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From Seller to Pow Wow Events a Great Story - Amazon Seller Tips with Mac Schlesinger - Part 1
February 7, 2022
From Seller to Pow Wow Events a Great Story - Amazon Seller Tips with Mac Schlesinger - Part 1
Things we discussed in this session:

A. Part 1

B. Part 2

Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:

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Transcription in this episode:
[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with Andy Arnott and [00:00:07] spk_0: Amy Wees, hey everybody what's up, Welcome to the seller round table, this is episode number 130 I can't believe we're at 130 already, Andy is out today, he's doing some real estate venture thing, but I'm here with my friend Match Schlessinger and Mac has a really cool story and I met Mac as I was just saying on the facebook live and met Mac at S. G. T. G. Event in new york and learned that he, you know, does a lot of cool things amazon related, but he also co founded an event called Amazon Power Out and last week I went to amazon Powell and I had a great time in Miami, so we're here to talk to Mac and learn all about Mac and how he got into this whole event business, a a little bit more about his e commerce story, so welcome back, thanks for being here. [00:01:10] spk_1: Thank you Amy for having me and uh it was great to meet you like a last week at The Power and the Miami and it's a pleasure being here, let's have some fun. Yes, [00:01:23] spk_0: exactly. Um yeah, it was great to meet you as well. Um you know, it's we have to talk about about my experience on, this was my first when I met you at S. G. T. G. It was my first experience um in like at an event with mostly jewish attendees. Right, um and so you all have done such a wonderful job of explaining something a little bit more about the Hasidic jewish community and um you guys have an incredible amount of sellers, like a big seller population and the people are really great and you guys know how to eat like you can eat like no, I mean the food, the food people is amazing. If you guys have not been to any of these events, you have to go for the food, but matt, tell us a little bit about you, your background, how you got started in this e commerce game. [00:02:27] spk_1: So hi everyone, my name is max lee isn't here and I grew up in a, basically as you see and that's uh pacific area and you know, we grew up in and those who basically studied mainly like the tire and I love the by one of the jewish stuff and then you know, once we grow uh adult life then we um, you get into the business and everyone, you know, finds their own uh, on a unique whatever specialty or whatever they do and I happen to, I mean obviously before that I worked at many jobs but long story assured, I got into the e commerce field by, I always had this, this thing like uh, you know, finding products, selling products, marketing, products, you know what just happened to be in a, So a few years ago and the things going back like probably 10 years ago I got into, you know with Ebay and then with, and then amazon came on the board and I, I tried out all these different types of businesses that e commerce businesses that people did like flipping stuff from amazon to Ebay from a finding deals and the then, and then after a few years jumping into the chinese, um private label thing, whatever, I went through everything. [00:03:48] spk_0: So you've done all the different business models. So you just started just selling different things, maybe reselling a little wholesale, it sounds like, and then you started, what year was it that you started? Private label? [00:04:02] spk_1: Private label was around 2014 or 15. [00:04:07] spk_0: Okay, so you were in the greatest times for private label because back in 2014, in 2015, if you put a private label on a private label product on Amazon, even if it was white label and not truly private label. it just sold like, [00:04:27] spk_1: Oh yeah, definitely. Actually remember when I started like, I just, I had no idea what I'm, what I'm doing, like which what whatever product you put on there. I mean I did mind listing stuff. It's thought right away, like I saw a millionaire right? When I saw the first product, [00:04:42] spk_0: a lot of people that happened to a lot of people and a lot of content was created on that in some of the, some of the content that exists today is still teaching that old model of, you know, just pick a really popular product and throw it on amazon and it doesn't work the same anymore. [00:05:02] spk_1: But [00:05:03] spk_0: I would say that the marketing principles are the same, right? Like being able to find the listing. You still need to have good seo whether or not that product is really competitive or not is the question today, Right? But the fundamentals of listing a product and selling a product are the same. They remain right. Um So you started private label and you've done a bunch of other things um and you mentioned in your community um you you said when you become adults, you just kind of get started in the business is do people do other things or is it