Your listings are likely the most important part of your Amazon business. They are what your customers see and are virtually the only chance you have to convince customers to add your product to the cart. There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether it’s worth it to pony up the cash for an Amazon listing specialist to create your listings.
The biggest variables will be the amount of available time you have, your experience and expertise, and your budget constraints. A business owner who doesn’t have time available to optimize the listings but has cash available may lean towards hiring out the tasks, whereas someone with limited cash but ample time may decide it’s worth it to spend the time learning the techniques and best practices and build listings themselves.
I’ve gone through the pros and cons here.
Hiring An Amazon Listing Specialist
Fast. An expert is going to be able to create and optimize your listing in a short amount of time. They will need to do keyword research and learn what type of market you’ll be competing in on Amazon, but even with all that, it’ll usually just take a few hours at most. If you have multiple listings for similar products, that process may be much faster. This may allow you to start getting sales earlier and faster than if you did it yourself. If you’re in the situation where you can start getting sales immediately, you’d lose out on quite a few sales if you opted to wait a week or two for you to get around to doing it yourself.
Done Right. Hiring an expert usually means it’s going to be done right the first time. You won’t have to go back and redo everything after realizing that you aren’t indexing for the right keywords or that your approach was totally off. An expert can give you tailored, custom advice for your exact listing, not just generic information you could find online. If you do it yourself or hire a less experienced lister, not only do you have to spend that time upfront, but you may end up having to make the changes all over again.
A great listing will also help your search ranking for Amazon, helping you get more sales faster. Not only will Amazon’s search engine have a better idea of where to place you based on your copy, but you’ll also likely have higher conversion rates which will boost your visibility even more and make advertising much cheaper. A great way to balance out costs!
Missing out on learning. As an entrepreneur, you typically need to understand the mechanics of your business. If you are a small business starting out, you usually don’t want to outsource things until you have a handle on them yourself. Otherwise, you may not have a full understanding of your business and how it operates. As a way to overcome this is, consider having an expert teach you along the way, instead of just creating and optimizing the listing for you. For example, they can record a video explaining what they are doing, the changes they are making, and the reasoning behind their decisions. This will likely cost extra since it’s extra work on their part, but it’s a great way to learn if you don’t have the time to spend researching everything yourself.
Higher Costs. You’ll obviously need to pay an Amazon listing specialist. Depending on your financial situation, it may be better to spend the time learning the processes yourself rather than hiring an expert. That way you can conserve your cash for product purchases and other business expenses. This is where you factor in your time availability, cash reserves, and long term sales potential.
Product Knowledge. Depending on the type of product, you may know a lot more than a listing specialist would about your product. If you don’t have a lot of information about the product and market written down, it may take a significant amount of time to bring a freelancer up to speed. For example, when creating listings for a high-end water filter, a specialist would need to understand the types of contaminants that are and are not filtered, how effective the filter is compared to others, what other options customers have, and the technical terms used to describe the features of filters. If a specialist doesn’t receive or understand that information, the listing may not be as effective as it would be if you created it yourself, given your higher level of understanding.
Creating And Optimizing Listings Yourself
Save Money. Depending on the listing and who you hire, an Amazon listing specialist can cost $25-200 per listing. If you do it yourself, you won’t need to pay those fees. That may be a good option if you have the time and the expertise, or the means to gain the expertise.
You Learn The Process. You’ll typically want to know how listings are optimized, as it’s an important part of any Amazon business. Doing the work yourself really helps you get a greater understanding of the mechanics of your business and will help you throughout the future of your business.
Product Knowledge. You may know the product, audiences, and pain points much better than anyone else. You may be better able to convey those in the listing than someone else with a more basic understanding of the specific product’s value and challenges.
Learning Takes Time. You can find a lot of good information online; however, you’ll have to sort through everything you find. Some information will be out of date. And even if you have great information, you’ll likely need to spend a few hours watching videos, reading articles, and getting feedback from others before you even start on the listing. This can take away from time you could spend on higher-value activities.
You May Do It Wrong. If you’re just learning, it’s definitely possible that you miss some key points or just really miss the mark. This can mean you don’t get indexed correctly in Amazon’s search engine or you have a lower conversion rate and miss out on sales (which will also lower your rankings).
Another Task On Your Plate. You’ve got tasks piling up, and you’ve got to be realistic about how much you can do yourself. Creating and optimizing your listings takes additional time. If doing it yourself means you may not get it finished for a few weeks, it’s probably a good idea to just outsource it and get it done.
As with any business decision, there are pros and cons to each choice you could make. You’ll have to do a simple analysis of your business to determine if outsourcing your listings is the right option considering your time, skills, and product. If you determine your business would benefit from hiring an Amazon listing specialist, FreeeUp can introduce you to a pre-vetted listing specialist in one business day.
McKay is the CEO of Five Star Commerce, a “freelance team” dedicated to helping brands grow on Amazon. He enjoys hiking and karaoke in the Salt Lake City area where he lives.