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How to Handle Any Problem on Amazon with Steven Pope
On this episode of Quiet Light, we talk to Steven Pope about how to handle any problem you’re having with Amazon.
Steven is the founder of My Amazon Guy, a full-service Amazon agency, currently assisting 80 clients. They seek to help their clients and others with all of the possible Amazon travails businesses face.
- How and why Steven started his agency.
- Dealing with Amazon account suspensions.
- Best ways to rank organically on Amazon.
- The outlook for American-made products.
- The number one action item in advertising.
- A major success story for Steven’s agency.
- How to hone in on what changes will make a difference.
Mark: Joe, one of the things that you do with Quiet Light is you have a pretty wide network of people that you’re now talking to. And I know you recently talked to Steven Pope. He is an agency owner. He helps Amazon business owners solve problems. I know that it’s like crazy generic for me to say that but when it comes to owning an Amazon business, there’s a lot of different problems you can have; everything from suspended accounts to; I mean, you name it. And I know you guys talked a little bit about the services he offers. But not just the services he offers, you talked about some of the problems that people face and how he goes about solving them.
Joe: Yeah, there’s something; look, we generally don’t have people on pitching their products and services, simple as that. And so when I got this email introduction to Steve and set up a 15-minute call to grill him a little bit on who he is and what he does, the first thing I did was ask for five rapid-fire questions about what to do on Amazon if this happens and he answered them all and it was great. And then he said I’ve got 300 videos on YouTube that does the same thing. I give it all away for free and if people want to hire me as their agency, then I’m here for that as well. So I just dug into those videos and I love it. I think that you should hear him talk folks. You should listen to some of the things that he suggests and he gives it away for free in this podcast as well. I ask him the questions. I drill deeper when there needs to be a follow-up question. But then he also and it should be in the show notes, he also has a YouTube channel. It’s My Amazon Guy on YouTube where he’s helping people solve problems. One example is a woman and this is; and I talked about a little bit, single SKU, 100% of her revenue is coming from a single SKU on Amazon and oops she got suspended.
Joe: Right. And for a week and a half or so, she cannot solve the problem and so she’s losing five or six thousand dollars a week in revenue. And Steven has a process for that. It’s not rocket science. It’s three separate sentences that help get your account unsuspended quicker…
Mark: What are those three sentences?
Joe: He goes over them in the podcast. I can’t recall. I recorded it yesterday Mark. You know how my memory is come on.
Mark: I was hoping to tease it so you actually listen to the episode.
Joe: Yeah, okay. So you actually have to listen to the episode.
Mark: There we go.
Joe: Why don’t we just go to that? So that’s our teaser, go to it…
Mark: We are really not pros of this already.
Joe: Not at all. If you have anybody else like this that’s an expert in the space that gives it all away, regardless of the fact that they also have clients that pay for the service, introduce them to us, because I think this type of information is fantastic. Because everybody hears yeah I hired an agency and my customer acquisition went through the roof. We hear it as well. But this person was referred to us. I grilled him. I know who referred most of his clients to him and I have great respect for that person and they’ve been on the podcast as well. So give it a listen. Hopefully, it’s going to help everyone that has even if it’s just 10% of your revenue on Amazon, it’s worth a listen and worth getting over to that YouTube channel to get educated as well.
Joe: Hey, folks, Joe Valley here again with the Quiet Light Podcast. Thanks for joining us. Today I’ve got the pope with me this morning I had the was that was last week’s podcast and today I’ve got the pope. You probably get that a lot, don’t you? I’m sorry.
Steven: The Popemobile jokes when I was a television reporter days, yeah, I remember them.
Joe: My full name is Joe Valley when I was in college the Peanuts folks; the Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and all that, it was a big Valley girl craze back then. And there was actually a Christmas or birthday card that said something about Joe Valley Beagle for sure. That’s my only connection with something semi-famous. You’ve got a big one to the pope. Anyway, we’re here to talk about Amazon. Your business is The Amazon Guy and you’re going to share absolutely every possible secret you know about…
Steven: Every single one of them.
Joe: Every one of them. It’s going to take a while, folks.
Steven: Yeah, everyone who’s listening to this will be a millionaire just by simply listening.
