Caulen Foster has mastered the art of copywriting. It’s evident when he thinks, acts, and speaks. He is one of those who habitually pull awesome, attention-grabbing headlines from random conversations and use them to create conversions out of thin air.

Caulen started in eCommerce as a brand owner seven years ago. His brand dominated on Amazon which ultimately launched the brand’s trajectory into Shopify – and that’s when Caulen discovered the wonders of great copywriting. Copy is really the secret sauce – not only for growing sales but also for scaling brands beyond one eCommerce platform. Now, as head of Product and Client Selection at BrainPower – Caulen and his team work with multiple brands in preparing, directing, and orchestrating their expansion from Amazon to Shopify and beyond. Watch Caulen and listen to his amazing insights in this episode of Seller Round Table as he chats with our host, Amy Wees:

Caulen’s Signature Expert Advice: Counterintuitive but Wise!

If you’re expecting to hear some cookie-cutter soundbites from Caulen – you’re in for a nice surprise. Make sure to turn the volume up and listen all the way through to get unexpected but clever tips from a gifted branding and copywriting expert. Learn things like:

  • Online marketing is not about competing with your competitors. It’s all about competing with distractions.
  • You cannot create the desire for your product. It already exists.
  • Caulen’s 4-step conversion formula: opportunity, desire, replaced experience, replacement
  • 5-star product reviews are great but focus more on 3-star reviews – these are your minefields of relevant and useful insights
  • More. So much more.

To Shopify and Beyond…

How do you know if a product can survive and thrive outside of Amazon?

Is it about sales? Have you seen the pile of generic but best-selling stuff on Amazon lately? At the height of covid, suddenly everybody needed protective face masks. And you’d see thousands of masks from all over the place topping the Amazon bestseller charts. Now that the need has simmered down, sales have also plateaued. Is it wise for a top-selling but generic mask brand to set up shop on an off-Amazon platform like Shopify?

Amy and Caulen could not have stressed it any harder – a scalable brand will have a good unique selling proposition. The USP is what drives your brand’s overall message, character, positioning, copywriting, design, and every other thing in between. To survive outside of Amazon, you have to offer more than just your product – you offer your brand’s unique value and the unique experience you deliver out of all the other competing brands.

Okay, let’s say you have a great product with a really valuable USP. The future is looking bright beyond Amazon and you’re ready to expand. What now? Do you just hire a Shopify web developer and call it a day? Well – you can. But don’t expect your customer to magically find themselves on your Shopify site and bookmark it as their new favorite online hangout site.

Caulen shares the standard step-by-step process they follow at BrainPower for their Amazon to Shopify expansion clients:

  1. Research. Look at competitors, product reviews, and all the available information you can scavenge online or from your Client. Learn who your customer is – find out about their deepest fears and wildest dreams.
  2. Start with a product listing and shoppable landing page that lays down every important detail about your product.
  3. Drive traffic. Use social media – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn – and email funnels.
  4. Follow up. Marketing is all about relationship-building. Now that you’ve created a connection with your target audience – don’t lose it.
  5. Personalize. Format every marketing funnel you create according to a specific customer avatar. Remember the golden rule in branding – if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.

The most important thing to note about expanding your Amazon brand to Shopify is that you are not just building another eCommerce sales channel. The goal is to build your brand’s digital infrastructure – which started with Amazon, then expands into Shopify, social media, and other potential eCom platforms. Focus on one platform at a time, and keep moving forward in building a solid foundation that will eventually lift your brand to the top.

We hope you found value in our latest blog. Do you have any tips for scaling on Shopify? Share them in the comments section!

Transcript

Amy Wees: Hey, what’s up everybody, this is Amy Wees. Andy is out today. But we are recording episode 110 of The Seller Roundtable. And I am here with my friend Caulen Foster from Brain Power. Hey, Caulen, what’s up?

Caulen Foster: How are you? Good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Amy: Yeah, so you know, we always start our episodes just getting to know you a little bit better. So tell everybody as much or as little as you want to tell if you want to provide a blood sample. That’s okay. So just tell us where you’re from. And a little bit more about you and your background?

Caulen: Sure, no problem. So I’m from Miami, which is probably why you see so much sun in the background of my video here on my Zoom. I got started in Ecommerce about seven years ago. I had my own product. I have my own brand that’s named Almond Pro, which got big on Shopify. We started actually with Click Funnels, and I kind of navigated my way through the Ecommerce journey, so to speak. I had a mentor lead me along the way and just taught me kind of the ins and outs of the industry. Got me, thankfully involved in copywriting very early on, and really emphasized the importance of being able to write copy. So that was kind of where my trajectory went, when it came where I was putting my energy into learning the most outside of just like pure digital infrastructure. Like, what else can I use here? And copy is where that fell. And over the years, I’ve used that across different performance projects. I’ve worked with influencers selling online education, lots of DTC stuff. My favorite thing to sell is direct to consumer, obviously, and especially in the CPG space. I love things that are just packaged and can be sold quality products, which is kind of the premise of all the products that we work with. We do have some clients that do online education, but CPG is our jam. So and yeah, I’ve been with Brain Power now at the present. I’m in charge of product and client selection, because we’re very selective about the products that we pick. One thing we’ll probably talk about today is how not all products that are on Amazon work on Shopify, so we have to be selective yeah, like I said, selective on how we choose our products and who we work with. But I think that’s, that’s the best advice I got right off the top of my head. How was that?

