If you work in e-commerce, you’ve probably heard of the dynamic Ezra Firestone, founder of Smartmarketer.com. He has helped countless online sellers to dial in their marketing and increase their sales, using his arsenal of tools and resources. Ezra was on the Playbook for Amazon Podcast episode 19 last month, and shared some real gems with our audience. In case you haven’t tuned in yet, here are three of Ezra’s teachings that have truly transformed our business:
He gives more than he takes.
While Ezra’s created multiple businesses now doing $20M+ in revenue, he also freely gives of his advice, content, mentorship, and experience so others can work towards achieving their own massive success. We love his Facebook page and his frequent videos that are always the kick in the pants we need to take things to the next level.
He enjoys his life and lets his quirkiness work for him.
While it takes an extraordinary amount of work to be an entrepreneur, we love how Ezra doesn’t preach a 23-hour workday mentality. He’s about working smart so he can enjoy his hobbies, his family, his rural living, etc. Check out this video to hear more about his view on business. If you have something that makes your business unique, use it as an asset to set you apart!
The most successful sellers we work with have systems in place so that their entire business is not hinging upon them showing up to keep the motor running. If you are at a place where a day off would tank your sales, you need to make some changes (check out these Accelerator courses to get started with some of these systems). Ezra epitomizes success in this field, and we love watching him work smart and remember to laugh at himself.
He recognizes that you are only as strong as your team.
We learned so much of what we know about hiring and developing rapport among a virtual team from Ezra. Check out his video on team building here. It’s not easy trying to scale a business, and it’s more than just the nuts and bolts of a business that make it thrive. Ezra shows how it’s really about developing a team culture and when everyone is all in on the collaborative vision you share for your team, THAT is the recipe for success.
So, whether you are in need of marketing tools and tips or you just need a virtual mentor, Ezra has made such an impact on TurnKey and our team members, and we’re grateful for all he shares with this industry. Who do you look up to in this space?
Who doesn’t love a good conference or networking event? You get the chance to break away from the office, network with like-minded, motivated colleagues, and hopefully learn new tools to level up your business. But on the other side of the coin, you might also feel stressed to break away from your daily responsibilities, overwhelmed by the crowds of people, and leave feeling like you have more to do and no more time to do it. Does this feel familiar? TurnKey attends a lot of conferences and we have three tips for making the most of attending conferences.
Set an intention.
If you go into a conference hoping to get “something” out of it, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and aimless in your pursuit of the actionable wisdom you were hoping for. Instead, decide ahead of time exactly what you want to get out of the conference. For example:
- Learn more about effective email marketing and make a plan to adjust your emails accordingly,
- Reflect on your “Why” and revisit your mission statement,
- Find a new vendor for my products.
While you’re sure to get more out of the conference than just the one intention you set, by deciding ahead of time what your focus will be, you can make more informed decisions about which talks to attend or which mixers to visit.
Meet one person.
In Episode 3 of the Playbook for Amazon Podcast, Jeff interviews his friend Kevin Liang, who is a MASTER networker. While he shares a lot about his networking tips in the episode, one great takeaway was his recommendation to focus on meeting just one person at an event and to make that interaction count. Whether you have a specific individual in mind or just a type of person you want to connect with, you don’t need to worry about talking to EVERYONE in the room. If you can leave the event having had a meaningful interaction with just ONE person you were successful.
Debrief and go over your notes with someone within a week of attending.
At TurnKey this is our favorite thing to do post-conference! How many notebooks do you have from conferences filled with jumbled notes that you never even go back and read? There is GOLD in those notebooks, but they will NEVER benefit your business if you don’t take action on those takeaways. Our favorite thing to do after attending an event is to immediately go back through the notes and organize them in a more systematic way. If you have a flight home, that is the perfect time to do that. Then, within a week of the event, schedule a time with a team member or colleague, and share your takeaways with them. Verbalizing what you have learned helps those nuggets of wisdom truths sink in so much deeper and makes it more likely that you will act on the information.
So, if you have a conference or networking event coming up, use these three tips to get so much more out of the experience. We promise it’ll make these events more enjoyable and it will make their takeaways so much more impactful!
