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Entrepreneurship

How To Automate And Optimize Your Online Business With Melisa Vong

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With online businesses growing I wanted to interview an expert on automating and optimizing online businesses. Melisa Vong is that expert and I got the chance to interview her. Here’s what she had to say:

Hey Melisa, can you tell us a little about who you are?

“Who am I?” Now that’s the million dollar question we all ask ourselves! I guess it all depends on who you ask. If you ask my mom, she’d tell you I’m her pride and joy. My business partners and social media friends on the other hand might think I’m some internet entrepreneur living her best life, my clients might think I’m some Amazon FBA expert or E-commerce wizard, and to my hedgehog I’d be his savior and reliable food dispenser. I like to think of myself as a fierce serial entrepreneur who inspires people to chase their dreams and help take their businesses to the next level through strategic branding. On a more tangible note, own and operate several e-commerce brands within the health and wellness niche as well as beauty space. Additionally, I provide consulting services to brands that wish to expand their retail presence into the Amazon marketplace as well as assist in brands that need a helping hand to scale up their current Amazon strategy.

Can you give us a look into your background story?

For me, the hustle started young. When I was in second grade, I would take my allowance money to the flee market and purchase these “surprise bags” which would contain 4 to 5 little trinkets or toys in them for $2. I would then sell them for $1 to $2 a piece, netting me a pretty profit to do it all over again or buy other inventory like chocolate bars to sell. When my parents separated, my mother had to support me and my sister on her own so at 12 years old I went out and got my first job which was going door-to-door selling newspaper subscriptions for my local newspaper. I wanted to help in any way that I could and watching my mom work so hard to provide for us really lit a fire under me and instilled a hard work ethic like no other. She is a huge inspiration for me and is also a huge health nut which is what put me on the path of creating my own botanical based skincare company while I was working in car sales. Fast forward, I was able to quit my job to go full time with e-commerce and now own multiple businesses within the wellness and beauty space and also help others launch and scale their own brands which has become my main focus right now.

What are the benefits to automating your online business?

The largest and most obvious benefit is time and energy freedom. It should be no surprise that when you have someone else take over tasks that you once performed, you have the opportunity to focus on what matters most in business which is making the strategic decisions to grow and scale your business and of course, yourself. You are the captain of your ship and as an entrepreneur who is practically addicted to growth, metrics, and generally getting sh*t done, it’s easy to forget that we all need sleep, a good diet, exercise, and a healthy mind. Sacrificing the latter for the former seem like a good idea at first, but you soon come to realize that your resources are finite and that you are not a superhuman. Automating a business not only allows you to shift from more of the smaller day-to-day tasks to the bigger strategy plays, but it allows you to actually take time for yourself to ensure that you are operating at the highest level and maximum potential.

What are some important tools entrepreneurs should take advantage of to help automate their online business

With the internet and its vast amount of resources available to us at our fingertips, it’s hard to sort through which ones are actually useful and which ones are just glorified apps you download and use once. When it comes to building an e-commerce brand or business, here are some tools or platforms that show promise and have proven to be effective with automating your e-commerce or Amazon business:

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) – If you have a brand or sell products online, you may want to look into putting or selling those products on Amazon as well to help automate a lot of your supply chain and other important aspects of your business. For example, Amazon will handle shipping your products to your customers so you don’t have to worry about packing them and fulfilling orders manually, printing and applying shipping labels, and driving to your local post office to ship the products. Another benefit is that Amazon also handles a lot of the customer service for orders placed on their platform. When a customer has an issue, they usually reach out to Amazon directly, especially in cases where a customer hasn’t receive their package because it was lost or stolen.

ManyChat – What’s more automated than an automated messenger bot? You can use ManyChat to build full blown funnels for product launches, review campaigns, customer service, influencer onboarding and more! The open rate for chat bots range from 15 to 60% whereas the average email marketing rate is about 4% which shows huge potential for anyone leveraging chat bots.

Feedback Genius – Having the proper email messaging sequence is super important to maintain good customer service and ultimately get organic feedback and reviews from your customers. To help automate your Amazon messaging sequence so that you don’t have to manually send emails every time a customer makes a purchase, you can simply set up automatic emails through Feedback Genius and watch the reviews roll in while mitigating negative ones.

Tasker – If you have an Android, Tasker is a great app for automating basic tasks on your phone. For example, you can program Tasker to log into your Amazon account every 3 days, take a snapshot of your inventory levels, and have it send you or your supply chain manager an email with the photo attached.

