Clayton Bates has a number of admirable qualities and his business motto is a reflection of that. He's reviewed over 1500 websites and secured a coveted partnership with Shopify in the process. In addition to teaching us about some of the most common mistakes, he also talks about some key services you should be looking into and how he keeps himself oriented and focused in life. If you have an eCommerce store, there is no reason on earth not to seek his guidance.
Clayton Bates heads up InspireSmallBusiness.com, an independent mentoring website that has to date reviewed over 1500 ecommerce websites, securing himself a partnership with Shopify along the way. In addition to his free review services, over 300 clients have taken him up on his personal mentoring and as a result, he has generated 1 million in revenue. Join us as he talks with Joseph about the essentials every ecommerce site must have and the importance of not giving up.
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[00:00:00] Clayton Bates: [00:00:00] You know, maybe do a little bit more digging before you give up. Cause I, I see a lot in Facebook groups, you know, people have tested five, 10 different niches or, um, you know, they've done one thing for a couple of weeks didn't work, um, definitely, you know, really put it, put the work into it and give it the best shot and yeah.
[00:00:22] And hopefully you'll find the diamonds.
[00:00:25] Joseph: [00:00:25] You're listening to Ecomonics a Debutify podcast. You're resource for one of a kind of insights into the world of eCommerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews, with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research.
[00:00:43] Your time is valuable. So let's go.
[00:00:54] Clayton Bates has a number of admirable qualities and his business motto is a reflection of that. He's reviewed [00:01:00] over 1500 websites and secured a coveted partnership with Shopify in the process. In addition to teaching us about some of the most common mistakes, he also talks about some key services you should be looking into and how he keeps himself oriented and focused in life.
[00:01:14] If you have an eCommerce store, there is no reason on earth not to seek his guidance. Clayton Bates. It's good to have you here. Thank you for coming onto the show.
[00:01:25] Clayton Bates: [00:01:25] No dramas, happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:29] Joseph: [00:01:29] Absolutely. So let's start with a broad overview of what you do these days. I understand you've surpassed 1500 website reviews.
[00:01:35] So tell us about inspire small business.com.
[00:01:39] Clayton Bates: [00:01:39] So basically, um, the main thing we do is redesign Shopify websites. Um, and basically if someone reaches out to us, we will actually do a video review for their website going through. Um, some tips and suggestions to improve it, um, you know, totally for [00:02:00] free. Um, so they can get a good understanding of what they actually needed to do to get sales on their website.
[00:02:07] And there's no pressure to hire us or anything. And then if they actually want to hire us, we actually rate us on their website. So I'd say nearly all the work is, um, redesigning websites that. Someone's already tried to build themselves, um, every now and then we'll do one from scratch or some little small tasks, but yeah, most of it's redesigning Shopify websites, so
[00:02:32] Joseph: [00:02:32] And people [?]. People are typically reaching out to you, but was that always the case? Because I would imagine maybe early on you had to do a little bit of a, either cold calling or hot calling or whatever would be the equivalent of it.
[00:02:44] Clayton Bates: [00:02:44] Yeah. At first it was really hard. I actually used to go on the Shopify forums, um, and like people would ask for help and stuff like that.
[00:02:54] And I'd actually end up sending them a video review to their email. Um, but last [00:03:00] year, Shopify actually made me one of the experts and now they Shopify actually sends me leads all the time. So I actually don't have to do any marketing. I get about a hundred to a thousand leads a week
[00:03:13] Joseph: [00:03:13] 100 to a thousand?!
[00:03:16] Clayton Bates: [00:03:16] Yeah.
[00:03:17] Joseph: [00:03:17] That's a lot of leads. How do you sift through those?
[00:03:19] Clayton Bates: [00:03:19] Well, I actually had got them sectioned out, so I actually had to turn some of them off because I actually couldn't handle just the sheer amount of emails that was coming to me. So yeah, it was pretty crazy. So which,
[00:03:34] Joseph: [00:03:34] yeah, I mean, I hear a lead I'm thinking like, Oh, two or three, you know, I'll, I'll, uh, find some time on Tuesday to get to these, but no, they've, uh, uh, they've made sure it's a, it's a feast for
[00:03:45] Clayton Bates: [00:03:45] Yeah, and I'm pretty sure they've got like a tiered structure on how many leads they send you. So if you tick all the boxes and you get more leads sort of thing, um, but I guess it really comes down to all the hard work I put in, [00:04:00] in like 2019 to be in this position. Um, I would say most businesses probably have their problem when they do stuff like me is getting leads.
[00:04:10] And my problem is I need, I can't actually do all the work. So I actually need to hire more people. So it's a good position to be in, I guess. So, yeah.
[00:04:20] Joseph: [00:04:20] Oh, great. So we'll, I'll actually, I'll follow up with you on that. Cause we can check in a little bit more on, um, on your, on your current expansion process, but, uh, can you give us some, uh, insight into how you specifically became a Shopify partner?
[00:04:36] Like did they call you, did they send you an email? You just said, yeah, I'm good. Or was it, was it a little bit more of a lengthy process?
[00:04:44] Clayton Bates: [00:04:44] So do you mean like what actually, like made me want to do this? Or like, how did they accept me through the whole thing? Like,
[00:04:52] Joseph: [00:04:52] you know, um, my, my inclination was the second part, but you're welcome to let us know about the first part too.
[00:05:00] [00:04:59] Clayton Bates: [00:04:59] Yeah, well, basically I used to have my own business where I'd build a Shopify website for my business and, um, you know, it was a real struggle for me at first and. Um, I actually went to YouTube a lot and learned a lot about how to build a website. And I think after about three or three or four years of doing that, I went to Bali and I ran into this woman that was actually living in Bali and building websites.
[00:05:25] And I spoke to her a lot and, um, she was from Germany I think. And it really inspired me that that was the fondest part of my business was building the website and I thought, you know, what, if I could do something like this and, you know, I had a pretty good job at the time I had the business on the side.
[00:05:45] So, you know, I was cruising sort of in life and it was pretty big risk to do something like this. And it took me about a year to work up the courage, um, to do it, resigned reached out to Shopify. They actually didn't make me [00:06:00] a partner at first. So they pretty much gave me feedback. Like maybe if I did some YouTube videos, something like that.
