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

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Brewer07, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. DronePilot
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    DronePilot Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    If your target market is 29-34 year olds I don’t think Instagram will be your most effective route. Most people on Instagram are under 25. For social proof for that target market I think you’ll be better off on Facebook.
     
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  2. Brewer07
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    Those are the people actually buying - from my observations. I don't have the hard data to back that up. Does Shopify have those analytics capabilities or will that have to come from elsewhere?

    Thanks for the reading advice. Will bookmark and get to ASAP.

    Thanks for listing the pain points a customer experiences. I'll need to think on how to market to those issues & properly communicate how I can solve their problem.

    And yeah - definitely a competitive market. Is it even harder since this is my first business? Maybe. But 1) it's a space I'm familiar with, 2) I am my own customer (solving my own problem led to this business), and 3) if I can succeed in this space, there are dozens of others the experience will translate to. Bring it on :D

    I appreciate the feedback! Thank you for taking the time to do that.

    1. You mentioned APS Mesomorph. Not ragging on the product - but I'm going to go through how I eliminated that as a product I would take. Maybe this will help figure out how I can communicate this in my marketing. They use proprietary blends so we can't know for sure what is in the product, but I can quickly figure it out.
      1. Looking on the ingredients label, the first thing listed is "Synthenox-carnosine/nitric oxide complex: 6500mg Beta-alanine, l-citrulline, dl-malate 2:1, arginine alpha ketoglutarate". I'm not sure why there's a comma between "l-citrulline" and "dl-malate 2:1"
      2. So, this blend contains the listed ingredients, at a TOTAL weight of 6500 mg. IT could contain 6498 mg beta alanine, and 1 mg each of the other two...but I doubt that. From digging around on the website, they do reveal it contains 4000 mg beta alanine. This is good - the clinically-proven dose for beta alanine is in the 2.5 - 5 g range.
      3. So, we've got 2500 mg to split amongst l-citrulline dl-malate 2:1 and arginine alpha ketoglutarate (AAKG for short).
      4. At this point, I know this product is under-dosing these ingredients. Benefits from L-citrulline don't kick in until you reach 6000 mg minimum. AAKG has been proven inferior to L-citrulline so I would never use a product containing that in the first place.
      5. I could go on and do this for their other proprietary blends. This has been the case for every product using a proprietary blend I've ever looked at - under-dosed ingredients. I could also do this for any other pre-workout on the market - PreJym, MegaWatt, C4 (don't get me started on C4)..
    2. re: going to local Crossfit boxes. I tried the prominent two in my city. One never responded. The other - got complaints about the taste. I did get a wholesale purchase from a box located in another state, so I agree with you there's a ton of potential here. But as someone who isn't a member at a Crossfit box, it is hard to break into their "cult" as an outsider. I do have a member on my team who does Crossfit and he's making progress here.
    3. re: sponsoring & discount codes via affiliate program. This was, originally, my primary marketing strategy. It got absolutely no where. I gained one partner from it who has been invaluable so I'm happy I tried it. No one wants to be an affiliate for a start up. @Andy Black & I discussed this yesterday. I think it works great if you're product is already established, which is why it works so well for 1st Phorm, ON, Progenix, etc. I got some shout outs/posts from accounts with ~10K followers but didn't notice much in terms of traffic, and only led to two sales.
    4. Definitely want to get onto labdoor, not in a position financially to do it at the moment though.

    1. I had a Youtube review posted and didn't notice any increase in sales or even traffic following. The person reviewing has an IG account with ~10K followers.
    2. Anyone who signs up to receive emails gets a discount (see comments about the "Spin to Win" pop up in other replies above :D). We've tried a few "flash sales" and didn't get anything from it. I send out a discount code for every sample and we see conversions here. I also have one partner with a decently sized (~9K) IG account who promotes us constantly - his discount code gets used often.

    Caveat - there is a good chance I did something wrong re: affiliates, working with local Crossfit boxes, etc. I don't want to come across as not listening to advice - just wanted to share what I have already tried, and what happened. If you see somewhere I screwed up - please let me know!
     
