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Episode 66: 2000 no’s & 2 yeses leads to multi-million dollar success with Reever Botha

May 15, 2023

From working in Woolworths to being stocked in Woolworths! In today’s episode of the podcast, I chat with entrepreneur Reever Botha who shares the success story of his award-winning brand PuraU. Innovation, grit, and persistence lead to this business’s success. He shares actionable strategies other entrepreneurs like you can do right now to increase your small business’s performance.

Introduction

You are listening to the Hayley Osborne show with me, Hayley, your host. This is your place to learn how to become the superhero marketer in your business to become the number one in your local community, both online and in your surrounding areas. Every week, I’ll be teaching you how you can achieve the best out of your marketing your business and be the most fearless superhero version of yourself. Small business owners are the backbone of the economy. And I’m here to demystify local area marketing to help you reach more customers, between myself from South Australia and my wildly inspiring guests from across the world. I’m so excited to discuss all things marketing your business with you. I believe in you. So, let’s get started.

Transcript

Hayley Osborne:

Hi, Reever, and welcome to the Hayley Osborne show. I thought we better press record because we could have been chatting for ages. I’m so glad you are here. How are you?

Reever Botha: 

Thank you so much for having me. I’m doing well. Thank you. How are you?

Hayley Osborne:

I’m good. Sorry. In your own words, I would love you to tell my listeners who you are and what you do.

Reever Botha:

My name is Reever Botha. I was born in South Africa and emigrated to Australia 13 years ago. And essentially, what I do is I started a company called PuraU three years ago. And what we focus on is creating innovative products for acne-prone and digestive-prone customers. And we’re direct to consumers via our online e-commerce website.

Hayley Osborne:

Nice. I’d love to know a little bit about your business journey. And obviously, it’s quite a successful business. So, let’s like dig into that and how you obviously became to be so passionate about what you do.

Reever Botha:

Okay. It’s just taking me back to the early days. I suffered really badly from acne, like all over my back and my shoulders, right up until the age of, I would say, from like 16 to even 25. And right now, I’m 28 years old. And my partner was the exact same. She was suffering from really, really bad acne, like all over her face, and cystic acne. It was terrible. And for us, it was quite an emotional journey for us. Because we wouldn’t wish acne upon anyone you’d like, you know, even my worst enemy. And for me, I was the guy who, when all my family and friends went to the beach, I would stay home because I was too embarrassed to take my shirt off, you know. The struggle that we had is that growing up throughout our acne journey, we never found solutions that would help us and for me, in particular, I would spend 10s of 1000s of dollars on remedies and treatments and stuff, and it never really worked for us. And so, it was quite frustrating. Because you’re spending all this money and time, like, you know, I’m on student wage, I was working in Woolworths, I was studying a business degree at a time like, I just want this to go away or do anything for it to go away. And it wasn’t until we connected with a naturopath. And she sort of explained to us what the true cause of acne is. And you know, 90% of acne cases stem from an imbalance in your gut microbiome. And that was news to us. We were like, well, we didn’t know that. We just did the generic topical acne treatments, like skincare treatments, right? So after about six months of being prescribed these intense, potent herbal extracts, my acne went away after six months. And I was like, Holy crap, the light bulb moment sort of clicked for me. And that’s when we were like, why isn’t this available to the wider market? We’ve been sitting here taking products for the last ten years or eight years with no result. And we just did this, the six-month regimen to fix our gut and our acne went away. And that’s when, yeah, for me, like that entrepreneurial—a lightbulb moment clicked for me. I wanted to make a business out of this and help millions of other people because it’s a billion-dollar market. And that’s how the story was born, literally, from our own experiences. And we decided that instead of taking 10 to 12 products every single day, which is what we did, why not condense that down into one complete solution that people can take every single day just in capsules? And that’s the idea of where our brand was born.

Hayley Osborne:   

You have ten axed that brand to the max.

Reever Botha:

Yeah, we’ve achieved some incredible results and I think that’s just because we are a consumer. We know how consumers feel, right? We had acne. We know what it feels like. So, connecting with our consumers on that, on that emotional level for us, it’s very easy for us and easy in the sense of like, because we know how they feel. We know what they’re experiencing. We know what they’re going through. And, in a sense off, gut health isn’t sexy, right? We’ve made it fun, playful, very educational, and very informative. And we wanted to create a brand where people can really connect to not just some product if that makes sense. And over the last three years, that’s what we’ve really been able to achieve quite well.

