. United States, Australia and New Zealand,
everybody buys in the Western world, particularly if the message is close to the heart
which we’re aiming for anyways. Which you’re able to then
really target using Facebook. My next question is, what percentage does Facebook make
of your total marketing efforts. Mine is 100%. I don’t know about you. Well, 98% because they’re taking care
of the marketplace now. We don’t do much with that. Yeah, all Facebook. Have you tested any other source?
Mobile DSPs? No, I haven’t. Search marketing, nothing like that? No. We do see a lot of other people doing YouTube ads, Instagram,
Twitter, all sorts of stuff. Pinterest was actually, one of our biggest sellers in October
was a guy just using Pinterest ads. Absolutely killed it. So I think these are the kind of platforms
for advertising and driving traffic, they’re definitely coming online. I don’t think that’s being explored enough
in the affiliate side. So yeah, I think there’s
still massive, massive opportunity there. What’s your favourite feature,
what’s your favourite targeting feature on Facebook? Custom audience and lookalike audience. Yeah, lookalikes for sure. They kill it. You’ve got people in your custom audience
to build something off that so big and in this stage,
it’s typically just under 2 million, the audience that you get from that. But the audience may have been 40,000
when you initially started, so it grows pretty quickly So, Ronnie, you alluded to this earlier that, really, at the scale you guys are operating
it’s a volume game. You’re throwing up, would you say,
hundreds of ideas a week that you’re trying to get out there.
Talk a little bit about what your volume is, like how many ideas you’re throwing out there,
how much you’re throwing on the wall and then what percentage of that
will eventually stick. Well, it’s fluctuated.
So it’s gone from putting up 50 to 100 to doing, you know, less than that
so you get more quality in the concept and the design. They hit rate? It fluctuates too.
For me it’s inconsistent, but again what I say could be completely different
for somebody else that’s marketing on there. There’s more than one way to skin a cat
so you know, it’s a process. So for three weeks it might be that
we’re launching 50 to 100. If that doesn’t work,
we’ll drop it down and focus. We’re always iterating on what
we’re trying to do to get that consistency. So, talk a little bit about
your general testing process, Albert. Do you really focus in on niches early? Do you really think about about this in terms of
drilling down to the grandmothers who love football or those really specific markets?
Are you trying to cast a broader net and then learn from that and drill down after? yeah I started with a broader sensor,
like math and science, and then try to go deep further. Can you talk a little bit about the most niche?
Like what’s the most niche you’ve ever gone? You cannot do it nowadays, right. You can target the fence of a singer
or, yeah. I think that’s it. Any niche stories? Not particularly but you do
get some very interesting, targetable options. You know, roller derby, for example.
There can be roller derby grandmothers and then you can
intersect every which way and there’s a few other targets in
that niche that you can get into and probably sell really well. But yeah, Facebook, probably about
6 months ago, might even be 12 months now, they allowed you to start intersecting the audiences
to really break down that subset so instead of just making it broad
with every interest you put on there, you could put other interests,
say roller derby and then grandmother, and know that that audience is
going to like that share. Do you ever find niches that, I had a friend who was
experimenting on teespring and he was finding things that
people were sharing, people were sharing a lot
but they weren’t actually buying. Did you ever find that,
that you get people that are just really into a concept but they won’t
actually go all the way and make the purchase? How do you avoid that kind of thing happening? I mean, it often happens right? You have to really do
the quality of the research of the design, so if people are not buying,
it means that your design is not that interesting enough for them to put their money out. So you have to try another design. But that’s why nowadays I do video content because I’m not sure,
how many of you here do Facebook marketing? Yeah so if you do Facebook,
you know that you can create video content and then you can create
a custom audience out of the video, right? The video viewers. So if you run ads to your post and nobody buys, it’s still okay because you are building your assets,
which is your custom audience, and next time, if you want to sell another
designs on the same niche, you can target those audience. You’re investing, essentially.
