5 All-stars share their journeys from just starting out to winning at LHS

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You might remember that a couple months ago I decided to share a bit about the journeys of three real Low Hanging System members.

(You can view the post here.)

Well, I’ve since talked to more members and learned more about their experiences, including practical tips for how to succeed with LHS and what they do to keep up their mindset when things get tough.

I think hearing real stories from real people is just so powerful. And if you’d like to be interviewed too, please let me know!

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the full interviews with LHS members “Veronica” (a pseudonym for someone who wishes to remain anonymous), Fred, Kimberly, and Christine.

How did you get started making money online?

Veronica:

I started with Ebay in 2002 as a hobby, did some affiliate link marketing through the years, started some private label products in 2013 for a few years and then bought Rachel’s program along with a Facebook ads and POD course in 2016.

Jacob:

I got started making money online back in 2012 when I found out I was going to be a father. I was looking for online ventures to make extra income.

Fred:

I’ve sold personal items (used) on eBay since 1998, but as far as e-com goes, I opened a Shopify store in the fall 2015.  I’m terrible with ads so it was a very slow start and still is.  I differ from most in that I’m actually building a brand that I’m passionate about, not just trying to sell whatever junk is trending currently.  I now have other stores where I do sell “junk” but I’m not at all passionate about them.

Kimberly:

I’ve always been more drawn to creativity so when I was younger I used to make and sell bookmarks for my classmates in middle school. One day my teacher found out and she said it wasn’t really part of the school policies, so I had to stop selling to my fellow elementary classmates. However as the years progressed I got more into putting my artwork online on places such as Zazzle and Fine Art America after seeing another girl take what she created and made money off of it.

Christine:

I got started about 10 years ago in affiliate marketing. I was creating simple web pages and blog posts that directed traffic to offers and products for a commission.

Did you see success quickly?

Veronica:

It depends how you define success. My private label product did sell well for a few months in 2014, but overall I spent money on inventory or ads without being profitable for most of my online endeavors. I quit my corporate job thinking I was going to scale my private label business, but it actually took me 2 years of going through my savings trying to make that business model work. I didn’t know how to source products or launch well enough on Amazon. Then, I saw Rachel’s program LHS and saw that it was beginner friendly. I ignored it for a year while I was doing the Facebook ads model, and finally ran out of money doing $20 tests on Facebook.

I got desperate right before Christmas with $200 left in my credit card; it was make money or go get a job. With nothing to lose, decided to try LHS 11/02/2017 because the inventory was free until someone purchased, that’s what I could afford. I did well over Christmas, selling $10,000 of POD and my old private label products on Amazon plus $650 fast cash on Etsy, to my complete surprise. Rachel’s system is the first time I saw profits after 4 weeks of starting the system and following it.  I didn’t use PPC, just organic Amazon and Etsy traffic over Christmas and Valentine’s while I was learning what customers wanted and are looking for.

My LHS journey started 11/2. What I took from private labeling was the ability to research good keywords for my designs. I finally saw traction and clicks when I used Amazon searched buyer keywords. The mugs with lower competition but with strong keywords were how I started selling 4 mugs a day after 4 weeks of putting up mugs and tweaking. At 246 designs, I saw one of my mugs sell well. And then I expanded to LOTS of words and mugs in that niche. Christmas flew by as I was in a listing frenzy to earn back money to pay off $1500 I borrowed from a friend to pay for the on demand inventory.

Jacob:

No, not at all. It took at least 1 year before I began earning up to $500/mo. which was my goal at that time.

Fred:

No not all.  Going back the brand/Shopify store, I had a bunch of shirts printed and sold them at car shows in 2016.  Sometime in 2016 I purchased the LHS for the first time and then began slowly listing items on Etsy.  I had a few sales but not much.  I didn’t really know I had something until right after Thanksgiving 2016 when I listed a few of my “brand” items on Etsy that were holiday specific and started selling 8 per day.  I had 15 listings up, but that paid for all of my “fails” from earlier in the year. I knew that I needed to scale up for the next holiday season and did so…beginning of the holiday season 2017 I had around 200 and increased that throughout the season, ending with 450 designs and over 2400 sales on Etsy from late October through December. During Nov/Dec my Etsy sales were $106k, and another 10k on Shopify.

