The Lucky Titan

How To Market Your Products on Amazon With Robyn Johnson

December 29, 2020 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
How To Market Your Products on Amazon With Robyn Johnson
The Lucky Titan
How To Market Your Products on Amazon With Robyn Johnson
Dec 29, 2020
Josh Tapp

Robyn has been heralded as one of the country's foremost leaders on the topic of selling and marketing products on Robyn, the co-founder of Marketplace Blueprint, a digital agency that specializes in listing optimization and advertising on Amazon. She has over a decade of experience of selling online on Amazon, eBay, and other eCommerce venues.

Starting with only $100 taken from their emergency fund, she built a seven-figure business selling on Amazon and eBay in just a few short years. In the years since then, Robyn has not only continued to sell directly on Amazon but also to build a consulting and coaching business working with the most successful resellers in the space.

Robyn is a regular contributor for Search Engine Journal and speaks at some of the most prestigious Amazon and Ecommerce conferences in the US and abroad. She has written a best selling book on Amazon called The Unlikely Entrepreneur about her journey starting her business. She has hosted multiple successful podcasts, including the Unstoppable Entrepreneur Show and the Marketplace Blueprint Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript

Robyn has been heralded as one of the country's foremost leaders on the topic of selling and marketing products on Robyn, the co-founder of Marketplace Blueprint, a digital agency that specializes in listing optimization and advertising on Amazon. She has over a decade of experience of selling online on Amazon, eBay, and other eCommerce venues.

Starting with only $100 taken from their emergency fund, she built a seven-figure business selling on Amazon and eBay in just a few short years. In the years since then, Robyn has not only continued to sell directly on Amazon but also to build a consulting and coaching business working with the most successful resellers in the space.

Robyn is a regular contributor for Search Engine Journal and speaks at some of the most prestigious Amazon and Ecommerce conferences in the US and abroad. She has written a best selling book on Amazon called The Unlikely Entrepreneur about her journey starting her business. She has hosted multiple successful podcasts, including the Unstoppable Entrepreneur Show and the Marketplace Blueprint Podcast.

Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to The Lucky Titan Podcast and today we are here with Robyn Johnson, she is the CEO and founder of Market Place blue print and she is actually one of the guest that we are bringing in because she has really interesting niche that we haven’t really cover heavily in this podcast I know a lot of you are branching out into the e-commerce space so this is going to be a fun episode, you know Robyn’s really got an amazing story going from a hundred dollar into her pockets to multi-million dollar company, now she’s run multiple different companies that at this point all of which really been inthe E-commerce space so she really knows what she’s talking about when it comes to selling a physical product online so Robyn say what’s up to everybody and let’s hop in to this interview. 

Robyn: thanks so much for having me, I am so excited to be here and share a little bit about what we’ve learn over the last decade kind of selling both digital and physical products online 

Josh: love that this is going to be a blast so to kick this off Robyn you know e-commerce is one of those spaces that kind of, I am not really good at big words and big words US, not really people understand like what e-commerce actually means to you what is e-commerce 

Robyn: well to me E-Commerce is really centered around buying things online, whether be information or physical product and I think the key to really good e-commerce marketing is really understanding not only who your buyer is but what the motivators are because if you are not clear on the psychographics on your buyer whether, physical or digital product it’s kind of be difficult for you to get conversions on having good enough product, this is not field of dreams on amazon and info-products if you built it they won’t come it’s really does come down to marketing and then having a high quality product that people will continue to refer on your product to in the future but you have to understand what are the real motivating things behind that purchase 

Josh: yea so when people are trying to go online and I love that you mention the field of dream thing because, we built many thing I probably built 60 products in my life time there are many times that no body came and you know I think the number one problem that people have in the space in the digital space period is that because there’s no barriers to entry they just built product and spend months and years to building this product and they launch it without any success so let’s talk about a little bit of your strategy for how help them to actually go from 0 to a million 

Robyn: so,are we going to talk about physical product or info because the marketing strategy is very different from each of those or I could do a little of each if you want it 

Josh: a little bit of each, let’s have first on the physical products then move on to digital 

