7 Tips for Scaling From a 7-Figure Business
by Felix Thea Podcasts Oct 6, 2020 30 minute read Leave a comment Email Pinterest Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Fashion meets function is at the heart of Klassy Network. Founder Natalie Rogers turned a personal need for stylish glasses that filtered out blue light from screens into a seven-figure business. In this episode of Shopify Masters, we chat with Natalie on the seven tips she has for building a seven-figure business.
For the full transcript of this episode, click here.
Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to Shopify Masters.
Store: Klassy Network
Social Profiles: Facebook, Instagram
Recommendations: Klaviyo, LeadDyno, ShipStation, Shogun
The key to determining whether an idea is worth pursuing
Felix: Tell us about the story behind your product and the problem you were trying to fix with it.
Natalie: About two years ago I was working super hard on my computer all day long prior to this business, I was actually a business owner beforehand, so I was just working on my business and I was on my computer all day long. I remember one night specifically, I tried to go to sleep and I couldn’t fall asleep. I closed my eyes and I saw this white screen with my eyes closed. I knew it was from my computer screen and I had never really experienced this much of a side effect to staring at my screen until that moment. So I looked up “why can’t I sleep because of my computer screen?” And I saw that there was something called blue light, and I immediately wanted a solution to that. I wanted to have something to protect my eyes while I was working all day long. And at the time they really didn’t have very many stylish blue light glasses at all. I did find one store that did have them. I placed an order, but it took 20 days for it to get to me. Right away I knew, okay, they’re probably drop shipping or something. I had this intuition feeling like, “Oh my gosh, this would be such a great product to bring to other women that are wanting to look cute and stylish while they’re working all day and also protect their eyes.” So, it was a very ‘aha’ moment for me, and I decided to jump on it and take action.
Felix: What was the business that you had prior to Klassy Network? Do you still have it?
Natalie: I was 18 years old, I started my first company as a senior in high school. Growing up, my passion was soccer. I played soccer my whole life, and I had this opportunity to start a sports company in my local community and teach kids how to play soccer at a local daycare. At 18 years old, I was like, “Oh my gosh, that sounds so much fun,” but I did not know it was going to be a business at the time. I thought it was just going to be a hobby playing with kids. It was called Kick it With Natalie. It was me coaching soccer with kids. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I ended up taking that company, and me, with my now fiance, decided to grow it together and it turned into a six-figure sports company here in Orlando. We renamed it Core Sports Academy. And then we actually just exited that company in June 2019. Last year we sold the company.
Felix: What were some of the most valuable business experiences or lessons that you learned from your first company?
Natalie: The biggest thing is just going for it, taking action. That business was so great for me to see what is possible, especially at such a young age for me to take something I loved and turn it into a business where I can monetize and make a living and support myself and also other employees. I realized that anyone can start a business, anyone can do these things. Having that prior experience, and also just knowing how business works – the fundamentals of it- it was super easy for me to go into Klassy Network and just have my idea, figure out all these problems to solve, and get something launched and started. It was a lot of messy action, but it was quick. That’s because of my experience before.
Felix: What are you looking for when you start a new business, project, or idea? What kind of criteria do you use to determine whether an opportunity is worth pursuing?
Natalie: I always think of myself like, “Do I want a product like that? Is it something I would want to purchase, and I would want to impulse buy?” Sometimes I see things in the market that are already available and I automatically think, “Oh, I would want to try that.” That flags my interest. I’ll see that on social media, just seeing different products here and that sparks my interest. Then I go further. I do some research on that product. I see what other companies are selling that product. I also ask myself, “Okay, well, how could I make this even better, even cooler?” I really just go off of something that I would love to see in my shop and on my online store and also that I would want to use and wear on a daily basis because I know if I’m going to love it and I’m really into it and I would buy it, a lot of other women that are in my audience would want as well.
Felix: Why do you find this is so important to decide whether to pursue an idea and not maybe something like profitability or scalability?
