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How TBH Skincare's Founder Rachael Tyers and her mum reached $1M in sales in 18 months

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Today we’re learning from Rachael Tyers, one of the women behind Aussie brand tbh Skincare.

Tbh is an Australian skincare range built specifically for the acne prone customer. The brand launched in March 2020 by Rachael and her mum with a novel treatment for acne, developed with a patented formula that targets biofilm in the skin. It’s pretty remarkable stuff that’s gaining crazy momentum because of how effective it is. And the proof is in the pudding - in the first 18 months of operating, they’ve hit more than 1m in sales and created a brand that’s impacting thousands of folks struggling with acne issues.

We talk about all the good stuff like how much she’s invested to get to these kind of numbers, how much she pays per influencer collab, what happened to their marketing plan when the iOS changes came in and how they currently acquire customers. It’s a really insightful chat and it opened my eyes to licensing formulas from other companies and the success you can have when you can pour fuel on the fire to accelerate growth.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Yes, Well I'm Rachael as you've already mentioned and I have a brand called TBH Skincare. So TBH Skincare is a director consumer e commerce skincare brand that has products specifically for the acne prone customer.

00:04:39Edit So our core product is actually a patented treatment for acne and we've launched a range around it that essentially is perfectly crafted for that acne prone customer and really like the whole brand from beginning to end is created to suit that customer and their needs and their wants. So yes, that's TBH I love it. I want to go back to the early days when you started this. I mean I think you started this like 18 months ago from what I read but when you were kind of getting interested in starting this business with your mum by the way, which I think is so cool that you decided to launch this together. Let's rewind and go back to the sort of startup story. Yeah, I was not that person that was like always planning on sort of launching my own brand. It actually came as more of a serendipitous thing that occurred. So I was working actually initially. So my backgrounds marketing, digital marketing and I was working in my pretty much my first full time role in medical devices which is not at all the industry that I thought I would end up in.

00:05:50Edit It was sort of not sexy, it was that B two B like very clinical almost. But I was on the marketing side of things. Um it taught me a lot commercially but I was in this role for probably about two years and in the medical devices space there are so many products and the company that we were as I was working for you had such a range of products and such a range of suppliers and they have this amazing technology, one of the suppliers um that could break down what's called biofilm in your body. So it's all quite medical. But they had these products that went into hospital and healthcare into surgeries into infection prevention of all kind. And um the technology that this company has has a huge amount of applications and it has an application in skincare and this is a research and development company. They work off a distribution model when it comes to getting their products out into the world. And so, you know, they're used to dealing in that hospital environment. And I was actually just introduced to the technology via, you know, actually a family connection and then just started asking questions about the technology because they told me that it had an application in skin care for acne.

00:07:03Edit And I was suffering with Acne at the time. So it came up in sort of a conversation whereabouts I actually just wanted this product for my own use like selfishly and I started asking questions about, I actually read the entire patent on the product and I did all my research because I have a long sort of history with Acne and I've been burned by so many products in the past that I wanted to do my proper research and then give this product to go. And after I read up on it, I was like, wow, okay, this is legit, the science is there. It's a completely new approach to treating Acne. Maybe this is what I've been looking for. So I asked for a sample out of the lab, which I was lucky enough to get and I actually started trialing it on my own skin and I had really good results and then being a sort of very creative person and a digital marketer and a beauty consumer and the sort of consumer for this specific product as well. I was like, okay, what's happening with this product? Like this product's amazing. This is a huge opportunity. Um you know, where is it going?

00:08:04Edit And essentially for a company that was, you know, used to dealing in the medical space, you know, they're not so familiar with beauty and Aecom and I just saw such an opportunity, I was like, I could do this, you know, like this is a product that I would know what to do with and how to market and you know, there are a lot of things that I was naive. I was young, like there's a lot of things that I didn't know, but I had the passion and sort of like the creative vision for it and I just went for it. So I ended up pitching for this product and I actually went into business with my mom, as you mentioned, she's on the financial side, so she's got a whole accounting background and she's amazing with numbers. So we complement each other quite well and we decided we could probably manage it together and yeah, we weren't impeached um for the product and want it. So it was actually not really the plan, everything want to skin care company just so happened that it, you know, stumbled upon me as an opportunity and I had such a gut feel about it and yeah, I just went for it. So that was basically the very beginning of it and it was, it only took us six months actually to launch that product in market, wow, this is so interesting.

00:09:13Edit I've never really had someone on the show talking about starting a business from this direction and kind of taking someone else's kind of patented formula. Can you just break down a little bit more about what that means? Like you pitch them for the fact to be able to license their stuff or you bought it from them or like how does that work? Yeah. So it's basically licensing, so it's not something like um, you know, so it's an exclusive licensing agreement. So you essentially win the right to sell that product in a certain area or you know, like there's, but you essentially just pitching for the licensing rights and exclusive licensing rights We got yeah, direct to consumer. So we were, we were amazed. Yeah, we're so excited. And do you like pay a royalty on every product that you sell or is it like you pay an upfront fee or do you pay an ongoing retainer? What's the, what's the pricing model of doing something like that And is this like, normal, is it just me that doesn't know about this? I don't know. I think like if it's very funny because in like, um e commerce dtc businesses, like there are the majority of brands would probably do all the product development themselves um and sort of like do all of that research piece themselves as a startup, that's really, really expensive as you would know, but there's a few different ways that's sort of like these um I guess contracts can be put together, so it could be, you know, like a royalty, It can be basically you just buy the product off them, like wholesale almost.