Joe: No action taken whatsoever. Okay, well, let’s over promise and deliver right now. We just did. All right enough of the jibber-jabber. Let’s talk about you. Give us for the audience a little bit of background in yourself; who are you, what’s your business, how did you start, and all that kind of stuff.
Steven: You bet. So my name is Steven Pope. I’m the founder of My Amazon Guy. We are an 18 person digital agency at the Atlanta, Georgia area. One-stop-shop. All things Amazon. Everything from search engine optimization, to PPC, design, and logistics all in one place. My background, I started my agency after a side hustle in consulting Amazon for several years and one day I lost my job. And very much like the private labelers that are listening to this who are running their current day job and they’re looking for something else to change their lifestyle or whatever else, this one forced me to change. So within 48 hours of getting laid off and I was working for a lighting company, I decided to start an agency and the rest is history. We just help people grow sales.
Joe: And you’re also living it as well because you have a brand that you apply your own services to and share that information on your own podcast as well, right?
Steven: I do. So I own a brand called Momstir and it’s M-O-M-S-T-I-R. And it’s a brand where we sell funny wine glasses with funny sayings on them and very much a side hustle brand to try and figure out and keep my skills sharp. So a lot of agencies try and build out their like, hey, let me go network, let me go show up and shake Jeff Bezos’ hand and plaster a photo on my website. We just get crapped on. We just go into accounts. We don’t leave our house. We don’t go to conferences, complete referral-based business. And I think that’s the right way to run an agency. We just go solve problems left and right and grow sales every day and go in and get our hands dirty.
Joe: And you folks know my position here. You know that I get e-mails and calls all the time from agencies and I have the privilege of working with clients and seeing if they have agencies or not. When Steven and I connected, I just went with some rapid-fire questions to see if this guy had any idea what he was talking about and it turns out he actually does. So I want to duplicate some of that here on this podcast for you. E-commerce business owners that are 90% Amazon or 20% Amazon and want to be 90% Amazon. But let’s first start with the fact that you do have 80 clients now, active Amazon business owners that you and your team of 18 work with, right?
Steven: We do. Everything from air purifiers to tweezers and everything in between.
Joe: All right. Let’s talk about Amazon Suspensions. You mentioned in our pre-call that you had a woman call you and her account has been suspended for several days or something like that. Tell that story briefly but how you go about getting something reinstated?
Steven: You bet. So there’s a difference between suspension and listing yank. So suspension your account is down, you can’t even log in or get your money out. Listing reinstatement and this is where you have a product that’s been yanked from the catalog. Each has their own problem and their own solution. Amazon is a siloed organization and so it can be a very daunting and confusing process for sellers, no matter what the problem is. We could be talking about anything that goes wrong at Amazon. It’s literally impossible to have a single point of contact at Amazon so like me as an agency, we don’t even have a single point of contact. We got one guy that we talked with on a monthly basis and talked about advertising with and outside of that, we’re doing the same thing sellers are doing; brute force, sellers support, ticketing, emails, you name it. The difference is that because we’ve seen the trends between the accounts, we’re able to see what works currently. And I say that because what I talk about today may not work 90 days from now and that’s because the platform is shifting at such a rapid pace. It’s entering its maturity phase. We’ve seen Amazon change all the rules constantly on a whim, which is why you shouldn’t be 90% Amazon sales. You probably need to diversify if you want my opinion. But let’s talk about this, so I got a call today from a single mom and her listing was yanked. This account, $30,000 a month in sales, one product, and all she could do…
Joe: Bad idea, first of all, but go on.
Steven: So she was in tears talking to me today. And I share this with genuine care and knowing that this is her livelihood and Amazon took her livelihood away. And it wasn’t even for an egregious thing. It wasn’t like she broke a rule. One day the algorithm crawled her catalog, looked at a bullet point, and said, this looks like something we don’t like, yank. And so she did all the right things. She fixed it. She made the changes to the ballpoints. She contacted the support team. She got on the phone with what’s called the captive team in America. She sent listing evaluations, e-mails. She did all of the right things and can’t get the listing reinstated. And so for seven days, her business has been down. And if it doesn’t get fixed, she can’t afford what she needs to do to live or run a business or run her household.
Joe: So that’s something you’re confident you can fix based on the phone call you had with her?
Joe: How long will it take?
