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Dropshipping w/ Shopify + FB Ads & Instagram Influencers - Tips for Beginners

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by SqueakyToy, May 26, 2017.

  1. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    Hello everyone,

    i recently BHW and learned loads of useful things & found new money making methods (nearly done with planning a new journey from the stuff i learned here that i will start next month), so as a sign of gratitude i decided to give beginner dropshippers some tips from my experience. The "Tips" will be listed as they come from the top of my head, since i don't think ordering them makes any difference in this case.

    If you don't know much about dropshipping or Facebook ads, this is not the thread to start learning from. I saw someone post a full Shopify guide available to download by Ben Malol (a successful guy in the eCom world) - so you should download that, or find another guide on setting up your store & creating fb ads. This thread is for people who already have a store, know about fb ads manager, but are struggling to get going.

    1. If you are dropshipping from aliexpress, always order the product for yourself to see if the supplier is good
    People recommend using suppliers that have a rating on AE of 2 crowns or higher - that was not good enough for me, so after deciding on a product i always order one sample to see how it arrives.

    2. If you order from AE, type in the "more info" box on the checkout page that you are dropshipping
    In my experience, if the store has processing time of 5 days or more, when they see that you are dropshipping, they will "prioritize" your order (the sentence i used was: "Please don't include promotion flyers or product price - the product is used for dropshipping :)"

    3. Your product description makes all the difference in the world
    Everyone knows that the FB Ad Copy needs to be perfect to catch the customers eye - using the default image from aliexpress won't be good enough. I always made custom photos/videos with the product i ordered as a sample (videos tend to work better these days - lower CPM + more engagement = easier to go viral). However, even if people decide to click on the link you put in your description on the ad, you still need to have a great product description - i always include some specs (size, material...) and than why the customer needs the products, how it will make their life easier... I found about great product description from phonebibi (dropshipping site that is nothing special, but their product description 5/7 :D).

    4. Niche VS General Store
    Both of them have their pros and cons. The one that matters the most is scaleability - niche stores dry out faster, and general stores can achieve the success of Wish, or Gear Best...
    I personally recommend starting out with a general store that has a coupe of niches in it (lets say a store that has hunting, camping, survival, hiking, fishing, fly-fishing... and similar niches), but you will create a different Facebook page for every niche. That way you will have the perks of a niche store (having fans for each niche) on a general store. Plus, if you ever decide to sell the store, it has more value to sell one store with 5x20.000 fan pages, than one store with one 50.000 fan page.

    4.1 FINDING PRODUCTS
    If you don't have an idea what to sell, check the competitors, check out eBay watch list, check out trends, scrape aliexpress, check out what sells on Amazon, and always think outside the box. (i always tried to target 2 interests with one products - for an example LGBT Dog Collar - you can target dog owners that may be gay and people that support gay rights).

    5. FB ADS
    The most stunning thing about FB ads is what works for me may not work for you, or the other way around. However, after talking to a lot of fb marketers, we all agreed on a few things:

    5.0 FACEBOOK PIXEL IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
    Facebook pixel is a little code by Facebook that you insert on your store. What the pixel does is it tracks the behavior of the visitors on your site (how long they were there, did they browse around or just saw one product, did they add to cart, initiate checkout, purchase...) and stores all that information for your future use.
    5.1 LET THE ADS OPTIMIZE
    I blew a lot of money in the beginning on editing my fb ads hours after creating them. NEVER DO THAT! FB ads take time to optimize. Let them run for 3-4 days before making any decisions, that is how long it usually takes for Facebook to figure everything out and show the ad to the people that may have an interest in it.
    5.2 AD SCALING
    This is probably the "hardest" part for beginners. If you ad is doing great, you may think that you should increase the budget by a lot. This will only mess your ad up, and it will make you lose a lot of money. There are 2 ways of scaling ads (that worked best on all of us): The first one is increasing the budget by 20% to 30% MAX every couple of days. The second one - the one i personally like better - is by duplicating the winning adset and setting a higher budget (however, you still let the old one run since it is doing good)
    5.3 KILLING ADS/KILLING THE PRODUCT
    DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO YOUR PRODUCT! If you fall in love with your product, and it is not working well, you will have a bad time. If you believe it will succeed, don't let the same ad run for 10 days, try changing the fb ad picture/video, try changing the description on the picture/video, try changing the target group.
    5.4 SPLIT TEST
    Split testing is important. Why? It lets you find out if photo or video ad is better for the product, if men or women are more interested in the product, which targeted audience is better...
    5.5 Lookalike audiences (LLA).
    Everyone making money with dropshipping with fb ads makes the big money by creating LLAs. LLA is a custom audience that you can create from people who visited your product page, added the product to cart or purchased the product. However, you need a good sample audience to create a good LLA.
    Facebook requires 20 of one action to create a LLA, but using a sample of 20 people to create an audience of 2.000.000 is not good. Sample audience of 300+ is a decent, however if you can reach 500+, the LLA will work even better. The bigger the sample, the better the LLA.

