Tero Isokauppila

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Hey everyone! Today, I share the mic with Tero Isokauppila, founder of Four Sigmatic, a company that aims to make medicinal mushrooms a more heavily researched and accessible commodity.

Tune in to hear how Four Sigmatic became one of Amazon’s best-selling coffees, which platform is their key to promotion and why you might want to turn to mushroom coffee.

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Brad Jefferson

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Hey everyone! On this episode of Growth Everywhere, I share the mic with Brad Jefferson, CEO and co-founder of Animoto, a service that helps businesses of all sizes create personalized marketing videos.

Tune in to hear Brad discuss what sets Animoto apart from other video creation companies, the Facebook app they created that kickstarted their video creation service, and how getting Amazon as an investor helped them on their journey to their success.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Animoto’s Brad Jefferson Raised $30M+ and Reinvented Video Creation Service TRANSCRIPT

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Ameer Rosic

Hey everyone! In today’s episode I share the mic with Ameer Rosic, co-founder of Blockgeeks, an online learning platform that helps you learn blockchain.

Tune in to hear Ameer discuss how he got the idea to create Blockgeeks in order to fill a need for a blockchain resource that didn’t exist, what the differences between cryptocurrency and ICOs are, how he went from not understanding bitcoin to building Blockgeeks, and where to go for educational guides and tips on learning more.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How a High School Dropout Built the Blockchain Site Blockgeeks (& Did 1M Organic Visits in 1 Year!) TRANSCRIPT

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Damian Bradfield

Hey everyone, on today’s show I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Damian Bradfield, President and CMO of WeTransfer, the world’s largest file-sharing service.  

Tune in to hear Damian share how they managed to build a business through organic growth and acquire 200K users from word-of-mouth, why partnering with artists like Moby and 21 Pilots is a genius marketing move (and why WeTransfer donates a percentage of ad revenue to the arts), and how user design and experience is key to their success.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Damian Bradfield Partnered with Moby in a Genius Marketing Move that Gained WeTransfer 200K Users TRANSCRIPT

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Nathan Hirsch

Hey everyone, today I share the mic with Nathan Hirsch, CEO and founder of FreeeUp, a platform that connects businesses of all shapes and sizes with top freelancers across the world. He also founded Ecombalance.com, a monthly bookkeeping service for e-commerce sellers/agencies, and OutsourceSchool.com where he teaches his hiring processes.

Tune in to hear Nathan share how a frustration with the hiring process forced him to come up with the idea for FreeeUp, how he acquired their first 500 customers, the process that will get them to $5M in revenue this year and allows him to manage 500 freelancers remotely, and the success of their referral program.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How FreeeUp Founder Nathan Hirsch Built a $5M:Year Business & Manages 500 Freelancers Remotely TRANSCRIPT

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3 Key Points:

  1. Do not rely on just one source of anything—income, supplier, whatever. Diversify and work with multiple sources to ensure the sustainability and the growth of your business.
  2. Managing a remote team successfully means having a good, top-down company culture.
  3. Honesty in feedback is important to creating a winning company.

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This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition.

Heres How Targeting Cold Warm & Hot Traffic Builds Success RelationshipsVisitors. Traffic. Sessions.

It’s all the same, isn’t it? As long as potential customers visit your site, it hardly matters how you refer to them, right?

But here’s the catch: no two web visitors are alike.

Your traffic consists of people with different needs and knowledge levels of your brand or products. Heck, some of them might not even realize they have a problem that your product solves. Yet.

Therefore, to get the biggest bang for your advertising dollar, you need to launch campaigns that target all key traffic types: cold, warm, and hot traffic.

Instead of aiming just to sell, you should build relationships with people that are relevant to their stage of the buying cycle:

  1. Introduce your business to those at the early stages.
  2. Convert those who are deeper in the process into leads.
  3. And, finally, monetize those who are ready to buy.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to achieve.

And in this post, I’ll show you how to split your paid traffic between cold, warm, and hot visitors to achieve the greatest success.

But first …

Why You Should Not Go Straight for the Sale

You know, I think heading straight for the sale is the most common advertising mistake.

In my career in marketing so far, I have seen all kinds of businesses—from hotel chains to e-commerce stores and countless others in between—making this mistake.

They consider every visitor a potential sale, without any regard for the visitor’s current situation and need for information. Many of these companies don’t even optimize campaigns for any objective other than the sale.

