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SPI 749: The Roadmap to Your Million-Dollar Business This Year with Ryan Moran

The ecommerce market has changed — big players like Amazon are starting to favor traffic coming from creators like us!

Finding success with physical products isn’t about shady marketing tactics and gaming algorithms. You have a massive leg up if you’re using tried-and-true growth strategies like building a following and email list and engaging a community of superfans!

My guest today is the incredible Ryan Moran of Capitalism.com. He delivers a masterclass on creating a million-dollar business with ecommerce and physical products by leveraging the skills you likely already have.

This is a game-changing conversation — one hundred followers are all you need to get started with this strategy! Ryan shares his playbook and details every step, from figuring out your first product to using his traffic triangle to generate sales.

Don’t miss this powerful session, and go to Capitalism.com/pat to learn how entrepreneurs just like you are expanding into ecommerce!

Today’s Guest

Ryan Moran

Ryan Daniel Moran is the founder of Capitalism.com, where he helps entrepreneurs create product brands, get to 100 sales per day, and have a multi-million dollar exit. He is best known for turning a $600 investment into a $15 million exit, and his podcasts and videos have been downloaded over 10 million times. Ryan lives in Austin, TX where he loves to debate politics and religion, and his dream is to one day own the Cleveland Guardians.

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SPI 749: The Roadmap to Your Million Dollar Business This Year with Ryan Moran

Ryan Moran: That’s the play now. Build a small audience, and the minimum is about a hundred people. If you send that traffic over to Amazon, that is just enough to move the dial.

So the market has kinda come our way in the sense of you build a little bit of an audience first, you do it around people that you genuinely care about and want to serve, and if you do that, the process of building a million-dollar business actually gets condensed, and it can happen a lot faster.

Pat Flynn: What I love about our guest today is he says in this episode that you, the listener, who has started a brand, who has a following, who has an email list, you’ve done the hard part already. This person comes from an ecommerce background, and he’s gonna share with us how he’s helping entrepreneurs today create million dollar businesses. He’s gonna just lay out the road map for us. And coming out of this interview, I was left very inspired, and I think you will be too. But what he says is a lot of people who are in the ecommerce space who have these products, who are for sale on Amazon or or on their own websites on Shopify, they wish they had what we have. You, the listener and I. Brand or the ability to build an email list, the ability to create content. This is the stuff that we teach at SPI that many of you have to build communities. Right? Focusing on people first and offering them a physical product is the opportunity we all have.

And so let’s talk with Ryan Moran today from Capitalism.com. He helps and even invests in companies to help them do this. And he’s got some incredible success stories today. But more than that, he shows us how this can be done even with just a hundred people. And a niche focused physical product is the way to a million dollar business.

So let’s let’s unpack this. Let’s see how this works. Here he is. Ryan Moran from Capitalism.com

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he’s fast approaching one million subscribers for his Pokemon YouTube channel, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Ryan, welcome Back to the SPI podcast. It has been way too long, my friend.

Ryan Moran: It’s really good to see you, Pat. This community has been so gracious to me for many years now, and I appreciate them so much, and excited to be back with them.

Pat Flynn: A lot of the audience resonates with your style of teaching and and what you offer.

You’ve had a lot of different kinds of businesses under your wing. You’ve helped many other businesses succeed extremely well. Ryan invited me to speak at his event a long time ago. Do we remember what year that was?

Ryan Moran: 2015. It was my first ever big event.

Pat Flynn: 2015. I And Gary v spoke at that event. I mean, it was it was a tremendous event, and you were gracious enough to sponsor FlynnCon in 2019. I think that was the last time we connected.

Yes. That’s right. And I know even at that event, people connected with you and have gotten a ton of value from from what you have to offer from there.

Ryan Moran: That was fun because all we did was set up a booth and say, Let’s just go through your business. We didn’t have anything for sale.

We didn’t collect any email addresses. We were just saying, where do you need help, And how do we, you know, bring some support to what you’re learning at FlynnCon? That was really fun.

Pat Flynn: That was really amazing. You know, before people spoke to you, they were like, what are they selling?

Like, what’s their brand? And and she’s like, it’s just Ryan. Like, go chat with him. And then and they’re like, well, that was super valuable. I think that was a super smart move, and I love how you take these unique approaches to things like that.

But before we get into a lot of the discussion about the future, because you and I both can jam on a lot of sort of where we’re at now and actual optimism for what’s to come, I think, and I’d love to know what has happened in the missing parts of the story that I don’t have access to for you. Where are you at now in business and in life? And just kinda give us a quick rundown on on how things are going.

Ryan Moran: Yeah. When I was last on the show back in almost ten years ago, Pat, I didn’t have kids back then, and I have two of them now.

So wow, it was almost ten years ago that I was first on SPI I was building ecommerce brands following a very predictable playbook of getting four products to twenty five sales a day at a thirty dollar price point. You run the numbers on that, and that’s a million dollar business. And that’s a predictable model that I’m yet to find anybody that can’t figure out what four products they can get to twenty five sales a day at a thirty dollar price point.

