AskPat 528 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 528 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We have a great question today from Marco, but before we get to his question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, an awesome, awesome company that's helping to serve over three million small businesses with managing their business finances.
They can help you out too. They've helped me before. It's amazing because it just makes it really easy and stress free to know what's going on in your business. Plus when tax season rolls around, and of course it's the new year now, almost in February actually, and we're going to have to get on that. If you use FreshBooks, it's going to be a lot easier. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. Again that's GetFreshBooks.com enter “Ask Pat.”
Alright, thanks so much, and here's today's question from Marco.
Marco: Pat, I'm a big fan of the website, just discovered it. Thanks for putting all this information together. My question is that I have about three or four niches that I keep going back and forth on. I want to pick one niche and really dive into that niche and make an authority website, but I don't know which one has the biggest pot of gold at the end of it, and I was wondering, what do you do to decide which niche to go after? I do have Market Samurai, I can kind of use Google Keyword Tool. I was wondering what you look at to decide which niche is the best one to dive into and I can make the most money on. My biggest fear is that I spend months or even years working on something, and at the end of it, I didn't really do that well and I just wasted a lot of time on it. I appreciate your advice, thank you very much.
Pat Flynn: Hey Marco, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today. I think this is really common, I know myself I've bounced around between a lot of niches, obviously I've shared all those things, and a lot of people are going through the same thing. Me, I feel like I'm in a special position cause I have to because of who's seeing me and all these experiments. I'm a crash test dummy, so I gotta take a bunch of tests, and therefore I'm in a bunch of different niches and stuff. Definitely my number one piece of advice for people is to stick with one niche, or at least start out with one niche until you master it and you get it to a point at which you can then have it run on autopilot or hire a team to help out, or even sell it.
It's definitely smart of you to ask this question, because you do need to select one. Once your efforts are focused on one thing, once you know what that one thing is, then it's off to the races. Of course if you've validated your ideas beforehand, then you know that you're going in the right place. That's what I would recommend you do, Marco, is you validate. You can actually run through a lot of the exercises that I talk about in the book, Will It Fly?, which is my book coming out February 1st. Obviously there's a reason why I put your question here a couple days before that comes out, but anyway, I'm not going to just say, “Go buy my book,” because there's a lot of things that you can do to figure out what's at the end of this niche.
It's difficult, but one of the first things you should do is actually create what I like to call your market map, and you should do this for each of the niches that you're interested in. Actually this is one of the exercises in the book, but I'm going to share it with you right now, and hopefully everybody else out there will get something out of this. You want to create your market map. What this is, is you discover the three P's of your audience. When you do this, you're going to understand a lot about what's going on, what position you can take, and also where you might fit in and even how much money you might be making at the end of this. Your market map, again, is your three P's of your market.
The first P is the place. Start a spreadsheet, you can use Google Docs or Google Spreadsheet, and start a spreadsheet and list out all the places where your targeted audience is, your blogs, forums, any community groups, and things like that online, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, wherever. Where are they hanging out? Even offline. You want to list all these different places, and once you find one, it's going to be pretty easy to find the lot. For example, one of the best things you could do is actually search through Google, but then you could search “top X sites” or just “top sites about blank,” and you're going to actually find a lot of blog posts of people who have created compilation blog posts of all the top sites in those spaces. You don't have just Google telling you, but you have actual people telling you what sites to look at.
List all those places down, that becomes a huge resource, not just in the research process, but if you're ever going to run ads or ever want to figure out where you can guest post on, you have that list right there, ready for you. Then you want to also find your second P, which are the people. Who are the influencers? Go to Twitter, go to Facebook, LinkedIn. Who are the top profiles? Who already has trust with that particular audience? That's going to give you some good insight in terms of the success of those people, and what that's like, and what they do right and what maybe they don't do right, and how you might be able to position yourself. Of course this becomes great during research, but obviously a great tool that you could use to figure out who you could potentially partner with, or who you could build a relationship with, who you might be able to speak with and take out to dinner at a conference and potentially start something together there.
Then the last P are the products. What products are being served to that audience already? That's going to give you an opportunity to see what people are buying, or what's being offered, what they like about those things, what they don't like about those things. One of the things that you could do is also go onto Amazon for some of those products, if your niche has products that are being sold to them via Amazon. Not all niches are there, but the cool thing about Amazon, if you're ever doing research on Amazon, look up products that people are buying. You can't gauge exactly how many items are being sold, but based on the number of reviews, typically the number of reviews are a percentage of how many people are buying.
