I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. Not only do I get to do, everyday, what I love—and make money at it!—I get to travel to exciting places and meet inspirational people. THANK YOU to everyone who made the journey to Louisville last weekend to be a part of CES III, Jim Cockrum’s third conference for online entrepreneurs. (If you are serious about online selling you NEED to follow Jim Cockrum—he is the most trusted internet marketer online and his free newsletter alone is invaluable.) I am a lifetime member of MST and this is THE place for anyone and everyone who is serious about online selling. You can check it out for free anytime.
It was just a four hour drive for me which is easy travelling compared to the hundreds who flew in for the event. The days leading to the conference felt like Christmas time, my excitement could hardly be contained. Old friends, new friends and celebrities all in the same place at the same time! It was almost too good to be true. Plus, we were there to share ideas and learn from the people who are blazing new trails and making lots of money in this online world.
This is my second CES conference (CES stands for creative ecommerce solutions I think) and what sets these events apart from any other is the atmosphere of sharing. Everyone is there to help each other succeed. There is only a tiny bit of selling (tools offered by the sponsers) and the rest of the event is people sharing their proven success strategies. It would be impossible to leave this conference without at least ten new ways to profit online. The biggest challenge for me is choosing JUST two or three and seeing them through.
After months of isolation (one downside of this business, I’m afraid,) I was in a room with hundreds of people who “got” me and my business!
I had a chance to mingle with great people before and after the conference too. I had dinners where we discussed scanners, wholesalers and FBA strategies. I had lunches where we talked about products, inventory turns and margins. Over cocktails there was talk of creative partnering and white labeling.
Jim Cockrum’s teachings create success stories–bottom line! Mike Brown and Death Wish coffee are one of the success stories and they were highlighted on the first day. Mike Brown took his struggling coffee company to #2 on Amazon after reading Jim’s book, 101 Marketing Tips. Mike is now vying for a free commercial on Super Bowl Sunday and you can help him win by voting at www.PickMikeBrown.com.
Onto the nuts and bolts of the conference-I am not going to attempt to go in order or encompass everything, but I will share some highlights. All of the people mentioned here are worth googling if you want to gain further insight into their strategies and ideas.
Dan Miller discussed finding the happy spot between pursuing a passion and earning a living. “Do what you love and follow the money.” He has a book at www.48days.com/why.
Next, George from Merchant Words (one of the sponsors) discussed how to find search terms. Simple, but probably overlooked, ideas were discussed. He discussed a proper title in Amazon and how not to “stuff” the title with too many keywords (Amazon doesn’t like this.) Overall, though, the goal is to turn buyer search terms into our search terms.
888 Lots was also a sponsor and they explained how they get inventory. Apparently, they buy all of the lost, loose and unclaimed items at the Amazon warehouses. I have heard of 888 Lots but have no experience working with them. It is so interesting to me, however, that every part of the Amazon cycle has been molded into a business.
Robyn, an amazing Amazon seller and one of Jim’s coaches spoke for about an hour. This woman is a bundle of energy and a great presenter. She focused on goal setting and backing into what you need to do NOW to achieve certain milestones numerically. She likes milestones and goals as a way of documenting progress. She discussed planning your work, creating systems, conquering stale inventory and refining your margin. She had a cute magnet for us all to track our individual goals. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dan Hollings was another featured presenter. He discussed how we, as Amazon sellers, have so much to offer other businesses. How about using our skills to grow another business’s product on Amazon? We can partner with the business and our fee is part of their increased profit. This is a great way to grow business without the responsibility of inventory. Also, for all the folks nervous about Amazon limits (and there was a lot of this going on,) you can run the business from someone else’s Amazon account.
Chris Green talked about Online Sourcing. The advantages of souring online are obvious. There is no travel time, free boxes, you can do it anywhere. He discussed major retailers and niche sites and taking advantage of daily deal sites. He also spoke on using virtual assistants to do some (or all) of the sourcing. I was impressed with all the applications and software that is now available for online sourcing. And while sourcing, remember to take advantage of cash back sites like eBates, use some store rewards and coupons? Chris Green is a maverick in online and retail arbitrage and has multiple videos on You Tube and a couple of THE BEST books about FBA and online arbitrage.
Barrington McIntosh also spoke–he is almost a legend in the Jim Cockrum group. He started doing retail arbitrage on Amazon a few years ago from home and has grown his business into a formidable force. The amazing thing is that his home is Jamaica. So many excuses people have about “not being able to find profitable inventory” go out the window when you meet someone from an island with no Target, no Walmart and no major stores who is making a living selling FBA on Amazon. He offers coaching for other international sellers and you can get more information right here.
The CES III conference was absolutely everything I expected and needed. I went for a little fuel and I felt like a rocket when I left! I am so fired up to IMPLEMENT some of the ideas. I intend to share here as I go forward.