Learn tips on how to grow your Amazon business in this new Amazon seller training video and article, where Mike McClary and guest host (Brandon Slater), talk about brand expansion. Here, you will gain tips on how to expand a brand, when to launch another product, the different ways to run an Amazon business (to expand quickly or expand more slowly), and the risks involved with growing a business.
Brandon has built up multiple brands selling on Amazon. Here, he shares his story of starting his own physical product business on Amazon– his methods, his struggles, his successes, scaling the brand into a business with multiple products and $1.8 million a year in sales, and then selling his first Amazon business.
Brand Expansion is the process of scaling your brand into something bigger. This includes launching a product, getting sales, and then leveraging your existing customer base to launch additional products under your same brand.
Consider trying the following recommended tips to grow your business:
- Product analysis is vital before choosing a product to launch.
- Keep another income source the first 6 months to a year (if possible) so that you don’t have to take money out of the business. This allows you to ramp up inventory and sales more quickly, expanding your business faster.
- Do not rush into launching a second product as soon as the first one takes off.
- Give your first product ample attention until it demonstrates 20 or more sales a day, consistently.
- Establish a good relationship with your suppliers and manufacturers.
- Take Amazing’s Amazing Selling Machine program. “I’m a living, walking testimonial of it. ” -Brandon
There are different velocities at which you can grow your business. Read through your options below, then decide which one will work best for you:
- Quickly expand the brand by keeping all money in the business. All profit goes back into the company to buy more inventory, generate more sales, and add more products to the brand inventory list. You will need an alternate source of income to support yourself the first year or so. This method may allow you to sell the business within 18 months to 2 years.
- Use your Amazon business as a cash business to live off of. Once the business is profitable, take the profit out to pay for living expenses. This method of running a business only allows the business to expand as far as the amount of money kept in the business to purchase more inventory. This is a slower growth method where you are not expecting to try to sell the business; you want to live off of the monthly profit.
- Take a hybrid approach—keep money in the business to grow it initially, but also take money out when you believe it is time to comfortably do so.
Now that you have a better understanding of how brand expansion works, read the transcript below or watch the video above to get all of the details.
Mike: Hey everyone, Mike McClary here for another Facebook live session. I have a very special guest today, he’s going to talk about brand expansion, exactly how to do it and why you might want to do it if you’re ever thinking about building a brand and selling it for millions of dollars, potentially millions of dollars on Amazon. So we’re talking to Brandon a little later on. He’s on the call right now waiting for us but I want to get through a few house cleaning tips as well.
First off, welcome to another Facebook live session. We’ve been doing these now for weeks getting great feedback, offering all kinds of free content for people looking to start their own business and really the easiest route that we know of is by creating your own brand and selling it on Amazon. So everything that we’ve been talking about and teaching you has been focused on that one thing these past several weeks. So if you don’t mind, if you’re watching this right now, please like this video, please share it with as many people as you can. When you share things on Facebook it helps it go viral and gets as many people watching it as possible and we love sharing our message and our training with everyone.
Also, want to remind you that if you enjoy this session and missed out on any of the previous live training sessions, you can see them all on the amazing.com Facebook page. You go there and you’ll see all the previous live calls we’ve had over the past couple weeks, all kinds of training on picking out the right product, launching your product, finding suppliers, how to do some really cool hidden, secret traffic tactics, all kinds of great training that we put right out there live on Facebook.
In addition, if you want to see a more structured training format that we have, go to amazingsellingmachine.com and sign up for our free four part training series. We’ve put together four training videos that walk you through the entire business model that both myself, Brandon who’s on the call, Rich Henderson, Jason Katzenback, Matt Clark, all of us use this model to build our Amazon businesses. And we’ll walk you through that in four really simple videos.
The first one talks about finding the perfect product opportunities. We give you all the criteria that you need in order to know what is and what’s not a good product opportunity. We also give you 100 product opportunities that we found just by going on Amazon and using a simple, the simple criteria that we give you in order to find those products. We want to show you how easy it is to go out there and find hundreds if not thousands of products that meet our criteria for being a perfect product to start with.
Then in the second video we talk all about suppliers. So now that you’ve found a great product that you want to sell and brand as your own, you need to figure out exactly how do you get someone to make that for you. So we show you exactly how to find suppliers sitting in your home or your office, your basement, your living room, wherever you’re at, we teach you how to do that online and it’s much easier than you might have ever imagined. You can do this from anywhere in the world, you can communicated with suppliers and manufacturers anywhere in the world. It’s a complete game changer as to how easy it is to find companies that are looking for you to make and sell products.
Now in the third video, once you’ve found that product and once you’ve found someone to make it for you, you really need to know how to launch that product because if you have a product and you put it in on Amazon, if no one sees it then you won’t make any sales. So we give you what we call the rapid ranking formula. Matt Clark came up with that name. The strategy’s something that I kind of worked on for years and been tweaking, but we give you that formula for how to go out there and get sales almost immediately with any product. As long as you meet our criteria, you follow the right product criteria that we give you, you’ll be able to see sales coming in immediately and we give that whole formula outlined in a document with a flow chart, how to follow it and we also give you a video where I walk you through setting up the rapid ranking system for your first product.
Now in the fourth video, we also go over how to really automate this whole process and how to make it much easier than you might imagine and then for the next couple days, we have a really crazy offer on how to make this even simpler for you. I’m going to talk about that at the end of the video because now I want to get straight into our guest, Brandon Slater. Brandon’s a good friend of mine, I’ve known him for several years now. I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to attend some Masterminds with him. We went to Aruba together, went to Maui together. I got a chance to see him give his own training.
