#206 – Two Best Friends 30X Their Income Selling on Amazon
We often hear e-commerce sellers refer to selling on Amazon as a life-changing experience. Still, this story of two women making in one day what they used to make in a whole month takes it to another level altogether.
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes Sharon and Elizabeth, two Amazon sellers that are in the midst of that online selling rocket trip.
After meeting in an online Amazon seller’s group, they quickly became fast friends. Now, their Amazon selling trajectories mirror each other. Both of their Amazon sales are approaching 7 Figures, and each have enjoyed (like most Amazon sellers) a mixture of successes and failures.
As they tell in this episode, that journey (failures included) has taught them more than they ever thought possible and are both excited with what their e-commerce future holds.
Here’s their story.
In episode 206 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Sharon and Elizabeth discuss:
- 02:08 – Sharon and Elizabeth’s Origin Stories
- 04:19 – Amazon Wasn’t Her First Rodeo
- 05:32 – Discovering that Amazon is More Than Selling Textbooks
- 08:33 – “Why Don’t You Try E-Commerce?”
- 9:52 – Starting an Amazon Business While Wedding Photos were Uploading
- 11:15 – Running Afoul of Amazon “Gating”
- 14:45 – Now Selling Almost 7 Figures on Amazon – How Did They Get There?
- 16:33 – Intellectual Property Infringement and Moving Sales to Canada
- 22:47 – Slow and Steady (and Avoiding Hijackers)
- 25:52 – Finding a Strategy that Works
- 29:05 – Ranking for Keywords
- 30:15 – A Strategy Focusing on Magnet’s IQ Score
- 33:15 – Working with Off-Amazon Markets
- 35:56 – For Both Women, Amazon has Been Life Changing
- 41:13 – Learning from Helium 10’s Elite Member Group
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: On today’s episode, we’ve got a couple sellers who are now virtual best friends who are each grossing around a million dollars a year on Amazon. Their story is super inspiring because just a few years ago, back in Nigeria, they were making in one month, what they now make in one day! How cool is that? Pretty cool. I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody. 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 world. We’ve got a couple of serious sellers, and before I get to them really quick, I want it to give a few shout outs for some people who have been tagging us in social media about where they listen to the podcast. So remember guys, if you want to tag us in Instagram, tag Helium 10 software on Instagram and myself, @H10 Bradley of where you’re listening to the podcast. So we’ve got Dorothy who listens on YouTube. Kenneth on YouTube. We got Ishtar. We’ve got Sasha from Germany. Shout out to you, Connor from Ireland. We’ve got Savio listens to us from India. We’ve got Mohammad from Indonesia. So, thank you guys all for giving us shout outs. And if you guys want to do that for us, just make sure to tag us on Helium 10 software or H10 Bradley on Instagram. Anyways, we’ve got two serious sellers on here who I believe are virtual best friends. Now, from what I understand, Sharon and Elizabeth, how’s it going? Welcome to the show.
Sharon: Thank you so much, Bradley. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Bradley Sutton: I got to look at my screen here to figure out who’s talking. I think that was Sharon first and then Elizabeth, right? There we go. That’s it. That’s what happens when we don’t have video. Sometimes I don’t know who’s talking here, but anyway, so we always start out, when we have interviews on learning, you’re kind of like backstory of how you got to where you are now. And then we start pretty early on. So Sharon, first of all, where were you born and raised?
Sharon: I was born in Nigeria. Let’s say I was raised in Nigeria. I had my first degree in Nigeria and then I moved over to the US in 2010.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, your childhood was pretty much in Nigeria?
Bradley Sutton: All right. Now, growing up there in Nigeria, what was your ambition like when you were eight years old, 10 years old? Like, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Sharon: Oh, when I was eight to 10, I wanted to be a doctor because that was what my daddy wanted me to be.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Good, good. No, that’s a good goal to have when you’re younger now, Elizabeth, same question to you. Where were you born and raised?
Elizabeth: I was also born in Nigeria, raised in Nigeria. I came to the United States in 2016.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And did you also want to be a doctor growing up or what did you think your life would turn out to be?
Elizabeth: I actually wanted to be a pilot.
Bradley Sutton: Were you a Top Gun fan when you were little or what caused that?
