Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA and recorded LIVE at the Prosper Virtual Show 2020, Liz Fickenscher shares how to nourish Amazon sellers with great content & direction. Liz is the eCommerce Marketing Manager at Teikametrics, a leading eCommerce advertising platform, and she shares her life’s journey into eCommerce. 


Understanding the advertising and analytic aspects of the e-commerce world can be a daunting thing. But there are people and tools out there that can help you get a better grasp of your online business. Yoni Mazor from PrimeTalk shares one of the best group of tools out there that can really help you learn, analyze, and build your Amazon advertising.


In today’s interview, PrimeTalk has teamed up with Liz Fickenscher, the eCommerce Marketing Manager at Teikametrics, a company with the mission of helping sellers and brand owners maximize their potential on the most valuable e-commerce platforms. They operate in 5 countries worldwide and have unrivaled technology components.


Liz Fickenscher discusses the path that led her to Teikametrics and the tools that Teikametrics offers that can help you maximize your business and become empowered in the world of e-commerce. If you have an e-commerce business and want to scale up, then this episode is for you!


Visit Teikametrics for more information.


Learn about GETIDA’s Amazon FBA reimbursement solutions.


Find the Full Transcript Below:


Yoni Mazor 0:06

Welcome everybody to another episode of PrimeTalk. Today I’m really excited to have an amazing person, an amazing guest. I’m having Liz Fickenscher. Liz is the head of marketing and..No? Tell me what you are. You can start.


Liz Fickenscher 0:21

E-commerce marketing manager. I’m on the Content Team at Teikametrics.


Yoni Mazor 0:24

Yeah, so i forgot that, e-commerce marketing contact manager of Teikametrics. Teikametrics is a wonderful company that I also have used myself back in the day when I used to sell on Amazon and I always say this: I used to, I know I made a fortune using Teikametrics so i’m very grateful for this company


Liz Fickenscher 0:43

We love it when you say that!


Yoni Mazor 0:44

Thank you, thank you. And I’m also grateful for the other company that you work with so you’re on a lucky strike. Two companies that you’re involved with, the previous one was ECom Engine, they have a bunch of solutions. One of them was Feedback Five which I did use. So Liz is the guest that we have today. Liz, welcome to the show!


Liz Fickenscher 0:59

Thank you Yoni, I’m happy to be here.


Yoni Mazor 1:02

Awesome, you are indeed and it’s really a privilege to have you so thank you for taking today, and this time today, because actually, I want to say this: we’re recording this live in the Prosper Show. You know, we’re in the midst of the virtual Prosper Show and this is being recorded live. We have actually a few guests attending with us which is really exciting, they’re actually seeing how we’re recording this episode. And this is also being broadcast live on Facebook. So you know, welcome everybody from the social media world. So today’s episode Liz we’re gonna essentially, is going to be the episode about you the story of Liz Fickenscher. So you’re going to share with us, you know, who you are, where you’re from, what’s your background, where did you grow up, where did you go to school, how did you begin your professional career. So without further ado, let’s start.


Liz Fickenscher 1:49

Well. So I’m Liz. My name is actually Elizabeth but in second grade I decided I would change. I changed schools, and I decided that I was going to announce myself as Liz. My mother has still not forgiven me for that. But I am an e-commerce marketing manager as we mentioned at Teikametrics. I’ve been with Teikametrics since August of this year so it’s a new role for me. Previously I was the industry liaison for Ecom Engine, which is a legacy very established company in the e-commerce space, and Yoni is gonna be doing an interview with the owner of them pretty soon, but I’m…they’re still great friends of mine, still recommend their tools. So I got into e-commerce kind of sideways.


Yoni Mazor 2:30

You kind of rushed it. Let’s start with where you grew up. Let’s talk about, you know, you as a child, you know..


