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…another week and I want to thank you so much for supporting the show by submitting your questions and also sharing the podcast and you guys know who you are. You guys are out there sharing the podcast and telling your friends and people that you think will get value, I want to say thank you so much because the Ask Scott session really is you and me sitting down, across the table from each other having a cup of coffee.
You may be running right now, you may be at the gym, which I was at the gym this morning at 5 a.m, which I’ve been on that track doing pretty good here for about almost two months now. I’m feeling pretty strong about that. If you guys are following me on SnapChat, you guys have already seen that because you’re kind of like my accountability partner. I’m checking in every single morning letting you know what’s going on.
Just want to say thank you and really look forward to today’s show. Today we’re going to be answering a few more questions from you that were submitted. Now, if you have a question that you want to ask on the Ask Scott show here, all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. You can record a voicemail there, just do me one favor, submit your name. Just tell me who you are, first name, that’s all and from there just tell me maybe where you’re from and submit a little question and I’ll do my best to air it here on the show.
Sometimes, I don’t get a question for 4 or 5 weeks sometimes because it just depends. I get so many and I try to really pick though all of the ones that I think are going to be the best for everyone to learn from. Now, I will do my best to answer even the ones that might have been answered before but I like to really wrap it around something that’s going to benefit everyone. If it can then it’s just much more valuable. Just bear with me if your question hasn’t been aired yet, it most likely will it’s just going to take a little bit of time so just wanted to kind of throw that out there.
[00:02:07] Scott: Now, I’ve got a couple of things that I’m really excited about that I want to share with you before we jump into today’s questions. The first thing is when this episode airs, this would have already been announced but I’m going to announce it here again just in case there are some availability left. We’re doing our next live event and it’s going to be in Phoenix Arizona, really, really excited. The dates are going to be November 5th and 6th. This time it’s a two day event. Let me kind of explain a little bit about what we’re doing here. November 5th is going to be TAS Breakthrough Live. It’s going to be exactly the same setup that we did last time in Denver.
We have 10 hot seats so 10 people will be on the hot seat or in the hot seat rather and we’re going to allow them to really focus on their business for 30 minutes and we’re going to all of us collectively, all 30 of us in that room are going to contribute to really giving advice and feedback to that one individual. That’s really the power of this. I had so many people say on the last event how powerful it was to be in the same room with people that are actively doing this that aren’t just like tire kickers, that are actually doing it and they really learned from each other. The really cool thing about it is we’re able to do it live in one room together. That’s really what I want to do here.
As much as I love connecting on the workshops and I love connecting on Periscope and all these other platforms, being live in person there’s no other. It’s just awesome and there’s so much value from that. That’s going to be again, November 5th. November 6th is going to be a little bit different. We’re going to be doing a little bit more advanced stuff. This is going to be really focusing on growing your business outside of Amazon. We’re going to be talking about sales funnels, we’re going to be talking about email list building, we’re going to talk about content, were going to talk about building everything on the fly as we’re there. We’re going to take real life examples and we’re going to turn that into a sales funnel.
[00:04:00] Scott: We’ll do that a few different times and really breaking it down so it’s something you can walk away with and then implement. If you’re not implementing it then, you’re going to be implementing it as soon as you can. That I’m really, really excited about. That’s only going to be available to 20 spots by the way. Depending on when you’re listening to this, those spots may be filled. I would recommend if you’re at all interested in attending either one of those days or both of those days, head over to theamazingselller.com/live and all the info will be there. You can see a highlight reel from the last one. You can see all of the details, the schedule, really excited about that.
Again, it’s going to be very limited. It’s going to be awesome at a beautiful resort that we’re going to be staying at so we’re going to have a lot of fun there as well. We’re going to have dinner, we’re just going to have a lot of fun and I’m really, really excited to be able to share that with all of you that do attend. Definitely go check that out for the details if you’re interested. If there is still availability, you’ll know by heading over to the amazingseller.com/live and all the information will be there, really, really excited about that.
