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…looking at some corn fields, some wheat fields and we’re heading to South Carolina. I’m accompanied by another special guest, his name is Papa V as you guys might know him.
[00:00:44] Scott: What’s up Papa V, what’s going on over there in the passenger seat?
[00:00:46] Papa: I’m doing great.
[00:00:50] Scott: It’s weird here. We were driving most of the morning here and afternoon and we had the windows open, now we’ve got the air on so we are just hanging on here. I wanted to do a random episode here and see where this would go. I had no idea but I figured, you know what, we’re going to be in this truck for another six hours so why not try to get a podcast recorded. It would be kind of fun. Dad, what I’m wanting to talk about today because I hear a lot of people struggle or ask the question like, “Where do I start as far as building a business in general?” I get that question a lot but I get people that say, “I want to start my business. Do I start on Amazon? Do I build my own website? Where do I start?”
I think I want to really just drive the point home that we can start on Amazon. That’s great and that’s where everyone can test a product, validate a product and all that good stuff. In the end, if we are going to be building a long term business I really think we have to understand about brand building and content marketing and all of that stuff so that you can build a business that cannot only have people buy products but also you can educate them and start building this loyal following of an email list. Dad, I’m going to ask you a question. I’m going to see if you can give me an answer after you’ve finished chewing those chips. We got a bag of chips here. We’re not elbow deep but we’re close.
Let me ask you a question. Going back to when we were doing the construction business and we were pretty successful at it at the time when we were starting to grow, what do you think…? Again guys, this isn’t scripted at all. I want to wait and see what he says. What do you think that the reason that people came to us versus other people in the business? There is a lot other competitors out there, heck there was even a Home Depot at the time, they had their own sellers and all that stuff. Why would you say that they would come to us versus coming to the lowest price which would be like home depo or something like that? Go ahead.
[00:03:01] Papa: We are a family owned business.
[00:03:04] Scott: That was your pitch? “Hi, how are you doing? We are a family owned business so buy from us.”
[00:03:12] Papa: Well, that was just one of the things. We were honest and we put that in our ads that we were honest.
[00:03:19] Scott: Okay. We are honest. Do you think also that maybe we talk about well we been in business for X amount of years so because of that we have credibility. We’re giving them social proof that, “Hey, we’ve been around. We are not just a subcontractor.” I remember us talking about subcontractors.
[00:03:45] Papa: Yes and to be honest with you, subcontractors I really didn’t enjoy using them because a lot of times they wouldn’t do the job like I would do it. I was always skeptical about that and I wanted to be done our way which we felt was the best way.
[00:04:07] Scott: Okay. I did some sales within our company at that one point where I got out of the actual installation and I started doing the sales. My sales pitch was really, “We’re a family owned business, we’ve been doing this now, my father has and his partner and now myself included have been inside the business they’ve been operating for just about 20 years. We’ve got thousands, probably at that point in time of satisfied customers. We have testimonials that we could show people, references… But the subcontractor thing was like we don’t really use subcontractors because we want to train our help so because of that we want the job done our way, our compan’s way.
Home Depot and those big box stores they are going to hire a subcontractor and they don’t really know who’s going to install the job. They can’t say that Larry and Fred are going to do the job. Guys, what I want you to understand is when you are building a business whether it’s brick and mortar or whether it’s on Amazon, there’s something that comes to… It’s kind of like Amazon. We’re all driven off of the reviews. The reviews are social proof. The social proof of the reviews is what’s really is selling if it’s a good decision or not.
Also talking about credibility it’s kind of like our testimonials and our being a business for X amount of years locally that was our five start ratings that we could then show people. At that time Amazon wasn’t around. There were some reviews sites but not many as there is now, like Yelp and all of those. We would always put in there all of those highlights like over 20 years’ experience, all in-house installers, no subcontractors. All off the things that we knew people were skeptical about, we would put in there and let them know that that’s how we would do things.
[00:06:07] Scott: I’m going to ask you this again too dad so get ready. What do you think when people were choosing between us and someone else…? Oh, wait a minute. Maryland welcomes you. We just got a sign that said, “Maryland welcomes you.” We are in Maryland now. Hello Maryland. Cool. Welcome to Maryland everyone. As I’m driving this big Penske Truck getting passed by a huge semi, I’m going about 60 miles an hour, with a car behind me. I’m towing right now and a truck full of my house belongings. It’s crazy. What was I asking now dad? Okay.
All right. My point was this. I don’t even know where I was going with that. My point was this. Is that when you are in business, you need the credibility and the credibility from others is always the best. We can sit there and we can be a great salesman and say, “Oh wow, look at us. We’ve been in business for these many years.” When you have other people saying that we are one of the best, that’s going to help sell the job. My point is this. Whether you are on Amazon or whether you’re not on Amazon you want to put those testimonials somewhere. I would say, to build a really successful brand is to also start having those reviews. Not just happen on Amazon but also get those when people email you back and again that’s why if you do stuff off of Amazon, that’s going to help us get our own testimonials so this way we can put them on our own website.
Now, what I want to do is talk about… This is some things I want to talk about too dad. What we could have done now or what we could have done now if we were in business versus when we were in business because we didn‘t have the tools that we have now. Number one right now if anyone is building a real business, I think you need to really focus on branding in as far as your website goes. You need a solid website that is your home base. Dad, why don’t you talk a little bit about like what did our website look like at that time?
[00:08:16] Papa: It was very simple. Just showed a few products onto it and a little description but there wasn’t much there but today you can put a lot more into it and it’ll look a lot more professional
[00:08:32] Scott: Yeah. Again. Think about now. I know that your partner would never have went for this but, oh my gosh, the things we could have done, right? We could had Facebook ads driving people to our brink and mortar store within a certain radius. We could have those people… Let’s just say for example, we ran an ad and it drove people to a certain page. We could have dropped the Facebook pixel on that page and then we could have retargeted the later and said a sale or… This here would have been a good one. “Ten things to do before this winter to make your windows more cost effective,” or, “Make it more winterized,”… I don’t know what I’m trying to say, make them more tight. This way here they didn’t leak the cold air, you weren’t letting your dollars fly out of the window. We could have did some content driven around that thing.
We could have also, which I know that no one in the office was doing this. was building an email list. We could have had some type of contest. We could have run once a week. Once a week we could have ran a contest for maybe, three free windows. We might have spent 600 bucks for those windows and maybe a couple hundred bucks in installs, about $800 and then we could have driven so many leads or emails that we knew people were interested in windows. Do you think your partner would have went for that?
[00:10:05] Papa: Not at all. He didn’t know which end of the computer to use, actually he didn’t know what it was.
[00:10:14] Scott: No. He was not into the computer at all. Even when we talked about marketing and anything like that he just didn’t want to do anything with it. Again guys, I just wanted to randomly come on here and go through some of these things that we could be doing in our business that we should be. As you’re building a business, it’s great to start on Amazon and I’m a huge, huge endorser of starting on Amazon. It’s great but I think that to create a real sustainable business we need to start creating our own channel and that starts with your own website. That website can be very, very basic. It could be your home page with just maybe some really useful articles or it could be… We got to wait a minute here. We got to let someone merge.
Then it can have ‘About Me’ page, you can have a ‘Contact Us’ page, and then I would say maybe four or five articles that were helpful for people to know to winterize a house, know what to look for in a window when you’re purchasing it, what to know about shingles before you make your purchase or maybe find by using a tool like… What’s the one? LongTail Pro or maybe even just a Google planner and see what are the most common questions people are asking about windows or doors or siding. Then start writing articles around that that give the answers. Maybe heck maybe we can do this dad. Maybe we can have this secretary when she gets a phone call and they ask questions she actually writes them down and then we write articles. To support it we put it on our website. How does that sound?
[00:11:53] Papa: Perfect. That would be perfect.
[00:11:56] Scott: It would be great. Right. I got to let people merge in here or we are going to get in an accident. We are getting a little crazy here. All right. Guys, like I said there’s all these different things but it all comes down to this, “How can you serve your market that you are trying to serve?” It could be as simple as just figuring out the most commonly asked questions and then you going ahead and answering them and a piece of content on your blog. I heard a podcast the other day where a guy was selling in ground pools and he started basically posting content about in ground pools, about these common questions like what’s the life span on a concrete pool versus a fiber glass pool?
