TAS 228 (Update) Not So Impressive Monthly Numbers + My NEW (Master Plan)

Scott has long been a champion of working the Amazon sales engine to build your business – and he still is. On this episode he’s going to say that over and over. But he also wants to be known as an Amazon seller who will speak the truth about what’s really happening as Amazon gets more and more crowded and as Amazon adjusts its algorithms as a result. He’s not abandoning Amazon (no way!) but is beginning to notice why he’s got to think bigger, broader, and make things a little less dependent on Amazon alone. You’re going to hear his latest sales numbers and what he is planning to do to adjust his strategy, on this episode.

Why would Scott share his own sales and expense numbers?

On any of the Amazon sales communities you find on Facebook or other places online you often see screenshots of amazing sales numbers that sellers are getting from their private label products. Great! That’s what selling on Amazon is all about. But often those screenshots and brags don’t tell the whole story. The costs, fees, and other miscellaneous things that go into running a successful business have to be clear as well. So that you can see the real situation that exists for most Amazon sellers, Scott likes to share his own expense and profit numbers. He doesn’t do it to impress you but to impress upon you the realities of what it takes to sell on Amazon successfully. You’re going to get a great education on this episode.

Are you sick of the huge fees you’re paying to Amazon?

Next time you look over the reports Amazon provides about how your private label products are doing, take a look at the amount of fees Amazon is taking for every sale. Does that number make you sick? Recently Scott looked over his numbers and saw that almost 40% of his sales income was going to Amazon. That’s OK, Amazon deserves something for helping him sell his products so successfully. But what would it be like if even half of the products Scott was selling were able to be sold independent of Amazon? That’s a huge amount of profit back in his product. On this episode you’re going to hear what Scott’s going to be doing to break free of the Amazon fees, so be sure you take some time to listen.

Why content marketing is the best way to build a business long term.

Do you know the term “content marketing?” It’s one approach to getting people to look at the things you’re doing online. But it’s a long term game. It requires you to be producing quality information that educates people about the topics surrounding your product. It requires you to be working hard to produce lots of things that don’t actually sell your product, but build the level of trust that people have when they see what you have to say about your market area. Can you create content around your market that helps your customer? Scott thinks you probably can and that you should be to begin building a sales channel that is independent of Amazon so that you can make greater profits. Business is business and you need to adjust as you go to make your sales go as far as they can. Be sure to listen to this one.

Why you need to focus on a market and not just on a popular widget.

It’s great to get sales from selling lots and lots of popular products. Profit is profit. But if you’re making those sales for only a short time, that’s not a strategy that’s going to last you. That’s why you need to be focusing in on a market that will provide you with many product ideas that can create a sort of product line – not just one product that’s popular right now. On this episode of the podcast Scott unpacks what it means to build a product line within a market and why it’s so important so be sure you take the time to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:10] Why Amazon is a lot like Google and what it means for our businesses.
  • [5:30] What Scott is saying to new people to Amazon.
  • [8:07] The importance of thinking long term when it comes to an overall strategy.
  • [11:10] Scott’s most recent sales numbers.
  • [15:00] Scott’s thoughts about the fees he pays to Amazon, and the shift he’s making.
  • [17:21] Why Scott would start an external channel sooner if he were to start over.
  • [19:05] Problems Scott has had on Amazon and what he’s doing about it.
  • [25:34] Why content marketing is the best way to build a long term business.
  • [32:08] Why business is a roller coaster that has no one-size-fits-all approach.
  • [40:13] How to get in on the next free workshop.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 228

TAS 228 : (Update) Not So Impressive Monthly Numbers + My NEW (Master Plan)

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey, what’s up everyone. Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 228 and today I'm going to give you an update of my not so impressive monthly numbers plus my new master plan. I think It’s important for me to really do this episode because there’s a lot of people out there that will sugarcoat things or…

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…just talk about all of the glory, all of the great stuff and I want to be a little different. I want to share with you numbers that might not be that impressive to some. They might be very impressive to a lot of people but also why I think that we need to start thinking a little bit differently about this business or any business in general that you want to start.

