Episode 137

SEO, Content & Influencer Marketing

Kevin Urrutia - Chester Travel
October 14, 2020
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

During a pandemic, marketing for a travel company isn’t easy.  Kevin Urrutia and team at Chester Travel are getting creative and hustling to drive sales now and set themselves up for success in the future.  In this episode, we talk about the perfect combination of short term and long term growth strategies.  Using influencer marketing for short term growth and SEO for long term traffic and growth has proved to be a winning combination for Chester Travel and their line of modern luggage.  

Here’s a look at what we cover on this episode:

  • Leveraging returns and unsold inventory for influencer marketing.
  • Understanding the value of your product in influencer marketing.
  • Simple outreach for influencer marketing….you’re probably overthinking it.  Try this one sentence approach.
  • How a solid instagram account is a necessary prerequisite for influencer marketing.
  • Leveraging your homepage to rank your blog posts.
  • Combining remarketing and SEO to drive sales.

Mentioned in this episode:

Web Archive

Panjiva

Google Think “Navigating the ‘Messy Middle’”

Ahrefs

Tawk.to

Connect with Guest: Kevin Urrutia

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


CHESTER - Modern Travel Luggage

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube

Episode Transcript

Brett:

Well,hello and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce EvolutionPodcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce, and I loveto dive into e-commerce stories. How are e-commerce brands growing in2020? How are e-commerce brands navigating the pandemic and preppingfor holiday and all of the crazy things that go into running ane-commerce store?

Brett:

Wealso have guides on how to maximize sponsored brand video on Amazonand Amazon DSP and Google Shopping and a variety of other things. Soget these free guides, give them to your team, even share them withyour agency, just take advantage of these resources and up your game.Let OMG Commerce help. And now back to the show. My guest today isreally a seasoned e-commerce dude. He is running a very successfulcompany called Chester that we're going to talk about primarily onthis show, but he's launched other successful e-commerce businesses,also a marketing wizard at that. And so it is my pleasure to welcometo the show and we prepped for this. I was going to try not to do it.I might butcher the last name. Thankfully, he's a gracious guy, butKevin Urrutia.

KevinUrrutia :

Urrutia.

Brett:

Urrutia.Uh, Urrutia. Okay, got it. We prepped and everything. Well, what doyou going to do with this podcast host here? But Kevin man, great tohave you on the show. Really excited to dive in and kind of hear yourstory, but real quickly before we talk about Chester and what it is,tell everybody kind of where you're hailing from now as we recordthis and give us kind of the 30 to 90 second background on Kevin.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So like I said, my name is Kevin Urrutia. So basically, I'm here inNew York City, but I live in Brooklyn now. And my background iscomputer science. So growing up, I went to college in upstate NewYork in Binghamton, and then after graduation, I moved out to SanFrancisco. I wanted to work in tech. I always wanted to do a startup.That was always my dream or sort of what I read at the time. And forme, going to San Francisco was the dream so after college I did it.I'd tell people I moved to California without ever being there. Iwent there once for an interview for two hours and I flew back thenext day and that was my whole California experience, but I knew Iwanted to do it.

Brett:

Successfullyscratch that itch or how did that leave you?

KevinUrrutia :

Oh,I loved it there. When I was there, I was like, "Wow, this isexactly everything that I've read online and more." And it'slike for me, because I was living in Binghamton, upstate New York,it's like no one knows tech there. Computer science is more of thealgorithms math, where I was wanting to do start ups which is morefront end programming, databases, Ruby on Rails. That stuff isn'ttaught there .. That was a big thing back then, yeah.

Brett:

Itwas.

KevinUrrutia :

Iwas all into that. Yeah. So that's sort of where for me, findingpeople like that was very hard because most people are like, "I'ma programmer." I'm like, "Yes, I'm a programmer too, butthere's different types of programmers." There's front endprogrammers, backend programmers, and then what college teach you ismore like the fundamentals of programming, which is very differentthan making apps.

KevinUrrutia :

Soin college we were making apps and stuff. So yeah, going to SanFrancisco was the dream because everybody there was doing that and Imoved there and I was working for Mint.com and still attendinghackathons, weekend events, and everywhere you would go, you wouldjust find people like myself. I was like, "Oh, people that havejust moved there." And I was like, "Hey, want to go to thisstartup Mecca?" So that was really fun because you just met somany people that had that same mindset of, hey, we just moved here. Idon't know anybody. Let's be friends. Let's talk about tech.

