When you start anything new in your life you’re going to feel nervous or scared. That’s OK. Nerves and fear are natural in any new endeavor but they aren’t the thing that determines success. What determines your success is your own mindset. On this episode Scott chats with a successful Amazon seller, Bobby Jacques and the two of them agree that mindset is crucial. You can hear how both of these guys approach their business in light of mindset, on this episode.
Why you have to just do it and simply take action.
When people talk about mindset they’re addressing the issue of belief. If you are going to attempt a business on Amazon or any other platform you’ve got to first believe in your ability to learn, to grow, and to pivot through the disappointments and obstacles until you reach success. It’s a “never give up” attitude that you have to develop – and today’s episode is one that can help you do that. You’re going to hear from a very determined Amazon seller who made it his goal to replace his full time income in a very short period of time. He did it, and is a testimony to the fact that you can do it too, if you’re willing to work hard, learn, grow, and keep going.
The importance of mindset to believe that you can accomplish things.
When it comes to building an online business, whether through private label sales on Amazon or some other approach, you’ve got to believe that you can do it. The person who doesn’t believe in their ability is the one who will give up quickly after they hit the first obstacle. And you WILL hit obstacles if you take the entrepreneurial route. Bobby Jacques shares his story on this episode and tells how he went from nothing to $50K per month in sales on this episode.
Dialing in your pay per click (PPC) is important for product visibility and profits.
One of the tools that makes private label sales on Amazon such a successful thing is Amazon pay per click. PPC is one of the tools Amazon provides to help you get people's eyes on your products when they are searching for exactly what you have. Make awesome money and takes time to figure out, but one You can be the pot at the end of the rainbow. On this episode Scott's guest is going to tell us how he manages his pay per click campaigns and what you can do to organize your campaigns properly from the start.
If you’re going to start, you’ve got to determine that you will start and succeed.
Determination in any business is huge. You can't be the type who will give up at the first sign of trouble or difficulty. No difficulty can stop you if you are convinced that you can learn and grow for the sake of overcoming any obstacle. Your job as an entrepreneur is to make yourself successful so that you are able to bring great value to the world. On this episode of the podcast you're going to here a great story of success from a guy who started with no money in the bank and is now bringing in $50,000 per month in sales revenue. Bobby Jacques is Scott’s guest on this episode of the podcast.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [1:30] Join the next live workshop.
- [2:20] Shout out to an iTunes listener who left a review.
- [4:04] Why Scott wanted to chat with Bobby for today’s show.
- [6:45] How Bobby got into business after a long road of other stuff.
- [12:50] The motivation of engagement to build toward a business.
- [15:01] How Bobby decided to fund and start his online sales business.
- [17:30] The timeline and goals Bobby set for himself.
- [24:00] PPC strategies Bobby uses.
- [32:29] Things Bobby wishes he’d done differently from the start.
- [33:50] How Bobby manages his PPC campaigns and keeps them straight.
- [35:42] Up to 50K in revenue every month.
- [37:46] Liquidating products that aren’t doing so well.
- [41:11] What people starting from scratch should do to start on the right foot.
- [43:26] Is Amazon still a viable platform for new sellers?
- [44:30] How to connect with Bobby.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 243
TAS 243 – How MindSet and Taking Action Helped Bobby Jacques Leave His Full Time Job
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast, this is episode number 243 and today I’m excited to share with you my next guest. I’m going to interview Bobby Jakes who actually talks a lot about, well what a lot of people don’t talk about and that is mindset and taking action and creating that plan and then just executing.
Not having excuses, just figuring out a way to make it happen and…
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…just go for it. Just really structuring the mind in a different way. This way here, there is no option. You are just going to do it, you are just going to take action. You are going to go through the steps. That’s what we are going to be digging into today. I love it because I believe in a lot of this stuff as far as creating that plan, creating the mindset and then just going for it and then taking the action to do it.
Yes there is going to be obstacles, yes there is going to be struggles, we all know that but you have to prepare for that and understand that. Once you do, then you can go ahead and figure out the solutions then just go ahead and do it. Really excited to have him on the show. Now before we into that interview, I did want to share with you that we will have full show notes and transcripts for this episode.
You can head over to theamazingsellar.com/243, again that’s theamazingseller.com/243. You can download the show notes, the transcripts all that good stuff over there. You can just read them over there, whatever you want to do. Any links we talk about will be there as well. The other thing is, if you are brand new to the podcast first off, welcome and nice to meet you and nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by. I’d like to invite you to an upcoming working that we do, which actually breaks down the steps to getting started. This way here you understand the full business model but also gives you action steps to do, to create that plan to get your first product launched. If you want to attend our free live workshop, head over to theamazingsellar.com/workshop and you can register over there.
[00:01:59] Scott: Before we do jump in, one last thing is I want to give a little shout out to our iTunes people. The people out there on iTunes and I know there’s Stitcher folks out there going, “Hi Scott what about me?” But right I want to mention the people on iTunes, you guys are awesome, thanks for all the reviews and feedback if you have already left them, if you haven’t, if you can me a favor and leave a review or feedback over there that would be awesome.
