A $15K Investment Launched an E-commerce Career | Jeff Lieber
In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – – Jeff Lieber of TurnKey Product Management - talks about how a $15K Investment Launched an E-commerce Career, also more information about his life's journey. #JeffLieber #TurnKeyProductManagement
About Jeff Liber of TurnKey Product Management - TurnKey Product Management helps companies quickly grow their sales on Amazon and save them time so you can do what you love by offering the following. Whether you’re selling $20k/month or $200k/month, TurnKey will help you scale.
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Yoni Mazor 0:06
Everybody welcome to another episode of prime talk today I have a special guest that I'm having Jeff Lieber. Jeff is the founder of turnkey product management, which is a leading Amazon Marketplace and marketing agency. So uh, Jeff, welcome to the show.
Jeff Lieber 0:20
Hey, thank you so much for having me good to connect again.
Yoni Mazor 0:22
Yeah, my pleasure. You know, good to see you. As you know, you know, a couple of times in the past, but in today's episode, we're gonna dive into your story. We're gonna go even deeper, you're gonna you know, it's gonna be the story of Jeff Lieber, you're gonna share with us everything? Where are you? Where are you from? Where'd you grow up? You know how you began your professional career station to station until you reached where you are today in the world of E-commerce. So without further ado, let's jump right into it.
Jeff Lieber 0:47
Yeah, sounds good, man. Yeah, I've never done a podcast quite like this always just talking about the nuts and bolts of Amazon. So I'm kind of excited and a little nervous to share the personal side, I guess.
Yoni Mazor 0:58
As long as you know, your story, no reason to be nervous. I get it. Right.
Jeff Lieber 1:03
Yeah, so yeah, I was born and raised in Southern California, in San Diego. And, yeah, I had a great family and, you know, a friend and support system and, you know, had a good time, you know, playing some sports and did pretty good in school. Didn't try super-duper hard through high school or, or college always just kind of did enough to procrastinate and, you know, get, make sure you pass the class are a little bit
Yoni Mazor 1:31
Better. Kind of the same attitude I had, but, um, a little bit of background on the family, right. So your parents worked in industries, where they were involved with you when you were growing up?
Jeff Lieber 1:39
Yeah, my mom was a stay-at-home mom for probably the first 10 or 12 years of my life. And then she started, she got back into teaching preschool, which she loves doing. And she still does it today, teaching a couple of days a week. And, you know, that's kind of rejuvenated her and given her more life. And then my dad used to work for Medtronic, the big, you know, billion dollars medical company, and then got some patents, and then he's an engineer by trade. And then he ended up branching off and becoming an entrepreneur and starting his own business. So that was kind of I think, you know, getting to see him do that and start a company with a business partner. And so yeah, you know, saw them
Yoni Mazor 2:26
A company that he started the run
Jeff Lieber 2:28
Jeff Lieber 2:29
So like designing like heart catheters and stents, and, you know, different medical devices. They're working on one right now, I think I'm allowed to share it is like a cooling catheter that helps, you know, can help treat stroke patients, where if you say, someone has a stroke, you know, in that first hour or two, after you have a stroke, I mean, that critical period is where you either kind of, you know, typically they die if you can't get treated and you know, but one quick thing you can do that they're testing as they have a product that helps cool their brain. So if you can have them use a catheter, and
Yoni Mazor 3:08
Very cool, yeah, it's a very cool product literally, right? Could it cool the brain down during a stroke? So yeah, it sounds like it's high-level innovation on the engineering side. So it's pretty impressive. Okay, so that's kind of the vomited chatting, whether as an educator, your father's, you know, engineer, entrepreneur, innovator. And when you grew up you besides you know, kind of taking it easy in school and doing what you got to do anything that you did was entrepreneurial, or you know, you're trying to make some extra money on the side or anything like that.
Jeff Lieber 3:37
Yeah, there are a few things with uh, yeah, like trading baseball cards, stuff like that. But then actually, my high school senior project was you could do anything basically but I decided to start an eBay business so I went out on Black Friday with my dad and I know went to Best Buy and bought you know, a couple of grand worth of stuff and just tried to resell it on eBay and ended up making you know, I think it was around $700 profit or something like that after a few months selling through it all. So that was kind of my first experience in the marketplace. I guess you could say a real venture and I was always interested
Yoni Mazor 4:13
Or the sprouts, you know, small seeds of sprouts. Some of you were in E-commerce when you were growing up. Okay, so let's get into I guess, education or education, or what's the track there?
Jeff Lieber 4:22
Yeah. Then I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University. Again, one more time and slowly what was it Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California
Yoni Mazor 4:31
Fornia poly tech now what's a breakdown of that?
