Today we are proud to introduce dropshipping expert Franklin Hatchett. Franklin is very successful online entrepreneur, Having built multiple successful dropshipping stores over the last 5 years and teaching others how to build their own. He has an online community of more than 300k On Youtube and through this, Franklin is able to help 1000s of online entrepreneurs find success every week.
Welcome Franklin, So let’s get right into it! How did you get into dropshipping?
In 2009 or thereabouts, I started Importing clothing from America to New Zealand and I was selling it online. I was selling it on a website called Trade Me, It was a website like eBay where people sold things. It wasn’t very profitable considering I was purchasing it from America and I needed to go to the source. I then stumbled across Alibaba and started to bulk import at a much cheaper rate. Then I discovered Aliexpress and Shopify and started getting into the drop shipping. It was much easier to scale at this point because I didn’t need to put all my money into holding bulk stock.
What was your background before eCommerce?
I worked in construction before working online, although I’ve always dabbled online since a young age. I always knew online sales and ecommerce were going to be huge so the more I looked into it the more I got addicted to starting my own online business.
How did you get your first sales?
If we are talking about drop shipping specifically I got my first sale selling solar power phone charges. These were all the rage when drop shipping first started. You could buy them off Aliexpress for $8 at the time and sell them for $50-70 so they had great markups.
How did you learn about dropshipping?
I just taught myself, since I already had experience importing and reselling products it was an easy transition into drop shipping. I mostly taught myself how to build a Shopify store and run Facebook Ads. The best way to learn is via trial and error.
What’s the most revenue you’ve generated in a day?
I did a limited edition drop on a Print on Demand store a few years ago and did just over 6 figures using retargeting and email marketing.
What is your best marketing tactic?
Retargeting, people underestimate retargeting and try to make money on cold ads. My method is to run cold adverts and focus on making the advertising money and product money back. In other words run that ad and it’s either returning just enough to cover all costs or a small profit. Then I focus on pushing retargets because you get a much higher ROI with retargeting ads. Ad long as I’m spending $1 on cold ads and making $1 back, Ill scale those to the moon and build a custom retargeting list.
If you were starting today, what would you do differently?
I would focus more on email marketing. I think it’s very important to grow and email list and use it for limited time deals. I didn’t do this as much as I should when I first started drop shipping. If you have a good engaged email list and you feel like making some money you can just run a promo. This is something I would definitely focus on more if I was stating today.
Why did you succeed where others have failed?
I think going back to my retargeting strategy. Most people focus too much on making money right away. If you build up a good retargeting list and email list you have a course of customers right there in front of you. Some people don’t even realize it can take weeks for someone to make a purchase. You can track almost any movement online now, we noticed people that visited our website sometime would buy 4+ weeks later from an email we sent or retarget ad.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through dropshipping?
Always do product research and sell what’s already selling or has performed well in the past. When I first started, I didn’t do the right research, but once I started promoting what actually works or is trending then everything started to fall into place.
- Dropshipping is easier to scale than holding stock.
- Margins matter. The more margin you have, the easier it is to scale.
- The best way to learn is trial and error.
- Breaking even on cold traffic is okay as you are building audiences.
- Building large remarketing audiences and email lists can be hugely profitable.
- Focus your efforts on proven or trending products.