Matt Sibert is a seasoned cannabis professional with a successful track record in launching dispensaries and CBD brands. As the co-founder of Sagelogica CBD Consulting, his partners and himself bring over 50 years of collective experience in customer service, sales, marketing, branding, and management to help CBD businesses wanting to establish their market presence in the retail cannabis industry.
He is also the co-founder of Hemplogica, a CBD company that retailed a range of hemp and CBD products. The founding principles of his company is Giving Back, Quality and Consistency. With every product purchased they donated 100mg Of CBD Oil to a child with Epilepsy. They have been inspired by the stories of children with epilepsy having great success with CBD.
In this episode, Matt will share with us his mission to help cancer patients – his inspiration for being in the CBD industry. Join him as he spills the secrets to creating, scaling and selling CBD businesses. Not to mention, the important topics of niche, branding, differentiation, marketing, and advertising.
01:41 – Matt sharing snippets of his life, his childhood years, how he got started in the CBD business, his parents who got sick of cancer serving as an inspiration to continue his mission to help cancer patients
12:38 – The challenges of creating your own cannabis brand and being aware of the sub-par quality of CBD oils scattered in the market
17:52 – The challenges CBD companies encounter with banking institutions
19:53 – His take on transparency, research and due diligence in doing CBD business
28:49 – A peek into Hemplogica, what they went through creating that brand
31:23 – Talking about his done-for-you package of coaching for creating CBD brand as well as the group coaching he offers
34:28 – His thoughts on the idea of one big seller with a bunch of mini brands around it
35:28 – Why the need to niche and everything about branding and differentiation
39:41 – The three fire tips for those who are struggling in the CBD industry and those who want to join the bandwagon and make it big
41:22 – Your brand story: The idea of giving back and supporting causes with your brand
44:46 – Why you should find and have the right team that can help you in areas where you are weak
46:43 – Know your “Why” and keep going back to it especially when terrible days come
52:55 – Matt’s parting words: “If you’re starting a brand, really pay attention to what James and Sonia are doing, by our course, you will have access to an amazing network of people and we’re here to help you.”
References and Links Mentioned:
Connect with Matt Sibert
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Within six months of launching Hemplogica we had three offers to buy us out. So that’s what we teach people in our courses now like how do you create a strong brand that is sellable because a lot of people they just want to create something strong and then sell it and then move on to the next one. Which is what a true entrepreneur does. So we love helping people create brands from scratch and make them so that they can be sellable. – Matt Sibert
Podcast Intro: Welcome to On the Rise podcast, join Sonia Gomez and James Brinkerhoff as they expose the real secrets of the green rush. No subject is taboo as we are lifting the skirt to reveal the best-kept secrets in health and business. Learn from the successful people in our network here from the patients whose lives are being transformed. Get in the Emerald Circle to access the tools, resources, and relationships you need to thrive in the world’s fastest growing industry.
Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys. Welcome back to On the Rise podcast.
In this episode we are going to be diving into how to start your very own CBD business from scratch, build it up and sell it for anywhere from 500,000 all the way up to a million dollars. Our guest today has an extensive history in both cannabis and hemp CBD space, has built and grown and sold multiple CBD companies. Opened and started multiple cannabis and CBD, both physical and online businesses. And stay we’re going to be diving into the secrets that you need to know when and if you are considering joining the Green Rush Movement, which is the fastest growing cash-rich industry in the world right now. Here to share with us the secrets to a building, growing, scaling and selling your CBD brand in this green rush. Our friend, our good friend actually, Matt Sibert. What’s up to Matt? How are you?
Matt Sibert: Hey Sonia, what’s up? How’re you doing today? It’s always a pleasure to be hanging out with you.
Sonia Gomez: I’m so excited, man. I’m so stoked to be doing this interview with you today because I get to hang out in your group CBD Success and, or CBD Business Success. And every single day there is a fire and the heat going on in that group. Top secret conversation from some of the top business folks and even ground-level business folks in there. And you are always helping folks make their way through this industry, which can be a pretty challenging thing. So why don’t you take a second, introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your wife, how you guys got into this space. Let me know what’s up.
Matt Sibert: Oh, sure. And thanks again for having me. And yeah. I’ve been in the cannabis world pretty much my whole life. Sonia. I grew up in a Rastafarian neighborhood in Chicago and they took me in like family at a really young age and like the early eighties. And I always saw cannabis as a healing, spiritual sacrament that was a good thing for the world.
And so I’ve just grew up around it. And even in high school, in 1993, I did my research paper on medical marijuana and so I’m pretty much ahead of the game with that. And so I’ve always been in the cannabis. And then in 1996, when California passed their medical program, I was determined to make it out here but I was in the music business and I was doing pretty good in that.
So I didn’t make it out here until 2012. But once I did, I got lucky, hit the ground running and I landed at a dispensary that had just opened up. And I had a retail background of running recording studios and record stores. So the owner brought me on board. We got up to 600 patients a day and it was just…
Sonia Gomez: Where was that at, in LA?
Matt Sibert: That was in San Diego. And it was right by the beach, so a lot of foot traffic and it was just amazing. The amount of people we were able to help and I was just getting more advanced knowledge of cannabis. Just dealing one on one with a lot of the more sick patients that were coming in.
And then we went on open four more dispensaries and this was before the licensing, so we had to deal with code enforcement and things of that nature. Been sued a few times and you know, but we believed in it so much that we were wanting to just help as many people.
Mission to Help Cancer Patients
I lost both my parents to cancer and my sister died from oxycontin. And so it’s just my mission to really help as many people as I can. Get off of pills and get them onto cannabis and help the cancer patients. And so we were just, we had our mission and we just kept moving forward. And then eventually we got one of the first licensed dispensaries in San Diego and we took that from zero to 6 million in 330 square foot space. So…
I lost both my parents to cancer and my sister died from oxycontin. And so it's just my mission to really help as many people as I can. - Matt Sibert Click To Tweet
Sonia Gomez: No way. Where in San Diego where you?