All right, so that’s that. The other thing is we’ve been doing this like every Friday now for the past two or three weeks, I forget how many weeks it is now but we’ve been doing this thing we’re calling TAS Power Hour. What that really is it’s me, Chris Shaffer and Dom Sugar and we get on and we talk all about current events, might be in Amazon, might be in just ecommerce world, maybe wholesale, maybe private labelling, maybe new shopping cart that came out maybe a new rule that’s been that came out in the Amazon world the most recent one with this brand registry thing.
We’re really just on there and just randomly discussing current stuff and then we also answer questions on the fly because we’re doing a Facebook live, we’re also doing Periscope all at the same time and then I record that and then we put it up on YouTube for those people that don’t get a chance to watch it live. If you want to, hang out with us on a Friday afternoon. That’s generally being done at one o’clock right now. Again, this is kind of like a pilot we’re doing right now, like a pilot program they do in TV Shows or Radio Shows. We’re going to see how it goes.
[00:06:07] Scott: We’ve had really great response, really great attendance so we just want to see if it’s going to continue and if we can get you guys to show up and hang out with us. Totally free by the way too. It’s just us randomly there for an hour discussing these current events and also anything that we’re struggling with or things that maybe might have been positive for the week before or the week after or that month it’s just a way for us to really sit around and talk together and then invite you in on the conversation.
It’s just a lot of fun. Again another way for us to connect with you. If you want to check that out, theamazingseller.com/hour and that’s just going to take you to the Facebook page for this particular live feed where you’re going to have access to it. It’s basically you’re just liking a fan page, that’s all you really have to do and then you’ll be notified when we go live. Periscope you can find me over there at Scott Volker and you can get that little whistle that happens a little bird whistle when I go live. Definitely go check that out if you’re interested. We’d love to see you there live on Fridays at one o’clock PM Eastern time.
Alrl right guys, I know that was a heck of a pre-show but I really just wanted to let you guys in on some of the things that are happening, some of the exciting things and just want to let you guys know this info because I feel as though I think you guys should definitely check this stuff out. That’s it that’s, going to wrap that part up. Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s questions which I’m really, really excited to dive into so let’s go ahead and do that now, what do you say? Let’s do that, let’s go, let’s do it.
[00:07:40] Jodie: Hi Scott, I really love listening to the podcast. I have started listening to you about a month ago and ever since I’ve been pretty much addicted. A little about me, I am a nurse, I’m very new to sales and business and marketing. This whole sector for me is very unchartered territory so it’s very new to me. My question to you, as I’ve been listening to all your podcasts and all the information, my question to you is actually two questions. One is pretty straight forward, can you go into a little more detail about the PPC, pay-per-click again? I’m not quite understanding the benefits and what it’s for and why it’s important.
The other question is what advice would you give somebody like myself who really knows nothing about the business world and truly is starting from scratch just to learn how this works, how to sell, how to have confidence with sales, that kind of thing? I know it’s ecommerce and through that avenue but still there’s so much that I feel I don’t know although I will say the one thing that sticks with me is when you say take action and that’s been the ongoing thing for me as every day I’m taking action and to get my store up and running on Amazon.
I want to thank you for that. I love all the information you give. I feel really motivated when I listen to you. I love the guests that you have on your podcast. It’s been so helpful already in just the last month. I feel like it’s changing my life for the better and I’m really excited to move forward. Thank you.
[00:09:23] Scott: Hey Jodie, thank you so much for the question. I knew your name by the way because you have it in your email but you didn’t put it in your voicemail. That’s okay, that’s all right. But guys listen, if you guys are submitting a question, just put your first name in there for me. I really want to know who I’m talking to. In this case, I was lucky that you, Jodie, put that in there for me so thank you so much for submitting the question.
All right, here’s the deal. One part of this whole thing is getting excited about an opportunity. That’s the very first thing. We have to be excited about something or that excitement is going to wear off and then we’re all of a sudden going to not want to do it anymore. We have to start seeing results, let’s go and relate this back to like working out, something I’m pretty familiar with. I’ve gotten back into it and you’re not really seeing the results after putting in all that work.