But in reality, to build a solid strategy you need to target campaigns to different customers and their needs. You should use ads to slowly build relationships with them until they’re finally ready to buy. And to achieve this, you first need to learn about what types of audiences you need to target and how.

Learn More: The Turkish Rug Funnel (How A Rug Store Got Me To Shell Out A Few Thousand Dollars with ZERO Initial Interest)

Understanding Different Traffic Types

In marketing, we recognize three web traffic types:

Each of them has its distinct characteristics and offers different opportunities for converting into customers.

Note: if you work in sales, you might find these three traffic types similar to lead types that salespeople recognize: cold, warm, and hot leads. That is no coincidence. Both traffic and leads share similar characteristics and offer similar opportunities for conversion.

So let’s go through them in turn.

Free Bonus Download: Get a list of 10 rules for effective email marketing management that will convert your leads into sales! Click here to download it free.

1. Cold Traffic

Fact: not everyone clicking on your ads has heard of your brand before.

Many users click on your ads purely on the promise that you’ve made in the copy. Most likely they’ve searched for generic head or body keywords and are interested in learning more about the problem rather than available solutions.

Their decision to visit your site, therefore, wasn’t rooted in any prior knowledge or experience with your brand.

That’s cold traffic.

Cold traffic consists of people who have never heard of your business.

Think of them as casual browsers who are researching potential solutions or looking for information online. These people might have the problem your product or service aims to overcome, but since they know nothing about you, it’s highly unlikely that they would buy from you. As a result, they are the least likely to be susceptible to any sales message.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have no opportunities to convert them at a later date.

Marketing to these users gives you the ability to connect with them and start building a business relationship that might result in a sale at some point in the future.

You should target cold traffic to:

What content should you drive cold traffic to?

Since your goal is to establish a connection and introduce the brand, driving these visitors to a sales or landing page might only scare them away.

No worries, though, because there are plenty of other content types to which you could attract cold traffic, such as:

Success Template

Success Template

How do you “warm up” cold traffic?

Fact: it’s darn hard to sell to cold traffic.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t “warm them up” (i.e. convert) to become customers later.

The most effective way to warm up cold traffic is to attract those visitors to a page offering a lead magnet or any other free resource they perceive as valuable enough to submit their personal details in return for it.

Learn More: LeadPages CEO Clay Collins Talks About How To Ramp Up Your Conversion Rates (Up To 75%!)

Success Template

Success Template

Once you’ve got their e-mail address, send them relevant information, either as a drip campaign or traditional newsletter to offer value, build trust, and confirm your authority. This will allow you to nurture the person until they’re ready to become a client.

Free Bonus Download: Get a list of 10 rules for effective email marketing management that will convert your leads into sales! Click here to download it free.

2. Warm Traffic

Warm traffic consists of people who already know about you, your brand, products or services.

They may have visited your site before. They’ve read your content. They’ve followed you on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform.

Perhaps they’ve even signed up for your mailing list, downloaded a lead magnet or engaged with you in some other way.

But so far, they have indicated no interest in buying from you.

In spite of the fact that they like your content, site or offer, so far they haven’t purchased whatever it is that you’ve offered them.

Your goal, therefore, is to run ads that will encourage warm traffic to make a purchase.

To what content should you drive warm traffic?

As your goal is to convert someone who already knows who you are, you need to drive them to pages or assets that deliver value but also remind them of their interest in your product or services.

For example, someone signing up for a product demo or a free trial immediately indicates their interest in your product. Similarly, when someone downloads a highly technical white paper that deals with an advanced aspect of a problem that your product targets, this signals their desire to overcome it.

So you should drive warm traffic to such content types as:

For example, Infusionsoft runs AdWords ads to promote product demo videos that users can watch in order to learn how to generate leads with the company’s product:

Success Template

Veeam Software promotes a highly technical webinar:

Success Template

Jason O’Neil offers a free class for anyone wishing to learn how to sell products on Amazon:

Success Template

Free Bonus Download: Get a list of 10 rules for effective email marketing management that will convert your leads into sales! Click here to download it free.

3. Hot Traffic

Finally, hot traffic is made up of people who have already bought something from you or trusted you with their business (and didn’t ask for their money back).

In other words, they know you, your products or services quite well. And there’s a good chance that they’ll buy more—they could purchase additional products, upgrade their service or send more projects your way.

And you can use PPC ads to follow up with them to see if they’re interested in doing more business with you.

