Scale Your Business on Amazon in 2021 (Interview with Robyn Johnson)

Our guest on the 9th of August, 2021,  on the sellerboard show, was Robyn Johnson, the owner of Marketplace Blueprint and the Amazon expert.

We talked about:

  • Navigation through Amazon regulations vs sales and profit maximization. 
  • Advice for product listing optimization.
  • What’s the difference between launching the business on Amazon in the past and in 2021.
  • Marketplace Blueprint Academy for the Amazon sellers.
  • Misconceptions that brands and individuals have when entering Amazon in 2021.

Watch the full vide here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKekJCWi_20 

0:07
Today on the sellerboard show, we’re going to be talking to Robyn from Marketplace Blueprint on how to scale your company on Amazon in 2021. Let’s get started.

0:24
Welcome to the cellar board show, Christopher. And I’m really excited today because we have a world-known Amazon consultant and expert named Robyn. And she has been asked to speak at places like Harvard and some of the most prestigious conferences in the digital space and is the founder of Marketplace blueprint Academy. Welcome to the show, Robyn.

0:45
Hi, thank you so much for having me. It’s always fun to get to share about Amazon and growing businesses. It’s what I love doing. And I love getting to be a part of other people’s kind of growth stories.

0:57
That’s awesome. I can tell you’re very passionate about and watching some of the videos before we did this interview. Why don’t you give a brief introduction, expand a little bit on where I started on exactly what you’ve been doing in the space, and how you got here, to begin with. So the audience can get a good foundation?

1:13
Yes, so I started selling on Amazon over a decade ago, it was a great time to start a business because I had an infant and a toddler, and, and was working and I was working at a church. When you work in a church, he said the benefits are out of this world because the pay is not. And we were just always scared, right? So you know, the air conditioning, we make a noise or the car with them. And I would just think Am I going to be scared like this for the rest of my life. And we’ve started I was thinking man if I can make like an extra $100 a month extra $500 that would just change our whole world right? In, we took $100 out of our emergency fund, we were doing the Dave Ramsey thing. And in about three years, we turn that into a million-dollar business. And so we grew that pretty quickly. Back when growing to a million dollars on Amazon was a little bit different than it is now. It wasn’t there weren’t as many people who were doing it. We started coaching high-volume sellers. And we did a volume combination of retail, arbitrage, and wholesale. And we started working with some of the best sellers in the space kind of helping them grow and scale their business. About five years ago, we started our agency marketplace blueprint. And so in addition to coaching and providing courses to sellers, we started working with brands. So now we work with brands that are just starting all the way to brands that are you know, publicly treated. And you know, they’re in every home depot, they’re in every target. They’re in every Ace Hardware or you know, a toy store that’s out there. And so we get we’ve got a really wide experience of Amazon. So we’ve actually held inventory ourselves. So we know-how, you know, being an Amazon seller can make you a little schizophrenic, because on Monday, you’re poor, and then Tuesday, you’re rich, and then you know so it feels Amazon can be a big roller coaster. I was invited to speak at Harvard for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. I speak at PubCon. I’m a regular contributor for Search Engine Journal. And I’m an SEM rush Academy professor. So I’ve started doing some Academy things with sem rush that are out right now. It’s just the beginner class. So you’ve got some more advanced classes coming on that.

3:21
Wow, wow. Wow, that is really, really cool. Before we start digging into the Amazon stuff, what was the coolest thing about speaking at this entrepreneurship for women summit at Harvard University? What is just something cool that happened as a result of that? Did you see some amazing statues or some landscaping that just really caught your eye? Because that must have been an experience in itself

3:43
was an experience. So, my dad, is a lawyer and Harvard for lawyers is a big deal, right? And my brother is you know, he got a law degree. And so he’s like, well, if you were like your brother bla bla bla, so I sent him a Facebook thing. I was like, which of your kids has been to Harvard where they like emotionally, I think that was probably the best. But honestly, it was meaning some of the amazing other women that had done these amazing, great things I met somebody that had been on had been had one of the best pitches For Dragon’s Den. And we got to talking, you know, one of the leading salespeople for Tupperware. My friend also does a Latina mastermind that has really helped empower women. So it’s been really awesome. And it was really weird. They had tai lopez is like the keynote speaker, which is kind of a weird for. Yeah, so you know, I’ve got a picture with me and Tai Lopez, which, you know, is like, you know, some people say that’s, you know, that of five bucks, but some people like Wow, that’s cool. You bet to me, Tai Lopez, right. Yes. So it was really fun.

