Ep. #1203 - Navigating Life and Business Success
In today’s episode, Andrew Morgans and Liran Hirschkorn, CEO and Founder of Incrementum Digital, discuss navigating life and business success. Listen to these Amazon pros as they dive into the Amazon marketplace competition and CEO essentials for growth. Andrew and Liran unravel the present PPC scenario and the potential impact of Amazon Marketing Cloud. They also talk about the crucial role of networking in personal and business spheres.
Covered In This Episode
Working in the same space often imparts valuable insights that can change a person’s mindset. Incrementum Digital’s Liram Hirschkorn imparts some of these realizations in a conversation with Marknology’s Andrew Morgans.
Both Liram and Andrew have many years of working with Amazon sellers. They exchange their experiences dealing with competition and how aging changed their thinking. Navigating life often involves self-awareness and growth if you live long enough, making you a better leader.
Liram and Andrew discuss how self-composure, focus, connections, and networking are essential for life and business. They touch on what people should know about pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and the Amazon Marketing Cloud.
Amazon sellers deal with stiff competition, so they need all the marketing help they can get. Listen to these two experts discuss how to achieve business success on Amazon in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Rethinking competition in Amazon (1:49)
- How aging changed their mindset (3:18)
- The importance of being able to grow and being grateful (11:17)
- Self-awareness and growth (18:42)
- Self-composure and focus are big assets for leaders (19:54)
- Networking and connections are vital (22:31)
- Brand management is reputation management (24:47)
- Liran’s path to becoming an Amazon Pro (29:17)
- Attracting the right people to grow on Amazon (32:29)
- The importance of PPC and what should people should know about it (41:37)
- Troubleshooting (44:31)
- What Amazon Marketing Cloud will bring? (47:04)
- There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to PPC (48:40)
The first thing is PPC could be your friend. It could be your to be your enemy, you know. It’s extremely helpful when you launch new products to take advantage of this, you know, honeymoon period with Amazon, be aggressive, utilize advertising to rank your products organically, with, with advertising. I think the more granular you go in how you’re setting things up, like the keyword research and your setup, I think is critical.– Liran Hirschkom
When you have a problem in the business, you need to zoom out. You first need to go into the market, what’s happening in the market, what have been the trends. You have so much of that data now with product opportunities to explore, to see what’s happening 90 days, 180 days, and last year with a search on what’s happening in the niche. How many new competitors are there? You need to understand your competitors and their market share.– Liran Hirschkom
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong when it comes to PPC. Oftentimes there can be a better than, or get more juice out of it. But the only way to really know how to do it is to get in there and just obsess about it. You have to obsess about it. I think as two people who have been on the speaking circuit for PPC, one thing I will say is that when you start educating other people, you learn something in a whole different way.– Andrew Morgans
Success is not an accident for Full Scale’s clients. They hired the best developers, testers, and leaders and went through a seamless recruitment process through a proprietary platform. After defining your needs, the platform will automatically match you with all available resources for your project.
Do you need executive assistants? How about HR and payroll support? Our Startup Hustle partners have these solutions and more.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 0:01
What’s up Hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology. Here’s today’s host of Startup Hustle covering all things Ecom, Amazon, marketplaces, Walmart, Chewy. Today, we’re talking Amazon Ads. And the title is called Cracking the Code. I want to dig into just kind of what the state of the union is for ads right now on Amazon. What the best of the best are doing, how we’re navigating, you know, the downturn in the economy, paid media as a big part of being profitable as a brand. So I want to just really jump into, you know, Amazon Ads, I’ve got an absolute expert and pro here with me today before I make an intro. Today’s episode, of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Liran Hirschkorn, welcome to the show.
Liran Hirschkorn 0:53
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me on. amazing to see you here. We were together last night as well. So, we often see each other out around Amazon events. So it was good to last time we were together. I think it was Las Vegas at like two o’clock in the morning with a few other guys just hanging out in town.
Andrew Morgans 1:13
Having some real talk. Yeah, having some real talk.
Liran Hirschkorn 1:16
So yeah, great to be here. Thank you for inviting me on.
Andrew Morgans 1:19
Yeah, I love it. I love the podcast for the very, for the very reason of just being able to bring on other pros, other experts, and even competitors in some ways. I see us more as colleagues or allies in a lot of ways, you know, us against the big giants, you know, whenever you’re trying to build something. And the podcast is just a great way to bring to bring those conversations together, where it’s not salesy combo, it’s nothing like that. So, yeah, thank you so much for being on the show.
Liran Hirschkorn 1:49
You know, I’ll say something about, you know, competition, you know, like, there’s you and I collectively have, you know, point 00001% of the market, right? Even if we have, you know, hundreds of clients or less, there are thousands and thousands of great brands to work with. And, you know, the good thing is that there’s, I think, a lack of great agencies. So the ones that do well, you know, the ones that are good have, you know, unlimited potential, and, you know, I don’t see, I don’t really see competition. Everyone has their differentiation of how they might do things a little bit differently. You’re talking to me about, you know, Tiktok shops before and doing some things there. We don’t do that, right? Like, everyone has a different focus. And, you know, there’s so much growth with Amazon advertising that, you know, it’s a, it’s a great opportunity, and also for brands, their return on ads spend on Amazon, despite cost per click going up, and all these things are, for the most part, still superior to what they’re able to do outside of those channels. So it was an Amazon is innovating so much we can I can kind of talk more about that with what they’re innovating with. But yeah, you know, I don’t think I think you have to compete with yourself, you know, try to try to get a better version of yourself every year in the business. And that’s kind of the greatest benchmark.
