The Amazing Seller Podcast

If you’re going to build a business you really need to think long-term. One product can’t sell on a sustained basis - you need related and sibling products that can fill in the gaps of what people who use that product need on a regular basis. On this episode, Scott wants to walk you through 7 steps that he suggests for building a brand from the ground up. It’s a step by step process from product and market research all the way to ongoing sales and customer retention. You’ll get a lot out of this episode of the podcast - in fact, you should be sure to grab the transcript so you don’t miss anything.

Do you understand the difference between a product and a market?

Scott talks about this a lot on the podcast because it is vital: are you building a business based on a product or aimed toward a market? It is entirely possible to build a business around one product. But in Scott’s view, that is not a long-term solution that you can count on. The reason is that one product can lose its appeal over time but if you have multiple products within the same product in it or Market you will be able to maintain consistent sales in spite of downturns in the sales of one product line.  On this episode of the podcast, Scott wants to help you understand the difference between a single product and a product line that can take over a product market so that you can be even more successful in your online ventures.

You need to know who your ideal customer is.

Once you have done the research to know the product line and Market that you want to reach with your products, you need to discover who is buying those products. That doesn't mean you need to know names and email addresses but it does mean you need to know the common characteristics of the people who are regularly buying those items. Are they men or women? How old are they? What other types of things are they interested in? As you are able to answer those questions you will find yourself getting a clearer picture of who your ideal customer is. When you know the characteristics of those people you will be much better equipped to position your product in the market in ways that are attractive to them. Make sure you listen to this episode so you can hear Scott's explanation of how to discover your ideal customer.

Content marketing can set your brand up for success.

If you are not familiar with the term “content marketing” you need to make sure that you understand it and know how to use it to advance your brand. The concept behind content marketing is that you are providing value to people through your resources and tools that help them understand the product market better and begin to view you as a valuable authority or resource within that market. When you can effectively do that you will gain the trust of the exact people you were trying to sell your products to and they will become more prone to purchase your product as a result. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways of building a loyal following of customers who believe in your product line. Listen to Scott’s explanation of how to use content marketing to advance your business and brand, on this episode.

Implement these 7 steps to build a brand that lasts.

Selling products online is not that difficult if you're willing to put in the work to build the foundation's necessary to support the success of the business over the Long Haul. On this episode is Scott is walking you through 7 steps that you can use to build an online brand that will weather the ups and downs of Market swings. None of the steps can be successful on their own, and none of them are easy. But if you break them down into bite-sized chunks you will be able to accomplish one at a time with the end result being an established brand and a somewhat automated system by which your products are promoted and sold. This episode has so much content you should grab a transcript so that you don't miss any of the details.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:06] How trends relate to brands and which is best long term.
  • [5:16] Scott’s overview of the 7 steps he’s going to cover and why they are important.
  • [5:46] How to discover the niche customer for the products you’re interested in selling and ask yourself, Can you create a product line in this market?
  • [14:47] What is an avatar and why is it important?
  • ]15:12] How to use Google keyword planner and Google trends.
  • [17:41] Starting to create helpful content around your product.
  • [21:28] Find out where your ideal customer hangs out online.
  • [23:17] Use your research to to gain followers and customers.
  • [27:26] Create the basic sales funnel for your products.
  • [31:15] An example of how a free contest could work to promote your products.
  • [37:44] Consider the possibility of a digital product as well.
  • [39:03] Why these are good long term approaches to building a business.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

 

Direct download: TAS249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There is no argument with the statement that we’d all love to see more revenue coming into our business. But there are tremendous disagreements about the best ways to create that revenue. Scott is convinced that the “how” is not important as long as you are increasing your revenue and he wants to see everyone who listens to his podcast do so as soon as possible. On this episode, Scott walks through 5 ways to generate more revenue that you may not have considered, and many of them are able to be attached to your existing brand by going for a market, not just a product. You can hear it on this episode.

The importance of multiple streams of income for everyone.

Think this through for a moment. If you put all your eggs in the “selling products on Amazon” basket, and Amazon changes things in a way that impacts your success, you’ve just lost all of your eggs. That means the money you were once making dries up overnight. Scott’s a great advocate of creating multiple streams of income to support your business and personal life. The more you have your income spread out the less vulnerable you are to the changes in any one platform. Today’s episode is filled with Scott’s insights into the ways you could launch some additional streams of income and support your life and business even more successfully.

Is there a book opportunity you could build off of your current products?

You probably haven’t thought of it this way but no matter what your product niche is, there are people who need to know more about that niche. There is probably an opportunity for you to create a digital book that you could sell on Amazon that covers some of the most important elements of the niche. You’d be providing a great service to would-be customers and creating an additional stream of income for yourself. Listen to Scott’s ideas about how to understand your market so that you can come up with ideas for additional streams of income.

If you have physical products is there a way to create a digital version of it?

It might require some creative thinking but many physical products can be pivoted into a digital version or a related product that is digital. There are so many ways you can create helpful things for people who are using your existing products and offer those items for sale. Creating additional streams of income is not as difficult as it might sound. You can do it - and this episode is full of ideas for how you can rethink what you do to increase your revenue.

You probably have a video course inside you. Yep. It’s true.