Brett:

Yep.That was awesome.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah,that was awesome. So I was like I just met so many people and evennow looking back, I was talking to somebody yesterday, and that was areferral from my boss. He was like, "Oh, Kevin does marketingnow." And he's like, "Oh, I used to work in productmarketing in San Francisco." And we're getting a drink next weekto just talk about how San Francisco is versus New York. It's likeall this stuff is crazy, but-

Brett:

It'sa small world. I mean, it's a huge, a huge city obviously and tech isa big space, but it's also small at the same time and the same withe-commerce as well. E-commerce has kind of a small community and asmall world, so to speak. So did that experience then directly leadto e-commerce or did e-commerce kind of come later?

KevinUrrutia :

Sobasically what happened was I was then working at another companycalled Zarley after Mint and there I was doing a lot of the backendprogramming because at Mint, I was doing the front end so I wanted toswitch. I was like, "Okay, I want to do backend because I thinkdatabases is fun." And at that time I was 23. I wanted to justdo something different. So while I was working at Zarley.com, I wasnoticing that I was there for about two years and I kind of wanted togo back home to New York City. And at the time, I was noticing whatsome of the companies were in the platform that were making money andit was home cleaning companies. When I say home cleaning companies, Imean more like individual maids or cleaners. So then I was like, "Oh,well wow." I'm looking at some of the stuff there and I waslike, "I'm seeing the issues as in an individual cleaner justcan't possibly take on more customers because you're just scrapped bytime like anybody, right?"

KevinUrrutia :

Timeis the most valuable resource. So eventually I was like, "Heyguys, I really want to move back to New York." I was workingremotely for like a month or two and I told them, "Hey, I reallyjust want to do my own thing." And then I thought about thatstuff, the cleaning stuff, and I was like, "Oh, what if I justmake a cleaning company?" And at this time I was kind ofthinking about traffic and SEO. And I was like, "Okay, let melook up how much cleaning services NYC gets." And I was like,"Oh, this gets 2,000 searches a month. At that time I waslearning SEO because in the previous report, I was trying to dodifferent startups and I'm trying to figure out how do I get-

Brett:

Whichwill come in later because you're doing a lot of cool SEO stuff forChester that I want to dive into, so, okay, cool. We'll put a pin inthat.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So I was learning SEO and I was looking at all these.. And I waslike, "Oh, I know that this business makes money because a fewthings that back at the time, I didn't really think about it."But now I'm like, "Oh, that was actually a really gooddecision." Most things you just don't really realize it.Cleaning is a very recurring type of business where someone getscleaning once and then if you do a great job, you get it again andagain. People will, and it's actually here in New York City where-

Brett:

Lifetimecustomer value, lots of repeat purchases if you take care ofbusiness. Yeah, exactly.

KevinUrrutia :

Exactly.And for me at that time, I didn't really think about it that much.But then when we are looking at some of the data now, we're justlike, "Whoa. We have a lot of returning customers that have beenwith us for two or three years just because that loyalty is sogreat." And obviously with e-commerce, that's kind of whatyou're looking to do too. But anyway, that's sort of how I started myfirst business that kind of took off. And obviously before this, Ihad 20, 30 different things that I've done that have just failed andnever seen the light of day. And even between now to like Chester, Iwas talking to my brother, we saw BarkBox, and we started like, "Oh,we should make one too."

KevinUrrutia :

Sowe made something called Dog Subscription Box and we basically weretrying to figure out how BarkBox is trying to getting all theirproducts. And we talked to a lot of local suppliers here in Brooklynand in New York and we got their box, we got designed, we got thewebsite up, and then we invested 5, 10k to the startup. And thenwe're just like, "Wow. The margins are really, really tough. Ithink we need to be a massive scale to be a business." So we didthat and obviously we learned a ton, but that's sort of kind of .. Ilook at companies out there like BarkBox and say, "Oh, what arethey doing? I can do something like that too." Pretty much likeI saw that for Chester too. Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah.Yeah. I love that. And I think that that spirit lives inside of mostsuccessful e-commerce entrepreneurs or just entrepreneurs in generalwhere they see something and they think I could either do that betteror differently or something and not afraid to start something andfail, right. So you started something, you put 5 or $10,000 into thatstartup. It did not really gain traction or pay off for you directly,but you learned a lot and you were able to roll those learnings intothe next venture. I think that's a common trait of a goodentrepreneur as well. Not paralyzed by this fear of making a mistake,but saying, "Hey, we're going to go in on this with at leastsome kind of investment. We're going to learn. It's either going towork or if it doesn't, we're going to pivot." And so that'sawesome. So let's talk about Chester. And I think there's lots ofinteresting things about this because it is a travel based company,which wow, what a time to be in the travel business. But tell us whatis Chester and what was the motivation or inspiration behind startingthe company?