Heck, I get on the treadmill just for the end part of my work out because I want to do a little bit of cardio. I’m not a huge you have to do 2 hours on the treadmill. I think I’m more of a weightlifter guy, not heavy, heavy weights but I just think muscle… That’s a whole other conversation. Muscle will burn calories and the whole thing, there’s a whole science behind that which we don’t have to get into but my point is this, like I was on the treadmill and I look at my numbers and it’s like okay, for the past 15 minutes that you were on the treadmill, you burned like 100 calories.
[00:10:45] Scott: For 15 minutes of the work, I had to go and do I had to burn 100 calories. That doesn’t mean I’m going to see any results from that. It’s just not enough to see especially if I just had a doughnut during the day, that’s a 300 calorie doughnut, I only burned off 100, I got 200 positive so now all of a sudden I’m going to start getting fat in a sense or I’m going to not get any results as far as I’m trying to lose weight or get more muscle or whatever. If we don’t see these results it doesn’t keep us excited. You get frustrated and the same thing goes in business.
If you start something and you don’t see results like when you think you should see them. You’re putting in the work and you’re like, “Okay, in a month and a half, I should be able to see that I have results.” Then you’re not motivated anymore, that’s why it’s important that you continually take action even though you’re feeling those feelings, even though you’re feeling you’re not making progress. My point here in all of this, in this rant here, this rumble of mine is really that part of the equation is getting excited, the second part is doing exactly what you said, taking action.
You have to figure out what you need to do every single day to move you forward. My recommendation is to launch a product, period. If you want to start your own ecommerce store outside of Amazon, you can do that. I don’t recommend that at this stage of the game. Even if I felt that that long term, which I do, long term will be a lot stronger of a business because it’s going to be more dependable, it’s going to be something you can control, but Amazon is so darn easy to launch a product. It might not be easy to pick a product, to source the product but to launch the product, it’s pretty darn easy to do that. Is it going to be 100% successful, not necessarily.
[00:12:31] Scott: I was just talking to my good friend Dom Sugar, shout out to Dom Sugar the Candy man, I know he’s listening out there and maybe his workers are too because he sometimes plays the podcast to his workers. I just want to say, what’s up everyone. Anyway, you got to know Dom, he’s a funny dude. My point in that was he’s all about like not just getting home runs. Home runs are great but you don’t swing for the fence every time, you swing for singles, doubles, sometimes even a sacrifice fly for those of you guys that are not baseball people. What it basically means is you don’t have to get that winning product 100% all the time. It just has to be a product that can get you a little bit further ahead.
In this case it might be a product that allows you to launch maybe break even, maybe make a little bit of money and get your feet wet to understand the system. If you understand the system, it will allow you to then go and launch another product with maybe some different criteria because now you’ve learned through that process. “I know I’m not going to do this next time because it didn’t work.” or “I didn’t look at the numbers close enough on the product research and now I’m going to look at them differently when I launch my next product.” or it gets you going to where you start to get a little bit of momentum and then you say, “You know what, now I’m going to do the outside Amazon store. I’m going to do an ecommerce store and then I’m going to start doing that.” As you learn and you grow through these, you’re going to start picking up all this knowledge and all this wisdom that you didn’t have before.
[00:14:05] Scott: My recommendation to anyone is you have to start somewhere. You guys hear me say, just start #juststart. You have to do something. If you don’t do something you’re not going to get any movement. I always tell people don’t think that your first product is going to be this huge success. Think about it as you’re paying to launch a product to learn through that process. That’s the best education that you’ll ever have is by doing something, right. We all learn from the result. I know myself that if I work out for 4 weeks and I do this routine and I cut down my calories and I figure that whole thing out and I start to lose a little bit then I know it’s working.
It might not be working as well as I think it should be because maybe I’m missing something. Maybe I’m eating more of something that I shouldn’t be, my body’s now reacting, whatever. I’m trying to use that as an example because it’s very similar. We look at things as how can we measure results but really we have to also ask is what did you add to your databank? What did you add to your knowledge? There’s so many things that I go back to of what I’ve done in the past that’s helped me to get to where I am now and now I have all that knowledge all that information that I can either help myself or help someone else.
