Scott often has so many high performing and hugely successful guest on the podcast that provide great business insight. But from time to time, he also takes the time to share his platform with listeners just like YOU. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott has Megan Lofton on the show. Scott and Megan discuss her journey discovering FBA, researching and selling her first product, overcoming obstacles, and her plans for the future. If you are just getting started on the journey or if you’ve been at it for a while know, this episode delivers the insights you need to find success, don’t miss it!
Discovering Amazon FBA
Are you looking for a way to change your lifestyle? Do you want to spend more time with your kids, get out of debt, or travel? Getting started with selling on Amazon with FBA is a great way to accomplish your goals! Driven businesswoman Megan Lofton joins Scott on this episode of The Amazing Seller to discuss her journey as a first time FBA seller. Megan got interested in selling on Amazon over a year ago. She has launched her first product and is getting ready to launch a second one. If you want an inside look at what it takes to get started with FBA, you have to listen to this episode.
Email Lists can be a Game Changer!
Are you ready to start expanding your product’s reach? Maybe you are preparing for your second or third product launch. Have you started planning your approach utilizing an email list? If you haven’t, why not? This is a great way to connect with your customer base, refine your approach, and build raving fans of your brand. If you have decided that an email list isn’t for you or you aren’t there yet, give this episode of The Amazing Seller a listen! Scott will change your mind. He has found that using an email list can jump start your products in HUGE ways. Find out more about this topic on this episode!
You might be one missing piece away from success!
Do you ever feel like you are right there, on the verge of a breakthrough in business but you can’t put your finger on what it would take to get you there? What if you had someone in your corner who could come and give you helpful insight to see the success you are striving for? That is exactly why Scott started the TAS community. He wants to help business leaders like you get that extra push to get to the top. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott sits down with a TAS listener like you, Megan Lofton. Scott gives Megan some helpful insights as they discuss her first FBA product.
Learn through the process
Starting something new can be really hard. You might find that you second guess yourself and wonder if you have what it takes to see it through to completion. You are not alone! Getting started with an Amazon FBA business can be tough, but you need to remember that you will learn through the process. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you will hear from Megan Lofton who just getting her Amazon FBA business off the ground. Her story serves as a great example of someone who is learning through the process, the highs and the lows. You don’t want to miss out on this great episode!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [4:20] Megan Lofton joins the podcast.
- [6:20] Megan talks about how she got started with FBA.
- [11:20] An experience with sending a wire transfer.
- [12:40] How did Megan find her first product?
- [21:00] Has Megan started working on an email list?
- [22:30] What is Megan’s next step?
- [28:30] Scott talks about what Megan needs to do to get her product to take off.
- [36:30] Megan talks about launching a second product.
- [42:20] Learn through the process!
TRANSCRIPT TAS 341
TAS 341: The Plan to Increase Profits and Choose Better Future Products (Coaching Call Recorded)
[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 341 and today we’re going to be talking about how to…
[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]
…create a plan to increase profits and choose better future products and this is actually a little bit of a hybrid of an episode because I’m having a guest on, Megan Lofton who actually has been emailing me probably for the past year.
She’s gotten started little over a year ago I believe and she’s just been emailing me saying like she’s really enjoying the content and she’s actually documenting her process kind of like an accountability partner in YouTube. So she’s posting over there which is pretty cool but she’s been reaching out saying like when are you going to do a meet up in North Carolina because there’s a lot of people in North Carolina that would probably like to do a meet up? So we’ve been just kind of having this conversation back and forth and then she started telling me about her recent success. As far as like, “Well I’m generating some revenue now.” Like that’s a success, like we’ve earned our first dollar.
And I always tell people, like that’s one of the biggest… The biggest thing in the beginning is just proving that the concept works not necessarily that you got to make a huge profit. But what I said was listen, you’ve learned a ton through this process which she agreed and you are going to hear in this interview and then she’s also got ideas for future products. So she started to kind of like pick my brain through these emails and I’m like let’s just do this. Let’s hop on a call, I’ll have you come on the podcast, you can talk about your first experience as far as like going through, picking your product, what you’ve done, or what you would do differently, what have you learned like all of that stuff and then I can maybe give you some advice moving forward on those future products or maybe even look at your current product and see what we could do to increase profits on that.
Because her profits are really low on the first product because of a couple things that she overlooked and she’s aware of that but we were able to find a place where she could probably save about $4 a unit and then this way here that would come back into her pocket. So then it might make it worth continuing with product number one.
[00:02:02] Scott: So you are going to hear about all of that stuff. So like I said, it’s kind of like a hybrid call. We are doing an interview to kind of let you guys see how someone started from scratch and now is doing around $1,600 a month in revenue, not earth shattering, not like huge numbers but it’s numbers. Like some people don’t even get to $100.
Like so I wanted to share this because a lot of you do like these little case studies or these little interviews where I have someone come on that talks about their victory. Like their victory in the beginning is like ‘yes it works’ but then also like, okay I learned a ton, what did I learn? And then we can go ahead and do a better job moving forward. And that’s what I wanted to do here and then we really get into some strategy, we start talking about how she can take product number one and still make that a success and then from there launching new products in the future.