Matt Sibert: That one was in Mission Valley. So right by the…where the Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers play.
Sonia Gomez: I lived in San Diego for a long time. And that was where my journey with cannabis started too. I was popping all over like Ocean Beach down in Pacific Beach.
Right there in Qualcomm stadium, like right where you’re talking about, that’s where I got my prescription. That’s where the doctor that I worked with introduced me to my endocannabinoid system. Like there was a pretty sick mo…I mean I know northern California was getting all of the clout and credit, but we have a pretty cool thing going on down in Southern California.
Some super educated folks who are directing patients and right there in the Qualcomm area, there was a collective of doctors that I work with, so that’s cool. I didn’t know you’re dispensary was there.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, yeah. That was like the third licensed dispensary in San Diego. So it was good to finally stop having to deal with code enforcement, like trying to kick our doors in and things like that. And so that clinic was attached to a pain management clinic. And so the doctor that owned the pain management clinic wanted to get his patients off of pills. It was a perfect marriage and he was sending us seriously ill patients all day long.
And we were getting a lot of them on CBD because they were older and they didn’t want to get high. And luckily Lawrence Ringo, who basically started the CBD movement with his genetics, God rest his soul, was friends with my buddy West. And West got Lawrence’s cuttings before he passed away. And West would make the most beautiful CBD oil out of these cuttings.
And so we were seeing amazing results and it just gives me chills thinking about like the people would come in crying and hugging us like you’ve changed my life. And so, you know, and then with the THC Rick Simpson oil, we were able to help over 10 stage four cancer patients and they no longer have cancer. And I’m not saying that it, you know, it was us. All I’m saying is…
Matt Sibert: So yeah, that was a very rewarding experience. And we were working, me and Dr. Bee, who’s my partner in life and in business. She was the office manager of that dispensary and I was the general manager and it was just an amazing experience. We were working like 12, 13 hours a day. You know how it is when you’re running a dispensary.
Sonia Gomez: Oh my God. It’s for real, man. The dispensary is no joke. First of all, let’s just take a side note before we dive into this business cause you’re an old hat in this industry. And there’s a few of us, there’s a handful of us, who have made that jump to come forward and say like, “Hey, we’re on main street, this is what we’ve done, this is where we bend. We fought blood, sweat, tears to get to where we’re at and now we want to help shape the industry moving forward”.
There’s a handful of us and I’m so glad to be aligned with you because the work that you and Dr. Bee are doing is absolutely incredible. Which we’ll dive into here in just a moment.
But I just want to take a moment of silence for a second because Mary Jane, this herb, is a demanding ass woman. Like if you thought that your wife or your girlfriend was demanding, just wait until you get into some weeds business.
Matt Sibert: I know, right? And I’ve talked to people that… Oh, yeah. And I’ve talked to people who’ve come from other industries into the cannabis world. They’re like, “Oh my God, it grow so fast”.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. It grow so fast. I mean, Mary Jane will keep you on our tone. She’ll never let you rest. She’ll wake up tomorrow in a different mood than she was the day before.
Everything you thought you knew about her is going to change the next day. I mean, nothing is ever stable except for the feeling that she gives you, which is all good.
So it keeps it exciting. It keeps it fresh and at the same time it can get really, really challenging. Which segues right into the work that you guys are doing. You guys have been responsible for…and I consistently get to see messages and testimonials and you know, just people being straight and not even in your group, but they don’t even do it for your eyes or your ears. But there are people who are legit talking about the transformation that they’re experiencing by going through your program and being a part of your group and working with you one on one.
Talk to me a little bit. I know your mission now that I figured out that your family, it’s because of what’s happened in your family that you’re so passionate about this, but what got you inspired to work with people who wanted to start this business? Why did you start helping people build their own CBD and cannabis brands?
Matt Sibert: It’s a great question. So when we were running that, that licensed dispensary, honestly I went to the owners and ask them for some equity because we were doing everything.
I did all the work and Dr. Bee, we did all the work and they didn't want to give us a little piece of equity. They were giving us profit share but not equity. - Matt Sibert Click To Tweet
I did all the work and Dr. Bee, we did all the work and they didn’t want to give us a little piece of equity. They were giving us profit share but not equity. And so we decided at that time to do our own thing. And we saw CBD was really taking off. This was the end of 2016 and we noticed, you know, CBD seems like it’s going to be a really big industry.
And I knew it was and I saw how many people we were helping with CBD in the dispensary. So we decided to shift over to the CBD industry and we launched our own brand and within six months of launching Hemplogica, we had three offers to buy us out.
And so that’s what we teach people in our courses now. Like how do you create a strong brand that is sellable? Because a lot of people, they just want to create something strong and then sell it and then move on to the next one, which is what a true entrepreneur does.
And so we love helping people create brands from scratch and make them so that they can be sellable. And because there’s a lot of brands out there is just a lot of the same out there. So you need to do something that’s going to differentiate you. And so we teach people the mistakes that we made too. We made a ton of mistakes in the beginning, not knowing what to do and hiring the wrong people.
And I think that’s the biggest aspect of working with us as our network. I have, I would say, the biggest network in the CBD industry.
Matt Sibert: If you need to get something done, I know somebody who can do it. If I don’t know how to do it, I know somebody who can. And so, and you know when we did have a lot of mistakes, you know, and so we teach people how to avoid those pitfalls so that you can move ahead faster. And so that’s what we focused on with our course.
