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…getting results after attending a live ecommerce event. I invited on a really good friend of mine now. I actually met him through this business and I'll talk a little bit about that here in a minute but his name is Steve Chou. You guys probably already know of him, maybe you don't. If you don't you definitely got to check him out. Great guy, he's been doing it for a very long time, ecommerce business that is and he's also been blogging about it for quite a few years and the name of his blog is My Wife Quit Her Job.
It's so fitting because that's why they created their ecommerce business. In the beginning was to free his wife of that job so she could stay at home with the kids and all that stuff and it's just a great story but he's a smart guy, he knows a thing or two about this business but he also knows a thing or two about live events. He also knows what he likes and what he doesn't like and that is why he created his own event. I actually attended it last year. I spoke at it ad and I will be attending it this year again speaking for the second year in a row so I must have did something okay for Steve to invite me back. But funny story is I reached out to Steve. I was following Steve's podcast and blog for, probably three/four years and then I just decided to reach out to him once I started my podcast. I said, “Hey, I'd love for you to come on.”
It was a great way for me to just have an intro to him and be able to just get to talk to him. Well, after than conversation we've been really good buds here for quite a long time. We actually met in person a few times, not just at his event. We attended another event together and just the more I hang out with him, the more I get to pick his brain. I really like him even more. So just a great guy and now I'm even able to have him come back on the show and really talk about this topic because I don't think this topic really gets talked about that much and I think it's important because I know myself. I like a small intimate like meeting. Like a meet up in a sense but like a workshop type feel and so does Steve.
[00:02:02] Scott: I recently had one in Arizona for my own TAS group that is. I also had one in Denver a few months back from there. We've had some really good success stories come out of that and we're going to talk about that. We're going to talk about that. We're also going to talk about another gentleman that attended his last event and how he's doing six figures now which is just insane. But there are some secrets. There are some things that you can do to get the most out of an event. Sometimes it could be overwhelming, sometimes maybe you feel out of place, you don’t know how to connect with people, you don't know how to network.
All that stuff. That's the stuff we're going to dig into and I think you guys will get a ton out of this and let me just warn you guys. There's a lot of little random rants in here because Steve and I are just sitting around, having a cup of coffee, cup of tea, whatever just hanging out and just talking about this. That's really what I like to do with any of my guests especially the ones that I know really well and I feel as though we can just kind of let loose and then this is one of those conversations.
I'm going to stop talking now so you guys can enjoy this. If you guys want to download the show notes, the transcripts to this episode head over to theamazingseller.com/323 and then I will also say if you get a chance head over to sellerssummit.com. That will be the event that I will be speaking at. I'll probably be doing a little unofficial TAS meet up there in Fort Lauderdale but again do that after you listen to this and you can get more details on that. All right guys. I'm going to stop tailing so you can enjoy this conversation that I had with my good buddy Steve Chou.
[00:03:37] Scott: All right. Well, I am super excited because we've got Mr. Steve Chou on the podcast once again, what is up my friend?
[00:03:45] Steve: How is it going Scott? Glad to be here man.
[00:03:47] Scott: I am doing awesome and I'm just excited to have you back on. A lot has happened since I’ve had you on or I had you on in the past which was episode 93 which is crazy.
[00:03:57] Steve: That was like two years ago or something?
[00:04:00] Scott: No, no. I think it might have been beginning of last year. I'll have to go back and look. We’re up to over 300 episodes now. So I don't know. Time is just flying by but that was a good episode. We talked all about ecommerce and people that don't know who Steve Chou is, go back and check out that episode. Episode 93 like I said. That one there we talked all about how to set up your ecommerce business as far as like how to get started with all that stuff. For people that haven't heard of Steve Chou, can you give everyone like maybe a 60 second like who is Steve Chou? Can you do that for them?
[00:04:29] Steve: Yeah I'll give a 30 second because I don't like to talk about myself too much. I run an ecommerce store with my wife called BumbleBeeLinens.com where we sell wedding linens. I also blog about my experiences running my shop at mywifequitherjob.com. I also run a conference of which Scott has spoken at last year and he's going to speak again this year, called The Sellers Summit. 30 seconds man, right there.
[00:04:51] Scott: Wow that was quick man. You nailed it. I should have figured anyway. That’s pretty much who Steve Chou is. If you guys don't know him, just go check his stuff out. He's a great guy, good friend of mine now and we've gotten a chance to actually hang out a couple of different times and we're going to be able to hang out again in, it's Fort Lauderdale, right? Do I have it right this time.
[00:05:13] Steve: Yeah, it's Fort Lauderdale in May.
[00:05:14] Scott: Yeah, in May. What is the exact dates again on that?
[00:05:16] Steve: It is May 18th to the 20th.
[00:05:18] Scott: 18th to the 20th. I had that on my calendar and actually we were just talking this morning to another guy that might be attending. You know Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers, don't you?
[00:05:25] Steve: Yeah. I think I do. I know of him. I don't think we've actually met personally.
[00:05:30] Scott: I don't think he did. I mentioned him and he said, “Yeah, yeah. I think I've seen Steve around,” and he was really interested in the event because it's a small event and he's like, “Yeah, it'd be cool to hang out with you guys and like Greg Mercer.” He knows Greg a little bit and a few of the other guys that you had that are speaking. We might get Justin Cook to come down too from Empire Flippers. That'd be kind of cool.
[00:05:49] Steve: That'd be really sweet man.
[00:05:51] Scott: Yeah, yeah. He's thinking about it man. I'll put another bug in his ear. But anyway, the reason why I wanted to have you on is well, a few different reasons. I want to talk just ecommerce with you in general. You and I can pretty much talk about this stuff till the cows come home and we just enjoy talking about this stuff and I really just wanted to just get a little bit more about like where you think it is in today's world with Amazon now and we still got eBay and we've got Walmart coming into the mix and you got all these new channels.
We’ve got international, we've got all that stuff so I do want to dig into that but I also really want to talk about conferences in general because I get a lot of people that say, “Scott you know I don't really know if I even should attend a conference. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to get out of a conference.” I know some people just go to conferences just to go because it seems like a cool place to go. I know you've been to a lot of conferences, not just about ecommerce but just in general. You've been to a ton and I want you to speak to that for second. Why did Steve Chou go to so many conferences in the past five years or more? What was your main objective there?