Hayley Osborne:   

So predominantly, and I said this before, we press record, but predominantly on this podcast, I haven’t really had any product-based businesses that have done what you’ve done. This is nice and refreshing to have someone come in because it is difficult, like marketing is hard, but you’ve managed in the last three years to catapult your brand, catapult your socials. How did you get started with achieving, you know, little bit by little bit success across your marketing? What was the first thing that you did to grow your business?

Reever Botha:

The first thing we did to grow our business as we leveraged PR was hard. For the first few, the first six months of launching, we made so many mistakes that I feel like most brands would have probably made in two years. Just thinking about it now. We leverage PR and relationships with journalists really hard. And that was a pivotal moment for us. I think from when we launched, right up until six months, we were just doing Facebook ads connected with our consumers on Instagram, and TikTok wasn’t even a thing then, or maybe it was just coming up. But more so like through organic channels, Facebook, and then it wasn’t until, you know, we network with a few journos, and we saw some tremendous, like, massive results on PR. So that’s what we’ve really leveraged that even to this day.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, so PR is a credit to getting started now. Did you seek that out yourselves? Or did you engage in an agency because that’s huge? So, within my membership and marketing membership. It’s called superhero marketing. And then, within that, I teach the members how to engage in their own PR. So, what to do? How to reach out because it’s easier than people realise. So, I’ve got all the swipe, copy and templates and everything. So, what did you do? Did you have an agency? Or did you do it yourself?

Reever Botha:

At the start, we actually had an agency, but my experience with them wasn’t really good at all. And, you know, like any brand starting out, I would say like 99% of brands just starting out because a lot of people do that. Quite a few people message me instead of saying, hey, man, like, I’m just starting out; can you help me? And it’s like, they’ve got a PR agency, they got a media buyer. And it’s funny that you know, when brands start out that always take that same route, and it’s like, oh, gosh, so for us, we did start with a PR agency, but it didn’t work out. We didn’t see any results, to be quite honest, after about four or five months, so we scrapped that. And that’s why I’m like, well, why can’t we just do it ourselves? So, we DM them? We use some Vas, and we DM them on LinkedIn. We searched like, for example, Daily Mail channel seven news.com., on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can search for that. And you can see who they are all the employees are, and then we network with the journalists. And I think we probably sent about 2000 messages. I’m not even kidding. Two thousand messages, and we got all their emails, and we just use a little widget on Google Chrome and an extension where you can blast email everyone out at once. We’ve connected with 1000 people after DMing two thousand of them, so we’ve got quite a few results. And yeah, two journalists replied, and that was all we needed to just go up like, that’s awesome. That’s what we did.

Hayley Osborne:

I have a question. What’s the widget called for all our listeners? Because they probably were thinking, Yeah, tell me what the widget is.

Reever Botha:

The widget, so it’s called a Yet Another Mail Merge. That’s it’s a cool Chrome extension because what we do now pay a VA to gather data from journalists through LinkedIn. And they generate that through a Google spreadsheet with like name, last name, and email. And Yet Another Mail Merge. What it allows you to do is that it allows you to blast emails to up to 10,000 people at once. So instead of you sending one email, copying it in a draft, pasting the recipients address at the top and clicking Send, you can just the Google Spreadsheet talk to the Widget, and the widget just blasts email everyone through the columns in the codes where it says the name, last name, and email and the widget talks to that and just blast email them all at once. It’s a cool app. You can just go on YouTube.

Hayley Osborne:

I think, as you know, particularly small business owners were, you know, I think starting out, you don’t have a lot of money. You do need to come up with innovative ways to reach new people. And I honestly believe that if you have enough drive and passion to make your business a success, you can make any business successful. Because when you back against the wall and you have no choice, you will make it work. And if you’re so passionate about your product, like you guys are, I think, you know, the sky’s the limit. And as you said, I want the listeners to understand that you said that you reached out to 2000 people. And you’ve got two yeses. That’s really that huge, right? And if it was easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not easy. So, I think, tell me, what was the biggest turning point in your business journey?

Reever Botha:

Oh, okay, so many ways to answer this. The biggest turning point in our business journey was, I would say, up until about a year ago, maybe even eight months ago, just a few months out of Black Friday last year. And essentially, for us was just getting really clear on our core demographic and who our customer is and getting super clear on our customer. But not just knowing our service level stuff. It’s knowing absolutely everything about a consumer. All the surface-level things and then zooming out. And then it’s like, okay, location age, where they’re from, what are they like? What don’t they like, what are their emotional desires, tangible desires, scepticisms, needs want, what don’t they like, and just zooming out of that lens, and just really getting a really good understanding of who are they? And how can we effectively communicate our product to our audience because we’re, our product is quite a niche product? I’m not going to lie; it’s very Nishi. We can communicate that in so many, multiple different ways. And because we have so many core demographics, so many core customers, and yes, we can communicate to our acne customers exceptionally well because that’s based on our own previous experiences. But other core demographics, it’s just like, how do we get super clear on that to open more revenue channels and scale and grow? I would say, just getting super clear on our customers. And I think I probably spent, I would say, two weeks on that, even serving people and going to the shops watching how people shop and asking them questions.

