Today we talk with Adam Reed about entrepreneurship and dropshipping. Hey Adam, why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience?
Hey Alejandro. First of all, thanks for interviewing me! My name’s Adam and I’m a 22 year old Entrepreneur from the UK. I’m a graduate too, but I see my degree as pretty pointless.
What made you become an entrepreneur?
I’ve been entrepreneurial for as long as I can remember! I don’t think there’s anything that specifically made me into an entrepreneur… I just am one. I find it hard to articulate.
I like to create and produce things far more than I like consuming what others create.
When I was younger – I’m not ashamed to admit this – I just did it for the money. I chased money. I wanted to be rich so badly. But I think it was when I was around 18/19 that I realized I didn’t want to be rich… What I wanted was to be free.
I wasn’t willing to give up on goals and dreams for the sake of a steady, salaried 9-5 corporate job.
I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse than working an office job.
Tell us about the Novelty Pillow
So the Novelty Pillow Store is just a small project I’ve been working on to help others. It’s not something I aim to continue, it’s just a website I created to educate people. Basically, I spent January 2017 recording, step-by-step, how to start a dropshipping business from scratch on Shopify. The result was the Novelty Pillow Store!
I’ve had some brilliant feedback on the video series so far and I look forward to where it will take me in future. The fact I’m able to educate people, and help them start businesses, and potentially change their life is incredible.
What is dropshipping? How can you get started doing it?
Dropshipping is basically an e-Commerce business model where you act as a sort of middle-man between supplier/manufacturer and customer. When you make a sale, you forward the details to your manufacturer and they ship it straight to the customer. You never have to see the inventory or deal with shipping etc.
I think dropshipping as a business model has been shunned far too much in the past. But now, you have big names such as Shopify promoting dropshipping to their email list and on their blog. You can’t ignore it, it’s growing in popularity day by day and it’s only getting bigger.
You can get started today for next-to-nothing. There’s a really low barrier to entry and it’s one of my favourite ways to make money online. If you want to check it out then head over to my YouTube channel and watch the 60-part video series, or head over to Shopify and/or Oberlo and do some background reading before you dive in!
How do you get to that first sale?
This is always the hardest part, and often the most demotivating. It can take anywhere from an hour to a month or more to get that first sale. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can take even longer. A lot of people tend to give up after a day or two without a sale. It’s a huge shame. Most of the time, these people have absolutely no chance at making a sale. Their site simply isn’t up to scratch. That’s where my video series comes in…
Throughout the series, I go from having my initial idea for the product and website, all the way through to the first sale. You get to watch every step of the journey and I leave no stone unturned. The series as a whole is incredibly transparent, and I’ve been told that the content is a lot more comprehensive than some ‘courses’ that cost $1000 upwards. Pretty insane really… I don’t know why that surprises me though – the series is about 7 hours long in total!
Have you worked with influencers? How did you find them? How much do they usually cost?
Yeah I have worked with influencers on Instagram before. I actually outsource my Instagram marketing to two of my close friends who are building their own accounts at the moment. They’re influencers in their own right and so I leave it all to them – they enjoy it a lot more than I do.
Generally we get messages from accounts asking if we want them to promote our brand. Oftentimes these people aren’t really influencers, but occasionally someone really awesome will come along and contact us and we’ll get working.
Aside from that, it’s just a case of searching through the most used hashtags relevant to your niche, setting up a spreadsheet and contacting accounts to get their rates. Influencer post rates are really wide-ranging and a lot of people get stung by them unfortunately. There are a lot of different ballparks floating around the e-Com Facebook Groups at the moment, most of which are based on an account’s number of followers. This is where it starts to go pear-shaped. You should negotiate with an influencer based on the level of engagement on their posts, not their number of followers. It doesn’t matter how many millions of followers an account may have, if they’re getting less than 1000 likes on a post, why bother? Their followers are clearly disengaged and don’t really care what they have to say. What you want is an influencer who can demonstrate great follower engagement and evidence that their community cares about what they have to say.
What are some Shopify apps and software tools that you use to facilitate your job of managing an online store?
Awesome question. I love tech, so I love checking out new Shopify apps. Oberlo is an absolute must-have for me… It saves me several hours of manual work on order fulfilment every day. Aside from that, IFTT (If This Then That) is a really cool tool, and I also use Google Sheets extensively for accounts, FB Ads analysis, and more.
What 3 key tips can you give someone that is already doing a drop shipping store but wants to increase sales?
- Speak to your supplier and find out which other countries they will ship to using e-Packet. You might be able to target a whole new audience!
- Look at the colour and size of your Call to Action button on your product page and do some split-testing. I find Green and Orange work best.
- Finally, make sure you’re using email marketing. You need a good Abandoned Cart recovery system in place before you start spending money on traffic – this is an absolute must in e-Commerce. Additionally, send an email out to your subscribers at least once a week to entice them back on to your site.
In entrepreneurship, a lot of people will doubt you and try to shoot down your idea. How do you cope with this?
I love this question because naysayers are the biggest dream-killers in existence. They’re worse that the Night King on GOT. You can’t let them get to you.
Finding like-minded people is really important. My friends don’t really understand what I do. And if they do, they want to try it themselves… but they’re not likely to take action. You need to find a community – offline or online. If I hadn’t been introduced to mastermind groups on Facebook then I would have given up at the first hurdle. Luckily, I’ve met some great entrepreneurs through mastermind groups and they’ve guided me through some of the tough parts.
Any last comments?
Don’t be mistaken – it’s not easy and it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. You will have to spend money to make this work and you will have to spend time getting it right. But once all of the cogs start turning together in unison, you’ll realise how scaling could take your business to the next level, and to endless possibilities.