Todd Ferguson is a full-time seller on Amazon. He is looking to take that expertise and teach small business owners how to expand their markets by selling their products on Amazon.
He’s already put together the content for the course and is looking to launch his membership site soon.
We walk through his questions around the sales funnel, what you should and shouldn’t be doing with ads and landing pages.
We cover some key principles about lead magnets and what it takes to actually make a sale from cold traffic.
One of the most important aspects is identifying the perfect customer.
We cover some tactics to go about this and why it’s so critical in the online marketing strategy.
You’ll also learn the components of a highly effective sales page once your target audience has been identified.
You will learn
- How to make more money on products you are already selling.
- The importance of a free offer to get new email subscribers.
- Can memberships be a stand alone product?
- How to create an introductory offer from already created content.
- Why competition in your Niche is a good thing.
- Do I have the right product for the right person at the right time?
- What is the benefit for the customers you are targeting.
Don’t miss out on the bonus content at the end of the show….
Links and resources mentioned in today’s show
Enjoy the podcast; we hope it inspires you to explore what’s possible for your family!
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Can’t Miss Moments
Each week Jocelyn and I share moments that we might have missed if we had not started our online business. We hope these moments inspire you to see the possibilities and freedom online business could provide for your family.
Walking on our new desk treadmill in our office space to avoid sitting while working!
You can connect with S&J on social media too!
Thank you for listening!
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Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below!
JOCELYN: Hey y’all! On today’s podcast, we help Todd grow his membership program that helps small business owners sell their products online.
Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. Join us, each week, as we teach you how to flip your lifestyle upside-down, by selling stuff online. Are you ready for something different? All right, let’s get started.
SHANE: What’s going on guys? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, great to be back with you again this week; we got another awesome interview with a Flip Your Life member, we’re going to take them today, down the path of success and we are going to help them take their business to the next level by answering three of their most pressing questions about their online business, and help them figure out what to do next. Our guest today is a good friend of ours, he is not only a Flip Your Life community member, but he has attended our live events and just a great person all around. His name is Todd Ferguson; Todd, welcome to the show man.
TODD: Hey guys, thanks for having me.
JOCELYN: Yeah, we are really excited that you are here, we have met you in person like a few people we talked to recently, and we are excited to delve in and help you to continue to do what you have already been doing, so that’s awesome. So, let’s start out by telling people what you have been doing online in the past and sort of what you are going to do in the future to change it up a little bit.
TODD: Well, I am a fulltime seller on Amazon.com, that’s how I make my fulltime living, that’s how I support my family and I have actually helped several people, including my mother-in-law who owns a small retail store expand her marketplace, put her products for sale online and actually make some pretty decent cash last year. So that is the basis of what I am doing. So, I am really looking to teach people how to expand their marketplaces, specifically small business owners.
SHANE: So, this is kind of different than a lot of people that teach people how to sell on Amazon. A lot of people want to do private label stuff, or they find a good product and they want to get on the first page of Amazon and make a lot of money off that, this is more taking people, like the main-street people, like they’ve got businesses, they are selling locally, but they need to grow and expand their market and so you are going to show them how to take the products they already sell and actually just put them on Amazon to make more money; correct?
TODD: Yeah, absolutely correct.
SHANE: Okay, that’s an awesome thing because you know, with the way everything is changing and you know, there’s a huge movement for buying local and things like that, but really if you are not on the internet, right now, probably you are going to be falling to the wayside. Wouldn’t you agree?
TODD: Yeah, I mean, retail is definitely changing. I mean, almost everybody probably listening has bought something off Amazon, but then you also enjoy going to a small store, like your local clothing store or a gift shop just to have that experience. But, like you said, if the local owners are not willing to adapt and to change, then eventually they are not going to be there.
SHANE: And you are going to teach them how to do that and how you have done that in the past?
SHANE: Very cool, very good.
JOCELYN: I think this is a really exciting product just in the time that we live in now because there are a lot of small businesses that are going out of business, but this product or this membership can possibly –
SHANE: Can save some small businesses for sure around the country.
