Success stories are great! But it’s also helpful to hear about the challenges that come with the success. Challenges are something everyone can relate to. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you will hear from one of your fellow TAS followers, Jarret Colton. You might remember him from TAS episode 252. Jarret has experienced recent success and challenges with his private label business. Scott and Jarret discuss inventory problems, building a brand, building an email list, and so much more! This is a great episode with practical applications that you can learn from to improve your business approach, you don’t want to miss it.
Dealing with inventory problems
The two biggest problems an Amazon seller fears are having a product that doesn’t sell and having a product that sells but running out of inventory. Have you thought through how to deal with these scenarios? Do you have a plan for liquidating your product if it doesn’t sell like you expect it to? What about a product that takes off and you run of out of inventory, what is your plan? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott talks with someone who has gone through one of these challenges. Jarret Colton has seen a good amount of success with his business over the last year but recently ran out of stock for some of his best selling products. Scott and Jarret discuss this issue and some steps you can take to prevent it.
Are you creating a product or building a brand?
It can be easy to get so caught up in finding a product that performs well on Amazon and then focusing on the next best seller that you lose sight of the big picture. Building a brand. The best way to create long lasting and sustainable success is to break into a niche market and start building a brand around those products. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott talks to Jarret Colton. Jarret is following through with this methodology and is building a great brand around a very specific market. If you want to learn more about the success of focusing on brand building over chasing the next successful product, make sure to catch this episode!
Building an email list
One of the most important things you can do to start setting your business up for success and move away from just relying on Amazon sales is to build an email list. Jarret Colton learned this lesson after he attended a recent TAS event in Arizona. Jarret has a growing and successful private label business that he wants to take to the next level. He put all the pieces in place using the giveaway resource “King Sumo.” Before long he started to get people signing up for his giveaway – that soon translated to likes on the Facebook page he set up. Jarret was impressed with how great this strategy paid off. So what is holding you back? Are you ready to get started and take the steps necessary to build your email list? If you are, make sure to listen to this episode and also check out the email list building resource at the end of this post!
Keep Looking Forward and Take Action!
Are you struggling to find success with your business? Have you put the time and energy in only to see little or no results? Stay with it. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott has Jarret Colton give an update on his progress with selling on Amazon. Jarret has been an avid participant in the TAS community and attributes his success to following Scott’s advice. He wants business leaders like you to know that it gets better the more you press on. Jarret’s mantra through all the ups and downs of building his business has been, “Keep looking forward and TAKE ACTION.” That should sound familiar. Jarret also highly recommends getting involved with the in person TAS meetups and events as much as possible. He says that has been a HUGE factor in the success he has experienced.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [4:30] 1k Fast Track update.
- [6:30] Scott welcome Jarret Colton to the podcast.
- [7:20] Jarret shares how his business is progressing.
- [12:30] Dealing with product inventory and delays.
- [16:20] Jarret talks about selling a product that he was really nervous about.
- [19:40] What was the process like for Jarret getting this product ready?
- [29:30] What is Jarret’s biggest problem right now?
- [39:40] Jarret talks about a celebrity that was using one of his products.
- [42:30] What is Jarret’s current status with his business?
- [47:40] Has Jarret thought about expanding to the digital market?
- [49:45] Parting thoughts from Jarret.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 335
TAS 335: (Student Update) The Challenges and Growing Pains after $100k Month on Amazon
[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 335. Today I am excited, I’m actually beyond excited because…
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…I have a special past guest coming on the show today. He’s actually someone that’s in our private label classroom, he’s also someone that’s been at two of our live events and we’re going to be hearing about what’s been going on since selling.
You guys may remember me having him on a past show which was actually episode 259, his name is Jarret Colton and he’s just a great guy. He was starting from literally scratch, from nothing and I remember in Denver when we were there, I believe it was in April. I can’t even keep my times straight here but I think it was in April in Denver and we had an event there called TAS Breakthrough Live and he attended.
He was also in our class at that time but he was a little overwhelmed, a little confused, didn’t know really where to go from there. He had all the pieces just didn’t know how to put them all together. He didn’t have the read map, if you will. After attending there, meeting people there at the event, some of them were inside the class as well and he was able to take that and start growing it and start launching products, a bunch of products not just one product.
He talks all about that on episode 259. He talks about how he went from zero to $20,000 a month then from there he went on to do $40,000 a month and he went on from there to do over $100,000 a month in fourth quarter and then he started feeling some of these challenges, these growing pains. Some of us would be saying, what kind of growing pains could there be? You’re doing that kind of revenue, I wish I had those problems and you’re right.
We always say to ourselves like, “If I can just get to 10 sales a day I would be so excited, that would be awesome.” You’re right it would be but then you’re raising the bar up a little bit and then there’s other challenges that come in.
[00:02:03] Scott: Now all of a sudden you got more SKUs to manage, you’ve got more inventory to keep in stock and all of those things and you might have been able to go through fourth quarter and go, “Holy crap, what just happened? Our sales went through the roof.” which his did.
He was at $40,000 in revenue and he was totally happy with that. He was just jacked up and he kept emailing me and saying, “Scott I can’t believe this, this is awesome.” And then it just started taking off and he was doing over, it was just over $100,000 in December, I believe it was. Even in November he was starting to really climb but then what happened is January came and his sales started to drop and February they started to drop.
Right now he’s rated about $40,000, $45,000 in revenue, so he went from $100,000 back down but again we can get spoiled a little bit when we start to have those numbers because you all of a sudden expect that to happen all the time. Fourth quarter is a whole other animal and you guys probably know that and if you don’t you’re brand new. Fourth quarter is the busiest time of the year for most markets, it’s just about every market.