You may not be a technically oriented person. You may not know a thing about video. But you can be assured that there’s something you know well that others would pay money to learn. And more importantly, they would pay money to learn it in the WAY that you teach it. Scott’s got lots of ideas to give you about how you can create additional streams of income, and one of those is a video course that you can offer online or via DVD. You don’t have to be the expert on video, you can still create the course. Scott’s going to tell you how, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:53] Scott’s invitation to you: Subscribe to the podcast and share it!
  • [1:55] The international TAS connections.
  • [4:39] The importance of multiple revenue streams for everyone.
  • [6:53] Have you considered a digital product version of your physical product?
  • [16:31] What about a video course? Do you have something to offer?
  • [21:48] Special downloads that relate to your product.
  • [24:27] Content creation that can be repurposed for additional revenue.
  • [29:46] A story from Scott’s experience: GarageBand and music loops.
  • [33:40] Scott’s tips to wrap up the episode - and a bit of homework.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

Welcome to this Friday Q & A episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast. We call these the “Ask Scott” sessions because it’s exactly that - your opportunity to ask Scott Voelker anything you want about selling on the Amazon platform. From product research and selection to shipping issues, to Amazon seller accounts and terms of service, to packaging, promotion, reviews, seller feedback - you name it and Scott is willing to address it on these Friday episodes. Be sure you ask your question. Who knows? Maybe it will be featured on a future Ask Scott episode.

Why results bring confidence in business and in life.

Everyone knows this but it’s true nonetheless. When you get results in any area of life you begin to gain confidence in that area. But you’ll never get the results if you never start. That’s why one of Scott’s biggest mantras is #takeAction. So if you’re struggling with confidence when it comes to your Amazon sales simply because it’s so new to you, you may need to simply take a step into the unknown so that you can gain the results you need to build that confidence. You can hear Scott’s thoughts on how he’s experienced this dynamic in business and in life, on this episode.

 

How can I best use Pay per Click to get myself to page 1 of the Amazon rankings?

Amazon’s pay per click tool is an amazing way to quickly make your product visible in the Amazon search rankings. But it’s not a normal listing that your potential customers see, it’s a promoted listing. But it’s what you’ve got to do in order to get your first sales. The first part of the launch is not about ranking, it’s about getting initial sales and reviews. That is where  Amazon PPC comes in as a powerful way to drive those sales. The next part of a launch is about ranking higher and that doesn’t happen through promotions, it happens through organic sales. And those organic sales are fueled partly by the existence of good reviews. Reviews serve as proof that your product is quality and actually something others want as well.

When I have variations on my products will my Best Seller Rank (BSR) apply to all variations or does each have it’s own BSR?

Every product in the Amazon catalog, including yours, has a seller rank. Every seller wants their product to achieve a best seller rank that shows potential customers that their product is worth buying. A listener asks about how variations of a product impact BSR. Do the variations each  have their own BSR or is the overall “parent product” the only one that has a BSR to be concerned about? It’s a great question and Scott has one of his “it depends” answers for you on this episode.

Should I have my products shipped first to my home address or directly to Amazon?

It may seem like a sensible shortcut to have the products from your supplier sent directly to the Amazon warehouse. After all, why would you want to keep inventory in your own home? Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid through FBA? But the issue is that when you send products directly to the Amazon warehouse you have no quality control process in place to ensure that your products are free of defects. The only way you know is that customers begin leaving negative reviews on your products - which is never a good thing. On this episode of The Amazing Seller Scott outlines some of the options for shipping that make sense for international sellers and domestic sellers.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:28] Random thoughts from Scott: results build confidence.
  • [5:28] QUESTION ONE: How do I get to page 1 using PPC and how l can I track it?
  • [12:18] QUESTION TWO: Questions about product variations and shipping.
  • [19:16] QUESTION THREE: My products are large and heavy but sell well. What can you tell me about freight forwarding services?
  • [26:50] QUESTION FOUR: Can you recommend a good copywriting service for me since I don’t speak English as my first language?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

 

Direct download: TAS247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the most important parts of running a successful Amazon private label business is making sure you are establishing your brand and products as high quality and reputable. A HUGE part of doing that is getting honest reviews from your customers. If you don’t know how to effectively get those reviews you’re going to have a very hard time building a successful sales channel. On this episode, Scott and his friend Chris Guthrie are here to walk you through the ins and outs of reviews - what makes a good one, why you need them, and how to get them. Be sure you take the time to listen. It could increase your sales tremendously.

Amazon is cracking down on reviews. Here’s how to keep your product reviews safe.

There’s a lot of talk lately about Amazon’s attitude when it comes to product reviews - and it’s actually more than JUST talk. Amazon has adjusted its terms of service and is cracking down on reviews that it considers being fake or in some way manipulated. There’s only one way to ensure that your product reviews are safe from the Amazon crackdown and that’s to get real, legitimate reviews in the first place. This episode of the podcast is dedicated to making sure you understand the right and wrong ways to go about that - including some thoughts about the use of review groups, so be sure you listen.

What makes a real review and what makes a fake review?

