BiggerPockets Business Podcast

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 83: Build Your 7 Figure Amazon Business Step-by-Step With Mike Begg

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Did you know that over 200,000 entrepreneurs currently sell over $100K per year on Amazon? Sales continue to skyrocket with no indication of slowing down anytime soon… and this week, our guest is here to help you get in on the action!

Mike Begg — co-founder of AMZ Advisers — started a side-hustle business selling on Amazon with three buddies while they all worked corporate jobs. Making mistakes and learning lessons the hard way in the early days, the team never gave up, continuing to learn and tweak their business model until they achieved massive success on the platform. Fast forward five years and tens of millions of dollars in sales, Mike and the team now run their business from the sandy white beaches of sunny Mexico, also helping other business owners generate over $1M in sales each while carving out their piece of the Amazon pie.

Mike lays out a step-by-step roadmap for identifying product needs on the platform, sourcing inventory, and building a stellar brand that speaks to buyers and generates sales. He talks about the right way to work with vendors overseas, achieving the right mix of pricing and volume, and determining when it makes sense to create additional sales funnels across multiple channels. And most importantly, he reminds us that anyone– with focus, dedication and a bit of expert assistance– has the opportunity to generate significant additional streams of income online.

Make sure you listen all the way to the end, when Mike gives us some excellent resources to learn more, right NOW.

Check him out, and subscribe to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast so you won’t miss our next show!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcast.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

J: Welcome to the BiggerPockets business podcast show number 83.

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Mike: So you’re focused on the e-commerce days. I don’t think he commerce just going anywhere. If anything COVID has just accelerated it. So I think there’s a huge opportunity for us here.

Welcome to a real world MBA from this. The school of hard knocks where entrepreneurs reveal, what

J: it really

Mike: takes to make it, whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there. This show is for you. This is BiggerPockets business.

J: How’s it going everybody. I am Jay Scott. I’m your co-host for the BiggerPockets business podcast. And I am here again this week with mrs. Carol Scott. How’s it going today? Carol Scott having

Carol: so crazy, much fun, shopping, shopping, shopping. So as you know, I don’t buy a whole lot of stuff, but there is exactly one week.

Every year when I buy essentially everything our family could possibly need. And then some, and that is this week between all the black Friday deals, the cyber Monday deals everything happening online. I am buying it all and thank goodness for all these amazing deals and thank goodness for online shopping.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

J: Yeah. And speaking of online shopping, we’ve got the, just the right episode for everybody this week. Our guest, his name is Mike beg and he is a founder of AMZ advisors. And their company basically helps people that are interested in growing scaling, building. Right.

And Amazon sales company. So they have dozens of clients who sell anywhere from 1 million to $10 million a year on Amazon. They manage over $10 million a year in ads and advertising on Amazon. And they manage over a hundred million dollars in product sales on Amazon. So Mike and his company know everything there is to know about selling on Amazon.

And they are here this week to help teach us everything we know to be successful selling on Amazon. So for anybody out there who has ever thought about starting an Amazon store, or maybe you have one and you’re looking to improve it or grow it or scale it. This is the episode for you. In this episode, we talk about evaluating products and deciding what products you should put in your Amazon store.

We talk about getting inventory. Do you actually want to physically buy inventory? Do you want to have it drop shipped? Uh, do you want to go and buy stuff on clearance from target and Walmart? Or do you want to get stuff manufactured in China? We talked about all the different options there. Then we talk about getting your product noticed in the store.

So how do you actually get customers to want to. By your product and how do they find your product. And then we talk about building reviews and building credibility for your store. Basically everything you need to know from day one, deciding on the product to getting sales and, and getting credibility and building reviews for your Amazon store.

And then we talked to Mike A. Little bit about his business AMZ advisors and how he’s basically grown his business. And he’s now working in Guadalajara, Mexico. So basically runs his business remotely. And we talked to him about how he has been able to do that for anybody that’s interested in Amazon. So make sure you listen to the very end because in the four more, Mike gives us some amazing resources.

In addition to his blog and his company, he gives us some amazing resources for where we can be learning more about building growing and scaling your Amazon store. Okay. Now, if you want more information about anything we discuss in this episode, make sure you check out our show notes at biggerpockets.com/biz show 83.

That’s biggerpockets.com/biz show 83 now without any further ado, let’s welcome. Mike, beg to the show.

Carol: Mike welcome to the BiggerPockets business podcast. We are. So looking forward to talking with you, you have been an expert in this space for such a long time. You’ve helped so many other business owners realize their dreams.

And so we cannot wait to dig in and hear what you have to tell us today. So thanks for being here.

Mike: Thank you so much for that introduction, Carol. I really appreciate it. And I’m really happy to be here on the BiggerPockets podcast and explain more of my experience, knowledge and how I help other businesses.

J: Well, we really appreciate you being here, Mike. So we’re going to get into a bunch of things today. We’re going to talk about your business and how you’re managing your business. You’re actually in Guadalajara, Mexico. Is that correct?

Mike: I am been here for three years. Awesome.

J: So we will talk about running a business remotely, and we're also going to talk about something that I know all of our listeners are very interested in, and that's basically Amazon businesses selling on Amazon and talk about like, just all the basics around getting started selling on Amazon.

But before we do that, I’d love to dig into your backstory. Can you tell us basically where you came from and how you got to the point where you are running a company that advises Amazon sellers?

Mike: Of course, I would love to share that story with you. So originally I am from Connecticut. I grew up there, went to college in Philadelphia.

Moved back to Connecticut after college, and then kind of started in the corporate space, started working in consulting at Deloitte. Then from there, I moved into real estate development with Sears. And while I was at Sears, you know, I realized that I really enjoyed the real estate development a lot more than I did the consulting.

But at the same time, I wasn’t completely happy because I didn’t really have my own business. And I wasn’t really making my own decisions. And I was still answering to someone else. So out of that came the idea of trying to start a business and myself and my two co-founders. We started looking at different ways to make money.

The first one was actually publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon to make money. So we still make royalties from those. And then from there, we started learning more about the Amazon platform and saw an opportunity to import products from Asia to sell them online. Well, actually, before that, we started buying products out on clearance in Walmart and target.

And selling those. And then once we raised enough money, that way we started importing the products from Asia. So we built two different brands, started selling those on the platform. Ourselves. One brand was wildly successful. One brand didn’t do so well. Yeah, it was just part of the learning curve. And then from there we realized that, you know, we don’t have any experience in the retail side.

This is just something we learned from listening to podcasts from taking courses. And we looked at all of these other major brands that were on the Amazon platform and we’re just being beaten by people like us. And we were like, wow, we can help. A lot of these brands sell more on the platform. That’s kind of where the idea for the agency came from.

And, you know, from there we just launched AMC advisors and we’ve been running it for, I think, five and a half years now. So,

J: so what does AMZ advisors do? What is your business model? Who are your customers? How do you help those customers?

Mike: Sure. As an agency work with brands and manufacturers and even individual sellers that are looking to increase their sales on the Amazon platform.

