TAS 500: TOP Tips for Growing Your Online Business (Lessons Learned) + Chance to WIN $2,000 in Prizes

Can you believe it? FIVE HUNDRED episodes of The Amazing Seller!!! That is quite the milestone! Week in and week out, Scott delivers on the goods with all the helpful content that he’s put together from his own experiences and his connections with other leaders in the ecommerce industry. While Scott is excited about this awesome milestone, he’s also aware that he couldn’t have reached this point without passionate and engaged followers like YOU! Because of your commitment to the podcast and the TAS community, Scott’s been able to reach more people with constantly improving content. This is your moment to celebrate too! Sit back and enjoy this special edition of The Amazing Seller!

Don’t underestimate the role of your mindset!

While it may sound kind of “Out there,” mindset really is a critical factor in a business leader’s chances for success. What are you doing to address your mindset? How has your mindset changed over the years? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott looks back on his journey and reflects on the significant role his mindset has played on his journey toward success. Don’t assume you’ve got it all figured out! Taking the time to analyze and consider what lens you view your life and business through could be key to unlocking your future potential. Learn more about this important topic by listening to this episode!

Why brand building is the way to go.

If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is passionate about helping sellers like you understand that brand building is the best investment for long-term success. Can you make a quick buck by putting out a trending or attractive product? Sure! But if you are looking for a way to make sustainable profits and develop an asset that you can sell to someone else, later on, you’ve got to take brand building seriously. Get more of Scott’s take on brand building and why it truly is the best course of action for ecommerce sellers by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller!

Stay focused on what matters!

Do you ever have a difficult time staying focused? You aren’t alone! Many business leaders find it challenging to zero in on the most important aspects of their life and business. As you become more successful, the challenges and distractions will increase. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott shares his story and why learning to focus on what matters has made a significant impact on his journey. Don’t follow the shiny objects and the tempting promises to get rich quick! If you want to build something that will last, it’s going to take time and effort. Don’t lose sight of your end goal! Hear more of Scott perspective on staying focused by listening to this engaging episode, you don't’ want to miss it!

Use your story to build your brand.

Just as you have been moved by Scott’s story and the TAS brand, you have that same potential for success by leveraging your story! While you may not feel as comfortable or as confident as Scott often appears, you have it in you tell your story or connect with someone who can be that face of the brand. Don’t sell yourself short! Put in the time to tell a story with your brand that will resonate with people and make a difference. If you think of all the brands you are loyal to or feel a connection to, you’ll realize that someone took the time to think out and execute that narrative. To hear more about what it takes to use your story to build your brand and platform, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Kayla and Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [5:00] Scott quizzes Kayla on her TAS knowledge.
  • [12:00] Scott’s big takeaways from his journey with TAS.
  • [14:00] The important role of mindset.
  • [17:00] Brand building is the way to go!
  • [19:30] Plan and spend on promoting your products.
  • [21:30] Go wide, not deep!
  • [23:30] Make sure to stay focused.
  • [26:00] Scott recaps all 7 lessons learned.
  • [29:30] Use your story!
  • [34:00] An updated from Sean Madison about his success and how TAS helped.
  • [37:00] Learn from successful people!
  • [39:00] Parting words from Scott.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 500

TAS 500: TOP Tips for Growing Your Online Business (Lessons Learned) + Chance to WIN $2,000 in Prizes

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:02] Kayla: Hey, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode 500. Congratulations! And today right now I am going to be introducing your host, Scott Voelker, also known as The Amazing Seller…

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[00:00:23] Scott: Wow. That was pretty good. Not bad. That was first take by the way. We didn’t even do multiple takes on that. So, Kayla, thank you so much for that fantastic intro. And actually, I’m recording this on her spring break. Kayla’s got a spring break right now, so they got the day off. So, I said, “You know what, why don’t you come in the office and you can help me out here and we can celebrate this 500th episode together,” which is crazy. Ten million plus downloads, Kayla. Can you imagine that?

[00:00:53] Kayla: It’s crazy.

[00:00:54] Scott: Right? I mean, all over the world. I mean, we’re talking all over the globe. We’re talking the UK.

[00:01:01] Kayla: Yeah. Australia.

[00:01:01] Scott: We’re talking Australia.

[00:01:03] Kayla: Canada.

[00:01:03] Scott: Canada.

[00:01:05] Kayla: Everywhere that you can imagine.

[00:01:07] Scott: It’s insane, right? So, 10 million downloads. Never thought that I would be able to do this and here we are, helping a lot of people. So, what I want to do is I want to quiz you and, see, over the past three years, 500 episodes, you've heard a lot of discussion in the car rides whether it's maybe a dinner or maybe it's just out getting that ice cream cone that we like to get every now and then. There are a few things you might have picked up on. I want to share with people how while you are building a business around your kids, you're actually teaching them through that process as well. I think also you're teaching them through like things not working all the time and then what to do kind of like Aaron Judge right now kind of struggling at the plate.