Liz Fickenscher 2:36

I was born in between Charleston…well I was born in Charleston, West Virginia and we lived there till I was five and we moved around a lot because my dad’s corporate job, he was also in the military, but we didn’t move because of the military, that would have, we would have lived cooler places if we had moved because of the military. Like Germany and stuff instead of St Clairsville, Ohio and Holden Massachusetts and places like that. But I graduated high school in Roanoke Virginia and then I came to Richmond for college and I went to VCU and I flunked out in 1999. I was…uh Virginia Commonwealth University…I was an English major and I didn’t really think it was all that necessary to go to class and it turns out it is. That’s where the tests are and the lectures are and all that kind of stuff. So I ended up getting pneumonia and almost dying which was really bad and then I recovered and immediately got a job and my very first job was with a promotional marketing company. So like you know tchotchkes and service awards and that kind of stuff like logoed stuff and I was product research I was the assistant to the president. I kind of wore a lot of hats at that job and then I went to work for a title insurance company and I was an executive assistant there which is a really cool job when you don’t know what you want to be when you go up.


Yoni Mazor 4:05

Let’s talk about years a little bit. So what year did you graduate? Did you graduate? Or eventually, finish school after you got pneumonia?


Liz Fickenscher 4:11

Yeah not yet.


Yoni Mazor 4:12

Yeah, so that’s part of the story. So what year is that? Let’s start with the year where you basically shifted from college into working for an insurance title company.


Liz Fickenscher 4:19

So I went to work for the title insurance company in December of 2004.


Yoni Mazor 4:25

Okay were you still in school or just right after you kind of.


Liz Fickenscher 4:28

No no. So I had pneumonia, I came back to Richmond cuz my parents actually lived in Raleigh North Carolina at that time. And I convalesced at their house and then I came back to Richmond and I went to work for a temp agency and I got the job with the promotional marketing company and then I got the job at the title insurance company. So it was sort of okay “let’s get a grown-up job” kind of thing it was a great company. I drank the kool-aid. I wore the lapel pin. I loved it. I had a great boss who was very challenging but taught me a lot about managing expectations and exceeding expectations. He was all about the Ritz Carlton philosophy and I still carry that through my work which


Yoni Mazor 5:09

Which philosophy is that? Let’s touch that for a second.


Liz Fickenscher 5:11

Well, it’s the “it’s our pleasure”, it’s you know the whole…actually we did an achiever circle every year for the top salespeople and top sales managers and it was always at a Ritz Carlton and there was always a Ritz Carlton person that would speak about their philosophy. It’s really interesting to read about.


Yoni Mazor 5:30

So is there a book about this? I’m actually, you got me intrigued. You really connected that flow. So the Ritz Carlton, obviously a top-of-a-line hotel chain where you come in everything’s sort of the velvet treatment correct?


Liz Fickenscher 5:41

Well, and I don’t know if you guys watched the keynote today for Prosper but he talked a lot about the Ritz Carlton. It’s the gold standard, so at the Ritz Carlton, “Our ladies and gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests. By applying the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity, and commitment, we nurture and maximize talent to the benefit of each individual and the company”. So I think there is a book. Gold Standards…Gold Standards…


Yoni Mazor 6:13

Got it. I like it. I like it, I’m gonna have to check out more books about that later. right, so that was I guess the early, you know, experience with, you know, professional world, professional career, corporate America, but nevertheless the velvet treatment touch of the golden standard the Ritz Carlton and so, what was the years that you spent there? It was 2004 until when?


Liz Fickenscher 6:33

2004 to I think it was mid-2008 the company actually went bankrupt.


Yoni Mazor 6:39

Hmm. So let’s touch the companies again. So when you said insurance titles, so how did that manifest? Give me a, give us a little taste of what were you guys doing and what may be potentially failed if you know what happened?


Liz Fickenscher 6:50

I, well, I can’t actually talk about that.


Yoni Mazor 6:52

Okay sorry.


Liz Fickenscher 6:54

Um but I didn’t actually, I worked for the SVP of marketing and sales and then he later became the COO and then he actually exited the company and i ended up working for the director of communication and helping out with the CEO stuff. And then there was a division of the company that kind of tanked and it took the whole company with it. So i hung out there for a while, I did a lot of different jobs as different people got laid off. It was very depressing. It was very disheartening and I just thought I was never gonna work for a company ever again.


