How do you increase sales on the Amazon without paying ad spend? This article will teach you the free Amazon traffic strategy that will help maximize sales transactions and increase profit.
Matt Clark (of Amazing.com) recently sat down with Stefan James (of Project Life Mastery) to present a $50,000 check to WE Charity, on Stefan’s behalf. Stefan was recently the top referrer to Amazing.com’s “Amazing Selling Machine” online course for how to grow a successful business with Amazon , and earned this gift for the charity of his choice (you can learn more about WE charity in the full interview, below).
During their rendezvous, Matt asked Stefan to share his knowledge about how a seller looking to increase their sales on the Amazon marketplace can take specific steps to get buyers to their Amazon product listing, with zero ad spend. Sellers can make almost any product they are selling profitable, if they are getting their own traffic instead of losing profit by paying for ad spend. But how?
You can do this by effectively utilizing your relevant social media platforms.
How to Get Free Traffic to Amazon
1. Research the target market.
2. Build quality content that will attract followers and/or subscribers on social media (the content should provide value to the audience).
3. Build followers and/or subscribers by releasing the quality content on social media (these followers are your audience and target market, the people with interest in your niche).
4. Using social media, drive the audience to the relevant Amazon product page.
How to Increase Sales on Amazon Marketplace by Developing a Targeted Audience
You can create a relationship with your audience by building a targeted audience (aka, a group of people within your target market) around your specific niche.
You can create trust.
Once you start sending you audience to your Amazon product listing, you are actually sending endorsed traffic.
In essence, the sale has already been made.
Audience members are just going to the Amazon product listing to complete the transaction.
They already trust you.
The buyer isn’t going to amazon to do research and compare products.
They are already sold on the product.
How Can You Utilize Social Media to Get Free Traffic to Their Amazon Listing?
People on the internet consume data.
The data consumed is presented in many different forms, such as:
You must be a content creator.
In order to build an audience, you need to create content related to your product and release it on social media.
Consider focusing in on a specific product and release content about it. If you sell grilling thermometers, release content all about grilling thermometers.
On the other hand, it can be better to take a broader look at the market to appeal to more people. In this case, create content that is applicable to the whole grilling/barbecuing market. This gives you more options in the future when selling to the audience.
Research your niche by asking things like:
- What do people in this market want?
- What problems do they encounter?
- What challenges do they have?
- What do people in this market need?
- What content are the people in this market already consuming?
Identify which platform your target demographic uses:
It can be hard to tackle all platforms at once. Identify the platforms your target market will be using. Master the process of creating content for those specific platforms, then expand out from there.
Make sure you create content that:
1. Adds value (you build trust via your content)
2. Attracts followers
3. Will funnel into your product page on Amazon
Content Creation based on Research
How should you decide what content to create?
It should be based on research.
Research and identify the specific keywords and phrases people are going to be searching for (these searches might be on YouTube, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, etc.).
Make a list of all of the keywords people are looking for.
Don’t forget to go broad. What are the problems in the niche? What are the problems the product will solve? What challenges does it help with? What are the benefits it provides?
Keyword research creates relevant content that converts into sales:
Use keyword research tools like Google keywords research tools.
Look to see what auto-populates on Google or YouTube as you type in certain keywords.
Check out different videos in your niche that are already getting a lot of views or engagement. Read the comments to see what people are talking about.
What content topics are working for other sellers in this niche? What content is getting a lot of user engagement? Figure this out and you can then create your own content around the topic.
After doing your research, attract people with an interest in your niche by giving them quality content that actually helps them. Give them what they want so they build trust with your brand. Promote the product to them. Once you have a successful system in place, do it over and over again to get free traffic to Amazon and increase sales in your Amazon marketplace.
Read the full interview: Stefan James and Matt Clark describe how to get free Amazon traffic to increase sales in the Amazon Marketplace.
Stefan James: We’re live.
Matt Clark: Hey there, Matt Clark here with Stefan from Project Life Mastery. I’m up here, I flew up here to Vancouver from hometown of Austin, which most of you probably know. But flew up here to Vancouver because I have an exciting gift for Stefan based on a really cool accomplishment that he had recently. I’ll just go ahead and pull it out, as you can probably see this is a giant check, but this is $50,000. $50,000 we as a company, Amazing.com, have donated to a charity that Stefan chose called WE Charity on behalf of him. We’ll talk a little bit about why we’ve done this, but first I just want to say congratulations that’s an awesome accomplishment.
Stefan James: Well thank you, I appreciate it. This is amazing.
Matt Clark: The way this all came about is a lot of you all as you’ve been following us on social media, on our email list that we just did a big release of Amazing Selling Machine. It was actually the eighth one, this is our flagship program. It teaches you everything about selling on Amazon, how to build a business from start to finish. And the way we get the word out about this amazing program that’s had so many success stories is people like Stefan that have amazing communities of people that are interested in changing their lives. We held a contest for people that could refer the most people to amazing selling machine, and Stefan won kind of by a landslide.
Absolutely dominated the competition, and we had a lot of great people referring people. And so Stefan referred a lot of people through this YouTube channel and the other ways that he reaches people, and one of the prizes that you get is a $50,000 donation to the charity of your choice. And so Stefan won, so I kind of wanted to come here and make a personal visit up to Vancouver and give him this check because it’s an amazing thing for him, it’s an amazing thing for us, it’s an amazing thing especially for the charity. The first thing I’d like to do is kind of talk a little bit about what is this charity all about and why did you choose this one?
Stefan James: Yeah, this is amazing. I want to thank you so much just for taking the time to come all the way up here and everything, really appreciate it. We.org is an organization that I’ve been involved with for the last year or two, it actually was they merged with another organization called Imagine One Day. And they’re involved in a lot of different projects, but the part that I’ve been most passionate about has been education. And in the past I’ve made donations and helped build schools in parts of the world like Ethiopia, Kenya, in fact my girlfriend and I were just in Ethiopia for a trip there where we funded a school. We went to a school inauguration and we actually got to see the school that they would go to school at beforehand, and the new school. And for me that’s just been a personal thing because I know the power of education, I know you guys are about education as well, helping people change their lives through training and information.
