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NOTABLE! [Progress] Sanctus Nutrition - Supplement Company (and first real entrepreneurial pursuit)

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
You can see my introduction thread here for more on my background. This will focus solely on my company, Sanctus Nutrition.

Background - Why I started a nutritional supplement company
  1. I got the idea from a startup incubator I was a member of in Fall 2016. My original idea (in the medical apparel industry) had merit but I wasn't 100% into it. When I couldn't find supplements that met my standards, I grabbed this idea from the incubator and went to work.
  2. I'm a pharmacist and I F*cking love nutraceuticals. I could talk this stuff all day. I've been dropping money on it since I was 16. I can work on this stuff 18+ hours a day and not get sick of it.
  3. I was unhappy with what was available on the market. I couldn't find the products I wanted to use myself. Being in the incubator helped me realize it doesn't take special credentials or permission to start a supplement company: it's something I could do. Like, right now. So I did.
The company: Sanctus Nutrition
I make nutritional supplements with zero artificial sweeteners, zero food dyes or colorings, no proprietary blends, and with ingredient dosing backed by science.

My first product is a pre-workout called Focal Force. I built the pre-workout I wanted to take, that I couldn't find elsewhere. I wanted a pre-workout with:
  1. Zero artificial sweeteners or food dyes/colorings. Every product I've found that claims to contain "zero artificial sweeteners" still contains "natural flavors", which is total BS - those are anything but natural.
  2. Proper dosing. For example, PurePump meets criterion #1 (no artificial flavorings, etc.) but their dosages are too low. Their product contains 2g L-Citrulline when the science backing its use requires a dose of at least 6g. It also lacks some other good ingredients I want before I lift.
  3. A low enough dose of caffeine for safe use in the evening without wrecking my sleep. Most pre-workouts have a minimum of 200 mg of caffeine. I've seen some in the 400mg+ range which is a great way to wreck your adrenals. No thanks.
  4. No creatine. I prefer to cycle it, and I prefer to take it post-workout (which, currently, data is starting to back more vs. pre-workout) when I do use it.
The Journey: Where I've Been
February 2017:
  • I had a formulation in mind, bought the individual powders off Amazon, bought a micro-scale, reassured my fiancee I wasn't dealing (illegal) drugs, and got to work.
  • I started off experimenting on myself. I began telling my friends what I was doing and made them samples. I combined our experiences and feedback to keep making tweaks to the formula.
March 2017:
  • I got up at 4am every day to make the website before I went to the gym and worked at my day job. I put in 20+ hours to make a super shitty Wordpress website that I can't get to look halfway decent.
  • After searching around for names, I settle on Sanctus Nutrition. "Sanctus" roughly translates from Latin to "pure", which reflects my mission of making pure supplements. I got the idea to look for Latin names from Tim Ferriss' podcast with John Crowley while on an airplane back from Italy. This was the trip that sold me on being an entrepreneur. I want to take trips like this whenever I want, and go wherever I want, without having to ask permission.
April 2017:
  • Website still looks like shit and I'm tired of doing web design.
  • I hire someone on Fiverr to design a mock-up label for $40 for my "Focal Point" product.
  • I make an Instagram account and immediately get banned for following 300+ people in 2 minutes. Whoops. Lesson learned. A week later, IG re-instates my account. Crisis averted.
May 2017:
  • I realize "Focal Point", as a nutritional supplement, is trademarked. I had searched TESS but somehow missed that. My $40 label is useless.
  • I change the name to "Focal Force".
  • Key lesson: I've been very open about this entire experience since day 1. I'm soliciting feedback on Facebook. I'm making posts on my personal Instagram about opening a bank account and starting a business. This leads to a friend, a very talented graphic designer, offering to do my designs pro bono. Not just the package label, but an entire brand identity package. HUGE WIN!
  • I start taking pre-orders at a small scale. I convince a friend to buy and I earn my first $1 on my own, ever. Three more friends buy and I make my first $100.
  • I give up on Wordpress, nuke the site, and jump to Shopify. The design looks 3000x better. I pat myself on the back for not getting caught up in the sunk cost that was trying to make the site happen on Wordpress.
June 2017:
  • I run my first true "promotion". I discount the product 30% and flood Facebook with posts. I go completely vulnerable: I talk about why I started the company, why I'm making this product, what I want it to offer to people, the effect it has had in my own training. Shortly after, I get a Shopify notification: a sale. Ten minutes later, another sale. The promotion gives me my most successful week, and I've now made my first $500 without the product being in a single person's hands.
  • I finalize the formulation, sign an agreement with my manufacturer, and production begins. Goal launch: July 28th. Likely launch: August 4th.
  • My Instagram account just reached 500 followers. I'm getting good engagement on posts, but none of it is leading to sales. Nearly all of my sales are from friends, or friends of friends.
My wins so far:
  1. Earning $500 in pre-sales. Yes, these are basically all from friends. In the past, I've attempted business ventures not even my friends would buy, so this is a big success for me.
  2. There are two local, independently-owned pharmacies who have expressed interest in selling my product.
  3. I have a local gym signed on to sell my product. One of their owners is working with me as an affiliate. I have another local Crossfit gym interested in trying the product once it arrives.
My Pain Points:
  1. From day 1, the plan was to attack using affiliate marketing. Get IG influencers to sign on to promote my product, and pay them 15% of sales. There have been several problems with this approach:
    1. I am not the only one trying to use the Influencer Marketing approach. I knew this coming in. My goal was to fly under the radar by approaching accounts with followers in the 15K - 50K range. These influencers are either 1) already working with another supplement company, or 2) monetizing on their own and not interested in affiliate marketing. I'm having to work in the 1K - 10K range, with little success. Because..
    2. Very few people are willing to endorse and market a product they have not tried. This is obvious. Until my product is ready, I'm not sure how to make progress here.
  2. Finding my customers. My product doesn't taste as good as other supplements. I don't offer "Blue Cotton Candy Raspberry" or whatever BS flavors. This doesn't matter to me, because I chug it in two seconds. I need to find others who feel the same way. I know they are out there, but I have to be more targeted in my marketing. My market is not everyone who takes pre-workout. I need consumers who care about their health more than taste.
  3. Keeping momentum until production is finished. Focal Force won't be available until late July/early August. I've built some good momentum on pre-sales, but I can't just keep running promotions for 20 - 30% off. I need to develop more ways to keep people interested and talking about my brand.
My Next Action Steps:
  1. I've built up a list of Influencers who are willing to sample it once it arrives, so there is potential. There's also potential they'll hate it, or have a "meh" reaction, so I can't be complacent here. I've reached out to 92 people so far, 23 agreed to give me their email address to receive details, and 15 have agreed to sample. 92 isn't enough. I need to reach out to 1000 people, at least. I'm using Ninja Outreach to find IG influencers in the health space. This needs to be a bigger priority. Ideally, I need 100 people ready to receive samples the day the product comes in.
  2. Find my most efficient marketing channel. I've experimented with Reddit ads. They are great at driving traffic, but have resulted in exactly zero sales. My IG following is growing, but again, zero sales. I've ran a couple of Facebook re-targeting ads to try and capture initial visitors from IG/reddit. Zero conversions from this as well.
  3. My conversion rates are 4%, but again, this is all from friends or friends of friends. No random people or strangers are buying. I need to establish trust as a brand. As a beginner, I do not know the best way to do this.
My Goals:

