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This topic contains 25 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Charlene Rountree 3 weeks ago.

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  • #2737

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hello fellow EYDJ members,

    My name is Charlene, and I am glad to be back for the next year!  I was on EYDJ before for a time to learn how to better the small eCom business I had.  Now, after some time of focusing on serious effort and saving for our house that was being built (and is now built with us living in it!), I am back and plan on doing my weekly updates on what is happening, anything I am trying, and what my results are.  My focus will be to take my brand business to the next level and pay off our mortgage all while spreading naturopathy around the globe.  I have an established customer base in wholesale to stores across the U.S., but want to see if I can’t reach individuals.

    Learn with me as I follow Travis’ teachings and hopefully grow my business and my capacity as a business owner.

    Glory be to Him!

  • #2740

    Travis
    Keymaster

    Glad to have you back Charlene!

    Charlene takes bold action and has made great strides in her business. I wouldn’t be surprised if your mortgage is paid off within the next 2 years…

    -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2772

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Thanks Travis!

    Glad to be back, I have so been looking forward to being on here again 😀

    I definitely want to get back into my weekly updates on what I am working on and what works and what doesn’t work for my wares.  Thanks for helping me out from time to time, too.

    Without further ado, here is where we are at:

    10/16/2017 report

    Wholesale

    -currently at 43 stores carrying our brand across the U.S.

    -we have 5 sales reps now, the 5th started this month of October and is going to try to introduce us to retail chains/key accounts.  If he can succeed here, this will really help us have a solid foundation of sales in wholesale.  That, and he is willing and able to be a “manager” of other reps, so instead of searching for more reps to represent across other regions of the U.S. currently not covered, we can just hit this guy up.  He might even be able to help us expand internationally (thinking long-term) if all goes well.  He does require a retainer fee of $500/month, so if we don’t see sales, we might have to consider after 3 months whether it is worth it.  Figure we would start 4th quarter here to give him a good chance?

    -are starting to meet and connect with essential oil reps for Young Living and doTerra to see if they wish to represent the brand as an up-sell product to their normal oil sales.  We will see what happens here.

    -even though it is expensive, my graphic designer will be putting together a professional 2018 product catalog for stores to see.  We think it is a worthwhile investment as a professional looking catalog might help gain the trust of more stores to take on our brand and help our sales reps, too.

    -on average we have seen a steady amount of sales of roughly $1,000/month from wholesale.  If we can double this, we are good to go for me quitting my job!

    Retail

    -hired a freelance social media manager to look into our FB and IG pixel as it was giving some odd data.  As suspected, the freelancer (who actually works for Facebook professionally), found that my webstore’s pixel was actually incorrect and giving bad signals.  Thus, results were not being had as reported on the Ad Manager platform.  The pixel has been fixed now, and we are going to try again with hopefully much better results in paid advertising on those two social media platforms.

    -have connected with a couple of small business resources, SCORE Michiana and ISBDC, in our area to get business advice on this (both are government programs at no cost).  At SCORE, I have a mentor who is an experienced business owner (not eCommerce though, just old school), who still runs a consulting business that I can bounce ideas off of every month or so and can provide advice and connections in our area for help. ISBDC is trying to help me reach out to appropriate bloggers who can write about my product and hopefully get our SEO rankings up higher in Google.

    Events

    -last week, I had been invited to speak at our local One Million Cups entrepreneurial network chapter in South Bend, IN to talk about the formation of Eupterra Foundation and how we organized with a factory in Michigan to harvest invasive plant species fiber to turn into our gift boxes in effort to practice industrial environmentalism for the benefit of our world.  Am grateful for the opportunity to present to such an audience.  Due to our presenting, we might be in a drawing for $25,000 for a small business selected for its innovative efforts.  We shall see!

    -due to the presentation at One Million Cups, I was subsequently asked to give the same speech to the Roseland, IN Rotary Club on November 2nd.

    Social Media

    -have continued to find more relevant Pinterest group boards to join and post pins on.  Our blog is being revamped right now to look much better and be easier to navigate.  Also, I am re-doing many old posts to have better pin pictures.

    -Our Buffer program has re-started for the year, so will need to this month fill it up again with great posts/photos.  After watching some Instagram channels of others this past year, I have definitely seen how I can improve my own.  I will be including holiday posts and more engaging posts on all of my channels integrated into our Buffer (FB, IG, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest).

    -going to place on our website a coupon for anyone who joins the newsletter posts pictures of our products on social media and let’s us know about it!  Encouraging engagement.

    Celebrations

    -moved into our house the last week of August/early September.  This has been a two year project for my husband and I of getting a plot of land in a very nice secluded neighborhood, paying it in cash, and then putting more than 20% down on the house we built.  Albeit not extravagant, it is a 3 bed/2 bath 1 story place, we are extremely happy to be in it.  Finally, I can garden again!  Already almost done with front lawn landscaping and for the first time we put up a little decor for Halloween.  Looking forward to trick-or-treaters 🙂

    -made enough money from the business to replace my 7 year old computer with another much better Dell All-in-One.  Very grateful!

    -both my husband and I saved enough money to buy a nice Futon couch for our 2nd bedroom and get him a new laptop.  His computer was on its last legs being much older than mine, and he needed one bad.  Thank the Lord!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -keep up to date with new 5th Sales rep, let’s see what he does.

    -work with social media manager to see what happens with corrected FB and IG pixel

    -keep practicing speech for the upcoming Rotary Club presentation date.

    -place coupon on website for signing up to newsletter and posting picture of product on social media.

    -Figure out good FB and IG campaigns.  We have great pictures and definitely want more retail sales!

     

    Hope you all have a good week guys!

    ~Charlene

    P.S. Here is a picture of our house after construction.  Our grass seeds have sprouted now!

     

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    • #2776

      Travis
      Keymaster

      Wow! Huge stuff Charlene!

      Great job hustling and taking action – that’s why I know you’ll reach your financial goals, because you keep taking steps relentlessly!

      -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2780

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hello EYDJ peeps!

