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Intro & Outro: 00:00 Welcome to the winning with Shopify podcast, the podcast that will teach you to take your Shopify store and turn it into an automated sales machine with the latest marketing emails, sales and social media advice, strategies and tips from experts without the fluff. Your host, Caroline Balinska, the founder of justaskparker.com the only small marketing tasks agency for Shopify owners with over 10 years experience in marketing, manufacturing, design, and ecommerce. She shares her knowledge and interviews the experts to help you in your journey to success. Now here’s your host, Caroline Balinska.

Caroline: 00:35 Hi Everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host Caroline Balinska and today I want to be talking about Fake Help. Now this is a very big problem at the moment. Look, it’s actually been a problem for quite some time, but I think that at the moment it’s just getting worse and worse. There’s a lot of people out there that are putting out the most for ridiculous, ridiculous claims I have ever seen. And the problem with this is, is that there’s so much fakeness around it and it’s really becoming so bad that there’s people that I know in my clients, people that I have worked with, people that are in my Facebook group who have accidentally fallen for a lot of this and it’s gotten to the point where I need to make an announcement about it and talk about it. I’ve been really worried about talking about this and the reason for that is, I’ve spoken to some colleagues and people that I work very closely with and I don’t want to be seen as putting down other people and trying to make out as if everyone else is negative and I’m the best.

Caroline: 01:36 That’s not what I’m here to do. I am going to tell you about some really amazing companies out there and I will tell you, I don’t want to mention names of companies, but I just want to give you a heads up to understand what to look for when it comes to these fake companies. That’s what I want to help you with today. So if you’ve listened to a few of my other podcasts, I’ve mentioned a couple of my clients who have had some pretty bad things happen to them. I’ve spoken about Holly who worked with the Facebook ad company who worked for nine months, kept on taking money from her every month, running all these ads for her and she had spent, I can’t remember the figure now of my head, go back and listen to the episode, but I think it was around 6,000 pounds in total.

Caroline: 02:15 That was money for Facebook ads and also paying them as well. And over that nine month period they kept on saying to her, oh no, next month will be better. This will be better. But then what they also did was say to her, look, we got you 1,500 email addresses. And it’s true, they really do get her 1,500 email addresses. But what they actually had done was that they were running a competition. She’s got a really high end product. She does like photo frames. So you send in your photo and she creates these beautiful pictures from it. So this is high end stuff. This is not for the single mom who owns 20,000 a year. This is for someone who’s on a higher income, but what they had done was run these competitions on Facebook saying, hey, win these hundred $50 photo frame and give us your email address and you can go into the draw to win it.

Caroline: 03:03 Now this is where I’ve got a problem with competitions. I don’t know the name of this particular company. I don’t know if they’re just completely incompetent or if they were purposely scamming her. I cannot tell you which way it was, but no matter what it was, they were doing the wrong thing. Do not run competitions to try to get people to your website for the wrong reasons. I’ve got another client at the moment. She started working with it. Where she works with us. With Just Ask Parker of her general stuff and she coaches with me, but she’s also working with a Facebook Ad Company, actually Instagram company to do Instagram for her. And she signed up with them and then on our coaching call she told me about it and she said, Oh yeah, she wants to run a competition. And I just straight away cringed and when let’s talk about that competition before you do anything.

Caroline: 03:48 And when we got into the logistics of it. So I’m not saying don’t run a competition, but run a competition in the right way and you will create great reasons for doing that. You’ll get a great email list, you’ll get great people and be very, very careful about what you do. Or you’ll end up like Holly in that situation of, yeah, she had 1,500 email addresses. So when she finally came to work with me and she’d had all of this and we spoke about it, I said to her, okay, that 1,500 email addresses, how many sales did you get from that? You’ve had that list for now more than nine months and she’s literally got, there was one or two sales, it might’ve been two, I’m pretty sure it was one, but that was literally it. And sales, she told me where like the cheapest, cheapest product that she sold, which was like 15 she’s actually in pounds.

