GE 204: How Daisy Jing Accidentally Became an Entrepreneur and Now Runs a $3M ARR Company (podcast) With Daisy Jing

Daisy Jing

Hey everyone, today I share the mic with Daisy Jing, CEO of Banish, the natural solution for skin problems.

Tune in to hear Daisy discuss how she accidentally became an entrepreneur and created her own line of skin care products, how she grew her business to $3 million in revenue, how she maximizes YouTube as a marketing tool (and grew her channel to 60M views & 200K subscribers), and the importance of building a community.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Daisy Jing Accidentally Became an Entrepreneur and Now Runs a $3M ARR Company TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:39 – Leave a review and rating and subscribe to the podcast
  • 01:05 – Eric welcomes Daisy Jing
  • 01:20 – Daisy is the 28 year old CEO of Banish, a company that offers natural solutions to skin problems and blemishes
    • 01:50 – Daisy started the company in 2013, from her own kitchen
  • 02:11 – The revenue of the company is around $3 million
  • 02:26 – Daisy says her YouTube channel is instrumental in her business’ success
    • 02:36 – Daisy’s videos show her reviews of different skin products
    • 02:47 – Daisy gained enough followers which gained her enough trust to launch her own products
    • 03:09 – Daisy started to mix stuff in her own kitchen and within weeks of using it, her followers noticed how good her skin looked
    • 03:23 – Daisy decided to make a few batches and sell it
  • 03:32 – Daisy believes it’s the videos and the community that helped grow the business
  • 03:47 – One video, Growing Up Ugly, got more than 200,000 views
  • 04:09 – In the skincare industry, trust is important
  • 04:29 – The number of total views is at 16 million and subscribers at 200,000
    • 04:46 – Daisy does not have time to make new videos
    • 05:16 – Daisy has outsourced content making
  • 05:35 – Daisy never wanted to be a YouTube celebrity, she just wanted to be a trusted source for skin care
  • 06:13 – Daisy used to spend 50 to 60 hours a week making her own video reviews
  • 06:47 – Daisy says persistence played a role in her success
  • 07:07 – Keep doing it and love what you are doing
  • 07:56 – When you reach a certain number, collaboration with others is easier and you also get invited to different events to gain more exposure
    • 08:16 – The first thousand subscribers was really hard
    • 08:30 – Daisy took 5 years to reach a hundred thousand subscribers
  • 08:49 – The community helped Daisy get her first thousand customers
  • 09:30 – The next wave of customers was through reviews of influencers
    • 10:10 – Look for people who are not big yet and build a relationship with them
    • 10:33 – Figure out what your marketing channel is and do it day after day, after day…
    • 10:44 – Daisy thinks she is good at spotting influencers
    • 11:38 – Daisy looks at the engagement rates and if he or she is known for being sponsored by a big brand
  • 12:06 – Daisy has a lot of repeat customers
  • 12:20 – Have a good product and stick with it
  • 12:25 – Learn the social media channels and where influencers are going
  • 13:44 – What’s one big struggle you’ve faced while growing the business Daisy needs to learn how to think bigger and how to NOT do it all
    • 14:23 – Daisy says she needs to let go and let smarter people help her do her work
  • 14:39 – What’s one big change you made in the last year that has impacted your life dramatically? – Daisy does not go the office as often as she has in the past and has learned to let people work autonomously
    • 15:32 – Daisy does one-on-ones with managers once a week or every other week and it is consultative in nature, rather than her giving orders
  • 16:12 – Daisy now works anywhere she wants and the company still runs smoothly even if she’s not physically present at the office
  • 16:29 – Daisy has 3 or 4 number twos
  • 16:51 – Daisy has also stopped developing friendships with her co-workers to separate work from her personal life
  • 17:41 – In case she needs to make a difficult decision, Daisy wants to base it on the work rather than their relationship
  • 18:00 – What’s one new tool that you’ve added in the last year that has added a lot of value to you? – Voice Messaging
  • 18:37 – Eric also wants to start using voice messaging
  • 19:42 – What’s one book that you’d recommend to everyone? The E-Myth
  • 20:20 – What’s one blog or podcast that you listen to everywhere? Growth Everywhere
  • 20:50 – Connect with Daisy thru her email
  • 21:03 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

  1. If you can, establish credibility and trust before you even begin your company.
  2. Persistence will eventually pay off.
  3. Learn how to delegate tasks to people who are smarter than you.

