Exposing the Best E-Commerce Secrets with Industry Expert Matt Edmundson

Episode 210

Are you eager to discover the secrets of successful e-commerce from an industry expert? Matt Edmondson, a seasoned entrepreneur with a whopping $75 million in worldwide sales to his name, joins us for a candid chat. Matt’s journey into e-commerce, which began in the late 90s, is rife with insights and lessons that are crucial for any budding e-commerce entrepreneur. He offers a glimpse into the top performers in the industry, particularly in the beauty and health supplement space, and emphasizes the importance of customer centricity and company culture.

How do you turn a hobby into a revenue stream? We navigate this exciting question, sharing our own experiences and insights. From discussing the impact of outsourcing paid media on cost acquisition to dishing out advice on product selection for nascent e-commerce brands, we touch on all the essential elements. Matt also shares his experience of setting up a wood shop as a hobby and the steps he took to transform it into a business opportunity, offering valuable advice on monetizing hobbies.

The future of e-commerce, the traits of successful entrepreneurs, and emerging trends like live shopping and podcasting – we cover it all. Matt even sheds light on his innovative e-commerce cohort and how it offers workshops on seven key areas of e-commerce. This episode is a windfall of knowledge and inspiration for anyone passionate about e-commerce or simply curious about it. Tune in and join us on this thrilling journey into the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

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00;00;24;02 – 00;00;47;13
Unknown
Welcome, everyone to the Firing the Man podcast. On today’s episode, we are joined by Matt Edmondson. Matt is an experienced e-commerce entrepreneur and coach with over 20 years of experience in the industry, he has generated over 75 million worldwide sales in his coaching clients have a combined turnover of over 100 million. His passion is helping businesses grow and succeed.

00;00;47;13 – 00;01;10;09
Unknown
Online specializes in customer centricity, company culture and all e-commerce related topics. We’re very excited to have Matt as part of the show. Welcome, Matt. Well, thanks for having me. Managed. It’s great to be here. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you. As are we. So to start things off. Can you please share with our listeners a little bit about your background and your path to becoming an entrepreneur here in the e-commerce space?

00;01;10;10 – 00;01;27;21
Unknown
Yeah, sure. It was. eCommerce was one of those things that I sort of stumbled across by accident in the late nineties I was working and yes, it was that long ago. I would say that’s a long time ago. I was working for a friend of mine and I started what we would now call a side hustle. Back then we just called our second job, but we we chose it.

00;01;27;21 – 00;01;42;07
Unknown
As you know, we call it a side hustle now. And it all started when a friend of mine asked me if I knew anybody that did websites. I mean, they heard about these website things and figured that they needed one. And did I know any company that could do one? And there was only one company that I knew that did websites back then.

00;01;42;07 – 00;01;55;25
Unknown
And they were they were great, but they were expensive. And this was back in the day when you had to write all the code out, you know, in notepad and stuff like that. So crazy money. I said to him, Well, listen, if you, if you like, I’ll, you pay me, I’ll figure it out and just and let’s see what happens.

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00;01;55;25 – 00;02;14;17
Unknown
And that was just it really. And I said never looked back since we started doing website and then ecommerce started becoming a thing. And so for let’s build our first e-commerce store and see what happens. And I called a friend of mine who sold and he had a traditional catalog business, you know, selling tanning products to tanning salons.

00;02;14;17 – 00;02;28;17
Unknown
These are kind of lotions and potions you put on your face to kind of help your tan better. And I said to him, Listen, I’m going to build an e-commerce site. I don’t know what to sell online. I just need some products, man, Can I sell your stuff? And if I sell any of it, I’ll buy it from you as and when I sell it.

00;02;28;24 – 00;02;43;24
Unknown
Sought after by Overstock is out of rights. That’ll be great. Six months later, he bought that business from me and that website sort of took off a little bit and yeah, that’s how I started out an income and that’s when I sort of fell in love with it. You know, when I started waking up richer than when I went to sleep, it was, it was a wonderful thing.

00;02;43;24 – 00;03;04;19
Unknown
Nice. So glad to have you on the show. My first question is, you know, you share a little bit of your background, but you guys started and what what attracted you to ecommerce? Like was it the challenge or trying to figure it out or was there was there another piece of maybe maybe passive income waking up in the morning being richer than you were when you you know, what attracted you to specifically the ecommerce space?

00;03;04;19 – 00;03;21;18
Unknown
It was this whole idea that you could sell stuff online without having a storefront, you know, like a shop where you I didn’t retail in and sort of some of my previous jobs and retail was hard work. We’d done some catalog work in some of my previous jobs, you know, where people would I would send in or they would fax.