The sales volume is just going to be higher but the other problem is he started running out of inventory in some of his top sellers. If he had his top sellers in stock right now his numbers would probably be up even higher maybe $60,000, so it wouldn’t be as bad but there’s a lot of different challenges along the way. I wanted to have Jarret back on because I wanted to dig into some of these growing pains. He was actually at our recent live event in Arizona and that was really for him to figure out how to take your products and services or whatever you’re selling and start to get outside traffic.
That’s something he’s currently still working on and we talked a great deal about that on this episode but we also talked about all of the challenges and growing pains along the way.
[00:03:59] Scott: I wanted to take you on this little journey with me and with him so you can see exactly what it’s like and then also prepare for these things in the future. I’m really excited this conversation that I had with my good friend Jarret. I think you’re going to get a ton of value from this.
The show notes to this episode you’re probably going to want to check those out because we will have everything transcribed for you, any links that we have will be there as well and that’s theamazingseller.com/335. You can grab all the show notes there, past episode that he was on and all of that good stuff. Before we do jump into today’s episode, I did want to give you guys a little bit of an announcement.
I know a lot of people right now either are new listeners or maybe have been listening for 12 months or 18 months and you still have not gotten started. I know this because we opened up a beta group called the 1K Fast Track and it’s really designed to get people started. I have people in that class right now that before they joined that class they said, “Scott I’ve been listening for 12 months, I’m just nervous. I just don’t want to pull the trigger on a private label product right now but I want to get started.
I want to start selling on Amazon or I want to start selling online in some way,” and that’s where we created the 1K Fast Track and we’re about to open that up right now to another small group. We’re going to keep it closed again after we fill just about 100 spots. We’re going to keep it really, really small. We had it 50 spots before just to test it out and make sure that everything was being taught correctly but then also we can improvements and all that stuff. We’re going to be opening that up and that is going to be opening very, very soon.
If you want to get notified when that does open and maybe grab a spot, you can head over to 1kfasttrack.com, all the details will be over there and you can get on the notification list. If you go over there after March or whatever time of the year it is it may or may not be opened. We are going to be opening it and then closing it because once we fill those spots we will be closing it and then teaching it and then after the five or six weeks we will then be reopening it again.
[00:06:00] Scott: Definitely go check that out if you’re new or if you’re just in that state of ‘I don’t know where to start because I’m nervous, I’m scared, I don’t want to private label maybe right now. I want to start off by just finding products and flipping them and going down that road.’ That is what the 1K Fast Track is created and designed for. So definitely go check that out. I’m going to stop talking so you guys can enjoy this awesome, amazing interview that I did with my good friend Jarret. Sit back, relax, enjoy and learn and get out there and take action.
[00:06:34] Scott: Well hey Jarret, thank you so much for coming back on the show. How are you doing man?
[00:06:37] Jarret: I’m great Scott, how are you?
[00:06:38] Scott: I am doing well now that we finally got a time here together so we can finally match up. I know that we’ve been playing a little bit of phone tag back and forth. We finally got you back on the show so I’m excited to have you back on. I want to dig into the aftermath of this fourth quarter for you. It’s been a couple of months now since fourth quarter. Actually it’s been three now, well three and a half I guess. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about what’s been going on since fourth quarter? If you can wrap it up quickly and then we can dig into some different things.
[00:07:13] Jarret: Yeah. Let me spend seconds on the lead up. We launched in June and we had a really nice build right from the start. We got to June, July, August, September was… October nice increases and then all of a sudden November came and we 3X-ed it. Then December came and we virtually doubled it again. Fourth quarter was, I felt like we were walking on water a little bit. It was a little too good to be true and then came January when somebody basically shut the tap off.
We did about $120,000 in December. We ended January about $45,000. That is unbelievable and I would have never ever thought that that’s what we were going to be doing six months ago but after December and after November it was a little deflating. February was also not great, I think we ended a little bit around $40,000 in February. Again, amazing and I feel so silly saying that I’m disappointed.
Honestly, if someone told me you’re going to do $40,000 in February of next year I would have did a dance. I need to keep everything in perspective but it’s been amazing.
[00:08:44] Scott: I want to go back quick to episode 252, that’s the one I had you on. The title of that episode, for anyone that wants to go back and listen, was how Jarret went from confused to $20,000 in sales on Amazon. Basically what we meant by that was is you came to our Denver event in… Was that 2015 or ’16?
[00:09:05] Jarret: I think it was April of ’16.
[00:09:07] Scott: It was April, okay. I can’t keep track of these dates. At that point in time you were just… You had everything dialed, you thought and then you went there a little bit confused and then you got everything sorted out and then you went off to launch. You launched, you were doing up to $20,000 in sales. You were blown away. I remember you emailing me like, “This is crazy, this is awesome,” and now you’re complaining because you make $40,000.
[00:09:36] Jarret: I’m not going to say I’m complaining….
[00:09:35] Scott: I know, I’m just playing. I’m just bursting on… I think people need to understand too it’s like whenever you get to a certain point there’s always more especially once you’ve had that crazy fourth quarter round. If you didn’t have fourth quarter you would just be thinking I went $20,000 I went $30,000, I went to $40,000. Now I’m staying at $40,000 for a little while I get it. Now I want to try to get to $50,000.
