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SRT 139 We Have the Meats - Marketing Tips with Frank Acosta and David Dayon Part 1
April 11, 2022
SRT 139 We Have the Meats - Marketing Tips with Frank Acosta and David Dayon Part 1
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A. Part

B. Part 2

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Transcription in this episode:
[00:00:01] spk_0: Welcome [00:00:02] spk_1: to the seller [00:00:03] spk_2: roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with Andy Arnott and Amy wees, [00:00:09] spk_0: Hey everyone, what's up, this is Amy Wiese and my buddy Andy or not is having internet troubles right now. So we hope he's gonna join us later on in the show, but we are on episode number 139 of the cellar roundtable and I'm so excited you guys to be here with my favorite brothers from another mother. And as Andy said before we hit the record button, coffee talkers from the east Coast, I'm here with David. Dion frank Acosta guys, welcome to the seller roundtable. It's great to have you. [00:00:49] spk_1: Thank you so much for having us. [00:00:51] spk_2: Thank you Amy. It's a pleasure to be here. Good to be with good people. [00:00:55] spk_0: Yes, definitely. So our first question on the seller roundtable is always for your blood sample or your D. N. A. Um we like to start off kind of learning a little bit more about you is as little as you want to tell us or as much as you want to tell us, but que es in on who you guys are and how you landed here on this seller roundtable podcast [00:01:20] spk_1: frank. I think we should switch it up. I think you should do my intro. I'll do your intro. What do you think about that? [00:01:24] spk_2: Oh no, no, no, no, no, I mean not even go there fine. So um David comes from a background of the aecom. He comes from the economic experience, he built his way up on the amazon ladder, working through agencies knowing the ins and outs of, of dealing with brands. Um I want to say some numbers, but David doesn't allow numbers. So I'm not going to go and talk about some of his status. But um he worked with a few agencies and climbed up the ladder eventually he decided to branch off and do it on his own, right? So um with the years of experience that he has on amazon and he went and structured an agency very different from others. He's a he's not your typical agency where he's always looking for the next customer. He's very detailed and who he wants to work with. And because of that, um the detailed is shown on the work. So they specialize in anything from listing optimizations to the content, writing to the a plus content and his agency has grown in the community and he's um you know, it's, it's hard to tell, give an intro about somebody else, but um he's definitely crushing it. But I think the most important thing is, you know, when you come from knowing um like you started from the ground zero, right? Some people just wake up and say, I want to build an agency every day. We see it more and more again where like new agencies are uprising and I think getting your hands dirty and and putting in the work that you did in the beginning stages um told him what not to do, right? And because of that he was able to grab all the things that he learned not to do. Um and convert them to what should be done and build an agency that is functional and yeah, I'm excited for amazon experts. [00:03:03] spk_0: So that's pretty, that was pretty good. David. Uh you know, frank frank, did a good job of talking, definitely, definitely did a [00:03:12] spk_1: good job, definitely did a good job. Thank you, frank um frank Acosta from creative person, what can we say? Creative first, you can see it in the name, right, frank, started out creative percent doing branding, website development and design. Um And more recently frank took his his, you know, his his run at amazon videos, product videos and brand videos. He actually started out before he was doing his creative percent branding and websites. He worked for a commercial company for a television channel. Um and he has a lot of experience kind of behind that camera. Um I mean I met frank about, I wanna say two plus years ago, um He was getting into amazon videos. I tried him out with some of my clients um Till today I've done maybe hundreds of videos with him and I've never even had one revision, never not even one. Um So that says something we do, we do our own services and we rely on the revision process frank comes with a story board. Um and always kills it with the storyboard and then always under promises and over delivers. Um, His, his, uh, you know, his videos are nothing short of commercials helping sell the product and every feature about it. And I am proud to call him a friend partner and reach out to creative percent if you're looking for any, you know, of the branding materials that you might need, because he's definitely, definitely leading in the industry of of those types of services. So that's, that's my that's my version of frank's [00:04:44] spk_2: intro. [00:04:46] spk_0: So I'm curious to know, I'm gonna, I love both of the intros by the way, I like