AS 92: Build the brand, 180k/month sales on Amazon and Shopify with Dr. Travis Zigler
29 Aug 2017
Today I’ve got Dr. Travis Zigler, who graduated in 2010 from The Ohio State University College of Optometry with Magna Cum Laude honors. He is the co-founder of Eye Love, eyelovethesun.com, whose mission is to end preventable blindness. Dr. Travis and his wife, Dr. Jenna Zigler, use the profits from Eye Love to fund free and low cost clinics in South Carolina and Jamaica. They also started a charity called the Eye Love Cares Foundation, eyelovecares.org, which provides exams, glasses and sunglasses for those in need, free education, and scholarships for students that align with their mission.
Eye Love does an average of $180,000 per month on Amazon and Shopify. He has created highly engaged communities of over 2,000 people and growing daily.
In this episode you’ll learn,
- How Travis started his business
- How Travis acquired businesses and leverages them together
- How he’s built a business from passion
- How to build a brand leveraging SEO and content
- The people behind Eye Love and the charitable actions of the company
- The growth and decisions behind the company
- Strategic decisions and business operating
- Lots of golden nugets. Did I say lots!?
Transcript coming soon
Dr. Travis Zigler
1. Business Igniters on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Business-Igniters-165108987349546/
2. Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Travis-Zigler-261315727610737/
3. Eye Love: https://eyelovethesun.com/
Ashlin Hadden Insurance Agency
DAVID ALADDIN: Great having you on the show, Travis.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Hey, David thanks for having me.
DAVID ALADDIN: Can you take us to the beginning before you guys were selling on Amazon and Shopify? Where did your journey begin?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Now it began I mean back in college. I mean, we, my wife went to the University of Michigan, I went to the Ohio State University for under grad and we ended up meeting and started dating when she came to optometry school in 2007 and I was a second year she is a first year. We dated throughout Optometry school and started practicing in Columbus, Ohio from 2010 to 2015. And 2015, we worked for my uncle in Columbus, Ohio, and we decided we wanted to go off on our own and do our own things. So we actually pretty much quit our jobs, moved across the country to South Carolina and started two new practices from scratch and then with, whenever you’re staring up a new practice it tends to be a little slower at first while your gaining that initial clientele similar to your Amazon business.
You’re not selling two to three hundred units a day—you’re selling one to two units a day and you’re building up from there and practices the same way. And so I was bored and we found the amazing selling machine was on its fifth version in May 2015 and we bought it and just went through the course and didn’t follow the training for picking out a product. Just did what we know and what we loved which is eyes, and just going to went from there. So May or July 2015 in when we got our first sale and we did the typical rookie mistake of only ordering a hundred units, selling out in seven days and realizing, wow, this is real. So then we brought in an investor and we dump about twenty thousand of our own dollars in and grew from there.
DAVID ALADDIN: Okay. So like before the whole Amazon thing, you guys joined the practice for five years. When did you get the, you had this concept of just like living you know the safe area of the job and whose idea was it first, you or your wife’s?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: My wife is definitely. She likes to be safe. Very, very safe so it was definitely my idea but probably back in 2012 or 2013, I read a book, called Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which I’m sure a lot of you readers have read and I’m sure it has changed a lot of their lives. And so we got in the real state. We bought our first duplex about a year later and we still have the duplex actually. It’s in Columbus, Ohio, and we just have two tenants rent from us and we just realized that the path to ultimate wealth is owning a practice. We looked at the owning a practice up in Ohio and we just wanted to get out the winner and that’s why we kind of made the plunge to come all the way down here in South Carolina.
DAVID ALADDIN: What does it take to start like a practice?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: A lot. A lot of patience and so, when you’re first starting out a practice you pretty much—we actually bought an existing practice but it was actually on the downhill. It would—did to about 220 its first year, 180 at second year, and then the third year it did 120,000 and that’s when we came in and purchased it. We got a really good deal on it and unfortunately, it was kind of had a bad rep in the community so we had to build that back up and we did that pretty well just by getting out and getting involved in the community like a typical business that’s local does. And you just accept every insurance plan possible even if it’s not profitable, and very similar too when you launch a product, you just try to do things for free for people, you find influencers in the community, and you are the sneezers in the community, whatever you want to call, and you give him free eye care, or you give him free glasses and don’t tell everybody.
DAVID ALADDIN: So, do you mind saying how much you guys bought that business for?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yes. So we bought it. We bought both locations for about $67,000.
DAVID ALADDIN: Did that include like the physical property and everything?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So the one location has a physical property included everything inside of it. It was actually a rental. So they rented the—it was a duplex building and we rented half of it and then all the stuff that was inside of it that came with it: glasses, all the equipment, computers. The other location is inside a Walmart so we don’t own any of the equipment. We just own the patient’s charts.
DAVID ALADDIN: Why do you think the people sold it?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I know why they sold it. The owner was going through a lot of problems in life and he was battling a couple different diseases and he was young like us, and so he just decided that it wasn’t for him anymore. And it was perfect for two doctors to come in and grow and he just didn’t have the time and at the energy, definitely not the energy to commit to growing it anymore which shows in the early revenues. So going from 220 to 180 to 120 over a three-year span shouldn’t happen in any practice.
DAVID ALADDIN: Definitely not. Like the margin on that type of businesses is—it’s mostly service business, right?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s all service base. We do have an optical, we did have an optical on our old office that we sold and that old optical—the optical makes up about 60%-70% of our revenue which is glasses, contact lenses, everything like that.
DAVID ALADDIN: So, at these clinics you can also sell your products as well, right?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah, we do. And so, we didn’t have products at beginning but now we do in our Walmart location. We sell all of our consumables there.
DAVID ALADDIN: Very cool and then, okay, so you guys acquire this business for about 66K and then you guys sold it at some point?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah, we sold one of them. So, we sold the private practice which had all the equipment and the glasses and everything and we went up selling it for about I don’t—yeah, it was around 150 mark.
DAVID ALADDIN: Nice.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And then we still have the other location which is kind of our cash cow and that doesn’t really have any overhead. It has three thousand dollars a month in over head so after we see thirty patients in a month it pretty much pays for or that’s all profit.
