Is there a magic formula for success in the ecommerce sector? Can you just find the right product to sell and then sit back and enjoy overnight success? Not so fast, things are changing! While you might be able to score some short-term success by selling a water filter on Amazon, you need a more robust strategy for long-term success. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as Chris as they break down their formula for building an ecommerce brand that can go the distance. Make sure you have pen and paper ready for this informative episode, you don’t want to miss it!
How to find the right niche market.
Have you found your niche market yet? Are you ready to go out there and build a business based on your passion? Now is the time to act! There are so many tools and methods that ecommerce sellers like you can use to get your business off the ground and build your niche audience. Scott and Chris encourage sellers to take the time and drill down to locate that specific niche market that you can use to build your brand. If you are struggling with finding your niche, this is the episode for you! Listen as the guys explain how sellers like you can get started on the right foot!
Where do you even start to get an idea for the products that will succeed on ecommerce platforms like Amazon? Is it a good idea to just start searching online to see what sells in high volumes? What knowledge, skills, or expertise do you have that can be turned into a product? There is some aspect of your background that gives you a leg up on the competition because you already know the market and need. Listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller as Scott and Chris explain how sellers like you can discover the right products to sell on Amazon!
Make sure to build your home base!
Once you’ve figured out your target audience and you’ve picked the right product to get your brand started, it’s time to start thinking long-term. While Amazon is a great place to get your ecommerce business off of the ground, you need to have a plan in place to expand beyond Amazon. A great way to get started while you wait for your product to arrive is to begin building your home base. Don’t overthink this step! You can start small and grow your home base from a small blog to a thriving ecommerce store, the key is to start somewhere. To get more helpful information on this important step, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Three ways to launch your product on Amazon.
Did you know that there are three ways you can launch your ecommerce product on Amazon? Which way is the best? It depends! Scott and Chris are here to take you through each way to launch your product on Amazon.
- Turn on PPC (Pay Per Click) and start your keyword strategy.
- Leverage the email list you’ve built.
- Utilize your connection with social media influencers to push your product.
How do you determine which way is the best way for you? What if you want to use more than one method? To get the full explanation of each approach to launch your product, make sure to catch this valuable episode of The Amazing Seller!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:35] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [6:20] Short-term wins and long-term wins.
- [12:00] Why it’s important to identify a market right from the start.
- [13:30] The guys run through market validation.
- [20:00] Product discovery and the 10x10x1 formula.
- [24:00] Sourcing tips you can use.
- [28:30] Don’t forget to build your home base!
- [36:45] Three ways to launch your product on Amazon.
- [42:00] Why constant content creation is important for your brand.
- [48:00] Closing thoughts from Scott and Chris.
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TRANSCRIPT TAS 609
TAS 609: (Old Way vs New Way) Following The Ecom Business Formula for Succes
[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 609 and today we're going to be talking all about…
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…the old way versus the new way of building an e-commerce business in 2019 and beyond. And I've invited on my good friend Mr. Chris Shaffer. And we're going to talk about the E-comm Business Formula and something new and exciting that we are in a process of doing ourselves right now. And maybe, just maybe you might want to come along for the ride. So Chris, what's happening my friend?
[00:00:38] Chris: Oh, just enjoying this rainy day.
[00:00:43] Scott: Rainy day?
[00:00:43] Chris: Yeah. Still nice and cloudy but at least it's not snowing.
[00:00:47] Scott: That is true. Always a positive.
[00:00:50] Chris: So it's like 55 degrees. So everybody here of course in South Central Texas is wearing their parkas and knit hats and caps. I'm kind of hearing like shorts and t-shirt and really like jacket. But it is what it is. At least it's not snowing. I can't complain too much about that. We're a full-fledged into Q4 here watching those sales go up day after day and absolutely loving that. Just trying to hold on for dear life. Make sure we don't screw it up. That's really what we're trying to do this Q4.
[00:01:20] Scott: I wanted to jump on here and kind of go through the old way like how, not even just ourselves but a lot of people were getting excited about this whole e-commerce business and launch methods and how to launch on Amazon, which we're still a huge fan of. But, there's a big BUT here, times are changing. Like there's things changing and the crazy thing is like things that worked like five years ago are working right now as far as off of Amazon. And they have been.
Like people are building e-commerce businesses back in the day before everyone was doing it for just Amazon it was working and guess working, it's still kind of works today. But we can throw a little bit of an extra channel in there now and that's Amazon. But three years ago, three and a half years ago you could pick a product, you could launch it pretty easily, get up and running. Not as much competition, you didn't have to worry about building a big full out brand or any of that stuff but that's changed quite a bit.
And we've even seen it with people in our inner circle, it's like launch a product and then as soon as competition starts come in, just launch another product. Just stay ahead that way. That's not the way to build a real and a future proof business in our opinion. So today what I want to do Chris is I want to talk about the old way a little bit but I want to talk more about the new way and I want to talk about something that we are creating called E-comm Business Formula which is going to take the place of Private Label Classroom because we felt like we've learned a ton over the past three and a half years from ourselves and from other businesses that we've helped.
But there is a formula and there is a formula for launching on Amazon but more importantly how to create a future proof business that will have additional assets that will be able to have different revenue streams diversification like all of that stuff. And we want to talk about what those are here. But I also would love to invite you guys to come and join us.
[00:03:28] Scott: Now, if you're listening to this before December 20th, so if you're listening to this on the day it airs, it's the 19th so it's pretty short notice. But you can join us in our beta class. And that is going to be starting very, very soon. So if you're interested in learning more about that, head over to theamazingseller.com/training and you can get all the details there. And again, we just settled on the name literally E-comm Business Formula is what we decided because it is the e-commerce business formula for success, in our opinion for building a future proof business for now and in the future of course.