00;03;21;18 – 00;03;40;05
Unknown
And I mean, again, going back a few years, isn’t it, that sends you faxes with orders and you would send out an invoice and they would write you a check and you’d pay and the whole thing would take a week. And so e-commerce had this is back in 2002 was when we did our first website so that there was no Shopify, there was, there was nothing out there really.

00;03;40;08 – 00;04;02;16
Unknown
And so it was it was part challenge. Could I write code that enabled us to product online and it was part curiosity, as in you can really sell stuff on the web and people will buy it. Are they nuts? And I mean, I was obviously doing it myself and I thought this thing was great. So yeah, it was it was curiosity with no real sense of direction, no real sense of I’m going to, you know, create a life out of this.

00;04;02;16 – 00;04;25;10
Unknown
It was just I just saw something that was intriguing and just wanted to have a go read. Very nice. Now, your experience in the industry towers both can and eyes even combined. And so I’m really interested in asking you this next question. So when you look at all the brands that you’ve either created or worked with, what stands out about the top 10% of performers?

00;04;25;11 – 00;04;44;04
Unknown
Is there any characteristics? Maybe it’s price point, maybe it’s size, maybe it’s industry. But what stands out about the top 10% of performers? So just thinking through all of that in my head, there’s a number of things that I seem to have personally done well with, and that is to sell small, repeatable products. So we did well in the beauty space.

00;04;44;04 – 00;05;12;02
Unknown
So that business a couple of years ago and I’m currently involved in this, which is health supplement space, again, small repeatable product try this is stuff that people want to buy time and time again. And the reason why they work well for us I think is because company as an organization, I suppose one of the things that we’ve we’re good at, one of the things that I think is super important is to focus on the customer relationship because, you know, Amazon’s great, but Amazon in effect is a commodity and it’s a big old supermarket.

00;05;12;02 – 00;05;37;25
Unknown
There’s no personality behind it. And so we’re kind of like, well, how do we do the customer aspect of it, the customer journey, the customer story, how do we do that really well? And so if I think about the stuff that we’ve done, if I think about the brands and that I’ve worked with, the ones that tend to do really well are the ones that sell repeatable products and do the customer service, the customer journey, the whole retention side of life, very, very well.

00;05;37;26 – 00;05;54;01
Unknown
Can we expand on that a little bit more? I’m sure there’s somebody listening that does have a, you know, one of these consumable, repeatable products. What have been some ways that you’ve, you know, after that first purchase, how do you get them coming back for more than $1,000,000 question, isn’t it? I should write a book on this and make a fortune.

00;05;54;01 – 00;06;17;07
Unknown
I think fundamentally you have to understand your customer and you have to understand what it is that they’re really buying. So if I take the beauty business, we we started selling products in 2006 online and it was a there was price discount it on that website, right? So we grew because we discounted but it wasn’t a long term solution I don’t think to to being established for a while.

00;06;17;07 – 00;06;34;12
Unknown
So we changed up, we changed our strategy and we spent a little while understanding the customer and we were we’d sort of dive deep and we asked ourselves questions like, what is it the customer is actually buying? I know they’re buying a moisturizer and a cleanser, but the what is it they’re actually buying? Because you can get a moisturizer and a cleanser from the supermarket for five bucks.

00;06;34;12 – 00;06;52;00
Unknown
Why? They come into my website and spend the night. Right. What what’s the what’s the reason behind that? And we can talk about the science of skincare. We could talk about the results of it. But fundamentally, it came down to a few key things, one of which quite high upon the list was they were buying a gift for themselves, right?

00;06;52;00 – 00;07;13;16
Unknown
They were treating themselves. You spend 80 bucks on face cream because you want to treat yourself. You know, the L’Oreal thing, you’re worth it. That whole I just want to feel better about myself. And so when we realized this, we changed a lot about our business in the sense of you take the packaging, for example, before we realized this, we were sending out customers goods just in a plain bound brown book.

00;07;13;16 – 00;07;31;02
Unknown
Just waited in a box, threw in some plastic, you know, the plastic bubble things and sent it out. And we thought we were doing well because all our competitors were sending them in the jiffy bags, you know, the padded envelopes. And so that box was or would arrive. And so we thought, well, it’s upgraded to a box and at least, you know, it arrives in better shape, kind of thing.

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00;07;31;02 – 00;07;46;28
Unknown
When we realized that we were sending out gifts, we were like, actually, what we need to do is create an open experience, like you’re opening a gift. So we added an extra flap onto the cardboard box. And on that in a flat, we printed this lovely message about how remarkable they were as a human being and celebrated, you know, being human.