And we will help them deal with pretty much the entire Amazon life cycle. So we’ll help them do their SEO, do their graphic design for their content, manage the advertising, create their marketing strategies, help them with recommendations for off-platform advertising to bring more traffic to Amazon. And we’ve done that for brands.

From fortune 50 companies all the way to one person businesses. So there’s really a variety of different types of clients we’ve worked with. And it’s really just what the client’s goals are and to see whether it’s a good fit for working with us.

Carol: Excellent. So, Mike, I’m curious, you mentioned that you were doing some consulting at Deloitte, then you were doing a real estate.

State for Sears. I’m curious. Talk to me a little bit more about your business partners. Who are they? What were they doing? Did any of you, it sounds like you didn’t have retail experience, but you had this idea what was kind of the Genesis of all

Mike: that. Yeah. So it’s interesting. The limited retail experience I had was obviously at Sears, but the experience I had was figuring out what sear stores we were going to close and redeveloped to make more money.

So yeah. Not the right side of retail to be looking at, but, uh, myself, my two partners, none of us had the experience in it. One of my partners worked in recruiting as a sales manager and another partner worked in project management consulting. So our backgrounds weren’t really on the retail side. It was more just like we saw the opportunity.

We wanted to give it a shot as being entrepreneurs. And this seemed like a pretty low risk way to do it. And in a way that we can start generate revenue on the side from our main jobs to be able to support it. I mean, there was one thing that at least one thing that really pushed me to the entrepreneurship side was working for a company like Sears, which was.

More or less going bankrupt at the time, this was, you know, 2015. So we had just spun off a $2 billion REIT. We were, you know, we were redeveloping stores, closing stores as fast as we could. And I just saw the writing on the wall. It’s like, it seems like there’s job security working for a company that large and making him whatever salary it was.

But the reality is you don’t really have job security unless you’re making your own decisions. So that’s kind of why I went the entrepreneurial route instead.

Carol: Love that. And it sounds like, you know, and, and like you said, your company you’re very large, which at one point you would assume is a stable paycheck type of company.

Uh, watching it go bankrupt as you’re working, there is a really good motivator to, you know, to forge your own path. Right. So, You had mentioned that, you know, you were working for Sears at the time when you started. So I’m also curious too, was the foray into entrepreneurship, almost a side hustle for you and your partner.

So were you working full time and you got this launched and off the ground simultaneously?

Mike: Yeah, exactly. We started this all on the side because we were just looking at ways to, to make a little bit more money. I mean, the reality was we. Are all interested in real estate, even though I was the only one that had the background in it.

And we were looking for ways to start earning more money and start buying more properties so that we could have income on the side coming in from rent. So, yeah, we were nine to five jobs. Sometimes it was longer depending on what we were doing and get out of work six o’clock, seven o’clock, whatever it was, we’d all meet up and just start talking about how we were going to start selling more stuff on Amazon, whatever it was to start with.

Focusing on whatever the tasks were. So, I mean, we were working from seven 30, eight o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock, 10 30, 11 o’clock at night. Uh, just getting the side hustles going. So for us, we saw it as a really important way to just start making more money. We didn’t necessarily see it in the beginning that we were going to.

Turn into an agency and start running with it. That way, it just kind of came out of it. After we started learning more about the platform and just seeing where the opportunities were within the Amazon ecosystem.

J: So walk us through how you came up with that first product. So you said you were buying clearance stuff from, I think you said Walmart.

I mean, what led you to say, okay, I’m going to pick this particular product. How did you end up branding it? How did you like, just, just walk us through, like, go back to that. That you’re, you’re just starting up your Amazon store. You just come up with this idea. What’s the thought process for like selling that first item?

Mike: Yes. So, yeah, like you mentioned, we were just going to stores, I think as just a little funny thing, I find, I think we hit every target and Walmart within the tri-state area. Just buying everything on clearance. Sell it, but yeah, it comes from just doing more research and we learned that there were certain tools that could help us project.

What sales were on Amazon. One of those is jungle scout. There’s a lot of other ones like helium pen, viral launch, and they can all help. You do some product research. So you can learn more about what products are actually selling. We did a lot of research. The first product we looked at was actually an umbrella and the sales numbers for umbrellas on Amazon are crazy.

So we were like, we just saw the sales numbers. We were like, wow, this is doing millions of dollars a month. Like let’s sell umbrellas. And that was, this is obviously the brand that didn’t work as well. We kind of just got, we stopped the numbers and like our, we were like deer in the headlights. We were like, Oh, we gotta do this.

Like, we invested money into it. We came up with the name of our brand, which I still really love the name. And we had an awesome logo. It was coast to coast. We were going to be like an outdoor sporting goods. Brand umbrellas were just like the first foray. I don’t remember exactly how he came up with it, but a lot of brainstorming.

And then, you know, GABA logo from, I think Fiverr or 99 designs for a hundred bucks, whatever it was sent it to China, got everything, got the logo, put on everything and started selling it. And we realized that while the sales numbers are fantastic, we didn’t really pay attention to what the margins were going to be.

And the pricing points for, for umbrellas on Amazon are super competitive. So. We were making, we thought, you know, we, we under estimated what we thought we would be making. So we ended up making maybe anywhere between a dollar and like 50 cents per sale. And then once we started doing advertising, we realized that we’re really not making any money on this.

So we kind of had to wind that brand down, but we didn’t give up on the platform. We were like, all right, let’s, let’s do this again. We found a better opportunity for us. It was in the art, art supplies, uh, space. We launched another brand called crown art, which we later sold, uh, after doing a bunch of after growing to sales for a few different product lines.

And yeah, I mean, that was kind of our foray into how we started selling products on Amazon.

Carol: I love this and I I’m drawing a big comparison. Jerry, are you thinking the same thing? This story sounds like a lot of the real estate investors that we talk to, right. They want to get their feet wet. They’re like, let’s just.

Figure this out, let’s go for it. And then they don’t necessarily, you know, figure out the right thing the first time around. But the point is you learn so, so, so much by going through all those first steps and figuring out that manufacturing, that, getting everything labeled in logo and doing the advertising and all your ad spend in that is what launches you into doing something that does become the right choice.

Right.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, for me, I think that’s the way it works. You just kind of get into something and just, you learn more, more and more you’re doing it. Like I had no idea about import in customs and all these things or freight shipping or, you know, order fulfillment, none of us do. And the first time you really learn is when you get a customs bill that you weren’t expecting for some tariff that you didn’t even know existed on colored pencils, for example.

And yeah, I mean, it’s a learning curve. We need to get in there and start doing it. And it depends also how much of an investment you want to put into the platform as well. I mean, if you really want to build a brand, you’re talking about a lot more than just putting something on Amazon. You’re talking about building an audience, building a community off of the platform, building a website off of the platform, looking at different sales channels to maximize your growth.

That’s one option that you can also just come up with a few products and start putting them on the platform. And, you know, maybe you’ll make a couple thousand dollars per month per product. It’s not going to be wild, but it really depends on what your goals are and what you want to put the amount of time and effort you want to put into it.