Let me read one real quick for you because I want to give a little shout out here, a little love because they gave me love. It really feels awesome to read these, definitely if I haven’t done so that would be awesome. Here is what this one listener had to say and his name, well this is the user name is SaIzero think his PR 0310 says, “Great motivating and informative podcast, 5 stars. Love listening to your podcast while I work out in the morning because you get me pumped up and motivated.”
I love that by the way because I work out in the morning as well. I need something sometime to get me pump up. I’m glad I’m doing it for you. “I can tell you love what you do because of you I’m taking action in an endeavor that I never would have thought of until I stumbled on your podcast, keep up the great work.” Thank you so much for Sell Zero PR 0310 thank you so much and I’m so glad that you motivated and inspired to actually get involved into something that you thought that you might not ever gotten involved in.
That is awesome and keep up the workouts, I know that I need that little bit of motivation. Glad that I’m helping you. Hopefully now I can go ahead and motivate myself to keep going to that gym. Guys let’s go ahead and let’s jump into this interview. This was an awesome interview, you are going to get a lot of value from it and also just keep remembering that when we are going through this, it’s all mindset in anything we do. Whether it is working out, whether it is building a business. Just understand, mindset is huge, having a plan in place and Bobby really does break down his plan and you guys are going to enjoy. I’m going to stop talking now so you can enjoy this interview with Bobby Jakes.
[00:04:03] Scott: Hi Bobby, thank you so much for coming on the TAS podcast, what’s up man how are you doing?
[00:04:08] Bobby: Hi Scott, doing alright how are you?
[00:04:10] Scott: I’m doing fantastic, I’m really excited to dive into your story. You sent me an email and the title of the email was 50k a month and my one year anniversary. Then you went through what you shared also in the TAS Facebook group, which was I was pretty excited to read as well. That’s what I want to dig into and know a lot of people when they listen to the podcast and they are like, “Scott you always go after the ones that have had all kinds of success.”
That’s why I want to drill into not just your success but some of those things that you think that you might have made a mistake or things that you would do differently now. That way there we can pull away not just the wins but some of the stumbling blocks along the way, does that sound cool?
[00:04:48] Bobby: Yeah, that sounds great.
[00:04:50] Scott: I know you and I talked a little bit before we got rocking and rolling here. You were saying a lot of what you attribute to your successes, mindset. I’m a big mindset guy myself and something that I work on every day because you can never master it. I want to dig into that too and kind of see where you take is on all that.
[00:05:08] Bobby: Yeah. Absolutely. Mindset is really, really so important. Just think about like this, how many of us have had ideas for inventions, you come up with this gadget or this gadget. You wanted it to actually bring it to market but you think, “But you know what, I don’t know how to do that or it’s just a pipe dream or something.” Nothing ever comes of it.
I know in my family, people have come up with ideas and then down the road they see that idea come up. Like I had that idea, but they never did anything about it. When you really change your mindset to believe that you can bring these things to reality, to invent things or something like private labeling, you can get a product, get a brand going. Then it really comes a fruition.
[00:06:01] Scott: It really does and we can dig into that too as far as, “Should I invent a product from scratch not knowing about the market or should I take something that is currently selling, make it better.” Like those things there’s different ways to look at that. I’m a big Shark Tank fan, I like watching that show and a lot of times, they are all about like the market. Like what does the market say?
It’s hard because I have had a lot people they either pitch me an idea or say, “Hi Scott I got a really great idea for coming up with this brand new product. No one is selling it right now and I think it’s going to be great.” That one word I think it is going to be great, is a little tough for me at first unless you already know a lot about that market. Maybe we can dig into that too a little bit. Why don’t you just give people a little bit of a back story as far as maybe like where you come from and what got you into this whole private labeling and selling your own brand type stuff?
[00:06:56] Bobby: Yeah sure, I guess I should start back when I first learned about online business in general. I had gotten an internship working for the government, working for the army out of college. That just became a full time job as soon as I graduated. I was in a cubicle and knew right from the beginning that that was not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life but for the time I was like, “Okay, well I will figure things out from here.”
I stumbled upon a website online that was talking about affiliate marketing and I learned about drop shipping too at the same time. I started looking into it and the idea of being able to make a living from home was just something that I was really getting to, from the get go. I started looking more into it and I came up with this plan to become a competitor with Amazon actually back then. That was my first jump into the world of Amazon.
[00:08:00] Scott: How long ago was this? Just to give us a little bit of idea.
[00:08:00] Bobby: I believe this was 2008. My timeline was a little bit rough but yeah. That was my plan and I got really, really excited about it and I called up cousin who is Brian Burke. I called him up because I knew that he had been doing something online and making money online somehow, I didn’t know what it was. I called him and said, “Hey. What are you doing? I have this plan to take on Amazon and this and that.” He said to me, “You know like Amazon is gigantic and you’re probably not going to be successful there.”
I said, “I don’t know, I think I want to do it.” I abandoned that plan a little bit and started just learning about just web marketing in general and over the years I dabbled around in blogging and a little bit in affiliate marketing. Never made any money, never really put anything together, it was just kind of something that I had little bit of interest in on the side. My interest was really in music so I was trying to make a living by music and that was my number one passion and my number one focus.