So her name is Megan Lofton. Like I said, really excited to share this with you, I think you guys are going to get a ton out of it. So I just want to remind you guys on the show notes, theamazingseller.com/341. You can get all the transcripts, the show notes, all of that stuff, the links that we talk about and then I would remind anyone, if you’re brand new, I just had an email, just before I got on here and someone was like, “Scott, I’m brand new, where do I start?” And I usually tell people to go to theamazingseller.com/start. That’s a great resource, but then the other place is if you want like the entire like process laid out for you, that would be our free workshops.
And I would say, just head over to that page theamazingseller.com/workshop and register for an upcoming workshop because there we will lay out exactly step by step in about a 60 minute time frame to where you can get started from scratch to launching your first product. So guys if you are brand new and just maybe tuning in for the first time, number one, thank you for joining us and welcome and hopefully you’re going to get a ton of value and I think this one here is really good because we kind of go back to the early stages of Megan and we talk about how she got to where she is, what here future plans are and where she wants to grow this and then also we talk about how to increase what she already has in motion right now. So as usual I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can listen to this recorded coaching call and interview that I did with Megan Lofton. Enjoy.
[00:04:17] Scott: Hey Megan, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. How are you doing?
[00:04:21] Megan: Hey Scott, I’m great. Thanks for having me.
[00:04:23] Scott: Yeah, no problem. I’m excited to have you on. I know we’ve had a little bit of communication back and forth, I know you live kind of close to where I am. Are you in North Carolina or South?
[00:04:35] Megan: I’m in North Carolina but right on the border.
[00:04:37] Scott: Okay. Yeah, we are too. You’re just more, I think you are west you said?
[00:04:40] Megan: Yeah, yeah. A little west of you.
[00:04:42] Scott: Yeah. Okay cool. So and we had talked about and you were like, “Come on, come on, you got to do a meet up here in North Carolina.” Now that you are here and it is something that we are definitely considering. But yes, we’ve had some communications back and forth and then you have recently, I say recently, I’m not sure exactly the date but not that long ago, you’ve kind of launched your own product and you’re in the process of launching more products. So what I want to do is I want to get a little bit more of your back story and it’s funny because when I said, “Hey Megan, you want to come on to the podcast and just kind of chat about this stuff?” And you were kind of like, “Well I don’t know. Is my story really that compelling or this and the other thing?” And I’m like, you know what? It’s real. Right? It’s like where people are in certain stages.
I don’t always have to have the people learn that are doing $100,000 a month because to me, a lot of people that I talk to they say, “I like the people that are just starting or the people that are still working their way up.” And I think a lot of people get value from that as well. And the other thing I wanted to do because you had some questions and you were just talking about things you were working on and I’m like, “Maybe we can turn this into kind of like a coaching call too where I can kind of walk through some of those things you are thinking about or that you might be you know struggling with or a couple of sticking points.”
And we can kind of discuss them here live on the podcast. So again I want to thank you for coming on and spending a little bit of time with us. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about Megan and then also how you got to where you are right now in the FBA Amazon space.
[00:06:11] Megan: Yeah, I’d be happy to. That’s a lot to walk through at once but I’ll do my best and keep it short.
[00:06:16] Scott: That’s all right.
[00:06:17] Megan: So I first found out about FBA about a little over a year ago. Probably about 13 months ago or so and the way I found out about it was through Steve Chou of “My wife quit her job.” He was on another podcast that I listen to and I just got really interested. I went and read his entire blog over the course of about two weeks and through that I found out about the FBA opportunity and actually he led me to you. To listen to the amazing seller podcast.
[00:06:43] Scott: Oh cool!
[00:06:44] Megan: And yeah. So I’ve listened to probably, over the course of last year, probably everything that you’ve put out.
[00:06:51] Scott: Nice.
[00:06:52] Megan: And I just really was attracted to the business model of it. I’m somebody that, I do work a day job in a very high demanding, high stressful field but I love it and I don’t want to quit my job to do other stuff. But I’ve always just had this little inkling to do something that was just for myself. I just I've always wanted to build a little side business just for myself that like this is mine and no matter what happens in my day job I have this little thing that I can work on and play with.
[00:07:21] Scott: Sure.
[00:07:22] Megan: And the FBA model is really attracted to me for that reason because there's a lot of work that you have to do and it’s absolutely work but I don't have to physically be there doing something. I can manage it during the night, during nights, weekends, slow times, on my lunch break and whatever. So for me it just really seemed like the perfect model to pursue.
[00:07:42] Scott: Yeah, totally. Totally it’s a great model and again I think you kind of illustrated everything right there by saying like, once you've got kind of go through the initial the pains of getting started it can become semi-passive in a sense, to where once you get it rolling you have some things that come up things you’ve got to look at but to me it's the closest thing to a digital product to my eyes because once you get stuff into Amazon, that's your products they take care of a lot of the heavy lifting.
[00:08:09] Megan: Exactly. It's so nice to get an email that says Amazon shipped the product you sold and like, “Oh, I sold something, fun.”
[00:08:17] Scott: Right.
[00:08:18] Megan: That’s awesome. Yeah. I love that aspect of the business and so I learned about it last year. It took me up until February of this year to actually get a product into the warehouse and last year the same time I was starting the FBA channel I also started a YouTube started the FBA sales process. I also started a YouTube channel called ‘The bootstrap boutique’ just to get myself some accountability to keep going and if you watch those videos you'll notice that I got very distracted about summer time because my husband and I were going through a move and all this stuff. We moved again in December about the same time I sent my wire for my products to China.