4:38
That’s a lot of amazing things that come out of a speaking engagement. Very cool, very cool. And you’re doing a lot with a lot of different facets of the Amazon world. So I guess we can start off with how can manufacturers brand enters authors even because I know you do KDP as well get their product found and navigate all the new regulations. They’re always coming in, but still maximizing the sales and profits are playing, playing exactly how Amazon wants us to in the sandbox. But still, you know, seeing that ROI Robyn.

5:11
So I think a lot of times people think about Amazon with the wrong perspective. So let’s start by changing your context around Amazon, if this is already your context, this is awesome. But when I think of Amazon, I think of, I have one customer, Amazon, that is a great customer brings in lots of business, but moody and fickle. And so my best way to keep this customer happy is to keep our interests align what I need for my business to make sure that I’m not doing anything that contradicts or stops Amazon to get from their goals. Because if it comes down to one of us not getting our way, let me tell you, it’s not going to be Amazon, you know, like Amazon’s always going to pick profitability, they’re always going to pick them first, it doesn’t matter if you are, you know, selling 15 $100 a month, or 15 million a month, if $15 million to Amazon is about how most of us view 15 $100. You know, it’s not that big of a line item for them. So you know, sometimes we will, it was like they don’t understand I’m such a big seller, Amazon doesn’t care how big you are. Because in the grand scheme of things, everybody, everybody is small. So what I try to do is try to look at when Amazon gives new announcements, like they say, Hey, this is new thing called the ipi. I tried to say, huh, what are the goals that they’re trying to accomplish or the problem that they’re trying to solve? And let me make sure that I am out of their way. So I don’t get stopped. So it sounds like they’re trying to you know, they’re trying to preserve space in their warehouse, you know, so then I have to look at am I managing my inventory? Wow. So looking at it from that perspective. And then when it comes to launching your products on Amazon, always remember that Amazon is customer-obsessed, if you haven’t read the 14 guiding principles of Amazon, you should like finish listening to this podcast first. Once you’re finished with this episode, then go listen to the go read the 14 guiding principles. And then that will really help you better navigate and better communicate with Amazon. So like, for example, it can be really important instead of to say, hey, Amazon, I need this fix, to say, hey, in Amazon in order to, you know, keep in order to enhance the customer experience, I want to prevent negative customer experiences by making this thing. So now they have to tell me no, I don’t care about the customer, if they want to tell me No. So it makes it harder, right. And you can’t just use that with that. It’s not a magic word, right. But if you use that spirit in the way that you’re approaching Amazon, it goes a lot better. And Amazon that interview, if you haven’t noticed that the little arrow goes from A to Z, that’s not an accident, they want to be the disease or they want to have all the products available, and selling a lot is important to them. So you want to look at is what I’m going to do point to help Amazon sell more products. That’s how the search algorithm really is based on its with this customer types and clickety, click this, what’s the best chance for me to get that sale, that’s how he looks at it. So trying to making sure you’re looking at really relevant keyword terms, not looking at just search volume, those things all make a big difference. So when it comes to your listing, there are two functions to your listing, you’re bringing traffic to your listing, and then you need to convert, and sometimes those two goals conflict with each other. So you have to really balance that in your listing, and then use your ads to kind of support that. So that was a really long-winded answer. I’m sorry.

8:41
No, it’s a great answer, though, because it’s not a magic wand-type answer. And I think a lot of times, that’s what people are looking for. But in reality, Amazon’s the biggest company in the world. And they are giving us the prime real estate that used to be reserved for companies like Tiffany’s, you know, in the middle of New York City. And we have this beautiful opportunity to compete with the biggest brands in the world. And even some of the brands are working with you as well. And they’re competing with the smaller sellers. And we have to figure out how to align with Amazon. So we can kind of be one with Amazon. And that’s when working with an account manager at Amazon. That’s what I really learned as well. And you’re echoing the exact sentiment, how can we work together to give the customer the best experience? So I think I think that’s a great answer.

