There are so many people who are eager to get into Amazon Private Label sales, and they should because it’s a great platform to build a viable business that can support and even transform your lifestyle. But there are a handful of common mistakes that newbies to Amazon FBA make again and again. On this episode of the podcast Scott Voelker covers the top 5 rookie mistakes that trip up new sellers.
Product research can be frustrating, but don’t give up.
Perhaps the most difficult part of selling products on Amazon is finding the product in the first place. The product research phase is very difficult because there are so many variables and so many possibilities. What most rookies do when doing product research is work at it for a couple of days and then give up because it is so frustrating but that is the worst thing you could do. On this episode Scott’s going to teach you how to push through the product research base to make sure that you find that product that is going to set you up for Amazon selling success.
You can’t forget about the depth of your potential market.
It's great to find a product that seems like it's going to be a winner on Amazon FBA. But if you don't take into consideration the depth of the market you're trying to enter, you could be setting yourself up for a terrible loss. On this episode Scott once again covers the issue of depth of market, and give you some tips to help you understand what you need to look for, why you need to watch out for those things, and how to maximize your chances of setting up a product that will be successful.
If you misunderstand your profit margins on Amazon FBA, you’ll be sorry.
It's easy to hear all the success stories about Amazon FBA sales and think that you can do that too. And you can. The problem is that many people don't recognize that the figures they hear from success stories don't typically reveal the costs involved in the research, packaging, shipping, and fees related with feeling that product on Amazon. The end result is you may have an unrealistic idea of what the actual profit margins for a product are. On this episode of the podcast, Scott is going to point out some of the things you need to consider when calculating profit margins so that you can know and accurate estimate of what your profits will be.
Don’t be fooled by seasonal products.
You may find a product to sell on Amazon that appears to be a wonderful opportunity. But always take into consideration whether or not that product and its related products are seasonal in nature. Seasonal products are great for a very short time but throughout the year don't provide the consistent income that you really want to achieve an Amazon private label sales. On this episode Scott is going to give you some things to watch out for when considering the possibility of selling products that are seasonal in nature.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [1:34] A shout-out to a TAS community member.
- [3:11] How you can get in on one of Scott’s live workshops.
- [4:04] Why giving up during product research is a huge mistake.
- [14:30] If you forget about the depth of your market, you’re going to blow it.
- [18:30] The pain of misunderstanding profit margins.
- [24:26] Be sure to pay attention to issue of seasonal gifts.
- [29:17] There’s a strong tendency to overthink and over complicate.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 177
TAS 177 : 5 FBA Rookie Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
[00:00:04] SV: Hey, hey what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast, this is episode number 177 and today I want to talk about five FBA rookie mistakes and how to avoid them. I know this firsthand, because I've fallen into some of these mistakes myself so I want you to learn from some of these mistakes. Also now that I have been at this a little while and I have been interviewing people, I really wanted to dive into these mistakes, the ones that…
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…really resonate with me and that other people are making. I want to shed some light on these and really just show you or explain to you that these are mistakes that you don't have to make and that you can start to also think a little bit differently when you're going through certain parts of this business or any business for that matter. All right. That's what we're going to be talking about today.
It's funny, I'm sitting here literally in a room about 12 by 12 with my dog below my feet, he's sitting there as usual, listening to this podcast, and I've said this before, he could probably launch his own product. He's listening to this so much and it's just hysterical, right, but it's just us hanging out with you just talking about business and about Amazon and private labeling, and all of that cool stuff. I just want to say again thank you so much for being a listener, thanks for tuning in and sharing it. Our numbers last month were one of the best that we've ever had as far as downloads go on iTunes, and all of that stuff, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, you guys rock, and I appreciate all of you TASers out there.
Speaking of TASers, I did want to give a quick little shout-out to one of our TASers inside of the Facebook community and the one I wanted to give a little shout-out here is Raymond Shy, and I hope I pronounce your last name correctly, Raymond, and I probably didn't and I apologize, but Raymond posted a picture of him in his mail truck delivering mail in the states, in the US. He's in the truck, he's got all his uniform on, his got the mail truck with some bins back there and he posted a little selfie and he said this, he says, “Thank you Scott for the Amazing Podcast and all the information within. Now I stopped listening to music and had started listening to your podcasts at work while I drive all day on my route. Also this Facebook group is one of the best communities I've joined, cheers #awesomepodcast #nomoremusic.”
