Small Business 101: Episode 6 – How To Social Media Market A Business


Alex: Hey everybody! Welcome back to another episode of Small Business 101 on Arbeit U. Spencer: We got a great topic and a great
guest today, right? We are joined by none other than Ryan McCarthy the founder of
Sugoi Shirts. Ryan: Hey! Thanks for having me on guys. Spencer: Thanks for coming we appreciate it. Alex: Social media marketing Guru.
Spencer: Yeah, and there’s no one better to talk about how to sell your
business or social media than this guy right here. He uh, Alex: He’s done it. Spencer: Yeah, he’s
done it! He’s doing it currently so this is a chance to pick his brain and kind
of steal some information. So, start by telling us a little about yourself.
Ryan: Sure. Hey everybody I’m Ryan McCarthy. Like Spencer saying, founder of Sugoi
Shirts. Um—Basically I pretty much do web design and marketing of different anime
style street wear T-shirts. So it’s a pretty niche market but um, but it’s
something that I’m very close to and passionate about and I sort of wanted to
take that passion to the next level and you know, make a website and start
selling some shirts about it. Spencer: So how did you start? How do you go from “Hey I have this idea”—Boom. I want to start selling it. Ryan: Yeah, so basically um, I would just play
around in the Photoshop like non-stop making designs and I would just kind
of make these weird graphics and uh— just go roll with them for months and
I would think to myself you know what, what can I—what can I do with these? Or
what am I—what am I doing with these? You know? So um—how can I take these and expand
it further? And that’s sort of where it came down to—well I have a love for
fashion, I have a love for anime. Let’s put the two together and maybe see if we
can make some magic happen with some shirts. Spencer: That’s awesome. And, 100% of
your sales are done online right? Ryan: It’s all done online. No storefront. No
physical storefront. Spencer: That’s incredible. So—so you’re a hundred percent dependent
upon people finding your stuff online and buying it? Ryan: Yep, so when it comes to having a good website, a good digital presence on social media, on Google—All
that is critically important otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am with it today. Spencer: How’d you get your first sale? Ryan: So—uh, my first sale was act— well it was me. Spencer: He’s got a joke. Ryan: We want to be technical. Alex: I was going to say it was Joe. Spencer: Yeah, Joe was online— Ryan: Yeah then probably Joe and then—but the first like
anonymous random person I didn’t know um— it just came out of— it came out of nowhere.
I had launched a site and the very first thing I did was I actually went to Reddit and I said—I just found these little niche sections on Reddit and I
thought well this might be a good idea to get a quick little traffic bump and
see if anybody responds to it that way. Alex: So how did you act—so how did you
interact with Reddit because I know—I go on Reddit and I know like
they’re not receptive just like— Ryan: Oh yeah. Spencer: It’s spam, basically. Ryan: No I had it—
yeah I had to word it very very carefully like I could not sell it as
like a “Hey! Go check out my shed store.” because I’m gonna do for a fact that people
on reddit would— Spencer: Just tear you apart. Ryan: Exactly. Alex: So do you use Reddit still or no? Ryan: Um I—every once—more in the beginning just to get some, more followers through that and like built some
traffic but not so much now. But it definitely helped in the beginning. You
know, I put it more of like a— in a sense where it’s it was like “Hey I’m doing
something different”. It was more—well I wasn’t really trying to sell people. Alex:
Right, right. Ryan: But, I’m just saying like hey what do you think of my design. Spencer: Yeah,
Can I get your feedback? Ryan: Right. And then through that, people still
thought it was cool and they ended up buying. Spencer: Yeah that’s awesome. Alex: You know, I see that all the time on Reddit actually. People just pose—like photographers or anyone on that—and then it ends up
trickling down to “Wow we love your stuff show it us”. Where do you sell
it? Ryan: Right, exactly. Alex: That’s cool. Spencer: That’s awesome and there’s—just cause
right it worked for you it might not work for other businesses. So there’s something out
there other than Reddit in your field that you could find it kind of employ
the same thing. But the important thing is, there’s a way to talk to them, right?
Like no matter what the platform is, you need to know that language on the
platform right? Like people are gonna respond differently on Facebook, than they are on
LinkedIn. Knowing your audience and on the platform you’re on is crucial. Ryan: 100%
Alex: What else are you— So, what else are you doing?
Ryan: Right, so well Reddit was one thing and just to go off that too—knowing your
audience is definitely important. I mean like, having a tone and how you talk to
them, especially you know—it helps know—you know having this love for anime thing, I kind of knew right away how to talk to the audience. Alex: Your’re selling yourself pretty much. Ryan: Right, exactly. Spencer: You’re your audience. Ryan: Yeah exactly. So um so yeah, talking on Reddit then further from Reddit, I use Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter. You know three major social medias
out there. But in particular with my business, Instagram is definitely,
probably—it’s not defin—it’s definitely Ryan: Yeah for sure.