[00:01:52] Kayla: Yeah. He’s still doing what he needs to do. He knows what he’s doing wrong so he’s going to try and do what’s right and think of the problem that he’s doing.

[00:02:02] Scott: Right. But what’s he going to do? Once he gets in that batter’s box and he strikes out, what’s he going to do after that?

[00:02:07] Kayla: He’s going to look over what he’s done, and he’s going to review it and say, “Oh, look, my stance was wrong,” or, “Look, he was throwing me curve balls and it went outside, and I swung for it.” So, that’s the thing that…

[00:02:19] Scott: But he’s also going to probably get back in that batter’s box, right?

[00:02:22] Kayla: Yes. Yes. Oh yes.

[00:02:23] Scott: So, you always have another at bat, right?

[00:02:25] Kayla: Yes.

[00:02:25] Scott: That’s kind of like business. You don’t give up just because something didn’t work one time, right? I think you and I both know that. All right. So, let’s get to the quiz here real quick. I’m going to ask you a couple of questions or actually a few questions here and I’m going to see what you can do here. And, oh, by the way, guys, stay tuned. I’ve got some prizes I’m going to be giving out here. I’m going to talk about how you can get access to our Private Label Classroom and a free coaching call with me. We’re going to have coffee, virtual coffee together. Kayla, do I like coffee?

[00:02:58] Kayla: Oh, you love coffee.

[00:03:01] Scott: All right. So, that’s what I’m going to do so stay tuned. The show notes to this episode can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/500 and then what I want you to do actually, Kayla, I’m going to go in here right now and tell them what they need to do if they want to enter into this drawing because that’s what we’re going to do. Yeah. It sounds fun, right?

[00:03:20] Kayla: Yeah.

[00:03:20] Scott: So, all you have to do is go to TheAmazingSeller.com/Coffee. Pretty cool little name there, right?

[00:03:28] Kayla: Yeah.

[00:03:28] Scott: So, go there and that’s going to take you to the YouTube page. I’ve actually created a short little video there explaining and all you have to do is leave a comment on that video, tell me how long you’ve been a listener of The Amazing Seller Podcast, and then also what is one thing that you have learned since listening to the podcast. All you have to do is enter or all you have to do is leave a comment to enter and then what I’m willing to do after a couple of weeks, I’m going to go back and we’re going to go through those and we’re going to pick two or three, I’m thinking three but here’s what we’re going to do though. We’re going to give away one grand prize which is Private Label Classroom which is $1,000 value, actually $1,500 value and a coaching call with me which is another $1,000 value. So, a couple of thousand dollars and then two runner-up prizes are going to be two more virtual coffee sessions with me, 30 minutes. I’ll jump on, do a one-on-one with you so all you have to do is just comment on a video or on that video, TheAmazingSeller.com/Coffee and then I’ll pick a winner. Actually, myself and my team is going to pick the winner. So, that’s what you need to do.

Okay. So, here we go. Kayla, really quickly and then I’m going to get into some of the things that I’ve learned over the past 500 episodes. I’m going to share all those with you. I’ve actually got seven right now seven takeaways that I’ve learned by interviewing over 60 plus people so far on this podcast so I’m going to be sharing those with you as well so stay tuned for that but right now I wanted to give Kayla a little quiz here and show you that you’re inspiring your kids but also you need to be paying attention and you probably have learned a ton just by consuming the information and applying it and taking action. So, here we go. Kayla, you ready?

[00:05:08] Kayla: Yep.

[00:05:08] Scott: All right. So, what does FBA stand for?

[00:05:13] Kayla: Fulfillment by Amazon.

[00:05:16] Scott: That is a very, very good girl. That is a great job. So, how many kids in your class do you think know what FBA stand for?

[00:05:25] Kayla: I don’t know. I don’t think any yet. No.

[00:05:29] Scott: You know what I want you to do? When you go back to school, I want you to ask all the kids in your class what does FBA stand for. All right?

[00:05:36] Kayla: Okay. Sounds good.

[00:05:37] Scott: So, do that. And if anybody does, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. If anybody says Fulfilled by Amazon, I will personally give you a $25 gift card that you can give them.

[00:05:47] Kayla: Okay.

[00:05:48] Scott: That’s pretty crazy, right? All right. So, Fulfilled by Amazon.

[00:05:52] Kayla: Fulfillment by Amazon.

[00:05:53] Scott: Well, we say Fulfilled by Amazon, Fulfillment by Amazon. You’re right. Yeah. Either one I’ll take.

