Starting an Amazon Business
Starting an Amazon business made sense for Kristy Verity after learning about the Amazing Selling Machine (ASM) training course. She felt stuck in her corporate job and decided to make a change. Through the teachings of ASM, Verity started her own business selling physical products on Amazon.
Over the past four years, she has built her brand, launched multiple products, and sold millions of dollars in products internationally. Here, she offers her tips on product cost, product selection, launching additional products under your brand, reviews, and marketing with Amazon sponsored ads.
Amazing Selling Machine Paved the Way
Below, Kirsty Verity offers tips on selecting a product that only costs you a few dollars (so that your initial investment is low), obtaining reviews prior to using sponsored ads, tools to help get reviews as you launch, and selecting products your brand followers want.
Amazon Seller Business Tips
- When looking for more products, aim for those that have the potential to do the same kind of business as your first product. Then use the same techniques to make that product a success. Do this over and over again with new products.
- Focus on building a brand. Verity does not sell a wide variety of items in different categories, because she has found that people like buying a brand that they fully understand. Keep it streamlined. Know who you are talking to, and what kind of language you need to speak.
- Don’t spend a lot of money on fancy packaging. Instead, invest in quality products, professional photography, etc. People just rip the packaging off anyway.
- If you’re going to make changes to a product, don’t make such drastic changes that customers can’t recognize it, or that the price to make those changes is really high. Keep it simple.
- Focus on return on investments. Get your money back in your pocket as quickly as possible.
- Wait to use Amazon sponsored ads until you have at least three reviews in the US market. You can use ranking tools like Viral Launch to help get a few reviews to get your going.
Keep in mind that whatever you buy, you will sell at a higher price.
Start with one product. Verity herself didn’t add a second product for another six or eight months.
Instead of adding tons of products, Verity decided that launching the same product in multiple countries would get her the kind of business she wanted. This way she could focus on fewer products but in more marketplace.
Because she was selling in international marketplaces, Verity was able to launch the same product three different times, rather than introducing any new products. She first launched in the UK, then the US market, and then Europe after that. Then she did the same thing with a second product. This allowed for easy expansion.
The first three months involved a lot of hard work and trial and error. With information she obtained from an ASM event, she implemented some changes that worked for her business and the business took off. From there, all she had to do was maintain.
Success is all about reaching personal goals and staying focused on doing something well.
Everyone has a different story of what worked for them, but you have to know yourself. What works with your lifestyle? It will take time to make money. You will need infrastructure, teams, you’ll have to manage those teams.
Don’t get overwhelmed by other people’s success. Use it as inspiration.
Make sure you remember what your goals are, and don’t worry about someone else moving ahead of you. Just move at your own pace, and do what makes you feel comfortable.
The Millionaire Wanderer – Meet This World Traveler Who Started Selling on Amazon 4 Years Ago – Video Transcript
Mike McClary: Hey, everyone. Mike McClary here. Welcome to another session of the Facebook Live here at Amazing.com, along with the Amazing Selling Machine. Today, I have an awesome guest with me. Her name is Kirsty Verity. She does, not only millions of dollars in sales on both the Amazon market in United States as well as in the Europe, but she’s also selling live in front of thousands of Amazon sellers. I have an interesting thing that you might want to know about her and I’ll probably bug her about that little later as well.
First off, before we get to Kirsty, I want to welcome everyone to the call. Thanks for joining this Facebook Live. We have so many people been watching these and asking for more of them. If you are enjoying these live sessions and you want to see previous ones that we’ve done, then you can see all the recorded ones we have right here on the Amazing.com Facebook page. You’ll see all kinds of workshops we’ve had with myself, Matt Clark, Jason Katzenback, Rich Henderson where we show you live in real-time how we’re doing certain things in our Amazon businesses, like sourcing products, and finding suppliers, and ranking products, and running advertising campaigns. We also have several other interviews with other awesome, super fantastic, successful Amazon sellers just like Kirsty.
Also, if you want to see a free training series we put together that has four different videos on how to start your own Amazon business, check out AmazingSellingMachine.com. In there you’ll see one video entire workshop on how to find the perfect product and in there we give you 100 products that already meet our product criteria. Then, in the second video, we also show you how to find the right supplier, because even you find the right product doesn’t do you any good if you’re in your basement making these products yourself, you need to find manufacturers who are looking for you and already making products just like the ones you want to sell on Amazon.
Then, in the third video, we show you how to launch and rank those products so that your products are showing up on the first page of Amazon, just like all the other big products out there. Then, in the fourth video, that free training series, we show you how to automate and scale this business model as quickly as possible by joining the full Amazing Selling Machine as well.
Definitely, if you haven’t yet checked out the free training, head on over there after this Facebook Live and check it out. It’s great content. We get compliments on it all the time. There’s so much free information we give away and definitely check it out, if you haven’t done that yet. However, if you’re going to do that, wait till after this interview because I want to bring on a good friend of mine and, again, a super successful seller that I’ve known now for probably four years, a little longer than that.
Her name is Kirsty Verity. I always have to ask her where she’s at because she travels so much. She’s really taken a hold of this lifestyle and takes advantage of it to travel with her boyfriend all over the world. She helps coach people. She does training. She does seminars. She has multiple successful Amazon brands, like I said before, she’s selling in the US and overseas in Europe.
Kirsty, I want to welcome you to the call. Thanks so much for joining us. There we go. We can see you now, too. Welcome to the call, Kirsty. It’s great to see you again.