You went from $20,000 maybe $30,000, 40-ish and then you all of a sudden jumped to $100,000 plus thousand and then you’re like what is going on here? This is insane. Afterwards in January it went backwards. I think that that’s normal for a lot of people depending on the items that you’re selling but I think right now too, just to let people know, one of your issues is why your numbers are down. It’s you’re out of some of your top selling SKUs, right?
[00:10:29] Jarret: Yeah. That’s my fault. Basically what ended up happening was… Of course we had no idea what we were doing, no idea how to plan for what was about to happen. I went into the fourth quarter basically telling my wife that we weren’t going to have a problem because we had too much inventory. Then mid-December came, this is interesting. I remember the day where all of a sudden December 13th my sales started going backwards. That was our peak.
I remember I couldn’t figure out what was going on and legitimately… We have a lot of SKUs because we have parents and we’ve lots of children underneath it so there’s a lot of SKUs. Basically from December 13th it went straight down and I could not figure it out until actually Shawn who I met out in Denver said to me, “How are you doing with your stock outs?” I was like, “Ha!” And I took a look and sure enough on that day I was able to see that we progressively went out of stock.
When I say we have a lot of SKUs we have about 100, so it’s not that easy to track them all. We literally went out of stock then. We got a reorder in January and we’re out again. We’re out of the top 18 items, so that is not good. Again, talking about the struggles this is like good problems to have.
[00:11:54] Scott: It is. It’s like we were talking a little bit before we got on here, every stage of business there’s a new challenge ahead. It’s just one of those things. I said to you, I said, at least you’re not saying to me, ‘Scott how do I get more sales because I’m struggling to move product?’ You’re moving product you just don’t have the product in stock to move all of the product. You still have product in and you’re still doing $40,000 with the inventory that you have but that is an issue.
I was talking to you as well about how long it’s generally taking you and you were telling me it’s taking sometimes close to five, six months from the time you get it because now you’re doing sea shipping and all that stuff. One thing that we mentioned and maybe you can talk a little bit about this is maybe in the future you split that up and maybe you do a partial air even though you’re going to spend a little bit more money and then have the rest come by boat. Is that something that you’re considering doing?
[00:12:50] Jarret: Yeah. It’s actually kind of funny because at the end of the year I sat with my accountant and I look at the numbers and I try to track everything. It’s pretty dizzying to keep track of everything but I sat with my accountant and he looks at me and he said, “You have got to stop airing product.” We had been doing some split shipments. We had been airing a couple of times before Thanksgiving we were desperate we FedEx-ed 50 boxes which wasn’t fun but other than that our freight forwarder does take care of that but we will split ship some things.
About a month ago when the factory said this product, five, six weeks, the factory said, everything is ready. I initially told them to split it up. I knew I was going to be out of stock and then I just heard my accountant in the back of my head saying, “Stop airing.” I made the terrible mistake of listening to him and now I’m out of stock.
I need to be more disciplined. I think I need to take this pain right now to be more disciplined in my ordering because honestly the margins are not tremendous. It’d cost me about a dollar extra to get it here by air, so that’s a lot of money.
[00:14:09] Scott: It is but it’s also a lot of money you’re not selling any product right now, right?
[00:14:15] Jarret: Yes.
[00:14:17] Scott: Tell your accountant that I need to talk to him.
[00:14:19] Jarret: Maybe I need a new accountant who understands this business.
[00:14:23] Scott: If he understood this business he’d be like, “Jarret you got to get some product in there because you’re losing velocity, you’re losing rankings right now,” and not that you can’t get it back in because when you ran out you’re probably doing well. I get that but right now every day you don’t have stock in you are technically losing money. Whether you could make $10 or $9 I’d rather make the nine.
[00:14:46] Jarret: By the way, just to tell you, I’m not just losing money I’m losing my moguls. I question it, is it the inventory or is it me? Is it the product? It’s not good for my mental health.
[00:15:02] Scott: That’s a lot of SKUs number one, like you said. How many parent SKUs would you say you have? I don’t want people to think you have all these individuals as far as individual products. They add up when you do different either colors or sizes or any of that stuff like we all know. If you’re selling anything that comes in those different variations they can add up in a hurry.
You could have 10 different variations of colors if you were selling some, a garlic press with 10 different style colors, you could have those. What’s it look like? How many parent items do you have currently right now?
[00:15:35] Jarret: We started with six parents. In November we added another six. Today we have 12. Then there are multiple SKUs underneath each one. We also have one unique SKU that doesn’t have any children which we were talking about earlier which is our more expensive item.
[00:15:59] Scott: Was that the one that you were telling me too that you were a little nervous when you got it and you were like, “Oh my gosh am I ever going to move this?” Was that the one or was that something else?
[00:16:07] Jarret: That was it.
[00:16:08] Scott: Tell me about that, tell everyone listen about that because I think it’s interesting for you to be sitting there going like, “What did I do?” I can just see you right now with your hands in your face in your garage going like, what the heck did you do? What did you do?
[00:16:19] Jarret: My wife is the one that really tries to… She’s the one running all this and about… I guess it’s almost a year ago I said, what about this? I see this in stores, it looks interesting there’s not that many on Amazon. She said, “Okay, it is an extension of what we’re doing. It also weighs eight times the price and that was something and probably many times heavier.” We started developing this product, we found a factory, we developed it, it was a massive struggle. We probably took six months launching it.
We needed to pass some regulations for lead and some other things, we failed not in the lead but on some other things. So it took us another two months to fix that. It was not fun and then the stuff shows up in my garage. 300 units equaled about seven pallets of product. When that truck was unloading and one by one I don’t think I had an appreciation for what it was going to be and how much it was going to be. When they unloaded that I literally I was so angry because at that point there was a lot more competition and I couldn’t even move the stuff around.
