Sophie Howard on Amazon
(the low down)
Hey, what’s up!
So before I tell you more about Sophie Howard on Amazon, there are 2 things you’re gonna want to know about me...
First up, I’m a successful Amazon FBA seller myself, that’s done well over 6 figures on Amazon over the last few years.
Secondly (and most importantly), I don’t even consider Amazon my main business these days.
I mean sure, I sell on Amazon so I have to keep an eye on it, but these days I spend 99% of my time focusing on what I like to call my “real business”, a.k.a my lead gen business.
For me, lead generation is the real deal!
I honestly think it’s the easiest way for anyone to quit their shitty 9-5 job, and make 10X what they were making within 2-3 years.
In-fact I know it’s possible because I've done it.
I now make more in a month than I used to in a year!
That said, as someone with a little skin in the Amazon FBA game, I do like to keep my eye on what's happening with the business model.
I make it a habit of researching Amazon FBA courses and sellers, to get a pulse on what they're doing and how the industry is shaking and moving.
In this review I'm gonna dive into Sophie Howard's Amazon world, and cover every aspect of how she operates so successfully.
Here's what we're gonna cover...
1. THE AMAZON SELLING QUEEN: Who is Sophie Howard?
The Kiwi mother of two has been making quite a name for herself over the last few years in the Amazon FBA space.
Venturing into the Amazon world herself in 2014, she rolled up her sleeves and went all in!
Now when I say "all in", I mean "all in!".
We’re talking about one of Amazon’s mega sellers and online business coaches.
If you're an avid fan of the well known Amazon podcast "The AM/PM Podcast", then you may recognize her after her appearance in one of the episodes.
She helps people find products to sell on Amazon, and teaches them how to build high quality brands in the process.
Once they’ve done that she takes them by the hand and teaches them how to get set up for a million dollar exit out of the business they’ve built.
Unlike some Amazon coaches, she actually sells on the platform herself as well.
In the last few years, she has reportedly sold well over 500 different products on Amazon, and has sold two of her brands for over 7 figures.
She’s also the brainchild behind the Amazon Blue Sky Training Program.
This is the training program that offers online training and coaching for those that are either looking to venture into the Amazon jungle, or those that are already thrashing around in it, but looking for help (I’ll dig into that below).
2. AMAZON FBA: BUSINESS MODEL OVERVIEW
Before we dig any deeper into Sophie's Amazon world, you’re gonna want to make sure you’re up to speed with the Amazon FBA business model, and understand its core foundations.
Essentially, Amazon FBA is about selling your own product on Amazon’s online shopping platform, and then letting them handle the payment and fulfillment process.
The Amazon FBA Model Explained...
Sounds really simple right?
Well it is, when it works and you know what you’re doing.
The problem is that while the overall concept might sound really simple, there are a lot of moving parts to the Amazon wheel.
If you're going to have any success on the world's biggest shopping platform, you're gonna need to figure them out.
That's where Sophie comes in.
She aims to take Amazon sellers of all levels (beginner to advanced), and help them launch, grow and then sell their FBA business (if they want to).
Let's find out more about the training and support she offers...
3. SOPHIE HOWARD: The Digital Marketer
It’s easy to think of Sophie Howard as simply being an Amazon seller and a course creator / coach.
But the reality is that at her core, she’s a Digital Marketer, and a damn good one too.
Right off the bat, after starting to do some basic research for this review, I started getting targeted with her Facebook advertising pixel.
But why would she spend money advertising on Facebook to me, just to sell a $4.95 book?
Let me explain...
Like any world class Digital Marketer, she has a solid online strategy which I’m about to step you through.
As a Digital Marketer myself, I find it fascinating digging into other successful online marketers strategies, and stepping through them bit by bit.
Sophie understands the concept of 'The Value Ladder' made popular by Russell Brunson in his book DotCom Secrets.
If you have read Russell's book, you may remember the sales funnel process he talks you through, which is the foundation for any world class digital marketer.
The idea is simple...
Russell Brunson's Value Ladder
Dan Kennedy once said "The Business that can spend the most to acquire a customer - wins!"
Well here's how Sophie applies this logic and wins...
Think of a dentist offering a free teeth cleaning.
By doing so they manage to get the customer through the door, where they can then offer their free teeth cleaning, but in addition to this, upsell them on a range of their other services.
This could a teeth whitening, which in turn could lead to a retainer if needed, and in some cases even cosmetic surgery.
All of this is only possible because the customer came through the door for their free teeth whitening.
Sophie applies her own version of 'The Value Ladder' marketing strategy, and the first step in her ladder is her “heavily discounted” book...
