#112 – Here’s How a Military Veteran Quickly Grew a 17K Facebook Audience on the Way to 200K on Amazon
Amazon’s selling ecosystem is constantly growing and one of the best things about this platform is having the ability to share the stories of the different ways that sellers are able to take advantage of this incredible life-changing opportunity.
That’s never more the case than when we’re speaking of those that serve in the military, putting their lives on the line to protect our way of life.
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Customer Success, Bradley Sutton welcomes one of these heroes.
Schrone Hardeway had served in the military since shortly after his 18th birthday. 22 years later, he wasn’t exactly sure what life after the military was going to look like. Now, he’s grown a Facebook audience to 17,000 followers and sells over 200K on Amazon on just one product.
In episode 112 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Schrone discuss:
- 01:50 – Schrone’s Origin Story
- 04:45 – After the Military – “I’m Going to be Out of a Job Soon”
- 06:48 – Even with a Seller’s Mentality, There Was a Learning Curve
- 08:40 – Building His Brand
- 10:25 – 225K and Still Growing on One Product
- 11:45 – Managing Variations and Reviews
- 14:20 – Like Most Sellers, There Were Bumps and Bruises Along the Way
- 16:00 – 17K Facebook Followers from “Niche-ing Down” and Hustling
- 18:45 – Tagging Facebook Friends to Drive Social Proof
- 20:50 – Pursuing a 100K Challenge
- 23:00 – Using Helium 10’s Black Box and Letting Google Do Some of the Work
- 24:45 – Schrone’s PPC Techniques
- 28:30 – Impulse Buyers and Product Costs
- 30:30 – Bradley’s Search Volume Game
- 33:15 – Thinking Search Volume Through a Buyer’s Mindset
- 34:41 – Schrone’s 30 Second Tip
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: Here’s a story from a seller who left the military thinking he might take a job as a greeter at Walmart, but now, he’s grown a Facebook audience to over 17,000 people, and he’s selling over $200,000 on Amazon and says he’s just getting started. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: 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 eCommerce world. Well, we got a serious seller on the line with us today. Now, tell me if I’m pronouncing your name right. Is it Schrone?
Schrone Hardeman: Yes sir. It is. What’s good?
Bradley Sutton: How are you? What’s up? What’s up? Now, before we get into your origin story, I got to get into the origin story of your name because it’s very rare that I meet somebody with a name that I have never heard of in my life, no matter what country they’re from. But you are absolutely the first Schrone that I’ve ever met. What happened there? Well, is there some fancy meaning that your parents did there or what? What’s going on?
Schrone Hardeman: In all honesty, there is none. I was named after my mom’s best friend. It’s a universal name. Fancy that.
Bradley Sutton: Was she spelling it Sharon or she spelled it the same way as yours?
Schrone Hardeman: I’m assuming it’s the same as mine, which if you read it as pronounced, it’s read as Sharon.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Oh, but it should be pronounced Schrone or Sharon?
Schrone Hardeman: It’s pronounced as Sharon.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Sure. Let’s talk about where you grew up now. I believe you live in Texas now, right?
Schrone Hardeman: That’s right.
Bradley Sutton: Is that where you’re born and raised?
Schrone Hardeman: Oh no, I’m a Florida boy. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Okay. I’m sorry about that. I’m a Charger fan or I’ve been a Charger fan most of my life, so I know the struggle about not having a great team most of the time.
Schrone Hardeman: I did 12 years in San Diego, so I was a Charger supporter.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Growing up, what did you want to be?
Schrone Hardeman: You know, that changes with the time and with the wind, but I guess as windows of opportunities closed and presented itself, I wanted to be in the military, and that’s what I did for the last 22 years.
Bradley Sutton: 22 years. Well, I’ve seen pictures of you. You don’t look like, I mean, why did they accept you and you were five years old or what’s going on?
Schrone Hardeman: I’ve been employed by the government since I’ve been five days past 18 years old.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. Now did you go into the military right after high school?
Schrone Hardeman: Of course.
Bradley Sutton: All right, so then while you were in the military, did you get any supplemental education? I know sometimes people will take advantage of the offers that you all have to do night school or anything like that or were you just a hundred percent all about the military?
