Pay Per Click State of the Union with PPC Expert Liran Hirshkorn

Episode 82

Liran Hirschkorn has been marketing online for 12 years. After growing and selling an Internet life insurance agency in 2014, Liran decided to get involved in e-commerce and selling on Amazon and has since sold millions of dollars on Amazon. 

Liran is widely followed as a thought leader and speaker on marketing and selling on Amazon. He lives in Long Island, New York with his wife and daughter. Liran is also a big believer that success in life is not just in business, but in all areas and is grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in this world.

Listen to Liran now and learn the state of the union of the pay-per-click space! 

[00:01 – 04:10] Opening Segment

  • Let’s get to know Liran Hirschkorn
  • Internet marketing and financial services 

[04:11 – 09:27] Leaving a Stable Job

  • Are you afraid to quit your day job?
  • Liran talks about the Regret Minimization Framework 
  • Don’t miss his message for his younger self

[09:28 – 13:47] Sellers’ Love-Hate Relationship With Ads  

  • Why you should play the long game in ecommerce 
  • Is there still opportunity in the ecommerce industry?
  • What’s happening in the Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) space? 

[13:48 – 25:38] Tips for New Sellers 

  • Smart sellers handle increasing cost-per-click by doing this 
  • Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
    • Promo code: FTM400
  • Liran offers a couple of tips for new sellers

[25:39 – 36:23] Understanding PPC  

  • Liran talks about Incrementum Digital’s services
  • Should you outsource or keep PPC in-house? 
  • Know more about Liran in the Fire Round! 

[36:24 – 38:32] Closing Segment 

  • Connect with Liran. Links below
  • Final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“Failures will have lessons in them.” – Liran Hirshkorn

“There’s a massive opportunity in ecommerce and you want to learn and take action at the same time.” – Liran Hirshkorn

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Liran by emailing liran@incrementumdigital.com or following him on LinkedIn and Instagram. Grow your Amazon sales with Incrementum Digital!

Listen to Ecommerce Mindset to learn ecommerce tips from successful sellers from Amazon and Shopify! 
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David 0:00
Real quick before we get into the show, I wanted to share a new service called Getida that Ken and I have been using that has made us over $10,000 in Amazon reimbursements. The service requires no monthly subscription, and getida collects a small percentage of the money they recover for you. It takes less than five minutes to set up and works on all Amazon marketplaces. Go to getida.com GETIDA, and enter promo code FTM 400. That’s FTM for firing the man 400 to get your first $400 in reimbursements commission free. How much money does Amazon owe you?

Liran 0:41
Tony Robbins says like people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they could do in a decade, right? Like, I think for a lot of us, if you think about where were you five years ago, and where you are today, you’ll probably see hopefully a lot of progress. But sometimes we’re looking for it too fast. One other tip that’s a little bit outside of PPC is that you should be looking at your business reports and understand what your sessions and conversion rates are. And understand your unit session percentage, you know, if your conversion rate is low, then you’re gonna have a tough time. I think starting out, you should try to learn as much as possible. The reason is, even if you’re going to go outsource it, you want to know what the person is doing. You want to know how to look at things and manage the person that you hired and know are they putting the minimum effort? are they putting full effort? Could they be doing more? if you don’t know all the types out there if you don’t know if you don’t understand, you know, cost per click and conversion and some of these things you’re sort of at a disadvantage even if you outsource.

Intro 1:38
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 are capable of more then 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 hosts serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 2:02
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast. On today’s episode we have the privilege to interview Liran Hirshkorn. Liran is a well known ecommerce industry expert and specializes in PPC. Liran has been selling on Amazon since 2014. Since then, he has successfully launched multiple million dollar private label brands is the CEO of incremental digital. He applies his expertise to empower other Amazon sellers. He also enjoys giving back to the Amazon community through his podcast, ecommerce mindset, covering everything ecommerce, while interviewing some of the best in the industry. We are very excited to have you on the show. Welcome.

Liran 2:42
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely.