We have a course called “How to launch a successful CBD brand” and that’s an eight week course. And then we also have a private group that’s focused on scaling your brand, where we bring our experts in every week and we do question and answers and we do coaching calls with the experts. And so you can really learn how to scale fast with your business because it like we were just saying, it moves really fast and it’s a moving target. Like something you might be doing that works now, a month later doesn’t work anymore. And so like look at even with the merchant accounts, everybody’s running around trying to get merchant accounts now.
And so I know how to, I’ve got that figured out because I started when there were no CBD merchant accounts.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. And you know, i think that’s a really common misconception. People get, they get these greedy eyes, right? They get the big emerald eyes, they’re like, “Oh my God, cannabis is legal”.
You know, they’re super excited. They want to make the corp…the corporate to cannabis jump and they just want to be a part of the movement. They have this mission to strike it rich.
Challenges of Creating Your Own Cannabis Brand
They, you know, maybe they have some affinity or some story like ours that connects them to the industry and they want to be a part of the disruption that’s happening in the healthcare system right now. But there are some major, major challenges that we’re up against when it comes to actually succeed. Number one, I, and let me know if you agree with me.
Number one is product quality. People are just sourcing from any old, you know, Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street who says that they have the best product and throwing a white label brand on it and going to market to sell it.
And the product quality and product knowledge is just like sub-par at best. People aren’t getting the results consistently. So it’s kind of giving it a bad reputation. Would you agree that that’s one of the challenges?
Matt Sibert: Yeah, that’s sad. Like a friend of ours just the other day, she came over and she had a tincture and it said 5,000 milligrams on it. And I was like, how much did you pay for that? And she was like 150 bucks. And I was like, no way. This is, this gotta be crap. And then it didn’t have any ingredients on there.
I was like, there’s probably like five milligrams of CBD. And she’s like, yeah, I tried a bunch and it didn’t do anything. And I was like, yeah, because it’s, it’s probably crap. And so it is sad.
And so you have to pay attention when you’re creating your brand. Make sure you don’t, you can’t trust your manufacturer like anytime. I worked with the biggest manufacturer in the business and they, they had lab testing and they sent me their lab tests but I got to test it. Every single time I got a new order in I would triple lab test it.
And so you have to make sure it’s quality and that the milligrams that stated on that package or on that tincture is what’s in there. And a lot of the times it’s not. And a friend of ours, Robert, tested about 250 different brands and he said not one had exactly what was claimed on the bottle. Like ingredient and milligram wise.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Like that’s a huge problem in the industry is false advertising. People are saying like, you know, a thousand milligrams or 500 milligrams and the end user who I interface with quite a bit, I’m more on the consumer side. I have this massive following.
I’ve focused primarily on educating people on the difference between, you know, what brands to buy, which ones are reputable, which ones are actually going to produce results. And it’s super frustrating to hear people who are on social security or on a fixed income or you know, have really limited resources to invest in their health care, or independent health care outside of their insurance business or you know, traditional medical system and they’re just wasting hand over fist 60 to 200 dollars at a time on bottles that are claiming to be one strength or claiming to have, be able to produce certain results and then they get nothing. So they stopped believing in that for me is a huge loss because we’re working so hard to make sure that the person is empowered and can have safe and legal access to a reputable brand. Right?
Matt Sibert: Exactly. And that’s what I tell, you know, when you have your own CBD brand, you should tell a beginner, at least in my opinion, they should do a loaded dose in the first couple of weeks.
Like take, tell them to take a hundred to 150 milligrams a day for the first week or two to flood their endocannabinoid system with those, you know, CBD and whatever else other cannabinoids you have in the product. Because I’ve saw that with myself and with a lot of other patients and customers that I’ve dealt with. Like I noticed when I upped my dose to 150 milligrams a day for like three weeks straight, my foot that I broke that never healed was 100% healed after that. Like I just flooded my system enough, I guess.
Then I tapered back down to like you know, 30, 40 milligrams a day. But I think it’s good to like flood your system in the beginning and then taper back down. So if somebody is not getting results, that could be another issue too. But you’ve got to have a quality product though.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Well from the business perspective that’s a major challenge, right? Especially if you’re brand new to this industry and if you guys are tuning in right now and you’re considering getting into this industry and you want to know some of the nuances or some of the obstacles that you’re up against, and in a moment we’ll get to the wins too because with great risk comes great reward and with many challenges comes an incredible celebration.
And we’ve been on both sides of the coin here so we can speak from decades of combined experience. I mean just James and I have over 30, about 28 years in this industry. In between you and Dr. Bee, what, another 25 years?
Matt Sibert: Yeah, probably. Yeah.
Sonia Gomez: So your looking at and listening to about 50 years combined experience.
Matt Sibert: We’ve seen it all.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. I’m telling you there’s not much that we haven’t seen or heard of or helps people navigate through. So number one challenge when you guys are considering getting into this space is understand your product, know your manufacturers and make sure that you’re getting connected with a really reputable source so that you can provide consistency to the marketplace. If you’re not doing this, you want to provide consistency and quality into the marketplace.
If these are not your tune number one goals or your core, part of your core fabric, you’re not going to survive here. There’s plenty of snake oil on the market already. What we are needing are our differentiators, unique selling propositions that will help you stand out in the marketplace as you build and grow. The second major challenge that we’re going to be up against here and many entrepreneurs who are already in this space are starting, are facing this right now is banking.
You cannot for the life of you get treated like a normal business around you. You can’t get banking, you can’t get merchant processing unless, you know, somebody. Talked to me about the challenges that people are facing right now in their business and what kind of effect is happening in the industry.
Matt Sibert: Yeah, it’s a huge challenge right now. And just last week though, Bank of the West contacted me and said their CBD and hemp-friendly. So if you’re out there, look up Bank of the West and tell him I sent you. And then also I heard from another couple people that BB&T is another bank that’s CBD friendly recently.
