Episode 49 – Learning How to Sell on Amazon from Helium 10’s New Manager of Training and Content
Updated on: October 6, 2020
Thinking about selling on Amazon? You’re in luck. Today, we meet Helium 10’s new Manager of Training & Content, Anthony. Get in-depth information on getting started on Amazon, general Amazon FBA tips, and extra sprinkles of Messenger Bots and Facebook Targeting gold dust.
Episode 49 covers:
- 00:30 – Bradley Breaks a Personal Pledge – Or Maybe Not . . .
- 01:30 – Introducing Helium 10’s New Manager of Training and Content
- 03:00 – OK, He Wasn’t Following College Football; What Was He Doing?
- 03:20 – Becoming a Father Early, Drives His Ambition and Desire to Succeed for Family
- 04:45 – Multi-Level Marketing – The Concept of Leverage Was Fascinating
- 06:02 – Work as a Science Writer Teaches Anthony How to Source the Truth
- 08:49 – A Question for Anthony – “Why Not Get Rich on Amazon Yourself?”
- 11:36 – Helping Software Companies Grow Becomes a Passion
- 13:30 – What Attracted Anthony to Helium 10?
- 16:10 – Now Deep in Training – What has Surprised Him so Far?
- 16:40 – Answer – Helium 10’s Tools are So Powerful and Black Box is a Revelation
- 18:00 – Bradley – “Could You Give the Audience a Taste of What’s Coming?”
- 21:22 – Messenger-Bot Wisdom from Anthony Lee
- 22:20 – Learn About a Quick Facebook Targeting Hack
- 25:00 – Bradley asks, “How Does the Campaign Work?”
- 34:33 – Creating an Affordable Mini-Chat Flow on Messenger
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: Today, we have our newest employee at Helium 10, Anthony Lee on, to talk about a variety of subjects, including a little more on his backstory, how important education is for Amazon sellers, his plans for building out the Helium 10 blog, and a cool Facebook targeting hack that Amazon sellers of all levels can implement today. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: How’s it going, everybody? This is Bradley Sutton, and this is the Serious Sellers Podcast. Today, I’m doing what I said I wouldn’t do, and that is having a guest on twice within a few months. I wanted to have gone through the whole year with just having each guest once in a year,” but technically, I am still keeping to that, because Anthony, you are not really a guest, but you are rather a co-host since you now work for Helium 10 as of three days ago.
Anthony Lee: Oh yeah.
Bradley Sutton: What do you think, Anthony? Am I still safe on my personal pledge that I didn’t want to recycle any guests?
Anthony Lee: I feel like that would hold up in court.
Bradley Sutton: All right. I feel like that would too. Okay, so this is so funny. I just hit you up on slack right now. What time is it over there where you are?
Anthony Lee: It’s only 4:00 PM here.
Bradley Sutton: 4:00 PM. It’s 1:00 AM over here. I’m like, “You know what? This is a jolly good time to do a podcast.” Why not? But anyway, I wanted to have you on here, first of all, to introduce everybody again to you now as Anthony Lee, our Content and Training Manager at Helium 10. Did I get your title correct?
Anthony Lee: Yes. I think technically it’s Training and Content, but I’m not going to nitpick.
Bradley Sutton: TNC and TNT—a TNC sounds a little bit better; but we had you on the podcast before. We talked a little bit about your history. So today, I’m not really sure where my 1:00 AM mind is going to take this conversation, but I just thought we’d get to know you a little bit better—maybe you can give us a couple of hacks, talk about what your plans are here at Helium 10. We’ll just see where this conversation takes us. So first of all, we talked a little bit about it in the last episode where I had interviewed you, but let’s take it back a little bit further. So you went to high school in—was it Alabama?
Anthony Lee: That’s right.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, what college football team were you a fan of?
Anthony Lee: Oh goodness. I’m going to I lose listeners here.