Caroline: 04:32 So 15 pounds doesn’t matter. 15 pounds, $15 it really doesn’t matter. But average sale price was average products was around a hundred dollars but she was selling, she sold a couple of 15 old products. It’s not covering off the $6,000 that she’d spent. It’s very, very important that you be aware of these things. So today I want to go into a little bit more detail on this and help you understand the difference between fake help and real help. And the reason why this is so important today, why I’m bringing this up is because in the last couple of days, I don’t know if you are aware, but my Just Ask Parker website is actually on the Shopify platform. So I’ve got my website on the platform. However, the way I run it is not as a Shopify store, so I actually have other things going on as well. However, I do have the Shopify contact form, so I do get those emails that everyone else gets and because I am a Shopify website, I must be on a database that some person maybe in India, maybe in China, maybe in the Philippines, I don’t know where, got hold of my website. And they send me these generic emails that for Shopify ecommerce stores and I keep getting these emails.

Caroline: 05:41 They’re not looking at my website, they don’t care about who I am, they just know that I’m the Shopify store at (inaudible) least filling out this contact form and I always, I’m sure you guys know it comes up as a spam message. So, in my emails I see straightaway spam contact form. I know it’s going to be one of these sales things again and I’ve been getting so many of them, so the couple that I’ve gotten over the last few days have been really interesting. One of them that I got yesterday was where I just went, whoa. I’m sure a lot of the people listening got the same email and it freaked me out and I just thought if I’m getting it, you guys are getting. And the way it looks, you would think by looking at it, that maybe, hey, that’s worth trying, but I can tell you right now I looked into it, and it is a complete scam.

Caroline: 06:29 So the email was, I’m going to bring it up while I’m talking. It was an email that came up with the springing up now. They’re from, I’m not going to mention the company because there’s no point. I don’t want to get into that. They;re from a company that’s is the world’s leading tagging and traffic supplier for ECOMMERCE websites. We work with Shopify sellers just like you in your niche. Really? In my niche, I don’t think so because I’m not an ecommerce store so it’s definitely just a spam email. During the last seven years we’ve helped a lot of Shopify sellers. We start out services at $25 a month and you can receive relevant and targeted ecommerce traffic in the next few hours. Simply go to our website and choose a plan that you want, so you click on the link, you go through to their website and they’ve got these plans. The first one is $25 a month. The next one is $40 then $56 and 50 and another one for $50.

Caroline: 07:23 So they’ve got these plans. I had to look over their website. It actually does not explain anywhere how they’re getting the traffic for you. They literally don’t mention anything at all. There is no mention of where the traffic comes from. There’s no mention of explaining how they decide what niche you’re in. They don’t tell you because I can tell you right now that depending on your niche, depends on where I get your traffic from. So in you company I’ve just partnered with and I’m partnered with them on the marketing side of their business, they sell Indian spices. What we found out that their audience is over the age of, I think it’s 45 50 and after doing the research, I’ve been working with them for a couple of weeks now and they had already been in business for the last year and the first thing that I did for them, I was looking at their Facebook ads and decide what was going on with their Facebook ads and I found out that one sale in the last six months has come from Instagram.

Caroline: 08:16 Every other sell they got and they’re getting lots of sales came from Facebook ads. Now, that straightaway said to me, okay, I’m going to turn off anything to do with Instagram, and it makes sense because they targeted audience is over the age of 50 people over the age of 50 are not really on Instagram. There’s going to be a couple but not many. And they’re only based in the UK. The only advertising in the UK at the moment, so maybe an American, there’s more people on Instagram at that age, but in the UK it’s less people. So suddenly we’re in a situation where we have to look at where we get our traffic from and it’s definitely not Instagram. So if someone’s putting out an ad like this and saying, for $25 a month, we’re going to get you more traffic. They’re not really talking about they’ve got (inaudible) to heal.