Jeff Lieber 4:35
California Polytechnic is something I don't even know why they call it that. People call it low or Cal Poly Chapala cool. So it's a Yeah, it was a great school and I had a great time there and I was a business major finance major. And you know just didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but just figured that would give me a good base to learn and yeah, so it just had a great group of friends that I met there at college and you know moved away from home and really got to grow up and mature and also not be so mature at times, you know, that had a good time in college, for sure didn't work incredibly hard during college had my share of good times. But you know, I still was able to graduate in four years and then secure a job before
Yoni Mazor 5:24
So yeah, so when you graduated after four years while your Alice started start putting timestamps on this story. So graduated in 2010. Call it 2010. You graduate with a business degree and what's your first station in the professional world?
Jeff Lieber 5:37
Yeah, so I think it was, how I got a job fair, I believe at Cal Poly, like my last quarter. Found a great company and interviewed with them in San Francisco. They're called triage Consulting Group. And they're about 300 or 400 person company that does healthcare consulting. And it was just a really, it seemed like a great first job out of college to kind of learn the consulting world. And there's a very young company, very fun,
Yoni Mazor 6:10
Yeah. To relocate from South Southern California to Northern California.
Jeff Lieber 6:13
Yeah, so I moved up to San Francisco and, you know, lived in North Beach there and lived there for five years and got the job. Got the job there. And it was just a really fun culture and great first job, you know, pretty, pretty good, safe payout of college. And yeah, it was, it was just a great time, you know, five years to live. Yeah, yeah.
Yoni Mazor 6:33
So what was your evolution there? Like? What was your net, the dynamics of your work, and what you used to do there?
Jeff Lieber 6:39
Yeah, essentially, we're finding underpayments from health insurance companies. So if someone goes to the hospital and has like, you know, they stay at the hospital in a coma for six months or something like that, you know, it's a could be a $2 million hospital bill. And then Anthem Blue Cross, or one of those companies, you know, typically will try to find ways to underpay or pay lesson and the claims are that big. There's a lot of money. That's, and there are so many claims every day and a lack of payments. So, this company, just found their niche that they were the first ones to go hard. And in underpayment, recovery, and mandate, they made some good money, and then they just sold
Yoni Mazor 7:18
So give me one example. So you got the institution and the hospital, right, you built a million that insurance company comes in and pays only what a million or a million and a half hours, instead of two, and then the company that you work for, they find that discrepancy, and then they go back to the insurance company say you underpaid, meaning they agreed to pay more, but they underpaid. That's what happened.
Jeff Lieber 7:35
Exactly. Like typically, you know, Anthem Blue Cross has like a contract with that hospital, and they agree on all this rate schedule and everything. And then we built like, you know, in not Microsoft Excel, but Microsoft Access, we build these like formulas. And, you know, it was a pretty crazy advanced system that they built that we got to use, calculate, oh, wow, they're there, they underpaid by $250,000, then you just simply write a one-page template appeal letter saying for this claim, this patient, this date of service, you underpaid by 250,000, per this clause. And then, you know, three weeks later, sometimes, most of the time they would pay it and then you know, we would get I didn't get a commission but the company got a commission.
Yoni Mazor 8:18
Yeah, sounds like you know, it's very data-driven, it's fine discrepancy through data and taking action, once the discrepancies found pretty much on a different planet, the health healthcare industry Well, it's, uh, you know, we're, we're distant relatives, you and I guess,
Jeff Lieber 8:34
Yeah, I didn't put that thought together. Now. I'm pulling
Yoni Mazor 8:38
On your therapist to make you understand that it's very similar to what we do we utilize data to find a discrepancy. And of course, once it's found, you take further action, and then you get our financial recovery. So you just walk into my mind into this other industry, which is pretty amazing. Pretty cool. And what's the name of the company
Jeff Lieber 8:53
Again, it was called triage Consulting Group. And they sold I think, in the last couple of years to some, I don't recall the name of the company that bought it, you know, but to some doors,
Yoni Mazor 9:03
That string the shank was technology, the algorithm the ability to find discrepancy or to take action on it or a combination of everything? Uh,
Jeff Lieber 9:11
yeah, they were just a big player in space number one, so like, because once you sign a contract with the, with the hospital, then you know, it's hard to like for a competitor to come in and under undercut them. And then also, like, they're just they built this in Microsoft Access, like, very complex, sophisticated sort of algorithm for like, plugging in, you know, three years’ worth of hospital claims, and then that's a lot. Click these macro buttons and spits out like, you know, they just built some sophisticated ways to identify those underpayments and
Yoni Mazor 9:47
What was your role there you were in the development side of the product side or the sell side of the business development what was your component with it? Yeah,
Jeff Lieber 9:55
On like kind of the auditing side so it helped run those formulas and run the math. Macros, and then actually file the appeals and then actually go out to the client sites in the hospitals and build relationships with them. And, you know, report back to them in status meetings, things like that.
