James Bake

James Bake is the COO of BestSelf Co., a company that creates productivity tools to help people achieve their goals, spark deeper connections, and live their best lives. After launching its flagship product, Self Journal, on Kickstarter in 2015, BestSelf Co. has grown into a successful eight-figure business.

Before joining BestSelf Co., James held several executive positions in the digital marketing and ecommerce spaces. He has worked for companies including Yoga International, Entertainment®, and Hanson Inc.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • James Bake discusses his journey into the world of marketing and ecommerce
  • The challenges BestSelf Co. faced during the pandemic and how James used this time as an opportunity for change
  • James shares the business lessons he learned from practicing yoga
  • Strategies for managing expectations and standing out from the competition
  • James talks about discovering and harnessing his superpowers
  • How BestSelf Co. evolved during 2020 and into 2021
  • James’ top social media, SMS, and digital marketing techniques
  • How to encourage team building and bonding with a remote team
  • James shares the brands he admires for their inclusivity and diversity
  • James’ advice on how to be more inclusive and customer-minded with your marketing strategies

In this episode…

In the age of social media and working from home, some companies still struggle with creating a feeling of togetherness. So, how can ecommerce brands find new, creative ways to engage their team and customers, even when separated by miles? James Bake has the perfect solution.

As the COO of BestSelf Co., James is on a mission to help people achieve their goals, spark deeper connections, and live their best lives. For him, this applies to both his global audience and his team of remote workers. When the pandemic hit, James decided to use this unprecedented time to spark organizational change. He discovered and implemented innovative strategies for being more inclusive with his marketing and helping his team bond. Now, he’s here to share his advice on how to change your marketing strategies and company culture for the better.

On this week’s episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin sits down with James Bake, the COO of BestSelf Co., to talk about how to cultivate change in your ecommerce company. James shares his tips for hiring internally, staying connected while working remotely, and creating an inclusive marketing strategy. He also reveals the various ways he implemented positive change during the pandemic. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions: 

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts have helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at [email protected] or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Josh Chin here I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top experts and founders in the ecommerce industry. And we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. Now if you run a direct to consumer ecommerce brand and ready to scale and to double your customer lifetime value through retention marketing Chronos is your company. We’ve helped hundreds of brands scale profits, with email, SMS, and mobile push while getting an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, Alive Skin, and Dr. Livingood and many more. Now the next step is to email us at [email protected] Or you can go to Chronos.agency to learn more. Now, today’s guest is James Bake. He’s a COO of BestSelf Co., a multi eight figure company that creates tools to help people think bigger, achieve more and enjoy today, they launched their first flagship product Self Journal on Kickstarter in 2015. They bootstrapped their way to multiple eight figures in the first four years. Now James is an ecommerce veteran with over 10 years of experience working with DTC ecommerce brands, Amazon marketplaces, and consumer facing subscription businesses. His superpower is helping teams organize the chaos, and focus on what matters most to help businesses grow. James, welcome to the show.

James Bake 1:49

Thank you, Josh. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Joshua Chin 1:52

And let’s dive into it. Now, I’m really excited to have this conversation with you. Because you have a really interesting background, from being a yoga teacher, to a marketer for such a long time and now ending up as a CEO. You have been a practitioner for many, many years. So let’s start from the beginning. How’d you end up in the world of marketing?

James Bake 2:18

Oh, wow. So I think I’ve always wanted to be in marketing. When I was in high school, slash college, I actually worked for printing company. And I was doing kind of their marketing for postcards and things like that. I think what I remember is the company did, they did printed statements for like utility brands and utility companies and credit unions, and they were trying to get more into the digital space. And I saw them like, oh, there’s no, this is way, this is way back in like the early 2000s. There wasn’t a lot of training on it. So when I was in college, I go into school for business. I took an e commerce course and they were using this like, I don’t know, an older Microsoft server that never worked. It was 10 years old time. So I got really excited about it. I met with professors like this seems like the most complicated way to do anything. Why don’t we use like, I think it was OS Commerce back then, like, why don’t we use something like that, it seems really easy. I can go buy a domain domain on GoDaddy, I can load it up there. And we can like build a little website and or ecommerce store there, which that 15 minute conversation turned into a whole course curriculum that I sat down with my professor within, we outline and then we demo, we demo that in a couple different courses, a couple different classes. And then that was something they taught for a couple years, which was kind of fun to see that, that how that evolved. But again, that’s kind of my personality, I love kind of taking things and being a little scrappy, and figure out a better way to do it. And that’s really kind of how it started is in that kind of how I started my e commerce careers, getting into seeing like how to figure it out and how to be a better better than what was there.