So, and this is, you know, we’re in June of 2019. So if you’re watching this is, you know, cause it changes every week. And then, you know, I’m not telling anybody what to do, but as far as the merchant accounts, some people what they do is they, they might go to the bank and say they have a supplement company and maybe they have a website that sells supplements on there.
And then maybe they get their bank account that way. And then maybe they go to a merchant account company and say they sell supplements and they get their merchant accounts set up and they show them that website. And then once they get their mid set up, maybe they switched that mid over to their CBD website. I don’t know. I’m not saying what to do.
Transparency, Research and Due Diligence in Doing CBD Business
Sonia Gomez: I’m not telling you what to do, that’s all I’m saying. You know, here’s the thing is that a lot of people and a lot of folks have gotten in trouble that way by you know, disguising their businesses and their brands is something else. Instead of being transparent. And the thing that, the thing that I’ve learned in working with you know, businesses at different stages and from listening to you guys, to you is, you know, be honest and forthcoming, do your research and due diligence and take your time to find the right person to be able to help you navigate through this thing.
Everything in this business, it’s a really tight knit circle. It might be a global enterprise, but it’s a very tight knit circle who are doing business here. So align yourself with the right folks and you’ll have a red carpet or green carpet rolled out for you to be able to access the things that will help troubleshoot through these first initial challenges.
Align yourself with the right folks and you'll have a red carpet or green carpet rolled out for you to be able to access the things that will help troubleshoot through these first initial challenges. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet
Matt Sibert: Yeah, and it is true. You do want to be transparent because doing it the way I was just talking about, I’ve seen people do it that way and it’s a pain in the butt. And although it’s a pain in the butt right now to get a merchant account, there are ways of doing it.
Like I’m really tapped into the industry, so I was invited into squares, limited program that they have right now and then another one that they, you have to be doing a minimum of 70,000 a month in sales, but they waived that for some of my clients that are startups.
And so you’ve got to have the connection sometimes too, but you know it changes so fast. There’s so much money involved. I can guarantee you right now there’s some merchant company that’s working on a solution and it’ll be out soon. I bet.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. They’re on a working vacation right now. I’m trying to figure out some money problems for this industry cause whoever does figure it out it’s going to be a major, major pull. Final challenge that people are up against is advertising and marketing. As you’re getting started in your business, you are going to want and need to start marketing and advertising your business. What are some of the limitations and ways that people are getting around those limitations to advertise through CBD brands?
Matt Sibert: You know, when we first started, thank God we saw what you and James were doing. I mean we learned a lot from watching you and James as far as getting organic traffic and we learned a ton just watching what you guys were doing and kind of emulating but doing it in our own way. And so we were able to get 9 million views a week on our page and we were setting, we set up messenger bots to sell the products on the backend.
The Best Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website and Convert Into Sales
And that was one way that it took a few months to get that going through. So that’s one way. But if you want the fast way, you got to get traffic and you’ve got to buy that traffic or you have to work with affiliates that have lists than traffic and you pay those affiliates like the most sophisticated CBD brands are losing money or breaking even on the first sale because they’re paying an affiliate for that first sale.
Matt Sibert: And they might even break even or lose money on that because they have sophisticated email campaigns set up on the back end. They have retargeting, they have phone teams. So if somebody starts to order and they don’t put in their credit card or whatever, all the way, they’ll have somebody call them right there and try to, you know, get them.
Sonia Gomez: Get them.
Matt Sibert: Yeah, you gotta get them. Or educate them, you know, it might be maybe they don’t know enough about the product. And so you have to have educated sales people that know the product and know CBD that can educate these people.
And, but yeah. So, it’s all about being sophisticated like that. And I know two agencies that are very effective at running CBD ads on Google and Facebook and they’re crushing it.
Matt Sibert: And so one way of doing it, you have to be vague. Like I’ve seen it where they don’t, like in the picture on the ad, it won’t say hemp or CBD anywhere. And they’ll show like a tincture bottle and it’ll just say like 500 milligrams or whatever. It doesn’t say anything in there besides that it might say 500 milligrams. So this is where people that already know CBD, like they know what that is if they see that tincture bottle and it says 500 milligrams.
And then you click on that ad and it goes to the landing page and the landing page won’t say hemp or CBD at all either. And so that’s how a lot of people are doing it and you have to be sophisticated to set that up. And that’s a total separate landing page from your website. You know, you’ll have your CBD website and so, you got ta get all these things set up along with your email campaigns, your messenger bots.
Matt Sibert: And so that’s what, I work with a lot of marketing guys that are way smarter than I am with that because I’m too busy doing other things. And so that’s another thing. As an entrepreneur, you want to do what you’re good at and focus on your strengths and then outsource everything else that you’re not strong at. Like, I’m really good at sales. So when we had our brand, I was going out getting accounts and retail and distribution and I had my marketing guys doing the Internet marketing because that’s just not my forte, you know?
And so you have to know where you’re strong. Even though I have a lot more knowledge of Internet marketing these days. And so I can hire the right people, I can vet those people, you know, cause I know my way around it. So …
Sonia Gomez: Now that we’re kind of come to the challenges, like as you’re talking about it, I’m like, man, I can’t even believe that I’m still in this industry because with everything that you just described, like a normal business can’t function without banking. They can’t function without sales and advertising and you can’t function without a quality product that is different from the rest. Right?
And these are the three biggest challenges that a CBD or cannabis brand is facing, especially CBD brands. And it’s no wonder that with all of your knowledge and experience that you created a course to help the brand newbie get started here and help navigate their way through. Because if you don’t have somebody holding your hand and helping direct you as you go along, you know this Ho Chi Minh trail, like the forest will eat you up.
