The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

“How is an entrepreneur like me supposed to scale my Shopify store?” That's what The Unofficial Shopify Podcast aims to answer. Discover new opportunities to grow your store from the world’s most successful Shopify entrepreneurs. Hosted by Kurt Elster, a senior ecommerce consultant and Shopify Plus Expert, The Unofficial Shopify Podcast is not authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by Shopify– It's a no holds barred discussion of ecommerce growth strategy and tactics.

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    Hire Better: How to Build a Dependable Tech Team

    As your store grows, you will inevitably have to hire freelancers, consultants, or employees for your tech team. It can be an intimidating process that leaves you struggling to keep projects on track.

    You don’t have to learn how to be a great manager the hard way. Our guest today wants to help you level up faster. Marcus Blankenship gets paid to coach overwhelmed technical managers. He's managed a variety of teams and is going to talk us through how to hire better.

    Today’s episode will leave you feeling dramatically more confident and capable in hiring for your Shopify team, and you’ll see better performance from your team.

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    $1 million in Year 1: Selling Tutorials on Shopify with RGG EDU

    One of the most successful Shopify businesses I've run across doesn't sell any physical goods at all.

    They sell digital goods and did $1 million in revenue in their first year.

    Joining us to share his journey is Gary Martin, the co-founder of RGG EDU, a documentary based production company that specializes in the most comprehensive photography & Photoshop tutorials in the world.

    After turning down a lucrative job opportunity on Apple's Cupertino software development team, Gary decided to launch his own career in photography and never work for anyone again.

    Within a few years, he again made the dramatic decision to ditch client services and instead go on a journey to create the world's best and highest quality educational content.

    Three years after launching their store on Shopify, they are recognized as one of the premier educational resources for photography. We are in 150 countries worldwide, have the best photography podcast on the internet, and get to travel the world and learn from the best photographers in the world.

    Listen now...

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    Make Your Own Luck: How Doug Geiger Built a Durable Business

    In 2012, Doug Geiger stole his wife’s crockpot, bought $400 worth of lanolin while already in debt, and powered through his own self-doubt and anxiety to start his beard care company.

    Today, Doug’s products can be found in over 150 stores nationwide.

    Doug is not only the founder of Can You Handlebar he is the driving force behind the company and its myriad endeavors.

    Having found success with Can You Handlebar, Doug does what he can when he can to encourage that success in others.

    In this episode, he walks us through both his journey and his mindset for success. If you’re looking for the secret sauce to building a durable business that supports the life you want, you’ll want to hear what Doug believes is a realistic & sustainable approach to achieve that dream.

    Listen now.

    Then join The Unofficial Shopify Podcast Facebook Group and comment with your biggest “Ah-ha” moment or take away from this episode, and you could win $150 in Can You Handlebar products!

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    Overwhelmed: How to be More Productive & Less Stressed

    Do you feel overwhelmed?

    In discussions and surveys from Shopify store owners and listeners of this show, we’ve learned one thing: you feel overwhelmed.

    That’s the number one answer to the question, “What’s the number one problem you’re facing with your Shopify store right now?”

    In today’s episode, I sat down with an author who was instrumental in the success of my business. You’ve heard me recommend Sean D’Souza’s book, The Brain Audit, has been frequently on this show, and it was my honor to learn Sean’s approach to productivity.

    Speaking with him, it became clear that he’s as disciplined as he is relaxed. His mindset to overcoming overwhelm is both inventive and actionable.

    Sean takes three months of vacation every year and yet is one of the most productive people I’ve met.

    Whether you’re feeling stressed or just plain stuck, Sean’s advice could change the way you’re building your business and even living life.

    Listen now.

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    Erilan: Discretion & Sensitivity in eCommerce

    A few weeks back, a listener suggested that we record an episode about marketing for sensitive niches.

    That sounded like an interesting challenge, so I tweeted about it.

    I had assumed that sensitive referred to age-restricted industries like tobacco, cannabis, adult goods, etc.

    Instead, we got a far more interesting response from a long-time listener.