Andrew Morgans 3:18
Couldn’t agree more. And, you know, I pat myself on the back and I’m patting you on the back. Now, in regards to just like, you know, we were in E-commerce when Amazon during a pandemic and after, but also continuing to run a business in an economic downturn. You know, I know, this year has been difficult for a lot of brands, and as an agency, you know, we feel that because we’re, we’ve got our fingers, you know, running a lot of different brands. So, you know, what used to be easy as getting harder, I think, the best excel in those times, which is, you know, I like to think that we’re among them. But it hasn’t been it’s been a harder year, you know. And so, from that, you know, I just love, I think it’s like, you know, when you think about getting older, like I don’t want to get old, and you like regret it, you’re like, I’m still 26 You know, it’s 36. And you’re just like, you know, you’re holding on to old things, but I think I’ve changed my mindset a little bit. And I’m more like, you’re grateful for another year. Yeah. Grateful for another year.
Liran Hirschkorn 4:19
Yeah. What have you changed in terms of your mindset?
Andrew Morgans 4:23
I think it’s just a perspective of looking at age as a as a blessing and seeing it as, like, grateful to have another year. Instead of just like, oh, man, regretting getting older, right? I think a lot of good things come with age, we focus on the physical things or the shallow things, you know, how do I want to change my perspective.
Howold are you?
Liran Hirschkorn 4:48
Andrew Morgans 4:48
Liran Hirschkorn 4:49
Okay, I’m 42.
Andrew Morgans 4:50
Yes, it’s right at that age. We’re just like, things start hurting, you know, and you just don’t have as much my mind is still young and some days I’ve got more energy than ever, but, you know, you just got a lot more stuff, you know, under your feet, so to speak, you’ve been through more stuff, we’ve taken more scars you’ve like,
Liran Hirschkorn 5:10
Yeah, and look, you know what to I’m 42. And I was just having this conversation with my wife the other night. And I was like, you know, the nice thing about being 42 is? I feel like I’m a lot, a lot less impulsive, you know, like, certain character traits that you have in your 20s that are, you don’t even think about it, you don’t even realize you’re impulsive. You know, but as you get older, I don’t know, at least for me, it’s been easier to, like, slow down, not slow down in terms of like, my desire to grow and succeed and crush it, but slow down in terms of like, okay, wait a second, let me think, a minute before I do this, or, you know, like, kind of being less, you know, reactive impulsive, like, you know, I’ll tell you a quick story. Yesterday, get a get a message in our Slack channel. And it’s, and it’s a Quartile, emailing some members on our team. And it’s saying, like, here’s why, you know, agencies like Incrementum Digital are switching to Quartile. Okay, so we don’t use quartile. So they share this in our Slack. And then my team messages me separately, like, hey Liran, are you aware of this, like Cortana is using your name, you know, using your name, and we you don’t use them in their marketing? You know, I think in the past, I would have been like, What the fuck, you know, like, let me go post publicly about it and slam on the court that what the hell are you doing? And I left it alone. The moment I didn’t do anything I was at this event last night and stuff, you know? And I said, okay, I’ll reach out to there. I’ll, I’ll email our team later on. You know, and ask them about why they’re using our name. And then I was thinking, again, I’m like, I should probably post publicly about this. Because if people are getting something that says, hey, Incrementum Digital’s moving in quartile could be our customers, I want to let them know they’re not. So I posted it. And then within one minute, and I didn’t post I just post like, hey, Cortana may have made a mistake here. But if you’re one of our customers, and you see, you got this email, we’re not making a move to Quartile because maybe our customers don’t like worked on would want to leave for external use for that, whatever. But after a minute, I realized what actually happened, I deleted it right away. And what I realized happened is they’re emailing our internal team only. They found Incrementum Digital emails, and they’re saying agencies like incremental digital are switching to quartile. They’re not marketing this outside, they’re trying to market to us why we should move to quartile. And I was able to delete it right away. And because I took a little bit slower, I was actually able to figure out they weren’t, even though it sounded the word
Andrew Morgans 7:58
intention, the intention wasn’t the intention.
Liran Hirschkorn 7:59
The intention isn’t to say integrins digital is moving its agency similar to Incrementum Digital are using courtown. They’re sending it to our team, because they probably found a bunch of names and emails through LinkedIn and stuff, and they’re just sending it to a bunch of random people on our team to get to us. And what an embarrassment it would have been if I blast Quartile. And I showed it at a screenshot of the email, you know, for blast Quartile. And I say, why you guys use that name marketing other people, and they would have been like, you dummy, this only one to your team. And what it says is why agencies like Incrementum Digital are moving similar to Incrementum Digital, not Incrementum. Digital, you stupid dummy. And I would be so embarrassed. But because I took a little bit of a pause around it, you know, not immediately have this like, reactive, like, what the hell attitude with it? And actually, when I first got it was like, well, if they are doing that, and saying Incrementum Digital’s using courtown using as a marketing tool, well, that’s also a huge compliment.
You know, you’re also getting your name out there in front of a lot of people
Getting your name out there. And it’s a huge compliment kind of thing. But like, that’s kind of what I see is getting older. It’s wisdom and patience. A little bit. Yeah, exactly. So it has its advantages. Certainly, yes. You know, I didn’t go to the chiropractor when I was in my 20s. You know, now I need to sometimes, right? So I feel you on like sometimes that, you know, aches and pains. But overall, I think it’s a good place to be, you know. I think in your 30s and 40s, you start to get kind of clarity on a little bit more about what’s important to you in life and my knees is kind of just a lot of figure trying to figure it out. But the good thing is somebody who’s listening to us in their 20s. You know, hear Gary Vee things all the time, you know, all the time like you have a lot of time to figure things out. It’s not too late. Yeah, I I haven’t have figured out your life yet, or money or relationship or whatever, like, you know, you have time. This is this is your time to kind of explore, and figure it out and try lots of different things before you have a mortgage and a family, and you know, all these other things. So, you know, advantages and disadvantages. I couldn’t go out, you know, today and say, Hey, tomorrow moving to LA because I wanted to start this venture, whatever, because, you know, I have family and you know, this responsibility. So, pros and cons to, you know, being younger, being more middle aged, let’s say.