You think about it long-term. Just going on what Albert was saying,
if there’s a lot of engagement and there’s no sales typically it means your design’s slightly off, like the concept,
like the message that you’re putting across is that it’s resonating,
the design’s just not working. You can go back and
get the design, to rework it. I haven’t really gone too far into that
but typically that’s what it is. They need to connect with it a little bit more. Craig, so when it comes to this opportunity, there’s a lot of affiliates in the audience that
might be thinking this is a good one for them. What are some of the top traits
that you think are really essential to make a good business out of Teespring? Yeah so somebody
actually asked me this the other day. If you look at the top 10% of sellers,
what are the common traits, and I would say it’s a mixture between
the creative brain and the marketer brain because you have to kind of, the creative side,
come up with something new and fresh that resonates with people, like Albert said,
the Pi day thing, right? That’s not something you can find
necessarily from your analytical brain. Maybe, yeah, you can find the
targeting is there and that supports the idea but the idea has to come from
that creative side of your brain. So that’s something that
some people struggle with. So perfect seller is half creative,
half analytical thinking. But what a lot of people do if they’re not one
or the other is they partner with somebody who is so we see a lot of people who work in pairs. One guy’s this creative idea-designer
most of the time, the other guy’s the marketer. I think that was with you and Suhail,
right? So that’s kind of a good trait. But I think, fundamentally, like every business, it’s just kind of that ability to push through, you know, when things don’t work.
Like, a guy that I work with very closely, he had 25 failed campaigns,
and they’re time-consuming to create designs and ads and everything
for them to fail. He had 25 failures and his 26th campaign?
He made, I think, $40,000 or something. Something like that. One campaign. It’s just that persistence,
you have to have that entrepreneurial spirit, and also the belief
that things are gonna work. I mean it’s not super easy, but I think for most
affiliate marketers they kind of have that mindset already, And that’s why they’re the prime people
that could do well in this business. But you have to have that sense of volume,
you have to be able to have that persistence. 10 years ago you’re running an ecommerce business.
You have 26 failures. You’re probably gonna be bankrupt whereas now, right, you
basically can just keep throwing stuff at the wall until one sticks
and not have a big loss. It’s exciting. So long as you’re following some kind of rule. It’s like trading the stock market
or something like that. You need your stop loss, basically.
You need to get in there and say, “I’m not going any deeper than $20 on this design”
or $40 or whatever that process says. So there’s no emotion in it.
You cut it and you move on to that next one. once you get your head around that,
you’re set because it takes so much out of it. Fear and greed is what drives the stock market.
It’s very similar to Teespring. You’re like, “It’s almost there.
The engagements are so good.” It gets really confusing when you’re in there
and you want it to sell. You put your heart and soul into this design but it doesn’t matter.
You have to let the audience speak and they will tell you in that $20, that’s my rule,
whether or not they want that shirt. How about you, Albert, do you have
any internal protocols like that? Do you have a number you could give
about what you’re willing to invest in a given idea? Yeah, I usually look at the number of
engagement, like comments and shares, and I set a limitation of $50 per design to test. So, it’s a wild card question here.
We live in an increasingly controversial world where people are divided.
What I’m interested in is have you ever tried t-shirt designs that sort of
walk that line of controversy and benefited from it? What’s your approach
when it comes to that kind of thing? So my best success
was with a local law in Australia. that’s the only time that I’ve really found
a trending design, like the Pi day. It’s not necessarily controversial but it’s
along those lines, like for the elections in the US that’s so passionate. If you were smart
or if your account allowed you to, you’d be able to get in there
and capitalise on it. There was a shirt, I can’t remember what it was
but it went phenomenally well. Something really basic, really silly. The journalists? Yeah. The journalists one. We see some, like in Europe obviously
with the whole Brexit thing. I’m from London.
We saw some really good shirts. It’s like, “I voted yes” “I voted no” kind of thing
and those did phenomenally well because people were quite keen to voice
which side of the fence they were on. So we see quite a lot of stuff like that. Those things always pop up
so if you can get in there early and then create the sort of offering
that people want, then it works. So you spoke a little bit about this,
about investing long-term in these opportunities. So that’s the way you think about it. Do you build longer term assets out of your
media buying? Do you grow your Facebook pages? Do you do a lot of remarketing, essentially?