So that is what I want to talk about here today Chris. Did you want to kick this baby off or what?
[00:04:12] Chris: Oh yeah. I wanted to kind of throw this out there Scott. You just mentioned it. A lot of people for the last three and a half years, four years, five years have been in this kind of hamster wheel. Fly is what we're going for. Hamster wheel is what we aren't. They've been stuck in this hamster wheel of I have to launch more products, I have to launch more products, I have to launch more products because competition is coming in. And there is other people selling this widget. And they are not tied together so they don't have sustainable source of traffic like outside of Amazon.
Or I'm completely dependent on the Amazon beast. All of those things lead people to being stuck in this hamster wheel. And really one, like you really mentioned, it's not sustainable but it's also super freaking frustrating because you're constantly searching for new products. You can't reliably predict your inventory levels or your inventory needs or anything like that because you're constantly looking for new products and just assuming that some of the other ones are going to die.
So you're either short-cutting yourself by saying, there's some competition coming in, sales are probably going to reduce and then it's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy because you run out of inventory and then competition really comes in because they still have inventory and then they are getting all your sales on top of it. So what we're going to be talking about today really is the model that you and I have been using and the model that we think everybody should be using moving forward.
The formula if you will to getting off of that hamster wheel and getting into a flywheel of sustainable growth. And expansion in your e-commerce business.
[00:05:37] Scott: Yeah, and what I want to do is I want to take people through the outline that you and I basically did recently to really make sure that we cover everything. And it's kind of interesting to kind of go through that stuff even when you and I recently were like okay, what are the steps that if we're like starting again, or for coaching someone else in their business like where are the different points or where are the different places that we need to focus. And we're actually building this out into like I said a full-fledged course where it is going to be our flagship. It's going to be the one that you're going to want to create your business around and the foundation.
And then from there building off of that. And it's set yourself up for short term wins and long-term wins. And I want to talk about that before we jump into really what we outlined here. Because I think if we set the stage properly to where you understand, I say you the listener, if you understand what you're truly building here then you can start to wrap our head around short-term wins and long terms. Like there's short wins and long wins that we want to be able to focus on.
And just to make it really super easy, like launching on Amazon is a short win. And it's also long term because if you have something that does well on there and builds its traffic over time and organically it's great. But what I mean by short win is we can get up and running fairly quickly. Like within 90 to 120 days. We can have a product up and running, we can have revenue coming back in the door. That's pretty awesome.
So I look at that, Chris as like phase one, but we have some things to do before we get to that point which we’re going to talk about. But that's what I want you to think about. Like that's like short term. You’re not building an Amazon business, you're building a business. An e-commerce business or even as we go through this you can be building a e-commerce/digital products business as well along the way because there's other revenue streams which we just recently started taking advantage of bringing in another $1,400 to $1,500 per month and that's going to grow from ad revenue.
[00:07:40] Scott: Not even a product being sold on Amazon which is pretty sweet. So there's a lot of things that we can do there. But the short win is once you get through the beginning process of picking a market, the product and all that stuff from there it's about launching. And then getting those sales coming back through the door, then we move on to phase two. And that is the long-term play and that's about 12 to 18 months is about what we like to kind of invest in that process. That's exactly what we've done here. And from there you're going to start seeing the other things that come from that part of the business.
And that's traffic from your email list from outside traffic like Google, YouTube, maybe Yahoo. Like all of these different places that once you go through this 12 to 18 month process as you're doing the other thing which is, again, that is why it's phase one, phase two you're building these assets that start to build momentum but we can get the short win, the victory that we can give a quick high five in 90 days that we've actually brought in revenue back in the business.
A lot of times people are trying to do the 18 to 24 months like build out a blog and get traffic and then they wait for their income that way. We can actually speed up that process and build out a product line in the meantime. So that's like my long winded like frame. Like I want you guys to understand like that's what we're doing here. We're not just building an Amazon business or just even a physical products business that's selling on Amazon. We're building a full-fledged e-commerce business with other assets. So Chris, what do you want to add to that before we dive in?
[00:09:14] Chris: That I think is the key to this and this is something you and I have been yelling and ranting and screaming and kicking and punching about for about a year and a half now which is this is not an Amazon business. This is an e-commerce business. We need to be doing the real business stuff. The time where we could just list literally anything on Amazon and make $100,000 a month is long past. It's still significantly easier to launch on Amazon and to use that as our launch platform than it is to do just about anything else in terms of sustainable and predictable revenue for a new business opportunity.
And in terms of the speed at which we can do that. But we have to keep in open mind that we need to be doing these other things in the background if we don't just want a one hit wonder where we make some money for a month and then we're kind of done. If we want to build a real long-term sustainable asset which is what we should be doing, whether this is our passion business or whether this is something we want to run for two to three years and then sell off which is potentially what we’re going to be doing with one of our brands. We have to make that decision.
But regardless which one of those two options we want to pursue we need to be setting up these foundations from the beginning so that we have everything in place that we need to make it a long term sustainable venture for us.
[00:10:27] Scott: So, okay with that all being said, let's jump right in because most people when they start in this whole Amazon FBA, because that's usually how people are brought in. They either see an ad from someone standing by a Lamborghini or one of the fancy cars or fancy houses and they're like, ‘Hey, do you want to know how I did this? I basically launched products on Amazon and then I'm rich.' That's not what we’re talking about here.
