SFR 70: Ecomm Funnels! Special Interview with Bryan Bowman

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Amazon, Walmart, Etc. Secrets of the ecommerce world …

ClickFunnels

What’s going on, everyone? This is Steve Larsen and you’re listening to another fantastic episode of Sales Funnel Radio. Now, this episode is part three of our six-part series where I’m diving deep into the six different categories of people using ClickFunnels to blow up their businesses.

This episode is all about eCommerce and there’s a lot of ways to pull off eCommerce, there’s a lot of ways to do it, and a lot of questions that everyone know who’s in eCom has the answer from their beginning. Am I going to self-fulfill? Am I going to drop ship? Am I going to go for high ticket, low ticket, high volume? Am I going to brand it?

Is it just going to be a straight sell and one off? Is it going to be community behinder? Am I going to be the brand behind it?

There’s a lot of things involved with eCommerce much like any business but I think I really enjoy what my guest today has to offer. I would take notes, see how he’s doing it. He’s got a great community behind him called ecomunderground.com and he’s got a cool little offer for you guys at the end which I think you’ll enjoy. Anyway, massive value, it’s free for you so anyway, I think you guys will enjoy it.

Let’s jump into this episode and we got three others coming up deep into the industries that I know out of one of the six applies directly to your business. I hope you guys will enjoy the series so far, let’s jump right into it.

Announcer:

Welcome to Sales Funnel Radio where you’ll learn marketing strategies to grow your online business using today’s best internet sales funnels and now, here’s your host, Steve Larsen.

Steve Larsen:

All right, guys. How is it going? I have with me a very special guest today and honestly one of my favorite categories of sales on the internet in general, very excited to learn more of the deep, dark ninja secrets of how to make this work. We’re going to talk about eCom strategies today with the expert and my friend, Bryan Bowman.

How are you doing, man?

Bryan Bowman:

I’m doing amazing. How are you doing, Steve?

Steve Larsen:

I’m doing awesome, living the dream. Doing really good. Hey, thanks for being on the show here, like I say and eCom is probably one of my favorite, one of my favorite personal category for income generation, whether someone doing it on the side or it’s a full-time thing.

What a lot of people would probably realize is that when Russell went out and hired this data scientist to come through and look up through all the users of ClickFunnels and try and find patterns, eCom was actually the highest revenue generating industry overall out of all of them.

Everything, info products, I mean anything. If you guys want to pay attention, I mean, get a piece of paper out, take notes.

Bryan is going to drop some massive gold here and super excited for you guys to learn more about eCom which is a space I’m personally very interested in as well.

Anyways, Bryan, if you can just let us know how did you even get into eCommerce? It’s a newish industry as far as kind of the wave of the internet taken over things.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, yeah, for sure, man. I mean, first of all, just to back up what you’re saying, there is something really powerful about selling physical products.

Steve Larsen:

It’s so cool.

Bryan Bowman:

This is something that I’ll talk about a little bit but I do want to talk about how you don’t have to choose one or the other and this is really what a big part of my message is right now because it’s what we’re doing in our brands and it’s what’s working in my community with my students is that what I have found, because I’m really, really entrenched in the physical product sellers universe or world. There is this mindset that it has to be one or the other.

Where I’m really shaking things up is I’m telling people that we can have it all and physical products have their own power but info products have their own power as does a third category of product that I’m going to encourage those who really want to build a well-rounded business and a business that’s going to be sellable and build an empire that I think they need to have as well.

We’ll leave that for a minute and I’ll answer your question, I’ll answer the first part of this which kind of like my backstory. Yeah, man, I’ve been involved in selling I guess products online or physical products for a long time.

For me, it was really a hobby like literally all the way back to college I was buying, it was crazy, I would buy books and I still to this day I’m understanding why this worked but it’s still a little confusing to me. I would buy books on eBay and then turn around and sell them on Amazon. The quickest arbitrage ever.

Steve Larsen:

It’s straight up arbitrage, that’s awesome.

Bryan Bowman:

That is available to everyone like everyone can go on eBay but I mean, I’m kind of joking like not understanding why. I mean, it’s because of the confidence Amazon has.

ecommercePeople trust Amazon so much so some people feel like a little sketchy about eBay, maybe they don’t want to buy from there and literally I would buy textbooks for five bucks and sell them for 55 on Amazon. It was crazy.

 

Steve Larsen:

Geez.

Bryan Bowman:

That was like a little side gig in college but I’ve been always leveraging the internet to sell physical products but really where it got really serious for me was about four years ago and for some of your listeners, they maybe selling on Amazon or maybe they’ve heard about this Amazon gold rush that’s happening and four years ago it’s kind of the wild west.

I mean, FBA was around but not a lot of people were using it. That’s where I started and basically FBA is where you can send in all your products to Amazon. They fulfill the orders and you just create the brand and ship everything off and then list on Amazon. Now, that was awesome.

You’re leveraging Amazon’s traffic which is very cool.

At the time, I need to figure out what I was going to do because we’ve talked about this a little bit, Steve. My wife was having some health issues and we were just trying to figure out what do we do because I needed to be home more, there’s no way I could keep working my corporate job as actuarial consultant like traveling all over the place.

I needed to figure out a side hustle that was going to make some extra money and ultimately free me from my job and that’s really why I double down.

Literally I would work all day long in a cubicle like nine to five either traveling, doing actuarial stuff, come home, eat dinner, and from like 7 PM till 3 in the morning, I was creating listings, working with my designers in Germany.

Then I was talking to manufacturers in China at 1 AM because they are like on the complete opposite time as us in the U.S. and I’d be Skyping with them, seeing the factory, seeing samples. It was crazy.

That’s how we launched our first brand on Amazon and started leveraging that platform and really pretty quickly I think maybe because I had that actuarial background and understood the numbers which is another huge, huge thing guys.

Those of you listening, I don’t care what you’re selling in your funnels and whatever industry you’re in, you have to know your numbers. People usually don’t like to talk about math, they shy away from it but you need to know basic stuff, cost per conversion, lifetime value of a customer, your cost of goods, those metrics they are going to separate you from the pack because of that very reason, no one else wants to think about those things.

