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[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business [00:00:05] spk_0: strategies with [00:00:06] spk_1: and er, not [00:00:07] spk_0: and amy Wiis. [00:00:10] spk_1: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Andy are not with Amy Louise and this is still a round table number 114 were super excited, privileged to have Danny McMillan with us. Danny. Welcome. Thanks so much for being on today. [00:00:22] spk_0: Thank you for having me guys. It's been a long time since this c is as we discussed of course, didn't get to see you both in Vegas unfortunately. Um, because that's I think where I met you Andy and I'm sure Amy R. C. Face to face. It's Silicon Silicon a couple of years ago. I think you and I met for the first time in Hong Kong Hong Kong uh a hotel across the away from our hotel with medical and a few of the others. And Andy, I met you in the June or July 2019. Yeah, I was hoping, I was hoping to see you. I didn't get my Visa come through. I was trying to get an exemption being UK based and the proclamation and all the boring stuff. I had to speaking gigs at prosper lined up in three parties I was hosting. So gonna move all of that is going to bounce over to March next year, so it's not all lost, but it would have been great to see everyone. [00:01:16] spk_1: Yeah, absolutely. I think that well, Amy is gonna have to fill us in. I didn't make it this year either just because it didn't work out with a bunch of stuff that we were doing. Uh we're kind of getting into the Airbnb world now and we just launched a new product property and [00:01:30] spk_0: I [00:01:30] spk_1: didn't sleep much for a month with the preparation. They're just trying to learn everything. So I didn't make it this year, but I'm gonna try to do some events later in the year, um, uh, real estate events and then we're also hopefully gonna do, I might go to, uh, click Funnel live, uh, this year and, and some other stuff since I click Funnels headquarters, like literally two streets up for me here. So I'm starting to meet all those guys, so it's pretty cool to be in the, in that world too. So Danny, we would love to know a little bit more about your background, your street cred if people don't know about you yet, which I'm, you know, would be crazy if they're in the amazon world and, and don't know about you, but I would love to get a little bit of background, kind of, you know, and it goes deeper as, as little as you want in terms of, uh, you know, uh, school where you raised, where you're born, etcetera, etcetera. [00:02:23] spk_0: Yeah, I mean, I'm originally from the music industry, so I was lucky to travel the world as a DJ record producer. And I had a show on Kiss 100 in the UK, you got Kiss FM's in in the U. S. And in Australian places like that. So I thought I had my kind of that exciting style, Korea. And then 2000 and eight are retired from the music industry and then went into the UK tech industry. And we've got an area in in East London, we call it Silicon Roundabout where there's like 200 startups society as opposed to Silicon Valley, which is on greater scale and stuff. So I went from the music industry into tech and then came out of tech lost about half a million pounds on that one, absolute disaster. You know, like the way I got into tech from the music industry, I did some from the Gold District come to me and said, um, right then I want to set up a music online music thing. And I went, what the f do I know about the internet? They don't worry, you will learn. And so we made every cardinal rule mistake, possible business model right in the middle of the recession of 2000, they spent 40 months in stealth mode to build something that no one wanted. But it's a great baptist in the fire. There's nothing quite learning when you've got investors breathing down your neck and you're trying to keep people employed And working seven days a week, 80 hours a week in a cauldron. And as I said, great learning. And that's how I learned about PPC back as far as then, in terms of google conversion optimization and stuff, you were forced to, to do that. And then around 2000 between 2000 and 12 was involved with a ticketing business. It was on like TechCrunch, you got reviewed on now, we raised money for that and I was working as the head of digital there And then at 2015 I wanted to reverse engineer um, like marketplaces and I started off with ebay and where I used to live. The idea was, you know, you go around the house and you pack some stuff up, this is the February, say 2015, some packing some stuff up around the house, February, March, packing stuff up around the house. And then I take it all to the post office down the road and get to the post office and I realized it shut down because I was working from home, but I forgot it closed down. And I don't drive and I still don't, my wife drives but I don't try it. So I'm thinking, well that's my Ebay career over because I'm not going to get on the bus every day to sell like incremental these products. I was really like upset, you know, tail between my legs and stuff, come back and jumped on the Ebay forum and then it came up from amazon FBI got the tingle now, March 31st 2015 when I discovered it and I'm like, that's the one, I don't need the driver's license. I haven't got to get on the bus. And then once I looked at that and I was like, because back then Ebay didn't have PPC that came in after it was introduced on amazon in the UK. And because I had a PPC background, I'm like, this is great. Like I know I had to go and find products and test stuff by thought this fisher price PPC system which is a piece of peace to use very easy and easy to manipulate. I mean I've done one of the first videos on the correlation between ranking using PPC. There's a video on in 2000 and 15 in the I think it was