Each item was well over 10 pounds. It was a struggle to move the stuff around, I had no room in my garage. I couldn’t sort it, it was a disaster. In any case, I told my wife, “That’s it. You’re not ordering this again, I can’t deal with this.” Then we ended up getting the product into Amazon and the way we had to split it I think it was seven… I think each pallet had to basically go to… Maybe one had two.
[00:18:05] Jarret: Roughly each pallet went to its own Amazon warehouse and it was staggered. It really took a long time to get into the different warehouses. As each one got into the warehouse we sold out within 24 hours. I have to tell you that this is a brand new item, we had zero reviews. We had nothing but a very, in my opinion, an optimized listing. We had great photography, I follow everything that you preach, and literally they blew out within 24 hours.
We sold those 300 units in roughly, they weren’t consecutive because it took a little time to get them in their warehouses, in about five days we sold out and we’re talking about $100 items. It was…
[00:18:56] Scott: What month was that in Jarret?
[00:18:57] Jarret: That was December.
[00:18:58] Scott: That was in December fourth quarter again. Let me ask you this, let me dig into this a little bit because I want to unpack exactly what happened here. We can probably have you on a whole another episode to talk about that whole back and forth, getting things tested, dealing with the manufacturers and all that because I think that’ll be an interesting topic but we don’t have time today for that.
What I want to do, I want to dig into what you actually did while you were waiting for that stuff to come. Did you build out your listing? Did you load it with bullets? Did you basically get it optimized before you were in stock? Take me through the process to get everything ready so when you had the product you were able to send it in and then immediately start getting sales. Just lead me up to that point.
[00:19:41] Jarret: Months before the product arrived here we had been working on the photography. When we do photography we do photography. We have multiple people on set, we have very… We have a photographer that really knows what he’s doing. He could do lifestyle shots, he could do stills, he could do lots of different things. We spend a lot of money on images. We did that and what we also did was we mixed, in the images we mixed in our other products. We almost used our other products as props in the back of the photography with the images. We did that.
We did tons and tons of keyword analysis and research and following everything that we always talk about. By the time those items got to Amazon the listings were completely done, probably a month before they got to Amazon.
[00:20:51] Scott: And you had competition.
[00:20:54] Jarret: That’s the thing that really… That’s I think what gave me the negative taste as I’m logging these things around my garage was that when we had decided to pull the trigger I think there was one other item and it was very… I don’t even know if I knew about Jungle Scout back then. I just saw they had a lot of reviews and it looked like it was doing pretty well and it was a larger company selling it so I felt like yeah, let’s try. We did not just do only two products. We customized it quite a bit, so it works with our brand but…
[00:21:36] Scott: Where did you get the ideas to customize? I’m interested in that.
[00:21:39] Jarret: Where do you think? Exactly what you said.
[00:21:43] Scott: I didn’t even set you up for that. I didn’t even set you up. I was literally asking. I’m like, do you have something that I don’t know?
[00:21:47] Jarret: No. I went through all of the reviews, I went through all the negative reviews and every single thing that people had a problem with we took into consideration. We added a lot of value in lots of different areas and then we also… It’s a similar item to the other one but it’s not the same item. You’re probably not buying both of them but you wouldn’t confuse the two. It was really personalized for the brand.
[00:22:22] Scott: It’s really awesome that you literally didn’t even really use a tool for this you just saw something that could be used in your brand but yet wasn’t directly. You’re like, it looked interesting, you started doing a little bit of research and started reaching out to your sourcing and then went through the whole process. That was a little bit of a pain but if it’s going to be a pain to do, I’ve always said that, then it’s going to be a pain for a lot of other to do and they probably won’t follow through all the way to the end or they’ll cut corners.
You actually did go through there but again you still had that negative, you had that doubt in your head and you were like, “What did I do? I’ve got all of these pallets. What am I going to do with these things? I’ve got to get them in there but what if they don’t sell?”
[00:23:04] Jarret: To answer your question, you asked me about the competition, by the time those pallets were clogging up my garage it went from one to dozens and dozens of other people selling very similar items. They’re not exactly the same items since we personalized it but most of them they’re not the same quality, they photography is not as good, the listings aren’t as good.
I don’t know what it is, I find it really… It’s a mystery to me how we just put it up there and it just started selling and it never stopped. The funny thing is, there’s… I guess something happens with Amazon when someone purchases and the payment doesn’t go through and then all of a sudden… Because we’ve been out of stock for months but every once in a while one will come back up. The listing will come back up and there’ll be one available and they’re not returns so I don’t know what they are.
In any case, when we do that again it’s gone within hours of the listing going back up. Now we have 25, 30 reviews, they’re all positive and all we did was… We use Sales Backer to go out and just make sure people are happy.
[00:24:20] Scott: Nice. I love it. There’s no high level strategy here or a quick shortcut. It’s like the basics and you did a really good job at the basics. You didn’t cut corners on pictures, you didn’t cut corners on the listing. You had everything optimized and I think that’s key but you also had a good product because you took the time to really make it a better product by looking at all of the negative reviews and seeing what people were complaining about.
I think that it’s really awesome that you actually did it that way without really saying I have to heavily discount it or I have to do a big promo especially because it’s a more expensive product. It’s over $100, it’s $100 plus?
[00:25:04] Jarret: Slightly under but it’s about $100 but we didn’t give away one item, not one discount code even.
