Mina Elias is the Founder of Trivium Group, an Amazon PPC and DSP marketing group. He started several successful supplement brands on Amazon with his experience as a chemical engineer. He is also an MMA fighter who started his first brand, MMA Nutrition, to change the supplement game. His sights are set on becoming the number one supplement brand for competitive athletes all over the world.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Mina Elias talks about the upcoming Sell + Scale Summit
- The importance of tenacity and determination
- How Mina differentiates his agency from others in his industry
- Helping small businesses with PPC advertising
- Mina and Rich talk about their sessions at the Sell + Scale Summit
- Where to learn more and get in touch with Mina
In this episode…
PPC advertising has become essential in building successful e-commerce brands. However, the cost of investing in an expert PPC agency can be very high for small businesses. This is mostly due to the cost of hiring experts to manage the client’s PPC needs.
So what can small businesses do? How can they differentiate themselves from other brands without spending a fortune?
In this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, Rich Goldstein interviews Mina Elias, the Founder of Trivium Group, about how he uses PPC advertising to build successful brands. Mina explains how he structures his team, how helps small businesses, and his session at the upcoming Sell + Scale Summit.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Goldstein Patent Law
- Rich Goldstein’s book: The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent
- Trivium Group
- Trivium Tribe
- Trivium Group’s Free Audit
- “Engineering Endurance Supplements With Mina Elias of MMA Nutrition”
- Mina Elias on LinkedIn I Instagram I Facebook
- Sell + Scale Summit
- Helium 10
- Alex Hormozi on LinkedIn
- PPC University
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process.
You can email their team at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.
Rich Goldstein here, a host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I featured top leaders in the path they took to create change. Pascal include Kevin King, Rick sari, and Thomas Shipley. This episode is brought to you by my company, gold steam patent law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 28 years. So if you’re a company that has software product or a design, you want protected go to gold steam patent law.com, where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could email my team at email@example.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. You could also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent.
I have with me here today. Joining me for the second time. My good friend, Mina Elias, uh, Mina is a chemical engineer and a chemist. He started several successful supplement brands on Amazon. He’s also an MMA fighter and a PPC expert. Uh, his baby and first brand MMA nutrition was founded because as an MMA fighter, he was looking to change the supplement game. Uh, he set a sight on becoming the number one supplement brand for competitive athletes all over the world. I’m thrilled to welcome back here today. My very good friend, Mina Ilias. Welcome Mina.
Welcome. So update on that story. <laugh> I, uh, I did not end up becoming the best, uh, supplement brand for endurance athletes in the world. Not
Not yet. Not yet, but, but, um, I, I think I found something that I was a lot better at. Right. Which is PPC. Okay. Uh, and, and, uh, now, now that’s kind of where the path is taking me and I’m becoming better and better and better at it every single day. Um, and hopefully, you know, able to impact, uh, a lot of businesses, but yeah, I mean the supplement game, it, I love it. I still love it. I’m still a huge consumer. Um, maybe we need to change that intro a little bit.
Yeah. You know, you know what, like, um, what I’m good at is recycling, um, intros from two and a half years ago. <laugh> so, um, so I had you on as one of my very first guests, um, you, um, I think, I think it was the second episode that you were
On. I still was living in the Venice apartment, which was a, was a 10 foot by 10 foot apartment, uh, a 10 foot by 10 foot room. And I literally had my bed and like my, uh, chair was touching my bed and I had like a desk and that’s it.
And was there a toilet in that room too? Was that a jail cell really come on? Like
There was a bucket, there was a bucket and, and, uh, you could do whatever you want to that bucket.
<laugh>. Yeah, but it’s yeah. So, so two and a half years ago, January of, uh, 2020 is when we first met. We, we met in, um, in Venice, California from, um, our, our common friend in common, uh, Isabella. Um, and, um, and yeah, we, we, um, we hit it off. We recorded a podcast episode within the very first episodes now hundred episodes later, or so, you know, have you having you back on since then, like, you know, we’ve had a lot of fun adventures, we’ve planned events together. Um, so, so yeah, it’s really cool to have you back.
