Ep. #1114 - From Views to Clients: YouTube’s Power
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, let’s dissect YouTube’s power for lead conversion. Matt Watson and Johnathan Price, owner of Down4Sound, talk about the changes in the car audio industry and how to transform YouTube views to clients. Moreover, use their insights to manage extensive inventories and deal with hate comments online.
Covered In This Episode
Matt and Johnathan have an exciting session. They discuss why you should not fear failure—but keep doing what you do and try to learn lessons along the way.
The duo also talks about car audio systems and how space has transformed over the years. In addition to that, they share their insights on dealing with negative online engagement, utilizing YouTube’s power, and managing your inventories.
What are you waiting for? Listen to this Startup Hustle episode now.
- How Johnathan got into car audio systems (01:35)
- From brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce (05:03)
- Developments and changes in car audio through the years (06:54)
- The Life of Price and other influencers in the space (09:00)
- How much of Down4Sound is international? (14:17)
- Building an e-commerce site (16:37)
- About managing inventory (19:20)
- Making Down4Sound branded products (23:11)
- Creating YouTube and other social media content (27:37)
- Important tip: keep doing it and learn along the way (33:06)
- What has Johnathan been up to? (36:59)
- Dealing with hate comments online (39:02)
- Do you do other forms of marketing? (42:38)
- Johnathan’s advice for other entrepreneurs (47:38)
That’s the power of the internet, though. You can impact somebody 9,000 miles away. And they trust you; get this relationship with you by watching your YouTube videos or social media. And they’re like, “I trust this guy enough to spend my money with him being 9,000 miles, 8,000 miles away from him. And know that I’m gonna get it.”– Johnathan Price
It’s better to make mistakes along the way instead of trying to perfect everything before you get started. Because you can be getting little pieces of the pie instead of none of the pie.– Johnathan Price
Screw all these people. I’m just gonna put my stuff out there. This is what I believe. This is my viewpoint. And the others who agree with me will be fans, and the others, screw ’em. It’s all you can do, exactly. Just do your thing.– Matt Watson
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 00:00
And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson. I’m excited to be joined today by Johnathan Price, who has a company called Down4Sound based in Las Vegas. But he has a huge e-commerce website selling car audio equipment. So I’m excited to learn from him and his social media strategies and e-commerce strategies that maybe some of us can learn from. Before we get started, I do want to remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Johnathan, welcome to the show, man.
Johnathan Price 00:38
Appreciate you having me on. Thank you.
Matt Watson 00:40
Well, I’m excited for you to tell us all how to become YouTube famous, TikTok famous, or any of these things. I think that’s everybody’s goal these days, but first, I would love to hear your background. And, you know, I guess how you got started in car audio.
Johnathan Price 00:55
Yeah, so I’ve always been into car audio. And well, since I was basically right before I was a teenager, I kind of fell in love with it. And then, as things progressed, I went through college or high school and college, and my system got a little bit bigger. And then, eventually, after I got out of college, I was working on a typical nine-to-five, but I was still into car audio, and my system was growing. I would go to different car audio shows. And the more that I would go to these shows, people would ask me. I would start recording stuff, like putting it in a video, and people would ask me where I was going to be uploading it. So I just started uploading it to a YouTube channel. And I started growing a little bit, and then somebody hacked my Youtube channel way back when there was no, like, two-factor authentication or anything like that. So it was easier to get your stuff hacked back then. Anyway, somebody hacked it and deleted all my videos. And I’m like, I’m not doing this anymore. This is a waste of time because you devote a lot of time to growing or editing videos and uploading them. It takes a lot of time to do that. So for somebody to just come in there, basically wipe off all of the work that you’ve done, it’s pretty upsetting. So I said I wasn’t going to do any more social media stuff. And people started contacting me in various ways, saying, Man, I’ve enjoyed your videos and stuff; I really wish you would do it again. So after a while, I decided to start uploading videos again. I started going to shows to get content, and the following kept growing on YouTube primarily. But it was trickling in on Facebook and Instagram and stuff like that. After going to more and more shows, and people hearing this crazy sound system that I had in my vehicle, the people that heard it would ask me, where do you get your equipment from. And for a while, I was just kind of sponsored by a few different companies where I had their equipment in my vehicle. So I would say Oh, go to sundown audio.com or go back to the manufacturer because they were giving me a little bit of a break on pricing. So it was my job to point them back to the company so they could get their return on investment. So I kept telling them that for a while. And then, one day, I was at a show. And somebody asked me that, and a light bulb went off in my head; I was like, I can be selling these people this stuff; I’m creating a demand. So I could be filling that demand for these people. So that’s when the idea started; I needed to figure out how to turn this into a business. And I didn’t know anything about a business; I didn’t know how to run a business or anything like that. So I literally bootstrapped the whole thing, like figuring out how to get a business license and then how to reach out to companies to become a dealer for them. And then they kind of all snowballed into what it is today, which is so that was about, I mean, the whole thing is probably 10 or 11 years old, me being into core audio heavier. But I am actually doing Core Audio full time, like the business side of things. I’ve only been doing that for. I think this is the seventh year, and when I first started, it was out of my parent’s attic, and I was living with my parents. So that tells you that I’m another one of these garage startup people. But I went from living with my parents’ paycheck to paycheck. The past two years, we’ve done over $18 million a year in revenue, so to be able to achieve that and what a lot of people say a relatively short amount of time has been awesome.