A Quick Note From TurnKey:
In this article we briefly mention Amazon Giveaways. While the rest of the article is still up to date and valid, as of October 10, 2019, Amazon Giveaways is no longer a feature hosted by Amazon. We loved this strategy so much and are sad to see it go. That being said, the principles that made the giveaway effective still apply:
- Leverage social media, email lists, etc. in order to send people over to a landing page to collect even more customer email addresses.
- Use squeeze pages to share more information and connect with customers. Video is a fantastic medium to include on the landing page because it gives you the unique opportunity to talk to your customers and pitch to them as if you were in the same room.
- Offer a discount code to people who watch the video.
So don’t worry just because Amazon isn’t offering this feature anymore. You can still find ways to incorporate the aspects of this strategy in order to impress your customers and increase sales! If you need more support, we have lots of other strategies to help you grow your sales, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
If I asked you to show me your to-do list right now, my guess is that it’s a mile long? Business owners at every stage in the game suffer from the same issue: an overwhelming amount of work to do and an inability to take action on many of the tasks because they aren’t prioritized properly. I don’t want you to feel paralyzed by the length or complexity of your list. I want you to feel empowered that you can take action TODAY on some of those items and really make an impact on your sales numbers in the process!
How do you do that? At TurnKey, we call it our 90-Day plan. When it comes to optimization and strategy on Amazon, it might feel like you want to check every box all at one time. However, when you create an intentional plan for execution, you can gather much more effective data on what is working and not working in your Amazon strategy which allows you to stop wasting time on ineffective strategies and activities and invest it in more meaningful ones.
First, think about what your major pain points are on Amazon right now. Is it the number of reviews you have? Is it your images? Is it figuring out PPC and dialing in an effective ad budget and plan? We suggest you choose 3-5 pain points you want to tackle over the next 90-days. Next, you are going to create goals and a game plan that will help you succeed. Sound good? Let’s get started!
Let’s say, for example, you want to reach 100 customer reviews in the next three months. Our favorite way to make a goal actionable is to reverse engineer it and break it down into bite-sized pieces. Here’s an example:
- I want 100 customer reviews in 90-days.
- That means I need about 33 reviews per month.
- To do that I’m going to focus on one thing that can help me achieve this goal per month:
- Month 1: Improve my autoresponder to make it more engaging and lead people to want to leave genuine reviews
- Month 2: Implement a review funnel
- Month 3: Run an Amazon Giveaway to increase traffic, educate on the product, etc…
So now you have a plan of attack for what you’re going to do each month. Simple right? But what if you don’t know how to create a more engaging autoresponder? Well, you have two options: Either Google “compelling autoresponder sequence” and see what you come up with, or get TurnKey’s Growth Course (which is clearly the superior option in my humble opinion). The course has a module dedicated to improving your autoresponder sequence. We break down step-by-step exactly how we create an effective autoresponder sequence and how that leads to more reviews. Implementing those changes will really set you on the path to improving your sequence to get you more reviews.
Month two, you decided you wanted to implement a review funnel. What if you don’t know where to start with that? Again, break down this goal into 3-5 reasonable steps to get the information you need and take action on that information. Maybe your first step is to watch that webinar on reviews you signed up for a while back but haven’t gotten to. Take out your calendar and schedule a time to watch it. Then list out all the steps you need to take to really follow through on creating that funnel. This may sound tedious but trust me, once you get some momentum you’ll be plowing through these action items in no time.
Month three, thankfully you’ve already purchased the TurnKey Amazon Growth Course, which is now doing double duty because there is another module in that course telling you exactly how to run an Amazon Giveaway. This is such a great growth strategy because not only will it lead to reviews, but you’ll get increased traffic, sales, and fans! So make a plan to go through that module, plan out when you want to run the giveaway, how many units you want to give out, make a plan for your video and squeeze page, etc… Even though it may feel like your to-do list is getting longer, you’ll be checking boxes left and right and seeing the fruits of your labor.