Steven: That’s the part I can’t guarantee. If an issue like a listing yank is down we have a near 100% reinstatement rate, but what we don’t have is a timing reinstatement guarantee. For some accounts, we’ll get in there and we’ll fix things within 48 hours and other times it takes 30 days. And it has nothing to do with the talent that we have or the process. It’s just that Amazon’s system sometimes just is absolutely breaking and they don’t have; they use the 80:20 rule to an extreme. If they can get rid of 80% of the bad actors with 20% of the effort knowing they’re going to screw over 20% good actors, they’re okay with that.
Joe: Lots of actors these days, I guess.
Steven: And because of that, even if you’re doing all the right things, you will eventually run into this problem. Your listings will get yanked. You’ll get suspended. Whatever it might be, you will face a challenge that economically damages you and you have to act quick and you have to be concise. And whatever you do, don’t submit 10 tickets. Don’t do that. Your appeals need to be concise. You need to be giving them exactly explicit what they ask for and make it easy on them to help you.
Joe: Do you have any language on your site that tells people exactly what to do?
Steven: We do. Yeah. We have a page. I’ll give it to you for you to put in the show notes, which is basically a plan of action to do when you run into a situation like this and in high-level summary, you do three things; admit the problem, how did you solve the problem, and what are you going to do to prevent the problem from reoccurring? And those could be two to three sentences a piece. If you do that and you format it, just like I mentioned, you have a greater chance of success.
Joe: You don’t think that they should write 17, 59 paragraphs for that seller account to Representative Reeve?
Joe: No, I’m kidding. Of course.
Steven: Nor do I think you should mention that you’ve been on Amazon for 15 years and you’re a half a million-dollar business. They don’t care.
Joe: They don’t care, yeah.
Steven: The person reading this is looking for reasons to not approve your requests. They’re not looking for reasons to approve it. So give them exactly what the request with no fluff and then you’ll have a higher chance of getting approved.
Joe: Okay, so I’m just going to say to those folks that have a hero SKU like that, knock it off, takes some of the money, launch a new listing, and spread out your risk so that you’re not in a situation like that. What’s the best way to rank organically? You’re launching a new product, what’s the best way to rank on Amazon, how do you get from page nowhere to the top of Page 1?
Steven: So two types of situations we could be in; situation one is you’re launching a brand new product and situation number two, you’ve had a product on Amazon and you’re trying to take it to the next level. I’m going to talk about the product launch first because there’s what’s called a honeymoon period in the first 14 days of having an item on Amazon. You want to maximize traffic to the listing and maximize sales during that honeymoon period because it will leapfrog the listing rankings in a very rapid succession. If you can show Amazon that you’re for real, you’re the real deal, this is your first product in the account and you got a hundred sales in the first two weeks, they’re going to pay attention to that. In the past, people would use programs like viral launch or some sort of giveaway to make this happen. Those programs no longer are as effective as they once were so you can’t just solely rely upon that. What I recommend you do is; I’m assuming you’ve got a budget for the product you’re doing a launch for so I’m assuming you spent two or three grand on the product. I would set aside $2,000 for Google and Facebook ads in the first 14 days. Spend it. No guarantee you’re going to get sales out of it. No guarantee that you’re gonna get a good ACOS. That’s not the point. You’re trying to train the algorithm that the product is important and that you personally can bring traffic to the Amazon platform. They will reward you accordingly. From there, it’s almost 90% Amazon PPC in the first couple of months. And then from there, you can start relying more on SEO. For the other products that have already been there, the longer you’ve been there and the lower the run rate you’ve had, the harder it’s going to be for you to start gaining. So there’s a bunch of core key practices that we could discuss; back end search terms, make sure you’ve got 250 characters that are unique, have no commas, no duplicate words, make sure you got misspellings in there, and include a couple of Spanish keywords, front end, you got titles, bullets, images, A plus content, all of those need to be maximized. If you don’t have every one of those fields maximized you’re going to be losing out on keyword rankings you could have gained otherwise. So everything you do on Amazon to grow sales can be boiled down to two things, driving traffic and improving the conversion rate. SEO is almost primarily a traffic generation strategy. However, if you rank four words you don’t convert on, you will stop ranking for those words. So if you’re selling an apple slicer product and you want a rank for foot rubs or foot lotion or whatever; it’s the first thing that came to my mind, it’s not going to work. I guess I need a foot rub right now.