And the training that he’s done, it’s been on a lot of different topics but one of the ones that I’ve really enjoyed and the reason we’ve brought him on this call, is because we want to hear him talk about brand expansion. And what that really is is when you start with one product, where do you go from there because there’s just too much risk in you know selling one product for five or ten years. Once you learn how to do this and get one product selling, you want to really learn how to expand your brand and become a worldwide brand like so many other companies out there.
And Brandon is a master at that. He’s done that before and by doing that it also made it possible for him to sell his own business that he started on Amazon, and you know I’m not going to go into the finance of it, but I know it was for a lot of money. I’ll let him talk a little bit more about that, but he’s a master at that, he’s a great guy, he’s also, I’m going to say, a newlywed because it’s been in the past year, he’s got a house full of kids and he’s just a great all round person. So Brandon welcome to the call. Thanks so much for joining us here today.
Brandon: Thank you Mike, glad to be here.
Mike: Awesome. So if you don’t mind let’s just kind of like back up and tell people here a little bit about how you got started selling on Amazon.
Brandon: Yeah, sure. I worked in corporate America for most of my career and had a big, kind of a big shot commercial real estate job making a lot of money and I just really thought I was going to break out of the rat race with that corporate job. And I worked hard to get it, I worked hard to get my income up there and I thought once I, I mean really for me the magic number was a 100 thousand dollars, I thought once I could get my salary to 100 thousand dollars, then at that point I’d probably be financially free and I just really worked hard for that my whole career.
And I found that once i finally made it, the bills were still piling up every week and your expenses grow with your income type of thing. My wife didn’t work so it was just me providing for the family. We wanted to live in a place with good schools and so upgrading where we live and so forth. And it just was the same old rat race after a couple years of being at that salary level and above. And I just really started to get frustrated with that and started to realize like there’s no way I’m ever going to create wealth if I don’t try to go out and build a business on my own.
And it finally started coming and dawning on me and so that’s when I started searching for solutions and I just came across a video online talking about selling on Amazon. I was specifically looking for training for selling on Amazon because I felt like that was a good place to start for me and I saw a bunch of people talking about it but it wasn’t until I found somebody talking about this kind of model, this Amazing selling Machine model that it really started clicking for me and made me want to just jump into it.
Mike: Awesome. So how many years ago was that about?
Brandon: That was 2013, 2014.
Mike: Okay right around the same time that I got started as well.
Mike: And in terms of the business world, only being around for you know four years or so is a very short amount of time to accomplish what you’ve accomplished.
Brandon: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mike: So when you first started off, how many products did you start with? Did you start off with multiple products or just one?
Brandon: Just one. Yeah, that’s all I could afford and honestly it was a big terrifying risk for me to make my first inventory purchase and just really I think three hundred units or five hundred units my first time. And I just thought I was going to lose all my money and I was really worried about it so I just started really small.
Mike: Okay. Same here. And then so when you started doing the training you recall about how long was it before you may have made your first sale?
Brandon: Yeah, it was about let’s see [inaudible 00:08:34] it takes you … a couple weeks to pick a product and then another month or so to get in stock and then I think about the week after I listed it on Amazon I made my first sale.
Mike: And what was that feeling like?
Brandon: It was incredible. It was really the first money I’d ever made online. After, you know just on the side I’d been trying for years to just do little things that people talked about and tried to make money and all I ended up doing was spending money on more programs and so that was the first time I had made money and it felt great.
Mike: So you made your first sale and then I’m assuming some time over the next couple months you must have had a little bit of confidence that this model was working. Tell me about those next few months, your product first starts selling, and then what was it like those first couple months of actually selling that product?
Brandon: Yeah, it was … for me I became really … As soon as I got those first few sales I became totally hooked on it and so I just was on the computer after work every night for a couple hours just trying to figure out how to grow the business and how to get more visible and how to get more people to see my product. And it’s almost like a game, you know once you’ve start seeing that things work, they try and it results in more sales that makes you just want to try more things and so yeah after about a month and a half or so I decided it was time to release a second product. So I started talking with my existing manufacturer about what other products they had and if there was anything that was a fit that I could go do the analysis and figure out that it would also be a good seller on Amazon and then I just started releasing new products every month or two after that.
Mike: You know that’s a great point. So, I know we’ve both taught people for so long on here, so you had to go through all the hard work on the first product but one way to find another product is to simply reach out to your supplier you already have and that’s exactly what you did.
Brandon: Yeah and it really streamlined the process. I mean it doesn’t always work but when it does work that they happen to build and manufacture multiple things that the numbers support when you’re doing your analysis, then it really does streamline everything and it helps.
Mike: And then I’m assuming after that point once they recognize that you are the real deal, you know how to sell, you’ve learned this whole process, you know, in a very short amount of time but they don’t know that, they probably were coming to you pretty often with more product ideas.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah. Within about, within the first year I became their biggest customer and was their most important client and so I started getting the royal treatment from them pretty quickly and them just trying to bend over backwards to accommodate any requests I had, develop any new product that I could think of they wanted to help me with it. And so it was a very very different relationship within a very short amount of time just because like you said, the numbers speak.
Mike: That’s awesome. So you go from being this, I’m going to project on you because I remember we did all of this at the same time, you go from being scared to death to talk to this manufacturer and supplier, knowing they’re not going to take you seriously, and then within a few months you’re their biggest client and you’re getting the royal treatment. That’s pretty [00:12:01].
Brandon: Yeah, it was.