Steve Larsen:

It’s true, then you have to think about Excel sheets and that’s hard and you have to think about … It’s kind of a big locked gate, a little bit to that industry a little bit.

Bryan Bowman:

Exactly, exactly. Listen, I love barriers to entry, it’s why I became an actuary. I became an actuary, for those of you who don’t know what it is, don’t worry. If you have kids or brothers or sisters who are really good at math, tell them to go be an actuary if they are not going to become professional sellers online like internet marketer or sellers.

Basically, having that background in stats and math, it helped me with my advertising on Amazon, ultimately, it now helped me with my Facebook advertising and in AdWords like understanding those numbers. I can’t stress enough how important it is. If you’re not that person, find somebody who’s really good with numbers.

Steve Larsen:

How would I find someone like that? I mean, because that is a barrier, you know what I mean? That’s a personal barrier to entry. How would I find some dude that actually go out and do that kind of thing?

Bryan Bowman:

I mean, we could have a whole conversation about this. I use VAs so what I do is I will set up the basic spreadsheet and then I have them, I train them on how to download reports, upload the reports and send me a summary so that I just get like an executive summary about every week.

Steve Larsen:

Okay.

Bryan Bowman:

They do the work that probably most of us, I mean, I don’t really like, I kind of like being in spreadsheets but not all day.

Steve Larsen:

Right.

Bryan Bowman:

What they’re good at like because I have SOPs in place they can download the reports that are already, this certain reports that are already set, they can upload them, they can refresh the workbooks and basically, just send me the summary that’s already built in to the workbook and then I just can have a look at it, overview it and then make any changes that need to be made.

There are plenty of people Upwork, you can go to, what is it now? Is it Elance? Is that what it’s called now?

Steve Larsen:

Freelancer.

Bryan Bowman:

I mean, like I said I train my VAs one on one so I use onlinejobs.ph.

Steve Larsen:

Cool.

Bryan Bowman:

Even if you want to hire someone domestically like in the U.S. look at community colleges like see if there’s some math students or someone who’s in a business program, someone who’s technical that’s looking to pick up a few extra hours.

I think it’s important to have that person whether it’s you or not in the business though because it’s huge.

Steve Larsen:

I believe there are eCom people that I’ve talked to or some of these, that is the thing. It seems like there’s a big difference between them who’s successful and the others who aren’t. Just merely knowing the numbers and tracking the numbers in each campaign.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, because then it just turns into a simple yes or no like, “Is this profitable?” Yes or no. “Should I double down on this?” I mean, especially if you need to make a quick turn around on your ad spend, I mean, if you have to put a $100 in today and you need to make it back in 48 hours because capital is limited and you can’t wait 30 days to see your return, it is critical that you know your numbers and you know what your yes and your no is and when you need to double down and when you just stop your ads.

Going back, I think because I leverage that, we had probably quicker success probably the most. I loved Amazon, it was awesome like we’re doing really well really quickly but then my daddy used to always say, “No matter how thin the pancake there’s always two sides.”

That couldn’t be any more true with Amazon, you can have this great thing going but then we got hit with, man, I don’t even want to get into the whole story because it brings up too much pain but I do remember waking up, it was a Tuesday morning, I checked my seller app and I’m like, “Wait a second, this is already a slow morning.

I don’t know about this.” I went back to the desktop, checked and sure enough like our number one product had been blocked then our seller account was shut down. It took forever to get that back. It was just one thing after another and through all that pain, I really figured out, it became very apparent like I cannot depend on Amazon. I have to build my own sandbox.

Amazon can be a spoke in the wheel but it cannot be the entire wheel. That’s when I really double down on the funnels, honestly that’s when I was looking for the best way to build funnels, how do I start because I had used them before but never really to the extent that I’m using them now. I just wanted to build that off Amazon strategy because I already had the brands in place. I was like, “All right, I need to build my sandbox.”

That’s how I started using ClickFunnels and I guess it was at the time it felt like a curse but ended up being the biggest blessing for us because now we’ve been able to really diversify our sales and really develop a repeatable strategy.

It’s good, it’s all good, man. I’m excited. I think it’s interesting how this happens where some of our most painful times end up being the things that give us the most power and give us the most ability to make a difference and make a change.

Steve Larsen:

You said something that I thought was really interesting. I mean, you’re basically describing the equivalent of the Amazon slap, the Google slap.

Bryan Bowman:

Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Steve Larsen:

There’s a lot of people who I’ve spoken as well, they say like, “Just leave it on Amazon. All you need is Amazon.” I mean, you just said the exact opposite that you realized that you can’t do that. What advantage did you gain by not just staying on Amazon, by actually going off of it?

Bryan Bowman:

Absolutely, there are a lot of advantages but there’s one that’s the one that you should, all your listeners and you and everyone should write down, it’s two x versus eleven x. That’s all you need to know. Your Amazon business, if you have a purely Amazon based business where all your revenue is coming from Amazon, you can expect on the market when you go to sell that business, about a two x return on earnings.

Steve Larsen:

Really?

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah. If you have a business off Amazon, Shopify, big commerce ClickFunnels which by the way those listening, you can run an entire eCommerce business on ClickFunnels. It’s one of the biggest misconceptions that I find.

Steve Larsen:

It’s so true, thank you for saying that.

Bryan Bowman:

People, they think for some reason I don’t know why and this is one of the things that I make sure I always educate people on in my community inside of eCom Underground is like it’s a shopping cart. You can put everything in there. You can run an entire eCommerce store there. I compare it to basically a Costco versus a personal shopper.

A Costco is like your Shopify store where you’re walking around, you have a big shopping cart and you can throw a bunch of stuff from the rafters into your shopping cart and check out. That’s a Costco. Whereas a funnel or ClickFunnels is it’s like a personal shopper.

When you walk in, you go to Neiman Marcus and they’re curating goods just for you and the goods that you’re going to see are different than the ones that I’m going to see because we have a different build, we have a different taste, we have different age. You’re a man, if I’m a woman, you’re going to see different things. That’s the experience of a funnel so that’s why they convert so much better.

