Eric Bandholz

November 18, 2020

In this session of The Personal Mastery Podcast, we speak with Eric Bandholz who talks about how Beardbrand was born. He connected with other Urban City guys that were bucking the trend of wearing facial hair in environments where it wasn’t commonly accepted, ultimately creating the idea: Urban Beardsman. Eric values enjoying the journey and takes pride in having business partners and a team that he loves working with. Some tips he provides in growing a platform: Spread out your content, utilize Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok! He suggests creating three to four videos a week and allowing 2-3 years to build up a successful brand, be patient and maximize your strengths.

Eric Bandholz is the Co-Founder and CEO of Beardbrand where he’s built a community of urban beardsman. They have millions of combined followers across Youtube, Reddit, and Instagram, and over 40% of their revenue comes from this community.

You can learn more about Eric below:
Website: www.beardbrand.com
Twitter: @bandholz
Podcast: Practical Ecommerce


Arri Bagah: You're listening to the Personal Mastery podcast with Arri Bagah, interviewing CEOs and executives who are performing at the highest level in their industry, working purposefully towards a vision in alignment with their values and in a state of constant learning about to self. Welcome to season two of the Personal Mastery podcast. Our guest is Eric Buttonholes, not Eric. He's an amazing guy and he's been able to build a very large brand over the past eight years. He's the founder and CEO of Biard Brand, where he's been able to build a community of urban herdsmen. They have a combined following of over two million followers across YouTube, Instagram and Reddit, and over 40 percent of the revenue comes from those channels alone. So if you're a direct to consumer e-commerce marketer that's ever been interested in building a community, learning how to create content as well as how to distribute that content across multiple channels. Then this episode is for you. I really think you're going to enjoy this episode. So without further ado, here's Eric. Eric, welcome to the show.

Eric Bandholz: Hey, man, thanks for having me. Well, that voice is truly special. Like, were you born with it or did you like Master That voice? I don't know, like my voice is probably the thing that I get the most comments on on my YouTube videos, but yeah, I don't know, life's just too boring to be the same monotone.

Arri Bagah: That's true.

Eric Bandholz: So I start out a little squeaky.

Arri Bagah: Ok, and you're calling from Austin, Texas, how are things over there? How is life treating you?

Eric Bandholz: It's it's hot, you know, it's hot and we still kind of got like the, you know, restricted life going on here. But, you know, you can do most things normally, just a few minor inconveniences. But, yeah, you know, I miss and traveling miss and in the world and but they'll all get back to normal one day,

Arri Bagah: I'm sure. So what was the favorite or your favorite spot that you've traveled to?

Eric Bandholz: Oh, man. You know, last year, my my family and I, we went to Denmark for six weeks and that was in and Copenhagen and our house. And I've got friends there. So the friends, of course, the people always make the trips, you know, but I have really fond memories of being in Denmark. And of course, we went during the summer, so it wasn't wasn't too cold. And it has a lovely, lovely place, lovely people and yeah, great environment. So that's one of my most of my trips. The the most recent one seems to be pretty good for me.

Arri Bagah: Yeah. I was planning on doing a lot of traveling this year, but I was like, yeah, I think I'm in the same boat as everyone. For some reason people had a lot of plans this year, but that 2020 had different ideas in mind. So for you. Yeah. So you built an amazing brands that want to get some quick background as to what how you got to where you are today and going back to where you started. So did you go to college at all?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, so I went you're like traditional, traditional, like listen to what everyone tells you to do and if you just follow their instructions, you'll find success in life. And so I was on that pathway. You know, I graduated high school with like a three, three, five GPA or whatever. And then I ended up going to South Carolina for four years. And I graduated there with a degree in marketing and management, with a focus on entrepreneurship and a minor in retail. So I'm actually one of the few people who has degrees and what I'm currently doing and probably the courses actually did help with the start of your brand as well. After after that, I went on this like sales salesman journey. I was a journeyman salesman for like ten years and wasn't really finding it happiness or contentment. That's what my career. So I wouldn't really recommend people out there to just like do what people tell you to do. You got to find your own pathway.

Arri Bagah: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So that's the reason why I ask, because I think almost everyone that I talked to in season one, they didn't go to college, which was really interesting. So...

