How to Build A D2C Website business that works – Kevin Urrutia Ep66

“Truly hiring someone that’s great is really going to help you improve your business.”– Kevin [27:09]

“That service part is really where now you can make more money than across the database.” [7:03]

“Sometimes people need education so you can also try that format as well.”– Kevin [15:54]

How to Make Sales on Your Website and Social Media

Your business is currently doing well in sales on Amazon and other places like that, but your website isn’t making any sales, and you’re looking for ways you can improve it to start making those sales, right? Well, you will need a well-thought-out recipe to improve your website and possibly a social media campaign to get full benefits.

In this episode of the Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Kevin Urrutia about social media marketing and how to improve a website and start making sales online. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur, build brands across multiple industries where he generated $50 million a year in revenue, a podcast host, and the founder of Voy media. Voy Media is a social media advertising agency that helps brands scale with paid social at record speeds. 

Listen in to learn the importance of being creative in the social media platform that you advertise on to get the right traffic to your website. You will also learn how hiring great and positive people to be part of your team helps you grow your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to use creativity in your social media campaign to ensure traffic and sales on your website.
  • The importance of having a profit margin as your measurable value during a social media campaign.
  • Learning the skill of hiring great positive people that help grow your business.

Episode Timeline:

  • [1:39] Kevin shares about his book and podcast that are all about digital marketing and spending money online.
  • [3:25] He talks about how Voy media works on the creative side of paid social media advertising for companies.
  • [7:55] The recipe to put in place to start selling on your website.
  • [12:53] Why it is important to be creative on the platform you’re advertising on to get traffic to your website.
  • [18:07] The two crucial people that you need on your team when doing a social media campaign.
  • [20:02] Why your KPI when doing a social media campaign should be about metrics and numbers.
  • [23:15] Why the future of eCommerce is about forming return customers.
  • [25:13] How they’re partnering with influencers to create content for luggage companies to make organic sales.
  • [26:31] How Kevin has learned not to forgo opportunity cost when hiring great people for his team.
  • [27:56] The hiring process that Kevin uses- considering references of the candidate.

Relevant Links:

Website: https://voymedia.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/urrutia/

Speaker 1: Welcome to The Page 1 Podcast, a podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from digital marketing, sales channel strategies, influencer marketing, best in class product launches and all the details about how to accelerate sales. Now, here’s your host, Luke Peters.

Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on The Page 1 Podcast. I’m your host, Luke Peters, CEO of Newair Appliances and Retail Band Digital Strategy Agency.

Luke Peters: Quickly, business owners, do you wish you had an expert advisor to help you grow your brand online D2C and also sales in Amazon, Wayfair, Home Depot and all of those other online channels? That’s what I do. If you are looking to grow in those categories, find me on LinkedIn or email me at luke@retailband.com.

Luke Peters: And in this episode, you’re going to learn from Kevin Urrutia on how to build a lasting website presence. Kevin will literally give you a step-by-step plan on how to grow your sales on your website.

Luke Peters: Kevin grew up in New York City, in the hustle culture, and has been described as a serial entrepreneur. He has started a knowledge sharing platform, a flower delivery service, a networking app, and a dog subscription box. He’s built brands across multiple industries and generated 50 million a year in revenue. Now, he leads a thriving digital agency called Voy Media, he hosts a podcast and just wrote a book.

Luke Peters: Kevin, welcome to The Page 1 Podcast.

Kevin Urrutia : Thanks, Luke. Thanks for having me.

Luke Peters: Cool. And then before we get into it, share a little bit about your book and your podcast.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So our book is called Digital Marketing Made Easy. And really, this is tailored towards new business owners that really want to get an inside look about what digital marketing is. So it’s got several chapters about [inaudible 00:01:51], just digital marketing, landing pages, advertising, and just really how one should be thinking about that. So, yeah, that’s Digital Marketing Made Easy. It came out about three months ago, so pretty good on Amazon, so you can get it there.

Kevin Urrutia : And then, again, we have a podcast called Digital Marketing Fastlane. So this is more tailored towards people that are spending money on Facebook or online and is looking for more taxable advice. Really the podcast is two formats, which is interview, kind of what we’re doing now. But also, we also do brand breakdowns, where you can look at companies doing 30, $40 million a year and we’ll break them down to what they’re doing in email marketing, Facebook Ads or landing pages. So that’s the Digital Marketing Fastlane.