David 2:45
So first things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Liran 2:47
Sure. So I live in New York with my wife and daughter. A little bit about my background. Actually, my family immigrated to the US when I was six years old. So I was born in Israel. I grew up on the east coast in New Jersey and live in New York, I got into I would say I’ve been working for myself now for the last 11 years. In 2010 I took my internet marketing skills that I was kind of learning with my background in financial services and actually started an online life insurance agency business. Did that from 2010 till I sold my websites in 2016. In 2014, I saw an ad for a course on e commerce, took that and that’s how I got into e commerce and getting into selling on Amazon. I outsourced all my insurance leads to a friend. We were splitting the Commission’s basically 50/50 while I was building up my Amazon business, and then eventually sold him those sites in 2016. And kind of went all in around 2015 on e commerce and selling on Amazon.

Ken 3:49
Okay, awesome. So you’ve been full time for 11 years as an entrepreneur?

Liran 3:54
Full time yeah for 11 years as an entrepreneur and probably 20 years of side hustles until I got to full time of you know, trying a bunch of stuff, learning, failing, trying, you know, since my 20s

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Ken 4:08
nice, so yeah, so a long process. So one question we like to ask full time entrepreneurs is like, what was your biggest fear holding you back from you know, quitting your whatever was your full time day job to going full time. What was your biggest fear?

Liran 4:24
I think the biggest fear obviously is you know, I was in corporate America. So you know, in corporate America, you have a steady paycheck benefits, right? All these things that you kind of get very comfortable with. And so the biggest fear was obviously giving all that up and going into unknowns, you know, in terms of how you’re going to make money, pay the bills, you know, etc. So, you know, I would say the biggest fear is like the fear of the unknown fear of failure, and not having that sort of reliable, you know, paycheck from a company that you can rely on

David 4:56
To a lot of our listeners, they’re probably, so the show’s called firing the man, right. So a lot of our audience is still working in corporate America, and probably have some of those same fears that you have. I know, as you were listing those off those were all fears that I had prior to firing the man, any pro tips on overcoming those fears?

Liran 5:14
Yeah, you know, I think what helped me was one, trying to play out things in my head, you know, okay, well, what if I do fail? What will happen? Right, and like, I kind of just went back to, if I fail, I have a certain skill set. I’ve been in corporate America, I can always go back to getting a job. Right. And that was like, what, you know, sort of comfort level I had in saying, What’s the worst case scenario. And one thing I’ve learned over the years, I didn’t know at the time, but you know, is even following like Jeff Bezos, he talks about how he was working, you know, I think for like for an investment bank, and quit his job to go start an online bookstore. And people were telling him, like, You’re crazy, you have this like, really good job, you know, like, I think a friend or an advisor told him like, Look, yes, that’s good for somebody else. But you’re already like to go start like a bookstore, but you already have like, an amazing job, like, Why go risk that right. And he talks about this regret minimization framework that, you know, he knew when he’s 80 years old, looking back, that he would have a lot of regrets, if you never went off and kind of did this thing, you know, and I think you need to look at it from that perspective. And you know, know that, you know, jobs, they’re going to be there. Hopefully, if you have a skill set, or if you’re in corporate America. Also for me, you know, when I kind of went off into originally into Amazon, I was able to still have some income coming in from the insurance business. And that definitely helped. So, you know, starting off as a side hustle, gaining some confidence, I think is also a great way to go. Which will give you confidence to eventually, you know, yeah, fire your boss.

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Ken 6:47
Nice. So yeah, reflection is, I think, super important. And then kind of looking back. So Liran, what advice would you give a younger Liran, let’s say, let’s go back 15 years, everything that you’ve learned on your journey now, what advice would you give your younger self?

Liran 7:03
It’s a great question, I would definitely say, Have patience. Because I think when you’re starting out, you kind of expect to just like, start out and you’re expecting those results. And you need to have patience, you need to continue to kind of stay in the game. And to also know that everything happens happens for a reason. I think it’s important as well, like that your failures will have lessons in them as well. But I think probably for me, the biggest thing is have patience, because I think my younger self wanted to see results faster than maybe sometimes you can allow them to really hit and kind of continuing to stay in the game and and stick with something, have patience, learn learn from mistakes, is probably the biggest learning lesson for me.

David 7:44
So do you regret not going full time earlier? Or did you time it just right?