The two x is of your Amazon, eleven x, if you build that business on Shopify, if you build that business on ClickFunnels, BigCommerce, whatever, you can expect a ten to eleven x return on earnings when you go to sell that business. The market reflects the risk inherent in having a purely Amazon business.

Steve Larsen:

That’s amazing, that’s amazing. I never thought about that. I’ve got a buddy who just sold for a ton of money in the eCom space and I was like, “Man, that’s remarkable at how big that thing scaled, how fast.” It was exactly what you said, he wasn’t just staying on Amazon itself.

I’ve heard from a lot of people, “Make sure you are in Amazon,” but just like you’re saying, you can’t leave the whole cake on Amazon itself.

Bryan Bowman:

Absolutely. The best analogy guys is imagine you’ve been doing marathon. Have you been in marathon, Steve?

Steve Larsen:

I’ve been in a sprint triathlon.

Bryan Bowman:

All right, do you know when a marathon when you have all the people on the side and they’ve got the waters and like the herd. It’s like this massive, all these people are running, right? They are just like, people are holding out cups and they are just grabbing cups and water splashing everywhere.

Steve Larsen:

Yeah.

Bryan Bowman:

That’s what I compare Amazon to. We’re the ones with our cups and we’re charging for them and there’s this like all these people coming and they’re grabbing our cups and they’re drinking them. It’s like yes, I get rid of all my cups but they’re gone, they are just running.

You don’t even know who they were. Whoever was running the marathon, they’ve got the entry numbers, the emails, the phone numbers, they know everything but you’re basically just hanging out on the side lines with your cup of water.

That’s kind of what Amazon is like and you’re just waiting for the next herd of traffic that’s going to buy your stuff. That’s cool.

Steve Larsen:

It’s a really good analogy.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, that’s what it feels like. Then you’re just waiting, you’re like, “All right, hopefully the next marathon comes.” The marathon by the way is called Q4. As opposed to building a business, and this is what I always tell people, what is your business? When you really think about it, it’s not your inventory, it’s not your sales or your profit or revenue, it’s your customers, your customer list.

That’s why the market reflects that big difference in building that on Amazon versus off Amazon business so it’s critical to have that ability to have that relationship with your customers.

That’s probably above anything, that is the biggest reason why you’d want to build something off of that marathon platform.

Steve Larsen:

Sure, and what’s funny too is like anyway, I love the analogy that the customer is the business. Amazon takes all that, it take all that data. You can’t really get that data, can you? You’re just selling stuff.

Bryan Bowman:

Exactly. I mean, and they understand it. They understand the power in the customer that’s why they keep it and in fact, they have a lot of things in place to keep you from driving traffic off the platform.

They make their terms of service very open-ended so that they can really suspend you for any reason. It’s kind of one of the dirty secrets like no one really knows that. It’s interesting, when you first start selling on Amazon it’s like it’s so exciting because a lot of people like me were just like, “Hey, I need to build a business, an income that replaces my day job.”

Every advanced Amazon seller you talk to will tell you the same thing. It’s always this worry in the back of their mind. Again, fortunately, this is a mindset thing is to really, really see the blessing in the pain sometimes.

Fortunately, I went through some of these pain early on which forced me to have to become something else and have to learn something else which is again turned into the biggest blessing for us.

Steve Larsen:

I mean, someone once told me that for every dollar spent online, Amazon is so big that a quarter of that dollar is going to Amazon right now.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, that’s crazy. One out of four dollars spent online is spent through Amazon or one of their companies.

Steve Larsen:

That is huge, absolutely massive.

Bryan Bowman:

If you really think about that.

Steve Larsen:

I know, you think about how much money that really is it’s like oh my gosh, that’s amazing but you’re saying, obviously put some stuff on there just to be present but then keep the bulk of the business offline. How are you actually building it offline? I mean, not offline but off of Amazon.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, exactly. This takes me to my next point which I touched on earlier. Stephen, this is all the stuff I really I just I talk about all the time inside of eCom Underground because I just really want to open people’s eyes to something else, like a different opportunity, different possibility.

The first thing you have to do, it’s nice that someone says, “Great, build off Amazon, you can do better,” but how, right? The first thing is it’s a mindset shift in how you’re going to build your business.

If you’re looking to just sell general store type stuff or you just want to sell one off products that are hot sellers, maybe Amazon is a good fit or maybe some free plus shipping funnel, that’s fine but long-term, we need to really build an asset.

The way I like to think of it is shifting from commodity to community. This is something I repeat over and over and over again because as long as you’re selling a widget and all widgets are the same, and the person who comes to your store sees it as another widget, you’re competing on price. That’s all you’re competing on.

Steve Larsen:

Which is awful.

Bryan Bowman:

It’s awful. It’s awful. The life cycle of your product is shorter and it’s not going to last as long before someone’s going to undercut you. I mean, there’s plenty of people that are doing this, they’re literally making pennies on the dollar like a profit and they’re just trying to do the volume play.

I hope you consider this. Imagine you’ve built up a community instead, people who’ve rallied behind an interest or a common shared like passion or even an expert or a personality so it take for example, I was talking to my sister about this. One product that you would never want to sell right now by the way, if you’re going to go on Amazon, it’s completely saturated, measuring cups, kitchen utensil like measuring cups, you would never sell that.

Maybe if you did, I don’t know, maybe you could, I wouldn’t. Margins aren’t big enough and it’s too competitive. It would make no sense. Then I was talking to my sister, she loves to cook.

She’s passionate about cooking and she follows this, oh what’s her name?

Cupcake Jemma, okay. She follows her and she loves Cupcake Jemma and she loves the content Cupcake Jenna puts out and follows all her videos and all these stuff.

I asked her, I said, “If Cupcake Jemma came out with measuring cups that were twice the price of whatever you could find on Amazon, and the lowest price that you could find out there, would you buy the ones from Cupcake Jenna or would you price shop so you can get cheaper ones?” She’s like, “No, I’ll just buy hers.” Why? “Because I know that’s what she uses or I know it’s her. It’s her.”

