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…. It's a rare coaching call and the reason why I say rare is because I've got a lot of people that reach out to me and they want to pay me to do coaching calls. A lot of money by the way, and I turn them down generally because I am more focused on the podcast, building my brands and also the training and the courses that we have available inside of TAS. All right. But what I want to do because I enjoy it, I want to do these on my own terms, number one, but I also wanted to be more about building brands. Now, recently I had a couple reach out to me and they just ask questions like they had an email, ask questions, also asked if I did any private consulting and I said no. Currently, I do not.
And I said, “But here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to invite you on a podcast. I’d like to record our session just kind of like off-the-cuff like nothing planned and I want to just hear where you’re at, where you’re stuck, and kind of give you the roadmap that if I was to sit down and I was in your situation or helping you or even part of your business, what plan would I give you? What plan would I say, ‘Let’s do this and let’s like move forward and then phase 2 will be this?’” and kind of moving through the process. Very similar to what we’ve done here in the new brand. So, that’s what you’re going to listen to today. So, I’m going to try to make this intro as quick as possible because it’s about a 50-minute coaching session. Now, I’ve titled this the exact plan to build a brand in competitive markets and that’s exactly what it is. You’re also going to hear how we can go after competitive markets, but we sometimes have to find the low hanging fruit in those markets and then we’ll work ourselves into those markets. The other thing is, is I want to talk about and I’m going to talk about the inside of this coaching call is like some people right now are just burned out in their jobs and they’re successful technically and actually rich.
[00:02:05] Scott: It was Lynn and Rich, by the way, that reached out to me and they’re going to be on the call with me but they’re very successful in their jobs. They’re just burned out and they want out. So, it’s kind of hard. How do you replace that income and how do I do this on the side? So, all of those things start coming in. The other thing that came up quite often just overwhelmed like where to start. There's so much information out there that I just don't know where to start. I'm confused. Some people are saying just find products that are selling. The other people are saying find the passion that you're into and that you can build the brand around. So, they're having these mixed messages so you’re going to hear throughout this really my vision and then also the way that I look at business in general. So, that’s what you’re going to be listening to and I’m really excited for you to hear because I think it’s valuable. I really, really do.
Now, the other thing I want to do and I’m not sure how many I’m going to do of these, but you guys have probably heard the episode. It was 506 I believe where I talked about how I’m going to be starting to mix in like not just Amazon stuff but like how to build brands and how to even do digital products, how to do digital marketing like all of that stuff is now going to be part of The Amazing Seller which I’m excited about. It allows me to really talk about all of that stuff that I’m really passionate about too but I’m also doing. I’m doing it within our own brand and I’m also doing it here in The Amazing Seller. So, I want to be able to share that stuff with you because I think it’s really powerful if you can incorporate the two. Now, what I want to do is invite you to do this is to email me. You can just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Either myself or someone on my team will get it and just in the subject line, write Passion Project. Now, this is if you have something that you want to either start or you want to take your brand right now that you are into or that you’re growing and you want to get on a call with me just like the one I’m doing right here and have me kind of discuss your plan, your roadmap, your blueprint.
[00:04:02] Scott: If you are interested in that, maybe you have something that you’re doing right now but you’re okay with it. It’s bringing in some money, but you really have this other thing over here that you want to build a brand around and I would love to kind of talk all about that and really give you a plan that I would be executing. So, that’s what I want to do there. Now, like I said, I’m not going to be able to do all of these obviously and I’ve already got a whole bunch of people that submitted those but I’m going to be picking through them and seeing the ones that I think that will give the most value to you guys, the listeners, and that I feel like I can help the most with. So, if you are interested in possibly being on one of these coaching calls, all you got to do is email email@example.com, subject line: Passion Project and then inside of that email, describe exactly what you want to do, and I’ll let you know if I can help you is really what I’m doing there. And the other thing I want to do here, and this is a perfect spot for it because everything we are talking about here in this podcast today and moving forward is really about building brands.
Now, Product Discovery Bootcamp is our new training and inside of this training, it really is building the foundation for building a brand. It’s not just about finding the products. It’s called Product Discovery Bootcamp and what it really is, is finding a market then finding the products through that market and then building a brand in that market. That’s what Product Discovery Bootcamp is. If you are interested in going through that training, head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Bootcamp and you can get all the details there and see if it’s a right fit for you. But that’s our newest training. I’m very excited about it. A lot of people are getting great results going through it especially getting clarity, and I’m telling you something, if you figure out the market that you want to go into and you are building a brand and that’s all you’re doing, you are going to be able to take all of your bandwidth, all of your energy, your focus is going to be driving towards building that brand and product selection will become so much easier because now you’re focusing on one market and submarkets inside of the main market.
[00:06:07] Scott: So, definitely go check it out if you’re interested and you can get all the details there. All right. So, I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can listen to this amazing coaching call that I did with Lynn and Rich. Again, I want you guys to think of your own situation by going through this and see if there’s anything here that you can take away and I’m sure you are and then just from there, take action on that one thing. All right. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this coaching call.
[00:06:35] Scott: So, why don’t we start by you just tell me a little bit about what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking that you want to do it I think would be a good place to start.
[00:06:47] Lynn: Right. Well, we both are in a situation where we’ve been in our careers a long time which owns his own business and we’ve both been looking to try and hopefully transition into something different. Initially, it was for additional revenue and then it really became, especially for me, that I would actually like it to be my full-time. I would like to completely transition out to what I do now and move into something different full-time. And being that he’s very entrepreneurial, I’ve owned my own business in the past, that was more the direction we wanted to go versus looking into jumping into just a different kind of career. And so, we just started thinking about and sort of researching what we can do and we started looking at online businesses and thought that was something that really resonated with us.
And then, of course, you have to figure out, okay, well what kind of business are we going to do online? And I’ve always been very much into health and sort of natural beauty care and things like that and so we started looking at that niche and what could we do with it or could we fit into it? And through the whole process, of course, Amazon came up because when we’re looking at possibly buying a business, those kept coming around. So, then I said, “Well, maybe we could do some sort of natural skincare on Amazon,” but then looking at the numbers, it looked very competitive and I didn’t know that we could really get our foot in the door at this point because it’s so competitive on Amazon.