KevinUrrutia :

SoChester is a travel company and we sell mostly luggages. So our firstproduct was the carry-on. The one that you can take on with you in aplane and you don't have to pay a checked fee. So that was the firstproduct that we did. And we were doing that product for a good twoyears just selling that one size, and then-

Brett:

Whydid you launch with just the carry-on? And pre pandemic, I was afairly frequent traveler, 12 or so times a year. Love the carry-on,live on the carry-on, do not check bags. So I'm assuming you'reprobably targeting people like me as a target market, but why thecarry-on? Why'd you start with that?

KevinUrrutia :

Sotwo things. One is.. People like you where carrying on was a big onethat people wanted and people felt so much affinity to their carry-onwhere you bring it with you everywhere. It's with you all the timebecause you're doing these quick two, three day trips. And the secondbiggest reason why was that to get the mold for the other sizes wasjust too much money. We couldn't afford it. So we were just like-

Brett:

Strategicwith the audience, strategic with manufacturing. Love it. Great.

KevinUrrutia :

Sothat's really the big reason why is yeah.

Brett:

Yeah.Very good. So what was the motivation behind doing it in the firstplace/

KevinUrrutia :

Sothe reason behind Chester was we had experience with the Amazon FBAbefore we were selling outdoor gear online. And we just saw that thatspace was just getting so crowded because for that product, I mean,there's so many FBA businesses out there where you can go to likeAlibaba, Ali Express and say, "Hey guys, I have this widget. Canyou make it for me, right?" And then they're like, "Okay,great. What label do you want on it?" Very simple to get theproduct made, which is great for new businesses and entrepreneurs andthat's how we started our first outdoor company after Made Sailors,right, we were doing that. We just went to their factories and I'vebeen to China three times already to the Canton Fair to meet thesuppliers because no matter what business or product you're doing,you can meet them and you get better prices and you can find fromfactories.

KevinUrrutia :

SoI always tell people that's always a great thing to do, but thebarrier to entry was so easy. You just send them an image and theycan make it. So we did that for a year. The company's still running.We're on the Wirecutter, New York Times. So then we wanted to doanother e-commerce company. And then we just saw those learnings frombefore where we're like, "What's a product that's hard to makethat someone can't just go in and say, "Hey, I want to makethis." And for us, we say, "Hey, look, we have somecapital. Let's find a product that's big and also we don't see toomuch competition on Amazon yet." And that's where came withChester. We saw luggages really being popular as a D to C sort ofthing, right. People are sending out direct to consumer, but no onewas really selling on Amazon. And we knew from experience that Amazonis 50% of sales in the USA. So all these premium luggages wereselling direct to consumers, but hey, you're missing a market ofAmazon where people are actually looking for this product.

Brett:

That'sfantastic.

KevinUrrutia :

Soit was a combination of... Yeah.

Brett:

No,go ahead.

KevinUrrutia :

Sofor us it was a combination of both, of previous experience ofknowing like, "Hey, we don't want to be copied so easily,"but at same time we saw a gap with all these new startups sayinglike, "Hey, we're too good for Amazon."

Brett:

Yeah.Yeah. And so did you launch on Amazon to begin with or did you launchon your own site and then pivot to Amazon?

KevinUrrutia :

Sowe just launched on both platforms. So we are going to be using...Yeah, we had our website. We did WooCommerce. If you got to ChesterTravels right now, it's a brand new website. But if you look at thewebsite, maybe for the past two years, we're using a stock them, astock e-commerce theme. And if you go to the web archives, you canlook at it. And now i looks so clean. Oh my God, it looks so good.But for the past two years, we were just on a stock theme sellingstuff online. Because, I mean, you probably know, right, it's likeaesthetics are great and branding is great, but it's really aboutdoes your product solve an issue? And people are still buying with anugly site..

Brett:

Yeah.I love beautiful sites that are simple and easy to navigate and thatthey communicate the brand message. I mean, that is ideal, butultimately the product needs to be the hero. The product needs to besolving a problem. It needs to be filling a gap or a need. And if youdo that, then yeah, a simple or even an ugly site can work. And also,you just mentioned a tool that I think probably there's a lot ofpeople that listen to podcasts that don't use web archives, right. Orit used to be called the way back machine . But most SEO people knowweb archives because we're always looking at it, but it's a way tokind of look at the history of sites. Fun to look at big nationalsites too, like Amazon, and see how it's progressed over the years.But anyway.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.Yeah, yeah, yeah. All these tools, for me, and the reason why I saythis is because I obviously come from a marketing background too,where you look at a pretty site. People think of Chester and be like,"Oh my God, you guys are doing this full on." But I'm like,"No, this was just three, four months ago. For the past twoyears we had the ugly site, but that thing was still selling."But people think that this new pretty site is why we're selling. I'mlike, "No, that's not the reason why it's like-"

Brett:

Yeah.And I think that kind of underscores a point that, "Hey, ifyou're just launching a brand new concept, new product, there'ssomething to be said about an MVP, a minimum viable product. How dowe communicate the message clearly and effectively? We don't have tobe perfect, but how do we just get it out there, which is what youguys did so that's fantastic.