00:10:41Edit And then like resale, but it's different because, you know, you, you create the brand, the packaging, you literally just licensing the formula, like you're not buying it straight off the, do you know what I mean? Like there's that level of like, well we own that, it's not just off the shelf in a way, it's like, we own that formula and we do what we want with it in terms of branding and everything else? And so what would happen in this? I'm asking so many questions before we actually jump into to the next phase of the episode, but what would happen like if you were to sell the business, do you then just sell that license on to someone else or would you, like, how does it work? Well, the company owns that sort of agreement, that licensing agreement, so That licensing agreement can spend 10 years, 30 years, there's a whole different array of ways that you could set that up for an exit, but you also, you know, we were aware actually going into it that, you know, this was an amazing product and it was what was going to set us apart just from a product standpoint in market, there's nothing like it, you know, currently available anywhere and we knew we needed that obviously to start a successful business um but we've built so much more as well as we've gone and we've done that intentionally.

00:11:54Edit Yeah, like with new products, you mean I saw that you launched a range of different sunscreens and facial care products? Yes, so we have then, you know, gotten it kickstarted, brought in other products and also built a brand community, we have other elements, you know, of the company that we're building to add to its value, if that makes sense? Yes, absolutely. Ok, so before we jump into the marketing piece and the lead up to the launch and what you were doing in those kind of six months before you brought it to market? I always love to understand the money piece of the puzzle and like how you were thinking about funding when it comes to like how much money did you need to invest personally to get the brand to launch and what were you thinking about when you thought longer term about the funding path? Yeah. So it's always a funny thing to like sort of look back on in hindsight. So we did like a full analysis on what we thought it would cost us to get up and running and then also to sort of run it operationally and marketing wise for the first six months and when we sort of pull that together like this is the first time I've ever set up a business, like an e.

00:13:04Edit Com business or anything. And same for my mom. So you know like you're shooting blind a little bit and I don't think I asked probably making assumptions. Yeah you do you make a lot of assumptions but you know what if you're not naive you won't do it is what I always say like you have to be naive to do these things because otherwise you'd just be too jaded and you wouldn't even try. So we actually in the beginning estimated that it would, I think it was like we raised about 250 k. So $250,000 Australian dollars and that was amongst ourselves. So we put in and then it was also family and friends that put in not like it wasn't a huge amount of shareholders but yeah that was basically was set up and then we were like okay this is the money that we think we need to spend. Obviously that was like a huge chunk of that was like actual stock as everyone would know. And then um we did really invest in marketing as well from the get go in and that was a really important part of getting us off the ground. Yeah, absolutely.

00:14:06Edit I'm excited to start talking about the marketing piece and you know, you coming from a digital marketing background and I've read some crazy headlines, you did a million worth of sales in your first year, like you've you've come out of the park and totally smashed it. So let's talk about the lead up to launch what you're actually doing to sort of start building community, start getting the word out there and like how it went and go from there. Yeah, really, in the beginning it was really quite organic, like, we were building a lot behind the scenes, but I think I just started, you know, personally sharing what I was doing what I was up to, and sort of, I covered a lot of the behind the scenes of the business, like whether we were looking at packaging, um branding, the photo shoot, you know, even like, the first run on the like, manufacturing product line, because that was fascinating to me, but, you know, I filmed everything and was sort of sharing on social media and it wasn't a lot of like paid content or paid ads, like we did a tiny bit, but it was just mainly me jumping on telling people what was happening and I think people just took like a natural interest in something like that and watching it all kind of come to life.

00:15:18Edit But in saying that like it was super small scale, um, in the lead up to launch. And it was hard because I had like a really cute group of people to launch. It was, it was good, like it was a good launch, but it wasn't like, you know, we went live on day one and we were through the roof. Like I didn't have, um, you know, media lined up, I didn't have influences lined up because it was also new and I was sort of just navigating how to set up the brand, like, you know, do all these other things I wasn't really thinking about and we didn't have product by that point either to really like, you know, be sending out to media be sending out to influencers. So it was hard to do like a massive pre hype campaign besides just being super organic. And then it was sort of when we launched, we did well, like, I think we had forecast, like we go really like conservative in the forecast. We were like, we're getting no sales in the first month or something because you know, we just wanted to build it out realistically. So yeah, we've got a few 1000 the first month, which was great. I think it was like 40 orders on the first day, which I was like stoked with.

00:16:23Edit I was really happy about that. And then we, we knew that the other thing that we actually did in late up is that we got samples to send out to people. So I had people trialing and sending me before and afters. That was probably one of the best things we did because we had legit results by the time we launched and we could share that. But to be like, you know, we've run a trial group and these are the results and we knew that we were going to get those results with this product. So I think it was really lucky, but we launched with that. It did really well, organically, we ran a few ads here and there, but really until we were able to get it in the hands of media and influences. That's what really sort of like turned the brand and charged it right up and when is that kind of in the journey? Is that like a few months in or is that six months in And can you go a little bit deeper into, you know, how many packages were you sending out to media and like, what were you specifically doing that started to get that traction and that movement where you could see, you know, wow, we're onto something. Yeah, I wasn't like a I didn't send out like a massive amount of packages purely because like I didn't even have the addresses.