9:32
So besides aligning with Amazon, and being one with the force on Amazon, what are some of the other pieces of advice that you would offer to optimize product listing and optimization on Amazon? You know, we went through EBC enhanced brand content a couple years ago, they got released for people on Seller Central, and now we’re starting to see some other features unleashed and sometimes veteran sellers. You’ve been on the platform bro. Long time and you might actually miss the fact that there’s something else that’s released your conversion start going down a little bit, you’re not getting as much algorithm love with the search term. So what are some of these new features or different ways you’re seeing your clients become more optimized and get better views and better conversions on Amazon, Robyn,

10:18
I think the way you bring up about veteran sellers is really important because I have a lot of people that have been selling on Amazon, there’s no opportunity left on Amazon, I’m like, really, because this guy just made 15 million. So you know, and it’s not the third, it’s not it’s just that what happens is, when you’ve been doing things a certain way, it’s easy to continue in that direction. And what modalities that you’re doing the techniques that you’re doing easily become outdated. So if you’re, if you’re a veteran seller, I invite you to be looking at things from a beginner’s mindset all the time. Just because somebody is new doesn’t mean that they don’t have better insight. Because sometimes they’re coming through this not knowing that this is always the way things have been done. And so they’ll find a great shortcut that I never would have thought of. So I think it’s following people that are eating, breathing, sleeping Amazon all the time, right. So even I make sure that I take time out of my day to follow people like destiny was Shawn, you know, to, you know, to look and see what people are doing in different spaces. So I look at other influencers, other agency owners, I look at other sellers, I’m in a lot of group chats with sellers, you know, now that COVID is almost over, right? Then we can we can, we can go back to conferences, and don’t just look at the roster, but look at what that roster is going to have, what kind of sellers that it’s going to attract, right. So, you know, look for people, you’re looking for a conference that’s going to attract people that are smarter than you always try to be the not, don’t be the smartest person in the room, and go and specifically try to make friends. You know, if you’re introverted, there’s a book called Kara’s carizon. Like be the most, there’s a couple of books that are really good. And then there’s always win friends and influence people. But when it comes down to tactics, what we’re seeing the honestly, there’s a lot of new programs, and Amazon’s always opening programs, but when I audit accounts, so what we’ll do like advertising audits and listing audits for potential clients, and one of the things that I noticed, a lot of times, it’s not that they are missing, you know, this new program, it’s usually that they’ve gotten so focused on those new shiny programs, they have not done the fundamentals, proper keyword research, good copy images that answer all of your customers questions. If you’re a private label seller, and you see a lot of questions on your listing. That should be uh, huh, I’m not doing something, right. Because when somebody goes in, they type that question in means I wanted to buy this so bad. But I had something that stopped me from buying that. So instead, I asked the question. So that means you need to integrate it. And sometimes people will say, but it’s in my bullets, people don’t read, you need to put it in your images, as well as in your Blitz, you know, don’t be afraid to repeat that information in a different way. So it doesn’t look just like you’ve copied and pasted. Right? So I think those big the basics of fundamentals at split testing, I think is really important. Amazon is starting to you know, they have the management experiments, which they’re expanding all the time into different things. If you’re impatient like I am, and you want to test, there are two software tools that do split testing, there’s split Lee, and then there’s also some sem rush has a tool on there selling early family, and that split testing tools for you right now. So that’s kind of cool. And so April content early, like, you know, some of the other programs like fine, you know, Amazon, subscribe, and save Amazon business, these are all things that will make incremental differences. But if you skipped through the important part, no special program is gonna save you, you have to do the fundamentals.

13:54
That’s so true. And now with more and more of the audience, and Amazon customers going to mobile, you know, in seeing, it’s looking at your listing on a tablet, looking at an iPad, looking at it on mobile, looking at it on the desktop, it shows up differently. And it can look spectacular on a laptop where we’re all not all of us, but the majority of Amazon sellers that are still selling are looking at while they’re working. But it might look really bad on a mobile phone, or it doesn’t hit the bullet points quick enough. And you really have to be thinking about all those different things because the customer is buying in these ways.