Bottom line is business is like a rollercoaster and so is Amazon. Now, some of you have heard me talk about this before and I'm going to talk about it again because I think it’s really, really important. Amazon is a lot like Google. Google can do anything that they want. If we build stuff on Google, they can make an update then and all of our sites or all of our content can get indexed differently or maybe they can just suspend our account, same thing with Amazon. There’s been people that have had successful businesses and all of a sudden Amazon comes along and it just decides to suspend you for whatever reason or violation. I don’t want to say this to scare you but I do want you to start thinking down the road when is the right time for you to switch gears. Now, does that mean that you should start off of Amazon and then come on Amazon? No, I'm not saying that at all. If I was to tell you where should you start it should be on Amazon because Amazon you can start selling products immediately.

[00:02:00] Scott: As soon as you have your product and you ship it into Amazon, you can start selling. They have the webhosting. You don’t need a website, you don’t need content, you don’t need an audience, you don’t need an email list, you don’t need a list, you don’t need any of that stuff. All you need to do is follow what I've taught you already on this podcast. Does this mean that I won't launch products anymore in the future? Absolutely not. I just launched three products about a week and a half ago and I'm planning on launching three more here coming soon. That’s not what I'm saying at all but I do want you to be aware that there’s again numbers out there being flown around that people get all excited about.

I think that you should get excited about it because it motivates you but in the same breath I want you to understand that it’s risky just to bank on the one platform. I've said this almost from the beginning because I've seen this ever since I've been online and ever since I've been selling online, which is just about 10 years now. I have seen where people have built their entire business on SEO, Search Engine Optimization and they’ve built these really, really popular websites or even like these mini niche sites. Pat Flynn did a whole case study on a niche site dual where that’s kind of where he got his fame from. He was building like a little niche site about security training and he was able to get it ranked.

Then he was able to start making about $2,000, $3,000 passively. Same thing with Spencer Haws. Spencer Haws speaks from Niche Pursuits. He openly talks about him building these little mini niche sites. His goal was only to build these little niche sites around like one product. It could have been around vacuum cleaner bags like a review site. From there he would get it ranked on Google and then from there he would start to make $30 or $50 per month. That was his goal. But his goal was to have maybe 10 of those sites and that would be 300 bucks a month or maybe it was a hundred sites. Actually I think he had upwards of 300 or 400 websites at one time.

[00:04:05] Scott: Here’s the problem, and he experienced this, Google came up with an update. They started saying, “You know what, anyone who has these different links being pointed to their site from these social bookmarking platforms, guess what, we’re going to de-index them. You’re going away. There’s no more traffic going to be sent to you. We’re going to take you off the face of the earth basically.” So, overnight you're gone. Your business is wiped out and he felt this. That’s crazy. If they didn’t have an email list, you can't push anybody to another thing. If you had an email list, and that’s hard to do with 400 websites. 400 websites probably all over different niches and stuff right, to build email lists that’s why it’s probably smarter now to do an authority website where you can create content and have products specifically for that audience, build that email list.

You guys can hear me. I always talk about the email list. That’s the most important thing today and it will be tomorrow because people are still going to have their email and people are always going to follow through with the email, if you're giving them valuable content, which we’ll talk about here in a minute. I'm going to go through again this entire thought process, my new master plan. It’s been like another wake up call for me, and also wake-up call for me to let you know what I'm working on and what I plan on doing about this because.

I think it’s important to not just think about selling on one platform. Whether that’s eBay, whether that’s Amazon or any other platform you want to think the longer term. If you're just starting, right now and you're listening to this podcast, I am not saying to not start on Amazon. I think you should start there. I think that you should go back and listen to all the podcast episodes that I have talked about starting and launching a product using Amazon. Actually I do a workshop. Actually I should probably put a little plug-in here right now for the workshop. If you guys are brand new and you want to hear how that process works and how it looks just go to theamazingseller.com/workshop and you can sign up for that because that is still a great way to start.

[00:06:13] Scott: Again you don’t need all of those other things to get started. But and a big but here, the game is changing. I get people that say, “Well, Scott what’s that mean. What if I've got three products and they're selling pretty good on Amazon so what should I do?” Well, you should start doing what I'm going to share with you today. You should start building an email list, you should start delivering content to those people. You should start creating your own sales funnel, your own sales experience. That stuff should definitely be in the mix and that’s what I'm going to go through here a little bit today because I think it’s important. That’s something I'm going to be working on and it’s something I've been doing now for probably close to like I said 9, 10 years.