J: Yeah. I know a lot of people that sell on Amazon and that’s kind of the nice thing is that you can decide on your scale. You can, you can build a brand. I mean, you can be the next, I don’t know, Nike where whatever, if you want to. Find a product niche and build a brand. You can build one brand with one kind of product and become a million or 10 million or a hundred million dollar company.

Or you could just sell clearance stuff from target and Walmart and sell 50 of this and a hundred of that and 200 of that and, and have a lot of different products, not necessarily under one brand, it’s kind of like you can mix and match and you can kind of define your own, your own path. So you’ve talked about a number of things here when it comes to.

Actually doing this though, there’s the product selection. There’s the actually getting inventory. Whether you’re going to buy the inventory yourself, whether you’re going to get it from China. I know there’s something called drop shipping where you can have somebody else basically cold the inventory.

You never touch it. And they send it right to the customer. Um, I know that we can talk about this as well. I know that Amazon can also hold your inventory in their warehouses. Sell it. Um, and then there’s the whole marketing and sales and building a community. And the thing that a lot of us don’t think about, we think if we just put it out on Amazon, um, if it’s a good product, people just start buying it.

But I think what would a lot of us quickly realize is that you need the marketing, you need the sales, you need to build the, uh, the, the brand awareness. So I’d like to talk about each of those separately in a little bit more detail, let’s start with the product selection. So you obviously learned. That there are products that sell and products that don’t sell, but not necessarily the highest volume products like umbrellas.

You went on the site, you saw wow, millions of umbrellas being sold. All these people doing it. And your first thought was great. That’s a great product to sell. Yep. But what you realized was the high, high, high volume stuff is also low margin. There’s, there’s lots of competition. So it’s basically people willing to take pennies in profit on each sale.

I assume the opposite is true as well. If you go really low margin that says there’s no demand for something, you probably won’t sell a lot. So it sounds like the right products are the ones. In the middle there, they ha they have good demand, but not a lot. Can you talk to us a little bit about like what we should be looking at when we’re trying to decide on a product, how we should be evaluating whether a product might be something good to sell on the platform?

Mike: Sure. And I think, again, this is a lot of this is going to be personal preference. So there are a lot of sellers that I know that have a specific, I guess I’ll call it a rule set when they’re approaching selling a product. So, you know, they’ll sell a product. They’ll try to get it to the point where one third of the sales is coming from advertising.

Two third of sales coming from organic. And if they hit that point and can’t get above it, then, you know, they’re, they just stop on that product and then go onto new product lines. That’s the approach they take. But when it comes to the scale and the amount of sales, it could be all over the place. You can be doing a hundred units a month, it could be doing a thousand units a month.

You know, there’s, there’s a wide variety of that. That rule set will apply to. So when you’re doing your research, you really want to find a niche. And there’s a couple of things that I always look at when I’m doing my niche research. One of them is just the reviews. So if you have competitive products that have thousands of reviews, it’s going to be more difficult to compete with them within the Amazon ecosystem, because

J: they

Mike: have so much social proof already built up.

But, you know, you’ll find people that come in. Onto the platform and start doing sales with a few reviews. All right, great. Maybe they had really good SEO. You don’t know what they’re doing outside of just that review space. They could be driving traffic from another website, Pinterest, social media, whatever it is.

So that’s another thing that you really need to consider. Like you don’t know what else is going on in the space, other than the numbers that you can just see. So for me, I would say a good rule of thumb is if your competitors have, if you’re a top 10 products selling on page one, Have over, I would say 200 reviews.

It’s probably going to be more difficult in that space. The price point. You want to make sure that there’s not a big difference in price points. So, you know, if someone is selling at $11 and everybody else is selling at $25. That’s probably going to be a red flag because customers are probably going to start buying yeah.

Lower priced item. And there’s not really a way you can compete with that. I’m not sure really going into the brand building and the brand awareness and, you know, off platform strategies. That’s a different story, but those are probably like two of the things I would look for the most when it comes to the actual volume of sales.

It’s just a matter of what you feel I’m comfortable with. You. You could be selling a, a heavy item that, you know, ways. 20 pounds or whatever, and those aren’t as popular on the platform, but maybe that 20 pound item sells for $250 and they sell a hundred a month. So great. Like now you just made $25,000 in sales, like that’s fine.

A hundred, a a hundred units a month. Is more than enough to make the money you want. If you’re doing the product research and identifying the right products to sell properly.

Carol: Awesome. So let’s say that, you know, I decided I want to be an Amazon seller and I’ve worked with you and identified what that product might be.

I’ve done all my research, done my homework. Look for other ways to market. Off of the platform and so on. How do I go about getting inventory? Do I buy it, fulfill it myself? Do I shop clearance racks to find it? Do we FBA? Do we do drop shipping? Just, can you give us an overview of what my options would be and kind of the pros and cons of each of those options?

Mike: Of course, well, the first one that you, that we started with and that you kind of mentioned there was what’s called retail arbitrage, or essentially going to stores and buying stuff on clearance, and then reselling it online. That is probably the lowest hurdle to get through. But it’s also very difficult at the same point at the same time, because you’ve got to make sure your price points on Amazon and what you’re buying for.

It gives you enough margin to actually make any money on it. For example, we started selling a lot of electronics goods that we were buying on discount. At target and Walmart. And I remember the first product we sold was actually an internet router. And we ended up making like 50 bucks on it between because we were just arbitrage the price in the store and the price that was selling for online.

So again, that’s the lowest hurdle. It’s more difficult now, although there are still a lot of people that do it and actually make a full-time living from doing that. I think there was an article in the New York times, a few years ago about digital retail arbitrage. People are no bad nomadic retail, arbitrage, people that were going around the country, buying stuff from clearance and then selling it on Amazon.

That’s the first model. Another one that Jay mentioned was drop shipping. And that’s not one that I am particularly familiar with. I don’t really use it and I don’t really recommend it to my clients. But essentially it was drop shipping. You are putting a product up for sale, and then you are buying. Once you get an order for that product, you’re buying the product from the manufacturer, the supplier or the retail store, whatever it is.

And then you’re spending it to the end customer. That is a very difficult model on Amazon. It doesn’t really work that well. If I’m, you’re going to get very, very niche. And there’s not a lot of, not a lot of other product options for a particular search term that may work, but you’ll, you will see that sometimes.

And, uh, arbitrage is between the us and the Mexico marketplace, for example. So you’ll see that something in the U S maybe costs, uh, let’s say a hundred dollars to make it simple. Something in Mexico might cost $250. So that same product might cost $250. So they will buy it in the U S ship it down to Mexico, deal with the shipping, the customs, everything else.

So then make the spread on it. That’s common. That’s another way to do the drop shipping within the Amazon platform. A third way would be to sell it on another platform like eBay and then have listed at one price, buy it from Amazon and have it filled directly from Amazon. Although Amazon has cracked down on that, it’s a lot more difficult to do now.