[00:05:57] Kayla: Okay. All right.

[00:05:58] Scott: All right. Cool. Here we go. So, what does RA stand for?

[00:06:04] Kayla: Retail arb.

[00:06:06] Scott: Also, retail arbitrage. So, but retail arb is a little slang talk we got here. All right. So, retail arb, arbitrage. What does that mean though exactly? I mean you know what it means as far as like that’s what the abbreviations are but what do you do if you want to do a little retail arb? And I know your sister, Alexis, has been doing that and she’s made I think over $25,000 I think that’s what she told me the last I checked with her and I think she netted like $10,000 or $12,000 so pretty cool. So, what does that mean?

[00:06:36] Kayla: Well, retail arbitrage means that like you’re going to go to a store and if you find a product that’s on like a discount or something or clearance and actually it sells for more than they are selling it for then you can buy it and then you can sell it for a full price on Amazon.

[00:07:01] Scott: Or eBay or Etsy.

[00:07:02] Kayla: eBay. Any…

[00:07:05] Scott: Etsy I mean. Not Etsy. It’s Etsy. All right. Cool. So, here we go. All right. Now, the next question, I got to get a little closer to the mic here is, and this one’s an easy one I think but again I bet the kids in your class don’t know what this is. What is PL? What does PL stand for?

[00:07:24] Kayla: Private label.

[00:07:26] Scott: And I’m going to throw this extra one in here. I’m going to put you on the spot. She’s a little nervous, guys. What does private label stand or what does it mean?

[00:07:37] Kayla: Well, I think that means like you sell it online.

[00:07:42] Scott: Well, yes but private labeling means like let’s say for example and again I think once I say this you’ll kind of get it again. You kind of know what it is but you don’t. It’s where we can take a product and then we can label it as our own brand.

[00:07:56] Kayla: Oh, that’s right.

[00:07:57] Scott: Right.

[00:07:57] Kayla: Yeah, because of the word label, private label.

[00:08:00] Scott: Right. So, it’s kind of like in a store if you see like Cheerios and then they have…

[00:08:06] Kayla: Another brand.

[00:08:07] Scott: Another brand which in our case would be Harris Teeter. That’s our grocery store. Or what’s the other one? Publix. They would have their own brand of Cheerios. That’s private labeling Cheerios or something like it. All right. Cool. So, that was just – sorry I threw that a little bit of a curveball. Okay. The next one I want to ask you is what does TAS stand for?

[00:08:27] Kayla: The Amazing Seller.

[00:08:29] Scott: All right. That was easy. That was easy. That wasn’t even a question. All right. So, what have you learned? This is a good one. What have you learned over the past three years from listening to endless car rides with me and mommy talking about business which there’s been a lot? We just generally do that but what is something that you’ve taken away?

[00:08:48] Kayla: Well, yeah, this almost goes with retail arbitrage and, well, sort of but like online or like if there’s like trendy stuff right now like say like there’s fidget spinners back then. Now, that was like really big. It was like a really big product but then the people that were selling them, they got so much inventory and everything and then like two weeks later they still have like 500 fidget spinners just sitting in their warehouse and they had nothing to do with them. So, I would say what I learned is that like, for example, my American Girl Dolls, I would sell that over fidget spinners because I know that that trend will go away, and no one will want to buy them anymore.

[00:09:47] Scott: But like American Girl Doll stuff you know that that stuff is probably going to be around. Now, I would advise you not to sell American Girl Dolls. I would advise you to sell accessories around that market maybe.

[00:09:56] Kayla: Exactly. Yes.

[00:09:57] Scott: And the other thing you hear us talk a lot about, I’m just going to throw this in here, so the audience can kind of listen to even what I’ve talked about and you can kind of verify it but it’s really like building a brand, right?

[00:10:08] Kayla: Yep.

[00:10:08] Scott: So, like if you were going to go into that market, you’d be into the kids’ doll market or something like that, right?

[00:10:13] Kayla: Yeah. And you could sell like little accessories and clothes and stuff like that online on Amazon because yeah.

[00:10:23] Scott: Yeah. It’ll be around for a while. They’re not going anywhere but a fidget spinner or some little gadget like that, you can’t really build a brand around it. Okay. Cool. So, what I want to do here now, Kayla, is I’m going to cut you loose. You can go back to what you were doing. I think you were coloring or maybe watching some Yankee highlights. She’s obsessed by the way with the Yankees. Obsessed.

[00:10:44] Kayla: I was watching a…

[00:10:46] Scott: Talk into the mic.

[00:10:47] Kayla: I was watching a video about Aaron Judge and his stance on what they were talking about what’s wrong with it right now and what he’s trying to do.

[00:10:58] Scott: So, he’s working on his issues and he’s going to deal with them, but he’s not given up, right?