[00:06:57] Steve: Yes. Here is the thing. I go to like six or seven every year now. Before I had no intention of going to any. I've got two kids and a wife and every time I go it's a huge ordeal because my wife has to take care of like all the kids and everything. Here's the funny thing. Way back in the day I was anti-conference. I'm like, “Why would I need to go to a conference when I can just figure out everything on my own or read whatever I need to read online.” My first conference, which actually had nothing to do with ecommerce. It was FinCon, I went and I ended up meeting so many people and what ended up happening was I met all these people, we formed masterminds. We ended up helping each other out on our businesses just kind of indirectly. My businesses almost like doubled the following year because of that. It's the collaboration factor. It's the networking factor. I didn't learn this until like a long time but you can't really grow your business by yourself. You need other people to help you out.
[00:08:00] Scott: I agree with that 100%. I still haven't been to nearly to as many as you have been and I've definitely gone to a lot more and I'm actually going to be going to one here coming up. Actually in about two weeks. I'm going to the Click Funnels Event, The Funnel Hackers. Actually one of the main reasons why I'm going there, I got to be honest with you, obviously I'm going to be meeting… Some of my team members are going to be there and I've also got a few people from TAS that are going to be there but one of the big draws for me was Tony Robinson is going to be speaking there at the end. So that sealed it for me.
I was kind of the on the fence. I’m like I've seen he's going to be there and I’m like, I haven't been to one of his events, it’s on my bucket list. This will be a way to get here. I do like talking about sales funnels and processes and all that stuff so that will be cool. A lot of it there is built for… It's really built for seeing other people's examples of what they've done and I learn a lot from that. I'm not a big guy to go on stage, you tell me your story of how you went from nothing to something and then it's like you can do it too. That's it. It gets done. That's cool once or twice but then it's like what did I actually take that other than I'm excited? I like to actually see someone say okay you want to actually do this and this and this and this why.
We did a test, we ran this we did this and we changed this and this didn't work, this worked. It's kind of you're doing a little case study and that's what they're known for there and that's why I'm really going. Also because I'm going to have a TAS meet up which I always do whenever I go which will be kind of fun. I think you're right. It's like when you go there you meet people, there's nothing that can replace that because you're actually there able to engage one on one and maybe trade numbers or emails or Skype, whatever and then form those little relationships and those friendships. I don't think that you have to go to a live event to do that. I think you can go to other forums or Facebook groups and stuff. But there's nothing like sitting there in person and just having that nice conversation.
[00:10:02] Steve: Let me tell you why you need to actually go live. The best conversations for me happen late at night after like a couple of drinks.
[00:10:12] Scott: Sneaky Steve. Let me buy you three more.
[00:10:16] Steve: I'm actually being serious. This is why you need to go in person. Like a lot more information flows in that environment. I've gone to conferences where like these huge names, people who are doing a lot of money. Once you get like the alcohol going and you end up talking to them, they'll tell you like secrets that they won't talk about during the talk or they'll tell you their numbers or what strategies they are working now. Just those nights are just in itself like totally worth it.
[00:10:45] Scott: I agree with you. It's like once you start… You're just hanging out. You're just hanging out. There's no script, there's not like I got to talk about this, this is my PowerPoint. I'm going to be discussing this kind of like you're there. But my thing is though if it's such a huge event though, some of these are massive, some of these have like three to four to five thousand and you and I went to, was it Content Commerce? The one with Ryan Deiss. It was cool, I got to hang out with you and a few other people there but for me personally if I don't have that already planned of who I'm going to kind of meet and hang out with and then they can maybe introduce me to people that they know I'd be lost. I wouldn't know where to go.
[00:11:25] Steve: I hear you man. I think there were like 1,500 people at that event and I'm glad actually ran into you because I don't think I would have been able to locate other people that I knew because it was such a large event.
[00:11:39] Scott: Yeah. That there I mean, don't get me wrong. It was a good event but I like more intimate. I like to be, like you said. Like I mean yours last year was 100 people I think max. Then this year I think you're expanding it a little bit more.
[00:11:55] Steve: Just a little bit.
[00:11:56] Scott: Yeah, it's just going to be a little bit bigger but even yours was broken down to where it had like different tracks so this way here it was like if you were already selling on Amazon well you can go here. If you weren't then you can go here. You kind of broke that down nicely and you had ways for people to actually have like a VIP Spot where you could actually sit down with one of the speakers for I think it was 30 minutes or 40 minutes or something like that. I ended up going for an hour with the one that I was with just because we were into this like deep discussion like whatever we were hammering out the details and I wanted to make sure that I gave her that but it was… You were able to do it in a way that made it feel like we were more intimate.
[00:12:36] Steve: Yeah, here's the thing. That person who you mentored had really good things to say about you. She really appreciated the fact that you spent extra time with her. That was like a huge plus and I thank you for that.
[00:12:47] Scott: It was my pleasure and again it's like people… Once you have a podcast or once you have like an audience of some kind, people just think that well how are they ever going to give any time or do they really care and it's like I know you do, I know I do and pretty much everyone that I associate myself with. Like we honestly want someone to get results. It's not about me to sell coaching or me selling a class or… You the same. It's like ultimately it comes down to helping that person. I want you to talk about the one person that was kind of highlighted here just the other day actually. You did Facebook Live on it. Was his name Dean?
[00:13:24] Steve: Yes, Dean.
[00:13:25] Scott: Let's talk about this for a minute. I think this is powerful. I had a similar experience with someone that attended my Denver event and I just, I think it's powerful for people to understand that sometimes big things can happen from just attending one event. Can you talk about Dean a little bit?
[00:13:38] Steve: Yeah absolutely. Dean was a guy, he had all the knowledge, like he was listening to The Amazing Seller Podcast. He knew like what he needed to do so to speak at a very high level. From putting together all the information out there but he could just not take any action. What’s funny was he came to the conference and he ended up chatting with Mike Jackness who is actually one of the speakers…
[00:14:01] Scott: Mike is a great guy. He's been on the podcast, we broke down his whole Facebook Ads campaigns and stuff. We'll probably have to have him back on too. Great guy too by the way. It was fun just to hang out with him and mastermind on our last day. But anyway, go ahead. Mike is a great guy and to get his ear that will be really cool.
