Jordan West started this episode with some amazingly good vibes that were so contagious, it made us join him right away.
From being a taco restaurant owner to launching a baby clothes DTC brand with his wife, to founding an eCommerce growth agency, Jordan has been scaling and growing businesses since 2011. Today, he is one of the most growth-focused eCommerce brand owners and agency owners in the US.
If this hasn’t convinced everyone that scaling their business is in good hands with Jordan, we don’t know what would.
Let’s dive into the episode of the week!
Who is Jordan West?
When Jordan West was 23, he decided to buy a Taco Del Mar restaurant. He knew he had made a huge mistake at 2 pm the first day when only 3 customers had walked in and two of them were his parents.
For 5 years, Jordan worked hard to grow sales every way he could think of and in the end, tripled their revenue which still didn’t seem to matter on the profit side. He lost a lot of money.
The one thing that Jordan seemed to be the best at in the restaurant endeavor was marketing and getting people in the door.
Fast forward to 2014 when his wife Carmen started a modest baby clothing line and was selling at craft markets. He asked if he could test running a few ads on Facebook and the rest is history. Jordan learned every up-and-coming strategy and tactic and helped grow the small start-up to a multi-million dollar company and still growing!
Over the years he has realized what he’s good at and what he’s not. What he’s good at: marketing and helping others scale their businesses. Which leads him to now.
In 2019 they started the podcast “secrets to scaling your e-commerce brand” which is now in the top 50 business/marketing podcasts in multiple countries including Canada and the United States.
The secret to the actual leverage for your business
For anybody who has grown businesses, you know: at first, you start doing everything. You have to do everything! You have to do the shipping, the packing, the marketing, the emails and all of that kind of stuff.
As time went on, we started to really realize it and what I want to let you know is self-awareness is so, so important!
So luckily, we had somebody come by our business. Our marketing agency and our clothing company were in the same space. Somebody came by and they’re like, “Hey, we really think that you should learn about strengths.”
So we were using CliftonStrengths. If anybody’s read the book “StrengthsFinder” before, we got into that and there was a consultant that we were helping do that and they’re like, “Hey, well, we’ll trade you consulting for marketing.” And I’m like, “Awesome, best decision I ever made!”
In CliftonStrengths – I’ll give you just a quick overview – there are four different quadrants:
For me, I am all “influence” and all “relationship”. And I realized this is why I never get stuff done. But I’ve got a certain strength that’s called “maximizer”, which is essentially like, “Oh, Juliana, you’re really good at this! I need you to do this.” Essentially, it’s about finding other people’s strengths and then maximizing them. When I realized that, I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is a superpower right now. I’m able to hire people and bring them in and then get them.”
And then I have WOO, which is “Win Others Over”, which really helps get people into a vision.
So I couldn’t do it at first. It wouldn’t have worked at first. But realizing that knowing your strengths really helps you figure out what you can do versus what you can hire other people to do.
Focusing on your strengths, I think, is really where you’ll find that actual leverage for your business.
The courage to stop ads to do something organic
We stop ads all the time. I don’t believe in attribution whatsoever on the platforms. What I do know is that there are so many other growth channels, yet ads are still the best way to get people in. It’s the most reliable way to get people into your funnel. At Mindful Marketing, our tagline is that “We use ads to get you off using ads”.
Because that’s really what it comes down to in the end, customer lifetime value. But you’ve got to get people into your funnel.
I’ll rattle off a few different ways to get traffic.
- Instagram giveaways
- Running ads for the purpose of getting people onto your email list
- Running ads to contests
- Getting into retail as a marketing exercise
The Gated Launch strategy
This is a strategy that we’ve been using for a while. It’s called the Gated Launch strategy.
What we do is we actually password-protect – we’re going to be doing one of these on Tuesday again for one of our brands – we password-protect the website for twelve hours. Nobody can get in. We usually do it at 10:00 am Pacific. We’ll give them the password. So we’ll only give our VIPs and our SMS list the password. And they know that they get early access if they join those groups.
So we hype it up for about two weeks.
Then we password-protect the sites and nobody can get in and then we give them the password. So it’s incredible psychology because once they get the password, they make this micro commitment to go inside the site. I picture it as – there’s this word, a rubicon. A rubicon is a door you can go through, but you can’t go back out of. And mentally, that’s what it is, right? When they enter the password, they’re like, “Oh, man, I am on this site.”
Our conversion rate is like 17 percent when we do these gated launches. Just a crazy conversion rate!
So this particular launch, it was the first time. I think our VIP group was about 7000 people at the time and we were watching the sales. In the first two hours of this launch, we did 120000 dollars of sales. Where did this come from?!
No discounts, no Facebook Ads and people had to enter a password to get in. I mean, it’s just unreal. We’ve done this multiple times, since every single time we either sell out or just have massive launches.
It’s a strategy that I think is very evergreen. But it does take a little shift. It takes a shift mentally, being like, “Am I ok password-protecting the site? Am I okay knowing that there is a certain amount of customers that are going to buy over and over and over and they’re going to be psyched about this password?”
You guys know from being able to segment customers out, those are the customers that I want. I want those customers continually. They don’t cost me anything and they buy time and time again. So creating those kinds of communities is really important.
This podcast is sponsored by VTEX.
VTEX is the first and only fully integrated commerce, marketplace and solution that offers the fastest time-to-revenue, without the need for additional updates. Ever.