She’s getting to experience something of that community, of that interest, of that passion, right? When we start building communities and it doesn’t necessarily have to have an expert at the front end. I like if it does because there’s an attractive character that we can follow but if we can just build a community first, I learned this from Todd Brown, then the sale becomes superfluous because the messaging and the marketing is so good and people are craving to be a part of something.

I don’t know how else to explain it. If you start with the community then you can start introducing the physical products because people will actually start asking you for it. When we start building our communities and there’s a lot of different ways you can build them. You can use Facebook pages, Facebook groups.

There’s a lot of different ways you can do it but the point is people will start asking you. You could do it on YouTube, they’ll start looking at the videos and they’ll be like, “What’s that shirt you’re wearing? What’s that thing you’re using?” They already want to know.

Before we ever start pitching any physical products, people will start asking us for them like, “Oh, it would be cool if,” let’s say you’re in the running niche, “If you could come up with a patch,” like I love running, running addict, or whatever it is, they’ll start asking you first which is awesome. That’s like a very good thing.

Steve Larsen:

Crazy.

Bryan Bowman:

You start with the physical product but this is where I’m going to challenge you, probably not you but your listeners is to go a step further. Who says we only have to sell physical products? Let’s get into the information space also. We can sell training.

There’s a lot of information that we can still be a part of and even if we’re not selling it, we can form affiliate agreements with people where we can present relevant products and this is how we build our funnels relevant products that are information based because we need those higher margins to sustain the business.

One of the dirty secrets about eCommerce is you only really get paid when your business is flat.

When the business is growing, growing, growing, you’re operating in let’s say 30% margins, you’re going to pay for the inventory because there’s cost of goods, you’re going to pay for the inventory shipping fulfillment, all that stuff. If you made a 100,000 this month, you want to make 200,000 next month.

Steve Larsen:

Don’t grow.

Bryan Bowman:

You got to roll that money back in so you can pay for all that inventory and everything else associated with it. That’s how you end up making five million dollars a year in eCommerce and you’ll pay yourself 200 grand because you can’t pay yourself very much but as soon as the business goes flat and you stop growing, then there’s cash you can pull out.

One of the things is if you can start adding information, and the third piece if you can add software which is awesome because you can have this trifecta inside of your community, now you can really start getting cash into the coffers and really start getting more cash flow coming in and let the eCommerce side build on its own and double down on that.

Steve Larsen:

That’s awesome. I think it’s really cool. I run the Two Comma Club Coaching Program right now and it’s been a lot of fun but that’s been one of the big questions, so I’m going to read the book Experts Secrets from Russell Brunson. Say like, “Hey, this is just for webinars.” You’re like, “No, no, no.”

Bryan Bowman:

No way.

Steve Larsen:

No, it’s not. If you look at it carefully, he’s just using a webinar as an example of how to actually use the Expert Secret process but if you’re to take an eCom product and combine it with info or combine it with something else or software or whatever it is, that’s one of the easiest ways to create a blue ocean for yourself because no one else is thinking about that combination or taking information and then … Actually with the Experts Secrets funnel itself, the actual book funnel, we do this all the time.

We will combine just like you’re saying, “Hey, here’s this cool eCom thing, this cool products that’s physical,” but then really the revenue accelerators are all info products in the backend as the upsells. Anyway, just 100% I’m screaming over here that what you’re saying I totally attest to.

We’ve seen it so many times if you can combine them together whatever, that is huge, huge power, massive power for revenue.

Bryan Bowman:

The biggest thing and we could talk about this, I mean, I don’t know if you like to get into it kind of the actual strategy we use with traffic and then getting that traffic to convert but the biggest thing is building that connection, the community.

You have to have this…

One thing I do and I run four different brands and in every single brand I have an org chart. Those of you who are listening, if you have not read E-Myth Revisited like, don’t pause the podcast, finish the episode and then go to Amazon or wherever and go buy yourself that book.

Steve Larsen:

Yeah, great book.

Bryan Bowman:

You should have an org chart, think of your business as I don’t care if you’re a solo operation and I do this for all my businesses even if it’s just me, I have no staff, no VA, no one at all, it’s just me, and I am solo operation in that brand. Build an org chart as if you are going to build a McDonald’s and you’re going to franchise this business.

You want it to be a well-oiled machine that the 5,000 version of your business will be just as profitable as the first that you founded. Build that org chart and make sure that in that org chart there’s somebody who’s in charge of relationship management like really managing relationships with your customers because at the end of the day … Have a statement.

Another thing I do is there’s a contract for each one of those roles and every single one of those positions has to fulfill the promise to serve and to reinforce the values of the community more than selling like ever. It has nothing to do with selling. That’s why I always say, “It’s all enveloped in community.” Make sure that you are reinforcing the values of the community and why they are there because that is your asset.

Long-term it’s that community because they’re going to tell you what they want and they’re going to start asking for it…

They are going to start asking for that physical product that they’re going to rest on their desk, that info product that they’re going to, after they’re done using your physical product they are going to log on and use your info product and then the software, if there’s a need for it.

Not every niche has it. It’s funny, Russell, I’m a part of inner circle, it’s just amazing to be coached and mentored by Russell. He talked a lot about how satisfying the itch in the funnel, like there’s initial itch and then once that itch is scratched, there’s another.

I started using the phrase that different niches have different itches and it’s like some niches have more itches than others, right? Some can’t support a software let’s say but you’d be surprised, if you think creatively, a lot of different interest can but anyway I’m geeking out a little bit. The big thing is remember why you’re doing it, it’s the community, it’s not the product.

If you’re thinking product, product, product, you’re selling a commodity. I don’t care what you’re selling, the info product, the physical product, whatever. If you’re thinking about the product, it’s just a commodity and someone else is going to beat your own price eventually.

Steve Larsen:

Oh man, I totally love that. The power of the community too is so huge because I mean, just like you said, they will start to tell you what is it that they want which takes a lot of the guesswork out for you.

Basically, it’s this huge platform for you to start crushing false beliefs and it’s a little group for you to launch when you actually do create the products that they’re asking you for.