um is really e commerce is like really the thing that a lot of people choose. [00:05:49] spk_1: No, there are a lot of things that people are good at like like construction, someone is a plumbers and electricians, someone is like uh you know a designer or you know this kind of stuff. But it comes as a big, it's a big thing about the city community because first of all um as well as you said years ago, it was it wasn't easy, like you just took a product, put it on and so and you know that that's an easy one to start. So You know, one person comes into this and for example like the let's say 10 people are working at a company like 11 amazon company, then All these 10 people that become sellers themselves eventually. So the whole community grows in this. So that's why we have so many different sellers and all these. Yeah, [00:06:38] spk_0: I was very impressed with just how strong the community is and all the different business models and service based industries that are represented and just the willingness to learn and just yeah it was really really great to get that exposure and of course the food, definitely the food part. But anyways, you know when tim Jordan told me he's like just get ready to eat, I was like what do you mean? I didn't know what he meant but now I know okay so um so you got started in private label in like 2014 2015 and then um and now you have a service based business, right? You're doing some listings and stuff like that. So high that transition into service based business. So [00:07:26] spk_1: Basically how it happened is that let's say in 2014 I started I started selling in a private label and I built my own brand like brands and different products, different categories, tried out different products and then I start with a few categories that I built up and then um then I had like a big company, like a big amazon company from our community, he found out about you know what I'm doing with my products, all this marketing and everything and he said that he's looking for someone like that because he has an e commerce business mainly on Ebay and he's looking for someone to take all these products and building up an amazon. So I joined the company. It was a little bit hard because I used to, I was like my own boss for years and now I have no that was just like this, but I did it because I felt like, you know, for the long run it's gonna work out hopefully and it is. So basically what happened was that I worked for that company and I took all the products and I put it on amazon and I built like bundles and defenders. I created all the all the listing content, the copy the images and I took care of everything like related on amazon this. So by the time I took the job I wasn't even aware of my specialties like what am I good at what time I mean? It is and uh you know, by the time I worked on it, I figured it out. So they realized that I'm really great at the content writing back all the greatest stuff and and as time went on I realized that my passion is not really and buying products selling products, returns and inventory. This, it didn't wake me up in the morning. So what they wake me up in the morning is all these creative stuff like uh writing the listing is researching and uh photography, graphics, all these different stuff. So um you know since I had other co workers in there co works in that company, they saw what I did and they left the company that started their own company. So they hired me on the side to do the work for them and the word got out and they they spoke with their friends so basically they put me into business. But for me it was very hard back then because I wasn't like a like an outgoing press and I was very like shy sitting in my computer in my corner and doing the work and they all asked me to start an agency like do it officially and for the public but I was like how I'm gonna deal with people all day. I'm gonna I'm gonna talk with people it's not my thing. So it took a few weeks or a few months til you know I finally broke out and started doing it for more people, more people until it becomes uh you know as an official company came up with the name bestseller listers. I did everything myself like I didn't know what I'm doing. Like I was just started and it happened, you know [00:10:14] spk_0: I love that you know I love what you said about you realized through all of this work and I want to commend you because you weren't afraid to work. You weren't just looking to get rich quick. You, you really, you're like, okay, I have my own private label. I'm selling these things. I know how to do this. I'm going to go work for this other guy because who knows what that will turn into, right? You were open to all of the opportunities that and that actually continue to open doors for you. What you said in there as you said that you realize that that was something you really love doing, creating listings, the creative aspect of listing a product and showing it off and branding and all of that was just what kept you going. Like you really liked that. It lit a spark and I can identify with that because that same thing happened to me when I had my product, my product molds that I had to pay for. I thought how can I earn money? And I was doing wholesale at the time and I really, really liked writing listings and so I just started writing them on fiber and I never knew what would come of it. But I mean I love it and now I get way more excited about marketing products because that's like my, my little spark of creative genius, right? And then I do about the sales process, right? The the actual selling and inventory management. I don't think anybody likes that stuff anyway, but that is also my little corner of the world. So I completely understand um where you're coming from there and I love how you weren't afraid to just dig in and work for it, you know, and figure out what, what stuff for you. So yeah, that's awesome. So speaking of listings being your creative spark, this is an amazon sellers podcast. So I think that we would, we'd be remiss not to talk about some awesome listing optimization tips for meth. So can I put you on the spot Mac? And can we talk about listing optimization? What would you say is the number one thing, let's say I'm a new seller and I'm launching my first product and I'm getting that listing put together. Um, what would you say is the number maybe number one, number two, top three things that people should be focusing on with listing optimization. [00:12:46] spk_1: Yeah, you put me on the spot. I mean people putting up On this exact spot every day. So I'm kind of used it. Um, so basically it's, it's very obvious because as you said earlier, like, you know, like 10 years ago, it was totally different. But certain things are still like the same thing that you have to do, but you just have to do better. So for example, the listing copy, you know, that there's something, I mean the listing in general, like there's so many different small pieces, like a puzzle involved, like from the sales copy into the keywords to the photography, to the graphics, every everything, you know, it's like one puzzle. It's not like uh you can just get away with one thing and, and hopefully and be successful. So You have to make sure that every part of the listing is 100% done properly. Like the copy, the keyboard, the pictures, actually the pricing in the reviews is for, you know, something that you can really do this. But the main thing is the creative stuff is which the whole puzzle has to, has to click together. Mhm [00:13:49] spk_0: Yeah, I would agree your photos really, really have to tell the story of what you're trying to communicate in your copy. And so many times I see people that have really great coffee and just explain the products so well in all of the benefits and everything and I'll go through their photos and I won't see any of that information. And a lot of people won't even read the listing if you don't answer their questions and the photos. So I agree listing optimization isn't just about writing some copy. In fact quite the opposite. I think it's about the idea of, you know what the customer cares about, right? And what, what is their pain point that you're trying to connect with and then showing those benefits in your photos and really thinking through them for your copy. We have a process where we write the listing first. So we study the market and then we draft the listing and you know, in the flow of the customer sales process and then we make the images match. So the images tell the story of what we've just studied in the market and written in the copying. I agree. 100%. It's not something to skimp on. It will pay back in so many sales. Right? Sure. [00:15:09] spk_1: No, because I'm thinking now I just had this morning someone called me up like every day. I was um he called me up that he has a listing for a few years years already and he doesn't know what happened because he used to go so well and let me get so many competitors and it's just it's not picking up. So I told him I don't know where to send me the listing. Let me take a quick look. So he sent, he sent me the listing. He has like a really nice content. But the picture has like one image of a nice, I mean it was a nice main image, but that's all I was like uh where's where's all the rest of the images? Like all the infographic life? So he said, I don't know, I don't think it's necessary because I have all this information in the copies. So it's like why do you need these images? So it it took some time I have to explain them that especially these days a lot of people are, I don't know how you say it like a visual. Yeah. So so they don't have places to go through all these five bullet points and description the whole thing. It just Click on the 5, 6 images, they see everything there and then make the decision from there. So [00:16:10] spk_0: I love I love brian johnson has this rule. Um he also spoke at pau he has this rule of you should be able to process a photo in five seconds. So you know how sometimes people go a little bit to the opposite side of extreme with their photos, It's just like a photo with so much text. I will literally, instead of an infographic, I'm just going to write a book on the photo, right? And so you can't you can't process it