How To Take Your Products Global with Stephen Somers

BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

How To Take Your Products Global with Stephen Somers

    Shares

    It's one thing to figure out the US Amazon market. It's a whole other thing to go globally and make this thing work and tackle logistics and all of this other stuff.

    Our guest, Stephen Somers, is the Founder of Marketplace SuperHeroes which is an online education and service company that helps people across the world learn how to sell their products globally on Amazon.

    In today’s show, Stephen talks about how they built the company into an eight-figure business from scratch and take it globally.

    To learn more about Stephen Somers and his seven-day free training series please visit https://marketplacesuperheroes.com/home

    About The Guest: Stephen Somers

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    My name is Stephen Somers & I'm the co-founder of Marketplace SuperHeroes, an online education and services company that helps people across the world learn how to sell their own products globally on Amazon from complete scratch.

    Together with my business partner, Robert Rickey, we've sold over $12m of products on Amazon and have helped over 4000 people learn to do the same, building an 8 figure coaching and services business in the process.

    What primary topic, strategy or angle you'd like to cover in-depth? I'm very flexible Brad – happy to talk about how we built Marketplace SuperHeroes into an 8 figure business from scratch or go the Amazon angle – whatever works best for the audience (guessing the first one will be better)

    How To Take Your Products Global with Stephen Somers

    I am always looking for ways to sharpen my skills in some areas that I don't know much about. I'm letting you all in and hopefully eavesdrop your way into some profitable strategies that either you can use directly in your business or can give you some ideas for something new.

    It is my great pleasure to do this because even if you weren't there, I would be finding a way to have these episodes no matter what. I hope you appreciate them as much as I do appreciate you reading in as well.

    If at any time we come up with something in this episode that creates a question, an epiphany or anything that you ever want to get ahold of me, you can always shoot me an email to AskBrad@BaconWrappedBusiness.com.

    You can go over to BaconWrappedBusiness.com where you can leave me a voice message with a cool little tool called SpeakPipe. My guest did that. His name is Stephen Somers. He left me a great little voicemail on this SpeakPipe.

    He told me about some of the stuff he's doing and I wanted to share that with you. He's the Founder of Marketplace SuperHeroes, which is an online education and service company, which he’s going to explain how unique this is.

    It helps people across the world learn how to sell their products globally on Amazon, even if they're starting from complete scratch. With his business partner, Robert Rickey, they've sold over $12 million worth of products on Amazon.

    They have helped 4,000 people learned to do the same thing and even built an eight-figure coaching and service business in the process. One of the things that you can get a lot of information on is how to set up a product and start selling it on Amazon.

    However, one of the things that I found interesting here was one of the areas that they focus on is helping people go global because it's one thing to figure out just the US Amazon market.

    It's probably a whole other thing to go globally and make this thing work and then tackle logistics and all of this other stuff that makes my head swim and it's the reason I hire other people or partner with them to do that work. Stephen Somers, welcome to the show.

    Thank you very much, Brad. It's such an honor to be here. Whenever you came back to me after I left my little voicemail, I was honored and surprised that you wanted to have me on. Here we are going to talk about stuff I love so I'm excited.

    Tell me more about Marketplace SuperHeroes, what you guys are doing, how it works, and then give us the overview because then I'm going to forget that we've got an audience and I'm going to start asking some questions that I want to know.

    Marketplace SuperHeroes at its core is a training business. What we help people do is we teach them from complete scratch how to sell their own branded private label products globally on Amazon, North America plus Europe. There are other markets like Japan, Australia and India.

    It's a successful training business. We’ve got a lot of different products and programs in there to help people at all different levels. When it comes to the rest of the business, it's great that we teach how to do this on a global scale. Not a lot of people are doing that, have the experience and partners to do that.

    What we said was, “What other problems do our clients have?” The biggest one always is shipping stuff from the fire east across to US, Europe, and Australia. The big problem there was people shipping that small quantity of things typically if they're just starting.

    Even if they're a bigger company, they might be doing a new product or they want to ship more of the product that they're selling well to keep topping it up. We saw this even with ourselves. We have to find a freight forwarder. We have to go to the freight forwarders and get pricing.

    We have almost to teach them how to do what we're doing because, even though it's very big business, it's still relatively new in the market. It's taken us a few years to do it, but we have a company called SuperHero Freight. It's for our members only, but that's pretty close to changing.

