E-commerce Coaching Call with New Amazon Seller, Kiefer Hogge – Part 2

Episode 51

This is Part 2 of our e-commerce coaching call with Kiefer Hogge, a new seller who joins Amazon. This time, we will discuss leveraging social media platforms and photography in the product launch, targeting a realistic best seller rating, and many more!

Listen to Part 1 to know more about Jungle Scout, Fulfillment by Amazon, and packaging and product listings.

Now, let’s jump into the episode and learn with Kiefer how to navigate the Amazon world better!

[00:01 – 07:07] Opening Segment

[07:08 – 13:40] Online Launching 

  • Making your photos attractive on Amazon
  • Learning from your competitors
  • Launching your product
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • Amazon

[13:41 – 19:51] Best Seller Rating

  • Overcoming challenges during the “honeymoon phase”
  • What’s a good conversion rate in Shopify?
  • We talk about best seller rating on Amazon 

[19:52 – 24:55] Closing Segment 

  • Lightning round
  • Final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“It’s about who you surround yourself with. I think that’s probably the number 1 thing in general as far as success [is concerned].” – Kiefer Hogge

“No matter what you try and no matter what happens, the learning process of whether you failed [or not] is worth the investment alone.” – Kiefer Hogge

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Kiefer on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Visit https://www.enagic.com/ to learn more. 

Missed Part 1? Go to www.FiringTheMan.com

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Kiefer 0:00
If they’re having to dig for more information, I think you really possibly may be losing the sell. I think you want to be clear right off the bat, you know, some of the dimensions are missing. I think dimensions is huge for this product. Because it’s, it’s another thing like, well, how big is it, you know how much is in nothing’s converted, as far as, say like, if you know how much it holds, you can

Ken 0:20
you can go and get like your top three competitors and dig through their listings, go to all the questions, the FAQ’s and questions on their listings, and get all those and write them down and then translate that information like, what are people asking?

David 0:37
There are some products that I’ve launched that have been slow burns, and it’s taken a year to ramp up. And so if you don’t have that success early on, do not get discouraged in you know, continue on, keep looking for ways you know, if you don’t have video, add video, make sure you’re filling up, you know, all of your product photos, you know, change your title, you know, switch things up, but don’t stop, and you’re definitely gonna learn things in this phase.

Intro 1:04
Welcome, everyone, to the Firing The Man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 1:28
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode, it is part two of the interview with Kiefer Hogge. Kiefer is a beginning seller on Amazon. And if you listen, last week, we had a great coaching call. Now Ken, this is one of our first coaching calls that we’ve done. And it went so well that we had to break it out into a two part episode. What were some of your key takeaways from the interview?

Ken 1:52
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s, it’s really good to give back. You know, you and I were there, you know, a few years ago, David, and to give back to, you know, someone like keeper just starting out. You know, it’s, it’s pretty cool. sharing the knowledge. The conversation went so well. You know, it ran long. So we cut it into two parts, we covered quite a bit, you know, Keifer is he’s pretty deep into the process of, you know, getting ready to launch his first product on Amazon. So he had, you know, he had tons of questions for us, you know, Keifer has been, you know, has been he’s been around a few years working on mlms and Shopify stores drop shipping and things like that. So he’s got some, he’s got some, you know, pretty well rounded knowledge. But yeah, we touched on on on several topics, you know, listing shipping sourcing, things like that. It was a great conversation.

David 2:41
Absolutely. For all you country music listeners out there. There’s a song by Brad Paisley called letter to me. And he talks about in this song, what he wish, if he were to write a letter, what it would say to his kids self. And you know, when I think of this interview, I feel like we were passing along a lot of knowledge that we wish that we would have known at the beginning of our process. And so I really looking forward to this interview, enjoy. So Kiefer, what are some other questions that you have?