in under five seconds, you can't get the idea of it. You shouldn't really have to read in depth into the text on the photo. Like icons with a little bit of text works well. But yeah, I love that rule of okay, you know, and he gave me I'm mad at him for waiting so long to give me that rule because I was going over some photos that we were doing for a client and I just couldn't put my finger on what the problem was. I knew there needed to be a change. And he said, yeah, it needs to be processed in under five seconds. And I was like that's it. You know, we gotta change it up so that we're getting the idea really quick. So I love that. I love but that's your advice. Really great advice. Cool. So you're in the service based industry now and you got started doing events. So what made you decide to do events? And how did you, how did you get into events? [00:17:38] spk_1: Honestly, not yet. He asking me, I'm thinking back about how how did did it? Yeah, it's a long story. So basically since I started, I started a service company in I think in 2017, how long is like 54 or five years? So basically, um once I, I broke out of my show and I told you I was, I was like credit card and once I broke out and I went and started going in public, like promoting myself and then started going to shows, you know, to, to promote my company, you know, my, my entire journey, my everything changed like everything changed for me. So it's like, you know, so, so when, when, when I start, I don't like to like to brand myself or to promote myself. Like I'm a link them, especially like, I don't know if you're, I was on Lincoln used to be very active, like posting videos about myself about my company was very active. So, um over there, I got a bigger influence in an amazon this and amazon sellers and then I did it on WhatsApp as well and uh WhatsApp I have like my status, which is uh what's upstairs. I I have like a certain separate uh for that for business where I post constantly like latest updates and news and, and those about amazon and then I have my own group like it's called amazon bestsellers which is a group of all sellers and people are communicating like a discussing questions answered issues and stuff like [00:19:02] spk_0: that. Oh, very cool. I need to join [00:19:09] spk_1: Nancy. Don't only probably lots of groups is limited to like 250 something members. So I constantly have to do uh actually right before this podcast, I did like another cleanup like remove people that are not active and put a new paper, whatever. It's a whole situation, but it's like a very tight uh closed group. It's not like any public, any random person can john. So yes, so to our point, so I became sort of from the amazon influences throughout our community and around it. So people started asking me like a constantly, how about do something in the end? You know, you have all these groups as soon as, how about you take all of your followers and clients and put it together like a one hole. But I was like, you know, it's something when, when I started listening, I was like, I don't know, it's not for me, I'm not impressed to go out and you know on stage and do events. So it took some time. So finally last year I met with my great friend, old friend actually my neighbor as well is Joel and I'm sure a lot of people knowing. So he basically reached out to me. I mean we actually discussed together and then we come with how about we do an event because it was right after Kobe a lot of the event was canceled, whatever. So how would we, we come in and we start events again. Um, first was kind of small. Like we started thinking small, like maybe do it like in our backyard because we have like this big backyards here in towns rivers. So like in our backyard, like a party style people come enjoy food is that and hookah bar, you know all this, all this stuff that we have the V. I. P. We'll talk about later. So we do that and then we're thinking all the details back and forth. And then we realized that we have another friend of his named Yehuda Suskind. He, he did an event like a for his organization like a few years ago and we reach out to him asking him, you know, you did it before. We want to, we want to hear from you, Like how you can help on this. So he was like, oh I, I wanted to do it again, but I wasn't sure this and that now that you guys want to do it, let's do it together. So we, we partnered up all three of us and we started like with us a smaller version of, you know, um, event in New Jersey. It's a beautiful event at the golf course. And [00:21:27] spk_0: yeah, my friend Christina, Christina. [00:21:29] spk_1: Yeah, it was [00:21:30] spk_0: a great time. [00:21:31] spk_1: Yeah, So we started out as a proof of concept. We look like a smaller hole and we had the trade show and the food and it happens to work out even better, much better than expected. And people were very excited because we bring a different energy, like a different vibe to the whole have been this the way we do things, the way we do things. And once we did the New Jersey man, people are like, come on, waiting for the next seven, where's the next power? And so then