Therefore, your goals for targeting hot traffic should be:

  1. To upsell – You should try to get them to buy from you again (and, ideally, to purchase a more expensive item or service than before).
  2. To re-engage with you – You should also aim to reactivate customers who haven’t bought from you for a long time and get them to do business with you again.

To what content should you drive hot traffic?

Remember, these people know you and most likely have bought from you already. Your goal, therefore, isn’t to convince them of your worth but rather remind them about your brand or products so they keep buying from you again.

Hot traffic is all about sales.

So when setting up PPC ads for this traffic, send them to:

When planning advertising campaigns to reactivate hot traffic, consider using retargeting to remind them of their previous interest in your brand.

For example, you could send retargeting traffic to pages that are relevant to the person’s prior interest in your products. If they viewed a specific product, send them to that page. If they added products to the cart, send them to the cart with their order, and so on.


Not all digital marketers understand the difference between cold, warm, and hot traffic and how to best target each group. If you’re unclear on this and sending traffic to the wrong landing page, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to build successful customer relationships! 

So remember, your traffic consists of people with different needs and knowledge levels of your brand or products, and to really make use of your advertising dollar, you must warm up your potential customers for better conversions.

What tips have you learned when it comes to marketing to cold, warm, and hot traffic? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below!

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Greg Mercer

Hey everybody, today on the show we have Greg Mercer, CEO of Jungle Scout, which helps Amazon FBA sellers find profitable product ideas, get sales data, estimates, and more.

In today’s interview we’ll be talking about how Greg acquired their first 100 customers by leading webinars with other people’s audiences, how they get conversion rates of 20% to 25% for their webinars when most people only get 10%, and how giving away value-packed information and content allowed them to hit $2 million a year in revenue.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: From 100-1,000 – How Jungle Scout CEO Greg Mercer Acquired Those First Customers with Webinars and Content Marketing TRANSCRIPT

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Jörg Kundrath Amazon KAVAJ iPhone cases

Hey everyone! Today’s interview is with Jörg Kundrath, co-founder of KAVAJ, an internationally-top-selling leather case manufacturer that has sold over 500,000 cases—only on Amazon.

In this interview, we talk about how to compete in such a crowded space, getting those first 500 customers, and what this former employee does to rank well on Amazon.

From Amazon Employee to Successful Amazon Seller

After graduating from university, Jörg joined Amazon and worked there for about two years before he founded KAVAJ with his friend, Kai Klement. His company manufactures and sells genuine leather products like wallets, but they are especially successful selling cases for select Apple products.

Their main focus and best sellers are cases for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks and the top seller right now is a case for the iPhone 6 (called “Dallas” which covers the back and has a front flap that covers the screen). They don’t produce many different designs for each device—just three designs each for the iPad and iPhone.

The key thing is that they only sell on Amazon—not retail stores and not their own or other e-commerce sites. They sell in Europe, the US, Japan and, more recently, China.

How KAVAJ Competes in Such a Crowded Space and Stands Out on Amazon

For starters, on Amazon there are no other products that are as competitive as iPhone and iPad cases: if you type in “iPhone case” on Amazon, you’ll get millions and millions of results.

So why they’re successful is primarily the fact that their cases are high quality and made of genuine leather (most cases out there are not genuine leather). But also, they know how Amazon works—he and Kai used to work there—so when they built KAVAJ, this was another thing that separated them from the competition. Amazon is a puzzle but they know what they have to do to get on page one of results and in front of customers.

It all starts with your product listing—you need awesome, quality images and lots of them. In fact, use as many as you can. You need a great product title, bullets points, and product description, which should be filled with hidden, relevant keywords. Remember, people are on Amazon searching for a specific product. For example, when they type in “iPhone case genuine leather” they are not browsing Amazon; they’re searching for something specific. So use all relevant keywords, like “iPhone case” and “genuine leather.”

Finding the Right Keywords 

Jörg says that it’s actually pretty easy to find the right keywords. First of all, there are different tools available. But even more simple is to just go to Amazon and type in “iPad case” and then the letter “A,” “B,” “C” and so on, with the “A” or “B” or “C” etc. auto-completing to show you what the next most important keyword is. For example, typing in “iPad case L” will show you that “iPad case leather” is a popular search query.

The Most Important Things to Rank Well on Amazon

This is the question that Jörg gets asked most often from other Amazon sellers. If he had to nail it down to one thing, he’d say bringing customers to your product. But remember, it’s not enough to bring customers to your product if your product description and images are not very good and the conversions are bad so you’re not seeing the sales.