Thank you so much Raymond, you had a ton of people come on there, liked your post and also just say congratulations and awesome, and just love being the one on the other end of delivering the samples that are maybe coming to our house from your service or UPS or fedEx or any of the other ones as well. Raymond thank you so much, and again this is just the power of our Facebook community is being able to have people like Raymond jump in there and post this stuff, and just really keep everyone engaged and motivated and inspired, and just learning along the way. Keep it up, if you guys are not part of the Facebook group head over to theamazingseller.com/fb.
The other one little announcement I want to make here is, if you guys are brand new to this FBA game or maybe you have been a listener but you haven't had time to attend one of my live workshops, now is your time to register for an upcoming one. You can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop, and that there is a live free workshop that I do where I walk you through the five phases for launching a product on Amazon. We basically talk about product selection, we talk about sourcing, we talk about the pre-launch, the launch and the promotional phase and all that is covered inside of the workshop, plus I do live Q&A. If you want to attend definitely head over and register for an upcoming one, we'd love to hang out with you.
All right guys. What do you say? Let's go ahead and dive into these five FBA rookie mistakes, and I can show you how to avoid them or at least make you be aware of them. So let's just jump right in.
[00:04:04] SV: Number one, getting frustrated in the product research stage and giving up. This is a big mistake, because you don't know what could have been around the corner if you just would have just pressed on a little bit more and I go back to the book that I love so much, The Compound Effect. It's just a great book because it talks all about doing the little things day in and day out to eventually get to the big thing and it compounds time after time, after time and if you're getting frustrated because you've researched for six days in a row and you're just not finding a product or a market that you want to go into, well, maybe you need to go and do a seventh day and if you don't find it on the seventh day, you might have to do it on the eighth day or maybe you take a day off and then you do it on the ninth day.
Don't give up is really what you need to understand in any business. This isn't just this business or life in general, if you're working out – one little side note here – I'm just getting back into working out, I was looking at some pictures about three years ago, I'm forty three now, I was forty years old and at that time I was in the best shape in my life, I was getting into a little bit of bodybuilding, my body was in the best shape that ever has been. Well, three years have gone by, I've fallen off that wagon a little bit, I'm not totally out of shape but I'm not as in good shape as I wanted to be. So guess what? It's a little discouraging, it's a little downer to look at those pictures ago. I have to work hard to get there again but you know what it's going to take one step at a time. Right.
I'm not going to see the results right away but you just have to keep at it and that's the same thing with product research because if you don't go through the product research and you don't stick with it until you find some products that you think you can launch into a market, well then you are not going to be able to get to next phase which is the sourcing phase. If you don't get through the sourcing phase, you can't get to the pre-launch phase and so on. Right. You have to go through these different stages but you have to take consistent action to achieve them and then you'll start to see the results and the results could be good, they could be not so good but you're going to learn from the not so good. That's why I don't really say failure because failure to me really isn't to me isn't a thing, that's a learning lesson from them. All right.
Again I don't want to go on a tangent here or a rant which you guys all know I can but I'm not going to. Bottom line is guys, if that was easy everyone would be successful. If it was easy, everyone would be successful. All right. You just have to understand that if it's hard to find a supplier for a new product, guess what? Other people are finding it hard too. It's the ones that push through these obstacles, this ones that press on, #presson by the way, #juststart, #takeaction. Right. All of these are like little hash tags that we do on periscope, for those of you that followed me on periscope you guys know that's pretty much what we talk about there.
Just understand if you're having a hard time, there's other people are having a hard time too but it's the ones that are going to push through that and get to the next part of this process in anything. Forget about Amazon for a second, let's just talk in general. If you're going after something, like me, I'm going after trying to get back into that shape I was when I was forty and now I'm forty three, but I know it's going to be steady things, one after the other, I have to get things in check. I know what I got to do, I just have to do it but it's not going to be easy.