Kirsty Verity: Nice to see you, Mike. Hi, everybody on the call.
Mike McClary: I know we’ve done this a couple times before, because you’re always a fantastic person to talk to, because your story resonates with so many people, so I want to start off and talk about what were you doing before you started your own Amazon business.
Kirsty Verity: Yes. I was working in a corporate job, if you like, as we call it that. I’ve been in that kind of role for the last … God, I’m old now, right? For about 20 years. I just really loved it and it was actually marketing. Obviously, I’m originally from England and then I moved to Australia, which is great.
But I just got to this point where I just kept feeling like I was on like a gravy train or, what they call it, a rat race of just doing stuff for stuff’s sake. I had loads of ideas about what I think we could really do to change the business itself. But none of those were being taken up because, essentially, you know what happens in those roles is that the higher you get the less kind of power you have, because you’ve just got decision makers at the top that just make those decisions for you.
I was just getting really, really frustrated. I was actually getting a bit depressed. I’m not really a depressed person, but I just felt every time I drove to work every day, I just felt like I just didn’t want to be there. I remember one time actually just driving past the office going and sitting in a cafe for a bit and just thinking, okay, I better go and work now. It’s like nearly 10 o’clock. Just kind of grinding. Just feeling like I needed to grind, which felt really bad for me. I had this like conversation in my head, with myself saying, “Well, look, stop feeling like this.” Then I’m like, “Yeah, but you do feel like this.” I’m like, “Yeah, but stop feeling like this.” It was just like this constant argument with myself.
I just knew I needed to do something different. It’s funny the other thing was even though I had a great salary, on paper, my life looked brilliant on paper, but I just never had any money. I couldn’t buy a house. I was spending all the cash that I was making from it on a salary on myself to try and get myself out of the depression. You know what mean? So, massages, I was spending a shedload on clothes and stuff, which sounds, oh, why would you buy yourself a lot of clothes. But basically, it was just like a drug for me, just going out a lot. I just felt crap. I just knew I needed to do something different and that’s when I started to look into, well, what else could I do?
Mike McClary: I think that story probably resonates with a lot more people than you think. Yeah, it’s easy. I mean, you and I are very similar. We both had corporate jobs. On paper, we look like we’re very successful and happy, but there’s just something missing. I get that being down and depressed because you don’t really feel like you have the freedom or know what you’re doing, or you don’t have control.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: By the way, for all the family members watching, she said “shedload,” S-H-E-D. It’s an English term, not what some people might have thought she said.
Kirsty Verity: No, it’s a shed.
Mike McClary: This was a little more four years ago, correct?
Kirsty Verity: Yes.
Mike McClary: All right.
Kirsty Verity: Actually, it’s nearly five years ago. I started [inaudible 00:07:02], same as you. But when I started looking for something different, it was actually two years before that. I tried lots of different things. Aside from my journey, if you know what I mean, I looked into real estate, but I didn’t have any money to buy any properties. I looked into share trading and, God knows why I did that, because it’s just like, whatever, bitcoin now even, you know.
Then, I looked into eBay. That worked to a certain extent, but it just wasn’t automated, you just, yeah, to send all the stock direct to warehousing. Also, that platform, I think, even today, is just still seen as a swapping platform as opposed to it’s a real platform where you can buy real stuff.
Then I started trying to do my own websites. It was just at that time when the whole Google thing changed. I bought a course on how to do it and then the whole rules changed, if you like. Again, I had to drive what we call driving traffic. I had to get people to go to the website to see my stuff and then buy.
Then that’s when I saw the Amazon opportunity, which made complete sense in terms of … The key issues that I’d had with all the other stuff was, having a lot of cash, well, you don’t need a lot of cash upfront because you buy your stock, you’re going to sell it for more than what you bought it for so you’re going to make some profit. Amazon send all the stuff, sorry, send all the people to Amazon. It’s like going to Walmart. It’s like getting your stuff into Walmart and then they do everything for you, as well through FBA, Fulfilled by Amazon, which solves the eBay problem, if you like.
Because I’d started to sell some stuff on eBay, but I was literally like bagging the stuff up, posting in the post office on the way to work, going and doing my corporate meetings and then coming back over leveraging stuff.
Mike McClary: You could never really scale an eBay business like that?
Kirsty Verity: No. No, definitely. Without even more cash and more … For me, going through that journey of understanding what I wanted to do differently, as you said earlier, freedom. That was it for me. I went to all these, I’m like a self-help junkie now. Right? I went to all these kind of seminars upfront to just work out what it was that was missing because, as you said, on paper, looks great. But really, the key thing that was missing for me was freedom of time. When I started looking to real estate and all the other stuff, it didn’t give me the freedom of time. It actually just anchored me in another spot.
As I said, I went through that journey, that’s when I started the business, especially like an online business which is when I went to websites and stuff. But that’s harder to achieve than the Amazon side where, basically, as long as you’ve got a good step-by-step system you can naturally get the right products, brand them, sell them, and Amazon do all that crap stuff that you don’t want to be doing, like sending out to customers.
Yeah. That’s when I just went pinching the kids. I really wanted to, even though I loved my life in terms of my friends, I just wanted to be able to travel the world when I wanted to. That seemed like an awesome goal at that point, right? That was my vision board and cut out my stuff from magazines, stuck it on a board. I was like, that’s what I want my life to be like.
I think once you’ve worked that out, it becomes very … it’s like a switch that pops on in your head that it just steers you to the words, the right thing, I think.