[00:11:02] Kayla: Nope. You can’t give up.

[00:11:04] Scott: All right. Go take action and go do that. I’m going to go finish up this.

[00:11:06] Kayla: All right. Take action, everybody.

[00:11:08] Scott: Thanks, Kayla. Let’s hear it for Kayla, everyone. Yeah. Let’s hear the crowd going wild. All right. I mean that was pretty awesome, right? I got my daughter on here. We totally did that randomly by the way and I threw some questions at her kind of blindly, but I think she did pretty well and I'm definitely going to follow up with her to see how many kids in her class know what FBA stands for. I bet you some kids are going to think it's FBI like they're going to think it's like the FBI or something like that. But anyway, we'll see. I'll give you guys an update on that, but I will give a kid $25 gift card to Amazon if she comes home and says, “Yeah. My one friend, Sarah, she knew it,” and okay. I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to give her a $25 Amazon gift card.

So, anyway, here’s what I want to do though. I want to remind you before we jump into these takeaways, these big takeaways that I’ve learned and picked up by interviewing over 60 different sellers in all different types of businesses, I mean, mainly Amazon but also on and off of Amazon and I’m going to give you those takeaways because I think that you’ll learn something from that. Actually, one of my past actually still listeners but I just recently bumped into them again and doing amazing things and he’s really following these seven things that I’m going to cover with you and that’s why he’s usually successful right now. I’m talking hugely successful at the point of over the past three years he’s built a business from zero to over $300,000 a month which is just crazy. But what I want to do here is remind you of this giveaway, this little prize giveaway that I want to do here because I want to celebrate with you and if we’re all in the same room together I’d be doing high fives and we would be jumping and just celebrating the opportunity that we have and then also that you guys have been with me for a while now and I really appreciate each and every one of you and I want to thank you and I would love to shake each and every one of your hand because, again, I couldn't have done without you.

[00:13:07] Scott: Over 10 million downloads worldwide which is just insane and we’re not stopping. We’re just getting started over here, but 500 episodes is just insane. So, head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Coffee and that will direct you to a video that I am going to post that will give you the details on what you need to do and it’s pretty simple. Just comment on that video and just let me know how long you’ve been a listener and then, number two, what is one thing that the podcast has helped you with this far since listening? And if you really wanted to do something cool for me, you could subscribe to the YouTube channel as well. That would be amazing.

[EPISODE]

[00:13:47] Scott: But alright. So, let's go ahead and jump in here. So, let's just dive in. So, number one, one of the biggest things and my kids will tell you this too. I mean, I'm big, big on this one and that is mindset. Like, I’ve talked to a lot of different sellers and it always comes down to I had the mindset but when I got started here that the first year even was going to be a learning process. It’s going to be my private labeling education or my building a business education. Like, not expecting to just go ahead and hit the ball out of the park your first at bat. Like, you got to get up there, you got to swing but you got to get up there and learn. Like, my daughter just said like Aaron Judge is studying the film and seeing what these pitchers did to him to get him out. Well, we got to figure out that process and learn through that process but the mindset, having that, is key because your expectations are that you want to succeed but in the same breath, you understand the business as far as it’s a process and you’re probably not going to win your first game in a sense. You’re going to learn through that. So, number one is mindset. Big.

All right. Number two, having a clear why. Why do you want to do this? It’s not just about going out there and making $50,000 or $1 million. It’s not about that technically. I know we all think it is or I used to think it was but it’s really not. It’s about what is that money going to do for us? What is it going to give us? For me, it’s being able to, well, I just got back with my daughter. We actually head over to the warehouse. It was funny. We went over to the warehouse. We met my partner, helped unload some stuff and then from there we went over, got a coffee, got a doughnut, whatever and then came back and then I’m going to do this and then after this we’re going to go to lunch.

[00:15:43] Scott: So, that’s my why like being able to have that flexibility to be able to spend time with my family, create that lifestyle that I want. It’s not about necessarily being a multimillionaire that can say that I’m a multimillionaire. It’s more about what I’m able to do with my life and being able to create those or that schedule and that’s really what it’s about. It’s about not missing those opportunities as far as with my kids or being able to go to a baseball game or being able to go to that recital. Like all that stuff for me is so, so important and if I had a boss that didn’t allow me time off, I would miss all that so that’s the why. You have to have a clear why. If you do not have your why, please, please do that. Hopefully, this episode will make you say, “You know what, Scott said I should probably go create my why. I’m going to do that,” and then just go through and figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing and write it down. Get clear on that why because that will push you through tough times because there will be tough times ahead whether you’re working for someone or whether you’re working for yourself, there will be bumps in the road and that why helps you get through those.