Do you know that when someone’s bought a t-shirt, they become
a lot more likely to buy another? Yeah, my way of thinking is that
my facebook page is my asset and then my custom audience. Custom audience is the set of
audience that has ever bought from you or at least they have ever visited your page. So that’s why I focus mainly on two or three niches only
because I want to focus on building them so in the long run,
whatever I sell, I would sell to this group of audience first
before testing to the cold audience because this group of audience,
they are warm so they are more highly possible
to buy from you. Yeah, absolutely. So, are you able to
talk about your targeting, like have you ever had a campaign work
that’s been broadly targeted or is it just all about the hyper niche targeting? So if you start it,
you start with precise interests and when you start seeing sales
then you know you have the purchase event trigger at the Facebook pixel
and once you have the pixel triggered, you can leverage
on the website conversion objective so that you let the pixel work for you, so that’s
when you can target a broader audience. Because you’re relying on
built-in Facebook data. Yeah, right. It’s interesting and again it goes back
to your account and it’s a gut feel that the Facebook accounts,
they react differently so some people have sold incredibly well into the Second Amendment.
I’ve never been able to move a shirt there and I’ve tried that across multiple accounts.
It’s stuff like that like, I always target broad on an initial launch
and I always target specific and I’ll go into that in a little bit more
detail when I go through the slides but I sort of hedge my bets and go both ways, sort of thing. We just have a minute left here but is there
anything you can say about Facebook accounts? I worked for a gaming company
where I did user acquisition and getting accounts that were able to scale
was an issue. Do you have to sort of season
Facebook accounts heavily in order to get them to be able to
deliver high volume? Since I started, I only have one Facebook account. So far, no problem, as long as you
don’t sell trademark stuff. It’s okay. It’s a common idea within the realm
that you do have to season them and that didn’t sit well with me but we’ve had quite a few different
accounts over the years, 10 to 15 or so. But recently I wanted to debunk that myth, and I got in there and the very
first campaign I ran, I ended up scaling. Everything was cold.
I didn’t share any pixels, no shared audiences. There was nothing in there
that suggested that I had a leg up on anybody else that was just starting from scratch,
so I was quite happy with that. Yeah. That proves the opportunity is real, right?
People can jump in and test it. I want to thank everyone,
thank the panel here for a great conversation. We’ve got Ronnie staying on for a more
in-depth dive on some of his work. So again, thanks everybody
and we’ll see you again. Alright stay in your seats, people. Okay, so I’ll tell you
a little bit about myself first. I started back online in 2010
and I was doing basically a gilt.com style selling where I would
have campaigns last for a few days with countdown timers
and all that sort of stuff. There was a lead into
finding this marketplace with Teespring that, it felt every step that I was taking
was leading to something that allowed me to sell on a platform like Teespring. There’s a lot of people
I’ve been meeting through the crowd. It was social media management
that I was doing, and website design, and just trying to pay the bills.
I was not making any money doing it and when this opportunity presented itself, as I said before,
there was 6 months that I let go past where I just wasn’t going to do it
because I thought it was dodgy, which kind of sucks because that was 6 months.
I could have been learning and making a good amount of money. So with that, when I did get started, I launched
about 8 campaigns before I had a success and that success came with
a local law that was passed in Australia. I just came up with a slogan and ran this campaign.
It was so basic. I had a clip art image. I think I did the design
in PowerPoint or something. It wasn’t even a design programme.
And I put it on a shirt and decided to go on holidays up the coast
because we hadn’t had one up in about 3 years. We were up there. At that point,
I think the tipping point was 25. You had to sell 25 shirts
before you could make money, so you had to invest a lot of money
up front before you actually got paid. So that was a barrier to entry
for me for a while because from Bambino Brands,
which was a business I started in 2010, I managed to get myself
in a lot of debt, over $100k. Might not be that much to some people
but to me at that time I was always putting everything on credit cards.
I was doing the credit card shuffle. I just needed to pay these bills
and keep the wolf from the door long enough to find an opportunity
where I would pay that off. And luckily it came in the form of Teespring. So that campaign where I saw 25,
went on to sell, it was between 100 and 150. I think we spent about $300
and it was $1500 that was returned to us. And I got proof. I was like,
“Okay, this is worth looking at.” And I probably selfishly said,
“Suhail, you go take care of the websites. I will take care of Teespring.” So I went about launching
more and more campaigns. Nothing was working. And then luckily when I started,
there were these things called age campaigns. I’ve never ever seen so much money
pouring into my bank account as that time.
We were sitting in the back room. My business partner owns
a video shop in Nambour and I remember the first we scaled, like
there was 30 years of one design that we had put up and it went ballistic.
