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BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures
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BigCommerce.com - Bootstrapping Your Way to Seven Figures

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In this video BigCommerce co-founder Mitchell Harper shares a recent presentation he gave to 3,000 small business owners, titled "Bootstrapping to Seven Figures". …

In this video BigCommerce co-founder Mitchell Harper shares a recent presentation he gave to 3,000 small business owners, titled "Bootstrapping to Seven Figures".

In his presentation he shares the exact same seven step process he and business partner Eddie Machaalani have used to grow Interspire (the parent company of BigCommerce) to over 50,000 clients and high seven figure yearly revenue.

If you've just started your business and you're looking for the closest thing you'll find to a blueprint for growing your sales to $1,000,000 within 12 months then this is it.

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  • Hi Mitch,
    We are customers of big commerce and we really enjoyed your marketing videos.
    As a small business setting up in a remote Thai village your ideas were absolutely superb for us.
    Like you i am an Aussie, married to a wonderful Thai lady for many years now and our total focus is to make a marketing success of our Thai Silk Magic website so that we can improve the lifestyles of our very poor village.
    We have already started implementing some of your strategies and hopefully we can compete with the much more established web sites in our niche. We believe we have a unique Thai silk product offer and we are determined to make a success of this important project. Thanks again for your excellent material
       Reply 
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  • 1. Bootstrapping to Seven Figures How to grow your business to seven figures per year on a shoestring marketing budget by Mitchell Harper, Co-Founder of BigCommerce.com (@mitchellharper on Twitter)
  • 2. Before We Start
      • This presentation is 2 hours of information and ideas condensed into 30-40 minutes so I'll be speaking quickly
      • In this presentation I'll teach you the exact same marketing strategies we've used to grow our business to > 50,000 customers and high 7 figure yearly revenue without any outside investment and on a shoestring budget
      • You can download this presentation for future reference at http://bit.ly/mitch-presentation
      • I'm available on Twitter for questions at  @mitchellharper
      • Got it? Let's go!
  • 3. Who Am I, Anyway?
      • 28 years old, live in Sydney Australia
      • Programming since I was 12
      • Obsessed with user interface design
      • Fascinated with marketing and positioning
      • Entrepreneur who likes to learn new stuff
      • Co-founder of software company called Interspire
      • We sell shovels when everyone else is mining for gold (Watch this video and it will make sense:  http://bit.ly/mitch-shovels )
  • 4. Why Should You Listen To Me?
      • Co-founded Interspire with no funding in 2004
      • We now have > 50,000 clients and high 7 figure yearly revenue
      • Company grew 300% (staff & revenue) last year - offices in Sydney, Australia and Austin, TX
      • Company is profitable & debt free with no venture capital
      • Learned marketing the hard way: trial and error
      • Launched BigCommerce.com in September 2009
  • 5. What is
      • All-in-one e-commerce platform that lets you setup a professional online store with similar functionality to Amazon.com or Zappos.com
      • Launched in September 2009, fastest growing e-commerce platform in the world
      • More features than Yahoo Stores, Amazon Webstores, GoDaddy Shopping Cart and Amazon Web Stores
      • Main features: amazing ease of use, hardcore SEO, 3 click sell on eBay, automated email marketing, mobile commerce, flexible merchandising options, drag & drop design customization, multi-channel retailing
  • 6. The Golden Marketing Rule
    • You must be able to measure your return on investment (ROI) from any and every marketing activity you undertake to grow your business
      • Two types of marketing: direct marketing and branding
      • Direct marketing: encourages people to take action and buy your stuff (Google AdWords, email marketing, etc)
      • Branding: main goal is to make people "feel" a certain way about your brand (TV ads)
      • Unless you've got a 7 figure marketing budget stay away from branding!
  • 7. Why Most Marketing Sucks
      • It doesn't focus on anyone and tries to attract everyone
      • Products are being sold that customers don't want
      • Too many businesses focusing on price *NOT* value (there is a HUGE difference)
      • Customer's aren't at the center of the feedback loop
      • Business owners are afraid to talk to their customers
      • Customers will tell you what they want if you just ask!
  • 8. You MUST Understand Marketing!
      • Marketing is not something you leave to chance
      • A poor product that is marketed well ALWAYS outsells an excellent product that is marketed poorly or not at all
      • More than anything else, marketing has the potential to make or break your company
      • Marketing is something you learn over time with a lot of trial and error (and possibly $$$!)