Bradley Sutton: I’m going to lose half of the Alabama population depending on if you pick Auburn or Alabama, right?
Anthony Lee: I don’t follow college football.
Bradley Sutton: Boom. You see you’re already working out quite well at Helium 10 knowing how to be politically correct.
Anthony Lee: No, but I really don’t.
Bradley Sutton: That’s good. I believe you. I believe you. Because when you hesitated, I was like, “Okay. He’s not into it because I die-hard fan would say, ‘Oh roll tide’ right away or whatever people say.
Anthony Lee: Yeah, exactly.
Bradley Sutton: We believe you. Okay. So what were some of your life education? Because that seems like it was more valuable in your case.
Anthony Lee: Yeah. Well, I think I had really open-minded parents that let me do whatever I wanted. And so that was both positive and negative. I definitely got into a lot of trouble. So there was that, but in the midst of all that, I ended up having a child, and I think my mindset started to really focus on what’s important after she was born. And being a parent—anybody listening to that is a parent knows this—being a parent suddenly creates so much ambition and desire for you to just do what you feel you need to do for your family. And so, that was probably one of the biggest life-changing moments and lessons. That’s actually what started my entrepreneurial bug. I took a couple of online courses. Back when I was much younger, I was really interested in real-estate investment trusts, and I had a friend who was a loan officer. I started learning a whole bunch about real estate and came to the conclusion that no matter what, it’s super difficult to excel in that particular industry with zero money—there are classes and stuff that you’ve got to take that cost hundreds of dollars. And at the time, I was barely scraping by making pizzas at a pizza joint. I moved on from that and I went through this long stint in multilevel marketing, just because I was sold on the idea of the business model. The whole concept of leverage just fascinated me. I started learning everything I could about that. Back before people were creating WordPress blogs, I went and created my own Yahoo site to teach people about multilevel marketing. It was horrible looking, but nonetheless—
Bradley Sutton: Well, hold on. I have a quick question for you, and I’m going to age myself. Let’s see if you even know what this is. You made a Yahoo site, but what do you know about GeoCities?
Anthony Lee: I did not mess around with GeoCity.
Bradley Sutton: But you know what it is?
Anthony Lee: Oh yeah, of course, I know what it is. It was around the same time.
Bradley Sutton: We totally just aged ourselves. Yeah, we totally just aged ourselves with that one. All right. Continue, continue.
Anthony Lee: But yeah, so that was when I really started kind of getting into DIY. As I said, I was broke. So I said to myself, “Okay, well, I got to go out there and figure out how to make this myself.” And there were these big websites where you could sign up for—it costs like $40-$50 a month, and you can send traffic to them. But I didn’t have that money, so I created my little Yahoo site, and of course, multi-level marketing just ended up not being my thing at all, even remotely. But I spent many years learning and that—that was during the period of time that I also started reading personal development, just working on getting my mind right and expanding my vision of what’s possible. And then from there, I started writing, and I tried my hand at being an author. I learned that was an awesome experience. It’s probably one of my best educational experiences because in doing so, especially because it had a scientific topic, I learned how to conduct research. I learned how to do experiments. I learned how to navigate through research papers and actually learned the difference between something that’s peer-reviewed and not peer-reviewed, and what that means. I learned how to evaluate evidence, and that was honestly more than any of the writing, more than really anything I’ve done. I think that is the strongest foundation for what I do now because it allows me to analyze data and collect data and sift through it and make really either educated guesses or remain skeptical enough. So, if we’re talking about education, I think that experience was probably on the top as far as the things that have taught me skills that I use today.
Anthony Lee: But shortly after that happened, I actually fell into the whole Amazon game. And then ever since then, I’ve been basically obsessed with learning everything I can about Amazon, selling on Amazon, e-commerce and then some connected things, like marketing and advertising and whatnot.
