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Heroism Has Many Faces — Ultimate 5 Squad

We are well into the COVID-19 world, and we are going strong, finding great people, and doing great things every day.

In today’s episode, we talk to a fascinating Ecwid merchant, doing wonderful things in troubled times. We are proud to discover he listens to this show and our tips actually helped him out!

Our guest is RJ Rise — creator of the Ultimate 5 Squad. RJ shares with us the inspiration for this graphic novel, and the impact he hopes it has.

RJ talks about the business he created to promote and sell the comic, and how he had to build his own team, to bring it to life.

Show Notes:

Transcript:

Jesse: Richard, how are you?

Richard: What’s going on, Jesse?

Jesse: We’re four months into the lockdown situation here, settling into my home office here. I’m now on the opposite side of the wall. You know, big changes, a lot of things, a lot of stuff going on. How about you?

Richard: It’s good, it’s really good; actually, it’s been interesting with the kiddos as far as just keeping her occupied. By the way, I don’t use that term lockdown anymore. I use shelter in place or something. I just feel like that word is just got polarizing too much right now. I think that’s part of why some people are like, screw it, I’m going out anyway. They feel locked down. As opposed to just making a positive choice for something that you should be doing to help the collective whole. They’re not trying to get all political here or anything. I’m just not using that term anymore.

Jesse: All right. All right. Well, I mean, I’m at home, and I am starting to get a little stir crazy, but, hey, life is good, we’re happy and healthy here. And then workwise, hey, we’re still communicating with our people out here. Our listeners like, hey, I know we’ve slowed down a little bit on the podcast. That’s because it has been so crazy busy. But we’re still out there. We actually have a couple in the backlog here. So there’s a bunch of cool stuff coming out there. Some new features actually. Today is awesome because we get to talk to a listener as well and a merchant, which is always one of our favorite episodes to do. So I’m very excited about that. And then, we’re talking about the situation here, a lot of stuff going on in the world right now. There’s a bunch of people out of work. There’s a bunch of people working from home, you know, what’s your word again? The shelter in place?

Richard: Shelter in place. The political winds are blowing here. The Black Lives Matter movement is massive right now. There’s just a lot of stuff going on in the world here. We’re in the safety of our little computer screens here. And I think it’s good to open our eyes every now and then and see what’s going on in the world here. With that, let’s talk to our guest. We have RJ Rise, the founder of the Ultimate 5 Squad. How is it going on, RJ?

RJ: I’m doing pretty well, yourself?

Jesse: Like I say, life is good. A little stir crazy. But, hey, try to stay positive on it. So it’s good.

RJ: It’s so real being on this show and listening to you guys for a while now. So for me to be on here, it’s an honor.

Jesse: Perfect. We love to hear that, and we’re going to put a little hashtag on that. Send it to all the bosses that pay the bills and let them know we have fans out there, and they want to be on the show. So, so awesome now. All right. Give us a little background on what you do. You’re the founder of Ultimate Five Squad. When you get their start there, we can start with your origin story. Prior to where you got started with that, where would you like to start?

RJ: Sure. So I’m RJ, the author of The Ultimate Five Squad. We have the action book and then the coloring book it. The idea came to me back in 2018. There were two movies that I watched Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. And what those two movies had in common was that it showcased protagonists, characters of color, or of Asian descent. And what happened? I think Hollywood probably thought they were taking a gamble with showcasing a black cast or an Asian cast. But actually, the numbers were through the roof. It was a box office record. So when you showcase people in a prominent light, the way that they’d like to be seen in a positive light, we’re going to go out and support it. And so the black community, the Asian community, everybody, whites, blacks, all went out and supported those movies. And so it showed me something to showcase folks in a positive light, no matter who they are, no matter what their disabilities may be, no matter their hair color, skin color, eye color, it doesn’t matter if you showcase them in a positive light, in a respectful way. If you uplift their spirits and their psyche, they’re going to go out and support it. And so as a school teacher, I absolutely love working with kids. I love what I do. It brings me so much joy. But I see a lack of confidence in them when they get bullied or where they’re not represented. And so I said, let me do something about it. I could sit back and do nothing, or I feel like I’m in a position where I could do something. So I put this brand together, the Ultimate Five Squad and the whole brand. What we stand for is empowerment; it is empowering kids, letting them believe that they can be whatever they set their minds to. And so that’s how the Ultimate Five Squad was born.

