On March 15, Ben Parr, Matt Schlicht and Alli Burg spoke with Ezra Firestone, Co-Founder and CEO of Boom! By Cindy Joseph, about how he grew his brand to $100M in 4 years (and the philosophy of good work-life balance).
This was during a live Commerce Club event on Clubhouse, called The Fire Show. We learned so much from this discussion, and we wanted to share all those insights with you! So here are 22 tips from Ezra Firestone on growing a Shopify brand in a way that keeps your mind and body healthy and happy.
Event Title: How Ezra Firestone’s Shopify Store Made $100M
Featured guests from the show:
- Ezra Firestone, Co-Founder and CEO of Boom! By Cindy Joseph
- Alli Burg, Strategic Partnerships at Shopify
Want to hear more from Ezra Firestone on growing your Shopify brand? We’re hosting a live DTC event on March 23rd with 15+ other experts in the DTC space. Save your spot for this all-day event.
Three things that have been important during Ezra’s career
- Have a good time: “What does that mean have fun? Well, it means to take care of yourself in terms of making sure you're well-rested. Make sure you're eating good foods, make sure you're moving your body. Make sure you're putting attention on your social life and your relationships and intimacy and connection and hobbies and all that stuff so that you can show up to work with a positive attitude and you can bring the fun.”
- Make good things that truly serve the world, your community and continue to make people’s lives better. Always be looking at how to improve your product. Listen to feedback, innovate and make sure you’ve got something that has integrity.
- Be profitable. “I don't care if it's a hundred thousand dollars a year, $50,000 a year, a million dollars a year, whatever, if you're having a good time making good stuff and you're profitable, you've won this game that we call business.”
Figuring out the “fun side” of business ownership
- It takes a daily commitment of showing up, even despite your bad days where you feel victimized by things going on in your life.
- Take responsibility for enjoying your business first and foremost. You have to choose to have that attitude.
- Balance your personal life. Without taking the time to take care of your body, take care of your mind, you won’t feel good and those emotions will translate into the rest of what you do.
- You have to put in the work and make that choice every day to show up with a good attitude and have a good time with what you do.
- For Ezra, he believes that there should be no credit attached to his name when putting good work out into the world. He does these things because they feel good.
How to plan for selling a business in the future
- If you’re going to sell a brand, you need clean books, be clear about them from the beginning and you need to pay your taxes.
- Ecommerce businesses at this moment trade for a multiple of profitability. So as an example, a business that makes a million dollars a year in revenue and $200,000 a year in profit is going to trade for two to four times that profit.
- There are elements that will make a brand more or less profitable. For example, how much diversity do you have? Is all your traffic coming from Amazon? (That's less profitable than if all your traffic came from a Shopify store where you own the customer record).
- Knowing how much repeat business you have, data, reporting, etc are all part of what makes your brand more valuable.
- Profit is only one part of what makes a business profitable. Focus also on clean finances, systems, processes, team infrastructure, clarity of operations, clarity of the supply chain, historical records of Google analytics and Facebook and keep clean accounts.
How Ezra approaches Facebook advertising
- Most people’s profit margins is about a one to three ratio. Consider what your store revenue is, what percentage of that revenue is from repeat purchases, how many people came directly to your site, etc to understand how much the money going out is impacting your business.
- If you spend 10 grand on ads and you do 30 grand in revenue on your store, you're doing pretty good. You can start to play around and look at what the CPA's look like on Facebook, and then ultimately what the value was back at your store. If you're not going to build your own data model, work with it as best you can by looking at the CPA metrics.
- Ezra’s traffic strategy:
- 70% of ads that are focused on buying are optimized for purchases or add-to-carts. E.g., video ads, image ads, carousel ads, GIF, animation ads that are designed to get people to buy from him.
- There are also lookalike audiences, interests — people who have engaged with the business, visited the site, watched the video, etc.
- And then there are people who already bought from the business that Ezra is upselling to and cross-selling, so about 70% of the spend is straight conversion focused.
- On Facebook, Ezra does about 15% of his spend to the same audiences (lookalike, audiences, interests, people who have engaged with the business but haven’t bought)
- For lead generation, Ezra does gated content to collect email addresses for a guide. He uses these email lead to follow up with them with broadcasts trying to get them to buy.
- Ezra started embracing long-form sales cycles by spending about 50% of the brand’s ad budget on lead generation ads. The other 15% goes to video views, landing page views, page post engagement, traffic — objectives that are designed just to get visibility to those same audiences.
We hope these tips were helpful! Don’t forget to save your spot for our upcoming DTC event where you can hear more expert insights from Ezra Firestone on growing a Shopify Brand.
About Commerce Club:
Commerce Club was co-founded by Matt Schlicht and Ben Parr. Both Matt and Ben are also the co-founders of Octane AI, a company that gives Shopify brands the ability to offer conversational commerce to customers on their sites; an experience replicating an in-store consultation and leading to curated product recommendations.
Commerce Club shows are hosted on Clubhouse. There are a variety of weekly shows that dive into successful brands, ecommerce strategies and more. If you're interested in learning about upcoming shows and getting show notes, articles and transcripts. Head to joincommerceclub.com to sign up for the newsletter.