Christoph Filgertshofer is a young affiliate marketing expert, digital marketer, instructor, and store owner from Munich, a city tucked in the base of the German Alps.
We sat down with Christoph to hear about how he found his first success in ecommerce, why he started educating others about entrepreneurship through the Shopify Affiliate program, and his tips for building a successful ecommerce business in the German market.
Christoph, likes to live an independent lifestyle, where he is not reliant on anybody for his living. He always carried an entrepreneur mindset. Starting from a young age, he was flipping things in school, to get hold of some pocket money so he doesn’t have to rely on his parents.
Furthermore, he started scaling his business by selling newspapers and Pokémon cards, whilst employing his childhood friends, giving him the flexibility to focus on other new business ideas.
When Christoph, realised the potential of earning from YouTube, he quickly started streaming video games such as Clash of Clans, by which means he gained a vast amount of subscribers, turning into consistent viewers, which projected into revenue for him alongside some brand deals which would pay him for advertising space in his videos.
All these crazy ideas, and positive return on time invested, kept him motivated and gave him potential to grow even bigger and successful.
From gaming online to selling online
Seeing how his channel was helping brands sell their own products, Christoph saw a new opportunity; instead of promoting other people’s products, he realized he could sell his own.
Christoph knew that pivoting to selling his own products online was going to be a big venture. So he assembled a team of his friends to embark on the learning experience together. They started studying digital marketing, learning the ins and outs of self-promotion. They decided to start out with a drop shipping store selling random, inexpensive accessories.
“We tried Shopify first and loved it,” Christoph says. “It was so easy, even for us beginners. We built a store and got it running in one or two days. We never thought we could do that. It was just awesome.”
While setting up the store was seamless, being successful was a different story.
“Our first store was a failure. We did not know how to set up a shop properly. We had no clue what we were doing. No clue at all. We knew how to market, but we only had two sales.”
The team decided to try again. This time, they sought out help to get a better idea of how to start and manage their online business correctly. They read countless how-to guides and articles, watched hours of video tutorials, and took many online courses all created by successful Shopify merchants and current Shopify Affiliates.
“We grinded,” Christoph says. “We watched dozens of videos. We invested our time in coaching programs. We looked for people who had done it before and tried to learn from them.”
The team’s second foray into ecommerce focused on women’s jewellery. In only a few months, they started to see success. With the knowledge they’d gained from their hours of studying Shopify educators, their store continued to grow.
After hearing about Christoph’s successful new store, friends of the teen started to reach out for advice on growing their own online stores. Once again, Christoph saw an opportunity.
Becoming a Shopify Affiliate
With a successful YouTube channel and ecommerce store, Christoph started helping his friends start on their own path to success. As he continued to teach, his network of interested students continued to grow. Christoph began to realize that the struggles he faced early in his ecommerce career could help others have an easier time.
“I not only wanted to help the people who knew me,” Christoph explains. “I wanted to help all the people that I could.”
To share his ecommerce knowledge with a larger audience, Christoph decided to create a YouTube channel and join the Shopify Affiliate program.
From the beginning, Christoph cantered his channel around authenticity, making it a point to only create videos about products that he was passionate about. He also strove to share every part of his entrepreneurial journey, even the failures.
“I am open about my failures and successes, so people trust the things I say. I tell them if I failed before, and I only promote what I have worked with and have had success with. People really like that.”
Finding his niche in Germany
When Christoph was starting out on his own ecommerce journey, the majority of the affiliates he learned from were not based in Germany. This complicated things—there are different rules and standards in every country, so the information shared by an American affiliate, for example, wasn’t always relevant to Christoph’s case. Now that he himself was an affiliate, Christoph saw a chance to fill a need in the German market. He focused his education on German merchants, teaching them to sell on Shopify successfully.
Below, Christoph shares three tactics Shopify Affiliates can use to teach their audiences about how to take advantage of the growing opportunity in Germany. And while his advice may appear to be specific to Germany, it’s an approach that can be applied in any market around the world.