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#398 – The Power Of TikTok & External Marketing Strategies For Amazon Brands with Michelle Barnum-Smith

How do you transition from corporate life to entrepreneurial success while harnessing the power of marketing and social media? Join us as we chat with Michelle Barnum-Smith, a marketing maven who has mastered ManyChat flows in Amazon e-commerce and now thrives on TikTok. Michelle unravels her fascinating journey, sharing actionable insights on leveraging Instagram automation with ManyChat to skyrocket your engagement and conversion rates. If you’re an Amazon seller or a social media enthusiast, Michelle’s strategies to tap into Instagram’s algorithm and boost your visibility are pure gold.

Reflecting on her career, she recounts her 12-year stint in corporate marketing with industry giants like Lenovo, IBM, and Comcast. The leap from corporate stability to entrepreneurship was riddled with challenges and learning curves. From founding a consulting business to embracing chatbot marketing in 2017, Michelle discovered a niche within the Amazon seller community that catapulted her to industry prominence. Through candid anecdotes, we unpack the trials and triumphs of leaving the corporate world to build a brand and gain recognition, leading to speaking engagements and a thriving business.

TikTok has revolutionized social commerce, effortlessly blending entertainment and shopping. We dissect why TikTok’s impulse-buying environment outshines Facebook and Instagram, and how it creates a seamless shopping experience. Delving into the nuances of selling on TikTok, we emphasize the importance of collaborating with creators and optimizing product listings. With lower referral fees and innovative features like TikTok Shop, the platform offers uncharted opportunities for sellers. We explore whether it’s time to jump on the TikTok bandwagon or adopt a wait-and-see approach, considering potential regulatory challenges. This episode equips you with strategies and insights to navigate TikTok’s commerce landscape effectively.

Also, join the upcoming workshop where Michelle talks about TikTok Shop. To register, go to www.ttshopsellers.com

In episode 398 of the AM/PM Podcast, Kevin and Michelle discuss:

  • 00:00 – Exploring E-Commerce Marketing Trends
  • 07:10 – Utilizing Instagram for Marketing Automation
  • 08:40 – Corporate Career to Amazon Marketing
  • 10:45 – Corporate Career to Entrepreneurial Mother
  • 17:39 – Exploring Marketing Strategies for Amazon
  • 19:12 – Building Brands Through Marketing Strategies
  • 31:39 – TikTok’s Success in Social Commerce
  • 37:22 – Effectiveness of TikTok for Sales
  • 41:16 – The Future of TikTok Commerce
  • 43:07 – Navigating TikTok’s Creator and Affiliate Center
  • 48:19 – Leveraging TikTok for Business Success
  • 53:51 – Optimizing Listings and Ads on TikTok
  • 55:14 – Product Shop Ad Strategy for TikTok 
  • 1:05:40 – Kevin King’s Words Of Wisdom

Transcript

Kevin King:

Welcome to episode 398 of the AM/PM Podcast. This week I’ve got Michelle Barnum-Smith on the show. Michelle is an expert marketer. She got her start in the Amazon e-commerce space helping people with ManyChat flows. Now she’s pivoted over, still doing a little bit of that, but still is pivoted over to TikTok. She’s a master when it comes to TikTok. She’s tightly in with all the top guys in business development over TikTok, so she knows what she’s doing. We talk about that. We talk about some cool old school marketing stuff and just a whole bunch of other really cool things about how you can drive outside traffic and utilize external tools to sell more on e-commerce. Enjoy this episode with Michelle. Hey, what’s up? Everybody, Kevin King here. You know, one of the number one questions I get is how can you connect to me? How can I, Kevin, get some advice or speak with you or learn more from you? The best way is with Helium 10 Elite. If you go to h10.me/elite, you can get all the information and sign up for Helium 10 Elite. Every month, I lead advanced training where I do seven ninja hacks. We also have live masterminds every single week. One of those weeks, I jump on for a couple hours and we talk shop, we talk business, do in-person events. Helium 10 Elite is where you want to be. It’s only $99 extra on your Helium 10 membership. It’s h10.me/elite. Go check it out and I hope to see you there. Welcome to the AM/PM Podcast, Michelle Barton Smith, how are you doing?

Michelle:

I’m good. I’m excited to be here. It’s been too long. I got started in the space in 2017. I did a lot of speaking and stuff late 2018. So that’s probably when we first connected, for sure.

Kevin King:

I think so. I think you had like a. I don’t even know, was that ManyChat back then, or was it something?

Michelle:

Yeah, yeah

Kevin King:

you were doing Many Chat, something before that right ManyChat. you were like big on ManyChat that’s what it was. You had a course or something, I think something on ManyChat, so whatever happened course or something I think on our something on main chat, so whatever happened to main chat. But that was a hot thing for a while and now it’s still there, but you don’t really hear anybody talk.

Michelle:

Yeah, it’s revitalized, I think, as far as how we were using it for Amazon sellers, because, because the opportunity with Amazon sellers was ranking and reviews and all sorts of you know, many chat is chat, our chat bots like Messenger based kind of chat bots, and now ManyChat is more has like reinvented itself for the link in bio crowd so Ig automations on Instagram. If you’re ever on Instagram and somebody’s saying hey, comment link in this post and I’ll send you the link, that kind of a thing. That’s all ManyChat.

Kevin King:

Oh, is it Okay.

Michelle:

Yeah. So now they’re working doing a whole bunch with creators, influencers, anybody, anybody who has information or anybody who’s just wanting to skip the whole link and bio thing. So even Amazon sellers can, can, definitely like for their social media. You know, if you’re, if you have a strong social presence and you want to streamline the sales process, you can just say, you know, comment below and you know whatever the keyword is, to send people a link to your Amazon storefront or attribution URL or wherever you want to send people.

Kevin King:

Okay. So, it’s working almost like the old text way where it says text savings to this phone number. Basically, it’s says you set up a keyword, comment, whatever keyword in the comments and then Manage Chat’s constantly looking at it or whatever, or it’s a plugin or some sort and if it sees that word it just automatically DMs them the link or the information it connects to the post directly.

Michelle:

So you have an automation specific for that post and it will connect based on whatever keyword you identify, or if somebody’s just like, hey, comment anything on this post. And it’s brilliant. Because what does Instagram love? They love engagement, right, and so if, if people are commenting on a post which is truly the most valuable asset that a creator can get somebody to do not just like a post, not just share a post, but comment on a post, that’s that is, you know the data points that triggers an Instagram. Okay, this is valuable content. Now we’re going to push it out to people outside of this follower, this person’s followers. So that’s how creators expand their reach and show up more to their followers in general. You know, because you know there’s always that algorithm that’s sorting what’s relevant, what’s not relevant, and they’re only wanting to show content that’s relevant. So it’s brilliant, because you a increase your conversion rates and be increase your engagement. So, you have posts that you know you have a couple hundred views and then you have posts with thousands and thousands of comments because of that kind of call to action. We should test it on your stuff Kevin.

