Ellen McCann of Curious Themes joins us today to shed some backstory on the development of the web. Through the perspective of a web developer, we discussed the importance of quality design and aesthetics, something Debutify is equipped to help you out with by the way, we also take some time to discuss the importance of wellness in this episode, as Elle had previous experience burnout, something, no one here is immune to. As someone who has also experienced it, we cannot emphasize the importance of catching it early. So have a good listen.
Elle McCann, owner and designer of Curious Themes web development studio, creates online classes that cover how to launch and grow Shopify stores quickly. She has been listed as a Shopify Expert for over eight years and in that time has created over 170+ Shopify stores.
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Elle McCann: [00:00:00] It's really shocking to me. How many times I will go to review a store and there are broken links of either images not loading the collection isn't linking right. Um, the add to cart button doesn't work. And I think it's just crazy to me that almost, I would say at least 95% of the time, I can find at least one broken link on a site.
Joseph: [00:00:22] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast, your resource for one of the kind insights into the world of e-commerce 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. Your time is valuable. So let's go.
Ellen McCann of curious themes joins us today to shed some backstory on the development of the web. Through the perspective of a web developer, we discussed the importance of quality design and aesthetics, something Debutify is equipped to help you out with by the way, we also take some time to discuss the importance of wellness in this episode, as Elle had previous experience burnout, something, no one here is immune to. As someone who has also experienced it, we cannot emphasize the importance of catching it early. So have a good listen,
Elle McCann, it's good to have you here. Thank you so much for being on Ecomonics. How are you today?
Elle McCann: [00:01:28] Good! Thanks so much for having me.
Joseph: [00:01:30] I feel like I might've switched energy just slightly between our pre-chat and our, and our recording. Uh, that was just, that's things being kicked off.
Elle McCann: [00:01:38] No, I love it.
Joseph: [00:01:39] Excellent. So first question I've got for you. It's the most important question. It's the kickoff question. Our listeners are meeting you for the first time. So tell them who are you and what are you?
Elle McCann: [00:01:49] Yeah, so I am a web developer and I've been listed as a Shopify expert for over eight years now. I specifically do a lot of educational content about Shopify and e-commerce in general.
I love e-commerce overall, but Shopify is definitely my go-to platform. So I do a lot of different training and just overall content around the Shopify platform
Joseph: [00:02:12] Because, uh, Debutify is a Shopify template. We don't, really like putting much energy into looking at the other templates, but have you dabbled in the other platforms at all? Have you had any major takeaways or any experiences? Like what makes them so different?
Elle McCann: [00:02:26] Yeah, so I actually first got started, my degree is in web development and it's really kind of random, but I started my very first business was a wedding invitation business because I love hand illustrations. And at that point, this was like, 11 years ago, I was really looking into launching an e-commerce store.
And so I tried Woo Commerce and Big Commerce at that point. And both of them were like subpar. And then I found Shopify and was like, Oh my gosh, what is this? And keep in mind, this is 11 years ago that Shopify blew my mind and it's gotten so much better since then. So they kind of took me from the very beginning, but I've still done a little bit of stuff in Woo Commerce and Big Commerce.
And I still think hands down, Shopify is the way to go.
Joseph: [00:03:12] Fair enough. I mean, we, we certainly feel the same way about that. Although, I mean, you know, you never know in the future, maybe we'll we'll make templates for the other ones, but as far as we know it hasn't been brought up yet. So let's make sure that there's a full scope of your work just our listeners know everything you get up to, atleast as far as the e-commerce base goes. You provide a one-on-one service to other Shopify sellers, which has netted you have these Shopify experts, title and partnership, your YouTube page, which you mentioned. Online courses, store reviews. Uh, I also found like a store creation guide. Did I miss anything there.
Elle McCann: [00:03:44] No, that's, that's a lot of it. Um, I don't really do a ton of one-on-one work anymore just because I've really kind of wanted to reach as many entrepreneurs as possible. And there's definitely a time limit with a one-on-one work. So I've kind of pivoted a little bit more in the past year or two years to more education through YouTube and online courses, but Nope, you've pretty much covered it.
Joseph: [00:04:05] I have noticed that. I don't think there's been really any exceptions so far, but everybody that I've asked who do the one-on-ones, they find that it's hard to scale because it's so much effort put into one person and yeah. You know, you are making a significant difference to them, but.
Versus that same amount of energy put into a course or a series that you can help hundred, if not thousands of people, there is a pretty significant difference in returns. One guest, she, uh, she tried to maximize value by going on trips so that at least she can go to their physical location and see something new having to experience. So yeah, people try their best to get the most value out of it. But I definitely understand, like there, there are, there are limitations to it.
Elle McCann: [00:04:44] Yeah, for sure.
Joseph: [00:04:45] So your, your brand, uh, Curious Themes.
Elle McCann: [00:04:47] Yes.
Joseph: [00:04:48] Where did that idea come from?
Elle McCann: [00:04:50] So I actually originally started creating WordPress themes. And so I sold different WordPress themes that I created. This was a good 10, 11 years ago. And that was where the name came about. I've actually just celebrated my 10 year business anniversary in may.
Joseph: [00:05:05] Oh congrats!
Elle McCann: [00:05:05] Yeah. I'm excited about that. So the name came about from WordPress, but I kind of just stuck with it. I had planned at some point to do a Shopify specific theme.
Um, but I kind of again, have kind of gone more into education and I haven't created that yet. So maybe some point down the road. Um, we'll see. But yeah, the names just kind of stuck all along.
Joseph: [00:05:26] Hmm. So what we're going to do is I have a couple of, I will say strategic or process questions, uh, just so that we can get a sense of, you know, how you work and what insights that you provide to people on a general sense.
And then what we'll talking about as well is a, is more of that history, uh, because one parallel that you and I have is that we both been in our respective fields for about 10 years. I got into podcasting and media uh, 10 years ago, there was no university course for it, but you know, I, I would, uh, I would chalk out my credentials to, uh, other people in the industry at this point at the very least.
So one of the things that you do is, or rather it was part of your package is the store review. Now I understand that would probably fall into like the one-on-one work. So I don't think you do that too much at this point, but I think it would be helpful just to hear some of what you would do when you do a store reviews. What are some of the things that stick out to you? What are some of the things that you noticed that people typically need to work on and adjust when they bring their stores to your attention?
Elle McCann: [00:06:29] Yeah. So I actually do a lot still of store reviews and consultations because I find that that's kind of the thing that I get questions about the most is okay, I've launched my store, but I'm not really getting the sales that I expected like what's wrong. Where's the disconnect? Is it with the paid advertising? Is it with the traffic? Is it with the store itself? And sometimes it's a mix of all of that. But it's really shocking to me. How many times I will go to review a store and there are broken links of either images not loading the collection isn't linking right. Um, the add to cart button doesn't work. And I think it's just crazy to me that almost, I would say at least 95% of the time, I can find at least one broken link on a site. So I would say my biggest takeaway for people is to, before you hit launch and push that out there, connect your domain, just go through your site and click on every single thing like make sure your images are in the right places and that they load. It's going to take some time, but it's worth it. And you're not going to frustrate people because if you're going to spend all this time and effort and even money sending people to your site, you want to make sure they have the best experience and that they're not just going to go well, that didn't work like got a 404 page and then leave.