Matt Watson 04:15
So when did you make the leap from your, I guess we’ll call it, a brick-and-mortar store in Las Vegas right to e-commerce? When did you make that shift?
Johnathan Price 04:23
Well, we’ve always been primarily e-commerce; we distribute to others, so we started out like I started out online since my following was more online. Yes, I started stocking products in my parent’s attic and stuff like that when I lived in Mississippi. But it was always with a goal in mind to be an online store. But if somebody was local, obviously, I would take care of them for sure. Come on, pick it up, and then I’ll save shipping because we started the whole free shipping on orders over 100 bucks. So everybody squeezes their order over 100, So they get free shipping. So anyway So, that’s kind of how it started was more out of my parent’s house; they wanted to move to Vegas and started growing it from there.
Matt Watson 05:08
It’s so you, but you still have a retail presence in Vegas.
Johnathan Price 05:13
I have a warehouse here that is 30,000 square feet; we stock a ton of products here. And if people are local, and they are some people, it’s kind of a funny story of like, how, like people that are in relationships, like a husband will be like, Oh, we should go to Vegas for vacation. And then they, like they wind up down for sound. And the wives are like, I know why we went to Vegas. It wasn’t because you wanted to have a fun vacation in Vegas, but because you wanted to go down for sound or meet JP or whatever it was. So it’s funny to see the look on the wife’s face when they have that aha moment of, oh, this is why we came to Vegas; it wasn’t more like a vacation. But anyway, people were more than welcome to stop by and get stuff here if they wanted to. But we don’t have so many products on display or anything. It’s more like a warehouse. But people can come by and like to meet me and like get a warehouse tour or whatever. Some people just want to do that. So again, 99% online based, we ship most of the stuff unless somebody’s local; they can swing by and pick it up or take a look at stuff.
Matt Watson 06:14
So how has Car Audio changed over the last 20 to 25 years? When I was younger, it was super common to buy car stereos partly because people are going from cassette tape to CD and all that kind of stuff, right? But things have changed a lot in the last 20 years. And not that that part of it hasn’t changed very much. Right. Almost everything now is streaming and Bluetooth and satellite and all that kind of stuff. So how has that changed car audio over the last 20 years as well? I’m just kind of curious.
Johnathan Price 06:43
Yeah, I mean, mainly, I mean, the source of your audio is going to be people using iPads or their Bluetooth thing. And author phones are. And a lot of the newer vehicles; I was just having a conversation with somebody last night because he was big into it 1015 20 years ago, and he was asking me how people are; he has a new vehicle, a 2022 truck, or whatever. And most of these vehicles have what’s called an infotainment system. So everything that has to do with the vehicle running the vehicles, air-conditioned seat heaters, like all that stuff is in that system. So when somebody wants to add something like an aftermarket subwoofer, or speakers or an amplifier, like it’s difficult, it was difficult because most of the time when people did this, they were replacing their factory head unit with something like an aftermarket pioneer or whatever. The thing 20 years ago, for sure, right? You always replace the head unit. Yeah, yeah. So now people can keep their infotainment system, and also all their steering wheel controls, and you’re not really messing with any of the factory stuff, and you can still upgrade your factory system pretty well if we have what’s called a high output high low output converter. So it takes a signal coming off of your factory head unit. And it basically creates RCA jacks, so you can install amplifiers right there. So you keep everything factory, basically. And then you are able to add amplifiers back there to kind of do whatever you want to do.
Matt Watson 08:12
That’s why I assumed it had to change to Yeah, especially in my Tesla. I’m gonna guess you’re not replacing the head unit.
Johnathan Price 08:20
Oh, definitely. It’s funny. Like, I just had the same conversation with that guy last night. Yeah. I wasn’t on a podcast at that time. Like, I was at an Easter family dinner or whatever. But the guy brought it up. And he brought up Tesla, too. He’s like, can anybody put a system in a Tesla. And I’m like, it’s funny that you asked that because I actually just put a YouTube video. I mean, it’s probably been a few months ago now. But we have some local customers here in Vegas that actually did really tricked-out systems in their Tesla, and they added additional lithium batteries and stuff that more cater to the system to help because obviously, if you’re cranking on your system is drawing from the factory battery, it’s gonna reduce your mileage, like, depending on how hard you’re cranking on it. But anyway, I was showing him those videos, which are on my YouTube channel; if anybody’s interested in seeing how people put systems in Tesla, that’s on there. It was a pretty cool thing there. And your YouTube channel called Down4Sound is called the life of Price. Like when I started my second YouTube channel, I didn’t know what I was really going to be putting on there. And I assumed it would be a decent amount of core audio, but I’m like, I know I’m gonna be putting other stuff on there. So what do I call it like? Well, I’m just sharing my life here. So I guess I’ll just call it the life of price because it can be me skydiving, me going on vacation, we going into car audio shows, or whatever. It’s like just a whole collaboration of different stuff. And I mean here recently, I’ve been being featured on like business conferences and stuff like that. So even uploading content or me being on stage, like being a speaker and everything like that. So just kind of sharing the journey along like what I’ve been doing over the past 10 years.
Matt Watson 09:57
So it’s not 100% about just the business. Do you have it? Is a different channel just for the business part of it, or is it all still your personal channel?
