Lessons on Launching an eCommerce Brand with Ronnie Teja

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In this episode, Ronnie Teja reveals the many lessons that have contributed to the success of his eCommerce businesses. From his humble beginnings as a Canadian Immigrant to his short-sightedness as a young entrepreneur, he bares it all. Learn first hand what it takes to launch your own brand and make it in the eCommerce industry.

About Ronnie Teja

Ronnie Teja is a dynamic entrepreneur and the visionary founder of Branzio Watches, an affordable minimilaist watch brand. With a passion for timepieces and a keen understanding of the digital landscape, Ronnie leveraged the power of digital marketing strategies to propel Branzio Watches to success.

Recognizing the potential to sell online, he zeroed in to building a successful eCommerce business, tapping into a global target market and establishing Branzio as an affordable destination for watch enthusiasts worldwide. Through his innovative mindset and unwavering dedication, Ronnie Teja has not only crafted an exceptional brand but also redefined the art of conducting a successful online business.

Ronnie’s Top Advice for Launching an eCommerce Brand

When launching your own ecommerce store, Ronnie stresses the importance of assembling the right team cannot be overstated. Building a thriving online business necessitates a diverse range of skills, from web development and design to marketing, logistics, and customer service. It is crucial to find individuals who possess the expertise and experience needed to connect with potential customers and effectively reach your target audience.

While talent shouldn’t be cheap, nor should it be prohibitively expensive. The beauty of the digital era lies in the ability to source talent from all corners of the world. By embracing remote work and exploring talent globally, you can tap into a broader pool of skilled professionals, often at competitive rates.

This approach not only expands your talent pool but also promotes diversity and ensures a global perspective within your team. By carefully curating the right team, regardless of their location, you can build a talented and versatile workforce that propels your ecommerce brand to new heights, captivating your target audience and attracting potential customers.

Show Notes

  • Ronnie’s Humble Beginnings {2:17}
  • What Ronnie’s Team Looks Like {5:12}
  • How Branzio Got Started {6:36}
  • Finding a Niche and Going Straight to the Source {8:24}
  • Ads and Making The Sales Happen {9:32}
  • Ronnies Mindset on PPC and SEO {10:27}
  • Getting the Numbers Right in Every Step of Your Business {10:52}
  • What’s Wrong with eCom Today {12:09}
  • The Shift to A Long Term Vision {17:05}
  • The 80/20 in Launching a Product {22:05}
  • Cashflow and Funding {27:00}
  • How Ronnie Increased His Site Visit by 10x {30:00}
  • The Thing with Getting Your Hands Dirty {36:32}
  • Ronnie’s Book Recommendations {37:23}

Resources and People Mentioned

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Joe: 00:01

Everybody, it's Joe Troyer here again, signing in for another

podcast episode of show me the nuggets. And I'm super excited to be here this afternoon with Ron Teja, who I got introduced to from Mads Singer, a previous podcast guests. And he just said a ton about. He's like, got to get him on the podcast. And and what's really interesting is Ronnie runs a network of 15 eCommerce sites that spans about 44 45. I don't know, my team said 50 countries. We'll have to get into that with Ronnie. And and I know that one of his little SEO accomplishments, even though he claims not to be an SEO, but he's gotta be for this right, one from 5,000 visits a month to 50,000 visits a month organically. And I'm just really excited to pull them on and talk about what, what's, what's it like running a, a division or a series or a group of e-com sites where it's just running one, right? I know lots of our of our visitors, lots of our customers here, and lots of people that listen to the podcast. I've ventured off into e- com. They've done it maybe once, maybe they're not doing it now. They'll help clients do it. And and I'm just excited to get Ronnie's viewpoint on eCommerce from the unique perspective that he has. So Ronnie, welcome to the show, brother.

Ronnie: 01:24

Hey, man, I'm super, super excited to be here. That's, that's, it's

amazing. Wow. A guy I'd never thought I'd have says a nice intro of my mom, my mom, my mom. She's going to be really happy

Joe: 01:35

A man. That's too awesome. So you've been at e-com for, what,

about four, four years? Five years now?

Ronnie: 01:40 About six years. Okay.

Joe: 01:42 And where are you originally from Ronnie.