Luke Peters: Oh, man, I love that. I love hearing the numbers. So I’ll have to check that one out. So we’ll put those in the show notes for the listeners, and check out the book as well. It’s got some great reviews on Amazon.

Luke Peters: And as you can tell, Kevin’s got a really unique ability and expert knowledge in direct to consumer channel. And I know a lot of the listeners here have strong brands. A lot of you guys are selling into Home Depot, or Amazon, or Wayfair, or any of these other places, but you are not taking advantage of your direct to consumer sales. You’re not potentially, maybe, growing your own website sales or building your brand as much as you can. So we’re going to really focus in on how to do that. Kevin’s going to hopefully put together a little recipe. I put him on the spot here, so this’ll be fun.

Luke Peters: I guess, Kevin, also, before we get going here, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your business. Just like you kind of broke down on your other podcast, you break down businesses. It’s always great for the listeners to hear a little bit about Voy Media, maybe how many staff you have and what type of clients you guys take on.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So Voy Media is like our agency. We mainly do paid advertising for like social media platforms. Really, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Snapchat, with a focus on the creative side of it. So basically direct response creative, that’s going to give you the results, the ROAS you’re looking for. So Voy Media, we’re based out of here in New York City, and our company right now is 25 people. So the brands that we work with are more, really a lot of Shopify stores, which is a big thing that we work with. But usually companies making anywhere between 200 or 300K a month in revenue, really they already have a kind of like established team, another marketer on their team. And then we come in to sort of really help them scale up through creativity, and also just the media buyer on the paid side. That’s sort of what we do there at Voy Media.

Luke Peters: Yeah, that’s great. Now, I’ve found like with the paid advertising for customers or, actually, for business owners who’ve got products that don’t have like a big LTV, maybe, because there’s not a lot, a high reorder percentage or something like that, it’s a one-time purchase, sometimes a higher consideration purchase, sometimes not. Is it harder to hit profitability measures there because it seems like the ROIs just keep dropping. You have to like tie in a ton of attribution to make it look good. Or what are you seeing in that space?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So, look, I mean, yeah, if you have like a product that people just don’t want to buy a lot or it’s just super expensive to advertise, we’re also seeing that, too. It’s just getting Facebook and anything like that, like it’s just getting more expensive to advertise. So I think for D2C brand or any sort of consumer brands, they need to be thinking about like, “Are these products worth selling anymore?” And really kind of like stuff like what they call it papers or tissues, right? There’s companies like Amazon that will do this all day long with a low return because they know it’s a way for them to acquire customers.

Kevin Urrutia : And that’s kind of like how business owners should be thinking about these sort of products that maybe they still want to sell, but maybe they can sell it at breakeven or maybe at a loss in order to bring in new customers, so they can know their store and then you upsell them other products. So it’s a tough decision, but that’s kind of what we’re seeing, or even just offering it as like a bundle. So those are ways to think about it, and how we are working with other brands, dealing with that as well.

Luke Peters: Yeah. And by the way, this is such an interesting topic because this is kind of the future of online. And when you think about it, just how I look at it, Kevin, it’s like Facebook and Google have monetized this so well. They’re making more money than brands are making. It’s just crazy when you think about it, exactly what you just said, that some brands have to literally do all this work just to get somebody in the door at breakeven, so then they could come back later and own that customer and then try to upsell or resell.

Kevin Urrutia : Exactly.

Luke Peters: Yeah. So interesting, when you think of product roadmap and just what you’re going to invest in.

Kevin Urrutia : Exactly. Yeah. And that’s how I think of what you said, it’s a part of road mapping. You should be thinking about what type of product it should be for your brand so you can bring in customers. It’s funny because for e-commerce, this is just kind of happening now because of like rising advertising costs. But really, you probably know Luke, like in the info space, people have been doing this a long time, right? They offer a free book, they offer a free guide, and that is a [inaudible 00:06:22] but they use that to bring in to upsell to other services.

