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Inventing, Patenting, Manufacturing and E-commerce

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Jesse and Rich talk with Angela Brathwaite the founder of RoadTripPotty.com a portable travel urinal designed for females. Amazingly, this product hadn’t been designed, considering it is for 50% of world.Angela shares her process for creating a product.

Transcript

Jesse: Hey Richie, Happy Friday!

Richard: Happy Friday, it is that day again. Pops up every week.

Jesse: I know. I love it. So we get to head into the weekend. We get to have a good podcast here. I’m pumped because of some of our favorite podcasts, no offense to some other people that aren’t on our favorites. We love talking with store owners, creators, inventors and so today we get to talk to like a triple threat here. So pretty pumped.

Richard: Yeah. Plus one of our favorite parts of that is where they come up with the idea and just the origin story of the birth of their business. And you’ll hear when we get started how, why, we’re pretty excited to hear. How exactly did this particular idea come to fruition?

Jesse: I don’t know if we want to give this away but think about it, if you’ve really had to go if you know what I mean. Yeah, everything inside your body says: “I really need to go right now, but I’m stuck in a car.” I think there are people out there that might be able to connect with this. So let’s bring on our guest, Angela Brathwaite. How are you doing?

Angela: I’m fantastic. Happy Friday!

Jesse: Happy Friday! I love it. I can tell you have a smile right now as we’re talking. You’re the founder of RoadTripPotty.com.

Angela: Yes, I am.

Jesse: All right. So that was the spoiler for our little lead in there. So, Angela, tell us what Road Trip Potty is.

Angela: Road Trip Potty is a portable female urinal that is anatomically designed for a female’s body, and it can store discreetly underneath the passenger car seat. It’s designed in such a way that both younger girls and older women can use Road Trip Potty. And it is the perfect road trip party companion. You purchase it once, it stays in your car, and you’ll never have to worry about where you’re going to go when you’re stuck in traffic. And it needs to flow.

Richard: Nice, a little Dr. C-section here. (laughing) “You’re stuck and you need to go, and got the flow.”

Jesse: All right. We got the tag line going for the website. I love it.

Richard: So back to when we were starting there at the beginning, where did this word, this idea come from? What birthed this?

Angela: I had a just a random workplace accident. I slipped. I had some knee issues, and those knee issues required that I had to have knee surgery on each one of my knees. So after my first knee surgery on my right knee, I had to stay with friends. My doctor’s appointment was about 40 miles away, and this was in Los Angeles traffic. And so it took anywhere between an hour to two hours depending on traffic with my big knee surgical brace on. We were always trying to figure out. Number one — the best times to get a doctor’s appointment because it was always traffic. And, number two — which route to take because I was always going to have to go to the bathroom. And then once I got to the bathroom, let’s say a restaurant bathroom, getting out of the vehicle was almost impossible before. It just was a problem. So I had a vision of what I wanted to use and I’ve done my research and what I’d seen those things weren’t going to work for a person in my situation. And I went online to find this product that I had envisioned and I couldn’t find it. And so I kept doing research, and I had this idea: “Well, maybe it hasn’t been invented yet.” I checked the U.S. Patent Trademark Office. It had not been invented. And so I ended up inventing something that I needed personally.

Jesse: Wow. First of all, it’s amazing that this has never been invented before because there’s a lot of people that have to pee. Let’s just throw it out there. A lot of times per day you got to go, and there’s a lot of females out there because hey, anatomy is what it is. It is a little bit easier for men to be able to go in the car if they have to. It’s maybe not always the nicest thing in the world, the cleanest thing in the world but it can happen, but for females just not that easy. Just nobody ever thought of this. Was there anything out there that you saw or they just weren’t going to work for you?

Angela: There were some things that were out there that were not going to work for me. And those things weren’t specifically designed for females and specifically designed to use while being seated in a car.

Jesse: Okay.

Richard: Yeah. I’m guessing probably more like hospital bedpans style stuff or something similar. Someone’s in their house, and they’re just can’t get up this quick. That’s not really starting, stopping, breaking, turning all that kind of stuff. Is that what you’re referring to?

