Now that Low Hanging System has been operational for awhile, I thought it would be cool to talk to actual members doing well to see what their journeys have been like and what advice they can share.
Below, 3 people walk you through their journeys from how they first started out to where they are now and what they’ve been able to do with their LHS earnings. Each person also shares some practical tips about maintaining a positive mindset and how to succeed with LHS.
I thought we got some interesting answers and would love to hear from more people. If you’d like to be interviewed, please let me know! I’d love to create a “series” of sorts, mixing up audio and written content and helping share all kinds of experiences and tips.
Now let’s check out the full interviews with Paul, Minh, and “Grace” (a pseudonym for someone who wishes to remain anonymous).
How did you get started making money online?
Paul: My first GIG was doing online retail arbitrage. After being introduced to LHS and on-demand production, I never looked back.
Minh: I’ve always had an entrepreneurial side in me and always searched to make a buck or two. I’ve done many things including surveys, online poker, making websites, and of course e-commerce. I actually started selling online on eBay since 2002. It was more so of a hobby selling random one-off stuff around the house. In 2012, I read about Amazon FBA through a group that taught you how to re-sell on Amazon by sourcing stuff at thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army and then started mixing in eBay flips, retail, and online arbitrage in 2013 and 2014. I stopped online arbitrage due to massive competition so then started creating my own product lines through private labeling around 2015. In 2016 I discovered print on demand of shirts, and of course mugs through LHS. Let’s just say I’ve tried a lot of things!
Grace: I actually attempted to sell makeup online several years ago and sold a couple thousand dollars’ worth, but not a great deal of success! I sold it mostly on eBay, and it just never took off. The biggest negative from that was that I had to invest in inventory (a lot of it!) up front. I did, however, learn about the importance of relevant keywords, which has been helpful in selling my coffee mugs!
Did you see success quickly?
Paul: It depends on what your definition of success is? According to my current definition, which is building a BRAND for long-term, consistent income and maybe selling that BRAND one day. Yes, getting the first few sales to validate the idea. After getting sales, the next step is to optimize and automate as much as I can.
Minh: Not quite. I’ve had a lot of failures and made plenty of mistakes, but I felt that’s how I learned the most. Just to name a few off the top of my head. Things like making the wrong purchase decisions, not being organized, losing focus, and distractions in life. Doing LHS or just about anything in life requires time and persistence. You can’t expect to be successful overnight. You just have to keep pushing through. Plant the seeds now and reap the rewards later. In regards to LHS, one thing to note is that a majority (~80%+) of your designs won’t sell. It’s just how it works. Based on this you need to keep listing and listing. It’s purely a volume game (and of course quality has to be at least decent).
Grace: With the makeup, NO! LOL! But with coffee mugs and LHS, I had my first sale about 4-6 weeks after I started listing the mugs, which I was thrilled with! Then, I started selling like 1 per day or every other day, and sales slowly increased through Christmas. Then, they were kind of up and down a little for a few months, but I never, ever thought about quitting. I knew that if I could just keep moving forward, that eventually I could make consistent sales…and for the most part, that proved true!
What are your top tips to keep your mindset up?
- You have to clearly define your “WHY” before starting this. When things get challenging, my “WHY’s” keep me going.
- Write every night your goal for the next 2-5 years. You would be surprised how your goals get modified or written off your list as you grow.
- Listen to motivational speakers whenever I can — that could be on my way to grab lunch, walking from the parking lot to the office, or just waiting to checkout in the grocery store. Use every moment to your advantage.
- Creating a positive environment around me, like by using a vision board, appreciation letters, positive reviews from customers, audio books of famous entrepreneurs, affirmations, self-talk, etc.
- Try to help someone — it could be by buying food for a homeless person or by teaching someone to build a business, anything within my limits. This helps me to reinforce a lot of positive energy.