Joseph: [00:07:42] It sounds like a lot of people aren't putting themselves in the position of the customer at any point like they're only putting themselves in the position of the seller. I mean, me, I'm, I'm a professional customer. There was a window of about three months where I was pretty addicted to ordering things on Amazon and, and everyday things would be arriving.
So, you know, I'm used to expecting to have a good, uh, shopping experience. And that is crucial for people who are setting up their own stores and who are not only going to go against other David's, but they're going to go up against all the Goliaths as well. So a lot of small details like that. Um, one of the things that I was wondering too, is if you ever encountered people who maybe don't put value into the aesthetic side of it, a maybe they don't put value into the image quality or having a cohesive color scheme.
So I guess the two parter would be A) has this come up ?And B) is how do we convince people the importance of the visuals and the aesthetics?
Elle McCann: [00:08:37] Yeah, absolutely. I think that's kind of the catch 22 with Shopify is that you can get your site launched up, like launched in like an hour or two hours. Like you can get really going really quickly.
However, it's going to look very different. A site that takes two hours to do versus two weeks. And just thinking through and making those design tweaks, bringing the branding throughout, not just in the color scheme and photos, but also in the wording that you use where it doesn't just seem like it's a copy paste from a drop shipper.
And it's actually like worded to where you're speaking to your ideal customer directly. I think that is kind of a huge disconnect where people just kind of get a little bit too in the weeds of, okay. I just got to get this launch. Here's the specs for the products and that's that. Instead of really thinking about the customer and you know, if I'm coming to this, what problem am I trying to solve?
What thing am I trying to fulfill? Like, what am I looking for? And it's not going to be a bullet point spec sheet of your product information. I want to, you know, have some emotion and some feelings that I get from seeing your site and from, you know, the hope and excitement of purchasing as well.
Joseph: [00:09:43] And they also want to hear from the person as well from the about page. And they want to know like what caused they're supporting or what's the mission behind the store as well.
Elle McCann: [00:09:53] Yeah, absolutely. I think that's one of the pages that people are the most shocked about whenever they go into Google analytics and they see that, Oh, there's a lot of traffic coming to the about page, but people don't spend a lot of time on it.
I think that's a huge opportunity where you can tell, you know, More about yourself, your company, why you started the business, um, even highlight, you know, your favorite products, maybe your process throughout the way, and really just highlight it more to where people get more kind of into the process and the brand and it's not just another thing that they're purchasing because yeah, it's great to have someone buy your product one time, but if you could get them to buy it multiple times, that's way better. So the more that they can get into the brand itself, the better you're going to do overall in business.
Joseph: [00:10:39] All right. So one more practical question, and then we're going to get into some of the history of your, of your development. Um, pardon the expression since it's web development. Um, so what do you consider it to be the backend of essentials in terms like what apps or what integrations that Shopify stores should have, uh, to, you know, stay up to date?
Elle McCann: [00:10:57] I would say the biggest one, especially for this time of year, like with any kind of holiday promotions or anything like that would be upsells. I think it's a huge opportunity to upsell people on your site. Again, you've already spent the time and effort and money of getting someone to your site. So if you can increase that average order value, then that's going to translate into hopefully more sales for you.
So I think upsells is definitely an app that I always recommend first. And then I also love doing like rewards program apps, where you can really kind of build that loyalty and hopefully get them to come back and do repeat purchases as well.
Joseph: [00:11:34] Okay. That is a, is a unique one. I will say I have, I've asked other people this question and as well, I've done my own research. That's the first time, at least as far as I can recall where somebody had mentioned upsells. So let's take a note of that one. All right. So this is, this is the fun part for me because when things that I saw in your research is that you, as an entrepreneur, you've always been an entrepreneur. And it says as early as like your earliest business was a lemonade stand.
I tried to do that too by the way, I tried to do like, um, a yard sale that I would just like perpetually put all my stuff out and just try to sell. I, one guy came by, he gave everybody a dollar. He didn't take anything, but he just wanted to give us a dollar. I felt so good about that. So. Here's where I want to know if there is a consistent line from maybe not necessarily the lemonade stand, but from all of your business ventures really up until now. Have you noticed any consistent themes about your acumen or just the way you approach business?
Elle McCann: [00:12:35] Yeah. I've always had very people focused businesses, but I am very processed. I'm a very, very analytical person. And it's funny because with the lemonade stand, I actually look back at it now. And I laugh because I didn't know what a lot of the business terms were, obviously at that point, but I was doing a lot of what I do now, uh, in the lemonade stand.
So I would totally like squeeze. It was fresh, squeezed lemonade. So I would squeeze the lemons right in front of people. So they could see that it was fresh squeeze. I was telling them the process, showing them everything. And then I would also do upsells and I would sell them. I would have fresh baked cookies.
Why not add a cookie to it? And I had no idea. I was just trying to make money and I was crushing at the lemonade stand. Like I would have my sister and friends come over because they wanted extra money. And so it's funny because seeing those trends kind of apply from a young age on, into business. I think as soon as you think about who the person that you're serving is and what they might want, whether it's, you know, eliminate in a cookie or, you know, this upsell of whatever your product is.
I think really just kind of keeping the customer in mind and creating a business that's people focused, whether it's a social mission or you're helping the individual customer, I think has been kind of the caring force throughout all the different businesses.
Joseph: [00:13:51] And what happened after the lemonade stand. So what were some of the other things that you attempted probably up until you got into web design?
Elle McCann: [00:13:58] Yeah. So I did the lemonade stand for, I live in Tennessee, so we have pretty warm weather throughout the year. So I did that for, I would say like elementary through middle school. I did that for awhile and then I I've always been kind of an artist at heart.
So I used to do portraits in high school. I would draw people's portraits. Then I went into wedding invitations and now my current business, which is a web design.
Joseph: [00:14:24] So when you got into web design, this was let's see, I was 20 years old. So yeah, it was about 10, 10 years ago. I'm 30 now. And I'm trying to put myself back into like, what was the overall feel of the marketplace as to whether or not people saw that this was something that they can turn into a career?
Cause I know. There was like a.com burst, uh, in the two thousands. Everybody was putting money into these. And then with the exception of like Amazon and I think IBM, most companies, they didn't get past that.com uh, burst. So suffice it to say there was a lot of uncertainty in the market, but you jumped into it.
So at that time, what did you, well, what did you think was going to happen? Did you see that this can turn into a career? Did it start as like a side hustle? You also went to school for it. So that's, important to note too, that they were teaching it in class. But, uh, yeah, I I'd like to hear more about the history of what was going on at that time.
Elle McCann: [00:15:18] Yeah. So I graduated college in 2010 and the huge recession hit in 2008, 2009. So I was coming out to a really not so good job market, especially for more creative fields it was kind of rough. So I knew from the beginning that I wanted to always have my own business. And so I kind of used that as a kind of jumping off point at going to businesses specifically that were local, like restaurants, things like that, and pitching to them of this is how you can bring in more business.