DAVID ALADDIN: And are you guys the one’s running the business or do you have like employees that do it now for you?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We still run the business. I work a day and half a week and my wife works two days a week, and we only work three and a half days per week. And those three and half days rotate so, we don’t work… we work like a, it’s called a schedule crunch. We work Thursday through Saturday one week and then we work Monday through Wednesday the next week and so it makes it very nice because we’ll have sixty seven day weekends to work on our business on our eCommerce business and then it allow us just more freedom to travel and do what we love.
DAVID ALADDIN: You guys are in a very interesting situation because you have this retail side and then you also have this eCommerce side. Do you see the eCommerce starting to take over the retail side?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Head to the first year.
DAVID ALADDIN: Jeez. So what’s, I know we’re jumping ahead but what’s the plan?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: The plan right now is we have a contract with Walmart that we’ll stay in there until January and then we’re pretty much evaluating everything right now if we want to keep it or if we want to get rid of it. But we’re in talks of selling that practice right now with somebody and he might take it over in January. And we’re pretty excited about that because he’s going to be a great doctor coming in and filling in our shoes and then we may consider moving so we want to get around people that think more like us because in South Carolina it’s tough to find that entrepreneur crowd. It’s out there but it’s very tough to find so we’re going to go somewhere that’s more entrepreneur friendly.
DAVID ALADDIN: Any ideas?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Austin.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: [Crosstalk 00:08:35] just Austin.
DAVID ALADDIN: Well, they just got hit by the hurricane. I hope they’re doing okay.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: That’s okay. We got hurricanes here too.
DAVID ALADDIN: Very cool Okay so, how did—I Love is a different brand from the ophthalmology in that practice, right?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yep so…
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah, what is the belief behind that?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Just keeping things separate. You always want to have as many businesses as you can separate just for protection purposes. But we want to keep all eCommerce things eCommerce and then all retail things retail. So when I go to buy our consumables from our eCommerce business I actually invoice our business and my retail business actually pays for all the consumables because we do have a whole sale model as well.
DAVID ALADDIN: Very interesting. So your one business is paying the other business. Buying from the other business. I guess for tax reason that makes it very clear as well.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah and you can do this with if you have a building, a physical building you want that building to be in a separate LLC or S Corp where ever you’re doing and then you want your business to rent it out from your other business.
DAVID ALADDIN: I’ve heard about that. Let’s talk more about that actually so, you have an LLC that holds the building that you run thing. And then it’s—how does that work? Can you go in to detail?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We don’t own the building anymore, so we don’t own the building that we’re practicing now so we just pay rental to Walmart because it’s their building, but so if you had a physical property that you built like a warehouse and you bought it through your Amazon business or your eCommerce business, you do not want it to be in a same holding as that so you’d create a separate LLC that this business owns that this other business owns. And then your eCommerce business will then pay that business to rent the space just like you would if you rent it to anybody else. And you can even take this a step further in any equipment that you owned inside the building.
You can then create a separate business for the equipment that you own and run the equipment to your eCommerce business as well, and what that’s doing is it’s just protecting yourself, and as long you keep it separated and that’s pretty much piercing the corporate veil as you want to avoid that. But as long as you keep everything separated, it’s going to be better for you from a protection stand point because, I mean I’m no attorney or anything but this is just what we do. And if somebody sues our Optometry business, they can’t get anything from our eCommerce business and vice versa, and then if somebody sues your eCommerce business they can’t come after the building, the building is in a separate LLC.
DAVID ALADDIN: You know that sounds very smart. I should definitely concern that especially as I’m starting another brand.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah.
DAVID ALADDIN: I guess for me like I just want to get out and start selling on a new brand and all this legal jargon gets in the way of that. Where do you guys have all this time to do this kind of stuff?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Well, I think entrepreneurs always have that fire first, ask questions later aim, you know. Fire first and then aim. And which we have a great team around us. We have four attorneys that we consult with on a regular basis for different areas of our business and then we have a CPA, an accounting team, a book keeper. Sounds expensive but it is really not. I mean, we have two of our attorneys on retainer for $40 a month and then whenever we need them they answer pretty basic questions at no cost and they go over five documents a month at no cost.
And then we have a trademark attorney for any trademark issues that we have which we’ve had trouble with trademarks before, and he charges now three hundred dollars an hour but it’s not really that bad because we talk to him maybe one time a month and it cost you $200 a month. And then our accounting team cost you know $600-$1000 a month but they do book keeping, accounting, and they do tax planning as well. So if you don’t pay for it in the front end you’re going to pay for it in the back end which is April of every year.
DAVID ALADDIN: Very interesting. So, you guys built your brand completely around something that you love. A lot of sellers tend to go one way or the other. They sell products they just sell and you guys sell products that you love and are passionate about. And from like looking or listening to you now, it sounds like it was just a no burner to do that. But let’s talk about your reason for doing that.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So we followed the course, the ASM course to a T. We looked in for products to launch. We looked in the baby niche. We looked in this niche. We looked in a bunch of different areas and we’re just like man, if people start asking questions about these we’re not going to be able to answer them because we don’t know anything about babies because we don’t have any. So, that’s always key. And we’re like we know eye care. Why don’t we just stick with eye care? So we looked into sunglasses which are probably the most competitive market in the world. And because you’re competing with RayBan and Oakley and Nike and Gucci and Prada; any name brand that you could think of has sunglasses so we’re just like let’s just try it and see what happens and it worked.
It’s hard though because sunglasses are an area that we have about probably ten pair now that we still sell, and that’s kind of our cash cow. We just sell those for the profit and then we invest all those profits back into our disruptive part of the company, which we could go into later if you want, but sunglasses are tough because you have to have an FDA approval to import them. You have to have an FDA facility over where we have them manufactured. They have to be FDA certified.
They have to have passed certain standards which most people don’t know any of this and even we didn’t know everything that went into it until we started selling sunglasses but we mainly just stopped doing product research and said, let’s just do sunglasses. Let’s just try it. And then a year later our model shifted to consumables in the eye care space so we sell dry eye supplements and sprays and we’re getting into drops. And we sell things for macular degeneration because when somebody asks us a question about sunglasses or blue light blocking glasses or if they ask us anything about the consumables, we can answer them because we’re experts in that space. And we can go into community building more later but it’s kind of…everything has been encompassed around the eye ball which is what we know so well.
DAVID ALADDIN: I like that. It’s definitely different to hear a lot of sellers come on the show and they just like this thing sells, let’s sell it but you guys are doing it two prong approach. Providing feedback, expertise to your customers and building new products based on that feedback, which I guess other sellers can do but you know, no one would have that kind of foresight to go into…what was that eye drop you said?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: The eye spray.