Joe: I guess so.
Steven: But in any case, there’s so many different things that help with ranking on Amazon, and the one that I would say is your quick five-second hack today for those that are looking for like, okay, that’s cool, I understand I need to optimize but what can I do right now? Go into your A-plus content and make sure every single photo is maximized with a hundred characters per A plus content photo. So if you’ve got 20 photos, that’s 20 times a hundred characters of keywords you’re probably missing out on right now. And throw one of those to be Spanish, put misspellings under one of them. Amazon claims that they don’t index the A-plus content. I believe they’re big fat liars and I can prove it. I’ve put Spanish behind one photo, I didn’t put it anywhere else and guess what? We indexed for it.
Joe: How important are product demonstration videos in this conversion aspect? So ranking is one thing that’s important but if you’re not converting, what’s the point? And eventually, their algorithms are going to say people are looking, but they’re not buying so we’re going to de-rank you I assume. How important are videos in that conversion process?
Joe: Really? Let’s talk about that.
Steven: So I’m coming from a background in television where I thought video was king, right? Content is king. But video on Amazon, I’m utterly surprised by how few people are actually watching the videos. And so, in my opinion, instead of spending $5,000 on some professional photoshoot, grab your cell phone and just talk on camera about the top product features for 60 seconds and call it a day and put it on your listing. Now, if you’re running a corporation that’s not going to resonate with your management staff. They’re going to throw a conniption fit. Obviously, that’s not going to work. But if you’re a side hustling brand and you don’t have a video today, fix it. Go out and get one. Shoot it on your cell phone. Put on the target demographic, whoever you want to buy it. It will help. But of all the things that we could talk about on today’s podcast, video will be at the bottom of the pile and it’s because nobody clicks it.
Joe: Let’s talk about American made then because we’ve got a situation in the world where we’re in trade wars with everyone else. How important is; and I know you don’t have a crystal ball that I see on your desk. Apparently, you need a foot rub. You’re thinking about that while looking at me on video. Again, I don’t know why people help me out here. But crystal ball American made products, given the trade wars that we are in. Is it going to be something it’s going to be important on Amazon in the future?
Steven: I consider myself a thought leader in the Amazon space, and that’s why I’m going out and getting on my podcast. I want to talk about where I think Amazon is going. I personally believe manufacturing is coming back to the United States. Is it here today for B2C products? No, it’s not. I think it will be soon. All of the symptoms are there. If you’re looking at the symptoms there at present; you talked about the trade wars with China, tariffs increasing currency exchange wars, and all that good stuff. COVID is a second reason the entire supply chain and the entire world broke down. Globalization takes a hit when international events happen. So nationalism and hyper localization are likely to occur under these circumstances. In addition to that, the user base who may blame COVID on China is going to start actively looking for American made products. This is going to help you with margin issues where you’re selling a product for sometimes 40, 50% more in cost. They’re willing to bear that market just because of principle. And the question is, how do you manufacturer in the States and do so profitably? I do not know the answer to that question.
Joe: I was going to ask that and maybe you know, the answer to this one, how do you find those manufacturers in the States? They can go to Alibaba and eventually get to the manufacturer in China and there are some services; we’ve had folks on, Zach from Gembah can help you with finding manufacturers but how do you find them in the States?
Steven: I have tried to solve this problem for the last three years. I joined what’s called the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. So I’m in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I toured several different manufacturing facilities. And what I learned is that for the most part, the United States is a B2B manufacturing country and most businesses are focused on B2B products. So, for example, a facility I went to, they made toilet seats for airplanes and it’s a special process to do that.
Steven: They have to fire-resistant, right? Couldn’t you can’t buy that overseas because there’s lives on the line. B2C products like gifts or day to day households; anything that’s not topical or consumable, because obviously most of those are made in the states currently.
Steven: But home goods, if you will, it is absolutely cheaper to go overseas right now for that. There are brands like American Giants who hires 100% from end to end American made, American laborer and they are doing well. They’re selling the Mercedes Benz version of a hoodie right now and they’ve proven it works, but it doesn’t work on every vertical or every catalog, every type of item today. I think technology is going to be the last category that this will work for. But I do see the symptoms and I think if you were an investor today looking for how do I get ahead in five years from now; not today, but in five years from now, I would definitely set yourself up for American made manufacturing and an American made company run by Americans selling to Americans.
