Our guest on the last episode of The sellerboard Show was Anatoliy Labinskiy – Shopify expert and founder of GSM Agency, which focuses on Shopify store owners who want to scale their brand to the next level.
- Anatoliy’s personal Shopify seller story;
- an advertising ecosystem and why is it important to set it up;
- how much money do you need to start a Shopify store;
- red flags when sourcing a Shopify growth agency;
- 3 tips for newbies on Shopify;
…and much more!
Speaker1: [00:00:07] Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the sellerboard Show podcast. Today we are going to be talking about Shopify and our guest is Anatoly Labinsky, who is the founder and the CEO of the Growth Agency. We had an amazing talk. Anatoly shared his personal experience as an Shopify seller and some very insightful information for people who are just starting out on Shopify or are planning to open a Shopify store and business. And besides that, also for people who feel that they’re ready to work with the agency, what are the criteria for selecting the agency, checking their credibility and reputation online? And some very insightful things to take out of this podcast. I really recommend sticking till the End. It’s been an amazing conversation. Besides that, one more important thing I want to point out, if you don’t know by now, sellerboard has a version for Shopify and it’s free, so visit Shopify, Dot IO, check out the demo account and you will find the functionality that you enjoy in sellerboard all the profit calculation tools, external marketing channels and all of the calculations and attribution of the advertising costs that you have. It’s all there. So visit the website, check out the demo account and enjoy the podcast. Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of The sellerboard Show podcast. Today our guest is Anatoly Labinsky, who is the founder and head of the Growth Agency, an agency for Shopify sellers. And today is a special episode, the first one dedicated exclusively to sellers that work on Shopify. So I’m personally looking forward to a really interesting discussion. Hello Anatoly, Thank you for joining our podcast.
Speaker2: [00:02:08] I alixa really appreciate for being invited here and I’m open to share whatever you like about the Shopify experience because this is what’s my expertise and love to like being on the podcast like that and sharing all, all the skills and helping people who are listening.
Speaker1: [00:02:27] Thank you. That’s, that’s, that’s great. That’s always great to hear. So first of all, um, I’ve seen the dedicated page that contains some of the details of your story, how you became a seller and how you founded the agency. And it’s really impressive, I have to say, um, I would like you to share some of this experience, some of the story, because it’s really inspiring. So I bet our listeners would love to get a little bit of that inspiration for their own journey. So my, my question is, yeah, basically where you started from and what was the background of becoming the seller?
Speaker2: [00:03:09] Yes, sure. So the main thing is that like my story is really long and I really understand that it’s inspiring and I will try to make it as short as possible. So to, to, to be short. Like I’m I’m Ukrainian and moved from Ukraine to Dubai back in 2013 and I was really having always fails in the trying to make money to save money like always some kind of situations happen in life and like it’s it’s life everyone has their own. But the thing is that when we had not not enough income, we were renting the small apartment, not small room in the two bedroom apartment, which was another Filipino family, me and my wife. It was 2017, came in the room and she started crying and like, what’s happening? Because we were so broke we were not able to pay rent for the own apartment, even studio. And like she said, I’m pregnant. And that was 24th of February 2017. Like this is super short story. So basically I went to the pharmacy to to buy buy another test to make sure that it’s true. I was happy at the beginning. She was crying because she wasn’t. She was happy, but she was scared. And and because of the situation where we are and like I stay next to the pharmacy and start shaking like it was really insanely like, I just, like, paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything. I just scared as never before and said to myself one thing like, just squeeze my hands and said like, my baby won’t come.
Speaker2: [00:04:46] In this world in the financial situation where I am today. And that those words were such a strong insight in my mind, in my brain, that I completely believe on that. And from that moment, I moving forward to find out how I can make any kind of extra income. I never was thinking about entrepreneurship, about the marketing, especially I didn’t know about that anything. And I moved for my wife back to Ukraine because there was no chances to keep her in Dubai without work. Since she’s pregnant on the fifth month of pregnancy, I moved her and in July I read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I understood that freaking wow. Like entrepreneurship. This is what I want to do. I didn’t understand it before. This is only the way how I can make money, like by working on myself. And I found out in August 20th 5th of August, Facebook targeted me, didn’t understand that. I was thinking it’s kind of a kind of destiny that like econ book or e-book from Fred Lamb Starting from Zero How to Start Your Dropshipping store on Shopify for $100. Obviously, I didn’t believe in $100, but I want to study what is all about. And I read 120, 180, 80 pages book in 1.5 hours. I was consuming every single page. I was so impressed. I was like, No freaking way. Seriously, how that can be possible. Because in my mind, advertising was it’s like big companies Coca-Cola, Mercedes, BMW, coming in the office of Facebook in negotiating and signing contract.
Speaker2: [00:06:23] And the ads are coming. No, it’s a freaking business manager in Facebook. It’s so easy. So, so funny that didn’t know that. So for me, it was a great moment. And I promised to myself that I’m going to be doing that like forever. I don’t know how, but I will figure it out and whatever it takes. And 29 of September, I opened my first Shopify store where first six months I was failing. I lost everything. What I had my wife almost divorcing me because I lost everything and become addicted. And I knew that I never had any thoughts of quitting, but like already owed money to my friends. I owed money to the bank. I owed money to the credit card company. I don’t have any income from my side. I have five different jobs to treat the Facebook advertising just. The sea was going to be working. The mistake was that I didn’t work with any mentors. I didn’t understand at that moment. And since in January I found out the mentor group coaching for the analyzing my ads in the first 15 days, I made my first $8,000 in profitable sales. It was incredible moment where I said to myself, Done Like it’s showing me that it’s possible now I won’t stop. So basically, super short story. October the same year, 2018, I started partnering with one person start running ads for him, already become more stronger on the advertising, and we made first $50,000 together after that.