Elizabeth: I was just fascinated by the technology behind and stuff, but I ended up on studying accounting in Nigeria. I had my first degree as an accountant in Nigeria. I worked in Nigeria for a little bit before I moved to the United States.
Bradley Sutton: So like your degree was in accounting, you worked in that a little bit. Sharon, what about you? Did you get a college degree and what was your first kind of like full-time job?
Sharon: I have actually two bachelor’s degrees. My first degree was in agriculture, so I have a Bachelor’s in agriculture from Nigeria, and then I came to the US and I had my second bachelor’s degree in nursing. A Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Excellent. Excellent. All right. So that brings us somewhat towards the decade here of 2010 to 2020. So, who was the first between you two at getting into e-commerce?
Sharon: I would say me because Amazon was not my first rodeo.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What was your first rodeo then, Sharon?
Bradley Sutton: My first rodeo was in Nigeria. When I was in college, I would do something like we do like private label here, but it’s not exactly private label. I’ll travel to Lagos. A lot of people know Lagos, like one of the big cities in Nigeria and I’ll make products and I’d go back and sell it in my college where I was in school. And I just started doing stuff like that. So I’ve been selling for a while. After that, I had a friend that worked as a hostess.
Bradley Sutton: Hold on real quick. What was one of your products that you would do that it was kind of like a private label and you were selling your college? I’m just trying to visualize it.
Bradley Sutton: Pants. So did you design your own pants or what?
Sharon: It’s funny. I would go to the market and I just write a plan and get it to the tailor right there inside of the market. And they’ll make everything right there. I’ll go home, come back in five days, they’ll be ready and I’ll pick it up and just take them back with me to school,
Bradley Sutton: Entrepreneurial mindset early on. And then you came to America and then is that when you were working as a nurse?
Sharon: I did some more entrepreneurial stuff. And then when I came to the US that was when I went back to school and I became a nurse. So in 2012, I sold my nursing books, my nurse’s school books. When I graduated, I sold those on Amazon, but I didn’t know that I could make a business out of it. I just focused being a nurse, I worked in a hospital and just taking care of my patients until now.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, between you two, who is the first to actually start selling on Amazon? Outside of just, Oh, I’m going to resell my textbooks, et cetera.
Elizabeth: I don’t know. I would think Sharon, but, I believe I started in March, when I opened my Amazon account in March of 2018, until June.
Sharon: I started in 2017.
Bradley Sutton: What led each of you to like discover, I mean, what made you realize that, Hey, Amazon is more than just selling textbooks, what was your introduction to the selling as a third party seller?
Sharon: Elizabeth, do you want to go first?
Elizabeth: Okay. So, when I moved to this States in 2016, we moved to Chicago, because that’s where my husband was walking and stuff. And then it took me like a year to get all my necessary paperwork to work in America. And for me to get my degree switched over to the standards here. So, I looked for a job for almost a year. It was quite hectic just coming from a different country, trying to use your degree from a different country can be challenging. At that point I was able to get a job as a treasury analyst in one insurance company in Chicago. And I started working there for a couple of months and one day, we came to Vegas and I just, I think it was November. Yeah. November in 2017 came to Vegas for vacation. And I was like, wow, Vegas is somewhat similar to that of Nigeria, it’s warm. I was just tired of the cold. And then I told my husband and joking, I was like, you know what, we should start looking for jobs in Vegas. He didn’t get to get a job, that would be great waiting to move and stuff. And then boom, in 2018, I think that was in February 2018, he got a job and we moved to Vegas. Right. And then I thought, Oh, since I already started working in Chicago, I already started having experience over here in America. It was going to be easy for me to get a job over here, but I was just kidding myself. But anyways, I looked for a job for like two months and it wasn’t for coming as I would like. And then one day my husband just got back from what kind of was like, you know what, Elizabeth, why don’t you try e-commerce. Try Amazon or eBay, all these platforms, I was like, so where am I going to start from? So he was like, yeah, just go on Google and search– Google always have an answer. And then I went on Google. I searched around and then I watched a bunch of YouTube videos. I watched some of the courses on, I think I signed up for the free version of Helium 10. I can’t really remember. And I watch a couple of the videos. I was like, you know what? I could do this.