like the November, it's got like 30,000 views now. But yeah, that was one of the first videos to show the correlation. I've done it on three different products on the ranking and the movement and the relationship between the sounds and stuff. So that was really there. I got going with Amazon I think we all coming from the direction I think Amy you have a product development background, someone might have a Brandon. Mine was like how do I manipulate PBC on a really fisher price cheap, easy platform and be ahead of the curve in exit. Um so started selling in 2015 launched, I've done some products in the UK, but then actually physically launched in the November once I worked out what I wanted to do and they're the platform. Work back then in the November I launched straight into the US um Then in 2017 is when I started seller sessions which is actually started off as a webinar every couple of weeks. And I think these guys know as well in terms of marketing you've got to find The sweet spot um where lands and it's gotta be, you gotta be persistent, right? So you try 10 marketing channels, none of them works by one say. And then you double down and you scrap the rest and that was kind of what happened with seller sessions because we were doing webinars so we built them up doing them every two weeks. So we start to build a list. The webinars like to fall over because people were checking in from hotels and so the connections were poor and then obviously it was affecting the quality of the content. So okay let's start a Youtube channel. So we took all the lists that we created from the webinars and sent the traffic to the Youtube channel on a once a week basis, growing in single digits there. And then we went, okay, this start a blog so then we can back optimized by writing blog posts on all of the episodes and just set up and put on the blog single digit growth. And it was until we got to the october so that we finally decided, oh what what a really good idea. Let's start a podcast right? Instead of being the first thing is the last thing in the chain because it was like the growth was tiny and then it just took off like a rocket ship 4% month over month. Growth just went like that for 18 months. Just kept growing grand, grand grand grand. And so, and what year was that when you started your podcast, you said that was 2,017, but we didn't add the podcast component until the October and what I want people to learn from this one is the persistence frequency and everything else. And you really do need to find as a marketer, you need to find what works. So you might try a series of channels and it doesn't mean that like, you know, the webinars didn't work. We didn't give up, we went to Youtube and the growth has slowed. We didn't give up, we wrote the blog, blog posts and we back optimize and and started sending traffic got to like in the first couple of months, 2 to 3000 searches a month, which isn't bad with long tail keywords, right? And so it's not enough and you had and you had in that and then one thing kicks into play and then you double down and you focus on what works there. And that's really when that starts to take off In 2017. And then I started to speak around Europe quite a bit. And I went to Germany and I met Ellis and we set up data brill in 2018. So I've got this algorithm expert that worked on jungle scalps algorithm who's, you know, PhD like a doctor, like a genius basically. And he came to me and he said, I want to start PPC software. And I went absolutely no chance you're gonna get me going in the in the software, not not. And then we had another chat and he said And it worked out with the technology developed, it was great and we could become blue ocean. It's like right we'll just focus on people with mass amount excuse because none of the agencies want to touch it right? It's a complete ball lake if you turn up with 1500 excuse to most of these agencies. My friends in the space not now, but two years ago they'll be like no no no that's gonna cost you 10 grand a month to manage that because it takes too much the labor time away. Now I've got more sophisticated technology that people a lot of agencies now using for party software or they're starting to develop their own. We was way ahead in terms of development back then. And so I said Ellis is like a genius. So I wrapped the business around him and obviously all the clients coming from the podcast and speaking on the road and stuff so we make a good team. But I literally I'm very lucky to have someone like him and it was that we we are very very focused on the type of customers we have. So now they don't have to be like large accounts but we only focus on seven figure sellers and above and we're pretty proud of our record, we've got 30 plus customers. We haven't got mental and grown out like that and net net margin is 55%. So we're very cash rich in terms of how we manage the business properly. Um We've had six exits in 14 months and it shows the kind of caliber of the people of the companies that we take on. So instead of spraying pray and then just sign loads of people and have high term rates were very focused on how can we help these people get them to the next level. And I always sit down with all my clients. I'm like at some point you've got to sell, you gotta take some legacy money off the table and I said I'm gonna lose you as a client. But you'll come back because you're an entrepreneur, you'll go again and you'll give me that, you'll give us to work on the next business because you know, we managed 25 to 35% of your people, your business, which is the PPC end of PPC to organic ratio. But I like to see people do well. So I always get my clients like this is a great time. This is a market, it's a seller's market. If you think about it the right way, These multiples are getting out of control. A lot of people will tell