Joshua Chin 4:01

That’s incredible. And I think that’s the that has been the theme. Like just striving for better striving for improvements. Even today, at BestSelf Co., we’re just talking a little bit, kind of taking that little opportunities for improvement. And taking every opportunity, especially in a climate like today. Change being such a that’s the only constant that we see today. Yeah, tell me a little bit about that process of adapting to change and taking that as a catalyst for new ideas.

James Bake 4:38

Yeah, I love that concept that’s like something that I wholly embrace. And I think it’s, it’s kind of interesting because if you think about our products, like the intimacy that intimacy that sounds like such a simple product, it’s you know, 150 cards, conversation cards, it’s only $25 but the simplicity of it is what makes it so beautiful, it helps couples get closer together it saved marriages, and even started new ones. It’s a really beautiful thing when you see your customers come to you and send photos of their engagements where they’ve used your products as part of the proposal, or they write it in and telling you how they’ve been married for 20 years. And they’re just now figuring out and finding things about their partner that they never knew before. So it’s, it’s really interesting when you think about, like in business, how putting a little bit change is a catalyst to spark new ideas. But even our products, I live that too, like, by changing up our routines and adding in a conversation starter in your daily routines with our partner or with our friends or something else. it sparks change, and it helps create new ideas. And I think that’s something beautiful, I think we all can kind of take away with.

Joshua Chin 5:50

I love that. And what’s the biggest change that you personally had to adapt to? In the whole COVID year.

James Bake 6:00

Oh, there’s, there’s so many of them. I think, like part of the part of it has been if we talk distance wise, I think part of it has been adapting to like the constant change and being ready for it. And then kind of getting into that mindset of like, okay, expecting something to happen and kind of planning for it or trying to be creative with it like our logistics and fulfillment, our logistics, and the manufacturing process kind of got up heaved a little bit like Now, before we had like maybe a seven week turnaround. Now we’re looking at like 170 days, turn around for new for or for products to be fulfilled, or not fulfilled, but like for manufacture to our warehouses. So that’s a huge challenge for us. And so now, what do we do about that? How do we fix that? And how do we, you know, get our products, our customers, and then, you know, plan ahead for that. So it’s really changed our thinking and our planning. So that we’re now thinking out farther than we were before, which is has pros and cons. But that’s a big thing, I think is always being prepared for some sort of change. The other thing that I’m a big fan of, especially with COVID, it was kind of an interesting thing is we had someone leave the organization, actually an agency that was part of the region for a while they left the organization. And you know, when I when I first started thinking about like replacing it, you know, it was very easy for me to go as a hiring manager, like, okay, maybe what I’ll do instead is, I’ll just filled the position internally, you know, it’s really easy to write up a job description, start interviewing people call we’ll done, the system already works, why not just keep it going. But what I did instead is I use it as an organization, an opportunity to make larger changes in the organization. So we have a couple people internally in the marketing team were very small team. And I started kind of poking around and saying, Hey, you know, this is the position we’re hiring for, these are the kinds of things they do, it kind of works really nicely with what you’re doing. And I put some feelers out to see if they might be interested in potentially taking on the role, or maybe splitting the role up a little bit and having different people take on different parts. And then just hiring someone completely different or a role that’s completely different than what we’re used to what we needed. And it was actually kind of interesting. So we actually saw, after a couple days of kind of talking and poking and putting like some seeds in actually saw people kind of raising your hand said, Hey, I actually think I can, I can add that to my plate, or I can do that too. I just did a little bit of learning. And then someone else on the team said, yeah, if she does that, I can take off those things off her plate, which was kind of like a whole kind of snowball effect. So instead of just building the system with another call, we actually started to build a better system, we started using internal talents and reconfiguring our day to day operations, so that we can do things better, like and we can not just, you know, do things as they weren’t before, but really helped us think through like, Okay, what are the processes that we look at what the agency did, or these people with agency did? And how can we just integrate them better into our systems? And how can we do it better, and provide a better experience overall company? So that’s one thing I think, like when someone leaves an organization uses his opportunity to like, make larger organizational changes.

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