Cody Hawk is an Entrepreneur, Marketer and Reseller, He’s an Expert in Selling Products On Amazon and Ebay
With English and Arabic Subtitle
So what do I do?
Well I’m a Entrepreneur, Marketer, Youtuber, Consultant, Podcaster, Reseller, website creator of sorts! Hmmm well when you say it that way……Maybe that’s why when people ask what I do my stock answer is, umm I’m a consultant. Uhh what kind? Business development! Oh ok…….Hey its true, I am a consultant and I do work with business and other entrepreneurs. Gone are the days where you define yourself by what you do! Well at-least for me they are.
How did I get started?
Well I’m from the pacific northwest, I grew up loving the outdoors and working with my hands so construction seemed like a good option. I got started in construction working part time and summers at 14, by the age of 17 I was working as a carpenter and building cabinets. By 21 I started my first “REAL” business as a contractor. The business quickly took off and with in a year I had over a dozen employees, my first company and my first big success. As much as I love working with my hands I knew I did not want to be a contractor my whole life but construction was all I knew. I decided to make a shift and get in to Marketing and consulting after the meltdown in 08, as I did not want to spend $1 to make $.25 cents and struggle to keep the lights on like many other contractors I knew. I ended up working for two different company’s over the next two years in a marketing firm and doing some consulting and advertising. I also started two businesses, Both businesses failed and both positions where not for me so I moved on. Going from success at a young age to back to back failure is never easy but I knew I had to find my niche. Having one kid and another on the way I decided to take a job as a consultant with a national consulting firm, unfortunately with the economy still in the gutter this position was shaky at best and performance based. With my office about to get shut down the company ended up firing everyone after my first year, however I stayed on to rebuild the office by myself. A HUGE challenge but I knew I could do it and was worth the reward if I succeeded.
It was this time in Late 2009 early 2010 I got interested in web design and auctions, both storage and auction houses. What started as a hobby grew in to a passion. I love finding cool, unique, rare items. While I sell both on Ebay and Amazon FBA, I also dabble on Bonanza and other small platforms as well. I decided I didn’t want to be a web designer for a business overall, I love building websites and building personal projects on the side but it was not my career of choice so I worked as the General Manager at this consulting firm while going to auctions on the side, weekends, nights, when ever I could. I ended up re building my office to a multi million dollar operation, the highest numbers that this specific location has ever done and building an amazing team along the way, however I was building someone else’s dream not my own.
For me I have built a six figure company, I have had six figure jobs and built a multi Million dollar office but the thing that matters more then anything is TIME!
To me the most important thing is spending time with my wife and two daughters who all also enjoy working with me and having fun doing what we do.
So what do I do now?
WE HAVE FUN DOING WHAT WE LOVE!
I am building my little Media/Marketing company with Video based Info products and Internet marketing
I run a few Niche websites
I also enjoy pod-casting on my podcast at freelancewrangler.com and making my YouTube videos
I sell on Amazon FBA
Website & Social Media
- From construction to Internet Marketing, Why and How?
- Active income Vs. Passive Income Vs. Semi Passive Income?
- Step by step how to build a niche site? And share with us some examples please?
- Amazon Vs. Ebay and which one you prefer to sell or buy and why?
- What’s Amazon FBA? Vs. what’s is Amazon Associates?
- What’s amazon seller account vs. pro seller account vs. merchant fulfilled?
- How to create an amazon FBA account and how much it cost?
- Which tools or things we should buy to start selling professionally on Amazon FBA?
- How do you create and sell Physical Products on Amazon?
- Is reselling works for the people who lives in another countries to sell outside their countries weather they have or not amazon in their country?
- Best types of products to sell and scale on amazon and why?
- What’s Retail Arbitrage and why you buy products at night?
- What’s your advice for Sourcing products For Amazon FBA and Ebay?
- How much dead inventory of products you have now? And if you don’t how do you deal with dead inventory?
- Why, what and how Kindle Publishing works?
- Do you publish ebooks to amazon directly or you recommend using ACX or other distribution platforms?
- How to become a reseller online?
- What’s project reseller?
- How do you monetize your podcast?
- What’s the mobile click code Course?
- How do you launch and promote your products efficiently? Step by step what you do?
- Don’t you think that the endless process of creating and selling new products over and over again is kind of ruining the automation concept itself and the passive income concept in terms of efficiency?
- What’s your views on off page and on page SEO, which tools do you use and recommend?
- How much money you made in 2012, 2013 and 2014 from your online business and how it’s distributed?
- How do you manage your time and stay focused, productive and motivated?
- What do you outsource in your business and the things that we spoke about?
- Best amazon plugins for wordpress?
- Best plugins to sell products from audible on wordpress?
- Tell us more about your other projects that you are currently working on or planning for the future?
- How much do you charge per hour?
- Share with us some of the tools or software that make you more efficient?
- What’s your daily life and work routine looks like?
- Which company, product or service made you most of your money?
- What are your other hobbies?
- Who are your top 3 mentors?
- If you are just starting today in your field, from where you will start and what are you going to focus on to be more successful?
- The most important factors for success in 3 words?
- What’s the biggest failure moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
- What are the Top 3 apps that you use on your smart phone?
- What do you do to change your mood when you are depressed?
- What’s the best advice that you ever received?
- What’s your favorite quote?
- If you have the chance, what would you say to advice your younger self?
- What are your top 3 favorite books?
- What are the top 3 people that you are inspired by?
- Do you listen to any music when you work?
- What makes you really happy?
- How people can contact you?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Hi everyone this is Ahmed Al Kiremli and welcome to Be Efficient Tv. The mission of this web TV shows to boost the efficiency of your business and life through tips and tricks from leading experts in today I have with me Cody Hawk, he is an entrepreneur, marketer and reseller, he is an expert on selling products on Amazon and eBay, welcome to the show Cody.