It all came down to and still comes down to delivering value to a market. If you're in the product selection phase right now, you want to not just to look at a widget, you want to look at a product that serves a market. If you can do that then you can create content that helps serve that market. Then you can touch them again and again and again. With Amazon, they go to the listing, if they don’t buy your product, the chances of them coming back to your listing are probably slim to none, unless they have added you to their cart. Other than that, they're probably not going to see you unless you start running ads that are going to be there if they search that again.

You're never going to get them to just see it automatically because you want to. Just not the way that it works and Amazon controls that experience. Again, I'm not saying I wouldn’t start on Amazon. I want to be very clear on that. I think Amazon is a great platform and I'm still going to be launching products there myself but I'm also going to be taking a different approach moving forward with the products that I have and the products that I plan to sell in the future.

[00:08:02] Scott: To me it’s the best way, it’s the long term play. The thing is, when you are just starting you need to think a little bit longer term now. When you're picking that product, like I said and you're going to hear me say it again and again, and again, I just need to drill this point in and drill it home, drive it home, I think that’s the proper analogy, drive it home, you need to think longer term. You need to have that longer term plan. The other thing is you need to pick a market to serve products to. What’s that mean? It means that we’re not just going to go after the latest widget that’s hot right now.

Now, you can do that and there’s people that do that and they make money out of it. You might be selling t-shirts that are for Donald Trump or whatever, toilet paper that have Trump on it or something. I don’t want to offend any people that are into politics out there. I'm not going to do that but you guys get what I'm saying. If you're going to ride a trend, that’s okay, you can make a little bit of money at that. It’s kind of like retail arbitrage or online arbitrage. You're finding something that you're going to make short time success at one item and then you're going to move on to the next thing.

That’s okay if you're into this thing just to learn the process and make money like right now, some extra cash then fine. Sustainable, not probably a good move. It’s okay to do that, if that’s what you want to do. If you want to create a real business, one that you can feel good about and also that you know that you have a longer term path with, then picking a market, a niche to serve products to, that will be your best way to go about it. Then the other thing is, once you do all of that, you need to create your own sales channel. We also call that your sales funnel and an email list.

[00:10:05] Scott: I'm going to go over some of that and in the future coming to you here on the podcast, I'm definitely going to be diving into that a lot more because that’s what I'm doing. I get this question again and I just got to say it again and I'm going to clear it up right now. “Scott, can I still find products to sell on Amazon?” The answer is. “Yes you can. You can still find products that are $15 to sell on Amazon.” Does that mean it’s going to be easier for people to hijack your listing? Yeah, yeah it is, but it’s still possible. You just need to understand that if you have a product that sells over $20, it’s a little bit harder. If you sell something that’s $30 or $40 it’s a little bit harder, if you sell something for $75 or $100 it’s a little bit harder as far as people hijacking you.

Then that’s just the way it works and it’s harder for people to source a product that’s more expensive. If that’s your path, then go down that path but just to understand, there’s no reason to not get started. Bottom line is, and that is what I wanted to cover here today, you need to think of this like a business, unless you're just doing the thrifting, finding stuff to sell on eBay or Amazon. If you are, totally cool, not a problem. Let me go through the numbers real quick and I'm not going to go into all of the, “I spend this penny on this and this penny on that,” I'm going to kind of give you the rough numbers to show you what’s been happening but also what woke me up.

Also that you can see that… To some people it’s great numbers, to some people it’s not so great numbers. I'm going to combine these two brands. I have two current brands right now that I'm working in. I'm actually have a third that I'm going to be starting to work in, which is kind of exciting which is going to be a brand as we talk about, with a product line, with its own sales funnel and all that stuff but right now let me give you what is happening.

