5 Things Sellers Need To Do To Grow their Private Label Brands

Starting a private label business on Amazon is a smart move.  It gives you the chance to purchase a product from a manufacturer, brand it, sell it, and make a profit.  But deciding what to sell, designing the label, packaging the product, and listing it on Amazon is only the beginning. To make a real profit, you need to create awareness of your product and grow your private label brand using tools such as Feedbackwhiz coupled with an Amazon keyword tool such as WordTree.

Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace and in order to succeed, you have to be proactive. Here are 5 things you need to do as a seller to make the most of your private label business:

1) Email automation

Sending automated emails is, hands down, one of the most effective ways to get organic product reviews.  Contacting customers after a purchase can have a positive impact on both the number of reviews you receive and the type.

Amazon forbids you from contacting buyers outside of Amazon but email automation services offered by companies like FeedbackWhiz will integrate with your seller account and allow you to send high converting and targeted emails related to specific metrics that you select.

These emails can work to your advantage in a few different ways.  Most people receive their product, are satisfied with it, and for them, that is the end of the transaction.  It may never occur to them to leave a positive review. By sending an email, you can give them a gentle reminder to visit your Amazon store and let others know they are happy with the purchase.

These emails also serve as a check-in.  You are reaching out to make sure everything is okay and has arrived as expected.  When you do this, you do not only offer the above mentioned reminder, you are showing that you actually care.  No one wants to be just another customer contributing to your bottom line. People want to matter. With the proper wording, your email can show the customer that their business has mattered to you.  Again, this can go a long way to creating a positive customer experience that can lead to a positive product reviews. It seems obvious but not everyone does it. A thank you and a gentle reminder may be all it takes to see a rise in your review numbers.  The more positive reviews you receive, the higher your Best Seller Rank will be and the more chances you have that your listings will show up in a product search.

2) Build a Website

Creating your own website gives you the opportunity to market and build your brand outside of Amazon.  Well done Amazon listings tells potential buyers a great deal about your product but depending on the nature of the product, they may not tell the whole picture.  When you have your own site, you are not bound by Amazon’s rules and can tell your story the way you want. You can inject your character and show people who you really are as a brand.  You can also create content that allows people to get a better idea about your product and its potential uses. Write blogs and share video that adds dimension and depth to your brand story.  Another option is offering people free, downloadable content. By offering a free ebook, for example, you can gain useful data like an email address, while warming people to your brand and product before sending them to your Amazon listing for purchase.

3) Use Facebook Ads

Social media is a very powerful way to market to a current and potential customers.  Facebook allows you to create custom advertising campaigns that can be used to send people to your Amazon listing.  The custom data reports generated through FeedbackWhiz will allow you to create powerful and effective Facebook campaigns.  You can utilize this information to create either custom or a look-a-like audience, increasing traffic flow to your listing which can improve both your sales and your Best Seller Ranking.  Custom audience help re-target ads to your existing customers while A look-a-like audience is created using the demographic markers of your current customers, to find an audience that “looks like” them.  In other words, a look-a-like audience is one that is likely to be interested in your product already based on their online persona.

4) Monitor Product Reviews

It is incredibly important that you remain engaged with your product reviews. Product reviews give you insight into your customers, your products, and your listings. An Amazon listing should never be a static thing and through monitoring what people are saying, you can make any adjustments that may be necessary for greater success.  For example, if people are commenting that they thought your product would have a specific functionality and it does not, than perhaps your listing is not quite clear enough. Maybe people have found imaginative ways to use your product that you have not considered, it might be worthwhile to add them to your listing.

Negatives reviews happen sometimes, you cannot please everyone but how you respond is important.  Reach out to the customer right away and try to set things right.  This will, hopefully, satisfy this customer and it will show others that you are a brand that stands behind its product and services.  If you do this, you may find that the customer amends their negative feedback to include the details of your efforts. Amazon prides itself on being a marketplace that provides an excellent customer experience.  Anything you can do on your end to support this will always work to your advantage.

5) Network WIth Amazon’s Top-Ranked Reviewers

Amazon keeps a list of their top reviewers.  These individuals have badges in their profile that designate them as top-ranked reviewers which means other customers tend to see reviews from these individuals as carrying more weight.  It is important to note that Amazon’s terms of use prevent you from using incentives to garner reviews but it would not hurt for you to reach out to one of these reviewers to see if they are interested in reviewing your product.  But remember, you are contacting a real person so do your research first. If the reviewer you are looking at reviews books and you are selling something that has absolutely nothing to do with books or reading, this is not the reviewer for you.  Taking the time to look into their interests will indicate that you value and appreciate their time. This simple act of respect may lead to them feeling more inclined to check out your product.