And that was my first ever million dollar business. I had been an affiliate marketer for a long time. I had done SEO and pay per click and consulting and all the stuff that most entrepreneurs are trying when they’re first starting out, and they’re trying to just have some freedom, just like you and I both were when we got into this game. And that company that I started back in two 2013 is a company called Sheer Strength Labs. My business partner and I scaled to about a ten million dollar run rate, and that was the biggest company that I ever built at that time.

And we got an offer from a private equity group, and we sold for sixteen million dollars. That was a huge financial win. We didn’t get all that money up front. We had to carry some of that back. And that story has a interesting ending, which I’ll share in a second.

Okay. But since I sold that company, I started a fund called the Capitalism Fund. My full time focus now is Capitalism.com, where I help entrepreneurs launch their brands, get to a hundred sales a day, and have a multimillion dollar exit. But I started a fund to invest in the businesses that are coming from my community. So we have all of these entrepreneurs that are starting businesses following that playbook of four products to twenty five sales a day at a thirty dollar price point.

And I mentored all these entrepreneurs that came through that model, and they had really sizable exits, but I was just teaching. I was just coaching. I was just mentoring. Now I come on as an investment partner, and I advise them, and my team helps them actually get past that seven figure run rate and have a multimillion dollar exit. Just to complete the story, the private equity group that bought my company went bankrupt.

They bankrupted my company. They did everything wrong. I got away from my thesis and my playbook, and last year, I bought that company back for four cents on the dollar. Wow. So I am also now showing my model by redoing the company that I did publicly, and now I’m redoing it publicly.

And that is a journey all on its own, but my primary focus now is the fund and investing in people who use this playbook that I talk about about building your first seven figure company and then helping mentor them towards a sizable exit while I take my old company and hopefully turn it around into something that was bigger than it ever was.

Pat Flynn: Dude, that’s an incredible story. What was it like to see your business that you had sold that you’d put so much time and effort into and grow to a certain point. What was it like to see another company just kind of, like, burn it to the ground, essentially?

Ryan Moran: Well, On one hand, it was really heartbreaking. If you’ve ever built a company before, it’s your baby. It you put your your blood, sweat, and tears into it. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I remember getting the notice in the mail, the notice of bankruptcy, and it felt like this very official document of bad news. And it was delivered to my house because I was a shareholder and basically saying, your shares are worthless.

And that was sad and also hard financially because I had millions of dollars in expected future payments that I thought were gonna come to me. And I had sort of made some financial decisions thinking that this company that told me that they were gonna grow it to fifty million dollars and have a second exit, I was hoping for that. That was a a real blow financially as well. But the positive side of it was seeing that this stuff that we know about building audiences, about being good to our customers, building communities of raving fans, this is actually more effective than what the big professionals know how to do.

They look at spreadsheets. They look at expected value. They run pro formas. I I still don’t quite understand what that term means, but the stuff that we do, the the actual grit and grind and mud that we go through, this is actually, what builds really valuable companies. And it was, in a way, a shot in the arm of saying, I think I might actually be good at this.

I think there might be more to this game that we play of entrepreneurship that is better than or more effective than the playbook that the big guys and girls run. And so what happens if we learn their game and we sprinkle it a little bit into our podcast audiences and our followings and the people who watch our content and the products that we sell, we could play a much bigger game. So it was eye opening to see how powerful the strategies and the marketing tactics that we know and teach and love, how effective they can be as long as you lean on that, you build real companies around it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. And that’s something you’ve always been good at. So it seems like that company kinda got away From that, I mean, we don’t need to get necessarily into how things happen, but here you are now building a backup using the strategies that you do know. I mean, what a discount on the business that you sold, so that’s great. And you get to use it as a case study. If we all wanted to follow that case study, where would we go to kinda see where you’re at? And and where are you at with that right now?

Ryan Moran: Yeah. I mean, right before we hopped on this podcast, I was having a meeting with the team saying, alright. What’s the thesis that we’re testing first? Because it were early in that process, and turnarounds are harder than new starts. So I feel challenged right now, Pat.

And and I I feel a pressure. Like, I did it once. Can we do it again? And so I’m I’m sharing that journey on my YouTube channel and on my podcast, which is called Capitalism.com, but it’s early, and and, like, honestly, I’m kinda scared. I’m scared about publicly failing.

I’m scared about what if some of the strategies don’t work as well like they did the last time? Yeah. Yeah. There’s I I feel like there’s more riding on it, so It’s a different level of, not risk, but it is challenging me on how much to share and how open and vulnerable. And There’s a benefit to that, and there’s a risk to that as well.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. For sure. Especially with something like that. But what an amazing story that is still being written. So Everybody go to capitalism dot com or, you know, listen to Ryan’s podcast or check out his YouTube channel to follow that journey.

I’d love to know you had mentioned this formula that you had once taught about, you know, twenty five sales per day for four products and and that kind of situation. Is that That that’s mostly ecommerce based and Amazon. And is that the sort of yeah, I think I remember you teaching the, you know, white labeling a product from Alibaba getting that in and then kind of making sure you know? And and that whole strategy, is that strategy still play out today, or has the strategy changed with a lot of the companies that you are investing in from your community, what what is working today, generally speaking, and and how has that strategy changed?