Eric Bandholz: I mean, I like I got I definitely have opinions on it. I think I think younger people are certainly capable of achieving great things when they're 18 years old. Like, I don't think that college is necessary. However, if you're kind of in the institutionalized system, you're going to public schools. You've been told all your life just to do well on tests and you'll be successful and go to college. You'll be successful. If you're like program that way, then, yeah, college is probably the best for you because you're not going to be able to find that kind of success at a young age. You need to be really trained isn't the right word, but you need to be prepared to hit the ground running at a young age, you know, starting in really like grade school, middle school and then high school needs to to really be developing you for being independent. So there are schools out there were put in our daughter in a school like that that's really project based, focused child focus student, student-led kind of thing. So hopefully she'll be so well-prepared at 18 that that she'll have the option whether or not she wants to to go to college or have a successful career without it.

Arri Bagah: Yeah, I really like that. And I think that's something that I thought I missed when going to public school or college. It was like that Project-Based or that student-driven type of learning where as entrepreneurship is basically that like you learn as you go, so.

Eric Bandholz: You never stop learning. And that's what that's what schools did to me that that I didn't realize till later is they they destroyed my my passion for learning. Right. Like I got out of school, like just trying to figure out how to manipulate, test and or study for the test, study for the grade, you know, not study to learn. And, you know, it took me like ten years to really get my mind realizing what the world you know, what you need to do in the world to take control of your life and and your activities. And I wish I knew that at a younger age, I feel like public schools took ten years out of my career just because I was doing what they're told. And and I wasn't willing to break those shackles.

Arri Bagah: And that sales job was at the financial advisory job, or it was that you transition to financial advisory after the sales job.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. So I was totally, like I said, a journeyman. So my first job out of college was working at Dell Computers and then I did after that. I only did that for a couple of months. Then I moved to lead generations for Cisco Systems, which make our routers. I did that for like a year, year and a half. And then I moved to Charlotte and I did. I sold commercial printing for like three or four years. And then I moved to Washington with my wife and her career. And at that time, it was really my first time of trying to start a business. I had this e-commerce business called Walking. I was selling vinyl wall graphics and I sold two units. And then I got scared and I didn't do anything. And then I ended up taking the job as a financial financial advisor, selling in stocks and bonds and stuff like that. So, you know, like none of them are related. You know, I was like, I need computers and routers are kind of related. And then like commercial printing and financial services are completely. Yeah. And then I went on to become a designer. So I'm just like going back to like I do enjoy learning. Like, I very much love learning. And you can't. Have those career shifts without having, you know, some kind of passion for learning, so it was just trying to find that spark of of, you know, self directed learning rather than people telling me what to learn. '

Arri Bagah: Mm hmm. And it was during that time of your life that the idea of a beer brand started. Right? I think you mentioned that you were seeing people not growing beards or something. Can you talk a little more about that or how the idea of your started?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, I mean, it does really go back to my times in college where, you know, I remember going to a counselor talking about getting a job and they always said the first thing you need to do is shave your beard if you're out of your job. And to me, like that just sounds ridiculous. It's like, you know, there's just these weird societal rules and guidelines, you know, like why are they rules? Like, you know, like it takes people questioning, like why you need to do that. So that always just kind of like I listen to them. I followed them. So I'd shaved my beard. I hated it. Right. I shaved my face. I hated I hated shit. I didn't enjoy it. I always liked having some kind of stubble. It didn't matter if it was a lot or a little. But I liked having facial hair.

And so that kind of went on for like literally like 10 years. This battle between me, like wanting to have some kind of facial hair and feeling a societal pressure to not have one, whether it's from my mom or from the boss and the boss man not even cared at all. Like it was just like this internal kind of mindset. So after leaving as a financial advisor and starting my graphic design business, that's when I started growing my beard out. This was two thousand, I think is 2011 ish. And it wasn't it was then that I started realizing there's people like me who are, you know, like, you know, the traditional bearded guy you think of. I was like top for Duck Dynasty, Grizzly Adams, like these kind of like Manly man. I want to say I'm not like a manly man, but with these hands, these hands are made for keyboards, OK? So they were not made for axes and hammers and shovels and stuff. So I started to meet other guys like me, doctors, lawyers. I'm not a doctor, lawyer, but just like kind of like urban city type of guys, grown girls, good beards. And that's when I realized there was this growing community of people who are kind of bucking the trend of of being able to wear facial hair in environments that traditionally one wasn't acceptable, acceptable, societally speaking. And it was at that point I got the inspiration to kind of unite this community and give them the tools they need to feel confident about their style, feel confident about who they are. And then so your brand was going to be that company and the type of people we ended up calling them urban guardsmen. So, yeah, that was the inspiration back in the beginning of 2012 is when I got the first idea.

