Virtual Assistants for Amazon Sellers (Interview with Gilad Freimann)

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Our guest on the 28th of September, 2020,  on the sellerboard show was Gilad Freimann.

In this episode, we talked about hiring virtual assistants and delegating for amazon sellers.

Watch the full video here:

Vladi:  Hi, everybody. And welcome to the next episode of the sellerboard show. My name is Vladi Gordon, and my today’s guest is Gilad Freimann, and he’s an expert in virtual assistants. So we’re gonna talk about hiring the VAs and teaching the VAs and delegating. And, um, yeah, if you feel like you need more time, focus on growth or you’re bored with some recurring tasks like customer support, then probably it’s the right time for you to hire VA, and we’re gonna have some details on that in this episode before we start. sellerboard is our profit analytic software for Amazon sellers with a whole tool suite on top of that. And make sure you check out our website if you’re not a user yet. For example, there’s a cool new feature PPC Bid automation, which will adjust your bids based on your target acos and on your target profit for every campaign. Thes feature is in beta currently, if you wanna test it, then let us know. Just follow the link down below and you can test this feature for free and you could test seller work for free. There’s one-month free trial. And after that, it starts at only $15 a month. Let’s start to show. Hi, Gilad, how are you?

Gilad: Hi. How are you? I’m good. I’m good. I’m very happy to be here. And thank you for inviting me.

Vladi: Yeah, thanks for joining us. So today we’re gonna talk about your Amazon business and your company, um, and virtual assistance. But let’s start with, you know, we’re selling on Amazon, so I know you’re a seller, right? Right. Tell us about this. How long are you selling and where?

Gilad: Uh, I’ve been starting selling online in 2013. 14. It was eBay. Before that, I really wanted to find something online. And then on 2015, I started. I discovered the FBA and Amazon and it all started there. I mean, this is where I really went into selling online, and I became an Amazon seller Private label in 2015 launched my first product together with my wife. I was still working at the time as an employee, but the idea was to become, you know, to do this, uh, full time, and actually, at the time it went great. I mean, we launched Hammock camping hammock at the time, and it was easy. I mean, we just took some pictures with the phone on and large state and people bought it and any group and it was amazing. I mean, this is how it all started.

Vladi: Did you sell on Amazon com in the U. S?

Gilad:  Yeah, way started in the U. S. Yeah,

Vladi: okay. And so, like, did you get to a point where it began your full-time job?

Gilad: Well, the thing is that I had this problem, that I was still working as an employee, and my wife is well, but the business group of very fast. So we had this kind of a problem. We noticed that suddenly I mean, in the beginning, we were doing everything ourselves and was working OK, But sooner or later, the business rule and way start to have more and more messages from clients and more and more reviews and feedback to ask and shipment plans and to calculate things. And it took more and more time. And then we noticed that two things happened. Either we just don’t manage to do everything. So I don’t answer to customers the same way that I did before. I don’t put enough time. I don’t check my listings every day anymore. I don’t. You know, it’s and then things bad thing starts to happen, or I still I don’t even go to places that I wanted to go before. If in the beginning I really said Okay, now I would have time. I will listen to this podcast. I will. I will go to this Webinar because I want to grow my business. Suddenly, I don’t have any time for that anymore. And I just focus on the essentials to keep my business running. Andi, that’s the point that we decided that we’re gonna take a VA. That that was the beginning.

Vladi: Okay, got it. So tell me, like, did you go and, um, into depth or into basically, Like, more products were like a brand or just a lot of listings.

Gilad: No, it was I mean, what did they tell you mean if I saw the brand? If it was a brand, where it was Yeah, exactly.

Gilad: Like you know, there are some people that go deep on a brand into branding and, you know, make sure that maximized basically one product and make it the best and so on. And, um, other strategies where you have, like, multiple it sticks and don’t care too much about the brand, so well, at the time I did it, I started. I did everything with the course off the asin. It’s called GSM in Israel and they really pointed you into making your private level product. In the beginning. When you know when you don’t have enough experience, you’re just doing what they tell you. After that, you start to think, Okay, now I know this now how can I do things differently? But in the beginning, it was really that and that. And the idea was to find a niche that we like that we love. I mean, we both love hiking and camping, and we really wanted to make something that will have to do. And all the other products that came after were related to this niche. It was all about the camping brand.

Vladi: Okay, so did you do any branding outside of Amazon as well

Gilad: at the time in the beginning, was really like inside Amazon. We didn’t need more than that in the beginning. In the beginning, when very good, just on Amazon, when they started changing the rules, you know, all the T. O. S changed and was more difficult to get reviews and more difficult and to sell. And you needed, like, better ways of selling. Then we started to look for, uh, getting working with influencers and promoting on Facebook. And this is when way went to the next step, the next level. But it was not like and after the first day, it was after like, let’s say, a year of selling on.