For the next 8 weeks:
  1. Have my product stocked in 3 local businesses on launch week.
  2. Make $1000 by the end of August.
  3. Have 10 Influencers signed on as affiliates by the end of August.
For July - September (Q3):
  1. Sales of $5000 total.
  2. Gain 5 local businesses who agree to stock and sell my product.
  3. Have 20 Influencers signed on as affiliates.
This is a long post. If you've made it this far, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it all. As a beginner entrepreneur, I am open to any and all feedback. It's why I'm here.
 

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Denim Chicken

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jun 5, 2010
424
891
318
California
You can see my introduction thread here for more on my background. This will focus solely on my company, Sanctus Nutrition.

Background - Why I started a nutritional supplement company
  1. I got the idea from a startup incubator I was a member of in Fall 2016. My original idea (in the medical apparel industry) had merit but I wasn't 100% into it. When I couldn't find supplements that met my standards, I grabbed this idea from the incubator and went to work.
  2. I'm a pharmacist and I F*cking love nutraceuticals. I could talk this stuff all day. I've been dropping money on it since I was 16. I can work on this stuff 18+ hours a day and not get sick of it.
  3. I was unhappy with what was available on the market. I couldn't find the products I wanted to use myself. Being in the incubator helped me realize it doesn't take special credentials or permission to start a supplement company: it's something I could do. Like, right now. So I did.
The company: Sanctus Nutrition
I make nutritional supplements with zero artificial sweeteners, zero food dyes or colorings, no proprietary blends, and with ingredient dosing backed by science.

My first product is a pre-workout called Focal Force. I built the pre-workout I wanted to take, that I couldn't find elsewhere. I wanted a pre-workout with:
  1. Zero artificial sweeteners or food dyes/colorings. Every product I've found that claims to contain "zero artificial sweeteners" still contains "natural flavors", which is total BS - those are anything but natural.
  2. Proper dosing. For example, PurePump meets criterion #1 (no artificial flavorings, etc.) but their dosages are too low. Their product contains 2g L-Citrulline when the science backing its use requires a dose of at least 6g. It also lacks some other good ingredients I want before I lift.
  3. A low enough dose of caffeine for safe use in the evening without wrecking my sleep. Most pre-workouts have a minimum of 200 mg of caffeine. I've seen some in the 400mg+ range which is a great way to wreck your adrenals. No thanks.
  4. No creatine. I prefer to cycle it, and I prefer to take it post-workout (which, currently, data is starting to back more vs. pre-workout) when I do use it.
The Journey: Where I've Been
February 2017:
  • I had a formulation in mind, bought the individual powders off Amazon, bought a micro-scale, reassured my fiancee I wasn't dealing (illegal) drugs, and got to work.
  • I started off experimenting on myself. I began telling my friends what I was doing and made them samples. I combined our experiences and feedback to keep making tweaks to the formula.
March 2017:
  • I got up at 4am every day to make the website before I went to the gym and worked at my day job. I put in 20+ hours to make a super shitty Wordpress website that I can't get to look halfway decent.
  • After searching around for names, I settle on Sanctus Nutrition. "Sanctus" roughly translates from Latin to "pure", which reflects my mission of making pure supplements. I got the idea to look for Latin names from Tim Ferriss' podcast with John Crowley while on an airplane back from Italy. This was the trip that sold me on being an entrepreneur. I want to take trips like this whenever I want, and go wherever I want, without having to ask permission.
April 2017:
  • Website still looks like shit and I'm tired of doing web design.
  • I hire someone on Fiverr to design a mock-up label for $40 for my "Focal Point" product.
  • I make an Instagram account and immediately get banned for following 300+ people in 2 minutes. Whoops. Lesson learned. A week later, IG re-instates my account. Crisis averted.
May 2017:
  • I realize "Focal Point", as a nutritional supplement, is trademarked. I had searched TESS but somehow missed that. My $40 label is useless.
  • I change the name to "Focal Force".
  • Key lesson: I've been very open about this entire experience since day 1. I'm soliciting feedback on Facebook. I'm making posts on my personal Instagram about opening a bank account and starting a business. This leads to a friend, a very talented graphic designer, offering to do my designs pro bono. Not just the package label, but an entire brand identity package. HUGE WIN!
  • I start taking pre-orders at a small scale. I convince a friend to buy and I earn my first $1 on my own, ever. Three more friends buy and I make my first $100.
  • I give up on Wordpress, nuke the site, and jump to Shopify. The design looks 3000x better. I pat myself on the back for not getting caught up in the sunk cost that was trying to make the site happen on Wordpress.
June 2017:
  • I run my first true "promotion". I discount the product 30% and flood Facebook with posts. I go completely vulnerable: I talk about why I started the company, why I'm making this product, what I want it to offer to people, the effect it has had in my own training. Shortly after, I get a Shopify notification: a sale. Ten minutes later, another sale. The promotion gives me my most successful week, and I've now made my first $500 without the product being in a single person's hands.
  • I finalize the formulation, sign an agreement with my manufacturer, and production begins. Goal launch: July 28th. Likely launch: August 4th.
  • My Instagram account just reached 500 followers. I'm getting good engagement on posts, but none of it is leading to sales. Nearly all of my sales are from friends, or friends of friends.
My wins so far:
  1. Earning $500 in pre-sales. Yes, these are basically all from friends. In the past, I've attempted business ventures not even my friends would buy, so this is a big success for me.
  2. There are two local, independently-owned pharmacies who have expressed interest in selling my product.
  3. I have a local gym signed on to sell my product. One of their owners is working with me as an affiliate. I have another local Crossfit gym interested in trying the product once it arrives.
My Pain Points:
  1. From day 1, the plan was to attack using affiliate marketing. Get IG influencers to sign on to promote my product, and pay them 15% of sales. There have been several problems with this approach:
    1. I am not the only one trying to use the Influencer Marketing approach. I knew this coming in. My goal was to fly under the radar by approaching accounts with followers in the 15K - 50K range. These influencers are either 1) already working with another supplement company, or 2) monetizing on their own and not interested in affiliate marketing. I'm having to work in the 1K - 10K range, with little success. Because..
    2. Very few people are willing to endorse and market a product they have not tried. This is obvious. Until my product is ready, I'm not sure how to make progress here.
  2. Finding my customers. My product doesn't taste as good as other supplements. I don't offer "Blue Cotton Candy Raspberry" or whatever BS flavors. This doesn't matter to me, because I chug it in two seconds. I need to find others who feel the same way. I know they are out there, but I have to be more targeted in my marketing. My market is not everyone who takes pre-workout. I need consumers who care about their health more than taste.
  3. Keeping momentum until production is finished. Focal Force won't be available until late July/early August. I've built some good momentum on pre-sales, but I can't just keep running promotions for 20 - 30% off. I need to develop more ways to keep people interested and talking about my brand.
My Next Action Steps:
  1. I've built up a list of Influencers who are willing to sample it once it arrives, so there is potential. There's also potential they'll hate it, or have a "meh" reaction, so I can't be complacent here. I've reached out to 92 people so far, 23 agreed to give me their email address to receive details, and 15 have agreed to sample. 92 isn't enough. I need to reach out to 1000 people, at least. I'm using Ninja Outreach to find IG influencers in the health space. This needs to be a bigger priority. Ideally, I need 100 people ready to receive samples the day the product comes in.
  2. Find my most efficient marketing channel. I've experimented with Reddit ads. They are great at driving traffic, but have resulted in exactly zero sales. My IG following is growing, but again, zero sales. I've ran a couple of Facebook re-targeting ads to try and capture initial visitors from IG/reddit. Zero conversions from this as well.
  3. My conversion rates are 4%, but again, this is all from friends or friends of friends. No random people or strangers are buying. I need to establish trust as a brand. As a beginner, I do not know the best way to do this.
My Goals:

For the next 8 weeks:
  1. Have my product stocked in 3 local businesses on launch week.
  2. Make $1000 by the end of August.
  3. Have 10 Influencers signed on as affiliates by the end of August.
For July - September (Q3):
  1. Sales of $5000 total.
  2. Gain 5 local businesses who agree to stock and sell my product.
  3. Have 20 Influencers signed on as affiliates.
This is a long post. If you've made it this far, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it all. As a beginner entrepreneur, I am open to any and all feedback. It's why I'm here.
There are those who want performance supplements with no care to their health, they down 5g of powder x, y, z and are apathetic about their heart and kidney health as long as they look good. Then there are those who want to look good but also dont want to take a concoction of crap that isn't good for them. The bodybuilder group seems to fit into the former.

I feel like Facebook ads would be best for this type of marketing since you can target so narrowly.

Maybe try targeting pages of nutraceutical health companies over bodybuilding companies, such as Now Foods, Source Naturals, etc. I remember the days I used to buy Flame Out by biotest/t-nation because the color of the bottle and extreme testosterone marketing appealed to me. Now not so much.

If you're going for the pure/health/zero/medical type of marketing, maybe run ads that emphasize that. Pharmacist developed, PURE pre-workout.
 

mike24601

Consumption Bear
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 8, 2017
195
500
231
Illinois
Wow! Very thorough and informative progress post. It's pretty cool to see you were already waist deep in taking action before even reading TMF/Unscripted. I like the idea and I think you are providing value in this sector. The fact that you are a Pharm. adds credibility and authority. [EDIT: I had suggested using monkfruit to improve the taste, but I checked out your webpage and it looks like you're already doing that!]

Have you tried using AdWords? Its been a fairly quick learning curve for me while I've run a few campaigns on both the Google Search Network and Display Network to drive traffic to a niche site I built with good results. They run some very lucrative promotions as of late, where you can get substantial credits if you spend XX amount of dollars, that way you can play around a lot without spending a huge amount of money as you try to squeeze as high a CTR and CVR out as you can. Keep us updated on what happens after you launch, I'm quite interested.
 
Last edited:

smpaq

New Contributor
Jun 20, 2017
1
5
16
32
Montréal, Canada
I'd fully embrace the fact that your product doesn't taste as good as the unhealthy alternatives and use this as a differentiating factor. That reminds me of Buckley, a cough syrup that tastes horrible. The marketing team behind it turned the awful taste into a feature. Their slogan: It tastes awful, and it works!

My conversion rates are 4%, but again, this is all from friends or friends of friends. No random people or strangers are buying. I need to establish trust as a brand. As a beginner, I do not know the best way to do this.
I think you need to partner up with popular figures in your industry who have lot of fans and who are interested in promoting or already promoting healthy supplements. However, since your brand is new, you lack the necessary credibility to approach these people.

I'd start by working to establish myself, the guy behind the product, as an expert in my space.

For instance, I'd create a YouTube channel through which I'd present the latest research and my thoughts on it, give my honest opinion about certain products, and maybe even create some viral material, for example a video about how to mix your own healthy pre-workout to save money. I want to show to the world that I know my shit. Then I'd reach out to creators in my field and offer to collaborate: I'd make a 10-15 minutes video of solid informational content they would post on their channel. In return, collaborations would help me promote my own channel, which would be part of my sale funnel.

Basically, content marketing.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
There are those who want performance supplements with no care to their health, they down 5g of powder x, y, z and are apathetic about their heart and kidney health as long as they look good. Then there are those who want to look good but also dont want to take a concoction of crap that isn't good for them. The bodybuilder group seems to fit into the former.

I feel like Facebook ads would be best for this type of marketing since you can target so narrowly.

Maybe try targeting pages of nutraceutical health companies over bodybuilding companies, such as Now Foods, Source Naturals, etc. I remember the days I used to buy Flame Out by biotest/t-nation because the color of the bottle and extreme testosterone marketing appealed to me. Now not so much.

If you're going for the pure/health/zero/medical type of marketing, maybe run ads that emphasize that. Pharmacist developed, PURE pre-workout.
Awesome, I like it, thanks for the suggestion! I've used Kit on Shopify to run re-targeting ads but that's the extent of my FB marketing knowledge. Do you have any good resources I can read to become more familiar with it, or would you suggest just doing it and learning from mistakes as I go? I'm blocking out 3 hours Wednesday AM to focus solely on FB marketing. May not be enough time to get my first campaign going but should get me started at least.

Wow! Very thorough and informative progress post. It's pretty cool to see you were already waist deep in taking action before even reading TMF/Unscripted. I like the idea and I think you are providing value in this sector. The fact that you are a Pharm. adds credibility and authority. [EDIT: I had suggested using monkfruit to improve the taste, but I checked out your webpage and it looks like you're already doing that!]