[00:09:10] Scott: What was your instrument by the way?
[00:09:12] Bobby: I play guitar and sing primarily.
[00:09:14] Scott: Oh wow. We got a lot in common then. When I was growing up in my early teens, late teens, I come from the 80s, so I was in the heavy metal age and then grunge came. I was a guitarist, I still have all my stuff, I got my half stack upstairs, I’ve got my Kramer guitars, I’ve got my Fenders, I got all that stuff, that’s funny.
[00:09:40] Bobby: We’ll have talk more about that.
[00:09:40] Scott: Yeah, totally and that was dream too, I had the long hair and everything. Now I got like a crook cut basically. It’s so funny how your mind changes but yeah I was totally into music, still I may have a passion for just good music now you know that’s funny. Continue, I had to know what instrument you played and we are very, very common in that space.
[00:10:03] Bobby: Yeah. That’s awesome, I actually left my job once before I tried taking a leave of absence, they said, “No you can’t just take a leave of absence.” I said, “Okay I’m going to quit but I might come back I don’t know we will see how it goes.” I started playing music full-time and I ended going back to work in six months because I blew through all the money very quickly.
[00:10:26] Scott: Sure, it happens quick.
[00:10:28] Bobby: Yeah. Music ends up becoming an investment if you are on the creative side for sure for a while until you can start making something of it and getting a name for yourself. I went back to work and work then became something that I just did to allow me to fund my potential music career. Got a band going. At first I was going solo and I got a band going.
We were doing pretty well, and getting some traction, we some great shows we opened up for a Gym Blossoms and Social Extortion. It was going really well but I run into this issue where I have this freak incident while I was lifting weights and I lost my hearing on my left side. That ended up turning into this hyper sensitivity to sound or hyperacuses and it just changed my life incredibly.
[00:11:21] Scott: All from working out, from a certain exercise, what was the exercise? Do you remember?
[00:11:25] Bobby: It was a decline bench press.
[00:11:27] Scott: Really? I do declines.
[00:11:30] Bobby: I don’t any more. I guess because of the pressure and something happened and I just went out, and it was never fully explained to me by doctors but it took a really long time to get back to any state of normalcy. For the first month almost two, I couldn’t even be in public without having your plugs in because everything that I heard became painful for me. I didn’t actually here the sound on that side but I felt it. Yes so I dealt with that for a while, I’m still doing with it but I’m about 90-95% now.
[00:12:11] Scott: That’s good news.
[00:12:13] Bobby: That changed my focus incredibly. I still tried pushing through, I still tried playing music and everything. I still do play music but it fell off the board, as my number one focus at that point. I started focusing more on work and being able to provide for our potential family. Down the road I got engaged to my wife last February.
[00:12:45] Scott: Cool, congratulations.
[00:12:45] Bobby: Thank you. Once we got engaged I realized very quickly that life was about to get a lot more expensive.
[00:12:56] Scott: You don’t have any kids here, right?
[00:12:57] Bobby: No kids right now.
[00:12:59] Scott: I have three, so I can tell you that’s true.
[00:13:01] Bobby: Right, I was just looking at a planning for the wedding and everything and I was just like, “How are we going to afford this?” I shifted gears a little bit and that was when I really just dropped music and I was like, “Okay, you know what, I love music I’m going to back to it but right now I need to figure out how I’m going to provide for my future family.”
I knew I didn’t want to be working in office and I was also too states away where my job was compared to where I lived. I had this shift in mentality and right around that time, I heard Ryan Moran on the Smart Passive Income podcast with Pat Flynn talking about his success with Amazon, and I got really inspired and I just zoned in on it and I was like, “I’m going to do this.” First I tried funding it by getting into retail arbitrage and I really did not enjoy that much at all.
[00:14:00] Scott: I’m agreeing with that.
[00:14:02] Bobby: I was going around the stores and I was scanning everything and it was like one weekend and I came home and I was like, “I don’t ever want to do this again.”
[00:14:11] Scott: Some people make a really great living at it, and they are good at it. I tell people too, if you are just getting started, it’s a great way to learn the platform and make some extra money but it’s like if it’s not… If you feed onto the fire in a sense that you have to do it makes it to feel like a job. If that is all we are doing, I know people that is all they do. There are teams of people that go out and do it and they are pretty successful. I’m right there you, I think I lasted about a half hour.
[00:14:37] Bobby: For sure, and some people enjoy doing it too. My wife, I talk to her all the time about private labeling and retailer arbitraging. She likes the idea of retail arbitrage a little bit more because you can walk around stores and find products and everything. It’s a fun experience for some people.
[00:14:56] Scott: It is, finding those deals.
[00:14:59] Bobby: But not for me.
[00:15:01] Scott: Then from there you get the idea, you get the bug, you start learning a little bit more about the Amazon platform. What was your next move at that point?
[00:15:09] Bobby: The next two things I needed to do was I needed to really commit to this and I needed to fund it. I basically cleared out my bank’s account on my wife’s engagement ring and I needed to get funds somehow so I started selling all my guitars. I sold my guitars, I quit my band, I said, “I don’t have time for this guys I’m sorry. I will get back to it but right now I need to focus on something else,” and then I started really looking at my mindset. The first thing I did was I went to my fiancé at the time and I said, “Hey listen I’m going to be kind of changing because I’m going full-fledged into this entrepreneurial lifestyle and mentality and I just want to make sure that you’re on board with this and everything.”
