Customers Aren’t Who You Think They Are! Interview With Recycled Firefighter

Customers Aren’t Who You Think They Are! Interview With Recycled Firefighter

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In this week's podcast, Nick is joined by Jake from Recycled Firefighter, who started his business whilst he was a full-time firefighter. He used discarded fire hoses to create products like wallets and tool bags. His business took off after a successful Instagram launch, leading him to pursue it full-time.

Supply & Demand

The supply of fire hoses for Jake’s business, Recycled Firefighter, comes from the vast amount of hoses used by fire departments across the U.S. Fire hoses, lasting around 10-20 years, resulting in a significant surplus. This durable polyester material, which cannot be recycled traditionally, offers a consistent supply for his products. Jake focuses on the durability and the unique story of using upcycled fire hoses rather than just the eco-friendly aspect in his marketing, emphasising the longevity and resilience of his products.

How To Market Your Product With Real Feedback

Jake from Recycled Firefighter discovered his target market through social media, particularly Instagram, where he engaged with followers to see what resonated. He found a niche in the EDC (everyday carry) community, which appreciated his durable, upcycled fire hose products. To refine his offerings, he used surveys via email to gather customer preferences. This feedback helped him pivot from focusing solely on eco-friendliness to emphasising the durability and unique story of his products. This approach allowed him to adapt his brand to meet the true needs and interests of his customers, leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.

How to Scale your Messenger Ads with AI

Jake found success by revisiting and adapting past strategies. Initially, messenger ads and AI bots didn't yield desired results, so he reverted to standard email marketing. However, upon encountering scaling issues with traditional ads, he revisited the concept. Using a new AI chatbot for Meta ads, he launched a successful giveaway campaign, acquiring emails for as low as $0.25 each. This allowed for efficient list-building and cost-effective retargeting, shifting 80% of his ad spend to giveaway ads and significantly boosting his business. This experience led to the creation of a service offering this AI-driven approach to other e-commerce brands.

Pre-order or In-stock?

Jake's company manufactures products, which are stored at a 3PL warehouse in Kentucky. Best sellers, like the flags made in Florida, are shipped to this warehouse due to high demand. While Jake has considered on-demand production for high-end items, he preferred having stock ready to avoid delays and customer dissatisfaction. Balancing production and inventory is crucial to meet customer expectations and maintain efficient operations.

Finding the Right Work/Life Balance For You

We conduct digital audits by analysing every marketing channel and using tools like Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity to observe user behaviour on websites. Initially, he was the only one performing these time-consuming audits, but after a particularly busy month, he realised the need to delegate. With encouragement, he focused on training his team, which allowed us to scale effectively. This shift helped improve their operations as his staff proved capable of handling tasks, often better than he could alone, highlighting the importance of trusting and empowering team members to grow the business.

How to Manage a Stagnating Business

If your business is stagnant, stay creative and open-minded, trying different marketing strategies through trial and error. Often, what you least expect to work might succeed. Evaluate your mental and physical capacity to maintain creativity and avoid burnout. Balance work, family, friends, and health to keep everything in harmony. Sometimes, it's necessary to delegate or hire help to prevent being overwhelmed and ensure the business thrives. Consider long-term sustainability and personal well-being over short-term gains to keep your passion and energy intact.
Check out the full Target Customer Podcast here.
This episode was brought to you by Nick Trueman, Director of PPC & SEO Agency Spec Digital
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