Cody Hawk: Thanks for having me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: It’s a pleasure to have you. So from construction to Internet marketing, why and how?
Cody Hawk: Well I started off in construction, I guess I felt it was the path I needed to go down was actually a fifth generation carpenter. So it was kind of one of those things that was built in to me from a young age, always working with my hands, always building stuff and so I ended up as a carpenter, but quickly I built a construction business and quickly found out I wasn’t happy doing that, I love doing it but it wasn’t my passion, what I wanted to do with my life, so I went from that to building online businesses in my mid-20s.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the difference between active income, passive income and semi-passive income and was that the motive for you to do this transition?
Cody Hawk: One of the big things I wanted to have the ability to do was leverage my time. So with active income, I coach a lot of people, Internet marketers, resellers, people selling on Amazon, FBA. So active income is typically when you are actively out there pursuing income, most people are active in their jobs and then with semi-passive income, the great thing about some of the platforms I sell on like Amazon FBA for instance is I have the ability to buy products and utilize their distribution center and their fulfillment center and so I’ve got to put in a little work but once I build up my inventory, my inventory is semi-passive and then of course with passive income, typically websites, things of that nature you have the ability to build something up, put a lot of work into something. Once you’ve built it up then you pretty much just up maintenance so it semi-passive. I’ve kind of built multiple income streams and multiple areas.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Like what?
Cody Hawk: Well I do a lot of stuff like you said with Amazon FBA so I have multiple e-commerce platforms I sell on. I’m a business coach, I work with a lot of people and I’ve also built several different websites, so I have the ability to churn out income on a consistent basis based on when people utilize these websites. So I sell everything from Kindle books, e-books, Digital Products and physical products.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Which one work for you the most, niche sites or selling physical products on eBay or Amazon?
Cody Hawk: Which one is my biggest portion of my income?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Yes and which ones you like more, disadvantages and advantages for each one of them?
Cody Hawk: I think the one I probably like the most is coaching, I love to work with people, I love to help people. The advantage of that is to be able to help people’s business grow, of course the disadvantage is it’s the most hands-on so it takes of the most of your physical time. With building websites and even e-commerce platforms like Amazon FBA, I love doing it because it allows you to leverage your time, so literally as I’m doing this interview I’m actually making money, people are buying products or going on my different websites, buying products from my Amazon FBA store so it gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to making money. And you have the ability to put in the time once and potentially make money over and over which has always been efficient when trying to maximize your time.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How to build a niche website, what are niche websites and give us some examples of it.
Cody Hawk: Well niche websites basically are a website built on a specific topic, so for example one of my hobbies is flyfishing so let’s say you decide to build the website on flyfishing, you can actually produce content on that subject, get a domain, set a posting which is real simple to do nowadays and then you can actually produce content on that topic, drive traffic to your website, many different ways through paid marketing or social media marketing organically you can grow that site and you can also monetize that site so there’s many ways to monetize sites whether it be Amazon associate, Google AdSense, physical products, even click bank and other marketing offers. You can put Digital Products on it. It really opens a lot of doors for somebody who has skills or they have a lot of knowledge on a specific topic, but maybe trying to figure out how to make money with that topic. This is a great way to be able to do that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How long does it take with this crowded environments of the Internet marketing and websites, how long does it take for a niche website managed by one person to take off?
Cody Hawk: I always recommend people to give at minimum six months, the biggest problem people have is they give up too soon. They don’t have the instant gratification so they quit. The key is the content, if you produce quality content like for myself I produce a lot of YouTube videos and other content blog posts and a lot of that stuff didn’t really make the money in the beginning but the key is to continuously do it. I would recommend to somebody who’s looking to get into niche websites or anything like that to give it that minimum six months and assume you’re going to make nothing. If you do, that’s a bonus but you really want to gain that authority and become someone who’s known on that topic and let money come second. That’s a big mistake a lot of people make, you want to bring your passion to the table, your knowledge, your skills and then the money will come after that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: When did you start the reselling adventure, when did you discover that?
Cody Hawk: I discovered that, I was actually still working at the time I discovered that about five years ago. And I started going to auctions, I really love going to auctions, I really loved finding all these collectibles, antiques, vintage stuff. My wife got involved, we had a lot of fun doing it. It was kind of a hobby, something to do once in a while, we got some really cool auctions in my area so I started going to those and I realized quickly that you can go to platforms like eBay and even Amazon and you can resell some of the stuff and I was buying stuff for just a couple of dollars and reselling it for 20 bucks, 40 bucks. Something kind of click that there really is something here when it comes to e-commerce online.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you started with physical off-line auctions and then you buy stuff and you sell it online?
Cody Hawk: Yeah that’s where I started with eBay.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So what’s the difference between Amazon and eBay and which one do you prefer?
Cody Hawk: I prefer Amazon FBA because it gives you more like I said semi-passive income opportunity. EBay is a very hands-on platform, you buy the product, you list the products, when it sells you’ve got to ship it. With Amazon FBA the great thing about it is you have to go out and source the product but once you’ve done that, you send it to them and they take care of all the shipping, all the customer service, they pretty much take care of all that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you mean there is no shipping involved?
Cody Hawk: Well there is, you have to actually physically ship it. With Amazon they do all that for you, with eBay when a product sells – I’ve had storage sheds and things like that full of eBay products and so when they sell, I’ve got to pick the products every morning, bring them to my office and package them and ship them out. With Amazon, you send them big boxes of all your different products and then when they sell Amazon takes care of all the shipping.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you have to send it in advance or they collect after they sell from you and then they ship it?