Have you tried using AdWords? Its been a fairly quick learning curve for me while I've run a few campaigns on both the Google Search Network and Display Network to drive traffic to a niche site I built with good results. They run some very lucrative promotions as of late, where you can get substantial credits if you spend XX amount of dollars, that way you can play around a lot without spending a huge amount of money as you try to squeeze as high a CTR and CVR out as you can. Keep us updated on what happens after you launch, I'm quite interested.
I have not used AdWords. A marketing friend told me I need to get on there as well. I bought a class off Udemy on AdWords but never finished it, so I at least have some familiarity here. I have $100 in credit through Shopify so it's something I can afford to experiment with. I'm blocking out 3 hours Thursday AM to use Keyword Planner and get my first campaign going - thanks for the recommendation!

Nice progress. Maybe link some studies in your blogs to back up your claims.
Good idea. I have studies linked on my product page but they aren't really prominent or explained, just links. I'm running my first blog series now, which starts with beginner topics like "what is pre-workout?", "should I take pre-workout?", etc. and I'll conclude with an in-depth post on why mine is the best on the market. That will be a good post to go in-depth on the studies backing my ingredients/formulation.

Thanks all of you for the suggestions! I've got time set aside to work on everything mentioned thus far.
 

Ika

Busy Idiot
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 9, 2016
271
901
320
Germany
I came here and expected a complete beginner jumping on the supplement-train - and I am positively surprised!

Not only is your product based in a real-world need, but you've already put in hours and thoughts.

And you already got rewarded: 500$ in sales!

Great process and great plan.
Thank you for writing it down and sharing so many details.

If I find the time I will try to take a look at your website and give some feedback.

I hope you are keeping us up to date with how your plans turns out!
Sounds like a promising journey.
 

Millenial_Kid5K1

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 14, 2017
156
394
190
30
Atlanta
Have you looked at other distribution channels? Your product is of high interest to me, but as a lifter who doesn't mess much with social media, I'd never have found you if you're not on Amazon or Bodybuilding<dot>com.

Also, as a very health conscious lifter(your target audience I presume), a nutrition label would have allayed any fears I might have about buying your brand, because I'd see in a very concise format what I'm getting. I couldn't find one on your site.
 

CareCPA

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 2, 2017
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I was also wary that this was going to be another "supplement" company, but it seems like you've put a lot of research into this.
I'm not a bodybuilder, but I still like to know what I'm putting in my body. As you mentioned in your post, anytime I see "natural flavors" on packaging, it makes me second-guess. List all of the ingredients, or I think you're hiding something in that generic category.
 

Denim Chicken

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jun 5, 2010
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California
Awesome, I like it, thanks for the suggestion! I've used Kit on Shopify to run re-targeting ads but that's the extent of my FB marketing knowledge. Do you have any good resources I can read to become more familiar with it, or would you suggest just doing it and learning from mistakes as I go? I'm blocking out 3 hours Wednesday AM to focus solely on FB marketing. May not be enough time to get my first campaign going but should get me started at least.
There are tons of online courses but in all honesty you want to take a look at a basic course just to get a feel for the platform. The real learning on PPC comes from testing. And testing = money so you want to keep your daily budget small and increase incrementally. I did $5/day for a few days.

I learned a few things from this video.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_QK6XbNtHA

He's mainly an affiliate marketer but the general concepts for someone who doesn't know much about FB still applies. Couple days of testing at a small budget targeting different groups somewhat broad. Kill campaigns that don't work after 3-5 day. Try to keep it as cheap as possible. He recommended running Engagement ads before Conversion campaigns (you can choose in FB what your campaign objective is) to see if there is any interest at a cheaper cost.

Have you looked at other distribution channels? Your product is of high interest to me, but as a lifter who doesn't mess much with social media, I'd never have found you if you're not on Amazon or Bodybuilding<dot>com.

Also, as a very health conscious lifter(your target audience I presume), a nutrition label would have allayed any fears I might have about buying your brand, because I'd see in a very concise format what I'm getting. I couldn't find one on your site.
Nutrition label definitely a requirement. I'm sure the packaging has it but I think it might be a FDA requirement.

If you're on Facebook, he could market to you if you liked the bodybuilding.com page or some other page like T-nation. But it would be great if he got into bodybuilding.com in general as they have a huge user base.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 24, 2017
90
342
167
29
Kentucky
I came here and expected a complete beginner jumping on the supplement-train - and I am positively surprised!

Not only is your product based in a real-world need, but you've already put in hours and thoughts.

And you already got rewarded: 500$ in sales!

Great process and great plan.
Thank you for writing it down and sharing so many details.

If I find the time I will try to take a look at your website and give some feedback.

I hope you are keeping us up to date with how your plans turns out!
Sounds like a promising journey.
Thank you! I can't take full credit. Participating in Billy Murphy's ForeverJobless Incubator really paved the way for this. Otherwise I'd still have no idea what I'm doing.

Have you looked at other distribution channels? Your product is of high interest to me, but as a lifter who doesn't mess much with social media, I'd never have found you if you're not on Amazon or Bodybuilding<dot>com.

Also, as a very health conscious lifter(your target audience I presume), a nutrition label would have allayed any fears I might have about buying your brand, because I'd see in a very concise format what I'm getting. I couldn't find one on your site.
Yes - I definitely need to be on Amazon. I haven't made getting on their a priority, even though it should be. Can you take pre-sales on Amazon? My product won't be available until end of July.

Good catch on the nutrition label - I took down the old photo when I made some formulation changes and forgot to upload the new one. That has been fixed - thanks!

I was also wary that this was going to be another "supplement" company, but it seems like you've put a lot of research into this.
I'm not a bodybuilder, but I still like to know what I'm putting in my body. As you mentioned in your post, anytime I see "natural flavors" on packaging, it makes me second-guess. List all of the ingredients, or I think you're hiding something in that generic category.
Thanks for checking it out! I've fixed the lack of nutrition facts label, it's now posted as an image on the product page.

There are tons of online courses but in all honesty you want to take a look at a basic course just to get a feel for the platform. The real learning on PPC comes from testing. And testing = money so you want to keep your daily budget small and increase incrementally. I did $5/day for a few days.

I learned a few things from this video.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_QK6XbNtHA

He's mainly an affiliate marketer but the general concepts for someone who doesn't know much about FB still applies. Couple days of testing at a small budget targeting different groups somewhat broad. Kill campaigns that don't work after 3-5 day. Try to keep it as cheap as possible. He recommended running Engagement ads before Conversion campaigns (you can choose in FB what your campaign objective is) to see if there is any interest at a cheaper cost.



Nutrition label definitely a requirement. I'm sure the packaging has it but I think it might be a FDA requirement.