      • If you understand marketing and use it aggressively you'll be ahead of 99% of your competitors
  • 9. The 7 Step Marketing Plan
      • Create Your Typical Customer Profile
      • Position Your Products to Appeal to Ideal Customer
      • Spread the Word to People Who Fit Your Typical Customer Profile
      • Wow Them Immediately After Buying
      • Follow Up With Lots of Free, Useful Stuff
      • Ask for a (Video) Testimonial
      • Repeat Steps 3-6 Infinitely
  • 10. Assumptions Moving Forward
    • For the purpose of this example, let's assume:
      • You sell customized sports jerseys online
      • You've been selling online for 6 months and have brought in around $15,000 in total revenue from our online store
      • You have about $2,000 in the bank which we can dedicate to marketing and growing our e-commerce business
      • You have a full time office job and work on your e-commerce business at nights and on weekends with the hope of becoming the Amazon.com of customized jerseys
  • 11. Step 1: Create Your Typical Customer Profile
      • Works best when you already have a few dozen customers
      • Create a survey with Google Docs Forms (free) and email it to them with Mailchimp (also free)
      • Ask for their sex, age range, salary, marital status, job, hobbies, how they found you, why they bought from you, what problem you helped solve, would they recommend you to a friend, etc. Sample survey here:  http://bit.ly/mitch-survey
      •   You then look at the results of the survey and literally write a profile of your typical customer, including name, age, interests, etc.
  • 12. Sample Survey
  • 13. Sample Summary of Responses...
  • 14. We Then Build Our Profile...
    • John is 29 years old, has brown hair, green eyes, weighs 197 pounds and is 5 foot 11 inches tall. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and works in an office all day.
    • He loves to watch the game with his buddies on weekends and found our website via a referral from a friend at work.
    • He bought from us because of our large selection of products, has recommended us to at least one friend and was happy with his purchase so would buy from us again.
    • He also loves video games, playing poker and has a high school education.
  • 15. This is John, Our Typical Customer!
  • 16. Step 2: Position Your Products to Appeal to Ideal Customer
      • Put yourself in John's shoes and ask yourself "if I were John and I arrived at my website, what would grab my attention and make me either sign up for your newsletter or buy something from you instead of closing my web browser?"
      • Idea: an email newsletter about his favorite NFL team which includes little-known facts about players
      • Idea: a free shipping coupon that he can use on his first order
      • Idea: Photos or videos of other customers (who LOOK and SOUND like John) wearing your customized sports jerseys
  • 17. Step 2: Position Your Products to Appeal to Ideal Customer (Cont'd)
      • Anything and everything you write or display on your website, in your emails, etc must feel like it's speaking directly to John and only to John
      • Your goal is to become relatable to John - you want him to see you as cool - "this guy likes the same things as me, so he's cool"
      • Example: if John arrives at your website and sees a photo of you in your customized jersey and you're around the same age and into the same sports, then you and him are similar...
      • Remember: people buy from people they either know and/or like and/or respect
  • 18. You And Your Typical Customer When John (your typical customer) sees that you and him are the same, he will start to know, like and respect you.
  • 19. Step 3: Spread the World to People Who Fit Your Typical Customer Profile 
      • This is where we get into guerilla marketing:
        • Goal #1: Affordably attract as many people who match your typical customer profile as you can
        • Goal #2:  Ask them to recommend you to their friends who share similar interests (and therefore buying habits)
      • Because we're on a shoestring budget we need to get a good return for every dollar we spend, our aim is to then take our profits from guerilla marketing and put them into SEO and SEM which we will automate
      • Let's look at the 5 guerilla marketing techniques...
  • 20. "Like-Like" Partnerships
      • You find a handful of online stores which sell products that are complimentary to what you sell and link to them on your website or in invoice emails to your customers (so they don't leave your website before buying from you)
        • In our example we sell custom jerseys so we'd find partners who sell alcohol, sports memorabilia, hats and poker chips
        • Note: You call these potential partners on the phone - do not send them emails , you want to build a relationship and the good old phone is still the best
      • These partners do the same for you, instantly sending you targeted traffic for free - if you're just starting out then setup an affiliate program and share revenue with partners to earn their trust
      • To get more visitors you simply bring in more partners
      • Bonus: these partners can become your "mastermind" group to share ideas which you can all benefit from to grow your business!