DAVID ALADDIN: The eye sprays exactly like I would never launch that kind of product.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: The funny thing about the eye spray is—so most of our products, we go for one that sells five to ten to twenty a day. We don’t really go for that home run hit that sells a hundred a day but the eye spray is actually, we’re doing about 50-70 a day right now.
DAVID ALADDIN: Solid. Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And it’s really become a disruptive product because it’s innovative technology in the eye care space. We found it accidentally. Our actual customer brought it to us and I reached out to the manufacturer and just said, will you private label this? And he said, of course, we would. And it’s a prescription medication that we made over the counter. And so we can’t make claims like it treats dry eye or treats whatever conditions we’re treating with it. We can just say it helps clean the eyelids. And so that’s the whole FDA route with consumables is you can’t claim it does something unless you have it FDA approved to treat that and that can cost a hundred million dollars to get that approval. So the prescription spray is it did pay that and they are approved for dry eye and everything but we’re not, but it’s the same pretty much formula. Very similar.
DAVID ALADDIN: And I feel like that’s a golden nugget right there. There’s definitely a boundary that you’ve gotten into that many other sellers definitely can’t get to. And you also have this relationship with the manufacturer that you know you kind of pushed the private label onto him versus you know you were just kind of searching on alley-valley for a product. How did you build that relationship—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah. This is a—
DAVID ALADDIN: By the way? And you don’t have to go too deep into detail about how that comes in about.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: No! That’s fine. I have no problem at all. It’s pretty simple actually. It’s, like I said a costumer brought us this product and said, what do you guys think of this? And I looked at the ingredients and it’s the exact same ingredients as a prescription thing that I do. So I’m just like, man, this is over the counter so we should look into this, and I literally went to the website, found the email of the CEO, emailed him, said could we set up a phone call? And he called me literally five minutes later. This is on a Sunday afternoon, and we talk for about two hours and we made a deal right then and signed an NDA and the rest is history.
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s a hustle right there!
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It literally was that simple.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I mean it can be. It’s not always that simple but we did great.
DAVID ALADDIN: No! You made it sound simple. I mean, you had to reach out to the CEO. You had to put the purchase order that CEO had to be able to fulfill that kind of order. There’s like a lot of thing that had to happen in order for you to be selling 80 units per day out of this random, aha! Kind of product you know.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah. We just launched it two months ago, so we’re just starting to get repeat orders and it’s been a pretty awesome product.
DAVID ALADDIN: What’s the life cycle kind on that kind of product?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: The life cycle on it? What do you mean by life cycle?
DAVID ALADDIN: When they renew?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So, we have a one-month supply and after they buy the one month supply, we want to shift them over to the four months’ supply.
DAVID ALADDIN: It’s awesome!
TRAVIS ZIGLER: But, it’s kind of neat because people will actually subscribe to the one month supply and they’re paying more. I mean our four months supply is only double the cost and you’re getting two more months for free pretty much and there are a lot of people just see the one month supply and recurring revenue.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah! That’s just thinking too smart to buy the four months’ supply. They didn’t know that.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We actually email them afterwards about it and we have an email that goes out about a month later after their one outs this purchase and it says, join our get on up prescription—our subscription plan, and that points them to that page that all you can do is buy the subscription product.
DAVID ALADDIN: I feel like that in itself is a golden nugget to it. All my products are not subscription based and I don’t even know how awesome the people that have all the subscription type of beauty products and reoccurring products, how they’re doing, but it seems like a gold mine that I—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yes.
DAVID ALADDIN: Haven’t tapped at all.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah. You’d be surprised by, you say you don’t have a subscription product, but we have costumers that order the same pair of sunglasses every single month.
DAVID ALADDIN: That is odd.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And it’s not because they break they just order them to put them someone else because we are at a good price point that if they do break, it doesn’t matter because, you know, if they lose them, or anything like that it’s not a big deal.
DAVID ALADDIN: Let’s talk about your business partner, it’s your wife right?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Correct!
DAVID ALADDIN: Did you like get in to this relationship understanding that you guys would be in business together? Or—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: That was actually more like a—
DAVID ALADDIN: More of like a romantic thing at first then it evolved?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So, the first question I asked her is if she wanted to, you know, do a crazy amount of money on eCommerce. No, absolutely not. We actually first met at the bar, oddly enough and it was, I was a first year in Optometry school and she was a senior at the University of Michigan and I was a first year at Ohio State. And if you know anything about that rivalry, it’s a pretty intense rivalry. Some people say it’s the most intense in all the sports, and I had a unique shirt on that’s saying things about Michigan and that’s why she came up to me and start talking to me. And that’s how we met. And she came to Optometry school and that’s, we always thought we’d just kind of work for somebody our whole lives and maybe own a practice someday. And how our life shifted two years ago and we moved to South Carolina and started our own practice and then started this and now we’re talking about possibly even retiring from practice just to focus on this business and we’re still kind of practicing on here.
And I guess to go further into your question, my wife has different mind that I am, so we’re the exact opposite. When we ever do a personality profile, we are the extreme opposites. I’m a quick start, she’s not. She’s a logistics, so I think of ideas, I do a lot of sales and marketing. I do a lot of video content. I do podcast like this one right here and I do a lot of health podcast. And then she does the logistics, the warehousing, the ordering from manufactures, the getting it into Amazon, you know, doing all that because that’s where her, that’s where she—like she’s great at that. She’s great at spreadsheets, I am terrible. And then we have other team member as well that will probably take her place in that and so she can focus on more content creation as well because she’s a great writer as well. She does all our copy and I do a lot of photography because I love the art side of things.
DAVID ALDDIN: That, I feel like there are a lot of golden nuggets. Like one, you’ve got to work crazy t-shirt when you’re out. That actually changed your life if you think about it.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It really did! Yeah. She probably wouldn’t have come up to me and we probably—I can go deeper into that story too because she took a picture and this is when Facebook just started, and that was like 16 colleges and our college’s won and her university was the other and ended up on Facebook, and my roommate who was at the bar that night ended up, he went to high school with her and he’s like, “What are you doing in this picture with some of my high school classmates? and I just, “We just randomly met,” and that’s how we started talking.
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s interesting.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah! It’s crazy story and yeah! It’s a good one. It’s not just we met at a bar.