Joe: Okay. Crystal ball. I love it. Let’s talk about that person who has the American made products or an overseas product and they sell on Amazon, what’s the secrets to sponsored ads? What can you tell folks that are listening that you do that they should be doing to help them lower their ACOS and increase their conversions?
Steven: If there’s one area that you need to hire out for if you don’t have the expertise while selling on Amazon, this is the one. And it’s because advertising is changing at such a rapid pace. If you haven’t been watching two webinars a week or spending two hours a day on your ads you’re behind currently. In the last two weeks alone, display advertising, the cat is out of the bag. That’s what I would have given you two weeks ago but because segmentation approaches and every avenue available to advertise your product and generate traffic right now everybody is jumping on. Everybody’s looking for that edge and so you have to be very quick. You’re going to have to rotate your funds around. There are three types of ads today on Amazon, sponsored products, sponsored headline ads or sponsored grants, and finally, display. Every single month we have seen a new form of segmentation come out under one of those three core areas. Three months ago it was custom brand images. Display came out even more recently than that. The one that’s coming out on 10% of accounts right now is retargeting; hitting people off of Amazon who have already viewed your products or who have already purchased your products. So those are two different things and then there’s a third one that’s coming out that is people who have search-related keywords off of Amazon to bring them into the platform. Two of those three are only available to 10% of accounts right now but the moment you get a glimpse and you see it on your account; nobody’s giving you an announcement. Amazon is not emailing you and saying, hey, this is now available. You literally need to check your seller central portal in every nook and cranny on a weekly basis, because I’m telling you, you will find it 30 days before somebody shows you it.
Joe: And the advantage to that is?
Steven: You can quickly execute it and then generate additional traffic at a lower cost and get into additional areas where nobody else is paying attention to. So if you are on that display bandwagon before two weeks ago, you would have had record low ACOS, new sales you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, you could have shown up on your competitors page in ways that they couldn’t predict or know how to combat. And you should still do display today, by the way. I think that’s probably the number one action item in advertising right now. If you don’t have display ads up, go do that.
Joe: I got you. Okay, your average client is doing a million dollars a year in revenue I think, right?
Steven: Yep, somewhere around there.
Joe: Okay, give me a success story.
Steven: Sure. So I have to think carefully now which brands have you made public permission.
Joe: You don’t have to name brands, you can just talk about the story itself.
Steven: Yeah, so let’s talk about a generic men’s supplements company; let’s call it that.
Steven: The hardest category to sell in right now in Amazon is supplements so if you’re looking for a product to launch, I wouldn’t go into supplements and that’s because of all the challenges and listing yanks and stuff we kind of ended about earlier. It’s egregious right now how bad it is in that category but in any case, when I first started, my first client as an agency was a men’s supplements brand and they tried to other consultants before me. They couldn’t get past four grand a month in sales. Within 60 days we got them to $80,000 in monthly sales. A couple of months ago, they clocked in at 400,000. And it’s because the grind; the My Amazon Guy process, the grind if you will, it works. You go in every day and you look for as much traffic as you possibly can get and find as much conversion as you can get. And it takes going attribute by attribute, ad by ad, design by design; every single layer has to be fulfilled. Where they may have previously failed, they didn’t load their entire catalog to Amazon. That might sound like a core issue and some of you are like what you mean they didn’t load their entire catalog but if you’re an omnichannel brand today, sometimes you purposely don’t load all your product to Amazon. I think that’s a big mistake. The fastest way to grow an Amazon is load more product, launch as many as you can. Every three products you launch, one is going to fail flat, one is going to break even, one is going to succeed. So you’ve got a one out of three ratio to work but load as many new products as you can to your lifecycle on average on Amazon. Second, get on as many platforms as you can. Diversify. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Shopify; all of those are important.
Joe: Not necessarily in that order, I’d like to know where would you go to first beyond Amazon US.
Steven: Yep, Amazon US and you could talk about more marketplaces like Europe or Japan or Singapore and Middle East and Australia, I guess let’s pause on the location geos for just a second, let’s talk just marketplaces. And so after Amazon, if you have a product that can sell on Etsy that’s the one I would go to next. It is the easiest to get on and will produce at a higher rate than it would have six months ago. And it’s because when Amazon supply chain took a hit and the shipping timeframes went down Etsy doubled in size overnight. Doubled in size but did not double in competition which means that’s your opportunity. We are seeing massive success on the Etsy platform right now.