Amazing. I’m very excited. Uh, so speak, speaking of planned events that we planned together, uh, if, if you guys are going to sell and scale, mm-hmm, uh, hit me and Rich up because we’re both speakers there. I have a booth there. I don’t know if you have a booth there, uh, Rich, you don’t. Okay. But we have something that’s better than a booth. We have a, a sweet party, a sweet party. We have, uh, the official, uh, uh, pre after party. Yeah. Uh, of the conference. So it happens the day before the conference, right after the Amazon, the helium 10 kickoff party. Yes. And it’s the kickoff party ends at nine and our party starts at nine, but trust me, it’s not gonna go past 12 because we’ve seen people burn out, uh, and party too hard on the first night. And, and then, you know, they’re couple other days, they’re very, um, I guess struggling struggle —
Because Mina is disciplined.
Just, I’m very
He’s disciplined. He can, he, he can, um, call it quits at midnight, even in Vegas.
That’s what I did at prosper. At prosper. Every night I would go out, I would party. There’d be like, oh, Mina, what are you drinking? I’ll be like, I’m drinking red bull. They’re like what? I’m like. Yeah, goodbye. And it was at 12 o’clock, you know, before my, uh, my car turned into a pumpkin, um, I, I ran away.
Yeah. See if I was drinking red bull, I’d never be able before, so
Gotta focus the camera. There we go. Cool. We’re good.
Okay. <laugh> so, um, yeah, if I was drinking red bull, I’d never be able to fall asleep. Um, but, uh, but yeah. Um, but yeah, that’s, so that’s what we’re doing. We’re speaking at the selling scale, uh, summit, um, in Vegas, September. Uh, and, um, we’re also doing a really cool party, uh, capacity is limited. Um, so like, you know, reach out to us, we’ll do the best we can to get you in. Um, but we’ll all we can do is the best we can to get you in. Cuz we can only have
2000 people. There’s 2000
People, 2000 people there. And uh, and so we can take roughly, um, you know, 5% of that. Um, uh, but yeah, you know, hope to see, hope to see all of you guys there. Uh, and, um, but yeah, so that’s one piece of exciting news that we’re doing that. Um, but now speaking of, of, uh, of, uh, tenacity, determination and discipline, uh, you know, it’s, it’s fun how your discipline is impacted me recently. So, um, so, um, I was coming into town a couple of weeks ago and I, I was trying to arrange like when I could get together to hang out with Mina and, and he, and he said, how about wakeboarding? You wanna go wakeboarding on Friday? I was like, well, I’ll go for a boat ride. I don’t know if I’ll be, um, doing any wakeboarding, but I’ll go for a boat ride, but you know, going out, um, you know, going out on the lake, you know, and, um, you know, Mina did his wakeboarding, bunch of others in the group did their wakeboarding and, um, came around to me.