Growing and maintaining a private label requires dedication and attention.  In a space as crowded and competitive as Amazon, a great product will not sell itself.  By following these 5 tips, you should be able to build your audience, increase your visibility and improve your Best Seller Ranking, leading to stronger sales and more profits!

 

feedbackwhizThis is a guest post written by FeedbackWhiz. FeedbackWhiz is an all in one solution that manages, monitors, and automates Orders, Feedback, Product Reviews, and Emails for Amazon merchants.

6 Steps to Outsource Your Amazon Operations

Every business has its pain points. Your pain point may be not having enough time to do all the daily tasks your Amazon operation requires. Perhaps it’s simply that you don’t have the technical skills or expertise to answer a customer’s queries. Maybe it’s just that you can’t keep up with the sheer volume of product that you are buying and selling. It may be a small thing like editing images to suit Amazon’s standards for product pages.

Whatever the pain point, it can be the bottleneck that prevents the growth of your business. The solution is simply to grow your business by outsourcing the tasks that you don’t have the time, skill or desire to do.

1.  Categorize Your Amazon Tasks

Before you hire a professional freelancer, you must know what you need the freelancer for. To do repetitive tasks, or to finish listings, or to take over products is not descriptive enough to hire someone.

Start by making a list of all the Amazon tasks that must be done and that you can easily delegate. These are mostly the simple and repetitive tasks that are essential for the business but never reach the top of your list. Next, create another list of the tasks you don’t have the skill for but that are necessary for the business. Then create a third list of the tasks that you should really be doing. Go over your lists and make changes as needed.

Many business owners start their Amazon operations by doing everything themselves. They know how every aspect of the business works. Sometimes it’s difficult to start hiring and delegating these tasks because you’ve been in control for so long. Although you can do most if not all of these tasks you’ve listed, it is no longer cost-effective. These tasks take up time that you need to grow the business.

You may enjoy searching for new products to sell, for example. Researching new products and manufacturers are time consuming tasks, however. You can use this time more productively. Hire professional freelancers to do the ground work for you. They can provide you with a short list of potential products and suppliers to choose from. Then you can take a few minutes to scan for final approval and go back to growing your business.

2.  Create Task Descriptions

Take the first two lists and write a short description of what you need to be done for each task. For example, photo editing may be one task on the list that you need to hire an expert for. A detailed description should outline what the task is all about – what the actual work involved is. It may also include the level of skill you need, for example: a freelancer with Photoshop experience who can professionally edit and resize product photos for listings. Or an SEO expert that can help write great ad-copy with assistance from an Amazon keyword tool.  Add detail as necessary for your needs, but don’t throw in unnecessary extras that can distract from the main point.

Such task descriptions will help you both when posting a worker request for a freelancer, and when interviewing the candidate.

Time Taken

Now that you know what you want the freelancer to do, you must calculate how long each task will take to complete. Is it a once off task that takes a couple of hours or is it a repetitive task that recurs daily, weekly or monthly?  By having an estimated time frame of the duration of a task gives you an idea of how many available hours you need a freelancer to have, and how much you need to budget for the task.

Skills Required

Who can do the task? Does the freelancer need specific skills, ability or experience for the task? For writing sales pages, you’ll hire a freelance copywriter who has experience in writing direct response copy. For customer service, you’ll look for a freelancer who speaks the appropriate language in an accent understandable to your customers.

Make a note of the essential skills the freelancer must have to complete the task.  Also, note additional skills and abilities that will be a bonus.

3.  Find an Experienced Freelancer

Outsourcing is like a snowball. When you’ve seen the benefits of outsourcing to the right freelancer, you’ll continue to outsource more and more tasks. But where do you find that first experienced freelancer that will get the ball rolling?

There are several freelance outsourcing platforms online. Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.com have worker directories with freelancer profiles you can search through. When posting a worker request on these platforms, freelancers apply and you can move on to the interview process if you like their introductions. You can easily receive 10-15 applications with one worker request posted on a freelance platform.

Platforms like Fiverr have task posts that you can match to your needs. You can then reach out to the freelancer and talk about what you need done, and close the deal if you agree. There are tons of posts to sort through, some not very detailed, and you can spend a lot of time hashing it out with candidates.

Sometimes searching and finding an experienced freelancer may be time-consuming and frustrating. Interviewing all the different candidates takes up more time than you have or planned to invest. If saving time is one of the reasons you’re outsourcing, then you don’t want to spend it interviewing candidates, most of whom will not be a good fit.

Marketplace platforms like FreeeUp pool pre-vetted freelancers to limit the time it takes to find and interview freelancers. Instead of browsing through hundreds of posts and interviewing something like 15 candidates, you’re introduced to the freelancer that best fits your needs based on a simple worker request that you submit. Then you only spend 10-15 minutes interviewing the freelancer to make the final decision to hire.