Kevin Urrutia : So I think with e-commerce businesses and brands, they’re sort of transitioning from this old way of like, “Hey, we have a product, we’re going to buy it.” But now it’s like, “Okay, we actually need to sell more things.” And also, at least for me, I’m no longer mentioning e-commerce as just plain e-commerce. It’s going to be e-commerce plus service. And the reason why I say that is because, I was like, my background is science. So if you look at a lot of software now, software is free, but do you know where they make more money, is in like support and guidance, and the provisioning of that software, right? So Oracle is a good example. They offer their free database, but then what do they charge you, is the engineers to get it up and running so that you can make your database faster. That service part is really where, now, you can make more money than that raw cost of a database, right?

Luke Peters: Yeah, exactly. And that makes total sense. So anyways, it’s just good for all of us, all business owners to be looking to the future and just thinking about these economic models and how things might be different. So let’s get right into this today. So we’re going to talk about how to create a roadmap, where business owners should start. So why don’t we just pick a position here.

Luke Peters: Let’s say there’s a brand, it’s already successful or semi-successful, there’s already a website, but the sales are happening wholesale. They’re happening elsewhere, they’re happening on a Wayfair or on Amazon or some other type of e-commerce channel. So there’s already some success, there’s already some infrastructure. But they’re not selling on their website, and they’re probably not doing much marketing. So what should these business owners start doing? And what does that recipe look like.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So I switched the question because I’ve talked to some brands that are in this space where they have a website, but then if you look at their website it’s like not made for like a digital platform or to digitally sell. So number one thing is, if you have a website, really think about what the platforms are out there. The two biggest ones out there that we’ve seen work well are Shopify or even WooCommerce.

Kevin Urrutia : So if you’re on like Wix, Squarespace, all these have like e-commerce sort of component to them but don’t expect an add-on. Whereas Shopify, for example, this is literally the main thing that the platform does. I always recommend people try to go to Shopify because they have all the capabilities that you might need. And then once you sort of get that, I like to really think about maybe some of the pages or products that you need. A lot of people don’t really put thought into the pages on the website, some of the essential pages that I think are going to be like homepage, or course collections.

Kevin Urrutia : I think it’s important for you to, as a business owner, to really make collections of stuff that you’re selling. A lot of times, people don’t want to discover things, they want to be told, “Hey, this is the collection of shoes,” their collection of outdoor shoes, and their collection of indoor shoes, stuff like that, right?

Kevin Urrutia : Another one is, having really good product pages. And when I say product pages, I really mean great photography, great images, great reviews on them. And again, also custom descriptions of the product page. A lot of times, people just have product that’s like, “Hey, this is the shoe.” Like talk about it, describe it, the color, how it looks, how it works. Like it’s going to be better on your feet, it’s going to give you a longer walk, right? And then again, also have about us, you want them to know who your brand is. And then just contact us/support, for refund, a shipping copy.

Kevin Urrutia : I think the key essential pages that you need in a website, and really put thought into these pages because these are the ones where people are actually going to look at and maybe browse at your website.

Kevin Urrutia : And then, from there, really you want to be thinking about landing pages. Landing pages are really pages where you want to send paid traffic to. A lot of people want to pay traffic to the product page or the homepage, but the homepage isn’t really… Essentially, it’s designed to convert, it’s more of like an entryway to your website. Whereas the landing page, this is where you want to be sending that paid traffic to, and you’re really here, this is where you can customize it to really show people that offer that you have, your largest offer that you can get someone to buy the products.

Kevin Urrutia : And then again, you want to have other ones for every product that you have, cases of bundles, could be a discount, if you have like a special thing that you’re running for that time. So that’s kind of like where I think about website wise.

Kevin Urrutia : And then, another big important part where I’m seeing right now, especially if you’re selling already and you kind of really want to transition to sort of like D2C thing, is community. Think about community, about where your people are or your brand that you’re selling. So we have an outdoor gear company. We have a really big Facebook community of like 30,000 hikers in here that help us either help products, but also just help with the product feedback. And also just helps you kind of control the narrative about your brand, because now you can really advertise and think about these other people in the group.

Kevin Urrutia : And then, another great thing to think about that is you can do giveaways or sponsorships with them, and the people, because you know they’re your target market. And then, I think ultimately what people need to really be successful online is some sort of publishing platform. So a blog is always… I tell people like you need to be writing content to people related to your space, that way they can truly understand your voice and then they can also see how that works for you. And also, just because it helps you rank for product keywords that you eventually want to sell.