Jesse: Awesome. So it’s a comic book. These are superheroes, people of color, black characters. So that way, kids growing up can have their own heroes. I think that’s a very, very cool concept. And yet you saw it with Black Panther, right? My kids, their favorite superhero, is Black Panther. They got me a t-shirt, like, great. I’m glad you guys chose that. They didn’t really see that I don’t look like Black Panther, but it was great just because now this character exists.

RJ: Exactly. For many, many black kids, many Asian kids, mixed kids, there isn’t that superhero that they can relate to. Sure. We’ll go out and support Superman and Batman and Iron Man and The Avengers. We, Will, go out and support that. But at the end of the day, you don’t see that hero that looks like you. And I can’t tell you how many reviews, how much feedback I’ve been getting from parents that say “As soon as my child saw the cover, they said: Wow, this looks like me.” There are five characters in the book. And instantly, they gravitate toward the one that either they want to be like or resembles them the most. And that’s something that they don’t feel when they go and watch The Avengers or Ironman or whatever. Nothing against these heroes, they are great guys. But relating to someone is huge. And a lot of times the message is if the kids see a hero that looks like them, well, what does that say about them? I mean, that means that they, too, can be heroes. And so that’s the message that it sends.

Richard: Yeah, it’s that’s really cool. I like the way you learned that one of the things we talked about a little bit prior. And we talked about different superheroes that are out there that are hard to relate to because Superman came from another planet, Bruce Wayne, Iron Man, they’re like super multimillionaire guys that kind of did whatever they want. But in that mix of past superheroes, Batman was always my favorite because of all the superheroes. He was the one who did it out of choice. And it kind of sounded like a little bit of our conversation prior that this was a group of friends that came together that by choice decided to do this. Is that kind of the background of what you got working with that book?

RJ: Yeah, well said. Well said. This is five ordinary friends, just five ordinary friends who come together. So there’s no superpowers. They’re not born on another planet. There’s no getting bit by a spider. They’re just ordinary people who come together and use their skill sets. So one’s an astronomer, one’s an athlete, one’s an inventor, one’s a doctor. But together, they bring their skill sets and solve this issue that’s happening. And the issue is Earth is being invaded by these robot aliens. So, yeah, as you said, they’re relatable. They’re not multimillionaires, they’re just regular folks like you and I. We’re coming together to solve this problem.

Jesse: And there’s still robot aliens.

Richard: Both worlds. Yeah, yeah.

Jesse: I mean, you know, we still have to have robot aliens. It still got to be exciting for the kids to want to get into the story like it’s for kids. Right. So, yeah, that’s awesome. I think I think my boys would be interested in it. I’m going to get them into the story. So, yeah, I would. Now, I’d love to talk about the story more, but it’s an e-commerce podcast, so we gotta move on from robot aliens, unfortunately. Give us like, where did you come from? Were you a comic book writer? How did you kind of get started on this venture?

RJ: I was a teacher, a PE teacher. And so I, of course, love comics. I love superhero movies. And so that’s something that’s dear to me. And so I felt like there was something that I could do, the love that I have for the superhero movies, but also as a teacher, someone that parents trust to instill goodness in your kids, to be role models for their kids. And so I felt like I have a platform, I have the smarts enough to put this together. So why not at least give it a shot, see if I could help impact some lives. But yeah, I’m not a writer by trade, but as a school teacher, I’m around kids all day.

Richard: You have this idea in 2018. When did you actually start building your Ecwid store, or did you even build the Ecwid store? What got you to choose Ecwid? I’m curious about that.