If you're on Facebook, he could market to you if you liked the bodybuilding.com page or some other page like T-nation. But it would be great if he got into bodybuilding.com in general as they have a huge user base.
Awesome, I'll check that video out - thanks for posting! I have some re-targeting ads with Kit (Shopify app) but this will work better for finding new audiences and customers.

Getting on bodybuilding.com would be huge. Not even sure where to start on that process or what their requirements are - time to research. I've got time blocked out Sunday to look into selling on bodybuilding.com + Amazon.com
 

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Brewer07

Brewer07

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I'd fully embrace the fact that your product doesn't taste as good as the unhealthy alternatives and use this as a differentiating factor. That reminds me of Buckley, a cough syrup that tastes horrible. The marketing team behind it turned the awful taste into a feature. Their slogan: It tastes awful, and it works!



I think you need to partner up with popular figures in your industry who have lot of fans and who are interested in promoting or already promoting healthy supplements. However, since your brand is new, you lack the necessary credibility to approach these people.

I'd start by working to establish myself, the guy behind the product, as an expert in my space.

For instance, I'd create a YouTube channel through which I'd present the latest research and my thoughts on it, give my honest opinion about certain products, and maybe even create some viral material, for example a video about how to mix your own healthy pre-workout to save money. I want to show to the world that I know my shit. Then I'd reach out to creators in my field and offer to collaborate: I'd make a 10-15 minutes video of solid informational content they would post on their channel. In return, collaborations would help me promote my own channel, which would be part of my sale funnel.

Basically, content marketing.
Awesome Buckley quote! "It doesn't taste as good. That's why it works!" Along those lines. Going to brainstorm on this.

Re: giving opinions on YouTube. Would you recommended listing competitor products, and explaining why my product is better? Attack their use of artificial shit, proprietary blends, etc.?

I started a blog on the website this week but you're right, I need to be in video as well. I'm using Ninja Outreach to find IG affiliates, and I know it has capabilities to find Content partners as well. Any other tools you would recommend?
 

Bigguns50

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@Brewer07 .... good work ! I read through your original post....not so much of the rest. My Wife and I talk about how we can't find good supplements that are pure...no dye #, sucralose, etc. I mean, some things they put in just don't make sense when you're trying to stay on top physically and health wise.
My market is not everyone who takes pre-workout. I need consumers who care about their health more than taste.
So I'm wondering if your market may be the 30 and over, or 40 and over. The ones who are educated with $$ and will pay for what they want.

Just a thought. Keep up the good work.
 
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Brewer07

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@Brewer07 .... good work ! I read through your original post....not so much of the rest. My Wife and I talk about how we can't find good supplements that are pure...no dye #, sucralose, etc. I mean, some things they put in just don't make sense when you're trying to stay on top physically and health wise.

So I'm wondering if your market may be the 30 and over, or 40 and over. The ones who are educated with $$ and will pay for what they want.

Just a thought. Keep up the good work.
Yes, aiming for a more affluent & educated crowd. I completed a "customer avatar" exercise, based on a recommended by Clay Hebert. I'll C&P it here, let me know what you think.

"Evan is a 31-year-old male living in San Francisco, California. He grew up in Colorado and has always been very active. As a child, he played numerous sports – football, soccer, snowboarding, skiing – and while he was never the best at any sport, he wasn’t the worst, either. He’s not what we would call a “natural” athlete, but his athletic ability is above average. He fears being fat. He’s self-conscious about his stomach and borders on body dysmorphia. His mother’s side of the family has always had issues controlling their weight, and many relatives suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and similar metabolic disorders.

After high school, Evan attended college at the University of Washington, where he doubled-majored in marketing and communications. He’s the outgoing type, and wanted to pursue a career in marketing, preferably for a tech start-up – he isn’t an IT guru, but he’s always been interested in computers and technology. He dreams of becoming Executive Vice-President of Marketing for a large tech company. Growing up during the dot-com era and coming of age in the era of social media, he sees a future where technology is the foundation of civilization. He may not be a programmer, but he knows where the money is, and refuses to be left behind. Evan is considered an “early adapter” in technology trends. He’s been a user of Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, Uber, and Instagram since their early days. He bought a drone before they became a public nuisance. He owned Fitbit’s first model, and buys a new one each time the company releases a significant upgrade. He reads TechCrunch and Ars Technica daily.

During his undergraduate studies, Evan strayed a bit from his healthy lifestyle. He still went to the gym, but it was equal part social time as it was workout time. He still loved hiking, rowing, swimming, and being outdoors, but it often took a backseat to his campus obligations and partying. Evan joined a fraternity and served as president his junior year. He was active in Student Activities Board, eventually landing the role as the main planner for campus activities. His biggest claim to fame? Bringing _______ to campus for a concert his senior year in 2007.

Evan graduated UWash with his bachelor’s in marketing and communications, and immediately entered the one-year MBA program at the University of San Francisco in 2008. This was the prime time to be in San Francisco – while the economy was down, venture capital began flowing into technology start-ups.

During his MBA, Evan began getting serious about his health again. He was an early adapter of the “Paleo Diet”, and drastically cut back on sugar, white flour, starch – any food that “comes in a box”. He switched from Bud Light to red wine, with an occasional IPAs or tequila. Evan started lifting weights consistently again. He noticed how much better he felt, how his mood improved, how much more he could focus on his work.

He joined a Crossfit “box” in 2014 and considers it one of the best decisions he has ever made. He loves the social aspect – it’s where he met several of his close friends, including a member of his wedding party. He works out because he cannot imagine life without physical activity. He considers it a blessing to have a fully-functioning body, and wants to take advantage of this blessing as often as possible.

Evan prefers to shop local whenever possible. He goes to the farmer’s market down at Pier 37 nearly every Saturday morning. His other grocery needs are fulfilled at Trader Joe’s. He’s a regular at Blue Bottle Coffee and Four Barrel Coffee, and will support Philz Coffee from time to time. When he isn’t shopping local, his taste trend towards newer brands, He wears workout clothing from Myles (an atheleisure company founded in San Francisco) and Rhone, dress clothing from Mizzen+Main, and dappers down with a custom-fitted suit from Indochino.

Evan has eclectic taste in music. His interests range from Moon Taxi to Kendrick Lamar to Passion Pit to ODESZA. His music choice often changes depending on the setting. He’ll blast Eminem in the gym, then listen to Father John Misty on the bike ride home. He’s always considered music an integral part of his life, and often uses it to “control” the mood he wants to be in.