Liran 7:49
It’s a good question. No, I mean, I don’t really have any regrets. Looking back, I think things just happen when they’re supposed to happen, kind of a thing. And, you know, I think also, you know, being in corporate America having like, today I run an agency, you know, we have, you know, 65 people in the company, and like some of the management training and skills that I learned being in corporate America helped me, you know, today with managing people, for example. So, you know, I think there’s lessons probably, and seeds, and everything that you do, you know, even if, you know, the skills you can take from your corporate job to entrepreneurship, I think will be helpful as well. So, you know, I don’t really have any regrets, or necessarily doing it earlier, I think it was, you know, I think it was a good experience to also, you know, cuz it’s gonna be a different experience working in a company, with people on your team, with a boss with maybe managing people that will translate well into entrepreneurship, as well.

Ken 8:38
Very cool. Yeah, I like to circle back on that, where you said, patience. I think that is huge. And it’s often overlooked, like, for me, like, I want something instantly, like, I want my phone here, and I want something right away. And yeah, patience it definitely takes patience to grow.

Liran 8:56
Yeah, I mean, it applies to so many things. I think, you know, like, when I think about patience, you know, like, I bought some Bitcoin at 3000 and sold it at 7000. Right. Like, if I had patience, I would have had those, you know, those bitcoins today, you know, 30,000 Plus, right, like, so many things where I feel like when you’re younger, you don’t have you know, the patience or you might want to skip companies multiple times, you know, even in corporate right, just to get a raise where sometimes patience in your current role is better long term, right? Like, I think just patience, Tony Robbins says like people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they could do in a decade. Right. Like, I think for a lot of us, if you think about where were you five years ago, and where you are today, you’ll probably see hopefully, a lot of progress. But sometimes we’re looking for it too fast. And you know, I think for me, it’s one of the things I’ve just learned over time. It’s hard to I mean, it’s easy to give that advice to somebody, it’s sometimes some of these things you have to learn on your own by just going through things.

Ken 9:55
Yeah, absolutely. The long game right.

Liran 9:58
Yes, definitely.

Ken 10:00
Yeah, so a lot of listeners we have they’re just starting out in e commerce, all the stuff that you’ve learned along on your journey. Do you have any advice for someone like that’s looking to go full time into e commerce? Is the opportunity still there? What advice can you share with them?

Liran 10:13
Yeah, I mean, as far as the opportunity still there, and you know, how I think about like, is there opportunity still there? It’s a very easy question for me to ask myself in my mind. The question is, will there be new companies that start this year or next year that will be very successful with millions of dollars in sales? Will there be new companies that start up? And the answer is 100%? Yes, right. We know, every year, there are new companies that come up that are successful. So the opportunity is definitely there, the advice I would give you is that there’s a massive opportunity in e commerce, you want to learn and take action at the same time. And also understand that Yeah, your first product may not be the one that takes you to, you know, a million in sales, or you know, or 10 million in sales, or whatever it is that you’re going to do, it’s not always going to be your first product. So a lot of times you learn by doing. And so you really need to kind of start and learn at the same time and take action. And I would say if you’re kind of self funding, etc, like take small bets in the beginning to just learn, consider your first you know, $5,000 or $10,000 investment, your payment for education, in learning, right, like a college degree is going to cost you you know, $200,000, right or more. So you can learn a lot by just spending, you know, five or 10 grand on kind of starting a product and running some ads, and you’ll learn a lot of skills along the way.

David 11:34
Very nice, very nice. Well, I’m glad we got to walk through your firing the man story, and I think you had a lot of really good bits of advice there. Now, let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about Amazon pay per click. So first things first, what is kind of the State of the Union with Amazon Pay Per Click?