Schrone Hardeman: Well, I had opportunities to get higher education but chose not to, but I did get military education where I spent the better part of nine years as a military instructor. I got a lot of teaching skills. And if I were to convert those military credits over, I could potentially be a teacher right now with that.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. Now being in the military, what was your main job or what was your trade?
Schrone Hardeman: I was a cryptologist and I decrypt and encrypt the enemy’s signal by whatever means and protect the Navy.
Bradley Sutton: Fancy huh. That’s pretty good; some spy level stuff right there. Interesting. Okay. Now, are you still in the military or did you retire?
Schrone Hardeman: I retired about a year and a half ago and that’s where I’m at with this right now.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Then like leading up, I mean your whole entire life, 20 years of your adult life, your main and only source of income was as a military.
Schrone Hardeman: That’s correct.
Bradley Sutton: Now leading up to your retirement and obviously, it wasn’t just, “Hey, I’m going to retire now” and the next day you’re out of the military. I mean, I’m sure it was a process you were thinking about. “Well, what am I going to do? What am I going to do to support myself now?” What kind of things did you think about or were you scared about that? Like, “Man, I’ve just had this government paycheck my whole life. Now it’s going to be a little bit different.” What was your thought process there?
Schrone Hardeman: Very scary and a realistic story coming up. I was about three years out from retiring at the door in 22 years, and it hit me like, “Man, in three years, I’m going to be out of a job.” I started saving for a home to buy and that’s going to be relevant here in the next few minutes. In my last year and a half, I had a guy who worked for me and he is in the military and he said, “What are you going to do when I get out?” And in all honesty, really realistic and no BS, I was going to be a greeter at Walmart or a GameStop manager. That was the plan because I’ve been in a stressful situation in twenty-two years. I wanted to just take it really easy.
Schrone Hardeman: And that was the plan until he said, “Why don’t you become an Amazon seller?” And I was skeptical like “Most people are.” And he was like, “I make 40,000 a month.” That’s it. Prove it. He opened up his Amazon Seller Central page and showed a check for a 19,000 deposit. And then he said, “Well, that’s two weeks.” And then, so from there and the last 18 months of my military career I was getting knowledge and learning how to use different tools to launch an Amazon business, and two years later, here I am doing a podcast with you.
Bradley Sutton: When was this about as far as on the timeline? When you were about to or when you actually did retire?
Schrone Hardeman: I was about 18 months out before I retired where I and the person that worked for me had that conversation.
Bradley Sutton: Was he a coworker? He was in the military as well?
Schrone Hardeman: Yeah, he actually worked for me in the military, and he’s a part of the Helium 10 family as well.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, okay. Okay. Then at that time, when you were first starting to get into it, you didn’t know anything about Amazon. What was your learning curve like?
Schrone Hardeman: Yeah, absolutely nothing. I grew up selling stuff since nine years old: lollipops in school, CDs in high school, and stuff like that. I had the seller’s mentality. But the learning curve could be a very peculiar situation. Like I said, I didn’t have any higher education. There’s a lot more to this type of eCommerce business other than buying low and selling high. It took me six months to find my first product because I was in a group that wasn’t as aggressive as the one that I’m in right now. And I just took it in every step trying to get more knowledge. And at the six-month mark, when I started selling, the first year was awesome, man.
Bradley Sutton: And so did you start selling before you got out of the military?
Schrone Hardeman: Oh, yes. I was on the hustle thing, and I was about six months. I was about six, seven months left in the military when I started selling, so I took that in leverage. I had around 30, 40, 50 people at a time. And I was like, “Hey, if you’re interested in my product, buy it, this, that, and the other, you know. I had a captive audience, if you will, to buy my product.
Bradley Sutton: All right, so like leading up, did you take any courses or were you just all learn from your friend and free YouTube videos or what was your learning curve like?
Schrone Hardeman: Can I mention the groups that I was in or something?
Bradley Sutton: That’s fine. Yeah.
Schrone Hardeman: Right. I started out with this group called Simple Product Profits and they kind of matured into the Amazon brand, a mastermind brand, building a group. Well, that’s where I got my training from and my launch training from. They were focused on a brand new building, which I appreciate because there’s two types of sellers on Amazon. There’s people that want them to find products to sell at a high ROI. And then there’s people that find brands, create brands to make money. You know, there’s two different ways. I was glad that I learned how to build a brand, so to speak. And then, that relationship with them ran its course. And in May of last year, I joined KT nine where I’m currently happy and I got my advanced knowledge from them and they actually took me.