Kevin King:

No, I’m actually sitting here thinking that I should actually do that. I didn’t actually realize that ManyChat was doing that. Now I’ve seen people doing that. I just figured I got some BAs and they’re answering all this stuff.

Michelle:

Well, that’s how a lot of them were doing it, or the creator themselves, and then they just get, you know, thumb fatigue, right, yeah, they’re just totally blown out. But no, this is the way that creators are scaling, or just anybody with a social presence is scaling. Is that DM automation with Instagram? And it’s possible with Facebook as well, like if you do with LinkedIn?

Kevin King:

Are you doing LinkedIn as well?

Michelle:

No, it’s just Instagram and Facebook right now.

Kevin King:

So just Meta properties that’s on like the 10 or 20 dollar a month, the cheap plan or whatever, or is it?

Michelle:

Yeah it. It depends on how many followers you have. So that’s how they not followers on your Instagram, but how many subscribers you get. And that’s the opportunity as well. Is that a lot of creators are not taking that next step to turn people in, not just to buyers. I mean, I love buyers, but like following up and being like hey, was that valuable. There’s even more value over here on my email list, SMS list, some sort of owned presence, because obviously we know that.

Kevin King:

If I’m an Amazon seller, like Facebook is a, is a. It’s not, as people don’t go there to search and find that they want to buy a new air fryer. Ah, they do that on YouTube or on Google or on Amazon. But if you’re, you run a few just general ads or just general content, like, hey, we have a new air fryer coming out, but you don’t actually ask for a sale, you’re just educating. And then, like the third or fourth one in the series, you say, oh, the new air fryer is now available on Amazon. If you’d like a coupon, comment, coupon below. And then they comment that and then it’ll send them the coupon. I’m sure you could probably tie it into a database, so it’s even a unique coupon, so that they can’t just share it out there, and then you could. On top of that, you now have them as a ManyChat subscriber, so they’re technically on your list.

Michelle:

Now Instagram IG automation is different than Messenger automation, where if they comment they’re not necessarily a subscriber, where you can follow up with them directly. Meta has different rules there for Instagram. But you can take another step and say deliver the coupon and join our newsletter. You can have two calls to action buttons. You can go and buy your product. They can come back and start the journey to become a subscriber directly. So, there’s opportunities to deepen the relationship. But in the short term, if you’re launching, all you care about is traffic and sending those signals to Amazon and delivering some single-use coupon codes. Yeah, absolutely, it’s a very powerful technique.

Kevin King:

So how did you get into this e-commerce thing? I mean, so you started and you almost immediately was at Manage Chat. Was it the marketing? Do you come from a marketing background or did you? Were you selling for a little bit? You’re like heck for the selling stuff. I’m gonna do the marketing stuff, or what? What’s the story? What’s the Michelle story?

Michelle:

Yeah, so I’ve been doing marketing for 24 years now 24, that’s crazy. I had a whole corporate career corporate marketing career, high tech straight up college and did that for 12 years.

Kevin King:

What kind of marketing, like branding, brand stuff or direct marketing?

Michelle:

Yeah, so I worked for many of the Fortune 100 here in the United States as well as I did marketing with China Telecom, Vodafone. I was over partner marketing and international marketing a whole bunch for Lenovo, McAfee, IBM, Comcast some of the big players in the space and in their industries.

Kevin King:

You’re working for those companies or you’re working for an agency that did work for those companies?

Michelle:

No, I worked for the big companies, partner marketing with a bunch of the other big players in the space, so oftentimes. So, I mean anybody’s welcome to go look through my LinkedIn and see all the companies that I worked for, but essentially, I was over partner marketing. So, then the brand, the main brand that I worked for, obviously had relationships with these other big brands, and so I would. I was over the marketing, the co-marketing that we would do together and so give me a lot of experience in the corporate, corporate world. Gosh, gosh, by fire, for sure. And did a lot of like, didn’t really do much of any d to c to, you know, direct to consumer. It was b to b and enterprise level, what we call enterprise level, um and b to g. So, where we’re selling into um, the federal government as well as state and local government, and talk about red tape, and if TikTok comes up, we’ll have a conversation about all the drama with the government and why I’m not worried about it because I know how slow the government is getting anything done as well as corporations and how long it takes any corporation to get anything done. So, yeah, I’ve had, I had I had a whole corporate you know background in corporate career for 12 years and then I got married and wanted to start a family and I saw how women in the corporate world were treated and you know the politics are brutal, they’re really thick and you know, I wanted to be able to have my business and raise my babies too. And so, I started my own basically consulting business in 2012 and kind of didn’t know what I was doing because I had never done my own business before. I’d always been some like cog in the battleship. You know, like it was just there was no guide. I was like do I need to go back to school to learn how to start my own business? And, for the record, no, whenever I hear somebody like going and getting their MBA in entrepreneurship, I’m like, oh my gosh, that’s laughable.

Michelle:

Just quit your MBA, because they won’t teach you jack crap as a really just start a business. That’s enough of an MBA, you know? Yeah, you know, I don’t know five, six, seven years I had my two daughters and did a lot of marketing types of marketing in various spaces and categories, and 2017 was the year that I had well, previous years I had been doing a lot with you know, information marketers and Jeff Walker’s product launch formula. I learned a lot of the kind of foundations of building marketing funnels and I was big into click funnels and all of that kind of thing, but my frustration was always just all the steps that had to be taken to get to an action. There were so many friction points and so when chatbots emerged in 2017, I saw a quick way that you can run an ad, deliver a message and get to a sale very, very quickly, and so I took all I like I kind of boiled the ocean of all these like marketing issues that I was seeing in this space and very quickly, like saw the opportunity of chatbots jumped on it. I was the. I was the first one on Upwork actually to offer Manychat and chatbots. And, in general, I created the chat you know, chat marketing category on Upwork and that’s how Amazon sellers found me was on Upwork. I, Michelle Venton, was my very first client and she’s hi, Michelle, if you’re listening, and I created some chatbots for her, and I had never worked with Amazon sellers previously. I didn’t know that there were just small mom and pops. You know solopreneurs behind the scenes, you know running the Amazon show, and so it was a huge learning experience for me.

Michelle:

But because I’d had, at this point, 20 years of marketing experience, I knew an opportunity. When I saw it, I was like, holy crap, all these Amazon sellers, like they need this. I can boil this down for them, instead of offering chatbots to masses, like just offering, you know these, these kind of niche services to the amazon space. So, very quickly, I met Hiron Hirschhorn and, and he introduced me to all of his friends. He’s super awesome and you know, it was just word of mouth, word of mouth, and then all of a sudden, all of a sudden, I’m speaking in Hong Kong. I’m like, oh my gosh, what is my life? What is this? I’m like so just get this, Kevin. I had my 20-year high school reunion, quote unquote high school reunion. I wasn’t invited to it because I technically didn’t graduate from that high school. I grew up in a super small farm town and I quit going to high school the last two years to go to college. Instead, they had like a concurrent enrollment thing and because I didn’t graduate from that high school then they weren’t going to invite me. But these kids I went to school with since we were in kindergarten, right.

