Do you ever feel like you’ll never have what it takes to build a thriving ecommerce business? What if there was just one key insight or lesson out there that could unlock your full potential for growth? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he interviews entrepreneur and business leader, Alexandra Jimenez. In her conversation with Scott, Alex opens up about how she involved with the travel industry, what it took to monetize her blog, challenges she faced along the way, and much more. Don’t miss a minute of this fascinating episode featuring Alex’s story!
Content and traffic go hand-in-hand.
If you’ve been part of the TAS community for very long you know that Scott is convinced that traffic is the new currency – but did you know that content and traffic go hand-in-hand? It’s true! You won’t keep people coming back for more if you have poor content! What is your content creation strategy? Does it need a little push in the right direction? If so, you’ll want to have pen and paper for this episode. Listen to this episode to learn from Alex’s expert perspective and find out how she has been able to maximize her content to drive traffic!
Using Facebook Live effectively.
Did you know that Facebook Live is one of the best tools to have your toolkit? Think about it – it’s a FREE way to draw your target audience in and help them get to know you and your brand! You can also use Facebook Live to drive sales and traffic to your blog or website. Alex decided to create her first physical product and was able to successfully raise over $17,000 in pre-sale purchases by using Facebook Live. Imagine that! To get the full scoop from Alex on how she was able to accomplish this feat, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Hard work will get you results!
Too often startup business leaders are constantly on the lookout for a new hack or trick that will take their business to the next level – and for a good reason, starting a business is hard! The truth is, there is no hack that will help you achieve overnight success, the one thing that will ensure your success is your level of commitment. Are you willing to put in the time and energy necessary to achieve your goals? If you aren’t ready to put in the hard work – don’t expect to see results! Learn more from Alex and Scott as they stress the value of hard work on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
Make sure you think out your strategy.
How is the growth of your business coming along? Do you have a solid strategy in place or are you unsure of which direction to take? Think of it this way – you need to have a solid foundation before you build the house! Is your business starting off with a good foundation? If you want to take the time to invest in your business and give it every chance to succeed then make sure to learn from the best! You will find links to resources from Scott and Alex in the section below – use them to your advantage!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [3:00] Make sure to check out the “Traffic and Profits” training.
- [5:45] Scott welcomes his guest, Alexandra Jimenez.
- [7:00] Alex talks about her background and how she got into her current market.
- [10:45] Where did the idea to make money off of blog content come from?
- [14:00] Alex shares how a side hustle got her in trouble.
- [15:40] How Alex supported herself financially while travelling.
- [17:45] What does Alex’s content creation process look like?
- [21:30] Is email list building really that important?
- [26:00] How did Alex start to monetize her blog?
- [28:00] Alex explains why she started selling her own physical products.
- [34:00] How to do an effective Facebook Live session.
- [43:50] Alex shares some ways to take action.
- [47:50] What is Alex’s husband’s role in the business?
- [50:45] Closing thoughts from Scott.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 671
TAS 671: How This 7 Figure Business (EMPIRE) Was Created From Side Hustle in Super Competitive NICHE[INTRODUCTION]
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 671 and today I am excited because I have…Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…a special guest on. She’s actually become a really good friend of mine now. I’m in a mastermind with her and she is going to share how she has built a seven-figure business, an empire really and how she did it from a side hustle. And this is a very, very competitive niche. It’s actually in the travel space which is crazy. She does not care that we are sharing the niche because she’s dominating that niche.
She is the number one-woman blogger for fashion and travel. It’s crazy, and her name is Alex, really good friend of mine now. She is so knowledgeable. I actually had a chance to spend, actually it’s been four times now, four different occasions where we are able to sit down and brainstorm together. And I’ve actually watched her help other people in the room with their traffic. And she’s really, really good at getting traffic. She gets over a million unique visits to her blog every single month and the power of that now is that she’s able to launch products on Amazon without even running any pay-per-click or any sponsored ads of any kind. It’s just pretty crazy.
She actually did, and she’s going to share the details, she actually did a Facebook Live for presales of a product that she ended up launching and she collected $17,000 in presales before the thing was even sourced. Crazy, right? You can go out there and do exactly what she’s done. Now, here is one little thing I want to throw out there. It does require work. This is not something that she did overnight. She’s going to talk about how she stumbled into this market and then how it turned into this empire really.
[00:02:00] Scott: But you are going to hear that it really does come down to showing up and putting in the work and hustling a little bit. And I don’t mean we have to hustle like 20 hours a day but you do have to show up and commit and this is proof that if you do show up and you put content out there you are going to start to get traffic. Now she did not launch this product until about six years, maybe five and a half years into this business and it doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t have done it sooner. Just wasn’t on her radar at that point.
But you are going to hear how she’s able to look at the market and see what they are buying and then see if she wants to go ahead and create something similar to that product and that’s what she has done here. But I’m going to let her explain all that. Now, here is the other thing I want to do here before we jump in. I have a little bit of an announcement here. I say we, myself, Chris Schaffer are going to be doing a live training. And this is a little bit of a test that we are going to be doing. We are eventually going to turn this into a paid training.
But what we decided to do is really dig deep into traffic and profits because we know a lot of you listening are either stuck in the, “I don’t want to launch a product yet because I might fail with that one product and I just want to get started.” Well, you can get started even if you don’t have a product and build out this framework and this foundation and then eventually launch that product or in the mean time you can be monetizing that traffic over the course of the time that you are building it. So there’s something that we are doing and it’s called Traffic in Profits and it’s going to be a live training, May 29th and 30th we are going to be showing up live.