Andrew Morgans 10:34
Yeah, and I think, just add on to that is, like, at least in the last five years, for me, I’ve lost a lot more a lot more people than I had, you know, at a younger age. And so you’re seeing just kind of some of the, you know, you’re feeling grateful for for each year and grateful for the time you get with, with your loved ones and your friends and the opportunity to do what we do. I love what I do. It has it’s down days and it’s stressful. Entrepreneurship is hard. I like hard stuff. So you know, and I think it’s just, I’m trying to remap my brain, I guess instead of like, the the world in society saying like, old age is like a bad thing. And instead kind of just tried to wire it to say, hey, like, I’m grateful that
Liran Hirschkorn 11:17
Our culture, you know, puts more emphasis on young, but certain other cultures, right, like the the Japanese and stuff, right, like, they have a lot more reverence, you know, for older people. But I totally agree. And I think actually, for anybody listening this, if you get one thing out of it, it’s like, I think, you know, talking relating to PPC and Amazon, if your current feeling is, I will be happy when I hit a million dollars or $5 million, or $20 million, whatever it is your next milestone, like, you’ll never be happy. Because, you know, when you get to that point, you want more, and it’s fine to want more, it’s fine to grow. But you have to sort of live in this paradox of two states constantly. Like at the same time, I’m super happy with where I am. And at the same time, I also want to go much, I want to I want to grow much more. And you have to live in both those states. And I think until you do, you know, you’re not going to sort of maximize to be able to, you know, get what you want in life or in any area because you kind of have to be first in the state of mind of like being grateful for what you have. And I think a lot of us listening to this. If we look back at, like, where you were in life five years ago, probably be amazed that, you know, progress at the progress you made. But you know, sometimes you have to zoom out in order to be able to see that.
Andrew Morgans 12:42
I know that I personally, I’m not a greedy person. I’m ambitious and competitive. But there’s not really like a certain amount of money, you know, that I that I’m chasing? I definitely had goals and just being transparent to our audience. Like, you know, I got the Jeep I wanted, I got my mom and a house, I paid off my dad’s growth grew the team to a certain level, like was was doing the thing that in some ways was out of my reach when I started, like impossible. And I’m not someone that just needs more money. You know, I just don’t even like that. Want Sure, but it’s not a motivator. It doesn’t make me get up out of bed excited to answer client emails, right? Like it doesn’t, or or go tackle some sales calls or make content. It’s there. That’s my job. But I have like crazy motivation and ambition when I actually like want something like what I’m like focus. I feel like I’m unstoppable. But if it’s not there, then man this stuff is really hard to motivate yourself. Right? And so I had like, accomplished some of those things. I remember I took a solo trip to New York, I was like just trying to like get my mind right about some things. I was looking for some answers, you know, kind of like on a journey. And, you know, I honestly was the most last when I had accomplished that goal that I had set. Like, let’s say you’re trying to get a business to a million dollars accomplish the goal. And I’m sitting there with the things and I’m like, Hmm, now what, like if it’s just to go from one to 5 million or 5 million, I was just like, not if I’m being honest with myself, it was not motivating to me, I I live like I was raised as a missionary kid. We call it minimalistic now or whatever. I’m not very materialistic. I just, you know, fish and bull, Gee, my dog, my friends, um, my bills paid and my mom taking care of like, I’m a happy person. I’m a very happy person, you know, so, for me, it really is. But you know what I do enjoy what I had to refocus on is like, I enjoy what this journey has done for me personally, as a man as a person as a son. You know, it’s, it’s forced me to communicate better. It’s forced me to be more patient. It’s forced me to, you know, be less headstrong and And, you know, agric Garius. and is forced me to like, well, it’s helped me create jobs for other people, and, you know, change people’s lives, it’s helped. It’s allowed me to, like help businesses, fix them, grow them, scale them. I think we do good work, like some people don’t can’t say that about their jobs, like, you know, we help people. And so those are the things that actually make me get up out of bed. And, you know, bringing the best version of Andrew forward is like, I’m like, I’m thankful for this for entrepreneurship, the journey, the process, because I feel like at least as a man, like, I just get better and better and better. I’m working on these things. And it’s a reason to do it. Like if I didn’t have the goals, I’m not sure I would work as hard on all of these things, you know, so, for me, it was like a recentering, that really had to happen. And it just kind of hit me like a truck. And I was just like, you know, it was like that that moment, and I’m like, I could, I think that’s why Gary Vee, we brought him up since for the Jets because he’s learned, which I’ve had to learn, he learned that if he accomplishes his goal, and it’s not high enough, it’s not far enough out there, then he gets lost, too. And so setting, setting a goal of acquiring the Jets is like so far out there, that he’s set himself up to just chase that for a very long time.