KevinUrrutia :

Well,yeah. Then going with Chester, it's like with this factory that we'vefound for Chester, same sort of thing before for FBA was that thisfactory for us, we made custom CAD designs, custom molding. Our moldfor our luggage was 150k for just that one size. So that's why forus, it was like, "Hey, this is a great barrier of entry wherepeople just can't start because they need some sort of capital."And so that's how we did. And then another great thing that we hadtoo at that time was that we knew the factory spoke all Chinese. Sowe hired somebody to work with us and gave him equity in the companyto say, "Hey, look, we want you to be our sourcing side becausewe can work with other factories, but this factory only speaksChinese and we know they're good because we've seen the luggages thatthey've made and we're just like, 'Wow, like these are good'."

KevinUrrutia :

I'mnot sure if people know this too, but if you're looking for supplieror factory, especially when you're importing from the US, there'sthis billing or label where it comes in so you can look at anyfactory, you can look at any company and see where they're importingfrom and then just reverse engineer their factory.

Brett:

Veryinteresting. Where do you find that?

KevinUrrutia :

Soyou just look up... Panjiva is a really big one. So you basically,because remember when you're importing something, the US needs toknow where's is it coming from, right? So that's exactly what it is.It's like-

Brett:

It'ssearchable. You can Google it and find where people are importing-

KevinUrrutia :

Exactly.And that's exactly what we did for the luggages. We were like, "Okay,who's making luggages?" Obviously, you probably know the bigbrands, Samsonite, TUMI, right. And so we're like, "Okay, whereare these guys making their luggages from?"

Brett:

Yeah,that's so crazy. And so I want to talk a little bit about marketingand differentiation and kind of your story. So I watched some YouTubevideos from reviewers on your product versus Away luggage and thingslike that and your product shows very favorably. It's also lessexpensive than some of the big brands and stuff. So first of all,what makes Chester unique and how do you guys communicate thatuniqueness?

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah,so uniqueness, there's a few things that's unique. Obviously, numberone is going to be pricing. We just tell people like, "Hey, weknow that we're going to be competing in this sort of price warbetween super high end and then super low end, right. So super lowend being the luggage that you see on Chinatown or the .. It's like50 bucks that you use them for a month or two and then they breakdown and then there's super high ones like Samsonite and TUMI thatcost 1k plus. And then there's the middle one where we're coming inand saying like, "Look, we're better than your cheaper ones, butalso not expensive as your other ones. And then we're about 250, 260price point." That's really where we come in and have thebiggest distinguishing factor.

KevinUrrutia :

Andof course, a big thing for us too, is going to be the straps insidethat sort of compress your clothing that we worked with the factoryto make. And then again, it's going to be the shell. So the shellscost on the way we did it, the way we designed it, and the way thecolors are. Really the big thing is, is going to be the aestheticslooks of the luggage. That's a big thing. So, but number one, Ialways say to people like, "I know it's going to be the price."So we embrace them and say, "Hey, this is why you should buy usbecause we're cheaper, but the quality is almost as good as these$1000 luggage that you're seeing online.

Brett:

Great.Yeah, love it. So we were talking offline as we were prepping thattravel is down. Travel's down. I got some friends in San Diego andthat the San Diego Airport is at 60% capacity right now, other areasare less. So it seems even now that the lock downs have lifted insome parts of the country in some parts of the world, travel is stilldown 40% to 80%, kind of depending on where you are. So how are younavigating this? What are you focusing on? What are you doing todrive sales now? Or are you focused on list building? Just talkthrough how you're handling the pandemic.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah,so right now kind of how we're handling. Basically, once sort ofCOVID really hit, our sales, I tell people all the time, they almostdropped. On Amazon, on Facebook, and also just through our e-commercewebsite.

Brett:

Wellthat's the last thing you're thinking about, right. As a consumer,and you're wondering what's going to happen next. You're not buyingluggage because you know you're not traveling any time very soon.

