Interview With Fernando Sustaita – Shopify & Instagram Edition

Interview With Fernando Sustaita – Shopify & Instagram Edition

Today I had a chance to pick Fernando’s brain for a little while. Fernando has been selling on Merch By Amazon for awhile, but has transitioned to selling on his own site via Shopify. Fernando has joined Masterminds, taken courses, and simply put in the hours to learn what it takes to have a “real site”. Shopify is a beast of its own, but you learn to conquer it, along with marketing and driving traffic, you will be a 7 figure seller with ease.


Time to pick Fernando’s Brain.

•What made you get into the e-commerce world?

I began E-commerce back in 1998 on Ebay,  I am a toy collector so it was a great way for me to buy and sell toys to expand my collection.  

Quickly became a business that I enjoyed doing for almost a decade. In 2005 I got married and decided was time to get a 9-5 to have more stability.

Keep in mind the tools we have today were not available at the time so it was more of a side business.

In 2015 I got laid off from my management job but in 2014 I had already decided to get back full time on E-commerce but this time on Amazon.  It has been a little over 3 years now since I left the oil and gas industry and not looking back.


•Do you miss your 9-5 job at all?

I miss the benefits, and sometimes having a controlled environment, the glamour of having an office and an assistant but I don’t miss having to report to someone, having to stay quiet at meetings so that I wouldn’t insult someone’s ego when a project was going sour.

I am never going back to work a 9-5


•What is something you’ve learned recently that you wish you knew one year ago? 

I am constantly taking courses, probably 1 or 2 a month. I have an obsession with knowledge, however sometimes learning too fast become a problem in your business. It makes want to apply everything creating a cluster and leaving unfinished projects.

Honestly, I am more of a I wish I had not learned this right now. Is too advanced for where my business is currently at or is something I cannot really apply.  

Example, I can create a perfect funnel but I cannot for the life of me create a good copy for the funnel to get clicks, so I wasted a year trying to get a funnel to convert when I should have invested that year learning how to write better.

Now to answer your question, Shopify, I finally learned the power of retargeting and the value of a customer. I have applied my funnel hacking teachings on to shopify which in return has shown me what I have been missing, the power of branding.


•What is the area most sellers should focus more time on?

Learning their customer avatar, I often see people chasing sales but not really understand what or to whom they are trying to sell.  

Selecting the right niche is the difference between failure and success. I often get debated when I say pick a niche you like, enjoy and understand, people often tell me is not true, you can monetize from something you dont like.

Yes, you can in the short term but those are not million dollar stores are they? Just a few shirt sales.

Real monetization happens when the seller understand the niche, is pasionate about and creates great social engaging posts. Creates a following that is expecting more content and in return shop at his/her store.  

If you hate your niche chances are in a few months you wont take care of your Instagram or Facebook page accounts.


•Are social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook Pages, and twitter worth it for Print on Demand industry?

If you only sell on Merch by amazon and are on 1000 niches then no, total waste of time, you have no following base, nobody to really target but if you have a brand, a Shopify store, I don’t see a path of success without social media presence.


•What is the biggest tip you could give for a New Instagrammer?

Build a brand you can stand for, be real, be consistent, post constantly and get your followers to wait for your next post.


•Shopify or Woocommerce? And why?

Shopify all the way.  Sorry, people who see woocommerce just because they can save a few bucks are not looking at the big picture.  

Shopify is like the Iphone, everyone develops their apps for apple and then modifies them for the rest of the phones if it makes sense. Shopify has the best apps, the best themes and the bigger communities.

All the conversion data is for Shopify, if all you need is a store to go along your wordpress website with no high conversion expectations then woocommerce is all you need.


•Why is having your own store & domain a good idea?

Because is yours, your brand, your rules, your store.  A brand inside a platform like Merch or Redbubble is not really a brand, is just a store name. The brand there is Amazon and Redbubble.  Is their ball their rules, they don’t like you and they escort you out. Who can escort me out of my own domain? Who will tell me I am not allowed to sell under my brand? Shopify may tell me I cannot use their service but I can move to another platform just move my store, and I take all my clients with me.  They are my clients not shopify’s or Amazon’s.


•When creating a shopify store, what is one area most people focus the least amount of time on that needs more focus? (What is a Area people skip often)


People always worry about the logo, the products, the colors, images, etc but they never focus on getting emails and often ignore creating the sense of trust when visiting the store.  Many times I have seen beautiful looking stores but I feel I cannot trust them, no policies, no FAQ, the domain name feels recycled, no trust banners etc.

Thank you Fernando for answering some questions for us today, hopefully some will take this interview & will decide to hop into Shopify, build a site and turn into a 7 figure seller. I know I have some questions I will be asking in your group in the next few weeks. Until then, I need to start posting on Instagram more.

Fernando’s Facebook Group: Click Here