00:17:31Edit Like I wasn't I wasn't well connected in this space. I had worked in marketing, but I worked in B to B marketing, I didn't have connections and media, I didn't have connections in influencer marketing, nothing. So I was starting from like absolute scratch, like I had no idea, but I just started reaching out to people, so you know, idea people on instagram or email their management um you know, at the end of the day when you're small though, I think the thing that I heard from a lot of people who were also starting businesses was like, you know, how much is an influencer post costs and when I tell them they were never happy to pay that and I think we took the opposite approach where, you know, when we talk to management, we were happy to pay the rates sort of that they were giving back to us. So we gave ourselves a proper shot in terms of working with these people and establishing relationships with them. So it's about to like the minute we got product, I was trying to reach out to people, um you know, talk to management, get addresses. And the number one thing that I always said to people was, you know, this is the brand, this is the science, this is how it's different and we were picking influences that were relevant to the product and the brand.

00:18:38Edit So like one of the key one and people who are overseas probably won't know this person, but Ozzy people will. So Abbie Chatfield was an ex bachelor contestant and she was suffering with her skin and she was super transparent about it on her social media. Like she would always show that she was breaking out. And it's very rare for influencers to do that. And for us, it was really hard to find relevant influences because they all glossy, gorgeous skin. You know, they don't have those problems or they don't share them. Yeah. So, um, I emailed her management, I was like, look these products perfect. Like it's perfect for her, this is the science, this is who I am. Gave them this feeling was like, we want to work with her, can I? But I said she has to have results before she promotes the product and that was my line with everyone. It was like, They actually have to do a minimum like 2-3 week trial with the products before they even tell us yes or no. So it wasn't just like, hey, what are your rates? Here's the product, It was like, hey, try the product then we can chart and I don't know, it was just like that approach seemed to work.

00:19:43Edit Um so we managed to send it out yet to a few people who Yeah who were well suited and they genuinely liked the product and then I think maybe we got them in emotionally with the product or I don't know, but these people were happy to work with us, which was an absolute blessing and I think you know doing the brand right, doing the boxing right? The whole brand experience, you know, it definitely contributed to the fact that they were then happy I think to work with us because they liked the product and the brand. So Abby was a huge one that we got in May and we launched in March. So I was probably like, yeah, like a three month sort of work in the background to get her to post for the first time. I don't know if you're able to share and and obviously no problems if you're not. But are you able to share kind of what's the investment to work with someone like that at that kind of level of a well known person in the Australian landscape and also what's the impact of that. Like were you able to see, you know, direct sales or was there a clear R.

00:20:45Edit O. Y. That you are able to measure? Yeah. It's interesting influences are not an exact science. Like so much other marketing these days. We did remark and you've got so many data points. It is almost like a science and influence marketing is not that. And I think you need to be the consumer and you need to have your finger on the pulse with who's relevant and who's going to fit your brand and I had a big gut feeling about Abby, um, you know, and for a lot of people, like I have older people in the business, like being mom and everyone else and I think she's a little bit more on like the controversial side for like an older generation. Obviously for me, I was like, I adore her and I'm, you know, but it took a little bit of convincing that like, this was the right move brand wise. You're like, I just know I can't tell you why, but I just know. Yeah. And I'm like, I have this gut feel like you have to trust me. Like I'm a consumer, like, I know I'm consuming this every day. Like I consume influencer content all the time. Anyway. So I look in terms of rates, I mean it varies for everyone and back then she had a lot lower, following like probably less than half of what she does now.

00:21:52Edit Um, but she had a very, very engaged. She, I think she has like 360,000 followers now, But she had probably about 120,000 back then. And for me it was always about like it's not how big their following is, it's how engaged their audience are because someone can have literally 50,000 followers, but the most engaged audience and they're going to sell. And so in terms of rates, it's like it can go, so like, I think the most, we paid for an influencing in those early days with 6.5 $1000 for a grid post and the story that was sort of like the max we would pay for one person. Um and Abby back then was um not that like she was, yeah, I think like now she's got a massive following. I don't even, I'm not even sure what her current rates are, but yeah, it was less back then. So I think it was also just a very lucky time to sort of get her interested in the product getting in her hands and then, you know, have her on board. So there was a direct ry with Abby straight off the bat she posted and it was like them then do something like this.

00:23:02Edit Shopify sales were just going off. Love that sound. Yeah, I know, it's so good. So um you know, and I had like this gut feeling and I was like, I knew it, like I just knew it. Um and then the minute that happened, so whenever that happens for us, like if someone's got really engaged following their post performs really well, um we sort of want to extend that contract, that partnership into like something bigger or longer term or into an ambassador role or so we actually ended up entering into like a three month partnership with Abby and we went like hard on the deliverables, like there was a lot included in the content that we're going to get over those three months and it really solidified her partnership with the brand and a lot of people actually still to this day like C. T. B H. And they're like, oh that's the skincare brand, Abby chat film used to like, you know, fix her breakouts and the thing was her skin fixed on the products, so she had the results as well, which I think is why it converted so well, wow.

