Joe Cocker with Heroic Kid (our guest on the episode #3) comes back to share what he has been up to and how his online store has grown. You’ll learn how to use Facebook and Instagram to get exposure and how to create products that change the world for the better.
Jesse: What’s going on, Richard?
Richard: Hey, another beautiful Friday in sunny San Diego. Ready to get this party started.
Jesse: Absolutely. And, you know, today this is kind of like the All Stars of the Podcast so we get to interview somebody that we’ve had on the podcast before. And I think the interesting part is, you know, we keep doing this little intro, so everybody’s heard this, you know, instantly sell on Instagram. And so now we’re going to talk about that and apply it for somebody.
Richard: Yeah, and not only, has he been here before, but he was one of our favorite all time, I mean, we love all our guests or, even not as much as when you and I talking (laughing.)
Jesse: True, true.
Richard: But we love his story. This is Joe Cocker with Heroic Kid. And he was in podcast episode #3, if you guys remember, and we loved the story we love what he’s doing, and we really wanted to help him. Kind of leverage the good work he’s doing and thought, what a great example of something, so why not take someone through the what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and how to do it, we’ll be filming later, but yeah, great guy, I’m looking forward to really helping this out.
Joe: Hey, guys, good to see you guys again. Thanks for having me and being an Instagram guinea pig (laughing.)
Jesse: All right. We need guinea pigs. So, you’re local so you get extra bonus, you know, VIP guinea pig.
Joe: Right. And as I said in the last podcast, I’ll take any help you guys, you’re on my way.
Jesse: Absolutely. So, now, not everybody listens to every podcast religiously. Unfortunately — do subscribe everybody. But, for people that did not listen to pod 3, Joe, give us a little your story and about your story.
Joe: I am the founder of a website called heroickid.com. Essentially it’s a website, it’s for children with type 1 diabetes. So, basically everything we sell is just to empower these kids with smiles on their faces. Some examples, I guess, that were out there really fast. We’ll be looking that later, these little tiny replicas of these devices, these kids have to wear, one that will be looking at actually feels off and you’ll stick it onto you like a figurine, so.
Jesse: So this is for people that are maybe picturing during their commute. So for kids toys action figures and teddy bear stuffed animals, it’s the device that they have to wear, you know, for, to get insulin and things like that right.
Joe: Think of insulin pump for CGM continue with a glucose monitor. These are important devices that these children have to wear.
Richard: And so basically what it, what you’re doing is you saw what your son was going through, you kind of remember back to some of this first episode we did with you, he didn’t really recognize the difference early on, but then when he went to school, he started seeing a bunch of kids that didn’t have these patches on them.
Richard: And so he was feeling a little different and you being the awesome you are, I’ll say it. And being an engineer, you said: You know, I’m going to make a device, that looks like the device my son wears, that I’m going to put on his action figure or his teddy bear or probably multiple, you’re an engineer and you’ve probably tried various…
Joe: A lot of different applications.
Richard: And then, one of them stuck, no pun intended. And you’re, like: OK, we’re going around with this, we’re going to do a store, and because of that look on my son’s face he was, like: Wow, I thought I’m going to make a store and there’s so many parents that are going through this can help their kids out.
Joe: I think our store motto is Never alone. We use the hashtag a lot with all our products on social media and that’s basically what it is. It’s just so these kids don’t feel so alone.
Jesse: That’s awesome. So, it’s inspiring, everybody go back and listen to pod 3 to get a little more
Joe: Well, where to start, four months, I continue to add more things to the store. The store is, you know, I still consider it kind of a young store. We have times were kind of busy and sometimes we’re not so busy, that’s OK. I’m a consulting engineering, so there’s a lot going on in the background. Oh, my kid, he’s the type 1 diabetic, who inspired the whole Heroic Kid thing has just started kindergarten, so that’s quite an adventure and you can’t sort all those things out there. And so that’s kind of a big thing that’s going on.
Jesse: If I recall there was a product that was specific for people with type 1 diabetes kids that are going to school. How is that product going?
Joe: Pretty well.
Jesse: What is the product?
Joe: It’s like glucagon clip. It’s, basically, like an emergency kit. When a kid has a severe low, and when you have severe low, when you’re diabetic, so, you know, there’s a potential they can pass out. They get lightheaded and, you know, when you pass out you can’t drink juice, you can’t eat candy. So, it’s basically a needle that injects this glucagon into their system which will revive them, bring their blood sugars back up. So, this particular device, this kind of puts it in a place, a known place, every time you put it in a binder, it’s kind of like a fire hydrant, you know, like we’re in a building and there’s a fire hydrant here somewhere and it’s always in the same spot, right. And you know exactly where to go and where to grab it. It’s kind of the same, kind of stick the thing with this clip it puts it in a spot where you know where it’s at. So, you don’t have to think or dig through like that diabetes or dig through shelves, it’s immediate, you know.
