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#401 – Kickstarter & Shopify Launches, Brand Building, and More!

In this episode, we got Janelle Page back on the show to talk about Kickstarter launches, Shopify pre-sales, how to build a brand in 2023, and what Amazon seller skills can give an edge over the competition.
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44 minutes read

We’re back with another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast! In episode #401, we welcome back Janelle Page to talk about the latest updates on her entrepreneurial journey. This includes a $150,000 Kickstarter launch and how she made $500,000 with a Shopify Pre-sale launch in one weekend, so make sure to stay until the very end! Janelle also shares her insights, tips, and strategies for brand building, marketing, product development, and PPC strategies.

In episode 401 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Janelle discuss:

  • 02:00 – Part Of A Company That Made $100 Million In Sales
  • 03:45 – Back To Being A Full-Time Entrepreneur
  • 04:25 – The Pros And Cons Of A Kickstarter Launch
  • 13:00 – Kickstarter Launches, Who Is It For?
  • 15:30 – Knowing How To Use Ads Effectively Gives You An Edge
  • 1800 – How Can I Build A Brand In 2023
  • 21:20 – Clever Strategies To Get Amazon Reviews
  • 23:50 – PPC Strategies And Building Demand Off Amazon
  • 26:00 – Why Is The E-commerce Space Competitive Right Now?
  • 32:00 – You Need To Think About The Next Big Thing
  • 33:00 – Janelle’s 30-Second Tip
  • 34:00 – How To Get In Touch With Janelle
  • 35:00 – A Shopify Launch That Earned $500K In A Weekend
  • 38:00 – Janelle’s New 3PL Company

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we’ve got Janelle back who sold over a hundred million dollars on Amazon and make sure to stay to the end of this one because she’s gonna talk about a lot of things, including $150,000 Kickstarter launch and a Shopify launch that got her a half a million dollars in presales. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Hey guys, heads up. Kevin King is the new host of the AM/PM Podcast. So if you love Amazon’s strategy, make sure to subscribe to it. Whatever you’re listening to this podcast on, take a listen to AM/PM Podcast just by searching for it on that platform. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Seller’s 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 e-commerce world. Janelle, it’s great to have you back on the podcast. How’s it going?

Janelle:

Super good. It’s good to be here with you, Bradley, world traveler. It’s nice when you’re home long enough to do a podcast episode with me.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, hey, I mean, even if I was traveling, I would’ve recorded this because you are one of our priority guests here. Like the information, you bring whenever you’re on the podcast. Actually, you was just recently on the AM/PM Podcast, but I purposely didn’t listen to that one because there might be something that spoiled for me. But we’re not gonna go too much into Janelle’s backstory, guys. I wanna give you the number really quick where she was at. It is episode 294. So if you, whatever you’re listening to this on guys, if you want to get Janelle’s super interesting backstory. Check out episode 294. I think this link might work but you can try h10.me/294 for a quick kind of look into Janelle’s life. But she’s from Utah and she was in a company that you actually did before, if I’m not mistaken, like over a hundred million of sales like you were kind of responsible for in that company, right?

Janelle:

Yep.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, like did that company get sold or you moved on to new endeavors or catching me up a little bit in the last, what happened there?

Janelle:

So we were going public in July and literally the night before everyone was flying out to New York. In fact, I think the executive team had already landed. We were all excited and that was when I was exiting. I had made it well known when we went public I would be exiting. I’d been building the team for that to happen The next morning. We found out that it was called off and never an explanation of why it didn’t go public. I mean, we all have our theories. And so yeah, I’ve spent another few months there, and then it was kind of like, what am I doing here? You know I’m not a corporate girl. I’ve been saying that forever. I joined this private equity group to help them grow their Amazon and their D2C efforts. And it was a huge success and I was super excited for the exits kind of anti-climatic because it didn’t end up happening. And then it was just we agreed that I could keep my I guess, equity in the company and go and pursue my passions, which is my own stuff that I’m doing, launching and selling brands back to being like a full-time entrepreneur, which has been phenomenal. And yet I still get, hopefully, the upside when they, I mean, the goal I think still is they will go public or they will sell or do something, so hopefully.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, well that’s kind of quite a story. The night before, that’s quite a change.

Janelle:

It was like that’s why I always tell people don’t count your eggs before they hatch kind of thing, because of Yeah. You know, we were all really excited and celebrating, and then it was like, oh, what?

Bradley Sutton:

Now one thing I’ve been wanting to talk to you about for months when I swear I saw a message from you on LinkedIn or Facebook or something where you had a crazy Kickstarter launch. This year or last year or something like that on one of your products. Was that you please tell me that was you and I’m not confusing somebody.

