Start Yours is a podcast about ecommerce, dropshipping, and all things launching a business.

Join us as we meet entrepreneurs who have gone through the triumphs and headaches of running an online store, and learn how they managed to survive and thrive.

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How Two Best Friends Went From a Million Dollar Product Failure To #1 on Amazon

Sick of paying for overpriced cold brew coffee from local coffee shops, best friends Alex and Andrew set out to brew their own coffee in their apartment.What they didn't expect was that it would end up inspiring a business idea.The duo had the ideal background to get it off the ground running. Combining Andrew's background in R&D engineering and Alex's in consumer research, the embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to create the best cold brew for consumers. Today, their brand, Bizzy Coffee (for busy people) is the number one seller of cold brew coffee on Amazon.In this episode of Start Yours, Alex joins us to share their journey to success. Product research and testing aside, he also touches on what it's like to sell on Amazon and provides some tips to rank on the world's largest ecommerce website.If you're an aspiring entrepreneur looking to create your own product or brand, this is one information-filled episode you won't want to miss. If you enjoy the podcast, we hope you'll consider subscribing. Don't forget to check out our blog for more juicy content on entrepreneurship.Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version of our conversation with Alex:Bizzy Coffee is Alex and Andrew's third attempt at running a business together. Their initial two didn't work because they didn't realize the importance of recurring revenue.The two criteria they had for their product was that it had to be searchable and consumable.Alex's advice is to earn that first buck as quickly as possible because you don't want to spend months perfecting a product only to realize there's no demand.People want to be entrepreneurs but they don't have the risk profile so they're happy to live vicariously through you.Entrepreneurs can sometimes get stuck thinking that they have the greatest thing and forget to put their consumer hats on.If there's an option to put more work into a channel, you will be rewarded by putting in the work.You don't wanna have a solution looking for a problem. You gotta have a problem and be flexible in that solution.

Easy Ways To Use TikTok to Build An Audience

There's no denying TikTok has taken over the social media scene (and teenagers' lives) by storm.As an ecommerce business owner, you should already be on the platform and taking advantage of everything it has to offer because, well, tick-tock, time is passing you by and every second you're not on it is wasted potential.But what makes TikTok stand out from other social media sites and how should you market on it?To answer these questions and more, we're joined by Oberlo's very own TikTok master, Neal Chauhan, who will let us in on some trade secrets of his.If you're looking to understand this latest social media phenomenon, you're going to want to tune in to this episode.We hope you enjoy the podcast and if so, do subscribe!Fancy a condensed TL;DR version of our chat with Neal? Here's a seven-point summary:There's a substantial group of entrepreneurs – both expert and aspiring – that are on TikTok.The way to TikTok success is through authenticity.Most of the TikTok videos that do really well offer more value than others.It may take a while for TikTok's algorithm to latch on to your business niche.Don't try to use TikTok like every other social media platform because it's not.When marketing on TikTok, it's important to pop in and interact with other users.Do not overload your TikTok bio or captions with hashtags. Add a few specific ones to steer the algorithm in the right direction.

The Entrepreneur Who Left a Cushy Tech Job To Be His Own Boss

When Vlad moved from Ukraine to the United States, his end goal was to start a business. But the steep learning curve and time-consuming process meant he needed to secure a job to pay the bills while he worked it all out.So he did. He got a job at eBay, one of the biggest tech companies in the world.When he finally had enough money saved up, he quit – a decision that many thought was crazy – and launched his own business.Today, he's the proud owner of a business (not his first) that brought in over $200,000 in sales last year. But this success isn't without its ups and downs.Vlad joins us today on Start Yours to share with us his journey to success and the lessons he's learned along the way.If you're just starting out and need some insights on finding dropshipping success, you should definitely tune in.Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast and check out our blog for more success stories like Vlad's.Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version of Vlad's story and takeaways.Vlad's first venture failed because of a disagreement with his co-founder, who had a completely different mindset from him.Print-on-demand is a good business model and can work if you know how to spot and jump on new trends quickly enough.To succeed, you have to be smarter than 95 percent of the people you're competing with.Becoming a better entrepreneur requires learning how to do things and manage stress at the same time.There are two types of dropshippers: the ones that are always testing products and the ones that force a winner by making small, compounding improvements.When you start selling a product, make sure you have back-up suppliers.General stores, one-product stores, and niche stores all work. You just need to know what you're doing and how to market the products.

The Path to Launching a Million-Dollar Store

Finding success with your very first ecommerce store is unheard of.Cole Turner is no exception.After his initial and multiple failures, Cole was forced to lie to his family about giving up dropshipping. But in reality, he powered on and is reaping the success of this perseverance.His latest store, launched a year ago, has brought him $1.6 million in sales to date. Cole joins us today to share with us valuable information about running a business. If what you're looking for is ecommerce tips and insights, you'll want to tune in for this one.If you're short on time, we've got you covered. Here's a five-point TL;DR version:1. According to Cole, having a real brand identity and showing that you're a legitimate business is the only way to be succesful in dropshipping nowadays.2. Customer service is the most important part of his businesses because it drives customer retention, positive reviews, word-of-mouth sales, etc.3. If you can get good enough at Facebook ads yourself, no other agency will be able to do it as well as you.4. The biggest challenge about running a business is your own mind and persevering through the tough times.5. A business is a money multiplier. If you give it money and it runs correctly, it gives you more money back.