Jesse: You don’t want to go to the, let’s go to the nurse’s office. You want to have it there when you need it.
Joe: And you want to know right where it’s at, because I’m telling you when you’re in these situations — we’ve had some scary situations sometimes — you don’t, you know, if you’re rushing and that time it’s just like seconds, seemed like minutes, so you just you just want to grab it fast.
Jesse: Absolutely, absolutely. So, I looked at your website before a podcast here. I saw you had some other products, that looked new to me anyway.
Jesse: There was one with some koalas on there, you know, can you describe that for people listening?
Joe: The koala is becoming one of the more popular items on the heroic kid. It’s a new item, it’s a little tiny koala that clips on, they’ve been around since the 80s, I think they were popular in the 80s, but ours is a little bit different, because it has a CGM on it, which looks like a DexCom and, it’s based or inspired by a San Diego koala here at the zoo. There you go to the San Diego Zoo, or go Google diabetic koala, what will come up is a while it actually has diabetes and actually put a DexCom on this koala. So, we created these little koalas and not only do you get to purchase one, when you purchase one, we also give one away and we’re working with hospitals and we’re trying to do it worldwide to give them the way here in San Diego, where we’re here in St. Louis, we actually gave some away and Australia through a customer.
Richard: We need to talk to the zoo? There’s something I will work on after the podcast or something that.
Jesse: OK. So, yeah, we are talking about promotion here (laughing.) We get to zero on the line here.
Richard: We don’t have to work it all out right here. But this is part of the underlying thing of why we’re doing this, we understand a lot of Ecwid listeners. How does this apply to me? How does, it’s really, there’s always some form of opportunities sitting there. And this is on the fly, this is not in the notes or anything, we’re just saying: All right, let’s see San Diego zoo, is one of the more popular zoos, and there’s a koala there that happens to have one of these units on it, and you’re doing a good thing. So, again, don’t hold me to it anyone who’s listening, we don’t know what’s going to come out of this, but that’s, you don’t think there’s parents that have kids that have the same type diabetes one, you know, obviously it’s a cause, I don’t know if it’s exactly the same, but you get my point. Let’s go see that one for that reason a learning opportunity, which is what this zoo is all about. And, who knows, so let’s think it out, let’s get some pictures, no matter what is that koala, I’m going, because we’ve got we have passes on.
Jesse: So let’s plan this out, like you get the koala products, you have it ready, you go to the zoo, you kind of hold it up in front of the koala exhibit, and then you take your pictures, this is an Instagram and world we’re living in here, unfortunately.
Jesse: So, I could see an opportunity, where you mix your product with the actual koala and it becomes, you know, it’s an Instagram post, maybe, there’s an ad, and then you think about all the different, you know, hashtags and ways you can boost that.
Richard: Oh you’re definitely tagging the zoo too, by the way.
Jesse: Yeah, #SanDiegoZoo, you know, Joe, like, you know, the diabetes community what would be some examples there that you would use?
Joe: Yeah of course: #t1d, #t1dlikeme, #diabetes…
Richard: And then your #neveralone?
Joe: Yeah, as I said those, so it’s never alone.
Jesse: All right. So, yeah, now so for people that are not familiar with Instagram and Instagram marketing, the hashtags are kind of the, that’s the the way people search, I guess.
Richard: And, what that community, the lingo of the community.
Jesse: For sure.
Richard: So, the beauty, one of the beauties of the hashtags on Instagram is repopulate. So, if you know there’s a community you want to get in front of and you want to tag them, so they see your post, like: #SanDiegoZoo or @sandiegozo, we’ve got to make sure that it actually says that, we look for that exact one, I don’t know that that’s it.
Jesse: You don’t just make these up.
Richard: You don’t just make them up. Yeah, it’ll start to repopulate and then so the ones that you want to get in front of another person’s audience you use hashtags that are already being used.
Joe: And I’ll tell you how many people are using that hashtag or how many, so you know which ones.
Richard: Exactly. But, then at the same time you’re doing something unique which is creating your own hashtag.
Joe: Yeah, #heroickid, so.
Richard: You know, so there’s a few hashtags there. So, it’s a mix, but it’s just one little caveat, we want to add in that, you know, this was on the fly. We didn’t plan the zoo coming, and, but…
Jesse: They might have to do this afterwords now.
Richard: It’s an opportunity though too. It’s not the best phrase, but let’s say news Jack or kind of get or get followers that are following those hashtags that now go: Wow, wow, what’s this little koala thing? And I have a kid! And, you know, I could guarantee you, as close as you can get guaranteed without really getting guaranteed. The zoo will comment, The zoo will share, the zoo might even get in touch with you or something further.
