TAS 507: (The FULL Story) My 6 Figure Digital Products Business and Lessons Learned!

What does it take to build a thriving and expanding ecommerce business in today’s marketplace? Is it still possible for entrepreneurs to find that fabled success that they’ve been dreaming of? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he opens up about his journey and the lesson on display that enabled him to reach success and build off of it! Scott’s not here to convince everyone how easy the road to success is, in fact, he stresses how hard it can be. But it’s not impossible! If you are willing to put in the work and follow Scott’s time-tested approach, you have a high likelihood of finding your own level of profitability. Make sure to listen to this episode to hear more about Scott’s story and his approach!

Learning, growing, and adapting.

When was the last time something that was worth having, came easily to you? Seriously! If you want to enjoy sustained success, you’ve got to be willing to work hard and earn your way! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott explains how he has been able to enjoy various seasons of success in his business career. While it hasn’t always been easy, Scott attributes much of his success to his commitment to learning from his mistakes, taking risks to grow his businesses, and adapting to create new opportunities. To hear more about his unique and worthwhile approach, make sure to listen to this engaging episode!

Find a unique selling point and highlight it!

How do you make your business stand out from the competition? Do you find innovative ways to market it to your target audience? Why should your customer consider you over your rivals? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott shares why sellers like you need to focus on providing a unique selling point that makes you stand out from the crowd. It can be hard to really make your product or service jump out among all the others out there clamoring for your prospective customer's business. In Scott’s experience, it all comes down to bringing your customer value in a way that no one else can. To hear more about bringing value and standing out, make sure to listen to this episode, you don’t want to miss it!

Don’t take on everything at once, break it down.

Too often, many business leaders will work really hard for a short period of time and then experience burn out. Don’t let that be the story of your brand and business! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott provides some helpful insights that will allow your business to go further and make it to your long-term goals. It may sound simple but Scott has found that breaking down your short term and long term goals into manageable chunks can help you focus on your high priority tasks in a way that sets you up for success. Don’t let the overwhelming prospect of getting everything done at once dominate your time! Learn more about this important topic on this episode!

Leverage your passion!

Did you know that customers can spot someone who is passionate about their business from a mile away? It’s true! They may not be able to articulate it in direct terms but they will often pick it up on a subconscious level. Set your brand up for early success by leveraging your passion and allowing your target customers to tap into your excitement! The best way to build a positive reputation for your business is to let your passion shine through in your work. To hear examples of this practice from Scott and how he’s seen it work in his own business ventures, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller, you don’t want to miss it!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [4:00] How you can learn from Scott’s story.
  • [6:00] Why you should check out Product Discovery Bootcamp.
  • [8:00] Scott shares his story and how he has built businesses.
  • [16:00] The early need for an email list.
  • [18:00] Why providing value can make an impact in your business.
  • [20:00] The power of chunking down your goals and objectives.
  • [26:00] Why providing a physical product can make all the difference.
  • [31:30] Creating a solid income stream.
  • [35:00] A passion project.
  • [38:30] Preparing for your future.
  • [41:00] Why chasing the money isn’t always the best idea.
  • [44:00] The secret formula for success from Scott’s story!
  • [46:00] Don’t forget to leverage your passion!

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 507

TAS 507: (The FULL Story) My 6 Figure Digital Products Business and Lessons Learned!

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 507 and today I'm going to be sharing with you the full story, the story that I really haven't shared in detail and that is…

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‘How I created a six figure digital products business' and I'm going to give you the lessons learned all the way through. And this is going back 2007, 2008 is when it all began, all the way back and I know that because my daughter is 10 now and we started right around that time and at the time my wife and I were running a photography studio out of our home and I'll talk more about that in this because it definitely ties together.

And it's one of the reasons why we started the online digital products business and kind of how it all happened. But I want you guys to understand that I'm sharing this story with you because I want you to see that things that you're doing today are creating skills and assets and things that you can then use in the future. Now, a perfect example this is when I was starting this digital products business I had no idea about building an email list or an audience or digital products, how to create them like ebooks. Like none of that stuff. Totally brand new.

Once I'd learned all that stuff by trial and error and what worked, what doesn't' work and I'll be sharing with you my little formula that I feel works now that I've done it a few times. But when I'm doing that stuff and when you're learning that stuff, it's preparing you for the next thing. So if I didn't have all those skills that I had created or that I'd learned it would have been a lot harder or I might not have seen the opportunity to even start this podcast and all of that stuff. So I learned so much from that and then now I just kind of brought that over to what I'm doing today. And again if I didn't start selling on eBay and if I didn't start seeing that physical products were selling for me there I would have never thought about Amazon.