Amy: I love it. So I’m now seeing why you and I get along so well – because I also love sales and copywriting. Everything that you do in the sales side is is about how you communicate with the customer and how you make them feel along the journey. It really makes a difference when customers buy from brands that they know ,like, and trust – and copy is where that’s at. I love that you have a background in sales. Mark Cuban once said that if he lost his billions, “If I lost my billions I don’t know if I’d be able to get it all back. But I would get a job at sales and I’d at least be able to make a million.” That is huge number. So do you think that I mean, this is a random question not related to Shopify. But do you think that anyone can learn how to be a good copywriter? Or do you think it really takes a certain je ne sais quoi?

Caulen: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. You know, I think you can, especially if you are passionate about your product. Chances are if you’re passionate about the product that you sell, you’re probably be very in tune with the benefits and the features of your product. And if you can learn to differentiate between the two I think the outside the box thinking kind of stuff comes with time. Even me – I’m definitely a little bit more right side of the brain, a little bit more creative and stuff, but it still took me a while to think like a copywriter. But now I when I talk to people I actually hear copy. Sometimes it’s pretty weird. You know, like, somebody will say something to me. And I’ll be like, “Oh, that’s a good headline right there. I’m writing that on my phone”. Like that’s definitely a good attention grabber. So I think over time, it’s something you just kind of get a knack for. But yeah, there’s definitely some of the greats, but there’s some amazing books out there that can definitely help big time.

Amy: Yes, love that. Well, let’s get into it. You grow brands on Shopify. And you and I were talking about brands and what makes a good brand for Shopify? Can you talk a little bit about the best products to grow on Shopify?

Caulen: Oh, yeah, totally. So I always say that when you’re selling on Shopify, you’re not just competing with your competitors, you’re you’re competing with distractions. So the number one thing you really look for in your product and your marketing is capturing attention, right? You need to captivate attention. And you have to have a product and a marketing campaign and a marketing strategy that is strong enough to retain that attention and then get engagement because like I said, It’s not just your competitors sending out ads, it’s also your text messages going off, your phone ringing, so there are a lot of variables that you have to take into consideration when you’re selling on these mobile predominantly platforms. You’re doing most of the traffic on your mobile these days. The best products are those that number one, capture attention, they have to be very unique. We like to say they present a new opportunity to the market. A great example of an opportunity would be like Uber and taxis. Back in the days, I know that taxis were extremely unreliable, they cost a lot of money, it was not something that you could use on a daily basis. And then here comes Uber with this amazing new opportunity to just have a car right at your doorstep within seven minutes, right? So we look for something that presents a really strong new opportunity to the marketplace, usually a very strong, unique selling proposition.  Another thing that we look for is desire. Do people want this? Is this something that exists within people at a primal level? In a lot of instances when we want to buy something, it’s not that somebody created that desire in us. It’s that they tapped into it. Desire – it’s like energy  – it can’t really be created or destroyed. It just exists, so you can only tap into it. Does this product, tap into desire, right into a primal desire, something like traveling or eating.

Amy: It’s also you know, like Donald Miller puts it as survival, right? The way to tell a really good story is how all of us humans have a desire to survive, like something that’s going to help us survive or thrive in some way. That taps into that survival mechanism. If you don’t have this in your life, what is it going to be like? And they just have some to that desire side. So I love that you put it from the desire side of things, because I’ve heard it from the survivalist kind of things but love the desire side.

Caulen: Yeah, yeah, that’s a great way to put it. I’ve never seen vice versa. I’ve never heard of the way you put it in that at a primal level. It really does. You know, our surroundings have changed right as human beings but our instincts really haven’t as much as we think they have. We tap into that desire, and then we look for two last things, which is an experience or a mechanism, like what changes in the process? And when it comes to the problem that you’re solving the opportunity, that you’re presenting to the marketplace. We’re talking about primal, we could say, when people are hungry, they could eat, maybe a chicken, rice and a glass of water, they can have that every single day, probably for the rest of life and survive for a very long time, right, or maybe even something plant based. But humans don’t want that they want to change, they want a new mechanism, they want to introduce a new experience whenever they eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People like to see that kind of change when it comes to solving problems. Think of bubble baths and bath bombs. They do virtually the same thing. But the mechanism and the experience completely changes, right? The bath bomb that kind of explodes right into the bath whereas one just bubbles up. And we can go back to the iPod, you know, iPod, CD player, big new experience, they’re digital.  And the last thing, which is really one of most important things is what are we replacing in the marketplace? Lik what is currently in the marketplace that we can do not only better, but completely get rid of? Human beings at a primal level don’t like to just improve, they like to replace. Improvement offers will usually not do as well as replacement offers, it’s kind of when people go to get a new car, they don’t really need a new car, most of the time. But instead of just improving it or getting new tires, or maybe tinting the windows – they go “I’m tired of it, I want to get a new one”. We always look for a bigger gap there, the bigger of an indication that we have a really solid product. That’s like the foundation for how we look at what products we’re going to choose and what products we’re going to market. There are a lot more stuff. But I think for your listeners just four things: opportunity, desire, replaced experience, and replacement. Those four components are like literally the backbone of our business.

Amy: For all of you private label sellers out there who are trying to do product research, you should use that as your guideline. When you’re thinking about that product you’re bringing to market, you should really think: does it have a strong USP? Is there a desire in the marketplace for it? What is the experience compared to what I call: reasonable alternatives? So what I call these reasonable alternatives, whenever I’m working with inventors, and they’re looking at this new cool idea, I’m like, “Okay, but how many reasonable alternatives are there in the marketplace?” And are these significantly cheaper? Like, how does yours bring that additional value? And then the replacement, what are you replacing? I love that way of thinking about it instead of just reasonable alternatives. Like, why would they choose yours? And not this other? Yes. I love that. That’s such a great way to break down four things.

