Sam Ovens: Hey, everyone. Sam Ovens here, and today I have Shane Kofoed on with us. And Shane has an awesome story and he started with Consulting Accelerator about a year and a half now. And back then he was doing just kind of odd jobs for like different clients and, you know, he was making around 20 grand a month doing that. And he joined Consulting Accelerator and really got like a lot of focus.
Sam Ovens: Instead of having a bunch of different kind of things going on, he decided to focus his attention on helping ecommerce businesses grow. And basically people who are already selling stuff online, like on Shopify and stuff, helping them really scale up. And since he's been focusing on that, he's been able to scale his business to the point now where it's making him between 50 and 100 K a month. I'd say we could average that to like 70 K a month when it's smoothed out over like a year or something.
Sam Ovens: So in this interview we're going to dig into the details and see, you know, exactly how this came about. Like why did you choose ecommerce? And then how did you go from 20 K to 70 K a month and all of that? So thanks for jumping on with me today.
Shane Kofoed: Cool, yeah. Happy to be here.
Sam Ovens: So let's go back to, you know, a year and a half ago when you joined. Like what, tell me what was going on back then.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, so ... Well prior to that, you know, I'd always been like a startup guy. I wasn't really like a consulting or an agency or, you know, a creative type of guy. I was, you know, I'd had several startups in a row and a lot of consumer, packaged goods stuff. So we'd manufacture products, you'd go to China, we'd build the packaging. We, you know, sell in Target and Amazon and Walmart and all those kind of places.
Shane Kofoed: And that kind of exploded when I realized that really the product is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and if you don't have a way to get customers in the door, you're kind of, you know, there's not really any benefit to just putting more product in the world. And I kind of go into that in detail if you want to hear kind of the particulars, that was kind of interesting.
Shane Kofoed: But anyway. So then it kind of exploded and I was trying to figure out what to do, and basically through that I picked up all these different skills. With my own companies, I'd done videos, I'd done photo shoots, I'd done packaging and production and apps, and all these different things. And so I started getting friends, or friends of friends would hit me up and say, "Hey, come help me on this", and, "Come help me consult with this" and ... Or, "Come down and do this with our group of automotive dealerships", that kind of thing.
Shane Kofoed: And it really kind of turned into the, at first it was cool, right? Like I'd get hit up all the time and there'd be something new and there was always a new opportunity. But then it kind of turned into, you know, what you mentioned of like that, you know, "Hey, come move my barbecue and I'll pay you $100 an hour", kind of deal. And so it just wasn't really scalable and it kind of lost the fun and really kind of, you know, wasn't as interesting anymore.
Shane Kofoed: So picked up your program and, yeah, started actually getting really intentional and realizing like, "Okay, you can't be a guy that does every type of marketing and ever scale that or make any progress with that." So, yeah, that was kind of the discovery process. I remember watching your webinars, I was driving home, my wife was like, you know, making dinner at home and I'm like watching this thing out in the car. She's like, "What are you doing?" And I'm like, "Dude, I got to finish this up." So, and it as cool.
Sam Ovens: You were watching it in your car?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. I remember I was signed in on the phone and I was, I drove home from the office and I was sitting there, just out in front of our house, and I was watching it for like an hour and a half or whatever it was.
Sam Ovens: Shit. You're one of those people that watched it on a phone.
Shane Kofoed: Oh, yeah.
Sam Ovens: So you're rare.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: I know, because I look at the stats. And what's even more rare is that you watched it on a phone and then purchased.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm not ... Yours wasn't the first program I've purchased. I mean, I've purchased a bunch of them, so. You know, I like anything with kind of an edge. I'm like, "Okay, I can pick this up and make money off this." But yours seemed to lay it out in the most detailed, comprehensive ... I mean, yours kind of made the most sense, right? I mean, a lot of them are, you know, "Oh, if you do this and do this," and all these tricks. And yours, when I listened to it, it's like, "Okay, this dude actually gets it and it's like a very logical approach and it's more about disciplining and focus rather than like, you know, some secret tactic or whatever", you know?
Shane Kofoed: So I really liked that. I resonated with that a lot.
Sam Ovens: And how did you find the webinar?
Shane Kofoed: Trying to think ... It was definitely a Facebook ad. I'm trying to think if I saw it or ... My wife might've seen it actually, but ... Yeah, I think she saw it and she was following along. There was a couple posts you had and there was a video, I think like a ten-minute or something, and she sent it to me and was like, "Hey, you should watch this." And it was probably three or four weeks later where I actually finally clicked on it and watched it. But it was definitely through a Facebook ad.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then, so you joined Consulting Accelerator, and then what happened next?
Shane Kofoed: So joined and, you know, it definitely wasn't a like an [inaudible 00:05:14].
Shane Kofoed: I would pick it up and I'd, you know, probably took me, probably almost half a year to totally go through it. Because I'd go through modules, I'd go back and re-watch them, and I'd talk about them with the team and that kind of thing. And so we just kind of started slowly implementing different things, and our business just kind of got steadily more and more and more and more focused.
Shane Kofoed: You know, we still have a ways to go, but it was really interesting because it just, you know, almost every month it felt like we would drop something off and be like, "Okay, we're not going to do this anymore." And then we'd, you know, narrow our focus in and we'd pick up another client and pick up another client, pick up another client.
Shane Kofoed: I really liked the Facebook group. You know, we got a lot of momentum from that just because people would hop in there and say, you know, "Ring the bell. We got a sale", that kind of thing. And I started watching that and I was like, "Man, we're doing ... ", you know, what I mean? I mean, it's some people are ringing the bell for a $1000 sale or whatever, which is cool. But I'm like, "Man, we're doing 5 to 10 or 15 thousand sales with this approach." I'm like, "It's obviously working."
