There is a lot of great advantages to be had when you get the chance to hear how industry insiders would approach a brand or product listing like yours. That’s the thinking behind these Hot Seat Sessions. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Chris joins Scott as they sit down and discuss how to avoid burnout, optimizing your listing, building your brand outside of Amazon and within it, and so much more. If you are looking for the tips and insights that will help you launch into the next level of success, look no further – make sure you listen to this episode!
Avoid burnout and know when to step away
An important aspect of running a small business is making sure you have set aside time in your schedule to unplug and step away. The last thing you want to do is to burnout, it’s not good for your business or your family life. Scott and Chris discuss some practices that they’ve created so they don’t get to that point of burnout. If you want to know what it takes to set those boundaries and make sure you are taking care of yourself, then make sure you catch this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Don’t forget to optimize your listing!
Many Amazon sellers miss a crucial step when they look at their profit margins and wonder what they can do to see an increase. That step is to go back and approach the product listing with fresh eyes, like you would a competitor's. Go through an optimization checklist and make sure every aspect of your listing is as good as it can be! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear Scott and Chris touch on some key tips that you can use to look at your listing with a fresh approach and make sure it’s in the best shape to compete for your customer’s attention. Don’t miss this episode!
You HAVE to build your brand outside of Amazon!
Don’t be content with just selling your product on Amazon, you are leaving money on the table! Find ways to build your brand outside of Amazon and connect with your customers. If you take this advice, you’ll see the kind of success you were after that got you into the ecommerce space in the first place. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris walk through how sellers like you can start making steps to build your brand outside of Amazon. If you are ready to jump in and put in the work, make sure to catch this episode!
Should you tell your brand’s story within Amazon?
If you’ve taken the time to develop your brand and craft a story that will help your customers connect with your products, should you take that story and tell it within your Amazon listing? The bottom line is that it won’t hurt your efforts to share your story on that platform. Now, don’t get your hopes up, most customers on Amazon aren’t looking to connect with a brand, as the platform is designed to get you the most accurate product. If you’d like to hear Scott and Chris dive deeper into this subject, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [1:00] Getting overwhelmed and stepping away.
- [9:00] Chris and Scott jump into this Hot Seat Session.
- [12:00] Building a brand.
- [21:30] Make sure to optimize your listing!
- [23:00] Expand your brand outside of Amazon.
- [25:30] Is it helpful to tell your brand’s story within Amazon?
- [34:00] If people still want your product, you should consider continue selling it.
- [36:30] Chris recaps what they’ve covered.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 359
TAS 359: (Hot Seat) Should I Continue Selling MY Product or BAIL? + Branding and Mindset Stuff
[00:00:02] Scott: Well hey, hey, what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 359 and today I've got my good friend on, Mr. Chris Shaffer and we're going to do another hot seat and we're going to be talking about…
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... should I continue selling a product that might not have the best sales and what should I do with this product or should I bail on the product and maybe start up again? We’re going to dig into all of this stuff. So Chris Shaffer, what's up my friend? How are you doing?
[00:00:31] Chris: Oh, not too much man. Loving, loving this little change in the weather that we're having. It's officially summer down here in Texas even though it's not quite summer through most of the rest of the country yet but I'm absolutely loving it man. Business is good, everything is rolling. So I can't complain about a single thing right now.
[00:00:48] Scott: Yeah, everything is rolling along. A lot of things happening. Actually in my last week's email, I talked a little bit about feeling that overwhelm starting to creep in because we had so many different things going on and it's funny, like sometimes you're like just going along and things are just happening and no big deal and then all of a sudden everything hits at once. And I think like this week, we had a product launch.
We also had another product coming in that was going to be launched. So we had to plan that and then we've got another one coming in next week. So it's like everything is hitting at once and then with the podcast and then with our class and just a lot of things going on. Our live event coming up. It's like just a lot of things happening and I know that you're busy in your schedule as well. So I don't know man, have you felt that at all lately? Feel a little bit of that overwhelm coming in?
[00:01:35] Chris: Well and that's, you and I had a conversation about this the end of last week and I took a mental health day.
[00:01:40] Scott: Yes you did.
[00:01:41] Chris: And unplugged because if I'm here, I'm going to work and I know that that's not necessarily and this is a total tangent from what we're going to talk about but I think it's an important topic. It's one of those things where we have to plan that stuff into our schedule because we're not in that like, Monday through Friday 9 to 5 type of an environment. We tend to work all the time and if you don't schedule some time into literally unplug, my phone was on airplane mode for about 24 hours. I couldn't quite resist a couple times when I was by myself. I turned it off from airplane mode and jumped into the private label classroom and answered some questions but…
[00:02:17] Scott: You, you shouldn’t have did that, come on.