But that's usually what gets people's attention. And then it goes into, ‘All you got to do is just find a product that's selling. And you got to do is pick a product and then sell it,' and yes, three years ago, two even, two and a half years ago you could do that. And today you can probably still get a product up and running. Here's the big problem and this is where a lot of people can get hurt. And that is, you see the numbers on the product, all you're doing is looking at products, product, product.
All you're looking at. And you're like, ‘Okay, the numbers look great. Not a lot of competition. Low reviews. Boom, I'm going to launch.' Well, then what happens is five other people come in by the time you're next order is coming in and you say well these sold out, I bought 500 and I sold those out pretty quick. I'm going to order another 1,000 or 3,000. By the time those get back in the inventory, you got five other competitors. Ten other competitors. Now, what separates you from those people. Nothing, so that's the problem when all we’re doing is looking at a product.
So that's like a big big concern for me for anyone out there that's all they're doing. So what we want to do is we want to before we get into product discovery we want to start figuring out the market. What market are we going to go after? Now, there's a bunch of different ways that you can do this and we're not going to go into a whole bunch here but just understand you want to go after a market. So this way here, you can start looking at products that serve the market. Everything else that we're going to be talking about and sharing in this training and just even today is really built around that.
[00:12:21] Scott: It becomes so much more fill in the blank once you know your market and then from there you just filling in the blanks. Chris, what do you want to say on that?
[00:12:30] Chris: So that's the one thing that I think most people miss in their misses on Amazon. You might hit a single finding a single product, you might even hit a home run but hitting one home run never got anybody into the hall of fame. We need to be consistent in what we're doing when we're launching. And even if competition were to come in on that one product, if you picked a market there's other products that are immediately available that you can capitalize on all the work you've already done and launched versus launching garlic press now, launching a coffee mug later and launching a ring light six months from now.
So picking that market upfront, finding a market where there are multiple products is the key to setting yourself up for success. Not only does it let us find the products more easily, not only does it let us launch products more easily but it lets us do all the stuff that we're going to be talking about very, very quickly.
[00:13:23] Scott: All right, so let's jump into that. Part of the market validation for me, number one and I don't think it has to be oh my gosh, I'm just so passionate about this. It helps a lot but you don't have to be. To me it just has to be an interest of some kind. And even if you didn't want to say well I just want to find a market that's buying and that's buying products. You can do that. I'm just telling you and I'm warning you can get burn out unless you have someone that can actually do that other part of the business.
What I mean by that is right now you might be excited about this because you see the potential in this market, you see the potential in the product and everything else we're about to share with you. But you start to kind of die out. Because the 12 to 18 month part of this and beyond that it takes steady work to grow steadily. Like you have to show up. So, part of the market validation, once you do say okay there's a good market here that I'd like to go into and the other thing I think I'd like to add is just niching down is so important.
Which is like bass fishing or it's sporting and outdoors, you can go hunting, you can go fishing. Let's go fishing. Okay we went fishing, now what? We can go fly fishing. We can go bass fishing. Okay cool. Maybe you stop there or you go okay I'll go Kayak bass fishing. So you can play with that and go deeper in that niche but just understand you don't want to go so broad. But when you're doing the market validation, an easy way to do this and there's a couple of things I want to talk about but the one is like if you go and you notice that there are social media groups out there or influencers already kind of like talking about this market, like Kayak bass fishing for example.
If you go and search for that you're going to see there's people out there talking about these tournaments which I didn't even know existed, that they have these tournaments that they're doing and they're passionate about this. So we know that there's groups of people out there. So that's one validation piece. This next piece is the content research. And the only reason why I'm doing this at this stage is because I want to validate that when the time comes which it will in my formula and Chris's formula is we want to be able to put content out there so we can start to get search traffic from Google, from YouTube, from any other source.
[00:15:32] Scott: So what we want to do is we're just validating that people are consuming content. People are searching for content. How to catch more bass in the pond. How to catch more bass in my kayak. Whatever. Like we want to know that stuff. So we're going to go to YouTube, we're going to go Google, we're going to go to Buzz Sumo. We're going to go to Keywords Everywhere which is a free tool which you can add. Any other places that you can to go see if people are consuming content that will validate that the market, number one is buying products but also is consuming content.
Chris what do you want to say on that before we move on to the next part?
[00:16:05] Chris: I would say this is the other thing Scott. I mentioned a minute ago that picking a market is a big key to being successful in the long term. But having a market that consumes content is another thing that you want people to make sure that they are doing. Because when they are consuming content it lets us do a lot of really interesting things from our marketing standpoint. And marketing isn't generally something that people consider when they are talking about starting their e-commerce business. But knowing that we have an asset that we can potentially tap into in 25 different ways to bring in people who aren't actively searching for the product.
And this is the thing that a lot of people miss. When we launch on Amazon we're addressing a small percentage, let's call it 3% of the market. Those are the people who are in our market right now that are cooks that are searching for a garlic press. We're missing the 97% of the market who aren't ready to buy a garlic press yet or don't understand why they should have a garlic press in their kitchen. Knowing that they consume content means we can easily reach that other 97% of those people through whatever medium they are consuming that content in.
So making sure that we have that in the place upfront is extremely valuable for us. The other thing that this does and I'm sure this is on your list to talk about later but I'll dive into it a little bit now, is it lets us to start to build a list of other people who have reach within that audience. You may hear the term influencers thrown out. Knowing that there's an audience that consumes content, means that there's people that that audience follows. We can then go find those people which makes the product launch process or when we get down there the content promotion process a lot easier. Because we can go directly to the people who already have authority in that market.
