What does it take to get great brand and business ideas from the retail space and into the digital space? What will it take to leverage sales funnels and other great tools to get the traffic flowing? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he welcomes returning guest, Keith Snow. In his conversation with Scott, Keith gives an update on his business, how its changed over the years, what he’s working on right now, steps he's taking to bring his brand to the next level of success, and much more! You don’t want to miss a minute of this engaging episode featuring Keith!
Small adjustments can make a huge difference.
Why do so many leaders in the business world spend so much time and money to attend conferences? Sure networking with other like-minded individuals is helpful but more often than not, it's for that one nugget of insight that has the power to transform their business. Both Scott and his guest, Keith have experienced this reality. If you are wondering if conferences, events, or even podcasts are worth your time, Keith is here to share that they are! You never know when you’ll come across that one idea that will take your business to the next level of growth. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Keith’s story and Scott’s helpful insights on this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Why it’s so important to leverage your passion.
If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott often drives home the point that sellers like you need to leverage the things you are passionate about to build your brand. Keith Snow’s story is a prime example of what Scott teaches! Keith is a chef who is passionate about helping people enjoy high-quality food and flavors. Leveraging his passion, Keith has been able to build a thriving ecommerce business around his how-to videos and his custom blended spices. Learn more about Keith’s story and how sellers like you can learn from his success by listening to this informative episode!
How legitimate scarcity can help you drive business.
One of the best ways to drive business and interest in your products is to inform your customer base about the limited availability of your products. While some may manufacture this “Scarcity” mindset, there are some legitimate ways to inform your customers of this type of shortage without manipulating them. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he explains how Keith Snow can utilize his limited resources to build up his buyers' desire for his products. In their conversation, Keith shares how he often runs out of certain spice blends and that it can take time to get those orders refilled. Scott then explains that Keith can invite his customers in on that process and let them know how and when they can sign up and stay up to date with Keith’s great products. To hear more about an ethical way to leverage the scarcity angle of product availability, make sure to listen to this episode!
Find a way to keep your customers coming back!
What can you do to keep your customers coming back for more products? Is there a way that you can create content that keeps them coming back? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he sits down with Keith Snow to explore the ways that Keith can bring his customers in through a reoccurring or subscription service. Keith is passionate about his spices but he is also passionate about creating recipes that people can use to enjoy the spices to their fullest potential. Scott encourages Keith to consider making future recipes only available through a subscription service in order to grow and expand his business. Hear all about Scott’s thinking behind this option and why more sellers should be taking this angel by listening to this episode!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [4:45] Scott welcomes returning guest, Keith Snow.
- [7:00] How has Keith’s brand changed over the years?
- [19:00] Has Keith been able to utilize Amazon tools like Subscribe and Save?
- [23:00] Small tweaks can make a huge difference.
- [28:00] How Keith’s passion for spices fuels his brand’s success.
- [30:30] Utilizing legitimate scarcity.
- [35:20] Keith talks about the digital product that he wants to market.
- [39:00] Scott suggests adding a subscription option and other ideas for Keith’s content.
- [49:00] Closing thoughts from Scott.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 533
TAS 533 – UPDATE: Retail to Online Sales to Digital Products to Funnels? + Uncovering More Opportunities
[00:00:02] Scott: Well, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 533 and today I’ve got a long overdue update from…
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…someone that was on the show back on Episode 50 and his name is Keith Snow, really awesome guy, and he’s done so much since that episode. That episode was back in 2015 and the title of that episode was How Can I Take My Retail Business to Amazon FBA? And it was a hot seat session where I actually went through and talked to him about how to make that happen. Well, that has happened and so much more and I can’t wait for you guys to hear this conversation that we had which actually turned into another coaching call, hot seat session, whatever you want to call it because as we were going through this, as he was giving me these updates, we started to dig into a few of these uncovered opportunities that he was like, “Wow. I don’t know why I didn’t see that or why I didn’t realize that.”
And here’s the other thing I want you to pay attention to. Keith is a chef by trade and he admitted it like marketing isn’t his expertise. It’s something he’s learning. It’s something that he’s working towards but it’s something that doesn’t come natural to him and something that quite honestly, he would rather dream up new recipes and stuff like that. So, it’s something you have to work at sometimes, but you don’t see those things if you’re not thinking about marketing all the time like I am and like Chris is, my right-hand man. Like, when we’re looking at this, we’re starting to see different angles or different ways that we can bring new customers in or just even new opportunities to scale what they currently have.
[00:01:58] Scott: Now, he started and I’m going to let him explain everything, but he started with a sauce that he was going to be shipping into Amazon and he’s done that but then he started to play around with spices and things that he didn’t really have to worry so much about breaking and they were smaller, and you could do packages and it was more of a subscription-based thing. So, there’s a lot of cool things that we’re going to talk about and the other thing is we talk about digital products. He actually created a digital product and it’s really amazing at the market that he did and like you wouldn’t believe that there’s really a market that would buy this but there is, and he’s discovered it and he’s served it and now they’re gobbling it up hence him being a chef. But, yeah, so anyway I could go on and on because there’s so much that we uncover here, and we unpack, and I think you guys are going to get a ton of value from this and I always want you just thinking to yourself how can one of these things or two of these things apply to my business right now and move me forward? What can I plug in that I might not be seeing or what should I be focusing on now that I’ve kind of seen what Keith has done and what Scott and Keith have uncovered here?
So, I really want you to pay close attention to that. So, I will link everything up in the show notes which by the way the show notes can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/533. Episode 50, his original one, I’ll also include that on the show notes page so you can go back and listen to that and listen to where he was and where he is now and a lot has happened. A lot has happened. Now, before we do jump in, I do want to remind you, if you guys are brand spanking new and you’re like, “Scott, I just want to know where to start. I haven’t even started my brand and I’m not sure what market to pick,” then I would love to invite you to check out Product Discovery Bootcamp. That is our training that walks you through how to identify your market or take your existing brand and then expand it into other submarkets and really finding other product opportunities in your brand.