I was like, I don’t think so, but okay. You know what, I’ll give it a try. So, you know, I get in the water and um, hand you the tow rope and the boat takes off and then, you know, face first into the water and, um, you know, what happens next is like, okay, the boat goes around this circle to kind of get you the rope again. So you can try again. Uh, and you know, again, you know, I just eat it. Uh, and I think I did it five times and I was like, all right, that’s it. And Mina, but Mina was like, no, no, no, you’re doing it. And you, you are trying until you do it, like, you’re gonna keep, keep doing it over and over again until you do it. So I would’ve given up, but, uh, but Mina had me do it again. And you know what, that time I did, I, I got up and, uh, and it was awesome. That’s, that’s
It. And we have amazing content. We have amazing
Content. You wouldn’t take me at, at, um, at me saying I’m giving up, you know, oh, never Mr. MMA fighter, Mr. Determined, disciplined was like, Nope, Rich, you’re doing it again. You’re gonna do it until you do it. And so I got up and that was awesome. And so the wakeboard is you have your, your, your two feet in boots on this, on this board being pulled behind the boat. Um, but then a little bit later on, you know, and I had that sense of accomplishment. That was awesome. Thank you, Mina. Then we were doing this wake surf thing. So the wake surf is different because there’s no boots. It’s just your feet resting on the board by friction, kind of like you’re on a surf board. Um, and I’m like, ah, I’m not gonna do that. And you know what, the two hours we had, um, book the boat for was almost over. And so I thought I was, I was in the clear and Mina was like, no, Rich, you’re trying this too. I was like, really? Uh, I don’t
No quitters, so there no quitters here,
No quitters here. So, you know, I, I thought I was saved by the bell cuz we were almost out of time, but he had me get in the water. Um, and uh, and put my feet on this board, like, you know, like, and it’s, it’s such a weird, awkward position too. You’re just like back on your, back on your, back in the water with your feet up on the board and it’s like, and the boat takes off and next thing I know I’m, I’m actually doing it. And that was awesome. Uh, so much fun. Uh, and again, it’s like, you push me to do it. And so it’s your discipline infectious, you know, just like the people that you work with, you get them to do things that they didn’t think they’d be able to do. So I, I appreciate that. I appreciate you. And I just had to tell that story.
I love it. I always push you Rich. Don’t worry about that.
<laugh> okay. Cool. Um, well, so, um, you know, and, and, and speaking of which, so you’ve been, um, you know, you’ve been, you started out building your own brands, but in the process of doing that, I think you’ve figured out that one of the things that’s really necessary these days to build a successful brand is PPC. Um, in the old days, you can put a listing up and, and maybe get to the top by optimizing your listing, uh, in various ways. But, but now it’s, it’s pretty much essential that you do PPC advertising to have a successful eCommerce brand. Uh, so you started doing that for yourself. You figured out that you had a knack for it and you started helping other people to do it. Uh, and now you have a whole team of people that are doing it, and you’ve got, um, your PPC, a, um, agency, which is, uh, Trivium. Did I say correct? Tri group
Trivia group. Yep. Trivium group.
Right. And so you, that’s something that you’ve been doing. And, and so, uh, you know, and in this field, there are all the PPC agencies, uh, but what, what is it that you do in your business and your agency to differentiate you differentiate yourself?
So I’ve used agencies in the past and, and, um, there’s something about the agency model that I didn’t like as much, uh, which was you come in, you hire an agency. The agency says, we’ll take care of you. You know, you want, uh, PPC, uh, we’ll give you PPC. You want Google ads, we’ll give you Google ads, whatever you want. We’ll give it to you. We’re gonna give you one person to talk to. Maybe, maybe a couple people we’re gonna do a bunch of stuff and we’ll just keep you updated. And so for me, I never liked that because I wasn’t learning. I felt like there wasn’t enough transparency. And the thing that killed me the most was when I would ask a tough question, I would be like, okay, let, let me talk int let me discuss internally and get back to you. Let me discuss internally and get back to you.
And because the people who were doing the work were not really there. And so as I was building my brand, I, I was thinking internally, like, what would the ideal build and structure of a PPC team look like? And so that would consist of a senior consultant or strategist put driving the, the main strategy, uh, like a, a leader on that in the advertising, like an advertising lead, um, uh, like a strategist who, or, or like a, um, like a lower level lead, like a junior person who does all of the dirty work, right? The dirty, the day in day out, dirty stuff that takes hours and hours and extracting search terms and de-duplication, and all the stuff, looking at the data all, all the time. Um, and an analyst, cuz the analyst is basically like the, the right hand of the person doing the work, dirty work, collecting the data, uh, you know, representing the data, doing all of this stuff that takes a lot of time out, away from strategy.