Now here’s the other part of this. We are going to turn this into a paid training but what we are going to do is we are going to record it live with you so if you show up live on the 29th and 30th it’s going to be as if you are coming into the class and you can sit in and listen and watch for free.
[00:04:06] Scott: So we are doing that because we want to make sure that we can go out there and teach it, we want to make sure that is what you want, it’s what you need. If you have any questions we can be doing that on the fly but then when we do release this as a paid training it will be out of beta in a sense. So that’s what we are going to be doing. We are going to try it, we are going to test it, it’s called Traffic in Profits and this is something we are also looking at as being a micro training in a sense. And what I mean by that is it’s something we are going to start to do a little bit more of where we go really, really deep into one part of the process.
Now you guys have heard me talk a lot about traffic lately and then how can we turn that traffic and those eyeballs, that attention into potential customers or how can we monetize that traffic through ads or maybe through affiliate offers and then maybe physical products. If this is sounding interesting to you and you want to attend I’ve got a nice easy link for you to go to and you can register. Its tasclass.com, so if you go to tasclass.com you can go there and register to attend this live training.
Now, this is going to be myself and Chris Schaffer going through exactly how we do this. So if you want to attend go to tasclass.com and get all the details there. I’m going to stop talking now so you can sit back, relax and listen exactly how Alex has built Travel Fashion Girl to a seven-figure business and where she gets a million unique visitors to this blog every month so sit back, relax and enjoy.[INTERVIEW]
[00:05:48] Scott: Hey Alex, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. How are you doing?
[00:05:52] Alex: Feeling good, feeling good, really excited about being here today Scott. Thank you for having me.
[00:05:57] Scott: Yeah, no problem. I just want number one, to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. I know you are running a pretty large business now but it didn’t start that way. We are going to talk about that but also just wanted to let people know like you and I are both also in Pat Flynn’s accelerator program which is where we met in person. Let me just say… We can go into, I had David Young on, you are SEO queen over there.
We’ll probably touch on that but I just want to thank you for coming on, it’s been awesome getting to know you better but I know you are going to drop some value bombs here today. So if you guys are thinking about starting or growing your existing business, I don’t care if its digital products or if it’s content or if its physical products you are going to want to stay tuned for this one. So Alex, now that I’ve really put you up there…
[00:06:46] Alex: Sure, no pressure on my end.
[00:06:48] Scott: There is no pressure at all. Why don’t you just tell people a little bit about you, where you come from and a little bit of your back story but then we’ll get deep into how you’ve built this empire of Travel Fashion Girl? Go ahead, take it away.
[00:07:03] Alex: I’m from Los Angeles originally and I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. So I have a background in the fashion industry and I had a really… I got an awesome corporate job in my early 20s. They actually hired me when I was 20. They thought I was older, my resume looked really good and I had this job and I always had to tell people I love my job. I had nothing against my corporate job but in 2008 recession stuff happened so it pushed me out of the position. I ended up leaving and I had said if I ever quit my job, my dream job here I’m going to take three months off to travel.
So those three months turned into now it’s over a decade later and I’m still travelling. But halfway or a couple years after I started, I was tired of dragging around a bunch of stuff I didn’t need and I tried to go online to look for resources for women or just for travelers in general on how to downsize their luggage, their bags. And I couldn’t find anything and the stuff that I did find seemed to be geared towards a male traveler where they are recommending that I take three quick dry tees, a couple of convertible pants and three pairs of underwear I can flip inside out.
That’s not quite what I was looking for. So I set off and in 2011 I started talking to other girls in hostels and guest houses because I was a budget backpacker, traveler and I found out they were also having the same problems. They had packed all the wrong things, they didn’t have the information that they needed. So I set off and interviewed for about a year. I researched and I interviewed all these girls on the road and in August 2012 I launched Travel Fashion Girl where I showed people the things that I learned about how to pack lighter.
[00:09:01] Alex: And it started off just as me trying to downsize my own luggage and it ended up being well received instantly and just taking on a life of its own now.
[00:09:10] Scott: Yeah it really has. I mean a million unique visitors per month insane. Congratulations on that too. I know you just hit that and you were pretty stoked about that. That was pretty awesome.
[00:09:22] Alex: Thank you, it was a long time coming. People always ask me, “How long did it take you?” I was doing SEOs since day one so we actually grew really quickly. I had 35,000 visitors on the first six months, monthly visitors in the first six months. But inching to that million mark was such a big goal and we finally made it. So it was very exciting.
[00:09:45] Scott: Yeah I know. That’s very exciting and it proves that hard work pays off, you just got to stay at it. And I just want to let people know Alex is someone that puts in the work. At our meetings she was just typing away and banging off notes for other people not even herself. So so giving and so willing to share which I really appreciate and your wealth of information. Guys like I said, you definitely want to pay attention to this episode because we are probably going to have to you come back on because there’s so much we can unpack here.
I want to go back though in time a little bit because I know a lot of people are like, “Oh it sounds like you just started backpacking you are like, “I see this need. I’m going to start a blog.”” Where did the light bulb go on for you that there was potential for you to get traffic and then monetize the traffic? Because you don’t just wake up one day and go, “Oh I’m going to blog and I know that I can get Ad Sense and then maybe I can get Media Vine and then I can go to Ad Thrive.” How does that happen that you get this lightbulb that you are like, “I’m going to try to turn this into an income?”
[00:10:45] Alex: In August of 2012 there really wasn’t that information. So there was no Ad Sense but there wasn’t information on monetizing a blog and it really wasn’t a thing. It’s just been the past couple of years where companies or people are actually taking bloggers more seriously. When I went into it I really started it for the sole reason of helping women avoid my mistakes. I had this feeling that I needed to do it.