Natalie: You want to make sure your product is going to sell. You can have a product that has good margins and it’s easy to make and it’s light and easy to ship, but if it’s not something people desire and actually want then it’s going to be really hard to move. I’m always looking for what is a product that’s a hot product that someone would be super excited about, especially if I could make it even better in my own way. Then, of course, all those other things are super important too. Before ever deciding to bring a product or manufacture a product, I do that research and make sure it kind of checks off all the boxes.
Felix: When you say hot product, do you mean to look for products or industries that are trending upwards? What determines whether a product is hot or not?
Natalie: For me, when I say hot, it’s this intuition feeling like, “Oh, I want that.” It’s hard for me to explain, but I would say with blue light glasses, that was in my internal being saying, “Oh my gosh, that would be amazing.” That was before blue light glasses did start trending, but then over time, they started trending as soon as we actually ended up launching Klassy Network. It was really that gut feeling. But another example that we have with one of our products is silk scrunchies. I remember seeing silk scrunchies and it was from a different company, someone else was talking about it and right away I was like, “Oh my goodness, I would love to have a silk scrunchie because it protects your hair, but it also holds it up and it’s a great way to keep your hair up.” And so at that moment, I had that feeling. Like, “Oh, that’s perfect for Klassy Network.” That’s also another product in a market that is going to start trending even more. That’s my prediction, but we did bring our Klassy silk scrunchies and they sold out within the first day of launching, but it was a soft launch.
Felix: When you’re choosing these products, how do you know you’re adding something that other people would care about, beyond yourself?
Natalie: Really it’s asking around some friends that are similar to who I am. What I think is so good for business owners is to be the ideal customer of your own business. I am the perfect ideal customer. I would shop at Klassy Network all the time. It’s really great for me to know what I would like and then also ask my friends, and friends of friends, to see if it’s something that they would be interested in as well. I also use social media before actually going for things and I’ll go on my Instagram story, I’ll ask my audience, I’ll do a poll, I’ll go on Klassy Network’s Instagram. That’s what I do before validating.
Felix: Can you give some examples of ideas that did not make it to market through this process to validation?
Natalie: We were thinking about doing a whole clothing line. And so I did go on our stories and I asked if they would want cute pants and different tops that they could wear while they work from home and things like that. And they did have some interest, but with what the poll said, they were looking for something more. I thought about it more and I thought about what Klassy Network really is and I’m realizing that’s not actually going to be a good fit. So I ended up not going with doing a whole clothing line for Klassy. Not every idea is a great idea. The thing is, a lot of people are afraid to go on social media and ask their audience these things, because what if it doesn’t happen? Is my audience going to be upset or confused if I don’t end up doing that clothing line idea? At the end of the day, people are just happy to give their feedback, their input. And if things don’t work out, they don’t work out.
Product development: managing a soft launch to test your market
Felix: So you decided you wanted to create fashionable blue light glasses. What were the first steps you took to create your product?
Natalie: I decided to look for a manufacturer and I have a friend who has a product based company. I reached out to her and I was like, “Hey, how could I find the manufacturers?” And so she told me where I could look for them. From there I just started asking them what kind of frames they had and what styles. When I first launched, I did not design my first pair. I picked the pair that the manufacturer already had ready-made. And then I put in the blue light glasses and I added our logo and things like that to get started because it’s going to be lower cost to do it that way. And this was just an idea, I was like, “I don’t know if this is going to take off.” We decided to go with a style that I thought was super classy, super classic and a lot of women would like. And we ordered it from a manufacturer. We did about 200 pairs of glasses and we brought them to Klassy Network. It was just one style in three different colors. From there, we ended up selling out in the first two weeks. So, we were like, “Oh, okay. Maybe we have something here.”
Felix: Did you have to design them yourself? How did you turn the idea in your head into that first production run?