One way to bring in customers is the organic search query that he explained above. But you also have to use different marketing channels to bring in customers, like advertising on Amazon (called Amazon Sponsored Products) or Facebook marketing or Google AdWords or talking to influencers such as YouTube influencers or using your email lists.

Reviews are also key. Traffic and customers are definitely important because without them you have no sales, but reviews are also key. They use different strategies to get reviews, though they don’t do anything with “review clubs” which are companies who give you reviews in exchange for free products. Jörg doesn’t recommend this and doesn’t do this.

What he does suggest is asking your customers. For example, they get lots of feedback via email or Twitter or Facebook, so they just ask the customers if they would share their experience with other customers on Amazon. Keep in mind that customers can rate the product itself or the seller. Many customers don’t understand the difference and use seller feedback for product feedback. So it’s important to ask them to write the review in the correct place. 

Why They Don’t Sell Directly on an E-commerce Store 

The reason is simply that a sale on Amazon counts for a lot more than on their own online store. The Apple accessory business is pretty competitive, so you have to do a lot of work to get on page one of SERPs. So if they have one sale on their own store that equals one sale, which is more margin, but one sale on Amazon equals one sale more relative to all the others. If they get to page one of Amazon search results, they get much more organic traffic than they could at their own store.

6 Months to Become Profitable

They founded KAVAJ in October 2011 and by March 2012 they had paid back the money Jörg had invested in the company (USD $40,000). Because their product is heavily dependent on Apple, they don’t have a clear growth rate. For example, 2014 was a better year for them than 2015 because with the launch of the new iPhones (the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), demand was much higher.

So in their first year their revenue was $700K and last year (2015) it was $4 million—and since founding the company in 2011 they have sold 500,000 items.

User Acquisition: Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, and Influencer Marketing

Acquiring their first 500 customers was pretty easy—on Amazon—although it did take some time, using Google AdWords a little. Their very first attempt at marketing was to print flyers, which included a rebate, and bring them to offline retail Apple stores in France and Italy. They stood outside Apple stores for four days and made only one single sale! So they tried a lot of tactics to get their first customers, but in the end they acquired them via organic traffic on Amazon.

For Amazon Sponsored Products, you can track pretty well, but for Facebook it’s not really possible. There are some workarounds, like you can use promotion codes for Facebook ads, say 15% off on a specific product for example, which you can then track how often the promotion is applied.

In the early days whenever someone asked for a free sample to review on their YouTube channel, they gave it to them. They had a lot of people doing it who had both big and small channel on YouTube. Even big YouTube tech reviewers noticed them and reviewed their products and then suddenly they were in front of thousands or millions of people.

They have some collaborations with Instagram “celebrities,” like one girl in Germany who is big in fashion and writes guest blog posts introducing KAVAJ to her fan base. 

One Big Struggle They Faced While Growing the Business

The biggest mistake they made at the beginning was that they didn’t focus. For each keyword there is only one page 1 of search results and nearly 15-20 results on that page, so it doesn’t make sense to have a hundred different designs because you can only get a few on page 1. At the beginning with the iPad 2 they had nine different designs but only two were successful and the other seven were complete failures. So they realized that you have to focus, especially at the beginning.

When Apple first started out they just focused on one product. Likewise, Google focused only on search before diversifying. So the key is to get good results with just a few products and then diversify once things start moving.

And on Amazon, reviews are really important to your success, so the key is not just getting but managing product reviews. If you get one-star review, you have to comment on it. And that’s hard to do with hundreds of product listings.

One Piece of Advice He’d Give To His 25-Year-Old Self

Jörg would probably tell his younger self how big Amazon was going to be and that he should find a product that he’s passionate about and start selling on it Amazon. 

His Ideal Day

His ideal day would be to spend it totally with his family.

But in terms of an ideal work day he:

One Must-Read Book

Speaking of must-read books, Jörg is giving all our listeners a free copy of his book about making millions by selling on Amazon! Download the PDF right here: KAVAJ Book – The KAVAJ Case

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Ezra Firestone Smart Marketer

Hey everyone! Today’s interview is with Ezra Firestone, founder and creative director of Smart Marketer, an information hub for do-it-yourself entrepreneurs, as well as a partner in Boom by Cindy Joseph and the company’s head of digital marketing.