[00:02:07] Scott: It was a sticking point for me or a frustration I guess that every single thing I sold on eBay I had to ship. When I heard Amazon FBA that got me excited. Then once I had the experience and the aha of ‘holy crap, I can ship stuff to Amazon now' and I proved it to myself, I'm like maybe I should share the story and you're going to hear today that because of my past experience with sharing my story with the photography world and then building a six figure business there I knew that there was potential. Now I had no idea if anyone would listen.

I had no idea if I would ever sell a product and at that point I didn't care. You're going to hear why. In the beginning whenever you're going down this road, you should not be going after it for just the money. That I want to be very clear with. When I started the podcast I had no idea if it would ever be monetized. I thought that if there was people that were listening there's a good chance you could all different things. All different kinds of things. You'll hear that in my story what happened in 20047/2008 and why I knew that this was a possibility but there wasn't a sure thing and it wasn't like a if it doesn't happen I'm going to be devastated. No, it was like I want to be able to help people in this market.

So let me go ahead and take what I did over here and see if I can do it over here and then I can actually reach a bigger audience because in the photography space I was starting to see that we're in the niche that we were in we were in a small pool or a pond if you will. So I knew that business wise I could share more business stuff and I knew that in that market it wasn't really a big enough market for me to really what I really wanted to give which was talk more about marketing, more about what's happening on the podcast actually right now. Even the past three years talking about like business in general has been phenomenon.

[00:04:00] Scott: And it's really satisfied me but also satisfied me that I know I'm helping other people but in the same breath I know there's even more and that's why today, that's what I want to share with you. Now, the main reason I want to share this with you though is because I want you… Well, a couple of different things. Number one, I want you to see that what you're doing today is building up your skill set for what you will be possibly doing in the future. That's number one. Number two, I want you to think more about the market that you're either currently in or the one that you're looking for. If you're in the very beginning stages right now of trying to find that product, I want you to switch gears a little bit and start thinking about the market.

When you're listening to this story on how I talk about how we discovered the market that we were in to build a six figure digital products business you're going to see how it kind of all came together and again it came from something that was in our past that we were currently doing. I want you to think about your own situation right now. What right now after listening to the story, what can you think in your own mind or your own life where you could apply this. This may pertain to you now, and it may not. Keep it in your back pocket because I'm telling you right now if you can take a digital product and a physical product and take those and bring them together along with content, and building an audience and all of that stuff, game over.

Like, you are onto something and there's something that you can create that will be super fulfilling but then also you'll be able to build a real full out brand that you can potentially sell if you ever want to. You may just want to keep it forever because you love it so much but just understand if you can take those two and bring them together, game over. Because you're going to be able to go out there and dominate and you're going to have fun doing it. So, let's get started. Actually, before I do get started let me give a little shameless plug here because it makes total sense here in this situation. We recently created a training called Product Discovery Boot Camp.

[00:06:02] Scott: This training will take you through the entire process of finding your market and even finding a submarket. So even if you currently have a brand and you want to expand that brand that's what we do there. You actually look over my shoulder, I start from scratch. So I really documented the entire process of me going in blind in a sense starting from scratch and then discovering markets and then finding the market that I wanted to go into, finding three to five products and you will look over my shoulder and Chris Shaffer's shoulder. We did it together and we didn't know where it was going to lead us when we started the training until we got done.

And that was the idea, it's for you to watch the exact process and also how we talk so much about building a brand with supporting products. To me that is the future and that way there you can build a business that you can build a brand in and then from there it becomes so much easier because then all your focus goes on just really satisfying the brand and figuring out ways that you can go out there and reach more people with your current products. So that's product Discovery Boot Camp. You can find that at theamazingseller.com/bootcamp. So that's theamazingsellercom/bootcamp. Check that out.

The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/507. So, let's get started. Like I said, the story goes back to 2007/2008 somewhere in there. And my wife and I were running a photography studio. You guys that don't know the full story, episode 300 does give you like my full story but in about less than an hour. So there's a lot of twists and turns. And I talked about the digital products business but I didn't go deep into it and I'm going to really deep today. But I wanted to give you a little of the back story. So to make this kind of quick, I'll run through it. If you missed episode 300 check that out. It tells more. But we started a photography business as I was working my construction job and we grew that into a successful business over the years.

[00:08:08] Scott: The first few years were not successful. It was successful in the sense that I wasn't working for my father's company anymore. But we were still living pay check to pay check growing the business. Some years we didn't know if we would be able to continue because we just didn't think that it was going to work. And then we stuck to it and we build ourselves a nice name in our area and we did it. We grew that to a six figure business but again it wasn't easy. We had to build up our clientele base and all that stuff. Then also what I did was I started to film a transfer business along that because a lot of my customers were saying that they wanted me to transfer old film or even slides for sllide shows for 50th wedding anniversaries or even just weddings coming up and stuff for the kids when they were young to when they are adults now and all that stuff.