I don’t know, it solves so many problems for you to have the community, have this following, a group of people it’s like I’m totally in love with what you’re doing.

Bryan Bowman:

Exactly.

Steve Larsen:

I love that you brought that up, it’s part of the eCom selling because most people don’t think of that for eCom. Most people since it’s a physical product, I mean, it doesn’t take that much copy usually to sell something physical. You don’t really see massive sales letters on Amazon pages. The value is on the tangible thing I’m going to get to hold and touch. I’m being future paced alone. Usually, you can charge a little bit more easier than info products out of the gate because I’m going to get to hold it and it’s real.

Bryan Bowman:

The only eCommerce people that are thinking about this are those that are in eCom Underground.

Steve Larsen:

Yeah, no, I totally believe that.

Bryan Bowman:

No, honestly. I know sometimes I sound like a broken record to the community. I’m always talking about this. It’s so important like this is the one piece is this community piece but anyway, I love it. It’s fun stuff, man.

Steve Larsen:

That’s awesome. As far as how to sell an eCom product, you said the funnel, don’t just be on Amazon, build a community, combine it with info product or software, how do you find the product? It’s like we have these models in our head and we understand part of the marketing pieces like, “Oh, yeah, I can totally do that. I can do that.” What? Do I do it too? What’s the actual … Find those things.

Bryan Bowman:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, I’m going to assume. It’s so funny because I always talk about there’s principles, there’s strategies and there’s tactics and the tactics what usually ends up happening is people don’t usually share the tactics or talk about the tactics.

They’ll talk about the principles which is like find your Y, find the core interest, the strategy is how you’re going to implement high level but then the tactics really people don’t talk about much. We’re covering all these which is actually pretty cool. The principles guys is what is the interest and I would always have you start there.

I would have you not start at the product…

I think that’s an old mindset and if you start at the product, I think it’s not that it can’t be done and I’ll share a way where you can do it that way but I would highly encourage you to start all the way at the beginning at the principle like what is it that you’re trying to build, what is it that you’re trying to create, who are the people you’re trying to gather or congregate and the products will emerge out of that, I guarantee you.

They do every single time. That’s literally how we build brands. Now, we start first with the interest. We start first with the passion and the products will emerge.

If you want to go straight to product, we’re going to come full circle and go back to Amazon. Amazon has more data than you could ever go out and pay for with software or anything else. There’s some really cool stuff you can do. If you go into, I mean, I’ll just tip right here, guys, this is how we do product research.

Even if we’re in a niche already and we want to look for extra products, and this is assuming you don’t have a list, if you already have a list then do an ask campaign. Ask your people like what do you want basically.

Steve Larsen:

Yes, I love you’re bringing that up. Okay, nevermind.

Bryan Bowman:

Let’s say we’re starting with nothing. What’s that?

Steve Larsen:

I said I’m geeking out with you.

Bryan Bowman:

Let’s say we’re starting with nothing. Amazon has these really cool things called Amazon best sellers. They are the hot list, the most wished for list. When you go into Amazon and they’ll tell you what are people wishing for, what are they putting on their wishlist like what are things that they want, what are the things that are the hottest sellers overall in Amazon or by individual category. If you want to sell stuff in the sports and outdoor niche, Amazon will tell you these are the hot top hundred selling items in the sports and outdoor niche.

It just gives you the data. That by far is the best place to start, to start brainstorming ideas.

There’s apps you can buy that are plug ins, none of them are really I mean, they’re not super accurate in the sense that like this one says this sells 10,000 and this one sells 20,000. It’s just a gauge to help you understand maybe approximate sales so you understand what’s a hot selling product and where maybe there’s some opportunity.

Amazon is a place to start. If you want to look for purely product research, I would encourage all your listeners to start checking out some of those lists in Amazon. Again, guys, I would highly encourage you if you want to build a long-term asset, start with the principle of the actual interest.

Steve Larsen:

Could you give an example of that?

Bryan Bowman:

What’s that?

Steve Larsen:

Could you give an example of that? Just for someone listening that goes, “What do you mean by principle?”

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, if we decide like we want to get, okay, I’m just looking right here, I’ve got my cup of coffee right here. We’ll go with coffee. If I’m like, “All right, I want to start selling eCommerce.” Let’s say I’m starting from day one, “Man, I really want to start selling some physical products.”

Then maybe you’re going to go into Amazon and you’re going to start looking for hot selling products in the coffee niche. There’s a lot of them. I mean, coffee niche is such a good niche. I’ll explain why it is in a second. There’s tons of amazing products you can sell and probably can make some money on. You can get source pretty easily.

You can find a manufacturer in China or maybe even domestically, but we tend to go overseas and get it sent, get your samples and start producing. That’s one approach.

You go to Amazon, you’re going to be able to find some hot selling products but what I’m going to encourage your listeners to do and I hope you consider is let’s go back before we even consider do I want to sell the coffee mug, do I want to sell the grinder, do I want to sell the pour over top, or whatever.

Let’s go back and let’s talk about the niche, the interest coffee aficionados, coffee lovers, people who really like why do they love coffee so much and start building that community.

Start thinking in terms of even if you’re not going to build a community page or anything like that but start thinking about the interest, the principles. Why do they love coffee?

What does it mean to them? Because what’s that going to influence it’s like top down, it’s going to influence everything else. It’s going to influence all the way down to your Facebook ads.

If you’re just like, the worst thing you can do if you’re going to run a Facebook ad, we can talk about this is say, “Get my coffee,” let’s just say coffee mug, coffee mug 50% off today only like I guarantee you no one is going to buy that. No one is going to click on that and buy it because all you’re trying to do is scream louder than everybody else, every other advertiser.

Click FunnelsIf you can pull your customer out of the crowd.

I always use a Waldo example like where’s Waldo where there’s like all the people and then Waldo is in there and if like a magnet, if I can pull Waldo out of that sea of people then I don’t need to yell anymore. I can just have a conversation. If I start with the principle which is why do people love coffee so much, that’s going to affect my messaging, right?