[00:14:18] Steve: What was funny was Dean was like, “I'm going to do this, I plan on doing this and I plan on doing this.” Then Mike was just like, “Yo, I don't want to talk about what you're going to do. I want to talk about once you've actually done it. Let's talk again once you've actually done it.” So what Dean did was like immediately after the conference, he went and he launched his private label product in July which, the conference is in May…
[00:14:44] Scott: He had no product at this point.
[00:14:44] Steve: He had nothing. He had no idea what to sell, he had not product. He launched in July and it's February right now and he's made over $120,000. As soon as he did that… In a way Mike in a way held him accountable. As soon as he started selling he emailed Mike and he said, “Hey, I launched.” Sometimes you need that little kid to get started. That's the other bonus.
[00:15:10] Scott: I agree with that because a lot of times we can sit here and even today, you and I are both very similar in a way that we can sit down and do whatever we want pretty much right now. We can work on anything we want and it's a challenge sometimes that unless I have things kind of like planned out as far as what I'm going to attack, at least one or two items but then we can be distracted but I do find that when I have people that are holding me accountable for things that have to meet deadlines or things that I said I was going to do, now I have to do that's why I do believe that publicly going out and saying, “Hey, guess what?
I started, well I told you before we got on here and I’ve told my audience already, I started that program T25. I kind of I'm accountable to everyone that I’ve kind of announced hat to. I did it, now I got to kind of check in every now and then and you guys know I'm not like falling off the wagon but I think it's huge to be able to have people that you can do that with. That can happened in a Facebook Group. I know you have a great Facebook Group as well.
Pick up someone there that might resonate with you and then reach out to them and go, “Hey, you want to be an accountability partner?” You can do that too. There's no reason for you not to have an accountability partner or people that can hold you accountable because I think that is a huge, huge thing. The thing that I also want to also outline here is that there's all these different things that he can do and I think Mike said to him like, “Listen, like this is what you need to do first, like do that, when you get that done like come back.” Right? It's like he could have said like well you got to do that and then once you get that you got to do this. You're not going to go there because it's going to be too much.
[00:16:40] Steve: I just want to say that I'm just so thankful that all the speakers who come to my conference are just so willing to help. There's conferences I go to where people who speak they do their speech on stage and then they just hide down in their hotel room because they don’t want to actually hang out but what was really nice and what I really appreciate it, people like you Scott who come to the parties and actually are willing to hang out with everybody the entire time. I really enjoyed that.
[00:17:05] Scott: That's part of it for me personally. It's like meeting the people and then hearing where they are and then if you can just give them like one nugget that helps them, then that's everything. You know that person will probably eventually reach back out to you and go, “I just want to thank you for that. I did this and this happened and thank you so much,” and it's like to me like I'll deposit that in my bank account every day just by that little bit of feedback for me just keeps driving me to know what we're doing is useful. Speakers like you said, you can go to some events and they are just… It's a show. I don't want to call anybody out but I've seen it and it's like, it's just puts it into a bad light. You don't really gain anything from that. You get up there, I don’t know Steve. I've never really been to too many that have directly sold from stage. That even gets a little…
[00:18:00] Steve: Yeah, we've been to one together in fact.
[00:18:03] Scott: Yeah, and that just gets a little awkward and I'm not comfortable in that environment so you'll never see me at a conference like speaking and then selling in the back of the room… That's just not my style. I think at the end of mine, mine is always if you want to know more about me just go to the podcast. Like that's it. That's my pitch. I know eventually you might come to a workshop and then you might want more information about a class that I'm doing or whatever. Actually, speaking of accountability stuff, Steve I don't know if I even told you this. Maybe I did. We're actually doing a little 1K Fast Track we call it. It's something new we're doing, we're experimenting with, we have a group of 50 people going through it right now. One of the biggest things that people are struggling with getting started is just getting started.
It's like just to earn that first dollar it's like the hardest part and once we can get them to that point then they’ve kind of went through the motions, they’ve got a little bit of momentum, they've got a little bit of confidence now. It's how do we get them to that point. We decided to start, like I said, we called it the 1K Fast Track. It's just trying to get people within six weeks to $1,000. Like that's what we want to do. I'm not saying it's going to be all profit. It's just revenue. They've created a sale and they got some momentum and there's a guy that's on our team, Dom Sugar who's a retail arb guy, he's been doing that for years, he's built a whole empire on that business and so he's really breaking that down for them to kind of like don't worry about sourcing product right now.
Let's just kind of get some products that we know are selling. We can flip those products. It's like you just go in, you find product that's discounted, 70% we flip them. We bring them up on Amazon, we sell the or even eBay. We did a little pre-challenge Steve and it was actually even before the class actually started. We actually did an eBay challenge where we just said, go clean out your garage or your artic, your room, whatever. Then by the next week we want you guys to report your sales and whoever gets the most we'll give him 100 bucks. Basically we did that, we had 12 people do it out of 50. That actually successfully started making money and between all twelve we did over $3,500 in sales.
[00:20:05] Steve: That's amazing man. You're right. The hardest part is just getting started. Once you get used to the interface and you’ve sold like anything and made just like a dollar, the rest just kind of flows.
[00:20:16] Scott: You got to understand the platforms, you got to understand like the process but it's just like getting started is huge. Again I'll just mention this really quickly but at my Denver event we did the same exact thing. We had a very small group. It was only 30 people but we had a guy there that attended it, Jared, I’ve talked about him before. He had nothing. He had a product kind of picked but he was not 100% yet. He was confused. A whole bunch of directions. Very similar to Dean. He left that event with a plan and a lot of that plan didn’t necessarily come from me or Chris who was at the event. It was more or less from people that were there attending.
These people were there, obviously they invested money to be there so they got a little bit more skin in the game. They are probably up and running so you're going to be able to give some solid advice and really gave him some clear direction and then from there he was able to report back after than Denver event that he's done over $250,000 in revenue. $100,000 of that came in 4th quarter sales. Which is insane. And he's just like I get an email probably every week that says Scott, “I still have to pinch myself, I can't believe this is really happening.”