00:24:08Edit And so is that do you think it was that specific relationship that kind of like really boosted your growth in that period? Or was it really that and a combination of all the other influencer marketing that you did just to try and understand like getting to a million in your first year is obviously like, just so incredible and people listening are thinking to themselves, but how like how do you get the kind of thing? Um so I just want to really understand, Yeah, I think it's definitely a combination of things. So yes, it was definitely the fact that we're working with other influencers with audience crossover with Abby. So it was almost like this double effect where people have seen her use, but they also see other people use it. And again, that was intentional, huge one was the media um sort of coverage as well. So, you know, we were featured in a few really great Australian media publications and that really helped us with in terms of credibility and it's sort of like solidified, you know, we've been seeing with this really like sort of engaged influencer that's really well known in Australia than we're seeing in these magazines or publications, digital publications that are massive.

00:25:19Edit And then what we were also doing is retargeting all these people. So the minute, you know, anyone jumped on our instagram, they're being really targeted with ads or the minute they come into our emails, they're getting flows. Like we didn't let those people go like just because they didn't convert off the first hit to the website or social media page. We kept them sort of in our funnel? And we're like, I was actually running all the facebook ads, um, and even all the video content like creative, um, in house just myself and we were making sure that we were spending on ads to bring them back and keep them buying. So we saw a direct correlation in how everything performed when we had everything going at once. That's amazing. I think I also read that you and your mom potentially even still are the only employees in the business. So you were doing this essentially all yourself and building this super successful small business straight off the bat. Were you working with contractors? Was there anyone else that you were kind of partnering with or truly it was just you guys hustling it out, it's you everyday pitching press and journalists and pitching influences and just, you know, getting that elbow grease in there.

00:26:33Edit Yes, so a lot of it was that one of the first things I outsourced, because I didn't have any previous experience and it was pr so marketing is very different pr and I didn't have any of the pr relationships that I needed and everything else, and I ended up finding the sweetest girl who was actually just starting up her own agency and she's phenomenal. I would recommend her to anyone. Her name is Georgie Quigley and she has a pr company called JQ PR and yeah, she's awesome. And essentially, it was like, we met for coffee, I just really liked her and I trusted her, like, I just had another gut feel about her and I was like, she's really good. And um, again, she was, you know, didn't cost an arm and a leg for a small startup business. And so we essentially engaged her and she did really well on the media piece fast, so I'm not going to take any of the credit for that because I do not do that at all. But but on the facebook, like, advertising the influence of marketing, all of that.

00:27:37Edit Yeah, it was all in house. So I was managing all the organic content or paid content and doing all the influence of management, myself plus website and everything that we didn't have anyone else in the business. Now, we do, like, we've um, we've only got one other employee and she's part time, she's an intern and then the rest are contracted, their freelancers or agencies. Um And I think we've got that across like content creation, so all that video editing, the facebook ad buying, google ad buying. Um and we've just got like a SEO consultant now and I've also got someone on influencer marketing now, which is great. So there's a lot that have come in since then, but back then it was just me just trying to find my way through, like just literally winging it. I'm just so impressed. That's amazing. I think that is so cool. And I remember, I don't know How I came across you, but you must have posted something on linkedin about, you know, hitting a million in sales or something like that within your 1st 12 months and I was like, Whoa, I need to speak to her.

00:28:40Edit That's so cool. Um And then reading that you've done it with your mom, I was just like this is amazing. How did your marketing evolve over the next, like what what period are we talking about that was did you say May last year is when you started working with Abby to now? How is it kind of evolved and what's what's like driving the growth or where are you finding like interesting customer acquisition, what can you tell us? Yes, so influencer marketing was great to sort of get us going um but it's a very hard channel to measure return on investment from and I think you know as we sort of we spent as I was alluding to earlier, what we raised was nowhere near enough to sort of king continue like this huge growth for the company. So we became a bit more savvy sort of saying like you know what's really generating a return on investment And ads like facebook ads were sort of where we focused moving forward in terms of trying to acquire via that ad channel because it's so much easier to measure like where you're acquiring those customers from and it's a cheaper way to do so um so we're really shifted to focusing on ads thinking about Yeah, like that then brought in like the videographer editor sort of guy because I couldn't keep doing all of that on my own and creative so important.

00:30:01Edit So yeah, it really shifted to like okay, how can we scale that account rather than like um sort of scaling that influence a piece like that influence a piece got us going And then I almost feel like that influence our landscape changed so much even from when we launched that were yeah, we took more of a focus to ad and then more of a focus to like building customer retention as well because we acquired a massive customers and what we actually saw when we had like more than eight months data was that these customers were so valuable. They were coming back and buying like you know within the first three months of having purchased. So we had this like huge repeat business and it was like okay we need to also focus on that and so did you have to then raise more money or you just got sharper with the way that you were spending and didn't look to raise more? No, so the cost of acquiring customers are still super high um and it's just the nature of being in skincare.

00:31:02Edit Um it's a very competitive market and cost per acquisition is so high so no we needed to raise more money and I don't think anyone ever raises enough money unless they've done it before and they know that aren't i You know it's super hard in the beginning to even know like how much you need and how much things are going to cost and what the cost per acquisition will be. So we raised more money literally three months ago we did an equity crowdfund in Australia and we raised 460,000 just over. So that was great and we, it was a super intense process to go through um super tiring but it was 100% worth it and it's definitely you know helped us now see the next stage of growth for TBH rather than trying to, you know if you get too focused on pulling all the cash out of the business, like you end up sort of killing like your acquisition strategy completely?