And it definitely was a harder sell because at that point, even in 2010, people didn't understand the importance of even just having a basic website with your menu and your contact information on there. So it was a little bit harder of a sell, but. I think, especially as the years have gone on with e-commerce and the platforms have gotten as robust as they are now, I think it's really set it up to, you know, it's, it was kind of shocking with everything happening in 2020 how many businesses still weren't online in 2020! And we're just like, Oh, I guess I finally need to create an e-commerce store now at this point. So it's kind of interesting that it's taken so long for some people to realize it, but I think overall the, the times are changing and people realize that now, but yeah, it it's been an interesting journey, especially graduating into a, not so pleasant workforce and seeing how that's come about just in almost 10 years later, having another recession.
Joseph: [00:16:52] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess I'm, I'm, I'm lucky in the position that I'm in, uh, because I can, I was working remotely before, uh, uh, another one of these hit, but I do feel for a lot of these businesses, especially in the restaurant industry, uh, where they have to, they have to adapt into food service deliveries, like, uh, yeah food delivery services excuse me such as Uber and, and Diner Dash and all of those just so that they can continue to have a connection to their customers. And here's the other observation that I picked up um listening to what you're saying. So first we talked to say, we'll just use the restaurant industry as our frame of reference, and you're telling them that this is going to give them an important, well maybe an advantage. This is something really important for them to do, but other restaurants weren't doing it. So it was for them, it was an opportunity for them to stand out and to have a little bit of a better line of communication to their potential customers. And then over the course of 10 years, it had become standard to the point now where if somebody isn't doing it, they're actually missing out. It is not an option anymore. It's like now it's basically a requirement. So the bar has been raised for everybody over that time.
Elle McCann: [00:18:06] Yeah, absolutely.
Joseph: [00:18:07] I think that same thing is happening now where I've everyone definitely thought it was going to take 14 days before we can start going to restaurants again. And, uh, I was off by a lot.
Elle McCann: [00:18:18] Same.
Joseph: [00:18:18] And so now we're going to have to, we're going to be dealing with that again. And so now that adaptation is coming back, we're now we'll listen to, if you're not on these delivery services, you're, you're probably gonna have to shutter.
Elle McCann: [00:18:31] Yeah. Well, I think if anything, I mean, 2020, it's been a hard year for a lot of different people, especially entrepreneurs as well. But I think it's really taught people whether you have your own business or not about how you just have to be flexible and kind of pivot and almost even think about different income streams. And I think that's, what's so great about e-commerce is because yeah, you could have a nine to five job and then you could also have an e-commerce store as a side hustle.
So that you're kind of padding yourself a little bit. I know whenever cOVID was first hitting here in the States. I was watching wall-to-wall news coverage, which is not healthy. Don't recommend it, but I was just like, Oh my gosh, like, everything's going to go under like, no, one's going to have money to purchase from, you know, e-commerce stores and businesses are going to go out.
And I just instantly kind of went to a worst case scenario. And after a couple of days, it was like, okay, how do we pivot? Like how do we, you know, set things up in business? You know, I definitely pivoted a lot more to YouTube at that point and was getting a lot more consistent with my YouTube content because I saw the need of, okay, there's a lot more people that are at home now going, what do I do?
And that's where, you know, they have time, like, let me show you how to do this with, you know, video. So I think if anything, 2020 is going to teach the lesson of you really just have to be flexible and think about different ways that you can make money.
Joseph: [00:19:50] I agree with that. And then I think to each individual person can review themselves as an asset because even if somebody might not be able to continue running their restaurant. If they're adept at food, they can always do their online course, they can always do their own YouTube videos. So yeah, it's, it's been an opportunity and other people have talked about this too, is that yes, there was negatives, but there are positive this do so it is an opportunity for people to turn to the internet as the all encompassing resource that it truly is, and just figure out what can I do and how can the internet help me with that?
Elle McCann: [00:20:22] Yeah, absolutely.
Joseph: [00:20:23] Yeah. So one of the other things that we talk about a lot in the show is mindset. It's, it's, it's critical. I mean, everybody that we talk about in terms of everybody we talked to about mindset agrees that if you don't have the right state of mind, you're not going to get very far. And what's worse is that if you do succeed without the right mindset, it'll just crumble.
And when I was going through your YouTube videos, you put out a video about a burnout that you were experiencing. And I don't get to ask too many people, but burnout. Cause I'm not just going to like randomly put that question in my set and be like, so did you burn out, like either you admit it or I'm just going to assume that, uh, you know, you didn't, but you put yourself out there and it's been about four months since that video. So. Let's do our listeners a favor. And just talk about that experience, like why you hit burnout, uh, what maybe if there was a warning signs and then how you've gotten over it in the position that you're in today.
Elle McCann: [00:21:21] Yeah, absolutely. And I'm so glad that you asked this because I think mental health, especially for entrepreneurs, um, is so important to talk about.
So this was actually my second burnout, um, which is, I guess, good in a ten-year career. But overall, you know, entrepreneurship has some really high highs and some really low lows. And you do have to kind of ride the rollercoaster a little bit, but there are warning signs, like you mentioned that you can kind of prepare for.
So this burnout was specifically related to I rerecorded both of my online courses. And for whatever reason, I thought I was super woman and could record and edit all these courses by myself. It was 120 videos each ranging from five minutes to 15 minutes. And I did it in about a six week time on top of recording my two videos a week for YouTube.
So it was just a, I don't know why I decided to do it like that. Looking back now, I would have definitely spaced it out a lot more. But I just put way too much on myself. And, um, that was definitely the cause for the burnout, but I'm glad that, so whenever I had my first burnout was, let's see, like six years back.
Um, and I was working 90 hour weeks. I was doing a lot more one-on-one work then, and I just kept going. I worked 80 to 90 hour weeks for about two years straight. So I just way, just way burned out. And thankfully this time around, I have learned the lesson of you've got to take a break. Like whenever you're, you're having too much going on and step back and go, you know what this isn't worth it. I have to stop. Thankfully, my husband nicely reminded me to take a break as well. But yeah, I think that's something that you have to really think about of, I think at least for me, I get really excited with a new project or a video that I'm working on and I'll just want to like get, you know, get it done now.
And I'm so excited. I can't wait to work on it, but really stepping back and going okay, are these timelines that I have imposed on myself realistic? Can I actually do this? What am I going to give up? And I think for me, I understand a lot better now that by saying yes to something I'm saying no to something else.
So for that six weeks, I said yes to recording all of my course videos again. But I also said no to sleeping, to exercise, to eating properly, to hanging out with my husband and dogs and friends, like I said, no to way too many things that it just put me in a place where there's no way I couldn't have not burned out, honestly.
Joseph: [00:24:00] I'd like to ask you about the sensation in particular, even if it gets down to like what chemicals you think were at their peak, because I want to make sure that if anybody and I assume that a lot of our listeners are younger and they're looking to get into the industry, so they might not have like, experienced anything like that.
Do you recall any of the particular, like let's say that you wake up in the morning and how, how it really made you feel in the most pragmatic sense?