KevinUrrutia :

You'renot traveling at all, yeah. So we basically knew that was coming andof course that sucked because we just have so much inventory that youneed to do, but there's nothing-

Brett:

Andyou guys we're gaining some momentum and beautiful things werehappening.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah,got a ton of reviews on Amazon, we were like, "Oh wow, this isgoing to be a really good year for us." And then that happened.So basically at that time still, like I mentioned earlier, we stilldid SEO. So right now we were still doing SEO back then, but nowreally what we're doing right now is just really doubling down inSEO. And that for us means obviously more content that we're using torank for it, but at the same time it's obviously the other part ofSEO, which is the link building. So doing guest posts, doingoutreach. On average right now, we're trying to do between 20 to 30new guest posts a month to get-

Brett:

Wow.

KevinUrrutia :

Andthat's sort of what we're focusing because we know that SEO is alongterm. So hey, if there's nothing we can do right now, might aswell use everything we have which is just time, to rank. And that'skind of what we're doing, yeah.

Brett:

That'sfantastic. I've talked to so many people, so many smart e-commerceentrepreneurs that, especially during the thick of the lockdown, somecategories of e-commerce really saw a huge uptick in sales, increaseddemand because people couldn't shop in stores. Other sectors likehigh-end apparel or accessories and things like that really saw adip. Obviously, we have a few clients in the travel space that'spotentially one of the hardest hit of all, but regardless, or we hadsome others that were doing really well, but they had inventoryissues and they had to slow down, right.

Brett:

Butthey pivoted to something smart, right. Something that would havelongterm benefit, right. Audience building. So we're building ouremail list, we're building our remarketing list, we're building ourSMS list. Or like you and I don't talk to as many people that do whatyou're doing with SEO, but we're investing in SEO. And I love SEO.I've mentioned on the show a few times that's kind of how I got mystart in online marketing. I really don't do SEO anymore, but stillknow it.

KevinUrrutia :

LoveSEO.

Brett:

It'sfantastic. And I'm more of an ad guy now and there's huge benefits toboth, but one of the things we always used to talk about is SEO isowning traffic where paid is renting traffic. That's not a perfectanalogy, honestly, but because Google sort of owns it all. Butanyway, investing in SEO is not something that's going to create animmediate return, but it will create a return down the road. And so Ilove what you're doing. I think it's going to pay huge dividends downthe road and it already has. And so want to dig into to your strategyjust a little bit as it pertains to SEO. I do recommend everybody goto ChesterTravel.com and just check out some of the articles and theblogs and some of the stuff that they're doing because it's reallyfantastic. I love the way you have the different categories listed.So travel guides, travel tips, carry-on, packing tips, all thesethings that are just really, really useful, right. And so talk alittle bit about what is your overarching SEO strategy?

KevinUrrutia :

Yep.And yeah, similar to what you said. I'm a paid guy too now, but SEOis I still think the best sort of form of traffic if you can masterit. And the thing too is there's just a different sort of skill setyou will learn that helps with paid. But anyways, back with Chester,what we're really focusing on for Chester is just answering thesequestions that people have related to travel. The reason why, it'slike obviously this is such a high, intense sort of question, butit's bringing traffic to the website and also helps us build thesesort of remarketing lists and an email list of new things. Forexample, some of the stuff we write about are what are TSA approvedluggage locks, how to find cheap flights in 2020. Other things are wealso really focus on do really smart deleverages work, right.

KevinUrrutia :

Sopeople have all these questions. So we really like to answer thesedo, how, what questions and there's so many of these because peopleare just curious about things. So we try to rank for those things.And the next best thing that we try to rank for too is obviously youprobably know, is best of keywords. Best of keywords have such highintent and they're just great because people are looking for asolution to a problem right now. So for us, we like to rank for bestcarry-on luggage. And people always ask me like, "Oh, why wouldyou write an article about yourself?" I'm like, "Whywouldn't you write about an article about yourself?"

Brett:

Exactly.Exactly. And even though it seems counterintuitive like, "Well,of course, it's your brand. You're going to say favorable things."People will still consume that content. I saw a stat. It's from a fewyears ago now, but 70% of shoppers are willing to learn about aproduct directly from a brand. This was a YouTube study, but ifthey're learning about a brand, they're willing to watch that brand'sYouTube videos. Even though obviously then they know they're going tobe biased, people are still willing to learn that way.

KevinUrrutia :

Thething is people are willing to learn. And also the thing I tellpeople too, you probably know too, is you want to control that realestate yourself. If you can rank for it, why not? Why let acompetitor talk badly about you? And it's the same thing. It's for metoo, I always tell people the second most search term is your brandreviews so you should have a slash reviews page on your website andsort of put all the best customer reviews that you have because ifnot, you're going to get these third party sites writing about. Sofor me, it's all, yeah, I look at their search results as a realestate. You want to get the top 10 places and you want to get thepremium placements for yourself.