Using Crowdsourcing To Launch Your Own Product

Launching a product in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic can be tricky and definitely not a challenge for anyone. But Shannah isn't just anyone. A certified financial planner with an MBA and founder and host of the Millennial Money Podcast, Shannah's plans to launch her product took a setback when the coronavirus hit.So she decided to turn to crowdfunding.Shannah joins us on this latest episode of Start Yours and shares all about her product launch. From launching her podcast and doing market research for her product to finding manufacturers and setting up her Kickstarter campaign, we'll be covering plenty of ground today.Be sure to tune in because this is an episode you don't want to miss.If you enjoy the podcast, we've got loads more juicy content on our Oberlo blog. And don't forget to subscribe!Prefer a summary? We've got you covered. Here's a seven-point TL;DR version:Podcasting is a great and one of the least expensive ways to build an audience.When people create products for someone else, they often don't fully understand the clauses and contracts that restrict them.When doing market research, take feedback with a grain of salt because it may not be from someone who's going to buy your product.Having a niche is not a bad thing because it keeps you very focused.With crowdsourcing, it's not a bad thing to have a lower financial target.Take inspiration from similar and successful Kickstarter campaigns to build yours.When selecting manufacturers, interview a few of them instead of just going with the first one.

Six Tips From A Long-Time Dropshipper That All Beginners Should Hear

When Suhail witnessed his dad putting food down at the supermarket, he knew he had to do something.A teenager then, he set his mind on making money online and started with eBay. He gave the first £1,000 he made selling on eBay to his dad who used the money to pay off some debt.With a humble background, a fierce passion for ecommerce, and a persistence like no other, Suhail went on to create an online men's fashion store with resounding success. In just a few years, he'd made over £112,000.In this episode of Start Yours, Suhail joins us to talk about his ecommerce journey, including how a music video led to his product going viral and even turned into a meme, and shares with us six valuable tips all beginner dropshippers need to know.This is an inspiring and actionable episode so get your notepads ready to jot down those tips.If you enjoy this episode, we hope you'll consider subscribing. There's also plenty more amazing content over at our blog, so don't forget to check those out, too.Short on time and prefer a condensed version? Here's a nine-point TL;DR version of our chat with Suhail (including the six tips he has for beginner dropshippers):Suhail's first experience of being a merchant came from selling sweets at school... and then getting into trouble for it.After a rapper featured one of Suhail's products in his music video, the product went viral and was even made into a meme.Three values Suhail says led to his success: transparency, honesty, and integrity.Tip #1: Do it for the right reasons.Tip #2: Commit for at least a yearTip #3: Make it look qualityTip #4: Use those around you as a test marketTip #5: Start on a low budget and work with influencersTip #6: Make sure your store stands out with service

The Journey to Trade a Bobby Pin for a House

In 2006, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald set off on a rather bizarre bartering journey ‒ to trade a red paper clip in for a house. It took him one year and 14 trades, but he eventually got there.14 years on, his story continues to inspire. In this episode of Start Yours, we speak to Demi Skipper, who's on a journey to explore the same idea. Her version is, however, slightly different.Aside from the fact that it's a woman who's doing this and she's starting off with a bobby pin instead of a paper clip, Demi also adds a modern twist to her bartering with the use of social media.This is the story of Demi's trading quest and some of the crazy exchanges she's encountered in her journey to trade her way up to a house.Her story has also been featured on the Oberlo blog so don't forget to hop on over to give it a read.If you enjoy this podcast, do subscribe as we bring you inspiring and motivating interviews every week.Prefer a summary? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version:Demi's always been a side hustler. The idea to trade a bobby pin for a house started while she was under quarantine when she came across Kyle MacDonald's story.To date, Demi has done 16 trades, including margarita glasses, a camera, collectible sneakers, an iPhone, and a car.When Demi feels like she's not making enough progress, she looks back on past trades and gets surprised at how far she's come.For Demi, it's less about the house and more about the journey of getting there and proving that it's possible.Her initiative has inspired similar projects around the world including in Europe and Asia.She's making full use of the internet and social media to connect to people who'd be interested in a trade.Her journey has led her to build new friendships with people she would otherwise never have met.

Hustle and Hype, Thinking Outside The Box To Achieve Your Goals

Launching a business can be hard when you're just starting out. But after you've found success, maintaining that momentum can prove to be even more challenging than that first step.How much of an initial investment do you need to launch an ecommerce store? How credible are some of these ecommerce gurus that have sprung up? And how does your level of risk aversion affect the way you approach entrepreneurship?To answer these questions and more, Mario Nawfal joins us on this episode of Start Yours. A serial entrepreneur whose first successful company made $1 million in its first year in business, Mario has made and lost millions many times over. He tells us all about his bootstrap approach and shares some of the free tools available for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.If you enjoy this podcast, we hope you'll consider subscribing. We also have plenty of helpful and informative articles over on our blog so don't forget to check those out.Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version of our chat with Mario:Selling door-to-door sales gets you outside your comfort zone and helps with progressing in life.When you find something that works, double down on it.Luck plays a role in everything. It's a fact of life.Mario's two pillars of success: Focus on what works and do things differently.If a trend is falling, don't put too much effort into it.Entrepreneurship is about risk mitigation.With $4,000 to $5,000 courses, you're wasting your money unless you're making six, seven figures.

Noah Kagan - How Taking Risks Made Him Millions

"Every decision you make requires taking on a certain level of risk"Not only is this true in entrepreneurship, but the level of risk involved may even be elevated.How should you handle risk for your online business? How can you learn to face rejection?To answer these questions, we're joined by Noah Kagan. If you don't already know him, Noah's an expert and serial entrepreneur who helps other entrepreneurs kick ass. A former Intel employee and number 30 to join Facebook, he's currently the co-founder of Chief Sumo at sumo.com and appsumo.com.If what you're after is inspiration and actionable steps to apply to your business to help it grow, this is one energetic interview you do not want to miss. Noah will provide us with valuable insights about building, launching, and running a business as well as finding success.Enjoy the podcast? Don't forget to subscribe! Do also check out our blog for more inspirational and practical information that could help your business.Short on time? We got you covered. Here's a TL;DR seven-point version:If you want to accomplish anything, it will take about ten years for you to finally get there.What Noah really enjoyed about his journey to success was the interesting people he got to meet along the way.The dream is to have your work match up to your interests. Find your excellence, get even better at it, and then find ways to complement it.To be an entrepreneur, you have to be dissatisfied. There's no satisfied entrepreneur because if you're satisfied, you wouldn't do it.You're the average of the five people you learn from.Train yourself to embrace rejection with the coffee challenge: Next time you buy anything, ask for ten percent off.There's unlimited money out there. You just have to figure out what's important enough to people so that they're excited to give you their money.