So I was like I should probably just add that as another line to our business and we did and it was nice. It added some more revenue but I also discovered that I needed equipment for this and I started to create these devices that would  help me transfer the film because when you're transferring eight millimeter old reel to reel film, silent films and it's not like you can go into like Best Buy or Target and find these things. It's kind of like a beta machine or a VHS machine. Like they are really hard to find now.

You can't go into Target or any of them and by the way if you have a VHS or a beta and it still works you might want to sell that thing if you want few extra bucks, if you got one laying around. Just saying because they will sell on eBay. But anyway, so I'm in this film transfer business. I seen that there was a device needed. I went ahead and was doing some research and I found that some people were making stuff that was kind of working but then was flawed and I'm like you know what, let me just go ahead and try to find one that works for me so I can make it easier for when I'm doing this. Long story short, I figured it out. I started building it from old projectors and then kind of putting all the parts together. Buying some parts even at Home Depot and stuff. Buying some certain lenses like these giant like 5″ lenses, magnifying lenses that would actually allow me to shoot my video camera through it and pick up…

[00:10:08] Scott: It's just a big complicated thing but it worked. I figured it out and then I started selling them on eBay to really supplement our income like I said. We wanted to supplement our income and this was a way to do it. It was great, I made good money at it. You sell like one a week or sometimes even two, make $600 profit, not bad. But I was still trading the old time for dollars. So then I started hearing about online digital product type stuff or at least selling something or creating something once and selling it for a long time. I started thinking, I'm like we're in photography space, I wonder if people would want our digital templates.

We have templates that we make for our customers around the holidays especially like holiday cards and stuff. We've even done some where we do like these digital creations we call them now where we would actually take pictures of a kid like an Anne Getty style and we would then put the baby on a flower or we would put the baby inside of this fairytale set. We used to have a lot of that stuff in our studio which we would spend $2,000 on a backdrop, having it painted. And I'm like if I can create these things, people would probably want them especially in a digital form.

That'd be pretty cool. So what did I do? I went ahead and I put some of our best ones on a CD, back then it was CD and I started to sell them on eBay and I was selling them I believe like $19.99 or $24.99. It was something like that. I forget now. And they started selling. I remember the first that sold I was like, “wow,” I said to my wife, I said Lisa, I go, “That's awesome. Imagine if we can sell five of these a day. That'd be amazing.” So I started doing the math again, kind of like $100 a day. I'm like that would be great. Well, we started to do that and I'm like, “That's crazy.”

[00:12:01] Scott: Then after I was selling these, I started to get these questions from people saying like, “These are awesome, can you please show me how to cut the kid out? Can you show me in Photoshop how you do these? I'd really like that.” So I started thinking, well I should start showing. So I started creating a couple of videos here and there. Then I started getting questions of people saying like, “I notice that you're a photography business, how did you start?” I'm like you know what, I said to my wife, Maybe because we don't have any formal education in photography, maybe I can go ahead and share our story with people, help people,” again because I would have loved that. If we were starting because then even when we were starting it wasn't even digital.

It was 35mm or large format and so we didn't really have YouTube or stuff like that. We had to learn from books and stuff but then as YouTube started, I'm like maybe we can share our story. Maybe I could help people and who knows. Maybe eventually, someone would want to hire us. I thought maybe like a consulting type thing. Had no idea if it would actually turn into a digital product thing. So we were selling them on eBay, people were enjoying them and everything. And then I said you know what, let me just share my story. So my first video and I wish I could find that video but my first video that I shot was just me, I think it was even a slide show that I put together and it was just telling the story of me being in construction.

And then my wife and I wanted to work for ourselves. My wife having somewhat of a passion for photography. Not having any formal training and then from there we built our business to where we were able to support our family. That was the story. At that point that was it. That was the whole story. Now, you guys know my full story. It's changed. There's a lot of things that have happened since that. But I never would have been where I am today if I didn't do that because who knows where I'd be right now. Maybe I'd be doing something else that I'd be excited about. I don't know. But right now that's where it led me. So I started sharing that and I told people, I said, “Do me one favor.”

[00:14:00] Scott: I said, “If you can just leave me a comment and let know what's your number one question that you would have about starting your photography business,” and then I started getting questions. I think back then I had about 100 questions over about probably around 20/30 days. Something like that. And it was great. Because people were leaving questions and I think what I did  too, I forget who suggested it but I think what I did is I said if you leave a question and if I ever do any training I'll give you either a discount or I'll give it to you for free or something like that. I just wanted engagement and I wanted real people to tell me what their concerns were, what they were needing help with.

So what I ended up doing from there is I started to post videos to help them in those things. Somewhere Photoshop related, which again I was self taught in Photoshop. So I would help them with Photoshop stuff. Then I'd show them how we would do like a digital cut out and a digital creation as we call it where we would make it like Anne Getty style with a newborn baby on a flower of some kind or some unique prop of some kind. My wife was really good at the eye of photography and really tastefully done as far as like an Anne Getty style but then also her own unique style. People really started to gravitate towards that and they really wanted more of that.

