Serial entrepreneur of the highest regard, Manny Coats has been involved in successful online marketing and advertising since the 90’s.
Through perseverance and hard work, he is now running multiple 7-figure businesses; from PC games to mobile applications and now Amazon software.
He is the CEO and founder of Helium 10, a software suite that helps drive the success of many Amazon seller businesses, including his own. You can follow him at AM/PM Podcast on YouTube.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
• 01:41 – Businesses built that have reached 7 figures.
• 03:27 – Missed opportunities that led to Helium 10.
• 11:12 – Danny asks about how Helium 10 takes real Amazon search volume.
• 17:27 – Two-step and Super URLs in depth.
• 23:28 – Standard operating procedures and building the team.
• 27:15 – What a successful Amazon seller’s mindset is.
• 31:56 – The 4-Hour Workweek vs The Grind.
• 33:57 – Two most valuable Helium 10 tools for beginners.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Intro: [00:00:00] Are you looking to optimize your mindset and lifestyle for success in today’s business world? You’re in the right place. This is where you get to build your freedom through promoting through Facebook and selling on Amazon. Welcome to Actualize Freedom with your host Wilson and Danny.
Danny: [00:00:17] What’s up guys? Danny Carlson here, co-host of the Actualize Freedom podcast, and today I am super excited because my guest is someone I have been following since I got started in Amazon, um really inspirational. About two years ago, got started on Amazon, first nine months did a million dollars and his second year on Amazon did 3.3 million in only his second year of but that’s just the beginning like he’s also the founder of the Helium 10 Software Suite and he coaches Amazon sellers and the Illuminati Mastermind, um some coaching on there as well. I don’t know how this guy does it. He’s got so many crazy things going on. Um, so welcome to the podcast Manny Coats.
Manny: [00:00:59] Thank you. Thank you for having me. I know I look orange to you guys. I promise you I’m not this color, but this is what we get.
Danny: [00:01:06] Yeah, the LA sun shines a different shade down there apparently, right? Some Instagram filter, although shots on [inaudible].
Manny: [00:01:13] Thank you. Yeah, right.
Danny: [00:01:15] Awesome, man. So one thing that I found really fascinating was preparing for this interview is I didn’t realize how many products you’ve been involved in. You are like serial entrepreneur to the truest form. So, um how many seven-figure businesses have you built over the years since you were just a young man?
Manny: [00:01:34] That’s like um, you know, I never actually counted um.
Danny: [00:01:37] You never actually counted. He can’t even remember. how many anymore.
Business that have reached 7 figures.
No, well, I mean I’ve had a lot of businesses that have reached seven figures in sales, um, not seven figures in in net income. Um, but yeah, I mean it started back when I I was I had the world’s largest humor site at one point called TwistedHumor.com and I went from basically I was about to get evicted, already had my vehicle repossessed. They were going to come up with Marshals and like escort me out, you know forcefully and um, I remember I figured something out with some online marketing something called Courageous back in the day. I got my first check I think it was 1,500 bucks, ran down, paid my rent and then um, you know, it was kind of smoother sailing from there on. That was my first seven figure business and since then the most recent stuff obviously is, you know, the journey on Amazon, you mentioned 3.3 million in sales last year, um, and then Helium 10, which is this on a different level, you know, which is uh software for Amazon sellers and then I dabble in a bunch of stuff. We partner with a bunch of people and, you know, try to keep it new and fresh all the time.
Danny: [00:02:40] Yeah. Well you certainly do a great job of that Manny. You also have a lot of notable missed opportunities that I found on your profile there. So you had the potential to invest early in eBay. You had the potential to start creating iPhone apps like in 2007 or something like that before the iPhone actually came out. Um, yeah. So what I’m wondering is did those missed opportunities have anything to do with why you’re going so all in on Amazon because I remember when I was following you just starting out like you at the same time you’re getting into Amazon selling products and you created a podcast and Helium 10, the software company pretty much all the same time. So that’s pretty much all in right so did that did the missed opportunities almost like change the way you think in making go all-in on Amazon?