Matt Sibert: Oh man, yeah. It’ll take you a lot longer, that’s for sure. Then if you were working with us, and I used to work for a publishing company called Nightingale Conant and they published business courses and so I know how to put programs together and, and Dr. Bee was a college professor for seven years and so she used to put together courses all day long.
And so it’s all about meat and potatoes. We don’t give you a lot of fluff, you know, we’re telling you exactly what you need to do and then anything that’s not answered in the course, we have our private group, so you can say, Matt, you know, I want to learn more about this. You didn’t cover this in the course. Okay, cool. We’ll go live about that.
You know, and we’ll cover that. And so we make it flexible and just, you know, we’re accessible too. I feel like when people reach out, I get back fast and I’m there for my people and they know that.
And so like one of our clients the other day they’re doing a hundred grand a month now and they’re all excited and I’m excited for them and they’re like, “Man, we wish we would have met you in Dr. Bee six months ago”. And so, you know, cause we’ve been able to help them navigate things a lot faster and connect them to the right people and get them the right products.
And like you said about manufacturing, when you buy our course, you get access to three of our manufacturers and like in different areas. So our main manufacturer, he has a massive product line that you could white label and he does all the fulfillment. And I have another one that does pet products as well. And so we have different manufacturers for different things and they all do fulfillment as well. And so we’ve already done that hard work for you. And these, all of them are top notch manufacturers. And so you don’t have to just throw the dart and you know…
Sonia Gomez: Yeah it’s a plug and play. That’s what I like about your course is that it’s a plug and play. You can come into that program that you and Dr. Bee have created, know nothing about the CBD industry and successfully get to launch at the end of the eight week period. Which is super cool and not a lot of people have that.
And I also love high touch that you guys have in your program. There’s, let’s just be clear that there is a lot, they will all remain nameless in this podcast, but there are a lot of flossy glossy marketers out there right now who are claiming up left, right and center that they can help you do, you know, seven figures inside of your first year. And there is no disclaimers around that and it’s a really attractive offer and they’re very attractive people and it’s very glossy, you know, like it’s a very attractive advertising and at the same time I’m getting a lot of pushback and the whiplash from that.
As people who have invested in those programs or are a part of those routes and not necessarily getting the results that are promise.
Sonia Gomez: So the thing that’s really unique about your group and why I like to spend my time there is because it’s not high fee. It’s not hyphy. I don’t feel like I’m at a rap concert. I don’t feel like, you know, the spice girls are about to come running out on the stage. It’s just real rob, you know, information from real people who are pushing this industry forward, whether they’re just getting started in launching their brand or are hitting the 100k a month or $200,000 a month mark.
Which is still considered a hobby business, which is nuts to me cause you’re doing well at $100,000 a month or more. Matt, you build your own brand and then sold it. Talk to me about that journey, like with all of your knowledge and expertise, why are you not running your own brand right now and why are you focused on solely on entrepreneurs?
Matt Sibert: So yeah, when we opened our brand Hemplogica in 2017 in September, by January we had three offers to buy us out and one of them was incredible. We, me and Dr. Bee, we’re still working like 12, 13 hours a day. And we were getting, starting to get a little rundown, I’m 44 now, I’m not a spring chicken anymore. And so one of the offers, they had a marketing team, a sales team, accounting, and they wanted us to stay on board and just oversee everything. And I love this, I love the sound of that. And so unfortunately our partner that put up all the money didn’t like the offer because he’s worth 30 million bucks or whatever. He’s worth a ton of money. So he didn’t like the offer. He wanted to keep building the company and I understood where he was coming from, but he wasn’t doing the heavy lifting, we were.
So we kind of butted heads and we just decided to take the little buy out from him. That wasn’t nearly as good as the other offer, but he just, it was, he owned majority of the company at that point. And so it was his decision and we decided to just walk away. And I was thinking about, you know, the green rush and the gold rush and the people who got rich are the ones selling the picks and shovels. And so the information is the picks and shovels and people need that information also. And like our background was just a perfect fit. Like I was saying, Dr. Bee is a college professor. I used to do business coaching and sell business coaching for Brian Tracy. And so it was just a natural fit for us to create a program and a course. And so that’s what we did and we’ve been doing that since April of 2018 and it’s been great helping a lot of clients. And now we do have done for you packages as well that are really high end and we take equity in those. And so I do have a couple companies that we have ownership in that we are doing like Done For You. And so that’s kind of our new approach where we take ownership and companies and we do the work for them and they put the money up basically. And it’s a good arrangement.
Sonia Gomez: So for your right partner, what you’re saying is like there’s a couple of different ways that people can work with you. Number one, they can come in, be a part of the community, get their feet wet, you know, take your course, start to understand some of the intricacies. Start their own brand if they want to. Go at it with your support and your guidance and a part of this major community, that’s the first way they can work with you.
Launch Your Own CBD Product Line From A-To-Z
Matt Sibert: And then number two is actually a, we have Done With You option where that’s kind of like the middle one. Where we create the brand with you and we set up your website for you and your funnel and it’s less intricate than Done For You, but it’s definitely a great option in there. Some group coaching in there in the Done With You option. So we kind of hold your hand and walk you through that progress. And so that’s a great option as well. And then the Done For You we don’t take on too many of those cause obviously it’s a lot of work.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. For the right partner, for the right person, who really wants the fast track to success and really wants to be able to just like navigate their way through all of these challenges. They can contact you and get an opportunity or apply to work with you in that Done For You capacity where you’re hand-holding, walking them through from start to launch.