Bradley Sutton: Well, just real quick, just to get an idea of how far you’ve come, from there then in 2018 or whenever that was, we’re here at the end of 2020. What is your rough gross sales going to end up being for this year?
Elizabeth: Well, I have about two main brands. Oh, well, because of the COVID, it’s close to $900,000.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So less than two years, almost $1 million. And you started selling some phone cases. All right. Good. How about you, Sharon? What was– obviously, as you said, even going back to your days in Nigeria, we’re kind of had that entrepreneurial mindset, but how did you actually start selling on Amazon as a third-party seller?
Sharon: Okay. So my husband is a wedding videographer, right? And we were in the wedding videographers Facebook group, and somebody said that if you do wedding videos, when you’re experts in your videos, your computer is pretty much useless to you because the system is working and you have to find something else to do. And so he, this guy just posted like, Hey, you know what I do when I’m exporting, I use the time to do my Amazon business. I just made $500 in sales in the last month. It’s interesting. I think we can scale this, comment if you would like to know more about this. I didn’t comment. I just tagged my husband to the post. Like, this is interesting, and he sends me a private message. Hey, you commented on a post I made in the videographers group and I have a lot of people come in, do you want to join a private group I just made? So I’m like, okay, add me. And he added me to the group and he was doing, he was just learning it as well at that time. But everything he had learned, he would just come and do like Facebook videos step-by-step and I actually taught it was something I would just buy something from AliExpress for a hundred dollars and toys on Amazon. But no, so I just learnt a little bit step-by-step from bay and I went on and I did my first product. I didn’t know. Then there was something called gating and ungating. So the very first products I did while he was in production, I started another product, which kind of ended up being the first and then my supposedly first product that ended up being the second product was the baby feeders. Baby feeders, pacifiers and feeders.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay.
Sharon: And then I did that by the note I needed to be on gated for baby feeding category. And of course, again, that took me at least six months a product. I did a thousand units. There was sitting in my house. I couldn’t sell, I just started selling them on Shopify and Groupon at that time. And then I started working on the third product. This time I worked on the third products, the first batch game, and it sold really fast. I was so happy, but I was naive. I thought I could improve on something. I was already selling. I changed something in the second batch that I was going to order, and then the bad reviews that are coming and that was a bust but I just went on and just kept doing yet another product yet another product. So, even though technically I will say I started Amazon in 2017 when my baby was about four weeks old, I did not really start until 2018. And even at 2018 with all the errors and everything, I kept getting one bad luck after the other. I would say I started at the end of 2018 was when the pieces started falling in place for me.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. So now just again, fast forward, you started, I guess, really got into it around the same time as Elizabeth, but then what is your gross, rough estimate here on what 2020 is going to end up being for you for gross sales?
Sharon: I think 2020 is right about where Elizabeth is, but more like 800.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. A little friendly rivalry. How did you two meet? Like, I don’t think you’ve met in person, but I understand is you guys are kind of like online BFFs now. How did that happen?
Sharon: It’s funny. Elizabeth has her name, her first name is a Nigerian name and I’m in a Helium 10 Facebook group. And I just saw somebody put a comment and I saw her name. I’m like for lucky, there’s a Nigerian person. So nine years of this business. And I just sent a message like, hi, I saw that you do the Amazon business as well. I’m Nigerian. And she was like, Hey. I was like, I didn’t know any Nigerians in this business. And she was like, are you kidding me? I have at least eight Nigerian friends that we all have a Messenger tread and we just bounce ideas off of each other. Do you want me to add you? I’m like, sure. Add me. And then she added me to that messenger tread and the rest is history.
Bradley Sutton: When was this Elizabeth, that Sharon, or that you do reach out to each other?
Elizabeth: It was in the very beginning.
Bradley Sutton: So you guys have known each other for like two years already. I love it. And it all came from the Helium 10 members Facebook group, just reaching out and networking in there. I love it. I love it. All right. Let’s talk about– both of you are very close to that fame seven-figure mark and you both started off, not that great, like with the car covers and obviously it’s hard to make a sustainable Amazon business based on phone cases, but somehow, the last two years you guys have come to have a measure of success on Amazon. So let’s, let’s just talk a little bit about the strategies that you guys used and mistakes that you made and wins and losses. Let’s start with Elizabeth. So after the phone cases, like how did you, how did you level up and start getting something a little bit more sustainable?