[00:15:57] Scott: That’s smart.
[00:15:58] Bobby: That’s really important because if I just started going for it and she wasn’t on board with it then it would create strife and it would affect both our relationship and my success. That was something that was very important and then I started looking at my mindset. I actually did the Ryan Moran 10 day challenge and each day you’re given a different task to do and I think that that’s really important for anyone that’s getting into a business for the first time and really going for it, doing something along those lines to really just get yourself prepared for it. You need to make that decision that you’re going to make the mentality shift and make it that focus in your life and then do something to really, really just reinforce that.
[00:16:54] Scott: I agree. You have to make a commitment whether it’s going to the gym, whether it’s taking your guitar lessons, whatever it is. You have to make a commitment to what it is you’re going to do and you have to give it a good run. If you don’t then there’s just, there’s no recourse, there’s no like, “Well if I don’t do this this is going to happen.” You just have to put it into perspective and mindset is huge because if you don’t make yourself commit, no one’s going to.
I agree with that 100%. At that point you make the commitment, you’re starting to get the mindset now that you’re going to go after this thing. What did you have in your head though as far as like, did you say, “I’m going to give myself a 90 days just to kind of see what I can do here or 6 months.” Was there any timeline that you gave yourself that you wanted to get this thing to where you could see that it was going to work?
[00:17:48] Bobby: I set some goals and I think that’s really important as well but I didn’t give myself a ‘let’s see if this works’ option.
[00:17:56] Scott: Okay, it was going to work, period.
[00:17:59] Bobby: It was just, “This is going to work and I’m convincing myself that it’s going to work and if it doesn’t then I’ll deal with that down the line.” My first goal was to replace my income by October of 2015. I just started going for it, I got into product research, I called up Brian Burdigan and I said, “Hey listen I need some help with this.” I knew that he’d been selling on Amazon and having success and he took me on as a student or he became my mentor and really helped which really helped me in the product research phase just to get me choose a product which I think is something that people get really, really held up on and the same thing happened to me.
After I did my analysis and everything I was looking at two different spreadsheets, one that was just very basic that I had put together based on best seller rank and everything and then there was one that I downloaded from startup pros and it had all these formulas and eBay numbers and things like that. I was looking at the two of them and they were contradicting themselves and I got stuck in this paralysis by analysis situation and then Brian just kicked me in the butt and said, “Hey make a decision.”
[00:19:08] Scott: A or B which one is going to be because you’re not going to know until you go after and do it. I don’t think there is a 100% of a formula. It’s like one product you could use a formula on technically and it looks great and everything but then just something happens in the market it doesn’t work. That’s just the way it goes you won’t know until you actually something. There’re preventative things you can do to reduce the amount of risk but the same breath there’s no homerun, there’s no definite guarantee that it’s going to work. I mean would you agree?
[00:19:37] Bobby: Absolutely. You need the numbers. They really help you to get a clear of what’s going on but there are always changes and especially in today’s environment on Amazon where things are changing so fast and there are more and more sellers that are getting on even though the market’s expanding but more sellers are coming in. That that has created a situation where markets will open up and then close quickly and so that’s why I think that that’s speed of implementation is very, very important right now.
[00:20:10] Scott: For people too looking more in the future or past Amazon is what I think. If people are out there saying to themselves that they only going to be able to get to Amazon and start selling to me they’ve already cornered themselves to where they’re only relying on that one thing. People should look further down the line at the market not just at Amazon.
Amazon is a channel to get into market so this way here we can get up and running fast but in the same breath we got to know that if we’re looking at a Google trend, that’s Google trend that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s an Amazon trend. If we know that there’s people buying this product throughout the year or at different times of the year then we know that we can go out there and grab traffic off of other platforms to then hopefully get over our own ecommerce space.
People that are just thinking about the Amazon business model and that’s the only thing they thinking, that is risky. You are gambling but it’s a great, I always tell people, it’s a great place to start and it’s a great channel you should be using but in the same breath you should be thinking further out than just that one channel. That’s just my thoughts, what’s your thoughts on that?
[00:21:16] Bobby: Yes absolutely. It’s a great place to launch and as you say it’s a great place to test the product but from there you need to start focusing on either building your ecommerce store or creating some sales funnels or both would be best.
[00:21:34] Scott: Both would be great but you got to start somewhere. You’ve been like this whole space since 2008 so you know that you start with looking at affiliate marketing and stuff. Affiliate marketing, for anyone that doesn’t know, it’s like you’re selling other people’s products. Well, you’re also a lot of times you’re building content around that market to get people to be educated before they make their purchase and hopefully purchase through your link.
That’s basically what it is in a nutshell. You’re going to do the same thing with your own products. It’s just that’s been happening for years and I don’t think that’s going anywhere. Content is always going to be there but Amazon is a great place to start because there’s 250 plus million credit cards on file and people are buying there every day, it’s trusted but it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing.