I purchased LHS again in early 2017 and began listings on Amazon and eBay with the integration.  Ultimately I didn’t have time to focus on Amazon and recently closed my Pro account, as I’d only got a few sales there.  I will likely do the same with my eBay store (just down grade to a regular account).  I need the time to focus on Etsy and growing my brand.

Kimberly:

After learning from the course I was able to make my first sale within the first week. Before that I did not see success quickly but I saw the light bulb flash in my head after graduating from university in 2016. While all of my classmates wanted to work for a company, I decided instead to do the new opportunity in front of me, which was start my own business and do LHS. I owe it to my Mom who introduced me to the world of Internet Marketing. It was very much a trial and error method with online courses. The difference between what I was doing back then versus now is that I am able to make money from a system that utilizes the best parts of selling online.

Christine:

I dabbled with it for years, I found some success with fitness offers and made a few thousand one year just by organic traffic, but it soon became saturated and eventually became very hard to get decent Google rankings.

What are your top tips to keep your mindset up?

Veronica:

The Compound Effect is a good book to read along with this business model. I also have business mentors that I listen to on Audible while I’m working. First thing in the morning, I listen to a book on business so that I understand how top notch profiting entrepreneurs think.

I also track every day how many sales, how many listings, how many designs and how many views I get from Amazon’s business reports.  This helps me see that I am actually making progress even though sometimes it feels slow and the bumps like copied listings, customer emails or lost inventory don’t feel as scary.

At the beginning, don’t worry about the sales. Just put up 300 designs and THEN reassess where people are clicking on Amazon. I got 30 ideas and then tested 10 designs each because I had no idea what people would buy. Looking at the simple top sellers, I did get some inspiration but I had to experience it myself to understand what to expand on.

Jacob:

Set goals, small milestones and large milestones, and go after them. Having a strong reason why. Follow people who are successful and learn from them. 1 important fact is: you must pay to play. If you want to have a good income and are starting out or struggling, you must outsource.

Fred:

Stay positive, drink bulletproof coffee.  Set time aside away from your kids to focus on business.

Kimberly:

Persistence always beats resistance. When you have your own business and you are your own boss, then developing self-discipline is one of the fundamental tools to success. At the end of the day whether I succeed or if I fail, it’s on me in the end. There’s going to be days when you don’t feel like giving 100% your all and that’s okay. Keep your mindset positive and happy by taking care of yourself, your body and then go back to uploading and finding new ways to improve your stores.  Business is great but you still have to make time to nourish yourself and live life. I find that life motivates me to work even harder on my business. The thing about a normal 9-5 job is that you WILL make money, however, you can never win back your time. Appreciation and gratitude for what you have, no matter what stage you are in, is key.

Christine:

It is easy to be discouraged when you work so hard for little return, but if you do a little bit each day, it soon builds up.

How are you doing now? 

Veronica:

Since 11/2/2017, I have 500 Etsy listings and 1,000 Amazon listings. I make daily sales, 2-6 on week days, mostly because I have so many listings up and my trial of 300 designs using relevant keywords. My goal is to have 5000 listings up by 90 days and to buy and send $5,000 worth of profits through sending FBA mugs, which comes out to about 14 boxes.

Jacob:

Let’s just say I can pay my mortgage with a few mugs per month. I’m into the T-shirt game pretty heavily right now, though.

Fred:

Well my items are seasonal, so I’m increasing my 450 listings to 1500+ by October, trying to translate some of the designs into summer items rather than Christmas.  Redoing my Shopify store, hiring an ad agency to do my ads etc.  Building a few other stores and Etsy shops.  Streamlining my process for order fulfillment so my wife can help.

Kimberly:

I’m learning to balance a lot of new projects while maintaining the great foundation I’ve built from LHS. Right now I am the main person in charge of my Etsy since Etsy isn’t very fond of hiring Virtual Assistants. I would love to delegate some responsibilities to an assistant someday for my Etsy store. Amazon is a breeze and because of the integration, I don’t really have to check on the orders as often.

Christine:

We are seeing sales every day, it varies but around 3 – 4 sometimes 5 – 6 sales since Christmas, Christmas seemed to give us a real boost.

What have you done to scale your business?

Veronica:

I’m adding listings until I see 300 views a day, which brings me about 10-15 sales during Valentine’s and Christmas.