14:32
You know, and especially with images, I find that sometimes if you haven’t looked at it on a phone, you don’t realize how tiny that text is. Now if you’re marketing primarily to 19 to 25-year-olds, that’s no problem they know to pinch. But and even my husband, my husband’s 45 Don’t tell him I’m telling you. He’s old, right. So let’s just say you know, he now needs readers in order to see so before he could have just swiped through and probably seen some of that smaller font. Now you’re relying on him to Click in and to pinch, which he might not do that if the font is too small, he might even not even see that that’s actual text. We had one audit that came through that when I asked him to look at it, I was like, Can you tell me where you see the text? And there was one part he thought it was a line, it was so small. And it worked really well on the desktop. But on a laptop, it didn’t work. Right.

15:21
Right. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to Yeah, just to do that AV testing, like you said, and in general, the way it goes out to all the different types of devices, but then going back and, and just making sure that it’s going to perform well on all the different mediums that people are viewing on. And I think it’s also a great point that you brought up earlier in that response, that it’s, it’s wonderful to be around the top players in the Amazon space, but you also want to be taking in vibing with the energy of the new sellers and the new people that are coming in, because a lot of times, they’re just trying to figure out how to get it done. And they have figured out something that’s going to accelerate their business and you can learn from them. And you can learn from the people that are bigger and better than you are. And you can of course provide value to the others as well. So you kind of have to always be listening, always be learning always be implementing at all times. So it’s a great reminder, not only the big dogs, you know, you also want the puppies.

16:22
And, you know, one thing I realized is too is that you want somebody who’s fairly close in your experience somebody who’s ahead of you, but not miles ahead of you, right? You know, so if I’m trying to tell somebody how to start a new business, one of the reasons we stopped coaching, like people who are brand new, is because I haven’t started a brand new Amazon business in like 11 years, right? You know, so it’s different now. And, you know, I can say we’ll just go spend 15 $100 on this tool, in my profit and loss, that makes sense. And somebody who’s new, that might not make sense. So you know, if if you’re trying to, you know, hiring somebody who’s like a multi-million dollar seller to help get you your first $1,000 might not be as effective as getting somebody who just got started and then moving your way up through coaches. And as a coach, I can tell you, I always love it when a coach when I have clients like, wow, you know, I’ve gotten so far I’ve, you know, I’m ready to like, you know, go hire somebody who’s even, you know, more successful, you know, we have a lot of people who go from us to some multimillion-dollar people that we recommend, you know, so there are there’s a, there’s a, there’s great opportunity there. Um, and it with new sellers, it what, sometimes what I’ll see is they’re sitting there trying to replicate what somebody did five years ago, launching private label five years ago with completely different wording. Yes, starting  five years ago was completely different, you know, wasn’t many things that were dated back then. You could still whatever, you know, there were people who were taking Costco current cups and like taking them out of the box and putting them in paper bags and stapling them, you know, 10 years ago. I mean, we were it was the Wild West. Wild. Yeah. You look back, and it’s kind of like, you look back and you’re thinking like, wow, that was really dangerous that somebody should have stopped us from doing that. And they have. And then people will say, Well, you did it when it was easy. Well, you know, it was just different. You know, when I first started scanning the scanner, apps didn’t tell you how much you would net, they didn’t calculate that you had to guess. You know. So it’s not that it’s harder now. It’s just different. And if you’re not prepared for it to be different every one to two years, this is probably not the right industry for you.

18:28
Yeah, it’s moving. It’s moving every single day. And that’s a wonderful reminder to everybody, you can’t just kind of just be successful and sit on a beach and do nothing. Unfortunately, there are some videos that might suggest otherwise. But you do have to at least have somebody that’s running the machine and somebody that’s paying attention. And we were talking about the people that were coming in, and even though you are a coach for some of these larger companies, I know that you have the marketplace blueprint Academy, and that’s something that you’re really passionate about. And I love the preview videos I was seeing it’s very professional, good production. So why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about that if there are some new sellers that are looking to get going or just kind of enhance what they’re doing already?