Every year was selling. It was incredible. You’d go to sleep at night,
actually you didn’t really want to, you just want to be there working,
getting more and more designs up, and you’d wake up in the morning
and you’d sell 800 shirts overnight. And the outlay was minuscule.
It could be hundreds of dollars. So at that time, still in debt,
I found every credit card that I just paid off and we just slam them.
We put them in Facebook. We just wanted to get as much fuel
to this fire as we possibly could. At one point, we had $45,000
out staying with Teespring. For a week, we were very, very nervous. We’ve never had payments of that
size come back through from them, and luckily, we came in one day
and we looked at our PayPal account and that payout was that 40 odd grand. These payouts were $10,000, $10,000
$10,000, $10,000, $2000. I thought I’d found the answer.
It was incredible, and that went on for about 6 weeks and we made over
$300,000 in that short a period of time. I think about a third of that was the ad spend. We decided to go to Bali. He got married.
We shut everything down. And when we came back, Facebook was
starting to clamp down on the age campaigns. I was always very whitehat about what I was doing,
always wanting to provide value. Facebook was very worried
about people feeling like they were being laser targeted with that sort of information. Just trying to work with Facebook to work out how we could make it
a little bit more of a symbiotic relationship. I still try, to this day, to get back
across that line where we can get these age campaigns running. So anyway, we went to Germany,
got everything translated into German and ran them again. We had another 10 days, over $100,000
and we’re doing incredibly well again but Facebook started shutting that down as well. There was a period there, probably 6 to 12 months
where we were doing it pretty tough. We couldn’t sell a share to save ourselves
because the most targeting we’d done with that was knocking somebody’s age. You know, 1953 shirt. You’d go in there.
Age, whatever it was. Male, female. And that would sell. So there’s no research in what we were doing. It was basically making a nice design, “German-engineered, built in 1953,
limited-edition” something like that. So that leads into the fundamentals
of having to do your niche research, which is going into your audience insights
and proving that the niche you want to go into is actually targetable. I spoke to a lot of people over the last couple of years
and they go the wrong way about it. They’ll have a niche in mind.
They’ll go and get the designs done. It’ll look fantastic. They’ll load it up.
They’ll go into Facebook and they’ll try targeting it, and there’s nothing available
for them to actually hit, so they’ve wasted all that energy in that time instead of just doing this
little bit of research to start with. So how we find out about
actually knowing if it’s targetable is the audience insights.
Once you know you’ve got a few interests there you want to target 5 to 10 niches
and get 3 to 5 different designs. This is probably the initial step that you
want to take when you’re getting started. You’re hedging your bets but you’re giving yourself a good chance of actually selling
something in there, and quite a few, if you’ve done your research properly. So when you go to audience insights,
which is obviously an option in business manager on the left-hand side there,
you’ll see where you put in the additional entry. So I’ve targeted very broadly to start with
and this is just to throw up and get an idea of whether or not it’s targetable, for starters. So if you wanted to do something like roller derby,
you’d go in there and type in “roller derby” typically a broad interest is always capitalised and then on the right-hand side,
you go at the top there and hit page likes and then on the left-hand side again,
it throws up by relevance to start with, so you’ll see down there,
there’s a list of Facebook pages and typically if there are
over a 100,000 in the audience, they’ll be targetable when you go in
to actually do it in your business manager. so what you do to actually research is
go into every single one of those. You want to get a good list
of all the different targets you could possibly hit, so targets that will tell you
if there’s a buying behavior behind it, so if there’s websites,
they tend to be a really good one. It shows that they are incredibly passionate.
They’ve probably purchased online before so they’re not new to buying online,
which is ultimately what we want them to do. Then once you’ve gone through those 20 pages
you can go to the Affinity and do the same thing. It’s not often that the
left-hand side changes that much. You may find another one or two pop up,
but once that happens, you can like the page particularly if you’re passionate about it. I don’t love sewing but down the bottom here,
once you like the page, and I’ve liked it there,
I don’t like it, just to be clear. I’ll un-like it pretty much after I’ve done this step.