Angela: That and the fact that there were a lot of funnel type products out there. What I found with the funnel type products is that number one, if you’re not standing in a place for the funnel to allow the liquid to void into that was gonna be a problem. That’s not going to easily work in your vehicle. And then with the funnel type things especially if you’re a little girl, you’re asking a female to put something foreign close to her body, and that’s not necessarily comfortable to do. So with Road Trip Potty you just sit.

Richard: I have something that could easily be glossed over, but I don’t want to. Do you have an entrepreneurial background in your family? I mean there are some people who have a problem, and then they just go on and do life. And the problem was a problem, and that problem is gone, but you decided to turn this into something and you actually invented something. You looked at the patent office, you took this to a whole another level. Do you have any background with that or what inspired you to actually turn this into a product and sell it?

Angela: So part of my background is that I grew up on a farm with my grandparents. My grandparents were absolute entrepreneurs, and I knew what entrepreneurship looked like because I had them as references. And if anything about growing up on the farm, it’s making sure that you’ve got enough product. You look at your seasons, growing seasons, weather conditions. Planting, harvesting, a lot of variables to consider. So I used my background from growing up on a farm to recognize if my grandparents could do it, I could do it. So that gave me the courage to actually move forward with this. But the other thing that really helped me was my background in education. I received my doctoral degree from the University of Southern California, and I learned how to be a school site administrator. I understood Budgeting, Financing, and making sure that materials were there, making sure that you have support for your staff or your students. So through both elements, I was able to come out to combine those and again realize that not only could I do this. This is an absolute need. And if all the things that I’ve preached to all of my students and staff over the years, over the decades, one of which is following your intuition. If I didn’t do the same that I was going to be a hypocrite and I just couldn’t do that.

Jesse: That’s perfect. You’ve been telling now you’re living that, you’re living the reality that you’d been teaching. That’s awesome. You saw this need. You had the need personally. And then you mentioned checking out the patent office. I imagine you looked all over the place for this particular type of product. How did you… Give us the process of inventing and going to the patent office and the process of invention. Is it a crazy journey? Give us a little insight into that.

Angela: So the first thing is, believe it or not, it’s figuring out which website to actually go to because there are so many fake websites that trick people into going on them as opposed to going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office by the United States government. Dot-gov, not dot com but dot gov. And so once you’re there, you literally start your search. It’s just like opening up a dictionary, a traditional dictionary where when you start with the word, alphabet, and then you go with the word, and then you look at the origins of the word. Look at the definitions, the applications. Looking up patents really is no different from that. And so I really commend the U.S. Patent Trademark Office on the simplification of how to start a patent search. And like anything with research, you literally go through the process, you look at individual patents, and you have to read to see what the claims are. You have to read; you have to look at the shapes, the designs of things. So before I did any of that, I actually sketched out what I had envisioned because I wanted to make sure that I kept with the fidelity of my idea and not look at somebody else’s idea and absorb what they’d already created. So as I’d gone through the process of sketching it out literally on a yellow notepad. And then going to the Patent Trademark Office looking at drawings and reading the claims for some of the drawings I could see that what I had on my piece of paper was nothing like what was in the things that I saw from the U.S. Patent Trademark Office. And sometimes you doubt yourself, and you think: “Well, is this really that different?” And I paid a company, and I’m not going to name which one but I paid this company that you see on television to do a patent search for me. And their patent search came back that I had a unique patent. A unique idea, and then I considered them, and I looked at their fine print and in the language of the fine print, I could not sign with them. I couldn’t work with them because they wanted a percentage of any profits that I made. And had I not seen that I would have gone with this company. And so I from that point on now that I knew that I actually had a product, an idea that I could possibly do something with. I started researching other companies to find a company that would help me get through the patent process without charging me an arm and a leg. That did want a percentage of any profits that I made, from anything that I’d done. And I did actually find that company and that company I will say their name — Mars Rising Network. They were phenomenal. I literally picked up the phone. I spoke to the owner. We spoke. I don’t know maybe two or three different times because I wanted to make sure that everything that they said on their website was exactly what they were going to do. And they did it. They helped me with the drawings. They helped me with creating the patent paperwork. And when you look at my patents, you will see that the name on the patent is my name. I did not hire an attorney, but the company that I worked with gave me the tools to have my own patent. Own my own patent. And now everything that I do is 100 percent mine.

