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The Ecommerce Formula 4-Core Aptitudes Diagram

May 07, 2021

I've had the honor of working with almost 1,400 Shopify site builders in the last 6 months, and I've come up with a working theory of e-commerce success. I believe it takes 4-Core team (or personal) Aptitudes to begin finding some success. I like using the baseball metaphor to explain it.

Last month I introduced my 4-Core concept in a super long blog post, (The E-commerce Formula - Mastering The Four Core Building Blocks Of Online Selling Success). To summarize it - I made a framework diagram I'd like to share. If you like it, share it with other people around the internet.

 

The Business Aptitude 

Your decision to sell products or services as a business venture starts the process. When you put on the entrepreneur uniform and gear up - you're in the game. You step up to the plate and begin looking at opportunities flying by - like baseballs. You begin seeing opportunities to make money everywhere you go - and in tons of different ways. You can take a swing at any one of...

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Amazon Sellers Vs. Shopify Sellers 30 Differences

Apr 30, 2021

When I launched my Shopify Power course on Udemy (in June 2016) I wasn't sure anyone would notice. Since then I've had the privilege of working with over 1,300 new Shopify site owners and it's been a blast!

Many of them come to me as successful Amazon sellers. I love helping them launch Shopify sites so they can create a second source of online income. 

I've come to realize there is a big difference in the mindset / priorities / and tactics between selling on Amazon and selling on Shopify.

Mindset
Priorities
Tactics

So in this article, I'll share the differences I've seen (many of them in the form of a question). If you enjoy this content, you'll also enjoy our Amazon To Shopify webinar


Amazon Mindset Vs. Shopify Mindset

Many Amazon sellers I've met have a merchants-mindset. Let me explain. When I was a kid we lived 30 minutes away from the largest Saturday market in California, Denios Farmers Market & Auction. It's amazing. We would go...

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The Shopify Site Startup Checklist

Apr 23, 2021

Starting a new Shopify site can be intimidating. Here is a checklist that will help you make it systematic.

Pre-Launch Branding Checklist

Domain Name Availability: Check on www.godaddy.com to see if the domain name you want is available. If you can't get the Dot Com version, move on to another idea. Your primary goal should be to pick something that is available, memorable, meaningful, and easy to say. 

Search Engine Availability: Google it - and make sure there aren't people, products, or companies that are already using the name you want. If it looks like it is a crowded field, with well-established sites and brands operating professionally - go back to the drawing board and look for another naming idea.

Trademark Availability: Go to www.trademarks.justia.come and search to see if someone already owns the name as a registered trademark in the industry you want to operate in. If so, go back to the drawing board. 

Business Name Availability: Go to your...

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Build Your E-Commerce Brand With These 7 Master Methods

Apr 15, 2021

Legendary money manager Bill Miller once said, 

"There are three sources of competitive advantage in investing: informational, analytical, or behavioral."

We can apply this to the real world of competitive marketing and say, there are...

3 Sources Of Competitive Advantage In Building Your Brand

Informational Advantage: You can win by simply knowing more about the business than your competitors. It's very common for entrenched competitors to face new upstarts. That can be troubling. One way they win is by simply knowing more about the business than their younger rivals. What can they know? 

  • Customer buying behavior (what will sell and what won't)
  • Pricing strategies that work in that niche
  • Supplier options and challenges
  • Seasonality
  • Margins
  • A million other small but important facts that give the entrenched marketer an advantage - as they simply wait and watch the upstart rival make predictable mistakes.

What can the new upstarts know that serves as a competitive...

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The 2 Crushing Emotions That Shut Down Shopify Sellers

Apr 08, 2021

On Sunday morning at church, the minister talked about a retreat he went on and what he learned. I was thinking about branding and marketing. It all got mixed up in my mind.

The minister said,

Shame is the master emotion because it prevents us from expressing many other emotions. Shame tells us we are not enough. We are not complete. We are not sufficient. 

I said,

So, new marketers can struggle with feeling ashamed of their brand or product. They can feel like their solution is not enough. That their brand or product is not adequate. It can stop them from doing their best work. So new marketers and brand builders need to be unashamed of their work and boldly declare what they are doing!

The Minister said,

The problem with shame is that it causes us to retreat inward and pull back from connecting with other people. Without vulnerability, you won't go deep in a relationship. 