[00:08:40] Lynn: And then in the background we were also already starting to test some products while we’re doing all our research and hair loss was a big niche that we sort of started joining in on for multiple reasons because women in my age group, I’m 50, definitely start to notice changes in their hair quality and of course for men it’s always been an issue. And so, Rich and I started actually trialing a product, a private label product, and we actually started having some good success with it, so we were getting a little excited about it but again, looking on Amazon it’s just so competitive. If I’m trying to follow the criteria that everybody talked about in picking a product to sort of brand and sell on Amazon, it definitely doesn’t fit that. So, that was when I sort of found you and said, “Well, you know, I don’t know. Maybe we should just look at something else or maybe we can really try and do this outside of Amazon.”
[00:09:42] Scott: Okay. It sounds familiar. I’ve heard the same kind of story and it’s perfect. Now, okay, Rich, is your business brick-and-mortar right now?
[00:09:57] Rich: A bit brick-and-mortar. It’s the restaurant business. I’m kind of in a unique situation in the sense that I’m 53 years old. I’ve been doing the same thing for fresh out of college, 32 years. It’s a restaurant business and I am very successful which is it’s a strange thing because I make a lot of money and I just at this point, after 32 years, I just don’t like what I do. I feel like I’m a slave to my income and I have to transition out of this just for my own well-being. I don’t enjoy what I do anymore. So, the problem with making a lot of money in something you don’t like is that you’re obviously probably not thriving as much as you probably could even do if you liked it but second of all, it’s bittersweet because you’ve become a slave to the income and your lifestyle usually surrounds that income to a point that you need to make somewhere in that range.
So, in my situation, I can’t just make a little bit extra money on the side. While that would be nice, Ultimately, what I’m looking for is something that has the potential to be large and I would even put money behind it. I just don’t want to waste money and I don’t want to waste time. So, I’m looking for guidance and to go in the right direction and this like inundated online of people that are just looking to take your money and try to teach you things and I'm always very skeptical about people that are teaching instead of actually doing. It's been my life experience that those people tend to not be the successful ones and that's always my concern. I just don’t want to keep throwing money at different courses and all those kinds of silly stuff because I’m really looking, I’m more of a serious businessman and I’m just looking for guidance and not to waste a lot of time and money to get the success I know I’ll get. It’s just my threshold of stepping off from my career is probably higher than most but I have to do it just for my own well-being. I just don’t enjoy what I do anymore.
[00:12:04] Scott: Yeah. It makes sense. I mean, that totally makes sense. There's a lot of people that make a lot of money but they're not happy. So, you know what I mean? Like, you get to that point, you’re like, “Oh, if I get to that one level of being successful then I’ll be happy,” and then you get there and you’re like, “Well, wait a minute. This isn’t what I thought it was going to be.” So, that’s totally a common thing and I think it’s also everyone wants change. I mean 30 some years, that’s a while to be doing very similar things so kudos to you, man, for doing that but, yeah, I think entrepreneurs always are wanting to change direction or pivot or whatever you want to call it just because we kind of get bored and we want to try the next thing. But from what I’m hearing like both of you, you kind of want it for the same reasons you want it because you want to change. I know I think, Lynn, you said you’re kind of feeling burned out like those things like I get it.
The question for me would be like and I think you’ve already answered it but even, Rich, like you said like you’re not looking to just kind of like dabble in this thing and just have a product and just sell the product like that’s not really a business. That’s like you going out there and just finding a product that you can flip and then just makes some money on the side like that’s not a business. And if you’re looking at all of the shiny objects that are being thrown at you because once you start down this path, it doesn’t matter even if it’s on Amazon or if it’s just selling on Shopify or if it’s selling eBay stores or if it’s just selling digital products like you’re going to be overwhelmed because you’re going to see there’s 1,000 different directions. And I’m not here to tell you that they won’t work but you got to pick one that resonates best with you and that will allow you to continue to grow and enjoy the growth process because it is going to be a process. I’m going to tell you right now. There’s nothing that’s going to give you sustainable income unless you work at it and unless you build something that’s an asset.
[00:14:08] Scott: It’s like your business now. It’s successful I’m sure because you put a lot of years into growing it and making it and maybe it’s the name. People are known to come to you for a certain service, a certain food, whatever. That’s what’s built over time and that’s a brand in general. So, I would stop looking for the one-off products or just, “Oh, this product’s got great numbers,” like I wouldn’t necessarily start there. I would validate the market by looking at the numbers, but I would go where you want to go like why build something if you’re not going to be happy building it? Just to say, again, you got to that success level, “Oh wow, look at that. We made money.” You’re already making money. You’re just not happy in the process. So, if you’re going to do something over here on the left, we’re just going to trade one issue with another issue. I mean, to me, there’s no reason you can’t be successful on the left-hand side over here online. Just a matter of you got to learn it now, you got to build it, and you’ve got to put the time and effort into it.
It’ll still work but when you get there, are you going to be happy? So, ultimately, I would come down with asking yourself, what are you going to be happy doing? So, you mentioned like the hair loss thing like maybe that would because now you’re kind of entering into the over 40, over 50 space and you’re more health conscious. We all are. I mean I’m 45. I’m going to be 46. My wife is 50 so I’m in that wheelhouse. I’m looking at that stuff. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, my hairline is kind of receding a little bit. Oh boy, I’m getting older.” I mean, it’s all those things. You don’t think you’ll ever think them but you’re thinking them. So, maybe that’s the thing but I wouldn’t necessarily look at the market right now or the products in that market necessarily and make that decision. I would say if you genuinely want to go into that space or if you have a story in that space like you’re in a restaurant business like is there things in a restaurant business that you like about it, but you don’t want to be doing it necessarily every single day.
