Marketing Personalised Gifts: Books, Bears and Baum With Justin Baum

Marketing Personalised Gifts: Books, Bears and Baum With Justin Baum
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Justin Baum, CEO of ZZZ Bears gives us an insight into how he has created his unique eCommerce store which helps kids sleep at night and supports our everyday heroes. Teaching himself the basics and tuning in on his own skills from working in different sectors, he speaks about how different experiences have helped him begin this heartwarming (and fluffy) journey.

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Adam Kitchen  0:01  

Okay, cool. We're live. We're back. It's been a while since we've been on LinkedIn. And today to kick small things back off, joined by Justin Baum, who is the founder absorbers, and also our new marketing manager, Leah Magee, who's gone to co-host and steal the limelight from me. Justin, why don't you give us a brief intro to what the company is how you got started, and where you're up to today? 

Justin Baum  0:27  

Sure, well, thanks for having me. First of all, super excited to be here and talk to you guys. So, I'm Justin, Baum, I'm the I say the ZEO of z bears.

And we started the business in 2015. So the founding story is kind of a good one. So in my full-time job, I'm a creative director, I work for ad agencies. From 2005 to 2012, I was the creative director and lead writer of recruitment advertising for the United States Marine Corps.

I worked with our longtime ad agency, J.W.T So every time I go to a military base to shoot a commercial, I bring my then five-year-old daughter home a little, you know, a souvenir from the base exchange, it could be a T-shirt or a key chain. And at the time, she was having trouble sleeping, bad dreams, fear of the dark, sort of those common nighttime fears that kids have. And I realised that even a five-year-old understands that Marines equal protection. So I bought her a bear from the base exchange. And I told her a story I said, this is a marine bear. And he's protected the nation for 200 years. And now he's going to protect you while you sleep. And she said, Well, what if he falls asleep, and I said, he's a Marine, he would never fail his mission. And so that night, we put the bear on duty outside of our door. And, you know, my daughter slept like a bear in hibernation. So I knew then, that I had something if it could help personally, it could probably help lots of other kids as well.

So it was many years was a couple of years later to brought it to life and gave it the name of Sargent Sleep Tight, and created the sleep system. But that was the original genesis for the company.

Adam Kitchen  2:06  

Love it. Great stuff. So every company has a unique mission statement. And you've sort of answered this as well. But what's yours in a nutshell?

Justin Baum  2:16  

So I mean, even from the beginning, I knew I wanted to give back. I mean, it's such a popular thing to do now, with companies almost like you have to do it. But for us, it was more than just sort of something you should do as a company now. And what customers expect it, I felt connected to the people to the Marines themselves, because I'd worked with them because I met so many Marines and their families, and I understood the sacrifices that they all make, not just the person who serves, but the families that are left behind as well. And I wanted to give back to them specifically. So we joined forces, we partnered with a group called TAPS, and we donate bears monthly to the children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. And there's no limit to how many will donate however many they need on any given month is how, how many will give. And, yeah, it's really meaningful to me. And, you know, it's really such an intertwined part of the company.

Adam Kitchen  3:13  

I love it. It's great. So how is it because I was speaking to you about this, last time we spoke you started with that focus on the military, but sort of evolved? And obviously now you can see on the sites, the pandemic changed things for you. And you started to obviously, branch out a little bit from the military and like now these other heroes, right? Like firefighters, nurses, all these other people who play a key role in our society that you wanted to sort of show respect to houses, the brands evolve. And that sense was it just goes to COVID related were you seeing like there's an opportunity here. All this is just a natural progression overall?