Matt Siber have at least $300,000 to work with in that option because we’re scaling hard in that option. And like one company I talked to the other day, they’re in their third month, they did a million, 1.2 million in sales and they spend 400,000 on ads and they come from the affiliate background. So it’s just the more money you have, the faster you can scale and spend on ads and get funnels that convert up and running. And so it takes money to do all that. Not to say that you can’t launch a brand with you know, five or 10,000 and bootstrapping and make a little money on the side. Cause I’ve seen people do that as well. So it’s all over the map and when we launched our brand we, we put a 120,000 into it and we got million dollar offers. So you know, it’s not bad.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. And what you’re saying it’s like you know, cause it really kudos in any business this is no different than any other business in the sense that you know, it’s a numbers game. What you put into it is what you’re going to get out to it. You have to be able to put a dollar in if you want to break even on that traffic or there’s even ways to be able to put a whole dollar in and be able to pull two to $4 out and having those kinds of contacts, alliances. Being able to fast track to that access is a major, major winning point. Especially if you are a seasoned entrepreneur and you are ready to like get fast results in this space because let’s face it, the window of opportunity is closing faster and faster. The bigs’ are on their way in, big business, big Pharma, big tobacco, big alcohol. They’re already starting to make their moves into this industry. In the last 12 months, we’ve seen Wrigleys, Jelly Belly. We’ve seen Coors, we’ve seen, who else is coming?
Matt Sibert: Nestle, I spoke to Nestle not that long ago.
Sonia Gomez: Nestle, coming in har…I mean, Dang!
Yeah. And I saw something interesting on a podcast the other day. This guy is a venture capital guy and he was brilliant and he thinks eventually that there’s just going to be like one thing with a bunch of small sellers like Amazon and then there’s going to be a bunch of mini brands, which I love that. I hope it does happen like that. I hope there’s just one behemoth and then everybody else sells underneath. Well, hopefully…
Sonia Gomez: That would be following every other industry. Right. The beauty industry is owned by Estee Lauder.
Matt Sibert: Wow. Really? I didn’t know that.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Estee Lauder owns, I mean everything. You see all of the commercials, you see all that they own like, literally everything that you see in a department store is all owned by Estee Lauder. L’Oreal and another like they own everything, everywhere.
Matt Sibert: Consolidation. Yeah. It’s going to be crazy.
Sonia Gomez: Why not? You know, it doesn’t matter if they buy Herbal Essence or Head&Shoulders like either way the money is going to your bank account.
Creating An Effective Brand Differentiation Strategy
Matt Sibert: Brilliant. And that’s why it’s all about branding and packaging. I think to differentiate yourself and selling to the right audience. I worked for a branding firm in Washington DC for three years and learned about the science of branding and you have to niche it down when you’re creating your brand and that’s the first thing you want to do before you create your website or get your products or anything.
Who are you selling to? Like who, you can’t just sell to everybody. Like there are some brands that are successfully doing that, but it’s rare and so you want to niche it down. Like I always say, the best one I came up with was CBD for golfers because golfers have to be calm and relaxed and focused when they golf. And that’s what CBD does. And then they have aches and pains and then every golf course has a Pro Shop where you could put your CBD products. And so you have to find different niches like that. Or like one of my clients, they sell to women who can’t sleep.
And so just finding that audience, then you can create your marketing materials and your website and your branding around what that audience would like to see and look at. And so it’s important. And don’t just try to create a brand that’s me too like it sells to everybody, that’s not going to work.
Sonia Gomez: Well, there’s this huge pressure to get in, right? Everybody feels like they’re going to miss their opportunity. They want to just dive in, take advice from any old person off the street and get involved with something.
And they end up making a bunch of me too products that you know won’t stand the test of time. And if you’re really considering getting into the industry and or you are in the industry and you’re ready to make bigger moves, it’s important for you to understand that like your brand and your Avatar is going to be the thing that sets you apart. The conversation very quickly is going to shift from, I want to get into the CBD industry, I would like my own CBD brand to how am I going to make my brand stand out? Right? And then that’s going to be the new question is what can I do to make my brand stand the test of time?
Sonia Gomez: That’s where, you know, Covergirl, L’Oreal, Mary Kay, all of these different cosmetic industry or all of these different cosmetic brands who stood the test of time because they have a very specific avatar. They have a very specific, Clinique for instance, is much different than Lancome. I’m using cosmetology because it’s a very easy thing to reference, but Clinique targets teeny Boppers, you know, 12 to 18 years old, the new skin women, right?
Whereas Lancome is more focused towards the mature buyer. They’re looking at women who are 25 to 45 years old. It’s just, you know, really targeting your demographic and making sure that your branding, your messaging, your image, your colors, like everything are matching that particular market. You have to fall in love with them because that is who you’re going to be serving. Right?
Matt Sibert: Exactly. Yeah. And know what they want. And also, just, well one thing is to like, it’s new. So like Steve Jobs from Apple said, “The customer doesn’t know what they want, I know what they want”, and so it depends. Sometimes maybe you do know more than your audience and maybe you are the educator and showing them you know what they need. And so it’s just about picking that niche and going for it. Like one of my coaches said, “Pick your niche and you’ll get rich”.
Sonia Gomez: I love that. That’s a really, really good one. Okay. So I was actually gonna ask you this, but you already started giving it to me. So I’m going to just ask you the questions so you can finish. What are three fire tips that you can give to somebody who’s getting into this industry right now or perhaps in this industry and struggling a little bit in are trying to find, you know, that ability, trying to find their way to catch the wave right now. The first one was brilliant that you just gave.
Pick your niche and you’ll get rich. Understand your avatar’s the first sort of fire tactic that you’re sharing. What are a couple others that you can share with us?
Matt Sibert: Yeah. Now add to that kind of in a way like this is my secret sauce and I, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to share this with you guys. This is huge and it’s simple but very powerful. You want to find your archetype when you create your brand and there are tests online that you can take that will let you know your brand archetype.
There’s 12 different archetypes. Like for instance, Harley Davidson is a maverick outlaw archetype and everything they say and everything they do has a maverick outlaw vibe to it or look to it. And so once you find your archetype, that becomes your brand personality. Like Disney is a magician archetype. And when you go to Disney, you feel that magical vibe. And so that’s what you want. When you create your brand, you want to figure out which of those 12 archetypes you are and that becomes your brand personality.