How This Couple Created an $800k Business While Working Full-Time

If there's one thing many entrepreneurs don't consider when building their business is the importance of failing faster.It may sound counterproductive, but as you'll find out in our latest podcast episode, it's anything but.It's the mentality that's propelled dropshipping mega couple, Shishir and Namrata, to creating a successful $800k business... while balancing a full-time job.In this podcast episode, they take us behind the scenes of their inspirational dropshipping success, share with us some tips, and present The Dropshipping Council.Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned one, there are definitely handy takeaways for you so tune in now!Prefer a summary? Here's a seven-point TL;DR condensed version:Shishir and Namrata's inspiration to start an ecommerce business stemmed from Namrata's passion for seeking out unique products.You learn best when you teach because it forces you to master your business and basics.The Dropshipping Council is an exclusive, invite-only community of expert dropshippers and ecommerce store owners to help their mid- to high-level counterparts.Fail faster because it brings you closer to that eventual success that is at the end of the line.The long-term sustainability of online businesses comes down to product quality.Shishir will only consider transitioning away from a full-time job when he starts to make four to five times his annual employment income in his ecommerce business.Shishir's book recommendations: The Growth Mindset and Deep Work.

How To Launch a Profitable Print-on-Demand Store

Looking to start an ecommerce business and considering print on demand? Then today's Start Yours episode promises to be a gold mine of information for you.We're joined by Sarah Chrisp, the founder and host of popular YouTube channel, Wholesale Ted, which, as of today, has more than half a million subscribers.Together, we dive into the ins and out of print on demand, from production and product sourcing to customer service, pricing, and making sure that your products arrive on time.What should you look out for when selecting a print on demand supplier?How can you avoid using copyrighted designs?What sort of product range should you offer?If you're looking for answers to the above questions and more, hit that play button now to learn more.Enjoy our podcasts? Do consider subscribing. We've also got plenty more content on our blog to help you build a successful ecommerce business so don't forget to check that out!Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version:When selecting a print on demand supplier, consider product quality first, then production and shipping speed, and finally price as a tie-breaker.Focus on creating your own original designs. Don't rely on someone else's intellectual property.When it comes to the product range, offer no more than five different colors and as many sizes as possible.If you really want to know exactly where your products are being made, use a print on demand provider that doesn't outsource.A good product sample is not a strong indication of whether a supplier is good. You want to see if they can do it at scale.If creating text-based designs, consider going DIY. Otherwise, there's plenty of print on demand artists on freelance service marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork.Add value not with price competition, but by creating a better customer experience.

Survival Mode: Launching a Side Hustle During A Life and World Crisis

Life can sometimes feel like it's dictated by Murphy's Law.It was problem after problem for Laura and Albert when the coronavirus pandemic hit. In addition to both of them being left jobless, Laura also suffered a horrific accident in which she broke her neck and back.Faced with such adversities, for most people, it'd be easy to just throw in the towel. But that's not Albert and Laura. Instead of letting these traumatic experiences knock them down, they stayed resilient and (in their own words) "turned that negative into a positive."Today, aside from having to take care of three kids, which is already a fulltime job in itself, and 11 animals, the entrepreneurial couple is also running two online stores they've launched during these trying times.Here's their inspiring story about how they failed to let desperation and helplessness take over and worked together to start their online businesses.Short on time? Here's a five-point TL;DR summary:The experience of doing something you enjoy and are passionate about is healing in itself.The transparency on their About page played a role in the success of their store because it humanizes them and adds personality and authenticity to the brand.Their aim isn't to just sell products that are cool and funny, but also for their customers to have a good purchasing experience.When you have an angry customer, that's an opportunity to earn them as a customer.According to Laura, the couple's business partnership works so well because they like to be together and do stuff together, which is key to doing business together.

Try and Try Again. Building a Successful Business After Multiple Failures

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."When William Edward Hickson popularized this expression, he certainly wasn't thinking about ecommerce or dropshipping. But that doesn't make it any less relevant.After all, what is failure but another step towards success?That's the attitude that propelled Ahmed Hadi towards dropshipping success. Instead of letting not one, two, but three dropshipping setbacks take him down, Ahmed saw them as an opportunity to learn and capitalized on them.Documenting every single decision that he made, he adapted and improved on them with each new store. He joins us in this episode of Start Yours to talk about how he stayed strong in the face of multiple failures and the tactics he's learned that have brought him to where he is today.If you enjoy this podcast, do consider subscribing.Prefer a summary? Here's a five-point TL;DR version:Ahmed's perception of making money online involved doing painstaking tasks. It wasn't until an army buddy introduced him to dropshipping that he learned otherwise.One of the biggest mistakes he made with his first store was not investing any branding efforts into it. He thought that he could just throw products in front of the right audiences and sales would flow.With his second store, he learned about the importance of selling high-quality products. Even if you do get those first sales, people will soon realize they're getting ripped off once they receive the products.Ahmed got his first sales from the third store, which he closed because it was a seasonal opportunity. But there, he got his first taste of success and realized he could make it work.Logistical delays from COVID-19 and problems with his supplier for his fourth store led him to discover a hybrid business model between dropshipping fulfillment and investing in physical inventory.