you like the big guys won't pay more than 2.5, which is garbage. I'm seeing some massive deals going through, but no one is going to run around the industry and go, yeah, I'll pay the highest multiples because they want to get More beneficial for that. But yeah, so over the years it's kind of grown for there. And then I think, yeah, in 19 or 2018, 19 I started selling Poli awards. We should get a lot of abuse for now because people love it. If they're involved in it and those who are not involved, it can't stand with it and it splits opinion. But my I think it's important to celebrate people in the industry and make sure people get recognized outstanding contribution if you've got not us, because we make sure no podcast, anything related to me is not allowed all the votes removed, right? Otherwise we probably win podcast most of the time because it's coming through my audience, right? But we take that out because we want it separate for everyone else. But I like the fact that we can see new faces comfort and we can celebrate these people. Uh and one of my proudest things is branded by women as well. So we do branded by women once a year in february. Wanna do branded by women number three, I've got something very special. I want to do with the third one because they need to go through stages. So like for me branded by women, one was look at all these amazing female entrepreneurs, you've got no excuses, Right? I've gone out and found all these people. There's 40 plus people. If you're looking for people to book for your events, they're here, here they are. Here's the stage. Then when we're done branded by Women number two, I wanted to show the vulnerability, I want to show that women look to other women on stage. I want to they look to them to gain influence. Yeah, because it's a different connection between saying man, look into a guy going, yeah, I really enjoyed those hacks and there's a woman going, she's up on that stage, and I can do that too. So it's important to get across, Look, you can be super, super successful, but you still have vulnerabilities, you're still scared to ask for. Sometimes you're still gonna have things where um you may get like, like some sort of complex, like what's the imposter syndrome and things like that, but what it says is like we are real and the people who watch these women on stage or on the shows go I can just be like them, I'm a mother, I do all those things and I can reach those heights. So that's for me, that was number two, Why I want to do with number three, I'm gonna look at it as I call it the integration. So we've done to branded by women's, but now I want to bring men and women closer together and then I'm going to showcase some of the best technical talent out there to give most of the men are run for their money. And the thing is not a lot of men buy tickets for branded by women, but I want to bring blown away every content, super technical stuff all by females in the space and so they can go, right, you know, and so you're getting that what I call the integration stage. And I think for me that is stage free to bring it around because I'm looking forward to that. That's going to be awesome. Well you've got to try different things. I'm happy to fall on my ass and make mistakes and stuff because I don't have the pride in in that sense, you know, like if I try something and I put my heart into it and it fails, I've done my best, you know, as a boxer, they say you leave it all in the ring. So I'm happy to put my neck on the block to do this and it may not work, but I just come around, we'll do number four and we'll make number four work. Does that make sense? But I think it's important. I just really get excited about the technical side of things because you know how I like to talk about those types of things and yeah, I know there's so many other women in the space to Exactly you get those higher levels, so I think it's awesome. Yeah. And so I started to build a list, you know, and I'm starting to bring people through like this. I had Tamara, like for me tomorrow is a work in progress. She's from europe, she's from Serbia. And so I'll put her on the show yesterday as the first ever podcast. But I'll put on branded by women number three, she'll be at cellar Sessions live because she's based in europe as well. And in 18 months she'll be a recognized person within the space. But you've got to help the next generation of people coming through. And what I want to be able to do is over the period between now and the next branded by women, I'll bring another five or six people through that you don't know and he doesn't know no one knows because I go off and find these people. And then what we need to do is like, we need to raise their profile. So when it comes to brandy by women, they are recognizable faces and they've had enough work behind them that they're used to going on podcasts and speaking. And do you see what I mean? Because if you've never done it before, your very first presentation of your very first podcast and not necessarily going to come out brilliant. We know this. I can't listen to the 1st 100 episodes of seller sessions. I want to dig a hole and bury myself because they're shit. But 700 episodes later I've got a bit better so I can tolerate the last 50. Does that make sense? But everyone needs to be brought through. So that is when I'm doing branded by a woman. It's not that 23 weeks Press run that we do and it's an industry take over. Like last one we had 26 promo spots, There were 26 promo spots across the industry, 43 presentations and four live show. I mean it was overkill in that sense, but we've done our job to get women out there and say, look, look at all these different people and it's not all the same lineup from the first one. The second one is a mix of the first one because you need that familiarity And then you start to