[00:06:07] Um, I did that and then they made me a partner, I think in some, 2008, I think. And then 2019, they actually emailed me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to be an expert. So I had to go through like a qualification sort of thing. So how to give them examples of sites, um, how I've helped people, things like that.
[00:06:29] Um, they come back and they approved me and yeah, that's sort of how it sort of will happen, I guess.
[00:06:36] Joseph: [00:06:36] So for people who, uh, aspire to also reach that status, This would be a good place or good. I'm kind of like an off topic question, but would people ever be welcomed to reach out to you, to learn a little bit more about getting into partnership?
[00:06:52] Clayton Bates: [00:06:52] Yeah.
[00:06:53] No dramas at all
[00:06:54] Joseph: [00:06:54] Alright, sweet. Alright. Now you were mentioning that you [00:07:00] were, this, this was also something that I read, um, that when you were building the Shopify store, uh, it felt like adult lego. Do you remember that quote?
[00:07:09] Clayton Bates: [00:07:09] Yeah.
[00:07:10] Joseph: [00:07:10] Yeah. And I want to touch on this because I want to remember to encourage people that when they're looking for what to do, obviously money is a, is a big motivator, but it is also about that.
[00:07:22] Raw feeling of, uh, of joy that, where our passion is derived from. So, um, I would like to hear you expand a little bit more on how really, how it made you feel compared to how you were feeling prior to it.
[00:07:38] Clayton Bates: [00:07:38] Well, Yeah, it was just really exciting to build websites, like I actually felt like a kid again, building my original website.
[00:07:47] I was always, I love Lego when I was a kid. So I guess that's how I sort of come up with that quote. But yeah, it just felt like that, that you had to put the, you had no instructions like it's like Lego sent [00:08:00] you a website with no instructions and you have to work it out yourself. And that's how it's always sort of felt for me.
[00:08:06] I think every business I've had has been something that I've been really passionate about and doing this business has actually made me realize that, you know, there is people that can do a business that they're not passionate about and make money. But I would say a very high percentage of people need to be passionate about the business that they do to make it work.
[00:08:29] Joseph: [00:08:29] yeah, I think without that, uh, element of it is. It's easier for a burnout to set in because there's different. It's almost like there's different reserves of energy and the more natural, the more organic the energy, the easier it is to manifest.
[00:08:43] Clayton Bates: [00:08:43] Oh yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah.
[00:08:46] Joseph: [00:08:46] And also, sorry, I just was just gonna say, and also from, uh, from my own perspective, is that, you know, I, I, you know, I'm, I'm Italian, so we, uh, We're fueled by passion, but you don't know, for me, it doesn't necessarily need to be like a hundred percent or 0%, [00:09:00] like with me and podcasting is that I would give it like a 75% or an 80%.
[00:09:05] Like it's very high on my list, but there are things that are, are more passionate, but. They're the odds of me being able to make a legend of Zelda game are pretty thin. So it is for me, is it has been helpful to find a balance or something that gives me enough drive to move forward, but still there's other things in my life that, uh, I can just focus on the joy and I don't need to worry about the stress side of it.
[00:09:31] Clayton Bates: [00:09:31] Yup. Yeah. A hundred percent. I actually think my old business actually got me through lack. I was probably battling a little bit with depression a few years ago. Because I had a very stressful job and me going home and doing that side business on the side was something that made me like filled me with a lot of joy.
[00:09:51] So it probably like balance me out for a long time, which was really good. Um, and yeah, now I just, I really love doing what I do. Like, [00:10:00] you know, seeing people get sales and open their business and building their website. Um, yeah, it's really I, I find a lot of joy in it like the more that people want it want it to work and the more they want to put into it to make it work is, um, normally
[00:10:20] like I'll probably help them a lot more than the people that sort of think that it's easy sort of thing. Like there's, it feels maybe have a lot of joy and stuff to see people just really put everything into it sort of thing. So,
[00:10:34] Joseph: [00:10:34] and it's also pretty late for you to like I'm here in the morning. Uh, but for you it's, uh, I think it's either 11:00 PM or midnight.
[00:10:43] Clayton Bates: [00:10:43] Yeah.
[00:10:43] It's 11:00 AM.
[00:10:44] Joseph: [00:10:44] Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, when, when you, when people, uh, really, really can't, uh, FA like they really can find joy in doing their jobs. They can't wait to, you know, wrap up for the day and then, uh, go watch a national idol, whichever [00:11:00] country that is. But you can tell when people really want to do their job, which is their, their battling sleep.
[00:11:08] Clayton Bates: [00:11:08] Yeah. I think I woke up 7:00 AM today. So, um, I'd normally probably wake up a little bit early, but I have a lot on today, so it's been a long day, but I really, yeah. I really want to do this. I really loved Debutify, really happy with Debutify that's why I'm here.
[00:11:25] Joseph: [00:11:25] Awesome. Yeah, they, they they've been great to me too.
[00:11:27] Uh it's it's uh, my relationship with them is about four months now, but, uh, It's just the, the forward momentum of things and the, and the scale that we're working with it's, it's made each day feel more distinctive, which is saying a lot considering how a lot of our time now we're spending in doors and not exactly going out and doing unique experiences.
[00:11:49] Um, quick question. This is a pure curiosity, but when was the last, uh, what was your, do you, do you caffeinate, like when was your last coffee or tea?
[00:11:57] Clayton Bates: [00:11:57] Um, I
[00:11:58] have lots of B. [00:12:00] Energy drinks. So do you have B. Over there or?
[00:12:07] Joseph: [00:12:07] No? Uh, we're a red bull red rain monster. Uh there's there's options for sure. Uh, I'm I'm very, uh, weird though.
[00:12:15] Cause I like red bull, but not for the energy side of it. For some reason. My, my acidic levels really enjoyed the taste of red bull.
[00:12:23] Clayton Bates: [00:12:23] Yeah. I'm trying not to drink so much. So I'm really at that stage I'm trying to. I'm like my business is going really good. So I'm trying to optimize myself at the moment. So I've got like a personal trainer and trying to get my diet going really well.
