Karen Waksman, Founder of Retail MBA, is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. She has sold millions of units to the world’s largest retailers now dedicates her time to teaching Entrepreneurs how to market and sell their products to Major Retailers, Online Retailers, Catalogs and Small Retailers.
We asked Karen some questions about how she does what she does so well, so that you can discover how to copy her success. Here are her responses:
What products/programs do you use?
I use Traffic Geyser and Make, Market, Launch It. Both systems are absolutely AWESOME! I initially started with Traffic Geyser, and just recently tried out MML. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful these programs have been to my information business. They are worth every penny!
What did you do? What’s the situation?
I started dabbling in the information product world about a year and a half ago. I had an eBook that I created called How to Sell Your Product, Invention or Craft to Major Retailers…No Sales Experience or Existing Buyer Relationships Required.
I had no idea what I was doing in the Internet marketing space, and so after doing some research I came across Traffic Geyser.
The information provided in Traffic Geyser changed the way I viewed Internet marketing completely. I was hooked! The tutorials they provide are amazing and the actual system itself is so easy to use. I immediately implemented the strategies in the system and got an overwhelming response. I can honestly attribute all of the speaking engagements I’ve had over the last year and half to the videos I created. I have spoken at Stanford University, Consumer Electronics Show, National Hardware Show, etc, etc. People were booking me at show because they saw that I knew what I was talking about through the videos I created. And all I was doing was following Traffic Geyser’s steps!
Now keep in mind that I was selling this $97 eBook as a small side project. However, a year and half later, I decided to take the business seriously. This is when I knew I needed additional support in regards to developing a real product. That’s when I came across Pam Hendrickson and Mike Koenigs at an event. Their MML product was exactly what I was looking for. It forced to me take a hard look at what I was doing in my information product business. I soon learned I was doing everything wrong.
But the good news is that MML helped me developed my new program called Retail MBA: How to Sell to Wal-Mart and Other Chain Store Retailers. I can’t even tell you how awesome the results have been. I made $13k on Retail MBA even before it went live. I didn’t even have a chance to launch it. In fact, the site wasn’t even fully set up when people were purchasing!! So cool!!! And the first person to buy my program actually called me a week later to tell me that he got his product into a chain store using my system…woohoo!!
How much time did all this take? What did you have to do?
It took me only two weeks to create my Retail MBA program! This program consists of 10 DVD’s, 5 Books, a Binder, Carrying Case with Handle AND an Online Course filled with 30+ videos and bonus content. Let’s just say I didn’t sleep for a few weeks during that time…but it was so worth it!
I had been teaching 1,000’s of product companies on the subject of how to sell products to chain stores for a while, so I knew the content. My problem was that I was stuck. I didn’t know how to develop the right content and more importantly how to actually sell the information. The ironic part is that I have been in sales for close to 20 years, but Internet marketing was a whole other ball game. I had no clue what I was doing. In my sales business, I could sell many millions of dollars, but online I was making hobby money. I knew I was doing something wrong so I decided to get help.
Anyhow, after reviewing Make, Market, Launch It, I realized I was completely targeting the wrong audience and this was one of the main reasons I wasn’t getting anywhere. Plus, MML gave me a clear framework as to how to create a more expensive product that people would actually buy.
I am so grateful for the information MML provided. It has completely changed my perspective on how to run an information business. Plus, all of the video equipment I bought because of what I learned on Traffic Geyser was instrumental in helping me get the videos done in a significantly shorter amount of time. Also, now that I’m finally ready to start marketing Retail MBA, I will be using Traffic Geyser again to get the word out about what I’m up to. Exciting!
What advice do you have for others?
If I could give any advice to anyone starting an information business it’s that you should seek help as soon as possible! That was the biggest mistake I made and cost me a year and half.
I’m the kind of person who likes to do everything myself. I’ve realized that this has not served me well. Also, the concept of spending thousands of dollars on my education was another deterring factor for me – it just seemed excessive. Both of these factors cost me a tremendous amount of time, money and headache. I learned the hard way that you should find people who know the industry you want to work in and learn from them. Why reinvent the wheel?! From now on, my money goes toward education. I made my money back in a week!!! Such a huge lesson learned.
Bottom line – get the support you need to get started today. It will be so worth it!
A bit more about Karen Waksman
About.com (New York Times Company) Expert: Karen Waksman is the Wholesale Product Expert for About.com! About.com reaches nearly 40MM unique visitors a month and is a top 30 site in the US.
Commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association to train members on how to get products into retailers. Karen is also a speaker at CES. CES is the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow that boasts more than 150,000 attendees at their annual event!
Was asked by Stanford University to teach the Product For Profit class (How to Sell Products to Major Retailers…No Sales Experience or Existing Buyer Relationships Required) and is also a student mentor for their Product Realization Network group.
Karen teaches her popular course ‘Getting Your Products Sold at Retail’ for the National Hardware Show, International Home and Housewares Show, Alibaba.com, Small Business Administration, SBDC, University of Chicago, Inventor Associations throughout the country and much more!
United Inventors Association Blogger: Proud member of UIA and writes a ‘Just Ask Karen’ blog monthly for them. UIA is one of the world’s largest inventors associations!
InventorSpot.com Writer: Blogger for the #1 inventor site on the web (most popular inventor site in the world)!