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The eCommerce Badassery Podcast #1: Who Am I & What to Expect

jessica totillo coster ecommerce badassery

In the first episode of The eCommerce Badassery Podcast, I give you a glimpse into who I am and why you might actually give a shit about what I have to say!

Hear my story from being a high-school drop out to running a 7-figure eCommerce business working with the top experts in the digital marketing industry and now supporting badass female entrepreneurs who are growing and scaling their eCommerce businesses.

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Read the Full Episode Transcript

Hello eCommerce friends. This is the first episode of the eCommerce Badassery podcast. I’m your host, Jessica. 

I wanted to do a quick intro episode to tell you more about me, why I do what I do, and why you might give a shit about what I have to say. 

So let’s go back… way back 

As a little girl. I always wanted to sleep in my new shoes. Walking out of the store with them wasn’t enough, I had to sleep in them. My mom, luckily, let me do that. It was really no surprise when I ended up pursuing a career in fashion, and I got my first retail job as soon as I was old enough working at Contempo casuals, and let me tell you a 16-year-old with a job at Contempo, I thought I was the coolest thing ever.

Fast forward and I studied Fashion Merchandising in college. Throughout my career, I worked at a fashion trade magazine. I was a planning assistant for a childrenswear manufacturer managing inventory. I’ve managed many retail stores and even had a subscription box business. That one ended quickly with my business partner found out she was going to be a mom.

But one of my greatest achievements was the brick-and-mortar Boutique that I had in New York where I generated over half-a-million dollars in my first year in business… and we’re definitely going to talk about how I did that.

For the last six years. I’ve been with a retail company here in LA we have 34 stores across the country and a 7-figure e-commerce business. And for the first three years of that ecomm biz, I was the only employee of that division. 

Sure, I had a part-time person who packed and shipped orders, but I was responsible for everything else from product upload to email marketing, business operations, and social media… plus a few other things. 

We did have a handful of high-level consultants who supported us in strategy and web development and it’s how I learned what it takes to run a seven-figure e-commerce business. 

I was lucky to learn from the best in their field. I learned a lot of hard lessons about working with outside vendors, knowing how to speak up to protect the needs of the business and the brand and myself because I was the one doing most of the work.

While I knew stuff about e-commerce before, I do know of fuck ton more now and as Ecommerce team has started to grow I’ve been able to dig deeper and deeper into the marketing side of things which is what I really wanted to do in the beginning operations were just a necessary evil for me one of those things that I’m good at but I don’t enjoy.

It’s been a crazy wild ride and I’m so grateful for the experience. I’ve gained the experts. I had the pleasure of learning from it all the progress we’ve made as a business in a brand but there was still something missing since I really love the day-to-day of my job working on the SEO, strategizing ads with our consultants creating landing pages, working with the creative team on seasonal campaigns and figuring out how that would look across all of our channels for both brick-and-mortar and online. 

I really do enjoy all of that but I didn’t feel fulfilled and it wasn’t until a chance meeting with an e-commerce entrepreneur in a Facebook group who needed help with her Klaviyo email marketing that I figured it out. 

So if you are a Shopify in MailChimp user, I’m sure you remember back in May of 2019 when MailChimp and Shopify broke up. I was in all these Facebook groups (lifelong learner over here) and people were freaking out! Rightfully so, they didn’t really know what to do next. I had switched my company to Klaviyo the year before and quickly fell in love with the power and ease of the platform. It was also less expensive than the enterprise solution we were using previously, which if I’m being honest kind of fucking sucked. And overall I was spending less time on email while generating more revenue. Pretty fucking magical right?! Especially considering because I’ve been with the company for so long I’m still the go-to for a lot of things that aren’t necessarily my responsibility anymore because I’ve been there to see the whole history and evolution. I know and remember a lot of stuff. So it just is the way it is. 

So if I can, you know, make more revenue in less time and that’s the kind of things that I’m being graded on, those are my KPIs, then that was a huge win for me. 

I started talking to people in the comments to help them out. And people started PMing me to see if I could help them directly and I was shocked! 

One of them was struggling big time because all of her messages were going to the junk box and she was like,  “Do I have to get off Klaviyo? Can you help me? I’ll pay you. Please, this is just really hurting my business.”

I knew how to prevent landing in the junk box, but I never had to get out of it before. So I said, I’d check out her account and see what I could do. And if all went well would she write me a testimonial because I was not about to take money from someone for something I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. 

At the same time, another woman reached out to me and she wanted to get all of her flow set up in Klaviyo. She is a multi-product subscription business. So she was a little overwhelmed, not only by the tech of this new platform but how to even think through the logic to make sure the right person was getting the right email at the right time. 