    What we did was we contracted a full-time team whose software developed for software in Ukraine. They built an entire software ecosystem. The real big thing we've been able to do is to have a tool that enables our members to find the product through our tools.

    Bring it across the freight app, get pricing from ourselves to ship it from the Far East across to the US or to Europe. We have to slash people's freight costs because we put on our own containers from China. That's the second part of the business, the services.

    We have a translations team. We have a listings team for Amazon. We have everything you could possibly need. We have people who can help our members achieve those goals. It's a successful company. We've done eight figures in revenue.

    We've won five Two Comma Club awards from ClickFunnels. We're proud to say we've done that. We're from a little town in Ireland where nobody's heard of anything. They know what Amazon is and that's about it. It's cool that we live in these places and we're able to do this because of the internet.

    We’re honored that we have so many great clients and delighted to be here to talk about whatever you want. I can reveal anything you want. I’m an open book, Brad.

    Let’s talk about Amazon marketing changes a decent amount with regulations, restrictions and hurdles. If you got into this business, it was a lot easier than it is especially you get smart competition out there.

    You don't have to be the greatest marketer in the world. You can actually do some very simple optimizations within Amazon. Click To Tweet

    You get people who are well-funded and know exactly what they're doing and trying to steamroll a lot of other people. I've heard a lot of horror stories, but what's working?

    Let's say they've got a product they're selling on Amazon and they are thinking about doing this. They are standing at the base of the mountain looking up and going like, “There's a lot of stuff to learn.” What are some of the fundamentals that are making things work?

    There’s a lot of it so I’ll break it down as best as I possibly can. I see selling on Amazon as having two distinct business approaches. We've got what we call the marketplace approach and we've got what we call the brand approach.

    What the marketplace approach is what we typically teach our members to begin with, which is, “I don't know what product I'm going to sell. I don't know what business I want to be in, but I want to look at Amazon as a stock market. I want to identify what's a product that's in demand.”

    You've proven them that it's selling. It's got low competition. It's not something that's trendy. It's not selling hundreds of units a day and it's something that I can come in and easily improve the offer in the market.

    Improve the marketing behind the product with Amazon listing as well as then running some simple but very effective Amazon paid traffic. In other words, it makes a small number of sales per day. I'm going to put it into the market.

    We've got the brand approach, which is somebody utilizing Amazon more so as a method of distribution in their overall supply chain rather than it being the business. It's a part of the business. I've got a good friend, Ryan.

    They sell hair replacement products. They have private labels with their companies as well and they're doing millions as a vendor on Amazon. I get to see all the different things that are happening.

    We've got something called the Rule of Fives on the marketplace approach. It's appealing to people starting out because they're intimidated by having a brand-new business, having a physical product business.

    What we say is at a base level. If you can have five products and you can be making five sales per day of each of those products, but you can make them in five markets and you're making an average net profit of $5 product. If you do that every day for 30 days, that model will bring you to $18,750 in net profit.

    For someone beginning, they're like, “I'm making almost $20,000 a month, which is by-products. The big thing that helps us do that is the fact that we have what we call the multiply market approach. We're selling not just in Amazon.com but we're selling in multiple markets.

    The long and short of it is when you look at that approach, you don't have to be the greatest marketer in the world. You can do some very simple optimizations within Amazon and it becomes a game of the common good of product research and choosing that non-trendy, boring market as we call them.

    We like that approach because on the other side, there are people selling thousands of units of products every single day, supplements. The reality is that's where all the competition is. You have to be a world-class business.

    You have to be well-funded quite rightly because you've got to drive a lot of traffic to stay on top all the time in those categories. Honestly, we don't get involved in them.

    For our members, we were like, “If you've got lots of products making a small number of sales and the number of countries, it's lovely because it compounds and it grows.” That's our business approach and what we teach.

    On the brand side, I would say Amazon is a phenomenal distribution channel. If you have a brand even though you're selling this small number of units a day, we still brand those products. We still trademark.

    We do all of those things in order to protect ourselves on Amazon. Let's say you're a bigger brand, what's working there is using your other channels to send people to Amazon in order to boost your sales on the platform.

    It's like with YouTube, you can drive traffic to your existing YouTube videos, which increases your watch time on the platform, which then it shows YouTube that these are videos that people actually like.