Caulen: Like that formula, I kid you not I’ve used it in every product that I’ve launched. And it’s not always a rocket to the moon, but it has even on the days where I hit the ignition button, and the rocket doesn’t jump up as high as or, you know, shoot off as high as I want it to, it has always proven itself to be a very solid baseline model for how I’m going to market products as well. So you know, everything can always be optimized. That’s what we do in Ecommerce most of the time, right? But that formula, right, there is, like I said, it’s the foundation of everything we’ve built our product selection on, so it works.

Amy: Love that. So let’s talk about a real brand. What makes a real brand in your eyes versus an Amazon only product?

Caulen: Oh, great question. So I would say I actually had a conversation with a pretty big client of ours. And he said something that was really cool. He said that his product was driving the brand, right like his sales entirely were driving the belly, he stopped marketing or stops spending on ads. His business wouldn’t really perform how it was performing. to him. The message is what drives a brand, right, like when you’re messaging what your mission statement, what your purpose is when you’re a purpose driven company. That message is actually what drives the brand, and the sales support it right, but the driving force becomes the vision. Especially when we’re doing a lot of PPC, a lot of customer acquisition, customer acquisition when you’re doing it like that as opposed like a boots on the ground organic you know those that’s the benefit of the boots to ground organic method. You’re gonna get more of a personalized touch when it comes to acquiring customers speaking to people building that mission from from kind of inception. Most of us in Ecommerce aren’t really building like that most of us are acquiring, acquiring, acquiring acquiring. So what happens is, when you stop acquiring, do your sales fall off? I mean, that goes back into retention and great products. So I would say that really getting into that people become advocates, they want to become advocates for your business. It’s not just about the product. The product doesn’t drive the brand. The mission drives the brand. I have a saying: “attention gets the sale, product gets the scale”. You can capture people’s attention these days, it’s not super easy to sell things online, but it’s a lot easier than it was 20 years ago, right? We know where people are in the funnel, we know where they are, in terms of engagement, we know everything about people when it comes to media buying. So at this point, it kind of looks like “attention gets the sale, product gets the scale you can get sales, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to grow a scalable business. You have to have a great product. And that product usually translates into some sort of mission that people then use to drive the business. So they kind of like, kind of transfer from one to the next.

Amy: I like to think of it as whether your reviews come naturally. Amazon sellers are always trying to get more reviews. They’re always like, “how do I get more reviews”? Well, you’re selling a light bulb, and you’re not gonna get more reviews. But if you really do connect with the mission, if you have your brand, to the feeling that that customer gets when they buy your product, and you’re replacing all the things that we talked about that make up a brand. You’re really helping them with something in their life, and you’re making a difference in their life, they are just naturally going to leave a review without you even asking. Like we get new five star reviews for my invented product all the time, because it just saves people so much time and money. And they’re just like, oh, I have to leave a review. This is the best thing ever, you know. It’s easy if you have one of those products. And I think that is every major brand that we ever think about that we know, like, and trust – brought one of those products to market that really made a difference in our life.

Caulen: The product like the experience, right? What happens is when people trust products, they then trust the manufacturer and the supplier and the producer of the product, right? When your mission is authentic, and your product is good, what happens is it makes your mission and your goal with the business much more authentic to your consumers. Because you’re now relatable, you’re trustworthy, you’re actually selling a good product, you deliver the product on time, you have a great experience, there’s great packaging, these are all the things that I don’t think are talked about enough when it comes to Shopify. And not even just Shopify, but outside traffic platforms, even social media advertising. You can sell on Facebook as well. A lot of people don’t realize that you can also engage with people who ask questions immediately. Somebody can ask you: “how many calories are in this product?”, and this is a perfect opportunity for you to have an immediate peace of engagement with your customer at the advertising level, like no media in history has ever really had that power. Like when you think that that’s something that nobody talks about, like when we get when we get customer service, we literally have somebody who is literally designated for Facebook comments to be extremely thorough. It doesn’t just say, “Oh, how many calories? – 158”. It’s – “Hey, thanks so much for reaching out, great to hear from you. There’s 158 calories in this product. Do you have any additional questions?” You create an experience when you do stuff like that from inception on the acquisition side, using paid media? Like if you carry that all the way through good messaging on your email, your people are just naturally going to like your product. Why wouldn’t they if it’s a great product? So that’s really where the brand is the differentiator. The communication with your customer. I look at data all day, right? But at the end of that piece of data is a real human being that at a primal level who always wants a positive relationship. Human beings want positive relationships in their life. So even though we’re brands and we’re products, and we sell as such, we still have the capacity to develop very, very strong relationships with brands. And after COVID especially, that’s mostly what’s driving businesses right now that’s separating Ecommerce products and Ecommerce brands.

Amy: I love that. That’s just so strong. So, let’s get into what it takes to grow a brand on Shopify, because I know so many Amazon sellers will reach out to me and they’ll say, you know, Amy, I want to get a Shopify store up and running and I just don’t know what I should do. Can you tell me Caulen, when I talked to you last time, you told me about every angle that you have thought of, every angle of growing a brand. You create multiple funnels, you do split testing, you have like follow up email sequences for every one of your funnels that’s personalized to that landing page. You have created a machine, a system for growing a brand on and off of Shopify, really, but really helping people grow their following and everything .And of course, Shopify is just the method that you use to do that, and you do other things off of Shopify. But let’s talk a little bit about your process and how you go through the process of growing a brand on Shopify, and some of the marketing funnels and copywriting that’s involved.