Elizabeth: After the phone cases, I believe, I did a baby product. Yeah. That was a baby product. This product was already in the market. It was raining quite a good number of sales. And then I was like, okay, so what am I going to use to kind of differentiate myself in this market? Right. And then I just looked at the Amazon frequently bought together tab on Amazon. And I saw another similar product that, you know, a lot of people buy that compliment that product. Sounds like, yeah, I think this would be a good idea for me to put together and then sell on Amazon. So that’s what I did. I was able to go and do that product packages in my pocket. So, that was my fifth private label under my brand name. And then selling that. After then I had couple of other products that were not related to that particular baby products, that way it flops. For instance, I started selling a reusable straw and that’s true at the time was really doing well. Unknown to me, it was a product that was patent pending. So, selling a bunch of it and boom, Amazon hit me with an IP infringement. So I was like, okay, you know what, let me go back to the drawing board and do something, design something.
Bradley Sutton: Well, what happened– how much inventory did you have when they suspended that listing?
Elizabeth: I would say roughly 2000-ish units.
Bradley Sutton: You got 2000 units left? How much were you selling today at that time?
Elizabeth: I was moving about 800 – 100 on that product.
Bradley Sutton: Units a day? Oh, wow. So, that must have really sucked when you got that message
Elizabeth: It was a hot seller, to be honest with you.
Bradley Sutton: So, what did you do with those 2000 units?
Elizabeth: What I ended up doing with them, I send them to Canada just because the pattern doesn’t cover Canada. So I ended up sending them to Canada and I was able to just get rid of the inventory that way.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So continue the story. That’s interesting to me.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I ended up trying to design my product and then it took me because I was too particular about a lot of details. Ended up taking me about close to seven months to get the products we have one any to be, but by the time I came on market with it, there was a bunch of other products that were kind of similar to mine. Because ended up people too that were selling that same product that got hit with the IP infringement. They were faster to kind of bring something similar but generic to the market, but I was trying to be more unique in a sense, and it took me six months, but I was too late to the market. And then the prices for that particular product I was targeting to sell for 16.99. And are selling for 6.99. It didn’t just make any sense for me. So, I got stuck. I think I did five variation, 1000 of each. So that stuck with 5,000 units of that product. I still had them in my garage.
Bradley Sutton: Why did you start with so many?
Elizabeth: Oh, because I see the number of sales that– I’ve built great sales on the old one, because I was sending real fast, a hundred a day, 80 a day. So I just business off of what I’ve been selling in the price, but I was slid to the market at the time. Other people had cheaper products that we’re selling, but the good news about that product at the end of the day, because I designed both the straw and I did like a reusable covers for them. The reusable covers were very unique. So at the moment I still sell the reusable covers separately because it makes more sense. Profit-wise for me to just sell the covers rather than selling destroys itself anyway.
Bradley Sutton: So you have is 5,000 units kind of like leftover and I believe you said it was like almost landing cost $5. So that’s like 25 grand worth of inventory and you just have to bring it back to your garage?
Elizabeth: Yeah, it’s in my garage, but right now I just found out how I could donate them. So I’m talking to non-for-profits company that does this kind of stuff, that gets, if you have excess inventory, you can reach out to them and then they get it from you, add cost plus 0.5%, 50%. And they give you a tax document for that. So that’s what I’m going to do eventually,
Bradley Sutton: Let me just ask you something because you’re very upbeat right now. And it seems like a very positive attitude about that. Now, normally somebody, if that happened to somebody, they pretty much lose $25,000. You know, a lot of people might give up, or be like, just so discouraged that they’re like, forget Amazon. What was it like, obviously that didn’t happen for you? What was it that did you get close to giving up, or what was your mindset when this happened?
Elizabeth: I’ve been in a lot of Facebook groups and I’ve seen a lot of people’s numbers and I’m like, you know what? I could do this. I have that believe in me, that this is– if I give up, then I lost. I just, like, I always say, I never see any failure as failure. I just see it as lessons learned. So I just have that at back of my mind, whenever I’m trying to bring something new to the market, I also put in time factor into it. I’m not just engineered to sometimes, sometimes a product is hot. You have to heat it while it’s hot right, not overthink it. So that was my mistake at the time. But again, it just happened to that past situations. There are other instances whereby I’ve been hit with a couple of bad luck as some people would call it. And then I was able to turn it around using the same initiative and it worked out really, really well for me.
Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, we’re going to take a quick break from this episode for my BTS. Remember, that can mean anything you want it to mean Bradley’s 30 seconds or if you’re a beer fan, behind the scenes, whatever you want. Anyways, here’s my 30-second tip for the episode. So Amazon quietly rolled out to some listings, the ability to put more than five bullet points. So if you want, if you have a brand new listing, make sure to keep hitting, add more under the bullet points in your edit the description to see if you can add more. And even if you have an existing listing, go ahead and open it up and just see if you have that add more button. So you can get some more bullet points there. For the Project X coffin shelf, we actually just did that right now. I just added a bullet point and I just made a message to all the Serious Sellers Podcast listeners as my sixth bullet point.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s go before Sharon gets too lonely over there, thinking that we forgot about her. Sharon, what about take us maybe after those initial things that happened with the baby product and with the car seat covers, like, what would you say your first like real success while your first big taste of success on Amazon was?
Sharon: Funny enough. My Amazon journey has been what I would consider slow and sturdy. Like I see a lot of people post about selling 1 million units a day and it’s just never been for me for one reason, or you’re at a point in time because I’m a Christian. At a point in time, I was just like I told Elizabeth as well. I said, I think I’m cursed. I can never get a product to sell more than 20, 30 units a day, no matter how great I think this is where that is. And for a long time, I guess, was moving around, which is why that’s why me and just kept pushing on. But
Bradley Sutton: Let me ask you something really quick. You say you’ve never had a product selling more than 20 or 30 units a day. Now, let me ask you, have you ever had one of those products like attacked by black hat people where they get your listing suspended or they give you a million fake reviews or anything like that?
Sharon: I’ve had a few hijackers, but not a serious, total black hat attack like that.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. You see? And that, that I’m going to tell people right now, that’s what Kevin King teaches. Like sometimes when you do the 100 and 200 and 300 unit a day products, that’s when all of a sudden, like some of these other sellers who do those black hat strategies, they might attack you because they’re like, wow, this is a such a amazing thing. But when you fly under the radar, sometimes
Sharon: That’s what I know now. That’s what I know now. Believe it or not, you are part of the people that God’s just used to. Some like Sharon came down, I can remember one of the podcasts or YouTube video or something that you were talking about. You were talking about something totally different. And you mentioned something about 20% margin and like selling 10 units a day. That’s great. I’m like, wait, why did things stay in in today’s great. Okay. And honestly, I really said it. And then you interviewed a guy that said he had one product, but a lot of variations and he was doing $300,000 annually and you asked him what his margin was. And he said 20%. And I’m like, and I really calm down after that. That was the beginning of this year. I really kinda like, wait a minute. I’m not doing bad. I’m just not like doing abnormally good. You know what I mean? And since I calmed down, I was able to get another product. I ended up doing 70 units a day and I’m like, wow. And honestly speaking, looking back, I know that the product I did 70 units a day, it’s not because I did one fantastic thing. The other, it was just timing and market. The markets decided it. Because I had two variations and one of them was in an average of 18 to 20 units, and the order, the ratio was doing 60 to 80 units. Like I didn’t do nothing different, so I cannot even take the glory for each. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Excellent. Excellent to know. Now, Elizabeth, going back to you, what are some of the strategies that you use to have these successful products? I mean, even the ones that were ended up being banned by Amazon or IP infringement, you still have some of them you had gotten up to selling 70 to 80 day. It didn’t just happen overnight or snap your fingers. You must’ve had some kind of good launch strategy or PPC strategy, or just so in general, what, what is your strategy to get your products scaled to such kind of daily sales?
Elizabeth: Okay. So just going back to what you guys just talked about a couple of minutes ago, about the hundred, you need sales a day, and then the black hats attacking you. Sharon will understand it better because last year, my account got suspended because of one product that I was selling and I was selling a hundred and something units of that product every day. And they kept on that talking me and attacking me and attacking me until I got suspended for also, I think it was a month before I was able to fix it. And that product–
Bradley Sutton: So your entire account was shut down for a month, or just that product?
