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If you’ve been thinking about starting an eCommerce business, you’re going to need a tip or two.
While the low barrier to entry allows pretty much anyone to get started with eCommerce, there are still industry secrets that you can only learn from people who’ve been on the front lines.
If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I often review the work of entrepreneurs, including those who specialize in eCommerce such as Beau Crabill.
And today, I’m taking a look at Fred Lam. An eCommerce prodigy, he’s made millions through eCommerce and now teaches other entrepreneurs how to do the same.
Is he worth it, or is Fred Lam just a scam?
Let’s find out!
You won’t find a lot about Fred Lam online.
In fact, you can’t even find Fred Lam’s age, but according to his Facebook page profile, he has received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Obviously, this makes me want to put my detective glasses on.
He claims to be so successful and yet, there are no third-party biographies offering insight into his whole life.
All there is is his “About me” page, and the story he starts off by saying he used to work as a dishwasher.
Lam also does charity work, going as far as to start Water Liberty - a business that closely works with two charities.
This has resulted in building two wells in West Bengal, India, and planting trees with Trees for the Future.
Not much is known about his journey from being a dishwasher, to generating $40 million in revenue through his ventures, including:
At some point, he even worked as a marketing manager for BMW Group Canada.
He also claims to have made a lot of money through his ventures, and yet, there’s no data on Fred Lam’s net worth.
But even though I find the lack of information about his background concerning, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
So let’s see what Lam has to offer!
First up, Lam has written 4 books on digital marketing.
Interestingly enough, his Amazon biography explains the $40mil figure differently.
Here, he states that he’s the owner of several multi-million-dollar businesses, but that he’s helped his students make over $40mil in revenue, collectively.
Alright, let’s forget the inconsistencies because he might still know what he’s talking about.
The cover of the book "Dropship Leads"
Dropship Leads: A Revolutionary Dropshipping Strategy Without A Product Or Website is Lam’s newest book.
He promises that his strategy for generating sales through dropshipping will disrupt dropship lead generation as much as Uber disrupted public transport.
First up, Lam starts by studying the differences between his students that made money with dropshipping, and those who didn’t.
Personally, I find every bit of hands-on experience to be incredibly useful.
From there, he starts talking about the importance of lead magnets and sales funnels to attract and convert leads.
He also talks about leveraging Facebook automation to get there.
There’s a little bit of everything in there, but if you’re interested in this subject, I recommend checking out Russell Brunson’s books first.
The man practically invented modern-day sales funnels.
The cover of the book "The Traffic Trilogy"
One of the major parts of all Lam’s teachings is media buying, AKA: using paid advertising to reach new leads and customers.
The Traffic Trilogy: Access To Millions of Ultra-Targeted Visitors For Pennies On The Dollar covers different types of media (i.e. traffic sources) that can help you generate leads.
He also emphasizes the value of not putting all your eggs in one basket, and instead using multiple traffic sources.
This is smart thinking, but it’s also something you’ve probably realized yourself.
When I dug into the reviews section, I realized that people were pretty disappointed.
Plenty of them thought that The Traffic Trilogy was only "a sales letter" for Lam’s 3-day workshop that explored this concept in greater depth.
Sadly, The Traffic Trilogy seems to be a lead magnet for up-selling you to his workshops and courses, so I’d advise you to skip this one and look up digital marketing articles online - for free.
The cover of the book "Starting from zero"
The next work in Lam’s opus, Starting From Zero: How To Build An Online Business When You're Starting With Nothing, explains his 5-step system to starting an online business without lots of cash on hand.
Listen, I’m so passionate about starting businesses for next to nothing that I helped create a platform to increase your sales and reduce your costs.
You know I’m invested here!
Unfortunately, this book is targeted to people who have never heard of eCommerce, and the ideas he offers seem straight out of the early 2000’s.
For example, Lam recommends selling niche paraphernalia related to your hobbies.
Again, this can be a profitable idea, but it’s not that simple.
On the upside, Lam recommends using Shopify to build your dropshipping business, and offers step-by-step screenshots.
Still, if you’re not into dropshipping or eCommerce, you won’t learn much from this book.
But if you’re not familiar with basic concepts, then it can be a good way to understand how it all works.
Lam is also offering Starting from Zero free on his website, so you won’t lose anything but a little time.
The cover of the book "The email machine"
The Email Machine was published a month ago at the time of writing, and it’s Lam’s foray into the world of email marketing.
Personally? I definitely dig that.
If you have a mailing list, you can reactivate contacts, nurture leads, and up-sell your existing customers.
In general, email marketing is indispensable for running a profitable online business.
On average, your repeat customers make up 40% of your store’s revenue. If you’ve got them on a mailing list, it’ll be much easier to keep them happy and loyal.
Unfortunately, if you already know what email marketing is, you’re not going to like The Email Machine.
He also talks about starting an email marketing business, not using email marketing for getting sales for your business, which...