The people that come to me and they’re like, “Scott I want to leave my job, I want to just launch on Amazon.” I’m like, “You got to think a little bit further than that. If you have a run way that you can get away with then fine but in the same breath you got to be thinking about plan B just in case the rug gets pulled out from under you.” At this point let’s dive into kind of okay you’ve picked the product you went through the product research stage, how long did you spend picking a product for you got kicked in the butt?
[00:22:46] Bobby: I spent too long. I was looking for probably about a month and a half before I placed my order and then the problem was then you wait a few weeks to get your order. I ended up in about two months before I actually launched.
[00:23:04] Scott: That’s normal. A lot of people are doing that and anyone listening that’s normal if that’s you but it’s that risk thing, that fear of what if it doesn’t happen, what if it doesn’t work. You did get to that point, now as you get to that point maybe take us through the process that you took to actually launch product one.
[00:23:27] Bobby: Sure, then when it came to launching I first intended on giving away almost all of my product. I’d ordered 500 units and I thought let me just give it all away and really get out there in front of the competition. I realized that that wasn’t really necessary to get going, I gave away around 75 units or so and I first used a review club on Facebook and that was my only experience with that.
I started off there and also did friends and family and started giving away some products around there and just launched that way. I keyword optimized my listing and everything and got my photos up there and everything that you need to do to really just get up and selling and went from there and started taking sales pretty quickly.
[00:24:20] Scott: Did you spread those out over time or just gave all 75 away?
[00:24:25] Bobby: Well when I went to the review club that ended up spreading them out. I wanted to just give them away right but it ended up being every day I’d give away three or four or so which benefited me and I’m glad that it happened that way instead of how I wanted it to. Instead of spiking the algorithm quickly and then fizzling out.
[00:24:52] Scott: What about from there pay-per-click, did you turn that on immediately, did you wait? Are you using that currently?
[00:24:58] Bobby: Pay-per-click I waited for about a week and a half, two weeks until I started getting some reviews. Now I just turn it on right away to validate products and make sure that Amazon is seeing in your listing what you want them to see. Also pulling some new keywords that you might not identify from whatever method you’re using to do your keyword research whether it’s Merchant Words or Google keyword tool. I turn on right away now and that’s been a huge focus is PPC and sponsored ads, really just being aggressive with it but then dialing it back in. That’s my approach. I bring my budget way up and start gathering sales all over and then optimize from there. That’s really, really so important once you launch and once you start taking some sales to really, really optimize your PPC.
[00:25:59] Scott: What’s your current way of launching a pay-per-click? Is it just an auto campaign? Do you do a few that you might pull some from your competitors and use them? Do you have some that you just get a hand fold? Do you use Merchant Words? What’s your initial let’s get this thing started strategy?
[00:26:17] Bobby: I start with auto only and I pull some data from that I keep my bid high and then I’ll launch a second auto while that’s going on with a much lower bid and then end the first auto, the higher bid one. From there then I’ll take that data and then I’ll really do some more keyword research with that. Then I’ll pull everything that I’ve done for the listing optimization and then this new data and I’ll start putting that into manual campaigns and then from that I’ll bring them into phrase and exact matches.
[00:26:56] Scott: Okay, that’s quite a process. Going through the auto, you said high. What’s high like for you? Some people it’s a dollar, some people its $10.
[00:27:04] Bobby: Right, I’ll be up around $4, $5 or so.
[00:27:08] Scott: Okay, and that’s on the auto, and that’s just really to let Amazon give you as much as they can at that price. Down the low one, I’m assuming you’re doing that to see what’s the low hanging fruit, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get impressions?
[00:27:21] Bobby: Yeah, both that and then that’s also going to be my long term auto that I’m going to continue to run throughout the life of the product.
[00:27:27] Scott: Okay, and what’s the bid on that, that you’re generally running at a lower bid?
[00:27:31] Bobby: I’ll start at around $1.25 maybe $1.50 depending on the market and then drop it down to $1 or $0.75, so once I start running those manual campaigns.
[00:27:41] Scott: Got you.
[00:27:41] Bobby: And capturing all the converting words from the auto campaign in those manual campaigns.
[00:27:48] Scott: So now do you take those keywords that are converted? Do you have like a metric that you say, you know what? I’m only going to pull the once that have converted at least five sales because we all know you can get one sale from one keyword and then you don’t get another one because it was just a fluke or whatever. Is there anything that you do there? Do you just pull all the converting keywords and then bring them into their own phrase match campaign?
[00:28:10] Bobby: I look at all the converting ones and then I’ll sort by relevancy. If I have something that is completely unrelated, if it’s a garlic press is the product and the search term is 1987 Chevy engine hen I’ll sort that one out even if that got two sales or three sales or something, more than that once off, then I might take that out or if it’s somewhat relevant I might leave it in there and just bring the bid down a little bit lower, and keep that in a different ad set.
[00:28:48] Scott: I got you okay, cool. Then do you keep your budget on your entire campaign like at a certain point so you can’t go over that or do you find that that sometimes can restrict as far as what Amazon is willing to give you? Do you follow me? Like if your main campaign got…? If you say, “Entire account I’m only willing to spend $200 for the day,” but each campaign you’re saying I’ll spend $50 a day on each campaign.