You hear the terms “real” and “fake” applied to product reviews on Amazon all the time. But do you know what constitutes a real or fake review? On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, Scott has asked his buddy, Chris Guthrie to come on the show and unpack the details of what makes a good review and what contributes to the kind of reviews that Amazon has been removing from product pages. It’s their hope that using the information you hear on this episode you’ll be able to not only safeguard your product reviews from being removed but also get better quality reviews in the first place.

Why you need to follow up with your customers via Amazon’s integrated email.

You may not even have known but Amazon provides an email contact option within your seller account that you can use to directly contact your customers. Using that email tool is the best and most effective way to follow up with your customers once they’ve purchased your product - and part of that follow-up strategy can and should include a reminder to your customers to leave an honest review for your product. We all need reminders now and then, right? Your customers are the same way. Find out how you can use the email solution Amazon has provided on this episode - and learn how you can automate it so you don’t have to worry about it ever again!

Keep seller feedback in mind - not just reviews.

This episode of The Amazing Seller podcast is all about product reviews - OK, well not ALL about reviews - there’s a section right toward the end of the conversation where Scott and his buddy Chris Guthrie chat a bit about seller feedback and its role in making sure your account and products stay in Amazon’s good graces. Sometimes in the rush to get good reviews we forget about seller feedback, which can be a mistake. Be sure you hear this part of the conversation. It could keep your account from being banned for shut down temporarily.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:30] A LIVE review workshop coming up that you can attend for free!
  • [4:10] Review clubs: should you be using them?
  • [5:58] Does Amazon respect reviews that come from product promotions?
  • [7:37] The purpose and reason behind getting legitimate reviews (social proof).
  • [11:25] Why follow up email to customers is crucial - and how to do it!
  • [14:58] Gifts you can expect from the upcoming free webinar.
  • [25:30] Things to be careful of when asking customers for reviews.
  • [28:50] Chris’ advice to get your first initial batch of reviews.
  • [34:25] How does seller feedback relate to reviews and why is it important?
  • [41:14] The importance of looking at your business and sales from a long term perspective.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

When dealing with a huge platform like Amazon you've got to expect that there will be places where confusion sets in. This episode is an example of that very thing. Karon Thackston is with us today to help us understand the new items within the Amazon terms of service. Not everything is coordinated and not everything makes sense but if you learn how to operate within the Amazon guidelines your products were ranked better and your sales will increase. Karon Is here to help us navigate the changes and make sense out of all of it.

Amazon says you should make sure your title is less than 200 characters. Period.

The rules have changed many times over the years but now Amazon has a new guideline when it comes to the length of your product title. 200 words is the new limit and you have to be careful because the back end will not stop you from putting in more characters. But if you do you could be subject to a suppressed listing or even worse, Amazon could change the title for you and not allow you to change it back to something of your choosing. You've got to hear this one to believe it, and you can hear it on this episode of The Amazing seller.

Be sure to watch the Amazon style guide for what is allowed. Nothing else.

You can take a few minutes to click around the Amazon website and find conflicting guidelines for how you should list your products on their platform. But today's guest, Karen Paxton believes that you should only pay attention to the Amazon style guide when you are trying to conform your listing to the Amazon standards. The things Karon shares on this episode are from the Amazon style guide and as you will see, are not all that simple. But Karon is a pro and can help you navigate it more simply, so be sure you listen.

Why you should contact seller support over and over when you have issues.

If you run into issues with any of your product listings and need to contact Seller Support it is likely that you will run into a support agent who doesn't know the facts of how Amazon runs. Why would we say that? Because it's absolutely true. You can call Seller Support and talked to two or three different agents and get two or three different answers to your questions. That's why our guest today, Karon Thackston,  recommend that you continue to call Seller Support until you get help with the things that you need. Eventually you will be able to talk to supervisor and get things straightened out.

You should be careful with those search term fields from now on.

 

It wasn't too long ago that Amazon increased the number of Search terms you could enter in the search type fields in your product back end feels. But now they have come out saying that the search term fields don't really need to be used at all as long as your keywords are included in your description and bullet points. But Karon Thackston doesn't believe you will be penalized if you leave words in the search term fields, and is not recommending that any more experienced sellers go through their listings to remove them. You can hear the entire fiasco on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with Karon.
  • [5:00] Karon’s summary of what she’s covering for you today.
  • [8:15] Another reason to build a platform of your own off Amazon.
  • [9:56] The issue of title suppression (titles over 200 characters).
  • [13:45] Why you should contact seller support if your backend doesn’t reflect the 200 character limit.
  • [20:40] The new guidelines for search terms to optimize your listings.
  • [25:40] Is any aspect of the product listing weighted more than anything else?
  • [27:33] Scott’s recent keyword test.
  • [29:04] Amazon’s latest guidelines for keywords (to kill keyword spam?).
  • [34:34] And Amazon still says you should not use commas in keyword fields.
  • [38:02] What Karon recommends to sellers who have been around a while.
  • [41:14] The importance of split testing to ensure what’s truly working.
  • [44:05] Do not use competitive product names in your listing anywhere.
  • [50:08] Overly long content in the description, etc. is not advised either.
  • [51:02] Taking account of common abbreviations and plurals in descriptors.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EST

Nobody knows it all. Not even those who have been doing something for a very long time. We all need to ask for help from time to time and these Friday episodes of the Amazing Seller Podcast are an opportunity for you to ask your questions about Amazon sales and private label products. Scott LOVES these episodes where he gets to sit down and deal with the real life situations that you and many other sellers like you are facing each day in your business. You can listen to the questions people have already asked and even ask your own questions, right here on the Friday episodes.