RJ: Good old Google. I googled, I knew that there were X amount of companies who host websites, who have plugins. And so I did some research, and after doing my homework, I found that Ecwid had a podcast featuring YouTube. And I said, OK, so I’m not a true techie to the point where I could build a website from scratch and coding. So I said, well, there’s a podcast, and I hear them, and every so often they mention which apps to use, they mention new features that are going to be on the website. That’s like my inside guy. So I use you guys as my inside guy, my source. Whatever you say, I give it a shot. If you say MailChimp is doing this, I’ll give it a shot. If you say there’s a Facebook integration, I gave it a shot. I truly trust and value whatever you guys say. And what helped me make that decision was that I could hear from not only you, too, but also your guests. If your guests say, hey, you know, we love this, and these are the apps that we use, then I’m down. The site was probably put up in February. I was tinkering around with it. I paid for the whole year, and I kept listening to you guys, and I kept building it and adding the background and different little features here and there. But I don’t think we fully launched it until about early March.

Jesse: Ok, wow, that’s awesome. So several things I could go into there, but one, you launched a site in about a month, really without having a technical background. That’s great. You could have probably done it faster if you wanted to. You could have done a fancier. You could have done a million different things, but the key is that you got it launched, right? So I always love it when people just, you know, there’s always a hurdle or two. Just get this thing launched, get it out there, see what’s going on. Kudos to you on that, obviously. Thanks for listening to the podcast!

Richard: Now the pressure’s gone.

Jesse: Yeah, I mean, that’s the biggest thing. Besides that, you launched right at the beginning of the COVID situation. Boy, it’s actually a very good time to be launching a product. I mean, I have kids, I’m working from home, my wife working from home. The kids need to be occupied, the bottom line, they need something to do. And people are looking for resources. They’re looking for anything to not just; you can always keep the kids occupied with the iPad and YouTube. That’s not the goal. The key is, how can you teach them when you don’t really have the ability or the skills? I’m not teaching; my wife’s not a teacher. So it turns out that you launched this at the perfect time where there are resources here for kids to learn, like you mentioned, about empowerment. There’s some downloadable content. It’s awesome that you launched it. Your timing was actually just a good time to launch, really. You didn’t plan for that. So anyway, I don’t know if that was a question. Sometimes I do ramble on the podcast a little bit, but like, I’m so happy for you that you have a launch at this time.

RJ: So, yeah, I’ll take what you said and go with it. Yeah. It wasn’t planned at all. A lot of families and folks that are finding me on Facebook or social media, word of mouth, they’ll say to me, oh wow, because of the Black Lives movement and what’s happening in America, you came out with this book. There’s no way that I could have come out with a book that quickly, especially two books on top of that. This was a year and a half in the making, finding the illustrator, working on every single page, every single detail from what the characters are wearing to the earrings, to the lipstick, to the shoes, to the trees, to the dogs. I mean, details after details. So it took a good year and a half. I knew the conviction I had was that this book was needed, needed. I would go to; I don’t know if I could say their names, the big box store with a bunch of books. I went to the local bookstore. I didn’t see it. I didn’t see what I was looking for, for my nephews, at least for their birthdays. I went on the big website. I searched. I don’t want to say there has been a search on the website, and I was looking for a cast of protagonist superheroes of color, and I could not find it. And so I said, well if it’s not out there, I quit, and I could wait, or I could do something about it. And so that’s what I did. And so the timing was unreal. It was just so real that at this moment, parents, black and white, are looking for books that are going to boost their kid’s confidence in the midst of all of what’s going on, but also showcased and brought to the forefront to their kid’s characters that don’t look like them. You know, it’s OK to have characters with books, with black characters, Asian characters, Indian characters. And so a lot of white families were scrambling, looking online, trying to find books to educate their kids because they don’t want to repeat that cycle. And so I’m just fortunate that my book is among one of the many that parents are seeking out.