Today we’re talking about paid advertising (like his $41K in Pinterest sales experience!), why you have to go beyond query-based targeting to do any kind of scale, and why he puts 98% of his advertising budget into content amplification.

From Communal Living to Communicating Effectively

Ezra grew up in an alternative lifestyle—communal living—and the group he grew up with taught courses like jealousy, money, possessions, the things that almost always come up when you’re relating to other people. The group taught him how to have winning and profitable relationships in both personal and professional scenarios.

He had a completely normal life, except that he didn’t go home to a white picket fence and two parents, he went home to group of people who essentially gave him a background on how to be successful at communication. He’s been marketing online for about 10 years and what he’s come to realize is that marketing is basically just communication. And if you can communicate effectively, you can reach people, sell more, and move your audience to make decisions toward your brand and product.

He started selling Halloween wigs back in 2006 (and was the #1 retailer of mullet wig one year!) so he’s seen e-commerce evolve from the faceless e-commerce store days to Amazon selling private label products to people coming up with their own brands. He’s been in the industry long enough to see all these ebbs and flows.

Maybe it was luck or timing, but his first e-commerce brand did really well. It was mostly SEO and Google AdWords back then and it was really easy to generate visibility with those two mediums. Now they do over $1M a month in their e-commerce businesses and Smart Marketer the information publishing brand does a couple million a year.

What Exactly Is Smart Marketer?

Smart Marketer is an information-only company. They’re not a services agency so they don’t do anything for anyone. His team of 20 virtual folks (designers, optimization specialists, ads managers, customer support, etc.) documents what they’re doing in their e-commerce businesses and what’s working for them and then share how to do it with others. So they’ve got landing page templates, courses on Pinterest advertising, on how to build a Shopify store that include a theme, on Facebook advertising, on customer retention and reengagement, on how to set up and sell on Amazon, etc.

In terms of their pricing structure—they are a “good-to-better” brand, which means that they’re not for starters. But if you want to scale, if you want to understand structure, if you want to build a team and no longer be a sole operator, if you want to do large scale direct response advertising—this is where they can help you. They offer a lot of free videos and courses on their blog and then once you engage with their paid courses, it’s $1,000 or more.

Smart Marketer’s Revenues and Number of Customers Today 

Smart Marketer just hit $2 million in revenue as of 2015. The cool thing about the information-only business is that the profit is very high. So for $2M in revenue, that’s about $800,000 in profit. On the other hand, his e-commerce business does about $1M a month in revenue but only about $150,000 in profit.

So the information business is much more profitable, but the problem is that it’s not really an asset—meaning that it’s built on Ezra, on his brand, so if he stops working it, it stops making money, and he can’t sell the business to anyone. Which is why they’re moving it to more of a SaaS model so that it’s more of a recurring model and not as launch based. The e-commerce business doesn’t have as high of a cash flow, but you could sell it because it’s inherently valuable as a brand.

Moving From a Launch-Based Business Model to a Recurring Model

Of their $2M in revenue, about $500,000 comes from recurring subscriptions, so they have a level of subscription revenue that covers team salaries and stuff like that. But 75% of their revenue comes from launches, so what they’re looking to do on the information side is have it be more of a sustainable model—and as far as Ezra is concerned, subscription-based revenue is sustainable.

When you look at the multiples that an SaaS business like his friend Clay Collins’ LeadPages does—and Ezra has watched him build that company from the ground up to now about 170 employees, $20M a year in recurring, and $40M in VC funding—that business will get a 10-15 multiple because of that built-in monthly recurring customer base.

In comparison, a traditional e-commerce store will get a 3 multiple and an information business like Smart Marketer has a zero multiple because he’s relying on his relationship with his subscribers to generate revenue. Which is why he’s moving it to a more subscription-based model—it’s built on less shaky ground.

How Ezra Generated $41K in E-commerce Sales from $775 in Pinterest Ad Spend

First of all, although it did happen, Ezra doesn’t want to create unrealistic expectations. So here’s what happened. Pinterest Ads had just launched to the general public. The beautiful thing about Pinterest advertising for a physical product retailer is that it combines contextual targeting with query-based targeting.

Traditional targeting and traffic generation on physical products was all query based—someone types in a query on Google and you rank organically or you buy ads for it. That was the original source. And then there was Yahoo! and Bing, and eventually comparison shopping engines like Price Grabber and The Find and Google Shopping. And now there’s Amazon.