Justin Baum  3:58  

 So that I mean, a company has gone through a kind of a big evolution since its beginning. So when I started, I thought I had one bear named Sergeant Sleep Tight, dressed in a generic camouflage uniform that would work for everybody. And the audience was mainstream moms. I thought I was solving a universal problem for parents. But I quickly learned in small businesses with a small marketing budget. You targeting all moms is a real sort of long and hard road. If I wanted to niche down, right, so So I was like, Okay, well, you know, we started with the Marines. Let's be about the military that serves. Let's serve the military specifically. And what happened was, we got into the Marines exchanges very quickly, which is sort of a full circle story right there. They started selling our bears, which was great, but they wanted to bear dress like a marine. Right? The generic camouflage wasn't going to work for them. And then pretty quickly, we got into the Navy exchanges, and they want to bear dress like a sailor. And oh, by the way, they don't have Sergeant so it had to be Sailor Sleep tight. Then we got into the Coast Guard exchanges. The same thing happened. They don't have sergeants or sailors. So now let's sudden, we have Coastie Sleep tight. And he's dressed like, a Coast Guard. So you can see we went from one to all of a sudden now we're representing every branch in the military, which we probably would have done eventually anyway, but it happened pretty fast. So you go from one SKU to, you know, five or six. Yeah. And then and that's what we did for a while. And that was really that felt right. But then people started asking, what about the police? And what about fire? What about these other, you know, community-based protectors? And they had a great point. I mean, those people are just as you know, worthy of being celebrated as anybody else. And so we expanded to them that felt natural, they were there were other protectors. And then the pandemic hit, and a new brand of hero emerged, delivery drivers, hospital workers. And that was a big shift in the company because then we went from being about nighttime protection to celebrating heroes. Because the other thing we learned was that people weren't just buying this for their kids. Adults were buying it for other adults. For example, soldiers were buying it for their wives or girlfriends, if they were getting deployed, or adults were buying it for their father or grandfather who had served in Nam and they wanted a bear to honour him or her. So so that was kind of a revelation to it really speaks to how much how important it is to know your audience who's buying your bears, and why or your product in general. 

And so at that point, we unbundled the sleep system from the bear. So it used to be you could only buy the bear with this system, which was the door hang the oath and the stickers and this whole routine. And we change that we expanded to heroes and included health care workers and, and more. And then we unbundled the sleep system from the bear. So now you can basically build the hero model, right, you can build the hero the way you want to, then you can personalise it, you can add names and ranks and all kinds of things. And that's really popular. It's what people want. These days, they want to make things the way they want them, whether it's ordering fast food in Chipotle or ordering a bearer, right, they want things the way they want them. And there's I think that makes a lot of sense. As a consumer, I feel the same way. And so and one of the things we did during the pandemic, also we partner with FedEx, and we're making a FedEx bear for them. Because again, delivery drivers, kept things going through the pandemic and still are right when the rest of the world was shut down. They kept everything going by delivering packages, and so very much heroes in their own right. And so yeah, we're excited to work with them. 

Adam Kitchen  7:26  

Amazing, Leah, when are you going to get me the best CO in the world bear? 

Leah Magee  7:32  

Yeah, can we personalise a magnet monster? A T-shirt for one of the bears, please? 

Justin Baum  7:37  

You sure can. I don't know if we can call them heroes, but we will.

Leah Magee  7:44  

So we had a little bit of chat before, you mentioned being a creative director, as well as having your own company.  How have you managed, working full time alongside growing the business online? Because, we work online and we know it can take up a lot of your time as there are multiple avenues to be looking after, as well as working full time. How do you manage that?

Justin Baum  8:15  

Not well, it's probably the short answer.

So you know, they're part of it's a time thing and also part of it's a skill set thing I wish I could do so many things, but I just don't have the time or the skills to do all those things but it really does mean waking up early and making time for things that are important and I'm super passionate about what I do. And I think that's key because as soon as I lose the passion, it's going to get pretty difficult to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and you know, check the ads manager and Facebook and see how ads are performing and that kind of thing or writing a new flow as you know, right? There's it's or testing subject lines or whatever it is right that it's never-ending and so if you're not passionate about what you're doing, it really is hard to do it and I have a daughter and family and I like to spend time with them and so there's dinner time and so it's one of those things you just have to make the time you'll make time for the things that are important to you. And this is super important to me so I find the time.