Ronnie: 01:44

Yeah. So I'm originally from from India. I grew up in India and I

lived in India. I was 22, and then my family immigrated to Canada, to Vancouver, BC. And then yeah, so it was basically me giving up my whole life in India. One fine day. Imagine moving to a new country finding new friends. Having, having to do having to put a hard stop on your life. There's basically you come to a new country no new friends, no new job, none of your qualifications. I actually ever met. So it's like coming, you know, coming to a place and they have know Canada is a pretty accepting country and all it's, you know for all it is. But you know, so I taught myself how to speak a couple of Indian languages, which I didn't, which I didn't know how to speak. And then basically I used to go door to door selling a radio. So I used to, I used to be like a knock, you know, knock on, knock on doors and sell like a Punjabi radio, which is kinda weird. But

yeah. So I did that for a year and I went and sought public radio on buses because we couldn't afford a car back then, so.

Joe: 02:53

Gotcha. Yeah. So you moved to Canada, what was next in the

entrepreneurial journey for you

Ronnie: 02:58

Yes. So move, moved to Canada. Then I was working, working with some you know, often doing, of course, my time in sales had had an opportunity to go work for HSBC had a chance to work for best buy, you know through best buy, you know, of course, a very recognized brand. I got the opportunity to go work in Australia for some of the biggest brands in Australia, which is like the Wesfarmers group. So I think like target, Bunnings all the big retailers there. And then after I was done there, I said, Hey, look, you know, I'm finally done working in retail, I'm kind of done working for somebody else and making them a lot of money. And I said, why not take a chance on myself? I did you know, I was turning almost 30, and I said, look, it's been almost 30 years.

Ronnie: 03:41

And I said, the one thing I owe it to myself is to be able to take a

chance on myself. And that's, and that's how I got into it.

Joe: 03:48

Perfect man.

Ronnie: 03:49

So, yeah. And then here we are, you know, you know, but

running, running, running a brand, a group of 15 sites keeps me busy. You know, it's putting out one fire to another. It's a, so it's quite, it's quite, it's quite interesting, right? Just like there's no, let me tell you, there's no a dull day in the life of eCommerce or especially in my life and especially with like, you know, country regulations and all these things happening on a, on a daily basis PNL shipping you know usually customer service issues. You know, I, I could go to different things, but everybody's exciting. Don't get me wrong. It's, it's super exciting. I wouldn't trade it,uin my life for anything else.

Joe: 04:29

Awesome, man. So give us a, give us an understanding of what

your team looks like, right now?

Ronnie: 04:35

Yeah. So it's a, so I have a fully distributed team of about 25

people. So yeah. So we have a core team of developers knock on wood, super lucky to, to hire really, really, really good developers. But our CTO plus about three other devs who work full time a day, they're mostly based in South America. Have a customer service team for 14 people. You know, most, most of, most of our company runs through the core value of customer

first. You know, everybody says customer first. We, you know, I certainly believe on that. We work mostly on the Zappos model. So if a customer wants to ever call us, order a pizza, we will have a pizza delivered to their doorstep. We are, you know, we are, we are a watch company. We're a shoe company. We can be whatever company they want us to be.

Ronnie: 05:23

Our job is to make sure the customer always comes first. No

matter what happens right our long term vision is to make sure that the customer is always captured. That is the only way how we can actually deal with guys like Amazon. That is the only way we can deal with guys like Zappos or anybody else. You know, who you want to compete with. And of course over and above we have a team of designers, but three to four designers. And a couple of guys who work full time in operations. Right. We have HR, you have one person bring HR but then they're on contract.

Joe: 05:52

Perfect. All right. And what, what site or brand or niche

originally got you started in the ecom? What'd you cut your teeth on?

Ronnie: 06:01

Watches. So my first brand was a company called Branzio

Branzio watches started about six years ago. The, the, the way all this came about was I had done, I done some contract work for MVMNT watches back back in the day. And I think this is a 2013 or 2014. And you know, as you all know, like that, the brand simply took off. And I said, wait a second, man, I, I'd worked for these guys for a bit and now all of a sudden they are all over and I'm going according hell. Why, why, why can I give this thing a shot? So, you know, off off we go hire the designer in Vancouver, thought I could have, you know essentially you know, in, in the comfort of my office have developed a whole new watch line no matter what six months in, I'm holy hell, I'm running short on cash.