00:32:05Edit Yeah, you're not able to put fuel on the fire and things are working and just kind of go all out. Yeah, I totally get that. You really need that working capital to be able to like go large. It's down here back to hype you up about all things Crm with a little message from our friends at hubspot. A Crm platform takes any customer interaction and transforms that data into valuable insights as the world's leading Crm platform. Hubspot is rolled out over 50 plus integrations over the past year to help businesses connect with customers like never before. The latest suite of customer centric tools to help your business show your customers. A whole lot of love includes seamless payment tools. Crm powered CMS, customer portals and feedback surveys, seamless payment tools mean payment links and recurring payments can be directly embedded into hubspot is quoting tools and emails for easy delivery and collection from customers and Crm powered CMS means both your marketers and developers can personalize the customer experience and ensure all engagements are timely and relevant.

00:33:10Edit Learn more about how a hubspot Crm platform can help build, maintain and grow your customer relationships at hubspot dot com. I also wanted to ask you said obviously you've really kind of switched into facebook ads and that's kind of where you're requiring customers but what did you experience with the IOS updates and how has that affected you now? Are you still like using facebook as your main acquisition channel or have you had to kind of diversify and again shift and pivot away into something else? Yeah, IOS was pretty horrid for us and it was really, it was really difficult actually because it was at a point in time where I was trying to outsource things um from the business and are buying being one of them and also the Creative and so it came at the same time as IOS and we outsourced to an agency and it was very hard to tell like whether it was IOS impacting performance or the change of management, impacting performance and really like things slow down like massively with facebook acquisition, we were really like left sort of scrambling.

00:34:20Edit So I think, yeah, I was impacted us massively and I think that we've had to have a much like sharp focus on Creative since I always sort of, you know, happened in that what we're seeing is it's really important to get your creative right, because the targeting is like nowhere near as accurate. You know, your top of funnel audiences are shrinking. Um and so we were like, okay, what we saw was that we were doing like broader targeting, but when we had the creative that was on point, the ads would still perform really, really well. But it was finding that creative and then keeping it alive for long enough, Like it's about, how long do they have before they essentially fall off a cliff and, you know, everyone's fatigued by that ad and that adds done. So it's like a constant cycle now of let's get killer creative and you have to keep on top of what's working and then just produce content at a rate of knots and test like so many different ads.

00:35:23Edit So that's our strategy at the moment. And we had um like we had an amazing piece of creative in october actually that killed it for us on ads. So I think we're learning now with IOS and we're recovering. It was actually um so we have, you know, masks are like causing people to break out and everyone in Australia is obviously still wearing them. And the hospital workers are like the biggest sufferers because they're in these like, N- 95 masks all day. And what we're getting is feedback from customers that they were actually using it to combat like their mask breakouts. And people are actually putting it on, like before they go to work, they were putting it on under their mask and they're wearing the mask and going to work. And it was like stopping their breakouts were happening. So we got this feedback and we were talking about concepts for ads and it's really um effective when you can find a niche. Like everyone sees skincare adds 100 times a day. If you have a point of difference that doesn't make it look like another skincare ad, then it's probably going to, you know, stop people strolling and you'll get more cut through.

00:36:26Edit So we have like a huge um increase in sort of our ability to stop people from scrolling on that video. Um and basically, yeah, so we got a health care worker to do like a testimonial for it. Um she like shared how, just how she used the product and what it did to her skin, and because it was like, yeah, it was very raw footage, like health care worker on camera, it was like, it was just very real, very organic and yeah, it went bananas. There was like a lot of people that engaged with it on social, I think, because it didn't seem like an ad. Yeah, I don't know. Yeah, Yeah, it's much more native to the platform and someone just sharing their experience in that UGC kind of way. How do you actually manage your, like, content side of things? You mentioned a moment ago you were discussing concepts, are you working like with a content agency for example, and you're just constantly throwing around ideas, or do they come to you kind of acting more like a creative director and give you different kind of scenarios or how does it actually work?

00:37:37Edit It's actually a very collaborative approach and I think I'm lucky to be working almost like with a small team, so the people that I've got on buying and um, the creative, like, you know, they're small, they're boutique, you know, pretty much freelancers and we all work very well together. So we're actually not, none of us are in the same state in Australia, but we're always on zoom calls and I think we would, I speak to the ad guy every day like every day. I'm like, what are you spending? And then we're breaking down like, you know, at a P N. L. Level what revenues coming through from new customers verse returning on the top of funnel, performing blah blah blah. And so we're all feeding back to each other all the time. But the creative guy and ad buyer and us, we all talk like together. So there'd be briefs coming out every two weeks where it's like, okay, um, you know, we all brainstorm together what UGC we think are going to work. It's up to us. So myself and like my marketing in turn to go away and find that content and get it. And then we essentially ship it back to the editing guy who puts it all together in like 100 different ways.