[00:08:56] Scott: Okay.
[00:08:57] Megan: And the wire got held up for five weeks with a bank here in the states and I didn't even realize because I was so distracted. Had so much other just life stuff going on.
[00:09:05] Scott: Yeah, of course
[00:09:06] Megan: And so I feel like I've made you know all the mistakes. I feel like I've done them all and then I got my product like you said, I just recently started selling about five or six weeks ago and finished up my first 30 days with what I would call it very average $1,600 in sales. I was not one of those people that launched a product straight out of the gate you know and hit that $10 sale a day.
I've had some days over 10 sales a day but I've had a lot of days where I've had three or four sales and you know part of that is my fault for probably going into a category that was a little bit too competitive for maybe a good first product but you know it's been a really good learning experience too. I’m happy that I am still making these sales and have just really been able to learn a lot through the process of doing it.
[00:09:54] Scott: Well I think that's key though. Like let’s highlight that. Like when you're going through that process you're like learning and so many people discount that. They are like, “I spent $3,000 or $5,000 to get my products live or my product live and it's just it's not giving me the results I want, I failed.” And I'm like no, no you did not. Like you can now go back and take all those lessons learned and correct those or make better choices like you said maybe you went into a little bit of a competitive market and maybe now you would scale that back a little bit because of what you've done or maybe you would just do it differently and when you launch because you learn something to that process. But you won't you won't learn anything unless you actually do it. Like you can listen to my podcast, you can listen to other people's podcasts or blogs or whatever and you can get an idea of what it'll be like for that person or those people but it's never going to be the exact same thing for you. You've got to do it, you got to live it so, I agree
[00:10:50] Megan: Yeah, I learned by doing and so yeah there's some things that I would do differently for sure the next time around that I will do differently but it's just this experience has been invaluable for actually learning by doing and realizing like I can do this and I can actually launch in a competitive market and still sell products. So it's not a loss by any means.
[00:11:10] Scott: Yeah, no and I think that's huge for a lot of people to understand like if you want to learn do. That's what I've always said like if you want to learn how to do something be willing to go there and fail a little bit in a sense or make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes. What happened with the wire transfer? Is that something that you learned that you could do differently or was that something that you couldn't avoid?
[00:11:30] Megan: Well, what happened was it was, I went to the bank you know you fill out all the wire paperwork they send that and then it gets reviewed by someone else in their wire department and I think just the fact that I was sending you know what was it? $3,000 or so to China and I had never done that before they held it up for more questioning but there is an issue with communication at the bank because the person that held the wire I think they went on Christmas vacation and forgot about it honestly.
But they were holding the wire, they did not relays that to my bank they just needed more information about the breakdown what was cost of goods, what was shipping and it just got held there and my supplier emailed me and they were like, “We don't have our money yet.” And I was like, “What?” And so I went to the bank the next day and got it worked out, but you know and I just have say that was my fault because I believe nobody cares more about your money than you do, so I should have been monitoring that.
[00:12:23] Scott: But you were busy, you were moving? Yeah, yeah. I get it. I get it. Yeah, what have you got to do?
[00:12:29] Megan: I take the blame for that though. But that was very frustrating.
[00:12:32] Scott: So okay, let me ask you this. So okay let's dig into really quickly like your first product like through that process like a lot of people want to know like, “Okay so how did you find your first product? Like what was your technique there? Was it just using a tool or was it you know doing a touch list or was it doing something that you were involved in?” Like what gave you the idea to start going into that market?
[00:12:52] Megan: Yeah, the product that I launched with was actually the third product that I seriously tried to move forward with. The very first product I tried to move forward with I got to the purchase order place with my supplier and I sent the purchase order and they came back and they said “You know what we don't want to work with you this is too complicated for this simple order.” And then I never heard from them again.
Yeah, the second product I was really excited about was going to be huge as in you know volume, size and all the freight forwarders were like giving me quotes that I just couldn't make money off of it. So I set that one aside too.
Then I finally got to the third product and I found it through Jungle Scout. I’m a big fan of Jungle Scout, I really like, I just use their Chrome extension I don't use the web app because I like going through and digging around on what I call the bowels of Amazon. Like the subcategories of the sub category and it's kind of following down the rabbit hole of what I think is interesting and different and I think that, that gives me opportunity to find things that maybe other people are looking for. But I also have noticed in myself a tendency to go back to those same categories over and over again and not really explore the full variety of everything Amazon has. So there's pros and cons to doing it that way but that's what I've been doing so far.
[00:14:11] Scott: Do you find yourself like when maybe something new happens in your life or you start looking for something because you need to fix something or whatever do you automatically now like think to yourself like, “I wonder if that's selling on Amazon?” Does that happen to you?
[00:14:27] Megan: I do and I have on my camera roll on my phone so many pictures of things like that. When I was in a Cabela’s store at which is way outside of my wheel house and I was just taking pictures of random things like, “Oh I wonder if they sell this on Amazon all this looks like a good private label product.” Or I was home visiting my parents a few weeks ago and my mom mentioned that she needed to buy something for her patio and she's like I got the last ones on the Amazon, I'll just get it from there too and I was like, “Huh good idea.” So I immediately went on Amazon looking it up. She’s like what are you doing?