Caulen : Yeah. So yeah, our process basically, we start a strategy session. And we go really deep on who our customer is. We’re learning about everything and anything that resonates with our customer in terms of what their values are. But we’re trying to take them from an imperfect present to a desirable future. And we want to understand the pain points that they’re going through, we want to understand the problems that they’re experiencing, how do we make these problems better and solve them. We solve very specific problems. We just go into an in depth research process where we learn everything and anything that we can about our customers. A lot of it revolves around reviews and research. So we do review where you research for, we’ll look at one one star reviews, three star reviews, and five star reviews. Typically, you know, a cool tip for your listeners is one of the things that we do on each of those reviews is we copy and paste as many of the reviews as we can. And we use what’s called a word cloud generator. So we can look at the one star reviews, we’ll copy as many will get, you know, say a brand has 3000 reviews, we’ll get as many of those reviews, we can we’ll put them in a word cloud generator, and the word cloud will literally pick the most popular words. So you’ll know with unbiased, like there’s it’s just data, right? There’s no subjectiveness to it, right? It’ll show us all the key words that are in a one star review, like what are the number one things that people are complaining about? It’ll strike the most common words, three stars, we do the same thing in five stars, we do the same thing. And that what’s cool about that is you get the really, really bad, “this was the worst product that I’ve ever had in my life” reviews, you get the fives which is “this is the best product I’ve ever had in my entire life”. And it’s a light bulb, so it’s probably a little exaggerated, right. But you also get the three stars, which is I liked it but and that is that is that’s where the gold is. Because now you know like, because you know with the with one stars, you’re gonna get a lot of product damage stuff it came to, they sent me the wrong item, they sent me the wrong flavor. Five Star is sometimes a little exaggerated three stars are like where we get the sweet spot, because it’s the most objective and neutral opinion you can get from somebody if somebody is taking the time to say, You know what, it wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t that bad. So what made it in between? And where can we use that to exist on this side of the spectrum on the five on the five star side. So anyway, we that’s just a little tip that we use, because it works really well for learning, you know where your product is.

Amy: So we’re gonna cut that tip out of this episode. It’s so good. That’s a great tip. I love word clouds. And I’ve never thought about using them in that way. Yeah, awesome. I’m so sorry. No, no, you’re good. Keep spilling the gold. We’re listening.

Caulen: So, we’ll look, at a lot of that stuff. And I always say at the end of the day, it all boils down to research. And that’s just a copywriter me, like, we research so much. You know, we look up news articles. You know, like I said, the reviews, audience Insights, unfortunately, is supposed to be disappearing. I didn’t want to talk about it too much from Facebook, but Facebook Audience Insights, it’s still up and running now. But it’s such a powerful tool, but I believe July 1, it’s supposed to be going away. I don’t know what they’re gonna be replacing it with. But I know there’s been some notices on that. So anyway, research is number one. And then you kind of start going and you build infrastructure around that. When we talk about infrastructure, I typically like to do one of two things. It depends on the client, and it depends on where people are at in their business. Some people will have a Shopify store that has some basic, you know, it’s got like a homepage, and it’s very, very basic. What you could do is if you wanted to test to see if Shopify would be a good option for your product to sell it. What I would probably do is leave this site the way it is without having to build too much and build an acquisition page or our landing page. And what that landing page does is, is you basically put your product on there and you write copy. Think of it like a funnel, right? You know, I use that term very carefully, because, you know, I love Click Funnels, but there’s just that little difference.

Amy: An Amazon product listing page, just that product on the page. And we’re trying to take them through the journey of that product and take them all the way through to the point of purchase.

Caulen: Exactly. One of the most important things on that page, besides the copywriting, and you know, the creative and all the other stuff that goes along with it is the offer. The offer is super, super important. Most of the time when people think about offers, like, if you tell somebody Oh, you know, your offer isn’t that great, right? If I tell somebody, their offer isn’t that great on the page, that’s a lot of people immediately thinking that I’m telling them to lower the price. But really what developing offers is about, it’s not really about price. It’s actually more about value. People very rarely don’t buy because of price. It’s because they didn’t see the value in the price that you were presenting to them. So what we were trained to do. And what we do during our offer development process is we look at what you have in your business, or what we can find source or be creative with the ebooks or whatnot, that we can give to your consumers when they purchase when they when they purchased this aquas your product through an acquisition offer.

I’ll give you a great example. One of our clients, they sell organic supplements. They’re a pretty large seller of organic supplements on Amazon. They were having a lot of trouble with their website in general, but we wanted to test to make sure that we could get something going before we went and built out all this expensive infrastructure. So we built them a landing page. And then in the offer development, what we did was I helped him source this toward an electric Tornado Bottle overseas. And it’s this basically it’s like a shaker, but instead of it being a shaker, it’s got like a plastic spinner in there, and you press a button and it turns on it and it blends for you. And we got a bunch of really cool creative and it was very cheap to source. We bundled it with the product, and we gave it to people for free. And we were able to charge right around the same amount of price, the right around the same price for the product without having to discount it too much. Because we created more value, right? So we factored that into the price. And that’s one of the things you can do on the acquisition side to start bringing people into your brand, and then sell them things on the back end. It’s usually with the good product, good experience. So I would usually recommend, obviously, first thing is research. Next thing is probably a single product landing page. I don’t know, it depends on when excuse you have I think it goes on a case by case basis. For the purposes of this podcast, I don’t want to be too generic, because every case is different, you know. But in a lot of cases, what we do is we test a single product landing page. And then we run traffic to those pages. One of the things that people don’t get told enough as another tip for your listeners, because there’s no shortage of media buying companies out there that want your business. There are plenty of Facebook buyers out there and Google ad buyers and all that good stuff. But A common misconception is that people think that they have a page or a piece of infrastructure that’s even ready to have traffic sent to it. Just because you have a website on Shopify does not mean that the traffic should be sent there. Because it’s probably not going to convert this 2% number that everybody thinks just magically exists. If you have pretty solid infrastructure, pretty decent copywriter, you’ll probably convert it to present. If you don’t have the right basic tools, you won’t even convert even half that. It’s about making sure that you have the right components, you know, copywriting that works an email marketing, you know, some sort of email marketing flow or campaign that’s going out to your customers, but landing page right with the right components. And then you go to market with traffic, right, and then traffic is sent to the page. The Facebook, Instagram are still even though there’s a lot going on with Facebook right now with iOS 14. I don’t know if you’re I know your listeners are obviously probably a lot more on the Amazon side. So iOS 14, there’s a lot of going a lot of things going on right now just with Facebook, being able to track things and attribution and all that other good stuff that Facebook uses. But it’s still a powerful channel. And we use traffic from that source or other external sources to then convert people and then start bringing them into the brands that we work with.