Luke Peters: That’s awesome. So I’m just going to kind of go through this really quick for all the listeners. You guys can rewind that. But, yeah, I mean, choose your… I’m glad you started at this, because sometimes, I don’t know about you Kevin, but sometimes you take it for granted. It’s like first make sure you’re on a platform that you like. So there you go, choose Shopify or WooCommerce, there’s others, you know, BigCommerce as your company grows. But yeah, we use Shopify. Shopify is so easy. Man, it’s like I literally think, why didn’t I do that like 12 years ago when I knew this was a problem? [Crosstalk 00:11:34]-

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah, I know. [crosstalk 00:11:35] I’m like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe they’re making so much money. It’s such an easy thing. Why is it [crosstalk 00:00:11:39]-” Luke Peters: Oh, so obvious.

Kevin Urrutia : “Why is it so obvious?”

Luke Peters: It is so obvious, I think I mean, probably to a lot of people. Back in the day, we wrote our own custom because we wanted to have multiple websites, because that was the thing back in the day where you could buy all these domains and it was good for SEO. But we didn’t want to have all this content on individual platforms, right? So we wrote this software that had all your content in one space, but you could publish out different titles to each site and stuff like that. Anyways, wow. Shopify is unbelievable.

Luke Peters: But then, you made some great points. Put some cool collections together. Obvious things like create product pages. But, yeah, you got to have a good landing page and a good strategy. And then I think the biggest thing that resonated with me was, you got to find that community around your product and your category, and try some of the ear space in that community. So that’s a good start. And then of course, content and blog.

Luke Peters: Now, why don’t we move on to traffic, though? People have a site. Obviously now, it’s unfortunate or just the way it is, you kind of got to pay now to get so much traffic. Whereas, say five or eight years ago, you could really rely more on organic, and it just seems like organic doesn’t convert at the same rate as paid traffic. So I guess is the next step to go drive traffic via some paid channels or do you kind of take a different approach?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So with paid media, the way you think about it, too, there’s like different types of paid media where you can think about. So paid media for us, at least when we work with brands, is influencers. We consider that paid media. There’s also outdoor media, such as like iHeartMedia, Entercom. Those are places where you can buy billboard ads. There’s also social, which is what most people know about as paid media, which is like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest.

Kevin Urrutia : But there’s also traditional ones, you got search, right? Google, Bing, and Yahoo. A lot of people don’t talk about Bing, but Bing is a great platform in case you have a really older crowd. People love that platform. People love Bing. And then you have native. Native is like Taboola, Outbrain. And sometimes people might not actually know what native is, but there are ads that you kind of see on really big sites. Just like, for example, ESPN. Sometimes on their articles, they have like related links, that’s native. And that’s more of as you’re scaling up, you can use those. And then you have display such as Google, right?

Kevin Urrutia : But let’s say we’re thinking about, I don’t know, the three main channels, right? Facebook, Instagram, and Google. So let’s say you really want to advertise on Facebook, right? Really, when we think about Facebook launch day, sometimes they call it here, is your ads in creative should be native to that platform. A lot of times, people want to show these super highly taken photos, but like they don’t perform well. Facebook is really about the raw asset or that raw creativity. And another platform that shows this, and I think people should really check it out, is TikTok. The creativity on TikTok is amazing. And that’s the kind of content that works really well for paid, because it’s entertaining but also engaging. So we always tell people to make your creative really about the platform that you’re advertising.

Kevin Urrutia : So for example, let’s say you want like a really good plan for this. Do you want to have prospecting campaigns or retargeting campaigns? So for prospecting, that’s cold traffic. People have never known about you. So really put here, we’re thinking that you should launch between like five to eight direct response focused product videos. And I said videos, and this means unboxing videos, opening videos, comparison videos, shock videos like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is actually a product, right?” Like surprise, we call them. And then highlight it. Highlighting all these videos that’s copied, right? So it’s great to show the video, but something like Facebook always put copy on top of your USP of uniqueness or why you’re special, such as a hundred day money back guarantee, over a hundred reviews. Think about it like that, or like these direct response product focused videos.

Kevin Urrutia : Then again, you want to have at least two to three lifestyle videos. These are more human focused. These are more of like traditional ones you probably see. And then you also want to launch with at least two to three influencer videos if you can, or ask a family or friend to make a video of them talking about it. Even more natural, right?