[00:15:00] Scott: That’s so funny. Yeah I mean we're doing that all the time. My wife just yesterday had said something to me about a product that she was like, “You know like these are, these I mean I have to get these now,” because I’m using this one technique or whatever and she's like, “I really think that you could probably sell these on Amazon.” I'm like all right listen like there's a brand I'm already working with it we're already like so many products deep like we're working on I'm like I don't need any more products right now. It’s a distraction to put it on the list right now, I'm good right now and she started laughing and she's like well I'm just saying and I go, “Yeah I know you're saying but it's actually more work for me right now.” I've got so many right now with this one brand that I'm working with that it's like it's going to keep me busy for a while like there's a list of products that we want to launch. Yeah but it's, I just do that all the time.
If I'm fixing something or something broke I’d be like, I wonder if these sell and all of a sudden you're like, “Oh wow they are wow this is crazy, yes people are buying these things.” It's like I think that just being aware of what you are doing and even like you said your mother had something… My father just had hip surgery replacement surgery so he's got some different devices that he's buying and recovery stuff and all this and it's like those are things that could be potentially be a product. So anyway I just wanted to kind of talk about that because a lot of people say I think all the products are already taken and I'm like no, no. There's just so many that you could use, aren't even scratching the surface.
[00:16:31] Megan: Exactly, exactly. And once you start looking then… I mean I have two notebook pages full of ideas and there's now the hard thing is but which one?
[00:16:40] Scott: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
[00:16:42] Megan: Finding products is not the problem.
[00:16:43] Scott: Right, it's like picking them.
[00:16:45] Megan: The right one.
[00:16:44] Scott: Yeah, yeah. So okay, so let's just go really quickly through your launch. So when you launched that product what was your strategy moving forward? How many units did you order first?
[00:16:57] Megan: 250.
[00:16:58] Scott: Okay, so 250 nice small little order. Was it an oversized product or…?
[00:17:03] Megan: The product is not oversized but the box that… I mean the product is about two pounds.
[00:17:09] Scott: Okay. That’s not bad.
[00:17:10] Megan: So it was still a very large order that has been sitting in my guest bedroom because I only ship in a few at a time. About 50 at a time. So it was a small order quantity wise. So I did not do any giveaways which that strategy is maybe not as effective now anyway because you can't do in exchange for review. So I have not done any giveaways, that was never my plan. I do have a strategy I want to employ, I just I need my husband to help me do it and he's been really busy with work lately so he hasn't been able to but which would have been creating video tutorials to put on YouTube with a link back to the product. That's my plan on how to actually move some of these units.
[00:17:54] Scott: That’s a good strategy.
[00:17:56] Megan: Hopefully a little faster, and then I just turned on PPC as soon as the product landed, as soon as it went live on Amazon and that has driven sales. I mean that's been effective and I email people for reviews. I have not used an email service? The ones that will email for you. I haven't done that I've just gone into sellers central where you can email people and…
[00:18:20] Scott: Yes you may do that.
[00:18:22] Megan: Yes and I just manually do it every Friday. My whole thing is bootstrapping which is like in my YouTube channel to bootstrap routine because I want to just try and invest as little as possible where it makes sense. There’s certainly things where it makes sense to spend money. But if I can do something manually for not a lot of time investment then I’m just trying to do it that way and that's generated some great five star reviews for me so I've been really excited about that and that's my strategy. It's not much stuff.
[00:18:51] Scott: No, no. I love it. It's a lean strategy and I like it and the thing that I like about that is like you're not using the tools yet unless you start to grow to where you see that now you're spending too much time sending those emails. That'll be the time when you're going to be, “All right I think it's time.” If I'm sitting down for you know an hour plus each day like that's an hour I could get back like is it worth it for me just to automate that process or hire a VA or whatever.
[00:19:17] Megan: Yeah, for sure and one thing also that makes it easier is when we’re talking about one product. So what you don't want to do is you don't want to request customer feedback on something that they didn't buy.
[00:19:26] Scott: Exactly.
[00:19:27] Megan: I basically can't screw it up right now which is why I'm happy to do it myself but when it becomes more complex then I will absolutely be going out and buying the tools I need to be more efficient.
[00:19:36] Scott: Yeah, yeah. Totally I love that and it's funny. Jarret, I had him not that long ago and very similar to you, he didn't do any giveaways. Just found a really good market and him and his wife are a team and he launched it with no reviews and just turned on some pay-per-click and off to the races and he had phenomenal months. I mean months that are just mind blowing. But again he tapped into a really good market and he's got a good product and he's invested in those products and it's paid off for him but now he's got growing pains as far as I how do I keep inventory in and how do I launch the next product because it's a lot of capital. So anyway you have different growing pains throughout the process but I love it.
I think a lot of the strategy moving forward is like finding the right products that don’t require thousands of reviews or even hundreds and then you know being able to use sponsored product ads the best that you can. Like to start getting those initial sales so you can start ranking. I think that's the key. I think the other part of it is… Does your product lend itself to having an email list? Like could you like do something where you did like some type of give away or something to attract people that were in your market and then and then follow up with those people about a discount on your product?