Taking a step back, we’ll go a little further. I’ve always been someone that’s always looked for opportunities and not necessarily… Whether I was six years old, nine years old, thirteen and I’ve always my own businesses growing up and it’s always been, “Oh, that’s popular. Nobody’s selling that, I’m going to sell it.”
And with Travel Fashion Girl there was nothing online that had this information. Even now there’s still not a lot of resources. So there wasn’t information on what to pack, there wasn’t information for women and topics were irrelevant to things that I wanted to know. I was a long-time traveler so I wanted things that were practical not just frivolous and pretty and fashiony. I wanted things that were practical, they were going to be long lasting but I also wanted to feel like a girl.
So first I saw the opportunity and where there is an opportunity, I think naturally that’s always a good basis for a business. But I have to be very honest, I didn’t start it with the intention of making it a business. I thought, “Well if I can make a couple $100 a week to maintain my budget travels that would be wonderful.” I actually early on started making money because the website grew so quickly and sponsored posts to gain link juice were a good way to earn money back then it was really easy. So early on there was an opportunity to monetize. So that was exciting.
[00:12:44] Alex: I mean it’s a long game The sponsored post back then and even now that’s not a viable business model. So within the first six months or six months into it my mentor at the time, who really just took me under his wing because he saw that I had an opportunity and he wanted to help me, didn’t charge me he just wanted to help me grow. he started showing me there was the potential of ways that I can monetize the website and one particular way was affiliates.
We became very organic because I was talking about products and I wasn’t linking to them and people were emailing me just saying, “Hey, where can I get this? Why can’t you put a link?” They were even angry with me. So I was doing them a disservice by not linking to things and little did I know by helping them it would also help me establish what is now a crucial element in my business.
[00:13:35] Scott: One thing I want to highlight here, actually I want to bring to the surface which you shared with us, and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind but if you do mind don’t share it, but what was the little side business you had that you were selling stuff out of your trunk? Let’s talk about that for a second because that’s a great story because it just goes to show you that you had that entrepreneurial instinct even back then. I think that you just see opportunity but you don’t just see it you act on it.
[00:14:05] Alex: Yes, I actually got in trouble with the dean in my high school. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Los Angeles. And I got in trouble with the dean because she caught me selling clothes out of the trunk of my car one day after school. And she had the audacity to come up and accuse me of, one I got in trouble and two she said, “Where did you get the clothes anyway? Did you steal them?” And I’m like, “Are you kidding me? How? How and why? I explained to him, “This is a private school. There is a lot of disposable income here so I go to wholesale district, buy clothes in wholesale and resell it here. I’m making $300 in half an hour.”
Why wouldn’t I?
[00:14:50] Scott: I absolutely love that. That is so awesome.
[00:14:55] Alex: My message, Mrs. Medina look at me now.
[00:14:57] Scott: Yes, there you go, there you go, I absolutely loved that story when you shared it. I’m like, “Yeah that’s exactly what Alex did because that’s what she would do.” You seen an opportunity there. You are like, “There’s a lot of disposable income, these girls will spend, mummy and daddy will pay for it and I’ll just bring it over and sell it out the back of my trunk.” That’s awesome. You didn’t start this thing necessarily to make money, maybe a few hundred bucks to support your travels a little bit, your backpacking and stuff. When did the light bulb go off that you were like, “This could turn into something pretty large, something that could be more than that, that could be my full time gig.” When does that lightbulb go off?
[00:15:37] Alex: A year into it, again we were carrying on traveling. One of the ways that I was… I was traveling for four years or so full time before I started my blog, before I started the website and the way I would make money is I’d go back home and I’d work seasonal jobs as a promotional tour manager. So in early 2013 I went back home and worked another one of these gigs and right that summer I was offered a big gig, a really cool opportunity and I turned it down.
And I turned it down because I thought, “I want to give this blog a shot. What if I do what I hear some people…? I started hearing about people are making money online travel blogging and doing stuff like that and I thought, “What if I make it my full-time job?” If I’m putting in 40 hours a week, I’m putting in that dedication, I’m treating it as a job, could it work? That was a year later and I thought I’d try it. And what was the worst that could happen? I’d go back home and get another job and then go traveling again.
So that’s how it started and it carried on like that for I don’t know how long. It just happened so quickly. And honestly for the first two years Scott I felt like I was just drowning. It grew so quickly it was hard to keep up and I think it just grew faster than I even knew it became a business before I even realized it. And although I was an entrepreneur, I think I naturally ended up turning it into business because I was an entrepreneur but it just was always growth, growth, growth. We’ve pretty much almost doubled in growth every year since we started.
[00:17:24] Scott: It’s incredible, what does it look like when you are building this thing out? What does it look like for you on a daily/weekly basis? Are you like, “Now its content, now I need to get on a schedule, I need to start producing this, I start to do long tail keyword research?” When does that stuff start becoming part of your regular routine?
[00:17:48] Alex: I was working 20 hours a day since I started. I don’t think I slept for the first two months after I started the blog. I always tell people, “I know it just looks like there’s a post on the website,” but I was publishing five to seven articles a week because in theory, especially back then without SEO, if you are doing one keyword per blogpost which was dated best practices but if you have one keyword per blogpost, the more blogs you have the more keywords you have, the more traffic and the more traffic the more potential for revenue as well naturally with affiliates.