Brett:

Loveit. And I really, 100% agree with you on those approaches. Looking atreviews, looking at best of, best, and then whatever your category oryour specific product is. And one of the interesting things that I'veseen recently, and this was in a think by Google study callednavigating the messy middle. It's kind of about understanding theshopping journey and how messy it is and how to influence. It's agreat piece. I'll link to it in the show notes, but one of the thingsthat it showed related to our topic here is that looking back to theearly 2000s to now, it showed this graph of people searching forcheap and then fill in the blank on the product keyword and best.

Brett:

Andin the early 2000s or whenever, cheap really was mostly just thebest. And now they've kind of switched places, right? So now thereare more people searching for best fill in the blank than they arecheap fill in the blank. And I think that's just consumer preference.We want to find something that lasts. And I think that Millennialsalso kind of fall into that trend. They'd rather buy fewer things,but better things. And so yeah, so it's really an interesting trendand it sounds like you guys are capitalizing on that which is great.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah,no. And I think so too. Even though, obviously like we said before,one of the second most searched things like cheap, blah, blah, blah,right. In your description when you're saying you're the best, say,"Hey, we might not be the cheapest and this is why, because weactually last long, we actually have a warranty." Give yourbenefits. You actually have to sell people, right. It's not just arandom story you're telling them.

Brett:

Yeah.Yeah. That's awesome. So I love what you guys are doing even with TSAapproved stuff, or I think you even talked about you found somethingand I can remember the specifics, but related to a particular airlineor whatever and you're like, "Hey, we could create a usefulpiece of content that can rank for that." How are youdetermining what keywords you want to rank for? Because creatinggood, useful content that ranks isn't easy. So how do you determinewhat you're going to try to rank for?

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So the best tool that I use is just .. Atreus.com. It's superexpensive, but it's probably my favorite SEO tool. I used to use Mozback in the day, but it just totally went downhill, but with Atreus,I just type in travel. And then with Atreus, what they have on thesidebar is questions people ask. So then it's like, what, how, when,the sort of things, and we were noticing that people were askinglet's say Air France. Air France baggage fees. What are the baggagefees for Air France? And we saw oh, wow, this is a really goodquestion because it really pertains to our luggage product because ifpeople are wondering how much they pay for luggage fees, we can say,"Hey, look, this is the luggage fees for Air France and by theway, if you buy our Chester, you won't have to pay for these fees.

KevinUrrutia :

Interlacethat. And then basically we saw that and then we're saying, "Okay,there's Air France," but then we also were looking. Okay, let'slook up now all the airlines. And obviously, Wikipedia has all theairlines. So then you just sort of make a quick pivot table. Say,"Okay, Air France, Delta, Southwest." And then you putthose into Atreus again. And then you say, "Okay, then you sortby keyword volume." And then you say, "Okay, let's startfrom the ones that have the most volume and then send that to awriter." And then what you do with anything it's like you justmake a brief, right. Tell people when you're hiring content writers,you can't just be like, "Hey, make me this article,"because then you've got different formats every time.

KevinUrrutia :

Youwant to say, "This is the format you want. This is what youneed. H1's, H2. This is the table you need to get. This is the listitems you need to put in. And then you have a perfect brief. I hadsomething like just make the brief once. Perfect. And then send itoff. People were like, "I've done it before too, where I'm justlike, hey, make me an article." And then you're like, "Oh,this is not what I envisioned." And it's like you can get pissedoff at the writer, but it's actually your fault."

Brett:

Exactly.Oh exactly. No, everything is your fault, right. If you hire thewrong person, it was your fault for hiring him or you don't haveclear direction and that's your fault too. But so first step isidentifying keywords. So what questions are people asking that theywant answered? So identifying those, the next piece is creatingcontent, right. And back in the early days when I was first learningSEO, you could do some kind of questionable things potentially.Content was not necessarily good. Content was not necessarily king.It was just amounts of content, back links, and all kinds of crazystuff. Now, you got to create good stuff. You got to create usefulcontent or else it's just not going to get any traction.

Brett:

Soyou're creating good stuff. And part of that, that starts with aproduct brief, but then what do you do from there, right? Becausegetting something to rank and getting some eyeballs for, hey, what isa TSA approved lock? How do you then transfer that into sales of yourluggage?

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So getting that to rank is important because I think with anything,ranking it's... I tell people like your homepage, I think for justranking in general for SEO, your homepage probably has a ton of linksbecause that's a natural place for the link to so make sure thatyou're at least, if you look up a list of articles you want to rankfor, make sure that they're linked to from the homepage because it'sgoing to pass more link juice, but at the same time, making sureyou're interlinking correctly and using sort of the keywords you wantto rank for.