Natalie: I did some research. I started looking at different styles of glasses that already existed out in the market. And I asked myself, “Okay, if I were to buy a pair, what pair would I buy? What style do I really like? Do I think this is classic and universal for a lot of women?” I did not design the first pair that we brought to Klassy Network. What I launched with was already produced by my manufacturer because they’re an eyewear manufacturer. What you can do is you can get ready-made goods and put your logo on it and ask for what type of lenses you want. I wanted the blue light glasses, the blue light lenses put into a frame that was already made. Then we brought it to Klassy Network just to get started. That’s a great way to start. From there, once you’ve proven the concept, you’ve proven that this is something people want, then you can take that step further and start being unique and designing. So now I design our glasses.
Felix: So the only goal with that first 200 pairs of glasses was to test whether there was a market for fashionable blue light glasses?
Natalie: Yeah, that was the main goal. I was like, “I know I would love this, and I would wear these all the time. Is everyone else going to like it?” And so yes, it was a good little test.
Felix: How was the soft launch, what did you do to get those first 200 pairs sold?
Natalie: It was amazing. We were mind blown that many people were purchasing. The first thing that we did was we started our Instagram account three months before actually launching. I started posting curated content on the social media page before we had the product. My whole thought was, “Okay, I’m going to try to grow some type of audience here, even if it’s small.” We grew to a thousand followers before actually launching. It was just a page with a bunch of boss babe type quotes, so inspirational, motivational quotes because our market is really towards that ambitious woman that’s working all day on their computer. I built our social media accounts for 1,000 people. I didn’t spend any money on paid advertising or marketing because I knew if I wanted to get this off the ground, that it would be best to do it through warm traffic. And so I reached out to a bunch of micro-influencers and I asked them if they would want free products in exchange for a shout out. I only got two that agreed and said they would do it and make a post for me on launch day, after reaching out to so many different people. I ended up sending the product to my two micro-influencers and they both had less than 20,000 followers. I sent them the products and then they made a post, we also worked together hyping it up prior to launch on our social media. Those micro-influencers really gave us a lift in sales. From there, the word of mouth, we ended up selling out in two weeks.
Optimizing Instagram with micro-influencers and lead generation
Felix: Tell us more about your Instagram account journey. What was your content strategy to grow such an organic following in such a short time?
Natalie: It’s really just finding where your ideal customers are going to be hanging out online. I saw so many female empowerment quote accounts and they were just growing so quickly. And I thought, “okay, well, what if I do the same strategy? And I post a quote every single day for 30 days, let’s just see what happens.” Then I also went out and I looked for my ideal customers. I would go to those quote accounts and if people were in the comments section, I would go to their page and I would follow them, I would comment on their pictures. I call that a 321 strategy. I heard that from someone a while back, it’s what I did and what I practiced. What you do is you look for your ideal customers that you think would like your page. You go to their profile and you like three pictures, you comment on two pictures and then you give them one follow and it starts getting people to notice like, “Oh, who’s this account. And if they go to your page and they see you have good content that they resonate with and they start to follow you. That’s what I did in the beginning. And it worked really well, as well as having shareable content people wanted to re-share to others.
Felix: How often were you doing this? How much time would you dedicate to grow your Instagram this way?
Natalie: It’s hard to really think back on and remember, but it was about at least 30 minutes a day where I would go on there and engage. I would do it right before bed. 30 minutes a day is good.
Felix: When you picked the micro-influencers to work with, how did you identify which ones would be a good fit?
Natalie: Our audience is really ambitious women that either has their own businesses or are looking to start an online business. I myself was in that niche. I had followed some other leaders in the industry that had businesses and that were posting every day going on their Instagram stories. I’m looking for someone that’s a leader, that’s talking about how to inspire people to reach their goals. I only reached out to people that would be a good fit for my product. If they were doing those things, I didn’t send them a DM or an email. I actually video messaged them. I introduced myself and I showed them the products and I just asked if they wanted to get my product in exchange for a shout-out. It ended up working really well. I would say now after being in the industry, even before sending a video message, just engaging with them and striking up regular conversations about everyday stuff before you actually send a video message would be even better. Reacting to their Instagram story or just asking them a question here and there, would be awesome to warm up that relationship and then do the video message.