Find ones with a lot of reviews, and look at the three star reviews. The three star reviews are great because they tell you exactly what … It's the truth. It's what people love about something and what people dislike about something. The three star reviews typically aren't biased in one way or another, it's just the truth, so look at those. The five and the ones, I wouldn't even pay attention to them. If you're doing research, look at the threes, it's going to reveal a lot of information. Check this out, you have your three P's.
This becomes what I like to call your market map because you can understand this market and all that's going on with it, who the players are, what the websites are, what products are being sold. You actually get a better understanding of that particular market than the people who are actually in it. I've run this exercise on a number of different niches. It's actually quite eye-opening. A lot of my students who have done this exercise feel that this is one of the most useful exercises that you can do, of course. It's in the book, and it's exactly how I described it, so you could have it for free, even if you don't pick up the book, by listening to this episode, but I do hope you pick up the book. I'm not going to lie, obviously I want everybody to pick up the book. You could check it out at WillItFlyBook.com.
Let's go back to your thought here, Marco. How do you pick the niche? What I would do is try to come up with a solution that you can create for any one of these niches, and then validate that. See what the reaction is like, and through that you're going to discover a number of things, You're going to discover how the market reacts to that particular product, and hopefully you'd be able to have conversations with people in those different niches and kind of gauge and understanding of who they are and what the problems are, and how they feel about that potential solution, potentially even getting paid for those solutions up front, which is really cool. That's going to help validate even more, because getting paid for something, or having a pre-order for something is definitely true validation, as opposed to somebody just saying they would be interested in something.
That's one part of it, but the other part of it is you're gonna probably find that if you do these exercises through these different niches, that one of them is probably going to be a lot more exciting to you than the others. It's just naturally going to happen because of all this involvement that you have. Picking one now without doing the research is a little risky, cause you don't know. You might have an idea of which one excites you, and that's obviously a big part of it, you need that passion there to serve that particular community or that niche, but you won't really know until you actually truly discover them and talk to them, and get to know them, and feel them, learn about their emotions and what they're going through.
It's at that point I feel whatever that niche is, it might not even align with the one that you feel that would make you the most money immediately, but it might be the one that you know and feel in your gut that it's going to last a long time, and it's one that you know that you're going to be able to serve and continue to serve even through the tough times. You're going to love and enjoy it because you care about those people. That's what I would do. The income, the numbers, the keywords, that's a part of it, but it's not all of it.
I think the most important thing you could do, Marco, is talk to people in those different niches. If you have lists already, reach out to them. I make it an effort every single month to reach out to people on Skype who are on my email list to talk to them. Once a week actually. It's been huge. I would recommend you do the same thing. Talk to people and get to understand them, and chances are, you're going to really fall in love with one niche over the other. Through that in combination with the validation processes and the market research, I think you'll find one that you like.
Marco, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. I also want to thank everybody else out there who's asking questions. Thank you so much. All you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
I also want to give a quick shout-out to FreshBooks, once again. If you want to check them out for free for 30 days, head on over to Getfreshbooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. They're going to help you out. If you do any invoicing, if you have students for example, or you do any consulting or you have to bill anybody . . . If you have to bill anybody and you don't have a good tool to do that, FreshBooks makes it really easy, and you'll get paid sooner. It's more professional, and you can go on to doing what you need to do to get paid even more. Again, if you want to check it out go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section.
Also, as I mentioned throughout this episode, my book is coming out February 1st, almost here. Please, just thank you so much for all the support, for those of you who are on the launch team, those of you who have already pre-ordered, those of you who have just given me best wishes. I'm so excited, but also so nervous. Everything I do I try to up my game, and try to deliver the best I can. I know I put a lot into this, and I feel like it's my best writing ever after seven years of blogging. Go ahead and check it out, let me know what you think, WillItFlyBook.com. You can pre-order it until February 1st, at which point it launches. Hopefully you'll join me on the launch party. If you go to the blog SmartPassiveIncome.com, you'll get more information about the launch party. I'll be doing a live stream and celebrating that day. It's going to be an awesome day. Thank you again so much for all the support. Again that's WillItFlyBook.com.
Also, really quick before I forget, I do want to let you know about something really cool that's happening over on Kickstarter actually. John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, if you haven't heard already, he's on fire once again with something he created called The Freedom Journal. If you go TheFreedomJournal.com, you'll see exactly how he's been able to raise over $300,000 for a campaign that you can get involved with. If you pledge, you can get your access, or get your hands on The Freedom Journal, I have my own copy, it's going to help you accomplish your number one goal, something that is great to have at the start of the new year. Again that's TheFreedomJournal.com, check it out.
Here's a quote to finish off the day, like I always do. This quote is from somebody unknown, and that is, “You can't fall, if you don't climb, but there's no joy in living your whole life on the ground.”
Will it fly? Hope we do. Cheers, thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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