This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Seth McKay. For those of you out there who may be have a job, but are building a business on the side – have you ever wondered how you will know when you are ready to make the leap? Or maybe more importantly when to make the leap? Seth went through that same experience.
Seth is the CEO and co-founder of SR Fit Bands, a physical products company that developed a new variation of the resistance band. Seth built the business while working his job and designed it to be infinitely scalable with selling 100% online.
But, the one thing that really caught my attention about how Seth and his co-founder, Ryan Lee, a former NFL player, is how they have grown the business exponentially using Instagram. It is their largest traffic source driving sales to their site besides organic Amazon traffic and I’ve asked Seth to share his system and the other unique things he’s learned in making the transition from employee to full time entrepreneur with you in this episode.
Seth grew up with a pretty traditional view of going to school, getting a good job, etc. as an engineer. He did just that. He came out of college and went to work. He worked at several companies as an engineer. He then decided to go get his MBA.
It was this time that he had his first child. Between traveling for work and study, he started to notice that he was just tired. He was tired at home. Not present in the way he should have been. And he started to realize that there was a difference between what he thought he wanted and what he really wanted.
What it came down to is that “if you don’t control your time, you don’t control your life.” That is when he started looking at creating his own business. It was foreign to him. But, after about 5 months, he started. He began small by selling a website. He then went through a couple of other things. But, he knew he needed something that had the ability to impact at a larger level and that was scalable. It was when he was working out with his friend, Ryan, a former NFL player that they came with the idea to improve on the fitness bands they were using. SR fit was born.
You primarily use Instagram to sell your product, can you talk about the unique process you’ve developed for how to sell using that platform?
- Like most things – it’s not as easy as you think You have to put in the time
- Engagement is key – make your followers part of your strategy, especially if you have a physical product and you can show pics of them using the product and help them gain influencer status.
- Focusing on a very narrow niche works very well.
- Interestingly, Seth posts only 1x per day – he focuses on quality over quantity
- Stories work and he uses those often
- For promoting your product – giving useful and educational posts that incorporate the product work best
- He uses the full amount of hashtags per post
- Seth suggests that you should be a member of a Facebook group on Instagram marketing
At the 22 min mark, Seth talks about hacks you can do with Instagram stories using polls, links, and other features. Top Do’s and Don’ts for Instagram?
- Do use Instagram on your computer. The browser is limited for the website – you can comment and like, but you could also use Facebook messenger. A way to use the full site is using Bluestacks.com and it functions on your computer just like it does on your phone.
- Engage, engage, engage. Comments over likes. And quality comments. Don’t write what a bot would write.
- It is ok to consider outsourcing, but you do have to put in the time.
- Don’t edit a post right after you submit one. It slows engagement.
- Posting time matters and consistency matters in posting.
- Make sure you have good standards for your posts.
How did you know when it was time to make the leap from employee to full time entrepreneur?
- It is easier when you are single, but when you have a family it changes things.
- Seth and his wife committed to saving up for several years to have a big enough nest egg that they could live without an income for a while.
- Set real concrete goals that need to be met before you leave. Keep them realistic. Leave as little as possible to chance.
- Your business should be making some money.
- Delay gratification. Even when you think you are ready to leave your job for good…stretch it out a little while longer.
What do people need to know about building a business online with Amazon and sourcing and fulfilling a product?
- It is not as difficult as it may sound.
- If you are going to go overseas, Alibaba is the platform. It will give you the details of the suppliers you can choose from.
- Seth uses “fulfillment by Amazon” which gives you Prime and makes it easier. It is a little more expensive, but being to be Prime makes it worth it.
- You have to create your listing and is important to have good quality pictures and a good description of things. There is an art to having a good listing page.
- You get 5 bullet points and they are most important – You need to weave your keywords into these points.
- Reviews are very important
- Have a good quality set of pictures or even a video are key as well.
- Make sure that you take full advantage of the description area
- Seth uses software called “Manage My Stats” that tells him how his keywords are doing
At the 48 min Mark, Seth tells us about how to get things done on Alibaba…
- Alibaba is more of a product directory
- You go on and search for what you want to get made
- Most likely a product exists and is being made by several suppliers
- You can then take it an innovate
- The key is to overcommunicate and be extremely descriptive
- Get samples from 3 companies before moving forward
- You can then negotiate terms and move forward
- Like anything, it takes work, learning, trial and error, but anyone can go through and do it.
At the 51-minute mark, Seth talks about his podcast, Fatherhood Fitness Finance
Best Quote: “If you don’t control your time, you don’t control your life.”
Seth's Misfit 3:
- At some point you know enough. You need to stop consuming information and start producing results. Don’t get stuck in learning mode.
- You don’t need a product to get started. Your audience can come before your product. In fact, it can be easier because you can learn what they want and what they need ahead of time for creating your product.
- We can get so busy that we don’t stop and evaluate our life, life goals. Stop running and check the map. Have a written list of life goals with dates on them. This is especially powerful to do with your significant other or spouse. Another thing to do is put up a vision board as a constant reminder for your goals.