Johnathan Price 10:05
It is all still on that personal channel people know is going to be primarily core audio stuff, but they shouldn’t be surprised to see something random thrown in there, like me speaking on stage or me jumping out of an airplane or something like that it can be something random thrown in there.
Matt Watson 10:25
Now are there a lot of other people in the car audio industry that are basically social media influencers? Or, or YouTube stars like you there? Are there others like that?
Johnathan Price 10:31
Yeah, there are some others out there. The biggest name in the car audio space is Mead. 916. He’s from Sacramento, California. He has he’s coming up on a million subscribers on YouTube. Just pass by half a million or something. There are a couple others in between; I think I’m probably number three or four. But anyway, there’s several that have over 100,000 followers and people that are, and that’s on YouTube, and there are people on TikTok that have hundreds of 1000s, and so yeah, there’s other people in it. And a lot of these people that do have followings, we actually have started an affiliate program and have them on board with us to sell. They can make Commission off of sales that they get basically. So that’s turned into a really big thing. I think we were paying out today. We just got back from our honeymoon. So it will usually pay out on the first, but since we’ve been going on the honeymoon, we weren’t able to do it. But we’re going to be paying that out. We’ve been paid almost $20,000 in commissions for the last month. So pretty decent for affiliates out there. They are just doing what they would have been doing anyway.
Matt Watson 11:38
Well, Congrats on getting married. And you told me you did a honeymoon and Bora Bora. Are we going to see some cool YouTube videos from that too?
Johnathan Price 11:45
Oh, definitely. Yeah, I have my videographer coming out today. I have a full-time videographer cameraman now, so he helps a lot with putting together way better videos than I ever could have. He’s skilled in that, you know, you hire people that do stuff that you might not want to do anymore or are a lot better than you are editing, and He’s way better than I ever was. So I hired him, and I’ll be getting all the footage that I shot out on their own or over to him so he can create awesome videos for us.
Matt Watson 12:21
So what kind of videos do you make? Are they, you know, unboxing videos? Are they educational? Are they at car shows? Are they, you know, straight up? You know, promo of different things like what kinds of videos do you guys do?
Johnathan Price 12:35
All of the above you basically named all the ones that we do. Okay, we do some of their product release videos and unboxings, which turned into a lot of times we give products away. That’s a good, good way to get engagement. Like show the people the product and like, hey, if you want to enter this giveaway, share this video, comment on the video, and be sure you’re subscribed really easily. So we’ll give one away. We go to car shows all over the place. We’ve been to Russia, then to the UK, we’ve been all over the United States, Hawaii, we even met when we were in. So you fly to Tahiti to go and then over to Bora Bora. So on the way back, we actually met up with a bunch of car audio enthusiasts in Tahiti. And so it’s almost anywhere we go, we’re able to meet up with customers or people that are into car audio. So we would go all over the place. So obviously, I’d document all that and put that out there. So yeah, tons of different content there.
Matt Watson 13:37
We mentioned earlier that 99% of your business is e-commerce; how much of it is international?
Johnathan Price 13:43
Probably about five to 8% Somewhere in there, it varies, depending on the year, but I do. It seems like every day I see at least a single order going out internationally. So like, anytime I see a weird address, I’ll click on it and see where it is. And you see this thing like 9000 miles away on the other side of the globe and like and then but that’s the power of the internet though you can impact somebody 9000 miles away, and they’re they trust you they get this relationship with you by watching your YouTube videos or social media and they’re like, I trust this guy enough to spend my money with him being 9000 Miles 8000 Miles away from him. And know and know that I’m gonna get it. And so anyway, I’ll click on the address and I’ll pull it up and I’m like, Man, this is wow, like these people are in Africa or, or French Polynesia, Australia, Netherlands like I mean, everywhere I’m like this is Wow, it’s so it also enables us to be able to travel to these countries and it’d be a business expense because we can meet up with these customers and like we also get to see their beautiful country and see how they do core audio as well. It’s a really cool thing there.
Matt Watson 14:57
Well, for our Startup Hustle podcast, we’ve had listeners. And I think almost every country and she, you put them all on the map, you have to start debating what counts as a country or not. In some countries, it’s still a debate of whether, is this country or another country. But you know, I think we’ve got about all of them. I think we’re probably missing North Korea and a couple others or something like that. But it’s pretty cool when you draw, you put them all on the map and see all those countries. So I do want to take a second to remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io, where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and then see what developers are available to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Well. So speaking of development, I’m curious. So this e-commerce platform you have? Are you using Shopify or some other things like that? Or did you have to build your own e-commerce site? How did you do that?
Johnathan Price 15:57
When I first got started, I was we; what did we use it first? I can’t even remember the first hosting service. We started with Volusion. Maybe I don’t even know if they’re a business anymore. But I think that’s what Volusion was. And then after that, they were, I think, primarily order number based. So they were like taking something off of each order. And I think Shopify may be similar to that. But we ended up moving to big commerce. And we’ve been there ever since. So yeah, we do use big commerce as our hosting service for our store.
Matt Watson 16:31
Store. Did they do everything for you? Or do you have a software developer who has to help customize it, and maintain it, or I have my main IT guy actually located in Australia, and he’s been with me since day one?
