An excerpt from Nik Sharma's newsletter on September 19, 2021.
A few months ago I was introduced to the founder of MentorPass, Kenny. I took the call and the pitch was simple: Instead of people picking my brain for free, let them pick it, but get compensated, too. Very fair. If you're interested, you can learn more here.
One of the clients I started with on MentorPass a few months ago was Dr. Amir Karam. He's a plastic surgeon with 20+ years of surgical experience, over 6,000 successful surgeries, 18 awards, and if you Google his name, it's nothing but very satisfied patients. Separately, across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, he has over 320,000 followers who look to him for advice, education, and tips on keeping their skin and face top-notch.
Because he genuinely loves to see people love their own skin, he wanted to create a skincare routine, in partnership with a proper laboratory, which would consolidate the number of steps, and ensure the best ingredients are in the products. 2 years later, this past week, he launched KaramMD skincare.
Now that the context is set, I want to dive into the few key areas we spent the most time on:
It's important to note: Dr. Karam is a full-time surgeon, so most of our calls would happen at 7 am or 10 pm. Dr. Karam, his website developer, his practice's office manager, myself, and a few contractors I brought in were the full team. Upon launching this past week, not only did he have high revenues, but his conversion rate was just under 5%, which is great considering his AOV is $250 USD.
Last disclaimer: The product actually works. If this same set was under a fancy brand name, it could easily sell for $700-$800 for the routine.
Our first few calls were all about designing the site to really illustrate who Dr. Karam is, why he's launching a skincare brand, and what it has that's so great. Taking learnings from the Spritz Society launch and its website, we talked through the importance of push and pull modules on the homepage.
Push modules are ones that feed value or give information. If someone is new to the brand, the push modules are where they would learn more about what this brand does well, or what it'll do to help you, the consumer. Examples of push modules could be a brag bar (press logos/quotes), reviews, a founder story, explaining ingredients, showing how you are different, etc.
Pull modules are the opposite, they work hard to drive conversion or get you deeper in the funnel. If you're ready to purchase, the pull modules should be the best place to start that checkout journey. These could be product carousels (whether they lead to the PDP, or even better if they allow you to subscribe/add to cart right away), highlighting the hero SKU (in his case, The Trifecta), a link to "Choose your flavor" aka go to the collections page, or something similar.
In addition, we wanted to make it very simple to navigate since most of his traffic comes from mobile.
On the product pages, we made sure a few key things were on each page:
Couple additional things I would recommend adding:
Luckily, these are all in the works.
On the Sharma Brands side of things, we have an incredible network of creators (photographers, video editors, animators, 3D artists, etc.) that we leverage for our brand clients. Being that I am the one on MentorPass with clients, they get access to the same network of talented creators.
We worked with the same photographer we staff for a multi-billion dollar brand, and within a week had incredible product and lifestyle photos to leverage. These will be going up on the site soon, and will also be leveraged for easy website retargeting ad assets.
On the video side, because Dr. Karam is a creator himself, filming was easy. So we brought in one of our best editors who previously made some of the best ads for Pill Club, JUDY, Hint, Orgain, Caraway, and others, and we plan to create 25-30 assets to begin testing various messaging on paid social.
Some of the first videos:
All very simple and straightforward. He can shoot the content we need from him, and our editor handles everything else.
For a launch, you don't need an absurd amount of content. Although, the more the merrier. But to get started, you just need enough to show the benefits, the vibe of the brand, what you sell, and why it's so great. Once you put out your first round of tests, you'll quickly learn what the market reacts to and can double down.
For KaramMD, we wanted to keep things very low cost, simple, and easy for the team members at his office to use.
Website CMS. Shopify. To keep everything simple, Shopify is the most obvious choice. It also allows his office manager to place orders from a Shopify POS system in his office.
The site is currently set up on a simple theme, but once I see what works, what doesn't, and what the next set of products are, I will decide how the next iteration of the site will look.
Reviews. Okendo. For $29, his reviews get displayed with full questions and a mini search engine for those reviews. Because of this, ff you have oily skin, you can now sort product reviews specifically from people who have oily skin, too.
Subscription. Smartrr. Less than 15 minutes of setup, and Smartrr was live on the product page. Smartrr's team helped us build an easy-to-use backend for customers to manage, swap, pause or cancel their subscriptions.
Analytics. Tydo. In addition to the analytics we get from Shopify, Tydo allows us to understand more about what customers are ready to re-order, who is less likely to come back (so we don't spend money on them), and what our all-in margins really are, including fulfillment, packaging, etc. Being that Dr. Karam is a surgeon, Tydo gives him a quick snapshot without having to do digging or math on his own.
Email. Klaviyo. I brought in the same team we use for email at Sharma Brands across JUDY, Hydrant, NUGGS, Poo~Pourri, and others. They are in the process of setting up 50-70 different emails across automated flows, campaigns, and a/b tests to see what messaging/creative does better.
Affiliate/Ambassador. Refersion. Dr. Karam's practice has been giving this set of products for a few months and see the most glowing reviews, so much so that people want to become ambassadors. Refersion allows us to create unique URLs for each ambassador, discount code, and they manage pay-outs, tax paperwork, and all the admin work.
Customer Service. Gorgias. There's nothing better than Gorgias as a customer service platform. Gorgias integrates directly with social channels in a more native way than I've seen its competitors do and has macros (automated responses with dynamic fields) so his office manager can easily respond to tickets around where orders are, what ingredients are inside, etc.
To start, we are leveraging all three media channels: earned, paid, and owned.
Earned. Because Dr. Karam has a great network of other creators and people of influence, seeding products was an easy win to drive earned media. Any instance where someone is organically sharing their experience with the products count. We also brought on a public relations consultant to help with placements in publishers, television, events, etc.
Paid. To keep it simple to start, we'll start with some light retargeting efforts. Those that engage with his Instagram or website will begin to see more educational content around what the products are, and how they make your skin beautiful.
Owned. Email is an easy one to start, especially with this hack. His personal Instagram and the new brand Instagram account are where most of the owned-media efforts will go. The goal will be to create content that focuses on education. Why? That drives dark social (sharing via DMs, SMS, etc) and awareness for the products. Lead with education, and you'll not only have organic shares but also higher LTV customer cohorts.
Owned media is going to be one of the biggest drivers in the first year of this business. To help, I brought in a social media consultant, who specializes in driving revenue through organic Instagram. She will handle the content architecture, planning, creation, and execution.
The next 30 days are all about testing, learning, observing, and understanding what the behavior around the products is. Here are some things we keep an eye on:
The next 30 days are all about listening, too. Customer service messages, Instagram DMs, comments left on ads, and reviews will all tell us what people really love, and what they want more or less of. This is also the hardest part because you want to go really fast, but this 30 day period gives you a really good set of learnings that you might otherwise miss.
I've personally really enjoyed working with Dr. Karam on this project till now, and can't wait to continue to iterate this brand into something huge. This isn't the first MentorPass client I've launched something with, but it's been one of the most fun! If you want to try it, use SHARMA20 and get The Trifecta for $199 (normally $250). The discount will automatically apply to the cart when The Trifecta is in. If not, just type it in.