Mike: So, I’m going to do a quick pause here. I see that our numbers are really going up on Facebook. We’re close to 100 now, 86, 87. So if you’re just joining us, I’m here with Brandon Slater. He’s a seller on Amazon, he’s a trainer, he’s a coach, he’s been mentoring, he’s also just a great all round guy and he’s talking about brand expansion and how he started his first business on Amazon.
So welcome to the call, feel free to share and like this post and share with as many people as possible. And if you did just join us, don’t worry if you missed anything, this automatically gets recorded and the replay that will show up automatically within a few minutes after this call is over and we’re going to keep this less than an hour. I know that Brandon’s busy, he’s got a lot of things to do so we won’t be on for too long.
So back to you Brandon. So you launched your second product probably within a few months after your first one and then at that point, when did you realize really that you know you might want to sell your business at some point? Was it right when you started it? Was it when you launched your second product? Somewhere after that? Like when did it kind of click that you might want to sell this business?
Brandon: Yeah, it was pretty early on but it wasn’t that early. At first it was just like deer in the headlights trying to figure out how to work everything and trying to figure out if this is sustainable or not. Once I started, I think it was once I was about up to making 50 thousand dollars a month within the first six, seven months or so that I started realizing like man this has a lot of value what I’m doing right here.
And really if you want to know, it was funny, it was that first Aruba trip that we were on. I was in the pool after one of the sessions just kind of shooting the breeze with some of the other students there and we just started talking and somehow the idea of selling a business came up. And I still remember it, just being in there talking to them in the swimming pool and just thinking like, “Wait a second, you know what am I waiting for? Maybe I should start looking into this? Maybe I could get three years of income all at once if I sell this business instead of having to scale it up for three years.” And so that’s when I first got the idea the first time, I mean honestly. I think you were on that trip.
Mike: Yeah, yeah I sure was.
Mike: So if you don’t mind me asking, how long was it? So when you made your first sale, how long was it until you found a buyer for your business? How many years after that?
Brandon: It was about a year, a little over a year after. You don’t want to sell the business before it’s at least a year old for tax reasons. But I started inquiring with some brokers and some people that could help me solicit buyers before the year mark. And then a couple months later after the year mark we started, we got an interested party, a few of them actually and then started through that selection process. And then at about, I’d say, 18 months or so is when we closed the sale.
Mike: And do you remember how many products you were selling when you sold the business?
Brandon: Yeah, it was over 20.
Brandon: It was between 20 and 25 I think.
Mike: That’s really good. And so to have that many products over that short amount of time is pretty crazy. You must have went through a pretty strong expansion plan for growing your business.
Brandon: Yeah, you know and the key there, which I know you’ve taught people before too, is that if you can have another income source in the beginning for the first year, even six months, six to eight months or so, to be living on so that you’re not having to pull money and resources out of the business to live on, that will allow you to use all of your profits to reinvest in more inventory and more expansion. And that’s what I was able to do since I was still working full-time for most of that time in the first year. And so I just rolled everything I made back into more products, back into the business, back into more marketing, back into everything I could think of to grow that business. For the first, I don’t think I took a dollar out of it for about eight months or so. And then, that’s really what had that multiplier effect for scaling the business.
Mike: You know so Brandon bring us a great point here in like we always want to be completely up front and truth about everything we teach you. There’s different ways to launch and run an Amazon business or any business out there. And we usually teach three different models. One, if you just want to have this business as a cash business to make additional income, you can start taking money out of the business once you’re selling and profitable and can afford to keep replenishing your inventory. That’s one way to do it. The downside of that is if you don’t put some money back into the business, it’s not going to be able to grow as quickly as possible.
The other end of the spectrum is what Brandon’s talking about. If you’re looking to sell this business at some point in time and very quickly, within let’s say 18 months to 2 years, or you’re looking just to really grow the value of the business as much as possible, then you want to take the profits and reinvest them in the business as much as you’re able to. And then there’s always that kind of hybrid approach in the middle. If you don’t really know what you want to do, you might want to keep the business op running for a long time, you might want to sell it, well you just come up with a really middle of the road strategy. You come up with a plan for when you feel it’s comfortable to take out some money and then reinvest some money.
So really, it’s completely up to you which route you want to go and how quickly you want to grow this. And Brandon is a perfect example of someone who very early on sitting in a pool in Aruba [inaudible 00:17:32] 90 degrees, decided he wanted to sell this business and he made that conscious decision and planned it out. So that’s a great strategy, Brandon. Now when you first, like when you want to start getting up to 25 products, did you have a methodology or a formula for when it was right to launch your third, fourth and fifth products?
Brandon: Yeah, and that’s one thing I tell people that I wish I stuck to a little better because I probably would have scaled my business even faster but as a general rule of thumb, I’ve followed the rule that you really need to get one product up to selling, I used about 20 sales a day as a figure. Once you’re up to 20 sales per day on your first product then it takes you a while to get to 20 sales a day usually. You know some people get lucky and it just takes off immediately but usually it takes a lot of learning and work and marketing and advertising and just understanding how the whole ecosystem of Amazon works before you’ve gotten to that 20 sale figure. And when I say a while, I mean three, four, five months sometimes, sometimes less.
But once you’ve done all that, then you’re really ready to do it again and it goes a lot faster the second time and the third time and the fourth time because you’ve kind of dialed in your system, you’ve built your process. And it’s really just following the model that you guys teach with the ASM, it’ll tell you exactly how to do that.
And so I see a lot of new students that make the mistake of trying to grow too quickly and they’ll get their first product up and they’re selling three, four units a day and they’re already looking to add a second product. I tell them, “Hey, you haven’t learned how to sell that first one yet. You haven’t really experienced the success of getting to 20 sales a day on your first product yet so stop thinking about more products and just put every ounce of energy you have into that first product. Get it up to that 20 sales a day consistently and then do the same thing with your second product and get that one up to 20 sales a day and then the same thing with your third product and get that one to 20 sales a day.”