[00:07:50] SV: The other thing I want to mention here is when you are in this stage of the product research stage, which is probably one of the most important stages because this is going to allow you to find up market or products and that's really what I just said their market, because that's really what you need to be focusing on in this stage. Right. A lot of people just try to go after the product and I think that's fine to start with but then the product, you have to then relate it back to the market. That's why it's really about– I've got a little note here for myself to tell you guys, it's all market, market, market, meaning you need to focus on the market and not the product. You can start with a product that gets you interested in a market, that is okay but it's not all about just the product, it's about the market that is buying the product and not just product … I want to have a little caveat here. Products, we want a product line, we don't just want one product.
Your first thing when you're in the stage two, and then you're … Of course I can hear you guys now, “Oh Scott, no I'm just trying to find one product, I can't even find one, how am I going to find three? How I'm I going to find five?” It's easier once you find the market to then say, “What other products are being sold in this market?” You can start just from that one product that you're looking at and saying, “Okay, what additionally would someone buy?” If someone is buying a garlic press, what else in the kitchen would they buy? Well, they could buy a bunch of different things. Let's say something that's related to that. Well, they could do a meat tenderizer. Right. Meat tenderizers. If you're doing chicken parm you're going to maybe beat down on the … I'm not a chef by the way but you can tenderize or … Not even tenderize but flatten out, you might need a roller.
I know that some people do that, they roll out the chicken to make it thinner, so when they do the chicken perm. Now you got a garlic press, you got a roller, you've got a maybe meat tenderizer, all that stuff. There's three different products that we just talked about. Now are they going to work? Well I don't know, I haven't done the research but I can tell you that that's the process. Right. Understanding the market. Who is the market? Well, the market in that case is someone that enjoys cooking or maybe someone that not necessarily just enjoys cooking, but has to cook. Right. There’s two different markets there. You can have someone that’s really passionate maybe about being a chef or you have someone that’s just the everyday person that’s cooking dinner every night but they enjoy cooking Italian food or they enjoy just cooking in general. Again, market, market, market, you need to focus on the market and not the product, but you can still get the idea from a product and then look at the market. Okay.
[00:10:33] SV: You also, at this particular stage, I’m digging in here a little bit for you guys because I know a lot of people get frustrated in this product research and then they give up. I’m trying to give you ways to think a little bit outside of just going into a tool and finding a product. Okay. Some people say, “Scott, what about the web app of Jungle Scout?”, “What about the extension?” I think they’re great but it’s not everything. There’s got to be some manual work done in order to really, really dig deep. Okay. Those are tools to bring things to the surface, to look at maybe some numbers up front but then it’s really about doing that research after that. Okay.
This is what I want you to do too. I want you to think about the market, the different uses for the products in that market. Then I also want you to think about and ask yourself this question, could you build a Facebook page or a group around this market? Could you build a page, a Facebook fan page or a group about this product? Or could you build, if they were even still popular, could you build a forum around this? Could you create a community around this market? Not just the products, the market. Let’s take yoga. There’s a huge yoga community out there so could you build a Facebook fan page around yoga and then show different exercises or different stretches or different tools that you use or accessories, different … Now when you’re talking about yoga you’re probably going to start introducing some nutrition and you’re probably going to talk about meditation and all of these stuff. Could you build a Facebook fan page or a group around yoga? Yes. Okay.
Could you build a Facebook fan page or group around the person who’s really into cooking or baking cakes and cupcakes and brownies and all of these pastries? Like there’s a whole market out there for cupcakes. I mean, there’s cupcake contests wars, they call them on TV, and all this stuff, there’s all these competitions. Could there be a market around that? Yes. You have to ask yourself those questions and if the answer is yes then that’s a market that you could potentially launch products to. Okay. Just remember that. Think about the market that is using that product or products and then ask yourself, “Could you build a page or a group or a community around that market?” All right.