Mike McClary: What was it like then? I mean, that’s an amazing story. I think it’s a journey a lot of the people who we know are successful now had been on as well.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: It’s important to get there, kind of go through your own journey to find it. But for you though, what was it actually like to start then? So you moved away from eBay and you’re getting ready to start selling in Amazon, you took the training, I was involved in the exact same training, of course, you were, what was it actually like starting out? Did it take a long time? How many products did you have? Tell us a little bit about that.
Kirsty Verity: Yes. To be honest, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t want to think: I want a million dollar business. I didn’t start out with that. I just started out with I want to test this out and just see how it goes. For me, as well, what I don’t like is too much choice. Even when I go to a restaurant, I’m like, just give me three dishes that are good and I’m just going to pick or I’ll get a waiter to choose. Right?
I was like, I want to really narrow down an area that I enjoy myself and that I think I can kind of have some passion about. That for me was fitness. I wasn’t a personal trainer, but I was into doing that at that time. I was like, “Well, slam.” I was like, “Right. Okay, I’m going to stick there and then I’m just going to essentially watch the video.” I did, obviously, the Amazing Selling Machine, which gives you the step-by-step videos on what to do. I just thought just take one video at a time. Literally, watch the video, write down what you need to do, do it and then move to the next one.
Actually, that really helped take away some of the nervousness, I think, because you’re not spending hours and hours and hours on YouTube and different webinars and stuff like that to work out what you need to do. It’s like, okay, these guys know what they’re doing. I’m just going to follow what they did. Right? That’s what I did and I just didn’t second-guess it. I was like, “Right. That looks like a good one based on what they’ve told me. That’s in the area that I want to do. Yeah.”
The other key thing for me was I didn’t want to spend too much money. I wanted it to be reasonable. I was like, I don’t want to go for anything that’s above a couple of dollars in terms of the cost of the product just because I didn’t see as this is the one product that I’m going to make millions on. I just saw it as this is a product that I’m going to start with and just see what happens. I wanted to like a small budget to be able to start that process. That’s was my criteria. That made me comfortable about actually starting.
Mike McClary: Where were you living at this time, I always forget?
Kirsty Verity: Bali.
Mike McClary: Bali.
Kirsty Verity: Yes. The other thing I did was that, because I’d gone through that journey of trying to find out lots of different vehicles and I happened on this one, I’d gone through a lot of learning. I just knew when I got to this that it was going to work. I don’t know why. I just thought, you know what, it solves all the problems that I had in other stuff. I’d had some success, I’ve just proven that it worked in terms of buying something, selling it for a higher price. I was like, “That just makes sense to me.” Right?
I just thought, you know what, for me to get really focused on this, I’m going to take a punt. I went to my supervisor at the time, my manager, and negotiated down my roles. Like said, there was three people doing the similar job to me, we negotiated the roles down to two roles. I basically talked myself out of the job, which gave me a severance pay, or a redundancy pay, as we call it in the UK, but severance I think in the US.
That gave me a little bit of a buffer in my head because I was like, “Great. This will give me some cash to live on.” This is drastic, right? This is what I wanted to do and just to clear my head. Literally, I left work on the Friday and I left on the Monday, left the country.
Mike McClary: Oh, my gosh, because you were in Australia at that time.
Kirsty Verity: I was in Australia at that time, yeah, then I went to Bali. I just didn’t want any distractions. I just wanted to, like I said, do the videos, work it out, be in a nice spot. It was cheap, right. It was cheap to live and just have no distractions. And that’s what I did. I know other people they do the same thing, but what they do is they make sure that they’ve got like a haven of no distractions. They’ll block out time and they might go to a different environment. They might go to a cafe or something like that. You can still achieve that, you don’t have to leave the country. I was just a bit drastic. But there’s ways of achieving that. I think it’s important that you don’t get too distracted by other things. If you’ve allocated an amount of time you work through this, the stuff, achieve what you need to achieve for that day, and then you move on to the next thing the next day.
Mike McClary: Great way of putting it. I believe, now that I’m remembering you told us this before, you actually did something we don’t recommend doing, because we always recommend for new sellers: be sure you see your very first product, kind of touch it, feel it, use it before you send to Amazon. What did you do?
Kirsty Verity: No. I just saw a picture and I went, “It looks alright.” Because I didn’t know what it’s going to be. I don’t know which hotel or whatever. I was like, “Yeah. It looks good to me. It’d be fine.” So I just sent it to Amazon, and it was good. It was fine. Yeah.
Mike McClary: That really is just having faith that this is going to work out. That’s awesome.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: You started with one product, right?
Kirsty Verity: Yes. Yes.
Mike McClary: At what point, do you remember, when you launched your next or second product?
Kirsty Verity: Actually, I mean, the next part it wasn’t for another good six months. Yeah, six to eight months, actually. What I did was I actually launched in the UK. I started in the US and then I actually launched the same product in the UK about seven months, six months later. Rather than getting a new product, I actually just took the same thing and launched it in the UK. Then, the third thing I did was launched that into Germany. I had three marketplaces, if you like, or three audiences with the same thing. That’s kind of how I did it and then I launched a second product after that.
Mike McClary: That’s awesome. That’s another way to expand, either more products or more marketplaces.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: At what point then really … so you launched your second product, sometimes six months after your first one, you’re selling in other markets, at what point did you really realize that this was going to be a significant source of income for you?