Bradley Sutton: By the time you started with that course, you were already selling on Amazon thanks to the knowledge from your first group and making some money.
Schrone Hardeman: Yes.
Bradley Sutton: Just quickly, fast forward, just so we can have some context, what was your total 2019 sales?
Schrone Hardeman: All right. I started selling in May 2018. From May to December, that was $54,000 gross on the revenue. And then from January to well from May was $100,000. That was a goal of mine. I made it. But from January 2019 to December 2019, I grossed $225k.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Is that pretty much other than whatever your retirement benefits you get that? That’s pretty much what’s paying your bills now your revenue from Amazon, right?
Schrone Hardeman: Yeah. The revenue for Amazon is supplementing my pension from the military and is paying all of my utilities right now and all of my luxuries if you will. But I have not taken a salary out and although I can, but my goal is to grow it because I know it’s not fully grown yet and keep going and keep going.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, how many products do you have?
Schrone Hardeman: One.
Bradley Sutton: You were making six figures or over $200,000 last year just on one product?
Schrone Hardeman: Just on one product.
Bradley Sutton: Now, have you launched others that you have discontinued since then or has that been your very first product that you’ve always had?
Schrone Hardeman: Very first product. Very first shot and no ads. I hit the bullseye on the first one I believe with that product> I started with eight variations and now has 20 variations, and that’s pretty much colors and sizes.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, okay. What was your thought by anybody who says they work with variations? I always like to ask them like, “What was your thought process of having variations as opposed to having separate listings?” I mean, is it pretty much literally the exact same product, just a different color? It’s a no brainer or was there any kind of like, “Hmm, I’m not sure which way I should go?”
Schrone Hardeman: Well, see the lieu of my product’s variations, it’s almost a given. There is no way that would’ve succeeded without variations on my product. But as far as variations go, I love the thought of it. My second product that I’m having in the works right now is a variation-type situation too. The reason I love it though is because they share the reviews. You know, I can watch; I can launch too. I launched eight variations at the beginning. I launched eight products in the beginning. I have had to do eight jobs of trying to find reviews for these eight products. You know, when all I had to do now is just fine. One that was consolidated into one. Right now, my product has around 327 reviews. And if I was to break that out for 20 products, it’d be like 20 or 30 or so instead of the shared.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Now, when you first launched, did you right off the bat have a couple of variations or you just launched one color, one variation?
Schrone Hardeman: No, I had eight variations at the beginning.
Bradley Sutton: How was that like because sometimes, and I told people there’s no right or wrong way, I tell people that, “Hey, when you’re just starting out, you might not want to go with the variations because you’re not sure which one’s going to sell. You’ve got to buy equal and some of these factories they want to, ‘All right, you’ve got to buy 500 of each color.’” Now how were you able to start from the beginning with eight right off the top? Did they have a pretty generous, really low, generously low MOQ on each variation or what happened there?
Schrone Hardeman: Well, I guess the first one I was blessed with finding two suppliers that had a what you call it. I need my MOQ no matter the color variation, so I can buy 100 this color, 100 this color ones you just color as long as the MOQ was over 500.
Schrone Hardeman: Okay. You know, and that’s how most of the people in this category. Most of the suppliers in this category, it works. You know, it doesn’t matter the color, it doesn’t matter of size as long as you pay the per-price unit because different color can be a different price, whatever the case may be. But as long as the MOQ was high, it did great. And I love it because now the complications that I have, it’s logistics obviously, right?
You mentioned that you have to buy equal numbers of each color. You don’t know which one is going to sell more counter to that. At the time, I was using Jungle Scout and Helium 10 can do this as well. Now, they show you which variations are selling in each customer so to speak.
Schrone Hardeman: And I just did a ratio comparison to my number of units that I was going to order. It’s like if the black color was selling a hundred of those a month and they were selling the white color 50 a month. I know what I would do: buy 50 more percent more black than I would white basing off of competitors. And that’s what I did. You know, I just took it and the logistics of it was very engaging. But I managed it and I had some bumps and some bruises. I brought in a risky color that no one was selling, and it flopped to the point where I had to pull out all the units before the long-term storage fees pulled in. But I didn’t give up on it. I kept pushing and kept pushing it, and now it’s a staple in my a catalog.
