Driving traffic using social media and Amazon paid to advertise
Scaling your brand by adding multiple products
Table of Contents
Module 0: Welcome and Overview
The course starts at ground zero with Rich delivering the message on how to set up your Amazon seller account the right way, avoiding the common, sales-dropping mistakes.
getting a 40,000-foot view of the entire course
navigating the ASM Dashboard (Where the course content, Badges, and Q&A is located)
learning the only way to achieve amazing results
structuring your physical products business
suspension-proofing your amazon seller account
Got to hand it to Rich, he is very thorough. Of all the modules, module 0 seems like the longest as it feels like it drags on forever.
Rich covers everything from reiterating why Amazon is an excellent business to start now to a complete (and I mean COMPLETE) overview of the entire ASM dashboard.
ASM October Badge Earners
I found the intro to be a little long, possibly getting caught up in the weeds of the details, but overall, Rich did an excellent job laying the foundation for the entire Amazing Selling Machine Course.
The ASM Exclusive Q & A Forum
Module 1: Building Your Product Opportunity List
Rich begins the module teaching the superiority of branding overselling a single product.
Then he dives into the 7 characteristics of what he calls “a hot product opportunity.”
One characteristic is choosing a top-level category, not a sub-category.
Rich shows the difference
Rich also provides guidance to course members by offering an ASM exclusive list of products that he and ASM course members have learned through the school of hard knocks to avoid.
I really recommend that you stay away from products on this list, for all kinds of reasons, the red tape being the biggest one.
Notice right away where Rich begins: the product.
Now while it’s not a terrible place to begin, but if you begin with the product as opposed to starting with the target audience who will be buying your product, the life-cycle of your product will be short-lived.
So if you are a beginner, just learning to work the Amazon system well, Rich’s product opportunity process is a good place to start.
Hell, I started there, but the products I started with are no longer in demand only a couple years later.
Bottom Line: Rich shows a good way to start selling on Amazon, but ultimately it’s only a beginner method. The long term FBA sellers playing in October 2019 are finding specific audiences to whom to sell exclusively-sourced products.
Module 2: Profits, Product Sourcing, and Professionalism
While my take on the module is below, here’s an outline of what’s covered
While Rich does a great job going over the basic requirements of branding, he could have easily added an hour of training for the mid-level amazon seller, telling them how to go places that are not common to most amazon sellers. (To see a course that shows how to find unique suppliers, check out Sophie Howard’s Blue Sky Amazon Series)
He doesn’t talk about going to your local businesses and saying, “Hey, I know you guys are always looking to sell more and I have experience selling on Amazon, and I wondered if that might interest you?”
My Own Experience: I found another product by merely going to the grocery store and finding some locally-sourced, organic honey. Calling up Dale, the owner, I told him how much I liked his honey and how it benefits my health (local honey helps my allergies) and then put the idea in the back of his head of selling his product via Amazon so that others can experience the same benefit that I have.
Nothing happened right away, but a couple of months later, I reached out to him again and he and I started our partnership at that point because, as he told me, he couldn’t get the idea of selling online out of his head.
If you get your product from places that are uniquely sourced and you offer a solution for a specific group of people (i.e. people with pollen allergies), it has a number of advantages:
1. Your product will be hard to copy by your competition, whereas if you sell merely from Alibaba, your product source is available to every seller on Amazon! #easytocopycat
2. You now have a clear starting point for your Facebook ads and your Amazon Sponsored Ads. (When I launched the organic honey, I targeted groups on Facebook that were interested in natural medicine and I used Amazon Marketing Services to target people who were searching for allergy relief)
With my generation, the millennials, we are very interested in knowing that our products are responsibly sourced, not just the benefits or features. One seller who uses this strategy to the fullest can be found here.
P.S: In case you’re wondering, the locally sourced honey took off like Musk’s SpaceX Rocket!
Module 3: Ordering Your Inventory and Creating Your Brand
In this foundational module, Rich continues the supplier selection process and demonstrates how to create the skeletal Amazon listing.
The two main topics covered:
Choosing the best of the samples
Starting your product listing
Rich provides ample information on what to watch for when eyeing product samples (ahem, cough, cough, **quality**) and what is okay to let slide (like another business’s logo being on your sample product).
Showing how to set up your listing to Amazon will approve it quickly and without any hassle, Rich walks through how to initially set up an item entry in Amazon Seller Central.
Got to hand it to Rich here, he’s got a clear-as-tropical-waters way of explaining the preliminary listing set up process.
Rich opened my eyes to a few new things that I didn’t notice before, like the reasons why you only should enter the minimum amount of information at first.
Additional topics covered in this module:
Selecting a supplier without burning other bridges
Acquiring your UPC (Universal Product Code)
Designing your packaging
Constructing an email list
Rich makes a big deal about getting samples, checking the product over for flaws and more.
While I understand his concern, in my mind, it’d be pretty easy for the company to send me a high-quality item and then send my customer’s cheap imitations.
