There is safety in numbers. You have mastered your affiliate skills, and you know how to drive traffic, acquire leads and customers. The easiest and most secure way to grow your business is to leverage your skills across different models. With every type of media buying, there are core sets of skills that unnoticeably can be applied across a variety of business models.
By leveraging your media buying skills, you won’t only build a stronger foundation to rely on through inevitable ups and downs but it will also give you the keys to exponentially grow your online empire.
Join Mohamed Ali Aguel as he applies this to e-commerce as he has already done for hundreds of other online marketers.
Speech by Mohamed Ali Aguel | CEO, Digital Marketing Triumph
Mohamed Ali Aguel Speech Transcript
Alright, hello everyone. Or what’s left of everyone.
So I’m closing the stage as well as opening it, awesome.
Basically, the goal of today’s presentation is pretty much to show you how was I able to leverage my skills. And as an affiliate marketer, to use them for e-commerce.
Now, I was hanging around here and that was pretty much the number one question, “I’m an affiliate, can I start Shopify?”
And that’s pretty much this presentation.
First things first, I want to tell you a little story on how to get here. From when I was a baby, I guess till the last part.
I started this whole e-commerce journey in 2006. I started doing SEO back in the days.
There was stuff called SEO connects and SEO was amazing, you just have to put the link in the software and boom. You’re ranked number one on Google.
Money was super easy back in the days. And it was running services for SEO and I was making so much money.
Then Google introduced that Panda and Penguin. And every God known black-and-white animal, I guess the next one will be a zebra.
In 2008, I kinda wanted to take control and I’m all about control. If you know me, I love taking control over things, I love to have control over what I’m doing.
So I thought, “Okay I don’t want to be at the mercy of Google, let me try to kinda control my budget and spend my money on media buys.”
In 2008, I bought my first ad, my first media buy as an affiliate. And back in the days, we were promoting some cool stuff, nutra and skin and all that stuff.
I was promoting on native and Google.
Then in 2012, Facebook was all over the place. And people were making crazy money with Facebook.
And I was like, “Yeah, let’s jump to Facebook.”
I bought my first Facebook Ad as an affiliate in 2012. And it was fun in 2012.
Basically, you can do whatever the hell you want, no one cares. You can sell whatever you want, you can write whatever you want. Whatever it is, they really don’t care.
Facebook Back In The Day
But the part that sucked back then, is the Facebook that you know today, was not like that. All that tracking, the pixel, the targeting, re-targeting and all that, did not exist.
So basically, what we’re doing, we spent 500 to make 1000, money in, money out. It was as simple and as easy as that.
In 2013, I put my first ad for my own product. That was the first time I actually owned the product. And I will tell you later what those products were.
First Product: T-shirt
Actually, they are there. T-shirts.
So 2013 was this big bubble about print-on-demand. And that way was when I put my first ad for my own product.
And then in 2014, you know this story.
The first Shopify store. And here we are today, speaking on stage on behalf of the big guys.
Skills I Learned As An Affiliate
The skills that I learned as an affiliate. And as an affiliate that pushes media buyers, honestly, you have to learn a lot of stuff. And they are really, really, really valuable skills that you have to learn.
#1 Writing Copy
Number one is writing copy. You have to write your ads, you have to write your pre-sales etc.
The only thing that you cannot write for is the offer page because you don’t own that thing. So you can write for your pre-sale and you can write about your ads, you can write for your emails if you own them.
#2 Coming Up With Different Angles
And obviously, I don’t know who was here in the morning, we talked about the different angles and coming up with different angles.
That’s why it’s so easy for me to come up with different angles for e-commerce products because I was trained as an affiliate to come up with the angles for other people’s products that I was promoting.
#3 Generating Traffic
And then, you have obviously the generating traffic part. As a media buyer affiliate, basically, you don’t buy traffic, you don’t make money,
So I learned how to acquire customers at the minimum level, like the minimum cost possible so I can make more money.
Because at the end of the day, the guy owns the offer. He’s only paying me a commission and he basically makes money as well.