Kiefer 3:09
So is him See that? So the pictures, I think that was something I was kind of looking at my idea as far as like what I wanted to do, as far as my product photography is a little bit different than to what I’m seeing. And I don’t know if it’s, it’s common. Well, it does seem kind of common, but I just don’t know why that is. So on Amazon, it seems like a lot of products, they almost seem like 3d renderings. Like do they just don’t seem like they’re showing the actual product in for me. I do. I mean, I like doing a lot of second hand shopping like Facebook market, Craigslist. I’ve done like a lot of bartering and stuff like that, for me like seeing the actual product. I can however, I do have the skills to kind of edit that put whitespace around it, but it feels like a lot of 3d renderings. I don’t know if that’s good practice that people like 3d renderings, or if it would be good to kind of, you know, really capture the product, remove any outer space and then apply that white background. Because my competitors, I just feel like a lot of theirs is 3d. I mean, they do have their kinda like infographics with self serving like little circles, and it’s got little details and things like that, which I thought would be good to add, but I will kind of feel they’re lacking some lifestyle photos. It’s literally the bottle edited on a person who’s not really holding the bottle. Just I don’t know, seems cheesy to me. What do you what do you guys think on that?

David 4:32
Yeah, so I would say, and I’ll give you my advice, but I would say a deep dive. Everything that we know about product photography is an episode 17 a beginner’s guide to product photography. But I would say based on what you’ve told us now, this is something that I would look to outsource and you know, as it relates to what you want your hero image to be, and this is going to cost a little bit more but I would have a couple different hero images and What you can do is you can split test those, you can look at what is converting. And when you have three options, you can, you know, change them every week, and measure what is doing better, what attracts the most eyeballs. But if you think about how you shop, when you’re scrolling through Amazon, most likely, it’s the picture that gets your attention, right? There may be a catchy title, but like, it’s the picture, we are visual creatures. And so unless you have a background in photography, or you know somebody that takes really good photos, I think that this would be something good to get off your plate. And just to be like very blunt, If I was you, I would go to product photography.com. I think it’s 80 bucks per hero image. They also do infographics, they sell packages, I went back and I looked at I’ve got about 300 skews. And I looked at my top performing most profitable a since. And all of them have been from images, Hero images that I’ve outsourced. I haven’t led lightbox, I have taken a ton of pictures on my own. From a number standpoint, those have not performed relative to the professional photos. And so I also would add that don’t do the same thing that your competitors are doing, you know, your competitors already have reviews. And so if you are offering something that is the same as them, and you have less reviews, most likely the customer is just going to buy theirs. And so I think thinking of ways, as you mentioned, to differentiate yourself from these other suppliers, I think is a great idea. And so you had mentioned like lack of infographics, that’s a great spot, you know, put that in your number two slot on pictures, you know, right next to your hero image. And that’d be a great way to, you know, set yourself apart from the pack. And I would also mention, I know you didn’t ask about this, but video, that is something that. And this can be something that you shoot yourself, this can be something that you outsource, but show the product in use. When I’m shopping, I love to look at product videos over and above images. And if I look at my listings that convert the best, they’re the ones with video. Absolutely.

Kiefer 7:09
Yeah, I think that was the right account want to go it just felt like looking at my competitors photos, I don’t think any of them actually have video, they actually never really show the actual product. And I feel like it’s it’s just a huge, it’s a huge Miss. Because then I mean, they’re having to dig into reviews. And for me, I feel like if you do have negative reviews, then those reviews on their search and photos, and then they start stumbling upon that just you know, they’re if they’re having to dig for more information, I think you really possibly maybe losing the sell. I think you want to be clear right off the bat, you know, some of the dimensions are missing, I think dimensions is huge for this product. Because it’s it’s another thing like well, how big is it, you know, how much is it nothing’s converted, as far as, say like, if it you know how much it holds. As far as, say if it holds the liquid, then they’re not touching how much ounces, you know, it’s still in milliliters, I think you really got to look at your market as far as those things go. So those are some of the things I’m seeing that are missing on what they’re doing on their listings. Yeah,

Ken 8:09
a couple things I’d like to add to that keeper is it sounds like you have a pretty good read on on the lifestyle and using the product, I totally agree with that. And, you know, you want to have you want to have lifestyle images with with models that are happy and smiling, right? Like you want the customer to look at that image and, and put themselves there, like, oh, that product is going to make me happy too, right? A couple of things, one for your lead image, like David mentioned, you definitely want to spend the cash on it and get it professionally done, I would even recommend getting, you know, like David said, two or three hero images. And you can go to a site called pickfu. And if you know your demographics, on who buys this product, you can still you know, you can spend 100 bucks on pickfu. And get a survey of you know, you want to drill into people that shop on Amazon, people are at this demographic, female, male, whatever it is that gonna use your product. And then you can run it through and you can have the highest converting hero image at least one to start with right out of the gate. And you know, the second thing is a little bit next level, but you can you can go and get like your top three competitors and dig through their listings, go to all the questions, the FA Q’s and questions on their listings, and get all those and write them down and then translate that information like what are people asking? Like you mentioned earlier, the dimensions that’s huge, right? If If you see like on every single listing, people are saying how big is this? or, or, or how much does this hold or or, you know, whatever, what’s, what’s the warranty or what’s the the life of this product, whatever it is incorporate those into your images and you know, you’re gonna answer the questions, so it could be helpful.