[00:17:44] Scott: Yeah, now those are great, great points. And again you're almost doing this prework to validate before you even start looking at products. Like you can, if you want you can go to Amazon and just see if there's products being sold but don't look at numbers. If you want to validate that there's actually products being sold. Like if you want to go kayak bass fishing and you want to see if there's people buying accessories, then yeah you can do that. That's fine. But at this stage we're not really doing that. We're just validating that the market is going to be the one that we can serve.
Like that's the basically all we're doing at this stage. You don't even have to worry about the content creation or none of that stuff. We're just validating that there's that there. Here's an example that I like to use. Like let's say for example you just did it the old-fashioned way, the old way. And you went you just looked at numbers. You punched in all the numbers you wanted and Jungle Scout kicked back in web app some products that match that criteria. And you look at that you go, ‘Oh, cool.'
Water filters for refrigerators. And you’re like cool, that's awesome. There’s not a lot competition. I'm going to sell these things. Well, then all of a sudden what happens is you launch them, they start to sell, there's nothing really proprietary about it. You got ten other people that see the numbers, just like you did and they come in and they start to kind of rip you off. It happens all the time. So now you'd be saying to yourself, ‘Okay Scott well then I'll just go ahead and build some content around this like you're saying.
I'll start getting organic traffic.’ Now, there's only so much content you're going to create about a whole cool replacement water filter. Yeah, you can talk about purification and all that stuff but you're not going to really be able to go that deep for that long. So that's what we’re talking about. Like if that was the case, you'd probably be like, ‘Eh, doesn’t look like a really good market that I want to serve.' Unless you just want to be like a whole bunch of different manufacturers that you're going to serve to make replacement filters for you, you could.
Which is going to be very, very hard to do the content creation part of it. You can do reviews of different ones and all that stuff. Not saying it wouldn't work. It's going to be harder. So that's why I would skip that one because of that find. All right, Chris, let's move on to the next part.
[00:19:42] Scott: So now we validated, we've got that kind of all done. Now we can start doing the product discovery. What do we want to do there Chris to start our product discovery process? What do we want to do?
[00:19:55] Chris: Well the place that I would start once we have that market in mind is the place where people are buying stuff. There’s a couple of those. I would take a look at Amazon obviously but there's some other Scott that people tend to overlook. Some other market places. One would be eBay, another one would Etsy. And then since we have a market where we know people are consuming content something that may be interesting to take a look at would be a website called Click Bank or even something like JVZoo where it's mostly informational type of products.
It will give us a better idea of exactly what type of content people are interested in the market and it may inform some good ideas on what some physical products might be in that market. But eBay and Amazon I think can be the top two for most of us. That's because we can start to see what's actually being sold. And that will give us the validation we need to really move forward through the product selection process.
[00:20:44] Scott: Yeah, so again I don't want to spend too much time here but you're going to use the same kind of framework that we've used in the past. Ten by ten by one is what we use as our benchmark. If you guys don't know what that is, it's like we want $10 profit on our product, that's the ten. We want to be able to sell ten of those a day, one is the one product. So ten by ten by one. That'd equal to $100 profit per day. That's what we're looking for. So we're still going to take that stuff into consideration once we get to product discovery and by doing that we're going to start creating like just a whole bunch of product ideas.
Not that we need to launch any of those right now but I would not want to limit myself. So we'd start making this outline in a sense of like all of the potential products even if you're not going to do them now, what are you going to do later. You can do even digital products. And stuff. And the digital products side of things is something that gets overlooked a lot because you think you have to be the creator. You don't. There's ways that you can do joint ventures with other people that are influencers in your space. A whole bunch of stuff.
Again, don't have a ton of time to spend on that. That's what we're going to be diving to deep in inside of the training. But just to kind of give you guys the ideas of like when you're doing this product research, think about long term. What are all of the products that potentially your potential customer would want to buy or could buy even if you think it's too big. Kayak, too big. don’t want to sell them, I don't want to do drop shipping. But you know what I could do? I could do reviews of the top five Kayaks that bass fishermen are using and then from there I could do a whole thing on my blog about that stuff.
And then I could be an affiliate for those through Amazon. Might only make 4% to 8% but hey, it's better than nothing and on a $300, or $500 or even $1,000 Kayak, that's a little bit extra money bringing into the business. So anyway, that's the product discovery side. We want to validate those numbers, just like I said we want to do that on Amazon. We want to do it on eBay. There's ways you can do it on eBay too to see how many have sold in the past. You can look at all of that stuff just like you do on Amazon. That's a little bit harder to find those numbers.
[00:22:41] Scott: But you can. Again, the other thing is we want to look at the history on these. We want to evaluate the competition. See how they are selling, what they are doing good, what they are not doing good. Everything that we've ever talked about finding good products, pretty much follows the same framework. Yes we want to do a little bit of more digging though on some of these first three to five products because we want those to be more or less our core in the beginning.
And we want to build stuff around those which I think is always a good idea. So Chris anything you want to mention on that before we wrap that section up?
[00:23:15] Chris: No, I would say this is where we start to get down into knocking things out. Where we're like, ‘Okay this market is amazing.' But maybe there's not many products that we can sell on. That's okay. There's other markets. Don't worry too much about it and this is where people start to get frustrated because they go, ‘Oh wow, I found this one thing and it doesn't work. And that's the thing I want to sell but maybe you can come back six months from now if you launch two or three other products in that category and be competitive enough to launch the thing that you really are interested in.