Bradley Sutton: So you didn’t discontinue it, you just pulled out some inventory so you wouldn’t get hit with that long-store storage until it started getting some traction.
Schrone Hardeman: Yeah, and I was sitting 50 units in whenever I got low, and I kept working and kept advertising, and they kept working and brought it up, change out a couple of pictures, made what I had to do.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, I mean 20 is a lot of variation. Is it that many colors or are we talking sizes?
Schrone Hardeman: Well, it’s five colors and four sizes.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And how do you pick like, “Hey, I need to launch this size or I need to launch this color.” What was your process along the way?
Schrone Hardeman: So there’s a website called Pickfu.com that allows you to do paid surveys. And I chose colors and they gave me feedback, and I used that as a means to decide what’s the next variation. I use a competitor’s salary, not salaries, but my competitors’ numbers and sales velocities to decide what’s the next color and what’s the next variation.
Bradley Sutton: Now, have you done anything as far as brand building with this? Are you contacting your customers at all or trying to build a social media following or anything like that?
Schrone Hardeman: Of course. My first year, when I launched, my first group was pretty much dying down, so I had to pretty much do it all by myself. And the best way that I saw fit to do that was not through PPC because I wasn’t proficient at PPC. I launched a Facebook group, and now I have 17,000 followers, and they’re targeted, followers. They’re not like 10,000 from Thailand or anything. These are actual customers or actual people who are interested in the product.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, how did you build that? I mean, how do you go from zero to 17,000 followers for a brand-new brand?
Schrone Hardeman: It’s complicated. I did promotional ads to launch and to gather likes and followers for the page itself. I did engagement ads for the product and when people liked or commented on that, on his ads, I was hustling and inviting them to the group and stuff like that. But a lot of that is automated, but that’s exactly how I did it. I sent viral memes out when people like that and the meme itself was focused around the category that I’m in. I targeted specific people the ads itself. Have a specific demographics part where I can target only men or only women or only people between the ages of 15 and 25 or only people who are interested in this type of magazine or this type of category. And that’s exactly what I did; I just niche down into my category, only advertise to those who are interested in this. I’m proud of the women category than men.
Bradley Sutton: Awesome.
Schrone Hardeman: Well, I guess that’s the word I got right there. It’s awesome, man.
Bradley Sutton: Then how have you leveraged that? Like, has that helped you when you do launch a variation? You give like a special or something in that group or how do you actually utilize this big audience and following you have now?
Schrone Hardeman: Well, 100%. Here’s what I would do. I have a Facebook ad that has been running for almost a year, right? It’s proven and it’s one of my winning ads. It has 2.8 million engagements on it. It has 30,000 comments, 15,000 likes, and stuff like that. What I would do, those comments started out with tags. One of the hacks that I normally do is when I run a Facebook ad, I always put in different demographics or interests. I would also choose friends of those. If my category is hiking, I will also put friends of hikers, things like that, right? The reason I do that is because when these people see these ads, the first thing they want to do is think about the person who is actually a hiker.
Schrone Hardeman: Let’s just use as an example, somebody tagged their hiker and when they tagged their hiker, I go in there and say, “Hey, just to let you guys know I’ve got a sale going on, or I’ve got a discount going on this, that, and the other.” That does two things. When a person’s friend tagged him into a Facebook ad, that’s social proof right there. That’s saying that I believe in this product and you should check it out. That’s more than your first one or first five reviews because now I have a potential buyer who’s been directed by somebody they trust to go and check my ad out. And then those comments turn from tagging people to saying things like, “I tried this. I love it. You should too.” And when I see posts like that or comments like that on my ad, I go back to the person who said, “I tried this.” “How did you like it?” “I loved it.” “Would you mind leaving me a review?” Okay. We’ve got about 20, 30% of reviews used that way.
Bradley Sutton: I like it. I like it. Now you said you’re trying to expand out not just to have this one product and expand the line. Now are you looking in completely different categories or are you looking to try and launch something like under the same brand and with that same audience?