My short answer to this is just launch a product. Find something, go through the information that I’ve already put out there on the podcast, go to theamazingseller.com/start, that’s a great place to start because it’s going to outline the basic steps. I have podcasts that I’ve covered that in. You can also go to my workshop theamazingseller.com/workshop and I break it down into five phases on how to launch that first product. You’ll hear me say your first product, we’re trying to get you to just launch a product and get maybe 10 sales a day. That’s the goal. If we can do that, that’s a success, right.
[00:16:00] Scott: We’ve launched a product and we’ve sold some product. Then we can look and see what we can do differently and why maybe something isn’t working when we think it should be working. I know that was a long winded kind of answer and rant and ramble but you guys know that’s how I roll. I get pretty passionate about not just sitting here and sitting and thinking to yourself day in and day out is this the right one? Is this the right one? If you’re scared about doing it, that’s normal. We all get it, I still get it to this day, I still get that then cut back on your risk by ordering less or finding a product that you can order less or doing the Alibaba or Ali Express 500 dollar challenge where you just go out there and you say, “I’m only going to spent 500 bucks and see what happens.”
Yeah, you might not, like we said, hit a homerun but you might have single. You might get some sales that even breakeven and guess what, when you break even you still have succeeded in my eyes because you’ve launched a product when most people don’t even get that far.
My recommendation Jodie is to learn what you need to learn now, we call that just in time learning, picked that up from my friend Pat Flynn and just learn what you have to learn now. If it’s product research then figure out the product research. I’ve done a ton of podcasts on that, episode 56, 161, those are two that you should go listen to if you’re in that stage, theamazingseller.com/161 or theamazingseller.com/56 and there’s a few others but those are some good ones right there that get you started and really understand the depth of the market, demand all that the numbers. Definitely just take it one step at a time. It’s really is just one step at a time.
The workshop, I break that down into five phases. We’ve got product research, we’ve got sourcing, we’ve got the pre-launch, getting ready for the launch and then we’ve got the launch and then we’ve got the promotion. Those are five different areas that you have to focus on one at a time. That would be my recommendation to you. It is overwhelming. If we do not break it down it’s going to be overwhelming and you’re going to start scratching your head and you’re going to say, “You know what, I think it’s easier to just do nothing or procrastinate and just make excuses.” That’s my recommendation.
[00:18:16] Scott: The other way to do it is to find some stuff that is laying around your house that you can list on Amazon and go ahead and list it. Get a listing up, understand how it works. Just understand how it works and then that will be one thing that you don’t have to really worry about because you understand how it works. All right, enough on that. I know I spent a lot of time on that but I hope that this helps any of you out there that’s kind of in that paralysis by analysis. It’s like you’re just stuck. The easiest way to get unstuck is to do something, move. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:18:54] Tom: Hi Scott, my name is Tom from Florida. I just started listening to your show here probably last month or two. I do have a question for you. I’m not really clear, you probably said it but I didn’t catch it. I know you said before one of the things that you look for is a BSR rating of 500 or lower then I wasn’t sure if that was in the primary or root category or if that is 500 in a sub category like 3 or 4 different categories down or more. I found something that has like seven subcategories and it’s number 4, is that good or is that…? Even in the root category it’s about a 1400 BSR. If you can clarify that a little bit that would be awesome. Thanks for all your great work and keep it up, we all love it.
[00:19:54] Scott: Hey Tom from Florida, what’s up man? Thank you so much for the question and yeah, I wanted to address this one because it kind of goes into Jodie’s question that we just answered and it really makes sense to talk about yours as well because, here’s the deal, you’re doing this whole thing by looking at the BSR right now. In my head I’m thinking to myself you probably don’t have Jungle Scout, the tool Jungle Scout. If you do, then really what we’re talking about isn’t even relevant in a sense because Jungle Scout is going to do all of that work for you so you don’t have to worry about is a BSR in this category or this subcategory. They’re only looking at the top level categories.
If you are doing this manually, which you can, I’ve done it in the beginning. I did it all manually. If you’re doing it manually, it’s really hard to understand what sales volume is happening through a certain category. Let’s cover one thing first, anyone that’s brand spanking new we’re talking about top level. If we’re talking about home and kitchen, that’s the top level category. If we’re talking about beauty, that’s the top level category. If we’re talking about, what’s another one, lawn and garden. If we're talking about that, that’s a top level, if we’re talking about sports and outdoors, that’s a top level.