[00:20:57] Megan: Yeah it does. It absolutely does and that's been on my mind also. So I know I've got a lot of work to do.
[00:21:04] Scott: Yeah, I know and I like it that you're going slow and steady though. I mean I like that. There's things that you can do but you got to prioritize those what's going to be the best for you to do. And I think that's definitely something that I would put up there as one of the next things that I would say for you to do because that will help you boost sales. Like right now you say like, “Well you know some days I might only get one sale, I might get zero sales but then one day I might get three to five.” And that's cool but it'd be nice if you could email your list and get five sales a day even if you just broadcasted that out to maybe a quarter of your list every day for the next four days to just kind of get a little bit more of a boost so then that might help you rank so then you start doing more of those organic sales.
So there's definitely a huge advantage to that and being able to get feedback on your next product as far as not feedback as far as I'm even leaving feedback like feedback like, “What do you guys think? We're going to be launching this. Do you like it in red or black?” Like you know what I mean? Like getting that feedback from people that are in your market is huge. So I think that that's huge to do that but again you got to do one step at a time for sure. Okay, so all right, so you've launched, you’ve did like $1,600 in sales which is great, it's again, it's proven yourself that okay this kind of works all right. So what's the plan moving forward? Where are we at right now and I guess how can I help you in that next move?
[00:22:25] Megan: Yeah, so right now I feel like I'm at a bit of an inflection point. I need to make a decision on am I going to reorder this product or am I going to move on and launch product two? I don't have the capital to do both so I have to make a decision on that. The issue I'm having with product one is that the cost for me to land it at Amazon is $13.59 which is kind of high and a lot of that is to do with the shipping cost per unit, it’s $6.92. That's via FedEx Air Express. I have not looked into freight forwarding because that just to me adds layers of complexity. I know I can bring the cost down but I wonder at what mental cost to me it would take to do that.
So when you figure in Amazon fees which they went up and right in the middle of the period so they weren't quite as high when I started but my profit per unit right now is only $2.33 which is not good. It was a lot more, when I talk about I’ve made a lot of mistakes and have still managed to launch a product. I originally thought that I was ordering 500 units and that my product cost was $3. But when my boxes came and I was counting and I was like it was only 250 and went back and looked at my purchase order and sure enough were 250 units which means my product cost was $6. I'm, just for cost of goods.
[00:23:54] Scott: Okay, that was a little boo boo, right?
[00:23:56] Megan: Yeah, yeah. Right. But it was definitely a mistake. So I’m not making, I mean almost no money off of this. We’re pretty much called $2 of break even and when you think about your ancillary costs that you have with selling on Amazon such as pay-per-click.
[00:24:13] Scott: Right, okay but I mean you're getting experience?
[00:24:17] Megan: Exactly, exactly.
[00:24:18] Scott: Okay so forget about that that you know $2 profit. Yes that's not what I would launch with but you didn't think you were going to launch with that either you thought you're going to be you know at least going to be at least probably $6 a unit?
[00:24:29] Megan: Yeah. I was forecasting between $7 and $8, with lower fees and lower product costs.
[00:24:35] Scott: Right, okay so my first thought would be all right if you think that this could… If you could get you a list bill that you could then push sales and you can dial in pay-per-click and you can get a steady five to ten sales a day on this product that you already have sourced all that stuff how can we get the cost down? The first step is you would do freight forwarding. You would do by sea and I know that sounds scary but I would recommend hiring a service to do it. Like I would have either Guided Imports or Flex Port do it. They charge a very small fee to do it but they handle it all, like it goes literally like you just basically paying them and letting them take care of all that heavy lifting for you and if you can get that cost down you said it's like $6 for shipping?
[00:25:18] Megan: Yeah. $6.92 per unit.
[00:25:20] Scott: You can probably get that cost down to a dollar a unit maybe a dollar fifty a unit, so you're going to save $5 maybe $4 even on shipping on these units and I mean that's money in your pocket. So now you did go from $2 to $6, let's say and then that makes it more attractive and it's already done. So that would be one thought but the question is do you think you're going to be able to get a steady five to ten sales a day? Like that's the thing. Is there enough sales in that space right now is there enough depth, is there enough demand?
[00:25:50] Megan: Yes there's definitely… The demand is not an issue on this product.
[00:25:55] Scott: Okay, so then that would answer that question and then so the next question would be like, are you fully optimizing or taking advantage of sponsored product ads? Can you still improve that to get more sales and if you can, can you rank? Are you ranking anywhere as close to anywhere near like first page for your keywords?
[00:25:17] Megan: For, yes, for one of my keywords I am on the first page, the bottom of the first page but it is on the first page.
[00:26:25] Scott: Okay, so if we got that up to the top of the first page you're probably going to get… How many sales are they making the top of the first page versus the bottom of the page?
[00:26:32] Megan: Top of the page is doing like 3,000 sales in month on its own according to Jungle Scout.
[00:26:37] Scott: Okay, so let's just even say that that's 2,000, that's a ton, right? What about like the fourth or fifth? Like let's move down the list a little bit let's say you’re not number one.
[00:26:47] Megan: Yeah, that drops to between five and six hundred.