That’s made an impact on my life, a lot of these kids and people in this part of the world they don’t go to school, they don’t know how to read, to write, to speak English. And often times they’ll just kind of stay where they’re at, they’re not going to really progress unless they are empowered through education. And one of the biggest challenges that we have going to those communities is educating the value on the value of education because in a lot of cases these families work out in the farms, they have to go to the well to they get water. They don’t understand why they would have their kids go to school when instead they could just have them work on the farm to support the family that way. It’s just an amazing thing that I’ve been a part of.
Matt Clark: How did you find out about it? How did you first get involved with them?
Stefan James: I actually was involved, I’ve been involved in a few different groups and I was looking at what is something that could be a bigger part of my mission? I’m passionate about self development, I’ve got my YouTube and I help people online in different ways, but I was thinking I want to get behind something even bigger than that. And I’ve just been looking for different organizations, different things that I could support. And I thought the schools and education would be something that can make a significant difference in the world, it’s aligned with my values, my brand. I’ve also done fundraising campaigns on my YouTube for my followers and my social media to get other people involved and bringing awareness to those things too. I thought it would be something that other people can get involved in and support.
Matt Clark: Did you kind of find them online?
Stefan James: WE is actually pretty big, they have something called WE day. I’m not sure if you heard of that before but they actually do it in LA, Vancouver, they have thousands and thousands, fill up stadiums and everything of things that they do. They’re pretty big, and I actually was introduced to WE through Imagine One Day, which was more of a local group here in Canada. And they would partner with different organizations and whatnot and they were involved in Ethiopia. They just so happened to merge with WE and just the last trip that we were actually there in Ethiopia I got to really experience it, and meet the WE organization, and spend time with them, and work with them on campaigns on the backend. And they’ve been very generous in working with me and very supportive of what we do.
Matt Clark: Sweet, that’s awesome. What do you think this $50,000 will do? Do you have a sense of what kind of impact that can have? It’s not a small amount of money whether you’re in North America, but especially if you’re in kind of a country that’s not doing so well economically. What kind of impact do you think that will have?
Stefan James: Yeah, this $50,000 is going to go towards funding two different schools. One is going to be in Ethiopia and one is going to be in Kenya. If I were to show you, when I was there I took all this video footage and stuff, but the schools that they currently have are literally a bunch of twigs and sticks kind of put together. And there’s 30 kids that are literally kind of crammed into a space maybe in a no bigger than what we’re in here, and they’ll be sitting on rocks and everything and that’s how they learn. And what this will provide is an actual classroom, an actual building and structure, books, a library.
The cool thing I love also is when we went there all the kids have a vision for their life and goals. We’re going to talk about goal setting, but I really love that. And they believe that by making sure that all the kids have goals they can achieve anything they want. And they really install that belief system into the kids as well, which I think is very important. Often times they don’t believe their life can be greater than what it is, and through education and helping set goals, and help them dream different possibilities, they believe they can be doctors, they can be leaders of the world, they can be engineers, they can be whatever they want to be. That’s what I’m excited about with it, but it’s going to provide the classrooms, the books, the libraries, everything for them.
Matt Clark: Sweet, yeah that’s awesome. I know everyone here, me, Jason, Mike, Rich, everyone at Amazing.com, we’re super excited that we’re able to have this sort of impact. Thank you and hopefully this does a lot of good and we hear about it later. What I’d like to do is up here in Vancouver, by the way we’re live so we’re getting a lot of people commenting. We’ve got Annette, we’ve got Vishwageet, Ginto, Caroline, Javier, so thanks everyone for joining us. What we’re going to talk about is Stefan does a lot on social media, does a lot with content marketing. I figured while I was here in Vancouver delivering this donation check, which if you’re joining us late you can replay this video and kind of watch it from the beginning to hear all about it. But what I want to do because this is kind of your break and butter, is talk a little bit about how this applies to Amazon. You know a lot about Amazon, you’ve built an Amazon business, you’ve been involved in coaching people and helping people.
And so I kind of have a theory myself about ways that people can do extremely well, and it’s kind of more than a few, we have people that have really validated this. But a way you can use certain aspects of social media right now to absolutely crush it on Amazon, and not have to spend a dime on ads, zero ad cost. I know a lot of people watching here they either sell on Amazon or they want to sell on Amazon. And the typical model, which is great, this is what we teach so it’s not like it’s the bad way to do it. But you basically get your products live on Amazon, you get some reviews, you get your listing optimized and usually your first plan of attack in terms of getting traffic once you get those fundamentals in place is turning on ads. And ads are great, ads with Amazon you can dial them in so that they’re profitable, but you’re still spending money.
And you have to manage it so it doesn’t get out of control, and at some point there’s only so much you can spend profitably because there’s only so much traffic, there’s so many competitors. But the way you have looked at social media, I know we were having a conversation yesterday, is that you’re pretty confident that no matter what product you sell on Amazon, you can probably make it work if you’re getting your own traffic. And so you’re not going out there and competing for keywords on Amazon, you’re basically building an audience, using social media, driving that to your own Amazon product. That person basically by the time they get to Amazon it’s already kind of endorsed traffic, they’re more or less just going there to complete the purchase, which is completely different. We’ve been involved with people who have proven this, I know we were talking about somebody yesterday you all were saying does like $10,000 a month just with basically Instagram posting.
Yeah, I’d like to have a conversation about this because I think there’s ways to do it on Facebook and other channels. But let’s talk a little bit about you’ve got the average person out there, let’s say they’re at the very beginning. Let’s say they just got a product live on Amazon, they’ve got their five to ten reviews, they’ve got their listing, it looks good, they’ve got good photos and all that sort of stuff. And they’re like “How do I start getting people to see this thing?” Where would you kind of tell that person to start in terms of using social media to really start ramping things up?