Hayley Osborne:

Look, it’s a lot of work, but the rewards are, they are there when you are prepared to put in that effort, like really honing in. So, you know, you’re if I think that that’s a catch-22, right, a lot of people are generally in the business caught on the hamster wheel, and they are working in the business, in the business, but working on the business is where you get the most results. Everything that I teach a lot of the time, people don’t have the time to implement everything. But if you did, then your six months might look like, you know, next, like one week. For you taking two weeks out of your business to send surveys to look at what people are doing, like in the aisles to do all of that, that’s, that’s huge results. And that can generate an extra zero on your revenue and your profit, which is massive. Credit to you, congratulations, well done. I do talk a lot about showing up in your business. If people are watching the recording of this, you are not the face of your business. But your partner is right. Tell me a little bit about this. What was that deciding? How did you come up with that?

Reever Botha:

she has a health background; I have a business background. And she’s extremely passionate about all the health side of things, the formulations, the ingredients, how the product intertwines, and you know, communicate that the gut and the skin and the why and the technical techy stuff of our product, whereas I love the business side of the operational stuff, the numbers, all that sort of stuff. And I think we’ve been able to do that quite well. It is me my partner that runs the business, but we also do have another business partner who’s in Melbourne and he and I, we do all the operational stuff or the day-to-day stuff, whereas my partner loves to be the face of the brand because that look, that’s our passion, right? Speaking about health, helping people and audience building community, that is one thing that she loves, and it’s a great dynamic because it’s, you know, it’s two different brains thinking differently, if that makes sense. Yeah, for us, exceptionally Well,

Hayley Osborne:

What a beautiful combo. For you, You’re the business end of the deal. What are your top three marketing tips that you could give small business owners listening to this?

Reever Botha:

The three biggest marketing tips are: The first and foremost most important marketing tip I can give is just to be clear on who your market is, your consumer your target market is. And it’s funny, you know, people don’t have one core demographic. There are multiple core demographics, but it’s just choosing, like, which is which, which has the biggest market, which has the most pain and going off that one, right? So that’s the first tip that I would give because, you know, knowing your consumer, for us, completely turn the tables around for us because we, we made so many mistakes leading up until, like, a year ago. And for us, like cash flow, like any e-commerce business, you need to have a fat wallet, right? We made so many mistakes. But knowing that getting so clear on our marketing helped us to be increased our marketing efficiency, which drives down your cost per acquisition and helps you scale more.

Hayley Osborne:

Would you say, like, you know, it isn’t a smart idea to be everything to everyone? What you do is, be niche with your messaging, and then kind of whoever comes on board comes on board, you know, you can’t target everyone, but everyone might buy your product, but it’s you’re messaging that’s got to be clever? Does that kind of make sense? Would you agree? 100%?

Reever Botha:

Yeah, 100%? It’s because, you know, humans, we connect, and we feel through emotion, right? And that’s how we naturally feel connected to things, is it through emotion, and that’s how we communicate even subconsciously. Understanding a bit about consumer psychology, and this was my second marketing point, is really understanding your consumer, then it’s understanding the psychology behind your consumer, like, why did they buy it from you? What do they like? What don’t they like? Why are they buying your stuff, right? The whole conversion metrics side of things. And it’s getting clear on your messaging and bridging your consumers once and emotionally bridging your consumers wants with the outcome of your product. And that is what really makes people buy something, right? It’s like anything like, why does a female go and buy a $3,000 Prada bag instead of a department store bag, right? Because it’s how they feel wearing it. It’s like how they’re perceived by other women. Or she’s bougie. She’s rich, right? It’s that whole how you feel kind of thing. So that is so important, as well. And that’s what really turned the tables for us was those two massive things.

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, so emotional marketing is where it’s at. And I really believe that as well. And I think COVID has a big part to play in emotional marketing because big brands had to think about how to do things differently along the way. And that’s, I think, really paved the way for small business owners too because big brands, you could see that they started to go not back yard, but it got a bit more gorilla remarketing type of thing. And so, it kind of made a nice pathway for small businesses to realise, hey, well, if I can get on the emotional side of a consumer to, like, you know, it doesn’t need big budgets, you’ve got to be very clever with your thinking and your words, to be able to resonate, right? Because it’s all about that know, like, and trust. And if you can build those three things in that order, the trust then leads to sales. And trust is the emotion. It’s such a lovely dynamic. In terms of what would you suggest the one thing for small business owners listening to do in their marketing right now?