Adam Kitchen  9:46  

Sounds quite frightening to get up at 5:30 and look at Facebook ads especially in the last few months.

Justin Baum  9:54  

It is that is a splash of cold water to the face. These days.

But, yeah, it's not always easy as you know. But it's also kind of fun, right? It's a game in some ways to constantly test and to, and to have control over things yourself, because in my full-time job, I mean, I work for a very large company with 55,000 employees, right. And so, I have a voice, but I'm one of many, but at my company, you know, it, my voice is it and I can make all the decisions. And that's both a good thing and a bad thing. But, but at least they're mine. And I own my, my choices and my bad decisions. But I learn that's the important thing. And what's interesting is how much better at my full-time job Z Bears has made me interested. 

Who else, you know, knows as much as I do about things like production and manufacturing, and importing, and email marketing and social media and, and not just, you know, how to write an ad for social media, or how to write a post, but actually how to go to ads manager and create an ad and do targeting, and all those things. And so I'm not an expert in any of them, but I know them pretty well because I do them myself. And so that that translates into me being better at my full-time job.

Adam Kitchen  11:09  

Is this, you know, Leah mentioned before about, like, how do you fit everything in time-wise? And you've said that, like how it positively carries over to your full-time job. Does it make you better at delegating? Do you think as well in that role?

Justin Baum  11:26  

Yeah, yeah. And I don't I don't know how to answer that. Maybe I think it makes me a better manager about that. Because now I understand if I'm working with a social media team and their expertise, right, I'm talking about my full-time job. And we have a dedicated social media team who is much better at social media than I am. But I understand things on a deeper level than I did two years ago. Right? When I talk to them, so whether I'm managing them directly, or whether just having conversations with them, I can understand things now. at a deeper level, it's not just they're telling me what works, I'm understanding it and and I can actually throw out some things and say, Have you tried this? Or this is what I'm seeing on Facebook? Have you thought about this? So I'm, you know, just much more attuned to things that are going on in many different spaces that are related to marketing and advertising.

Leah Magee  12:11  

Yeah, I think it definitely brings perspective, when you're in charge of something and then being in a smaller section and having to understand how all these things kind of fit in with one another. And know whatever you're doing is going to have a knock-on effect on what someone else is doing and kind of keep an eye on everything, and then be able to carry that over.

Justin Baum  12:35  

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's not, but it's like, it's,

You know, I feel like I've gotten my MBA in small business or entrepreneurial ship, you know, some people go to school for it. I'm just doing it. And again, I've made many mistakes down that hill down the road. But I know there's something that's kind of beautiful about that, too.

Adam Kitchen  13:00  

Yeah, absolutely. Completely agree with you. I've made many mistakes. Number one, hiring Leah. {laughing}

Leah Magee  13:11  

That’s a lie. {laughing}

Adam Kitchen  13:14  

Okay, let's get into the nitty-gritty on the marketing side. I want to talk about a couple of things you mentioned before as well about like ads and those sorts of add ons on you know, like the what I actually can't remember, but when you place the thing on the door for people to sleep, what's it called again? 

Justin Baum  13:32  

The door hangs? It is the door hang it says this room is protected by Sergeant Sleep tight? 

Adam Kitchen  13:37  

Yeah. So yeah, I want to ask you a little bit about AOV in a minute, but we'll come on to that. So just give us a brief overview. Because obviously, you're very limited on time, on day to day basis. How do you pick your battles, like what marketing channels are you investing in at the moment?

