In Depth with Kevin King

It wasn’t always roses and honey. In this episode, an honest in depth discussion with Kevin King sharing what it takes to be a King in Amazon and the struggles he went through to be a Master. Plus an important tip at 1:28:00 of the podcast that all sellers mus do ASAP!

A bit of a background

  • Never worked for a corporation.
  • Worked in a fast food as his first job, then delivered pizzas in college.
  • Started selling at 3 years old and his first product was selling bubble gums.
  • Moved lawns and made $100 a week as an 11 years old
  • Used his money to buy his games as a kid.
  • Always trying to make money in everything he did.

Did you get frustrated with people, waiting for them to catch up with you?

  • Saw some people as lazy or unproductive.
  • And got frustrated with people because Kevin saw ways things could be better.
  • Kevin has now 6 sources of income.
  • He has 2 Amazon businesses, 1 partnership, 2 trainings and a calendar business.
  • Learned coding early in his time and started to teach people how to use internet and code. This is the beginning of his journey into teaching other people.
  • Started using listings at an early date.
  • Started creating manuals on how other people can accomplish things.
  • These small steps lead towards what he does today.
  • His first official business is selling gaming cards.
  • Kevin discovered the power of marketing using lists.

After College

  • Leveraged direct mail in sending out flyers and mailings
  • Sent out mailings to parents to send care packages to their college kids.
  • Sent out flyers to a targeted list for selling anything.
  • Developed employee manual in his business.
  • His first business failed due to lack of capital but he learned a lot from it.
  • In ’92 to ’94, he found Compuserve and the power of internet and started his online business printing trading cards. This business did not continue
  • This evolved to the calendar business he has today.

The Calendar Business

  • The calendar business is a bit seasonal– they go hot on November and December. Start selling in October and done by early January.
  • Mostly men buyers.
  • Travels to different places for this calendar business.
  • Business evolved in mid 90’s.
  • They now have a DVD club or behind the scene videos (not pornographic).
  • They had behind the scene videos shown on TV networks. But no longer active cash flow. YouTube ended this.
  • The calendar business evolved to coffee table catalogs and outfit catalogs.
  • YouTube Impact: reduced staffing
  • Didn’t remit taxes in that business and the IRS caught up.
  • Avoiding taxes is straight up stealing and the company had to pay and was hurt.
  • Had to file bankruptcy, sold the assets and started a new company.

It wasn’t always roses and honey..

  • YouTube killed the DVD and video production part of the business.
  • Bankruptcy stayed on his record for 10 years.
  • Kevin was unable ti buy a house or take out a loan.
  • Also had to pay a lot of back taxes.
  • Leveraging payroll for cash flow. It was difficult.
  • Lesson: be very careful and be very lean. People depend 100% on you.

Growing Pains

  • There are people out there who are successful with the Amazon business who don’t even talk about the pains of growing the business.
  • A good example of growing pains in Amazon is Ash Thompson’s podcast episode.
  • These stories has to be told. It is not like people started with nothing and grown it into millions — that is bullshit.
  • You have to have capital in order to start a business.
  • People have to focus on the struggles and learn from the growing pains.
  • The people who have won lottery tickets or who were in the right place and the right time are very few. That is very difficult to repeat winning chances.

Strategies

  • Hire good people and partner with great people.
  • Go to people who have things in place and let them do the things for you.
  • Let them use their traffic, let them use their resources which are in place, for your business.
  • Mix business with pleasure when you can.
  • You can get the best education from travelling.
  • Get a really good lawyer when in trouble.
  • Travel while you can walk and enjoy the sights. Invest in this.
  • Have freedom and be your own boss.
  • Structure it in a way that you can do what you want.
  • Spend your money on experiences.
  • Do a lifestyle business — be able to do what you want when you want.

Content is King

  • When you own content, you can always make money out of it.
  • Keep your content and make sure you license it.
  • Kevin made money by re-purposing content.
  • This allowed Kevin to travel and make money from 2007-2014.

Starting in Amazon

  • Amazon is  a cash flow business.
  • Kevin wanted to do it differently — he started with the FBA model.
  • He stumbled across ASM course where they give four free courses and the fourth one pitches the course, and got the idea.
  • Kevin realized he has been doing these for years!
  • It was a perfect fit of all his experiences all in one.
  • Learned more from Facebook, YouTube and so on.
  • NOTE: There are courses out there who do not teach you anything.
  • First product: Apple watch dock
  • Stumbled on finding additional capital to put into business.
  • Loaned from an alternative loaning option.
  • NOTE: Make sure you have great margin if you do this.

Amazon Suspension

  • Account got suspended after a claim was submitted for filing a claim on missing inventory/ shipment.
  • Lost two weeks on that.
  • Finally sold all inventory and threw in the towel on that product.
  • LESSON: How much cash you really need in this business to be successful and there are a lot of factors out there that are out of  your control.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities for learning.

Prediction

  • The next ship is still Amazon!
  • It is still the best way to leverage.
  • It will keep on expanding and it is a real business.
  • It is not a passive income! Listen to Michael Hartman’s episode about this.
  • In 2017, Kevin was frustrated with all the misinformation and started the Freedom Ticket for new sellers. It is not a cookie cutter. It teaches you how to think.
  • There are so many people doing this wrong.
  • You’ll see major disruptions in this business.
  • Amazon is constantly changing!
  • IMPORTANT: Download ALL YOUR DATA. Go back from one year and a half. Use this as your lead magnets! There will be a time in the near future when you can not download your data. 
  • Do what you love to do and make money doing it.

More tips

  • Think of stuff that people would want to buy with your best selling product.
  • Consumables are the best type of product to have.

Speaking Gigs

  • Brand new version of Freedom Ticket in October 
    • This is for new to medium sellers
    • Not a seller hacks session.
  • Billion Dollar Seller Summit in Austin Texas — this is for high six figures to seven to eight figures sellers.
    • Limited to 50 tickets
    • Next session after this will be next year.

Join us in these key events!

September 12-14 – Sellerfest Lithuania | Check event HERE
October 1 – Birmingham Linn Academy | Check event HERE
October3 & 4 –  Amsterdam PPC Congress | Check event HERE
October 17 – AmaFest Manchester | Check event HERE
October 22- 23rd – Cross Border Summit and China Magic the same week!
October 27 and 29 – Global Sources | Check event HERE
October 14-20 – India Sourcing Trip | Check event HERE

Connect with Kevin King: AMZmarketer on Facebook

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