Shane Kofoed: So for me, I'd say the roadblock was just kind of the perfectionism of not launching stuff fast enough and really wanting to really refine it and make the sales materials perfect and all that kind of thing. And we could've gone way faster in hindsight. But, yeah, I'd say it was just kind of a gradual progression.
Sam Ovens: And what were like the first things you started implementing in, you know, from the program?
Shane Kofoed: The first thing was, I mean, I'd say the first thing was just how we talked about our company. So before we were an internet consultancy, right? Which, I mean, what is that? It could be anything, right? So we started talking about the company, and at the time we were, let see, what were we doing at the time? We weren't doing as much ecommerce but we were basically, it was kind of, it was some variation of [inaudible 00:07:07].
Shane Kofoed: And so I'd start talking to people and I'd give a very specific, you know, MVO or whatever. And it was just interesting, I started testing that with people, right? And I'd say, "Hey, we do this or this", and sometimes I'd get kind of a blank stare and sometimes they'd go, "Oh, man, you should talk to my cousin or my friend," or whatever. So that was one of the big things that came in. And then the script, for sure. We implemented the script pretty fast. I mean, we'd get on a call and close a sale, you know, pretty much right, pretty much immediately, like on a first call rather than going five or six meeting with them and driving to their office and that whole thing. So that was huge.
Sam Ovens: And how did you choose like ecommerce niche? Because you know, one of the first things we do in the program is pick a niche.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So how did you arrive on that one?
Shane Kofoed: You know, I think my, I mean my background's a little different because I've done so much product and I've done my own ecommerce businesses. So I looked at, I really kind of mapped everything out because I was, you know, at the time I was really passionate about China production, so I was helping some people with that. I was like, "Oh, I could get into the app space." I love like the webinar and funnel and info sales and that kind of space, right?
Shane Kofoed: So I was kind of doing a little bit of everything, but I looked at everything, you know? So I'd say that was kind of the first, say, three, four months of the business and then kind of the first three months in the Consulting Accelerator I was still, you know, doing a little bit of everything for everybody, right?
Shane Kofoed: And I just started looking at it and saying, "Okay, like where can I have the highest impact?" You know, "Okay, yeah, I like doing webinars for people, but where am I being able to come in and make a meaningful change within a really short period of time?" And so I kind of looked at from an opportunistic standpoint and whenever I'd go in and talk e-comm, I had had all these old stories that I could pull out. And I'd say, "Oh, yeah, we did this and we did this and we did this, we did this."
Shane Kofoed: So even though I hadn't consulted on a ton of e-comm stores at the time, I could just sit down and really talk the language. And so I noticed that when I would talk with people, having that credibility and that background factor was, you know, it was like a, I mean it was way easier than any, than trying to sell any other type of service. And so I just started getting momentum and then from there it's like we really honed that in and said, "Hey, this is really our model", you know?
Sam Ovens: Got it. And what did you find the problem to be in, with these ecommerce businesses?
Shane Kofoed: Like before we would start working with them?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, or like [inaudible 00:09:35]. I'm just, you know, in the training, we pick a niche, that's kind of step one. And then we try and identify a problem in that niche, like from the niche participants' perspective. So your average ecommerce business owner, you know, they've got a problem that frustrates the hell out of them and that's why they see value in a service, right?
Sam Ovens: So like what, help us see through their eyes. Like what's their life like and what is their pain point?
Shane Kofoed: Well the funny thing is I'd literally lived this like two years earlier, and the pain point really is like, you spend all this time and money, you build a product. In my case, like I'd even gone to, I'd even raised money and had $400,000 in inventory sitting in a warehouse. And you raise, you know, you build all this product, you create all this content, you slave away trying to get your videos and your photos and your ambassadors and your influencers and your Instagram and all that kind of stuff. And then you go pay a company to do a site, right? I mean, we'd pay, we had paid multiple companies, you know, we probably spent 50 or 60 thousand dollars on our site, it took half a year, that kind of thing.
Shane Kofoed: And then you put it up and you're just kind of sitting there going, "Okay, well when is anything going to happen?" And you know, really it's like the lack of answers. Like that's kind of what everyone tells you to do. And now it's changed a lot because there's a lot more access to resources and stuff, which is great, but I mean, I remember going through it myself, spending about a year getting everything teed up and then you think, "Okay, cool. I'm read to launch." And you launch and no one even comes to your site, right?
Shane Kofoed: And so it goes back to the whole thing of the product or the site or whatever you're doing, without a method of driving customers, is pretty much irrelevant. So that's really, you know, I would just kind of share that story with them and talk about that. And I stated noticing that I'd get a lot of empathy and they'd go, "Oh, man, yeah, we're sitting on this inventory," or, "Man, we put so much effort into this site and it didn't move or anything." So I'd kind of boil that down and say it's really like there's no strategy for actually driving traffic. And so there's a million pain points that come from that, but once I'd kind of illuminate, "Hey, you can actually come up with a strategy for driving traffic and a strategy for optimizing your pages," that was like very illuminating for people, so.
Sam Ovens: So that seems like a lot of people in ecommerce, hey build an awesome product, manufacture it, everything, get it warehoused, and then they build the site and all of that. And then they put a huge amount of effort into that, but then they go to launch it and they don't get many sales. And then somehow they thought they didn't have to put any effort into that.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. We used to see people all the time at first who would come in and go, "Hey, we really want to partner with you guys. And we've done the hard part, we already have the product, we have packaging. We have everything ready to go. Now all we need to do, have you do, is market it." And I'd go, "Okay, well what's your budget?" And that kind of thing. And they'd say, "Oh, well, we spent all the money building the product, so we really are out of funds. We don't have any money to market it. But it's okay, because all you need to do is just get people to buy it."