We validated it. Again that was from an event that he attended. A small event but it was an event and same thing with Dean. What kind of advice would you give someone that's attending, just to get the most out of an event? I know it's going to depend on the size and stuff but what would you say if you're like going there, you don't really know a ton people? What would you say?
[00:21:46] Steve: Here’s the thing. Like I think that the event has to have something to do this as well. For example last year for our event, I discovered that there's a lot of introverts out there. There's a lot of people that are just afraid to go around. So my advice would be to most conferences have like a Facebook Group where you can try to get to know people ahead of time. Really all that it takes is to just find one person that you're comfortable with so that when you're at the conference you can experience it together and that actually makes it a whole lot easier to meet a lot of people because you’re doing it together.
[00:22:21] Scott: Okay. Now, I know yours is structured, I want to talk about yours and how like how you set it up and why you set it up this way. But like, like I said, depending on the event, it's really going to depend on the event. There's one event, I'm not going to mention and it just seems like it's a little bit for everyone, in any part of the business which is okay but they also leaves a lot of people where you get a little but not a lot. Like to me it's got to be a focus in certain areas that's going to benefit you or else it's not…
It' either going to be beginner-ish and that's it or it's going to be advanced and that's it or maybe it's going to be all about tools. It's like it's got to be broken down. How do you as a conference organizer now, this is your second one doing, how do you balance that stuff and how do you make it where you can get a mix of people into it? You're actually taking two different business owners. You're taking someone that's maybe just an Amazon and then you might be taking that's just an ecommerce seller and then how do you bridge that gap?
[00:23:26] Steve: The way we do it is with different tracks. We have a track for beginners, we have a track for intermediates and then this year we're actually doing a high end track which is like a mastermind tack. Let me tell you a little bit about what that is. We gather 16 entrepreneurs who are making over $250,000 a year. We get them in a room together. Then we go around and we have everyone talk about what's working for their business and then a problem that they are having with their business that they would like a solution for. Basically everyone else helps that person out.
[00:24:00] Scott: I like that.
[00:24:01] Steve: We did that for the speakers. So that's one thing that I offer for the speakers at my conference. We all get together like Scott. We all get together on that last day and we do the same thing and it is tremendously valuable. So I wanted to bring that to the attendees as well. I know it's going to be awesome.
[00:24:18] Scott: How's that going to work though? You and I talked a little but… How many people is that going to be for? This higher level. Obviously you have to meet certain criteria, you have to do like an application of some kind I’m sure for these people. So many people are you going to allow to do that and then is that going to be like all the speakers in there….
[00:24:40] Steve: No no no. That happens on the first day. That's only 16 people and that happens on the first day and then the speakers one is on the last day and it's just the speakers.
[00:24:50] Scott: Got you. Okay, who’s in there then on that day? Is it just the people that are making the $250,000 and then that's their own little mastermind and then from there someone gets the hot seat and then everyone gets to voice opinions or suggestions.
[00:25:05] Steve: Yeah, we'll rotate the hot seat and we’re going to actually have a bunch of veterans in there too. I'll be in there, I think Jackness is helping, Dena Jaunzemis and…
[00:25:17] Scott: Is Jeff Cohen on that one?
[00:25:17] Steve: Yeah, Jeff Cohen is going to be on that one too. I was like9 thinking of fourth person because I just asked recently. That's why it wasn't fresh in my mind. The four of us will be there and between the four of us we cover all the disciplines between Amazon selling and on your own store so we'll lend our input as well.
[00:25:31] Scott: Got you. That's a full day, then.
[00:25:34] Steve: That's a full day and then the idea is that those 16 people will become like best buddies by the end of that day.
[00:25:41] Scott: You're going to have to let me know how that all goes because we've done a small event with 25 and we did 10 hot seats and it can go… You have to have a timer. That's going to cut some time off but then also it's going to… I don't know. It's going to be a little challenging. I'm going to be honest with you. But you're up for the challenge. I know you are but it's like you get one story that you can keep going on or maybe it strikes a really good cord with a lot of people that want to keep discussing that topic. For us it always seems to come down to Amazon pay-per-click. The minute we open up that question or someone has an issue it's like people just want to keep running with that and we can go two hours on that. So it's going to be interesting to see how you do that. You have to let me know so you can help me out with my next event. We can keep that smooth and cruising along.
[00:26:32] Steve: The other way we deal with it also is we actually record every session so everyone who attends gets access to all the recordings. You might be a beginner now and you might want to watch the intermediate lessons or the event's lessons later so you have access to all that stuff. That’s kind of what we're doing.
[00:26:45] Scott: Okay, cool. All right. That's that. That's really cool. That's something new that you’ve added this year though. That wasn't last year. You didn’t have…
[00:26:53] Steve: The recordings or the…
[00:26:55] Scott: No no. The mastermind.
[00:26:55] Steve: That's new.
[00:26:57] Scott: And that's only for 16 people.
[00:27:00] Steve: That's correct.
[00:27:00] Scott: Is that currently still open? Do you still have the openings for that particular group?
[00:27:04] Steve: No unfortunately those are all sold out.
[00:27:08] Scott: Okay. Why are we even talking about it then Steve? Come on. I'm just kidding. Next year you should probably sign up earlier if you've not already. That's cool and again that's not going to be for a majority of people. It's going to be for those people at the next level, at $250k plus, but tell us a little bit about the structure of this event. Maybe some things that you might have learned from the first event that you're going to be implementing in maybe it now that you learned that might make it a little better or maybe streamlined or maybe you didn't learn anything. Maybe everything was perfect. I don't know. Tell me.
[00:27:44] Steve: Yeah. So first and foremost like as we had talked about, I want the event to be kind of small and intimate so we always limit ticket sales. The idea here is that you get a chance to meet everyone and you get a chance to hang out with all the speakers. Scott, you mentioned that you are going to this event because Tony Robbins pulled you over the top.
[00:28:05] Scott: Yeah.