Resources From This Interview:

Leave Some Feedback:

 Connect With Eric Siu:

Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Show transcript
Daisy:
And then, one day, I just started mixing stuff in my kitchen, used it on myself, and, within a few weeks, my audience started noticing. "Oh, Daisy, your skin looks so much better. The red marks on your face is gone. Where can I buy whatever it is you're using?"

Announcer:
Do you want to impact the world and still turn a profit? Then you're in the right place. Welcome to Growth Everywhere. This is the show where you'll find read conversations with real entrepreneurs. They'll share everything from their biggest struggle to the exact strategies they use on a daily basis.


If you're ready for a value packed interview, listen on. Here's your host, Eric Siu.

Eric:
Before we just in to today's interview, if you guys could leave a review and a rating, and also subscribe as well, that would be a huge help to the podcast. If you actually enjoy the content and you'd like to hear more of it, please support us by leaving us a review and subscribe to the podcast, as well. Thanks so much.


All right, everybody. Today we have a special guest who's actually a friend of mine, who's also in Entrepreneurs' Organization. Her name is Daisy Jing. She's the CEO of Banish. I'll let her talk about what that is in a second.


Daisy, how's it going?

Daisy:
Good. Thank you so much having me.

Eric:
Thanks for being here. Why do you tell us a little bit about who you are and what your business is?

Daisy:
I am Daisy. I'm 28 years old. Live in LA. Grew up in Minnesota.


My company is Banish, banishacnescars.com or banishacne.com. We are a natural solution for skin problems.


Currently, when you think of wanting to get rid of skin blemished, you think of ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, more harsh chemicals. We provide a natural solution, using organic ingredients to help combat skin blemishes.


I started a company in 2013 out of my kitchen. Now we've scaled to about 15 people.

Eric:
In terms of revenues, just give it a range, you don't have to be exact with it. How are you guys doing, in terms of revenues, today?

Daisy:
I would say around the multiple seven figures.

Eric:
Cool. Would you say that's close to four or five million?

Daisy:
Getting there. I would say between the threes.

Eric:
Okay, cool. I think one thing I want to talk about, too ... How did you cut your teeth growing this business? I know you did really well through social media. What did you do, exactly, to start to really blow this thing up?

Daisy:
Yeah. I tell everyone that I would never have been able to start this unless I had my YouTube channel. My YouTube channel is daiserz89. I started it in 2008, 2009. I just started it because I had acne problems. I would be reviewing skin care products.


I was just this normal girl, in my dorm room, reviewing beauty products. I developed a following. It wasn't huge, but it was enough to get me enough trust, in terms of launching this product. The funny story is, when I started this business, I had no intention of starting it. It was very accidental. I did my YouTube channel. I had really bad acne, just wanted to help people with their skin problems and review products for them. I developed a following and a community.


And then, one day, I just started mixing stuff in my kitchen, used it on myself, and, within a few weeks, my audience started noticing. "Oh, Daisy, your skin looks so much better. The red marks on your face is gone. Where can I buy whatever it is you're using?" Then my mom started noticing, too.


I made a few batches, but it in bottles, shipped it out USPS. That's how it started.


I really do believe it's the story. It's my community and my videos that really helped grow this business and even give the first initial thousand orders. Without the YouTube, nothing would have happened.

Eric:
Did you have one video that blew up?

Daisy:
There's a video where it's called, "Growing Up Ugly". That has, I think, like 200,000 views. That was very ... It was an accident. I just made it one day, Friday night. That was when I had the acne problems.


I feel like that video was so vulnerable, and I was so raw about my struggles with my skin and my appearance, that I feel like a lot of people related to me and trusted me. I think in skin care, and in cosmetics, and in beauty, you just want trust. There's just so many products out there. You want to be able to trust whoever is making or using it.


I feel like that was a huge source of credibility for people to trust a product.

Eric:
What do your YouTube numbers look like today, in terms of subscribers and number of total views?

Daisy:
Number of total views is at 60 million, subscribers at 200,000-ish. Honestly, in the recent couple of years, I've been struggling with my time, in terms of producing content. Before, it was like I had 40, 50 hours a week just to make content on YouTube. I didn't have a business to run.


Now, I have the business to run. The YouTube has kind of been ... I don't really have time to focus on myself into that. The views are dying a little bit, I will be honest, but we've also worked with a lot of other amazing partners and influencers who have helped create content for us.

Eric:
Now that you've not been able to create as much content, you're going to other influencers, or people that have a following there. You're leveraging their following?

Daisy:
Yeah, or just having them make content for us. Finding other people who have a similar story to me and sharing their advice on their skin care, skin care tips, or however they manage their acne.