Jesse: Wow. That’s great. I think you’re the first person we’ve had on a podcast that really went through the patent process. I think that’s a good note for people out there that when you go into this space, there are a fair bit of scammers. Not so that a company was necessarily scamming you, but it’s a bit of a shady world, there’s a little underbelly there in the patent world. You do need to be very careful. And thanks for sharing it was it, Mars Rising, it was the company you ultimately did go with. It was a legitimate company that really helped you.

Angela: Yes, Mars Rising Network.

Richard: A little joke in there too that it’s not Venus rising but it’s Mars.

Jesse: I didn’t catch that.

Richard: I used to know a lot about the infomercial business. I’m pretty sure they’ve done some pretty big stuff in that space too. I can’t remember exactly what products but I think that sounds like they’ve helped the gamut. I’ll look them up when you’re done or when we’re done.

Jesse: And so Angela, how long was this process from your first search at the U.S. Patent Office to finding the company and working on drawings in and actually getting a patent? How long did that take the first patent?

Angela: It took about 15 months, and that was the design pattern from conceptualization to an official document from the U.S. Patent Trademark Office. About 15 months.

Jesse: Okay.

Angela: The second patent which is a little bit more difficult to obtain was the utility patent because that’s the one that has all of the claims and the language associated with what is permissible what is not permissible. That patent took about two years.

Jesse: OK.

Richard: So once you got your first pattern, did you start the process of production knowing that it was patent pending and you were just saying: “I’m going to move forward. I’m not waiting two years”. Or what was that process?

Angela: For me absolutely not. I did not do anything with these patents until I had both the utility and the design patent. What I know about the patent process is that there is a lot of people who will start a patent application. And they’ve been told they can say patent pending but because the U.S. Patent Trademark Office hasn’t officially given you the documentation, that says you do own the rights to this patent and any claims associated with it. Just because it’s patent pending does not mean it’s going to be granted. And so I did not want to waste money, waste time, waste energy into starting manufacturing and production. And then the U.S. Patent Trademark Office would come back to me and potentially say: “You know what. We’re going to have to reject your claim. We’re going to have to reject your idea because we found in blah blah blah this which will make your idea null and void.” So I waited.

Richard: Were you doing other things during that time? Were you seen if other products were being invented? Because eventually you know — you’re hoping, you don’t know — this why you didn’t take action yet. But you’re hoping that this actually comes through, and you get the patterns, and you sound very proactive. Just the fact that you’re doing it in the first place. Was there anything you were doing to move the company forward during that time? Because eventually, what is the content you’re going to be creating? What are the things people are searching for? Were you seen if anything else was popping up on the market in the meantime, or did you just wait until that was over?

Angela: I did look at the market every now and then, but I did not focus on it. My biggest focus at that time was I was working on healing and making sure that I re-established mobility and that my physical things were addressed. I really spent the time doing that. But in the back of my mind and I’m keenly aware of I have this idea. I know what I’m going to call the product — Road Trip Potty. So I spent my time doing that, and I’m really glad I did because once you get your patent, you’ve got 14 years with your patent. Unless it’s something else and you can get an extension of that. But in general, it’s about 14 years. So I decided that once I actually had the patent paperwork, I knew that I had 14 years. And so I felt like I had more than enough time to develop whatever I needed to develop, but it was really important for me to reestablish my health and reestablish my mobility.

Jesse: All right. So you got the patent, and now the game begins here. So you got to get this thing made now. It’s made out of plastic-type material. Generally, everybody’s like “All right, ship it to China, get it made there.” What did you do for that, what was your manufacturing process?

Angela: I did have a conversation with someone from a South East Asian company, and they quoted me a price. And I wasn’t comfortable with that. I wasn’t comfortable with having the product made out of the United States in my gut. I did not feel that was what I needed to do. And so I started looking for U.S. manufacturing, and it took me about a year to find U.S. manufacturing. There is no blueprint on how to find U.S. manufacturing. And this was back in 2015-2016 when I was having this search. A lot of U.S. manufacturing companies had already closed. Like everything else I did research, I talked to people, and I found a company in California, and I was living in California at that time, and this company was about 30 miles from where I lived, and I visited them. I looked at their facility because again I wanted to make sure that what I think I’m getting. I want to make sure that I am clearly getting everything here in the United States. After visiting them, we had further communications, further talks, and they were the company that I actually started to work with, and I still work with. The one thing that I can say to people is it is absolutely possible to find U.S. manufacturing. And once you establish that relationship with your U.S. manufacturer, you can call, you can visit. It just makes life so much easier to find a U.S. manufacturer.