Janelle:

Year. Yep. I did my first Kickstarter, I’ve been wanting to do one. You know you hear all these awesome stories about Kickstarter and funding and I was like, yeah, I gotta do one of those. So it was awesome. My goal was to do six figures, cuz that’s something that less than 1% of the people who do a Kickstarter hit and I didn’t know what to expect. And the product that we are launching was a motorcycle detailer, it’s called the Fast Detailer M1 Moto you can go to Kickstarter and still see it there. It’s now obviously being sold on that Shopify set. And we just barely launched on Amazon almost two weeks ago. So that’s been fun and it’s doing awesome. But anyhow–

Bradley Sutton:

Can you take it back a little bit like, yeah? What gave you the idea to do that? Or was it like, Hey, I know this is not something that there’s necessarily demand, that’s why I need to start on Kickstarter or was it a matter of, you know what, I don’t wanna have to fund this? What was even the thought process that brought you to Kickstarter?

Janelle:

Okay. So actually it was a Billion Dollar Seller Summit with Kevin King. One of the guest speakers there was talking about Kickstarter and how he uses it to fund all of his product launches. And I thought that’s not kind of a good idea. I knew nothing about Kickstarter, but he talked about the algorithm on Kickstarter, which obviously makes sense to you and me and any of these sellers out here that follow us because of Amazon’s algorithm, we learn how to like the game it and how to give it what it wants or tickle the underbelly of the A9 Algorithm. And someone would say, and it was like, oh my gosh, no doubt. I never–

Bradley Sutton:

I gotta remember that phrase, tickle the belly of the A9 Algorithm. I love it.

Janelle:

Yes. I think I stole that from like Ben Cummings a fast tracker, you know, a long time ago. So I can’t take credit for it, but I always like that. But anyhow, I was like, you know what, like on Kickstarter, this idea that there was this underlying algorithm that if I just basically caught the trending page, then I could blow up and catch all the organic traffic. It just made sense. I was like, well no, duh. Like I can win this game. And so I knew that I had an audience with my partner Sean. He’s got a channel called Bikes and Beards. If you’re into motorcycles you will know the channel. It’s like the biggest motorcycle channel. It’s rad. And I love motorcycles. So, you know, I can get into the backstory and how we created the product, but I’ll just start with the idea with Kickstarter.

Janelle:

When I heard that a light bulb went off and I thought, I can take the traffic that I have from my audience, I can drive them to Kickstarter and if I hit that trending page, there are a bunch of just like people who live on Kickstarter, they live on these crowdsourcing platforms and they’re always just there trying to see what’s new. And I thought, wow, I could see let’s maybe hope for a 10 or 20 or 30% lift. I didn’t know what to expect cuz I’d never done a Kickstarter, but that’s what I wanted to figure out. How viable was this method? Cause you hear people talking about it all the time. Oh, you hit the trending page, you’re gonna go viral, blah blah, blah. I can tell you today that the trending page and it’s a 10% lift. That’s it.

Janelle:

As for the 5% in fees that you’re gonna give Kickstarter, I can now tell you have to fulfill it, we just finished fulfillment for all of it. It was a major pain in the backside to fulfill, like, they didn’t collect addresses for all the backers. And I had over 3000 backers. And so imagine trying to collect missing addresses for over 700 people. I mean, I’m like what a clunky platform you would think you would not allow someone to check out and pay for your backer or, you know, become a backer without putting in their mailing address. Just little things like that. Then, like people won as one of the rewarded t-shirts and they didn’t collect all the shirt sizes, so I had to have like higher VAs to sit and email people and you know, we still had like 144 people we never heard back from. And so even now, like, I mean, this morning I had two people like, oh, here’s my address. And it’s like, dude, such a joke. So the fulfillment has cost me over $35,000 just by going back and forth with the warehouse. And I honestly know that Shopify allows for pre-sales, but Shopify didn’t use to allow for pre-sale. They would shut down your store if you collected payments and didn’t deliver your goods within a reasonable time. Now they allow pre-sale, I absolutely would never use Kickstarter again.

Bradley Sutton:

Let me ask you though, is it because I mean, now with that in hindsight, like did you learn something that maybe you wouldn’t have had such a bad experience? Or you don’t think even under the best scenario that it’s probably not the best way to go at all?

Janelle:

Yeah, yeah. Like I told them, like they, they reached out to me because when you do six figures on their platform, you’re kind of an anomaly. And so they like want feedback and they asked me about my experience and I frankly told them, I was like, your platform stinks. The fact that you would allow people to make a pledge that is buying a physical product and not require an address to be entered, that’s just terrible. And then they have at the end you have like a backer survey where you can actually send questionnaires and have people like if they purchase t-shirts, get their sizes and it just, you know, some people even told me the backers, they’re like, I gave Kickstarter that information. So they must have glitches as Amazon does, and maybe it only happened on my campaign, but I have heard that it’s just as bad for other people too.

