Stay up to date!

Subscribe to our podcast for weekly motivation and actionable advice to build your dream business.

Building Connections in E-Commerce

Entrepreneurship and building an online income can be lonely. Rich and Jesse discuss options for e-commerce store owners to stay educated, connected and motivated.

It is conference season! Jesse and Rich will be attending several conferences with in-depth training from expert speakers. The two big ones in digital marketing and are both in San Diego: Traffic & Conversion and Social Media Marketing World.

Jesse and Rich will be attending and sharing the best pieces of info in the next few episodes.


Jesse: Hey, Richie Happy Friday!

Richard: Happy Friday! How’s it going?

Jesse: It’s good, it’s a podcast day. The rain has finally stopped.

Richard: I know it’s so funny when we’re doing the show and talking about it with Steve and Mary the other days. It seems so tragically. “It’s raining! Oh my God!” The rest the country is like “You only have rain?”.

Jesse: Yeah, you get to complain about droughts all the time. Now it rains.

Richard: Just the rain you want, and it’s not good enough now either.

Jesse: Yeah, but the sun is back, it’s podcast day.

Richard: I’m in. Let’s do this.

Jesse: Yeah, let’s do it.

Richard: It’s been fun, have you been listening to a lot of podcasts lately outside of this one interview?

Jesse: I do. I’m kind of a podcast junkie. I listen to a lot of marketing related ones, a couple on politics and current events. So the radio is not making it, I’m not here for the radio anymore.

Richard: I don’t either. It’s amazing. I love it. It’s just so easy to do multitasking learning. Where you’re doing the honey do’s and all the other stuff by your headphones around listening to your favorite marketing or whatever it is you listen to. What are the things you do? Kind of keeping up with the learning stuff.

Jesse: Oh, boy. I read a lot as well, so there’s a lot of newsletters and blogs that I look at. Pods are easy for me because I can do that when I’m driving and I have a pretty big commute. So for me driving time is learning time and then when I get into work I do my homework. But then I read a little bit at work too.

Richard: Yeah, it’s what we wanted to talk about today anyway. We realize there’s so much to do as an entrepreneur but there’s always something new to learn, and all these new technologies that people didn’t have access to before they’re great. But for those of you who have iPhone, I’m sure it goes the same with the Android but I just haven’t had an iPhone. You see how often those updates are coming on your phone, right. New features, new sets, new things to do and to keep up with all that learning. It did take some time. And we know you’re into learning or you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast.

Jesse: So everybody you’re doing a great job listening to podcasts, trying to improve your skills and the ability to run your business.

Richard: Yeah. And it’s just you have to get outside of yourself to know. Yes, you know your business like no one else knows your business. But there are so many changes in so many things going on, that it’s important to get out. I mean do you go to meetups or anything like that?

Jesse: To a few meetups. I work in digital too, I know so many even at work at Ecwid. We’re all in the same game so that’s really helpful, but sometimes you’ve got to get beyond that group. As an entrepreneur, you know in my office everybody does work in some sort of digital. But if you’re doing this as a solopreneur, maybe none of your friends understand what the heck you’re talking about when you say “That Facebook algorithm really screwed up my business”, they’re like “What are you talking about?”.

Richard: Did you know LinkedIn had a pixel too?”

Jesse: Yeah.

Richard: “What, really?” Everyone else is like “What is he talking about?”.

Jesse: Yeah, exactly. And you need to have some friends that you can bounce this stuff off of and say whatever the latest tricks on YouTube. And if your spouse or your family doesn’t know what you’re talking about that doesn’t help. You need to find some outlet. You need to find your tribe, people that you can talk to. So meetups are really a good way if you don’t have that outlet.

Richard: Yeah, actually. Oh, I just thought about it, today I’m actually meeting up with Matt and Joe from Evergreen Profits. The podcast that we had on a while back.

Jesse: So even though you can listen to their podcasts, it’s way better to actually meet people in person. I think it’s what you getting at.