Cody Hawk: You send it in advance. So currently I’ve got over 7000 items in Amazon warehouses around the United States. You send it in advance, so my products are sitting on different Amazon warehouses and when they sell Amazon will just ship them out just like if they ship out any of the other products.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And how does the process work like they check your item, it has to be new or used and usually they listed online after they receive the item from you or how does it work?
Cody Hawk: Typically how it works is you buy the product, you’ve got to listed in your inventory so you need to listed in your inventory and then you will ship it to the Amazon warehouses, so you list everything in your inventory, package it up, ship it to whatever warehouse…
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Sorry to cut you off, listed in your inventory means like listed on your account on Amazon, where do you listed on your inventory and how do you ship it to them?
Cody Hawk: You have an account on Amazon to be able to sell, so it’s a professional seller’s account and you listed in there, so basically the process is I have a barcode scanner, you literally scan the barcode into the system, you put in what the product is, the description and everything like that, a lot of products are already in there or you can create your listing, once you get the product into your inventory then Amazon tells you what warehouse they want you to send it to. You put a label on each one of your products, you put them in a box, I typically ship them UPS here in the United States, it’s a very popular carrier, UPS has a partner rate where you ship as low as $.50 a pound so it’s a really good deal and basically you fill your boxes and you ship them out to Amazon. Once Amazon gets them then your listing goes active and it’s for sale on Amazon’s website.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You pay for UPS?
Cody Hawk: Yes. But it’s very affordable.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the difference, what is Amazon FBA, you mentioned Amazon FBA a lot, what’s the difference between Amazon FBA and Amazon Associates?
Cody Hawk: Amazon FBA, they are actually your products. Whenever somebody goes to Amazon.com and buy something prime, a lot of times those are third-party sellers like myself. With Amazon associate, it’s the same thing, it’s actually Amazon products and I got websites with Amazon associate products on them but the great thing about Amazon associate program is it gives you a commission based on any products you sell. For example somebody could set up a website, put a whole bunch of different products let’s say in the sporting goods niche, they can go on Amazon, pick all these different products from sporting goods, list them on Amazon associate site, when people buy those they get a commission. So the associate program allows you to make a commission off any product on Amazon. The FBA program they are actually your physical products that you purchase and sent to the warehouses.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And you can make through Amazon Associates a commission from your FBA products or cannot?
Cody Hawk: I would recommend doing that, they frown on that you don’t want to double up, you want to keep them separate. For associate I recommend using other people’s products and for FBA, your products.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: For people starting in Amazon FBA, what is the requirement and how should they expect – when should they expect to make money and how much within a year?
Cody Hawk: Well, the opportunities really are really big right now with the growth of e-commerce, so all you need to get started is a pro-seller account, what I recommend and that’s 39.99 a month, basically $40 a month and from there, as far as tools and everything, Amazon has a free app called the Amazon seller app which you can download to any android or iOS phone and you can actually go out and scan products. From there you need to decide what type of product, so you literally can go to retail stores like Walmart, target, scan products, find an imbalance in the market and you can buy products that way. Personally I buy a lot of stuff wholesale, and do a lot of private label product creation. So there’s a lot of different opportunities. People will even go to thrift stores and find products, it really opens up a lot of doors for Amazon FBA. And as far as how much you can make it really depends on how much inventory and how quickly you push. So like I said I coach a lot of people and I’ve had a lot of clients get to the point where they are having $10-$20,000 in sales within their first six months. So sales typically you can look at profit margins being about a third. How it works in Amazon is on average you want to sell something that three times your money. So for a quick example if you buy a product for five dollars you want to be able to sell it for at least 15. So with that being said if you are doing let’s say 15,000 in sales, you’re going to be making at least 5000 and profit. That’s the bay strategy I also teach people how to get their profit margins higher, but realistically you can scale it up pretty quick.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How much is Amazon making of that?
Cody Hawk: Well Amazon is typically a third, so the way you want to look at it, if you’ve got five dollars into a product you get your five dollars back, you make about five dollars in profit and then Amazon gets about five dollars. Their fees are based on they’ve got roughly a four dollar base fee so that’s why I recommend people selling products of five dollars or more, I don’t recommend a lot of five, six, seven, eight dollar products because you won’t make a lot of profit. But their base fee is roughly 4 dollars. So if you look at that plus their commission, typically their fees run right around the third and then depending on how much you have in your product is going to depend on how much profit. So on the low side I always tell people three times your money, five dollars profit gets you five bucks back and then Amazon gets five, so break it in three equal parts.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If you are selling a certain product, let’s say a pen, based on the barcode Amazon will match it with other pens on the same on their site? How does it work, do you have to study the market, how much is this item selling for on Amazon before you said your price, how does it usually work?
Cody Hawk: For me personally I do a lot of market research on different categories that I sell a lot of products in. But if you based on the barcode were to scan something and it’s already in the catalog, there could be one person selling it or there could be hundreds of people selling it depending on the type of product. So what you’re going to want to do a study the market and make sure there’s enough potential profit for that product. And so for each individual product there’s a lot of openings and a lot of potential in e-commerce right now but for each individual product you’re going to want to make sure that you can buy the product for X amount and there’s enough meat on the bone for you to make a profit. Some products there are, some products there or not.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the difference between Amazon seller account versus pro-seller account versus merchant?
Cody Hawk: Okay so with a pro-seller account like I was saying you spend 39.99 a month and you can list unlimited basically, so that 39 gives you unlimited sales capacity and I think you start out with roughly 5000, you can list 5000 items and once you hit that point you can actually have it extended. A merchant fulfilled is someone who lists on Amazon but like eBay when the product sells you actually ship it out. A lot of people who buy a product listed merchant fulfilled and when it sells you can ship it directly to the customer. And then a regular Amazon FBA account cost you one dollar per item to list, so if you are brand-new that’s an option, but if you’re going to list more than 40 items I always recommend people get a professional account because then it doesn’t cost, it’s just a $40 a month flat fee.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How to create the Amazon FBA, these are the different three accounts for the Amazon FBA?