Liran Hirschkorn 16:14
Right. Absolutely. And I think if money is your only goal, you will not go as far as somebody else who has other goals behind it. And, you know, he talked about being not being greedy, right? But what if you’re being greedy, for good reasons. In the sense of, you’re being greedy, because today, you have X employees, and, you know, if you grow more, you can, you know, make a meaningful impact in your team’s life. Right? That and, you know, more people that can grow and more opportunities within your companies to grow and more charity can give and, you know, yeah, providing a better life for your family and kids, and, like, you know, not, you know, greedy, not necessarily just for the purpose of, you know, hoarding money, per se, but, you know, being growth oriented for the purpose of, you know, being able to do more good with money in number of ways, again, you know, if our company’s, let’s say, you know, let’s say we were both in a position to retire tomorrow, I don’t think we would do that. But if you were, well, you have a lot of people that also rely on you for their employment, right. Like, there’s there’s certain things through and you know, what you were saying before, is, I think that business and being an entrepreneur is like, A, it’s kind of like, personal growth disguised, you know, like, in business, right. Because in order for you to grow your business, you have to grow yourself, you’re, you’re the vehicle, and in order for you to surround yourself with the kind of team that you’re going to attract, and the kind of customers are going to attract, like, feel like, you know, what you are what you attract kind of a thing, right? If you have a high growth, abundance mindset, you’re going to attract people on your team like that, you’re going to attract customers like that. And so it’s, you know, entrepreneurship, I think, is the greatest vehicle to be able to do that because the only thing you’re dealing with is problems and solving problems, like, right? Like everyday, your job, you make money by solving problems for other people, essentially. And so you got to face brick walls, you know, every week, and figure out how to jump over them or get through them or run through them or whatever it is, in order for you to grow. Right. And, you know, I think the reason businesses maybe plateau is, you know, maybe, secretly, maybe the founders don’t actually want to grow.
Andrew Morgans 18:42
They’ve gotten tired. Yeah, I definitely have gotten tired, where it’s like, look, that’s self work, especially if you have a long way to go. Right. So you can for myself, like I have had a long way to go to get to where I am. Even now. You know, different people started different levels of like self growth and self awareness and all those kinds of things right when it comes to business. But it can get tiring, I remember the one of the first times I like, reached this one of those goals, like a you know, kind of benchmark I had set I got there. I realized, like how much I didn’t know how, like, you know, what else there was out there to keep growing. And I just remember being so overwhelmed, it felt so overwhelming, to just be like, holy shit I’ve got here. I have so far to go like and I’m tired. I was already tired then, you know, in a way, just like because if you’re doing the deep work if you’re doing stuff to be a better leader, and I’m very competitive, so the competitive drive in me has been what’s like motivated me to do the work. Like I’m like, Look, the only reason we don’t win as a company or whatever is it will be because of me. Like, if we’re not successful, it will be because I didn’t learn the skills I didn’t have them or I didn’t attract the right people.
Liran Hirschkorn 19:54
That’s leadership, you know, not putting blame on others, you know, for your for your problems necessarily, you know, Like, I spoke to somebody recently who told me, you know, their best employee was the one where, and their highest paid employee, was the one where, you know, there was a problem in the business. And they said, you know that that was my fault? And the boss said, no, no, they’re the ones he’s like, no, no, but if I would have communicated this, and this better, they would have done a better job and, you know, took ownership of everything, and rose and rose and became their highest paid best team member on their team because they consistently instead of blaming team members, or whatever, you know, they took the blame and accountability or responsibility, you know, et cetera. And I heard another recent CEO of a big company, like, over $100 million company, say that their biggest strength in sort of not getting canceled, or, you know, dealing with, like, certain issues today, and they have a lot of followers on social media, several 100,000 is, you know, and they said, you know, they’re, they have to think about self composure in every area of their life. So mom, and she said, she was like, on the carpool line, picking up her kids, and like, a mom got out of the car and started yelling at all the other moms or whatever, and, like part of her, kind of, wanted to go out and see what’s going on, and whatever. But she said, because of her business, and because of all the employees that rely on her, somebody films her, like Kate, because she has a big following, and, you know, somewhat known, somebody films or puts on social media, like she’s gonna get cancelled. And, you know, her biggest strength has been like self composure, and that’s kind of the biggest asset of a, of a CEO. You know, to have that self composure, that the taking a pause not being like, you know, super instant, or angry, whatever, all those all those characteristics that, you know, you kind of see on social media, and you see how people can get, you know, canceled for, you know, for having those, those situations. And so, you know, I think personal growth is the most important thing you could do, and you’re, you know, you’ll improve your PPC, more by growing personally, then, just by following tactics because if something’s not right, up there, you know, you’re going to self sabotage yourself, basically, if, if you’re, you know, despite however much skill sets, are we going to hire the wrong people, or you’re gonna hire the wrong agency, or you’re gonna have, you know, going to fire the wrong agency, you’re going to just, you know, make
Andrew Morgans 22:29
You can’t see those things in yourself, you’re not gonna see them in partners, you know?
Liran Hirschkorn 22:31
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, super, super important, you know, I think for people to really focus on to, you know, to be able to grow themselves, and spend time with other people like that, you know, over time, probably, I’m sure it’s happened to you. For me, it’s certain people I used to spend time with, I don’t spend time with, you know, because, you know, you want to people you want to spend time with are people that are along the same lines, and like at a higher higher places, and you and you’re going to kind of pull you up, you know. Like, I have a few team members, my team, we have a, you know, we compete with each other and like Apple Watch, you know. Like, we share, we share fitness and stuff. Yeah, we share our data with each other like Apple. Because, I mean, for me, it’s accountability, I want to look like a loser, the only one that, like didn’t get anything in that day, you know, and that’s people pull you up, right? As opposed to, you know, spending time with people like that. So I think it’s, I think it’s important, why I think also, within the Amazon space, and ecommerce and stuff, networking, and finding those people in business is also, you know, super, super, you know, super important. Like, I’m looking to hire somebody right now to help with help us with some, like SEO work. And we spoke about it last night. And somebody want to, you know, as I was just asking, you said, oh, yeah, if somebody’s amazing, you know, papaya, and like that network is so important, and valuable, and valuable, you know, which is great reason to, you know, people say like, what do you get out of events and going to all these things, but those are little things that you get that don’t happen necessarily in the speaker room with the talks that you may have heard of, or that don’t necessarily add value, but those conversations that you have with people when you bring up like, where you need help, what your what your challenges are, they bring those kinds of things up and you have a peer group you can kind of reach out to. You know, super, super important, you know, somebody messaged me today, do you know somebody who got a great manufacturing for skincare, whatever, like, okay, yeah, I know, this guy can act like that’s
Andrew Morgans 24:35
saved them hours and perhaps Yeah, 1000s really
Liran Hirschkorn 24:38
Yeah, absolutely. So those are like the, you know, connections that I think are like most important in business and in life.