19:11
Yeah, so a long time ago, we started to like the unstoppable Amazon Academy, we still have that. And then now because we do so much listing optimization, and we’re not, you know, because we’re working as an agency, we’re not doing as much sourcing, we actually started a Facebook group. So if you go to marketplace blueprint.com forward slash Facebook, we have a listing support question. So if you’re like, Look, I’ve done this flat file 16 times and it will not upload, then we can say Oh, is it in this category? They forgot to add the column you have to go in and manually add the column for it to work.

19:40
So far. My husband does all the flat files and he has no hair now.

19:49
Right. Okay, so it’s right now the biggest aspect of that is the group that community that’s helping each other once you give that link one more time again.

19:58
marketplace bloop. red.com forward slash Facebook and then it will forward you to the amfa Facebook page. And you know we have, we still do courses like we did like a course review who wanted to start their own agency, you know that. So we still offer that kind of as it kind of as-needed thing. But it’s it’s a lot of work and it’s not for everybody. So, you know, it’s it but you know, we offer like individual training and coaching as well. And it’s been really fun to watch sellers go from, you know, nothing to multi-million dollar sellers. And then it’s funny the laptop life to sell a thing. I know, a lot of multimillion-dollar sellers, and all of them work. I don’t know anybody who does this. If you are one of those people, I would genuinely like to meet you because I feel like it’s a unicorn. And I’ve always wanted to meet a unicorn. I know people who work less, and if you work 1015 hours a week, and then they have a really busy season. But everybody I know works.

21:00
Yeah, and it’s possible. And my partners and I got it down to 10 hours a week and a seven-figure size business before we sold ours. But it took a lot of work, it took a lot of work to get there. And we still had to keep our eye on the ball route. And it wasn’t like we just, you know, set it and forget it. So yeah, I’d like to meet that unicorn too, that would be that’d be a lot of fun. And my little daughter likes unicorns, so maybe I’d get a picture for her. But let’s talk about some of these other, you know, businesses, brands, and people that you’re taking through the Marketplace blueprint as an agency, as a coach, let’s I would just love to hear, you know, some stories without, of course, naming names or brands or anything like that, just give us some context on some of these successes, the success stories and how you’ve took something that was kind of rough, and you molded into something that was beautiful.

21:50
So we’ve taken a lot of companies that from zero, you know, too, you know, much, you know, to larger companies, one of our small companies, it was a lady that I met through a mutual friend, Sharon, and she, this lady had created this really cool educational card game. And she had a garage full of them. And she had tried to go to trade shows she had tried to sell them at farmer’s markets, she could not move these things to save her life. It had been on Amazon for six months, she had gotten to sales, we took over the listing, we redid the listing, we started running some ads for her, we got her in the top 3% of toys, and she stayed there. And you know, staying there’s that the key, right? Anyone can buy their way to the top, but staying there. And then we’ve also worked with really big publicly traded companies where their Amazon, their Amazon profile was kind of neglected, their listings needed to be optimized. They weren’t running ads, there was no brand defense strategy on their ads. So we had a company that is publicly traded in every big box store in their category. And we doubled their sales within the first eight months. Which you know, to double somebody’s sales from $100 to $200. That’s, you know, but when you’re doing, you know, 10s of millions of dollars, it’s exciting, you know, so we’ve gotten to do a lot of that. And then sometimes we kind of do something in between. So we’ve had some educational companies that toys, educational toys can have pretty tight margins. So a lot of times in that category, we’ll do like a three-month consulting contract, where we work on optimizing their listings, setting up some defensive brand strategies, kind of keeping their costs low. So it really depends on the category. We’ve had a couple of clients that just, even though they were large, and they had a presence and they had search volume, we were able to really grow. And it really comes down to us focusing on fundamentals, you know, proper keyword research, you know, strong ad strategy. And, you know, making sure that we’re enrolling them in the programs, you know, rest in peace early reviewer program, you were my friend, I’m still mourning your Oh, no, they took that away from us. They took it, they killed it. Like I got the email I was I saw somebody post it and I almost I didn’t get it here, but I thought about getting it here because it was such a great program. But there’ll be another program, but Amazon’s doing some really cool stuff with stores. So you should be watching. Because if you haven’t noticed, every now and again, if you search for a really big brand, there’ll be a link to the store in the search. It’s they roll it out, and they roll it back and they roll it out and they roll it back. But and then we have another listing where it’s a larger brand and Amazon has actually put their store page in the middle of their listing. Interesting. Yeah. So