[00:25:11] Scott: That’s just insane. No reviews, you start selling and you sold all of those out. Where are you at with that product now? Is it on reorder? Where are you at with that?
[00:25:20] Jarret: It is on reorder, Chinese New Year got us a little bit lopsided in terms of how long it’s going to take.
[00:25:26] Scott: That’s a heavy unit you said?
[00:25:28] Jarret: It’s like 18 pounds I think.
[00:25:31] Scott: Is it oversized too?
[00:25:33] Jarret: It’s huge. It’s big, it’s oversized, it’s expensive, it’s all of the things that I was trying to avoid in the beginning. In any case, we have a lot on order. We’re about to place another order even before these come in because I was a little bit concerned about what’s going to happen, maybe it was just because of Christmas. We’ll sell them and if worst case scenario we’ll sell them at a cost. We’re going to keep going, we’re going to keep just focusing on trying to sell some product.
[00:26:07] Scott: I love that. Let me dig into the photography real quick though. What are you generally paying for a good photographer for you personally? What are you willing to pay because you know the value in it?
[00:26:19] Jarret: If we’re going to do a photoshoot we literally… The photographer helps us find a space but it could be any space because we put a white around so it’s not we’re… Sometimes we’ll have people in the images. I think we pay, we might pay $1500 for a photo shoot.
[00:26:51] Scott: I was expecting that honestly, I wasn’t expecting you to say $300, $400 because you’re going high level here.
[00:26:59] Jarret: The thing I would say is that when we do it it’s a full day and we’re not just shooting one product. We’re shooting many products. For example, we have the six parents, when we started we added six parents in November as I said. Each one of those six was one photoshoot.
[00:27:24] Scott: You can divide that up by six then so then it would come up to the $300, $400, $500 whatever it is but you utilize that day. Is that including edits and all that stuff?
[00:27:40] Jarret: Yes and to be very honest I think it’s a really… I think we got a good deal.
[00:27:47] Scott: I do. Ex-photographer myself I know that. My wife and I for an hour session we were charging anywhere between $400 and $500 for an hour. We would take pictures for that hour, we would do edits probably take us another hour, so two hours and we would get between $400 and $500 for those. If we're going longer then we would charge more for the day and that was going back 10, 12 years ago now. Obviously, things go up as inflation and all that stuff. I think that’s really good. Did you just find a local photographer?
[00:28:24] Jarret: It was somebody I knew, knew, knew somebody, it was through a connection that we…
[00:28:32] Scott: It’s local, someone you’re able to meet somewhere locally?
[00:28:36] Jarret: Yes. For me I need to be hands on.
[00:28:40] Scott: You’re the director on set?
[00:28:44] Jarret: I am the director on set.
[00:28:47] Scott: That sounds like you’re doing well with the setup of the products and stuff so that’s awesome. I just wanted to dig into that too because I know a lot of people don’t realize that images definitely give you that perceived value they also show the product being used. I think also what you’ve mentioned here, which I think people should really take into consideration, is if you have other products that relate to it try to use those products in some of those other images either on the background or as a prop.
Now it also brings people aware of the other products that you have because now it’s like you’re a full suite of product. I think that’s really cool. Right now where you’re at, what is your biggest problem right now? I think I know the answer but what is your biggest issue right now where you sit today that you would say, if we could get that figured out everything would be smooth sailing?
[00:29:46] Jarret: I have a list.
[00:29:48] Scott: Give me your top.
[00:29:50] Jarret: I think that ever since the Arizona event I’ve been really trying to focus on external traffic and building a list. I think that… I hear loud and clear that we need to diversify the stream of revenue so we’re trying really hard to create a customer list, our own customer list. We’re trying to do it through numerous ways. We’re running some contests, doing some giveaways.
[00:30:24] Scott: I want to mention that real quick. Basically, you left the Arizona event, and just to catch people up if they’re new or they haven’t listened to the show that long, we had a live event in Arizona. Jarret was one of the 25 that attended day two. That day two was really all about building your external channel and doing these type of list building activities. One of them is doing a giveaway for products that are related to your product and then building an email list.
You’ve actually took what you learned there that day and you set up a contest or a giveaway and a pretty good size went too. I think your giveaway price is like $500 you said which is pretty crazy.
[00:31:08] Jarret: It is.
[00:31:08] Scott: You just put it up there and you weren’t going to really run the external traffic right away you just wanted to get a built. You built it and you let it sit there and then you told me before we got on here that that list is already up to about 400 or 500 emails and you didn’t do anything.
[00:31:25] Jarret: It’s crazy. We’re using King Sumo to run it which is what you had suggested. King Sumo is not a difficult product to use, to set it up but for some reason I just felt like I was looking at the Great Wall of China. I didn’t know where to look first even though I don’t think it’s that complicated, it’s me. We got it set it up and then the next step was trying to find influencers to help us get the word out there.
As I’m in the process to find influencers and feeling slightly overwhelmed with that challenge all of a sudden I remember one day… I look it up and I get a notification. It’s hooked through Aweber, so Aweber sends me a notification whenever someone signs up. I said, “Oh my goodness somebody just signed up for the contest.” It was almost like dominos after that. That person must have shared it and someone must have shared it and then within two weeks we have, it’s a little over 400 people have signed up.
As I was telling you earlier, we are now working with what I think is our number one target demographic. There’s an online magazine/newsletter that we are now advertising and we’re about to launch with the contest ad soon. I’m hoping to drive some traffic but in the interim I could not believe that we started getting people to sign up without doing a thing. The interesting thing is… So my initial reaction because I’m a pessimist was that these are only people looking to win the contest and they’re going to sell the product off and they don’t care and it’s a waste of my time.