that. Both of you are in kind of the creative agency side of things and I'm definitely going to pick your brain about all things um company. I mean, how do you make a video without revisions? We're gonna get into that, you know, that kind of stuff. Um what converts best? What are, you know, what are some of your favorite things? We'll get into all that. But before that, I have to know, How did you guys like, I guess I'll start with David since he was introduced first. Um, David, How did you learn about amazon? [00:05:25] spk_1: Okay, that's a good question. Um I learned about amazon straight out of high school. My first job in the amazon world was listing products. This is back when Arbitrage was the name of the game. Um, and I would, I would get paid, it was a summer job and I would get paid to list products, I get paid a flat fee for every product that would create every page I would create. Um I'm happy to say I broke the record for how many page, how many product pages were created in one day. Um I actually used to, I figured out that if I came in early enough and worked undistracted, I'd actually be able to like, leave before noon, potentially do more work than anybody else in the office and enjoy my summer. So it was like a very convenient job and I realized I was good at it, I had, like an understanding for it. Um ultimately what I ended up doing now has nothing to do with that, but that was just my entrance um you know, I remember once looking to see, you know, everyone I knew that was making money was doing sales and I was like, alright, let me let me go get a sales job and somebody like, drilled it into my head there, like, you're in the amazon space, it's an emerging, you know, world stay there and you'll be happy and I owe that guy a lot because uh you know, one thing led to another and I have an agency now and, and uh still in the amazon world, so [00:06:47] spk_0: I love it, you know? Okay, so along that line, before we get to frank, I have to know, are you a fan of flat files. [00:07:00] spk_1: Yes, [00:07:01] spk_0: tremendously. I want to know, like I need to see the battle between, like Vanessa Hung and somebody else who's just crazy about flat files. So I love it. I mean somebody who's figured out how to list that many products in a day and a very short period of time has to know a little something about flat files. So I like it. I like it a lot. We might just have to have another show just about flat files. The nemesis, right? Like amazon has changed so much to in terms of like listing products, I'm sure we can talk a little bit about that, evolving over the years as well. Well frank, what about you? How did you hear about about amazon? How did you get? [00:07:40] spk_2: Yeah, good question. So I look, I don't call myself an amazon agency, just there's so many people that have that title. I comment, I'm a branding agency, right? So I started creating logos in the beginning and I started branding everything from a dentist to an e commerce brand to to a law firm. And I started building my portfolio and I quickly saw that my best work was in the packaging space, right? You take a look at your portfolio and see what you do best. And I was like, my best work is in the product space. So I started, um, I wouldn't say I niche down, but I just said, you know what, I'm only going to take in product clients. Um and I fell in love with the aecom world, right? I fell in love with the process, the building and eventually 11 to amazon, right? Um David was actually one of the people that opened the doors to amazon for me, just because I dealt with a lot of DtC brands and it's very different from building a DtC brand and building an amazon brand from two different worlds and two different objectives. Um but because of like the nature of the business, and I fell in love with the process, I targeted it and I started doing it more and more and more and I quickly noticed that that's where our sweet spot was, right. Um and there's a promise that I've always made to myself when I built this agency is that I'm going to stick to what I'm good at and what ends up happening in in multiple agencies is that you're always looking for like the next service to add the next um the next um way of income, whatever, you know, and I said, you know what, let me stick to what I love doing this creating and that's where I live and I've made sure that I stuck my stuck to my rules, right? Um so in other words, amazon came to me, I didn't search it just happened to come my way and it just resonated with everything that we was doing with creating the brand, creating the name, the packaging and it's just, you know, you love what you're doing, you just bring some repeat, you know what I mean? [00:09:32] spk_0: Awesome. So my next question is for David, I would love to know David, how have you seen listings of amazon product listings evolved over the years and along that line? Um you know, what are your top tips for people when they're creating a listing on amazon? [00:09:54] spk_1: Okay. Um so first of all, the, the evolution of of creating listings is is it's a, it's really a night and day from back in the