Introduction to Fred
Fred Lam is a well-known online entrepreneur that has shared the stage with the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Grant Cardone, Jack Canfield and others.
One might be forgiven for calling him a serial entrepreneur. Fred seems to come up with a new business idea which spawns a course or book or software, just about every year.
Nothing wrong with that, just look at Richard Branson and the Virgin brand.So it’s all good and well, if Fred still devotes time and effort to his old “courses”, instead of just dropping them and moving on to the next new thing…
Fred was the youngest Marketing Manager for the BMW Group Canada ever. He quickly rose through the marketing ranks, from a dishwasher to where he is today – the CEO of several multi-million dollar businesses. He is a business mentor to thousands and enjoys a healthy following on social media.
Fred has also received the following awards as a marketer and entrepreneur (according to his FB Page):
- INC 5000 Award
- Startup 50 Award
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Business Excellence Awards Canada
- Canadian Business Excellence Awards for Private Businesses
- Best Selling Author of the Book: The Traffic Trilogy
- Google Adwords Certified
- Clickbank’s Top Client
Based on that information, Fred certainly has the experience and know-how to present an online business course.
But wait! Before we start. Here’s the fine print:
This is a genuine unbiased and unaffiliated review.
What does that mean?
It means that I am in no way or form affiliated with Fred Lam, or his course Zero Up.
I.e. I am not paid to give glowing reviews of ANY of the courses I review. This review is purely my own personal opinion, nothing more.
What to Expect in this Course
Right! Down to the nuts and bolts.
Zero Up is a dropshipping course with a twist.
It not only offers you an introduction into the world of dropshipping, but it also offers you exclusive software to help you set up, and optimize your Shopify Store.
The official Zero Up site sums it up perfectly: “…A powerful, all-in-one ecommerce software suit to build, grow & scale your online store.”This is a very exciting proposition!
None of the top 5 dropshipping courses that I’ve reviewed have a one-stop software solution for dropshipping.
Just like Drop Ship Lifestyle by Anton Kraly, Zero Up is unique in the world of dropshipping courses.
Zero Up is thus not a dropshipping course as such, but rather a platform from which to manage your online store.This is what Zero Up claims to offer you:
- Lightning fast store creation
- A product engine with millions of products at your fingertips – customize your search criteria
- 100% Order Fulfillment Automation – automatic order placement and tracking
- Advanced Email Integration for retargeting campaigns
- Use text, coupon, image, or video to attract customers with offers so that they can stay in your sales funnel
- Drag & Drop Funnel Builder
The Zero Up Course Breakdown
This course contains 10 different modules, each with it’s own videos and additional resources.
The Zero Up modules are:
- Module 1 – Store Creation
- Module 2 – Inventory Arbitrage
- Module 3 – Turbocharging Your Store
- Module 4 – Creating A Sales Funnel
- Module 5 – Advertising Your Store
- Module 6 – Store Management
- Module 7 – Traffic Genius
- Module 8 – Zero Up Jewels
- Module 9 – Weekly Bootcamp
- Module 10 – Bonus Trainings
Total number of course videos (including 20 weeks of Bootcamp videos): 113 videos.Total video time: 45 hours and 39 minutes.
(I did not include the bootcamp videos in the course total at the beginning of this review, as these will change and increase over time. For the purpose of this Course Review, I included the first 20 weeks only.)
Module 1 – Store Creation
Module 1 contains 12 videos with a total length of 2 hours and 4 minutes.Fred does a good job of introducing you to the basics of dropshipping. Some of the highlights are:
- He offers some sound advice on Niche Selection and where you can find ideas for a niche if you are unsure. Zero Up does well in this regard and is only slightly trumped by eCom Elites and eCom Success Academy in this regard.
Also covered in this module of Zero Up:Fred shares his knowledge of setting up and creating a business within the legal framework of the US and talks about the Importance of the Business Structure.Fred also shows you how to purchase a domain and how to set it up in Shopify, as well as How to brand your store and why it is important.Fred quickly gives a run-down of how to setup your Shopify store (butnot nearly as comprehensive and thorough as some of the other courses, though...) Fred covers the basics, such as Shipping, Email, Checkout and linking Google Analytics. Fred also introduces you to his own Zero Up Software, which is useful for installing a Shopify Theme, and tweaking your store settings. Other features are discussed later in the course.To read the full Module 1 review, click here!