And then you know not every product you have is going to be a home run. You might have a bust here and there. Maybe your third product flops, but that’s okay because you know the system, you know how to make it work and that’s the way to really scale your business properly.
Mike: Well that’s great. So and you mentioned that another great point out there, if you’re up to 20 or 25 products like you were, not all those products are million dollar products, right? You probably have some that are winners and some that are middle of the road and some that are that probably just bring in very little sales.
Brandon: Yeah. Yeah, and so yeah some of them will go up to 50 sales a day or more and that’s great when that happens but I never plan on that. I just plan on I’m going to get this up to 20 a day. It doesn’t have to be exactly 20 but you know what I mean, just kind of make it so that you’re making money on it every day and it’s profitable, you’re not spending all of your money in advertising so it’s not the same as if you’re making 20 sales a day but you’re spending you know hundreds of dollars on advertising every day because then you don’t have any profits. And so it’s not just 20 sales a day but you know what I mean, it’s being profitable and getting money back out. And that 20 sales a day is nice guideline.
And then even today, I’m sure you’re the same way, I occasionally have a flop. It doesn’t happen very often anymore but it does. I do all the work, I do all the analysis and some things just never gets to that 20 sales a day, it just happens some times and you just have to not let it ruin your life. You just kind of give it everything you can, follow the system, and if you’ve done everything you can and it’s flop, then you can move on. But don’t try to move on too quickly.
Mike: Yup, no, we’ve had a few products that just didn’t take off. They, for some reason or another, they just didn’t take off the way we wanted to. We didn’t lose money on them ever because usually you know if you do follow things the right way, worst case scenario is you break even. It’s not what we’re shooting for but that’s what’s happened to us too. So, and you kind of like touched on this, the first product is probably the hardest one but does it get easier the second, third, fourth and fifth ones?
Brandon: Yeah, it absolutely does, every time. And by the time you get to your fifth, sixth, tenth product, you know hopefully you have a little bit of a community following by that point, people, some returning customers and so you can always take your new product launches to that audience right there and say hey you loved our other products, here’s a new one. Do you want to be one of the first ones to test it out type of thing? And that makes everything easier too.
Mike: That’s a great point. Like once you start getting customers, if you’re building a brand you have future customers to sell more products to. It really just kind of like, it’s …
Brandon: It snowballs, yeah.
Mike: Snowballs, absolutely. Did all your products for your first business fall under the same brand? Or did you have multiple brands?
Brandon: Yeah, I gave every thing I could into that one brand. That’s another thing. You know there’s lots of ways to be successful on Amazon, that is not the only way but I personally because I started thinking about selling the business early on, I didn’t want to get too scatterbrained and try to start doing new product niches and things like that. I just wanted to be a recognizable brand that somebody could look at it and understand it very quickly what the purpose of the business was and not think like, “Oh, well he’s selling bedsheets and he’s also selling fitness items. What kind of brand is this?” And so it makes a buyer more attracted if they can understand it right away when they’re looking at it.
Mike: And then I was going to say something about staffing, but was there at some point that, I’m assuming that by the time you sold this business it wasn’t just you doing customer service everything, did you have to bring someone on to help you at any point in time?
Brandon: Yeah, so after I was selling, probably after two or three products I brought on kind of a VA type of person to handle the customer service primarily but also help me with some copy writing and some content and things like that. And they pretty quickly I got them up to doing 30, 40 hours a week and then I had other independent contractors that I’d call on when needed but that was my only real kind of full-time employee that I really needed to scale the business that big, which really surprised me. I didn’t think you could run a multi-million dollar business with two full-time people, but I was able to do that.
Mike: And then when you sold the business, did that person go with it or did you keep them around to help you with other things?
Brandon: Yeah, that person went with it. They were kind of an essential asset to the business at that point and so that was part of, the employee went along with the business.
Mike: But that’s probably a good thing because otherwise you might have to stick around longer and help them run their business until they’re fully up to speed.
Brandon: Right, yeah. It was a really good thing. It was super helpful for the buyer.
Mike: All right so, before I get to some questions, I’m seeing a lot of good questions pop up by the way. A lot of good thank yous by the way, Brandon, for hopping on. If you’re just joining us, Brandon Slater, multi-million dollar Amazon seller, newlywed, trainer, coach, mentor, traveled to exotic locations, he’s here telling us about brand expansion and how that led to him selling his business. So thanks for joining us. Feel free to like and share this video. One of the other things that I saw we had a question for, I’m going to get to right away, is how long was it, and I think you mentioned this, how long was it again before you launched your second product?
Brandon: Yeah, it was about two months I think after my first product. And so, that’s how long it took me to follow the training and follow the system to get the sales that I needed to be successful with that first product and use the profits from that first product and really kind of that’s a good rule of thumb too, is once the profits from the first product can pay for the second inventory order then that’s probably a good time to order more products. But until then, you don’t want to be pulling money out of your pocket if possible to launch that second product.
Mike: Nope. Great point. All right. So we’ve got another question as well from, looks like from [Niko Kumar 00:26:15], Brandon, how are you able to communicate with suppliers and place your orders and get the price? How do you communicate with your suppliers?
Brandon: It’s a combination of online, telephone, sometimes I even go in person. I still go to China two, three times a year just because I like that face to face time with my suppliers. And we use Skype a lot for messaging just to have ongoing conversations, and then emails, yeah.