Jesse: That’s great. And you were only 30 miles away at the time. You were able to actually go visit. You’re not relying on pictures on a website, you’re actually there meeting people and seeing the actual facility. That’s great. Now that process, from the patent, did you just… The patents ready to go, is there any steps to get it manufactured? There is our CAD drawings for the patent, just regular drawings, and then CAD needs to happen after that.

Angela: No, before you can get into the actual manufacturing, you’ve got to have your CAD drawings. And so I found another company that did the CAD drawings and then I found another company that did prototyping. And back then prototyping was not as prevalent and a lot more difficult to find. Now prototyping is relatively easy because there are so many prototyping machines that are out there available. But it took me a while I found the prototyping. After I got my first prototype, then I needed to conduct some market research. I did focus groups, I had females of various sizes sit on the prototype, give me feedback. And so I went through multiple rounds of getting prototypes to get Road Trip Potty in the shape that would be what I thought to be more of an average shape given all the data, and the details, and the feedback that I’d receive from the people that I’ve been working with. And then from that point, a mold was created. And once the mold was created, then I was able to actually go into mass production.

Jesse: OK. Now I’m thinking at the back of my mind, there’s a lot of steps here, and I’m thinking there’s a lot of money involved here to patenting CAD prototypes. At this point, before you’ve sold anything, you owe quite a bit of money. (laughing) So you really believed. It’s inspiring to be able to invent. Also inspiring that you ditched on a lot of money before you even made one dollar.

Angela: Correct.

Jesse: All right. I’m inspired that you really believed in it. All right. We’re good. We’re ready to rock and roll, we’re making the Road Trip Potty. How do you sell this darn thing? We talked about before 50 percent of the world is a potential market for this. You like it. It’s made for women. Everybody’s got to pee. But maybe everybody’s not going to buy this immediately. How did you go about marketing this, probably it did not exist before?

Angela: So the first thing I did was make sure that I had a website that allowed for purchasing. And I looked at various ways to create a shopping cart on my website, and I actually chose Ecwid because Ecwid was easier than other things. Believe it or not. And I was also looking for once again a company that had roots and employees within the United States. From all aspects of my business, I can definitively say it is really important for me to give back to our communities. And that comes from my background in education that just comes from my beliefs. People that I’ve hired and people that I’ve worked with, I’ve only worked with U.S. manufacturers, U.S. graphic designers, Ecwid which is in part a U.S.-based company. And so I found a web developer who was a U.S. web developer. They helped me to put the website together. We added Ecwid, and so Road Trip Potty is available on my website. RoadTripPotty.com. How I’ve been marketing. It has been through Google. Google Analytics, Google AdWords, the whole SEO component related to making sure Road Trip Potty pops up when people are doing Google searches related to urinals, female urinals, things of that nature. I also do social media marketing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just the basic general platforms related to social media. Those are the ways that I’m getting Road Trip Potty out. I’ve also done some local events, some trade shows. I’ve been on panels, I’ve done a couple of radio/internet podcasts, interviews in the past. But anything that I can do to get the word out to people is what I’ve been doing.

Jesse: That’s that’s great. And now so backing up to the website creation and starting the market. Did you have any experience in that area? Previous to starting this company.

Angela: No, I didn’t even have a Facebook account.

Jesse: All right. Well, that’s great. You were able to figure this out. You had a web developer for the website that helps to kickstart everything and get it going. But learning SEO and marketing on Google and Facebook, did you have any help with that, or did you just dive in and go through the process?

Angela: My web developer gave me direction on what to do and where to go. He taught me a lot, gave me a lot of resources, things to look up and research. And I can honestly say as a small business owner and I’m not going to use the word small anymore, as a business owner you have to figure out where is the best place to put your energies. And so after looking at SEO and playing around with that, I contracted that out to him because I need to be doing other things as the owner of the business. So I learned enough to realize that is beyond the scope of the things that I need to be doing on a daily basis. My web developer takes care of that.