Janelle:

But you know, the fact that I didn’t get shirt sizes, that it was just a really big hassle. I think had I seen a 20 or 25% lift when I hit trending, and I’ll tell you, we hit trending in 15 minutes. We funded in 15 minutes. So like, I would’ve expected a huge organic surge. I just don’t think there’s that much organic traffic on there. And I did tell Kevin, I said maybe it’s because we’re in a category, we were motorcycle fast detailer, and if you are on Kickstarter, it is a lot trending towards like tech and games and like anime crap. Do you know what I mean? So I was like, maybe if you’re in that category, maybe you would have a different experience. So when I say I’ll never do it again, maybe if I am working with like the CHEFPK, he has like an anime bento box that we would launch. And I’m like, okay, anime does do it.

Bradley Sutton:

As you can see from my background here, I’m an anime freak of myself. Do you know what one you’re gonna do? Are you getting one license or just like are just making your own anime character or something?

Janelle:

Yeah, you know what, that’s a really good question. I’ll have to ask CHEFPK he’s the guy doing it. He’s got a big YouTube channel following where he cooks and like is into anime. So like, yeah, as you can tell, I know nothing about anime besides of–

Bradley Sutton:

No worries. Hey, I knew nothing about coffin shelves and now I’ve sold thousands of coffin shelves now. So you did say you did over a hundred-six figures. What was the total amount that you brought in from Kickstarter?

Janelle:

141,000, like 240 or something like that. And then like after Kickstarter withheld their funds, I think my wire was like 121, you know what I mean? Okay. So they have their 5% and then their credit card fees. So it ends up being about 8%, but you would pay those 3% credit card fees on your own platform. So I just figured that’s a wash.

Bradley Sutton:

Is there anything like me, I’m not sure, maybe you can tell me, but to me the biggest issue with what you went through is probably that address thing, because I know it’s a hassle, I still do fulfill by merging on Amazon for, for some things and I do eBay and I do Etsy, where I’m fulfilling and like that, is a problem like when they don’t have the right address or you can’t even verify and stuff. Is there any way around that where you can like lock it in more? Did they say like the address? Okay, so what would be your advice? And somebody’s like, you know what, maybe I do want to do a Kickstarter, I don’t want to go through that.

Janelle:

Yeah, so because of this pain I was looking cuz I had set up an affiliate program that was part of our launch strategy and I recommend the app kick booster cuz that’s what I learned from someone tip me off to Kick Booster. Kick Booster allows you kind of like Refersion if anyone is used to that on or referral candy on Shopify, very similar. You can have affiliate codes, you can drive more traffic to your Kickstarter. They for an extra like 50 bucks, which I did not pay for because I didn’t know I would need that. But now I realize why they probably developed this is you can have additional surveys that go out to everyone on the backer list through Kick Booster. And now I see why that would be actually a necessity because instead of me trying to email people or have a VA you know, pigeon peck into everyone’s emails or texts and stuff, yeah, you could just send out another additional backer email to people when you can only do one with Kickstarter, you get one like, Hey everyone fills out your survey. You could keep reaching out with Kick Booster and automate it.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now let’s say somebody does look more into details and, and gets a lot of the issues that others have fixed. Who is the ideal Amazon seller out there who you would recommend? Like we’re Kickstarter might, maybe not you would recommend, but like where it could be beneficial? Are we talking like maybe never a brand new seller or only a seller established with an established brand and trying to expand on like what’s the persona of somebody who you think it would be for? I

Janelle:

Think the persona has to be someone that has an audience because like, I don’t see why you would go to Kickstarter and give them 5% of your funding because they don’t have, I learned they don’t have a ton of organic traffic there. Do you know what I mean? Like, you are not going to get eyeballs. It’s like if you went and listed on Amazon without having gone through helium tens like, you know, course training and Kevin Kings, you would never be discovered. So you would go put your project together. Like the people who do well on Kickstarter, they literally have agencies and they spend 30,000 to 100,000 dollars in marketing with their agency driving traffic to Kickstarter to try to hit trending. I knew I could get away with not having that because I had an audience. Yeah.