This is all query-based traffic, which is great because people are already in the shopping process and if they’re looking for it, you just show them the product. So what Pinterest does is combine query based with contextual based (targeting people based on context, like gender, age, geography), which is about 80% of their traffic.

Pinterest has a very large user base—180M people—which is made up of 80% women of whom a large percentage have a $100,000+ income. So this was the perfect market for them because they sell cosmetics and they hit Pinterest at the perfect time (when ad sources launch they’re cheap to start on). Now Pinterest is twice as expensive as even just 9-10 months ago.

When you drive query-based traffic you don’t have to do a whole lot—people are looking for that product or service anyway. But when you’re driving contextual traffic, that requires a bit more work. You have to move someone from simply looking at a picture to making a buying decision. And the way to do that is to send people to a “pre-selling engagement page” with an article on the topic or problem they’re interested in that alludes to a solution which then transitions into how your product can help. At that point the reader clicks the link to chase the offer and then goes to the sales page.

So the article could be “5 Beauty Tips for Women Over 40” and then you kind of say “Oh, by the way here’s a product…” So they drive all their traffic to these pre-selling engagement articles. If the user doesn’t click the link, they retarget, and if they do click the link, then they retarget with more aggressive sales material.

Why Spend Money on Content When it’s Going to Drive the Cost Up?

If you want to do any kind of scale, you have to go beyond query-based targeting. You can’t scale query-based targeting—Google AdWords is too expensive for most people and Google Shopping requires you to have 50 or 100 SKUs to make it work at any kind of volume.

So what if you’re some guy like Ezra who only has 8 SKUs and you want to be able to use direct response advertising to generate visibility for your offer and you don’t want to have all your business be on Amazon where you don’t even own the customers? You’ve got to be able to drive contextual traffic: buy visibility, buy leads in a contextual setting on Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram and turn them into customers.

And to do that, you’ve got to have some kind of a sales funnel—and this is the best sales funnel they’ve found. As Ezra says, they’re not the ones who invented content marketing. Johnson & Johnson and Dove created soap operas to engage housewives in order to sell them home products.

Using content as a medium to engage someone and then make them an offer is one of the oldest ways of selling and they’ve just transitioned it to online sales.

The Chocolate-Covered Carrot

To build a relationship with someone who doesn’t know who you are you’ve got to engage them in a conversation about something they’re interested in.

Ezra has a whole course on this called Pincommerce, which teaches people how Smart Market did this on Pinterest. But what it teaches even more in depth is the sales funnel—which he calls The Chocolate-Covered Carrot. The chocolate is Pinterest advertising—that’s what people buy it for—and then he feeds them the carrot, which is teaching them a direct response sales funnel that can be used to sell anything: local business, services, physical products, software, information.

Take Boom (his cosmetics line) for example: if you produce one good piece of content that costs you $100,000 and two years of your time in testing and tweaking to get one good pre-sell article, it’s worth it. Because one pre-sell article can be worth $15-20M a year for you.

Allocating Your Budget to Content Promotion

If, for example, you have a $20,000-per-month marketing budget, Ezra suggests allocating it all to promoting content. After all, what else are you going to promote? How else are you going to generate sales for your product? He says put all of that budget towards direct response advertising to generate leads and sales. Your product may be relevant for query-based traffic on Google Shopping or Google AdWords, so if you can get profitable traffic there, then spend your whole $20,000 there.

However, it’s very likely that you can’t get profitable traffic there, that Google AdWords is going to cost you $2 per click, that Google Shopping is not going to give you the kind of scale that you need, that Amazon will only enable you to break even. So Ezra would probably put $5,000 into query-based advertising and take the other $15,000 and figure out a way to make some kind of sales funnel work, like content amplification.

Content Amplification

Ezra spends several hundred thousand dollars a month on advertising and 98% of it is content amplification. The other 2% is retargeting content and a very small fraction is on query-based advertising. If you include Pinterest which is technically query-based advertising source, then actually about 15% of their spend is there.

Keep in mind that content amplification takes a very long time—a couple months to a year at least. The reason no one teaches courses on it is that it’s not an easy win.

Content amplification is a marathon, not a sprint.

Be prepared to go at it in a slow and steady way and have a good time with it. You want to come out with something that’s profitable and sustainable and the way to do that is to build a sales funnel which is amplifying a piece of content that leads to a sales page.