Ryan Moran: Well, the math the beautiful thing about math is that it rarely changes. Right. So four products at twenty five sales a day is still a hundred sales a day. And at a thirty dollar price point, that’s still three thousand dollars a day in sales, ninety thousand dollars a month, and about one point one million dollars in top line revenue.

And that is still a huge accomplishment for an entrepreneur like I was that had never built a million dollar business before. And that’s also the point at which you have a company that has enough value to where if you wanted to have an exit, if you want to sell a company, that’s the level that you play at in order to have a life changing amount. Now, it will obviously be more if it’s a bigger company, but that’s kind of the minimum benchmark to have a sizable exit. But the strategy has changed some, and the good news is that it’s kind of come our way a little bit. So back in two 2015-2016, the play for ecommerce brands, meaning selling physical stuff, food, supplements, beauty, pet care, canoes, accessories, physical stuff that we all buy.

The play was to put it on Amazon, to grind your way in the algorithm, to get organic keyword rankings, to get reviews so that your conversions were high, run Amazon Pay Per Click, and you would win. And that playbook does still work, it’s just way more competitive now. Yeah. Here is what has changed the most, and where people like you and I and people who create content or have blogs or email lists or podcasts, this is where we have a leg up. The difference today is that Amazon now rewards outside traffic more than they value anything else.

So if you have an email list in the fitness space and you launch a with some weight lifting belts or you sell supplements or protein shakes or shakers or blood pressure readers or whatever it is that would be in service to your audience. If you have an audience of people that are the ideal buyers for that, you have them on an email list or they follow you on Instagram, if you then collect them into what I call a hot list, a place where you put them and you’re communicating with them and documenting the journey about the launch of this product, if you send that outside traffic to Amazon, Amazon rewards that on a weighted basis. So that outside traffic actually gives you momentum in the Amazon algorithm, whereas before, it was just wherever you took a sale, Amazon would reward that, specifically, if you search for a keyword, you clicked on a listing, and you bought it, that was how you ranked in the algorithm. But now it’s changed where Amazon rewards that outside flow because Amazon wants the new customers and they want to be the priority as the shopping channel. So if you have an email list and you send them over to Amazon for your listing, it gives you extra juice.

And, of course, now, ten years later, Amazon has more options and better conversion rates, and more people are used to buying on Amazon, so the conversion rates are even higher, but that’s the play now. The play is actually to build a small audience, And the minimum is about a hundred people. If you have a hundred people ready and waiting a product ready and waiting for a product, Whether you already have that audience or you build a new audience, if you send that traffic over to Amazon, that is just enough to move the dial and start start to get some organic rankings on Amazon, get to twenty five sales a day, and then repeat the process three more times until you have four products doing twenty five sales a day at thirty dollar price point. So the market has kinda come our way in the sense of you build a community first, you build an a little bit of an audience first, you do it around people that you genuinely care about and want to serve, and then you launch the product. And that’s the momentum that is working right now to still get to twenty five sales a day on every product within about sixty to ninety days.

And if you do that, the process of building a million dollar business actually gets condensed, and it can happen a lot faster.

Pat Flynn: This is so great to hear. I mean, this is the way it should be. Yes. You know, building an audience and having fans and then serving them with something.

And what I love about this too is my mind immediately went to the old model, and it’s like, I remember that model. I remember trying that model, and it’s like you have no connection to who it is you’re serving. Like, the the buyer at the the the end of the road is, like, you you don’t even know who they are. You don’t get a list of those buyers unless you do some further work to send them an email and hopefully get the reply or in a book or in your product including a little note card that says, hey. By the way, you can get more of this.

Join my email list from here. No. Now we’re building the email list, all the stuff that you and I have taught for, you know, over a decade now. Yes. And by utilizing that, you already know who those people are.

You know how to Serve them, you know, that the language to use and you know when they purchase that that’s the end of a whole conversation, but then the start of a new journey into more. Right? You could serve That same person with those four specific products, and I’m guessing that’s kinda what happens because you built a very niche audience and a hundred people to start. I mean, that’s that’s nothing.

Ryan Moran: And and it’s enough. It it really is enough to get the the snowball rolling. And what’s what’s kind of funny and ironic is the the people who are obsessed with ecommerce and the Amazon platform, they think audience building is magic. They have a really hard time figuring out the audience building side because they’re so used to just making the sale, going right to the transaction. Product first.

Yes. Exactly. It’s product first. But if you’re a content creator or you have a blog that ranks for keywords or you have a social media following, you naturally think about person first. You think about connection first.

You think about community first. And that is the hardest part for a lot of ecommerce entrepreneurs because they’ll think about selling canoe paddles, and then they’re thinking about, wait, who is the target buyer? And they go into demographics. I think it’s a A man thirty five to forty five who likes the outdoor, and and it’s really hard for them to reverse engineer and pick the person that they wanna serve. But when you’re a content creator, you kinda naturally think about blogging about the outdoors, having a podcast about taking vacations with your family.