Joe: Any particular category? Because if I’m just selling supplements, I can’t sell them on Etsy, right?
Steven: You’re not supposed to. It’s supposed to be handmade and they’re supposed to be hard to obtain items. I’ve seen everything on Etsy, though. So even, you know, it may not be the first platform of your choice if you’re selling supplements or if you’re selling something that doesn’t go well on Etsy. Maybe launch on eBay and Walmart first before you go there, but I would still give it a look.
Joe: I want to say that the transferability of an Etsy account may be a challenge. And transferability is one of the four pillars. If you can’t transfer the control of the assets of the business, your business is not sellable or much more difficult to sell so we’d have to look into that again. The last time I had any significant Etsy account as part of a sale, it was tuck in hopes that you couldn’t squeeze through to try to get the transfer of the control that Etsy account. So I would say caution there but if you’re looking for that short term gain, it’s fine. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. My particular buyer wasn’t willing to go that route and he could have but he chose not to and that’s okay. What about the idea of just simply feeding your stallions and maxing out Amazon.com if you’re still growing and there’s lots of more opportunity here in the US, why divert your attention to an Etsy or a Walmart or whatever it might be or the EU?
Steven: So this is a good debate between focus and diversification. They have a massive amount of friction between the two. I believe it’s easier to do diversity than do focus. The shotgun approach generally will lead to more success. That’s my personal style. If you’re a perfectionist, focus will work a lot better for you. So I would say that’s a choice the business could make, a business decision if you will.
Joe: And I have to say and interject that it depends upon your goals. If you’re going to run the business for the next five years, I think diversification is really smart because if your business is more diversified, it’s going to be risk-averse. The lower the risk, the higher the value in terms of the multiple. If you’ve got two businesses that are equal in revenue and discretionary earnings size, and one is 90% Amazon and the other is 40% Amazon, 30% Shopify, and 30% something else or other marketplaces but the discretionary earnings is the same, same number of SKUs, same hero SKU count and all this other stuff, that diversified business is less risk. Less risk equals a higher multiple. You’re doing the same amount of revenue, but your business is much more valuable because buyers see that it is less risk and they’ll pay more for it. My two cents.
Steven: So I totally agree with that and you’re definitely the expert on buying and selling, so I won’t even go there.
Joe: Have you noticed how I like to interject my opinion on buying and selling when I’m talking to somebody else about Amazon rankings and things of that nature?
Steven: I couldn’t have guessed why.
Joe: It’s amazing when you run the podcast and you get a microphone and you can say these things. You had talked about 80% of the work that you do in a seller account is fairly SOP oriented but there’s 20% that requires just instincts and a deeper dive into the why of the particular problem or ranking solution. Can you talk about that 20%; what are those things and how do you really hone in on what’s going to make a difference in your particular brand and ranking?
Steven: So for the 80% that’s SOP or standard operating procedure, you can follow a checklist and it can be clerical in nature. If you go through that checklist and you do an 80% job, you’re probably going to succeed. The other 20% is the experience, the nuance, the analytical understanding to forecast, predict, and see what’s going to happen under the chaotic nature of Amazon and e-commerce, understanding the landscape, and understanding what happened in the previous situation. So as one small example, understanding the notion or the difference between a coopting of demand versus a demand gen product, this is an easy to understand concept but doesn’t even cross the mind of most individuals. So what do I mean by this? If you go on Amazon today and you want to sell an apple slicer, that product has been commoditized. You’re basically trying to sell a commoditized coopting demand product. There’s already demand, you just need to go get it and tsxake your share of it. If you’re trying to come out with a patent protected product, gadget, widget; whatever it is that does something that solves a problem that nobody even knew was a problem, that’s demand gen. The guy doing demand gen has a one out of 20 chance of succeeding, the coopting demand guy has got like a 12 out of 20 chance of succeeding; much harder but if done correctly, the demand gen product that wins., the one of the 20 will be gigantic in size and will dwarf everybody else. GoPro is a good example of this where they solved the problem nobody knew they had and now they have an entire empire. So if you’re looking at analyzing data and you’re looking at like how do I solve my problem, you’re going to have to consult either an expert or you’re gonna have to grind it yourself. You’re going to have to spend so much time analyzing this question and watching all the podcasts, watching all the webinars, reading information, submitting the tickets in Seller Central on a daily basis until you hack it, or figure it out. That’s what it takes. And that 20% is very hard and you want to understand like, what do I do in this situation? If you’ve never done it before it’s really hard to learn.