Uh, doesn’t really need someone who’s as good as, as the strategist. And then, uh, someone, a manager, operations manager, that’s making sure everything runs smooth. And so that’s how I wanted the division to be built. And if I noticed that most agencies out there don’t have a build like that and, and most agencies out there, uh, kind of put you with a, with a central point of contact. And so what I wanted, what I realized I wanted, I didn’t want an agency. I wanted a partial team. And so when I built Trivium, I built it as a partial team. And so a partial team is basically, like I say, okay, Rich, I need a lawyer. Uh you’re like, okay, you know, what is he gonna do for you? I’m like this and this and that. He’s like, okay, that’s probably gonna take like six hours a week.
A lawyer works around 40 hours a week, you know, a lazy one <laugh>. And so I said, uh, okay, like that makes sense. So I, I, I can’t take a lawyer for 40 hours a week. It costs me 180 or 200 whatever thousand dollars. Um, but if it’s, if it’s only six hours a week, you know, let’s say should cost me like four grand or a month. And so that’s the, the, the whole principle behind Trivium is I, you know, I’ll build the whole team for you. I’ll train them, I’ll have the procedures, I’ll continue to innovate in the space and come up with the newest analytics and the best things and, and new strategies, all this stuff and, and download this to, to the minions and you just rent the team. So each team can handle maybe six, six or seven P uh, brands top.
So we, we usually don’t spread them too thin. And, and, uh, we, you know, we don’t like, it’s just, you know, we, we don’t wanna spread anyone too thin. And that team, you give them to someone you say, okay, that team is, you’re gonna talk to them every single day. They’re gonna do everything that you need every single day. But because you only have one account, you don’t need to hire that entire team, which is five people, times 40 hours a week, you don’t need that. You need, you know, the operations person two hours a week, you need this person. And so we lump that into a price. And that’s the difference. The difference is you, you get the team, you get to talk to the team and you’re backed by me coming up with new things, downloading and pushing it. And, and you get access to
All that, the team,
It’s your team. It’s, it’s a
Team. You, you training the team, you setting up the team, you setting up the division of, of labor so that you’ve got people that are gathering the data and then other people that are analyzing the data and you have it kind of set up in, in a, in a way that makes sense in a way that, like, if someone had an in-house team, that’s how they would want it to be set up. Um, and, and of course train all and them trained, uh, yeah. And, um, up to speed with all the latest techniques and such. Um, but they get to take a fractional part of that team, um, and, and use it toward their brand as opposed to having to hire five people.
Yeah. And there’s no secret sauce, right? There’s no someone in the back saying, you know, we’re doing our, uh, you know, uh, whatever the, you know, magical words people like to use. Uh, it’s like, nah, if this is they’re doing everything, you can ask them. And they’re like, what did you do? I changed this. I changed that this happened, that happened. Right. And it also helps you understand, uh, because I’m all about empowering people to understand better PVC. And I always say this, I heard this from Alex formo, but I say, I will give all of my knowledge away for free, and I’ll just sell you the execution and the labor. So I’ll, I’ll tell you exactly how to do it. You can go home and you can do it. If you follow everything that I’ve shared over the years, you can do exactly what I do. Uh, you can hire an employee and have them do exactly, but it’s just, you know, I’m, you’re paying me for the operational, you know, excellence of, of that part, plus my continuous improvement and, and professional development in understanding and testing and, and being able to blow my own money on my brands to figure out stuff for you.
Right? So you they’re paying for the labor being used logically the, the, the labor intensive aspect of it that also has to be logical to get you the right results. And so that’s what you do is, is doing. And, um, but you love teaching people about PPC and teaching all the things that you know. Um, and, um, there’s, there’s a synergy though, like in, in, in using your team to, um, to, to basically fall through on all that, cuz they’re just set up to do it well.
Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Cool. Um, and, um, what about people that, uh, aren’t kind of even big enough to, to have to buy into a fractional part of your team? So like people that are starting out, um, and they, they, they couldn’t quite afford to pay like, you know, one sixth of your team cost, right?