Ronnie: 06:45

And then I said, wait a second, this is not the way to do it. So I

flew packed my bags and flew to Hong Kong and in Hong Kong is the world's largest watch fair. So in the, in Hong Kong, I was able to do within a week what according to do in six months. So it was a, you know, sourcing, setting the deals, getting the logistics done, signing signing a whole new watchmaker, going to check or like six different factories you know, getting, getting through the one person who actually would support us, give us great terms and actually launched from that. It was phenomenal. I'm in like seven days. You know was the six months. I mean, that the, the, you know, the, the, the, there's a, there's a big difference between those two. And I kicked myself for, for actually not realizing that sooner. So now, today if I have

an epiphany, I think it's just better to fly down or drive around to wherever you want to be. It's, it's a, it's a no brainer. Yeah.

Joe: 07:42

Somebody, so somebody finds a niche, finds a vertical, they

think that they can do well in, right. It's got big opportunity and they're interested in sourcing. Just go to the source ultimately is always...

Ronnie: 07:53

Always Yeah. I'm in, but I have an idea of what your source is,

right. I'll say but you know, to an extent, quite a random random person. So you know, Oh, I have all these crazy ideas. It's just like, wait, so don't go to the Canton fair. Right. The Canton fair has, it's the size of what, six football fields, the seven football fields and everything and anything is there. And it's like a one month long project. It's like, you know, you don't know what you want, but if you go in there saying, I'm looking for watches, I'm looking for a Japanese movement watches, I'm looking for, you know, [inaudible] or grand seiko movement or whatever. And then I go there to buy these watches and I have an idea of what I want to go. So you have a niche, I have something I want to pursue, but if I just go, I'm looking for furniture and ended up at like, you know, in a, in a base with like 3000 different details selling furniture that's, that's not going to get me anywhere and I'm not going to be able to do anything off that.

Joe: 08:46

Yup. 100% yeah, it makes perfect sense. 100% so next steps

with Branzio where'd you advertise or where were, where'd you make the sales happen? Where'd you get your break on? On the sales side of things.

Ronnie: 08:58

Wow. Well I was lucky to get to the Facebook ads part quite early on. Right. I would say our influencer game is still not as strong as a, you know, so the big guys like MVMNT and you know and the other guys. But I would say it like Facebook ads were definitely, like, we were quite early adopters of Facebook, quite early adopters in Instagram, quite early adopters on Snapchat, snap, snap, Snaps a good, a good driver for us, for sales. Have,Been looking into Tik Tok for quite some time. You know, and we, we've you, you've been able to see quite a lot of traction on Tik Tok believe it or not. I don't know why a lot of people are not on there, but that I would certainly give people a lot of grief if they're not on Tik Tok right now. I mean, it's just targeting the gen Z and of course there should be there in terms I my background, like yours is PPC.

Ronnie: 09:45

So I used to manage, I used to be a big, big, big believer in paid

traffic. You know, but when you start your own business, of

course you have to look for, to, you know, cheaper, cheap. Sources of traffic. Knowoing little bit of SEO on the side helps to, you know, to subsidize all those costs. But however, having said that let me be very clear. Every dollar that you're putting into your business, you should be able to numberize it. You know, everything that you're doing. This should be like an or like a manual for how you're numbering your business. So everything from what it costs to ship your watch to how much it cost to manufacture your watch, to how much it costs to store your watch how much it cost to pick and pack your watch every step of the way.

Ronnie: 10:26

What a lot of people make the mistake is they don't, they, they

kind of estimate it. They say, Oh, it's, you know, between 12 and $14. That's not how your business should work. You should know the back of your hand that today for me, when my watch leaves a factory in China costs, you know, let's say for, for for reasons sake cost me like $9 and 30 cents. And by the time it reaches Vancouver, by the time that it passes customs it's gonna cost me for like $14 and 30 cents. When it hits the warehouse and the pick and pack, it's going to be $70 and 45 cents. I need to know the CPA, not from the manufacturing, when it leaves China from when it reaches my warehouse in the U S and a lot of people, you know, there's horror stories of people doing it. I'm sure you've had people here on your, on a program before who've done that. And I think, you know, having a system of number ization, and knowing getting, you know better, again, getting very acquainted with the numbers is extremely important. Right? And then you can work back from there. So that was something, hhat, that worked in my benefit when I started

Joe: 11:27

100%. So when, when you're running paid advertising now are

you looking as a goal to break even on the front or are you going negative on the front? Kind of, what's your, what's your advertising mindset, so to speak? I talk to so many people. And I feel like so many business owners have a horrible mindset when it comes to to CPA and you know, cash now versus later. And, and they're really all about the initial sale and money on the first sale, right? And cash in their pocket and they're not playing the longterm, you know, game. It's kind of the churn and burn game.

Ronnie: 12:07

Well, that's what's wrong with ecom today, right? I don't know.