[00:12:03] Scott: In March we had 1,385 orders in the one brand at $19,535. In the other brand we had 581 orders at $6,632 for a total of $26,167. Not that great. It was okay but not that great, still over 25 grand. April we had 1001 orders, $13,600 in the one brand and the other one was 560 orders at $6,774 that was up $20,374 a month. Not that great but okay. Still over the $20,000 mark. I want to also clear this up. A lot of people I'm hearing they're throwing out numbers like, “We just did 80 grand this month in revenue,” but they're selling a $150 products. To get to that $150 revenue number which sounds amazing it’s just a number. Bottom line is like, “How much are you taking away and all that stuff? How much are you spending in pay-per-click?” All of that stuff.

Right now what I’m giving you, I don’t have a product right now that sells more than $29.95. I've got one item, actually four variations but one of those items is a bundle. It sells for $29.95, something like that. All the other ones are between I would say, $14.95 and all the way up to maybe $24.95. These are 1,060 orders plus 965. You're talking like 2,000 units being sold per month. Let’s go to May we had 1,060 orders in the one brand that was $15,318. The other brand we had 965 orders, so a growing in brand two. The two combined was $27,841.

[00:14:00] Scott: Then June we started to do a little bit better. We did 1,215 in brand one and in brand two we did 1,165. Almost the same as in brand one now at $15,272. That’s a total of $35,614. Again, that’s revenue numbers. Right now we’re running between 20 and I would say 22% is the margin, roughly. Now, pay-per-click I’ve definitely driven the price down on that. A few months, I was running pay-per-click on both brands and probably spending between four and five grand. I’ve got it down now to where we’re probably spending under three grand amongst the two. Maybe even a little bit less, maybe even like $2,500.

That’s where we’re saving money there but the sales are actually increasing a little bit. That’s kind of good. Anyway, total FBA fees now. I want to throw this out here to you. If we were to combine all of those; March, April, May, June and all those orders, we had a ton of orders, we spent about $40,000 in FBA fees. Here’s the thing, here is what got me thinking. I'm like, “Okay this is great. Amazon is awesome. I love Amazon, they’re doing a lot of the work but man $40,000 in FBA fees? What if I could sell even 25% of those orders on my own ecommerce store? I could cut that down.”

That’s money in the business’s pocket. Again, I'm not saying that you want to take all your sales and get them off of Amazon. I'm not saying that. You want to have both but wouldn’t it be awesome even if we were spending the $40,000 in FBA fees on Amazon but then on the side maybe we’re only getting 25% sales from our own ecommerce or our own sales channel and we’re only paying 25% of that for fees because we were able to fulfill them through another fulfillment company?

[00:16:06] Scott: Or maybe we just had someone else locally fulfill them. There’s other different options that we can do but I'm just saying like when you look at those numbers, you’re like, “Okay, that’s another cost that could be shaved if we were able to have some of those sales come through our own ecommerce.” That can happen once you build an email list, once you build a sales funnel, once you build your sales channel, your own following in a sense right, all of that stuff can happen. Again I just want to give you all of the different pieces of data that I'm looking at and also my thought process through it.

Still, all in all we did just about $110,000 in revenue and in sales for most of the products that are $20 in that range. I have one, it sells probably 8 to 10 a day at $29.95 but all the rest some of them are $14.95. Again, if we were selling a product that was $100 we could show that we just made a ton more money. We could have said revenue wise we are $600,000 but because of that we’re not showing that. We are showing that, again, this is more of like what I think people are doing and they want to do because it’s easier to get into the game.

With that being said, there’s definitely more competition but, a big ‘BUT’ here. If I was to start all over again would I still start on Amazon? The answer is yes but, another but, I would have started my external channel sooner. I know better than that. I know what an email list does. I know what content creation does. I know what it does with SEO with organic search traffic. I know what Facebook ads can do. I know all about that stuff but I was so busy in building the Amazon businesses and keeping them running and allowing other people to now help in that process.

[00:18:05] Scott: Also running my other digital businesses that I currently have that I'm running and to be able to run the podcast. I know what had to be done and I know what has to be done but it’s a matter of getting it done. It’s one of those things. Am I upset and disappointed? No, I think that we still are doing good. We have good growth here. In June we’re definitely growing but it doesn’t mean that July will be. We have prime day coming up but it still doesn’t mean that the numbers are always going to go up, up, up. We’d like them to but it doesn’t mean that they're going to be.