So anyway, we started to do this a little bit more consistently. And I had no idea where this was going to go. The as I was getting into the online space I started hearing about building an email list. This is going back 2007/2008. And I'm thinking to myself, okay I guess I should build an email list. And I was already doing it in my photography business but not knowing what I was doing. I didn't have like an autoresponder or anything. So I started building a little email list and it really was, I believe it was just if you want more free videos like this one put your name and email address in. Something like that. It wasn't even like that great of an offer. It was just like if you want more videos like this one, so it wasn't like anything special.

[00:16:05] Scott: Over I think about four to six months we built that email list to about 1,000. Only 1,000 people. Okay and I say only. I mean 1,000 people is a lot of people but in today's world 1,000 is small but you're going to see here in a second. You're going to hear why this is so crazy on what 1,000 emails that are getting value that know they can trust you, what that can turn into. It's incredible and that day I'm getting a little ahead of myself but that day that it happened for me and I said aha, like holy cow, like this is crazy, I can't believe this is happening changed my mindset but it also changed my life.

And it's changed a lot of other people's lives now because I'm sharing that and I have been now for the past over ten years in different spaces. Not just in the Amazon, in the ecommerce space because now people understand the power in it, especially if you do it right. So, let me get to it. So, built that email list, I'm constantly putting out videos. I say constantly, like one a week and I would get people that would ask another question and I would post another one, here's another video. So there's nothing to buy. I had my digital stuff on eBay but I don't think I mentioned it. I think I just if they wanted to look for it they did. And that was still going okay.

So then I started to hear about this thing called product launch formula. Now, this was going back again, like I said. 2007/2008 may be even into 2009 and that was Jeff Walker. Now, Jeff Walker is still the product launch guy and it's that process still kind of works but I don't really use that model any more. But the formula itself still kind of works and really it's about giving value. It's really in a nutshell giving value getting people to know they can trust you. And then making them an offer. Like that's basically it. But the formula is really like three videos.

[00:18:03] Scott: You've probably seen this and you'll probably keep seeing it because people are still going to use it and I think it's over used in a lot of markets especially if you keep repeating it. But it's like you give out three videos of free content and then last video is like here's an offer. That's the formula. Well, I decided to give it a try. This is again back in the day. I got really nothing to sell but I'm like what do they want. So I ask them, I surveyed my 1,000 people and they all said, “We would love to have you show us exactly how you and your wife started your business and we would like more training on these digital creations that you are creating  and that you're using. And we would love that.

And some marketing stuff.” And I'm like cool. All right, we can probably do that. We've never done it before. So I thought you know what, let me do this. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to outline every single thing that we did from start to where we are now and this is in the photography space. How went from nothing on the map to very successful in our area, brick and mortar photography studio. And just to let you guys know like we were in the middle of the road. We had like Sears was doing pictures right for like 10 bucks all you can eat kind of thing, or all you can have.

Like they can give you like 100 different pictures of that one pose. And then you had another place near us called Country Studios and that place was like 1,500 bucks. They would have you come in. It would kind of like sales process. We didn't like that. We been there, we didn't like that process and that's why we found our place was in the middle. We gave people a really high quality product. We gave them time. They loved it because their are kids enjoyed coming which was big. And we didn't pressure them into buying and we delivered a great product. And they just got to know they can trust us in our business so when they came to the studio, they knew who they were getting.

[00:20:00] Scott: Just to put that out there. That's what we were doing at that time. And again, it kind of goes into us telling our story. So I basically said, “Let me just outline everything and share.” If I was going at the table across from you and say if I was going to start all over today, this is what I would do and this is what we did and as I was doing that I started to see that a course was kind of being created right in front of my eyes. Because as I'm going through this I'm like, “Okay that right there, that chunk needs to get done first. Let's focus on that. The next chunk is this, the next chunk is this.” So I started chunking it down. Now you guys hear me talk about that. Anyone that's attended any of our workshops you always know that I talk about chunking things down.

And that's what I did. So I started chunking it down and I said, “You know what, I'm going to do, here's what I'm going to do.” I had no idea if anybody would buy a single thing for me as far as training goes. I knew that they would buy my digital creation stuff. The Photoshop stuff but I didn't know that they would buy business related stuff. So I said, “Let me do this. Let me take this outline, make it prettier, clean it up a little bit. And I'll just give it away.” As like everything that I would share with them will be in this thing. It will give them details but I wouldn't be like looking over my shoulder type stuff but they'll get the idea and it will be great value piece.

So I created my first PDF, my first ebook. Had no idea what I was doing. And I put it all together and I said I'm going to give them the outline, the blueprint, the roadmap. I'm going to give them everything. And so I did that and now you would say to yourself well then why would anyone buy from you and I thought that myself. I had, I forget who told me that but way back in the day they said even though you give away so much people are still going to want to buy from you because they want to buy from you directly and they also want to be able to look over your shoulder and see all of the nuances that go into different steps.