Jesse: I can see it, like white parents trying to teach their kids about like, hey, you’re seeing some stuff on the news here. How do you distill that into your children with some of these are pretty heavy topics? Are you going to show the kids the George Floyd video? Probably not at six years old. But you want to instill this sense in them of what is injustice and what’s going on in the world without maybe knowing yourself all that well. I think it’s happened to be a great time to have resources for that. Like I say, you didn’t plan for this. You had a plan, but it’s just the timing that it came out was kind of worked out in your favor. And you happen to be a great resource for people out there that are looking for ways to talk to the kids about what’s going on in the world.

Richard: Some people, when they talk about taking advantage, some people think, taking advantage means taking advantage of somebody. Sometimes it’s just taking advantage of a situation. But this is a perfect example of it. It’s just sometimes great timing, and it’s not necessarily. You can co-exist, it’s not mutually exclusive. You can be taking advantage of a situation while still empowering people because, to your point and everything we were talking about, representation matters. I know with my daughter, I can teach her some things. But for her to read, like a book or something that feels more fun to her, she’s going to see that, and she’s going to see these people of color. And it just kind of goes into her as without really it being a quote-unquote lesson. I don’t know, you’re the teacher and you can tell me what’s right. She’ll be seeing empowerment with these characters. It won’t feel as much like a lesson as much as “Yeah, why not!”

RJ: America is a cultural pot because there are black doctors, there’s white doctors, white, black, you just see it. You don’t have to be taught that it’s an OK thing, it just is a cultural pot.

Richard: So you built the site yourself. You got it a month, or so you mentioned a little bit about what customers are saying. Do you have any other books coming out, or what are the plans you have for the Ultimate Five Squad?

RJ: The first part was I did start to mess with the website and make it myself, the background, adding products. And then, I know my strengths and weaknesses. And I hired out my weaknesses. And so I hired a marketing person to help me with Facebook, Instagram, and so forth. But as well as doing that, she’s just very skilled and took over the website. So any new products, any new things that we need to do with Ecwid, she’s all hands on. I do have another product. So parents are already asking me. They’re already ahead of the ball. In 2018, I knew the vision right was to be the next more impactful version of a Power Ranger or an Avenger. I want it to be that brand. It’s not just a book, but it’s a movement. And so I knew back then that I wanted to have a movie. I just knew that. And what’s just surreal is these parents, they’re already asking for the kids or asking their parents, is there a movie? Is there another book? Kids, literally, I think it was yesterday, a mom said she was so excited that not only that her seven-year-old read the book, but then the next morning she found them on the laptop trying to figure out if there was another book. So the demand is there. The thirst is there. So they want it. And so I’m working on book number two. I actually hired a screenwriter, someone that could help me put together the storyline for this. I gave them an idea. I gave them to the characters. I told them what I wanted. And he helped me just put a nice sequence of a story together that could lead to a book two, three, four, and so forth. So the goal is to be the chicken noodle soup for this generation. I read that back in my day. It was a good source. It made you feel good. I want these books to be a collection that kids have in their whole library that they could read, and it boosts their self-esteem. And so we’re going to be coming out with posters, with t-shirts, with more books, with downloadable PDF, with more coloring books. And I didn’t really go into this, but the coloring book at the very top here says Mind Growth Activities. And so mind growth is a huge hot topic right now, and it’s important for kids to have. And so it helps kids believe in themselves that they can do things. And so I don’t know if any of our listeners out there are friends with the Tyler Perrys of the world or Ava DuVernays of the world and producers. But that’s the next step. We want to get out there and make some movies, make some TV shows that are going to be empowering to kids everywhere.

Richard: I don’t particularly know them, but I worked in a television film for thirteen years, and I know a lot.

RJ: All right. Thanks for that card.