Andrew Morgans 24:46
I think. And I’m going to switch gears just a little bit in the back half of this, but I think, you know, I was I was raised as a missionary kid. I don’t know what exactly your upbringing was, but like for us reputation was everything. As a preacher’s kid, like, your dad is a minister, like you protect the family at all costs, like right now, it’s like reputation management. And we talked about getting canceled. And just like, you know, having self control and self discipline at all times. As I’ve gotten to this stage of my business and my brand, it comes way, way easier to me really, like I never thought of my dad as being like a business guy or an entrepreneur or teaching me those things, right? But when I look at really like, how I was raised, and now it’s funny, we’re doing that for other people, we’re doing that for their brands. That’s what branding is, that’s what a good brand is like, brand management is reputation management, you know, you’re making them appear a certain way, engage with the audience a certain way, evoke a certain feeling. You know, if I’m, if you see me blow my top on somebody that cuts me off on an event, or someone says something about me, and I lose my cool. You might have just seen me in one moment, or one instant, right, but it’s gonna change the way you feel about. Yeah, and as someone that has a team of 30 plus, I now take it even the next level, where I’m like, Look, every time I’m out on the town, I’m having a drink, I’m on a date, I’m visiting New York, I’m representing all of MarKnology not just my company, because I’m the owner, but I take it very personally. Like, I’m representing the people that choose to work here. Right, like, you know, they are choosing to work here. And if their boss is being a jerk, or, or an idiot, or like, you know, that’s representative of them. And how selfish of me to blow my top like that, when I’m actually I’m speaking for all of them in a way. And so I just, I mean, that’s definitely not something that I used to be when I was my younger self, we were talking about aging was kind of brought us on this tangent is that like, you know, it was just me, I wasn’t the boss of anyone. Right? And, you know, if I didn’t care what you thought I was gonna say what I wanted to say right now. Who cares, who’s who’s listening. But you know that I think of it now. It’s not just Andrew, I am MarKnology. And I am all the brands that choose to do business with me as well, right? Now, and I’m representing all of them. And that’s, it’s a lot of pressure. But I take a lot of pride in it as well. You know, and regardless of the situation trying to choose, you know, WWJD, so to speak, like, you know, what, like, what, what’s the right thing to do here? And almost 99, 99.5 times out of 100, it’s, it’s just choose the path of peace.
Liran Hirschkorn 27:27
Quickly Think of what is that? Okay, and then I got it. Okay, I know it.
Andrew Morgans 27:34
Yeah, I didn’t want to say what would drew do okay, because I might pop pop atop. But, you know, I want to give a shout out again to our sponsor for today’s episode, letting us letting us chat like this and really share some of our stuff. I love the entrepreneur talk, we talk Amazon, we talk marketplace, we will talk ads. But it’s really the mindset stuff. It’s the you are who you hang with. It’s the you know, having your focus and your goals, right? I think in 2023, the ultimate value and skill is focus, and how focused can you be as often as possible? That’s the key like that, that really is the key. There’s so many distractions, there’s so many different things. People, the news, politics, you know, the economy, technology, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like there’s so many distractions, I think focus is ultimately is the ultimate goal. And what do you focus on? You focus on being a better leader, you focus on being a better entrepreneur, you focus on being a better Amazon Pro. before I was ever a leader of anyone, I was focused on being an Amazon Pro, right? You know, so, shout out to FullScale.io. Finding experts, software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io. We can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what available developers testers and leaders are ready to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. So typically, you know, Leah, and we just kind of ran with this one. And we’ve got about another 15 minutes here. So I want to jump into some ads. But yeah, give the audience just like a couple minutes about kind of your path to being an Amazon Pro. As you call it, what you will, you know, we get a self title ourselves. But you know, did you start out? Did you grew up in an entrepreneurial family? Did you like go to school for business? Like what was your path?
Liran Hirschkorn 29:17
Yeah, so well. My dad had a small business growing up. Actually, my dad was my dad worked for a company. I was born in Israel. When I was six, my dad was sent from that company for a two year stint to be in the US and then we’re supposed to go back. But my dad and I buying a business. And we ended up staying in the US get a green card and all then and citizenship. But I would say my dad mostly kind of created a job for himself. He had a appliance repair business. So I was felt like he could have grown it bigger, hiring more expanding to more areas, you know, but I don’t think he want to do that. And I think he was kind of happy with what he was doing. But my dad didn’t have a small business. I would say I had kind of entrepreneurship in me even from being a kid, you know, selling candy in school and doing stuff like that. When I was out of college, I had an internship at Citicorp investment services. I became a financial adviser, which was kind of entrepreneurship because it was all commission based jobs. It was like advising sales consulting. When I was about 2010, I started an online life insurance agency. So I had a background in financial services. And I was always learning like internet marketing and things like that. So I started online insurance agency 2014, I saw a course about selling on Shopify took that course started doing that then I learned when Amazon saw the potential I sold, start started getting sales, outsource my insurance business to somebody else, we split the Commission’s 5050. So I had money coming in. And I was able to grow Amazon and venture I sold them sold them the websites and the business. And started on Amazon with like kind of hustling. I started with retail arbitrage, I would go to stores, buy stuff, shoes, Nike, Under Armour, like the products, send them into Amazon.