That there is everything because once we start on Amazon, once we validate that the product can sell, that people like the product … Not to mention, if you can find pages and groups that are already out there, you can get a lot of information from those on what people like and what they don’t like, not just on Amazon. Okay. If you can do that, I’m telling you right now, that is how you will build a big business. It’s something that I’m working on right now, currently, is to now take my products I currently have and start expanding them but also start expanding outside of Amazon to where I can start building that email list, I can start building that outside community and I can start to really engage with that audience.
From there, then you can just start marketing your products throughout your content when you’re creating it. Again, I’m getting a little off track here because it is really, really important to understand if you can find a market that you want to serve, there will be products that they are buying, I promise you that. Okay. If you guys want to listen to a recent one, I just did not too long ago, episode 165 and I talk about back to basics and I break it down and I give you like some checklists to go through. Check that episode out, that is theamazingseller.com/165. It’s really all about going back to basics, not relying on tools at this point, just really going back to the basics to get your creative juices flowing but also to give you some ideas and the inspiration to go off of. Definitely check out that episode. All right.
[00:14:33] SV: Let’s move on to number two of these rookie mistakes and that is depth of the market. I just was reading inside of the TAS community by the way, that someone was saying on there that they don’t really go by depth of market and they think that because everyone is using depth of market it makes it more competitive. I don’t agree 100% with that because I think product number one you’re looking for the best chance to succeed. Right. You’re trying to find that one product that will at least make you a profit. Right. In the beginning I really don’t even care if it is only $5 profit. I know I go by the 10 by 10 by 1 which is 10 dollars profit, 10 units sold, one product and I get that and that’s totally cool, but if you went and you tried to do the 10 by 10 by 1 but you fell short, you only were making five dollars profit, do you still think that that was a success? I do because you’ve learned the process, you’re still making money and you’re able to do it because you took that depth of market approach and it really validates that there’s demand so you don’t have to be in the number one, two or three spot. Okay.
His claim was well if I can find a product that’s selling 3,000 units amongst the top three then that’s fine, that’s a thousand each, I can come in number four and maybe take a few of those. That may be true but you don’t know. You could also do that same thing and then land at number four and you’re number four, you’re going to get just a trickle of sales, maybe you’re only going to get five a month, we don’t know that. If we know that there’s 10 sellers or 16 sellers that are all generating 10 sales a day then it’s a lot easier to come in there and just outrank one of those with a similar product. Maybe better reviews, maybe better features, whatever, and then grab some of that market, it’s just easier to do it that way.
Moving forward, yes, if you want to do this on product three, four or five, yeah, go for it because now you’re willing to take a little bit more of that risk. In the beginning we want to validate the demand because it’s going to make it less risky for us. In the future, when you have future products and you’re rolling them out, yeah, you can go less depth if you want to. Like I said it’s a little riskier, but you can do it. Also, if you have that external channel created, when you have an authority website or an authority blog, you have an email list that you’re building outside of Amazon, maybe through Facebook ads or Google ads and you’re driving them to a piece of content on your blog or your authority website. Then from there you’re getting them into a funnel and then that funnel is going to then engage with them and then show them some of your products. That’s totally different.
Now we don’t even care about how much depth there is necessarily on Amazon as much as if we’re just focusing on Amazon. Again, we can talk for hours on that as far as that whole building a funnel outside of … Which I’m going to be experimenting with really, really soon and I will be reporting on that because that’s what this podcast is all about, me really giving you guys the play by play of what I’m doing and what I’m learning and what I’m doing throughout this process. Number two, again, depth of market. If you guys want to check out a couple of episodes where I talk pretty extensively about that with Greg Mercer of Jungle Scout, you can head over to episode 156 and 161.
I will go ahead and leave these on the show notes as well. Again, the show notes to this episode, like the others, we’ve now included some transcripts so everything will be transcribed. You guys can download it or you guys can just read it right there on the blog as well as the show notes. That’s there for you as being a listener. Just head over this episode which is 177 and everything will be linked up there. If you wanted to go directly to those depth of market podcast episodes, that would be episode 156 and 161. All right.