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  3. Brewer07
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    @MidwestLandlord I re-did the website and re-wrote copy on the product page. I used your exact words in one instance ("adrenal fatigue sucks"). Let me know your thoughts:

    Home page
    Focal Force Low Caffeine Pre-Workout product page
     
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  4. RoadTrip
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    I had a look at your website. I'm trying to help you here so I'm going to give you my honest opinion:
    1. I think it's way too dark. You are promoting a clean alternative to chemical loaded pre-workouts. So I'm expecting a clean and white website, not dark black. I've also read somewhere that clean and white websites convert best.
    2. I would get rid of the parallax effect. It's confusing, especially with the dark background
    3. I was trying to look for your product on your product page but couldn't find it. Your main product image is actually an image of the product + label. I except the label to be in a second image and your product in the main image. I understand what you're trying to do here, but I wouldn't do it this way.
    4. Your add to cart button is nearly visible
    Regarding your copy. If I recall correctly from your thread your product actually has two main selling points:
    1. Honest and clean ingredients without chemical additions
    2. Scientifically proven-to-be-effective ingredients carefully selected and mixed by a certified pharmacist.
    Can you somehow combine these two USP's and convert your copy in such a way that besides being clean etc. it also MASSIVELY improves performance during workout? And provide a very strong guarantee directly below the same paragraph? Instead of at the bottom of the page?

    These are my 2 cents.
     
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  5. RoadTrip
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    something that just popped up in my mind... can you perhaps include a chart of how your product boosts a stronger performance for a longer period, compared to your competitors?
     
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  6. sam9530130
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    sam9530130 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I would do something about the images (especially on the product page). You can tell it's not their original size ratio. I think it makes it look very cheap. It's the first thing people will see on that page.
     
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  7. DVU
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    Haven't read the thread but

    From just skimming through the thread I can see that you gained some momentum.

    Now, the website. Please do something about it. It looks very low quality and non-trustworthy.

    You need some kind of CTA(call to action) on the homepage on the hero image. Also, take some pictures of the product or something for that hero image, the stock photo just look bad.

    You need to use consistent spacing, font, font-families. Now it looks all around the place.

    --

    On the product page, you have 20 servings. Please specify how much is one serving.

    There is no universal standard for one serving so someone can think its 10g someone 5 someone 15.

    --

    Contact us page is broken. It all just sticks to the left side.

    --

    The second part of the website on the homepage is WE make this and that. Make that into something "it does this and that for you, this benefit and that benefit. No one really cares what you do. All they care is what you can do for them.

    --

    Also, remove the nutrition from the logo and leave just sanctus so that you can make the logo bigger.

    You need to enforce your brand more. Now it's just a website with a name. Get some brand colors and keep it consistent on social as well as the website. So when people see those colors they think of you.
     
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  8. Brewer07
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    Appreciate the feedback, as always.

    Re: website. I have a connection from college that does design for a living. He's getting a quote for web design back to us this weekend, because clearly I can't make one that converts. I've tried nearly every free theme on Shopify with no difference - same bad results. Keep getting bad feedback on it. Keep getting visitors with no conversions. I've considered dropping $$$ on a paid theme but I don't think that will make a difference. I think it's clear at this point I need to outsource this. Will let you all know once the website has been renovated again.
     
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  9. Xeon
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    Xeon Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I'm not sure if it's been mentioned here before, but are you making 1 sale every 10 - 15 seconds?
    That's what the Beeketing pop-up on the left seems to say (e.g: "Enzo in Vancouver, Canada just bought...")

    Be careful about that thing, if competitors use a tool like similarweb.com and the amount of your web traffic doesn't gel with the amount of sales you made, they might call you out for that. It seems lots of people (especially new companies) are using this Beeketing thing and setting the interval to an overly-short and unrealistic figure.
     
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  10. Brewer07
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    Brewer07 Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I wish!

