Sebastian Gomez became successful in the affiliate marketing space at a very young age and then decided to pivot to drop-shipping (which in 2016 was not so crowded). While doing multiple 7 figures with dropshipping sales, Sebastian became incredibly good with Facebook and Instagram ads and found a niche he could dominate: women’s fashion.
Gomez realized though that he was losing out big by not building a brand, and that people were not happily waiting 14 days to receive a product that was dropshipped. He was on the hamster wheel, and that is when he decided to go all in and use his experience and skills to start building a real ecommerce brand. Although he was making some money drop shipping, he realized that the REAL money is all in the long term. He decided to combine his passion for the culture of Costa Rica, his skills for selling women’s fashion, and his passion for helping rescued animals into TheLuxeLabel.com.
Gomez is a big time animal lover, and after his family rescued two street dogs and nursed them back to health, he decided that giving back to a cause that took care of Costa Rican street dogs would become a central part of his brand. Incorporating causes that you truly care about into your business is an amazing way to fuel your passion for your brand, and helps pull you through tougher times in your business towards your end-goal.
This is a great way to tie in passion to a niche that you might not previously have been overly engaged with, using business as a vehicle to support that cause. You can also pull an emotion into products and design and convey that to your customers to get passionate about too,
Having an incredible customer service team and a great customer experience has been a key to building his brand. He advises that you absolutely have to hire agents that can speak the language of the brand, a language and a tone that you must set as the founder and the brand director. Replying as fast as possible is extremely important, but beyond that having the right people on the team and having them speak the right way goes much farther. No matter how great your customer service is though, he advises that having an extremely fast and cohesive fulfillment process stops the majority of issues before they even occur.
Part of their brand experience includes putting in postcards and inserts that tell more of the story of their brand and they cause they are supporting. They also include stickers as a nice bonus gift to customers, and always ship in some great custom packaging like boxes from Lumi.com. Lumi has incredible videos on YouTube that show you how to design an incredible experience with packaging. Check out this playlist for some inspiration
To test out new products with their audience and in the market, Gomez prints on demand or in small batches. This sacrifices a little bit of their margin on the sale for these units but is an amazing way to validate a product without having to order a massive quantity and take a big risk. To make the decision on whether a product makes the cut, they take a look at the way different traffic sources will resonate with the product and what the CPA for each of those channels ends up being. Testing your products on multiple sales channels is the best way to get a clear picture of future product performance.
Influencer marketing has been crucial in building The Luxe Label brand, and the focus initially was just getting this product out and getting the social proof that other women were wearing and loving their apparel. This gave them a ton of user-generated content and visibility but wasn’t helping convert customers.
The real traction in sales began when they switched their model, and instead offered the influencer 40% off of the products, then a 20% off coupon for their customers and a 30-40% commission. The cost of sending out free product was becoming far too great in relation to sales, so creating a conversion focused strategy with the right incentives is really key to mass-influencer marketing with micro influencers.
Switching to a strategy where influencers need to pay for the product takes more messages and more work in order to find those who will purchase and promote, however in the end itis more profitable and you end up working with harder working ambassadors. Gomez built an influencer recruitment system where he has women who do all of the outreach for him and they are paid a commission for each influencer that they recruit.
This ensures he isn’t spending any time connecting with influencers, is building a massive database, and also that they are being approached by other women which makes it easier than himself as a man reaching out cold to someone he doesn’t know with a “business proposition”.
As with most entrepreneurs, Gomez was finding it difficult to offload and delegate tasks but realized that until you adopt a big picture mindset its simply impossible to build a big business without a system to do so. He likes to do everything himself for the first time, but then document the processes so he can hand that task off to someone else as soon as possible.
He starts his day by dividing his whiteboard into “things to do” and “thing to outsource”. Anything that is critical for him to do, or any new process that hasn’t been completed yet he will start to accomplish for the day, and everything else he will try and outsource. He prefers to hire people internally and look for extraordinary people rather than simply good people, and in order to accomplish this, you have to be very picky about who you work with.
Gomez and I both agree that having a very well organized Google Drive folder structure for your business, and a system for what goes exactly where is a huge efficiency hack. You have to be very clear exactly how everything is categorized within this folder with your team, otherwise, they will start to make their own organization patterns and things could get cluttered very quickly!
No matter how talented a graphic designer might be, having a brand director or a single designer responsible for everything creates a congruent and consistent brand image. Working with freelancers can help you get tasks done, but make it very hard to build a brand that is congruent and all towards the same vision and tone.
A great way to find a talented “brand master” is working through referrals to find someone who can be your full-time person, and who buys into the long term vision and helping create it.
Gomez said a massive key to being able to accomplish incredible amounts in short periods of time is creating a “power list”, which are 5-8 items that HAVE to be done each day. After that everything is a huge bonus, but you need to prioritize those most important things that you know are the most important to moving towards your vision