Felix: So when you started you had the micro-influencers and your own profile. Do you remember which one performed the best in terms of convergence?
Natalie: It was definitely the micro-influencers. At the time, I only had 1500 followers, so it was definitely on a smaller scale. And they both had 10,000 or more, so they definitely performed better than I did. It was huge too, as soon as they posted it at 5:00 PM, we started getting more and more sales, the traffic increased immediately.
Felix: Were they posting just a picture of them wearing or using the glasses? What tends to work well with micro-influencers for a product like yours?
Natalie: A lifestyle photo works really well, just showing them wearing the glasses and for us because it’s style, just anything that shows them how cute they are. That really works. Also just educating about blue light and how these glasses can be helpful. That was really good. And then honestly, Instagram stories are really great because you can just have them swipe up and it goes directly to the link and it’s an easy way for people to shop. Instagram stories are almost even more so powerful than a feed post. The feed posts are really great too because it stays up forever, it’s permanent. But the Instagram stories are really great for just immediate traffic and conversions.
Felix: What’s the ideal arrangement with a micro-influencer?
Natalie: Ideal setup is to make a post and talk on Instagram stories, for sure. Both.
Felix: How much education did you have to do to make sure people were aware of the problem and need for blue light glasses?
Natalie: Back then it was a very new thing. Klassy Network, for a lot of people, were the first ones they’ve ever seen do stylish blue light glasses. It did require like, “Hey, this is what blue light is. It’s everywhere.” Lay the foundation so that people understand what it is. Now, since it’s been two years, a lot more people have seen them before and they already know what blue light is and how these glasses can protect your eyes. Now it’s really just how do you stand out other than solving that problem? Because now there’s a lot more competition out there. So for us, that style and unique designs that we bring just to Klassy Network you can’t get anywhere else.
Felix: Do you still partner with micro-influencers? Is that still a big part of your strategy?
Natalie: Yeah, definitely, micro-influencers are great. Doing a lot of free send-outs. That’s definitely something that works really well in this industry and I think it always will. Sending free products and then having that micro-influencer, if you have a good product, they’re going to wear it and they’re going to be using it on a regular basis if it’s a good product. That works really well for us still.
Felix: Do you prefer working with micro-influencers over bigger influencers?
Natalie: I look for specifically micro-influencers with less than 50,000 followers. We try to reach out to a few a week. We’re right now, actually trying to revamp that whole process to create a strong system for doing free send-outs and getting more Klassy ambassadors and stuff like that. It’s definitely something we spend our time on.
Felix: How do you track and maintain relationships with all these different micro-influencers?
Natalie: We just have a place where we keep everything organized like a spreadsheet. Then we have one person make sure it’s really good. I’m in there communicating via email with them at least on a monthly basis. So, just updating them on sales and things that we have going on, new styles, products, and stuff. So this is for micro-influencers and bigger macro-influencers that actually want to be an affiliate for you. I do have software that we use for that and we can track their purchases, commissions, and all of that stuff as well.
Felix: When did you determine it was time to expand your product line? How did you choose which products to release?
Natalie: I really loved the aspect of combining function with fashion. How can I make someone’s day easier with a product? It solves a problem, but then it’s also fashionable, it makes women want to wear them. For our blue light glasses, the most logical add-on was sunglasses and creating cute styles that I don’t see very often and also just like very classic and beautiful sunglasses. That was the second thing we added on. The third thing was actually a crop top that I designed myself because I wanted to wear a shirt that I could wear while I worked from home without wearing a bra. And so I designed a top that doesn’t exist anywhere on the market. It has padding built into the shirt, without any elastic straps. It’s super, super comfortable. That was the third product that we launched. And we’re now expanding that Brami line, which is what we call it. We’re coming out with new styles of those tops as well. Then the fourth product was the silk scrunchie. I’m always thinking in my head, “How does this solve a problem, but then also has the fashion aspect of it?” With the scrunchies, I had purchased a scrunchie from another company and when I got it, I didn’t like how big it was. It was very big. As soon as I find a problem with something, when I’m like, “Okay, I can make this better,” then it’s a good fit. So, I wanted to make our scrunchies so they fit well on the wrist. They’re also a style piece that people can wear as an accessory and also have the Mulberry silk scrunchie. They’re good for your hair and they cause less damage.