[00:02:20] Chris: I'm going to have to like go hike the trail or something. We’re not going to have cell service to truly unplug. But honestly it was 20 minutes instead of an hour or two and so that was really nice and I did that because we had done … We were wrapping up on 1K Fast Track. We did a product launch that was back to back to back work. All of the stuff that we do on a normal basis and then we had that new cool workshop we did for list building that we spent the whole week making a brand new presentation for everybody and showing everybody exactly how we're launching products and all that stuff. And so it was one of those weeks where like everything hit back to back to back. And it's great and it feels like we got a boatload of stuff done but at the same time if you don't plan for just a little bit of downtime on the back of that, then you end up with two or three of those weeks in a row and then you burnout.
[00:03:10] Scott: Yeah.
[00:03:11] Chris: And so even just that booking a hotel room for 24 hours to get out of the house which is literally what I did. I cheated. I just went across town. But it was far enough away that you’d disassociate from all that stuff. And so if you can plug some of those small breaks in, it makes the crazy amount of stuff that we do a lot more manageable.
[00:03:31] Scott: Yeah, no I agree with that and I’ve tried to set myself up to do the same thing as far as like 5 o'clock. I try to unplug and then have the family time and all that stuff. I try to stay out of the Facebook group or Snapchat or any of that stuff but it's hard. It's definitely hard because it’s part of your life. It's part of what you're doing and honestly I enjoy doing it. So it's not like it's work. That's I think what makes it harder to unplug from. It's not work. Like us, you and I jumping on right here, people could say, “Well you're working right now.” And honestly I feel like I'm just having a conversation with you, talking business, helping people. It doesn't feel like work to me at all.
[00:04:16] Chris: Well we’d be having this conversation whether or not we were recording it and so that’s one of those things and you talk about it doesn't feel like work. If you guys haven't read it, it's a book worth reading, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Everybody's like, “Oh, I want to only do four hours’ worth of stuff a week.” And that's not the moral of that book. The moral of that book is like, you should only feel like you're working four hours and that's…
[00:04:37] Scott: It’s a great title of a book.
[00:04:40] Chris: Which he split tested by the way. More proof that if you guys aren't split testing your Amazon listings you should be. But if you're doing more actual things that feel like work than that for hours then you probably are doing something wrong. And we do a lot of stuff and between the two of us I can safely say we both “work” significantly more than 40 hours a week. But it doesn't feel like that and that's a big difference. And it can be deceiving to us because it doesn't feel like work.
[00:05:11] Scott: Exactly, you get lost in the day. You just get lost in what you're doing because like you said it doesn't feel like work. But anyway, I wanted to bring that up. I know we weren't even planning on talking about that. But I think it's interesting for people to hear that because a lot of people, they'll look back and they'll go or they'll look at people that are successful or whatever or they think they're successful and they’ll be like, “they got it all figured out.” And I'm here to tell you that, “No, no.” I don't have it figured out. Chris doesn't have it figured out and other people that I know that are, “successful” they're always figuring this stuff out and like you said having a mental health day.
I think it's important to do that because we do need to be able to unplug and it's not healthy to not do that and not to mention, you are going to be more productive when you come back. You're going to be more creative, at least that's what I've found. But it's definitely hard. So if you guys are listening and you're thinking to yourself, you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed or overworked or whatever, it is normal. But sometimes you just gotta unplug.
[00:06:15] Chris: I think one other thing on that Scott, before we actually transition to the topic that we were planning on talking about, is like the other sign that you might need to just unplug for the day is that you're stuck and that's something I found. I'm one of these people, I don't think I'll ever be able to “retire” because I'll always need something to do. I'll need that mental challenge and even vacation. Like enjoying two weeks of vacation. Like everybody that works at 9 to 5 is like, “I would love to just take two weeks and do nothing.” That would drive me bonkers but at the same time by the end of that first week, I would be ready and I would be productive again and what I found is, even if you take just that …
Like I took that one day. I took Saturday midday till basically Sunday night and actively chose not to work on my business. And what you find is that, where those walls are in your business, they kind of crumble down and you come up with your solutions in those small mental breaks. And so if you're up against a wall, the solution is not always to work harder. Sometimes you do need to take that step back, take a little bit of time, focus on literally anything that isn’t the problem and the solutions a lot of times will become significantly more apparent to you.