TODD: Yeah, and if you look at even statistics, especially a second or a third generation owner, so you know, a mom or a dad has started it and they pass it on to their kids, those businesses have a greater chance of failing and this is perfect to help them, you know, get that extra cash-flow to get the extra revenue to keep them alive.
SHANE: Awesome and we know a lot about your business, and you are the perfect person to teach this because you’ve done it, you’ve helped other people do it, and this is going to be a perfect membership site where you are going to offer courses and a great community. So, let’s jump in right now, and I know you are just at the very beginning of creating this new business, so let’s get a couple of questions asked today that are going to help you take those next steps and kinda have a great chance of succeeding in this new business just like you have in your Amazon business. So, what’s your first question Todd?
TODD: Okay, so as of right now, I don’t have my website up; so I’m going to be driving traffic directly to my sales page. So, my question is, what is the most effective way that I can capture email addresses for people that are not potentially interested in my offer at that time? So, I drive them via ads, they look at my page, maybe they are not interested at that time, how do I capture that email address?
SHANE: Well, the first thing, you are not going to be able to send people straight to a product page for sales. You are going to have to have a third page of some kind. Let’s say you were going to drive people to a sales page with all the member benefits and everything, and then they click on it and they see the prices and they buy the product, which would be, in this case, I know you have created a rather large course about getting people started. You are going to have to have some kind of free offer; it just doesn’t work that way when you are driving advertising for this kind of product. People are going to have to be able to kick the tires, see what you are offering and have something for free. Now, the good thing is, you don’t have to have your whole website set up to do this, you can just create kind of a sales page for your opt-in. So, maybe the first video that you are going to put in your member area, that is the part of the course, how many videos have you got created right now? Is it 16?
SHANE: Okay, so maybe we take that first lesson, that first video that is going to teach that first important, critical element that starting point, maybe we take that out of the paid product and we do that as a freebie. That is something that we can give away for free; that is what you are going to advertise to people. Very simple to set up, you’ve got basically a piece of content on the sales page that is related to that video, they give you the email and then you send them to another page where you are hosting the video. So simple, two pages. Now, they are going to get into the content, they are going to test it out for free, they are going to look at that and then we can start talking about convincing them to buy the rest of it.
JOCELYN: I think that’s definitely a viable thing to do; if the video is super-long, you might consider splintering it out a little bit. Maybe you put the first half or the first however many minutes, that will be another way that you can consider doing it, but I think it’s definitely important for you to have some type of lead magnet because if people aren’t interested in buying right then, you don’t want to just lose them forever.
SHANE: Right. If someone comes through your sales page and they see that it’s for sale and they don’t choose to buy, you have no way to know who that person is if you are not doing something in intermediary to capture that email. So, that’s the importance of – it’s not just about the sales, it’s about catching people who are interested because most people don’t buy the first time they see something. It usually takes about seven or eight times of seeing something, being exposed to something before they are going to have enough trust built up to buy the product or join the membership. So, you really want to know who those people are; it would be more important – let’s say you spend a thousand dollars on this over the next two months while your website is being built, and let’s say you pick up 500-1000 emails off of that; getting 500 to 1000 potential leads at this point in your business is way more critical than making those first couple of sales because now when your website launches and you’ve got the product created, you immediately go after those people you know are interested and you make 50-100 sales instead of just picking up one or two randomly on your sales page. So, let’s try to figure out some way to get something for free first, build an email list while you are creating your website and now you’ve got 1000 people to launch to, or whatever, instead of random people clicking on an ad maybe buying on your sales page.
TODD: Gotcha, okay, awesome.
JOCELYN: All right, so hope that helps on that one; what is your next question for us today?
TODD: So, my next one is, how important is it to have an actual introductory offer? Or can I just have my membership as a standalone product?
JOCELYN: You know, I think it really just depends on what you are selling and your customers.
JOCELYN: If you have your core offer and you find that it is converting well, then I really don’t think that there is a need to have that introductory offer. For instance, on Elementary Librarian, I don’t really have any kind of an introductory offer. I have my monthly membership and I have my yearly membership and those are your two options. I find that it converts fairly well, and I don’t really see that there is a need to have an offer before that.