00;07;46;28 – 00;08;05;24
Unknown
And as they opened both flaps, it just felt like you’re opening a gift a bit more, you know, you unwrapping something. And then inside, everything was covered in tissue paper. So you kind of had to open the tissue paper. So then it started to really feel like a gift. And we also realized that, you know, our brand values, we like to have a bit of fun, we like to have a bit of a laugh.

00;08;05;24 – 00;08;21;09
Unknown
So we thought, how do we Plastic bubbles don’t really speak gift, but we know we needed to put something in there to keep to keep the products from moving around. So we looked at that, you know, the shredded paper like the Bird’s Nest stuff, but that was crazy expensive. And we thought, would that make you a big gift?

00;08;21;13 – 00;08;36;11
Unknown
Should we, you know, put perfume in that? And then one day I had a bit of an idea. We were brainstorming with the team and I just had this crazy idea, and I can’t tell you where it came from or why I had this idea, but I thought, I wonder what would happen if we use popcorn. And so we bought some popcorn machines.

00;08;36;11 – 00;08;54;06
Unknown
We, we tried all kinds of different corns to figure out the best one and lo and behold, we found the popcorn was this magical kind of substrate, for want of a better expression to these boxes. And so we would we had popcorn machines going constantly in the warehouse. If you wanted a low calorie snack, there was a place to go.

00;08;54;12 – 00;09;10;27
Unknown
And so we would pack the product. So we’d put the the products in a box, would fill that box with popcorn, stop the moving around, would wrap all that in tissue paper, put a little sticker on there because we had to do it after a while saying, Please don’t eat the popcorn. It was not produced in a food safe environment, but do give it the birds and it is biodegradable.

00;09;10;27 – 00;09;29;05
Unknown
And because sustainability was becoming a bigger thing, we added the extra flaps would change the taste. And so it became this sort of gift that was more sustainable, more environmentally friendly. And one way it wasn’t just that, but when we started doing things like that, that’s when our retention rate became way higher than the industry. I mean, way, way higher.

00;09;29;06 – 00;09;46;10
Unknown
That’s when customers started posting pictures of their packaging on Facebook, which they’d never done before. I mean, why would you the only time you’d ever put a picture of a box on social media was because the box was too bloody big. Jermaine And you’d send out a tiny product in a massive box. So you only got those sort of complaints.

00;09;46;10 – 00;10;04;03
Unknown
But, but yeah, we, we, we started doing things like that. So that’s what I mean about becoming a bit more customer focus, understanding what the customer is shopping for, what they, what they want, what is it they really, really are after and how can we orient our entire process around that to, to bring that out for them. Yeah, I like that.

00;10;04;03 – 00;10;23;23
Unknown
That’s like, that’s next level experience, you know, opening opening something you just buy a gift And so that’s that’s genius. I’ve never heard of popcorn being Houston, so I’m going to I’m going to stash away for a rainy day. So I really like it, though. Matt You said the retention rates you started noticed noticing retention rates increasing once you change the customer experience.

00;10;23;23 – 00;10;41;08
Unknown
Did you also track cost of acquisition for a customer and then see if that that decreased because people were posting on social media and spreading around customer acquisition, did it decrease? I think I mean, we kept cost of acquisition pretty much the same. So new customer acquisition, we were like, this is our budget, let’s go and get them.

00;10;41;08 – 00;11;12;00
Unknown
Cost of acquisition went up and down because Google was becoming, you know, Google Shopping was getting more and more competitive, Facebook was getting more and more competitive. So we were we were making these improvements, but we were really seeing them in reality because everybody was putting their prices up. God bless them. So one of the things that did make a massive difference to cost of acquisition and the reason why I’m slightly hesitant is there was there was a massive step change for us, and that’s when we stopped doing all the paid media internally or in-house and we outsourced it.

00;11;12;00 – 00;11;29;19
Unknown
And I make that I made that decision to outsource paid media and we were spending tens of thousands every month with, you know, Google and Metro. And so to make the decision to outsource it was not easy. But when we did, we got an agency involved. Absolutely transformed what we were doing and bought in twice as much for all for money.

00;11;29;20 – 00;11;43;26
Unknown
It was incredible, really. And we we quickly realized that we’d become really good at certain elements of e-commerce and we’d not kept up with paid media and the rules of it because there was so much other stuff to keep on top with. And it was just kind of it was over there and it was working, it was maintaining it.