[00:18:36] SV: Now, let’s move on to number three. Number three is not understanding profit margins. Okay. This is the reason why I like to start with a minimum retail price of $19. 20 bucks is like the magic number but let’s just say if it was 19 bucks or let’s, to make the math easier let’s just do 20 bucks. Okay. Let’s just use that as an example. Let me talk briefly about the 10 by 10 by 1 or we can do a 5 by 10 by 1. Scott, what is this? What are you talking about? Right.
Here it is really, really quickly. 10 by 10 by 1 is $10 profit, that’s per unit, that’s 10 units sold a day and that is one product. You have one product, there’s 10 sales a day at $10 profit each, that would be a $100 per day. Ask yourself that question, “What would a hundred dollars per day, for you, do?” How would that feel? What would it do for you right now? That’s $3,000 dollars a month by the way, for any of you guys that are a little slow on math like me. That one I know. It’s $3,000 per month. If that’s all you did, was sold 10 units per day at $10 profit from one product, that’d be a hundred bucks a day.
Ask yourself that. A lot of people, they don’t look at it like that, they’re like, “That’s too small, I want to go up to 50 units a day.” That’s going to be harder and it’s going to be more work. In my eyes, I think if you start there you might surprise yourself. You might go out of the gate with 20 units a day, you don’t know. I did an episode not too long ago that a lady did that. She went after the 10 by 10 by 1 after listening to the podcast and guess what? She started doing about a hundred and fifty units a day in the fourth quarter, which is insane. Right. That doesn’t mean she’s going to continue to do that, that was fourth quarter but she started with a mindset of 10 by 10 by 1.
Now let’s say you’re starting out and you didn’t do as good as you wanted to. What if you only did $5 profit but you sold 10 units a day and that was one product? That’ll be 50 bucks a day, so it’s not bad. What’s that, $1500 a month? That’s a mortgage payment for a lot of people. Again, understand the profit margins, that’s really, really important and that’s why usually going after a product that’s 19, $20, somewhere in that range at the low end and then upwards of 35 to 45 dollars is a good place to start especially when you’re first starting because it’s going to cost you probably at that price point, if you’re going to go after something that’s $20, you’re probably going to spend $5 for that unit and that’s delivered right into Amazon.
Let’s cover them real quick. You need to understand, when you’re figuring out your profit, there’s a few things you need to understand, it’s going to cost you for the product, cost of goods. What does that product cost for everything all the way from them making the item, shipping the item, packaging the item, all that stuff, what’s it going to cost to get it in Amazon? That’s what we need to know. If they send you the product directly to your home, let’s say it cost you $4.50, let’s say it costs you another $0.25 to get it into Amazon, you have $4.75, that’s basically your hard cost.
Now, if you sell on the Amazon for $20, Amazon’s going to take about $5 of that. Now you’re at 10 bucks, now you got $10 left over, there is your $10 profit. If you’re running pay-per-click well your pay-per-click might eat up a dollar per unit on that, we don’t know, we don’t know that until we start running it. Right. Again, when you’re first starting, that $10 profit might not hit right out of the gate. You might start at $5 then know that you can cut some of the cost by manufacturing, you can cut some of that cost by your promotions, by your advertising, all that good stuff. Right. Those are really your hard cost that you got to think about. Miscellaneous tools, there might be a few tools that you’re using, there’s not many in the beginning especially, but there are those other costs that come into the equation, those have to be figured in to figure out your profit and that’s your profit margin.
A lot of people don’t understand the basics of the profit margin, they just think I buy for this, I get here, but they don’t figure out all the in between cost, which there isn't a ton, but you do have to figure those out. If you have an inspection service on China side and you pay them 300 bucks and you had a thousand units, now you got to figure that $300 across the thousand units. That’s additional cost to that before you got it to Amazon. All that stuff has to get figured in. Just understand the profit that you can make if you get what you want to sell it for, if you charge what you’re able to charge you’re able to get people to buy it for that and then if you’re able to land it at that certain cost.