I don't want to sound like a negative Nancy. Look, there's, there's guys out there.

Joe: 12:16

It is, it's the problem.

Ronnie: 12:19

You know, people, people are there to make a quick buck, right?

And if people are there to make a quick buck, you know, there's always bad actors, right? There's always going to be guys with black hat. There's always going to be guys who are up to no good. And that's a few and a few bad actors. Screw it up for all of us. Right. Uhut having said that, the, the, the one reason if you're getting into business, right? Uh think it was in that book, the E myth revisited with some, hhhey said 80% of all small businesses will fail within the first five years. Right. I think that's bullshit, right? I'm sure the figures, the figure, the figure could be higher, right? But the thing is if you go into the a business, like you're saying with a mindset from day one saying, I, I'm, I'm here and I just want to make money as quickly as possible.

Ronnie: 13:12

Right? Get my cash flow going and then try and sell the store as much, you know, trying to sell my store on Shopify marketplace or through any third party flip or something else. And then I'm, I'm, it's, it's, it's just the end of it, right. To have, and that's what I was talking about really one of the values on what our company thrives on is customer service, right? We are not here for the short run. If you have picked a product that you believe in, if you've picked a product that you are actually that wakes you up in the morning and that like, you know, it's like that Yeti cup that you're drinking if you're drinking from guys who have that guys the guys who've made that we're excited to give give us such a product. Right? It's like I woke up, I felt amazing and I'm like, Holy shit, I'm going to go out and, and change the way people drink hot coffee or you know how people are doing things right?

Ronnie: 14:01

You have to have a five year, 10 year vision, right? And the get up and ask yourself why you're, why you're doing this, what is keeping you here is quite important. Right? it sounds, it sounds very hippy dippy for me to say so, but it's not, I'm an I, I was at guy in the first year thinking, Oh, I'm just going to do this for one year and I'm going to quit. I, I'm not kidding at all. It was like, I'm just growing this for six months. I've made my money. I'm happy I'm going to go to die in Thailand and that's it. But it's like, man, you're not, you're not building anything good out of it. You're not building anything that is fulfilling, right? And when you're starting your business, you have to think about something. You know, what, what does my valuation in 10 years, right?

Ronnie: 14:46

Where am I? What is, what is that the one I want to sell my

brand for ten years? And when I started working back from that, that's what I know. Wait a second, this is, this is the end goal, right? And that's when you're talking about Facebook ads,

right? I think having a CPA focus is important, right? I'd say 80% of your business for your Google ads or your Facebook ad should have that focus, right? But you have to keep about 20 to 30% as awareness, right? People want to know your brand. People are not going to have a dream of what your brand, people are not going to think about, you know branzio, your watches or just from top of mind. We are not, we are not the big guys. We're not MVMNT. We are not, we are not Titan, we are not Timex.

Ronnie: 15:29

We are not Casio. Right? we just like an another watch that

might come across on, on, on your shopping feed. For us to go to the next level, we need to have that awareness present for the customer. Right. And the, the awareness could be in certain ways, the awareness could be influencers. It could be your best friend wearing it. It could be word of mouth. Oh, Hey, you know, I had I called, I called branzio and I wanted a watch and these guys went above and beyond to help me out. Right? Those are the kinds of feelings that we look for, right. What is the interconnectivity of the brand? Like Starbucks is not in the business of selling coffee, right? Starbucks isn't, the, is in the business of connectivity. It is connecting people at the co, at the coffee shops. If you think about it and they have a really good diagram, which you can find online. But yeah,

Joe: 16:23

No, no, no. What you said there was great man. You know,

your, your perspective and the plays and what you focused on in your business completely shifted when you ultimately decided that this was a longterm play for you. Right? When you, when, when you realized like that I'm going to sell this brand in five years or in 10 years, everything that you were doing and your mindset completely changed. So I'm curious like curious Ronnie, what you would tell your younger self, right. That was thinking like, I'm going to come in here and I'm going to run this for six months. Right? And I'm just, it's all about the cash right now. And then I'm out. I'm checking out. I'm done. Sayonara, see you later because I feel like part of my job with a podcast is helping people that haven't been through that aha moment yet. Right? And they're not thinking about the end in mind. They're not thinking about the grander vision. They're not thinking about the even yearr down plan. Right? The two year plan, the three year, the five year, they're just looking at some tomorrow right. Or next month. And because of it they're making really stupid decisions.