So, It pays me only a percentage. And out of that percentage, I have to pay my own traffic, acquire my customer or acquire a customer for him or her. And then keep the rest for me.
Obviously, tracking. If you are a direct response marketer, you really want to know each product, each dollar that you spend, where it’s it going. And how much it’s bringing in.
So you kind of become like a super Jedi when it comes to traffic. And you follow every cent spent on there.
For the most part, and I think my clicker stopped working, here. Good.
#3 Customer Acquisition
Customer Acquisition. As I mentioned with the paid traffic. And you have campaigns that you want to scale.
Basically, as an affiliate, I used to test offers. I used to ask my brother my affiliate manager, “Hey what’s hot right now?”
I remember I was looking at my chat messages earlier. I was like, “Oh I’m gonna talk about affiliates, so let me check with my AM’s.” I love those dudes.
So I’m like, “What’s hot?”
And they’re like, “Yeah this is hot. And this is hot, and this is hot.”
And it was pretty much jumping from one oven to another looking for what’s hot. Something that I stopped doing later.
And then, by the way, that’s not the back of me, just so we are clear.
Honestly, I was making a very, very good income as an affiliate. But there is always something missing.
I always wanted to be an advertiser.
And thinking about it, I knew for each offer that I was promoting, there were like 70 other people, 100 other people promoting the same offer.
So there is this one guy here, he has an army of affiliates that wanted, like they will promote his offer.
And if they can, if he can or she can afford to pay them a commission, he’s making more money in the back end. That’s what it started bugging me.
I wanted to be at the top of the chain.
First attempt To Being An Advertiser
So in 2012, I made my first and I laugh at this now, every time I see it, I made my first attempt to be an advertiser.
And because I’m a very, very, very smart guy, I chose a very simple niche, the hardest possible, probably.
It was nutrient skin.
The level of competition there, you don’t want to even know.
Like a good man, I opened my browser. Private label skincare.
And I found those guys in 2000, you can see the email there it says 718 or 716 to 2012.
So 2012, I met those guys and I’m like “Yeah, can I resell your products?”
And they’re like, “Yes, no problem. We sell you the bottle for 2 bucks, you can sell for $50.” Kinda sounds like dropshipping right?
But I did not hear about a thing called the FTC.I did not know when that was back in the days.
Then I heard about them.
So basically, there was a problem with this.
It was the tech because as I told you in the morning, I am NOT the tech person.
If I send you an email with a file attached to it, consider yourself very lucky as I knew how to attach a file to an email, seriously.
I didn’t know what to use. I remember how bad I felt when people were saying cake, cake, cake in the forums. And I was like, “What are they talking about? Why everyone is was talking about cake?”
Then, I discovered it was software named cake. That’s how bad it was.
And honestly, it was complicated.
So I had to either go with a very expensive software or basically I find a team that will do it for couple tens of dollars.
Going with the media buys, I kept being an affiliate, until 2013 is when the whole t-shirt thing started.
Selling My Own Product
So POD, print-on-demand, and we started doing t-shirts.
There was like Teespring, water style, girdles, give that. And basically, it was fun and all. And it was a good feeling to sell your own product.
My own product, that’s what I always wanted, sell my own product, have full control about what I’m doing.
But there was always something that is missing.
I was pretty much selling on another platform, I could not optimise, coming from the CPA world.
When we used to run on Teespring, basically, we used to just drive traffic and wait for the sales. Hope for the best and see if your t-shirt will sell or not.
And I couldn’t sell anything besides t-shirts.
Like if you sell a woman a t-shirt that says “I love my Pitbull”. I can sell that woman a necklace, a bracelet, I can sell her a dog collar, a dog leash, I couldn’t do any of that.
So basically I was acquiring customers just for the sake of that t-shirt that I think you would buy.
My LTV, my lifetime value, was pretty much that first transaction. I didn’t even have access to my emails.
And obviously, we could not split test because the platform was still new to all the media buyers and all that. No existing traffic.
As I told you, basically spent 500, you make 1000. And then good, you made $500 net.
No control over the AOV.
And obviously, I was spending on the Teespring.