Arri Bagah: And then when you started the idea, the first product was a beard oil. Correct.

Eric Bandholz: Yes, so we actually started by reselling a manufacturer's products and we bought three products, we had to build oils to different fragrances and one mustache wax. So the website was like super basic at the time, didn't even develop our own products. It was just like taking advantage of an opportunity we had because I had been blogging about beards. I was kind of like the the the de facto expert on it because I was literally the only one on the Internet talking about beards in two thousand twelve. So reporter for The New York Times quoted me and I'm like I told Jeremy, and we are now partners. I'm like, hey, why don't we only try to take advantage of this PR and build a site and reach out to the manufacturer, made that that first order. So everything came together like literally within a week. And then we pushed to the website live. And then the article went went up like the next day or two days later or something like that.

Arri Bagah: And when that one, why did you sell like a bunch of products or was it just I mean, I was like millions and millions and millions like the golden ticket. I think I think we had like maybe like five or six hundred dollars of sales over that first the first few weeks. And that was.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, yeah.

Arri Bagah: What was that like before or after. Like when you're going to trade shows. And I know you you had said that in one of your interviews that you went to a trade show and someone asked like, OK, like what's the difference between your product and all these products out there? And. Yeah, can you talk more about that.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. So I mean we, we, I always had a vision for. The company as this organization to really focus on our clients and supporting them and being education first product first, but I always wanted it to be this like originally I wanted it to be this lifestyle company of, you know, how like Lululemon is the yoga, you know, Vann's is the status. Your brand was going to be that for urban bergsman. And I thought the products for that was going to be like apparel. But it turns out it wasn't. It turns out who's going to be grooming products and. So once we knew that, like. We're big on kind of like freedom. Freedom is one of our core values, and to have freedom, you need to have a little bit of control and to have control, you have to have your own products, because if the manufacturer ever went out of business or, you know, raises prices on us or, you know, like did something bad, then we would really be in a bad situation. So it was a few months into getting some traction that we decided to develop and formulate our own products in-house and to start manufacturing them. So I think we launched in like June. So so we launched the website originally in January with these three products. And then in June we we developed and launched our own our own products side by side. So once we did that, it was just trying to get the word out and trying to grow however we could. And we just had no idea, like, what do we do if we got a you know, we got a little fare's, you know, what they call like market shows or whatever local market shows. And so we did go to a few trade shows and the first few good ones, like people are like, what the heck is Biard oil? Why would I want to sell my face? And I'm like, here, try it. I'd be given products away. As you know, I was the chamomile guy, you know, I'm just like, Yeah, man, it's going to he's going to, like, soften up your beard. And people would love it. And, you know, they always had a good experience with a lot of the fragrances. And then after, like one or two shows, we ended up going to this other one. And the guy was like, yeah, I appreciate you telling me about this, but what makes your beard a little better than you know is it was I just totally blew my mind, caught me off guard because no one up to that point had heard of oil before we were creating a new market. And I was not prepared with, like, oh, what makes this? And, well, I didn't even know anything else was out there, you know? So I don't know. I think I didn't have a very convincing retort to that because I was so, so caught off guard with it.

Arri Bagah: Now, from then to like now to what the beard brain is. Can you talk about some of the different changes that you've made that has made the product really different?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, I mean. Well, this business. We're very fortunate to have this business program because I'll speak from my personal standpoint, first of all, I have amazing co-founders, so I just love working with them and a lot of challenges and businesses as your co-founders and and having a working relationship with people who you really know and trust. And that's a time we certainly had our ups and downs. And I'm sure we'll continue to have ups and downs in the future. But, you know, I couldn't ask for any better business partners. And then, like for me personally, what I love, like the whole like I said, like this whole beer journey for me starts way back. And so when I could first grow facial hair. So I love the product. I love our mission. I love what we're doing. And then, like in the early days, I was all about creating the website and fulfillment e-commerce. And all those things are super exciting for me, too. So like, I love the business model and I loved how scalable and then I loved creating new products. So we started with like bird oil, mustache wax. And then we we grew and we grew. So we have a beard wash and a beard softener and then a utility bomb and a silent bomb and then a utility bar and then see salt spray and then a cologne and then a shampoo and conditioner. And our goal always is like, you know, like this company. I mean, it is for the community, but it's also for me, like, I want to enjoy it. I want to enjoy the journey. I want to enjoy the pathway. That's why it's so important to have business partners who I love working with and to have a team that I love working with. And I want to have products that I love using, you know, because like why make a product where you're making sacrifices that you don't even want to use it when you know it's not the best. So we formulate everything with the expectation that we're going to do something innovative, something unique, something that's not being done on the marketplace currently and for some products is really hard, like shampoo and conditioner. I think we've got probably the best men's shampoo and conditioner that you've ever had. But, you know, the guys are on such autopilot watching shampoo condition and they don't even know how how much better it can be. So it's a fun challenge, you know, to develop these products and package them differently or have different kind of applications or different functions and uses for the products. So I don't know if that answers your question, but I can talk about products all day long, if you want me to know.