Cody Hawk: Yeah, for Amazon seller accounts these are the three options.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And usually like which products do you prefer or do you recommend for people that you coach to sell on Amazon?
Cody Hawk: Well sometimes it depends on the time of the year because of the products too good at different times of the year but products that I would call Evergreen you could do good year-round are things people need on a consistent basis, so I sell everything from health and beauty products to fitness products and sporting goods, I saw a lot of toys, small electronics and I sell a lot of organizational items, so a lot of products that people use in their home for organizational stuff and even green energy, I’ve done energy-efficient light bulbs, solar power products, there’s really a lot of opportunities in all of these different categories right now.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And how big usually is your inventory, how long do you keep the item, because at the end of the day you will manage again a company that you need to manage the inventory, how much you keep, how much you buy, how things are going on and how many people are helping you?
Cody Hawk: So I actually utilize virtual assistance typically and we’ve got an inventory right now of just over 7000 products for Amazon. And I primarily utilize virtual assistance to help me, we run our business as a family business so myself and my wife upset a lot and then we’re actually just bringing on our first employee, we moved into a commercial building recently and we’re bringing on our first employee in the month of March. And so as far as managing it, Amazon does have what’s called long-term storage fees and the reason they have this primarily they don’t want you just to drop off a bunch of stuff, hope it sells but make them deal with it in them liable for it. So how it works is they implement what’s called long-term storage fees every six months. Now the Amazon system has what’s called a seller rank, so they’ve got a numeric ranking system, each product has a number attached to it. This is also something the new sellers learn about the sales rank when they are first getting started, it’s kind of a guide on how frequently the product sells and whether or not you even want to buy this product. So based on that we set our inventory up where we turn most of our products every 30 to 90 days is our goal and then after 90 days, we put our products automatically on sale, so we pretty much blow them out and that way we aren’t dealing with them long-term.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Can people outside the US utilize Amazon and still said products on Amazon?
Cody Hawk: Absolutely. I’ve even worked with clients in Australia, the United Kingdom, a lot of different places and there’s a lot of people outside the US. Amazon is always growing, they are one of the largest websites in the world and I think they are number six right now. They are always expanding their market so they are in a lot of countries right now.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So even if there is no Amazon in these countries let’s say you are selling from somewhere in Africa for Amazon in the US, but the problem is I think the shipping cost will be more to ship the items, right?
Cody Hawk: Yeah, that’s the one issue is you’ve got to really watch the shipping costs. There is one way around that, Amazon will actually label each one of your products for $.20 an item, so one option that you do have is you can potentially buy from a certain manufacturer, so I buy from different companies all around the United States and China in different places, you can buy from the manufacturer, have it directly ship to Amazon, or there are also third-party fulfillment centers were let’s say you’re in Africa, you can ship directly to, I’ve got a few clients were set up systems where they actually are in foreign countries that don’t have a lot of shipping options, so they ship from the manufacturer to a fulfillment center or to Amazon and they kind of outsource the processing listing labeling work and that way they are still able to gain the benefits of Amazon and in their case it’s pretty much a very semi-passive income, they never even see the products but they still have the benefits of using Amazon’s platform.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is retail arbitrage and why do you buy products at night?
Cody Hawk: Retail arbitrage is the – basically you can go to big box stores, Walmart and target and Rite Aid and all these different big-box stores and you can buy products. Now the reason it so effective is because different parts of the country in different parts of the world, there is an imbalance in price, the exact same product is going to cost more in New York, less in my area, a totally different price in San Francisco. So having these fluctuations in the market allows you to be able to actually buy products at retail stores and turn around and sell them on Amazon. It’s a very profitable way to earn an income. It’s actually something I did a lot of when I was first getting going on Amazon and I still utilize this practice today. The reason I buy at night, I’ve actually gained a lot of relationships with some of the stores and I learned that if you treat their workers like people to, they are just $10 an hour workers, their people trying to earn a living and support their family, so I go there at night when all the managers and big bosses are gone and at night it’s typically when they get all of their products so when they get their product in, here in the states and a lot of other places stores are open 24 hours nowadays. So I go between 10 PM and two or 3 AM when they are getting all of these new products in, just putting them on the shelf, when they are putting all the other products on clearance and I basically have first dibs. Working for myself I have the flexibility to sleep when I want or work when I want so having that I’ll bring these guys some coffee and some donuts and I’ll talk to them, what are you getting in, what products, they tell me what they’ve got coming in, they give me a heads up and by going at night they just put the stuff on the shelf so when they have new stuff coming out I can get it on Amazon quicker than a lot of people because I’m at these products first. So it’s really a great strategy to be able to use.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: The concept looks like in terms of leverage, it’s crazy that you can scale it to a huge company, so why did it take you five years so far and now you are hiring your first employee off-line, why didn’t you leverage it into a bigger company with employees, you understand the process, some people do the purchasing, some people do the listing, some people do the labeling, what was your obstacles to implement that?
Cody Hawk: Well my biggest obstacles to implement that is I haven’t really gone full bore on Amazon because I’ve built multiple little niche companies along the way and I think that it’s an amazing opportunity, but the one thing is you can actually grow this thing pretty large without employees which is kind of nice, but also I used to run a big consulting company with over 100 employees so I’ve always tried to stay as lean as possible. I’ve seen all the corporate waste and all of the extra people and making this company made $600 million to make 50 at the year, so a lot of this waste I really want to run as lean as possible, I’m a big fan of running a lean company. So I actually do have four virtual assistants that help me out a lot with a lot of these different tasks which allowed me to scale fairly decent size, but I think that’s my overall mission, to only have two or three employees be able to treat them very well and give them a very high paying job for the local market, it might be $12, maybe I can pay them 20, but focus my time on a couple select people and help grow up there. So you can actually scale this out with maybe a couple employees or even some virtual assistants or if you decided to build a giant company around that’s an option as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Can you take us through the five years of income and net profit and you can skip this question if you want.