Michelle:

And shocks. I wasn’t able to make it because I was speaking on a stage at amazon innovate in New York city that day. Sorry guys. Oh, it felt a little good. So, anyway, that’s like all of a sudden, this is my life. I’m, like you know, all over the place and meeting amazing people, and a true dream come true of mine was the very next spring. So, what is that? 2019.? I was invited to speak at Traffic and Conversion, and Traffic and Conversion for digital marketers is the conference. It is like I went to that. I like worshiped at the feet of those marketing gods and it was. It was in and around, you know, for Amazon, and I was like I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Amazon sellers there, and when I showed up, I was, I had the biggest stage and the fullest room of anybody else that was speaking there, cause all the Amazon sellers are like, yes, somebody is speaking about marketing for us. We were showing up and so it was such an honor to be able to speak there and to see a full, a packed house and after that, like the marketing conversion I mean trafficking conversion people had me every year because they were like. You’re the only one that’s speaking about Amazon relevant topics at this digital marketing conference. We have to have your back.

Kevin King:

That’s a big show. It’s like 5,000 people, or I think it’s actually even more than that now, but that’s a big show in the internet marketing world. That’s an honor to be amongst those people.

Michelle:

I was getting ready to go on stage. I was walking from my hotel room to the elevator. I got in the elevator Jay Shetty the brilliant, like Jay Shetty is in the elevator and he’s like good luck. He gave me a big hug and then basically like, showed me out on stage and I was like, oh, how is this my life? What is this? What is going on here? So, I mean it’s been a wild ride, it’s been super wild. And then, of course, amazon released their terms of service, updates and all ranking stuff and review stuff, you know, against terms of service and so, like I’ve had to reinvent myself over the last few years because I can’t talk about those things anymore, you know, but that doesn’t change that I’m still kind of like a marketing person and I like to pay attention to things that are working and not working and what’s relevant and what’s going to help people. You know, that’s the lens that I like to look at the marketing world. You know the bigger marketing world and external marketing. You know the marketing you do off of Amazon to help your business on. Amazon has always been this kind of attractive, dark void that I’ve wanted to figure out how to crack that nut. And in 2021, Dan Ashburn called me out of the blue and he’s like hey, I’m starting this, this thing where we’re going to start buying brands and I need somebody who’s over my marketing to that like we’ll take these brands and run external marketing for them and you’re my girl and I’m like, yeah, yeah, that that sounds like a god, like my own little Petri dish. You know like where I can my own little like laboratory where I can test all the marketing things and I have a budget to test all the marketing things.

Michelle:

Because if I just created an agency that says, hey guys, hey Amazon sellers, I’m now open for business and I’m going to do all the external marketing things for you most amazon sellers don’t have the stomach like Shopify sellers do. Where Shopify sellers understand like, hey, I’m going to have to invest in marketing to actually make traction happen. I’m gonna have to do things and test a whole bunch of things. I’m going to have to budget for this and not everything’s work. Most Amazon sellers don’t have that kind of stomach. They don’t have that kind of like patience we’ll say. And so I was like that’s not going to work. But for Dan’s coming to me and they have this what they call an integrator, not an aggregator, because we kept the business owners. We didn’t just like hire, you know, we didn’t just like rip and replace and brought them all in. I really had the opportunity to work with multiple brands across every category, like not every category, but like lots of different categories, hundreds if not thousands of products, different kinds of opportunities, and to be able to test different external marketing tactics and strategies to see, like what sticks and what works. We learned a lot.

Kevin King:

Is this using Google or Facebook or what?

Michelle:

Yes, yes, and Dan is super shiny, object oriented and he’s also a brilliant marketer, and so he was always like hey, check this out, hey, check that. He still does this to me. He’s like hey, look at this, check it out, what do you think, what do you know? And so pretty soon we’re just like okay, we have all the shiny objects and I’m very disciplined. I like to create discipline and focus. I have like super discipline, you know, built up the whole marketing team and everything, and I’m like listen, we’re going to focus because we have to be able to replicate this across brands, every single brand that we bring on over and over again all these things. And very quickly I realized that when we’d hear about something going on, like a seller being successful with, like, let’s say, influencer marketing, for example, usually what they’re showing is this kind of like one time action that resulted in all of these things. And I would kind of look at the situation not from a place of hubris, because I know one marketer can be an expert in everything, but from a place of curiosity and being like okay, do it again. And more often than not, often they couldn’t and I was like shoot, then that is chance, then that is you know something going on and just everything aligning, just right. But if you can’t make it happen again with the same kind of product and outreach and circumstances and all those things, then, gosh, maybe that was just a chance. And what happened was I was hearing from other people, other Amazon sellers. They’re like well, I’m trying influencer marketing, I’m trying Google Ads, I’m trying Facebook, I’m trying social media and trying these things. It’s not working for me.

Michelle:

And what people would walk away with was this feeling of the sellers. What sellers are walking away with is this feeling of just like something must be wrong with me, that this isn’t working right. They felt like there was something wrong with them. It was like a personal. It felt very personal. And most Amazon sellers marketing for them is this land of fear, or fear and FOMO, because they’ll go to BDSS, they’ll go to Prosper, they’ll go to you know, they’ll hear a podcast or they’ll hear something about something working. And then they’ll just totally like be like overwhelmed. Even if they hate marketing, even if they’re like terrified of marketing, they’ll be like, oh my gosh, I got to do it because it’s the new thing that’s working. And so, it became this personal I don’t know quest of mine to create, to kind of like create a foundation of focus so that we can like release the FOMO, overcome the fear and focus on what actually delivered results, you know, consistently and across multiple brands, across multiple action scenarios, those types of things.

Kevin King:

And what were they? What were those things? Well, what did you find in in doing playing with all these accounts through the integrator? That was that was actually working? Was it? Was it a certain way of doing google to amazon? Was a certain way of doing social media? What were a couple just highlights of things that actually were working, that were repeatable over and over and over. Just drop in x product and this is going to work again if we do these, these, these things.