Caroline: 08:54 We’ll do one keyword, one social source. What does that mean? Like what does that actually mean? What are you doing for us? You’re getting me 120 visitors per day. What does that mean? The amount of people that will sell you visitors per day is been lying to you. I cannot, cannot begin to tell you that if their business is based on that note in, Just Ask Parker, we say to you, we’ll run these particular things. For instance, one of the things we do is Pinterest promotion for you and when we say that we go, yeah, we’ll get you traffic per day, but we can’t guarantee that. We’re not going to guarantee a certain amount of visitors if you don’t have the right pins, if you don’t have the right message, if you’re not really targeting the right audience, then we’re never going to be able to get you traffic.

Caroline: 09:40 This company doesn’t even say that you have worked at who your customer is. 99% of people that come to me in Just Ask Parker, don’t actually, I’m not targeting the right customer and if we haven’t worked with them on who their customer is, we can keep on trying to get them traffic, but they’ll never ever get sales from that. So the biggest problem with businesses like this, with this particular email that I’m talking about, is that they might get you the 120 visitors per day and it will come up on your analytics that you’ve got 120 people a day, but I guarantee you that you’re not turning those people into customers. There is no way, even myself as a marketing expert, me doing that for $20 a month, 2000 I can’t even pay my team to work for me at that, right to get me that many visitors per day.

Caroline: 10:30 It’s just not possible and they still weren’t going to (inaudible) make a profit off it. So it just does not make any sense. It’s a scam. It’s completely bias and you need to look at these emails and just say, I’m not going to go with it. So if anyone, what I’m want to give you from this is if anyone is enjoying emails saying we’re going to get you traffic for $50 a day, $50 a month, then they’re lying to you. So it’d be very, very careful of that. There’s so many things that go into it that you need to be careful of. Websites like this, if they’re not telling you what they’re actually doing for you, they’re not explaining it at all. They’re not telling you, hey, this is how we actually do it. Hey, they might have the magic solution. They might have something that I can’t think of off the top of my head after 13 years in ecommerce.

Caroline: 11:10 Maybe there’s something that I don’t know about. Hahaha. I have to laugh when they say that, but why aren’t they telling you this is how we do it? They don’t have to go into the nitty gritty of how they do it, but they should tell you. We tell people, this is what we’re going to do for you. We’re going to get your Pinterest traffic. We’re going to get you Instagram traffic. We’re going to run. We can run Google ads for you. We can go and do Snapchat if you want. We can do Twitter if you want. We can do all these things. They don’t even say that. They don’t talk about what’s this one keyword? Why take one keyword from, what’s that going to do? So just be very, very careful of what they’re trying to promise because to me it’s a total scam. There’s nothing in there that tells me that they’re actually going to get any results for you.

Caroline: 11:51 There’s been a couple of other emails like this, so it’d be very aware of what’s coming through as, the good thing about Shopify is that it picks up that it’s actually a spam email and just ignore these ones. Look, there are a couple of people that are sending through emails that are legitimate, so I don’t want to sit here saying that they’re all going to be completely false. However, if someone’s trying to sell you on, um, 120 visitors visitors a day at $25 then I can pretty much guarantee it’s not true. If you are not sure, and if this is something you want to know more about, sin (inaudible) jump in our Facebook group in winning with Shopify, jump in our Facebook group and ask us, we’ll have a look, put the link up for us and we’ll all put in our opinions and have a look and we’ll look at it with open eyes and decide.

Caroline: 12:33 I’m not here to say to you that Just Ask Parker is the only way to go. There are other ways to go. However, I have not been finding things that work and that’s why I came up with Just Ask Parker because I know what I can create and the prices that I charge. That’s why no one else can do what I’m doing because I’ve got a very, very systemized way of doing it and I’ve been doing this for 13 years. I didn’t just turn up the other day going, oh, I’m going to start helping Shopify stores. I’ve been helping ecommerce stores for 13 years helping businesses online for 13 years. I know how to do this properly. I know how I can do it fast and simply and that’s why we can charge such low prices, but I could never charge you $25 there’s just no way that would ever work.