[00:26:50] Scott: Okay, so the number one is definitely taking the majority so that’s going to be hard to get there but if we can get you in the middle of the page it seems like we could probably grab you know some of those sales. So even if it's at the 500 then we're saying okay we're still over you know 10 units a day. So there is room for you to do that. Well, how do we get there? We need more sales. How do we get more sales? Pay-per-click and having your own list? Like there you go, like that would be the plan for that. So those would be the two focus points if you think you can push it to that page because you're already there you just got to get higher up on that page. How is everything as far as your images go? How is your conversion rate? Like if you look at your conversion rate in the back end like I mean are you converting at 5% are you converting at 10%, 15%?
[00:27:37] Megan: No, it's closer to between 1% and 2%.
[00:27:39] Scott: Okay.
[00:27:40] Megan: Yeah, it's pretty low.
[00:27:41] Scott: Okay. So do you think that has anything to do with your images, does it have to do with the product? Like is your product similar to the one that's selling 3,000 units a month?
[00:27:51] Megan: It's not and I'm a little confused even with the product that's selling 3,000 a month. I think that the keyword they are targeting there is kind of ancillary to their primary keyword.
[00:28:01] Scott: So they’re probably getting traffic from those other ones too?
[00:28:04] Megan: I think so. Yeah and so I don't really look at that top listing sitting and say that's what I want to do because their product is different and somebody ordering my product would order it for a reason instead of the top listing.
[00:28:16] Scott: Got you. So let's discount that one, let's get that one out of there.
[00:28:19] Megan: Yeah, I don’t pay that one a lot of attention except to say wow it would be nice to have that many sales, but I don't consider them a direct competitor.
[00:28:25] Scott: Okay. So the ones that we are focusing on those there, are they similar to yours?
[00:28:29] Megan: They are.
[00:28:30] Scott: Okay. And you said about 500, how many reviews do they have?
[00:28:35] Megan: They have between one and two hundred reviews.
[00:28:38] Scott: Okay, so and how many do you have approximate? How many? Three?
[00:28:42] Megan: Three, yeah.
[00:28:43] Scott: Okay, so again we got room to improve their, right? So but that comes with sales, right? The more sales that you get the more that they're going to naturally happen. If you only have two sales a day your chances of getting a review you have to probably wait. Generally I see about 8% to 10% that will leave reviews if you have a good follow up. So if you're having a hundred sales you're going to get let's say high, let's take ten reviews. So that means you've got to get a hundred sales before you can get those 10 reviews. So how do we get a hundred sales? That's the question.
So it always comes back to how do we get sales? How do we get velocity going? And that comes down to like I said pay-per-click and your own list. So my recommendation here would be to number one, dial in the pay-per-click and really try to hone in on those keywords looking at the search terms that are actually being… We're actually doing a whole week this week on sponsored product ads which…
[00:29:38] Megan: Yeah, I’ve been watching.
[00:29:39] Scott: Yes, so that there should help you a lot because you're going to start mining for those keywords that are actually search terms from the keywords. So the keyword is going to be the one that's going to trigger the search terms and then from there we can start to expand on those but also optimize your listing for those. So that would be like a focus and then the second part of that would be, I would come up with something in your space maybe even including your product and I would come up with some type of really awesome giveaway and I would start to advertise that whether it's find an influencer in your space, on YouTube, on Instagram channel, Pinterest whoever is in your space that's really doing you know really well as far as like a leader or someone that has an audience or some followers and then I would advertise that to those people. I would even pay to be on that page so we did one recently a case study.
We did it for a pair of sneakers in the sneaker head market for my son and we did this just at the case study and what we did is we took a pair of Kobe sneakers. Really well known sneakers and it's $160 value we raffled those off and then on the back end of that now we can offer products of those. Know we did this as a case study, so I don't even have products to sell to these people but if I did it would be related to a sneaker. So there's another one that we're doing actually currently right now which is a bundle that we put together it's about at $200 value so we bought these products. We bought these products. We didn't even have a product to offer in the bundle yet we just wanted to build our launch list but we know that people that want this they're also going to want what we have to offer.
So that's what I would probably do. If you can add your product into a bundle because a lot of times people are like, “Well I'll just give away my product, it's $25.” Its like people aren't really excited about that. They're like, “okay great, I guess” but if you do something like I always use the example like a guy that's into fishing. If you did this like awesome like fishing rod that you know is like the top fishing rod this year in 2017 and all the fishermen like are going after, they're buying it or they're loving it.
[00:31:50] Scott: You do that, you do your tackle box because you sell a tackle box and then you add in maybe a vest and then maybe you may be a pro net or something and it's a $200 value but you buy it and you're going to spend $200. That's your promotional cost and then you drive traffic to that give away and then you let that run for 30 days, you collect the emails and on the back end of that you can then sell your tackle box to anyone that doesn't win and give them a discount.
To me that's the future. Like that's the future of whether you want to sell products on Amazon, whether you want to sell products on your own site, if you want to do affiliate deals like anything you own that list, you control it, you drive the traffic and then if you can drive those sales through Amazon in the beginning especially that's going to also allow you to start ranking higher because you’re driving sales.
[00:32:38] Megan: Yeah makes sense.
[00:32:40] Scott: So I would focus on those two areas if you're still interested in selling that product. That would be like homework, like that would be, that's what I would set out to do like that would be my main focus. Now you did mention another product potentially wanting to launch, know is this product related to the product you currently sell?