Module 2 – Inventory Arbitrage
Module 2 contains 6 videos with a total length of 1 hour and 28 minutes.It also includes an additional Top 100 Selling Products Reports in pdf format – yes, you read right – 100 pdf documents!Fred introduces you to the concept of “inventory arbitrage“. It’s a fancy term for not keeping any physical stock – a la the dropshipping method.
Fred then shows you which sites he uses to find products and suppliers.
A nice touch in this module, is that Fred shows you how to use his Zero Up software to find advertisements that the competition have used to sell similar products to what you intend selling.
This gives you a great heads-up as to what works for your product. This in itself saves a LOT of time, effort and marketing money.
Fred also discusses how to
- increase perceived value.
- How to approach different pricing strategies, and
- he discusses the importance of good product descriptions.
The module also contains 100 pre-vetted “Top-selling” product documents that you can refer to and use on your Shopify Store.
Although a nice touch, everyone who does this course will want to sell those same 100 products…
Unlike eCom Success Academy and eCom Elites Fred doesn’t really show you how to find your OWN products… To read the full Module 2 review, click here!
Module 3 – Turbocharging Your Store
Module 3 contains 9 videos with a total length of 1 hour and 38 minutes.
Fred suggest you Turbocharge your store with the use of apps that allow everything from creating coupons and social proof to automated email marketing.
He gives some nifty hints on how to create sales funnels and which software/apps to use.
Be warned though:
- The apps that Fred prefers, are EXPENSIVE. (The most expensive of which is the product of a buddy of his..) They add up to about $160 per month…
- He doesn’t warn you that you have to create a SIZABLE email list first, before email marketing is a viable option.
- It’s difficult to build up an email list and it takes TIME (and effort)
Most of the apps he suggests you use though, are quality apps that have been tried and tested and will definitely help boost your sales – that’s if you can afford them….
Module 4 – Creating A Sales Funnel
Section 4 contains 5 videos with a total length of 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Fred not only offers some sound advice on when to start/create a sales funnel, but he also introduces you to more features of the Zero Up software.Some of the great tools that you will have access to are:
- The Funnel Builder – a super easy way to create and implement a sales funnel. The only other dropship course to offer you a D4U sales funnel is Shopify Ninja Masterclass. So that’s a point in Zero Up’s favor.
- The Profit Multiplier – it allows you to create 4 different types of professional looking pop-ups
These are VERY handy tools to have and if you bought the course, you’d be silly not to use them.Fred also discusses how to increase your Average Order Value:
Module 5 – Advertising Your Store
Module 5 contains a total of 16 videos with a total length of 3 hours and 27 minutes.
This module of Zero Up, starts with an introduction to Facebook and how you can best utilize it to market and sell your products.
This is one of the strongest modules in Fred’s course, simply because it covers so much content.
When you work through this module, you will learn just about everything you need to learn about Facebook Advertising, from creating different Types of Ads, to the FB Pixel and Scaling your Ads.
Fred even shows you a formula to use when Scaling your Ads. Great advice!
The FB Ads Modules in eCom Elites by Franklin Hatchett, is probably the only other course that offers so much detail about advertising your store on Facebook, so Fred did a great job here.To read the full Module 5 review, click here!
Module 6 – Store Management
Module 6 contains a total of 9 videos with a total length of 2 hours and 8 minutes.
Module 6 of Zero Up is a mixture of hit-and-miss.It has some definite highlights:
- Fred teaches you how to get into a DAILY routine
- He covers some customer issues you might encounter AND how to deal with them
- He also talks about credit card chargebacks and how to appeal them
BUT, he doesn’t teach you how to:
- interpret data that you get from Google Analytics and your Shopify Store
- set up, nor how to implement automated marketing emails
- how to do your own split testing.