[00:23:28] SV: Now, here’s the other little side note here on this is, you may start out and only be ordering 500 units and your cost from the manufacturing might be a dollar higher than it would be if you ordered a thousand. Now you know, even though right now you’re only making $8 profit, you know once you get to that thousand dollar mark you can get that down a dollar, you’re going to gain a dollar in profit, just from that one thing. Or maybe you’re packaging right now, you're only ordering 500 of those and they’re costing you $0.25 a piece but if you order, I don’t know, 2,000, they’ll throw them in for nothing, now you can save that cost. Right. You can probably improve that but you do want to know that up front, that I am paying a little bit more right now but as I continue to grow I will be able to take that cost of goods and bring that down.
All right. That’s number three, not understanding profit margin, so definitely make sure that you understand the different costs that are involved. Okay.
[00:24:26] SV: Number four, seasonality and this is a big one. Okay. I’m not saying that you can’t sell something that is seasonal, I’m not saying that. There’s people that do that and they’re successful. The problem that I see with that is you may launch a product today and all of a sudden next month it’s out of season so now you got to wait a whole another year to get, those next three months or four months that it’s in season. The only way that that can work, in my eyes, is really, if you have different products for different seasons. It’s almost like if you had a clothing line, you’re going to have spring, summer, fall, winter. If you've four different seasons you’re going to have four different product lines or four different clothes or whatever attire that is going to be based around the different seasons. All right.
You need to understand, are you selling something for the outside camping time? Right. Maybe camping is in the summer and maybe early fall so you might get four or five months out of camping if you got something in the camping space. Right. That’s okay but now those campers, what are they doing in the winter? Now you got to launch a product in the winter that’s going to allow you to also serve that market, going back to the very first thing we talked about, is the market. Right. If you have a market and they’re hunters we have hunters out there that are always getting stuff in the fall for their hunting trips and this, that and the other thing, what are those hunters doing on the off season?
They’re probably into something else, maybe they’re doing inside bowl training or whatever that’s called. Now they need targets or now they need a certain glove that helps them when they pull back on the bow and arrow. There’s different things to that market, I don’t know that market but I would need to know that before I would go ahead and even think about doing something that was seasonal.
The other thing that’s seasonal could be different gifts. Right. You might have a gift that is really great for Father’s day or a gift that is really good for birthdays. Or birthdays, yeah, there is different times of the year you have more birthdays but it’s really kind of hard to nail down. I don’t mind if you have something that can be sold as a gift but also it’s going to need to be steady throughout the year. You might have a spike on a holiday but then if once it flattens out you want that to still be your, let’s call it, your 10 by 10 by 1. But when it spikes you might get 30 sales a day. That’s something you need to understand, is seasonality.
A great way to do this is to look at Google trends, it’s a great, great free tool, just go to Google trends and type in your keyword. If I was going to do bass fishing, I would type in bass fishing and I would see when the spike is for bass fishing and I would see if it’s steady throughout the year also. Sometimes you’ll see it spikes then it drops right down and it flat lines. Right. You want to look at the trends by looking at Google and seeing what they’re saying. Right. The other one to look at is if you’re looking at a product, you’re comparing it inside of Amazon, take that, bring it over to that listing, take over that link or the ASIN, bring it over to camelcamelcamel.com and then punch it in there and see what it’s done throughout the year. You’ll see the BSR, how it’s gone up and down, you’ll see the pricing, you’ll see all of that stuff. Okay.
[00:28:04] SV: Again, you always want to be thinking to yourself if I’m going after a seasonal product, are there additional products that I can sell at other times of the year. All right. Now, we recently just did a hot seat session and we did talk about seasonality because one of the issues that she was having was a seasonal product. Okay. She really didn’t think it was that seasonal until she got up and running but then as we looked at it and we started looking at the numbers and we started looking at the product, it definitely has peak seasons. All right. That’s why it was harder, especially when now she went into a market that had a lot of sellers in there selling almost the identical product, that also makes it harder.
