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#333 – Advanced Influencer Marketing Strategies for Amazon Brands

Did you know that you can easily find a TikTok influencer that’s perfect for your Amazon brand? Today’s expert guest shows you how, plus more strategies.
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Helium 10 The Helium 10 Software
42 minutes read

In this episode, Bradley welcomes back Paul Baron to discuss everything from finding the TikTok influencer that’s best for your Amazon products to other brand-building strategies that can benefit your business. He also shares strategies on how you can get brand referral bonuses from Amazon while stacking them to your Amazon associates link.

Paul also gives some updates on his Amazon business from last year and how the highs and lows of building an Amazon business can make you a better person.

In episode 333 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Paul discuss:

  • 01:50 – Meeting Russell Wilson At An Amazon Conference
  • 04:20 – What Is Paul Baron Up To These Days?
  • 06:30 – Building Brand Ambassador Influencer Teams
  • 07:20 – Using TikTok Influencers For Marketing Strategy
  • 08:30 – The Difference Of Instagram And TikTok
  • 10:00 – Success Story Using This Strategy
  • 11:15 – How Does The TikTok Creator Marketplace Work?
  • 14:50 – How Much Do You Offer TikTok Influencers
  • 17:30 – Getting Brand Referral Bonuses From Amazon
  • 21:00 – Stacking Your Amazon Associates Link
  • 23:30 – How Can You Use Chatbots In The Current Time
  • 28:45 – Updates On Paul’s Amazon Business Last Year
  • 33:00 – A Black Hat Attack On Paul’s Top Selling Product
  • 37:15 – Trials And Hard Times Make You Better
  • 40:00 – How To Get In Touch With Paul Baron

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Did you know that you can relatively easily find a potential perfect influencer on TikTok for your brand? Today, we’re gonna talk about how to do that. Plus some other great brand building strategies. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

What happens when you’ve grown your Amazon business, as much as you can and don’t have the time or resources to take it to that next level. Well, that’s where Thrasio comes in. Thrasio acquires category, leading FBA brands from small business owners, just like you and they specialize in taking your brand to Heights while you profit from the growth. With more than a thousand experts at the top of their field in brand management, growth, marketing, creative and supply chain Thrasio’s operating team can grow your business exponentially. Find out today how you can make tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars. If not more. When your business is managed by Thrasio’s expert team, visit thrasio.com/helium 10 to connect with Thrasio. That’s thraso.com/helium10. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS-free unscripted, and unrehearsed, organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon or Walmart world. We’ve got a serious seller here, but before we get started something I just saw on his screen right here, reminded me of something. And I know this episode is going out like probably two, three weeks later, but the trade. What are your thoughts?

Paul:

The trade. Oh, man. Russell Wilson. Yes, I am so stoked. Dude, I met him at an Amazon pay conference, so he was speaking like Amazon pay did a conference, right? I got an invite and you know, whenever Amazon invites you to something you go so the year before my wife went to like this women entrepreneur thing, Amazon did, I went to Amazon pay and it was like one of those, like, keep your hand up if you know, like a youth group game sort of thing. And I got up on stage with him and I turn on, I have a video, I’ll have to show it to you at Prosper. I have a video where I was like, Hey, I need you to tell my fantasy football league that you want to play on my team. So, I get him on video and he is like, but then he changes it. He is like, but the rule is he has to draft me first pick overall and was like, ah, you don’t waste your first pick outta quarterback.

Bradley Sutton:

Russell Wilson, especially now Russell Wilson.

Paul:

I was like, ah, oh, I didn’t draft him first overall, but I did. I was on the turn. So I drafted him second, but yeah, he was on team. It’s a funny story.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Then Denver has been looking for a quarterback for forever. It seems so maybe this is the answer.

Paul:

Dude. We got the record for like the worst team in the league after winning a Super Bowl because we haven’t gone to the playoffs since we won.

Bradley Sutton:

Crazy

Paul:

In like Super Bowl 50 whatever.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Anyways, we’re not here to talk sports, but I just thought it was funny. I was like, you know, at this conference and then just got hit with these Twitter things. Like one is the trade and then, you know Green Bay signs Rogers for 200 million. I’m like, man, what is happening in the NFL today? But anyways, we’re not gonna talk NFL today. The cool thing is this is the third time you’ve been on this podcast. You know, not many people make it to the third time. You can only be on here like once a year. And we’ve been doing this about three years or so now, but I don’t even know what you do nowadays, but you’re one of those few words. Like, you know what, I don’t care what this guy does. Like I know he’s gonna have something cool to talk about and stuff.