DAVID ALADDIN: It’s unique. I’ve actually—like for me I’ve been in a relationship and it didn’t work out because wasn’t of the entrepreneur breed. You know, she wasn’t about me working outside of the 8 to 5 job and there is just so much clash in. You figured out or how to work it together, you know, it’s definitely a very unique situation to so.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I think we just go along this journey together and we constantly are building up ourselves and educating and we’re doing that all together and we started the journey together which is a big difference from trying to bring somebody in to this world, then creating the word together, and where you’re trying to bring somebody in, we created it together.
DAVID ALADDIN: They don’t understand?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: No they don’t and sometimes—
DAVID ALADDIN: She didn’t want, yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I don’t know if she understands.
DAVID ALADDIN: She didn’t want me like working on this business all the time and I had to be home at five, but I was home but I—you know, there’s just so much conflict and I’m sure a lot of the listeners have similar issues around this. Do you ever worry about the conflict that—the conflicts of having a conflict in business move over to your relationship?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Not at all, I mean we… everybody fights and we don’t fight that much. We argue, we do it, we all that, but it’s usually just small stuff. We always try to think of, you know, it this going to matter in a year?
DAVID ALADDIN: Right.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Or is this, I mean yeah! We’ve had some really hard times in business this year. 2016 went so well and 2017 has not gone so well at all. We still have great sales, but the bottom line hasn’t been that good and there has been more, I wouldn’t say fighting, but figuring out where our rules are and figuring out where we want to go next with this business and how big we want to take it. And we’ve just had some tough times that surely have taught us a lot about ourselves and a lot about how we are in business.
DAVID ALADDIN: I feel like we age faster in this type of business.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: You can!
DAVID ALADDIN: Because you’re processing a lot more information than when you’re working for five years at that Optometry job. I think the learning curve has to be faster, it has to be more intense or you’re losing money.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And I’ll battle that and argue with you just a little bit that, you’re doing something you love or you should be, and I love seeing patients, but I don’t love it more than I love eCommerce, and that’s why we sold the practice to focus on this because this is where I found my true passion is, helping others succeed in eCommerce and then also seeing us succeed and then also the group that we have, we have a Facebook community called, The Dry Eyes Syndrome Support community, and we’re growing by about a hundred per week and we’re at about 2300 right now. And just providing value to them we do a weekly video series that we just started last night.
5pm we go live. They ask us questions and we just answer them because a lot of times now a day’s people like go to the doctor’s office they just don’t get the time that they used to because insurance reimbursements were going down. Doctor’s time is becoming more and more valuable but they’re getting reimbursed less and so we’re creating that kind of outlet for them to answer their questions and the goal, we do it for free and the goal of the community is in our creating free value for them, we hope they then will come buy our products and we’ve created writing fans doing that and it’s something that we love doing it’s not just we’re doing it to make sales and that’s where a lot of people get hung up because they’re just trying to make the next sale. We don’t care about the sales we just, you know, we just do it to help people and in turn what’s going to happen as you help more people? More people are going to buy your product.
DAVID ALADDIN: And I feel like this method that your approaches creating high quality content based on the products that you sell, it doesn’t apply to people that are just launching any product that sells, you know, not creating the brand.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: You got it, yeah.
DAVID ALDDIN: I had this argument with many guys, you know, should I create the brand or should I just create the product that sells or should I just wholesale products, and I think this is the way to go.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I 100% agree. I helped a lot of entrepreneurs that are getting started in this space and we’re part of the group that helps newbie’s and then a kind of more experienced group and then that really experienced group that’s usually higher than our level and I always tell them the same thing, they always asked me the same thing, what product should I pick? And I’d say, what brand do you want to build? And I say, grow an audience first and the protocol comes from that, and I constantly push that and then they say, well what should I build my brand around? And I’d say that’s your choice. We chose eyes because we’re optometrist. But it’s, I mean you can become an expert in anything and I always tell them that an expert is just somebody that knows more than the person that you’re teaching. And so we’re eye doctors.
We trained for 4 years to become eye doctors and then we still educate ourselves on a daily basis on eye care. I set up Google alerts for the key terms dry eye and blepharitis, and any eye disease, and I read all the latest news that’s on those topics. And you can do that in any field you want. You can, I mean if you’re in travel and you want to say, let’s say travelling to China could be your niche and you could put that into Google alerts and then you’re going to get information on travelling to China every single day and then you can create a group around that and then you can create a travel company around travelling to China, and you create this raving audience of people that love travelling to China, we do that often and they’re going to help each other out, you’re going to help them by bringing them new content and then you could ask them what products to build for them.
DAVID ALADDIN: I say I feel like if you can build a community for dry eyes, anyone can create a community because that is like a very niche subject. And you found thousands of people—that’s thousands, right? Or hundreds right now?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We’re at 2300 right now.
DAVID ALADIN: Exactly! Like there is no excuse, unless you’re selling like random products off the shelf, but then you can still create one bid. I think the real secret there’s that you’re passionate about what you do. There’s absolutely no way I think a community can be created without the passion behind that.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: You’re going to get sick of doing it, if you don’t do it or if you do something you don’t love, you’re just going to, you’re going to go on and I got to post push something today and—where I like, I get an idea when I read a good article I hop on Facebook live right away and I’ll do a quick video and then we have a team in place around that too, then create that video into a paid download then put it into YouTube, then they’ll see you YouTube and then they create a blog post out of it. Transcribe the video, put it into paragraph form and then they put the time stamp on the bottom and we do that to create blog content and it just something that you got to love doing it, you got to love travelling to China, if you’re going to create a travelling to China group. You got to do it and if you don’t love it, you’re not going to do it.
DAVID ALADDIN: I’m actually going to China on the 12th if anyone is going to be there. I don’t know if you’ve been to China, yet, have you?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I haven’t. No.
DAVID ALADDIN: You planning of going?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I would love to; we have a baby during November so it’s going to be—
DAVID ALADDIN: Complications.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah, it’s going to be probably next year. We have two retired grandmas so that should help us make our trip to China a little easier.
DAVID ALADDIN: So does your business partner get paid leave?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: She’s on salary so.