Pin Your Way to Profit With Pinterest

With nearly 370 million monthly active users today, Pinterest holds massive potential for helping companies build their audience base and get them the online clicks and traffic they need to grow their business.But as a store owner already juggling so many other aspects of your business and surely other social media platforms, how much time do you have to dedicate to learning about Pinterest and implementing a strategy for it?That's what our guest on this episode of Start Yours will help you with.Kate Ahl is a Pinterest expert and has been helping businesses grow their business using Pinterest. Together, we dive into everything from getting started with Pinterest and optimizing your Pin images to understanding how Pinners think and behave.Whether you're new to Pinterest or need a refresher on your Pinterest strategy, you're going to want to tune into this one.If you like what you hear, we hope you'll consider subscribing.Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR summary:Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which are more like social media platforms, Pinterest is more of a search and discovery engine, much like YouTube and Google.Pinterest images are vertical and their optimal ratio is 2:3. Anything longer and the Pinterest algorithm may decide not to show it.Text on Pin images should be short (four to five words), clickbaity but true, punchy, and show product benefits.You’re not gonna get your images right on the first try. You’re gonna have to keep testing them.With Pinterest SEO, think about the search terms Pinners will use to look for something that they'll potentially need in the future.You don't have to post too many times a day. But at least have some of your products and content going on to Pinterest daily.The percentage of females on Pinterest used to be as high as 80 percent. But as Pinterest expands internationally, the usage among men is slowly increasing.

Getting Funding, Changing Lives and Blowing Up On Twitter

As a brand, products that have an impact on your customers’ lives certainly help to keep your business top of mind. But they can also influence them in deeper, more impactful, and meaningful ways that they’ll carry with them for life. In this episode of Start Yours, Yelitsa Jean-Charles joins us to talk about how she founded Healthy Roots Dolls, a successful toy startup that creates dolls with a goal to empower young girls. Listen to Yelitsa discuss her inspiring entrepreneurial journey that started when she was a college student and her responsibility to educate, empower, and influence through her brand. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to subscribe and check out our past episodes. Prefer a condensed version? Here’s a five-point TL;DR summary: Before launching a business, research your idea to find out if anyone else is already doing it and if you can do it better. Going to events, networking, and building relationships allowed Yelitsa to find the right people who helped to build her business. Yelitsa’s Kickstarter campaign made $50,000 in pre-sales. She also went on to win a series of programs that brought in more grants and investments. It’s Healthy Roots Dolls’ first year of being fully operational with products and they’re already all sold out and pre-orders continue to flood in. Yelitsa says artists have a unique responsibility in the work they create to educate, empower, and influence, which is what she’s doing with Healthy Roots Dolls.

Will Starting a Podcast Build Your Brand?

Thinking about starting a podcast for your business? Then this is an episode you’ll definitely want to tune into. This latest episode on Start Yours is inspired by a listener who had questions about podcasting, its benefits, and the tools needed to launch. To really dive into it, we were joined by Rachel Corbett, the founder of PodSchool, a comprehensive course about starting a podcast. Rachel was also the Head of Podcasts for Mamamia, the largest women’s podcast network in the world. Today, she has accumulated nearly two decades worth of podcasting experience. Together, we dig into the pros and cons of podcasting, the behind-the-scenes work that people don’t realize, the equipment needed, how to outsource it, and more. If you’ve ever toyed around with the idea of doing podcasting for your business, listen on (or read on). As always, if you enjoy the podcast, we hope you’ll consider subscribing. Short on time? Here’s a seven-point TL;DR version. What you need to think about if you’re thinking about getting into podcasting is, “What would your ideal listener want?” Podcasting allows you to express your brand personality, establish trust and connection with potential customers, and maintain the relationship with existing ones. Your ideal listener should be someone who’s hopefully going to purchase your product. Sponsoring can be a good way to experiment with advertising in podcasts without having to create your own. Your podcast content doesn’t need to be specific to your product. As long as it’s in the same vague area of where you want to make your money, you’re good. While editing can be outsourced, learning its basics can help to cut costs. When pitching to be a guest speaker, show how well you understand their content, their audience, and how you can provide value.

Outsource, Save Time, and Make More Money

Running an ecommerce store means having to take care of many different aspects of the business. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to doing it all on your own. As a business owner, as much as you’d like to have full control over all of your store’s operations, you must learn to prioritize what’s important. That’s where outsourcing comes into play. Delegating parts of your business to others frees up your mind so you can dedicate more time, energy, and effort to what really makes your business grow. In this episode of Start Yours, we’re changing things up a little and have for you a handful of experts to talk about the benefits of outsourcing, how to strategize it, and what you definitely should NOT be doing. If you enjoy the show, remember to subscribe so you don’t miss out on upcoming episodes. Also, check out our past episodes and hop over to our blog for more information about launching an online business. No time to listen to the podcast or read through the transcript? We’ve got you covered with this seven-point TL;DR version: Don’t be shy about reaching out to people who can help your business and make sure your onboarding sets them up to succeed. When outsourcing videography or video editing, choose someone who uses a good editing program as it’s a reflection of their professionalism. If you delegate tasks and do the things that you really enjoy, you don’t burn out as much. Outsourcing frees up thinking time for you to focus on things that help your business grow. The two types of jobs to outsource: jobs that won’t make your business a success no matter how well they’re done and those that should be done well but don’t have to be perfected. An advantage of outsourcing Instagram marketing is that there are many different stages of that content creation process you can outsource. Ripping off videos and ads from other stores and businesses is immoral, not a form of outsourcing, and should NEVER be done.