Justin Baum  13:55  

Facebook has been the main driver of paid media for us for several years now. We're also on Google and on Instagram, as well with paid media, but Facebook really has been the most effective channel for us and, you know, I think it's just the ability to target especially when you're niching down like we are we have this very specific group of people that we're trying to target Facebook, just really good at finding those people and delivering ads to them. So yeah, Facebook has definitely been the main driver of, sales for e-commerce. But you know, email has also been super effective for us. And then we didn't take that seriously for a long time. You know, started off in 2015, I was on MailChimp sending out a campaign every, you know, six months or whatever, it was a sale or something. But I wasn't collecting emails, I just didn't understand the power of that channel. And it's only been in the last couple of years really where I've started to just tap into that with some of your help, certainly.

But we are running lead gen ads on Facebook right now. So we are always collecting new emails and in getting them into welcome flows and you know retargeting them and, of course, all our basic flows are set up and understanding segmenting, which I'm just starting to really understand the power of now too, collecting information for ourselves not relying on other channels, who is coming to our site but when they come to our site, understanding who's coming to the site, what they're looking for, and then serving them the best possible most relevant content to them via email. It's just amazing. And I, I'm actually so excited about email, I wish I was better at it. I wish I had more time for it. Because it's just, it's an amazing channel. And of course, as you always say, it's one of the few that you own. So, yeah, I love email. And I look forward to learning more from you guys and implementing it.

Adam Kitchen  15:49  

And in terms of tech stack, obviously, you know, I know you use some Klaviyo what other tools you're using as part of the business?

Justin Baum  15:57  

Hum, let's think about that. So yeah, so Klaviyo is the big one for email. You know, we don't use a lot of like outside tools besides, you know, Facebook Ads Manager, which I don't know if that's a tool or not, we just started experimenting with something called SegMetrics, which, which helps track where your sales are coming from because Ads manager is so unreliable right now.

I mean, it's just yeah, it's so unreliable, and it's it over inflates, purchases, and it's just you can't count on it to make any decisions. And without good data, it's very hard to make good decisions.  So we're experimenting with SegMetrics, which helps understand where the traffic and where the sales are coming from so we can double down on those things, and then stop doing the things that aren't, you know, really paying off for us? Yeah, I think those are the main ones. I mean, you know, Pinterest is another channel that we're looking at. And we're excited about I don't know too much about it, unfortunately. But it seems like because so much of our audience is actually female and moms specifically. And I know Pinterest is used that way. So I'm intimidated but excited to dig in and learn more about that channel as well.

Adam Kitchen  17:09  

This is something me and Leah are actually putting together at the moments like in terms of acquisition channels, we put out a poll last week and was speaking to our audience asking them, obviously, you know, given what's going on with Facebook at the moment, what channels people exploring, there was a lot of talk about Pinterest in there as well. And how there was one guy who said he had to abandon his Facebook ads to just fully go all-in on Pinterest, and get really good results. So definitely look out for that we're going to sort of put together some resources on it.

Justin Baum  17:45  

Great, more and more stuff that I won't be able to have time to execute on. Here. You know, the other one is too that we haven't dove into but is SMS.

Adam Kitchen  17:58  

Yeah. Yeah, we definitely talk about that together. Yeah, we're experimenting with it. We were like one of the last I would say in our industry in the field because we were waiting for Klaviyo over so long, you know, to roll it out. We want to keep it under one roof. It just makes more sense. But we've migrated a few people now on to SMS within Klaviyo and yeah, obviously, you know, you need to be omnichannel. It's just a really positive touchpoint. Some people like SMS, some people like email needs to join both hopes for best results.

Justin Baum  18:31  

Yeah, and I've heard the same things as well, the thing you know, there's so much I don't understand about it. Because where does one start? And where the other one end? Right? Who gets if it's an abandoned cart flow? Do they get it via email? Do they get it for an SMS? Do you do both? I have so many questions. So yeah, I look forward to learning more about that. For sure.

Leah Magee  18:50  

Cool, right. And so kind of going back to how you're feeling obviously owning your own eCommerce store. So what would you say makes you the happiest about owning your eCommerce store disregarding, obviously, all the time and all the early mornings. But what kind of makes you the happiest about doing it? Because I think a lot of people do think about doing it like Oh, it's so time-consuming. Oh, this is like a, like sometimes people are like, Oh, it's a side hustle. And it's like, but what really makes you happy about it?