That is, those are two of the easier models, but they’re the two that I don’t really recommend. The way that we built our brands is really from importing, from China. And for doing that, we, we started with a product research. We identified where we want it to be what niches we wanted to be in. And then we started reaching out on Alibaba to manufacturers in China that were manufacturing, whatever the product was.

We were looking at. And we’d reach out to probably five or six. There’s an entire script you can put together to try to sound more professional, even though it’s your first time doing it. I’m sure they can probably see through it by now, but I don’t know. Maybe it works. I’m not sure, but anyway, it’s just a conversation and it seems like such a crazy concept to be buying products from another country and bringing it into the U S to sell.

But at the same time, it’s just, it’s not that crazy because. You’re just not familiar with it yet. Like these companies in China are already used to working with Americans or foreigners that are buying the product, importing it. They can handle the entire process from, you know, putting the logo on the product, making sure the packaging is the way you want applying UPC, barcodes, whatever it is, whatever you need them to do, they can do it.

So it actually, it sounds like a crazy concept, but it’s pretty, pretty straightforward to buy the inventory from China. The biggest issue typically is dealing with. Uh, trusting the manufacturer that whatever you’re paying for, you’re actually going to get Alibaba has Astro. So you can put money into an escrow account.

And then once you actually have the product sent, the manufacturer can get the money from them from the escrow. So, you know, there’s ways to protect it. Obviously it’s a big risk, but at the same time, you know, it’s just the way the business is kind of done. So. If you are going to go that route and start importing from Asia, you know, that’s that, that is a typical process to reach out to Alibaba.

There’s other platforms like Thompson, uh, where you can go and find manufacturers in the U S and you want, if you want, or Mexico, Canada, wherever it may be. But yeah, I mean, that’s, it’s just starting the conversation with them. They’re probably gonna figure it out quickly. That’s your first time. But at the same time, they’re, they’re a business they’re just looking to do business.

So they’re there to help you. They’re there to make sure you’re getting what you want and they want you to keep buying from them in the future. So it’s not really that strange once you start doing it. It’s just that first time getting over that hurdle.

J: That that’s a great overview. So basically retail, arbitrage drop shipping or importing.

I’m sure there are others, but those sound like kind of the three big ones, obviously for two of them, retail, arbitrage, and importing, you have. You didn’t have your own warehouse, so you have to be able to store stuff yourself. If you have, if you have inventory as opposed to drop shipping where you don’t have to have the inventory, I do have a question about the retail arbitrage though.

And I’ve always wondered about this. What are the legalities around going and buying a product? Like let’s say I walked into a shoe store and I bought a pair of Nike shoes brand new. Can I just put that on. Amazon and sell that myself or their trademark or licensing or certain other issues I need to be concerned about

Mike: as the actual person doing it.

No, there’s really not much. You need to be aware of or afraid of. There are things that exist called reseller agreements and Nike will have reseller agreements with all of us. All its distributors. Uh, the stores, whoever it may be, that’s actually selling the Nike product saying that they can’t, someone else can’t resell the product, but the enforceability of it is nearly impossible.

And Amazon also won’t enforce it. So if you are, for example, buying a pair of Nike shoes and then putting them up on Amazon, no one can really say anything to you. So the blowback is very limited. There’s really not much that can happen at all.

J: Very cool.

Carol: Okay. So next step of the process, Mike. So we’ve identified the product.

We’ve figured out how we’re going to bring it in from wherever whoever’s manufacturing it in China or wherever. Talk to us more about how we make that product successful on Amazon. So you mentioned earlier, it’s all about. Things like building communities and maybe having offline websites, maybe selling on other parts in addition to Amazon.

And of course, I’m trying to position this. Um, you mentioned art supplies earlier. We have two little boys and they’re always needing art supplies for school projects. And so there are a couple brands that I suspect. Kind of grown on Amazon. And I think about the fact that yes, when you click on there, their ad or whatever, it does take you sometimes to a platform that’s off Amazon.

So I’m just, I’m thinking of all of these different parts of the ecosystem to be successful on Amazon. Can you walk us through like a big picture of what that all encompassing solution looks like?

Mike: Yes. It’s a very, very big picture. If we’re going to start. Well, essentially what we’re talking about is building a sales funnel for e-commerce or building a sales on a specific for Amazon.

And what it starts with is just by doing your SEO. So create, so doing your keyword research, identifying what keywords are the most relevant for your product, which have the most searches per month. And then working that, those keywords into content on your. Your product listing page into the title, the bullet points, the product description that featured his main keywords, and you want to place the keywords in order of importance throughout the listing.

So the most important one should be in the product title. The next most important ones should be within the bullet points. After that, the product description, you can also put keywords in the backend of your listing. So you want to make sure that you’re, you’re using all the keywords that you see as the most relevant, and you’re putting them in the right places.

To optimize for the SEO side. That is how people are going to find your product organically. And just by doing that, depending on certain niches, you may be able to start driving sales pretty easily. It just really depends how competitive this space is. Once you start there, the next aspect you need to focus on is the actual visual content you have on your listing.

So. Yeah, we’re moving more and more to a mobile shopping experience first for pretty much every shopper. And the first thing that you see when you go to the Amazon page on your phone is you see the product photos. So making sure that your content photo content is echoing a lot of the copy that you have throughout your listing.

So instead of, if you say a bullet point is let’s say this crayon works. This crayon will never run out. For example, something crazy like that, making sure that that is highlighted within one of your product photos. So when someone’s just browsing there, they’re checking the photos first. They see that bullet point.

I’m like, Oh, that’s interesting. So like maybe they want to buy the product. When you have good visual content on your Amazon product page, that’s, what’s going to lead to the best conversion rates when people actually come to the page. So I think everyone’s probably been to some Amazon page where you see the photos are shot in someone’s, you know, they have a crappy background sign, even a white background.

It looks like it was shot in someone’s garage. The trust that the customer has when they see that they’re going to see it and be like, this isn’t a real product, or this isn’t a reputable company or. That right alone is going to pretty much preclude them from buying your product. So making sure you have the right visual content and just basic product photography is going to make you look way more professional.

It’s going to help you increase your conversion rates and going to create more trust from the consumer before you actually have the social proof. In the form of reviews, which brings me to the next step is getting your product reviews within the Amazon platform. There’s two different tools you can use.

One is called early reviewer program. The other is the Amazon vine program, and those can help you get the initial reviews. When a shopper is on the Amazon platform, the reviews are the stars that show up right next to the product at the top, or one of the first things they look at. So they want to make sure that other people have purchased the product.

They enjoy it as well. If you have a bad review rating or a questionable one, they’re probably going to go actually go down to the reviews and read them and see what the problems are. Social proof is a huge part of the Amazon platform. And again, it’s going to help you with the conversion rates. So you want to make sure that you have a quality product.

You don’t have product effects. You know, you actually are selling what you’re describing in the listing. That’s a big problem. If you’re not. If you’re selling something, that’s, doesn’t have the features you’re saying it does, you know, that’s going to lead to negative reviews. So building that social proof is another way.

