Branding

Better Without Them: Lessons Learned From SpyGuy’s $63,000 Agency Mistake

better-without-them:-lessons-learned-from-spyguy’s-$63,000-agency-mistake

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For most brands, a feature on The Tim Ferris Show means record sales days.

But Allen Walton had a totally different experience. 

Because his brand, SpyGuy, sells gear like hidden cameras, GPS tracking, and bug detectors.

So traditional advertising doesn’t always work.

Channels like Facebook haven’t shown huge success like they do for many other brands.

And his episode with Tim Ferris landed him tons of traffic, but didn’t drive much revenue.

Google Ads, though, have been incredibly successful since he launched SpyGuy in 2014.

And he taught himself how to run them.

Until he eventually brought on an agency. It cost him $63,000.

Now he’s back running the ads for his brand and giving Facebook another shot. Here’s what went on behind the scenes.

You can tune in above👆 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere you get your podcasts.

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On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The best books for learning Google Ads.
  • Why you should learn the basics before hiring someone else to do a job for you.
  • Allen’s $63k agency mistake.
  • Groups other ecommerce founders should know about.

What to listen for:

  • [0:47] Allen’s experience going on The Tim Ferris Show.
  • [3:16] Why Facebook hasn’t worked well for SpyGuy.
  • [5:14] How Allen taught himself Google Ads.
  • [15:38] Why it took him so long to get started with email marketing.
  • [17:41] His disastrous agency experience.
  • [32:04] Parlaying press into new opportunities.
  • [34:38] How he thinks about SEO.
  • [40:27] Where other ecommerce founders should be spending their time.

Links to love👇👇

This article originally appeared in the Privy blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.