We’re in 2020, Fred.
People don’t give out their email addresses so easily anymore.
Running an affiliate marketing email business is a great way to ruin your reputation.
... I’m not impressed.
But let’s take a look at his courses! He mentions them in every book, so they’re probably good!
First of all, there are quite a few things Lam calls “Zero Up” so make sure you don’t get confused:
Let’s take it one step at a time!
The free Zero Up course is a step-by-step video training that takes you through the basics of building your eCommerce business.
This is a course for total beginners.
You’ll also be encouraged to purchase his Zero Up software (more on that in a sec).
This is a free course, so you’re not going to be losing money by giving it a whirl.
Still, I think you might be a little disappointed if you expect in-depth content. You’ll mainly be encouraged to take other courses and buy his tool.
If you want a more “meaty” course and private coaching from Fred, as well as access to his eCommerce software, then there’s the Zero Up (paid) course.
Zero Up course includes:
I’m sorry, can we go back for a sec...
This ties in nicely into what I told you about one of his books.
You’re encouraged to start selling things like jewelry and niche paraphernalia to get your eCommerce/dropshipping business off the ground.
It’s a wild idea. And it might have been profitable a few years ago, but literally everyone dropships jewelry now.
Then there’s also the matter of pricing. Yes, it sure looks like you’re getting a lot out of the course.
But is it really worth paying $2,495 for it?
(This is supposedly a discounted price. The full price is $15,000, and “the value” of all the bonus materials hikes it up to $30,000.)
Let’s be real, this is a course that’s going to try and get you to buy other Fred Lam products, while barely covering the basics of dropshipping and eCommerce.
(All of these links are totally valid, by the way, and won’t ask you to pay for a course to learn more, only to ask you to pay for another course to learn more, and so on).
$2,495 will also get you multiple years’ worth of subscriptions to tested eCommerce software like Shopify, ClickFunnels, and systeme.io.
So, is Zero Up worth it?
Finally, Zero Up Lab is a self-described all-in-one eCommerce software.
What does that mean?
So no, Zero Up Lab can’t completely replace AliExpress or Shopify (even though that’s what you’d think, looking at the descriptions).
Instead, it works as an integration with a few extra add-ons.
After getting a Shopify account, you can install your store with Zero Up Lab.
They offer templates, and pre-made stores, depending on your niche.
This is relatively handy, but you can find Shopify store templates online anyway.
The main difference is that Zero Up store will come with pre-generated products, so all you have to do is enter your payment data and start advertising them.
First, we have to understand the difference between dropshipping and eCommerce, since Lam uses them interchangeably.
Dropshipping means you’re getting products from external suppliers, and they’re the ones handling warehousing and shipping.
Regular eCommerce means selling your own physical or digital products, as well as handling shipping and warehousing.
Zero Up seems to be tailored to dropshipping businesses.
Another feature they emphasize is direct integration with AliExpress. You can browse products on Zero Up and immediately add them to your store.
(This is... exactly what you can do with native platforms. Why would you need an extra tool to do that?)
Order fulfillment automation is a neat touch, that’s for sure.
Your system can automatically communicate with your suppliers’ systems, so you don’t have to process every order yourself.
You can also build sales funnels, and add extra elements to up-sell, down-sell, and cross-sell your customers, such as: coupons, codes, and more.
You can get Zero Up for a one-time fee of $1,497.
Still, you’ll have to pay for extra tools (Shopify, apps, integrations, email marketing) so even if Zero Up comes at a one-time fee, you’ll still be spending a lot of money monthly.
Plus, I just don’t see the point.
You can automate orders, find products, and create online stores with Shopify and other platforms, too.
Why would you pay for Zero Up on top of all that?
Fred Lam’s products and courses exist, so he’s not a scammer.
On the other hand, are Fred Lam’s products worth it?
Not when there are much better tools that actually get the job done and reduce your costs.
First up, we have systeme.io that actually replaces Shopify, MailChimp, and a bunch of other tools.
With Zero Up, you’d still have to pay for all of them. With systeme.io, you’re just paying for systeme.io.
All in all, systeme.io takes care of everything you need to run and promote your online business.
And it’s affordable, too, allowing you to keep your costs down as you’re growing!
ClickFunnels is a bit older and more expensive, and it mainly focuses on sales funnels.
You can still:
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to dropship as easily as you would have with systeme.io.
All in all, ClickFunnels doesn’t offer as much as systeme.io, but it’s still a better option than Zero Up.
It’s somewhat pricier. If you want email marketing, you’ll need to choose the $297/mo plan.
... it’s important to pick the right partner for your growth.
When it comes to making money when you’re starting with very little, there’s nothing like systeme.io.
For as little as $27/month, you can get the complete marketing machine you need to increase your revenue.
As you grow, it’s easy to scale.
Your costs will be few, and your sales will skyrocket.
It’s time to enjoy the ride.
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