Kiefer 9:53
Yeah, okay. Absolutely. That’s, that’s great. Yes. So that’s something I kind of wouldn’t have thought about as far as I kind of touched on it but maybe undervalued maybe how important that is. So I’m really gonna ask that question for sure.

David 10:08
What else is on your list? Um, so

Kiefer 10:10
let’s see, like, so expectations as far as like when cell start? Yeah, I know you guys said like, you know, perfect perseverance. Maybe it’s a reassurance kind of question. And I think it might vary between, you know, product to product, I think it just really depends. But as far as you guys know, as far as when you first launching your product, when do you I say would see kind of like your first sell laughter ad spin about an average number of ad spin before actually seen your first sell. And also, within that topic, kind of, I heard somebody guys talking about building an audience before launch. So actually have at about 8500 followers on my Instagram, I’ve got it up to 10,000 a couple times, but I just, I never had a link to actually share. So I gotta get back up there. But as far as that goes, because I think two of those kind of go hand in hand. Definitely.

David 11:01
So I’m gonna just attack the build the audience 8500 is a lot of followers that exceeds any brand that I currently have. And that is huge. That’s a lot of eyeballs. And so when you think about your product launch, you know, think about pay per click advertising, but those posts are free, you know, to the, it takes your time to create them. But I would, I would, you know, have a countdown, I would have a seven day countdown, and to your product launch. And to the extent that your you know, product is in inventory, have a launch day and offer, you know, coupon codes offer things to your audience that’s going to drive traffic. And so, you know, that is huge. That’s a humongous asset that you have,

Ken 11:45
you mentioned earlier that you have, you know, the Instagram following, I would I would say like, you know, kind of David, out Attack, attack your first product launch pretty heavy, you know, you know, get your Instagram following get coupon codes, get them all dialed in. And so when as soon as that listing goes live, you crank up an auto PPC campaign, and then you hit it pretty heavy, because because the first they call this the honeymoon period, the first two weeks to 30 days of a product launch is when Amazon is learning about this product, the algorithm is looking at all the keywords in the listing and figuring out okay, what is this product and who’s going to be buying this. So you want to start up an auto PPC campaign set your bids pretty high. And whatever your budget is for launch, you know, you might, you know, you’ll have to figure it out, you know, whether you’re going to whether you’re going to go 10 2050 $100 a day or whatever, I mean, you’re going to get sales pretty much immediately, like within the first few days, you know, flood your Instagram followers to your listing, get that traffic because as soon as you can get that flywheel going on Amazon, you know, and hit it with all different signals like like your, if you hit it with people from your Instagram, you know, it’s going to be signals from social media, if you hit it from PPC campaign, they’re going to be getting, you know, from there, if you can hit it from a bunch of different angles, Facebook ads, maybe drive a you know, some couple Facebook ads just kind of trickling, you can also do the the Amazon vine in the early reviewer program as well. And that’s going to like I do that now, as soon as you launch your product, you can enroll in there, it’s going to get you some it’s going to get you kind of that momentum, the sales moving, and it’s also going to get you some reviews, your initial reviews. So all of that stuff together is pretty important. But the answer to your question is, you should get sales in the first first couple of days. Once you turn on that that auto PPC campaign, if you have your listing and everything dialed in, okay,

David 13:40
Keifer I’m gonna, I’m gonna tell you kind of a alternate scenario, which was my first month I made three sales for a total of $45, first two months, I was still under $200 in sales, I would say like, if you follow these steps, you will likely make some sales for sure. But like, to the extent that that does not happen, do not stop. You know, when you launch a product, you have zero reviews. And so, you know, doing things like the early reviewer program, like Ken mentioned, is a great idea. And what I can tell you is it will only get better. There are some products that I’ve launched that have been slow burns, and it’s taking a year to ramp up. And so if you don’t have that success early on, do not get discouraged in you know, continue on, keep looking for ways you know, if you don’t have video, add video, make sure you’re filling up, you know, all of your product photos, you know, change your title, you know, switch things up, but don’t stop and you’re definitely gonna learn things in this phase. Yeah,