Robyn: So physical product first you want to look and see, is there demand, so let’s just keep it to the world of Amazon because each eco system, so whether you are doing Facebook Ads or Google Ads, no of course they are all mingle you know if you are running Facebook ads it’s gonna boost your website sales, is gonna boost your Amazon sales there’s going to be a hail affecting  of acting each one of these eco-systems but if we look at each eco system kind of by itself on Amazon but what we wanna look at is there demand, is there search find for the key word rephrases people are going to use for your product so on Amazon people primarily find products through search, so the last time you went on you might go to a link from an external ads but most people they go to amazon even though they know exactly what they are looking for and they say Malibu barbie dream house then they type that in so is there enough people searching for your product with a keyword phrase has enough volume and then we wanna look at your competitor, like direct competitors who have very similar product where people get trouble in Amazon is you have brand new to category you know something that the sharks love on shark tank and they will say the whole new category the reason that they don’t like that is because there are enough people in here searching for that so you’re gonna have trouble and then the other thing is when we look and say “oh look there’s a lot” of search volume for garlic process well if there’s 4000 other garlic process out there it’s going to be significantly harder to market so it’s really about balance and kind if finding this sweet swap kind of enough demand but not enough competition and then if you have things like you have brand recognition of your existing brand so like doesn’t have to do much to market products on Amazon they do have a  filled their dreams as soon as they built it and as soon as they put it on Amazon they will get sales because people are automatically searching for it because if there is external marketing right, you don’t have that you’re gonna have to do additional marketing to have kind of try to capture that market so and to kind of continue to grow pass that honestly the biggest thing that stop people from going 6 to 8 figure for the most physical product is generally around the demand competitionnot understanding that but really ultimately comes out profitability and cash flow, physical products are very cash flow intense so you need to manage your cash quickly, you know really carefully so where we see people fall down whether they have a lot massive success and they stall around like the 6 multiple figure, multiple 7 figure is that there is weak in their profitability they sure that up that will allow the cash flow continue to grow and because really continue to scale different product but if you don’t have that understanding of profitability and how your inventory work in that sense of  the cash flow that can be really detrimental if that’s your situation right now I would highly recommend you Profit firstfor Ecommerceby CyndiThomason really great book, I mean my network probably double when what it is now if I read that for first or second year if you are trying to, so most of other problems you can buy solutions too you can hire PPC consultant, you can hire logistics expert most of the things you can hire but you have to really manage cash flow or otherwise you’ll get easily get distracted that I can buy this shinny object and not defocus on the profitability because that is the biggest thing for e-commerce with info products the biggest thing, what was thequestions to make sure to get two different here

Josh: we don’t want you go down rob the whole, I love what you are gonna, really how would you be; how would you launch scale a product from 0 to a million dollars; a digital product