bring some new names from. So they're the new wave to come through in 2021. So then we look at 2022, who can we push through and bring through in 2022. And that's why I use my platform for where I've got the opportunity is to give other people opportunity to help them grow. [00:17:52] spk_1: I love that Danny. Uh I've never been to one year events, it's definitely on my list, especially since then I get to write off the trip to europe, right? But so, uh in terms of, you know, one of the things I wanted to go back to the, well a couple of things, one of the things that you mentioned, you know, uh I used to be terrified of getting on on live, right? I was just like you said, terrible sucked, things like that. I just gave myself and I tell people whenever I run into somebody who's like, hey, come on the podcast, like I'm too afraid of, you know, I'm not a good, I'm like, then, you know, come back to me in 30 days in the next 30 days, just go live on your personal facebook profile and tell people about your day or whatever. Like just that, you know, [00:18:28] spk_0: doing [00:18:30] spk_1: something over and over again. It's like the one thing in that book, right? They show the small domino, the bigger one, the bigger one, the bigger one. But, and if you really kind of dial down into that stuff that you, you know, that's how you're gonna get better. If you, if you just continue to be terrified of it, it's never gonna change. So I love [00:18:45] spk_0: that. I use the term progress over perfection because I think everything we do is a live organism that we work to every podcast. I've got that opportunity to get that minuscule better every time I go to the gym. Um, and I do squats and they say I do that weekly, I want to go up 5 to 10 kg. It's always a work in progress. So I always say to people, nothing is ever static or finished. Everything we do amy You make a product. I know we've had conversations about perfection. Perfection is non existent and it gets in the way of everything. And I'm not saying that you should do stuff Russia and do bad work, but your best work is never your best work because your best work is always around the corner. So what you can do is do it. So it's good enough. It's acceptable, the good level and then you carry on the Justin all the way through, otherwise you won't get nothing done. [00:19:38] spk_1: Absolutely. And that's another thing too, is when you start scaling, you know, trying to hand off task to two other people, right? That's other, another big thing, you know, my wife's going through that right now with the real estate business is, she's like, well, but people aren't me, they can't interact and you know, and I'm like, yeah, but you know, then you're gonna stay stagnant because, you know, unless you start, you know, offloading some of these, some of these other tasks, you're never going to kind of graduate to the next level, so that's, you know, that's a whole other conversation, but Danny, what I, what I'd love to talk about is earlier today on seller sessions, you, um, you know, you got ahold of somebody who works for amazon, who kind of gave you some inside scoop on, you know, some of the, the inner working, some of the stuff that's going on right now on amazon, which, you know, if you've been selling on amazon for a long time, you know, don't get me wrong, you know, amazon has enabled tons of mom and pop small businesses, things like that, [00:20:26] spk_0: but [00:20:27] spk_1: you know, just like google years ago, um you know, the, you know, it when they do no evil slogan went out the window, I kind of feel like amazon is changing course in terms of, you know, having any type of compass and in terms of taking care of sellers, that's my personal opinion, I'm not saying that's what Danny's, but in my personal opinion, I feel like they're, they're really straying from what I think should be there, kind of, core principle of, of, you know, helping the small brands, bringing the small businesses out that they're putting out of business on Main Street. Um but I would love to hear, kind of, you know, some of the, some of the highlights that you [00:21:00] spk_0: got, it's gonna say I've done, I've done in debt, but I'll give you the Cliff notes because I think it's important now we get into like the more the content. I want to cover some PBC 89 stuff with you as well. So people getting full on content. I know we talk about some of the operations that I run and we've overrun there, but let's give people some really good content. So I had a meeting with a contact on the inside. It's going to be an ongoing series. But what I did on my podcast has go right back to the beginning, how they're hired, weeks onboarding, all that kind of stuff. So you can check that out another time. But for me it's because I want to go in depth with each section. Talk about brown registry verification all that and we'll go right in depth. But the Cliff notes for it is that seller support. Most of them don't as we know, don't have an experience. I do eight weeks training of the eight weeks training that only gets them to F B M level right before they can touch FDA, before they can touch G tins or anything else. Brand registry, they have to do two weeks on each of those, some of the real core things that we've people discussed in the past and it's been unproven until now. So they've got paragon, which is an AI system that they use. So when these bounce back emails come in, these are not automated. Every chick ticket is checked. It's just they've got an option to choose from on the Paragon crm system and it gets better and learns over a period of time to make better suggestions for them. One of the things that we can do is sellers is when we're right in our descriptions in our messages, there's a few key things is that it making it keyword rich a bit like listening to it get flagged