With that all being said, still not that shabby. It’s money coming in the door and we’re validating and we’re able to continue to have customers receive our items. If you have an insert card you're able to start maybe collecting some emails, still a lot harder to get people to type in an email address, your conversion rate and that is really, really low but it’s better than nothing. The setbacks that I want to talk about and the reason why I wanted to share this as well, and the reason why the growth to me isn’t where I wanted it to be. Number one, I had some problems with some inventory. With all that being said, with those numbers still having those numbers, I had problems with inventory.

I had a batch of inventory twice that got pulled that basically they said, “Your refund rate is too high, we are not going to allow you to sell that because customers are saying that it was missing a piece.” I'm talking like out of like 50 orders they might even three orders. They didn’t like the percentage over that short window so we had to go through the whole, “This is what we have, can you pull it off there? Can you see that it’s matching the SKU.” In one situation, in one scenario, it was actually mislabel on their part. I had them label the products. I paid them 20 cents to put on the FNSQ and they put it in the wrong package of mine when it was shipped.

[00:20:10] Scott: Because of that, my listing was suspended for a short while but on one of them there was a problem which was a manufacture problem. Then I had to go and pull it off the shelf and it was about 300 unit but again they took that listing down or that variation down and then it slowed things down. It slowed sales and I lost. That was on the bundle, by the way, two of the $29.95 one. I was selling between 8 and 10 a day, I went down to selling none a day for probably a good week. Then once I got back in stock because they were able to rectify that everything was okay, now with the inventory that was there then it took me a little while to get back up. I'm still not fully up.

I think I might sell five to seven of those a day at $29.95 but the profit on those is about $12 to $14, so it’s good. Still that was a setback, again it happens. The other setback, the second one I have here on my list is I ran out of stock on three SKUs when one of the new items that we launched around Mothers’ Day, it was a good product to sell around Mothers’ Day, it still will sell, we’re hoping, hoping five to ten per day because it’s a low ticket price. It’s about a $14.99 product but it’s very easy to source and we can buy in the States.

It’s a great thing we can launch a bunch of these different products, different SKUs, different variations but we were selling 30 to 40 units per day. Guess what, we ran out of stock because we couldn’t plan properly. We didn’t know we were going to sell 30 or 40 per day. As soon as we got back in stock guess what, the holiday is over. Now, we go down to where we were selling 5 to 10 a day, which is still good. That was our goal.

[00:22:01] Scott: Man if we were selling 30 to 40 a day and that wasn’t just on one, that was on like three, well we ran out of stock on three of those. You're talking a hundred units a day gone. These were kind of like test products. We were just testing them. We only tested them with like, at first we did 250 units and we blew through those and then we would hurry up and try to order a bunch more. We got about 500 and then we blew all those but we ran out of stock. It’s part of it.

The third thing on my list here is we had a suppressed listing that I didn’t know about for two days because they didn’t notify me. They just suppressed it. I logged in to make a change and I seen the little red tag that says suppressed was lit up and I looked into it and guess what, my title was too long. My title was too long after the fact that that listing was up for probably three months but now they make a change, so they went ahead and they suppressed my listing until I got it fixed. Then I fixed it, we notified them, we got it back up and running but it was probably out for 24 to 48 hours.

I forget the exact time but again something I didn’t have control over. They suppressed it. Hey, it happens. Then the fourth thing on my list was because, again like I told you guys if you're going to launch products that are under $20 be prepared, you're going to have hijackers. It’s the way it’s going to be. I do have Listing Eagle which I'm actually on the board of that software with John Haver and that software definitely helps in this process but you still have to go through the process when you get a hijacker. You still have to follow through with the emails and you have to still follow through with that stuff. It notifies you right away so you can get on it as quickly as possible and that has definitely helped.

[00:24:01] Scott: That’s part of having a product that’s a less expensive product, you're going to have hijackers. That doesn’t mean you won't have them on more expensive products but it definitely is easier. When you're doing a test product like we were doing, we didn’t really have any custom packaging or anything to differentiate it. Now we do. We added something in there. It’s a little piece inside of the product that no one else is offering right now so that’s going to separate us but it took time because now we had to take those variations that didn’t have that extra thing in it.

