Ronnie & Suhail are business partners from Australia that have been selling custom apparel on Fabrily since March 2014 and run a Facebook group for new internet marketers. We asked Ronnie a few questions about their journey into selling custom apparel online & the key to their massive success so far!
How/why did you get into selling custom apparel online?
I started online in 2011 after 7 years as a carpenter when the GFC had taken its toll on the housing industry. At that time I had known that the internet was the place to be if I was to make any serious money. My wife inspired me to start a flash sales site for baby & maternity products and within 3 months I had set up this whole online company (Bambino Brands). One thing I learnt was I was very good at marketing and very bad at tracking my spending and after a few burnt out months, the bills started piling up. In short, a lot of lessons were learnt and while that company was a failure, I met a few very influential & successful people who I have now become friends with.
After that experience, Suhail and I had decided to partner up and attack business together. We continually spoke of creating another start up but we wanted to add value to our service and decided to start looking into Facebook ads which is when we saw a course for one of Don Wilson’s Ads Cracked. It kind of peaked our interest however thought it was too good to be true so just kind of watched the market for a few months before actually giving it a go.
Our first page was a hit as it was focused towards a political issue in Australia with a passionate demographic. It didn’t take long to have a few winners and before long we were immersing ourselves in every course and talking to every successful person we could find to help us scale up and become one of the bigger players. It paid off and after starting in January (and fist bumping on holiday after hitting our first goal ever of 25. We went on to sell 138 shirts in that campaign) we had our first massive month in March where we grossed over $300,000 (ad spend from memory was about half.)
What were the biggest challenges you faced when you started?
Our initial reaction to selling shirts online was that it was too good to be true. Basically replaying over and over in our heads what we were told growing up… “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Well that statement was and is bull**** :D. When we first started I (Ronnie) was in a hell of a lot of debt from Bambino Brands and I was penny pinching to try and fund the ads for the shirts. Somehow we had $5000 in our business accounts which quickly dried up when we’d started to scale.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Well to be frank we put ourselves on the line and started using credit cards and any spare cash that we could muster to pump in to it. We backed ourselves and it paid off. I am somewhat of an extreme optimist and knew we would crack it. (Suhail on the other hand is a little more realistic/skewing pessimistic, so he is great at centering everything and making our goals more achievable while making smarter plans).
I see that you guys have had a lot of success in Europe! Could you tell us more about that?
Selling shirts is a numbers game. We are constantly putting up campaigns, often 100+ a week spread across all different niches and demographics. Our first big win was in Germany where we sold close to 10,000 shirts in 10 days. The barrier to entry for most people proved our biggest asset as it resulted in the cheapest clicks and the best ROI that we have seen since March. We figure now that any non-English speaking country is going to be the same as it requires a lot more work in order to get the right message across. The good news however is when you do you will see results rarely seen anywhere else!
What advice would you give to new internet marketers on Fabrily?
Give yourself a budget to start. Say, $1000. This will allow you comfort in knowing that you have a ceiling to what you can spend for testing. In most cases, if you listen and do a lot of training you won’t need to spend anywhere near that in order to find success. Once you have found a winner try and find more resources to pump into it (while of course tracking all your spending to make sure it remains profitable). The key is to always be making more money than you are spending at all times!