Liran 11:51
Sure. So it’s evolved a lot since I got started on the platform in 2014, in 2014, you really didn’t even necessarily need to run ads in order to be a successful seller. And I would say if we jump to today, you have to run ads today. And the reason is because that page one just has less organic spots than it’s had in the past. Not just that the other positions are ads. But the other positions are just other things, from editorial recommendations to Amazon choice products to a bunch of things that are on page one, where you just have less organic visibility on page one. So ads have gotten more competitive, we’ve seen this year about a 20 to 30% rise in cost per click since January. So ads have gotten more competitive, which means you need to have a better understanding better optimization, better capabilities, in order to be able to compete, the competition has gotten more sophisticated. And so you know, when I started again, it was a lot of like smaller private label sellers. And today, you have much more big institutional money in Amazon. So it just means you need to be better, the opportunity is still there to get in front of customers, right using the advertising. So it could be a great mechanism, when you launch a new product, to get a lot of visibility on your product, you would not be able to get otherwise. So I feel like sellers have a you know, love hate relationship with the advertising right on the one hand it allows you to reach a lot of people. On the other hand, obviously, it cuts into your margin, and it’s gotten kind of more competitive. So you need to understand how to navigate this and how to, I would say really take advantage of new ads when they come out new ad inventory, because that will allow you to get a lower cost per click, when other people have not yet implemented that new ad, we saw that when video ads came out, you know, maybe a year and a half ago or so. And how good the cost per click was when that originally launched, because not everybody was sort of on it initially. So you know, jumping on new ad types is important.

David 13:48
So I want to dig a little bit deeper on the increase in cost per click and the competitiveness. And I think the easiest way to do this would be to use an example. So say we have a product that we’re selling for 10 bucks, and our fully loaded cost. So you know, our unit cost plus shipping plus tags, packaging, everything is six bucks. Alright, so we’ve got a 40% profit margin on this. It seems like your breakeven acos or the acos of a lot of keywords tend to be at 40% equal to your profit margin. And so, you know, as cost per click continues to rise, there’s a couple things you could do, you could renegotiate with your supplier and try to get that $6 unit price fully loaded cost, you could increase your sales price. You could be more picky about which keywords you’re selecting but how are smart sellers dealing this increase in cost per click?

Liran 14:42
Yeah, it’s great question and then you know, if you look at this year to everyone’s shipping costs have gone up tremendously as well, right, like freight costs are up like 5x or so what they typically are so it’s, you know, presenting a lot of challenges. You know, I think to some extent smart sellers in some ways are absorbing Some of these costs, I think, eventually, prices will need to, you know, raising your price and prices will need to go up on Amazon if this kind of sticks and continues longer term. So raising price to, you know, just to improve your margin is an option. But I think you just have to get better at optimizing and moving funds to your best performing campaigns and try to minimize it, you know, sort of as much as you can, you know, we’ve seen, you know, our average client in January had a 20% acos and in May had 30%, acos people have had a higher cost of customer acquisition. Essentially, this year, the path is really to make sure you’re targeting longtail keywords that you’re able to fully maximize. longtail keywords are generally going to have a lower competition, lower cost per click that using video ads, you’re using sponsored display that you’re maximizing, you know, all the opportunities to try to minimize the effects of this, I’m sure it’s affecting some sellers more than others. And you know, the goal here would be to kind of try to minimize the effects of it. But to some extent, sellers, I think at some point will need to raise prices, if more inventory doesn’t come out, that kind of lowers and drops the cost per click.

David 16:07
Okay, and one more follow up question, then I’ll kick it over to Ken, because I know he has a lot of good questions about this. One general piece of advice I’ve heard on Pay Per Click is to set your account wide acos equal to that breakeven point. So going back to our example, your fully loaded cost is $6. There’s $4 in profit. And you know, one thing that’s always been challenging to me is if you’re looking at a p&l, right, you’ve got your sales, your cost of goods sold, and then your gross margin, you know, that’s going to capture your freight and all of your other fully loaded costs. But then you’ve got a whole bunch of operating expenses, right? So cost of employees cost of new computer, you know, whatever. And so, yes, selling at breakeven, acos does drive organic ranking, and drives organic sales. But what would be with this example of fully loaded breakeven points at 40%? What would be your advice on an account wide acos goal?