You can't give them all the detail in a PDF. But you can give them the roadmap pretty much. So I said, “I got nothing to lose so let me just do it. It's a good will piece, I'll try it.” So I sent it out to everyone and they loved it.

[00:22:01] Scott: Like absolutely loved it. But I started getting questions like when is the course going to come out? Are you going to come up with something that's going to show me like in detail like each chunk here? Are you going to…? This is great I know, I can go through it but I want you to actually show me like how to do this stuff and how to set up this and how to… Whatever. I want it all. And I'm like, Okay, I just gave them everything there and I wasn't thinking about maybe doing a course of some kind but never created a course before. So okay, I guess I will. So I went ahead and I created… I think I sat down for like a whole weekend and I mapped everything out and put it all in blocks and then I just started recording myself going through the entire process.

And I did it in around three to four days. And I built into… I forget where I was even hosting this stuff. But I put it all together and now I had a piece of training. So now at this point I was going to follow the product launch formula and give out like three videos for free and basically just give them value and also getting them excited about the new training. So what I did was I spaced them I think three or four days apart. I would always let them that there's another video coming and I'm really excited about this. I think I might even said the date that we were going to open the new training. I think I even like set that up in the first or second video.

Just to give them a heads up. And then I gave out those free videos and what I really did in those videos is I just pulled different parts of the training out of it so I could then give it to them for free to give them a taste but then also give them value. So this way there they can walk away even if they didn't buy with some value. So I'm always trying to leave with value. And again, I had no idea how this thing was going to work. So I went ahead and did all that and then I gave them a date that it was going to open, a time. I gave them a specific time. It was 3 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon.

[00:24:02] Scott: And I'll tell you why I remember that in a minute. And then from there they could join but it was only going to open for like three days. And the reason was and this was the truth, is I didn't know how many people were going to be joining and I didn't know how many people I was going to have to support because I had never done any online training. So I'm like well, if there's ten people that's one thing. If there's 50 people that's a whole other thing. I have no idea so I'm going to open it and then close it.

And that's what they suggested in this product launch formula type ting. So I said, “Okay I'm going to open it Thursday,” whatever the date was, “At 3 o'clock time Eastern time. And if you're in, it will be open and if you're not, that's cool too I'll still be here so there's no high pressure, anything like that.”

So here's the funny part. Thursday afternoons, I didn't realize this was my son's bowling league after school which I was a part of. So I would go there with the kids, I'd load them up in the minivan and we head over to the bowling alley after school and they would be bowling. Well, I'm like well I've got to be able to switch this page from the wait page to where people are going to be going and then I've got to be able to open up the cart at exactly 3 o'clock. And I had it set up inside of my hosting that I had two pages. One of them I named one thing and then the other I named another and then I just had to basically switch those pages at 3 o'clock. That's how I was going to do it.

There's no special timer or anything like that. This was like the duct tape version  way of doing it. So I'm not going to be there. So I said to my wife, I said, “I'm going to have you go into our host, I'll show you where it is and you just going to have to change the one thing from live 1  to live 2,” or whatever. And she's like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so nervous.” I'm like, “Don't worry about it, it'll be fine.” So she did it and I had no idea on what was going to happen. So I went ahead and go to bowling. I'm a little nervous but I'm not really thinking much. I'm thinking we might get a few people that join. The price was going to be $147.

[00:26:02] Scott: The other thing that I did too was I added ten of my CDs. So this was going to be like part physical and part digital. Again kind of taking the hybrid approach here because we had ten CDs that were being sold of these volumes of these digital creations that would go well with the training inside of our training. So I said, you know what I'll just include those two. We'll make it a really nice package and that's what we did. So we had CDs. I remember too I had a local company burn the CDs and I had 100 made just in case. So I had 100, I'm taking a risk here and so I said we'll see what happens. So anyway, I needed to fill that in.

I forgot about that. We threw that in. So the price was going to be $147 and also letting them know that in the future it will be $197 and the other thing was is that each one of those CDs technically cost 25 bucks. Let's just say 20 bucks. It was a minimum of 20 bucks. So they were getting 10 of those. That's a $200 value just there and I'm giving them this new course. So it was a no brainer. So $147 bucks. 1,000 people were going to be getting this email. I was going to send the email at 12 and then I was going to send another one at three. So I did that and then about 3:02 I get a phone call from my wife and she's like…

I'm like, “Is everything all right?” She's like, “Yeah, the page switched over.” She goes, “This is crazy. I just opened it and there's like $2,000 in our account in PayPal.” I'm like, “Come on. You're kidding me. Right?” And she's like, “No.” She goes ahead and refreshes the page and she goes, “Oh my gosh. It's like at $2,500 now.” Another 500 bucks came. I'm like wow, this is crazy. And so in like it was less than 15 minutes there was $5,000 in the account. And I was just beside myself, I'm blown away. I couldn't even focus on bowling. I couldn't even focus on the kids. I was really, just out of my mind. Excited but also nervous.