Elle McCann: [00:24:30] Honestly, it was severe depression. Like I couldn't get out of bed. Like I would wake up and just be like, no, I'm not getting up. Like, I'm going to lay here and I don't ever plan on getting out of this bed. I, you know, lost my desire to eat all that kind of stuff. So I definitely feel like I could relate it the most to depression, but the moment that it happened for me, I actually have video proof of it. Um, I did not share that, but I was sitting in front like, you know, my, my YouTube lights were on.
Everything was set up. Camera was going and I kind of fumbled over a sentence and then all of a sudden I just lost it and just started like crying, like crazy and was like, Whoa, what is happening? And that was kind of this sensation of, I feel like almost, I was trying to keep everything together. I messed up one little thing and then it was just like, Nope, no more.
Joseph: [00:25:23] It just flooded out.
Elle McCann: [00:25:24] Yeah.
Joseph: [00:25:25] Okay. Two more questions about that. And then we'll, we'll get into some of the other, um, for instance, Pinterest. That's one of the things I wanted to ask you about some of the other videos for instance I'll ask you about that too, but I got two more for you and then we'll move on. So the first one was, did you notice any warning signs or did it just kind of like, like that (snaps finger) ?
Elle McCann: [00:25:45] No, there was definitely warning signs. I was having to record a lot of the videos at night cause I was still doing like editing and other client projects throughout the day. So me, I was sleeping about two to three hours a night and I would be at my computer like trying really hard not to fall asleep and also trying not to like tear up at the same time editing videos at 4:00 AM.
And I would set like, you know, goals for myself of like, okay, you get this done, then you can go to bed at four and then sleep till six. Doesn't that sound great. So there was definitely warning signs of, I could feel the tension and feel like for me, I'm an outdoors person and not being outside with my dogs, not going on hikes.
I could definitely feel, um, just enough not getting the sun on me, um, was starting to really affect my mood to where I would be a lot more snappy and not as kind and not as patient. So I think just kind of everybody's different. So just knowing what your normal state is and noticing whenever things like that are coming up is, is definitely a clear warning sign.
Joseph: [00:26:52] And then the other side of it is what steps you've taken to be back in the happier position that you are now.
Elle McCann: [00:27:02] Yeah. So first off I took about two months off of YouTube, which was kind of hard for me to do because I had been on YouTube for five years and I've been trying to put out content consistently twice a week, but I had to just step away and say, no, I can't do this.
So I think for me doing the burnout video and then just stepping away, it was kind of a way of letting everyone know, like, this is what's going on and now I have to step away. So I think that was really helpful for me. And then now kind of moving forward, I've gotten a lot more into self care and morning routines where I spend a lot more time journaling, reading books, things like that, that things that I, I get energy from and excitement from, but also just looking at my schedule and I say no a lot more in terms of like, I can't do that timeline. I can't work this day. And just being a lot more honest with myself of like, okay, yeah, I could do this in a week, but maybe let's add another week on there, just so that I have some space as well. If, if things go wrong or I don't feel like being on video this day and just kind of extending those timelines out.
Joseph: [00:28:08] Uh, one thing I wanted to, uh, to touch on because I had seen a video, I think probably last week where he pointed out that some of the greatest entrepreneurs, you know, the Steve Jobs and the Elon Musks, one of their innate talents is their ability to just say no. And I remember a couple of, uh, incidents that happened, uh, growing up that made it difficult for me to do that.
One of them was the first job that I had. Uh, I don't know how popular this sport is in the States. Uh, because I think it was invented in Michigan, but it's called Whirly Ball where people get into bumper cars and they've got lacrosse scoops and they scoop up a ball and they'll try to hit a signpost with it.
And they hit the center. It goes beeep and you get three points as opposed to one, it said it's just a fun sport. At least I assume I was never gotta a chance to play it, but that's not true, I got to play once or twice. And I was working consistently for about three or four months. And usually the boss would call, ask me what hours I want.
Uh, and he calls and I wasn't up for it. I, I just, I wasn't feeling good about working that week. And so that was it two or three more weeks go by and he doesn't call me. And so I call him and I says, Oh, you know what happened? You didn't, you didn't call. And he says, well, you know, I give the hours to the people that they want to, and that imprinted on me because it made me think that if I'm, if I ever say no, it's going to have consequences that are going to unfold in ways that I can't perceive. The other side of it was a, my, my, my dad, he tried to instill a lot of good work ethics into me, and most of them were good, but again, it was that same thing about if you have to work, you have to work.
You don't refuse to work because it's too, it's just too important. And even to this day, it's still a hard thing to get over. But it's, it's very important. And I just wanted to thank you for bringing that up because people have to understand if you, if you keep saying yes to everything, you will end up in a position where you will say I can't and you'll mean it. And you'll physically be on able to do something.
Elle McCann: [00:30:03] Yeah. It's crazy. How like little incidents like that happen in life and we don't even realize that it shapes our beliefs on things. I had heard many times growing up that, you know, Oh, you're going to be a starving artist. And I think I carried that with me for a long time of like, well, I have to say yes to every job that comes my way, because one day maybe there's not many jobs and then I'll be a starving artist.
And it took a lot of work to go through that and go, okay. No, like money's still coming in. Jobs are still coming in. You're not starving. You can say no, if something's not a good fit or you just don't want to do it.
Joseph: [00:30:39] There's um, well there's two parts of that, one of them is that I've just realized for the first time that we could have just combined it and called it starvist.
Elle McCann: [00:30:47] Oh, I like that.
Joseph: [00:30:49] Yeah. I've been referred to that before in the past. This is the first time I realized you could say that. Uh, so know mark, a note of that, uh, contact Webster. The other side of it is, is to flip the script. Is that when somebody says starving artists? Yeah. Okay. It's my Bohemian, uh, vest and my, and my, and my waffles.
And I'm not, you know, and I'm, and I only have so much to money, so yeah, I suppose that there was the little definition of it, but there is also the idea of craving uh, being, being hungry for results, being hungry to create something it's the it's the creative drive is being you're you, you know, eat food just to satisfy our physical or physiological needs, but we create art to satisfy our, our spiritual needs and our, and our emotional needs and to, and to know that we've left an imprint in the world. So a credit to the, uh, to the artist community for realizing we can turn the tables on that. And also a lot of artists have found a lot of work these days, Patreon, Gumroad, doing your own stores. Yeah, selling, selling your crafts online, this is got to be one of the best times for an artist to be alive by far.
Elle McCann: [00:32:00] Oh, absolutely.
Joseph: [00:32:01] A lot less persecution.
Elle McCann: [00:32:03] Yeah. I love watching. I watched so many different YouTube channels that are artists that are just, you know, all over the place of what kind of art styles they have. And they have huge followings on YouTube and then they have their own merch and they're selling custom pieces and it's like, wow, this is, this is really a cool time to be alive and to be a part of where you can really just put anything that you're passionate about and just put it out there. And there is definitely a community that's going to go, Hey, I really like this. Like thanks for sharing. And I think that's something that's really cool that maybe our parents' generation didn't get definitely grandparents didn't get, but our generation can really kind of take that and just share it with the world. And I think it talks a lot more about, you know, kind of spreading the happiness as well.