[00:04:05] Scott: But if you’re brand spanking new, you’re definitely going to want to check that out because it will allow you to get focused on a market and then how to serve that market and we really focus on three to five products out of the gate that we could potentially launch to this market. So, definitely check that out, TheAmazingSeller.com/Bootcamp. All right, guys. So, I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can sit back, relax, and listen to this amazing full of ahas and these opportunities that we uncover here with my good friend, Keith Snow. So, enjoy.
[00:04:44] Scott: Well, hey, Keith. Welcome back to the podcast, man. How are you doing?
[00:04:48] Keith: I’m doing great, man. It’s good to see you again.
[00:04:50] Scott: Yeah. It’s been a while. I can’t believe it’s been as long as it has. I looked back and I’m thinking I was going to say like Episode 200 or something. It was Episode 50.
[00:05:01] Keith: It was? Oh wow, I didn’t realize it was that far back.
[00:05:04] Scott: Yeah. It was ways back, 2015, and you have done some pretty awesome things. You were doing cool things back then and really, I’m going to pull that up right now because the actual title that I titled the show was How Can I Take My Retail Business to Amazon FBA. It was a hot seat session that we did.
[00:05:23] Keith: Okay. Yeah.
[00:05:24] Scott: Yeah. And we went…
[00:05:25] Keith: Sounds familiar.
[00:05:26] Scott: Yeah. And we went through them. We talked about it because you’ve been selling in retail and you’ve been doing your cooking stuff and all of that stuff. I think it was more of the organic-y side of things.
[00:05:40] Keith: Sure. Yeah. At the time when we did the interview I still have it. It’s a line of pasta sauces in there like artisan handcrafted pasta sauces and I’ve had brands like this in the past that have always been sold through traditional retail, with a food broker and distributor, specialty food distributor, sometimes direct-to-store relationships but never on Amazon. And I remember I guess it was like 1994, I had another brand, and this is when obviously the internet was super new, and I had a website and it had all those ridiculous little gif images and everything.
[00:06:18] Scott: I remember them.
[00:06:19] Keith: Yeah. People would call on the phone to make orders. Getting into retail is a difficult process. It’s expensive. It takes forever so, obviously, I’m pretty excited about Amazon.
[00:06:33] Scott: Yeah. So, in that interview that we were kind of going through some stuff, you were in the process of doing that. So, kind of like take me from that episode to kind of what’s happened over these past few years now. But kind of like where were you wanting to go? I know it was like getting stuff on Amazon but I also you could have said to me that you also wanted to get into some digital products and stuff and you’ve created something. I really want to dig into that because a lot of people don’t realize that they have a brand and they can technically educate through training or even guides or whatever. In your case, you’re in the food industry. So, like talk about that like where were you? Where did you end up? And kind of what’s happened in the meantime?
[00:07:19] Keith: Sure. Yeah. That’ll be a good couple of minutes but when I first came across you, I was selling my line of pasta sauces and I create them, I formulate them, I get them ready for manufacturing, I arrange to have a manufacturer to make them which is a whole, boy, that could be a show in itself. It’s very difficult to do. And then I was selling through some smaller stores and then some local grocery stores. You would know the name Ingles near you.
[00:07:49] Scott: Yup.
[00:07:50] Keith: So, I was doing what’s called DSD, direct store delivery, of this small specialty line into Ingles and of course it’s a pain in the neck because they keep calling me back saying, “Restock, restock,” and you’re going to 15 or 20 stores delivering the stuff and I thought, “Man, there’s got to be a better way because I had quite a history in the specialty food business.” So, I don’t know what gave me the idea to think of Amazon. I mean, we started ordering things on Amazon probably heavily I would say in like 2013, 2014. So, then I saw something. Maybe I saw – oh that’s what I saw, The Amazing or Amazon, some big class. You know the one I’m talking about.
[00:08:30] Scott: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:08:32] Keith: And then I found your show and early as we just discussed, probably Episode 20 or so I started listening and thinking, “Man, there could be something to this,” but when you first try to navigate Amazon as a beginner, it can be pretty daunting. I mean, just using FBA it’s a whole education so your show is hugely important, and it was just a great resource so I was listening, listening, and listening and slowly I transitioned onto Amazon with my pasta sauce products and at first I just had them as individual so one unit at a time and I was making money on each sale but then listening to you and doing some more reading I say, “Wait a minute, this bundle thing, this has got to be better.” So, I started bundling them and I got my average sale up to about $30 a sale and that mean additional shipping and FBA fees were nothing. So, I thought, “Wow. This is the way to do it.”
And I was selling, and I used some of the tools like Salesfactor that you recommend. I don’t know if you recommend it anymore but I’ve used that very successfully and I think when we spoke I was just getting onto Amazon and I probably have 60 or 70 reviews, really good reviews. So, that brand started to do really well but of course physical products take a lot to handle than in my case a lot of people listening to this probably are getting stuff made in China and private labeling products where they’re not really doing any of the manufacturing. Maybe they change labels and format of products but for me I’m handling everything from the sourcing to the raw materials and when you’re dealing with food that people consume, there’s a lot of FDA rules and USDA rules. So, it’s a very complicated process and I always having this stuff manufactured in North Carolina and it was going very well but the level of babysitting for me just never got to a point where I was super comfortable with it.
[00:10:36] Keith: I also have a line of spices and those are marketed under my blog is called HarvestEating.com so those are the Harvest Eating spices and those do really well on Amazon. So, part of what I was doing when we were talking is I transitioned the pasta sauce line onto Amazon, started getting reviews and then when I’m looking at the numbers and also the complexity of manufacturing a hot fill product with all the regulations compared to blending spices that was my core product, I realized that the spices were much more profitable for me and I just had a following. And people once they try them, it’s kind of amazing. I look at my customer’s lifetime history, it’s amazing. They all place four, five, six orders every year and they're good-sized orders and they're like clockwork.
So, the spices, the Harvest Eating spices that I have on Amazon, those are a bread and butter item for me and there’s great turnaround and all that but still there’s management and I continue to do it, but I started thinking, “I got to start doing some digital products. I got to figure out some way to make recurring revenue that doesn’t require trading time for money and all that.” In my background back in 2008 I was filming television shows and I was a farm-to-table guy and I was part of the slow food movement and all that. That’s when the financial collapse happened and that frightened me quite a bit because we had all of our funding frozen and I had a big staff of people and it was a panic situation for a while and it wound working itself out but that kind of scared me into thinking. I was traveling at that point. My cookbook it’s called The Harvest Eating Cookbook. You can find that on Amazon too. That came out in what was that like? The fall of ’09. So, I had an agent and a publicist in New York City and she’s an amazing publicist, works for the big food network stars, Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri.
[00:12:47] Scott: Oh wow.
[00:12:48] Keith: Yeah. So, she was my publicist and she was crazy effective, so I was going all over the place in cruise ships in Alaska giving demonstrations, traveling to Europe, on Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine. Best of all, couple of years in a row promoting my book and talking and all that. So, I was out traveling all the time and my wife and kids are back on our farm in North Carolina and I’m thinking, “Well, what happens if this financial collapse or something happens?” I just didn’t feel very comfortable. So, I started going in the internet looking at building a pantry or whatever because we had some animals and a garden and all that, but we didn’t really store any food. And a lot of people store food. So, I went on the internet and that’s when I really got scared. I thought wow. I found the term “prepper” so I’m thinking, “Oh, okay, here we go.” People was digging bunkers and all that, but I knew I wasn’t that kind of guy but…
[00:13:44] Scott: It made market.
[00:13:45] Keith: Yeah. It’s a huge market. It made sense to store food though. So, I looked into that and through all that I wound up being involved with, even to this day, a show called The Survival Podcast and they had about 150,000 downloads a day.
[00:14:02] Scott: Wow.
[00:14:02] Keith: it’s a huge show. I mean, thousands of episodes. Just a really big show and I’m their expert panel chef so I handle a lot of questions from listeners. I’ve been doing that for years and years. So, through all that, I started getting and this is going to eventually lead to my digital product, but I started getting questions from the listening audience frequently, “How do I cook with… I’ve got 50 pounds of rice that I…” A lot of people around 2008, 2009, 2010 they just went out and bought hundreds of pounds of rice and beans and they put it in bags and threw it in the garage or in the basement and then they started realizing, “Okay. A couple of years has gone by. No more financial collapse. I better start using some of this stuff,” but the questions were coming in and I get a lot of emails, “How do I cook with this stuff? How do I cook with this stuff?” And then I realize, “You know what, I’ve been a chef for decades and I’ve got a lot of recipe formulation, experience, cookbooks, all this stuff, hundreds of videos. If I’m a little nervous about cooking with this sort of stored food, what’s the average person going to do?”
I thought, “You know what, I’ve got to help out,” because I love my listeners and I’ve got a podcast too that I’ve been doing a lot longer than yours but you’re killing me, man, with downloads. But anyway, so I decided to build a course to teach people to cook with stored food and that was, I mean, I contemplated it for a year. But before I started to put it together, I said I need to actually cook with the foods. I need to do this myself. So, I think it was April of 2016 I told my wife, “I’m not going to the store every day,” because that’s what I do. I go to the store almost every day, a lot of fancy sort of chef-created meals and all that. I said, “We’re going to cook using rice, beans, oats, wheat, corn, all this kind of stuff from our pantry and I want to see how everybody likes it.”
[00:15:55] Keith: So, that’s what I did, and my grocery bill dropped like a rock and it dropped 60%, 70% and I started creating all these great recipes with Caribbean rice and beans and Thai fried rice, all these kinds of dishes using oats, scones with maple glazed using these cheap inexpensive foods. And then later that year I said, “That’s it. I’m ready to build this course,” so I took my sort of video skills and started making videos and these videos don’t have me in them, just my arms. It shows the food and I do a voiceover. That way it’s not about a personality because having a cooking show and I mentioned a publicist in New York. I would go to a lot of events where there were all these high-powered chefs and they all have a high-powered ego and I didn’t want to be like that, so the videos are very concise, just the food. So, fast forward to January 2017 I built a course and I’m still working on it weekly. We had probably over 55 videos and it’s a big course. It runs on the Teachable platform.
[00:17:08] Scott: Oh, that’s a good platform.
[00:17:09] Keith: Yeah. It’s called FoodStorageFeast.com. That’s how you get to it and I launched that doing some interviews on some podcast and that is done very well for me and it continues to do well. Since then, I’ve made partnerships with some of the biggest food storage companies out there that sell freeze-dried foods and dehydrated foods and I just keep adding content to it. We’ve got a lot of students in there and it’s been a great experience and it’s certainly heavier. I’ve got my feet in two pools. One is a physical product which is on Amazon and then this digital side of thing, so it’s been an interesting ride.
[00:17:51] Scott: Cool. Yeah. There’s a lot I want to dig into as you’re talking. There’s lots of different things that I have questions on. While I do that though, you might be hearing some mowing going on. I don’t know if you can hear that now.
[00:18:03] Keith: I can’t hear it.
[00:18:03] Scott: But you may because I think…
[00:18:05] Keith: I want to smell it though. That’s one of my favorite smells.
[00:18:08] Scott: But my lawn guy was supposed to rest today but we had rain so they’re coming today I think. But anyway, we will move on. Okay. So first off, spices. I think that’s awesome that you wound up in the spices world because I think that it really does make a lot of sense for you especially being someone that can obviously share how to cook with them so you’re able to get that traffic and kind of like get the awareness of like even just looking over the shoulder but you’re cooking with all of these different spices and then you put together and of course we want the spices so we’re going to buy the spices. My question is, did you turn that into a subscription for the spices? Can people subscribe and save on Amazon or do you have your own stuff going on, on the side with that like free plus shipping offer? Any of that stuff?