Evan currently works as a senior marketing manager for Dropbox. He lives in San Francisco’s Mission district in a recently-built apartment complex with his wife. The 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment features an open floor plan, an earthy color palette based on grays and burnt sienna, and trendy decorations found on Etsy. Numerous “smart home” devices can be found throughout the apartment. The Nest thermostat is set to kick the AC (or heat, in the winter) on just before Evan arrives home from work. He gets his morning weather report from Alexa. Sonos wireless speakers are present in every room. Even the lights are controlled from his iPhone."
 

RoadTrip

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Amazing profile indeed. Reading this I need to improve on mine tremendously


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk
 
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Brewer07

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Update: Week in Review (June 25 - July 1, 2017)

I did not accomplish everything I set out to do this week. Life happens and I had to tend to other things. I pushed back Google AdWords to next week and only got around to FB marketing this AM.

Marketing
: watched the video @Denim Chicken posted. If you're unfamiliar with Facebook Ads, it's very informative and I highly recommend it.

From July 2 through July 5, I'm testing three different FB ad sets. All are targeted for ages 25-30, people living in the United States.
  1. Set 1 targets people with interests related to Crossfit.
  2. Set 2 targets people with interests related to bodybuilding and fitness.
  3. Set 3 targets people with interests in nutraceutical companies.
I also have some test ads currently running on Reddit.

Sales
:
I surpassed $650 this past week. I'm hungry for $1000!

Affiliate Program
This past week, I added a sign-up link for anyone to join my affiliate program. I've received several applications since doing so, but have not had any affiliate sales to date. I'll be working with my new affiliates to experiment and find the best way to generate sales.

Plan for Next Week (July 2 - July 8, 2017)
  1. July 4th special sale.
  2. Research Buckley's cough syrup to gain insight on using "inferior taste" to my advantage.
  3. Monitor FB ad progress.
  4. Research Google AdWords and launch first AdWords campaign.
 

RedKiteKid

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I dont have anything specific to add to your thread but just wanted to jump on and congratulate you on some top notch execution. Way to make things happen! Keep on grinding!
 
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Brewer07

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Facebook Ad results are in. Not pretty.

I ran three separate ads from July 2 - July 5 (ended this morning @ 9 am).
  1. Ad Set 1: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in nutraceutical pages.
    1. Reach: 1,657 (79% women, 20% men)
    2. Link clicks: 15 (87% women, 13% men); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  2. Ad Set 2: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in bodybuilding.
    1. Reach: 3,718 (67% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 18 (68% men, 32% women); 0.44% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  3. Ad Set 3: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in Crossfit.
    1. Reach: 2,087 (66% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 20 (65% men, 35% women); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
The copy & CTA for all three was the same. 3 different pictures were used across all the ads.
  1. Picture 1 result rate: 0.67% (4,489 reach, 32 link clicks). Performed best with the Crossfit Ad Set (1.20% result rate).
  2. Picture 2 result rate: 0.64% (2,515 reach, 17 link clicks). Performed best with the Nutraceutical Ad Set (1.94% result rate).
  3. Picture 3 result rate: 0.52% (751 reach, 4 link clicks) - turns out this was NOT used for Ad Set 2 (bodybuilding).
Here are the 3 pictures used:
Picture 1: [GALLERY=media, 42]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 1 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 2: [GALLERY=media, 43]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 2 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 3: [GALLERY=media, 44]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 3 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]

This was in conjunction with running a 20% off sale with no coupon code required - prices were marked down. Zero sales.

Lessons learned:
  1. If Facebook marketing was as easy as throwing together a campaign, spending $60, and making a lot of money, everyone would do it. I'm keeping that in mind because I get down on myself very easily and I'm pretty bummed I made $0 during this campaign + across the 4th of July holiday sale.
  2. Men responded slightly better to the shirtless vs. shirt pictures compared to women, in terms of result rate.
  3. Response rate was lowest amongst those with interest in bodybuilding and related areas. This isn't really surprising.
Next steps:
I am open to advice! Also, if there are additional metrics that would help you advise me, let me know and I'll post them.
I'll be exploring Google Adwords today and aiming to have my first campaign up and running.
 

jon.a

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$60 over a holiday? I'd run it again outside of the holiday and double check.

Facebook Ad results are in. Not pretty.

I ran three separate ads from July 2 - July 5 (ended this morning @ 9 am).
  1. Ad Set 1: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in nutraceutical pages.
    1. Reach: 1,657 (79% women, 20% men)
    2. Link clicks: 15 (87% women, 13% men); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  2. Ad Set 2: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in bodybuilding.
    1. Reach: 3,718 (67% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 18 (68% men, 32% women); 0.44% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  3. Ad Set 3: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in Crossfit.
    1. Reach: 2,087 (66% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 20 (65% men, 35% women); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
The copy & CTA for all three was the same. 3 different pictures were used across all the ads.
  1. Picture 1 result rate: 0.67% (4,489 reach, 32 link clicks). Performed best with the Crossfit Ad Set (1.20% result rate).
  2. Picture 2 result rate: 0.64% (2,515 reach, 17 link clicks). Performed best with the Nutraceutical Ad Set (1.94% result rate).
  3. Picture 3 result rate: 0.52% (751 reach, 4 link clicks) - turns out this was NOT used for Ad Set 2 (bodybuilding).
Here are the 3 pictures used:
Picture 1: [GALLERY=media, 42]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 1 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 2: [GALLERY=media, 43]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 2 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 3: [GALLERY=media, 44]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 3 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]

This was in conjunction with running a 20% off sale with no coupon code required - prices were marked down. Zero sales.

Lessons learned:
  1. If Facebook marketing was as easy as throwing together a campaign, spending $60, and making a lot of money, everyone would do it. I'm keeping that in mind because I get down on myself very easily and I'm pretty bummed I made $0 during this campaign + across the 4th of July holiday sale.
  2. Men responded slightly better to the shirtless vs. shirt pictures compared to women, in terms of result rate.
  3. Response rate was lowest amongst those with interest in bodybuilding and related areas. This isn't really surprising.
Next steps:
I am open to advice! Also, if there are additional metrics that would help you advise me, let me know and I'll post them.
I'll be exploring Google Adwords today and aiming to have my first campaign up and running.
 

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Sully1994

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Facebook Ad results are in. Not pretty.