Jesse: Well that’s great. I can’t help you with the movie, but what I can help you with is the website and kind of generating that next tier of revenue to start making those dreams a reality. You mentioned the posters and things like that. You know, if you probably go back a little bit, but we had a Printful on quite a while ago. But there is a print on demand shop particularly busy right now in this kind of world. But like, you could very easily take some of your characters and turn them into t-shirts, posters. Kids probably don’t care about coffee mugs so much, but the standard things that you can get from a print shop, they have all that. It’s printed on demand. You don’t make as much money because you print it in bulk. But you don’t have to put the money up for the inventory either. So that might be an option for you. It could be the next book is the big thing. You’re going to start building an email list, I suppose, from current customers. So that way, when the next book comes out, you can probably put little teasers on there. I think you mentioned MailChimp. So for people listening, hey, I’m not sure when this comes out, we may or may not have a MailChimp podcast before that, but we’re fully integrated. MailChimp is a very, very solid integration. So, RJ, please start building that email list, because that’s going to be a goal. When that next book comes out like you send out that email, you’re going to just immediately get sales. It’ll be like the most profitable email you send in your life.

Richard: Oh, yeah. That’s the beauty of having the digital downloads, too, because as long as you’re collecting those emails, even if they don’t buy from you now, if you keep letting them know what you’re up to and what you’re doing, they could be a customer in the future.

RJ: Yeah, you’re right.

Jesse: Yeah. So keep working. Love the free downloadable, there were a couple of things you mentioned, already doing Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve listened to podcasts long enough, are you doing the Shoppable posts where you can have a box around the product where people can purchase right from your Instagram and Facebook feed if they’re doing that?

RJ: Yeah, I listen to that. And literally, as soon as I heard that, I went ahead and implemented that. I’ve gotten a few purchases from the Facebook side, but for some reason, it hasn’t allowed me to do it on the Instagram side. But yes, on the Facebook side, it’s on the Facebook page of Ultimate Five Squad. And if you scroll down, you’ll see the products. You can tap on it. You can buy it. Oddly enough, though, I don’t know why, but on the Instagram side, it’s not giving me that opportunity.

Jesse: Fair enough. Instagram’s a little tricky. And it’s not like you can call somebody on Instagram and have them fix it. It might just be like, I don’t know, I’m not Instagram, but like I think it might be with the digital downloads. Sometimes they don’t want people abusing their platform for digital downloads. So like, if you had merch, for instance, if you had where it’s clearly a book and not a digital download, that I think that’s what’s tripping it up. I can’t say for sure, but just to hint there, that might be a place to look at. Talk to our support, too; they can probably walk you through it. But digital downloads are awesome. But they’re not awesome when you’re trying to get approved for Instagram shopping. I have a hunch.

RJ: Because on the site, not only do we sell the two physical books, but we have a freebie. So, anyone that visits the site that’s not too familiar with us, they’re taking a chance with us. We offer downloadables. We call it an empowerment worksheets pack. And so they get to download almost 40 worksheets for free just so they get familiar with the brand and then have to get familiar with us. They don’t take a chance and buy the book, and they could do that. But yeah, you might be right on that one.

Richard: As you mentioned, Jess, this is one that’s worth talking, especially since you prepaid for the year. You definitely have a chat and all that you can talk to support because it could be that. And did you remember actually uploading your product feed and trying to get approved with Instagram, or was there just something not working because you might not have just done that.

Jesse: So if it’s done with Facebook, it should be, the infrastructure is in place for Instagram. So I know it’s there. I get it sometimes it’s a little wonky, and yeah, you got to kind of just push through on that one. I wish we had Instagram on the line right now. Another idea I wanted to throw this out to you. You mentioned you might not be aware of this, but the concept of free plus shipping, if you ever heard this concept. So you have a product, it is priced in sort of the zone where that can work. It sometimes sounds a little; I don’t know, shady because you’re using the word free plus shipping. But I know this works, it works particularly well for books because it’s fairly inexpensive to mail books and coloring books. But you can offer up. This might be later when you have a few more products, by the way, like maybe you have more products and then you have a five-dollar product, and you say, hey, this is a free plus shipping offer. The product’s free, but you have to pay for shipping. Ultimately, the product is just five dollars, right? I mean, “s I’m a marketing guy, so I can understand it, but just go with me on this, you’re helping the world here. So we’re going to use a tactic here. But the tactic is you call it free plus shipping, and ultimately it’s just a low priced product that you can ship fairly cheaply. Free plus shipping is way easier for people to grasp than five dollars, even if they’re both five dollars. And it gets people in your funnel, people now made their first sale. They have your products in their hands. You have their email. There’s a lot of good that can come from it. And you can Google free shipping offers, and you’ll find way more information than I can provide you here. But your store just looks like it’s a very good candidate for that tactic and strategy so that you have anything to add on that.