Felix: You think very outside of the box. Are there challenges that you face with this kind of approach to product development at the manufacturing stage?
Natalie: I really encountered a lot of struggles with the crop top that I created, because this was so hard to explain to a producer, a developer because it doesn’t exist anywhere. The way I wanted the padding built into this shirt, it’s never been really done. It was really hard for me to relay that and make sure it was done right. That process took six to eight months. It was a lot of, “Here’s what I want. Here’s the design.” And then getting a sample sent to me, sending it back, saying, “You got to tweak it.”It’s really a challenge, but when in your heart this product is gonna be great, I definitely say, go for it, follow that intuition. And that’s exactly what I did on this far as the scrunchies and glasses. There’s a lot of eyewear manufacturers out there. Eyewear is pretty easy to get your design across because there are so many colors and things out there that you can kind of show and tell your manufacturer, “This is what you want.” For the scrunchies, it was pretty simple. There have been a couple of tweaks I want to make, and it does require a lot of clear communication and sending photos back and forth, especially if you’re working with manufacturers that aren’t in person.
Felix: How do you keep your eyes and ears open to problems that you can and want to solve for your community and your audience?
Natalie: I’m always on social media. That’s really important, to be not just a leader in the industry as a designer, but also being a consumer and seeing what’s out there in the market right now, and fully understanding and knowing your ideal customers. Knowing what they’re doing on a daily basis, knowing what struggles that they have to overcome every single day. When I am living that life myself, but also really open to hearing, “Okay, what are people struggling with on a daily basis?” That is really easy for me when I see a problem to be like, “Oh my goodness, I could create a product that can solve that.” Really just having that mindset with your everyday life and also being on social media.
In-house or Agency digital marketing: which is best for your business?
Felix: You mentioned that you provide resources and hosting events, can you elaborate a little bit more on that?
Natalie: I’ll tell you how I really wanted to start the company, Klassy Network. Before I even came across the product idea, I wanted so badly to create some type of online space where I could bring ambitious women together because I was a young entrepreneur who just graduated college and I had a six-figure business. And I feel like there are so many people out there who don’t know about the opportunity of being a self-starter and doing things on your own. After being so young out of college, doing my own thing, I wanted so badly to just motivate and inspire other women, to know that they have the resources and the capability to do these things themselves if they want to. That was my biggest passion and really what led me to start Klassy Network. Before the products came in I actually started a Facebook group that was called The Klassy Network. It was just a Facebook group where I would go in and share my story and share tips with women. I had people join the group. I actually ended up closing that group down and starting a new one recently because I just got super overwhelmed with everything that I’ve been working on growing this company, but it’s a huge part of Klassy Network. That alone just have, me and my fiance as mentors and really just giving advice and sharing our story, our experiences with other people that are excited about getting into this space or wanting to start their own business and figuring out what it is that they could dream of so that they can go for it.
Felix: Let’s talk about paid advertising. You do Facebook ads, what’s been your strategy there?
Natalie: We did not invest in paid traffic on Facebook until we hit six figures in our business. We really drove home micro-influencers, free product, shout outs, doing affiliate marketing, all of that until we hit six figures. Then when we hit six figures, we were like, “Okay, we definitely have something here, and what if we actually tried to get it in front of more people and put some paid marketing behind it? That was January 2019. Going into the year, me and my fiance were like, “Let’s set a goal, what if we can get Klassy Network to a million-dollar company by the end of the year.” It sounded really crazy because at the time we had just made just about $120,000 in the business. We went into the year and that was one of our goals, to figure out how we can master paid traffic. At the time we did start working with an agency that was running our traffic for us. It did really well right off the bat because we had so many people on our pixel, meaning we just had so much data and so many customers that came to us organically. It was really great when we first got started in paid traffic. Our ROAS was over four, which was awesome. From there we continued to work with our agency and we were doing that on a monthly basis. Then we did hit a roadblock where our ROAS ended up dropping and just things kind of got crazy and messy. We ended up taking on the paid traffic in-house and my fiance, Jacob ended up doing the marketing himself. So now we’re doing it all in house and it’s been a lot better. It’s been really great.