Jesse: Well, that’s great. I think everybody needs to know when there are certain things you want to do yourself and some things that… That’s why there’s this whole industry that supports website owners and online businesses. That’s great. You’re outsourced SEO but SEO really comes from content. And I looked from on your page, there’s a lot of content. You have testimonials on there which I think were really helpful for me to start to learn the other uses of the product in other situations where it’s useful. But for people listening that’s where you putting in your keywords there. Like female portable urinal. I think those would probably be good common terms. Then you learn all these other things that you wouldn’t have thought of before. Angela, do you handle your own advertising on Google and Facebook and such?

Angela: My web developer and that company which I absolutely love it’s called an NTR web development. They handle Google AdWords, Google Shopping. But I do Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all the other social media aspects of marketing.

Jesse: OK. And now on the social media side, you mentioned you didn’t even have a Facebook account before. You definitely had to get up to speed there on several things all at once. Kudos to you for having been able to figure that out. What type of content do you put on Facebook, Instagram? I’m just curious. What do you post on social media?

Angela: So this is what’s been interesting as I’ve had to create my own messaging because this product is one where I could use negative ad campaigns to generate a lot of interest. I could use those negative ideas and scare people to think about the product and purchase the product out of fear. But I strategically decide not to do that because I believe that there’s already enough fear and negativity in the world and there’s plenty of that in social media platforms. So I post ads. I create ads that are positive, that remind people, you’re traveling but if you want relief, this is an option. I post things that are uplifting every now and then. I’ll post a picture of traffic where I’m literally stuck in traffic and I remind people: “You know what, I’m stuck in traffic but that’s OK because I have my Road Trip Potty. For me, it creates a sense of ease. I have less anxiety about traveling because I have my safety piece here I’ve got my Road Trip Potty which in many ways is like my bladder safety blanket.”

Richard: It’s interesting because totally completely understand and probably lean towards the same is used. Not really a big fan of negativity and using that as an ad campaign but there are interesting elements with yours that you could prep for those scenarios without necessarily using fear. Kind of proactive because if you cannot take the analogy of your getting stuck in traffic, well you might have prepared to leave early enough and you might have used the restroom before you went. But I too was in Los Angeles for a while there and I know how. Good luck with that, especially, if you’re around the four or five. I was thinking almost people who have these kits, disaster preparation or things, so you can still be positive but your understanding that these sometimes, I don’t know maybe seem negative events, they’re obviously not happy events. But prepping ahead of time and maybe partnering up with people who do hurricane evacuation or any sort of evacuation services or prepping any of that stuff, that might be a way to still be positive but still, take advantage of the knowledge that these events still do happen.

Angela: I love that idea and I think we’re thinking along the same lines because I posted this week an ad on social media surrounding exactly that. The ads basically as a picture with a reminder of the things that people should be thinking about when evacuating and that includes making sure you’ve got your cash, that you’ve got your medicines, that you’ve got food, that you’ve got your emergency numbers and then I have “Don’t forget Road Trip Potty”.

Jesse: Yeah, I think that’s great because there is that particular type of article that yours was an ad but other people are basically typing that same type of article like Evergreen. This happens all the time, every time it’s tornado season in the just recently in the Midwest and then there’s hurricane season in the Gulf Coast area. We’re in California here, there was fire evacuations. Seems like fairly regularly. These are all good times for this to be brought up and yes, it’s a negative event to evacuate an area but you’re trying to be helpful and I think yes, you can write those articles but other people are writing those articles all the time. And for you to insert your product in that discussion I think is really helpful and it gives you something you can do with that often. People are writing these articles, so there’s a huge PR possibility, because the product is so unique. When people are writing these types of articles, they’re going to be happy to mention you.

Angela: I love that. Thank you. That’s great. Yes, I will look into that. I will do more research with that.

Jesse: We know you love your research, Angela. PR can be expensive, PR agencies and things, a couple thousand bucks a month, that’s where it starts. There’s ways around it. You could go actually, there’s a website called Help a Reporter Out, H-A-R-O, I don’t know if it’s dot com. Yeah, it’s Haro.com. There’s people that are writing these articles and they posted what they’re going to write about and then you can pitch your product into them. I mean I think there’s probably a lot of women’s magazines in particular that would be useful. You’re probably not going to make Men’s Journal with this one but there’s just a lot of people writing articles and in on social media that this is a really unique interesting product to insert in the conversation.