4. BOOK: Amazon Jetstream Income
Sophie applies Russell’s strategy perfectly with her book 'Amazon Jetstream Income'.
She “gives away” the book for the mere price of $4.95 (supposedly $29.95 usually) and baits the wannabe Amazon seller by subtly positioning herself as an Amazon expert, and marketing her Amazon Blue Sky course and coaching throughout it.
Basically, while the book may contain some useful content, it’s simply one big marketing brochure for her other services.
Sophie knows she can spend money advertising her book (which is why I got Facebook pixeled).
She may even spend more in advertising than she gets back for her book, but thats ok.
She knows that a certain percentage of her book customers will go on to buy her courses, so in the long run she'll make her money back tenfold.
It obviously works, because Sophie has recently just launched a 2nd book called "Amazon Boom" built around the same marketing strategy.
Once again, she "discounts" the book from $29.95" to only "$4.95", and packs her sales page with raving testimonials and content that you'd expect from a high ticket course.
Just like her first book, this book is effectively one big marketing brochure, that markets her other products and services (remember The Value Ladder)
She’s hoping that you’ll be curious enough to investigate them and start ascending up the ladder to her more expensive products and services.
After her Amazon book, you'll then be taken to the next rung on her Value Ladder, her free webinar...
5. WEBINAR: Sophie Howard's Amazon Webinar
Now that you’ve entered her ecosystem by reading her “heavily discounted” book, she’ll lead you to more information about selling on Amazon.
Remember, she’s already positioned herself as an expert, so you’ll be lapping up anything you can get from her.
On top of that, it’s free, so what do you have to lose right?
In her free 90 minute Amazon webinar, she covers some critical points:
Sophie Howard's Amazon Webinar
- How to find products that are evergreen (she has a unique system).
- How to find suppliers to create your product.
- Overview of the sort of income you can make with Amazon.
- How to exit your business for a large chunk of change.
All of this free information is very high level, and just enough to wet your appetite and get you excited about dipping your toe into the Amazon FBA pond.
Should you though?
Well that’s another story that I’ll cover later on, so stick with me...
6. BLUE SKY AMAZON: Sophie Howard’s Amazon Course
Next in Sophie Howard's Value Ladder is her course 'Blue Sky Amazon'.
After watching her free 90 minute webinar, you may find yourself chomping at the bit to get started with your Amazon business.
But wait...you don't know where to start.
You'll need coaching!
Which leads you to seek out her Amazon coaching programs.
Now you might be a bit confused if you’ve Googled "Sophie Howard Amazon course", and are now faced with 3 different options (Blue Sky Amazon, Product University and Amazon Navigator).
Let me clear it up for you.
When Sophie first got into the Amazon course market, she launched Amazon Navigator.
A while later she then launched Product University.
Now she’s bundled them together under one brand known as Blue Sky Amazon.
All in all, you’re looking at 14 different course modules, which dive into the entire Amazon FBA business and aim to help new to medium level sellers get their businesses firing.
I’m gonna do a deep dive into both of these courses for you, and give you the low down on whether or not they are legit or not.
I’m also gonna tell you if you should actually buy them or not, so stick around...
7. PRODUCT UNIVERSITY: Course Overview and Deep Dive
Jam packed with over 25 hours worth of video training, Product University promises to navigate you through the ups and downs of selling on Amazon.
Let’s jump into the 6 modules on offer:
Module 1: Foundation
Broken up into 4 different sub modules, it covers more about Sophie Howard and her experience in the Amazon world.
It also covers the mindset needed to crack the Amazon code, planning ahead for your business, sales funnel overviews, and general Amazon chat.
Module 2: Product Selection Strategy
This is where the course differs from most Amazon FBA Courses.
While you’re usually told to pick a product that you can get up and running quickly and easily, Sophie has a unique product selection strategy.
She encourages students to go after products that are more exclusive, and that require a higher than normal MOQ (minimum order quantity), which means there will be a greater barrier to entry for the average seller.
This is an interesting strategy and it will certainly set you apart from the average person selling on Amazon.
The truth is that Amazon is becoming more and more saturated with every day that passes and you need to think outside the box if you’re going to avoid blending in with the rest of the crowd.
Module 3: Basic of Sales Funnels
Here Sophie covers the foundation of sales funnels.
She walks you through using Russel Brunson’s Clickfunnels tool, and then takes you through a real world example of an Amazon sales funnel that is setup with Clickfunnels and drives traffic through Facebook.
Module 4: Who will You Hire to be Your Virtual Assistant?
One of the critical aspects of building a successful Amazon business is ensuring you're able to scale your business.