I still couldn’t believe that strangers were asking for my help. And I remember sitting on the couch with my husband and telling him about it. He’s also an entrepreneur, and he’s had his biz for like six or seven years. I don’t even remember honestly, he had it before we were together. 

He looked at me and he was like, “Babe… so are you going to make this a business or what? These women need you!”

It was that moment that it all sunk in. This is what I was supposed to be doing. This is what I was missing. 

I have learned so much after you know, the last few years of running that eCommerce biz. I’ve had so many successes, definitely just as many failures and having worked with so many consultants, I knew how I was going to do things differently for my clients. I also knew exactly who I wanted to work with.  Scrappy female entrepreneurs who started their businesses from their kitchen table because they were so damn passionate about their product and what they were doing.  The underdogs who fought to build six-figure businesses, but needed support to get them to that next level. The companies who couldn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars for the types of consultants I had worked with. 

Look, I’ve been an underdog my entire life. I’m a high school and beauty school dropout and there’s a whole lot of people who wondered if I ever amount to anything. Fast forward… I’ve built a life that I love, married a wonderful man after a string of shitty relationships and moved across the country from New York to LA and start over in my 30s. 

I’m always rooting for the underdog. I always feel bad for the team that loses and I have a special place in my heart for those who hustle their way to freedom. Not that I think you should hustle forever. But, sometimes you’ve got to hustle a little bit in the beginning. 

I desperately wanted to support these women.

That first client I mentioned; after digging into her account I quickly figured out that the agency who set it up for her did it wrong! And, they failed to show her some of the nuances of the Klaviyo platform. That’s some of the behavior I was talking about how I want to do things differently for my clients.

Within 4 weeks, I had her back in the inbox and generating revenue from her emails, and she turned into my first paying client who I still work with today.

The second client, we worked together to build a sophisticated automation suite that serves her customers at each step in their journey and generates revenue on autopilot. 

Through working with these women and a few others that they had referred to me after working with me; I saw there was a huge lack of education around running an e-commerce business. 

I love email marketing. I love Klaviyo. I’m always going to talk about these things because they are a very important part of e-commerce, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. 

So you can have the perfect email marketing program. But if your website doesn’t convert or you cant drive new traffic to your website, then you’re never going to get to that next level. I saw that there was a lot of stuff for the newbie; how to set up your Shopify store. And then, of course, there are agencies for large corporations that cost tens of thousands of dollars a month. 

But where was the person for the middle? The one who has already gotten to that six or multi six-figure step but needs support getting to the next one. 

That’s how eCommerce Badassery was born! 

Now. I serve e-commerce entrepreneurs with the strategies and tactics that I learned from those high-level consultants and what all those big companies are doing. 

We work on SEO, email marketing, high-level strategy and everything in between… even hiring a team so you can focus more on the big picture of your business and get some of your time back. 

I started just dropping a lot of knowledge on Instagram, but hey, there’s only so much you can fit into an Instagram caption. I really needed a long-form way to share content with you that you could take action on and see results in your business. 

So I started a podcast.

I want to be able to dig deeper into each aspect of running an online store and to reach more e-commerce badasses just like you! Most of the time it’s just going to be me and you, babe. And my goal is always to bring you actionable steps and strategies that you can implement right away and start seeing results from.

I will occasionally bring on a guest to share the strategies they used to build and grow their businesses, or to take deeper into topics that someone else knows more than me. Because let’s be honest, you can’t be great at everything. 

I’m so fucking excited to serve you and I’ve already got a few episodes recorded for you to listen to. I wanted you to be able to dive right in from the beginning. So definitely check them out and let me know what you think. 

Let’s get ready to start making shit happen and I will see you on the flip side. 

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Hey, I’m Jessica!

eCommerce + email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry she loves working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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ABOUT OUR AUDIENCE

  • eCommerce business owners selling a physical product on their own website (Shopify + Klaviyo users)
  • Soloprenuers or less than 25 on their team
  • All revenue ranges, up to multi 7-figures
  • Mostly female

Who We're Looking For

  • Subject matter experts in eCommerce & Physical Product Marketing (Social Media, Public Relations, Website Conversion, Copywriters)
  • Apps or SaaS platforms that can share marketing strategies that work even without their product.

Who I'm NOT Looking For

  • Strategies to build ONLY a marketplace business
  • Strategies for building service-based businesses or SaaS Platforms
  • Agency owners who only work with large budget businesses
  • Service providers for coaches or consultants