DAVID ALADDIN: All right. We’ve been talking about building the community. Is there anything that I left out there?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: No, I mean just create content and I tell people just Facebook loves Facebook lives, so just get on start a community that you want to build it around and just do Facebook live once a week. I do about, you know maybe one to four videos a week and we do one really long one on Sundays, that’s 30 minutes long, we just started that last night. And the great thing about that 30 minute video is we broke it down into 17 smaller videos cause we got the 17 questions and we just created 17 podcasts and , 17 blog posts, and 17 YouTube videos, all based around different subjects on dry eye and that’s going to make us an authority on dry eye, so we can come out 17 post this week base on that one video that we made and I mean we have a team in place to do all that and we’re still, I mean it’s still a work in progress cause we’re learning everyday how to make that better. But just create content and hire team in place to build around that content and you will be an expert in no time.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah. I think that’s a genius idea. For the audience listening, when you break down videos based on the question people are searching for that question and that’s why those videos would show up for that specific question versus just one broad video and I actually don’t do that enough. I’m learning, a ton.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yes, so we do release the big video that’s 30 minutes long or 45 minutes long. And then we break it down and we actually use like we’ll break it down into each kind of subjects so like an example would be Accutane, a medication that causes dry eye on. We answer that question last night so I go to website called www.answerthepublic.com, and you can type in any keyword, and it will give you the top questions asked by search engine, and so it will give you the what, where, when, why, and how. Surrounding that keywords all put in Accutane there and it will tell me what to title my YouTube video based on search results, so then you put the one that get searched the most as your title as long as it portrays or it is the video as long as you answer the question but that will help you get SEO dues on YouTube, and then on your blog, on everything.
DAVID ALADDIN: I like that. That’s a solid secret.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: www.Answerthepublic.com is awesome.
DAVID ALADDIN: Between that and Quora, I don’t know if you’ve ever use that app. It’s authority type of experts forum, kind like of yahoo answers but a hundred times better so—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: How do you spell that?
DAVID ALADDIN: Q-U-O-R-A.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Q U O… Nice.
DAVID ALADDIN: Almost got me there.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I’ll go into that. Thanks.
DAVID ALADDIN: And so I actually use that daily but not for SEO reasons but I have never been thought of it from that perspective. It’s awesome. Okay. You’ve mentioned that you use Facebook advertising to build your brand. What’s the strategy there?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So we do a lot with Facebook advertising. I’m actually… So I hired a Facebook ad expert and he is trying to build around so we’ve created custom audiences around our dry eye products based on Amazon sales. So we downloaded that audience from Amazon, uploaded it to Youtube and then created a look alike audiences according to that custom audience and he is building advertising to a funnel that we do on our website and that funnel is buying our eye lid spray at a discount and then up selling them to our Omega 3 dry eye supplement and that’s what we are working on right now. We are a little expensive right now so we are just an optimization mode and to give you an example, we are at about $40.00 per purchase and so we are losing about $20.00 per sale on that but we are optimizing it as we go and we’ll be doing that for about three months before I really start to look at the numbers.
I try to ignore them right now and then that’s somebody we hired for that. You know hiring somebody for that is about $2,000.00 a month or less. You can really get somebody part time and that way you can focus on bigger things. The Facebook advertising that I am doing, I am actually starting it today, probably this week sometime is I’m actually on a mission to gather ten thousand leads in a month and I’m going to do that by creating a landing page and that landing page is going to give away our free dry eye book that we wrote and then I am going to create a video series that will get access to it as well and that video series just talks more about dry eye and it tells you about products that you can use to help with dry eye and how to cure it and I am actually doing that. I am recording the whole process of me creating this ten thousand lead audience. I don’t know if it’s going to work but I’m going to be recording every step of the way and you guys can see all my faults and I’m doing that actually we have a website there’s four of us that are at this level on Amazon.
We are all at the same level, some are higher than me, and its Business Igniters, on Facebook and you can actually follow me. I’m going to do videos showing you every step of the way that I’m doing that so Business Igniters on Facebook is just a small group that we put together just for fun and we just put out little nuggets here and there and whenever we feel like it. Nothing consistent like you’re doing with your podcast here.
DAVID ALADDIN: I actually go dark for like a few months at a time if I get so overworked. No, that’s awesome. Is ten thousand leads ten thousand emails?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s going to be emails or people on our community. So the goal is I’m going to collect emails and then try to push them over to the community.
DAVID ALADDIN: It’s awesome. See like I feel like that was never my expertise, building these like crazy funnels of landing page, free book, up sell, what… is there some type of up sell software or tool that you’re using to once they buy this product then you start marketing the month the next product.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So this will be a free product. The dry eye book will be a free download PDF, but we use Zipify pages, Ezra Firestone software. I think—
DAVID ALADDIN: I see.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yes, smartmarketer.com or something like that. Zipify pages is a landing page software that’s built into Shopify and so you have other things like lead pages and all that that are kind of separate…quick funnels as well, but Zipify pages are actually a landing page software integrated with Shopify so it’s really nice. And then once you gather the lead they’ll go into an email sequence and that email sequence will then try to get them. It will educate them while trying to get them to buy other products as well and so we’ll probably offer on the thank you page just like a one-time deal where they can download the book and then get like 20% off on their first purchase but in the email sequence there’s going to be discount codes and ability to purchase different things and that too.
DAVID ALADDIN: Do you find like a certain method working better like free ebook versus 20% discount by now?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: That’s what we’re going to be figuring out.
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s what I’m figuring.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I guess, so when you’re doing a landing page, you either want to, so most people are either trying to get to heaven or get out of hell. And getting people out of hell is a lot more of a selling proposition than getting people to heaven. And so, we’re getting people away from dry eye. And dry eye is a very painful condition or it can be so, what I found, or what we’ve seen is dry eye patients will pretty much do anything because they’re in that much pain, it’s pretty much debilitating, it’s affecting their whole life so, finding that hellacious pain point in your customer and kind of, I don’t want to say exploiting because that sounds negative but, figuring out how you can help them relieve that and you can find that in any area.
So if you have an audience, ask them. That’s all you’ve got to do. Make a survey, monkey survey that says, “What is your biggest pain point today?” Send it out to your audience, one question survey, you’ll get, you know, probably a 5% response rate and it will give you tons of information. Tons of information on where you can go with your advertising. That’s what we did for our latest Facebook ads. We just asked our audience five questions and they pretty much wrote the copy for the ads for us.
DAVID ALADDIN: I feel like you feel the same pressure that I feel with Facebook advertising, it’s like slowly creeping up and like everyone, there’s a lot of people just doing crazy good on it.