[00:29:11] Bobby: Right. That’s a really good idea to have a cap on there but I don’t use it. I did use in the beginning and I took it off and I really just started looking at the campaign level and figured let’s just see what happens if I ever go and spend three times the amount that I wanted to that day, then I’ll start bringing in the cap but I’ve had a lot of success so far and haven’t had any issues with it.
[00:29:38] Scott: Okay. I’m just wondering, myself I’ve played around with that. Where if I put a cap on it, is that going to limit Amazon from giving me traffic because they’re saying like he’s only willing to spend this much. You know what I mean?
[00:29:51] Bobby: Right, right yeah.
[00:29:51] Scott: So you have these theories that you’re not 100% sure unless you actually do some side by side comparisons but I didn’t know if you had any tests with that but pay-per-click is a big thing for a lot of people just trying to understand and wrap their heads around it. That’s why I think that starting at a baseline and getting that data. How long do you use it when on your auto to start pulling that data?
[00:30:10] Bobby: I’ll give it a week or so.
[00:30:12] Scott: That’s about what I do. About 7 to 10 days something like that until you get start getting some data. What if you turn an auto on and you don’t really see you’re getting any impressions?
[00:30:21] Bobby: If that happens then I’ve got to go back to my listing and make sure that it’s really keyword optimized and see where the issue might be? Am I leaving out some very important term that is not showing for something like that or is there another issue. One do I have the Buy Box. I ran into an issue with two new products that I launched a few months ago, where I lost the Buy Box. I tried this approach which was very effective except it lost me the Buy Box ultimately where I just started with a very, very low price just to really start spiking some normal sales instead of just giveaways out of the gate and then started bringing it up from there over the course of just a week maybe ten days and came to the normal price that I wanted to be selling at. It got me a lot of sales, it got me rankings.
However, I lost a Buy Box because Amazon now takes into account your selling price and I don’t know if it has to do with the competition in the market and is it out of the range of what the normal selling price is with that type of product and its search results or is it something to do with your product? Either your sale price or your MSRP Price something like that. Whatever it was it seems that was causing the issue and then all of a sudden I wasn’t able to spend.
[00:31:48] Scott: No kidding, interesting.
[00:31:48] Bobby: Yeah so it took me a while. I’d have to slowly raise the price and then bring it back down to get the Buy Box back and go from there. I got to a point where it normalized but it created some big issues for a while. Sometimes an issue like that can arise.
[00:32:05] Scott: Yeah, there is no planning as far as what can happen. I’ve gotten so many people including myself, I’ve had issues where it’s like all of a sudden something just happens and then you have to deal with it. Whether that’s a listing being suppressed or whatever, under review, for whatever reason. Again, going back to we just can’t plan on Amazon we have to think about pother channels because we don’t want that to be the only channel. Now you’re up and running and you’re doing pretty well right out of the gate. Was there anything that you could look back at and say I wish I did this differently?
[00:32:41] Bobby: I wish that I organized my pay-per-click campaigns a little better. They became a mess. I was just testing and testing and testing, and I wish that I had a process in place a little bit more when I started launching them. That’s really the only big regret that I have because even to this day, I still have all these old campaigns running and I try to sort by different products now. For my first product I didn’t even have consistency in what I was calling the campaign. So I’ve got to search like four different words to sort and I’m still dealing with that. I don’t want to end those campaigns because they’ve history to them, which I believe Amazon takes into account when showing ads for certain search terms.
[00:33:28] Scott: Yeah I agree. I have an auto campaign that’s been running probably almost since I started which is almost two years now. Now in there I just like go because the ACOS is decent and I’m getting a ton of great data, and I don’t really touch it. It’s just like I leave it. It’s just trucking along but I agree with that. It’s like once it start getting some roots then you don’t really want to mess with it too much even though you may want to go in and organize it differently now than what you’ve been doing. Maybe give our listeners a little tip maybe on how you’ve now since started organizing things so you can manage them a little easier?
[00:34:04] Bobby: Yeah sure so now I try to keep each products campaigns to a minimum so I’ll have the two autos that I run off the bat and then also a manual. In that manual I’ll have a bunch of different ad sets. I try to really, really keep it to a minimum now and then I might add one more campaign for testing or anything like that. I do that and I want to make sure that there is at least one consistent word in all the campaigns. It seems so simple right? They campaign your product but I just wasn’t thinking when I was doing and I would put in generic terms and be like, “This is only going to be this keyword so I’m just going to name it that keyword.” And it’s not the product name or whatever so…
[00:34:51] Scott: Yeah I agree. It’s funny how sometimes just a little indicator can be on there so you can search it and then you can see all of your campaigns line up nice and easy and you can see what they’re doing. Let me ask you quickly and while we’re still on the pay-per-click thing. Okay so once you find some keywords that are forming pretty well do you pull them and you exclusively put them into a phrase match or do you wait and put them in a broad and then see what it does on its own and then bring it into a phrase?
[00:35:19] Bobby: I’ll do it all at once. I just throw it all in there and I’ll adjust the bids actually, and tear the bids so I can see what’s going on there. Instead of waiting and going through that process. I like to just get it all out there right from the get go and I can adjust them as I go along.