    I’m back again for another weekly report.  We’ve got some new developments, and I appreciate some advice from Travis on what steps to take to get better at e-mail marketing and online sales.  Thanks alot, glad we can ask our questions in these posts!

    10/23/17 report

    Wholesale

    -still at 43 stores carrying our brand in the U.S.

    -still at 5 sales reps.  The 5th newer guy has been in talks with 2 retail chains to see if they are interested in carrying Eupterrae brand.  He is also working with a contact in Canada to look into a large chain up there, TJ Max.   The reason we are looking into Canada is because from our social media experiences and purchasers, there is a surprisingly high percentage of individuals who buy from Canada, Australia, and the UK.

    -I got connected with a Young Living rep who invited me to her FB group with other reps.  So, they can create wholesale accounts and order to provide an up-sell product  to their customers.  Also, it was brought up that I could design essential oil pendants that feature the logo of companies such as Young Living.  Thus, I will create a mock-up design and provide that to the rep I met with and she can pass it to her higher ups to discuss.

    -new wholesale catalog is in the works for 2018.

     

    Retail

    -continuing to work through Upwork with the social media manager to optimize FB advertising.

    -will beginning running an engagement ad for FB and IG

    -will upload our Mailchimp e-mail list to audience insights

    -will begin a good e-mail series 1/2 weeks discussing our products a little!

    Events

    -practicing speech for Roseland, IN Rotary Club on November 2nd.

    -got invited to speak at BNI Michiana in Granger, IN this 10/26.

    Social Media

    -before putting up more pictures for the next few months on Buffer, we are doing research on the top 30 hashtags to use for our products and then re-filling it.

    Celebrations

    -Blog re-vamp is done, and it looks great!  (see new logo pic)

    -got to visit Thistleberry Farm and have our Fall fun!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -will keep up with our sales rep Stephen on retail chain developments.

    -social media strides in uploading mailchimp data to audience insights, engagement ad, and figuring out what our audience wants/says

    -e-mail list engagement

    -Buffer hashtags and filling up

    -Young Living design to send to rep to pass on to higher ups.

    -practicing speech

     

    Thanks guys for the great community here.  Wishing you all a good week!

    ~Charlene

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    • #2783

      Travis
      Keymaster

      That’s huge Charlene!

      The highlights from our consulting call:

      1. Get your email marketing sequences in place ASAP! That’s lots of money left on the table.

      2. Hit the FB and IG ads hard. After ad spend, you may not make as much profit per sale, BUT you’ll make lots of more sales and get more exposure.

      3. Plug your current email list into Facebook’s Audience Insights. This will show you information about your list and you can use that info to target new buyers inside FB ads manager

       

      Keep up the great work!

      -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2787

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Happy Monday EYDJ!

    Here again for another weekly report.  This is what is going on now:

    10/30/17

    Wholesale

    -still at 43 stores carrying our brand in the U.S.

    -still at 5 sales reps.  The 5th newer guy has been in talks with 2 retail chains to see if they are interested in carrying Eupterrae brand.  We are hoping to hear from one of those this week.  Unfortunately, TJ Max Canada has declined carrying our brand for now, but we’ll keep looking around.

    -we’ve got a design for Young Living that might take us places.  Will be seeing if we can’t get a sample made, and upon doing so at least make it retail available.

    -new wholesale catalog is in the works for 2018.

    Retail

    -continuing to work through Upwork with the social media manager to optimize FB advertising. We have a funnel in place, and have noticed IG is big for us especially with the new engagement ad getting better results.

    -starting our weekly e-mail chain now.

    Events

    -practicing speech for Roseland, IN Rotary Club on November 2nd.

    -was nice speaking at BNI Michiana this past week, and will hopefully get some business from a couple referrals.

    Social Media

    -Buffer hashtag research is done, and the new hashtags are in use.  Much better results on Instagram because of this.

    Celebrations

    -got our Halloween decor up, and some tasty treats!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -will keep up with our sales rep Stephen on retail chain developments.

    -social media developments continuing to collect data and hopefully begin our funnel soon.

    -starting the weekly e-mail list

    -Young Living sample

    -practicing speech

     

    Gonna keep hustling everyone, have a happy Halloween!

    ~Charlene

  • #2794

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hope you are having a great start to November EYDJ folks!

    Here is our weekly report for the first week of the month:

    11/6/17:

    Wholesale

    -still at 43 stores carrying our brand in the U.S., we have two new stores talking about ordering.  Will follow-up with them.  We are starting to see a bunch of repeat orders from existing stores and will e-mail out for those who might want to stock up for the holidays.  This is a good sign.
    -still at 5 sales reps.  The 5th newer guy has been in talks with 2 retail chains to see if they are interested in carrying Eupterrae brand.  We are looking forward to a sale being made here to start getting our foot in the door to one of these chains.  The 5th guy feels confident that is happening soon from talks had.  Will keep an eye out.
    -Young Living, doTerra, and Melaleuca have all discussed designs for them.  If they want, they will buy from us, but we won’t hold our breath.  We might consider theme inspired ones for these big companies.
    -new wholesale catalog for 2018 is nearly done and looking fantastic!

    Retail

    -continuing to work through Upwork with the social media manager to optimize FB/IG advertising.  I’m trying to learn how to read my pixel data to see if we are making progress.  One things is for sure, we are getting lots of new subscribers to our e-mail list, and we are working to optimize our list with our blog, too.
    -have been regularly scheduling a weekly e-mail now with tips on how to solve common problems naturally with affiliate products and our pendants.

    Events
    -gave the speech at the Roseland Rotary Club.  Glad to network, and got some press this way.

    Social Media

    -Our FB and IG channels are growing with followers.  Our FB is over 3k and our IG is at 16.8k.

    Celebrations

    -getting through a bunch of checklists for home stuff, registering appliances, and figuring out decorations.  So glad we get the chance to do all this and that it is actually getting done.

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -will keep up with our sales rep Stephen on retail chain developments. We really want to see some orders soon.

    -social media developments continuing to collect data and figure out our pixel data.

    -observing the weekly e-mail list, we will see if we need to make changes.  Also, reading Rosemarie Groner’s “Date Your List” guide on how to be good about e-mailing my subscribers.

