Success Selling on Amazon Contents:
- Freedom Through Selling Physical Products Online
- Focusing On Your Bigger “Why”
- Persistence Is The Key
- Best Advice For Newbies
- Focusing on Service Not Sales
- SellerCon 2020
Amazing’s own Jason Katzenback recently linked up with Travis Zigler to better understand his best secrets to finding success selling on Amazon.
Travis is a full-time Amazon FBA seller, brand owner, and founder of the charity EyeLoveCares.org.
His keys to success on Amazon are persistence throughout the day-to-day grind and focusing on the bigger “why” which drives all his hard work. Whether you’re searching for complete financial freedom, or a cushion of passive income, you can’t afford to miss this interview!
So if you want to potentially double, triple, or even quadruple your sales, you REALLY need to see this. Plus, check out how to optimize Amazon PPC campaigns to maximize profits if you’re serious about finding success selling on Amazon.
– Hey everyone, Jason Katzenback here at Amazing.com and I have a special guest with us Dr. Travis Zigler who you might have seen on our social platforms, on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and everything. We did a little feature of him and his wife Jenna because of the great success they’ve had with selling on Amazon.
Well I wanted to take a moment to go a little deeper into their business and really ask some more pointed questions so if you’re sitting there watching this and you’re kinda on the fence whether or not you want to start your own business, you have some questions about this kind of thing, hopefully we’ll answer them.
We’ve got seven questions we’re gonna ask him here and the whole goal of this is to be able to help you get more insights into maybe you want to start your own physical products business and so we’re going to get into this right now. So Travis, first of all, thank you for being here.
– Yeah, thanks for having me.
Freedom Through Selling Physical Products Online
– Awesome, awesome. So the first question is, why did you decide to start a business selling your own brand of physical products?
– By trade I’m an eye doctor, an optometrist. I could only see, I was only getting paid for my time one-to-one with patients and I wanted to impact more people. So when we started our practices in 2015 a little course called ASM came across our email inbox and it kinda reached out to me and it made me want to purchase it because it was something that taught freedom through selling physical products online, plus we saw other people finding success selling on Amazon.
It’s something I’ve always done. I’ve always dabbled in eBay a little bit and done some other things online but this was more freeing because you can create this kind of system where you’re selling physical products online and it’s not as hands-on as seeing a patient one-to-one. So that’s why we wanted to do it because we knew we wanted to start a family and having us both practicing while starting a family seemed to be really hard and so that’s why we kind of dove into the course and here we are now after seeing some success selling on Amazon.
– Do you work from home or do you have an office, how do you do that?
– We’re all virtual. We have a team of about seven of us and we’re all virtual. My office is right here in our master bedroom in our recording studio and so we do a lot of videos with our business and so that’s why I have this nice fake wood background and my wife’s office is just down the hall. Everybody else that works for us is virtual as well.
– Very cool. So I’m going off script a little bit but you’re bringing up some cool points I’m sure people have. How long before you hired people, was it that you and Jenna were just running the business?
– We ran the business, we had our first hire about 11 months in and so 11 months in we actually hired two Philippino VAs and they’re both still with us today. That was back in 2016 and now we only hire American workers so we have three Americans that work for us as well and then my wife and I work for us as well. So we found a lot of benefit from hiring moms that stay at home and so all of our employees are moms that stay at home and they all work virtual. Most of them are part-time and they’re paid hourly and they love what they do because they have the freedom to raise their kids while at the same time making money when they want to.
– So you may have answered that in this answer you just gave but I’ll ask it again, what do you look for in an employee when you’re hiring?
– Heart. That’s it. We’re a service-based company. We are obsessed with serving other people, both in our company and in our charity. So if you have a good heart, I believe you can learn pretty much anything in this world and especially in the internet marketing world. I was a doctor. I didn’t know anything about internet marketing before I took the ASM course and so we believe that we can train pretty much anybody. So we look for a heart and someone that we get along with. So they go through a pretty intense interview process but as long as they have a service heart, that’s all we care about.
– What was the first position you hired for?
– The first position was just customer service and we realized real quick that we needed to bring that more to the American based side just ’cause the questions were getting very complex because we sell products that have to do with eye disease. So we brought that back into the U.S. but customer service and social media manager were our first two.