Speaker2: [00:07:44] November 1st, 50th March 2019, 250. And three weeks after that we got screwed up. And again and again the circling continue. And we made a couple of meals like together after that start mentoring people because people were asking me was sharing my story and fails in Facebook. And this is where like become kind of in not influencer but kind of known on the social media about what I’m doing because I’m real. I went through this several struggles before get results and 2020 I decided that I will move to the agency side because there was a huge demand. People were asking me to manage the ads for them. And this is where, like story began with the growth agency. I started with one employee for one year in 2019 2020, when I made decision to switch, we moved to nine employers in two months, four weeks and results by end of the year 12 employers. And there is like already was like maybe 20 and so on. So like this is how we are moving so far. We we became 44 team members. Right now we are sorry because we optimize our human power in the most possible, most right way. And yeah, like generated over 20 million so far and looking forward to like double those results as fast as possible because now with systems, with a lot of technologies, we can do that. So yeah, so basically it’s a super, super short story of my beginning.
Speaker1: [00:09:10] That was that. First of all, let me say that it’s really impressive that that’s, that’s really impressive story. And the second thing is I really fast forward they’ve done there. Um, I wanted to ask you a question though. So through the it’s basically it’s not related to Shopify in any way or maybe a business that you’ve done. It’s kind of personal through the hardships, through the period, you know, when you fail to constantly once again and again and then you understood that you have the responsibility towards your wife and your future child. So how do you think what was that inner force or maybe that fire that kept burning inside and pushing you forward and that didn’t, you know, uh, make you give up? What what was what was it? How do you think?
Speaker2: [00:10:00] Yeah, there is one main thing and a couple of like just important thing of the mindset. The first one is that I knew my why, my why was so strong that there was no other way, other option and then succeed. So my why was it’s my baby, my life. I am sick and tired of everything. What I got in life. And I have seen how people can get successful online that become addicted to this, that and I said that like I’m not worse than them. If they can do it, I can do that for sure. If my why was so strong that I didn’t see any kind of reasons that I won’t be able to achieve that. And another thing that the period from 2013 to 2017 before I found out e-commerce, I was failing so much on the different applying for different applications to the job offers and so on. Like I never get luck on anything. So I become kind of, you know, stress relief in terms of failing. For me, it became normal and after that I start reading like books such as No Excuses. Brian Tracy ten links. Grand Cordon Be obsessed or be average grand cordon videos with such kind of people.
Speaker2: [00:11:11] And I start collecting puzzles together. What’s making successful, wealthy people successful? And I realized that there is one thing never quit. And being okay with failure because failure is not you. You are failing when you’re quitting. Yeah. If you’re not quitting, you just learning the lesson and moving forward. Make sure that you learn the lesson and don’t repeat the same mistake. And I was like, exactly moving that way. And every failure was like, okay. Like Thomas Edison tried so many 10,000 times to create the first lamp. And finally on 10,000, first time he made it. So like, okay, so now I have 9999 times to try. So I was like, It’s fine. It’s a process. I just became really stress relief on that part. And now we have even quote in our agency between the team we can manage. We have so much going on every single time. Whatever is, there is no freaking way to survive. I’m saying we can manage it. It’s horrible. But we will manage. We’ll find out the way. There is always solution. So that mindset helped me to survive, I would say, on the difficult, most difficult times in my life.
Speaker1: [00:12:24] Amazing. Amazing. So basically, it’s the failures that made your skin thicker and made you, you know, kind of resistant to everything that life has thrown towards you. That’s great. All right. Thanks. That’s really inspirational. Now, I would like to slowly move towards the agency, and I sold the website. So basically, I know some stuff about what you do. But by the way, you’ve mentioned that you now have like a 30 people at the moment.
Speaker2: [00:12:59] Yeah, 31.
Speaker1: [00:13:00] 31. Amazing team, beautiful faces. So please tell me more. First of all, what are your clients? And then I would really like you to kind of walk me through the process. How do you work? How do you onboard the clients? Because seller board is this is what we do. We do profit analytics and a lot of our users and listeners of this podcast are using Amazon and Shopify at the same time, and some of them may be use only Shopify. So I would like you to kind of expand on what is the process of working with the growth agency like yours is what could be, you know, their experience and what should they be prepared for and how you can help them as an agency. So please relate on that.
Speaker2: [00:13:54] Uh, so, yeah, sure. First of all, I really love my team. I mean, the team has been built from scratch, like, the same way, like me became a CEO, like, first half year of running agency. Didn’t understand that. But my team, we mentioned to me, like, as a CEO, like, what do you mean like I’m an advertiser? Like, you know, So like, I realized that, yeah, I have to study that stuff. So. And after that, we start hiding, hiding, hiding the things. In my company, there is almost no retention, which is people are staying. Like since we opened in some of them, some of them who came like in half year or one year later and still with us, like, in other words, one year plus for sure. So most of the majority of the team members two years plus. So the main thing like to motivate the team and to keep them staying. It’s showing the future, showing that we can manage anything and they are like they are in the company which can handle. Even if we can handle such kind of situation, what can we do if everything is smooth? You know, and we have always nothing is smooth as going know nothing. Unfortunately, we always dealing with something and we are like team seeing that like I believe, like leadership is kind of strong and because like, I don’t know how to fail, I don’t know how to quit. So that’s why about the team very important for us. It’s being honest person because we are working on the remote. So like being honest, do the work, make the work done and nobody would ask any questions. If you are doing everything on time, your customers are satisfied the results are there, then we won’t be asking you anything about checking, checkout, recording your screen if we don’t do that shit, to be honest with you, because like our team are into each of them, I would say entrepreneurs who are working for themselves because I’m guiding them in the way exactly like you are working on yourself.