Stefan James: I think first it’s looking at it as bigger than just an Amazon business. Amazon is the platform that we use to launch our product, they’ve got hundreds of millions of people on there, they have the trust, the credibility, they handle the payments, they handle the fulfillment, they handle a lot for you. And one of the main, I think, ways that people sell their product is they look at how they can rank their product on Amazon search because Amazon’s a search engine as well as running Amazon ads. And that’s fantastic, you should definitely do that because people are already on Amazon and it’s going to be one of the easiest ways you can sell. But the challenge is that everyone else is doing that, all your competitors are also doing that as well. And it kind of becomes a race to the top of the keyword or who has more reviews, or customers are looking through comparing this product versus that product. And it’s just one pillar, and I look at multiple pillars.
I’m a big fan of Jay Abraham, he calls it building a Parthenon where you have multiple pillars that sustain it. So that even if one pillar gets removed, you still have multiple pillars. I look at what are ways you can market your product outside of Amazon? Social media there’s so many different platforms, Google’s the most popular website on the internet according to Alexa, second is YouTube and Facebook, Yahoo’s up there, Instagram. I think people are crazy not to use those, those are the most popular website. Just like how Amazon’s so popular, there’s so many people there, why not use those other pieces too? The way that I look at the internet is it’s just made up of content, video, images, text, audio. And people are constantly consuming content, right now we’re creating content. If you scroll through your Facebook feed, content, video, article, text, images. Becoming a content creator I think I some of the most important, most valuable skills.
And the way I approach it with an Amazon product is looking at you can create content related to your product. Let’s say you sell a yoga mat, it could be videos, or articles, or images centered around your product. You could put that up on social media, you could do YouTube videos about that, you could write articles about it. But I also take a back even further looking at the overall niche or market that you’re in. If you’re selling a spatula, you’re not really just in the spatula niche, you might be in the kitchen ware or the cooking niche. And when you take a broader perspective of your market, it gives you a lot more options to be able to create content with. And I think you just got to really know the niche and the market that you’re in, what people want, what their biggest problems are, the biggest challenges are, what type of content they’re already consuming.
And then you decide and you identify which platform is my market or demographic really on? If it’s Pinterest, great how can we create content for Pinterest that adds value, that’s relevant to the niche and market. We can attract followers, traffic from that, that we can then funnel into our product on Amazon. If it’s on YouTube, how can we create valuable YouTube videos that add value to this niche, it’s relevant, you could do videos around it, attract people. And of course, YouTube’s a search engine so you can rank your videos. You can build that trust, that relationship through content that is really going to help convert your product that much more.
And you’re building a brand, so that’s kind of the approach that I take with my business and the people that I try to coach and help. How you can build a brand, a relationship with people, build that trust because when you have that and people are consuming your content you’re adding more value than anyone else. Then you’re linking them direct to your Amazon product, they’re not going to be comparing and scrolling through comparing this product to anyone out there. They’re already kind of pre-sold, they’re already a warm or a hot lead versus a cold lead. That’s I think one of the biggest things that content marketing allows you to do.
Matt Clark: Yeah, a couple questions. One is that I think people always kind of struggle with this, they’re like “I started an internet business because I want to be able to run this thing from a beach in Thailand. I don’t want to have to have a video studio and all this kind of stuff.” First question is, and in my personal opinion if you’re willing to put your kind of name and face out there and do videos, you don’t have to be an actor. Look at all the people that are on YouTube creating videos, just regular people just turning on a camera. Look at how popular reality TV is these days, it’s not because these are people that went to world’s greatest acting schools, it’s just regular people and that’s what people like watching. I think I heard from a friend of mine that’s got a young daughter, you’ll probably know this better than I do, but he says one of the most popular YouTube channels is a channel with kids playing with toys.
I guess little kids like watching kids playing with toys, the weirdest thing. Not sort of fancy Pixar movies, but literally other kids playing with toys. What I’m saying is that if you’re willing to do videos yourself, my opinion that’s absolutely what you want to do, demo your product, that kind of thing. But what if somebody for whatever reason just doesn’t want to do that, they don’t want to put their face behind the camera. They don’t want to have to do videos but they still want to be able to leverage videos on YouTube, on Facebook, maybe even live video if possible. How would you think they kind of cross the hurdle?
Stefan James: You don’t have to necessarily be the person that’s putting yourself out there. I understand a lot of people want to be more behind-the-scenes, even though it is an advantage if you are willing to be the face of your product. Share your story, build that trust, that relationship, that can give you an incredible advantage but you don’t need to. You can find influencers, the great thing is there’s huge people on YouTube, or Instagram, or Facebook that have the following. They’re the face, they’re putting themselves out there, they have the audience, they have the trust. And you can then approach those people and you could either offer to give your product for free or you can pay them and they’ll promote your product for you.
Similar to what Nike does, Nike has the apparel, what they do is they find celebrities, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, different celebrities that are influences. They are creating content, they have their own brand, and they sponsor them or they partner with them. It’s a very common thing that a lot of the bigger brands will do is they’re trying to find people that already have the following. They’ll pay them, they’ll work with them, so that’s another option too. Of course, you could hire someone if you wanted to be the face of the product, but that costs money and a lot of people might not be in the position to. You could even sponsor podcasts out there, let’s say you’ve got some supplements that you sell or some sort of health or fitness line, you can find the podcasters or the influencers out there and sponsor them, work with them. You can just pay them for one off promotions, they can create the content for you.
The other option too with social media, and even things with article writing, blogging, because Google is still the number one website, number one search engine. You could hire writers to write content for you. And if you learn some SEO, search engine optimization, you can rank those articles are pieces of content and you can find writers fairly inexpensive to do some of that stuff for you too. There’s a lot of different options, a lot of different ways of going about it. It’s hard to tackle it all at once, I often recommend for people to identify the platforms that your audience is going to be and really focusing deep with that, mastering that, create a process for it and then you can expand to other platforms too.