24:35
yeah, I didn’t even know about that. Very cool. So yeah, sometimes with the larger brands, it’s they really just don’t have control of their page either. It’s, it’s complete, they have a complete misunderstanding of how to approach Amazon, maybe it was an intern or an intern that was running Amazon and now all of a sudden, you know, 10 years after they started on Amazon, they realize that they’re actually losing A lot of their share to these new companies that are popping up. And it’s a, it’s probably a completely different conversation and a completely different blueprint, if you will when it comes to somebody that’s just birthed on Amazon that you’re working with, and in a big brand. So what are some of those that are really, I think, be interesting to the listeners that are growing their business. And so if you’re taking a brand, let’s do $10 million a year, or it’s a publicly-traded brand, versus somebody that’s at $100,000, gross revenue, what are some of those differences in your approach from an established brand that’s now going to be enhanced on Amazon, and a brand that was birthed on Amazon Robyn.

25:36
So you know, smaller private label brands, because we work with some of those. And some of them are like, we would call them private label brands, but they’re not they wouldn’t call themselves private label brands, but it’s a, I saw this I created this product, they would consider themselves more like Shark Tank entrepreneurs, right. And so when I’m looking at companies about that size, and if I, if that’s you, I’m not talking down to that size, it’s just, it’s just different. There’s not one that’s better or more fun than the other, they’re just both unique sets of circumstances. You know, with smaller companies, we need to be much more ROI focused. So we have to be really conservative about the money because there’s a finite resource. And we have to make sure we get some results quickly. Because we want to make sure that if this is not going to launch Well, on Amazon, maybe it’s a new category, and the world is just not ready for your product yet. And we need to do some social media ads, we need to do some, you know, more top-of-funnel advertising, we need to figure that out right away. So you can stop paying and you can start focusing your money someplace else. That’s pretty rare that that happens. But you know, in general, we’re going to be looking more ROI-based, we want to make sure that in the selection of your product is going to be really important. And you’re selecting your product so that it will work in the marketplace. With the bigger brands, they launch a product. And then we have to kind of figure out how to make it work on the platform where peg round hole right? Yes, we’re gonna fit this we’re gonna jam it through. And for them, you know, Amazon is? Do you remember Alison Wonderland from Disney?

27:00
absolutely? Absolutely. It’s a little bit I always watched it when I had a fever growing up. Yeah, I don’t think that was the best time to watch.

27:07
You know, you might set somebody up for some illicit drug use, because it kind of feels like a little. But they, so I always explain to them that, you know, Amazon, if you’re just selling off Amazon, you’re Alice, before she falls down the mall. When you fall down here, it looks like a butterfly. But it’s really bread and butterfly, you know. So you know, an example, it’s really easy for them to understand is on Google ads. broad match means something completely different than it does on Amazon, even though they’re labeled the same. They act completely differently. And so you don’t understand that. That’s why so many Google ads, when they try to just add Amazon as another channel, they struggle so much is because everything is upside down. And it doesn’t it things are labeled. So it looks like they’re not right. So it can be really confusing. It’s making sure that they you know, understanding Amazon’s You know, there are certain things that they don’t have control over, it’s very hard for them to understand that. And it’s such a different way of doing business, to start the way that most of us start with private label that for them to understand that or to understand how retail arbitrage bricks, a lot of times, I’ll have to tell stories, like, you know, I had a coaching client that did this. And it’s this cute little old couple, and they’re, you know, they do, you know, 5 million a year on Amazon and doing Nike sales. And so for them to understand how all of these things work, there’s a lot more explanation, but I think that a lot of them are just so astonished with the good return that they get compared to Google. I know that the grass looks greener on the other side. So a lot of successful Amazon sellers say I’m gonna go do Shopify, and you know, the returns can be lower, you know, a good row as can be three or five, in one of the things we have to tell them is that s3 row as on Amazon, you know, it might, depending on the price of their product, and their margin might not be enough to even be profitable, because of all of Amazon fees. So it’s kind of really shifting that, you know,

29:08
it’s a whole new language. It’s like a whole different business. Really, it’s like learning a whole entire different business, because you have in these big brands have retail, then they have their own online store. And now you have to educate them on this whole new language. And so I’m sure that’s a really interesting onboarding process. And along the way, I’m sure you’ve developed some really good SFPs to kind of, like you said, just bridge the gap. So they can kind of get to where you need them to get so they can be extremely successful with your services. So that’s, that’s great.