From mobile apps to Amazon software and the similarities in ranking
Um, no, I don’t know that that would be the case. I I think the missed opportunities are just. It’s bad decisions. You know, we everybody who’s successful has had uh problems at some point, right? You have your ups and downs. Most of the wealthiest people on the planet have crashed and burned or they they filed for BK and then they turn around and they become multimillionaires or billionaires again. I mean, it’s just a cycle. Things happen. In my case, I had a pretty thriving business. Um, we’ll talk about the iPhone one, you know. Our engineers came in. We were developing software for the PC games for for the PC, little games flash games stuff and they’re like, hey, you know this new new phone device came out called the iPhone and um, it’s really cool. It’s got this new screen that you know, it’s higher resolution and at that time phones, this was a during a time right before the smartphone’s came out where every year it was a new type of phone. That was like the hot thing, right. You had the Trio and then you had the Blackberry and you had and it was just constantly changing. I’m like I remember specifically being in that meeting with our CTO going why would we ever create software for a phone that’s going to be dead in a year? It’s gonna be the next best thing, right? Now you go back and tell me like, oh my God, if we would have like created a game for the iPhone there, we would have been like we would have dominated because we, you know, I eventually did get into the uh the app store or the mobile game business with uh, and we released a few hundred games. But yeah super missed opportunity. But going to the Amazon side when I when I decided to jump into Amazon. I took a lot of what I learned from the app side and move that over to the Amazon side and it translated beautifully because on the if you think about this, right if you look at a mobile game, which is what we were developing, um, you have a thumbnail which you have on Amazon, right? You got your main thumb main image on the search results. You’ve got titles. You got descriptions. You got bullet points. You also have backend search terms. All of that stuff is the same um, and you have pricing and but over on the app side you’re dealing with like the world’s smartest people. I mean, it’s crazy and then I come over to the Amazon side. Well a lot of smart people in the Amazon side, but you’re dealing with like engineers and all kinds of crazies over there that are just really good at stuff. And then when I applied that stuff the the ranking techniques that we were using on the App Store side um, it works really well. We knew that titles were really important on the app sides. I wonder if they’re important on the Amazon side right for your product. We knew that things were weighted more heavily when things were in the beginning of your title, so we started testing with that. We started just doing everything and it worked out well and went to uh, you know did over a million dollars the first year and um during that process I’m like, you know, it’d be cool to document this just for myself. So let’s start a podcast like, oh that was seems kind of interesting. I’m super not skilled at podcasting. I knew nothing about. All right, let’s just create one. This should be fun and I’ll throw it out there. Also. I’m going to try to make a quarter million dollars in sales this year or the first full year 2016 just to put it out there and then I didn’t know if anybody would follow the podcast and I was documenting my mistakes and all that stuff which was kind of cool. I didn’t realize nobody else was doing that. Everybody else is like yeah, I’m crushing it. It’s awesome. It’s just everything’s you know, unicorns and fairies and I was like man, I’m like I didn’t pass a drop test and myself got held up at the uh the port for x-rays because it’s in some kind of container with somebody else’s terrible products. And so because I was talking about this stuff they build up a following. And um started developing some software tools for myself, SCRIBBLES and Frankenstein, which we released for free. People really liked it and eventually we, you know, started charging for the software once we added some more tools and charged 97 bucks, which was super reasonable back then for you know, a few tools. And then today we’ve got over 20 tools and it’s still the same price. So and it’s been a model that’s worked really well for us.
Danny: [00:07:07] Yeah, you certainly did a great job being super authentic through that whole journey. Like I said, I’ve been following you pretty much since the start of your podcast there. So, Uh, it’s been really interesting seeing this turn out so well within a couple years there. Like you said like you’re going for quarter million dollars in sales in the first year and then you hit a million um before the first year was actually up right there. So I bet I bet that authenticity really paid off for you and and something that I really see to a lot of the sellers that come to us at Kenji ROI here, they really don’t understand the keywords and, you know, kind of trying to optimize for that kind of stuff just it’s not how most people’s brains work, I think. So I think that experience as well on the app side of things with the keywords and kind of understanding how that would increase your ranking in the search results and all that kind of thing. I’m sure that was really valuable experience. Um..