  • 21. Twitter Find & Answer
      • This involves 1-2 hours a day but the pay off is HUGE
      • Go to http://search.twitter.com and search for keywords around what you sell
      • In our example, the name of NFL teams such as "dallas cowboys"
      • You want to find and answer questions people have about what you sell without promoting your stuff
      • After answering their question, you want to encourage them to follow you on Twitter with a friendly follow up tweet
      • You then use your Twitter account to share coupon codes and useful bits of information that they can easily retweet to their network - you want to get them and their social network to your website and onto your mailing list
      • Watch my video for a full break down:  http://bit.ly/mitch-twitter
  • 22. Facebook - "Get to Know Us"
      • Setup a Facebook fan page (Google it) for your business
      • Use your company logo as the photo of the page to build brand awareness
      • Be casual in what you post on your wall - the idea is to give people a real insight into you, what you do, etc
      • Don't post "corporate speak" - don't fix typos, grammatical errors, etc - be real
      • Every few days share a coupon on your Facebook page (and Twitter) and encourage people to share it with their friends
      • On Facebook, free shipping promotions work REALLY well but use them a maximum of once a week - you don't want people getting used to them
      • Post photos of your office/warehouse/whatever you can to show the "inner workings" of your business, even if you work from home
      • Look at our Facebook page for ideas: http://www.facebook.com/BigCommerce
  • 23. A Shareable Video Blog
      • Video has the highest engagement and costs almost nothing to produce
      • Setup a blog on the free Wordpress platform where you will embed your videos as blog posts after uploading them to YouTube
      • Ask yourself: "if I were in my typical customer's shoes, what kind of stuff would I want to see in a video that would keep me coming back?"
      • Video is KING - if you can record a 2-3 minute video every few days and post that on your blog AND YouTube (and tag it correctly) you'll start driving people to your blog who match your typical customer profile
      •   Record videos of YOU doing something with your products - unboxing, reviewing them, making them, talking about them, etc
      • See my YouTube channel for how I do it: http://www.YouTube.com/BigCommerceDotCom
      • I use a Mac, a $500 HD video camera and the free iMovie software
  • 24. Email Marketing
      • A weekly or monthly newsletter with useful content that contains a limited number of product promos only - your newsletters should educate your subscribers
      • You simply repurpose the videos you've been recording for your blog and include them in the newsletter (use screenshots of videos in newsletter - can't embed videos in email) 
      • Make sure you link the screenshots to your blog posts NOT the videos on YouTube - you want them on your website!
      • Have buttons at the top and bottom of your newsletters that encourage subscribers to follow you on Twitter and Facebook
      • At the end of each issue you should include a coupon code or one product which you can afford to discount by a massive amount - you want people to look forward to receiving your newsletter and price is a big motivator
      • Make sure your newsletter has a share button (Mailchimp is free and has one) - you want as many people to see your stuff as possible
  • 25. Now What?
      • Your goal is to get your profit up to a few thousand dollars a month so you can invest in an SEO consultant and a Google AdWords expert
      • This might take a few weeks or a few months, depending on your guerilla marketing tactics, profit margins, etc
      • A good SEO consultant  should be able to get you ranking at the top of Google/Yahoo/Bing within 3-4 months for at least a few keywords and will cost around $300 - $3,000 per month depending on hours worked
      • Make sure you check references and actually see with your own eyes that their past clients are ranking - and call their clients up for feedback!
      • While your SEO consultant is working, run a trial Google AdWords campaign youself for some of your popular products (around $100/day) and see if you can make it profitable
      • Ready Perry Marshall's eBook for Google AdWords strategies: http://www.PerryMarshall.com
  • 26. End Game - Experts & Automation
      • When you can afford it, also bring on a Google AdWords expert (consultant)
      • Will charge $100 - $2,000+ per week depending on hours worked, number of keywords you're advertising for, number of ads, etc
      • Goal is to have two experts handling your most critical traffic-driving activities: one SEO expert and one SEM expert
      • When this happens, your critical traffic-driving activities are on auto-pilot, maintained by experts so you can focus on serving your customers and turning them into raving, lunatic fans
      • Meet with your SEO and SEM consultant over Skype/phone once a week to discuss progress, rankings, etc
  • 27. Goal: Traffic From Everywhere
  • 28. Step 4: Wow Them Immediately After Buying
      • You now have (hopefully) lots of visitors to your online store
      • A percentage of them (typically 2-15%) will buy from you - these are the customers you want to turn into raving, crazy, lunatic fans who will tell everyone they know about you
      • To do this, you just need to wow them once after buying
      • Think about your competitors: they all do the same boring stuff - you buy from them, they ship your order to you, the end 
      • You want to go beyond the norm and get them talking about you!