Mike: Did you start off finding them on Alibaba? Is that where you did your search or did you find this by the way?
Brandon: Yeah, I did searching on Alibaba but I also, I think I ended up finding my first supplier right on Google.
Brandon: Just by looking at their website.
Mike: And then you mentioned that you also went to China, how soon was it after you started selling that you went to China? And why’d you feel the desire to do that?
Brandon: Yeah, it wasn’t right away, it was after about maybe a year. And I just felt the desire to do it because I … Well, I talked to other people who had been to China and they told me the value of it, which really is if you go there especially if you go to like a trade show or fair or something like that, your eyes really get opened to lots of things that you haven’t been thinking about just like clicking through on the websites, you know. You’re looking at booths and you’re looking at available products and you think like how did I ever miss this when I did hours and hours of searching for products. This is an obvious candidate, the numbers work, and for some reason it never caught my eye. Maybe I skipped right over it but once you see it in person it’s a fantastic product.
And so that plus having the personal face to face relationship with your suppliers and developing that relationship pays dividends later on too. They’ll be calling you and wanting to work with you because they know, they’ve met you a couple times, you’ve had dinner together, you’ve seen their factory. It’s a totally different dynamic and so I don’t think it’s necessary for beginners to go out there right away but eventually I do recommend that everybody take at least one trip to go and visit their supplier.
Mike: No, that’s great advice. That’s what I’ve heard too. Almost all of us you’ll hear talk about selling on Amazon, we did not go to China for example, if that’s where we’re sourcing, we didn’t feel the need to go over there right away. We find our products online searching similar to the training videos. If you watch, it was video number two on amazingsellingmachine.com. We show you how to do that.
You don’t need to go to China. And then later on down the road if you want to, to kind of get more opportunities and meet face to face, like Brandon and several other people have done, then head on over there and go to a fair and meet up with them. It’s a great idea. I will tell you personally I’m now reaching my four and a half or fifth year of selling and I’ve yet to go to China. Brandon gives me trouble about it all the time, my other good friends, Athena, Angie, Elaine and several other people always ask if I’m going to go over there. I’m holding off still, I might change my mind at some point but so far I’ve been able to sell and not have to go over there yet. But I did have my supplier come visit me so that was kind of a consolation for it.
Brandon: How was that Mike? Meeting them in person, was it [inaudible 00:29:38]?
Mike: It was a [crosstalk 00:29:41] coming over here and just shaking hands with someone, having a meal, having a drink; it did really build up, it really enhanced the rapport we had already built. So I do think once you get to that certain level, let’s call it once you’re doing maybe half a million a year in sales, which really is not hard to get to. We’re only talking about getting to you know 45 thousand dollars a month in revenue in order to get to a half a million in sales. That’s probably when you might want to consider if meeting your supplier is right for you. That’s just my own dollar, figure to put it out there, maybe it’s a million but until you’re selling you don’t really need to worry about it. Focus on finding the product and getting your brand started and then you can figure out if that’s right for you, like just what Brandon, what he said.
We got some other great questions on here. This one’s from, looks like it’s from [inaudible 00:30:31], when you create a brand do you protect it with a trademark, Brandon?
Brandon: Yes and it’s become really more important than ever to do that. When I first started out Amazon didn’t require a trademark to get brand registry, they didn’t require a trademark to be eligible for the vendor express program, things like that. But that’s all changed in the last year. So now they’re requiring everybody to get a trademark just to be able to have any sort of protection on your brand and so it’s a long process. Sometimes it takes six months or more but I’d say right when you start your brand out, pay the 500 bucks to get the trademark registered and talk to a trademark attorney and get that process going so that in three to six months down the road you can start getting those extra access abilities within Amazon.
Mike: Yup, yup. So there are new tools on Amazon and Amazon’s releasing new ones all the time, that they’re making available to sellers. And their focus right now is on those that are brand sellers, if your brand registered and so a pre-requisite, you don’t got to do this on day one you start selling but once you start selling your product and you realize that it’s going to be a good product for you, definitely go out there and consider getting a trademark to go out there and get brand registry. Again, it’s not thousands of dollars like Brandon said, it’s probably like 500 bucks if you want to do it online in the United States. Also, the same person asked, did you just go for the USA trademark or did you decide to get a trademark internationally?
Brandon: Yeah, that’s a good question. I primarily started in the US but then as you know later on I focused a lot more on selling in Europe and so recently I, well not too recently, about a year ago I went out and got a trademark in the European markets. And I found the process actually a little bit easier surprisingly to get that trademark because it was sort of a generic name that I had and my brand name and then you have to jump through a lot more hoops when it’s a generic name in the US but I found that it wasn’t that hard to get that name trademarked over there in Europe. So yeah, and actually, and if you want to start getting it in Europe, it’s perfectly fine. You can use that European trademark to brand your, to get eligibility for brand registry in the US these days.
Mike: Ah. You know I recall someone mentioning you dropped a great trick and tip on that.
Mike: That getting brand registered in Europe can make it possible in the US too. That’s something good to keep in mind. So, [Ahmed 00:33:21] is asking, Brandon how do you manage pricing and sourcing from Alibaba? I discovered many sellers are pricing very very low on Amazon, so how do you still sell for profit if other sellers are selling it at a cheap price?
Brandon: Yeah, I mean that’s the trick isn’t it. It’s finding products where there’s still opportunity and putting your own spin on them to create value so that you’re not just another run of the mill generic offering. And so, it takes a lot of time searching to find those niches where they’re not completely saturated, but also it’s making the product better, making it feel more quality, putting your logo on the product and on the packaging, making it stand out, doing proper photography and marketing so that you can charge two, three, four, five dollars more than the next guy because you just put together a better presentation and a better offering to the customer.