Manny: [00:07:57] Yeah, super valuable and I think a lot of people, um, they tend to follow exactly what they’re told and I try not to talk in absolutes when I’m training or anybody. I was speaking to somebody today and they’re like tell me your strategy or what’s the strategy people should use to source products. And I like man, there is no one strategy to source products. It really depends on about 100 different factors like somebody who’s starting off with $3,000. It’s totally different than somebody starting off with $100,000 budget in terms of how they’re going to launch a product, right? You’re not going to go out and source a products that cost your cost $100 per unit If you only got $3,000, right? You just not going to be able to effectively compete. You’re going to get into something cheaper. So there’s no one thing, no one way of doing everything but I think people should think outside the box, right? If everybody is being taught to do this, think about it? Well well if everybody’s doing this, what about the small percentage that are doing this over here? Right? Maybe there’s a market to eke out there and that’s what I thought. I’m like, well everybody because I was like you man. I was listening to the podcast that um, Scott Voelker was putting out and all these guys, you know, uh that came before me and I’m like, oh because they’re all teaching small fits in a shoebox. It’s got to weigh less than a pound. It’s got to have this and that and I’m like, all right, let me do something. I’m going to go for something that’s way bigger than a shoebox. I’m going to go for something that weighs like 15 pounds that costs 100 bucks that’s not light in any way, you know and and try that and see what happens. And sure enough, what happens when you do that? Nobody’s there. Nobody is you have no competition. The products that are that expensive don’t get bought that much, right? There’s not a 100 purchases a day of a product that’s super expensive. You don’t need that many in order to make profit, right? So, what does that mean? That means there’s not that many reviews for that product, right? A good selling product mainly has 34 reviews so I can come in with three reviews for reviews on a product and actually not look that bad versus if you come in three or four product reviews on a product that we’re all your competitors have 700 reviews, It’s more challenging, right? That that slope that battle uh to get in has become very steep um, and you just got to be a little bit more creative in order to to bypass that.
Danny: [00:10:06] Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I mean, so you’ve developed some good ways of actually increasing your chances of bypassing that, right? Um, one thing I’ve heard a lot all over the Internet these days is the new Helium 10 tool getting actual real Amazon search volume um and not some Google search volume or something like that. So for example, I just tested out this new tool. I’m not going to name names here. But um someone reached out there like, oh we have this amazing keyword tool like you should test it out. I did a few basic searches for a product that I’m really familiar with and I know the keywords that actually making sales and doing well and it was some of the top results were things like, um homemade products and um where to buy product and obviously people are not going to be searching for where to buy something when they’re on Amazon because they’re going to buy it on freaking Amazon, right? They’re not gonna search for a homemade because they’re on freaking Amazon So that obviously it’s coming from Google or Bing or one of these places, right? So, yeah, maybe tell us a little bit about how the new Helium 10 tool takes real Amazon search volume in and little bit why that’s really important.
Real Amazon search on Helium 10
Yeah, it’s honestly supercritical and I’m gonna explain why it’s super critical because people say well it doesn’t really matter, you know, the search volume if it’s a little different. Um, it’s not a little different like you said, Um you what you mentioned is just one aspect of it. What you want to get actual Amazon search data and nobody.. You don’t need the data that’s on Bing or on Google because that doesn’t really matter, right? You need to know what people are typing into Amazon. It’s going to be different. Um, if you’re using Google search data and everybody’s been there back in the day, uh, when we first started our very first tool, that’s what we use. We had APIs that tied into the search engine data and we would take some of that that information and we would um, bring it back and run an algorithm on it that we thought represented a little bit better of what Amazon might be showing but we put that on there. We would say, hey this date on our tool. We’re always up front. One of the things that our company is we always want to be upfront about everything we’re doing and we would say right on there. This is uh, this data comes from I think we said it comes from Bing which is where we were originally going to stop getting our data. Now though, we’ve got actual Amazon data and why it’s important is if you’re trying to remember earlier I said, you know, if you’re competing, you know, how do you get up that slope? How do you get past all those hurdles? You have to get yourself to the top of page one, or at least somewhere and, you know, somewhere on page one and hopefully near the top and there’s ways of doing that through a launch strategy and launch strategies are based off of sales velocity, right and you got to have a certain amount of sales velocity. That means a certain number of units per day over a certain number of days in order to trigger the algorithm at Amazon and tell them. You know basically tell their algorithm like whoa, hey people are searching for um, you know, uh silicone ducks, right? And this is a hot word, you know, and this product for whatever reason people are buying this product when people search for that term, so..
Danny: [00:12:57] I’m gonna want to buy that product. Sounds pretty cool to me.
