This podcast episode is a little different, I share my business story with you, from how I started, with my own product business, Tiny Chipmunk, making bamboo baby products, to my work now. This includes my book, Bring Your Product Idea To Life, and my work now supporting product business owners with selling their products on Amazon. Find out more about my own journey and how I can help you sell more of your products.
The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023
HOW I CAN SUPPORT YOU ON AMAZON:
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Welcome to the bring your product idea to life podcast. This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products or if you'd like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly practical advice as well as inspirational stories from small businesses. Let's get started. Hello and thank you so much for listening to my first solo episode of 2024. I hope your year is off to a good start. Uh, better start than this podcast anyway. This is the second time I've started recording this because the first time I tried, um, a police car went past or maybe a couple of police cars and it was really loud, so starting it again. This will be quite a short episode as a lot of my solo episodes are now, because as you probably know, I do believe that the star of this podcast are our guests and not me. But I wanted to record a really quick episode to let you know a few changes in how I'm going to work this year. Or, I mean, you might not know me already. This could be the very first or one of the first episodes you're listening to. I thought it might be useful to share a little bit about who I am, what I do and how I can help you regardless of whether the changes are going to be news to you or not. If you are already on my email list, you might have seen some of this already, but of course I'll be going into a lot more detail here because I can share a lot more when I'm talking to you than I can in what I always aim to be a fairly brief email. And before I say anything else, I also want to say thank you so much for choosing or continuing to choose to listen to this podcast. Um, I am about to be in my fourth year, which is unbelievable. I can't quite, yeah, I can't quite believe I've been podcasting almost four years. So many exciting episodes coming up this year. But I'm well aware that if you're anything like me, you possibly listen to lots of podcasts. I know what I do and I'm finding new ones all the time. So the fact you're listening to me does mean a lot and I do appreciate it. So, if you don't know me already, or perhaps you've known me for a long time and you just can't remember some of this, because that happens doesn't it, when we know people for ages, we kind of um, lose some of it, um, I started my own product business called Tiny Chipmunk back in 2016 after my second child, my daughter, was born. And so that was a bamboo baby products, really high quality. Um, I've recorded episodes before, I've spoken about that business in detail, so I won't go into that now. Um, but I guess it's just enough to know that I had lots of challenges with starting that business and some of the biggest challenges were around the information available at the time that told me what exactly I needed to do to create a product to sell. I knew that I wanted to sell products. I knew exactly what the products were, but the steps to go from idea to having a product actually available. Just baffled me and there was so much conflicting information. I went down so many rabbit holes again. I won't go into more detail, spoken about this before, but that's just to say that eventually, of course, I did launch those products, but while I was doing that, I started a blog, which was kind of my way of just documenting what I was doing in real time. And it was often actually mistakes I was making as well as little updates about where I was for everything. So through that blog. People started to contact me and ask for help with creating their own products and eventually I started my consultancy where I help people with product creation and with selling on Amazon. The blog then led to the podcast which as I said is almost four years now because I realised that while my experiences were perhaps useful for people, what would be even better would be to hear from lots and lots of other people that weren't me because of course we all have our own stories, our own backgrounds, our own experiences and so much that we can share with others. So the point of this podcast was and always will be for other amazing small businesses to share their stories about how they've created their products, why, things they've learned and so much that we can all learn from. And of course I also have, well you might say of course you may not know there's also a Facebook group which is for listeners of the podcast who want to connect with each other, ask each other questions, ask me questions, um, it's just like a really friendly place. So if you are selling products or you are thinking about selling products do come and join us in the Facebook group. It's a really friendly group and you'll be really welcome. And then the latest thing to add to that, gosh, despite it gets longer and longer is in 2023. So last summer I published my first book. Um, it's called Bring Your Product Idea To Life, which ties in beautifully with the podcast, of course, which is of course deliberate. And that book is all about how to create a product to sell and the steps to go through in order. And it takes you through exactly what to do. Um, and a bit, how exactly what to do, how to do it, why to do it. And, um, if you follow the process in the book, then you'll have a completed product. So that leads me on to the first change I want to talk to you about, which is from this year. So from 2024, I'm no longer offering what I used to call product creation power hours. And those were sessions I would have with people talking about product creation and yeah, how to the how to around how to create your product. Um, and there's really two reasons I'm not doing that one is because I really want to focus more on supporting small businesses to sell on Amazon. Again, I've spoken a lot about Amazon before and I won't go into detail here. It's probably enough to say that I still think that for some products and some businesses, it's a great opportunity. However, on the other