If you have sold close to (or more than) a million dollars in physical products – but you want to go beyond $100k/month – then this article will tell you exactly how to do it.
Reaching the million dollar mark is a milestone for any business owner. It proves that ”you’ve got something,” and it is usually enough to make you a full time entrepreneur.
As Russell Brunson recently stated on the Freedom Fast Lane podcast, getting to the million dollar mark comes down to a) identifying what you are going to sell and b) figuring out how you are going to sell it.
For most ecommerce and physical products sellers, those two pieces are simple, if not easy.
That is why the Zero To $1m 12 Months on Amazon strategy is so popular and so widely used. Entrepreneurs can follow the formula to identify obvious markets and release products on Amazon.
That formula looks like the following:
Step One: Identify your target market and the five products that they buy.
Step Two: List those products on Amazon.com.
Step Three: Get each product to 20 sales per day and 100 reviews.
At 100 sales per day, you are at least within striking distance of a million dollar business.
For even the most green business owner, that formula often gets them close to seven figures.
But what then?
A high percentage of my readers and podcast listeners successfully get to the million dollar mark by following this plan, but only a small percentage pivot from $1m into the multi millions… and even fewer hit eight figures or the magical one million dollars per month.
For that reason, most physical products sellers and ecommerce entrepreneurs resort to doing the same things over and over again: they identify MORE products to sell, and how to sell MORE of that product.
Releasing more products and capturing market share is a great place to start, but it often leads entrepreneurs to feeling “stuck” on one channel, or they feel afraid that it will all go up in smoke because they are not diversified.
Entrepreneurs are often aggressive at exploring new markets when they start their business, but once they hit one million, they go into defense mode.
In order to go bigger than the one million, ecommerce entrepreneurs must return to the same mentality that got them started, and that means exploring new markets aggressively.
Once you are at or above the million dollar mark, here are a few things to focus on to ensure that you grow bigger than one million:
Strategy 1: Turn Sales Into Customers
Taking a sale is very different than acquiring a customer. A sale is a one-time experience. A customer comes back again and again.
The biggest asset that you have as a business owner is your existing customer list; it is far easier to get a customer to buy AGAIN than to get her to buy something for the first time.
However, most internet business owners focus only on getting new sales. I would rather invest in the small market with ten possible products than the supplement brand that only sells a weight loss pill.
Why? The former can create repeat buyers through an ascension plan, while the latter can only expand by getting additional buyers.
New buyers are the tip of the iceberg. The real profit is made after the first purchase. That is why Russell Brunson focuses on building a funnel for literally every business.
Ecommerce sellers, especially Amazon sellers, tend to put too much emphasis on new sales rather than getting existing customers to buy more.
To go beyond one million, the focus must be on acquiring potential customers and turning them into buyers that come back over and over again.
Simple action step: put just as much energy into getting your existing buyers onto your email list as you put into acquiring them, and watch how quickly your business changes.
Strategy 2: Audience Building
If customers are defined as being repeat buyers, then your audience followers are your leads.
Online entrepreneurs usually start by going straight to the buyers by targeting them on Amazon and/or sending clicks to sales pages. That’s a great way to get to your first million. But to grow beyond it, your focus must be on getting more leads and converting them into buyers.
When you can get in front of a pool of eyeballs and send them anywhere at the click of a button, that’s when you are in control.
Of course, there are a myriad of ways to do this, just like there are a myriad of ways to sell physical products online.
Ezra Firestone recommends using Facebook Messenger as a “second list.”
I have made my fortune building email lists and turning them into customers.
Ryan Deiss uses retargeting ads and content marketing to build his audiences.
ONNIT built a $100 million fortune by partnering with influencers and advertising on podcasts.
So, which is best for your business?
Spoiler alert: they all work. The best place for you depends on where your ideal audience hangs out and where your skill set lies.
Here is a simple strategy that I would recommend for many businesses to start:
Step 1: create a piece of content that your ideal audience would love, and then spend at least $1,000 to put it in front of your audience on Facebook
Step 2: include an opt-in on the piece of content OR retarget them to a special offer (discounts are the simplest way to retarget a former reader). Alternatively, you can retarget them onto a Facebook Messenger list using this strategy that Ezra made famous.