Amy: And I think the key to that you build out is you also think about what do how do we communicate with that customer after they make a purchase or after they’ve visited the page. And I think so many people don’t really think all the way through the funnel right? Look at that Facebook ad. And they’re like, Okay, I got traffic, how many conversions am I getting? And they’re just waiting for that conversion to happen. And they haven’t built anything other than just you sign up for my email list, right? Totally. But you’re building ahead of time, you’re thinking all the way through that funnel, and you’re building out that follow up sequence that specifically helps. And you gave me an example of the the upsells. And the follow ups that were being done on your, on your email follow ups, and you were saying that, you also want to look at your, your upsells, and your add ons, and really target them to the customer. I think he gave me an example of somebody who was selling a really expensive item, and they were giving away like a $1 journal or something.

Caulen: Yes. 100% know exactly what you’re talking about. Yes. So what I was saying was, is when you when you’re purchasing, like when so when you’re building a landing page, right, when you’re building, let’s say, an acquisition page, like we just talked about, you want to have we use those as entry points for segmentation, right? We know that people who entered this land through this landing page, probably ascribe to this kind of message. And this, they’re probably follow this audience, right. So what we do is, is we make sure that the offers and the post purchase offers the messaging, everything we develop, or that customer is catered to that customer are offers, on the back end, if somebody you know, let’s say you’re selling a supplement, right, if you sold a pro, if you sold somebody, maybe a higher quality, higher price, protein powder, you probably don’t want to go and have a shaker bottle at you know, as your main upsell, seven days down the road, you know, you want to you don’t want to have a generic post purchase process, you want to make sure that everybody is kind of getting their own respective message, right, so that it resonates with them. Because when you try and sell to everybody you sell to nobody, you know. So it’s really about making sure that and this is like it. It’s just really about being considerate, I think about when you when you think about like think about somebody coming into your actual store, I imagine. So you own a storefront, and you have somebody that comes in and they buy something, and then they make this purchase. And then you take them to some other completely area of the store and try and sell them stuff over there that has nothing to do with what they just purchased. Right? Like somebody comes to buy floral stuff from Home Depot, and you don’t take them to the saws and hammers, right. It just, it doesn’t make sense, right? It just we don’t think of it like that. Because we’re you know, we’re in the digital space sometimes. But it’s really that simplistic when you think about it, like sell people what they want to be sold, not what you want to sell them, right. And that’s a big thing that like a lot of people, like it’s not what you want to sell, it’s what people want to buy.

Amy: And yeah, and I loved how you did you know you took and this is a great idea for all of you listeners out there, you know, you took a single supplement. Yep. And you presented it with three or four different landing pages, same supplement, but this one was for hiking. Yep, it was like the hiking supplement, you were really speaking to the hiker, right. And then this one over here was for like the hardcore bodybuilder, right. And so you’re not going to try and sell the hardcore bodybuilder accessories to the hiker don’t know who’s more interested in endurance and everything like that. So I love and any one of us could practice that with any of our products, we could create multiple landing pages with different messages that are targeted towards different types of customers, and customers who are on different journeys in their lives, right. And we can or we could look at all the pain points that our customers have, and have a landing page for each pain point, right and then cross and then your follow up messages also continued to target that same customer, so you not only built multiple landing pages, but you also built multiple follow up sequences that were personalized for that customer. So I just think that is just so smart. And then by the time you’re done, what you’ve done is you’ve basically built out this whole infrastructure of where, you know, they can plug in their next products, and they kind of know that the process for that. So that’s just awesome. I love that you do that. And I think that it’s a great tip for all of our listeners to sell your product to multiple different customers, but make sure that you’re targeting them separately and not trying to, hey, if you’re a hiker biker or hardcore weightlifter, like this is for everyone. Yeah,