    You're not manipulating it, but what you're doing is you're showing YouTube that when the right people watch my videos, they like it and it's the right audience. Please give me more of those people. On the Amazon side, it's the same thing.

    You're utilizing your external traffic to show Amazon these are products people want. When it's on your platform with all your trusted branding, the conversion rates are going to be high.

    The key to making the brand approach work on Amazon is utilizing your other channels in order to push on sales, certainly when you're starting out an ongoing. We take a simpler approach because our audience-base are typically a little bit older.

    They're online marketer extraordinaire. They just want to get a simple business up and running. Down the line, they might move into the brand approach. Many do but many stages are adding more products to their Amazon business.

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    Taking Your Products Global: The key to making the brand approach work on Amazon is utilizing your other channels in order to push on sales.

     

    They understand they're selling on a platform. They're cool with that because Amazon brings them customers every single day in multiple countries and it works for them. That's a big explanation, but I wanted to break down those two approaches for you.

    You said something interesting with the marketplace approach, which is what's in demand but low competition. You said it’s something easy to improve and add your own.

    In demand and low competition, I would think it takes a little bit more finesse to find because if it’s demand anything in a sufficient enough demand is going to get more competition because it is literally just supply and demand. How hard is that to find and is it like finding a needle in a haystack?

    When you start out and you go through this for the first time, it can definitely feel that way. The key to it is understanding that when you go to Amazon you go to say, “Shop all departments,” and then you pop into the kitchen and home department.

    A lot of people start with the best sellers. They're trying to find opportunities in the top 100 best sellers. We always tell people like, “You're not going to find these kinds of products there because the reality is that on Amazon that's where all the competition is.”

    When you look at Amazon as a market, you've got this best seller rank, the BSR. A lot of people are looking for a product that's got 5,000 or less BSR.

    If something is at 5,000, let’s say the kitchen home market and the names change all the time, that could be selling 20 or 30 a day as much as that because it's much volume in the Amazon market. We said, “As long as it's 20,000 or less, it's still in range for us.”

    What we do is we start out with the top 100, we click through and then we start looking at what are other products people are buying that are associated with this seed product. We start finding things that are 12,000 BSR in the kitchen and home.

    What we do is we take the generic keywords, let's say that the keyword was wooden cedar hangers for example. We take that, we plug it back into Amazon and then what we do is we say, “How many search results are in Amazon for that particular keyword?”

    If the search results are 2,000 or less, then that's something that's interesting. It's something that got sufficient volume, but at the same time, it's not got an outrageous volume. Obviously, the less of those, the better.

    I did a video for our YouTube channel. We were showing five examples. I found one and it was called a carboy carrier. Do you know what that means, Brad?

    I actually do.

    I've never heard of it before. I think it's very much a US thing. I saw this thing, I was like, “What is a carboy carrier?”

    The reason I know that is I own a website called Homebrew Academy. Carboys are oftentimes used in brewing and beer. I'm not a homebrewer. I know very little about the art of home brewing.

    I found a carboy stand. You can put it on the stand and they can sit there. The listings were awful. They literally had tiny titles, no bullet points.

    The point entirely is when you start going through these markets and you started looking at products that are nowhere near the 5,000 or less BSR, you start to see so much opportunity for, “I can improve that listing massively. I can improve the offer. I could do a twin pack rather than single pack.”

    There are many strategies that we teach. The point is that you feel when you started out like it's a needle in a haystack because you’re still trying to find what we call the home-run product. The one that's going to sell 100, 200 a day

    Whereas when you lean into, “I'm just going to sell stuff that has some search volume, it's not very competitive and I'm not trying to make tons of sales every day.”

    You start to realize there's so much opportunity at that end of the market. You've got to be prepared to sell things that are super weird and are not your average product.

    Do you do much with your methodology and with your students? What degree do you focus on finding the products and filling the demand there versus building out, doing all of the real brand-building things that makes something stand?

    There's a couple of different sides to this, which is getting a good product, tap into the demand and don't overthink it versus go out and try to build an actual brand.

    Honestly, whenever the approached we're talking about, we're building a brand but we’re not doing that brand in the way that you and I would define it in terms of we’re not building a website, a sales funnel, or a Shopify store.

    You have to be a world-class business. That’s the reality of the competition. Click To Tweet

    We're very much fulfilling the demand with a better version of what's out there. We are creating a brand for sure. Because there's a lot of people in this market and they are teaching. You build a big brand, that's what you're focusing on.