Focusing On Your Bigger “Why”
– Cool. What do you attribute to your success? What’s the biggest thing you attribute to the success you guys have had?
– I think there’s two things that really have made us successful and keep us going and it’s our Why. So we have a mission to help one million dry eye sufferers heal their dry eye naturally and when you have that bigger mission the day-to-day stuff that usually either depresses you makes you want to quit, or just hurts your company won’t take you down because you’re focused on that bigger Why. When you’ve focused more on that Why, that’s when everything starts to fall into place.
Persistence Is The Key
The second part of that is persistence. We are willing to do the same thing over and over again to make a big difference in the results that we get. When I say persistence, I mean persistence in knowing Amazon sponsored products. Persistence in knowing the Amazon platform. We talk about the same thing in our YouTube videos over and over and over again. We have a community where we answer the same questions over and over and over again. So having that persistence to help other people get to what they want so then therefore you can get what you want.
– Very cool. Do you use any services, like professional services like lawyers, accountants, anything like that?
– Yeah we have a whole team. We have an attorney for our estate, we have an attorney for trademarks, we have an attorney for copyright, we have an attorney for pretty much you name it, we have an attorney for it and then we have insurance brokers that help us with making sure we’re protected well. Then we have two CPAs that look over and then we have a tax attorney as well.
– Now I don’t want to alarm you.
– You don’t need all that.
– Now if you ask me the same question I’m gonna name off a lot of things that I have too but when I started it was me. It was me and my wife and then we hired, actually the very first hire I ever did was a bookkeeper and then once we got the bookkeeper then it was the customer service person. Because the whole idea, when you’re hiring the important thing is, don’t hire so you get more free time. Hire so you can focus more on your business. Because the whole idea is as a business, well you know what, I’m gonna let you answer this question. Because it’s probably gonna lead into it. As a business owner, what are you responsible for?
– My main job is awareness and content. I have three projects that I work on every year and believe me, I used to have 25. But when we focused it down to these three, that’s what drives the needle. My first one is spreading awareness. Spreading our message. Being on videos like this with you and other healthcare podcasts and healthcare YouTube channels and spreading the awareness to other people’s audiences to bring them back into our circle is one of the biggest things that I’m responsible for. The second thing is content. I’m responsible for creating YouTube videos, creating blog content and this is along with my wife too. Then getting that content out to the world.
Those are my main two main jobs and then my third one is to think. I just need time to think and when I have time to think, that’s when the biggest breakthroughs in our business happen. It’s when I’m stressed out day-to-day and I don’t have time to think, that we struggle. When I just take a step back, either meditate, go for a run outside, that’s when the biggest breakthroughs come in. So my three main jobs are pretty much spreading awareness, content and thinking and then of course making sure that we don’t run the business into the ground. That’s kind of all of our job.
– That’s a good focus for a business owner. All right, so now let’s step back. So a few years ago when you were starting this business, what were you doing?
– Exactly, thank you. That’s the important thing. Oftentimes people, hiring is one of the most critical things that you could do or the most important thing you could do and it’s one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Oftentimes people hire for the wrong reasons. They hire because they want more personal free time, they assume they can hire someone and they can just go off and do everything. No they can’t. Remember this is your business and you want to have a long term goal just like Travis and Jenna did. I believe you guys did this. You reinvested all your profits into seed your growing business, right?
– For the first year and a half we dedicated just to using our optometry salary and we grew the business with all the money that we would’ve brought out.
– So there is a methodology to this. A methodology to this. And when we talk freedom, the freedom comes from the fact that you’re not working for someone. You’re not stuck commuting to an office. You’re focusing on building your own brand. You’re focusing on lining your own pockets, but the idea is that at first you’re it. It was Travis and Jenna all by themselves. And then as they started getting more familiar, ’cause the other important part of this is you wanna learn what you’re gonna teach people to do. If you just think you can hire someone to learn something that you don’t know, like say you say, I’m just gonna hire someone to do sponsored ads, they can learn it and do it, that’s a huge risk. You wanna learn it first and then maybe outsource it. But there’s also certain jobs in your business where I don’t recommend, I recommend you keep running them. But anyhow, we’re going down a rabbit hole here. Another question. If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out, what would it be?