Robyn: so with the digital product the first thing I would do so this is what I will tell you that I did what I would continue to do I would find if there’s not enough people their Facebook group around this so let’s say you know I have a couple of friends that really into like making scrap instead of their cricket machine and so I would get in that; you need to be expert enough product or niches with the able to offer to high hill, so start making some post and in that group, some informational give post see which one got the most engagements Dennis Yu from BlitzMetrics I think he’s rebranding he’s got really good thing, like one of his videos running some ads, check on engagement he has like in his courses things like metrics to look at you know are you getting over 20 seconds of view time you know looking them out of hides it’s kind of running some dollar day ads once you have some basic things see what engagement you have from there and then I would really focus on building your audience marketing to a cold audience with no recollection of who you are, no credibility, no reviews that’s really difficult with start to build either a list or a communities like on Facebook can be a little bit risky because you don’t control the audience and so I will make sure to back that up with an E-mail list and I will focus on really on buildingthat up some credibility, the other thing that if it was me starting over, I would probably reach out some influence and see by doing joint venturethat really, that’s really how we, I did my first course was a joint venture and that really access with large E-mail list give me a lot of exposure and so doing something for exposure but trying not to work for free because it is really like working for free is like not paying for yourself it a habit that’s hard to kick and the other thing I would say that some of the best, one of the biggest mistake that I made is I had a competitor in my office, oh I’ll make my offer less expensive coz I was valuing my time is not very much because I was in much money then it is easier to lower your prices than to raise them you come out with a 99$ product that product is it’s your best one work will never be able to sell  for 2000$ so even all your competitor are doing that, you will see you as the 99$ product so it is better for you to have that price high and then offer for discount then to try have it be you know super low price the other thing you wanna think about is you need some proof of concept and this is true for e-commerce so with Amazon, this would be the Amazon reviews you can do thing to kind of generate those reviews, you wanna get testimonials I think the Robyn testimonial worked really well it is really easy to pick somebody saying this is the best product ever and so doing things like ten higher, whether it is getting testimonials from people that are known in the industry so let’s say in a cricket communities SuzieBakos’ the best cricketer in the world and so you so to SuzieBakos’and say hey would you look at my digital product and see if it’s good I will be willing to give you an affiliate path effect that you know if you want to be promoted but justseparately really would you be willing to you know give your feedback on this product and I will give it to you for free and if it doesn’t provide enough value for Suzie Bakos’she’s kind of your target audience and then she’s the influencer in that area, if she says hmm this one would be valuable enough for me to review then that gives me an idea the other thing is read the point hills of the Think and Grow Rich chapter 6 organize thinking, you are testing a product and getting opinions on that product before you fully develop it so you know when I am doing a course I never complete the course before I sell it because I might actually AB test some different things on the sales page and I might find out the thing that I found will be motivating my customers to buy or not actually motivated my customers to buy so I might have thoughtthat this is the thing that they need but they really ended up buying for a bonus that I though was kind of extra but ended up being mean of a course so being willing to adjust but also make sure that you give yourself enough time to really over deliver you cannot re-launch yourself into a market place if you come out with really bad course and people spend 99$ and feel like it is a waste it going to be very difficult to comeback from that so you do wanna make sure you have high quality and I would make sure that you’ve tested that out with some people, you have some be to testers and none of these non-sense for you have 3 people look at it for 30 seconds and they wrote it was best you need to actually, if not in your benefit to get those attitude kind of review you need somebody I like to find person that’s gonna make me the angriest like the person who’s going to be like you actually; this is not actually a proper nouns or should be capitalize – well actually, you want it, actually you want that person you want to review your course is gonna say well I can’t, you want to get people who are not text heavy who are gonna get lost at good joby so you can say you can add some text I need to fluff that up in initial email that shows like here’s the video shows how to click on the link and then to log in to the site this is all things that having critical viewpoints to your product will make your product more successful 

Josh: Yeah, I love that and thank you so much for covering both of those because I think it gives you a pretty good understanding what takes to be successful but also what I love is they’re a lot of conjunction what’s in there and one of the first things I wanna highlight what you are talking about both those is that with either a physical product or a digital product you never start product first right, you start audience first with huge advocates of JV’s if you do that but that’s pretty much whole business small helping people with JV’s so we highly advocate that but secondly what I love what you said is when you are trying to find out product to sell you wanna sell something that is already being sold out, creating new category and that’s same with digital product we watched that over and over again and like well, mine is unique and it’s just like labeling at something you know sell them what they want to give them what they need and that’s the belief system we buy into so let me ask you this Robyn, 

Robyn: before we do that, can I share some example 

Josh: yea, go for it. 

Robyn: so I got somebody who it was a major sport team and they came to me and say we wanted to develop a product for Amazon, I say great who are you selling it to, no nono we just wanted to create a jersey, okay well let’s go through this you create, if you are talking to the people that are in the suits and then you give them a 99 shirt they are not going to buy right so if you give them a, if you develop a 500$ jersey then you are not gonna get as many sales if the majority of your audience is are people aiming less than 30,000$ a year that products is not gonnabe successful so it does come down whether it’s a physical product or a infographic product sometimes it is not that your product is bad it is you made it in a wrong color, your marketing devise stand and you made it patriots blue or you are talking to people who are young and scrappy and you are trying because they are easier to sell to but you are trying to offer them a 10,000$ program so you know you really need to take the time to understand and I think that’s the biggest mistake that I see in both physical and info products people don’t; when you are creating your product you also need to make sure that your target customer can afford your product and create product around that as well, I mention that because I think that is one of the big thing so 