Bradley Sutton: Talking more about you and I being cut from the same cloth is like I consider you and I kind of like unicorns in this business, and I’m not trying to make our heads get bigger. My head is as big as it is anyways—a size eight on my hat. I can never have hats. I always wear that Helium 10 hat people see me in on the AMAs (ask me anything). That thing restricts the blood circulation; the biggest hat available. But hey, so my head is big enough; I digress. Anyways, what was I trying to say? Oh yes, yes, yes. You and I being unicorns in that in this game; it’s really hard to find an employee, like say, at a company like ours that has a decent amount of Amazon knowledge. But that would work quote/unquote for the man. And the reason I think is this, it’s like, “Hey, if somebody really knows Amazon, either (a) they are a successful Amazon seller themselves making some pretty big bucks, and so why would they take a pay cut and leave their seven-figure business to come to be a content and trainee manager? or (b) maybe they’re a consultant or they’re a very popular agency or something like that or an employee of Amazon and they get the same question: if they’re probably doing so well, why in the world would they want to come?”
Bradley Sutton: And actually before I was hired, most of the office of Helium 10 was made up of very, very, very talented individuals, experts in their fields, whether it be marketing or content writing, et cetera, but very few had Amazon background because people like us are kind of hard to find. So a typical question I get is like, “Wait a minute, Bradley, what are you doing? Why don’t you have your own big business?” “Why are you doing this?” “Are you a failure?” “Are you a fraud?” “Why should I even listen to you?” And the same question might go to you Anthony, so I’ll tell my side in a bit, but as far as your side, what if somebody says that to you? “Well, Anthony, you say you know a lot about Amazon, but if you know so much, why aren’t you one of these seven or eight-figure sellers that I hear about?”
Anthony Lee: That’s a good question. For starters, I do want to preface this by saying that I don’t actually claim to know a whole lot about Amazon. I don’t like being labeled an expert because I’m a student, but I might know a little bit. I have been around and I listen.
Bradley Sutton: Dude, I think you trump me in knowledge. Stop being humble.
Anthony Lee: To answer the question directly, I do sell products. As a matter of fact, I had one brand that did really, really well, and I almost sold it, and now I realize I should have, because I made some rookie mistakes, and didn’t grow it to the level that it could have grown. Hindsight is 20/20, but I tell you what, man, I learned a bunch from that failure. I really did. Then, I started over and got really, really distracted, because I was trying to do too much at once, but I still have aspirations to grow a physical products brand. Right now, I’m taking it really slow and actually going to use my failures of the past to ensure my success. But I have no doubt in my mind that it will be because I feel confident that I know what I’m doing now. I’m still in the game and I still very much plan to continue to be in the game, because this is the game that I know.
Anthony Lee: Beyond that, I also still privately consult. This is what’s called multiple streams of income. Just because I never decided to go and be a course guru—but I don’t want to say that and offend anybody that has a course. I’m personally friends with guys that have amazing course content. I actually had a partner, we wrote a couple of books and we were thinking about turning that information into course content, but I got really overwhelmed with all the other stuff I was doing and ultimately realized that marketing digital course content is a completely different animal, and I would have to start over from scratch to learn it, and I decided I didn’t want to go that route. What I have been learning aside from the Amazon game is how to help software in this space grow. And I fell in love with that. So that’s why I’m still here. I could be handed an eight-figure brand tomorrow, and I would still do what I’m doing because what I’m doing specifically, all the things I’m doing, from the physical products I sell to this job, to the private clients that I have, all the things I’m doing are things that I love. So that’s why I do what I do.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. Oh yeah, like me, I actually never did even launch a private label product. I launched over 400 products for other people, but I was happy doing that. I was happy working for other companies and helping them grow. To me, Amazon was like the game, and the reason why maybe didn’t launch my own because there’s a part of me—I’m one of those personality types where I don’t want to be too greedy. I’m fine with not making seven figures, but at the same time, I’m not having to worry about losing my butt, because a container sunk in the ocean, and my whole investment has gone. Or I get sued by somebody who died by choking on my product or I have to go and get a million LLCs and insurance and worry about running a business and stuff. So I think that was part of my thing. Yeah, I probably could have done it. I’m not saying I would have become a seven-figure seller or something. That was me. And so if anybody out there is listening, and you are like Anthony or me, hey, send an email to [email protected] if you’ve got some Amazon knowledge or maybe you are selling on Amazon but you’re like, “You know what, I want a different challenge in my life.” We are hiring all the time. Send an email to [email protected], Attention HR, with your resume and we’d be happy to look at it.