Matt Clark: Yeah. One of the things that I’ve always been kind of confused about with this is say you all’s answer when I was talking to you yesterday was very interesting. Say somebody’s got a product out there, you mentioned a yoga mat, we could talk about any product just for the sake and the example. And they’re like okay cool, I understand creating content is great. I understand, let’s just pick YouTube it can be a good channel. How would they decide what content to create? Do they create literally demoing their product, or are they just like here are three yoga exercises or something like that? How do you think they decide what is the best content to possibly create?
Stefan James: Yeah, it’s similar to launching a product knowing the best product to launch on Amazon is based on the research. Amazon’s a search engine, but also YouTube, Google, and you need to identify what people are already searching for. What are the specific keywords, the phrases that people are going ahead and typing in Google, or typing in YouTube, typing in Amazon? I first kind of take a step back, I make a list of all the keywords, all the things that people are looking for. And even broader than that, what are the problems in this niche, what are the challenges that my product helps solve and the benefits that it provides? And then just by doing that I get a lot of ideas on different types of content that I can create. For finding keywords in YouTube sometimes it’s just as simple as typing in a phrase like yoga and then space and then whatever’s auto populated by YouTube, those are popular keywords that people search for.
Amazon’s the same process because Amazon doesn’t really give you the exact, not like a Google keyword tool or anything, all the exact data. You can just kind of look and see what gets auto populated. You could also go to something like Google keyword research tools and identify the keywords that way too. And then the other favorite way that I do it is I look at other videos that are in my niche or content that are getting a lot of views, a lot of engagement. And the great thing is online everything’s transparent, I can go to YouTube I can see how many views that videos getting, I can look at how many comments. I can read the comments and see what people are saying or suggesting, or the different dialogues and conversations around that. And then obviously if it’s got a lot of engagement then that’s a good topic that a lot of people are interested in that I’m going to then go and create content on as well. It’s just doing the research on it.
And like I said, you could do content around your product, reviewing the product, a demo of your product. What also is popular is comparisons of product, you could compare your product versus the other product out in the market and educate your niche and market on that. Showing how to use the yoga mat of course, but then taking a step back. The yoga niche, I could do yoga poses, I could do yoga tips, even go maybe into meditation. And things of that nature so you attract people that still have an interest in that niche, and then you can funnel and promote your product to them. And I think to take another step too, I also recommend that you use your content to build a list, which is the advantage of this as well. Because one of the downsides of Amazon, they don’t give you the customer email address. The benefit of doing this is you can build an email list, and with that email list build that long-term relationship. You can promote multiple products you might have on Amazon, you can promote to your own store if you have a store outside of Amazon. And there’s more potential to build that long-term relationship with people too.
Matt Clark: You have a YouTube channel and it has 400,000 subscribers and however many tens of millions of views or something like that. What do you think, how did you get that channel that far? What do you think’s changed now, what’s the value of that now versus maybe five, ten years ago?
Stefan James: Yeah, I first started more as actually a hobby. I didn’t really approach it as a business initially, but when I did I understood how keywords worked so I just found certain keywords that people were searching for and I created videos around that. I’m primarily in the self development online business niche, so I was able to create videos just sharing my morning ritual, or sharing how to overcome this problem or challenge that I faced. And because I knew how to optimize it on YouTube with the title, the description, the keywords and everything that YouTube looks for, I was able to rank well for that. And if the video was good, then it would get more traction on YouTube, it might go viral and benefit like that. Of course, the landscapes changed throughout the years. It’s more competitive YouTube, Google, social media, but at the same time it’s so much bigger now too. And I think the key is you just got to get started with it. Usually just like anything, it’s very slow at the beginning. When I first started creating videos or writing articles on my blog nobody consumed it, it was just kind of like I’m talk-
Matt Clark: You and your mom.
Stefan James: Yeah, just talking to myself, I’m trying to share it on my Facebook, nobody cares. And once you get past that point though, and you’ll have certain pieces of content that do well, just through the volume and the quantity of what you’re doing and the consistency of that, that’s when you get rewarded for it. And then once you kind of have that initial base of subscribers and followers, everything grows that much faster because now every piece of content you put out will have views, will have engagement, and that kind of helps push it up even further. It is a long-term process, it’s not like you turn it on like you can with PPC. Or building organic traffic, building up your rankings of something is something that all the algorithms there’s no shortcut for, there’s no loophole for that people can exploit. Google, YouTube, social media, Facebook, etc., they want to reward at the top of their searches whatever has the most quality and relevance to their audience, and rightfully so. And so you have to make sure that you are adding value and you are creating quality content, because if you’re creating low quality content you don’t deserve to be ranked at the top. That’s the beautiful thing about it because it forces you to actually help people and add value, and if you do that you’ll get rewarded for it.
Matt Clark: One of the things that I think is super interesting is taking everything that you’re saying, but I think putting it on steroids, which is right now with live video. It’s like in the past most of the videos out there on YouTube today, I was talking with somebody in Austin that has a fitness channel with like four million subscribers, massive channel. And they do very, very little live stuff. They’ve built up all this infrastructure and these processes to do nice pre-recorded videos, they’ve got it really dialed in and then live video became so popular. It’s not just kind of like whatever is the best wins on these big platforms like YouTube and Facebook, it’s what they want to win. And right now for whatever reason because they’re all kind of massive companies competing with each other, is they understand the power of live video so they’re kind of rewarding that with more views, more engagement, more reach.
We’ve all probably heard the stuff about these channels is that you can put something out there and you have 400,000 subscribers, it doesn’t mean you’re going to reach all of them just because you have them. Same thing on Facebook with page likes and that kind of thing. And so I think one of the biggest opportunities right now for people that are selling, especially physical products, because they’re easy to demonstrate with live. It’s a physical thing that you can actually show versus maybe doing something on your computer or that kind of business or service. I think live video’s huge, have you seen or what are your thoughts around that? Specifically for somebody who has a physical products business, how do you think they can use live video to help grow your brands?
