Jason Stapleton is an example of developing a diverse set of skills to succeed in modern-day America. Not only is he a brand marketing expert, he is also a successful speaker, author, and podcast host.
In 2014, Jason Stapleton founded his first company, Trade Empowered, and spent more time and effort to grow it into a “multi-million dollar brand” and “one of the largest and most well-respected trading education companies in the world.”
Six years after Trade Empowered, Jason Stapleton moved on to another venture, which is the podcast called “The Jason Stapleton Program.” This podcast is Jason’s platform to discuss current events, politics, and economics. In just 18 months, Jason catapulted the podcast into iTunes’ number one spot for political podcasts, having earned almost 30,000 daily listeners.
Jason Stapleton has also written a book called “The Nomadic Wealth Formula: A blueprint for generating predictable and sustainable income from anywhere on earth.” According to the Amazon summary, the book concerns the “philosophy and practical steps necessary for anyone to achieve true freedom in their lives.” In a continually evolving world, many Americans have not been prepared to meet this challenge due to an outmoded education system. With his book, Jason Stapleton discusses freedom in the 21st century according to his unique perspective on “financial independence and liberty.”
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Jason Stapleton: Not to sound egotistical, but it has to be me. I think a lot of consultants have had success in one industry, or maybe two. But in the last 10 years I’ve built two Muti-million dollar business, become a nationally syndicated radio show host, produced one of the top podcasts on iTunes, and hosted a hit tv show for the History Channel.
I attribute this to my understanding of human behavior and my ability to build strong brands based on that understanding. There’s only one of me and it sets me apart every time I walk into the room.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Slow steady progress. For the first 5–6 years in business I worked 7 days a week. You had to claw me out of the office. I loved it but it was non stop. I put on 30lbs and my health was a wreck.
Part of it was not understanding the processes I use now to be more efficient but mostly it was my belief that everything needed to happen now.
What I try to remind my clients and colleagues is that you’re not building a business, you’re building a life. I get to wake up every day and work exclusively on things that I enjoy but life is about more than that. It’s about great friendship, the love of a doting partner, and having the time and health to experience all life has to offer.
Don’t get so focused on tomorrows goals that you miss today. Because today is beautiful.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Jason Stapleton: I’ve had so many people who’ve helped and supported me along the way. Far too many to list here. If I had to name one person it would be my friend and business partner Darren who helped me grow my first company beyond anything I could have imagined.
Although he wasn’t an owner in the company I consider him a partner in the business. He was with me from the beginning. I remember the first time we met — I didn’t have any money to pay him but I desperately needed someone to help me grow the company. I told him, “I can’t pay you anything right now, but if you’ll work with me and we manage to sell something, I’ll cut you in for a percentage of the profit.”
Darren didn’t flinch. He said, “Sounds good. Let’s do it.” What followed was 8 years of magic. I could not have done it without him.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The Pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share a few examples of different ideas that eCommerce businesses are implementing to adapt to the new realities created by the Pandemic?
- Lean into the realization that most things can be done remotely.
Most of us in the online world have known this for years, but for the bulk of consumers and companies this is new ground. In my business we’ve branched out into working with new and aspiring entrepreneurs. Teaching them how to launch an information business based on the passions and skill they already have.
2. Don’t ignore old school advertising outlets.
As online entrepreneurs we tend to focus on things like Facebook and google advertising but in many cases direct mail, radio and magazine advertising can still produce amazing results. If everyone is focused on one or two marketing channels there’s a good chance the real opportunities are the ones nobody is tapping into.
3. Remember your customers are people
In our industry there’s been a heavy push toward total automation. Automated ads go to an automated webinar which leads to an automated email sequence and finally an on-demand product.
At my company we’ve started a process of calling every single one of our clients and checking in to make sure they’re happy with what we’re doing and to learn what we could be doing better.
Even if all they’ve purchased in a nine dollar book.
That kind of personal touch has all but vanished from our industry but we’ve used it to strengthen the bond we have with our clients and even as an opportunity to upsell them on another product.
Jerome Knyszewski: Amazon, and even Walmart are going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?
Jason Stapleton: Don’t try to compete on price. That’s a losing proposition. Instead focus on improving the perception of your brand and the connection you have with your customers.
Very few people make purchases purely off of price. But many in the retail DTC market fail to realize this. The result is they become a commodity in a market where they will never be the cheapest product in their category.
Focusing on Brand development sets you apart from the cheaper “lesser” products and give your the price elasticity necessary to thrive in the coming years.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Jason Stapleton: They fail to recognize the risk exposure they have when they don’t handle key portions of the supply chain.
Many ecomm businesses are essentially drop shipping businesses. They purchase a product in bulk from a manufacturer in China or India, add some custom branding and then market it to the end consumer.
What they don’t realize is that the only part of that company that they control is the marketing and support.
Suppliers are sketchy. Production can be unreliable. And when things go bad they don’t blame the manufacturer or the shipping company. They blame you.
I’ve seen more than one brand destroyed because they failed to adequately vet their suppliers and distributors. In the end the blame always falls on you.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Jason Stapleton: Again I’d say it’s paying very close attention to the things you can’t control and the effect it has on how your market perceives you.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that an eCommerce business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
- Increase the number of touches. The more they see you the more familiar they become with your brand and the easier it is to get them to move into your selling process.
2. Have a human face to your brand. Apple had Steve Jobs. Wendy’s had Dave. Verizon had the “can you hear me now” guy. Even today Amazon is preparing its image by putting its employees front and center of its advertising. Putting a face with a brand humanizes it. Everything gets easier after that.
One of the main benefits of shopping online is the ability to read reviews. Consumers love it! While good reviews are of course positive for a brand, poor reviews can be very damaging. In your experience what are a few things a brand should do to properly and effectively respond to poor reviews? How about other unfair things said online about a brand?
Negative reviews are a part of life. The good news is consumers have begun to expect them. The most important thing a brand can do when faced with a negative review is to respond publicly to it. Apologize and try to make it right.
If consumers see a company that is working to make a mistake right it shows they care about the quality of their product and the customers they serve. Consumers will overlook a lot of negativity if they believe the company is trying to do the right thing.
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Jason Stapleton: Social media has done a great deal of good for the world but with it has come a lot of anger and division. If I could start any movement it would be one that increased the tolerance and understanding in our society. We don’t have to like everything or everyone but we can be respectful and allow others to live their values and express their beliefs without attacking them for it.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jason Stapleton: Just go to www.followjason.com.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!