[00:07:31] Scott: Yeah, no I love it. Love it. Alright guys, now we're going to actually talk about what we planned on talking about and that is a hot seat and it's going to be something a little bit different. But again that's what hot seats are. You guys that have been to any of our TAS live events and you've been to a hot seat session or our day that we have full day hot seats, you guys know what this is like and if you don't know what it's like, it's just imagine putting yourself in a seat for 30 minutes and then you just ask questions. To start with, would be Chris and I but then we open it up to the entire attendees. So if there's 25 people in that room, everyone gets to chime in. In this case, it’s going to be me and Chris chiming in and we're going to give some feedback, we're going to give our thoughts and also some questions to maybe ask yourself.
Because I think a lot of times you'll find the answer to your own question if you ask the right questions. A lot of times you don't ask the right questions because you're too deep into it. But you got to ask those questions and that's what I would do. If I'm going to be sitting down with someone and then these questions were going to be asked to me, I'm going to start asking questions because I need to figure out where you are and where you want to go and then from there we can come up with a solution and a plan and a target and all that fun stuff. So Chris why don't I flip it over to you. Why don't you read the email that was sent in for this hot seat and then we can go ahead and really dig into the solution or at least our recommendations.
[00:08:55] Chris: That sounds great. So this email is from Dowell, not quite sure how they pronounce their name. So we're just going to go with Dowell and it says, “Since my last email to you, I've finally gotten my business started. A thousand units are in Amazon and every day has never been more exciting, well in that rollercoaster kind of way, ha-ha. I've definitely come to appreciate the obstacles in the start of this business because of how it fuels creative thinking and the will to become more successful. The obstacles also of course make the ups much more exciting. I make sure small ups are treated as victories to keep me going which is a great strategy,” and actually something that piggybacks well off the conversation we were just having.
[00:09:30] Scott: Totally.
[00:09:31] Chris: “Plus learning something that you have absolute control over is amazing. I'm not quite free from my job but now just having a taste of being an entrepreneur, I refuse to ever give in to that 9 to 5 life. Because I've entered a niche that's competitive, I knew going into this that it would be a rough start, however the motivation and knowledge from your podcasts and workshops have helped me get over every mental obstacle that tries to pull me down. So thank you for everything. My question is, after having done a simple cash flow statement, I see that I'm actually going to sell my product for a few dollars more than what I was hoping for when I initially expected to bring this product in. It's also going to be a slightly higher price than my competitors in order to profit.
I see where I can cut costs however I wanted to ask this, is it possible to say my listing that with the purchase of my product, I can give them a how to guide? I feel this is a great way of increasing value without adding more costs. I feel I have a better knowledge in my niche than most of my competitors. Is this allowed, meaning can I provide a link to the ‘how to guide’ via Sales Backer’? Other ideas I have are writing the description about why my customers should support my brand and my listing. In summary I want to build my brand into a community where it's about a positive mind set and I want everyone from every walk of life to share in this. This would make a great for workshop in building email lists,” which is something we've just covered and actually does play really well into building those email lists.
“I have a blog with a few long but intense stories of my own experiences life, which show how I live a brand that I'm going to create. So I'd like to possibly connect to this in as well. My product is currently averaging one to three sales a day and I'm doing PPC and I'm going to implement all of the stuff that you guys talked about in some of your recent PPC workshops. My ACOS is currently pretty high but that's going to improve as I improve my professionally taken photos, taken with and without models after this I will do a small giveaway spread out over many days to get sales, to get my rank and reviews really going with Sales Backer in place of course, which I assume is going to help my organic sales convert better.
[00:11:35] Chris: Thank you Scott. I would appreciate any advice or guidance in the questions that will help me point me in the right direction so that eventually I can quit my job and begin focusing all my time and energy into this business to create a loyal brand that's going to help so many.” So Scott there was a couple big nuggets in there and I wanted to see kind of what the first one was that pulled your attention out of that email.
[00:11:58] Scott: Yeah, okay. For me personally, what I would and I was writing notes as you were actually going through some of that, that kind of stuck out to me. The first thing that I'm hearing him say, well number one, I'm hearing him say that he got the taste of entrepreneurship and what it would feel like even though there's ups and downs and he liked it. It's like a little bit of a high in a sense. You're excited because you know that you control where this can go and I think once you understand that, I mean the possibilities are endless on what you can do. So I think that was one thing I pulled out just from him going through this process and getting himself immersed in this lifestyle if you will. It triggered something for him which is awesome.