[00:18:59] Keith: Great question. Now, never since I’ve been selling them did that option ever show up in my account and which was odd. Now I’m looking, it says you have to be on there for three months and I’ve been on obviously since 2015. I’ve never seen that option in my seller account. Maybe I’m not finding it, but I want to do that. That’s something that is literally on my notebook to look into today. I got to call Seller Support but so that’s one thing and what was the…
[00:19:28] Scott: The other one is, is like okay so that’s on Amazon. Have you done anything outside of Amazon with leading people in with like even, “Receive this spice for free just cover shipping,” and then you can sell them a three pack on the backend of that? Have you done any of that?
[00:19:45] Keith: Yeah. I’ve done some of that through – I’ve actually done some things in packages that we’ve sold, put in some lead generation through Amazon then I also have the HarvestEating.com website that’s got a shopping feature. A lot of times what I’m actually doing now is I sell them and we fulfill them right off of the website but it is just a much better deal to do Fulfilled By Amazon so I’m slowly moving over to having – I don’t have the spices on my site and I do a lot of podcast and things to direct people to the site but they’re going to be making the purchase ultimately on Amazon or to make through my store I fulfill with Amazon.
[00:20:26] Scott: Well, and I was going to say, even if they purchased through your store, I mean, we’re actually experimenting right now as we speak with something very similar to this, not product but kind of the same idea where we can lead in with something that is a free offer. All they have to do is cover shipping so let’s say it’s, I think, we’re charging like $5.99 to cover shipping and then from there we’re basically creating an order that’s being fulfilled through Amazon, so we don’t pay the referral fee. We only pay the pick and pack fee. So, by doing that, we also acquire the email of the customer because it’s generated through ClickFunnels. We’re doing it through ClickFunnels so we’re driving that data. We’re also getting a Facebook pixel on that page, that landing page, so whether they buy or not, we still have a custom audience we built.
And our goal is to really turn that ad spend into a breakeven and acquire that customer for free but on the backend of that is where we’ll have some upsell. So, our first upsell might be $29.99. It’s a bundle and then if they say no to that, we can down sell and pull something out of the bundle and then give them an option of just maybe it’s $13.99. Or if they say yes, we can say “Oh cool. You like this bundle? How about you add this on and it would complement the bundle?” So, that’s kind of like what we’re doing right now and it’s working really well in the beginning stages. Obviously, you have to kind of keep testing that. Are you doing anything like that?
[00:21:48] Keith: No, but I love you for mentioning it.
[00:21:50] Scott: Yeah. Okay.
[00:21:52] Keith: I want to pick your brain on that one for sure.
[00:21:53] Scott: Yeah. I see a huge opportunity there for you because yours is replenishable like yours is something that even on the backend of that, you could say instantly they could get like a three-pack or a four-pack or six-pack, whatever it is, and then you have those down sells in place, but you can also ask them if they want to subscribe and get a discount for subscribing and you can build that into the funnel as well. So, now every single month or every quarter, they get a new batch coming in and I know Beachbody does that with their shake formulas and stuff like that. It’s like every month or every other month you can bill it. Dog food, Chewy.com. My wife signed up for that. We get a bag of dog food every 45 days. It’s scheduled, it shows up, we don’t have to think about it. It’s the same thing. If they really love your spices, then they’re going to want to have those spices so they don’t run out.
[00:22:44] Keith: Now, you’re saying this is all done off of Amazon then?
[00:22:46] Scott: Yeah. That whole channel is Facebook ad, driving traffic to a landing page which will be on your own platform or on ClickFunnels which would be then also on your platform or Shopify, whatever you’re using, and then from there you would then lead them through to the upsell. But the cool thing about it is, number one, you’re immediately giving them the product for free, all they’re doing is covering shipping. So, you might be just breaking even or you might even be losing a dollar or two there after ad spend. It’s okay as long as on the backend of that we can convert at least some of them to then cover the cost to acquire that and now we have an email address of the credit card customer.
[00:23:26] Keith: Yeah. See, that’s really smart.
[00:23:27] Scott: That’s huge.
[00:23:28] Keith: Those are things that I always tell people I’m an onion cutter. I’m a chef and this whole marketing thing is something I’ve learned as I went. There’s always, and this is what’s a great, people that are listening to the show, you tune in to Scott and other people that are doing things like this, it’s those little things. It’s one little thing like what you just said. I’m definitely, we get off the phone, I’m going to be investigating that and I’ve looked into it a little bit and I thought about it but just haven’t gotten around to doing it and those things can make a huge difference. So, that’s great.
[00:24:02] Scott: And for you to have a recurring like you want recurring like I know you know that. It’s like you want automated payments coming in, obviously, that people want and then they’re going to receive the products but then you’re going to have a baseline of income that’s coming into your business. Everything else you do is on top of that. So, yeah, I would definitely look into that and, again, I mean even off air if you have any questions on that, I can point you in the right direction because I think for you it's a no-brainer like having a replenishable product, no-brainer and you are – you probably already have videos or you could create a short little video that you could post on Instagram, on Facebook, and it could go one of those videos would get shared and then start going viral and then game over.
[00:24:46] Keith: Yeah. You know what I’ve never done is I’ve got my brand Harvest Eating, I’ve had that since 2005 and the spices they’re kind of just on the side, they’re in the shopping area but most of the visitors that go there if they’re not looking for shopping, they may not find it and I definitely think that the spices are good enough to have their own brand, their own marketing that’s separates from my whole blogger. Because like you said, the great thing about these spices and these are different, I mean, the people that are listening, “Oh, spices. Anybody can make one.” These are organic. They’re 100% organic spices and what’s different about these is they’re purchased through contract so my supplier makes a contract with the growers, so they shake hands before the crop is planted and they inspect the crop throughout the year and they take delivery if it meets the contract requirements. So, everything is bought on a contract basis so we know exactly what we’re getting from who and it’s all 100% organic and we’ve got people that they’re on the road 10 months of the year visiting these places.