What ended up happening was at the same time we did have a Facebook page with one like on it and that might have been my sister-in-law because we haven’t really started to focus on it and all of a sudden we start to get likes on the Facebook page. I think we have a little over 100 likes on the Facebook page. Now to most people maybe that sounds like nothing but from zero to 100 we didn’t promote the page at all and I’m convinced that the people saw the contest, wanted to maybe know a little bit more about us and then they went and liked the page.
Even if I got 25%, 30% of those people and I actually think it’s more are real customers it’s pretty amazing.
[00:33:56] Scott: It really is. I love it that you said you’re skeptical about these things like everyone signing up is they’re just looking for something free and then they’re going to sell it and there maybe some of them. You absolutely are right there but I think also… You and I identified this before we got on. We had like a little coaching session before we got on which I love doing that. I think we also identified that possibly this giveaway might not be 100% the best one.
We’re going to still let it run its course but I think we can do better with actually your product and doing a bundle using your product and then on the back end it’ll be so much easier to sell that and then that question of, are these people really interested in what we have to offer? It’s like I talk about the fishing market.
If you wanted to go after the fishing market with a tackle box that you sell you would probably want to sell off… You probably want to raffle off some type of fishing poles and maybe some tackle and stuff like that and then you know that they’re definitely in that market.
I always talk about people doing giveaways to review groups which you shouldn’t be any more but if you are basically just giving your product away at a discount to people that just want a discount on your product. For me, I’d rather recruit those people and have them raise their hand to say I am interested in this market. Yes I’m signing up because I want to receive something for free but I’m in this market.
I’d rather target those people than the people that are just saying I want to get a discount on product. That’s my philosophy, my belief now moving forward. We’ve had numerous amounts of success doing this. I was mentioning to this before we got on. There’s a brand I’m working with right now which I’m super excited about I think it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to share more on it.
We built an email list of just, I think the last I looked just about 5,000 emails in thirty days. We’re giving away about $175 prize but it’s very, very related to the products that we’re going to be selling. We aren’t even selling the products yet, they’re still in development but we’re building the email list so we can launch those products once we get them which is pretty much how you go about doing this.
I think one of your biggest issues I think in what you’re saying is you don’t want to rely on Amazon. Am I true in saying that?
[00:36:17] Jarret: I think that is very high up on our list of potential problems.
[00:36:21] Scott: I think your products though definitely lend themselves to building that external channel and then driving paid traffic through that funnel that we talked about in Arizona about creating that funnel. I think you can take three or five of your top selling products and create an amazing funnel and then like we said drive Facebook ads to that funnel. Then once you dial that in then it’s a matter of I put a dollar in and I get three out, then you’re controlling the traffic, you’re controlling the sales and you’re not necessarily relying on Amazon.
We can always push them to Amazon if we want to, that’s the beautiful thing. Anyone that’s listening, if you guys wanted to actually see exactly how that whole thing works we actually did a free workshop on that. It’s theamazingseller.com/buildlist and it walks you through that. Jarret we actually took some feedback from you guys at that live event. We’re probably going to create something, some type of free resource that actually shows you how to setup those different moving pieces behind the scenes.
We’re probably going to do that even for free just like a little mini course and then that way there it’ll help people get through those stages that you had and muscle your way through. We are affiliates for Convert Kit. King Sumo we are but technically and just to let the cat out of the bag we’re actually in the process right now creating our own giveaway plugin which Jarret you will be getting a copy of that if you want to check it out.
We’re going to actually create stuff that will actually be useful so you can set all this stuff up because I know it’s a little bit of a pain if you’ve never done it. Once you get it it’s super simple.
[00:38:08] Jarret: Honestly, I think a plugin would be amazing. I think that looking at it from scratch for me was… I felt like I was reading Chinese. It took me a while but a plugin would be amazing.
[00:38:23] Scott: One of those things that you said, I think it was even at the event which we want all that feedback. We’re always learning on how we can make it better and you were like, ‘I’ve got all this, this is great. I want to go out there and do it but now I need to see exactly how to click this and move this and add this.” That was one big takeaway that we found from doing that live event. Probably at our next live event we’ll probably do like even half a day where we just actually build it right in front of you.
I think that would be helpful because I get it. We’re trying to do so much in that one day and cover all of the different aspects but there’re so many moving parts but once you get it, once you dial it in it’s setup. Right now you’ve got it all set up now you just got to drive traffic. Now you’re going to do that add spot that you’re going to do and you’ve got an email list of 30,000 people. You’re going to drive it to that landing page that you’ve created and now you’re just going to start collecting emails and then on the back end we can monetize that later.
[00:39:20] Jarret: I’m worried about what to do with the emails when I have a little bit more. I got to figure that out too.
[00:39:27] Scott: Maybe you can mention really quickly too, you don’t have to mention the person’s name, but how that happened where an influencer, a pretty successful person you found using your product. They didn’t give you credit for it but they were using it and that might be a possible connection. Can you talk about that quick?
[00:39:47] Jarret: Yeah. Actually this past weekend I was out with my son and my wife sent me a message and she said she named this person who is a very well-known TV personality or reality TV personality. This person posted a video, like a 40 or 50 second video of her child using one of our products. It was actually pretty unbelievable, I was floored by it.
I think that now what we have to do is maybe reach out to this person and just see if they’ll be willing to get some more product for free and do something for… Maybe help us out. I don’t know exactly how to go about that but definitely an opportunity.