How Two Teenagers Started a $70,000 Dropshipping Store Under Lockdown

With the world economy in uncharted waters, this may not seem like the most opportune moment to take risks – not least of all to start a business. But that's not a vision shared by two ambitious Aussie teens. Lachie and Taylor saw a chance to run an experimental dropshipping store to sell non-medical items as the world went on lockdown and they took it. The result? Their store made $70,000 in one month. In this episode of Start Yours, these teenage entrepreneurs join us to tell us all about how they launched their ecommerce dropshipping store in under three hours, the tests they carried out, their customer service techniques, and how they embraced past failures to succeed. We hope you enjoy the podcast! If you do, please consider subscribing. Short on time? We've got you covered. Here's a five-point TL;DR version: Lachie and Taylor face a lot of stigma because of their age. Most people think if they can be successful at a young age, others can too. Anticipating logistical delays, they created a fictitious customer service representative that is based on their target demographic to increase relatability. With an initial goal of $1,000 a day, they eventually made $70,000 in a 28-day period, which is equal to $2,500 a day. Dropshipping is first a hobby, then a side hustle, and then an income replacement. When learning about dropshipping from YouTube, pay attention to the similarities people say because there's probably some truth in them.

Boost Your Sales With Better Product Photography

“Good” product photography is the first step to getting a visitor to stay longer on your site, to click through, to learn more about what you do, and hopefully pull the trigger on a purchase. But what exactly is good photography, and how can you take professional images at home without investing in expensive gear? To answer that, we've invited photographer Ben Waugh, an Aussie who is now living the #vanlife dream, being his own boss, creating incredible visual content for major brands, and photographing some of the world's most scenic locations. Listen to this episode to hear Ben share what 'good' photography actually means, what to invest in when it comes to photography gear and how we can improve our product shots with lighting and a couple of sneaky little tricks that make more sales. As always, we hope you enjoy the podcast, and if you do, please consider subscribing. We also got you covered for all things ecommerce, dropshipping, and entrepreneurship over at the Oberlo blog. Prefer a summary? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version: If you're happy with your smartphone's photo quality, there's no reason to switch to DSLR. To fix shadow issues, set up your shoot closer to a light source or use an additional light to fill in shadows. If you're struggling with lighting, hang up a white sheet or apply baking paper over the window or light source to diffuse the light. Set your scene properly before shooting to reduce editing time and the less editing, the better. Ensure colors aren't too different from the product's actual color and that lines in your photos make sense. Take photos of your product from all angles and its details, too. Text on photos does not look professional.

How to Dominate TikTok… Without Dancing

This episode, we are talking with Jade Darmawangsa, an entrepreneur and digital strategist who started making YouTube videos in her garage when she was just nine years old. Since then she dropped out of school, launched her own company, and now her content exceeds 10 million views via YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok… All of this and she’s only 19. Jade was an early content creator on TikTok, which has become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with over a billion users. This is a huge HUGE landscape and as you’ll hear in today’s episode, it’s the wild west for companies and brands who want to stake their claim in the TikTok ether. Jade shares some incredible insights into how to win with the TikTok algorithm, how you can market your physical products on the platform, and how NOT to stress about content creation and just… make it happen. As always we hope you enjoy the podcast and if you do, please consider subscribing. Oh, and here are some of Jade’s goodies – enjoy! YouTube channel Instagram feed Last but not least… TikTok! Short on time? Here’s a seven-point TL;DR version: If you want to learn, just start something. To find out what your learning medium is, you have to try a lot and fail. TikTok is one of the most underrated platforms for businesses but the number one platform for consumers. Most brands on TikTok don’t know what to post. If you’re struggling with selling physical products, leverage creators who can make your product more personable. Jade’s gut feeling tells her that TikTok’s algorithm only measures watch time and lookability. The biggest thing holding people back from publishing on TikTok is that they are creating to perfection instead of creating to publish. If TikTok doesn’t start providing more business benefits to content creators, they may soon migrate to a platform they can profit from. Ethics concerns and censorship will continue to be issues TikTok will face in the near future.

Are Digital Nomads in Trouble? Well, Not Exactly.

Flexibility, freedom, and the ability to travel the world and earn money while you’re at it. The digital nomad lifestyle has got plenty to offer. But with border closures and travel restrictions being implemented all over the world, how has it been affected by the coronavirus pandemic? In this podcast episode, we check in with seasoned digital nomad, Amanda Gaid in Mexico. She shares with us how she’s been coping and provides some valuable and practical tips and advice on how digital nomads should approach traveling and work. Amanda explains how COVID-19 laid her personal plans to waste, and what it has done to the digital nomad community at large. As painful as it’s been, though, Amanda insists all is not lost. Not only does she cherish the lifestyle, but she explains why changes happening because of coronavirus – like businesses moving online and relying more on freelancers – might actually be an advantage for anyone with a digital nomad skillset. If you prefer a summary, here’s a five-point TL;DR version: The digital nomad communities have been extremely helpful and supportive during this unprecedented period of time. If you’re looking to land new gigs, reach out to your personal contacts and check in with digital nomad communities for opportunities. Now’s the time to start building a digital skillset to improve and increase your value moving forward. The three things to consider when planning a next move are finances, visa issues, and safety. Keep an eye on how certain industries are doing to check for signs that could indicate a need for a career change.

Meditate Now. Your Business Will Thank You Later.