You think about the content on Instagram where you’re showing your vacation, you’re showing what you do outside. Now you take that traffic And where a lot of people would monetize that with ads or with affiliate sponsorships, they now put that into an email hot list, And they launch a product to them, and they just crush all of the e com experts, and it’s really hard to copy because you’ve gotta be genuine. Yeah. And people like us naturally go there because we’re thinking about person first. So you have a secret advantage, And you’re actually ahead of the market if you’ve been building an audience or creating content that’s specific for a person, and now you can launch physical products that don’t just build you a seven figure business, although it can and will do that.

More importantly, it actually amplifies your brand. So if you think about Dave Asprey ten, fifteen years ago Bulletproof. Right? Yeah. Bulletproof.

He cut his teeth with this blog called the Bulletproof Executive. It was a podcast and a blog where he was talking about biohacking and putting butter in your coffee. But then a few years later, he launched an organic coffee roast that was supposedly mold free. I don’t even know if that’s a real thing, but it was the product that served his person. And if he wanted to be a product brand, his follow-up product would have been a dark roast or a decaf.

But then he launched his own MCT oil, And then it was upgraded MCT oil, and then it was protein bars. And now he sells ten thousand dollar vibes that you stand on, and, I don’t know. Like, blesses your chi or something. I I don’t know how that works. But but now he’s got this this brand called Bulletproof that is probably worth a billion dollars.

Mark Sisson did the exact same thing. Mark Sisson had a blog called MarksDailyApple.com. And he just blogged about the paleo diet, and then he launches a condiment company selling barbecue sauce and mustard and ketchup, and he sells for two hundred million dollars four years later. So the real play is to have the audience first and then to launch the products, which builds you the company that is separate from the content. So you can keep the content engine running. You can keep selling courses.

You can keep making money as an affiliate or selling ads, but now you’ve got a real company that has true enterprise value that you can grow to a million dollars and beyond and maybe even sell someday, and it amplifies your brand, it doesn’t compromise it. And that is something that a lot of us entrepreneurs struggle with is how much do we serve, and how much do we try to, you know, give the right hook? And and I think building a brand as an extension allows you to do both really well.

Pat Flynn: You’ve mentioned right hook. I mean, that comes from Gary Vee’s lexicon.

Right? Jab, jab, jab, right hook. And it’s interesting because I and I think we mentioned we were talking about this before we hit record. It’s like Gary’s message before was, like, build a media company. Right?

Yes. You know? And then that includes the ads and not, like, writing content, not even necessarily with personality behind it or or a person or a brand, but just, like, media. But now it’s, like, community first. Like, you’re still creating, but with the person in mind, and then the products come after.

And there’s, there’s so many things I wanna ask you about this. The first thing that came to mind were brands personal brands who did this, but then failed because they weren’t genuine. And showing you the power of still being able to do this, but you have to be a person to actually wanna help your audience. There was a couple examples. There was the the Liver King who got famous on TikTok and Instagram because he was just jacked, but he said his diet was eating, like, liver and just raw meat.

Right? What a way to get a lot of eyeballs. And then, of course, he launched these products, but then later confessed that he was actually on steroids. Right? And then it’s just brand failed, so he wasn’t genuine.

There was a woman who created a pink sauce on TikTok. It was like a pink colored sauce that could go on anything, and it was yummy apparently. And she shared the recipe. People loved it. So she worked with the company to bottle it up and sell it, but then people started getting sick, and she didn’t care about the fact that, you know, there were raw eggs in this thing and this it wasn’t keeping very well.

So anyway, you gotta do your due diligence, which which leads me to this next question, which is, like, physical products, especially for my audience, are a little bit new. Right? They know and they have seen the SwitchPod come out, and that was amazing, and that’s still doing very, very well. So this is possible, people. I’ve done it too.

Ryan’s done it many times. His students have done it even more. But if a person has a brand, they have the leg up, the unfair advantage of having that audience already, what might be the best place to start to investigate If or what that first product might be.

Ryan Moran: Yeah. Great question. So the the first part is knowing that you don’t have to have a completely unique product. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can sell the exact same thing that other brands sell, which can often be white labeled from any number of different manufacturers. At this point, the Amazon Marketplace and ecommerce is big enough. Most manufacturers know how to work with that.

They are used to that, And they have products sitting on the shelves that you can put your own label on and you can call it your brand, but here is the key if you’re gonna do that. If you’re gonna do that, then you need to make the brand specific to a person. You can sell the same exact product as somebody else, but make it directed towards your ideal person that you want to serve, and it will get its own audience. If you think about a supplement, for example, a supplement can have benefits for men that are different than the benefits for women. So if you have a women centered audience, the way that you communicate the benefits of that product are going to be specific to your person, And that creates its own brand.

For example, we talked about Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple, the Primal Kitchen was his company. He had a condiment company that was specific to the paleo diet. It wasn’t like there was a lack of ketchup companies. It’s not like there was a lack of condiments in the marketplace, but there was one underserved demographic or psychographic that didn’t feel like they had their place, meaning they might still buy ketchup from other companies, But this was the brand that was for them. This was the brand that was specific for them.