    -e-mailing all stores to see if they want to stock up for the holidays.

    -prepare our goods for working with the distributor we contracted with earlier this year.  We should be ready now to prep for Dec. 2017

    -considering sending out a postcard campaign with SendOutCards with a holiday postcard to store customers to add an extra touch in our relationship

     

  • #2799

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hey all,

    Glad it is not too cold today, as it got really chilly for a while.  Some sad news, the people building a house next door to us got robbed while their house was still under construction.  Although this is common, and only construction tools were taken, it is still unfortunate.  We will be praying that robbers don’t feel the need to have to steal to get cash for Christmas presents and what not.  Grateful we are not feeling that way ourselves.

    We are starting to unpack some Christmas decorations for the first time in our new house and feel really blessed.  Between all the saved ornaments from my in-laws, my own family, and ourselves, we have more than enough to deck out a tree without having to buy anything.  Now, we are looking into a tree, which is exciting!

    Here is our weekly report again, some new developments:

    11/13/17:

    Wholesale

    -we are at 44 stores now, one more signed up!  We are also getting some large re-orders from existing stores, which is great.  Glad they are loving our products!  Will keep following up with those talking with us to create wholesale accounts.

    -keeping to 5 sales reps.  The 5th rep still hasn’t made a sale, so we are praying to the Lord about it.  We have another month and half with him to see if he can pull off a single sale to make it worth our while to keep paying his retainer fee.  We would very much like to do so because having one rep that handles other reps for us all over the country and potentially internationally sure sounds wonderful, but, this is God’s decision in the end.  Will be listening for guidance.

    -Will follow-up with Young Living, doTerra, and Melaleuca about pendant designs for them.  We’ll see if we can’t keep on it to get an “answer” eventually.  Big companies move slow, but we are persistent.

    -Will get documents to Lotus Light to prepare for distribution, we need to be ready.

    -decided not to send cards via SendOutCards this year, but keep it updated for next year as this might not be quite necessary yet.  Certainly a good thought.

    -Very happy with the new wholesale catalog.  Done and paid!

    Retail

    -continuing to work through Upwork with our social media manager to optimize FB/IG advertising.  Figured out how to read pixel data, and am trying to get conversions.  Will tweak one of our ads to see if we can’t be more focused.  Hoping to see sales finally here.

    -e-mail list at 1,811 subscribers.  Getting into the pace of weekly Tuesday e-mails.  I’m hoping I’ll get some subscriber interaction from what I write about.  I have read Rosemarie Groner’s “Date Your List” guide, and will re-read it to understand it more, but it was quite helpful.  Now, I’m in the routine and will keep it up. Hopefully, we can monetize our list to get more residual income.

    Events

    -nothing for a while, whew!

    Social Media

    -Our FB and IG channels are growing with followers.  Our FB is over 3k and our IG is at 17k.

    -We need to check on Buffer and re-fill it.  I’ll also see how to make sure we can fill as much as possible so we don’t get “capped” at our Buffer limit of posts.  See if I can’t understand what the limit is since we recently renewed.

    Celebrations

    -one more store signed up!  Each one is a celebration.

    -possibly buying some Christmas decor!

    -paid for all business projects in full, so now on to tackle personal debt.  Yeeaahh!!!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -thank you, Travis, for your really cool confessions sheet.  I have been incorporating that into my morning prayers for a while, and the verses you use are really great in developing a good mindfulness.

    -will keep up with our sales rep Stephen on retail chain developments. We’ll see if he can make a sale.

    -following up with Young Living to see if they want our design.

    -try to optimize social media ads more – switch to unicorn pendant campaign

    -re-read Rosemarie’s “Date Your List” guide so we can get weekly e-mails down

    -prepare our goods for working with the distributor Lotus Light we contracted with earlier this year.  Documents need sending and products prepped.

     

  • #2812

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Greetings EYDJ friends!

     

    It is Thanksgiving week and I hope you all are having fun prepping and getting ready.  I have already made one pumpkin chocolate cheescake.  Now, all that is left is a Derby pie, Capon chicken, mashed potatoes, and some apples.  My contribution 🙂

    Once again, weekly report, and what we need to do:

    11/20/17:

    Wholesale

    -45 stores now!  The last one that signed up was a bit of a surprise.  This lady in my town originally turned down carrying our wares, but after seeing them in person decided to start.  We are so glad.  Also, really beneficial I was introduced to her through my speech at One Million Cups interesting enough.

    -with 5 sales reps.  Still watching for a sale.  I got a list of stores from him that would be good potential carriers of our brand that I will be contacting this week.  Already we’ve seen some action there, but without a larger sale from him, we will have to debate his retainer fee.

    -instead of Send Out Cards, I just remembered that I could use my Blue Mountain e-card subscription to send cards out to stores.  Why didn’t I think of that sooner.  Will be on it!

    -Getting prepped with Lotus Light now.

    -Got word from Amazon about Vendor Express, so am registering my brand with them and hopefully getting set-up quickly.

     

    Retail

    -still keeping tabs with Upwork social media guy.  We got one sale last week, which is great.  It was for full price, too, which we are a premium product.  Now to tweak and optimize before we scale vertically.

    -e-mail list at 1,815 subscribers.  Weekly newsletters are regular.  Did not get a chance to re-read “Date Your List” last week so will do it this week, and see if we can’t get more subscribers.

    -was told about Fang Digital media for marketing, so I spoke with it’s CEO and will be reading over their proposal.  We’ll see if it is worth the time and money to work with them or not possibly.

    Social Media

    -Our FB and IG channels are growing with followers.  Our FB is over 3k and our IG is at 17.1k.  Looking into influencer research on IG, we’ll see if we can get a good list of 10.

    -Figured out Buffer, now to fill some more of it through the year.

    Celebrations

    -one more store signed up!  So happy to be at 45 🙂

    -Thanksgiving week, really glad to be feasting with great food and company.

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -focusing hard-core for the rest of the year.  We want to pay off as much debt as possible.

    -keeping tabs on our 5th sales rep, Stephen.  We will reach out to stores with him.

