This episode is part of our 2019 eCommerce MasterPlan Growth Series sponsored by Omnisend, the all-in-one marketing automation platform that empowers ecommerce marketers to boost sales with omnichannel tools.
Dhar Mann is the founder of LiveGlam – a beauty subscription box service. The impressive social media follower base (over 1.5m Instagram, over 100k Facebook) is testament to the power of their influencer marketing strategies. LiveGlam launched in 2015 and are on track to do $17m in sales in year 3.
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About the Business
- Located in Los Angeles, USA
- Subscription Business
- Sells Globally
- Platform: WooCommerce with Customized Code
Dhar Mann jokes that he’s a big guy and gets a lot of people asking him how he got involved in the makeup business in the first place.
In 2015 Dhar was completely broke and lacking direction. Living in a 300 sq. ft apartment with a roommate he was desperately trying to start a business and figure out how to make it.
With only 600 dollars left in his bank account, Dhar was worried he would have to move back in with his parents. It was at this time that he met a beauty influencer who was travelling the world selling tickets to her live beauty how to classes.
Dhar suggested to her that she moved into an eCommerce space. When she agreed, he used his last 600 dollars to buy equipment and get the website built.
Listen to learn about the power of broke and how constraints can be empowering.
LiveGlam currently has 50 team members, with most of those hires happening within the past year.
The team is almost entirely remote, with 75% functioning completely remotely.
The operations team has 30 people, marketing and branding has 10 and the remainder are spread out over finance, product development and growth.
LiveGlam uses a heavily modified version of WooCommerce, customized by their in-house team of developers.
Dhar says that the WooCommerce Subscription plugin has been a Godsend, but that the company builds almost everything from scratch so they don’t have to rely on plugins.
LiveGlam started as a content subscription company–not product subscription. In the beginning, LiveGlam charged users $19.99 to access masterclasses from Dhar’s beauty influencer partner. When the team transitioned to a product subscription model, their growth accelerated rapidly.
Inspired by Dollar Shave Club, Dhar says they were debating between launching a curated, discovery box brand or developing their own products.
While developing their own products seemed daunting, they decided that it was the best way to go. The company offers separate subscriptions for different product types. Dhar looked at the comments on their competitors Instagram accounts and learned that customers didn’t really want the mixed product offering.
Knowing this, LiveGlam launched separate product subscription models, which has worked really well for them but they will be launching a mixed subscription as well.
Listen to learn how everything comes full circle.
Influencer Marketing has rapidly evolved and will continue to do so. It’s important to partner with someone who not only understand the space, but who understands how influencers think.
It’s also a huge benefit to having an influencer on your team, so if you can swing it, hire an influencer. Developing long term relationships and making sure that your message and brand stays authentic is key. Many of LiveGlam’s subscribers have gone on to become influencers themselves.
Listen to learn about the power of relationships in an influencer driven industry.
LiveGlam’s public facing portion of their influencer program is targeted toward customers and everyday subscribers.
In the beginning, they focused on established influencers but quickly learned that the price tag for working with them was too high. They learned early on that they could easily tie an affiliate program in with their rewards program.
By getting customer’s invested in the rewards program it was easy to layer in affiliate linking and referrals. Dhar says that focusing on a small percentage with better returns is better than trying to focus on everybody.
For them, that meant focusing on the top 10% of LiveGlam members who were referring sales and producing more referrals and sales than the tens of thousands of other members.
LiveGlam also invests a lot of time and energy into creating personal relationships with influencers and up and comers. Paying attention to their lives creates a brand loyalty that can turn into huge returns for the company.
Building long term relationships helps with new client acquisitions as well as keeping existing relationships (and subscribers) happy. Influencers help build communities of people who want to participate with the brand.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- From Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Influencer Marketing — Pay attention to live content like Facebook Live
Listen to learn how Instagram and Facebook make great marketing tools for new businesses.
Tool Top Tip
Listen to learn how LiveGlam uses text messaging to stay connected
Growth Top Tip
- Dabble on different marketing platforms to see what works. When you find it, pour your resources into it.
- Look for performance relationships.