Cody Hawk: Well when I first started I actually had a job, so it was kind of a side business, so the first year I was making money on the side, I don’t know all the numbers off hand for the last five years, I can say the exact numbers but I will say it only took me 2 ½ years to get to the point where I was making be on six figures and now it’s to the point where I’m doing really really good, my income goal for this year is 500,000 in profit, that’s my goal for profit and I’ve got a good chance of hitting that. So realistically for somebody who’s out there looking to scale something up or somebody out there looking for an opportunity the ability to grow something like this into a six-figure business is a realistic option if they put in the work. This is a business that takes work, whether it be niche websites, Amazon FBA or any of the things I’m talking about, but if you put in the work you have the ability to make a very good income within a reasonable amount of time.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How many professional resellers on Amazon now, not the people like just selling products from home or the professionals, resellers like yourself. I don’t see this market is so crowded that comparing with let’s say the Internet marketing.
Cody Hawk: Exactly Amazon I don’t know how many are just like myself but Amazon says there’s roughly 2 million people selling on FBA or on Amazon. The thing about that is there’s only a small percentage of the 2 million who are actually treating it as a full-time business or making a reasonable amount of money. So the people who are actually implementing the type of practices that I am, I would wager that it’s a fraction, maybe 5% of that tops. It’s a very new market and a new opportunity.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you recommend selling used products or new products and usually do you send them the pictures and they take pictures and put it on the site, how does it work?
Cody Hawk: So if a product is already on Amazon, you can do what’s called piggybacking, you can actually use the listing that’s already there and just add your product, add the description if there’s any damage or tears or anywhere on the box per se, you can add that into the description. If the product is not there and you’ll need to create the entire listing and you’ll need to provide at least one picture, so you’ll have to provide that and they want you to actually take the picture, they don’t want you to use any stock photos or anything like that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: For your four virtual assistants what are you outsourcing to them in the process mainly?
Cody Hawk: So they do a few different things, the first thing we do is a lot of online research, so I do a lot of sourcing online, capitalize the power of wholesalers, do a lot of private label, so with them they do a lot of research, they do a lot of logistics so I have brought us coming from China and other countries on a consistent basis so they help me with that, they also help me with some of the listing, so when I do large, let’s say I buy 50 of an item or 200 or 500 of an item, they can help me create those listings, get everything set up and they can also manage some of the logistics, whether it be products I have sent to my office here or if I want them sent directly to another location, so they help me with a lot of that, I’ve also had virtual assistants to listing on eBay for me and I’ve had virtual assistants help me with my marketing business as well. They could really, even from most of my virtual assistants are typically in the Philippines but even from down there they can help you with a big portion of this business.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you don’t use anyone in the US that you pay them to buy for your products or go to the retailers, you do the purchasing mainly, but they just do the listing and the other stuff?
Cody Hawk: Yeah, I guess I’m pretty hands-on and that, you always think handling the money and stuff you want to be the one doing it. I’m pretty hands-on and that side when it comes to sourcing the products but the great thing about them, they come to me with 20 or 30 really strong options, they’ve done a lot of research, they know the numbers they know the market, they can present me with all the documents and then I can decide if I want to buy this product or if I want to buy 100 of it or if I want to buy 600 of it, so it really cuts out a lot of the time. I’m basically just making the final decisions and a lot of the stuff.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is Kindle publishing and how’s it work?
Cody Hawk: Kindle publishing is a great option whether you’re a big known author or you’re somebody who’s trying to make little niche books, so primarily with Kindle publishing what I do is just like with I was talking about niche websites, we create a lot of niche books on different topics, so whether it be get out of debt, whether it be trying to get more views on YouTube, it really could be anything, again it could be a hobby you have, you can really solve a pain point for somebody, so a lot of people if you’ve got a guide or a manual or if you’ve got an issue and you’ve got a quick little guide or manual that can help you get the answers you’re looking for it’s pretty valuable. So Kindle publishing creating their platform again utilizing the power of Amazon and the fact that they have hundreds of millions of visitors on their website, you can actually put out these different books and earn an income from it. Typically we sell the books or 299 which is the standard price and out of that 2.99 you get about two dollars.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You focus only on Amazon or you put it in smash words, other places?
Cody Hawk: Primarily a focus on Amazon, but I also use these books on other websites as well, so we’ll put them on different websites and different programs that we are creating as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You publish directly on Amazon or you use ACX service for distribution?
Cody Hawk: We publish directly on Amazon, directly on Amazon Kindle so when somebody goes to the Amazon website they can find our books to search.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is project reseller?
Cody Hawk: Project reseller was originally going to be a platform for resellers and it kind of took the idea, I’ve been building the site behind the scenes, there’s a site there now but it’s just kind of a holding place. I wanted to make a place where I can organize content for people who are just getting started. I get hundreds and hundreds of emails every single week from people from my YouTube channel to my different websites, trying to get started in businesses and reseller is definitely a popular one. Project reseller is ultimately going to be a place for resellers to be able to come and get step-by-step information when they are first getting started, but recently I’ve also merged with a group called the green room so we’re building out something similar, I’ve merged with four other really popular resellers on YouTube like myself and we’re kind of merging our efforts together as well. That’s kind of my goal to be able to help as many people as possible. I have a firm belief that in 2015, there is no reason to have a job unless you want to have a specific job.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is mobile click code course?