So, it’s a unique product that it’s organic and then I take my chefing skills and what I’ve done is I’ve made the spices like they’re in for an individual ingredient, so my biggest seller is called Montana Steak. I used to live in Montana and a lot of beef eaters out there so it’s custom made just for steaks. Then I’ve got one called Steakhouse Blend which you can use on steaks and burgers. I’ve got one called Grilled Chicken and that’s exactly what you need to do. You take any kind of chicken, a little olive oil, put the spice on and grill it so I made them…
[00:26:22] Scott: I’m getting hungry here.
[00:26:23] Keith: Yeah. I’m going to send you some spices when we get off the air, we can trade, get your address and I’ll send you a pack.
[00:26:30] Scott: Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:26:31] Keith: But what I’ve seen is I’ve looked at lots of other manufacturers thinking, “Well, maybe I can get them more inexpensively or maybe I could do this or that,” and nobody has the quality that I’m able to get through my supplier, but you still have to blend these things and that’s where the magic is. Because you could give the same – think of a TV show. You give five chefs the exact same five different spices and you tell them to make a blend out of it, you’re going to have five different things. Most of them probably won’t be good. It takes a lot of tinkering to get these things to be awesome. I mean, these spices I would say they do have a cult following.
People that have tried them like I just had a guy and I will send you this one. One of my newer ones is called Carolina Barbecue and it’s designed specifically for that Eastern North Carolina style barbecue and I was out of that rub and I wasn’t going to make it for a while and this guy he bought a bunch of my other spices and then he sends me an email. At first, he was nice about it and then finally he’s like, “I need those spices! When is it coming back? You can’t leave me hanging here.” So, I said, “All right, dude,” and I said, “I’ll create a special batch for you,” and I had them mixed together. He bought six packs of them. They’re like $14 a piece so it’s not – but it’s an interesting thing and it’s all very fun and for me it kind of tickles my fancy so to speak because I like the food end of it. I like manufacturing and formulations.
[00:28:06] Scott: Well, what I love about that though too is that people that try it, if you can get them to try it and they like it, they’ll be customers for life.
[00:28:15] Keith: You know what, I got to tell you, I feel like a pretty dumb person right now because I get those offers all the time, “Just pay for shipping,” like I don’t want to buy – I don’t need to fix the bags under my eyes for free. I never thought, “You know what, if I just get one sample of spices in their hand, these things are so good, I mean, they try once they’re hooked.”
[00:28:37] Scott: You’re hooked. So, it’s just a matter of getting them to try it. And then as a marketer, getting your ads or having your ads be covered by the funnel that you build, it doesn’t have to be in a lab or a funnel and in your case it’s just how do we get these in their hands. And for you, it’s kind of like a supplement, you get one for free, on the next page it’s like get a three-pack. Get one or get two or let’s see get one free when you buy three or whatever. So, it’s kind of like you’re just giving them a really good deal but then at least it allows you to cover cost and get more of them in their hands. So, we are covering ad cost. You make a little bit of money on the backend and then that covers all of the acquiring a customer cost. And then once you get to acquire a customer, imagine having a thousand customers that you can send out and go, “We’re having a special flash sale for this, that, or the other thing,” and then, boom, you get an influx of sales. You know what I mean? Like, it’s so much easier than you having to go, “Oh, I got to find new customers.”
[00:29:32] Keith: No, I know. Recently, I mean, we’ve got a list of customers and it’s not a huge list but like I said these are dedicated folks and we sent out an email to them and, I mean, I’m not kidding you. I sent the email, went and filled up my cup of coffee, 15 minutes later boom, boom, the sales started coming in and they were – because I was out of stock for a pretty good period of time and, man, did they order heavy and I was getting order, and these are spices. I’m getting orders in the $300, $400 for one order. People were buying like six, seven packs of each one.
[00:30:08] Scott: Well, here’s the thing though. You also have a great play here because there’s scarcity involved. I only make a certain number of these because we only have enough in the crop.
[00:30:18] Keith: Well, it’s actually so true.
[00:30:20] Scott: But that’s what I’m saying like you’re not even giving false scarcity. You’re giving legitimate scarcity. We’ve got 500 of these available until the next crop comes in which might be three months, four months, whatever it is. If you want a chance to get these, get on the waitlist. I’d even do a waitlist and then you get them back. So, you have your main list and then you basically get a waitlist and let’s say that the waitlist knows that the time you’re going to basically allow these to be available then everybody rushes to the cart at once. And then, boom, you sell out and then you’re like, “Okay. That was cool. Now, let’s figure out how to get more,” but then also you have legitimate scarcity.
[00:30:54] Keith: Yeah. It’s funny you say that because I think it was in the summer of 2015 on my best-selling spice there’s about 19 ingredients in that one spice and one of the key ingredients, the thing that nobody can – they can’t identify it but it just really makes it, the contract didn’t go through on that one, so the buyer rejected whatever was grown. So, my number one blend, they’re like, “Well, if you want to blend it without that, that’s fine.” I’m like, “Damn. No. That’s the secret sauce.” So, it was like six months I think for – they did have some backup, but it took about six months to get that one ingredient in.
[00:31:32] Scott: Wow. That’s crazy. Yeah. I mean, I see a huge potential in doing that even just for launching and letting people know that you’re out and you’re going to be back in, “And when I get back in, if you want to be the first to know, jump on this little waitlist.” You’re not taking them off your main list. You’re just putting them on more of a targeted list and then you can kind of hit that list a little bit harder than you normally would on your main list.
[00:31:53] Keith: So, how about this, man? Since we’re in video here, people are watching this and people that listen to you, they know that you do that “air quotes” every so often.
[00:32:02] Scott: Yeah. Every now and then I did the air quotes.
[00:32:04] Keith: Can we do a digital handshake? There’s my hand.
[00:32:07] Scott: Yeah. Okay.
[00:32:07] Keith: Okay. So, we just shook them, and the agreement is I will keep you completely stock up on the best spices ever if you just help me a little bit offline to set up that ClickFunnel thing.
[00:32:18] Scott: It’s a done deal. I’m already planning on doing that because I see huge potential here and you know how it is. It’s the ripple effect. If I can help you, I could share kind of like what I’ve done behind the scenes a little bit to help and we can get people on updates so I’m more than happy to do that with you, man.