[00:40:43] Scott: That’s a great opportunity. Here’s one thing that just came to mind as you were talking here, that’s how things happen for me they just come to mind when I’m talking about this stuff. Have you thought about taking a picture of that that she posted and then putting it in either your Amazon listing somewhere or maybe even using it on your website and saying our products have been used by TV personality such as… And then you can list that?
[00:41:10] Jarret: I don’t know, is that legal?
[00:41:12] Scott: I don’t see why not, it’s posted publicly isn’t it? You might want to look into it but it’s an idea because it was posted publicly on their blog or on their Facebook page and technically that stuff is public. Just an idea because now you can say it’s been seen by this so and so. You see that all the time when someone’s posted in Forbes or some type of popular magazine they’ll say also seen in or something like that or used by.
I would definitely reach out to that person for sure and I wouldn’t do it just once. I would try to find ways to get to them whether it’s on their Facebook page, on their blog and just try to get their attention. Like I said to you, I would offer to give them free product and then just have a mention or being able to use them as a mini spokesperson in a sense to where you can say, “Hey, my product’s also used by this and then that gives you just that credibility.”
[00:42:11] Jarret: That is definitely on the list that we’re going to reach out to her and we’re going to see how we could potentially work together. I think it could be really great.
[00:42:20] Scott: Wrapping up here real quick, at this point in time do you feel you are still wanting to launch more products or you want to get the products that you have in dialed in inventory-wise and all of that stuff? Where are you at?
[00:42:20] Jarret: We like being over our heads.
[00:42:42] Scott: Are you speaking for your wife too?
[00:42:43] Jarret: Right. If we’re status quo then we’re going backwards. I think about this quite a bit and I know it sounds maybe a little campy but the whole take action, move forward, this is our mantra because I’ve thought about and I’ve tried to do lots of things over the past bunch of years. Lots of times when it gets a little bit difficult it’s just been very easy to stop doing it.
I can tell you that we’re just looking to keep moving forward. Yes, I think we’re having some struggles, inventory management is a massive struggle but we’re still going to… Yes we’re adding more products. We are hoping to, this is going to sound crazy but almost triple the number of products we have I’m hoping by August.
[00:43:38] Scott: That does sound crazy by the way. You aren’t just thinking that I’m going to let you know that does sound a little crazy but I’m not saying don’t do it.
[00:43:48] Jarret: Here’s the way I look at it. I think that I want to start testing things. I think that there is not such… Even a product that doesn’t sell as well as we’re thinking can be liquidated. We’ve seen that, we’ve seen that if we hold it till the fourth quarter and just discount it severely even to our cost it can be liquidated. We were using things like that to adjust in inventory. We are adding lots more products. We are extending the products.
We were mentioning this before, I am a huge proponent of creating a brand not creating a product. Everything we’re doing is something that lives under the umbrella of the brand and can be used by the same person or purchased by the same person. I might be crazy but we don’t look at Jungle Scout. We don’t look at all of that stuff.
We’ll look at listings and we’ll look at competition but what we try to do is we try to look at the competition and figure out just how are we going to leap in front of them? How are we going to do it better? How is it going to fit within our brand and try to sell multiple items to the same person?
[00:45:06] Scott: I think you’re at that level. You’re at the level now where you’re staying within your market, within your brand so it becomes almost easier in a sense because you don’t necessarily look at the numbers. You’re like, listen, if I’m building an ecommerce store this product has to go in our brand. We’re going to naturally launch it on Amazon because it’s the easiest route to get it launched but then we’re also going to have it for sale eventually on our own platform and our own brand. That’s really how you’re thinking about it which is smart.
[00:45:33] Jarret: That is exactly right. I think that obviously to start you need to look at all of those things you don’t want to make a costly error but once you know the market and you have… I think that a lot of our success also comes from the fact that there’s an identity to this… There’s a life to the brand. It’s not just some static thing.
I think that when people get involved and purchase products and we put them through the email sequence and in our listings I think they’re able to identify with this. This is a brand. There’s a voice to it. All that stuff is… We put a lot of care into that.
[00:46:21] Scott: I love it. This has been awesome but like I said we’re going to have to probably get you back on to talk a little bit about the product sourcing end of it and making all those modifications and stuff. I think that that would be an interesting topic to dig into especially because you went through it, there was a lot of struggles but at the end of the day you created a very unique product.
I think that it’s something to be proud of too that you created something that’s unique to the market place but it’s a spinoff of something else, you just made it better by listening to people that bought something similar. They said, “I want this,” and you’re like, “Okay, cool I’ll give it to you.”
[00:46:57] Jarret: Let me leave you with one thought. There’s nothing worse than having a whole bunch of products sitting on a loading dock in China to only hear that you failed testing and then everything has to be opened and corrected. That was not fun but we got through it.
[00:47:15] Scott: I think you’re right. You will get through it you just have to keep pushing forward. You’re going to have days that’s not easy and some days that it’s like is this really happening, this is awesome. That’s business and that’s what we signed up for when we got into this type of business especially in the physical products business.
One last thing though and we should probably talk about this another time as well, is there anything in your space that could potentially be like a digital product? I’m just think off the top of my head. Is there something you think that could possibly be a digital product that could also be served to your market? I’m just curious.