Minh: Ohh GREAT question. I can go and on about this but I’ll try to keep it short. I am a big fan for personal development, which isn’t discussed much in any course or just even in everyday life. It should start with your WHY. Why are you doing this? Is this a hobby or do you actually do want to make this a nice supplemental (and even primary) income? When your WHY is strong enough it should be the primary motivation to keep going especially when bump into obstacles. In addition, do you have a dream board? What are some of the goals you want to accomplish in life? It can be small or big, but having your dreams laid out is a constant reminder to yourself to keep pursuing in whatever you’re doing.
Having the proper mindset is so critical. You need to have the belief in what you’re doing. To strengthen the belief you need to surround yourself with positive like-minded people and great mentors.
Success leaves clues. Follow what the successful people doing, especially when they are teaching you the ins and outs of what they are doing. I joined LHS right when Rachel released the course because I believed in the potential of it. To add on to that, she’s very involved in the group and is transparent with what she does. What many people probably don’t know is that I bet she’s gone through a lot of failures herself to get to where she’s at. But she never gave up. It is VERY easy to give up. If it was easy then everybody would be doing it. It’s normal for things not to go your way. The key is to continue doing what you need to do on a consistent basis. Plant the seeds now (design and listings) then reap the reward.
Grace: To be honest and to paint a truthful picture of my journey, I have had many little (and some a little bigger!) bumps in the road. But every single one has been temporary. If I just keep doing what I need to do (list mugs with good keywords!), then the problems always work themselves out. Again, I’m just extremely persistent and refuse to quit, even when it seems like my efforts have resulted in less than ideal results. :)
I also have huge cheerleaders in my house…my husband and daughters. My youngest loves to ask, daily, “Mom! What’s your mug count so far today?!” LOL! She is extremely proud of how hard I’ve worked and she loves my successes (big and small) as much or more than I do. Everyone needs a support system to help your mindset and kids or other family members are great for that!
What had you tried before LHS?
Paul: I tried online/offline arbitrage.
Minh: I’ve done online & retail arbitrage, private label, Merch, other POD platforms, Shopify, and drop shipping. What I love about LHS is the “passive” nature of it and how Rachel’s warehouse handles all the production and shipping. I’m all about passive and residual income as you get the most bang for your buck out of your time. You just have to put in the hard work up, eventually, your income will catch up to all your efforts.
Grace: I kind of mentioned this before, with the online makeup sales, but besides that, not really a lot of online stuff. But I just knew in my heart and my gut that LHS was a good fit for me!
How are you doing now?
Paul: I’m happy with my progress. I am still in the growth stage so there is still a lot to do.
Minh: Let’s just say life is an absolute rollercoaster ride. I’ve hit a lot of bumps in the road for the past few years. Business took a huge setback when my mom passed away in July 2017. She was my WHY. I’m doing better now but in terms of business, it’s been picking up again. Business life is very busy though. In addition to selling mugs and shirts online, I also do drop shipping and I’m also a health coach. So you can probably say life, in general, is busy, but you just have to stay focused and keep doing the daily activities.
Grace: So once I threw enough mud against the wall to see what was selling, I gained the courage to send some mugs into FBA, and that has been a crazy ride! It’s an entirely different monster than fulfilled-by-merchant and print-on-demand, but I’m determined to learn it, and my sales have been super consistent! So I’m going to keep moving forward with that as well, and I have Rachel’s “prodding” to thank for that! ;)
What have you done to scale your business, and can you offer any advice for people struggling with this?
[Rachel’s note – this is all suuuuper extra and not needed to start LHS with, so please concentrate on basics first!]
Paul: Delegating routine work offshore so you have more time to learn other aspects of your business.
Marketing on the various social media platforms. After testing various platforms, Pinterest seems to work best for my brand.
Suggest your product in Quora. This will help to increase your sales. Ask a friend to like your post so it ranks higher.
Post reply with a hyperlink in YouTube videos. This will also give you traffic.
If possible, make some videos and post to YouTube and other video platforms with backlinks and link initially to AMAZON, but once your product gets ranked, change your backlink to your Shopify store.
Make a GIF file of your product and post on giphy.com and on other similar sites. Tag something like “dancing cat video” for CAT Niche products; be creative.