00:38:41Edit So you can test different hooks and different openings and different closes and different offerings. And then the other guy goes and test basically all of them and then reports back and it's like this never ending loop of optimization because, you know, when something is performing, then he will want to capitalize on it, we want to do something similar. So we're trying almost reproduce until that's not working. Then we, you know, sort of re jig and it's literally a never ending cycle. It's almost like it's the biggest like sort of time sort of spending we do in the business is like on that content creation piece. Wow. But yeah, I mean, I guess if that's what's working, then of course you have to lean into that 1,000% to just keep that going. Have you been experiencing much success with Tiktok ads and what's your kind of experience of that landscape now? Yeah. So we did start doubling in Tiktok ads and I think, um, as you sort of said before, the more native, it seems to the platform to better. So the more organic it looks, um, you know, we weren't going to put like a slick, polished add up on Tiktok, I had to be relevant to the platform.

00:39:45Edit So it was literally me jumping on, um, you know, like doing like a founder story pulling like all the old footage that I had like from the production line and you know, all the different things that we've done me packing and like the, you know, in the early days and stuff and I pulled all together. It was basically like, hey, I'm the founder of aviation year was the first sort of piece of on Tiktok that I did to like create as an ad and it went really well. So the minute was like organic, it did very, very well. So then there was, and where I think we have an end of financial year sale and I was like, okay, how do I do like about the organic sort of Tiktok art? And what I did was I basically said, you know that voice to Siri thing, like on Tiktok, I did basically like a screen recording of the site on my phone and we had like a spin wheel prize thing up and basically said, oh, like for TBH skincare is like in a financial to say I spun this like spin wheel, I got like this free or whatever and then, um, these are my products arriving and like this is me using them. It was like very organic.

00:40:46Edit But I posted it and the click through rate was over 5%, which on Tiktok is like really high. And even one of the account managers that Tiktok actually reached out and he was like, I've never seen an ad like perform that well. And I was like, I'm just trying to like create yeah, like random content, which is in the middle of the day, in my house in lockdown random content that I think will stick like on Tiktok. So we have dabbled a little bit, but my experience is that the people like at the moment in where Tiktok is like, it's evolving very quickly, but they don't have the same sort of like conversion data that facebook does. So I think as well, um even some of the demo on Tiktok, like then they don't have the same wallet share that people on facebook and instagram are all the same intent to buy like on the platform. So I think it will get there, but it's like early day, so it's really great for driving traffic and if you can, you know, get people in sort of like that marketing spear where you bring them in from like paid media to owned media, then it's great.

00:41:48Edit Like you can get people in the door and build traffic to your site, but it's not like a, it's more of a brand awareness thing that we do. It's not like, you know, direct results and I've had a few people very randomly be like, I thought I have discovered your brand on Tiktok. I've heard that a few times and it really surprised me. So I was like, you know, it's just a few videos that we sponsored and they happen to go quite well. Yeah, that's so interesting. Do you survey your customers to be like, how did you find us and like how did you learn about us? Because you say that like you heard, you know, a few customers told you that and I had the same with the podcast where people would say to me, oh I heard about you actually just by searching you on google and I was like, I should actually find out more about this. So I did a survey and I found out so many more people found out about us through google. So I was like, oh God, well I need to lean into like my ex ceo and things like that and which I have and then I've seen growth from that. So I'm wondering if you had done that and if not you should do that, you know what, have not done that, write that down and I'm gonna do that. Yeah, you should host a survey because you'll be surprised the things that you learn from other people that you've probably just never considered.

00:42:56Edit And then, you know, you get that like little tiny hint that you should follow the breadcrumb and that other direction or lean into that a little deeper. And then seeing the results from that is certainly super exciting. And I'm sure if people are saying that to you, just off the bat kind of thing, it will be interesting to see what else people say it like a larger scale. Oh totally, no, I'm definitely gonna do that. I think I'd be fascinated to find out. You will, you will, it's so amazing what's next, What's happening that you can shout about and you know, get us excited about. Well, we just moved out of the house actually. So we've been fulfilling this whole time out of our home. Kinga rats. Oh my God. Yeah, Well out of Mom's place. No, I was about to say, do you have a three pl no, no, we don't have a three pl we don't have a three pl which is good. Um You know, I'm actually happy that we haven't gone through people at this stage, but we were literally fulfilling out of mom's house and likely shipped like enough space. We have like a full room dedicated to it, but the boxes of stock, well we had storage as well as we had a storage unit, but all the product has to be stored in certain conditions.

00:44:07Edit So we had all the product in her home, so the house was full of it and we were doing that yeah, for basically a whole year. So we've just moved out and gone to like a shared e commerce hub. So there's like 200 other e commerce brands in this building and everyone has like a different sort of showroom, which is basically just a room, like a square meter room. And then um I think I was like 48 square meters, so it's not that big, but we literally have all this stuff like lined up on the walls, like on shelves and stuff and we pick and pack out of there now and we also work from there. So it's a super creative space, There's like um Photo studios, you can hire out like free meeting rooms. it's just like, and there's so many fun people in the building, so um it's great, that's like being one of the most exciting changes is like finally being out of the home and it's just great, like from a work point of view, just having the space to be creative and work um and so that's been great, and for us it's now we've got a few major product launches coming up and yeah, I think it's going to be about launching those and sort of just increasing the marketing spend and increasing our market share in Australia and then hopefully prepping to enter into overseas markets as well, so that's the plan, Exciting my gosh, it's all happening, so fun for you, that's so exciting, what is your most important piece of advice for entrepreneurs coming into 2022?