So make sure that you're taking the numbers into consideration and that you pay attention to the numbers. The other place that people really need to pay attention to the numbers is in the next step which is the sourcing stuff.
[00:23:54] Scott: Yeah. Okay. So let's just jump into that really quickly and I'm not going to spend too too much time here. But sourcing, a lot of people say, ‘Scott, where do you find products? Where do you find agents?' We basically have done this every single time that we've ever went out and found new products. We start on Alibaba. We don't go there necessarily trying to find the product, we try to find something that's I guess a manufacturer or supplier that's making similar stuff.
Once we get that connection, we build the relationship with that agent and then from there they will introduce us products or they'll introduce to other suppliers and things like that. So a lot of times people think that you have to have this list of agents. That's not the case. You're going to find your agent by making some calls in a sense or reaching out to different…
[00:24:49] Chris: Sending some emails.
[00:24:51] Scott: Sending some emails. Getting some samples, seeing how the interaction goes, this could take very little time, and it could take a lot of time. But it's definitely, definitely worth it. As far as like looking for the different suppliers where to find them, Ali Baba, Global Sources, Thomas Net. Sourcify is another great one. I think you have to be at a certain number though as far as how much you’re going to be purchasing but Sourcify is pretty good because they have their own network of manufacturers and suppliers. But I would definitely reach out to those guys too.
Like I said, I'm not going to spend too too much time here. The other thing is when you’re doing the sourcing you want to pay attention like patents and trademark. In this section that's what we are going to be doing a lot of this work. Now, the thing is once you doing this, you're kind of doing work that you’re not going to have to really do a lot much in the future. You're kind of figuring out who you're going to be doing business through or at least a couple of different businesses or agents. And then from there you're going to continue to build that relationship and continue to build out your product line.
So, with that being said Chris, anything else on sourcing you want to touch on before we move into the next part?
[00:25:56] Chris: No, I think you pretty much noted Scott… I know a bunch of people are always like, “I don't want to use Alibaba.' Well, there's other sites out there. There's really no reason not to use Alibaba. But it'd be Alibaba, Global Sources, Thomas Net. You mentioned Sourcify. They do have a limit, it’s $10,000 to work directly with Sourcify but they also have a tool that helps you confirm factories if you’re below that. So it's worth checking out. Then the other option if you happen to speak Mandarin or know somebody who does speak Mandarin is 1688, which is 1688.com.
That is just a Mandarin version of Alibaba but a lot of people seem to have a little bit better pricing success by going that route which is interesting. But if you speak Mandarin, check it out. Why not? It's worth taking a look at the very least. Sourcing, I think the other thing in sourcing Scott that I want to touch on is make sure you know your duties and your taxes. You can work with your supplier to get those. And make sure you run a patent and trademark search if you have any suspicion that it might patented or trademarked before you place an order and before you start to deal with all that.
Those are all the kind of three things that we see people get tripped up on or not knowing their full costs. So how much is it going to cost including shipping. Not just the cost of the unit but including shipping, which would include taxes and duties and then the other place where we see a lot of people get caught up is patents and trademarks. It's not as big of a deal for 99% of products as people make it out to be. But if you're in something it's worth taking a look as kind of that last and final check to run.
At least patent search if you're not sure always run it through a patent attorney and that would be my last kind of quick suggestion there.
[00:27:30] Scott: So now, again moving through this process… And again we're kind of talking through it as if we're building a business from scratch. We're going through this entire process. Again, this is everything that we're going to be teaching and we're going to go a lot deeper obviously looking over our shoulder and stuff through E-comm Business Formula is really the next part of it, is the launch. We have to kind of go through this launch process after we have our product, we've done all that research, we've done all of the ground work in a sense. But there’s some things that we're going to be doing here a little bit differently than we've done in the private label classroom in the past.
And that is the one thing, again, I've talked about this because I have backgrounds in construction. It's like we have to build the foundation. We have to build a footing, then we have to put the foundation on top of the footing, then we have to start to kind of build the house. We have to start building everything and then start adding all the other components to it. So it's really important if we're going to do this properly is we need something that I've called my home base. It's you need to build your home base.
And your home base is a basic Skeleton of a website, really. Doesn't have to be a lot there but you do need the home base in my opinion. And this is again, the order that I would do this because after the sourcing it's kind of done, you're kind of waiting for the products to be made and to be shipped and all that stuff. Building the home base, it could be a WordPress blog which I'm a fan of. It could be, if you want to go a free route you could, I'd get my own hosting for four or five bucks.
I'd put a WordPress blog on it. A basic theme, and from there I'd create an about us page, a brand story page… I'm sorry. About us would be brand story. But I would, again have a contact us and then probably three to five pieces of content and again, that's why when we're validating the market in the discovery phase we're actually figuring out what types of content we could publish. Now, a lot of people are going to get overwhelmed by this one. Like, ‘Oh my gosh. I don't know how to do this stuff.' You can hire people to do this. It's not that expensive.
I’ve found different services out there for as little as $15 to $25 to write pieces of articles or pieces of content for the blog.
[00:29:37] Scott: So I wouldn't let that stop you. And again, this is something we're going to start to do once we launch and that's the 12 to 18 month part of this. We're going to building out this content but that's why we need that home base. Because that's where everything is going to be kind of leading back to eventually. And it's something that we have that's our own. We're not depending on one channel. If Amazon takes our listing and kills it, we can actually start selling our product on our own home base if we had that set up in advance.