And that whole three segments that we just talked about is what Amazon calls retail readiness. So what retail readiness means that once you have those three things optimized, you’re ready for advertising. So within the Amazon one platform, once you, your retail, your listing is retail ready. You want to start running advertising, and you have a variety of different advertising tools you can use.

But within that sales funnel, we’re looking at the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. And each ad type corresponds to a different part of that funnel. So when you are first starting out, you want to build out the bottom of the funnel. So people that are actually already searching for a product they intend to buy.

So you build the, you create those ads to build out the bottom of the funnel. So it shows up on whatever search terms they’re looking for. Middle of the funnel is they’re probably considering other competitors products. You want to get them to your page so you can get them to consider that that’s another ad type.

And then top of the funnel is obviously brand awareness. So how are you going to make people aware of your brand and just within the Amazon space? That’s another ad type they have. But brand awareness. Isn’t just limited to Amazon. You can also build brand awareness outside of the platform. So you can do that through social media.

You can do that through Google ads on, on searches, whatever it may be. There’s a lot of different ways to get people into that sales funnel. And that just that’s just specifically talking about Amazon. This entire concept can be expanded on how it fits within your entire business, because. When we think about Amazon 69% of all online searches for products start on Amazon.

So Amazon is actually a massive brand awareness tool. So if you can figure out a way to leverage Amazon, to build brand awareness, and then get these people to your own website. Now you're controlling the whole sales funnel. You're building an audience outside of Amazon that you can use for retargeting pushing new products in the future.

So, I mean the sales funnel that you need to build for whatever you’re selling online is extremely important. And it’s just a matter of scaling it over time as you start to grow your business.

J: Wow. This is awesome. So it’s funny. Um, I mean, we, we run several businesses and I’ve never sold on Amazon and I always assume that it’s, it’s a real business and I think too many of us just assume, okay, you can make a quick buck by going and you throw stuff on Amazon and hopefully people start buying it and you get rich and, and.

You walk away. Um, but obviously that’s not the case. Um, and I think you’ve just laid that out really well. I mean, you literally need to be an expert in so many different areas or you have to find experts who can help you in so many different areas, building your sales funnel. Great SEO and writing copy.

I mean, that’s, that’s an art in and of itself. Um, visual experience, great pictures, great creating a great look and feel so that your, that your users are your potential customers. I think this company is reputable, the product looks good and entices them, um, reviews. So I think we I’d love to dig down on this a little bit more.

Uh, but reviews is a huge one. I mean, uh, from what I’ve heard, like that can be the make or break for a lot of, a lot of. Amazon sellers. Um, and then the whole advertising piece. So basically an advertising at different point to advertising to build the brand advertising, to, to get people, to buy the product advertising, just to get people in your funnel.

So it really is, there are a whole lot of things. I mean, I guess that’s the nice thing here is that we always worry about, we want the easy way, but the easy way is never good because then everybody’s doing it. And so this is one of those things that it’s difficult. I’m sorry, it’s not difficult. It’s simple.

It’s not easy. It requires a lot of hard work. And if you’re willing to put the work in nothing here is rocket science, it’s just hard work and consistency. Right?

Mike: Exactly. I mean, there are plenty of products that you can still sell where you’ll throw them up and you know, maybe there’s not enough competition yet.

So you’ll, you’ll start selling that way. But the complexity that Amazon has has is just continued to grow over time. As they roll out new advertising tools, no ad new ad placements, new other marketing features, whatever it may be. But if you understand the concepts of building a sales funnel, you can easily, you can pretty easily figure out how all these pieces fit within that sales funnel and how you’re going to leverage that to grow your, your sales online or grow your audience outside of Amazon, whatever it may be.

So, yeah, I think that’s a good way to put it. I mean, it’s. Simple enough to sell, but yeah, you do need to actually invest the time and the money into it to really get it going in the right direction.

J: Awesome. So let me ask you a question. Cause we mentioned, um, we mentioned reviews and I’ve always heard that reviews are so, so important on Amazon.

I mean, I’ve literally seen companies that have sent me stuff and they’ve said here’s a little. Free extra gift. If you’d leave us a review, I don’t know if that’s legal or not, but can you talk to us a little bit about how important good reviews are or reviews in general, how we go about getting them if we’re a new business.

And because I know that that ultimately I’m not going to buy from a seller that has two reviews, but everybody is going to start there. So how do we kind of bootstrap that, that whole review thing when we’re starting out.

Mike: Yeah. I mean, what you just said is a prime example of it. You’re not going to buy from a seller that only has two reviews and that’s true for pretty much everyone that’s buying online.

They want to make sure that the product is real, that it, it works. You know, they can trust that they’re spending their money on something that’s good. And getting reviews is one of the things on Amazon that’s gotten way harder over time. Initially, there were a lot of different ways you could do it. You could get what was called and you can still get them technically an unverified review versus a verified review.

So. Anyone could go on there and leave a review. You could pay someone in the Philippines to leave a review for your product, whatever it was. Then Amazon cracked down on that. There were review exchanges. There were groups on Facebook, and I think there still are where you can find other people that are looking for reviews, but that our products and, you know, you buy each other’s products, leave a review, whatever it may be.

Then that’s been cracked down on, so the best ways to do it right now is just do it by the book and do it by the way that Amazon’s asking. I mean, you gave the example of a product insert saying you can get a free gift. That’s technically against Amazon’s terms of service. So as a seller, you can get, uh, kicked off the platform for that.

Getting those initial reviews is really through using those two programs. I mentioned a little bit earlier, early reviewer program. It costs about $60 and we’ll get you your first five reviews. So Amazon will incentivize people that have purchased your product. Uh, to leave a review and, you know, you’re just paying the 60 bucks to get those reviews because they realized the value of it as well.

Like they want as many products as possible to be selling on the platform. So helping you get those reviews is important to them. The next one is the vine program, which can get you up to 35 reviews. And I can’t remember what the price of that is right now for a while. It was free on seller central. I’m not sure if it still is.

But that can get you beyond those, those first 15 reviews to get to that, that retail readiness state that Amazon wants. And I mean, in the short term, you might have to start advertising before you’re in that retail readiness space, but just to get those reviews and get those sales and build, build it up over time.

And your advertising performance might not do as well. You might not get as many sales because of that, but yeah, reviews are massive on the platform and now ratings are another thing that’s considered within it. So if you didn’t actually leave a product review, if you just rated a product, give it four and a half stars, five stars, whatever those will actually be calculated into the overall product score.

So that score alone is typically enough to get to convince a consumer, whether it’s a by-product or not.

J: That’s great. I love thank you for that overview. Okay. I do want to talk about you and your company, how you built your company, but I do have one more question because this is another thing that I hear discussed all the time.

Can we just sell on Amazon? Can I just create a brand and. Just sell on Amazon or do I need my own website? Do I need an eBay store? Do I need a physical brick and mortar? Obviously I don’t need it, but do I want a physical brick and mortar location? What are the pros and cons of just being on Amazon versus having other sales channels?