00;11;43;26 – 00;12;04;04
Unknown
So yeah, when we got another agency involved that was just eye opening. And so I’ve never gone back. We’ve never done paid media in-house. We still do some paid media in-house. Let us be totally transparent and honest for some companies, for our main major Ecom websites, it’s all outsourced. Fair enough. So yeah, So it sounds it sounds like you brought in an expert and they doubled it.

00;12;04;04 – 00;12;19;18
Unknown
And also decreased the ROE as our increased roles. So that’s awesome. Yeah. My next question is this is for, let’s say someone listening that they haven’t started a brand yet. Maybe they got a full time job. They’re just kind of listening and kind of kicking the tires or, you know, starting a what you call a second job mat or side hustle.

00;12;19;18 – 00;12;38;24
Unknown
And so what advice would you give them in terms of product selection? How do they find out what brand is start, what product, what niche, where do you where do you advise on starting? I tend to tell people several things about products. So if I’m looking for a product sell online, I’m looking for something that’s small and repeatable because that’s what we do with those kind of products.

00;12;38;24 – 00;12;58;13
Unknown
I’m not saying this is true for everybody, but for me, I’m looking for something that is small, repeatable and sells between 20 and 75. But they’re the sort of the sweet spots, I think, and the way I tend to have people do this though, if they really want to do it and sort of generate some product ideas, let to, you know, Have you ever read the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.

00;12;58;13 – 00;13;16;12
Unknown
And he has this sort of Venn diagram of what are you really passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at and what drives your economic engine? You know, these sort of things to think about. I don’t think they’re particularly bad things to think about when it comes to products. And for me, there are there are two, two key elements about any product.

00;13;16;12 – 00;13;34;18
Unknown
So if I’m brainstorming a whole lot of products, right, I’m looking I can look at my desk around me, I can look at my hobbies, I can look at things that I’m passionate about and I can write everything down. The one thing we then have people do is plot out every single product into a matrix, and that matrix has on the verge cool axis.

00;13;34;18 – 00;13;50;06
Unknown
We track, we get this the right way around in my head I dot and it’s either on where we track demand or is demand horizontal and it doesn’t really matter. On one of the axis, we track demand and on the other axis we track knowledge. So horizontal axis we track demand, sorry, vertical axis, we track knowledge. And what do I mean by that?

00;13;50;06 – 00;14;08;24
Unknown
So let’s I have on my desk what do I have on my desk here. I have a yeti cup right now. I can’t sell Yeti because obviously I’m not the Yeti distributor but I say I think I really like yet say I want to get into selling Yeti is it small with smallish is a repeatable you know these things last a lifetime but there are other things that I can sell with it so becomes a bit more interesting.

00;14;08;24 – 00;14;30;14
Unknown
Let me plot this on the demand and knowledge graph. So how much demand is there for this stuff? What is a lot of the movement and I do know I saw an ad yesterday that they’re doing. Sorry, that’s my let me just turn that off. I saw that on Facebook yet See had hey, did they have Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the Formula One drivers buying something from their store in Austin to stuff to the Austin Grand Prix.

00;14;30;17 – 00;14;46;01
Unknown
And so obviously that the demand is there, right? So you kind of go, Well, that’s great because why would I want to sell a product that’s not in demand, you know, question number one. So I had a guy come to me and he said, Man, I’ve got 500,000 fidget spinners and can you help me sell them? You know, the little things you have in your hand that you kind of digital.

00;14;46;02 – 00;14;59;12
Unknown
I was like, No, he’s like, Why? And I said, Well, because the demand was two years ago. No one’s no one’s going to care, right? Just get rid of them as a job, not sell them to someone like you. That goes, I get half a million spinners and leave it at that. So you want to track demand, but on the vertical axis, we track knowledge.

00;14;59;12 – 00;15;16;24
Unknown
What do I mean by that? You want to you want to ask yourself a key question, and that is this How much do I know about this product? Right? What’s my personal knowledge level like? And if my personal knowledge is like, how easy is it to learn to become an expert in this product? And I tell you why this matters.

00;15;16;24 – 00;15;32;12
Unknown
So I don’t know a whole great deal about Yeti mugs. I just I know I like them, but that’s about it. But it’s not going to be rocket science to learn a lot about them. Yet. He may disagree with me, but I don’t think that there’s going to be an awful lot to learn. So I could increase my knowledge factor quite high.

00;15;32;12 – 00;15;54;10
Unknown
And this was when we started doing Beauty. The first thing that we did was we invested a lot in the staff growing that knowledge factor. And the reason we did this was one, think about customer experience. Good customer experience comes when you answer customer questions. So they’ve got a question, they’ve got a query, you know, you want to know how to answer that well, to you, this is how you differentiate yourself from someone who is selling that exact same product on Amazon.