Richard: Especially when it’s Friday afternoon and we’re good. We’re going to put a brewery that wants to start a podcast also.

Jesse: Awesome.

Richard: Yeah. So it’ll be interesting. We’ll see how that turns out. And we want to do a San Diego podcast too. There are all kinds of mostly marketing conversation that will be going on there. But that’s funny that we’re talking about this and I thought “Oh yeah, that’s this afternoon”.

Jesse: Yeah. So you’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to meet people. And not only do you learn from them, but it also keeps you motivated. I think there’s learning and there’s also motivation sometimes. Sales are down and you’re like “What’s going on? How come nobody’s buying this week?” And you need people to understand that to bounce these things off of.

Richard: So if you’re an entrepreneur and you actually had your business going for a while now, then you know it’s a slightly manic depressive lifestyle. (laughing) It’s got a rollercoaster ride in it. Not necessarily depressing but there are times and just like you want to hear how someone else got through that, how someone else handled that. And it can get lonely. I mean you’re a solopreneur. Anyone who’s been sitting there working on the computer all day and they thought the office was horrible when they used to work at an office, sometimes you miss that office. Meet at the coffee shops, going to meetups.

Jesse: Sometimes you’re just like “How do you do that one thing in Excel that makes this do like that?” And you just like banging your head against the computer. And then like “Man, I used to sit with somebody, there was an Excel expert back in the day, this would’ve been done hours ago.”

Richard: You wouldn’t be thinking about it anyway. Exactly. Do you do conferences and stuff like that?

Jesse: That’s kind of what we want to talk about like conferences. If you don’t have that outlet, if you don’t have a meetup group and you should get that by the way you can even go to business in SBA meetings or there are all sorts of stuff. Chamber of Commerce and, wherever you live, there’s going to be some similar thing. But to really take your skills to a whole another level going to conferences is really the way to go and it’s conference season here in San Diego.

Richard: Yeah. It’s funny I’m flying out next Tuesday for a conference New Media Summit, for the podcasters and that’s gonna be interesting because that’s a fun one too. Not only do you learn from the people that are in your same space doing podcasting but you-you also can what we discussed you can learn but you can also get more exposure because a lot of the people at the conferences they’ve been doing this for a while. And so all of a sudden you get your product, your service, your knowledge in front of one of those people and maybe you get on one of their podcasts, or you get on one of their blogs, or you get on one of their videos. It can move the needle quickly.

Jesse: I get it. In the e-commerce world, maybe you’re just one influencer away from you know a million dollars. Right. That’s possible. For sure.

Richard: We don’t guarantee. (laughing)

Jesse: By the way. That’s a little extreme.

Richard: But it has happened. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s no matter what it’s checking off those first two boxes, we talked about checking off, your learning from people who are in the business. If you go into the right ones and it’s checking off, you getting to meet the people who are in the business.

Jesse: Absolutely.

Richard: And so with the first one, what’s the one we’re going to? Oh, Traffic and Conversion.

Jesse: Yeah. So Traffic and Conversion is in San Diego. That’s coming up soon. By the time you listen to this might have been in the past. So there’s kind of two groups in the e-commerce world. There’s like the Internet Retailer group. Then there’s the Traffick and Conversion group. Traffic and Conversion is very good for direct response and I would say more than unique marketing strategies really bubble up out of that conference and the people that attend. I went last year for the first time and was like “Wow, I have heard some of these terms before and now I see it in action”. And talking with the people like it really, several concepts sunk in that maybe hadn’t some sunk in before.

Richard: Oh yeah. That it’s one of my favorite ones for a few reasons. First off, we’ve known each other doing e-commerce for years and during the time we even worked together. I know I probably would drive you crazy every now and again at lunch by going like: “Why did you choose frozen fish to sell when you could have been selling information?” Because there was this whole other world, there’s this product world of the world of e-commerce. And then there’s this whole other world of information and you know like you said more marketing-esque style. But then those two worlds never really talked together, and Traffic and Conversion was one of the first conferences that I went to that merged the two. I should say, it’s not one or the other, you need the copy to help drive but you need traffic. Don’t worry about conversions till you have traffic in, as soon as you have a bunch of traffic you start worrying about conversions. But everyone’s trying to sell something, product, service, whatever it might be.

Jesse: And they’re all the same concepts here. Most likely you’re going to be using Facebook, you can be using Google and then you’d want to play with the other new platforms out there, whether it’s Instagram, or Pinterest, or YouTube. Actually, that brings me to the other conferences coming up. Social Media Marketing world. So that’s also in San Diego and about a couple of weeks later. But it’s actually very similar but it’s a little bit more focused on social media as you might guess from the name. But there’s a lot of the same speakers. So, Rich, when you go these companies what’s a couple the topics or tactics you’re looking at this year in specifically?

Richard: Let’s see. I’ll take that in three separate pieces. I’ll say first, what do I most like to do when I go to a conference. And that usually connects deeper with the people that I already have a connection with, that it’s mostly been online but then taken that connection offline. That’s my ultimate goal at these conferences because you used to choose your tribe based on location and where you lived and now your tribe could literally be on the opposite side of the world or right next door or three thousand miles away, whatever. Pick a number. But at these conferences, it’s really a great chance to deepen that connection. So that’s my first goal. Usually, then it goes into that. The second one that we were talking about earlier. Our first thing was learning, I want to learn from those people because I’ve been in this long enough. They’re either at my speed or above me and so I like to try to always have something new that I think I can add to their repertoire and vice versa. There’s usually something I can get out of there. So I definitely want to learn but I really try to time out because of the wanting to touch so many of them and actually connect with them outside in real life. I try to schedule, I really go through when’s each of them speaking, what’s going on. I try to because I know I’m not the only one. Especially at the Social Media Marketing World, where there’s almost like groupies that follow some of these people around. It’s interesting how you can even approach that. Usually, I will reach out to them ahead of time and try to set up a meeting like “Hey, what are you gonna do after you break out?” Something like that or “Do you want to go to this party?”

Jesse: I think that’s a good idea. Yeah, I know what you mean, there’s a lot of people. Well, Richard, you think we have groupies that follow our podcast yet? And I don’t think so.

Richard: But my daughter knows we do.

Jesse: All right. (laughing) All right. Okay. So we got one and we got one we’re working on it. But yeah, when you go to some of the bigger named conferences that have more podcasters or influencers, digital marketers.

Richard: The bloggers.

Jesse: Yeah, they’re out there and you see the line that forms after they speak is like 30 deep and you’re like okay. I don’t know if I want to be number 31 because I’m going to get like a 30-second pitch on what it is that I do and what I want. So yeah you got to. You do have to work a little bit, and as you mentioned setting an appointment ahead of time, “Hey, where are you going to be?” It looks like you have a conference here, you want to grab lunch, you want to grab a drink afterward. A lot of times people from out of town too so that means it becomes a 24/7 thing. These conferences are sometimes a couple of days long and there are always parties afterward as well.

Richard: Yeah. And it’s it’s really cool. There’s something you were saying that I think mixed also with what I was saying. I also like new people even though I like to up level learning. That’s what learning is all about. I sometimes learn just as much from a newbie but it’s not necessarily that they know more than me in that subject as much as they haven’t been living and breathing that subject. So sometimes they ask a better question. And so the thing that we’ve been doing the same way because we’ve been doing it the same way. It is like wow. If you’re not real quick to snuff the question because they’re just getting started but you really hear it. You can get some gems because they’re asking something. Think of all the things that are winning right now it’s the things that are making things frictionless. Uber and Netflix and all this. My daughter literally says to me the other day: “I love watching this stuff on Amazon you don’t even have to change your channel, it just rolls over”. Oh, great. So but you have an opportunity to see things differently and the reason why I brought up that one was Blockbuster was approached by Netflix. “Hey, would you like to require this type of thing?” Not only do you not want to get out of here. We think people like this idea of series serendipitously bumping into neighbors while looking at the back of it. So it’s like someone asked the question differently. And then Netflix was developed. And Amazon, shouldn’t Sears have been Amazon? Sometimes you need that beginner mind to make you look at something different and then you can go talk to all those other people and figure out the answer for sure. But it’s just a long-winded for it. Don’t be afraid. Just because we’ve been doing this for a while to not go to a conference it’s just as important if not more so to just get started, getting out there, learning and you’ll just have more to suck in because you haven’t been there as often. But don’t try to conquer everything.

Jesse: For sure. Yeah, I think whether it’s a conference or even more of a meetup there’s definitely people that know more than you. I’m probably looking more for the expert level knowledge than the newbies, like talking to everybody. I’m not as much of a talker as you. There will be people that I’ve heard them on a podcast before and I’ll have to go to their session because I either I know who they are or-or I’ve heard of them. And I just want to take it all and I try to take notes, there’s a lot of information coming. Sometimes you really can’t take notes but it gives me all the kind of the nuggets of information I can apply later, whether it’s on side businesses, whether it’s on the Ecwid account as well, you know I manage digital for Ecwid. So there’s just very high-level stuff that you’re not getting from. You can get them from podcasts but it’s almost like you need to see it in front of you, need to see the screen and everyone asking questions. Maybe just need to hear it enough times that it sinks in.

Richard: I think you just nailed it right there. If in sales let’s go back to that we’ve heard it over and over again five to ten touch points. What does that really mean? It means, I’m not going to make this be hard stats, but it means it takes five times until you probably become aware of something. You see new things constantly and then around six or seven you kind of like “Oh, that’s interesting”, an eight, nine, or ten, you either buy or don’t buy. But to your point, you need to see it over and over and over again. Think about how many different ways. So five to ten touch points Ecwid. You can go to these places and a lot of these conferences you yourself can learn something. You can do biz dev with other vendors products that can help Ecwid. So you’re going to go to these things and hopefully, you might find two or three new people that want to connect to the App Store and new business. I’m not saying you close that deal right then but it’s a touchpoint.

Jesse: Actually I think that’s a good read. We didn’t really touch on that but a lot of times go into conferences too. Don’t ignore the vendors, the vendor booths. Of course, they’re trying to sell you something and they want to come to talk to you and maybe they have some freebies and giveaways but you can learn a lot by talking to the vendors as well like all different things you hadn’t even thought of yet.

Richard: I mean you can sit there and Google your way to try to find out an answer. You can go to a conference and there are five different shipping things and now you can figure out which shipping you really should be using right to the source.

Jesse: Absolutely.

Richard: Googling, looking through dots, trying to figure out which one is going to work.

Jesse: And a lot of times when you go to the conferences too you realize that it’s not just the newbies work in the booths, sometimes it’s the top dogs are working the booths. You like it now. I’ve worked boots before at conferences as both a peon and more experienced person. Sometimes I didn’t know the answer but…

Richard: It depends on how long that trip has been. Have you been on the road for three months? Probably the newbie. If this is a major conference there probably…

Jesse: A lot of times you get the big dogs there. Not only are you getting information, but you also get it from the right person that you would never get this person on email. I guess that’s a good point there. If it’s the VP of sales or whatever that’s work in the booth that person not necessarily on the customer support line. So very important to go talk to the vendors and learn from them, learn from everybody, network. It comes as very important and the reason we’re telling you this in a podcast is we’re excited about going to these conferences and then learning very specific things that we can bring in in the future. So I’ll give you a couple of examples. We’ve talked a lot about Instagram lately so going to be anything that’s Instagram related. I’m gonna be going into those, taking a bunch of notes. Some of it might be a way to advance to take notes on it and put it into a podcast but I’m going to try to pull in a couple of nuggets of information that we can use. Rich, what are you, need specific topics are you just looking overall?

Richard: Mostly back to my first two points, connections with people. You obviously know do this podcast as we do together but also co-host on three other ones and starting two other ones. Right, so I’m heavy in the voice. I even heard it in my prediction that voice commerce coming. So for me, it’s mostly focusing on what people are doing with monetization and distribution and just connecting with more podcasters in general. I just call it the Oprah vacation. You know Oprah interviewed. Was she an expert? But when she won she interviewed eight, she became the ninth. I’m picking a number out. But you get the point. So you get to know the people and you get around and you find your tribes, sometimes someone else’s tribe. They like your vibe and so I’m mostly trying to heavy in the connection right now.

Jesse: Cool, I’ll hang out with you then. Then you can be the connector and then I’ll be the one furiously taking notes and learning tactics. It could be a good thing.

Richard: Sounds good. Team up one of the parties.

Jesse: Yeah, we also go to the parties. That’s always fun too. That’s how you really meet people. I’m also thinking, it’s chatbot season for me so I’m going to be super excited about chatbots, and I’ve listened to a ton of podcasts, I’ve applied it a little bit here and there but I think I just need to dive in headfirst. So I’m probably gonna hit up four or five different sessions specifically about chatbots and marketing with chatbots not just more from “How do you acquire traffic”. Build a funnel with chatbot so that’s something I’m super excited about it. I won’t be sharing like 5 hours of information on the podcast but I do want to deliver what I can and from some of the experts. Try to break it down into a Jesse and Rich style.

Richard: Yeah, that would be something that would be great. Great combo between the both of us too because I’m also gonna be focusing a lot on not just the podcast but just streaming in general. Live streaming, audio, video because to your point you need traffic. And if someone knew exactly the movie to make. They would just make that movie. But Hollywood doesn’t know the exact movie to make. So you make 20 movies and you just hope you built the model that one of those is a hit it pays for the next 40 movies. Going there and learning how to do your own content creation is going to be good for these people. The Ecwid podcast too because whatever it is you know there’s some sort of content you need to create. If you’re getting people to go to a chatbot you’re gonna be giving them some content of some kind.

Jesse: It just got to be shorter.

Richard: Yeah. Exactly. You write a blog it’s to get people to come to your website and or improve your SEO. So it’s all the same game.

Jesse: Kind of what do you like to do too. Like you, if you can do the Instagram 15 second stories, if you can pick up a phone. I’m doing this in front of myself and put your thumb on the record button and deliver like an awesome 15-second video. Kudos to you. It takes me about 15 takes to do a 15-second video but everybody is gonna find the right medium for them that they like and it works for their business too. Not every business is going to work well on Instagram.

Richard: Of course. Let’s see, if one of the things that I would really love is to learn what may be some of you want us to learn are to find out at these conferences. So if you go to the and scroll down to any of the individual podcasts, you can actually write a question there and or tell us why you should be on this show. Also because we’d love more merchants on the show too. We love to give you feedback and help you with your businesses as well. We’re all here for learning and growth in our businesses.

Jesse: Yeah, absolutely. If there’s something you specifically want to learn, we’re going to some pretty expensive conferences that you don’t have to pay for. So if you have a very specific question, let us know in the podcast on the bottom of the podcast page and then yeah what Richard’s saying is for sure. We want to talk to some more merchants. There’s a little button on the bottom that you can just tell us your story. Give us why you think he’d be a great podcast guest. We can review your site give you some live advice and tips. So a lot of reasons there to help drive your business.

Richard: In speaking of reading and reviewing, we can always use it. We love feedback. We love to learn. We want to know what you like, what you don’t like, what we can do more, or what we can do less of. Definitely please also read and review that good podcast.

Jesse: Rate review, get out there. Make it happen.

Want to be a guest?

We want to share interesting stories with the community, fill out this form and tell us why you would be a great guest.

We use cookies and similar technologies to remember your preferences, measure effectiveness of our campaigns, and analyze depersonalized data to improve performance of our site. By choosing «Accept», you consent to the use of cookies.