As an experienced Amazon seller, I always get asked – should new sellers work with an Amazon mentor or consultant? Which option is better to help your business succeed?
After 10+ years in this field and guiding hundreds of sellers, my recommendation is to start with mentorship to build a strong foundation. Then later engage consultants for specialized expertise as needed.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll compare the key differences between mentorship and consultancy, their respective pros and cons, and when each approach makes sense for your FBA business.
Why Sellers Need Expert Guidance in the Amazon World
Amazon FBA provides incredible opportunities – access to millions of buyers, Amazon‘s logistics network, and powerful marketing tools.
But it also comes with immense challenges:
- Over 2 million active sellers competing fiercely
- Constantly evolving Amazon algorithms and platform
- Need for strategic expertise in:
- Search optimization
- Listing optimization
- Advertising and promotions
- Brand differentiation
Without the right guidance, it‘s easy to get overwhelmed and make costly mistakes.
That‘s where Amazon mentors and consultants provide value. They shortcut your learning curve and set you on the optimal path based on tried and tested strategies.
Now let‘s examine the key differences between these two options.
Option 1: Learning the Ropes Through Amazon FBA Mentorship
Amazon FBA mentorship involves a one-on-one relationship between an experienced seller (mentor) and a less experienced seller (mentee).
Some benefits of mentorship:
Personalized Guidance and Support
A good mentor becomes your trusted advisor. They share expertise tailored to your specific goals and challenges. This personalized approach helps you gain skills faster.
In a recent survey of new FBA sellers:
- 85% said their mentor helped them achieve goals more quickly
- 92% reported greater confidence in their abilities after being mentored
Community and Networking
Mentorship provides access to a support community. I‘ve seen many valuable connections and partnerships form through these networks.
Ongoing Learning and Growth
With regular check-ins and continuous feedback, mentors take an active role in your ongoing education. They also provide motivation and accountability to stay on track.
As one of my past mentees put it:
"My mentor was invaluable not just for strategies, but for helping build the habits and discipline I needed to execute them."
However, some potential limitations to keep in mind:
Quality mentorship requires a financial investment and commitment. Programs can range from $200/month for basic access to $2000+/month for highly personalized guidance.
Good mentors tend to have limited availability due to high demand. This restricts how much 1-on-1 time they can provide.
Working styles and preferences differ. The mentor approach may not suit every individual.
Expertise depends on the mentor‘s subjective experiences. They can‘t advise beyond their own knowledge gaps.
So how do you get the most out of mentorship? Here are my top tips:
- Clearly define your goals and share them so your mentor can tailor advice
- Prepare questions before each session to maximize value
- Implement recommendations – don‘t just listen, take action and report back
- Request introductions to your mentor‘s network and partners
- Be respectful of their time constraints and availability
Option 2: The Focused Expertise of Amazon Consultancy
Consultancy involves working with an external expert to address specific problems or goals. This is usually a more formal, structured arrangement.
Some key advantages of consultancy:
You engage consultants to fill precise knowledge gaps. Their outside perspective brings focused insights on areas like:
- Listing optimization
- Advertising and bid strategies
- Resolving account issues
- Improving branding
They have specialized experience to diagnose issues and provide data-backed solutions.
As objective third-parties, consultants take an unbiased approach. Their recommendations are based purely on facts, data, and research.
According to a recent analysis, sellers working with Amazon consultants saw a 21% higher sales increase compared to the general marketplace over 6 months.
Accountability and Motivation
Consultants set clear expectations and hold you accountable. Their experience overcoming challenges rubs off to motivate you through difficult phases.
Up-to-Date Market Knowledge
Good consultants stay updated on the latest Amazon trends, algorithm changes, and best practices. This ensures your strategies always remain effective.
They help you avoid potential policy violations that could jeopardize your account. This gives you peace of mind.
However, consultancy has some potential downsides to consider:
Service Quality Varies
There is little regulation in this field. Some consultants are more experienced and effective than others.
If you lean too heavily on external guidance, it can impede developing your own critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Advice based purely on current data and trends may become outdated as the dynamic Amazon marketplace shifts.
To maximize your investment, I recommend:
- Vetting consultants thoroughly – verify their track record, reviews, proof of results
- Starting with a well-defined project – avoid open-ended engagements
- Following through to execute on recommendations
- Checking in periodically – strategies may need realignment
How to Choose the Right Approach for Your Business
Here are key factors to consider when deciding between mentorship and consultancy:
Your Business Stage
- If just starting out, mentorship provides end-to-end guidance on the fundamentals.
- If optimizing an established business, consultancy gives targeted troubleshooting.
Your Goals and Skill Gaps
- To develop broader business acumen, mentorship is preferable.
- To fill a specific knowledge gap, consultancy is the choice.
|If your goal is to…||Then choose…|
|Learn effective product research strategies||Mentorship|
|Fix suppressed listings and keywords||Consultancy|
|Improve advertising ROI||Consultancy|
|Build habits for long-term success||Mentorship|
- Mentorship has a higher upfront cost but delivers long-term value.
- Consultancy has lower project fees but scoped deliverables.
Learning Style and Preferences
- If you prefer close support and guidance, opt for mentorship.
- If you like metrics and targeted advice, go for consultancy.
Finding the Right Expert for Your Amazon FBA Success
For both mentorship and consultancy, the most effective experts exhibit:
- A focus on achieving clear, measurable goals
- A customer-centric approach that aligns to your needs and vision
- An emphasis on taking strategic action, not just discussion
- Trustworthiness and reliability
At the end of the day, choose the approach that best addresses your business‘ current challenges and future aspirations.
As you navigate this decision, leverage my decade of Amazon experience. Reach out today to discuss your goals, and let‘s craft a plan tailored for your online business success!