00;15;54;10 – 00;16;12;00
Unknown
Right? Because I can give much more knowledge and much more education about a product to a customer on my website than I can on Amazon. And that is super powerful, let me tell you. And so it drives content marketing. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that I do. So coming back to your original question, what would my advice be?

00;16;12;00 – 00;16;30;04
Unknown
A small, repeatable border product that sort of 20 to $75 range that are in high demand and that you buy to know about or can learn a lot about? So if you’re into golf and you want to sell golf gadgets, that’s great. I’m never going to do that because I know nothing about golf. I appreciate this is sacrilege.

00;16;30;04 – 00;16;43;05
Unknown
I could care less about golf. It’s just not on my radar. So I never want to get involved in that because I don’t want to take the time to learn to sell domain. Now, there might be high demand for products, but I it’s just not my back. So I don’t have fans as your question, but that’s my advice to people.

00;16;43;07 – 00;17;01;16
Unknown
It’s excellent. I like it. Yeah, I really like how you’re factoring in the two things, both demand and your knowledge. I really like that. I’ve never heard it phrased that way, but it makes a lot of sense. So moving on, read a piece of content that you put out about the seven critical elements to e-commerce. Can you share with the audience?

00;17;01;16 – 00;17;27;12
Unknown
What are those elements and where most brains get it wrong? So the seven elements for me, you start with product and you start with brand. So product like we’ve talked about getting the right products to sell and this I think is probably where most startups get it wrong. I don’t say it as much these days, but it used to be the case of you just go to AliExpress or Alibaba or some site and you’d go and find a product like, I don’t know, sunglasses or hair brushes or something that was ridiculously cheap.

00;17;27;12 – 00;17;46;11
Unknown
You’d buy them for like $0.20. You put them on your website, 20 bucks. I’m thinking, man, I’m making $19.80 there. So, you know, that’s that’s an awesome product. So the problem is no one wants to buy it. There’s no demand. And going back to my knowledge, correct, you know nothing about them. So, sure, there’s one or two stories where people do exceptionally well for a moment in time, but there’s there’s no real longevity in it.

00;17;46;11 – 00;18;08;07
Unknown
And most out of 10,000 websites, 90,997 of them don’t work, right. So you start with product and you also start with brand. And they’re the sort of the first two stages. Some people start with products and then maybe ones brands. Some people start with brand move on party, but brand is is understanding who you are as a company and is understanding who your customer is and then understanding that overlap.

00;18;08;07 – 00;18;30;07
Unknown
So the example is popcorn. We understood our customers and their need for gift, but also their need for fun and their need for environmental, you know, sort of sensibilities cross that over with what we were doing and popcorn was born and that came out about brands. So they’re the first two areas and brand is more than like a brand is, is more like, you know, it’s your story isn’t it’s the customer story.

00;18;30;07 – 00;18;45;29
Unknown
We move on to tech stack So what technology do I need to bring this to pass? We’ve got marketing would be number four. So how do I how do I get how do I drive people to this website? I’ve just gone and built number five, how do I optimize it? So people are on my website, how do I get more of them to buy?

00;18;46;01 – 00;19;14;04
Unknown
Number six is all about the customer experience. And for me, that’s I define that as everything that happens after entered their credit card details and click by what happens from that point onwards we label as customer experience. Because for me this is where out of every company I’ve ever done coaching with, nine times out of ten, this is where the biggest opportunity lies is in this part here, because there’s so much information out there about optimization, there’s a lot of information about marketing.

00;19;14;04 – 00;19;36;15
Unknown
I mean, technology is easy to take. I get a Shopify site. I mean, it’s genius. There’s a lot of things which are now taking care of the people have done well because there’s so much information freely available. So the biggest opportunities, I think in most sites I’ve been promoting for a little while is the customer experience. What happens when someone has put their credit card details in And then the seventh area I call yo yo, this is all about growth.

00;19;36;15 – 00;19;53;09
Unknown
This is all about repeatability. How do I get people back time and time again? How do I do? I then grow this into being one in the top, So 2 to 3% of my industry. Matt From one woodworker to another, I noticed on your website that you list this as one of your hobbies. You say you are a woodworker in.

00;19;53;10 – 00;20;11;15
Unknown
So my question is, is this something that you’ve ever thought about turning into a brand? Yeah. The second part of this question is what advice would you give to someone who wants to turn a hobby into a job? Well, yes. How about thought about turning? So a bit of back story. I used to sell schooners and steam rooms for.