Ronnie: 17:26

Well, actually the first advice is don't drink. I hate, I don't know,

I'm not making this up. I look, I am a living Testament to you, right? It's been a year to the day that I gave up drinking a lot.

I've lost about 40, 40 kilos. So in pounds, that's about, that's about close to about 80 pounds. Yeah. My business, I shit you not went up by 45% in revenue from this, not doing it. So not just not doing it right. I feel a lot. I feel a lot. I feel a lot calmer. I feel a lot less anxious. I feel when I wake up, I feel like super energetic and I'm out there to conquer the day. Right? So this, think about smoking and drinking all this you know, microdosing drugs, whatever the hell you want to call them is, you know, if, if it floats your boat it floats you boat, but you know, it's, it's not, it's not the answer when you stressed out.

Ronnie: 18:23

Right. point number one lead a healthy lifestyle. I think I've, I

hate to sound like somebody's Dad out here. But I think it's, it's quite important to understand the fact that, to lead a healthy lifestyle. You know, sound mind and body is quite important to do is the first, it's the first focus of business. Once you have a sound mind and body. The second thing that I believe is that's extremely important is to look at is to look at, you know your drivers, what, what is the, what is your, what drivers. So when you're saying that people are looking at things in a very short term basis and people are looking at what is it tomorrow, what is it like two days from now? You know, if, if, if people just want to live in the now and people just want to live in tomorrow, maybe it's not his job to start a business, right?

Ronnie: 19:07

You, you're probably going to shoot the bad actors that get half the guys were trying to build legitimate businesses on Facebook banned right? You know I'm sure you, you, you've, you've had people on the show who've I'm including myself. I've had, I've had like Google bans and Facebook bans before running completely legitimate businesses and one fine day, you know, some guy decides that, you know, your, that your, that your brand shouldn't be advertised. But why? Because some bad actors killed it for everybody else and I'm sorry, I'm a little passionate about the subject. Ubut yeah, but to have that number two, which is what the reason why you're starting this business, the reason should not be money. If you think I'm an, of course money gets you a lot of good things, money will get your cars, your Ferrari's, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Ronnie: 19:57

But if you're starting the business just for making money and

not focused on your customer, like what, what is it that you're trying to solve for your customer? What is the problem that the customer has, right? What is it that you're trying to solve for them? That should be the reason that you're starting a business. The money may not flow in year one, but in year two, three, four, five as just come in, you'll be making money hand over fist. But the first question should be is what sort of problem are you

actually solving for your customer? Right. And not a lot of people actually start from that question 100% of that. Yeah. So that, that, that would be, I think the, the core advice I would give to your listeners, right? It's like what are you trying to solve? What, what issues are you looking at from the customer perspective? Of course, you know your mother may think you're Einstein, a lot of people, you know, you may think you're insane and you know, best, sure. If you, if you think you know best, then maybe you know you can go and run with you're own project. But I think maybe it's good to have a sounding board and, and your sounding board is the customers over there.

Joe: 21:04

Perfect man. Thank you. Yeah, that was really good. Very well

said. You can tell it comes from the heart. You've been there, you've done that. You've went through it.

Ronnie: 21:12

Oh, I was, I was the Einstein

Joe: 21:15

Me too then the Einstein many of times. Yeah, sure. So I'm

curious, man, when, when you look at launching a new brand and you look at launching a new product, going into a new vertical, what's, what's the 80, 20, right? Like what, what are the things that you would do differently now than when you started Branzio and your first Brand? Like what, what are the shortcuts? What are the things like forget about this. Everybody says, do these things, don't do this, right? Just focus on this. Like what, what's the 80, 20? [inaudible]

Ronnie: 21:50

I think the one thing that I would definitely focus on a lot more

this time around would be like two fold. First of all, having the right people in place, I can't, I can't stress that enough. Right? Having a well trained people, you know, you can, it doesn't need to be cheap and it doesn't need to be too expensive. People think expensive means that you're getting a better quality and people think cheap hiring VA's in the Philippines or India or something just because [inaudible] everybody's read the four hour work week. It's not really relevant in this case, right? Just it's, it's that that book has destroyed a lot of businesses. What I, what I, what I highly believe is this, good talent can be found anywhere in the world. It can be found in the slums in Rio.