Bradley Sutton:

So I never prep for these things anyway, you know, but, but usually, I have some idea, at least I’m like, okay, well I know this person’s been doing this lately. So like, I’m probably gonna ask a couple questions about this, but like, literally with you, I know you’ve been doing the past, you talked, you know, about chatbots and things, but I heard through the Grape that you’re doing something different. But if somebody told me what you’re doing, I don’t even remember what they said. So can you tell me what in the world is, is Paul Baron up to these days?

Paul:

I’m fantastic at marketing myself. Apparently, I do a really good job. Yeah. So I have been focusing on the chat agency. I started this firm back year and a half ago, Norm Farrar, Shane Oglow you know, Norm, I mean, he’s got like,

Bradley Sutton:

Yep.

Paul:

2000 companies or something. I don’t even know how many.

Bradley Sutton:

He’s another one of those where I’m just like, yeah, Norm you come on here. I don’t know what we’re gonna talk about, but every single time you come on, there’s always something new. Like one year it was Amazon Posts and then it was like, press releases. And then it was Google My Business. Like he always comes up with new stuff and you’re that’s cool that you guys are working together. You guys are two P’s in the pod?

Paul:

Two P so what’s funny cuz we still worked he’s not an owner anymore. He resigned because just, you know, his millions of other companies. So for the past year I’ve been really focusing on the chat agency, which is, you know, it’s in the chatbots space, but what we really focus on is, is building audiences cuz I’ve been thinking through. Okay. So what my first ever speech on stage was in 2018 and I talked about building a brand that the media loves because we just have a knack for getting in the press with Beau and Belle Littles and like we getting press sits and all this stuff. So that was what people wanted to know. Like we were on the Rachel Ratio, my wife was interviewed by Forbes magazine. And so that was my first ever speech.

Paul:

And then I quickly started getting into the chatbot stuff because that was 2018. I’d been using them all 2017. And this was with Matt Clark back in the day. So I went to this like mastermind thingy that he had thrown and I was like, dude, this is how we’re getting reviews. And I told him like the outline with chatbots and you know, we’re targeting people with a custom audience match and we’re giving them a free offer just for registering their purchase on Facebook. And then we follow up and say, oh, by the way, what’s your feedback on the original purchase. Right. So that led to my whole sort of like what most people know me for is the chatbot space. And then over the past year and a half, I guess I’ve been talking a lot about influencers because for the past five years again, coinciding with like the chatbot stuff, we’ve been building out brand ambassador teams for our brand.

Paul:

But what I, what I’ve sort of come to realize is that everything that I talk about, everything that I speak about on stage, whether it’s press hacks like PR getting, you know, building a brand of media loves. Using chatbots, building an audience, building an email list, building an SM list you know, working with influencers, brand ambassadors, that sort of thing. It’s all grounded in brand. And so that’s really what I’m in, what I love doing. And so now what I’m geeking out about is using, okay, so this is what I’m gonna talk about at Prosper, the seller tips. Okay. Tim just said that you’re up there. I’m up there. So we have been testing some stuff with TikTok influencers using creator marketplace and using the social promo code coupon right within Amazon. So the chat agency, again, like what we focus on is building audiences for people.

Paul:

We primarily look at leveraging inserts, product inserts, and creating an offer for people for the sellers that their customers would feel stupid saying no to that’s the goal. Right. We wanna create an offer that is so good that people feel stupid saying no. Generally it’s like a four point thing where like register your purchase to get A, B, C, and D right. Get all these things. And they’re like, wow, this is amazing. Like A would be cool by itself. B would be cool by itself. C would be cool by itself. You’d get all these four things together. That’s what we’ve been focusing on chat agency and then for a select group of clients, we do influencer buildouts now in my experience, the past five years, working with influencers and brand ambassadors, it’s primarily been on Instagram. And so a lot of the speeches that I’ve done up to this point where we talk about how we’ve done that. Prosper last year, I talked about that.

Paul:

And a lot of the webinars and whatever podcasts I’ve done, I’ve talked about influencer buildouts. And with Instagram, my experience has been that Instagram is fantastic for getting user-generated content or UGC. Especially the way that we do it because we ask our people to share, like for the most of them, we ask them to share rights to their content in perpetuity so that we can recycle that into like Amazon posts or use it in like our print marketing materials use it in digital ads, all that sort of stuff. We have the rights to it. And like the earned media value that we’ve been able to generate is well into the millions and in partnering with Instagram. But the caveat there, the Instagram is not built. It was not built from the ground up to for monetization. You know it’s a legacy social media platform, I guess you’d call it a legacy, whatever that means.