00;20;11;15 – 00;20;29;03
Unknown
I got into e-commerce and so I was never on the tools. I never did the installs, I did all the designing and I’ve designed some really funky stores around the world, which is great. And when I got married, we had no money and we needed a new kitchen. So I just literally when he goes in two by fours and built an entire kitchen out of solid wood and just fell in love with it, it was great.

00;20;29;03 – 00;20;53;27
Unknown
You know, here I am 25 years later, still messing around with things and wood. How would I monetize it? That’s a really interesting question. So we when I sold my beauty business two years ago, we moved warehouse and so we’re in a new new warehouse which has got a sort of a bigger space. I took a corner of that warehouse I warded off and I turned it into a wood shop, like a nice sized little wood shop, and I bought some new tools as a little treat to myself for selling the business.

00;20;54;01 – 00;21;16;03
Unknown
I build this and it stood there. I’m down there a lot. I’m in the I’m in the warehouse, obviously quite a bit, and I’m in my woodshop quite a bit, especially on a weekend. So what we’ve done is we’ve just set up some GoPro cameras in that woodshop. So all I’m going to do is make stuff out of wood and film it and start to build a YouTube channel just showing people what I’ve done and how I’ve done it to build up some kind of audience, then I will.

00;21;16;03 – 00;21;30;05
Unknown
And I understand that I need to make a living out of this just yet, so I’m in no rush. I still want to maintain it as a hobby. But the plan is simple. What is grow an audience? And once we’ve got the audience, then I can figure out what so to them. So maybe the plans, you know, the woodworking plans.

00;21;30;05 – 00;21;48;13
Unknown
I think selling digital products for me is again, we’re talking about product seller. And so that knowledge and demand and repeatable products, if I can sell digital products, that’s the best the elixir, isn’t it? It’s just like that’s that the top of the tree. If I can do digital products and so we’ll probably do plan downloads, would I actually sell the furniture?

00;21;48;13 – 00;22;02;00
Unknown
Would do I think there’s any money to be made in making stuff out of wood and selling it? Yes, I do. I want to do that. Not not right now. You know, like we were talking about earlier. I want to keep it as a hobby. I don’t want it to be in the woodshop, making chopping boards all day.

00;22;02;02 – 00;22;26;25
Unknown
And to be honest with you, way more money selling health care supplements than I ever would selling chopping boards online, if that makes sense. I think I’m more interested in building the audience in ten years time. If I want to step away from this, that’s something that I can do. I’ve got an audience and it’s that. What would my advice be to people who are looking to turn a hobby into an income first, I would ask the sensibility of that and what do I mean by that?

00;22;26;25 – 00;22;44;03
Unknown
Because the things are the thing I the thing for me about would work, apart from the fact it’s physical, right? Because everything in my life is pixels. So when I touch wood and I make I pick up a saw, it’s real and I can Corbin I can touch it. If I turn that into a business, a manufacturing business, it stops being a hobby.

00;22;44;03 – 00;22;59;18
Unknown
And so then I’ll have to find something to replace the wood work as a hobby, because then it all becomes about business. And there’s a reason we have hobbies, you know, it’s part of our mental health as part of our well-being. So first out as a sensibility hobby. But that aside, can you make money out of your hobbies?

00;22;59;20 – 00;23;19;23
Unknown
absolutely. You can. You can do some really good stuff, you know, And I think if you can find a way to monetize a hobby, then great. Depending on the niche, depending on what you’re doing. Like my daughter, for example, she loves to crochet. She crochet some funky things. And so the easiest thing for Zoe is to start building up an Instagram following and then sell the crochet patterns.

00;23;19;23 – 00;23;38;03
Unknown
Now she doesn’t need to make a lot of money. She’s six years old. If she makes 400 bucks a month, she is. I mean, she’s happier than a pig instinct, right? I mean, it’s not like I still paint a mortgage or anything, but I think build your audience, figure out something that you can sell to them. And just as long as you can enjoy it and maintain it, it’s when it starts becoming.

00;23;38;03 – 00;23;56;25
Unknown
There’s always that tension. Isn’t that when it grows between what point do I leave my full time job to now work this full time or do I hire somebody? There’s always that tension at that point, and it’s not a straightforward decision. I think if you can do it, great. But just bear in mind it’s a hobby for a reason.

00;23;57;00 – 00;24;15;06
Unknown
Very good advice. Advice I wish I would have gotten. Probably. this was a while ago, but I won’t call it failed. It was a business that I learned a lot of lessons in. Yeah, for sure. So, Matt, before we get into the fire around, are there any questions that we didn’t ask you that we should have? There’s probably thousands of them, right?