You just go down there and then you start opening up all those pages,
and you start building this huge targetable network of interests
of these people that you want to hit, and through this,
when you look at these pages, you’ll see the types of
posts that they’re putting up, seeing what they’re engaging on, the language,
and just seeing what makes them tick because every niche, whether it be
cycling, bikers, rowers, roller derby, they all have a particular way of speaking,
and if you get down into that, it’s going to make it feel like,
when you get that design on the shirt, it’s saying something about them.
It’s speaking for them. So once you’ve exhausted that,
and it’s not very often that you can, unless it’s a really small niche, once you’re get in those bigger ones,
like sewing, you could be there for days. You just want to get a good handful
where you target a few 100,000 people so when you launch this ad,
you can launch into it. In saying that though,
you can have a lot of success in just having 10,000-15,000 people,
but it’s so highly targeted that when you run this t-shirt to them,
it will sell like hotcakes ’cause chances are, people typically like me
don’t want to touch something that low because there’s a lot more energy
and doesn’t fit in with the overall process. So with your niche research, again
using Google, it’s endless to find more targets. Reddit forums or Facebook groups as well,
Pinterest and so on. The design concepts that you’re looking for,
particularly when starting, is you want to go basic, unless you have
a good understanding of your niche already. With cycling, for instance,
if you’re heavily involved with that there’s a really good brand
that gets around called Psychology, and their graphic designing, there’s just something about that brand
that speaks so passionately for them. That’s when you can start using designs
that are a little bit more in-depth and design-heavy. These shirts have no doubt probably sold,
but the people who are selling them have worked in those niches
for quite a long time to get a good understanding of what they’re after. The other thing that I don’t like about these shirts,
I’m talking about on a broad kind of scale, is that they’re too busy.
Can you read it? You want to be able to read it from a good distance away
because, after all, it is speaking for them and they’re wearing this shirt
because they want to be heard and they want you to know
what they’re passionate about. What I try to do is
get a handful of design concepts and have them in a folder. When I say design concepts,
it’s designs that have sold, not that you just like. It could be both. But just have them ready, so when you
send your design request to your designer they’re going to send something back
that’s close to what you want. These couple of shirts have
both sold a couple thousand each. “Is my bike okay?” I came up with that saying
in one of our Facebook groups. I ran a competition to find out
what they wanted on a shirt and what I found is that
everybody’s crashing their bikes, everybody’s spending a lot of money
on their bikes, in some cases a lot more than the car they’re driving, and when they come off, “Is my bike okay?” is the first thing
that comes out of their mouth. And the fact that I just turned it upside down,
I’m a pretty funny guy if you talk to me. But yeah, it’s a little bit humorous
and humor sells. “Yes, I do have a retirement plan. I planned on skiing.” We scaled that out
as far and wide as we possibly could and it made a lot of money, and the design on it
was so very basic, as you can tell. We’d go rowing, roller derby,
and all we’re doing is changing out the clip art. It’s still speaking so strongly for them. So once you’ve got your designs all together
we go into the ad setup, and with your process,
which I keep talking about, having a very particular ad set up and structure
is what’s going to allow you to think less about the actual process of getting as
many campaigns up as possible. So as Albert was saying when he was up here, there’s no one way that’s correct,
that’s going to sell, and I think if you’ve had
success in the affiliate world, you’ll find that it’s true. You’ll be successful if you just
follow the fundamentals, basically. So within Facebook,
what we’ve got and the three main types that everybody uses,
engagements, conversions and traffic. So these have just recently changed their names. It used to be page post engagements,
website conversions and clicks to website. So my preferred method, and I am
playing around with the process at the moment, is website conversion page post.
So that’s going into your Facebook page. You’re posting a couple of ads up on there, just like you would if you are
updating your status on that page, and then you run traffic to it.
You come into business manager. At the top there, you’ll see
my naming structure as well, and this is something I’ve figured out
over the last couple of years. This is what I use that’s
the best way of tracking for me. So I’ve got the series number,
the series name, the niche platform, the country I’m targeting,
whether it’s a broad or specific ad, or the interest, and then the variable that I’m
putting on the end to track. And then going into conversions,
the good thing about this naming convention is that I can go into business manager, search AAA1, and it brings up
every ad that I’ve got relating to that campaign. And when I do that, I just run through,
look at the variables, cross-check that with Teespring and ensure that there’s campaigns in there that I can either bump the budget on,
I can cut, or just run as is. So from this screen, you’ve got the
conversions that I’m selecting. You go into putting your pixel on there
which there’s a lot of controversy around this again. Add to Cart pixel works well for a lot of
people, and for me it’s the purchase pixel. I don’t know why I started
working with that. It was a brand new account, like I said to Eric before. I had a lot of success
right from the get-go, with this ad account, so I’ve stuck with the purchase pixel
and it continues to work very well for me. From there you start your targeting. Above here you would have had
the age, gender, that stuff, and here you go into your targeting.