Justin Baum  19:30  

Yeah, it's funny why I think you know, people think it's glamorous or easy, but it's 10 times harder and more time consuming than you could ever think it's going to be but so I think the thing that makes me happiest though, is hearing from happy customers. You know, because we make a product that's super meaningful to people you know, so much more than just, you know, a stuffed toy because you know, whether it's a bear, that's going to a child who's lost a parent who was killed in action, which happens a lot through our donations, or, you know, it's keeping a kid company while mom or dad is deployed, right, so they have a little bit of Mom or Dad, you know, with them. And then we see photos all the time of our bears that people post, you know, it goes everywhere, with with the kids right to the supermarket and to bed and to, you know, trips to Washington DC, it's like everywhere, it's like, they don't let them go, because they feel like they've got a piece of mom or dad that they're carrying with them. So I love seeing those photos on social media, hearing from people that how meaningful it was, or it is. And then again, not just to children to adults to whether it's a wife, or a girlfriend of somebody who's serving, or, you know, a dad who served in Nam, and it's sitting up on the shelf. But it's it represents something super meaningful to the people. And so, yeah, that I think that's what makes me happiest. It's certainly like not going into Facebook and creating new ads and raising or lowering budgets or whatever that that. Yeah, there's something interesting about that. But that's not what makes me happy. What makes you happy is when people are actually using the product in a way that, that it was meant to, or in ways that it wasn't meant to be unexpected ways, but just as meaningful ways. I think that's the best part of the business and hearing from people, which we do all the time. We have tonnes of reviews on our site. And so, you know, we know we're doing something that's, that's good, and people find, you know, worthwhile.

Leah Magee  21:34  

Yeah, I think when you go in direct to the customer, and you get to see the effects it's having on someone's family or is having on someone's life. It's like, even looking at some of the pictures on your website of obviously, kids with the bears, or the bears going to somewhere. It's like, that kind of becomes a part of someone else's life. And it's like, I was involved in that I was a part of that!

Justin Baum  21:57  

Yeah, exactly.

Leah Magee  21:59  

We should start doing bears.

Adam Kitchen  22:03  

Stealing all the ideas. That was the whole point of the podcast.

Justin Baum  22:09  

Yeah, I mean, I agree. Yeah, when you start a business you really it's hard to. It's hard to know where it's gonna go right. It's hard to know what people like it's, it's scary. You don't know if anyone's gonna make a purchase, for example, right? It's like it just goes into ether. And what's what are people gonna think? Do people like what I'm doing? Because it's hard to disassociate myself from the business? Yeah, right? Like, if I'm having a good sales day, I feel very good about myself. If it's a bad sales day. I feel like I'm not a very worthwhile small business owner, I must be doing something wrong. So when I see people with the bears now happy it makes them it doesn't mean it makes me happy, because it's hard to separate myself from the product. Yeah. So yeah, maybe maybe I need psychological help. I don't know.

Leah Magee  23:02  

I think you know what, Adam him as a similar issue with disassociated himself from the business more because he wants his name and his face everywhere. We can see you're having an impact on children's lives, which is a bit cuter.

Adam Kitchen  23:18  

I thought I was having a positive impact on your life Leah but obviously not once. So I know. Oops, I think I skipped a question. So okay, similar question. But on the flip side, I was gonna say what makes me unhappiest with my business. And it's definitely working with Leah. 

Leah Magee  23:41  

I brighten your day. 

Adam Kitchen  23:45  

Obviously, like, you know, we've talked to a little bit like it's a slog at times, Is there ever days where you know, you've got a lot going on, you got your own family as well, that you wonder is it all worth it, and you're producing something that's very meaningful? What aspects do you struggle with the most apart from the time?