And so, I usually try to stay away from products if I have like a barbecue … set or something and I go on Amazon and I see that like 15 other people are selling the exact same generic barbecue set, I’m not going to bother with selling that barbecue set. I’m going to go find one that’s different in some way, has an extra piece, has more metal handles, whatever it is, something that’s better than the ones that are out there and then really really put all my energy into marketing and presenting that product as a better alternative to the ones that are doing well currently. And that’s how you can increase your price and charge more for the product.
Mike: Yup, that’s great advice and like what Brandon’s saying, there are so many ways out there to add value, not just perceived, but real value to your product. Think about yourself as a buyer when you’re looking for a product, would you rather receive a spatula with no logo, no brand, no coupon, no insert, just in a clear plastic bag or would you like to see one coming in a really nice packaging with some good instructions and maybe some cooking tips on it, the logo looks great on the box, it’s like really high quality. The product may be exactly the same but when you as a consumer receive it, your perceived value depends a lot upon what that seller has done to make that product seem much more valuable to you. There’s lots of things you can do to overcome the low price sellers. And then Brandon will tell me, or probably [inaudible 00:35:56] too, most manufacturers, let’s say there are manufacturers in China, overseas trying to sell products on Amazon, most of them no nothing about marketing. The only tool they have is price and that’s just one tool in your marketing arsenal. Would you agree with that Brandon?
Brandon: Yeah. And then something you said, you know when that person gets that package and it feels good when they open the box and they feel like I’ve received a quality item, they’re much more apt to leaving a positive review. And if you can gather those positive reviews over time, that again, that’s another tool that you can use to charge more for your product too. If you’re the guy that has 300 4 and a half star reviews and everybody else has 80 reviews and they’re only 3 and a half or 4 stars, then you can charge 3, 4, 5 more dollars for your product and people will pay it.
Mike: Yup, absolutely. Here’s another great question from a Shawn [Kenneth 00:36:52]. Did you used enhanced brand content and if so, did you see a big jump in sales and/or [inaudible 00:37:01] conversions? And just so everyone knows, enhanced brand content is another tool that you have available to you that if you get brand registered, which means you have a trademark and Amazon recognizes that’s your brand, they give you a way to make your listings kind of pop out with images and pictures. It’s a new thing they came out with this year. So Brandon did you use that? And if so, did you see any results from that?
Brandon: Yeah, I mean it’s wasn’t around when I first started but I do currently use it on my products and I have seen good feedback. I can’t say that in every case it’s increased my conversion rate or my sales but it’s kind of hit or miss, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But I say why not do it because there’s a chance it will help and it does look a lot nicer on the Amazon page if you haven’t done well. There’s, if you go on to Fiverr.com, there’s people that will put together really nice looking [inaudible 00:37:58] content banners for you for not a lot of money so it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and do it.
Mike: Awesome. So we’re getting close to where I got to let Brandon go here. But we’ve got one more question. I promise you I did not set this up. It’s from [Zibo 00:38:13] can’t pronounce the last name. But they’re saying hi, I’d like to know which training program you would recommend for a beginner. And no, I do not know Zibo, did not tell them to post this question but I will since they laid it up there for me. Now Brandon what training program would you recommend for anyone looking to start selling on Amazon?
Brandon: Yeah, well the one that I went through and the only one that I would recommend is the Amazing Selling Machine program. The reason is that it’s not just your run of the mill like affiliate marketing PDF of how to do something. You guys put hundreds of thousands of dollars into training and effort and bring in experts and putting together an A to Z guide on what you need to be successful. And you get what you pay for and so it’s amazing what you guys have put together and I’m a living, walking testimonial of it.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks Brand, that was perfect. Great question Zibo I appreciate that because we’re wrapping up the interview as it is. I did see one other question. I’ll answer it for Brandon though. [Maddit 00:39:24] had answered, how do you handle what are called hijackers or people that are kind of selling your product on your listing? Do you trademark your brand? Brandon already talked about it, get brand registry, gives you a ton of protections that didn’t exist a year ago and it does really make that process, problem much easier to resolve. Do you have much of an issue with people trying to sell counterfeits of your product anymore, Brandon?
Brandon: Yeah and people are always jumping on but I will say that brand registry has gotten better than it was a year ago or even two years ago. Amazon has finally kind of heard the cries from all the third party sellers who have been victimized by these hijackers and it seems like they’re cracking down and making it more effective to get them off your listings. So yeah I would echo that comment.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks Brandon. Just so you know, don’t worry about that. Amazon, it’s in their best interest to make sure that we as sellers have the best experience and customers have the best experience so their number one focus this past year has been getting rid of counterfeiters, people selling products that are just knock-offs. They’ve done a really good job of making progress in that area so that helps us as sellers and helps consumer have more confidence. Brandon, thank you so much for being here. Just thanks for everything that you do.
Like again, and I don’t want to make Brandon blush here, but we always get compliments for any time we bring Brandon on, any time that he goes and does some kind of Mastermind training, any coaching, any time he just hops on these calls, completely you know. I just bugged him the other day, “Hey do you want to hop on a call with us?” And he just always says, “Sure. Just let me know what time to be on there.” He’s always willing to share his knowledge and expertise. We appreciate that Brandon. So happy for your success. So happy to hear about your first business, how well it did, you selling it for how much you did and then the fact that Brandon hasn’t given up folks, he decided to start another one. So that’s what he’s doing now with another partner. The process continues.