Vladi: So we’re now in 2020. Tell us, Do you still sell? Or is it like Is the business still there?

Gilad: Yeah, business is still running. It’s more. My wife now focuses on the selling I weigh jumped on that to that point, but basically, between 2020 and 2015, when we started, this is, uh when v A started to grow way started this company because off our need to know how to work with virtual assistance. But now it’s really like taking my effort. My passion and I really put on my focus on that. And my wife is still the one who’s handling the business we want. We are always connected to Amazon and keep selling because it’s really goes together. You have to know sell on Amazon if you wanna work with V s Forum.

Vladi: Okay? Got it! Makes sense. All right. So tell us about the obvious. What? What did you out? So what? What kind of tasks did you outsource at the beginning? Because maybe I’ll tell you. First story. I wasn’t selling myself basically a similar situation, but I sold my Amazon business when the seller board started. This take off. Um, for two reasons. Basically, the main reason is conflict of interest. But my wife also didn’t have any interest in helping me with that was it was quite a lot of work, but I need to say, like when I was selling, I didn’t really managed to organize VAs, you know? So I had somebody in China. She was sourcing, basically. But other than that, that kind of I did pretty much everything myself. So yeah. How did you start? What? What would be the good place to start and delegate to be ace.

Gilad: I would say the first place to start is in your head, understanding that you cannot do everything, understanding that if you are doing everything, then something is wrong because you’re not actually doing everything you think that you’re doing everything. But there’s so many things that you don’t even try to go to or things that your neglect. So once you understand this point because and it’s difficult thing to understand because unlike regular business, you know, outside, you know when you’re opening a shoe store or a restaurant and you know that you have to take employees and you know that you have to take commitments in advance and all that when everything is just in front of you on the computer and every and somebody told you how to do everything so you can do customer service from here. And I can just click here and do some graphic designing and write a post on Facebook, and basically everything is open for me in here. So the first understanding is to understand that this is like every other business, and if you wanted to grow, you have to delegate, and once you do that, then you have to already create a list of all the things that you’re doing now that somebody else can do for you. I mean, you have to ask yourself this question, this answering this customer and right now is it something that only me as the owner of the business as the founder off this company? Am I the only person that can do it? Because if the answer is yes, then nobody else to do it. I mean, if only you, with your qualities and your vision for the company, can do it, then you should do it. But if it’s something that somebody else can do if it’s with the right person with the right training, let’s say that you have a non army of Superman’s next to you. If you can delegate this to one of these Superman’s, then then the answer is Yes, you should. You should delegate and then it grows. You start by giving them the small task of doing customer service and checking your listings every day and helping you finding the right products and working with your supplier in China and finding it for your graphic designers, and the more you go into the more you develop trust with the VA and the more things that they suddenly see that you can basically give almost everything.

Vladi: So can you, like, make an example? For example? Well, you know there’s But let’s assume I’m running a business Have novas whatsoever. And of course, there are a lot of things that where I think I could delegate them. Yeah, but first of all, I have nobody to delegate it to. And second, I’m not sure like, well, is well, this work or no, for example, customer service, I’m not sure. I mean, you need to give away yourself central account, I believe right for them to answer questions. And what happens if they do? Ah, missed a canned answer like completely wrong and my count gets blocked. And also stuff like this I was thinking about. So let’s make an example. Like what? What would be a specific task that you would start with?

Gilad: Well, first of all, a customer service is great, is a great thing. You have to sell. You have to sell in good volumes in orderto need the help of a customer service because of your experience. What do you mean? Like, what? When?

Vladi: How many? Like big packages or items per month. When does it start to be lucrative? Today,

Gilad: I needed the VA when I had, I think, like, five products that I already sold the private label products on setting over 1000 units. Uh, a month. And when I got to this point, I said, Why didn’t I did? Why didn’t I do it before? I mean, if I did it before then it would probably seem a bit weird because I could do. I could still do everything myself. But, hey, I would grow much faster. That was my thinking. When I did it, I thought maybe I did it too late. But when you’re taking customer service, for example, then there’s so many things over there that the VA can help you with. I mean, she or he can help you checking your listings every day. Checking of W Q and A on your listing. If all the reviews, the top reviews that you have are the right ones and answering the reviews negative and positive asked for feedback from customers answering, you know, customer questions answering Thio refund request. It’s funny because you see that you got to notice a notification that you’ve got a refund and usually people say, Okay, that’s it. Somebody returned the product. But when you are really going into and trying to contact these people and do everything that you can in order to counter them, then you see that a lot of times the best reviews that you couldn’t get the legit reviews will come from a refund request. Because if you managed to contact this person and ask him why we want to know, we wanna we wanna become better. I mean, we’re a family business. We wanna do it better. Why did you choose to return the product and then you can help them send them something else, send them gifts and then show them that you care. And suddenly this small thing will give. You will get you a five star review and recommendation for any other people because this communication with the seller’s and with the virus sorry, it’s one of the most important thing, and then you can already try to tell them to go to your website and it’s getting a bit fishy. here. You have to be a smart to do it. But yeah, that’s communication with the virus is the most important thing. That’s something that you would not do without a B. A.