Justin Baum  24:09  

Yeah, how long do we have? So I will right now there's a very specific struggle that's very sort of specific to the times we're in. So right now, because of COVID. It's just very difficult to get the product when you are manufactured overseas, right? There are just certain challenges within that, and then you layer in a pandemic, and everything is just that much harder, right? So there are delays and getting product then there's the cost right now because of the increased cost of shipping. So that's a really big one. And from what I hear that's not going to use off anytime soon. In fact, it's going to go into 2023 most likely so so right now it's for us is exploring manufacturing other places. So you know, something you think you have solved, right? We have a great manufacturer we trust and we like. All of a sudden we might need to find somebody completely different. So that's, that's a really current struggle right now then you've got Facebook, which is just not performing as well as it used to, because of that the privacy changes and because of backend changes that they are making on their site. So it's looking for new channels like Pinterest, and we talked about now but I think you know, overall, it is just having the time there's so much I want to do like SMS is a great example. I know, that's something I should probably do. But it's just so intimidating to get started with a new channel. Same thing with Pinterest. I know I should do it. But where do I start? Who can I trust to help guide me? Or do I do it myself? Right, you're hired, Leah.

Leah Magee  25:35  

Perfect. Bye Adam.

Justin Baum  25:40  

So yeah, I mean, those are just some of the struggles

Adam Kitchen  25:46  

It is difficult is that it's like the chicken and egg scenario like you constantly. And it's, obviously, it's so even though I'm in B2B, it's the same like we want to do so many different things like we don't invest in any paid ads, but I would like to, but you need to gather more sales and invest in that and then justify the ROI. So you always like as soon as you think you've taken one step ahead. You hire someone like Leah, and you take 10 steps back?

Leah Magee  26:16  

No, I understand what you mean, though, because we've just started Twitter. And we've kind of realised, going into that’s a massive channel that Adam didn't do. So I was like, let's go and do that. Let's get Twitter going, and it is really daunting and it's really, why have I not got as many Twitter followers as what I've got on LinkedIn? Why is everything not kind of following one another. But it is that thing, it does take time. And it takes time to kind of build something and each platform is different. And I think you'll look at other platforms and go, Well, they've got loads and but it is a struggle. I think it is something that's fine, but you just need someone like me to come in and sort it out.

Justin Baum  27:04  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, like you want to diversify, but each of those takes time and expertise, and you know, it, you can dip your toe into that, but I'm not sure how fruitful that's gonna be right to just be on a channel to be on a channel. So you really got to invest it in so I mean, it's great. Like, you just hired Leah, and she can bring that skill set or at least enthusiasm to it. So, you know, as a small business owner, you're wearing so many hats.

Adam Kitchen  27:34  

interesting, I was saying to the edge before, actually, because as you know, we sort of built our business on organic content marketing. But as we've grown, I've just struggled to maintain the production of it, we're just dealing with other stuff. And one of the reasons we brought earlier on was to help with this because we have fallen behind on it. And I noticed as soon as I stopped with the content production, the sales slowed down, like the inbound, but since she's gonna get come in, she's done a great job, like bringing the momentum back. And all of a sudden, people started reaching out to me again, so yeah, don't go anywhere else.

Leah Magee  28:11  

People just like my stuff instead of yours. That's why everyone's like, Yeah, I know Leah. Yeah, let's go get involved!

Justin Baum  28:19  

Well, I mean, that's what I think that's how we found you in the first place was your content, your organic content and LinkedIn. I mean, you're one of the few brands who put out such good free content that it's worthwhile to follow. There are so few people like that. And so it's great and that's how we met and that's, you know, why we continue to follow you but it's also intimidating because you give so many great ideas. It's like I can't keep up. I want to do everything you say what I should do, but I don't have time to do

Adam Kitchen  28:51  

That is my strategy to bamboozle people until they think you know just pay him and let him do the task actually .talk so it's a couple of channels before if you experiment with TikTok ads at the moment or is it something you're looking into?