That’s going to affect how I connect and for some people, they choose a certain coffee because they want it to be free from toxins, and they want it to be organic and they want it to be the cleanest cup of coffee. For others, it’s like a super power where it’s productive, it’s the first thing they have that inspires them.

No caffeine, no creativity then that’s how I’m going to connect with them. At the end, I’m still selling the same product, the pour over top thing but it’s because I took the time to get my principles right, then the strategy I used for my Facebook ad was influenced and then tactically how I implemented it in my funnel was influenced as well.

I don’t know if that make sense…

Steve Larsen:

No, it totally does. Rather than selling, I mean you’re basically selling the benefit rather than the feature which is awesome.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, I mean there, you put it, see you’re so much smarter than me, Steve.

Steve Larsen:

Whatever.

Bryan Bowman:

You put it so much more elegantly.

Steve Larsen:

I stole that from so many marketers. That’s cool though, okay. Meaning, I’ve always thought of that in terms of how to sell it but you’re taking that principle like way farther back into the actual product selection phase which is very interesting.

Bryan Bowman:

You know why though, man? This is my prediction, and not that this is … I’m no Nostradamus so marketing, I know the guy who is though, but what’s really going to start separating people is like being genuine, man and you can’t fake it. That’s the thing. I actually, I try to get into niches.

I don’t sell me-too products. I try to get in niches that I’m going to take a little bit of time to really understand the niche. Typically, it’s going to be something I’m interested in but even if I’m not and I see a great opportunity in the market, I’m going to get to know these people.

I really, really, really want to be genuine and serve and create a sense of community. It just makes everything so much easier. I can’t emphasize it enough because you’re going to be able to think their thoughts. You’re going to be able to get into their head. It makes product selection and copy and offers and everything so much easier.

Steve Larsen:

Yeah, yeah, no, definitely with that kind of backdrop. You go in there and you start looking at Amazon best sellers and you’re going to figure out how you can sell the result rather than the thing.

How do you start testing? What is it that you’re doing to go through you know, “Is this product actually good? Should I build a whole culture and community around this?” You know what I mean? What’s the next step after that?

Bryan Bowman:

I mean, the first thing I mean I’ll be honest, it’s been tested enough where our method once I check some boxes in terms of knowing that there’s enough interest in the niche, doing a little bit of preliminary product research, seeing that there’s some products that people buy, again, going to Amazon, seeing what kind of stuff they buy, researching the niche a little bit, seeing the competitiveness of it. I’ll double down and just start building up our communities but I think initially whenever you’re going to sell any physical products, always use small test orders.

More and more, because there’s been so many more of these private label sellers or people starting their own brands and going to manufacturers in China.

If you’re using Alibaba or AliExpress or whatever you’re using or global sources, there’s just a lot of different ways you can go to get product more and more these manufacturers are accepting lower MOQs or lower order quantity. When I started, if you’re not ordering a thousand units like good luck because you’re going to pay, either you’re not going to find any manufacturer to sell you anything or you’re going to pay a lot of money.

Now, it’s not uncommon. I mean, if you just push back a little bit or just make a second or third request, it’s not uncommon to be able to get 100 or 200 units, 300 units max, I guess not max but max for a minimum order like a small order and you start with something small.

I mean, always order samples. I don’t want to get too much into sourcing but always check a few samples on physical products because the picture they show you is never the same as what they actually send you. I mean, what they send you is never the same as the order so it’s the bigger order. Order one, the 300 units and start selling those.

You could put them, I like putting them on Amazon but you can create some simple funnels and see if the inventory moves. If you’re able to actually get the product to sell, if it does, then you know you’re ready to double down and order a bigger quantity.

Anyway, I don’t want to get too much into the inspection stuff and all that.

Steve Larsen:

Sure. Think about more the ecomunderground.com for sure.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, this is definitely all we talk about is all the nitty-gritty, the details, but I think the main take away is always start small and scale up because I’ve made that mistake.

The first product that we ever launched, I mean, I didn’t have a lot of disposable income and we put ten grand into it. I learned the hard way because I sold $500 worth of product.

Steve Larsen:

This is going to sound like crazy.

Bryan Bowman:

In fact, I still think I have some of those boxes of products sitting around in a storage unit somewhere. The biggest thing I can tell you like anything else is micro budgets, micro orders essentially and just scale up and test it first.

Fortunately, ClickFunnels has made it super easy to be able to test product like using funnel.

Steve Larsen:

I was going to say, you go get the product, you find it on Amazon. First of all, what people are wanting, the interest, the principles. You go and you source the product to get small micro shipments of it and then you’re testing the sale on

Amazon plus like funnel, is that how you’re doing it?

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, I mean I would pick one or the other honestly guys because I definitely don’t want to divert.

I’m a big believer like you focus your attention on one platform so the reason I like to test on Amazon, the only reason I like to is it’s just quick. It’s very quick to verify but I think that you also, if you’re not really interested in getting into the whole Amazon world which you don’t have to, the newest brand we’re launching we’re not even going to sell on Amazon.

It’s just not an interest of ours…

We’re doing it surely off of the marketplaces. When I say Amazon, I mean Walmart, Jet, Newegg, all of the marketplaces. You can build out simple funnels just to test to see if people are ordering and build out Facebook ads the way that we’ve talked about. Maybe we didn’t talk about so much but the main thing with the Facebook ad is, actually this is really good, I really want to share this.

Steve Larsen:

Yeah, let’s hear.

Bryan Bowman:

When you’re building out your Facebook ads, there are so many ways to drive traffic, guys. I know people who are purely on Pinterest, that’s how they get all their traffic. I know people who are purely on AdWords, that’s how they get all their traffic.

We use a combination of AdWords and Facebook. We’re starting to branch out into Pinterest for one of our brands that’s more in the mommy niche. Facebook is still I believe the most powerful platform but because of the increased competition, you’ve just have to step your game up and the biggest mistake I see people make, I kind of talked about it already with especially in eCommerce, with the streaming louder than your competition with bigger discounts and bolder funds, red borders or whatever is that streaming louder doesn’t work.