Bradley Sutton: Speaking of that, Anthony, what attracted you to Helium 10? I mean, I know you’ve been a customer of Helium 10. You’ve been using our software a little bit, but what attracted you to us as a company that said, “Hey, this is a company that I would consider working for.”
Anthony Lee: I mean Helium 10 at the top of their game, it’s one of the—
Bradley Sutton: Hey, you got to change it now to WE are on top of OUR game.
Anthony Lee: Yes, absolutely.
Bradley Sutton: You’re part of the team now.
Anthony Lee: I know! It’s true though, Helium 10 became one of the most well-recognized software in the space. And as far as my thinking is, I love this space. I love this industry, and I feel like I have an awful lot that I could offer this space and this industry, and I couldn’t think of a better company to try and lend that help to. And so, that’s ultimately what—and there were other little things too. I had heard so much about the culture; I’d seen it on social media. You do a great job at showing—you and actually several other people on the team do a great job of showing —the office environment and what it’s like. All of that, to a smaller degree, made me realize that this was the right decision. But ultimately, if you are joining a sport, you think that—I don’t know if they’re called because I don’t watch sports, but like a first-string or top-tier player—you want to be on a top tier team. And that’s kind of where I was at with it.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Well, I’m happy that our efforts are not going unnoticed. That’s what we try. You know, we try and show the other side—the culture of our business too—because we want people to know that we’re a family. And I think you’re going to find that here. Speaking of family, did you talk to Barcus (Barcus Patty, Helium 10’s new Product Manager) today at all?
Anthony Lee: Not very long. I think he caught me right in the middle of, I don’t know, 20 tabs in my Chrome browser. So he was like, “Hi.” And I said, “Yeah, yeah. Okay.”
Bradley Sutton: So, Barkus is somebody else who you’ve known for a while and now has joined the team as well. But I was just curious because today, we actually have a Helium 10 corporate masseuse and chiropractor who comes in, and I didn’t get to see him today at the office, but I was just wondering if he had taken advantage of that. There’s something that you have to look forward to for all of our old bones—you and I are old enough to appreciate how that can help. Now, let’s go forward a little bit. Something you told me the other day, it was funny; you had started a couple of days ago. You were going through the videos; one of your first assignments is, “All right, Anthony, take a look at all of the training videos with Mr. Big Head here with a big hat, and which one of these might be out of date or you think could be done better.” And I remember you said, “Man, I’ve been using Helium 10 for a while, but I’m mad.” And I’m like, “Why are you mad?” You’re like, “Well, I didn’t realize it could do all this stuff, and all this time I haven’t been using it.” What are a couple of those things? Because we really didn’t talk about that, but what are a couple of things that you’re like, “Holy cow, I didn’t know Helium 10 can do this.!”
