This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeff Lieber. Jeff is the founder of Turnkey Product Management, a boutique Amazon consulting firm, which helps brands at every level sell their products on Amazon.
Jeff started by selling his own products on Amazon and identified the fundamental strategies to help sellers to stand out among the competition and see their full potential on Amazon. TurnKey offers everything from Full-Service Amazon Account Management to Consulting to Amazon Ad Management. He’s been so successful that he’s been asked to work with some of Mark Cuban’s Shark Tank portfolio of companies and has helped clients go from $0 to $100k+ in one month in sales. His secret had been mastering Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising, key word research and optimization, listing optimization, and other areas that when put together give him and his clients a big advantage.
Amazon is one of the most accessible places to start or grow as an entrepreneur and I’ve asked Jeff to come on and share his secrets with you.
Jeff graduated college in 201o and got a job at a health care company in San Francisco. But, he had always been interested in entrepreneurship and been on the lists for some of the top internet marketers. In 2014, he saw an opportunity for Amazon where people where sourcing and launching their own products. That model made sense in that he could source a product and create a brand around it. He decided to take a leap and do it on the side. He started with “puppy training pads” of all things. He paid the bulk of his life savings for a container of it, $15000. He started out slowly but got better at marketing and soon had success. He then launched other products and after about a year, he had replaced his income and decided to focus on it full time.
A friend of his launched a product on Kickstarter that did well but were not having success on Amazon. They tapped Jeff to help, and he doubled their sales pretty quickly which led to more referrals and helped him build a consulting practice. He got overwhelmed and was stressed to the max. He decided to sell off the businesses and keep just Turnkey and focus on that, which he did.
Because he could focus, it really took off.
What does it take to become a successful Amazon seller and what are some of the best practices on how to do it well such as product sourcing and branding?
- The people that build brands around something really care about and are passionate about and working to bring something unique to the market, do well.
- Those that chase trends and hop around all time, don’t do as well.
- You need to be passionate about creating awesome products and brands.
- At the 11 min mark, Jeff gives an example of a client selling CrossFit products well.
- On the sourcing side, it depends on what your product is. Supplements for example are a huge market with a lot of niches – but that is not something you would source from China. You would want to get the products from the U.S.
- You can google suppliers for the products you want and find lists of suppliers.
- There are product sourcing consultants that can help you and do a lot of the work for you and negotiate on your behalf.
- Get as many quotes are you can, at least 5 suppliers and remember, it is all negotiable.
- Alibaba.com is great place to find suppliers for any product you want to source.
- You should request and check samples to make sure the quality is good.
- There will be winning suppliers that standout.
- Once you’ve picked one, then get the smallest minimum order you can negotiate to test with.
- Then use Amazon FBA by shipping the product to the warehouse.
- You are then in stock and can sell.
- You can have the best product in the world, but people can’t touch or feel it when shopping on Amazon. You need to create that experience for them on your Amazon product page.
- You have about 1 minute to convince a buyer to buy your product. An optimized page does this.
- #1 is amazing, professional photos for your products. Invest in this.
- #2 is customer reviews. Reviews are king on Amazon, so you need to plan on getting to at least 10 reviews as fast as possible. Get creative.
- #3 is having a real good title and sales copy. When you search on Amazon, all you see if the title, image, and price – so title is critical. Make sure to use all real estate available to you.
Share a case study of how you doubled sales with a client…
- A newer brand that was back by a former NBA player.
- They had done the work to make a good product and had gotten a number of pro-athletes to represent it.
- But, it wasn’t a popular product at the time.
- They hardly had an Amazon page. It wasn’t unique and didn’t showcase the product well.
- Jeff and his team optimized the page and listing and focused on the strengths of the client.
- They went through #1-#3 above and made sure they checked every box.
Any other tips?
- Once you have products listed and optimized and gotten reviews, it’s time to turn on Amazon PPC advertising.
- Most search results are ads. They don’t look like it because Amazon hides it well.
- Amazon is 3rd largest advertiser in the world now.
- The fast way to get visitors to your page is to run well-designed Amazon PPC campaigns and you can go very targeted and detailed.
- Start with a small amount and grow it over time.
- You need to do this and if needed, find an expert.
Any niches you see that are up and coming?
- The health space is very big – diets like Keto, Gluten Free and others are gaining popularity.
- People are niching down to the submarkets under these.
- Make sure you don’t just chase a trend; you need to be passionate about it.
- There are tools to assess potential for products on Amazon
- At the 34 min mark, Jeff explains this in more detail.
Anything else people should know about selling on Amazon?
- It’s an amazing place to be.
- Amazon could be your best sales channel.
- Don’t treat it lightly and just throw up a listing.
- Amazon gives a snowball effect where it compounds over time and can grow to a 7-figure business within a few years.
What surprised you most on your entrepreneur journey?
- The roller coaster and how extreme it can be.
- The challenges, the mess ups, and mistakes.
- It’s on you at the end of the day and you run into things you never expected.
- But that is balanced by the freedom you get and the great things that happen.
Best advice for entrepreneur’s starting out today?
- Thing carefully and take your time to pick the right one.
- Don’t chase something just for the money.
- Make sure you will be happy with what you are doing.
Best Quote: You can have the best product in the world, but people can’t touch or feel it when shopping on Amazon. You need to create that experience for them on your Amazon product page.
Jeff's Misfit 3:
- Life is short. We never know when it could be over, and it is precious.
- Make sure to enjoy each day. Meditate and take time to change your expectations to equal your circumstances around you. Realize how good you have it.
- Take a risk on what you want in life. It’s worth it.
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