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INTRO Confessions of a Money Chaser (Plus a Question for Fastlaners)

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Laughingman21

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This is a long post, but help would be greatly appreciated as I try to reform my previous money chasing ways.

Afters reading @MJ DeMarco ’s Unscripted and it's made me re-evaluate where I'm heading. I’m looking to get some feedback from people with far more experience than me in business and ecommerce as I try to plan my next 12 months.

Just to give you some background on me. I've been trying to build a business selling through Amazon FBA for the last 18-24 months. It's not been as successful as I wanted, but that's mainly due to selling too many Me-Too products, choosing very small niches and not offering anything unique or adding value in my products. Hence, my sales have been very low.

Before this, I’ve been guilty of being one of the money chasers that MJ talks about in his book. I’ve looked at property investment, building online courses, affiliate marketing and made little progress with any.

Ironically, I’ve made these poor decisions due to my reason why - I have a young family and I’m desperate to leave the rat race so I can spend time with them. In my hurry to leave the rat race, I can see now that I’ve just been chasing money and not building a fast lane existence. For that reason, I’m cautious about moving onto something else without good reason, hence my query now as I face two options:

Option 1: Continue with Amazon
Put the lessons I’ve learned into building my Amazon store through better product selection and work on building a unique brand.

Pro’s:
+ Amazon is a powerful selling portal with huge numbers of buyers and an easy ability to list and promote products to those buyers.
+ I can build a brand on Amazon and move onto Shopify at a later date
+ I’m not quitting to try something new (i.e. not showing money chasing habits)
+ It builds on my experience of the last couple of years

Con’s
- Breaks the commandment of CONTROL - this is a huge worry for me as I’ve heard of sellers being banned and their income stops overnight with very little communication from Amazon
- Too often on Amazon it becomes a race to the bottom on price
- Developing unique products can come at high initial cost
- Top selling products can easily be copied so I lose my products USP then the inevitable price war begins
- Developing a brand on Amazon is hard

Option 2: Shopify Store to retail existing branded products in an existing niche
As I’ve been selling on Amazon, I’ve come across a few niches that are poorly serviced online. Websites look at least 15 years old with horrible sales copy, terrible product photos and no social media interaction.

My plan is to build a high quality website selling existing brands, using great photos and copy and build a brand that focuses on the people in the niche through a strong marketing strategy that is unique to the niche. However, from my thread I realise this isn’t enough for a USP so I’d need to put some thought into this.

Pro’s:
+ CONTROL - I will have 100% control over my brand and sales channels
+ SCALE - if my marketing strategy works, I can apply it to the other niches I’ve seen
+ NEED - the existing websites are horrible and users are offered a poor experience so there's a need for a 21st century approach

Con’s:
- it's harder to develop a USP selling other brand products
- this could be another money chasing moment as I jump ship to another venture
- my lack of experience in the niche
- my lack of experience developing an online store
- a lot of time could go into this and I still won’t convince brands to sell to me

After writing this, I feel that Option 2 is the more fastlane approach, but I’d love to hear your opinions. Or am I just making an excuse for another Money Chasing jump?

I want to say, thank you for you time and any advice you can offer me. I’m not looking for a forum to make a major decision for me. I just lack people with fastlane experience in my life to ask their opinion so thought this would be a great place to get advice.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Neither option seems like the potential for a productocracy. Without that, you're still really churning for money based on only one value skew, your website would look up to date and clean.
 
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Laughingman21

Laughingman21

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Neither option seems like the potential for a productocracy. Without that, you're still really churning for money based on only one value skew, your website would look up to date and clean.
If I used either one as a starting base to get customer feedback before developing my own unique products, would that work?

In which case, would Amazon or Shopify seem the best?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Walter Hay

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If I used either one as a starting base to get customer feedback before developing my own unique products, would that work?

In which case, would Amazon or Shopify seem the best?
USP's are often based primarily on perceptions, not reality. This is why you need to study your potential customers and offer them what they want. (Think "need", because most will see their wants as needs.)

This opens up the subject of choice of brand name, logo, labels, package etc.

A brand name can sell. E.g., FREEDOM might be the magic word comprising part of your brand name.
A logo can sell. E.g., An apple logo with a bite out of it might appeal to nonconformists, rule breakers, independent thinkers etc.
A label can sell. E.g., Gold foil, or a wax seal can exude luxury.
A package can sell. E.g., The shape can invoke fantasy images, (not necessarily sexual) or a glossy black carton printed in embossed silver or gold might make customers think that what's inside must be special.

Walter
 

Mr.Brandtastic

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It's not been as successful as I wanted, but that's mainly due to selling too many Me-Too products, choosing very small niches and not offering anything unique or adding value in my products. Hence, my sales have been very low.
Granted, I'm new, take my opinion with a grain of salt. But think about it this way. Why do people buy things? Buy anything? Need and want. Sure. You need food, clothing, shelter, and a few other things. How is want quantified? By what other people want. By the ability of someone to convince you to want something (word of mouth from friends and family is especially powerful).

Now knowing this, I've been looking at people who create successful affiliate websites, shopify, and even Amazon FBA places. What is the common denominator? A living person. Anyone can buy some e-commerce sites on Flippa and slap in their affiliate numbers and they will get precisely no sales (I know, I've done it, good lesson though).

Why did no one buy? I bought SEO and e-mail traffic! Because no one was there. I was not there talking about my product. I was not saying, "I prefer x over y for this reason." It gave the consumer no benefit over the search bar in Amazon's website. No human interaction means no sales. The best salesmen religiously study the product but they must put on a human face. A friendly face that goes, "I want to help you make a decision that will benefit you today." And mean it. A car dealership with no people? Give me a break, people would walk out. Get involved and learn everything about the product.
 

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