    We don't do that to begin with. When you validate that, let's say your carboy carriers are going well. Your simple branding is working for you.

    You're making sales on the Amazon platform and now you've validated it like, “I can sell it on Amazon. It’s doing well for me. It's making me the money I want to make.”

    Now I can take it up a notch and I can improve the branding. I've already got my own buyer code, I've already put it on the product. I've already trademarked brand name. I've done that part of things on the technical end, now I can improve the overall piece and then I can put it onto my own site.

    We've very much used Amazon as a validation tool to begin with and then we can scale it up. A good example is we've got a guy named Peter. He started and one of the products he is selling took off from dog whistles.

    They took off at his simple branding and he's going to start building a much more robust brand around dog whistles.

    He'll probably take it off of Amazon eventually and then you can build complementary products into that brand. We're fulfilling the demand on Amazon. We're validating the product and then if we want to, we can take it on to that next level down the line.

    To what degree do you rely on internal traffic, media buying inside Amazon? You touched on this about using some of your other channels to send that traffic over there.

    What ends up doing the heavy lifting? How effective are Amazon-sponsored listings versus Facebook ads or Google ads to your listing? What are some of the effective traffic strategies?

    The answer is yes. Initially, we optimize the listing heavily on Amazon. We spend a lot of time choosing the right keywords. Amazon gives us the opportunity to put in some backend keywords, which would be keywords that are very much associated with the product, but they're not as important as the key.

    They're like YouTube tags is the best way I can describe it. As you're tagging up your products, you want to call that search engine and the algorithm can learn, “That's what people are looking for on Amazon.”

    Because of the types of products that we're choosing, the Amazon PBC plus those optimizations are most of the traffic that people are utilizing and it’s time as well getting into the internal system and ranking.

    Any search engine, YouTube being the same, I see the parallels. The difference that we've been able to do is drive some additional traffic to our videos. With our members, a lot of them, they typically build out a simple social media campaign.

    Most people don't do any Facebook ads ranking to these products. Would it be more effective? Would it push more leads and more traffic to their business if they did? Most likely. Typically, with the types of products that our audience are selling.

    One of our members, he sells the covers of the feet of your washing machine to make sure that it doesn't scratch the ground.

    I don't know about you, but not a lot of people are going to get excited about an ad campaign about something like that.

    I would say these products are commoditized in some ways. People were not trying to build the next great yoga mat. Some people can get very disappointed by that because they're looking to build some earthshattering brand.

    As I always tell people, the kind of people that do the business the way we describe it, they're looking for a simple business model. They're looking for something that works, that can make sales and then they're looking for something that down the line they can get more advanced.

    They can add any strategies that we all understand and we know. We've never run Facebook ads to our Amazon listings and they've grown and we've got products that have been selling on Amazon for several years.

    I see your comments about things have changed. The truth is that the products that we sell, they keep selling and nobody wants to come in and sell them because they're all chasing the 100, 500-unit sale per day.

    In business in general, there's almost a certain snobbery towards like, “It only does a small number of sales per day.”

    Let's say your Homebrew website made $2,000 per month. People there would be like, “Do you don't want to scale that up? Do you not want to make it the number one home brewing site in the world?”

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    Taking Your Products Global: People are not trying to build the next great yoga mat. They are looking for something that works, that can make sales, and that can get more advanced down the line.

     

    For some people they'll say, “No, I've got a couple of other businesses going. It's a nice little business. I don't have to touch it. I don't have to think about it.” It's the same thing with these products.

    Let me ask you a question that you as somebody who sells this stuff, you may not love to answer, but I know my audience and I will love it if you do because this transparency I think is missing in the market.

    When a lot of people talk about gross revenues, I tell everybody, “Don't be jealous of somebody’s gross. Look at the net.” I know that a lot of eCommerce businesses because you’ve got the margins on that.

    I'm not talking about runaway success, I'm talking about average. What net margins are people looking at? I prefaced this especially for my audience because I see this frustration a lot and I even face it as well.

    I've had an eComm business and I face this as well, but it wasn't a runaway success, which is like, “We're doing good with $10 million in sales and I'm making $100,000.” What can people expect at the end of the day as far as a net profit margin goes?

