Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Neil A. Twa from Voltage DM, co-founder and CEO of Voltage Digital Marketing. He has been launching, operating, and growing private label e-commerce businesses for the last 9+ years. As of today, he and his clients have sold over $100 million+ in physical products primarily through the Amazon FBA sales channel. Neil shares his blueprint for how to build an online business that can generate a passive “almost automated” six-figure income in just 12 to 18 months. And how to set up the business for potentially millions in sales within 18-24 months through a ‘pay as you profit’ skin in the game model of consulting + performance driven business mentoring.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Neil, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to Voltage DM and a little bit about how the company got started?
Neil: Voltage was founded in 2019 from 2 multiple 7-figure Sellers Who’ve Been Building e-Commerce Brands On Amazon Since 2012…
Neil Twa and Reed Larsen have collectively been involved in generating over $100M in FBA sales since they started their first brand in 2012. They have gone on to build 8 different brands, launch 1000+ stores with their clients, taken multiple e-commerce companies to exit, and built a company that launches, operates, acquires, and represents some of the Top 1-5% of all sellers on Amazon.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the products and services that you offer for brand management and strategies? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Neil: With over $100M+ in FBA sales both in our own brand management and direct mentoring of our clients’ brands generated with our strategies and oversight, we’ve learned exactly what it takes to make an Amazon business successful. Our Voltage Amazon Account Management Services (VAAMS) allows our clients to focus on growing their revenue, while leaving all Amazon sales channel maintenance to us. Tasks like market research, brand building, PPC management, brand growth, and all account management activities on the Amazon channel can be handed off to our expert team. Market Research, Brand Building & Account Management
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Neil: Our ideal customer first must understand the dedication it takes to build their business. Whether a beginner/newbie or seasoned business owner looking to grow their business, it’s important that they understand Voltage is Done with you not for you. Of course it’s also important to understand the financial requirements for coaching & Capital. Within a year we have seen 6 figure earners, of course results vary. Location in the world, well almost anywhere in the world in this age of the internet.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other companies in the digital marketing space, can you share a story of how Voltage DM truly helped one of its customers?
Neil: Voltage is different in the way that it specifically integrates itself with folks who have never had any experience by giving them a franchise like model to build an ecommerce store with us over 24 months working with from the beginning with the end in mind which is the business Exit phase so everything is built to be structured around a formatted process a game plan, a product selection plan, a product launch plan and a growth strategy for scale and then exit so when we get involved with folks they need to have aptitude business experience and of course the money for knowledge as well as product and business startup. Our goal is to walk them through a repeatable process of taking them to the top of their Everest so they can become a Zero to Hero experience in a one-on-one coaching format over 12 months. The goal here is to ensure that they stay within our guard rails.
They work with our people processes and Technology including our software and we even help them skip the product research by simply giving them the best products they should sell at the best profitability in the marketplace giving everybody an opportunity for a personalized experience. Now we do this on a limited basis. Under an application only we usually take five to seven people per month and we try to keep that to a position of working with only the best. We realize we can’t work with every person and were not trying to work with every person or any every individual entrepreneur who wants to do this but business owners, business minded people who want to break out and grab Freedom build an Empire or retire are the kind of folks that work in this process really well with us. We’ve been able to teach 19 year old high school dropouts how to do this and 60 year old grandmas. So really the process has to do with the right people and the right seat on the right bus.
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Neil: For next year we want to continue to grow the Coaching Mentorship and advisory roles we are playing within companies strategically trying to align ourselves with great operators or potential CEO operators as well as companies that make sense that are doing great operations but maybe don’t have the best channel optimization for Amazon. Where we can bring off Amazon businesses to Amazon and continue to evaluate and grow and scale those that are on Amazon to potential exits. Our specific initiative is to continue to move products and services of those companies forward. To continue to evolve our GreenLight Dashboard process and methodology into more automation within our launch process. That’s definitely two of things we are going to be focused on next year.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Neil: You know the big differentiators are trying to set up Voltage with the understanding that we’re more personalized boutique that we don’t have an interest in course work or do-it-yourself type of materials. That we work under a management and Consulting agreement with folks we’re here to build businesses with the end and exit in mind and that’s taken a while to get that message to segment itself away from the done for you automation thing at Walmart and Amazon to take people out of their expectation of this course work only and to elevate them into more business or to elevate the message into a place of more business affinity driven wealth without Wall Street principles.
