How It Started

I grew up in the south of France, in a somewhat non-traditional family with a journalist mother and a finance accountant father, who introduced me from an early age to both reading and business.

I got my first computer when I was 7 – and was instantly hooked on the Tycoon games that my father cleverly bought me to get my young influenceable little mind into managing businesses.

Little me playing Airline Tycoon, trying to figure out how to turn NY - Paris to a profit

Early Sales Days

After getting my European Baccalaureate, I decided to follow the path of business by completing a Masters in Business Management, which introduced me amongst other things to business strategy, modern marketing, business modelling and consumer behaviourism. 

During my studies, I took part in various professional selling seminars and coaching sessions , which opened my eyes to what proper selling is – from believing it’s all about smoke and mirrors to truly caring about my customers and learning how to sell in a potent yet ethical way.

At the same time, I started my first job as a direct marketing campus team lead for a new (and now quite well-known) food delivery brand, where I took the brand from unknown on campus to being the first choice, then progressed to becoming an In-Store Development Executive for Samsung, selling smartphones and smart devices while competing fiercely with other representatives for brands like Apple, Google and Huawei. 

Into The Jungle

After a (quite successful) year with Samsung, I realised that while I was doing a great job making both happy customers and strong sales, this job was too small for me – I wanted to reach and sell to thousands of people instead of a single person at a time. 

That’s when I decided to dive into the world of E-Commerce – and what better platform for this than Amazon?

And so I started my first job selling on Amazon, spending the first few months constantly learning the ins-and-outs of the platform and what the established best-practices were.

I was quickly shocked and frustrated by how unintuitive the UI of Seller Central was and how many of my deeper questions were left unanswered – or at best, buried in some old topic on the Seller Forums.

That’s also when I realised that there was a big knowledge gap in the industry – while the top players had masses of tested data and best-practice knowledge on how to sell in the utmost effective manner, small-scale sellers like my teams had to make do with either superficial advice that resulted in mediocre improvements or having to pay thousands of dollars to so-called “experts” for effectively the same advice, just better explained.

Today

After thousands of hours of trial and error and months of professional mentoring, I learned dozens of tools, techniques and best-practice approach to sell on Amazon, and slowly the efforts came to bear fruit.

Today, I help companies increase their sales to their maximum potential, from mapping their target markets and defining their engagement strategy to metrics analysis and developing efficient monitoring systems.

But that still isn’t enough for me.

I want to have an even wider impact – and today, this means going beyond working for individual companies that eventually feed the pockets of already-rich investors and instead help sellers like me reach financial freedom using all the knowledge and wisdom I have accumulated so far.

When I'm Not Selling...

…I’m usually dancing!

Between my day job and this website, I don’t have so much free time anymore – but when I do, you can find me on the dance floor dancing Bachata and Salsa, two amazing couple dances that I’ve been practicing for over eight years now. In an alternate universe, I became a dance teacher (I was in fact teaching Bachata during my time at university).

If you like dancing or are interested in tips, don’t hesitate to reach out! It’s a great passion of mine, so I’d be more than happy to help out with this as well 😉

Well, that’s me! If you enjoyed that little story of mine, I invite you to check out the articles I’ve published so far on the resources page.

If you want to know more about my motivations, I’ve expanded a bit on my vision and mission and why I chose “TheModernSellers” as my brand in the dropdown below.

A few years ago, while I was still learning the ropes on Amazon, I got invited to a birthday party by an old acquaintance and met a fascinating man there – let’s call him Steve, as I don’t want to reveal his real name.

We quickly bonded as I felt Steve’s soothing and friendly nature. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he could make friends with just about anyone he met within minutes.

Steve had been working as an electrician for quite a few years – but it turns out that he had a real passion for making little clay bowls.

I casually asked to know more about it, and his eyes lit up – he instantly started to blabber excitedly about his latest creations, explaining how he was trying some new designs with vibrant colours, the materials he used, how to set the right oven temperature, etc. 