SHANE: Now, we do sometimes offer introductory offers at certain times of the year; like for our education stuff, back to school is a pretty big deal. So, we might have an introductory offer to make some new sales at that point, but because it is a membership, because it is this, because it is that, you don’t really have to have an introductory offer and some people call this a ‘trip-wire’ for all the listeners out there. You get someone on your email list, around email three or four, you make them a small offer to identify paying customers, maybe your membership costs fifty bucks a month, so you offer them like a ten-dollar video or an e-book and that identifies people that are actually willing to spend money to learn what you are teaching and then you move on to the membership. This can take a lot of forms, it can be a totally separate product, it could be a discount, like you could offer a ten percent discount to join the membership in your funnel, so only the people who have signed up on your email list are rewarded with that discount. You don’t have to do anything. It’s just like anything in online businesses. There are best practices and there’s a baseline; let’s say we create this baseline of seven emails and we say, okay, the introductory offer around number four; if you want to use it, that’s fine, if it helps you convert bigger sales on the offer, cool, but you don’t have to do it. I would say, experiment with it; if you don’t have one created right now, don’t worry about creating one. Just you know, get your stuff together and launch and then maybe try one later to see if it converts better. Everyone should always test, whether it works or not. It might hurt your sales, it might help your sales; the only way to know is to either do it or don’t do it, but you definitely don’t have to have that introductory offer especially if your core offer is good. Like Flipped Lifestyle, we have our core offer, it’s really, really good, and people usually take it or they leave it. So, we don’t really have to have an introductory offer that’s available 365 days a year. We might offer one on a webinar, but we are not going to offer it all the time. In some instances, I think you do; I have a friend who sells video like courses, they are like 299 dollars, and he has an e-book and video for like 27 dollars in his funnel and when he added an introductory offer, he put an upsell on the ‘Thank You’ page and his sales went through the roof. So, it just really depends on what you are offering and what your market tells you once you experiment with it. So, right now at the beginning, if it’s overwhelming for you to go and do that introductory offer, just go with what you got, get your website up and let’s launch and then we’ll try it later.
JOCELYN: And then later you can test and see, okay, if I add this offer and maybe have an upsell or if I add this offer in the funnel, is it converting better and if it does, then obviously do it that way.
SHANE: Right, and at the end of the day, Todd, and for everybody else listening, if you’ve got a product that people want, all of these other tips and tactics are moving the needle a percentage point here, a percentage point there as you sell this thing. But, really you’ve got to have a target audience, a way to put your product in front of them, a way to accept their money and a way to deliver. All the other things just increase sales, but that is what we got to have in place before we really start talking about anything else.
TODD: Okay awesome; I think that’s part of the problem with me, is that you know, I’m trying to figure everything out instead of just getting it done, putting it out there and tweaking it as I go along.
SHANE: Yeah, Jocelyn always says that, you know, we do a lot of things wrong but we do something every day, and that is the great strength of people who we find that make it online is they take action and they just do stuff and you’ll – the pieces will come together. We have a lot of dots that we all connect every day. Every niche, the picture looks a little different when you put the dots together, but if you don’t start drawing the lines between the dots and experimenting and erasing here and there, you are never going to figure out what the picture is. So we just got to get launched and then we’ll worry about all those little percentage points to increase what you are doing later.
TODD: Yeah, because right now, one percent is better than zero.
JOCELYN: Exactly, yeah. Moving forward is important. Baby steps are okay, but you know, you just got to move and I think a lot of people do get hung up on all these things that the latest internet marketing personality is throwing out there that you really need to do. There are hundreds of them but, the fact of the matter is, you have to get a product, you have to get it for sale and you have to start selling it; and then we can make adjustments and figure out what to do next. All right, let’s move on to question number three.
TODD: So, my third question is, that I know that I am going into a pretty highly competitive niche, small business owners, and I’m not afraid to spend money on ads, but I want to make sure that I can convert at the highest rate possible. So, I’m looking for some tips on how I can have a better converting sales page.