Yoni Mazor 7:27

A company period? You’re gonna work for yourself?


Liz Fickenscher 7:29

Yeah, it broke my heart.


Yoni Mazor 7:31

In 2008, actually, 2008 was a very challenging year in general for the economy, you know, the mortgage bust where, you know, and….


Liz Fickenscher 7:39

And that had a lot to do with the title insurance deal, with the company not …


Yoni Mazor 7:45

Right so it was an economical meltdown and you felt I don’t want more for any company ever again, I want to work for myself. That was kind of the mindset?


Liz Fickenscher 7:52

Well, one thing about 2008 and 2009 is that it was a great time for freelance writers. I don’t know if any of you are out there have ever tried your hand at freelance writing but it was… Google’s algorithm at the time was rife for tons and tons of content and it didn’t have to be terribly contextual but it couldn’t suck and I decided to try my hand at freelance writing and i got the opportunity to work with an SEO company called Big Oak that was based here in Richmond and i was writing 100 articles in 100 days. I was writing seven blog posts a day six articles a day. 


Yoni Mazor 8:33

So this is actually a pivotal moment for you because you found the internet, you can actually express your thoughts and wisdom over there, but what compelled you? You felt like there’s a burning itch for you to, you know, write things? And what were the topics about? What was your inspiration for the topics?


Liz Fickenscher 8:47

It wasn’t really so much about that. It’s that I knew that I could write, and I wanted to make money at it. I mean that sounds terrible and not artistic at all and totally mercenary but I didn’t want to find another job with a company.


Yoni Mazor 8:58

So you saw an opportunity. You really seized the opportunities that you’re a very creative person, you know, you’re very good with words and I guess you’re very good with assembling the words so it resonates with others, so they learn, they get educated and this stirs them up. And you just saw that as a very useful vehicle for you not only I guess to use a skill and talent, but also generate some sort of economic freedom for yourself because you can freelance through this mechanism. So kudos to you for discovering that, I dunno if you’ve ever thought about in these terms, or at least back then, because when you look back usually it’s easier to see what was happening but when you’re in that moment that’s one thing it’s a little hazy but you got to get your instincts and i guess it takes you to the right direction.


Liz Fickenscher 9:37

Absolutely it does, and my first paid writing gig was a top 10 article about the top 10 hairstyles and I got paid $15 for it.


Yoni Mazor 9:47

How long did it take you to write it?


Liz Fickenscher 9:48

About 45 minutes


Yoni Mazor 9:52

I mean that’s 2008, not bad.


Liz Fickenscher 9:54

Yeah not too bad and…


Yoni Mazor 9:55

With inflation, it’s like 20 something dollars today so you did okay.


Liz Fickenscher 9:59

And like I said the opportunity at that time 2008, 2009 was tremendous. You just put it out there, there were you know freelancer.com and whatever Upwork was before it was Upwork but i didn’t even really have to do that. I found lots of jobs on craigslist, I found lots of jobs via LinkedIn, actually, every professional job I’ve ever had except for this one right now came because of LinkedIn. this one right now came because of Jason.


Yoni Mazor 10:24

So what year did you start using LinkedIn, if you remember?


Liz Fickenscher 10:28

Um, I think I started my LinkedIn account when I worked at the title insurance company.


Yoni Mazor 10:33

So early adopter. This is 2004, this about 16 years.


Liz Fickenscher 10:36



Yoni Mazor 10:37

That’s amazing. I didn’t know it was there for that long, I had no idea. 


Liz Fickenscher 10:40

Whenever it started, I got in there.


Yoni Mazor 10:43

You’re in. You’re linked into LinkedIn as soon as it became in. A lot of “ins” for one company. Alright, that’s amazing. So 2008 you start freelancing. It was, I guess, easier to play the SEO game where, you know, the articles, you put the keywords and you get the traction, you get the readers to come to the website, and I guess, what was the next station for you?