Kevin Urrutia : Ideally these type of videos, either you can run them through your brand account. But if you’re working with an influencer, a great thing about Facebook is that you can run the ads under their own account. So now the ad comes from like but they can’t even reach him face to face, and then it seems like, “Hey, Kevin’s promoting it.” It gives you another way to sort of show your product in a different format.

Kevin Urrutia : And then again, another thing to have is like, that we’ve seen work well… Now, this is optional, because this is kind of like in the beginning. Long form content, we still see work really well. So it’s been advertorial, such as like six reasons why you need headphones. And it’s like, six reason why is that? Oh, by the way, Kevin’s headphones are the best. Here, you should check them out, right? So sometimes, people need education, so you can also try that format as well. So that’s what I’m thinking for prospecting.

Kevin Urrutia : And then let’s say for retargeting, which is customers that have seen your product, they didn’t buy yet. Really here, a little bit simpler. You want at least one or two still images highlighting the product features itself, sometimes just to remind them about what they want to buy. Having a really simple copy such as, “Hey, we noticed you’re almost checked out. Did you want to buy it today?” Or “Hey, we only have 10 left. Just so you know, if you buy it this week, you get free shipping.”

Kevin Urrutia : And then again, you want to have at least two to four new videos on here showing maybe a different version of the product, a different color, a different angle. So if you can see that. And then copy. Really for the copy, you want to highlight the USPs, the benefits of the product, what they get. Really for the copy, always think about what do they get out of the product, not what the product is. So that’s really how I think about for like a Facebook sort of campaign.

Luke Peters: Yup, okay. Lots of detail there. And actually I want to take a step back, Kevin, because I think we probably lost a lot of people there. And one comment I want to make is… So my next question is, and again really for the audience here, trying to give you guys literally a recipe or a how-to on this. So I want to ask you, Kevin, who are the two to three hires that a brand’s going to need to make to execute this?

Luke Peters: But before you answer, let me give a little bit more insight on how I would think about it, because this is going to change your answer. Because really when you get into the actual advertising, literally what Kevin was just talking about, in my opinion, I think most brands should hire an agency. This is literally what an agency does all day long.

Luke Peters: So Kevin’s agency, Voy Media, or another strong agency you have a relationship with, they’re going to have people that literally do this, they do it with other brands. They know exactly how these creatives are going to work. The ROIs have gotten compressed on these things. So the difference of success and losing money can be significant, and also it can be a very fine line, and that’s where an agency can help.

Luke Peters: But, so that we can give kind of a recipe, you still need somebody on your team who understands this stuff to engage with the agency, to know which agency to hire, to be able to have the agency report in and hold the agency accountable. And those are the types of hires. So for a brand that wants to operate their website on Shopify, but yet can still outsource most of these things, what type of individual or small team are they looking to bring on?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. So I think that’s a great question because sort of kind of what we look for with the partners that we work with. So ideally you want to, with media buying and sort of creatives and sort of like phase right now, you ideally want somebody creative on your team. And this is someone that can do photo shoots, video shoots, someone that can take constant photos for you and your brand at a moment’s notice.

Kevin Urrutia : So we always tell people like, having a creator on the team is great. And really a creator can mean many things, right? It could mean like a photographer, it can mean someone that writes script, someone that’s really good on social media. But the next person that I think that you might need is going to be some sort of either… Digital marketing manager is also great to have, because they kind of understand what is needed from an agency and what partnerships they’re looking for.

Kevin Urrutia : So those are the type of people I would say you might need. Unless you’re getting [inaudible 00:18:54] sales, then you might need like operations person. But I’d say those are probably the crucial people you need, is someone that’s in digital marketing that can sort of help understand from the KPIs or metrics that the agency is going to be bringing to the company.

Luke Peters: Yeah. I totally agree. So again, before we move on, I don’t want to kill this point, but think about how easy that is. And there’s so many companies I see that got, they have so much potential. And literally in these two hires they could build out a great D2C channel. Maybe it sounds too easy, but I think what Kevin and I are leaving out here is like, you still are going to go work with a bunch of agencies. Maybe that digital marketing manager is literally managing five other outsourced agencies that do different things for the business. So you can do it with those two people. They’re not obviously running your operations and all that, whereas, the assumption is that’s already up and running. But I think it’s kind of exciting to think that it is that simple to have those people in place and then follow these KPIs that we’re going to talk about right now.