Business fundamentals business mentoring of trading real businesses that have an online and a physical product base and then giving people the opportunity to truly understand that business Building Concept over 12 24-36 months and not make money offers fly-by-night dreams or get rich in 3 days kind of stuff. The goal here has been to elevate that message. It’s taken longer to do that. To separate Voltage from the marketplace but once people understand what we’re doing and hear the message and they resonate, and they see the opportunity it becomes very clear to them why we are different.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Neil: I do predict major adoption to continue to grow post COVID as we had a huge bump in the adoption curve. We had Huge bump with the Amazon activators coming onboard and spending almost $20 billion dollars and growing that market and of course it is consolidating, capitulating, it is doing it’s seeds at the moment as it optimizes for a new Marketplace and that will bring significant change I believe in the next few years as that sort of gets dialed in. Amazon is now seen as a real business model. If you’re just in Amazon FBA channel. So I see that in the next few years that adoption will grow faster and faster. Especially for those that are on Shopify, Wu commerce or direct to consumer channels and that the direct to consumer channels are going to need to make a stronger play in places like Amazon and even Walmart and other marketplaces and so they are going to need to bring these secondary channels on.
Where it’s been sort of a nice to have I see it being a need in the next 1 – 2 years and that’s going to change a lot of the business for those who are on both sides of the fences. Because they are obviously in the Amazon FBA channel the opportunity is to open a direct channel to consumers. I see a lot of Amazon people starting to move towards that, those who are building brands are now going to be building secondary channels out and that is becoming a bigger realization for the market as it matures.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Neil: Accounting and bookkeeping for Amazon can be very difficult usually for individual operators so we typically bring somebody in who has experience or who can be trained in the bookkeeping and stay up with the transactional basis, the Lexis Nexis aspect of maintaining taxation for which location states etcetera which might require it and keeping up with that can actually be a lot so we always recommend a bookkeeper get involved who understand ecommerce and transactional ecommerce for Amazon and that just saved the business owner a lot of time, heartache and effort booking these transactions correctly for ecommerce.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Neil: One of the biggesting things is to ensure the stability of your mindset as a business owner. There’s the aspect of working in your business and on your business. I know this gets belittled a lot, but if we use just Elon as an example while he’s got Tesla, and he’s got SpaceX and now he’s into Twitter, he’s an example of building great teams. I would encourage people to remember to stay focused as operators and owners on the different aspects of that. What an operator and owner looks like and ensuring that they are moving themselves into the owner position if they are operators and creating operational independence.
I’d say that’s one of the things about Amazon companies that we miss a lot, while other people start the companies they are not really good operators actually and that’s one that skill sets that we train a lot of people on and quite honestly back to the mindset again it really has to do with the strength of their tenacity, there ability to be a go getter, they are in perfect action taking in whatever aspect of the business whether it’s product research, customer support, optimizations etcetera or even running their PPC campaigns that they’re working working somewhat even imperfectly to work through that process of creating value within their Brand to ensure the upside potential of their business is there. So I would just have them focus again on a strong mindset, business fundamentals, and ensuring that they are building with the end in mind so they are structuring their business at the beginning with the right accounting and business structure and fundamentals so that the upside potential of their business is much greater at the end
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Neil: At the link below or within this podcast they can go over to www.voltageb2b.com . They will be able to get free training. It’s a 3 part training series, A workshop that will take them through the five big shifts that all sellers need to make to really 10X their business on Amazon. It’s free training and they get access to it. They can go sign up. There is also a podcast training on there with myself and Kevin Harrington. It goes through the fundamentals of the business operations, why he predicts Amazon is the next As Seen on TV and how that can really impact a positive business model for everybody. There’s a free training course that’s worth $2K. The training and the time together as well as the templates and resources that are given as a part of all are free for anybody that joins the email list and that will be handed out to them on the email.