Arri Bagah: Definitely. And I think, like, what I really like is that, like you did what like brands today are trying to do, which is start like fine. Like that community start building. That community was putting out content and then releasing a product. And I think today, like a lot of brands are struggling to be profitable because they create the product first and then try to find people to buy the product.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, I think it's. We're very mission oriented company, and I think we see things a little bit differently, like we sell now, I love products and I love selling products. And again, like I said, I can talk about products all day long. But the reason that we have products is it is because it is finances, our mission. It allows us to you know, our mission is to make men awesome. It allows us to reach our larger audience. It allows us to continue to to push content that we believe in that that we think will make the world a better place, because we believe that when when guys invest in themselves and they start to love themselves and they start to have confidence in themselves, then they're able to share that positivity with their loved ones, their spouses or their their partners, their children, and then also into their career and then ultimately into the community. And then, like the world, a better place from the ground up by making individuals better or inspiring individuals to become better, then the world is going to be a better place. And that's our goal, is like we want to leave the world a better place than when we got. And the products, you know, the products are a way for us to fund that. And they also help people. You know, they also help build the confidence and they help with that self investment and loving the person who's looking back at you in the mirror. But I think a lot of companies are very product. First is like, oh, I've got this great product that does ABC. It's got these kind of features. You know, what kind of marketing channels can I do to to capture my audience? And like, you know, like, oh, content marketing is a new hot thing. Let's go do a blog and, you know, YouTube and and it's not authentic because that's that's not their mission. Right. Their mission is to make more money by selling more products. And and it's not right or wrong. I'm not judging them, but it can be challenging. The other thing about us is we're bootstrapped. So when we started, we we literally had no money and we had no money at all. So, like, what are you going to do when you have no money? You do things that you have time, so you have time. You don't have money. And that means like being on social media, that means creating content. I mean. Right. And that means, you know, sharing your story. And so we did that and we didn't have an option. I mean, what else what we're going to do, sit around and hope people just randomly found out about us.

Arri Bagah: Right, and going back to community, and that's something that I want to really basis the rest of this conversation on, is that you guys have done such a great job and like building this community on YouTube and reading through your blog, et cetera. Can you talk about like how like you are either like whether it's like the content that's building the community or whether it's like the the community's connection to you that's making the community grow? Can you talk about, like, how you guys have been able to, like, build a community?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, you know, community to me is an abstract word, because I think, like different people interact with the brand in different ways, some people are like really super passionate and then some people just kind of watch a couple of videos and they go on their way. Some people maybe don't buy any of their or don't view any of our content and they just order from us. They were recommended by a friend, you know, so so community. When I think of community, the first thing that comes to my head is like a Facebook group or like a private forum. And I like certain kind of members associated with it. And it took me a little longer into building business to realize it is the people who watch the videos regularly. And they may not comment. You know, they may not say anything. They may just kind of browse the content, read the emails, read the blog posts. And, you know, that's kind of what we're trying to do. I don't I never wanted your brand to be Eric Brand. I never wanted it to be this cult of personality. I wanted to to to to have a business that if something ever happened to me, like I get incapacitated or, you know, I move on and or retire or that the company would still grow and thrive and there still be people within the organization that could resonate with our audience. So that's why early on we brought on multiple creators to our YouTube channel. So we had Jeff bonker, Siriano, Joel Daniels in the early days. And then now we've got Greg Brezinski, Carlos Costa and Ben Wilson, who are kind of like our regular studio style personalities. And then we have our Barbours, Bob Maranda, we've got Chris Howard. We've got, you know, Andy Filey, Jake, Jake, the barbers. So we've got a lot of different talent to kind of represent the brand and their own unique way, which is, you know, completely different because I am like this goofy, you know, like laid back, not serious, but sometimes serious kind of guy and a little bit abrasive and a little bit divisive. Whereas like, you know, Greg is like your your dad you wish you had. And Carlos is kind of like this really cool. Like hipster, I don't know if you'd be OK with hipster, but he's definitely a hipster with his tattoos and whatever, every every everyone on the channel really represents our core values of freedom, hunger and TROs really well. And and what we're trying to do to to help our audience and to become better versions of themselves. So it's it's been to have people that care about things and care about helping others.

Arri Bagah: Now, when it comes to the content that you've been putting out, specifically video content, I think a lot of brands do struggle when it comes to creating content. It's like, OK, what style of content works? Should I make it funny or like what really works? Right. So do you have, like, any, like, sort of secret sauce that you found to work in terms of like getting people to watch, getting them to stick around and kind of like starting to build some sort of like following?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, I mean, it it if you told me your exact business, I could probably come up with some kind of concept or ideas. It is challenging and we still struggle with it to the to stay. I mean, the idea is pretty easy, but the execution is pretty challenging when you think of content. It kind of really comes down to like a few different ways, like one is educational or someone searching for something and then you provide value. It could be a product review. It could be, you know, like teaching someone about something related to your business. And then entertainment is the other one. So you try to have fun on camera and generate interest through entertainment. And, you know, ideally, maybe you hit Othon in the same case. I I think a lot of mistakes that brands are making. If they're trying to sell on on YouTube or to to build content on YouTube is one. They are not creating enough content. You need to create two or three videos a week or so and on like one hundred and fifty videos that first year. And it is going to take, you know, two to three years to build up a channel to a successful level. So that's a lot. I mean, that's one hundred fifty videos, like a pretty daunting task. Like, are you prepared to do that? Do you think you have enough creativity to do that? Do you know are you willing to like right through it? So that's one thing. And then I think the other thing they do is there are two like me focused either to like here's my product, buy my product, you know, learn about this by this course. And they're not audience focused. You got to be audience focused, you know, like the whole nine, 10 role or 80, 20 rule, like 80 percent or 90 percent of your content needs to be for your audience. And then that 10 percent should be about you. And making sure there are they do need to be aware you have things that can bring value to their life so you don't want to completely avoid it. But at the same time, it can't just be the only thing about YouTube. I think there's a YouTube or the channel is called like Rosanova. And he makes these like camera straps right by his channel is like cutting shoes in half and, you know, so like he'll give shop tours and things like that, you'll get to know him a little better. But, you know, people come in to to. Check out his shoes can cut in half and then they learn about his business, and then if they're photographers, they'll probably give them a shot because he's a really cool dude and you want to support someone who's entertained you and brought value to your life.

Arri Bagah: Yeah, and I think that's like the biggest piece that is missing from a lot of the content that I've seen from brands is that it's always about the product and it never really adds value to the person that is looking up the content. So I think what you're proposing here is that first try to figure out what questions people are asking and then answer those questions. And if you're creative, then try to come up with ideas that might be funny and retain people, because I think a lot of the videos that I've seen, it's like very like like designer like showing the product in different ways. And they just like a couple of seconds long. And it's just all about the products, never about adding any value to the person.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. I mean, and again, like there's a lot of different ways, like a lot of people do on reviews, you know, they want product reviews. But, you know, if you only have a couple of products, there's only so many videos you can make of that style, I think. And people generally want unbiased or less biased kind of reviews. So if you're reviewing your own products, I think the big thing that I want to say is like you have to understand where your joys in life are, OK? Like if you like being in front of the camera and like putting on a show. Video is great, if you don't, then maybe you can write the script and hire someone to be on camera or if you like, editing again, like because everything you do in content marketing is going to be a grind. So if you prefer writing over video, then focus on your blog, focus on your email list. If you like photography, focus on Instagram. You know, like if you like video, then focus on Tic-Tac or YouTube, you know, so don't do something because you're like, oh, beer brands killing it with video that drives 40 percent of our business. We should do video. Now that's like the most terrible reason to do anything. It's like, where are your strengths and your your comfort level and maximize that to the best of your abilities.

Arri Bagah: Now, I want to talk about it for a second, because it's a topic that no one ever talks about and direct to consumer space. And every time you hear about read, it's about means. And and you people usually discourage you not to go and read it. So how are you able to, like, build the community on Reddit? Like, is there a specific type of content that's working or a specific way to structure your brand? Yeah,

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. Reddit super hard. The audience is like, really fickle. I've been on Reddit for eight years now and I do feel like the community's shifted and evolved to a little more groupthink mentality. So it is a little bit more challenging to be a contrarian or to have like a minority opinion in there just through the nature of, like, upvotes and downvotes majority. Unfortunately, a majority is always going to win. And and they've gotten away from reminding people that upvotes mean like good conversation and good discussions. It doesn't mean I agree or disagree. That being said, like there are like best practices, like you've got to engage in the communities you want to be a part of and engage means like if someone posts your reply to it, if you know, in our case, there's a Subrata called Reddit beards, it means like if people are posting photos and asking for tips and advice and you give those tips and advice, or if they just need some positivity and they have a great looking beard or they got a cool looking haircut, then you you do that other great ways is to create guides for them. Like ultimate guides are usually pretty beneficial and well regarded, especially if you're not. Self promoting, right, it will kill you if you try to self promote. There are like, you know, like kind of again, like if if you're focusing on bringing value to the community, people will find out who you are. And those are the people who you want to be your customers. Those are who are really passionate enough to, like, go through all the loops to be like, oh, yeah, I really like this guy or girl. And they brought a lot of value and I want to support them. So that's kind of how you want to do it. We've also created like we don't want anyone to grab our Subrata. So we have like Biard branded Urban Guardsmen several edits and then we have a beard brand separate it where we just order post our videos onto there. But there's no intent at all other than to just have. And the content going in there, so it's not the strategy I would recommend, but we've we've built our community on a form platform and that's kind of where we want our customers to come in because it's a little bit safer and you can be a little more vulnerable with your goals and what you're dealing with, rather than being on a public forum like, um, Reddit is.

Arri Bagah: Mm hmm. I think that it's kind of like my experience of being on Reddit a few times. And I feel that people ask a lot of good questions and if you're there just providing answers. People are just going to naturally gravitate towards your brand and try to figure out, OK, what does this person sell, etc.. Like, you're right. Like if you promote yourself, like, you know, you get kicked out or there's going to be. Yeah, Reddit would definitely kill you for you.

Eric Bandholz: I mean, so but you got to you got to try it right. Like yeah. I have a thick skin. You know, I'm I'm willing to post my own content on Reddit and self promote and if it gets uploaded, gets uploaded. If it doesn't, it doesn't, you know, like if I get banned from I read it, I get banned from etc., you know, like you just because you're not going to what's what's the difference between posting your own content and doing a little bit of self promotion in a way that will resonate with the audience versus, you know, like being too afraid to post content and just literally not promote it at all. So it's like it's the same effect. Like if you get banned or if you if you don't post at all, same effect, nothing's being seen. Nothing's lost.

Arri Bagah: Now, you mentioned tick tock. Are you guys on tick tock yet?

Eric Bandholz: I do. Look at me. I'm like, I'm nearly 40 years old. I'll be like, I get anxiety. It's just too much too much stimulation. I don't know how you do it, I think. Are you on tick tock.

Arri Bagah: Yeah, I'm on tick tock and I think like yeah. You shit. I think for the content that you're making to be on tick tock, you kind of have to consume the content for a while to really understand how the platform works. Otherwise, like if you just jump in and repurpose your current videos, I don't think they are going to do too well.

Eric Bandholz: So now I mean, so we're just focused on like the platform we have. We have a kind of a mindset now and I have a tendency to want to try everything. But the mindset now is like get better at the things we're doing well because there's opportunity to create videos, better to engage with our customers on Instagram better. And and then once we've totally saturated that, then we'll consider, you know, getting on the ticktock or whatever. But, you know, we got one point six million subscribers on YouTube and then we got like one hundred thirty five thousand on Instagram. So, you know, the market's there. But have we executed enough to to grow that audience? Clearly not. Right. So what are we doing wrong? We need to improve it to to get the Instagram to be at the same level as as YouTube.

Arri Bagah: So do you always, like, recommends growing one channel first and once that's going well, then moving it to another channel?