And, you’re like, I got to get on this thing too, or you know. And I’ve been learning and teaching myself Facebook Advertising. Thus, I feel like that’s an entire different business yet it’s, it could become a huge part of the business at the same time, for long years to come to.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I mean Facebook is just so innovative, and if you’re a worldwide brand, like an education brand or something, you can really exploit Facebook Advertising just because 3 billion people are online right now and there are 7 billion people in the world and with Facebook and Google, actively trying to get more people on the internet. Africa’s going to be online, Asia’s going to be online, so there’s going to be 6 billion people online, probably by the year 2020. And just think about that Facebook has 2 billion users right now.
They’ll probably be going to double in size within the next 5 to 10 years. And so, Facebook Advertising, if you have an education platform, you can sell your education to anywhere in the world. And so, it’s going to be huge and I think if you learn it now, they’re always changing and I think if you stay one step ahead of everybody else’s, so, I think the big thing that’s coming up next, and that’s we are exploring right now is, automated chat box so…
DAVID ALADDIN: I’ve heard about that, yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Using Messenger as your email list and the basic messenger—
DAVID ALADDIN: Just makes me more overwhelmed. Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So Facebook Messenger is pretty simple. I mean you can use like, I use ManyChat and it’s, M A N Y chat, and it’s an automated system where somebody puts in a keyword, they can get an automated message back and you can do blast to your Facebook Messenger instead of your email list. And email list you know a good response rate is 30% open you know, 2-3% click and ManyChat and or not ManyChat but Facebook Messenger has like 85 to 90% open rate and like a 40% click. And so—
DAVID ALADDIN: Wow.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: If you want to focus on one thing, stop focusing on email list, there is an area for email lists, I mean you should still focus on that but, if you want to exploit your business out focus on the things that’s coming next which is Messenger.
DAVID ALADDIN: How does… I don’t know if you’ve gone this far, but how does, how do you accumulate the Messenger leads? Is that from Facebook ads?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So we, we are just starting that as well. So Messenger, we’ve got about 25 subscribers right now, just because we haven’t pushed it, but when you turn on many chat, it pretty much starts building every time somebody messages your company. It builds your active subscriber lists and so whenever somebody places an order on our website, there‘s a button that says, “Get all your notifications on Facebook Messenger,” it’s automatically highlighted and they have to turn it off so we just turn this on like we could go. And so we got 25 subscribers without trying in the first week and you can do advertising, you can actually do Facebook ads and go straight to Messenger. So somebody comments on a post that you made, it can automatically send them a Message from Facebook Messenger. And that gets them on the active subscriber list and they can opt out anytime.
DAVID ALADDIN: Wow! That is powerful, just a simple comment adds them potential on the list.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah, a comment, and you can automatically message them.
DAVID ALADDIN: It’s a golden nugget.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s, I’ve had this moments when I’m doing things and you start doing it finally, you know how you have your list and you’re like I should be really be doing that, I really should be doing that. I feel like this is going to be one of those things like, why didn’t I started doing this 2 months ago when I first started noticing it? And this is going to be one of those things I think for me.
DAVID ALADDIN: And I just can’t imagine like those videos that go viral with like 3,000 comments, like how fast did those individuals are growing their lists.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah. Now that you mention…
DAVID ALADDIN: But by the way, problem is you don’t get their actual email. It’s kind of like a Facebook email?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It seems like their—
DAVID ALADDIN: It’s still so smart!
TRAVIS ZIGLER: But it’s almost like you’re getting their phone number.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Because you can text message them now.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah! That’s true. The only, the reason why I said this, because if someone uninstalls Facebook—but I guess it could happen with email as well.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: As I told my friend this morning, I told them, don’t worry about the few and far between, worry about the, your customer.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: If you lose a customer because they get out of Facebook, that’s fine.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah. Right.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Don’t worry about that.
DAVID ALADDIN: What mistakes have you made along the way?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: This year has been a roller coaster ride.
DAVID ALADDIN: Great.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And we expanded too quickly into more and more products without having systems in place. So, develop your systems first and then expand. Because what we did is just expanded and expanded, expanded; more products, more products, more products—but we didn’t have the systems in place so all we did is overwhelm ourselves and all our products died. And we lost focus on our main revenue streams, and in order to try get this other smaller revenue streams going where we just eliminated almost all of our revenue streams that weren’t that big and now we’re focusing just back on the main revenue streams again. And so big mistake there is not having systems in place when you’re trying to expand and we brought team members on board very quickly to help us with the expansion and weren’t just getting what we wanted out of them, and I think that’s partially our fault but partially their motivation fault because I just read last night a good stat: 2% of people don’t require supervision in order to do their work, the other 98% of the world does and so having those systems—
DAVID ALADDIN: I hate that quote.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s terrible. But having those systems in place will help manage your teams so, systems first before you expanded into more products and more team members and so you don’t want to overwhelm everybody and so that’s what we’re focusing on now is developing systems. We’ve actually put our kind of revenue growth on hiatus until we can figure that out. Have a checks and balances system because we hired a new team member, he’d been with us for 6 months. He created Acopanco that went bad and we—
DAVID ALADDIN: Oh no.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Ended up losing about $100,000 in one day. And so—
DAVID ALADDIN: What!?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It was a net loss of 30,000 actual dollars but being out of stock and everything it ended up costing us about a $100,000 total after all’s been said and done. And so—
DAVID ALADDIN: I feel the pain.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: That was a 2 hour window. We actually, I know the sales were a little better than usual, not crazy!
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: One morning and we went doing a half marathon and we got back from the half marathon, we done a ton in sales and I was like, what happened? And we searched Acopanco that was on our listing on Google and leaked to a deal site that if you added this coupon to this coupon to this coupon to this coupon to this coupon, then you can get 3 of our products for $3, and these are our high end products that we usually sell for $50. And so people were getting—
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s exactly…
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It was awful!
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s exactly why I don’t run half marathons.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I like that. That was good.
DAVID ALADDIN: No, I’ve done one before.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s good.
DAVID ALADDIN: And our body was done and our mind was done after that.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Well our body was done and our mind was done after that.