The other thing is people look on Amazon for products but then they jump off of Amazon, they do a little bit of background check, they do some research. You want to have a decent presence. You want to show them that you're a real business and the home base is where you can do that. That's where you can sell your business just through content or through your story. All of that stuff will help to make that sale in the future as well on Amazon. I know we've done that. My wife and I have done that, we've went from Amazon and we've jumped over and we'll check it out and then we'll come back.
So it doesn't mean you're only going to sell on your own website. It means that you could but it's also going to help confirm who you are and kind of build that know they can trust element and they can do some other cool things like building email lists and all that fun stuff. But, I'm not going to get too too deep into that stuff. Just understand we want to build that. So, as that's part of what we're calling our pre-launch, Chris what else do we want to do during this pre-launch phase before we actually hit go.
[00:31:04] Chris: So we want to have that home base. And Scott that's something that for whatever reason seems to scare a lot of people because it involves two words, building and website. And people go, ‘Oh my God. It's so much work.' Realistically guys it's not that much. We're talking about like three to five pieces of content and then like an about us page. So it's not a ton of work. It's not going to be theamazingseller.com where there's hundreds and hundreds of posts. You don't need to have that upfront.
We didn't. We certainly didn't. We launched the new brand with like three posts I think. And that's just because we had three weeks between the time that we started the website and the time that we actually launched the product. So we wrote one piece a week. But have three or five pieces of content Scott really makes it clear that you are a legitimate business. And so that does actually for some reason increase your conversion rate within the e-commerce ecosystem because people are jumping to Google and making sure that you're legitimate.
It's not a ton of people. But even if it's 10% or 20% of people that's going to help us upfront. The other thing that that does is it gets extremely rooted in our market for search engine optimization and some of those kinds of things that we're going to play into a little bit more down the road. But once we have that home base set up, then we're going to start to build our list. And Scott you and I really still like email lists, you can build a messenger list, you can do that however you want to do that. But we think that you need to have a way to communicate directly with your customers that you own and you control.
And this is something that is extremely valuable and extremely underappreciated by businesses that have them. They are extremely underutilized and they are extremely over complicated in terms of the way that the people think about them just like building that home base. We like to use the contest method which we've talked about. And I think you can find that over at theamazingseller.com/buildlist. There's an entire workshop on exactly how we build our launch list. And we've used that method to build a list of somewhere over 27,000 as of recording this, I can pull up the actual number here in a little bit.
[00:33:01] Chris: But you can also use some other things. If you don't want to do the giveaway strategy that we've taught you can create an e-book or you can even just install like sign up for notifications thing on that home page. Just start to build that list. However you do that, this is going to be something that's an extremely important asset. Not for just when you launch your first product but throughout the life of your business. Because when we have that list Scott, we're not only able to launch that product on Amazon from day one because we have a list of raving fans of ours who are ready to buy our products. Just like Apple does every time they launch an iPhone.
There's a big line of people standing outside, camped down the store for a few days in advance. Our list is kind of like that. But they are also usable for any time we publish new content for the blog. We can push them over there. We can drive traffic to another blog or go to anywhere that we need if we need to. If Amazon were to disappear tomorrow, we could still use that list to drive traffic to do something that we wanted them to do and getting that started even before you launch I think is extremely important because of how much it pushes that fly wheel forward from day one when you launch that first product.
[00:34:04] Scott: And here is the other thing I want to say though. We talk about it like you’re building a launch list. That's like one purpose that you're using that list for. And we've seen some people get really good results. And some people are just like, ‘Eh, it worked okay.' Part of it though is how did you nurture the list before you launched? And there's a whole process behind that which we don't have a ton of time to go into that but you definitely want to continually nurture that audience and really build that audience and the know they can trust elements and all of those things.
But understand there's so many more things that you're going to get other than just directly selling to those people and having them boost your sales on Amazon. That's one thing, one small thing actually because after you have this list and it’s kind of paid for in a sense because you built it, you paid money for it but then you've made some money from it. And then all of a sudden once it's paid, you have this asset now, well we're able to now drive thousands of clicks and people over to our blog content which can help to share that content, get it out to more people so it can be more discovered.
Also it helps in search engine optimization, all of that stuff, it builds the email list because we have capture forms on those pages. But the other cool thing is once we get a certain number of traffic you're able to start monetizing that traffic whether it's AdSense, whether it's media Vine, whether it's Ad Thrive. Any of those you can apply to your blog, website and you can start to monetize that traffic which we've recently started doing. And like I said I think the first month we were, actually it wasn't a full month it was like $1,347. Almost 1,400 bucks.
And we're on track to hit over $1,500 a month. That's not dependent on Amazon at all. That's because this has been happening over and over again. And the list helps to boost those posts a little bit in a sense. So I just want you guys to understand it's not just about building the launch list. That's initial launch, the build of it.
[00:36:05] Scott: But it's really the other purposes that we're able to use it for and the things that are going to also take your business to the next level in that 12 to 18 months or even longer because this is an asset. It's an asset that you have and you control. So with that being said let me move on to… And I'm going to move through this stuff kind of quick because you guys kind of already know this. We talked about this but I'll just touch on it. But while we're doing that and that doesn't have to take a ton of time. We're just building a basic website so at least we have it.
The foundation is set and we have a couple of pieces of furniture in there. We're good. We haven't built the entire thing yet. We haven't made everything, the way we want it. But now what we need to do is we need to start getting our Amazon stuff right. Because that's where we're going to launch. So we want to make sure that we have a well optimized listing. So we want, again, just to kind of give you guys, we want good pictures, we want good titles. We want good bullets, we want our keywords in the backend to be where they need to be, the description.