Kirsty Verity: To be honest, it was actually after about three months of when I’d launched the product. The first three months were a bit more of a grind, trying to work out what works, what doesn’t work. I mean, especially at the time when we did the course, if you like, starting on this business. It was a bit of trial-and-error because, in terms of being able to rank key products and get people to see them, there wasn’t a lot of information out there, so just learning that process. That took about three months.
Then, I just hit this, it was almost like a slipstream. Right? It just started to work, like really take off, the product really started to take off. I grind it to get to about $10,000 a month revenue and then after that it just went bosh. That’s an English term. I like, bosh. It got up to, say, the first three months.
Actually, I went to the ASM event in Austin where we met up. Then I listened to the speakers there. I took away two things I wanted to do and I implemented that, and then it literally just started to really sort of take off and maintain. Then I’ve got in January, so let’s say, I launched in the October, up to Christmas, it got to 10,000 a month. Then, from January, it jumped to 30,000 a month with that one product in more market, and then it just kept moving. That’s when I went, “Whoa, this is awesome.”
I remember sitting down and just saying, “If I just did this four times I’d have a million dollar business.” So that’s what I did. I just went, right, okay, I’m just going to find four more products that basically do the same as this one. Or, I think it was a bit less, actually. I was trying to be conservative. I was like, right, if I just do four, I don’t know say, $10,000 a month or how many units a day and do it four times, then it’s a million bucks. That’s the kind of goal I set myself and said, “Right. This year, that’s what I want to do.”
Mike McClary: That is amazing. I’m going to put a pin in that thought real quick, so I’m going to ask take off right from there. For everyone just joining the call right now, welcome. I’m Mike McClary. This is Kirsty Verity. This is another Facebook Live session from Amazing.com and Amazing Selling Machine. We’re here, if you join us later, late after this, don’t worry, we’re actually going to have this recorded. As a matter of fact, all the Facebook lives are automatically recorded. If you hopped on late stay on here, ask questions. I’m going to open the floor up for questions near the end of this call. If you want to go back and watch the beginning, within a few minutes of this video being over, it’s going to automatically show up on our Facebook page and you’ll see the full thing.
Also, be sure to like this and share this, if you don’t mind, with as many people as possible. We always want to share exactly what we’ve done, other stories of success like Kirsty with as many people as possible.
Kirsty, back to that, so you had one product, you got kind of grind in the beginning to get up to $10,000 in sales a month. I know it’s kind of funny, people like us sometimes think, “Wow. You only got to $10,000 a month.” But, oh my god, $10,000 a month in sales. It’s crazy.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, I know. Yeah, you’re right. I mean, we were just saying earlier, I was like, it’s good to go back and think about this stuff because sometimes you forget like how it was in the beginning. Yeah. Actually, to be fair, the $10,000 a month, I was like, “This is going to work because that’s going to replace my salary. That was my goal, was just not having to go back to that corporate job, never having to go back in that again, and just proving to myself that this can be done.” If it can be done once, it can be done again, and again, and again.
I mean, that’s the beauty of a product-based business, is that what you’re doing is you’re building a brand and what you’re doing is you’re actually just taking the same process and applying it to something else. It just … yeah. That’s how we can be exponential.
Mike McClary: Yeah. Speaking of exponentially, if people are listening to this right now, you’re talking about you have the one product $10,000 a month, you wanted to find four products, each doing the same, getting to be about 10,000 a month each. However, I happen to know you.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: I happen to know how you’ve been putting a lot of your mental energy into this business, not so much time because you’re always busy traveling. Would you mind sharing, last year, what do you think was your biggest month in revenue, dollars wise.
Kirsty Verity: Definitely, actually, November and December. Yeah, November and December. I mean, they just went off. They were like $800,000.
Mike McClary: Close to $1 million a month, in one month in the holiday season.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: Okay. I think that you’ve met your criteria, finding four products doing $10,000 a month then.
Kirsty Verity: Oh, yeah. At the moment, I mean, I’ve actually reduced back my range. I’m only at 10 products right now in the different marketplaces. It’s not like you need … I know a lot of people that have a lot of different products and they sell a lot of those. My criteria was I don’t want to be having to manage all that stuff. Right. I just want to do something really well and really understand it really well. So that you can maintain that versus having lots and lots of different things. Like I said, I don’t like too much choice, so focus for me works well. For other people, it’s different, but for me, that’s a good criteria.
Mike McClary: That’s great. I think it’s the markets changed. A lot of us went through that same process where the goal was to launch as many products as possible, 40, 50 products. We went through that. Then, I don’t know if you actually went down that path a little bit.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: We noticed that it seemed to be the top 10, 15 products were bringing in all the revenue. Why focus all that energy on sales. Was that something you’d went through also?
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s probably the cycle, right? It was year two, I think year two, two-and-a half, something like that. I was like, “Brilliant. I’m just going to bosh loads of products out.” It’s like spinning the plates I kind of like get them all and then all of a sudden if I wasn’t watching this one that plate was dropping. So I was kind of like doing a bit of this. So, yeah, I just was like, right, okay.
It’s important to know I think what you want out of life because there’s always more you can do and there’s always more aspiration. You’re going to listen to a lot of people that’s doing a lot of different things. I think it’s important for you to really understand what you want so that you can apply the different processes and strategies, if you like, to that. But knowing deep down that it’s okay if, I don’t know, Dave over here is doing 30 million a year. Right? It’s okay if you’re not, as long as you’re happy with your lifestyle and what it affords you, because the more you put on your plate the less time you have.
That’s the one thing that I found because I started out this lifestyle goal. I achieved the goal and then I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to do more stuff. Then I was like, “Wait a minute, I’m not doing the goal anymore.” So then I’m going to bring it back a bit.