Number three, building a brand, not a one-off product. Again, if you start this thing knowing that you want to find the market and then maybe find a submarket and then maybe a submarket inside of that one big market and then create products that serve that market, that’s building a brand, not a one-off product. And I’ve seen, again, I’m kind of going back to all the interviews that I’ve done and I’ve kind of distilled it down and other successful people that I’ve listened to or that I’ve read books on. All of that stuff kind of comes into these seven things for me. So, building a brand and focusing on that brand and again, not just one product, that’s how these people have been successful.

[00:17:38] Scott: Anyone that has had a product or two that has done really well hasn’t lasted. It’s kind of like something did well for three months and then all of a sudden it peters out. That’s going to happen. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do that if you want to. It just means that it’s risky. You don’t have longevity there. You don’t have something that’s going to be sustainable or scalable. You also become scattered by doing that. So, building a brand that's what I've seen a common theme here from the successful people that I've known, and I’ve also interviewed, and that I’ve also just been around. It’s building a brand.

Number four, reinvesting profits for the first 12 months. It’s so important to understand that when you’re first starting to get some sales, you don’t want to just pull some of that and put it in your pocket because then you’re really starving the business from growth because you’re not able to feed it. You need to feed it to get momentum to start to build out your product line, to start to build out your customer base to be able to spend on ads, to be able to buy more product, to be able to add more SKUs to your brand. You need to reinvest profits for the first 12 months.

Again, all of the successful people that I’ve ever paid attention to or that I’ve ever interviewed, this is what they’ve done, reinvesting. It also comes back to the number one thing that I mentioned, mindset, having that mindset and having that vision when they first started of reinvesting for the first 12 months. Not saying I’ve got two months, I got to start pulling profit. You can’t do that. I mean if you do, you’re going to be starving and really stunting the growth of the business. So that’s number four, reinvest profits.

[00:19:28] Scott: Number five, plan and spend on promoting your products. Just plan on it and do it on promoting your products. Now, again, this is what I see other successful people doing. Spend on pay-per-click, spend on Facebook ads, list building, anything that is going to help you grow the business. Now, I wouldn’t say you have to do them all. I would say start with one, get some momentum there and then move to another. Now, in this case, you may be saying, “Well, I can do pay-per-click and I can to Facebook ads.” You can. I would recommend doing sponsored product ads through Amazon first if that’s where you’re starting to sell your product and then I would go to Facebook ads and then I would also do the list building simultaneously because it’s kind of part of that process because if you are even giving away your product at a discount, 30% off, you still should be collecting the email address especially if you’re running paid ads.

But anyway, I’ve seen and that’s what I’ve learned through this past, what is it, three years, 500 episodes. I’ve learned that the ones that are willing to spend money to promote their products end up being successful. Now, it’s not always guaranteed because sometimes you’re spending the money on the wrong ads maybe. But the ones that are out there investing again back into their business and growth on other channels and other platforms not necessarily just Amazon, that’s a real business and that’s growth and to me, that becomes a successful business and also a business that could be sold in the future which is pretty good. I’ve interviewed some people that have sold their businesses already and exited and I’ve got one guy I remember he actually built a business, sold it, and now he’s going to build another one to sell it again. So, he’s kind of doing that model. You can do that. Some people don’t want to start. They just want to invest in a brand that’s already up and running and then they want to be able to be able to sell that. So, it’s just another model. So, that’s number five. Plan and spend on promoting your products.

[00:21:34] Scott: Number six, launching multiple products going wide, not deep. So, what that means is don’t just bank on the one product. Again, it’s risky because once you do, everything rides on that one product. If that product gets suspended, you’re done. If that product you run out of inventory, you’re out. So, all of those things ride on that one. I like to go three to five wide at least especially in the first I would say 6 to 12 months if you can. Now, by doing that you’re going to also weed out some products that don’t do so good. That’s okay. You’re trying to find a core set of products that can really build out your brand so multiple products give you that opportunity, gives you more real estate, meaning it gives you more online real estate. It also gives you a few products that go really well together that you could build an external funnel with. I was just at an event not that long ago and they were going over like certain funnels that people have built with like one or two products that have hit seven figures not even on Amazon.

So, once you get three or four products that can go well together, and you can upsell, or you can down-sell or cross-sell, any of that stuff, it changes the game so that’s why multiple products come into that. But again, you can’t start there and say, “I’m going to launch 10 products.” I wouldn’t advise that. Start with one but know that you have three to five in the queue or in the hopper and that’s why I’m so big on focusing on finding your market and then trying to find an angle into a submarket in that main market and then build that out with three to five products then you can start to go a little bit higher up inside of that market if you want to a little bit more competitive but I would start by going deep in really niching down. All right. So, that’s number six, launching multiple products. One easy way to launch multiple products by the way too is just by making variations of the one that’s doing okay. I like that too because then you have inventory that’s not just in that one SKU necessarily. It’s going to be in variations so if one ran out of inventory you still have inventory and maybe some of the variations of the listing doesn’t go down. I like that one as well for that reason.