Jacob:

Outsource. I outsource designs, uploading, research for new designs. It has helped tremendously. I knock out 150 unique designs per month this way easily. FBA is a must to get the sales volume. Amazon Ads is a must on those FBA mugs.

Fred:

Increasing my number of designs.

Kimberly:

I’ve expanded beyond just the mugs. There’s always going to be a new passionate niche out there and some that haven’t yet been explored. There are just some items that hit very well with certain crowds and others that may do well on the mugs. Don’t be afraid to experiment. During the holiday season I hire a designer to do work for me, which saves a lot of time and energy. I like the saying, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

Christine:

Scaling was really just adding more designs and when sales started coming in the same designs were placed on different items and on different platforms. Also, if we get a sale in a niche, then it can be a good thing to expand and do different designs for different tastes.

Can you offer any advice for people struggling with this? 

Veronica:

I can give advice for beginners looking to grow and make sales because that’s where I am.

Learn which items sell best and consider sending to FBA, it’s a learning curve to navigate, but this is what will give you consistent sales.

Know how many listings you have, how many views per day and how many sales. The reports in Amazon help you see what your best days look like, visitors-wise.

Jacob:

It’s a numbers game to me, the more items you have up for sale the more your income will grow. Don’t over-think title and keywords, it will slow you down. Also, outsourcing a designer is a huge help. I don’t know how people do it without a VA, I would go crazy! With FBA, if you’re having trouble picking one, just choose one that has sold 5 times in the last 30-60 days and send it into Amazon. You’ll never know if you do not try.

Fred:

I’m in a unique niche within a niche, kind of thing.  I’m really only successful during the holidays.  For me it’s been to use all title characters that Etsy allows, use the right tags, use Etsy rank and Velo.  Cross promote to FB and IG.I’m in a unique niche within a niche, kind of thing.  I’m really only successful during the holidays.  For me it’s been to use all title characters that Etsy allows, use the right tags, use Etsy rank and Velo.  Cross promote to FB and IG.

Kimberly:

Absolutely. Do not give up! Everyone has his or her own version of what success means. Before The Low Hanging System, I was very much struggling with different courses here and there. I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and had no idea what to do with it. If you hit your version of “rock bottom” then there’s nowhere to go but up. Whether you have been designing your entire life or are a master stick figure artist, LHS can and will benefit your success. One of my favorite aspects of the course is that these are such amazing techniques that you can apply to almost every single online market out there. It is such a personalized experience and everyone will have different results.

Christine:

It has been said many times that you will make most of your sales over Christmas, so just keep adding designs even if you don’t see any sales. It really started happening for us at the end of October and kept going throughout Christmas.It has been said many times that you will make most of your sales over Christmas, so just keep adding designs even if you don’t see any sales. It really started happening for us at the end of October and kept going throughout Christmas.

What had you tried before LHS?

Veronica:

I lost $1200 on Facebook ads testing POD necklace designs and spent $10,000+ on private label products and that business never paid itself off.

Jacob:

I used to dropship on eBay and Amazon using multiple suppliers. I did this all myself; this is where I saw my first real success reaching $50,000 in sales month after month. But I was suspended on Amazon for poor metrics (out of stock issues), and this is how I came across LHS.

Fred:

Shopify.

Kimberly:

I’ve tried various methods such as putting my own artwork up online through third parties that don’t really give you a great commission, Facebook Advertisements that can always change depending on the new algorithms…etc. When I was in middle school I actually had built my own website with products on it but I did not know how to drive traffic to the website. We live in a time of viral sharing new ideas and being able to connect to the same passionate groups from the other side of the world.

Christine:

Before LHS I started publishing coloring books, but I wanted to diversify as it would take around 2 weeks to create a book. Mugs take much less time to test and try ideas and the profit made from one mug sale is approximately double that of a coloring book.

Are there any practical tips you can give around succeeding with LHS?

Veronica:

For beginners: Put up your first 300 designs and then reassess to see where you can keep adding designs. Look at which listings people are clicking because they’re interested and can see you and keep adding designs in that direction.

Scaling: Know your numbers, how many sales do you need to earn what you want to?

Customer Service: Respond right away and thank them for being patient, which will remind them that you’re human too and mistakes happen. Then follow up with tracking numbers when the odd time happens that you need a replacement.