Yoni Mazor 10:10
That's the first thing off, you know when you started the position there, and that's how you started already started the different position to go out to that office.
Jeff Lieber 10:17
Yeah, is it that position in the first you don't talk much or do very much? And then by the end, you're managing a small team of, you know, seven people, you know, after a few years, so it was cool, I got to learn a lot about management and manage other people and clients as well.
Yoni Mazor 10:32
And I assume, for the hospitals is, you know, every hospital that you contract with, it's the recovery isn't within the millions or 10s of millions. Yeah. Yeah, most Oh, okay. Just say sorry. So
Jeff Lieber 10:42
To maybe get Tita can, you know, launch a subsidiary business
Yoni Mazor 10:46
That no, we can reach out to them, see if they need any help with, you know, the technology of for auditing and mass data. But that's, that's a different day, a different discussion. There. Now, this is still the story of Jeff Libra. So 2015 you move on to the next station? And what was the next station for you?
Jeff Lieber 11:02
Yeah, so basically, I'd always been on marketing, entrepreneurship, sort of email lists, and I bought some courses and refunded them or didn't take action over the years, and I knew I wanted to try to start something. And so about a year, about four years into working at triage, I saw the Amazon opportunities about 2014. This is when people started selling Amazon courses, and I just started hearing more about it. And so I invested a few $1,000 into one of those Amazon courses and went through it, and the business model made sense to me.
Jeff Lieber 11:38
And I was interested in it. And so I chose a product and had all the products in the world, I decided to land on Puppy Training pee pads as the one product to start with, for whatever reason. puppy what, Puppy Training pee pads, they're like, you know, when you got a new puppy, you gotta like, you know, train them how to pee on something, not the carpet. So, yeah, I bought a 20-foot container from China for like, $15,000 as my first ever product order, which in hindsight, now, I realize you don't need to go that big or that risky for your first ever product order, but I did it. And maybe it helped me, it forced me to, like, you know, go all in and learn, you know,
Yoni Mazor 12:25
a big thing for you, like, you know, life savings or dramatically that's kind of in the middle or even, you know, yeah, at that
Jeff Lieber 12:32
Time, it was probably about like half my life savings. You know, I maybe had 30 grand to my name something like that.
Yoni Mazor 12:37
But and yeah, that enough confidence to put half your life savings for this, you know, because once again, this is a side gig for you. You have your career already developed with triage, right? And then you take a few courses online, right? Mm-hmm. You know, so many of the courses were ASM by any chance Amazon machine? Yeah, yeah, one of them was Yep. So it's more than one course he did a few courses. Mm-hmm yeah. And that solidified your confidence thing I'm gonna go for you know I'm gonna do my research is and we're gonna base my data and invest 15 grand and Okay, so you launch how to go
Jeff Lieber 13:07
Yeah, it's in launching you know got like when I remember when I got my first sale after like two weeks and I got a little alert on the phone and like literally almost started crying or maybe I did cry I can't but I remember like I was like holy crap like some random person in Kentucky you know just bought the product for 30 bucks and I was like, okay, like so this is real and it ended up taking about like nine months to sell through that container but you know, it started selling and started getting reviews and you know, optimize the listing and you know, ended up getting some real sales which were cool and yeah and then I ended up launching a few other products on and I started chasing some product trends and you know, some hot fat prop fad-products you know, and then you know that that made money for two months and then the fat died and so I kind of learned that painful experience but yeah sold over
Yoni Mazor 14:01
$50,000 part of the pea pod we
Jeff Lieber 14:04
Yeah, yeah, it's still selling selling your product is still a hero product for you. Why so I ended up selling a parachute pet if we fast forward, I ended up selling that business a few years later, actually, this
Yoni Mazor 14:19
Is the pre-aggregated user posts that are doing the day to day is
Jeff Lieber 14:25
It's pretty old Yeah, yeah, this is pre-agency. So basically, I
Yoni Mazor 14:29
Don’t say pre aggregators, you know, today. Yeah, like big Agra. Oh, yeah.