Richard: Yeah, and just to clarify real quick. They do refer to themselves as HARO but it’s actually HelpAReporter.com. Plus I would also say back to the disasters and different things do happen. Just looking when those scenarios happen and donating your time and or some of those products could go a long ways. They’re evacuating a girls school or you never know what it is like. There’s much work around that, some people will think of it as you might be taking advantage of people but maybe you’re just taking advantage of that as a marketing scenario. But your intent sounds like you’re very in tune with your intuition. I wouldn’t have that discourage you if you only walked around following ambulance or something that might be a whole nother story. But there’s nothing wrong with helping people out. I think it would be a wonderful thing if the world could get paid good money because they were helping people out.

Angela: I love that idea. Thank you. Yes.

Jesse: I was talking with Rich before the podcast here and it’s an interesting product because when you need it you really need it. But unfortunately you had to buy it ahead of time so how can you help? How do you market something like that? Because I don’t know if this is available but like I was thinking if you could market via the Waze app or the Google Maps app. This only goes on to females when all the traffic roads are red as can be. That might be a little bit somebody who only be like “Oh, great, I see this ad for a Road Trip Potty, now I need it right now.”

Richard: Not till a drone delivery happen. (laughing)

Jesse: Yeah. Drone delivery, you can get it now but I just thought it might be interesting like there’s a time when you really need it and then if you can get people to buy it at that point. OK, you can help them at this moment but it’s probably not the first time they had to go when they’re stuck in traffic. I just think there’s a lot you could do with interesting marketing options. It’s just unfortunately your product is almost not priced high enough to afford too much advertising. You can’t spend fifty dollars to average an average cost per acquisition for this when it’s a 30 dollar product. That’s an interesting case.

Richard: I mean you do have a few other skews in there I noticed. If you were able and you wanted to kit and bundle those up and you could get the average card value up. Yeah, I totally agree with what Jesse is saying but if you could focus on that trying to maybe pre-bundle that whole pack and encourage them to buy the seat cover and a few other things, maybe even buy one get a second one for a friend. Girls have friends. Yes, I know this probably politically incorrect but they even go to the bathroom together quite often so this might be part of a fun. (laughing) Whole another, don’t mean to strike a visual for people here.

Jesse: We have women in our lives. We’re not that blind to what goes on. (laughing) Angela, how many sales do you get now where people buy more than one? How often?

Angela: So it’s interesting that you ask that question because my first customers have become repeat customers and I’m finding that they’re buying two and three additional after they’ve made their first purchase. And the reason they do so is because they love the product and they’re buying them for their girlfriends. One of the things that I found out about us as women and the things that we don’t talk about, we don’t talk about how frequently we are holding it. It’s the secret. That’s not a secret. We don’t talk about how dehydrated we are as women because we are concerned with consuming liquids because we’re concerned where we’re going to go when the liquid has passed through our bodies and our bladders are full. And so since we’re not having these conversations, Road Potty has become a way, a vehicle, literally, for women to start having these conversations with their friends. And again there are customers who now are repeat customers buying two and three at a time because they’re giving them out to the people that they love and care about.

Richard: Yeah. That’s fantastic. And I was going to offer one other piece when it comes to content creation. I’ve checked out your Pinterest and a couple of things you’re actually covering a lot of interesting other things. Herbs I could eat for urinary tract infection, just things to be proactive and take care of it not just only, here’s my body. We all know or maybe not all of us but a lot of us in the marketing world know about the other company out there that that did some funny videos with potting and take something that is not necessarily something people want to talk about all the time and made some pretty viral videos. And so now get into what specifics I was going to say, there was some test done actually quite a lot of test on what actually creates a viral video. And although there will be people who say they can create one for you, it’s good luck with that. But there were components, there were truly components that across the board they all had and one of them was adventure. You could see how somewhere down the line you could tie an adventure. One of them was inspiration, your story is definitely inspirational. One of them was surprised. I mean the very nature of why you would want this with you is that surprise. Emotional. And if you think of your whole story through this whole process, it’s emotional too. You were health challenged and you decided to, just it’s a cool story. And then the fifth one which goes back to the other one that I was talking about is comedy and you obviously have a play, you’re very serious and you also are very proactive and good work ethic it sounds like, but you can also tell you’re very playful too. And I would encourage you to possibly use as much comedy in a situation like this as possible because I think you could really potentially hit a home run with just trying some stuff out and as a marketer again anyone who tells you they know exactly what to do is going to be blowing smoke. You take an educated guess and then you test things and you look at the data. I mean if Hollywood knew exactly what movie to make they wouldn’t make so many flops but they try stuff until they find out the Avengers and then you make 18 version of the same movie but whole another story. But yeah, I would really encourage you to think of those when you make it because you have all those elements entwined and it’s really going to be just up to your imagination how playful you want to be with this.

