Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world, selling over $74.45 BILLION US Dollars worth of merchandise in 2013 alone! Were it not for the fact that FAA regulations limit their ability to fly a robot drone directly to your door with this merchandise, they would be even much bigger! And that day is coming.
The fact is, Amazon sells nothing by itself; it’s a distributor. It provides a popular platform and marketplace for product sellers. Period. If you sell products these days, you need to be on Amazon to be found. It’s that simple.
So what does this mean to you as a coach? Simply this: If you want to be noticed, go and grab the attention of Amazon’s fanatical buying repeat customers! But how? By thinking outside that proverbial box. In this article I laid out several steps to take if you are interested in selling on Amazon, as a coach or product reseller.
How Amazon Products Are Bought and Sold
If you’ve never bought products on Amazon, you must be reading this on someone else’s computer after returning from a solo trip to Antarctica after five years! Seriously? Don’t worry; the Amazon sales process is very simple – even if you’ve never bought online before. You just sign up, search for the products you want, click on them, and within a few more clicks you have the product on it’s way to your front door within days.
If you are a product Seller, the best way to sell on Amazon is to have them do all the work, and you simply buy, package and ship product to them on a regular basis. This process is called “FBA” or “Fulfillment By Amazon.” The few who decide to go “FBM” or “Fulfillment By Merchant” are the ones who already own or run a fulfillment center and don’t need Amazon for that. These are the only ones qualified to handle this, however. Do NOT try FBM if you are working out of your house or garage. One slip-up or missed shipment will put you on their “Bad” list and could ban you from doing further business with them.
Setting up an Amazon FBA account is easy, cheap, and fast. The cost is less than $40 to get started, in addition to finding and buying your products wholesale.
The Problem of Selling Coaching
OK, admittedly, this sounds far-fetched and unusual . . . unless you are talking about print books or Kindle books. If you go to www.amazon.com now and do a search for “Life Coaching,” you will get dozens of book titles to pop up. But you will find no products. Why? Well, life coaching is considered a service, not a product. And even if you write a book, you are referred to CreateSpace where you can upload and publish your book or e-book very quickly and inexpensively.
The problem with selling a book on Amazon is twofold:
- The perceived value of books compared to products is lower. Information is not as popular a purchase item as, say, pillow covers or corkscrews. Also,
- When selling your book through CreateSpace you can never find out who bought your book or Kindle ebook unless you have an offer imprinted in the book itself and the reader either opts-in online or sends in a coupon to get some bonus from you, thereby giving you his or her contact information.
When you sell products on Amazon, however, your offering is perceived to be of a higher retail value AND you will receive the name, address, and phone number of each customer! This allows you to mail to them, thank them for buying, and offer them more of your stuff to buy! This feature alone makes selling products heads above any advantages book sales offer you.
The Solution: Offer Coaching Products
Instead of writing a book, which has a fairly low perceived value, why not create a PRODUCT instead? Here are some examples of coaching products you can create that will sell well on Amazon if matched with the right category:
- Combine a Laminated Planning Calendar with a “Self-Coaching Guide To Getting Things Done” manual,
- Create a CD of “Best Affirmations By Successful People,”
- Sell a DVD set of “Seven Ways To Motivate Your Coaching Clients,”
- Create a CD and playing cards on “How To Do Business In French” . . .
- Many more . . . you get the idea.
The point is, create something of value that highlights your expertise while, at the same time, 1) creating a greater perceived value by the customer, and 2) allowing you to sell a physical product on Amazon. Once you have this combination working for you, you also create an ongoing revenue stream that keeps paying you long after your retire from coaching.
The trick is to know what buyers are looking for AND to put your product in front of them with an offer that’s almost a no-brainer. For example, if you are offering a DVD set WITH a printed manual on “Goal Setting,” your product will stand out in front of all the books whenever someone types in that keyword phrase. The same thing can be done regarding relationships, cooking, learning, self-help, and dozens of other categories.
Do your research and find what resonates with your likes and expertise. Just go to Amazon and start typing in words and phrases. As soon as you start typing, Amazon will show you a list of the most popular phrases people are searching for. This can then help you decide on your category and key phrases. Also, by typing in a phrase like “How to,” you will get more ideas of what people need help with (granted “How to train your dragon” may not be a solid coaching topic, but who knows…?).
Important Point: Do NOT try to be a pioneer. By selling your coaching product under a popular category, you are assured of a) getting more traffic to your offer and b) making more sales!
If you want more information on how to find or create products, set up an Amazon account, write ad copy, and sell on Amazon, I’m putting together a detailed course on how to do this in the next few months. Simply Contact me to let me know you’re interested, and I will send you more details.