Joel Wolh is not only a top-ranked Amazon seller, but he has also hacked the code to help anyone get top ranking on Amazon, which is almost a guarantee of success for any product-based business. In this episode, we pull back the curtain to see the inner workings of the Amazon platform, how it has changed over the years and how someone can leverage Amazon ads to build and grow a successful e-commerce business. We also talk about the struggle that many entrepreneurial minds face – short attention spans and constant growth seeking. Tune in to hear what happens when you grow too far, too fast and how to grow your business quickly without using up your limited bandwidth.
My Guest: Joel Wolh
Joel Wolh is both Amazon master and LinkedIn meet-up master, who gets tagged in more posts than we can count. At his day job, he owns and runs the largest private Amazon Ads service, Boutique Seller, which provides customized comprehensive and profitable Amazon PPC management. They also provide other boutique services for Amazon sellers including content creation, digital marketing and website development.
Started selling on Amazon about four years ago.
When Amazon ads first launched, Joel mastered it and started helping others.
In 2016, he dropped all his product-based sales and opened a service-based agency.
Started out helping friends (as customers), then began attending events, meeting people and constantly learning the latest hacks.
Realized that he knew more than the people he was learning from so went out on his own.
When you sell a product on Amazon, you are pushing on price. But when you sell a service, it is not a commodity so you need to push your skills and expertise instead.
Sponsored Amazon Listings
Ever noticed the word “Sponsored” next to the first three listings on Amazon? Here’s how it works:
- Amazon ranks sellers according to various metrics such as sales performance, feedback and reviews (and more, though no one knows the full list of metrics they use.) Notice that all are related to customer satisfaction.
- Sellers choose keywords for their products based on what customers would most likely search for. They can then bid for their listing to show as a sponsored ad when customers enter that keyword. For example, a seller with a product line of children’s umbrellas will bid for their listing to show when a keyword like “Girl’s Pink Umbrella” is searched for on Amazon.
- Amazon combines both their ranking metrics and the seller bids to decide which seller wins the sponsored ad spot. The seller’s bid has a higher value if they are ranked higher by Amazon. For example, even if a “B-ranked” seller bids $1, the “A-ranked” seller would still win with a bid of $0.80. This is because Amazon’s main concern is customer satisfaction and the A-Seller has proven to provide a better service.
Choosing a Niche
It is key when selling on Amazon to choose a niche and stick to it. Diverse product lines will only have you running to trade shows to source your product and not allow you to focus on developing your business.
In order to choose which product to niche down to, Joel advises one of two options:
- Sell something that is easily accessible to you. For example, if a relative or friend has a factory that could produce it for you.
- Choose something that you love and relate to and that you will be able to get really involved in.
Focus on multiple products within your product line (about 10-15), but don’t buy thousands of each. Only two or three products will really do well, but at this point you don’t know which ones. Start off with 50 – 100 units of each product so you don’t get stuck with excess inventory that you can’t sell.
Anyone can become a social media influencer on some level! Keep posting interesting and varied content about your industry, throwing in references to your business once in a while. Post consistently and your content will get seen until the message is absorbed. LinkedIn specifically is a business platform where people will go to look for an expert in an industry. Make sure they see that you know what you are doing!
Joel is a classic entrepreneur with the hallmark characteristics of ADHD – drive, energy and optimism but also lack of focus. He doesn’t have a long attention span and his mind is constantly thinking of new ideas to grow big and fast. However, building too fast often fails. How can Joel achieve that balance of constantly and quickly expanding, but in a stable and organic way, so that he is successful?
Joel can follow his big dreams and keep expanding his business, but he doesn’t have to do it all himself. He can keep coming up with his ideas, but rather than hiring and building from the ground up, Joel is partnering with companies that are already established and stable, and connecting with them for mutual benefit.
“Success is a duty, not an option.”
“Be like Trump and dumb it down.”
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