Manny: [00:13:00] Everybody always talks about grill brushes and silicone mats. I don’t know I don’t like came up with that. Yeah, you come up you whatever keywords you’re going after, you need to get to the top but the thing is well, how do you know how many products to actually sell per day with someone searching that phrase? Now, it’s a multi-step thing. In order to get the algorithm or the Amazon system to actually move you up, it has to know that people are searching for a phrase, right? And they’re buying after they search for that phrase. So you’re using what’s called a two-step storefront URL we can talk about that if you want, but essentially, there’s a certain amount of volume that you need every day. In order to with that particular keyword that needs to be purchased in order to move you up. Amazon’s are seeing this. We do eight days, okay? And we actually have a formula called the CPR formula. Okay. It’s called it was named that because that stands for Cerebro Product Rank. Um, um, but CPR is also you know, what you give something to bring them back to life. Well, you’re giving a life to your keywords. So that might help you remember CPR. And by the way guys, if you want to learn this because I could talk about it for an hour on CPR, we have I wrote up a really detailed blog on it on what it is and how to use it and stuff, um at Helium10.com/CPR so you can just go and check that out. But over eight days, you get uh to know how many um, err sorry. You’re you’re giving away or I shouldn’t say giveaway, you’re discounting your products heavily so that everybody buys and you’re giving you’re selling a certain number per day for eight days, and then you should move based on those numbers to the top of page one. So the question is, how do you know how many to give away per day? That’s been the biggest thing. So unless you’re using a launch service where they’ve done thousands of launches and they know because they’ve run this tons of times, you don’t know. You have to use a launch service. So you have to guess. Well, we’ve created a formula based on the exact phrase search volume that you get now within our tools within Helium 10. It has two keyword tools. One is um Cerebro like it’s I guess that’s the word for a human brain in Spanish and then um are not human just brain and then you got um Magnet, which is uh, a keyword magnet, right? And both of those now have columns that tell you exactly how many units you need to give away every single day for eight days to launch a brand-new product and it’s worked for thousands of people. It’s worked on every product that we’ve uh we’ve launched so far, um with the exception of once and I think I podcasted about it where we we ended up to the top of page 2 because we went into it too late. Um, we were getting we’re trying to sell something in Christmas and by the time it launched, it was the beginning of December when people are already starting to buy a lot. And the search volume changed from the time we actually ran the numbers initially to win. Um, it actually hit Amazon. So we had to run it for a little bit longer and it did end up becoming a number of the top product. So I know I jumped around there a lot but that’s kind of the process. You just need to know how many units to give away over certain amount of time and Helium 10 um, that’s just two of the tools uh that are in there that help you rank. And I think if you just throw a product up on Amazon with everything kind of dialed in, I mean, it’s good luck. You’re probably not going to be found, right? It’s there’s there’s a I don’t even know how many products are an Amazon. We track 450 million products in Helium 10. That’s almost half a billion. That’s with a B um, and we have the largest database uh on the planet right now for Amazon products outside of Amazon. So for tracking that many, there’s probably a lot more than that and you’re just going to get lost.
Danny: [00:16:28] Yeah, I mean, I heard a statistic a little while ago that there’s the rate of a thousand new Amazon sellers per day entering the market. So that gives you some scale right there, but you can guarantee that a large percentage of those Amazon sellers have no clue what they’re doing. They’re not actually learning these strategies. They’re not figuring out how keywords work, how to optimize your listing to show up, how do you actually do a product launch correctly to show up on the search results rankings. This is pretty technical stuff.. It’s um, it doesn’t come intuitively to people like we’re saying earlier there. Um, so some of these strategies are definitely going to be really helpful to people. Maybe let’s talk a little bit, you mentioned two-step URLs here. So some people here familiar with two-step URL, super URLs kind of how they work. Um, so I’d like you to go pretty pretty in depth of the details of that. Maybe quickly explain what a two-step URL is and then explain why does that work when a super URL does not work from like for the real techies out there?