[00:32:35] Keith: I don’t mean to blow too much smoke, but I got to tell you like I have a podcast and people I’ve been doing it since 2007 and like I said, it’s nowhere near as big as yours but the audience these people are so dedicated. I’ve been having some issues with my son recently. He’s got some health problems. He’s developed epilepsy and it’s been a real just a major – I just can’t even imagine how much it changed our lives but I’ve been very sporadic in recording. So, the people have, I mean, the letters and the emails that I get from the audience has been really amazing. This is the thing that you do this what you’re doing but you have no idea, maybe you do but, on the back, you’re helping people. My spice business wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t listen to you so what you’re doing, man, it’s funny because there’s a lot of goodwill there. You’re helping. I mean, I don’t know how many dozens, countless, hundreds of people that you helped, and it makes tangible difference because going through what we’ve gone through with my son recently it’s taken my focus away from work in a big way. But having that income coming in from Amazon has been huge because of the amount of medical bills that we’re dealing with. So, kudos to you, dude, because what you’re doing has got a big effect on people’s lives.
[00:33:56] Scott: No, I appreciate that. I mean, I ultimately do it because I do want to help. I mean obviously there’s always monetizing somewhere along the way and that’s fine and I think people are okay with that even yourself as long as you’re delivering value and that's honestly what we're doing here today. And, yeah, I mean, good luck with your son and everything and…
[00:34:14] Keith: Thank you.
[00:34:15] Scott: But I can’t even imagine like that’s got to shake up your world like crazy.
[00:34:19] Keith: Oh yeah.
[00:34:21] Scott: Yeah. Makes you appreciate life and every day that we have here.
[00:34:26] Keith: Absolutely.
[00:34:27] Scott: Cool, man. All right. So, let's dig into digital product.
[00:34:31] Keith: Okay.
[00:34:33] Scott: Because the spice thing we can go another hour in there, but we won't. So, let's dig into the digital product thing. So, you started to think to yourself, again, probably that you want to include something that could possibly bring in revenue without you having to actually hack stuff and find supplying and all of that stuff. You’re like it’s another part of the business that we probably could add something, and you can because you’re a chef, so you can teach people how to do things with cooking and it doesn’t have to be scary and you can kind of use all these rice and stuff. So, let me ask you. How big is the course meaning like how much content is there? What am I getting when I receive that course? But also, what does it sell for?
[00:35:22] Keith: Okay. Well, first of all, what I did was even though I wrote a cookbook in 2009, I don’t know how many words were in the cookbook that I wrote. Most of it was the recipe creation and the photography which I had a photographer do that, but I had to plate all the dishes and all very difficult to do. But the writing, I didn’t want to do myself, so I partnered with a writer, he’s a homesteader up in Montana. He was my neighbor, a great guy, and a fantastic writer. So, all of the written material that we get in the course was co-written. So, what it does is it teaches people why the heck, somebody that just doesn’t store any food, why would you want to store food? What’s the purpose? What’s the benefit? So, we go through all the possible reasons and we don’t use scare tactics like a lot of people do on the Internet. It’s written with a humorous spin. If you want to have a meal before the zombies come, whatever it might be.
But we go through the reasons to store food and then we get into individual ingredients, different varieties of rice, which ones you want to use, when, different varieties of wheat, all about oats and corn and the benefits and how to store them. So, we give the student a lot of information on the ingredients and then we break it into sections and I teach them how to use it. So, you go to the rice section and there’s a lot of video showing different rice recipes and the idea here is all these foods that make up the bulk of this, they don’t have a lot of flavor. I mean, rice by itself, oats by itself, cornmeal, whatever it might be, beans, they’re very bland carbohydrate foods. So, if you again take some skills that I’ve developed through the years, you can make rice and beans. I mean, just the other day I went to a pool party and I brought rice and beans was one of the things that I brought to this pool party and I gave it to somebody and these people were like freaked out. They’re like, “Oh my God. What is it? I’ve never had rice and beans. I mean, I could eat this every day.”
[00:37:27] Keith: And it’s just little things. I mean, it’s not I’m the greatest chef in the world. It’s just little things that makes the difference. So, that’s what I’ve done throughout the course with these bland foods, so I’ve made them very appetizing and for instance, we’ve got different ethnic things. We’ve got Thai codfish salad in there. We got elk Bolognese which is sort of an Italian spin and there’s over 55 recipes in the course already. So, and these are videos and the person can watch the information very close to see exactly what the steps are. So, it’s a very video heavy course and there’s a lot of written information as well. I charge $169 for the course but like always with me, I mean, I’d love to say that it’s a passive income source because people while I’m sleeping they can buy the course but I’m not smart enough to let well enough alone so I continue to add to it.
And for me, someone’s paid me but I want them – and we have an update section so when they come back to the course, and people log in all the time but when they come back, they can click on updates and see, okay, I’ve added this new recipe, this new written section, and we just keep adding content to the course. So, I think probably the rest of this year I probably add another 20 or so video lessons to it and many more written sections so it just keeps getting better.
[00:38:53] Scott: Okay. Well, let me ask you this. Where did you come up with the $169? Just out of the blue or like…
[00:39:01] Keith: Just totally, out of the blue.
[00:39:03] Scott: Okay. Here’s my thought, again, we’re brainstorming here on the fly. You keep adding to the course, so people are already happy with paying $169 pretty much. Have you thought about not adding all that new stuff like capping it and then for the add-ons l having like a subscription model?
[00:39:26] Keith: No. Never crossed my mind.
[00:39:30] Scott: Yeah. Because if people are into that type of cooking and they’re really excited about what you’ve thought them in the course, for $9.95 a month they can get four new recipes or five new recipes a month or something, whatever it is. Because you’re adding theme there, anyway. So, why not you would just have a commitment to yourself that you would have to have recipes, shopping lists, and maybe over-the-shoulder kind of like lessons on not all of them but maybe a few. And then this way here for $9.95 a month, you’d have a recurring model and now you’re getting paid all the time for creating these new recipes. When if you would do just stop right now and said, “I’m going to leave it at 50 recipes that’s what they get,” then you’d be all set. I mean, everybody is still happy. You just keep adding because you want to add because you’re having fun doing it. You want to give them more value. You’re thinking more value. The more recipes you’re giving them, the more value they’re getting so they’re happier. They’re still happy with the 50.