So thank you Brandon and I hope to see you real soon at our next live event in Orlando and maybe in China some day.
Brandon: Yeah, I’ll be there. Thank you.
Mike: All right, so I want to mention since the question came up about the Amazing Selling Machine, that first off, if you have not seen the free training that we have, definitely go to amazingsellingmachine.com and sign up to get the free training. This is truly free training, it’s not watered down. We go through the different processes that I mentioned earlier, how to find red hot product opportunities, how to find suppliers, we also talk about freight forwarding that makes this business model so much easier, almost automated as far as getting products from China or anywhere overseas to wherever you’re selling. Then we also talk about ranking and launching your product so that you see sales immediately and then we talk about automating this process and in the fourth video, and the way to do that is to go through another course that we have.
We have a program called the Amazing Selling Machine, Brandon mentioned it’s there, it’s the exact same training that I took when I was starting off, it’s the same training that Brandon took when he was starting off, the same training that thousands of other successful sellers have taken. And when I say the same training, it is the same methodology, the same online course, but it’s been updated non-stop throughout the years. And the way that I know that, and the reason that I know that, is because I personally have been involved along with Matt, Jason, and Rich Henderson, the past year, completely revamping and updating the training so that you always get the most up to date and current version of the training. We’re always testing out and seeing what is and what’s not working and we’re always updating the training so that you have access to that.
So when you sign up for the Amazing Selling Machine, and again go to amazingsellingmachine.com to find out all the details, if you click on the fourth video once you get access to the free training, click on the fourth video called Build, it’ll walk you through the entire course and how to get access to it. And the course consists of a lot of different parts.
First, it’s an eight week online training program. So now what we’ve done is we’ve broken out the entire business into eight separate modules that get released one week at a time and it’s all on your own time. So you don’t have to worry about the module opens up at 9 am on a Friday or if it opens up at 10 am tomorrow morning. It’s all based upon when you sign up, you will get immediate access to the welcome module and soon as you finish it, to module number one. And then each week after that, that module will open, the next module will open up for you.
And it’s eight weeks of intense online training you watch at your leisure when you’re ready so if you have a full-time job, like I have, like Brandon had, you can watch this in the evenings or in the mornings or on your breaks, whenever you want to. You get full access to the eight weeks of online training and you never lose access to that training. So even if it’s three years down the road, five years, you can always come back and watch that training as you want. Now, the training is awesome, it’s up to date, it’s relevant, tells you all the best tactics and tricks that we know that we use in our businesses every day, but there’s so much more to the course than that. And there’s so much more that makes it so valuable.
The second component other than the training, would be the mentor program. I started out as a mentor three or four years ago. I was just a normal member taking the training, building my own business, and then I realized that I enjoyed helping people, not just doing training, but just going into our online thriving communities and answering questions, giving people motivation, when they have problems answering their problems with how to get around those problems. What we have, I don’t know I think we have like 15 to 20 mentors right now that are in the community all the time answering questions. And these mentors are not just people that are educators or teachers or trainers, they each run their own business. On average, each of our mentors have done at least a million dollars in sales so that if you have a question or you have a problem, you can trust the answer that they’re giving you. They’re not just mentoring and training and coaching, they’re also running their own successful online businesses and they enjoy helping people do the same thing. So you get access to the mentor program as well.
Now, you also get lifetime access to what we call the private resource vault and our online community. So the private resource vault, it’s kind of like a Rolodex of all the services that we’ve been using over the years to grow our business: photographers, videographers, online accounting services, freight forwarders, graphic helping services, all different kinds of things that we’ve been building up over the years. We decided that after three or four years of this we each have our own contacts that we found work really well in this business, we decided to pool those resources together and put them in to this private resource vault.
So that if you sign up for the Amazing Selling Machine, you get access to that too. If you want to know oh what’s the best way to get pictures taken of your product, go to the vault. We’ll give you the same photographers that we use. If you want to get a video made of your product in use, we have online people who actually do that as well. We’ll give you the contacts, you can reach out to them. We also work out special deals whenever possible so that you can get the best deals possible that aren’t available to anyone else out there. If you want to get some tools for running your business, maybe tracking your profitability, also how about sending emails out to your customers, we have those tools available in the online resource vault.
As a matter of fact, one of the tools you will get access to for six months for free. It’s called Manage By Stats. We’ve worked out a very special deal with them so if you sign up for the Amazing Selling Machine and when you’re ready to go out there and actually start tracking your sales and your profitability and you want to email your customers, you get six months of free access to this tool just for joining.
You also get access to like I said, the exclusive online community. This is probably, I feel, most valuable part of the entire course. There are lots of other training programs out there, none of them I feel are as good as ours, I am biased because I’ve done a lot of the training based on what I know does and does not work. So has Rich Henderson, he works with me and we both do the training. But, in addition to that training you get access to the online community, not only where the mentors hang out, not only where Rich and I hang out, where all of our other members hang out as well. It’s not just new members starting off, it’s also members that have been selling for two, three, four, five years sharing their experience with you.
So if you’re having a problem that day or just struggling in general, you’re frustrated about something going on in your life, your business, hop in the community. You will see the most positive uplifting group of people looking to do exactly what you’re doing to change their lives by starting their own business. That online community is invaluable. I don’t even know how we put a value on it because it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever seen anywhere else.