  • 29. Ideas to Wow Your Customers
      • Just give them a call and thank them for their order - you will be  absolutely amazed at how well they respond to this
      • Upgrade their shipping from standard to express/overnight (Zappos used this to build the foundation of a $1 billion business)
      • Include something free with their order (a sample product or something that doesn't cost you more than a few bucks)
      • Make sure you include a hand-written thank you note with every order that is signed by you, the business owner
      • Include a coupon in their email invoice for 5-20% off their next order and encourage them to share it with friends
      • If you can afford it, refund their shipping as store credit - this will encourage them to come back and order from you (good will + cool company + store credit = impulse buying!)
    (Watch these as a video:  http://bit.ly/mitch-wow )
  • 30. Step 5: Follow Up With Lots of Free, Useful Stuff
      • Getting their order out the door and on time is just the start
      • You've now got a chance to go above and beyond what any of your competitors would do by educating your customers
      • Ideally you want to set them up on a series of autoresponders (automatic emails) which ONLY contains useful information that will educate them about what you sell - no sales pitch
      • Set up an autoresponder that emails them once every 3 days over 30 days - so that's 10 emails, all full of useful content (again, use Mailchimp - it's free)
      • At the top of each email, encourage them to forward to their friends - you get the power of a referral, the friend will love your useful information and there's a huge chance they too will become a customer
  • 31. Ideas for Free Stuff to Email Customers
      • Videos will get the best result because your competitors aren't creative enough to record videos - plus videos can easily be shared if you upload them to YouTube!
      • Idea: email videos of how your products are made. For example, if you sell cookies online record a video series showing your kitchen, how you source your ingredients, etc
      • Idea: email videos of you reviewing your best selling products in a casual manner - no sales pitch though
      • Remember that you can't include videos in your emails so take a screenshot of your video and link it to the actual video on YouTube (use "Jing Project" to take screenshots free)
  • 32. Step 6: Ask for a Video Testimonial
      • About 30 days after the customers order from you, setup an autoresponder which asks them to submit a video testimonial to you
      • In your email, link to a form where they can submit their video to you (use Google Docs Forms, it's free!)
      • Tell them to upload their video to YouTube and then have them include a link to their video when filling in the form
      • You can offer $10 store credit for every customer who records and submits a video or some other motivator (free shipping on their next order?)
      • Ask for specifics in their video testimonial: name, location, what they bought from you, why they chose you, whether they would buy from you again and recommend you to a friend, etc
      • Add the testimonial videos (along with their name and city) to a page in your store called "Our Customers  ♥ Us" - instant credibility that money can't buy!
  • 33. We Call Ours the "Buzz" Page http://www.bigcommerce.com/buzz.php
  • 34. Repat Steps 3-6 Indefinitely
      • Create Your Typical Customer Profile
      • Position Your Products to Appeal to Ideal Customer
      • Spread the Word to People Who Fit Your Typical Customer Profile
      • Wow Them Immediately After Buying
      • Follow Up With Lots of Free, Useful Stuff
      • Ask for a (Video) Testimonial
      • Repeat Steps 3-6 Infinitely
  • 35. Recap - Marketing is KING!
      • Your competitors don't understand or use customer-driven marketing!
      • If you do, you'll instantly be ahead of them and start stealing their customers
      • Follow my 7 step blueprint and I am confident you'll at least double your sales within the next 12 months
      • People will buy from you because they like/trust/respect you - if you lose any of these then you lose the customer
      • Nothing sells like social proof - show potential customers that other people like them have already bought from you and keep buying from you
      • When someone orders from you that's just the start of the relationship - provide them with as much useful, educational info as you can via email that will help them use your products better
  • 36. See How We Do It
    • All of the marketing strategies and tactics mentioned in this presentation have been put to good use at our own website, BigCommerce.com
  • 37. Learn Marketing On YouTube
    • Over 60 videos, 400,000 views. Where I teach marketing: YouTube.com/BigCommerceDotCom
  • 38. How to Reach Me - Twitter, Etc.
      • Follow me on Twitter for marketing tips and insights, links to useful videos that will grow your business, etc: @mitchellharper
      • Make sure you follow us on Facebook to see how we "do" social media marketing with our 6,000+ customers: Facebook.com/BigCommerce
      • You can also email me: [email_address]
  • 39. Thanks for Watching! Download this presentation at: http://bit.ly/mitch-presentation

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