[00:12:38] So yeah, that's what I'm, I'm trying to cut it down. In other words, you know?
[00:12:45] Joseph: [00:12:45] Yeah, same. This today's the first day I've tried to cut coffee, so I am going to get us back on. Um, but I'm pointing the finger at myself for a veering us off course, but over the course of a 1500 reviews, [00:13:00] um, was there an evolution to your review process or, you know, first couple of reviews versus the most recent reviews.
[00:13:08] How did your, um, your process change if it did?
[00:13:11] Clayton Bates: [00:13:11] So there's probably been a few iterations, I guess you could say [?]. Um, mostly from me watching the reviews that I did, that people responded back to me or they actually hired me and stuff like that. And basically right now that I actually just press record.
[00:13:30] I don't even look up the person's website before I do it. So every single thing I look through their website, it's all first impressions. I used to go through the website and then, then actually do the review. Um, but now it's just like first impressions, because I think like the person going to their website, it's all first impressions.
[00:13:50] So it's important that it's first impressions for me.
[00:13:53] Joseph: [00:13:53] Okay. That makes sense. Cause you want to have that same mindset as of a customer were to see it for the first time.
[00:13:58] Clayton Bates: [00:13:58] Yeah. A hundred [00:14:00] percent. Um, and then I, there's probably five areas where I like most people will, you know, make little mistakes. So I always try to include those areas into the review as well.
[00:14:12] I would say nearly like, at least 80% of people would, you know, three or four out of the five things was probably the something wrong there. Sort of. So try to always include them because I feel they're very important. So yeah. Very big.
[00:14:31] Joseph: [00:14:31] So that was one of the questions I was going to get to. Um, cause I read the, uh, the five mistakes that you typically see on Shopify stores.
[00:14:37] That's one of the, the key links to your website. But, um, for listeners that haven't visited you at, can you tell us what the mistakes are?
[00:14:44] Clayton Bates: [00:14:44] Yup. So I think one, the five, um, probably the first one, would be, a lot of people don't structure their homepage, well enough or like, or they might sort
[00:14:54] of half be there.
[00:14:55] Um, but
[00:14:56] I think it's very important that you structure your homepage like [00:15:00] very well. Um, especially if you do a lot of organic stuff, like people finding you on Instagram and they coming straight to your home page, um, you know, you got to get people's sort of attention in five seconds or they leave. Um, so it's very important to structure that home page.
[00:15:17] I always like to try to give someone a good feeling on the website, you know, showcase the products, build trust with reviews, trying to build a connection sort of thing. Yeah. It really depends how many products they will have, what sort of products they are on how actually structure that or tell them, you know, advise them what they should do.
[00:15:37] Um, the second one, would be the product page. Um, so it's, I believe it's really important that you have all the information about the product and build trust. I think those are the two really important things on a product page. So just for example, A lot of people have a lot of information in their product description.
[00:15:59] Um, [00:16:00] you know, you could actually like, it's a bit daunting, sometimes a lot of texts, stuff like that. You can break off images, you can actually add product tabs, save tabs, instead of having your shipping information in the product description. Um, you can have a tab like shipping information, returns policy, so you just shorting it up.
[00:16:18] You really got the product description is the key things about this, about that product, that is going to help someone actually buy it. Um, you know, some people are going to click those tabs and find that information out. No worries at all. And then the other one would be, um, the reviews. So having reviews and stuff like that.
[00:16:36] Um, the great thing I like about Debutify is that they actually have a section on the product page where you can have testimonials. So if you have a business where you might only have two or three testimonials or reviews, Instead of having an app with no reviews, you can actually add those testimonials to that section and they display on every single product.
[00:16:55] So it builds a little bit more trust when you're only small sort of thing. [00:17:00] Um, so yeah, I really liked that feature, but yeah, I think realistically I think probably having an app like Loox reviews where people can leave photo reviews, um, is very important as well. Um, but that testimonial section is good.
[00:17:15] If you are only new and you don't have many reviews, So, yeah, I think those two things are very important. The third thing would be site navigation, um, people sort of messes up a little bit. I think, um, the great thing about Debutify, you can actually build out the main menu for desktop and then the main menu for mobile.
[00:17:37] So you can structure them very well. A lot of things actually don't do that and the footer is pretty good on Debutify , so I actually like to have the footer set up to look professional, um, pretty much linked anywhere on the website in one or two clicks, make it super simple for someone. So, yeah, I think site navigation is very important, make it very easy for someone to navigate your website. [00:18:00] The fourth one would be the checkout. You would actually be very surprised how many people actually make this mistake in the checkout when they actually want, when a customer gets to the checkout. The checkout doesn't look anything like their website.
[00:18:13] So what I mean is people to get, to add the logo. They don't color match the checkout to their website. So it's not very consistent or anything like that. So I feel like a lot of people get a bad vibe when they go to the checkout because it's a completely, it looks completely different to the rest of the website.
[00:18:32] So that's a very important one. Like, I would say easily, probably 5 to 20% of people would abandon a checkout when they go to those types of checkouts when they're not consistent. Um, I actually had, uh, had someone on the Shopify community. They had a lot of traffic, um, a really, really nice website and couldn't work out why they weren't buying [00:19:00] off it.
[00:19:00] And I went to the checkout, no logo looked completely different to the rest of their website. I told them that, they changed it. They got five sales that day, which is their first five sales, which was crazy to think the impact like that one page could have. Um, and then probably the fifth one is definitely mobile friendly.
[00:19:21] Um, a lot of sites aren't very mobile friendly and these days probably 50 to 90% of your traffic is gonna come from a mobile. So you always gotta be thinking about a mobile phone, you know, it's very important to think what the site is like on a mobile. So they're probably the five things.
[00:19:44] Joseph: [00:19:44] Yeah. The ones, one of the ones that sticks out to me is especially the reviews, because I do my fair share of online shopping.
[00:19:51] And when I see just text reviews, I do want to believe the legitimacy of the person and I can [00:20:00] get a sense of it based off the cadence and the tone and the way the person writes. But once you get photo reviews in there, I have no doubts left in my mind because this is the person they got the product they're wearing it, or they're holding it or they're wielding it or whatever the product is.
[00:20:14] That to me is a, it does make a significant difference.