    -Buffer adjust and fill

    -e-mail holiday card to stores

    -re-read Rosemarie’s “Date Your List” guide so we can get weekly e-mails down

    -preparing to work with Lotus Light distributor.

    -preparing to work with Amazon as a vendor.

    -consider Fang Digital?

    -tweak our social ad right now for more subscribers

  • #2824

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hello EYDJ peeps!

    It has been so great to eat Thanksgiving left-overs.  Our Capon chicken this year turned out delicious, so glad I figured how to make it even better.  Marinating in apple cider was a huge plus!  Also, got some more house decorating done – just a wee bit.  Since our last name is Rountree, I found at Hobby Lobby for 50% off a Round Tree decor to hang over our fireplace.  Hope I put it up securely though.  Otherwise, spending the week writing old family friends in Indianapolis.

    As usual, here is the weekly report:

    11/27/17:

    Wholesale

    -44 stores again 🙁  This one was kind of a downer, but one of our first bookstores that took on our products decided to stop carrying jewelry lines.  That was too bad, because they had two sister locations.  Still, we’re sad to see them go, but we’ll keep following up with the ones asking for new samples.

    -with 5 sales reps.  Still watching for a sale from Stephen the 5th rep.  We should hear back from a key account called Beall’s this week as they have been looking at our samples for a couple of weeks now.  We’ll see what happens here.

    -Blue Mountain was  a little trickier at e-card sending that I thought.  I’ll figure it out or send our holiday cards to stores through Mailchimp.

    -My brand seems registered with Amazon vendor express, but I’ll ask and make sure.  Because if so, I haven’t heard anything about an order.

    Retail

    -still keeping tabs with Upwork social media guy.  We got another sale, so we are beginning to vertically scale our ad.  Will see if it is a good spend of money.

    -e-mail list at 1,815 subscribers. Will finish re-reading “Date Your List” this week.

    -decided against Fang Digital and any other media marketing as they cost so much.  Our sales reps are worth the expense, but these media companies charge far too much and I think it a better investment to learn media marketing myself.

    Social Media

    -Our FB and IG channels are growing with followers.  Our FB is over 3k and our IG is at 17.2k.  Got 9 very high quality influencers on IG.  They are expensive, but we will look into them in the future when ready.

    Celebrations

    -heard from an old-time friend who was an older lady I used to speak to as a teen.  After she and her husband moved to a retirement community after I was in college, I had lost her contact info.  Finally found her on the web and got in touch with her.  Now to catch up after long lost time!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -focusing hard-core for the rest of the year.  We want to pay off as much debt as possible.

    -keeping tabs on our 5th sales rep, Stephen.  Continuing to reach out to stores on his list, we’ve got some bites.

    -e-mail holiday card to stores

    -re-read Rosemarie’s “Date Your List” guide

    -finalizing Amazon Vendor Express

    -tweak a couple of things on our website after seeing a very good eCom example from IG browsing.

    • #2825

      Travis
      Keymaster

      This is awesome! Keep the updates coming!

      -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2827

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Absolutely Travis, happy to keep my weekly track going.

    It feels like December is such a busy month, but I am determined to make sure that everything that needs to get done, gets done.  So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

    Eupterra Foundation weekly report and plan:

    12/04/17:

    Wholesale

    -45 stores again!  A store in Pennsylvania just called us out of the blue to order right away.  If only all our wholesale customers were like this, haha 🙂  Still, we are grateful that another location wishes to carry our brand, will continue to talk with those who are interested.  Also, we are looking into ways to make ourselves easier to find so that way people can order from us who are store owners.

    -with 5 sales reps.  Still watching over Stephen, and some of the smaller leads he has have turned out to be good ones asking for samples.  Still, we are hoping to see action on the bigger accounts.

    -Blue Mountain has to have e-mails uploaded manually it turns out, but will do it this week!

    -Amazon vendor express is pending now.

    -Lotus Light Distributor should be ready to go for first order, too, I believe.

    Retail

    -Ended our work with the Upwork social media guy as we’ve gotten all we needed from his monitoring.  Now, to take on the work for ourselves for a bit. We’ve figured out a good way to get word on Facebook, doing a giveaway for the holidays!  Our $5/day ad is converting at $0.01/engagement.  Now, that’s not sales, but I think we are seeing some good traffic and a couple of sales at this point.  We also got a sale through Pinterest, which was surprising.  Looking into group jewelry boards possibly.

    -e-mail list at 2, 081 subscribers. What an uptick!  We started using the Fishbowl app on Shopify again, and man is that making a difference in adding to our list.  Now, the key is to see if those subscribers are truly worthwhile.  Thus far we’ve been trying to hold off on having too many e-mail subscribers to not have to pay on Mailchimp, but I don’t think we can hold back any longer.  We just have too many people 🙂

    Social Media

    -We are thinking about looking into influencers on social media that are more essential oil sellers (doTerra and Melaleuca).  Wondering their audiences would be a good hit for us to have them post with, and that they might be cheaper.

    Celebrations

    -back up to 45 stores.  We are always happy to have more stores carry our brand!

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -keeping tabs on our 5th sales rep, Stephen.  Last month with him, let’s see if he can make a big sale or not.

    -keeping an eye on our newest FB ad for engagement and traffic/recommendations and shares.

    -e-mail holiday card to stores

    -finalizing Amazon Vendor Express

    -website tweaks in progress with South Bend Code School.

    -follow-up with all old leads one last time via phone call this time!

    -store reach out, we have a list of about a 100 stores to reach out to as leads for the holidays.

    -praying to the Lord for some direction on how to invest time in either pursuing more stores or develop our blog more.

     

    Together, let’s get it all done!

    ~Charlene

  • #2830

    Travis
    Keymaster

    This is awesome Charlene!

    Bring new customers in with FB/IG/Pinterest advertising.

    Close the sale through automated email sequences.

    That’s how you win.

    -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2833

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Definitely Travis, I am taking your advice there.  That is what I will be working to develop and will use Mailchimp to put something together.

    Thanks for the pointers!