    We have two metrics. The first one is what we call POI. It's like an ROI. It's the gain minus the cost over the cost, and we have what we call POR. It's the same figure it's just expressed slightly differently.

    What a POI is a return on investment. We look for 100% or more on the POI. Meaning whatever we put into the product and the first place, we want to double that whenever all it is said and done, when we double their investment back.

    The POR then is going to tell us, whatever my profit was, what is that as a percentage of the sales price? What we look for there is for it to be 30% or more. Let's say you sell something for $20, we're looking to make $6 in our pocket, net profit after all costs of expenses are paid.

    Sometimes it can be 25%, sometimes it can be a little more, but if something was, say, 20% or less, we would keep away from it.

    The reason for that is if you're private labeling something. Let's say you're shipping it via sea, to be completely honest, it's going to take you 112 days, maybe a little more, to get that into stock from the Far East.

    To make it worth your while, you got to be doubling your money on the POI and you got to be looking at that 25%, 30% or more as that expressed over the sales price. That's what we're talking about when we're talking about profitability.

    You could take any of our members or our sales figures. We have done about $1.8 million per year in revenue and our business. I've got some people doing $400,000, $500,000 plus a year.

    Whatever that figure is, look at that and go, “What's 30% of that?” You could say, “That's the net profit pretty much that's in the business.”

    To go a step further, when you start a business like this, let's say you did $30,000 revenue in a month and that's going to be roughly $9,000 back in net profits. Are you going to pocket all of that?

    My answer is no, because if you do pocket all that money, what you're basically saying is like, “I don't want the business to grow any further. I just want to take the money, put it in my pocket and run.”

    Like in any business, if that's your approach you're never going to grow the business. What we always tell our members is “No matter what your business is, for the first year to eighteen months, you're not going to take any money out of business.” It’s as simple as that.

    When you do get to profitability, we always recommend what we call the 33 Rule, which means if you take 33% for yourself, 33% back into the company, 33% other, you're in a good position then because you're not stripping the company of all its money.

    I think this is a problem in general. We live in a world where online a lot of people make these massive promises and they don't break down the real numbers in the business. Unfortunately, I see it all the time.

    We all know they're driving Lamborghinis. I know these guys, I know their numbers, I know many times it's BS because of this idea on the internet where entrepreneurship is sold as a celebrity.

    Business owner is great. What we sell more so is we're going to teach you skills. We're going to teach you how to figure out the profitability. We're going to teach you product research strategies and we're going to help you get a business up and running that's going to make you money.

    In the long-term, you can take this stuff and you can get a lot more advanced. You can build that big brand that we've talked about, but at least you've got experience in the business.

    Honestly, in eCommerce and business in general, the worst thing you could do to get into business is have no experience whatsoever. Go into something and try and come up with the biggest innovation the world has ever seen.

    Trying to find the home-run product is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Click To Tweet

    I think that's why the percentages of business failures are so high because people at the end of the day, they don't know what they are doing. If you take a pre-designed approach and you spend your time executing on that and becoming good at that, you learn so much more.

    You learn everything there is to learn about how business works. That's what we typically tell our audience. It’s good because when people come in then they've got the right expectations rather than people come in and they're looking to be millionaires in 30 days.

    Number one, thank you for that transparency. Hopefully, my audience appreciates it because there's so much BS out there. I even find myself occasionally falling for it.

    There are a couple of things you've sparked for me. First year to eighteen months, don't plan on taking money out of business. Do not do this if you need this money to pay the bills and to spend. When I started my first ever online business, it was a digital product.

    The margins are a lot higher and I didn’t take any money out. I took my first $1,500 check out after eighteen months. The other side of this is it made me think of a strategy. Have you ever heard of a book called Profit First by Mike Michalowicz?

    Yes, that's a huge deal. They're certifying everybody and I see a lot of accountants and CPAs.

    The bottom line on that for my audience edification. He was like, “It's very easy to take all your profits and then shove them back into the company for you to just live on peanuts for a long time.”

    That creates this entrepreneurial poverty and he's like, “As an employee, they tell you to pay yourself first. Create your own little profit account first so that if $100,000 comes in. Maybe you want to engineer yourself a minimum of a 10% profit margin.”

    Pull that off first and then pull the rest of the tax account and pull the rest of operations and then spend the rest. You still get to grow. Take a little bit off the top, just don't expect to keep it all.