    With the free version of the app, you can't change the interval timer. It's pre-set.
     
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  11. Brewer07
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    BF/CM Review

    Goal: $500 in revenue
    Our offer: 2 bottles of Focal Force Pre-workout for $50 (regular price: $39.99 per bottle)
    Reasoning: this was targeted at existing customers. I highly doubted any new customer would purchase 2 bottles before ever trying the product. Was I correct? Keep reading..

    Advertising methods:
    • Email – via Mailchimp
      • Friday AM
      • Monday PM
    • FB ads
      • One targeted towards men, 24-29
      • One targeted towards women, 24-29
      • Remarketing ads targeting past website visitors who left without making a purchase
    • Social media
      • IG business account
        • Post announcing sale
        • #SmallBusinessSaturday post - told my story (why I started business, etc)
        • Monday post
      • FB business account
        • shared #SmallBusinessSaturday story
      • FB personal account
        • shared #SmallBusinessSaturday story
    • Word of mouth
      • Reaching out to existing customers

    Results:

    $1,050 in revenue. (Had another repeat customer purchase 2 bottles at regular price early this AM, even after sale ended and discount didn’t work. So, technically, $1,129.98)

    What worked:
    • Word of mouth and reaching out to existing customers
      • $600 in revenue came from existing customers that were contacted personally about the BF/CM deal.
      • $150 in revenue came from customers who had recently ordered a free sample – we followed up and personally suggested they check out our BF/CM special
    • FB Remarketing ads
      • Stats from Ad Manager:
        • Impressions: 793
        • Reach: 392
        • Link clicks: 30
        • Purchases: 11
    • I am pretty confident most of these “purchases” are people ordering a free sample. At the rate we’re converting samples to purchases, I’m very happy with our performance here.
    What needs improvement:
    • FB ads (non-remarketing)
      • To be honest…I knew these were going to bomb. The ads were horrible. The audience selection was shitty. I went ahead and let my business partner run them anyway to prove a point
    • Email via Mailchimp
      • Friday AM email stats:
        • 22.9% open rate
        • $50 revenue (1 order) – repeat customer, personal friend of mine
      • Monday PM email stats:
        • 22.7% open rate
        • $50 revenue (1 order) – we hounded this customer outside this campaign as well.
      • Our open rate has been dropping as our list grows. I’ve noted several times here I’m not super confident in my copywriting abilities – lots of room for growth here.
    • Google Adwords Remarketing
      • 0% CTR Fri – Mon. Woof.
      • 1.49% CTR overall leaves a lot of room for improvement.
    Closing Thoughts

    My first BF/CM was FUCKING AWESOME.
    1. We DOUBLED our revenue goal. This was driven primarily by repeat customers which is a huge confidence boost.
    2. We got experience running FB ads and learned some lessons.
    3. I had a ton of fun hustling all weekend. I’m still riding a high from it.
    4. We've now had back-to-back record-setting months in terms of revenue.
    Thanks to everyone who has stopped in to give advice - it really means a ton to me, and has helped more than you could possibly know. I'll continue to provide updates as I implement your suggestions.
     
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  12. Brewer07
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    Got a professional bodybuilder to do a photoshoot for us. ALL stock photos are now gone from the website - forever.

    I also had a crossfit coach record a 30-second testimonial and posted it to Instagram, unsolicited. I now have it posted on the product page for both the full bottle as well as samples.

    Check it out and let me know your thoughts:
    Home page: Sanctus Nutrition
    Focal Force: Focal Force Low Caffeine Pre-Workout
    Focal Force samples: Focal Force Low Caffeine Pre-Workout Samples - Single-serving pack

    Haven't noticed a conversion difference so far today. I'll continue to monitor over the next few days.

    Next steps:
    1. Getting a new 3D bottle rendering made that accurately reflects what the product looks like
      1. Previous render had a black bottle and slightly different coloring for our logo. It doesn't reflect what the product ended up looking like.
    2. Looking into a different Shopify theme. There's a paid one I have in mind. I'm going to get a draft of it saved with our new photos, and post screenshots here - I'd love feedback on whether it's worth the price tag.
    3. Utilizing new photos in Facebook Ad campaigns. Expanding our funnel to augment our current remarketing campaign.
     