[00:20:18] Clayton Bates: [00:20:18] Yeah. Yeah. Massive. Um, yeah, I think it makes a massive difference. I actually think there's going to be a new trend coming with reviews. Um, I actually think video reviews, uh, gonna be the new photo reviews soon, um, because you can, it's very easy to fake a photo review.
[00:20:37] Now, I think, I think with a written review a lot of people realize, you know, it's very easy to fake a written review, so they don't trust them as much. Unless it's on Amazon, eBay, stuff like that. And then when the, when the photo review come like it build a lot more trust, but I think moving forward, the video review is actually going to be.
[00:20:58] Um, even bigger than the [00:21:00] photo review in the future. So,
[00:21:02] Joseph: [00:21:02] Yeah i could see that, I mean, some of it does have to do with the product in specific, like one of the ones that I found through the, uh, the course of the research I do on a week to week basis was a weight loss product. So the customers, they were, they undress themselves, you know, respectfully tastefully to show their before and after photos.
[00:21:19] And there was dozens of those. And so, yeah, I mean, I suppose that could be faked, but. I would, I would give that a pass, whereas I can see if some, if it's just like a pen, you know, and if there's just a photo of the pen. Oh, I love this pen and then they put it on the floor and they say, I love this pen and on my mahogany table so that I can, I can definitely understand.
[00:21:40] But it's also interesting too, that video it's it is that cat and mouse game, because photo reviews are more legitimate than texts reviews. And video reviews a more legitimate than photo reviews, but there are also concerns of deep fakes, which is. It's not something that we can ignore forever because the technology has [00:22:00] improved significantly.
[00:22:00] I don't know if you've seen or heard of this. I think it's somewhat prevalent at, do you know what I'm, what I'm referring to.
[00:22:08] Clayton Bates: [00:22:08] No not really, no
[00:22:10] Joseph: [00:22:10] Okay. Well, I mean, I, I, it wasn't one of the things I was planning on, on bringing up, but I think this is as good a time as any, so a deep fake is this technology that allows people to Photoshop videos so they can put somebody else's head onto another person's body.
[00:22:29] They can try to manipulate sound so that a person is a. Is, it sounds like, um, somebody else, uh, there there's one that it's done in good taste. So what they did was they sat a bunch of people who could all do really good impressions. Like one guy could do a really good Tom cruise and they did like a round table discussion, but then they super imposed all of the actors faces onto the, uh, the impersonators and it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad either.
[00:22:58] It was a, it was [00:23:00] uncanny, definitely made its way into the uncanny Valley.
[00:23:02] Clayton Bates: [00:23:02] Yeah.
[00:23:02] Joseph: [00:23:02] So it'd be interesting to see like, okay, well, once we, uh, we get to that point, there'll probably be another evolution after that too. Um, which might be like holographic reviews or a person materializes, you know, or virtual reality reviews and stuff like that.
[00:23:18] Uh, I, I can't, I can't see you resisting it for a forever.
[00:23:21] Clayton Bates: [00:23:21] Yeah, I guess that's all you just go to whatever business you're in you got to evolve with the times, I think. Yeah. So I think definitely now if you do video reviews, it's going to make a big difference and then maybe there will be holographic something in the future everyone goes to, so yeah.
[00:23:40] Joseph: [00:23:40] Uh, if, uh, if in 20 years I'm right. I owe you
[00:23:47] Clayton Bates: [00:23:47] Well it's being filmed, being recorded so. . .
[00:23:50] Joseph: [00:23:50] Yep. Yeah, I will I'll honor it. I also, professionally I save all my files into a hard drive too. So I like to hold onto my, uh, my recording legacy. [00:24:00] So you've meant you've mentored quite a lot of people and I've checked out some of the testimonials and, and, and they speak very highly of you.
[00:24:10] They, your, your, your genuine personality and the passion for what you do comes through. Uh, what I would like to know is. Uh, what personal qualities have you noticed that are common among your clients?
[00:24:20] Clayton Bates: [00:24:20] Alright. Probably very broad sort of thing. I sort of find that a lot of people that sort of share my values sort of run into me for some weird reason.
[00:24:34] Like they're attracted to me just very, just for example like my business is called Inspire Small Business and you would actually be surprised how many people in their about page that actually says inspire somewhere in there. They're like, they're drawn to that word. Um, so I think like, when people say that they might think, you know, we share the same sort of values.
[00:24:56] So I do get a lot of people that, um, sort of are [00:25:00] like, they want to work hard they love what they do. So it's very, it feels a bit uncanny or something like that, that I'd get a lot of people like that. Obviously not everyone is like that. Um, but yeah, it is a bit weird that I get a lot of people that share the same sort of values.
[00:25:19] Uh, I think realistically, like if you think about how, when I get a client I've done a video review and then I've sent them to my reviews page where they see video reviews from our customers and stuff like that. So they probably get a very good idea about what sort of person I am. So if I sort of. If they can see some of their qualities in me, you know, they're probably more likely to work with me sort of thing.
[00:25:43] So yeah, definitely something like that.
[00:25:48] Joseph: [00:25:48] Yeah. I mean, I, I, I pick up on that too, like in addition to having passion for it, or, um, I mean, for me working a job, what helps me stick around [00:26:00] too is also having those same frequencies as the people that I work around. Uh, because if we don't. I'm not a fan of saying vibes, but I do get the, uh, the, the point behind it.
[00:26:11] But if people don't have the same vibes, then they will repel from each other versus sharing the same vibe as we'll attract to one another. So that checks out, but it's, it's interesting to hear that they, they manifest through, you know, just interacting virtually versus trying to pick up on that while people are in person.
[00:26:30] Clayton Bates: [00:26:30] Yeah. And another thing onto that as well. I actually read this book, um, that helped me actually name my company is called Your One Word. So it's about finding the word that, um, really like means a lot too. And that's why I actually, um, called my business Inspire Small Business. And the, the whole premises of it is that people are drawn to certain words and stuff like that.
[00:26:57] So if you actually find the word that really. [00:27:00] Is really powerful too, then people are going to be drawn to that word. So that, that probably has another thing to do with it as well. So yeah, that that that's made a big difference in my life. Probably that book. So, yeah. Interesting.