[00:35:40] Scott: I agree. Awesome, at this point now you’re up and running, you’re doing well, you’re doing up over $50k a month now in revenue. How many products are you currently listing right now?
[00:35:53] Bobby: We’ve got five products and 15 SKUs. One of those products we’re actually phasing out. One producat I’ve been phasin out for about a month and a half or so. Just dropped the PPC on it for the most part and dropped the price a little bit. It ended up being a product that was… It was the same product as the first product that we launched but it’s a different style and it did well for a while. It did great through quarter four and now it just tapering off, and I’m realizing the functionality of it although it’s something that was new to the market and I thought was necessary is not really performing the way that it should. I’ve just decided that I need to free up the capital that I have in on that product in stocking that, and I’m going to transition that into new products that have a higher upside and that’s something that I may have not done if I was still working at my fulltime job which I left in just little over a month ago.
[00:37:00] Scott: Congratulations on that.
[00:37:00] Bobby: Thank you, thank you. That’s something that I think people need to be really aware of when they’re considering leaving their job because a lot of people that are starting businesses and starting with Amazon have that intention of replacing their income and leaving their jobs. You have to realize and plan for the shift in your approach to investing that you’re going to run into. When you’re paying yourself a salary you can’t invest as aggressively as you were and if I was still working I might just leave this product going and I will make the little bit of profit that I make on it but now I see it as, “Why am I going to invest in a 1000, 1500 units of this when I can invest in something that I can make two, three times as much on?”
[00:37:45] Scott: Yeah, no I agree. That brings up a really good point because I actually just got an email the other day from a listener asking on some tips like on how to liquidate, like how do they liquidate a product that was doing well but isn’t doing so well. That’s kind of what you’re talking about right now. It was doing okay but now for whatever reason it could be others came into the market with a similar product or maybe you didn’t differentiate it as much as you would have differentiate it now. Those type of things and how they would get rid of it. How would you recommend doing that? Just lower the price and just let it take its own course, would you put it up on eBay? Like how would you get rid of those products?
[00:38:23] Bobby: Right, throwing it up on eBay is always an option. You can always do a lot buy or something like that. You can also just strap your price and leave your pay-per-click going and hopefully sell out nice and quickly there. There is also the option now of using lightening deals.
[00:38:39] Scott: Yes.
[00:38:39] Bobby: Man they’re good. That was a big part of a lot of people’s success on prime day. Even though I actually didn’t have any going on prime day and we still did really, really well. There’s that option and then what I really like is this other option of going off of Amazon and using that product as a lead magnet and trying to test some funnel. I’ve been using the product for that and doing a free + shipping offer.
[00:39:14] Scott: I love that.
[00:39:15] Bobby: Yeah, and then turning that into an upsell with one of our related products. That’s been something that I’ve been testing a lot and I’ve been trying to really do a lot of testing off of Amazon and building the brand off of Amazon.
[00:39:30] Scott: What are you doing? Are you driving traffic through Facebook ads?
[00:39:32] Bobby: Yeah, driving traffic through Facebook ads primarily going to be getting into YouTube ads as well. That’s something that has a lot of up sight to it right now as well. I think that if you want to get creative with it, see it as an opportunity to really create a new sales channel and learn something off of Amazon. That’s what I really like it for, that’s why we dropped our pay-per-click in addition to our price. We’re still taking sales but now we’re clearing out. We’re liquidating on Amazon site a little bit her and there but we’re also using it to our advantage in a new way.
[00:40:11] Scott: I like that because even though, if you might give that product away for almost free and let’s say it cost you four or five bucks, well you’re paying four or five bucks to acquire a customer at that point. From that customer if you have an immediate upsell or bump as they call it, with another related product of yours you’re going to make that money back and you’re going to have a paying customer and you’re going to have their email address. There’s so many benefits to that. It’s funny I’ve got a product that’s something very similar to that where I bought a bunch of units and after the fact we ran into some snugs with selling it through Amazon.
Now that is going to be probably either a free plus shipping or it’s going to be something where we add that on the back end to an upsell. There’s things you can do, it’s just people think all of a sudden it’s not selling on Amazon or the sales are dwindled, now I’m doomed, now what do I do? There is ways you can do that to use them to your advantage not just a disadvantage. I love that strategy by the way Bobby. Let’s wrap this up by maybe giving people that are just starting from scratch, maybe like one of the big things that you think that they should do in order to get started and really start on the right foot.
[00:41:29] Bobby: Right, yeah. The biggest things are just make sure you have that mindset shift. If this is something you really want to do, then make it your top priority, at least for some period of time until you can get things up and running. I can’t say enough about that because if you just say, “Hey, I think I’ll get into this Amazon business plan or this business model,’ then you might do it, you might not, you might have some success. If you say, “I am going to do this and I’m going to learn how I’m going to be successful then you’re going to take those steps and you’re really going to at least get a product to market and most likely you’re going to be successful.
If you’re having issues doing that, then I highly suggest bringing in someone to hold you accountable. Whether it’s your spouse or your good friend or anybody, that that’s something that will help you immensely and just go from there. If you know anyone who’s been selling on Amazon and can help you that is really your best bet because they can motivate you through it and they can guide you through it as well.