[00:28:06] Steve: So what's funny is my philosophy is a little bit different. Like I like people who are, in terms of ecommerce at least, I like people who are just actively selling something. They get their hands dirty. There's a lot of like higher level guys who came up to me and wanted to speak and they might have created ecommerce businesses in the past but they are no longer kind of actively running it. I make sure that everyone who's speaking is actually actively selling something online. That they can get their hands dirty and they know all the little details involved in that.
[00:28:38] Scott: I like that. I like that a lot. That's a big thing. It’s like if you did it two years ago or you're still doing it today because things have changed. It's like if I was to tell you how to launch a product even last year to this year, it's going to be different because of the review updates and all of that stuff so things have changed. If I was in it I can kind of hear about it but I didn't actually feel the change, I guess.
[00:29:01] Steve: Yeah totally and you're not going to know all the little details unless you're actually selling yourself.
[00:29:09] Scott: That’s huge and I just want to also I guess just want to say that the one thing that I think is really cool that you do is you tell all your speakers, because you've told me it's like I want to know that you're teaching something that they can walk away with and implement versus just talking about like your story. Or maybe something that you think could help them. You want it to be more actionable.
[00:29:36] Steve: All the speeches are actionable and in fact they are always like a speaker last year when I first saw their presentation I ended up almost, I didn’t rewrite it, but I made suggestions on certain areas where I actually want to see real numbers and real data. I actually go through people's presentations as well just to make sure that it's actionable as well.
[00:29:57] Scott: Yeah, I know. I agree. Again coming back to the whole thing it's like okay, well now we get all this information. Like where do I take this information and apply it? What would you say to someone there that maybe I'm in here and like Dean? I have all the knowledge like what do I do? Like what would you tell him if you knew his story before he came what would the advice be or be given to him going into that event? Obviously go talk to Mike.
[00:30:28] Steve: That's what I was just about to say actually. If you have the knowledge and you're just having problems taking action, then really it's all about finding someone to keep you accountable at that point and what better person at that than Mike? He knows everything. He's like the man.
[00:30:46] Scott: I know. Mike is a smart guy. He's a smart guy and he's willing to share. That's the cool thing. It's like he’s so willing to share and there's other people there that are so willing to share too. It's just you got to get their ear. It's like you have to be able to talk to those people but here's the deal. It doesn't have to be a speaker. Not everyone there is beginners. It's people there that just either want to grow their business or scale their business and they are just a little bit further ahead maybe but they are going to be able to help you and most people that I've met are more than willing to share information about a certain area that you might be struggling with. So don’t think it's got to be just the speaker that you have to be like pull aside and you're going to get all the nuggets. It's like a lot of times it's like that person, I think last year Mike wasn't even a speaker.
[00:31:34] Steve: Yeah, he wasn't even a speaker. He was just an attendee actually.
[00:31:36] Scott: Yeah, he was just attending and then you were able to sit next to him maybe and just get his ear and go ahead and start rapping about something that you're doing or you're struggling with and then he's going to give you that advice. I think that's huge.
[00:31:52] Steve: Here's the thing. Everyone does things differently. So it's always interesting to talk to someone about their particular approach to a problem. Like for example, I learned about frustration free packaging. I had no idea what that was until I talked to I think Daniel Solid last year so… I always learn something new because everyone has their own little way of doing things.
[00:32:15] Scott: Yeah, it's like here someone would look at you and go Stevie you've been in this long time. How long has it been since your site went live with your wife?
[00:32:25] Steve: Yeah, we launched in 2007.
[00:32:26] Scott: So 2007 like, it's 2017 right now. So that's a few years under your belt. So does Steve still have things to learn?
[00:32:36] Steve: Dude every day man. I listen to your podcast all the time.
[00:32:42] Scott: Yeah you listen to my podcast but you're talking to like Mike and you're talking to Greg or you're talking to just other people that are in this and it's not that you're saying to them like, “Listen, I want you to give me everything. It's not even that. It's like there might be one thing that you're like, I never thought of that. Wow, that's cool. Maybe I’ll try that.” I think you're at the stage, same as me, I'm just like, “Oh wow that worked for you. Let me see if it works for me.”
It might not work as good for me. My audience might be different but it might work and it’s something you said yourself too. It’s like maybe if I try, it could work and if it doesn't I'll learn something through that and maybe I can tweak it so it does work for me. Again, it's just getting those ideas of what you can do and I think… I don't know about you. I usually try to look at the things I can do quickly and that aren't going to be like too much of like a huge burden on like doing.
[00:33:31] Steve: Like quick wins, right?
[00:33:33] Scott: Yeah, quick wins or quick tests that we can try. It might be just a matter of someone saying like, “When I started a sponsored ads campaign I set it up as broad for seven days and then I turned it into a phrase match and I just pulled all the keywords, put it into a phrase and it worked like…” Then I would try that. It's like it's so easy. It's like boom, boom, done. I'll see what the results are. It's just like learning through process.
[00:33:59] Steve: Here's what's cool. There's a lot of guys, the attendees, they start to form their own little mastermind groups and so after the event they keep the conversation going which is pretty sweet.
[00:34:08] Scott: Yeah, that is sweet. I think as an organizer like yourself that's brought all these people together it's cool to see how that all works too. You're like, you're not all… They are all coming to see Steve, they want to shake your hand because you're just a celebrity.
[00:34:22] Steve: They're coming to see Scott.
[00:34:24] Scott: Yeah but I mean, it's just kind of cool to sit back and see that everyone else is getting value from each other and you just were the one… You're the one that brought it together and made it possible and I've noticed at a couple of times that the live events that we've done and it’s just like I'll sit back and I'll just take a moment. I'll be like, this is really cool that yes I brought the awareness and attention and I brought these people together but they've got friendships or relationships or partnerships sometimes that form because we brought these people together and maybe a light bulb went on for them or some type of thing that they learned was a big, big win for them. It's pretty cool to sit back and do that. I wasn't going to be sure if you were going to do another one after last year. I didn’t know. I don't think you knew.
[00:35:11] Steve: No no no. We actually pre-sold tickets for the following year on the last day. Like I spent like an hour during one of the talks…
[00:35:16] Scott: I watched you do that by the way.