     

    We have gotten a lot done, and these past couple of weeks have seen our biggest sales yet.  We’ve totaled over $2,221.13 in sales in the last 2 weeks!  Now, to keep pushing hard until the end of the year.

    Eupterra Foundation weekly report and plan:

     

    12/11/17:

     

    Wholesale

     

    -46 stores now!  A new store in Maine e-mailed us to let us know they are finally ready to order.  The elderly lady who runs it was eager to finally get an order from us.  What a way to advance further, so grateful for working with these kind people 🙂

    -with 5 sales reps.  Been praying to God about this, and I’m feeling that it might not be time for us to expand into retail chains and other distribution channels yet.  We’ve got enough on our plates the more I think about it.  That, and it would be much more profitable for us to expand through online sales first before working with big chain distributors.  More middlemen, more cuts of our profit.  That, and we might want to be picky about what stores carry our brand to reduce competition.  So, if Stephen (our 5th rep) doesn’t make a sale and we just conclude our contract with him, it’ll be some money lost for now but a blessing in disguise as we can always hit him up in the future.  He’ll owe us then, haha -_-

    -Blue Mountain holiday cards sent!  Way to save money and got so many nice follow-ups from store owners.

    -Amazon vendor express is under revision from the back-end of Amazon.  Don’t know what’s causing the hang up on their end, but I keep being re-assured they are looking into.  Will follow-up this week.

    -Lotus Light Distributor set to go.  Just need to get one ad put together for them as they want to feature us on the front cover of the March 2018 issue.  Woohoo!

     

    Retail

    -While looking into increasing our exposure, we’ve got a couple of influencers who look like potentials for low cost.  However, what’s really interesting is we have discovered SEOmerce, a partner with Shopify.  They are offering a 30-day free trial of their digital marketing and SEO services.  We are going to look into that, as we have been trying to see if Google Shopping campaigns would work for us.  I think our pictures really sell, but want to see what these guys have to offer in case they really are good to use.

    -e-mail list at 2, 034 subscribers. Fluctuation from the Fishbowl app we can see, but still the free aspect does give us free 250 additional subscribers to work with every time we release a give-away.   Going to look into an automated sequence on Mailchimp right now to really capitalize on our e-mail list.  We’ve already seen some sales just from our weekly newsletters!

    Blog

    -Been praying about this to the Lord, and have finally understood a really clear message.  I’ve been afraid to take the direction I want with my blog because I keep thinking “nobody is going to read this”, it’s not a fun topic, or I’m just not qualified to discuss such scientific issues – I mean, I don’t have a Ph.D nor 50 credentials, but it’s been made clear to me through prayer and meditation that the Lord really wants me to do this and I need to stop holding myself back.  I am going to start developing my blog into an environmental solutions platform.  I’ll still write some fun articles about yoga, nutrition, and ancient medical practices proving useful once in a while.  But, the real aim is to help show how industry can solve environmental problems.  That’s right, I’m going to talk about how industrial practices can actually benefit the environment and solve our current issues in quick time if performed using ingenuity and problem solving.  Hence, my own work with Eupterra Foundation’s Eupterrae brand.  Will this expand into consulting or e-book work, who knows?  I’ll just follow God’s guidance one baby step at a time.

     

    Social Media

    -Found a couple of influencers.  Negotiating prices with them for blog posts, featurettes, and social media posts linking back to our page.  Will send them samples to review once we are ready.

    Celebrations

    -up to 46 stores now!  Woohoo, 4 away from our goal for the year.  We will keep reaching out to the rest of the leads we have.

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -keeping tabs on our 5th sales rep, Stephen.  Not going to feel too bad if we end up not working with him much longer in the interim.

    -finish reaching out to all leads for potential new retail partners, about 25 left.

    -prepare small ad design for Lotus Light to use

    -checking out SEOmerce, see what they are all about – see if they can’t help automate my Shopify store with right kind of traffic and manage things

    -asking what’s going on with Amazon vendor express.  They seem to be having trouble adding us on their end.

    -website tweaks in progress with South Bend Code School, going to get a breakout of what’s done and how much I owe them.

    -re-defining my blog, going to make some major tweaks to sections and pages so as to focus on the aim of “industrial environmentalism”

     

    Having faith in Him,

     

    ~Charlene

  • #2837

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Getting focused.  We have definitely been working hard, and hope to see some results as we carry through from our efforts.  It’s been nice to decorate our new home with a few pieces of Christmas stuff.  The nice touches are truly merry.  Reminds me why I am so glad we are not in an apartment anymore!

    Let’s have at it, here is what we are up to this week:

     

    12/18/17:

     

    Wholesale

    -46 stores.   We may or may not get any more stores before the end of the year.  A lot of the more interested ones have specified they want to wait until next year to take on our line.  This makes sense as I am sure they are busy now.  Still, although my arbitrary goal was 50 stores this year, 46 is still a really good number.  This, and our focus in 2018 will definitely be more retail sales than wholesale as we have much higher profit margins there.  Still, wholesale is a nice backbone to fall back on for steady production, so both are good.

    -still with 5 sales reps.  Will e-mail Stephen regarding not signing up again with him for another 3 month try, as he hasn’t produced a single sale.  Without sales, we can’t invest in such efforts and honestly with the way business is evolving in this world, the retail chains coming under heavy competition from Amazon and the like, it is possible it might be better for us to invest in trying to figure out Amazon then getting retail chains to carry our goods.  Just a thought.

    -Amazon vendor express we followed up with and it is still being looked at.  I might request a call to talk things over, but from what it sounds, it is just them not hearing back from a particular department.

    -Lotus Light Distributor ad submitted last week.  I think we are ready.

    -every store lead was reached out.  Woot!  That was a long list.

     

    Retail

    -Decided to give SEOMerce their 30-day free try to see if they are really worth a shot.  So far they are putting together an action plan for me.  We’ll see what happens.

    -e-mail list at 2, 022 subscribers.  It is clear that the Fishbowl app, as was our experience last time, has a lot of people signing up and then un-subscribing just to enter into a giveaway.  We will not be using that going forward as although we are getting free e-mails in large amounts, it’s just not worth it.