If you have a more unique product that could definitely help you. All right. If you want to check out that episode, we really dig in really deep into her business, that is episode 162. Again, I will link to that in the show notes of this episode, which is 177, but that particular episode is 162. That would be theamazingseller.com/162. A great session, Chris Schieffer and I really broke down her business and talked all about what we would do and also what to look into moving forward as far as picking other products and stuff.
[00:29:25] SV: Let’s move onto number five. This is a big one, a big one. I see this happen a lot and it’s happened to me, it’s happened to me, it totally, totally has. All right. Number five is, overthinking and overcomplicating things in general. It’s just our human nature, we’re always trying to come up with that survival, like, “What if this happens?” or, “I should do this,” or “What if I don’t do this?” All of these things start to come up before we even get through the product research stage. We start thinking about all of the things that we might have to do or people are saying that I need to do and that right there paralyses us to do nothing. That’s what we don’t want to happen. Right.
You might be asking yourself, you’re just getting started, you’re in the product research stage and all of a sudden it’s like, “How am I going to build a website?” Do you think that you really even have to be thinking about a website and you don’t even have a product, even thought about yet or a market picked yet but you’re thinking about how to build a website? Or, how about this one, “I think I need a YouTube channel. Other people are saying that I should build a YouTube channel. How am I going to do that? I don’t know how to build a YouTube channel. How many videos should I post? Who’s going to post the videos? I’m not good on camera.” All of those things start to attack your brain and start to think to yourself, “How am I going to do all this stuff?”
Don’t worry about it. Okay. How about this one, “Do I click sales tax?” It’s a good question but do you really even need to know that right now? Not really. What you need to know is how to pick a product or how to find the sourcing for the product or how am I going to do my pre-launch. What you need to do is once you get to that stage as to where, “Yes, I need to ask myself that because money is starting to come in,” that’s when we ask ourselves that type of question. Again, if anybody is at the stage of that I always refer people over to TaxJar, taxjar.com. Okay. All right.
Next one is, “But I need custom packaging before I start.” Now, all of a sudden that holds up the whole process. “We need to get a graphic designer, we need to make a custom box, we got to get different size boxes,” or “We got to get a different size bag,” or “How are we going to print on the bag, should I do a sticker or should I just print directly on the bag?”, “Do I need the suffocation warning on there?” All of these different stuff is being asked and you haven't even launched a product yet or you haven't even picked the product, rather, so all of that stuff starts to come in.
The other one, this is a big one, I get this a lot, “How do I drive outside traffic Scott, from Facebook or Google?” Don’t worry about that right now. Right. The only time you’re going to worry about that, honestly, is once you get to the stage of where you are having consistent sales, you’re using Amazon pay-per-click well, you’re doing a good job with that and now you’re starting to building that external channel, that external email list, that’s when I would focus on that. I wouldn’t focus on it right now.
The next one is, “Scott, you talked about building an email list, I don’t have a product launched yet but how do I build an email list?” Don’t worry about it right now, you don’t worry about those things until you get to that point, until you get up and running. All right. Now, I do go through the entire launch process, I updated it actually in episode 101. You’ll know exactly what you need to do to launch your product from start to finish, that’s what you’re going to do. There’s nothing in there where I say create a YouTube channel, there’s nothing in there that says do press releases, none of that stuff. Okay.
It’s a really, really simplified process and once you get through that then you start to ask yourself, “What’s next? What do I do next?”, “What is happening at that point in your business that you need to work on?” That’s what you need to focus on. Okay. Only focus on launching, sales, reviews and customer service. That’s all you’re going to worry about when you get the product picked, when you get it sourced and when you get it ready to rock and roll. Okay. You’re focusing on launching it, getting sales, getting reviews and customer service. Customer service is a big one guys and I probably should talk about that more because it’s really, really important.
If you do a great job on your customer service, you’re going to have raving fans, you’re also going to have opportunities to give them more resources so this way here they can come back to your website legally, not breaking the rules or anything, then building a true fan of your business. That’s customer service, just be 110% there, always. Okay. That is pretty much my five rookie mistakes and obstacles that people are making and they’re overcomplicating, number five that is, they’re over complicating all of this when they don’t have to. Okay.