Caulen: And that was one thing I didn’t mention. I don’t think I touched on enough in the research processes. You know, learn who your customer is, you know, go into go into forums go into, you know, anywhere where your customers are discussing things Facebook groups, I just go in there you don’t have to you know, you’re not there to spam anybody. You’re just there to read and just consume. You know, Amy, I think I told you I spend more time at home Amazon events than I do Shopify events. Because I’m trying to learn my customer. I’m trying to learn, like, what are the pain points that they have? What are the challenges? That’s how I’ve learned all the things that I can go back and forth with you on and what I’m hearing because I’m hearing it from actual sellers. So that’s one thing is just really go deep on learning who your customers and how to speak to them. We have a, we have a section in our discovery sheet. It’s called vernacular, like, what are words that they use that bass these people specifically use, because if you don’t speak like them, you know, you can’t sell to them. So that was just one thing to use. And then one last tip that we use on landing pages. Because this is really good in relation to what you said about how like how things, how messaging for messaging changes, right? Think of it like this, when we sell a product, right? We don’t we, we don’t want to just compare things for the purpose of comparison. So we’re gonna we’re talking about comparison charts, right? So with comparison charts, most people think you’re comparing features and benefits, right? You’re just comparing that to what we found. comparison charts are actually very powerful for product and market positioning. So what I mean by that is, let’s say, you know, I have my protein brand, right? So let’s say I want to position my product and my messaging when I’m messaging to somebody, whoever that audience is, if I have a comparison chart, and I want to message somebody who does like plant based protein like Vega, Sunwear all these great brands, you know, that we compete against right then that’s what but if what what if I want to brand my product as a breakfast product? Right? What if I have a landing page with a breakfast product now I’m not comparing to them. Now I’m comparing to ensure our nation SlimFast right now I’ve I’ve now some like subliminally, but also explicitly, place my my product in a specific places where my customer, my customer can understand what it is, right? So when you build us comparison charts, because they don’t just, they don’t just set out features and benefits. And you can use those features and benefits, but use them in relation to what the market is talking about in that segment, you know, you’re gonna compare a lot to a product when other latte, compare it to Starbucks, and you know, Dunkin Donuts, and you know, if you’re doing a healthier product, something like that, just that, I know that it makes a huge difference on our pages, is comparison charts. So that would be one last two.

Amy: I love that. And I mean, that ties back into that replacement, right? Like, what are you replacing?

Caulen: What are you replacing? It makes it explicit. Yeah, that was it.

Amy: So let’s get back to basics. I mean, you do such an amazing job building out Shopify, as you’re building out monsters sites, and really helping people through every area of the funnel, what you’re doing is very, very on a very professional level. So let’s get back to basics for those brands that are just starting out and considering Shopify, um, what do you think about Shopify in terms of like, When should I have more than just a placeholder page for my brand? Like, when do I start throwing some some eggs into the Shopify basket?

Caulen: Great, great question. So I think I think that that really is. I think it’s kind of universal when it comes to that the answer to that is kind of universal when it comes to a lot of the sales channels that we work with, right? So I always tell people if you’re selling, let’s say, you got a guy like me, where before I got involved in the Amazon Shopify space, I was selling on Shopify, right? And arms, I’m selling on Shopify, and I’m running traffic from Facebook, and Facebook is doing okay. It’s not doing it’s not doing stellar. It’s it’s kind of, but I haven’t given up on it yet. Right? I probably don’t want to go and take capital from from there and allocate it to another traffic source to then do a another mediocre job with another traffic source. I want to master this source first, right? Like I my Facebook acquisition is doing very well, my CPAs are healthy by traffic isn’t super expensive, which is hard. And you know, these days of Facebook, but nonetheless, it’s it’s converting at a very efficient level I can I can sustain this right? When I hit that level, that’s when I’m willing to pivot, you know, in traffic sources, but I want to go and run traffic from YouTube and Google, you better believe that my Facebook and Instagram traffic is either I’m either using it or I’m not using it or my phone went up on either use, I’m either using it or I’m not using it right. So if I’m using Facebook, I’m going on and if I’m not using then I’ll go somewhere else. So it’s kind of up to you know, an Amazon seller when it comes to that. Have you really gotten to where you feel like you have a good grasp on customer acquisition, you know, what, how, you know, how much are people purchasing your product? What are your sales monthly? Do you feel that you’re doing? I guess we never all had it figured out right? Like we all had it figured out we probably wouldn’t be listening to podcasts, right? So we’re always trying to learn but I do feel like there’s a certain point where we understand like, Hey, okay, I’m ready to make this transition. I’m ready to go horizontal into another traffic source and allocate revenue there because that is another thing in order to get data You have to spend money and data on to go ahead. Yeah.

Amy: And that’s the same thing that I tell people about just moving to other channels or expanding internationally on Amazon. It’s like, okay, well do you have where your primary sales channels are right now? Do you have that figured out? Like, are you understanding how much money you’re making out what your turnover is how to stay in stock, your logistics, like all of those things, like it’s good to have a good system built for that before all of a sudden, because every new channel you move into and Shopify is no different, specially when you want to sell on your own website, you are driving the traffic now, right? And so you gotta go bring traffic to your page. So before you it’s not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Nor is Amazon, nor is Walmart, nor any of the channels. So we really do have to take the time to kind of get to know our channels and make sure that we’re profitable, or scalable. And then when we know we’re profitable, and we’re scalable, we go okay, well, let’s look at Shopify, or let’s look at adding Walmart, or let’s look at adding an international, Amazon, you know, channel, whatever it is like focusing on one thing at a time. Back to your comparison chart. Marcia has a question she said, What Is there a very few comparable products? So what if it’s a new never seen before product? Or there’s very few comparable products do you have is tip there?

Caulen: So let me ask you, so do you have anything that you’re replacing? Currently? Like, is there is there a product that we’re replacing?

Amy: Yes, I agree with her product there are because she is replacing the need for things like hand sanitizer and stuff like that.