Impressed by his expertise, I asked him if he was selling these online, certain to hear him reply that he must have been making quite some cash seeing how much talent and worked he poured into it. 

However, his excited, upbeat expression instead turned sad, and his eyes suddenly lost their shine.

He explained that he was trying to sell them online through Amazon, Ebay and even his own website, but for some reason, he just couldn’t get a single order.

I was incredulous – surely there was someone out there who would buy one of his bowls if they saw it!


I asked to see his website and listings.


and sure enough, it was absolute crap. 


It wasn’t that he hadn’t put any effort into it – I could tell he genuinely was trying to market his products the best he could, but he simply had no clue who his customers were and how to reach them, let alone engage them.

I felt sad as well. Here was a good man, with a passion and good talent, who had no choice but to stay in a job that wasn’t fulfilling because he didn’t know how to make his products stand out in the sea of competitors and overmarketed customers.


Over the next few months, as I slowly surrounded myself more and more with freelancers and part-time online sellers, I met more and more Steves – genuine people who had their own dreams of reaching financial freedom through selling their value to the world.

Many had great ideas about some niche products and poured their heart into trying to sell them to not only make a living, but also to make a small contribution to the world. We tend to forget how important it is for our self-esteem to feel that we’re somehow helping the world be a little bit better.


What happened to most of them?


I think you can guess.


They all went out of business, either because they were going head-on against the humongous waves of black-hat cheap-labour foreign sellers who undercut their profits to the point where they just couldn’t survive anymore, or bought out by some corporate group aiming to gain monopoly over the whole markets using armies of overworked “listing optimizers” who are closer to 1920’s exploited industrial labourers than actual modern employees. (I’m familiar with such workers and trust me, it’s drawing a grim image for the future of e-commerce).


That’s when it all started.


While I do have a passion for business, I also have the heart of a helper – I get a lot of pleasure from seeing the people I care about be happy. 

I wanted to do my part to make the world a bit better – and if that meant starting by sharing my knowledge on how sellers like Steve could compete in today’s online world, then that’s where I would start.

I wanted Steve to succeed. I wanted him to quit his day job completely so he could keep making these little clay bowls and bring a little joy in thousands of strangers’ lives.


Sure, he wasn’t going to change the world.


But perhaps I could help change his. 


What would I get from this? Well, I would earn a little share of his new profits as fair compensation for my time and advice, sure, but most importantly, I would make someone’s lifelong dreams come true. 


And that’s worth a lot more to me.


If you’re reading this, you can probably relate to Steve in some way or another. Most likely, you’re also striving to reach your own financial freedom by selling on Amazon. 

If that’s true – then I want to help you. I want to receive a message from you saying “Thank you so much for your advice Martyn – thanks to you, I have been finally able to completely rely on my online business and live the life I want”.


This is why I created TheModernSellers, and it’s the fire that drives me on a daily basis to create all the content that you’re seeing on this website.


I thought long and hard about the name of this website. I wanted something that best represented what I stood for and what I was going to bring. 

I also wanted this website to be more of a community website that stands for a common philosophy and methodology rather than about myself – which is why it’s not a personal website per se.

As explained above, my mission is to help sellers reach their financial freedom – so one of the first ideas was to name the website “set sale for freedom” with a cute little boat logo that had a dollar sign as a sail (I still think it’s a great slogan and logo!) but it was a little too edgy and…maritime. 

One of the main philosophies behind this website is that most of the methods that are employed today throughout e-commerce have been so overused in the last decade that there’s very little marginal advantage in using them now. People get used to being approached in the same ways day-in day-out and over time simply stop engaging with the tsunamis of marketing messages they are flooded with. Therefore, having the right contrarian approach has always been one of the greatest factors to long-term success. 

As such, I wanted this website to explore and educate on what works today and will work tomorrow, taking into account human nature and current marketing trends along with leveraging the core of what makes good business and applying it to today’s cultures and societies – hence the decision to go for the words “modern sellers”.

Resources

Browse all the content available so far.

Courses

Looking for more depth and practical ways to improve your sales? Explore the list of advanced and specialized courses.