[00:27:15] I couldn't, I wouldn't be able to think of one off the top of my head.
[00:27:20] Yeah. Well the whole book goes through like steps of like how you find your words sort of thing. So. Yeah. You'd probably end up having a few words by the end of it and then bring it back to one sort of thing. So yeah,
[00:27:36] Joseph: [00:27:36] the first one that popped into my head was a seminal. But do you recall any of the words that were like competing for first place?
[00:27:44] Clayton Bates: [00:27:44] I thought courage was like a word and then when our really sort of started to think about it, I was like, this is probably not the right word for me, sort of thing. Like it was inspire from the start. And then there was probably three or four other words that [00:28:00] I sort of tried to go towards, and then it'd always just come back to inspire.
[00:28:05] And I think, um, one of the reasons why it ended up being like that is that in 2014, 15, when I had no idea how to build a website, Um, a lot of people on YouTube really inspired me. So I think that was, I wanted to end up being the person to inspire other people to do the same thing. So, yeah, that's why I've got my YouTube channel it's really just, you know, people that can't afford to actually hire someone to redesign their website.
[00:28:35] It's sort of like paying it forward. Like a lot of people helped me for free. Um, and then the other side of it is that it's for my clients as well. So it's really for those two, two people to make it easier for them.
[00:28:48] Joseph: [00:28:48] Yeah. I do notice that in terms of business models, is that a lot of the, on this end Debutify is included in this, but a lot of these models are, are great [00:29:00] for people just trying to get their feet wet, because if things are going well and they need additional help, then they can hire you or they can sign up for.
[00:29:11] more premium plans on Debutify. Um, or, uh, I talked to, last person I talked to was Robin. They can sign up for more premium levels on uDroppy. So people might be reluctant to have to pay like an enormous entry fee to get in, but when people are willing to show some Goodwill, that Goodwill comes back and I can say that for myself too.
[00:29:31] Um, for the few years while I was freelancing, I would always do consultations for free. I was always happy to do it. You know, I would meet, I would get to meet somebody, uh, go get a coffee with them. I miss those days getting coffee in person those days. Uh, and then we would sit down and I would spend an hour just talking to them and, and hearing the story and understanding why they want to make a podcast.
[00:29:55] And, um, and you know, many times. They ended up saying, Hey, we, uh, we'd [00:30:00] love to work with you. Uh, just because paying it forward and putting in Goodwill is a, uh, is a form of energy and it, and I, I would even say it's a form of currency and you definitely get what you invest back.
[00:30:11] Clayton Bates: [00:30:11] Yeah. A hundred percent. I think that's why I sort liked Debutify at the start so much because it sort of felt like, um, they were in line with like my values and stuff like that.
[00:30:22] Um, Yeah, definitely like I've been with Debutify. I think they only had 2000 downloads when I found Debutify. So that was a long time ago. And I just it's sort of like, I dunno, it just felt like they had my values as well. And I actually got a lot of the advice and stuff back earlier and like very established businesses and my family and stuff said that me doing the video review was not a good idea.
[00:30:51] And for free, like I should charge for it. And that has like been one of the biggest things for my business is that I did those [00:31:00] video reviews. Like I go into them expecting nothing in return. Like I'm going to give that person if they're in India or anywhere, it doesn't really matter what country they're in.
[00:31:10] I'm going to give them value, expect nothing in return cause I honestly, believe like if you do give value, it does come back to like you can definitely see that with Debutify like how much they've grown like, and you're right like people can test out their theme they like it, they get some sales and then they can, they'll like a [?] of upgrades to that add-ons and stuff.
[00:31:32] Joseph: [00:31:32] Yeah.
[00:31:32] And I think you find that people who ask that question, they're also a product of the way that they were raised and conditioned like a not, I would never want to name a name names, but I can't think of one friend who's his father was very business oriented. Some businesses went well, some didn't, um, but it, it conditioned him to think that transactions had to be very clear and very simple.
[00:31:55] There was money. There was service. And he never recognized [00:32:00] the importance of, uh, investing with Goodwill because he never saw that himself. So a lot of times people ask questions and a good way to ask a question is to not know what the answer is, but to be open to whatever the answer is going to be a bad way to ask a question is to ignore any answer, but the one you think you're going to get anyways,
[00:32:24] Clayton Bates: [00:32:24] Yup.
[00:32:24] A hundred percent.
[00:32:25] Joseph: [00:32:25] So at the level you're currently at, um, I imagine that you are facing, uh, some, some different challenges. And one of them that you mentioned earlier is, uh, you know, you do need to consider hiring other people and expansion, but, uh, I'd like to know, uh, aside from that, are you facing any other challenges, unique to the position you're currently at?
[00:32:43] Clayton Bates: [00:32:43] I would say, yeah, like. Yeah. That's pretty much my only real big problems expanding like there's only one of me sort of thing. And there's only so many people I can help sort of thing. Um, I guess like the challenge I'm having now [00:33:00] is I'm actually looking to rent office space out that's that seems like a bit of a challenge, you know?
[00:33:07] Um, and then hiring the right people. It's something that like in my old job, I hired a lot of poeople where I was sort of like a supervisor I looked after a lot of people, but when it's my own business is a bit different. Like it's really important to hire the right people to make this sort of have the same values as me and not all be about the money.
[00:33:31] Like I don't want this business to be about the money, but. Um, I'm probably wouldn't help my clients so much if it was about money, it's more for me. It's the money is great. It's, it's good. [?] and yeah, so hopefully one day I'll actually hire someone that can just be a support person for free for my clients.
[00:33:55] So that's one of my goals as well. Um, I want to have someone who's just there that just [00:34:00] helps pass clients for free or is so. Yeah. Hopefully that sort of answered the question, I
[00:34:06] Joseph: [00:34:06] Yeah. Yeah. I just wanted to make sure there was any other, uh, stones in need of a turning over.
[00:34:13] Clayton Bates: [00:34:13] Oh, sorry. I probably just thought of one thing I sort of went on [?] It's it's more me, like I want to get myself in shape and I think I'm holding myself back a little bit.