Speaker2: [00:15:44] Use the company as a tool to make money for yourself, because if you are making money means a company is succeeding as well. So for customers, we are working with United States. It’s all Shopify store owners, Dropshipping and brands, more majority of them around 80% of whole customer base. It’s United States, some of them New Zealand, some of them Australia, some of them Canada Before it was Europe as well. But now mostly those four countries and this is like became historically, historically that the United States became exactly known on that market. And yeah, I got my pizza place of the niche there. And like several competitors who were working with us with similar similar revenue, similar team members and so on are not exist anymore in the since 2021 happened. Most of them die off by 2022. A couple of them left by 2023 already. They are like switching to mentorship or whatever, like and we are staying here because we are strong. And yeah, so basically our customers dropshippers and brands, which is like now we want to pivot more into the brands because it’s more fun, it’s more revenues, it’s more consistency. We build an ecosystem of the advertising for for them like Facebook, TikTok, Google, email marketing, everything is done by us. Like we just packaging, packaging that in one ecosystem, which is like helping customers, making everything.
Speaker1: [00:17:16] May I interrupt you right here? So yeah. Me I’m not a seller, not an Amazon seller, neither a Shopify seller. So a lot of things that you mention right now are new. And I would really like to kind of stop you from time to time and ask you about some details. Sure. So when you’re talking about an ecosystem or what, what basically is it? What do you mean why? Why is there a need to create something interconnected so between the channels?
Speaker2: [00:17:44] One great question, by the way, for a long time ago, nobody asked me that. So 2021 iPhone, Apple created the updated version of iOS, iOS 14. That moment, uh, most of our advertisers were on the on the stage of losing advertising data. So and when that happened, it’s first of all, attack on Facebook, Facebook were destroyed because of that. So and at that moment, TikTok wasn’t that famous yet. So the and like Google TikTok haven’t been there at like affected that much at that moment. So and we decided like number one thing is to adapt to the changes. So we start notice that really the data is showing incorrect and we understand that very important to making diversification of traffic sources because before we were focusing, we were agency on Facebook advertising, only a Shopify store management and Facebook advertising. But when everything happens, we understood that we need to diversify. So by by building a ecosystem, this is what we created. It’s exactly helping a business owner to be saved and secured of if Facebook gets screwed up restrictions, disapprove ads and data are double tracking and tracking and so on. We are here with TikTok, with Google, with marketing. So basically one of the placements are failing, others are protecting and consistency continue giving revenue. And again, Facebook and Facebook came back in the truck. Google failed because of some kind of whatever restriction could be done and like other platforms, are covering each other. So it’s an ecosystem of the consistency, revenue driven. Possibilities for any kind of Shopify brand owner. And this is so we call that as a advertising ecosystem. Yeah. So that was the main reason why we decided to expand a bit. On the advertising, different advertising platforms, because otherwise it would be hard to. Deal only with Facebook because 2021 and 2022 was huge on the restrictions blocks disabled. Vms and so on from Facebook side. So like yeah that was one of the saving things which we. Created for ourselves.
Speaker1: [00:20:08] Yeah. Yeah. That’s really insightful. Yeah. Thank you. So, um, the next question that comes to my mind. Is regarding the clients that you have and for example, say I will decide to open a Shopify store. Tomorrow and I will get everything set up and done. At what point do you think that I would be prepared to, uh, contact a growth agency like yours and say, Hey, guys, I have a Shopify store. I need your help with, uh, running my ads and probably creating an ecosystem like such. Or maybe, uh, should I grow organically to a certain point, or do I need address? Google could address your services right from the very start.
Speaker2: [00:20:54] Uh, great question. Here is first thing, if you will. If you are starting as a brand and you you already understanding possibilities how to grow organically. So it means building, first of all, audience around your brand and after that start selling it. It’s insanely good. It’s a powerful it’s a great way to start with, especially if you limited on the budget, if you’re a jazz dropshipper who create a Shopify store like I was in 2017 and want to start it. So you can there is two different customers. First customer Dropshipper. Or in our end, we are working with investors who want to to get Shopify store done for you. Yeah. And so he doesn’t need to have a store because most probably we will be looking on his store if it’s a Dropshipping store and just making all the readjustments from our end because we know what’s optimizing the best for sales, what kind of design is supposed to be, what kind of colors, what kind of buttons, apps and so on. So mostly we will just take his store and just change it completely. So if it’s a investor who wants to run for your store, we don’t need anything from him except like he is investing and we start working and we’re doing our thing. So we start with preparing the product research team, preparing the products. We start testing the products we usually before building the ecosystem for the Dropshipping done for you service. We first of all, starting with Facebook or TikTok testing out, finding out what’s working. When it start working and giving us consistent results. Then we switch into the not switch and adding additional traffic sources to make sure that like if it’s die off here, we need to be on another platform and start optimizing there. So yeah, then we start building ecosystem. But another kind of second kind of customer, it’s the brands. They come into us and.
Speaker1: [00:22:44] Before we switch to brands, sorry for interrupting. You will be doing this.
Speaker2: [00:22:47] No, no worries.
Speaker1: [00:22:48] It’s good. Uh, just I want to finish my question regarding the Dropshippers and the investors as as you position them probably. Right. So, uh, let’s talk numbers for me, for example, if I want to if I decide to become an investor and create a Shopify store and hand it out to you and say, Hey, Anatoli, please help me with the store, I’m ready to invest, what is the, you would say average minimum of amount of resources and I should invest and I should have ready. So how much money do I need to start? That’s the basic question. Probably a lot of people think about that, you know, and what do I need to start that?
Speaker2: [00:23:25] That’s exactly like what is usually the most often question. And I would say I would start from like you as a person who wants to start his dropshipping store business, like in general, because our services, it’s our, our sole pricing. So it’s all about like if you’re able to pay for that or not. But to start the Dropshipping store nowadays it’s not 2013, it is not 2017 when everything was on hype and you just need really not 100 bucks, but $1,000 and you’re all ready to go. I would recommend to anyone who wants to jump into the dropshipping space in our days to have at least for advertising, for for managing the store apps and all the stuff to make the creatives. If if he doesn’t know how to do that by himself you he knows he has skills awesome but make creatives like customer service it will be later on from sales. That’s fine but like optimizing the store, running ads and so on, testing different products I would recommend have at least at least on this part at the beginning, 3000 plus $3,000 at least. It doesn’t mean that you will not find the winning product before you spend that amount. You could spend even more. You can spend two times lower and start getting sales and sales. You’ll start recovering your expenses. You will be during the testing phase, you’re going to be still spending on ads, getting some sales. They could be on break even or minus, but they will be recovering some of your expenses.