Janelle:

And I was gonna send the traffic there and get the same effect. So I feel like anyone advising to go to Kickstarter to like get their product off the ground, you better be telling them they better have like a $30,000 marketing budget to drive the traffic there to use Kickstarter. And then I say I wouldn’t do that. I would drive ’em to my Shopify page or a click Funnels page where I could control the experience because you can only create your landing page within Kickstarter and it’s very limited to what you can do. Whereas if I’m gonna drive ’em to, you know, like my Click Funnels page or Shopify or Lead Pages, I have so much more freedom and flexibility. I would, I wouldn’t drive traffic to someone else’s platform. I just wouldn’t.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. Good, good, good to know. Now I know you got back into kinda like you said, your roots and you know, helping other sellers. I know you do a little bit too. So what sometimes when you’re working just for one company and one brand and something you get maybe in a rut or like, hey, you’re only presented with a certain level of things that, that you learn about because it’s only in the supplements or it’s only in a certain category. But when you’re working with other sellers, maybe you get all kinds of crazy things that are happening. What are some of the things that you’ve learned in the last year or some of the things you have to pivot with or something that you think could be beneficial for people out there to hear about?

Janelle:

Yeah, like honestly on Amazon, I feel like the victory is made in the ad game. Like, I mean, almost everyone knows, obviously, I’m gonna assume everyone knows they gotta have a great listing, keyword research, and do all that jazz. Your bullets, your title, it’s all optimized and your images are beautiful and glorious and you have obviously a good product. I feel like 10 years ago when I was teaching Amazon, that was the stuff we focused on because not everyone was doing it, it was an easy layup. If you did that, you really stood out. But now, like everybody understands that they’re doing that. And so really where I see the advantage coming is those who understand how to use ads effectively and they know their numbers. Like, I mean, we are so dialed with like our acquisition cost and with, you know, our PPC that we, I can just even tell when I sit down and I consult with sellers and I look at like their ads and like how they’re reporting and looking at it daily. Most people don’t even know at an SKU level what’s going on with their advertising and their conversion and their lift. It’s just like they don’t know those numbers. And so to me that the easiest way where you can make headway really fast is getting some type of like dashboard and monitoring that and then playing around with your spend and dialing that in. I think ad strategy, people who dial that in, just crush it on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

I think I was there, but I was just like such in a daze at the sell and scale summit that I don’t remember anything that was going on. But I remember you were talking with Dr. Travis. What was your main thing? I mean, I forget what I’m doing yesterday, so I definitely not gonna remember a couple of months ago. But what was the main thing you were talking about at Sell and Scale?

Janelle:

Gosh, I think we talked about brand branding, you know what I mean? And getting, like, I always talk about when someone creates a product like I don’t like just having one hit wonders. I like to kind of go deep and build a brand around the person that I’m serving. And if I create supplements is a good example. Like, it’s like, are you serving like a fitness father figure or a woman who’s a vegan or like developing products around that person so that you can cross-sell and upsell or have some kind of ascension model? That’s kind of what I was talking about, like thinking further than just your first product. I feel like it’s a lot of these Amazon sellers are just picking and pulling products that they think are gonna do well. And I just feel like, yeah, okay, you may have some products that do well on Amazon, but are you building a brand that you can actually sell? It’s very different, I know there are different models. I don’t like that model. I like to build a brand. So I talked a lot about that and how to build a brand, something that you can sell, something that you can connect with the consumer and really build a loyal raving fan and a community around. That’s kind of my approach.

Bradley Sutton:

So what are a couple of tips on that? I mean, we can’t go through your whole entire speech, but what are a couple of the main points of how looking into 2023? How can I build a brand?

Janelle:

Yeah, okay. So it’s like, first I always say like, who are you gonna serve? Like, and it’s okay if you found a cool product and you know if you came at it from that angle, I don’t care if somebody comes to me and says, this is the person I wanna serve, we start there. Or if they say, here’s the product, then I’m like, okay, what would be the logical next product that you would launch for the person that’s gonna buy that first product? You can start at either place, right? But I just want you to be thinking about like, you know if I’m gonna start, I can use an example like Matt’s off-road recovery, you know, he does recoveries. He’s rescuing people out in the sand dunes of Southern Utah. Obviously, the perfect product for him was a recovery rope. It’s a kinetic rope and he uses it every day and his job.

Janelle:

And it was like, okay, well then what’s the next logical product for his fan base? These are people that go out and like, they do ATVs and they’re like super insane about having a really great time. And it’s like, okay, well most of them. They want a recovery rope, but they’re also using these big straps to like to tie down their ATVs. So it was like, now we knew that was like gonna be a second product, and then it was like, oh, you know what an emergency like a toolkit in their car, their truck that they’re pulling. And so we just have like this idea of where we’re going with our next products. Like we just doing a solar flashlight right now for him that, you know, it’s gonna be our next, the hybrid light. We’re also working on it right now, like his work gloves. I’ve got those that are gonna launch.