- nor does Fred offer much in the form of scaling your store management through the use of Virtual Assistants. This is an aspect that was covered in nearly EVERY other dropship course…
Module 7 – Traffic Genius
Module 7 contains two sub modules with a total of 28 videos and a total length of 5 hours and 52 minutes. Bing
This is a great addition to the course! No other dropshipping course even bothered mentioning Bing. Despite having only 4.98% of the global search engine traffic, that still amounts to 60 million people… And there are other compelling reasons to consider advertising on Bing as well.
Fred walks you through the Bing Ads setup and shows you how to create and launch ads. This is a great inclusion in the course!
I actually went out and did some of my own Bing research. You might also be surprised by some of the Bing stats…Google Ads
Fred offers some great advice and ways to tweak your Google Ads campaign.
But, in my opinion he does however make some fatal errors as well – one of them is NOT advertising for Mobile. In 2020, you honestly cannot afford NOT to tap into almost 50% of your browser market…
I found some interesting mobile usage stats here.
Apart from that, most of the info Fred shares on Google AdWords, is solid advice, BUT nothing new. Which is a worry, since it’s no longer Google AdWords… Quite a bit has changed since the introduction of Google Ads…Fred does however talk about Google Quality Score, which is immensely important.
I still haven’t received feedback from Zero Ups support team, on whether there is an update for Google Ads or not…In conclusion, this module does great at introducing advertising on Bing, and does a pretty solid job of Google AdWords (not Google Ads, mind you), as well.
Up to date content though, is a MUST for these courses…To read the full Module 7 review, click here!
Module 8 – Zero Up Jewels
After completing this module you will know how you can customize your own jewelry and sell it on your E-commerce store!
Module 9 – Weekly Bootcamp
Module 9 contains a total of 20 videos with a total length of 26 hours and 17 minutes.
Fred hosts a weekly “Bootcamp” session with Zero Up members, where he gives them additional tips and they get to ask him questions via email.
Sometimes Fred even takes the time to offer constructive criticism on a student’s website or advertisement campaign and suggests how they can improve.
This is a great insert for his students and a great way for Fred to interact with them.
However, if you did not ask a question or advice from Fred, the videos do tend to be long winded… (Cue the Neverending Story theme music…)To read the full Module 9 review, click here!
Module 10 – Bonus Trainings
Module 10 contains a total of 7 videos with a total length of 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Once again, another dropshipping guru tries to pass off a bonus section with very little material worthy of the “bonus” title.There’s a LOT of theory here. The entire Bonus Sections deals with only two subjects:
- email marketing and
- managing influencers
Theory is great if you are actually taught how to also implement it. That did not happen here…To read the full Module 10 review, click here!
Is Zero Up a worthwhile course?
You have to weigh it up yourself. Think of it this way – Fred wants you to use his software (that comes “mostly” free with the course), and then you are also expected to add a slew of monthly paid-for apps in order to automate as much as possible.
According to his methods and advice, you’ll have to fork out about $170 per month for your apps. And then you still have to add your course “investment” as well.
Zero Up cost $748.50 in 2019. The price has now doubled to $1,497 without any indication that there has been an update to the course. It seems that Fred added some bonus modules and that’s it.
So, do you get value for money?
The course content itself is a bit thin, but you do get access to the Zero Up software suite with a whole range of useful tools.
However, all the tools in the Zero Up software can be found in the Shopify App Store as well. And for a lot less, NOT the suggested apps at $170 per month. With a bit of homework, you can find specific apps that suit your type of store or niche for half the price (if not more), than what Fred suggested. For example: a simple search in the Shopify app store for “email” returns a staggering 1244 different email apps.
You can browse to your heart’s content, read up on reviews, do your own research and I bet you’ll find the right app for you. (Since there are 533 of them, you might just find a free app that does the job…)
So is it worth getting this course then?
Although Fred hits a home run here and there (such as the Bing Ads module, which is awesome BTW), he does strike out a lot. Especially where content is concerned.
All the other dropshipping courses I have reviewed, have lots more content AND practical examples of how to implement the theory.
In short, this course is a very basic introduction to dropshipping, that focuses mainly on automation. It leans more towards showing you how to use Fred’s software and other add-on apps, rather than showing you how to manually run your store and get a feel for this business.