And then it makes your marketing and advertising way easier because you know who you’re going after with that personality. So there’s tests online and then through our course we have a test that you can take. So I advise you to just buy the course and go through our archetype test. And that’s, I have a pretty extensive background in that. And so I think it’s very simple, but 95% of brands are not utilizing that.
And then it makes the marketing job a lot harder because you don’t know your brand personality. So that’s one. And then also I think the other one is that when you’re creating your brand, you should figure out a way to give back. Like I was really inspired when I read the book by the guy who created Tom Shoes. And you know how Toms, when you buy a pair of Toms, they give a pair of shoes.
Matt Sibert: And so like when we had our brand Hemplogica for every bottle or product that we sold, we donated a hundred milligrams of CBD oil to a child with epilepsy. So we would just stockpile hundred milligrams every time somebody would purchase a product. And then we would bring boxes full of bottles of tinctures to mostly single mothers who had children with epilepsy. And it was a very powerful story to show to our audience and they love to support us because of that, because they knew a portion of our proceeds were going towards helping these single mothers with children with epilepsy.
And so you, when you create a brand, you should find that niche that is powerful like that. And what are you going to give back to others what kind of cause can you give back to her? What can you create? Because if you’re just another brand that’s not giving back then, I mean it’s cool, but makes it so much more powerful when you have something you give back to like I saw a local brand in San Diego, they give back to a, like a children’s program and they rented a bus and took him to the beach and they showed it on video.
Matt Sibert: Like they’re real people doing real things that impact children and you know, and of course it’s marketing too, but it’s real. It comes from the heart. It has to cause people will know otherwise, they’ll know that you’re full of it. And so you have to pick something you’re passionate about and really show that story as a part of your brand story. And that will differentiate you.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, it’s part of your brand vulnerability. I think a lot of people are so like so eager to be the next Steve Jobs or they want to be, you know, the CBD Apple, or the Apple of CBD, right?
And they have these huge aspirations and we forget often when we’re like have this giant dream and we’re in the hustle, and in the grind every day that the social and economic impact that you can make just in your family, in your community, the ripple effect of what your business is doing right there.
Imagine yourself as the stone that’s dropping in the water and how the impact of what you do and what you say and more importantly not what but how you do and how you say things and how you show up in the community.
I absolutely love this one, Matt, because you’re right, there’s not enough brands who take social responsibility and social contribution as a core, as a part of their core beliefs or core promise of their business. And the ones who are building that into their infrastructure or weaving that into their fabric are the ones that will and can stand the test of time because now they have the support of the local community, which really becomes your family in this business.
Sonia Gomez: It’s a, it’s a tight knit circle. I keep saying that. It’s like a brotherhood. People and the people always vote for that too. If you’re, if you’re a weed business but you’re helping feed the hungry,, is your weed business and you’re helping save the seals ,or the turtles or you’re cleaning up like every highway that we drive on here right now is sponsored by some dispensary.or some CBD brands.
We are driving in clean streets. The environments are nice around here, the schools are new and it’s because businesses care, right? Like that. That is to me is just so major. So thank you for saying that. I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m really glad that you said that. What’s number three?
Matt Sibert: Well definitely you are, you have to have the right team around you. You can’t do it all yourself. And so let’s say for instance, you’re good at Internet marketing, but you’re not good at sales. You’re missing out.
Because he come and brick and mortar are two different ball games. And I talked to a brand the other day, they’re on their way to do 18 million this year and they’re all, it’s all brick and mortar sales know ecom at all.
And so you have to have that balance. And if you don’t, you need to have the right team. And so you can always come to me for that. Because like I said, I probably have the largest network in the CBD industry to connect you to the right people that are vetted and know what they’re doing.
And because that’s what I learned the hard way. Like we had when we launched our brand, we had Facebook slash CBD page and we had over a hundred thousand people on there. And I thought, Oh, I’m just going to create my website and they’re all going to just start buying. And it just didn’t, doesn’t work like that.
Matt Sibert: I was, I was like, yeah, you know, and so you really have to have a team of people.
And thank God I met West Jones that works with you as well, and other people of West his caliber. And because you cannot do it all yourself or you’ll wear yourself out.
It’s so hard to run a CBD brand. And of course if you’re just wanting to make like a couple thousand dollars a month, then yeah, you could do it all yourself. But if you’re really trying to build a sellable brand, you have to have a team that can help you in the areas that your weak and you want to focus on your strengths. And I’ve worked with, like I got two friends that are billionaires that are mentors to me and they always say that focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest. So you need to have the money to be able to do that and the money to run ads.
Matt Sibert: And so once you get your brand up, and your funnels up, and your website’s up, then you’ve got to get traffic. And that costs money.
And so it takes time to get that organic traffic. So you have to be patient on that side of things to get that organic traffic builds up on SEO or building your page or group. And so in order to get that immediate traffic, you have to pay for that.
So make sure you are realistic and with your dreams and know your why. Like, no, why are you doing this? Because you’re going to have terrible days where you want to quit.
Like just even recently I was like, man, maybe I should just take this job, offer this company, this cannabis company was offering me recently, like a sales management. I was like, Oh that would be easy compared to what I’m doing everyday.
But then I thought about my parents and my sister and there’s no way like I’m just going to keep helping people create amazing brands, do it the right way and you know, just compliantly and, and so, but yeah, know your why because you’re going to have those rough days and you’ll be able to think about that reason and keep going forward.
Sonia Gomez: Oh is that good one? Super fired.. Check out Matt Sibert you can find him in the CBD business success.