Joe: Well, DexCom actually feature a photo, which is the device the replica device that’s on the koala, so that’s kind of interesting.
Richard: Oh yeah, they’re loving and you don’t have to fill code from them, yeah (laughing).
Joe: They did. They do have representatives and they did reach out about my son, so well are going to look into it.
Jesse: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. So, yeah, the zoo is next, they’re probably have a bigger audience than DexCom, no offense to DexCom. And I think part of the thing that we’re that, I forgot, you know, I’m the one wearing the Ecwid
Joe: And this is, this is good for us because our biggest social media page is Instagram.
Jesse: We looked at your profile, you have a lot of like, you know what you’re doing on Instagram more so than myself. So, yes, that’s good.
Richard: Yeah. And you’re going to play with it. You may or may not want to tag every single picture, right. Like yeah you got a business, but I also know your dad who’s really about helping families and the kids it’s what you want to give away. Hey and like I said in the first episode more power to you if you can make money doing that too. I just know it’s mostly about these kids and helping them, so part of why we want to help you, a large part of it, actually. But play with it and use it to the degree you want to, right. Some people might use this and tag every darn post feel too salesy to some people. You might want to tag every third, but that’s totally up to you. This is the business side right, Dustin and seen what you do.
Joe: I think it’s good, it’s easy for my followers, because I love their comments, a lot of times the comment will be: Where do I get this? So, stumble on the picture, like: Oh, where do I get this? Well, you know, having a link right in the picture.
Richard: Let’s see good things happen out of that. One — they get what they wanted.
Joe: It’s about them too.
Richard: Exactly, because this is part of what you’re trying to do that isn’t there. And you can actually spend more time with your child, because you didn’t have, you still will interact at your leisure, but they were on purchasing and already going about their day, while you’re still doing all these tasks you have to do in life.
Joe: And Instagram is kind of interesting in that you can’t put links in your descriptions.
Jesse: Yeah, there’s like one link you get, on the top.
Joe: Yeah yeah it’s only in the bio. So having a link right in that photo it’s extremely helpful.
Jesse: Yeah it’s awesome where Instagram is a huge social media platform right. But there’s not, commerce hasn’t really been tied to it very closely up until now. And so now there’s a lot of people that don’t like you that might have hundreds of photos that are maybe not all about your product, just about the brand. And now you can take whatever percentage of them, 100 percent of them, 20 percent of them and then make them shoppable and instantly, you know, attached to your store.
Richard: Yeah, and since you already have it there. Go back and do photos that were already there.
Joe: That’s easy, yeah.
Jesse: You’ve done the work is right. So now just have to add those product tags to it. So, Joe, you know, give us a couple of other examples of products here. You have a lot of different products. These are some that you might want to talk about that have been helpful for you?
Joe: Well, I think the koala one that’s probably my favorite product, because that’s actually something we give back. And we’re talking about social media. So I get that I can go on a little bit more detail with the koala. So, again, we’re all about the never alone, so that koala kind of hits that never alone thing, the child gets it, right. He’s instantly reminded that there’s another koala has type 1 diabetes.
Richard: And that his #neveralone.
Joe: Right. And it hits other things too, you know, what I say to you: #t1d, #t1dlikeme, #neveralone, and so many people bought, I’m stumbling over here trying to work this out in my head. So, when they buy one, the people purchasing these koalas have an option of leaving their social media name. For instance if they’re on Instagram they can put their instagram name and what we do is we put it onto this koala. So, the ones that we give away, so there’s almost an immediate connection right into the social media community, which is very helpful and supportive.
Jesse: So then somebody at another hospital, that has never heard of heroic kid, their kid gets this gift, because of this buy one get one, and then they see that they are connected to social media form. This basically this community instantly connected.
Joe: They’re connected Heroic Kid which is nice and it’s fine, but that’s not that wasn’t my goal. They’re actually connected to a real person that actually bought the koala, and that’s actually in the community as well. If they want that option to put their name on this koala.
Jesse: That’s awesome. So do people post pictures of them with the koala?
Joe: You know, it’s a newer thing, but, yeah, the people that buy them there’s a lot there’s a lot on social media. You’ll see them like you know pictures on almost anything and everything in the office.
Richard: Oh yeah, and then you could see her like: That’s the big, that’s the big win where everybody’s smiling.
Richard: Because then it’s not just you making money, which we’ve said plenty of times it’s still, OK. It’s not just you helping your child. It’s not just you helping someone else’s child. Now there’s a community of these children which is almost like #neveralone. Cute. You know, you created a community.