Felix: How has handling that in-house compared to going through an agency?
Natalie: Doing it yourself is just so great because no one’s going to care about your business more than you. When we have someone in-house, that’s doing the ads, they’re able to look at the ads multiple times a day, not just set them, leave them for the day, check them later at night. He’s in there three to five times a day, checking on ads, scaling budget, changing creative. We’re making creative on a weekly basis, new ads on a weekly basis versus our agency kind of just took the ads and didn’t really ask us for new ads and new creative. It really just depends on your agency, but I think it’s so much better when you have full control of that and you’re able to do it in-house.
Felix: What are you changing? What are you changing in those ads?
Natalie: Yeah, it’s not that we’re changing the ads, we’re definitely keeping the ads that are working and we’re constantly testing new ones to see if a new one will stick. It’s really just testing different pictures. If you have a really great user-generated photo, we reach out to our customers and make sure that we can use the picture before we do run an ad with it. But we just are constantly testing new ones to see if we have other ones that really speak to people. We are trying to grow all of our winning ads.
Seven-figure success: seven tips for scaling your business
Felix: You mentioned that seven things got your business to seven figures. Can you discuss a little bit about that?
Natalie: Number one is definitely my Dream 100. The Dream 100 is basically a list of 100 people that you would love to collaborate with throughout your career, in your lifetime. It can be anyone from someone who seems not so out of reach, someone who has maybe 5,000 followers that you admire on Instagram, or it could be someone as big as Oprah. Don’t limit yourself with your Dream 100. I have had people on my Dream 100 that I never thought in a million years that I would connect with and I’m now we’re friends, which is crazy. The Dream 100 is so powerful and I know a lot of people hear it and they’re just like, “Oh yeah, that’s cool. I have a list of people in my head,” but there’s something so powerful about writing those names down and intentionally trying to get in their circle and connect with them. Russell Brunson was actually like our very first mentor in this online space. That’s definitely the first thing that really grew us. We really utilized our micro-influencers and our affiliates and that’s what has really, really helped us lift the brand and with a lot of warm traffic before getting into the paid traffic.
Felix: How do you start connecting with people, especially the ones that might seem a little bit further out of reach? What are some strategies to start getting into their circle?
Natalie: The first thing is to give them some type of value. You don’t want to just be like, “Hey, I want you to be my friend.” Or, “Hey, I would love you to do a favor for me.” It’s really important to provide value first and give as much as you can in that relationship so that when they start to notice you and want to maybe strike up a conversation or give some piece of value back to you. The best way to do that, especially when there are people that seem really out of reach, is to be their number one supporter. If they’re posting on social media, comment on their pictures, like their pictures, share their content. People will notice that they notice who really does appreciate what they’re doing in this world. If there’s a fan or a supporter, that’s a piece of value because you’re just trying to share their message with the world. I definitely recommend starting there. And then obviously if you have a product, sending free product, trying to give just some more value to them and then working on that relationship to getting to a point where you can strike up a conversation like, “Hey, could we do some type of collaboration?” The second one is your funnel. This is really when we got into our paid traffic, we started realizing what really works in a funnel. Something that really, really works for us is knowing, number one, that the beginning of the funnel is easy to understand. That’s super important. For our blue light glasses, a funnel that works really well is one of our ads that have a blue light testing card and a light shining over it to just demonstrate that these glasses protect your eyes because you only have so much time when you’re running an ad. You have to really get someone to understand the product within the first five seconds. That’s the very top of the funnel. But that’s very, very important. And then the next kind of tip about a funnel that’s really helpful is to make sure you have congruence everywhere. If someone sees an ad, then they also click on the link, that same kind of photo that you had in the ad should also be on your banner, on the landing page that they go on because it makes it very cohesive and uniform and it makes people say, “Okay, well, if I clicked on this, then I want to see more of this.” So, we’ve learned that has helped a lot. Also inside the funnel, really having a popup before they exit, that’s something that is really helpful so that you can get their information before they exit the page. Offering something that is going to get them to want to put in their information before they exit the page is super, super important. Those are the pieces in the funnel that I wanted to highlight.