When should I start PPC (pay per click) on my new products?

On today's episode a listen to the podcast asked whether he should wait to start his pay per click campaigns until he has a significant number of reviews, or whether he should begin PPC immediately once his product is live on the Amazon platform. What would your answer be? Today, Scott has an answer for this listener and has advice for you if you are trying to determine when and how to start your PPC campaigns. You can hear it all on this episode of the podcast.

If I rank for a long tail keyword will I also rank for shorter keywords within it?

Do you know what a long tail keyword is? A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that uses a primary key word with other qualifying words added to the beginning or end. For example, garlic press maybe the base keyword. But long tail keywords would be, “stainless steel garlic press,” OR “long handled garlic press.” On today's episode a listener asks if he will rank for all of the keywords within a long-tail keyword phrase, or only the long tail keyword phrase itself. It's a great question and Scott has a great answer. Be sure you listen to find out what it is.

Do I have to set up multiple seller accounts if I want to sell more than one brand?

The first thing you need to do in order to sell products on Amazon is to create a seller account. Today a listener asks if he should set up multiple seller account if he is going to be selling products under multiple brand names. It's a great question and one that can have many answers depending on what your and goals are for your business. On this episode, Scott answers the question with a good deal of insight and foresight, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Is it a good idea to enter a market when there are 3 to 4 pages worth of sellers in the niche? What if I did a bundle?

A listener today has found a product possibility in a niche where there are many, many sellers of the product. But he's curious if it is a good opportunity anyway since there is only one seller who is providing the product in question in a different color, while all the rest offer the exact same product. He is curious if he could create a bundle that includes both colors, or even add additional colors to make a bundle that is more attractive. You can hear Scott's answer to this interesting question on this episode of The Amazing seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this “Ask Scott” episode of the podcast.
  • [2:30] Why you need to schedule and plan things if you’re going to be successful.
  • [6:03] QUESTION ONE: How long do you wait to start your Pay Per Click campaigns after getting reviews?
  • [10:15] QUESTION TWO: I’m trying to rank for a long tail keyword… If I rank for a long tail keyword will I also rank for the shorter words within the long tail keyword?
  • [15:50] QUESTION THREE: I’ve been told I can only create one store within Amazon. Is that true?
  • [20:43] QUESTION FOUR: The product I’m considering has 3 pages of sellers but only one is selling a different color and he’s doing well. Is this a good bundle opportunity?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS244.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When you start anything new in your life you’re going to feel nervous or scared. That’s OK. Nerves and fear are natural in any new endeavor but they aren’t the thing that determines success. What determines your success is your own mindset. On this episode Scott chats with a successful Amazon seller, Bobby Jacques and the two of them agree that mindset is crucial. You can hear how both of these guys approach their business in light of mindset, on this episode.

Why you have to just do it and simply take action.

When people talk about mindset they’re addressing the issue of belief. If you are going to attempt a business on Amazon or any other platform you’ve got to first believe in your ability to learn, to grow, and to pivot through the disappointments and obstacles until you reach success. It’s a “never give up” attitude that you have to develop - and today’s episode is one that can help you do that. You’re going to hear from a very determined Amazon seller who made it his goal to replace his full time income in a very short period of time. He did it, and is a testimony to the fact that you can do it too, if you’re willing to work hard, learn, grow, and keep going.

The importance of mindset to believe that you can accomplish things.

When it comes to building an online business, whether through private label sales on Amazon or some other approach, you’ve got to believe that you can do it. The person who doesn’t believe in their ability is the one who will give up quickly after they hit the first obstacle. And you WILL hit obstacles if you take the entrepreneurial route. Bobby Jacques shares his story on this episode and tells how he went from nothing to $50K per month in sales on this episode.

Dialing in your pay per click (PPC) is important for product visibility and profits.

One of the tools that makes private label sales on Amazon such a successful thing is Amazon pay per click. PPC is one of the tools Amazon provides to help you get people's eyes on your products when they are searching for exactly what you have. Make awesome money and takes time to figure out, but one You can be the pot at the end of the rainbow. On this episode Scott's guest is going to tell us how he manages his pay per click campaigns and what you can do to organize your campaigns properly from the start.

If you’re going to start, you’ve got to determine that you will start and succeed.