How long this will take to see results depends on how much money you have, how good your copy writing is, your ability to run a split test, the traffic source you’re using, the market you’re in, etc. There are so many variables that asking how long it will take is not the right question. The right question is: what am I willing to bring to this on a daily basis? Ask yourself what you can afford to invest and if you can give yourself a year to succeed.

It’s Not the Platform, It’s the Process You Use

Ezra lets Facebook do the bidding for them all on a CPC (cost per click) basis. It’s auction-based bidding and Facebook tries to get them the most clicks to their website. One of their best placements right now is iPad only. He would never run the right rail on Facebook—he says they suck and they’re getting killed on the right rail ads—so instead they do desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed on iPhones, mobile newsfeed on the iPad, and Instagram mobile newsfeed on the iPad and iPhone.

The cost per click will depend on your profit margin, your conversion rate, your lifetime customer value, your average order value. Direct response is a really in-depth process.

He has a Mastermind group with about 6 or 7 business owners who’ve been asking how to do this. So he just launched what he likes to call Train Your Traffic Guy Bootcamp, where for 3 days they train you and your traffic person on the process of generating visibility and optimizing direct response campaigns on Pinterest, Google, and Facebook. Essentially, it’s not the platform, it’s the process you use.

One Piece of Advice He’d Give To His 25-Year-Old Self

At 29, he’s pretty happy so far with how things have gone. He’s always chosen lifestyle over money and his number one priority has always been his relationship with his wife (whom he married at 21). They’ve always been chasing intimacy and pleasure, and that may or may not include money. Most people are chasing success and they think success looks like how much money they have, but then they make a bunch of money and they’re still miserable.

He has a post called Rich and Miserable which is about how people define success. He thinks that the most important things are intimacy, connection, and communication. So at 25 he would have learned how to delegate and build a team around him sooner because that’s what has allowed him to scale.

How To Build a Team

As a sole operator you can probably get to couple hundred grand yourself, but if you want to grow and scale, you’re going to need to buy help. Ezra feels that most people buy help and then don’t invest in these people and wonder why they don’t work out. Even though you’ve hired someone who is an expert in their particular field, you still have to invest in them and get them to really understand your business. He has a How To Build a Team video post on his blog about this.

His Ideal Day

His job is to hold the vision of what they are doing and to hold people accountable. He hasn’t been in operations for a while, but he figures out what needs to be done and then inspires people to do it and checks in on them.

Since he is Smart Marketer, a lot of his focus is on creating content these days. He also focuses on general strategy with individual team members (and he’s got a team of 20 people). For example, he talks to the Ads Manager every night about what they’re doing.

He has an outline for a book which is similar to his podcast ThinkActGet—what you think determines how you act which determines what you get—which is all about mindset and how you operate in the world. People want to know how to grow their business, but what you actually have to teach them is how to be a better (i.e. more deliberate) person and that ultimately allows them to grow their business.

One Must-Read Book

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jason treu photoHi everyone, today we’re talking to Jason Treu, author of best-selling book Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships By Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network. His book has sold more than 30,000 copies, and he’s been ranked #1 in both Business and Self-Help Categories on Amazon.

Law School Grad Turned Coach

Starting out, Jason went to law school and got his Master’s degree in communications.

He figured out that he didn’t like being a lawyer in NYC, and remembered that when he asked people if they were happy, he could tell by their long pause that it was a question they were lying about.

He loved technology, so he decided to take off to San Francisco, and has never looked back.

In that time period, thanks to his social and extroverted personality, he got to work with high-name CEOs like Steve Jobs.

With those successes, he decided to go into coaching.

Coaching Business Revenue

Right now, his business revenue is focused through coaching.

He has around 15 clients and is growing rapidly, giving him a run rate of about $200,000 per year.

But in the fall, he’ll be launching a product, which is where the big revenue is at in the coaching business, he says. With this, he expects his revenue will change drastically. (For the better, of course.)

Jason’s Secrets to Getting to #1 on Amazon

Jason said he spent a lot of time trying to understand marketing and looking for people who knew how to market effectively on Amazon.

Investing in one person to coach him through the process and talking to others who’d done well on Amazon was really important, he says.

Here’s some of the tactics he used:

Return Rate on Book Review Requests

By sending out 80-100 emails before his book launched, Jason got about 40-45 good reviews before the book eventually launched and he got other people (like influencers) to review it as well.