Paul:

It preexists the whole trend that is influencer marketing. Now TikTok is completely different. It’s the new on the block? You know, last year it was the number one visited URL, the number one visited domain on the internet, like insane, right. I’m sure that your person last week talked about that, but the way that they built TikTok is with influencers with creators in mind. So they have this baked end platform creator marketplace for TikTok that makes finding influencers like, I’m not gonna say it’s a breeze, but it is amazing. You know, again, building out audiences, right? We do this for some select group and we have a whole manual outreach process that we follow for both Instagram and TikTok. And we’ve had great success with TikTok, like one client in particular. We just traded a few products for free. This is like a month ago and one of the influencers drove like $2,000 in sales with one video. And this was us finding that influencer, just doing manual outreach, meaning.

Bradley Sutton:

What was the call to action on that video? What was there like a direct link to with the attribution to the Amazon listing or what

Paul:

I would have to look it up cuz I don’t run the campaigns. That was one of our–, my assumption is that it was up until this point with attribution where we’re really diving into attribution, we would just give a coupon code. And so it’d be like go to Amazon and use my coupon code for blah, blah, blah off. Now the social promo link is so much better because it greases the wheels. You don’t have to say use this coupon code at checkout. It just go to this link and it’s automatically applied it’s so nice. So what we’re doing with the whole creator marketplace thing, so let me–, I’m super excited about this cuz this, like we’re doing this now and the results are really good. Let me take a step back. So the creator marketplace, how that works is you can sign up for it if you have you automatically have it if you have a TikTok ads account.

Paul:

If you don’t signing up for it is really simple. You don’t log in with your actual TikTok user account, right? So you have to sign up for it. The process takes a like five to 10 minutes and it’s pretty thorough cuz they ask you for your EIN, your tax ID, and all that sort of stuff. And but the creator search is what makes it amazing. So all the stuff that you can, you can search for. Like again, you could do this manually on TikTok and you could just start looking for videos. Let’s say that you’re in like RV lifestyle, whatever. Let’s say you like solar generators and whatnot, RV people are your people. You can go to TikTok and just look for RV things and then you can find creators and then you can go about generally you’d have to find them on Instagram, contact them on Instagram, or email. The creator marketplace makes it a lot easier because so all the options I have, I’m just gonna read them to you.

Paul:

I have creator country or region. And so let’s say I’m gonna type in United States, right? Because I care about selling in .com and then I can also narrow it by state. So let’s say like, I’m known for our brand, we sell, you know, baby products, you know, swim products. Okay. Right now, California, Texas, and Florida are really crushing it for us. So then I could even further narrow by state. So I can say, I want to have creators that are only in Florida and then I can select their audience region, which again, I want their audience region to be the United States. And I’m gonna say Florida, I can say that I want X number followers, you know, X number of views per video. So like the defaults are 10,000 to a hundred thousand, a hundred thousand to a million. That’s the follower account.

Paul:

I just leave that as all. I can set the price preference. So the price preference is the, is the creator’s price to the brand. The price is negotiable or free products accepted as payments. And I check both, then I have engagement rate zero to 5%, five to 10%, 10 to 15. So again, all of this makes it so easy because I wanna work with people that have higher engagement and then I can sort by topic that they post about. So for brand, it’s baby and toddlers. So I select kids and toddlers under little drop down here. You know, again, they have like animals in nature. Nature would be like nature and environment, pets and animals, exotic animals, livestock, pets, so on and so forth. So literally like the options are in this. Now those are like topic, things like tags, right.

Paul:

Then I can set Audience and gender, which is female for us audience age, I wanna say 25 to 34 because we’re looking for mommies with babies generally in that age range. So then I click apply. So I filtering by Florida that has my filters that I selected creator country, US, Florida, any follower account, any average view engagement rate, five to 10%. And then kids and toddlers audience gender female audience, age 25 to 34. And now I have a list now of it says 20 plus creators. So I could just keep scrolling in its infinite scroll. So all of these women then, so like my first one I have, so this person 32,000 followers, and she starts at $10. I could work with her for 10 bucks. Wow. another one, 22,000, starting at 50, another one, 538,000 starting at 500.

Paul:

But here’s the thing. The influencer that drove that $2,000 in sales for one of our clients, we found her in creator marketplace. She says that her starting rate is $2,000, but we didn’t get her for 2000. We traded her a free product in commission. Okay. So just because it says 500 bucks or a thousand dollars, don’t run that off. Now, anyway, I’m geeking out over this because, so, you know, we do all this searching, right? We find all these people. I can add them to a short list. So I have a whole short list of people that are just Florida, mommy creators. Yeah. And I have one that’s California, mommy creators. And then I have one that’s ticked Texas. And then I have just in general, then I have Colorado cuz we’re from Colorado. Yeah. but, the point is, is that then like all the data that you get.