I didn’t do Ad Sense back then, it was strictly with just affiliates and also took on brand interest. Then I started looking what content, I started paying attention to content that people wanted but also what was the content that had more revenue opportunities as well. And I think it really took a couple of years for this to become a very strategic everyday plan but now we are incredibly strategic. Everything that we do we look at it from we analyze data, we analyze our topics, we analyze our numbers crunching, anything from SEO to keywords, data, our Amazon data, associates’ data, affiliate data to determine what opportunities there are.
Back then I always prioritized the topics that I wanted to talk about. I did what I called reverse SEO and I got criticized for it because people say, “That’s wrong. You should be writing for Google.” And I said, “No, I’m writing for my readers.” And then I would write the article that I wanted based on the topics that I wanted then I’d choose a related keyword for it. So I was always writing for people and even though that was weird back then, now it’s best practice.
[00:19:48] Alex: Currently that is SEO best practice is writing for people and finding a keyword that works for that or many keywords. So throughout that I think that’s how… It’s the paying attention to what people wanted. At first I wasn’t looking at the data. At first it was just listening, just listening to the readers, listening to the audience, listening to the conversations. That’s where a lot of the ideas for the blogpost and consequently products also started is listening to what they wanted. If people keep asking for the same thing, I’m going to write an article about that and that article became big and then we can monetize it and then spin off more content based on the same topic.
[00:20:33] Scott: Yeah and again I think it’s a lot of consistency. I think you showed up, I think that’s key. Not every post was going to hit but you knew that. It’s like you put that stuff out there and you are going to help and serve the market that you are trying to help and serve. I think that’s what it comes down to and you did a really good job. Now that doesn’t mean that you are not looking at the data and going, “That posted good a year and a half ago. Maybe we should do update on that and maybe bring some more attention.”
I think that’s basic knowledge but also it’s being strategic about that stuff as you went forward. Let’s move in to… And because I talk a lot about building number one, traffic but then also your email list, I also talk about looking at the data and then seeing if there’s an opportunity to create a private label product or a physical product which you’ve since done. I want to hear a little bit about that. Let’s start with the email list. How important is it now and do you feel it is in the future to have communications with people on an email list?
[00:21:35] Alex: 100%. I mean I wish I would have started my email list sooner and I think in the beginning it’s really easy to overcomplicate it, “What will I say? What do they want to hear?” Now it’s more about building that relationship and if I would just have realized that that was the key ingredient, just like you said, just to show up and just to build that relationship with them because it doesn’t really matter what you have is necessarily what you might be selling but also when you are taking the time to build the relationship with them, share information again that’s valuable, maybe be vulnerable, share your own stories.
If I would have just done that from the very beginning, then that would have been so powerful. The day that I decided to start doing that it’s been then since I’ve been able to really create these relationships with my audience much deeper. So when it comes to business, I know that’s where I have the loyal raving fans and if I were to publish something or share something they will always respond. It’s now a bigger part of my business than it was at the beginning. Yeah you have to have your people, you have to be able to contact them whether it’s letting them know, “Hey, I’m no longer in Facebook. Facebook shut me down. Follow me here or it’s I have something new going on.”
For me its privying my business. I went from talking about packing, now I’m selling products. So continuing that conversation to where you are going. And that’s how I’m seeing my email list right now. It’s the people that will grow with me and go with me as I grow myself.
[00:23:17] Scott: I love that, I hear a lot of people and we’ve been hearing it for years but still, email is dead, no one’s opening their emails. I disagree, I know you disagree because you have people that open your emails. Does that mean you don’t go on Facebook and communicate? I know you use that too but to me the email list is still to me a core communication channel because like you said, I had that just happen recently. My podcast got deindexed and I had to let people know, “Hey, the episode is not going to publish here is why.”
But I was able to get that message out. I know Pat had the same thing happen to him. He had something happen to his website that it went down and he was able to communicate with his email list and let them know that, “Hey, my site went down or a server, go to the YouTube channel and I’ll have the reason why or I’ll keep you updated.” I think it’s so important of that.
[00:24:14] Alex: It doesn’t matter if 10% read it, 20%, 30%. It’s not about 100% of people but it’s being able to reach some people that are your fans, the people that really care about what you have to say, they are going to open it up and if that group of people open it up, they are going to be the ones that will share it. They are going to be the ones who spread your message so you have to keep that relationship with them. And if you are just depending… You really have to own it and I think you had mentioned previously about is the blog dead? Well, I don’t think so. I definitely have to say….
It’s not and that’s because it’s something that I own. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, everything it’s not something that I own. Every day I worry my group, I have my group in Facebook, I’d like to move them but it’s also convenient for them. They don’t want to be moved but what if on day Facebook says, “Yeah, groups are gone.” My entire community is gone but on the blog, on your email you own that. You have control over what goes on there. Forget the algorithm, set your space.
[00:25:20] Scott: Yeah I love it. Now let’s talk about you are able to then, because you are doing affiliate marketing…Was affiliate marketing for you in the beginning, was it strictly like Amazon? Did you start with Amazon as an associate then for them and start to get the product sales through that?
[00:25:35] Alex: For my own product or as a blog?
[00:25:37] Scott: As a blog. Where were you starting to get… Because you mentioned that you started to look at affiliate sales from monetization stand point, was Amazon one of the first that you started drop links in for when you are referring a product?
[00:25:56] Alex: It wasn’t in the beginning. There were other smaller networks, I don’t know if you want me to mention them, but when I found Amazon, Amazon just destroyed everything else. It was one of the strategic moves I made was to stop using the affiliate networks that weren’t actually giving me commission and actually going to the ones that were. Plus people like Amazon, they trust Amazon, they shop on Amazon and as an Amazon associate if someone buys my recommendation or not, I can still have commission not just on that product they buy but everything in that shopping cart.