Caroline: 13:13 The next thing I want to talk about is, I mentioned that before Facebook experts be very aware of these Facebook experts. Another client of mine. She just recently decided to work with Facebook experts just on Facebook ads, and I can tell you right now from everything I heard, I’m going to wait and hold my breath into the information comes back, but I’m pretty sure that it’s another one of these incompetent people. That’s really, that’s what I’ll say because they had two reviews two testimonials on their website and both testimonials where for from people that were not really anything. So, be very wary of that. Also. Um, there’s a lot of Facebook groups out there that do fake testimonials for their friends. So they go into these as a women’s group that I’m in, it’s a huge 15,000 women in this group and people do testimonials from people all the time.

Caroline: 14:07 When they go, they actually put a message up high. I’m starting out, I’ve never done this before. I want to join, become a Facebook ad expert. So can you just let me do one ad for you and then you leave me a review and tell me how wonderful I was for doing that one out for you. And I can’t begin to tell you how often this happens. It’d be very wary of that. You want to make sure that these people have wrote real reviews. The third thing I want to talk about is courses that are out there. I have run enough training to know what goes into it. One of the biggest problems I’m finding is that there’s so many courses and when I say what I’m finding my clients are telling me is that there’s courses out there that talk about how, oh, we’re going to teach you everything about ecommerce.

Caroline: 14:50 We have 60 videos and all the videos and and teach you how to do it, and in each video is two or three minutes long. Sorry, I’m sorry, but you cannot teach someone how to do something like a Facebook ad in a three minute video. It’s not going to work. I can’t begin to tell you how many of these courses that I’ve been told about that a charging an arm and a leg, and it’s just all of these quick, just very superficial stuff like this is the stuff that I give away for free. I’m not charging for this stuff. If I’m doing a two minute video and it’s saying this is how you run a Facebook ad and the video pretty much just says, okay, so set up a Facebook ad and make sure you choose a conversion pixel and then just go ahead and put up your favorite photo and put some texts there.

Caroline: 15:32 That’s not a video on how to run a Facebook ad. That is just a very superficial video that really doesn’t give you much information and it’s fine on the level of being free, but when you’re going into these courses that are paid and that’s a level that they are giving you, you have to be worried. And one of the things that we have beat up on over the time, and there’s many people out there spruiking that they sell all these Shopify courses or ecommerce courses and really it doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in, they’re in all sorts of industries. But one thing that I have picked up on a lot and seen in a lot of these people, and I don’t want to say names again, I don’t want to say who it is, but I just want you to be aware of it. So then you can look at this yourself.

Caroline: 16:14 If someone says that they own a, an ecommerce store and they own the ecommerce store yet they’re putting up screenshots from three years ago, four years ago, of one time of something that happened three or four years ago. And they’re trying to say that, look, see, this is my success, then they’re full of it. They might’ve had successful one month, but where is the success this week? And I can tell you, I’ve seen so many of them. They’re on youtube, they’re all over Facebook and they’re saying, hey, look at me. I run this successful shop. Or, um, I got one of my family members started up and they got, they had a shop and they had, they made all of these sales in one month and they show you that. What about now? Where are those sales now?

Caroline: 16:56 Where are, where’s the proof now I understand that they’re not fixing up their sales pages all the time, but if they’re showing one screen grab from so many years ago and then nothing since then, I would be very wary. I’m in a situation where I, I don’t own my own Shopify store or any ecommerce store at the moment. I partner with people. When I partner with people, I have to be very careful with what I say about the businesses that I work with because they have a choice whether they want to keep it secret or not, but if you’re selling a whole course on, I’m going to teach you everything that I do in my business, but yet you’re not willing to show the actual success of that, then I would be very, very worried. I was looking at one video the other day that came up on my youtube account and it was one guy and he’s like covering everything and he’s not wanting to show up, but he’s like showing part of it and not the other part and I’m like, okay, but you’re selling that you are the, you know, this is my story.

Caroline: 17:50 I’m going to show you had to do what my store does yet you’re not actually going to show the information. So of course I don’t want to say that they have to give away everything. I’m not going to try to say that they should be showing you everything of their website because there’s certain things that they want to keep secret. That’s fine. However, a screenshot of a sales from three or four years ago is not helping what they’re doing this year. Even in the last few months, they should be showing you something from at least the last few months. If they’re not showing you that, then there’s an issue there as well. So, just be very wary of those things. That’s it for the fake stuff. If you take all of those things into account, you’re going to be very careful not choosing the wrong people. When it comes, especially the Facebook ads. The first thing I can tell you is most likely don’t do it.