Joseph: [00:32:49] Yeah. I mean, I'm going to we'll switch gears, but I just want to point out one other thing is just, you know, my, my parents, they, it meant a lot to them to, to work and for me to have a job. And I think they inherited that fearfulness from their grandparents because, you know, they were alive during one of the largest, most devastating conflicts, known to man, at least, you know, to date.
And so, you know, you never hear that, that Maslow's hierarchy of motivation, how, like, you know, people start off and they just need to get their, their food. And then they're, they're seeking their safety, their security, and then it goes higher into social emotional self-actualization. I think society collectively has had to undergo that hierarchy of motivation.
Right now we've had to take a step back because now we're actually stuck in safety and security, but you know, over the course of, uh, of our development, our parents, they inherited that feeling of not being secure. And I think they tried to impart that onto our generation about, you know, you have, you have to make sure that you, that you're working and then you have to take care of yourself.
And I, and I think, you know, dad, I never have to actually leave this house. We own this property. So I think our, our, our generation we've, we kind of mastered at the same, I would say we mastered the social side of it because of social media, um, to the point of excess. And we are moving towards self-actualization where people are going to find what they can do to have influence on other people.
And since we've been talking about artists so much, I think this is as good as time as any to transition into Pinterest, which I know you've talked about. I've listened to other interviews you've done. Pinterest doesn't get brought up too much on this show. The only other guests we've had, um, chronologically speaking was, uh, Marc Chapon.
Uh, so he introduced it to me and the, and our listeners. And I don't want you to feel like you have to like, explain what it is because my listeners should already know that chronologically speaking, but what I do want to hear about is your one, your take on Pinterest and how you feel it fits into the stores, um, on a, on a, like a practical level, how Pinterest is actually connected to Shopify and potentially how it connects to, uh, other parts as well because my mindset is that Pinterest is like a self-contained system.
Elle McCann: [00:35:04] Yeah. So I love talking Pinterest.
Joseph: [00:35:07] Excellent.
Elle McCann: [00:35:07] For me, I feel like Pinterest is kind of the same reason why I love YouTube. It's an evergreen platform, like so many times with Facebook and Instagram, you know, you put a post up and your reach is, you know, 24, maybe 48 hours then after that, like that's, that's toast. It's onto the next one where, you know, some of my most watched videos, every single month are ones that I created two years ago on YouTube. So it's kind of that evergreen thing that can keep working for you. And Pinterest is exactly the same. So you can create content once, kind of put it up there and then people can keep pinning your images for years to come.
A story that I love to share is I had created a pin for a lead magnet guide that I had created for my site and for e-commerce. And I had done a Pinterest ad for $20 about two years ago at this point, all I put in was $20 and it's still the most viewed pin, the most repinned pin. And it's still the most amount of traffic that is sent to my site from Pinterest every single month.
And I just spent $20 two years ago. So it's so great to have that kind of evergreen content, because I think especially if you're a solo entrepreneur and you're having to wear so many hats. Well, yes, you definitely need to have, you know, a presence where your, your people are online, if that's Facebook or Instagram, but having a platform kind of work for you and constantly try and boost you even years down the road with the content, like on Pinterest, I think is really key.
And especially for like online shopping, you never know when someone's going to be looking for whatever specific thing that you're selling. So Pinterest is honestly kind of like a huge visual search engine. And I think that's why it's so great for e-commerce because yeah, you can create, you know, a gift guide and make it a little bit more fun and engaging, but you can also just put your products up on Pinterest as well.
And you were talking about the functionality of it. Shopify actually recently, like a few months back had launched a Pinterest sales channel. So it's four shops that are in the U S and Canada, but it really easily connects in with your Pinterest business account. So it sets up the tags for you and it starts adding your catalog into Pinterest.
So it's really easy to get started. I think they even have like a hundred dollars ad credit, so you can try things out, making kind of the bar to get started with Pinterest. If you have a Shopify store really low.
Joseph: [00:37:35] Okay. So as you're describing this to me, one of the things that I would just want to hop onto Pinterest real quick, cause I, one thing I don't know is if the, the advertisements are on the same playing field as say, just like, you know, regular images that somebody would would post. Um, cause usually there is some separation between even like Google search results they will tell you, which are the ads results versus which ones are the organic results, which of course can also be adjusted in their own ways. Uh, but I'm on Pinterest right now.
And I'm just looking through everything just like on like the homepage looks like it's a pin. So is, Oh, there we go. I see one.
Elle McCann: [00:38:16] Yeah, it should say sponsored.
Joseph: [00:38:18] Uh, I see an ad promoted by. Yeah. So, yeah, so it looks like, um, they're, they're treating the ads with this almost the same reverence that they treat the images themselves, where you can see the promotions, uh, uh, underneath the image.
This might be kind of like a, I guess it's a kind of a nebulous question, but I think it's still a curious one to ask, just because of the relationship between artists and their sales, uh, have you encountered any pushback between people who are saying, Hey, you know, we just want to use Pinterest for, for the images and for sharing art ,so it almost seems I'm trying to think of a better word than sacrilige, but I guess I just go with that sacrilege for the ads to now be on the same space. Have do what I mean, has anything on that along those lines, come across your radar?
Elle McCann: [00:39:06] Honestly, I haven't really noticed, um, anything like that. And a lot of times I'll get, like if I run an ad for an e-commerce product, I'll get a bunch of people actually pinning and saving the ad image and then other people repinning that there.
So I don't think people mind it as much, um, that it's there. As long as you're seeing, like you're kind of setting it up as being helpful. So I think that's kind of one of the things to think about and I'll tell my clients, like, yes, it is kind of nice to do like, you know, a product image to put it up there, but it's also nice to do things like gift guides or like, you know, if you're selling baby products, you know, five must have items for new moms and creating kind of an image like that, where people are.
Yeah. It may be still sponsored in a paid ad. And once you go to the site, it's your products, but you're being really helpful too. And. I think that's how people use Pinterest the most. It's kind of like cataloging different ideas and, you know, grouping things together. So anytime that you can add value to people and make things even easier for them, I really don't think that people mind and go, Oh, well, I'm not going to save this or click on this just because it's an ad.
I think it's more about the value, that thing that you're bringing to them.
Joseph: [00:40:16] Yeah. And just to test it too. I clicked on, say an advertisement for Wix and yeah, it just takes you directly to Wix. I click on an advertisement for a Mazda and it goes directly to them. And so that was a, one of the things that I wanted to know too.
I, what I just discovered for myself. So listeners, one thing to note is that the line between the ad, it's a very straight funnel from the ad to the advertiser's website. So that's good. So you said that one of the ads, it was $20 and it's managed to last year after year after year. So with that in mind, what can ad creators and copywriters do to give their advertisements that kind of a long-term lasting power?
Elle McCann: [00:40:58] Yeah. So for Pinterest, I definitely recommend, um, first off you need to think that if you're going to do advertising on Pinterest, it's a lot more of a slow burn than like Facebook, Instagram, Facebook, Instagram, you can see within like, you know, 24 hours, is this ad gonna work? Is it not Pinterest? You need a couple of weeks.