Elizabeth: My entire account.
Bradley Sutton: Oh my goodness.
Elizabeth: Yeah, it was horrible.
Bradley Sutton: So how did you get reinstated?
Elizabeth: Well, I just had to kind of give up that product. And then what would Amazon saying, sending an email back and forth and I was just able to do that. I’d say month of tons of emails to Amazon. So I’m selling that patch cloud product. It was in the bachelor in niche, and I was like, you know what? This product sells. Right. And I know the reason why the competitors were able to get new, report it to Amazon, and then wait successfully able to kind of flag my accounts down. Why don’t I just change something from that product, make it my own design and also sell it. So I started with that straw. It was a straw, but it wasn’t a reusable choice. It was a straw related to the wedding niche. And then I designed it. It was the product, was a cake topper. I saw a lot of people selling the cake topper and it looks really good. I was like, you know what? I could make this into his straw. I’d say, it’s going to compliment the cake toppers. When they want something to match, the theme of the party they’re going for. Right. And then I was like, okay. So I spoke to my supplier. I have a very good supplier when I tell her what I have in mind to kind of bring it to life. And sometimes she like in this bed, since I’ve done a lot of products that are related to this or that instead of doing it this way, why don’t we try it this week. And then boom, okay. I think I made a thousand units of that product. I know I go all out with my products and my landing cost was about $2. And then I was selling for $14. I did not do any PPC, no specific giveaways or launch strategy. I just focused on super, super niche keywords, that I knew it converting for me before. Boom. It exploded
Bradley Sutton: So, then, organically from the beginning, you’re saying you kind of got on page one for those keywords. Okay. That’s almost very similar to that Maldives. I don’t know if you guys heard the Maldives honeymoon strategy where sometimes if you focus on some keywords and you have it in the title and Amazon thinks that you’re very relevant, you’ll get to page one, even without anything on there. So it sounds like that might’ve happened in your case. Excellent.
Elizabeth: Yeah, that’s what happened. So I was doing like 70, 80, a hundred and I think 140 something was the most I’ve done on that product every day. And we did products of landing costs of $2. And I will send you for 14.99, you just do the math. I was basically the only one. So, there was a way to kind of counter my pricing. I was just enjoying the ride.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s switch back to Sharon now. So Sharon, what is your strategy? I mean, that’s a great strategy, what Elizabeth is talking about, but what has been the secret for your success? Like how are you able to find these kind of consistent products that you’ve been doing that can do 10, 20, 30, 30 units a day? What’s your strategy for finding them?
Sharon: My strategy– it is simple. And it’s funny because I’m telling you Helium 10 ambassador this, but this is from Helium 10. I focus on the Magnet’s IQ score. Yes. So I came up with a 10 point checklist that I used and I have a few students that I work with and I give to them as well. And then when we focus on a Magnet IQ score, so the main keyword, even if the main keyword has a search volume of a hundred thousand or 10,000 or 1000, it’s good, it’s important, but I don’t care as much as I care about a Magnet IQ score, because if I have a hundred thousand people searching for this product and 80,000 competition, it’s not as good as when I have just 5,000 people searching, but only 100 competition. Do you understand? So that I know a lot of other things I do. I focus on the Magnet IQ score and it’s also ties down to the Maldives. I never called it Maldives, but I’ve always done something like that. I just did. You know how you pull your pains and that’s what I’ve always taught, like when I do product launches and all that. So I am pretty good at flying on that radar and just getting this product that are consistently doing 12, 15, 18 units a day, but just on. And it’s just going. And so it’s not much then also another thing I do a lot is branding. I love branding just because of the problem I had with my very first product that I couldn’t sell on Amazon. And I was forced to sell on Shopify, Groupon, and I was able to enter into Walmart with that product just because of the branding. So I focus a lot on branding and things like that. So my products actually have not been super, super unique. I still do a lot of me-too products by just focusing on the customer surveys, focusing on the product research itself. That’s how I’ve been able to do it.
Bradley Sutton: Going back to Elizabeth. Now what’s your strategy for– do you have anything unique for reviews? Or are you just pretty much using like early reviewer program and maybe sending follow-up messages, or what kind of focus do you put on how you get your reviews?