[00:16:01] Scott: So, like if you're in the restaurant business like maybe there are things in that restaurant business that you're really good at and that you would love to continue to do, just not every single day of the week. So, maybe there's something there then you now are in the cooking space and now because you have all these years of expertise, you then can build a brand in that because you’ve been in it for 30 years. You have a story. And again, I’m just throwing out stuff. This doesn’t have to be the direction you got to be. I’m just saying the mindset has to be that you need to find something that you’re passionate about in a sense. I’m not saying you got to wake up every single day but it would be great if you could but there’s got to be something that you have an interest in, somewhat of a passion around, something that you’re motivated to work on even if in the beginning it’s slow going. And then from there, building a brand is going to not be as hard as if you’re just trying to sell one-off product on Amazon and competing with just Amazon.
Because what we want to do is we want to build physical products in our brand and we would also love to add digital products to our brand to do like a hybrid approach and now I would like to see you build content in that outside of Amazon so really Amazon is just a launch platform for us. That’s all we’re using it for. So, what we want to do is launch our products on Amazon and by having a brand that we’re building over here on the right side and getting people that are interested in this thing that we’re marketing or that we’re going to be marketing and then we can just launch on Amazon and then we can push a whole bunch of sales there and then we can rank and competition doesn’t even matter at that point. So, for me, I’m hearing like the hair loss thing is there but is that the thing? I don’t know. You have to ask yourself that question.
[00:17:49] Scott: The restaurant business, you might be overlooking that you’ve got 30 years’ experience in there and you might be able to come up with something there that would lend itself to a business that you teach in that space but you also have products that support the teaching or you have products that support the chef or the restaurant business or whatever. Again, I have no idea. I’m just throwing out ideas but that’s how my mind works. I’m thinking of these things. I’m not thinking of, “Let me go to a tool and see what the best-selling products are.” I don’t want to approach any business that way. Does that make sense so far?
[00:18:29] Rich: It does but it’s antithetical to some of the stuff we are hearing online in that a lot of people are saying, “Don’t be so attached to a theme or a product. Go with what actually sells,” and so that’s where the mixed message comes in and that’s why it is so confusing to start to take action because you hear very different views about this. So, we originally, we’re going to go into this whole kind of senior space and all the things that are related to it and there are dozens of things related to the whole getting into your 50s and 60s, an older space. There’s tons of issues that are related to that space including financial issues, sexual issues, hair loss. It just goes on and on, but we were told, it’s like then you keep reading and reading and reading and they’re saying, “That’s not the approach you should take. You should kind of see what actually sells and don’t be so stuck on a product or a theme.” It is, Scott, very confusing and that’s what it kind of like makes you take a step back and say, “Before I start throwing money at this, let me know my focus,” and that seems to be the biggest problem is finding your focus.
[00:19:42] Scott: Well, I think also the mixed messaging is that you're trying to consume a whole bunch of different information which is no fault of yours. It's out there. You're consuming it. Here's a question for you. Go find a product that’s selling good on Amazon and you launch that product. Are you going to build your business on Amazon?
[00:20:01] Rich: I prefer not. I prefer Amazon to not be my primary source of income.
[00:20:07] Scott: But if you’re listening to that advice, that’s all you’re doing.
[00:20:11] Lynn: Right.
[00:20:11] Rich: Well, Amazon is such a big player in the market. It becomes the place where you just find if things selling or not. Whether you’re going to use Amazon or not, it just seems to be the measure of everything today because it’s such a dominant force in the industry.
[00:20:26] Scott: So, what I’m suggesting though, Rich, is this. I’m not saying don’t look at products that are selling. What I’m saying is start with the market in mind then establish that there’s a market out there because here’s the deal. If I find – here, let me kind of use this example. If I am into fishing and then I’m into bass fishing and then I’m into kayak bass fishing, I just niched it down, number one. Forget about Amazon for a second. I just established my niche. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to see if there are groups and communities already out there inside of Facebook or Instagram. So, I know that there’s a market outside of just Amazon. I’m protecting myself in the future and I’m also allowing myself to see if I can create assets outside of Amazon. You see, I’m building my assets outside of Amazon, so I have that control that in the future when I do a launch on Amazon, yes, I’m going to then go to Amazon and I’m going to say, “Let them tell me what products in my market are selling.”
Then I would say I’m going to go and go with the one that’s – and again, I’m not going to the one that’s selling the best by the way. I’m not going after a product that’s selling 100. I’m going after the product that are selling 10 and 15. Why am I doing that? It’s going to be a lot easier to rank for my products and I’m happy with getting 10 sales a day at $100 profit per day. I’m okay with that. I’ll find five products. So, my approach is more long-term and I’m not out there just saying go find the hot product that’s selling right now, Rich, and then go out there and use a deal site and push a whole bunch of sales, get yourself ranked, and then be in that market of the gray hat market or the black hat market where all you’re going to be doing is fighting off reviews and feedback and all of that stuff. Why bother? Why wouldn’t you build something that you can then create content with outside of Amazon? You could build an email list outside of Amazon. You could build a YouTube channel. All of these different things that you could, heck, you could build a podcast around it and you can do all of that stuff.
[00:22:23] Scott: Now, if Amazon decides to cut your legs off, you’re not out of business because now you’ve got all this other stuff. Then on the other side of things let’s say that I find three products that I know that are selling on Amazon, I’m going to launch them there, but I’ve got three products that go very well together. Guess what I do next? I go over to Facebook and I start driving Facebook ads to my own funnel, my own sales channel on the right-hand side, and now I build a seven-figure funnel over here on the right and if Amazon goes away, it’s okay. I didn’t build my business on that rented land. I’m not saying we don’t sell there. I’m saying we don’t want to build our business on there.
[00:22:57] Lynn: Right.
[00:22:59] Rich: Are you more or less a fan of – because we originally were going to go like an authority site approach and then we backed away from that for other reasons because we just thought the process is extremely long. But are you a fan of like a hybrid both product and authority site over time?