Michelle:

Right. So, a lot of things came down to a combination of what. What did the product actually accomplish? You know what is the product. Is there a niche that it serves? Is it demonstrable? Is there something about it that suits it for, let’s say, social media, for example? There are brands that have no business showing up and building a social media presence. There was a brand that I worked on that just sold sun visors. Well, from a customer journey standpoint, if somebody buys a sun visor for their car, they probably don’t need to join an email list and build. You know, be on a social media page of somebody who just sells Sun Visor because they’re good, they don’t need anything else, right. So, you can have 20 million variations of Sun Visors, but unless you got anything else, that’s not a real brand. You’re not a real brand, right. Same with Google ads, Like if you have products that are super like solution oriented, have like really strong kind of keywords that are for your brand and let’s say we’re using Amped or something that’s more of a text-based Google ad format where somebody’s not being able to physically view the product, like it’s not a shop ad, a Google shop ad, because you can’t run Google shop ads for AdWords campaigns, then it’s just not going to work. It’s just not going to work. So, very quickly it became this kind of like okay, for this brand’s product A, this works, but for this brand’s product Z, this does not work. It became too convoluted. And it’s not to say just to be clear, it’s not to say that external marketing can’t work for brands.

Michelle:

But in my position, where my job was to build kind of this playbook, if you will of like. Build kind of this like playbook, if you will of like. Okay, a brand is brought on and now we’re going to execute this for them, and it’s going to be consistent and it’s going to work every single time. Right, that didn’t exist, except for one full arm traffic and that was owned channels. That was building your own list, that was building an audience and communicating to that audience. And I was very like for the brands who had a lot to offer, where they had, you know, had multiple products that had continuity. It wasn’t like they came selling a garlic press and now they’re selling motor oil. That’s not a brand. You’re not a brand, I’m sorry to break it to you. True brands, right? Not just a seller with 100 variations.

Kevin King:

What’s a true brand? I have my definition. What variations? What’s a true brand? I have my definition, but what’s your definition of?

Michelle:

Oh, now I want to hear yours first.

Kevin King:

Oh yeah, true brand is. It appeals to an avatar. It evokes a feeling or emotion in people by having that line of products, either because of the quality of the products or what it represents or what it stands for or how it makes them feel that’s an actual brand. It’s not a logo, it’s not a name. That’s what a lot of Amazon sellers think. It’s a name or a logo, like the motor oil and garlic press. My brand is no, it’s an avatar. So, a brand it doesn’t have to be in the same category. It doesn’t have to be oh, I’m a pet brand. You could be just a pet brand, but you could also have multiple things. You could have dog leashes and you could also be selling your avatar as the person who likes to walk their dog and likes to go running with their dog. So, you also have a little phone holder that holds the phone or their MP3 player if they still have one of those from the day or whatever, which is not necessarily a pet product, but it’s aimed at that same avatar. So, a brand could extend beyond multiple categories. So, it doesn’t have to be in one category. But it’s an avatar that you’re going after and it’s a feeling that people have and a confidence that they have when they buy that product. And there’s reasons that people spend $7,000 for a Louis Vuitton purse versus buy a decent purse for $50 at Walmart. That name makes them feel special, makes them feel like they’ve arrived, makes them feel like they’ve made it, or they need to show off to people that I’m. And some people will say people say, well, it’s just about the quality. I just want a nice quality. There’s more to it than that. And, so that that’s, that’s a brand.

Michelle:

Yeah, yeah, and this is where I feel like Shopify brands. If they’re going to make it on Shopify, they do because they understand they have to be a brand versus on. It’s all about product opportunity, and more often you’re making the decision about what you’re selling based on product opportunity as opposed to being a brand.

Kevin King:

But Amazon’s trying to switch that. They’re trying to get people to be more brand because they know that’s the long-term play. And that’s where the brand analytics comes in the brand registry that they’re trying to. You know the brand story. They’re trying to encourage that shift because they know that’s a longer-term play. And Amazon really doesn’t want the individual product sellers. I mean, they’ll take them right now, but they want to move away from that. They want to be more of a brand platform.

Michelle:

I would agree, but I would also argue that they are super crappy at delivering solutions for brands.

Kevin King:

They are, they are.

Michelle:

I mean not that it did anything, but the customer engagement tool was their foray into email marketing and they just killed it because it doesn’t do anything. Yeah, they have Amazon posts and now they have the Amazon video posts finally, but now you can pay to promote those posts around, ie having it show up in places. But I think the problem with this is where I get a little Soapboxy. But I think the problem with Amazon is the customer journey experience and where Amazon lies in the customer journey experience and where Amazon lies in that customer journey experience and where Amazon wishes that they lied in that customer journey experience. So, if we’re talking about funnels and customer journeys, there’s the awareness, there’s the consideration phase. I don’t know, there’s funnels out there. Google them, you can see them. But Amazon’s in the consideration phase, when somebody is already aware of a pain point, of a need, and a consumer is now looking for a solution. Consumers outside of my father-in-law, who’s an Amazon junkie most consumers don’t hang out on Amazon for a good time. Where are they hanging out? On their social media platforms, right? And the fact that TikTok has now offered TikTok shop, TikTok is the awareness phase. TikTok is up here and they have the power of those influencers, those creators who are now motivated to sell because they make money. It’s like the Costco sample ladies. Right, you walk by those Costco sample ladies at Costco and all of a sudden, what would happen if those Costco sample ladies got a commission for all the sales of that product that day?

Kevin King:

Some of them do.

Michelle:

Yeah well, I think that they would be a little bit more aggressive with their sampling and they wouldn’t be as stingy. Right, and being like you can’t have more than one. You know like it’s already crazy trying to get samples at Costco, at least in Utah, where I’m from, and people bring their whole family there on.

Kevin King:

Lunchtime. It’s lunchtime.

Michelle:

 Yeah, it’s lunchtime.

Kevin King:

Go to Costco for lunch. We eat the samples. It’s more of an entertainment.

Michelle:

It’s more of an entertainment for me. I just sit back and watch the madness. But that’s kind of the way TikTok has turned. TikTok into not just a place for people to socialize and hang out and you know. I don’t know get indoctrinated whatever principles Chinese indoctrinated with now it’s a social commerce platform.

Kevin King:

It started out as Musically, which was a music platform for young teens, and it evolved and I first found out about TikTok I think 2018 is when I first got it. I was at the Grant Cardone 10X conference and I think it was Isabella Hamilton and a couple other people came to like a Topgolf thing that Brandon Young did, and they were like, hey, Kevin, have you seen this new app? You should check it out. It’s going to be the next big thing. And they showed it to me and I was like that looks pretty cool, and so I actually started playing with it there. But, like you said, it’s a discovery platform. But how is it? I mean, it’s an entertainment platform and then, by default now, discovery platform. But isn’t Instagram or isn’t, uh, Facebook, or aren’t some of the other social medias? Why, and why is it that TikTok has actually been able to do this? I mean, Facebook has their marketplace where you can basically their Craigslist, you know, and people actually do business on there too. And Instagram has now the new button where you can shop within Instagram and stuff. But why is it that tick tock has actually become the dominant player when it comes to combining entertainment with commerce. Um, and why? Why is amazon failing it? They try to copy it with inspire, they try to copy it with amazon live and they just they can’t. Uh, they’re failing at everything they do. Uh, what, so why? What is it about tick tock? That just makes it special

Michelle:

One word friction. So anytime I have to go from a conversation to a link in bio to a website where, hopefully, I can check out and buy a product, and it’s still going to be there and I’m not going to be distracted by, you know, everything else that I need to sell. Like, with TikTok I can, literally, and TikTok shop specifically, I can watch a video from a creator they’re talking about hey, this is available in TikTok shop. So you can just click on that link, double tap there, you know, on their apple pay button and it’s on its way. It’s like you know that impulse buying, nature and need is just satisfied. Like that Facebook marketplace was the craigslist. Like you had to argue with somebody. You know, like you really love arguing with people and negotiating on like 25 cent increments and what can I trade you? My broken Casio piano for your car. Like, if you want to build nonsense, go. You know, go on Facebook Marketplace. But and Instagram? You know, yeah, we started the conversation about ManyChat and lowering that friction point for Instagram DM automation and that’s improving. But the reality is, is that I want you to ask yourself you know, you guys who are listening. When was the last time you saw an ad on Instagram, an ad on Facebook, and you actually checked out via that platform?