When it—when it comes to fashion I mean there’s so so much of that an
Instagram right now and so it just became a tool that was like essential to
to me my business especially when I started running ads on there as well. Spencer: I
was gonna ask about it. Do you like—you target like groups that might be like in anime
or? Okay, so you target those groups and then you run ads as well? Ryan: Yeah so
initially I didn’t start doing any advertising which everything was
organic in the beginning so it was like like I said with reddit like just
posting on there and then with the same thing with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it
was just getting some posts out and particularly with Instagram, it helped build
traffic quickly by using the hashtags. And you have to be a little bit carried—
the algorithm is a little different than it used to be now, so you have to
be a little careful with it so you don’t get spammy. But, in the beginning though for
sure, the hashtags and finding the right specific hashtags that had a
decent amount of traffic around them but not you know, it wasn’t too broad that
you wouldn’t get found. So, doing that in the beginning was definitely
helping bring a lot of initial traffic from Instagram. Spencer: So, know your platform or the language on the platform, you take advantage of hashtags. Ryan: Yeah, for sure. Spencer: What else would you say is the top tip? Ryan: So, further than that if you want to
then jump into like advertising which is what I did. So after—once I started
getting some sales rolling through where I was like okay now I have a little bit
of a budget where I can start playing around with you know some some ads, I
immediately went to Instagram again because I was like hey you know this is
working with hashtags so I’m sure advertising would probably work great on
there. So, pretty much with that it’s all interest targeting. So it was, you know, I
was typing in different animation shows that I thought people would like. Spencer: Really?
Ryan: Thinking of like um different street wear brands that are out there you know,
things, and just sub-sectioning them into different groups, in categories so
people who just like Street wear, people just like anime, and then like a section
of like people who like a little bit of both, and just finding very specific
brands or shows or just anything like that because you can get so specific on
Facebook and Instagram with uh—with target. Alex: Oh yeah. How do you uh—so how do you
like give a budget how do you figure out what to spend? Are you spending a
percentage of revenue because like here we fly by the hip. Spencer: Yeah that seems good. And go! Ryan: Yup, no that’s— no and that’s I would I feel like this is we a lot of people do it
and we have the fly by the hip a bit because just like I mean you don’t know
until you test the waters with it so like in the beginning I obviously—I
didn’t have a ton—a lot of it was my own money that I was making for my job so I was like
“whaat?”—I had what I could use you know so I didn’t want to go too
crazy but at the same time it was like I need to put someone in here whether I
lose it or not and I did lose my in the beginning. But you have to do
that to figure out what works and what doesn’t work so like you know it’s that
you have to spend money to make money type of logic. It’s kind of—its kind
of you know it’s for every business. It was with mine. Spencer: That’s incredible man. Alex: So is this your—this is your full-time thing? Ryan: This is—it wasn’t supposed to be. I
mean it was my full-time thing is I’m actually a digital marketing consultant.
So I go around and I have clients in the area and actually I—I do that, that’s
with—that was my supposed to be my business. Spencer: Yeah. Ryan: With how Sugoi shirts
went and how it just started. Once the answer rolling and everything just sort
of picking up so quick and getting, started getting so much attention that was like
I guess this is— Spencer: This is what I’m doing. Ryan: Shifting focus. Alex: So you were so good at
marketing that you just ended up making another business Ryan: I guess yeah, if you want to put that way. Alex: Hey that’s a good thing. Spencer: And that’s the important take away, is like you do this full-time right? like Ryan: Yeah Spencer: You’re supporting your life just by
doing this right? That’s got to be a great dream. Ryan: Yeah that’s correct yeah. Alex:
I mean, it’s not—I think a lot of people are intimidated by this. Spencer: Yeah. Alex: It’s not really—it’s not like I’m not knocking it, but it’s not like that
it’s not that hard people are just so scared to get into it. Spencer: Yeah! Alex: They’re so
scared to try it they think it’s intimidating, but if you think about
it and break it down like logically it all makes sense what you’re saying it’s like
you know. Spencer: It’s just you got to do it like like Ryan said, he’s like I just kind of
did it. You shoot by the hip, and I think that’s like that stepping stone is like
how do I—how do I just start in the answer you just start. Ryan: yeah
you can’t be afraid you just gonna dive in. Spencer: You got to be prepared to lose you
know what I mean Ryan: Exactly, yeah. Spencer: Awesome. This by hands-down one of my
favorite guests we’ve had on Small Business 101. Alex: Yeah Ryan: thank you Alex: Anyhting else? Spencer: Anything else you want to add to the folks at home? You want to pitch them real quickly? Ryan: Oh, okay. Well everything
is Sugoi Shirts, so @Sugoi Shirts, facebook instagram twitter the website.
Alex: We will link it all below. Spencer: Ryan, thank you so much for coming out. Thanks again. Ryan: Thank you guys. I appreciate it.
Spencer: Thank you for watching. Alex: See you next week. Spencer: See you next week. Subscribe below. Thanks.


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