Janelle:

So it’s always just be thinking of like this avatar that’s like super into building their own. They’re into building their own vehicles and like playing hard with like the toys that they build. And so I have a really great idea of every product that I wanna launch next, and I’m already putting together a first aid kit because when you’re out ATVing, you know, and you split your head on the row bar, like you’ve got your cool, first aid kit that’s gonna be in the ATV with you. So I just kind of tell people like to be thinking of that as they build out. And I could do that. I could jam with anyone as you tell me your brand. And I remember it wasn’t too long ago, and she may be listening to a client who came to me and she had a Bidet and she had this whole product line that there was a Bidet and then there was like this other product, I can’t remember them all now, but they were all over the place.

Janelle:

And I was like, who like, you don’t even have the benefit of cross-selling. Like you don’t really have a brand. Like, and then I was like, let’s just pick one of your products. Like she had a bestseller badge and I was like, go with that product now, and what would be the next logical product that you would sell someone that buys this Bidet? Then we were able to build out an action plan for her to build out a product line because that’s easy, it’s like acquiring customers the hardest work you’re ever gonna do. The easiest thing is to sell them something else that they want and need. They already like and trust you and they know, like, and trust you. They bought one thing, like let’s ascend them and let’s make them a brand loyal consumer, you know? And with the brands I work with now and, and I have some that I have an ownership interest in and I don’t wanna talk about all those right now, but that’s my goal is like, let’s take a core product, a hero or flagship product, and then let’s build out our next, you know, ascension level. Let’s have our next complimentary products.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Interesting. Now, last time I don’t remember the details, but I remember you were talking about some of your strategies for reviews now would it be safe to say that it’s a hundred percent the same now and end of 2022 as it was in 2021 when you said it? Or do you have new things that you think you’re doing now in order to make sure that you get a lot of reviews?

Janelle:

Yeah, I’m totally White Hat. Like I never do anything that that would risk, you know, getting you in trouble unless people think that like, having an insert is risky. I don’t think inserts are risky. I don’t ask for reviews and my insert, but my whole thesis is like, I start with an incredible product and an incredible customer experience. Like, and I’m talking about knocking their socks off. Incredible. Because it takes a lot for someone to leave a review if they’re not mad. Like, you know, everybody expects a good experience when they’re buying from you. So you have to go above and beyond, like, so I like to have prizes inside. I always use the example of when I was a kid, I remember going to the grocery store and I would beg my mom for the cereal that had the prize inside and it was usually the expensive one and we always bought like the Kroger brand or like the Walmart brand or whatever, and they didn’t have prizes inside.

Janelle:

But I’m like, we can create that type of experience for every adult or child out there with the prize inside our product. Something unexpected. And whether that’s just like something clever, like, Warby Parker when you open up and they have a free like cleaning cloth or something like that, that’s just something they weren’t expecting. That’s fun. You can do it with your packaging. You can do it with a free gimme offer on the back or I’m trying to think like with one of the brands, we send an insert that gives ’em a free–, like we always have a giveaway going on our website and that landing page is static, but we change out to make it fun and it’s a QR code and they go there and it’s just something that like, makes ’em be like, this brand’s cool, and we have cool ads and like, we’re cool and everybody wants to be a part of the cool club. So just create a community and build that.

Bradley Sutton:

Love it. Going back a little bit to PPC, one thing that’s crazy nowadays is that everybody, you, you can complain about it, you could say what you want about it, but it is what it is. On page one of Amazon searches, there are just so many sponsored ads. You know, you’ve got sponsored brand ads, you’ve got the regular sponsored product ads, you’ve got the four stars and above section. You’ve got editorial recommendations and like after all that maybe you’ve got three organic placements and cost going up. So like how for your brands and your clients’ brands, what’s your strategy with keeping up with the Jones still, but not at the expense of your profitability because it’s definitely paid to play sometimes on Amazon? But you know, you can go too far if you want if you’re trying to get like, dominate all those places, and now all of a sudden you’re not making money on Amazon anymore. Yeah,

Janelle:

Yeah, yeah. No, agreed. I’ve just watched my profit margins get slimmer and slimmer every year. And we always talk about the glory days, right? We got in this like in 2012, or 2013, when it was awesome, but it’s still awesome. We still make a lot of money, but my strategy has always been different than a lot of Amazon sellers and I’m building demand off Amazon. I build brands and so people come to Amazon looking for me already. It’s mostly a defensive play at that point. And that’s a lot cheaper. It’s a lot cheaper to defend your brand on Amazon and make sure you show up when someone comes looking for you than it is trying to rank. Let’s be honest, there’s not even an organic placement anymore. Like you have to pay to play, right? And you’re gonna pay for primary keywords that are competitive. And I like to go into competitive categories cuz there’s a lot of volumes there, but I’d rather go at it as creating incredible ads on TikTok, Snap, Facebook, YouTube, and then everybody’s seeing me Instagram coming to Amazon and buying, and then they’re doing branded search and here I am and I’m totally defending my brand.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, okay, cool. Strategies, let’s say, hey, I’m doing these strategies for PPC. I’m getting good review velocity. I’m bringing in these reviews, I’m building my brand, I’m doing these things you’re talking about. But sellers nowadays are getting more and more sophisticated. Thanks to tools like Helium 10. Obviously, Helium 10 is not powering every single top seller out there. There are people you know who may not have heard of Helium 10 and not using tools. Believe me, they do exist. You’d be surprised, if you think everybody’s using Helium 10 these days, but you know, it takes competition regardless of how you look at it. I’m not just talking about sellers from China or things like that, like American sellers, or European sellers.