Joe: I’m actually connecting people into the community. But, yeah, it is are also connected into, I guess, Heroic Kid community as well.
Jesse: But a lot of times that get this when they maybe just got a diagnosis.
Joe: That’s my goal, right, when they get diagnosed, you know, it’s a tough time for the kids, it’s tough time for the parents too, so the social media name is more for the parents, because you’re just, you know, you can you imagine what you’re getting yourself into. So connected to you like established social media network, it’s very supportive.
Jesse: Yeah, because maybe your neighbor probably doesn’t have the same situation to deal with but, online there’s probably millions of people that are in the cities.
Joe: And they’re in the same boat and they get diagnosed last week or they come out in social media you can see people these kids are thriving. The parents are fine. You know there are tough days, but you know, things can be OK, too.
Jesse: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, Joe with this product have you played around with any advertising on Instagram or Facebook?
Joe: Not on Instagram, I have on Facebook a little bit. Just to kind of spread the word.
Jesse: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I’m sure there’s ways to target that where, you know, we talked about these hashtags, but the same in Facebook there are groups… It’s not necessarily hashtags and Facebook but the same thing that people are following, you know, when you posted these before, did you find those same categories?
Joe: For Facebook?
Joe: Yeah. I think there is hashtags at Facebook, but it’s not nearly as.
Jesse: Yeah, it doesn’t get as broad as with Instagram.
Joe: Instagram, it’s almost a must have, almost if you want to or like your post to be seen or you’ll be found almost. So it’s a little different on Facebook.
Jesse: Well, then we can go through some examples of that to where those same tags that she do in Instagram also tag in Facebook and you’ll see below the post those same products that there are now available too, so that’s sort of a new development in Facebook and then the advertising options are pretty crazy. So, you might be able to target people that are have an interest in type 1 diabetes and then also, you know, that they have young children or really, the opportunities there are limitless, you know, again like you’re not doing this too, like, make the next billion dollars, but getting in front of people that may be interested is also helpful for them.
Richard: Of course, more especially, because, I’m sorry to jump on it there Jess, but just to add to what you’re saying, is there’s probably no one who likes the type 1 diabetes page for just no reason at all, you know what I mean, it’s not like your favorite sports team are like, they’re there because someone they know has it, if not themselves, right. And so, it’s interesting in these scenarios where sometimes in advertising you can’t like right the ad, like: Hey, you got type 1 diabetes and I’m going to you know target you and I’m going to say it like that. But just knowing you can skip through that and not even worry about saying anything about that and go right into the meat of the feeling or whatever it is you offer, because, you know, nobody that likes that page is just doing it randomly, you know, it’s a nice little added bonus if there was to be a bonus for something like that.
Jesse: Yeah. Now, very cool. So, Joe, that’s why we’re excited that we had in here today, because we get to apply some of these things for you and help build your business. So, definitely excited about that. Actually we talked about a new product we’re going to launch here do you want to discuss that?
Joe: Oh, right, yes, yes, so I getting ready replicas of these medical devices and there is a new design for DexCom. So, what I had on the web page is kind of the older one. So, I just created a brand new design that looks like it’s a replica of what kids are wearing today.
Jesse: OK, very cool. So, and you be an engineer you can kind of stay open and if there’s a new product out there…
Joe: I’m not making these by hundreds of thousands, so I don’t have stock, kind of sitting there. I can just get this change.
Jesse: So, these are three 3D printed. So it’s kind of a print on demand basically.
Joe: It can be that I do make some ahead of time, but yeah, in certain situations. I think last week’s a good example I don’t know why, but I get like 40 orders out of nowhere, one day. So, I mean, that will deplete every other stock that I have. And in that case it becomes like a print on demand.
Jesse: So then the 3D printer turns on and it’s.
Joe: It’s running, all night.
Jesse: Is it also print on demand? I saw you had some apparel too, some shirts and hats.
Joe: Some of it is, some of it is print on demand and some of it we do have inventory as well. So a mixture of everything.
Jesse: Very cool, very cool. So, yeah, I think for people listening, you definitely want to check out heroickid.com, so you can check out the products and then you’re also going to want to follow Joe’s social media profile, because we’re going to, we’re going to do some things there, some boosting, some tagging. We’re going to make some post shoppable, so that should be a lot of fun. Richard, any final thoughts here as the pod comes to a close?
Richard: No, no, I’m just, I’m excited to get this going. I know. We really love what you’re doing. Sure there’s lots of other people that are rooting for you out there, so we get in and do some filming and get this going.
Jesse: Yeah absolutely. So Shoppable Posts, Joe, make it happen for you.
Joe: Thanks for having me guys.
Jesse: Thank you.