Felix: How long does it take customers to convert once they land on your site?
Natalie: I don’t know if I have that exact data of knowing how many customers purchase for the first time, but it’s really important to do retargeting because a lot of people won’t. There’s a statistic out there that when shopping online a customer has to see your product at least eight times before they purchase. It’s really important to have that funnel, have that ad, but also have the followup. Have the retargeting ads that go and kind of follow them. We have so many people say, “Oh, your ads got me, they stalked me.” And after seeing it a few times, they’ll eventually purchase. Definitely, some people do go on the first purchase, especially if they’re warm traffic, but the majority of them would probably convert after seeing it a couple of times.
Felix: Nice, so what’s your third tip for seven-figure success?
Natalie: Number three is campaigns. This one has been really helpful for us as an ecommerce brand. With the blue light glasses, we didn’t really put too much effort into our marketing tactics. Now after doing it for almost two years, we thought, “Okay, if we can do different sales, different campaigns, and really just highlighting specific frames and things like that, it’s going to be really powerful.” Sometimes it’s not even a huge discount or sale that’s going on, but it’s just highlighting a specific type of frame. I’ll just give a quick example. We had a lot of inventory of our black frames and our pink frames. We decided to do two different campaigns. One campaign was women in black, and we did a photoshoot of a woman, two women actually in black suits. It looked like Men in Black vibes, and they were wearing black glasses. It was just a really awesome piece of content. We had great photos from it and it had that message of being a powerful woman and then with highlighting the black glasses. That campaign performed really well and our audience loved it. And then we did another one for our pink frames. We did classy in pink, kind of a play on Pretty in Pink, and we did a photoshoot with some really cute and classy things like pearls and a lot of frills. That one also did really well.
Felix: What is the purpose of having this focused push on a campaign?
Natalie: I wouldn’t say it’s that much work. I mean, it is because you’re going to be creating the emails and doing a photoshoot, but you don’t even have to do a photoshoot. The real purpose of it is to highlight and get some type of excitement and announcement around one of your products. If you don’t feel like going all out and doing a photoshoot, maybe you’re making some type of offer on a specific product you have, or maybe you’re just bundling a couple of your products together and then making that announcement. It’s important to make announcements in your business to keep people excited and want them wanting more.
Felix: So with campaigns you’re not talking about releasing a new product, you’re just trying to focus your customers’ attention?
Natalie: Yeah, because we ran into a challenge when we over-ordered inventory. For a while, we couldn’t get new products because all of our cash flow is tied up in our current inventory. In order for us to solve the problem, it was okay, “Well then, how do we make this same product that we’ve had exciting and new again?” And that’s when campaigns came into play and it was really just, “Okay, well, maybe we just take a picture of it looking like this, or just create some type of messaging or put them one color on sale.” It’s really highlighting the things you had to make them sound exciting. Four is an event. Going in person to events. In our experience, it’s been so great to be able to have a little booth at an event that our ideal customers are at and really just connect with them in person, have them try on our products and feel them and get their initial reactions in real life has been so powerful for us. The next one is data, knowing what your KPIs are and seeing what works and what doesn’t work for your business. A lot of entrepreneurs just go and they’re on the hamster wheel going, but they don’t really stop to look at the data, at the numbers to see what performed well, what didn’t. How many visitors do you have to your store today? And why do you think maybe yesterday it spiked a little bit? Digesting the data and breaking it down to see what is working for your business. That has helped us a lot. We are always looking at our KPIs. We have our ROAS, our website visitors, our conversion rate, all of those things. It’s so important to analyze that on a daily basis, because if you know your numbers, you know what works for your business, you can repeat the things that are working well and scale that.