So that’s a, a really good question. We, I struggled with this a lot and I’ll tell you why I struggled with it a lot, because I remember very specifically in 2018, I heard about this really big agency. And I thought that the solution was to hire out someone, to manage your PPC. I’m like, I need to bring in the experts. If I pay them, whatever, a thousand dollars a month, they’re gonna make me $5,000 a month. And so it’s a, it’s a no brainer, right? This is before I knew everything and, or I don’t know everything, but before I knew what I know now, <laugh>, and so I reached out to them. They said, unfortunately, we’re really small for you. Uh, you’re really small for us. Sorry. We’re too big for you. Uh, the problem is we’re gonna ask for a minimum, like of $3,000 as a retainer, we, by looking at your numbers, your, your ability making that in profit, we don’t wanna take all of your money.
Like it’s, it would be, uh, unethical and, and, and, you know, in my mind, I’m like, yeah, but if I give you the 3000, like you can make me like more, right. But it doesn’t, it’s not quite like that. Right. It’s it’s uh, because where am I also gonna reorder the inventory and all of these things? And they sent me a couple of resources and, and I was very, very, very grateful for those resources, but I always remembered I’m like, man, like, I, it really felt bad being rejected for being too small. And so as I, my agency grew, um, we also couldn’t handle smaller people for a few reasons. Number one, I’m like, you know what, they’re right. I took on a few small people and we started operating and, and they started growing, but they couldn’t like just, they couldn’t afford it. It was spending too much PPC.
They needed to reorder inventory. It was that growing pains that they couldn’t afford. Um, and so I were like, okay. And the cost of my team is too high, literally renting five people out. Um, what do I do? And so I, I, I came up with a solution, which is by the time you guys hear, hear this recording will be out, uh, it’s, it’s pretty much done. I’m just adding the final touches. But I said, what is the perfect thing to bridge the gap from you? Are, you started, you’re making some revenue to, you need to have enough revenue to be able to like, afford like a retainer and reinvest. And that was, uh, like a paid slack consulting, uh, group. And it’s a membership. It’s a, it’s a monthly membership of $200 a month. You come in, you there’s a slack channel for every single piece of the business.
The entire team, my entire team is on there for anything like, so there’s a slack channel for sourcing slack channel for inspection, slack channel for, uh, graphic design, for reviews, for, uh, search fund, buy for DSP, PPC, Google, TikTok, whatever, anything that you want. There’s a slack channel there. My entire team. Is there anything that we’re not an expert in? We’re an expert in PPC and DSP. Uh, anything we’re not an expert in. We bring one agency partner that we verify is an expert so that they can answer all your questions. You ask everything that you want, you get an answer, you get all of our templates, you get all of my standard operating procedures. All of my videos, any conference that I do, I’ll upload like the entire hour long talk, all of this stuff, um, and, and will create custom things too. So if, if a bunch of people say MENA, like we need a pricing strategy, I’ll come up with a pricing strategy.
Cuz my goal is to add value as much as possible to the world. Uh, and those people will eventually grow up and then come and, and use us. Um, and so that’s that, that was my solution. Um, this was a huge thing because we had a lot of people that really liked everything that I was sharing. And they’re like, we, we really just wanna work with you. Like we don’t care if it’s gonna be at a loss to us. And I said, I just, can’t in, in good conscious take your money while you’re bleeding. Like, you know, you’re losing money because your conversion rate is too low or because you have these issues and that issue. So why don’t you come and join kind of like the, the starter and, and let us help you. We’ll give you everything you need. We’ll answer your questions. You do it yourself because, you know, you’re, you it’ll be using your labor, not our labor. And then when, when you’re big enough, you can use our labor, you can rent our labor. And so that’s kind of the, the solution that I came up with. I don’t know if it’s a great solution. We’ll see if the market is likes it.
Okay, cool. And how, how do people find that,
Uh, just hit up the agency. So go to Trivium code.com. There’s a landing page there. Um, and, and if you click on the landing or there’s like a, a section there, uh, which is Trivium tribe, the slack community, uh, just click on it and, and, uh, you’ll see everything there. You’ll see a video showing it, explaining what it is and you can just enter your information. Uh, and it’s all automated. If you pay, they’ll give you an invitation and access to the slack and you know, as soon as you stop paying, they’ll kick you out.