Ronnie: 22:41

It can be found in Nicaragua. It can be found in Bosnia. It can be found in Kazakhstan can be found in Israel. Right? having these, having the motivation of these people is your job as an entrepreneur is to, is to get these people together. Right? So it brings me back to what I had said earlier. What problem are you trying to solve? Right? Once you find what problem you're

trying to solve, you need to find the people who are going to help you solve that problem. And the people that who you're trying to hire don't believe in what you believe in. You know, it's very easy for people to see through that quite easily. So, you know, your employees will know you're bullshitting. They know that they're going to be you. You're going to be up to no good. So please don't, don't hire those kinds of people.

Ronnie: 23:25

Some people just want a job. And you know I was a working

man for somebody once and I just wanted a job. I wanted my 50, $60,000 a year and I was like, man, I'm so happy. You know, just give me my 50, 60 grand, I'll go home, I'll work eight hours fee. And that's it. You don't want those people. You want people who come to work every day and they have a spring in their step. The second thing is which I, you know, ties in with quite importantly as the product that you create has to, has to have an oomph right. If you yourself are not going to use it, please don't put it out in the market about, you know, I, when I first started making watches, I went to trading houses. I went to like all these and I got like, honestly, man, pardon my French.

Ronnie: 24:09

It's like I got really shit watches. I was paying like $8 zero $8 for

a watch. And I was like, man, these, these watches are good people, buy them, don't worry about it, you know? And then then came my first bans on, on Facebook and Google people were like, you know you know, I was living that shorter mentality and honest to God, I would never go back there. And this is a, I mean, I'm coming up quite clean and honest with you guys. It's like, it's, it's not the way to, it's not the way to go. And you know what I would have made, what, $50,000 in six months? Yes, sure. What would I have done? I would have taken it and run away home and that's it. What got gone and gone and left for like three months or four months in, you know, Europe for the summer or whatever.

Ronnie: 24:52

So it's such a, it's such a short term mentality. Right? so hence

that. Then the second time comes, which is like, Oh, I want to build a product. I want to build a brand. I want to build something for the longterm. When I build that, the people I'm surrounded with find the, my vision extremely motivating. Right? So I have a good one two. So that is why I can run 15 brands because people are excited about a good product that they send to customers and they feel amazing about providing great service for the good product that customers are using. So you don't deal with people who are jaded and upset and you know, negative. You come to work because you're extremely happy to be there.

Joe: 25:41

Yup. Cool man. Yeah, I'm curious. No, I was, yeah, man, that

was, that was really good. That was really good there. Thank you. I'm curious how you look at a new brand or a new project and how you budget, right. Ecom expensive, right? Like if you look at a service based business, right. Versus, or a software business which you have some background in, right. Versus [inaudible], right. Cost of goods, you know, it's, it's a lot higher. You're dealing with lots of headaches. I'm curious, when you, when you start another brand, what goes into figuring out the, the cashflow and the funding and how you launch that?

Ronnie: 26:25

Well so to answer your question, Man, we're all bootstrapped.

So when you're running, when you're running bootstrapped businesses it's extremely hard to do you know, to take our cash flow and put it to put it, put it towards a certain brand. I mean, we've had, we've had failures so it's basically like looking at a few things. Every time we start a brand you have to be 100% or at least 80% sure that'd be going to pursue this particular niche. Right. Once we know that we're going to go after that niche, that'd be going to Earmark about quarter of million dollars minimum towards our brand. It's, it's, we don't, we don't want to go, we don't want to go in towards a brand that we were going to be half assed about. And remember what I was telling, talking about quality earlier, that 50% of that budget is spent just on production.

Ronnie: 27:15

Making sure the production is done properly, right? Because if

you, if you're not putting out a product that we are proud of, that there's no use good going ahead with it, right? And of course then comes the marketing expenses and everything else. There's that. There's [inaudible], there's two schools of thought in some cases, you know, I've been lucky spending $10,000 on a on a new brand and it's worked out and we're able to scale to $100,000 within a few months, but in some cases you know say for example, if I'm selling couches, right? Couches, although cheap, but the shipping of couches is extremely expensive, right? So to source coaches is, could be like $20,000, but the shipping on couches, it's probably like $40,000, believe it or not. So especially when people want two days shipping and you're competing with Wayfair or Amazon. So so those are the nuances we have to look at when we are starting up brands, right?