Liran 17:07
Yeah, so I mean, so this works well, or this can work well, if your ratio between organic sales and paid sales works, right. So when this doesn’t work is when most of your sales are being driven by ads, right? Obviously, then, breaking even is not what you want to do in your in your business, right. And then you do have the operating costs, right, which means, which means you’re gonna lose money. So this works well, when you have 60% 55 60 65 70% of your sales coming organically. So you know, I think, then it can work because you still have, you know, high percentage of your sales coming organically, you’re making the profit really there. That kind of covers and your ads are helping Yeah, maintain rank, they’re helping drive additional sales reviews, get new customers, right, all the benefits of getting that sale, you know, used to be that the all in acos, meaning your total spend, compared to your total sales used to be a good target was somewhere around 10% 10 12%, let’s say on like mature products, I’ve seen that shift up, you know, I’ve seen that now, kind of moving to like 15%. And if you’re in consumable products shifting to 17 18%. So that seems to be sort of the new normal in this day and age, I think you can still make margins work. But the problem you’ll have is if ads are generating 60% of your sales 70% of your sales. So that means you need to work on other things other than your ad business. You need to work on your SEO, you need to work on your organic ranking. You know, you need to work on maybe outside traffic on using influencers, you just need to work on other things in your business that will drive more organic sales and increase your percentage of organic sales to your overall sales in the business, then it works Otherwise, you will need to kind of try to target a lower acos. You know if we have a client that ads drive about 80% of their sales, but they’re acos is about 20%. And their margins are about 45% and so it works for them. So if your business is like that, you will not be able to sort of afford the breakeven acos game you know or target.

David 19:17
Sorry to interrupt the episode. You may have heard Ken and I talking recently about a new tool that we’re using for Amazon refunds. Now I have used other refund tools like this. However, I can tell you in the first seven days, they scrubbed it the back end of my Amazon account going back 18 months and found $5,000 of refunds. And the nice thing about this is it’s my money, Amazon made a mistake and they are just auditing my account. The other thing I really like about this tool is there is no monthly fee. They only charge a commission if they are successful in getting you your money. Go to getida.com getida and enter promo code FTM for firing the man FTM 400. This is an awesome tool. I can’t say enough good things about it. Now back to the episode. Very nice. It makes a lot of sense. And I think that relationship between organic and paid ad revenue is something that’s often overlooked. And so that’s the best answer that I’ve heard in terms of that question. I’ve asked that question of a lot of people. So thank you for that.

Liran 20:25
Yeah, no problem. And obviously, I mean, if you have new products, right, the ratio is going to be different. But over time, you should be building towards the ratio of more organic sales than ad sales.

Ken 20:35
Awesome. So Liran, some pretty good high level stuff there on current changes and updates and the needles constantly moving in Amazon PPC, can you get like, let’s say we have listeners that are just starting out, they’ve launched One, two, maybe three products, they’re just starting PPC, they’re kind of getting into it, maybe some tips, you know, campaign types, whatever that you see that a lot of newer sellers overlook?