Kevin King:

Well, they have that now.

Michelle:

When was the last time you actually like and it’s been around for a while the Facebook, the ability to check out inside of Facebook I’m not talking about going to Amazon and the shop on Amazon thing. That’s only available for vendor one, by the way, it’s not and very large sellers, it’s not for the unwashed masses like the rest of us. And even that experience is really bad. I went through it and I was just like oh, this is terrible, this is so bad. This is just ick all over the place. Ick. People just don’t trust Facebook. They don’t like. They like Instagram but they don’t feel like they relate to most of the influencers on Instagram because everything’s real fancy, like most of the people on TikTok. Just like barely woke up and here they’re like pitching you a product and you’re like I do need that that’s so.

Kevin King:

Yes, so if it’s frictionless, like you say, amazon’s frictionless, why can’t amazon inspire?

Michelle:

Because nobody’s hanging out on amazon, it’s a place where they solve a problem, and that’s the power of it. Right, that’s the power of it. Is the like, the I’m finding a solution to this need, but you got to be aware of the need in the first place. Right and awareness of need, you know. Besides you, cutting your finger open is usually created outside of amazon right.

Kevin King:

No, you’re right, because, like on TikTok, um, I use TikTok just to chill. If I got some time to chill, I’m waiting for the subway, or maybe it’s nighttime. I don’t really want, I just need to unwind after working. It’s nighttime, I don’t really want, I just need to unwind after working. It’s one in the morning because I’ve been working late. I don’t really want to get into a show that I know might be cool and I’m going to get into. You know, I can’t just watch one episode and be watching three because I’m going to be so good I can’t stop, or something. So, I’m like I know if I go on TikTok I can burn like 10 or 15 minutes until I get sleepy and just scrolling and then and just it’s easy. And then, like you said, occasionally I just bought something on TikTok. I’ve bought probably 10 or 15 things on TikTok and I one of them just recently was when I travel, I have my laptop, which is 16 inches, but when I’m doing like the newsletter, I’m doing something. I needed more monitors and so I actually I bought a second monitor that like sits up to the side, it’s got a cable and it’s got a little stand and it works fine. But on TikTok some somebody was showing this, this cool thing. It just slips on the back of your screen. It has two monitors on the on each side. Uh, no, no cord going across or whatever, and I was like that’s badass. And, I’m just hitting the button and within 10 seconds, I think, is I use apple pay because they have apple pay in there. Yeah, so within, you know that’s their version of, uh, you know amazon’s checkout, you know their buy with prime or whatever, uh, and just hit, hit it and boom, uh, it’s done. Move on to the next, uh, funny video from Matt Ryan or whatever. That that’s a good point of why that’s working. And why nobody?

Michelle:

And to your point, you can be like. You can get back to your entertainment as quickly as you went somewhere to buy what it is that you were enticed to buy. Right, see it’s. It’s not interruptive the way it is to like okay, I’m scrolling on Instagram influencers speaking to me. I then have to go click the link in their bio, navigate through probably their link tree that’s not well organized and track down, or, even worse, have to go to their amazon storefront and sort through the millions of links that they have there and millions of products that their vas have linked there and try to track down whatever. And by that point you’ve given up or gotten distracted, gone down the Amazon rabbit hole and now you’re buying something that you didn’t intend to buy there because that’s the Amazon opportunity is like what else do I need while I’m here? You know it’s the Costco, it’s the Costco opportunity.

Kevin King:

But on TikTok though, on that same thing, what about the? There’s a lot of people I talked to a lot of people that are doing well and we’ll talk about this in a minute doing well on TikTok, with some examples. But I there’s a lot of people that are doing. They tell me there’s one guy that’s on the last BDSS virtual. He’s getting like 10 10 billion views a month or some crazy number like that, and he said that he doesn’t give a shit about TikTok shop. It like all about its driving sales on Amazon. And I talked to other TikTok people that are doing well on TikTok and they say, yeah, I’m in TikTok shop, it’s all great, but 50% of my sales are still coming onto Amazon because people aren’t hitting that button, that frictionless thing they’re actually. Instead of doing that, they’re like let me go search for this on Amazon and let me go type in this brand name plus keyword, and they’re finding it on Amazon. They’re buying it there. So, they are taking those extra steps because they don’t trust TikTok yet. They trust it as an entertainment, but they don’t want to enter their credit card. Maybe they don’t have Apple Pay or everything’s already saved, so they go find it on Amazon, where they know and trust it, that if they have an issue it’s easy to return it and that kind of stuff. So, a lot of people are saying it’s like a 50-50 split. Is that similar to what you’re?

Michelle:

I mean, it’s to be expected, it’s new. It came out like for the masses September 20th and then they hit it hard in Q4 with lots of coupons. You want to know why Amazon’s having a big spring sale? It’s because TikTok is constantly running these big sales, where TikTok is adding coupons on top of manufacturer coupons and offering shipping subsidies and doing all sorts of things to say, hey, try us out. They have all sorts of incentives for first-time buyers.

Kevin King:

So, you know if you’re late, you get like five dollars if it’s more than you know. If there’s any kind of delay, they give you like a five-dollar credit. I know like uh, matt Altman was just on, he’s using something called Webb, I think it takes their entire amazon catalog and puts it into TikTok shop. And he said they’re doing; they’re using amazon fulfillment to actually fulfill it. And he’s they’re doing next day. I say isn’t that killing you and the cost? He’s like no, TikTok reimburses this. I was like you mean they give you like a credit like six dollars a shipment or eight dollars a shipment? He’s like no, we send them the invoice. This is what amazon charges. They give us the money. I’m like

Michelle:

He probably has a special program with them. But yeah, like Q4, shipping subsidies were a huge, huge thing for getting both sellers and consumers.

Kevin King:

And the coupons too right, yes?

Michelle:

Yes, absolutely.