Those were the common questions. He started writing articles about all these commonly asked questions. Guess what? Sold over a hundred pools last year. A hundred pools, in ground pools not above ground. This stuff here works not just for Amazon. It works for everything. Now, let‘s move a little bit further. Now let’s say we have a blog or a website basically they are the same thing to me then the very first thing you’re going to want to do is then you want to create a little piece of content that people would want to opt in for meaning get their email address. Again, for me if you are selling something right now then why not if you’re going to give them a product away or if maybe you’re going to do a bundle or a maybe you’re going to give them something that they could raffle off as a contest well maybe what you do is you do a contest every single week for the next month.
[00:13:52] Scott: If you guys listen to the interview I did with Mike Jackness he did that with his colored pencils and he was able to get 30,000 email addresses from giving away… I think he gave away like one or two sets a week. He would drive traffic to that lead page where then people would opt-in. Then one winner would get a free set and everyone else would get a discount to purchase the other sets. Like let’s say that you enter the contest but you didn’t win well guess what, you’re going to get an email that says, hey sorry, you didn’t win but here’s 25% off of your own set. We want to make sure that we gave you something special for doing this. Now we know that they are targeted. My point here is and I’m rumbling a little bit, is I see people wanting to just find that widget and sell it on Amazon. I want to make sure that we’re thinking bigger than that. You guys have heard me talk about this and I’m going to talk about it more and more because it’s so important.
We need to think about the market that we want to serve or that we’re serving and how can we create more products for that market and then how can we create useful content, that’s the next level. That’s the next phase to where now once you create value for them to come and educate themselves, they might consume ten pieces of your content. It could be a video showing a demonstration on how to fix something and then you have parts to fix it. All of those things are ways for you to grow something that over time can just start building upon itself like over and over again. There’s going to be people always coming into your market with these same types of questions that you can have the answers to because you’re getting them yourself. Knowing your market is huge, it’s huge. If you know your market… Dad, let’s talk about this for a second.
We’ll run through this real quick. This will be fun.
[00:13:52] Scott: Let’s say for example, I know that you are a big bowler. Let’s go through that scenario for a minute. Right now in your market, right now, if I wanted to go in bowling products, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bowling products, first thing?
[00:16:06] Papa: First thing would be shoes.
[00:16:09] Scott: Okay. Now we’ve got shoes. Now a bowler needs shoes. Now, let’s think about what kind of content could we create that would be about shoes. Is there a certain type of shoe that is best for…? What do you look for in a good shoe?
[00:16:29] Papa: Myself I look for an interchangeable sole because all approaches are a little different. If I was doing this all over again and if I was a young person where I go to a lot of tournaments there would be a lot of different approaches. I would react differently. I would have to change my soles. That would have to be my number one product that I would sell as a pair of shoes that I could change the sole.
[00:16:57] Scott: Okay, now we’ve got a shoe and there’s a lot going to the shoe. There’s all different, not just the sizes but there’s different styles and all that. That could be good but there’s going to be a lot of sizes. That might be a tough one to start with but it’s there. If you and I are talking right now and this is random like I said, I would say okay let’s put the shoes on the back banner right now because there’s a lot of different sizes but that’s one product that could fit into that product line. What else do I need as a bowler? That’s a competitive bowler. We’re not talking about just the average bowler. I’m talking about the guy or the girl that’s looking up how to like perfect their game. What would be something else that’s at that pro level in a sense?
[00:17:36] Papa: The bowling ball, you got to have a good bowling ball. You’ve got to have a good bowling ball and I use a bowling glove too because my hand is getting a little bit weaker and I need something to support my wrist. I do use a bowling glove.