I think we all go through that phase as well, right? We all kind of aspirationally look to others, which is great and it’s great for inspiration, but I think just keep at the heart of what you want as their driver.
Mike McClary: Yeah, so true. I mean, we always talk about how this can be a lifestyle business and, for so many people, it is. But if you want to blow it up and build a $20 or 30 million a year business, you can do that but it is going to take time and to do that. You’re absolutely right.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, and more infrastructure, right? You’re going to need bigger teams, you’re going to have to manage those teams, you’re going to have to do all that stuff. That’s great. I mean, some people really want to go for that. That’s fantastic. I think the key point is don’t get overwhelmed by other people’s success. Take it as an inspiration, but just keep it to yourself in terms keep real, keep yourself real. Right? Rather than worrying too much.
Mike McClary: That’s great advice. I know we have a lot of people watching this call right now who are existing ASM8 members and ASM7. I see Traian Ichim. I see Lisa Paolo. Welcome to the call. They’re actually already inside the course. Awesome to have you guys on. I love all the coaching calls we’ve had. Kirsty’s advice is so timeless. Make sure you remember what your goals are and do not worry about someone else moving ahead of you, just move at your own pace.
For all the people who are not Amazon sellers, Kirsty’s advice is great and her history’s great too. Remember where she was when she started off, she wanted to just hit a certain level. She did that and now look at her, she’s kind of going crazy.
Speaking of you quitting your job five years ago, we were chatting for this call and Kirsty actually shared really exciting news for me about someone else in her life that means a lot to her. Tell us a little bit about that.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah. Actually, through this journey as well, I met my boyfriend. Guys, if you’re looking for love, you can do that as well. Yeah. Right now, I’m in Montreal in Canada, which is where he’s from. Yeah. He’s just quit his job. He started this about three years ago working full time. He’s actually a scientist, so very different, very different kind of journey, if you like. It doesn’t have to be marketing, for instance.
Yeah. He quit in January and now we were just saying, it’s quite funny, because he’s grinding to get out of bed to finish his last days, if you like. But, yeah, he finishes next Wednesday. That’s brilliant as well. I mean, he’s done awesome in the last couple of weeks at least years just to kind of get that moving, at the same time as he’s been working as well.
Mike McClary: That is awesome. Six days away from quitting his job.
Kirsty Verity: Yep.
Mike McClary: All right. Tell him I said congratulations, by the way. That’s fantastic. We actually are getting a lot of questions here. I want to make sure that I have everything here. We already talked about launching in Europe. Before we get to some of the member question here, people watching this, I want to kind of ask you your strategy for launching additional products. Some people are very methodical about it. They wait till they get to a certain amount they’re doing with one product before they launch another one. Some people don’t care, they want to just find something in their niche or category. What was your plan for launching additional products?
Kirsty Verity: Yeah. Now, if you like, what I like to do is I don’t like to launch too many, as we spoke about. I have a plan of one a quarter, that works well for me. For me, it’s really about looking into the niche that … I mean, so I build a brand, I don’t like sell lots of different things in lots of different categories, I mean there might be in two different category but they’re all part of the same brand, if that makes sense.
For instance, one product might be in the health category and one product might be in sports and outdoors, but they’re all part of the same brand. The reason for that is because not only are you building a brand and that the customers going to really understand that brand or the consumer. Also, if you want, and this is something that I’m looking into right now, is actually selling the business in the future, and one thing that I’ve found out is the fact that if you were trying to sell a business it’s a lot easier to sell a brand than what is to actually sell lots of different products and lots of different categories. So, I think that’s good. I didn’t know that at the time, but that’s kind of a good reason to do as well.
Now the key reason I did that was probably my background in terms of I was a marketer. It made sense to me to position products to a certain type of person. What I mean by that is, if you’re in fitness, you can sell the same products, but you can be for runners or the same product could actually be for gym junkies. Right?
I just decided to position it to a certain crew, if you like, and it just makes it a lot easier to write your listings, to do your imagery, you’ve got one logo to do, you’ve got one design element to do. It just gives you a lot more clarity about what you’re going to do everyday. Who you’re speaking to? What kind of language are you going to use? It just streamlines a lot of that thinking.
I think one of the things about this business is there’s so much you can do, which is fantastic. That there’s so much out there, so much abundance, that people feel overwhelmed, too much choice. Once you narrow it down to a specific nature, specific customer, you just get rid of all that other noise You’re just really focused on that one thing. Then, I pick products based on around that customer rather than does it sell well on Amazon?
There’s so much stuff that sells well on Amazon. You could just spend years, decades, centuries launching stuff. Right? But you want to get up every morning, know exactly what you’re doing, and then enjoy your life rather than worrying too much about am I going to launch today. I hope that answers the question, but that’s-
Mike McClary: That does. It sounds like, if I had to shorten it, you focused on who your customer was and what they would need and want.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah. Then use the tools to help me find the products that are going to satisfy that customer.
Mike McClary: Awesome. Now that’s a great, great answer. There are several different strategies out there and I had never asked that question before, so I’m glad I had a chance to. I want to get to a few questions here before. I start answering though, I know I can see already that we have, like I said, a lot of people who actually are ASM members. We have a lot of people also who probably have not sold on Amazon yet.
If you’re watching this video and you are a member of the Amazing Selling Machine, if you don’t mind, just put ASM in the comments here. That way I’m going to try looking for them all and see how many people are actually already members kind of just watching this. Put ASM in the comments, just hit OK, and I’m going to look at those later on.