Andrew Morgans 31:23
Great way to learn it great way to learn it for anyone listening out there that might not be a founder already, or whatever. I started with, I went through a breakup divorce actually, to put it lightly. And I want to just like purge. And so this was like I was already an E calm, but like I was doing web and just kind of like, you know, different things. And I just kind of went through my house and anything that had like a UPC code. I was like trying to clean house, I just wanted to like kind of start over. And I was like, so you know, it was instead of going to like a thrift store or you know, a consignment store, things like that finding wins, I was going through my house finding stuff that could be you know, as I was putting it into FBA, and it would sit there cost me nothing, I’m going to my day job and 50 items online or something and seeing themselves and just kind of seeing the process is a great way I think to learn learn early on.
Liran Hirschkorn 32:13
Yep. So I started like that, then I got into wholesale and sort of going to like, you know, shows to buy branded products. Then I got into private label, then I part, you know,
Andrew Morgans 32:24
What year was that? Like, give me a little bit of a timeline.
Liran Hirschkorn 32:27
Like 2016, private label in 20. So at the end of 2017, Andy slam into as an audience and of course, asked me to partner with him on his course. And I did that. And that’s kind of how I started to help sellers. I saw the saw the opportunity to help sellers with their advertising in 2018 was starting to get complex, we’re starting to get also required Amazon was kind of prioritizing advertising, prioritizing more placements, you couldn’t, you know, in the past, you didn’t have to run ads, you would just launch products, get reviews, and, you know, give away free product for reviews, like you know, all these strategies you can’t do anymore, and started to get required. And so I started kind of helping sellers, you know, while running my brand, to brands that were seven figure brands. By the summer of 2018, I hired a few people to work with me. And at the end of 2019 I sold a brand to a competitor and start to put all my focus on on the agency side. So over the years, you know, 2018 and 2019, I was probably traveling and going to events and you know, 100 plus days out of the year, 100 150 days out of the year, I formed a lot of relationships added value. I answered every single you know, DM and message or whatever, whether 150 days out of the year, that’s a wild day is like 2018 2019 I was in China, you know, several times, I think, I think four times in 2019 spoken and Alibaba conference, and it took people to cancer on just a lot of traveling. But I made a lot of a lot of relationships. And so when I started and you know, always trying to help people. And when I started the agency, I had already a lot of credibility and building trust. And that’s, I think, a big factor in why we’re able to grow quickly. At the same time because I had those relationships. I knew people in the space that I brought on to the agency to work or partner my COO today, Brian, was originally in the private label course he had a wholesale a very successful wholesale business. He He’s now a partner and you know, COO, so I also made a lot of great relationships with people I was able to bring in to, you know, take it just from like me to a really great team that you know, today I can’t say the success of the agency is just me it’s it’s like the team, being able to attract great people and develop systems. wasn’t processes and, you know, I said this to Brian was my COO that, you know, my brands were seven figure brands. And that’s I think, because the reason I did they didn’t get to eight figures is because my talents on the visionary side, you know, product development, marketing, but I what I would say I could have been better I think of operations and logistics and finance and, and some of those things. And I tell Brian, that, you know, if I had him when I had my brands, no doubt in my mind, you would figure and, and that’s I think part of the the secret sauce is that we have this great, he’s the, you know, on EOS terms, he’s the implementer on the on the visionary, you know, he’s great at, you know, putting systems in place so that we can execute on something well, you know, ideation, relationships and networking part of the business content, you know, marketing ideas, and it works really well. So, you know, I think attracting the right people is super important for your growth. I think, especially in Amazon, because there’s so many different aspects to an Amazon business from, you know, developing product, design, you know, logistics, sourcing, finance, marketing, you know, compliance. Like, so many things that, really, you know, you can get to seven figures on your own, but if you want to get from seven, or low, seven figures, to higher seven figures, close to eight figures, I think, then it’s more so a different skill set that you need to acquire, which is, you know, to be able to bring in the right people to really help couldn’t agree more, you know, do that. And that was a, you know, personal lesson for me with my brands, and also, I something I was able to witness on the agency side. And, you know, I know that, you know, it’s much bigger than I could have made it sort of myself, because, you know, everyone has their strengths and limitations. And, you know, it’s funny, because I see my COO, and I’m like, wow, he’s amazing, you know, and, like, I wish I had that kind of thing. But then, but then he sees me the same way. So I realized, you know, just like,
Andrew Morgans 37:10
we all have our secret sauce
Liran Hirschkorn 37:12
secret sauce, focus on what you’re really good at. And, you know, bring in the right people surround yourself with the right people that are going to be better, better in those areas than you actually everybody should be better than you, in a sense, if you’re really good, you know, CEO.