day. I'm just gonna touch on what you mentioned about the flat files when I started, when I, when I first, you know, my entry job in amazon flat files either weren't popular or non existent. That's what, that's what I'm gonna go with. And [00:10:17] spk_0: what year was it when you started? [00:10:19] spk_1: Um I have to look at my linkedin, hold on about 89 years ago, maybe something like that. Um maybe a little longer. [00:10:29] spk_0: Okay, [00:10:30] spk_1: so, so flat files I'm gonna go with weren't popular or just, you know, I wasn't aware of them and we would create everything manually. Um somewhere along the way it became a much more streamlined process by simply using flat files. Obviously, you know, when, when you're creating, you know, you have to set the flat file up, but I was actually fortunate enough to create some functions, some some excel functions to, you know automate that and, and and make it much quicker. Um we had, you know, at one point I had like a full team of developers, developers available to create whatever I want that I was like a kid in a candy store and I was developing tools ultimately, you know, there's other people out there who have everything and more that I created. But back in the day it was, you know, there was no, there was no software out there and uh it was something that you had to rely on, you know, whatever you built. So I would definitely agree with Vanessa and the fact that manually entering something um it's almost like a little bit more hands on, I want to say where on a flat file you're gonna have the ability to quickly understand what went wrong and quickly fix it. Um I want to say there's almost like less of a chance of something going wrong when you're doing it manually. [00:11:47] spk_0: She actually showed me the other day we did a live stream on flat files and she showed me how you can add a characteristic to a listing simply by copying and pasting a column from one category file to another. And I was like, what? Oh my gosh, now I know how my competitors are adding these other, if it was such a cool thing and it reminds me of what you said about, you know, how you kind of built Excel functions to do different things and help you over the years with this. Um So I never even knew that all these things existed with with flat files but you learn it over the years. So I love that. And what would you say is your your number one tip for helping you know for creating a listing. Like what what do you recommend? [00:12:35] spk_1: So that's one thing that has never changed. Um And it goes it has to do with pretty much anything you're going to do. Uh and that's do some research and prepare, make sure you're you're setting it up in the right category, make sure you're setting it up with the right keywords and make sure you're just everything you're setting is being done properly. I don't have to to start and and and scare anyone with the idea of soft holds on listings. Uh Today, more than ever, if you start changing things Um on on a list on the page you're eventually 1,23 tries they'll tell you you can't make any more changes for X. Amount of time. Sometimes it's an undisclosed amount of time and you don't wanna be locked out of making changes so you want to just be prepared and and all those changes you might make, [00:13:20] spk_2: go through them before [00:13:21] spk_1: you put anything online whether you're uploading it, you know through a flat file or manually you just have to make sure that you you know, cross your T. S. Dot your I's and don't make the changes after you upload it and let me test it out and all that. It's not worth it. Um Speak to somebody who gets blocked soft blocked on a listing or permanently blocked from making changes on the listing and they'll just they'll they'll scare you away from you know, deciding to to wing it. Um So the prep the prep and that's something that always was the same back in the day. It was just doing your due diligence and making sure that there was no mistakes and still that. Um But maybe it got a little more detailed over the years where you have to, you know, check more checklists and and make sure that literally everything is it is done properly because it only got worse when it comes to making changes after the [00:14:10] spk_2: fact you got [00:14:11] spk_1: more strict. [00:14:12] spk_0: That's such great advice. You know, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make, they'll come to me after they've launched a product they didn't use the right keywords on their listing. Their foundation sucks. We can't build a house on a shaky foundation, right? So it's it's so important to do that research ahead of time. I understand what you're doing before you go to put it in there because I've seen also so many times people mistyped their brand name and then they'll get bored [00:14:38] spk_1: and I was about [00:14:39] spk_0: to say that miss typing a brand [00:14:42] spk_1: name is by far the, like that's the point of no return like you back in the day again, we used to win brand changes. It was, it was not impossible today. I don't even think I would like confidently say we could win a