Johnathan Price 16:37
And he’s kind of the one that pushed me to have an online store. Before we did that, I was him, so he was a YouTube fan of mine, one of my first OG YouTube fans, when I had 5000 subscribers or whatever. He reached out to me on Facebook. And because I was thinking about starting to sell T-shirts, like that was my first thing T-shirts and stickers, I was just merchandise. And because I want to buy some T-shirts, can you have a link to a website that I can purchase them off of I don’t have a website, which you can just pay pal or whatever it is. I’d rather just purchase it off a website. And like, Okay, I’ll look into it and get a store going or whatever. I’m not computer savvy, like really at all. So I went to whatever I thought the hosting service was, and I’m like, Okay, I’d like to watch a little tutorial video. And I’ll try to get these shirts on there. And I could get this shirt on there and like one size, but I couldn’t get like the different color swatches and all the different designs and stuff, and I’m like, Man, screw this. Nobody’s gonna buy stuff from me online. Anyway, this is just a waste of time. So like, two weeks went by, and he messaged me, he’s like, Hey, I was wondering if you had ever got that store set. I’m like, Man; this is a waste of time. Like, I’m like, I’m not into selling shirts. I couldn’t figure it out. He’s like, Oh, it’s easy. I’m like, Oh if it’s so easy, why don’t you do it? And he said, okay, and he went in to get a trial version of the store. And within like an hour, he had all the shirts listed, all the sizes, all the color swatches. And I’m like, we’re in business. Yeah. Like how, and I’m like, wait, I need this guy. That was my initial thing, you need to pay people to do the things that you can’t do, or you don’t want to do, or whatever it is. And so that was an eye-opener for me. I’m like; I gotta have this guy. So he’s been with me since day one. And that’s been a huge blessing to me because he was the one that was like, you need an online store. And my initial mindset was like, No, I don’t.
Matt Watson 18:40
So well. Now, how many skews do you have on your website? I’m on your website. Right now. It looks like there is a lot of shit on here. So how many SKUs are on here?
Johnathan Price 18:46
So good. I mean, I can pull it up really quickly.
Matt Watson 18:50
100,000? What ballpark? What do you think it is?
Johnathan Price 18:53
We have 5703. Wow.
Matt Watson 18:59
So so, yeah. How do you manage all of that? How do you manage what you have for sale and pricing and your margins inventory? Like, you got a whole huge team that has to deal with all that, or how do you do?
Johnathan Price 19:11
We’re still relatively small, and we’re figuring things out along the way like you so often do. And I’ve learned to do that like at least get started in something. Yes, you’re going to make mistakes along the way, but it’s better to make mistakes along the way. Then instead of trying to perfect everything before you get started. Because you can be getting little pieces of the pie instead of none of the pie, as I call it. But anyway, I have the guy that I was telling you about, his name is Mark, and he lives in Australia. He’s the one that manages a lot of the back-end stuff of product adding, and like whenever we make sales; he can do an export of the Excel spreadsheet of all the products and do a percentage discount and stuff before we get started on that. I literally didn’t want to bother him that much. So he had a full-time job at that time. So I’m like, Okay, we’re doing a Christmas sale or whatever, I would be going in and manually changing each product. Of course, we didn’t have 5000 products at that time. But still, if we had 500 products, trying to go in and manually change these things is not the most efficient way of doing a sale. So anyway, that’s another way that he’s saved us was he’s like, Oh, I can export this, manipulate it and import it back. And all those sales pricing will be there. And like, man, you’re great. I’m glad to have you on the team. So anyway, so go ahead. So he manages a lot of the product imports and exports, pricing, the spreads, and all that. And I also have a now full-time social media guy that does a lot of like, Instagram posts, Facebook post ads; he’s big into SEO, and he actually has Facebook reaching out to him a lot, asking him how he’s getting such returns, on such little money spent like his ROI is insane. So he’s been a huge help, as well.
Matt Watson 21:08
So for all of these products, do you inventory and stock all of them in your warehouse? Or some of this is dropped? shipped? If people buy it? And you don’t have to deal with it? Like how do you deal with that?
Johnathan Price 21:18
Yeah, so there’s a mixture of them; we try to pay attention to, I guess, your hottest movers’ biggest sellers, and we try to stock those. So yeah, it would be almost impossible for us to stock almost 6000 products. And now that we also just started the downforce sound brand of products, our own household name branded products, because people kept asking for stuff under our name. So we’ve been developing that land and constantly expanding it. Now it is taking so much of the market share because people know and trust the down for sound name; we are; there’s hardly an order that goes out from here that doesn’t have some sort of products attached to the order. So it’s really cool to see that happening. So now where our warehouse used to be filled with all these different brands that we were selling for. Now, the majority of our warehouse is being converted into storing, like just our products, and less is we have like our top three brands or whatever. So we still have a decent amount of room allocated for them. But all the other brands that were slower movers, like we’re moving them out and filling that space up with down for sound products. So yeah, that’s kind of how we’re doing it.
Matt Watson 22:31
So for the down-for-sound, branded products, are they basically just white-labeled stuff that you’ve picked? Or how do you do that?
Johnathan Price 22:39
So there are manufacturers like main manufacturers overseas and China, Korea, and Vietnam that we deal with, and we do my social media guys also, like a mad scientist in a way and men developing new products and making products better. We came out with the first amplifiers, which were Bluetooth remotes; own all of them that also displayed the volume, the temperature, clipping indication, distortion, like all this stuff on a Bluetooth remote, where that’s never been done before on all these features. So we kind of push the envelope on that. So yeah, we leave. And we reach out to one where you work; we work with these companies and help perfect these items before bringing them to market. Obviously, we test a bunch of them, do a lot of stress testing and do prototypes, and try to do all the changes, a few changes. Again, you don’t have to make sure your product is absolutely perfect before you bring it to market. Because you can always do a version two, or whatever, like to upgrade it in whatever way or make it just a little bit better. But obviously, we’re not going to bring to market a piece of junk; we’re gonna do a few different prototypes and make sure it’s well and reliable.