Shane Kofoed: And you know, it's funny because I, you know, at first I'd get really frustrated. Now I just kind of laugh when that comes in. And I'm like, "Hey, it's, you have to think of marketing." I mean, it's true for anything, it's not just ecommerce, right? Like, you know, with what you do and [inaudible 00:12:50], the whole kind of thing. Like we always talk about in terms of like a Hollywood production studio, right? Like you have, you know, they'll spend $50 million making a feature and I'll spend $50 million marketing the feature. And the marketing is just as baked in to the development of the film as the actual film, you know? And who they choose they star in it and the whole thing is all part of that, you know?
Shane Kofoed: So that's how we talk about it now. And so, yeah, I mean, I'd say that doesn't just apply to ecommerce. I'd say that's everybody, you know? I mean, it's ... I can't even tell you how many times we've sat down with people and they say, "Oh, all we need you to do is market it now." And it's like, "Oh, well, great."
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I see two sides of this spectrum. It's like there's those people that spend all their money and all their time and attention on the product, and they build a great product and nothing on marketing, and it doesn't work.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Then I see a problem that I almost think is worse, which is people spending 99% of their attention and money on marketing and 1% on the product.
Shane Kofoed: Yep.
Sam Ovens: So then they've got lots of attention and customers and everything, but it's a shitty product and the success isn't long-lived at all and customers get let down. So it is really a balance, you know? Because one side of the spectrum or the other side, both don't work.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. So we actually, we call that, we came up with an approach for that we call branded e-comm, which is essentially, you know, because what you're kind of saying on the other end of the spectrum, you know, on one hand you have the people that raise money or take a loan from their family and they go manufacture all this product and it's sitting in a warehouse and they don't know how to move it. On the other hand, you have like, you know, no disrespect to drop-shipping, but you have like the, you know, people that open a Shopify store and get the Oberlo app and all of a sudden they have a drop-shipping business and they have 1500 SKUs.
Shane Kofoed: And it's like, you know, at the end of the day, if you're not building a brand, I mean, it's ... You know, it's funny, we actually, we had a site that we were marketing towards the end of last year. And they'd gone from like zero to $3 million like overnight on a drop-shipping offer. And we introduced them to one of our capital connections, like really big venture capital group here in town. And they're like, "We're really not interested in the garden variety, scale a business up with Facebook ads and that's it," you know?
Shane Kofoed: And it was shocking because I'm like, "Man, they went to $3 million in sales." And what they kind of said is like, you know, "If you don't have a brand value, like what happens if your traffic source dries up, where are you going to go?" Right? And so I'd sent out-
Sam Ovens: What happens when someone learns how to do that? Because they don't own the product, they don't own the supply chain. So if it's just Facebook ads, a Shopify store, and a connection to some shipper, their supplier of the product, that ain't a business, you know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Oh, yeah. I mean, it's a treadmill, right? Like you have a machine that you can run on, you can make money, but it's not, you don't really have an asset you're building with a brand or anything like that. And I thought, you know, I think about that a lot. I was going through the, your program and thinking like, "Okay, what's the real value?" Right? And if one of these drop-shipping stores, like if you dried up and went away tomorrow, like would anybody really care, you know?
Shane Kofoed: And so that's actually kind of nice to be able to talk about that with potential clients and say, "Hey, this, you know, we can help you ride that balance between using these aggressive marketing tactics or using new marketing tactics to grow quickly, but actually on the back-end building a brand that has long term value," right? And so that's been cool. We've been really positioned to talk about that in a good way.
Sam Ovens: And so I understand the problem. And then how did you think you were going to solve that problem? At that time, when you're just, you know, this is before you have actually done it for a client. You're just in like the theory of it. You know, you've got the niche, e-comm. You've got, identified the problem, that they invest all their money and time into the product, nothing into sales. They can't sell it. Then you thought, you know, there's typically like a light bulb moment right here where it's like, "Ah, this niche, I known this niche. I know this problem and I know I can solve it."
Sam Ovens: But how did you know you were going to be able to solve it?
Shane Kofoed: So initially it was just Facebook ads, right? So saying, "Hey," we'd go to e-comm stores and we'd help them run Facebook ads and we'd target companies that weren't running ads or didn't have a good re-targeting campaign or ... You know, surprisingly, there's a lot of huge companies that make a ton of money at wholesale but have never really dabbled online, you know?
Shane Kofoed: So initially it was just that, "Hey, we can help you run Facebook ads." And I started realizing, I mean there's, one, there's a ton of people that run ads. And if you start looking into it, there's, I mean, the amount of people that I get, you know, just ads to say, "Hey, come help me, you know, I'll run your ads," right? Is like insane. And so we really starting realizing. So we did that for about the first six months, and we actually ran, our first client, that I'd never ran ads for, we ran with your system of the, you know, the initial conditions, you know, all that kind of thing.
Shane Kofoed: Like we were literally building out the campaign and we, you know, we'd watch the module and then we'd build the campaign. We'd go back, watch the module, build the campaign. And so that was kind of the first one. And we started getting traffic and results with that. But we pivoted pretty quick after that, because we realized it's really not about the Facebook ads. And we ran into this on a couple of our pretty big offers we were running, where no matter what we would do, we just could not get the conversions past a certain point.
Shane Kofoed: And so we started diving in a lot more in depth to like conversion rates and all that kind of stuff. And realized that really, the problem these businesses have is not, it can't be solved with Facebook or with Google or with an affiliate or an influencer. It really comes down to the core of their company, which is their, like the messaging, right? So that would be reflected in the site and the landing page and the sales funnel and the like, all that kind of stuff. But, I mean, if you don't have that in place, like no amount of optimizing for purchase or whatever is going to get you results.