As far as when questions go, let’s see. We’re going to get to the first one here. David Kazakov says, “Love ASM live videos. Awesome.” Thanks, David. Todd Coppen says, “I heard you speak in Vegas at ASM4.” She did a great job. He’s curious, “Did you invest money or spend money in learning how to copyright. Do you have any advice that you can get in regards to writing up features and benefits of a product?”
Kirsty Verity: I didn’t actually invest in copywriting, but what I like to do is focus really what the benefit is rather than the feature itself. So you can start with the feature, I’m just trying to think what it would be right now. Right. Okay. This is weird. Weirdly. This is brain octane softgels. Right? This is not my problem, by the way. What you can see here is, what they’ve done is they’ve focused on the benefit, which is digestion and cognition. Rather than when you write your listing, you say what it is, so it’s got brain octane in it, you say it “fantastic for digestion and cognition,” something like that. That’s the start of your benefit.
Because to do that, what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to get the customer to actually read the listing and say, “Okay. That’s what I need,” so therefore, that’s going to give me that benefit versus the feature being the ingredient, they might not even know what the ingredient is. They just want the benefit of that ingredients, right? If that makes sense.
Mike McClary: Yeah. Awesome, awesome advice. Yeah, thank you. Fruzsina Varga is asking, “Do you use a freight company to get products to the US? Because she’s asking if she needs to use one at all.
Kirsty Verity: Yes, I definitely do. Everything I make is in China and, yeah, we use a freight company to do that. Actually, there’s a funny story, which Mike will remember. This is when I didn’t use a freight company and it got stuck. The supplier sent me the US, it got completely stuck in Customs. I had no idea that I had to use a freight company, because when I launched my first product I just airfreighted it and the manufacturer sorted the airfreight out. I just thought, “Okay, cool, that’s what happens.”
This one I had to send me by sea because it was too big. Yeah, I had no idea about a freight company. It got stuck in customs I ended up having to call you and just said, “What can I do? I’ve got no idea what to do?” You helped me out. You actually got me a freight company, if you like, to get it out for me. Yeah, definitely.
Mike McClary: I love being able to tell you that I played a significant role in you becoming so successful.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, exactly.
Mike McClary: I would use that to the end of our days. But, yeah, definitely. If anyone else has questions on freight forwarders, check out the AmazingSellingMachine.com page. We also have a link to it at the very top of this video pinned. Video number two, we talked about using freight forwarders, the importance of them, and how they make your life so much easier.
Also, if you watch that video, you can get a downloadable mp4 of me interviewing my personal freight forwarder, the Ram International. I have no compensation for saying that. I just like sharing their name out there because they always take really good care of me. It’ll talk about all the questions that I had for them because I had common questions, too. Do I need a freight forwarder? Do I need to have a corporation? Do I need an EIN? How do I figure out what the right tax codes are? They answer a lot of those questions in that interview. That’s free. We’re not selling. Go out there and just get it for free and listen to it if you want to.
All right. Todd Coppen is saying, “Mike she is crazy, but in a good kind of way.” Totally agree. Sana Munawar is asking something a very specific question about his packaging. “My supplier is charging $1.50 for inserts and a nice box. Do you think it’s worth that nice packaging or do you think they’re overcharging me with that packaging and inserts?”
Kirsty Verity: I mean, it really depends what it’s made of, right? Generally, if you’re going for high-grade cardboard and it’s gloss finish, some people I know will put velvet in their boxes and all that stuff, then that’s going to cost you a lot more. $1.50 just sound quite high. I mean, I’m not sure what he’s selling, but that’s just sound very high. I mean, an insert really, you only … I mean, I get inserts like five cents tops. I really just want 30 cents packaging.
I actually started off with a very ornate packaging. If you think about it, you need that when it’s on a shelf in a supermarket. Right? You go into Walmart or whatever, that’s what jumps off at you at the shelf, is the packaging. Now on Amazon, it’s a bit different because, Amazon, it’s all about your listing. That’s the thing that people see. So, I invest more in the listing. I’ll invest more in photography, I’ll invest more in lifestyle shots versus the packaging itself. I’ll make sure that it’s got good branding I’ll make sure that it’s functional. But really when the customer gets it, the first thing they do is rip off the packaging; they’ve already made the decision.
Think of it that way. That’s the way. Then I started to think differently about what my packaging should look like. It should definitely be functional. It should definitely have your logo on it and have all the relevant information and look nice. But I don’t think you need to go overboard with over-engineering the packaging itself.
Mike McClary: Totally agree, especially starting off. Another thing, Sana, keep in mind that if you’re getting a very low MOQ for your first order, sometimes your supplier has to buy a lot of packaging because they’re not the packaging maker. So, that’s one of the reasons they may be charging you more also. Because if you buy 10,000 of them, they probably get it for 30 cents, but if you’re only buying a couple hundred that can also increase the price for them.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah. The other thing is colors as well. I know the more colors you put into the packaging, then it’s going to cost you more. The printing costs just go crazy as well.
Mike McClary: Good. Great point. David wants to know, “Kirsty, what main categories are you selling in and how have your preferences changed over time?”
Kirsty Verity: Well, I’m in sports and I’ve haven’t changed. I mean, that’s what I do. I mean, in terms of categories, every category has its gems, right? At the end of the day, the way that ASM teach the step-by-step process. You can find any product that can sell with that criteria at the end of the day. That’s why I always say, I found this even with working with people, coaching people, that as soon as we switch them to an area that they’re familiar with, an area that they enjoy, an area that they feel confident about talking about, then that’s when they really start to get clarity and get in focus.