Ronnie: 28:15

And of course, I haven't even talked about ad costs, content

costs, photography costs, all these other things. So it depends on, on what are we looking for? A more functional product. I'd be looking for a discoverable product. I were looking for a product you know, which is almost a necessity. Necessity or the

famous Amazon store for your garlic press, right? Everybody needs to have a garlic press. Yes. Sorry man, I did throw it in there. But it depends, right? It depends on, on, on the person and what we can do personal like home, home furnishings great margins, great products needs, needs a lot of discovery, right? Needs, needs big budgets behind it. For Facebook, for Instagram, for Pinterest, all that kind of stuff, right? Buying, you know say technology, technology is different. You know, you need to have certain tech influences behind the, you need to have the reviews, you need to have the PC mag and those guys giving you you know, the, the five on five stars, that kind of stuff. So it just depends on, on, on, on what you're going after.

Joe: 29:18

And I think you gave some good use cases and hard figures

there that somebody should be able to run my so that makes sense. Perfect man. Yeah. So I'm sure all my, all my SEO listeners are like, man, we're like 30 minutes in where's, where's that SEO case study? Yeah. Where's that link juice? Yeah. How the hell did Ronnie go from 5,000 a month organically? What was that number? 50 K. So 10x organic.

Ronnie: 29:47

Yes. Let me tell you a story. And this is gotta be a, people are,

people are going to make fun of me for this. Yeah, of course. Link juice, link juice. Number one links always matter. Not going to lie. It's the only way. It's the way to go. But before that, let me tell you something. How many of good SEO guys put enough time into researching keywords? Right? So when you're building your content plan, how much time are you actually putting into researching the content plan? How much? How much time are you spending on AHREFS? Looking at keyword difficulty, looking at snippets? How much snippets space you could take away, how much time are you spending looking at say, so a part of my strategy for a couple of my business was I was competing against Amazon and a couple of other big brands, but I said, I'm not going to be able to beat Amazon like no fucking way, right?

Ronnie: 30:43

But we started going and we started doing keyword research for some of our search terms and we found out that in certain small search terms, they only had a search volume of between a hundred to like 600 right? But the a hundred or 600 the keyword difficulty on AHREFS between zero and 10 right? Some of these keyword terms were discoverable keyword terms, right? So we said, okay, let's, let's try and just hit these guys. So we create like something like a help center, like, Hey, come check this out, we'll help you out. But when the customers started coming to the website, what we started doing was we were able to cookie these users, right? We cookie them and we're able to put them in the top of funnel for the ecom brands.

So when they started coming in, we were saying, Oh Hey, give us an email.

Ronnie: 31:27

We'd be able to help you out, put some more news, blah, blah,

blah, blah, blah. Guess what? That's when they come in. You capture the email addresses then off to the races. Right now you fed the funnel, then you can start warming up your leads, right? You can warm up your customers to what they want to do. We know that the customer is looking for how to put a let's say how to repair a PC and is looking to, you know, use the, you know, radion card within their DIY build a PC thing. Okay, fair enough. Now we know what they're looking for. This is a classic case of a DIY PC guy. This guy, at some point of time, not now, but maybe a few months from now is gonna definitely be interested in something from like razr or something else say that. Right? So be able to upsell them on some hardware.

Ronnie: 32:13

We got the email, whenever we have a big sale for four for like

Razr headphones or something to do with a DIY PC component, we know that we can segment this user into that particular into that basket, right? So as, so I've just drawn your roadmap and I know you know this man, but I'm sure, but for some people it's like, you know, here's a roadmap of how I've converted from SEO to eCommerce in terms of cash, right? How have you used zero to 10 really low keyword difficulties spent like, I think we spent about like at least 20 to 30 days to do keyword research for that. For this, just for what terms we want to target, right? And then we started building those. We had, we got lucky with some, with some skyscraper content pages. So, you know, we made about two to three skyscraper content pages.

Ronnie: 33:05

There were about 15 to 20,000 pages. Well, right. We focused

on just link-building for those. We did outreach, we did all that kind of stuff, right? So, but most of the, but most of the traffic increase that we saw was actually because of targeting stuff like structured sentence even, right? We started ranking, we started ranking for those skyscraper pages. That content is what started ranking for a relatable related search terms, which had two to 3000 searches just within snippets or for mobile. Wow. Yup. Yeah, yeah. So it's, you know, the, the, the process of how we actually driving traffic isn't, isn't just limited to just being safe. I have money, I'm going to throw it in a bin and a bin isn't the right word, but we just got to, we've just gone through the machine and let the machine optimize it. Right? We need to be able to think how we, using different ways of worsen the traffic and how we actually go to massage the leads and how the funnel works. I hate to call it a funnel, but like how, how, what does the customer journey look like? What does your customer

look like from different perspectives? Right? It's like how you're attacking it. That's what people don't realize. And that's, you know I'm not an expert, but you know, it's just food for thought.