We had to kind of wean them out, we had to kind of like sell them off and then we had to switch to the other variation, which was a headache but we had to do it. Again, to stay where it was going to be easier for us to differentiate and then also get off hijackers. If you don’t have something in there that you can’t prove is yours with the brand name or with something that is definitely unique to your packaging or anything like that, anyone is going to jump on there. They're going to do it. It’s a shortcut, they're going to do it. So just be prepared for that. Those are my setbacks.

Problems with inventories, some defects, ran out of stock on three SKUs, suppressed listing, hijackers, it’s all part of the process but it also made me say, “Huh, you know Scott why didn’t you start thinking about your external channels sooner?” Well, because I was busy doing everything else and things were just kind of running. This is why I'm now focusing on external channels in addition to Amazon. The way that it looks is like this. Number one, content marketing is still the best strategy for long term growth and you can ask anyone on that. You can go over to niche pursuits ask Spencer Haws. Ask him, “What is the best long term bullet proof way to build a business long term?”

[00:26:00] Scott: I'm going to almost bet on it that he will say, “Content marketing. Deliver useful really good content that’s not all spammy, that’s not driven for keywords and just publish really good content, that people will want to consume but people will also want to link to and they’ll want to share.” That is like number one. If you're selling something and you can create content around it that is going to be your best strategy moving forward. Problem with that is it takes time and it takes a certain skill set or hiring the right people. Now, I'm not going to go into that right now but I do want to just let you be aware of these different things that I'm thinking of that I think that you should be thinking of as well when you're at that point.

I still won't be thinking about this right now as in detail as I am if I wasn’t already selling product. If I wasn’t already selling product I'd be thinking about finding the product, finding the market, finding the products to serve to that market and then I would start launching on Amazon. That’s the process. Then I would move into this. I would still do everything the same as of right now that I'm recording this. Now, the next thing in this process of the external channels, is having a place where we lead in with the content to educate and teach about our products. We want to lead with the content that educates and teaches about your products.

To me that’s everything. If you’ve ever started looking at buying something, you're probably going to look and see about what other people have used it for or maybe you're not sure how it works. You're going to start to do this research and guess what, it’s going to usually land on content. If that content is yours well then guess what, you're that much closer to getting a sale or capturing an email.

[00:28:05] Scott: That’s where on that piece of content, this is again something that I'm going to be doing, you offer what they call a content upgrade. That content upgrade could just be something a little bit more deeper or maybe a self-evaluation or whatever in exchange for the email. It could be a cheat sheet, it could be the 10 things you need to know about buying a fly fishing rod before you buy one or something like that. Something that they can get that they're going to want to put their name and email address in to get.

It just varies depending on what you're going into. I'm going to be covering a lot of this stuff as I go through it. I'm in the middle of it like right now. Right now we are thinking about like, “Okay, what are the 10 things that my market needs to know about this product? What are the 10 things that my market is asking about this product?” Those are 20 pieces of content that we’re writing right now around the different markets that we’re in. That’s how you can fully build out a brand over time and that’s just 20 different pieces of content. These pieces of content could be articles on your blog, they could be YouTube videos or maybe your product definitely lends itself to a YouTube video or maybe Pinterest is a hot place for your market.

I know I just met with a neighbor of mine here in South Carolina who actually helped us in buying this house which we met as, she was a blogger and my wife’s seen that she was blogging about this area, so she met up with her and long story short, we became friends. She doesn’t really know about The Private Labeling Space, she doesn’t know about Amazon. She has a great blog and she has a ton of content and she has a great following.

[00:30:00] Scott: Now she is going to then take what she has and then piggy back off of Amazon and launch products there and then also sell them to her customer base. I don’t know where I was going with that but just to let you guys know that a real business is about having content that helps a market and educates them, so where they get to know, like and trust you. The best way to do this is to capture an email address so then you can drip out this content over time, so that you can slowly educate them. I don’t mean sending them an email and sell them something. I'm not saying that at all.

I'm saying send them an email to a blog post or a video or something that genuinely helps them and then you have a very, very subtle mention of your product throughout. Then from there if that leads over to there, it does. Then that’s really how that would work. There’s a bunch of different things that you can do. I just want to cover a couple of these right now but a lot of people say, “Scott, how do I track the right prospect, the right customer?” I know writing content and stuff or doing YouTube, it takes time. The thing is, guess what, we can buy traffic. I don’t have time today to go into that but I'm going to talk a little bit more about this moving forward.