This episode is all about meditation. Not meditation as a spiritual practice. Not as a way to chill out. Nope – meditation as a business tool that can help you make more money. (And still be sane when it hits your account.) We have two awesome guests. First up is Cory Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Wisdom Labs, followed by Bill Duane, who has helped bring mindfulness and meditation to Google. Cory and Bill offer up loads of insights. They’ve seen and experienced first-hand what burnout does to people, and they share ideas that you can start implementing today, including: What meditation has to do with running a business The science behind why mindfulness is helpful for entrepreneurs How you can overcome even your most stressful business moments You won’t be able to levitate by the end of the episode. That said, meditation can be a vital hack for anyone launching or growing their own business. If you like what you hear, there are plenty more episodes. We also got you covered for all things ecommerce, dropshipping, and entrepreneurship over at the Oberlo blog. Short on time? Here’s the TL;DR version of what each of them shared. Cory Smith Stress is not a bad thing. But it is when it elevates to the level of chronic stress and it starts affecting your health and well-being. Going down an entrepreneurship path, you’re faced with more inherent stress than working in an office for a company. It’s important to do something you feel passionate about, that you have the skillset for, and that’s helpful for others. There are easy mindfulness practices, including deep breathing, that can help you disconnect for a short period of time. Entrepreneurs must try and let go of the inner critic in them to help them better control their environment and thoughts. Bill Duane Humans are, by nature, hard-wired to involuntarily over-react and get stressed out. There’s a certain point where you’re super burned-out and you end up creating more work for yourself down the road. When forming habits, do so in small doses to prevent you from giving up too easily. Meditate to build inherent skills of self-awareness, self-regulation, connection, and understanding. One of the most simple and profound ways of meditation is to just listen when someone is talking to you.

The Right Way to Grow a Business Today (Spoiler: Bigger Isn’t Always Better)

Two awesome guests joined us to explore how you can grow your business in this economy.First up is author Mike Michalowicz. Mike has written a handful of books about business and entrepreneurship, including Profit First, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and The Pumpkin Plan. His newest book comes out next week – Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business. Mike joined us to talk about what entrepreneurship looks like these days, with the economy seeming to kinda sorta be falling apart. We also dig into Fix This Next and Mike’s biggest tips for your business.If you’re short on time, here’s the TL;DR version:For businesses to continue and flourish, they should keep their core competencies but change things up to attend to new, shifting needs.It’s not about changing your business to adapt your customer’s needs but aligning it to both their needs and yours in the long run.Fix This Next talks about the biggest challenge business owners have, which is knowing what their biggest challenge is.Don’t judge yourself by judging others. It’s about your comfort factor and how you define it for yourself.A right-sized business is one that hits the sweet spot of satisfaction and happiness.As we hit on in the podcast, Mike is a big advocate of the idea that bigger is not always better when it comes to the size of your business. And our second guest, Courtney White, is living proof of that.Courtney launched the beautiful ecommerce store Finer and Dandy, and she is living proof you don’t need to be making six figures a year on your store to have a thriving online business. She loves the community that has emerged around her brand, and she loves that she still has time to parent her three children and five (!) dogs. Courtney had a whole handful of side hustles before she landed on Finer and Dandy, we hit on those, we hit on her somewhat bizarre Instagram marketing strategy, and we also hit on how ecommerce has helped her find some confidence and some nerve that she didn’t know she had.Here’s the TL;DR version of our chat with Courtney:With limited knowledge and experience, her successful ecommerce store, Finer and Dandy, was actually started on a complete whim.Ditching conventional marketing strategies because she had no money for that, Courtney found success in building a community with her target audience.Courtney’s source of motivation and energy is the entrepreneurial success she’s achieved.The personal growth and confidence she’s gained from her ecommerce and entrepreneurial journey is worth much more than any revenue that she’s ever made.Despite having brought in nearly $20,000 in revenue in 2019, Courtney’s not thinking about scaling, preferring, instead, to continue building a foundation for her business.You can visit Mike’s website at mikemichalowicz.com/ and Courtney’s website at www.fineranddandy.com/.

What’s Actually Selling in the “New Economy.” Plus, Launching in a Recession.

The latest episode of the Oberlo podcast explains how to find products that will sell in the “new economy,” and then takes a first-hand look at what it’s like to launch a business in the middle of a recession. First up is Jessica, host of the online course Oberlo 101, who has been chatting with ecommerce entrepreneurs and digging into Oberlo data to see what’s selling in this “new economy.” She dishes out some awesome insights into emerging niches, talks about products to avoid, and gives tips on how to make sure your ad copy hits the marks in these weird times. If you’re short on time, here’s a TL;DR version of what’s selling: Women’s clothing Mobile phone accessories Home office items Jewelry Home storage products Selected kitchen products Plants and gardening products Home exercise equipment Next up, we talk with Gina Locklear, founder of the beautiful sock store at zkano.com. We got Gina on the line to explain what it was like to launch Zkano in 2009, just after the financial crisis and Great Recession kicked off, and right in the middle of month after month after month of horrible, horrible economic news. Here we are, 10+ years later, and zkano.com is still home to some of the coolest socks that you will ever see. Gina explains what new entrepreneurs should be ready for if they’re launching now – in the midst of what appears to be a pretty dicey economic situation. Here’s a short five-point summary of the main takeaways: With a background in real estate, Gina had neither ecommerce nor fashion experience when she launched Zkano right after the 2008 financial crisis. Unable to hire a marketing agency, she had to learn everything from scratch. That includes getting trademarks, packaging, marketing, selling online, etc. Businesses that offer services that make it easier for people to live their lives now in these strange times could be successful. Amid the current uncertainty, there’s a silver lining in that people do want to support small businesses right now and they’re shopping online. If you’re thinking about launching an online business right now, persevere, don’t give up, and be stubborn.