I ran three separate ads from July 2 - July 5 (ended this morning @ 9 am).
  1. Ad Set 1: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in nutraceutical pages.
    1. Reach: 1,657 (79% women, 20% men)
    2. Link clicks: 15 (87% women, 13% men); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  2. Ad Set 2: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in bodybuilding.
    1. Reach: 3,718 (67% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 18 (68% men, 32% women); 0.44% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  3. Ad Set 3: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in Crossfit.
    1. Reach: 2,087 (66% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 20 (65% men, 35% women); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
The copy & CTA for all three was the same. 3 different pictures were used across all the ads.
  1. Picture 1 result rate: 0.67% (4,489 reach, 32 link clicks). Performed best with the Crossfit Ad Set (1.20% result rate).
  2. Picture 2 result rate: 0.64% (2,515 reach, 17 link clicks). Performed best with the Nutraceutical Ad Set (1.94% result rate).
  3. Picture 3 result rate: 0.52% (751 reach, 4 link clicks) - turns out this was NOT used for Ad Set 2 (bodybuilding).
Here are the 3 pictures used:
Picture 1: [GALLERY=media, 42]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 1 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 2: [GALLERY=media, 43]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 2 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 3: [GALLERY=media, 44]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 3 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]

This was in conjunction with running a 20% off sale with no coupon code required - prices were marked down. Zero sales.

Lessons learned:
  1. If Facebook marketing was as easy as throwing together a campaign, spending $60, and making a lot of money, everyone would do it. I'm keeping that in mind because I get down on myself very easily and I'm pretty bummed I made $0 during this campaign + across the 4th of July holiday sale.
  2. Men responded slightly better to the shirtless vs. shirt pictures compared to women, in terms of result rate.
  3. Response rate was lowest amongst those with interest in bodybuilding and related areas. This isn't really surprising.
Next steps:
I am open to advice! Also, if there are additional metrics that would help you advise me, let me know and I'll post them.
I'll be exploring Google Adwords today and aiming to have my

Facebook Ad results are in. Not pretty.

I ran three separate ads from July 2 - July 5 (ended this morning @ 9 am).
  1. Ad Set 1: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in nutraceutical pages.
    1. Reach: 1,657 (79% women, 20% men)
    2. Link clicks: 15 (87% women, 13% men); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  2. Ad Set 2: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in bodybuilding.
    1. Reach: 3,718 (67% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 18 (68% men, 32% women); 0.44% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
  3. Ad Set 3: ages 25-30, both genders, interest in Crossfit.
    1. Reach: 2,087 (66% men, 33% women)
    2. Link clicks: 20 (65% men, 35% women); 0.87% result rate.
    3. Sales: 0
The copy & CTA for all three was the same. 3 different pictures were used across all the ads.
  1. Picture 1 result rate: 0.67% (4,489 reach, 32 link clicks). Performed best with the Crossfit Ad Set (1.20% result rate).
  2. Picture 2 result rate: 0.64% (2,515 reach, 17 link clicks). Performed best with the Nutraceutical Ad Set (1.94% result rate).
  3. Picture 3 result rate: 0.52% (751 reach, 4 link clicks) - turns out this was NOT used for Ad Set 2 (bodybuilding).
Here are the 3 pictures used:
Picture 1: [GALLERY=media, 42]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 1 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 2: [GALLERY=media, 43]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 2 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]
Picture 3: [GALLERY=media, 44]Facebook Ad Test #1 - Picture 3 by Brewer07 posted Jul 5, 2017 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY]

This was in conjunction with running a 20% off sale with no coupon code required - prices were marked down. Zero sales.

Lessons learned:
  1. If Facebook marketing was as easy as throwing together a campaign, spending $60, and making a lot of money, everyone would do it. I'm keeping that in mind because I get down on myself very easily and I'm pretty bummed I made $0 during this campaign + across the 4th of July holiday sale.
  2. Men responded slightly better to the shirtless vs. shirt pictures compared to women, in terms of result rate.
  3. Response rate was lowest amongst those with interest in bodybuilding and related areas. This isn't really surprising.
Next steps:
I am open to advice! Also, if there are additional metrics that would help you advise me, let me know and I'll post them.
I'll be exploring Google Adwords today and aiming to have my first campaign up and running.
First off, love what you're doing with this . The industry needs more clean pre workouts that don't have ingredient lists a mile long.

I think the weak point in your ads is the pictures. They are too dark, and don't look professional. Honestly I would find a more ripped model too. You are selling a supplement that allows your customers to reach an aspirational level of fitness- otherwise why bother taking it ?

Keep up the good work and keep hustling!
 
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Brewer07

Brewer07

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$60 over a holiday? I'd run it again outside of the holiday and double check.
Thanks, definitely going to run again. Although I am going to modify based on results, even if it was over holiday.

First off, love what you're doing with this . The industry needs more clean pre workouts that don't have ingredient lists a mile long.

I think the weak point in your ads is the pictures. They are too dark, and don't look professional. Honestly I would find a more ripped model too. You are selling a supplement that allows your customers to reach an aspirational level of fitness- otherwise why bother taking it ?

Keep up the good work and keep hustling!
Thank you for the support!

Re: model. My friend has a girlfriend with a professional-level camera and volunteered to take product shots for free. So I worked with what I've got. Should I brighten up the pictures I do have and re-use? I can find stock pictures with much better models but it won't have the product in it. Do you think these would work better? Or is it a matter of finding someone locally with a better physique to pose with the product?
EDIT - another option is just using a product shot with no model. Intuition tells me that a image with a model+product would work better, but I could be wrong - any insight here?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Thank you for sharing your journey, no matter win or lose.

I'm a big fan of the value array you are targeting; no colors, dyes, artificial sweeteners, etc.

Thread watched, plus some rep for sharing.
 

SYK

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I can find stock pictures with much better models but it won't have the product in it.
Agree with @Sully1994 on the pics. Sure, it'd be ideal to have product and model in the same shot. But not necessary. You can use high quality model shots with product in foreground. All it takes is some basic photoshopping. Plenty of supp companies do it. Eg. the pic below (just an example, not saying yours should be identical).

On the copy, you're telling me a lot of what it IS but not what it DOES. Hit me with some benefits, man! Pharmacist-developed is a strong credential, but I'd save that for your product page. Slap people in the forehead with what it's going to do for their workout/physique/etc. in your ads.

P.S. Fellow Incubator member here. I'm the one from the calls who was on the other side of the world ;). Really like this change of idea for you! Nice work.

 

Sully1994

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Try testing product only shots. There's two benefits to this:

1) you can use product mock ups instead of photos of the actual thing. Now you don't have to worry about bad lighting. Thanks Photoshop!

2) it's pretty tough to not alienate one side of your audience when your model is half naked, (regardless of gender).

I noticed your gender click ratio swung heavily towards the female side.

Let's reverse things. Guys commonly click on pictures of hot women advertising female oriented products. Why? Because they're hot. They're not interested in the product being advertised .

It's possible that we have a similar situation going on here- just from the female perspective.

Food for thought!
 

Denim Chicken

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The ad set looks like every other bodybuilding ad. I would try doubling down on your USP.

My personal approach for branding would be to go PURE/Medical route.