Liran 20:58
Well, first, I would say sponsor brand video, definitely recommend you run that. If you don’t have video, you know, you can get video pretty easily and inexpensively in a number of ways. One is just doing like a slideshow with your images, there are software tools that allow you to create that, two, you can get someone to create like stock video footage, plus images of your product for pretty inexpensively, couple 100 bucks, probably, or invest in video, which you know, on your best selling products, you know, you might want to do that. But I would say run that ad. And I would say you know, as far as tips, you really want to segment out your campaigns, I think it’s really important to maximize impressions and maximize what’s working versus what’s not working. So you know, your most important keyword, you might want to put in a campaign on its own your most important highest volume keyword in a campaign on its own, you want to maximize your impressions. So you want to look at your campaigns and see are all the keywords getting visibility getting spent. If not, maybe I need to move the ones that are not into their own campaign, you want to segment out either by campaign or by ad group match types exact phrase broad, you want to understand your search term report and see what customers are searching for. And see if that’s relevant to your product. And if not, and especially if the results are not good negate those keywords. So it’s really about regular optimization on a very granular level, as much as possible, targeting asins that you could have some kind of advantage over those asins, either by price or review count or review quality, on the asins that you’re targeting to you know, to convert. And again, maximizing all the ad types available if you have a storefront driving traffic to your storefront. storefronts the only place on Amazon where a competitor can have an ad next to your products. So it’s good real estate, if you have sort of related products, sending traffic to your storefront and building that out is important. So I mean the baseline of all this, a lot of this is having Brand Registry in place which is easy to get now with a pending trademark. So that’s like a baseline thing you should add even I think before launching. One other tip that’s a little bit outside of PPC is that you should be looking at your business reports and understand what your sessions and conversion rates are. And understand your unit session percentage, you know, if your conversion rate is low, then you’re gonna have a tough time with PPC, right if you have three, four or 5% conversion rates generally, unless your products are very expensive, generally, that’s low, and you’re gonna have a tough time, no matter what. The other thing is understanding math, understanding even ahead of launching a product entering in as if you’re going to start a campaign in Seller Central and seeing what the suggested bids are and trying to understand what kind of conversion rate Am I going to need to have, in order to reach the acos I want. most sellers, like David said, they work backwards. They say hey, I have a 40% margin, I want to hit a 40% Acos or I have you know, 40% margin, I want to hit the 20% acos. But it’s better to because Amazon doesn’t work that way, right? Amazon works based on what is my cost per click and what is my conversion rate. And based on that it’s going to be what my acos is. So you know if your suggested bid for a product is $2. And I have a 20% conversion rate, it’s going to take five clicks to get a sale, it’s going to cost $10. If my product sells for 20 bucks, that’s going to equal 50% acos. The only thing you can control there really is your conversion rate, right working on your listings, the cost per click is a measure of what’s happening in the market, you could try for a lower cost per click, you might not get as good placement. So you may not have the same conversion or you may not get much impressions. But understanding the math of sometimes we have clients that say Actually, I had somebody approach me and they’re getting an exclusive relationship with a brand and they’re going to launch your product and they have a low margin because they’re wholesaling the product. And they want to do well for the brand. And they reached out to me in an email, and they said, and it’s a new brand launching on Amazon. They said My goal is to ultimately have a 5% acos but I’m willing to start out with a 12% acos. And I said that’s great, but your average cost per click here is going to be about two to $3 for this niche If you’re converting one out of 10, at this price point, expect to have a 60 to 70% acos. And I think they were kind of shocked, right. And so again, just because that’s your margin doesn’t mean you can reach that you need to understand what is actually happening in the market. Plus, it’s a consumable product, the problem they have is they’re not the brand owner. So they’re not looking at the lifetime value of a client two years down the road a year down the road, they’re looking at, I want to break even on the first sale today. And I explained to them, you know, unless the brand is willing to fund them, you know, and to put money in and willing to kind of bear the cost of acquiring customers it’s not going to work. And so, you know, working backwards, I think is, you know, important.

Ken 25:39
Yeah, excellent, excellent tips. Excellent advice. Just to recap for the listeners, there was a lot packed into there. So just rewind it, listen to it again. But as a quick recap, Brand Registry, video, video ads, search term reports, look at your data, and look at your conversion rates, focus on your conversion rates, and then work backwards. So I like that it’s awesome. So Liran, you do have an agency incrementum digital, so anybody looking at our YouTube channel, you’ll see Liran’s background there incrementum digital. So Liran, can you share with the audience, you know, what you and your team do there? And how you help people?

Liran 26:12
Sure, yeah, so we help sellers in a few different ways. One is with Amazon advertising. So you know, running all your campaigns, coming up with a strategy, implementing all the campaign types, optimizing, sharing reporting with you, is some what we do, we also run Amazon DSP, which is the demand side platform, I would say that’s for bigger brands to drive all kinds of different campaigns on and off Amazon, you can even run, we run for one client and Amazon Fire TV video ad through that platform. So it’s pretty cool. But I would say, also, don’t get sucked in sometimes by Amazon into reaching out for this if you’re not really big, because you can blow a lot of money quickly on it, too. We also do creative work. So writing listings, optimizing images, video, etc, as well. And we have about 10 brands today that we do full brand management for. So we’re basically running their entire Amazon business, outside of like logistics. So in that area we’re working on, you know, developing launch plans, organic visibility, post purchase funnels, influencer marketing, kind of full marketing aspect of what an Amazon business, you know, should have.

David 27:27
So one question about as it specifically relates to outsource PPC, I’m thinking of a couple listeners in particular, that recently have launched a product on Amazon, they’re starting to get some sales traffic, and they’ve decided that they’re going to run their own PPC. And actually, that was the same route that I took. And my background was I was a CPA. So I was pretty confident with spreadsheets. But what I found was that just because you’re good at spreadsheets doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at PPC. And so at what point do you think it’s a good move to outsource PPC? At what point do you think it makes sense to keep it in house?