Matt Watson 23:52
I imagine you have to order hundreds of them at a time and put them on a boat, and ship them for three months before they get here. Right. So it’s not version two that doesn’t come very quickly, though.
Johnathan Price 24:04
Right? Right. So that’s why we do a few different prototypes on the front side to do the stress testing. And if we’ve noticed, now we have an ample version just using amplifiers because I’m on that subject, but we do speakers and lithium batteries and all this other stuff. But on the amplifiers, we have an amp repair tech here in the United States, and he has so much experience we can send him the prototype and have him look at it and like, okay, I can see right here this is a weak spot, so we need to upgrade this resistor or whatever. So he’ll put his two cents in there, and we’ll make all those changes because he worked on stuff for so long. He’s able to know where something would fail before it even does. So we’ll do those upgrades before we bring them in. But yes, you have to order hundreds, if not 1000s, of things to get them onto a container. Actually, speaking to one of our freight agents just a second ago, we have a 40-foot container in LA right now waiting for clearance and won’t be getting it next week. So it’s always cool to have a container show up at your door with all this stuff, millions of dollars of equipment in it stuck out.
Matt Watson 25:08
Johnathan Price 25:12
I mean, that was a thing. Yeah, exactly. That was a thing for me as well. Like when I was first getting started, I was scraping up money trying to make my first buy-in, which was, I think, three or $5,000. And I’m like; I was scared to death. I’m like, What if I can’t sell this stuff? What if I get stuck with it? And all these fears going through my mind that plagues so many people and so many entrepreneurs, for sure. You’re just afraid of failure. But as time went on, it took to get that same fear it would take, so it went from 5000 to $25,000 in orders or $50,000. And it just kept getting pushed up. Like we’re I would know if I place a $50,000 or like, whatever, like it takes like 500,000 or a million dollar order to make it like give me that like, little bit of is this gonna work out? Yeah, no, no, like, I know the blueprint, basically, on how everything works. And I will share with people if you’re getting into selling products. Obviously, you’re gonna factor in your margin and everything into there. But worst case scenario, you can more than likely always get rid of it for what you have in it. So that should be. I don’t want that to be your safe space. But I want it to give you a little bit of peace of mind. Because if you suddenly sat there for 1000 bucks, and you paid 500 for it if you just discounted a little bit, people were gonna think it was a deal. What if you discounted all the way to 500 bucks, like people were like, Oh, this is insane. Like, of course, we’ll buy it. So you can always offload it. But anyway, so that’s, that’s something that gave me peace of mind when I was first getting started knowing that I could, when I thought of that I could, get rid of this if I really have to. But let’s get over how to do that.
Matt Watson 26:57
So you mentioned the blueprint earlier. So tell me a little more about your YouTube and social media stuff that you do. Do you really have a strict blueprint for that? Or do you kind of just record whatever you want to do and just roll with it? Or, at this point, are you really strategic about all the content that you create?
Johnathan Price 27:16
Well, I kind of bounce ideas back and forth with my videographer. And I’m gonna rely on him to come up with a lot of ideas because I’m kind of paying him to do that stuff like I want him. I want my mind to be freed up from that space as much as possible. Yes, I know, YouTube is a big deal for us. And, I’m also going through, I’m always learning and trying to pivot there as well, because just because I’ve gained half a million subscribers doesn’t mean, like, I can admit this as well. We have our view, right? It has gone down a lot in the past, say six months to a year, because my vehicle that I have has a crazy system in there. That’s why most people follow me they want to see reaction videos; they want to see people being wowed by the system. And like people getting in, there is blowing their hair all around, their shirts flapping around or, or going through a drive-thru at Wendy’s and playing the system. And, like anyway, people’s reactions are what people want to see. My vehicle has been going through changes in upgrading the system with the latest equipment and stuff. So when that’s happening, I don’t have that type of reaction content that people initially want to see; of course, if I was doing that, and like putting in a product release video every now and then, they wouldn’t really care. But when I don’t have my vehicle for so long, it turns into a lot of unboxing, a lot of Yeah, product reviews, and stuff like that. And people, you’re getting sold 24/7. All you like when you’re on social media, you’re seeing advertisements all the time. So people have like a big X in front of them, if they see you’re trying to sell something to get away from me, like, of course I do the same thing. So it has hurt our view rates on YouTube and some of our social media because there’s been so much more product-based stuff instead of what we know is the meat and potatoes of our social media following so, of course, we want to get back into that, but we have to get the vehicle back going. And also the wintertime is our slow time. There are no Core Audio shows during the winter time. So that’s another slowdown for us. But trying to navigate that and make it better and still mix in the product stuff here. And there is something that I’ve been trying to figure out as well. But I know the biggest thing is maybe making sure my vehicle is going to where I can do these reaction videos all the time because that’s what goes viral and gets like, so you can risk and recycle that content too.
Matt Watson 29:42
I mean, you could take old content that you did that with before and reuse it.