[00:34:25] So I'm trying to, I got a personal trainer. I'm trying to focus a lot more on goals and mindset and stuff like that. So, yeah. That's why that's another thing that is a bit of a challenge as well. So yeah. And separating work from home time. So at the moment, I work from home. So, you know, I pretty much just work all the time when I'm here.
[00:34:47] So I want to try to separate it a bit and have a work life balance sort of, and feel good. Um, in myself as well.
[00:34:55] Joseph: [00:34:55] Yeah. There's a lot of, uh, tension points there. Cause there was a lot of cost benefit analysis. [00:35:00] Like I'm working from home as well, and it can be difficult to compartmentalize our, our work life from our home life, especially cause my computer is right by my bed.
[00:35:08] So, you know, I can roll out of bed and get a, with enough practice. I'll be able to roll right onto my chair. But the difference between that and having an office space, um, allows me to almost like. Not become a different person, but become the different side of me to be most efficient in this environment.
[00:35:28] Clayton Bates: [00:35:28] Yeah.
[00:35:30] Joseph: [00:35:30] And
[00:35:30] Clayton Bates: [00:35:30] my bed's behind that wall, so it's very easy to just go in there, go to sleep.
[00:35:36] Joseph: [00:35:36] Yeah. And then also, um, with, with exercise as well, I've, I've talked to some of the other guests about this too, and it's, it's a point that is worth hammering home each and every chance that we get, but, uh, do not discount how important it is to have to have a routine for, to have exercise and to have a proper diet.
[00:35:55] And there were, and it transitions perfectly into one of the questions I had, which was, [00:36:00] you talked about burnout in specific, and this is something that I've experienced too. But I remember when I was working retail and the first time I heard about burnout was another one of my coworkers. They were saying, Oh, you know, a lot of people that come in, they go, they get burnt out.
[00:36:15] And I had never been. Burnt out. So I didn't know what it, what it means. Um, so in your experience, uh, pretend to some of the people listening, actually, you don't have to pretend I'm sure some of them listening are like this. What was a, what happened? How did you burn out and how did you get past it?
[00:36:31] Clayton Bates: [00:36:31] So like even though I love what I do, obviously, you know, it's a lot of work and I do get burned out sometimes.
[00:36:39] Um, for me personally, I think the beach is like the best thing for me. There's this island and I, that's why I've got like a picture of the beach in the background and stuff on my wall and there's actually an island here in new South Wales, in Australia where it's like a six K walk, um, [00:37:00] like, you know, to walk through this Island, Um, and I like to actually go walk that six Ks, you know, just, you know, just no distractions and then walk back and it sort of clears my mind.
[00:37:12] So, um, cause there's literally no, and nearly no one on this island. So for the whole 12 K's, you're literally not seeing anyone except for the start of the beach. So I find like going to the beach is like something that calms me sort of thing, maybe the waves crashing and. Um, pretty much when I walked back from there, I know where I want to be in my life.
[00:37:36] So that's what sort of helps me if I feel burn out, I'll go to the beach. Um, if I feel really bad now, and I'll go on that, walk to that Island, and then I don't think I've ever walked there and back and not known what I want to do or feel better about myself or my life.
[00:37:54] Joseph: [00:37:54] Well, that's a great answer. Um, I mean, I can.
[00:37:57] I mean, there's a lot of reasons why the beaches, uh, can have that [00:38:00] effect. Um, obviously because people associate that with recreation and relaxation, but one thing that never really occurred to me until you mentioned it is that there's also an element of power. No beaches are usually, you know, complimented by a body of water and those body of waters can be quite massive and they can lead right into an ocean.
[00:38:17] So the idea that there's that much power. But as that power reaches the shore, it dissipates and it turns into something quite calming and soothing and even enjoyable. But the further out you go into the water, the more the water overpowers the person. So I just thought that was interesting. I never thought about that before.
[00:38:36] Clayton Bates: [00:38:36] Yeah. Yeah. It's yeah. It's pretty interesting. Yeah, the island that I go to like you can walk there, but it's only really shallow, like we're walking across. Um, so you can know, you can either walk there six Ks or you go like another two hour drive, catch a boat, ferry over sort of thing. So, yeah, that's I just love it.
[00:38:59] Joseph: [00:38:59] I hope everyone [00:39:00] gets a good takeaway from that. Find somewhere that they can go to just. I guess a recharge and reset. Cause you say, when you come back, you, you know what it is that you want to do. And I think that's, that's a, that's really important because it's, it would be great to distress and then come back.
[00:39:14] and have all that stress come back but for it not to come back. Honestly, I didn't think the answer was going to be that good. I don't know. For some reason I thought it was going to be like a, a six year overture where you had to, you know, work on it a day by day. And I'm sure that you are, but to know that there are some more direct things that we can do, uh, is a good takeaway, even for me,
[00:39:33] Clayton Bates: [00:39:33] Yeah, a hundred percent like it's been a massive change in my life doing it.
[00:39:38] Even when I started doing this business, I had a, like I was saying I had a pretty good job. I worked there for six and a half years, I think. And when I resigned, I pretty much had a day off and went to the beach and I come back and I knew what I wanted to do to with my life . So it was, yeah, it's pretty, pretty special to me that [00:40:00] that Island.
[00:40:01] Joseph: [00:40:01] Terrific.
[00:40:01] Well, thank you for the answer. I can, I can, I can understand, um, these are audio recordings, so they're not gonna see the video, but, uh, I can, I can see his, uh, his beach picture and it's, uh, it's lovely. So, uh, I've got one. I like to have at least like one, uh, fun question, which is one of your, one of your images.
[00:40:25] You stuck your head into a gallows, uh, Your head in your, in your hands in there. Um, w how close is that to your house? Like, what's the, what is that a display? What is it in use? Like, what's, what's going on with it?
[00:40:40] Clayton Bates: [00:40:40] It was at a wedding. I think one of my mates,
[00:40:46] um, it was, it was a while ago and I'd seen it and I was all in a suit and everything, and I thought, wonder if I could put my head in there and not like, get my white collar of my suit dirty, or something, so I just, I don't know, just a bit of [00:41:00] fun. I think they had like a sort of farm sort of vibe with some mixed in with some little interesting things.