But going into like the product that he's selling, I don't really, and we'll talk about that, I don't really look at the product as being the question here. The question for me is, it sounds like he wants to build a brand that will continually help people and this product might just be one of those items that could help in that but it's probably not the only one that's going to be there. So going back to like where he is right now and with that one product, I wouldn't base the decision on that product as far as, should I abandon this, not just the product but this brand. It sounds like he has a lot of passion, a lot of drive for this brand and for this market, for this niche. So to me it sounds like he's going to find a way to figure this thing out. And I think the product side of things, what I pulled out was, well there's a couple of things.
[00:13:42] Scott: The first thing that came to mind was number one, what are other competitors selling right now so I have a gauge as far as what I'm going to shoot for? Are they selling on a regular basis? Is there 10 sellers that are selling at least 10 per day or 15 per day and I'm only selling one or two? Okay good, I've got room to grow. I've got room to get myself in there or is everyone just sharing 100 sales throughout 10-12 listings per week. You know what I mean? What are the numbers? I guess is what I would be, that would be my first question. Like what are the numbers so I know that if I'm trying to push this thing and really not being able to get to where I need to because just the numbers aren’t there. The demand isn't there. So that's kind of what I pulled out. I know we can dig a lot deeper into this but that's kind of where I'm at with what I heard so far.
[00:14:39] Chris: Yeah and I think the other thing is the first question that kind of pulled out to me and it wasn't really a question, it was more of a statement, was he said, “I'm not going to make as much as I was hoping for.” And this is something and it's not a knock against Dowell, but it's something that a lot of us miss and Scott you and I have done this on an occasion as well. Where when we're looking at the product we go, “Oh, there's a ton of volume.” And we don't necessarily look at the margin as much as we would like to and that's why I think that the margin where you're talking about like in 10 by 10 by 1, you're talking about 10 bucks. Right?
[00:15:13] Scott: Yep.
[00:15:14] Chris: The reason that you suggest having that is for exactly this situation. If you know that you can get it for 10 bucks after everything, even if there's a couple of hidden costs that crop up, you're still going to make some money without having to change your price. So that's just something that I thought was interesting and should be a validation point for products. I think margin for me knocks more products out than just about anything else besides demand.
[00:15:41] Scott: But, but with that being said though Chris, let's talk about that really quick though. And I wrote notes on that part too, where I said, well the first thing I would say to myself is, “Okay, even if I didn't raise my price, could I reduce my costs somewhere?” Because there’s products right now that we're launching that we know that we're paying more but we know in the end if we go by sea, we're going to be able to save two bucks a unit.
[00:16:02] Chris: And he said, he did find some places where he can reduce cost but for the first order he's not going to make any. Basically it's going to be break even and I think that's okay as long as you know that going in. And then you say, “Okay, on the next turn if I order it via sea or if I order two thousand instead of two hundred then my margin is going to be X at this same price.”
[00:16:24] Scott: But let me ask you this so Chris, let's talk about that. So if you're starting with an order of 500 units, are you in your head as a brand new product launch planning to make what you would make if you were already selling for 3, 4, 5 months? Like if you're going into this and I know where you're going to go with it but I need to bring this out because a lot of people don't think like that. They go, “Okay, I bought 500 units, I'm going to use 100 of them for promo,” sometimes they don't even say that, they just go, “I just want to start making money out of the gate. I don't want to discount my product I want to sell for full price.”
And then they wonder why there's no sales but to me that mindset needs to be there from the beginning. There's no business. There's no business out there that you can say that you're going into business and your first 500 customers you’re going to make money out of that, out of those sales. I mean with all the start-ups and the start-up costs and running costs all that stuff but everyone thinks, not everyone but a lot of people think, “I'm going to do a small test order of 500 units and I'm going to make my 10 units or $10 per sale within the first 100 units.”
[00:17:31] Chris: And, is it possible? Absolutely yes. But you should be planning and it's kind of like PPC, like worst case you're planning to break even optimistic for profit. If you can make it fit in that small test order at a profit, then when you scale it to a thousand or two thousand units, you're going to make even more. When you move, if you move from air shipping to sea shipping. You're going to make even more and you're going to add a dollar to every unit or $2 to every unit and that's fine down the road but if you're just doing it to test the market you don't necessarily need to make money, I wouldn't actively try to lose money. So if you could break even that's the ideal situation.