Trello – This isn’t so much an automation software but it’s a good platform for project management and communication between departments. You can create cards with details on a specific task or project that needs to be done and move it through the different checkpoints until it has been approved by the appropriate parties and completed. I personally use this to communicate with my website developers.

Where can our readers find you on social media? 

Instagram @melisa

Jourdain is the CEO and Co-Founder of a Branding & PR Agency called Beast Media. Where he focuses on helping Influencers and Entrepreneurs get their message out through Personal Branding and PR. Jourdain also shares his expertise on entrepreneurship, branding and PR by contributing to publications like Disrupt, Succeed, Future Sharks, BuzzFeed, Thrive Global, WealthLab, Kivo Daily and more!

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Entrepreneurship

How Author Roy Gene Huff Continues To Move Forward

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How will you continue to grow and succeed?

Everyday, I wake up at 4 AM to reflect on my day and accomplish my top two goals. I’m deliberate with time and actions, and reflect on my progress during the week. I have a routine that includes journaling, deliberate practice, exercise, continued learning, and engaging my network of like minded people. I set boundaries, and get enough rest to engage the day and other important aspects of my life outside of work. Most importantly, I believe in expressing gratitude. This makes it easier to step out of my comfort and embrace the unexpected.

Are there any major sacrifices that you have had to make in order to move forward?

Jim Rohn said you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I’ve limited my associations with those who bring me down. I also gave up alcohol and fast food. I sleep by 9PM most days, so I can get up early and accomplish my top two daily goals.

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Entrepreneurship

“Building Your Own E-commerce Business Is Easier Than You Think”- Peter Pru

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An interesting entrepreneur who I was recently able to chat with is Peter Pru who is the CEO and Founder of Ecommerce Empire Builders. He is well experienced in the world of e-commerce. Pru was struggling with his own business until he found out about sales funnels, then he really took off from there. He realized that many others in the e-commerce space struggled with sales as well, so that is why he created Ecommerce Empire Builders. He is able to make those struggling businesses into “Cash cows”. I asked him a few questions and here is what he had to say:

Can you tell me the story of your prior successes, challenges, and major responsibilities?

I never could make e-commerce work for me. I worked all day at my job and all night on my online business. I made sales, but hardly any profit ever came from it. Until I learned about sales funnels. Using them I was able to start guiding my customers down a sales process specifically designed to meet the customer’s needs and make the business as profitable as possible.

Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?

I lost nearly $40,000 in inventory when I was banned for false IP claims while selling on Amazon FBA. I was wrecked. The business was doing so well and I thought I had this whole eCommerce and making money online thing figured out. When I got banned I had nothing to show for it. No customer data, no way to sell them again. I realized at that moment that I was building Amazon’s business not my own. Since that moment I promised myself I would not be in control of my business again

What are the most exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now my time is mostly filled with helping my current e-commerce clients build out sales funnels and processes to make their business a cash cow.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

The reaction my clients have when they start to see results. It’s priceless. Especially when I see someone who is completely new to e-commerce make their first sale. It’s a feeling that can’t be put into words.

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Entrepreneurship

Is Vaping Interfering With Your Lifestyle? It’s Time You Meet PHILTER

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I was able to have a quick chat with Amanda Byrd, Christos Nicolaidis, Mitch Mulanix and John Grimm who are the founders of Philter. Philter is a catalyst for necessary social and environmental change and will act as a change agent that dramatically impacts and alters the socially acceptable vaping behaviors. Not only does it help the environment by blowing out much cleaner air rather than the usual vape vapors but it is also a great alternative for smoking and vaping. I asked them how they keep motivated and here is what they had to say:

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

“The true beauty of these products is that they give you a choice as the vape user,” said Christos Nicolaidis, CEO, Philter Labs. “Sometimes you’re going to want to blow big, fat clouds. And that is totally cool. But, inevitably, you’re going to encounter situations where your vapor plume might impact those around you. If you have a PHILTER with you and the need arises, you’re immediately prepared to filter your smoke and carry on with your day-to-day activities.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?

Creating these socially conscious vaping behaviors really only serves to make the shared spaces we live in that much better and to finally start tipping the scales back to a more balanced view of those who choose to vape.

How do you push through your worst times?

Think vaping without producing secondhand smoke is impossible? Think again! Meet PHILTER, the slim, sophisticated personal filters so you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle.

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