    -Began running Google Adwords express ad.  We also got a marketing manager to help us out with our ad for 90 days, Edgar. We’ll see how this goes as this was recommended from a fellow friend who is a store owner and the training on here.  We’ve seen a little results from this, so we will keep seeing what we can do.

     

    Blog

    -Getting sections re-organized to make categories easier.  Environment & Industry will be one of them.  I’ll get an article on aquaponics out shortly!

    -Reading Rosemarie Groner’s Blog Starter Workbook.  In conjunction with Date Your List, we hope to make our e-mail list better.

     

    Social Media

    -We’ve got a couple of influencers in the works.  We’ll see when they all want to post and review.

     

    Celebrations

    -Getting with SEOMerce and Google Adwords express is a definite plus.  Having increased e-Commerce sales at retail prices will really help us a long way.  Let’s see how good the results are, but I’m glad we have these as options.

    -finished 4-Hr workweek by Tim Ferris, that book was very insightful!  Thanks for the recommendation Travis 🙂

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

     

    -probably going to tell our 5th rep Stephen that we won’t continue with him, but we can stay connected.

    -check on Google ads and SEOmerce performance.

    -keep up with Amazon vendor express, might phone call them to see what can be done to speed this along.

    -website tweaks in progress with South Bend Code School, saw the breakout and will keep tabs on the rest of what’s in progress.

    -revising some sections of my blog to make categorization easier.

    -looking into e-mail automated sequences and improving our e-mail newsletter.

     

    Working hard and staying focused on our goal!

     

    ~Charlene

  • #2844

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Christmas was great, hope everyone enjoyed theirs, too.  I’m glad the year has been so active and productive.  Although, there were some stressful times trying to figure things out, I am glad to have gotten as far as I have in this endeavor. Here is what I’ll be up to on this short week:

    12/26/17:

     

    Wholesale

     

    -46 stores, but we have one ready to buy pretty quick.   To be this high up in number of stores is great.  With being in business for less than 2 years, I won’t complain, and for next year we will definitely want to see if we can’t get more than 50 🙂

    -back down to 4 sales reps.  We will keep in touch with Stephen regarding key accounts, but otherwise I think I need to make more use of Becca (the one that is purely devoted to my business in representation).  I am giving her a lot more stores so that she can start taking over customer service and free up my time.  That, and she gets more commission this way.

    -Amazon vendor express we will call to see why their department hasn’t gotten back to me in weeks.

    -need to update the wholesale catalog with new info and styles

    Retail

    -SEOMerce is still in their 30-day free trial.  They have optimized some of my pages, and definitely did a better job with meta descriptions than I did.  So, that is a help.  We’ll see what they continue to do.

    -e-mail list at 2, 023 subscribers.  Got rid of Fishbowl app again as most of the subscribers gained here just unsubscribe.  We would prefer dedicated subscribers and will try to grow organically and through Pinterest.

    -Our Adwords express ad didn’t do well this past week even though we doubled ad spend.  It could be the holidays, but we definitely brought spend back down to $10/day for now until we start seeing sales again.  The performance looks good graphically, but wasn’t resulting in buys.  Going to check out Nick Loper at Side Hustle Nation’s suggestion of PaidSearchMagic.com to see if we can’t learn more about using paid search effectively in the meanwhile.

     

    Blog

    -Going to look into out-sourcing some industrial articles and ones on herbs to help ensure dedicated posting.  Looking at VAs suggested by 4-Hour blog.

    -Going to look into out-sourcing to help with more mundane tasks, too.

    Social Media

    -A couple of influencers have received their samples and one is on the way, so we’ll see if we can schedule when they will do their reviews and postings.

    Celebrations

    -potential store number 47 came from a referral from the speech I gave at 1 Million Cups in town.  Another referral!  I am so glad.

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -look into outsourcing for our blog and mundane tasks

    -call Amazon to see what is happening with vendor express

    -get our wholesale catalog arranged

    -keep an eye on SEOmerce and their work to see if it is worth it

    -figure out what’s going on with Google PPC ads

    -track our influencers to see when they will do their review and post

     

    Whew, going to try to get it all done.  Best wishes to you all!

    ~Charlene

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • #2855

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Happy New Year EYDJ peeps!  Hopefully all of you guys enjoyed the holidays.  2017 was really active, and I am ready to make sure 2018 is off to a good start.  Here is my weekly update.  Hope you guys are rockin’ it!

    1/2/18:

    Wholesale

    -47 stores!  A retailer at our SB Farmer’s Market swooped in last week real fast and started wholesale with us.  I was surprised for sure, but am very glad.  To have our brand carried at our farmer’s market is really sweet.

    -at 4 sales reps.  We will keep things coasting like this for now.
    -Keeping tabs on Amazon vendor express, and applied to Amazon Handmade.  The exposure on Amazon might be nice for us, so we will see what it all entails.

    Retail

    -SEOMerce is still in their 30-day free trial.  They have moved into optimizing our Google ads.  We’ll see what they come up with in their campaign efforts.

    -e-mail list at 2, 024 subscribers.  We are getting a lot of new subscribers, but are still losing from the Fishbowl app individuals.  Definitely glad we are not using that any longer.

    -Definitely learned a bit about not using too many keywords with PPC.  Will be seeing if we can’t refine our adwords this week.

    Blog

    -In discussion with a VA group on outsourcing some aspects of my blog and mundane daily tasks.  We’ll see what they have to offer.

     

    Social Media

     

    -A couple of influencers have received their samples and will most likely be active this month in posting.  We’ll keep tabs on them.

     

    Celebrations

     

    -another new store and at the farmer’s market, too!  I am always grateful for every retailer who wishes to show my brand creations to their customers.

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

     

    -seeing what options there are in outsourcing for my blog and mundane tasks

    -keeping up with Amazon on vendor express and handmade approval

    -watching SEOmerce’s work and seeing if we can’t get better with our adwords

    -keeping watch of our influencers on what they are up to this month

     

    This year, my focus is definitely to hone in on the main key factors for my business’s exposure and growth.  Best of wishes to all of you, too, in what you’re doing here.