Two-step URLs and super URLs in depth
Okay. All right. Um, so first of all if you just want the shortcut to this and you I don’t even know if you know this. We released this about a month ago. You go to Helium10.com/gems and you can actually create your two-step URLs and frequently bought together URLs and all kinds of whatever kind of URL you want. That’s there. Okay, but if you want to do it the you know, the old-fashioned way, which it’s still perfectly fine, that’s good. Um, Uh, I’m going to show I’m going to tell you how to do that but an old super URL was this, I mean there was a lot of old old types of super URLs, but essentially you go to Amazon, you do a search for a product right for for a keyword phrase sorry, you find your product in the search results, whatever page that’s on and then you click into your product, and now that you’re on your product listing page, you would grab that URL right and then you’ve got that’s the URL yet you’re using everywhere and you’ve got a super URL essentially because that URL has the keyword phrase that you originally used embedded in it. Amazon tracks that from page to page. It’ll even track what page you came from and knows all that kind of stuff, right? So that was a super URL. That was really powerful for a while. It stopped being um effective in most cases without serious modifications. So then what started working was and part of the reason why that stopped working is because there was no time stamp, Unix time code that was in the URL. Um, so you have to simulate that. So one way of doing that is you can go. Um, I can show this better if we had a video and I could run run through this and I’ve got videos on our blog site if you guys just searched if you already there on how to do that, but you go, let me see if I can explain this. You go into Amazon, um you bring up your product page, okay? Whatever your product pages. Okay. You’re going to look for your uh seller name, okay,? Not the brand name, but the seller name and you’re going to click on your seller name from there. That’s going to bring you to a page where at the top of it It’s going to have your seller name. Let’s say you called XYZ. It’s going to say XYZ storefront. You click on that. Okay. So now you’re on your storefront and you’re going to notice that the search bar at the top that normally says Amazon or has a subcategory is now going to have your store name in there. And then that’s going to have that page is going to have all your products that you sell under that that uh seller ID. Now you type in the keyword phrase, uh that you want to actually rank for. Okay so let’s say you typed in um, you know, uh kitten shoes. Okay. Well, whatever it is. Whatever you’re selling. So now you got kitten shoes and your kitten shoes pop-up. Okay, that’s only because that’s the only product that you have that will show up for the word kitten shoes. You’re going to copy that URL. Okay. So that’s your um, that’s your uh, two-step storefront URL because what that’s doing now when you paste this anywhere when you’re promoting this on Facebook or wherever it is, you’re not sending people directly to your product listing page, right? They’re gonna see your store front page with your um, your kitten shoes right there, right and they probably have a coupon code that you’ve given them that says, hey buy this today and you get 70% off. So they’re going to click on your your thumbnail that your product and now that takes them to your store front page um your actual, sorry, your product listing page and it’s added a timestamp into the URL because you were never on that page initially. You click on a product let’s say if you did a search and now you’re on that page. So Amazon is going to wow, this is unique. This is cool. And you’re on that page now and of course, if you look at the URL, you’ll also see the keyword phrase “kitten shoes” in there. So when they buy that product, boom! Amazon goes wow! You know this person just typed in kitten shoes. They clicked into the product. They bought it. So we’re going to give a little bit of you know, rank juice, a little love to this product for that keyword and then you start moving up. And now if you can get a ton of people to do this every single day over time, your sales history shows that and you start moving up and eventually you do it fast enough over enough time, you get to the top of page one. So that’s that’s the one that’s a long way of doing it. It’s not that long, right? It takes 20 seconds or you can just go to the page I mentioned earlier and you can just type in the details there and that probably takes just as long to be honest. Uh, but but you’ll get that you’ll get the URL.
Danny: [00:21:23] Oh that is super valuable stuff. Um, and a lot of you are probably thinking like yeah, big deal, everyone knows about this two-step URL like whatever but I recently met um a seller who’s doing about two million dollars per year that literally just learned about this like three months ago. Um, not even that so like there’s a lot of people who don’t know this kind of stuff. So keeping up to date on this kind of information, these little these little strategies for increasing your the effectiveness of your launches and everything like that still super valuable. Don’t just think just because that just because you learned something on a podcast that everyone else out there is learning it, always be learning this stuff, always be keeping up to date with what’s working guys. Super super important. So Manny, I got to [inaudible].
Manny: [00:22:06] I’m sorry, go ahead.
Danny: [00:22:08] Oh exactly, very very good point there because, like we’re talking about the old super URLs, if you were still using those um, and you’re putting a bunch of money into a product launch expecting that to work then it’s not actually going to work right and same thing with the storefront two-step URL were just talking about. If your product launch is two months down the road and you just, you know go off and you’re living in a forest for two months, you don’t check the internet and it’s not effective anymore, then your product launch isn’t going to work. It maybe it’s actually going to get you in trouble or something like that, right? So super important to always stay updated and always be learning what is the most current information. Um, all right, man, so I got a few more questions for you here. Um these are these are more kind of selfish questions just for my own personal interest more than anything. Um, but one of them is just during your career as a serial entrepreneur like you’ve been through some situations you’ve managed, you know 50 employees at one of your businesses and a whole of a bunch of different businesses, I mean you currently have so many projects on the go here. My guess is that you have some pretty incredible way of creating standard operating procedures or some kind of some kind of system. Maybe it’s partnering with people. I don’t know but I’d like a little a little insight into how you’re actually able to achieve all of this stuff the same time. What does that look like?