[00:23:21] Scott: Yeah. I am. I think you can do it quicker than just the authority site over time. We just recently launched a brand just under 12 months ago and it’s doing really well, and our approach has been this. We find products that the market wants and needs. We see and validate if they’re selling on Amazon. We launch them on Amazon. We build our email list. We push sales through Amazon to spike the algorithm. We get ranked so we get that organic sales. We also run pay-per-click and then on the backside of that, we do Facebook lives because we have someone that’s in front of our brand. We do Facebook lives. We then run Facebook ads to one that does well. We just did a Facebook live on Sunday. It got like 16,000 views in a matter of hours. It was shared 50 times so that thing now is an asset to us. Now, we run Facebook ads to that that’s also talking about our products. So, an authority site is great so then what we do is we take any content that we’re posting on Facebook and then we plug it on our blog, and then we'll naturally start to get backlinks.
We’ll naturally start to get organic search and all that stuff but we’re going to speed up that process by using Facebook to then share what we have even if we pay for it because we can drive adds to your demographic. I mean, I could target 52-year-old women and that’s it and then I can – it sounds kind of creepy, but I could follow them around with a pixel that basically now they’re just going to see all my stuff. So, I’m a fan of authority site but not the main play. That’s something that I do on the side that if we’re going to post content here, we might as well post it over here. If I post something on YouTube, I’m going to embed that video on my blog and I’m going to write content around it so that way there I get the link coming from YouTube over to the blog and then I also get search traffic from Google and Yahoo and Bing and all those other ones but not as let’s build authority site and wait for traffic. I’m not waiting for traffic.
[00:25:16] Rich: And what kind of budget do you think is realistic for a project like this that we can start out small? Are we doing a combination of Facebook, pay-per-click, Google?
[00:25:25] Scott: Well, I would say realistically, and again, I’m kind of going back to what we did, our first product in this new brand we allocated $5,000 for the first run and then I think we spent probably around $1,000 to build up our email list and that’s all we did in the beginning. Okay. And then we had a blog that we had which the blog is like $10 a month for hosting. The domain was like $10 and then the WordPress blog or the platform is free. So, basically, that was it and then just the time to post on there. We didn’t drive any Facebook ads at that point. So, the beginning part is like, to me, it’s minimal for starting a business in a sense.
[00:26:06] Rich: Right. That’s a lot. Very little. Yeah.
[00:26:08] Scott: Now, on the flipside, now what we’re starting to do is we’re starting to take like that Facebook Live that we did the other day and we’re going to throw $25 to $50 a day at it and see how it performs. We also have another project running right now in this new brand that we’re going to be testing right now is we’re going to get a free plus shipping offer. So, something on the front-end that we can buy for $2 and then we’re going to acquire a customer with a Facebook ad and fulfill it through Amazon. So, all of our inventory is going to go to Amazon but we’re going to fulfill it through them but we’re not going to pay the commission fee on them because we’re just going to basically plug it into our platform which we’re using Shopify right now. We actually just got that set up and that will connect over. So, once an order comes through with a Facebook ad and they buy it, it’ll trigger inside of Shopify that they got to go fulfill an order on Amazon and then that’s how that will happen.
But the goal is to acquire a customer and have us pay nothing really, have it break even, but on the backside of the free plus shipping offer, we have two of what maybe they just got for free or maybe it’s one of our other products. Or maybe then after that, they have another upsell with another product, all aligned together. So, our goal is to acquire a customer with a credit card and then hopefully get them to buy something else that’s related to what they just bought and if they don’t, we still have a customer that paid with a credit card and we could always follow up with those people or we target those people but that’s a second phase like we haven’t gotten there until 11 months later like we’re now just starting to do that. So, it’s a process but I’m trying to share with you is like it’s a different mindset.
[00:27:44] Scott: If you just want to go out there and find a whole bunch of random products, we call it an open brand and we have one of those and we played around with that and really it’s just to test different markets, but if you want to just find a product that you think you’re going to be able to rank and be able to get sales then just do the open brand kind of concept where you just go out there, you find those products that you think are going to win, you buy 500 units. It’s like going to play slots. You might win, you might not. You’re not building any momentum. You’re not building an asset. You’re not building any content. You’re just playing the Amazon game. I’m not a fan of that. I think people can do it but it’s definitely not sustainable.
[00:28:20] Lynn: Right. We definitely want to go with building the brand. I think initially like we’ve said before, what was consistently trapping us where we would stop was that we would get into a niche that we liked or resonated with us and then we would go look at the products and see whether or not once we got it up and going if we thought we could rank on Amazon and that’s where we would get stuck because it seems like the niches we’re picking are always very competitive. So, then we never know whether it makes sense to go ahead with it even if we’re building outside of Amazon. It just seems like we end up with products that are pretty competitive on a site like Amazon.
Even when we’re going the other direction, initially with the authority site, we weren’t looking at branding our own products at that point and the products we did find that we thought would be a good product line to go along with the website, the prices were so cheap. I don’t even know online that people were selling them. It was ridiculous. It was so cutthroat I don’t know how they made any money selling those. So, that’s where we kept getting hung up and then we couldn’t make the decision as we’ll do – do we take the hair loss and just go for it? Anyway, because we know obviously people want it and if we could show it actually works, should we just go for it or how much do we use that competitiveness as a deterrent or a go for it?
[00:29:52] Scott: I mean, my thoughts on that is if you’re and again, it’s not like you’re passionate, passionate about it like you’re not waking up in the morning thinking about that but you kind of are. It’s like if you think about if you can create a product that actually works, and it will help people and serve people, that will feel pretty damn good. So, if you can get behind that and make that your focus whether it takes you six months, or it takes you a year that’s the thing. If you’re thinking that you want to put something up on Amazon and it immediately rank, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You know what I mean? And you’re right. If all you’re going to do is like, I mean, so you’re like looking at the numbers like so what are you looking at the numbers that make it competitive to you? I’m just curious. Like reviews and how many sales per day? Like just give me your thoughts on that.
[00:30:42] Lynn: So, if you just take any sort of hair loss serum site and you went on Amazon and looked around, people have thousands of reviews and they have a lot of sales per month. It’s crazy actually. So, I was like, “Okay, we’ll never get ahead of those or even near those people.” They’re obviously been there a long time. Had a lot of support behind them. So, that was what I was looking at and then I went into different aspects, supplements for hair loss, different products that could go in the same niche and they all seem pretty equally competitive.