When I'm looking at what role I want to play in a company, I never wanted to be a YouTube celebrity. That was never my intention. I just wanted to be a trusted source of information to help people with their skin and their confidence.


I don't want to be Instagram famous. I don't want to be YouTube famous. I want to stay out of that. I figure that I want to be the person running the business and I will try to tear myself away from being the face of the business.

Eric:
That's what happening now, because the videos used to be just you. Now it's other people making it, so it feels like it's all about fighting acne or having better skin. I guess my question would also be, when you were first starting out, how much content were you producing? What did that cadence look like per week?

Daisy:
Oh my gosh. I was crazy. I spent 50, 60 hours a week doing this because I didn't make any money from the YouTube either. I was hustling, making up content. I would think about what new products are launching. Can I go to the drug store and get that product before anybody else does and do a review on it?


I would make probably videos every other day, I think. That was my ... Yeah.

Eric:
What's your secret to getting to ... Did you say 16 million? 1 6 or 6 0?

Daisy:
60, yeah. Total views.

Eric:
What is the secret? Is it consistency? Is it volume? What is it?

Daisy:
I really think you have to be crazy persistent. It's taken me, what did I say, 2009, eight years to get to where I am now.


In the beginning, you're making video, after video, after video. You start off making a video with three views, two of which are yours. Then it goes to 10. Then it goes to 100. Then it goes to 1,000.


I think you have to keep doing it. You have to love it so much. I don't really know what drove me to work so hard in the beginning. I really think it was because I formed a bond with my audience. We all shared this commonality of being a little insecure about the way we looked and our skin. That pushed me to keep making content, even though I wasn't making money from it, or even though it took a lot of my time.

Eric:
We talked about, in the beginning, when we did that Facebook Live. I was basically, "Hey, after the first year, I was only getting $9 a day on this podcast." You kept going with it. I think you talked about ... Your response was basically, "You keep going. Once you hit 10,000 subscribers, it's a slog to get there, but afterwards, it becomes a lot easier." Can you talk about that a little bit?

Daisy:
Yeah. It becomes a lot easier. I think collaboration is important. Once you reach a certain amount, people want to collab with you. They're not going to collab with someone who's just starting out. That also helps.


You get invited to a lot of events where you can meet other people and get more exposure. It's kind of a domino. They always say the first thousand customers are hard. I would say, maybe, the first thousand subscribers. Probably now like 10,000 or 100,000 subscribers is pretty hard.

Eric:
How long did it take you to get to about 10,000 subscribers? How long did it take you to go from 10,000 to 100,000?

Daisy:
10,000, maybe three years. 10,000 to 100,000, maybe two.

Eric:
Wow. Okay, so it sped up quite a bit. Got it. That's awesome.


You spoke about acquiring the first thousand customers. You had your subscribers. We talked about YouTube, but how did you go about acquiring your first thousand customers? Was it just because of the community, or what was it?

Daisy:
Yeah. I really believe it was the community. I think all my thousand customers came from the YouTube channel and because they knew me. I really didn't think it was going to take off. I was doing all this myself. I remember buying all the bubble mailers from Office Depot, and buying all the bubble wrap from Target, and they'd be sold out of it.


It was all through my community. It was funny, because they would also email me and call me. I would pick up the phone. They were like, "Wait. Is this the same girl? Is the same Daisy I watch on the YouTube videos?" Like, "Yep."

Eric:
That's awesome.

Daisy:
Yeah, so that was how I got the first thousand customers. In terms of the next, maybe 10,000 customers, or whatever, it was more through ... I had some friends who are also influencers, as well. I sent them the products and then they reviewed it. It was reaching my network to get them to review it.

Eric:
How do you find these people to review your stuff? I think we talked about this in the past, too. You'll find influencers on Instagram, YouTube, things like that. There's no marketplace yet to find these influencers. I think somebody's going to tackle that. How do you go about doing that? What's your process?

Daisy:
Right now, we have a pretty rigorous system of how we do it. I don't think it's as easy as sending people products and expecting them to review it. I think the biggest thing is you have to look for people who aren't big yet, because once they get big, they get very expensive.


We've noticed that you don't necessarily get an ROI if you work with someone who's very established. We try to work with people when they're smaller and build a relationship with them. Sometimes, they'll blow up. That's how we do it.


You have to do it day, after day, after day, after day. You have to figure out what your marketing channel is and then just keep at it, day, after day, after day.


Now we have a time who does that all the time. I'm also very good at spotting influencers. When I watch a girl on YouTube, or I see her on Instagram, and I notice she has that spark that will allow her to grow and blow up in the next year, I do whatever I can to contact her and make sure that we're able to work with her.