00:45:46Edit It's so I feel like this is such a, like a hard one, but I think like my number one piece of advice would be like, be aware of how much things can cost. So I feel like, you know, everyone needs to be realistic about how much money they need to sink into a business for it to grow and thrive and achieve all the things that they wanted to achieve and I think sometimes, you know, people say big revenue figures but they don't understand how much a business can cost to run, especially when its products based as well, not serviced or text based, but from my experience I think I should have may be known or it would have been good to know like more about how much things cost. And then I think it's always about like focusing on the product or the service that you're offering. I think you make life so much easier when you know that you have something that's different or unique to the market or at least better than what's currently available. And I always think like it's good to make sure you sort of are really intentional with the product and the service and like the service and who you're targeting with it.

00:46:53Edit So for us like we went into yes, a very saturated market but we went into a very niche part of that marketing targeting acne prone customers specifically giving them a brand experience and you know a brand tone of voice that wasn't anywhere available in the market to them. And also a product that was nowhere like this product is completely different and it has the results of the clinical backing. So I think they're really important things is like I think people can be swept up in sort of like a vision and you know their creativity and that's amazing that you want to make sure you have the product to do that justice and to give you sort of longevity rather than you know just sort of bringing something that's the same to market. Yeah. Yeah. You need to have like inherently word of mouth built into the brand. It needs to be something that people are going to shout about, tell their best friends about sending what's up and be like, oh my God this is happening for me right now and ultimately by it a second time, a third time ongoing.

00:47:58Edit Otherwise I think it's quite hard to sustain a business if you're only able to sell that one time and you're having to pay to acquire a customer every single time. Yeah. Yeah exactly. Um My other ones would be watch out for um shipping. So like the little things that you know would now think about is like how big is your item? How much is it way they're really important things to know how much it's gonna cost to get things to you and also to customers like the light of your products the better and the smaller it is the better, like the easier it is to ship and send and do that cheaply. Um or affordably I should say. But then the other thing as well is also you alluded to it. But is it like a repetitive product that someone can buy again? Like is it something they're going to buy one time you're going to have a high turn rate with customers or is it something that they can come back and consume again and again and again because you can build, I think a much more long term brand with like profitability like really easily if you can build you know that repeat cycle into it and also average like sort of basket size as well.

00:49:10Edit Like you have to know in that industry how much is it going to cost you to acquire a customer if you've got a $40 product that someone purchases once or let's say like a $20 product that someone purchases once. I think that that would be insanely difficult. Like I think that's like a mass market strategy but I think you know those are the things that I think in hindsight, I'm really glad that our price points, it's where it does and the size of the product is helpful because I feel like that would be super super challenging. Mm Yeah. It's so interesting because it's like you know all of this stuff just because you've gone into it naively like you said in the beginning and you just kind of figured it out and then you know like you're doing that classic entrepreneur like gently trying to like figure things out and put it together. Whereas if you're coming into this like really um you know well researched and trying to covered it from that different approach. I'm like how do you actually figure that out from that other approach of being like super across everything. I don't know. Do you know? No I just like how do people like actually truly understand before they get started?

00:50:17Edit You need a consultant that's what it is. Well that I think they and they need podcasts like this. Like I always say like you know if you can listen to these types of resources like it's gonna like it will help you so much. But it's also like it's hard because I'm sure anything's possible. Like if you have a good enough idea in like the passion behind it, like you'll make it work and there's always different strategy so it might be in the exact same way that I've approached my business that wouldn't work for a $20 basket size and a product that you can only buy once. But that product might be amazing to sell into retail or a mass market or something like you know where the cost per acquisition is lower because you're going to buy a different channel. So there's always ways, I'm just saying when it's D. D. C. E. Com, you know and it's like that product based in a, you know sort of. Yeah I just think anything didn't say e commerce, like you have to have those sort of key metrics in place to make life easier for yourself. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So at the end of every episode we wrap up with a series of six quick questions, some of which we might have covered, some of which we might not have but I asked them all the same.

00:51:25Edit So question number one is what's your why, why are you doing what you're doing? It's so hard to articulate, but I think personally, like I I'm having like personally, because there's a reason sort of why the business is doing what it's doing and why I'm doing what I'm doing, I think I'm doing what I'm doing because every day I have purpose and I'm excited by my job and I get out of bed full of ideas and vision, I still have that enthusiasm for the business and I haven't lost that and I love it. So I think, you know, that's really why I'm doing what I'm doing is because I genuinely just have such an enjoyment for it and energy for it, and I get energy out of it as well, so I think every day I'm just driven to you know, be in the business and enjoy it really, like for everything that it is in the stage that it's in right now, um and so I think, yeah, the fact that I feel like I have purpose and I'm learning things and I'm, you know, seeing things come to life, like I'm quite a creative person, so when I'm able to create and see everything come to life, like I get so much out of it, So I think I've loved this small business, you know, experience has been really hard, but I mean so rewarding and I think the reason why TBH like why am I investing all this time into this company is because I've had such a personal experience with acne myself and I know the impact that it can have on someone and I know then the impact we can have on customers lives.