Reever Botha:

Right now, what I would like literally right now, so I would say 95% of brands that when they first start, this is what they do, they focus on selling their product. And what I mean by that is the product, the product benefits, and the features, right? And that isn’t what people buy. And that is one thing that we had to learn the hard way in terms of blowing our budget on our marketing because the only way to effectively communicate your product to your consumer is speaking directly to their wants, not their needs, and the outcome of what your product does. And yeah, that is essentially what someone can do right now, creating a like, unlike what I like to call a problem-solution outcome approach. You speak to their problems, provide your solution, and you sell the outcome. That is it. For example, for us, we have an innovative product, right? So, we know that our consumers want to get rid of their acne. They are more inclined to use products like skincare products, right? Make sense. But for us, we have a new innovative way which is fixing your gut and rebalancing your microbiome to fix your acne. So, for us, when we first started our marketing, we were like, you know, fix it gut health, fix your gut and everyone’s like, no, no, no, no, like, I don’t want to fix my gut health. I just want to fix my acne. And so, for us, it’s like, okay, we’ll fix your acne then. Then we notice that when we change our messaging about drums heavily driven towards acne, we’re making sales, but because people don’t care about the process, they just want it now. They want better acne. So, they didn’t care what the process was, just directly communicating their wants and selling the outcome of your product does, because that’s what people buy anything they don’t buy the process.

Hayley Osborne:

You could say the same thing for services, right? Selling the outcome of your product or your service is the way people will notice you because you need to speak to their problem. That’s the most important part.

Reever Botha:

Yeah, 100%. Like, another example would be, if you want to pay an agency to get you more leads, if you’re an agency trying to sell, you know, leads, if you’re a media buyer, it wouldn’t necessarily be, I’ll guarantee you 50 leads this month, it’s I’ll guarantee you 50 qualified leads, because for me, as a business owner, I want to take sales calls, I can generate myself leads, right, but I want qualified leads. The word qualified is what will attract me to then book a call with this person, if that makes sense. It’s all about really getting clear. And look, you won’t really know that until you really know who your consumer is and know them so well to the point where you just list off the top of your head when someone asks you.

Hayley Osborne:

With your business, obviously, in health and wellness, it’s, you know, looking like the trajectory of a trillion-dollar industry. There’s a lot of noise in the line that you’re in. How did you cut through that, especially in your marketing, to build success?

Reever Botha:

It just came down to our product formulation and just the uniqueness of just communicating, you know, our different approach to target acne, and building community and just making gut health sexy, just building community, and getting people around us. And really, and just speaking to our brand values, and why we’re here and what we’re here to do. And you know, like revolution, I just ended a prop that’s available today. Because based on our own experiences, you know, we spent, we learned the hard way spending like eight years of our lives with acne and how that made us feel and blowing all that money on things on Band-Aid solutions, things that never worked for us. Right? It’s like, well, we’ve got a solution here. How do we best communicate this? And how do we build a community around this for people to support us?

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, I totally agree. And I think as well, to kind of summarise that, in a way, for service-based businesses too. I often say stay in your lane. There’s nobody in your lane. And if you’re looking at what everyone else is doing, that’s a surefire way not to grow. You need to just be true to yourself, head down, and focus on what you’re good at. And then, the results will follow. So where do you see your business in five years?

Reever Botha:

Oh, gosh, where do we see ourselves in five years? I see us with loads more products in every single retail store in Australia. I also see us opening skin clinics as well and offering one on one personalised customer advice. So not skin clinics, like a clinic, less like a naturopath clinic where someone can come in, they can do a gut test, though. And then we have an app and recommends them all our top line products and building lots of community and, you know, growing overseas and growing our revenue channels, especially through the US, China, and Southeast Asia, which is what we’re currently working on now. So that’s what us and Big Head Office big teams and that’s where we, I see the vision going.

Hayley Osborne:

Nice. Well, domination.

Reever Botha:

Yeah, I think, as a leader of a brand, right? You must have those. You must have that vision. You must see beyond the Muddy Waters. Because even like right now, like it’s always like that, right? And if you’re not working towards one massive, hairy, audacious goal, what are you working towards? Right?