Vladi: So let’s talk about the cost. Like my issue was also, I thought, Okay, make sure I can hire Well, not It’s complicated, but I could hire an army off Superman. Yeah, I suppose they would be there, But this is also connected with the costs, right? And typically don’t have too much cash left because you need to develop your products and, you know, money to invest in the grounds. So what? What do you guys charge for customer service?

Gilad: Well, I tell you this. It’s not really about customer service. We have different types of visas, and we’re all focused on Amazon’s or everything we do is about Amazon. We, in order to find that you mentioned this army of Superman’s because I said it before. But that’s the most difficult part to find the right via I mean, if you know that you have the right via and who will bring you really two. The talk, then you would pay her because she will help you to grow your business, but to find these ones. When I started, I posted an ad on Facebook and on other websites, and I got like, 300 people responding to me in the same day, all saying that they are super experience. They have everything that it takes to become my personal v A. And what turns out to be that it’s not like that. I mean, I had a complete disaster in my first experience and also the second experience, and this is how it all started because I understood it. It’s not so fast and not so easy to find the right people, and this is what we do. I mean, we focus on finding the right people, and the recruiting process takes almost two months, so we really go deep into understanding them. And once we know that we have these Superman’s, then you can start working with them and yeah, indeed, it’s something that costs money. Our Amazon, via is the cost is 5050 cents an hour. So it’s not that high, and it’s still something affordable. You don’t have to take a pay for a full-time job you could take a V A for like, three hours a day, you know, and grow from there. But once you have somebody to grow your business, then you’re always gonna think. Okay, what can I give her more now? She’s working for me. I don’t wanna, you know, just give her do nothing. So you’re always starting to grow your business. You’re starting to think. Okay, maybe I will give her that. And then I can focus on a different thing. And things grow from there when you’re really into your business and that’s the first step to be. Oh, so I can start small by a couple of hours a day and 5 50 per hour. Seems like a fair way Amazon way Do have different types of the VAs in the company. We are all related to Amazon. So there are PCBs and social media is an Amazon, which basically will handle everything in your sell. Essentially.

Vladi: Okay, So what else can I delegate? There’s a seller you support?

Gilad:  Yeah, if we stick to the job of the Amazon before we go to the PPC and social media. So if we stick to the Amazon via then, except for customer service. Obviously, you can handle the entire part off shipment plans creating your shipments, checking your inventory, checking on your listening to see that you’re always in stock. And nothing was blocked or stopped by Amazon s. Oh, that’s one part, you know, to handle the inventory in shipment plants. Another one is working on cases with Amazon Who likes toe. You know, before that, I used to be Oh, I spent hour on the phone just having somebody to answer me, you know? So why not give this to obviate? That will help you contact Amazon support in case of a problem making sure everything is okay. So basically a lot of things that you can do inside of Amazon so essential downloading the reports, shaking the pricing of the products, checking your competitors every time Check to see that you’re offering the best deal checking your reviews and and and the competitors reviews and obviously also like finding your prosper you and working with the suppliers.

Vladi: So do you have, like, something like a list? Because you mentioned now a lot of things that I didn’t actually do it all when I was a seller, you know, like chicken competitors. Okay, I would check them out. And then, of course, but not like regular because it costs time. So super important, super important. I mean, when you have somebody working with you and they know that this is a part of their schedule that once in a week, on Tuesday between one o’clock to three o’clock, that’s their mission. To go over the aled the first pages of your main keywords and look for the competitors and then checking their listings, checking their bullet points, checking their photos and then giving you report this plant. This there is a new competitors, competitors that just arrived there. This one has just offered, changed their price, or offer or change their photo or added a really cool feature. And that one got a very negative review about something that then we must make sure that we don’t do the same mistake. It’s really important for you to know every time what your competitors are doing in order to always be one step ahead of them.

Vladi: So tell me, let’s talk a little bit about the trust like Do I need to give them access to the seller central for support? Obviously, yes, but is it like that if you want?