Facebook is probably like the number one place to go and find your prospects and customers and to just go out there and figure out what they need and what they want and then just give it to them. Then there’s so many different things that you can do by using Facebook. It’s a tracking pixel that you can drop into one of your pages that one of your prospects lands on it and once they land on it, you start to build a custom audience. Then that custom audience you can retarget. There’s just like so much stuff that you can do. We talked about this at the TAS breakthrough live event and everyone went nuts.

[00:32:02] Scott: There’s just so much that you can do and I know this stuff but I need to start doing it. That’s what I'm going to be working on again and I'm going to report back to that. The lessons learned here that I want to share with you is that number one, business is like a rollercoaster and there’s not a one size fits all. It is different but the principles still apply. To me that will never change. The internet to me is not going away, there’s always going to be need for people needing to educate themselves about a product or a passion that they're into. Then there’s always going to be places for us to be able to deliver that to them and there’s always going to be ways for us to piggy back off of traffic such as Facebook.

Facebook right now is the big one but there could be something new in the future. Pinterest is another big one, Instagram is another big one. I want to also remind you that every business has its challenges. Every business. I've been in multiple businesses, going all the way back to my father’s business. You guys have probably heard me talk about that business had tons of challenges. It had an upside but had a lot of downside. That’s why I'm not in that business any longer. Just wasn’t right for me and we did well in it but there was just a lot, a lot of challenges.

If you guys missed my entire journey, if you guys want to hear that, you can always go to episode 125, that’s theamazingseller.com/125, and you can listen to all of that there. Again, every business has challenges, every single one. The other thing I want to remind you is that you want to choose markets to target and not a product widget. Widgets come and go. If you want to do that for the short term and just make some quick money, that’s fine but to me, if I'm going to invest in time or invest in money, I want to invest in something that could pay me for a very long time.

[00:34:07] Scott: That’s where I'm at in this game. Doesn’t mean that I haven’t done that. I have built little niche websites, they’ve made some money. I have dabbled in eBay and made some money. Actually, I made quite a bit of money on eBay actually. One year I think I made over $50,000 on EBay selling used refurbished projectors for 8mm reel to reel film. There’s always ways that you can capitalize on a trend but it’s just not long term. That wasn’t a long term play for me, it was how can I make some money right now to help put my kids through a private school? That’s what that was.

For me now, and anyone that they want to build long term stability, it’s definitely going to be building it this way with an email list that can then drive people to useful content, educate them, get them to know, like and trust you and then lead them through the sales process in the way that it should be done, in the order into which they would need to buy something. If they buy something on day one, is there something that’s related to that product that you could put in front of them, kind of like Amazon does but you don’t have the control of it? Sometimes, you have a product that you sell, Amazon they sell your product but then they show you other people’s related products in there, ‘customers who bought this, also bought this’ type of stuff.

That’s not your product. Wouldn’t you like to be able to make that your product? You can do it inside the Amazon if you do some hacks right. You can have people buy multiple products of yours so it shows up that way but you have to kind of game the system or if it naturally happens then great. If you have your own sales channel, your own sales funnel, you make that happen however you want. That’s a sales funnel. I love that stuff and I get excited about stuff so that’s something that I'm going to be definitely doing.

[00:36:05] Scott: I'm working on a right now and I'm hoping to be able to share a lot of that with you. The ups, the downs and all the stuff in between. Choosing markets to target, not a product widget, I think is definitely long term stuff. Widgets come and go. Markets are going to usually stay, for example fishing. Fishing has been around for years. I don’t believe it’s going away. Yes, there’s going to be new rods, there’s going to be new lures, there’s going to be new bait. That’s what is great about it. There are still going to be people who are avid fishermen or fishing women or however you would say that. People that like to fish.

Bowling, if you guys listened to that interview with my father in the trackcast, you heard us break down, he’s got a passion for bowling. I do as well. I bowled in a pretty competitive league, so did he and we were okay. We carried a 200 plus average. But there’s different things that that market needs and we went down and we broke down a product line that he could technically roll out. Again, that’s a market. Wood working. Again, that’s a magazine that you’ll see at the supermarket. If there’s a magazine, there’s a market. Wood working, painting. It could be adult painting, it could be kid painting, it could be all different kinds of painting. It could be crafting.