29:48
Now, I guess like, on the other side of things, there’s always going to be the people in the brands they come, they come in with unrealistic expectations, and they’re not going to actually play ball with what you’re telling them to do or what you’re trying to do for them. So in your experience, when you bring somebody on board, and it’s just, it just not working there is there’s just so many walls that they’re hitting their head into. And they’ve had these misconceptions about what this business model was going to look like, or what this new channel is going to look like for them. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, what do you think the most common misconception brands and individuals have when they’re entering the Amazon infrastructure in 2021?

30:32
Well, you know, I think that it’s you know, not understanding how FBA works, you know, for big brands, they don’t understand how FBA works, they don’t understand, you know, like, like, not being able to run ads, when they don’t have the buy box is something that’s really foreign outside of Amazon, doesn’t matter. Like you can run ads, whether or not you know, there’s nothing that’s gonna stop you really from running ads outside of, you know, within Google itself. So there are a lot of things along that lines. And, you know, I think that, for the majority, I kind of got lost track of what was Connect, do you simplify that question? One more time? I think I lost. Yeah.

31:04
No, no problem at all. So I’ll just simplify it. You’ve seen individuals and businesses, like get started with maybe your services or get started on Amazon. And they don’t listen to the advice, or they have a misconception about how Amazon’s gonna go. And they kind of fall on their face one way or another, whether it’s a new channel, where it’s, this is a new business for him. So what do you think are the most common misconceptions brands and individuals have when entering Amazon in 2021? So we can educate the listeners, so they can kind of get a foundation on the reality of what’s going on?

31:41
So, you know, usually, I don’t get a ton of those claims, because I’m really honest, when people come in, in a sales process, I’m not like, what will it take for me to put you on a contract today like this is what’s realistic, and sometimes they’ll come to me and say, well, agency B, so that they could get us to 15 million in two months, like, while you’re selling $150 a month right now, so I don’t think that’s possible. And if it is, you should definitely go with them. Because I don’t know how to do that. You know, so, if, you know, so there are times when, but sometimes people will, you know, they have big expectations, we make sure that we try to provide that, you know, like, you know, something in writing, saying, you know, we don’t know if we’re going to hit the sales goal. Right, and we can play for it. You know, but I think that you know, sometimes people have heard these success stories, and they think that it’s like bippity boppity. Boo, and it’s a that’s not, you know, there’s no Genie. And so it’s understanding that it takes time and that there are a lot more complicating factors than there were five years ago. So having ipi being is impacting your ability to hold storage changes the way that you have to launch because we can’t launch a whole bunch of products, and risk having a whole bunch of still inventory, especially if you already had inventory in there that was already stale. So the status of your account, the velocity of your products, the amount of search volume, the thing that I think is most important for brands to understand before they’re looking to launch into Amazon, is that Amazon is the best as an end to funnel marketing. So you know, we’re better at the bottom than we aren’t top. Now Amazon is getting new top-of-funnel strategies to be, you know, a year ago, two years ago, I would have told you the sponsor display wasn’t worth the digital space who was working, you know, holding on the server is getting better. And DSP is, is providing more things, but the sponsor brand video ads are great for the top of the funnel. But when you think about Amazon, when was the last time you actually typed in in a center, you went directly to a link unless it was coming from someplace else. Never people find products on Amazon via search. So you either your search, your brand has to be your product and has to be searched, right? Or they have to know to type that in, or there has to be a keyword that is highly relevant, that has low competition, that can drive people to your page. So if you have a garlic press, you’re gonna have to compete against a lot of people. So anybody can, by the way to the top of page one, but some pages page ones are more expensive than other pages once. So garlic press is you know, you might have to spend 20,000 a month in ads in order to rank it even get close to ranking. And then for double, you know, left-handed underwater basket weaving kit for boys, you might only have to spend $50 a month, you know, because there are not very many people advertising for that. But you know, there are a lot fewer people searching for that search term. It is a balance. And so anybody who tells you they can do magic, you want to know, well, what makes you feel that you’re able to do that? Is it because we have existing search fine, is it because of our competition like there’s some categories like automotive and tools, where most of the listings are just not well optimized. And so it has been fairly easy over the last year or so, to be able to rank using strategies from other categories in that category. So you know, there are always new opportunities on hand My son, and so the market shifts. So you had another coffee company that did really well, five years ago. You know, we get a lot of coffee and supplemental companies that I, my friend, Joe, the conference that he just did really well with Amazon’s while watching coffee five years ago, and Amazon was a lot easier, there was a lot less competition,