Shane Kofoed: So we started using the approach of saying, "Hey, yeah, we, you know, Facebook ads is a tool that we use, but our strength is the messaging." And you dial that in, and you know, how to talk about what you talk about, the anatomy of the product, the anatomy of your offer, and then apply that to a Facebook ad, you know, a relatively weak Facebook ad will way outperform a killer Facebook ad with the wrong offer, right?
Shane Kofoed: So we, yeah, so to answer your question, we started out saying, "Hey, we help scale this via Facebook ads," and we pivoted pretty quick. And that's been really, that's been great. It's been really cool.
Sam Ovens: So really, you know, I see this problem everywhere, too. That it's never just ads. It's like, it's a systemic issue which runs through every vein of the business. And it's like, "Who do we help? And what problem do we solve for them? And what is the value they see from it? And what are the typical use cases of those people using our thing to get that outcome?" You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Totally, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like people buy the, people want to buy a quarter-inch hole, not a quarter-inch drill. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Totally, yeah.
Sam Ovens: And they're probably talking about the drill.
Shane Kofoed: Yep. Yeah, and it's funny, we started actually taking, we would have client come in and we would print off their ads. You know, they'd be like, "Why isn't this working?" And dadada. And we'd print off their ads, we'd print off their landing pages, print off their site, their emails, everything, all in a row.
Shane Kofoed: And we'd walk them through and say, "Hey, if you didn't know anything about your product, would you buy from this?" And they'd sit there, you know, 10, 20 minutes and they'd go through it and they're like, "Nah, I wouldn't buy that." And it's like, "Well if you wouldn't, then why would you expect ... " You know? I mean, it's pretty crazy actually, when you think about, I mean, you think about the fact that I bought from you on Facebook. Like I didn't know who you were. I had no idea who you were, right? My wife says, "Hey, you should watch this thing," and within two weeks I'd given you thousands of dollars.
Shane Kofoed: Like, that's pretty rare. Like you have to be really acting on, you have to be firing on every single, you know, like every point has to be like dialed for someone just to learn about you and then give you money, right? And I think people look at online marketing and they go, "Oh, we're, our conversion rates x," and it's almost like they focus too much on the tactics and not enough on the actual like underlying principles behind it and the psychology behind it, you know?
Sam Ovens: To make that happen reliably every day, over a long period of time, makes me want to cry. It's that hard.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. It's insane.
Sam Ovens: When you have a phone, it's way easier, man. But that's like a parachute, it can catch so much issues, but there's not much wiggle room with the fully automated thing, you know?
Shane Kofoed: Oh, yeah. And the minute you think you have it dialed in, it like, it slips, you know, something shifts and you're always in there tweaking and messing with it, right? I mean, it's crazy.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, it's like riding a wild bull.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And then, you know, the Facebook's always changing and then the different technology platforms change. And it's crazy.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, that's what I, I like that about your training a lot, by the way. I felt, you know, I'd had so many of the Facebook ad courses or craft your niche courses or whatever, where, again, I would kind of say it was like tactics first. And you know, I mean, when you started running a significant amount on Facebook like within the last nine months is all, and I mean, it's changed drastically. Like our strategy changes almost every single month, right?
Shane Kofoed: But when you, like the way you talked about it was more from a philosophical standpoint and a, "Here's how to think about it", and I think people-
Sam Ovens: It's just first principles.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, yeah. Principles over tactics, for sure, right?
Sam Ovens: Well, it's first principles, which is like a way of going down to like just the underpinning assumptions of, like at it's most simple form. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like what is a business? It's a provider of a solution to help someone go from point A to point B.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: You know? And who is that someone? And then what is point A, what is point B? And how does your thing get them there? That's all it is. You know? Like if the better that is, the better everything else is. Your ads, your funnel, your webinar, your everything. But it all starts there, and most people just can't see that and I've had to repeat myself for five years. Still has not really driven in.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, it's funny. That's interesting.
Sam Ovens: People hear GaryVee say like, "Oh, every business should be doing like Instagram," and then they forget that. And now they're like, "Oh, it must be Instagram."
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. That's, I think that's the risk with opportunity, right? Like I mean, I kind of see opportunity ... Like your course is strategy, right? And that's like on one end and then opportunity's on the other end, and I'd say that's really ... Like my personal progression in picking up your course was going from being opportunity-focused to being strategy-focused, right?
Shane Kofoed: And it's hard, because when you're first starting out or you're whatever, you know, you're learning internet marketing, you're like, "Man, everything is really cool." It's like you want to, every, you want to jump on every opportunity, right? Someone goes, "Hey, I need to do this but we're not allowed to run Facebook ads and we have to run ads over here," and you're like, "Ah, I want to learn that,", you know?
Shane Kofoed: And it takes a lot of discipline to go, "No, this is what we're doing and this is how we're doing it." And we saw that a lot too. Like we would, it was almost like at first we were half-committed to what we learned in the course, right? And we were half-strategic. And so we would, you know, half of our clients would be this really strategic thing over here and then we have these nightmare projects that we'd pick up and we're, you know, after three months of killing ourselves with these projects, we're like, "Man, we're making way less money on these and they're taking way more stress." The 80/20 thing, you know? So, and I-
Sam Ovens: Yeah, when people take those short, those projects, it's always a symptom of like short-term thinking. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Because the projects like, "Oh, we could get that money now." You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Totally.
Sam Ovens: But when you think longer-term, you're like, "This is going to take us a lot of our time. We're not going to be able to make any good progress for three months. But all the money!" You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. I like your post recently where you were talking about productivity and said, "Focus on doing less, not focus on doing more," right? And it was so funny, it's funny, because even, we still do this sometimes too, where we'll, you know, someone will come in and we'll go, "Man, this is like the perfect opportunity. We could probably get this thing rolling in two to three weeks," you know?