KevinUrrutia :

Soit's like you're looking for best luggage, make sure your links arelinking there. But then how we sort of get customers from thearticles is through, we have our Facebook pixel on the pages so weuse that for remarketing to sort of show people the product that wehave. And then another thing too, is that we also have a pop up thatcomes up where we collect email for like 10% off your first sale. Sothose are the two ways that we do it. And then another way too, thatwe do at some times is we sometimes enable the online chat or we useTalk.to. And I tell people all the time with any e-commerce brands,having an online chat is so great because you can see the issues ofproblems people are having right now. And then it's a great sort ofselling tool. So that's sort of a few ways that we do it, but-

Brett:

That'sgreat. Yeah, because I think one of the things that prevents peoplefrom investing in SEO, investing the time and energy and money, isthey don't see the direct connection between SEO ranking andincreased sales. And it is a longer game, just like getting yourcontent to rank is a longer game, getting sales from your organiccontent is also a longer game, but I think you nailed it. It'sremarketing, right. So install that Facebook pixel. I'll also sayyour Google Pixel as well. Remarketing people on Google search andYouTube and GDN and stuff have those popups to capture someone that'sinterested and then yeah, chat as well. That's fantastic. What wasthe tool you just mentioned, talk dot something?

KevinUrrutia :

Talk.to.I like it. The reason why I like this chat is because I have multiplebusinesses. So then you can have one customer service rep on manybusinesses from one platform versus other ones where you have to havedifferent log-ins. So then one platform on Jennifer, other one onAmy, but it's ..

Brett:

That'sawesome. That's awesome. Fantastic. So let's pivot a little bit andat the time of this recording, it's early August, but everybody'sthinking about holiday and holiday prep and I'm actually working on awebinar right now that we're doing with our Google reps on holidayprep and a big blog post. And I'm writing on five ways to dominatethe Cyber-Five so stay tuned for those things. But one, we obviouslydon't know what's going to happen this holiday season, right. Wecan't predict what's going to happen with the virus a week from now,let alone a few months from now at the time of this recording. Ithink what is clear is that there will be increased shopping online,right. That's already happened. The lock downs forced people onlineand while stores are opening up, most online purchasing that shiftedor most purchases that shifted online, I think a lot of them aregoing to stay there. How are you guys thinking about the holidays?What are you doing to prep? And do you have any holiday predictions?

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So for what we're doing right now is we're just kind of going to bevery conservative just because we don't have that many sales and wedon't want to run into this risk of just having too much inventory.So what we're doing right now is just kind of looking at the rolling180 days of what sold the best and then getting enough inventory forthat because we still have a lot of inventory in our warehouse, justkind of sucks. So the plan for that right now is to just get enoughfor the holidays where if we sell out, it's better because we'rebootstrapped so we don't really care.

KevinUrrutia :

Imean, obviously it sucks if we sell out, but we just don't see it. Atleast for me, I don't see it getting any better so, but obviously,you know people are still going to buy gifts and products for theirfriends or family. So that's what we're doing there. And then anotherthing-

Brett:

Ithink you may find that there's a... And I think that approach makestotal sense. I'm wondering if by December people are going to besaying, "Okay, we're still not traveling now, but sometime in2021, we're going to travel and my husband, spouse, whoever, friendreally wants some cool luggage and this is the luggage for them."

KevinUrrutia :

Ihope so.

Brett:

SoI think that's going to help, but yes, still won't be normal.

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.I mean, I hope that's it. Yeah, because then so for us too, we'regoing to be also making gift guide lining pages, where it's like getthis for her, get this for him. But yeah, those have always workedwell where it's... So that's another thing that we're working on too.So we're using them on bounce. So those work well, and then anotherthing too, that we're doing is we do a lot of influencer marketingtoo just in general.

KevinUrrutia :

Sowe're going to kick start that up again and yeah. And how we do it, Ithink I told you about how we do it is that obviously when people buyyour product, sometimes they just don't like it so they return it. Sowe have a lot of these returns in the warehouse. So instead ofthrowing it out because it's a nice luggage, we just tellinfluencers, "Hey, look, we're going to get you a slightly usedluggage," and we just clean it up a little bit and then send itto that one. That way we don't have to send them a new product and wedon't have to throw away a pretty good product that's just like maybethey just didn't like the color, right. So that's a way to utilizeyour resources. And that's how we do it here.

Brett:

Ilove that. And really for an influencer, especially if you sellreally nice quality luggage, if someone just got it and barely usedit or didn't use it at all, that still feels like a very new gift.And so yeah. Can you give just a couple, we'll kind of make this ourlast topic, a couple of tips or suggestions for influencer marketing?And I love that approach. Use your returns as gifts for influencers.What else? What other tips do you have for influencer marketing?