[00:31:26] Scott: Yeah. And it is a very competitive space and just again kind of warn you about going into a space that's like that. There are people that they're spending $100,000 or more to just give away products in order to rank and then once they get the ground and then you're pushed out, that’s how they’re doing it. Like, so they’re literally spending thousands of dollars sometimes daily to keep their position and to keep their reviews, and a lot of those reviews again are gray hat if not black hat. So, it’s kind of like you’re going into the black market when you do that. Now, I’m not saying you can’t do it. If you have like if you’re good on camera and you can then get some test subjects to where you tested it on. I mean, you did like a 30-day, a 60-day, and a 90-day and you’re able to push that stuff out and you’re going to go and say, “You know what, I’m going to do Facebook ad campaigns and I’m going to educate people and I’m going to…” it’s going to be work but it’s possible.
Because then what happens is regardless of how many reviews are on Amazon, they didn’t necessarily find you on Amazon. There are going to be people that will find you on Amazon but the main play is really doing the outside stuff to get the sales but then again you’re going to have to learn Facebook ads and you’re going to have to learn setting up a little even if it’s a small little funnel so this way here you can acquire a customer and then from there upsell them on the second and third or maybe it’s get one bottle free plus shipping and then the next one is like get two bottles for $19.95 or whatever. Like, that would be the play, but you got to understand that, yes, you are going into a very competitive space. Now, are there other products in that market that wouldn’t be as competitive that could introduce you to the market and then you can expand into those other things? That would be the next thing I would look at. I’d be like are there other things, other accessories in that market that you apply it with maybe? And then maybe that’s the thing.
[00:33:25] Scott: Again, I’m just thinking out loud here like it’s kind of like I’m trying to look at the low hanging fruit in that market in a sense to where you wouldn’t have to be so competitive and then eventually you can gradually add those more competitive products and once you build some more of your brand and email list and Facebook and all that stuff but, yeah, you’re right, it’s going to take some time and you’re going to have to ask yourself, can you educate on this? Can you give some science behind it? Can you do some research and then report back? Like, a lot of that has to go into that so this way here you can make that all work.
[00:34:04] Lynn: Right. So, when you’re looking at your new brand that you started 12 months ago, can I just ask out of curiosity, what were you using, what criteria were you using or what were you looking at in making your decision as to what products that go into?
[00:34:21] Scott: Well, it’s a very funny story. It’s exactly the way that I share and then I teach how to do it and it was an item that was on my wife's touch list. I always tell people to create a touch list and see what you’re using on a daily basis and then that will a lot of times lead you to a market. And she came to me. I mean, she came to me and it’s funny because I’ve got some of my other students that have done the same thing and she just kind of came to me and she goes, “What do you think about this?” And she does this to me all the time. I mean, it’s kind of like where she’s just trained now and even my kids they’re like, “What do you think about this one?” and I always go through exactly what I’m going through with you. I’m like, “Well, look at the competition, look at this, are you willing to build the brand?” So, she came to me with this thing and it was one that I was like, “You know, there could be a possibility but I’m not sure.” I’ve got a whole bunch of other things going on. I’ve got other brands in helping, whatever, and I’m just not sure I want to get involved.
But then a friend of hers was actually someone that was also interested in this market and then that’s how that introduced me to the market. I had no idea about the market. My wife really didn’t either and then started to see that what may be because she was interested in it, my wife, so why not? And so anyway, so that’s kind of how it happened and then from there to look at the criteria, it wasn’t even looking at the criteria of is this product going to work? It’s what products could we create in this market? So again, you’re looking at one specific thing like cream or whatever. What other things would the market buy that has that issue? It might not even be hair loss. It might be the market. What some low hanging fruit in that market of 40 to 50-year-old women or men or whatever that they’re looking for hair loss stuff? What other things are they interested in? Like what other things is kind of like the norm for those people? You know what I mean?
[00:36:29] Scott: So, it’s kind of like looking out like the hair thing led you to the market but really the people buying the product aren’t just those people. It’s people that are in that kind of time in their life. And I think your husband was talking about it like you're talking about money and you're talking about sex or whatever. They're all these different things that are exactly what you need to do. You need to start exploring the market in those other things and then that will maybe open up another area but then you could also eventually come back to the hair loss thing because once you get your brand built, it’s a natural fit. It’s funny because my first product I look at the numbers. That’s going back three-and-a-half years ago now and that product still sells to this day, but it was going off of the numbers 100%. And it worked but it worked really good in the beginning and then it kind of petered out and like right now I think we’re probably doing about $5,000 to $6,000 a month on that one product.
It’s not bad but, again, it’s not something I would depend on. It’s a mortgage payment. I mean if you take your profit, it’s a mortgage payment for most people but it’s not something that I would bank on. It’s just I set it up. I kind of forgot about it in a sense. I maintain it and that’s it. But since I’ve seen the competition coming in and stuff, I’m like, “But there’s got to be a different way.” It’s what I’ve always done in the past. My wife and I had owned a brick-and-mortar business in the photography space and then we built a digital products business in the photography space. So, I’ve kind of seen like what it takes to build a business that can make it online and offline and it always comes back down to building a brand and then making people aware of your brand but by also you sharing knowledge and information and you even being like if you could be the face of the brand, if you’re comfortable in that or your husband or whoever or even you find someone, that’s going to always be the best because they’re going to be able to talk about the common problems and stuff or the common things. If it’s about guitar, you’re going to show a new guitar like every single day. Like it’s going to make it easier than just going finding a product and then just pushing somebody to Amazon.
[00:38:44] Lynn: But you still did use Amazon as a way to see what products…
[00:38:50] Scott: 100%.
[00:38:51] Lynn: In that market would be a good way to start?
[00:38:54] Scott: Yeah. I mean, if I was starting right today and was not even going to use Amazon, I would still use Amazon as my tool to let me know what products the market is buying, period. I’m going to look at the reviews. I’m going to see what people don’t like about this. I mean, think about that. Rich, you were in the restaurant business. Wouldn’t it be awesome, I mean, now you can kind of do it but not even as much as Amazon? If you’ve seen what your competitors were saying about the restaurant down the street like you could kind of do it now with Yelp or any of those but not as much as Amazon. You’re getting hundreds, if not thousands. So, you’re actually able to listen to the competition’s complaints and you can make either your service or your products better by just looking at that. So, even if I didn't sell on Amazon, I was still using it as a research tool. Who wouldn't?