Shane Kofoed: And then three months later, we're just barely getting it out the door, you know? And we're like, "Man, it always takes longer than you think," right? So I think focusing on doing less helps you better [inaudible 00:25:18], so.
Sam Ovens: You know, the thing I've noticed is just to do anything well takes a huge amount of effort. And you most of the time need to do everything well. You can't ever really do something half-assed and get an outcome from it. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, totally. Totally.
Sam Ovens: It's like Twitter. I still don't know how that thing works. But I'm pretty sure we do like, I told my social media person, "Just do a post today on there. You just come up with something." It's like we've never gained any traction on that thing.
Sam Ovens: but like, you know, that's a perfect example of being half-assed on something and it just doesn't do anything. And you're just doing it for the sake of doing it. Compared to like, you know, I really thought about Facebook ads and really mastered that thing and figured it out and put a huge amount of effort in that, and that thing's been like a nuclear bomb for my business. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Yeah, it's funny, you know, we picked up, a little after we'd gone through the training, we picked up a client. It was like a huge fitness client. And you know, it'd been on TV and had programs and apps and all that kind of stuff. You know, massive following, million plus or whatever. And it was funny, I was going through an interview with them on their approach, and they mentioned that most of time, you know, they'd help people lost like 200 pounds, that kind of thing, right? And they'd done it like over and over and over.
Shane Kofoed: And it was funny, I was like, "What's the one thing that makes the difference?" And they're like, "The amount of goals that you set completely dictates your success," right? And so when they'd come in, like their first couple seasons on the shows or whatever, they would have all this, you know, they'd do all this stuff. They would do their diet and their exercise and water and all this kind of stuff.
Shane Kofoed: And it's like when you have ten things you're working on, you don't do any of them well and then you lose momentum. And then, you know, you set a New Year's resolution on January and then by February you're like, "I'm never going to do this. I'm never going to change," you know? And it starts going like psychological, right? Where they come in and they go, the first thing we say is, "Hey, just drink half a gallon of water every single day. Don't do anything else," right?
Shane Kofoed: And then after two weeks, you're like in the mode of that and you can, you feel like momentum, it's saying, "Oh, like we're, you know, I'm successful with this," right? And so we really started applying that to our business and saying, "Yeah, I want to learn LinkedIn ads," and, "Yeah, I'd love to learn Twitter at some point." I'm the say way, I've never really figured that out. Or YouTube, or whatever.
Shane Kofoed: But you know, it's really not, it takes a lot of discipline to go, "No, we're not going to touch that until we like really hone this in." And I mean, I'm the same with you, like Facebook ads are insane and I feel like we know a lot, and it's still like there's a lot to know still, you know? So.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I only ever mastered Facebook ads and did that. And then I wanted to do the other things, but I knew I could barely just do Facebook alone. And so then we, I hired a Facebook person and taught them how to do it, then got them to handle that. Then we hired someone who knew AdWords and got them to master AdWords and YouTube. And we have them separate. So like they're just, all they think and all they do is just those channels.
Sam Ovens: And I plan to add on some other channels, but they'll only have dedicated people. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like we have an SEO person and all they do is SEO. And then we're going to keep growing it out like that. You can do more than one channel, but I believe it has to be no more than one person's focus. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So like, and you have to master one before you go and do the other. Because it's kind of like spinning plates on a stick. You got to get one balanced and then you're good and that's got to stay spinning, and then you spin the other up. Because I think what most people do is they get one plate spinning, then they jump over here, they get this other one spinning, but by the time this thing even starts spinning, that thing's fallen off.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: You know what I mean? And then it doesn't, you're no further ahead. You're now probably just worse off than you were when you just had one plate spinning.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So the key is to get all of them spinning. And as you add each new piece, don't slow or break any piece you've built before. That's the hard part, that's I've watched people ... Because what most people, they do multiple things, but the whole doesn't equal the sum of its parts. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Totally, yeah.
Sam Ovens: So trying to do the different things and have each one of them actually add a whole 'nother thing without entropy in the system, is pretty difficult. And I've found it has to be no more than one person per focus. And then you can do it.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Do you have those people on staff or do you outsource those people? Or how do you do that?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, in, full-timers, inside.
Shane Kofoed: Got it, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like when you're starting out, you should use an agency just because it's quick and easy, but like what I've noticed is, you know, we were like trying to pioneer lots of different things that, on ads. We're spending like ridiculous amounts and we'd come up with these counter-intuitive strategies and weird ads and things.
Sam Ovens: And like, and the media buyer who was doing it, like, as soon as he would notice something worked, he'd just apply it to his other clients.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And of course, like that's not even him being irresponsible. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: That, of course he's going to do that.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, yeah. Totally.
Sam Ovens: But they're like my competitors, pretty much. So like, you know, it's hard to get an edge and keep that edge when all of your things just get applied across. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Totally, yeah. That's interesting.
Sam Ovens: So at a particular point in time, I think having people in-house is key. Like now we don't really outsource anything at all. But at the time we had everything outsourced. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. You know, we used the niche thing with our team, by the way. I was mentioning it, you know, I was thinking it out when you were thinking of the plates. You know, even kind of pre-course, we would have, you know, I'd hire these generalists and say, "Hey, I need you to be good at InfusionSoft and Facebook ads and Google and all this kind of stuff." And it, I-
Sam Ovens: It's a unicorn, man.
Shane Kofoed: Hard, [crosstalk 00:31:18]-
Sam Ovens: They don't teach those people that shit. I found someone that could do that, and when I saw that they could do it I was like, "I'm hiring you." Because it's like, those people are rare.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. But it's almost, I think we've had more success actually just bringing people in and really narrowing their focus and saying, "Hey, this is what you do," right?