Kiefer 14:43
yeah, no, that that’s, that’s super helpful. I think that really helps me a lot. This guy, I mean, it’s completely different. So it’s really hard to take some of my passion knowledge with the whole drop shipping versus Amazon just because there’s so many things that have already are lined up to be successful with Amazon. That wasn’t necessarily given when I tried drop shipping, and I think just right off the bat is the fact that Amazon already has so many trusted followers, that when they buy something off there, especially if they prime the two day shipping, there’s already a level of trust given by the customer. So I think that’s, that’s reassuring, knowing that, you know, that ad spend is probably going to end up paying off, you know, within the first week.

Ken 15:24
Yeah, yeah, one big difference that I’ve, you know, that I’ve noticed, or you’ll notice, as well, from coming from drop shipping, or Shopify, what the drop shipping or Shopify store, you’re going to have to send traffic to it, right, like, you’re gonna have to send paid traffic to it. So the difference with Amazon is they have, you know, 10s of millions of eyeballs that are gonna, that are, they’re gonna flood in and see it so and what that trust factor, the same, you know, now PPC is is obviously going to be, you know, a little bit cheaper than then, you know, flooding a bunch of paid traffic to a Shopify store, because there the trust factor is not there, right. So it might take, you know, 20 visits to get a conversion, whereas, you know, on Amazon, your conversion rate is going to be a lot higher. So you’ll you’ll probably, hopefully, you’re going to be surprised when whenever you start running ads, and you get, you know, high conversion rates. So a conversion rate on your listing, it really depends on, you know, reviews depends on a lot of stuff, images, reviews, a lot of things, but a good conversion rate over 20% is a good conversion rate. This, I would target that.

Kiefer 16:31
Right on. Yeah, no, absolutely. And I’m, I’m overall I’m pretty excited. I’m feeling pretty confident with my standpoint. So it’s really good to can reach out and talk to you guys and know that, you know, a lot of the things I’m kind of thinking or stressing the bats kind of, you know, coming together. Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty helpful. Just Just having someone who’s done it, and has tried and trued and things just to say like, Listen, you know, like, I think you’re, you’re going good, just keep going. So I thank you guys for that.

David 16:58
Definitely. Absolutely. We enjoyed this. Let’s do one more question and then dive into the fire round. All right.

Kiefer 17:05
So on some of the ones I see, I guess this kind of goes back to some of my product research and some of the things I’ve seen on Amazon, let’s see, like a BSR rating, like a best seller rating. So with this product that kind of range between 190 to about 83, I think someren a few of those two, I did see somewhere in like 5000, but they rank in different categories at different levels anywhere from like 5000 to like 200, just different categories. Just another kind of reassurance do those sound like pretty reasonable numbers? As far as that goes? I just seemed like they were so far stretched on some of them as far as best seller rating and kind of like where they ranked in within different categories. Oh,

Ken 17:49
yeah, yeah. So the BSR in different categories is going to be different, right? So like, let’s say you have home and kitchen versus furniture or something, right? So like, a lower BSR just means a higher sales velocity. And those numbers, you’re saying, you know, one, you said 180, that’s a really high sales velocity, no matter what category it’s in, that’s it. That’s a really high sales velocity. 5000. That’s it, that’s a legitimate sales velocity. You know, I don’t target anything super low, because you’re gonna have a lot of competition coming in, right? So in that, it’s tough to say like, Hey, here’s a perfect sweet spot for BSR. And really, the BSR is not really a metric that I didn’t even really look at a BSR is almost like, it’s almost like just your, your rating per sales, how many sales you’re getting, it really doesn’t, it really doesn’t have an impact on anything. But what I what I do look at BSR is I look at BSR for sales history and trends. So you know, me you look at Google Trends for this product, I would look at the BSR. And over the over, you know, two years and see see is it does it? Is it seasonal? Is it spike or whatever. But in terms of BSR, I wouldn’t really look at that in terms of numbers, it now that category is a different story. So when you launch your product, you want to make sure you launch it in the right category. So if your competitors are all in one category, Oh, definitely launch it in the same category. Now if they’re spread apart, you might want to take a look at that and see if some competitors are doing better in a certain category than the other ones. So you might want to look at that a little bit. So okay,

Kiefer 19:32
so yeah, I think it landed us household items, like kitchen items and sports items and to be like the three which I could see they could fit into. That does seem like within the kitchen spaces, some of those best numbers I’ve seen.

