#16: Using Automations to Grow Your Business with Barak Almog
Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.
Today we are talking with Barak Almog about automating processes in your business, selling on amazon, and unique ways to use online courses.
Learn more about Barak and his business: https://sellerframe.com/
Bryan McAnulty: Welcome to the Creator's Adventure, where we interview Creator's from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business. My name is Bryan McAnulty. I'm the founder of Heights Platform. And today I'm talking with Barak Alman about how to automate processes in your business, selling on Amazon and the unique ways to use online courses.
Hey everyone. We're here today with Barak Almog. He is the owner of seller frame.com. A company that helps online businesses, systematize, automate, and outsource their business with advanced web technologies, coding and automation tools. Barak is also a former Amazon seller blogger video content creator, public speaker, and owner of several online communities dedicated to helping entrepreneurs create automated and autonomous businesses.
Barak, welcome to the show.
Barak Almog: Hi, Bryan. That sounds very sophisticated. I mean, hearing you reading reading it that way. Thanks for having me. I'm I'm really happy to be here. I've been working with your platform for probably three years, I guess, something like that. And And it's a great opportunity to connect finally with the people behind.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Yeah. I I'm really enjoying so far that this show is a good excuse for me to be able to get to know some of my customers like yourself.
Barak Almog: I should do something similar seriously. Okay.
Bryan McAnulty: So tell us a little bit about your company seller frame. So what exactly do you do and how did you get started with that?
Barak Almog: Uh, oh boy. well, seller frame is. Seller, first of all seller frame is a small agency and what I do and what we do, we help businesses online businesses automate their operation, the way that it started. It's kind of an incarnation. You mentioned that I was an Amazon seller and that's where I began my journey and, and seller frame is kind of in like an incarnation of what I did before, which was.
Bar helping Amazon sellers systemize and outsource, you know, it was just a personal branding and somewhere in the beginning of uh, previous year 2020, I, I realized that if I want to grow, then I need to start structuring and I help other businesses automate and structure and systemize their own businesses.
I should probably do the same. And so. For the past two years, I guess I've been working with mostly Amazon sellers, but other business owners in hiring good, a player, personal virtual assistance for whatever in their businesses. And In the past, probably six or seven months I started doing uh, something that's more relating to my own personal background, which is automations.
And this, this has been growing really nicely because automation is a huge pain. That's literally every business out there needs. So yeah, most, mostly automations, a little bit working with with online sellers on hiring virtual as. So I don't want to talk too much, but
Bryan McAnulty: cool. Well, that sounds good.
So with your experience as a former Amazon seller, and really, it sounds like you were kind of an expert at, at that. What, what was your experience selling on Amazon and why did you kind of shift away from that now?
Barak Almog: Yeah. All right. I mean I don't wanna call myself an expert in, in Amazon FBA model in spite of me doing it for five years because the, the field, the business has changed a lot when I've started it in 2016.
That was but just probably I should mention this, my own personal background. I'm I'm 42 years old. Now I have a master degree in computer science and algorithms. Around 2015. So that's six, almost six years ago. I quit my job in the high tech industry and I went on a long trip and when I came back, I decided I'm gonna start my own business.
So what I'm, I'm trying to say that I started 2016, Amazon taboo, ASA you know, clean slate. I didn't know anything about business back then. It was a huge opportunity. I think the awareness started in 2016 and then there has been a massive you know, influx of, of sellers, of money, of expertise.
So back then, I think it was a huge opportunity and you could peak a niche and relatively easily differentiate yourself. And then with, you know, with the money, with the people, with the seller, with the competition, the awareness starting already, it it's been the whole market matured and a lot of money came in.
And so in the past, probably two years, and this has been pronounced since the Corona, since the COVID the pandemic, the whole business model they're shifted toward you know, professional. Systems and capitals and, uh uh, and so what I'm trying to say is that today, I think as an, as an Amazon seller, if someone is looking to sell there as an individual, it's gonna be really, really, really hard because they're competing with aggregators that collect several stores and consolidate their operation.
And so. And then there is another aspect to it, which is back then in the past, you could just rely on Amazon traffic, you know, to, to, to sell your business and sorry to sell your product. And so you could probably pick a niche, maybe get some reviews. And generate sales. And again, today, one of the things that you need to do in order to sell well is to be able to create your own audience maybe a Facebook group or, or, or maybe a YouTube channel and all these things makes this A very difficult business model for indivi individual today.
It doesn't carry with him a substantial background in, in business, in online business.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. I mean, I remember back around like 2016 when you're saying. It really seemed like if you could find the right kind of product and source it from China, even if someone's already manufactured it, then you could label it with your own logo and you had the opportunity to sell that.
And if somebody else was already selling it, maybe there's only one or two people, but now it's like any product that's ever existed. There's a hundred people selling it or more than that, probably. Um, and, and also, like you said, they're probably larger businesses with more experience and more money. and they're probably maybe selling hundreds of thousands of other products.
Not only that one.
Barak Almog: Yeah. I work with this with this business, you know, I help them find VAs and I help them out automate aspects of their business because you know, they, they got they bring with them a machine and one of the things that those business have that others, and again, I'm, I'm comparing to individual sellers is that they got access to data and.
They got the knowledge to process it fast. So if you, for example, you take PPC, which is a huge thing, you know, back then in Amazon, you could. Create a few campaigns and, and get it going. And you probably should have would tweak it once a week or two weeks. But today, those people you know, your competitors, they bring with the machines that can actually consume all that data and understand when they need to turn off and turn on.
And, and they have campaigns for individual keyword. And you multiply it again. And again, it's very hard for individual seller to compete. And, and one thing that, I mean, I told you before, when we just talked before this interview is my feeling is in the, probably in the past, like two years, the fewer picking any market and any niche in Amazon, it's a commodity niche within the context of that niche.
Cause in the end, And I mean, think about yourself when you go to buy something, you don't really know the brand or the seller. Most of them are small brands. You are pushed to being, you know, to choose based on, on price and reviews. So it's a commodity market. Um, it's very hard to to generate more value than you know, beyond these two very important factors.
Bryan McAnulty: Sure. So now it seems like you're more focused as an online course creator and you're selling these courses, helping other businesses and Amazon sellers automate their businesses. So why did you decide to create an online course and how did that actually get started?
Barak Almog: Uh, yeah. Alright. so I mean, if, if I correct you a little bit, then actually my business model is courses is just part of it, but what I invest most of my time is helping businesses automate their operation.
Well, that means that I'm actually there with them in the trenches. Um,
Bryan McAnulty: so more like a
Barak Almog: consulting type. It's a consulting, but we actually do businesses. So for example if you are a potential, like I, like I said up until like maybe six months ago, I would provide a done for you via higher services.
But that wasn't interesting enough. And I grew past that. It's also I gotta be I mean, you know, I gotta be honest that VA hire is not something with a high perceived. If someone is paying, I dunno for his VA $500 a. How much would they be willing to pay for the recruitment service? It's very hard to provide an, you know, an envelope of more value around it.
So I did that as a service. And then today, if you are like, for example, a business owner, just even like, you know, yourself I don't work solely with Amazon sellers and actually I work more with agency owners now. So if you are an agency owners, a small agency and you do most of the, the things that you do yourself, then you can come and describe to me, for example, your sales process.
And then we're going to strategize how that thing, first of all, the process. How it should be best handled. And once we understand that we can automate it because there's like a plethora of tools out there that can do literally everything. Uh, and once we, we, we, we figured out what's the right approach.
Then I, I, I do the, the work me and my team. We go and we automate and we connect all the systems and we are there to support. Now you asked about online courses. I actually use your platform. I use hype platform for uh, for, for many things I do use it to to still actual courses. And I feel like online courses is an important part.
Of your of any business model I think of an agency, not I mean, you can make it you know, your major revenue generator, and that's okay. Not specifically where I do, but for me online courses have been in the past two and a half years. One of the major, most major tools of trust building both. So I created a free course about VA hire.
Seriously, this is something I gotta stop. And I gotta urge anyone that's listening to this, create a course, you know, PDF is just not doing it anymore, but when people signed up for my free course, Which by the way it's still out there also in English. I, I created an in Hebrew back then and they listened to me over the course of five or six lecture you know, videos explaining to them the entire process of hiring a VA and systemizing their business and delegating their task and managing the VA long term.
And then they sit there and they listen. Then they bond with you and then they wanna work with you. So even if it's not your major revenue generator an online course is a huge asset in both the marketing and sales process, especially if it's free. Um, so yeah. Um, I got more to say, but I just don't don't wanna hug all the, no, I think,
Bryan McAnulty: I think that's a great point.
Um, yeah, I'm really C curious because it sounds like you explained a very tiny bit about this right before we started the interview, but it's always hard for us to really understand someone's business from just looking at their, their course or their program real quick. So even though we can see your content since you're one of our customers, it's still, we don't fully understand how your business works and where all the pieces fit together.
So you said that besides the online courses you actually use. Heights Platform for a couple other things. So you can, can you explain a little bit more of how you're actually using Heights and, and how all that works?
Barak Almog: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I , I, I really, I seriously, I love the, the platform because the, I felt that for me, it came in a really good, the you know, time where I, it gave you know, the right, the right Start intersection between great price, great great platform, great people.
You are very responsive. I remember reaching out to you for, to help me with API access where I needed some and your guy was more than proactive about it. You know, you provided more than what I needed. Um, how I use it. I, I tried to use it for everything. So first of. There is the, of course the online course.
So one, one of the courses that I, I used to sell is the, the VA hire. Um, deep outlook or I don't know how to call it. So I call it the VA hire faster, which is really shows in depth, the entire funnel that I used to hire VAs, the automation, the everything around it, how to delegate, how I create SOPs, what tools I used to manage 'em and everything.
So this is a course online course. And then one of the variations of that course was. Uh, quite a similar approach that I, I provide with my service. Okay. And I found out that for example, I I'm, I'm gonna hire a VA for you for social media and right. I did it like it done for you service, and then I'm connecting you with that person.
it doesn't end there. I mean, you need to know how to get the most out. It's like I'm providing you a car and no offense to the Filipinos and you need to be able to drive that car. So the, the online course is an amazing asset to support those people are usually what I do. I provide a first. Yeah, quick, quick start guide where, you know, some of them don't wanna watch hours of video.
And then I tell them, you know, you just watch the first model that should get you going. But then there are other models which are in depth. So for example uh, creating a company, Wiki, you know, with all your SOPs, some people, they got their approach, they don't wanna see through endless hours of video.
And you, you see that? I like to talk, that's my problem. And So I, I tell 'em, this is a quick start guide, but to make the most of it, you need to watch the others. And then if they come with a question, then I can refer to them to, to the specific videos. This
Bryan McAnulty: one. So, so this course that you're talking about, this is actually for the person that you're going to help give them the VA.
It's not for the VA themselves. Um, but then are they going to, are you gonna also. Provide something or train them in creating some kind of onboarding material for the VA.
Barak Almog: Right. So, I mean, this is something that I mean you're kind of touching yeah, delicate point here, because up until the recruitment, I mean, if, if if you allow me to share a few nuggets about the, the model, the recruitment for the most part.
So again, let's say that you are. Um, a, a current agency owner and you need and you need the VA to help you with the customer service. I can probably help you find that person we discuss together. What is your, what the person is going to do, and then recreate maybe a skill test. And we, we kind of adjust the process, but then once the person.
Leaves my premises and goes to work for you. The training is very, very much dependent on, on the business. So it's very, you know, it's a wide it branches out to many, to so many directions that I personally cannot provide the, the, the training. For every business out there. So when I used to work with Amazon sellers was easier, you know, because I could have a set of training videos, how to create a shipping plan, how to do customer service.
it doesn't change so much. Um, so then I, yeah, I did. I had a, I actually had an Amazon FBA VA basic course and advanced course I had it. I think it's still on the platform. I don't use it right now. Uh, and yeah, it was a separate course for the VAs. and I mean, if anyone is watching here and he's thinking, yeah, I got access to Heights Platform.
Then apart, apart from the apart from selling whatever courses or anything that you want, this is a magnificent place to save your training videos instead, instead of I don't know, on Google drive or variety of places where you forget everything, you kind of got everything lined. And I, I do, I use it. I had two or three courses.
I think one of them is social media and another general Amazon. So this is another another way that I use the platform and I absolutely, I mean, I love that I have this option for me. Everything in one place is very easy. Cool.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. It's always interesting to hear how people are using it. I mean, we use it for our internal training as well.
Um, but yeah, definitely like most Creator's are using it and just saying, well, I'm selling courses, but always interesting to hear when someone has something unique that they've come up with another way that a course can be useful, a membership, a community, whatever it is that they end up to build, I actually
Barak Almog: have two or three more you know, examples that maybe people can adopt.
Bryan McAnulty: Sure. Yeah. So, so what are those then?
Barak Almog: This is something that, I mean, I, I feel that going to be valuable. So I got two more. One of them is that, I mean, I'm, I'm a strong believer in masterminds and I really tried to create masterminds in whatever I do. So I got my own personal mastermind. I had one for Amazon and It's a little bit less active now.
I mean, the people still, still talking me less because I'm not doing Amazon so much anymore. I'm not even pulling toward it. I had one, I have one for automation, a strong, personal close mastermind. So one of the things that I do is every time that I go live with those people, Then I, I record the meetups and we, we do a bunch of things.
Mostly we go live, you know, to share, to share success successful, you know, processes or models or stuff that we did. And we, we feel that the others can benefit from, or to consult with each other. And this I'm recording it. I'm just. Collecting it in in a sequence. So this is another great place, you know, only as we have access to these recordings, which is it's a convenient place to see that you know, and you can also add links below and everything else that you feel that that session is relevant too.
It's only in one place. So this is one thing that I love using the platform form. And then there is. Again I didn't mention the, you know, I didn't describe the entire business model. I work a lot in a Facebook group and this is like my, you know, this is my show, like Russell Branson calls it. And one of the things that I like to do, if I'm not, let's say that I'm designing a course.
I wanna, I want to create a course about CRM. Okay. And I. I'm not confident enough to sell it because I didn't, you know, I didn't hone it enough. So one of the things that I do, I go live on workshops and usually these are free workshops. You know, I just going to collect a bunch of people and go in a workshop or live or a webinar and show them the entire model.
And then I, I feed. On the responses and I feel better about myself to maybe you know, to maybe pass it on to the next step and make it a course. So what I do, I go on these workshops and it's gonna be every two or three weeks. and I, since this is kind of a sensitive material, I want to create my courses from it.
So on one hand I don't release it openly. You know, everything that's public is other sessions, not these sessions. But then on the other hand, I do, I do get a lot of people reaching out to me. And can I get a recording? And can you, I didn't come. I didn't mind. I'm sure. You know, it's, you know, it's a common problem.
I, I do it also. I sign up, but I don't show up sometimes. And one of the things that I found that works well for. Is that I gather all those workshops in a bundle. So I got a growing bundle in in, in Heights Platform and I just sell them for a recurring monthly fee. So I think it's not a lot, even it's like $50, something like that.
So this is for me to solve the problem. You know, I, I don't have to, if anyone tells me I didn't show up, can sure there is a, there you go, you can pay and you got access, not just to this one, but to all of. And that's, that's for me, it's all a huge problem, you know? Yeah. That's awesome.
Bryan McAnulty: So yeah, you solve the problem and then also create another revenue stream from it.
Barak Almog: Yeah, yeah. Uh, for, for the time being it's it's all generating a lot because I don't know. I, I don't really push it, but yeah, it's definitely, it's another potential rev revenue stream. And I guess if I market
Bryan McAnulty: I'm interested though, in like the purpose of these workshops. So you said like it's for something.
Maybe you don't know, like have complete like domain knowledge on that thing. Um, so you're using it to be able to also like when somebody asks questions to kind of understand where the questions are coming from on that topic, basically.
Barak Almog: Yeah, a lot. I mean, when you go live with a, with the, with audience for whatever, then you got like multiple streams of information hooked up.
One of them is a feedback from people, you know, it's the smallest. Let's say that I want to sell a workshop, sorry. A course about CRM. And then I see that I promote a free workshop and no one shows up. I don't even get lights or comments, then I gotta rethink my I mean, if I want to invest my time there.
So this is. Starts really from posting the first post posting, inviting people. And then there is when you start, when you prepare, you kind of, you get assets that let like a slideshow, like a process in your head this later will be the basis for your teaching process. And then there is, of course the feedback during I myself, I'm a very technical person.
So it helps you. Tone it down or tone it up. Um, it, this is building block for me. I, you know, instead of just going, edit and creating a course immediately, I love this workshop because it's a building, a mental building block in the process of creating a product that other people need. Uh,
Bryan McAnulty: I think that's great.
I think this is a really good point. I think other people should try this because. It's really common for people to talk about like validating the audience and like asking them if they'd be interested in something or making some kind of pre-sale for your course, but the idea of holding this kind of workshop and going live is really powerful.
I think because. Not only like, is it, it's not too difficult for you to do? It's actually, it sounds like an enjoyable thing to do it, but then instead of like getting on the phone with a single person or just emailing people and asking their feedback, you're getting all these different kinds of feedback all at once from the questions from people's reactions or lack of reactions and yeah.
Yeah. That's, it's a faster way to do it. And and more efficient, I guess. That's really interesting.
Barak Almog: And there is one huge benefit that people overlook. And yeah, again, I, I mean, like, I probably feel that I did a lot of maturing in the past two years. A lot of it through hardship, I, I admit. And one of the things that I found out is that uh, you know, you double down on sharing.
Share as much as you can, as early as you can help as many people as you can. And one of the things that you rip with this workshop is a lot of good karma. And then later, a person that's been in your workshop first, he might become your client later because he developed a, a lot of trust in you. But even if he doesn't be, become a client, one of the things that I, I found out that people after being in my workshop, maybe one or two, three workshop, They would come and then we would share stuff with me.
So I'm gonna give you an example. Let's say that I have, you know, my workshops are pretty much automated, still allowed to do there, but I got solid automation there. And one of the participants he's got a better process is using, I think. One of the webinars, whatever, maybe gem or the other one for an evergreen webinar and just open it up for me.
And he shared it with me. And he, he actually even offered to, for me to try it out in his account. So I don't need to pay couple of hundreds of dollars. So this is something you go like with people. You do this workshops, you rip good karma. And it comes back to you like fast people are really grateful when you help them improve their online.
Bryan McAnulty: That's great. I mean, there's definitely, I think a lot of power in being able to communicate live with someone. And then if you can answer even one question for them that really shows them that like you are a real person, you're, you're really, there. You're someone that they can trust. And it really builds a connection that then they feel like, Hey, you know what?
I think I know this guy he's giving me value. I think I'm gonna buy something from him in the future. ,
Barak Almog: you know it reminds me a sentence that always comes to mind where back then I used to listen to workshops by Dan Kennedy, which is one of my favorite marketers resting peace. And I remember one sentence struck me specifically where he said it to, I think I'm not sure exactly what the phrasing was, but to build trust, you need, you don't need to show expertise.
You need to show some competency because there's so little of it. and I mean, it, it does make sense, you know, in the various context. So you go in a workshop, you don't need to be an expert, you just go with people and you show some competency and then they're happy with you, you know, and they wanna do business with you.
Bryan McAnulty: That's great. So I wanna go into a little bit more about. All of the skills about like being able to properly systematize and delegate and automate things in your business. So like that's a whole skillset on its own. And I think that's something that, especially a lot of individual Creator's or entrepreneurs struggle with.
So if you could give like one tip about how someone could better learn to automate or delegate things in their business, what would that be?
Barak Almog: Yeah, definitely. I get, I get that a lot. And again, like in, in spite of me being ahead of probably 95% of the people around me I still feel like a beginner there because I felt, I think that systemizing is not, it it's not real, really skill is.
You know, my 1, 1, 1 more fundamental mental aspect. I think it's a mindset and you develop it over long periods of time and effort and yeah, I got one very important tip that I should, I mean, it took me time to learn is that many peoples where they want to system. Immediately. They, they look, you know, the, the, at some sort, they look for some, all encompassing solution, like say like CRM.
I wanna do, I want to create a CRM. So let's start looking at a bunch of software and create a bunch of processes. But I, I typically actually would start from the bottom here, meaning let's just pick. Small problem. That is bugging me constantly. For example, let's say that I'm I get. I get daily invoices over email from various services that I pay to and I want to file them.
And I do it manually today and I write it down in Excel. So this is a small thing, but maybe I can, I can systemize and I automate it and that will be a building block. I got one process automated. So what I suggest to anyone that wants to take more steps in automation is first of all, Kind of figure out what are the things that's bothering you?
Okay. Like, like let's say that you have to get leads manually from your website. I'm, I'm stay, you know, I'm choosing the simple things and purpose, just solve this thing. And, and once you did. Share it with others, which is really, really important. It's again, for me, it's a workshop, but you don't have to have a workshop.
You can just post a post on, on a Facebook group and let's say, yeah, I, I succeeded in automating my invoices. Anyone is interested. And then you can go live with three or four people just zoom don't even record it and show them. And then they provide a feedback, their own systems and you kind of, you grow around it.
So that's the way to grow in automation. You don't look for a bunch of videos that show you the entire process. You start with solving small, small problem. You claim some of your time back, and then you share. You have to share it and you reap the benefits from other people, what they give you in terms of resources, there's a bunch.
I mean, I, I, I worked work sorry. I read work the system, but back then, it's free online. It's just search work the system. It's a great book and there is a bunch of others. And by the way, I mean I'm not sure if my details would be there, anyone that is and one that wants to, to, you know, to ask anything you want my advice or you want some.
Is free to reach out to me. Um, if, if there is a, can you just find me on Facebook? Baral, it's quite easy and send me a message. I'd be happy to help refer you to more resources, whatever. So this is my,
Bryan McAnulty: so they can find you on Facebook. Where else can they find you? Your website is seller frame.com. Right?
Barak Almog: Yeah, I got my contact details there also. Um, and probably Facebook is maybe the best medium. Uh, they can just email [email protected] and I mean, I, I love to help. I like, I love to connect to people and just, you know, feel free. Anyone that's watching is to to reach out and ask anything.
Bryan McAnulty: All right. Well, that's great. Well, before we get going, I have one more question. In this show, we like to have our, each of our guests ask a question to the audience. So for our audience members listening, if you could ask them anything right now, what would you want to know from our audience?
Barak Almog: Oh boy. well, I, I actually was prepared for this question, but now I feel that I, I I prepared some.
Uh, maybe not very interesting question. Well, I mean, I thought in the context of what we're talking, I'd be happy to hear how other people are using I platform. Um, For, you know, for and courses for their own business model. So this is one question maybe maybe I could have thought of better one, but just generally it's one thing that I like to inquire other people about, you know, to ask other people about their models.
So. Business model. And then I learn. So, I mean, I guess that's it. How do you use Heights Platform besides selling courses? Maybe it is something I didn't think of.
Bryan McAnulty: Okay. Yeah. That's great. All right. So how do you use Heights Platform besides selling courses and what is your business model? Yeah, pretty much all well, Barak, thank you so much for coming on the show.
This was great.
Barak Almog: Yeah, it has been really fun, you know? Uh I had a, I mean, I was little bit worried that I would not know what to say, but I guess that was the problem. no, that was great. So thanks for having. Thanks.
Bryan McAnulty: If you enjoyed this interview and want the chance to ask questions to our guests live tune in on Tuesdays when new episodes premier on the Heights Platform, Facebook page, to learn more about the show and get notified when new episodes release, check out the Creator's Adventure dot com until then keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.