Liz Fickenscher 11:04

Well backing up just a little bit, when I worked at the title insurance company, they said hey you’re great and you could be more than an executive assistant but we require all managerial positions to have a bachelor’s degree and you don’t have yours but we have tuition assistance so why don’t you go finish your bachelor’s degree and then we can talk about your upward mobility and development here. And I was like, fantastic! So that was back in like 2000, that was right around 2008.


Yoni Mazor 11:38

so we’re almost before the collapse


Liz Fickenscher 11:40

Right, I only got to do a little bit of tuition assistance before they weren’t offering tuition assistance. But I was already hooked and I had 42 credits left in my bachelor’s degree and that’s a lot of classes because just divide that by three…


Yoni Mazor 11:52

That’s ok, you’re plus if you’re really, if you go to school, yeah do like 30 plus credits.


Liz Fickenscher 11:56

Luckily I was able to do some classes online through community colleges because you only had to do like 30 of your last 40 at VCU and I had done a lot at VCU already in my previous time there. I did a senior seminar though, and this was after because I graduated in 2009, so the beginning of 2009, I started my senior seminar on Hemingway and Fitzgerald with a guy named Bryant Mangum, who is one of the absolute sweetest best instructors ever, and he said, you know, you should really think about going to graduate school and I was like…


Yoni Mazor 12:38

So how do you connect with him?


Liz Fickenscher 12:40

He was my professor for my…and it was at Virginia Commonwealth University, and it was my senior seminar and I was


Yoni Mazor 12:47

And where is that school located in Virginia?


Liz Fickenscher 12:49

It’s in Richmond. Richmond. in downtown Richmond. It’s the whole reason I’m in Richmond is that I came here in 1995 for college when I graduated high school.


Yoni Mazor 12:59

You were what they say, what they call, Richmond’s finest, you know.


Liz Fickenscher 13:02

Well, it’s my adopted hometown for sure. So I finished my bachelor’s degree and I decided to pursue a master’s degree. I got accepted which was amazing since my GPA was so lousy the first time around but I managed to get almost straight A’s when I went back and so I went to grad school and that was 2011


Yoni Mazor 13:27

Alright, so these years you’re still freelancing to make ends meet?


Liz Fickenscher 13:30



Yoni Mazor 13:30

Got it. 2009, 2011 your school almost, you know, part-time, full time at school? What would you say in terms of your schedule?


Liz Fickenscher 13:37

I was taking three classes a semester which I think for grad school counts as full time.


Yoni Mazor 13:41

Got it okay almost like a full-time yeah.


Liz Fickenscher 13:44

And I did my thesis on JD Salinger.


Yoni Mazor 13:47

The Catcher in the Rye? From the Catcher…? 


Liz Fickenscher 13:49

Not on Catcher in the Rye.


Yoni Mazor 13:50

I mean the writer of it, the same guy, or author or…


Liz Fickenscher 13:54

He was actually in world war two and he did, a number of his short stories are related to his experience in the war, and his you know shared experience from people that he talked to. So there’s a lot of that and it was sort of a deep dive into post-traumatic stress disorder as it was related to world war two and I interviewed a lot of veterans and it was a really fulfilling awesome project and I’m really glad I did it. I’ll never stop paying for it. But I’m really glad I did it. So I graduated in 2011 and then in 2012, I did a short stint at an ad agency as a copywriter.


Yoni Mazor 14:34

Once again local Richmond or this was Madison Avenue kind of?


Liz Fickenscher 14:35

Local. Local Richmond. I’ve been in Richmond since 1995. I haven’t gone anywhere, so local Richmond. That lasted about a year and then I went back to freelancing. so 2013 I was freelancing. 2014 I was freelancing and I got a message from somebody on LinkedIn saying hey can you edit an ebook for us and I was like sure. And I read this ebook and just to give you an idea of the time it was The Four Post-Purchase Emails You Should Send to Your Amazon Shoppers. And I was like, wait a minute, what?