[00:35:20] Steve: I do want to talk about one thing that we are doing a little differently to kind of improve it. We did notice that there were a lot of introverts at last year’s event. We want to make sure that the people who are less likely to just approach someone randomly would get a chance to feel comfortable and they’re working with people. What we're going to try to do this year and this is all up to my partner Tony but she's going to try to pair certain people who might be introverts and so that they have that partner that they can go around the conference with. The other thing new that we're doing also is we're going to have this round table section. Basically it's just going to be different tables covering different topics where it can just be like a more casual non auditorium like environment where you can just ask your questions to either one of the speakers or an attendee and just share your ideas on that specific topic.
[00:36:10] Scott: I like that. It's like a break out session in a sense.
[00:36:13] Steve: Kind of but it's more casual.
[00:36:14] Scott: Yeah, more casual. It doesn't necessarily have to be one specific topic. You guys can just kind of go back and forth and then just want to sit in on that conversation. I do like that. Okay, before we wrap up maybe you could talk a little bit about who is going to be speaking? Do you have a list in front of you? Do you know the people off top of your head yet?
[00:36:39] Steve: Yeah, I do.
[00:36:40] Scott: Why don't you do that. Why don't you run through some of those people that are going to be speaking and then that way there people can decide if they want to attend this conference, just to let people know too that I'm going to be most likely having like a little TAS meet up there as well. I will be announcing more about that but I will be there. I'm going to enjoy the weather hopefully, Fort Lauderdale sounds fun.
[00:37:00] Steve: We're right on the beach man.
[00:37:03] Scott: That's going to be awesome. Yeah, we're definitely looking forward to that but yeah go ahead. What do we got? Who do we have speaking?
[00:37:10] Steve: We got this dude here, he runs this podcast called The Amazing Seller. He'll be there. Greg Mercer, Jungle Scout. I'm sure your audience is really familiar with him. He's like the nicest guy in the world by the way.
[00:37:24] Scott: Isn't he?
[00:37:24] Steve: And so laid back. It's crazy.
[00:37:27] Scott: He's totally a cool guy and he's just got like that… “Yeah, that's cool man. No problem.”
[00:37:35] Steve: “I'll make a million dollars, no big deal.”
[00:37:38] Scott: “We're good.”
[00:37:38] Steve: As you probably know Facebook is starting to become a huge deal when it comes to selling ecommerce products so got my buddy Steve Weiss, he runs MuteSix.com. What's cool is that we are doing this little mini case study where he actually has taken over part of my Facebook Ads account and hopefully we'll have some numbers to report on how he is able to improve my sales through Facebook Ads.
[00:38:04] Scott: Well, don't book me for that time slot. I want to actually come attend that one. I got it, I'm sorry.
[00:38:09] Steve: It's been really cool. One thing that I’m trying to do is I'm trying to get an even mix of people who purely sell on Amazon and people who are doing really well with just their own websites and also people who are doing both. I got Bill Dalessandro he actually runs elementsbrands.com and he actually owns I think seven different product lines that he's selling wholesale, he's selling on Amazon and on his own site. He's actually known as the Proctor and Gamble of North Carolina. We got Burnie Thompson. He sells electronics on Amazon. He makes eight figures. I don't know what your recommendations are but I tend to recommend people stay away from electronics in general because they can go obsolete and they are just harder but he's managed to make it work in a very competitive industry.
I'm really interested in hearing what he has to say. Dena Jaunzemis and these are just people who've been on my podcast, if you want to check it out. They've all been on and they provide a really actionable data on the podcast. Dena is one of these people who's just really good at buying a site and improving it. The last site she bought she tripled the revenues within a year. What I wanted her to do was just kind of explain to you how you can look at you existing website and improve sales. Mike Jackness we already talked about a little bit. He actually created a seven figure business in four months off of Amazon. It's actually really rare to be able to do that with your own site because you're not leveraging anyone else's marketplace. Manuel Becvar, I don't know if you've had him on your podcast, he runs ImportDojo.com. He runs a sourcing company. Anyone who's having problems sourcing or finding vendors or creating their own products, Manuel is an expert in this area.
[00:40:08] Steve: We've got Cynthia Stine. I'm pretty sure your audience has heard Cynthia Stine.
[00:40:14] Scott: I haven't had her on the show as of yet but yes definitely.
[00:40:19] Steve: Keeping your Amazon account healthy is really important obviously because you don't want to get burnt and you don't want get in trouble with Amazon and she's the expert in that topic. You mentioned PPC is always a huge topic at your masterminds. Well I've got Brian Johnson. He's an expert at PPC to come talk about it. I'm excited about that. A common question I get asked for people in my classes, how can I do more stuff? How can I do more marketing for free? So that's why I'm bringing on Rachel Miller. She's an expert in creating a viral Facebook Brand Page. She's created multiple pages that have gotten millions and millions of fans and she does it without spending a dime. She uses those pages to promote her affiliate products and her ecommerce products.
[00:41:05] Scott: What kind of pages are we talking? Instagram, Pinterest, all those?
[00:41:07] Steve: Facebook pages and Instagram.
[00:41:10] Scott: Okay, cool. That will be a good one. Nice, I like that. We've been playing around with both of that, with Facebook and Instagram and we've had some pretty good results from Instagram and it'd be interesting to hear a little bit more on that but Instagram has been pretty good for us. We're still experimenting with it but just leveraging other people's audiences is huge.
[00:41:35] Steve: Totally. We got Brad Moss and he's actually the former head of Seller Central on Amazon. He was the dude that created Seller Central and he's come to talk about all these little things about seller central that you probably did not know about. Like all the reports, all the little hidden switches and data that you can actually extract from the tool. I'm actually really excited about that talk.
[00:41:57] Scott: That'd be good.
[00:41:58] Steve: We just talked about influencer marketing. Got to get your product in front of YouTube guys, Instagram. We got an expert in that Jason Katz, he’s going to talk about influencer marketing which is becoming huge actually. We’ve been using that a lot and it works really well. Of course we have Jared Stark who’s a lawyer to answer all of your legal questions when you get hijacked or copyrights, trademarks, and that sort of thing and we have Pam Kell to talk about just shipping and logistics. Any questions you have about bringing product over from overseas, whether it be by sea or by air or by courier, Pam will be there to answer all your questions.
[00:42:38] Scott: Awesome. Wow. That's a nice lineup right there.