Bradley Sutton:

Everybody’s getting better at what they’re doing. So for 2023, I hate doing those. What’s your prediction? You know, kind of things like who really knows, but instead of it being your prediction like what is your strategy in 2023 to just make sure that you’re, you’re staying ahead of the game. You know, just overall, you know, as we talked about, you know, some of the main buckets here, but are there maybe micro strategies or something new that we haven’t heard about that you’re planning to do?

Janelle:

Yeah I mean, that’s a really good question. I do wanna talk about why I think everything’s competitive and harder and everyone, it gets more difficult. It’s because there’s so much awesome information out there for free now, you know what I mean? It’s like, I even watch like I used to play, I still play basketball, but I look at the kids that are, when I was playing in high school, they’re so much better. And I’m like, it’s because like they can get on YouTube and watch how to these drills that we never even knew about doing like to increase speed, agility, and you know what I’m saying? The same thing, like think of how much good content Helium 10 puts out to teach sellers how to crush it on Amazon. Like this podcast, the fact that this is free, you know what I mean?

Janelle:

Like, I usually will charge a thousand dollars an hour to tell people how to increase know their Amazon sales, and like, people are getting this for free. That’s why it is so competitive. And it’s not just in this space. It is in every space that the information is so readily available and people can access it and if they implement it, they’re gonna crush it. So what am I gonna do in 2023? Well, always the fundamentals, right? We’ve gotta have the great listings, we gotta be having, you know, great customer service. So like, you have to always do the fundamentals. And I think it’s when people stop doing the fundamentals that their game stops slipping. And that’s in sports, that’s in business, that’s in life, okay. So strong fundamentals. But I think what I’ve been saying is that the whole brand, like really where we’re getting the most traction is building community.

Janelle:

People want to belong. And that’s what the internet has done. It has created this likeability for people to niche down and create rabid groups of small people. And you can actually support a business. I mean, if you haven’t read the book a thousand True Fans like literally, that is all you need to make six figures. There are a thousand true fans. And so we can have fragmented little companies that are doing great business instead of like this big generic like Proctor and Gamble and Tide. Like people are gonna gravitate to like, I don’t know if you’ve, Seth Godin always says, people like us do things like this or, you know what I mean? Like, they wanna be with their peeps. And so I always say there’s Richards in the niches and you’ll get gobbled up and I watched it happen.

Janelle:

I was at this big corporate place, these aggregators come in, they buy up brands and you know what happens? They kill them. They kill them because they lose the intimacy that the founder that had the passion that connected and created a community with the people. And so then when these get rolled up into these big brands, they lose that. And then what happens is some new guy comes in or gal and creates her brand and her passion or his brand. And then you have this resurgence, this community, and it gets really strong. And then these big companies go, I wanna buy that brand. They buy it, they bring it into this big corporate behemoth and they crush the spirit that originally led birth to this beautiful thing. And that’s–

Bradley Sutton:

You’d be a good story narrator. I like your passion. Just why I love it. But I totally agree with you. You know, there’s a balance that sellers need to strike because I tell people, Hey, follow the data and stuff and, and, you know, use analytics and things and that’s true. You shouldn’t just blindly go in, cross my fingers, and hope I have success, but at the same time, there’s the danger that you get so engrossed in the analytics and the algorithm and how things work that you forget you’re selling to a human being. And then like you said, this is something that’s not, that doesn’t come out on paper or analytics is even though you might not be passionate about something you’re getting into, I mean, it’s great. It’s perfect. The opportunity on Amazon just happens to be something that you’re very knowledgeable and passionate about, I mean, that’s amazing.

Bradley Sutton:

It’s a holy grail. But, but that doesn’t always happen. You know, like I could care less about coffin shelves or egg trays that, that we started selling, but you better believe that I became passionate about it and I was like, Hey, this, I gotta get motivated. Because if you’re just in this cycle where the whole Amazon process is just some cog in a system and it’s on autopilot, you’re not gonna innovate. The people who are passionate about what they’re selling in your niche, and trust me guys, I guarantee whatever niche on Amazon there is, there are at least a few sellers for who this is their livelihood and this is what they’re passionate about. They’re gonna beat you every single time. Even though we’re talking about David versus Goliath, like the big guys, go ahead and continue with what you were saying.