Schrone Hardeman: Currently, I have a four product brand situation. I’m trying to get off the ground. Once I get four or five products under this one brand, I most definitely will move on to a different brand. But I’m actually building this brand up to the point where, I believe his name was, Kevin said the building up to where people are interested in buying it and that’s the goal.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. Okay, cool. Cool. What’s your timeline of when you’re going to launch? You know, technically not your second product since you’ve got 20 variations, but you’re second product line here, right?
Schrone Hardeman: The second product in this brand is actually on the water right now coming over. It’s going to be like launching all over because this is not a variation as a second product. I want to have the other two products up before August because a dear friend of mine, you know him, Taylor, he challenged me to make 100,000 a month and my method to get there is four products at 25,000 each.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What’s your launch strategy going to be for this one? Do you have it all mapped out? Like, what you’re going to do. Like, “Hey, I’m going to make a lot of Facebook ads.” “Hey, I’m going to target my audience,” or “Hey, I’m just going to do PPC,” or “What’s your method going to be for your launch?”
Schrone Hardeman: There’s going to be something very similar to the first one, the first product because I found success with it. I’m definitely going to try that out where I’m going to leverage the 17,000 people that I have following right now. I’m going to do ads directed to the same demographics, the same interests of those people that I had as followers. Primarily, it’s going to be a Facebook launch until I get a reputable number of reviews to compete with the other sponsored ads. Whatever placement I choose and whether it’s at the top of the listing or on top of the category or middle bottom, and I’m going to adjust accordingly with PPC. if anything, KT Nine has taught me that PPC is a very profitable situation, I would launch with that. But I just believe in my skills as a Facebook advertiser, more than I believe in 10 reviews going up against those. We have hundreds.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. How did you find this other product that’s on the water right now?
Schrone Hardeman: I use Black Box.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, hey guys, I didn’t know he was going to say that. I was hoping you’d say that, but I wasn’t sure. I was like okay. What did you do as the Black Box where products are Black Box for keywords or?
Schrone Hardeman: All right. Honest to goodness truth, I use Black Box for keywords and I use it for keywords specifically because I’m inside of a brand. I don’t need a large net. I need a specific net to find this product that can go into my next product. I put in keywords that are similar to the category that I’m in right now. In that way, it just filtered down to a couple of products. Another method that I like to use that, I’m kind of promoting myself, is I let Google do some of the work for me. I would go to Google and say top 25 or top 50 or top hundred fitness products of 2019 and these article writers would go in, they would vet these positive, see that they’re popping or did the popular, and then I will go and research them myself using the X-Ray tool on Helium 10 to see if the category is valid enough for me to sell them.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. You take a look and make sure that not everybody in that category has got a thousand reviews already or not everybody’s barely selling anything but that there’s demand and the signs that there might be less competition.
Schrone Hardeman: Right. And that that method where I use the Google that that’s if I didn’t know what was the next product for me, I’ll let these articles to find products and then I go validate the cat odd category.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. What about PPC? Now, you said admittedly at the beginning you weren’t very good at PPC, but now that you’ve been selling for a year and a half or so, I’m assuming your skills have improved. What’s your main PPC strategy?
Schrone Hardeman: Okay, so, I’ve been selling for about 21 months now and I met KT Nine in May of 2019 where they turned me on a PPC because before then, I was not good, and I was using it only to stay relevant on page one and not be profitable with my product. My strategy. Now I have a call out of different ones. I did recently just try a PPC method from you guys. I’m training in Helium 10 and that’s currently in the works right now. Too soon to tell how that is working for me. But one of my main ones right now is that I have this thing called the ASIN Grab where I would make a product-listing campaign instead of a keyword-listing campaign and I would latch on to those who are selling. And after the customer has done their window shopping, I give them a last effort and I add value with the clickable coupon to come and buy my product and stand as they are on the listing of the person that I’m attaching my ad to. Another one I do is I take the list of high-volume keywords. I searched volume keywords; they make a PPC. After that, I take a list of low-volume search keywords, and I make a listing for that PPC sponsored after that.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Cool. I like it. I like it, and I definitely like to hear how the three campaign is going to work out for you as well. Now going back to the beginning whether somebody is currently listening to you and they’re about to get out of the military or they’re just somebody brand new, haven’t considered selling yet. I’m sure as you know, one of the main worries that people have is, “well, how much money do I need?” How much money did you need to launch? What was your initial investment before you actually got the product into Amazon?