So I always run two ads when I first launch and this will be a broad ad and a specific ad. In here, I’ve got pattern, sewing, sewing machines.
So these targets that I’m hitting, they are still broad in that niche
but not so broad that they may have said sewing once on Facebook
and they may fall into that audience. So people will typically
only be talking about a sewing pattern if they’ve got some interest in sewing themselves,
and sewing machines, same deal. So when you look across all the niches,
you’ll find your broad interest by targeting the capitalised options
you have there, and typically you’ll get audiences with millions in them,
and I like millions, not just in the audience that you can target. You’re hedging your bets
with running these two ads as well because Facebook’s getting
very, very smart in its algorithm where you can put something up
that’s got 14 million people in the audience and you’ll still get conversions coming back
that are profitable for you and allow you to build your custom audiences and then obviously scale out from there. So scale with your budgets, throwing them up,
building your lookalikes off that and so on. With millions, I’m very comfortable
getting the budgets up quite high and letting them run.
It’ll just bring in the money. Then you go down to your placements.
Now I always go Facebook news feeds, so that’s mobile and desktop.
You can separate them and I’m seeing more and more recently that mobiles are by far and away
leading all the conversions. So that might be changing very soon
as to what I’ll be doing in terms of targeting. So then the budget for the day,
I run all these ads for two days each, $10 per day, so I’ll go $40 down
on an ad or a campaign before I know whether or not I’m going to cut it. Very, very rarely will I let it go past $40
unless there’s something that I’m seeing that is suggesting to me
that there is a good chance that it’s going to sell if I
leave it running a little bit longer. But for the most part, sticking by that stop loss is what’s going to make you
the money in the long run. You’ll see there that the audience,
the potential reach, is 1.6 million so you’ve got quite a few people in there.
Also I am rather lazy. I don’t like doing a lot of work. Everything’s based on ROI and the process. I haven’t been playing around with the
optimisation, the conversion window, bids amount. People are doing manual bidding at the moment,
and I mean, I’m making good money but there’s a lot of people out
there, they’re making a heck of a lot more by playing around with that. But I like the freedom.
I get to spend a lot of time with my family. That’s what’s important to me. So going further into it,
I always run two ads as well. I want to know I can track these things.
It’s probably not the best cloaking URL, as people can see
what sort of traffic’s on it, but running Google links with the variable on there,
there are better ways of doing it, but again, I haven’t delved too much into it.
Simple copy. Luckily for us we are when you’ve got a really good selling shirt,
copy really doesn’t matter too much. You just don’t want it to be spammy, like
if you come from the black art world, you might be putting red backgrounds on there,
making it as ugly as possible just to make it stand out from Facebook’s blue.
So here I’ve pre-loaded these, obviously, and then you just upload
and launch it and let it run. So the process, I’ve got certain launch days,
those ad setups that I was talking about. I manage the campaign every second day.
I don’t play around the budgets all too often. If it’s dying off, I’ll let it go
a couple of days before I decide to bring that back in or turn it off.
On the flip side, if it’s starting to sell really well, recently I had a campaign,
I’d spent $5 that day and it had sold 30 units. So that was the best result
I’ve ever had from such a low budget. And the next day I had $15 on one and it sold 42,
so there’s a couple of happy days there. In email days, everything falls into
a particular process, so as you’ll see here, I’ve got a tree, if you like,
of how my campaign launch works. It’s basically a recap of everything
I’ve just said, so take a photo. I’ve worked on this for the last 2 years
with a business partner to try and get this repeatable. So through here again,
two conversion ads, broad, specific, broad targeting a couple of live interests,
getting a few million in there, even the specific, I like having
a few million in there, but typically over 200,000 is comfortable
for me to run ads into. From there, $10 a day budget,
both ad spend, $20. What do you do from there
if it’s got no sales? You absolutely kill it. 1 to 2 sales, you leave it as is.