Jeff Lieber 14:33
Yeah, it was that it was like 2017 or 2018. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 14:37
Okay, got it. So let me recap this. So 214 you launched? And then 215 what happened? Do you go solo or on? Yeah. So
Jeff Lieber 14:47
Yeah, maybe cover that. So I ended up launching a few extra products. So I had like four or five skews by the end of the first year. And, you know, but I was still just doing this at night and on the week. When I had time, like only 10 hours, 15 hours a week, and then we were selling maybe like 10 grand 12 grand a month in sales, so we
Yoni Mazor 15:08
Somebody was there with you or just a silly solo just
Jeff Lieber 15:13
It was just me. I mean, I had a few like VAs and got it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, yeah, but we saw after about nine months or so that I was like, you know, like, if I put what if I put 40 hours or 50 hours a weekend to this? And, you know, I just, I saw the opportunity and just said, like, you know, when I was like, I'm not married, I don't have kids, like, I'm just living, I got cheap brands and in San Francisco somehow. And like, I, you know, I just read Tim Ferriss's book, and, you know, the four-hour workweek, yeah, yeah. And he had a good fear-setting exercise.
Jeff Lieber 15:53
If anyone has ever heard of that you can Google it. It's called his fear-setting exercise. And that was what helped me convince me to quit my job and go all-in on the business. But it, from what I remember, you write out like, Okay, what's this big decision I'm scared of? Well actually write out what's the actual worst-case scenario? Like, worst case, nightmare scenario, how bad is it? And I wrote it out as like, maybe I get scammed from my Chinese supplier, and they, you know, take my money, and Amazon cancels my account. And, you know, I end up losing the, you know, 20 grand that I put into the business and, you know, I don't have any income coming in, you know, but and I, you know I'm at $0, back to $0. Now, that was the worst case, it was like, well,
Yoni Mazor 16:42
At that point, yeah. If that happens, you'll be able to rebound.
Jeff Lieber 16:45
Yeah, basically, like, if that happened, like, I could one, you know, always go back and live in my parents’ house, if I had to, like, they would take me back in, they took my brother and sister back in a couple of times. So I knew they would take me in. They owed me one if I needed it. And so that was like, worse, worst case, you know, or you stay at some friend's houses bounce around, or, you know, go back and just get another job. It's not, you know, not yeah,
Yoni Mazor 17:08
It’s pretty good. Yeah, you have, you know, a landing pad, you know, you know, you don't lose money, you breakeven, but then you can kind of reset things you leave by little by family, then, you know, go work for, you know, go back to the industry working in a similar industry. Yeah. Okay, so as a calculated bed, but you took the leap of faith, you spread your wings. And then you went solo to 15. And take us from there. Watch us. Yeah,
Jeff Lieber 17:31
Yep. So yeah, then you look at the upsides, like, well, this could change my life forever. And I could it could work out and I don't work for anybody ever again. And so yeah, I went for it went all-in worked hard, got to travel the world got to go to, you know, map that out. So I got to go to the Canton Fair in China. And then I went to Thailand and live there for a month and I stopped in Europe along the way so I circumnavigated the globe I think in like 65 days, and all while working while slash working and making money making a profit, right.
Jeff Lieber 18:06
Yeah. And making profit making money negotiating prices with the suppliers, you know, just having time in my life in Thailand, like never been somewhere, you know, exotic and cool like that. And yeah, just like open-mindedly okay, like, no matter what happens, like this is worth it. Do you know what I mean? And yeah, and then luckily, you know, we ended up growing it, and then at that time, I had gotten into another business partnership with my friend's dad who invented a called the hurricane 900-foot ring launcher dog toy. So is this awesome? And it's still for sale out there today. I'm no longer working in the business or owning it anymore. But anyway, we did a partnership. I helped him launch it on Kickstarter, and then Amazon and it's just the coolest dog toy one of the coolest out there and so did form that partnership with them. And then if that question on
Yoni Mazor 19:03
The side you have any pets on your of your own or this is just
Jeff Lieber 19:07
The other funny thing. I have no pets, and I got no no kids and I also launched a baby brand and sold that to when I sold so yeah, I I sell I sell things that I don't necessarily know that I
Yoni Mazor 19:17
Consume. Yeah. Okay. Interesting. I guess he said, Yeah, the dark toy and you were saying that there's another trajectory that happened?
Jeff Lieber 19:24
Yeah. So then, you know, got into a partnership with him and helped him launch that. And then, and then at the same time, my friend from college, from Cal Poly, he launched a sunglasses brand on Kickstarter with like bottle opener sunglasses called William painter sunglasses, which is, you know, they're my favorite glasses. I still wear him today. I've opened hundreds of beer bottles, and you know, it's a great conversation starter. And so they were doing well on Kickstarter and Shopify, but they're not getting any traction on Amazon. So they said, Jeff, can you help us out and they said, Can we just pay you to manage it for us? So I was like, okay, yeah, I think I could manage the time for that. So that was my first agency client, but I didn't view it as an agency client. I didn't know it could be a business.