Josh: no interruption, it is all you so let me ask you this though, I love that example first of, it is kind of funny massive brand do that almost like the biggest corporates of doing that so let me ask you this though, if you were starting a brand-new business and you are saying okay I know I need to start from scratch completely from scratch, what business would you built? Would you go digital product or would you go physical products 

Robyn: well,for me, I personally don’t like, I do both well and I find that selling myself is more emotionally taxing personally, I like selling physical products ‘coz the products stands for themselves a little bit more, you know how great the product and info product, I am still a little bit of myself, people are buying the way that I talk or first of all I’ve seen, down to earth or you know that I they make funny jokes there’s always a lot of mein it and so I’ve found that I am able to separate a little bit more of my brand, I am friends with several people that are New York times best seller that do info products themselves and it can be struggle when your brand is so tightly connected to your personality to start to be able to outsource to the doctrine of e-commerce now that the disadvantage of e-commerce is that is more  cash intensive and so you really do have to be a lot more discipline so it is really gonna come down to your personality what you like doing and I think the biggest thing so I had a honor and privileged it was amazing to be mentored by Sharon Lechter who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Thinking and Grow Rich, Outwriting the devil and one of the things that you know you talk with here for a long time and taking about your business one of the thing that she’ll ask you is if time and money was it is a consideration, what would you be doing with your life and it’s really you start answering that question and it can’t be like oh I would invest money, you don’t have to worry about money, you don’t have to worry about time, what you would be doing if the answer to that is I would like to be on an island by myself then creating a public speaking degree career is probably the last thing I wanna do because you’re never gonna be alone, you’re always gonna be at presentation, you’re always gonna be in conferences, you’re gonna be flying to events, you know the, you wannamake sure that the business you are creating or not creating a jail cell for yourself and so really thinking like if everything went well, if dippity doo, if I can have whatever I wanted and everything went the way I wanted, ultimately 10 years what I have to like that I want and I think that this is really easy on what, when I am coaching like people who plateau 6 to 7 figures and a lot of times it is easy to caught in what got me because what caught you here will not get you there you have to shift from hustling in sales and I’ll decrease to I am a CEO and I am managing my business and it easy to get caught up and growing for growth sake like, I wanna get bigger, I wanna be an example, I have actually have an e-commerce client come to me a couple of months ago and said well I don’t know what to do now ‘coz I have to keep growing and I said why do you have to keep growing and she’s like what’s have to keep growing and I said okay you have just have told me you have more money and you can invest you told me that you know , you know you are trying to figure out what you wanna do next then the thing will really good you are able to support your family, you are able to do whatever you want and tell me why you need to grow which is what is you are supposed to do and I said maybe right now which you are not sure where you wanted to go ultimately right now just slow down, show the profitability so this how much capital that when you find the right business investment for the next additional revenue source that you are able to releasedive into that without losing revenue on your primary product so I think that is really important as well 

Josh: Yeah, I completely agree it’s kind of funny thought we have that I guess pre preposition what we have to keep growing it’s really funny that a lot of people feel like that’s I got to become a billionaire, is that the like what do like the lifestyle of a billionaire look at these people and they are superstars but I mean if you are wanting a life on a beach you don’t wanna be Grant Cardoneright, life in a jet. 

Robyn: you know the bigger your ship when you start young and scrappy with your little jet ski and then it get bigger like a speedboat and then you’re like a pontoon by the time your worship like level, like if you are a USS midway on your business yes it’s a lot of protection, it’s a lot of stability but it is also really hard to turn when the water get turbulentand so sometimes we have to think to look at how much liability do I have to by growing to that next level and am I willing to put in that to next sprint to that level and so it is sometimes it is not about growing sometimes, I have another client, they was like I really wanna get from you know this much in my net income I am be able to take home this and he was like I think I need to grow we said, your current net worth margin let’s assume this is the margin they are not gonna get tighter which they know they will get in e-commerce and let’s just say they will not gonna get tighter and let’s just multiply it out and he is like well I have to get 15 million a year and he’s like you just saw defeat wash over his face I can’t do that I mean, I’ve got infant, I’ve got 3 year old, I mean I barely see them now, I just can’t and you know I just well you know that is one path to get into that but if we also look at your balance sheet right down in your profit and lost and we said if we can reduce cost this amount you might actually be able to maintain your current sales level and get to that net without having to have of all liability of holding you know 4 million dollars with your inventory and you know it provides a lot more things and the other thing is like can you reduce your debt ‘coz especially for e-commerce easy to get into that cycle and not gonna rode your margin really, really quickly

Josh: yea, hundred percent and I think that’s why a lot of people get scared of with e-commerce you know if my margins are so small how am I supposed to make it I love that you are coming in saying instead of you know having to increase or how to decrease your expenses and let’s see what happens. 