Caulen: So, so I would probably put like, I would probably whatever I can replace, I would I would probably like you and I, you called it out right away. Like we usually what you’re replacing, or what you’re improving upon is going to be in in that comparison chart. So if you’re if you’re going to even though it might not be hand sanitizer, right, you might not even be selling hand sanitizer. That’s okay. Because you’re just you’re just giving it in, you’re putting it in, in a position for the consumer understand, okay, I don’t need hand sanitizer anymore because I have this product. And here’s why it’s better, right, the better is like the bonus, the better is that the the the actual comparison part of the comparison chart is the cherry on top, what it really does, it shows the consumer what they’re replacing, and then it tells them why they’re replacing it.

Amy: And when I think about Marshalls product, I think not only does it replace the need for things like hand sanitizer, and also replace the need for a lot of health supplements that you might be taking to constantly stay healthy because, you know, so you can say like look at all these things you can throw you think of that old As Seen On TV commercials like the trash, throw that in the trash.

Caulen: I always say there’s a little bit of as seen on TV and like, you know, Facebook advertising and you know, like using special acquisition offers. But wait, there’s more kind of deal with upsells. You just You just got to make it kind of classy, right? You got to make it it’s got to be tasteful. It can’t be like too salesy, or else you get really deep into like the, you know, kind of like pushy salesman tactic.

Amy: Got it. Okay, so let’s talk about comparison sales. Now, as far as websites, web platforms go, yeah. Tell me about what do you like about Shopify versus other e commerce platforms? Like WooCommerce? For example? Sure.

Caulen: Yeah. Well, I love I, you know, I, when I first started getting into E commerce, I was I was building on WooCommerce and WordPress, so I wasn’t building but I was hiring people to build on. So I was, I’m pretty familiar with the platform. And and I don’t have anything against it. Right. Like, I think it’s a good platform, we build, you know, some of the business owners that we work with, they do have a WooCommerce site, and they want to stay there. So it has its advantages. One of the things that I really like about Shopify is just the ease of use, you know, it’s got apps, you know, it does, it does, you know, some of these apps, they can get a little you know, just being a fair comparison, they can get a little costly, you know, they add up after you you don’t have 10 different apps that you’re using. But just the just the, the fact that it’s so easy to use the you know, it’s just it syncs everything just links right up to a

Amy: I love how the dashboard is just so free. You can like look at your Facebook ads and your conversions and everything from your Shopify dashboard, which I was like, wow, you know, we did a Shopify course in our mastermind group and I it really made me want to switch from Congress shall Vegas, I was like, yeah. But then you got the nickel and diming. Right, where it’s like, oh, one more app. Oh, let Now obviously, costs are up to hundreds of 1000s of dollars, right?

Caulen: You’re spending a couple you can spend, you know, it’s very, it’s not hard to get to a couple of hours. I mean, it’s not you have to be doing volume. At that point. I would think that, you know, a smaller store is doing a couple $1,000 in fees. But you know, a couple 100 bucks is not unreasonable if you’ve got a couple of pretty decent apps that are really important.

Amy: Ah, I love that comparison though.

Caulen: It’s just an easier platform in my opinion, like you said the metrics you can you can plug it, there’s a lot of really good apps that work with like, lifetime value. There’s a company called lifetime we I’m gonna give them some free promo here. But they’re it’s a great app gives you lots of LTV, information about your customer, we use it on all of our projects, dashboards data source, you know it, there’s a lot of cool things you can do on Shopify, it’s cooler.

Amy: Yes, it’s better for this cooler. I like it. Yeah, all right. All right. Well, Caulen, I would love to talk a little bit more about you know, because the last time I talked to you, we were talking about what you do for brands. So your company takes on certain brands, and you basically grow out their Shopify channel for them. And it’s, it’s not, it’s not like a, I wouldn’t say it’s, it’s not like you’re, you’re not like building someone’s first Shopify site, then no, people are not coming to you to build their first Shopify site, what you’re doing is taking brands that are true private labels, they have a differentiated product, they have those four aspects that we talked about. And you can really build great funnels where and you’re building them an asset, you are doing the job for them, and you’re building them an asset. So talk about what kinds of brands that you work with, because I’m sure there are a lot of brands in our listener group that are thinking like, wow, I would love somebody to take over my Shopify and just manage it for me and grow it for me. But talk a little bit about the type of brands that you work with and what you guys do for them.