I said,

If the marketer doesn't become vulnerable enough with customers to share authentically...

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Join The E-Commerce Revolution In 3 Steps

Apr 02, 2021

Millions of people are selling products online... Some of them use Amazon to sell, some eBay, some Etsy, some Craigslist, and some, (like us), use our own website secretly powered by Shopify, (the e-commerce platform system that allows you to set up your own shop easily and affordably). You can see our Shopify powered site here.

Millions are being made by ordinary people... The massive allure of e-commerce selling is the potential for unlimited upside. We all imagine creating a runaway hit product that takes us from zero to hero. We dream of an income generating website that changes our life forever. As with any large commerce system, that's rare, but it does happen. And the frequency of it occurring is speeding up as more people sell online and the tools and tactics become more familiar. 

For example... take my friend Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee. He sells on Shopify and on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 his site traffic went from 250 visitors to over 150,000...

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The E-commerce Formula, Mastering The Four Core Building Blocks Of Online Selling Success

Mar 26, 2021

Commerce is in the middle of a massive transition - slowly creeping from offline transactions to some version of their online equivalent. Like an iceberg, slowly moving downhill, this creeping transactional - transition is at the same time incredibly slow, and crushingly fast. 

I feel lucky to be an observer, right up close, seeing the transition from ground level. As a former SVP of Marketing at an old-world organization (A University) I led a team as we struggled through the transition to online selling (and online delivery of our programs) - and as a kitchen table entrepreneur with my wife, we struggled (and struggle daily) to find our way in the brave new world of competitive online selling. 

I've also had the privilege of teaching Online Marketing at the University level - as well as teaching my Shopify Power course to over 1,000 students via Udemy (an online learning marketplace). 

In this post, I'd like to share what I call the E-commerce Formula - The...

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How We Hit Our One Millionth Order On Shopify

Mar 18, 2021

Can you make sales on Shopify? That is a common question for new Shopify store owners. Your mission on Shopify will be to test whether you can acquire new customers for less than what they spend on your site. This is your greatest challenge and primary project on Shopify.

We call that challenge your Primary Site Hypothesis (PSH). You are speculating that you can acquire new customers and that they will quickly buy items of equal or greater value than the cost of acquiring them. Do it - and your baby Shopify site will survive and hopefully go on to thrive. Fail - and you will loose money until you shut down your site. In our Ecommerce Mentoring Program, we walk you through how to systematically make that happen.

How We Hit Our 1 Millionth Order On Shopify

You might be wondering about my own experience on Shopify and maybe you’ve already take the time to check-in and see who I am and what I’m actually doing on Shopify with my own website(s). I think our journey can shed a...

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Why Marketing Your Shopify Site Can Be Emotionally Challenging

Mar 11, 2021

 
Lots of people want to make a product, run a company, or be a business mogul. 

Fewer people want to be the chief marketer and salesperson for a specific product.

But if you launch a Shopify site, you are launching a professional career as the chief marketer, spokesperson, and salesperson for your products, your brand, and your website. These roles can mean different things for different companies and industries, but bottom line, you're responsible for selling the product.

You have to be emotionally comfortable selling either directly or indirectly and ideally both. Or you have to get emotionally comfortable over time. As with all things in business - you either do it yourself - or you manage someone who's job is to do it (and in that way - you're still responsible).

Emotional Comfort With Selling Directly

Anyone can say the phrase, "here is my new product and I'd love to tell you more about it." But for some people uttering those words exacts a crushing emotional toll.

So...

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Why Bloggers Make Great Shopify Ecommerce Sellers

Mar 04, 2021

The Shopify platform allows you to build an ecommerce website using a technology concept referred to as "What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).

Via WYSIWYG you edit your site to create a unique homepage, product pages, blog posts, and other pages like the About Me page. The editing system is not overly complicated and it has enable millions of non-coders to manage websites effectively.

And Shopify has fantastic tutorials to help you at every step of the journey.

Learning Website Basics

But using WYSIWYG functionality is a trade skill that does take time and talent. I call all of the skills associated with this topic the website basics. These are things you need to learn to operate a site effectively. They include:

  • Making draft pages, reviewing them, then publishing them
  • Text size and placement
  • Image size and placement
  • Linking to other sites, products, and posts
  • Embedding items from other sites like contest widgets
  • Using add-on tools from 3rd party providers. These are called...
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