Paul:

So I’m looking at, I just clicked into this one that has 540,000 followers. On average, he gets about 55,000 views. On average, he gets 87 shares per video averaging about 3000 likes per video. And then I will, would just then go through, you can have a virtual assistant do this. Like my team does this. And then I would just look at her content and say, okay, does this person look like she reflects our brand values. Looks like she’s got a little baby. That could potentially, she posts more about food. So it may not be a good fit. But my point is that then I can add this person to a list. Then they make creating a campaign and pitching it super simple. I feel like I’m a TikTok salesperson right now.

Bradley Sutton:

Hey, tell me, you hope your affiliate check is in the mail.

Paul:

Right? No kidding. Right. So now I create a campaign and then we, you know, you put in your brand name, your website, your industry, your logo, all that sort of stuff. And when you, when you set up an account, it that all that is stuff is saved.

Bradley Sutton:

Now if you are doing this through like that attribution thing, isn’t there something now on Amazon where you can get like a kickback, if the link, it comes from a certain source. Does this count as that then?

Paul:

Yes. That’s the juice, that’s the juicy part. That is the stuff. That’s the secret sauce, Bradley. And that’s one of the reasons why I like. So my process, right? I create the social promo code, which is in the promotions in Amazon, super simple to set up. The bonus of that is that it’s very easy for people to redeem and use back is that it’s only good for a 30 day period. Okay. So if you wanna keep sending traffic there, you have to keep creating them. Not that big of a deal, especially if you use a URL redirect. Yeah. Right. So step one is I think through, okay, what’s my pitch to these creators. My pitch is okay, we’re doing a spring fling promo, your audience gets 25% off anything in our store.

Paul:

And we’re gonna give you 10% commission on everything you sell, which is the brand referral bonus. Right. Yep. Yep. So I’m not paying out of my pocket for the traffic Amazon’s paying outta their pocket. What I’m quote-unquote paying is the discount, right. The Lawson in markup or the Lawson margin. And then I’m quote-unquote paying, my hard cost on products that we’re giving away. Yeah. You know, it’s a hard cost is like 30 bucks good stuff. Right. And if I really wanted to go balls to the wall, I dunno if I could say that, but if I really wanted to go boss to the wall, I could say, you know what? You have a million followers. We’re gonna also pay you $500 up front or thousand dollars upfront. Yeah. Because here’s the thing you look at, like, look at this as an advertising channel, right.

Paul:

You work with somebody that gets an average of 2 million views per video. I’d pay 2000 bucks for that. I totally would. Now some people are way overpriced and some people, you know, think they’re cooler than they actually are. But my point is that you combine that with something where, okay, this is everything that I’ve always talked. If you listen to me for the past year and a half, when I talk about influencer marketing, I always say it starts with a relationship first. You have to treat people like people respect them, be respectful. And if you say our goal is to create a win-win scenario where we can partner with you on an ongoing fashion and we wanna make it so good for you that you just keep making money and wanna work with us. Then maybe you pay for omega influencer upfront at first, but I can guarantee you that the next time you work with them, they’re gonna give you a discount.

Paul:

Or you’re gonna say, you know what? We paid you two grand upfront and we made $200,000 in sales. I’m gonna give you another $10,000 bonus plus the 10% commission or whatever. Again, I’m just, you know, all, but the point is what we’re testing now is the concept that we’re giving you products for free. If you need to pay upfront, we’ll negotiate that, but you’re gonna get 10% commission. Right. So step one, again, for of the link building part, right? We do the social promo code in Amazon. So your influencer Bradley, Hey Bradley, do you wanna take $200 in free products and then 10% commission? And you say, well, yes, I would. Okay, great. Here’s your link Bradley. It’s helium10.com/bradley. Now you just give that to all your people on TikTok and every time that somebody goes there, it’s gonna go to Amazon and automatically apply a 25% off coupon. Isn’t that cool? Oh, and we’re gonna give you 10% commission and all that. Like it’s just a win, win, win across the board. Yeah. Now if you wanna take it a step further, I add my personal Amazon associates ID to it. So it’s also giving me a cut of commission from Amazon associates.

Bradley Sutton:

Wait a minute, wait, wait, wait. You can stack the Amazon attribution bonus with the associate’s link.