[00:18:14] Scott: Again I mean just talking about what just happened with us and I actually did a podcast episode, actually two of them back to back, where we go through like kind of really goes along with what this discussion is today, about branding or having a brand. But that was episode 356 and then 357. If you guys didn't listen to that, definitely go listen to that. Again, I'll link that up in the show notes to this episode which is theamazingseller.com/359. But we actually talked about a recent case study that we did on a launch that we did over the course of 5 days and in our minds, we're thinking we’re going to sell a couple 100-300 units and we're not going to make any money.
If anything we might lose some money and that's okay but we got to get sales volume or sales velocity. We have to start getting sales and we were pleasantly surprised. Like we actually walked away with over $100 profit on 150 plus units which to us was, we were like jumping for joy. Like, they were like, “Holy crap, that's amazing that that happened.” But we were not going in the mindset that that was going to happen is I guess what I want to just really stress here.
[00:19:21] Chris: Right and that's the ideal situation. We went in on that launching, if you guys haven't heard about that, make sure you listen to those two episodes and we talked about that a little bit in the list building workshop as well and that's how we decided on the promo for that. Was we said, look we could do it at 75% off or 99% off if we really wanted to, but we want to kind of break even and see what happens if we don't lose money. It turned out that we made like 48 cents a unit or something after all the Amazon fees and the different shipping and all that stuff and I think Scott, do you know the final number was like 147 units in 5 days?
[00:20:00] Scott: Yeah, I thought it was 154 but yeah, something like that.
[00:20:04] Chris: It was right around 150 in 5 days and we didn't lose money.
[00:20:12] Scott: No, no. Our BSR was crazy. I mean we got, I think we got as high as like 700 or it was like 800 or 900 BSR in a very competitive category which was just crazy. So yeah, it definitely worked. We're already ranking for some keywords on page one and on the bottom of page one and on the top of page two. So yeah, I mean, I can't stress it enough. Like when you're doing that launch and again even just talking about this situation, like for me to listen to what he had said and say I’m not making the profit I thought I was going to be. If he was saying this was after he's already purchased a thousand plus units, then I might be like, “Alright, now we got to really dial this in.”
But right now, you're still in the building stage. Like you're still in the launch phase in a sense because you're constantly wanting to get those sales to keep triggering Amazon's algorithm, is really what we're trying to do here and to get the reviews coming in slowly and feedback and all of that stuff. But again, it goes back to, is this… The first question I would need to ask and I would need answered is, is there other sellers right now selling 10 plus units a day? And if there are, then you have room to grow. Now he did say it's a competitive market. So I'm going to assume the answer is yes.
So if the answer is yes, then my next question is, why are they selling more than you? And he said something about his pictures can be improved. Well then you got to improve your pictures. You know what I mean? We got to optimize everything as much as possible, so we have the best chance so when we do get those sales, we’re able to get ranked and then once we get ranked we want to get attention from the organic viewers because then that'll start to trigger organic sales and then everything just starts to take off. Don't do that after the fact.
[00:22:10] Scott: Like I think that's a mistake that people make is, they'll do the pre-launch phase which we love, get it all ready and get it set up, get it semi optimized but then before you go live you better optimize that the best that you can. So when you start to get those sales you're able to get as much bump as you can through Amazon. Does that make sense Chris?
[00:22:30] Chris: It does indeed.
[00:22:31] Scott: Alright, cool. So what else are you thinking?
[00:22:34] Chris: So the second big question that I pulled out of this was, does branding help? And there's two parts to this question. Does branding help within Amazon itself? Like talking about your brand and your mission and what sets your product apart on Amazon. And then does having a brand outside of Amazon help to launch your product within Amazon? And I think we just talked about the second half of that. And the answer to that guys is, yes it does. That's the whole point of building that launch list. We were able to launch a product from scratch. We did right around 150 sales in 5 days from sending two, I'm going to call it two and a half email Scott because we kind of cheated and resent the same one once. So we sent two emails basically to that list and then made sure that other people that hadn't seen the first one we sent out.
[00:23:27] Scott: Yeah, we sent it out to unopens and we gave a nice little deadline and all that stuff. And guys I talked about that in episode 357. So that one there, I go through exactly what we did there and also like Chris said, we did a whole workshop showing how we started from scratch and built a list inside of a market from scratch and that was exactly what we followed to launch that first product and get 150 plus sales at 50% off. By the way, if we were to do 75%, I bet you, we probably could have close to doubled that number. But again, we wanted to see what would happen at 50% off because not everyone is doing that and why not try to not give it away in and lose money and try to gain a little bit through that as well. So definitely go check out that workshop too guys, theamazingseller.com/buildlist and again I'll link everything up in the show notes to this episode.