Getting the Most Out of Every Penny When You Launch Your Store

With such a crazy amount of uncertainty right now, we talk about what it’s like to get into ecommerce when you have no money, no safety net, no cushion to play with. For this one, we dialed up Chris Wane, who has stared down the same money headaches that lots of people are facing today. Chris does not sugarcoat his situation when he launched his online business. He. Was. Broke. Worse than broke, actually – he had 12,000 bucks in debt, and was, in his own words, in a pretty bad place. So bad, in fact, that the first day he turned a profit – a whopping five bucks – he was running around his apartment in ecstasy. Chris explains how you can be scrappy and how you can squeeze every last cent of return from each dollar you put in. And then he also talks about the stress involved with launching a business when your business funds count as the same pool of money that you need to buy food. Short on time? Here’s a five-point TL;DR version: Chris was in such a bad place financially at one point that he resorted to eating crackers and tea each night. When he discovered dropshipping, his aim was to make 200 pounds per month. Through a lot of perseverance and online learning, he made his business work and was making thousands per day. At the moment, amid the coronavirus, he’s reduced his ad spend to lower and better control his risks. Through his dropshipping business, Chris gained confidence and was able to step outside his comfort zone and grow not just his business but also himself.

10 Things to Do If Your Online Business Is on Hold

Things aren’t normal anywhere right now. Plans are on hold – and so are lots of online businesses. So we created a list of 10 things that ecommerce store owners can start doing today to improve their stores, even if sales are slow. We realize that it is a weird, uncertain time. But… while we’re dealing with that, there are still tactics to implement so that when things do bounce back, whenever that is, our stores and our psyches are better than ever and we are ready to roll. Here’s a 10-point TL;DR version if you’re short on time: Prepare for delays Reach out to your suppliers Learn Grow your social media channels Start email marketing Redo your website Create a budget Find alternative ways to bring in income Create a healthy workspace Stay sane

Ecommerce During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Expert Entrepreneurs Share Their Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned ecommerce upside-down. For entrepreneurs running online stores, coronavirus has created a whole new set of challenges. And for those sourcing products from China, it has been nearly two months of urgent questions – with very few clear answers. In the most recent episode of the Oberlo podcast, Start Yours, we talk with four ecommerce experts about their experiences navigating the coronavirus outbreak, and how they are holding their businesses (and sanity) together. If you’re short on time, here’s a five-point TL;DR version: Dropshippers everywhere are facing the same logistical issues with production and shipments out of China at a near standstill. It’s important to communicate with your customers and provide them with shipping updates. Take advantage of this lull for self-improvement and work on other aspects of your ecommerce business so you are ready to scale when things return to normal. Source out other shipping alternatives to ePacket, such as UBI, SF Express, and Yun Express. Consider looking for suppliers who offer shipping from the United States. The extra few bucks per shipment is a worthy investment in exchange for faster shipping times.

Curtains to Caps: Starting an Environmentally-Friendly Fashion Brand With No Industry Experience

In this episode, we break down exactly how you can sell trash. OK, not trash trash. More like trash in the sense of that old saying – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s definitely the case for our guest, Adrien Taylor. Adrien joined us from New Zealand, where he runs a hat business, Offcut, that uses discarded materials to create really, really cool hats. Adrien walks us through how he first conceived of Offcut, how he launched the business with VERY limited resources and absolutely no knowledge of hats, clothing, or anything else that would suggest he launching a fashion brand was in his future. No time? Here’s a five-point TL;DR version: 1. The inspiration behind Offcut was sparked by his father’s curtain wholesale business. 2. You can’t tell if something is going to sell by just thinking about it. You have to just do it. 3. Today, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is what sells. 4. Adopt an open communication policy with your audience to keep them engaged. 5. Authenticity is key when incorporating social causes into businesses.

Ezra Firestone Makes $30 Million A Year. Here's How He Does It.

Ezra Firestone was doing ecommerce marketing long before Facebook was the go-to channel. He spoke to us at Start Yours on the key to business success today, how ecommerce marketing has evolved, and what entrepreneurs should focus on in 2020. If you’re short on time, here’s a five-point TL;DR version: 1. Algorithms today are so smart that you don’t really have to worry about placement or audience optimization. What you should focus on is the ad creative. 2. True wealth creation does not come from operating cash flow businesses. It comes from the liquidation of assets. 3. Focus on creative optimization and campaign objective optimization to be successful in 2020. 4. You need a 12-month business liquidity cushion to play the long game, not the 30- to 60-day cushion most businesses have. 5. Set boundaries and invest in your personal life, relationships, social life, and health to avoid burnout.

Student Debt and Starting a Business: How To Launch Even If You're in Debt (or Better Yet, How To Avoid Debt)

Student debt has come up REPEATEDLY on the Oberlo podcast, Start Yours. And if all of these ecommerce wizards keep bringing up debt, we thought it was time to give this topic its due. That’s why we enlisted today’s guests – Vadim and Sergei Revzin. They joined us to break down how debt can get in the way of entrepreneurship, and on the flip side of that, how people can launch businesses to get OUT of debt.

How to Start a Beard Business in 2020

Paul Lee’s first crack at ecommerce came with a product that he knew would make him millions. The idea was to create an elixir to kickstart facial hair growth for dudes with weak beards. He’d study hair growth, he’d learn the chemistry behind hair growth products, he’d get FDA approval, and bam – he’d be pulling hundreds out of the big, fat beard he grew with his magical product. Yeah, that didn’t work. Paul ran into roadblock after roadblock, and was forced to pivot. He stayed in beards, but instead of selling this magical formula to grow a beard, he took all the knowledge he’d accumulated about the beard world and turned his fire toward beard care products. His store took off, and before long Paul quit college and was doing ecommerce full time. Actually, it was more than full-time. He never took breaks, he was pulling 10-hour days, he got obsessed, and by the time he sold his beard store on Shopify Exchange for $80,000, he was thoroughly, thoroughly burnt out. Paul joined Start Yours to talk about the crappy college teacher that inspired him to finally drop out, the branding strategy that fueled his success, his approach to product selection, his Facebook ads best practices and, first off, how someone who couldn’t grow a beard to save his life became a beard connoisseur.