I quickly saw how lucrative that opportunity was even without physical products, just from my blog because getting to see what people were buying I knew one, was there products that they were buying that I wasn’t talking about? So it was a really interesting insight into the readers. So I was able then to buy the product and then test them out myself and go, “This is good product. Why am I not featuring it? Then I can write a review about it, then I can include it in the products that to begin with but yeah, Amazon’s message sorry
[00:27:05] Scott: No, no it’s awesome and I was leading into so you have this intelligence now by looking at seeing what people are buying, what people are interested in by you looking at the numbers and even though the numbers to some people it’s like, “Well depending on how many you are selling 4% to 8%-ish, somewhere in that range.” Okay. But, you shared and I’m not going to share it here but you shared a huge number and you were thinking about, “Maybe I should start selling those.” You are talking a six-figure number and you are like, “I don’t know.”
We had some thoughts on that but you got your idea for your physical product by looking at your data and then saying, “Maybe I should create my own.” And I’ve talked a lot about that in the past of being able to have that at your disposal. You have, you’ve done it, you’ve executed it and now you have another extension of your business in the physical product world. I want to talk about that and we want to talk about that on a Facebook Live that you did which is insane. So let’s start with looking at the data and then deciding you wanted to go for it.
[00:28:05] Alex: It’s usually is interesting and what we do is, what we are doing with a lot of our higher traffic articles we were using unique tracking IDs. We started tracking those IDs and we would see then what people were purchasing on that one blogpost. So on that one blogpost we could then optimize as an affiliate for the stuff that people were buying on the website but then when we were starting to think about physical products well we were also able to see, “Wow, we are selling a lot of this one product. Why aren’t we selling our own?”
Despite the fact, and this is one of the biggest lessons that I learned as starting with physical products, people told me that the products that I wanted to launch were too competitive. They said that they were not right for Amazon and they would not work. So I tried to find partners actually, people that were already selling on Amazon because I don’t learn about manufacturing and go through everything. I did it once before and I already knew I didn’t like manufacturing. But I tried to find someone for example like you to partner with and I got turned down because the products were not correct for Amazon per se.
But I’m really glad I didn’t listen to those people and I just kept on going myself because I chose the products based on my own data. And Amazon their party app, it was something that I knew that was selling on my website. I could see the numbers, I knew how many were selling per day, per year, colors and I knew which ones were being returned. So I knew that those maybe high selling but if there’s big returns, not a good product. So I had really unique insight into everything. That’s how we decided to go with a couple of… We have three products right now but two of those products are based predominantly on data.
[00:29:59] Scott: Yeah, again for you to have that insight and being able to say, “All I really need to know now is on those blogpost is transfer out that product and make it my own.” Those people also…And I’ve actually looked into this myself just the opportunity wasn’t there, but I thought about buying a blog that someone was just monetizing with Ad Sense or with an ad network making $4,000, $5,000 a month but I can look at the data and go, “If I turn that into my physical product I can take $5,000 make it $15,000 that’s a good deal.”
And that’s what you’ve done with your own blog and it’s worked out pretty well for you and it’s in a competitive market which for you you’ve got the base, you’ve got the reach, you’ve got the traffic. You’ve got all the signs that say you can do this because if all I’m going to do now is launch that on there, I have to use the black hat strategies, grey hat strategies to try to drive sales and all this stuff. You don’t have to do that and I think, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think you really spend on pay-per-click either.
[00:30:59] Alex: I don’t do any pay-per-click, I don’t really do any paid advertising at all. I hardly do any advertising at all actually just because I think you are your own worst salesperson but we are doing well and the products are selling without much effort on my end. It’s really now becoming passive income, too passive income where it’s rolling and we aren’t. We came to the conclusion that we are on a competitive space and could we try to be in the system? We could but do we want to? Not really, especially because two of the products are so competitive. It’s unreal.
So the amount of money that we were going to spend to try to get to the top and then we also have more… Our products are more expensive than the products on Amazon. So it was hard to try to get people to buy ours when they could get somebody else’s for half the price. But why are ours more expensive? Well they are premium. I wanted to make sure the products I was selling were going to be if not better than the one I’ve been using, as good or if not better and in this case I feel that we did better.
And it’s a premium product, not luxury but a premium product and we are selling. And we are getting organic sales on Amazon and it’s been nice. So we can just do that and now literary like you said we’ve got so much data that we can in just about any genre, we can go and just flip a switch on our post and we are no longer selling a competitor for example we are not just selling our own. We were collecting affiliate revenue for another brand. Now we are just collecting that revenue full for ourselves and that brand’s off the website.
[00:32:47] Scott: That’s so powerful and I just want people to understand too that if all you are doing is going to Amazon, looking at maybe Jungle Scout or the data and you are going, “Oh I’m just going to sell that product because it’s got great numbers.” There is someone like Alex right now that’s selling that product that you are not going to be able to compete directly just on Amazon. It’s going to be outside of Amazon. That’s going to be the long-term play and if you are not building that, you are really at risk I believe because this is the way to do it.
Sure there was the gold rush two years ago that you can do that, it’s over with. It’s kind of like Google you can game Google for a little while then they catch on and then it becomes harder. This is the long play and I do believe if you put in the work you can get there and then you can launch those products. Let’s talk about the Facebook Live that blew up in a good way.
Let’s just walk people through that because a lot of people say, “Scott how do I launch my product?” You launch it to an audience or to people that you’ve got to raise their hand that are interested in your product, that are willing to buy because you know that they are interested.