Cody Hawk: Mobile click code was actually a cool concept, it’s still in beta and it’s going to the final version in the beginning of March but what I wanted to do was create a course that could walk people step-by-step through building an email list which is one of the most important assets of any business in my opinion, your direct connection to your subscribers or audience. So how to build an email list, a responsive one, how to cater to that list and provide value and not just be a one-sided relationship like a lot of Internet marketers. And then how to build up the affiliate site, how to build up whether you want to build an Amazon store or whether you want to build a niche website, it really walks you through the actual process and the cool thing about it is my subscriber base helped me build that course, so I put it in beta and I launched it back in November. It’s two versions, the second version is coming out in the beginning of March and the cool thing about it is I built the first site, I built the second site and then I asked everyone what do you want? It’s not just what I think they want, it’s what they actually want and I got a consensus from the hundreds of people who bought it, I think we sold roughly 350 to 400, we’ve sold 350 to 400 times in beta and I haven’t even sold that well, I just put it out there and my core audience, I wanted to see exactly what they wanted. So with the course I put all this detailed information for them and walk them through all these different videos but from there I also put everything in there that they wanted as beginners. So it’s really a cool little course.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do you launch products and promote them efficiently online?
Cody Hawk: The best way is an email list in my opinion, and I’ve built an email list of well over 60,000 people over the last five years, and again it’s an active list. Out of those 60,000 people there’s probably been a couple hundred thousand people and people come and go and everybody knows with email marketing that active responsive lists are very important because you pay for those people to be on that list through your monthly subscription. Email marketing is very valuable because it’s a very direct connection, and then from there I do a lot of video marketing, I provide a lot of content through YouTube videos and I’ve got a strong connection with my audience through that I answer a lot of questions, I answer 90+ percent of my comments, I answer a huge portion of my emails personally to make sure they’re getting the answers they need. So really I think the best way to launch any product nowadays is to have a connection with the audience and a lot of people get confused and think you need to have millions and millions of people. Really you need to have the right people in the core people, I’m a big believer in an article written by a guy named Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kelly wrote 1000 true fans, anybody who googles it can read that. I’m a big believer in that concept, 1000 true fans are your core audience, so I market primarily through email marketing and YouTube.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you think – don’t you think like the creating products online and this endless process of creating new products and new products because of the digital world is changing, don’t you think it’s against the passive income model?
Cody Hawk: To a certain degree, but that’s why I created mobile click code because I’ve done a lot of online products over the years and they come and go. I found that statement that you just made very very true, so I wanted to make something like mobile click code that was a little bit more evergreen, something that could last several years. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with a course like this, so that it can be passive and it can be something that you can work on. Also in building and other course that is just about finalize, it’s actually a Kindle course with a partner of mine and with that course we’re actually building to where it updates every month. So it’s continued education, I think that’s a good way – yes there is some work that is put in play, but it’s very valuable because people are drawn to something that grows with them and expands with them. So I think as opposed to throwing out the same old stale information and hoping it sells for five years when it typically doesn’t, if you make something that grows with the audience and grows with the market that’s a potential way, only making a few videos a month you can set these processes up to where it’s still pretty passive.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s your views on SEO off page and on page, does it work is it working now, with all these changes the Google?
Cody Hawk: It works, it doesn’t work as good as it once did. When I first got started of Internet marketing in 2008 I was very public, in 2008 and 2009 I failed miserably. I tried to do all the different SEO tricks and all that stuff and it worked a lot better than for other people, clearly not myself. It works now but I think being an authoritative figure really putting out quality content is above any SEO, I think it will always triumph any of that than people trying to put stuff out and then trying to do little SCO stuff. Keywords really are very important so if you’re going to do anything, having good quality keywords would be very important and then putting out consistent content and becoming known for whatever type of content or type of products you’re putting out is probably the most important.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do you manage your time and stay productive and motivated?
Cody Hawk: I’ve got a lot of inner motivation, I love what I do. I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a kid, I used to sell lemonade and mow lawns and do all this different things, I’m always a very motivated person. Managing time is tough because I’ve got two small daughters, my third kid, my first son is due in April. Three kids, a wife, a business and a life. I’m very schedule oriented, I’m one of those people who schedule things out, plan things out, I’ve actually got a whole planning station here in my office where I plan everything out and I’m always a couple of months ahead and I’m one of those people who can stick to what I decide and say I’m going to do, but for me I live by my Google calendar and my schedules.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Best Amazon plug-ins for WordPress?
Cody Hawk: Best Amazon plug-ins? Well there’s several different plug-ins that will allow you to create associate websites but I would watch a lot of the plug-ins, I would recommend just buying an actual associate beam, so if you’re going to do an Amazon website or like an affiliate site where you can utilize Amazon associate I would actually buy a theme that matches your niche before plug-in. With plug-ins you want to have SEO plug-ins like you want to have…
Ahmed Al Kiremli: I mean Amazon specifically, Amazon plug-ins like plug-ins that help you sell products through Amazon or through audible.
Cody Hawk: Personally I don’t use any, I use no Amazon plug-ins because I drive traffic directly for these nations, I don’t rely on any plug-ins.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And traffic, do you use PPC when you launch a certain niche site, what do you do mainly?
Cody Hawk: I use pay per click campaigns. There are several different sites that I use, whether it be Facebook, Google ad words, there’s a lot of smaller ones like at fly and seven surge and a lot of really good PPC campaigns that target that niche. I am very niche oriented so if it’s fishing or workout stuff or if it’s products for reselling, for project reseller is actually somewhat of a niche site because I’ve got a whole list of the products I utilize and I drive traffic to that and when people buy those I get a commission. So I drive traffic based on each individual niche.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Any other projects that you are currently working on or for the future? But you can share with us?