Determination in any business is huge. You can't be the type who will give up at the first sign of trouble or difficulty. No difficulty can stop you if you are convinced that you can learn and grow for the sake of overcoming any obstacle. Your job as an entrepreneur is to make yourself successful so that you are able to bring great value to the world.  On this episode of the podcast you're going to here a great story of success from a guy who started with no money in the bank and is now bringing in $50,000 per month in sales revenue. Bobby Jacques is Scott’s guest on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:30] Join the next live workshop.
  • [2:20] Shout out to an iTunes listener who left a review.
  • [4:04] Why Scott wanted to chat with Bobby for today’s show.
  • [6:45] How Bobby got into business after a long road of other stuff.
  • [12:50] The motivation of engagement to build toward a business.
  • [15:01] How Bobby decided to fund and start his online sales business.
  • [17:30] The timeline and goals Bobby set for himself.
  • [24:00] PPC strategies Bobby uses.
  • [32:29] Things Bobby wishes he’d done differently from the start.
  • [33:50] How Bobby manages his PPC campaigns and keeps them straight.
  • [35:42] Up to 50K in revenue every month.
  • [37:46] Liquidating products that aren’t doing so well.
  • [41:11] What people starting from scratch should do to start on the right foot.
  • [43:26] Is Amazon still a viable platform for new sellers?
  • [44:30] How to connect with Bobby.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Scott and his friend Chris Schaeffer love to do to help private label sellers boost their sales is to do these “hot seat” episodes. It’s a real life Amazon product that is already selling that is submitted for review and suggestions to increase sales. Scott and Chris are looking at a product today that is in a tight niche and is very low priced - both of which are problems from the get go. But there are some things that can be done to improve the sales of this product regardless. You can hear Scott and Chris’ suggestions on this episode.

A bad thing will happen when you’re product price is low to begin with.

If you get into a market where the sales price for the product is $7 or so, you’re going to run into a problem. Even if your product only costs you $1, you’re going to pay a lot in Amazon fees and not have much product margin to play with. That’s why Scott recommends that you look for products that will sell for $15 or more most of the time. You can hear more insights into the way the product cost impacts your profits and success, on this episode

The first thing your potential customers see is the photo. Make sure it’s a good one.

When you’re putting together your Amazon listing one of the most important things that can’t be underestimated is the photo you use to highlight your product. Amazon requires that your product photo is the product alone on a white background - and Scott and Chris both feel that it’s vital that the photo be high quality and positioned in a way that shows it as large a possible. Today’s hot seat product needs a better photo and Scott and Chris will tell you exactly what they’d do to make the listing photo better.

Providing a bonus item for freer is a great idea - but this seller didn’t use it well.

The product that’s on the “hot seat” on this episode of The Amazing Seller also includes a free ebook to help the user learn how to use the product. It’s a great idea and is a powerful way to increase the perceived value of the product. However, this seller hasn’t taken advantage of the bonus. How did they miss the opportunity? The bonus item is not mentioned in the title of the product OR shown in the product image. Both of those are great opportunities to stand out from the competition. Find out how you can use this example to improve your product listing on this episode.

Bundling may be the key to increasing your private label product sales.

Often, once a private label product is introduced into the market others begin to jump on board and offer the same product. Before long that niche is flooded and the price begins to race to the bottom. It’s not a good situation for anyone but there are ways to become the dominant seller in the market, and the main way is by bundling your product with accessories or related products that purchasers might need in order to use your product. You can hear some great ideas for how you can think in terms of bundling for your product on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this hotseat episode with Chris Schaeffer!
  • [3:00] Introduction to this hotseat scenario.
  • [6:19] The market today’s product is in: good or bad?
  • [9:21] The market looks saturated and the price point is low.
  • [14:22] An interesting market that should allow for increased sales.
  • [15:55] Why the product photo is important: and this one needs to be improved.
  • [20:25] Looking at the listing for issues that could use improvement.
  • [29:02] Looking at related products to come up with bundle ideas.
  • [39:12] The more you look into the bundles, the more opportunities you see.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Here is the regular Friday version of The Amazing Seller Podcast - the “Ask Scott” session! This is where you’re able to ask your very own questions about Amazon Private Label sales, online sales in general, and how to do your pay per click, promotions, and more. If you’ve got your own questions about selling on Amazon you can ask Scott directly and possibly be featured on an episode just like this one. You can find out how to ask your question by listening to this episode!

I have an online following and want to promote a private label product through it. Is that a good idea?

One of the listeners to the Amazing Seller is a guy who does his own podcast and has his own online following established already. He wanted to know if there is a way that he could effectively begin selling physical products that he lists on Amazon through his other brand. Scott’s answer to his question was a big, fat, enthusiastic, “YES!” and you can hear why Scott’s so excited about this kind of opportunity by listening to his response.

Can I get a Chinese supplier to customize a product for me in unique ways?

Ordering products from China is one of the most affordable and easy ways to get a private label product brand started. But are you limited to the products the suppliers have on hand? Nope. You can take any product idea - even one you haven’t seen on their platforms - and send them sketches, schematics, etc. and ask if they can build it for you. You’ll go back and forth with the supplier for a while getting the details right, then you’ll have to front some cash to get a prototype made. You can find out what comes next by listening to Scott’s answer to this great question - on this episode.

Is it OK for me to copy the URL of my Amazon product and ask people to go there to buy?

It’s the most natural thing in the world to ask people to buy your product. It’s also natural to make it easy for them to purchase by sending them the direct link to your product on Amazon. But the way Amazon’s algorithm works that’s not always the best idea. Why? It’s because Amazon continually calculates how many purchases of your product happen based on the number of views it receives. So if you send someone directly to the product and they don’t purchase, you could be hurting your product rankings. Find out how it all works out on this episode.