Kevin King:

You can give a 50% discount and TikTok’s like, we’ll reimburse you as a seller. Don’t worry, you’re not going to lose any money.

Michelle:

Yes. So, I have sellers who are like those are $0 sales and yet in my finances it shows us as full price and I’m like, yeah, that’s TikTok paying for that sale. They are subsidizing that coupon that they are providing. So, they are doing the heavy lifting to entice customers to buy and to participate and to do these things. And here’s the long and short of it, guys. From an Amazon seller perspective, it’s a 2% referral fee on TikTok. In some of those categories it’s even less.

Kevin King:

I thought it was going up to like 8%, though.

Michelle:

Great time to get started Now. While it’s 2% guys, it’s 8% still compared to Amazon’s ever increasing. You can use your Amazon inventory, you know. You can use tools like Webb or After Shift to, you know, connect those apps. I have my methods for doing that, though Don’t just like it. Do it, cause there’s lots of prohibited products on Amazon that are not allowed on TikTok, so you need to be careful. But yeah, like, there’s no reason not to try. It is really the bottom line and so a lot of sellers are thinking like, oh, I have to be the one to create content and do dance videos and all these things, and like, no, you don’t. That’s, the brilliance of the TikTok social commerce platform is that you put the creators to work for your platform. They become affiliates, uh, for your brand. They are held accountable to TikTok via TikTok’s affiliate process. So, you send them samples affiliate. You know TikTok shop will track that affiliate actually produced content for you. You don’t have to do that, that’s all, and TikTok will hold them accountable for it. If they don’t produce the content, they lose their opportunities to create content for TikTok shop in the future. They lose their ability to get commissions, so the consumer’s feet are held to the fire and you, as a seller, only benefit So-.

Kevin King:

So if I’m brand new and I want to sell on TikTok, so what you’re saying is, I don’t need to go out there and hustle the influencers. I can if I want to, but if I just take my five or 10 products and assuming that they meet the requirements, like you said, put them on TikTok shop, then TikTok is going to go out and start inviting other no you still have to.

Michelle:

As a seller, you still need to do the legwork to promote it to creators, but it’s easier now within TikTok’s creator and affiliate center. It’s easier than it ever has been and it’s a numbers game. It always has been, it always will be. But creators can also find your product. There are some times that we get sales from videos and creators that we didn’t reach out to. They found us, added our product to their what’s called their showcase, their TikTok showcase, and they did a video about it. All on their own and you know, just because they have their own content calendar and they’re and they know what works for their audience. You know cause they’re. They’re about building their audiences and knowing what appeals to them. So, it’s an interesting world. There’s lots that you can do. It’s an interesting world. There’s lots that you can do right. There’s also a lot that you can do wrong, but for now,

Kevin King:

What about the people that are the old school TikTok TikTok’s? I think, 170 million people in the US. TikTok’s biggest market was India, and then India banned it, and then it was Indonesia and Indonesia banned it because it was hurting all the local merchants. So now the US is the biggest market by far. But what about the people that are saying this is interrupting me? I’m here for the entertainment. Now I’m just getting flooded with people selling me stuff. How do you think TikTok is going to balance that? Are they testing that right now?

Michelle:

Yeah, you can already see it. You can already see it play out. So, in Q4, you could post a like. In the same day, you could post a video, one with a product link in it and one without, and the product link video would exponentially get more traffic. So, the algorithm was favoring the product link. Now we see some kind of opposite magic or some balance happening, and you even hear creators talking about it where they’re like listen, this is my livelihood and I go from having just like a non-branded or non-sponsored or non-product late post to just like a  regular post, and now my product posts have less traffic versus my regular content and I feel like TikTok’s trying to find the balance in the equilibrium of what people are there for. But that being said, I still scroll through my TikTok and you know five out of ten videos are shopping videos, and rightly so, because this is how they make money. Right, this is how they’re going to make their money. So, I’m not I don’t see it going away anytime soon. I really don’t.

Kevin King:

Well, speaking of going away, I mean the House. A couple months ago, the House of Representatives basically banned TikTok in the US and now it’s got to go. It’s working its way through the Senate, which may take some time, and, depending on what happens there, there’s a possibility that TikTok could either completely go away, which I don’t think is going to happen, or they may have to probably going to have to sell out to another company and set up a little bit different structure or something. But there’s issues on the technology. China’s like. I don’t want our technology going over to American-owned company. So there’s all these issues. So what’s your opinion on where this is going? Should people be like holding let me hold out and see how this shakes out. Or should you be like jumping in right now, even if it goes down, at least you can make some money before it goes down? Or if it doesn’t go down, it’s just pre-publicity. It’s just going to keep going up and up and up right what are your thoughts on all that?

Michelle:

Yeah, all of those things. And having worked in government marketing, um, I know how slow the government moves. Uh, you know from firsthand like experience of watching a long talk about a government sales cycle. The sales cycle in government is decades, decades of trying to sell into the government anyway. So, the government takes forever. There’s a million, they’re just there’s. There’s going to be so much back and forth and, and if and when it got, it does get banned, quote, unquote. It’s not going to get banned. What is going to happen is that they’re going to have to sell. So, if anything, bite dance, who’s the owner of TikTok is going to have to, you know, meet their suitors in the United States. I my money’s on oracle because oracle’s just basically a giant server farm anyway and that’s what they need. It’s just server farms, local, American, American soil, um, but yeah, I mean like for people who are like, oh, the Chinese are spying on us and like, yes, yes, they are. TikTok is definitely like.

Kevin King:

But so is Amazon, and so is Amazon.

Michelle:

And so is Meta. And so, is Instagram, you don’t? Think the government spies on you through these platforms. Absolutely

Kevin King:

Have you seen the Uber movie that came out a couple of years ago? I just recently saw it on Netflix. It’s the story of Uber, in the very beginning at least in this movie. I don’t know how much truth there is in real life, but they’re showing it’s supposed to be based on real facts. They’re showing how they actually were spying on people and turning on their cameras and everything on the Uber app. In the car and watching people to get feedback, and they were actually geofencing. I think it was in Portland, Oregon. They were trying to ban Uber because the taxicab people this is early days, taxicab people were complaining and so one of the government officials was getting in Uber cabs or Ubers calling Ubers with the app, and then he would get in there and wait till they got five minutes down the road and then issue them a citation for driving without a chauffeur’s license and stuff. And so, they actually started geofencing a certain area. And then they got in trouble for violating Apple. Apple was going to kick them off the App Store, which would have killed their business. So, the main guy had to go in and talk with Apple, with Tim Cook, and what they did before, that is, they geofenced the whole Apple Cupertino campus so anybody from Apple couldn’t monitor Google I mean monitor Uber and they got in trouble for that. So, this stuff goes on, oh, totally All the time. So yeah, but some people argue well, the flip side is the Chinese have banned YouTube and Meta and all this, so why can’t the inverse be true?