Janelle:

You’re right 100%. Cause I was like, you know, when you launched the coffin shelves like there is a person that decorates with coffins outside of Halloween, you know what I mean? And that person like, what is that next thing that that person who buys that coffin shelf would absolutely 100% buy? And that’s what I’m telling sellers, like, think of that, don’t go chase into your Helium 10 tool and find some other thing that’s selling where that it’s gonna be totally disparate and you can’t link it together. Like go take the coffin idea, think of your avatar, use the Helium 10 tools to like, and verify that there’s demand. But I wouldn’t even care if there was no demand. I know that somebody already bought that coffin shelf and there’s a person in an avatar that loves this coffin shelf and this thing will be sold to that person.

Janelle:

And I’m building that brand and awareness around that. I mean, right now, like if you think about innovative products that take off, like the glean, they invented this thing that like removes hair, it’s like almost like kinda like a pummel stone. I think it’s called Gleam. They’re all over Instagram and TikTok like blew up, right? And now there’s a category on Amazon that’s blowing up for like these hair removers that are like, kind of stoned. And it’s like, okay, yeah. You know, a lot of the beauty brands are entering that space and they’ll do well because Gleam came in and created this surge just like Glamnetic, we did that with our magnetic lashes. We created this category, right? And so, it’s like you need to be thinking of that next thing. And if you are always just jumping on a bandwagon, I’m sorry, you’re not gonna enjoy the blow-up of that. Like the person who invented it and then we’re off to something else thinking of what’s gonna be that next big thing. And that’s what excites me. And that’s why, you know, the tools are awesome. They do help us, but also the ingenuity in the head of somebody who says like, this can be a thing. I will make this for this person. There doesn’t always, there’s not always gonna be data there, right? I’m sorry.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah absolutely

Janelle:

Go make it

Bradley Sutton:

Now, you know, you’ve been talking about different strategies, so I wanted to do like we did last time. We, you gave us a 30-second tip, it was probably like a minute or two, which is totally fine. You were talking about tribal marketing. It was from a book, and I’m just looking here at my notes.

Janelle:

Primal Branding, a really good book

Bradley Sutton:

Primal branding. There it is. Okay. Primal branding about a book. And so that was interesting, you know, what you talked about there, but now it’s a nice time of the year coming up to the end of this year. What would be your 30-second, one-minute, two-minute tip for Amazon sellers out there that you haven’t mentioned already today?

Janelle:

Gosh, yeah. What haven’t I mentioned? I just literally did a consult with someone that did not have an ascension model or an insert. And I was just like, wow. Like you’re literally telling me that you have gone to the effort of creating a listing on Amazon, establishing your hotdog stand, and selling stuff, and you have nothing else to give this person to like ensure that they come back and buy from you. Like you’re mailing out your package or sending it to FBA and that’s it. Like you’re gonna pay again to acquire them, or you have no like, model to drive them to your Shopify store. It just blew my mind that there was still someone in the universe that didn’t have the forward-thinking of what the next step was for this customer’s journey. And so there are probably people listening to this podcast. I’m not trying to be derogatory, I’m trying to be like, guys, literally like, this is your lowest hanging fruit. Like, what are you doing? What is the path that you’re laying out for the next step of the customer that you just acquired? What’s the next step? Because you gotta tell ’em what to do.

Bradley Sutton:

I love it. I love it. I love it. All right. Well, Janelle, it’s, you know, from canceled going public overnight to $150,000 Kickstarters to I mean all this strategy you do, it’s, you’re always a wealth of experience and information. And so it’s great to have you on the show. I’m sure people might have other questions or might want to reach out to you. So how can they find you on the interwebs these days?

Janelle:

Yeah, yeah. I’m @janellepage11 on Instagram. Oh, you know what the easiest place is? Just go to my website, it’s janellepage.com. If you email me, it’s [email protected] But you know, I have done it since the Kickstarter launch, I just did a Shopify straight-up launch. Cause I said I didn’t wanna do Kickstarter again. I was gonna do Kickstarter with this launch. And after the fiasco fulfillment and my goal I wanted to do half a million dollar launch to see if, you know, I’m graduating up. Okay. We did half a million dollars in a weekend.

Bradley Sutton:

Oh, well hold on. I didn’t even know about this, that’s why I didn’t ask you about it. So you guys got the 30-second tip early in this episode. Let’s take a couple of steps back. So instead of a Kickstarter launch, he did a Shopify launch. Did you do that presale thing you were talking about?