Joe: And it’s probably going to end up producing 80% of the revenue if you click the rules there. You actually have book a coaching call on your website. You’re not just working with clients and taking agency fee on a monthly basis, but you are doing coaching calls as well. Can you talk about what type of calls those are and how often you do them?
Steven: You bet. So I probably do one a day on average. And I have a very different vision of what agency should be than the typical agency. I would give away all or trade secrets. I got 300 videos on YouTube answering literally every question. If you have pesticides gating on your product and you sell tweezers and you’re like, why does this on my account, I don’t even understand this? We give away the answer key right on the YouTube video.
Joe: And how do they find that; is it My Amazon Guy on YouTube?
Steven: Yes, and if you were to literally Google pesticides gating My Amazon Guy, you would find it. Or even just pesticides gating Amazon it’d probably still come up. But the point I’m trying to make here is we share all our trade secrets openly. We’re trying to add value to the community because it comes back. I know that if I had value to you today over the next year; let’s say you follow me for a year before you even pay me a dime, you will then come and say, hey, shut up and take my money. And so sometimes I will hear from people that have watched 40 of my videos and they just want to say hi. But on those calls, typically we’re getting in and we’re solving a specific problem. That’s usually the number one reason one of those comes up is because, hey, I’ve got a business problem I need a solution today. I can’t wait around and figure this out.
Joe: Like that woman’s account who was suspended.
Steven: Exactly like that woman’s account that was suspended. I offer ala carte services on my site for those that aren’t ready to make a monthly commitment. Now, I prefer having monthly clients. It’s an easier business model, don’t get me wrong but we are going to serve wherever we can. We’re going to add value where we can. We’ll get our foot in the door. One of my largest clients; we did a one-hour coaching call and now they’re my largest client. And it’s because, from day one, we will teach and show and offer value and grow sales. That’s what we do. Well, yeah, it’s kind of fun doing a coaching call, you jump on, you’re opening up a seller central account, I can draw on your screen. We can go in there and figure out hey, here’s all the mistakes you’re making, here’s where you can best practice improve. We’ll hand it all over. And if you don’t want to do the work yourself, hire us.
Joe: People, do it. I think that it’s worth it even if you’re just trying to learn something new and manage the business yourself. Go to YouTube, take a look at all of these three things. They give it all away. Normally, you’re not ever going to hear me talking about an agency on the Quiet Light Brokerage podcast, we’re here to help first and serve you first and in this way, I think we’re doing that well. I think my initial conversations with Steven were me grilling him and seeing if my bullshit meter went up and it really didn’t at all. So he’s a straight sharer. He’s helping first. He’s educating, sharing it all; he’s giving it all. If you want to do it on your own go to his website. Go to the YouTube channel. If you want to have a coaching call, go to the coaching tab on his Web site and spend an hour working with him and learning. Your business is very likely your most valuable asset, you should be spending time on learning how to run it well, number one. But strategically self-serving; look, this is what we do, folks, if you’re not understanding the value of your business, what are you doing? You’re just driving revenue for what? To put more money into inventory? How much do you take out with 80% year over year growth? Not enough. You will probably make more money on the exit, times two or three than you make running the business on a daily basis. So if you work towards that, understand the value of your business, set an exit goal, and reverse engineer a path to it, even if it takes two, three, four years, you’ve heard us with those types of clients that we’d love to have on the podcast that have successfully sold their business for millions of dollars. You should do it as well. Go to My Amazon Guy. Check it out. Reach out to Steven and learn as much as you can to improve your own business. I think he’s one of the handfuls of people in this space that I’ve trusted within five minutes of speaking to him. I think you should.
Steven: Thank you, Joe. I appreciate it.
Joe: My pleasure man, good to have you on. I’m looking forward to working with you in the future.
Steven: That sounds like a plan.