[00:42:42] Steve: We're probably still trying to bring in a couple more to fill out different areas of ecommerce but the idea here is to try to cover every single topic that you can possibly be interested relating to selling physical products online.
[00:42:53] Scott: Let me ask you. Are each session here are they generally an hour, is it 60 minutes usually?
[00:42:59] Steve: Yeah, they are generally an hour.
[00:43:00] Scott: I found that even myself when I spoke last year like I thought I had it dialed in and I think I only had like ten minutes for Q&A so I'm definitely going to try to tighten that a little bit because I want to give at least 15 minutes. It seems like you get a lot of questions and I know you can ask them afterwards but it's good to do it in that group setting so I’ll definitely be trying to tighten that up a little bit and trying to allow a little bit more time for that because I think that's huge.
[00:43:25] Steve: What's cool is like all the speakers will be hanging around, it's a small event. If you have any questions you can just approach them, hand them a drink and then just start chatting.
[00:43:32] Scott: Yeah, that's good. Just buy them a drink and start chatting.
[00:43:36] Steve: The drinks are free. So you can bring them a drink.
[00:43:39] Scott: What would you like? Water, are you feeling coffee? What do you like in your coffee sir? That is funny. All right. Cool. Again guys. If you want to check out the event, I'll have it all linked up on the show notes. You can head over to the sellerssummit.com and you'll find all the information over there and like I said, I'll be talking a little bit more as far as when we'll be doing like a little TAS meetup. We did that last year. I just met with everyone just to kind of say hello, shake hands and talk a little sharp but I'm sure that there will be a lot of you hanging out at the event too so I'm looking forward to really hanging out with everyone there and Steve I know you're always around and you're not one of those organizers that's going to be there and then do your… Are you doing a keynote this year again?
[00:44:23] Steve: I'm going to do a keynote and a break out.
[00:44:25] Scott: Nice.
[00:44:25] Steve: I forgot to mention myself.
[00:44:29] Scott: I was going to say Steve Chou will be speaking at his own event. That's awesome.
[00:44:32] Steve: I'll be talking about everything you need to do to transition from Amazon to your own site.
[00:44:38] Scott: Okay, that'll be a good one too. That'll be a really good one.
[00:44:41] Steve: By the way I know you have a huge audience listening to your podcast but if you guys have never seen Scott present in live and in person you're missing out because Scott is an amazing presenter. You think he has a lot of energy on the podcast, he has even more energy live. It's crazy how he does it.
[00:44:57] Scott: I do like the live environment because I get to see people versus just me sitting here getting all hyped up myself. It’s like easier when you see other people they are getting into it and they understand what we're talking about or just the feedback. It's the questions and it’s the interaction. I love that stuff.
[00:45:14] Steve: It's like the Tony Robbins of ecommerce.
[00:45:18] Scott: Yeah, right. Thank you for that.
[00:45:18] Steve: Is your dad going to come out this year again?
[00:45:20] Scott: I don't know. I think he may because I'll be honest, he had a hip replacement just recently which he's doing really well with. He's actually back bowling and everything. And he lives in Florida. So it's probably just going to be a, I think it's about a couple of hours drive for him. He might swing down. I'll probably twist his arm to come on down.
[00:45:36] Steve: Your dad's always welcome man.
[00:45:38] Scott: I know. I love my dad. I'm glad he's still here to spend some of his time with us in this exciting time of ecommerce and everything because he's actually a part of it… I actually hired him as a part time little VA. He does some stuff for me. It's kind of cool to be able to do that. It's funny because it's kind of our roles are reversed. He hired me when I was 19 and to work for our construction company which we built into a pretty sizeable company and now we flipped it around and said, “Hey, dad. You want to come work for me? I got a couple of things that you could do for me.” It's just cool just to be in touch with him all the time. Keeps us together which is cool. I'm really lucky. Anyway, one last thing. I have to ask you, is like ecommerce, Amazon, eBay, whatever like is this going anywhere Steve? Is it still a viable business or should we all just run away and go out and start something else that we think is going to work?
[00:46:34] Steve: It is just starting my friend. Ecommerce believe it or not is still a small fraction of the overall retail sales. It's just going to continue growing. It's going to continue getting a little bit more difficult as well as more and more people jump in but it's just a matter of finding that unique value proposition of what you’re selling instead of just selling mutual products online.
[00:46:55] Scott: I like that and I want to highlight that. What you're basically saying is figure out a way to have something that is different in a way but also what you're selling proposition like what is it going to do for that person or how is it going to help them or what is yours going to do better for them or solve their problem or have them more fun or whatever it is. I think also which I think, you know who would be a good speaker too, maybe not this year but for an upcoming one is like storytelling. I think creating story in a brand is huge and there is a guy out there right now is kind of crushing it in the podcast scene, Miller is his last name
[00:47:37] Steve: Donald Miller. He's going to speak at content and conversion.
[00:47:42] Scott: I missed his… I heard it was awesome but it's definitely something that I think is definitely big and you and I were talking before we jumped on here. My son just got a game. He's 18 but he got one of these table top games, it's called Klask K-L-A-S-K. What's really cool about it is it’s just a very basic game but this guy made it out of wood in his workshop and he gave it away as gifts and now there are all saying, “Well you should sell this thing and then he did and now the thing has blown up, they've even got tournaments, they've got leagues and all kinds of stuff and it's his story that really to me it's part of the brand now. They even have an on the box. So whoever is branding they understand how that story can really help people understand the brand and then tie in to the brand and all that stuff. The other one too… Did you see the episode with Russell Brunson on The Profit? Did you see that episode?
[00:48:34] Steve: No. I did not.
[00:48:34] Scott: It was with the brand Flex Watches. Have you ever heard of Flex watches?
[00:48:40] Steve: No I haven't.
[00:48:40] Scott: Check out that one if you can look that one up. It's a good episode, not just because Russell is a cool guy but he was in it but for not that long, a very very short period. What they were basically talking about was the brand was… It was just these regular watches, these colored watches just like really basic sold for like 30 bucks but his mother, this kid's mother helped start the company and she was diagnosed with cancer. So they ended up taking the part of the proceeds and donating it. They would make like a pink watch for that and then they would have other ones, other colors just for whatever.