[00:34:19] SV: Now, let me just recap real quick. Number one, getting frustrated in product research and giving up. Okay. There’s ways around this. The very, very first thing that I want to say is if you have not read the book ‘The Compound Effect' by Darren Hardy, definitely, definitely read that or listen to it like I do on the audio book. I don’t like reading, you guys all know that but I love that audio and I listen to it over and over again when I get into a funk or whatever, it definitely pulls me back out so definitely a great book. You really just need to understand that you’ve been at this… If something isn't working or you’re not finding the product yet and you’ve been working at it for seven days, do it an eighth day. That eighth day could be the day that the door opens.
Two, depth of market. There’s people saying, “Man, I don’t really care about depth or market”, that’s your choice but I believe in the beginning when you’re first starting, this is going to validate and really reduce the amount of risk when getting started. I would say don’t skip the depth of the market. If you guys, again, want to listen to that episode, I’ll link it all up, but that’s episode 156 and 161.
Three, not understanding profit margins. Again, know your numbers and once you do everything else will become a lot easier and you’ll know where you are and what you can do. Okay. Number four, seasonality. That episode, too, that I’d love you guys to listen to is 162 because I think that that one there is really, really beneficial. I got a lot of great feedback on it, it's where we broke down this lady’s business and we really talked about seasonality, a lot and talked about how we would make sure, in picking future products, that we didn’t fall into the seasonality realm. All right.
Number five, overthinking and overcomplicating things and that is a big one, I would again stress this. Don’t over think or over complicate, only work on what you need to work on now to move you forward. If you’re picking a supplier, only focus on picking the supplier. In that stage or in that phase of picking a supplier, yes, you’re going to have to figure out how you’re going to pay them, work on that. You’ll have to figure out what the agreement is going to be, figure that out, but don’t think about building a YouTube channel, it doesn’t make sense. Only focus on what you have to focus on, period. All right.
I would definitely say go over and listen to episode 101, which is my updated launch plan. Again, that’s theamazingseller.com/101. If you want all these links that I talked about today in this episode with the transcripts and the show notes and all of that stuff, head over to theamazingseller.com/177. All right.
[00:37:00] SV: That is going to wrap up this episode. Went a little bit longer than I thought, I thought it was actually going to go a little bit quicker because I’m like, “I got these nailed out, I’m going to go through these,” but I do tend to rant a little bit because I really feel strongly about a lot of these. It doesn’t have to be that difficult or complicated, we just need to really, really understand that it’s a process and if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Right. Just keep that in the back of your mind. Right. When you’re feeling frustrated, there’s other people there feeling frustrated too and it’s the ones that stick it out and stay in the game are the ones that are going to win. All right. Just remember that.
I want to thank all of our TASers in the Facebook community. Again, I wanted to just give you guys all a great little shout out here and again say #juststart, #takeaction. If you guys are on Periscope and if you’re not, you can find me on Periscope, @scottvoelker. We use those two hash tags quite a bit because it’s pretty important. Yeah, I just wanted to say thank you guys for stopping by and hanging out with me again and Brody of course, he’s already heard this a hundred times or more, probably, about me talking about these five different things here that we talked about today. You got to keep bringing it back to the surface because it’s really, really important.
All right guys, that is it, that is going to wrap it up. Let me remind you too, if you’re brand new, you wanted to attend one of my live, free workshops, head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop. Would love to hang out with you for the evening, we can go over these stuff in a little bit more detail, break it down everything from picking a product to launching a product to promoting the product and everything in between, we cover that and we do live Q&A. We’d love you to attend and hang out with you, that would be awesome.
That’s it guys, that’s going to wrap it up. Remember I’m here for you, I believe in you, I am 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 in the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop – get in on the free workshop
- BOOK: The Compound Effect
- Get Jungle Scout: www.TheAmazingSeller.com/JS (affliate link)
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/165 – Going back to basics episode
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/156 & www.TheAmazingSeller.com/161 – episodes on depth of market.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/162 – a “hot seat” episode dealing with seasonality.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/101 – My updated launch plan.
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