Andrew Morgans 37:28
I think, very well said, and what a lot of people don’t know is I work hand in hand with my my sisters. And they were the first to kind of believe in what I was doing. You know, I’m in Kansas City, it’s not New York, I think New York had a leg up in regards to kind of seeing the Amazon boom, being there. You know, in Jersey, specifically with the docks and being able to see stuff come in and just be there early, right? The Midwest is a bit removed. But you know, they moved from different parts of the country to come help me build, build my thing, my technology turns nine this year. But it was probably four years or so of doing the kind of the consulting thing, right, I was managing brands, but really like me plus two, right? And but at the same time, you would never see Brooklyn at the event last night in New York, right? She would, she would hate that. So you know, she, she’s an absolute genius. She’s the COO. She, she runs the ship, you know, and you know, I wouldn’t be here without them. Veronica is the CMO runs that I’m the visionary. I like to trailblaze the last couple of years I’ve been really we’ve been so busy that I haven’t needed to do sales as much. You know, you get on a waitlist or your cruise and you know, you’re getting you got great clients and you’re just cruising. You’re like, Okay, what should I be working on as the boss, I can’t overwhelm the team. We can only train and scale so fast. So I’m going to work on ops, I’m going to work on you know, getting better internally. I hated it. I hated you know, we brought him in skaila. We’ve done a lot of different things, you know, moved over to click up, you know, coaches, all that kind of stuff. And I knew I needed to do it. I know it needed to be done. But I didn’t like it. Like you know, I just realized I would just realize, man, this is just like draining work for me. Why? Because I’m a visionary. I like to go you know, I’m playing with tic toc I playing with it. We became a TikTok partner, right? I wanted to go in there, get my hands dirty, and bring something new into the company. I’ve also launched a warehouse. We’re in year four just moved. This month we moved buildings, two and a half times the size of what I had. It’s a business within a business to run a Toronto warehouse and a three pl You know, so these are the things that I’m like, I like going where no one’s gone before. Probably because my dad would go to places in Africa that no one had been and you know, I get that it’s in the blood probably but but then also as siblings were super super close. I think we’ve also kind of grown. This is a family environment dynamic, but like we’ve grown to kind of support each other, not even just in business, but as siblings, like, I’m this so my sister is this, right? And it’s like a complimentary complimentary of things. And so I love it I, I couldn’t have attracted a Brian early, you know, I don’t think just based on like my trajectory and where I’m at and what I was getting exposed to. And so I’m so thankful for, you know, my sisters joining me in this journey. But then since then the team is now 35 Plus, and it continues to be like, you know, I think my first speaking event was 2019, as well. So around the same time, like, I feel like as well, I’ve told you, I thought I’ve known you forever. But we were like realizing, right I think is shortly after the pandemic, the first prosper probably, it was a crazy event, if you remember it, just like people hadn’t been together in a while they had that prosper. And it was like it was a crazy prosper. Maybe the aggregators were coming to play that year. I can’t remember. Yes. But yeah, it was a fun one. Okay, so we’ve got your background and where you are now, let’s take the next, you know, five minutes or so. And just talk to me about kind of the lay of the land with PPC, I don’t think we have to get into like, do this, do that not tactical, but moreso the importance of it. You know, what’s changed in the last couple of years like that, that people are having to see? And you know, how to manage it effectively, like from a high level?
Liran Hirschkorn 41:37
Yeah. So great question. So the first thing is, you know, PPC could be your friend. It could be your to be your enemy, you know. It’s extremely helpful, when you launch new products to take advantage of this, you know, honeymoon period with Amazon, be aggressive, utilize advertising to rank your products organically, with, with advertising. I think also, the more granular you go in how you’re setting things up, lik,e the keyword research and your setup, I think is critical. You know, if you have your campaigns and you know, you’ve got hundreds of keywords in one campaign, if you’re mixing or match types, if you don’t have your high search volume keywords in their own campaigns, you know. If you’re not segmenting, you don’t have your setup, right, you are not set up for maximum success. You know, if you have a lot of your spend in auto campaigns like these are, there are just some fundamental things, you know, you should have set up with your PPC to be able to set you up for success. And at the same time, the foundation of all of it is that you really need to focus on conversions, okay? What does that mean, you know, PVC can kill you, especially if you don’t have great conversion rates, which means there was something going on with your listing that you need to change is, you know, if you’re not getting, you know, let’s say, you know, under $100 products, you know, if you’re not getting 10% 20% conversion rates, plus, then you need to lower your price, change your images, a plus content, all that is really important. We also use tools like Data Dive, to help us understand the amount of SEO sort of juice ranking juice you have in your listing versus your competitors, where you rank against those competitors, what is the opportunity, understanding like, where you are in the market, what’s happening. Another tool we use is Cobalt, which is a little bit more of an expensive tool to enterprise tool. We can afford it because, you know, we’re using it for many clients. But you know, it’s like a 25, $30,000 a year tool. It’s very helpful. And Helium 10, I think has a version of a way you can track like five products. And maybe it’s cheaper, you know, if you’re tracking less products, but you need to understand what’s happening between you and your competitors in terms of market share before you, you know, when you have a problem in the business, you need to zoom out, most people will start with looking at their product, but you need to zoom out. You first need to go into the market, what’s happening in the market where search volume, what have been the trends, you know, you have so much of that data now with product opportunity explore, to see what’s happening 90 days, 180 days and last year with search on what’s happening in the niche. How many new competitors are there? You need to understand your competitors and their market share. So, you know,
Andrew Morgans 44:31
Let’s pause here just for a second because you’re saying you’re saying a lot and it’s really good. I want to add just a note that’s like why do you want to know these things guys? For anyone listening that’s that’s thinking of this in house is like you want to know these things? Because as you’re trying to troubleshoot maybe why things have changed or why something’s not working. You can’t just say, Well, I’m running my ads aren’t set up right or or my images aren’t great, or my reviews aren’t great. These could all be things, yes. So you’re making like, you know, if you haven’t imagined, you have a spreadsheet and you’re like, Okay, reviews match up good. Okay, it wasn’t bad reviews, okay. I feel like my content is really great. Okay, I’ve used PickFu, or I’ve, I’ve, you know, something it was working great before or, you know, and you’re going down the line, you’re like, okay, my competitors are spending. Look, there’s 10 new competitors this year, over last year in the same exact space, or, you know, just different things like that you’re creating this like, kind of like list of, we’re having problems or not the success we wanted, or it’s a little bit less than what we projected. Why? And I think that’s what it’s coming down to is like, it’s not just best guess. And it’s not just to say, Oh, my God, Chinese sellers are throwing so much PPC, or the aggregators are throwing so much PPC, you’re actually trying to be intelligent about it. And the more data you have, the better decisions.