[00:28:01] Scott: Because we've got people coming in now that I got to make sure that are happy and I had no idea that it would do this. I was thinking to myself if I sold $1,000 worth I'd have been stoked. I would been out of my mind, excited. Well, after the three days we ended up selling I think it was 82 units and it was over $12,000. Now let me put this into perspective. We used to in fourth quarter try to do between $12,000 and $20,000. Somewhere in there. And we would generally come closer to $20,000. But $12,000 would have been our minimum.

And we did that in a day. Now, there was work that I did in building the course. There was support done afterwards. All the creations that we built. Yes, all that took work but the sales came in a day. And it was just mind blowing. So from that point forward, I'm like what? This is pretty cool. Like this is something that we definitely got to make part of our business. So after the dust settled and we got through it and customers were all happy and the refunds were really low by the way. I think we only had one out of that whole bunch and I think it was just because they just thought it wasn't for them once they got it or whatever.

I had a 100% satisfaction guarantee, whatever. But I think only one person out of those refunded. That was awesome. Part of that too is because I shipped them a physical product which a lot of people don't do anymore. It's get a physical product with a digital product which is something that you can still do. So that was that and then I got a taste of it so I'm like can I do that again? Was it just a fluke? Well, around three months go by, kept building the email list. I think now we might have had 2,000 or 2,500 and we did it again. And we did it, I think we sold 100 that next time. That was just insane. I think that was $197. I think we raised it to that.

[00:30:00] Scott: Then I went and I started to find people that I thought that had an audience that this could fit with their audience. I found this one photographer that had a pretty good list and a pretty good rapport with the list and I did it with him and he sold 80 himself. From just sending out some emails. And I actually wrote the emails and then he just said, “Here's from my buddy Scott who has this amazing training and this is what he wants you to know about it.” So wasn't like he was pretending. He wasn't writing it, it was me writing it to them. No webinars, none of that stuff. That wasn't even there. I can't even imagine if I was doing this or doing that now with webinars and stuff, you crush it.

There's Facebook ads. I wasn't even running Facebook ads. This was all from YouTube and this is going back a while ago now. So, everything is going great but now I'm saying to myself man do I have to keep doing this over and over again? It's kind of exhausting in a sense and I don't want to burn my list. I don't want my list to think that that's all I'm going to do is these launch things. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to keep doing that and it's like you get an influx of money and then it's kind of like the photography business and then you got to make sure that it lasts you because it's a rush and then it's gone.

Then you have another rush and then it's gone. I'm like there got to be a better way and I would rather just give more training or more digital creations on a regular basis so this way here I can have a nice steady line of income and then also do maybe a launch every now and then. That would be fine. Then that's where we started to have our own membership site which offered digital creations monthly. And currently we're still doing that by the way. And we still have paid members and I've really kind of done very little with that in the past three years since starting The Amazing Seller to be honest with you and all the other stuff that I'm involved in.

[00:32:06] Scott: The Amazon businesses, the brand, the new brand like all that stuff. It's kind of taken a back seat and it's still doing okay because I created that asset that's kind of like running itself in a sense. We have to maintain it but it's not my main focus by any means. But for about six years, it was. And it did pretty well between our membership site and also our digital products and our CDs and all that stuff. We were a six figure brand with that, with just doing that. That's not counting our photography business which by the way we had to start scaling that back because we couldn't do that and the digital side of things.

So we started scaling that back and then eventually we only took clients that we wanted to take pictures for because we'd had a relationship with them and some of them we still did them even though we didn't want to get paid. Because my wife just still wanted to do it. But my point is this. In telling you all of this is like I never would have been led down that path if I hadn't started with this photography business number one but then also thinking outside the box a little bit. What are my skill sets that I can add to our business or go  online and add to help people or to maybe just help people in that one part of their business and for us it was people buying some of our digital templates so they can then sell them to their customers.

We would have like a Christmas card that we would custom create for our customers and then we would then sell it for the next year for people that were their own businesses and then they can offer to their customers. So they are buying a template for 25 bucks but they can keep selling it for over and over again. So it's a win-win for everyone. But again, the reason why I wanted to share that with you is because that story changed my life. That right there changed everything for me, for my family.

[00:34:11] Scott:  And again I can't tell you in five years from now, I can be telling you another whole story. Well, I kind of can with The Amazing Seller, started that with very, very similar concept. I was doing something in my own business. It was kind of working. I'm like you know what, let me go ahead and share this because I've done that before. Let me build up an email list. Let me give value. Like let me have people get to know they can trust me and let them know that I'm not just about making money that I'm actually here building a lifestyle. Then from there I know that money will follow somewhere.