They built this into a really sizeable business and they were donating to a cause. It was really a great story. Well Marcus Romanus comes in and their sales are tanking, this that and the other thing and he had identified that they went away from the story. They were now trying to sell upper end watches for hundreds of dollars and they were metal, they didn't even look like the Flex Watch. He had hem get rid of all of that stuff and focus back on the others and come up with other causes like clean water, clean air and they would have a different design for each cause and then they would sell these or they would have these kiosks inside of these retail stores as well as online and you'd go in and you'd know exactly what they were for and you'd know whether you were donating and you were wearing something cool and took their business and flipped it overnight almost. It’s really cool.
[00:49:56] Steve: The power of story is really important and actually didn't do a good job of explaining myself in the beginning but the reason why like my blog has taken off is because I have the story where when my wife became pregnant with our first child, we needed a way to replace her lost income and that's why we gotten into ecommerce and we managed to replace in the first year. So just kind of attaching a story to whatever you're trying to do makes the branding so much more powerful.
[00:50:21] Scott: 100%. Again it's funny. You look back at anyone's story like how you got to where you are and it's like you'll be amazed at what you see but that is the story. A lot of people don't think it's a story but it is. Like that guy building those games like that's not, he didn't solve the problem but he gave people joy in his family and they are all like, “This is cool. You should make these,” and then they started to make them and now it's a multimillion dollar company.
[00:50:46] Steve: It's crazy.
[00:50:46] Scott: It's crazy. You gotta understand that a lot of people do buy into a story and it also makes the brand more real and if you could have a face to it I think that also helps the brand but you don't necessarily have to. I know Mike has on his on coloring.com he has a face to the brand. Let me ask you this, I probably should ask Mike but we'll ask this her just because you and I are just ranting right now a little bit, talking but that's okay. When he started that business, did he already have the face to it or did he add that after the fact?
[00:51:21] Steve: That's a good question. I think he had decided early on that his partner was going to be the face of the business.
[00:51:26] Scott: Again, going back to like people in partnerships and something it's like what value do they bring to the business and if you have someone that's really talented in a certain area but they have no idea how to market or how to bring something to market that can be a perfect partnership for someone because ultimately like, I'm probably sure he'd agree like now that she is the face of the brand that's definitely helping push the brand because she being able to do these tutorials or she could do these different workshops and…
[00:51:54] Steve: She actually gets on Facebook Live, I want to say almost every night. They get like hundreds of people on these Facebook Lives watching them talk about coloring books. So it's huge.
[00:52:08] Scott: That's huge. It's funny. I'm actually in the process right now of doing something similar to that. Not coloring books but like I have something that could be a great face and she's already got some experience in getting out there and building somewhat of an audience and stuff so she has that but she has no idea about the other sides. We are tossing around some ideas which I'm pretty excited about because I think that is a huge piece if you can have that piece like it's almost like a huge advantage that is hard to find unless you find that right person because you have the story but then you also have that person that's good on camera, that knows how to write good content and stuff and then you're really just the one that's behind the scenes pulling the strings and making things work or maybe the Facebook Ads or whatever. There's so much that you can do out there. Anyway, we just went off on a totally other…
[00:52:58] Steve: But an important tangent.
[00:52:59] Scott: It is a good tangent. I think that's a really good one but I think storytelling is huge but anyway Steve. I know we have to wrap this up. This has been awesome. Again, why don't you tell people how they can, if there are still tickets available at the time this is recording right now there are but there may not be but if there isn't you can probably get on a wait list of some kind but where do people go check out the conference?
[00:53:21] Steve: Head on over to sellerssummit.com and unfortunately we're sold out, the mastermind and the VIP tickets but we do have regular passes available. Last year they sold out towards the end of February so you should probably get your tickets soon. We will have a wait list but… The tickets tend to go out first since I purposely limit the amount of ticket sales to create a small and intimidate environment.
[00:53:48] Scott: I agree. I'll link this up in the show notes too if you guys are driving or whatever and we'll go ahead and get that linked up for you guys on the show notes for sure but Steve I just want to say thanks man. I appreciate you coming on and just the friendship that you and I have that we've kind of created over this past year and a half or two years, whatever it's been and I just want to say thanks man. It's always a pleasure to chat with you. Now we're doing it on the air but usually we'll chat a little bit through Slack or whatever but it's definitely pretty cool to be able to hang out and chat about this stuff… You guys know we love about chatting about this stuff for days but I'm looking forward to the event man. I just want to say thank you so much. I appreciate it and I’m sure that you're going to be putting on another great event so I'm excited man. Thanks again.
[00:54:32] Steve: Thanks for coming and thanks for speaking, thanks for having me on. You're an amazing speaker and I love just how you are just so willing to help everybody.
[00:54:41] Scott: I appreciate that Steve coming from you that's been in this game a little bit longer than me so I appreciate it man, I truly do.
[00:54:47] Steve: All right man. Take care.
[00:54:49] Scott: All right. There you have it. Another great conversation with a good friend of mine, Steve Chou. I want to thank him again. It's always awesome to be able to talk to him. Him and I really do talk a lot privately too so it was kind of cool to get on, record one of those conversations and let you guys listen in. I definitely think that he's just a great guy to be around but then also to be in that room with and if you get a chance to hang out with him, whether it's at his event or another event definitely, definitely do that. He's just a smart guy.
You guys have probably heard me say that you don't ever want to be the smartest person in the room and if you are you are in the wrong room. Whenever I'm in that room with Steve I know I'm not the smartest guy and I'm okay with that because I'm able to learn by picking his brain and he’s so willing to share. Again guys, if you want to check out Steve's event head over to sellerssummit.com, there may be tickets still available maybe not. I know last year it sold out pretty quickly and I know when we recorded this he said it was pretty close to selling out. So definitely go over and check out those tickets.
Again, I'll probably be doing like a little unofficial TAS meet up. We did that last year. I had 40 people at that TAS meet up so we'll be talking more about that if you do end up coming and I will be speaking on one of those days. The show notes guys, theamazingseller.com/323. You can go over and check out all of the goodies over there. All right guys. That's it, that's going to wrap it up. Remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, say it TAS style, come on, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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