One of the best ways to do this is through building a team of virtual assistants to handle simple tasks that can be easily delegated.
Sophie covers the ins and outs of building a team of VA’s and what she’s learnt along the way, with real examples of job postings she’s created in Upwork.
For me this module was legit.
I haven’t found many training courses that cover the process of building a team of VA's in more detail.
In-fact, most courses don’t even cover the subject at all.
Sophie delivers big time here.
Module 5: Behind the Scenes: Selling on Amazon
Here Sophie takes you through the back-end of the Amazon FBA process.
This includes getting your business started and setup from a licensing point of view, creating product listings, using the PPC advertising platform, keyword research and conversion tools,
Module 6: Forgotten Product Sourcing Places
In the last module of the course, Sophie covers a number of methods for discovering unique product sources.
These include Amazon scroll, local classifieds, Amazon catalog technique and a handful of others.
One of the key character traits that makes Sophie stand out from the average Amazon seller, is that she is heavily focused on sourcing unique and original products that you don't usually find.
She then packages them into her own brand, and resells them.
She thinks outside the box, often cutting out the middleman and visiting manufacturers in obscure countries herself.
That’s cool, and it’s just one of the things that makes her an all star player in the Amazon game.
8. AMAZON NAVIGATOR: Course Overview and Deep Dive
The Amazon Navigator course clocks in at just under 10 hours worth of video content, and is broken down into 8 different modules.
Module 1: Welcome
Sophie kicks off with discussing mindset and what it takes to survive the Amazon business.
She talks about goal setting and setting up your business, both offline (business license etc.), and online (your Amazon selling account etc.).
Module 2: What You Don’t Know About Branding
Here’s where the course gets pretty interesting. She dives into the branding strategy that allowed her to build her Amazon businesses into 7 figure monsters.
It all comes down to being able to differentiate your product from the rest.
This in turn allows you to charge higher prices and create higher profit margins.
At the end of the day, branding is about positioning your product in the marketplace, and this module has some killer content that you don’t find in many FBA courses.
Module 3: Finding Products that Sell for the Long Term
Here we get some insight into what makes Sophie so successful in the Amazon space.
Unlike the average Amazon seller, she’s thinking long term and focuses on finding products that are unique and difficult to copy (a rare quality on Amazon).
Rather than using traditional Amazon tools like Junglescout and Helium 10, she thinks bigger and sources products by following methods that aren’t easily accessible to the millions of copycat sellers out there.
Module 4: Are Your Listings Pristine?
When it comes to dominating on Amazon, Sophie strongly focuses on standing out from the competition.
One of the best ways you can do this is by making sure your product listing is head and shoulders above the rest.
In this module she covers creative copywriting, keyword research and images that catch eyeballs.
Remember, online marketing is about controlling eyeballs, and whoever can do this best will usually win in the long-run.
Module 5: Don’t Get Samples, Order the Entire Shipment
In this module Sophie shares some rockstar tips about how she ships her products into Amazon’s warehouses effectively.
She covers some of the biggest pain points you’ll experience with shipping, and how she gets around them.
This module was pretty cool because as an Amazon seller myself, I can tell you that one of the biggest challenges any seller faces is supply chain management, which comes down to your shipment process.
If you can nail this down, half the battle on Amazon is won!
Module 6: Promoting the Sh*t Out of Your Product
Another critical “make or break” factor on Amazon is launching and promoting your product.
Get this wrong, and you’ll end up with stock sitting in Amazon’s warehouses that no one is buying.
Sophie covers 5 proven strategies for getting those eyeballs on your products, as well as the following metrics for monitoring performance.
Again, this module was legit and covered some killer content.
Module 7: Maintaining Your Account
Like any business, there are a number of day to day operational tasks that need to be done.
Amazon FBA is no different.
In this module, Sophie takes you through some of these tasks such as:
If you’re gonna win the Amazon FBA game you’re gonna need to know your numbers.
Gross profit, net profit, profit margins and the rest.
Without having these numbers dialed in, you’ll always struggle to keep a pulse on what’s happening in your business.
Module 8: Scaling Beyond Amazon and Hiring VA’s
The good news is that the boring operational tasks mentioned in the previous module can all be taught and outsourced to Virtual Assistants.
Sophie dives into how you can do this, and explains that there is an art to the process as not all VA’s are equal.
She covers her entire process and methodology for building effective teams, from the hiring process, payment of staff, and using human capital effectively to scale your business and plan for a big pay day exit (hopefully).
Pros of Blue Sky Amazon Course
9. CONTENT: Packed Full of Gems
As far as content goes, the two courses in the Blue Sky Amazon training are about as good as it gets.