So I was spending all that money, making someone else’s business big. How awesome can that be?
And then pretty much, I think in 2014, I enrolled in a course about e-commerce arbitrage.
I was, by the way, while I was doing Teespring, I was doing eBay as well. So I had the little experience with the eBay drop shipping.
What I sell on eBay and then my supplier pretty much the same drop shipping as we do in Shopify. But basically, I was doing it on eBay.
And in 2014, I enrolled in a course about e-commerce arbitrage. It was by Ben Atkins if you want to know. Back in the days, it was called arbitrage magician.
And he was talking about the same arbitration I was doing, but he was talking about mixing it with media buys.
So an eBay you have your own traffic, but when you put your own store, you need to send your own traffic.
And guess what, I know how to send the traffic. I know how to pretty much take control of how much traffic I want to send the AOV, the LTV, and everything in between.
That’s why I was introduced to Shopify. And I love this slide, how it comes up, that’s good.
Starting With Shopify
So basically, that’s when I was introduced to Shopify.
And that’s why when people ask me now, “Which platform should I go on?”
Shopify would be the easiest and the best platform to get you started. Pretty much if you can send the email that I told you about with the attached file, you can get started on Shopify.
I think we did the first presentation, it was all about how you set up your Shopify store.
So it’s super easy to use, it’s super secure. And if you hate headaches as I do, and you like saving time and all that, honestly, it should be in there.
And the CRM, it’s amazing. It’s no secret that I also sell on other CRM ClickFunnels, but you need the whole level of management of the backend.
Because it was never made for, it’s not a CRM basically, it was made for informational products and not e-commerce.
Also what I loved about Shopify, it integrates with every almost every software that we use as affiliates.
So the tracking, like VWO guys, the FunnelFlux and Voluum and all that. Shopify integrates with that.
So if you are used to buying media as an affiliate, it would be super easy for you to buy the media as an e-commerce store owner.
Split testing, I guess everyone who runs media buys here love split testing because that’s where we make most of our money.
And they have the best dang support that you can ever find. They have been online for 10 years, I have never chatted with the guys that would solve you the problem with your first message.
For everyone who asked me what type of products I sell on Shopify?
Products Sold On Shopify
Honestly, I have sold everything and anything. Everything that you see on the screen right now, I have probably sold it.
I have sold the socks, the t-shirts, the necklaces, the accessories, the jewelry. That’s how I actually got started.
And that little tail there, the mermaid tail, that made me a killing.
Talking about the mermaid tail, if I’m not mistaken, one of the biggest brands on Shopify, they’re selling just that. Not just mermaids, but everything and anything.
And socks are super huge on Shopify. Socks subscription now, if you guys have liked — some of you laughing.
Yes socks, that I do actually make a huge, huge, huge amount of money, you can tell. I love my socks. And I have the Shopify socks too.
So you can sell socks, you can sell clothing, you can sell pretty much whatever you want, as long as within the terms of service.
I think you cannot sell alcohol and you cannot sell tobacco, which you cannot promote on Facebook either. So, you’re in good hands.
Increase Your AOV
Jewelry, it’s pretty much the easiest thing you can sell, in my experience, because they have a high perceived value. And they cost so low to make.
That pretty much my first product, it was a Pitbull necklace that I made for $1, $1.50. And I was selling it for $24.99.
You can imagine the margins on that.
Most people would buy like 1, 2, 3 and then I took that pendant and I made it into a bracelet. I made it into earrings.
So ladies here, who love the whole complementary set a set of jewelry. When you buy the matching earrings and bracelet and necklace?
So that’s how you can increase your AOV.
And it was right in front of me. I’m driving the traffic, let me increase the AOV. It was pretty much, I did it with a bold upsell.
That’s pretty much all the skills that you need to become an e-commerce entrepreneur.
So for all of you who ask me, what’s the secret to e-commerce and how I get started and all that?
Here is what you need, take a screenshot of that, people are taking pictures.
So those are the skills that you need. And if you are already a very successful affiliate, or even if you are starting, these are the skills that took me from nowhere to what I am today.