[00:40:29] Keith: That’s true. I mean, we’ve had the course, I think, we launched it probably like December 27 of 2016 and we’ve had two people ask for a refund and put hundreds and hundreds of students through it and those two people said, “You know, I bought this, but I’ve never logged in,” and I can check and see so I looked, and they created their account and never use the course. So, I just gave them their money back, but people have been very happy with it. And what I notice is on the Teachable platform that I use, you can see when people log in. It shows and you can see the same people they log in many times a week so they’re using the course but that’s a great idea. Again, I never thought of that.
[00:41:15] Scott: Yeah. The other thing I would be thinking too is like, okay, $169, I would try to test the price at like $149, getting it under the $150 mark and then I would then add the $9.95 subscription thing onto the backend and maybe give them 30 days free of the $9.95 just to show them what they’re going to be receiving and then you have an email that goes up and say, “I just want to let you know your subscription is going to end. If you want me to continue it, it’s $9.95.” Now, you get a few people that are paying $9.95 every single month, that starts to add to your recurring revenue and now you’re like, “Oh, wait a minute. I got to create five new recipes this month for my members,” and then you do that and now you can talk about those new recipes in some of your content that also talked about the actual course itself. So, that would be one thing that I would be thinking. I’m always trying to think how can you do like work once and get something set up so it sells but then it also leads to where they want more and wanting more. It could be like you said the spices, “Try it. You tasted it. Tastes really good. I want more next month,” and so you get the more. So, it’s the same idea. The other thing is do you use your spices and any of these trainings? Oh, you don’t? You don’t? Come on. Keith.
[00:42:33] Keith: You know what, I knew you were getting there. You’re going to ask me if I use the spices in the course.
[00:42:40] Scott: This is a $10,000 call by the way. This is going to cost you $10,000 of my time here.
[00:42:44] Keith: I may have done it once but there is no like I haven’t marketed them. This is where you get it. No, I’ve left them hanging.
[00:42:52] Scott: Even in the recipes I’d be like, “Hey, guys. Today we’re going to cook this, that, and the other thing. We’re going to be using my special blend of the Carolina Barbecue. If you don’t want to buy this, you don’t have to. To get something similar, you’d need to add these three ingredients, whatever, but my thing is this. If you want to check it out, go to the website.” Just adding a slight little pitch in there, nothing major and people were usually, “Okay,” and a lot of people are going to be like, “Yeah, I want that stuff because that’s exactly how it’s going to taste now.” So, probably got some subscription model of the digital that’s leading people to the subscription model of the spices. Now, we get two things.
[00:43:24] Keith: Yeah. Now, that’s so smart and this is why I’ve talked to other food entrepreneurs and just other people that have asked me business questions and they said, “Well, I was going to go to this mastermind group, but I don’t want to pay $500,” and I tell them, “Listen, that’s the best money. You go there and you get one nugget and that $500 you’ll get that back in a second. You have to go,” and this is why. I mean, just some of the ideas I just can’t even believe I haven’t thought of them but…
[00:43:50] Scott: Yeah. And it’s funny because a lot of times when people are in their business, they’re not outside looking kind of downward.
[00:43:56] Keith: Absolutely.
[00:43:56] Scott: And seeing all the different things and as you’re talking to me I’m thinking immediately like what would I do differently? How could we spin this differently? How could we do less work necessarily but actually get more value and also get paid for it? Because you’re creating these recipes and, yes, you’re getting new people in but everybody that’s already in we’re not getting anything more for those people only if they buy spices. So, if you were recommending your spices in the content that’s in the class then I wouldn’t have as much of an issue. But you haven’t and so you got to change that and then we have to get a subscription model built and working for the spices.
[00:44:34] Keith: I agree. I’m searching for a tap on the back from you, so I just want to tell you, just yesterday I completed an arrangement with a company called Valley Food Storage. They’re based out of Utah and what they’re doing now is they’re advertising my course with a bundle of foods that I hand chose. So, I think it’s like I want to say $319 you get a big box of lots of different foods that are long-term storable foods and then you get an enrollment in my course included in the price. I am trying, man.
[00:45:07] Scott: No, you’re doing great. I mean, again, this is no knock on you at all.
[00:45:11] Keith: No, no, no.
[00:45:12] Scott: You’re doing fantastic and, I mean, going from our conversation back in 2015 about like how to get out of retail and start getting more into this. Look at where you’ve already grown like…
[00:45:23] Keith: If I could physically kick myself in the butt right now for not setting up the try the spices for free and the funnels, I’d be doing it.
[00:45:32] Scott: Yeah. Again, it’s one of those things that you’re like, “Okay. That makes sense. Let’s go ahead and implement that.” But, yeah, I think you’re totally a perfect example of someone that’s got like a hybrid model. You have a food product or just a product in general that also could turn into recurring but let’s pretend it’s not even recurring. You have something that you’re selling to a customer then on the back end of that, you also have training that teaches them digitally how they can implement with the cooking skills that you have through the years to make cooking fun and easy. So, I love it as using you as an example and I’m sure we’re going to have to have you back on because we’re going to have to do some updates to make sure that a few of these things we’ve implemented and we’re going to have to see what they’ve done since implementing them.
[00:46:19] Keith: Yeah. I feel really confident about because I know how addictive the spice products are that if they did something more, I’m getting samples in their hand, I think the backend and the recurring and the subscription, that would all, that would work.
[00:46:35] Scott: Yeah. I agree. It’s kind of like a supplement to me. It’s like if people are using a supplement and it’s working or they feel better, they’re going to want more of it. If you have a spice and it tastes really good, you want that taste again. We love our coffee, we love a certain beer that you like, whatever, you kind of like it so you want it. So, you just have to get people where they like it, they enjoy it, and benefit of it. It’s actually organic and it’s good for you.