Matt Sibert: Yeah,
Sonia Gomez: business success, right? CBD Business Success Facebook group.
Matt Sibert: Yeah and then you can look us up on Instagram @CBDbusinesssuccess as well. Yeah. CBD business success on Facebook. That’s our free group. And then we also have our paid group for when people that buy the course, you get access to our private group and that’s all about scaling up and giving you that attention that you need.
So if you have any questions in that group, we answer those for you. So there’s really no excuse. We got the knowledge if you have the, if you have the willingness to roll your sleeves up and work as hard as you’ve ever worked, probably because it’s not easy. If anybody who thinks that you can just throw a website up and start selling product, it’s not going to work for you.
So if, if you’re going to work with us, make sure you’re ready to put your passion on the line and roll your sleeves up and if you’re willing to do that, that we could definitely help you create an amazing brand.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah,I vouch for that. 100% I’ve seen way too many people come in here trying to get rich quick and it’s like, it’s like anything, if you’re not willing to put in the work, whenever you’re getting ready to do is going to work you.
So what side of the bed you want to be on. Are you going to be the one, are you going to be the one driving? Are you going to be the one being called you just, you have to make the decision. and you like that you don’t want to get left behind.
Matt Sibert: There’s a marketer named Billy Gene in San Diego and he says being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and building the airplane on the way down. The truth Is you have to be fast and you have to think quick and, and just be nimble.
And, and, and so when you become an entrepreneur it’s a full time thing. And even if your kids get sick or whatever, you still have to balance it all out and, and so yeah, you have to be strong mentally and you have to know your why and, and that will help you stay through the thick and thin.
And, and that’s one last little tip that goes really far I think is having a morning routine. Like even if you have to wake up an hour early, like do a routine, like meditate and breathe. And get set, maybe work out a little bit and read a book for a bit because once that day hits and, and write your goals down and have it all prepared.
Like I right everything down, every day of mine is planned down to the hour and otherwise like it’s just too much to do and I’ll just be confused, you know?
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, totally. I completely agree. Having a business is like having an entire brood of children. It’s, it’s not theirs. You know, you’re running all these different facets and it’s also one of the most exciting, you know, part of this conversation has been like, oh my God, it’s hard and oh my gosh, oh my gosh it’s challenging. There’s so much. But you know, we’re not here to dish you a bunch of like if you want strawberries and whipped cream, go find the flossy glossy marketers.
Sonia Gomez: But we are two people who have pioneered the trails that are blazing, they’re on fire right now. This industry is moving so fast. There is huge movement coming in from corporate into this space.
Cannabis is going corporate and we have a very small window of opportunity right now to set the standard in which we operate and maintain ownership of this industry so that we can decide how big business can participate.
As we come in here with a bunch of lug heads trying to make a buck, trying to make a fast buck and we don’t treat this with the amount of passion and give the amount of intention that it really deserves and have focused intentional efforts every single day you’re, you will not stand this.
And, and what you think about it, like being mentally strong and prepared it, it’s life is life. It doesn’t change. And the CBD business could not be a more perfect depiction of what life is like. It could throw anything at you at any moment and you just have to be ready for it.
And you can look at it as a negative thing or you can embrace it as a positive thing. Like this is something that’s going to keep you fresh. It’s going to keep you young, it’s going to keep you on your toes, which will be ready for anything and you just have to embrace it with over with, with open arms and be ready to run faster and harder than you’ve ever run in your entire life to get to that point where you can sell for those high, for those high multiples. Because there is major, major upside for those of you who are running and hitting those benchmarks and setting your goals and working with incredible people like that. The celebrations that you will enjoy are massive. So I’m super excited to celebrate those things with you guys to meet all of you guys as you’re coming into the group. Matt, any final words for our listeners?
Network of Vetted Professionals That Will Help Take Your CBD Brand
Matt Sibert: Yeah, like what you just said about multiples because it’s true. Like right now it’s crazy what companies are paying for CBD businesses.
Like if you could hit 5 million in sales, you would get a 5,000 or a hundred even million dollar offer. Like, and that’s no joke. Like I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he said that, I don’t know if this is true, but this is what he said and I trust him. He said, companies are paying 60 times multiples.
In some cases,it’s just like, oh man, what a time to be alive and the opportunity we have to build brands right now. It’s like you said, the time is now Sonia and I love everything you’re saying. We are in alignment with everything and that’s why we’re friends and we worked together and so all you have to do, if you’re starting a brand, really pay attention to what James and Sonia are doing buy our course and you know, I think you would have access to an amazing network of people and we’re here to help you.
So check out our group CBD Business Success and check out Legalize it. Don’t criticize it, page of Sonia and James, that’s an amazing page as well and they just pump out tons of great content.
Sonia Gomez: Thanks for the plug really appreciate it. To those of you guys who are tuning in and you want to find out more information about how you can work with Matt and Dr. Bee or are you going to plug into the incredible communities that we are a part of that are helping pioneers in this industry succeed and troubleshoot all of the challenges, that also mutually celebrating the wins that we are experiencing. Go ahead and click the link that you will find somewhere around this video and we will give you more information there.
Make sure that you tune in and check out our other episodes of On the Rise podcast where we are interviewing multiple incredible entrepreneurs who are pushing the industry forward. As well as telling this transformational stories of the people whose lives are being impacted and transformed through the use of this incredible plant medicine and other natural remedies that are changing the way that we feel and function on a daily basis.
Sonia Gomez: Matt, thank you so much for the work that you do in the industry and for being a part of our podcast today. And I can’t wait to see you guys on the Internet.
Matt Sibert: Thank you, Sonia again, and I’m happy to come back anytime and, uh, I appreciate you guys and we’ll talk soon. Thanks everybody.
Sonia Gomez: here. Check you guys later on the next episode of On the Rise podcast. See you guys.
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