It’s a lot of work and energy to get people to do book reviews, because they resist like crazy. To overcome that struggle, Jason sent out an honest, heart-felt email and created a video of him explaining why the reviews were so critical to his success.

The Email Template that Got Such a High ROI for Book Reviews


I’m coming out with a book that I’ve been working on for the past year, and here’s a copy. 

[gave them a Kindle copy & told them how to get the reader ID & pdf as well]

I’d appreciate it if you could go through the book and write a short review. It can be one sentence long… it doesn’t need to be any longer. The key thing is putting in the rating, which is what Amazon looks at more than anything else. 

The reviews will make or break my book. I spent a lot of time writing it, but without you, it won’t be successful. I’d really appreciate you taking the time to help it. 

As someone who’s a small fish trying to get a business started, this is a significant milestone for me. 

If there’s anything I can do to help you in any way, don’t hesitate to ask.



Benefits of Publishing a Book

When you start a business, says Jason, you can point to your book as a milestone people can immediately take a look at… especially if it’s a book that’s done well.

It’s a great credibility-builder, especially if you’re not that well-known in your space yet.

It’s also something you can leverage for press… like getting interview spots on podcast shows or getting byline articles on popular websites.

What it Means to Have Success Via Relationships

At the end of the day, says Jason, everything you accomplish is with or through other people. No one is successful by themselves.

You need strong relationships with clients, friends, and everyone else.

And ultimately, people will interact with you if your perceived value is high enough, and if they get enough emotionally, personally, or professionally out of their interactions with you.

It’s important to remember that when you interact with someone, you don’t just interact with them. You interact with everyone in their network.

And if you’re good to someone, they’ll be willing to help you and unlock their network for you… which is a major asset. And when you start understanding that, you realize every person you meet is really important.

Charity Events > Networking Events

Most people at networking events, says Jason, are all about getting. They don’t go there in the spirit of giving… at all.

They’re desperate people in the same place you are, which is not what you want.

Instead, if you spend your time at a charity event, you can talk to someone, ask what projects they’re working on that they’re passionate about, and immediately find out what they actually care about.

And when people tell you those things, it gives you a huge opportunity to find and establish common ground… which is something everyone loves.

The key, whatever event you’re at, is to be an active listener.

What people do wrong, says Jason, is use their mental energy for something other than the conversation at hand… whether it’s thinking about what you have to do tomorrow, or thinking about the next question you want to ask… and people can tell when you’re not giving them your full attention.

The best way to build trust is to always give first, because the only people who give to your first in your life are those in your inner circle. And ‘giving first’ is as easy as suggesting a book, resource, or contact to help someone out with their problem.

Finding Your Purpose: Internal vs. External

A lot of times, people assume their purpose in life is to be an entrepreneur that helps people with X, Y, or Z.

But that’s where the mistake comes in, says Jason… anything that’s external to you will eventually let you down. So don’t mix up your business’s purpose and mission statement with your own personal purpose in life.

The important thing, on an individual level, is to figure out the couple emotions you have that really drive you, and do things to keep those emotions full.

For example, Jason loves the feelings of connecting and belonging, so being stuck in cubicle America, keeping to himself for most of the day, wasn’t working for him.

But working as a coach, connecting people and helping them achieve more success, makes him feel alive and keeps him moving forward.

One Struggle: Finding the Ideal Client

At first, Jason didn’t even realize that he didn’t have the right customers.

He was working with a lot of self-development clients, and he’d help them move up so fast that they had a hard time keeping up with the success he was helping them uncover… so they’d leave his client list after six months.

But last fall, he had a couple executive clients come to him, and he saw a huge difference.

These people weren’t going to fall off after six months, because they had the resources to keep up.

It was a combination of trial and error, but now he’s found the sweet spot.

Advice to His 25-Year-Old Self

“Invest in yourself.”

One thing’s Jason’s realized about people who are financially successful is that they all have mentors, and they all pay for coaching or some kind of learning.

In fact, they spend anywhere from 10% to 20% of their income on it (though it does get a little lower once they get into the seven-figure range).

He says this is really important because you significantly shorten the learning curve, learn best practices, avoid pot holes, and it makes a massive difference in your life.

Three Must-Read Books

Jason suggests Give and Take by Adam Grant because it outlines how givers are the ones who get ahead in business.

He also recommends The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Both will help you out of your own shell and open you up to be more authentic and vulnerable in your communications, which will help you get ahead significantly, no matter what you’re doing.

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