[00:33:00] Megan: No it’s… I mean it would not be necessarily in the same category, sub-category on Amazon but it’s within the same room of the house I would call it.
[00:33:10] Scott: Okay, so I guess my question is, if someone bought your first thing could you up sell them something that's the other thing on the back end or would it be kind of like, “Why would you why would you offer this to me?”
[00:33:21] Megan: Yeah, it would be a little too far apart for that.
[00:33:23] Scott: Okay, so then I guess my thing here is, that's fine to do that but then that does mean that you're kind of in a sense you're doing like what we call an open brand. Where you're going to launch multiple types of product which is fine but then what I would still do is I would want to create three… Like let's say you're going to launch three different products in three different markets. I would still want to create some type of contests around those markets so this way here I can draw people in that are interested in that space so I could use those. So like us we have an open brand that we're working with and we basically have five different markets in there right now. So we're going to build email list in each of those markets so when we go to launch products in those in those markets we can drive sales.
It’s easier when you have a product that's related to each other because now all of a sudden you start to build this product line but it sounds like you’ve kind of learned through that first product and you're not necessarily thinking you want to keep going down that road, you might want to start over new and over here now that you've kind of learned through that process, is that what I'm hearing?
[00:34:22] Megan: Yeah, I think so. I mean I will definitely look into you know the things like the shipping costs and seeing if I can get that down and make some profit that way. I've talked to my supplier and I’m trying to negotiate just a lower per item cost…
[00:34:34] Scott: How much does a unit cost you before shipping?
[00:34:36] Megan: $6
[00:34:37] Scott: Okay, so and you're ordering 250 or 500?
[00:34:40] Megan: Right.
[00:34:41] Scott: Okay, so I would say what if the price breaks if I order 1,000, if I ordered 2,000, if I ordered 3,000 like get those price breaks because then that'll show you what you can as you grow what that cost will start to come down. The big one is the shipping I think you can definitely cut that in half like without a doubt. Like when you're doing you said Air Express right?
[00:35:03] Megan: Right.
[00:35:04] Scott: Yeah, that's like, that's going to be the most expensive.
[00:35:06] Megan: Yeah, yeah. And I understood that but I was at the point where I had sat on this product for so long. I was like, “I just want to launch it.”
[00:35:13] Scott: But you validated it. You validated it and that's cool. I tell people that like you know don't get hung up on all the cost as long as you know that those costs can be reduced once you seen and establish that this is going to work. And that's exactly what you’ve done so now I start refining that and I'd start ok now let's start getting that cost down. How do I do that? First off, shipping, let's look into that. Let's focus on that this week only, shipping.
How do we get our shipping down? let me contact Guided Imports, let me contact Flex Port like let me just see what they come back at for, sea shipping for 250 units or 500 units or whatever you're going to order. All you have to do is you literally just give them the dimensions and the weight of the boxes that are going to be shipped and they'll come back with a quote and then from there they're going to take care of everything from port to port and even shipping it directly into Amazon if you choose to or shipping it to your location.
So it is pretty much a seamless thing. That’s what's so cool about it. It’s A to Z. It's like they're going to you're not going to contact 11 different people like you would if you were doing it all manually yourself. Which I think that's the scary part for a lot of people including myself like I don't want to deal with 11 different people.
[00:36:16] Megan: Including US Customs.
[00:36:18] Scott: Exactly. Exactly, we don't want to have to deal with that. So I totally get that. Okay, so how excited are you about the second product here that you want to launch? Are you really excited about that? Like are you like, “Oh man, I really want to get this thing.” Or are you just kind of like you're doing it just because you think that that's the right thing to do next?
[00:36:35] Megan: Yeah. I'm pretty excited about it, it's a pretty niche area that I think is kind of an interesting one. I've ordered a couple of products from Ali Express. Not really, I guess they are samples but you know from Ali Express is a little different than ordering Alibaba, so I'm just waiting on those to come in so I can… One I ordered was kind of a higher priced one and then one with a lower price and just to check out the differences and quality of the different manufacturers. So that's as far as I've gone with that besides you know doing the Jungle Scout validation and then ordering the products and just waiting on them to come in and see if this is something I want to move forward with because it's a product and I’m not familiar with, I've never used myself and so I just know more about it. I want to get one to play with it a little bit.
[00:37:21] Scott: Sure, okay now that sounds really good. So you won't really know that until you get that so that's where that is but I think you're in a great spot. I think you've learned a lot so moving forward it should be easier. Again that thing of the freight forwarding thing I think that's like a little bit of a sticking point that I think you can get through very easily if you outsource that necessarily to you know go to a company like Guided Imports or go to Flex Port. I've had both of those, the owners of each of those companies on the podcast and I believe too if you go on my resource page I know for guided imports you do and I think Flex Port too, there's some type of discount that's there for the TAS community, but whether you do or not it's a great company both of them I know personally. I've had both on the show and I talk regularly with them guys.
So they're good people and if you have any questions they’re easy to get a hold of and what’s cool about their companies is they are people that lived here in the states that moved there and now they run companies there. And they manage people to do the work that we would necessarily have to communicate through. Which makes it really cool because they're there on the ground with a company they can speak you know the language and all that stuff, so there's no barrier there.