What I have seen happen in the past is that 1 or 2 days in after this period,
you’ll start seeing that starts picking up so then you get to bump that budget
or it might just stay. You’re making a little bit money on those 1 to 2 sales off the $20,
and you just let it run until it fizzles out or something happens in
Facebook’s algorithm that it finds that subset in the audience that you’re
targeted where it just actually takes off. From there, once you’ve bumped the budget
or left as is on that day too, if it’s selling, you want to start retargeting it and making sure you’re getting those people
funneling into your website custom audience which allows you to do that retargeting.
And again we have two retargeting ads we typically work on,
which I’ll talk about a little bit later on. If we got time. So with a scaling, we’ve got budgets
which are working the best for me at the moment, along with the lookalike audiences,
your WCA’s page, your 1%, 2%, 3% lookalikes, and then you’ve got 2 to 3%,
3 to 4% and so on. And so when you just go 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, those audiences will start getting
really, really, really big and really broad, and I haven’t had too much success with that
whereas at 2% to 3%, the ones to all that, it’s taking that subset
so you’re not overlapping audiences. Interests, I haven’t had much
luck with that lately, but again that’s my ad account
and all add accounts are different so this is just giving you options
of what you can do when you’ve got a campaign that you can scale
then you got your objectives, and then you’re narrowing of
genders, ages, placements, your regions, countries, all that sort of stuff
so when you look at this there are so many different options for scaling.
It’s almost endless, like it’s variable after variable that you’ve got through there
that’s going to allow you to scale a campaign far and wide, so when you get
a good ad, a good campaign, it’s viral, this thing will take off. It’ll be like wildfire. You just want to throw
as much fuel into this thing as possible. With the lookalikes, you’ve got
just off the WCA’s and pages there, you’ve got 20 audiences that you
can run straight up $5 a day budget and when it’s really, really good,
it’s one of those unicorns that I was talking about, that thing is going to convert
on every ad you put in front of it and that means money in your bank. So like I was saying before, stick to
your proven method and take the thinking out of it. Process is everything.
You just got to cut it when it’s not going to work and the reason I keep harping on
about that is because, in the Facebook groups in regards to
running shirts in Teespring, is I’ve got these metrics. My CPM’s are this much,
my click-through rate is this, my page based engagement is 1%.
Why have I got no sales? How much did you spend? $60.
Great. You just lost $60. You’ve learned something.
You’ve learned a lot but you’ve also lost that money that you’ve been
putting on a shirt that’s going to sell. Retargeting, we run 14-day retargeting audiences,
which is really putting the heat on people to buy. “Don’t forget to order.”
“Last call for orders is a 14-day audience.” “Get yours before they’re gone.”
and that typically converts really well. That’s putting the heat
on these people to take that action. Make them look at that countdown timer.
That is helping you sell these shirts. 180-day audience, so 6 months. “Did you forget about me?”
“Did you forget to order?” It’s just reminding them. It’s typically a
fairly low budget with a high ROI and both of these
you’re building lookalikes off anyway, but it’s basically just mopping up
those sales on the tail end of a campaign, making sure you’re squeezing
everything out of these things as possible. Your budgets, anything under 100 is $3 a day.
Anything 500 to 1000 in the audience, $5 a day. 1000+, $10 a day, and on that, maximising profits. So once you got a campaign
that’s going really, really well, you want to put more fuel on that fire,
give them more options, retargeting with different options. Stickers is a good one.
Mugs, caps, leggings. Albert’s adding those things to his campaigns successfully. Open stores. So on Teespring,
you need 3 products in that niche before you can open a storefront,
name it, make it all pretty, and then once you open your storefront,
what happens is in Teespring’s algorithm, they will start cross-selling for you. “Such-and-such who bought this also bought that.” And it’s a good way to make profit
on that back side. You can also give them offers like,
“$5 off if you buy now.” All those sorts of things. And then emails. You can hit these
people 3 times a week, so that maybe for the same shirt.
There may be 4 different shirts in that niche but it’s definitely something, just another avenue
for you to bring in extra revenue. So that pretty much sums up my process
and how I run my business, I guess. So, thank you!

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