Building a team and the standard operating procedures
Yeah, I honestly the secret to all of this is is uh building a team on my side. Um, that’s what’s worked for me. Um, I was lucky enough to get an awesome partner. Um, I was working with somebody, his name is Gee and you’ve heard him on the podcast and we worked on a video game for about a year before this and I started to realize man, he’s been in online marketing as long as I have. We’re both passionate and working on this game together, but our skillset really is is over here, you know. So we started tallking out. Became partners eventually and I know where my strengths are,, you know. I he knows where his are. He’s more of the technical guy. So when it came to setting up, uh, SOP standard operating procedures, he came in to our office and begin and initially It was just us and now we’ve got, you know, um, well over a dozen people here and couple dozen people outside of the office, but he set all that stuff up. I think he was using was it [inaudible] and I’m not even familiar with all the software tools that he uses with the team to create all this stuff. But yeah, we have our standard operating procedures in place and one of the things we did right up right away is we made a task list of everything that needs to be done and it’s huge, right? You don’t realize how much stuff you do until you start writing down literally everything that you do all day. Like when you do something, write it down. Use something like TimeDoctor to record your event and just see you can you know at the end of the day you can get go through it and go, oh my God, I did like 27 things before lunch, you know? And you don’t think about that. Each thing only takes five minutes, but your whole day is gone, right? And then if you can actually assign a price to to your hourly rate like what are you worth? Are you a $20 an hour person? Are you a $200 an hour person? You know, where do you set your value and whatever that number is then start looking at all these tasks and to say hey, you know, what am I do I do I do I make less or I’m sorry is is that task worth the amount that I’m worth, right? And if it’s not then then uh, you know, outsources. So we started building, uh teams. Um, we started outsourcing. We use OnlineJobs.ph, right, to to get most of our uh, our workers from the Philippines that handle.. They’re awesome. Super. Just everybody we’ve got has been incredible there. Our art teams. Our video teams. Um, our support teams have been from there. We outsource a lot of our engineering. We outsource just I mean, anything that we can outsource we do. Anything that’s critical like if it’s marketing, if it’s sales, if it’s uh.. A lot of the development and operation stuff that’s here in our office because we have so many meetings and we’ve got all you know communicate but once you have that in place, um, and you can expand so fast, it’s hard to let go though. I mean in the beginning, you want to do everything because you know best. I know my business. I know my product. I don’t want any nobody’s going to do it as well as me. They don’t know my stuff and then I have to spend time to train them and I don’t have time because I’m working, you know, 20 hours a day. Um, but if you can get past that and just say, okay, I’m going to let go a little bit and let people start doing it, it frees you up. It frees you up to start thinking about stuff, right? And uh, you know to work on your business, no longer to work in your business and uh, yeah, it’s liberating and that’s what we’ve done.
Danny: [00:26:39] I love it. Well, you’re certainly been a great case study of exactly how much you can accomplish when you start delegating and building the team out in that way. Um and then also, um, there’s one thing I wanted to ask you about mindset. So you see a lot of Amazon sellers. You see a lot of successful sellers meeting at events and things like that. You see also a lot of sellers who are making really common mistakes. Um people who maybe don’t have the right mindset or the way of looking at things. So is there a trend in a certain type of mindset or way of looking at things that you see in successful Amazon sellers?