Stefan James: You’re absolutely right, live video is the newest trend. And I think with the internet too, the reason why just set it and forget it doesn’t really work is the Internet’s always growing and evolving. You have to evolve with it, there’s new trends, new technologies. Even with Amazon, it’s always being updated, so you’ve got to be on top of this type of stuff in your business. And the great thing is they’ve made it so easy, now you just take your phone. I remember even years ago, it was just so much harder, there were so many barriers to do video. You had to have a video editor and professional equipment, whereas now it’s like anybody can just go live from their phone. They’re making it so easy, they want it to be more raw and authentic. And I think a lot of people are held back, they think it has to be super high quality, professional, you need expensive equipment and stuff, you have to be a great speaker. There’s a lot of things that hold people back that really shouldn’t.
And often times the more raw and authentic the more real it is. I think live is great just to constantly put yourself out there and just share with your audience about your product, about the niche that you’re in, adding value. One thing that’s great about live is you have that back-and-forth interaction that you won’t normally have just with a pre-recorded video. You want to leverage that, you want to utilize it. When you go live people are going to join in and you want to engage with them. And when you actually engage with people they feel more involved, they feel more of a connection to you. That’s the biggest benefit that I see with live is it gives you an opportunity to engage with your fans and followers, the people that love your product. I know many of you out there are already selling on Amazon, you’ve got a Facebook page already. You might have a couple hundred or even a couple thousand likes or followers, but you got to engage with them more than just posting a picture or a pre-recorded video.
But actually get on there once in a while and actually talk to them, ask them questions. And they’re going to post in the chat and you can go back and forth, and they can ask you questions. You can ask for feedback, what questions do you have about our product, how can I serve you more? I think the biggest trend right now online is the more that you can engage with people the better. That’s the advantage we have starting small versus these big corporations, because a lot of these big corporations they’re way up on the top floor. The customers are down here, and there’s no connection, people can’t relate to that as much. Whereas for you, you can take that time and respond to people and connect with them, and really meet their needs on a much deeper level.
Matt Clark: Yeah, that’s awesome. One thing I like to talk about, we’ll probably wrap up on this section but one thing I want to talk about is that we’re sitting here at the beginning of the year. You’ve done a lot of work, we were talking about this last night over dinner, you’ve done a lot of work in goal setting, personal business wise, you talk about this kind of stuff on your channel, you’ve probably read all the books, been to all the seminars, looked at all the stuff, tried a lot of the stuff. And so I kind of want to talk about how people can get the most out of this year. But just to kind of wrap up on the traffic piece, say somebody they got their brand up and running. They’re like okay cool I want to get this kind of free traffic coming from social media, what do you think their initial game plan would be to get the maximum value possible in the shortest amount of time?
Stefan James: I would say first the more time that you can spend just kind of knowing what type of pieces of content that are getting the most engagement, what people are looking for and what your market wants. The more time you can just really get clear on that, you can formulate a strategy around that. And then once you’re clear on that then I like to create a lot of my content in bulk. Instead of just kind of doing it every day or every few hours, I might spend a day out of the week, I might record a bunch of videos based on keywords, I might write a bunch of articles, I might create a bunch of images for my Facebook, for my Instagram.
And then the great thing with technology is you actually schedule that out. There’s tools like Hoot Suite and Meet Edgar, and these different types of buffer and stuff where you can schedule out your content. And so that’s what I recommend that people do just to kind of start right away with it. I think it is a process of you put it out there, you see what kind of engagement that it gets and then you go back and look at what’s working, you do more of that. Whatever’s not working, you get rid of. And so it’s a constant just trying to make things better and better and adding value with it. But I would say just create a bunch of content and drip it out over a period of time. Like I said, you can find people that can help you with that too to create that content.
Matt Clark: Okay cool, I know one of the things that I did recently we were looking at doing more stuff on … I’m pointing at the check, it has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. We’re looking at doing more stuff on YouTube, is that I feel like there’s a formula to this whole thing. And what I did anyway, which I thought was kind of cool and got some value out of it, is I looked at ten of the top channels in the market. I looked at ten of the top channels, that on YouTube you can look at their videos that have been released by time. I looked at the past year and of those videos for each channel that were released in the past year, I just did this in a spreadsheet, which ones had the most views, a disproportionate amount of views?
It’s like sure the ones that have been around for 11 months or something like that should have a little more views than the ones that have just recently. But on every single one of those channels there was at least one that was disproportionate in how many views it had. I mean these are big channels so maybe they have 50,000 views, 100,000 views, 400,000 views, but then one of them would have two million views, just complete anomaly. And I took those videos, basically one from each channel, ten videos and just kind of watched them all. I looked at what are they doing, how long are the videos, I used one of yours as an example.
How long are the videos, what’s in the video, what are they talking about, what’s the title, the description? And I found there is kind of a formula for these things and it’s going to vary completely based on the market, and so I would look at that for your market and you can do some pretty free research like that. I think you can get a ton of value out of it, so I imagine you can probably do that same thing for really any channel. Whether it’s Instagram, I guess I don’t know that much about Snapchat but I guess everything disappears on there so maybe not be able to do it there. But everywhere else it should be pretty relevant.
Stefan James: Yeah, for sure. With YouTube there’s certain things that I follow, that we have a system for in our business from just making sure the keywords in the title, three times in the description, the tags, even with tags you can put in different variations. Let’s say that we’re talking about goal setting and I can just search for goal setting and I can see the top channels out there and I can put their channel name or things like that in my tags, so that when someone’s watching their video my video has a change of being relevant and showing up next to it.
Matt Clark: Oh, okay.