We want all that stuff to be as optimized as we can make it right now with the knowledge that we currently have. It's really, really important that you understand that. And then as far as from there once we have that stuff done well now we got a launch. So Chris let's talk about that. Like so what are some strategies to launch, and I know some people will say well I don't have a list or I want to use influencers or I want to use pay-per-click So where do we want to go with that as far as the launch? I know there's a few different ways that we suggest. Where do you want to start?
[00:37:42] Chris: To me there's three key ways that you can launch ideally. We're utilizing all three of these. But you can literally launch with one or two of them if that's what you want to do. People ask all the time, well I didn't build an email list, can I launch with just PPC? Yes you can do that So there three ways to launch for me and you and you should be capitalizing on all of these would be one, just turn on PPC. PPC, yes pay-per-click. Once you get that up and running as soon as your listing is live and you have inventory on Amazon you should be turning that sucker on
And we have a whole bunch of stuff that we've talked about in the past on how you should do that realistically I'd be setting up and auto campaign 20/25 bucks a day. And doing what you've talked about a little bit Scott, finding some snipping, some exact match keywords if you will of things that have kind of a low but very specific search volume. So a couple hundred searches a month that are very, very specific to our product like ‘long handle stainless steel garlic press'. And dropping those into an exact match campaign just to see if we can pick up some additional sales there.
Method number two then would be to use your email list or your customer list or your list wherever you decided to create that. And we like to use what we call the three email profit push to do that. So we send three emails over the course of three days, you can pick Facebook messages, however you want to do it you can do it. We've talked about that in the past. That's how we've launched all of our products and it still words very, very well for us. You can do it for one day if you want too but typically we like to spread those sales out over a few days.
So we send three emails over three days.
The third method that you can use to launch exclusively or you can combine with the other two would be to utilize those influencers. Remember a couple of minutes ago we were talking about Scott finding those list of people who have authority in your market. Because we did that in step one we should already have a list of those people. So that when we’re ready to launch we can reach out to those people. We can actually be building relationship with them throughout this entire process. And when we’re ready to launch we say, ‘Hey, we want to offer just a special discount just to your audience.' Or, ‘Hey, would you mind promoting our products.' They are going to get back and say yes, no or give me 200 bucks.
[00:39:50] Chris: And you can then make the decision on whether or not you want to allow them to do that or you want to give them 200 bucks. However, you want to play that you can do that. But having a large list of people who have authority in your market can be extremely beneficial because they have list of people that you don't. Even if you’ve built your own list they are going to reach other segments of the audience because they are talking about something slightly different.
They are talking about only paleo cooking or only vegan cooking and you're just talking about cooking in general with your audience or whatever that is. They are going to appeal to certain subsections of that audience and they’re going to be able to get your product in front of people a lot faster than you'd be able to just by doing it yourself.
[00:40:25] Scott: Yeah, I mean another strategy on that would be to reach out to 20 of the influencers and just get their information and just send them one randomly and just say, ‘Thank you so much for your content. I really enjoy it, I've created this stainless-steel garlic press, I'm a chef myself and I found some sticking points that I really wanted to take care of so I created my own product. I hope you like it, let me know. Thanks.’ That's it. Don't even tell them to post anything. That's another strategy. What’s it going to cost you to send 20 of those items to influencers? Not much.
[00:40:58] Chris: $5.99 fulfillment fee plus cost of product, right?
[00:41:02] Scott: There you go. We can even use Prime for that. So let's move on. That's the launch. And now once we have this stuff dialed in and once we have those influencers and we found five that are actually, we're starting to build our relationship with, we have those now. They are assets to us. And hopefully we can kind of cross promote each other's stuff eventually. So once this stuff is done it's done in a sense. We can always build on it but we’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting now so when we do new product because we’re probably going to have three to five different products in queue, we can just basically follow this formula.
We've done a lot of the work. So a lot of it is the upfront work of kind of getting things set. Then from there we just kind of input into these different areas like the blog, like the content stuff which actually brings me to the last thing I want to talk about and that is when we get to this point now we want growth, diversification and stability. And the way that we can do that is to kind of follow this 12 to 18 month plan and then even go further. But it’s really like building out a content schedule for your business and for your brand.
And I think it's really important that you just consistently put out content and if you tell me you can't find content then you’ve just chosen the wrong market. There's probably hundreds if not thousands of different things that you could talk about. Because you could do different spins, you could do round up posts, you can do a whole bunch of really cool things. And we're going to be talking a lot about this inside E-comm Business Formula because it's a huge part of it. So with that being said we want to get on a schedule.
I just did an interview not that long ago with a guy who, his name is Jessy, he actually started without even having any product to sell. He's like, ‘I'm going to do this think kind of the other way. I'm going to build up an audience and I'm going to see what happens.'
And he went ahead and said I’m going to commit to 52 videos for the year, 52 weeks, a video a week, I'm going to go ahead and do it, I'm going to see what happens and hopefully I've got 500 subscribers. That would be a win.
[00:43:03] Scott: Well after 13 months he's got over 14,900 almost 15,000. He's making a little over $1,000 a month not from a product. So he's kind of built that and he's got a whole bunch of other things he can do now. And his audience is really engaging and all that stuff. Every time he posts a video he gets 2,000/5,000 views depending on the topic. That's pretty awesome. So he's a influencer now in a sense of his own market. And he's not the expert. He's just like, ‘Hey, I'm going to be doing this thing if you want to follow along you can learn with me and that's what he's done.
We're talking about kind of doing both of these side by side. That's the commitment that I think if you're in business you should be able to do and if you plan this out and that's why having that long-term content schedule I think is really, really important but again we've done some of that work upfront. We know that there's content that can be consumed because we already did that in the research of picking the market before we even got to this point.