Caroline: 18:36 There’s still some people that I’m working with that we work with them in Just Ask Parker. We actually have in there, we can run your Facebook ads. We can test a few things. We get results for people with Facebook ads. We are seeing really good things, whether it be with your retargeting, whether it’d be with normal ads, but I can tell you straight up that most of the time I recommend that you don’t run Facebook ads first as your first choice of advertising. There’s so many other things. There’s Google ads that you can do very, very specifically. There’s Youtube ads at Youtube. My mind is blown with how many people are not running youtube ads. I literally see the same two ads on Youtube. Every time I turn on youtube because they have been targeting me and nothing else who are where all these other companies that can be targeting me for all these other things that they can be targeting in me with and then not like I laugh, this is my industry and I laugh about how many different industries could be targeting me and choose not to target me.

Caroline: 19:34 It’s absolutely crazy and literally the ad that I’m seeing all the time the moment is that Calm Mind Meditation app and the other one is for monday.com which is the software that I use for our team that we do all our project management stuff in. I already used them so they’re tagging me and I’m already one of their customers so they’re wasting money on me, but no one else is targeting me. There’s so many clothing stores that we’ll be targeting me. So many shoe companies that could be targeting me and no one is and youtube ads are really, really cheap. So I recommend that you use youtube. I recommend that you use Pinterest. That is so underutilized. It’s crazy how many people are not doing Pinterest properly. Instagram ads, if you’re, if that’s your industry. So all of these comes down to if your customer is there, so please don’t take that as, oh, you have to do it now.

Caroline: 20:24 I say it. I said on all my podcasts, I said it on all my live events. I’m saying this all the time. Facebook ads are good to an extent, and they do work, but Facebook is really a numbers game. It’s just the fact that there are a lot of people on Facebook and the majority of the populations there, and that’s why Facebook ads gets results. However, people do not use Facebook to buy something. They’re going to Facebook to talk to their friends, to talk to their family. Their intention was never to buy. So if their intention was never to buy in the first place, and then you’re putting an ad in front of them, this is push marketing. You’re pushing your product on to them. However, Pinterest is a place that people go to to collect information about what they’re looking at. Oh, what? What wardrobe will I have this summer?

Caroline: 21:12 What am I going to buy for my house when we renovate it? What am I going to buy for my kid or my wedding or what food am I going to cook? All of those things happen on Pinterest and that all comes down to buying and collecting stuff. So selling there is so much easier than selling on pinch on Facebook. So I’m not trying to say don’t do Facebook, but understand what the differences are and Facebook is so expensive these days is unbelievable that Facebook is probably not going to be the best place for you. Be careful of Facebook ad experts who are telling you, yeah, work with me and I’m going to get you all the success. That’s their only job. They need to sell Facebook because that’s how they make their money and they make their money from people who are gullible and fall into these or Facebook ads are going to work for me.

Caroline: 21:54 That’s why we Just Ask Parker, or other companies like that, and I’m going to mention two other ones in a second. That is why Just Ask Parker was why I founded it, why I started it was to say to people, hey, come and work with us and we are going to find you the best option. We’re not going to say to you, use Facebook ads because we’re going to make money from you. You’re going to sign up with Just Ask Parker and we’re going to sell you. We’re going to give you the best that you can have. We’re not going to sell you something that is just for the sake of all make money from you. You sign up with us. We will turn around and go, don’t do a Facebook ad and we recommend you do this first or don’t do that or maybe you should try this because that is how you’re going to get your success.