Janelle:

Did, I did the presale? If you go to mattstraps.com, it was Matt Top Road Recovery. It’s the ATV straps I was telling you about when I was on Kevin King. I couldn’t tell what it was yet cause I was keeping it on the DL, but we did that launch and we did half a million dollars. It was awesome. So like, that’s why I can even now say, you know, the Kickstarter, I’m just like Shopify was incredible. Like we just drove the traffic there. We had our sales page, I think it’s still up on mattstraps.com. We used that for the landing page and crushed it. You can go see the video.

Bradley Sutton:

How much spend to get that amount of sales?

Janelle:

So here’s what I did. Gosh, now I’m giving all my secrets away. Like I wanted my goal before the launch, I think I told Kevin this, I was like, I wanna double my list size. And I think I had like 40,000 people on my email list. And I was like, my goal was to get to 90,000. Actually, it was 80,000, I got to 90,000. I was like, I wanna double my email list. I’m really, really, really, I don’t wanna say I’m really, really good. That sounds cocky, but I was like, I’ve gotten really, really good at growing–

Bradley Sutton:

Hey, you can be cocky with your accomplishments. Feel free. Go ahead.

Janelle:

Well, I’ve gotten really, really good at growing email lists through like, giveaways and viral sweeps or gleam or whatever. I just do. I just kind of love to creatively think of like how to get people to share my giveaway so I can grow the list and grow the list with qualified customers that I know are gonna buy when I’m about to launch. So I think obviously doubling that list led to the huge launch because I literally just sent out the email with the notice and I make a really good video. So you go watch the video. I scripted and I got the team to make the video. I did the scripting for the fast detailer. I think having an incredible video helps because then you can push that video out not only on just on YouTube, but you send it to your email list.

Janelle:

You can rank it on Google, you can do lots of great things with video. You know, video marketing’s kind of something I’m super passionate about as well. So we drove a ton of traffic to the website. We did a live stream just to keep people excited about the launch. And if you go watch the video, I mean, after you watch that video, you’re like, I gotta have these. Matt did a great job executing what I told him to do. So it was really exciting. So I think if everyone here goes and just checks out the landing pages for Fast Detailer and Matt Straps, I’ve got another launch that we’re doing on December 8th with a YouTuber. We’re launching. I’m really excited about this brand. We’ve been working on it for almost eight months. It’s a very high-end gaming brand for professional gamers, but it’s kind of gonna be like the Michael Jordan, the Air Jordans of basketball shoes. Like, think about this for like gamers, like mouse pads, mouse mice, and headsets. Like it’s gonna like go head to toe and crush. Like Razer’s gonna be. If you’re a gamer, you’re gonna love it. So I don’t even wanna leak the name, but I’ll come back on and tell you after it launches. So you can see that landing page, but that’s going live on December 8th, and I’ll let you know how that one goes.

Bradley Sutton:

So what is that option to choose that you were mentioning like how to be able to do like Priebus on Shopify? Is that a special thing or is that just automatic now?

Janelle:

It’s like you can pre-sell on Shopify, which was huge because when we did Matt’s offer of recovery, the first product, we launched the recovery route. We did it on Shopify and got the like shut down because we didn’t ship in time. Like we didn’t know that you had, that’s why we’re like, okay, we’ll do our next one on Kickstarter, cause then we can pre-sell it. But yeah, since then in that just ensuing eight months from then Shopify allows for pre-sales now. So it’s, it’s been huge. It’s been awesome.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow. Wow. All right. There you have it guys. There’s another way to launch. I’m just outta curiosity, how in the world did you fulfill $500,000 worth of orders? Do you have a 3PL or do you have a warehouse?

Janelle:

3PL. In fact, I just bought the one I’ve been using for years. I’ve sent all my business there, all my clients, and I actually put in some money to buy in some ownership now. So I do wanna, now, when I tell people like my 3PL is momentum shipping, I own like 25% of that company now. And but before I literally just use them for my companies, all my clients. But in full disclosure now I do have an interest in that company. We’ve just expanded to Tennessee. We have a warehouse here in Salt Lake, and we also have one in Tennessee. And they’re phenomenal. Like they do all my fulfillment, all my brands. And you know, if you are looking for a good 3PL I don’t know how. We don’t work with everybody, but you could check ’em out. I don’t do the sales process there, but I’ll take good care of you if you ping me and you need someone. Good.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. Awesome. Well you overwhelmed us with all your cool stories and you know, stuff that nobody else is doing, you know, big six-figure launches on Shopify and Kickstarter and all this stuff. So it’s great to have you here and look forward to seeing how your 2023 goes, and we’ll definitely bring you back at the end of next year.

Janelle:

Awesome guys. I appreciate it. It’s good chatting with you, Bradley. Be safe.


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