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  13. DVU
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    The website looks better now.

    But. Still no CTA. It is really important that you put some kind of "sentence" that explains what you sell and a button on how to buy it right on the homepage hero image. Look at some sales copy threads on here to help you with that.

    --

    Change "low caffeine pre-workout" page name to shop. I know that you are still in the early stage of offering products but people might assume that you will only sell pre workouts which I assume is not true.

    --

    Product images on the "low caffeine pre-workout" page. Now you have a girl holding the sample and a guy for the bottle. That's inconsistent. If you have 10-15 products it would just look ugly and bad. There should be a picture of a product on the white background. Consistent.

    To get what I'm talking about go to any supplement store online.

    --

    Heres an idea for a Facebook ad: FREE ONE YEAR SUPPLY OF PRE WORKOUT. And then say you will get them 2 bottles a month or something like that. Shock the user with the ad and then collect emails. You will get a lot of users signing up and make you a retargeting list of both advertising and email marketing. But this will only work if the users see the ad and are "holy cr*p I can't miss this, one year of free preworkout?! Where do I sign up".

    Regarding email marketing. Look into LTV aka long-term value funnel. Alex Becker has some good stuff on that. Basically what it is is you send a couple of emails where you only provide value to the user, that makes them like you more. Then, sell something. As you don't have a lot of products now, you can offer discounts on your products and other times have some affiliate deals(but don't promote trash, only things you believe in and would personally buy)

    You can maybe even get a few Instagram influencers to promote that 1 year of a free preworkout deal.

    The goal here would be to collect emails for retargeting and email marketing. And you can even make a lookalike audience if you get enough emails.
    --

    I don't know how much traffic you have but a good thing would be to make some kind of useful ebook for the user and then have a popup to collect emails for that ebook. Again. Emails are very important.

    --

    Change the color of the review stars on the product pages. When there are no reviews the starts are usually grey on other pages. On yours it the other way around. Make them red or something. People might just skim over it and quickly conclude that it has no reviews(took me a few seconds to figure out there are reviews). If you can show the reviews a bit better the user will think "people bought this and liked it, I will probably like it as well. Let me buy it".

    Another idea that just popped into my head is: put reviews on the homepage.

    --

    Have an email signup at the bottom of the blog posts. Maybe people want to see more. And the extra step of finding the form might not appeal to them.

    --

    Regarding Instagram influencers, if you don't have a lot of money for the big ones, which I presume you don't, you can ask the smaller ones to send them a free bottle and ask them to make an honest review.

    A lot of those smaller accounts want to be the big "Instagram influencer" that get a lot of sponsorships and free stuff. So this might spark their imagination.

    I don't know how much it costs but you can send a couple of bottles a month no problem probably.

    --

    Hope this helps
     
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  14. racyred09
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    I love it! This is something I would totally buy- and actually, probably will. I have been thinking about taking a pre-workout (I do Crossfit), but as someone who generally stays away from caffeine, the massive doses of caffeine really turned me off. You chose a great name for your concept as well. I have a feeling you're going to do really well!
     
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  15. Brewer07
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    Really appreciate you taking the time to put in a thought-out response!

    Done. Good call.

    I've got a guy on Fiverr working on the white background 3D render. Should be finished tomorrow.

    --

    This is good. Love the contest as a New Year's promotion when everyone is in the mindset of getting to the gym.
    --

    --

    Figured out how to fix the star color - also changed it to autoload reviews. Let me know if this looks better or worse.

    --

    --

    I tried smaller accounts. I'm just not seeing any results with the influencer route - whether its a 10K account or 1K account. They don't promote it at all.