They went and bought that specific one because it talked to them. A controversial example will illustrate the point. You might have seen the launch of Jeremy’s Razors a couple of years ago. Now, they basically launched a razor company for Republicans, and they thumbed their nose at the media and said how they were being targeted in the media, and you should buy our razors. If you watch their ads, they’ll even say that their product is very similar to a lot of the other big companies out there, but this was the razor for that audience.

When they launched that business, they had ten million dollars in recurring revenue within a weekend, and they didn’t even have product ready yet. Wow. It wasn’t about the product. It was about the person that you serve. It was about speaking to their values.

It was representing something that you want to create in the world that your target audience also wants to resonate with. That customer was buying from Gillette or Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club, And now they had an option to buy a brand that reflected their own beliefs and their own values. So you can go and create a brand new product from scratch, kinda like you did, but you don’t have to do that. You can just create a brand that is specific to a target person, and that is what goes out and calls all those people who resonate to be your raving fans. That’s what calls them to the forefront to become your customers.

Pat Flynn: I love that, dude. Inventing something new is hard and expensive. Can be. Yeah. The SwitchPod was not cheap.

A lot of that money from the Kickstarter campaign was used to just manufacture the thing and make the molds, that was difficult. I mean, we took the most difficult route for sure, but you’re right. We could have found an existing tripod, for example, that did basically what ours did, and it was already made, and work with the manufacturer then put our name on it. And that’s what white labeling is. That’s right.

Interesting story, our second product, it’s always great to have a follow-up or an accessory or something to go along with the first one, there’s a ball head that goes on top of the SwitchPod that we did not invent. That, Caleb found when he was in China looking to make sure the quality of the SwitchPod that we invented were good. He was like, hey. What are these ball heads over here? Oh, yeah.

We can make those for you. You just put your name on it. These are great. Pick one that you like, and we found the best one that made sense. And the circular bottom of it was the same size as the top of our SwitchPod, and we just put our name on it.

It’s one of our best selling products, and now we can bundle it and package it. And it was already made. And it’s specific for our audience because it does certain things for vertical camera usage and with iPhones and Androids and stuff. So anyway, not to get into too much detail.

Ryan Moran: I wanna edify something that you did really well here.

Maybe not even thinking about it. But a lot of people who have audiences, podcasts, YouTube, email list, blog, they’ll often try to think about what product is going to resonate with all of my people. All of them. Mhmm. I’ve got a hundred thousand followers.

How do I create the product that all of them are gonna love? But the way that you build a brand that really takes off is by asking the question, what would five to ten percent of my audience just go bananas for. So there’s a chance that the affiliate marketers and the SEO bloggers who listen to your show didn’t buy a SwitchPod, but the people who are making video and audio content went bananas for it. And that is how people with Any audience at all can feel a little bit freed up to play on the thing that they wanna create in the world that’s specific for a person by choosing not what is going to resonate with everybody, but the small few that are going to be first in line, buy on prelaunch, eager to give you a review, feel like they found the brand that was for them, and you can do a lot of damage with a few hundred or a few thousand really happy first in line customers.

Pat Flynn: That’s great. And that’s a huge relief for people who might be thinking about going down this route. I mean, you don’t need a lot of people, and you don’t need to serve everybody. You just need to be clear. This serves this group. If you are in this group, hopefully, the copy is good and just it’s very clear even just by looking at it.

That’s the beauty that I found with physical products. It’s so much easier to show that the thing that you made for them is for them or not versus, you know, like a digital product. It’s like, okay. Now I gotta, you know, write a whole sales page to help a person discover whether this thing works or not. And then the joy of a person purchasing that thing and then using it right away and getting the value is also what’s what I love about the physical part.

It’s just it’s just a little bit harder. Absolutely. I’m curious to know your thoughts on because we’re talking about audiences and building your own, getting in front of other people’s audiences for your product is just as powerful. And is that a part of a strategy that you offer? How how would you recommend a person who maybe they have a small group and and they are selling a product, but Would it be wise to also connect with other people in the space who could benefit, and and what does that partnership look like?

Is it a an affiliate thing? Are they, You know, do they do we give them a share of the company to help promote our product since they might have a bigger audience and it’s also relevant? Like, what are your thoughts on collaborations for a physical product.

Ryan Moran: I’ll tell you what we do inside of our fund, and then I’ll tell you what I recommend that most people do. Because it might be a little bit advanced for people who are just getting started when I share what we do in the fund.

Okay. But inside the fund, what we look for is we have a right now, we have a brand that sells High protein, low sugar snacks. Great company. They’re called Sinless Snacks. They have rice crispy treats that are sugar free or one gram of sugar.

It tastes just like Rice Krispies Treats. They’re amazing. And what we did with that brand is we partnered with one of the three keto influencers that are still relevant, you know, most of them have gone away because keto’s not hot anymore, But there’s a few that still exist that have growing audiences. And so we reached out to one of them that we thought would match this brand, and we created a deal in which we sponsor his audience just like another brand would say, hey, we’re gonna pay you to talk about our products and our brand.