Felix: And tip number six?
Natalie: Number six is your inner circle. I also have leveraged my personal brand to grow my business. It was important for me to get on social media and show up on a daily basis and try to inspire people and get them to see value in my personal Instagram account. Then also tell them about the products that I have, because why not? Social media is free. When I got on social media, I saw so many people that I looked up to and I was like, “Oh my goodness, I would love to be friends with those people and it would be awesome,” which is great. That’s why you should have them on your Dream 100. I have become friends with some of them and I have connected with them, but it’s so powerful, that when you get a presence online to build your inner circle. Build people that are in the same place as you are, or maybe just a little bit above and they are your support system and they are there to shout out your products and they are there to make sure that you are encouraged to keep going after the big golden dreams that you have because it’s really hard sometimes to show up every day. It’s really hard to just keep going when you’re feeling down, it’s not an easy journey this.
Felix: What is the final seventh thing that helped you crack the seven-figure mark?
Natalie: The last thing is having a seven-figure money mindset. That was something that was really hard for me to get to and that I struggle with all the time. Always just thinking about the money being your end goal. What’s worked for us is detaching us from the money, because our accomplishments don’t makeup who we are. And doing the things that make you say yes because you can always make more money. You can always do that. It’s really just following the impact. That is what we focus on so much’“how can we make the impact?” And knowing that if we are doing something that’s better for the world or creating a product that people are going to love, then the money will come. And really just having that abundance mindset versus like, “Okay, we can’t invest the money here because that’s a lot, that’s scary. I don’t think that’s going to work.” Once you understand and follow that and have that abundance mindset of, “Okay, this is what I know our business needs to do and needs to go,” and taking that leap and that jump because it is hard to make investments in your business sometimes.
Felix: Given the current uncertainty in the market with COVID-19, how do you maintain that mindset to continue to make the right decisions for you and your business?
Natalie: I really have to check myself because it’s so natural for us to be like, “Okay, Woah, that’s too much money, we can’t invest in that.” But it’s just re-centering and asking yourself the questions of what are the possibilities of it actually increasing or growing your business, scaling your business. Something that we’ve recently started doing is evaluating specific investments and trying to go for risks that aren’t extremely life or death but taking risks often. So, instead of a $50,000 investment maybe it’s just a $3,000 investment, but it’s still a risk that could go wrong, but it also could be amazing.
Felix: What would you say is the most important part of your website?
Natalie: I would say the pictures, the photos. That has been really big for us. When we first launched, I’m not a professional photographer, we had pictures that I took on my camera and they did okay. But when you are trying to market to cold traffic, it makes such a difference to have clear, beautiful pictures and also lifestyle images on a model or on a person. So that people can really envision what the product looks like when they get it.
Felix: What are some apps that you use to run the store or just the business in general?
Natalie: The first one that comes to my head is Klaviyo, our email marketing. We use that a lot. Our pop-up that we use is Privy. For our affiliates right now, we’re using LeadDyno. We recently actually started with ReferralCandy, which is a referral program for people who want to bring us more customers, but we’re not ready yet to set them up as an affiliate, but they can get kind of rewarded for store credit to just refer us.
Felix: What do we say needs to happen this year for you to consider the year a success?
Natalie: That’s a good question. I feel like this year has already been a success, which is crazy, but it’s because we’ve been through such a crazy experience and we’re still standing strong, so that’s great. I would say our financial goal this year was to hit 2 million in revenue, but for me, it’s to launch the new products and to have our customers purchasing them and loving them. That is a success for me.
About the author
Felix Thea is the host of the Shopify Masters podcast, the ecommerce marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. Got something to share with Shopify Masters listeners? You can submit your story for consideration.