side of that, it is not the most user friendly place to sell. It's a tough place to get started on. It's a tough place to grow on, even though it offers all this potential. And I really do feel I can help a lot of businesses this year and hopefully beyond to do really well on Amazon. And that's where I'll be spending most of my time, and the other reason is it's been a long time since I created my products. And while I have a lot of knowledge about the process, I am a bit out of the loop on certain things. I have to be honest and tell you that, you know, I haven't sourced a product for a long time. So while I know the steps that you need to go through, it's been a while since I've actually done it. And of course, not that much changes in terms of what you have to do, but invariably there will be certain things that change, whether it's changes to shipping, which has changed massively since I know, since I created my products, um, even down to the marketplaces that you can sell on. I mean, I, in my book, I deliberately don't go into lots of detail into areas that may well change or have changed. Um, and the book is, of course, really up to date and will be updated as needed, but I just feel that because I'm not working with selling my own products day to day anymore, I'm maybe not the best person to help in that area, and I also genuinely believe that the book is a really good resource and that through the book, and of course, you're always welcome if you have questions to email me or ask questions in the Facebook group, I'm really happy to help out answer your question or help out when needed, but I think the Best way and the cheapest way definitely for you to get my advice is by buying my book, which of course will be linked in the show notes. So this now leaves four core ways that you can work with me going forwards. I'm going to explain now what they are and importantly, I think who they're for. And because if you, if working with me is something you've thought about, or maybe you haven't even thought about it, but there's a you know, there's something you need help with. I think this will really help you figure out which service might be best for you if indeed I can help you. So the first thing that I offer is an Amazon Power Hour. And this is a one hour session that we can use however you like. In the past, clients have used this time to complete tasks on Amazon with me in real time to ask me lots of questions, maybe to carry out a specific task. I think this will be great for you if you want some support with selling on Amazon, but you don't have a huge budget. Um, you don't need ongoing work. You have specific questions you want covered off, sorry, or you want to just do one thing or maybe you just need a bit of training. Maybe you're like, you know, I don't really understand how Seller Central works and I need someone to spend some time showing me around. So as I say, these calls can be used however you want. They are recorded so we have them via Zoom. We can do screen sharing so that I can see your screen and I can talk you through things or I can share mine if that works better, whatever you want. And then you have that recording to refer back to as well, which I also think is helpful because it means you don't need to take tons of notes if you don't want to. Um, I do, as you can imagine, I do quite a lot of these calls and I get really, really good feedback on them and people who see instant results, who get their questions answered. And I do think that this, um, is one worth considering if you want some support, but like I say, it's not ongoing or you don't have a huge budget for work because you will be amazed at what we can do in an hour. And if you want any more information on this or any of the services, then of course you can let me know. Um, these also might be good for you if you are thinking about selling your products on Amazon, which we'll talk about a bit more later. You're thinking about selling your products on Amazon, but you're like, I don't actually know how Amazon works. I don't know what I need to do. I do have lots of free resources that cover this as well. So you can always go to my website and get those. But if you have specific questions, a call like this might be really good. So the next service that I offer, which ties in is an Amazon strategy session, and this is for if you think Amazon might be a good marketplace for your business and products, but you're not 100 percent sure. So what I then do is I carry out research to find out whether it's going to be worth your while selling your products on Amazon. So I look at your products, I look at other competitors and products in your niche, and I do some really in depth research around is your product likely to do well on Amazon and if it's a yes, um, how, you know, my best advice on how you might achieve that. So to give you an example, I worked with a business based in the U. S. recently who sell loungewear, um, in a range of sizes. And what I did notice was that there weren't many of the larger sizes available on Amazon. So the extended sizes, and that was a real opportunity for her because she had the, she had the product, she had the sizes, importantly, she had the imagery. Because when we looked into those products on Amazon, when I did my research, I saw that there were, um, businesses on Amazon, and this is in the U S that was selling similar products to hers, um, in the extended sizes, however, the picture of the model might be wearing a size 10, despite the fact the text telling you that, you know, they're selling a size 20, and I felt that that was maybe causing a bit of disconnect. So I suggested to this client if she did go ahead, um, it would be great to use those images that she had in those listings Because that would really help her differentiate and that's just one example of the kind of advice that I give and also on the call that we have. So I spent a couple of hours doing some research for you. I put together a report. We then have a call where I talk you through what I found, what I recommend, why I recommend it. And then if you are thinking of getting your product onto Amazon, I talk you through the steps you need to take to make it happen. And I also provide you with a download that explains exactly that. Those steps as well. And then of course you can ask me questions and I give you lots of useful advice. So this costs a