It could be people that enjoy, the one that I did with Mike Jackness just recently with adult coloring books. I don’t necessarily think that that’s a market that might be here forever but it’s definitely going to be a market of people that are into the relaxation of coloring. There could be other products down the line that you could promote to but that’s a whole other conversation but you get what I'm saying. Fishing, bowling, wood working, painting, crafting people that are into a certain thing like that.

[00:38:00] Scott: Those are markets that I believe that people… Fitness, exercise all of those things people are going to be doing them in my opinion for years. If you build something that serves a market to me that’s the long term play. Not to mention too, if you ever sell, it’s great because now everything is geared towards that one market. I want you to ask yourself this question, “Can you create content around your market?” If you already have a product right now, can you create content around your market that helps your customer? Helps them understand it, helps them maybe understand the product, maybe understand how to use it better, how to get better results.

Maybe they have questions about it through the reviews that you read are the things that you could create around your product that lends itself to a market. If you can do that, right now and you have a product then you are ahead of the game. That’s a bonus for you because to me, that is the long term play. Hopefully, this episode has been helpful, hopefully you can see too that I don’t want to sugarcoat anything here. I'm being 100% honest, 100% transparent with you guys because that’s what I want to be and I want to share with you that everything isn’t always perfect. You're going to have ups, you're going to have downs, but you have to have a plan and the plan today might be one thing and the plan tomorrow might be something different. I don’t mean exactly tomorrow, you guys get what I mean like maybe a year from now it could change. You may have to pivot a littl bit, but the main thing that I want you to walk away from is that business is business, people are people and if you follow what I just shared with you and what I'm planning on doing I think we have a better chance of succeeding. Again, I hope that this has been helpful.

[00:40:00] Scott: I'm going to stick to my strategy which is launching and validating on Amazon first. That is still my strategy and then, only then will I launch those products on the ecommerce/sales channel or funnels that I talked about. There’s the plan and the strategy is still the same as the day that I started this podcast. Guys, if you want to hear about how to launch your own first product, again I want to remind you about the upcoming workshop, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.

I'll answer any questions you have there, it’s always live. If you want to join us there definitely go register. If you guys want the show notes to this episode, head over to theamazingseller.com/228 and you’ll get all the transcripts, you'll get the show notes, any links, all that good stuff will be there. Do me a favor, go ahead and share the podcast with someone that you think that would get value from it. Only for people that you think would get value because I think that if we help each other, it’s not only going to help ourselves. We’re going to be able to help other people and that’s my goal, that’s my mission.

It’s to be able to not just help myself but to then take my lessons that I've learned and help one other person so that way there they can live the life that I'm living, which is basically the life of being able to do what I want to do, where I want to do it, live where I want to live and I think that is everything. Hopefully you can do that if you think that there’s someone that would get value from the podcast, definitely go ahead and share it. Go over to iTunes, leave me a little love over there. That would be awesome and yeah guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up.

So, guys remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, you know what I'm going to say, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I'll see you right back here on the next episode.

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5 comments
  • Intense subject! It is sobering to say the least, especially as a beginner who just made a small test order (250 units) after six months of listening to the podcast and taking notes all along the way. I’m working on such an oddball item though I think there’s still room for what I’m doing on Amazon. I’m not discouraged yet.

    • Hey Mike, no reason to get discouraged! Amazon is a powerful place to get started, but after you’re up and running you may want to start some of the things I’m talking about to keep the long term success rolling in.

  • Hey Scott, great podcast today. I think you are bang-on about the importance of content marketing. Stillan, it’s an art to do right – with the amount of content on the web right now its difficult to stand out from the noise. I like the direction you are going with your podcast, keep rocking and rolling. Hope your loving your new place.

  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for all that you share. I 100% agree that creating other channels off of Amazon is a must if you want to still be around long term. I think you should try and get Ezra Firestone on the podcast to talk about this stuff. He is one of the best in the world and I think would be a real treat for your audience.

    Brent

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