Liran Hirschkorn 45:48
Yeah, like, you know, and, and, you know, go both ways. If you think things are going well. Like, we have a client that we looked at, and last year, they were up like 20%, but they actually lost some market share because the market did better than 20% in their niche. And, you know, they were being essentially too conservative with their advertising actually. So, you know, when you’re trying to evaluate what’s going on, you want to go market overall market, your more specific competitors then your listings, your advertising, you know, and all those things. The biggest thing that we see, like when we audited accounts are people not going granular enough. Not segmenting enough in their in their campaigns.
Andrew Morgans 46:30
I think that’s huge. Let’s like I think that is like if I was going to add some to what you’re saying. I’m like the segmenting. And if you’re in a full service agency that can also do content for you. This is where things can get really fun. Because you can be doing custom creative on the headline ads. You can create these custom landing pages on the sponsor brand ads, you know, your. You know, not every product in every category can be super granular, or like super segmented. But a lot of them can. And there’s usually something you can be doing to just get a little bit better, a little bit better, a little bit better.
Liran Hirschkorn 47:04
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I think, if you are not the expert at it, it’s worth having somebody audit your ads, look at things, or you know, need to hire somebody great internally or look externally, because advertising is gone, you know, very complex, and it’s only gonna get more complex. One thing I’ll touch on, some things I’m excited about are the Amazon Marketing Cloud. And just to break it down very simply for people besides all different audiences that you can pull from it because there’s so much data, it’s basically a big data room that has your entire customer journey. And so you will be able to understand if somebody buys a product from you. Today, you have a last click attribution. And you see sponsored products attributed the sale, but you don’t know if they clicked on sponsored brands right before that. And that was a process. And that’s kind of what the Marketing Cloud will show you, including the ability to create audiences and DSP of people who just added your product to cart. People who click through added item to wishlist. Like all these things they couldn’t do before. And that’s something you’re going to start to see more and more. And what you will see is people less robust focus and more customer journey focused.
Andrew Morgans 48:18
Yes, which is, which is ultimately going to bridge the gap for everything else that happens off Amazon because that’s, that’s already what’s happening on a DTC site, or a sales funnel from a Facebook ad, etc. And so it’s going to kind of just bring Amazon up to speed and a lot of ways, in my opinion.
Liran Hirschkorn 48:35
Yes, absolutely. So, I think we should do a part two.
Andrew Morgans 48:40
One hundred percent, guys. I’ve got him up. We’ve got ourselves up against time, but we were just really rockin’ in the beginning. And I think there’s so much to advertising. One thing I will say, just to kind of close it out, is that, like, you know, I’ve been doing this for 12 years. PPC has been out since like 2015. So let’s say eight years plus and PPC. It is something that’s so wide-ranging in regard to strategy and tactics. And you know, what your KPIs are, there’s a million ways to skin a cat as they say. Like, there’s so many ways, and I don’t think anyone’s right. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong when it comes to PPC. There’s a better than, oftentimes there can be a better than, or get more juice out of it. But the only way to really know how to do it is to get in there and just obsess about it. You have to obsess about it. I think as two people who have been on the speaking circuit for PPC, one thing I will say is that when you start educating other people, you learn something in a whole different way. You know, you’re just I’m not trying to get up in front of a whole bunch of other Amazon pros and be saying stupid stuff, you know. So it, you know, it just pushes you to, like, learn about this stuff. So you don’t sound ignorant or, you know, you’re not leading people. This is where you’re managing other people’s money if you’re an agency. So it is something very important to my moral code of just being like good stewards of that money? And so there’s just, I just want to say that there’s not like everyone’s looking for like, Oh, what is the way to do it? And there isn’t a way to do it, right? It’s just, it’s understanding how these different products, if we want to call them ad products, can be useful for you. And you know how to make the most of it and get the most juice and make sure your brand is getting the exposure at once. There isn’t a recipe necessarily to say do it exactly like this. And I think that’s one thing that gets me frustrated is when I hear, you know, speakers or software companies or whatever, say, this is the way to do it. You know, it’s not really the case. And as anyone has been doing it a long time, you’ve seen it change so much. So we’ll definitely have to have a part two. I would love to get into a kind of DSP conversation and ask questions about his marketing cloud. Only for DSP. Do you have to be doing DSP to really take advantage of these kinds of things? So, let’s get it on the calendar. Hustlers, I’ll bring Lirn back in here. And we’ll give you guys another round of kind of like, you know, some do’s and don’ts. And I’d love to share some stories, some horror stories, some use cases of, you know, real scenarios I’ve run into, you know, where the main keywords won’t even convert for the product I’m selling. You know, there’s all types of different things that have come up over the years that I think could be really helpful.
Liran Hirschkorn 51:23
Amazing. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. And I can kind of syndicate this on my podcast as well. So we can get it out there and share what you and what you’re doing to the people listening to my podcast as well. And which is E-commerce Mindset, if you want to find it. And yeah, I’m looking forward to doing a part two and getting more into the PPC side.
Andrew Morgans 51:48
Awesome. Thanks again, Hustlers. Thanks again to Full Scale. They have the people in the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts when you visit FullScale.io. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let the platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders at Full Scale. They specialize in building long-term teams that we’re calling for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. We’ll see you next time, Hustlers. Thank you so much for your time. Liran, thanks again for being on the show. I’ll have you back soon.
Liran Hirschkorn 52:15