Didn't know where but I said I'm going to go ahead and give it a go because it feels right. And The Amazing Seller wasn't started to necessarily replace my current income. It was there to do something that I wanted to do. Almost like a passion project but also help me stay accountable to my Amazon business and then also keep me in the trenches and then it just turned and pivoted into this thing now. That is The Amazing Seller and for the past three years that's all I've been talking about really, actually for the past two because I've been really starting to talk more about building a brand because I think that is the most important thing.

When my wife and I owned a photography business we were a brand. We were a brand in our local area. We were known as like the family photography studio that you wanted to go to get really nice pictures, a really great experience and walk out of there happy. That's what people would say about myself and Lisa. Not to brag but that's what they would do. Their kids would want to come visit us. So anyone that has kids and you know sometimes it's a chore to get them to take pictures or to smile or any of that stuff, we would get 98% of our customers, they had kids that said they wouldn't smile, they wouldn't look natural. We'd get them.

[00:36:06] Scott: And that was part of the experience. And the same thing goes with our digital photography business. It started with giving value, helping people through journey that we'd already been on and then also sharing some of the resources and things and assets that we're creating in our business with those people and then getting people really adopting the same mindset that we were in at the time. Then also relatable we had a lot of people that were a husband and wife team or just someone that was our same age that was like, “Oh I would like to do this even part time.” And the same thing has happened with the Amazing Seller.

I've got a lot of people listening that are a lot like me. And are family people and want to have a lifestyle where they can spend more time with their family or travel or just enjoy life. That's the people that I'm attracting and that's the people that I want to attract because to me that is everything. Now, it doesn't mean it's for everyone. But by me sharing this stuff I want you guys to see that it's not all about what you are doing now you have to stay with forever. You don't. But you're learning so much going through this process and I hope that me sharing this six figure digital products business that myself and my wife created on the back of our photography business, that business led us to that.

If I wasn't in the photography business I never would have been led into that. And again, that's exactly what we talk about in Product Discovery Bootcamp. It's exact same thing. I would love it if you're involved in something right now. Maybe it's your own business or maybe it is a hobby that all you do is talk about that thing. I would love for you to be able to find a way to go into that market, sell products to that market but also add value to that market.

[00:38:02] Scott: I would love if that was the situation for you. But if it's not then you take it one step backwards, let's got back a little bit. Let's say that that's not the case. Well then at least find a market that you know that there could be value added and that you can go in there and find products especially if you can do digital and physical. But if you can only do physical, that's fine. I still think that there's always a place for a digital product in there and there's digital aspects of the business that you might not even be aware of. Even to do a product demo on a Facebook Live and then turn it into a Facebook ad, it's digital. That's like a digital mini product in a sense because you're educating and it's going to drive them back to your product.

So all of this stuff that we're learning and that we're going through right now is helping us in the things that we're going to do in the future. Again, I just wanted to share this with you because I thought it would be useful for you guys to see exactly what we've done and how we took a list of just 1,000 people in the beginning and offered them something that they said they wanted and then 8% of those people said yes on the very first ask and we were able to do over $12,000 in three days. And that changed my life. Not the $12,000. That was awesome but that moment changed my life.

And I'll never forget that. I mean I'll never forget selling the first product on eBay. That's really what opened my eyes but then from there selling the projectors, and then the bridges. You guys probably heard the bridges story like all of that stuff and then saying there's got to be an easier way to get products to a customer. Oh, wait a minute, what's this Amazon FBA thing? Boom, there it is. Okay, let's look into this. Did it. Started getting some results and said, maybe I should share this. And then started a podcast. And then did 50 episodes before I even had any way for anyone to send me any money. And that episode was actually, the first one I think was with Jungle Scout when I started talking about me using Jungle Scout for the first time.

[00:40:03] Scott: That was actually episode 56. I think it was theamazingseller.com/56. Check that out. I'm not sure that I would go by everything in that episode because things have changed but pretty much the product selection is probably close. But if you just wanted to go back and look at the archives and to see that that was probably the first ask. It wasn't really an ask, it was really like if you want to go and check it out and buy me a cup of coffee go and check it out. And I had a bunch of people that did. But I did 50 episodes without ever making a dime on The Amazing Seller. I did a lot of content free for the photography space before I made a dime there either.

So I think if you can go into a market with some expertise or a passion that you just love to talk about and share and then not really go after the money in the beginning but know that there are products and services that are being purchased in that market then I think then you should go for that. I really do and the other thing I want to leave you with is like… There's a couple of things I want to leave you with but the one that I want to leave you with is that when you are thinking to yourself like I want to go there and find a product and I want to make money, you're chasing the money. If you want to do that, just go find some VHS, some beta machines, find some stuff that's laying around on your house, sell it.