Cody Hawk: I’m working on a couple different things, I’m actually building on my main website, freelancewrangler.com, I’m building – I call it the freelance Wrangler school. I’m actually taking people through the process, I felt like a Guild membership site where I take people through the process of creating the product. Creating their own products, I recently got into 3-D printing so I bought some 3-D printers and things like that and I’m doing a lot of mockups in product creation, so on freelance Wrangler I’m going to be taking people through the process of how to private label and create their own products to be able to sell on their own website or platforms like Amazon FBA and then another project like I was saying the green room, we run a Facebook group me and three other people called the green room and we are building that into an interactive website and a community for resellers as well. A couple really exciting projects coming up.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How much does your course cost and how much do you charge for consulting per hour?
Cody Hawk: So for the courses, mobile click code is currently 97 and the Kindle business Academy which is coming out, that one is going to be 97 as well and then we’ve got a monthly community and a bunch of other monthly stuff that we are updating, so it’s got a monthly program that’s 27 as well if somebody chooses to. For coaching I’ve actually been running a really good deal for my reselling clients, I was doing to 97 for an 8 week program where I lay out the program for them and I help them jumpstart their business. Like I said I’ve had a lot of people hit sales numbers of 10, 20 and way higher numbers but I don’t want to oversell the process. I’ve had a lot of people hit 10 or 20,000 or beyond on that. Then with marketing I run several marketing groups, I run a couple mastermind groups and Internet marketing. So really based on – I usually prefer to do programs as opposed to per hour because I find that if I can help them with accountability they might actually take action. I used to do a lot of hourly coaching but I’d follow up with people and I would find out that they didn’t take the advice or things like that. So I like to build a package for somebody and help them actually walk through their goals as opposed to just giving them a bunch of information and it’s on them. I’d rather have that long-term relationship with a client or a person than try to charge them a bunch of money for a couple hours of my time and never see them again.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But is there like a package for this long-term membership like let’s say mastermind, is there an open mastermind that you accept students and now? Or like experts?
Cody Hawk: There is, it’s coming back up in May. We do it a couple times a year and I announce it on freelancewrangler.com. Me and a couple of other Internet marketers run this usually 2 to 3 times per year and we open it up and bring some people in. It will be announced in May on freelance wrangler.com.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is your daily routine when you wake up in the morning until you sleep?
Cody Hawk: My first hour is very important to me because I get a little bit of time without kids. The benefit of my life is I get my kids all the time because I’ve actually built an area out of my office where they have flat screens and coloring and all that stuff. My first hour is very important and typically I like to read, I read a lot of business books, I like to drink my tea. Whatever it is about tea, it just calms me down and then I typically will meditate for about 10 minutes to get in the right state of mind and I’ve been doing that for a while now and it’s really helping. From there one of my big hobbies is martial arts so I go to the gym or of that a few people here in the local Spokane area where I practice martial arts with as well. So I tried to get those done right in the morning so I can get the blood flowing, get a lot of energy, be ready to go.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What time?
Cody Hawk: Typically I wake up between five and seven, depends what time I went to bed. I’m a night owl so I might go to bed between midnight and two or three in the morning. I don’t sleep a lot but I get a lot of good quality sleep. If I need a nap in the afternoon I have the ability to do that as well. Once I do that I come into the office and like I said depending on if I’m working with clients or working on websites, I can be working on 1 million different projects. Typically my daily routine is when I get home I take my daughters to school, drop them off, come to the office, myself and my wife both work in our office so I have my office here, hers is down the hall. Then we just start on our projects and typically because what we love what we do, we find we spend a lot of time here so we built up the environment and I’m a big believer environment is very important. Everything from I’ve got a little putting green right over here, a little golf putting thing, I have punching bags over there. I really set up my office to be a place that I want to be and I find your surroundings are very important that’s one of the big downfalls in the corporate world, your surroundings. I’m there we work, we pick up our daughters in the afternoon and come back and work until five, six, seven, eight, nine in the evening. Depends what we’re working on and then in the evening I typically wind down, do stuff with my daughters, we go out and get ice cream or go to the park, do whatever we end up doing and then I call it a day and do it again the next day.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the must use software so you cannot live without that make you more efficient?
Cody Hawk: I do a lot of stuff with Google drive because we do a lot of filesharing. We actually built in a CRM, there’s a lot of good programs like Trullo and things like that, but we actually use sugar CRM, so we built that in, so we actually can manage all of our different projects with myself and my wife and virtual assistants. We use slack.com for communicating, that works really well. Of course Skype because I talked to a lot of clients, Skype is important. And I am pretty much a minimalist when it comes to this stuff because I don’t believe in overcrowding, but I use a lot of the simple stuff that most other people do. And then on my phone the Amazon seller app that I was saying, that’s a free scanning app. Anyone getting to Amazon, the Amazon seller app is a phenomenal app to use as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three mentors?
Cody Hawk: Top three mentors? Well they don’t know it but the top three mentors would probably be Tim Ferris, his book 4 hour work week literally change my life, went from somebody who had a reasonably successful construction company in my early 20s to somebody who does what I love to do now and have a lot of passive income in different opportunities and I owe a lot of that to the four hour work week. So Tim Ferris, probably I would have to say James Altecher, his podcast has really brought a lot of light on a lot of amazing stuff. I love his writing and his podcast, things of that nature and then Gary Vanderchuck is somebody I recently in 2015 have been structuring my business, I’m building up my media company right now and I study a lot of Gary vendor check because I love what he’s been able to accomplish and a lot of things that he’s done. So those are three people I really look up to.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If you are starting again today with like hundred dollars or $2000 would you start with reselling products or with a niche website or blog?