Do the margins change? What should we be thinking about there?

Mike: The question you need to be asking yourself is what are you trying to achieve? So if you’re just trying to make money on the side, do a little side hustle. You don’t need to go through all these steps. If you’re trying to build an actual business to support yourself, then yeah.

You need to take it a little bit more serious. And if you’re trying to actually scale a business, then yeah, you need to look at. Beyond just one sales channel. So we, if we’re jumping into that side hustle spot, you can just create a logo, throw it on a product, start selling it on Amazon. That’s pretty much the most simple way to do it.

You could get intellectual property if you want it to like copyright and then get into brand registry. Being in brand registry gives you access to certain tools within the Amazon platform. Like one of the ad types you get. Demographic reporting as well as some other comparable items reporting and a bunch of other reports that can help you see what your competitors are doing.

But if your goal is just to make a little money on the side, then it’s probably not going to be that important to you. If we get to that next space where we’re talking about. Trying to support yourself full time from Amazon, then that’s kind of, it’s possible, but you need to have the right rules in place to do it.

I mean, it’s very easy to get carried away with your advertising, trying to grow your sales and actually you weigh all your margin. Having that rule set that I talked about earlier, that someone I know that does, you know, 33% paid per sales, 66%. Organic. If they don’t hit that Mark, they scrap the product move on to something else.

So that’s another approach to take the goal there, being that. What if I build 10 products that are making me $3,000 a month in profit? All right. Now I have enough money to support myself, probably even hire someone. Or, you know, support my family, whatever it may be, then that next step is all right. I really want to build a brand.

My goal is to eventually sell something, uh, you know, have an exit in some way, get bought up by a company like , which has a billion dollar valuation for pretty much buying Amazon brands. That is a long-term play. It’s not just looking at the Amazon platform, it’s building your other sales channels, probably building your own website, figuring out how to actually increase the size of your audience.

So you can, you can drive more sales through your list instead of having to, you know, if they purchase through your website, your margins are a lot higher than buying through Amazon or eBay or whatever others, the sales channel you may be using. So, you know, that’s the end goal? How can I maximize revenue?

How can I maximize brand awareness? How can I build the largest audience to sell to so that I can create revenue over time and create a higher value for my business. So that is looking at it across all sales channels. That is probably the most work. It’s the, like I said, it’s the longest timeframe. But again, it depends on what you’re looking for, whether you want to do that, whether you want to invest in it, whether you just want to make a little money or whether it’s just the side house before you like, just throw it up there and just see what happens.

I mean, those are different approaches you can take and it’ll come down to what your goals are.

J: So, so basically what you’re telling us is the obvious. So selling on Amazon is a business, just like any other business, you can do it a half-ass you could do it full, full time and make a ton of money or anything in between.

But you’ve got to understand inventory. You’ve got to understand manufacturing. You’ve got to understand selling. You’ve got to understand marketing. You have to understand how to create a P and L you have to understand fulfillment and operations. Uh, you have to understand supply chains. You have to understand basically everything you have to understand about a business.

You’re just using another platform as your marketing and sales channel.

Mike: Exactly. I mean, it’s very tough to learn all of that. And that’s why a lot of people outsource parts of their business. Like for us, they outsource to us the Amazon sales channel pretty much. They want us to drive e-commerce sales for them.

So you’re never going to be able to learn everything as a business. It’s obviously playing to whatever your strengths are. If you’re good at the marketing side, focusing on that, if you’re good at the product sourcing, focus on that. You’ll figure it out. Once you get into the business. And once you start just getting more comfortable with selling online importing products, whatever it may be.

And then once you know what your strengths are, just play to it. And you’re probably going to end up being successful in the long run. Excellent.

Carol: So on that note, there came a time. Mike, when you and your partners, you had become experts, you made a lot of money being really successful with your products on Amazon.

That clearly led you to say, Hey, We know what’s going on and we want to share the knowledge with other people. So can you talk to us more about how that whole transition happened? How did you transition your business to go from selling on Amazon, to additionally consulting other people on how to make that happen?

Mike: Well, I think it kind of goes back to something I said earlier and it’s that we wanted to have control of our own, our own destiny, I guess I would say. So we want to have our own business be our own bosses. Don’t have to answer to other people. And the reality is. When we were selling the brand, we actually had a fourth partner as well.

And it’s tough to. Support for people through selling a product online. I mean, it’s doable, but you need to achieve a certain amount of scale to really make it worthwhile your time. We, like, I literally just said, play to your strengths. Our strength was the advertising and the marketing and the SEO side on Amazon.

And we knew those were our strengths because every product we put up. Started selling right away, the advertising performed great. We just knew what we were doing in that space where we weren’t as great was the product sourcing. We had it she’s with delays with manufacturers. We didn’t know where to find, you know, what tariffs or restrictions that are on importing products.

So we lost product time there. We didn’t pick the most reliable manufacturer sometimes. So we also lost product lead times or whatever it may be. It’s just what our strength wasn’t. So once we looked at it more, we were like, Okay. Well, we know we’re good at this. We know, there’s a lot of people on Amazon that aren’t good at this.

So let’s start this agency. The first I remember driving out to long Island, I’m like I said, I’m from Connecticut to meet with someone. Who’s going to be our first client going into this massive warehouse. And this was the first time I’d ever been in a warehouse like this and there’s products everywhere.

And it all looks like chaos and I’m like, Like crap. Like how are we going to sell this stuff online? But once we started it, we realized that these are actually big problems for people. They don’t know how to sell the products themselves. So for us, we were like, all right, there’s a huge opportunity here.

And then it just evolved from there. And we started finding freelance opportunities on Upwork. And then from there, we started building out our website and started trying to drive traffic to our website through SEO, which is something I still do a lot of, a lot of content marketing on the video side and the blog side.

So. Yeah, it was just building the business out from there. We got more and more interest from people from the U S Canada, Europe, wherever it may be that we’re looking for these services and wanted to start growing their sales online. And I mean, yeah, it just kind of grew from there.

Carol: Awesome. So I’m loving this.

So you were able to start. You realized what your strengths were, you realized other people were selling on Amazon, but they weren’t able to sell on Amazon to the extent to which you and your partners have been able to. So talk to us more just about, I want to know more about the growth process. I want to know more about working with those people.

Partners, like, did your dynamics change with your partners when you were selling on Amazon versus this other whole Genesis of your business? How you select it? Just all about the partnership aspect of it and how that played into your growth.

Mike: Yeah. So I think it’s, it’s so interesting, obviously, I think in any way, business, again, you play to your strengths.

Like when you have different business partners, you each want to be able, you want to have business partners that compliment you or compliment your weaknesses. So. We have one of my business partners, Steve, he handles the business development side and the, the account, uh, the relationship management side, you know, he was a sales manager before this.

So it was only a natural evolution for him to kind of move into that role within the business. My other partner was doing project management and now he’s kind of handling our operations and our project side for a lot of our clients. I, and kind of, uh, the outlier in that, uh, I was doing real estate development.