Sam Ovens: If you give someone one thing to do, like one outcome, like our media buyer is told, like, "You need to make a million dollars per month each on your different channels," right?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: It's like our Facebook guy, who's like, "Alright, this month I got to hit a million in sales," and they have to do it making at least 20% margin on cash. So like 120% ROI on cash collected, right?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So just two simple rules. And that's it. And them we just let them free.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, set the expectation and let them use their creativity to-
Sam Ovens: Simple rule and freedom. And that's like the ultimate recipe.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. That's cool. That's a good approach.
Sam Ovens: So then, how did you, now we know how you picked this niche, because you had affinity to it, you were interested in it, you'd been involved with it before because you, in a way, you had really been in this niche in their shoes. You were them.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Which is quite easy to do that, like when you're starting out. Because you don't have to do as much like market research because you are the customer. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And so I get that. You picked the niche, ecommerce businesses. You know their problem. And now you have confidence that you can solve this for them. And then that evolved, your offer even got better and you included other things as you iterated on it with clients. But how did you get these clients?
Shane Kofoed: You know, so we ... That's a good question. Where did they mostly come from? You know, the funny thing is we still haven't fully deployed like what I would say is our real Facebook funnel with our training and things like that. Really there's, the interesting thing is I think the way that we pitch is so different. Because we've been in their shoes and because we're so specific.
Shane Kofoed: And, like back to the plate-spinning thing, like we'll have clients that we talk to and they're like, "Okay, I'm looking for an omni-channel agency. Dadadadada." When you google it, and I'll go back to it-
Sam Ovens: Omni-channel agency.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, I mean-
Sam Ovens: It sounds like a disaster from, just from the beginning.
Shane Kofoed: Well, and that's like the same tone that I take, right? I kind of laugh and I go, "Okay, what are you spending every month? Are you spending a half a million plus?" And they're like, "No, no, no, no, no." And I'm like, then I'm like, "Honestly, we're not touching anything but Facebook," or whatever is right for them, you know?
Shane Kofoed: And so, and it's kind of, it's like off, it's like shocking, right? Because most people talk to an agency and they're like, "Oh, yeah, we're going to deploy 10% of your budget here. And this, this, this." And so it's just so different, the way that we pitch, that we just have literally like a steady stream of people saying, "Hey, you should go talk to these guys about your business," right?
Shane Kofoed: And so it's just been this like constant referral thing. I think mostly because of the way that we pitch and the way that we talk about it. And now we generate enough results that we just get a ton of referral. But that's our goal for the rest of this year, is to actually really stand up our Facebook platform and get, you know, cold people. Because right now it's a lot of friends and friends of friends, that kind of thing.
Shane Kofoed: But it's crazy how much you can actually grow just with referral-
Sam Ovens: If you have things right, yeah.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So it sounds like what you bring to them isn't just fulfillment of a service. It's actually a paradigm shift and then the fulfillment of that service.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. And that was one of the hard things too, is we would go in and we'd, that we've been trying to figure out like, I've been trying to figure out how to, you know, kind of chart that, right? [inaudible 00:35:20] so much strategy basically, just in a pitch and it would blow people's minds. But then I'm realizing, "Okay, yeah, that," you know, I'd start getting pulled in and they'd start saying, "Hey, we want you to talk about this and talk about this and talk about this."
Shane Kofoed: And we'd start doing, you know, I'd be doing all this stuff that wasn't really in the scope. And so that I'm really trying to figure out of saying, "Okay, well how do we position, how do I position myself to charge a lot for that and separate that side of the service from the done-for-you agency type kind of services?" You know? So, that's kind of the goal for this year, is to really break that out.
Shane Kofoed: I think doing it on Facebook and publishing content is kind of the answer for that. Because, yeah, I mean, you've built up enough presence for yourself, you know, I'm sure people aren't calling you up, saying, "Hey, come spend three hours for free with our company and share your secrets," kind of thing, right? So.
Sam Ovens: I think they would still ask.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah? Do people ask you for that?
Sam Ovens: I don't even know. Like it would, we get, all of the emails get funneled through to my team, right? But I bet you they do. I mean, people ask for anything.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. So how do you break that out? How do you break out, you know, if you have a done-for-you service doing Facebook ads or funnels and really you as the owner are the secret ingredient, how do you break yourself out and say, "Okay, yeah, if you want my time, it's x amount extra"? Or if you-
Sam Ovens: Just never sell it.
Shane Kofoed: Never sell your time?
Sam Ovens: Yeah, never. Like when you're starting out and you need money, sure. But otherwise, it's just short-sightedness. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Because you can get more money, but like more money in the short term never really makes anyone rich. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like those people who make a lot of money real quick like they never win, they always end up poor. Like it's people that make steady progress that win. And so you don't want to do that. Like I, people would offer me a lot of money to, for a call or to go out or to do a, go speak somewhere or to do, even like anything.
Sam Ovens: And I just, it's always, "No." Because I know what I need to build and it's hard enough to build it already, let alone trying to do more thing, you know? It's going to slow the progress.
Shane Kofoed: Interesting. Yeah, strategy versus opportunity, right? It's interesting.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, well you've got to just know what the main thing is that you're doing and then it's real simple, anything that isn't that, is not.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: It's a real simple rule. Like, "Oh, is this that? Then no."
Shane Kofoed: Oh, that's cool. Yeah, that's a cool way to think about it.
Sam Ovens: And there's lots of stuff that pops up. Like, "Oh, So-and-So's in town, wants to go to lunch." "No." Like, "Someone else is here." "No." You know? Like podcasts, no. Speaking, no. Like there's tons of stuff every day, it's just not.