SHANE: Okay, first of all, let’s back up a little bit. First of all, the competition is a good thing. Any time you find a competitive niche, where you know people are out there, like trying to teach, you know, people to do something, that is not a bad thing. That is a sign that there is a lot of money floating out there and you just got to go and find your piece of the pie. So, be excited that there is competition because you are going to go find your niche in that market and make some money off of it. Number two, don’t even think about sales pages; everybody always – this is what Jocelyn just said about like the gurus are like, “If you use this kind of headline, you’ll convert so much more” or “If you’ll just use Snapchat instead of Periscope or Facebook or instead of Pinterest – ”
JOCELYN: And I always say that for those people that are getting thousands and thousands of sales page views, one or two percent is probably going to make a difference –
SHANE: But that is not what’s the most important thing.
JOCELYN: For most of us who are getting maybe hundreds of views or maybe thousands of views every day, it’s not as important. That being said, you do need to split test so you need to make sure that you have a sales page and that you have maybe a competing sales page and see which one is converting better, but you are not going to know that for a while. You are going to have to have hundreds of transactions to know that.
SHANE: Yeah, there’s no way of going in cold sales page to be able to say, this will convert more now, because you got to have that baseline. The most important thing you need to be thinking about is targeting. Your sales page is relevant, all of your headlines and your ads and things like that are totally irrelevant at this point. We have got to narrow down who you are going to target because if you are targeting this wrong then you are not going to make any sales anyway, doesn’t matter how good your sales page is. Everybody kind of starts backwards here; they want to do all the latest and greatest things, they want to make the sales page good or bad or ugly or pretty or whatever, ‘Does the red button convert more than the orange button?’ That’s not how it works. What matters is, do I have the right product for the right person at the right time? So, what you really need to be looking at now besides your systems is specifically the avatar. Who are we targeting? Is this the problem they need solved? Do they understand that they need this problem solved? Am I going to have to educate them in some way? That is what you really need to be thinking about. If you want more conversions fast, get your targeting right, look at the course that you have created in the offer, think about the person you want to take this course and then we have to go get our targeting correctly and find them on Facebook or whatever we choose to go get them. That is so much more important to having great conversions than whether or not your sales page, you know, has the best headline, the best copy or the best button.
JOCELYN: But with that being said, I think it is really important to speak to people’s pains. I see so many times in our community and there’s other places out there online, you know, instead of speaking to somebody’s pain, like get more sales and grow your small business online, they’ll say, ‘Course about selling on Amazon.’
JOCELYN: Like, you don’t want to say that.
SHANE: That is what it is, not what it does for the person.
JOCELYN: You need to lead with what is the benefit for the person who is going to be attending.
SHANE: And you won’t know that, Todd, unless you get your targeting right; does that make sense?
TODD: It does, absolutely.
SHANE: So, don’t think so much about the mechanics; it’s so easy to get caught up in that because it’s something that we can do without much effort. We kind of start tinkering and we kind of – we are thinking about what you would like and how you would say it and how you would hear it; what you really need to be thinking about is, this is the person that is going to buy this, what is their pain point? How can I agitate that to make them think about their pain point and then how can I show them that this is the solution that they’ve been looking for this problem. Once you figure the targeting out, everything else just kind of falls in place.
JOCELYN: And along those lines, on your sales page, I also really like to see social proof on a sales page, so get some testimonials if you don’t already have some. Video is best, but you can either have audio, you can have text, any type of testimonial that you can get saying that I had this pain point and Todd helped me solve this pain point with this product.
SHANE: Right, which you do have because you have helped people kind of sell stuff online. So, mechanically, a sales page really only needs three things; it needs the benefits – it needs the problem, the benefits and the solution. That’s all it really needs and then you add the testimonials on top of that to prove that you are the guy that can fix it. All that other stuff can wait, let’s figure out your targeting first and that is what we have been kind of working on with you, you know, in the community and in this upcoming mastermind that we are going to be doing with some of our community members. So, let’s get that right and I think everything else will kind of fall into place.
TODD: All right, awesome.