You on the other hand had a really warm audience because they know they can trust you already. Take us through what happened, what your plan was and then the results from that.
[00:33:57] Alex: It’s taken me three years to actually finally get the prototype and the manufacturer that I wanted for my product but you’ve got funnels, you’ve got KickStarter, you’ve got all these strategies of what you should do, of what is the correct way to go about it. And I was just overwhelmed and I just got so tired of trying to figure out what’s the right way to do it and I just said, “Screw it I’ll just go out and sell it and see what happens just to see will people buy it.” So I sent out an email blast I think to 30,000 people at the time on my list maybe 25,000, I had cleaned up. And I sent an email blast and said, “Hey, next week I’m going to do a Facebook Live. I have a big announcement, tune in.”
On that Facebook Live I announced my product and I pretty sold between that 16-minutes Facebook Live and three total emails, I barely even announced it on my blog which of course is silly but again you are your own worst salesperson and I presold $17,000 for my first product just with that minimal effort really and that was all the confirmation I needed. I knew that it was going to work and I was able to take the money and I didn’t have to risk any money out of my pocket and make that first order.
So from that we presold the product, we had reviews, we had fans, we had social media, we had a whole story behind the brand and then we took that story onto Amazon where people that didn’t get to buy that first round- we already had buyers ready to go as soon as we were on Amazon.
[00:35:42] Scott: Right. That is so awesome to be able to send out a couple emails, you are going to go Facebook Live and then you presell $17,000 to basically help fund that. Let me ask you this, because a lot of people think big numbers like, “You’ve got to have a huge amount.” I’m just curious, I have never asked you this question maybe you know the answer, maybe you don’t, how many people were there live? Because a lot of people are like, “Well, I don’t have many people.”
I find later it makes a difference. What kind of numbers are we looking at? Like thousands? How many people are there that are tuning in?
[00:36:16] Alex: Generally speaking, on an average Facebook Live I would get let’s say 50 on the spot live we use little number. That time I think it went up to 200 at a time and then of course the impressions were in the thousands and the comments were hundreds but live at a time it was 200. On my Facebook I think I had maybe 55,000/60,000 fans
[00:36:44] Scott: And then that email, when that got sent out did you send them saying, “I’m going live,” and then you let people know? Like for us like webinars or workshops or whatever you do we give that little bit of, “We are going to going live. Here is another reminder we are going.” Did you let people know like that?
[00:36:58] Alex: Yes I did one final reminder before I went… So I treat my Facebook Lives are very much like live webinars.
[00:37:03] Scott: Okay, cool. That’s awesome because again 200 people, a lot of people in a room. You put 200 people in a room it’s a lot of people but really on the grand scheme of things people look at these sometimes vanity numbers like, “Oh you’ve got 200,000. I can’t do that, they are special.” But guys we are taking 200 people. There is more people that watched it after the fact. If there was 200 there, there was probably thousands after the fact. That’s how Facebook works.
That’s why I always tell people show up live. I don’t care if it’s one or two people. You are going to get the after effect once it has time to work and people are starting to see it.
[00:37:38] Alex: The thing with Facebook Live and one of the things that I do is I also create an event because then Facebook notifies people that have signed up… I ask them to RSVP Facebook Live here because Facebook will notify them when your Facebook Live is coming up, when you are live and when it’s going on. So I did have more than 200 people there at the time but it doesn’t matter because it just depends on what you are selling.
I think people have sold with much smaller audiences or just an email list of 500 and I’m sure I probably with the numbers should have been able to go have more if I would have had a proper funnel and plans and huge sales thing but I didn’t. So I feel with me it was more of the minimal effort. Imagine if you have a small audience but you really implement a very strong strategy.
[00:38:28] Scott: So you get on the Facebook Live, how does that go? Like, “Hey guys, Alex here, got a product for sale. You want to buy it pre-buy it.” What was your sales pitch in a sense or your explanation as far as what you are doing? Lead me through that. I’m curious anyway. I mean I just want to know this personally. Everyone else can listen in but I’m curious.
[00:38:52] Alex: I had recently been to a conference in London and heard about someone speak about sales and so I decided to formulate my Facebook Live based on his formula which is essentially start with a story, pinpoint or something where you are resonating with your audience and then move into the why, the how, the pitch and close it. That’s exactly how I started my Facebook Live and it started with a genuine story and just went right in. And with my Facebook Lives it’s always what I do Charlene Johnson I use her Facebook Live strategy to just go on and start.
And I don’t stop in my Facebook Live. I do treat it as webinar so I go on, “I’m going to be revealing today something I haven’t shared with anybody else. Make sure to stay through the end because you are going to find this out.” I dive right in, I don’t really take questions because one of the things I do on Facebook Live is actually also save it so then I can repurpose it for YouTube. And man, I haven’t told you about that strategy actually.
[00:40:03] Scott: Oh, we’ve got good stuff here guys. I’m learning too.
[00:40:08] Alex: I’m actually shocked. I usually do a 36-minute Facebook Live and I have a video editor to bring it down to YouTube friendly to best practice time, between five to fifteen minutes tops. I knew there was one topic that was particularly good and I said, “Let’s not cut anything, let’s keep it at 30 minutes.” It’s had massive views, I’ve gotten followers from it because it was a big topic, 30 minutes. People sat there for the YouTube video. You are not supposed to have a YouTube video that long and it worked.