So we we have the same deal, except the money that we pay that influencer is in equity. It’s in shares instead of just a straight fee. I don’t like partnerships with influencers or or them holding it up and saying, I like this product, and this is a sponsored post. I like when an influencer says, I’m part of this company. I believe in this company.

I’m an owner in this company. I advise this company. I helped with this formulation. I used this product myself. That is a really, really powerful endorsement.

Yeah. Now it takes longer because you gotta build relationships. You gotta treat it like a partnership because it is. But that influencer wins because it makes him look good to his audience rather than it being something that he’s just endorsing and sending people away from the platform and he’s getting paid for it. Theoretically, hopefully, he will make way more money as a shareholder than he would make from the few thousand dollars that we would pay them to talk about the product once.

And it’s good for us because we’re getting more really happy customers that are coming directly from the ideal audience. So everyone wins I love that one, in that type of a scenario. So that’s how we do it. To someone who’s just starting, what I recommend is you want a raving fan to see you in three different places.

That’s where it crosses over in your brain to have a trust factor. So if you work with somebody, they’re a coworker. If you sometimes go out for dinner after work, They’re a coworker that you have dinner with sometimes. But if they come over and watch football on Sunday, now they’re a friend because you’ve seen them in three different places. So We put our members through something called the traffic triangle.

The traffic triangle is how we get raving fans to see us in three different places. So we need one area of exposure that is either content creation or it’s going out and doing interviews and podcasts and getting the word out. So it could also be ads if you’re spending money on advertising, but some way to get the word out, some way of exposure. For most people, that’s content creation. The second is some sort of we call it a hopper, but that’s really the community.

That’s a Facebook group, A Slack group. For me, it’s actually my YouTube channel because that’s where I’m really engaging with my audience and putting long form content. So where I’m getting face to face with our people, a place where we’re engaging with them. And then we have one more place, and it’s we call it the conversion mechanism. Fancy way of saying email list.

Email is still the number one highest converting platform. SMS is starting to get there, but email is still the fastest, simplest, and most effective. And we run a process where you create content or you go on a podcast to get your name out there and you get brand awareness that way, you send them over to an email list. And on the thank you page, you invite them into your community. In doing that, you always have a process for getting new eyeballs, getting them onto your email list and then putting them into a community where you can engage with them.

That is a very powerful way to build that first group of launch buyers that takes you to at least a hundred people, probably more like a thousand people, and that is more than you need in order to launch that first product and get it to twenty five sales a day. So that’s how that process starts.

Pat Flynn: A point of clarification, when, for example, a brand is a guest on another podcast. What’s the call to action to go and join the email list? Is it get savings?

Is it a lead magnet of sorts? What’s the strategy there?

Ryan Moran: When you’re first starting out, the thing that we tell people is to set up a first in line list. First in line list means the product isn’t even ready yet, but you’re gonna be the first to know about it when it launches. So if you have a physical product and you’re documenting the journey, you’re doing content about you showing you’re using it for the first time or you’re at the manufacturer and you’re seeing your first prototype or you get a piece of feedback from somebody that beta tested it And it wasn’t so good, and you’re saying what you’re gonna do about it.

During that prelaunch process, you send I recommend you send everybody to a first in line list, and that is just building up the waiting list of people who are ready to buy it once the product is ready. It’s very effective. Once you have launched, Then you can either do a lead magnet. For example, in my brand, Sure Strength, I’m writing a book called From Dad Bod to Father Figure, And it’s the transformation that I went through after my hormones were whacked, after I put on weight, and the doctors that I saw to say, like, what’s going on here? Can you get rid of my dad bod?

That transformation is what we’re putting into a book that will serve as a lead magnet to get our ideal people. So you can either send them to a lead magnet, or the simplest way, if you have no other ideas, is you just do some sort of a discount. You’ll hear this on podcasts a lot when people say this podcast is brought to you by AG 1 and if you go AG1.com/tim, you can save twenty percent or whatever it is. That’s the easiest way if you don’t have any other way to get people onto your list.

Pat Flynn: And that’s, of course, after you have the product available. But I love the idea of a first in line list, and that speaks to the fact that marketing happens before the product comes out. Oh, yeah. Right? And it sounds like that’s a part of the program, and and you teach people to, like, share the journey and be public about it.

And that’s something that I’ve always done, obviously, so I really resonate with that. For the person who is like Ryan, this sounds good, but I don’t wanna share, like, the mistakes that I’m making and, like, it’s like, you know, wouldn’t a competitor come in and copy me if I do this? Like, how would you respond to somebody who’s kinda pushing back on that sort of just, like, opening the factory doors before the product’s even out there kinda thing.

Ryan Moran: Well, I’ll just tell you a story. There’s a member of our community.

Their names are Ryan and Christina Tim, and they were running this margarita like, a low sugar margarita mix company for a long time that was doing okay, but it had never crossed seven figures. And they were either gonna scrap it or do something new, and they’re trying to figure out what to do. And we took their processes and we put them into the traffic triangle, and they wanted to launch a new wing of the company that was low sugar syrups. It’s kind of like I can’t remember the name. Tostani.