Is it OK for me to try to sell a product where the competition has more than 100 reviews?

A listener has been doing his product research and wants to know if he would be safe to try to enter a product into a market where the competition has over 100 reviews. Scott says it’s OK but more important than the reviews the competition has is what he calls the “depth of market.” What is that and why does it matter? You can find out all the details by listening to this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:34] Scott’s recording on his birthday to spend time with his family later!
  • [5:09] A question to ask yourself right now.
  • [7:42] QUESTION ONE: I have an online presence and brand already. I want to combine that with private labeling. Will product suppliers customize products for me?
  • [16:05] QUESTION TWO: What links should I use to drive outside traffic to my listing?
  • [22:19] QUESTION THREE: I’m having trouble finding a product to start out with that has competition with lower numbers of reviews. Is that OK?
  • [27:20] An audio from a listener about the success she is experiencing.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Today’s guest is Spencer Haws, he’s a long time web entrepreneur who has built his experience and knowledge creating niche based websites. You can see more of what he’s done in that realm at his site www.NichePursuits.com. But today Spencer is with us to help us understand how you can build your own website that sells your own products - independent of Amazon. Interested? Be sure you listen to this great episode.

Why you need to move your success to your own platform.

Spencer strongly believes that you need to take your success to a different platform once you’ve gotten your feet wet on Amazon. Why? Because you want to build something that you have entire control over, no matter what. On Amazon you have to follow the constantly changing rules and make sure you’re not making any mistakes. On your own site you are the king of the castle and you make up the rules. And maybe just as important, you’ll be cutting out the Amazon middleman that bites into your profit margin. Hear how Spencer and Scott suggest you take that step, on this episode.

When is the right time to build your own website store?

Let’s say you’ve had a private label product on Amazon for a while and you’re selling a decent amount of products every day. Should you take the step of creating your own website and trying to sell your products independent of Amazon? Spencer Haws says that once your products are selling well on Amazon you’ve got a great test case that shows that your products could sell independent of Amazon as well. Find out exactly how Spencer says you can know if you should take the step to build your own sales platform, on this episode.

Using long tail keywords you can get lots of traffic.

You may not even know what a long tail keyword is, but Spencer Haws believes that you’ve got to become skilled at identifying and using them if you’re going to have success building a sales site for your products that operates independently of Amazon. Spencer has proven on his own sites that going for the lesser known long tail keywords can be very successful in the long run. You can find out how Spencer does it, step by step, and the software tool he uses to do his research on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

How you can get specific training to build your own niche website.

If all of this website building talk sounds a bit scary to you, relax. Spencer Haws has created two ways you can learn everything you need to know to build a website the right way and start selling your products independent of Amazon. First is an internship where over the course of 4 weeks you’ll learn how to do everything you need to make your site stellar. Second, if you can do an internship there’s an 8 week course that covers the same content. Before you know it you’ll be rocking your own sales platform that cuts out the Amazon middleman!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with Spencer Haws!
  • [1:51] Details about stuff you’ll want to know for this episode.
  • [3:49] Why Spencer believes you need to move your success onto your own platform.
  • [5:45] When is the right time to build your own website property?
  • [7:59] The main goal for building your own website.
  • [9:35] Why keyword research is important and how to go for long tail keywords effectively.
  • [16:20] What should you look for when it comes to long tail keywords.
  • [20:37] Using top list posts to get backlinks and build your network.
  • [23:11] How to use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords.
  • [24:55] How Spencer would use the data inside Amazon.
  • [29:00] What you can do if you’re not a good writer.
  • [30:34] How to format the content you produce.
  • [34:10] Getting your content published: posting and scheduling.
  • [35:40] How to build backlinks effectively.
  • [40:41] Spencer’s new internship program to train people to scale websites.
  • [44:56] Spencer’s course to teach you how to build out your own website.
  • [47:12] Do these strategies still work today?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS240.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

A big part of launching any business is the fear you have to conquer because of the risk that’s inherent in starting a business. While the fear may be an obstacle, it doesn’t have to be such a big one. You can reduce the chances of failure (what you’re really afraid of) by checking out what’s already working in your product niche and duplicating those things for your product. On this episode Scott goes way outside his normal topics to show you how he looks at products and marketing approaches so that you can learn how to use other people’s hard work to make your own business less risky and more profitable.

How to use Amazon and eBay as incredible marketing research tools.

Most of the time Scott is talking about Amazon as a sales platform - and that it is. But you may not have considered that Amazon’s setup is also designed in a way that you can use it to research product ideas and market trends. On this episode Scott talks about how you can use reviews, data, and the “also bought” section of Amazon, eBay, and other platforms to make smarter decisions about your products and business.

Pay attention to the customer experience you have relating to products you buy.

When you buy any product - from Amazon or even your local Walmart - you should pay attention to the way the company has positioned your buying and follow up experience. Is the packaging appealing and cool? Does the verbiage on the package give you clear instructions? Does it encourage you to submit contact information so you can receive more from them? Does it offer you other ways you can benefit from your product or receive more information? Scott has begun observing these kinds of things and it’s given him all kinds of ideas for his own business and products. What about you? Learn more on this episode.