    He wrote to us:

    "My mum got breast cancer 10 years ago and had to have a double mastectomy. She lives in rural Australia where access to all the necessary prosthetics and clothing was near impossible. When she got better she asked me about starting a business and I ended up doing all the digital stuff. It was one of my first forays into e-commerce and we've since moved to it to Shopify where it leads its industry in Australia. One of the huge obstacles is the discretion involved. "

    In today’s episode, we walk through the challenges they’ve faced and the lessons they’ve learned.

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    Growth Multipliers: Steal These Email Campaigns

    If you listen to this show, you probably doing some email marketing for your Shopify store.

    One problem: so does everyone else.

    It's tough to stand out, and it's certainly tough to innovate with new campaign ideas that achieve meaningful results.

    In today's episode, we'll do some outside the box thinking to build growth into your ecommerce email campaigns.

    Joining us to discuss it is Shanelle Mullin from Shopify.

    She’s a content creator who helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses faster. She's a jill-of-all-trades marketer with a 10-year background in content marketing and optimization.

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    Your Black Friday Email Marketing Plan

    Black Friday will be here before we know it, and maybe you’re stressed about it.

    If you don’t have a plan in place for your Black Friday email campaign, you’re right to be stressed.

    You could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.

    Getting started with email marketing can be overwhelming, especially for Black Friday.

    On today’s episode, we will discuss a solid actionable plan for a successful Black Friday email marketing campaign.

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    Beef Jerky, Gaming, & $100K: The JerkyXP Story

    The archetypal internet startup story is this: two room mates start a website out of their dorm room, and rapidly become so successful, going to college doesn't even make sense anymore.

    I've yet to meet anyone who fit that mold, until now.

    Six years ago, Max Zitney and his twin brother, Zach, started selling beef jerky with $1,200 and a website from their Ohio State University apartment as college sophomores.

    In 2015, JerkyXP was selected as one of 20 Chase Mission Main Street grant recipients (from more than 30,000 applicants.

    Six months ago, they sold their business to focus on a new B2B ecommerce venture.

    So how did they do it? What happened between then and now?

    In this episode, Max lays out their journey and the exact strategies they used to the grow (and exit) their business.

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    Shopify Flow: How-to Automate Everything

    If you’ve ever worked with me on something, then you know I love automation. All kinds of automation. My house is loaded with home automation gadgets, and my business has been built on marketing automation.

    Why? Because it saves time, keeps me efficient, and is all-around convenient. Automation never sleeps.

    Which is why at last year’s Shopify Unite, there was one feature announcement in particular that piqued my interest.

    We were shown a new feature that would allow you to create automation workflows right in your Shopify admin. It was called Flow, and I was very excited to try it. Adding automation to your business represents a potentially tremendous revenue boost for ecommerce stores. Research shows that business automation leads to more productivity and higher revenues.

    On September 18th, Flow left beta and was published publicly in the Shopify App Store for any Plus customer to use. But should you use it? What can you do with it?

    To find out, we’ll talk to two people on both sides of the table about their Flow experience.

    First, we’ll hear from David Moellenkamp, the Director of Product at Shopify Plus, about how they’ve built Flow to solve the problems of Shopify’s highest volume merchants (and what their vision for Flow is long-term.)

    Then we’ll hear from Michelle Frey-Tarbox, the backend guru at Shinesty who will tell us about her experience with Flow and how it helped her as she operationally supported Shinesty’s brand growth from launch to $5M in 3 years.

    If you aren’t exploring automation now, you’re going to be outpaced quickly by competitors. In this episode, we’ll learn how to use Shopify Flow’s automation can make your everyday processes wildly more efficient.

    Listen now.

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    Fulfill Your Orders: How-to Own The Ordering Process

    Every Shopify store owner has the same problem:

    Fulfilling orders!

    If you’re amazing at marketing your store and getting sales, then you’d better be amazing at fulfilling those orders too, or your business will crumble under the weight of negative reviews.

    Operations and logistics are tough for most new shop owners. In today’s episode we’ll learn some best practices from someone with years of experience running operations for his own ecomerce business.

    Our guest today is Aaron Rubin. He’s both a store owner and ecommerce service provider. He started in ecommerce in 1999 and built a business that sells jiu jitsu equipment to $7million in revenue and $1million profit annually before founding ShipHero.

    He’ll tell us the best practices he’s learned in the process.

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