Some freelance platforms specialize in specific industries or niches. Hire My Mom is a site for work-at-home moms. ArticleBunny is a site for writers, as are the AWAI job boards. TopTal is for developers and designers. FreeeUp specializes in eCommerce businesses. The Problogger job board focuses on blogging. Then there are job boards for locals or country-specific hires. Take a platform’s specialization into account when you look for candidates, but don’t forget to also consider how they handle clients and process payments before you decide which one to use.

4.  Interview, Hire, And Onboard

The task description you’ve created is a handy tool to use during an interview. You know exactly what you are looking for in a freelancer and can ask your questions accordingly. The freelancer is also clear about what is expected. By asking the right questions and listening to the answers, you will quickly determine if the person is the right candidate.

Ask for samples or a portfolio where applicable so you can see what they can produce for the specific task. Professional freelancers may have appropriate samples ready to provide during the interview.  Ask them about the assignment the sample refers to. Talk about what they enjoyed, what was easy, and what was difficult.

If freelancers don’t have relevant samples, don’t discard the applications. Many freelancers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Some may have worked on projects that are not really similar but require similar skills. Yet others may have different expertise that could benefit your business in other areas. It’s happened before that a client realizes during the interview that the freelancer could be a great fit for another task.

If your task has specific deadlines, make sure the freelancer can deliver in time. The candidate may be the perfect freelancer, but is not available when you need the task done or doesn’t have enough time to work on your task. Different time zones can be beneficial in customer service, but could be disastrous in other business areas.

The level of onboarding required after hiring a freelancer can be determined during the interview. Some tasks need instructions and onboarding for company-specific goals despite the freelancer’s experience and skills. During onboarding, establish how you want the freelancer to communicate with you and how often. Communication is the key to a good working relationship.

5.  Work with the Freelancer

Communicate with the freelancer and give clear and concise instructions. The more detailed, the better the freelancer can deliver the results you had in mind. Often there is more than one right way to complete a task. If your instructions are unclear, you place the freelancer in a difficult position. They either have no idea how to proceed because they don’t know which method you prefer, or they choose their own preferred method and incur your ire.

Allow the freelancer to ask questions until they are satisfied that they understand your instructions. This is vital when starting a new project or new client-freelancer relationship. Give enough feedback on the initial task until you understand each other. Then follow-up tasks will be easier to complete and will go more smoothly.

Create milestones and check-in for with ongoing assignments to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and issues. It’s easier to correct an issue when it occurs than after waiting until a task is completed – often in the wrong way. Milestones and regular feedback will help to identify possible issues and unrealistic deadlines as well as give the freelancer an opportunity to ask for additional assistance.

6.  Identify Issues, Fix Them, and Repeat the Process

When issues occur, address them immediately. Remember, the freelancer is as eager as you to complete the assignment successfully. They will appreciate suggestions to improve results and any corrections that will help avoid costly mistakes.

Communication is the best way to resolve problems. Most of the time, it is an innocent misunderstanding that is easy to clear up once identified.

Freelancers are also growing their businesses. Your satisfaction as a client is as important to freelancers as it is to you. If you also have clients of your own, then you understand how important their satisfaction is. Freelancers want to give you quality service to grow their businesses and you want it to grow yours. Open communication channels will help you both accomplish your goals. Your success is the freelancer’s success because they are growing their business by growing yours.

Unfortunately, it does happen that the freelancer turns out not to be a good fit for your business or the project. If you find this out after hiring and onboarding, don’t delay the inevitable. You may have to take a small loss here, but waiting could make that loss even bigger. Talk to the freelancer. If the issue can’t be resolved, then don’t waste your or their time. They may be excellent, but just not what your Amazon operations require.

Conclusion

Outsourcing is one of the greatest tools to grow your Amazon operations. The overhead costs are low. You can hire experienced freelancers for specific assignments, and the contract ends automatically at completion without further obligation. These are just a few of the many reasons why you should hire a freelancer for your Amazon business.

Start with one task that you need to get done but shouldn’t be spending your precious time on. Go through the process of finding the right freelancer and getting that task off your plate. Then pick another task, and another, and soon you’ll be knocking them out of the ballpark and using all your free time to really push your business forward.

 

Connor Gillivan is a serial eCommerce entrepreneur and an expert in online hiring, eCommerce, and bootstrapping businesses. With his first eCommerce business, he sold over $20 million worth of product and managed over 60 freelance workers. He is now the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of FreeeUp.com, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. He is an avid writer on his own site, ConnorGillivan.com, and his business advice can also be found in top publications such as WebRetailer.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.