[00:23:43] Scott: All right. So, the seventh one, the final one right now is and that’s where I’m going to kind of leave this is focus. When you have focus on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, everything becomes easier to me. You kind of get rid of all of these shiny objects or the trendy stuff that you might be seeing whether that’s products or whether that’s the new way to make $1 million online and I know you guys have probably, not all of you, but some of you have been chasing those different ways to make quick money online and I’m going to raise my hand. I’ve done it too, not recently but in the past, I have. I’ve fallen into that. I think we all have because we want that easy money. In the beginning, we think that if we can just get to $1,000 a month everything’s going to be easy or easier and in some cases it can but also, it’s sometimes not sustainable.

So, again, I like to be able to focus on building a brand and then when you’re doing that, everything, all of your energy is focused on building out that brand with products, with customers, with ads that convert, offers, building your email list, going out and building Facebook groups or pages or social media channels, all of that stuff. It becomes easier because your focus is on building that brand. You’re not thinking about, “Oh, okay. I got something in sports and outdoors over here and then over here I got something in home and kitchen or something.” Totally opposite. They don’t help each other and then you got 50% going on over here and 50% going on over here. If you would’ve just taken the 50% and one-on-one of those categories or markets, you’d be that much further ahead in my opinion by the way. And I’ve seen that time and time again with other successful people and that’s, again, what I’ve learned over this past 500 episodes.

[00:25:47] Scott: So, that is the seven big takeaways. I am going to include these in the show notes because I think it’s important and you might want to jot these down. Number one, mindset; number two, have a clear why; number three, build a brand; four, reinvest profits for the first 12 months; five, plan on spending to promote your products and your brand; six, launch multiple products and then go wide and deep; and then seven, FOCUS in caps, all caps. FOCUS on building the brand. All right. Now, you also want to understand that by doing this, you will have the ability to outlast your competition. What do we mean by that? Well, when your competition might be dabbling over here and dabbling over here and dabbling over here and they’re just going to try to launch a product, try to get it ranked and then try to get some sales. That’s all they’re doing.

The only way that they’re going to beat you is if they have similar assets as you. You have an email list, you know how to do Facebook ads and targeting, you’ve got a social media following, you’ve got customer base, you’ve got a little funnel outside of Amazon that’s driving sales that can also drive up your rank. All of these things that your competition won’t have the ability to see or even be able to compete on because they don’t have that. Okay. So, by you building out this set of assets around your brand makes it harder and then you’re going to be able to outlast your competition. All right. That’s how. So, there’s one guy right now like I mentioned him earlier, actually he came to one of our live events in Denver and this is going back about two-and-a-half years ago. And at the time, I believe he was at like $60,000 or $70,000. He was doing retail arbitrage for a while then he started doing private labeling. He came to the event doing about I think it was $50,000 or $60,000. It might even be a little bit more. I don’t remember.

[00:27:46] Scott: But he went from like zero to like $60,000, $70,000 and then from there to $150,000 and this is a month by the way. And then to $150,000 to $300,000 in three years but again, I just said the keyword there, three years. And how did he do it? He focused on one market and one brand. Let me say that again. The way that he got there is by focusing on one market and one brand. All the time was spent on how to add more products and dominate his market. That’s all he did. So, I want you guys to model that. I want you to think like that. Having the right mindset like I said is huge but what he did was he focused on one market and one brand all the energy went there. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I’ve already launched a product. I’m not really sure if it can be a brand,” well, you might need to pivot, and I’m not going to sit here and sugarcoat it. You might need to pivot.

Is that a total loss? No. You’ve learned a ton and you might even make some money on a regular basis just with that one product. Leave it up. Let it sell if it’s selling. Or just liquidate it and move on to the next. But I really think that if you are that person or maybe you have a brand right now that you’re just kind of stuck on and you’re not sure how to expand out, you need to figure out how you can build a brand inside of that market or that product that you’re selling and if you can’t, then you got to reevaluate because if you can focus all that energy, all that time on building out this thing, this business, it’s going to make it even better and easier for you actually once you get going because that’s your focus. The other piece of advice here I would give you especially if you’re just kind of starting or maybe even if you haven’t started yet, start to think about your story.

