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Larry and Perry are internet entrepreneurs and online marketing experts. They started experimenting in business back in high school, but due to ‘shiny object syndrome’ and too much booze (half kidding), they failed to gain any serious traction for the first couple years.
Their first “serious” business was a web design agency they launched sophomore year of college. After helping other entrepreneurs and companies get rich(er) with kickass marketing and websites, they started their first e-commerce company, manufacturing their own products and selling on Amazon, Facebook and Shopify.
They’ve since grown this company to the 7-figure mark and have gone on to launching new stores in the e-commerce space. When they’re not working, the twins can be found balling, guitar-ing, or just hanging out. (Not always together.) They’ve recently embarked on a nomadic journey around the world. Coming soon to a city near you.
City where you’re from:
Bergen County, New Jersey
Playing basketball, Guitar, Movies, Traveling, Hiking, Concerts
That’s a tough one, but the one that comes to mind right now is: “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” – Jim Rohn
Excited to have you here guys. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
The original reason we got started in business was to try and make some money to help our mom out. This initial motivation has since grown and evolved. Needless to say, helping our family is still a big motivator but so is the desire for the personal development and freedom that comes with becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Who were your biggest influences? Was there a defining moment in your life?
From a business standpoint, we’d say the ideas (in no particular order) of Jim Rohn, Johnny Ly, Dmitriy Kozlov, Eben Pagan, Russell Brunson, Jay Abraham and Dan Kennedy have had the biggest impact on our entrepreneurial journey so far.
What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Currently, we run two e-commerce companies online. One of them focuses on selling goods on Amazon/Shopify that we personally manufacture.
The other focuses on selling various different products direct from suppliers via drop-shipping. We got into both of these businesses by keeping a pulse on industry trends in the IM (internet marketing) space.
A great way to keep an eye on trends is to subscribe to other people’s email lists because when an opportunity or trend becomes hot, lots of people will start talking about it or promoting products about it. When we discovered an opportunity that made sense to us, we moved fast to capitalize.
How is your product/service different and unique? What has been your favorite moment with it? What’s the vision?
With our current businesses, I don’t believe our products/service are necessarily more unique than other products on the market. Seems crazy to say but that’s what it is. Sure, the products we sell may be harder to find or may have some parts of their designs updated but from a functionality standpoint, there’s nothing too different between our products and those of our competitors’. We just market our products better than most competitors and provide a better customer experience.
We know how to get exposure on Amazon by increasing our rankings and visibility. We know how to run Facebook ads that get people to our site and convert them into customers. Our competitive advantage is created through the combination of our awareness of how to properly use “newer” advertising platforms (Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and our experience with direct response marketing.
If you do Facebook ads, what types of creatives/campaigns do you use (we like specifics)? If you don’t, what untapped marketing channels do you take advantage of?
Currently we use Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram to drive most of our sales. Regarding Facebook ads, your campaign strategy and creatives will vary depending on the type of product or service you are selling.
We’re in the ecom space, currently selling items ranging from 18-50. Since our products fall into a lower price range and we’re targeting the ‘impulse buy’ market, we do a lot of direct to sale campaigns.
In other words, we drive visitors from ads direct to product pages. For visitors that don’t buy immediately, we followup with them via retargeting ads. Now if you are selling more expensive products, you may want to start with advertising to an optin page so you can get the email and nurture your way up to the sale.
A couple additional points:
>>>We use two main types of ads when running our campaigns: Page Post Engagement and Website Conversions. We usually start off with a Page Post Engagement (PPE) ad for new products because it A) optimizes faster B) doesn’t rely on historical pixel data C) helps build the social proof and power of the ad.
If the PPE ad does well, we’ll create a Website Conversion ad targeting the same audience and we’ll optimize for View Content, Add To Cart, or Purchase depending on the data we have.
>>>For creatives, we’ve seen the best results with 1200×1200 photo post ads and video ads. When creating ads, the image will generally have the biggest impact (at least in ecom). In general keep the copy short and sweet with some scarcity elements and a clear call to action.
>>>Retargeting will be some of your most profitable campaigns. Make sure you set these up.
>>>The biggest mistake people make when doing facebook ads is targeting too broad. When launching a new product, try to find specific ‘buyer’ interests that relate to your niche (i.e paid magazines, online store names, niche related brands, etc.)
>>>You don’t need to spend a lot to start seeing results. You can start testing new products and campaigns at as little as $5-$10/day.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need clarification on any of these points.
Did you experience failure along the way? What did you learn from it?
Of course. But our “failures” weren’t any cataclysmic event. Instead, what we consider “failures” are missed opportunities that we had the capability and resources to take advantage of (but didn’t). Sure we’ve started certain companies only to “shelf” the idea later on because of lack of resources or time but there were some major opportunities we let slip through our fingers for idiotic reasons.
For example, during our first few years doing business, there were several lucrative and relatively easy to implement business opportunities like running Google Adwords campaigns to affiliate offers, ranking articles, websites, and videos for profitable keywords, helping local companies with their search engine marketing or paid advertising, the list goes on. We dabbled and made money with all of these but did not seriously capitalize for a couple reasons.