When we talk about home and kitchen and then you’ve got the next subcategory under that or the next category of that is going to be bathroom supplies and then you click on that and it’s got more, it’s like then we’re going into sub, sub, subcategories which I think we should go into those as far as drilling in but we don’t want to look at that BSR necessarily or that rank in that category. That doesn’t really mean anything as far as sales go for me personally. You need to look at the top level category.
Now, how could you, without a tool, how could you do this? Well, you could do the old 999 trick which if you guys haven’t heard this, really quickly I’m going to go through it really quickly and this is really how it would look. If you went into a category, let’s just say home and kitchen, you’ve seen a garlic press, you’ve seen someone had a BSR of like 7,000, you’re like, “That seems good, Scott said that in home and kitchen, 10,000 or less could be 10 a day but really still not sure, depends on the time of the year. How can I figure out what a BSR of that is without a tool?” I think you should have a tool by now but if you don’t this is how you would do it.
[00:22:18] Scott: You go to that competitor, you go and you add it to cart, you add in that you want 999 of them. It’s going to say, “Sorry, we only have 350 of these.” Then you’re going to go back the next day, the exact same time, that’s the key, the exact same time. If you did it at noon eastern time, you’re going to come back the next day and do the exact same thing. Add to cart and then you’re going to see how many is left. It’s going to say, “Sorry, we only have 325 left in stock.” Then you’re going to say, “Oh, in 24 hours on this day, they sold 25.” You’d want to do that for probably 4, 5 even 6 days or even 7 days and then you want to track how many sales are being generated on a regular basis.
The only little problem here that could be is if they send an inventory in that time frame, it’s going to throw your numbers off because one day it’s going to show 350, the next day it might show 400. Now, you can’t even use that as your number anymore because now it’s been skewed. The best way, the easiest way use a tool. Jungle Scout, you guys heard me talk about Jungle Scout quite often. The episodes that talk more about this is episode 56 and 161 which will be linked up in the show notes here.
If you want to check that out, if you want to save, I think it’s $10 on a license to that for the Chrome extension, you can head over to theamazimngseller.com/js and that’s my affiliate link by the way and you’ll buy me coffee if you do that so that would be awesome. It’s a great tool. I believe in it. Greg’s a great guy but I would recommend that before even going through that other step. If you’re serious about this to go ahead and invest in a tool. It’s just one of those things I think that’s going to make your life easier.
[00:24:00] Scott: You can drill down a lot faster and the guesswork is minimized. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely a lot better way and it’s a better way of spending your time especially if a lot of you people on here right now listening are strapped for time and you’re trying to figure out that hour or two that you can spend a day, this is going to speed up that time by a lot because you’re going to be able to see all these numbers and they’re really taking the data not just from the past month, which they are, they’re also taking data points from history and all that stuff so they got some really cool algorithm going on behind the scenes so definitely check that out.
That’s theamazingseller.com/js if you want to get a discount on it and if you want to just check out the episode I did with Greg, head over to theamazingseller.com/161 or 56. That’s what I would recommend Tom but just understand that once you know the number approximately in a category then you can determine what you think they’re selling but if you use a tool, it’s pretty much going to do the guesswork for you. Hopefully that’s been helpful. All right, let’s jump into the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:25:10] Sharon: Hi Scott, this is Sharon here from Wales in the UK. Thanks for all your information. I love listening to your podcasts. I’m just about to start my first listing on Amazon. It’s in the clothing section and the only difference for each item is the color so my dilemma is do I list the items separately or do I list them as a parent/child variation? I have no idea about variations and I think I quite would like to get this sorted in the beginning rather than halfway through. Thanks a lot Scott, keep up the good work.
[00:25:47] Scott: Hey Sharon, all the way from Wales. What’s up? Thank you so much for the question and you guys know I love getting these international listener questions because we’re reaching everyone around the world, the globe, just awesome. I just had someone send me an invite to Iceland. They’re like, “Scott, I’ve got a condo out here I’d love to have you come and do a little meet up here and you can stay at the condo.” I guess it’s like a rental property or something in Iceland so it’s really, really awesome, just so blessed to be able to reach all of you around the globe. I just want to say whether you’re in Florida, whether you’re in New York, whether you’re in Scotland, just want to say, you guys are awesome so thanks and keep the questions coming.