Stefan James: There’s things like that that you can do with it, but the biggest thing that YouTube looks at but I also believe with Google and social media. They have algorithms to help determine is this quality? And the biggest thing YouTube looks at is watch time, how long someone watches the video, and of course likes, and comments, and subscribers, those things matter too. External links and embeds and whatnot, but the watch time is the most important thing. The great thing is it can have a viral effect if you really crack down the system for it. And once you identify that and you can create a piece of content that has that engagement, it can really take off. I’ve had a video get over three million views, and it’s just because it’s a quality video and it had so much engagement to it. It’s hard to always replicate that of course, but once you kind of know and you have a general idea of what it takes to do that, you just follow that system for every piece of content that you create.
Matt Clark: Sweet. Yeah, we’re getting a lot of engagement over here. We’ve got people Andrea says, we can probably get to some of this in a little bit, but Andrea says “Can you please give me a quick run down on how to actually go live on Facebook?” The answer is pretty simple, from your phone I believe, unless you’re going on your personal. Normally we’ve done it from the phone and you just download the Facebook pages app, and literally Facebook wants you to go live so they make it pretty straightforward. Right from there if you’re going to post on your page there’s literally a button I believe that just says “Go live.” And you press it twice and you are actually live, so be careful with the button. But yeah, you can go live that way, you can do it from the computer just about the same way, on your personal profile, you can do it in a group, you can do it in an event I believe, for sure on a page. And so it’s basically the same place where you go to post something on Facebook there’s a way to go live right there.
We got to, let me see I saw another one good in here, oh Jenny says “This is awesome.” Thank you, thanks for having us. Next we want to talk about goals and how you’re going to get the most value out of 2018. I think this will be a cool thing to talk about, Stefan and I are both super passionate about this. And so what I’d like to know just so we can check back here is how many of you have goals for 2018? Do you have an idea of what you want to accomplish this year? If you do, go ahead and just comment here we’re live actually on Facebook and on YouTube, so comment on either one and just say “Yes, I have goals.” Or just like the post, or like the video, just say “Yes I have goals for 2018 or no I don’t have them yet, I don’t know where to start, I don’t like goals I don’t want to do this. Whatever your kind of response is let us know because I’m curious to kind of see where everyone is at with this.
Let’s talk about that for a second. We’re sitting here very beginning of the year, first week of the year, this is when everyone’s super motivated. They’re done with all the holiday stuff, all that’s wrapped up and they’re like maybe last year was great but I want to make it better. Or maybe last year wasn’t so good and I want this year to be very good. I kind of have a clean slate here and they’re ready to get the most value out of this year. And if you’re sitting here watching this video, they likely either own a business or want to build a business, and likely have personal goals too. And so based on everything you’ve learned, and researched, what do you think it takes to really get value out of a year? Whether it’s in your personal life, your business life, how do you structure things, what do you do to make sure that at the end of the year, at the end of 2018, you’re like yes this was an awesome year. I accomplished a lot, I did a lot.
Stefan James: I think the first thing that I do, one of my favorite things is before I even plan for the year ahead I like to reflect and debrief the previous year. I have a process that I go through, I look at all the wins, all the successes, all the accomplishments, all the things that go really well. I believe if you just take that in, it’s going to give you so much confidence. It’s going to help you build momentum that you can then carry forward with you. I also even look at the challenges, what were the challenges the stresses, the struggles, the failures and what did I learn from that? If you’re not learning from your past mistakes, your past failures, then you’re going to carry that with you into the future year. I like to debrief things, get really clear on that, soak as much value and extract that from my previous year.
And then when it comes to planning ahead for the year, the quarter, the month, I first like to get clear on what my vision is. I really believe your one year goals or quarterly goals are just kind of stepping stones to the ultimate vision that you have for your life, and you’ve got to know what that is. Because your goals should bring you one step closer towards where you want to be 10 years, 20 years from now. I’ve been into having vision boards, I’ve written out my vision for my life, and what I want my lifestyle to be. And I break it down into each area of my life, I’ll break down my health, I’ll break down for my business, my finances, my relationship, my spiritual life, contribution. And then once I’m very clear on that I do a brainstorming process where I just brainstorm all the different goals that I can set for each area of my life.
And of course, I’m not going to do them all and I try to narrow that down on what’s most important, what are the things I’m most excited for each area of my life. I plan out the year making sure that I have that balance going in, because I think a lot of people they just look at goals and often it’s just okay “I want to make more money or I want to lose weight.” But it’s not really specific, it’s not clear, they don’t have a plan for it, there’s a lot of things they don’t really set up in order to ensure that they’re actually going to follow through and achieve that. I think you just got to spend that time really planning it out.
Plan out exactly what you want, specific, I follow the SMART acronym. I’m not sure if you know what that is, it stands for specific, measurable, attainable or achievable, realistic, and having a timeline. I try to make sure that each of my goals have that, and then I’ve got a system to follow up, whether it’s every week or every month, to make sure that I’m on track. To make sure I’m still making progress towards it, and if I’m not can I make the necessary adjustments? I think that setting goals is the easy part, anyone can do that, but 98% of people that set their New Years resolutions done follow through on it. I want to be the 2%, the 2% of people who actually make sure they follow through and they have a system to regularly check in.
Matt Clark: Yeah. How do you think somebody sets goals, a lot of people probably heard about the idea of SMART, you can look it up, there’s 82 million blog posts about it. So many people set the goals, what do you think they need to do to make sure at the end of the year they actually happen? What does it take to go from super motivated in January to December, “Yes I absolutely crushed it, I got these goals done.” What do you think that takes or what are some tricks or strategies there?
Stefan James: Yeah. I think one of the biggest things is accountability. Often time when we set our goals we say “Hey I’m going to achieve this or I’m going to do this,” but because we’re only accountable to ourselves we can easily back out and there’s no consequence. No one else is going to know about it. One of the things that I’ve done with Project Life Mastery over the last six years now is I publicly share my goals. Every year I’ve publicly shared it and it’s uncomfortable for me to do that because it creates a lot of pressure, but pressure creates diamonds. When you publicly declare something, there’s more of a consequence where if I don’t follow through then I’m going to lose respect, credibility, I’m not going to feel good about myself. That’s one form of accountability that I’ve leveraged, but I also believe in having accountability could be a mastermind group, or an accountability buddy, or a coach, or a mentor.