[00:17:57] Scott: I like that. Right now we’ve got an accessory around the ball. We’ve got the bowling ball. The bowling ball could be a great thing to sell. Maybe we don’t sell that, maybe we sell things for the bowling ball or maybe I know inside of the bowling ball there’s special grips. There’s those, there’s tape for inside because you’ve got to be able to have tap tape sometimes because your hand swells or shrinks. That’s all things around the ball. What else? Do you need something to…? What are you pointing to? Oh West Virginia, my father’s pointing. Wait a minute guys. One, two, three. Boom! Welcome to West Virginia. We’re in West Virginia right now. The speed limit is 70 and I don’t even think this truck can go 70 with this load on here. My father says, “I wouldn’t do it.”
All right. We got bowling shoes, we got a bowling ball, now we’ve got bowling glove, we’ve got inserts that go into a fingertip ball because a fingertip ball is more of a high end ball, a bowler if your serious, there’s tape that goes inside of the holes. What else? Anything else do I need as a bowler?
[00:19:08] Papa: Well, you may need a rosin bag to keep your hand dry in between shots. That would work.
[00:19:17] Scott: Okay, we got a rosin bag. Now is there different style rosin bags or is there a powder bag? I’m asking, I don’t even know.
[00:19:24] Papa: No, there’s only one type of rosin bag and that’s rosin bag. There is different shapes. You get one like a baseball, you get one like a little pillow, it just depends on where you’re buying it but they all do the same job.
[00:19:38] Scott: Okay, all right. Now, we got a rosin bag, we got a bowling bag, we’ve got shoes, we’ve got… What about those little sucky things that go over top of the toe?
[00:19:48] Papa: Oh, yeah. They’re called sliders and what they do is they eliminate you sticking but they’re more for the… I use one myself because I fell once and I didn’t want to fall again. I bowl just in one house now, I don’t bowl in tournaments anymore. They work on the approaches, which you’re familiar with. You will be fine with just a sock.
[00:20:14] Scott: Okay. The other thing to point out here because I know a lot of times when I was bowling in the league guys would wear the sock to go to the bathroom so they don’t get anything wet on the actual bottom.
[00:20:26] Papa: That’s a different type. That’s something else. That’s if you want to walk outside your car or if you want to walk into the men’s room and you don’t want to get your feet wet because water and bowling shoes do not mix. You’ll step, you’ll fall. They are called little booties.
[00:20:42] Scott: Okay. We got booties now. I know we got a bowling bag too, we got to carry the ball.
[00:20:50] Papa: I had a bag that carried six balls but right now I downscale it to where I carry four.
[00:20:57] Scott: Okay, now we’ve got a bowling bag that holds one ball, two balls, I’ve got one that holds three, you’ve had one that held up to six. A lot of different products there that can be potentially be private labeled there as well. We’re going through all of these different products for one type of person in a market or niche inside of bowling. We’re not going after bowling for people that are just bowling on Friday night with their kids. That’s a different market. They are not going to spend as much as the avid bowler. Again, I’m must running through this because now, let me turn it now and say this. Someone that’s bowled, myself personally, and I know some of these but let me ask you this dad. What do you think that someone that is in your situation, that’s in a more competitive league and stuff and by the way, Papa V, let’s tell people… How old are you now?
[00:21:58] Papa: 72.
[00:21:59] Scott: 72 years old. How many times do you bowl every single week?
[00:22:02] Papa: I bowled three times, probably nine to ten games.
[00:22:09] Scott: Then let me ask you this. What was your average ending this year?
[00:22:13] Papa? 199.
[00:22:17] Scott: 199. You missed the 200 by one pin. What was it last year?
[00:22:19] Papa: 206, last year.
[00:22:21] Scott: Okay. I just want to give a little shout out there. It’s pretty darn good, pretty good average there. Anybody that knows about bowling. Let me ask you this now. Whether it’s you or people in your league, what do you think people would be searching online? Not even just product but like what are they searching online? What would you be searching for online about your game?
[00:22:47] Papa: How to throw a hook.
[00:22:49] Scott: How to throw a hook. I would probably go to Google planner and see what comes up when I search that or LongTail Pro because now that can get a bunch more ideas. What else?
[00:22:59] Papa: How to pick up spares.
[00:23:01] Scott: How to pick up spares. Maybe there’s a certain thing that’s a very tough spare. What one would that be?
[00:23:06] Papa: Of course if you’re right handed it’s a ten pin, if you’re left handed it’s a seven pin.
