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 Lyden Smithers from Titan Network, an invite only members platform for entrepreneurs looking to scale their Amazon businesses.
Born in the UK, moved to Tenerife – Canary Islands, Spain at age 7 . Left school at 17 and became a real estate agent then went on to run a construction company with over 30 employees refurbishing hotels, nightclubs and properties.
In 2015, Lyden moved to the UK and partnered up with life long friend, Dan Ashburn, and began selling on Amazon and then founding Ignite Brands. Now a diverse, unified and experienced team placed worldwide, helping Amazon sellers establish brands, expedite the growth of existing brands and helping them to achieve life changing exits.
Lyden is also an international speaker for SellerCon, Helium10 and Global Sources along with being a Founding Leader and head of business development at Titan Network – An ‘invite-only’ membership for elite Amazon sellers, Lyden runs the strategic forums for training track and mentoring for our most advanced member sellers in Group 4, reserved for those achieving $2m+ in revenue per year.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Lyden, 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 Titan Network and a little bit about how the company got started?
Lyden: Titan Network is an invite only members platform for entrepreneurs looking to scale their Amazon businesses. With community, training, group and 1-1 mentoring and a bespoke tool set developed off the back of cutting edge strategies, we fast track all levels of sellers through the amazon journey ultimately to a point of exit. Titan was born off the back of China Magic, a 12 day sourcing and mentoring trip in China where we walked the floors of Canton fair in the day and delivered Amazon training in the evenings. We helped so many people expedite their growth but we realised that once the trip was over they were alone again and Titan was born from the desire and need to provide this support all year round rather than twice a year.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the products and services that you offer to help Amazon entrepreneurs scale their business to multi 7-figures in revenue? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Lyden: The difference with Titan and other mentoring programs is that we have our own app away from the noise that surrounds a FB group for instance. We also separate the members in to groups 0-4 based on where they are at in their journey and focus on teaching what they need to be focused on to ascend to the next group. Coupled with this, live events and workshops, the best deals for services in the industry, the TitanWay tool set that allows delivery of the strategy taught, accountability groups, and sourcing network amongst many other services. We pride ourselves on providing all the tools necessary for an entrepreneur to succeed in todays Amazon landscape. Titan isn’t one person preaching to the masses. We are a group of 40+ highly dedicated, successful leaders and mentors – many of which have been through 7 figure exits themselves – sharing their experiences from all different lenses.
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.
Lyden: We aren’t catering to just one type of Amazon seller, we cater for everyone from the guys just starting out to those preparing for big exits. We have over 1000 members in over 50 countries around the world and run monthly meetups in most major cities. So wherever they are in the world or in their Amazon journey we have a group waiting for them to push them to excel and ascend to the next level. We look for a certain type of person rather than where they are at in the business and that person is a driven entrepreneur with an abundance mindset destined to succeed and put in what they take out.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other companies in the training and mentoring space, can you share a story of how Titan Network truly helped one of its customers?
Lyden: Hard to choose one but we had an attendee on China Magic just starting out that then signed up to Titan when we launched and ascended through the groups to Group 4 and is now at $2.5m TTM revenue and growing exponentially. She also became a mentor and now leads her own group in Titan. The culture we create and people we attract who just want to give back is incredible. She is also on track to exiting the next year for high 7 figures. We also had a student that joined group 1 with just one product and a few thousand in revenue per month and has very quickly moved through the groups to 3 in record time. She did just shy of $1m her first year on Amazon which is impressive and is at $230k per month currently.
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?
Lyden: With Titan we are constantly improving our delivery and updating training based on Amazon’s ever changing landscape, but I suppose one of the most powerful assets is our tool set. We have developed a set of tools that allows for automation and simplifies the processes we put in place for our training based on extensive testing across 100s of accounts in my other business, Ignite Brands and, of course, the leaders and mentors accounts.
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?
Lyden: This industry is constantly throwing challenges at us in the form of TOS changes. We’ve had a few times where we have put a lot of money and effort in to tools and training and then the goal posts move – rebates for example! But rebates being ruled out was a blessing in disguise as we have developed a launch strategy without rebates that is more organic, gets better results and all whilst being more profitable during launch. We’ve tested this in Ignite across 100s of launches and it continues to smash it out of the park. There’s also challenges like Trump Tarrifs, China lockdowns, Shipping costs, Amazon FBA costs. We are constantly being kept on our toes but we learn to improvise, adapt, overcome and come back stronger!
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?
Lyden: With Amazon’s ever changing platform going in the direction of being brand focussed and becoming a more social platform I believe we’re going to see CPC and TACOS continue to rise. Gone are the days where a 8-10% tacos is achievable. I think from 2020 to 2021 average CPC went from something like 83c to $1.21. I also believe that building a strong brand presence both on and off Amazon, great content and high quality products that solve your avatars needs is more important than ever. Personally I’ll be going down the route of premium brands with higher priced products to ensure a higher profit margin to allow for the increase in PPC marketing investment. For example TikTok is becoming a huge tool at our disposal for driving interest in our brands and products and influencers are becoming more and more important to drive brand awareness, build audiences and drive sales. All of which have a cost attached.
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.
Lyden: From what I can see having touched 1000s of accounts and spoken to even more sellers in all categories, marketplaces and walks of life, the most important thing is knowing your numbers. Whether your goal is to replace your 9-5 salary or drive a higher exit, profit is what ultimately matters and having insight to your numbers is key. The reason we have developed an automated Daily Sales tracker within our tool set is that this allows us to make 365 decisions a year to improve our businesses. If you are checking your P&L once a month – usually 2 weeks in to the following month – you have 12 very reactive decisions you can make. Understanding your numbers is everything in my opinion.
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?
Lyden: Cash is king! You can have every training, tactic and hack in the industry but without cashflow you can’t grow the business. We have a saying we have coined in Titan (courtesy of Mr Spreadsheet – Andrew Erickson) ABL ABL ABL – Always be launching, Always be launching, Always be launching. To be able to do this you need cashflow and I’m a big believer in that, once again, without understanding your numbers and having a solid forecast you can’t maintain that. I am known for my Supplier Negotiation techniques in the Titan and wider Amazon community and have 100s of successful case studies where people have funded their growth using better terms from their suppliers. This is one of the key masterclasses within the network.
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?
Lyden: I have made my up to date supplier negotiation presentation available on the following link: https://www.lydensmithers.com/suppliernegotiation
Through there you can find out more about Titan Network and for information on Ignite Brands you can go to www.scalewithignite.com
Other than that find me on Social Media by searching Lyden Smithers – there shouldn’t be too many!