Johnathan Price 29:46
Yeah, we repurpose a lot of stuff and make shorts out of it and everything like that. But being able to come up with some fresh stuff that nobody’s seen before because I’ve had people comment on that too. I’ve seen that before, like, “That’s a cool video, but I’ve seen it four times or whatever, so you can only do so much.” So the freshest stuff could be the best stuff, I guess. Yeah.
Matt Watson 30:10
So are most of your YouTube videos 5,10, or 20 minutes long? Like, what are you? What are you? What are you trying to hit for my video length?
Johnathan Price 30:19
It just depends on what it is. It is different if it’s just like a single product and it’s not a really crazy amount of features or whatever. I mean, that could be a five-minute video; it doesn’t have to be something really long. So on, my last e-commerce, it was called Retail West. At the business conference that I went to, they were asking me basically the same thing: what do you use YouTube for? What do you use, like short form, or medium form long form, like all these different videos for, and I mean, your short-form videos like your little 15 second or 32nd videos, like that’s where you’re going to try to hook people, you want to make that as action-packed as possible. And we try to put those also in the front of our long-form video. So you kind of hook them on the front side. And then you, like they’re like, Okay, something in this video is gonna be that cool part. So I’ll watch the video most of the time all the way through. So yeah, we try to; it just depends on how much we’re trying to fit into there. If it’s like a car show, and we’re trying to put all the show footage into one, it could turn into a 10 or 15-minute video, maybe 20. We don’t want to make it super long unless it’s super action-packed because you’re not going to be able to retain their attention for 20 minutes. As we know, it is very difficult to keep their attention for a long time when people are swiping and scrolling. And like they need six different forms of input onto their brain at one time to keep them occupied. So anyway, that’s kind of how we do it.
Matt Watson 31:46
So it looks like, on TikTok, you have about 100,000 followers. Does that sound right?
Johnathan Price 31:51
Yeah. And I mean, I don’t utilize that a lot. Then I keep getting emails from TikTok, like, come back. Like we haven’t seen you in a while. But again, I need to become better at that. And I kind of got that following up on TikTok. I don’t know what kind of accident, like, because I’m not that active there. But TikTok has a lot of potential for sure. But again, trying to juggle so many different social media. Things are like that’s a whole nother good job. Well, I’m
Matt Watson 32:25
looking at your YouTube channel. And do you do shorts? I don’t actually see shorts.
Johnathan Price 32:31
No, I don’t think so yet. It’s there. Technically shorts.
Matt Watson 32:35
I don’t see any shorts. Right.
Johnathan Price 32:37
So yeah, the short-form videos that I was referring to were some tic TOCs. I was trying to get my southern guy; that’s my videographer. I was trying to get him initially by just doing my YouTube videos. And now I’m trying to spread him out on other things. And I’m like, can you make some tic-tock videos? Because I know TikTok videos and shorts on YouTube can be very similar. Because, like, yeah, the one’s own. Yeah. So I’m like, could you, but I don’t know if uploading the same thing to both things. So it’d be wise or not? That’s something that we’re still looking to do every day.
Matt Watson 33:10
Yeah. Same video every day on like three or four platforms? No, okay. You just don’t want to put the watermarks on them. That’s the thing; you don’t want to TikTok and then put the watermark on YouTube or whatever. They don’t like that.
Johnathan Price 33:23
Gotcha. So look at me; I’m learning something too.
Matt Watson 33:26
But I think part of the point here is like, hey, you’ve been a very successful business doing, you know, millions a year in revenue. And you’re not perfect at this either, right? Like, you’re still learning, you still want to do more, or you still want to do more with shore to undo all this. But if you have 500,000 followers, like you, you’re doing a great job, but part of my point for saying that is people beat themselves up for trying to do all these things perfectly. Right? And, and you’re like, you know what, we’re doing what we’re doing, and it works. And we’re just gonna keep doing it. We know we can improve, but we just keep doing it.
Johnathan Price 33:58
Absolutely. And that’s what I was saying. Like, you can figure it out along the way, you can release, not just in releasing products, but like you release a video. And I said when I first got started on doing YouTube videos, I said so many times because I was so scared to speak on video; I would say us so many times, I would have to go through and edit us out. So that shows you how bad I was. And then I figured out that the more I showed my imperfections, the more people vibed with me. So they’re like, oh, he’s just a person just like I am. Like he messes up, he stumbles on his work, and he is the deal. Yeah, so, but a lot of people think it has to be absolutely perfect before they release a video, or, I mean, I know people that have tic TOCs and YouTubes or wherever they have a blemish on their face. They’ll wait until it goes away or if they can’t have it enough with makeup. I’m like, Well, who cares? But that’s how people think. And that’s how scared they are of somebody saying oh, you Look, he has a zit on his face. So if I have a blemish on my face, I’ll go live on my Facebook; I get live on there a lot. And I’ll go live like, Hey, what’s up guys? It’s me and my big zit on my face; we’re coming to you from downtown headquarters in Las Vegas. And people will just put LOL, like funny, whatever. So they don’t care. Like just, go ahead and do it; put it out there; it’s not ever going to be absolutely perfect. But it will always be a little bit better than it was the time before. So before you know it, like years down the road, he’ll be a lot better than the first day for sure.