You know you know those those Syrups that you pump that Yeah. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about. Right? Yeah.

Yeah. All of those are either super sugary or they have artificial sweeteners. Well, from their margarita mix company, they had some of the formulations to be able to do something like this, but it’d be sugar free and naturally sweetened. So they just started sharing this with their audience by saying, we’re thinking about going in this direction, and we need your feedback. And they put everybody into a Facebook group, and it was only I wanna say it was one hundred and fifty people.

So a small, tiny segment of their audience, and they just got feedback from this group. Like, we’re we wanna go in this direction. What do you wanna see? What flavors do you wanna see? What sweeteners are important to you?

Which ones would you never buy? And it was just a feedback group. And at the same time, they’re building up their launch list, and they’re documenting the journey of just trying it and testing it and saying, dude, this one tastes terrible. We’re not gonna launch this. Oh, we just delayed our launch by six weeks because this one doesn’t taste very good.

That is so bonding with your ideal people. It’s even to this day, Pat, I mean, you’ve probably experienced this. When I share what I’m struggling with, it’s tempting to when you’re making content to act like you got it all together. Friends, I do not have it all together. You know, I I have plenty of bad days, And I too don’t wanna share that stuff publicly, but when it’s relevant to my audience, it makes the people who are struggling with the same thing feel seen, makes them feel like they’re part of the process.

And so what Ryan and Tricina, Tim did is they just documented that whole journey, And then the product wasn’t even ready yet, so they prelaunched it, and they did over a hundred thousand dollars in preorders in the first six weeks. Still blows my mind. It might be a record for our community that they launched that company. Like, took their first sale in November of 2022. Their first full year will be 2023.

They’re on pace for two million this year. Brand new business Incredible. Didn’t exist a year ago, And they’re gonna surpass two million dollars. So even if you don’t wanna share all the losses, Just sharing the journey of we’re trying this, we’re testing this. Sounds like you guys like this.

What do you think about this? We had one of our brands actually talk about Liver King since you brought them up. Talk about they had a competitive company and they said, what do you think about this? And people gave their feedback, And it made them more bonded to that brand. And then you can either prelaunch the product and get feedback, and prelaunch buyers are great for feedback.

They tend to be more forgiving because they know they’re buying v1, and that can be the starting fuel that you need in order to place that first inventory order to get those initial reviews and to get the momentum that you need to get that product twenty five sales a day.

Pat Flynn: Man, So good, Ryan. What? Isn’t it? Dude, it’s it’s like every time I talk to you and people like you, I’m just like, man, I wanna start something new again, and I know I shouldn’t.

Ryan Moran: You’re my best friend too, Pat.

Pat Flynn: Because, I mean no, dude. I appreciate this so much. That company that you just mentioned, they’re a part of the community, and you’re an investor in that company now, and you, like, you own shares of that company. Like, that’s is that one one example of them?

Ryan Moran: They they declined me. They didn’t need my money. So they’re they’re just a member. I did offer, and I hope they come around one day. But that that is my hope in teaching this stuff and working with these brands is that Once they launch and they get to at least, you know, a mid six figure run rate, that’s where I can pull out, like, the secret weapons that I develop from my relationships and my network and yeah. Yeah.

Investors that I know where I we can make the process happen a lot faster. But from a teaching and a mentoring perspective, what we do is we teach the model. We introduce people to the manufacturers that they need. We give them the strategies. We sometimes introduce them to people they need to know, get them to that launch so they have a six figure run rate, and then we’re looking at, okay, who do we invest in, who do we mentor, Hopefully, and take them to an eight figure exit.

Pat Flynn: Okay. That’s really awesome. So they’re not even in that program, that particular part of the program, but you’re still able to serve them in there kinda on their own.

Ryan Moran: But they’re a member of the program, but but I don’t own anything in the company. They didn’t take my capital.

Right? They did all their own. All credit goes to them.

Pat Flynn: I love that. If a person is listening to this and they’re like, Ryan, I wanna explore, you know, there’s a little bit more.

Obviously, Capitalism.com and check out Ryan’s YouTube channel and such. But if they, you know, can imagine a scenario where they did wanna work with you in that capacity or, you know, be a member or even one day have you help and support their company as a shareholder. Like, what process is that like? And, I mean, how do you vet? Is there an application?

I’m just curious.

Ryan Moran: Yeah. So I I don’t wanna pitch anything, but the the what we do is put them through a process. That program is called the Capitalism Incubator, and that process takes them through the same thing that we would do if we were an investor in terms of what we look at in the company, what levers we need to pull in order to get you more valuable. And then when we see somebody starting to move in that direction and getting results, we might come in as an investor.

If somebody’s just starting out, though, the most, like, cost effective way that I can serve them is to just grab a copy of my book, which is called Twelve Months to One Million, best place for people to get started. But if they’re looking for an exit, well, I’ll just say this. My personal email is [email protected], If you wanna run an actual deal by me.