You have to get connection. It’s really interesting because if you’re selling a high ticket coaching program, let’s say you’re selling a $10,000 high ticket coaching program, you would never get on a Facebook ad and be like have a video or have an image that says, “Get my high ticket coaching for 50% off, it was 20,000, now 10 and I’m an amazing coach. You should totally come work with me, you will get amazing results.” No one would ever start their campaign that way. It’s like a coaching program, right?

Steve Larsen:

If they do, it’s really annoying.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, if they do, it’s really annoying and if you see those ads, just make them a spam or just report them because they don’t work. Yet that’s what most eCommerce sellers do, right? We’re like, “Buy now. Buy now. Buy now. Buy now. Buy now, 90% off, 95% off, I’ll give you $5 if you buy it.” It’s like let’s just push the offer. What would you do if you’re a high ticket coach?

What would your ad look like if you’re trying to sell a $10,000 coaching program, Steve? Your initial ad to cold traffic, what would you …

Steve Larsen:

If I was selling a high ticket coaching program from cold traffic, actually I wouldn’t. I would sell to my own community. The first thing I would do is I would be out showing people benefits of using a funnel and first, defining the people who probably know what that vernacular is. Then, ascending then up slowly just like you and I were talking about before because I wouldn’t walk up on the street and ask someone for ten grand. To me, that’s what cold traffic is. I’m not that good at cold traffic and it’s for a reason.

I just feel like it’s the harder method than going to warm traffic and hot so I don’t do cold that much.

Bryan Bowman:

Like you said, first thing you do is you’d start serving and you just start probably connecting with them. It’s a little bit easier with low ticket. It probably wasn’t the best analogy because yeah, absolutely, good luck selling $10,000 program to cold traffic but let’s say it’s a $30 offer. Let’s say it’s a $10 offer, I don’t care what it is. There is an independence and an interdependence between your ads and your landing page.

There’s an independence because you’re not trying to sell with the ad. All you’re trying to do is get people to click to find out more. It’s like a headline, the headline has one purpose, right? To get people to read the next line.

Steve Larsen:

Right.

Bryan Bowman:

The headline is not there to sell them necessarily but your ad is definitely not there to sell them, it’s to get them to just click to get to the landing page, however, there’s an interdependence between the ad and the landing page because that pre-frames them and sets the stage for whether or not they’re going to accept your message on that landing page.

Not all clicks are created equally. When I understood this, this was like the biggest breakthrough for me and my ads was there’s this independence but this interdependence and when in my ad I just want them to click so that’s where I’m going to try to build that connection, that’s where I use a lot of story, I use a lot of powerful imagery.

Who is it? Oren Klaff in Pitch Anything, he talks about the three different parts of the brain.

Steve Larsen:

It’s such a good book.

Bryan Bowman:

It’s awesome. I could just ramble off books right now, they’re so good.

Steve Larsen:

Me too, so good though.

Bryan Bowman:

Basically, the part of the brain that’s responsible for making decisions is actually has nothing to do with the logical like fact-based like what percentage off am I getting, it’s the emotional part of the brain. It’s the part of the brain that’s responsible for processing emotions.

We want to connect and we want to feel what they’re feeling and let them know that our product, we’re not trying to create emotions.

This is Eugene Schwartz, Breakthrough Advertising, the job of your advertisement is not to create the emotion, it’s to take their existing hopes, dreams, desires and put them onto your product and project them onto your product. We do that by connecting with the ad, we need to have more of a connection. It’s a little bit hard.

I know this all sounds very theoretical but-

Steve Larsen:

It’s so true, though.

Bryan Bowman:

It’s not that difficult if you actually care and you actually take the time to think about what pains, what fears, what hopes, what dreams your prospect has. The only job of the ad and it’s not overly like sentimental or anything, we’re not trying to be corny either.

It’s just enough to make people stop and go, “Okay, maybe I am interested in this pour over coffee top thing, maybe this really will make special cup of coffee, maybe it will make something that is worth tasting. Let me go ahead and click and find out.”

Steve Larsen:

Right, it’s powerful because like you said, you’re not trying to create desire inside of a person or any kind of emotion or whatever. If they already have it, the only job I feel like of the sale and marketing is to just plug into exactly what you just said. I forgot it’s Eugene Schwartz that said that. That’s cool, that’s really cool.

With the ad, you’re going in, you’re saying, independence and interdependence in the ad but then also the way they flow together. I’m not trying to sell on the ad, I’m just trying to tap into current emotion and then the next page that has one role, the next page one role, I love that. Everything on every single piece of creative.

Bryan Bowman:

Exactly.

Steve Larsen:

Do you mind just real quick, I know we’ve been going for a little while here, but do you mind just real quick just sharing a little bit of one of the standard eCom funnel models is and maybe we’ll wrap up with that?

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, for sure. We still use free plus shipping a lot. I still love free plus shipping. Again, when people say, I see this all the time, you know free plus shipping, everyone is doing it, it doesn’t work.

Yeah, if you’re leading with on your ad, get our widget for $7 or get it for free, get it for free, click here, click here, click here. Again, it’s a commodity, people just don’t respond as well to that ad. Last year they did, but they just don’t respond as well anymore.

I still like though a low ticket tripwire, whatever you want to call it, to get them in and qualify my buyer and qualify, qualify a subscriber and qualify a buyer at the same and obviously getting that credit card info on the front end allows us to do one click upsells.

The biggest thing I would give for eCommerce folks and maybe you’ve heard this, maybe you haven’t is multiple quantities, multiple quantities. I want you to test being a little over the top.

In the sense like if you think nobody would ever want five-

Steve Larsen:

Coffeemakers.

Bryan Bowman:

Coffeemakers, exactly…

You don’t know how many people they have in their family, who they’re going to gift these things to, you have to try it and you’d be surprised how often people will take the multiple quantity option.

Again, ClickFunnels is why love it, it makes it super easy for me to not only add multiple quantities but with a few lines of custom code, a few easy lines, have some nice call outs, bold some things, really call out my best value to try to entice people to consider the higher quantities.