Yoni Mazor 20:08
I just try to be helpful, and useful. But yeah, what year was that? When you onboard you’re first? I
Jeff Lieber 20:13
Was like, 2016. Yeah. And
Yoni Mazor 20:17
So this is you were already tuned into the mix. At that point, you have your brand and partnership, and then your first client? Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Jeff Lieber 20:23
Okay. And then, yeah, so helped grow them from, you know, they're doing like a few grand a month to, you know, six figures in the first year of selling with them. And
Yoni Mazor 20:34
I want to jump into that for a minute. Because, you know, we're talking two or three launches yours, your partnership, and then this, you know, this client, but what's an hour’s your strategy? How do you do that? What's your magic, so to speak of, you know, launching products on Amazon? At the time? I know, today might be a different ballgame. But at the time?
Jeff Lieber 20:52
Yeah, I mean, at that time, this was back in Yeah. 1617. So it was a slightly different game. Like there's, you know, other things that I mean, the same principles apply, like the same principles of success apply to Amazon with having a super optimized listing, and having great products and, you know, all that, all that good stuff. But at that time, you know, some of the things that are now banned, like, you know, the review groups and incentivized reviews and things like that, friends and family.
Yoni Mazor 21:22
Were you also in charge of the copyright and the visuals and all the creative as well. Yeah, yeah. Right. At that point, you already have set up an agency or studio or the factories, or what was your setup there for the creative?
Jeff Lieber 21:36
Yeah, so basically, I was kind of utilizing the same team that I was using for my brands for, you know, my friend, sunglasses brand, and then they referred a friend's fish tank brand, and then they refer to a friend and so then I had four brands that I was managing for clients. And we would outsource, like, some of like, you know, if it was like a photo shoot or video shoot, like Sonic, I have that like, in house, you know, we would help you either orchestrator, set that up, essentially. But yeah, so then all of a sudden, I had all these different brands, you know, these clients, essentially, and that was doing well. But then as you could probably guess, like, I was so spread thin, so overwhelmed. And all three of these businesses were growing equally slowly. And I was like working like 70 hours a week or more. And I was more stressed than I'd ever been in life.
Yoni Mazor 22:34
You don't work for yourself anymore. Yeah, you work for clients.
Jeff Lieber 22:37
Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah. All I wanted to do was go back to my old nine-to-five job back. Although, you know, there are times where it's like, well, like, I was making, you know, like, that was a pretty nice life. Like, I've overwhelmed myself and I didn't design this I kind of just said yes, to sue me to too many things is what I shine shiny object syndrome. So, then I just had to make a life decision and like, what do I want to focus on and scale what would be the best for me and my life and so I decided, you know, I am liking the agency and helping other clients. And I'm good at that. And my team is good at that. And so I said, why don't I just stick with that and so I decided to prep my business to be sold. So I sold the pet branded baby brand, which I owned all of that and I sold that within seven months I think is how long this is
Yoni Mazor 23:37
2017 Yeah, yeah. Early Days is like a year or two before the explosion of all the aggregators today the snapping brands left and right and okay so you went directly with the buyer you use
Jeff Lieber 23:51
I use the broker to help take us to market and get buyers and we got like five offers on the business and negotiated the best one.
Yoni Mazor 23:59
Was it okay if we do so what was the multiple on the EBITDA or the SD? Yeah, discussion earning,
Jeff Lieber 24:05
I think it was like 3.3 or something like that.
Yoni Mazor 24:09
Got it. Okay, today we're 2021 towards the end of it and today, the rate usually is around 555 times on multiple on their earnings. Okay, so things have inflated there are 2017 you sell to one entity sell to one party, all of the portfolio of brands yet
Jeff Lieber 24:30
Just the two brands. Yeah, they bought the portfolio together that you partner with? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, not with my partner. So just those two brands that are you on?
Yoni Mazor 24:39
Right 100% you know, the partnership sold
Jeff Lieber 24:41
That Yes. Not the partnership that's separate. And yeah, so then the partnership that that was kind of, you know, that just had his difficulties you know, we didn't see eye to eye me in the partner on certain things. He was more old school. I was more new school, you know? No, I wanted to scale using Facebook ads, and, you know, he, you know, wanted to see an instant return. And, you know, I could have done things differently as well. So it just, it was a stressful partnership. And, and it was one of my best friend's dads. So I didn't, I wanted to make sure to keep that friendship intact. And so I decided like I just any way possible to get out of that partnership and so excited that partnership didn't make, you know, much money off, but it was better for me. Yeah, you
Yoni Mazor 25:30
Get the dignity, you kept the balance you got out, you know, nice and easy, everybody's friends. And if you go to the next, you know, a point of focus for you. So you sold two detached for one. And then what else happened was the next move?