we uh, we decided, okay, let's go bigger, where are you going to do it again, jay, z like here we go. It's kind of boring, what are we doing next? So we were like, how about we do it like in the winter, in a, in a tropical area, let's go to Miami and let's see what's going on over there. Long story, sure. We did it like a, I think it's 66 weeks we plan. I mean three people together. Powerful. Well then we had like a manager, [00:22:24] spk_0: you really did. I mean you really put this thing together and you guys, I mean they had Just a couple of weeks to put this thing together and I put events together and it takes it takes that amount of time just to promote the event. And they did all of this in this tiny short period of time and they had, you guys had over 900 people there. You had a humongous um A jungle island on Miami was huge. And you have this huge event venue and lots of space, huge room, huge conference rooms. You had 59 vendors. Um so huge, kind of trade show, floor space. Um and then we had the presentations for you had how many speakers? We had, um, 15 speakers I [00:23:23] spk_1: believe. [00:23:24] spk_0: Um and just the, the audio video, the, the photography, like for me, I just put on my first seller meet up and I had two partners and I'm so glad I did that. I would never want to do it by myself and without sponsors. Right. But um, and just the photography and videography and a V aspects alone. It's a huge bill and a huge thing to kind of plan. So I just have to commend you guys the food that you had was incredible. You had food for everybody, like all day long, you had drinks for everybody all day long, coffee, everything. Um just, it was such a great experience because you could go see a speaker or you could go and visit vendors, You did this bingo card thing where you, if you got all of the vendors marked off on your bingo card, you could turn it in for a prize at the end of the day. So you're encouraging people to visit sponsors. Um, but yeah, you could go visit a speaker and see the show, you could go and visit a vendor, you could just hang out on the outskirts area. There was a magician. He was like doing stuff all day. Like it was really cool. There was so many cool things going on. There was birds, like tropical birds I think from jungle island that people were taking pictures with. Um, and then at night, you know, I'm just not going to be quiet about it. Mac, you don't even have to wrap the event because I'm over here talking about it for you. But at night we had VIP dinner and the food, Oh my gosh, the food again, the food, I can't believe it. There was like beef and there was, there was steak, there was chicken, there was like, everything was like hand carved and there was all these vegetables, there was a gelato bar. There was, it was music, There was who does on every table, There was an open bar. It just was so well done. You guys had a cigar bar, which that part I don't like because I'm allergic, but overall at least it was outside, you know, if it was inside, that would be a problem. But people just had a great time. We, we were just talking and networking and having so much fun and eating and drinking and all the things right? And then you also had a comedian, you had a comedian that was telling amazon jokes, you guys did an aggregator pedal that night, which was interesting. But there we just had so much fun. All of us hung out, we had such a good time. And just the way that the event was set up, it was set up to either learn network or both. So I really or eat learn network or eat I thought was great. [00:26:20] spk_1: Yeah. Listen, when we started doing the event, we decided, listen, we're not going to just do it. Okay, another event, another another expo, another this if we do it, we're gonna do it all the way and it's gonna be the best ever. I mean all these, all these entertainment, all these food, everything, oh, you know, we literally didn't sleep like almost for two months. Prepping everything. Um prepping everything and doing all this, hiring all these, all these people like this guy and this is comedian, I don't know all this stuff, you know, let's not start working. Finally we'll pull through. I'm like, I'm still pinching myself like happened, it worked out, you know, I think uh, [00:26:59] spk_0: yeah, you know, you guys did a great job. And so I guess the only question left to ask, oh here we go. Wait before I, before I do that we always ask um, what what you're reading or listening to from a business owner side. So let's transition back over to the business side of Mac and um and ask, what are you reading or listening to that's keeping you motivated. Is it a podcast? Is there something that you do in your routine that just keeps you motivated? [00:27:34] spk_1: Thanks for tuning in to part One of this episode, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and a and bonus content after the recording [00:27:43] spk_0: at cellar Roundtable [00:27:44] spk_1: dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth [00:27:49] spk_0: seller. S [00:27:49] spk_1: EO dot com and [00:27:51] spk_0: amazing at home dot [00:27:52] spk_1: com.