Richard: Yeah, I would say I’m going to take a look, and I’ll reach out to you a little bit more like diving a little deeper. But I think this is a great one. I notice you have a couple of bundles on there, but especially with what’s going on right now. I think if you made it a little bit more prominent or maybe had a dropdown for more quantity. ‘Buy some for your friends,’ too, the timing of all this, instead of only relying upon somebody saying, oh, I got a copy and paste this and create an email; they might just buy five more copies. They might buy ten copies and share them with people. That’s just I just think with the space we’re in right now in America, that that would be worth trying to figure something out. I’ll think about a little bit more on the specifics on how you probably do that to not take away from just getting one. But I think definitely adding some form of dropdown or verbiage that says ‘Buy some for friends and family’. Then go towards helping a cause or something with these two.

RJ: Yeah. So I think it was either early this week or sometime last week we had a customer and then we’re using this app. I can’t think of the moment, but you can have your customers leave a little note for you as they purchase. And so in the notes section, it said, We love what you stand for. Thank you for having these superheroes and also thank you for the causes you support. So inside the book, literally as you open it, page one, we let our audience know our customers know that when they purchase a book, part of what they’re paying, part of that money goes towards a cost. And so every quarter we try to choose a new cause. This past summer, and we’re still rolling into it. It’s No Kid Hungry. So they’re an organization that because school was shut down, was closed so abruptly. A lot of kids depend on these meals. They depend on schools for their breakfast and lunch. And so now you have millions of kids that went without their breakfast for lunch. And so No Kid Hungry has been doing this obviously before the coronavirus. But even now, more so, it’s more important. And so they feed these families, these kids. And so we want to help out. So when someone buys the book, you’re actually feeding a child. So there’s a good that comes with that. You’re not just impacting your child and not just impacting your community, but you’re helping other kids around the country. And so there’s a social good. It’s kind of like that Warby Parker in the Times model where you buy wine, and you’re giving something away. So when you buy this for helping feed some kids here in America.

Richard: I would say that a little bit more on the website. You know, just let people know ahead of time, not just after they buy the book. I wouldn’t be afraid. That’s a beautiful thing. Not that you’re afraid, but you know what I’m saying. Like, just make it prominent.

RJ: Perfect, I will.

Jesse: And I think also you always need new social content as well. So like when you make the donation quarterly. ‘Hey, guys, thank you to all the customers that have purchased from us. But here is our donation, as we had mentioned to this organization. And by the way, next quarter we’re going to choose this organization.’ Just to kind of give people a reason that you’re not just selling a book at a big box store here. There’s more behind this book, the message, and the donation as well. So, just to tip as I know sometimes coming up with social content is tough, but there’s you have this thing.

RJ: Genius. Yeah. Great point.

Richard: Yeah. I would even stick with Jessie’s user-generated content. I can’t remember the one like the stuffed animal one, but they just created this little movement with a hashtag something. I’ll look into it and get back to you. But they were taking pictures all over the world with this. So maybe just kind of coaxing them into taking pictures of their kids when they’re in power, doing something different or holding the book up or a combination of both or especially back to this thing of possibly integrating Printful in the beginning. That they’ll take some of the margins from you because it’s print on demand. But you don’t have to stock the t-shirts. You would just provide the images you have. So, I mean, that might be a way to kind of get you started that direction, especially if you’re going to get in the movies, swags, the whole game. So, you know, like that might be something that could be very useful for the user-generated content. And then your whole community helps and gets the word out for you.