Shane Kofoed: How do you balance the, so where do learn from? How do you balance that, you know? Because that's, because when you're taking opportunity and you're speaking or you're going on a podcast or you're going to lunch or whatever, you know, that's, on the flip side, like that's where I felt a lot of the ideas and inspiration have come for me. So it'd be hard to say, to really make this better over here without the opportunity over there.
Shane Kofoed: So where does your inspiration come from? Where do you, you know, how do you progress on that side?
Sam Ovens: You mean listening to podcasts? Like how do I learn myself?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Okay. So I don't listen to any podcasts or any YouTube videos. I'm on nobody's email list. Like, zero. Because most of the stuff I've found on the internet is just noisy. You know what I mean? There might be some good nuggets in there but the vast majority of it's noise.
Sam Ovens: And so what I do, I like books. Because those things are refined and there's not much noise in there. So I read those. I learn from just books and doing. The combination of those two things.
Shane Kofoed: Got it, yeah. Interesting. That's cool, that's a cool approach.
Sam Ovens: You know, because I've found that also, like if I listen to things, there's not much retention there. But if I read something and underline it and circle it and all of that, like there's a lot more retention.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, that's true. I've thought about that. I mean, because I'd been like a, you know, I've listened to every audiobook under the sun, you know, not every podcast, but it's, yeah, it is like-
Sam Ovens: Can you recall a podcast that changed your life?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, you know, I can think of a couple concept that changed, but it definitely-
Sam Ovens: What about a book that changed your life?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, I mean a lot more, for sure, right?
Sam Ovens: The books is like, definitely has more impact. For most people around the world.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. It's like on a deeper level rather than just a high level idea up here, right?
Sam Ovens: Yeah. So it will really like change you, a book. But a podcast might give you an idea. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Yeah, that's cool.
Sam Ovens: So I don't really listen to them, at all. Because of that exact reason. I'm sure there's good ones, but you've got to be disciplined, you know?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Like I can't imagine Jeff Bezos or Larry Paige and [inaudible 00:40:30] and like Steve Jobs listening to podcasts. But I do know they read books. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Interesting, yeah. Yeah, I never thought of it like that.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, well like a lot of people compare them, like a lot of people's heroes, like people that aren't, are kind of big in this small world, but they're not really that big. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: It might be like, you know, someone who's like a celebrity for a person. I won't say any names because I don't want to name any people. But those are people are no, like nobody compared to like a Bezos or a Larry Paige or something like that. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yes.
Sam Ovens: So I always look at them as my heroes and people to guide me, not the other people. And then they always steer me in the right direction. Even when it's at complete odds to what is happening in my industry. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting.
Sam Ovens: Because you got to have some sort of mechanism to filter truth. It's like if everyone in your industry's saying, "This is the way to do it," but these people who are like the most successful billionaires in the history of the world are saying, "This is the way to do it," and these two are different, who do you listen to?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: I'll take that any day.
Shane Kofoed: So where do you pick up like the tactics, right? Like say if you're, you know, if everything's shifting and Pinterest, you know, Facebook ads are dying off and Pinterest is where you have to go, you know what I mean? You're not going to learn Pinterest ads from a Warren Buffett book, right? Like-
Sam Ovens: So actually what I do with marketing, is I'm a slow, I never care about first-mover advantage. If you watch me over the history of time, like I'm pretty slow to move into things. Like I only started doing Instagram in January, this year, for example.
Shane Kofoed: Wow, yeah.
Sam Ovens: That's pretty damn late. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: But I didn't see any real use cases for it, and it's still pretty early, to be honest. It's nothing compared to Facebook for us. I only really moved into YouTube this year. And like, I always, I never care about being first into something. I like to watch every, all the pioneers go into it, come, like figure everything out for me and I come in and put the best pieces together and then win.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, that's cool. Interesting.
Sam Ovens: So like even chat bots, that's something that's been in my peripheral vision for a while, everyone's been harping on about it, but no one can show me any damn numbers.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And so it's like, it look cool, but numbers, show me them.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, it's easy to get distracted by all that, right? All the-
Sam Ovens: To start to someone's Stripe account and their tracking and you quickly figure out what's real.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. That's cool.
Sam Ovens: So how do you get your customers then, if it's like, if you haven't moved into ads and everything yet? How have you been acquiring these people?
Shane Kofoed: So we've been, I mean, we've had a pretty steady stream of probably 20 leads a month, just word of mouth. And so we've been taking on, you know-
Sam Ovens: You have to get your first one. Because you have to be and have a client to get word of mouth, so how'd you get the first one?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I was in a little different position than I think maybe most people starting in the program. Just that I had, you know, I mean, I started my first business when I was 18, or 17. And I started consulting when I was 27. I mean, so i had ten years of contacts, right? And you know, shows that I'd gone to and people on LinkedIn.
Shane Kofoed: I mean, so really to get the first clients it was really just reaching out to a handful of people and saying, "Hey, I'm doing this now. What do you, what are you up to?" Kind of thing. So if I didn't have the contacts, I would for sure go ads straight, you know, right out of the gate.
Shane Kofoed: You know, I see a lot of people in the Facebook group talking about that and the struggle with the first client. Luckily, we didn't really, we didn't have that same struggle, which is nice. But yeah, I definitely understand people are not ... I think it'd be a lot scarier too, because you're probably questioning your niche and you're questioning your own skill and you're questioning all that.
Sam Ovens: Whether you should even be an entrepreneur.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, and then you're having all these pitches and getting shut down 15 times in a row and it's like, I think that, I do think that is one of the hard pieces, is when you're getting shut down that many times in a row, going, "Okay, which part of it is not working right?"