for certain keywords and stuff, especially when someone's used a flat file etcetera. Is that if you could be very specific bullet point everything and make sure it's keyword rich because then then that would then get partitioned off to the right department based on on the Ai that's that's key. They get 17-18 minutes to work on per ticket. Okay. So if you've got saying complex, either your ticket gets seen and people get pushed to the side and this is where they snagged the tickets and they become um they get put into like a lion if you like, and let me tell you the terminology I was looking for. I'll come back to that in a minute, modeling tickets randomly. Yeah, so they will become a ticket that ends up being put into a time out if you like. It doesn't kind of get resolved. So it's really important that we are descriptive and most people are descriptive. So I'll tell you this stuff and you might go down, you're saying all this, but I right, mind very description and all I get is this crappy bounce back and everything else. So, bear with me a couple of key things there as well is very clear on the tickets. Keyword Rich. Um they suggest that, you know, we raise tickets. The best thing to do is is instant chat or request to call back. Now, towel jumped on in the comments on the podcast. He says, I raise a ticket, then I'll request to call back, then I'll tie the ticket so great. But if you want to get stuff resolved quickly and more painlessly, we do know speaking to anyone in the family is an obvious one, but a lot of people do raise tickets and don't bother using instant chat and so whatever way you tight in that way. The other thing is, is if you're saying you're in sleepy Spain in, you're in europe or you're in somewhere like Italy and you're italian, but your english is very good. Set your account to english and write the ticket in english. And the reason you should do that is because the whole company only operate in english internally. Right? So every ticket you write in english, it means that if you're in sleepy Spain, you haven't just might create a section where no one can serve. Well, only a tiny amount of people can serve that ticket. It means anyone who speaks any language and their preferred languages english on the back end the whole system, all the tickets have to be deal with internally when they're annotating, their files are all in english so they can share those tickets across. What else was there Danny? Real quick question. You mentioned use the right keywords when you're writing up your seller support ticket. Yeah. So that they're pulling the right responses for you are the most accurate responses, but they've got to be delivered to the right department as well. So if you want to go to the catalog team, right? So everything will go like you got tier one, tier one, tier one, tier two and tier three. Everything goes through tier one before it's then sent on to tier two or tier three, I'll get onto this captive team thing in a minute because that seems to be a bit of a myth. So my question for you though is how do where should people find those keywords? Should they come out of the terminology that's used in seller central? Should they use amazon policies? How should they find the right things to write up the right words? I tell you a couple of things there one is that they get annoyed and I'm gonna come back around to your point is that no one uses the search function. It's rich with information. But we just raise tickets. Like how do you do this? Well you can search and find out they get pissed off with. But going back to your point, if you're looking for the right terminology, wherever you ticket, your race, do a quick search and then look in there for most of time. You can't fully resolve it. But look in there for uh amazon language and then put that in the message which will make your life easier when you raise the ticket. Because you could actually maybe share a U. R. L. I'm saying this on the spot because we have done this earlier in the day. You take the U. R. L. That page and say look I've gone through this page but it's not clear and it's missing X. Y. And Z. And and then obviously put it in your title and self. I've tested it yet. I want to be able to build an S. O. P. And see if we can test by like do we like uh duplicate keywords and stuff like that? How does it work? What kind of response we're gonna get? And I know it's gonna be hard to manage because it's A. I. Right, so it can give you variance upon variance upon variance, It's not like a locked system. Um So all I can say there really is keyword Rich. And the other thing is when a ticket closes, you know, like you get annoyed the closer ticket and then you reopen it and send it again all most of the time when a ticket gets closed quickly, like that is because they don't know what to do with it and it's not the right language that's specific enough to go to certain departments. So they closed the ticket but you get annoyed and open a ticket again and send it through and it goes through the exact same string, the same workflow. All he's gonna do is end up being closed again. So chat think about why when it gets closed, read the ticket again and think if there's a bunch of changes that you can make because if you make the change you've got more chance of it then hitting the flat workflow again and then maybe landing in the right place. I mean it's still a bit of a lottery but keep opening the same ticket and send it off the message saying that you're pissed off because you keep closing it will only send it around in this infinite loop all the time. Thanks for tuning in to [00:28:02] spk_1: 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 [00:28:09] spk_0: recording at [00:28:10] spk_1: cellar roundtable dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S C O dot com and amazing at home dot com.