    That's great because you helped dispel some of those concepts that “Yes, I'm going to start this thing up and I'm going to live off this thing like a rock star.” That does not happen.

    I also like the concept of training wheels because for a lot of people, especially brand-new Amazon eCommerce sellers, it can be overwhelming to think about, “I'm going to start this big brand and it's going to be this big thing.”

    Realistically if I can get in there and hit a bunch of singles and figure it out the ins and outs of selling on Amazon, selling globally, working my logistics and cashflow management because there are a lot of skill sets that go into this.

    I fully agree and it’s great you're quick and get this. It's like you've done this before, Brad. On the other side, I don't want to paint a super negative picture either because the other side of this whole thing and I think this is the big point. We've all read Rich Dad Poor Dad. A lot of people here have.

    Whenever you think about the book, for me, this concept of being an asset creator and being an asset owner, that’s the most powerful concept from that book in particular.

    What I always tell our members with that Profit First analogy. At the end of the day, you're looking for the asset to pay you over and over again for years.

    You're not looking for something that's going to make you money for a little while and then it's gone. You're looking to front-load your effort and your business as you get paid for the longest time off the effort that you put into your business.

    The skill sets are maybe the most valuable assets because if something happens to one of your product listings, it's like, “I'll find another one.”

    That's the beauty. You can get excited about it as you're building that because yes, I'm not making a ton of money, but when this accumulates because it's going to compound with time. My product is going to rank better in the system over time, I know that I’m going to see the benefit.

    As a matter of fact, I wanted to mention another interesting point, which is my goal in business. Because I come from a very not wealthy background. I wasn't eating ramen noodles or anything for my whole life. I wasn't exactly super-wealthy.

    For me, I had this bad belief system. I need the business to pay me as much as I possibly can get out of it. Robert and I, my business partner, when Marketplace SuperHeroes business started to become successful as well. We took a lot of money out of the business one year.

    It was awful because it was personal income and we paid half that back to the taxman. If your goal in life is take multiple six figures personally, bad news for you, it's a terrible financial strategy because you're going to keep most of it to the taxman.

    The advice I always tell people is, “Get yourself to an income level of $75,000 or more per year because it's scientifically proven beyond $75,000 a year. Most of your needs are met.”

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    Taking Your Products Global: Get yourself to an income level of $75,000 or more per year, because it's scientifically proven that beyond $75,000 a year, most of your needs are met.

     

    After that, it becomes a different game. A game of growing something that's maybe down the line you liquidate or sell or whatever the case may be.

    One of the things I let you in on my audience. This is more of a product and brand strategy that I'm working on all the client. These ties into one of the things you and I talked about. We're both big Jay Abraham fans.

    One of the things Jay talks about is leveraging other people's assets as much as possible and creating synergies like that. One of my long-time clients has a cool company that is an app in the health and fitness space.

    He's got hundreds of thousands of users. Almost 25,000 people every month download his app to track fitness and it's an ad-supported. All of the revenue literally comes from these nice ads that he does. They're not cheesy mobile ads or these big beautiful banner ads.

    He can drive half a million impressions or 80,000 clicks. As we've been working together, one of the challenging parts for me has been the fact that with very few exceptions, he doesn't sell much. It's getting everything else going.

    As I started to realize that this guy has got a lot of brand affinity with his users. We already know that they're at least somewhat interested in health, fitness, walking, running activities.

    It started to make me think, “There's probably a good opportunity here to utilize his audience affinity and knowing what they want to create a product that serves that market or products.” He's already got the ad space to funnel thousands of free clicks to this every single month.

    We're in the process of starting to research, do a little bit of R&D and figure out what to try to validate something. Let's try to create a product. If we do this, this is where the Jay Abraham strategy comes in. This would not be me doing this as a consultant for a fee.

    This would be me leveraging to create a business together whereby he is responsible for traffic, I'm responsible for getting the rest of it up.” That's one of the reasons also that this is all very fascinating to me because I haven't been as much of a physical product eCom guy in the past.

    I've had one. I've worked with some to some degree of success. In the actual operational aspect of it, that won't be me. I'll be partnering or hiring people to run with this.

    This is all very interesting to me because part of me was going down this angle of how can we utilize this audience to build a real solid brand of products that can then eventually sold and exited.

    I also liked the idea of tapping into other products out there that end up creating a nice income stream as well without having to overcomplicate the brand aspect.