brand change. Um, it's just not worth it. It's just just make sure you type the brand in the proper upper case and lower case and, and just don't, [00:15:07] spk_0: don't mess that up. Everything on a search engine relies on your relevancy and so that that ties into your keywords, that ties into your placement, that ties into how well your PPC works. So if you screw up your listing, everything else gets screwed up. So I love that piece of advice. It's something that people need to heed and frank. I'm, I'm ready to stump you with this one, although I think it's gonna be hard for a guy who never needs revisions to his videos. Um, my question for you frank, you're branding expert, You love branding, you speak it, you live it, you love it. Um what has been over the years, the hardest product for you to brand and why, [00:15:51] spk_2: wow, [00:15:52] spk_0: I'm gonna have a [00:15:53] spk_2: good, it's a good question. Um, wasn't expecting that, but wow. So, um, I would say a huge brand that came to me for rebranding and it was door handles and I underestimated the project so much. Um, they had different types of, first of all, it's such a competitive industry. Um, when it, when it comes to brands that already were already known and he wanted a unique name, but I always tie a name to something, right? And Brandon teaches us that when you make up a word, it's something more memorable than a word that already existed, right? So it's like, it's like Spanx, right? Everybody got the name, it was spelled differently. It was, it was short. So we all know the rules to create a good name, right? Keep it short. Try to mix towards all together and make it personal easy to find the domain. But this one was, it was just, I was like in a blank space and I was like, what the heck am I going to talk about door handles right? And it was, it wasn't like a unique brand where they were beautiful. It was just like, you know, it's, it's just um, you can buy these by the multitude. They, they're, they're good for um, if you're building a resort, if you're building a hotel, it's like you're comin go to the door handle right? And when I booked them the week we got through the branding phase, it took a little longer than expected. Um, creating the logo was easy. The strategy was the hard part, but when it came to video amy, it was like, I did not calculate how many doors, I had to purchase, how many holes I had to drill that I had to hire a professional to come and put all the door handles. It was, it was just so much that flew over my head. Um and I wish I would have contemplated things more, but it was definitely the hardest brand that I ever had to build, but um they success successfully exited two years ago, so we must have did something right. Um but it was, it was just such a challenging project, [00:17:52] spk_0: wow. Yeah, I can imagine, you know when it comes to branding, especially when you have that kind of common product that there's not really, it's not solving a huge problem for customers. Wasn't creative, [00:18:03] spk_2: it wasn't like, it wasn't like a beautiful looking product where we could go and put all the specs, it was just a simple manufacturing company that sold thousands and they wanted to get millions of products through. They were already in wholesale stores, right? And they wanted to get into the amazon world and it was tough. But um yeah, thank God um with headaches and screws we were able to come through with it. But that was definitely by far my hardest project today. [00:18:28] spk_0: I love it. Okay, and then my question for my follow up question, I gave David a tough question to it. The follow up. But my follow up question is what would be your, your number one tip for people when they're considering their branding right there, creating their brand, they're considering their branding. Um, what's your number one tip for them, like what do they really need to be thinking about? [00:18:50] spk_2: Yeah, so I always tell people do a lot of research before, before you want to hear everybody's opinions before you hire a branding expert, um, prepare yourself first, right? Um, read as much and and fill yourself with as much information as possible. Um, we have something called google these days where you can literally find anything and you know, like look up as much information as possible, look at the competitors, study the market, um, do your own research first because sometimes just from that information you, you can come up and bring from your own idea, right? So you don't, and you know, this is like shooting myself in the foot, but we like to keep it real, you don't always necessarily have to go to a branding strategist is something that you can start on your own, um because there's a lot of information out there, do your research and as the brand grows and you feel like it could grow to another potential, which you couldn't handle, then you get more people involved, right? Because we all know that starting a branding business is very expensive, especially when you're trying to brand the right way. Um, but, you know, it's a double is a double edged sword where if you don't do it right