Eric Bandholz: I think if you have scarce resources, it's better to be focused and but if you have bandwidth to handle two and you've got the inherent talent to do it and it's okay to do too, you know, like I've kind of I've kind of evolved through this my early days. It was like, you want to be on all the platforms that your customers maybe. And it's kind of evolved to like to fewer things really. Well, better than but it kind of goes back to like our strategy shifted, you know, in the early days, we wanted to take over the world and be the the leader. And now since like September twenty sixteen, we decided to enjoy the journey instead. And when you enjoy the journey, it means like you do things that you love doing. And then, you know, if there is opportunity to find love and new things like tick tock, then, you know, do that. But right now, if we want to find love and tick tock, that's probably hiring someone who's going to tick tock rather than trying to learn it, because I, I just have no interest in that platform.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. So going back to what you said earlier, the content or your audience currently drives about 40 percent of your revenue. Now are you then focus on the rest is driven. Do it like paid acquisition, like Facebook and Instagram and you. Sure. When you log into your Google Analytics Dashboard and you create the little pie chart, that is a revenue by source or whatever, revenue by medium, you want that to be a very equal share pie. So you've got your direct traffic. You've got. Your email, you've got your referral, you've got your social paid, and then you've got. So, like, our pie is pretty. Pretty. Nicely shaped and good, the reason that's good is because if something happens with one of the channels, you know, you'll take a dip, but you're not going out of business. Right. But if you built your whole business exclusively on, let's say you built your whole business exclusively on Tic-Tac and the Donald Trump's like it, then you're like, well, I guess I should have been on Instagram, you know, like so you want to have, you know, 10, 20 percent on Tic-Tac, 20 percent on Facebook, 20 percent or 20 percent on YouTube, or however maybe, you know, so it could be, you know, for us, it's like 20 percent on your brain alliance, 20 percent on your brand barbershop, 20 percent on Facebook, 20 percent on, you know, like social media. So there's there's a lot of different ways for you to build that pie chart where you have, you know, four or five different channels that are driving similar amounts of revenue.

Arri Bagah: And now with the content that you're creating on a channel like YouTube, are you then reusing that content and your ads as well?

Eric Bandholz: Yeah, we've got so we actually have three YouTube channels. We have Biard Brand Channel, which focuses on like barbershop cuts, haircuts, beer terms. We have the Beard Brand Alliance, which is our studio, which is kind of like self guidance, self-improvement, how to self grooming, how to do stuff at home. And then we have a third channel, which is called Beer Brand Products, and that's where it's 100 percent promotional stuff and that's where we run our YouTube ads through that channel. So there's there's no drive to get people to subscribe there or anything. It's just a place we put our our ads and then. Ok, so I think you ask a question that I didn't really answer.

Arri Bagah: I said, are you then leveraging those the contents?

Eric Bandholz: Oh yeah, usually not. Yeah. Yeah. So so when we create the ads, of course, we'll make it for the format, like we'll recreate YouTube videos and put it up on Instagram stories or Facebook and we'll do it in a way that will perform better on those channels. So we'll do like vertical and then we'll cut it down to like three or four minutes. Whereas on YouTube it's 18 minutes long and, you know, so stuff like that where it's essentially the same content but deliver differently.

Arri Bagah: Now, when it comes to email, I do hear some people talk about leveraging content within emails. So are you emailing this content to your audience and how do you kind of tie that into generating revenue?

Eric Bandholz: I mean, I feel like it was 2000. She's I think it was like 2015 that we we put up a very purposeful strategy into your email up to that point, I was just a campaign blast to everyone. And we started building we have done with Clivia, which is the email provider, ISP, something like that, and we. Set up what's called Flo's, so any time someone joins our newsletter, they'll get the welcome series like five emails or 10 emails where we kind of walk them through your stuff. And then we've started setting up Flo's for all sorts of things like abandoned cart ban and checkout post purchase. And then then we also. You know, tie all of our content we're producing on YouTube for we still do campaigns as well, so we have campaigns that are relevant. So those will be like product launches or back and stock notifications or things that we're loving or just kind of like, you know, seasonal things or ideas that we have that are not really evergreen type of content.

Arri Bagah: Yeah, yeah. I love content so much because, like, you can use it for a top of funnel. You can use it for people who have given you like their email address and like the welcome series decision about the brand. There's like so many ways like that, you can leverage the content. And I think that's something that you guys have really done have done really well where you have so much content that like like like someone new can watch so many videos and then just be convinced that they should make a purchase.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah. I mean, we would hope that the content is good enough that we bring value to their lives and that they can trust our opinions. And, you know, I think it's still challenging. You know, I think the bearded guys in particular are fiercely independent and kind of have this, like, oppositional defiant streak. So if I tell you, hey, man, also I can help support the channel biproduct. They're going to like now screw you, man. You're just trying to take advantage of us or whatever, you know, like you buy whatever you like. It doesn't bother me. Just buy what it makes you feel better. I mean, that's the purpose of our company is like, you know, get better, become better focused on yourself and focus on that improvement. And then if you buy our products and it's great because it helps us spread that mission. But if it doesn't, if you don't want to buy from us or your budgets tight or whatever, then that's also cool. Like we're not we'll be here. Yeah. When when you're maybe maybe you've gotten a couple of promotions or you've saved up money and you cut expenses or something like that, we'll be here for that.