Best Advice For Newbies
– I kind of alluded to this a little bit before. The key thing to running a business or just running life in general is if you help other people get to what they’re trying to get, if you help somebody else achieve what they’re trying to achieve, then everything will take care of itself. When we switched our business model from focusing on sales to focusing on service, that’s when things took off. We built an incredible business and we got up to $3 million and then last year something switched and we switched back to sales.
We went back to direct response and focusing on Shopify and focusing on this and that and this and that. All to make more sales. Guess what we did. The exact same amount we did the year before. We didn’t grow and we actually had less profit, about half the profit.
Focusing on Service Not Sales
Want success selling on Amazon? In 2020 we’re shifting back to our roots, service. We’re trying to help people get out of this hell that they call Dry Eye and we’re trying to solve that for them because we know if we help them solve their dry eye issues, then our company is going to thrive as a result.
– Very cool. Well thank you so much. I want to have one little last thing to say. One of the things that we attribute to success and that you talked about this, is first of all we appreciate that ASM helped you a lot. But also, Seller. I know that you’re a big advocate of SellerCon. I just want to let everyone know, our tickets for SellerCon are on sale right now. SellerCon is a huge event we put on where you get to mix and mingle with people like Travis and other highly successful sellers and network with them. We provide tons of networking opportunities plus we provide incredible training. Travis, maybe you can just explain a little bit about what SellerCon is to you and why you’d recommend it to other sellers like you.
– In 2015 when I purchased ASM, I went to my first SellerCon conference and that was actually my first entrepreneur conference, I’d never been to one. I’d only gone to optometry conferences. I remember the feeling that I had when I first walked into that room, is it was just kind of like a zen ahh. It was like, these are my people. I’ve never been in a room with my people and these are my people. It was just a great feeling, I had a blast. I have not missed a SellerCon since. This will be my sixth, I think, this year and it’s just one of those events, it’s a can’t miss. You just cannot miss this. It’s worth every penny.
We’re actually thinking about bringing my whole team this year and I brought my team to some in the past but only one at a time, but we’re thinking about doing a whole retreat to SellerCon this year and then there’s also the lunches, the networking lunches. I’ve only done those the last two years and by far those are probably the most beneficial part of the whole thing, is networking in a lunch setting and really getting to know different people in the same space as you. If you’re determining, or if you’re trying to figure out if you wanna come to SellerCon or not, it’s in Austin, Texas, which I just moved here so it’s a pretty awesome city and I moved here ‘because it is awesome and then if you’re trying to determine if you wanna come or not, just do it. You’re not gonna regret it. Even if you don’t have an Amazon business I’d come.
Designed For Sellers By Sellers
– Awesome. The one thing that I just wanted to let you know, SellerCon was designed for sellers by sellers to help them find success selling on Amazon. Yes I’m an Amazon seller and the whole idea here is when you’re running a business, especially one where you can be virtual and work from home, it’s hard to meet and mingle with people and the whole idea is by building that network, you’ve heard it over and over again your network is your net worth. You are the five most common people that you hang around with. So when you start meeting people that are successful on Amazon, and what you’ll also find is that there is not a competitive nature. People are sharing openly, they’re helping one another find success selling on Amazon, and that’s one of the things we really try to build in this community is about giving back. So whether you’re just starting on Amazon or are already established, check out SellerCon, SellerCon.com, it’s happening this June. Right now tickets are on sale for the lowest price they’re gonna be for the year so check it out and Travis thank you once again so much for being on this interview and maybe what’s the name of the Foundation you have?
– It’s called the Eye Love Cares Foundation at EyeLoveCares.org.
– Cool, so if you want to learn more about the Eye Love Cares Foundation, more about finding success selling on Amazon, and what Travis and his wife Jenna are doing, check that out. If you want to join SellerCon, we’re at SellerCon.com and thanks for listening everyone and Travis, you have a great day.
Chief Product Officer at Amazing.com. Owner of multiple top selling brands of product lines and entrepreneurial mentor and coach.