Successful Amazon sellers mindset
Um, I would say perseverance, right? Um, meaning don’t quit. Always move forward. Keep at it. You’re going to run into bumps in the road. You’re going to hit the walls. I mean it’s going to happen. My first product failed. I mean sort of failed. It could have failed. I could have I could have said man. It’s a failure. I didn’t make any money on it and quit but instead I looked at it. I’m like, alright, what did I learn from this and how do I make the next product better? And you know, can I talk about this with the audience? And you know, then I had this had all this inventory of this product. They were uh, they were uh what do you call them, liquid chalk markers, right? And I know people that have gone on and crushed it with these things, you know? They made millions of dollars. Didn’t work for me when I did it. I was just learning. But these liquid chalk markers I had, you know, um thousand? No, I wouldn’t say thousands. I probably had two variations. I would say hundreds of units that were left over at Amazon. I’m like. Man, I can’t sell these I just could not sell them even no matter what price I was putting them at. So I’m like, alright, let me start experimenting with these products. I have nothing to lose. So that’s when I started going in and tweaking stuff like crazy like what happens if I fill in this field in the back end and I do this and what if I rearrange my title, what if I shorten it down to the a really short title with just a bunch of sorry with a few really good keywords versus what if I max it out to the limit and keyword stuff it and what if I do this with the images and split test. So I started doing all this stuff and I started realizing what worked and what didn’t on that, right? And I wasn’t making that much money, but I could see where sales velocity was changing and I’m like, oh man, I’m gonna do that on my next product which I did and then that product took off and that’s why we instead of doing two hundred fifty thousand dollars um, in the first year, we did um, what was it 1.6 million. One million in the first nine months. Um, so it’s just a matter of don’t let things stop you, right? Don’t don’t be like, oh, you know what? I can’t do it. Um, just just move forward. If you’re an entrepreneur and you got that mindset, you’ll crush through it. Okay, not everybody has this by the way, you know. A lot of people say anybody can do anything and I don’t believe in that. I honestly I just don’t because I have friends that no matter how much I push them, they will not put in the dedication, uh, that’s needed to do this. Like I’m the guy, you’re probably the same guy, where when I started it off man, I’d go to the gym. I love listening to music when I’m working out. I’d be listening to a podcast. When I was in the shower, I bought one of those little sticky things, uh, that little sticky speakers. Um, and I was Bluetoothing information. I’d be listening to a video or something while I was taking, you know, a seven-minute shower. Seven minutes.
Danny: [00:29:43] Yeah. I’d be listening to you. I mean hearing Manny Coats’ voice on 2x speed and the shower on my way to work.
Manny: [00:29:48] I’m surprised you can listen to me. I tend to talk pretty fast. So that’s good. We got a fast mind. But yeah, you know, that’s the kind of mindset you got to have and also and I know there’s a whole, you know, tim Ferriss and the whole mindset of barely working and I don’t know that many super successful people on my side that can pull that off. They can go in and say Hey, you know, and I’m going to work, you know one hour a week and just make a you know, crush it and make a killer business. Um, I was the opposite. I was putting in like crazy hours and just grinding and grinding and and it worked. It worked for me but it’s there, you know, you you sacrificed a little bit. Your friends are going out and they’re going to the bars and having fun and they’re doing their thing and you’re at home hacking away at your your listing and trying to make things work. Um, so it’s a tradeoff but is their balance? Absolutely. I’m finding that I can find that balance and some people can as well but I think if you can grind um, and you can hustle? Absolutely do it. I think that’s what Elon Musk always talks about as like, yeah, if you’re gonna start a company, you got to be ready to sacrifice. So that’s I believe in that.
Danny: [00:30:52] Oh, yeah, I agree 100% on that. I’m definitely more of a grind and just put a whole bunch of work into a kind of guy um, which is funny because the Tim Ferriss, his 4-Hour Workweek book is actually what got me interested in online business in the first place, but totally not the reason that you keep going, right? I work crazy hours for sure. And I’ve actually met quite a few, um, entrepreneurs that are really successful now and in the past they achieved that 4-Hour Workweek, you know, they were making great money. They are traveling South East Asia and they didn’t have to work at all. And so many of these guys ended up just turning into like miserable people. They went into some kind of depression because they realized oh, hey, I actually don’t want to go sit on a beach and work for four hours a day and go surfing, you know, 10 hours a day. So I think I think It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be hustling and and grinding and working through all this stuff.. It sounds terrible, but. It’s it can be super exciting and distressful at times too, of course, but it can be a really exciting fulfilling in its own respect.
The 4-Hour Workweek or the Grind?
Absolutely and it depends on where you want to be in life to when I when before I got into the app business, you know, I got to a point where I built up, uh, the company. This is the one that had 50 employees and um, then right after that we set up a smaller company and my I had a business partner at that point and the agreement that we had would I was going to fund this from our other company and he didn’t go very little risk on his side, but I would be stepping away after a certain amount of time. And I don’t remember what it was but it wasn’t that long and he would be essentially running it now. I would just kind of come in from time to time and I probably was working four hours a week if that on that business while pulling in massive checks from the company. Um, so I was able to get to that point with that business. With this business, I didn’t know anything about it the Amazon side of stuff. I didn’t know anything about creating software for Amazon. So my goal was, you know, I could I could work like part-time hours and build this up over time, but I wanted to get there fast. I know I knew I could see the writing on the wall. I could see competitors coming out with software. I could see that it was a humongous opportunity and everybody’s going to be jumping in yet all these amazing courses and all the stuff that was going on, mass promotions and I’m like, let me get in there. Make a name, you know. Make a brand and just kind of uh get there quick and then you know exit at some point, right, uh, which is hopefully coming up soon and then I can decide whether I want to be born on the beach or if I want to continue doing something.