DAVID ALADDIN: That must have been misery-like. Because you can’t get out of bed and then—God! Your business like exploding.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So then, another lesson learned this year is higher or great, don’t go cheap on professionals, if you’re going to hire for something, just don’t go cheap because we got, we’re in a big trademark suit right now, over our name and it’s with a big company, I mean a multibillion dollar company, and we have first use of the name and we trademarked part of it first, like when we trademarked for our logo, and we were getting our name trademarked and that’s when this whole thing came about.
And if we just hired the cheapest attorney, we probably wouldn’t have any say in this lawsuit, but we hired a great attorney and we actually, we’re about 6 months into the lawsuit right now, 5 months in we actually hired a separate attorney, the actual attorney that won the Apple versus Samsung lawsuit, and we hired her just to give us a second opinion, and it literally cost us a thousand dollars for her second opinion just to make sure we’re doing everything correctly. And so just don’t go cheap on professional services because you paid for what you get and you want the best out there. Don’t hire friends.
DAVID ALADDIN: Like this. Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Everybody’s heard of this but I didn’t listen and it burned us a little bit and we lost a lot of money from that. And but you know you learn and you move on and we’re in a good place right now though and we, I mean we are moving forward, we learned a lot this year, it caused us a ton of money. We had planned to do five hundred thousand on prime day with all lightning deals and with our products.
DAVID ALADDIN: How much?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Five hundred thousand and…
DAVID ALADDIN: Holy cow! Did that?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We hit–what’s that?
DAVID ALADDIN: You do an average of a 180K per month, but then on prime day—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah.
DAVID ALADDIN: On prime dates it’s like you guys go all out, don’t you?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We were going to and then due to the lack of systems and a lack of things going into place, the FDA held up about $90,000 of our inventory and it still held up actually, it’s three months later and prime date we did eleven thousand because we had to cancel everything because we were running out of stock and then due to our inventory being held up, we had to order more inventory to get it in so we didn’t run out of stocks so we then had no cash and we’re on the verge of like having no money at all. And…
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s the investor, right?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We haven’t pulled in any investors in right now. We just actually got a new loan. And so the new loan helped us. We actually refinanced our Amazon lending loan because it’s twelve month term. We actually refinanced it to an SPA loan through the government and they turned that twelve month term loan into a ten year loan with lower interest rates and lower payments. And so that saved us.
DAVID ALADDIN: I’ve always—the first two years of this business I was struggling because I couldn’t figure out how to pay for inventory and grow at the same time and you mentioned like you’re going to do 500K—500 grand in one day. Yet you’re still struggling to provide the financing for the business and I think a lot of times people don’t understand how much capital goes, gets involved. You guys are going super ambitious, too!
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We tend to be a little more aggressive yeah.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And we learn from that lesson that we won’t be that aggressive anymore. And my wife even told me she can, she has her, “I told you so,” moment. She told us not to go that aggressive and so we actually pulled the reigns back a little bit. We’re going to go for more. And I said but if something goes wrong we’d be strapped severely for finances. And she goes how about you do half of it? And so I said, okay, let’s just go for half and something happened. And so she was right and yeah it saved the company probably.
DAVID ALADDIN: Wow.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And to anybody that’s like listening as far as like inventory and everything, I always recommend that you should be keeping track of what your value of your inventory is every month. And you should leverage it at a hundred percent and so if you don’t have a loan that’s completely covering your inventory, you’re hurting your business by not being able to expand, by not being able to expand more in advertising, by not being able to bring on that key team member that will free you have to do more product creation or content creation, whatever you value in your business. And so we try to make sure we leverage our inventory at a hundred percent.
DAVID ALADDIN: That’s interesting. After I had like a serious disaster in some other areas, I actually try to keep a huge sum of money on the side for that rainy day. Because it was a big burn, you know, your heart was probably going crazy at that time.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Soul is.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah. Man that is, those are a few mistakes and I feel like some of them aren’t even like in your control like with the employee and…
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah.
DAVID ALADDIN: What happened with them? Is the employee still with you? Or…
TRAVIS ZIGLER: No, we actually let him and his team go. We actually hired him to take us over to Europe and with the European expansion we just pretty much wanted to be hands off and he was commissioned based and unfortunately, he had a day job too so this is on the side. And he said customer service and advertising is just too much. I need somebody for that. So we hired a service to help with customer service and advertising. And unfortunately what he did was he stopped watching Amazon completely and the service that we hired ended up making a ton of revenue in the month of May but spent twice as much as the revenue on advertising.
And so we ended up losing a ton of money in the month of May and we are already launching over in Europe so you’re losing money on the launches which isn’t a big deal but all of the sudden the cash had dried up for Europe and I was like, “What happened?’ and I do kind of let’s call it snap shot, I call it my snap shot. And I go through the numbers every month of Europe and the US just to get kind of a cash flow snap shot of how we did that month. And it was very off in the month of May and we fired the team and then my friend, we kept him on in June and we talked about what he can do to make it better and it ended up just we had to take it in a different direction and so we ended up letting him go in July and we’re still friends and we’re moving on.
His role in Eye Love which is our company name-Eye Love, he’s no longer part of that but we’re still kind of exploring other business ventures with him.
DAVID ALADDIN: Very cool. I find like those very specific issues like advertising, any area that touches like a huge amount of capital per month. I tended to do that myself mainly to avoid those kinds of issues. And I like your ambition where you’re trying to like source people to do those tasks for you. But you know as Aspen grows like 10K a month, 100K a month or whatever. I find it kind of scary to give that like those reigns over to somebody.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: But like…
DAVID ALADDIN: I’m impressed by like you know how you were able to give that kind of control over.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah, I mean it’s… you have to. I mean if you value that as a business owner, if you value taking over your ads, you’re going to grow so much which a Facebook advertiser or a CP, or cause… or a PPC… yeah, I can’t talk anymore. A PPC guy on Amazon, I think they’re worth anywhere from, it depends on how much they are working in your business but 20,000 to a full time guy at eighty thousand to a hundred thousand so…
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: If you value your time and at a hundred thousand dollar level then you can keep you in that stuff.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: But you can also hire somebody and trust them that they’re the expert. They know what they’re doing and just have KPI’s in place to monitor them. If something goes wrong you can address it. Acos is…
DAVID ALADDIN: I got to do that. I feel like it’s easier said than done.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: ACOs is the perfect—It is. I mean it’s, we had somebody managing our PPC and Amazon ads for the last year and now with the automated software that’s come out, thanks to your podcast I got one of those and we actually let him go yesterday. And we’re now saving you know $30000 a year for him not being on our team because of Prestozon, which you had on the podcast like five episodes ago and they impress me enough that I went all in on their software and tried it out in the UK first. Loved it. So I brought it to the US and then got rid of our PPC guy so we can automate it.