Liran 28:06
Yeah, it’s a great question. You know, I would say that being good with spreadsheets is an advantage. So your CPA background, while you still need to learn, you know, kind of how Amazon PPC works. Being good with numbers, being good with spreadsheets, understanding data, is definitely an advantage in running PPC, because at the end of the day, Amazon is all about, of course, you have to understand who your target customer is, and there is an art and science to, you know, conversions and listings. But you know, it’s also a lot about data, and you need to understand the data. So having background with numbers should be helpful. I think as far as when you should run your own, when you should hire, it’s a very personal decision, I think starting out, you should try to learn as much as possible. The reason is, even if you’re going to go outsource it, you want to know what the person is doing. You want to know how to look at things and manage the person that you hired. And know, are they putting the minimum effort? are they putting full effort? Could they be doing more? If you don’t know all the types out there, if you don’t know, if you don’t understand, you know, cost per click and conversion, and some of these things, you’re sort of at a disadvantage, even if you outsource. So I would say starting out, it’s worth learning and experimenting yourself. Also, I would say that, you know, if you’re launching campaigns, it’ll give you some idea of what you can expect. Because if you’re launching, you know, auto and manual campaigns, and you’re getting you know, 150% Acos it’s unlikely that you’ll go hire someone, and they’ll be able to produce a 20% acos for you, right? So you’ll have a better sense of like, what is realistic? Because, yes, likely an expert will, hopefully should be able to get you better results, but they’re also not magicians, so they might be able to lower your acos from 150 to 70. Right? Like, but not likely that you’ll go because you’re probably targeting. If you’ve launched your product, you should have done keyword research, you should have done some of these things and you’re probably targeting the main keywords, but you’re not likely getting the conversions, which is working on your listing. So I would say starting out, I would say it’s worth learning, and doing things yourself. Also, if you’re not funded and you don’t have a big budget and big spend, the best people won’t take you as clients, that means you’re going to a second tier, third tier, maybe managers, right? Meaning somebody you might find on Upwork, or you know, some of these services where, again, they may be good, they may not be good, some of it will be hit or miss in terms of finding somebody that’s good. The best agencies, you know, are going to have minimum fees that maybe don’t make sense for somebody who’s spending $1,000 a month on PPC, right, you’re going to spend at least 1000 with the agency, you’re going to spend exactly what you’re spending kind of doesn’t make sense. So I would say in the beginning, it’s worthwhile to learn and do it. The question of when to outsource, I think is on two fronts. Number one, do you like doing it, if you like doing it and enjoy and are good at it, you should keep it or hire someone and, you know, train them, or hire somebody in house, if you realize that your time could be better spent doing other things like developing products, working on other areas of the business, and this is sort of like a, you’re not able to dedicate the time to this and it’s being neglected, that’s a good signal that you should be hiring someone. So I had a conversation with someone today and like, they just don’t have the time they have some best selling products on Amazon, but they’re in the ads, like once every two weeks, they don’t really have time to dedicate to running it, they have a good business, the acos has gone up, and they realize, you know, probably need to dedicate more time to this. That’s a good signal of okay, I should probably either outsource this, or hire somebody in house. Again, hiring somebody in house might make sense if you have a tremendously high adspend. So let’s say you’re spending, you know, 200,000 300,000 400,000 a month, it could actually be cheaper for you to hire a full time person in house and hiring an agency you just have to make sure you’re hiring somebody that knows what they’re doing. The benefit of working with an agency is if you’re working with a good agency, part of the advantage of like my team is that they’re consistently, you know, among the 30 ad managers we have on my team, they’re consistently sharing best practices among them, right, consistently learning from each other. And if you have, one of the things I find people who want to switch to working for us and for a brand, is they’re not getting that level, they’re the expert at the brand, right, they’re the PPC expert, they’re not getting that level of knowledge and learning and sharing best practices from other people. And that’s hopefully in a good agency, what you should be getting, you have to vet that, you know, as well. But I would recommend generally, people starting out, do as much things in your business by yourself, right? It’s not just throwing money at stuff is not necessarily the best solution, even if you have it because you want to understand the business and you want to starting out if you don’t have a business that’s profitable, necessarily, you want to spend money on the most important things, which are going to be inventory, and actually the ad budget right at Amazon and developing great products, and a photographer and video and some of these things that you can’t do on your own, and really learn, you know, I would recommend learning PPC.