[00:42:46] Scott: They understand. It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t understand what you’re trying to do and then to help motivate you. I’ve always told people… I’m sure people are part of a Facebook group. I have a Facebook group for the podcast, The Amazing Seller podcast has their own over 30,000 people currently in that group. Go there and just find people that you’re like in a way that you have the same interest and stuff. If you can’t find someone there I don’t know where you’re going to find someone. Then just pull those people over into a little maybe hangout that you do once a month or maybe just a slack group or something where you can communicate on a regular basis to hold each other accountable. That’s so critical. I really do Bobby.
[00:43:24] Bobby: Yeah, yeah. I can’t say enough for it.
[00:43:27] Scott: Yeah, no I agree. The other last one thing I want to ask you is, and I get this question a lot too, “Scott is it still an opportunity to sell on Amazon or do you think maybe it’s all over with now? It’s a not going to work anymore and people shouldn’t start selling on Amazon.” What’s your thought on that to someone who might ask you that question?
[00:43:46] Bobby: You can certainly still sell on Amazon. If there are people who have been selling on Amazon and they’re launching products and having success with it today then someone can jump on there for the first time and then launch a product and have success. The amount of customers that Amazon keeps adding is humongous and there are more sellers coming on there and as I was saying that markets close off a little bit on Amazon, a little more quickly nowadays. There is a little bit more competition possibly but yes there is so much room to get on there and make that just your launch pad and then focus on ecommerce off of Amazon, and you will have success if you just keep at it and don’t get discouraged.
[00:44:33] Scott: I love it, I love it. Hi, Bobby I want to thank you so much for coming on. I know that you will probably get a lot of questions. We’re going to link this up in the show notes and all of that. If anybody wants to get in touch with you directly, how would they go about doing that?
[00:44:48] Bobby: They can jump over to milliondollardrive.com, I do some coaching and consulting over there if anyone wants to work with me. Just drop there and drop your information in there and I will get in touch with you shortly after.
[00:45:02] Scott: Okay, great. That sounds awesome. I just want to say thanks again Bobby for reaching out and sharing your story. Hey who knows, maybe one of this days we’ll have to have a guitar like shoot out or something. We’ll have to do something like that.
[00:45:16] Bobby: I am so into it.
[00:45:16] Scott: All right Bobby have an awesome day man. I appreciate it and I’m sure we’ll be talking soon.
[00:45:23] Bobby: All right Scott thanks you too.
[00:45:25] Scott: All right, so there you go. Another great interview, I love talking to people with the mindset thing. It really does resonate with me because I know just going all the way back through all of the different things that I’ve done through my journey. If you guys have not heard that episode, I would say, probably go back and listen to that one too. That was episode 125, theamazingseller.com/125. Listen to that you’ll hear about my entire journey all the way back when I was 19 years old until now which I just turned 44. You might want to listen to that if you want to hear the different obstacles that I might have faced but also just the different paths that came from doing something because we can start a business or we can start whatever it is.
Maybe we’re going to meet new people but we don’t know how to meet new people but you got to get yourself involved right? If you don’t get yourself involved you’re not going to be able to meet people. If you want to play sports and you want to be really great at sports you got to play the sport. The same thing with business. If you want to be successful in business you have to actually get into the game. That means sometimes feeling nervous or feeling scared or understanding a business model and then saying, “You know what, that business model is not right for me.”
If you listen to the podcast or if you listen to our workshop that we do or if you attend that or anything, if you guys are brand new and you’re hearing this thing about how to start a business using Amazon platform and then building an ecommerce site or whatever, understand that I want to relay this information to you so you can see what it does take. It’s not a get rich quick thing. It’s not. If anybody is telling you it is I’m here to tell you that that’s not true. At least I’ve not found that secret portion or that formula. I don’t believe there is one. If there is someone telling you that I wouldn’t believe him. Anyway, I’m here to tell you that it takes hard work, commitment, creating a plan. When you do that it will start to open doors for opportunities that wouldn’t have been there if you didn’t actually get started.
[00:47:25] Scott: We always talk about #juststart or #takeaction. That’s because if we don’t start, well we won’t get any results. We don’t get any results we will never know what could have happened. We have to get started. You guys know I can probably rant on this topic forever, which I will continue to do just not here today on this show. I did want to remind you if you wanted to head over and check all of the show notes, the transcripts learn more about Bobby, head over to the show notes page for this episode. That is theamazingseller.com/243, again that’s theamazingseller.com/243.
All right guys so that’s it. That’s going to wrap up this episode, hope you got a ton of value from it. I hope you changed your mindset maybe a little bit or maybe it got you through that little bit of road block but hopefully it’s been some help to you and you can keep pushing forward or as we say #presson. That’s it, that’s going to wrap it up. Remember I’m here for you I believe in you, I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, say it with some authority, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode. #just start.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/125 – Scott’s personal business story
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/125 – Scott’s journey
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/FB – The TAS Facebook group
- Ryan Moran Interview on Smart Passive Income
- Ryan Moran 10 day challenge
- Startup Bros
- Google Trends
- Amazon Lightning Deals
- Facebook Ads
- Youtube Ads
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