Paul:

Yes. Only if it’s not to the brand, cuz your brand can be an Amazon associate’s brand. You can also get Amazon attribution, but they designed it because it’s social like they designed this so that you can get extra traffic from associates. Right. So that’s the other thing too, is that you could also say, Hey if you have an associate’s ID, we’d love to include that in the link for you so that you get extra commission. So that–,

Bradley Sutton:

So it’s not you, it’s the influencer who’s?

Paul:

It’s either-or. What my process has been is I ask people, Hey, do you have an Amazon associate’s ID? And some like, what is that? Okay, we’ll tell you what, well I can tell you about it, but for now I’m gonna put my own. But again, the reason why we’re doing this is because we can track all along the way. Now Amazon associates only has a 24 hour window cookie. That means that somebody has to go to Amazon and buy within 24 hours so that the associate can get paid with Amazon attribution. You have a 14 day cookie. So that means like most of our audience, their moms, they like to do their research. So oftentimes they’ll add it to cart or save it to a wishlist and then they’ll come back a week or two later and then purchase. So that means that our people that are promoting for us are going to get paid. If their audience purchases within two weeks,

Bradley Sutton:

It kinda like incentivizes them to put some kind of, you know, like some impetus behind it. Like, Hey guys, you know, don’t delay do it now. Yeah. Well this is like fascinating. Like reminds me you know, as many people know, you know, Helium 10’s part of bigger company now we’re like a billion dollar operation here. One of our sister companies is called Refersion. Have you ever heard of Refersion?

Paul:

Yes. And I use them for Shopify.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. Excellent. So this is you know, I was just at a conference where we’re talking about what we’re gonna be doing, going forward with reversion. There’s a lot of cool things and a lot of things that you can do, like, you know, some people who are hearing this like, well, how do you pay the influencer and things like there’s a payment portal through it too. So, guys check out our partner company Refersion. And if you get into some of this stuff, you know, it can make that, that process a little bit easier, especially, you know, if, if you have Shopify, but this is kind of like fascinating stuff. And I think not a lot of people are taking advantage of this yet.

Bradley Sutton:

Now going back though, to just like chat. One thing I wanted to ask you about is, you know I don’t think you did too much of it, but you know, just a lot of people who were using chats, you know, one of the, the features that they were using was for launch and getting doing the old style giveaways and rebates and different things like that. So, I’m just wondering what you’re hearing in the industry, like are pretty people who use chatbots pretty much just using it now for either customer service or, you know, like review reminder or what are things that are within terms of Amazon terms of service on how people can use chatbots now in this new day of 2022, when giveaways and things like that are now frowned upon.

Paul:

So I personally never did rebate launches in my business ever, because for me, it’s always been about the audience. Now I have had people that had asked, like, how do you do this? And I would instruct them like, this is how you would do it. And the one thing that I had always stressed was I would never use, I never recommended digital payment such as PayPal back then, because, it just smacked of like, this seemed like a loophole that Amazon’s gonna catch onto and they’re gonna shut it down. Yeah. So that was one thing that I never did personally. So I would say like within, in 2019, when, when messenger updated their terms of service to make it so that it was a lot harder to follow up with the audience that you built. Most people in the Amazon selling community were like, this is stupid.

Paul:

We’re not using messenger anymore. We’re not using chatbots. So I think it started back then in chat, but in my head, it’s never gone outta style and I use them for launching because you can still, so this exact process, right? The social promo thing, you can do that for a product launch. In fact, we’re doing that for a new brand that we’re starting. So and the great thing about this is this is all 100% within terms of service, right? So that’s the social promo. That’s just going from TikTok. Yeah. We can still create those ads and have them run from Messenger. And the thing, if you read Amazon’s terms of service update, that’s what was that past November? Something like that, right? Yep. They said their whole emphasis was on-off Amazon incentives. Yes. They say, they basically said over and over. And again, we have a suite of tools in Amazon use those and you again, what I always boil it down to is understanding the why behind the rule.

Paul:

Why are they, why is the rule existing? And for Amazon, their stated purpose is customer obsession. They want their customers to be ecstatic with you using Amazon. So it provided a bad experience for their customers in multiple ways. One, the people that were not a part of those sort of buying clubs were not familiar with the process. And it was a lot of hoops and a lot of things that they had to jump through to get their discount, right. So there was a pain in the ass and it got to a point where people were like, okay, go search for blue Silicon spatula, scroll down and look at three competitors, then go to our listing and then add ours to cart and then take a screenshot of your purchase. And then we’ll rebate you within 14 days. Like that’s ass pain in the for the user.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah.