Arri Bagah: I'm not getting more into the personal level. I know everyone's routine has probably changed since that this pandemic. Is there any routine or things that you're doing that are helping you perform at a high level?

Eric Bandholz: You well, I don't know if I've ever performed that I'll be the first first to admit to that. So I don't know if you want to like if you're looking to perform at a high level, I'm probably not your guy to follow, but I had the court, that currency in the lockdown's I've been challenging for me. I'm a my two favorite hobbies in life are traveling and rowing. And the boat house got shot down. And of course, you can't travel anywhere. So I have I have you know, I was hoping I'd just be like two weeks, right? And then we're back to normal after two weeks and I'll just grin and bear it for two weeks. But then two weeks became two months know hopefully not two years, but so eventually I hit this point probably about a month and a half ago or two months ago where I'm like, OK, well, I've got to I've got to get out of this, like, little funk that I was in, like a little depression and take control. If you saw my tweet today, I said anxiety is when your mind is in the future. Depression is when your mind is in the past and contentment is when your mind is in the present. And I was dealing with depression because I wanted my old life back. I wanted to the rowing, I wanted to travel back. And I was not happy because I didn't have it. And then I realized, like, I didn't come up with that. Someone else told me that. But it just at the perfect time. And it's like once I had I started buying gym equipment. So I built out like a little weight lifting thing in my garage. Fortunately, the boathouse opened up again. It's different than how it was before covid. But I'm like, it's OK that it's different. I'll go with it. I can't row the big boats like I used to. It's only the little boats. But that's OK. Get in on the water. I'm getting my hands, you know, rough again. And that's been nice. So I've I've been working out six times a week. I wake up at five fifteen anywhere between five. Fifteen five forty five. And then I'll either go to the go to the water, go to the boathouse and hop on the water and row or I'll go to the garage and there's this company called Barbell Logic. They uh they do all my coaching and I've got a coach there who's got a little program for me which is all barbel stuff. So squats and deadlifts and bench press and, you know, presses and rows. So that's been really good. It's been a really good routine for me of the past. So I haven't like been going to bed on time. So I'm a little tired. So I really just started hitting like two or three weeks ago that I've finally gotten back into this routine.

Arri Bagah: Yeah. And I definitely like I recently went kayaking and I realised, like, I wish I could use kayak every morning. So I'm definitely I love the fact that you go out on a lot of every single one of your tasks.

Eric Bandholz: And like, I've got to dodge all the characters, in fact, is reason they don't have any lights on and you run at six in the morning. It's pitch black and white. My God. Whacked it with one of my words, but not characters I love. I can do this great, great workout. Great upper body. You should do it, man. We got great water here.

Arri Bagah: Yeah. Oh definitely. Think about it. Austin's is amazing city so. Well, Eric, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Where can people find you.

Eric Bandholz: Yeah I'm the only er ground hands around but pretty much have been chillin all my social media platforms and focusing on Twitter. So my last name's Barenholtz, find me at Barenholtz and then I do have a podcast called eCommerce Conversations that I talk with other entrepreneurs. So if you're into the e-commerce space, find me, find my podcast there and then of course if you're in the business space, I always recommend not not only to check out your brand, but to go ahead and buy something from your brand. Doesn't matter if you're due to do that. There's a product you could be using and then you'll start to see, like our welcome series flows, how we communicate, how we package things and really have a unique experience. So it's worthy of like that's a two dollar investment to just get some market research and use that as inspiration for building your business.

Arri Bagah: Yeah, well, definitely all those things and the description for people to check out. Now, if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, I have one more question for Eric, and he's going to answer that question in this portion of this podcast. It's only going to be on YouTube. So if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, it's YouTube right now to watch the last portions.

Eric Bandholz: Oh, is it good? Is it getting your head over to you? We're going.

Arri Bagah: Thanks for checking out this episode of the Personal Mastery podcast, if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, please follow this podcast and leave us a five star review. And as always, thanks again for listening to another episode of the Personal Machree podcast.