[00:23:11] Scott: Maybe you go and you create some You Tube videos that show how to pick up the ten or the seven. Then as they are doing this, they are going to be led into your funnel as we call it, your sales funnel, so now you’re going to be able to deliver more content. Our lady just said we have something come up ahead. What did they say there dad? Are we okay? We’re good here? We’re still Cruising, we’re in West Virginia now.
[00:23:36] Scott: All right. We’ve got this app… What’s this app we’re using too by the way?
[00:23:39] Papa: It’s called Waze
[00:23:40] Scott; It’s called Waze.
[00:23:43] Papa: W-A-Z-E.
[00:23:43] Scott: W-A-Z-E. Yeah. Waze. What it does is it let’s us know like if there’s debris on the road, if there’s a cop ahead, if there’s an accident. Yeah, there’s the car right there and it’s pretty cool. We discovered it this when we were in Miami, coming back from Miami. The Uber guy had it and we asked him about it. If you guys want a cool app for GPS it’s WAZE. WAZE. Yeah, okay, good. Okay. Now, back to what I was talking about. Like I said we’ve got a market of a bowler that’s more of at a competitive level. How can we create a resource for this bowler that’s looking for products and looking for information to improve their game? I just ran through this scenario and I didn’t even pick this. I don’t even know why I didn’t think of this earlier when we were thinking about what to do because I’m like we should really just jump on and just rumble a little bit about different things, about business. It’s important to understand that this is the stuff that goes through my head all the time.
If someone comes to me with, “I want to be able to start a business,” my first thing is always, “Okay, go into your own life, what are you either passionate about or what are you doing right now that you’re researching stuff to become better at or to fix a problem or whatever it is.” If you can start there and then figure out the market then from there everything else is so easy. Look at that, I just went through very, very easily and I got a big truck here by the way. We’re good. Man, that was close. You just have to reverse it and say, “Okay, what kind of questions will that market be asking and if you are the market then it’s pretty darn easy or like I’ve said before pick up a magazine at the supermarket. Look at all the ads that are in there. Those ads are products that are being served to that market or number two, look at all of the articles that are how to … There she is again. What is she saying? Something else ahead?
[00:25:44] Papa: No, no. Vehicle stop.
[00:25:47] Scott: Vehicle stop. By looking at that magazine you’re going to be able to see the products that are being served to the market and the different topics or the different things that that market is looking for. How to improve your bowling game or bowling score by ten points. Now, there’s the car too off the road right there. See that? That app told us that and then there’s the car. That’s a pretty cool thing. Back on track here. What I’m trying to say though is if there are things that you’re interested in start there. I did a periscope the other day and I said, “I want you guys to do an exercise.” Maybe you guys can do the same thing right now. Ask yourself this question, forget about products, forget about doing any research right now. Think about, if you could do anything right now, every single day and be so excited to do it and not mind writing content or creating videos or researching to become more of an authority in that space or whatever, what would that be?
Would it be bowling like my dad just said? Would it be fishing because you’re a fisherman? Would it be a mechanic because you’re really a hardcore working on your car in the weekend? What is it? We all have these things There’s a lot of times that you’re an expert of things that you don’t even know that you are. When you can become an expert at this, it makes your job so easier and you don’t have to be an expert that have to be, “I have done this for ten years.” You just got to be someone that’s been through it and be a little bit further than someone else. That’s it. That’s really what an expert is to me. It’s someone that can help me move forward from where I am from right now. If you can do that you can reverse it back.
[00:27:43] Scott: Again my point when I started this whole thing was like how can we create a business that isn’t just dependent on Amazon and how we can create our channel, our own platform to serve a market. If you can think about that, I want you to, I want you to ask yourself those questions and go back and do exactly what I just did with my father there where I was like, “Okay, what are the most commonly asked questions? Like what have you looked up on You Tube?” How to pick up a ten pin. How to pick up a seven pin. How to cut down on my hook. How to increase my hook.