All right so to answer your question, this is a good question and I’ve had this question asked a few different times, a few different ways. I think the best way to launch what you’re doing is by launching a parent listing and then having variations underneath that because you can have a red shirt, let’s say a blue shirt, a yellow shirt a white shirt but then you’re going to also need sizes underneath there as well. It can get a little complicated but it doesn’t have to be. Again, I would start off with probably the top one or two colors and then I would branch out from there. When you’re doing variations like this, I mean you could have a lot of inventory needed to get launched.
If we just have one product, one SKU and all we have is sizes. Let’s say we have 4 different sizes we’re going to offer in a t-shirt or we have a color so that’s one variation and then we have the sizes off of that so that’s 4 different inventory SKUs that we need. Now, let’s add a color to that, blue, now all of a sudden we’ve got a variation with also 4 more sizes. Now we really have 8 different SKUs. I would say, start off with the one or two or three if you want to that you think are going to be selling the most and the way to really do this is to try reverse engineer what’s already happening out there in the space that you’re launching into and look at your competitors and start looking at their sales volumes going through certain colors.
[00:28:16] Scott: A lot of people ask this about accessories and stuff, “What color should I launch with?” It depends, it really does but if you look at the history of your competitors and stuff you’ll get a good idea of what you should start with. Again, maybe launching something with a different color might be a way to differentiate yourself, a way to really know this is, let’s say you went through your competitors and you went to their reviews and their reviews they were saying that they loved the item but they wish it came in red. Bang, there you go, let’s launch a red one and that means you’re paying attention to the audience or maybe you have the black one and the red one.
Again, I would look and try to see what is currently selling the most of and then I would launch with that and again because you have sizes if you’re in clothing, that’s going to be a challenge but again with any challenge, it’s going to make it harder for other people to get in. If you get in then it’s going to eliminate any, not eliminate but it’s going to make the competition less. I would say parent with variations underneath that parent. I think in this case, that’s definitely what I would do because again if you try to launch a color on a separate parent, it’s good, you can take up more real estate but you’re also having to manage those two and really have to drive those two to rank. Again, it doesn’t mean you can’t do that, I would just do the parent and then the variations underneath.
Again, you can use those variations as their separate ranking factors so you can use the search terms in the backend, the title. You can do the backend stuff as far as like the details, all that stuff. Your descriptions you can mix up a little bit. Your bullets, you can mix up a little bit so you can get the same thing as if you were to have separate listings except you don’t have to manage the separate listings. The only thing you won’t do is you won’t see two variations showing up on the same page. It will only be the one that’s going to show up. Usually the one that’s showing up is the one that’s selling the most. Hopefully, that’s been helpful.
[00:30:13] Scott: Guys, that’s pretty much going to wrap up this episode of Ask Scott. I want to thank you all for submitting your questions. They’re always awesome. I love hearing from you guys and if you guys have a question that you want asked on an upcoming session, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. I also want to let you know that the show notes and the transcripts are always available so you can head over to teamazingseller.com/256 and you can get all of the transcripts, you can download them, you can read them on the blog if you want. You can look at all the show notes, you can get the links, all that stuff that we discussed will be there on episode 256.
Then just to remind you, if you want to attend the live event, the TAS Breakthrough Live event in Phoenix Arizona on November 5th and 6th, head over to theamazingseller.com/live. If you head over there and there’s tickets available still you’ll see that and if there’s not, there’ll probably be a waiting list or even a list of people that can get on there just in case we have any cancellations. Just head over to theamazingseller.com/live and you’ll have all the details there. I would really love to hang out with you guys at a resort where we can have fun but we can also learn and mastermind and just grow our businesses together. Definitely go check that out, really excited about that.
Guys, that’s it, that’s going to wrap it up. Want to remind you guys one last time that 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 proud, I think Jodie said that she’s going to do this and that is, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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