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In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the owner of BeefySites, Jared Mitchell. 

BeefySites started as Jared’s passion project and it has now become an extremely successful company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their e-commerce businesses. 

Jared shares that the methods e-commerce businesses are using to grow aren’t actually improving their brand or business because it doesn’t build upon it. When your business depends on other factors, like platforms you don’t control, you have to build things from the ground up so you aren’t relying on those factors entirely for success.

He also discusses things like the risks of relying mostly on Amazon for your e-commerce business. He shares that he's been shut down at least ten times by Amazon – so if you tell yourself it can’t happen to you, think again. Even competitors can shut you down between leaving false bad reviews and opening false trademark disputes. Amazon is a slippery slope for e-commerce companies, so absolutely do not put all your eggs in that one basket. 

Jared and Josh explore how to diversify your strategy and approach. Number one, you need to strive for perfection. First of all, sell QUALITY products and don’t cut manufacturing corners. Ship on time and have a competent and prepared customer experience team right off the bat. If you don’t, your brand and its reputation will suffer.

Next, invest in selling e-commerce you’re passionate about. Yes, you can be passionate about making money, but that’s not going to be enough drive for you eventually. Sell products you use, care about, and enjoy talking about. Base your brand around things you care about on a personal level. 

Differentiating yourself in a busy market is another aspect that requires a tactical approach. Find your niche and be AMAZING at it. You need to then hone in on that audience, ideally one that needs a solution provided, and operate in that area. Become an expert in that niche and don’t make the mistake of trying to branch out into areas outside your zone of genius thinking you need a broader, more extensive reach. Only sell products you know well and like the back of your hand. 

Jared shares that people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be helped. You need to be the right solution to their problem and show your business is the expert in your space very quickly. You need to establish yourself as a real brand to your audience. As far as utilizing influencer marketing, Jared stresses caution. You need to manually check not just the size of an influencer's audience, but also the engagement they have with their audience. Influencers can often have “fake audiences”, so do this research before you even approach an influencer regarding a marketing campaign. 

Want to learn more? Check out Inspired Beefysite’s website at https://www.beefysites.com/.  

Check out Jared Mitchell on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jareddmitchell/

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