Matt Watson 35:33
Well, and I think that’s the key advice. And that was Mr. Beast’s key advice. He’s like, don’t worry about it, do your first 100 videos; most of them are going to suck, just try and get a little better every time. And once you get through the first 100 of them, then start being really critical. You know, it’s just like, you just gotta do it. And you really don’t know what’s good or bad until you can compare it to something else. Right? You’re like, Man, I’m getting better. This one’s way better. And then you look back at what you did, you know, a few weeks ago, and you’re like, oh my god, that was so bad. Why did they do that? But you don’t know it until you keep doing it? Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned earlier, you’ve gone to more speaking events or trade shows or conferences, like what kind of stuff? Or have you been into less stuff in the car audio? Or like other entrepreneurial stuff? Like, what are you up to?
Johnathan Price 36:19
Most of that is entrepreneurial stuff, I would say. I mean, some people here most of the podcasts that I go on, there are people that are interested into entrepreneurship, and we just end in-person speaking one that I did, like, I’ve only done one of those here, like there was about a month ago, down in California, but it was called Retail west so, e-commerce mob sells stuff like sharing basically what I’m talking with you about, like shared with other people because a lot of people in this e-commerce business they don’t know a lot of them to have no idea about social media and but they could still be killing it. Like you’re killing it. And you’re not even on social media, you could be taking your business through the roof, like because not having an online presence for it. And you’re leaving a lot on the table, but they don’t know how to get started. They’re scared; they’re gonna make a bad video or whatever. So anyway, just sharing the same stuff, basically, that I’m sharing here. There’s a lot of stuff to speak about like people want to know how I grew my YouTube channel, how you’re in the business, and stuff like that.
Matt Watson 37:24
By just doing it every day, right? That’s the deal.
Johnathan Price 37:27
Yeah, basically, like not being afraid; I mean, it’s okay to have a little bit of fear. Like that’s, that’s kind of normal. But especially if you’re younger, you can fail. You can go completely broke so many times and still be okay. You still figure it out, like within a follow-up guy named Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t know if you’re familiar. Yeah. Yeah, he’s, he’s like the biggest proponent of telling people, like, you’re 50, you still have so many years left, like so people that are in their 20s or teens or whatever. Like, what are you afraid of? You can go broke so many times and still come and figure it out and be okay, like, and most people do, like, you’re gonna fail a few times before you figure something out and become better at it. So anyway, I’m big on that as well. Like, just fail forward. Don’t give up, just ins.
Matt Watson 38:22
And how many haters Do you still get on your videos? You still get, like, crazy haters, people that vich a complaint about everything you’ve done 2500 videos on YouTube, by the way, is what says, that’s a lot. But you still get used to getting all sorts of crazy comments, I’m sure, right?
Johnathan Price 38:37
Oh, definitely. I mean, I’ve had some interviews with people. And they labeled it the most hated interviewing the most hated person in car audio or whatever, like, because there’s some people out there that have never met me. And they just have this hate for me, for whatever reason. And it’s as humorous to me as, when I first got started, it bothered me. I’m like, Why does the person hate me so much? Like I’m trying my best. I’m, like, I care about everybody. I care about them not liking me. And then, after a while, I’m like, whatever. Like, I’m gonna have to keep doing my thing. Oh, yeah. Like what I was getting, what way thicker the longer. I’ve been on social media for sure. Like, I mean, people, people will have said, and we’ll say anything you could imagine like and when it doesn’t affect me or get to me. They’ll talk about my parents. They’ll talk about my daughter, my wife, like, anything that you can. Yeah, it blows my mind that they will stoop to these levels of just trying to get a reaction out of you. They’ll say anything because what do they have to lose? They’re there. Nobody, nobody knows about them. They can’t get a response back from anybody online. I guess that’s their way of trying to feel like they have some sort of connection with somebody.
Matt Watson 39:52
Somebody who worked in HR at a really big company posted something I saw on TikTok one day, and it said your goal was to make 85 some people happy; she’s like the other 15%; there’s a certain part of them that just hate your face doesn’t matter what you do, or what you say they just hate your face. It’s like you literally are never going to make everyone happy. And if that’s your goal, you have the wrong goal. You know, and for whatever reason, I mean, there’s a whole lot of people who just hate themselves, let alone you.
Johnathan Price 40:19
Definitely, that’s really what they’re projecting is like they have some sort of internal issue going on, and they’re projecting it onto other people like so. I hate it for them when I hope they find some peace and happiness eventually in their life. But I just find it humorous now because I’ve been able to flip it to, like, I don’t care what they’re saying about me. I’m just gonna laugh about it. Yeah, I keep doing my thing.
Matt Watson 40:45
That’s the hard part. Like I make daily videos on TikTok and YouTube shorts and stuff. And I post daily on LinkedIn, and I have a blog and all these things. And it’s the same thing at some point in time; you’re like, you know what, screw all these people. I’m just gonna put my stuff out there. This is what I believe this is my viewpoint. And the others that agree with me will be fans, and the other ones screw. It’s all you can do exactly. Just do your thing. So do you want to take I got a couple of really good questions for you? But first of all, remind everybody if you need to hire software engineers, let Full Scale help. We have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with our fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders. At Full Scale, we specialize in building long-term teams that only work for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. So obviously, you’ve been really successful with social media. And I think you would say that that’s, you know, attributed a huge part of your success. My question for you, though, is, do you do other forms of marketing? Do you guys do paid advertising or any other kinds of marketing or social media like 99%? Of what do you do?