On the upsell pages, I used to do more of the same thing, we’re finding that doesn’t convert as well so I am starting to switch to different complimentary products but again, in multiple quantities. Then, on my down sale we’ll usually strip out the most popular item so let’s say it’s a supplement product.

We lead with our free plus shipping or maybe our trial, then on the upsell with multiple quantities, on the upsell we might have a pack of different products that are likely to be purchased together like a bundle, stack or whatever of supplements.

If they say no on the down sale, we would strip out the most popular product that we know people is our best seller or is a popular product of ours. We would strip it out of that stack. That’s one example.

Then just make sure you take advantage of those thank you pages. That’s another common thing I see with funnels in general but definitely eCommerce funnels more than anything is no one is taking advantage like few people take advantage of that thank you page. That’s a great place, again, learn from Amazon, frequently bought together, frequently viewed. Think of yourself as a massive …

Steve Larsen:

This too.

Bryan Bowman:

What’s that?

Steve Larsen:

Other customers bought this too.

Bryan Bowman:

Exactly…

Customers who bought this bought this as well. Hack Amazon, I mean, if you’re an eCommerce seller, hack Amazon but like look at every element on that page and see how you can incorporate some of that stuff. That’s probably one of the best takeaways I can give is that thank you page, it’s underutilized and start funnel stacking.

Honestly, you’d be surprised how many times people will go through this free plus shipping offers when you start stacking them.

Steve Larsen:

It’s so true. I don’t know how many times I bought [Trayvon 00:56:41] gun oil thing, oh I have a few guns.

Bryan Bowman:

What’s that?

Steve Larsen:

I said, it’s so true, I don’t know how many times I bought [Trayvon 00:56:47] gun oil thing. I only have a few guns but man, I bought so many of those things. It’s so funny.

That’s hilarious…

Man, I want to thank you for this. Just to recap everything, I always take a massive full page of notes every time I get to talk to a genius like you so I got it here again. You talked a lot about how not to choose eCom or info or just one thing, you actually can combine them and make even more powerful offer. I love the concept of how getting off of Amazon allows you to sell for 11 x potential on the backend.

The dirty little secret is you get paid if it’s flat. I love that. It’s hilarious, man.

Then, massive focus on community, otherwise you’re just a commodity. You can still sell the commodity but there’s no longevity in just selling commodity. You got to be able to sell to community too and get people into there. I love that. Itches are in the niches, love that too.

Then a big focus on principles, what are the interest, what is it they’re actually going after, actually fulfilling that and tapping into creative or tapping into the desires that they already have. I love the concept of independence and interdependence with the ads too and pre-frame bridges and all that before the funnel hits and then going to the funnel.

Man, you dumped a ton of stuff on here. This is amazing. This is like just a little flavor of what you actually offer in eCom Underground, that’s so cool. I really appreciate it.

Bryan Bowman:

I was excited to come on, man, when you invited me. I was very excited. We’ve become really great friends man and I appreciate you, I appreciate what you’re doing.

Anything I can do to help serve your audience and hopefully give back some value that they can implement, some strategy but also some very tactical things that if they’re running funnels right now, hopefully they can go tweak and start testing.

Steve Larsen:

I appreciate that. You guys noticed, those of you guys that are listening now, how much did he actually just spend on the funnel itself like the pages, not that much time. I think it’s a big place that people fumble up and they say, “I’ve got to spend all this time,” now, the funnel matters but so much goes in to actually finding the product.

Finding the needs, fulfilling and actually building the business around the funnel so it can be self-sustained, I love that. Anyway, thanks so much for all you shared and I really, really appreciate it. Hey, where can people go to I think you’ve mentioned the trial they can get?

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, I want to do something special for your audience just to have them experience a little bit of eCom Underground and be able to connect with them a little bit more.

I recently created a group. We have a large private Facebook group like most ClickFunnels official, it’s private but it’s available for free to the public. That’s an amazing group that’s growing very, very quickly but we recently started a separate group which is our insiders group.

Our eCom Underground Insiders…

This is really special for me because it’s a little smaller group and allows me to just serve them a little more closely and spend a little more time with them.

What I do in that group is I have a weekly live Q&A where we literally breakout the whiteboard and your exact questions get answered and you come on and as a group we can answer them but what I do is anything that I can do to help to answer these questions I do.

If you submit the questions in advance, if there’s someone in my network who’s a better expert than I am then I try to get them on that call and we try to make sure you get your questions answered every week on those live Q&As. What I also do is I have an expert, I call it expert no pitch interview where literally you know that moment, Stephen, it’s one of my favorite things ever, it’s like after you finished dinner, the plates have been cleared, dessert is gone, we’re just sipping coffee or whatever it is and we’re just sitting there talking.

We’re all just really calm and just sharing stories. That’s the environment in the interviews, we’re literally it’s just an open dialog, somebody who’s just amazing in what they do, most of the time eCommerce related, and we can just pick their brain and get our questions answered from an expert.

We do that every month and we have a special private group just for us for the insider so it’s a really special community. What I want to do is just extend a 30 day all access trial for all of your listeners, they can come check it out, see if it’s for them and I’d love to have them obviously. It just reminds me of a sales page, like what’s the catch, there’s no catch.

It’s part of a huge national promotion. What I want honestly is like have your audience experience it, if they get value then of course I would love to have them stay and to be a part of the community long-term.

What they can do is if you’d like to be a part of it and experience it, they can go to eCom, it’s with one M, ecomunderground.com/steve S-T-E-V-E and yeah, we’d love to have you and have you try it out and see if it’s a good fit for you.

Steve Larsen:

That’s awesome, man. I appreciate it. Hey, if everything else is good, reach out to Bryan to say thank you so much. Bryan, I appreciate it, a personal friend and total eCom junkie and nerd.

Bryan Bowman:

Yeah, for sure.

Steve Larsen:

There’s a lot of eCom people that listen to this podcast, so I know they’re all going to really love it. Anyway, thanks so much, man. I really appreciate this.

Bryan Bowman:

Sales Funnel RadioAwesome. Thank you so much and yeah, it was awesome.

Steve Larsen:

All right, bye-bye.

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