00;24;15;09 – 00;24;37;18
Unknown
The top one is the thing that I’m getting asked about the most at the moment. You know that people ask me what is going what is happening in e-commerce that I should be aware of and that I should pay attention to. And there’s two things that I think are really interesting opportunities at the moment. Number one, depending on your site, obviously independent of I think live shopping is a big deal and I think it’s still in its very early days.

00;24;37;18 – 00;24;58;14
Unknown
And I think if you can get into live shopping in some way, you could positively clean up in a similar vein to that. I think podcasting, if podcasting makes sense for your e-comm business, I would I would set one up tomorrow because of the power of it and what I’ve seen with podcasting and e-commerce. So I think livestreaming, podcasting, that whole content creation thing.

00;24;58;14 – 00;25;17;16
Unknown
Yeah, especially around Black Friday, even just livestreaming, doing a YouTube live on your website, embed the YouTube, live on to your website and just see what happens and test it and see how it works. Honestly, it’s it’s one of those things where I’m surprised the more people aren’t doing it, and I know it’s real big sort of Asia way and we’ve not really done it here.

00;25;17;16 – 00;25;36;03
Unknown
And that surprises me especially if you sell things like buy everything, you know, where people want to see it, touch it, feel it. Yeah. I just think live shopping, podcasting, that whole side of things is is good from a content point of view. And the second thing that I would say is there’s been a move, I think, and you’ve got what I call traditional e-commerce, right?

00;25;36;03 – 00;25;49;04
Unknown
So you, you have a product you sell up and the customer needs it. They’re going to come back to your site, they’re going to buy it. That was then a move to subscription. So you go, well, you come to my website once you subscribe to a product and I’ll send it to you many times. And subscriptions were great.

00;25;49;04 – 00;26;19;25
Unknown
The evolution of that, I think, is membership. And so how can you utilize membership in your e-commerce business that fascinates stage? I’m really, really intrigues me because if you take something like Amazon Prime, one of the things that we all mentally ascend to, we all know in the back of ahead, it’s not a surprise if you go shopping for a product and you’re on Amazon, you know, really without searching, depending on the product, the chances are it’s cheaper somewhere else because Amazon are no longer the cheapest.

00;26;19;25 – 00;26;40;06
Unknown
But you just don’t care because you’ve paid your Amazon Prime membership, you know, and there’s this sort of opportunity cost now of not using it, you know. Well, I’ve paid my 80 bucks. I need to get my value out of it. I mean, it’s the price differential is significant. You earned it, but you are willing to pay more for a product to a site where you’re paying some kind of membership into a site that you’re not.

00;26;40;06 – 00;27;10;06
Unknown
If that makes sense, there’s an opportunity cost to it and you’re more likely to use that site going forward. And this is one of the reasons I think Amazon has been really successful. So understanding how that works for you and your e-comm business, that would be something I would be spending a lot of time thinking about. So yeah, the two things that I would be thinking about your content creation, especially like shopping and podcasting, and then how do I incorporate some kind of membership in this side that’s going to add three times the value of what I’m charging to the customer, and that that will really give you some longevity.

00;27;10;07 – 00;27;26;14
Unknown
Excellent. Yeah, I like both of those. So it’s those are high level forward thinking. So and I agree. Also, before we get into the fire round, could you talk a little bit about the e-commerce cohort and what that is? Sure. I’d love to say that e-commerce cohort is a monthly membership group that we run. Going back to my what do you sell?

00;27;26;14 – 00;27;48;15
Unknown
We sell. So it’s our membership and I just that word and also as a digital project product, notice that word. And so it’s just me taking my medicine. But we have a membership group, something called e-commerce cohort. It’s not expensive. It’s like 14, 15 bucks a month to be a member. And what we do every month is we have an expert come and deliver a workshop and a topic to do with e-commerce around those seven areas that I mentioned earlier.

00;27;48;17 – 00;28;06;24
Unknown
And so we have that when we do recording, you can come and join it, We livestream it into the group so you can ask guests questions and all that kind of stuff. So it’s a fun little group, a fun little community membership group that if you’re an e-commerce, you should definitely think about joining some. Thank you. We’ll put links to the to those in the show notes.

00;28;06;24 – 00;28;21;22
Unknown
Matt, are you ready for the fire around? Yeah, absolutely not. No, but let’s do it anyway. What is your favorite book? The book that I read the most would be the Bible. So I’m going to go with that one. Okay. Awesome. What are your hobbies? Woodwork and converting my van. I’m trying to convert a van at the moment.

00;28;21;22 – 00;28;37;27
Unknown
So yeah, that the things that I would do. Okay, is that like converting it into like a livable on the road type travel ban or kind of so it’s more I’m at a certain phase of life, I’m at a certain age, gentlemen, I’m not going to lie. And so my kids, two of my three kids have left home.