Now, in addition to everything I just mentioned to you, you also get our 30 day money back guarantee. So if for any reason at all you sign up for the Amazing Selling Machine and you realize it’s not right for you, within 30 days simply give us a call and we will refund you completely what you paid for the Amazing Selling Machine. We’ve never had anyone that we have not refunded so you don’t need to worry about that. You can check us out, there’s never been a case where it may just not be the right thing for you. That’s why we’ve put all the pressure on us. Try it out, get access to the first four, almost five weeks, of the course and then if you still realize or think that it’s not the right business model for you, you can simply cancel at any point in time before 30 days and get all your money back. So there’s no risk to you at all.
Now something that we’re making available only for the next couple days. We’ve done this a few times in the past, but we always take it away because it’s just really really powerful, but until the end of January, so only through tomorrow I believe, you also get what we call the six month buy back promise. So in addition to the 30 days you have to try out the course, if after 30 days you’re just not quite sure. Let’s say that you don’t have your product ready yet, you’re not ready to say this is the right business and you want to keep trying it out, well we have the six month buy back promise that if you go ahead and you follow the course to the end, and you do all the steps that we ask you for, and we’re not making you jump through hoops, we’re just making sure that you follow the course.
You watch the training, you take action, you find your product, you find your supplier, you order your product, you launch the product, and all this is laid out in the buy back promise. If you do all those things and after six months you still don’t want this business, the six months buy back promise says we will buy your business from you up to, I believe, 10 thousand dollars worth of inventory, we’ll buy that back from you. We’ll not only reimburse you for the cost of the course, we’ll also buy the inventory that you have on hand from you. So really there’s like no risk at all.
A lot of people were asking us like why would we do that? Well the reason is simple. We have so much faith in the Amazing Selling Machine that if you go out there and you do what we tell you to do and you follow the steps, and you actually get your first product and start selling, if for some reason you just don’t like the business, you don’t want the business, we are happy to buy that from you. That is an asset that you will have and we’re more than happy to go out there and buy your product that we know meets our criteria, and the supplier that you found to sell that product, and the product that you’ve done the research on and got pictures on, we’ll gladly take that over from you. So check out the buy back promise, it’s actually on the checkout page. We’ll give you all the details we lay it out in black and white what’s expected of you and again, it is not anything intensive what we expect.
Just follow the training, at least get to the point where your product is launched and if for some reason at all you don’t want to continue on, you contact us within six months and we will arrange the details, we’ll have a short call with you, we just want to go through the checklist, see what you’ve done to make sure you’ve checked those boxes off, and then we will simply buy your inventory and refund you for the course. You can get all the details online at amazingsellingmachine.com. It’s an awesome program. It has changed my life, it has changed countless other people’s lives.
Now while we can’t guarantee that every single person is going to be a complete and total success, I can tell you that this course gives you everything you need and the best possible chances for creating your own business and changing your life. It is awesome, I love it, I wouldn’t be on here doing these Facebook lives, sharing all kinds of free information and then telling you about the course and then doing the training and then going to our live events and then hopping on coaching calls, answering your questions, I wouldn’t do all those things if I didn’t have personal faith in the program, which I do. If I didn’t, if I ever feel like it’s no longer working, I simply would stop doing it but that’s not the case. It works. This business is insane.
Amazon has grown like gangbusters. I know they’ve went through some explosive growth over the past couple of years, but that trend is not slowing down. They are still growing each and every year they’re expanding, the number of [inaudible 00:52:19] warehouses, they’re expanding their reach in the United States, they’re expanding their reach worldwide and even to this date if you think about how much of a market share Amazon has, they have room to grow. But even more importantly, the amount of sales that are done online compared to brick and mortar stores is still a very very small number. I don’t know exactly, I think it’s somewhere around 15 to 20% of sales are done online. That means there’s over 80% of all e-commerce or all commerce transactions that still are done brick and mortar that people will continue to move online and buy their products. That trend is going up and up and the best way to have your product and your brand out there selling and taking advantage of that is to build your own business. And we will show you how to do that inside of the Amazing Selling Machine.
Now remember that the six month buy back promise is only good til the end of January. We don’t know if we’re going to bring it back again. We may at some point in time, but we do know that we are taking it away end of the day tomorrow. So that should be at midnight Pacific time tomorrow, we’ll be taking that away. So if you want to take advantage of that, hop on, check it out.
Even if you decide you don’t want to do the Amazing Selling Machine, please go there and watch the free training. We’ve had some people who just have gotten some great information from the free training. They were able to get a product up and selling and then once they realized that it’s a real business model, it works, they came back and signed up for the course later. I don’t know if it’ll be available later, I know it’s available now. But I want you to watch the free training. It’ll show you what this business model is all about. It’ll also tell you and show you about other people who have been where you are right now, where I was four and a half years ago, let you know exactly how their lives are changed, how my life has changed. So I want you to watch that. So even if you don’t sign up, go watch the free training. It’s worth it all in itself right there.
So that’s it for this call here. I’m going to thank everyone again for joining us. If you hopped on late, remember this call is being automatically recorded. It will show up here within a few minutes on Facebook. I would thank you guys all for joining us. We’re going to have another one of these live sessions tonight at 9 pm Central. So if you want to see us interview another successful seller, hop on then. And then we’re also going to have two more live sessions tomorrow. First one will be at 11 am Central time and then 9 pm Central time tomorrow night. We’re bringing on two other people that I know and love dearly, who their lives have changed.
So if you want to watch those, be sure to sign up. You can just come on and sign up for live sessions at amazingsellingmachine.com/live-sessions, that way you’ll get notified of these live sessions and you can also get the free training there. So thank you again for joining us. I hope to see as many of you as possible inside the community, inside the course where we’ll be kicking off having the live coaching calls and I want to see as many people as possible change their lives. Thanks again and I will see and hopefully meet all of you very very soon. Take care.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.