So that’s something I didn’t realize for the Facebook Lives. I didn’t have to actually overthink it. I could literary just throw my log on, beginning and the end, throw them straight on to YouTube practically and they are good to go because again it’s the why. Why are you doing something on YouTube? I’m giving my audience a different way to digest my information. The Instagram audience, Facebook and YouTube they are all very different. You are not talking to the same person so if someone is not on Facebook maybe they want to watch a video but they want to watch it on YouTube.
It’s also an age demographic as well. So my audience under 35 is on Instagram so I have to be able to have the same Facebook Live. I then repurpose it in the different channels as well. Sorry, that was a random thing that happened recently where I published one of the most popular Facebook Lives and published the whole thing without editing and it just did massive on YouTube.
[00:41:35] Scott: That’s fantastic. Did you push any traffic over to YouTube or did you just post it and let it go?
[00:41:40] Alex: One of the best practice I did here was that you have to share it on your newsletter or Facebook channel within the first 24 hours to give it a boost. So then we started doing that and that’s been really helpful as well actually.
[00:41:53] Scott: Wow that’s awesome. Yeah you are repurposing something that’s already there and I think that’s also… are you thinking about that while you are doing your Facebook Live now that you are not going to be like, “Hey, give me a like on Facebook.” Do you keep it tight and clean without making those remarks or do you service both platforms?
[00:42:12] Alex: I just say, “Give me a like or leave a comment below,” because that works for Facebook or for YouTube. And to be honest with you again, I’m not really on YouTube trying to find new people. I’m again just giving my existing audience, it may not be on Facebook they may not even know. Sometimes you think… And that’s another thing with the email list, one mail blast, one Facebook Live which people are there, you might have more people that want to hear what you have to say but they may have missed it because Facebook didn’t show them.
There’s a million things going in your news feed, on Instagram in your day. So showing someone something just once isn’t enough. If you put it everywhere then they might catch it in a different place. So I’m really happy but again I do a Facebook Live without stopping like if it’s a webinar and I treat it as such. I go in and also everything is very general and if there’s any questions in the comments I won’t say anything about that. I’ll look at it and then I’ll answer the question naturally as if it’s part of my webinar essentially.
[00:43:21] Scott: Got you, that’s smart, that’s awesome. Alright, lets wrap this up. I want you to help someone right now that’s thinking to themselves, “Man she’s just miles ahead of me, light years ahead of me. I could never get started.” What would you recommend to someone that you met at a coffee shop, you guys hit it off, you are having a conversation and they are like, “How do I do what you do? How do I get traffic? What do I do? What’s first steps?”
[00:43:50] Alex: I think it’s so much easier now because there’s so much information on how to do it. If I were to start the business now with all the information courses and resources there are online, and I was approaching it from a business stand point with a very clear monetary objective from day one, I’d be able to get to where I am much faster. The personal thing that I feel has really helped me get through whether it’s physical products or the blog, it’s to listen to advice and to listen to best practices but ultimately do what’s right for you. Yes, you should be on our social media platforms but do you actually have to be there having a presence, having just your brand versus spreading yourself across all of them?
You don’t have to. It’s 80-20. Where am I going to get the most impact? For me, making that decision when I decided to focus like that it’s made all the difference in the world. It’s being very strategic. It’s all about strategy and one of the things people always say is read the book Traction because it really helps you just think about things when you are starting out.
It makes it more digestible because you have so many ideas, you want to accomplish so much and instead of running around like a headless chicken like I did the first couple of years, you can go into it read traction, get your goals in order, read Scott’s website, look at his information, his courses, his books, his everything then taking those things and implementing them in a very strategic way you are going to be able to fast forward your way there.
But also you have to be realistic. Everybody thinks just because you are doing something online and then people are making money off of it it’s supposed to be easy. But in reality if you are expecting someone to give you money, if you are expecting to make a living off of doing something online, then hello it’s a job. It doesn’t mean it’s going to magically happen overnight.
[00:45:51] Alex: In traditional business, businesses take three years before they even make a profit and people give up in six months if their business doesn’t profit. That’s not reality. However, with an online business, you have the opportunity where you can actually succeed much faster because you don’t have as much overhead. So don’t give up and also be realistic about what you actually want to do. This is a job; this is not a free ride so if you are looking for a free ride then buy a lottery ticket.
[00:46:22] Scott: Or go get a ninety-five.
[00:46:24] Alex: Or go get a ninety-five yeah.
[00:46:27] Scott: And I think you would agree too. It is work, it does take time, it does take, and I don’t even like to call them failures just more things that you don’t that don’t necessarily turn out the way they were supposed to and then you just learn from those. But it’s constantly getting up, dusting off and going and asking the right questions but also understanding that, and you’ve heard this I know, us entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week so we don’t have to work 40 for someone else. And it’s so true. It is the freedom of being able to say, “Yeah I’m going to work late at night so I can go watch my kids’ baseball game.”
Those are the choices that you can do because online is always so we can do that work at night. We don’t have to do it at a certain time so I really… I did actually read that book too Traction. It’s a good book, I’ll link everything up on the show notes it’s a good book but yeah so again guys I just wanted to invite Alex on because I think she’s a huge inspiration to all of us that are out there looking to create a lifestyle business. She’s truly created a lifestyle business that allows her and her husband to… Which we haven’t talked about here.
We are going to talk about him on the next episode. We are going to get him on next time and we are going to talk about numbers and really about how to probably leverage. Because I think that’s what you said, you said he’s really good at that side of the business. Actually what is Harry good at in the business? What is his expertise?
[00:47:51] Alex: His expertise is being logical, he is really practical. I think we’ve come to the conclusion that he is the operations COO operations guy. And I am the bigger picture in like, “We are going to do this, this is great.” And he’s like, “Okay, how are we actually going to accomplish that?”