in the beginning and you don't do your research and you don't make that investment, it becomes more expensive down the road. So my, my number one advice is do your own research first. Um, and and dig deep to see what other people are doing and and give that. Don't skip that time. You know, it's very annoying and it is a stage that nobody wants to really deal with. There's a lot of reading, a lot of research um, put in that work, but in that time and you'll be surprised how much you can bring some on your own and how much creativity you can build up on your own. [00:20:20] spk_0: Yeah, branding is like the magnet that draws customers to your product or your service. And so it's like, it's it is that attraction because buying is a psychological process, right? It's an emotional process. And the colors mean things and the fonts mean things and they send a message that sometimes we don't realize when we're just kind of slapping a label on something and getting it on the market to your point. You know, that's that's how we can actually, you know, when we're bringing customers through the funnel, that's how we can actually bring more customers to our brand is when they're considering us, they're making that judgment whether they realize it or not when they see our colors and our fonts in our logo and, you know, we can command a higher price for our products if we do the right branding, um, it's like, it pays off so much and you know, I'm teaching a class this week, I'm teaching a class on updating your branding. Um and the one thing that I thought was really cool for considerations for branding is to consider branding before you even start product development, because if you were to, if you know who your customer is and you're like okay, we're starting this brand and we want to serve this niche of customers and you actually hire a brand strategist to study that niche of customers and the colors that they like and everything like that. You may develop your product differently based on that information and you're going to hit the mark because that right branding is going to lead to more conversions, better convergence, faster conversions, less paid ads, right? You're not gonna have to work so hard for it if you do the work in the beginning like [00:21:54] spk_2: 100% 100% and you know, Amy, I'm glad you said that because you brought me to one of our processes, right? One of the things that we do when we're creating the strategies that we create personas, right? We create like legit personas, we give them names, you know, um frank from Colorado, he's 28 we we build these personas so that you know who you're selling to and once you know who you're selling to now, you can market to them, right? You can speak in their language, you can speak in their position, your company in a way where you already know who's going to go and buy it. So that's what I meant by research, right? Where like before you even consider doing your pet products, go and look who's gonna be the consumer's right, who's going to be buying your product? And once you do that, you you're you're ahead of the curve, right? Because some people just want to, they want to go to Alibaba, they find a product that they want to slap their logo on it and, and and call it a brand, right? And you don't really even know um, who's who's like, who's the, who's the buyer, who are the people. So it's tough. It's not like it used to be right amazon back in the day. Um I had a friend that opened up a pet business, he's never owned a dog in his life And he was able to sell for 30 million to an aggregator not too long ago, but it's because back in the day on Amazon you were able to get away with things. Sometimes you are able to get away with not knowing just put the first product, your ratings are up. You've been in the game for a long time now with so many people in the space with so many users coming in daily new brands, you need to be up to par and um you can't get away with what people used to get away with before. [00:23:20] spk_0: Yeah, I love it. Okay. I want to get back to the listing optimization and listing side of things. Um, we talked about branding, we talked about like how you should prepare. I mean, your listing, you know, they say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Your listing is the window to sales. You know, making sure that you're making those sales. So, David, I would love to ask you about your process, like what is the process that you go through when you're creating a really good listing from start to finish and you know, what are those, those um, keys along the way that really make it great. [00:24:01] spk_1: Okay. Um, so I have a couple of, of just like pointers. The first thing I see even from other uh, you know, agencies that do optimizations is they'll provide you with five images, for example. Um when we optimize the listening, we're always gonna do seven images. Uh, sometimes we'll give eight or nine um, just because we want to have to have the ability to alternate something uh, you know, maybe during holiday season, you want to have a picture of a package under a christmas tree or on valentine's day. You