    Instead we're targeting existing customers and incentivizing them to leave reviews, post video testimonials on social, and send us their videos so we can use them internally. We're offering $10 in store credit to 1) leave a review, 2) post a video on social media, and 3) send us their video to use in promotions. So, they can earn up to $30 to use on future orders (which keeps them in our ecosystem), and we get real testimonials from actual customers. We've already gotten 3 videos (including the one I've added to product pages) without much promotion/outreach.

    I have a goal of something like "30 Days of Customer Reviews" to run in Jan/Feb, where we post a video review from a real customer each day.

    Thank you! This is exactly what spurred me to create this product.

    I think the Crossfit market is perfect for our pre-workout - speaking with Crossfit athletes, they tell me they are already excited before a workout or competition. The last thing they want is 200 - 400 mg of caffeine - their heart is already racing, they don't want to get jittery, and many pre-workouts push them over the edge into feeling anxious and throws off their performance.

    Focal Force is stocked at Crossfit Danbury and is creating a buzz there. Their head coach recently put this video out on IG.

    The hard part for me - I don't do Crossfit, and, for better or worse, it's a very tight-knit community. I've visited a few gyms in my area and I think I'm viewed as an outsider just trying to sell them something. I've had success with CF Danbury because I formed a relationship with one of their members, and he promoted our product from the inside. He also has a lot of connections to other CF box's, who we are sending samples to and aiming to work with.

    Don't forget - Fastlane members get 30% off their first order. Sanctus Nutrition (this should apply automatically, but just in case, use "FASTLANE" at checkout if it's still showing full price.)

    We also do free samples so you can try it out first! - Focal Force Low Caffeine Pre-Workout Samples - Single-serving pack
     
  16. Blaise84
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    @Brewer07
    Hey man, way to keep working the process!
    I thought this would be helpful: Saw an ad of yours on Facebook. To me, I couldn't tell who it was for. The name "Force" sounded like it was geared toward serious athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters. But, the friendly looking young lady in the ad made it seem like it was for women who are into fitness and want to stay trim, but not in a serious way. (New mothers, novice fitness enthusiasts, etc).

    Hope this helps.
     
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  17. racyred09
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    Okay, just ordered my sample! Good call on the free shipping :)

    I can see how it would be hard to break into the Crossfit community! But as it IS a community I imagine now that you've got an "in" word will start to spread. Just look at "It Starts with Food" and the Whole30 movement...they started as gym owners and don't even do Crossfit themselves, but I would say they can thank CF for a large part of their success!

    What do you think your next product will be? I've read a lot of BCAA's are made from duck feathers and even human hair, so I think there's room in that market for a non-disgusting alternative!
     
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  18. PureA
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    Read through the whole thread, good work so far. I have some comments that I hope will help.

    I think you need to think about alignment throughout your website/marketing/product.

    I click on your website, and I just hate it. Sorry to be blunt but I'd rather give real hardcore feedback than pat-on-back type stuff.

    So, why do I hate it?

    - The colour scheme - why the orange/ dark orange theme.

    - Layout - When I land on your site, I don't even see the product. I see a guy that is way too muscular for your audience and is a complete turn off. I've landed on your site, and I'm thinking, is this an apparel company? is this a workout equipment company?

    Hero Image - Your audience doesn't want to see a tatted muscle head. They want to see a fit, healthy, smart, 25-35 year old with a big smile. They want to see what they aspire to be physically. And that isn't a tatted up muscle head (example of physique -
    https://underarmour.scene7.com/is/i...92,0,0&cache=on,off&bgc=f0f0f0&resMode=sharp2)

    - As I scroll... - Not sure what is going on with this blog-type-shop approach. Show me the product, show me the price. Make it easier to read.

    - Product images - Why is the main product image a dark/blurry/unclear picture. We want to see fit, healthy, young, bright, smart, smiles with the product in hand. - Current picture looks super amateur.

    - Sample Product image - I mean cool picture, but more of a product review/social post type picture - change needed.

    - What our customers are saying - Ahhh so the guy who's giving a testimonial is also in all your product pictures. What does this say to your audience? It says small time. It says I don't have any real testimonials so I will just use my model guy. It says I'm struggling to get 3 positive reviews for my product.