Someone that can help you stay on track just like professional athletes or high achievers, they have a coach, or they have that form of accountability. And the way I look at it, most people they have that accountability back when we went to school, when you’re in university and high school there’s a project that’s due. You might not want to do it, but you still get it done because the consequence of not doing it by that deadline is you’re going to fail or you’re going to get a bad grade. If you can create that accountability in your life, either by having that accountability group of someone that can help to make sure that you’re on track. It could be a personal trainer, a coach, that’s been the most powerful way to make sure that I do follow through.
Matt Clark: Cool. One thing that I’ve been a huge fan of recently is something that was invented by some researcher I guess, it’s called WOOP. I don’t know if you’re heard of it, but it basically stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan. And so what people have found out is a lot of times you’re like “Sweet yeah, I’m going to lose weight or I’m going to build this business and no problem.” Or even worse kind of or better depending on how you look at it, you’ve tried this before, so you have some information about probably why it didn’t work out before and why you’re back here setting the same goal again. And so the idea behind this is you start off with your wish, what is it, no restrictions, no reality whatever. What is it that I want here? I want to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year, I want a build a business that does a million dollars, ideally it’s somewhat realistic and that’s where this is kind of a check on that.
What happens next is then you talk about the outcome, the outcome is more or less kind of the SMART thing you’re talking about. You get very specific, what exactly are you trying to accomplish here so that it’s concrete. And then you think about an obstacle or maybe multiple obstacles, what is the biggest thing that would prevent this from happening? Maybe it’s that all your friends are overweight or all your friends or broke, or you get scared as soon as something gets difficult especially in business. And so then you think about those obstacles and then you think about the plan side. The plan is basically what are you going to do if that happens? And so I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this kind of developing these if then statements for your life. It’s kind of like if a friend invites me to go eat at a fast food restaurant, I will say no, or I will make a suggestion of somewhere else, or I’ll invite them over to my house to eat something healthy or something like that, and you can think of the same kind of things for business.
And so this sort of prepares for the inevitability’s that are going to happen that are going to trip you up. I think it’s pretty powerful, and a lot of times it’s kind of some stuff that comes from stoicism too, which is thinking about the bad stuff that could happen. Not to make yourself all negative and down, but so you can develop a plan. What happens if this does happen, I’ve heard people talk about special forces and this and that, they spend days doing this. What is everything that could possibly go wrong with this, and what are we going to do about it? I think that could be super powerful for people too.
Stefan James: Yeah, you’re anticipating. If you anticipate the potential problems or challenges I think that’s key. Another thing that I do is I also have a reward structure set up. I’ll say to myself if I achieve this goal, I’m going to hustle, I’m going to grind to achieve it, but I’ll have a reward afterwards. And sometimes that reward motivates me more than just the reward of actually completing that goal. If it’s creating a new product that I’m going to launch, I know it’s going to require a lot for me to be able to do that, but by the end of it I’m going to say I’m going to take a week off. I’m going to go on a vacation, that break, and that’s going to be my reward for achieving it. Or if you want to lose 30 pounds, maybe reward yourself by saying hey I’m going to go on $1,000 shopping spree. Something like that because we are motivated by pain and pleasure. If you can have that pleasure, and even a consequence for not doing it, I believe those are things that can help make sure that you follow through too.
Matt Clark: Yeah, cool. Got a lot of people posting over here, a lot of people saying “Yes I have goals.” Roger says “Yes, I have goals.” Karen Anne Michelle, “Yes I have goals, I’m fine tuning them all the time.” Andrea Donar, “Yes I have goals, I need to fine tune however.” Here’s some, Aiden says “Yes I have goals I want to make monthly sales of $10,000 to $50,000 at least.” That’s pretty sweet, cool looks like a lot of people are on the same track here. Hopefully you either have them and maybe based on this video you get some tips to kind of refresh them, make the plan a little easier to follow through. Or if you don’t have them yet, go ahead and set them because at the end of the day you kind of need to know where you’re headed.
Stefan James: Yeah.
Matt Clark: Something that I find really interesting, I’m interested to hear what you have to say, is the idea of balance versus focusing like crazy. Literally on the walk over here from the hotel I was listening to an audio book that was talking about Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein, very successful, he achieved a lot, he’s one of the most memorable people in all of history. But they were saying that in his life, his family life was horrible, this was the first time I ever heard this he tried to give a contract to his wife that basically said you can’t touch me, you don’t have to do anything, don’t ask me any questions. And then they ended up just because he needed to get rid of all that stuff in his life or felt that he needed to so that he could focus on this work.
Did the same thing with his kids, did not have a good relationship there. We see this super high achiever, but all kinds of stuff that depending on your values you may not be happy with. And they gave another example of a baseball player, I don’t follow very much but Ted Williams, one of the most successful baseball players ever. Just completely fanatical about swinging, practiced like crazy, also horrible family life, incredibly unsocial just because he put everything into that one area. How do you sort of make sense of all of this? Is it better to be balanced or is it better to focus like crazy in one area, how do you think about that?
Stefan James: I think it really depends what someone wants for their life. You got to get very clear on what you want, what is your vision, what does that really look like? I know a lot of people they want to build an online business so that it can create more freedom so that they can spend more time with their family and their friends, and that’s a high value that they have, or to travel or whatever that might be. For me I’ve always valued having that balance, I knew that just spending all my time, my energy, my business and making money, that wasn’t really going to fulfill me, that wasn’t really going to make me happy. And I’ve always believed there’s areas of life that are much more important that actually give you that deeper sense of joy and fulfillment. For me that’s my health, my emotions, my relationship, my spirituality, my family, my friends.