Eric:
What is that spark?

Daisy:
I don't really know, but I've noticed that something I'm pretty good at is, I'm able to notice something and figure out if it will grow or not.


Someone who's very relatable, funny. I think she has to be a little aspirational, too. She has to be that person that people want to be, but at the same time, relatable. There's that fine balance.


If you look at the numbers, is she growing? Is she very engaged? Does she have that cult like following? Does she have that it factor?

Eric:
Do you look at any specific numbers, engagement rates? If so, what do those numbers look like?

Daisy:
No, not necessarily numbers. I think I look more at engagement rates. Also, a huge part of it is, is he or she known for being sponsored? If she's known as a Kim Kardashian, just being sponsored all the time, that's probably not going to be beneficial for a small company.

Eric:
That makes a lot of sense. Okay, so you have your community. You have people that you're reaching out to. Is there anything else that you're doing that's really effective in terms of customer acquisition?

Daisy:
We have a lot of repeat customers, so that has helped. It's not a huge struggle and always direct response marketing. We've been toying a little bit with Facebook now, but I really think it's like, figure out what you're good at and stick with that.


At the same time, YouTube is getting expensive. Instagram is getting expensive. Learning what the new social media channels are, where the influencers are moving into, and learn that system.


You can do the same with influencer marketing on a different platform.

Eric:
Awesome. I think that's super important. I was on a podcast earlier today. This guy was asking me all this stuff. I'm like, "You just need to stick with one thing first. Make it work and then you could expand it to other areas."


Basically, you started with a community first, then you started to venture out into these other areas, right?

Daisy:
Yeah. And I tried more paid advertising and all that. We tried putting our ads in newspapers and stuff. It didn't work out. It didn't work out because I didn't know how to tweak the system. I didn't know how to work it, in that secret spot, to make it work.


I feel like you just have to pick that one thing and really tweak it, so that way you know how to work the system. For me, I can't do ... I tried affiliate marketing. It didn't work. I lost money on that, so figure out what it is that you're good at. Stick with it.

Eric:
Totally. Affiliate marketing, that's a completely different beast. I remember when I first got into it, a long time ago, for a company I was at, I basically read this [inaudible 00:13:31]. It's called "Affiliate Marketing, One Hour a Day". That's the entire Bible about it. It's a full time job, basically, so if you can't dedicate time to it, it's definitely a money loser for sure.


What's one big struggle you faced while growing this business? I know you've told me about a lot of different things going on, but what's one big thing that sticks out to you?

Daisy:
I think one big thing, right now, is I need to learn how to think bigger and stop thinking about trying to save every single dollar and trying to do it all. I started this out of my kitchen. I'm very resourceful. I was doing everything from the beginning, learning how to do everything.


Even now, I still want to learn. How do I do this marketing? How do I do that? How do I do this? I realize that I can't do it all myself. The next step is really hiring people who are way smarter than me, that way they can support me in building this.


That is something I, personally, myself, have to learn how to let go and be able to hand over that part of my baby.

Eric:
Right. Totally makes sense. I think, oftentimes, when we start anything, we suck at delegating. I know you and I, we're probably control freaks. Learning to let go of that's super important.


What's one big change that you made, let's say in the last year, that's impacted your life dramatically? Could be business, could be personal. Can be positive or negative.

Daisy:
This year, I was like, "Oh, I'm going to live in different places, within LA, so that way, I'm not stuck at the office." I was there every day and everyone would ask me so many questions, from, "What kind of toilet paper do we buy?" I was just so annoyed, like, "You have to ask me every little thing."


I realized I need to give people autonomy and let them create their own systems and processes that work well for them. I am not in the office very much. I'm in there maybe once or twice a month. I try to also limit the amount of time and interaction I have with my employees. That way, they can have more autonomy and take ownership of the work they do and stop feeling like they have to ask me for every little thing.


That has helped. What I do is, I have one on ones with everybody, or the managers, or my direct reports, once a week or once every other week to make sure everything's going okay. Going it at a position of, "How can I support you in what you want to do?" versus, "Can you do this? Can you do that? Can you do that?"


That has been working well. I always tell them, "Bring me solutions. If you have a problem, bring me the solution and tell me why you don't think these solutions are good. Don't ask me for the solution, because I don't know your job as well as you do."


That has been something I've done, just to figure out can I really operate this business from anywhere? That has helped a lot.

Eric:
You're confident that you can, basically, work wherever you want now?