Paul:

It’s a pain in the ass because pay people are trying and I get it. People are trying to get the search ranking right. For that targeted keyword. So if you’re trying to rank for blue silicone spatula, when it is a simple fact that if you, when people go to Amazon, they type in blue, silicone spatula, and they overwhelmingly purchase yours, then you will rank higher for blue Silicon spatula. It’s not rocket science. Coupons sort of fell out of Vogue, I guess, because when you get a coupon purchase or especially something like a promo code like this, the social promo, you can’t quote-unquote, embed a URL, a keyword into it. You can’t have a two step URL. And so people are like, well, I can’t target my keyword growth. Well, here’s the thing, sweetheart. If you actually do a really good job of building an audience and let’s say, one thing that I would say is like, you could say, go to Amazon and find our blues, you know, buy our blue Silicon spatula on Amazon.

Paul:

Chances are you’re. So you’re not telling people to search for blue Silicon spatula. Chances are, people are gonna do one of two or three things. They’re gonna go to Amazon and search for you by brand name plus blue Silicon spatula. They’re gonna search for you by brand name, or they’re gonna search for new blue silicone spatula. But the point is that that will help you raise across the board. But if you have your listing well optimized, any traffic that converts will raise every keyword across the board. As long as it’s converting, right? I mean, add to carts and whatnot. But my point is, is that that’s where I don’t think that using chatbots has in my head, the people that are complaining about how they don’t work were using them wrong in the first place. Yeah. They weren’t looking at the long game and they were looking at what’s the quickest way that I can hack my way to the top. And that is just not a way that you build a long term sustainably successful business.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, absolutely. Now, you know, one thing I always like about, you know, what you do and, and it really sets the people apart from, from the people who are just trying to make a quick book on courses or software or something, but, you know, you’re still in the game. You know, I think all of us who are kind of in this educational space or service space, we quickly realized that you know, like, yeah, maybe we started on Amazon, but some people just stop on Amazon. They just want to go into the SAS space, or they just wanna go into the education space, but they’re out of Amazon. Your knowledge quickly kind of goes out of date if you’re not in the game. So you’re in the game. So talk to us about it. Like, how was your 2021 for just, you know, being a plain old Amazon seller?

Paul:

How much am I allowed to complain? It was a Rocky year, man. So in 2020, we had somebody post a review that Amazon had shipped out a poopy swim diaper. Right. So we sell swim diapers. It’s I talk about it all the time. Obviously, we didn’t ship that out. That was a customer

Bradley Sutton:

Poopy as anywhere was not good, or it literally had poop in it.

Paul:

It literally had poop stains in it.

Bradley Sutton:

Oh my God.

Paul:

Yeah. And, obviously, they were angry as I would be, you know, right. If I got, if I got an incontinence product up that had been used, I would be. So this is an obvious oversight on Amazon’s part I don’t see that as being, you know, we’re just gonna put this back in stock, but you know, the thing is that they’ve got warehouse workers that, you know, they have, if you’ve been to an FC, like these guys are just, they got to move fast. And so it’s just an honest mistake, even though we have this setting, then we’ve always had this setting that return units have to come back, mistakes happen. And so that one got put back in inventory and that we have not been able to get that review down. It has the most helpful votes out of any review. And

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, probably cuz the people think it’s hilarious or something so that they upvoted or something like.

Paul:

That. I mean, well they’re seeing because you know, the average consumer doesn’t realize that the products that you purchase on Amazon from a private seller, most of the time come from Amazon. So they’re are thinking there’s this unethical company that’s repackaging used goods and shipping them out. This is terrible. Everyone needs to know. Right. That’s the logical thing. So, yeah, I’ve done everything but emailed Jeff on this and that’s one of those things that I need to do because my context I have, I know the guy who built seller central and the guy, he’s the guy who built the detail page. And I know the guy who built Amazon launchpad and I went to them. I said, Hey, you know, Kyle, do you have anybody that works at Amazon that can help us with this? And he sent it into his friends that he hired that still worked there and they even couldn’t help with the review.

Bradley Sutton:

So, I mean, you’re trying really hard on this. So I’m assuming you’ve got some data that shows, Hey, once that review has been uploaded, your sales took a hit.

Paul:

Yeah, yeah. Massively. So there’s that then obviously the supply chain issues we’re a very summer seasonal business. We generally get a big shipment every May or June. You know, we kind of have our winter stock that comes in at about October, November gets us through about March, generally speaking. Every now and again, we’ll do a rush delivery, you know, after Chinese new year. But our summer shipment didn’t arrive until September. So we law 200 to $500,000 in sales. Yeah. Because we were just running out of stock and that’s just, again.