Michelle:

So, here’s like I’ve done marketing with China Telecom. I’ve been to Shanghai. I’ve seen the government officials that line the hallways there. Like any business that’s owned in China is co-owned by the Chinese government. So, that’s just how it is. So long and short of it, it eventually the government will impose this, because you know they’re, they’re, they’re hostile. Uh, our we’ll just say our relationships are difficult, right, and it doesn’t matter whose president that’s going to be the case. Um, is it going to happen next week? No, and so the point is, consumers are freaked out by it. They’re like oh my gosh, don’t take our TikTok away. And so the number of people just flocking to the platform right now is insane. It is insane the amount of usage of the app. So, you want to tell me you don’t want a piece of that action? Come on, guys. You’re business owners, right, think like a business owner, not like a consumer. It doesn’t cost you anything to get started. The referral fees are like nothing. They’re paying you to play on the platform. Go get your money is what I’m saying. Go get it, go get while the getting’s good. And it’s not going to be a good.

Kevin King:

You have to be a US citizen to do that, though. To go get your money, you have to be a US citizen or partner with someone in the US, so people listening to this that are in Europe or somewhere else are like this all sounds great, Michelle, but I’m screwed.

Michelle:

Yeah, and I will say identity theft for TikTok has never been higher. It’s a little sickening what’s going on and, yes, there’s sort of workarounds, but it’s really. It really is like you know, going to business with somebody in the US so that you can make this happen and get on the platform.

Kevin King:

So you’re telling me that you I think there’s a you work with some people that are doing I don’t know, 30, 40, 50 grand a month on Amazon and they’ve been selling that for years and doing okay and they just turned on TikTok shop and now it’s like 30 to 50% of their business and growing. It actually may be bigger than Amazon.

Michelle:

Yeah, so this last month I’ve been consulting with a brand who he does 100 grand on Amazon easy a month and TikTok sales this month are like 30 grand, you know.

Kevin King:

How many months of being on TikTok?

Michelle:

Six weeks.

Kevin King:

Okay.

Michelle:

And I’m not saying that’s everybody, guys, I don’t want to be like hey, I just told you about shiny objects and how I’m super disciplined, but I’m seeing it over and over again in certain categories. So just listen to the words in my mouth when I tell you this. Not every amazon product is tick-tuckable, that’s a word. Um, it needs to be less than 50 dollars, it needs to be demonstrable, it needs to solve a problem visually, you know. It needs to be quick to like look how cool this is. You know, because you got some guy who just woke up and is pitching it to his, his followers. You know what I mean Like. So there needs to be that element of quick to sell, quick to preview, value prop. You know something cool about it, something kitschy about it, something that you know is going to make it stand out. So not every product. You sell umbrellas and you’re really good at selling umbrellas on Amazon. There’s got to be something super special about that umbrella to make it like just take off on TikTok, you know. So be smart about it. But for the time being, why not try to get started on TikTok shop?

Kevin King:

What about launching on TikTok on Amazon? There’s a whole process. Let’s set up the ManyChat. Let’s set up the Search Find Buy. Let’s set up the PPC. Let’s set up whatever the technique is. Reach out to our email list and get some sales and get some traction on these keywords. Try to get some reviews to come in so that we have at least people start to trust us. What is the process on TikTok? I just put my new dog slow feed dog bowl on TikTok. What’s the process to launch that? Walk me through the step-by-step process. If I’m going to take my dog bowl that I’ve been doing 20, 30 grand a month on Amazon and now I want to take it’s very demonstrable because I can show that the dog when he eats in this thing they don’t choke, they don’t get gas, it slows them down. There’s a lot of benefits, a lot to it, so I can show that pretty quickly and a lot of quick cuts and stuff. So how do I get that going? What are my steps to launch that on TikTok.

Michelle:

Yeah, absolutely so. Just like any type of marketing before you would drive any kind of marketing to a listing you want to make sure that listing is optimized. So, first things first, you’re going to make sure that your listing is set up to be the best it can be on TikTok. That means the list, the images are optimized for the platform. You can’t just slurp over your Amazon listings and have it be the same, because more often than not, you are keyword loading your descriptions, your keyword loading your titles, and that’s not how people consume content on TikTok, and so you need to make sure your listing, from a content perspective, is optimized. Then you need to add the other layers on top to optimize, meaning offering free shipping, because people are used to that on Amazon, are used to it in different places. Making sure you have strikethrough pricing. It’s normally MSRP is $49.99, but today get it for $25.96. You know, having those elements in place make you stand out more and, from a conversion perspective, increase your conversion. Also, doing things like flash sales, participating in kind of these big campaigns that TikTok has on a seasonal basis. Like I said, they have spring campaign, they’ll have a summer campaign. You know, it’s not just Prime Day, it’s not just Black Friday, it’s every quarter they have something big that goes on. Participating in those.

Michelle:

From a content perspective, the most important things, they have a new ad. They have a new ad and it’s called the product shop ad. It’s the easiest ad you will ever set up. You don’t have to have any video content; you don’t have anything. You literally it’s like baby PPC. It’s like PPC 0.1, not even 1.0, just 0.1. It’s just like setting up and it’s top of search. Top of search and to the left, like you are in position, up into the left, you know, for your category. You don’t get to pick your keywords; you don’t get to pick where you show up. But if somebody is doing an organic search on TikTok and you’re running a product ad, you will show up for it. You will show up and you will be at the top. So that’s number one. Well, I guess that’s number two. So, product optimization numbers are like listing optimization. Number one getting your promotions and free shipping and things in place, number two. Number three is setting up a product shop ad. Number four is your creator outreach. So hopefully before now, if this is a product launch, you have had other products that you have in place. You’ve already, you know, been reaching out to creators on TikTok shop. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but if you have, then hopefully some of those creators are like the cream that rises to the top.

Michelle:

You know the people who have who have uh, you know, created value for you in the past, who’ve demonstrated value for you in the past you can come back to and be like hey Michelle, hey Kevin, you guys have done such great work for us in the past. We got something new for you. And guess what? Because they’re affiliates and they made commission off of the last videos that they did for you, they’re going to be motivated and excited about the new products that you have to offer their audience. Because their audience bought your products from them in the past. They’re going to do it again. Right, creators love that. They love the ability. You got something new for me. Awesome, let’s go. And they’re not asking for. And the crazy thing, Kevin, is that these people are not asking for oh well, you’re going to have to pay me for this post. They understand. Now it’s this like symbiotic relationship, whereas before it’s like okay, well, I’m going to go pay $150 to $5,000 for this creator’s post and hope something happens I don’t know. Okay, the post went live. Did anything happen? I don’t know. Well, now in TikTok you’re able to actually close the loop and see okay, that post posted and it made me this number of sales or it made me any sales, you know. And so now you have actual information that you can optimize your efforts around. That’s power. That’s power.

