Hollywood Actor, Director Finds Success on Amazon
Judson Morgan is a Los Angeles-based actor and director. He owns an company that creates movies and different visible content material. He’s additionally a profitable ecommerce entrepreneur — with a function.
He advised me, “I’ve zero curiosity in earning profits off of a random product. It’s simply not fascinating. I needed to construct an actual model that folks might resonate with.”
That model is Benevolence Los Angeles, an Amazon-focused reward boutique that donates a portion of every transaction to charity. He launched it in 2017. Quick ahead to 2021, and income from Benevolence, a second ecommerce model, and his company has grown to eight figures.
I not too long ago spoke with Morgan about promoting on Amazon, managing three corporations, influencer advertising and marketing, and extra.
Our complete audio dialog is embedded under. The transcript that follows is edited for size and readability.
Eric Bandholz: You might have two ecommerce manufacturers.
Plus, I’ve Butter. That’s my company. We began out doing narrative movies right here within the Los Angeles space. We then moved into creating content material similar to video, images, infographics — any visible stuff — for companies.
Bandholz: The 2 ecommerce manufacturers are totally on Amazon.
Morgan: Proper. However each have their very own Shopify retailer. It’s in all probability 4 % of whole income. You in all probability might convince me that I ought to deal with these websites extra.
Bandholz: When did you launch each manufacturers?
Morgan: I’ve a Masters of Wonderful Arts with expertise in Hollywood as a filmmaker, actor, and director. The artistic facet of constructing a model was what me. I’ve zero curiosity in earning profits off of a random product. It’s simply not fascinating. So I needed to construct an actual model that folks might resonate with.
In early 2017 or late 2016, I listened to Ryan Moran [the author and consultant] on a podcast speaking about Success by Amazon. I had by no means heard of it. I put up a check product, an iPhone case, and it offered like loopy on Amazon. The case was a facet venture to my company work. However gross sales took off. I assumed, “This can be a factor.”
So I created Benevolence in 2017. Each product is appropriate for a present. We donate to charity a portion of each buy. So we scaled from me being an actor and never realizing the enterprise to reaching eight figures in income within the final 12 months between all three of my corporations. We’ve got 12 folks on the ecommerce facet and 7 on the Butter crew.
Bandholz: What are these ecommerce people doing?
Morgan: I’ve one crew for each manufacturers. There are pluses and minuses to that. There’s a logistics particular person for every model and a logistics supervisor that manages these two. Working out of inventory has been a serious drawback for us. Then I’ve a chatbot advertising and marketing man. He’s a Minichat (video) knowledgeable.
There’s a customer support particular person. We’ve got three folks on our product well being crew. I made up that title. As soon as merchandise are launched, the product well being crew has the accountability of constructing certain gross sales develop. There’s a full-time photographer, a full-time retoucher, and a full-time graphic designer — all of them work on the three corporations.
After which I’ve a full-time accountant. We outsource pay-per-click advert administration. My company does some video work for the 2 ecommerce manufacturers.
Bandholz: The final visitor I had on this podcast who centered on Amazon stated the time for fast development on that platform has handed. Is there nonetheless a possibility there?
Morgan: It’s tougher, no query. However we launched a product 4 months in the past (going into This fall), and it went ballistic in a great way. A high-margin product. There wasn’t plenty of competitors. We bought all of the algorithm juice. Amazon beloved us, and we have been making tons of of gross sales per day.
Nevertheless, we’ve had many extra product failures than we used to. So it’s not simple. However neither is promoting on our personal web site.
Two or three years in the past, a vendor on Amazon might fumble round and make some cash — a lot of money. However that’s gone. You’ll be able to actually lose your hat. You must spend cash to rank on key phrases. Ninety-percent of gross sales occurs on web page one of many search outcomes. You must spend cash to get on that first web page. After which in case your product isn’t nice and doesn’t get critiques, you’re going to fail. So it’s undoubtedly not as simple because it was.
There’s one thing referred to as A+ content material that you may add to your Amazon web page. Plus, having an off-Amazon technique for driving site visitors is essential. We run Google and Fb adverts to our listings. We’ve got many chat flows. We’ve got exterior giveaways.
Bandholz: So there’s a bonus to ship site visitors to Amazon, realizing that folks belief Amazon and they’ll convert simpler.
Bandholz: How a lot funding does it take to launch a profitable product on Amazon? Say you’ve an incredible product thought. You need to promote on Amazon — ramping up with promoting, producing critiques and inserts, and issues like that. How a lot would that price to succeed in profitability?
Morgan: It depends upon the price of items. A product that prices $10 and sells for $40, that’s going to be costly to launch, maybe $10,000 to $15,000. However the upside is there.
You’ll be able to launch a product that prices $2 and sells for $3 for $5,000 and get an thought if it’s going to work. We’re getting higher at ditching the losers.
Bandholz: Let’s shift to Butter. What sort of work are you specializing in?
Morgan: We do higher-end content material. For Beardbrand, for instance, we might say you’re ripe for a viral video. So we might provide you with artistic ideas for you and shoot a full-on industrial with the intention that it’s going to go viral. We will’t assure that, however we hope it’s shared on Fb, YouTube, that kind of factor. It’s a industrial, however it’s humorous or wild, bizarre or loopy, or one thing that will get that shared.
Bandholz: Let’s circle again to Benevolence. You had a collaboration with Candace Cameron Bure, the actress. Stroll us by way of that course of.
Morgan: A good thing about residing in Los Angeles and being within the trade for a very long time — my spouse’s an actress and a star of a TV present — is that I do know many celebrities. Candace aligned with our model. I had directed her in a film. I reached out and stated, “You need to do that? We’ll break up the revenue out of your product line.”
One of many merchandise she designed for us did fairly properly. The opposite two have been okay. However we bought an enormous bump in our e-mail and social media subscribers from her clients. Her images are nonetheless on Pinterest. Two years later we’re nonetheless getting tons of juice from her being concerned.
The fitting celeb is essential for an influencer marketing campaign. We’ve executed plenty of those who didn’t work. However we obtained round 15,000 e-mail subscriptions in simply a few months of working together with her. Additionally, she bought us on The View. We offered out of the merchandise that we had on The View that day or the subsequent.
Bandholz: Is the connection indefinite? A protracted as you promote the merchandise, you break up the revenue 50-50?
Morgan: No, it was for a yr. We don’t pay after that. She just isn’t selling after that first yr, both. We will proceed utilizing her images and pictures. We’ve got a handshake deal.
However these preparations can get difficult. You get legal professionals and brokers concerned. I used to be fortunate that she was a pal, and we might do a handshake deal.
Have you ever executed influencer campaigns with Beardbrand?
Bandholz: We’re within the midst of 1 now. It’s just like your association with Candace. I’m a pal of a widely known musician. He’s a fan of Beardbrand. I’m like, “Let’s do a limited-edition customized perfume.” He’s stated, “All proper. I’m going to get my agent concerned.” The agent is used to massive manufacturers and massive contracts. We’re like, “We’re just a bit model right here in Austin with 15 staff. If it will get too difficult, it’s virtually not price it for us.” So we hope to do one thing cool that is smart for each events.
How can folks study extra about you and join?