DAVID ALADDIN: Power of software right there.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Power of your podcast right there.
DAVID ALADDIN: Actually, you know I try I actually make an effort not to get commissions from any of the companies that come on mainly because it would create a conflict of interest. So I’m glad that you found that useful and I didn’t receive a commission. Just FYI.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So I think what you should do is actually on the show notes is get in the affiliate link because if people are getting value from your podcast and you’re not asking for any kind of payment, I would be happy to go to your website to then click on your affiliate link because you introduce me to this company and then you’d get a ten percent structure for everything moving forward from them or whatever the structures.
DAVID ALADDIN: Right. You sound like a virtual assistant. Just to set up all the affiliate stuff.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: You can’t… I don’t think you can with your podcast. You can’t be afraid to ask for money.
DAVID ALADDIN: I know.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And you’re providing so much value to your audience. Just my opinion.
DAVID ALADDIN: No it’s a good opinion. Something to think about.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: It’s always hard to ask for money but you’re not asking for anybody to do it specifically. You’re just saying that you know, Scott Voelker and the Amazing Seller Podcast, he always says you know you buy me a cup of coffee, click my affiliate link and he makes it fun.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: And if I get value from his podcast and find a product that he uses, I will go through his affiliate link or like Pat Flynn on SPI and all those great podcast that are similar to yours but not exactly the same. And that’s what I think you should do. That’s just my opinion, you know.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah, got to get on it, right? Well, Travis, it’s been great to have you on the show. I appreciate all the golden nuggets that you provided. Any way for people to contact you?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yes, so follow us on Facebook. There’s a group of four of us. I’m probably doing the least amount in that group at around a 180,000 a month. And we just provide usual nuggets. It’s Business Igniters, and you should be able to find us there. We’re pretty small right now. We just do videos here and there. Also if you search on Facebook, that’s the easiest way to get a hold of me. It’s Dr. Travis Zigler. I have a public profile that we kind of post all our videos to. And then you can add me on your personal profile as well if you find me. Can I ask you a question?
DAVID ALADDIN: Sure. Just one tidbit though like I love how like—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Good.
DAVID ALADDIN: There’s like, I’m probably the smallest at 180K per month. I’m sure like when you’re doing the business five years, you know the automation business for five years you never thought you’d be at that level of—
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Well, my one practice said, 220 thousand ends per share and now we’re doing that per month.
DAVID ALADDIN: Exactly.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: There’s a lot more expenses but the way we got to that was we surrounded ourselves with people that are doing better than us and we paid to be in those groups and then you’d become lifelong friends with the people in those groups, so the one Mastermind running is about 25,000 a year and it’s well worth it because our goal in two years for this whole Mastermind group is for 10 of us to get 10M a year and we’re all going to sell our businesses together. And you don’t have to sell the business if you want to which we don’t think we will, but if we all can get to 10M a year, 10 businesses and then we could sell it for 2.5 x multiple so each business would get 25M out of it so.
The only way you’re going to do that is with accountability and you see your friend getting higher better and better, and then you asked him what he’s doing and then you do it, and you repeat it.
DAVID ALADDIN: I agree. I like that addition. That’s awesome.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So my one question?
DAVID ALADDIN: Go ahead.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: So what is your current business challenge? Or how can I help you in any way?
DAVID ALADDIN: My challenge is diversifying. I am fearful everyday of the amount of how much I’ve grown in Amazon in comparison to all the other channels and so I’ve been really pushing the wholesale channels; Walmart chat, eBay, and beyond. Japan, Dubai. So I’ve been working with wholesalers from all over the world. I actually haven’t talked about it that much but it is one of my biggest fears that Amazon would shut me out for whatever reason. And so that, having a significant amount of revenue in all my products stuck in FBA, that’s definitely one of my biggest fears because you’re kind of similar where I’m at, and so if they were to shut you down, you’d have a lot of inventory in FBA, most of your money and not a lot of revenue outside it. Not a lot of profit outside of that unless you’re saving up which I actually have been doing now because I have this fear and so that’s, I don’t know if you can help me there, but that’s my biggest fear and what I worry about.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I mean I can give my two cents and then see if it go—so we’re 85% at Amazon US. That’s our revenue.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yeah.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We’re at the 5% Amazon UK and then our 10% Amazon UK, and then 5% Shopify. And you know, I think you should look at those percentages. And yeah it’s scary and having insurance helps. And so getting that I forgot her name but she has Amazon suspension insurance and she pretty much guarantees that she can, she hasn’t guarantee it but she says she can get you back reinstated within 5 days or they start to pay you for your suspension in everyday that you’re suspended. So I always recommend that if you do have that fear is to make sure that you’re protected with an insurance plan and, because I mean everybody gets suspended here and there.
And it’s just a matter of when but Amazon I think is a lot better now with your account health in keeping tract with your account health. And just making sure that you stay on top of all that, that’s the key, and I think getting the insurance plan in place, it’s going to be about $2000-$3,000 a year, but it’s well worth your mindset. I mean you don’t have that scarcity mindset of fearing if it all goes away.
And then just working on, I’d say take a little bit of your advertising budget and lower it by 5% on Amazon to then increase it somewhere else, or if you had enough profit in your margins then budget, or take—so I have $10,000 profit. I’m going to take 25% of that each month to Facebook advertizing, or just some other advertising that you will never think off; Google, Bing, Yahoo, you’ll never know. You’ll never know where your audience is staying, you know.
DAVID ALADDIN: Just out of curiosity like, how does current insurance plan work? Does it…
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I am not sure but you should have Ron on your podcast. He should be here.
DAVID ALADDIN: Yes, Ron.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: She’s great.
DAVID ALADDIN: All right.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: We haven’t switched to her yet but we have our own individual plan with our carrier that we’re going to be switching to her soon.
DAVID ALADDIN: What’s her name again?
TRAVIS ZIGLER: I will find it and I will email it to you.
DAVID ALADDIN: Will put in the show with us. All right.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: Yeah. I forget her name.
DAVID ALADDIN: Thanks for coming on, Travis Zigler and David Aladdin.
TRAVIS ZIGLER: All right. Thanks!
DAVID ALADDIN: Out.
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