Growth Masters Interview Tomasz Sledz

Tomasz Sledz

Prepare for an enlightening conversation with the growth master, Tomasz Sledz, as we dive deep into the world of business expansion, strategy, and success.

1. Can you provide some insight into your background and how you became involved in ecommerce growth?

I started with e-commerce in late 2017, when the dropshipping was taking off. I started building my own stores, advertising with some basic images, and then doing some of my own content, like basic image ads/videos, finally advertising on Facebook. I had a bit of success, these were fun projects to run.

In 2020, I started freelancing and started working as inhouse media buyer for one of the biggest e-commerce brands in pet niche. We were spending around 50-100k USD every day on ads, making it very challenging and fast paced - there was a lot of learning.

After a few months, I moved to agency, and continued freelancing, now I worked with multiple 8 and 9 figure brands, some of the most recognizable companies/names on the world.

2. What sparked your interest in helping ecommerce brands achieve significant growth, and what drives your passion in this area?

I love direct response marketing - I craft ads that spent tens of millions dollars and generated billions of impressions on Meta. Advertising is something I've been doing for years and I truly enjoy it. It can create extreme impact for companies with a good product and service.

It feels great to create so much impact when working with different brands. Not only by helping the business grow, but also helping the consumers who buy the product. Usually people buy products to solve some problems - which is double win. I help companies with growth, and consumers with problems. Can it get any better?

3. Could you share a standout success story where your strategies led to remarkable growth for an ecommerce brand?

Last year, I started working with a niche jewellery brand. It was a difficult project, since the cashflow was very limited, the company was very small, they only made around $50k revenue year prior, so they didn't have a lot of funds.

The lady who owns the brand, is very hard working, and she was up for a challenge. With my strategy and Meta paid ads, we manage to scale it to around $250k in revenue in 2023 - mostly with content created by the founder, in house, which was amazing to experience.

This year, the brand invested in retention marketing, invested in UGC content creators, we got over 70 different UGC content pieces in January alone, a lot of them performs really well, so $1000/day in revenue is not unusual!

We are preparing for scale, with organic content, and expansion to retails, we are aiming to hit $500k at least this year in revenue.

Exciting times ahead for this brand. It was amazing to work on this project, as I had to work really hard with the founder to pull it off. With very limited budget, tiny cashflow and limited resources it wasn't easy.

This is why hiring a growth consultant is so crucial. You have to work on many different things when scaling a D2C brand - not just ads.

From the product creation, to the offer, to retention, to advertising, to organic content, to stock planning, to expansion on different platform, to going international, and more. It is critical to have someone who understand the business at the deeper level to guide you through.

4. In your opinion, what are the key factors that differentiate successful ecommerce growth strategies from those that fall short?

Ecommerce brands that are growth focused understand that in order to scale the business, they must focus on all important factors around the business. Things like:

- Creating really good product, and providing excellent service
- Creating irresistable offer, making it so good, people feel bad when they don't purchase
- Consistently increasing Lifetime Value of customers - this is critical for growth
- Improving Average Order Value of each purchase
- Working on organic content
- Getting strong retention in place - SMS + Email
- Strong advertising efforts, having great marketer on the team who understands direct response marketing.
- Strong sales funnel optimized for conversions, like advertorials, listicle landing pages
- Good media buying
- Stock planning
And more.

It isn't about hacks or tricks. You need to understand how to grow the business and plan ahead. Busineses that struggle has at least one if not more missing elements form the list above.

5. How do you approach developing a comprehensive growth strategy that aligns with an ecommerce brand's unique goals and challenges?

It is always about understanding the ideas and in which direction the brands what to move, than tailor the strategy based on research, and how to use paid ads to take the brand where it wants to be in the next 3, 6 or 12 months.

When working with clients, I always focus on 3 main components

1. The offer
2. Sales funnel
3. Advertising strategy
Those 3 alone can take the brand to 6 or even 7 figures per month alone. Then, it is a mix of everything - a strong retention, organic, SEO, platform expansion and more.

6. What are some common misconceptions about ecommerce brand growth that you've encountered, and how do you address them?

- You can grow any e-commerce brand with ads:
This isn't true. A lot of brands have very small Average order value, and low lifetime value, making it very difficult to run ads at profitable ROAS. You must get to the basics first, improve those components before launching ads.

- Good marketer can always grow the business:
Founders like to blame poor results on media buyers and agency, and the fact is, many agencies are terrible at delivering the results.

However, I've seen it many times when auding the account - founder hired two or three different agencies in the last 12 months, and none of them delivered any results, just burned the money, so he is on the lookout for fourth agency.

Instead, sit down, and analyze - why there is a poor delivery? Is it agency, or maybe your business sucks?

A lot of the time, neglecting the basics will be the reason why you struggle to grow your brand with advertisement.

Running ads isn't magic. If your business works, the ads can work too.

Sort out your business first, then run ads.

7. How do you navigate the balance between short-term revenue boosts and sustainable, long-term growth for ecommerce brands?

This is the interesting one. I am always looking long term.

There are always short term opportunities - run discount ads during Valentines, Black Friday sale, Christmas Sale, etc.

You have to be careful not to run down your reputation, that's why you should always think long term. Is the short term surge of cash worth damaging long term reputation of the brand and cashflow (using heavy discount)?

Always think long term - when you build a large business, you can sell it for a lot of money, short term wins are great, but building sustainable business long term is the ultimate goal.

8. When working with ecommerce brands, how do you tailor your approach to accommodate different industries, like fashion, jewellery or self-care?

It is always about crafting the strategy to a specific brand. I don't see much of a difference between skincare, jewellery, or supplements. I have a unique approach to all businesses. I like to understand who is the ideal customer, what competition is doing, how we can grow the brand sustainably, what angles we can use, how we can advertise.

It's not always easy, but with enough work, it is doable.

9. How do you stay ahead of evolving digital marketing trends and algorithms to ensure continuous growth for your clients?

I truly believe that great marketers understand human psychology and why people buy, then they craft messaging and sales funnel around it.

How the algorithm works is important, but more important is to understand why people buy, what problems do they have, what will make them want to buy the product, how to craft the messaging in your ads and sales funnel, how to create the offer people won't resist. The algorithm is secondary thing.

Focus on the basics of marketing, and you will win.

10. Can you discuss the significance of customer feedback and insights in shaping successful ecommerce growth initiatives?

Customer feedback is very important in marketing. Customers will tell you why they buy, why they don't buy, what to improve, what went wrong. The best businesses are the ones that listen to their customers, and improve upon feedback.

You do not need to guess. Take a phone, call 50 of your most recent customers, and ask them what you want to know. You can also implement email surveys or post purchase surveys.

Based on the feedback, improve your offer, sales funnels, marketing message to resonate with the ideal client better.

11. Finally, what advice would you offer to ecommerce brands looking to embark on a journey of significant growth and expansion?

- Focus on long term growth
- Understand ALL metrics that are important to your growth (like: LTV,AOV,Converion Rate)
- Set KPI's, so you know excetly when you can scale up and down
- Hire a good marketer or agency (depending on the budget). Don't be cheap, this will make or break your business.
- Stop looking only at ROAS (short term gains), it is a useless metric in business growth, focus on LTV more (long term growth)

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