I typically what I'll do if I'm creating a guide or something like that, that I'm going to turn into an ad. Um, I will create, let's say five different templates so that I have different copy that I'm using different images, different tech stylization, different sizes, things like that to where I'm kind of varying it up a little bit.
And then I'll just pin all of those pins organically onto their appropriate board and really see what kind of just takes off organically. First of what people are clicking on the most. And then once I kind of get a little bit of reach and information after about two weeks, then I'll turn one or a couple of them onto a paid ad and just put like 10, 20 bucks.
Let that run for another two weeks see what happens. And then after that, once I know, okay, this is really doing well. That's when I'll start increasing the budget there. So it is a lot more of a slow process, but keep in mind that it's gonna last longer overall. So you can, you know, then at some point, turn the ad off and it'll still keep going years after and people will pin it and it still continues on and you just don't get that with, you know, Facebook and things like that for advertising.
Joseph: [00:42:22] So, what is it exactly about the Pinterest algorithm that keeps these things running? Is it like if it continues to generate interest, then it continues to sh show on these new feeds. So let's just say for instance, you do a, um, an ad for a blender and I'm looking at blenders. The organic activity is what's keeping it still relevant in the earlier search results is that right?
Elle McCann: [00:42:43] Exactly. So you want to have, you know, a pin that's going to get a lot of organic reach of people, just pinning it and re-pinning it. Um, and that's going to be what kind of keeps it going long after. So the more engagement that you have, you know, Pinterest like every other social media platform, they want to keep you on the site as long as possible.
So if they know, Hey, if I show this pin, you know, eight out of 10 times people repin it and they're looking at it, then they're going to show that. So I think just being mindful of you really want to get people to engage with it. You want to, you know, you don't want to have just a white background and your product photo on top.
You want to make it enticing either with a lifestyle photo or doing some kind of text overlays, just come up with some creative ideas to kind of get people's eye, to grab gravitate towards there and want to save that for later on.
Joseph: [00:43:36] And yeah. And Pinterest, I would say out of all of the platforms is probably the one that most encourages artistic expression and most encourages creativity. It's a creativity of boards to begin with.
Elle McCann: [00:43:47] Yeah.
Joseph: [00:43:49] So what's cool too is that when you're talking about how you can track the progress of them in the backend side. Uh, that was pretty similar to what data you can, what you can do in the Facebook ads as well. You can, you can see how the progress is going.
You can stop running the ones that aren't working as well. Uh, invest more into the ones that are working well, and then you can scale from there. So as far as working on the backend, it's probably gonna be more familiar for people who've done Facebook ads, then. Uh, than not. Um, is there any other tools or any other backend features that, uh, you can let us know about for people who start using Pinterest ads?
Elle McCann: [00:44:26] Yeah. So I will say that Pinterest doesn't have anywhere near as detailed targeting and demographics as Facebook does. However, you can still add, you know, the conversion tag to your site. So you can track, you know, people who come to your site. As well as go off of specific keywords so that you can be, you know, tracking different keywords and seeing which one people are the most likely to engage the pin with based on the keyword.
But I would say overall, it's just in terms of Pinterest compared to others, I would think of it more as not just a short-term kind of advertising. Platform, but more of a long-term strategy. So while it is great to advertise on Pinterest, I would also think about ways to just build up your boards and your page there organically.
So I love the tailwind app, um, and this is a software and its tail like T A I L um, But it's a really helpful tool to help you schedule your pins. So if I'm running paid ads for my pins, I'm also going to be creating different ads that are going to be complimentary. And if they like the, the ad and may engage, engage with that, then they might also like these organic pins that I'm doing as well.
So not just running, you know, just ads there, but also kind of just filling out your boards more and thinking about Pinterest as an overall strategy of, you know, if you're creating blog posts on your site, you know, make sure you create some pins for them. And you're just thinking of different ways to engage with people and especially knowing who your ideal customer is and how, you know, what kind of content they may like and getting them to come to your site.
Joseph: [00:46:05] Excellent. So I definitely hope, I mean, I, for one with respect, I haven't set my own store up yet. My, my goal with it is to set one up mostly just to test it, just to kind of play around with so I can understand these things a little bit more intuitively and yeah, I mean, I will say that of all the different platforms to advertise on Pinterest is it sticks out to me because I'm a creative too like I, I have my own artistic inclinations. Uh, what's funny though, is I did your quiz, your online quiz on your web. And, uh, it ended up telling me that Facebook advertising would be the ideal one. I think it was just because some of it had to do with, with budget, but I would imagine too, that Pinterest would be another one of the answers to that quiz.
Are there any other answers besides Facebook or Pinterest that the quiz would let people know about?
Elle McCann: [00:46:55] Yeah. So the quiz on my site, you could get results anywhere from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google
Joseph: [00:47:02] and Google. Okay.
Elle McCann: [00:47:04] Yeah, a lot of people don't get um, when I look at the analytics of it all, a lot of people don't end up getting Google just because you have to have a pretty nice budget for Google.
You can run through things pretty extensively, but I think that's where Pinterest can really be set apart. Especially if you have a low budget getting started. Because you can kind of, you know, create these Pinterest ads with just a little bit of money and then kind of just let them run for a couple of weeks and then come back.
You don't have to feel like, you know, for me, if I'm running Facebook ads, I'm checking them multiple times a day. Because if something goes sideways, I could lose a lot of money really quickly. So I'm wanting to constantly monitor this where Pinterest is a little bit more of a set it and forget it, like all even set like a calendar reminder every like Monday and be like, okay, you need to check your Pinterest ads.
Joseph: [00:47:51] One assumption that I make about our listeners is that most will probably be dropshippers or we'll try drop shipping. And I'll a lot of the time, a lot of the drop shippers that I've talked to, they, they use it as a base for a while, but then they move on some, still commit to it. But even those ones in large part have considered where they want to go after this, because I don't think people want to be like drop shippers for the rest of their lives they tend to do other agencies. And so there's one. Contention that I can see, which is that in drop shipping operations, a lot of them might not really be intended to have longevity to them. Sometimes it's, it's a seasonal thing for instance. And so they set a store up for six months and then, and then they let it go.
So I can see how Pinterest might not be the ideal fit because you want the longer, the ad is on Pinterest the more you'll get out of it. So I w I do want to hear your opinion on drop shipping and. I know you did a video on it, but I didn't see that video. If you're a fan of it, if you're not a fan of it, whatever your opinion is, don't worry we get lots of different opinions from all over. So I do want to hear your take on it and how you feel it fits into the e-commerce space.
Elle McCann: [00:49:02] Yeah. So I'm a fan of drop shipping. I think it's a great way to test products, test ideal customers, and really kind of get your feet wet. Get started. I think ultimately the goal is if you find a good product, or a niche that you're in, you kind of want to switch to more manufacturing so that you can add, or you can reduce your costs and make a little bit more profit margin and have more control of the process.
But I think you're right, like for if you're just looking at it for doing, you know, a store for six months then yeah probably Pinterest wouldn't be the best just because it takes longer to advertise and you're going to get a lot quicker of a flood of traffic from Facebook and Instagram, as well as, you know, you can turn the ads off and that'd be that.