[00:29:48] Scott: Are there things in your life or maybe someone else that you’ve helped in a certain area or market or whatever that will lead you to creating products to serve that market? I mean, a lot of times the best products out there, the best brands, are people that were in that market that were frustrated because the tools in that market whether it’s a garlic press that wasn’t good and the pro chefs that were buying them were unhappy and you were a pro chef and you couldn’t find the right garlic press to fit your hand or every time that you would use the garlic press, it would, whatever, squish out the garlic and it wouldn’t press it properly or maybe it wasn’t fast enough so it was taking too much time. I don’t know. I’m making up stuff here, but you get the idea, right? If you were that chef that was running through those problems then you created a product to solve that problem, you have a story and then you can weave that story in there. Now, some of you might be saying, “Well, Scott, I don’t have a story. I’m not a pro chef that created the next best garlic press.” Whatever.

All I’m trying to do is get you to start thinking outside of just a product but what could you kind of put your stamp on or someone else’s stamp, some other expert that you know that can lead you to that market but then also be the expert and the reason why you are creating products around that. Or that you have decided to build this brand, this company, this business because of X. Like, I think you need to have that in there versus I’m just trying to sell a product. If you can do that, to me it’s going to give you such a huge advantage.

[00:31:29] Scott: Now, what I want to do here before we wrap up is I want to share a little message that Sean Madison had sent me and Sean is actually the guy that I was referring to before that went from like zero to like $70,000, $80,000, $90,000 whatever it was, came to my live event, met him there for the first time. He was a listener of the show. Then from there went to about $150,000 a month and then now the last I talked to him he was up over $300,000 a month in about three years but again, he focused on one market, one brand and it was a process and he had the right mindset and everything I talked about really does also illustrate everything that he’s done to build that. The crazy thing is before I let you listen to this, the crazy thing is, is when you start to increase your numbers, again, we all want to start right with something and it might be $1,000 a month and then you go to $5,000 a month then you go to $10,000.

But once you start to climb that ladder of growth and these achievements, they’re kind of markers in a sense and like I was saying, the crazy thing is I just ran into Sean. We talked for about an hour, hour-and-a-half and he was getting me caught up in everything that’s going on in his business but it’s funny because his marker now is a lot higher. His bar is a lot higher like for him to have a $250,000 month is a disappointment. Now, if you go back in time, rewind a little bit when he first started hit $90,000 was an achievement and you would’ve been jumping over the moon excited. Now, $250,000 a month is a disappointment because we’ve done $300,000. It’s kind of like you’re raising the bar as you’re growing and that’s good. I love that because we’re always then trying to beat what we just did. It’s growth but you’re learning through that process and as you kind of grow, your mind starts to grow, and the level of success starts to grow and that’s good. That’s good.

[00:33:35] Scott: All right. So, let me let you listen to Sean what he had to say here. He sent me a little message. I want to share it with you and then what we’ll do is we’ll wrap this up and you guys can go over to that link and go ahead and leave your comments. You guys can enter to win that grand prize and have a chance to possibly have some virtual coffee with me for a 30-minute coaching call. So, let’s go ahead and listen to what Sean had to say.

[00:34:03] Sean: Happy New Year, Scott and Chris and Dom. Just I’ve been promising you guys I would get on here and record a message and finally getting around to it. I apologize for not doing it sooner but really want to express my gratitude to all three of you and especially you, Scott, for putting this podcast together. As you know, we started listening to The Amazing Seller Podcast. I believe it was around Episode 90. Around two-and-a-half years ago we first started listening to the podcast and at that time we were doing about $30,000 a month in sales and about 95% of that was wholesale. We had started dipping our toes in the private label world a little bit but really hadn’t figured out how to get our products to sell on Amazon yet. We had some listed bit then we’re selling really maybe a handful of products a day and then came across the podcast. And by the following May so May of 2016, we were close to $90,000 a month.

So, I think it was less than a year from when we first started listening to the podcast to when we went to that first live event with you in Colorado and we had just hit about $90,000 a month. And then later that year in December we hit just under $200,000 in sales so 2016 we ended up just over $1 million in sales for the year. Fast-forward a little bit to 2017 and we ended up just under $2.5 million in sales and we expect that trend to continue for the new year. We expect to double for 2018 so that would put us right around $5 million in sales this year. We do have a lot of work to do and that’s an average of about $400,000 something a month and some change.

[00:36:02] Sean: But wanted to express my gratitude to you and to Dom and to Chris and you know we’re branching off into some other ventures with our Amazon skills that we’ve required. And like I said, many of those skills we’ve gained because of The Amazing Seller Podcast and you helped us so much back in the early days and keep coming back to listen to the podcast just mainly because of your positive attitude and your willingness to help people. So, again, happy new year and appreciate all your help.