So Chris what else you want to talk about diversification and stability
[00:44:03] Chris: This is, and we mentioned this in the like building your own home base portion. This is the part that freaks people out. Because it sounds like it's a ton of work. I just want to launch another product, that's all I want to do but here's the thing. You're shortcutting and knee capping yourself by not doing this part of business. This is the part of the business that is going to add massive value. This is the stage Scott not only are we creating that additional content to bring in more organic traffic to our home base, not only are we expanding our reach within our audience by sharing that content on social media by putting it on YouTube, by putting it on all those different mediums.
But we're also in this stage expanding just beyond the Amazon platform. We have that home base so now we can add, our own e-commerce channel. And that opens up a whole bunch of things for us like Google PLAs and being able to drive Facebook ads to something that we can actually track accurately which Amazon has made some really big strides in that recently but it's still like a complete guessing game for 90% of sellers. And it allows us to bring stability to that business. And we mentioned in the beginning of this, the reason we like this process, this formula is because each of these things adds stability and it adds potentially to our multiple if we ever want to sell this business.
Having each of these individual assets that we're building and growing along with the three to five, to ten SKUs that we're going to launch in this market makes the business itself more stable and substantially more valuable.
[00:45:30] Scott: Yeah, and here's the other thing. It doesn't cost a lot of money to do this part. It takes patience and commitment. That's what it takes. It takes committing… Like I talked to Jesse and I'm like, ‘How much did you really need to invest when you started your YouTube stuff?’ He's like, ‘I had my phone and I think I bought a light.’ So you’re talking under a couple of hundred bucks. The phone he already had. You can't even count that because everybody has a phone pretty much.
And he's upgraded since he started bringing in some cash but the first few videos no, until he started seeing that. So the only thing you're really doing here is you're putting in the time and you're committing to that. And no matter how many subscribers you have or how many people are on your list or how many people are coming to your blog, you just have to constantly show up and continually build those pieces of content. So this way here you're building out those assets because every piece of content you put you there is another asset in a sense because it can bring people into the brand.
And some are going to do really well and some aren't going to do so good and that's okay. But if you commit to that, even if you commit to that, even if it’s just one per week that's why I said 12 to 18 months. If you did that you're going to start seeing some momentum at that point. You're definitely going to be able to do that. And if you've done some outreach with influencers and then you’re like, ‘Hey, I wrote this rounder post, you are in it.’ They’re going to help share you. So there's ways to get other bloggers and other people in your space to promote you so you can get more traffic from their share or even just a link that comes over.
There's a whole bunch of SEO stuff that can go into it but to me this is something that is missing when people are talking about selling on Amazon and FBA and all that stuff. This is a big, big piece because it is a longer-term play and if you do both of these you have the best of both worlds. You have external traffic, you have a revenue stream coming in, maybe multiple streams coming in from ads, from maybe you're doing a shoutout, whatever. And then you have physical products selling on Amazon, maybe on eBay, maybe on Etsy, maybe on your own website.
[00:47:39] Scott: So all of these things make it better for you but also for a potential investor. So alright, guys I think we covered a lot there. And I feel like we could have dove in to so many new areas as we went through that outline Chris that I know when we finish this training it is going to be awesome because there's a lot of different areas that we can go super deep and we need to go deep so this way here we can outline and show exactly how we would do it from scratch.
So guys if you are interested in checking that out, depending on when you're listening to this we do have a beta class which we'll be starting probably in the next three weeks-ish somewhere around there. Three to four weeks. If you want to be a part of that beta group all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/training. You can get all the details there. If you're listening to this after December 20th, 2018 you can still go there and maybe open or it maybe a wait list. So go there, and get all the details if you're interested in building a future proof business like we just kind of outlined here.
This is exactly what we're going to be doing and also sharing inside our inner circle and then also teaching here inside of that training. So definitely go check that out. Chris, any last tid bits before we wrap this baby up?
[00:48:54] Chris: I would say go back and listen to this one again and get that outline. The thing that I want people to understand is that this process does not have to be big and scary and intimidating. You start where you are. So if you already have a handful of products, take a look, make sure they are in the same market. Go back through that first stage. And then start to do the stuff that you missed the first time through it. It's not like you have to start from scratch. If you're starting from the beginning, then do it right from the beginning, make sure you're set that solid foundation before you start to try to build the house.
We're not just going to plant the house down on the beach and hope that it stays there. We’re going to build a nice solid foundation. And that's what we're doing when we pick a market, and the other thing is we got to put a roof on it and putting a roof on it is that growth and that expansion so that we don't get all wet and have to start over.
[00:49:39] Scott: Yeah, I think it's a great point that if you're listening to this or watching this and you're already up and running you could start by building your home base and then going through that entire process. And from there it's like you're like plugging in that other part of the business that's missing and that you probably need. So I think this is going to fit pretty much anyone that is listening because you're either starting or you're already up and running but you want to diversify and you want to build out this external traffic and assets and all that stuff.
So definitely go back and listen to this one again. And if you're interested in joining us, and helping you, head to theamazingseller.com/training for all the details there. So that's going to wrap it up guys, let's go ahead and wrap this up officially. The show notes to this episode can be found at theamazingseller.com/609. You can grab all the show notes there, the transcripts and this outline and from there guys remember, 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, Chris is going to say it with me hopefully on the count of three, we could time this thing, one, two, three, “Take action.”
That was close. We’ll go with that. All right guys have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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