Hayley Osborne:

Yeah, that’s right. I think it’s nice to have big goals. And, to know that if you’re a business owner, you’re listening to this, and you are thinking, I just can’t get out my own head, I can’t get out my own way. I’m stuck in all the menial tasks every single day. You’ve just got to cut that away and have that bigger goal and at least do one thing every day that’s going to make your steps closer to achieving that, which is important. Isn’t the ticket off right at the beginning? I call it a dread sprint. You got to dread sprinting through the stuff that you don’t want to do to get to the stuff that you do want to do.

Reever Botha:

So yeah, it’s true, right? It’s like, but like for us, like we’re trying to build a brand here. We’re like; we’re not trying to build like a quick like, we’re not going to make a quick buck. For us, a lot of what we do is brand building, and we don’t see a return on what we do. And we, you know, for quite a while, so and we and we know that we understand that and like we want to build something here that outlast us when we’re not here.

Reever Botha:

I love that saying. Hey, it’s so true. It’s so funny. Literally every single week, we’re like, oh, we’ve just, we’ve just fixed this thing. And now it’s like, oh my god, another thing now,

Hayley Osborne:

Every business owner goes through it. And I feel like social media paints a really, like, pretty picture that everyone’s it’s just the way it is. It’s like, no, you do one thing, and then there’s something else that doesn’t work. And then you must go do that, which takes two or three hours. And it’s just the way it is. It’s so funny.

Hayley Osborne:

The final question I want to ask you is, do you have a mentor? How did you go all in? What does that look like? Or are you the reader and the podcast listener? Like, what does that look like for you?

Reever Botha:

For us to start, we made a lot of mistakes early, and we were like, when should we just pay someone to, you know, give us all the tools and pay for the knowledge and experience? But for us, we didn’t have the cash flow. What that looked like for us was that for the first two years, I was just putting ourselves in rooms with people that knew more than us. Because, you know, if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. And for us, we leveraged networks, like networking events, like crazy. We went on LinkedIn to message people, DM people, you know, and instead of just saying, like, oh, like, can you help me? It’s like, well, what, like, what can you do for them? Like getting really clear on them. Like, okay, if you go on their page and look like they’re into golf, right? Like, is there anything that you can tee up? They’re like, oh, like, man, like, I bought you a pack of golf balls, or like, you know what I mean, like anything like that. It’s just building good rapport and relationships with people. And that’s what we leverage really, hard at the start. And what we’re doing now is that I do have a mentor now, more of like a personal development mentor because it’s funny, right? Going through my own personal development journey, it’s realising that your business is just a reflection of you. All the caps, all of the problems, and all of the roadblocks in your business aren’t about your business. It’s, it’s all in your mind. It’s all the limiting beliefs, all the roadblocks that you put subconsciously around you that you don’t even realise. And for me, we’ve seen massive growth out in the past, just like literally the past three months. And all by virtue of working on myself. And I think it’s important to have a business partner that is on the same level as you. So, because my partner is the exact same as my other business partner in Melbourne so we’re all on this pursuit of this crazy personal development journey. And we’re seeing tremendous results in our business.

Hayley Osborne:

So yeah, that’s awesome. If my listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you? Give us your Instagram details and website. So, we can stalk you.

Reever Botha:

My Instagram is it’s just @Reeverbotha. And they can DM me; I’m happy to help. I love this. I’ve got to; I feel like I owe the entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial community. Something I feel like everyone always says because I just want to help people not make the same mistakes I made. And if I wish, if I had someone there as a mentor, a part-time mentor, I’d be stoked. So yeah.

Hayley Osborne:

And, PuraU. What are the details of that beautiful brand?

Reever Botha:

@purauofficial, and that’s our Instagram. So yeah, hit us up on Instagram. And yeah, we’ve got some cool things that we’re announcing soon.

Hayley Osborne:

Awesome. Well, I wish you so much luck for the future. You have a beautiful business. Your growth has been amazing. You should be proud. And thank you so much for sharing your story on the Hayley Osborne show.

Reever Botha:

Thank you so much for having me.

Hayley Osborne:

I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode. If you have hit subscribe so you don’t miss any new episodes released every Tuesday. And while you’re there, leave me a review. I would absolutely love to read it. Also, don’t forget to tag me @HayleyKOsborne over on Instagram and share this podcast with your audience so they can get learning too. If you want more, head over to Hayleyosborne.com.au/podcast for today’s show notes and links. I’ve also got an awesome free eBook, a new one waiting for you on my website, the 10 Essentials every local area marketing plan needs, and I will catch you next week for another episode of The Hayley Osborne show.

Links

Reever Botha Instagram

PuraU Instagram

PuraU Website

Hayley Instagram

Hayley Website

The Hayley Osborne Show Favourites

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