[00:36:31] Scott: Well, all I can say after that is wow. I mean, what an awesome journey that Sean has been on and I just want to go back to my seven takeaways. Every single thing I discussed here today in those takeaways he followed to a T. So, one little tip here. If you want to be successful, model other successful people. And be around and learn but surround yourself with like-minded people and that’s what I believe The Amazing Seller has become as our community, as our nice little community of other people like us that want to build real businesses and not just go after those shiny objects and that’s why you’ve probably noticed in 2018 and in the future, this is really the direction I’m going, finding markets that you can build a brand in and then from there focusing 100% on building that brand.

And then if you want to exit that brand, you have a much greater chance of getting a good payout but then also you can move on, take your skillset, and move on to something else if you want to. But to me, this is the future. This is the way to build a real business, following those seven takeaways. And again, I want to just rank Sean for jumping on there. Love the guy. I just spent about an hour-and-a-half with him the other day. I was at an event. He was there. He was catching me up and it’s crazy because like I’ve said before, you kind of start to raise the bar. When I first met him, he was doing 30,000 but then he was up to 60,000. I think by the time he came to the event, maybe 70, and that was great. He was excited but then he wanted to hit 150,000 and then he wanted to hit 300,000 and now when he hits a month that’s 250,000, he’s disappointed because he went backward and didn't go forward but a lot of times it's inventory issues and stuff like that. But we have to continually raise the bar and keep pushing ourselves and being around other people like Sean and so many others in our community is how we do that. And you have to almost create that own little, that little fun competition internally within yourself to keep raising the bar and keep pushing yourself.

[00:38:30] Scott: But I’m telling you right now, finding the market, building a brand, multiple products, to me, focus on that, that’s the win. That’s how you do it. And I should probably mention right now too a little shameless plug for some training that we did just create that does exactly that. If you are brand-new or even if you are kind of stuck in your own current brand, we have something we’re calling Product Discovery Bootcamp and it’s fairly new and it’s where we look at finding a market and then trying to find submarkets inside of that main market so we can build a brand with products that aren’t as competitive, easier to kind of get the momentum going but then starting to slowly move into the more competitive side of the market and that’s what we do there. So, if you’re interested, head over to ProductDiscoveryBootcamp.com. Check it out and you can see if it’s a right fit for you but I’m pretty proud of that. Chris and I put a lot of work and a lot of energy into it, but I believe that it is the foundation for building a real business. I truly do.

All right. So, guys, I’m going to remind you one more time as well. Head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Coffee and that will direct you over to a short little video that’s going to remind you to leave a comment, let me know how long you’ve been a listener, and then also what is one thing that you’ve taken away from listening as long as you have like however long you’ve been listening. Doesn’t matter if it’s a month or three years. Let me know what is one thing that you’ve learned after listening to the podcast so far. And you do that. I’m going to go ahead and pull one winner. One lucky winner is going to win the grand prize and I'm going to have two runner-ups then I’m also going to give a 30-minute coaching call or a coffee call. We’ll call them a virtual coffee with me and we can talk about anything you want, business, life. I don’t care. I’ll be yours for 30 minutes.

[00:40:28] Scott: The grand prize though will be Private Label Classroom which also will include Product Discovery Bootcamp and a 30-minute coaching call with me. All right. And that’s over a $2,000 value on that. So, all you got to do is just go comment on that video and you’ll be entered, and I will be drawing the winner in about two weeks after this episode airs. So, just keep an eye out on that.

[CLOSING]

[00:40:50] Scott: All right. So that’s it, guys. That’s going to wrap it up. The show notes can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/500. I can’t believe I’m still saying 500 because it just seems crazy, but it is, and I want to thank you guys one more time. It’s all because of you guys and you guys are awesome and I truly enjoy hanging out with you, guys, each and every week. All right. So, guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up for this episode. Remember, as always, I’m here for you, I believe in you, and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, say it with some energy today, take action! Have an awesome, amazing day! And I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Duggan

    WOW, Congrats Scott on Episode 500!! Thank you for starting the amazing seller community and sharing your podcast. 10 million downloads is not an accident, you provide real value to existing and aspiring sellers. I’ve been listening to your podcast on and off for over two years. I have been building a brand with 4 variations during this time. I’ve had my ups and downs but I will never give up on my dream of making this business my full-time income. I find your podcasts very inspiring, and quite frankly, they have helped reinvigorate my enthusiasm toward this business model, even during the dark and challenging times when I was questioning whether or not this business was going to work for me. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am happy to say that your podcasts have been a beacon of light for me on my journey and I look forward to sharing my story with you and your listeners once I achieve a few important milestones in this business! PS Kayla is lucky to have such a supportive and nurturing Dad. She did an awesome job on your introduction and I was impressed with her grasp of the many terms related to this business. I look forward to seeing where this knowledge takes her in the future.

  2. Christopher

    I Love all the free training you provide.
    Everyone will say they learned to TAKE ACTION and I agree.
    But More than that IF you never give up you can never FAIL

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