Luke Peters: So Kevin, back to those positions, you got the creative and you got the digital marketing manager and they’re probably outsourcing and hiring on different agencies. What KPIs are most important for them to track for success, other than sales and profits?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. I think KPIs… I think for any business, you should know what your breakeven returns are. Like the thing with Facebook, is people call like breakeven ROAS, right? Breakeven is, at what point are you not making money, but also you’re not losing money, right? So most people it’s around like maybe… The number changes because like every business is a little bit differently. But I feel like digital product is much lower, it’s about like a 1.1, 1.2. But then the KPIs that you should be thinking about is like the profit margins. I always tell people, you need to have like a profit margin calculator that you can be checking and calculating every month. So some brands, every month, we’re seeing, okay, “Hey look, it looks like this month we made you a 15% in profit margin, and then next month, it made you 20%.” It’s like, “Oh, look, this month we’re back to 15.”

Kevin Urrutia : But really the KPIs should be the metrics that you and your business need to sort of understand, but also what you want to achieve. Like, hey, do you want a 50% profit margin? You can try to see, and see, okay, that’s probably like a 6X ROAS. Maybe we’re not getting that. But we can make you 30% profit margin and that’s going to be like 4X. But really that is something I tell brand owners, that they should be understanding themselves and it’s a metric that they need to be thinking about. Because a lot of times, I’ve worked with like brand new companies, and they’re like, “Yeah, I want like a 5X ROAS,” and I’m just like, “Where does that number come from?” Like, “Oh no, I just saw that online somewhere.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s not how that works,” like that’s not how things works.

Luke Peters: That’s so funny.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. But it’s really truly understanding your metrics. And I tell brands, the best businesses that we work with and you probably too, Luke, is they have Excel sheets or documents that are really documenting everything. They truly know how much they spend on COG, how much they spend on shipping, how much they spend on credit card. And then they can say, “Okay, great. We’re making money.”

Kevin Urrutia : I think in the beginning, a lot of people would just like want things, but I’m like, “No, that’s not how business works. Some days, you’re going to get a better ROAS. Some days [inaudible 00:21:46], hey, how has it been over the last three months? Okay, last three months you’re still making 30% profit margin. Okay, stuff’s still good. Let’s keep going on for the next three months again, because we’re still bringing you that revenue that you’re looking to get.

Luke Peters: Yeah. It’s such a numbers game. It’s so analytical. So that’s why there’s that mix of creative and measuring everything. And I’ll just say for the audience, someone who’s done such an excellent job of this is a previous guest, Aaron Zagha. Check him out, I think he’s like 20 or 30 episodes before this one. And he’s a CMO over at a baby mattress brand. Really cool product brand.

Luke Peters: And if you listen to how he’s so focused on measuring everything so that… There’s no guessing when it comes to marketing and how he thinks about it. So he could do all the jobs, but obviously there’s not the time of the day, and that’s why he’s working with all the best agencies. So kind of very similar to Kevin’s point here, and focusing on that break even, and focusing on profitability. And just like you would in the rest of your business. If you’re selling in store, you’re selling to a leading company online in a marketplace, you’re making an econ model for that skew, and you’re making an econ model maybe for if a PO came in. You got to do the same thing here on the paid advertising.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah, exactly. Yep.

Luke Peters: Cool. So with that Kevin, what do you see as the future to this D2C? So again, Amazon keeps getting bigger, ad spend and ROIs keep dropping, but brands are still succeeding. Maybe why some brands are succeeding would be good to hear from you. And also just in general, what do you see in the future, and future meaning near term, three to five years?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. Future, I think it kind of goes back to the point that we made in the beginning, where I think products, need to be thinking about how do you become recurring to the consumer? I think these sort of one-time buys are becoming really hard to justify the costs.

Kevin Urrutia : The reason I say that too is because I have a luggage company tester, right? And people buy their luggage once. They don’t need to buy it again for like another five years. That makes our tax really hard to achieve every month. And I see this too with some products and brand owners we work with. It’s like the CPA, the cost per acquisition, is going higher and higher, but the brands are doing really well, other brands where you buy the first one and then the customer is back now to you to buy again because they need it again. So how can you make your product into a recurring thing?