If you’re struggling with a category, that’s what I would suggest you do, is just think about what do I like generally? It’s funny I did this with a guy and he was, “I don’t like anything.” “Well, you must like something. Come on.” I was like, “Just go ahead and write a list of 20 stuff that you love.” Then we eventually got down to the nitty-gritty and he enjoyed and liked cooking and then he also had a specific culture that was his background. Then we put the two together and said, “Right. What about this?”
He was like, “Oh, that wasn’t right.” I just think if you’re struggling, just do that process. Write 20 stuff down that you actually enjoy and then you can usually … something will jump out with you on the page and just focus on that area.
Mike McClary: That’s great advice. Right along that line, Cent La is asking, “What’s the best way to find the best product? How do you research and find products?”
Kirsty Verity: Well, I don’t know if … Sorry, what was the name?
Mike McClary: Cent.
Kirsty Verity: Cent. I don’t know if they’re only an ASM or not, but-
Mike McClary: It doesn’t look like it.
Kirsty Verity: No? Okay, yeah. Obviously, ASM have got like a specific criteria in terms of how you do it. I mean, really what we’re looking for is high volume products on Amazon and there are ways to have a look at that. We’re looking for things that are not too competitive. Right? We’re looking for things that don’t have, looking for products in areas where the competition doesn’t have lots and lots of reviews, but they’re selling a decent amount per day. That’s kind of essentially the criteria. I think you guys with the video series has got how to do it. Right?
Mike McClary: Yeah. I was going to say that, if you’re an Amazing Selling Machine member, then you already know all the in-depth criteria we go through. If you’re not, you want to see one of our free training videos, under this video you’ll see a link. The very first training video on AmazingSellingMachine.com go through the criteria that we look for and that Kirsty looks for, and that I look for for finding the right product.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: Go check that out and you’ll see exactly the criteria that we look for.
Kirsty Verity: I think the beauty of this process is, again don’t second-guess the process. So many people have done this process, right? Don’t second-guess that because this is what I see people doing all the time. They do it and then they’re like, “Well, I’ve seen this thing, but what I’m going to do is I’m going to change it. I’m going to change it in some way so that so there it’s almost unrecognizable. I’m going to add a lot of costings to the product, and then I’m going to launch it.”
Usually, what happens there is that you’re selling something that someone actually doesn’t want. Right? Because you’ve changed the thing so much because you think it’s better than everything else. Then now people just don’t want to buy it because they don’t need that thing. They just need the thing that you based it off in the first place.
I see so many people doing that time and time again. So just keep it simple, find the thing already sells, repackage it into a brand that your customer loves, and just go with that, and don’t think overthink it.
Mike McClary: Great advice. Andrea Willman just said, “A little birdie told me that you’re the queen of keep it simple principle.”
Kirsty Verity: Oh, there you go. Yeah.
Mike McClary: She actually said that she believes you have some spreadsheets available that you use to help keep yourself focused. Is that right?
Kirsty Verity: Yeah. I have a lot of spreadsheets that … and they’re not too overwhelming. They’re just simple adult spreadsheets. But I like to focus on, I call it “return on investment,” which is the product. We choose the products then look at what makes you money obviously, but then also what gives you the biggest return.
If I buy this for 10 cents and I know I can sell 100 of them for $10, then I’m going to get a bigger return than, say, this that I buy for $5 and I can sell 20 a day or something like that. Right. So the actual dollar amount, and I might sell this for $30, I might sell this to 10, but the actual dollar amount might be higher in terms of revenue, but your return on investment is better on this one. Yeah. I like to look at those criteria because I want my money back quicker in my pocket.
Mike McClary: Cash flow is very important in this business.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah.
Mike McClary: Jersey Dille wants to know, “Do you still have the red Honda Accord for sale?”
Kirsty Verity: Red Honda Accord? Are you talking about the charade?
Mike McClary: I don’t know.
Kirsty Verity: I don’t know. Yeah. That car, if this is the one that’s all they’re talking about, I have red Honda, a red charade, and yeah I actually pay someone to come and pick it up because it was that crap. Unfortunate, no, it’s probably in some crappy yard somewhere.
Mike McClary: Okay. We’re getting kind of close to the end of the time we have allotted for this. I try to get a few more questions still. Lisa, Lisa Paolo asked, “Right now, do you ship your products directly to Amazon?”
Kirsty Verity: Yes.
Mike McClary: Excellent. Okay, good deal. Then Lisa, just so you know, I know in the training for the first time you’re shipping, we always recommend having your first shipment sent like either to yourself, if you live in the United States; if you don’t, have them shipped to a freight forwarder who can check them out and then ship them off to Amazon directly. The very first product our first shipment is probably a little risky to send straight to Amazon. You can avoid that if you can, use a freight forwarder for that.
Once you get in you’re selling for a year or two, then absolutely if your supplier is used to doing it and you have a really good freight forwarder you can definitely at that point send your product straight to Amazon.
Then, Tammy’s asking, “Where do we get this interview the freight forwarder? Check out the link under this video AmazingSellingMachine.com you’ll see the very first training video in that series. Actually it’s the second training video in the series that will have a downloadable link of me interviewing my freight forwarder. That’s how you can get it.