Speaker2: [00:24:54] Yeah, but still, you need this because first, when you are beginner payment providers doesn’t know you, which is Shopify payments, Stripe, PayPal, whatever, they most probably will hold your money for two three weeks until item will be delivered. That could happen. That’s most of the time happening. So by that being said, you receive the money with like you purchase the item when you receiving the money. Correct. You will receive the funds you buying the item. But here you receive the funds, but you cannot withdraw them. But they are already with you, but you cannot withdraw. So you need to buy on your own. Yeah. Like item and send it to the customer. You don’t need to handle an inventory, but every single piece which is customer purchasing from you is paying. It’s on hold. You need to use your own to send to him and after that it’s on hold it in couple of weeks and you have bunch of cash. So like that’s why like you spend one and a half on testing but another one and a half at least to have with you because you need to recover those kind of things until payment providers will be become. Okay with you. They trust you enough, but some of them can hold on 180 days. It could happen. Anything. Because your beginner. It’s normal. It’s painful, but it is normal. It can be managed. We are managing that.
Speaker2: [00:26:05] We are helping out our customers to manage their situations and then to avoid those kind of situations as much as possible. And then like at least 3000, it’s what is like minimum in my opinion, has to be to ready to invest and being okay if it won’t be. Uh, return it because most of the people, when they start investing, it’s e-commerce. You spend it on the ads. Let’s say 100 bucks a day. Yeah, it’s 100 bucks a day every single day. Going out of your head or from your bank account. The physical business. You bought a table, you bought a couch, and your bank account became $300, 400, $500 less. And you understand this is a couch. This is the table. I know what is all about where I invest my money. But when it’s going on the ads, advertising, especially if you not running ads, if it’s like, for example, like my agency running ads, you just like sitting down and looking, oh, my God, 100 painful, 100 bucks. It’s it’s stressful. It’s really stressful. Like, what’s happening? What those guys are those guys now know what they’re doing. If you are by doing that, by alone, like how done you like, you have no clue what you are doing and you just like like man, keep pressing on the freaking buttons. Don’t know what is all about. And like unfortunately this and you losing your money, at least agency knows what they are doing.
Speaker2: [00:27:24] They if it’s spending the budget, it means something is going on. So and until they become profitable, it’s really tough to be mentally strong to understand the process. So the first thing first, it’s at least at least $3,000 or amount, which maybe you have ten K Perfect. It’s fine. It’s good. Just be okay that you could not return your investments because what’s happening, people are having mental issues and after that, two weeks or two months of the testing phase, they like, Oh, I realized I don’t want to do that. It’s not what I want to. It’s it’s just understanding. And after that, some of them understand it and go because it’s understandable. It’s fine. I’ve been in that case. That’s why 99% of quitting and only one person is succeeding. And like on my end, like always educating our customers. So that’s why like they are staying with us and they get and start getting results later on. The thing is that. People are really quitting and going. So that’s why sometimes if you are not sure, do you want to do that or not? You can invest if you have possibilities of amount like the same like crypto or stock market invest. Not all the money. What you have, invest what you ready to lose if it won’t work out. I would say this. This is going to be the golden mind, but not less than three K to have in the pocket at least.
Speaker1: [00:28:48] So another question that popped up in my mind. You as an agency, how do you handle this situation? Probably you ran into a couple or more clients that really went through this stressful phase. When they start burning their budgets and they don’t really understand whether they are becoming profitable or not. So what’s the mechanism behind this? How do you explain to them or how do you maybe show what are the metrics that you show them and say, hey, okay, you need to calm down right now because this is the dynamics that we have. This is the trend that we have right now. This is what we are going and maybe right now you’re not getting any profit right now, but you are going to get there in a week or a month, you know, three months. So if we are starting to talk about profitability, this is what excites me more. So how do you analyze, you know, that that movement and how do you show it to to the client and, you know, fuel their belief in the fact that they will get the result? Because you said you mentioned the fact that you educate them. So probably it’s a part, you know, of educating the client. How is that that process?
Speaker2: [00:29:55] Yeah. So as well, if you’re speaking about the beginner dropshippers like investors done for your stores, the like I have been in those shoes so I know exactly the feeling. And especially I’ve been alone, which is much more painful, much more painful and much more costly. So that’s why, like I transfer my experience into my team. Of what people are feeling. And actually most of my team are dropshippers who lose the money on the ads but knows exactly what to do and they not lose. They start dropshipping and they were not having enough cash to continue because of thoughts and so on. So by that being said, like it’s my some of my students, my media buyers, students three years ago. So like, but they were not able to continue because they had like gap and cash and they are like, okay, you know what you’re doing? It’s it’s working on your end, but you’re not able to handle what you have to be a media buyer. And not everyone wants to be entrepreneurs, so they really love media buying side and like that’s what I’m saying right now that very important. Uh, to understand that, like, to feel, to have this feeling. So to have this understanding. So my media bias as well has their own experience and we educating that this is the part and what you have to be prepared for.
Speaker2: [00:31:23] Because my media buyers who were having their own stores the long time ago, they were just not able to like handle cash flow. So we are educating what they have to be prepared when they start working, plus some of them now handling their own stores because like now they earning making money and they are handling the stores for themselves because they don’t have any more cash problems. But like, that’s exactly what we’re saying to our customers. But from another hand, recently we started recording YouTube for live stream interviews with our customers who got like over 100, K over 100 K with us. We recording the interview and like, hey, like describe. So most of them was the same story two, three, four months, no winning product, no consistent sales like it was struggle. They were like feeling, Oh my God, what am I doing? One of them was from Amazon to Shopify. Another one. It’s first, first experience in e-commerce. Another one was like, he was done already before. So like they just was feeling that like they are in the right hands because of the customer service, because the guys are real. They always updating me, they always explaining what’s happening and like I’m trusting them and they like, they have wrong, they have right mentality to be intrapreneurs. So and they were just patient.