Angela: I love these ideas and this is one of the things that I’ve thought about in terms of how do I make the video, the videos, plural. That will tell the story but will have the content and the material that inspires people to share the video. And what would be the categories that I needed to make sure that I touched upon in a video that I created. So the five things that you just mentioned the adventure, the inspiration, the surprise element, the emotional element and the comedy element. This is very timely hearing this again because this is something that I’ve recently been thinking where do I begin. So this is exactly where I need to begin. Awesome.

Jesse: You gave her the five steps for viral videos. And those are, to Rich’s point though you might have to make several of them. And some will work and some will not work. But I do think because your product actually it really enables mobility for some people that may not want to take a three-hour road trip right like or they don’t want to drive to L.A. because they’re going to get stuck in traffic and it’s going to be painful. So I think there’s an emotional piece there to it and maybe your customers particularly the people that have bought a couple times want to share a story, you want to share a video on Instagram or Facebook that why they love this product. And I think that’s where the comedy comes in because if you keep comedy there it becomes OK to share. Otherwise, you’re talking about a bodily function and then that’s a taboo. The comedy makes it more like “Yeah, we can we can talk about this.”

Richard: In my opinion, you can literally go completely over the top with some of it. Especially knowing your intent is actually really good on many levels, all levels sounds like you could literally go over the top. You could be like someone’s in a movie theater and when everyone else is running out and they wink like “Hey, I’m good.” Literally there’s things where someone would never actually do that, they’re not going to bring it into the movie theater, so they don’t have to go but it would spread rapidly I believe if you really really embrace the comedy side of this because to Jesse’s point it’s people they don’t talk about this stuff much. And that’s part of what those five elements when it came to shareability. If you really think of the things that people share it almost always has at least one of those and sometimes multiple of those or they don’t get any shares.

Jesse: If you are thinking about a YouTube video too. There are ways where maybe these get put in front of videos that are talking about UTIs. Clearly the person watching that has an issue. They want to be solved, this is potentially something they should be aware of. There’s a lot of other places you can place it but you can literally place your video in front of somebody else’s content.

Richard: I just thought about this, you literally could put it in front of the other company we’re talking about. Ads and you literally could put it right in front of it and say sometimes you gotta keep your feet on the pedal. You know what I mean or something. You literally could really have a lot of fun with this and help people.

Angela: I love these ideas. Thank you. This is awesome. This is exactly what I was looking for.

Jesse: We’re good. We got maybe a couple more thoughts here. You mentioned Facebook and Instagram, have you enabled the shopping mall post functionality?

Angela: I think I have enabled that definitely on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve got it set up. I’ve had my Instagram for business set up so I’m pretty sure I’m good with that one. I think I’m pretty good with those.

Jesse: Good. All right. So for people listening, if Angela’s taking a photo in Instagram that includes the product, you can tag the product so then people can buy it directly from your Instagram feed. I always encourage people to do that. I think just it’s there. Go please do that. If you don’t have that done and then the big one here is what about this giant e-commerce company Amazon. Angela, what is your thoughts on selling your product on Amazon?

Angela: So Road Trip Potty is not available on Amazon.