E-commerce Business: Super Simple
Again, for everyone who wants to start an e-commerce business, it’s not hard, it’s super simple. You just have to put the work on to help you even more.
As I said in this morning, Shopify partnered up with Affiliate Summit. And basically, they put in the promotion, which is 21 days free trial and 10% for a year.
With that, I think ladies and gentlemen we close this stage.
And if you have any questions, please ask them. Whether regarding this presentation or the morning presentation.
You can download this. It will be ready, I think in one or two weeks.
I believe, they will email you about that.
I am not the one putting them up, it’s the event. And for anyone who wants to join the group, where we actually drop the value and do the lives.
Who in here actually is part of the Momentum Facebook group? I know you are. So, everyone who wants to learn more about e-commerce and all of that, you’re more than welcome to join the group.
- Do we have any questions? Yes.
- You mentioned ClickFunnels, what’s your input about this? What’s the biggest problem?
- So this biggest problem when doing big ClickFunnels, there is a solution and there is a future solution that I cannot disclose yet. Okay, but the solution right now is pretty much, you can use ClickFunnels as a landing page, as a pre-sale page. And use the buy button. So the checkout will happen on Shopify. Basically, you have all that CRM power of Shopify and the conversion rate of ClickFunnels, if that makes sense.
- Yeah, but I think the biggest thing about the ClickFunnels is one-click upsells.
- You can have one-click upsell on Shopify. If you use third-party apps, as such as Zipify or Carto.
- Okay thank you.
- No problem. Do you have any more questions? Yes.
- If you would start again, which vertical would you not choose? For example, is there fashion or dogs, cats?
Niche Selection Process
- If I would start again? Honestly, I would skip all the small niches. There are niches that I spend a lot of time and they don’t have big enough of an audience, so I chose the niches wrong. It’s hard when you find, it’s actually kind of challenging to find a winning product. And it’s kind of bad when you find a winning product but then you don’t find people, enough people to scale. So if your niche is like 1 million people, for me, that’s not enough to make a living out of it. Basically, I would skip all the small niches. Also, I chose niches, in the beginning, that I was passionate about but really no one cared about but me. No one will give me money for what I care about. They always give you money for what they care about. So that’s what I would do differently. It’s mostly in the niche selection process and product selection process. Do we have any more? Yes, sir.
- The skills required.
- The skills required. Let me take you back to the skills required if it takes me back.
Strategy on Finding Fulfillment Centres
- I wanted to ask, what is the strategy that you are following in order to scale the fulfillment stage? Like, once you product reach more than 1k order a day, so how do you scale that? Do you find fulfillment centre in the US? If yes, how you find them?
- The fulfillment?
- Okay, so basically with the fulfillment, as I mentioned in the morning, I do have access to a warehouse in China. Which you can also have access to warehouses in China if you just ask your vendor. Usually, they have a lot of contacts. It’s their market in there so, they know what they’re doing. So, basically, how the process goes is we start with drop shipping. We test the product, we start with drop shipping. We bring the product, I order 1 or 2, we try that it’s actually working, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Because right now on Facebook, if you sell a product that is not doing what you do, even if it does convert, Facebook now is running post-purchase survey.
Facebook’s Post Purchase Survey
- Basically, after people buy from your ads, Facebook post to them. And Facebook asks people, “How did you find the product? Was it good, was the customer support good? Was the shipping time good and would you recommend it?” So basically, if you have any or 1 or 2 of those in the red, people dissatisfied, Facebook will pop up in your Facebook Ads manager and will tell you, “Right now, because of negative feedback, your ads will reach fewer people.” So your CPM will increase. Instead of paying like $5-$6 CPM, you will be paying 50-60 etc. So that’s why we actually order the products. I live in Canada, so I order them to Canada to actually test them that they are working. And then pretty much we make our own videos and photos while the product is in Canada. And then we start scaling. And in here, it says times up. So yeah, basically after that, if we’re selling 20-30 products a day, we either ship it all to the US and we use a third-party fulfillment. You can ask me later which one I use, I will tell you. With that being said, thank you, everyone, for joining, I appreciate all of you. Thank you.