Kevin Urrutia : I mean, Luke, you probably know, there’s a reason why SaaS companies are making so much money, because you buy it, subscription, and you pay 30 bucks every month, right? So it’s like, how can you make your e-commerce like that? That’s like I said, that’s why I’m seeing the future of it. And even another one is like, a lot of e-commerce companies that are now getting packed in hand to sort of add that recurring thing, because I think that simple e-commerce product saying that people are really proud of working right now is going to go away soon because it’s the costs are going to be way too high. The new middleman, it’s kind of what you said before, it’s Facebook and Google. It’s no longer like the Walmart of the world, it’s Facebook, it’s just saying, “Hey, like we’re going to take the money.” If you think about Facebook as ad platforms, it’s like a recurring model, it’s like they just make so much money every month from us. It’s just so crazy.

Luke Peters: It’s such a simple way to put things, but you’re so right. I mean, if someone’s starting a business from scratch right now, they can really think about where’s that reoccurring business… where’s that segment that you’re going to build into your business or even into your products. You’re absolutely right.

Luke Peters: But anyways, before we move on from that, you brought up the luggage company, what does a company like that do though to win? I mean, there is other luggage companies out there, obviously they’re building great brands. But like you said, this is a once in a couple of year purchase. Do they have to really win on the content game? Do they have to have like a large segment of sales coming from organic? Or what type of recipe are they using to win?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah, I think for luggages, like the plan that we’re doing is trying to really win organic, just because there’s so much volume on travel content that we can do. So we’re trying to win on like… For customers, like airline baggage fees they’re really good [inaudible 00:25:29] to rank for. So we’re trying to win on that, because we know that people are looking for the fees. So we’re going to say, “Hey look, our luggage, you don’t have a fee if you buy it.” Content is always going to be big. And I think if you can rank for that, you can really make a massive blog from your website. I think it’s probably one of the better ways to win.

Kevin Urrutia : But again, another thing that we’re trying to do too is also program, such as, we know a big thing for flying is like how to get over the fear of flying, right? So we want to make like a program that sort of talks about this. Say, “Hey look, the program is going to cost you 800 bucks and we’re going to partner with an influencer in the space that…” YouTube has a lot of our videos, so you can just go to YouTube and say, “Hey look, [inaudible 00:26:04] makes a program for our luggage. We’ll pay you a royalty on it.” And then we sell that, and then once they get over the fear, hopefully they’ll buy a luggage, right? So think about content like that, that you can sort of tie into your brand.

Luke Peters: That’s such a good idea right there. That’s an awesome idea. So thanks for sharing that one. Hopefully audience, you guys have gained a lot from this, and you have a blueprint and something literally to use in your business, tactics and strategy.

Luke Peters: Kevin, you’ve been in so many different businesses, different industries also which is pretty cool. So it’d be interesting to hear what you see as your biggest mistake along the way and what you learned from it.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. Biggest mistakes along the way I think has been, at least for me, was just hiring people. I think that’s probably one of the hardest things you could do. And when I say hiring people, I think people, I used to not know what they meant by it. Because I’m like, “Okay, you just hire somebody,” and you’re like, “Okay, cool.” Like, stop. But you don’t realize the opportunity cost is a waste of time. When you hire somebody for the six months or a year, you really see that they didn’t help you improve your company or your business. And then that’s like a year that you’ll never get back. Because it’s usually not about the money, it’s more about like, “Oh man, they didn’t really do anything. We’re still in the same position we were a year ago. Damn, that sucks.” So [crosstalk 00:27:09]-

Luke Peters: That’s so funny.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned is like truly hiring somebody that’s great is really going to help you improve your business. And I’ve seen that through hiring great people, and I’m like, “Whoa, I can’t believe we’ve grown this fast. Greg was like a great hire.” Literally one person can make a difference. So one person, it’s like one person can’t kill your company, but eventually it sort of permeates through if you have somebody that’s bad, it’s like a lot of bad vibe. It’s very like voodoo-ish. But if bad vibes do kill the company, because like they’re just spreading negativity, right?

Luke Peters: Oh, yeah, for sure. In the culture. And you’re trying to build a great team, and the high level people want to work with other A-players. So one person like that, it will run them out the door.