KevinUrrutia :

Othertips for that too, it's like because our luggage starts at 200, italready feels like an expensive product. So a lot of theseinfluencers just don't need money, where if you have a cheaperproduct that's like 20, 30 bucks, they're just like, "Oh, theproduct's worth nothing." So then they want more money. So forus, our leverage is that it costs money. So then we say, "Heylook, our product's 200 bucks already. You're going to get this $200product for free. I don't think we need to pay you." Add thatsort of works with them.

KevinUrrutia :

Sowe've gotten Kate Bach to get a luggage from us. And really peoplealways ask us like, "Oh, what's your strategy." I tellpeople like, "It's just like outreach. It's a numbers game. Youjust... There's no .." It's like we literally said, "Hey,do you want..." Literally the message is a sentence. Like, "Hey,let's get you traveling with Chester." And then that's it. Andit's like, "Okay, great. I love the luggage, but the thing too,here is you have to have a really good Instagram account, at leastyour account that the influencers see, because they don't want to bepromoting stuff that looks bad so for us, we curate that-

Brett:

Thatreflects poorly on them, right. They've got great Instagram game.They're not going to link to a company that's just ..

KevinUrrutia :

Andexactly for us on our Instagram, we just... If you look at it rightnow, it's just called Chester Travels, but we post the influencerscontent. We post really good travel. People traveling with theirluggages. Yeah, like I said before, they want to look good too. Sohaving a great Instagram account makes your outreach better. And it'sone of those things where it's like you can't measure it, but youthink it helps. And I think it does because it's like when you lookat it, it looks like, "Oh, wow, this is a really cool brand.It's a premium brand." And you've seen Instagram accountsyourself and you're like, "Oh, this looks bad."

Brett:

Right,right. And influencers are going to be hypersensitive to that. Theywant to promote something that looks cool. And I really loved whatyou said there. I think just like we kind of talked about this in thebeginning, where you're launching a new venture, a new product,certainly you want to be strategic about it. You want to think aboutit, but sometimes just doing it, just going for it, you're going tolearn. And I think the same can be said about influencer marketing. Ithink there's a lot of people listening to this podcast that aresaying, "Well, I've got to get all my ducks in a row and I'vegot to have this and that plan and all these things together forinfluencer marketing." And sometimes it's just like, "Well,why don't you just ask? Why don't you just reach out to somebody oneliner ask, but make it cool and interesting and give them a productand just do it." And sometimes that's all you got to do, right?What was the Woody Allen quote? That 90% of success is just showingup.

KevinUrrutia :

Thatreally is, yeah. I believe that in everything. People always ask melike, "How'd you do it?" I'm like, "I didn't knownothing about luggages." I researched it and I was like, "Letme go figure it out." I have no clue what these wheels are, whatthe sizes of it. We have to learn all this mechanics of what'sinternational travel luggage, what's domestic travel? It's like ifyou think about it sometimes, you just get overwhelmed and it'sanalysis paralysis. Let's just do it.

Brett:

Dothe next thing. Just go do the next thing. Yeah, yeah. I think a lotof people think, "Yeah, I can't start a luggage company becauseI'm not a 30 year veteran of the luggage industry or my family wasn'tin the luggage making business or whatever." And none of that istrue, right. None of that is true.

KevinUrrutia :

Nothing.No. I literally didn't even travel that much until I started doingChester.

Brett:

That'sawesome. Cool, man. Well, this has been a ton of fun and superenlightening. And so share with us, how can people connect with you?Because you're your marketing dude too. You got an agency, got thebusiness going. So one, how can people learn more about Chester? AndI do recommend you go there, look at some of their content, get ontheir lists, follow his company because they're doing a lot of thingswell. So talk about that first and then how can people connect withyou and the agency as well?

KevinUrrutia :

Yeah.So that's ChesterTravels.com or just Google Chester luggages. You'llfind us on YouTube and obviously Google. If you want to connect withme, you can email me, just kevin@voymedia.com or just voymedia.com.That's my agency. We do.

Brett:

V-O-Y,V-O-Y media.com. So Kevin@voymedia.com. Awesome. Kevin bringing the Agame, man. That was a lot of fun. Really appreciate you taking thetime and thanks for coming on.

KevinUrrutia :

Thankyou. I really had fun.

Brett:

Awesome.Absolutely. Well as always, thank you for tuning in. We'd love tohear from you. What topics would you like us to dive into on theshow? Also, hey, if you've been holding out, if you have not given usa review on iTunes, I recommend you do that, right. That's how otherpeople find the show. It would make my day as well if you left areview. You'll feel better about yourself if you do it as well. Soleave that review on iTunes and with that until next time. Thank youfor this.


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