Johnathan Price 41:58
Yeah, that’s actually been a huge thing for us. When I first started, I wouldn’t spend any money on advertising. And, like, I’ll do it myself organically. And the shortest story is when I have this guy that gathers now my SEO manager, basically my ad; he does all my ads and a bunch of other stuff like product development and everything. He walked into my office and was basically like, give me a shot; I can bring you a ton of value; I can show you the numbers, like the proof of the return on investment and everything like this Okay, cool, I’ll give you a shot. But I’ve never paid for advertising. So I’m not holding my breath, basically. Because I was already getting like I could go live on Facebook at this time and before. So you’re always fighting the algorithm in a way, they’re always trying to figure out how you are manipulating them to get more views, and then they’ll change it to make it where you don’t. So you have to figure out another way to do it. And then they’ll change it again. It’s always this, like, you’re on a seesaw with him like you’re trying to figure out how to get the most views for what you’re doing. Anyway, back then, when I was first starting to go live on Facebook, I mean, I could easily get a million views on a live video, like no problem. Like, I just started doing it. So my account was fresh on doing live videos. So I think they didn’t have hardly any handicap on me. So I was just reaching tons and tons of people. So by doing that. My social media guy, he’s like, man, if you just let me boost this with, like, let’s just try a couple 100 bucks. I’m like, Okay, well, what can, what can it hurt? So when you already have a lot of organic reach, and you dump a little bit of advertising on there, it goes a long way. So that definitely we have started spending more and more money on advertising. For that reason, because you can, it’s almost like you already have a flame going, but then you start dumping gasoline on it; it just starts exploding. And anyway, knowing how the algorithm is kind of looking to get people to engage, comment, like, and share the stuff is huge. So if we say like a product release, release live video, we’ll label it as that, and people will come on, they’re like, Hey, we’re gonna be giving one of these away. If you want to enter, it’s very easy. Share the video publicly, commit here, and comment that you liked it. Like the video, like my page, it takes you five seconds to do this, and you’ll be entered into winning this $500 sub-1000, our amplifier, whatever it is, so people are hitting that up there. They’re doing all that, and as you probably already know, the algorithms are like, holy crap, this person is getting a lot of engagement. Like, look at all these comments, look at all these shares. Look at all these likes that are coming into this person’s page. So not only is it showing up just from them wanting to promote your video because you’re already getting a lot of engagement. through, like, say, Facebook, they’re doing it, there’s so many more people anyway, you’re showing up on all these other people’s pages that, like your friends with or that are following your page. So you’re getting in front of all of their friends and all their family as well. So that’s been a huge thing for us to get so much more exposure. And yeah, supercharging, that organic reach with advertising dollars has been massive. I think, like last year; we spent almost $400,000 in ADS. So what that wow, that returned 4.5 million in sales. So while it’s a huge return for your money invested if we didn’t spend that money, we kept the 400,000 we would have potentially been, it’s hard to say exactly. But if you’re just doing the easy numbers of what we spent and what it turned into on paper, then we have had 400,000 more dollars but 4.1 million less in sales, I don’t know. But that’s what the data says, like we’re big on data. We always say that people will lie about numbers, but the numbers don’t last. The data doesn’t lie.
Matt Watson 46:13
So we’re not gonna joke about counting as you can always make the numbers look like whatever you want to it’s like, right? Well, thank you so much for being on the show today. As we wrap up the show here. I do want to remind everybody; this is Johnathan Price from Down for Sound; his website is down4soundshop.com, The Life of Price. You can find them on TikTok and YouTube. Definitely check it out. You know, as we wrap up the show, I have one final question for you is, you know, what kind of suggestions or words of wisdom do you have for other entrepreneurs out there that maybe want to create an e-commerce business or use social media via social media influence or any of that kind of stuff? Do you have any words of wisdom for him?
Johnathan Price 46:58
Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is, don’t, don’t be afraid to fail and just get started, like, get the ball rolling. I know; we talked about that. But that’s the biggest thing for me because I let fear plague me for a while. And I even stopped my store when so this will be a quick story. But it’s attached to that, as I shut my store down about a month after I started it because I got a fraudulent order. And it was like a big order at the time was like five grand and, and the person ended up doing a chargeback. And I’m like, what, so I can just basically steal product from us basically, like somebody walking into your store, taking the product and taking their money back. And you’re just stuck with, like, you’re just stuck. And I’m like, I’m not gonna do this. This is horrible if somebody can just steal from you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So I’m like, I’m shutting my store down. I’m not doing this, this, not this, this didn’t work for me. So for a while, like, I turned the store off, and I wasn’t gonna do it anymore. But luckily, I didn’t give into totally giving up. I’ve failed, and I failed right then. But I didn’t turn it into a complete failure because I decided, like, why I’m not gonna give up. And luckily, I didn’t fight we’re; I think we’ve done over $60 million in revenue now. So my decision not to give up has turned into $60 million in sales just thus far. So this is just our seventh year. And so who knows what, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years is gonna hold just because I decided not to give up. So get started. Don’t give up because usually, right on the other side, you have a very hard time. It’s gonna be a huge breakthrough for you. And I’m sure I’m glad it was for me.
Matt Watson 48:39
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today. And again, everybody. This was Johnathan Price from Down for Sound. Johnathan, thank you so much.
Johnathan Price 48:46
My pleasure. Thank you for having me on.