[00:41:08] Uh, so, you know, that's how I actually, um, now I dunno, I've always been like sort of that person who will take a weird photo or something, or get someone to take it of me so
[00:41:20] Joseph: [00:41:20] when you, when you said it was for a wedding, uh, I try not to associate gallows with a wedding, but yeah, it's just, it's just funny.
[00:41:29] Clayton Bates: [00:41:29] Yeah. Now I think about it as a bit. Interesting. So, yeah. But yeah, that's probably like five, 10, 10 minutes away from me drive. So it's not that far.
[00:41:38] Joseph: [00:41:38] Yeah. Alright so, well, we're going to move into a couple of like an engagement style questions. Um, first one, uh, this is an interesting one. So let's say hypothetically that I am coming to you for advice.
[00:41:53] But I've gotten advice from, from other people too, and maybe some of that advice was bad. [00:42:00] Uh, can you think of any examples of the bad advice that people were given maybe by another so-called mentor?
[00:42:07] Clayton Bates: [00:42:07] I don't like to really say that. Well, I wouldn't actually say it was bad advice to someone. Um, okay.
[00:42:15] Because, you know, a lot of people will hold people, very high sort of thing. Um, maybe sort of more like pointing them like, Oh, you could try this as well sort of thing. Or, um, but currently one of my go to things is like, if you hear stuff, you should probably test it out and then have a set time if it doesn't work, then try something else sort of thing.
[00:42:37] Um, but yeah, I'll definitely. Yeah. The one thing that really sticks in my mind is that, um, I don't want to say this is bad advice cause I've mixed feelings on this whole thing. Um,
[00:42:52]Joseph: [00:42:52] sure. So maybe I should have a characterize it a little less, um, uh, harshly. I mean, it could be misguided advice. It could be someone [00:43:00] that didn't quite, uh, maybe they got it.
[00:43:02] It would have been good advice for somebody else. So
[00:43:04] Clayton Bates: [00:43:04] yeah probably. I dunno, like, you know, you, if you go on YouTube, some will say, this is just example, like someone will say, this is how you do a product page, or this is how you do a home page. Um, but there's so many niches out there that, you know, that will not work for everyone sort of thing.
[00:43:25] So, um, you really have to sort of whack assess the situation, like what those, those visitors want where um, I think people see that and they think that is gospel like I have to do my product page like that when really, it really depends on your products, your niche. Um, yeah, I'd say a lot of that like people just think that that is the way to do it when you know, um, there's probably a better way to do it, or, you know, you could always test things, you should always test things like, um, like I was sort of [00:44:00] gonna say.
[00:44:01] Um, one thing that I'm mixed about is trust badges. So a lot of people will say that you have to have trust badges on the product page. Um, and then you look at my 10 best clients and nine of them don't have trust pages. Um, and a lot of people will say that you shouldn't have trust badges where I sort of feel like, um, you know, people then using them on their sites for so many years now that it actually does the reverse like.
[00:44:28] Maybe that isn't the way to go to have trust badges or there's a better way to do it. You know, a lot of people use scammy looking ones and stuff like that. So, you know, there is an element to where you can use them and where you shouldn't use them, the niche, there's so many different things, like that sort of, yeah.
[00:44:47] Yeah. That's all I can probably sort of think of sort of thing. So.
[00:44:51] Joseph: [00:44:51] That's fair. I mean, that's an interesting one because you can, you can build trust. As we mentioned early on in the show, there was lots of things that we can do. We can do testimonials. We can [00:45:00] have genuine copy a website that looks good that throughout the entirety of the funnel.
[00:45:05] So whereas if somebody maybe skipped a lot of those steps and then it just says, well, I got the trust badge. So, they guess, I guess, I guess we're good. So I can see that as people may be thinking of that as a crutch, when, cause they might not be a scammer, they, they might have good intentions, but that badge is a in of itself, not a, actually an authority one way or another.
[00:45:31] Clayton Bates: [00:45:31] Yeah. Just for example, like I say, a lot of people that would, would put a trust badge on their product page over actually writing a product description. Like, it's probably not the most important thing here, it's probably more important to do a very good product description than have a trust budge. So
[00:45:48] Joseph: [00:45:48] I feel like I've seen that, Oh, a miniature air conditioner, 100% verified.
[00:45:55] Alright, great. Yeah. That's exactly what I needed to know about the, uh, about the air conditioner.
[00:46:00] [00:46:00] Clayton Bates: [00:46:00] But, uh, if anyone's listening, you know, if you're on the fence, so you should test it out, why do 30 days with a trust badge and then do 30 days without a trust badge and see where you are, are at the end of the two months?
[00:46:12] Like there's only really one way to find out and it's to test each one. And I think, especially on my old website, I was a big believer in testing. I did a lot of testing, like, especially on the home page, I tested so many different things and. Um, yeah, you should just always test it. If you're on the fence, say how it goes.
[00:46:32] Joseph: [00:46:32] I agree. That makes total sense. Um, you recommend, uh, some, uh, some key apps, uh, you mentioned, uh, Loox, um, there was a couple of other ones I would love for you to describe briefly for people just to get them interested in it. There was glorify lucky orang, I believe it was give and grow. Can you, uh, tell us a little bit about these guys.
[00:46:53] Clayton Bates: [00:46:53] So give and grow is like an app where you can automatically like donate to a [00:47:00] charity. So if, if someone buys something else you can select, like you donate 5% of your order to that. Um, and then you pay that up and what it actually does, it has a counter on your website. So it keeps ticking higher and higher.
[00:47:15] The more people buy off you means you're donating more. So it might be like, Um, donate to save dogs or something like that. And I'll have like 15 dogs saved or something like that for your website. Um, I did a lot of testing on that app and I actually found that it really helped conversions. The only, the only problem with that app is if you have donated nothing, it normally goes the other way.
[00:47:43] So you sort of have to maybe have it in the background a little bit. Um, do some donations and then actually coded into website once you've actually donated a bit of money. Um, that's a pretty good one. Um, Loox yeah, definitely love Looxs photo [00:48:00] reviews . Uh, lucky orange. Um, I really like lucky orange that actually records what people do on your website.