Daisy:
Yeah, I can work everywhere I want. If I'm out for a day, or if I'm out for a week, it still runs itself. It stills runs smoothly.

Eric:
Do you have an operations person or a number two that oversees the office operations?

Daisy:
I have, I would say, maybe three or four number twos. I've learned not to give everything to a number two, because that could be very overwhelming. If they are to leave or go somewhere else it's kind of risky. You have multiple number twos for whatever silo it is that they're working on.


The other thing I was going to say about your last question, what else have you done. I've also stopped developing friendships with people I worked with, because we are all very young women, similar peers. I was put in a situation where it was very awkward for me, because I knew something about someone. I had to make a business decision based on that knowledge.


I realized, you know what? Work is work. To be respected as a leader ... I'm your boss, I gave you the paycheck every two weeks. I'm not your best friend. That was also something I had to struggle with. Before, I would hang out with them. We would eat. I would tell them about my life. Then I realized, you know what? That's probably not the best way to be respected, for me.

Eric:
Totally. I feel like there's more behind that. Did people start to disrespect you? What happened?

Daisy:
No, it's not they disrespect me. I, personally, I don't feel comfortable being best friends with people I work with. That's just me. I prefer to have my personal life. I prefer to have my professional life.


I think when time comes to make the hard decisions, you want to base it on the work. You don't want to have other things interfering with how you base decisions. You want to be fair to everyone.


For me, I just wanted to say work is work and your personal is your personal.

Eric:
That's fair.


All right. What's one new tool, that you've added in the last year, that's added a lot of value to you? So you could say, like a Evernote, for example, or a Dropbox.

Daisy:
I use all the stuff a lot of people use, but I've started using voice messaging. I'll do WhatsApp, the voice messenger. I'll do that to my admin. It makes things a lot easier, versus having to respond to emails or text. I don't like responding to emails, because I feel like that's what I do all day. It's great for me to press a button, while I'm driving, send him a voice memo, and then he just takes that and puts it on his to do list. I try to send voice memos whenever I can.

Eric:
Holy crap. I'm totally going to steal that. You know what's funny? Earlier today, someone was sending me all these texts through voice. I was like, "Why is this guy sending it through voice?" My mom learned to do that the other day. I'm like, "God. How did she learn how to do that?" I guess it's becoming bigger now.


Me sending it to my EA, that is a really good tip, so I'm going to steal that.

Daisy:
Yeah. Sometimes I send the Skype. You can send a two minute video via Skype. Sometimes, at the end of the day, at 11 pm, I think of a new idea, I'll just record it on video and send it to them via Skype so that way I don't call them late at night.


I find that voice and video sometimes is more personable, and you can explain-

Eric:
So, you're sending them a selfie video at 11, when you're about to go to sleep?

Daisy:
Yeah. I always have these crazy ideas that come to me and then I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I need to record it before I forget," so that's what I'll do.

Eric:
That's the other thing. I think this is a topic for another time, but I'm learning to step away, in terms of being the lightning bolt all the time. That's basically the guy that comes up with all these ideas all the time, that keeps dropping all these ideas in front of people. People start to fear you, when you come with all these ideas. I'm trying to dial that back a little bit. That's a good point.


What's one ... I guess we'll make this two things. What's one book that you recommend to everyone? It could be business, could be anything.

Daisy:
I would say, starting off, would be the The E Myth, because I remember reading that while I was working out of my kitchen. It was learning how to delegate and learning that you cannot be the technician if you want to run this company.


After reading that book, I was making maybe three grand a month, so not a lot. But I [inaudible 00:20:04], at like $10 an hour. I realized, wow, that was such a big help, to have an assistant and learn how to manage her and delegate tasks.


Without that book, I probably would have tried to do everything on my own. That's a great one, starting out.

Eric:
Yep, yep. Great book.


What's one ... We can make this multiple things. What's one blog or podcast that you listen to every day, or read?

Daisy:
I listen to your podcast. I definitely listen to Growth Everywhere. I'm not just saying that because I'm on here. I actually do listen. I do listen, because you're very ... You get tactical information from entrepreneurs who are like you, so I would say your podcast.

Eric:
Cool. Awesome. All right, thank you for that.


This has been great. Daisy, what's the best way for people to find you online?

Daisy:
They can email me, [email protected]

Eric:
All right, cool. Well, Daisy, thanks so much for doing this. A lot of good takeaway advice here. Hopefully, all of you that ask me all the time, "How do you grow a YouTube channel?", or, "How do you work with influencers?", this is it.


Thanks again, Daisy.

Daisy:
Thanks, Eric.

Announcer:
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