00;28;37;27 – 00;28;56;02
Unknown
They’re both at university. And Zoe, my daughter, she’s not far away. And so life is at a very different stage. And two years ago, I got rid of the sports car and I bought a van and just loved it. And what I want to do or what I’m actually doing is in the back of the van, I’m making like a little mobile office type thing.

00;28;56;02 – 00;29;10;17
Unknown
So I’m setting up some monitors in there so I can drive the van down to the river here in Liverpool or up to a place in the UK called the Lake District, which is just the most beautiful place on earth. And I can park the van up and I can sit and I can write and I can work and just totally enjoy it.

00;29;10;17 – 00;29;24;06
Unknown
And so there’ll be a bed in there. So if I want to sleep there, you know, I’ll just cut the legs for a few days. But it’s more of an office. But I want to do it in such a way that I can still use it as a van. I still want to be able to throw a night before sheet of plywood in the back and it will be fine, you know?

00;29;24;06 – 00;29;41;28
Unknown
So yeah, it’s it’s a multi use vehicle, let’s just put it that way. I like it. Yeah, that’s awesome. I’d be great when it’s finished. Time is just taking a long time. It’s on the project list, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. There is just the thing about my van is because it’s my van, it’s not as important as my wife’s projects that go on my list.

Nine-Figure Mindset: How to Go from Zero to Over $100 Million in Net Worth
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00;29;41;28 – 00;30;00;29
Unknown
It’s on the bottom of the list. Right. All right. What is one thing that you do not miss about working for the man? One thing that I don’t miss about working for the man being tied to somebody else’s agenda. So you have to bear in mind, I’ve been an entrepreneur now. I’ve been working for myself. 22 years ago, the work landscape looked ten tied in different right.

00;30;01;00 – 00;30;20;01
Unknown
There was none of this hybrid working. There was none of this fight. I suggested to my boss, I want to spend two days a week working at home. Man, that would not have gone to school. Well, the fact that I don’t have to go into the office 9 to 5, that I. I’m not tied to their agenda. You know, they want that I’m in there all my my old boss is a wonderful person.

00;30;20;01 – 00;30;37;27
Unknown
I still very good friends with him. Look, the Bangles. But yeah, that’s the thing that’s during it’s the flexibility is to make whatever decision I like whenever I like to make it and then I am solely responsible for the consequences of that fair enough. All right, last one. What do you think sets apart successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started?

00;30;38;01 – 00;30;57;28
Unknown
So everybody fails and everybody’s response to failure is different and we can term it differently. We can use words like we just need to reframe that or, you know, whatever the terminology is that we use. But we all screw up, we all fail, things don’t work out, and it’s what we do with that that I think separates those that are around for the long term.

00;30;57;28 – 00;31;15;17
Unknown
So I could tell you story after story about how we almost went bankrupt several times on our journey. Some of it was my stupid fault, some of it was not, some of it I could take partial blame for. Its in those moments. I think you can choose to grow through what you go through. You can either come out stronger or you can just say, this is this is not right.

00;31;15;17 – 00;31;35;00
Unknown
This is not for me how you deal with failure. And I’d probably go as far as to say, is probably not failing quick enough. There are some times where we’re working on things that we’re so determined to make it work that we can’t walk away. And actually, I think successful people know when to say enough’s enough and they know when to walk away.

00;31;35;00 – 00;31;54;09
Unknown
And so because they’re not afraid of failure, they tend to fail quicker. Yeah, if you’re going to fail, fail quite learn from it, move on, bounce back. Just make sure your successes far outweigh your failures and you’ll be all right. Absolutely. If people are interested in getting in touch with you or joining the e-commerce cohort, what would be the best way?

00;31;54;10 – 00;32;15;05
Unknown
So e-commerce cohort, we’d love to see you there. Just come over to e-commerce cohort, dot com e-commerce cohort, dot com. If you want to find out more about May instead of it’s Edmondson Dotcom and I apologize ahead of time but everything’s that awesome and we’ll post links to all of that in the show notes. Matt I want to thank you for being a guest on the Firing Man podcast and we’re looking forward to staying in touch.

00;32;15;07 – 00;32;26;12
Unknown
That’s been an absolute privilege, my friend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great series questions as well. Got our brain juices going, which is seen. It’s what nearly 9 p.m. here is a good thing, let me tell you. Thank you. We appreciate it.

Nine-Figure Mindset: How to Go from Zero to Over $100 Million in Net Worth
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Dawson, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)