35:17
right? Yeah, it’s become a lot more private label-friendly, I think in the last five years. And so you’re seeing a lot of celebrity endorsements and all sorts of things that are changing the dynamics. That’s, that’s just a great reminder. And even though like you said, top of the funnel with the Amazon Video Ads, even though maybe that’s not leading directly to the sale, people are on Amazon to buy things. And if they are searching with keywords, that means they’re not sold on that particular brand. And so if they see that video a few times, then maybe the next time it’s a click, and it’s a purchase. And then if it’s a consumable, especially, you know, that top of the funnel can really pay off. And I really think that’s a great point. I know, before we sold our business we didn’t even do we didn’t even launch the video ads. And I’m sure the person that bought our business is probably going to be thinking about it. We’re doing that right now. And that’s a great way just to get more attention, especially if it’s a brand that was birth on Amazon. So great evergreen advice. Thank you so much, Robyn. So what else? What else? Can you wait, what else can you end us with or send the listeners to that you’re working on? I know, we talked about the Facebook group earlier, this has been a really, really value-filled interview. And I really appreciate so just give one more, shout out to exactly where people can find you if they want to optimize what they’re doing. I’m excited about what you’re doing. I think you’re doing some great things, and you’re really well versed in so many aspects of it. So go ahead and take us home Robyn with exactly where the listeners can find you.

36:46
So I’m on Facebook, Twitter, instead I’m not on Instagram, because I’m not cool enough. Like so. Yeah, I’m on Twitter, because you know, there’s not, you don’t have to be as cool to be on Twitter. Wait. So but you can find me I have all of my stuff in one place. So if you go to the marketplace, blueprint.com forward slash follow. I have my LinkedIn, my Facebook, my Twitter on there. And then I also have a like a 20 page guide for listing optimization. And in there if you like go through, like there’s if you want me to audit your do a quick like five minute video audit of your listing, then I’m happy to do that for you. You know, so, you know, we find that a lot of times it’s it’s, you know, just getting somebody to have a fresh set of eyes on there. We also do PPC odd bits. If you want us to check to see how your ads are doing we had one client that we found just by eliminating by adding one negative match keyword they could save $1,000 a month. Yeah, so I mean I was like well that’s that was a pretty big hole in the bucket. I was like

37:50
that’s it that’s my days at Disney World. Amazing when you want to give that you want to give the link one more time since we’re we’re going on here.

37:59
marketplace blueprint.com forward slash follow blueprint com forward-slash follow.

38:09
Excellent and those free audits that you’re providing to listeners are extremely valuable. I definitely encourage people to take Robyn up on that. And thank you so much for being on the cellar board show today and have a wonderful day. Thanks so much for having me. I hope it was helpful.

38:29
Thank you for watching the cellar board show today and a special thanks to Robyn Johnson from marketplace blueprint for sharing so many valuable tips and hints for scaling your business in 2021 on Amazon as a reminder sellerboard is a software and mobile application with profit analytics inventory management, advertising optimization listing change alerts scheduled customer mass messaging, request review automation and money-back made easy for your Amazon-based businesses with plans starting at only $15 a month seller board is generally the most affordable effective tool for Amazon sellers of all sizes. Sign up now for two free months with no credit card required and seller board com and join the 1000s of satisfied seller board customers. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.