I shut down sales for a business that made more than $150,000 revenue the month before. Here’s why and behind the Scenes of Drop Ship Lifestyle 4.0

All my friends told me I was crazy.

“You’re missing out on sales and revenue.”

“That’s stupid, you’re not going to get those potential customers to come back to your Drop Ship Lifestyle course.”

I heard it all. But I told them business isn’t closed for good. I closed registration in order to launch a bigger and better version of my drop shipping course: Drop Ship Lifestyle 4.0. The plan was to rebuild our website completely, add new products and software, then reopen registration and start up again.

My team and I are almost done, and I am overwhelmed with uncertainty. Will a month of closed registration lead to a loss of momentum? Will a small step backward lead to a big step forward? Will the biggest investment I’ve ever made actually help people?

For now, I want to take you behind the scenes on the exact features that we have been focusing on, and why I truly believe this huge gamble will lead to an increase of my students’ success moving forward. First, let’s start with where I left off.

“It Ain’t Broke…Why Fix It?”

Business changes fast. 2015 was a crazy year: my team and I brought in over a million dollars of revenue (see image below), added four new employees to my team, threw a kick ass retreat in Krabi, Thailand, and added a ton of new features to my Drop Ship Lifestyle course.

pmss

I normally don’t like to share numbers, but in 2015, total sales grew from $82,689 in March 2015 to $179,194 in November. Looks like we’re all getting rich, right? Not exactly. I had four new employees on the payroll, and in one month, I wasted $27,000 on ads.

Before we get to that, I want to mention my mission at Drop Ship Lifestyle. My goal has always been to help my students build profitable online businesses and enable them to live a life of freedom. So, from a course instructor’s perspective, I wanted to recreate everything to give our students the best experience possible. That means new videos with updated information that’s easier to follow. I even updated the forum to keep it more organized and clean.

Now, from a business owner’s perspective, I wanted to make sure the money that I am investing to grow this company is getting the best results. Afterall, who’s going to trust a course creator who teaches people how to make money online if he invests his own money irresponsibly?

Allow me to explain. The growth of Drop Ship Lifestyle in 2015 was impressive, but my company’s sales didn’t go up magically without increasing the paid traffic.

My team and I went from spending an average of $5,000 per month on advertising to an average of over $35,000 per month on advertising. As you can see from the chart above, sales went up… but not by 700% (which is equivalent to the increase of ads spending).

Again, I don’t like sharing numbers, but I suppose I’m in too deep so here it goes. In March 2015, I spent $1,926.15 on advertising and my Drop Ship Lifestyle business brought in $82,689.00 in sales. I can’t complain about that. But in June 2015, I increased spending on ads in order to reach more people. I spent $32,155.81 on advertising that month, and the business brought in $85,547.00 in sales.

Sometimes you need to take one step backward to take two steps foward

For those of you who hated high school math (I surely did), my company basically spent an extra $30,000 in order to make $3,000 more. Ouch. $27,000 down the drain.

Since then, things have been slowly improving as the team and I rebuilt our funnels, and we have started to see better ROI on ads (I share more numbers and stories about our failures and our successes with my marketing business, Performance Marketer).

So WHY did I decide to shut down Drop Ship Lifestyle?

I trusted my gut, and my gut told me it was time to double down, invest even more, and turn my community into the best online community out there. In order to do this, my team and I needed to focus on rebuilding the content from the inside.

If Drop Ship Lifestyle was an international band, accepting new students while building v4.0 would have been like recording four new albums while on a world tour. It would be incredibly difficult to pull off. So I shut down operations in order to focus on the content and products.

Let’s take a look at what the site has been up to.

New Drop Ship Lifestyle 4.0 Features

New Software

I love drop shipping because of the freedom it allows. You don’t need employees, you don’t need a warehouse, you don’t need an MBA, you don’t need a store… all you need to do is market products and fulfill orders. That’s it.

A while back, I discovered a few apps that can even automate (at least semi-automate) most of these tasks and since then, I’ve been all about paying for the software (web Apps) to do so.

These tools are great and I recommend them to all of my students.  What’s the problem?  Some of them are expensive, starting at $250/month.

ecomhub

The apps are extremely helpful, but they’re still missing a few features that would make them even better. The Hublogix app also does a lot of stuff that I never even looked at because the average store owner wouldn’t even need it.

Now, Drop Ship Lifestyle members (including myself) are about to save a lot of time and money. We have a brand new app available exclusively for DSL members of 4.0

Drop Ship Lifestyle Shopify App

resources_demo

To simplify this process, I hired a few programmers to build a customized app. I’ve taken features from a few different apps out there and compiled them into one app that is most relevant and beneficial for members of my Drop Ship Lifestyle course.

This app allows you to contact and get approved with suppliers easily. How? It forwards orders directly to each of your suppliers, calculates your profit on each sale, and allows you to keep detailed notes. It also comes with a BRAND NEW Shopify theme.