Jeff Lieber 25:42
Yeah, so then all I had left was turnkey product management. And we're doing full-service management for product brands, you know, on Amazon, and just went all-in on that and built, built the team. And so then I hired my sister, my cousin, some of their friends from their softball team and just sort of, you know, built a small team of, you know, trying to figure out how to build an agency team of like, client managers and US-based team members, which I hadn't done before. And, you know, just hired people that I've trusted. And, yeah, and then just started, started growing it, you know, and went through bumps along the way, but, you know, and then here we are, you know, four years later, and we've grown a lot. And now we've got over, got over 20 different team members on the team now, mostly in the US, and some in the Philippines. And, yeah, it's been quite the ride.
Yoni Mazor 26:37
Nice. And this when you started, you know, growing the team and focusing just on turnkey. That was 2017 or 2018.
Jeff Lieber 26:46
That was, yeah. 2017 Yeah, cuz when I knew I was selling the business, I've kind of already was pivoting focus to turn key.
Yoni Mazor 26:53
Got it? Okay, so let's shadow encapsulate, you know, 217 until 2021, where we are today, these four years, you know you grew in 2002 2008. Team members, and maybe you can touch more about, you know, the growth of, you know, the clients, the brands you work with, or the experience that we that matured or, you know, improved over time, and how even the dynamics of Amazon use a little bit, you know, the evolution of to 17 Till today, on the strategies, you know, hardcore tactics, like you say that the other events or shows that you appear on this, the more we can get more into the, you know, both screws of, of how things get done, well, you know, dedicate a few minutes to that, and then, what should you know, summarize the episode and see what we got. Yeah, sounds
Jeff Lieber 27:36
Good. Yeah, so, I mean, Amazon, the principles still are the same? But yeah, back in the day, you could kind of use these black hat, gray hat strapping on what would be gray hat now, and they were okay at the time, or just not enforced and, and all that. And so back in the day, people could come in, throw up a product listing, as long as it was decently optimized, they could use these, you know, they could use these companies out there, I won't name the names of them, but those companies were, you know, they would get 1000 sales, you know, in a day and then boost you to, you know, to page one, right? And they were like free sales, essentially, you could buy your way to the top of Amazon, and you would stick there. And you could,
Yoni Mazor 28:24
What do you say, stick there? Why are you able to stick there? Because nobody else was toppling you down? Or what were you could just emulate
Jeff Lieber 28:32
people could people were manipulating the Amazon algorithm, and they knew what would rank you there and keep you there. And the algorithm was smart enough to detect what was fake, you know, on authentic buying behavior. And so they were
Yoni Mazor 28:48
so the seller, sophistications was here, Amazon's ability to track them was kind of there. So you're able to go there and stay there. Okay, yeah. So
Jeff Lieber 28:55
people could come in with basically no experience, but just, you know, some decent pockets, and the willingness to be super aggressive. And so people would just be launching these brands, especially in the supplement space, and, you know, just take advantage of these incredibly big markets, and just, you know, doing stuff that, you know, wasn't transparent or room, we weren't doing that stuff. But at that time, those people were hard.
Jeff Lieber 29:20
It was hard to compete with those companies at that time. And then Amazon started cracking down on fake reviews, and on like, you know, things like these fake rebates and fake purchases. And you know, this manipulative practice, which I think has been good for, for the Amazon marketplace for the Amazon shoppers and buyers because they're, you know, they're buying less fake crappy products that that shouldn't be at the top and selling the way that they are. And I think it's helped the real people who care about making good products and great, you know, actually great products and doing things the right way. They can now be more successful on Amazon because you can don’t use those Blackhat things anymore or you know you could try But you're gonna get caught or kicked off eventually. So I think it's it's you can't just throw something up and it's going to make a million bucks tomorrow on Amazon, you know, you got to go back to the principles of marketing and business and building brand-building great products and you got to do things the right way. These days, I could dive more into it if you want.
Yoni Mazor 30:21
Yeah, there's ever been more into that. So I have a brand I want to launch it comes to turnkey. What do you guys do for me? You know, nowadays, it's all worked out? And how long would it take to make this a viable brand, you know, with central income and profits and stuff?
Jeff Lieber 30:36
Yeah, sometimes companies come to us, and they haven't launched on Amazon, maybe they've already launched on Kickstarter on Shopify, and they want us to launch them from scratch on to Amazon. You know, but most time, just because most companies now they're already selling on Amazon, or they've been up and sold on Shopify, and will just help take over and optimize their Amazon and then take over their Amazon PPC ads and all that good stuff. But I could cover if you were a brand launching from scratch on Amazon what to do?