So this way here, you guys just go there and download the transcripts and just go over to those resources because I think those two right there, the episode 357 and the workshop and 356 for that matter. Because 356, I talk about like the 7 steps that we went through from scratch to start a brand. And then from there build an audience and a list in and just those different elements. And I think it really does tie into what we're talking about today. So anyone else that's listening, that's thinking about building a brand. The other thing I want to pull out of here for people and I really want to just unpack a little bit is, he talked about, he wants to share his story and he's already shared it twice. I love that Chris. I love that he's tying the story. How can he tie the story into his listing? Maybe you can cover some things there.
[00:25:18] Chris: And this is something that I want to get your thoughts on because I have a feeling we may disagree a little bit on that.
[00:25:24] Scott: Okay, alright.
[00:25:25] Chris: I want to get your thoughts on how effective it is to try and do that inside of Amazon? And what your suggestions would be.
[00:25:36] Scott: Well, here's the thing. Here's the thing. I think putting it in there could help a little if we can get people to read it. So how do we get people to read it? That's the hard part. Now we're talking about enhanced content, so if we would go down a little bit further in the description, we could actually tell the story through pictures, through some copy and that's amazing. If you have a story to tell, you should do it there. Do I think that that's going to make a huge difference? Not really. My hunch is that it's not because people aren't going to read down that far. That's the only problem.
Now, if you could include a video inside of where your images go, that would be a different story. Now, if we can also have an email list and then we drive them to a video that we shot explaining our story on our blog, on Facebook, do a Facebook live, whatever, that’s another story. But we're talking about just inside of Amazon, I don't think that it's going to be a dramatic difference but I still think that you should do it because if people do read that, will be that little bit of an edge that other people won't have. Is that what you're expecting or were you thinking I was going to say that I would…
[00:26:51] Chris: I didn't know, I didn't know to be honest with you because you and I haven't had much of this conversation although you'll probably recollect some of the things that I'm about to say. Amazon in my opinion is a lowest common denominator platform unlike on your own website where your story can be featured centrally. Your story isn't featured centrally on Amazon. The only way to really tell a story, is to use something like enhanced brand content and that's actually what Amazon wants you to do because they want it to be more about the product and the message behind the product because they know that that's important.
The problem with that at least as of recording this on Amazon, is that nobody bothers to read the freaking description and because of that they look at the pretty pictures, they look at the headline and that's what sells them on the product. So if you can figure out a way to do that in an image, it's probably going to be useful. If you can include something really cool in a bullet point about your brand or about why your philosophy makes your products better that may help. But where that brand story comes in long term is going to be while you're building your own list and when you start selling off of Amazon on your own site if that's something that you choose to do.
Because people don't necessarily have the time, the capacity or the ability within Amazon just because of the way that the site is built to scroll around and find your brand story and then if they do do that, then they can't really find… Then they have to go back to the search results and if it's not the product they want then it's just a bad experience for them so they end up leaving. But just from past experience, we tried to do this with one product and we knew that the product is better and it didn't sell so hot on Amazon but we were able to sell it very quickly off of Amazon through exactly that strategy.
[00:28:45] Chris: The product moved very well off of Amazon but not so well on Amazon because it was a little bit of a more expensive product but it had a brand and a mission behind it and you just don't necessarily get that traction showing in like organic or PPC results. Where you do get that traction is repeat customers. So the place that you're able to create that story and sync that message in, is in those follow up emails. And so, I don't think it's going to help a ton on the front end at least in terms of PPC or organic sales from Amazon but you can build that message and educate that way and I will tell you, we had people who bought one-off products repeatedly to give to their friends and their family because of that message.
And in fact, when we decided not to continue the product on Amazon, they went and found the three-page website that we had built to get brand registered and started buying the product through there. So it was one of those things where we were like, “Oh, okay, apparently people actually do like this product and they resonate with the brand and the message and all of that stuff.” But it doesn't necessarily present itself very easily on Amazon. Does that make sense or is that too much mumbo-jumbo?
[00:29:55] Scott: No, no. It makes total sense and I think the one thing that I would say is like and we've talked about this before, like you're not really necessarily… It's going to take a lot of work to build a brand recognized on Amazon. That's my thought. But is it impossible? No. I think it's easier and better if you build that outside of Amazon and then when you lead people back over to Amazon, if you choose to, in the beginning I think you should, so you can start to get that flow of your customers buying through Amazon and then all of a sudden you're going to see that your customers are going to be there, they're going to look for you and then you'll be found.