Justin Baum  29:10  

No, I know the popularity Tik Tok because I have a 17-year-old daughter so it's funny I think of it as a platform for people her age I know that's probably not the whole story by any stretch but no again it just comes down to time and where best to spend it so you know I haven't looked into Tik Tok yet but I could be easily convinced if you want to make a case for it.

Leah Magee  29:37  

I'm trying to get Adam on Tik Tok at the moment but he says he just can't dance enough.

Adam Kitchen  29:44  

I do a little dance in the cafe before and you said you liked it.

Leah Magee  29:48  

Yeah, I loved it. 

Justin Baum  29:49  

We'll show it show us, Adam, we're gonna go Yeah, go on. 

Leah Magee  29:52  

Yeah Adam get your dance moves out

Adam Kitchen  29:53  

It was more of a scream I had a sale.

Justin Baum  29:59  

Yeah, oh, Dancing is a prerequisite to be on Tik Tok, then you won't find me there anytime soon. Because that's the like, there's

Leah Magee  30:06  

A lot of negative energy about dancing, we all need to get into Tik Tok and tune into the inner rhythms. And we should be goods. And so yeah, anyway, talking about new things. And what would your advice be to new founders in the space?

Justin Baum  30:26  

The space being eCommerce, business? Yeah, I think Well, I'll tell you what I did. That was such a mistake early on, I have a tendency to if I have a goal, or I want to do something, I just put my head down and grind to get it done, which has its benefits and its drawbacks benefit is I get things done. But the drawback is I make a tonne of mistakes along the way because I just do things the way I think they should be done, even if I've no idea if that's right or not. And I did that for a long time. And I think that wasted a tonne of time and money. So I think that one of the best things I did was pick my head up, start connecting with other entrepreneurs, you know, joining Facebook groups, which I did tonnes of entrepreneurial groups asking questions, learning from people who have been in my shoes, right. And that's, that's how we tell we found our manufacturer in China, you know, as a referral from one of those sites is how we got on to ABC, just the view, somebody passed along the producer name. You know, it's how we, you know, figured out Klaviyo was, was the best email platform for us. I mean, there are so many examples of how it's led to successful outcomes. So, you know, I think it's just critical to just talk to other people and, and learn from them. And then seriously follow people like magnet monster. And or hire them even better, if you can. But, yeah, it's definitely to connect and learn from others who have been there and are doing it better than you are. Because nobody does it alone, or Nobody does it well alone, I don't believe.

Leah Magee  31:58  

Yeah. Even what you mentioned before about free content, even if you don't particularly work with someone directly or higher than. I think that conversation, just to say, like people watching this podcast now, being able to watch this and listen to that kind of conversation that happens. It's, I think it's easier to pick up the context and be able to kind of understand it a bit more and see the relationships that happen in that business to business. But, yeah, get involved, follow us on Instagram and Twitter and everything else as well.

Justin Baum  32:34  

And it also learns to do things yourself. You know, I mean, it's just, there are certain things that probably outside our skillset like coding is something I outsource, right, it's just beyond what I have time and probably the skills to do. But you know, designing your own pop up is easy, you know, relatively easy getting started with flows, you can get some things going, Of course, they can be better and they can be optimised but there are certain things that you can learn to do yourself and should know how to do yourself I think almost basic blocking and tackling the type of stuff. And any we hired we've experimented with hiring Facebook agencies to the years none of whom were worth the money we paid them. Not that they weren't good, but we don't have a lot of money to spend so you think you probably get what you pay for. So recently, I joined a group and paid money to learn how to do it you know, and started doing it myself and I think that's invaluable again, it's gonna take me a long time to be as good and I'll probably never be as good as somebody who does it for a living but I can be pretty good and even just learning to do it myself even if I eventually hire someone else to take it over at some point just being able to understand at a certain level is important so I think it's certain that it's really key if you're gonna be an entrepreneur, there are certain things I think you need to learn to be able to yourself

Adam Kitchen  33:45  

Justin that's an interesting point actually, I think getting the base understanding of certain skills before you outsource them. That's something I've tried to do as well. For example, in like even accountancy, you should have some fundamental understanding of the numbers in your business before like, obviously, you know, it's not my strength and likewise, he mentioned like posing before, having like a very basic rudimentary understanding before you outsource stuff, it can be very important because otherwise, I find you can become detached from your business and you lose like yet understanding of what's going on.