Ditching Corporate Life to Start a Business

Before John Lee Dumas launched Entrepreneurs on Fire, he was… miserable. John had what from the outside looked like a nice shiny job in corporate finance, but on the inside, the whole scene was driving him nuts. He felt trapped, and to break free, he jumped into the deep end and started a business whose sole purpose was helping other people start their business. The first 13 months of this project were pretty underwhelming, as he’ll explain, but he kept at it, kept at it, and eventually… ka-ching. John now makes six figures a month from Entrepreneurs on Fire, and he joined us to talk about that success, sure, but also the self-doubt that used to haunt him, the morning routine that does religiously to keep his inner game in check, and how he knew it was time to ditch his steady, stable life and launch something of his own. You can find Start Yours wherever you listen to podcasts!

Ecommerce Marketing: Answers to Your Burning Questions

Ever wondered how much money you need to start marketing? And what about Facebook ads – what’s the best approach? We answered these questions (and a bunch more!) in this bonus episode of Start Yours. Check it out: The 10 most frequently asked questions about marketing.

Oberlo Dropshipping: How Repeat Failure Inspired the Oberlo App

In this episode we talk with Oberlo co-founder Tomas Slimas. Before launching Oberlo, Tomas was a dropshipper and ecommerce entrepreneur himself, trying – and often failing – to make money online. He eventually got it figured out and generated $3 million in revenue on a single store in a single year. Tomas sold that business and then doubled down on dropshipping, founding Oberlo in the hopes that anyone could do what he had just done – build a successful online business without ever holding inventory.

How to Avoid Burnout While Running a Side Hustle

At first, ecommerce reminded Emma Reid of video games. It was addictive, exciting, competitive, and tons of fun. But then things fell apart. Her dropshipping supplier botched thousands of orders, she lost $10,000 in a month, and then the burnout set in. She joined us on Start Yours to explain what went wrong, the lessons she learned, and why she’s back in the game running another online store. You can read more about Emma's journey on the Oberlo blog.

Where We're From, This Is Not a Traditional Job At All

Rodney Zachariuk (25) and Kory Szostak (27) have an entrepreneurial mindset. They were always thinking differently, and always dreaming up ways to make money here and there. That entrepreneurial mindset eventually led them to open an ecommerce store that, a little more than a year later, has generated six figures in revenue. It wasn’t always comfortable. For example, when they were preparing to launch their business, they remember politely declining offers to hit the bars, and instead spending then entire night lurking on Reddit and consuming hours upon hours of YouTube tutorials. They share their story about trusting their entrepreneurial mindset, shutting out the doubters, and scaling their business to the point that it funds trips around the world.

How to Monetize a Facebook Group for Your Business in 2020

Six figures of revenue with $0 spent on advertising? Yes, please! A pair of dropshippers from Utah, Mandie and Aubrey, joined us to explain how they’ve made six figures of revenue without spending a dime on advertising. The secret? Their Facebook group, which they’ve used to launch not one, but two successful businesses. They talk about how they keep their ad budget at $0, and how they get customers to keep coming back – even the ones who know their products are coming straight out of China. You can read more about Mandie and Aubrey on the Oberlo blog. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at podcast@oberlo.com

Dropshipping Questions: 10 FAQs Every Dropshipper Asks

Every successful dropshipping story starts with questions. Lots of them. So in this episode, we answer the most frequently asked questions about dropshipping, sourced from, well, you. How much money do you need to start dropshipping? What to do about Amazon? How come I have traffic to my store but no sales? Why do, like, 85 different suppliers all offer me the same product? We hit on it all. Start Yours is available wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at podcast@oberlo.com

Finding Successful Products to Sell Online, with Ecomhunt Founder

There probably aren’t many people in the world who have devoted more thought to dropshipping than Mordechai Arba. In addition to running founding Ecomhunt.com, he is a serial store launcher, and he’s the first to admit that they’re not all home runs. Mordechai explains what makes his successful stores successful, and what makes his less successful stores, well, less successful. Start Yours is available wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at podcast@oberlo.com

How Email Marketing Helped Build a 7-Figure Dropshipping Store

Yuliya and Mike didn’t know about dropshipping until they launched their store. Through the help of email marketing, they’ve created a 7-figure business in just a few short years. They tell us all about that journey, including the part where they got married. Dropshipping wasn’t actually their first ecommerce business. That would be the subscription box service they launched. The subscription box was fun… but packing boxes six hours at a time wasn’t so fun. So Mike and Yuliya took all the lessons they learned from the subscription box, and applied them to dropshipping. They’ve ended up with a store that kills it on some of the things that dropshippers often struggle with – email, repeat business, and a killer conversion rate. We talked to them about all of it. Enjoy! You can read more about Yuliya and Mike on the Oberlo blog, or stop by their YouTube channel. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at podcast@oberlo.com.

Starting a Business Instead of Going to College

A few years ago, Ryan Carroll was unemployed and living at home. Not ideal for an ambitious 20-year-old. But after a few fails, including an Amazon refund fiasco, Ryan stumbled across dropshipping – the first step toward launching a swimwear store that generated $300,000 in revenue. In this episode, Ryan talks with us about his dropshipping journey, including where he found the courage to ignore conventional wisdom – and ignore what he was hearing from his family – and choose entrepreneurship over college. Of course, a successful dropshipping business requires more than courage. So Ryan also breaks down the Facebook Ads tactics that he used to turn his favorite hobby into successful ecommerce stores.

Season 1 Trailer of Start Yours, a Podcast from Oberlo

Introducing Start Yours – a podcast from Oberlo about what it’s like to start a business. Here’s a preview of what’s in store in Season 1. Episodes coming your way on October 22! We’re going to take a deep dive into all things ecommerce, dropshipping, and entrepreneurship. We’ll also answer the questions that we hear most, and explain how anyone – seriously, anyone – can launch, run, and scale an online store. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Start Yours will explain how.