Awesome. So just, um, circling back around to, um, uh, the Amazon world and, uh, selling scale. So what are you gonna be speaking at at the selling scale expo?
So I’m actually, so I’m actually, uh, doing a, a Q and a session. So they said we wanted a session where you just stand there and people ask you a bunch of questions. <laugh> and uh, I said, I mean, you give the people what they want. Right. Um, so that’s what I’m gonna be doing. I, I I’ll have a, here’s the beautiful thing. I’ll have a Q and a session. I’ll, I’ll also be there for three full days. Uh, the 19th, the 20, the 21st, the 22nd I’ll will probably be just wrapping up and, and leaving. Um, it’s like a half day anyways, but you will have at least three full days of seeing me talking to me, asking me any questions, um, bring your laptop, load everything up. I’m more than happy to chill on a couch. And we can like go do a full consultation together while I’m there. I have nothing better to do than, than, uh, you know, while I’m at the conference at night, we party in the morning, we gotta, you know, help people.
Awesome. Yeah, that sounds great.
What about you? What are you talking about?
Oh, actually, um, same thing. Um, I didn’t realize that, but, um, I’m I have, I’m doing a patent and trademark Q and A.
Again, it’s going to be like stump Rich Goldstein, you
Know? Yeah. I, I think I like it. I would rather, I mean, I was, I just spoke at a conference yesterday and it was like a, an hour of lecturing and, and I’m like, ah, man, are these people following? Or they’re not following.
Right. Am I to go, am I answering their questions or not like, am I telling them something that’s useful to them? Or is this something else they’re wondering?
Yeah. Yeah. So we’ll see how this, the, the session goes.
Yeah. I think it, I think it’ll be cool. Uh, and you’re gonna have a booth there, which is awesome. Yeah. Come see you at your booth.
It’s gonna be a cool one. It’s gonna be a cool booth, not a boring booth. There’s gonna be couch bean bags. Uh, we’re gonna have drinks, alcohol. Uh, we’re gonna, it’s gonna be a bunch of like, we’re probably gonna play music. I’ll probably like bring like a, a speaker. It’s gonna be a vibe. Like it’s gonna be amen. Booth. It’s not gonna be like a, a regular booth.
Yeah, yeah, no, it sounds great. Uh, looking forward to it. Um, and, um, cool. If people wanna learn more about you or get in touch with you, how do they go about doing so,
Um, okay. So you can go to the, the agency website, of course, triviumco.com. Um, if
Here I V I U M
Yeah. Yeah. And if, and if you, if you want me to look at your campaigns and, and, uh, you know, take a look, tell you what to do exactly. What’s, what’s wrong, how we would fix it, send you a bunch of resources, fill out the audit form. Um, even, even if you’re like small or not qualified, whatever, we send a bunch of resources. So our long videos, uh, white papers, things like that, that help. Um, and then I’m on Instagram at Domina Elias, and then on Facebook and LinkedIn, Mina Elias, M I N a last name E L I a S um, ask me anything I’m always available. I’m, I’m very, uh, open and, and, uh, you can, you know, reach out to me anytime. I’ll answer questions.
All right. That sounds great. Well, Mina, thanks again for coming back on the show. And, uh,
It, it was nice. It’s nice. Uh, brings back good memories. I mean, takes me back to I’m like, like that’s so true. The last time I was on the podcast, I was still, you know, I had just moved. It was one month after me moving into in California. I didn’t know anything. And, uh, like to just look back at our friendship and like, you know, how much I’ve accomplished and things like that, how much you’ve accomplished. It’s crazy.
Yeah. No, absolutely. It was time. It was time to come back. So thanks again for being on the show and, uh, and I’ll see you soon.
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the web at innovationsandbreakthroughs.com and we’ll see you next time.