Minh: One of my big mistakes early on in my e-com career was to think I could do everything myself and not get help. At the time I was also working a 9-5 job in my corporate career, then add on 5+ hours a day doing this side hustle thing. This put a toll on my health. One thing many people overlooked is their health. Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live. I learned that working a lot doesn’t mean working efficiently. That’s when I started focusing on how to be more efficient. I outsourced and hired a few employees in the Philippines.
My team currently consists of a graphics designer and four virtual assistants (a whole family lol). Find your weaknesses and get other people to help out. In this case, I have ZERO design skills what so ever, so, therefore, had to get help. The next thing was how to scale. There was no way I could be listing that many products all by myself as I was busy with doing other things. Now I don’t recommend you going out and hiring 4 VAs off the bat. I would outsource once you’ve generated enough sales to cover the costs of hiring. I’ve developed a very close relationship with my team and consider them my 2nd family. Through trust, trial and error, they are running about 90% of not just my LHS business but other endeavors I’m doing as well.
For anyone looking for a VA or graphics designer, I highly recommend checking out OnlineJobs.ph. There are a few other freelancing sites but I’ve found that OnlineJobs.ph was the best for me. Additionally, not to say anything bad about VAs from other countries, but I’ve found that Filipinos seem to fit what my needs are really well. They are very loyal, hardworking, speak fluent English, and affordable.
Grace: Probably the biggest thing I’ve done is to start FBA and to list on both Amazon and Etsy. I only have a portion of them on Etsy, but I get a few sales there per month and I LOVE the customers there. They just seem more tangible, and that fits my personality, so I have a lot of fun with them!
Are there any practical tips you can give around succeeding with LHS?
Paul: LHS is a numbers’ games so try to put as many designs out as you can. Have 40-50 design from Wordswag + Photoshop for the same slogan/ text. This gives me more sales, as different people have different taste.
For example, having “BEST DAD EVER” in 50 different designs has a higher probability of getting sales than 1 design for 50 different slogans.
After posting your product on any platform, run social signals. This will give natural ranking in search engines. You can get a social signal in Fiverr for 5 bucks. Social signals work on AMAZON, ETSY, and EBAY best because of high domain authority.
Match the beginning of the title of the product as Google’s auto search suggests.
(Social signal + Google’s auto-suggested word will give you a natural ranking in the search engines. This will give you an edge over your competitors, as NOT only you will rank inside AMAZON but you will rank also in search engines.)
Minh: The system that LHS has in place is fairly simple. It’s a numbers game. 80+% of your designs will likely not sell (maybe just 1 here, 1 there). LHS tells us what designs have been working best (which surprisingly shocked me) and what doesn’t on mugs. Yeah, it can get mundane and boring, but that’s why you gut through it early on until you get enough profit to outsource.
Set yourself goals and a system in place. The two primary things you need are designs and listings. Don’t complicate things. Many of us get into analysis paralysis when we complicate something that shouldn’t be complicated (I know how you feel because I had felt the same way before). For example, allocate X hrs per day to design, X hrs to list; or allocate to do X designs and upload X per day. Do this consistently every day (or at least 5 out of 7 days). You likely won’t see any results immediately, but over time eventually, it’ll catch up.
One of my favorite books of all time The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. The basic premise is that the little small insignificant things you do today on a consistent basis will yield big rewards in the future. With that mind, don’t give up! We see the potential it can yield based on many people’s successes in the group, including Rachel herself. These people, including myself, are normal average people. I think the difference is putting in the hard work, patience, and commitment. Discipline is the bridge to your goals and accomplishment.
Grace: Yes, I think my biggest tip might be to chunk your time and your efforts. Otherwise, it’s easy to feel like you’re all over the place and don’t get as much accomplished as you might like to.
For example, spend a couple hours on researching keywords or niches, then spend time coming up with titles, then spend a chunk of time creating the designs! This seems to help me focus on one type of task at a time, then when I switch to the next task, I’m ready for a change (keeping it fun!), and I’m all about fun! And I DEFINITELY accomplish more when I am intentional about this.