But it's a longer, it's a longer road for that and that wouldn't be my ultimate goal. The only reason why you're selling on Amazon if you have a brand that you're building, is because people will be on Amazon that don't know about your brand. So you have to be there and you should be there and that's where you should really start because it's easiest to get started there because to worry about the website. You don't worry about the email list. You don't worry about any of that stuff. But especially if you're in a competitive market like it sounds like he is, well then you need to do what we're talking about. You need to be able to get that story told.
You need to be able to guide them through the journey that they need to go through to understand the product or what you're giving them as far as resources and we call it the customer journey. It's like being able to lead them at the pace they should be led and then it just happens that your products are the solution to some of those either problems or the next step for them. And that's where it really gets powerful but no, I don't think that you're going to put up a really nice logo on Amazon and you're going to put up a good, even good enhanced content and all of a sudden you're going to build this massive brand on Amazon. I think it's going to be harder to do that than to do the other. And that's just my personal opinion.
[00:31:55] Scott: But I do think that, you wouldn't… I guess, don't disregard trying to convey that story or that message in your images and in your description, your enhanced content wherever you can. Like still do it even though it might not be like this huge success. You still want it there because if people go from Amazon to your website, you want that to all sync up. You want it to all be the same message, the same story and then we’re building a full-out brand. Does that make sense or was mine mumbo-jumbo Chris?
[00:32:29] Chris: No, there wasn't too much mumbo-jumbo corporate speech. Here's the problem, branding like leads to all these weird words that make no sense to anybody if they don't have branding. So I think it's important and I have to agree with you there, I don't think what you're going to see, is you're not going to see a huge return on investment from that kind of stuff in Amazon currently. Could they change the platform to feature some of those brands more heavily? Yes. Are they trying to do that with something like the exclusives program? Yes, but the feedback on that from anybody we've talked to is mixed.
That does give you that ability to do the video and you can do video through the A+ program, Vendor Central, Vendor Express if you're enrolled in any of those. Video about the brand and the products might be a good way to do that. And that's why it's so easy to do on your own site, not that easy to do in Amazon just because of the way that the site is structured. But building all of those assets, are extremely beneficial long term for everything that's not revolving around Amazon.
[00:33:35] Scott: Yeah, I agree and again I mean just to wrap this up, because we are at about our 30 minute mark almost after our little rant there that we had in the beginning. But I did want to treat this as we're at one of those TAS live events and I just wanted to recap a little bit and just say that at this point you have to ask yourself those questions. Is this product something that you know that your customers are going to want and need in the future? If they are, then I wouldn't discontinue it. I would still keep it there and I would just try to enhance the images. I would try to add more in the description that could tell that story or why your product is better or why you created it. I think a lot of times it's like why did you create this product to solve your own problem or situation or whatever. I think that's always a good story. So you have to ask yourself that.
The other thing that you asked, that we really didn't talk about was the how to guide and I think it lends itself to what we were talking about before. If you have a resource that you can give them to make it better for them through that experience of using your product or getting ready to use your product, then absolutely you should have that in there. And that goes for anyone whether you're building a brand or not. If you have a resource that you can give those people before they even get the product to show them what to expect and maybe even to make it so they're ready when they receive that product, definitely give them that free resource.
And that free resource can be a PDF and that PDF could have additional videos in it. If you wanted to obviously you'd be linking to a video but as long as you're not linking to a place where they can buy your product not on Amazon, that's the only thing I would be careful of but just have that as a resource. Like I don't know how you can go wrong if you try to over deliver by giving them a lot of resources to make their experience better.
[00:35:36] Scott: Like I don't know how you can go wrong with that. Like, so to answer that question, should you include a how to guide? The answer is yes, you absolutely should. And you make the quality on that really good too. Like not just something thrown together. I'm talking like really thought out, really put together, formatted well, the cover looking like it's a magazine, like everything. Like make that thing stand out, that when they get it they're like, “Oh, this is something that's valuable.”
And if you wanted to kick it up a notch, then you could always offer to give them a printed copy inside of your product. But again, that's going to add to the cost and if you don't have the margins there now, then you probably won't have it to add that in. But that would be even a better option to do that in the future. So Chris I think that's all I've got. Is there anything else you wanted to add before we wrap this this little hot seat up?