There's zero fluff here, just solid content from someone that actually sells on Amazon and knows the platform inside out.
The range of topics are extremely detailed, and I was really impressed by the depth she went into.
10. PRODUCT SELECTION: A Refreshing Process
I also found her product selection process a breath of fresh air.
Unlike every other Amazon FBA course on the market that teaches you how to use various product selection tools like Jungle Scout and Helium 10, Sophie steers well away from these.
Her theory is that if you use the same tools as everyone else, you'll end up sourcing the same products as everyone else, which kinda makes sense really!
This is one of the reasons Amazon has become so competitive and saturated.
No one is thinking outside the box - everyone is copying everyone else.
The last thing Amazon needs is another spatula for sale!
Sophie teaches a different way though which I loved, and am definitely working on implementing into my own business at the moment.
11. UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE: A WOMAN'S VIEWPOINT
Another pro for me was that it was refreshing to see things from a woman's perspective.
As a serial Amazon FBA course junkie, I've grown a little tired of listening to men telling me the ins and outs of the Amazon world.
They kinda all blend into one eventually.
It was cool to see things from a woman's perspective, and I think her unique viewpoint on the subject matter showed in the efficient way she runs her business from start to finish.
12. BRAND BUILDING: Getting Set for a 7 Figure Exit
As an Amazon seller myself I realized about 18 months into my Amazon journey that the trick to winning on Amazon's platform is to focus on building a brand, not just selling individual products.
Sophie emphasizes this in her training, and is highly focused on teaching her students how to go about building a brand, and then selling it for 7 figures over the course of a few years.
This is not something many Amazon FBA courses cover, and the principles in this are gold.
Maybe you won't sell your business for 7 figures, but by building a real brand, you'll at least have a shot at doing so.
Cons of Blue Sky Amazon Course
13. UPSELLS: Sophie is a Digital Marketer After All
I mentioned earlier that Sophie is an out and out Digital Marketer at the end of the day, and this is apparent in almost everything she does.
While she seems friendly, and I believe she has good intentions, you better believe she's coming for your money, and isn't afraid to upsell you on her other more expensive services.
14. COST: How Much is Sophie Howard's Amazon Course?
One of the downsides of the Amazon Blue Sky Training is that it's not cheap.
All in, you're looking at $3,499, or 4 installment payments of $995.
So yea, this ain't your average $97 course.
So how does that stack up, and is it worth the money?
Honestly...I think it is, and here's why...
Over the last 5 years one of the biggest discoveries I've made is that successful people invest in themselves.
They know that the quickest path to success is modelling other successful people, and they strategically invest money into courses and seminars that will give them the skills they need to produce more income.
Personally, I've dropped thousands on investing in myself over the last few years and it's paid off handsomely.
So yea, I think the price of this course is fair, considering the skills it will give you.
Does that mean you should actually buy it though?
Read on to find out what I really think...
15. REFUND POLICY: Only Limited to 7 Days
So luckily I didn't feel the need to request a refund for the Blue Sky course, but it's a good thing, because I only found out later that you have a mere 7 days to get your request in.
This is a lot less than most other courses out there, and I was a little surprised to be honest.
I mean, if you back your content, then why not be happy to issue a refund period of at least 30 days or even 60 days.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Sophie Howard?
16. COACHING: Sophie Howard's Amazon Coaching
With her Blue Sky course, you'll also get a number of coaching calls included in the course.
At the time of writing, this had been increase from 1 coaching call to an impressive 6 calls.
That means you get to jump on 6 live calls with an experienced Amazon seller from her team who will review your business with you, and answer any questions you may have.
This is almost unheard of in this industry, as most online coaches try to upsell you on their individual coaching sessions (remember The Value Ladder?)
But in this case, you're entitled to jump on a number of calls that are included in the course, and to discuss your business, and get some insight from Sophie and her team.
17. SCAM WARNING: Is Sophie Howard’s Course a Scam?
So you’re probably wondering if Sophie Howard, or any of her courses are a scam?
I can safely say "No!"
Sophie is the real deal and probably one of the most legit Amazon instructors out there.
She genuinely does 7 figures on Amazon, and has a wealth of knowledge that you can learn from.
This is coming from a guy that’s reviewed at least a dozen Amazon FBA courses, and actually sells on Amazon myself.
Trust me, if there’s one thing I know, it’s Amazon FBA.
So yea - no scam alert here.
Sophie is an all round decent human being.
Does that mean you should jump in and start buying her Amazon products and launch your own Amazon FBA business?
Here are my thoughts...
18. WRAP UP: Sophie Howard on Amazon
So after diving into Sophie Howard's Amazon world, and trawling through both her courses in the Blue Sky package, I can tell you that she is the real deal.
