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Robert: Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast. Today’s guest is William Tjernlund from God consulting. Welcome to the podcast William.
William: hey thanks for having me.
Robert: If you can give us a quick background about what you do, how you got to doing consulting right now and just your experience in e-commerce.
William: I’ve always been doing entrepreneurial type stuff. But I got a very very lucky that I had our older brother who is six years older than me. And when I was about 14, 13, he was at 19, 20. He was sourcing from Ali Baba and selling on eBay. So at a very young age I kind of got that e-commerce bug and that entrepreneur bug. And so I sold throughout high school and college stuff online and tell. I graduated college teamed up full time with my brother created a large amazon account. And now he runs that full time and I kind of run the consulting side of it at the same time.
Robert: Okay so how was it managing the school work load and at the same time just pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams.
William: I’ve always kind of, I don’t know what it was but ever since I was little I just could never imagine having a boss. So I kind of always knew I was going to be entrepreneurial. so even when I was just working with my brother doing that 40 hour week thing kind of just trying to get our amazon account started, I always knew that like I wanted to be even a step past that where I’d be managing the people doing the account and I would just be the idea person. So I always kind of knew that I wanted like a higher level position and more of a strategic position instead of an execution position.
Robert: Okay and what’s being your greatest, how do I put this from all your experience and successes you’ve had in e-commerce what’s been something that you have enjoyed and you hold dearly and you know it was a result from you pursuing entrepreneurship.
William: Just my lifestyle in general. There’s any time I kind of can be traveling around the world. Be at a nice Airbnb and kind of take a breath of fresh air and know that like I’m doing exactly what I want to do. I don’t have to go to work tomorrow I have the complete freedom in life to do exactly what I want to do. Because I’ve built the kind of business that supports us where every business decision I make it. My lifestyle is the first thing I think about before anything else, before any of the numbers or anything.
Robert: Okay so yeah let’s dive into some of the strategies that you’re using to maintain this lifestyle and maintain your business. so what are some of the top marketing strategies that you’re using right now to you grow your business and just you see at the companies are using.
William: I think something that’s really really crucial is YouTube. There’s
Tons and tons of keywords out there that don’t have YouTube videos that go along with it. And so either if you’re trying to sell a product or service or anything, if there’s an exact keyword search for say how to set up by amazon vendor central account. if I just type my YouTube video that exact same way I will rank on the first page almost always of google even if my video only has 50, 60 views. Because they always want to put a video on the first page. And so YouTube is super unsaturated compared to the rest of the internet. So if you can rank on google it’s a lot easier than trying to, I mean rank on YouTube it’s a lot easier than trying to rank on google. And so I’d focus your time there.
Robert: Okay and where would you go to find this key words? if you wanted to depending on what industry you’re in where do you go within Google to see okay what are the hot key words that I should be looking at in Google, I mean in YouTube?
William: So I don’t use any analytic or anything like that. I use basically kind of just common sense. Kind of stuff that like I think that the customer would search. And so like a customer whose fly fishing for the first time might be buying your fly fishing rod. They might be googling best rods to get for starters in Montana. you know so where it, though that search term may not have a ton of traffic you know you’re going to rank very easily and you just kind of multiply it over and over again until the long tail makes it so you get the runner traffic you desire.
Robert: Okay so you’ve mentioned YouTube, are there any other channels that people should be looking at?
William: Again another hack I love it. Just I know I’m biased, but selling on Amazon. If you sell your product on Amazon, the title of your product will rank very high in google. If you search a lot of brands sometimes branding products, sometimes the amazon link outranks the brand’s actual website. And so if you can just get that free SEO booze and be the number one ranked and amazon and by default get the number one ranking too in google that’s a pretty easy way to do it without have to hire a whole SEO team.
Robert: Okay and do you sell anywhere else or do just sell mainly on amazon?
William: So in the past I’ve set up Shopify stores. I’ve sold on eBay. I’ve tried http://sears.com“. I’ve tried all the rest of marketplaces. but it really kind of just comes down to the 80:20 of it all where it there’s so much more money to be made it’s so much easier to make it on Amazon where every other marketplace you might be able to squeeze out an extra 10%, 20% in top-line revenue but it’s going to be such a pain and neck to set up all those other marketplaces.
Robert: So what are some of the metrics that you look at for amazon and for YouTube? You mention that YouTube and amazon are good opportunities for people to market and rank and be at the top of the results. But what are some other metrics that you’re looking at and how do you measure them within YouTube and Amazon?
William: Well within amazon specifically something I look for, if I am looking to launch a new product and I want to see if it’s feasible in the amazon marketplace and if there’s still enough room to grow, there’s still enough money to be there but it’s not too competitive, I do a quick revenue to review ratio. So I use a software like unicorn’s manager or jungle Scout or wherever to add up for the key word I’m searching say beginner fly fishing rod. I would add up all the revenue in that first page and divide it by the amount of reviews and if I can get a very high number there that I know it’s not saturated there’s still enough meat on the bone. so for example if there’s 100000$, in total sales but there’s only a hundred reviews between the 10 listings that means every person only has reviews and there’s a thousand dollars per each review that look there’s plenty of money to be made still. But if you look into a niche and there’s maybe five thousand reviews total on the first page. and the total first page has sales that maybe 30000, then there’s only six dollars per review and I know it’s already saturated, the products already far along in its life cycle and there’s not really any place for me to make a margin anymore, so I’d move on.
Robert: Okay and what about in YouTube?
William: For YouTube I’m just trying to go as many different like searchable things as well I need to. So I just have me and my employees of my consulting firm for marketing that through YouTube and marketing
Products to YouTube. What do we search to find the product and so like what are we [08:01 inaudible] daily basis. Hey setting up amazon vendors, setting up amazon marketing services the correct way. Okay that’s something that [08:08 inaudible] Google today. Okay make a quick video and do step by step of what you do as you set up the account. And so kind of just use daily stuff to basically make your processes public to try to get YouTube views.
Robert: Okay and how are you planning to improve your results?
William: It’s not even like, really I’m not even think of it that way. I’m not thinking of how do I get each video to get more views and just how do I get more videos to get more views in general. Eventually they’re going to trickle back to me and so I am under no illusion that I can make a YouTube video that gets a hundred thousand million hits and goes viral. But I know I can crank out a 5000 view YouTube video a day. And so I might as well just keep cracking those out. They are not, I don’t have that many subscribers to my channel. So I know its random people seeing it every time. So I’m just trying to get out there in general and hope that someone stumbles upon me and gets cut down the rabbit hole.
Robert: Okay and what are some mistakes that people should avoid when they’re optimizing and using these marketing channels? Let’s start with YouTube. What are some things that people should be avoiding?
William: I think people should avoid like, if you’re not going to do it right don’t do it at all. So if you don’t have like a high quality microphone, you have a high quality camera all that kind of stuff, if you just saturate yourself all over the plates it’s going to give off a bad image. so make sure that you actually I think show a quality video, show quality, make sure that like your brand whatever you’re building if it’s a product, if it’s a service make sure that you presented in the right way. Because I see way too many YouTube videos that are either just like someone sharing their screen the entire time or someone in like a darkly lit room where it doesn’t really give off the best kind of proceed value.
Robert: Okay and what about for Amazon. What are some things to avoid in Amazon?
William: Some ways to optimize your Amazon is first and foremost go and try to sign your product up for multiple different categories. the way the Amazon search algorithm works is that if you search something like butterfly and doesn’t know if you want an actual butterfly, a movie called butterfly, a CD called butterfly, a butterfly book, they don’t really know what you want and so if you can put your product into multiple different categories and say if you’re selling a butterfly outdoor long say you like decoration. you put that in outdoor, you can put that in home improvement, you could put that in the like amazon exclusives, you put that in the industrial scientific, you could put it in a bunch of different categories and it’s a quick easy thing for you to do to increase your sales immediately on amazon.
Robert: So one thing with YouTube and Amazon or just any marketing channel is you get excited. you have that initial excitement so maybe some listeners will listen to this and they’ll feel hey those are some great tips let me go ahead and do this and they have this big expectation that once they do this that this is the one that’s going to, this change, this small change is going to be the one that’s going to be make a big change and just open up the floodgates and if that’s not the case they get frustrated, have you had some frustrating situations with some of these marketing channels and how did you overcome them and fight through them?
William: I don’t get that frustrated because I’m a realist. I know that there’s a lot of people out there who think that they’re going to do this quick little tweak in their business and it’s going to double their business. I’d when we both of us know that just doesn’t really happen. You never hear someone going on why just make this quick little tweak in my amazon account and sales doubled. but I do, I have done it to multiple like clients I’ve worked with where it’s like well we increase and made all the pictures way nicer, then we rewrote all listings and then we decrease all the prices slightly and then we did this this this and all of those things together all increased sales like five ten percent each and they all added up to doubling sales. But it was a process, it took months and we had to execute on multiple different level. so I’m a realist and I know that it’s not going to happen overnight where I know it’s very easy for people to get caught up trying to buy the dream saying hey if I just set up my YouTube videos correctly, I am going to rank on the first page of Google and everyone’s going to love my product. That’s not necessarily the case but if you can get enough YouTube videos out there you can get enough traffic going it can actually be a substantial traffic driver.
Robert: And even though you’re a realist you haven’t had or have you had struggles, let’s say within the last 12 months and how did you overcome the struggles if you had any?
William: So the main struggle I’ve had is mostly communication stuff. Where I talk to a company, I know I can make them more money selling on Amazon because they’re doing a very poor job. I talk to them, it sounds like that there’s a really easy way for me to do a few quick things to increase their sales immediately. I’m excited to work with them and then I end up talking to upper management and I’m saying “hey we’re not going to actually sell on amazon that’s not the way we want to go with our business, we’re going to focus on target and Walmart.” and that’s been like the most frustrating demoralizing stuff that’s been happening to me in the last year, is talk to people like that because I just know that I can help them, I know that the Walmart and target market place are drying up. I know Amazon’s growing and I just have no idea how to like communicate it and get it through these people’s heads. the more times they are like baby boomers and people who are just like not really hip the online scene and it just, it’s very frustrating and it’s been like one of the more annoying things I’ve been having to deal with last few months.
Robert: So do you have like a plan on how you’re going to change that or improve the communication?
William: Yeah we are creating like a very basic like how to sell on amazon, like white paper / like PDF. so it’s something that when we talk to the initial contact usually at these companies and they say, “hey yeah we want to get on amazon” and then they have to pass down to the boss we want to have a very clear like PDF that they can print out and put on their boss’s desk, so they feel comfortable having like a tangible thing in their hands saying ” hey this is exactly we’re going to do step by step, here’s the metrics, here’s how much this going to cost. Here is the timeline.” just to make sure that there’s like no confusion and we can really kind of put all of their worries at rest.
Robert: Okay I really appreciate you coming on the podcast and sharing these two marketplaces that people can look at to get more sales. If people wanted to reach you what’s the best way that they can reach you?
William: The easiest way is just to google my name. It’s pretty unique. So William char land. You’ll find also YouTube videos, [14:40 inaudible] or spoke at, blog posts I’ve written, you’ll find all sorts of stuff. So yeah do that and you’ll be able to contact me pretty easily.
Robert: Okay so what about do you have a website they can go to or is it just?
William: Oh yeah http://Williamchurnland.com, Facebook /churn land, LinkedIn/churn land, I’ m everywhere.
Robert: Okay, what is, one of the last questions I usually ask is, what is the one thing an e-commerce business can do right now to get more sales and get more traffic and be more successful?
William: I think something that they can do right now to get more sales and be more successful is to go back to their current suppliers that they’re buying from right now and ask to see their entire catalog and try to source products that they have in source from yet. Because from a lot of businesses I talked to, they’ll have access to tens of thousands of skews and they are may be only sourcing a thousand of them. So go back to the suppliers you have relationships with you trust, add more skews, it’s the easy way to add top-line revenue and eventually add profit.
Robert: Thanks for being on the podcast.
William: Yeah thanks for having me.
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