    ~Charlene

     

  • #2881

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Whew, this has been a busy past week.  We’ve been trying out new things and getting a new person trained to help lighten the load of our business.  Here is what our week is looking like:

    1/15/18:

     

    Wholesale

    -47 stores still

    -at 4 sales reps. January is usually a slower month for reps.  We’ll see if any activity happens here.

    -Still in communication with Amazon.  I am starting to learn their team is not the most responsive.

     

    Retail

     

    -SEOMerce did seem to do well for us, but didn’t generate results.  Of course with SEO, results take a lot of time.  I’ll look around for other reputable SEO services, but we might switch to another team if they might get us results faster at a better price.

    -e-mail list at 2, 036 subscribers.  Back up to growing again.

    -trying out Clickfunnels, thanks Travis for the advice and showing us your own experience here.  This has been new and we are starting to run our first funnel.

    -looking into some eBay listings to see if we can’t use them as well as Amazon.

    Blog

    -Hired a VA on Upwork to help with mundane tasks.  This first week of training her has been busy, but good that she is asking a lot of questions.  We will keep tabs until she feels more comfortable.

    Social Media

    -One influencer has begun posting online and will do a blog post.  Looking forward to it!

    Celebrations

    -Glad to have a VA to help out with things.  It’s nice to start delegating even though I am nervous about it.

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -trying out Clickfunnels to see if we want to use this system for our products.

    -looking into eBay to see if that might actually be a good option for us.

    -keeping tabs on Amazon.

    -comparing other SEO services and seeing if we want to use SEOMerce or not after finishing their trial.

    -keeping watch of our influencers

     

    Keep up with it everyone!

     

  • #2888

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    With some help, I have gotten through a huge load of work in following up leads and keeping up with store requests.  So, this week we can finally get into establishing more of a routine.  Systems and habits to build and grow.  Here is what we are looking at:

    1/22/18:

    Wholesale

    -47 stores, we have re-orders starting up, and have followed up with every store that has reached out to us.  It has been nice to get through that entire list of over 200!

    -at 4 sales reps.

    -Finally heard back from Amazon handcrafted.  We are approved and can try to figure out how to work with them.  As for Amazon vendor express, I am not sure still what continues to happen here.

     

    Retail

    -After SEOMerce, we did find a good seller on Fiverr that offers great SEO packages.  This is a long-term strategy for us though, so we will get through our most immediate hurdles and then focus on SEO as a big important impact.

    -e-mail list at 2, 017 subscribers.  Not sure what is causing the unsubscribes, but I’m happy to have a whittling down.  I’ll keep up my weekly newsletter.

     

    -decided against Clickfunnels and eBay.  After giving Clickfunnels a try, we are really adverse to using the Free + Shipping method.  I’ve tried this before, and it just does not seem to bring in enough revenue to cover ad spend.  That, and the customer base seems to not like being up-sold.  That is our experience at least twice now.  With eBay, I have read it is rife with buyer scams.  Thus, we would prefer to be protected under Amazon.

    Blog

    -Our VA is doing well.  We are going to try to get her into a routine for M-F, and have her search for new stores for us.  Selling through retailers has been very stable for us.

    -Trying to get into the habit of a new blog post 1/week, too, once my routine solidifies.

    Social Media

    -One influencer is done, and her post was fabulous.  Really enjoyed her comments, too, in general.  I’ll keep watch on the other 3, as one wants to do a giveaway.

     

    Celebrations

    -Being able to work from home and get into a routine is great!

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -figuring out Amazon handcrafted.

    -getting our taxes done.

    -updating Instagram picture feed.

    -keeping tabs on the other 3 influencers

    -getting my weekly routine for the year in place!

  • #2898

    Travis
    Keymaster

    Nice!

    Two things, keep the Clickfunnels/free + shipping offer in the back of your head (as in, don’t 100% count it out) – myself and several friends/clients are crushing it with F + S.

    There are several factors that could be involved, mainly the audience the ad is ran to. I’ve found that sometimes the sales copy, the price and the offer are perfect, but just ran to the wrong FB audience. Anyway…maybe we pursue it again later.

    Also, what are your financial goals with your business? What do you want to get to per month next?

    -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2952

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hey Travis,

    Thanks for answering.  Sorry, I have been a bit busy for a while!  I think you are right, I don’t think I have quite figured out my audience.  I am looking into getting better at targeting using my e-mail list as a basis as well.

    Financially, my goal is to get my business up to the $4-5k/month range right now consistently.  We’ve been hitting that somewhat, but I hope to not overly spend on marketing to get there.

    I’m glad to finally reach the $1-2k/month goal consistently now though.  So grateful!

    ~Charlene

  • #2953

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hey EYDJ peeps!  Hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day. It has been a while since I have posted, and I am going to get back into doing so again. We have been really busy with the advent for more stores starting February, and having a distribution company get started with us.  For this spring week, here is where we stand:

    5/14/18:

     

    Wholesale

     

    -up to 55 stores now, one of which has a couple of locations in the U.K.  So, Eupterrae is officially international!  I am so glad for all the stores that have wanted to join in carrying our brand.  Thus far, our VA (which we had full time, moved down to part-time for now just until we stabilize), has been outreaching every week to new stores and following up with old leads.  This has proved a great way to expand our wholesale reach.

    -still at 4 sales reps, and sticking to it.  If we were to expand, we would probably go to more online websites that can portray us for stores rather than hiring more reps for now.

    -Amazon had some very interesting developments we are still working through.  The company actually reached out on their own to wish to include us in the vendor central program.  Amazon will purchase inventory from us directly at wholesale and then sell under them.  We are entirely down for this, have been approved, and now just need to get set-up!

    -One pain point, with all our new sales, we have been depleted of inventory.  This is a good problem to have, but I am trying to find ways of ensuring our inventory stream continues to flow well and we don’t run into hiccups like this.  So, another factor in our growth is being able to keep up with demand.

    Retail

    -after trying various SEO efforts, we are going to cool it here.  Although profits are best at retail sales, getting these sales through marketing is very hard for us so far.  The best strategy has been to increase our IG channel following, and post on Pinterest.  Otherwise, we are not spending here for now yet.