Elizabeth: Well, I just try to make sure that products are good quality just because I mostly use early reviewer program and then vine to get my reviews and trust me, you get money if you did that. Whatever you put in is what you’re going to get at the end of the day. So I just try to make sure that I have quality products that’s going to stand the test of time and you’re going to give me that positive feedback. So I don’t do anything really special other than early review and in combination with vine.
Bradley Sutton: Vine, yes. And that’s for brand registered sellers. So I’m assuming you have brand registry then on your products that you launch. Okay, Sharon, what about on, since you’ve been building a brand a little bit, like how much do you rely on maybe your off Amazon audience for your product launches or for marketing?
Sharon: I do rely on them 50 50. I’m not using my off Amazon audience as well as I shared the best time I actually used it was when Amazon give the $10 Prime, I tried something, a strategy and it worked out for me, Amazon was giving $10 to every Prime user that spends up to $10 or $12. I think if you spend $12, you get $10 back in Amazon box. Do you know about that?
Bradley Sutton: That was a while back. Was that this year? That wasn’t this year,
Sharon: Two months ago, Elizabeth, right. Just this one time.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. That’s that must be a different one that I’m thinking of that.
Sharon: Something like that. What I did, I saw, okay. Amazon is going to give you $10. If you spend $12, I have a good number of products that are over $12. So I did 10 full of sampler, and I sent out a broadcast to my manage. At least I’m like spend $10, get $10 and 10% off. So I put my 10% off on my little things and just let them know that, Hey, Amazon has chosen to partner with me. Hello. It’s not just me, but they don’t know that. Amazon was chosen to partner with me $10. So everybody that spends over $12 in my store, I have products that’s 13.99, you get 10% off. So you’re still over $12.
Bradley Sutton: I know which one you’re talking about now that was that like third-party business deal that they did a couple of months ago. I know exactly which one you’re talking about.
Sharon: Yeah. And that was really helpful for me in terms of reviews. And my launches, what I do is I do a lot of Vine. Like Elizabeth said, myself and Elizabeth, we’ve had some issues with products and patents and copywriting. So we’re super careful with when we bring a new product, we want the quality to be good because we both had bad experiences where bad reviews just come and messes up your hard work. So we really pay attention into product quality and all that. And they, like she said, we do vine. And then I used to do early reviewer program. But when vine thing came, vine was better, I just set it up for 30 units. I put three units on vine and that usually helps, well, advertise it on my social media, advertise it to my audience. And then some of them may buy something. I don’t know. I think I got the most response from the 10% plus 10.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, excellent. Excellent. Now going back to Elizabeth, how has Amazon changed your life for you and your family? I mean, I’m assuming that you’re not working full-time as an accountant, or other things anymore, but, what effect has, is selling almost a million dollars on Amazon a year, what does that mean for your family?
Elizabeth: Wow. I cannot begin to imagine. I can put it to words in that sense. Just looking back eight years ago when I was in Nigeria and in about $200 a month for my day job and then having to make that same amount of money and profits in a day now is just mind blowing, having to be home with my baby, and having to watch how grow, see all the milestones that she’s come to have is just so, so good. Having that free time to go on vacation too, I’ve been also say it’s been good. It’s been good. Yeah. We’ve had a lot of failures, but like I said, I always try to look at the positive side of every failures that I’ve had with my products and Amazon, but overall it has been good. We’ve been going from breaking one milestones to the other. So I’ve been so, so grateful for Amazon. It’s been awesome.
Bradley Sutton: I love it. I love it. Sharon, what about you? What, I mean, I’m assuming you’re not a full-time nurse anymore.
Sharon: I am not. I officially stopped nursing actually just a couple of weeks back. I didn’t want to stop. I told my work that was going to stop at the end of December, but I was forced to stop like a little bit earlier because I’ve just been having some health challenges and stuff like that. I had a coronavirus scare and everything. So now I have stopped. So, and that been said, I started Amazon business when my baby was four weeks old. And even though I was a nurse, a lot of people think that nurses earn good money, but it was tough. It was tough. Amazon just getting into this business has really, really changed. My mindset has really helped me and my family. And it’s just been good. Like I said, I’m a Christian and I give all glory to God. Every time I find the opportunity to do that. God has just used Amazon to be a blessing to me, to be a blessing to my family. And then the knowledge I have gained along the way, the friends and the relationship I have built along the way. It’s just been amazing. And I love it because like I tell my students that it’s not a get rich quick scheme. So it’s not like a multi-level marketing where I’m trying to get you to come in because I want to use you to go up. You know what I mean? Like Amazon if there’s one thing that’s constant in Amazon is that there’s room for overtaking. That’s the only constant on Amazon. Every thinking change, but you can put in the work with good timing and everything. You would overtake the people that come before you.