All of these different things. How to slow down my approach. All these are different things. That’s funny, Quad Gaphics. See that? There was a trucker trailer that said Quad Graphic, that was one of the second jobs I had out of high school, was Quad Graphics which is a printing place and they print some pretty big magazines sports illustrated, golf digest and readers Digest. I worked there for about nine months, inside of the factory which I hated by the way but it was a great experience. It showed me that I did not want to work in a factory. Going to back what I was trying to convey here is that yes Amazon is a great place to start and I’m not ever going to say right now, at this time, to not start there. If you’re brand new and you haven’t started yet that’s the place to start. Why?
You don’t need a website, you don’t need a blog, you don’t need to know anything about code or tech or anything like that. You just get started, put your products up and go through the launch process which I’ve already outlined. Once you start getting some momentum and start getting some sales then the next part of that is to start thinking about the market and how you can serve that market with other products. Once you do that, to me that’s game over. Now you’re building a real true asset that you control and not depending on just Amazon. Do you still want Amazon’s sales, absolutely. Do you want Ebay sales? Yeah.
[00:29:52] Scott: Do you want to put your product on other market places at that’s selling? Yes but wouldn’t it be so much more fun to be able to create a product line that could then serve that same customer and then if you build that email list by running a contest? What if I did a contest for bowling for my father. Let’s say I didn’t even own these products right now. Let’s say I went after a really popular bowling glove, maybe a bowling sock, maybe a rosin bag, maybe even a single ball bag or a double ball bag and maybe I spend $200 on these products and I had them shipped to my house and then I ran a contest on Facebook to give that away.
Just to collect emails. Then from there I got a list of people that I know that are interested in bowling and now I can start to tap into that list. So many people don’t want to spend the money on the upfront to start to get intelligence and to start building that email list. I can go on for the next five hours that we’re on this track on this topic but dad, what do you think about all that that I just rumbled there.
[00:30:58] Papa: It’s a lot of good advice and follow it.
[00:31:03] Scott: It’s pretty simple but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Going back to basics is always a good thing but if you just write down all of these different things about the market or what the market needs and wants it becomes a lot easier. That’s what I wanted to do here. That’s going to wrap up this episode. I’m going to go ahead and stop driving with one hand. I’m actually holding this mic so hopefully the audio came out okay. I know the road noise is a little bit high or hopefully you can still hear me okay. You guys were able to come to Maryland with me and West Virginia. That’s pretty cool. There goes a motorcycle.
All right. Guys, keep it simple, understand that there’s a lot more out there than just Amazon and am I saying to not sell on Amazon? No. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying yes, still start there but I want you to also know that I’m… I get people that say, “Scott, what happens if Amazon goes away?” and I just want people to understand that I’ve never once said “build your business on Amazon only”. I’ve never ever said that. I just wanted to bring that back and let you guys know that I’ll be talking about this as well because I’m working on this stuff in my own business as I have in the past. I built other online businesses doing this exact same thing. Hopefully in the future I’ll go ahead and share some more with you guys on that. All right. This will probably air when I am settled in South Carolina so hopefully I can look back and go, “I remember recording that and I remember I had a truck that was loaded to the max capacity and I got to unload it.” Hopefully that will all be in the past which it will be because there’s no looking back now.
All right guys. That’s it. One little reminder. If you guys wanted to attend an upcoming workshop you can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and you can register for an upcoming one there. We’ll walk you through the five phases for finding your products, for sourcing, getting your product launched and everything in between. Definitely go over and register for that. We’ll see you over there.
[00:33:20] Scott: All right. Dad, you want to say anything before we go?
[00:33:24] Papa: No, I got nothing more to add.
[00:33:29] Scott: He’s tired. Would you ever think that a guy like me that doesn’t stop talking he’s got such few words?
[00:33:38] Papa: Ya that’s true.
[00:33:38] Scott: He’s tired. All right. We’ll see you guys. Thank you so much for listening in this road podcast or on the road podcast, whatever we want to call it. I used to call it a car cast but this is actually a car cast. All right guys. That’s going to wrap it up. I’m really starting to rumble, have an awesome amazing day and remember, I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on. Say it with me, say it loud, say it in West Virginia with me or wherever you are, Dad say it with me too, one, two, three, “Take action.”
Have an awesome amazing day and we’ll see you guys on the next episode. Peace.
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