Speaker2: [00:32:41] They were just looking on the numbers. They were understanding the process according to our feedback. And by that being said, one of the really recent cases, uh, three from four months, no winning product, so that in the one month, 400 K almost. Wow. So like it is e-commerce. That’s why we I’m doing that. That’s why the patient is the key three months nothing losing here and there like couple of hundreds maybe up to thousand nothing. Nothing. It’s like one waiting. It’s annoying. It’s nothing happening. And after that we find out the strong product, which is like, whoa, whoa, 34, 44% profitability. It’s something insane. Let’s moving. What’s moving? What’s moving? Optimizing, optimizing. Now at scale. Boom. Like with TikTok, it’s only 400,000in a short period of time. It was really something. What is of the recent cases Incredible. And the person like definitely happy that he didn’t quit because he took a back home over six figures in profit. And like in a matter of three months of waiting, four months of waiting, I believe it was because I tried to open the coffee shop or some some grocery shop or whatever offline and that Covid won’t be heated to you. Or like, at least in a matter of like several years, you will get back multiple six figures in profit. Yeah. Yeah, this is the power of e-commerce.
Speaker1: [00:34:15] I totally relate to that. I have some background in, you know, offline marketing. So and the retailers, especially the Horeca sector, a lot of people, you know, tend to they have this dream of opening a coffee shop, running the business on their own, and they think that, you know, it will be just like that, that I’ll be they’ll be shut down their.
Speaker2: [00:34:34] Doors in the first year.
Speaker1: [00:34:35] Yeah, most of them, most of them first year they, they, they will lose their clients. So basically But yeah, so you’ve mentioned that you have these cases, the use cases from your students. And one of them you mentioned he switched actually to from Amazon to Shopify. Are you able, you know, to to describe some of the details and relate on that story? So why did he make had to make the switch and how Shopify helped him resolve the trouble that he had on Amazon? What was basically actually the trouble that he had on Amazon. So um, yeah, if you could tell us, tell me a little bit more about that.
Speaker2: [00:35:16] Yeah, I will say both sides because this particular case, it was misunderstanding that he is in Amazon and he decided to invest in Shopify. So his passive investor he invested in done for you Amazon he invested done for you, Shopify and done for you Shopify working for him better as well according to his feedback, according to the return of investment and profitability. But still, we have a lot of potential clients who were about to join us and who joined with us who been on Amazon and they decide to give a shot to to Shopify. And after that they quit on Amazon and like or some people who are just running from shiny object to shiny object they invest in here. After that it doesn’t work. First couple of months they invest in another and then they losing everywhere. And after that they coming back to us. Oh yeah, you were telling me. But now I’m ready. And he’s saying I lost 15 K or like I lost 30 5K1 guy came to us. He was like, we were talking for a couple of months and he decided to go to with another agency. We were trying to educate him why he shouldn’t do that. We never say anything bad, even we know some background of the some agencies. We never say anything. But you know about the competitors. But we’re trying to educate our potential client what they should do, what they shouldn’t do, even without us, what they have to put attention, if they will go without us. They were not listening. And after that, one guy came back to us, lost 180 K in six months. Wow. Yeah. Like I’m ready to start. Like, come on, come on. Like, we were trying to explain you. What exactly is the pitfalls? Where are you going? Why, especially these people who he was trying or like, I got scam at 6000. They. They promised to create a store for me and disappeared.
Speaker1: [00:37:06] Okay. All right. This is really a very good topic to address. So imagine that we have maybe viewers or listeners that are thinking right now about finding an agency. What points or what red flags would you suggest for them to look out for when sourcing an agency? So what they should pay attention to?
Speaker2: [00:37:28] Yeah. So number one thing is like bleak, bleak things, which is people reacting on social media, like Guy next to the Lambo, next to the jet will open The secret guys like jet photo shooting cost only a few thousand dollars. You just go into the jet taking photo shooting, going out. This is like how it works. And all of those freaking Instagram guys who have one post or three posts or two posts with their jet, they are not flying by jet if they have in stories every single like week or couple of times a month with the jet flying. So most probably that guy flying by jet, that’s just another thing. But again, it’s just like bleak, bleak stuff about Lambo in Dubai. You can rent from my friend’s Lambo for six 600 bucks and like, I will do freaking awesome video shooting photo shooting like I’m in Dubai. Like guys say, I used to live in Dubai for five years. I know what is all about and like, come on. But people are not aware and they are reacting on that. Plus even worse Instagram pages, which has two three posts. Horrible looking, no following, no stories highlights, no social proof. And after that guy came to us, I paid them 35 K and they scam me. They just blocked me after that. Like, yeah, we are talking about completely different investments, completely different pricing with him, which is completely like it’s, it’s lower, lower, lower what he invest and he on my page on my company page we have stories highlights since 2018.
Speaker2: [00:38:57] So this is what I’m showing to you like about the choosing agency like a agency mentor, like social proof. I have a social proof since 2018, when I was running my stores, when I was running customer stores. But students, investors, everything there were like several, like multiple six figures, multiple five figures, multiple four figures, even like 500 a day, 300 a day. Everything like different stages have been shared. And that is like several of them screenshots from the chats with the team and the customers and all of that. It’s like there, it’s for years. You can see how many weeks it’s like, I don’t know, 120 weeks, 150 weeks back. Stories highlight. So it’s a social proof. You go scrolling down and that guy has a family. That guy always online stories every single day, which means he is active. He’s there, audience is there. So this kind of page, in my opinion, is completely trustable and you have to follow, you have to look on it. You have to understand if you really want to, because the trust one thing as well are you really want to work with such kind of people.