[00:36:26] Chris: No, I'd say let's recap everything we talked about because it was a lot. Those three big questions that we talked about where, make sure we know our cost upfront. Do you have to make a profit on your first sale, on that first order? The answer is, no guys. Remember that, what you’re looking for is break even or better if you make a little bit or you make a lot that's even better but if we can get it to at least break even on that first one, that's really what we're looking for.
The second one Scott was like, does having a brand on Amazon help? And I think the answer was, not really but it can't hurt. And then the second part of that, does having a brand off of Amazon help? And the answer to that is absolutely yes. It lets you build that email list. It lets you build real relationships with your customers and that's why you and I have started talking a lot about building that list outside of Amazon.
[00:37:15] Scott: Yeah, I agree and again just to kind of recap the resources, I would definitely check out episode or episodes I should say 356 and then 357 and then I would also check out the workshop that we did where we show you exactly how to go out there and find people in your market, get them to raise their hand and say, “Yes, take my email address and send me valuable stuff in this market.” So we actually show you that. We also talk about this little case study that we just went over with the launch that we just recently did. So that can be found at theamazingseller.com/buildlist and I'll leave everything in the show notes to this episode which is 359.
And the other thing I just want to mention here before we do wrap up Chris, is we are going to be doing a live in-person workshop and we actually we’re only going to do that one day. We’re going to do, it's June 24th, Chris, is it the 24th or the 25th? 24th or 25th. Okay, so and we're also going to do an unofficial meetup in North Carolina. We decided to do North Carolina this year or this time of year because well to be honest with you guys, I'm traveling quite a bit and I wanted to keep it closer to home base here and a lot of people have been requesting us to do one in North Carolina. So we are going to do that. We already announced day one which will be just a workshop.
We're going to sit in a room with only 15 people and we're going to actually help them build their own giveaway and we're going to set everything up with them and make sure that when they leave they have something built and ready to start collecting email addresses and all of that stuff. And we announced that and we filled that already right now so it's totally full. But, we've had some other people requesting to come to that one which we can't do. So we added another day or we're thinking about adding another day, by the time you air this we'll probably have the answer to that.
[00:39:14] Scott: But if you're at all interested in attending either this upcoming one or maybe one in the future, just go to theamazingseller.com/live and all the information will be there. Even the updates as far as the unofficial meetups, like I said, the one that we're going to be doing here in North Carolina is totally free. You can go there, meet with us, have a coffee, have a good conversation with other TAS’ers and we're really looking forward to doing that and that will be again, I think that's the 23rd, right Chris? That's on a Friday.
[00:39:45] Chris: That we're doing the unofficial event? Yeah, it's going to be Friday the 23rd and then the actual workshop is going to be Saturday June 24th.
[00:39:54] Scott: Right and the other day that we're thinking about doing is the 25th and that will be on a Sunday. So just head over there, you'll get all the information, you’ll get the dates, you'll get the location because the location, we're just above, we already know the location to the workshop but the unofficial meetup we're still trying to find space. And I think we found a nice little cool coffee shop. Which I'm pretty excited about. So that's going to be fun. So yeah, that's pretty much all I got. Chris, any other last little parting bits of wisdom or advice you wanted to leave people with?
[00:40:26] Chris: Other than what we started off with at the beginning, I think that's kind of the big takeaway. Focus on the stuff that makes a difference but don't be afraid to take a minute and kind of sit back and reflect on stuff. It's going to make your business better.
[00:40:39] Scott: Yeah, cool. Alright guys. That's it. That's going to wrap up this hot seat session. I want you guys to remember as always, 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, Chris is going to do it with us this time. On the count of three, here we go baby. You ready Chris? Are you ready?
[00:41:00] Chris: I am.
[00:41:01] Scott: Alright, let's do it.
[00:41:02] Chris: On the count of three I can.
[00:41:03] Scott: I can do it, let’s do it. One, two, three, “Take Action.” Have an awesome amazing day guys and I'll see you right back here on the next episode. Alright, I'm just going to try to, go ahead, give me a test, so I can just see your levels.
[00:41:21] Chris: Test, test, test. These are my levels Scott. Are these levels good? Are these beautiful levels?
[00:41:26] Scott: They look good, they're hitting the yellow and not even touching the red which is good.
[00:41:29] Chris: That is ideal. Now why we're not peeking.
[00:41:33] Scott: Alright, here we go.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Book: The Four Hour Work Week
- Don’t miss TAS Episode #356 – HERE
- Don’t miss TAS Episode #357 – HERE
- Make sure to catch all the TAS resources on building a list – HERE
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