Aside from Amazon, what other selling platforms (if any) do you use and can you offer any practical tips about getting started with / using those platforms?
Paul: I follow the 80/20 rule, and after trying many platforms, the platforms that work best are AMAZON, then Shopify, and then ETSY. So I am now focusing my energy on only these 3 platforms.
As I’m more focused on BRAND than SALES at this point, sticking to SHOPIFY makes the most sense to me. I only use AMAZON and ETSY as launching tools and product validation.
Ranking keywords in search engines.
Digital Marketing – You can have the best product in the world, but if you cannot market, you can never make money.
Tip – I can easily validate product designs using free AMAZON traffic. Analyzing Amazon business reports gives the winning product out of thousands of designs. Then, you can put those winning designs on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ADS and drive traffic to your Shopify/Wordpress store. You can make this funnel more profitable by cross-selling or up-selling. During this process, you can also capture emails to promote other similar products or affiliate products.
Use Amazon to validate and promote your brand.
Listing the same product for a cheaper price on your website helps to increase sales. There is always a buyer who wants the same product for a cheaper price. This helps to get customers on your email list and also to beat hijacker prices. Google notices this keyword search and having actual sales on your website. Getting sales on your own website has long-term advantages.
Bing Ads are still cheap so use this in your arsenal to drive traffic.
Build your email list ASAP. It’s highly risky to depend only on third party platforms like AMAZON, ETSY, and EBAY.
Minh: I’m also currently selling on eBay, Etsy, and Shopify. Each one is different in its own way, especially demographics and SEO.
Ebay: One reason why I like eBay is that LHS/Gearbubble is also integrated with it, thus creating that “passive” nature again. Ebay’s Cassini search algorithm works in that it focuses heavily on the title. Focus on optimizing your title by including relevant keywords in the title that a customer would search for. Don’t include hyphens, dashes, quotes or any of those marks. Use all 80 characters they allow you, too.
Etsy: Although not integrated with LHS/GB yet, I’m excited for the day it will come. Etsy targets a different demographic. There’s also a different way on how to optimize titles (Rachel has training on that).
Shopify: Unless you have a ton of advertising funds to drive traffic and want to start your own brand, I HIGHLY recommend newbies to not venture into this yet. You own your store and have to drive your own traffic, which will get costly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Granted yes, LHS/GB is integrated but this is a beast on its own.
Grace: I sell on Amazon and Etsy, as I mentioned before, but I really focus most of my efforts and energy on Amazon. I will say that I have MUCH more communication with my Etsy customers and they seem to love it!
For example, I am quick to respond to my orders with a simple, “Thanks so much for your order!” They actually often respond! (Unlike Amazon customers!) LOL! I am more personable, by nature, so I find that refreshing! So if that is more of your personality, you would really enjoy selling there! :)
Share some of the tangible things you’ve been able to do with your earnings.
Paul: We sent this question in late and he missed it.
Minh: Quite honestly, I don’t spend much money on myself. My family is my WHY and a lot of it goes to help them. However, given this, it pushes me, even more, to try to succeed.
If anybody has any questions or would like to connect, they can add me on Facebook at Minh Chies Nguyen. I’ll try to help as much as I can :)
Grace: Well, that’s a really fun question! We purchased a little bit older of a home a couple years ago and decided to do a major remodel. So, of course,we blew our budget, overspent by a TON of money, made payments on that for 18 months, then I paid the last chunk of it off in January with money from my Christmas sales! WOO HOO! It was AWESOME! Thanks, Rachel!
When I started, one of my main goals was to make enough money to make my monthly car payments. But now I’ve got bigger dreams. I want to pay off my mortgage! And that won’t happen in one year, but it will happen!
What do you think about these interviews and the tips these all-stars shared? Get in touch by leaving a comment below and let me know!
0 thoughts on “3 All-stars share their journeys from just starting out to winning at LHS”
Our “WHYS” May be different, but our passion to succeed is what makes us alike. How badly do you want it? I’m always mindful of my “why.” Hopefully that will sustain me during my trials and errors…just as the lhs students shared.
That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing, Cynthia!