Shane Kofoed: I see people in the group saying, "Oh, is my offer? Is the ads? Is it the site? Is it me? Is it my track record? Is the lack of case studies?" And it's, I don't know, it's hard.
Sam Ovens: It's time.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. I-
Sam Ovens: It's lack of time. That's the missing ingredient.
Shane Kofoed: Yep.
Sam Ovens: Time shows you what it is.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. [inaudible 00:45:19]. I think it's because I had been coming out of a job or something like that and going into this program, I think that would've been a different kind of journey rather than taking ten years of connection and experience and things and then rolling it in. That's definitely different.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And what's your plans for this? Like what's your vision five years from now, like ten years from now, with this business?
Shane Kofoed: Well, the nice thing is we've gotten to a point where you can actually ask those questions, right? Because at first it's like you're, when you're so hand to mouth, like every dollar-
Sam Ovens: Survival.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah, I mean, and it's like you're not thinking ... I think of it like Maslow's Hierarchy, right? Like you're not thinking about creativity when you're like, "I've got $5,000 in payroll coming up. I need to get $5,000 in sales," right?
Shane Kofoed: So we're kind of past that now, which is cool. And it's letting us really think, "Okay, what do we really want to be doing?" And really, like so we've taken a little bit slower approach with, you know, we're not trying to onboard 500 clients by the end of the month or sell a bunch of services kind of thing. We're really like really trying to refine what we do and then, I'm actually, I want to apply that to, essentially, things that I own or have a stake in, right?
Shane Kofoed: So if a client comes, it's like we take more of a partnership approach with them and we say, "Hey, we will partner with you on your e-comm side of your business and build it up like this." Or, now we've actually, we've had several companies we've actually raised money for and launched the company. So you know, so I'll partner with somebody that acts as the General Manager, we act as like the quote-unquote marketing agency and we're building up that way.
Shane Kofoed: But the nice, so you know, so I'd say right now we kind of got an initial boost and now we're stabilized and I can pay my team and we have a really cool office and we can, you know, I can go to conferences and that kind of thing. And now it's really letting me kind of figure out what the next move is. So yeah, I think the next move for me is really going in a more of an ownership role and having a stable of 10 to 20 properties that I have a stake in, you know?
Sam Ovens: Got it. Cool. And what would you say has been the most transformative part of going through Consulting Accelerator?
Shane Kofoed: I love, the mindset stuff's awesome. I love the mindset modules, week two or whatever those were. Transformative? I mean, yeah, I kind of want to say the Facebook group's been the most transformative. Because it's, you know, again, it kind of goes back to I think when you're starting on something, you feel, you just feel like an idiot all the time, right?
Shane Kofoed: Like you feel like you're the only one that's struggling with this, you're the only one that has his pitches turned down. You're the only one that takes too long to do this or whatever. And going into the group and hearing what other people are saying, it kind of makes you feel ... I think as soon as you realize like, "Hey, it is really hard and you're not the only one that's having a hard time with it," then you kind of feel that, you're just kind of more at peace with the process, you know?
Shane Kofoed: So I love the content, but I think being in that group and just being able to see other people that are in the same boat as me has been really helpful.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I agree. Without that, our business wouldn't be anywhere near what it is. Because people have to see other people applying it. Like seeing application is part of learning the material. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Otherwise we'd just be kind of like a university. Like, "Oh, here's this information. Learn the theory." But, you know, we ask people to learn the theory, apply the theory, and then learn from other people who are actively applying it. You know what I mean?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And that's where a lot of the ideas get sparked.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. And you have to, yeah, you have to have some kind of benchmark too, right? To say, "Hey, here's how I'm doing in comparison." Yeah, that's cool. I like that a lot.
Sam Ovens: And then, what would your number one piece of advice be for other members? Like you've said the community's been valuable, so I'm sure you've seen a lot of other people and what they're going through. Like what's your number one piece of advice for them?
Shane Kofoed: I would say, I mean, it goes to the time comment, right? Like I would say pick your niche faster, like don't take six months to really figure out what it is. And you know, it took me so long to really dial it in because I was afraid of missing something else.
Shane Kofoed: And like you say with the plates. If you just get one thing up and going, you can always pivot and do other stuff later, once you've mastered that. So I'd say pick your niche really fast. And then just plan on it taking a long time. Like, you know, I mean, I know you have case studies and people who have gone from zero to a hundred like overnight, but I would say-
Sam Ovens: No one overnight, by the way.
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But I mean, I would say more categorically, if you looked at it and said, "Okay, this is what I'm doing for the next two years," I think people are going to be a lot more successful because it's ... You know, again, it's like you see those comments and people are, you know, "I'm on week three and I've made three pitches and I've never consulted with a business before, but I'm getting turned down."
Shane Kofoed: And it's like, "Man, you just have to get kicked in the teeth for another year and then you're going to kill it," right? So I'd say take a longer term view with it and not be so concerned about what your results are today.
Sam Ovens: And then, how can people learn more about you? Like if we're going to put this on YouTube, so if people have an ecommerce business and they're like, "Oh, I'm in this situation which he described," how can they find you?
Shane Kofoed: Yeah. So we're launching a couple things in the next two weeks or so. One of them is our first ad product that we're rolling out, called Dynamic Ad System. And so basically everything's going to be at standardbehavior.com. My company's called Standard Behavior. And it's really stripped down, but if you go there you can get contact with us and read the article, you know, read articles and things like that. So standardbehavior.com is the best way to get in touch.
Sam Ovens: Awesome. Well thanks a lot for sharing your story and looking forward to speaking soon.
Shane Kofoed: Cool. Thanks, Sam.
Sam Ovens: See you.
Shane Kofoed: Thank you, man.