Ken 19:46
Yeah, I would go in that direction and a lot of it in that category. Perfect. All right, Keifer. So anytime we have a guest on firing demand podcast, we do a lightning round and we asked three questions. They’re really easy. Are you ready? Yep.

Kiefer 20:02
Let’s shoot.

Ken 20:03
All right, what is your favorite book?

Kiefer 20:05
So favorite book. So for me, not much of a favorite per thing. I think for me, my third book is as it pertains to what I am interested in at that moment, or what left a big impact. So one of them was a four hour workweek, I think as that one pertains to Amazon, and business in general really helped pick perspective, as far as like what online business could be. I think it kind of even goes back to like a Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I think it helped put in perspective as far as you know, how you make a business, and more specifically a business out of the online space. As far as like outsourcing. Yeah, I think that was one of my top favorites. I’m currently reading one rereading one right now. I don’t know if you guys heard it’s called becoming supernatural by Dr. Joe dispenza.

David 20:55
I’ve not heard of that one.

I’ve heard him on. He’s been on Rogan. Yeah. Yeah, I really, I really like him. I’m smiling over here. You mentioned two books four hour workweek in rich dad. Poor Dad. I’ve read a lot of books my day. I’ve only read two books, and you name to both of them. I don’t like to reread books. But I think there are some very valuable lessons in each one of those that that it’s worth rereading, or revisiting every couple years. So awesome. Read both great books.

Ken 21:23
So keeper, what are your hobbies?

Kiefer 21:25
Ah, so I there’s quite a few things like to do. Being an Oregon, I do have the chance to go snowboarding I really enjoyed that. It’s not something I’m like a diehard fan about, but I do think it’s something that’s pretty challenging. So I do like to do that. Fitness. I do like fitness. CrossFit was super fun. I like fixing things. Cars, like I’ve done construction for a while, like working with my hands. I’m pretty open. As far as I go for something I enjoy. I’m pretty competitive. So anything competitive is good for me. Video games to you know, physical contact. I wrestled in high schools.

Ken 21:57
Yeah. Nice. Alright, so you’re pretty active. That’s awesome. Okay, last question. What do you think sets apart successful e commerce entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started?

Kiefer 22:09
I think it’s, let’s see, I think it’s about who you surround yourself with. I think that’s probably the number one thing in general as far as success, especially if you have trouble getting motivated or just kind of sticking with it and just really having the right network the right people kind of supporting you and giving you that confidence to kind of really take on whatever it is you’re trying to do. Perseverance, you know, never giving up. I mean, you know, I’ve tried so many different things fell on my face somewhat as some didn’t I think just knowing that no matter what you try, no matter what happens if the learning process of that whether you failed is you know, worth the investment alone. I mean, I’ve lost a lot of money when I wouldn’t say lost money. I’ve spent a lot of money and you know, books and online, online courses and all these different things and it’s like, oh, man, you know, I haven’t made a single buck off of any of this stuff. But you know, as it comes through the day, you know, a lot of the stuffs I think really put me out of the game. So I think it’s just a matter of you know, being surrounded by those right people and you know, just keep moving forward. You just got to get up

Ken 23:14
Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more and keep your you’ve been sharpening your sword for a long time with all those skills man and you know, surrounding yourself with positive like minded people is is huge.

David 23:25
This has been an awesome Episode keefer I’m really excited for you and where you’re headed. Thank you so much for being a guest on the show. Yeah,

Kiefer 23:32
no, thank you guys. Like I said, this is this was huge for me. This means a lot that you guys uh, you know, took the time every day to kind of chat with me a little bit maybe if some of these questions might have seemed simplistic or a little bit or nervous. I think most of it was just like asking someone to say like, yeah, just you can go for it. You got your you’re on the right step. You know, the spy some things I could address here and there. But, I mean, overall, you guys really helped me out quite a bit.

David 23:58
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s Firing The Man Podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing demand discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at Firing The Man on YouTube at Firing The Man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out

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