Everybody wants to make money online. For people that have yet to succeed, I believe the best inspiration is to see real life examples of other people killing it.
Mike Vistel created an ecommerce site using the Shopify platform, and took it from making $6,000 in his very first month, to now grossing over $1.5 million monthly. The best part is, he lays out the exact 3 steps he took to reach those jaw dropping numbers.
Before I share with you the 3 step process he attributes to making serious money on Shopify, let me go over some of the basics first.
What is Shopify?
Shopfiy is a ecommerce platform that lets anyone set up an online store instantly to make money. Sell crafts or goods you’ve created, or find winning products sourced from your local shops or even overseas. Through the shopify platform, they take care of all the logistical hurdles that used to hold people with great product ideas back, such as setting up an attractive storefront, processing payment securely, and even shipping.
Why Shopify For Making Money Online
Many of the most successful online shop owners use Shopify. From what I can gather, the main reasons are:
- Low barrier of entry- the lowest plan is just $29/mon, and for that, you get an entire working store, including a blog.
- Very user friendly backend- the admin panel and frontend templates are easy even for non techies to grasp.
- Large number of available apps to take your store to the next level, such as the abandon cart app or Orbelo for handling dropshipping with ease.
- Large community so you’re not alone when you need help.
How Mike Makes $1.5 million a Month from his Shopify Store
Now lets get to the good stuff. I discovered Mike while researching ways to improve my own Shopify site. I was blown away not just by Mike’s results ($6,000 in his first month), but how candid he was in sharing all the secrets that helped him make so much money from a brand new store.
You can watch the entire video below, but I’ve summarized the key steps Mike lays out for any Shopify beginner to make serious income from Shopify.
Step 1: Sign Up for a FREE Shopify Trial Account (Completely Risk Free, No Credit Card required)
In order to do anything with Shopify, you need, well, a Shopify Account. click the below button to sign up for a FREE 14 day trial, with no credit card info required:
Use these two weeks to learn all about how the platform works, from the dashboard to posting and editing product descriptions. No amount of reading about Shopify can replace this step.
Step 2: Find a Winning Product
Mike focuses on dropshipping, which is the idea of selling products you don’t actually own or stock. A consumer orders the product from your store, and it is then fulfilled by the manufacturer directly. Shopify integrates nicely with Aliexpress, which is the world’s largest dropshipping marketplace. It lets you sell everything under the sun as your own products, from T-Shirts, gadgets, to jewelry and toys. By buying low from Aliexpress and selling high to Western and other more developed markets, you make money.
Mike’s philosophy when it comes to starting out is simple- less is more. Research and find just one great product you think will resonant with customers, and focus all your efforts on promoting that product first.
As a Shopify beginner, it’s tempting to try to populate your store instantly with tens or even hundreds of products to cast a wide net, but Mike says you’d just be wasting valuable time and resources by spreading yourself too thin. More products does not equal more money if none of them take off.
Product Research is one of the most overlooked yet important steps you need to master in order to ever have a shot at making money with Shopify. See my dedicated post “How to Find Your First Winning Product on Shopify” for actionable tips you can use.
According to Mike, to find a winning product to drop ship, the best way is to research on social media such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, and see what people are actually excited about and already buying.
For example, lets say your product idea is “Cats T-Shirt“. Go on Facebook, and literally search for that phrase.
Go through the various posts, and look for product posts that have lots of buzz around them- that is, comments, shares, and likes:
Once you’ve come across a product post that has tons of user engagement, including comments signaling buyer’s intent, you want to analyze everything about the post to deconstruct why it’s so successful. Ask yourself these key questions:
“What is it that made this post so popular on Facebook?”
“How long is the headline? What kind of emotions does it invoke? Is it a statement or question?”
“What about the description?”
“What about the product image or video? Is it homemade or professionally shot?”
“Can I extract the most viral aspect of this post and do it for a similar or better version of this product?”
People often spend tons of time testing out products in the dark, when you can literally just turn to Facebook or other social media to get the answers.