Pat Flynn: Okay. I hope you’re okay sharing that publicly here on the podcast.

Ryan Moran: I might regret that one.

Pat Flynn: No. Ryan, dude, this has been amazing. And and as always, whenever you connect with the audience whether directly, like, at FlynnCon or even here on the podcast, like, you always provide so much value, and I and I appreciate you for that. I’m sorry that we hadn’t connected between the last time and now.

I don’t know why we’ve waited so long, but this has been a a a tremendous way to catch up and also just kinda hear what you got going on. And I’m just Really stoked for you and and and the future of just entrepreneurship in general. Like, I think this podcast should give a lot of hope to people out there because it is. There are ways to do this right. Right?

And I love where the world is going and how a lot of things like, even Amazon is rewarding, you know, people for doing the right thing and kind of, You know, organic. And I know there’s always gonna be sort of, like, ways to gain things. Like, I would imagine that there’s, you know, link farms and other things that are, you know, kind of not making it great for some places, but you’re one of the good guys, and I appreciate you coming on and and sharing this. And we’ll thank you. Put all the links in the show notes for everybody.

Any final words of advice or Anything inspirational to to to finish off with?

Ryan Moran: Yes. I wanna share one story. A few years ago, actually, when you and I met in person for the first We met in the Philippines, actually. And I had a conversation with you, and you inspired me to pursue a passion project that was making a documentary.

And I remember this. Someone connected me to a filmmaker to record a documentary, And he was just perfect for the project. And we met in person, and we decided to do the project. And he flew to Austin, and we were having dinner together. And he said his name’s Judson Morgan.

And Judson said at dinner, he’s like, hey. I have a secret that I’ve been keeping from you. I know we’ve had a couple conversations, but I I have a secret I need to share with you. Alright? Weird.

He said, when I got the call from the person that put us in touch, they asked me if I would be interested in this project, and they told me that there was this Austin based Internet entrepreneur who wanted to make a documentary about him struggling with his faith. And he said I laughed at myself, and I jokingly said, is it Ryan Moran? And the guy said, oh, you know about this project? And I said, no. No.

I don’t know the guy. I just heard him on Pat Flynn’s podcast, And I started a physical products brand that is now a million dollar business. A what? So this man hears me on your podcast, starts a business that gets to a million dollars, and we did a documentary together, and we didn’t know each other. And I didn’t know that part of the story.

That’s crazy. About a year and a half ago, Judson sold that business for twenty million dollars. And so he heard me on your podcast and had never heard about the idea of starting a physical products brand or what ecommerce was. And he listened to the show, and he built a business that made him very, very wealthy. It completely changed his life.

And, and we made a documentary together. I got seen by, like, nine people. And so being on your show changed his life and mine in ways that we couldn’t have predicted. That is amazing. If it’s okay with you, I I did this when I was first on your show, and I was amazed at the response.

I put up a a page with just case studies that I thought would be relevant for your audience, like Judson’s, and I’ll put the Tim’s on there. And I was amazed the amount of feedback that I got from your show. So if it’s okay with you, I’ll put the list of case studies that I think will be relevant for them over at Capitalism.com/pat, and there won’t be anything for sale on there. It’ll just have the case studies of people that I think would be relevant, people who built audiences, People who are affiliate marketers, people who had podcasts and then launched a brand and had some success with it. And, hopefully, that inspires you to at least think bigger about how valuable what you’ve already created is.

And if building a brand to amplify that makes sense for you, then I hope this inspires you to do that.

Pat Flynn: Capitalism.com/pat. Head over there now. Ryan, thank you so much. This was an absolute pleasure.

I appreciate you, man.

Ryan Moran: Great to see you, Pat. Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Wow. I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ryan.

Again, if you wanna check him out and check out the case studies for businesses like we just talked about today, Capitalism.com/pat. Now all the links and resources will be on our show notes page at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session749. But what a way to start the year. And it’s interesting because we very rarely talk about ecommerce and physical products, although we will likely be talking about it more, especially as we start to insert more EIRs into our program, experts and residents who focus on that thing that the SPI Pro members can get access to. But even just access to this episode today should spark something for you.

And it’s interesting because, like I was saying, we don’t talk about this very often. But when we do, we always have such incredible success stories from businesses that have started after listening to these episodes. And I imagine this one will be something that’ll fit into that camp as well. There was a couple who came on in episode ninety nine to talk about arbitrage and Amazon FBA. And Ryan’s come on, and we just heard a success story coming on from from that.

And then now this episode today, I mean, it’s gonna inspire even more people to start. And relatively speaking, hopefully, you can see this isn’t as hard as it might seem. So thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you. I hope your start of the year is going well.

And we have a lot more year to go, obviously. So make sure you hit because we have a lot of great content coming your way. Another episode coming this Friday and just a lot more to offer to you. So don’t miss out. Thank you so much.

I appreciate you. Ryan, if you’re listening to the show, thank you so much for dropping the the value bombs today for everybody, and I wish you all well. Till the next one. Cheers, everybody.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!


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with Pat Flynn

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