Bradley Sutton:

One of those sitting off the coast of California, you know, floating around. Right?

Paul:

Yep. So now we have a 20 foot container on the side of our house with it’s dwindling. Now we’re shipping stuff in, but at one point in time it was like 400,000 of inventory sitting in the winter. So there was that. And then also at one point in time, Rochelle thinks it’s because I’m very open about our brand and it was immediately after prosper last year, she thinks that somebody at prosper targeted us with a Black Hat attack. And I’m an optimistic glasses half full kind of guy I choose to, I choose to be open about our brand because I wanna help people. That is, that is why I’m in business. I started in business, well for one, I’m an entrepreneur. I wanna feed my family, you know, work for myself. I wanna make money for working for myself.

Paul:

I want to, I wanna have freedom, but I also want other people to have freedom. And so that’s why I’m open about what I do so long story short, something happened. And we’ve been targeted before where our stuff has been put into the adult category and it’s like a two day fix. You just do file upload and it’s good. This is not like this has been July. Our number one selling product that has owned the bestseller badge for over three years is not in a category. It is a because some, and I hope this person is listening. And if you’re listening and you did this to me, I really want you to question your life choices because cheating and money is not satisfying. Making an impact and changing the world is satisfying. And if the only way that you can get ahead is by pulling the other person down and stabbing them in the back, you are not going to die. A happy person.

Bradley Sutton:

I thought you were about to give like a Liam Neeson. I will find you and I will kill if you were listening. I totally was expecting that for a second. Once you said, if you’re listening on here, I’m like ohoh.

Paul:

No, it’s getting real. I’m just cuz

Bradley Sutton:

No. That’s true.

Paul:

It doesn’t take talent to cheat. Yeah. You know, what’s the satisfaction in winning. If the only way that you can win is by cheating. Like I’m an extremely competitive person. And the one thing that I love about competing is knowing that I tried hard. I worked my hardest, but long story short, that number one skew is now 40% lower than last year. And it was a child relationship and because it’s not listed that the other, the other variation is not showing up as an option to purchase from. So that child, that the variation partner is 80% lower than last year. And this is I mentioned this before we started recording. I was up till one in the morning to trying again, to do a flat file upload to see if we could fix it.

Paul:

But it’s just again if you work at Amazon and you can fix this for us, please call me. Because this is affecting my family. Like this is extreme. It’s extremely stressful. And like you said, Bradley yeah, I have a service agency, but honestly, I’m the weirdo that’s thinking of stopping the service agency so that I could focus on my brand. Because for me, like, this is my business, my wife and I run together. We started this in 2015. You know, this is our baby and yeah, like we’ve built a solid brand and it, and it sucks to hurting because there’s some selfish moron who can’t compete and isn’t a man and has to be a child and play in the mud. And that hurts.

Bradley Sutton:

And guys, you know, you know, Paul’s not trying to scare everybody away say, oh, you know, Amazon is a disaster. You can’t, but guys, this happens in any kind of business you are in, there are roadblocks and you gotta be ready to pivot. You know, that’s what sets the winners from the losers, is the losers something like this happens to you know, if Paul was a loser, something like this happens to him, he’s like, op I’m giving up. I’m just gonna focus on my agency for forgetting this. But, but you know, you gotta be able to get through obstacles and you know, Paul’s not giving up and there’s no reason for him to give up. I’m sure. You know, maybe it’s not things aren’t gonna get as perfect as they were, you know, there’s actually that thing.

Bradley Sutton:

Have you heard Casey Goss talk about what does he called the Amazon death spiral where it’s like a, your really older products on Amazon. Like something bad happens to it. Maybe you fix it or, or you like, you, you accidentally turn off your PPC campaign for a couple weeks or something like that, but sometimes you’re not able to get the momentum back, but right. That’s still not reason to, you know give up that, that happened to me with a Project X coffin shop. Like the sales are way down and what I found out happening, cuz everybody’s hand in the cookie jar here at Helium 10 for the project I account cuz they use it for testing and things like that. And one of our developers accidentally archived our main PPC campaign, you know, that had like two and a half years of history and was responsible for like 20% of our product sales. Oh. And then I didn’t even realize it until like two weeks later. And Itried to recreate it. Of course never got the momentum back and then no matter what I did could not get back at the top of the page. And so, you know, it’s still selling, I’m not giving up on the product, you know, I’m doing other stuff to it, but things happen.