Why you should intentionally buy your competition’s product.

One of the best things you can do for your business is to know your competition. Not just who they are or what they sell, but also HOW they sell it and WHAT they do to follow up with their customers. The best way to do that is to become a customer. When you purchase one of your competitor’s products you’ll get to see exactly what they do to connect with their customers, follow up with them, offer them related products, and more. Then you can reverse engineer it to include those things in your process OR you can improve on it and blow your competitors out of the water. Find out more about tweaking your competition on this episode.

Don’t forget about print magazines and TV. They are great at marketing.

While you may never consider advertising your Amazon private label products on TV or in a magazine you would do well to pay attention to what advertisers on TV and in magazines are doing to sell their products. Advertisers have been using print and video for years and they really know what works. You can borrow their ideas and apply them to your promotions and advertisements to up your game. Scott goes through a ton of ideas for promoting and presenting your products better, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:07] This episode was sparked by questions from listeners.
  • [5:36] The importance of using Amazon.com and eBaby.com for data and insight.
  • [9:21] Using product reviews to refine products and build new ones.
  • [11:00] Buy a similar product and go through their customer experience.
  • [12:33] Search Google to find a product similar to yours and buy it through their website.
  • [15:32] Click a Facebook Ad for a similar product to yours and go through the process.
  • [24:16] Why you should pay attention to magazine advertisements.
  • [28:16] Opt in to somebody’s email list and observe their follow up process.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS239.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Amazon private label sales is one of the best ways to get started with online business. You don’t have to have any experience because there are many good hearted people like Scott Voelker who are eager to walk you through the ways you can get started with even a small amount of cash. This episode is one of Scott’s weekly “Ask Scott” episodes where anybody who has a question about sales on Amazon is able to ask their questions. This episode highlights listener questions about product categories, shipping costs VS storage fees, responding to bad product reviews, and using the keyword fields in the Amazon product backend wisely.

I’m not sure which categories I should choose for my private label product.

A listener asks a very good question today about product categories. It’s often the case that one product could legitimately belong in more than one category. When that’s the case, how do you go about choosing which category you should designate as your “primary” category. On this episode Scott answers the question and encourages the listener who ask it to focus on keywords and optimized listings more than the category - though he does give some tips on how to choose the most effective category as well.

Should I pay increased shipping or storage fees to house my products?

A TAS community member called in to ask Scott about his situation - he’s got a great product but in order to get his best price he’d have to order 2000 of them! He’d be saving enough money that it seems like a wise thing to do, but he doesn’t want to keep them at his home and doesn’t believe that Amazon would allow him to send in that many at once. He’s asking Scott’s advice on whether storing those products at some warehouse would make sense. Scott’s got his typical common sense answer to this one and you can hear it on this episode.

Can I leave comments or replies to negative reviews I get on my products?

A listener asks Scott if he is able to respond to the comments that are made to his products, and if so how? The tool you need to know about in order to do that is called Sales Backer (find it in this episode’s resource links) and it’s a great way to be active in the space surrounding your product and to do great customer service that can not only fix problems your customers are having but also get some of those negative reviews removed or changed. You can find out about Sales Backer and how you can use it on this episode.

I heard you talking about keyword duplication on product listings? Can you tell me about that?

There has been a lot of confusion about keywords and how they are used in the Amazon product listings, and for good reason. It appears from trials that various Amazon sellers have done that some of the conventional wisdom surrounding keywords may have been incorrect. On this episode you’ll hear Scott dig into the topic a bit in response to a listener’s question about how to use keywords. It’s a very helpful response so make sure you take the time to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:29] Shout out to the TAS Facebook community.
  • [4:10] QUESTION ONE: I’m doing a new product launch and I’m not sure how to choose the right category in light of competition, etc.
  • [11:11] QUESTION TWO: I’m having trouble figuring out if I should pay high shipping or buy more products and store them economically in the U.S. with arrangements to ship to Amazon monthly?
  • [18:14] QUESTION THREE: How can I leave comments on reviews left on my products using Sales Backer?
  • [24:04] QUESTION FOUR: I’m curious about keyword duplication in the Amazon backend. You and Chris discussed using Keyword Inspector to weed out duplicates. Can you expound on that a bit?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS238.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

Part of the difficulty in launching a private label product on Amazon is always the task of getting interested eyes on your product. You’ve got to be able to find out how to get your product in front of the people who are most likely to buy it. This episode is a chat with a TAS community member who took it on himself to find his own ways of doing that and he had some pretty significant successes. So sit back and relax, grab a cup of coffee and a pen and paper because you’ll want to take some notes about what Kent did to get attention for his products which in turn ramped up his sales and built an interested email list of customers right from the start.

Are you selling a product or the story behind the product?

One of the things today’s guest did masterfully to build enthusiasm for his product was to create a story (a true story) around the product and even the process of how it came to be. He highlighted the story of his own family and the need they felt for a particular type of product that didn’t exist - and followed up with a description of how they decided to create the product themselves. It’s a beautiful demonstration of what’s being called “story selling” and you get to hear the inside scoop on how Kent pulled it off, on this episode of the podcast.

Using Facebook to enlist the help of friends, family, and associates.