Jesse: OK. I already knew that. Hello, spoiler alert for people. So this is one where I would probably encourage you to sell this on Amazon. And we can talk about the pros and cons on it but for me the price point kind of feeds into, it’s hard for you to market too much your own product on this one. Amazon definitely takes a chunk of it but almost half of all e-commerce searches start on Amazon right now and that number might even be higher now. But I feel like this is a product that people would be searching for an Amazon. I would think you would probably maybe double triple maybe more sales on this based on the price point but Amazon is a bit of a beast. SYou’ve got to be ready for it. You gotta be ready for reviews and you do have to stock. Well, you don’t have to, but generally people will stock the product at Amazon using fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon FBA program. I would encourage it. And I would for anybody out there with a similar product that’s potentially mass market and under 50 bucks.

Richard: Well, to Jessie’s point too it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. We’re not saying either or. You’re actually on the Ecwid E-commerce Show. So we’d like the idea of you owning your own store. This isn’t an either or but you could do both. You can continue to fulfill the way you fulfill with your own store. But I also believe you’re one of those people, just in a limited conversation we’ve had, that regardless you’re going to do good things with your money. And so whether it’s you do good things because you help people local in your town, because you did it all on your own, or whether you could distribute it to a larger group of people and get more shares and get more exposure. And you get money and still do good things for people in your town and people all over and people get paychecks and Amazon it’s not just a machine although people think it’s just a machine.

Jesse: But there are a lot of robots. (laughing) Yes, there are humans there.

Richard: So again we’re just like buffet friends. We don’t get upset. We brought the broccoli salad, we won’t get upset if you don’t eat our broccoli salad but we will bring our broccoli salad. Just the metaphor, we just put out our ideas and taken pick what you think could work for you. But definitely I totally agree. It’s a marketplace, a lot of people that sell on say they started out on Amazon or eBay and they say: “I want to start my own store because I’m tired of these fees.” Then they open up their own store and it’s crickets because they don’t realize they got to market to their own store where these other places are actually marketplaces where people go to buy things. And so just keep that in mind whatever you choose. We wish you the best. But it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Bottom line what I’m saying.

Angela: I’m glad you indicated that and I’m also glad that you reminded me that there are people who work at Amazon. They work in fulfillment. And so everything that I’ve done with Road Trip Potty if I’m not able to see and feel the human element to it, it’s a lot harder for me to move forward with it. I mean profits are important but I do put people before profit. I’m glad that you reminded me that there are people who work at Amazon and that by having Road Trip Potty being sold on Amazon or being available on Amazon that I would be helping those as well. So thank you for that reminder.

Richard: Oh, you’re welcome. You never know there could be super busy people in lifts that actually use them at Amazon. (laughing)

Jesse: I just I wouldn’t say I googled it because I amazon did or whatever. I go to Amazon and I search female urinal and I see all sorts of these funnel devices that you’re talking about. They do not look like they would work well in a car. I totally get it. And so you could and again I’m taking the pro Amazon side here. You might be doing a disservice to all the women that are looking on Amazon for this product and you’re not there.

Richard: Man, you had to do that. (laughing)

Jesse: That was just like twisting the knife. Yes, I’m a marketing guy. I’ve had to say it. But anyway, my goal is for you to be successful with your store. And I think there’s a good case for it. But yes, once you go there, you do have to deal with that there will potentially are going to be copycats. And you’ve got to be on it. You can’t just put your stuff on Amazon and then walk away. You do need to be very proactive with Amazon. That’s more of a note for everybody else listening as well. There’s a lot of sales on Amazon but you don’t make as much money and you do have to be on your game.

Angela: Good to know. Thank you.

Jesse: Angela, any other questions we can answer for you or any help we could provide?

Angela: You know honestly the feedback that you’ve given me regarding marketing the videos which are extremely important for me and making sure that I’ve got my shopping carts connected with Instagram Facebook. The ideas related to Google Maps and seeing if I can somehow do the specific targeted marketing for women especially when there are road conditions, these are fantastic ideas. And I had not pursued them, I had not really thought of them prior to this conversation. So I’m super excited to get started with some research on this and moving some ideas forward.

Jesse: Awesome. That’s why we do the show. We just like to help and hope people listening are also getting some ideas for their store. Richard any last questions?

Richard: No. And I promise this is not premeditated but this is perfect timing we’re ending because I really do have to go to the bathroom. (laughing)

Jesse: With that note, awesome. Angela, thanks for being on the show.

Richard: Thank you, Angela.

Angela: Thank you.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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