I think at times you do have to go out of balance, I don’t think really fully being in balance really exists, it’s kind of like a teeter totter. It’s only going to be balanced for so long before someone kind of goes a certain direction. At times, I believe that you have to make sacrifices, you’re going to have to get off balance. You might have to say no to hanging out with your friends, your family, and really focus into build your business. But at a certain point you got to get clear on the lifestyle you want to have and bring everything back to a certain level of balance. There’s times for me when I might be focused on a project where I’ve fully immersed myself with no other distractions. I might go travel, spend a week somewhere, I can get so much done in that one week that might normally take me a month or two months to do. But I’m getting out of balance in other areas, but I always try to return to the balance as well.
And then the other piece too, I believe in balance because I think every area of your life influences one another. I think that by taking care of your health, your energy, your body, working out, it’s going to help your business, it’s going to help you have more energy, be more productive, you’re going to live a lot longer. By really spending your time, I’m big into doing morning rituals and spending time reading, and meditating, and doing things for your emotions. I think the more time you spend doing that, it’s going to help your business and help you make more money too. I think that by having a really great relationship, that also is going to help your business and help your success as well.
I think they all kind of work together and help, just like how money can also help your health, it can help your emotions, it can help you travel more, invest more, spend more time with loved ones. I think it depends on what someone really wants, but for me personally the balance has been a really important piece. And not trying to be perfect with it, you’re going to get off balance, off track at different times, but as long as you return to that. That’s why I like to say have goals in each area of your life so that you’re progressing towards better health, better vitality, a better body, better relationship, maybe contribution. And that way you still make sure that you’re maintaining, or at least growing, every area of your life.
Matt Clark: Yeah, that’s cool. I tend to agree, I think an important distinction to add on top of that is okay you want to achieve these things in your life, you want to have a good balanced life, or maybe you want to go all in on one certain project, and that’s find if that’s what you want to do and you’re willing to sacrifice everything else. I mean some people are, no problem do whatever you want, there’s no rules to this sort of life thing. But whether it’s balance or that, I think it’s incredibly important to not waste time. I think people waste a hell of a lot of time watching movies, I like watching movies just as much as anybody else. But I think the average statistics was something like people watch some crazy I don’t even remember 20, 40 hours of TV a week or something crazy. A couple hours here and there, sure no problem, you got to relax, you got to kick back, maybe it’s a family thing for you, perfect go for it and do it. But it’s where people get into wasting time, which is I think where they miss out on a lot of things in life.
You could sit there and say “I’m going to grow my business,” but if you’re doing things like just sitting these are clicking refresh on your email to see if anybody emails you 72 times a day and you’re never able to focus and get anything done, that doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t mean your balanced, it doesn’t mean you’re focused, it just means you’re wasting time. And I think the same thing with relationships, if relationships are a value for you, which it sounds like it is, for me as well. You can sit there with your significant other or your kids and you can watch TV for five hours and not have the same value from 10 minutes of sitting there and having a meaningful conversation with them. You’re not necessarily adding more hours to the day or anything like that, you’re just getting more value out of the time that you’re actually spending rather than just kind of mindlessly going through the motions, which I think is going to be huge. In this year you’ve got something 8,000-something hours, and so how you spend those hours is basically going to effect directly how well you feel at the end of the year. Basically what you got out of it, so I think that’s super important.
Stefan James: Yeah. I think a lot of people because they don’t have a plan they’re reactive. They’re reactive to everything that comes up, they reactively just go on Facebook and Facebook can be a black hole that just sucks your time. You’re there for five minutes, and then before you know it three hours have gone by and you’re like where did my time go?
Matt Clark: Yeah, you’re like “Why the hell did I get on Facebook to begin with?”
Stefan James: Same thing with TV, because they’re all designed to hook you, they’re designed to pull you in and take your time from you, all these different demands. I think it comes down to being proactive and having a plan. For me I plan out my day, I plan out my week, I plan out my year. I have a purpose for my day, if you don’t have the plan then you’re going to fit into someone else’s plan. And if you don’t run the day, the day’s going to run you. I like to okay when am I going to go to the gym today, when am I going to work on my business, when am I going to schedule that time for my relationship or my friends and family?
And by being proactive and strategic about it, I can make sure that I’m there 100%. It’s more quality time, it’s not necessarily about how much time, but if you’re proactive with it you can … If you go to the gym and you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t have a plan for it, you’re not going to get as much from it. Versus if you actually have a plan and a purpose for that, you’re going to get so much more out of that workout. And I think the same is true for your business especially, your relationship, and any other area of your life. The more time you spend really planning and getting clear and having a purpose and outcome of what you’re doing, I think you’ll get so much more from it.
Matt Clark: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean for almost anything that I do now the first way I’ve kind of trained myself to think, I just had to do it kind of mechanically at first, but I’ve trained myself to basically think what is the outcome for this? What is the outcome for this video? What is the outcome for coming to Vancouver? What’s the outcome for this workout or this phone call, or whatever I’m doing in business or personal life. I think that’s super important because otherwise you’re just kind of showing up “Well that didn’t go how I want.” But did I ever clarify what I actually wanted out of the thing, probably not.
Stefan James: Exactly.
Matt Clark: Yeah sweet, this has been really good. We’ll probably kind of wrap things up here. Still lots of people on here, just kept kind of growing, so thanks for everyone for joining us here. This will be live here on Facebook and YouTube, so you’re more than happy to re-watch this. Do whatever you can to make this year the best you possible can. Go ahead follow Stefan on YouTube, on Facebook. Project Life Mastery. Follow us Facebook, and YouTube as well, we’re going to be releasing a lot of great stuff. Starting next week we’re actually releasing another 100 red hot Amazon product opportunities. You really have no excuse not to build this kind of business or grow a business you already have. Like us on Facebook, you’ll see us there. Check out Stefan on YouTube and Facebook as well. And thanks for watching, and let’s make this an awesome year together. Happy 2018, and we’ll talk soon.
Stefan James: Thank you.
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.