Anthony Lee: Pretty much everything in Blackbox, because I’d always used Magnet and Cerebro, so just looking at all the stuff in Blackbox was like, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing.” It’s incredible that it does so much stuff. This is pretty much like everything that Blackbox does but then moving farther down the list, like with Cerebro, I never even thought to do some of the research that you have shown people they can do when demonstrating the tool like Cerebro — the relative rank and it hits on so many other dimensions that I’ve always been aware of in my research. But I never realized that there’s a button for it or seeing what all of the competing big similar products are ranking for the same keywords on. You could click a button and make it happen. You did all this stuff in less than 30 seconds, and I was just like, “Oh my gosh. This is too powerful.” It’s nuts and I haven’t even gone through all the videos yet. So I’m sure I’m going to say that about something else tomorrow.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Cool. I look forward to going over it with you. Now on your side, I know right now you’re just getting caught up, but I saw on our Slack channel—we were piling tons of stuff on you today and Manny was too. Can you give the audience a little bit of a taste of what they have to look forward to as far as the content side? Because a lot of our listeners, we’re the number one most-listened-to podcast in the world as far as Amazon goes. But what Helium 10 maybe isn’t known for as much are our blogs, and we’ve had some great content managers on our team. We had one, he had to move away so he wasn’t working for us anymore, and then your predecessor actually was hired away from us to make movies in Hollywood. That was her dream job that she had gotten, and so you have some big shoes to fill, and they were doing a great job; we just hired two full-time people to be under you. What can the audience look forward to from the content team as far as blogs and different pieces that you have on your roadmap?
Anthony Lee: So, what to be looking forward to with the blog — If you look at the blog now, you see that—I think before I came, maybe not too long ago—the trend was starting to really an uptick in the number of guests’ contributions. And so obviously, we’ll continue with that, especially with the list of guest contributors that we have lined up—pretty influential individuals that have a ton of good information to share. I actually really, really want to also match that intensity by focusing on our in-house content. I think one of the challenges is always that it’s not just that it’s hard to find people who have intense knowledge to work for a company, but it also is difficult to find people who have knowledge about Amazon and also can put out written content. And I really want to make our in-house content honestly as good as the guests’ contributions. So you’re going to see basically a raising of the bar. That’s my challenge to myself and to my team: Raise the bar, match the intensity of the awesome guests’ contributions we have with equally awesome, very, very detailed and educational information. Ideally, that becomes a resource that people will bookmark. So when they’re trying to do something they can think wow, I learned how to do that on the Helium 10 blog. I got to pull that up. So you’re going to see a lot of that too. Really in-depth, how-to-do, awesome stuff, specifically step by that you want to do. And then, of course, a couple of days later, you’ll maybe see a post from a nine-figure seller. So it’s just going to be amazing content—just to try and get people enjoying that medium too because I know that you do an awesome job with the podcasts, and people love the podcast, but if you’re not commuting and you’re sitting around, maybe you’re laying down in bed at night next to your spouse and you don’t want to make too much noise. Well, you’re going to have awesome stuff to sit there and just read that doesn’t make any noise at all. So that’s the goal.
Bradley Sutton: There we go. Cool. And I know we’re going to have you work on some, some guides and different things and one of your specialties I know you’re always excited about; this possibility of teaching people a little bit more about Messenger bots. I thought maybe right now could you, within two or three minutes, give a simple flow about something that would be new. Somebody could just go and sign up for ManyChat or one of these chatbots services right now, an Amazon seller, and something that they’re not doing right now but that is not that difficult to implement but could help them, either with their launch or with their Facebook ads, but is there anything that you could outline how they can set it up? Obviously, this is not a visual podcast. You’ve got to describe it with your words, but something that you could give our listeners as their bonus for listening through this whole episode here.
Anthony Lee: Okay, so I’ll do a real quick hack for Facebook targeting, right? Let’s say you’re new and not that well-versed in Facebook ads, but you know you want to run some messenger campaigns, say you get a handy guide or something from Helium 10. So the targeting, a lot of people will say, “Hey, download your buyer list and create a lookalike audience” and that kind of stuff. The problem is if you don’t have a buyer list because maybe you don’t have any buyers, that could be hard. So what do you do? The mistake that newbies make often is they’ll just pick a broad, like a super broad, interest, right? Like I sell spatulas, so I’m going to go after people who like cooking and then their audience potential is 4 million. The problem is they’re going to burn through ad spend clicks because there’ll be plenty of people interested in clicking, but it’s too broad to find people who are actually interested in the product even at a deep discount or a hundred percent rebate or whatever.