JOCELYN: All right, Todd, that’s a lot of information that we just threw out there and we always ask people at the end of our calls, what is one action step that you are going to take immediately based on the information that we talked about here today.
SHANE: Like, in the next 48 hours, what are you going to do next to get the ball rolling toward making this thing a success?
TODD: Well, I think I definitely have to get my targeting correct; I got to identify my perfect customer and make sure I can take care of their pain points and speak to that when I – whether it’s a sales page or an email or whatever, but the targeting is the big thing.
SHANE: Yeah, and I think you have a good idea, I think you see like a cloud in your mind, kind of what this person looks like and now what we really just need to do is, we need to solidify that, get it written down and make sure that’s okay. And make sure you go to the forums once you get that figured out and put your avatar in there and I’ll jump in and maybe help you find some keywords and targeting so your ads are kind of you know, pointing in the right direction as soon as we get them running.
TODD: All right, sounds good.
SHANE: Awesome, listen, we appreciate you buddy, and we can’t wait to see what you are doing. You have already been so successful in one online space and I know you are going to do a great job here. So, thanks for coming on to the show Todd.
TODD: Thanks for having me guys.
SHANE: All right, guys, that wraps up our amazing conversation with Todd Ferguson. Todd is a go-getter, an action-taker, and I have no doubt that he is going to take what we talked about today and really start moving forward in taking those next steps in his online business. Before we sign off for the day, we want to go over our can’t-miss moments from last week. These are things that we got to experience or got to do, and we might not have been able to do them if it wasn’t for the opportunity afforded to us by having an online business, if we were still working for somebody else, or maybe didn’t quite earn the income that we earned now online. Jocelyn what is your can’t-miss moment for this week?
JOCELYN: My can’t-miss moment is walking on my sweet, new, desk treadmill.
SHANE: Which is amazing and I like it too.
JOCELYN: That’s right; like could we be anymore nerdy? But yes, we now have a desk treadmill in our office space, and we have been reading articles lately about how dangerous it is and just really bad for you to be sitting down all the time and actually recently I have been reading about how even regularly working out does not –
SHANE: Like counteract the sedentary lifestyle of an office-kind of an environment.
JOCELYN: Yeah, so that started to kind of worry me a little bit, and I have a friend, Shelly Hitz, you’ve heard us talk about her many, many times, on the podcast, but she has been walking on a treadmill and she put up a desk on it, and I thought, that’s pretty cool. So, we ended up ordering a treadmill that actually has a desk that you just flip down, and we put up a big, TV monitor up above it and we can plug in our computer and we walk for, you know, really over an hour each day usually. So, it’s pretty cool, just to be able to get a little bit more exercise and to move around a little bit more. I just feel that I am being healthier because of it. So, that is definitely my can’t-miss moment for this week.
SHANE: Yeah, we have kind of tricked out – the treadmill kind of set off a chain reaction and we tricked out our office. Like, now there’s – I’ve had a standing desk for a while, but when we went to get the – we have a 32-inch TV that we hung on the wall in front of the treadmill, and then we bought another TV to hang above the tread-desk – or the standing desk, so now we have like TVs mounted on the walls, and like we even went and got some balls, like the Swiss balls to sit on so we are really – it started this massive chain reaction in our office of buying new TVs for every surface and all of this equipment to try to get us up and moving around. It was really cool to just be able to do that, and not have to even think twice about it. We were just like, “Hey, let’s drive somewhere and find a Best Buy and see what we can find.” It was really cool to do that, the kids got to go with us and they helped us pick out the TVs and they love walking on the treadmills too. So, maybe we are kind of inspiring them to be healthier in their lives as well.
SHANE: We want to thank you again for listening to our call with our Flip Your Life member Todd Ferguson today, and we would love to help you with your online business as well. Please remember that only Flipped Lifestyle members, people in our Flip Your Life community get to come on these free consulting calls and participate in the show. If you would like to have a chance to get on the show, or get help every single day in our Flip Your Life forums with your online business, we can help you figure out what to do next. You can learn more about your community over at flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife.