Gilad:  Usually, yes, you will have to give them access to so essential the way it’s done with the virtual system, you will never give them your user name and passport. You will create for them a user permission that there is an option for that on South Central on, and then you add their email or you create an email for them and you give access to that email and you decide before they will even have the first access. You will decide which menus you want them to be able to edit and which in view and which menus they will not even know it exists. For example, if you don’t want them to know how much money will get in the next payroll, I mean, then they will not even see that exist. You don’t want to know how Maney units you saw that they will not know it. So it’s really very easy to decide exactly what you want to be able to doing, and you can start small, and the more you have a personal trust with your via And you can delegate more things

Vladi: Cool. So tell us about your company. Like I know there are a lot of options Thio higher, be you know, for example, there’s upwork, right? Um What? Why? Like, how are you? Better than, uh, upwork.

Gilad: I think we’re completely different. I mean, we are really a community that is all focused on Amazon. So everything as I am a seller, my wife is a seller and we’re all into Amazon then This is the attitude. The attitude is how to grow on Amazon. How to. So if you go on up work, Yes, people will say to you that they have experienced on Amazon, but it’s not really I mean, we breathe Amazon way here it every day. Well, listen, all our managers, we have the PPC and the social media and the Amazon managers. Every day they started, they were listening to podcast about Amazon. They looking at the new features and things that are just came up with Amazon in order to teach it to the V s. And we continue to train our via all the time. The training process is not just that we take them and teach them from scratch about Amazon is that we’re always there for them and the training keeps going even after we connected you with VA. If there, if you are taking a VA and suddenly now there’s a new thing on Amazon. Your VA better know it. So we are there to make sure that we support both the seller and teach them how to work with us and what you can. You know what you can expect and how to optimize the work with the VA. And if there are problems or things along the way, we are there to help. But also, we’re making sure that the VA will continue to become more and more professional.

Vladi: Okay, got it on up work. You need to teach them yourself. And you kind of take care of this. They’re prevented. Sounds good. Look, I have one more question about PPC, actually. So you mentioned a couple off like types. It’s Amazon type of work, social media, and so on. But maybe before we wrap up, let’s dive into this part. So tell us about the PPC work. What can they actually do for sellers.

Gilad: So the work with PPCs, first of all, the PPCs themselves there are different. I mean, we’re looking for people that are more, you know, mathematical kind of way of kind of thinking that they are all into Excel’s and numbers, and they dream off questions in math, and this is what they like to do. And then we teach them a completely different training. The training is all about PPC, and their job would be either to work with a software that will help them a lot of times it. It’s good when you have a lot of products, so they will help and manage the adjustment of the bids and and to make sure that everything is working good and to take care of that point for you or they do in many ways. I mean, they will take the reports and they will create the campaigns and they will open you know, the negative, exact and everything they will do everything for you, and the idea is that you will have a via that’s always updated on everything that’s happening. So if now video ads are really hot and everybody are you know who wants to advance on Amazon do video ads? Because the conversion is so good and the PPC is so low then these via that was they will tell you. Look, something is happening. People are always talking about it. Let’s try it. So you know you have somebody pushing you to advance in this In this village, you have somebody dedicated to PPC and the same for social media.

Vladi: Cause on Social Media would be like some, like Facebook ads and so. Social media is not about ads. It’s more about creating your brand awareness outside of Amazon. So, like posting on Facebook, posting on Instagram, creating newsletter for your audience and working with influences, which is a huge advantage, and in order to launch new products and so on. So that’s the job off the social media.

Vladi: Wow, Cool. Look, um, we’ll put a link to your website in the description. Lett’s offer some deal to our customers. So what the sellerboard customers need to do to get a deal?

Gilad: Well, the way it works is that when you want to hire a VA from us, you contact us. Either you will post my email address or they go to our website and contact us. And the first thing that we do is we schedule a meeting with me and the managers in order to really understand what you need and which VA you need and how many hours you will actually needs to do the test that you want. And once you’re we have this figure out, which is a StarTac, and we connect with the VA, the payments is done upfront, and the deal for you guys is gonna be a There’s a nice discount for starting this process. There is usually a one-time payment that you pay when you’re starting this process with us. So there’s a big discount on that. And what your audience needs, do they need to mention and that’s super important that they came from cell aboard. Otherwise, there’s no discount. They said that they came from you guys.

Vladi: Very cool. So, guys, make sure you check out the website and if you sign up and mentioned that you came from us, you’re going to get a better deal. All right, Gilad, Thanks so much for joining, and for being here. Good luck with your business and Amazon. And would you be a business? And guys, if you have any questions to us or to Gilad and make sure you post them down below and we’re gonna ask Gilad let to answer them for us. Thank you. Thanks for joining, guys. I hope you liked this episode. If so, don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe to our channels. I’ll see you in the next video. Bye bye.