It’s all good and well to use technology to help run you business as efficiently as possible, BUT you need to remember that:
- it is IMPOSSIBLE to completely automate your dropshipping business.
- Fred himself, pointed out that you will need a DAILY routine in order to make a success of this business (and even then it’s tough)
- I’m not convinced that Fred’s apps are the best on the market – simply because of the pricing, and reviews that I have seen… (You can do your own research here and judge for yourself).
Back to my initial question then: Is Zero Up a worthwhile course?Check out my Review Conclusion below:
Zero Up Review Conclusion
Fred Lam’s Zero Up, certainly has some plus points as a dropshipping course.
He offers great advice on Bing Ads, Facebook Advertising bidding strategy, and email marketing AND you get his Zero Up software bundled with the course as well.The software looks very basic and doesn’t offer anything revolutionary, but it offers you
- Simplicity – the tools/apps are super easy to use, even for beginner dropshippers with very little computer know-how, and they offer
- Convenience – many of the essential tools for successful dropshipping are now situated in one place
- Synergy – many of the tools work together to save you time and hassle
On the negative side though:
- all the tools that Fred offers in the Zero Up software, can be found in the Shopify App Store (and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg)
- apps in the App Store have been tried and tested by hundreds (if not thousands) of users.
- you get to CHOOSE which features you want, and ultimately which apps / tools you’re going to use
- the course content is VERY basic overall, which is probably why the Zero Up website actually refers to Zero Up as software and not a course. But still – you can’t blindly go into a business model. You need to know how the machine works, not just that it works…
- For dropshipping software alone though, Zero Up is a bit expensive…
- Fred is a serial entrepreneur. From a student’s point of view, this might be a little concerning as Fred tends to be involved in a LOT of projects at any given time. So, although his support staff might be good, you always want to be able to reach out to the course creator personally. I think Fred might be spread a little too thin, which wouldn’t leave him much time to personally get in touch with you as a student.
- The course content doesn’t cover Google Ads as yet. And yes, the basic elements of Google AdWords are still there and you’d be able to get by with the info given, but Google Ads offers more in terms of tools. If a course covers Google Ads, I want it to be up to date and I want to know the ins and outs of it…
What I like about Zero Up:
- The idea of one software suite to optimize your Shopify Store.
- Fred’s support offered in the private FB Group. He answers questions on a daily basis.
- Bing Advertisements are well covered.
- Good Facebook Ads Bidding Strategy.
What I didn’t like about Zero Up:
- You can use other apps and tools, but the whole course is built around the Zero Up software – this somewhat limits you in terms of choice of tools.
- Fred’s software is not the (best) solution for all your Shopify Store needs.
- Lack of overall content.
- Basic Adwords training, but no update for Google Ads yet…
Dropshipping… Still viable in 2020?
It’s probably difficult for you to answer that question. It all depends on your experience of, and with dropshipping.
If you’re an experienced dropshipper (like me), you will know how increasingly difficult it is to make dropshipping a successful venture.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible to make a living from dropshipping, but it is getting more and more difficult.
If you want to know more about my own personal experience with dropshipping, feel free to read my story here, or take a look at my dropshipping case study – I once had a single product, that made $48 000 in 30 days! Insane, right?
So yes, that proves you can make money from dropshipping.
But the question you should be asking is this: Am I (Ippei), still doing dropshipping in 2020?
The answer is, no…
My top online business suggestion for 2020?
I’ve basically tried EVERY single online business model there is. I made a few bucks on some. I lost a few bucks on others.
None of them are consistently successful though, except for ONE…
I’ve been doing local lead generation since 2014, and it consistently brings in a monthly recurring income. Yes, I’m talking about that magical business term: PASSIVE INCOME…
If you’ve never heard of lead gen, maybe this will help:
And the great thing is, you get to help other businesses grow.
Because if they grow and become more successful, so do you.
It’s a perfect symbiosis, and that is rare in business. You get to help others expand and become more successful, and as a reward, you get to grow, expand and become more successful as well.
And that’s why it works! Here’s an example of just one of my lead gen sites.
I haven’t touched it for months and I still earn $2000 per month from my happy client.
Now that’s a winning business model!Want to know more? Click below…
DOWNLOAD LINK BELOW