WiseMerchant systematically breaks down successful online stores to show you exactly how to do the same. I find the eCommerce companies that have hit it big and we break down the strategies they used to go from ground zero to multi-million dollars (sometimes, within even just a few short months) in to actionable steps, so you can implement them.
So… who am I?
I’ve always been entrepreneurial growing up.
I sold Pokemon cards on eBay back in high school. It was a lot of tough work initially, but I loved it!
I remember collecting and trading the valuable first edition Charzards, then create and promote the listings, then follow-up with each buyer.
I went to school during the day obviously. So I’d be up late at night packaging products, mailing them out in time, and more.
It was a ton of work. But it also brought in five-figures in its heyday — not bad for a 14 year-old kid.
However, what I loved was the process of figuring out how everything worked and the process of negotiating when I traded and sell each collectable cards.
The most exciting of all was when the money started to come in from everything I figured out and put together. Sure the money was great, but it wasn’t about the money, it was the gratification that I figured it out and made it work.
Of course I also had some disappointments like when I got ripped off. But those are the business lessons I was glad I learned early on.
Now thinking back, I would have made a lot more money if held on to some of the cards and sold them today, but hind sight bias is always 20/20.
Growing up, I’ve always found it easy to figure out how things work.
There’s no great mystery behind it, really, just the way my mind works.
The trick is to take some complex process and break it down into each individual component.
It’s exactly like engineering. You look at the finished product, or the end market, and reverse-engineer the steps required to make it happen.
For example, I finally landed on Pokemon cards for my eBay business because you could see they were selling like crazy at the time.
It’s no different than surfing if you think about it. You look for trends that are like small swells initially. But then when you find a good one before anyone else, you grab hold and ride it in.
After my eBay adventures, I went to UCSD for college.
I’ve always enjoyed school. But I ultimately changed my major five different times because I had no idea what I wanted to do.
How can you possibly pick a career without actually experiencing it first-hand? How will you know if it’s the right one for the next fifty years of your life?
I didn’t. So I looked around.
A few of my friends at the time were already making real money. And many of them never even went to college.
Curious, I hung out with them more and more. I constantly asked questions and watched.
I wanted to see where they were having success. Or even better, where they were failing miserably.
These friends were focusing almost all of their energy on the internet space at the time.
It was like a giant puzzle. There were no written rules, necessarily.
Instead, you brainstorm new ideas. Then you roll them out into the marketplace.
Most would fall flat, but a few would take off.
It was like combining the Scientific Method with gambling. And it was addicting.
Following their moves eventually lead me into online marketing consulting.
It was like the best of both worlds. I got to work with amazing companies, while continuing to learn, make mistakes, and grow.
I loved trying to break complex processes down into digestible chunks. Then, the goal was to help my clients put these building blocks back together to skyrocket growth.
Seeing new website traffic and revenue flow in afterward was the best feeling in the world.
How I 10x my learning curve
My consulting work lead to founding KloutFire, and that’s when things really began to escalate.
We worked with companies from all walks of life, including B2B, B2C, and eCommerce.
The tactics or day-to-day activities might change from one client to the next.
But the longer I worked with these companies, the more I realized that the underlying principles often were the same.
You want to diagnose the fundamentals to see what’s working, what’s not working, and how to fix it.
During this time, I got the privilege to work with a ton of amazing sites.
Then, I connected with Noah Kagan and was able to help grow his blog OkDork.com’s traffic through SEO and optimizing blog list growth.
The WordPress tools and strategies I helped Noah implement even inspired the beginning of Sumo.com (combining all the social and email list building widgets I suggested into one solution).
Working with these amazing entrepreneurs, venture backed startups, and fortune 500 companies has been an absolute blessing. They’ve taught me so much throughout the process.
But my passion always comes back to the same thing: eCommerce.
Growing multiple multi-million dollar eCommerce companies
I had been working with a few eCommerce brands throughout this entire time.
One of the best is Kimberly Snyder.
She’s a celebrity author and nutrition blogger that works with A-list celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Ben Stiller, Kerry Washington, Channing Tatum and Reese Witherspoon.
Her blog had around 30,000 visitors a month when we first started working together.
But we were soon able to start bringing in over 500,000 visitors each month.
Thankfully, we set up her own eCommerce store in time before the huge traffic increase. So it quickly started selling thousands of supplements, yoga dvds, high end saunas, yoga workshops, and tons of other products.
I was also able to work with celebrity hypnotherapist Kerry Gaynor, who helps celebrity clients like Martin Sheen, Aaron Eckhart, and Kevin Pollak.
My main project was growing revenue for the Kerrygaynor Method by setting up profitable Facebook ad campaigns and Google AdWords’ funnels.
Each brand’s revenue continued to climb.
Not by accident. And not because we were geniuses.
It always came back to the same fundamentals.
The key was to understand how things work.
The successful systems are already out there. You just need to know where to look.
Knowledge over money
I’ve enjoyed working with all of these high-profile clients over the years.
But I love working directly with business owners the most.
Adding a couple zeros on the end of a check for a big business can be lucrative.
But doing that for an entrepreneur is life-changing.
Seriously. Everything about their life instantly changes in the blink of an eye. And their own families are the beneficiaries.
That, to me, is the most rewarding experience ever.
Nothing comes close.
And that’s why I’ve started the WiseMerchant blog.
I want to use my experience and analytical skill to help eCommerce entrepreneurs grow their stores.
I’ve already done it with so many different brands. I love dissecting and analyzing what others are doing well. I love reverse-engineering the tactics and putting it all into systems for eCommerce brands.
But most importantly, I love transforming small companies into big ones.
There are a lot of people selling courses out there.
There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. Except, I just don’t want to do that.
Instead, I want to give it out for free to pay it forward.
So many people have helped me along the way. I’ve worked with so many other amazing mentors who’ve guided me to this point.
I believe it’s my obligation to do the same for others.
I’ve had the privilege to access resources and knowledge that most people never will.
I want to change that.
I noticed that most content out there tell you how some company hit “$3 million in revenue within 18 months.” They tell you all about the glory.
But they never tell you how the company ever actually did it (they might’ve mentioned a tactic or so).
They never break it down into an actionable step-by-step plan you can follow.
And that’s my goal for WiseMerchant. To breakdown successful strategies by other online stores into easy-to-follow, actionable steps that you can follow.