On top of this new app, my course has a few more exciting training materials as well…

DSLabs

Anton Pretending to work hard...

Me pretending to work hard 🙂

My team at Drop Ship Lifestyle is always testing new strategies for finding niches, getting suppliers, and increasing sales. We have to stay up-to-date to make sure our students are! To do this effectively, we keep documents on what works and what doesn’t.

These documents are typically used for my teams, but now we’ve decided to make them available to all Drop Ship Students in what I am calling “DSLabs”.

In addition to all of our standard operating procedures, DSLabs will also include calls, where my team and I answer questions from community members. All of these call will be recorded and shared in the members area for everyone to listen to on their own time.

As a business owner, I don’t have time to personally answer everyone’s individual question. But by hosting live Q & A sessions with our members, it will be easier for more people to get their questions answered. Plus members can learn from the other questions that are being asked.

In addition to that, I rolled out a private Facebook group where members can connect and answer each other’s questions on the fly. I wanted to make sure that there’s a steady stream of updated content, and with DSLabs and our new Facebook group, there will be.

Advanced Study Guides

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Our students asked for these, so we answered.

My video trainings now include study guides that you can download and print so you can follow along with the Drop Ship Lifestyle course easily.

These resources are not here to give you extra work, but rather to help you understand the core concepts that makes this business model work.

My new Drop Ship Study Guides are available for the:

  • DS Blueprint Course
  • Shopify Video Course
  • Adwords PPC Course

I also added closed captions to our videos, making it easier to follow along (see below).

Complete Web Redesign (and more transparency)

When I made the decision to double-down and improve Drop Ship Lifestyle, one thing I did was send out surveys to new members. I asked them a few questions, including:

  • Can you tell us about yourself? Introduce yourself so we get a picture of who you are!
  • What made you enroll in Drop Ship Lifestyle?
  • Did you consider any alternatives to Drop Ship Lifestyle? If so, which ones / how many?
  • Which doubts and hesitations did you have before completing the purchase?

The responses that shocked me the most was to the last question: “Which doubts and hesitations did you have before completing the purchase?”

Here are some of the replies:

“I was hesitant because I believed it was too good to be true. All the hype online piqued my interest, but it also made me question whether or not it was legit. Too many things can be bought these days, but I think this is the real deal.”

“Is this is a legitimate course or a scam?“

“Was it legit? A course that took people from the point of no knowledge to the point of having a completed online store sounded ideal but I wanted to make sure that the people behind the training program were actually experienced and successful with dropshipping rather than just experienced in the creation of online courses.”

Do you notice a theme here? People were paying over $1,000 USD and almost ALL of them questioned whether or not the product they had just bought was a scam. These answers told that us that we weren’t doing an adequate job explaining our message clearly. So we took action and hired professionals to help us clean up our act to convey what we are truly about.

This started with a totally redesigned site. I hired someone to build our own WordPress theme from the ground up. I was connected with a  Colombian designer, and he did a great job (buen trabajo!) creating a more professional website. My goal is for Drop Ship Lifestyleto be professional, but not corporate

Moving on….

If people think this business a scam, then it was my fault for not being more transparent. To debunk these myths, I hired a content creator to help with blog posts, emails, and other content.

My team and I are going to be publishing more epic blog posts about eCommerce and lifestyle design from here on out. I aim to give away as much amazing free content as possible.

I honestly believe that Drop Ship Lifestyle’s free content is better than most other paid courses. And it’s only getting better. On top of that, starting in 2016, I’m going to be more honest, because I’ve got nothing to hide here (except how many coconut smoothies I drink per week, THAT’S personal)!

And if that’s not enough to keep our team busy…

App #2: “Should I Sell This?”

That’s right, my team and I are working on a second brand new app!

Product selection is one the toughest parts of getting started with eCommerce. There are lots of variables that determine if a product is good or not.

What does it cost? Is it popular? Are sales seasonal? Who are the top brands? Who is already selling it?

With this app, you plug in any product and it’ll spit out a report. The report will give you all the information you need to decide if you should sell it or not.

Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

  • Open our app
  • Enter product name
  • Get product report
  • Get competitor report
  • Decide if you want to proceed

Sounds easy right? That’s because it is. My app eliminates 99% of the busy work that is involved with niche selection, and it’s available for my Drop Ship Lifestyle 4.0 members only.

Stay Tuned…

Drop Ship Lifestyle 4.0 has more updates than ever before. I took the existing business, which has helped over 4,508 people start their own online stores, and turned it into a life-sized giant… and then gave it wings. Now it’s time to watch it fly!

If you want to start your own drop shipping business, there is no better place to learn than inside our private community. We hope this blog post illustrates that we are serious about helping our students. Even more, we hope you become a student yourself!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to work. As you now know, we’ve got a lot going on here…

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