    - Bottom of homepage 'Our Story' - We don't want your story, sure, I'm not saying get rid of the content. Keep it in the menu. But the bottom of the page is your last chance to tell your customer 'WIIFM' (What's in it for me). They want to know benefits, they want to know about what the product can do for them and why they should look into it further. - I would recommend a CTA w/ link to product page.

    - Product page layout - Hire someone to reshuffle your product page. When I load it up on desktop it looks broken - it just doesn't fit, again, screams amateur, screams I made this site myself, screams not trustworthy.

    Summary:

    You need to optimise everything for your ideal customer. The whole operation must be optimised for your people. The pictures, copy, marketing, labels, product (which you already have on lockdown!). When they land on your site, they've got to feel comfy, and they've got to know that you understand their needs.

    Sorry if I came across rude! The feedback comes from a pure place of wanting to help.

    I wish you all the best.
     
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  19. MoreVolume
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    MoreVolume Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    ^^^^ i hope you didn't listen to this dude
     
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  20. Brewer07
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    Brewer07 Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for your feedback!

    I'm an amateur at Facebook ads. I am working to tweak our remarketing so men see ads featuring a man, and women see ads featuring a woman. Is this the approach you would suggest?

    Next product is a protein. But that won't be on the market until we get the pre-workout moving consistently. Looking forward to your feedback! Let me know when the sample arrives.
     
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  21. Brewer07
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    Brewer07 Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    No worries - you did not come across rude! I'd be upset if you WEREN'T brutally honest.

    I hate the website too. Everything screams "I made this site myself" because I made the site myself :D. We are trying to bring a friend on board to re-design from the ground up but he is slow at getting back to us, so we're back to square one there.

    Orange/black color scheme - the colors themselves came from branding a friend of mine did for me. He does marketing campaigns on a national/international level for large companies and created my logo, colors, etc. pro bono. He is NOT responsible for how the colors are implemented on the website, though.

    Re: sample image. Would you just use the full bottle picture? Not sure what else I'd use for the picture, either the current one or use the full bottle render.

    Re: showing price on home page. Current Shopify theme doesn't have this feature. I'll explore other options and see what I can find. Which should solve the other issues you brought up as well.

    Please keep the honest feedback coming! Being soft on me won't get this business to the Fastlane.
     
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  22. Brewer07
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    Brewer07 Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    We are very active on IG for organic content, whereas we mainly use FB for ads at the moment.
     
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    DVU In Progress Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Do you use snapchat?
     
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  24. Blaise84
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    Blaise84 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    My experience comes from being a personal trainer for 10+ years. I don't know much about Facebook ads, but I've interacted with your target audience on a daily basis for a long time. I can tell you that the women I've interacted with at fitness centers are interested in being lean and toned. Of the 1000s of women I've interacted with during my time working in gyms, this is what they have told me. If something has "Force" on it, they tend to shy away because it indicates bigger, stronger muscles. The women I've interacted with are terrified of developing big muscles (again, their goal is to be tone and lean), and will question and/or avoid anything that sounds like it might lead to being bigger and bulkier.

    The guys, on the other hand, want to be big and muscular. Not even strong, truthfully. I can't tell you how many times I've heard this statement from guys at the gym: "I don't even care if I'm strong, I just want to look strong." In other words, they want to look big, so they appear strong, but they don't care if they actually are strong.

    With those things in mind, my suggestion would be to have one supplement that has a name associated with being lean and toned for women, and another with a name associated with looking big and muscular for men. My thought is that it could be the same supplement, with two differences:
    1. Different name: One for women, one for men
    2. Different dosage: Lower dosage for women, higher dosage for men
     
  25. Brewer07
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    For the business? No. We do use IG's story feature.

    Appreciate the insight! I've trained a few family members on the side - getting past the "I don't want to be big, I just want to tone" and getting them to realize adding muscle = getting "toned" is a pain in the ass.
     
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