Justin Baum  34:21  

Yeah, yeah, dude. I mean, you talked about accounting. That's the opposite side of my brain. Yeah. My wife is the CFO. She majored in accounting or finance in college. But even knowing your numbers, right, knowing what you can afford to pay to acquire a customer, just certain, you know, basic things. And things like that I think are critical. If not, you'll just find yourself. overspending and probably, you know how to do business pretty quickly.

Adam Kitchen  34:52  

Yeah, absolutely agree with you.

Leah Magee  34:56  

Yeah, I think as well like what we were saying before about having that understanding and the insight to what other people are doing because then you know what to expect from people. How long things are gonna take because it's easy to turn around and go or will you and get 300 Instagram posts out and expect to really understand all the information that has to go into it.

Justin Baum  35:24  

yeah so yeah it's such a never ever never-ending learning process for the business owner It really is. I mean, I learned every day I'm learning something new even if I'm just scrolling through LinkedIn and I come across something from your resume somebody one of your competitors, right, like there's just so much good information. Yeah, it's, I think it's important to soak it all in as much as you can.

Adam Kitchen  35:49  

Yeah, I completely agree with you and resonate with like, surrounding yourself with as many small people as possible and try and to learn from them. That's been I mean, that's basically like my whole strategy is just trying to meet small people and learn from them and then obviously, like extract them and implement in our business.

Justin Baum  36:08  

Yeah, I think the other little flip side of all this too, which is that now that I have a certain amount of knowledge, I try to pass it on to other people. Yes, absolutely. So So now I'm on the Facebook boards and again, I'm not an expert by any stretch but there are certain things I know about that somebody just starting out wouldn't know about so really trying to get back to people whether it's through advice or whether it's through contacts, you know, passing on the name of my manufacturer or whatever it is to help somebody else along the way. I think is really important too. And I get a kick out of that I like helping people because people helped me

Adam Kitchen  36:39  

100% so you got a lot of gratification from that and I think that's good karma comes around as well as they're like when you give someone and they come back and they say thank you for that is always like somebody do it for a kickback but something always good happens when you do so that you seek to help someone

Leah Magee  36:56  

Yeah, it is nice to be nice.

Justin Baum  36:59  

It is I agree it does some somehow comes back around I agree.

Leah Magee  37:04  


Adam Kitchen  37:07  

Awesome. Well listen, I know you've probably want to crack on with your day job but thanks for your time we really appreciate it it's been a pleasure and and yeah obviously if people want to find out more about the brands how can they contact you?

Justin Baum  37:23  

So you can find us on our main website which is the ZZZ Bears com three Z's, of course on Instagram and Facebook, same things ZZZ Bears, and if anyone wants to reach out to me it's just Justin @ ZZZ Bears. It's pretty straightforward. I'm happy to answer any questions or talk small business with anybody who wants to not during work hours though. 

Adam Kitchen  37:45  

That's the alarm to get back to work.

Justin Baum  37:48  

Exactly. That's my work. They just saw me in this.

Adam Kitchen  37:54  

Thanks, Justin I really appreciate it. I'm going to talk to you in this video. And obviously, if anyone has any further questions, feel free to just leave comments I'm sure just to get back to you. But we're going to end things here. Thanks once again.

Justin Baum  38:08  

Hey, thanks for having me on. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for giving us all the free content. Keep it coming

Leah Magee  38:13  

Thanks, Justin!

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