Online spy store
This person can also become a valuable contact once you start your spy equipment business, referring customers to you and possibly working with you installing the equipment you sell. This job experience will also give you an opportunity to learn about your customer base. Decide whether you want to sell your spy equipment online, in a storefront location, or both. Starting an online business is considerably more simple than opening a storefront. An online business has lower overhead costs and potentially can market to customers around the world, whereas a storefront has a limited customer base.
Decide whether you want to deal in general security and surveillance equipment, or whether you want to specialize in a particular type of equipment. You can run a shop that offers a vast selection of spy equipment, or you can focus on selling equipment designed especially for a specific purpose, such as voice recording or computer monitoring. If you want a general store, you will have to familiarize yourself with the general categories of equipment on the market, whereas if you run a specialty shop you will have to become an expert on the differences between specific manufacturers of the same item.
Familiarize yourself with laws regarding the buying and selling of security and surveillance equipment. Not every item that you may be interested in carrying is legal to buy or sell in every state. If you have an online shop, you will need to learn whether your item is legal to sell in every state you do business with, as well as whether your item can be shipped by regular post. Obtain a business license. Develop relationships with vendors.
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We are on the side of the good. Some just want to sell. We do not. Allen: No, that one died a couple of years ago. And so one, like how do you get traffic to your store? And then how do you manage to close the sale once you do get someone there? Allen: So when I started out, I realized that SEO was going to take absolutely forever, it was gonna be really hard because my niche is pretty competitive.
I probably bought like three different books on the subject, a lot of YouTube videos.
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Allen: Okay, cool. Yeah, I learned a lot of stuff on their blog and through videos that they had posted on how to create campaigns, manage ad groups, create a list of keywords and optimizing for quality score. And so, I actually took on an apprenticeship, some guy I found on Craigslist, he was just living in the suburbs of Dallas but he was solo managing some really big AdWords accounts for companies like SimpleHuman like they do….
Allen: Yeah, exactly. Allen: Yeah, he was managing their ad account in addition to a bunch of other ones, and he needed help. And I was like, all right, this sounds like a really good opportunity to learn PPC. And so I went to work with him for — I was only there like two or three months but I learned a lot about managing PPC campaigns. Yeah, so those two things. Okay so AdWords, were you running these ads by yourself first and not being successful until you took on this apprenticeship?
Allen: So my company launched in May and then I took the apprenticeship on in June. So just like a month later. And so the PPC apprenticeship was a good opportunity to earn a little extra cash. Steve: What were some of your key takeaways that you learned from the apprenticeship that you were not doing actually before you joined?
So I learned a lot about spreadsheets. So I was learning how to easily tell which ads were profitable. I was learning a lot about reporting and how long…. I ran my ads for probably eight months. Allen: Yep. Steve: Okay, fair enough. Money was my main motivator for a really long time. Steve: Did you say Google suspending your account. Steve: I just want to take a moment to thank Ahrefs for being a sponsor of the show.
And recently, I completed a search engine site audit for mywifequitherjob. For example, I used Ahrefs to do a deep dive into all my posts to find the highest volume, lowest competition keywords to target in search. And in fact, recently, I used Ahrefs to rank a blog post in Google from position 20 to position five for a big time keyword in the span of just one month by switching around my title and H1 tags.
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To sign up, head on over to mywifequitherjob. Now back to the show. Would you say then that a lot of your sales are just like word of mouth sales? I would imagine like once someone trusts your store, and because the whole industry is kind of sketchy, then I can imagine word of mouth being a huge factor.
Allen: It is. Yeah, especially after we started getting reviews on our website and stuff, getting reviews on the website really helps because it convinced people who are shopping to do business with us, and then I feel like I run a pretty good business.
And so, we do get a lot of direct traffic. Steve: How did you get your press mentions?
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Did you go out and try to get those? Do you have a PR person or did those just kind of fall in your lap? So like 4-Hour Workweek was a huge influence on me years ago and one of the resources that he talks about in there is Haro, helpful a reporter out. And basically three times a day I get an email with reporters, bloggers, journalists, whatever you want to call them.
And so I was using those two services to find people who were asking questions about things that I knew about. It might be digital marketing, it might be entrepreneurship, sometimes they talk about spy related stuff I guess or security related issues.
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So I try to be as helpful as I can in those emails, so that they can quote me in an article. And long story short, that worked. But they made Tim Ferriss like front and center on the article.
And so what I did was I set my phone, I installed Twitter on my phone, and I had set up to text me or whatever, whenever Tim Ferriss was posting on Twitter. And so whenever it was an authentic post, I would send a link to the Forbes article saying that it mentioned him.
It only took me like two tries, but then he retweeted it to his audience. He sent it out in his five bullet Friday, posted on Facebook, and then all of a sudden it went from like 1, views over three days to like , views in like June period or whatever. And so I think like Inc. So it was just a rehash of the original Forbes article. So it gives me credibility with whoever is seeing that response and then they are more confident in featuring me.
I found it fascinating. Steve: All right. So I would also imagine you mentioned earlier that you have businesses that buy from you, right? What is your strategy there on getting these b2b customers? We have police departments and private investigators that are purchasing equipment from us. And then they see our website, they see the phone number, and they call and ask us questions and whatnot. Allen: We do. So, lifetime value for my customer is whatever they place on the first order.
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Steve: Right. So just kind of curious what your strategy has been, because a lot of these people are one and done. Do you get a lot of repeat business in general? Steve: See, you get a steady flow of customers, obviously. And it shows you the percentage of people that are coming to your website and what age group they are in like 25, 25, 25, 25, male, female, slightly more female than male, which is shocking. So more male visitors, but more females convert. I loved another reason behind that. Okay, I have some ideas for new strategies for Facebook.
It just takes up a lot of like we need more ad creative and we need to make use of more videos and more content on our website. And just content production is expensive, it takes a long time. Steve: Okay, what is your email strategy? So, I was just curious. So, I mentioned earlier I went and started cheater spy shop, and I was there for like three years.
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Steve: I actually went ahead and did a bunch of shopping before this. They are kind of sketchy too. I feel like, I look goofy. This is just [overlapping ] right. Nobody is sharing spy stuff on Facebook and Instagram and whatnot. I have everything in stock. And that was radically different than what everybody else was offering when I hit the scene. Steve: I think that works really well. Like as I was shopping, the video that you put out, it just looks — it was, the lighting and everything was great, but it was just very authentic.
So they want a hidden camera. I think it does shine through. Steve: I think so for sure especially among the stores that I was looking at comparing them to yours, actually. I just kind of want to keep my finger on the pulse of the business. How can I help?