00:52:58Edit So, you know, if you can get this product in the hands of someone that needs it and it's able to clear their skin that does so much more than just clear their skin. Like, the effects, like, so much more than that, it's confident. It's like, even relationship building its social, like connection, it's mental health, like, well being, it's so much like, yeah, the the impact is huge. So that's definitely why TBH is in business. It always will be why we do the business. I love that. That's amazing. Question. Number two is what's been the number one marketing moment that made the business pop? I feel like we covered that in being probably that moment where we were able to secure that partnership with Abbie Chatfield, um, and just like the influences in general, and then get that media attention going at the same time. So, definitely was the number one, I think, point in really breaking through and getting customers and then once we have the customers, you know, we had before and afters, we had reviews, we have testimonials and it grew, you know, from there, but that first steps very hard.

00:54:07Edit Yeah, Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter? What are you reading or listening to? That is worth noting for other founders? Oh, that's a, that's a good one. So where do I hang out with say online, All done. Um you know, always like different podcasts to listen to, you know, I love the podcast, how I built this, like listening to all of the founders and their journeys and how they navigate through things and their experiences because almost it, if anything, it just makes you feel less alone. So I think, you know, podcast and Everything like that I would 100% go to to make myself smarter. But I think as well books wise, I feel like the one that I wouldn't recommend to anyone is cult status. I love the book, cult status. It is phenomenal because it's very like modern and relevant in terms of like how you build a brand in today's landscape and how you can build it for longevity and you know, trading off like profit and purpose.

00:55:09Edit And I just feel like, yeah, I learned so much reading that book. So I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of starting their own business and yeah, apart from that, I think, you know, I've met so many great people just by being, you know, a small business myself and connecting with other small business owners and I think I can learn so much from so many people around you and even, you know, being exposed to people outside of marketing for me. I've learned so much off my mum in terms of the financial element of the business, you know, we've spoken to lawyers through you know, general business and I've learned so much of them, like just in all the things that they do and everything that I'm doing day to day in the business is literally an education for me because I've never done this before. So I think I've been lucky to just, you know, the N. B. A. Yeah, it literally is. So I've just been lucky to get to work, you know, with people as well and learn from their amazing brains. I love that. So cool. And for everyone listening and I feel like we should all go and buy cult status.

00:56:13Edit I'm definitely going to order it after this. Thank you so much for that. It's amazing. I flew through it in like a day. Oh gosh, okay, Amazing. Question # four is how do you win the day? Um How do I win the day? Um Usually I would say the way that I like if I'm going to have a good day, it's probably that I'm not like I'm waking up early, like and I say early, but like just waking up with enough time to ease myself into the day. I think like a lot of people, like I get up and I exercise, I like to do this for me, it's actually just like, do I have time to like just gather my thoughts before my day starts? Like, I'm someone that if I've gotten up, I can do whatever I want. Whether that be exercise, I love exercise makes me feel great in the morning. But you know whether that be exercise or I get up with enough time to literally sit down, watch an episode of Friends with breakfast or watch the news. Like if I have that time for myself, like in the morning just to like clear my head and start the day. Well, like, I think that's for me, like what winning the day or like, you know, winning the morning would be um I just feel like when I set myself up like that, I go like go into my day happy instead.

00:57:25Edit Like you can wake up, you're late, you've got an email, you're getting calls like you don't have any of that like personal space to just like put yourself in a really good head hit like headspace for the day. So I feel like just taking that moment, the minute you wake up to be like, hello day, just like, I don't know, it's like a really nice calm way to start the days when you have time. Whereas there's nothing worse than not having time, the minute you wake up, it's like so intrusive. Yeah, I agree. I'm so with you. I I really need that time in the morning or else I'm just like not functioning properly here. Question number five is if you were given $1000 of no strings attached grant money, where would you spend that in the business? And it's to highlight the most important spend of a dollar for you? Um Well it would be towards new customer acquisition for sure. It would be a hard um sort of choice between facebook ads and influencer marketing, I think so. I don't know either one of those two is probably where I'd throw $1,000 if I got given it.

00:58:33Edit Yeah. For new customer acquisition. Yeah. Amazing. And last question is how do you deal with failure? What's your mindset and approach when things don't go to plan? I've always tried to tell myself in a moment of adversity that like there's something good that comes from this, like there's no adversity that I've ever been through if I look back in my life, you know where I haven't come out with more, you know, like it's a character building exercise. That's what I always think is like this is somehow helping me in the future. So even though it might suck right now or I may have done the wrong thing. If I learn from it, then it's like, no, it's not even a failure almost. And I also think that um you know, it can be really difficult and I'm someone that would sort of like self like inflate to my own like pain in that moment. Like I get so annoyed with myself. Like, I think it's really easy to beat yourself up about things, but you know, it's like, how would you respond to someone else if they did that or they had this failure and it's like, you need to be kind to yourself at the same time.

00:59:39Edit So I think I just try and like, go easy on myself and also think about the positive spin on it is like, what have I learned and the fact that I'm going to be a better person when I come out the other side, because I would have had this experience and it's always better to have the experience and not have the experience. I think so. True. So true, Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show. I feel like you've just shared so many pieces of gold that are going to be so useful for us, entrepreneurs who are earlier on in the journey looking two amazing women like you building these successful cult like brands. So thank you so much for taking the time. No, you're welcome. Thank you so much for having me. It's been so good.



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