Speaker2: [00:40:02] I mean, is that something what the like, feel comfortable with? Yeah, it’s another thing. Maybe you’re thinking about joining them, but then they provide in different kind of service, which you were expecting. So double check, having a call with them or chat in. Dm So that’s one of the thing because people are really reacting on bleak stuff. Like there was one guy who scam around five people who came to us. It’s like, Exactly was 180. It was 60 K It was something like huge numbers and look on his ask my team like ask them to share the Instagram page. There is five posts, one with McLaren, one with Lamborghini, one something else like Shopify expert, no results, nothing on the page. And it’s like 100 followers like and. Chief Ramsey is just like getting paid and like blocking people after that. Once you get paid, well, it’s up to you. It’s up to people. But I’m really trying to educate everyone when we’re talking to them. Look, think logically. Look on our website, our team members are there. Our results, our YouTube channel come in every single week. Videos. Would it be happening if people just come in? Others like we have even awards like four times awards of the Clickfunnels generated over 1 million with Clickfunnels each.
Speaker2: [00:41:27] Now we have four of them, but we have different, different social posts for Forbes business console. Like right now I’m in top 100 United States entrepreneurs with Ukrainian origins. Like I’m going to be publishing the book. So like, I’m proud of that. But I’m just saying we’re making that for real, showing social proof that we are real. And this is like in all the successful agencies who are ten links, bigger than me, they are in biggest podcasts. They are like around the people that are speaking on the stages. I’m speaking on the stage, first time in my life in October in Frankfurt, Germany this year. Good luck with that. Like good luck. Appreciate it. Like it’s I’m a bit stressing about it, not stressing but worrying about that but I really want to start it and it is well, like it’s showing that your expert in the industry people want to listen to you and people wants to see you on the stage. It means something. So like and when they like going and like saw the shiny object because he’s in the Lambo and and in the so on the gold they promising you 100 100 X in two weeks. Yeah, I don’t know what kind of people are buying it, but unfortunately people are buying it. Yeah.
Speaker1: [00:42:34] So basically, I think that the people that are buying it are the ones who are ready to pay expensive for expensive lessons, you know? So this is a lesson to be learned. Yeah.
Speaker2: [00:42:46] Unfortunately, they’re not learning. They jump in on another shiny object failing and another. I’m I’m telling you, sometimes we are having five times failed guys, so. I don’t know. I got scammed five times. I’m not really sure if I can believe you. Okay. And the thing is that we are never believed. We are never guarantee anything. It’s a business. And especially if it’s a drop shipping from start. I’m not speaking about the business owners or brand owners. I’m speaking about drop shipping from start. How I can guarantee you if I don’t have I don’t see your data yet. I don’t see your store, I don’t see your data, I don’t see your sales history. I cannot even visit that brand coming to us. I’m saying we are not provide any guarantees. I know that we will be able to achieve great results because see the data. But still so, so much underwater stones that I don’t want to put myself in such kind of thing. It’s the same with agency which is generating 1 billion a year for their customers in e-commerce space. One of my great friend in the United States, he is clearly mentioning in the agreement no guarantees. Yeah, 1 billion in the sales for 2022 in the year and like they are not providing guarantees because a guarantees it’s a scam I’m sure.
Speaker1: [00:44:02] Too many things. Too many things that need to be taken into account. As you said, the underwater stones and everything. So why don’t we stop there a little bit? So yeah. When? Finding out whether you’re profitable or not. You have to take into account a lot of factors. So, for example, when we are doing profitability analysis for Amazon, there are multiple things that we give our users the possibility to take into account, like say, for example, fluctuations of cost of goods sold because there are different batches. For example, the same product might cost a batch of products will be costing something in a period of the year and then prices change, then the situation changes. You need to take into account the fluctuations in the prices so your cost of goods change. You have overhead expenses that you need to take into account. For example, I don’t know software. You have your services, you have maybe a warehouse, you have your photoshoots, I don’t know, virtual assistants or maybe agents, an agency like yours. So there are a lot of things that you need to really take into account. My question is, as an agency, could you share some of the experience? You know, what do you take into account when calculating profitability for your for your clients?
Speaker2: [00:45:20] Yeah. Since we are working with clients on the revenue share or profit share, it depends what client will choose. Plus monthly retainer, we are having simple calculation for our end to get paid. Yeah. Which is agreed with the customer. But as well there is a clear data for customer to see his. All data. One of the simple app simplest apps which can be used in. It’s not expensive for its first 13 days free after that $20 a month. Voluntary profit. So the name is the true profit. It’s super simple. You just fill up your cost of goods. You fill up your, like, shipping price and whatever you want about like general, what advertising you integrate your Facebook, TikTok or email, whatever with that, and you can see your expenses on those platforms and it’s calculated in one click to you all the profitability or lost. But as well, there is possibilities to add it. Custom expenses, which is some of our customers are doing to see their most real profitability. And at the end, like we running, let’s say, store for 28% profitability. But if you make custom expenses, which is in customer side, to see his his clear profit, which is minus our our service. So he adding customer service like our expenses divided by 30 days like how much he is paying us per day plus something some additional cost for additional subscriptions outside of Shopify, like some kind of additional things. And after that like he’s seeing like instead of 28, let’s say 19, 20 or like 17. So but it is his. This is like ended result before taxes, it’s his income.
Speaker2: [00:47:07] So this kind of app is helping us a lot to calculate easily the the costs and the profit loss and another for another app as well which is we using and right now we actually as well we I’m a co-founder of Ecom Scout. It’s like a data driven platform which is helping track the AI platform, which is helping track the data on Facebook TikTok for losing, uh, attribution. So it’s what exactly happened on the iOS 14, where when people start losing our start losing tracking on their social media platforms, we create exactly similar to our competitors, triple whale, which is allowed to, which is allow the to track the data properly. So for example, if the data on Facebook showing it’s for sales, that the correct one, it will be six sales. So two sales have been missed and our our software able to track all the data. So it’s one of the things which is like on that software on triple well on our side is possibilities as well. Integrate everything together and make it like calculation of the profitability on the dashboard. So it’s comfortable dashboard with the all the calculations of the profitability and plus data driven platform which is helping you making the right decisions on the advertising Facebook or TikTok. So basically yeah, like but most of the time we are using the triple or we using the true profit in the store to just check in daily updates because like there is several ways but through profit, super convenient, super comfortable to do that.