I, for us, I do finance, I do marketing. I do some tech stuff for us. So like I kinda move around a lot, uh, have it wear a lot of different hats, but it’s something I enjoy as well. Like I really enjoy having different types of projects. Keep myself interested with different things all the time. So, um, as a partnership, it was just kind of a natural transition.

And again, this goes back to find playing to your strengths, finding what you’re good at and yeah. We did all of that for our business. And that helped us really grow over time. Instead of having three people, trying to fight over sales and four people, three people trying to deal with, uh, the, the account, you know, being in contact with the accounts in the beginning, we realized that that wasn’t going to work because we would have one email, the client would email the email and then no one would know who to, or how to respond.

So, you know, two people respond, no respond to email will get lost. Yeah, there was just a lot of things that didn’t work around that. And then we realized that all right, like as we grow, we really need to just specialize break things out and then handle things that. Our, our responsibility.

Carol: Love it. Love it.

So where are your partners now? Inside note listeners in case you didn’t catch this in the beginning, Mike is recording from his office in Guadalajara, Mexico. So with love to know how your expansion led you to open an office there, and whether your partners are all there with you now, or just what that whole part of your growth story looks like.

Mike: Yeah. So that’s interesting. When we were starting a business, we got to the point where we had, I wouldn’t say a significant amount of revenue, but we had revenue. We had money to support ourselves. It wasn’t a lot. But we made, we got to that point, we were like, all right, let’s just go all in on this. So we quit our jobs.

Uh, you know, we burned the ships. We weren’t looking back. We didn’t want to come back to the corporate world. That was like the most important thing, but we also weren’t sure how far we would be able to take this business. So at that point, we all moved down to Mexico, to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, to live at the beach.

And from there, we kept growing the business after about three or four months. No, the business was in a much better spot than where we were because now we were full-time. We had a lot more time to focus on things. We were pushing a lot harder to get things done. And, you know, the business grew a lot faster because of that.

At that point, I was kind of tired of being implied and I wanted to go somewhere else. I came to Guadalajara, which is actually where I met my girlfriend. And then I’ve been here in Guadalajara for three years. And then as the business continued to grow, we realized that we needed to build a team. And just being here in Mexico gave us a huge opportunity to build a team at a much lower cost than we would be paying in the U S to build a team.

So from there, we we’ve had an office here about two, two and a half years almost, but we have, like I said earlier, I think we have a 14 people in Mexico, but we also have people remotely in the us. We have four people remotely. We have one in Europe, who’s remote and one in China, who’s remote. So that’s just the way the business has grown in Mexico is kind of the launching pad right now.

My two other partners are in Mexico. One is in Mexico city. One is in Playa Del Carmen is still, but they do spend a lot of time in the U S and Connecticut where we’re all from as well. So.

Carol: So Mike, seriously, talk about living the dream, you and your partner. There’s just decided you’re going to expand globally in, in some regard and you just picked up and full on move to the beach in Mexico.

Like how amazing is that? Was that scary? Was it just like, no, it’s clearly the right thing to do. How did that thought process come about? And have you ever have ever looked back and said, no, this wasn’t the most amazing, perfect decision ever.

Mike: It’s it’s funny. So I think the way it originally came about is that we were all in corporate jobs that we hated in Connecticut.

And. The, the problem was that every winter it would get fruit, miserably cold. And like we ski. Yeah, that’s it that’s about it. But if you live in Connecticut, apart from going Vermont, which is three hours away to go skiing, there’s not much else to do. And we were finding out about these people that were remotely online from all over the world, traveling around.

And we were like, wow, that sounds amazing. So that was kind of the. The, the original idea that we had to go down the entrepreneurship route was it allowed us to travel, to see the world, just experience new things, be agency. It has allowed us to do that after I spent time in, after we all spent time in Playa Del Carmen, we all did a little traveling.

I went to Europe for about seven months, traveled over there. Uh, I’ve traveled throughout central America. My two other business partners have traveled in Europe and South America as well. So we kind of got to go around and just. Having, uh, something that was more enjoyable, something that we really wanted within our lives.

And I think that was just the, the, the Mo the very important thing for us.

J: So, That’s awesome. So before we jump into the four more segment, I want to hear what’s next for your company, but I also want to give you and our listeners an opportunity to get some number motivation as I like to call it, throw out some numbers for your business, how many, uh, how many, uh, companies or whatever you want to tell us, how many companies you’re working with, or how much, uh, how many, how much, uh, in total volume you, you manage every year.

Just give us an idea of the scale of your company and what you’re doing these days and where you’re headed.

Mike: Sure. So right now we have about 50 clients in our typical clients doing between 1 million and $10 million a year on Amazon. So, I mean, I think that gives you a pretty good perspective of the opportunity there is to build a business with an Amazon, actually achieve a lot of sales that there’s.

50. And that’s just my agency. There’s a lot of other agencies out there that are doing the same and I forgot the exact numbers, but I think it’s 200,000 sellers do over a hundred thousand dollars a year on Amazon. So there’s a huge opportunity for, for someone looking to start a business in that space.

J: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And you guys have something like a hundred million in total, in total volume per year that you guys manage with your clients.

Mike: Yeah, exactly. That’s a, that’s what our clients do on the platform. We manage about $10 million a year in ad spend for our clients. So yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of success for companies to achieve out there and it doesn’t matter if you’re not Nike or, you know, you don’t have this huge brand name.

You can build a disruptor brand. And it executed on it very well and start taking sales from a lot of other well-known brands that are out there.

J: That’s awesome. I absolutely love it. So what’s next for you guys, but, uh, are you just going to keep scaling and growing or any or anything, anything new on the horizon?

Yeah. I

Mike: mean, we’re going to continue focused on growing right now. Right now. We’re rolling out another educational product, a course. So we can actually increase the amount of people that we can teach about selling on Amazon us. We only have so much time ourselves to do consulting, but through a course, we can help a lot more people understand how the platform works.

Apart from that, we’re probably going to be looking at adding services within other spaces in e-commerce. We’re currently working with some clients on the Walmart side. And also helping some people build their Shopify stores and driving traffic there. So we’re going to continue to focus on the e-commerce space.

I don’t think eCommerce is going anywhere. If anything COVID has just accelerated it. So I think there’s a huge opportunity for us here.

J: Awesome. Well, I guess at some point we’re gonna have to have you come back and talk to us all about Shopify, because that’s a whole other segment of e-commerce that that’s really interesting as well, but for now I think we are at about 50 to 55 minutes in, so I think it’s time we get to that.

Segment of the show we call for more. And that is where we ask you the same four questions we ask all of our guests. And then the more part where we give you an opportunity to tell our listeners more about where they can get in touch with you, where they can find out more about you and your company and anything else you want to discuss sound good.

Of course.

Mike: Yeah. Sounds great.

J: Awesome. Okay. Well, I will start with the first question. What was your very first, where your very worst I’ll let you decide job. And what lessons did you take from it that you’re still using

Mike: today? Wow. I think. That’s such a hard one. I think my worst job was actually working in the Deloitte.