Once you’ve found a product that is proven already to be doing well, you can simply sell a very similar product, and incorporate the key viral ingredients that made the original product go viral on Facebook. The chances of you making money from that product just went up exponentially.
Going back to the “Cat T-Shirt” example again, there are two ways to go about creating a similar product to sell and make money from.
You can find a supplier that simply makes plain white T-shirts, and hire a designer on the cheap to create a similar design. Fiver comes to mind.
Another way is just to go to Aliexpress.com, and find Cat T-Shirts with similar traits as the one you found. You can sort products by orders, which is another huge indicator whether the product resonates with people:
Step 3: Advertise and Find the Right Audience
Once you’ve settled on a winning product, the next step is to advertise, test, and find those winning ad sets that bring in a positive ROI.
For starters, Mike suggests going into Facebook Ads. since it allows you to really hone in on a specific audience that are most likely to buy your product.
Using the “Cat T-Shirt” as the example again, Mike talks about using Facebook ads to intersect people that are super into cats as you begin to drill down to the actual buyers. You can target people who like cats , cat related sites and pages, have hobbies that a cat person may be into, in addition to gender and age group, and much more.
Mike’s strategy is to create numerous really small ad sets (at $5 ad spend a day each), each with slightly different targeting. This lets him quickly test many combinations to find the most profitable audience, and kill off the rest.
For Mike, the ideal reach for each ad set in the beginning should be between 250k people to 1 million:
If a particular ad set is costing more than $1 per click, Mike will usually stop that set, as the cost is too high to produce a positive ROI. This is why he may start out with a whole bunch of ad sets, but ends up with just a few running very quickly.
“Kill the ponies and feed the stallions”, as Mike says in his video. Love it!
If he’s spent over $60 total on a product without seeing any positive ROI, he assumes the product is a dud, and goes back to Step 1 (finding another winning product).
For Mike, when he finds a product that’s able to generate 20 sales a day on its own, he then moves on to Step 3…
Step 4: Scale and Retarget the Same Audience with More Products
Once you reach that milestone of making 20 sales a day with one product, the next phrase when executed properly is what will propel your earnings to the stratosphere.
So you now have a product that sells, ad sets that convert, and an audience that will buy. Why not create additional products that are similar or related to your original product, and sell to that same audience again? You know these people have strong buyer’s intent, because, well, they’re buying from you already!
“Keep feeding those chickens that lay the golden eggs until they can’t no more.”
That line’s mine btw. How’d I do Mike?
Stay Focused, and Start to Delegate
If you’ve reached this phrase, it’s tempting to break out the champagne bottle and start throwing dollar bills around.
Now is the time to really stay focused and double down.
You have now a winning system to make serious money using Shopify. Your time is best spent perfecting that system and finding new products to knock out of the park.
In other words, your time is best spent scaling your business.
Mike advocates at this point to start delegating all the lower level, routine things to other people.
Even the higher level stuff can be broken into bite size bits and outsourced.
Think about everything that goes into running your business on a daily basis, and break them down into small chunks.
Record yourself doing these tasks as you narrate your thought process so others know exactly what they should do.
For example, once you start selling on a consistent basis, you’ll be fielding questions left and right from potential and existing customers.
You’re fiddling with Photoshop and Movie Maker to create the ad images and videos.
You’re monitoring and turning Facebook campaigns on and off daily yourself.
You get the idea.
The point is to eventually extract yourself from the business as much as possible, and just oversee it. Then you’ve achieved true success- having your Shopify business make money for you, instead of the other way around.
Watch the Full Video Interview- How to Make Money from Shopify
I hope this post has inspired you and given you a roadmap to achieving unbelievable financial freedom through Shopify. You can watch the full Video from Mike Vistel below.
The only way to achieve success is by taking action, period. Shopify is currently offering a 14 day FREE trial (no credit card required) to get you started risk free. I encourage anyone to take that first step. Good luck!
Note: This posts may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own, however. Last updated January 2nd, 2018