[00:48:14] Scott: We all need a Harry because let me tell you something, the funny joke here is that myself and Chris Shaffer who is a partner of mine we like to run through walls and then say, “Can you guys clean that up because we are not really sure how to fix that because we just ran through a wall to get it done?” We have the vision, we have the ideas and we do need people that go, “Wait a minute, that’s great but let’s do this because this is where we are supposed to be headed and let’s figure out how we are going to get there.”
But yeah we are definitely going to have Harry on for sure and I want to hear his take on a lot of this as well. I know that you guys met backpacking correct?
[00:48:51] Alex: We met in 2010 while we were traveling and that’s been part of the business and that was my original why is trying to find an online business so I didn’t have to worry about my US passport working illegally in the UK. So you can meet anywhere in the world because he’s from England. Until we are married we couldn’t work in the same country so it was a big part of the why.
[00:49:15] Scott: That’s awesome. Hey Alex, I want to thank you so much for coming on. We are definitely going to have you back on if you are willing because you just have so much knowledge, so much information and so much spark. I love the spark that you have Alex and everyone that you are around you give them that energy and I think that’s important because the people that you hang out with are a lot of times people that you are going to be like and I think it’s a huge part of that. Really I’m honored and I’m thankful that we were able to get to know each other a little bit more over the past year and I know that we’ll be connecting in the future.
Thank you so much. If anyone wants to learn more about you and what you are up to how would they do that?
[00:49:54] Alex: They can find out about me my website on travelfashiongirl.com. Also we are Travel Fashion Girl on all the social channels so look forward to seeing you guys following me.
[00:50:09] Scott: I’m telling you what, follow Alex just to see how awesome it is to travel because you are always traveling. That’s the Travel Fashion Girl get it? Alex, thank you so much, tell Harry I said hello and we are going to get him back on or you back on with Harry the next time so that way there we can hear also how you guys work together because a lot of people want to know how do spouses work together. I’ve done that myself and it’s sometimes challenging but you can do it for sure.
Alex thank you so much, I appreciate you and have an awesome day.
[00:50:38] Alex: Thank you Scott, I love being on here, thanks again for having me and I can’t wait to be back.
[00:50:44] Scott: Alright, well I think Alex needs to drop the mic on that episode because she dropped some value bombs like crazy. And you guys might need to go back and listen to that one again. But one thing I want you to take away from this, one big thing is traffic to me and to you should be king. Content is king but traffic, traffic comes from content but the thing is if you get that traffic you can start to monetize that traffic almost immediately without you even having to sell anything.
We’ve done this in our physical products brand now, we’ve done it from day one when we started building out content, getting traffic and now we are generating anywhere between $2,700 and $3000 without selling a physical product. Now, yes we are selling physical products as well but also we are doing affiliate offers and we are doing a digital item on there so we are doing all of that in that physical brand which I think everyone should do is diversify but you can see it comes from traffic.
So if you are starting a business and you are like, “I don’t want to get started because I don’t want to throw $5,000 down on a product just to source and sell it on Amazon and not have any way to drive sales.” Well then do this, start with traffic. It does come down to figuring out your market which you probably have already done and if you haven’t you need to do that. But figure out that market, niche it down and then start publishing, start creating content, start building the email list. And that’s exactly what Alex has done here and she’s built this massive empire and she didn’t start monetizing it with her own physical products until five and a half years later.
Now she could have did it sooner but she had other things happening. She was building out all of the other traffic sources and the affiliate offers and sponsorships and she’s done a whole bunch of stuff with that. So just understand that if you get attention in your market and that means traffic, and you can turn that into profits. Yes, it requires some work but that is work that is going to pay you over and over and over again so it’s worth the time.
[00:52:50] Scott: And once again as I said in the beginning if you didn’t hear it, we are going to be something very, very unique and that is we are going to be teaching traffic and profits and that is exactly what we just talked about in this interview. It’s going to lend itself very well to that because I know a lot of people want to get traffic, they don’t know how, they want to see how it’s all built out, what are the steps, what do I need to do now, what do I need to do in the future and then how do I turn that into money even if I don’t have a product.
Or how do I take that traffic and then guide those people to buy a product? Or give them different options to really support the brand. And so that’s what we are going to be doing. We are going to be doing a live training. Now this is not a 60-minute workshop. This is something we are going to be getting on for two or three hours. We haven’t even decided yet per day. It’s going to be a live training where if you show up live you can sit in on it for free which is actually going to be eventually turned into a paid training.
So this is something that will sell for between $297 to $497. It’s what we are calling also a micro training and this one here, this first one that we are doing is called Traffic in Profits. So if you want to be a part of that, if you want to attend that live head over to tasclass.com, again that’s tasclass.com and go register for that. Now if you are listening to this after the fact, after it’s all done, still go to that link and you’ll have all of the updates or any upcoming classes that we are doing will be there.
Alright so, with that all being said definitely go check out Alex, she’s awesome. I mean just follow the blog, look what she is doing and also if you are traveling definitely see what she says to do because she’s been doing it for years. And if you are a woman and you are listening to this definitely listen and watch what she is doing because she is brilliant. And the episode here is theamazingseller.com/671 for the show notes, transcripts and all that stuff.
[00:54:50] Scott: Man I am just so fired up you can tell I’m almost out of breath here. I’m so fired up. This one here gets me excited because if you have the power of your own traffic man you can do so, so much.
Alright guys, that’s it, that’s going to wrap it up. As always remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, say it with some energy today, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.[END] Click Here to Download Transcript <<