Joe: 34:29

Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Yes, ma'am. Yeah, I love it. So simple. But SEOs don't think about funnels typically, right? It's like two different worlds. Right. and so I think you gave a nice, practical example of the customer journey in terms of SEO. And how you made that apply with, with e-com, you know, most, most people would e-com aren't really doing the, the content marketing play so to speak. Either they're just so focused on the initial head terms and traffic and people buying right now. They're not concerned about long term.

Ronnie: 35:07

Well, yeah, I mean, that's, it's, it's, it's, it's something that

doesn't come like I'm sure, like it doesn't come overnight, right? It's like if you've been around, this is my F you know, fifth or sixth year, and this is the learning I've had after my sixth, you know, so many years. Right. If I, if I were to have anything to say to people who are new, this, this would be something, this would be it. Right? It's like, don't look at a business purely as transaction, look at it from the, you know, take it a couple of notches up to look at it. You know from a Less than eagle eyes point of view because that, that would give you a little bit more because it's, it's again, it's like from the EMA book, like the a, you don't want to be a technician in your own business, right? You don't want to be getting a hand. I mean it's good to get your hands dirty, but if you keep on getting your hands dirty every day, then you're not going to grow as an entrepreneur. If you want to grow as an entrepreneur, then perhaps you need to step out and you need to be able to see it from a few different angles. You know, it's like the matrix, you know, you look at it

Joe: 36:09

From every angle. Yeah, for sure. I like that. The matrix.

Ronnie: 36:13

Yeah. I don't know, man,

Joe: 36:15

That was a good analogy.

Ronnie: 36:17

Maybe I'm too old and I kind of like, .

Joe: 36:21

I like the matrix. All right man. I really appreciate you being here. This has been awesome. I think that there's definitely

Joe: 36:28

The nuggets, so to speak, that people are going to be able to

take from this episode and advice that people are going to be

able to run with and make a noticeable difference in their business. So first and foremost, thank you for being here.

Ronnie: 36:39

Oh, thanks man. My pleasure.

Joe: 36:41

And one last question that we'd like to wrap this show up with. So instead of asking you to recommend three books, right? Like I feel like every podcast does I want to ask you, as you look at your business right now, man, and, and how it currently sits, what book do you see in your business? Right? You've mentioned the e-myth a couple of times, right? You've mentioned a couple of other books, like w you've mentioned the four hour work week, maybe not as a great example, maybe the opposite of the example that you're looking at. But when you look at your business, what, what, what books do you see?

Ronnie: 37:14

When I look at my business today, ah, you know, I, I'm always a

big fan of Ogilvy and Advertising. I'm sure you've read it. I've, I read it when I was 14 or 15. I got into advertising. I think that that book is still so relevant today because I, I, it's full of really good quotes, right? It's like, no, I think my favorite one would be like the customer. The customer is not a fool, right? She is your wife, so don't treat her. Don't treat the customer ever like a fool. You know, another one was, I think was, it's, I think it's the first few paragraphs in the book with just no matter what has happened you know, for, for centuries the habits of humans have remained the same. So no matter what happens, you know, how we sleep, how we eat.

Ronnie: 37:57

I know the smartphone, smartphones have definitely changed

our behaviors a little bit, but the basics of what humans are, what our needs are in terms of, you know, love attention, you know, emotions, all this kind of stuff have, have remained quite similar. So if you were, and it's, it's a good psychology book also, in fact. Right? Which goes into explaining psychological depth of everything. So I, I'd say it's quite relevant. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you read it. You know, he's got two books I think are going to be an advertising and another one, I don't know Confessions of an Advertising Man.

Joe: 38:34

Yeah, both very good books I haven't read them for a long time.

I think probably due for a reread. So thanks for those recommendations and thank you so much for coming and hanging out for the last

Ronnie: 38:43

Yeah, thanks so much. It was awesome

Joe: 38:46

That's awesome. So we'll make sure to to link up to everything

that we chatted about today where you were most active socially, where people can connect with you, right?

Ronnie: 38:54

Yeah, you can you can hit me up on an Instagram app. At

Wexford you can hit me up on LinkedIn Ronnie S. Tema or you can hit me up on Twitter @roaringronnie. Yeah, I appreciate it, man.

Joe: 39:11

Thank you so much for coming. We appreciate it. Hey

everybody. Hope you enjoy this essence episode, Joe Troyer signing out..

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