Schrone Hardeman: I made a statement earlier about how I started saving at three years for a home. When I found out about the Amazon product, I reached out to my wife and I was like, “look, so there’s this venture I want to get into and I need to take half that money” and after the two weeks of fighting back and forth, she finally let me have it. And that turned out to be about $15,000. I wanted to use it conservatively, but I started out with $7,000. And the method that supply simple product profits wanted me to do to launch fell through. I’m not going to mention what it is, but right before I started launching, they said don’t launch that way, you’ll get in trouble. I had to come out with a different strategy, which was Facebook ads for me and which is a blessing in disguise because that could be a part of the peers that I have or had you are not selling anymore. But that’s $7,000 based on my franticness of gathering, some followers on Facebook. My thought was if I could just get to 2000 followers, 10% can be my launch group, 10% of them will buy. And it turns out that, $500 bucks instead of $2,200. And I wasn’t prepared for them. I used the other part of the 15,000 to buy more product and here I am today.
Bradley Sutton: Could you have done it with less than that? Theoretically speaking, could you have done it with half of that and then just turn the money around from that first whatever you made from the 7,000. Were you profitable in that first 7,000 or you were still under an upside down on that?
Schrone Hardeman: Well, I didn’t make $15,000 in my first month. I don’t think I recouped the $15,000 back until like month three. Okay. But definitely knowing what I know now, I could’ve budgeted in a different way, and I just think that the growth of my product would have been slower, but it’s definitely doable with $6,000.
Bradley Sutton: All right. And what’s your profit margin like?
My profit margin is around 47%. My net profit is around 20%.
Bradley Sutton: After all your Facebook ads and PPC and things like that. Okay. All right. That’s not too bad. And how much is your product called? What’s the retail price of your product?
Schrone Hardeman: The retail price is somewhere between $25 or $30, depends.
Bradley Sutton: If somebody had a $15 product, then that’s just that much less that they might have had to invest in the beginning.
Schrone Hardeman: Oh yeah. You know, the range that people should definitely seek out product retail price as far as between $15 and $50 because that’s the impulse-buying range of a customer where they will think less to spend that amount of money. And if you find a $15 product, you wouldn’t need $6,000-$7,000, you would need the $15,000 that I had to get started.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Now before we get into your 30-second tip that you’re going to be able to share with us, I want to play a little game here. It’s called the search volume game. All right? Don’t be having Helium 10 open and cheating to get these search warrant numbers. I’m going to give you three keywords that are all related to each other and I’m going to tell you the different search volumes that they have. And then you got to tell me which keyword is his swish search. Fine. All right, so you’re ready to go. And everybody listed it on the road. You guys can play along but don’t be cheating. All right? Now the three keywords are trash bags, kitchen, trash bags, kitchen, tall, drawstring. All right, so there’s three keywords, right? They’re obviously all related. Now here are the search volumes and I’m going to do it in descending order, but it’s obviously not in the order necessarily of what I just told you. One of those keywords has 91,000 searches a month. One of the keywords has 8,400 in one keyword has a thousand. Okay? All right. again, we’ve got trash bags, trash bags, kitchen, trash bags, kitchen, tall, drawstring. Which one is which?
Schrone Hardeman: All right, so I kind of got an advantage over you, over this question because I’m actually an e-commerce strategist. I got clients and I help them out with it. All right.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Well, let’s see. Let’s see. You’re putting your pressure on yourself now to get it right, so which one has the most search volume?
Schrone Hardeman: Trash bags have the 91,000. kitchen, this is where it can possibly feel flat. But you say 8,400 and a thousand, right? All right, so I’m going to go with trash bags. The kitchen is 8,400 and then very niched down. The keyword is going to be 1000.
Bradley Sutton: All right, you got it. You got two, you got one, right? And then the other two you had swish. I did a little trick. This is actually an interesting phenomenon that trash bags kitchen tall drawstring actually has more searches than the other word. Why? I’m not sure.
Schrone Hardeman: I could probably know why. Because once you put trash bags in, the drop-down from the Amazon shows you related keywords and trash bags, drawstring. The myths downward. It probably has more.