Step 3: follow up with them with a special offer to turn the lead into a buyer.
IMPORTANT: Every piece of content should lead the customer to take some sort of action – either buying a product or opting into a list. Most businesses make content just to engage an audience, but a better approach is to create a piece of content that creates conversions.
Conversions are scaleable, so you can spend more money to make content spread. Otherwise, you are throwing money down the toilet.
THE THING THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT…
Yes, it’s a good idea to build your audience and your email list so that are diversified from Amazon. But having an audience also helps you sell more products directly on Amazon.
When you can hit send and make several hundred sales, you can rank for whatever keywords you want, without giving away a ton of product.
Yes, I believe in using launch services as part of your toolset – I use Viral-Launch.com pretty heavily.
However, controlling your own audience must be the foundation of your business. Over the next year, the businesses that do this will survive while others struggle mightily.
Four Sigmatic is a company that combines these strategies well; they advertise heavily while also enjoying a solid presence on Amazon.com. The good folks at Athletic Greens do this well, too (although they use Strategy #3 very heavily as well).
For example, notice how the ad below this piece preframes the audiences to buy the product AND builds the customer list via Facebook Messenger. However, my guess is that this ad would perform much better if the video gave at least one tip, so that it was more shareable.
Strategy 3: Direct Sponsorships
You can pay people to talk about your product. And those people have followings that will become buyers. Need I say more?
On a serious note, the right sponsorship can change a business.
Dave Asprey has put Butcher Box on the map.
Joe Rogan basically built ONNIT by talking about it.
Did anyone drink mushroom coffee before Tim Ferriss started talking about it?
(By the way, all of those examples were direct sponsorship podcast ads.)
To do this, simply find the thoughts leaders in your industry and pay them to talk about you. Pay them whatever they want, but test as small as possible. Track the results, and if the ROI is at least half of the ad spend, keep spending money there. You will have compounding results over time, so do not worry about breaking even right way.
New business owners worry about immediate ROI. That’s smart.
Once you cross one million in sales, though, it is OK to wait a little longer to see the ROI. In fact, it will help you make more money over time.
Here is the WRONG way to get influencers to talk about your business: pay to be in a magazine or on a TV show, or worse, pay celebrity with a big following who has NOTHING to do with your industry.
Go after the thought leaders, NOT the celebrities or the networks. People follow people, so sponsor people.
This is different than “influencer marketing” or building a program that recruits Instagrammers to talk about your products for free.
There is plenty of value in creating an influencer program or an ambassador program, but Direct Sponsorships are the act of paying to advertise to someone else’s following.
You want an endorsement from a big name, not product placement. You can track endorsements, but it is difficult to track placements.
Now… there is on caveat to this: your product has to be good. Having influencers talk about you does not do much if your product sucks.
Not willing to spend the money to get a true influencer to endorse you? Or you’ve got a product that that no one wants to endorse?
A cheaper alternative is to advertise directly to their audience on Facebook and YouTube. It will not have the same ROI, but Google and Facebook have the capabilities to put your ad in front of the followers of the biggest thought leaders in your space.
Put pre-roll video video in front of all of their YouTube subscribers, or simply have your Facebook ad displayed to his or her followers.
Once you’ve passed one million in sales, you have the capital to actually innovate and make products that your audience – or the audience of someone else – loves. Do not disappoint them.
How To Sell More Than One Million
You get to one million by deciding what your product is and how you are going to sell it.
You pass one million by turning buyers into repeat customers and building a huge audience that you can control.
At one million in sales, you have the cash flow to be able to make these investments. If you do not, then you will be stuck trying to compete on price, review count, or marketing hacks, rather than actually building a following and a business that has real sustainability.
As an added bonus, these tweaks make your business more sellable, too.
I recently sold a business for 8-figures after growing it for four years. I now am acquiring brands and building out a $100 million vision.
Since I have never built a $100m empire before, I have asked a group of entrepreneurial empire builders who have built $100m and billion dollar empires to teach me what they know, and I’m inviting you to join.
This is not for people looking to make their first dollar – this is for entrepreneurs who at least are within striking distance of a million dollars in sales.
This is for entrepreneurs who are building a foundation of a business, mastering marketing and sales, and invest for wealth and cash flow.