[00:47:04] Keith: I know. That’s true and one of the reasons that I pushed on making these spices and making them available is I was using them because when we are filming a television show the spice company came to us and they wanted to sponsor the show, so they were sending me some of their spices and I thought, “Wow. These are very fresh and wonderful,” then I said, “Can I mix my own?” They said, “Absolutely.” So, once I started getting them in people’s hands and they were responding back, everything I was cooking with them like we’ve got one that’s called Greek Chicken and it’s got one of those ingredients is a spearmint. Now, you wouldn’t think of that, but you put olive oil – do you like chicken thighs by chance?
[00:47:44] Scott: Yeah. I like chicken.
[00:47:45] Keith: Grilled boneless chicken thighs. You take those little olive oil and you don’t put a sprinkle. You put like a teaspoon of this stuff all over it, marinate it for 30 minutes and grill it and when you eat it, it’s like magic. I love it.
[00:47:58] Scott: I’m excited to try this stuff because my wife and I say, “We enjoy eating chicken, but it gets boring.” It just kind of gets boring and I know it like I mean I could have like 8 ounces of chicken and it’s like 200 calories versus I have 8 ounces of red meat it’s going to be more and technically it’s not as good for you because of the red meat or whatever, whatever your philosophy is but chicken I love chicken, just it’s boring.
[00:48:24] Keith: Yeah. It’s a great palette. It’s a great canvas to try out things. Yeah. So, yeah, I’ll send you down some – that one is good I just mentioned but the grilled chicken is probably, that’s probably the second biggest seller. That one is – that’s an exciting rub for sure.
[00:48:39] Scott: Good. All right. Cool. So, let’s wrap this up. We went down a little bit longer than I expected but that’s just to be expected because whenever we get on these, it turns into a little bit of a coaching call, little bit of an update, and I love that because there’s a lot of things that I think we identified but there’s a lot of great things that you’re doing, and I want people to kind of hear the growth. It’s not about starting and then all of a sudden, you’re exactly where you want to be. There’s a lot of things that we’re going to be improving, we’re going to be growing, and that’s what we’re doing right now and a new brand that we started 12 months ago, and I just want people to understand that it’s the journey but you’re building a brand as well. It’s a brand that you’re building. You’re building your email list. You’re building the communication channels, educating, now you’ve got course, you know, a course out there, training. So, it’s just come all full circle for you and I’m just really excited to share that with people. So, is there any last little bits of advice or tips that you would share with anyone right now watching or listening?
[00:49:36] Keith: Well, the first thing I would do is tell people to reach out and find people because here’s a distinction. There’s a lot of people that give business advice that are in business. You find them all the time, “You just need to buy my thing,” and aside from the thing, what do you actually do in business? They don’t do anything but you, for example, are dude that’s actually doing it so find people that are doing the things that you want to do and get some training and listen to these podcasts. There’s a lot of free information out there. So, never stop learning I guess is the big advice because and also like you said, it’s a journey, man. If you think you’re going to get into this physical products or even digital learning and you’re just going to take one month, boom, and be done, it generally doesn’t work like that. It’s still work. To make passive income is still work but you got to work at it and stay focused so just hustle. That’s all.
[00:50:31] Scott: Yeah. Definitely. Get out there and make it happen and take action. I mean, that’s…
[00:50:35] Keith: Take action. Of course. Yeah. That’s a thing. Don’t listen and sit on your hands. You got to take action like you’ll be hearing from me this week, Scott. I’m going to take action.
[00:50:43] Scott: All right, man. I appreciate it. All right. Cool. So, let’s wrap this up. You got some cooking to do or something I think. You got to go get some rubs on some meat or something.
[00:50:50] Keith: I do, No doubt.
[00:50:52] Scott: All right, Keith. I want to thank you once again for coming on. I appreciate it and keep me posted. I know we’ll be in touch but definitely keep me posted and I’m excited to see where your journey leads you next.
[00:51:04] Keith: Hey, man. Thanks so much for having me on and thanks to everybody listening.
[00:51:09] Scott: All right. So, there you have that. I wasn’t kidding, right? Lots of great stuff there and when I got off, I was excited for Keith and since then, he is actually talking with us a little bit more and we are going to be guiding him in a sense with him building a funnel and being able to possibly do a free plus shipping offer which he wasn’t doing before. So, stay tuned on that. We’re going to be definitely following up with Keith. I know Keith is a go getter. He is someone that will take action as he’s proven since Episode 50 to Episode 533, a lot has happened in between there. And you might want to go back and listen to this one again or at least go grab the transcripts or the show notes because there’s a lot of value packed in that conversation that I have with Keith. So, again, I’m going to remind you the show notes can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/533 and definitely make sure that you’re subscribed to the podcast because, well, when we do updates like this you’ll be first to know.
And that also reminds me, YouTube, we’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube myself personally on Wednesdays where I’m doing a lot of brand building tips. It’s my Whiteboard Wednesday is what I’m calling it and it’s really brand building tips. Stuff like this right here that we talked about, I go over that stuff in detail. If you want to be notified when I do those videos, all you have to do is subscribe to The Amazing Seller YouTube channel and all you have to do is head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/YouTube or TheAmazingSellerTV.com. Go there, subscribe, and you’ll be able to see all of the drawings and all of the brainstorming that we’re doing there and we’re taking these brand building tips and we’re chunking them down and we’re putting them into lessons over there on a channel so definitely go subscribe.
[00:53:03] Scott: And leave me a comment. Let me know if you want me to create anything there that you’re not maybe understanding or something that you want to see visually, let me know. I will do my best to include that in an upcoming video training. All right. So, that’s it, guys. That’s going to wrap it up. Remember, as always, I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action! Have an awesome, amazing day! And I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Episode #50 with Keith
- The Harvest Eating Cookbook
- The Survival Podcast
- Food Storage Feast
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