[00:39:40] Rich: Scott, do you have like a minimum threshold in terms of markup that you’ll even get involved in a product?
[00:39:45] Scott: Yeah. Generally, I want to see that eventually even if it’s not the beginning, eventually I want to see between 45 %and 50%.
[00:39:55] Rich: You’re talking about gross profit?
[00:39:56] Scott: Yes, profit. Yes.
[00:39:58] Rich: Right. So, you’re looking at about double your money on any of your cost before market?
[00:40:03] Scott: Yup. Now, in the beginning, that might be 25% but I know that once I either buy more of the inventory, I’m going to be able to get that margin higher or it might also be shipping. I might be doing air shipping and then I’ll do sea shipping and that will reduce my price and then who knows? As I get a little bit more of the brand and everything established, I might be able to just charge more. I know on one of our products right now most people are charging half of what we’re charging and we’re still getting it. So, but, yes, I’m looking at like I would love to just double the money. I think that's great because then you have enough budgeted in there for if you had to lower your price you still could and still be at 30%.
So, yeah, I look at that but, in the beginning, you might find a product that will get you the attention and get you the sales like I’ve got one guy that I helped. He has a product that gets about, gosh, about 2,500 sessions a day, basically views a day on his listing and he might make 25%. But he’s also now got that traffic that he can then have promotions that run over to some of his other products. Plus, he’s got insert cards that are being sent to that many – well, he’s not selling to 2,500 a day. He’s selling about 100 to 125 a day. Sometimes 150. So, he’s getting that many that are being sent to people every single day so if you’re making less on that product, is it worth it? It could be because then you’re able to show up in more people’s feeds and stuff.
[00:41:29] Rich: You’d always fulfill through a drop shipping mechanism or like an Amazon or some kind of fulfillment through drop shipping or you take on the product yourself and ship it yourself?
[00:41:39] Scott: No. We never ship ourselves. The only thing we do, do now is since Amazon changed the way that they did their inventory, their storing. It used to be Amazon was really a fulfillment center basically like a warehouse. You just ship it in and they would store it and then ship it for you almost not for free but kind of. It wasn’t that much. Now they have all these different storage fees and all this stuff. So, what we did is so we could order more and not have it sit there is we basically have a small warehouse and then we had stuff shipped there and then what we do is we just label the stuff and then UPS will come pick it up from our location and then just go. And the reason why we did that again is because if we want to order 5,000 units, we don’t want to send 5,000 units in because then if they don’t sell, we’re going to be paying it. We’d rather just pay our own warehouse fee and let them sit there and that way we know we got enough inventory. If we get a big rush, we can go ahead and send a bunch in. And to send to Amazon using UPS through them, they’re cheap. It’s like pennies.
[00:42:41] Rich: So, that’s actually less costly to warehouse it yourself and then ship it to Amazon than to let Amazon store the entire shipment?
[00:42:48] Scott: It depends. If you can get through the inventory in 60 days then no, then I would send in that inventory. The risk comes in if you send in because you predict that you’re going to sell, and you don’t, that’s where you’re hit with those fees. In fourth quarter it’s like three times the fees so that’s where your inventory becomes something you need to pay attention to. So, with us, we always look at like a 30-day out and even like with the holidays, if the holidays or even come up on Prime Day. We’re going to have July 15, I believe it’ll be July 15 again this year, we’ll send in more inventory knowing that we’re going to probably blast through a bunch.
But if we had all that inventory in there and we didn't then we're stuck with it. We either got to ship it back to ourselves which we’re going to pay there or we have a problem now that we’re going to be paying higher. So, in the beginning, I always think people if you’re in the states, ship to yourself even if it’s in your garage at first and ship in what you think that you’ll sell in the first 30 days and then just kind of go from there. The other thing is, is when you’re first starting, if you send all that inventory in and there’s a problem with it, you’re not going to know until that inventory starts getting customers to see it and review it and then you’re in trouble. So, I always like to – it’s not necessarily less expensive. It is if you go through that inventory, but it also allows you to manage it better.
[00:44:07] Rich: Okay.
[00:44:10] Lynn: So, once we find what direction we want to go, and you said you don’t really do any kind of consulting.
[00:44:18] Scott: Yeah. I really don’t. Like I said, I mean, right now we’re talking about doing like it’s more of like a 10-person small mastermind where we’re going to get together three times a year. We’re going to work in each other’s businesses, but these businesses are going to be where everyone’s doing at least $25,000 a month or more so we can actually turn the dials and make things move. Because I’m good, not good at a lot of things but I’m pretty good at like establishing a business and then turning some knobs and then we can go ahead and we can 3X or 4X the business just by marketing. So, that’s what I want to do there but, no, I don’t do any of this. I bet a lot of people want to pay me $1,000 an hour to do this but I don’t just because of my time so I do this for a lifestyle. I do it so I can have time with my kids and my family and stuff. So, if I did that, I’d cut myself too thin.
[00:45:07] Rich: You’re more or less self-taught, Scott?
[00:45:09] Scott: Yeah. I have no college degree.
[00:45:13] Rich: This is all experimentation, trial and error, and you got to be where you are just through trial and error?
[00:45:18] Scott: Yep. That’s all trial and error and, I mean, my story I would probably say listen to episode 300 of my podcast and it will tell you my story but basically, in a nutshell, I was a construction worker, working for my father’s company and learn that business brick-and-mortar. We were doing pretty well back in the day and then that was a messy like partnership with his partner and stuff. Long story. But my wife and I started a photography business brick-and-mortar and we built that into a pretty successful business locally and then we started selling our digital templates online of people that wanted like wedding templates or even just Christmas templates, Easter templates and stuff that we were using with our own clients and we started to see that that was starting to take off and then we started teaching Photoshop and stuff like that which I was self-taught in that as well. And we built that into a six-figure business for the past eight years. After our photography business, we kind of weaned out of that. So, I learned a lot of marketing through that and then from there started dabbling on eBay.