Caulen: Totally. Yeah, so Well, you know, the first thing that we always do is we, whenever we bring on a new brand, the first thing we do is we meet with the you know, the founder and CEO, whoever’s in charge there, and we look at the product, we look at the product together, they’ll they’ll send it to me and I usually if it’s if it’s, you know, a smaller product, I usually just ask that it gets sent to me. So I can try and use it, you know, if it’s something that I, you know, can use to house product, or a food product or something, I always like to touch, feel, see, and get an experience for what the product looks like. So we typically work with, you know, consumer packaged goods, lots of CPGs, we’re very familiar with supplements, we have quite a few, you know, clients in the supplement space. That’s I also really like to work with problem solving products, you know, like direct to consumer problem solving, something that solves big problems, and desirable problems, people that definitely need these problems solved. That’s something that we want to look for. More or less when we when we’re looking at businesses, we’re also taking into account not just new opportunities that exist on the product side, but what also can exist as a product of or an industry authority side, right? Because there’s some times where you’ll find products that maybe aren’t as unique, right? Like, maybe you don’t have something that’s super, super unique. But what you do has and what you do have is the opportunity of an opening in the market where there’s no d to c authority, because there’s a difference between a standard and an authority, right? Like you can have a company that sells a specific product. And maybe people just use it because that’s all there is there. But if there’s no direct to consumer authority in the space, you actually have a new opportunity for the market, which is to claim that you are the authority, and we are the go to source because we’ll I’ll do research, product research, when somebody gives me a product, I’ll see where it’s being sold, right? Is it only being sold through online distribution or online marketplaces, if it’s only being sold on online, like people think that that’s a bad thing, I actually think it’s a good thing. Because that means that tells me there’s nobody directly connecting with the customer. Like there’s nobody who’s directly saying, like, this is a great opportunity for you to deal with the authority in the space and we’re gonna be here for you when you need help. Because you’re gonna need help, you can’t go to Home Depot and you know, get everything that you can get directly from a brand can’t get that close that closeness. So we look for that opportunity as well. Is there an opportunity to be an authority in the space? Is there anybody competing with you in the DTC space? So we’ll, that’s another thing that we look at. And then, you know, obviously, we look at when it comes to just the brands that we work with, and the relationships we like to build, because I think that’s something that a lot of people, I don’t want to say it’s a challenge, but you know, an E commerce you there’s definitely no shortage of like horror stories that people have heard, right, like we’ve heard, we’ve all heard them all right, like I worked with somebody and then they just like ran Facebook ads for me and they ran them into the ground like we’ve all heard it right. So the number one thing that I always tell people when when we work together is that we want you to understand that this is going to be a you’re investing in infrastructure first. So I always like to analogize it to a restaurant, right. If you wanted to open up a restaurant right after owning you know, maybe a nice profitable food truck and you want to go and build a restaurant. Write, you’re gonna have to pay for the restaurant, you’re gonna have to pay for the waiters, you’re gonna pay for the, for the for the management, you’re gonna have to pay for all that, and then you’re gonna have to pay to market the business, right? So it has to be somebody who understands that this is not like, because, you know, we don’t want people to think that this is a get rich quick like we don’t, that’s not really how it works. This is somebody really wanting to invest in infrastructure, take their brand to the next level and say, I want to build an asset for my business, because eventually I’d like to, you know, go pass, maybe they don’t want to just do the aggregator thing with Amazon, right? They want to go and get acquired by a major brand. So you know, that’s now that becomes an asset because now you’re collecting data we need we’d like to work with people who understand like, Hey, we’re, we’re not saying you’re not gonna get results, we actually we literally guarantee sales, but it’s not. At first we’re getting data we’re getting, we’re getting your assets built. And we’re we’re putting together the infrastructure you need to actually sell. So I think psychologically, one of the things we look for is just that preparedness to say, Hey, I’m ready to go from point A to point B, and, and I’m willing to build this. So good product, potential for being an authority in the space and the mindset that you’re going to be investing in building an asset, not just building, you know, a piece of real estate on a marketplace, you know,

Amy: Exactly. Yeah. I love that. Well, thank you for sharing that. I’m down to my last two questions, right? So from a business perspective, and even a personal growth perspective, what are some things that you’re reading, listening to that kind of thing that keep you motivated? Cool. So

Caulen: I’m reading a book I’m actually reading, and I don’t want to sound like I’m like, you know, I’m reading three books, but I’m not like, I don’t always do that. It’s just like that just happened recently that I got three books sent to me at the same time. So I’m reading this book called Influence, which is just a really amazing book about b2b, you know, being a DTC, I’ve been selling b2c And, you know, selling direct to consumer. And then with agency space, you get a little bit more involved in b2b and it’s just a great book about value providing value and how you can how you can use value as a true asset in business. And that’s to me is like I that’s like, my always my number one goal is to provide value to people before anything. So influence. My business partner actually just gave me a book here, David called the obstacle is the way which I’m reading currently, it’s pretty decent. And other than that, you know, just constantly trying to push myself like I really am, like, I’m constantly I’m constantly trying to push to see what the next level looks like, you know, and see where I can get better, especially in like, you know, obviously, as a parent, and I have kids and stuff, but, you know, professionally, I really like to push the threshold, you know, like, How much better can I get, you know, and how much more can I learn I’m always reading I mean, it’s we have something at the agency ABL always be learning. And we’re literally like obsessed with learning. So that’s that’s kind of how I keep busy and obviously, you know, personal life, you know, kids and gym and

Amy: Oh, yeah. So excited to see you again. I saw you in Miami, so it’s fine. We’ll be seeing you at prosper, and maybe a day of the empowering Women’s Conference. That’ll be awesome. Yeah, yeah. So awesome. Well, the last thing is, how can people get in touch with you?

Caulen: Oh, great. So yeah, I’m very easy. Of course, of course, my dog starts barking right? When I go to tell people how they can get in touch with me. How funny is that? That’s my life. So I’m very easy. You can actually the easiest way is through LinkedIn, because I’m very active on LinkedIn. So you can look me up my you can spell my name si au, L E N, I’m probably the only person on LinkedIn that I know that probably has their name spelled like me. So that’s one option. If you’d like to email me. My email is Colin, C. Au, l e n at brain power dot agency. I think those are the two best ways to get in touch with me.

Amy: Love it. Okay. Well, thank you all for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Colin for just dropping so many nuggets today. And we’ve got a bunch of folks here in our zoom chat. And so we’re going to stop recording. And we’re going to let our folks that are in our zoom chat. Ask any questions that they have. And we’re going to stop the live as well. But we just want to remind you guys first of all, thank you for listening, and I hear from so many of you. And I just love that you’ve listened to us and that you get value out of what we bring. It’s one of my favorite things to do all week is to record this podcast because I get to learn from amazing people like Colin so you know, just please rate review, subscribe, go to stellar roundtable.com and hit that subscribe button so that you get notified of all of our new episodes. And we just appreciate you all so much and we will see you next time on the cellar roundtable. Goodbye everyone.

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