Where do you, once you turn the Pinterest ads off, like that's fine, but it can still keep getting re-pinned and people are going to go to your site hopefully later on and be like, Oh, site's not here anymore.
Joseph: [00:49:53] Right.
Elle McCann: [00:49:53] So I do think like you were saying for dropshipping, probably doing more Facebook, Instagram could be a better solution for a short term, but if you are looking for building kind of a longer term business, or maybe even just testing the products first with drop shipping, then switching to manufacturing, those products or still staying in the same niche. I think Pinterest could definitely work for you.
Joseph: [00:50:14] And I know one of the things that you prioritize is when people are designing their websites. The brand has to be quality and it has to, uh, gain people's trust. And I think that's an issue with, uh, with drop shipping because the incentive is to, and a lot of, a lot of the cases, like if you hear, oh these are the winning products for Halloween.
So you gotta, you gotta get on that before Halloween is over. So. In your mind, how does a drop-shipper square, the relationship between a quality brand that can gain people's trust with the inherent risk of selling a product that frankly they might not even see it for themselves at any point?
Elle McCann: [00:50:53] Well, I think that's one of the things that I recommend that they do is that they actually order a sample. Um, there's been many times where I've thought that a product looked great online and was looking at potentially selling this in one of my own stores. And then as soon as I ordered a sample and got it here, it, you know, fell apart within a week or, you know, it was jewelry. And if it was left out on the counter, it started like rusting and turning green after just a week. And it's like, okay, you need to get their product and test it out. First, I get that sometimes things are a little more seasonal and you're trying to get something done in a certain time period, but you're just going to end up getting people upset with you or getting charge backs if you don't have a quality product. So I do recommend that you get some kind of a sample and do some kind of testing period throughout, um, you know, if it's a necklace that you're doing, like wear the necklace in the shower, see what it looks like once it gets wet and it sits out on the counter, like, are people, am I going to get a flood of emails and a week of people being really upset?
Because they don't, you know, put it in an airtight bag or something like that. I think that's an important part to just make sure that yes, you're trying to capitalize on certain time periods, but that you're still making sure that you focus on quality. And the overall brand experience, because, you know, if something comes in the mail and it's just in a bag and it doesn't have any kind of messaging inside or even your logo, um, I definitely sometimes will forget what I've ordered and I'm like, wait, what is this like, Oh, I forgot I ordered this. Um, so having anything like that, where it's going to be, I always say like, make it seem like it's a present in the mail, like, um, where you're excited, you open it and you're like, Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. Like I do a lot of subscription boxes, um, for, uh, random things like. Haircare and stuff like that and the haircare company I use, they always send stickers and it's like, I never use the stickers, but I get excited. And I opened the note and it says, you know, my name on the card and things like that. So any kind of little touches, I think can go a long way of how you can build a brand and build that more sustainably long-term and just focus on the quality as well.
Joseph: [00:53:04] And that's something that I certainly would want to think about for my own prospects, however far into the future they may be, which is setting up a brand, setting up a general niche store so that when these seasons roll around, I don't have to go through the process of setting up a brand and building familiarity with it.
I would already have the store ready to go, and then I would cycle product in and out. So that's, that's kind of like what came to my mind, uh, hearing what you're describing, but frankly, I haven't seen anyone in that regard talk about that. So that's something that I'm going to want to look into.
W e're getting close to, to wrapping up. There was a couple of other things that I just want to get your take on. And by the way, for people I'm curious to a lot of these are things that I had learned to checking out Elle's videos. So there is a lot more on the YouTube that will expand on even the things that we talk about here. This one blew my mind.
Um, the, the, the loaning, uh, pay ability app. I it's an it, sorry, it's an app, right? Okay. For listeners not familiar with this, this again, I was. It's really taken it back by this because Shopify stores could qualify for up to $250,000 in funding. Now, maybe you've worked with clients who've qualified, but I, what do people even do with that kind of money on a Shopify store?
Elle McCann: [00:54:25] Well, a lot of times it's really based off of what your goal is of what you're doing. So they're not going to just give you 250k just to do advertising. A lot of times it's more building out infrastructure, ordering more inventory, hiring up team members, maybe some advertising costs, but a lot more times it's more about the infrastructure overall.
So I think for that, it's more just making sure that you have a plan of okay. Maybe even there, okay. Showing that you have a drop shipping products that you have been selling really well. And now you're looking for manufacturing and you're going to be manufacturing it in house, but now you need these special tooling equipment, things like that, that costs additional money. So getting a loan for that, but showing that you have the track record of the sales already for it.
Joseph: [00:55:10] Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. Because depending on your margins, there's only so much equity that you can earn from it to then make those. Those next jumps into manufacturing. Okay. That clears that up. All right. I got two more. And then we're going to do our wrap up for you. So the next one I want to get your take on is print on demand. I haven't really talked to anybody about this. This is something that my girlfriend and I we've, uh, we've talked about doing before, because well, I'm an artist and she's a much, much better artist and it's, it was exciting about it.
This was something that we were doing before I even joined Debutify is that we would. Uh, well, I say we, but it was mostly her draw images, mostly of a corgi and put it up on Redbubble and Zazzle to try to sell it to those markets. I don't, I don't necessarily think our listeners will go on to Redbubble. They kind of, they want to, but what would you, how would you say people can get a print on demand set up for their Shopify stores and like what, what can they get out of it?
Elle McCann: [00:56:10] Yeah. So I love print on demand because you can really kind of come up with your own niche and your own audience. Kind of like how we were talking before. Like you can find any kind of people online. Like you can then market to corgi specific groups and run ads to people that have corgis and you already can target them so much with Facebook. So you can create any kind of image that you like. And then through print on demand, you don't have to pay part of the process.
You can create the design once and then, then your job is to just send the right audience to your site. But what's great I think about these print on demand apps like Printful and Printify is that you can add it easily into your Shopify store and then create the products from there of just uploading the design, you know, setting up the product and then they take care of the rest which is also, you know, of course, really nice, but they're still gonna be on your site. So you still can have, you know, you're not sending them to Redbubble where you're not able to track things as well. You're still able to have, you know, your Facebook pixel and then target audiences based off which products they viewed specifically, or do dynamic ads.
And you're building that brand loyalty as well. So I think it's a great way to really test different things. And especially when you're kind of getting started to see, okay, the corgi design is a big hit, it's the biggest seller on a mug people don't like it as much on a towel. Things like that. And so you can really test things out and kind of get to know your audience a little bit more, especially before you, you know, potentially then maybe you want to, you go, okay, this is a huge seller. I want to start manufacturing this myself now, you know exactly which product to manufacturer. So you don't have a thousand corgi towels in your garage that you can't get rid of.
Joseph: [00:57:51] You know, I might be an outlier, but I think I would love a corgi towel.
Elle McCann: [00:57:54] I would love a corgi towel. Like I said that, and I was like, maybe not a towell, l I would love -.