Cody Hawk: Well if I had $1000 I could do both. If I was starting with $100 I would probably start with reselling on Amazon FBA because it would probably give you the quickest results because you already have all of the traffic, all of those eyeballs so your big goal would be to buy products that would sell quickly and start building a snowball of sourcing fun. Amazon FBA would probably be quicker but for long-term I’m a firm believer in having your own website or platform because that’s something you own and is yours. If I had $1000 and I was just starting I would do both, I would probably split 500 500 on the middle. If I only had $100 or even $20 I would start with Amazon FBA and grow that up and go from there.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You didn’t get an offer from let’s say some retailers to open their inventory to you and they tell you sell it for us without charging you anything and just giving you a commission?
Cody Hawk: If that happened what would I do?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: No one has done that to you?
Cody Hawk: Oh, I’ve had people come to me with specific product so I’ve had people say I’ve got this product, can you bring it to market for me? Or work out a deal. I’ve had a lot of that. My big thing is quality products, you’ve got to have something that will actually sell. If you create a product of course you’re going to think it’s amazing but you have to understand the market and what actually sells and what does well. So if somebody came to me with a deal like that and it’s happened many many times. Typically I start with market research but some have worked out well. I’ve done that a few times.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Have you created your brand and some products that you rented in China or somewhere like you ask the manufacturer to put your name and it or you just sell products that have been there before or brands?
Cody Hawk: Actually I’ve finally started doing that, I’ve made several brands, rented several products but I wanted to bring them all together, so I’m currently working on a website called beast mode business.com and it’s going to go live early this spring after my son is born but I’m actually building it on my YouTube channel, I’ve done six or seven videos so far and I’m showing people the whole process of how to build a niche website and how to build an e-commerce website, I’m showing them exactly what I do on this process and I’m going to make all my branded products public this spring. I’m actually in the process of doing that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: 3 most important factors for success in three words?
Cody Hawk: 3 most important… Consistency, consistency sums up pretty much everything, that’s probably the most important factor to my success. Going to a high school dropout to successful, consistency is everything.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the biggest failure moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
Cody Hawk: The biggest failure moment in my life, a couple of years ago I was building some software, the software program and it was kind of a scraper program for leads and I went into something in the dark with people I should not have gone into it with. I lost a fair amount of money doing it, but what I learned from it was you can’t do all things. My biggest downfall, probably one of my biggest weaknesses is sometimes I can be overly hands-on and I certainly was in that project when I shouldn’t have been and it ended up costing me a couple relationships, for all intents and purposes, ultimately cost me a lot of money as well and I learned that sometimes you’ve got to let go and loosen up on the rains and put faith in other people as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three apps that you use on your smart phone?
Cody Hawk: Top three apps, the Amazon seller app would certainly be one, depends on what I’m doing, I would say YouTube, Amazon seller because being a YouTube Creator I use the YouTube studio app all the time, Amazon seller, I actually have to look here real quick. And probably get response, managing my email lists, those would be the top three.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do you change your mood when you are depressed?
Cody Hawk: I go and spend – that happens a fair amount, I go and spend time with my two daughters, four and seven, they will cheer you up really quick.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is the best advice that you have ever received.
Cody Hawk: Best advice I’ve ever received, I talked about it a few minutes ago was going into something for the love of it with passion, with everything you’ve got and if you do that and you have – you want to help people create something that can help people and you love what you do, you’re passionate about what you do then things will come full circle for you and don’t expect instant gratification or immediate results. A couple people I work with talked to me about that when I was first getting going because I got real frustrated, I would try something, walk away from it and give up on it. I found from doing that, it changes everything.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If you have the chance to advise your younger self what would you advise you yourself?
Cody Hawk: To slow down. To not think that you have to conquer the whole world or be perfect in your early 20s, to tell myself to take each day for what it is and to be happy with what you got in that moment and not always be planning where you’ll be at 30, 35, 40. But to live each day for what it is.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What is your favorite quote?
Cody Hawk: My favorite quote is probably – I might butcher it sadly, if you can fail at what you don’t want to do, you might as well take a chance that what you love to do. I heard Jim Carrey actually say that in a commencement speech at a big college and that resonated with me. I’ve heard that quote a few times but it really resonates with me, a lot of people thought I was crazy for quitting a really good job to start some online businesses but quotes like that really resonate, why would I have a job, when I could lose his job, even though it’s a good job and pays a lot of money, I could fail at this. So why not strike out at what I love to do, what’s the worst that could happen?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three favorite books.
Cody Hawk: Again I’ve got to go to the four hour work week, recently, the lean startup, I really enjoy that, the lean startup. And a classic that really changed my life when I was younger would be rich dad, poor dad. That story and that concepts really resonated with me. Those to be three big ones, I love so many but those would be three that come to mind.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three people that you are inspired by?
Cody Hawk: Tony Robbins is very inspirational as a coach and a mentor to people, very inspirational. Tim Ferris inspires me in a lot of ways even though I don’t aspire to have a business like what he does, he inspires me in a lot of ways and somebody who inspires me more in the similar niches that I’m in, maybe not a reseller but with Internet marketing, just building content would be Pat Flynn from the smart passive income. He somebody that I’ve looked up to a lot, I’m actually creating a podcast that is finally coming out I’ve been working on it forever and he was one of my big inspirations, I think a lot of Pat Flynn as well.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you listen to any music when you work?
Cody Hawk: I’m primarily listening to podcasts but I do listen to some music once in a while.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What makes you really happy?
Cody Hawk: Spending time with my wife and kids.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Last question, how can people contact you?
Cody Hawk: The best way is freelancewrangler.com, they can contact me through there if you type in Cody Hawk through YouTube you’ll get a whole bunch of videos. I’m CodyHhawk on Facebook or codyhhawk on twitter.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thank you so much Cody for your time, and this valuable information I really appreciate it.
Cody Hawk: I appreciate you having me on.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thanks everyone, be efficient and stay efficient and see you soon with another leading expert.
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