Anthony Lee: So a better way to structure it and actually, it’s funny, I learned this from some random, totally random, nameless 18-year-old kid in Reddit who made a YouTube video for dropshippers. But anyway, this is the strategy for targeting. Essentially you first pick amazon.com as an interest and then you narrow from there to engaged shoppers, right? So these are people that Facebook knows likes amazon.com, so they probably have an Amazon account, and then also, they know that they click on stuff and buy stuff, right? Because remember, there’s still plenty of people out there with Shopify sites, and they actually can capture that purchase data. So Facebook knows that these are engaged shoppers, and then narrow it a third time, and that third time, you’re going to actually start focusing in on the interests that involve your products.
Anthony Lee: So the first tier is amazon.com, the second tier is engaged shoppers, and then the third tier will be people who like Food Network or people who like Iron Chef if you’re selling the spatula or the barbecue fork or something. Anyway, so that’s my targeting tip, and that should narrow your audience to anywhere from, anywhere from 400,000 to a million, maybe a million and a half people, and then just keep adding people to that third tier until you get to that number.
Bradley Sutton: So then, I mean that’s your target, but what’s the campaign? That’s a Facebook ad, and then, are you just bringing them to an offer or are you bringing them into your, your chatbot? What would be the goal of targeting those people?
Anthony Lee: Well me personally, that targeting would work for anything you’re trying to do with an Amazon product. Me personally, I use that targeting to get people into a mini-chat flow because I feel like a messenger objective. It can be, if you do it right, if you target well, can be very affordable compared to just trying to push people to a sale or the kind of the challenges and complications that arise when you’re trying to do track if you send it back to Amazon and all that stuff. Although there are tools out there that help with that, still, my objective would be to go into a Messenger campaign. So like that campaign, for example, might be a rebate campaign, and that’s where you’re offering people on Facebook the opportunity to try and ideally give you feedback about your product in exchange for either a partial or a full rebate. And then, that way, you can kind of stimulate some buying history, some demographic history—all good data from Facebook’s perspective. And then, also a sales velocity and sales history look really good from the Amazon perspective. So that’s just one example of a campaign that you could use that targeting for.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Awesome. All right, so thank you for that, and that’s just a little tease of what we can look forward to getting: some in-depth tutorials on from you as the time goes. So anyways, Anthony, welcome again to the team. It was great to get to know you a little bit more, a little bit about your history and what attracted you to Helium 10, and what you’re learning right now, and what you have in store for us. And thanks for that little Facebook advertising tip that I know a lot of people would be interested in. We’ll be seeing you soon over here at the office. Until then, please make sure though when you come here, please wear a little bit more clothing than you do on our video calls that we’ve been doing lately.
Anthony Lee: It’s so hot here! Oh my gosh, it’s so hot here.
Bradley Sutton: Yes. Yes. I thought you were part of a nudist colony at first, the first time you came on because it’s one of those string tank tops. It wasn’t like a full tank. I really couldn’t tell. Is he literally shirtless here on this video call? But anyway, that was actually the reason why we didn’t do a video podcast. I just wanted the audio. I didn’t want to be scared. All right. All right. Well, again, welcome to the team, Anthony. It’s going to be awesome. You don’t know how excited I am to have you here, and we’re going to do some awesome things together.
Anthony Lee: I am excited too. Thank you so much for the warm welcome and for having me on the Serious Seller Podcast again.
Bradley Sutton: Yup. And we’re going to have you co-host with me once you start coming to the office. I don’t like being by myself here and having to come up with all the questions and stuff. So it’d be great to have somebody cohost some of these episodes with me, so hopefully, you’ll be down for that guys.
Anthony Lee: I definitely will be.
Bradley Sutton: All right. We’ll see you soon.