Paul:

Yeah. So I, first of all, I wanna take a moment and say, I agree with you. Thank you for saying that if you’re listening and you’re aspiring and you’re like, man, this sounds scary. Here’s the thing. Business is scary. And there are things that will happen that are outside of your control and what will decide if you’re successful first and foremost, it’s a choice, you have to choose to be successful. And it’s fallacious to assume that just because things are good, they’re always going to be good and they’re only gonna get better. I’m thankful for trials and tribulations and hard times because that’s what makes you better. That’s honestly, that everything that I talked about TikTok and the creative marketplace, I am doing that to drive external traffic because of what’s going on. And I am thankful for those things because it’s really lit a fire into my ass for the first time. And honestly, three years since I’ve been really focused on speaking in this like I’m excited about growing our brand. And the thing is that we have a good brand, we have a really good brand and we have other products that are outperforming themselves from last year, I think because of this. So I am annoyed. Yeah. But this is a good thing because you don’t grow if you don’t have pain, that’s just the nature of things.

Bradley Sutton:

Yep. Absolutely. Now you’ve been talking about, you know, strategies throughout this episode, but it’s time for our “TST”, 30-second tips, but we can do multiple ones like maybe it’s about your insert card template that you have inside of Helium 10 portals, or maybe it’s about, you know, a different kind of influencer marketing or give us like two or three quick hitting strategies that our users can take action on right away.

Paul:

Yeah. Okay. So strategy, number one, make sure that you focused on your inserts from the perspective of your customers. You wanna create an offer that is so good that people would feel stupid saying no, I know that I said that earlier, but a lot of people don’t focus on their inserts and don’t think about building an audience because they don’t know what to do with the audience. Once they built it, here’s the thing, build the audience and continue to learn and figure out what you’re gonna do after you’ve started. It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have, have it,

Bradley Sutton:

Love it.

Paul:

All right. Sign up for creator marketplace. It’s super simple. And just test it out, you know, again, you want to try things out and don’t wait for everything to be perfect. If you don’t know what you’re doing, guess what? I’m still figuring it out too. But the point is, test it out, sign up for creator marketplace and then use those attribution links. And just tell me how it worked for you.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. I love it. All right. Now, Paul how can people reach out to you if maybe that person who hijacked you wants to reach out and apologize or people want to find out, get some help with what they’re doing or just talk about the Denver Broncos how can they find you in the interwebs out there?

Paul:

Yeah. So you can find me at the chatagency.com. I’m gonna be starting a show as well. And I didn’t even mention this Bradley. I’m doing a mastermind in Fiji. So you guys, if you wanna check that well,

Bradley Sutton:

You know, me, like I always try and like pick exotic places and think of an excuse to like, oh, this is the Maldives honeymoon, Amazon launch method. I need to go to the Maldives. So this is gonna be the, Fiji influencer campaign or something like that. I’m gonna come up with. Yeah. When is that?

Paul:

So a master mastermind called E-com on Box in Fiji. And what I’m doing is I’m only having four sponsors and we are gonna have other people that are gonna be in round tables for service providers, whatnot. But I am capping it to basically be about a hundred people, seven plus figure seller. And I’m really gonna vet to make sure that everybody that’s attending that I don’t personally invite. So I’ll invite service providers and friends like you to come. But if you apply and you’re not a seller, I’m sorry, you won’t be able to come because I’m sick of going to conferences that are full of service providers and not sellers. So this is a mastermind.

Bradley Sutton:

18 shipping companies and 14 virtual assistant agencies and then like 3 sellers.

Paul:

Yeah. So check. So check that out ecomonbox.com/fiji.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Awesome. Awesome. All right. Well, Paul, thank you so much for joining us. I pretty much guarantee you’ll be one of the first to hit four times on this cast come 2023. And hopefully those you know, hopefully you’re able to get, you know, the ship righted but all of us are kind of in the same boat, too many puns here. As far as you know, shipping goes, and then as far as your issues with your listings go, hopefully, that all gets taken care of it. It’ll be fun to see the world getting back together. I know we’re, we’re getting together this weekend and doing some cool networking events at Vegas. And of course, I’ll be seeing you at our Sell and Scale. We just announced today how our first keynote speakers, Gary Vee so, you know, Paul Baron, Gary Vee we got the top two celebrities in the game coming to our Sell and Scale Summit in September. So, make sure to come out there, guys.

Paul:

I’m gonna tell Tim that I’m a bigger celebrity than him.

Bradley Sutton:

There you go. All right, Paul, we’ll be seeing you in Fiji or Vegas or somewhere out there.

Paul:

Yep. Looking forward to it, man.


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