Because of that, I stopped getting samples after my first couple of products and instead, once my products were in stock at the warehouse, I bought a few and sent them to friends and family, asking them to send me their brutally honest criticism.
That way, I’d know the truth.
Module 4: Ensuring Your Launch’s Success
This module is basically a bunch of walkthroughs, demonstrating how to set up social media profiles.
While this lesson might be helpful for Generation X, I think for my generation, Gen Y, setting up these accounts and adding content (images, copy, GIFs, and videos) is pretty much intuitive and so could safely skip this module without an issue
Though you might want to check out the videos on the LCP (lead capture page as Rich has some helpful optimization tips.
Setting up a simple brand Website using Wix
Constructing a brand Facebook Page
Building out a brand YouTube Channel
Starting a brand Pinterest Board
Initiating a brand Twitter Profile
Constructing a Lead Capture Page
Here’s a module that really could easily be improved to fit the needs of mid-range sellers!
Social media is one of the core elements of having an online presence in 2019.
What I really had hoped Rich would have covered is the nuts and bolts of his media content strategy.
In addition to showing the beginners how to get started, he could have easily talked for a few minutes about his ongoing posting tactics and hacks.
For example, I’d have included a 90-day content strategy as well as how to use a social media content management system to post to every platform in a coordinated manner (like Buffer or Hootsuite or Social Pilot, I’ve tried all three and Buffer works for me the best)).
Also, I’d have suggested ways I can create my own custom images quickly and easily using Sketch 3 (app) or Canva (online editor).
Module 5: The 8 Components of the Perfect Product Listing
In this module, Rich names the 8 components of a pristine product listing and walks through the process of creating it.
Here’s 4 of them:
Researching Initial Keywords
Constructing a Traffic-Snatching Title
Creating a Compelling Product Listing
Calculating Profitable Product Pricing
Personally, I was amazed how rapidly Rich accomplished his keyword research, which he did through employing a proprietary research tool that enabled him to sort the keywords as well as invent a potent title that grabs the attention of both the consumer (through its readability) and the Amazon search engine (by containing crucial keywords).
Module 6: The Perfect Product Launch
In this module, Mike gives an overview of the ASM proprietary, proven process to successfully propel a product into the marketplace.
Three-phase process: LB&R
Mike elaborates on the main components of this process, from the characteristics of the traffic that Amazon’s search engine relishes the most to how to set up multiple, unique landing pages, which Amazon rewards you for.
Definitely the most helpful part of this module was the pre-launch checklist that Mike provided, it really increased my level of assurance that I was well-prepared for the fast-paced launches of my products.
It’s a confidence booster when you know that all your ducks are in a row.
Module 7: Advanced Marketing & Traffic Tools
In this module, Mike talks about the daily maintenance needed to run a successful dropshipping FBA business, from checking your listing to content marketing to email your subscribers.
Covered in this lesson:
Writing a List of Daily Business Tasks
Using Amazon Lightning Deals
Fine-Tuning your Amazon Ads
The daily agenda that Mike provides dramatically improved my efficiency by giving me a list of tasks that I used to train a VA to do, which boosted the autonomy of my business, enabling me to work more on my Amazon FBA business, rather than merely
I found the Amazon ads setup process to be similar to setting up Google ads, which I am very familiar with because of my lead gen business.
As far as the lightning deals feature that Mike covers, I find it most useful when I need to reduce or eliminate my old inventory by offering the products at a moderate discount until the needed reduction of inventory has been accomplished.
(October 2019 update: Amazon does charge sellers for their inventory warehouse space and Amazon just this year decided that their warehousing storage fees will now adjust monthly, instead of every six months. This relatively recent change makes it extra important to have a freight forwarder. To learn the importance of a freight-forwarder, Tim Sanders does a good job explaining how they fit into the process in his course, Private Label Masters.)
Module 8: Taking Your Business to the Next Level
In this short module, Mike and Rich offer advice about the future of your business, from managing inventory to adding additional products to deciding the end goal of your business.
You will learn about a little about:
Managing Your Inventory
Launching more Products
Scaling your business
Deciding the End Game of Your Business: Cash Flow or Cash out
This is a good way to finish off the course and really an eye-opener for those new to running their own business.
Rich and Mike’s experienced opinions bolstered my confidence to expand my team and bring further automation into my business, so now it almost runs itself (I check stats once at the beginning of every month, but that’s about it) #virtualassistantsarethebest
I have 2 final thoughts for you today:
1. Rich Henderson and Mike McClary certainly offer a great deal of insight and experience to those looking to develop their Amazon-based businesses. On Sept 14, 2019, News9.com reported on ASM,
And the course itself is well-structured and contains pretty current information.
They do have a high degree of popularity on Amazing, their Facebook page, having over 127,574 followers as of October 22, 2019.
They offer a considerable amount of free advice in their 60 plus videos, but the ASM course was still worth the 5,000 price tag to me, as I knew I would make it back since I was already successful on Amazon.
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