So I would definitely do that though Megan. I think that's definitely something you can do like right now just start getting prices on it. I would just contact one of those companies and just say, “Give me a price like, here's the box size, here's the weight and I want to ship by sea, what's the cost?” And then they're going to come back with a quote and you're going to say, “Okay cool.” And then at least you'll know that now wow I can reduce that cost by $3.75, that's crazy like that's money in my pocket so maybe I still want to do this. Yeah, I like that, I like that a lot.
[00:39:05] Megan: That will be done today.
[00:39:06] Scott: Cool, I like that action, taking action, all right cool. So is there any other last things that you wanted to discuss before we wrap up this all?
[00:39:17] Megan: No, I think you walked me through a lot of good things and I've just got like you said look at the numbers and make some decisions about what I want to do going forward. So I'm excited to put some thought into that in the next couple of days.
[00:39:30] Scott: Yeah and I think the other thing I want to kind of go back to real quick before we wrap up is that, you know like you mentioned like you want to have your husband create some videos and stuff and I think that's useful for not just the traffic that you'll get from YouTube, but it's also good for people that buy your product can see how to use it better so when you send those follow-up emails you can say, “Here's a video or here's a PDF.” And maybe you can have screenshots from the video and then you can then have a link in your PDF that goes over to the video. So this way here again you're giving that user a better experience and then that's going to also help with reviews and feedback and in all that fun stuff. So I think that's definitely something that when the time is right definitely adding that will separate you from your competition because I’m sure that not everyone is doing that. It's more work.
Whenever there's more work, a lot of people tend not to do it. So yeah I like it, so all right this has been awesome so hopefully this has been helpful to you Megan?
[00:40:27] Megan: Super helpful. I really appreciate you walking me through all that.
[00:40:30] Scott: Yeah, awesome and I know that you're going to be looking into maybe doing a meet up in North Carolina so it's not official yet but we're talking about that because you are in North Carolina and you've agreed to maybe give me a hand with that maybe finding a location or something we can do that and we might do like a unofficial one like I've done in the past where we just do like a meet and greet and I also might just do a I might do a small workshop for a day or something like that but you and I will talk through that. But anyone that's in North Carolina or that might want to pay a visit to North Carolina be on the lookout for that we might be doing that soon. So that’ll be fun.
[00:41:04] Megan: Yeah, I'm excited to get that set up.
[00:41:06] Scott: Yeah, that'll be awesome. All right Megan, I want to thank you and good luck and keep me posted and I think that you're on the right track. You’ve definitely learned a lot and I think your future looks bright.
[00:41:18] Megan: Well hey, I appreciate the vote of confidence. I'll take it.
[00:41:21] Scott: All right Megan will talk to you soon, all right?
[00:41:24] Megan: Thanks Scott.
[00:41:26] Scott: All right, so I hope that you got value from that, I enjoyed that so much, I love talking about this stuff one on one and with Megan that's what I was able to do and I’ve done this at meetups as well or our live events and I really, really enjoy that because a lot of times, I can dig in to where some people might not be able to see it. It's hard when you're in the business and when other people look from the outside they can start to pull apart the business itself but also maybe some of the things that you can do to increase profits or just expand the product line and that's really what we talked about here and I just love talking about this stuff and digging in where I can.
So hopefully you got a ton of value by listening to me brainstorm as we went through her journey so far and I think the one thing I want to highlight here and I think Megan did very, very well at explaining was how she learned through this process and she's not deflated she's not like, “I'm going to give up because my first product’s only making $2 a unit,” because she learned through that process. Even if she didn't figure out a way to make that profitable she's okay with that and I think a lot of people need to understand that getting started is the hardest part and she actually went through the process, learned through that process and she was ready to go on to the next product which she is going to do but again you can sometimes look and see what you already have currently going and moving and see if you can enhance that or make it better and again I just want to highlight that that you learn through this process.
I've always said that you learn by doing not by consuming so you're not just going to sit here and learn by reading all this stuff or listening to all this stuff. You have to actually get it in motion you have to actually get started and it’s really, really important that you do that. I want to remind you guys the show notes you can pick those up by heading over to theamazingseller.com/341. All of the show notes, the transcripts, the links that we talked about will be there for you as well. You can also link up with Megan herself and she's got a YouTube channel that she really just documents her journey and she even said it was you know part of the reason of doing it is so she can hold herself accountable and also see where she's gone.
[00:43:35] Scott: Like where did she start, where did she go and where is she going and it's kind of all documented and I think that's a pretty cool idea. Know I know some people don't want to get on camera, they don't want to you know post on YouTube and I get that but you can always keep a journal, you can keep a notebook and kind of log what you do on a regular basis or even write down what you want to do in that 90 day sprint.
I think it's a great idea to track your progress and this way here you can kind of see where you came from and see how you've grown or what you missed the mark on and then from there you can you know decide if you want to improve that or if you want to you know give it another go. So definitely, definitely I'm big fan of tracking your progress but then also a way for you to be accountable. So definitely do something along those lines.
All right guys, so that's going to wrap up this episode. Again the show notes are at theamazingseller.com/341 and as always guys remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I'll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Start with TAS – HERE
- Jump into the next TAS workshop – HERE
- Podcast: My Wife Quit Her Job
- Jungle Scout
- Guided Imports
- Flex Port
- The Bootstrap Boutique
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