Danny: [00:33:20] Well, it is great to be able to have that luxury of making that decision on your own terms, right? You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to but it is there. It’s definitely there, right?
Manny: [00:33:29] For sure.
Danny: [00:33:30] Oh Manny, it’s been awesome having you on the podcast here, um pretty interesting to you know be listening to you for two years in the shower on two times speed and then uh interviewing you here on my own podcast. So thanks for joining us. Uh, the audience got a lot of really good nuggets here. Um, where should the audience go? What would you recommend for the beginners starting out? What would the be if you could choose one or two the most valuable tools out of the Helium 10 toolset, what would those one or two be?
Two most valuable Helium 10 tools for beginners
Um, if they’re beginning, if they’re brand-new, well, first of all, I would say it’s Helium 10. Helium10.com, you’re gonna get all the tools, but the tools you are going to start out with we have them actually categorized in order of what you’re going to start with. So the very top tool is going to be Black Box and that’s product research or for that’s product discovery, right? So if you don’t even have an idea right now what you want to sell, use leverage our database. 450 million ASINs in there, more than you’re going to find anywhere else. Okay and just start putting in filters. Like I want products that make $10,000 a month that weigh less than 2 pounds that are in the baby category that have this word in the title. There’s it’s amazing how much filtering you can do and it will come up and say, Here’s 170 products that fit that and you’ll go through and go man. I did not even know that they had boxing gloves for infants. This is cool. I’m going to sell these things right or whatever, right? You’re gonna find something weird. And then um, once you have that then you can validate the product. We have something similar to Jungle Scout. A lot of people are familiar with that so I’m going to use that name, but it’s called Xray and that’s included guys. So it’s included in the tool set. There’s 20 Tools in there. And if you and I was going to say if they want to try it out, try these tools, but first thing they got to do is they got to make their.. When they’re doing searches on Amazon, you need additional data in there to make good decisions. So we have a Chrome extension. It’s free. Everybody can download it right now and it gives you extra information on the search results. It gives you trends to see if a product is selling well during certain seasons. Um, it tells you how much you’re paying in fees. It tells you all kinds of stuff for free and uh, they can get that and they can go to uh, Helium10.com/Xray. That’s the name of the tool, Xray because like an x-ray, it sees in your body you’re seeing into the inside of all these products. You’re seeing their sales numbers. You’re seeing all the information that they probably don’t want you to see, you get that and that’s free and they can use that and if they like it, you know, they can get it. I believe you got something pretty sweet for them where they can actually get a pretty good discount, um on uh on actually getting everything at once.
Danny: [00:35:51] Yeah. I’ll put a link for you guys in the show notes on ActualizeFreedom.com here where you can get a discount on the on the Helium 10 stuff there. We use it personally here at Kenji ROI and for a few clients as well. So definitely recommend using those tools and if you guys aren’t already following Manny Coats podcast, AM/PM podcast? I don’t know why you wouldn’t be if you’re listening to me? You should be listening to this guy, super super smart. Definitely go check him out as well. But thanks so much, Manny, and we’ll see you around.
Manny: [00:36:18] Thank you for having me. Take care.
Danny: [00:36:20] Cheers.
Outro: [00:36:21] This podcast is sponsored by Kenji ROI. Obsessively optimized copywriting, product photography, videos and PPC for a highly cohesive feel and high conversion rate. Avoid expensive miscommunication with Freelancers who don’t understand Amazon. Kenji ROI’s team has produced over 600 Amazon listings responsible for multi-millions in annual sales for their clients. Clients know they’re covered with Kenji’s guarantees. After work has been delivered, their experts help you resolve any potential issues or concerns to an extreme level. If you’re still not happy, you will get a full refund. What kind of crazy guy makes a guarantee like that? Listeners of the Actualize Freedom podcast get a 10% discount for life on all Kenji ROI listing creation services, but only for the first 50 claims. Type in Go.KenjiROI.com/AF. Pause this podcast right now and claim your code. Like I said, once 50 are claimed they’re gone forever. So go now to Go.KenjiROI.com/AF to get your code now.
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