Jesse: And I will tell you, I’m scrolling on the Facebook thing on the other screen over here and you have a lot of social content. So, you know, but this is just something different, to mix it up a little bit. I know you got to like I think something every couple of days and. You always need new content, so there might be an idea, and yeah, like I actually really think the merch could work for you because the brand is great. The problem is your average size is probably a little small like people are 50 bucks, 30 bucks. It’s great, but it’s sort of hard to support. It is just the reality is it’s hard to advertise for something that’s going to be a thirty dollars sale. So anyway, just a couple of ideas there. We want to keep moving on the ideas here. I want to have a couple more, so I’m going to bear with me here.

RJ: All the ideas you have, I’ll take them.

Jesse: All right. All right. Well, the other one, this is also a preview of a future podcast here. Actually, we did talk a little bit about the free Google listings. I’m not sure if you’re aware of free Google listings. Google’s making a really big push. They’re going after Amazon here. In the Google search area, there’s the shopping section that has been sort of ignored over time. But they’re making a really big push that most of the products shown in there are now from free listings. So there’s a paid component, but it used to be one hundred percent paid. The only way to get in Google shopping before was you had to pay for Google shopping ads, and they would place you there. Now they’ve opened it up. It’s called Google Free Listings. There’s a couple of options for you there. The hard version and the free version is you can go inside of Ecwid. There’s a Google product feed, which isn’t that hard to do by itself. But you’ve got to go to Google, and you go to a place called the Google Merchant Center, and you upload, and you connect. You can do it if you can stick to it. But you will definitely have an error. There will be some sort of error. You’re going to have to figure it out. I just want to warn people that it’s not magic. If you do want the magic area, check out our partner Kliken. They’re the ones that run the Google shopping, the Google Smart Shopping ads. It’s in beta right now. By the time this podcast goes live, it’s ten dollars a month. But they manage the whole process of getting you approved and all the little errors. Google is going to want a lot of things from you. They want a lot of information. They help guide that. And it’s ten bucks a month to keep this feed active. They’re doing this, it’s going to be twenty bucks in the future. So once you’re out of the situation, we’re in. But anyway, it’s more of an easy button, but it is ten bucks. So I recommend that because I was just on a call with them a little bit, so I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to share, sorry Google. But like right now, there’s great visibility in this section because not all stores have done this yet. So, people, it’s when things are new, they’re really good for like six months or a year. And then everybody gets in and figures it out. It’s OK. This is one of those times where there are a lot of free clicks in this section. I would strongly recommend getting that. The product names are more important here, though, and the descriptions, because people are necessarily searching for the Ultimate Five might be searching for comic books with people of color as the main characters. I don’t know the search terms like it’s going to be not a brand name. It’s going to be broader. Just kind of keep that in mind.

RJ: Yeah, I’m going to get on that ASAP.

Jesse: Now is the time. Like in a year or two everybody will have done this already and there won’t be as much kind of free traffic on that.

Richard: It’s a great point in two different ways. When you get an early and a lot of these new functionalities that Facebook or Google or any of these people do, it’s kind of a double when you get the win in that you’re one of the first people to do it. And so there’s not as many other people that you’re competing with it, but also you’re getting the win because not that I claim to know all the algorithms by any mean means, but it’s very obvious by anyone who just pays attention when a new feature rolls out. If you’re participating in a new feature, they want as much data as they can get on it. So they’re pushing it even more. So, again, I don’t know the particulars. Not like you’re going to maybe be an Internet millionaire overnight or anything. I’m not trying to claim anything for you, but it’s two reasons to kind of move early and some of these type situations like this.

Jesse: There was a podcast on it where we gave kind of directions on the hard version. We are going to the easy version. It’s in beta right now, and it’s coming very, very soon. So anyway, I just happen to have a little I get to peek behind the curtain, so I know what’s coming. So we got that. You mentioned well, you didn’t say it by name, but you hinted at Amazon and Amazon, Etsy. So you might be in Etsy because you are a creator. Right. So this is potentially something that you might consider Etsy or other marketplaces for. So I don’t know if you’ve looked into those. Have you checked out of the marketplaces?

RJ: Yeah, both, actually. They’re both OK. All right. Book itself is not on Etsy, but the worksheets are so heavily on both platforms.

Jesse: Yeah, OK. You’re already ahead of my tips here. So that’s a good sign. And OK, so you’re on Amazon. The problem with Amazon is that you can’t get emails necessarily. So hopefully, there’s something in the book that if they sign up for whatever your free offers are that you could you want to get that email from because you don’t make as much money from Amazon even though the sales are easy. Maybe others I don’t know if there’s any other marketplaces that I can think of. Then you get Teachers Helping Teachers; I don’t know if you’ve checked them out, I might be messing up the name. But anyway, just some other resources for yourself. Richie, any tips, other tips. You were saying these were the kind of things we had noticed prior to the call.

Richard: Not really any tips in per se, because I can already tell I’m going to stay in contact with the RJ and I want to want to help you in quite a few ways here. But more, I just am super excited to have met you for multiple reasons. We talked earlier — representation matters. And so you get to check a bunch of boxes for us. One, we want to do all we can to help merchants, and you’re a merchant representing as a merchant. We got BLM going on right now, and you’re coming on as a black man who’s trying to empower not just black children, which is very important, but it sounds as if all children and you’re really looking out for everybody, but particularly putting a spotlight on that. So that’s fantastic. Just in general, back to Jesse’s point, when we’re talking about kids at home right now like empowerment is such an encompassing topic, we keep thinking, well, how are we going to teach our kids? Sometimes just empowering our kids to go and try things on their own and learn things on their own could be more important than actually what they’re learning, because over time, that’s going to be exponential. If they’re empowered and go out and try to do things and go with the Ultimate Five Squad, that is just a group of ordinary kids that got together and by choice decided to do this. I just look forward to seeing how we can help you in any way possible. And like I said, I’ll be keeping in touch with you.

RJ: Thank you so much. Thank you.

Jesse: Awesome. All around. I can’t do better than what Ritchie just said, so I’m going to leave him. Yeah, that’s good stuff. So, you know, I think for people listening, though, if you’re interested in the Ultimate Five Squad, so it’s ultimatefivesquad.com.

RJ: Yeah. So ultimatefivesquad.com. And then on Instagram and on Facebook, it’s the ultimate5squad.

Jesse: Got it. Yeah. You have to do that. I totally understand because you know, people typing the wrong thing, they’re going to the wrong place.

Richard: So we’ll put that in the show notes to get a slight little dip in your audio there. So you want to make sure.

Jesse: There are some free downloadables there, too? So if you’re thinking, OK, this is great, you can check it out. There are those worksheets there for free. Check it out. Now, you know, you’re going to be on RJ’s email list just FYI, because we were talking about MailChimp, but I think it’s a small price to pay.

RJ: We don’t bombard people with gimmicky stuff. It’s things that you’re going to want your kids to have. So it’s empowerment worksheets. It’s a good thing. I think your kids are going to fall in love with the characters, with the story. But what the feedback is so far and so it’s down the line. We say, hey, we’ve got t-shirts. I think your kids might love to wear that because it’ll empower them. It’ll make them feel like a superhero. I wouldn’t want to do something to someone I wouldn’t want them to do to me. So I hate getting bombarded by these brands. So we don’t.

Jesse: Yeah, I hear you. Got to be very careful with your emails, but I’m sure you’ll do it in a very right way. I’m not worried about it. Well, RJ, it’s been great talking with you. Richie, any last thoughts here before we go?

Richard: I know we’ve got another podcast coming up here recording shortly, so I got to quickly get my downloadable worksheets and get on his list and then also get the book also.

RJ: Yeah. You guys have kids, so I would love for them to have a copy.

Jesse: Awesome.

Richard: We’ll be getting it.

Jesse: Hang on in the end, and we’ll chat afterward.

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