[00:48:09] So you actually can watch videos of exactly what your visitor sees, what they do. So if they're on a mobile, you see what they see on their mobile phone, um, desktop stuff like that. Um, pretty good app for if you're running like paid traffic to your website. So especially paid traffic because then you can really work out what's going wrong quickly on your website.
[00:48:31] So you could have it for a couple of weeks. Watch a lot of videos. If like 20 people are leaving your website in the same spot, there's probably something wrong there they have to think about.
[00:48:41] Joseph: [00:48:41] Yeah. And that just ties into your point about the testing too, is that if you're going to test it, you also want to make sure you're getting the best results from your tests.
[00:48:49] Clayton Bates: [00:48:49] Yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. I really, I found a lot of problems with websites just from that app work. You see all this traffic going there and [00:49:00] people are leaving on the same spot and you realize, yeah, there's a problem here. Um, so yeah, I really love that Debutify obviously I I'm build about 70, 80% of my client's websites on Debutify, um, so it was very high number.
[00:49:18] Um, You know, I think that's a great app. It's definitely good if you want to start out, like yeah. If you just want a free theme, um, that's better than the free themes that Shopify offer then Debutify is definitely the one to go with, um, yeah, they're probably the best ones. Um, I've been using an app called photo resize lately.
[00:49:41] Um, so that actually resizes all your product photos. It's pretty good. If you have thousands of products, it's a bit daunting to resize all the photos for that many, some themes automatically resize them um, but I would say a lot of them don't so that's a pretty good app. It's always better to do it [00:50:00] yourself, but you know, if you have hundreds of products, it's probably better to use that up.
[00:50:04] Um, I haven't really noticed it slowed down websites, so yeah, I think that's a really good app. So. Yeah. And there's obviously like email marketing apps that saves them, that saves the different ones you could use. Um, but I really think, well, I go into a lot of websites and I'll say people have 25 apps or something.
[00:50:25] And I actually don't think you need that many apps. Like, um, you know, most websites only need five apps max and you know, a lot of people think that it's like, um, The supermarket in the app store where that is grabbing everything off the shelf when you don't really need that many. Yeah. And a lot of apps slow down your website, especially if you have too many.
[00:50:50] Um, so that's another great thing about Debutify they've got all the ad-ons. So it's all in one app. Um, instead of having like five apps that do all the same things as [00:51:00] Debutify.
[00:51:01] Joseph: [00:51:01] Excellent. So I, I imagine that people are going to be, uh, pretty, pretty motivated to, uh, want to move forward with this.
[00:51:07] So, uh, let's wrap up, uh, and let's just go over, uh, how people can reach out to you too, to get your services. And if you have any parting recommendations for people either, either starting their website or to have at the ready, when they come to you, let us know.
[00:51:27] Clayton Bates: [00:51:27] Yeah, so my website's inspiresmallbusiness.com and you can go there and just contact me.
[00:51:33] I'll do a free video review. No worries. My YouTube channel is Clayton Bates Shopify expert. You can check that out. I'm planning to do a lot more videos there. Um, yeah, that's that's about it for how to contact me,
[00:51:50] Joseph: [00:51:50] uh, any, any parting advice for people getting started if they, even if they haven't started their store yet.
[00:51:56] Clayton Bates: [00:51:56] Probably a couple of things like, I sorta said [00:52:00] before, you know, most people can't make this work if they don't love what they do. So find something that you love. Um, there's always going to be the outliers that that can do anything and make it work. Um, but I think if you find something you're passionate about, um, you're going to go the extra mile to make it work.
[00:52:18] Um, and probably the other thing is to not give up, if you have a dream too soon, like just for me. I dunno if most people heard my story, but just, just for me to do this business, I nearly lost everything, my house, everything. And just when I was about to give up, um, this whole business exploded. So I was literally about to give up.
[00:52:42] And now this is like the best thing that's ever happened to me. And I nearly gave up like I was a week away from giving up. Less than that. And it's like there's a [?] sort of thing. I think, where someone's like digging to the diamonds and they're nearly there and they [00:53:00] give up and the other person just keeps going.
[00:53:02] Um, also there's times you should give up, but you know, maybe do a little bit more digging before you give up. Cause I, I see a lot in Facebook groups, you know, people have tested five, 10 different niches or. Um, you know, they've done one thing for a couple of ways in a work. Um, definitely, you know, really put it, put the work into it and give it the best shot and yeah.
[00:53:27] And hopefully you'll find the diamonds.
[00:53:31] Joseph: [00:53:31] Absolutely. I can back you up on that a hundred percent, because like I was saying, I've done podcasting for starting off, even as a hobby, it's been 10 years, I'm 30 now and I got into it when I was 19, 20, um, I mean, it was like a one year margin of error there.
[00:53:50] Uh, and, and I didn't give up, I stuck to my guns and, and over time as the industry started to flourish, I was able to build my [00:54:00] skillset and be ready for when the demand increased. So sticking to your guns is pretty often one of the best strategies that one can have, but yes, there are, there are cutoff points, but.
[00:54:14] You know, it's a, it's all right. As long as you give it your absolute best and then something I think you'll do pretty good.
[00:54:20] Clayton Bates: [00:54:20] Yeah. Just one thing on that, that I didn't really think about is you could do a business that you love and you know, maybe it doesn't fully work out, but you could actually take all those skills that you learned in that business, into the next business and make that an even better business.
[00:54:37] Like, um, as long as if, if it does fail, at least you've worked, you've learned a lot. Like about, you know, online business or whatever, you've got skills that you can take into something else. So there's no real failure if you give it a go. So,
[00:54:54] Joseph: [00:54:54] and there's no losing if you're learning.
[00:54:57] Clayton Bates: [00:54:57] Yeah.
[00:54:58] Joseph: [00:54:58] Excellent.
[00:55:00] [00:55:00] I appreciate every minute of your time. Uh, this was a great chat.
[00:55:03] Clayton Bates: [00:55:03] All right, thanks for having me. Yes. It was nice talking to you. I'm really excited to do this. Um, like I've said, I just love Debutify. I actually don't think I'd be where I am without Debutify. Um, so yeah, I really love Debutify.
[00:55:21] Joseph: [00:55:21] I can say
[00:55:22] the same too, believe me.
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