Bradley Sutton: Probably, but they’re there. You have a hard one. One more time. One more time. All right, we got another one here. All right, here’s the three keywords. Storage, storage bins, storage bins with lids. Oh, that’s hard, right? Storage, storage bins, storage bins with lids. And let me give you the three in descending order. 1 of them has 300,000. 1 of them has about 117,000, and the other one 52,000; so they’re all pretty high up there. Oh yeah, they are. I pick good ones here. All right, so again and again, I hope you guys are playing along. Don’t get any accidents if you’re listening in on the car or don’t try and like cheat and look up magnet or anything. But again, storage, storage bins, storage bins with lids. Which one has 300,000?
Schrone Hardeman: All right, so I am going to go with storage that has 300,000 because I don’t remember seeing that hybrid value when I searched for storage bins before. All right. Storage bins and storage bins with lids, but what are the two remaining then?
Bradley Sutton: The remaining ones is about 117,000, 53000 about
Schrone Hardeman: Oh man. All storage bins with lids is 52,000 and storage bins is the remaining hundred thousand
Bradley Sutton: The storage, you mean?
Schrone Hardeman: Storage is 300.
Bradley Sutton: The storage is 300,000. Yes. Okay, I got it. All right. Well again, you got one right? The storage bins is the number one keyword with 300,000. The storage bins with lids, you got to have 52,000 and the storage is 117,000.
Schrone Hardeman: Man.
Bradley Sutton: But there you go. Hey, I like playing this game because it’s kind of fun too, but sometimes it goes against logic and that’s the thing that Amazon sellers need to understand is the way we personally search might be one way or we might search one keyword over another, but there might be more people out there doing something different. And that’s why it’s important to use, like Tatiana was saying, websites, like pick4u.com to kind of like see what people are using a search or see what people are looking for. Because if we just base our strategy on what we would do or what we think is the right thing, we’re not exactly always the exact customer avatar. All right. Every time I played this game so far, the last time they actually got zero. Zero right in two of them.
Bradley Sutton: But, you got at least one right in both. So you’re a little bit closer than the last people who played this game. Good job. Good job. Let me know how you guys did out there. You know, send me a message on Facebook or something. I’d be curious to see how you guys did. By the way, guys, speaking of numbers and everything, don’t forget to give us a review on whatever you’re listening on, whether it’s on iTunes or Apple Podcast or Stitcher or Spotify. Hook us up with a review. Let us know. Give us some love there. Now we got to the part of the show that we call the, which is the TST or 30-second tip. You’ve been just giving us nothing but tips throughout this whole episode. But what is something that you think is super valuable, maybe a little bit unique that you could explain in 30 seconds or less?
Schrone Hardeman: I want to stick with, in light of the game, the keywords. I like to do my research from one of the main, not necessarily a main, but the main keyword of the category. And the reason being is because, let’s just say the main category, the main keyword has 30,000 searches a month, right? That’s a thousand chances a day for you to get your five, 10, 15, 20 sales a day amongst the page one, which is typically 60 people, right? If you do your research from a small niche keyword that has 300 searches a month, that’s only 10 chances to get you one, two, three, 10 cells that are divided among those 60 people on page one. And my philosophy behind it is if you can prove that you can make it in the big dogs with the main keyword, maybe making it in a small category with a small keyword will be a cinch. But that philosophy can’t be reversed because you can’t prove that you can make it in the small times and then automatically know you can make it in the big times.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Thank you for that. Now Schrone, what are your goals for 2020 because I want to have you on, maybe in a year you’ll hit over $200,000 of last year. What are your sales goals for the end of it? If I hit you up like around February of next year and ask you, “Hey, how much did you make in 2020?” What would you like to be able to tell me?
Schrone Hardeman: 350k to start.
Bradley Sutton: $350k. All right.
Schrone Hardeman: Yeah, because Taylor, he pushed me in. I can’t let them down. By August of this year, I have to be making 100,000 a month. And if I can hit that goal, then it’s obviously going to be higher than 300K a month, I mean a year.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Excellent. Excellent. All right, well it sounds good. Thank you for joining us and we’ll talk to you later.
- Weekly News 9/19 – Email Communication, Rule Changes, Amazon Stores and Amazon Warehouse Expansion - September 21, 2020
- #178 – How to Sell on Amazon Japan – Nick Katz - September 19, 2020
- #177 – An Amazon UK Blueprint to Help Create Success for European Sellers - September 15, 2020