Let’s see, some of these are a little bit more in-depth we can get to. Let’s see, Todd’s asking, “You said that you invest a lot of time in the listing.” He’s already done that. “My new product will be live on Monday.” Congratulations. That’s awesome. “Do you recommend using Amazon sponsored ads right away?” Because he’s worried about conversion, and I’m assuming because they don’t have a lot of reviews yet.
Kirsty Verity: Generally, what I do is that I’ll do ads when I’ve got like three reviews. I won’t do it with no reviews, in the US specifically. In the EU markets, I tend to do it with no reviews because it’s a lot easier over there like to start to get traction because there’s less competition. So, yeah, try and get three reviews and then I will start Amazon sponsored ads. But before that I will use a ranking tool, something like viral launch, et cetera, to help me boost, get a couple of reviews, and then I’ll start my Amazon sponsored ads after that.
Mike McClary: All right. Then we have one more question from Henriette Galloway, I believe she is ASM as of January. Welcome to the group. I remember the name. “I received a sample from my supplier and on the package I noticed patent pending. Does that mean the patent is in manufacturer and if they are, why would they offer to sell it to me?”
Kirsty Verity: Good question. Yeah. What I would do in that situation is I would just … You can go to Google Patents. So, literally Google Google patents and I think you’ll be able to, I think it’s got a number. If it’s got patent pending with a number, you might be able to find out what stage the patent is at. Now generally, what happens is, it’s usually, okay, if you change one small thing on the patent, on the product itself then it’s not going to be in breach of any patent. I don’t know if you’ve actually, if you bought the stock yet or anything, but I would check out what that patent is right now. Usually, you can tell straight away what it is.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, good advice. Definitely, check out Google Patents, Henriette. I would be very hesitant, that’s kind of a red flag to me. Also, ask your supplier, just be open, they should tell you whether it’s their patent or another person manufacturing it has the patent. Just ask them as well, but make sure you definitely feel comfortable with that issue before you place your order.
Mike McClary: Yeah. Okay. That’s all we have. I know we have a few more questions on here. I don’t know, Kirsty, if you want people to message you directly if they have any more questions, if that’s okay. Kirsty Verity, she’s right on Facebook.
Kirsty Verity: Yeah, definitely. Just Messenger me. Is that what we say these days?
Mike McClary: Yeah.
Kirsty Verity: Yes. Just message me if you’ve got any questions and, yeah, I’ll be happy to help for sure.
Mike McClary: Awesome. Kirsty, I want to thank you for the bottom my heart. It’s always great having you on these type of calls. I know we’ve done several of them. There’s a reason we bring you on because you’re not just a success story, you’re someone whose story resonates so many people. You’re willing to share the good, the bad, the truth. Basically, what it takes to get into this business. We really appreciate that. Are you going to be at SellerCon coming up in April?
Kirsty Verity: I will be there, yes.
Mike McClary: Awesome. Very cool. SellerCon is a live event that we have once maybe twice a year. It’s the biggest conference for Amazon sellers. If anyone on this call right now or watching this after the replay is a member of the Amazing Selling Machine, I highly recommend you check out SellerCon. You can go to sellercon.com. The convention will be April 6th through the 8th. It’s in Orlando, Florida. I’ll be down there. Kirsty will be down there. Rich, Jason, Matt, so many other people be down there. All networking and learning and some of us will be teaching as well. All about everything focused on Amazon.
Kirsty, I can’t wait to see you down there again. By the way, the last time we had one of these, we got Kirsty on stage and she sang, and it was awesome. Thank you so much, Kirsty. I want to remind everyone else watching this video here that if you join us late, the replay will be up shortly afterwards. Definitely check out this full interview if you didn’t get a chance at the beginning of it.
If you want to see other interviews with other people like Kirsty who also have had varying levels of success on Amazon, we have people who have done $10,000, $20,000 a month, we have people who have done over a million, $2 million a month on Amazon. They’re here to share their stories. We have them inside here on the Facebook page.
We also have the workshops, I mentioned before, that goes over all different types of things such as finding suppliers, finding products, launching, and ranking your product using Amazon’s own sponsored ads tools. Then, if you want to see our four-part training series completely free, it’s on the AmazingSellingMachine.com. That link is pinned here on this video as well. Again the training is completely for free. Go out there, check it out. It’ll give you a ton information on what it takes to start a business like this.
If you want to become a member of the Amazing Selling Machine, that forth video will walk you through that process as well now. At that point, that’s not free, that’s a full-blown eight-week course that I’m involved with. I do training for that, Rich Henderson does training for it, Matt Jason do training. We have weekly, I know we have coaching calls for our members we also have a whole bunch of other stuff too.
But first, check out the free training. There’s so much there. Then on the fourth video you can decide if you want to join up with Amazing Selling Machine and become one of our students like Henrietta just joined up less than a month ago.
I want to thank everyone for joining us here. This was so much fun. Our next one is going to be next Wednesday and it’ll be, I believe, at 11 a.m. I’m not quite sure, I think it’s 11 a.m. in the morning, next Wednesday. If you check out AmazingSellingMachine.com we actually have a live sessions page there too. It’ll tell you what it is. I’ll be interviewing another successful story with a great story.
Thank you so much for joining us, Kirsty. Thank you. I love you completely, can’t wait to see you. This is Mike McClary for Amazing Selling Machine. I hope to see as many of you inside the membership as soon as possible. Take care.
Disclosure: This member’s results may not be typical. ASM members joining between 2013-2016 who completed the program and launched a new brand had median annual revenue of $60,750.00 and median annual profit of $6,896.00.