In-fact, as an Amazon seller myself and someone that’s been through dozens of high profile Amazon courses over the last 5 years, her Amazon Blue Sky package is one of the best FBA courses on the market.
She also operates at a very high level in both her training and coaching business, and her Amazon business.
She is authentic, and genuinely interested in helping people build a unique, long-term brand online that will stand the test of time.
So, should you buy her course and get into the Amazon game?
19. TRUTH BOMB: The Truth About Selling on Amazon
Ok, it’s time to drop some truth bombs!
Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t find in many Amazon books, webinars or courses...
Selling on Amazon is damn hard!
As someone that's been selling fairly successfully on Amazon for a number of years, I can tell you first hand that in this business, you're gonna have good days, and you're gonna have awful days (I should know).
Because of I've been through this myself, I kinda feel like I owe it to you to be upfront and totally honest about what it takes to make it in this business
First up, when it comes to launching an Amazon business you should know that it's seriously expensive!
If you’re looking at getting in on the Amazon selling game, you’re probably thinking you only need $2K-$3K to get started right?
Sure, that might get you your first order of say 500 units...but here’s the kicker.
If you’re shipping your products (and you will because air is too expensive), you’re probably dealing with a 60 day lead time to get your stock into Amazon’s warehouses.
Add on the 30 days it probably took to get your order completed by your supplier, and you’re looking at a 90 day end to end lead time for each order.
So why is that a problem?
Well, because unless you’re planning on it taking more than 90 days to sell your 500 units, you’re gonna run out of stock unless you have order 2 placed and in production.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to think about chasing that order with order 3 to keep the supply chain churning.
So now you’re not only looking at $3K for your first order, but another $6K for order 2 and order 3.
Now we’re up to $9K just for stock, before you've even sold a single unit.
Throw in PPC advertising, warehouse fees, shipping, and a bunch of other hidden costs, and you’re probably gonna need between $12K-$15K to get this business started.
All this for a product that you don’t even know will sell well.
Oh, and that’s without paying for an Amazon ‘how to’ course either…
But you’re not gonna hear that from the Amazon gurus are you?
On top of that you’ve got the fact that there are thousands of new sellers pouring into the platform every single day, so competition is intense.
When I started selling one of my products back in 2017, there were around 10-15 different competitors selling the same product.
A few years later, there are now over 100+, all dropping their prices to compete with each other on a daily basis.
Yea, this business model ain’t for the weak.
20. GUESS WHAT? I've Found a Better Business Model
So while I still sell on Amazon, I find that I now spend 99% of my time focusing on my lead generation business, which is making me a steady $50K a month.
Here's how lead generation compares against Amazon FBA, and why you should check it out...
21. LEAD GENERATION ALWAYS WINS...
While Amazon FBA is a legit business model, it just has too many cons to make it a viable long term business.
For me, lead generation is the real deal, and it beats every single business model on the planet (Amazon FBA included).
Since starting my business a few years ago, I now consider myself a digital land lord.
I'm basically renting out digital real estate that will keep paying me for many years to come.
I've got sites that have been paying me since 2015 on autopilot each month and my long term goal is to have hundreds of other sites doing exactly the same!
MARKET SATURATION & COMPETITION
You're going head to head with literally millions of sellers covering over 6000 different product niches. Breaking into an established niche is next to impossible - and finding untapped niches are becoming increasingly rare.
Start up costs require roughly $5000 in initial inventory, $10,000 in advertising, and $3000 in listing optimization, packaging, and branding. All in all, if you want to have a chance at success, you'll need to spend roughly $15,000 to $20,000 just as an initial investment.
Nearly all successful products are copied and resold by either Amazon or Chinese manufacturers who then undercut their competition at margins that only billion dollar companies can afford. Every time you see an Amazon Basics or Essentials product at the top ranked listing, it's likely that dozens of independent sellers went out of business.
The key to long term wealth is in building and owning valuable assets, but with Amazon FBA, you own nothing. You're an enslaved middleman to Amazon, who care only about market domination and making a profit. Remember, you're there to make them money - and your use of Amazon is a privilege they grant you; a privilege they can revoke at any time.
Between identifying products and suppliers, passing quality assurance, securing inventory, and then product ranking, you're looking at over a year before you even have a chance at seeing a net positive income.
Profit margins are extremely low, meaning the only real way to make money is through mass ordering. Successful Amazon sellers often make less than 10% profit off of their sales.
Amazon's terms of service are fickle and ever changing. Bans are frequent and can spell disaster for FBA startups and established businesses alike.
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