Yoni Mazor 15:07

Again? Again? Again? Take it slow. Take it slow. What was it?


Liz Fickenscher 15:10

The Four Post-Purchase Emails You Should Send to Your Amazon Buyers.


Yoni Mazor 15:14

What does that mean? Help us out.


Liz Fickenscher 15:17

I didn’t know. I’m like, Huh. So I come to find out people can sell on Amazon. I had no idea.


Yoni Mazor 15:26

So this is what year? This is 214, 14. You realize, okay, this is related to the Amazon industry, you thought, like most consumers do, Amazon is the one who sells on Amazon. But you realize No, there’s actually another phase or side to Amazon, which is third-party sellers. Right? If you, you know, anybody can pretty much open an Amazon storefront, sell on Amazon. And this company was providing a solution for those third-party sellers. They need, they wrote an ebook, and they wanted you to come and edit it. Correct? That was the context?


Liz Fickenscher 15:54

That was the context. And it was Ecom.


Yoni Mazor 15:57

The name of the company is Ecom Engine. I think we lost that little sound. So Ecom Engine was the company, they reached out via LinkedIn. And now you got me.


Liz Fickenscher 16:04

Well, it was actually a while before I did any other work with them. I did some clickbait writing for, you can find me, just look up Liz Fickenscher. And you can find me on Looper and Grunge and a couple of those sites. And their editorial guidelines are actually pretty strict. So you have to be a pretty good writer to write for them. Turns out I wasn’t.


Yoni Mazor 16:27

That’s okay. You’re on our show today. So you did something right.


Liz Fickenscher 16:31

I didn’t pay enough attention to detail I don’t think. And I was getting kind of burned out because I was doing so much writing and the…it had gotten more competitive, it had gotten harder to find jobs, it had gotten harder. It was harder to find clients and keep them and all of a sudden writers started learning how to do graphic design. And I didn’t, because I thought I’m a writer. I don’t need to learn how to do graphic design. But then you had these double threat people out there that were, you know, younger and hungrier and willing to take less money. And so roundabout 2015, I got a message from the recruiter at Ecom Engine. And he said, Hey, you know, you’re a writer. We’re looking for a writer. And I was like, actually, I did one job with you guys last year. And she was like, Oh, cool.


Yoni Mazor 17:13

And that one job was the ebook that you did?


Liz Fickenscher 17:17

Yeah. So I ended up talking to Jayla Guard, and Matt Keener, who is a consultant. And he’s the executive in sweatpants, actually, he’s really inspirational, cool guy, but he’s a good friend of Ecom Engines. And so I talked to both of them. At the time, I was actually teaching at Bryant and Stratton College, teaching English there, just a couple of classes a semester, I was still freelance writing. So I got contacted by Ecom Engine. And I started working with them. As a contractor, this was 2015.


Yoni Mazor 17:57

So 2014 you did a little bit of work with them, the Ebook. And then about a year later, you go, you know, a second round. This time you come in as a guest full-time freelancer.


Liz Fickenscher 18:07

Well, not full-time. I was still, you know, it wasn’t hourly, it was still just like, yeah, project-based, and then it became hourly. But I got so obsessed with the idea of this industry and the entrepreneurship involved with the people that I was meeting through case studies and the people that I was meeting just through casual conversations in the industry. So I wanted to learn more. And I also want to learn how Ecom Engines tools worked. So I found a friend of a friend, who ended up becoming one of my very best friends, a guy named Dino Decklemen, who’s actually a musician, but also an entrepreneur and music producer here in Richmond, and asked him for a job, you know, I’ll work for really cheap, but I want to learn what you’re doing because he was doing retail arbitrage and online arbitrage and getting ready to move into wholesale. And I was like I want in, you don’t have to pay me a whole lot. Let me hook your account up to these tools for this company. So I can write more for them and make more money for them. You know and learn about how their tools work and stuff and so…


Yoni Mazor 19:16

You wanted to h

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