When Kent finally got his products ordered he wanted to start a pre-promotion phase to encourage interest in the product before he actually launched. He coupled the story behind the product’s creation with requests to friends and family (and others) to help him get a good start with ratings and reviews. He invited those interested in helping to join the mailing list to learn more about the product and get a discount when the product launched. He was able to build a list of 130 subscribers before he even had product in stock at Amazon. You can hear his creative solutions to product promotion on this episode.

The up and down of a product launch’s initial stages.

As Kent finally got his products listed on Amazon and began his launch he had an initial spurt of good sales and 25 reviews within the first week. But his sales began to slump fairly quickly once the first week launch was over. He was discouraged for a bit and quickly realized that the momentum of the launch was not something he could count on long term. But the fact that he’d already built a list of interested customers - and that his product was one that needed to be replenished over time - enabled him to stay encouraged and keep moving forward. That’s when he got the idea to do a different form of promotion that worked big time. You can hear him tell his entire story on this episode.

Don’t forget to try promotions through traditional media outlets.

After Kent’s initial launch week was over he started thinking outside the box to find additional ways to promote his products. One approach he thought of was to offer a “feature” story to the local newspaper. He sent a very simple email that briefly outlined the story in an appealing way and got a great response from the paper. His product and family’s story was featured in the Saturday edition and Kent got over 150 sales the day of publication. He’s excited to see where his product will - and you can hear all the details of the journey so far on this episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:02] The power of building an email launch list.
  • [1:49] A shout out to a member of the TAS Facebook Community!
  • [5:50] How Scott noticed what Kent was doing.
  • [7:20] Kent’s story of going from retail arbitrage to private label.
  • [10:50] How Kent chose his first product for private label.
  • [12:43] Kent’s process for collecting email addresses.
  • [16:40] The 6 part email sequence Kent used.
  • [18:30] Getting purchases and reviews.
  • [21:10] Asking people to purchase in the smartest way.
  • [22:50] How Kent did this the smart way by building relationships.
  • [24:25] Using his personal Facebook profile to publicize the product.
  • [31:33] How things proceeded after the launch.
  • [32:45] Kent’s traditional media approach through local newspapers.
  • [35:21] How Kent’ pitched the article to the local newspaper.
  • [38:27] Scott’s takeaways from this episode and process.
  • [41:50] Kent’s advice to those getting started with private label sales.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS237.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Once you get started doing private label sales on Amazon and other platforms you need to understand the importance of how you present your products and brand to those who are considering a purchase from you. That means packaging is a big deal. On this episode Scott is taking a look at the packaging of a product he recently bought because he thought it was done very, very well. He wants you to learn from some of the smart things the company did to increase his perception of their company and the product he purchased. It’s all on this episode.

Perceived value is one of the most important reasons to create custom packaging.

Scott recently purchased a lens for his iPhone to make his photos and videos pop a bit more. When he received it he was blown away by the packaging and all the little “extras” the company included with his order. On this episode of the Amazing Seller you’re going to hear about Scott’s experience and get some great ideas for how you can increase the perception people have of the products you are selling with some simple little tricks and added value. It’s a great, thought provoking episode so don’t miss it.

Does your product need some kind of “Help” materials included?l

Depending on what type of private label product you are selling you may want to consider adding some helpful materials like a “Getting Started” guide or insert card that leads the purchaser to a page on your website that demonstrates the product in use. Why would you want to do that? Because you want your customers to have the impression that you are a real business (and you are, aren’t you?). You’re erasing any doubt or skepticism they may have had with every little value add you can provide. A help resource is a great way you can do that.

 

Grab that email address with custom packaging.

When you think about creating custom packaging for your private label products you may only be thinking of logos, colors, shape, etc. But did you ever consider that you can place some kind of call to action on the packaging that drives people to your website? That’s a great way to encourage opt-ins to your email list so you can communicate directly to your customers. You don’t want to draw them away from Amazon for the purchase of your product, but you can offer them something more such as product registration, help guides, etc. That enables you to get them on your site where they can be asked for an email address. You can hear Scott’s thoughts on this great idea on this episode.

 

Getting into the private label world? You need this free workshop.

If you are interested in selling products online it’s always better if you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Scott Voelker has put together a free private label workshop that he runs now and again and you are invited to register. You’ll not only hear the 5 phases of getting a product for sale on Amazon, you’ll also get to be part of the Q&A session at the end of the workshop. It’s all done live via video so you can attend no matter where you are in the world. On this episode you can get the details of how you can sign up to be a part of that event. And don’t forget, it’s free.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:30] Why you might hear some odd sounds in this episode.
  • [4:29] Why the packaging to Scott’s recent purchase mattered to him.
  • [6:32] Right out of the box, don’t worry about custom packaging.
  • [9:45] Did you consider you could print things on the packaging?
  • [11:50] Basic packaging options available.
  • [15:28] Examples from a product Scott purchased.
  • [24:13] The importance of a call to action on insert cards.
  • [30:42] How to determine what content to place on your cards.
  • [22:08] What’s the best source for your packaging?
  • [34:44] Why you have to order a larger quantity for custom packaging.
  • [36:15] The power of bundling things together and the extras received.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS236.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

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