    There are so many things and models out there. I know you had Drew Canole on the show.

    Drew is my very first ever consulting client. He started working when he had less than 100,000 Facebook followers.

    I didn't know that. That's interesting. My point is if you look at Organifi, that's a good example of a case study or something like that where they didn't have a fitness app, but as you know, they had a huge audience from social media.

    They utilize that and build a funnel around Organifi. If you look at Organifi, it’s not like they make a big deal of the funnel. In my opinion, they don't have a big funnel, they just have a great product and they and everything are great.

    I bring it in from the States myself to Ireland because I like it so much. I look at something like that. That's a good example of a product that would instantly work in this example simply down to the fact that it's consumable, which is beautiful.

    With physical products, a lot of times people, they say, “I'm going to sell the obvious stuff. I'm going to sell gym gear, I'm going to sell clothing, I'm going to sell X and Y.”

    That's great and that's going to work well for people, but at the end of the day, the holy grail of physical products when you have an existing audience like that is consumability. That's absolutely the key.

    I was thinking about doing an electrolyte supplement or something of that nature.

    Tying that into the app as well, and part of the methodology behind what that person does. It's as close as to guaranteed success as you can get. It's like and I love the Netflix model. They know what their audience love, they know what they're watching, they know why they're watching it.

    When they make their own shows, it's almost like they're able to Frankenstein a show together based upon real-time data, which is why they get pretty much most of their shows 100% correct.

    You can take your product up a notch and improve the branding simply by validating it. Click To Tweet

    You've got the same opportunity, which I think is phenomenally exciting. I can't wait to see more about that because it's guaranteed to win.

    It's a matter of implementation plan and making sure that nobody's bandwidth gets stretched. There'll be probably some good strategic partnerships and whatnot there as well. Is there much of a difference when it comes down to the global aspect of selling internationally?

    When we talk about Europe specifically. I know there are people from all over the world, but a lot of people here are from the US, Canada-based. I suppose the issue for a lot of people is there's this fear around the unknown.

    I'm not going to be rude to our friends in the US, I love the country. I travel there all the time. I think a lot of people from the US would probably accept and agree with me that in some ways the US can be a little bit insular to the rest of the world.

    That’s normal. I'd be the same if I lived in the US because it's an amazing country. You have everything there. I get it. It's completely understandable but at the same time, it's that known factor that stops a lot of people from looking at markets like Europe.

    The reality is that it's a very simple playground. All you've got to do is set yourself up in the right way. I think we're moving into a globalized world anyway, even with digital products with the European Union, they've added in basically VAT global.

    To say then that's a big fear, VAT, Value Added Tax. It's just sales tax like you have in the US. In the US as a matter of fact, sales tax is a very much a gray area too. I don't think anybody knows how sales tax works in the US.

    Every CPA I ever speak to has a different opinion because it's not tied up. Whereas in Europe we're in a situation where it's very black and white of what the situation is.

    It has changed a little bit, but essentially if you are, let say US LLC or Canadian limited company or any country outside Europe, you come into Europe with that business structure and you sell your products into Europe.

    What happens is because you're a non-European entity. You instantly have to register for this Value Added Tax scheme. What happens is whenever you sell a product, it's just like sales tax. It's about 20% that changes per country, but it's about 20% sales tax is lower as we know 7% to 13% you allow for that.

    Essentially, the mistake people make they come in with a non-European business entity. Why it's a mistake is that let's say you bring your products to the UK, you've registered for UK VAT as US LLC. That's fine.

    You haven't made any mistakes so far. You make a sale to somebody in the UK, you're collecting the VAT on behalf of the government and you're paying them every quarter. You can do yearly as well what they call a flat rate scheme when you're selling an Amazon in Europe.

    There's something that's beautiful called the EFN, which is the European Fulfillment Network. It's an amazing idea Amazon brought in.

    What it means is you can hold your stock in the UK for example, and then you could get your products translated into multiple languages, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

    Make those listings active. Somebody from Germany can come on to Amazon.de, they see your product, they like it. They see it's fulfilled by Amazon and they buy from you.

    It's shipped from the UK to that person. What happens is because you're a US LLC and a German person has bought from you has landed in Germany. You technically have to register for a German VAT.

    If somebody in Australia buys from you because you're a non-European entity, you have to register in there. It's a compounding issue, which a lot of people make this mistake. Anybody who's eCommerce is doing this.

