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#57 Jure Knehtl – Localized Scaling: How to Grow a Brand From 0 to $2.1M/mo in 1 Year

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In this podcast, Jure is back once again to talk about crushing it in eCommerce, scaling brands in Eastern Europe by going after low-hanging fruit, and gives an overall update on what’s been working for him and what isn’t.

First, they catch up on what Jure’s been up to.

With his agency (WeScale), they managed to grow clients from to 7-figures plus in monthly revenue in under 1 year.

The process was interesting, says Jure.

Back then, he was a CMO in the eCommerce industry with his team managing $1.5M-$2M ad spend per month and his plan was to create a boutique agency that handled outsourced eCommerce marketing. This way, they wouldn’t specialize only in media buying or creatives, but rather act as outsourced marketing partners.

But the interesting part came when Jure was starting to build his team…

For the most part, he was looking for people with around 1-year of experience. This way, he could expand their knowledge quickly and teach them his system instead of starting from scratch.

When it comes to finding clients, Jure says the toughest part was not the product, but the people you work with.

There have been many cases with companies that had great products. But sometimes, the vision of the founder just wasn’t there. So, they had to filter down the list of people they wanted to work with.

But once they found the ideal eCommerce partner, they manage to grow the business from $5K per month to around $2.1M+.

When growing businesses, Jure also made sure to pay special attention to the customers. He would ask them questions related to which benefit of the product they cared about the most, where they found about the brand, what influencers they followed, and so on.

When creating surveys, Jure usually gives incentives or benefits to first-time buyers to answer questions. At the end of the survey, he recommends creating free space with the following question: “Is there anything else you would like to tell us?” This last question usually provides the biggest value and allows you to learn more about your customers.

After getting 100-200 answers, Jure would pay special attention to which influencers followed the customers followed.

Deividas agrees and adds that one major mistake most eCommerce companies make when it comes to creating new products is NOT asking their customers the right questions. 

The next topic they discuss has to do with Jure’s superpower: localization.

He says his approach mainly comes down to the beginnings of his career. 

Being from a small country (Slovenia), he realized he needed to start targeting new countries to scale. They started by targeting countries that were close at first (e.g. Croatia).

Through localization, Jure started targeting more and more countries. And by going after this low-hanging fruit, he says it’s possible to generate $2.6M+ in only in the Eastern part of Europe.

When talking about targeting these smaller countries, Jure says that if they’re generating $400K per month in Slovenia – they’re a huge player in the region. But in the U.S., they’d be considered a small company.

By going after these smaller countries, Jure says you can also get a bigger retention rate, organic marketing, repeat customers, and plenty of other benefits.

Recently, Jure says he’s working with influencer dark posts and working with businesses that sell branded products – both of which have been working well for him so far. Meanwhile, working with influencers in other countries they’re not familiar with has been a challenge.

In terms of his team structure, Jure says things were simple in the beginning. Everyone knew everything in terms of work.

But now, things are more complex. Usually, they have different teams for different clients and marketing channels. 

Finally, as parting thoughts, Jure recommends being more self-aware. This is something he learned recently.

A lot of people, especially in eCommerce, are constantly focused on data and results. So, it’s easy to compare yourself with others.

To remedy this, Jure recommends learning from others but staying in your own lane. It’s important to take some time, get to know yourself, and do the stuff you do because of yourself – and not to impress others with your results.

     Here’s what we cover during episode #57:

  • 03:05 – What a typical Sunday looks like for the busy entrepreneur to gain a massive advantage
  • 05:15 – Jure on growing an eCommerce partner from 0 to 7-figures+ in monthly revenue in under 1 year and his approach to onboarding the first employees
  • 08:47 – Finding the right eCommerce partners and how Jure and his team scaled one eCommerce partner from $5K per month to $2.1M+ per month (in under 1 year)
  • 10:55 – Spending $10K per month to generate $150K 
  • 12:12 – What questions Jure asks customers to learn more about the eCommerce business
  • 14:28 – One major mistake most eCommerce founders make when it comes to creating products and product launches (hint: has to do with their customers)
  • 16:48 – Falling in love with the idea of knowing what will work. Here’s what you should be doing instead of assuming what parts of your advertising work 
  • 19:30 – Jure’s superpower is localization. Here’s his approach to market to finding underserved and low-hanging fruit in Eastern Europe to scale eCommerce brands
  • 24:04 – Generating $2.6M+ in only in the Eastern part of Europe (by combining small markets with less competition)
  • 28:39 – The importance of going after smaller countries in Europe and the benefits of localization (including retention rate, inner marketing, organic, and more)
  • 33:44 – 2 Quick wins and 1 unexpected challenge Jure plans to overcome (and how)
  • 44:14 – Doubling down on what you’re good at instead of chasing new channels
  • 53:51 – Jure’s team structure breakdown and how they manage to operate at such a complex level
  • 58:01 – What Jure’s doing instead of reading books
  • 59:10 – The mindset of wildly successful basketball superstars on what it takes to succeed (and how this relates to entrepreneurship)
  • 1:00:40 – Challenges Jure’s seeing in 2021, discussing iOS 14, and why being agile can be one of your most important skills as an eCommerce marketer
  • 1:03:50 – The value of using the same things your customers are using (and why great marketers are like great actors)
  • 1:08:51 – The challenges of finding the right balance between different marketing channels
  • 1:15:02 – Creating a system that enables sustainable long-term growth and eventually replacing yourself in business
  • 1:17:15 – One of the most crucial points in Jure’s career when he was visiting Facebook offices in Dublin
  • 1:20:30 – Parting words and one thing Jure learned that helped him become more self-aware

Follow Jure:

Find Deividas:

Links mentioned in the episode:

#29 Jure Knehtl – Influencer Marketing, Scaling Up, and Going Glocal

WeScale

eCommerce Growth Hacks | Facebook Ads, Creatives, Email & More | by Sugatan

Last 3 Episodes:

#56 Kris Sugatan – 3 Biggest Lessons From 2020: The Highs and Lows of Managing and Scaling Businesses

#55 Bostjan Belingar – 80/20 Rule in Life and Email Marketing

#54 John Hagan – eCommerce Mental Models and The Road to $100M

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