    How LLA works - (we'll use PURCHASES as an example) - Facebook pixel tracks the people that purchased a product from your store. When 500+ people purchase one product and you decide it is time to create a LLA, Facebook compares all of the 500 people, finds out what they have in common, and creates an audience for you, called a lookalike audience (that is 2mil up to 20mil - depends on the settings you set). That new Lookalike audience is what you want and need in order to start being profitable in the dropshipping business with FB ads. Without any knowledge in lookalike audiences, you will have a hard time succeeding.

    6. Instagram Influencers
    Instagram influencers are people that have a big following in a niche. They are people that you will contact to advertise your product. Finding influencers is easy, there are websites that "sell shoutouts" but i prefer finding them myself. How to find influencers yourself (lets use camping for an example).
    1. open IG on your phone, press the search button and type in camping.
    2. browse the accounts that come up first
    3. when you are on someones account, you can press the "arrow pointing down" button, to find similar accounts to their.
    4. contact the influencers you like if they want to advertise your product and what is their price.

    Tips on Instagram influencers:
    1. the biggest accounts aren't always the best. An account with 1mil followers may lead to less results than an account with 50k followers.
    2. always check the engagement - if their engagement is bad, that means that your ad will fail, and the money you spent on the shoutout will turn out to be a bad investment.
    3. check the comments - if people tag other people in the comments, that is a good sign, if the same people comment "wow, cool, amazing" on every post of the account you are checking out, that is a bad sign.
    4. avoid meme pages - they don't usually convert well. You may get link clicks and people may visit your store, but niche account that are much smaller with better engagement are going to work better for you.
    5. if the influencer has email, contact them via email, if not DM them.
    ***there is a lot of value on youtube on how to find Instagram influencers

    Why I use instagram influencers over Facebook ads when launching a new product?
    I found out that the method that works for me is this:
    1. Find an IG influencers to run my ad (the reason for this is because they have a targeted following that is interested in the niche my product is in).
    2. Facebook Pixel tracks all the people that purchased the product from my store
    3. Use those people as a sample audience to create LLAs
    4. Create FB AD with the LLA audience.

    FINAL WORDS:
    Join as many Facebook groups as you can (be active in them). People share their experiences, what works for them, what does not.

    Select one "Mentor" and follow him.
    I love Adrian Morrison (i believe he is the only guy that has a "deal" with shopify to extend the trial for his students) he has his fb group + he has weekly webinars, where he shares GREAT VALUE (its free to join, the website is profitph.com - stands for profit power hour). He also has a course which is about $2700. I purchased it and i DON'T think that you need it, there is enough free information on the internet on setting up your store + fb ads, and he doesn't add anything more that is worth nearly that much). His profit power hour is much better than his paid training.

    My second favorite is Ben Malol (you can find his training on this forum for free - about $1000 to buy) - he has his own group also, and a small youtube channel where he shares some information for newbies that want to get into the world of eCom).

    The dropshipping world is hard, most of the people you see on FB are fake advertisers trying to get your money with their get rich schemes. You DO NOT work 15 minutes a day like they say. It takes a lot of product research, a lot of audience research, takes nerves not to touch your ads every single minute, takes knowledge to write a good ad copy.
    The budget..you will need money to start. Even if Shopify does offer a free trial, you still need money for the ads, for the influencers, to order the products...You may need to test 50 products before you find a profitable one, keep that in mind.
    Chose your payment processor CAREFULLY! I can't stress this enough. If your payment processor sucks, you are doomed. (I used 2checkout because it was the only one available in my country - their fees are EXTREMELY HIGH, they charge a fixed amount per transaction + take a percentage, they payout weekly, they charge for the payout...the list goes on and on - use anything else if you can...
    Keep an eye on new applications for Shopify. Everyday something new comes out that adds value.

    If you persevere the hard start, scale ads properly, grow your fb page and keep your customers happy, you will be successful. This is a business method that has a lot of potential, but you need to put in the work to make everything right.

    I am sorry if there are type-os and some sentences are harder to understand - English is not my main language, but i tried my best. Also, I know the thread is a bit scattered, but its my first tips thread & i tried to make it as good as i can :) If you have any questions, ask them publicly so people can read them in the replays, and i'll try my best to answer them.