Speaker1: [00:48:55] Nice. Nice. So now we’ve had a chat about one of our main competitors actually true profit because seller dot, that is something, you know, it’s as I said before, our main domain of competence is profitability for Amazon. But basically what we actually do on seller board, we give the same possibility, you know, to see the profitability, to see the expenses and actually to connect your external marketing channels, for example, like Facebook or TikTok. And we recently actually introduced the same thing, the first first party pixel. I think that the the solution that gives you the possibility to overcome the situation with the IO, the iOS problem, you know, that doesn’t give you the attribution. So we’re having some common ground that we are working here with the Triple Vale. What’s the name of the application that you are the founder? To Bewail or.
Speaker2: [00:49:52] Like, I’m good. I’m co-founder of the crowd.com. Okay. Well, that’s our competitor. Okay.
Speaker1: [00:49:58] Okay. Got it. Got it. So basically, we are kind of solving the same the same issue here and true profit. Yeah, we know that the, the app, it’s really nice. We are aiming, you know, to take maybe a share of it of the audience because we are working with the same tools we’re taking, the experience that we have with Seller bought on Amazon and putting it into Shopify. So maybe you should also check it out because right now it’s free to use. Maybe we would really appreciate your feedback on that because it’s something new to us. So we are only introducing it to the market and getting the feedback. At this point, everything is really valuable, so we really like to know your opinion on that.
Speaker2: [00:50:36] Actually, yeah, I’m open to the check because it’s interesting to see the similar platforms to like what’s what kind of not even difference, but how, how, you know, right now it’s all about even how customers feel comfortable using X, y, Z app or software to compare. Like what’s different on that software? Yeah, like different features. Obviously it’s cool, but like the convenience of using it the number one thing. So yeah, I would like to test it for sure.
Speaker1: [00:51:06] Thank you. Thank you. That would be a really good feedback for us because and by the way, the topic that you mentioned is something that I feel like, you know, is really happening right now because there is a lot of software in the market and a lot of the software is basically doing the same thing. So it all boils down to the user experience that they get. What is more convenient, what is more easy to use, and how these data points that a lot of the software have access to, how they show up and mix up the data, how they give it to you, what is what is easier to use. So yeah, I really totally agree with that. All right, Um, thanks for that. Now, probably I would like to ask you, um, we had the talk about your story. We had to talk about the agency that you run. Uh, my probably last topic that I would like to address is actually not actually a topic. It’s like a question. Are there any tips or any advice that you can give to Shopify sellers that are starting out and maybe kind of are on the fence right now thinking about maybe they can do it on their own and if they do, without addressing an agency and contacting someone who can support them and guide them on their own, like bootstrapped, like you were in the beginning, what do know? Three tips or maybe some advice, general advice that you could give for these guys.
Speaker2: [00:52:33] Uh, I would say the number one advice would be find out the mentor. I mean, since you’re doing that by yourself, you need someone who’s going to be guiding you. Okay? Maybe you don’t have cash for that. Okay. Maybe you, like, have some other reasons to do that. You can’t, but you can find out YouTube channel, uh, like number one thing, which is rookie are doing well like I was is that they starting thousands of people YouTube channel they starting thousands of strategies thousands of life hacks and then it’s becoming less so the number one thing is like it’s like number one thing is the mentor my highly recommendation for you so mentor could be one YouTube channel, which is like you will follow and follow in what he’s doing if he’s legit and trust, which is we’re just about to share with you. Recently I just recently shared with you like how to find out if you can trust them. Yeah. And follow only one maximum two guys, but still try to focus on one because when you are following the several, uh, like YouTubers or whatever other resources you in becoming a mess in your head is becoming a mess. And I was doing I was losing all the money which I had on the advertising first six months just because I was listening here. I adjusted here, adjusted there, adjusted and it was a mess.
Speaker2: [00:53:57] Instead of just slow down, look on one guy like, okay, I will do what what this guy doing because he knows what he’s doing. That guy knows as well. I’m not saying that the other guy doesn’t know. It’s just like everyone has their own style or own understanding, own processes. And when you try to combine those processes, you’re just like breaking. They don’t. It doesn’t, right? Yeah. So that’s, that’s, uh, number one advice. Like, if it’s a mentor, you cannot pay. Find out YouTube mentor for yourself. And then when you get first results, pay for him or consultation with the person who really knows much more than you. Some people offering the consultations. So the the second advice don’t like don’t overspend on the ads. So like each testing should not take more than $100. If you didn’t get any sales, only like one hour end, we can spend more than 100 because we can see additional KPIs with our experience that we know that, okay, let’s give a shot this like this tweak and see what happens. And sometimes it’s happening Awesome. And we just like finding the winning, uh, syndication of creative and the interest and then it start working. But as a beginner, the basic strategies don’t spend like more than 100 because if 100 bucks it doesn’t give you any good results, any sales, believe me, like most probably the product doesn’t won’t work or you need extra like whatever dollars to test it out to give a shot.
Speaker2: [00:55:23] But since you are beginner, most probably you’re going to be fail on it. So don’t do that. Move to another product. So the second point I would call don’t marry on the product. Like test it out, doesn’t work. Move on. Third thing I would recommend make sure that your store. When you start in first of all, you ready to invest enough time every single day? I would say at least three, four hours a day on studying and implementing at least it depends on your schedule, how busy it is. So like the be ready to invest time and don’t run any ads until you made the product page and store looks legit. So all the policies are in all the trust budgets, all the product reviews are there. All the stuff which is needed must be there for the good conversion rate and trust from your visitors. It must because I see the agencies. Really are shocked that I’m actually mentoring a couple of agencies as an agency owner and as an advertiser. And I notice the running ads for the product pages, various Chinese reviews or, you know, Russian reviews, Chinese reviews not adjusted enough. The picture of the product where one box is broken.