little bit more than a standard power hour because of the work I have to do beforehand. However, I think this is a really good investment because this can save you a lot of time and money and heartache really. The price of this session is actually going up as well from the 1st of February. Um, but if you book before the end of January, you can benefit from it at the existing price, even if you plan to actually have me do the work a bit later in the year. Um, I still do think this is a small investment, so the new price, I should say, will be 250. However, I still think this is a small investment when you think about all you can save, because what you don't want to do is find out whether your products will sell on Amazon via listing your products on Amazon and then finding out that actually it's not the best marketplace for you. So I think this is one worth considering if there's a bit of a question mark in your mind at the moment. So if you decide that you do want to sell on Amazon, whether you have any other service with me or not, something else I offer is what I call the Amazon launch package. And this is where I set up Amazon for you and get you off to the best possible start. This is great if you're ready to start selling on Amazon, but maybe you don't quite know how to do it or you don't have the time or you, you know, you really want to know that it's done as well as possible, or it might actually be that you just don't want to do it, which is absolutely fair enough because Amazon can be a complete headache. So what I do with this package is I research and write your product listing. I set it up for you, using of course, the images that you would provide me with, but I give you advice on, you know, which ones to select and if you, and things like that and how to present your listing. I set up all your settings. If you're sending stock into Amazon, um, I'll set up your shipping plans for you. If you're not sure about what you want to do, we can talk about that. I can, I also offer a month of Amazon ads management in that as well, as well as other advice on how to get started, how to get reviews, how to launch. Basically, I do everything I possibly can to get you off to the best possible start because on Amazon, that is really, really key. You, you want to. You want to do well, um, and it does take a bit of work. Um, so my goal here is to do, I was about to say all, the only thing I can't do is set up your account for like legal reasons, but the majority of the work for you is you get off to the best possible starts on Amazon. So if you're looking to start selling on Amazon in 2024, that might be something you're interested in. And then finally, if you are already an Amazon seller, and maybe you've reached a point where your sales have stalled, or perhaps even your sales have decreased, and maybe you're not seeing growth, or maybe you're just not sure what to do next, maybe things on Amazon are ticking along fine, but you're like, should I be doing a bit more? I offer an Amazon account audit, and this is where I review your entire Amazon seller central account or accounts. If you have them in multiple countries, you can let me know what you need. And I provide you with a really detailed list of recommendations for things you can do to improve your sales. So the kinds of things I look at are your settings, your orders, your conversions, your account health, your listings. And I come up with lots of opportunities and actions. I say opportunities because what I sometimes find when I carry out these audits, it's just, there's really simple things you could be doing, but you're not doing, perhaps because you just don't know about them. Um, but usually when I work with people on this, I come up with at least one page of A4, sometimes more of really practical things that can be done. Some of them will be tiny housekeeping things, some of them will be bigger projects, but, um, I can give lots and lots of suggestions of how you can improve your account and of course I can help implement any of the suggestions that I suggest as well. I couldn't think of a better way of saying that, but of course there is absolutely no obligation. You know, I can do this for you and then you can go off and do all the work yourself or I can do some of it for you. I can do all of it for you. Something you will hopefully know about me by now, if you've listened to any of these episodes, it's I'm pretty flexible. My goal is to support you with selling your products on Amazon and I will do what I can to make it work. So that is a bit of an overview of how I'll be working this year. So just to summarize, I will not be offering any more product creation services at the moment. Um, and instead if you want some product creation support, the best thing you can do is buy my book, which is available on Amazon and will be linked in the show notes. And perhaps also join the free Facebook group as well because you can get lots of support and advice in there. You can ask me questions and of course you can email me as well. If you want to ask things, um, for the services that I've mentioned, which are all based on supporting you with selling your products on Amazon, you can find out more details on all of those and book them on my website, which is linked in the show notes. And I guess to end, I just want to say, I'm really glad that you're here. Um, I have some really great episodes already recorded to share with you this year. I've actually recorded episodes up to the end of March now, which is crazy, isn't it? And I have so much in the pipeline that i'm really excited to share with you including some catch ups with previous podcast guests to find out where they are now. I'm super excited in some cases. I know in some cases. I don't know. I can't wait to find out. And the final thing is, if you enjoyed this podcast, you can now leave a one off tip for any amount to help me continue sending you this podcast for free every week. Um, absolutely no obligation of course, but if you did want to leave a tip of any amount at all, you can do that via the show notes. But of course, um, you can always continue listening for free. I really value you listening. I'm so excited that you're here. Uh, thank you. And yeah, here's to another great year. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my website, vickiweinberg. com. Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.