     

    Blog

    -Have been posting on Pinterest daily and have gained more group boards.  Our VA has been writing one article a month on herbs or specific naturopathic topics.  This helps take the load off of me.

     

    Social Media

    -Growing our IG channel and filling up our Buffer for all channels has been the most helpful we have found.

     

    Celebrations

    -We are finally hitting the first goal of a consistent $1-2k/month.  I am so glad to see us get to this point, and am learning to analyze what works and what doesn’t work for us.  It is definitely a process, and although reading what others do for their businesses is helpful for ideas, it really does come down to getting the results the way that works for you.

     

    *This Week’s Focus*

    -figuring our Amazon Vendor Central

    -Fill up Buffer for 3 months

    -take a good look at what works and what doesn’t to concentrate effort on

     

    Have a great week everyone!

     

    • #2957

      Travis
      Keymaster

      This is awesome Charlene!

      I’m interested in learning more about the VA (virtual assistant) you’re using – so essentially your VA is cold calling/emailing and making sales for you?

      Let me know a little bit more about that… I could use something like that myself!

      You’re right, I think it’s time to hone in on your top performing 1 or 2 things that bring in the most profits, and laser focus on those.

      Great job Charlene – you’re rocking it!

       

      -Travis Peters, teaching Christians to lead a life of increase and purpose.

  • #2997

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hey Travis,

    Oh gosh, I am sorry I didn’t get to you for so long.  I didn’t realize you messaged me on here!

    Sure, for my VA, this is what I had her do to help alleviate me – manage all social media interactions, keep up with wholesale accounts, and check all my solicitation e-mails to select important ones for me to read ( I receive so many wholesale inquiries on a daily basis now that if I responded to all it would take hours).

    That was her main task for me.

    ~Charlene

  • #2998

    Charlene Rountree
    Participant

    Hello EYDJ community,

    Alright, this is probably going to be my last major development post on here at least for a long while.  At this point, we have grown to a degree where I am no longer too free to write.  Feeling very blessed, and will be committing myself to keeping this sustained.  I wish everyone the same thing as me.  Here is what I have done and where I stand:

    9/19/18

     

    Eupterra Foundation has grown into a small company.  Over the past few months, revenue for us has finally reached from $6k/month to up to $8+k/month.  It is hard to believe this, and I do hope to continue being a good leader of our little group.  We have 2 full-time assistants who handle e-mails, orders, inventory checks, social media mutual marketing efforts, wholesale account relationships, and occasionally article writing.  They are the main individuals who take care of day to day tasks for me so that I can oversee the whole range and breadth of my business.

    In addition to these 2 full-timers, we have a graphic designer, a local print shop that works on packaging specifically so we can be unique, a photographer, and a social media management company that we hired to take on our marketing desires.

    What follows is the breakdown of the ongoing.

     

    Retail

    Over the past couple of months, our biggest focus has been on online retail expansion.  There is a huge opportunity here, especially as the internet breaches into growing international markets.  What I have done is re-focus my team to Instagram and Facebook, make our IG page very professional, grow an audience, and send out both relevant interactive posts as well as social ads.

    The biggest help came in saving enough funds to truly explore this and exploit success.  To do so, I grew our wholesale to the point where profits allowed for significant investments.  We hired a marketing company, SelfMade, to re-make our IG page and run successful ads.  They also watch our ads to ensure profitability.

    This truly is what brings in the biggest ROI and helps to continue ensuring a large flow for further growth.  Like Travis teaches, here is where the growth truly happens quickly once you learn this.  For me, hiring better people than myself helped a lot, not that it hurt to learn on my own some.

     

    Wholesale

    We have surpassed 60 stores, and are now on the major directory Salehoo.  At this point, we are purposely not pursuing more wholesale accounts because retail is more profitable.  Still, we are happy to take on reputable stores including: Amazon.  Amazon has been buying like a store our brand for months now.  This has been highly lucrative as being a brand that functions as inventory for them, they sell under their name across all continents rather than having me as a seller stuck on the North American account only.

    We have also decided to not continue with distribution companies as from experience, they drain our inventory and the profit margins are not as great.  So, we respectfully requested to not renew further contracts.  This is a milestone decision, to turn away certain avenues in order to concentrate on others. The reasoning for this is that you only have so many opportunities you can pursue.  I would rather not busy myself or my team at this point in going after less optimal ones.

    Blog

    I still write articles for enjoyment a couple of times a month.  I also accept a lot of guest articles that are offered for exposure.  At some point, we will see if we can get the blog to be combined with the store and hire a writer to delve into deeper topics just to add some variety on occasion.

    Social Media

    Our main focus and truly one that is needed.  Myself, I never wanted to be a social media person, but learning relevant hashtags, how to present themes to an audience, and brand identity has truly been invaluable.  Now, I think my channel looks nearly as good as those I admire – Tentree, Mountain Rose Herbs, looking at you guys!

    This whole effort has been quite a journey.  From understanding inventory balance, learning to provide excellent interactive posts, and introduce something to an audience in a way that communicates why they can enjoy it all the while maintaining quality and improvising even better material and designs, it can’t be understated that I have learned a lot.

    For those who wish to learn as I did, here is what I recommend:

    -Travis is a good source.  EYDJ lets you know how things can be applied on your own and is useful material.

    -Get on webinars from people who are ground-breakers in the industry.  If you are in business to be eCom, learn from Adrian Morrison/Anthony Morrison/Charles Ngo/Dan DaSilva.  Even if the material is old, the more you comprehend the skills you need from its foundations, the better.

    -Invest.  If you want to do well, put some extra money aside to do it at least when it comes to business.  I started thinking, if you had $10k to start a business vs if you had $1 mil to start a business, which one do you think would make it?  Well, if you are smart with your $10k, you can do it.  But, if you budget for a $10k, but have an extra $10k to boost what you do, it will take you so much farther.  So, whether you want to think that way or not, funds do make a difference.

    I do hope my posts are helpful to you all on here.  Making a living online is a wonderful 21st Century opportunity.  May the Lord bless you and we thank Him for our blessings!

    ~Charlene

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