Jeff Lieber 31:07
Yep. Yeah, so basically, we like to start working with the company like talking to the company, at least two months before launch. And then maybe we would start working with you about a month before when you want to start taking sales because we need about a month to start building your product listings and optimizing them built, you know, taking all the image assets that you have your images and converting them using our graphic designers into, you know, infographics with text overlay, and, you know, those really beautiful infographics that you see on some really good listings out there, you know, writing the sales copy, you know, doing the keyword research, you know, we do all of that stuff, all of the nuts and bolts to build up, you know, the most optimized listings possible building the storefront on Amazon. So, you know, we build the infrastructure.
Jeff Lieber 31:59
And then also, we have a meeting or two with the client today. Okay, and then let's plan out the launch plan, right? How are we going to launch this to the world? And so we look at, you know, every client is different. What are the assets that you have? Do you have an email list? Do you have a Shopify list of customers? Do you have a social media following? Do you have a big influencer that you have a connection with, you know, any assets that you have? Do you have paid ads that you've done before we identify what those are, usually someone has at least one asset that's at least somewhat decent, but hopefully they've got a couple?
Jeff Lieber 32:38
And then we built we use those assets, and we build them into the launch plans, okay, we're gonna build up some height before launch, you know, letting people know that this is coming to kind of pre-sell or maybe get a pre-sell email list, it just kind of depends on the client, we sell on Shopify, or pre-sell on Amazon, no, like pre-sell, like an email list, like Come here for a VIP discount, or, you know, early bird, you know, something like that. And then when it comes time to launch on launch day, in launch week, you know, that's when it's gone time. So we turn on the Amazon listings, they go live, and that's when we start tapping into their, their assets more, more heavily, like doing an email sequence, the week of the launch, doing the social media posts sequence, to their social channels that they have tapped the influencers, you know, throughout the first couple of weeks, because you want to spread traffic out over the first few weeks. Like, if Amazon sees you don't want to dump everything on day one, and then do nothing on day two, or three, or four.
Yoni Mazor 33:40
So there is you keep releasing it in and dripping it in and from all these funnels, you know, social media, emails, influencers, all these tracks lead into the Amazon listings. And hopefully, they're, you know, they're engaged full and they convert, and then out of the Amazon, the algorithm sees Oh, this is, you know, a real deal. It's a healthy product, and then you move up the ranks. That's just for launching, you know, more move up the ranks and start, you know, to get the honeymoon period and the traction. But what do you do to keep it there? Just keep the same flow going the whole flywheel of engagement.
Jeff Lieber 34:13
Yeah, no, you summed that up perfectly. And then yeah, after that, it's continuing to do that along the way. But then it's time to start focusing. You know, by that time, you will have some reviews, you can use things like Amazon vine reviewer program, these you know, other ways and there are other tactics to get Amazon reviews but once you get a few reviews, then it's time to start dialing in on the Amazon Pay Per Click PPC ads. And then we also do Amazon DSP ads as well for most ad platforms.
Yoni Mazor 34:44
So you can drive traffic from other websites or retarget within Amazon.
Jeff Lieber 34:50
Yeah, exactly. So Amazon PPC and DSP are one of the best ways to scale because Amazon has improved its ads network over the last few years. They're the number three advertiser in the world.
Yoni Mazor 35:04
Right now. Google, Facebook, Amazon. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jeff Lieber 35:07
I think that's the order of the top two. I'm not sure about the order. But yeah, but and they'll probably be closing in on number two, you know, knowing Amazon, but they increase the complexity of the ads and the variety of ads and the targeting and the retargeting that you can do and, you know, advertising on competitors, product pages and complementary products. So you can get sophisticated. And that's what we do, we have an amazing team that we've built-in systems that we do to focus on the PPC DSP scaling process.
Yoni Mazor 35:40
So that's where we are today. But 217 was a Darrow boss or the last layer, after layer after layer, just add to your toolkit into your capabilities and experience to make you guys much more robust, and you know, on the frontier of making things happen the right way on Amazon.
Jeff Lieber 35:55
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, back then. We weren't doing DSP back then we only started doing DSP, I think about two years ago. And PPC was a lot simpler back then there were only a handful of ad types that you could run. But now it's just
Yoni Mazor 36:11
is it fair to say all these components, other we weren't doing them even now that you're doing it for a while, they keep evolving, even every component has its complexity levels, and they go into deeper and deeper, more, more advanced? So not only that, you have more layers of sophistication, each layer has its trajectory and evolution going on. Because this is a learning curve for all of us industry is hyperdynamic and keeps on changing every day. And you always have to be even with your fingers on the pulse to make, you know, to keep it relevant for you and your clients. Okay, so everything is you kind of mentioned describe for, you know, for launch, it also kind of the same methods apply for the ones who already launched in the market, but you, you take over and you optimize everything, and you able to put them on the firewall and in keep a healthy trajectory. That's kind of the dynamic there.