Joseph: [00:58:00] Yeah, maybe, maybe, maybe the mugs won't take, but the point, the point stipulated. This is actually like a personal curiosity cause one of my like pet projects that I've had. In the back of my mind is to make a, a specific, like a yearly agenda. I've I've been using yearly agendas for seven years now, and I've already gotten my 2021 and I've already started writing some dates into it cause my buddy's wedding, you know, fingers crossed is coming up in may I say fingers crossed for reasons that are obvious to anybody listening to this 2020, 2021. But what I wanted to design one in specific, do you know of any print on demand applications or services where they give you that kind of flexibility, where you can actually like put a product together to that degree?
Elle McCann: [00:58:47] Not for planners. There's definitely a lot for like journals, but for planners themselves, I think you might have to go with more of a printing company and maybe do a small run print of that. I'm not really familiar with any planners, but that would be a cool one to do for sure.
Joseph: [00:59:05] Okay, thanks for that. This has been done nagging away at me for some time now, so I just want to get it out of my system.
All right. I got one more that I want to get your take on, and then we'll give you a chance to, uh, to wrap this up, uh, which is a reward programs. So this is another one that we've talked about. Now I've done some reading up on reward programs and not naming names, but the person was going off on how people would end up having a stack of like 12 to 15 cards where, you know, buy one coffee, buy eight coffees, get one free.
Um, and I, for one being a bubble tea fanatic, I have a bubble tea card. I quick story. I go to the, to the, to the tea shop. And I, and I buy two teas and she stamps it once and I look at her and I say, well, I bought two teas. Is it per purchase or is it per Tea? She says, well, it's per purchase. So I said, why don't I just buy one, and then I'll just come out and I'll just come back in and buy the other, and she gives me a blank stare. I'm like, yes, she -
Elle McCann: [01:00:01] Give me my second stamp.
Joseph: [01:00:03] She, she won that battle by the way. But so with reward programs is how do people integrate this in a way that's effective and seeing as how this is all done online. We're not really sending reward cards to people, but what can people do to reward their audience?
Elle McCann: [01:00:19] Yeah. So one of my favorite rewards program apps that I always recommend is called smile.io, and they give points. It's kind of like you can set up different point structures for different things. So as you spend a dollar, you get one point, you know, you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you get 50 points. It's your birthday, you get 200 points, you know, you can set up different things like that, but they have great incentives for, you know, not only for every purchase, but let's say you come back and you leave a review. If you write a review of the product, you can get 50 points. If you write a review and add a photo, then you get a hundred points and you can cause, you know, as a shop owner, having that social proof is really helpful.
So it's a great way to incentivize people and almost kind of game-ify it a little bit. I love how you can also with their program, change the name to match your branding. So for example, I have one client that sells jewelry and so hers instead of points is called gems. And so you can get 50 gems. I have another client that sells bath products and there's this called tub tokens.
And so you can kind of bring that branding throughout and then even, you know, have it in your email series that you're talking about us. Okay. You know, this week only get, you know, two for one tub tokens, things like that to where you're still have something that you can be actively emailing people about where you're not frustrating them like, but you still have something to talk about. And it's still all bringing your branding throughout.
Joseph: [01:01:44] That right there sticks out to me. That's amazing. I know. I wouldn't have thought to like make a, a currency in specific. I have a friend on he's on Twitch and he, uh, he calls himself the Potato King and his currency is like, mini potatoes. I was trying to pitch him on taters. He didn't take it. Uh, alright, well that has been, uh, that has been an hour and it has been chock-full of great insights, a lot of stuff that I'm going to be taken away personally. So for that, I thank you. I really do. Yeah. So our final question is just a wrap up. So if you want to let people know where they can reach out to engage with you, I highly recommend your YouTube video, your video, not just the one, but you know, I highly recommend your YouTube channel.
Uh, I, I learned a lot of it. I expect to, I will probably be checking some more videos out afterwards. And the other side of it too, is if you have any words of wisdom that you just want to impart on our listeners, We are, you're more than welcome to, uh, to share that with us. So the floor is yours once more.
Elle McCann: [01:02:47] Awesome. Yeah. So if you would like to learn more, you can go to my website, curiousthemes.com or my YouTube channel is just Curious Themes on YouTube. And I have a lot of different Shopify specific tutorials there as well as overall e-commerce stuff and entrepreneurship, where I kind of share a little bit more behind the scenes of my entrepreneurship journey and I'm kind of peeling back the curtains over the next few months, as well as just showing more behind the scenes of what it really takes to build an e-commerce store and the, the mindset day to day operations of that as well. And I would say my biggest takeaway for any entrepreneur or if you're just getting started.
And you're thinking about entrepreneurship, something that's taken me about 10 years to really kind of wrap my head around. And I still have like a note on my desk, but it says I strive for progress, not perfection. And so just keep in mind that, like I had seen, I think it was in the book Atomic Habits, but it was about, you know, every day you kind of get a vote for the kind of person you want to be.
So if some days you show up and you don't really want to, you know, do you know your side hustle or whatever it is, that's okay. Like you have 365 days in a year. So as long as you do more than over, you know, the halfway point, then you're kind of voting for yourself as an entrepreneur and make sure that you're striving for progress along the way, instead of just trying to show up and be a perfect human being and a perfect entrepreneur every single day, because that's just not going to happen.
And you're going to burn out and you're going to, you know, decide that it's not worth it. So just kind of think about it as, you know, it's a, a long con being an entrepreneur and the more you can hang in there and just make sure that you're working on little things every single day to push yourself and your business forward. I think that's something to really keep in mind
You know when
Joseph: [01:04:42] I was doing my research for you. Uh, I had opened up my Pinterest account for the first time in probably about six or seven years. I just hadn't. Hadn't touched it. And I went to my profile and I had written, you know, six or seven years ago, however long any my, and my profile description was he's got a long road ahead of him and I did not think I was going to be where I am today. So when we say a long road, you can. You're not, you're not going to be able to see everything that's coming at you, but you can do everything you can to be ready for it when you get to that point.
So now my new subtitle is just, Hey there have a good one.
Elle McCann: [01:05:20] Nice. Yeah, I think it's something that, you know, even 2020, I thought January, I had all these crazy plans and then they quickly got thrown out the window, come like March, April. So I think that's something that you have to realize is to be flexible. Like whenever I first started my business 10 years ago, I didn't even watch YouTube.
Like I had no idea that I was going to start a YouTube channel and that would be a sole focus of my business and, you know, 10 years later, like, Oh, okay. Like, that's interesting. So I think just, you know, Seeing also what you gravitate towards the most. I kind of found that, you know, at first I did a lot of blogging and I found that I didn't really enjoy blogging as much, but I love turning on a camera and talking to the camera.
So I think just kind of knowing that it's a process and just see what you're interested in. Like, some things are not going to work and that's totally fine. Like now you've learned that you don't really like this or this didn't work and you can move on to something else.
Joseph: [01:06:16] Well said. All righ, Elle McCann. Thank you once more for your time.
You've been great.
Elle McCann: [01:06:21] Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I have greatly enjoyed this.
Joseph: [01:06:24] It's been a pleasure. All right, listeners. Thank you as well for checking us out and we will catch you next time.
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