want a picture of uh, you know, of, of a guy giving a gift to a girl or something and you just want to be able to kind of like play into whatever seasonality you might be able to ride the wave on. Um, but when, when we're creating a listing where we're gonna start with image, one of the strictest of all is going to follow the guidelines above all. Even if somebody requests, um, like, you know, to put swatches on, on image one, I'm always gonna just provide them with a backup without the swatches. Just because if or I might as well say when they get flagged and they need to put up a better image with no with no swatches of other colors available. Um, they're able to just go ahead and replace that image and not have to, you know, scramble to get a new image or do some Photoshop on the fly. Um, when it comes to, you know, the obvious, you know, the seven images that we're going to provide. We have like a protocol, like a structure that we follow. Um, we're always going to do a handful of lifestyle images. So that doesn't have to be with a real model. Through the use of simple shutter stock images, we can superimpose the product. Obviously you need the right angle. It all starts with the, with the, you know, the product photography, the ultimate image will only look as good as the product photography starts out looking. Um, you know, we have situations where someone will give us their 2-3 product images on a white background and it's just bad resolution and we'll say, Hey, we're sorry, but if you want us to do our job, we need you to give us better images. Like we can't, we can't do the work for for this unless you have, we have a certain quality. We need to be able to zoom up. I mean, you know, if we want to have a model holding it in their hands, we need an angle that kind of compliments that style and that. So [00:26:17] spk_0: it doesn't look like totally photoshopped and correct. Yeah. It's amazing what people expect Photoshop to be able to do right? Like can't you just Photoshop that elephant into my photo? What? Anyway? Sorry. Please continue. I [00:26:33] spk_1: always say that it's easier to Photoshop. Um a person into a background with the product than it is to Photoshop product into a person. Both can be done and trust me, Photoshop can do some pretty amazing things. Like there's some color correcting that I've seen that I could swear is a real photo. Um and there's some good, there's some good, you know, talent out there when it comes to to to graphic design. But I must say that it all starts with the quality of the image. Um so we're gonna always follow a structure of main image is gonna be a standard and following the protocol. Uh usually Image two and three is going to be a lifestyle image. Typically we're gonna go image four and five is gonna be more of an infographic um infographics are famous for like the you zoom up on a couple of things and put those circles and you know, you call out what it's what you're zooming up on. There's so many different ways to do that and so many different styles to do it in. Um We pride ourselves and always making sure that the infographic, I call it the virtual salesperson and you go to a store and you have a salesman to to help you, you know, buy the product, understand why you want to buy the product. Um The chance of you purchasing and purchasing the product is just going up. So the same thing goes for these images. You're gonna have the client looking at these images and you know, all of a sudden they come to one of the images and it shows you that this feature sets you aside from the competition and this is the spec and this is how it looks on your counter and you know, maybe have it compared to something that people have in their everyday life. So they know how big the product is and the questions that they're looking to answer during that shopping experience. You just want to do your best to answer those questions in the images. [00:28:17] spk_0: I have a question for you about the lifestyle of images two and three. So I I have a seven photo strategy that follows the customer sales cycle. So the mindset of the customer as they're going through and trying to make a buying decision. Our photos actually represent that. And so I'm curious as to why you put a lifestyle in the beginning because normally um the lifestyle represents their life now right with the product, happy, whatever they're doing right. Um and that is usually towards the end of the mindset um Where in the beginning they wonder is it for me, right? Like that's what they want to know first. Is this for me? Is this gonna solve my specific problem? And then, you know, so we get into that and then we go to quality and then we go to the infographics explaining like how to use or why user multiple uses. So I'm just curious as to why lifestyle upfront versus towards the end. [00:29:15] spk_2: Thanks for tuning into part [00:29:16] spk_1: one of this episode, join us [00:29:18] spk_2: every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q. And [00:29:21] spk_1: A. And bonus [00:29:22] spk_2: content after the recording at 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