We want to close the show like we do every single week, with a Bible verse; the Power Verse is what we call these. Jocelyn and I draw a lot of inspiration in our personal life and our business life from the Bible and we would just like to share some of that with you. Our verse for today is 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” So, get out there this week guys, do some good work in your online business, take it to the next level, make sure you are doing everything possible to make your business successful online. Till next time get out there, take action, flip your life. We’ll see you then.
[Off the air conversation]
JOCELYN: So, I was going to say, just off the air here that you might benefit actually from having a personal meeting with somebody. Like, do you know somebody maybe in your town or something that has a small business that would like to grow it? I know people who have met in person with people and talked to them and said, you know, what are your problems, how could something like my product help you, like that could be a big eye-opener for you, I think.
SHANE: Yeah, maybe even that first person we find with your ads, maybe you just give them a Skype call and you say, “Dude I love to chat with you for about three hours, let’s talk.”
TODD: I do, I mean, I have people. The funny thing is my mother-in-law, who basically – I didn’t save her business this year but, she was down significantly and basically the money she made on Amazon, like kept her afloat. She has talked to people; as soon as I told her I was doing this, she was like, oh, okay.
SHANE: She needs a – even though it’s your mother-in-law, who cares? This is a real-life thing of someone that you helped do this and it’s like – and you need her emotion, or her on camera saying something like that that’s true; you know, that you actually did – that needs to be a part of – that’s your marketing. It’s not about the copy and the headlines and make it convert more, it’s oh my gosh, Todd showed this real, live person something and it saved their business because how many people out there right now are going, ‘Man my business is in the tank, I wish there was more people around here I could sell to, I wish there was something I could do.’ Well, there is something they could do.
SHANE: And what we have got to figure out Todd, is, who are these people and where are they online, what are they clicking ‘Like’ on, what are they searching for on Google, what groups are they joining on Facebook? They may not even know how to define the problem themselves, right?
TODD: Well, that’s part of the thing; I mean, they know that they need additional money, but they are not at the point where they can think, hey, let me sell on Amazon.
SHANE: You know, I would – Todd, I want you to do this when you are creating this avatar, I want you to not think like that because I don’t think that’s the person you need to go find. You never want to have to educate your customer on their problem, you know what I’m saying?
SHANE: I am willing to bet – all right, there’s thousands and hundreds of thousands of small businesses in America; there’s probably 20,000 out there that know they need to be on Amazon selling from their storefront. That is the people we really need to find. We don’t need to find all those people that need your help. We need the ones that already know they need your help and know that Amazon is their answer, but can’t put the parts together. Like, take your relationship with us; all right, you know that you can teach this and you know that your content is good and you know that it will help people, but, you also know that we have all the dots and we can help you connect them; right?
TODD: Right, absolutely.
SHANE: It was a no-brainer for you to not only join our community, it was a no-brainer for you to do the mastermind that we are about to do, the high-level mastermind that was 2000 bucks; right?
TODD: Oh yeah.
SHANE: The reason it was a no-brainer Todd is because our marketing and our messaging and our content – we create it in a way that we went after you because you are our avatar, you are the perfect avatar for us; this is what we got to do with you for these Amazon people. We need the people that know there is an answer, they think it’s Amazon, they are already dabbling and looking for it, and then we put you in front of them and now it’s a no-brainer, they join your community. There are 500 of those people out there, there are 500 people that have a storefront that know Amazon is the answer, they can’t put the parts together, that are going to find Todd Ferguson and say, “Sign me up.” That’s where we got to get this avatar focused on and then we got to go find them, okay?
SHANE: Good stuff, brother.
TODD: Yeah, I mean, I do have people locally that I could sit down with and chat –
SHANE: Do it.
JOCELYN: Yeah, I think that is a great idea because I know people that just can’t really wrap their head around it so much, but then they’ll have a meeting with somebody and be like, ‘Oh, that makes so much sense.’ Sometimes, like you are so ingrained in what you are doing, you can’t see what else is out there, you know what I mean?
SHANE: That was some golden nuggets right there. Good conversation. Very cool man.