Robyn: and sometimes it needs having in the funeral and letting that one product go or letting the kind of you knowrunning auto pilot and focusing on we developing new product lines that have more margin and so if not, always we just need to scale out 

Josh: right, sometimes you have to scale sideways, well let me ask you this final question or two questions here Robyn, we’ve been talking about e-commerce and the digital space but you guys actually have an entire business for helping people to scale their own e-commerce businesses tell us a little bit about that 

Robyn: so now we have a digital agency that focus on amazon on PPC, Amazon on SEO so we can have them grow that and as we do that you know new size brand we have controllers and  CMO and all that kind of handle that but some of the younger or smaller scrap or business but we can do we can look profit or loss, we can identify profitability issues you know and sometimes you know even in those mid-size companies you don’t have somebody on your team that’s familiar with amazon ads we can go through and we can audit your account and say your current ad team is doing great or your current ad team is not doing great and you don’t need to use that but you do need to have somebody go through and identify this senior profitability and sometimes the way amazon’s piece work this making your product you know an inch to an inch smaller can reduce your piece 3$ per unit you know depending on what side reduces the size tier so there are some of the things we do have and we’ve also spend a long time working under our previous brand out if the best working with resellers and private label companies you know people who might have Shopify Stores and they are looking to bring their products online and kind of looking at their profitability, looking at their marketing strategy overall and identifying, these are some of the gap and we’ve even done that some info marketers well so we are doing really, really well but it seems like no matter what sales I have, I am always sure with at the a month so really looking at where is the gap that causing that and then the other person if you feel like you’re in a money trap or just having trouble kind of getting your profitability under control Cyndi Thomason mention on her book also does profit consulting as well we have a lot of neutral clients that we share and we can actually work as a team to kind of work on you know I can work on a marketing and digital side and Cyndi can work on the profitability side and understand that profitability

Josh: that is beautiful, where people can connect with you and can have access to that?

Robyn: so the best way to connect with me is you go to, and if you go to for on Facebook that will take you to Facebook group all about optimizing listing on amazon, so if you need support in that specific niche then you can go there and then if you post in there, you are looking for a guide, I have a guide listing optimization I can give you as well and then you know on if you go to you can email me if you have a specific concern one of the things that people think about me is I am not a good sales person so you know normally if you like, let me give you, what we have to put you in any actions today you know what we really look at can we help you or not and if not, probably know somebody in the space then might be able to help you and if not can I at least send you a resource and say at least follow this person until so you can afford to use them you know, we have some people that we’ve met trough some of these places, different conferences and such you know like I know the best food blog editor, SEO editor in the space things like that so I can send to you to kind people, some of those agency really do know their stuff and sometimes that can be just what you mean more than what you need somebody to sell you something that you don’t need. 

Josh: hundred percent. I love that well one final question for you Robyn before you sign off so if could leave one final piece of guidance with our audience here saying if this was the only thing you got in this interview today what would that be 

Robyn: hmm, you know I think a lot pf people will tell you, you know focus on your ads or make your products stick, optimize your landing page I think the biggest thing that you need to understand is how much money you need in this business to yield and start from there like if you wanna go full time, how much does this business need you to yield and then looking at creating path that’s really create that and not just focusing on grow sales goals that something that we see with people who are plateaued so their biggest thing is they focus on grow sales goal, when you  focus on grow sales goal you have to sacrifice margin, start to corners and other places look at how do you, look at what you really want, you didn’t start this business, Man, I wish I could sell a million dollar, you said Man, I would really like to not sweat when my margin payment come right or whatever was and like in order to have a life how much you need to net and then built the plan that is going to get choose there and not focus on grow sales as much I know that’s that not very markety and it’s not very sleek and it does not sell courses but I will tell you that is what gives people life that they want.