Ken 33:07
Yeah, that’s a great answer. So we’re coming up on time, I wanted to make sure, David, do you have any any other questions?

David 33:13
I don’t. Let’s get into the fire round.

Ken 33:16
Yeah, Liran, are you ready for the fire round?

Liran 33:18
I’m ready. Let’s go.

Ken 33:20
All right, what is your favorite book?

Liran 33:22
You know, I guess it would have to say Think and Grow Rich, probably a common answer. But you know, I think reading that first, I think around 2007 or eight really opened up my eyes to, you know, to the concept of developing a vision for what you want writing things down. And I’ve just seen, it’s almost like miracles, that the things that you write down, and when you write down your goals, and you look back at it, three, four or five years later, it’s like, so many of the things you write down actually happened. And you know, kind of shifting to that mindset, you know, was definitely a change for me.

Ken 33:57
Excellent, excellent book. What are your hobbies?

Liran 33:59
So I like to travel I definitely like to travel, spend time outdoors, you know, travel, spend time with my family. Lately, it seems like sitting in front of my laptop has been my hobby, but spending time with family, traveling. All those are things I enjoy doing.

Ken 34:15
Nice. What is one thing that you do not miss about working for the man?

Liran 34:19
Yeah, so I mean, I would say like the bureaucracy, or, like, knowing that decisions that were being made are being made to please certain like things in the business, but they didn’t even make sense. You know? So when I was a bank manager, you know, we had these like, goals of getting certain checking accounts a week, and like the bank didn’t really care even like, was it feasible, was it not based on foot traffic and everything else, you know, and employees ended up just like asking customers for a favor like hey, you have one checking account. Can you open another account and just like move $500 in there, you know. It’s like just causing more paperwork and not more profit to the bank, but like, as long as you kind of like, you know, hit the goals, right? They didn’t care about anything else. Right, which to me, like, in business, if you’re running a business and you’re an entrepreneur, you would never make those kinds of things, right. And when you consistently see that it’s frustrating, right? And so like, yeah, like doing stupid things for no reason, right, just to satisfy kind of like your boss, you know, I can imagine that probably resonates with people and for me was like, actually, I was advising the bank in the early 2000s. Like, you should be doing like internet marketing, you know, we should be doing webinars on like, for first time homebuyers and stuff. And they’re like, that was like, they’re like, we don’t do that.

Ken 35:35
Nice. Yeah, no, that’s a common answer. I definitely agree. Okay, so last one, what do you think sets apart successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started?

Liran 35:45
Yeah. So I think the answer is in the question, right? Those that never give up. And those that start are the ones that ultimately end up having success. I follow Jesse Itzler, who is one of the owners of the Atlanta Hawks, he’s married to Sara Blakely, who’s the founder of Spanx. And one of his quotes is stay in the game long enough until you get lucky. Right. And I feel like, you know, for those, you know, that are successful again, for a lot of people it wasn’t necessarily their first product, you know, or their first go at entrepreneurship. And if they were to quit at their first go, you probably wouldn’t see, you know, amazing companies today that have been created. So I really think it’s about perseverance.

Ken 36:24
Nice. Awesome. David, you want to close it out?

David 36:27
Yeah. How can people get hold of you?

Liran 36:29
Sure. So my email is Liran@incrementumdigital.com. I also have a Facebook group called e commerce mindset and a podcast with the same name and pretty active on social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

David 36:43
Well, very nice. And we will post links to all of that in the show notes. Liran, want to thank you for being a guest on the firing the man podcast, and hope to talk to you soon.

Liran 36:52
Awesome. Thanks for having me on.

David 36:53
Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you’d like this episode, head on over to firingtheman.com and check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services, that is firingtheman.comresource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer

Ken 37:33
and Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 37:51
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai