Philip Jepsen on Up My Influence Podcast

Philip Jepsen on Up My Influence Podcast


JOSH: Welcome to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur
Show! I’m Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. Where we turn
entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority and help them build
partnerships with top influencers. See we believe that every person has a unique
message that can positively impact the world. Even you stick around to the end
of the show where I’ll share info on how you could be our next guest. Three times
a week, 5 to 15 minutes each learn from successful business owners and
professionals. It’s time to get inspired! Let’s go! All right, so with us we’ve got
Phillip Jepsen. Phillip, you are the founder and CEO of ManageByStats;
which is a pretty cool program we’ll talk about that in just a minute. But one
thing that you’re really known for is selling on the Amazon platform. And you’ve
done very very well, and, as such you have now gone on to help a lot of other
Amazon sellers and that’s you know kind of the platform we’ll talk about that in
just a moment. But I’d really love to learn how you got
into selling on Amazon. I know you’ve been doing it for quite a while. But I
know a lot of people in our audience, they may have a store that they’re
selling on their website and maybe they have some concerns about selling on
Amazon and I’m wondering if you could kind of share maybe your story and then
and then let’s definitely talk about the pros and cons of being on the Amazon
platform. PHILIP: Sure absolutely, thanks for having me. Yeah, so in
2013 I I was doing something completely different and and then kind of got fed
up working for other people and decided I needed to build my own company again.
So I was looking for something and a good friend of mine says he was selling
on Amazon. She had just done a training course called the Amazing Selling
Machine and I kinda went, “Okay, It kinda sounds hokey.” but, you know, “hey, if she’s
making good money with this, I should try it.” And and I dove in and I worked like
a maniac for probably six months or seven months
and at the end of that I was doing $100,000 a month in sales, on Amazon.” and, yeah my life changed. So it was it was a huge improvement for us. You
know, pretty soon I was asking my wife to quit her job and, “she’s not like a easy
boy here get some money into the bank account and we’ll talk about it.” But yeah,
it went fast and then with success comes its own problems. It was kind of like,
“Okay, how do I figure out how much profit this actually translates into?” I
partnered with my daughter and a good friend on two brands, one each. and and I
needed to figure out, how do we split the profit from this? How much is the profit?
And this ended up being, just you know, six eight hours every two weeks when
Amazon did a payout in Excel. You know, downloading reports and stuff like that.
And tearing our hair out frankly. And you know, after doing that for a few
months I had enough and I know enough programming to be dangerous so I just kind of you know put together something that would just download the
data from Amazon and configure it the way we needed it, so we could figure out
what our profits were. And and I showed that to you know a few people that I was
in touch with every week. You know a kind of a Mastermind on selling on Amazon.
And they all went, “Holy, you know we we need this as well!” So I
gave it to them, and you know it was hard for them to install it and stuff like
that because it was really just custom, homemade programming. So I went to a good friend of mine saying, “Hey, I think this is a demand for this kind of thing.
A good management system for an Amazon business. He helped me put it
together and you know we’ve been expanding and building on it ever since.
So it was a very kind of humble beginning and then, just kind of
sharing it and then it just kept getting lots of interest so now it’s its own company, its own doing its own thing and being very
profitable. JOSH: So, so how did you get to a 100k, I don’t want to bury this lead here but how did you get to a $100k in sales on a monthly basis because that sounds like a lot of volume? PHILIP: It was a lot of volume and it was… I basically just kind of followed the footprint in the
Amazing Selling Machine, but I worked like a maniac too. It was like 60 to 80
hours a week initially there, but the 1 thing that I did was
essentially turned on Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. Amazon’s advertising
engine. And just tweaking it, a lot and making sure that it was profitable,
making sure that I actually got stuff. And going out and doing all the things. I did a whole bunch of press releases. I turned on Google Adwords.
I did some Facebook advertising. And I just kind of drove a lot of traffic into
Amazon from external sources as well as their engine. And I figured out,
almost by mistake early on that the conversion rate on your listing is
hugely important. It turns out that, if you’re converting at 30%. Meaning 30% of people that land on your listing end up buying, Amazon
goes, “This is really a good listing.” And they will decrease the
amount of money you spend on your ads, because they know they’re gonna make a profit just on commissions from sales. Whereas, if you have a five percent
conversion rates, then they’re gonna charge a lot more for the ads, because
they go, “Hey, we’re not gonna make most commissions because it doesn’t convert
well.” So they charge you for the ads instead.So, one thing that I did to
really increase the conversion rate was set up a landing page, where I pre-sold you know, the product… Outside of Amazon. I basically sold
them on the idea and then I had a big orange button at the bottom that said
buy this on Amazon. And so I would send Facebook and Google traffic over to that
landing page. And then, anybody that didn’t want to
buy, just didn’t click on it so they never I ended up on Amazon. And all the
guys that did want to buy they will click through and they would convert at
a high rate and I ended up with a 35% conversion rate and that
made a huge difference on the advertising cost. JOSH: Mm-hmm,
Well I can tell you that, you know, just looking at, I’m on Amazon
right now and I just searched Wild Naturals (A Jepsen Brand) and one thing that I’ve noticed about all of your products is that, you have a very very
good complete listing with lots of great photos. I mean it is, you know, it
doesn’t leave any questions for the consumers. And then your reviews are
pretty fantastic! So you’re at, with 1540 reviews you’re at a 4.3 (out of 5), which is pretty as outstanding. PHILIP: Yeah yeah, I mean, 1 it’s a good product and, you
mean, you want to have a good product. Because, if you don’t have a good product
you’ll end up spending a lot of marketing dollars to convince people to
buy. If you have a good product then, you know you get good reviews much more
easily and you have to spend less. But, yeah. Building out a very complete
listing. Taking a lot of care with the the photography, the photo, the
images. Stuff like that. It’s hugely important. And you really want to take up
all the space that Amazon gives you. To put in details and, you know, keywords and
stuff like that. JOSH: You know, even you’re like just trying to fight, you know
everyone’s gonna get a negative review from time to time. And so one
thing I like about what you are doing is that you you will actually respond to
every negative review. PHILIP: Yes we do. JOSH: As a consumer, so you know, with Savings Angel, I’II study and I lead consumer behavior. And, you know, I’d say, “Look,
negative reviews are not a bad thing.” Negative reviews are, you know, “How could this possibly go wrong.” And can help inform you whether this is going to be good fit for you or not.
But one thing you want to look for is does the seller, the business, engage with…
the customer… the business want to make it
right for everybody and clearly you’ve done a really good job at that. So I
think, if nothing else, I think a lot of people you know if you’re looking at
selling on Amazon they could look just look up Wild Naturals and they can see
how you guys are doing it. And that’s a good it’s the good study
and best practices I’d say. PHILIP: Well thank you very much! Yeah I mean we you know I
I hire people that really take care on this. You know, we we absolutely want to
make this work for everybody. You can’t you can’t a 100%
please everybody. But at least you can respond to it and
you can try to make it right. So yeah, we respond to both the good and the bad. You know and you know the bad gets priority on the response because you
really want to try to fix that. JOSH: Yeah, that’s terrific. So obviously
selling on Amazon, why doesn’t Amazon inherently, why don’t
they within their platform, offer the tools that that you created with
ManageByStats? PHILIP: I think originally Amazon built the platform, not for
third-party sellers, and you know, and about 10… What 10-12 years ago you
know they started getting a lot of third-party sellers. They invited them. But the platform really wasn’t built for it. So they had to go in there and just
put together what what they thought made sense. But they are not third-party
sellers. They’re, you know, they’re a huge company. And, what they need to
see is not the same as what we need to see. As third-party sellers, you know, a small businesses. And I’ve talked to people that helped put this
whole thing together. For Amazon, really, if they’re gonna do a software
package, they will only look at it if it’s at least fifty million
dollars worth of revenue attached to this software
package. And otherwise it’s just too small for them to deal with. So
they will fix things like, they did a fix on the inventory system. They had a
really bad inventory prediction planning system. And obviously that resulted in
people just running out of inventory. And they you know this became a huge problem
for them so they fixed the inventory management and planning tool in there. So
now they have a really good one but there’s a whole bunch of things that
that you and I need, that’s never really on their radar. JOSH: Hmm, so
Amazon is a platform, so let’s say somebody that somebody just has like a
WooCommerce store (WooCommerce – sales plugin for a WebPress website) on their website and they’re like, “Man I am not selling anything.” Is moving the Amazon going to solve their problems? PHILIP: Well it’s gonna solve some problems. It’s gonna solve the traffic problem mainly. Amazon has an
ungodly amount of traffic I mean it’s just it’s kind of mind-boggling and hard
to understand I I started selling early on, I started selling a sleep mask, just
one of those little airline sleep masks. Just one of those airline sleep masks. I thought, “Hey, I I see guys selling 50-60 of those a day.” and I thought, “This is awesome!”
When I was starting and this was part of the hundred
thousand dollars a month. Because that ramped up just incredibly fast. I ended
up selling 350 a day of those. And and you kinda go, “How is that
possible? How is there 350 people a day that want to buy something like that?” You just really can’t think with the numbers. So Amazon has an amazing amount of traffic
and it’s growing all the time. So it’s hard to drive that traffic to your own
website. Amazon spends, you know, millions and
billions of dollars on driving traffic to Amazon. And if you have you know a
part of it up there with the right keywords you’re gonna see some of that
traffic. JOSH: Wow… Wonderful, wonderful. Well cool, so what’s
nice, so I’m on ManageByStats.com right now and so just in case anyone’s curious
you know we’ve kind of talked about the product. The pricing range is anywhere
from $59 to $309 monthly for the service, for the platform. You know and I think in
terms of ROI, you know, that’s that’s kind of what the software is designed to do,
is to generate more revenue. So includes, you know, product finder, keyword tracking,
ad manager, inventory manager, helps you with financials, and helps you manage
feedback and reviews. So I think a lot of pretty good, what looked like a lot of
pretty essential tools, I think you’d want if you really want to get serious
about selling more on Amazon. So, Philip I I want to thank you, you’re just
down the road over in Tampa from me. Tampa Clearwater area, beautiful beaches
by the way! PHILIP: oh yeah absolutely! JOSH: Oh yeah, Trip Advisor’s probably made your beach is pretty popular this summer! PHILIP: The Clearwater beach is just amazing and yeah we get a lot of traffic but yeah it’s an amazing place to live.
JOSH: That’s awesome, awesome alright well, Phillip Jepsen you’re the
founder and CEO of ManageByStats and Wild Naturals in fact. And so it looks
like a couple of other product lines as well. So thank you so much for your
time, thank you for sharing your Amazon secrets and wish you success! PHILIP: Thank you so much, same to you and thanks for having me!

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