Do you see how you started out overwhelmed by the impossibility of getting 100 more reviews, and now you have an actionable plan to achieve that goal? Plus, you’ll get tons of data by taking action on these strategies. You’ll learn what works for your product and what doesn’t, so you can improve and replicate these systems week over week. Be sure to circle back to your plan every 30-days to see what ground you’ve covered, do any of the goals need to be adjusted, and then continue on with the information you’ve gathered.
Unfortunately, not everyone who starts a 90-day plan finishes it. Many sellers fall prey to becoming too ambitious with their 90-day plan and then don’t follow through. Just like all the people that sign up for a gym membership at the beginning of January and then stop showing up by mid-February. We don’t want you to be part of that statistic; we want you to THRIVE on Amazon!
Here are three tips for following through with your 90-day plan:
- Sign up for TurnKey’s Inner Circle Coaching. Having an expert hold you accountable to your plan and to your progress will give you the kick in the pants you need to really see evident change on your sales. Plus, as you go through these 90-days, they can help guide you as you get more information about what’s working and what’s not, and help you adjust your plan as needed. We’ll even make your 90-day plan with you!
- Have a friend hold you accountable. Speaking your goals out loud to a trusted friend or colleague can also be a great form of accountability. While they may not be an expert on Amazon, ask them to check in with you every few weeks to see how things are going. If you know they’re going to be checking in, you’re much more likely to get some work done so you have something to report!
- Choose a goal related to a pain point that would really alleviate some stress in your life. If you know the changes you are making will make your life easier, your more likely to see them through to completion.
- Make sure the goal you set is reasonable. Expecting 1,000 reviews in 90-days will only leave you disappointed and less likely to follow through. Set a goal that you would be thrilled if you hit and delighted if you surpassed.
So it’s been 90 days. You’ve worked your way through your plan and, hopefully, accomplished your goal. What’s your next step? Make a new 90-day plan! Evaluate what you’ve learned over the past 90 days. If needed, you can choose to make new goals that relate to your previous ones, or if it makes more sense, take on a new pain point. You should always have new goals for your business so that it does not stagnate. Always continue innovating and making needed changes to your Amazon business in a systematic and reasonable fashion. You’ve got this!
We hear from Amazon sellers every day who are intimidated and overwhelmed by their competition on Amazon. They feel like there’s no way that they can compete against the big brands who already have a following when they are just getting started. This type of thinking is something we like to call a scarcity mentality. It’s the idea that you have to either win everything or you get nothing.
Let me tell you a little secret about SCARCITY MENTALITY…it will not make you money! While you are spending so much energy worrying about someone else, you could use that energy to focus on improving your listings and growing your traffic. So promise me you’ll switch your energy to something that is worth your time, right now! Got it?
I guarantee your competitor is not doing everything right on Amazon and there’s plenty of room for opportunity for YOU to shine. Don’t worry about what they are doing, but instead let them educate you on what’s working and not working for customers, and take that information to improve your listing.
Here’s how to put this motivation into action: go to the listing of a competitor who intimidates you. Then, you’re going to make an old-fashioned list of pros and cons. First, write down all the things that you love about their page, their product, and their engagement. Do they have great images? Are they really personal when responding to questions? Are their bullet points engaging?
Next, put on your customer hat and write down all the things that you’d feel their listing is lacking if you were looking to purchase their product. Are there too many keywords stuffed into their description? Is their product missing any key components that your product offers? Are their images sterile? What are customers saying in the reviews about where this product fails to deliver?
Now take a look at your product. I guarantee that your product has a UVP or unique value proposition. What makes your product stand out? What problem does your product solve that your competitors’ product doesn’t?
Finally, go back to your listing and look at it from the perspective of a brand new customer. Do they fully understand the VALUE and BENEFITS of your products? Do they know how their life will change when they buy it? Are your bullet points highlighting not just the features, but the benefits? Once you ask yourself those honest questions, make the changes that create a clearer reflection of your brand. Once you do that, you can feel confident that you came to compete no matter who you are up against.
If you want more information about what you can learn from your competitors, check out a recent episode of our podcast, Playbook for Amazon. In Episode 9, we cover “How to Study Your Competitors to Beat Them”.