Kevin King:

I mean I’ve said this even in spite of all the political things that are going on, I think we’ll get through that. I think there may be a few bumps in the road but we’ll get through that. But it’s my opinion that if you’ve been selling primarily on Amazon, you’re an Amazon seller, quote unquote, and you’re trying to diversify and get your eggs out of one basket. The prevailing thinking in the past was to go to Shopify and then it became no, maybe you should go to Walmart first, and then became no, you should go to Amazon Canada and then Europe next. But I’m of the opinion that now TikTok needs to be your number two. Amazon is still the market. It’s still best place hands down, there’s no question about it. But I think the number two should be TikTok, unless you have a product like the umbrella or it’s a very commoditized product that doesn’t stand out. But if you’re in beauty, if you’re in certain categories especially, you need to be on tick tock, uh, and that’s. You’re going to pretend potentially double your sales, if not more what your um, your total overall gross sales. And I think TikTok could easily become, for some people, 40 to 70 percent of their sales, um, even over amazon, uh, depending on the product, and so I think it’s a place that most people need to focus on, but a lot of people are saying it’s still complicated to set up. You know, I’m trying to get this process to sign up for a store and I know TikTok’s working on this, but there’s a lot of like paperwork and red tape and stuff. Is that still the case or is it getting better?

Michelle:

When did Amazon, signing up for Amazon all of a sudden become easy, guys, like just because it might have been in the rearview mirror for you. Getting started on Amazon is difficult, you know from paperwork and having to get on a call with somebody you know. So, it’s definitely different than it was six months to nine months ago to get started on TikTok shop. Man, you just had to have a heartbeat and you could set up a TikTok shop. And now they’re getting a little bit more, having a little bit more process to that. But, yeah, like it’s worth it. Make the efforts to figure it out and, um, you know there’s lots of trade like here’s the reality TikTok academy has like I, I have a course around TikTok shop. I’m not going to pitch you guys on the course, because TikTok academy is their own course and it’s very. You just walk right on through it and do what they tell you to do and you, you know, reach out to support if you have issues. So that’s the reality of it is. You know TikTok is working very hard to educate sellers on how to get started with their platform, how to maximize their opportunities with platform. Once you get started with seller with TikTok shop, you will be inundated with emails from them about webinars to attend to learn about the new cool this and the new cool that, and like they are all about educating you.

Kevin King:

You don’t need these gurus, because everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon now on YouTube and most of these people have never even, they’ve never even sold on TikTok or even opened their own TikTok account. But they’re teaching people how to do TikTok. They’re just trying to make a buck.

Michelle:

Right.

Kevin King:

What you’re saying is most of those. I’m sure there’s a few good ones. I’ve seen some of your stuff that you presented, like at the Titan thing in Cancun. It’s good, but there’s a lot of them that you don’t need that. Just go, like you said, to the sign up for TikTok and they have all the training there. Then maybe pick one supplement for that, where someone’s a little bit more advanced or can help guide you through it, and that’s all you need, right.

Michelle:

Right, right, I think that’s just. The main thing is you know, TikTok is investing heavily in getting sellers on the platform because that’s how they make money. That’s how they make money and so they want to own the eyes who are coming on and they want to own the wallets of those who come on to their platform to just, oh, I just want to scroll for 10 minutes. Well, in 10 minutes, that’s all I need to be able to like make you aware of something and to buy it, right? So, they’re all the opportunities. I’m not and I’m not going to call out any, you know, experts, but just like anything, it’s the new hot topic, and so there’s going to be people who are like I’ve been on this for three years, I’m like that’s jack crap, unless you were like selling on. You know, the UK, which is TikTok UK, has been around for a minute, but yeah, like it’s just one of those new shiny objects, so be careful the wells that you drink from. But the reality is you know, overall, TikTok shop is an opportunity that Amazon sellers should absolutely take advantage of, and I think personally it’s a great place to test new product ideas, even before Amazon, because you’re very, you know you can just invest in just like more of those kind of like high, high interest, you know products and we could have a whole separate topic on like product sourcing just for TikTok, because I think it’s super fun, super fun marketplace. But there’s an opportunity just to test product launches on TikTok first and then, if it sticks, then building out, you know, deepening your inventory investment for Amazon as well. So, there’s lots of ways that you can use the platform as an Amazon seller to benefit your Amazon business.

Kevin King:

Michelle, we could keep talking on this for a while, I think, but we’ve been going here for an hour so they’re going to kill me over there in the editing bay, so we’ll have to continue this. Maybe you know. Check out my newsletter, Michelle may have a little something, something for you in the newsletter from time to time on billion-dollar sellers, about TikTok and what’s happening. Because she’s got her hand on the pulse. She’s tied in up to the top with all the business development people in Ever Bay. You know she’s got their home phone number on speed dial. She knows all their children’s birthdays, so she’s someone that knows everything when it comes to TikTok and one of the foremost authorities out there when it comes to e-commerce and TikTok. So, Michelle, if people want to learn about your course or learn more about you or reach out to you like, hey, I want some help or guidance, what would be the best way for them to do that?

Michelle:

Yeah, absolutely. You can go to michelleburnamsmith.com. You can also. We’ll just put my email here in the show notes as well. You guys can reach out and, you know, for the right brands I’m offering, you know, the opportunity to work with me directly. I’m not into services, though, but I will connect you with people who do a good job on services, so it is an opportunity to take advantage of if you want to chat with me and see if TikTok is an opportunity for you to pursue.

Kevin King:

Awesome. Well, thanks, Michelle. I appreciate it and I guess you know for those of you that may not know, Michelle is going to be at the next BDSS in Iceland. She’s going to be actually, unless she changes her mind on me, she’s going to actually be in late March, early April next year, BDSS number 11. We just finished Hawaii, but BDSS number 11 is going to be in Iceland. Number 11 is going to be in Iceland and Michelle has promised me that she’s going to be delivering some next level cool stuff amongst the volcanoes, fire and ice.

Michelle:

I’m going to bring fire. I’m going to bring what’s hot and what’s super cool.

Kevin King:

That’s right, there you go. I love it. I love it. Thanks, Michelle. This has been awesome. Appreciate it. Man, like Michelle and I talked about, if you’re not exploring TikTok as an option right now, I think you could be making a mistake, even though there’s a lot of up in the air about exactly what’s going to happen. I still think it’s a great opportunity, as does Michelle, as you can see in this episode. We’ll be back again next week with another awesome episode with another guest Going to be some really cool stuff on how to stay out of trouble on your Amazon account and some of the crazy stuff that’s actually going on out there. It’s going to be pretty fascinating. Before I leave you today, I’ve got some words of wisdom for you, as usual. Regardless of good or bad times, at any time it doesn’t matter when at any time, you always need two things. That’s right. You always need two thing’s people with the ability to buy and with the willingness to buy. So, you have to have people with the ability to buy and the willingness to buy, and right now, that’s TikTok. See you again next week.


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