We’re selling projectors and stuff on eBay because I had a film transfer business alongside my photography business and I was doing pretty good there. We sold about $100,000 worth of these projectors that I was building, one-off projectors, but then it was a pain. I’m trading time for dollars for my time and then I started hearing about this Amazon thing and then I was like, “Wow. That’s like pretty cool. You can ship stuff to them and they will fulfill it. It’s kind of like a digital product.” Three-and-a-half years later I've helped a lot of people but also then again like you said I'm actually doing it and I don't even necessarily have to do it anymore. I do it because I love it. I love building something from nothing and seeing it grow and then potentially like we’re talking about like even in your situation brick-and-mortar and you guys were even looking at buying an FBA business, we’re looking at possibly the next three to five years building this thing into something pretty large and then exiting it and if we exit it, it’ll be for minimum seven to eight figures potentially. So, but if you build it right where it’s not dependent on just Amazon, you’re going to get more if and when…
[00:47:24] Rich: Multiple. It’d be higher. Yeah.
[00:47:25] Scott: 100%. I mean, think about that. If you’re going to buy something on Amazon and it’s only on Amazon you’re not going to feel as comfortable as if I told you I’ve got also sales happening over here and here and here and I’ve got an email list and I’ve got all the social channels and all this stuff, you’re going to feel a little bit comfortable buying that one. So, that’s exactly what we’re doing and that’s really what I get excited about. I get excited about even like people like you to talk to you and give you kind of like what I would be doing and then have you go off and execute it. The hardest part for me is getting people to actually execute it.
So, that’s why our new thing that is really kind of on the down low but there’s like 10 people that we’re going to be doing this with for successful businesses that want to become even more successful by growing it 3X to 4X but that’s by turning dials. If you’re already up and running, I could totally twist a couple of knobs and we can – because email marketing is big like a lot of people show discounting, “Oh, social media is taking over.” No, it’s not. I mean, we just send out an email to our list for our new brand and we bump sales that day incredibly just from one email and we’re getting goodwill from our list and people love it. We’re giving value. So, that to me will always be there at least in the near future for sure but then all these other assets are these are assets that aren’t really ours. Facebook isn’t ours. Instagram isn’t ours. YouTube isn’t ours, but we can use them. Amazon isn’t ours but we can use it. So, use it to then build your business.
[00:48:58] Lynn: Right.
[00:48:58] Rich: Okay.
[00:48:59] Lynn: Yeah. I think we’ve gotten that idea. The hardest part is picking where to start.
[00:49:05] Scott: I know it is. It is the hardest, but I want you guys to really think about like not necessarily the money. The money is there if you do the research right as far as when you decide the market that you want to go into, but I want you to really consider like finding something that you would love to talk about even if you weren’t getting paid. Like, if you can find something like that and then see if there’s a part of the market that you can serve, it’s game over. Like, it’s going to become effortless for you to do that. And I don’t know, I mean, there have to be a very strange market for them to not buy products but if there’s pretty much every market out there needs to buy stuff. It’s just you need to figure out what it is and then Amazon could be that tool that you use but then that you used to find that but then also you can sell it there because that’s where you want to launch and then you can start to do your other things.
I just attended an event where some people aren’t even selling on Amazon. They’re just selling – there was one lady that sells natural soaps and she built a three products sales funnel driving Facebook ads over to the funnel into seven-figure business. Not even selling on Amazon. So, the power of three products that go very well together that would serve the same customer, that’s what you should be focusing on and then if you can then create some content around it, that’s even better in building these assets. So, that’s…
[00:50:34] Lynn: That product would be very competitive on Amazon. She would have a hard time probably.
[00:50:39] Scott: Well, yes and no. Would she? Because now she’s got an email list that all she’s got to do is send one email and she can get 50 to 75 sales in a heartbeat and maybe she only needs 20 to start to rank and then she can then segment her list and send maybe this segment she’ll send today, tomorrow she’ll send another segment. The next day she sends another segment and she’ll spread out those sales. So, your competition can’t do that. Most competition can’t.
[00:51:08] Lynn: But had she gone to Amazon first then just looked at the numbers she may say, “Oh, this is way too competitive.”
[00:51:11] Scott: Exactly. 100%. Yeah. Exactly. And that’s why actually there was another guy that I ran into at this event and he was a listener to the podcast. He’s like, “I launched my product. I went to Amazon. I did the whole thing and it didn’t work and the reason why it didn’t work is I didn’t realize that it was so competitive this, that, and the other thing.” He goes, “But what I decided to do is see if I could sell it over here, doing the sales funnel thing with three products and I went and all I did then is learn Facebook ads. It’s all I did, and I found the traffic and I drove traffic and I got it profitable and now I’ve turned that into a six-figure business and now I’m going to start slowly introducing it back to Amazon.” So, he just pivoted a little bit. It’s not that the products won’t sell. You just have to identify that people are buying them.
We want to know that people are buying them and not that there are crickets. It's like, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the show Shark Tank but if you see the first thing they always ask is, “What are your sales?” All they’re trying to do is validate that the market even wants it. So, we can do that with Amazon even if you don’t sell on Amazon. You can still validate that the market is buying something, period. And that makes it where you’ve got a better chance of succeeding because you already know that the market wants it. You’re not guessing. I think Tim Ferriss did that years ago in 4-Hour Workweek where he did a test that he went and he ran Google ads to a product that wasn’t even created, and he just wanted to see how many people would actually click on it to see if they’re interested.
[00:52:33] Lynn: Yeah. I’ve heard people do that. Yeah.
[00:52:34] Scott: Yeah. And so, it’s the same thing now with Amazon except we don’t have to run the money. We don’t have to spend the money. We can just go look at the numbers and go, “Oh yeah. It is selling. Cool.”
[00:52:43] Rich: There’s a market for it. Yeah.
