Founder Stories: Casey Woodard On Building KickFlips
In today’s Founder Story we feature Casey Woodard, the Founder of KickFlips!
Read on for lessons he’s learned from launching and marketing his reselling community.
1. Please introduce your business and share your role.
My name is Casey Woodard. I am a 24-year-old from Buffalo, NY and I am the founder of KickFlips – a reselling community that helps people and businesses start and scale their ecommerce ventures on secondary marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, StockX, Etsy, Poshmark, export companies, and more.
We work with new sellers who have never even downloaded the eBay or Amazon app, all the way up to full-team operations who are clearing millions of dollars in sales. There’s an insane amount of opportunity in this space and we help people and businesses of all sizes and skill levels, no matter how much experience or exposure they already have to this market.
2. What’s your backstory, what kind of challenges did you face, and how did you come up with your business idea?
I started reselling when I was a teenager by going to local thrift stores before basketball practice and finding designer clothes for a few bucks to sell on eBay. As time went on, I expanded to sourcing bigger and better items, especially online.
It got to the point that I was making a few thousand dollars on the side every month and friends took notice and asked me how they could get started. After realizing I was a pretty decent teacher, I figured this was a legitimate service I could offer the marketplace to help other people make money with reselling.
3. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
My “launch” was absolutely pathetic, poorly planned, got almost zero results… And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I originally launched only as a free email newsletter, so my launch was just me saying “go tell your family and friends”, making some posts on social media accounts with barely any followers, and making a post on Product Hunt that got barely any traction.
In true bootstrapped fashion, I also printed out flyers with QR codes and hung them around my apartment complex and in public places in the college town I lived in at the time.
4. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
Twitter is by far my most effective sales channel. My typical customer acquisition workflow looks like:
- Constantly share valuable industry knowledge that people can act on (this proves your knowledge is legitimate).
- Constantly share proof of success from people who utilize your product (this proves your product is legitimate).
- Constantly call to upgrade (this moves people from observing to acting. Followers are good. Fans are better. Customers are best).
I also have a free email newsletter I use to follow this same workflow, but via email rather than Twitter. This still gets them in the “Learn, see, buy” funnel of testing my knowledge, seeing customer success, and then being called to convert.
My next plan is to start on Youtube to further share knowledge and expand my audience.
In the past year, I haven’t spent a cent on paid ads. I’m sure I’m the problem, but they just have not been a profitable endeavor for me. So far, organic acquisition gets me a way higher quality customer at a much lower cost.
5. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
I suppose, in a tongue-in-cheek way, I could say the most influential brands in my life are “Any brand who makes products I can resell for a profit”, considering they fund my livelihood.
On a more serious note, I really aspire to Alex Hormozi’s brand of audience-building. The strategy is to simply deliver a ton of value to a ton of people and then capture a small percentage of people who might be willing to pay to work with you. In essence – it’s more about giving than receiving… but then knowing exactly what to do with and for the people and money you do receive.
6. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
My favorite tools are whatever ones I use since they’re what help me run my business!
Social media is the absolute best marketing tool for my business, perhaps other than word-of-mouth. I know a few people who are absolute wizards with Facebook ads but that is sadly not me. I also am a big fan of ambassador/influencer marketing, but it has a pretty sequestered product/market fit which doesn’t bode as well for digital products/services as it does for physical goods.
Other than that, a good email marketing software/CRM is a fantastic way to stay on top and in front of your customers. I’m not going to name names simply because I’m experimenting with a new one after the one I currently use does not give me quite as much functionality as I would like.
7. Who or what inspires and motivates you?
If I could only name one name in the business world, it would be Alex Hormozi. I’m incredibly inspired and impacted by his content – and not just his business content. I think he has fantastic frameworks for looking at business, problems, and life.
To be more ethereal – I am inspired by greatness of any kind. I love being around talent in any form. People who truly excel at their passion and/or craft make me want to be better and become more.
8. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
I mean this to encourage you, not discourage you: Your launch really isn’t that big of a deal. Your business certainly is… But the initial launch is not necessarily an indicator of how good or bad your business will perform in the long run.
Unless this is some large-scale, venture-funded project: Once you have a minimum viable product, I really think you should just launch it. You’re allowed to improve and grow with time.
This is simply my lived experience, so take this with a grain of salt: My launch was absolute trash and now, less than 2 years later, the same company that barely could get FREE signups has let me quit my day job and make a multiple of what I was making in my relatively prestigious finance career.
A good launch isn’t a fast track to success (though it is a great sign!). A bad one isn’t a death sentence. If you’re in the business for the long haul, then just keep going.
9. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
My biggest issue with interviews from successful people (not that I am claiming to be one, but rather, I am simply the one being asked for advice right now) is how easy it is to conflate true wisdom with “what worked for me.” I can’t claim to know the secrets to being a good entrepreneur. But I’m happy to share what has served me well, in my own lived experience thus far – however short that may be:
- Bias to action – spend less time talking/planning and more time doing.
- Intellectual curiosity – The most unbearable people I’ve spent time with are the ones who sought to judge from their perspective before they sought to understand from the other person’s perspective.
- Flexibility – Your Year 2 outcome will likely look nothing like your Day 1 plan. In the words of Jeff Bezos: Be “Stubborn on vision and flexible on details.”
Once again – I can’t claim to be an expert on team-building, but here are my own personal views which you can do with what you please:
There is nothing more important to the success of a relationship (which is what a team is) than commitment & competence. Nothing.
Commitment = Do we share the same goals?
Competence = Do I believe that you can help us arrive at that goal.
Build a team of competent people who are committed to the same goal as you and, I believe, that’s about as good a team as you can ask for,.
10. Let us know where we can go to learn more!
I’d love to get connected! I am most active on Twitter, but feel free to follow me on any and all of the following platforms and shoot me a dm, letting me know what you thought of this interview!