Have you seen RX bar branding? Their packaging is simple, it says "3 egg white, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates, NO BS" Those are the ingredients.



For your ad, I see maybe a clean countertop with good lighting, a couple pharmaceutical measuring devices, a scale, etc. and various powders highlighting the "pharmacist-developed" aspect of the product.
 
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Brewer07

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Thank you for sharing your journey, no matter win or lose.

I'm a big fan of the value array you are targeting; no colors, dyes, artificial sweeteners, etc.

Thread watched, plus some rep for sharing.
Thank you! I've noticed some of the bigger supp companies starting to enter this area. They're still using "natural flavors" and underdosing their ingredients, so I'm not worried. Actually a good sign - it validates the market.

Agree with @Sully1994 on the pics. Sure, it'd be ideal to have product and model in the same shot. But not necessary. You can use high quality model shots with product in foreground. All it takes is some basic photoshopping. Plenty of supp companies do it. Eg. the pic below (just an example, not saying yours should be identical).

On the copy, you're telling me a lot of what it IS but not what it DOES. Hit me with some benefits, man! Pharmacist-developed is a strong credential, but I'd save that for your product page. Slap people in the forehead with what it's going to do for their workout/physique/etc. in your ads.

P.S. Fellow Incubator member here. I'm the one from the calls who was on the other side of the world ;). Really like this change of idea for you! Nice work.

What's up? Good to see you here! I remember you from the progress threads. Hope you are doing well! Send me a PM and let me know what you're working on.

Thanks for the feedback re: copy. It is not a strength of mine. I will test ads using benefits-focused copy instead of product-focused.

Good call on photoshopping some stock photos. I already have my product mockup so that shouldn't be hard to do.

Try testing product only shots. There's two benefits to this:

1) you can use product mock ups instead of photos of the actual thing. Now you don't have to worry about bad lighting. Thanks Photoshop!

2) it's pretty tough to not alienate one side of your audience when your model is half naked, (regardless of gender).

I noticed your gender click ratio swung heavily towards the female side.

Let's reverse things. Guys commonly click on pictures of hot women advertising female oriented products. Why? Because they're hot. They're not interested in the product being advertised .

It's possible that we have a similar situation going on here- just from the female perspective.

Food for thought!
Definitely going to try some product-only ad runs and see how they perform.

I can combine this with SYK's advice above - use stock photos of both males and females, and segment on gender (ex: target female model+product towards men, male model+product towards females).

What are your thoughts on shots featuring both a male and a female? Try it and see how it goes?

The ad set looks like every other bodybuilding ad. I would try doubling down on your USP.

My personal approach for branding would be to go PURE/Medical route.

Have you seen RX bar branding? Their packaging is simple, it says "3 egg white, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates, NO BS" Those are the ingredients.



For your ad, I see maybe a clean countertop with good lighting, a couple pharmaceutical measuring devices, a scale, etc. and various powders highlighting the "pharmacist-developed" aspect of the product.
Yes, I've seen RXBar before, really good branding IMO. I like the approach you described - since I've been making this myself, I have powders, scales, etc. around the house. I'll work with this and see what I can develop.

Feedback To-Do:
  1. Photoshop high-quality stock photos with product in foreground. Run test ads.
  2. Re-write ad copy to be benefit-focused.
  3. Try gender-targeted ads.
  4. Try pharmaceutical/medical/pure approach with ads.
 
OP
OP
Brewer07

Brewer07

Bronze Contributor
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Jun 24, 2017
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I'd fully embrace the fact that your product doesn't taste as good as the unhealthy alternatives and use this as a differentiating factor. That reminds me of Buckley, a cough syrup that tastes horrible. The marketing team behind it turned the awful taste into a feature. Their slogan: It tastes awful, and it works!
Alright @smpaq (and others), I brainstormed some tag-lines similar to Buckley's "it tastes awful and it works". I wrote down literally everything that came to mind as soon as it came to mind, so please don't hold back on critique.

  • Tastes like eh. Works like DAMN.

  • Tastes like shit. Works like DAMN.

  • Unusual taste. Unusual results.

  • Choke it down. Rev it up.

  • Tastes different than the rest because it works better than the rest.

  • We tried to hide the taste. You won’t hide the results.

  • Forgettable taste. Unforgettable results.

  • Forgettable taste. Unforgettable workouts.

  • With a taste like this, you know it works.

  • Different taste. Different supplements. Different results.

  • Different taste. Different pre-workout. Different results.

  • Unique taste. Unique pre-workout. Unique results.

  • Unique taste. Unique supplements. Unique results.

  • It tastes like that because it works.

  • Suck up the taste. Bask in the gains.

  • Trade taste for real supplements.

  • Trade taste for supplements that work.

  • Weird taste? That’s how you know it works.

  • You know it works as soon as you taste it.

  • Doesn’t taste great. But you’ll look amazing.

  • Trade in flavor for supplements that work.

  • Strong taste. Strong lifts.

  • Strong taste. Strong gains.

  • Strong taste. Strong muscles.

  • Workouts so good, you’ll survive the taste.

  • Workouts so intense, you’ll survive the taste.

  • Workouts so good, you’ll forget about the taste.

  • Workouts so intense, you’ll forget about the taste.

  • What the hell is that taste? The glory of quad-busting squats.

  • Why does it taste like that? Because it works.

  • “Why does it taste weird?” “Shut up and lift.” (I envision this as two people, with the response coming from a much more ripped individual)

  • Get over the taste. The results are worth it.

  • Get past the taste to get past your bench plateau.

  • Crappy taste. Happy body.

  • Want insane strength? Give up the blue razzberry pre-workout and try the real stuff.

  • Real men don’t need blue cotton candy pre-workout. Real men use Focal Force.

  • Drop your pansy cotton-candy pre-workout. Try something heavier.

  • It’s like 190-proof pre-workout. You’ll know it works from the first sip.
 

ZeroTo100

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Feb 2, 2016
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Hey,

Couple of things that you don't really talk much about. I'd love to hear more about your manufacturing and bottling process. What kind of lab are these products being made in? Believe it or not, the facility that they are made in is a HUGE deal. I actually was in this field and did a marketing campaign for USP Labs, Xyience, Zevia, AI Sports Nutrition, BSN, Dream Water, EBoost, Power Crunch Bars, to name a few. This market is so big, it's hard not to find customers. Have you done any private labeling?

Honestly; if I was in this market, I would create a brand that people recognize as the one on the shelf that they don't ever have to worry about reading labels. Let's face it, 80% of the people putting supplements in their body really don't know what they are reading. If you can build a brand that says hey we are the "safe bet" or "we are the good guys," you'll win.

Perfect example: The Honest Company

Good luck
 
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