[00:52:44] Scott: Yeah. There’s a market for it. So, then you go from there. But like I said, I mean, for me, for you guys, I think you need to look at your strengths. I think you need to look at what you could get into as far as a market and then from there then start looking at the product to serve that market. I think that’s the angle that I would go with because you are going to just stay in that stuck phase if you don’t. And you know what, this first go might be, the first product might be the one that you learn everything from and then you pivot and then you don’t go down that road like you won’t know until you do it. You know what I mean?
[00:53:23] Rich: You’re going to get banged up a little bit.
[00:53:24] Scott: Yeah. You got to be able to test and preferably it be something that you think that you’re going to build a brand in but even if you didn’t just if you launch a product, you’re going to learn the platform and you’re going to learn what it takes. But I would like to see you start with a market in mind.
[00:53:43] Lynn: Right.
[00:53:43] Rich: Okay.
[00:53:44] Scott: But hopefully this has been helpful. You got any other questions before we wrap up?
[00:53:50] Rich: No. I think we’re – yeah. That was informative. I appreciate it.
[00:53:54] Scott: Yeah. I think the one bit of advice I would give you is I think stop consuming so much information of all the different ways that you can do it and pick one and then do it.
[00:54:06] Lynn: Yeah.
[00:54:07] Scott: Like, that’s what you got to do because if not, you’re just going to keep consuming and you’re going to stand in a hamster wheel. You know what I mean? Whether you take my advice, you take someone else’s advice, just do something if this is really what you want. And that might be the other question, is this really what you want? If it’s not, then pick another model because there’s a ton of different business models out there and they will…
[00:54:32] Rich: For lifestyle, it’s definitely what we want.
[00:54:34] Lynn: Yeah. It’s definitely what we want. Absolutely.
[00:54:37] Scott: Yeah. And I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible. I mean I’ve done it numerous times and has it always worked as planned? No, but I’ve learned a ton and I’m here talking to you because of everything I was able to learn through me trial and error and everything and finding out what works, what doesn’t work or where I should focus my energy. I mean, heck, a podcast that I started like I didn’t think I was going to start a podcast until after I got going and I had started two other podcasts. One was in business, one was in fitness, and they both kind of petered out. They didn’t do much. This podcast that ended up working really well. So, it’s one of those things that you just have to – you got to be willing to kind of go after the lifestyle that you want and then build it from there. I mean, you both, you’re smart people. Rich, you got your own business, so you know business. You know what it takes. You know the positive and the negative things that go along with it, but I think you guys both have what it takes. You just got to get out there and make it happen.
[00:55:39] Lynn: Yeah.
[00:55:40] Rich: Okay.
[00:55:40] Lynn: We have to just start.
[00:55:42] Scott: Exactly. I always say that. #JustStart like just do something like stop consuming and start doing like it’s easy but it’s hard. I get it. And I’m not sitting here talking down at all. I’ve been there myself and then I got to kick myself in the butt and say, “Come on, man, just do something.” And that way there you can react to the result. You could react to, “Okay, I got started. This happened. Okay. Well, how do I deal with this? Do this.” But, yeah, I think you guys will do it. You just got to figure out what it is and I think you guys should do a little deep dive as far as like what market you really want to go into and then from there I would start with a low hanging fruit, the ones that are selling 10 a day consistently and then start there and then work yourself towards ones if you want more competitively. That’s what I would do.
[00:56:33] Lynn: All right.
[00:56:34] Rich: Thanks, Scott.
[00:56:34] Scott: Sound good?
[00:56:35] Lynn: Yeah.
[00:56:36] Rich: Sounds good.
[00:56:36] Lynn: We’ll let you know how it goes.
[00:56:38] Rich: We’ll keep in touch.
[00:56:42] Scott: All right. So, there you have it. Hopefully, you got a ton of value from that or you had some light bulbs going off as we were going through that. I genuinely enjoy these types of calls. It’s kind of where I am feeling in my zone in a sense because again I’ve done it over and over and over again. I’ve helped people that have done it but, again, I wanted to say that there are a lot of different ways that you can go about building a business. Some work really well for some but don’t work so well for others and you got to kind of figure out what your thing is. If you want to be the one that goes out there and just finds random products and you want to be kind of like a retail arb business and you want to have an open brand, go for it. I’m not saying that that’s not an option. You can totally do that but if you want to build a brand, to me, that is the future. This way here you’re not dependent on a channel but you would use that channel as long as it’s working right. Why wouldn’t you? And then from there, building your own assets.
And thinking a little bit more into the future as far as like could you eventually sell this? Even though right now you’d say, “I’d never sell,” you have to think about it that way, so you can set it up so that if you ever did get to that point, you could, and you would have things set up properly. Building a brand to me will allow you to go into competitive markets. Even if you don’t go after those competitive products right out of the gate, you’re able to build up a brand even if you just niche it down like you heard in this coaching call. So, I just want to remind you, guys, that you guys can do this. You just have to go out there and start. You have to do something just like I said to Lynn and Rich and I want to thank them once again for being so open and honest and transparent about their feelings, about being overwhelmed and all of that stuff. It’s the way that we are. We’re wired the same pretty much like we’re all going to feel that stuff at times. It’s just how do we deal with it. And I wanted to be the one to really help Lynn and Rich get out there and just start as I said like #JustStart, right?
[00:58:42] Scott: You guys that have been listening for a while know that that’s my thing. So, definitely just do something and if you’re in your business right now and you’re feeling stuck, you can still move forward. You just have to start asking yourself different questions. Now, if you are at that very beginning or you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m stuck in my brand. I’m not really sure where to go because it’s too competitive and I want to stay in this, but I want to find other products that aren’t as competitive,” then I would definitely say go check out Product Discovery Bootcamp. That is our new training. That is where I would start or I would go if I was stuck in my current brand and I wanted to think about how can I find sub-brands and really build out this brand so this way here we can have more than just one product but we can also build it out so we don’t have to worry so much about that competition. That is Product Discovery Bootcamp. You can find all the details by heading over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Bootcamp. All right. And the show notes to this episode can be found at Episode 509 so that will be TheAmazingSeller.com/509.
All right, guys. So that’s it. There’s going to wrap up this episode. 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, take action! Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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