Bradley Sutton: Yep. Now, Elizabeth, what’s your goal for 2021?
Elizabeth: My goal for 2021. I just started two new brands. Oh my gosh. I know I’m in for a lot of work, but I’m just trying to trust the process and I’m just hoping that everything works out well. Like I said, in couple of our meetings that we’ve had together, looking to launch almost 12 new products by 2021. So I’m just hoping that all goes well with all the launch strategies that I’ve been putting together towards that time and just for sustainability and for good health and continuous God’s blessing.
Bradley Sutton: All right, Sharon, what about you? What’s your 2021 goals?
Sharon: My 2021. I love to have short-term, long-term goals and short-term accomplishment. At 2020, I was able to almost double my 2019 sales. So my first goal in 2021 is to double my 2020 sales. At least double it, that’s going to be my short term accomplishment. Well, my major goal is to get off of Amazon. Like I don’t want to rely so much on Amazon like I do right now because God forbid anything happens, Oh my God, I didn’t want to think about it. So my major goal for 2021 is still viewed my off Amazon presence. I already sell in Walmart USA. I blew my Walmart Canada X opportunity, but I’m just going to try and get it back on and my Shopify and then just move some more of my products to European marketplaces.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Now both of you are actually also Helium 10 Elite members, right? So has there ever been something where maybe it was on one of Kevin King’s monthly workshops or one of our quarterly workshops where that you don’t have to say what it is, but that, that like was able to really upgrade your business. You heard one thing and that made such a big difference. Have you guys had that experience yet?
Elizabeth: Yes, for me, I’ve had a lot of aha moments of “Hmm”. Like, hmmm, people are doing this. Why haven’t I done that? Just for example, the Amazon life thing, people just thought, I just tried it out a couple of weeks ago and the restaurants was awesome. Although I was camera shy, and I was worried about my Nigerian accent, but, the encouragement from the group was like, I could do this. So that was something that pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I like. And that also been a lot of nuggets that I’ve been dropping in there that as also improved my mindset, I’m going to implement them moving forward. Excellent.
Bradley Sutton: How about you Sharon? Anything stick out in mind?
Sharon: The most, because we’ve not been that long in Elite. Maybe two or three months now. I think so we don’t have, we’ve not had so many opportunities. Like she said, the one thing that I have been most grateful for was when we had the training about the life, and then I was not just ready to do it. And then I forgot her name. Now she reached out to me and she just spoke to me personally, like, why would you not share? You have to do it. I should just encourage me as if that was not even good enough. She got another Elite member to message me. She made a group call, a group chat for just the three of us. I’m like, Sharon is gun shy. She needs to be encouraged. He encouraged me. Like that was not good enough. He got on the phone with me and spoke with me for about 30 minutes. I like do it, just do it. And I did it and I was so, so glad.
Bradley Sutton: Now, Sharon, Elizabeth, I’m really thankful for both of you to be on here. Very inspiring story, especially from where you guys came and the kind of money you used to make. And then now what you’re doing now, and it’s also kind of cool how you found each other, made like lifelong friends, just hearing the Helium 10 members just by reaching out and networking. That’s kind of inspiring as well. So, if anybody’s shy out there kind of keeping to themselves, Hey, reach out to somebody. You never know. You might make a lifelong friend. All right. Well, Sharon, Elizabeth, thank you so much for coming on. And we’re going to reach back out to you guys, maybe the end of 2021. And let’s see how you were able to crush your 2021 goals.
Sharon & Elizabeth: Yes. Thank you.
Sharon: I look forward to telling you Bradley, guess what? I doubled it. I tripled it.
Bradley Sutton: I love it. All right, we’ll talk to you guys later.
Sharon: Thank you for having us.
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