The biggest, it sounds great on paper, it looks great on a resume, but the reality is you have no time. You’re just constantly working. And the biggest thing that made me realize is that I value my time a lot more than the companies I worked for. So it’s important to find that balance or that work-life balance in my lips.

Carol: That’s awesome. And that is so true on paper. It looks phenomenal and you are living the life and living the dream and it’s all glitz and glam, but you’re like, no, let me own my time and do something. That’s more meaningful to me. Okay. Question number two, Mike, what is one piece of advice that you have for small business owners or new entrepreneurs that you haven’t shared yet today?

Mike: Well, I think I’ve touched on it a little bit, but obviously if you’re a small business owner and you have anything in the retail space, you really need to start investing in online or not even in retail space in general, you need to start investing online. Whether you’re running a business to business service, you need to start investing in your SEO and your content marketing, and just getting your name out there more.

If you’re running, you know, a retail product, a physical product business, you need to start selling more and more products online. I mean, there are an incredible amount of businesses that have gone bankrupt. Because of COVID because they didn’t have that online presence. Now, no one can go to their stores and they’re out of money.

They have inventory just sitting there. They can’t turn the inventory over into cash to pay their expenses. So take e-commerce more seriously. It’s going to be a huge route for your business to grow over time. And it’s extremely important to invest in right now.

J: Awesome. It’s amazing how many people haven’t figured that out yet.

Okay. Question number three. This is the question where I would normally ask you your favorite book, but I’m going to go a little bit different here because we’re talking about a very specific subject. So give us some of your favorite resources for anybody out there. That’s that’s listening to this thinking.

Okay. I want to get into to Amazon sales, um, and besides. Calling Mike beg and saying, Hey, I want to hire you guys. Or besides your course, what are some other resources, either books or websites or whatever, um, that, that somebody that wants to start out in this business could go to right now to, to get more educated.

Mike: For sure. Well, I mean, we put a ton of content out in our blog, but we actually learned from a lot of other websites that were already out there and Facebook groups. Um, there are a lot of communities on Facebook where you can learn from a lot of other sellers. We particularly learn from the amazing seller.

Uh, his name’s Scott Voelker. He runs up, he runs a podcast and has a, a Facebook group. His he’s been putting out podcasts. I don’t know, since 2014, maybe. So some of the older stuff is probably outdated by now, but I’m sure there’s a lot of new content he’s putting out there. Another great one is jungle scout.

Uh, Greg Mercer is the CEO I think is his title of jungle scout. And we he’s one of the people I was talking about that we saw traveling, working remotely. I remember watching some of his original podcasts. I think he was filming from, I dunno, it looks like a dungeon in Bali or something, but I mean, he was living in Bali and money online and we learned a lot from him as well.

So jungle scout has a lot of good resources as well.

J: Awesome. And your blog is, uh, w we’ll we’ll get there later, but I also want to do it now, since you mentioned it, AMZ advisors, what’s the, uh, what’s the link for the, your blog that has infinite

Mike: AMC advisors.com backslash blog, pretty straightforward. So it’s easy to find.

Good.

Carol: Awesome. Okay. So my fourth question, Mike, on this show, we’ve talked a lot about material stuff, like all the great things you can buy at Amazon as well as awesome experiences, right? You’re in Mexico, you travel, you talk about all your travel around the world and so on. So my fourth question just plays right into your life experience.

So what’s something along the way in your personal life or your work life or whatever that you’ve totally splurged on. And it was entirely worth it.

Mike: Oh, geez. That’s that’s a very tough one. Luckily this is something that I recently splurged on and the timing was almost perfect right before we went into all these locks, lock downs and shut downs.

Uh, my girlfriend and I just went on a two-week vacation, uh, to Spain, France, and Portugal. It was literally the end of February. Uh, we got back at the beginning of March and then after that, everything went into lockdown. So the timing was incredible because I don’t think I would have made it through however many months of lockdown it’s been now, if I didn’t have some type of traveler experience that I got to enjoy before,

Carol: seriously, that is impeccable timing and what a great adventure to kick off this whole crazy year.

So thank goodness for that.

J: Okay. So that was the four part of the four more now for the more part. Yeah. Of the four more. Can you give our listeners some more information about where they can find out more about you, your company, where they can connect with you or anything else you want to tell us?

Mike: Yeah, of course.

So if anyone’s looking to get started on the Amazon platform or is already on Amazon and starting and looking to start increasing their sales, obviously come to our website. It’s AMZ advisors.com. Right now we’re in the process of launching the course. If you sign up on our website, we’re offering a pre-sign up discount on anyone that actually buys the course.

Uh, we have a ton of great content on our blog, or if you want to contact us directly, go through the contact page, or just email me [email protected] So that’s the best way to get in touch.

J: Awesome, Mike, this was fantastic. I’m thrilled to have had you on, I mean, I know our listeners are going to love this episode so much actionable information, congrats to, uh, to you for the, uh, the building of the company, being able to work.

From Mexico. Um, and I look forward to having you back in a year or two and seeing what’s up.

Mike: I’m glad to be back Jay Carroll. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great talking to you and I really hope your audience enjoyed it as well. Awesome. Thanks Mike. See you soon.

Carol: Wow. Seriously, Jay, I absolutely love guests like Mike, who really give us an almost behind the scenes insight into how businesses work.

Right? So there’s these things we all take for granted these Amazon products with. Different brand names and stuff on them. And you just kind of forget you take for granted the fact that it was a group of people who decided, huh, there is like a market need here and I’m going to grow out this business on Amazon and just make it work.

And I love that he was. So open and sharing so many steps in how to make that happen. And then of course, absolutely loved his story at the end about how he and his partners were able to take that expertise to help so many other people so that they’re now able to be living their dream in Mexico, traveling the world and growing their business, helping lots and lots of other people.

J: Absolutely. And you mentioned a group of people behind every brand. Well, the cool thing is sometimes it’s not even a group of people. It’s just one person. And that’s the nice thing about online commerce. There’s nothing stopping any of us from building a business as big as we possibly want, if we’re willing to put in the time and the energy and the work.

So love this episode, love the basically step-by-step to get us started in the Amazon selling world and love his story for his company as well. Anyway, I think we are good this week, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning in. Hope you have an amazing rest of your week and we will be back next week with the next episode of the BiggerPockets business podcast.

She is Carol.

Carol: Now go get some experts to grow your business so you can run it from the beach today. Yeah, baby, bring on the steel drums and the margaritas, Palm trees and sunshine. Everybody have a wonderful week. We’re grateful for you. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

J: Bye bye.

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What does it take to start, scale, and sell your own business? Every Tuesday, J and Carol Scott ask this question to entrepreneurs of all stripes and delve into stories that go beyond the launch. From hiring and firing to marketing and raising capital, this podcast takes an honest look at the triumphs and stumbles of entrepreneurship. Whether you’re looking to sustain a startup or bring an idea to life, you’ll come away inspired. Tune in—and learn how to treat your business like a business.