Go ahead. You'll make money in like three days. Just go find some old stuff laying around, stuff you're not using. Still works or still is useful to someone else and sell it on eBay. Go do that and come back here after that because after that, you want to start thinking about a market that you could go into and start to find products that serve that market. Once you figure out the market everything else becomes so much easier. So much easier. Because then you're thinking to yourself, “Oh wow, there's a product over here. Oh wait a minute there's another product over here. Oh wait there's another hot product over here.” It's kind of like a squirrel chasing a nut. You are always looking for that hot product.

[00:42:03] Scott: Instead, wouldn't it be easier to find the market and then say what products is the market buying? They are buying this, this, this and this. Okay, put them in my bucket of my possible products. We'll go ahead, we'll run them through our criteria and our check list and then we'll start to launch products to that market and that's all we're going to do. It's ask ourselves does this product go with our market, with our brand and if the answer is yes, boom, you go. It's so much easier once you get to that place. The other cool thing is then you can start thinking what content can I create for this market in my brand? How can I create more assets in my brand?

Assets not even meaning just product, maybe it's like a Facebook Live video that gets a lot of engagement and educates people on how to use your product and then people want to naturally want to go buy your product. You can run Facebook ads turn that into an evergreen sales pitch in a sense but it's a free piece of content. So there's so much that you can do once you establish the market but then also your brand. Again, I'm going to give another shameless plug here. Product Discovery Boot Camp guys. I mean if you guys are stuck or if you're in your current brand and you're not sure if you're going to be able to go wide enough with it, definitely check out Product Discovery Boot Camp. I'll give you that link again. theamazingseller.com/bootcamp.

theamazingseller.com/bootcamp and the reason why that is so important is because you will see exactly how you go out there and find a market and it will give you different scenarios for you personally and it will probably give you ideas that you weren't aware of. Or start getting you to think different because you could be sitting on something right now that you could wake up and be excited about and know that you're building a brand and not just a one off product. So I think it's really important that you know that. Now before I do wrap this up. I did want to give you the five step secret formula. I always love using the secret formula because everyone does and it's kind of funny to me.

[00:44:02] Scott: So I'm kind of making fun of it. But the five steps secret formula. You guys are ready? Here we go. Ready? Number one, find a market that buys products. Dah! Physical and digital if you can. Number two, deliver free content to build trust and goodwill within that market. Number three, build an email list and engage with them. If you want to, you can also engage in social media. That'd be great too. But definitely through your email list. But you have to, you have to care about them. Do not just do this to chase the money. That will get old. And you will start to lose the momentum because you don't have the caring aspect of it.

You want to give them that experience through your brand. Number four, survey them and ask what they want and need. This is exactly what they need in the digital products business that I just shared with you i the photography space. Built the list, gave value, got them to know they can trust me. I got that trust and the goodwill going, I cared about them, I still do care about them. And then I asked them, like what else do you need? Actually in that first YouTube video I mentioned to you about the questions. That's what I was asking them to just in there. That's kind of like a survey in itself. What's the one thing you're stuck on right now trying to start your own photography business? This, this, this and this.

Then I help them with that. So that's number four. Number five, create and deliver more of what they need. It's not that complicated. It really isn't. We have to go out there and you have to understand these concepts and these principles. Like I said before, it's much easier now than ever before to build a full out brand online with social media it allows you to find and communicate with your market, we've got Facebook pages, Facebook groups, we got YouTube, we got Instagram. We got all kinds of Stuff. And more stuff coming probably.

[00:46:01] Scott: So definitely, definitely utilize that stuff when you decide to find the market but then also build that brand. Now, last little bit of advice here, if you can find something that you're interested in and you're good at or passionate about that's where I would start. I know I'm actually a little bit earlier but I'm going to call it out again right here. If you can find something that you're interested in or good at or passionate about, start there. Because finding products becomes so, so much easier and more of your focus is going to go on building out the brand. Think about it, if all you're thinking about is focusing on what is it that I can put into the business to help expand the business.

Or to grow the business and go wider with my products whether it's adding a digital product, adding a new ebook, adding a new YouTube video, adding a Facebook Live and turning that into an ad. All of these things that will drive the brand and as you do that and as you start to build this out it also becomes valuable so if you ever wanted to sell the brand, it's just that much more valuable. I cannot stress that enough. The last thing again, I'm going to remind you. If you're stuck definitely check out product discovery bootcamp. It's there for you guys to go through. It will take you through the entire process.

When you're done with that training you will have a clear vision of the market that you are going to go into, you will have three to five products that you can sell to that market and then from there you can move forward. So theamazingseller.com/bootcamp. The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/507. I hope that enjoyed this. I hope you got value from this. I hope you can see now that everything that you do today will help you in the future. So that's it, that's going to wrap it up.

Remember as always, I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

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