    I'm saving you thousands of dollars by explaining that mistake you’re making because we see it all the time. The simple fix for everybody that we teach is if you set up a European entity, I can't tell people what to set up.

    What a lot of people do is they set up a UK limited company. We can help people do that. What happens then is because you've got a UK limited company, you can avail a lot of the inter EU rules of tax in very simple English.

    All that means is when we take that example, you're a UK limited company. Yes, you're a US resident but you own a UK limited company. You will register for VAT straight away in the UK.

    If a German person buys from you, you would charge the UK VAT on that and pay it to the UK up until you hit a certain sales threshold in that country at very simple terms.

    It's like if you held your stock in Texas and you sold to somebody who lives in Florida, if you make more than $50,000 in revenue in a year, you now have to register for sales tax in Florida.

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    Taking Your Products Global: People respect it when you teach them how things work, why they work, and all of the different things they need to know before they actually get into the business.

     

    It's the same idea. You pay the VAT to the UK, and if you hit €100,000 in revenue in Germany, now you've got to register only for German VAT at that point. I’m not going to get too much more into that because it could get very complex but it's very simple when you know how.

    We're at the time where you get to tell people who are very intrigued by the idea that this is a real business. You've been super transparent that it is possible to start from scratch and get out there and figure this stuff out.

    Especially if you're not looking to get rich quick, but you're looking to build these income streams and assets that can last a long time with Marketplace SuperHeroes. Let's talk about some of the resources that you have for people. Where do they go?

    MarketplaceSuperHeroes.com is our site. Whenever you land on the site, we have a seven-day free training series that they have on there that people can check out.

    What we do is we’re going to walk people through the important foundational things for you to know whether or not something you want to do or it's a business you want to run.

    We teach a lot of people way upfront, even when you watch our YouTube channel. I'd highly recommend people to subscribe. We launch three videos a week.

    We go into very much a lot of detail because what I've learned is that people respect it when you teach them and you show them how things work, why they work and all of the different things you need to know before you get into the business because we used them.

    To be completely honest with you, we used not to do this. We used to say, “We'll tell you about the business, we'll tell you how it works. Come and join us and then you can learn how to do it all.”

    We still do that and our programs are awesome, but we've learned over time. I spoke to a lady and she was going to join one of our coaching programs. She had all these relevant questions that I know that our webinars don't cover because they're very specific.

    She needed to know the answers to be able to move forward. You go to our YouTube channel, you'll get all those answers in great detail. I also invite any of your audience.

    I have a very small Instagram following, it’s @StephenJSomers. Come and add me, ask me a question and I'll send you back a voicemail. I'd be delighted to give you any more information that you might need.

    Stephen, thank you so much for sharing liberally, openly and honestly with our audience. This has been super cool because you're also bringing a unique aspect that I haven't known a lot of people who teach Amazon marketing to the show.

    That's why I invited you on. I get requests all the time of people who say they're Amazon experts. You definitely had a unique twist to this and you taught me some things that I didn't know and that are very useful as well.

    I suggest everybody go check out Marketplace SuperHeroes. If this is something you think a friend of yours, family member or somebody else who's either thinking about starting on Amazon or has started and want some more resources, please share this episode. Stephen, I appreciate your time.

    I appreciate you. You've cultivated an amazing platform. I know you put your heart and soul into it, so thanks for having me on. I know how hard it is and how much work it is to build an audience. Anything I can do for your audience I'd be more than happy to do.

    Thank you.

    Important Links:

    About The Guest: Stephen Somers

    BWB Somers | Taking Your Products Global

    My name is Stephen Somers & I'm the co-founder of Marketplace SuperHeroes, an online education and services company that helps people across the world learn how to sell their own products globally on Amazon from complete scratch.

    Together with my business partner, Robert Rickey, we've sold over $12m of products on Amazon and have helped over 4000 people learn to do the same, building an 8 figure coaching and services business in the process.

    What primary topic, strategy or angle you'd like to cover in-depth? I'm very flexible Brad – happy to talk about how we built Marketplace SuperHeroes into an 8 figure business from scratch or go the Amazon angle – whatever works best for the audience (guessing the first one will be better)

    Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
    Join the Bacon Wrapped Business Community today: 

    Got A Question Or Comment For Brad?