Caroline: 22:31 So that’s, I’m very passionate about it. People that work with me know how passionate I am. The amount of times I’ve said to people, I’ll even credit you an extra credit just to stop that task to get you into something else. Because the only thing that I’m trying to do with Just Ask Parker is get people’s success. And this is the thing that I’m seeing is the biggest problem. So two other companies that I highly, highly recommend, both from the same person. So it makes so much sense. And this person has just been really a game changer when it comes to the ecommerce space. And you know, I, I have so much great things to say about him and I’m trying to get him on the podcast, but he’s been extremely busy so we will get him on the podcast. So Jonathan Kennedy, he owns (inaudible) hate Hassan and Store Tasker. So anything, and we recommend these companies to our clients all the time.

Caroline: 23:20 So (inaudible) Hey, Carson is website development for your Shopify store. So any sort of development work you want, you go to (inaudible) hey Carson and you can get it done. But team are amazing. They’re super helpful. They’ve helped so many Shopify stores, but they do little things. So they, you know, they do the, you know, I want to change that and I want to change this, now I want to put this there. That’s what they do. Store Tasker is, I guess the best way to say it is it is a higher level than Just Ask Parker. So Just Ask Parker we just charge a monthly fee and you get any of the tasks that you want, but all of that stuff is has to be systematized and it has to be, it’s all customizable but to an extent. So we have like different video templates. We have different templates for Pinterest and Instagram, things like that.

Caroline: 24:06 But we don’t build everything out from scratch. That’s how you save money is that. But all of our designs and all of that stuff is very simplified. So it matches with any website. There’s not a problem. We put your colors in, we put your fonts, we put your logo, things like that. But you pay a monthly fee and it’s a very low monthly fee compared to what you would pay anywhere else at all. Then the next level from there. So when people come to us and they’re working with us and they’re at that point where they go, hey, you know what, I can afford more now because I’m getting sales. I always recommend to move on to store tasker if you’re already making money. If you’re listening to this and you say, Hey Carolyn, I’m actually making some money already. I don’t need to go for the absolute cheapest option out there.

Caroline: 24:42 Then go straight to store task that they are fantastic. They’ve got teams of people. Um, it’s almost like a database of experts and you can go in there and you can get individual tasks done. So some of my clients work would just ask Parker and they do their monthly things and then there’s certain things like one off tasks that they need that they can’t do with us. I say, Hey, go to store tasker and get those tasks done there. So it’s not about, I’m not competing with store tasker that we’re both in very different situations. So tasker is definitely where I hope that all of my clients end up next and then from there they can move on to larger marketing agencies. If you are already turning over 10,000 a month, then justaskparker is not for you because you do have to do some of the things yourself and you have to jump in that.

Caroline: 25:29 So of course move on to someone where they’re actually doing the work for you. And that’s why I highly recommend store tasker. They are just, you know, Jonathan really does, he’s created something that he knows that people need out, that everything’s legitimate. They, they’re very careful with who they select and their team, things like that. So go and look it up, go and take a look at it. It’s fantastic. Be Very careful with the fake help out there and the real help out there. That’s all I can recommend. The amount of people that come to me and they have wasted like Sarah, I think it was like $24,000 Holly, who wasted $6,000 and actually took on a part time job to pay the Facebook ad team who was not getting her results. When I started working with her, she said, I’m going to baby at home, and I took a patent job just to pay their fees.

Caroline: 26:15 She has, I’m not getting paid. I was paying for them. She says, I hate the job that I’m doing, but I’m willing to pay for them. And they were just literally ripping her off. So I get very sensitive to this. I get very hurt to hear these things and I just, I’m putting this out there not to pick on particular people, but just to warn you to make sure that you’re not going to make those mistakes and ended up in a situation where you are spending money, time, effort, and ruining your dreams on things like this. So if you have any more questions about this job into the Facebook group, winning with Shopify, we’re always there to help you. I answer questions in there all the time. I’ve got a team of people, so we’re all there to help you and the people that are in the Facebook group as well are there to help you as well and give you advice and their feedback. Well, so thank you for listening, and until next week, keep smiling.

Intro & Outro: 27:03 Thanks for listening to the winning with Shopify podcast. Join the Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/winningwithshopify and get our show notes at justaskparker.com/podcast don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode. As a listener, get 20% off at, justaskparker.com by using the code podcast.