Luke Peters: Tell me, do you have any tips on hiring? Or what’s worked for you that helped you kind of improve the percentage of success on hires?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah, I mean, for us, when we hire somebody, they go through four rounds of interviews. So basically the first one’s about 30 minutes. It’s all templatized into a template that we have in [inaudible 00:00:28:09]. So then the second one, we go through everywhere they worked at. So we go through everything on their resume that they put. [inaudible 00:28:16] tell them, “Hey, if I were to call your boss, what would they tell me about what you did here,” right? And then I do that after everything. And then the third one is about more detailed than what they do in like Facebook ads. We’ll go into like an account, say “Okay, how can you read the data?” And then I’ll see what how they think, right? More problem-solving.

Kevin Urrutia : And then the last one, which is like the most important, I tell people, is a reference check. I tell them, “Hey, give me the contact of the five people that you’ve worked with and let them know that I’m going to call them this week.” And then really that reference is like the best thing that you could ever do. I think most people don’t call references or they just say they do, but really during an interview, a person will tell you this, “Oh yeah, I did this for that company,” and you tell their boss, and like, “Oh no. They’re like part of the team. They didn’t start it,” Right? I’m like, “Oh, interesting,” Right? Yeah.

Luke Peters: You know what? There’s a book about this. Gosh, I wish I knew the name of this hiring book. But it’s [crosstalk 00:29:01]-

Kevin Urrutia : I think it’s the same book that I got it from. Yeah. It’s from a book, yeah.

Luke Peters: Oh, man. This thing’s on the tip of my tongue, but it’s like, your formula is very similar to how we do it. And I think you’re absolutely right. References, who they work for, not necessarily who an applicant put down. And when somebody is a rockstar, they’re going to tell you, who they reported to, what that person’s name is, they’re going to have that person’s cell phone, you know? Because they-

Kevin Urrutia : Exactly.

Luke Peters: … yeah, they built a relationship.

Kevin Urrutia : I think, probably after we’ve hired, I think people are like, “Oh, how do you know if they’re good?” I’m like, “If they’re good, you’ll know.” For example, when I call somebody and then they start off by, “Oh yeah, he’s a really nice person.” I’m like, “Okay. So I know they’re not good then because they’re already given me a warmup of that person.” Yeah, whereas for me, like when I have a good person, they’re like, “Oh, yeah, Jimmy was really good at executing this and this.” It’s not about the character, it’s about the work that they’ve outputted. I think some people get those confused. Everybody’s not… right? No one wants to be a mean person. But when someone starts of with like, “Hey, they were able to complete this task and task, and they also were able to get this dealership done,” I’m like, “All right, cool, they’ve actual done work.”

Luke Peters: Yeah, listen, those are great insights. So thanks for sharing that and kind of walking us through those steps. I think everybody’s always looking at how they can improve the hiring process.

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah, most important thing. Yeah. I think it sucks but you probably know [inaudible 00:30:16].

Luke Peters: There’s nothing more important. You’re building… It’s like, you know, I’m a sports fan and you’re building your team and that team, they’re going to be a lot better than you are at most of the areas. So at the end of the day, you’re literally building your team in that type of framework. So cool. I’m glad we got to talk about that.

Luke Peters: Listen, before I let you go, how can listeners find you or learn more about you or your business?

Kevin Urrutia : Yeah. The best way is just voymedia.com. So just check it out there. You can always contact me, kevin@voymedia, or you can always go to Amazon and just get my book. That’s another great way, so yes.

Luke Peters: Awesome. We’ll have links to all these things in the show notes. And man, this has been a lot of fun. So thanks for coming on, Kevin. And also want to thank everybody else for listening to this episode of The Page 1 Podcast, sponsored by Retail Band. And remember, if you’re a business owner in this situation and you wish you had an expert advisor to help you grow your brand online, also grow sales on Amazon, Wayfair, Home Depot or any of these other online channels, that’s what we can do for you. Find me on LinkedIn or email me at luke@retailband.com. Hope you enjoyed the interview today. Truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes. They really mean a lot and I hope you join us for the next interview.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to The Page 1 Podcast with Luke Peters. If you enjoyed this episode, please help us out by leaving us a rating on iTunes. Want to double your online sales? Check out www.retailband.com. And don’t forget to join us next week with our next amazing guest.


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Episode References:

Contact Kevin Urrutia: LinkedIn

Contact Luke: luke@retailband.comLinkedIn 

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