    If my tips were able to help at least one of you, than spending 90 minutes to write this were not wasted for nothing :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 25
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  2. Mr. Burnham

    Mr. Burnham Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    An interesting tutorial. What would you say is a good starting capital to get in this method? Also do you think that dropshipping fitness supplements is possible with fb ads?
     
  3. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot buddy.
    What do u plan to do with the payment problem? I guess im gonna have to use the stupid 2checkout aswell as my country has paypal but we can only use it to buy stuf right now and not to receive funds.
     
  4. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    I couldn't say for the capital, since it depends if your 1st product will be profitable or your 100th. But if you have about $500 spare, you should definitely go for it. (you should be safe with $500 - however i had a friend start with $50 and is going strong now, and i blew $940 before i started seeing constant sales and growth on my store). About fitness supplements, i KNOW you can sell everything if you offer it to the right people=if you target the audience right, but you need to check with Facebook Ads ToS, Shopify ToS, and your payment processors ToS if they allow fitness supplements on your store. (2checkout wouldn't let me sell Scopes for Airsoft guns..)

    I will most probably put everything on pause till Shopify Payments / Stripe / Skrill is available for my country. (i would've kept going but i have a "problem" with our new government - the government in my country changed so i'll have to wait for the new government settles down and calms their tits with the new laws and prohibitions and triple IM taxes). I don' think its worth it for me to be in the dropshipping business now. I have a lot of strategies lined up for the future months that work around the new laws, so i hope i'll be fine :)
     
  5. Mr. Burnham

    Mr. Burnham Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thank you for the advice. I appreciate a lot the time you took to write in detail. I will take your tips into action. Thanks again.
     
  6. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

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    Let me guess, u are from Macedonia? :p
     
  7. pherkan

    pherkan Newbie

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    What do you use to run the webshop, currently I have a webshop running on Shopify (not dropshipping), but I'd like to create another webshop with some accessories (dropshipping).. but paying around 30$ every month to try something out is not very cheap.
     
  8. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

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    That kinda sucks, I agree.
    How about the trial periods? Is there any way around, to get more than 14days of trial? I remember somone posted a trick to geg 60days of trial on shopify but there was a catch.
     
  9. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    I recommend Shopify because it is perfect for beginners, + they have 30 day free trial, so you can try stuff for 29 days, close the store, open a new one on a different mail and try around some more. When you figure out what you want and if it is for you, you can open a store and start paying the $30 monthly ($30 + a percentage of a sale is worth mentioning) :)
     
  10. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    Well no one else that can't receive payments from paypal changed governments lately, so... :)
     
  11. pherkan

    pherkan Newbie

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    Hmm true.. I think there are some other cheaper options like TicTail.. 1€ a month someone told me.. but have to look into that first.
     
  12. BackY

    BackY Senior Member

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    So, we're neighboars my friend. Same here lol.
     
  13. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    I saw ads on facebook for WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Megento Commerce... but i am very satisfied with Shopify customer service, and since its the biggest platform for eCom, there are loads of apps that come out daily + so many people use the same platform, if you have issues (i never had any) - someone has the same issues with you, and they may have solved them. So for those that can afford it, i definitely recommend it.
     
  14. thetoothfairy

    thetoothfairy Regular Member

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    What's good about Shoptify ? What about it that's better than other free webshop ?
     
  15. pherkan

    pherkan Newbie

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    Yes, totally agree with you. Also own a Shopify webshop for almost a year now and it's perfect. Also tried WooCommerce and some others.. but Shopify is really much better. The only thing is just the fact that you're paying 30 euros per month.. which is not too much if you sell a lot of products.. but is quite a lot if sales are a bit lower some months.
     
  16. pherkan

    pherkan Newbie

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    Their customer service is really good, they helped me quite a lot with designing some details of my webshop. The back end (SEO/meta links etc) and front end (managing your orders, analytics) are amazing. Also some nice Shopify apps for iPhone which makes everything pretty easy. And the fact they have their own kind of App Store (Shopify App Store) for plug-ins/add-ons. Still depends on how much time and money you'd like to spend on a webshop.
    If you don't have any knowledge of programming or whatsoever and you're based in US, you can try Squarespace too.
     
  17. CThomasRaging

    CThomasRaging Registered Member

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    Have you had the ultimate success with the using the IG Influencers and then using the audience as LLa's audience?
     
  18. SqueakyToy

    SqueakyToy Newbie

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    Yes, i found that it works best for me. Hire IG influencers to advertise your product, get a big enough sample, and create the LLA.
     
  19. wilihost

    wilihost Registered Member

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    Thanks for the detailed info! I might be able to use this in the future!
     
  20. SweetSinKatana

    SweetSinKatana Newbie

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    thanks buddy for those great tips