Jeff Lieber 36:56
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, we've got some clients, like we launched a client this year, in May of 2021. They were doing Shopify beforehand, but they just never taken, you know, got had the time, they thought to launch on Amazon, they were so focused with their stuff, and they had great products. But they, you know, wanted to hire, hire someone to do it. So they hired us to do it. And in May, we did a six-figure launch in the very first month on Amazon. And in the first six months, we've sold over $700,000 of revenue for them. And, you know,
Yoni Mazor 37:34
Solid and all these grand was profitable for the end for the client. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's pretty, pretty impressive numbers there. Alright, so I want to kind of embody the story so far and see what we got one raised in California, more in the San Diego side on the south, right, and then went to school up north, back in 2010. Already graduated, sorry, you graduated South Cal, and then you’re first up after you got into the San Francisco area. So you moved up north, around 2010. And from 2010, until 2015, you worked for a company that helps with auditing discrepancies or the payments of insurance companies to help the institutions.
Yoni Mazor 38:19
But around 2014 A year before you kind of spread your wings, you to call these courses, you know, regarding you know, eCommerce and selling on Amazon, and then that gained your confidence and then you invested $50,000 to launch your products out there and you're able to sell within nine months. And then around 2015, you get enough confidence to say, You know what, I have my brand, I'm already also involved with another brand, I'm going to spread my wings, and instead of investing 1015 hours a week, I limited I'm going to be my boss, then between 2015 until 2016 17, you find that you're your boss, but you have other bosses because we are your brands a partnership.
Yoni Mazor 38:56
Plus, I know the first agency clients, so you're spread out pretty thin. So you made a conscious decision to kind of focus on what you are probably the best at and you're most effective at so you cash out of your you know, your brands, he sold them in 2017 You did a nice release with you know, the partnership that you had with because it was the father of a good friend of yours. And then you were able to harness your focus talent, motivation, not just yourself your team and create the infrastructure for turnkey, you know, from 217 Till today 2021 to become robust, you know, a leader on the forefront and be you know, you know, add layers and layers of sophistication and ability to, you know, launch properly or grow properly on the marketplace and keep the flow going on. So that in a nutshell kind of says the story ever.
Jeff Lieber 39:46
Yeah. You said it better than I did. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 39:49
Nice. Nice. Okay, so thank you so much for sharing. I kind of learned a lot and I appreciate it. So now I want to finish up the episode with two points. The first one will be if somebody wants to reach out and connect where can they find you? But don't Last thing would be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?
Jeff Lieber 40:05
Awesome. Yeah, thank you so much for having me, man, this is awesome. So yeah, you could find me on LinkedIn, just search Jeff Lieber turnkey, should come up. Or you can go to turnkey product management.com/resources. There's a lot of good if you're interested in, in Amazon, or if you have a business, a physical product business, you know, we got a lot of great Amazon Seller resources on there that are free to learn a little bit more about us or apply stuff to your business. Or you can hop on a call with us if you are interested in scaling with turnkey. Yeah, that's where to find me, then, yeah, as far as so you said a message of hope to entrepreneurs,
Yoni Mazor 40:44
Hope and inspiration for you know, entrepreneurs listening out there, and what is your message hope and inspiration, whatever comes to mind?
Jeff Lieber 40:51
Yeah. Important. Yeah, I mean, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you know, you can do it, if you can find, you know, but you have to be able to commit to finding a way like it is a hard road, it is a bumpy road, it is stressful, at times, it is amazing at times like it is a roller coaster. And if you have the personality for that, you just got to commit and know that you got to be resourceful, and find a way and you always will, and you'll be able to bounce back on your feet. Even if you have to go to zero or below zero, you know, you can always find another way. But the upside and the freedom and the flexibility that it provides you, you know, and the financial independence that it can provide you if you hit those home runs or doubles or triples, you know, it can all be worth it and I do think that it's worth it. And yeah, if you want to go after something and add value to the marketplace, you know, in whatever niche you're interested in, you know, you can do it, but you just got to work hard and you know, enjoy the moments along the way.
Yoni Mazor 42:01
Beautiful stuff. So opportunities out there, identify them, jump on them, commit to them and try to enjoy the ride but work hard. Alright, thank you so much, Jeff. I hope everybody else enjoyed this different healthy the next time.