- Lack of patience and jumping to the next “hot” opportunity (shiny object syndrome)
- Not thinking at “scale” aka not duplicating our successes on a large scale.
For example, we’ve ranked Youtube videos before that have made us several hundred to several thousand dollars in commissions from selling other people’s products.
We should have thought about how to build a team to create thousands of those videos. This would have made a killing. Instead, we decided to jump to another “hot” opportunity that presented itself.
These days, as a rule of thumb, we don’t start another business, store, or brand until our current venture can not only fund the next one but can also run virtually on its own with the team we’ve set up around it.
Had we been patient and controlled our entrepreneurial ADD, we would have had many more successful ventures to date.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
This is a loaded question but I would say: be extremely conscious about what influence you let into your life.
You really do become the average of the closest people to you so be exceptionally mindful of what type of influence you let into your ecosystem. Influence comes in many forms.
The books you read, random conversations you have, TV shows you watch, friends you spend time with, advice you hear, etc. Needless to say, choose influences that help you become a better entrepreneur.
If you want to become good at something the easiest way to make that happen is to constantly surround yourself with people who are already good at what you want to be good at.
If you hang out with successful entrepreneurs, watch videos by them, read their books, etc, etc. there’s very little chance you will not become successful as well.
If you can just do this one thing, I believe the answers to any other entrepreneurship related questions will be answered in due time.
Teach us something!
We think all business owners should learn more about taxes and investment strategies specific to entrepreneurs.
Because entrepreneurs have a skillset most people do not have, their investment strategy will be much different than the average person. Most of the advice you get from any mainstream investment or “wealth building” book is catered towards people with regular jobs.
Recently, we’ve been learning about a new concept called cash flow banking. It’s a strategy that most people don’t hear about but a strategy many super wealthy individuals use.
We first heard about the concept from an older, very successful entrepreneur within our entrepreneur network. His name is Mike Dillard.
It’ll be out of the scope of this article to explain the full details of the concept but I wanted to include the name of the strategy here so you can do your own research on it.
While working on your project, have you come across any interesting bit of knowledge that you’d like to share? (i.e. any new research finding, any new platforms, some novel management technique, etc)
Right now selling dropship products using social media ads like Facebook or Instagram ads is working very well. With dropshipping you don’t need to invest in any upfront inventory. Furthermore, your suppliers handle all warehousing and fulfillment so you don’t have to. All you have to do is drive visitors to your website and make sales. This lets you build a very low risk business without forfeiting the benefits of selling physical products (i.e. physical products are generally easier to sell than digital products). We’ve been able to scale our store from $0 to over $120,000/month in 5 months time.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Skill wise – we think all entrepreneurs should have a background in direct response marketing. Thinking with a marketer’s mind not only allows you to spot out more opportunities but it also helps you create better products.
Apart from that, entrepreneurs should stay on top of trends and maintain a pulse on changes in advertising channels, consumer behavior, and technology.
Often times advertising channels, consumer behavior, and technology are niche specific. So if, for example, you are restaurant owner, you will notice that over the past few years, various different technologies have emerged that have changed the way restaurants advertise and get patrons.
By staying on top of trends, you can gain a competitive advantage.
A practical approach to doing this is to join forums and facebook groups, read magazines, follow thought leaders in the space, sign up for email newsletters, etc. Immerse yourself in your niche’s world and you’ll start getting a pulse of where the industry is going and what new problems (read: opportunities) are emerging.
The two of us are in the internet marketing and ecommerce space. We’re in many paid mastermind groups in the space, we subscribe to newsletters, we join facebook groups, etc. As a result of this, we start seeing trends and emerging opportunities early.
For example, a while back the use of video sales letters became a big thing in internet marketing. People were getting serious results using them. What happened next? People started creating video sales letter software, scripts, courses, and coaching.
Another example. A couple years ago, people started talking about the opportunity of selling on Amazon. At that time it was a wide open space. A few people started selling on Amazon, achieved really great results, and started creating courses teaching how to do it. From that point forward, more and more sellers went on Amazon which spawned multiple software companies creating tools helping these Amazon sellers.
In addition to all that, new paid mastermind groups, coaching classes, ranking services, etc, etc. also popped up.
We saw these changes happen right in front of our eyes and started being able to predict what would come next. You can do the same in the industry of your choice.
What are some of your favorite books?
- The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle
- The Power Of Habit By Charles Duhigg
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson
- Leading An Inspired Life by Jim Rohn
- The 4 Hour Workweek Tim Ferriss
- The Way Of The Superior Man David Deida
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
In a couple years, we’ll most likely be designing some more innovative and proprietary products. Right now we want to stay as lean as possible given the economic climate. At the time of this writing, we think the financial markets are due for a more major correction.
We don’t want to be caught in a financial downturn with all our cash tied up in unsold inventory or other capital intensive ventures. This is why we currently dropship. No upfront inventory cost and no warehousing means we can sell the products we want to without being tied down.