[00:47:50] Jarret: That is something I think about all the time to be very honest with you. Everyone talks about click funnels these days and I struggle to understand exactly how I can use click funnels with a physical product but I’m not worrying about that at the moment. In terms of digital products, it’s something on my mind all the time. I would love chat through that with you another time because there are things I think that’s another… There are so many different places to go and take this thing. It’s hard for me to keep my brain focused on anything. I actually think that there could be some opportunity and I just…
[00:48:34] Scott: I’ve got a few ideas actually we could definitely talk about that off air sometime but there’s definitely some room there for that. I even have another idea for a physical product for you and I’ll share that on another time with you. There’s definitely a huge amount of growth for you still and you’re crushing it right now. I just want to say I’m proud of you. I think what you’ve done is simply amazing.
I remember having that conversation in the lobby in Denver and you were just like, “I’m getting ready to do this thing and I’m a little nervous but we’re going to go for it.” That was before you had anything launched and here you are talking about doing $100,000 plus in one month and now you’re complaining because you’re doing $40,000, just saying.
[00:49:23] Jarret: I’m not complaining I swear.
[00:49:25] Scott: I know, I just think it’s funny. Is there anything you want to give people maybe last little bits of advice before we wrap up this call? I know there’s probably a ton but maybe just one thing you can give people to walk away with that might be either sitting on the fence or just getting started.
[00:49:43] Jarret: I think that the number one thing for me that gets me… Things don’t make a break the business in one day. I think that you have to be able to look further than that and just keep pushing because, like you said, there’re some days or months where I feel like we’re walking on water and there’s nothing… All of a sudden I’m the guy that figured out Amazon. There some months that I just feel like it’s much more of a struggle and we just keep looking forward.
I think that that’s the number one reason that we are having this conversation. I think that listening to you… I think I mentioned this in the last podcast, I legitimately feel like I have this little Scott on my shoulder and he’s like, “Just keep going, just keep going, take action.” It sounds so silly but honestly that’s what gets me through a lot of the struggle. You talk about this a lot, the events that you have hosted have been more beneficial to me than anything else and the number one takeaway from those events was actually the people that we’ve met.
We talked about the Armstrong’s earlier, Shawn. I don’t think I would be talking to you if me and Shawn hadn’t become so close from the first event. You need someone that you can bounce ideas off of that knows the product you’re selling so you trust this person. You could actually really dive into challenges and opportunities. That’s been so key.
[00:51:16] Scott: I 100% agree, events are really big. I would say like good, small, intimate ones for me personally. I know you can do that still at bigger ones. I’ve attended bigger ones and I’ve attended smaller ones and I do better at smaller events, more workshop-y but then where you can actually network with the people a little bit more. All it take is that one or two connections and I think you and Shawn have really created a nice relationship. I think even just everyone from that event or those events actually because you’ve been to both, you have this little sense of internal community that you can always reach out to.
[00:51:55] Jarret: There’s a level of trust, it’s really been invaluable to me.
[00:52:01] Scott: I agree. I’m going to let you go so you can figure out your inventory stuff and also just work on your business because you guys are doing well. I just want to say again thank you so much for taking time out of your day I know that you’re a busy guy. I just wanted again to say thank you for sharing because I know people they want to hear the ups and the downs. They don’t want to just hear you’re doing awesome, you did $100,000 and I’m not going to feel sorry for you.
In the same breath, you are still struggling in your own right right now with certain things in the business. It’s not terrible but there are ups and downs as you grow. I just want to say again Jarret I really do appreciate you and I’m sure we’ll be in touch brother.
[00:52:45] Jarret: Thank you, I really appreciate everything Scott.
[00:52:49] Scott: There you have it, another great interview, conversation, it was just awesome and I could sit there and talk about this stuff for hours and hours but I did want to keep it to at least an hour or less if at all possible. Sometimes that’s a challenge, I got to be honest, because we can just keep going down different paths of this journey because there’re so many different things that happen as you start to go through it.
I just did want to remind you about the show notes. If you guys wanted to download the show notes, the transcripts and all of the goodies that we talked about here, head over to theamazingseller.com/335. The one thing I really want you to take away from today’s show is that we all start at zero.
We all start at the beginning but my job is to try to get you to the start line. If I can get you to the start line then I can get you across the start line now we’re in motion and now we can start to adjust as we start to get these results. Again Jarret, going all the way back to when he came to our Denver even, had no product, had nothing. He had an idea and then from there he went on to launch it and then several products as you’ve heard and now he’s dealing with different challenges because he’s growing.
These are challenges that will be in any business that you run whether it’s this business or any other business. It’s part of the process. Again getting started is usually the hardest part. I did want to remind you one more time if you’re interested at all in checking out our 1K Fast Track program which is really designed to get you started really fast. Literally in five to six weeks we want you to be selling on a regular basis.
Not necessarily where you’re sourcing your product it’s really where you’re sourcing products from your local retail stores and also liquidation centers and stuff like that where you can buy product low and flip it and make the profit on the back end. We talk all about that in the 1K Fast Track. We actually did a pre-challenge before the class even opened and our students inside our Beta group generated over $3,500 in the first seven days which is just insane.
[00:54:58] Scott: If you’re interested like I said, definitely go over and check that out. There you can get all the details and you can jump on that early notification list so this way here when we do make the announcement that we’re open you get the first shot at getting in. Just to let you know, the last time we did this we opened it up to 50 people for the Beta group and we filled those 50 spots in literally six minutes and that’s no joke.
The people that are in there, that are taking action are getting results which is really what we created the class for, so definitely go check that out. That’s it guys, that’s pretty much going to wrap up this episode. I want to remind you one more time that I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Check out the previous episode Scott had Jarret on – HERE
- Jungle Scout
- King Sumo
- Find out how to build an email list – HERE
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