Jacob:

List, List, List!

Hire a VA to launch campaigns. My VA can launch 150 campaigns per day at $3/hr. Granted, I don’t always have that many that need launched, but when I do, she knocks them out.

Buy Designs, as in buy them in bulk or hire a designer to help get you going. I buy many of my designs for t-shirts, and they go on mugs, shot glasses, etc…

Fred:

Make copious designs and see what sticks. You never know what will become a winner.  Believe in yourself and stick to it.

Kimberly:

Keep it simple and know the rules before you break the rules. Develop a game plan that you’ve already learned from the course. If you have any questions then drop by the online Facebook group. I absolutely love the community there. What I like to do is make a very long list of phrases that I’ve been inspired by but do not copy it word for word. Just make the phrase your own or find a new way to say it better. If there’s anything that will keep you from your success then it’s trademark infringement especially on Etsy. It can be competitive out there and you don’t want to give other sellers a reason to report your store. By being original, you won’t have to really worry about that.

Christine:

I would recommend trying out a few different designs once you get a winner. Some people do like flowery designs, others like plain black and white ones. Also try to imagine a potential recipient that you know and design for them, if you’re likely to buy then maybe others will too.

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?

Veronica:

Etsy sends you money within 3 days. I sell on Etsy to keep ahead of my inventory fees. Take your best sellers on Amazon, research buyer keywords, and let Etsy bring you sales. The fast cash makes manual orders worth it.

Jacob:

Etsy is on the rise. I’m gradually adding to my etsy store. Its March 3, I’ve had 73 orders with 230 active listings. My tips would be to price a little higher, and run a sale for free shipping or something to that effect. Running a sale always has resulted in increase of sales.

Merch by Amazon: if you can get approved, add MBA to your business.

Fred:

Etsy.  It’s almost free at only .20 to list.  Use all characters available in titles, key words in the beginning rather than your brand name.  People aren’t searching for your brand name…they are searching for what the item is, i.e. Silver necklace with border collie pendent, for example.

Kimberly:

If I had an online child then it would be Etsy. I love Amazon for the integration aspect but Etsy has my heart. Ebay is sort of the cousin you care about but don’t really talk to that often. All platforms have the ability to make great money. What I love about Etsy is the incentive to be more creative. If you have this ability, then by all means show it. Make an extra effort with your mockups and keywords. Find an angle to your store that makes it different than the others. You also have the ability to have more than one Etsy shop if you sell different items on each. When you work on Etsy then it also works for you. Every time you put up a new listing then that’s more incentive for the search results to bump up your items on the first page.

Christine:

Etsy is a friendly platform and you can get some good sales there, you can easily charge extra for custom/personalized designs too. A tip is to spread out your listings over a few hours/days rather than in one lump as Etsy seems to respond well to regular attention.

Share some of the tangible things you’ve been able to do with your earnings.

Veronica:

My earnings are mostly paying off my credit cards for now. My goal is to earn enough and scaling LHS through Shopify, Amazon and Etsy to pay off $100K in debt.

The coolest EXPERIENCE this business gave me was waking up on vacation, putting up a few listings, ordering my Etsy orders and getting new orders through my FBA mugs and Etsy while I was out playing.  (Note, I didn’t pay for the vacation as it’s a family trip. But I aim to after paying off debts.)

Jacob:

Remember, I began LHS in May 2017. With my earnings, I got a brand new car. My daughter is in a private preschool. Zoo trips & expensive activities for kids.  This year I’m going to surprise the family with a cruise, shhh!

Fred:

Paid off our credit cards, built a steam sauna, provided a wonderful Christmas for my family of 6, bought some new camera gear, made over a couple rooms.  This year it will be a Land Rover for the wife and a Porsche 911 GT3 for me.

Kimberly:

I’ve re-invested a good amount of my earnings to cryptocurrency, buying new courses and fitness classes! Apart from that I try to save as much as possible because you never know what the future holds. Thank you so much to Rachel Rofé for creating such a stunning course that has helped thousands of people. You are a queen.

Christine:

With our earnings we have been able to pay off a lot of credit card debt and we bought a new car (albeit second hand but it was paid in full).

What do you think of these interviews and the advice these LHS members shared? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Thank you!

Here what 5 all-stars have to say about how they achieved ecommerce success.

BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

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