Speaker2: [00:56:47] So they just like withdraw all the reviews and paste it in the store and not even checking it. And so you’re running now you’re spending money like not even 100 bucks, two, 300 bucks a day on this store. And conversion rate is super low because people are not trusting that page. So make sure that you made the product page a really good enough before spending any single dollar on it because it’s one of the point of success except AdSense, except the ad copy the like when when you bring attention to your store, your store must sell the problem, not the product, the problem which this product is serving. So that’s exactly like you saw in the problem person want to buy because he see the trust on your on your store. So this is three basic things. So for the beginners to follow I would say and really be ready to lose some money in the front end. It’s investments like you investing everywhere. So no worries that it is not losing its investment. So you will be spending here and there. But at the end, when you find out the right thing and find out the strategy which is working for you, you will return all your investments in one shot. But you have to be ready for stress because in any kind of business it’s available.
Speaker1: [00:57:58] Yeah, yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. I totally relate to that. So, uh, investment and preparedness for stress and kind of that mindset from the beginning. From the very beginning. That’s great. Thank you. All right. Now, as we are heading to the final part of our discussion today, please tell me the, uh, viewers, the listeners that are really want to reach you, that probably want to take a shot with your agency. How can they do that? Where can you find they find you or where should they follow you? Maybe, you know, if you you mentioned before the importance of having a mentor and probably you are sharing some of the experience on a daily basis. So where can they follow you?
Speaker2: [00:58:43] Yeah, sure. So one thing like we have completely free education educational channel on YouTube, which is Anatoliy Lubinsky, you can find out there is a lot of videos with me where I’m sharing case studies and some kind of insights, some kind of mental as well, education, uh, plus where I’m answering by myself on DMS, it’s my Instagram. It’s the best place to reach me out. Icon by Anatoly, Icon by Anatoliy. So on that Instagram like that, Instagram 40 000 plus followers and having several stories highlights which was mentioned because in the last year I got around maybe 40 fake accounts by by people who trying to sell crypto shit. So I’m just saying that make sure that you follow in the right one, which is having the stories highlights a lot, a lot of like old posts. That’s me. So and just DM me I’m answering the right away. Plus if you would like to have more information about our services, about how we can help you out, especially if you are a brand because we we are doing great with the brands. We are scaling that on the like really high levels. It’s the easiest way to go to our Instagram page. There is a link to Google Call or our website. Jason Gross Agency.com. There is a button called just answer a couple of questions. So choose the time and it’s completely free. We will find out what’s working, what’s not working on your end. We will find out if we are able to help you out. And in that case, we’re going to be just tell you the guidance, how you can manage that by yourself or what exactly we can implement for you on your store. So yeah.
Speaker1: [01:00:26] Great. Great. Thanks. Thanks. Totally do that. Everyone who listens to the podcast and looks or watches the podcast, sorry, or on YouTube, do that. Check out anatoly’s Instagram. I’m pretty sure we’re going to plug in a QR code to this video so you can use it to access a link. All right. And my last question. Basically, this is a question that I addressed to everyone that’s invited to the podcast. Um, what is the thing that you enjoy the most in your work?
Speaker2: [01:01:01] Well, I would say like in the recent time, there is too many challenges. But one of the thing is challenges, because I’ve proven to myself that shit, even that I can manage. It’s like it’s something which is like you becoming much, much stronger. I’m really love what I’m doing. I really in love with what kind of impact I’m bringing in the world and when we are making difference for some of the people out there, it’s like a huge, huge pleasure. And it’s even better than money because like, okay, finances is cool. It’s all what we are doing for. But feelings in heart and soul, when you are made some kind of difference in life, for some people that’s insane. So like, I’m proving myself that I’m stronger than I thought and I’m showing to the world that actually there is a people who are able to help and making things differently. Again, even though it’s not working 100% correctly everywhere, I won’t be promised anything. But like you can even check, by the way it’s touched my thoughts. Uh, some person yesterday left review about us working with us and I was so upset because I read the review. He put the one star and saying how dropshipping is dead, How drop shipping, drop shipping, drop shipping. And about the guys. If they would be a bit cheaper, I would be most probably continue working with them. Thank you so much for such kind of feedback. And it’s one star, you know, so it’s not really something. It’s not fair. I would say when you are doing your best to to deal with the customers in the right way anyway. Yeah. So that’s, that’s the thing.
Speaker1: [01:02:46] That’s, that’s, uh, really, really a good motivation to move on, you know, to make the people, first of all happy, not to leave you one star reviews and, uh, and, you know, maybe thinking about who you work with because some of them don’t really understand, you know, the role of the agency and that you cannot provide, you cannot guarantee anything. So maybe it’s the name of the game. You you either lose or you win. So a lot of factors need to be taken into account. Yeah. All right. Uh, Anatoly, thank you so much for coming to the podcast. It was a great talk. Uh, lot, lots of insights, a lot of inspiration. And for me personally, a lot of things got a lot clearer on how, you know, agencies work, uh, on how maybe Shopify sellers should, uh, analyze and pick who they should work with, that credibility reputation, how, what they should look out for. Uh, thank you once again.
Speaker2: [01:03:46] Appreciate it, Alex, for having me on the call. And yeah, whatever, guys. Feel free, please, to reach out and I will see if we can guide you in somehow that you can improve your results. Yeah.
Speaker1: [01:04:00] Well, thanks again. It’s been a great talk. See you soon. Bye. And this is it, Anatoly. Thank you once again for coming to the podcast. And all of you, the viewers, the listeners that had the patience and the interest to come to this point. I really appreciate it. Once again, I want to remind you that sellerboard has a version for Shopify, so it’s sellaband.io, and right now it’s totally free. So check out the demo account and see if sellerboard is the right tool for you. Thank you for listening and watching. See you in the next episode. Bye bye.