AskPat 240 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 240 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. We are winding down the year here with the final week and a half before 2015. I just want to say to everybody out there who has listened to one or all of the shows, and any number in between that of course, just thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your support, all the reviews, all the kind words about the show.
I know a lot you actually subscribe and listen to this show and not my other show, which is my main show, so for all of you AskPat listeners out there, I appreciate you. Thank you so much. Let's end the year off great, and today we have a question from Benjamin, but of course, I want to thank today's sponsor for this episode, and that is ZipRecruiter.com.
Whether you are a single-person business or you have many people working with you, if you're looking to hire more people and you want to get the right people, the right candidates for that position that you're looking to fill, head on over to ZipRecruiter.com/pat. What they do is, instead of putting a job description out or trying to find people on all the different job sites out there, you can put it on ZipRecruiter.com. And with one click of a button, it gets sent out to all of those major job sites for you, and it filters out and finds the best candidates, so you do less of the work, and you find the right people faster, sooner, and you can move on with success in your business. So again, check it out. It's free for you to use if you go to ZipRecruiter.com/pat.
Alright, let's get to today's question from Benjamin.
Benjamin: Hey, Pat. Real quick question. I was wondering, regarding to the security guard page you have and the opening your own food truck business you have, did you have experience in those areas before you actually wrote it and started selling the products? That's my general question. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Benjamin, thank you so much for the question today, and actually this is a very common question. I love to answer this question because I think it sort of shows you that you don't necessarily need to be an expert in a particular topic to succeed with it. The whole idea here is that in order to succeed with a particular topic in a niche, in a market, you just have to be able to provide value, and you have to have the want to be able to provide that value.
Now, I don't have experience in the security guard training industry, although I will say that my mom used to be a security guard. She's currently not working as a security guard right now, but she had been for 10 years, and so there was a little bit of a connection there. With food trucks, I don't own a food truck myself, although I think that would be really cool. I actually have a great idea for a food truck. If we every have lunch together, you, me, or anybody out there listening, I'd love to pitch it to you and have you tell me what you think. But anyway, I don't have experience owning a food truck, so how am I able to succeed with these businesses? Well, first of all, the first component is that there is a need for information in that market.
So back in 2010, when I decided to go down this route of building a site to help people start a security guard career, part of the decision to start that was based off of keyword research and discovering that there were a high number of people searching for keywords related to that industry and a very low number, or very poor sites out there, that were serving this particular need from these people searching for these terms, where they did the security guard training. So, I built that solution, and I think I had an advantage there because even though I wasn't a security guard, I approached that site, because it's a site for somebody who's starting out in a security guard training career, I approached that site as if I was the person who that site was written for.
Now, I wasn't obviously looking to start a security guard site, but I put myself . . . excuse me, a career in the security guard training industry, although I pretended and I put myself in the shoes of somebody who was looking to find that out. And that's A) how I validated that there was a particular need for this site because I tried to find out how to become a security guard in California, and in Florida, and in New York, and then I just discovered, through research that there was terrible information out there. There was conflicting information. There was a lack of information, and there was outdated information and things like that, so I decided to, “Okay, well I'm going to create the resource for people looking to start and how am I going to find out this information? Well, I'm going to approach it as if I was somebody in those states, because every state has a different set of requirements,” I found out. I'm going to approach it as if I'm looking to start a security guard career, and if I was really serious about starting a security guard career, I would call around, and that's exactly what I did. So, I called security guard training companies in California. I called about five, six, maybe seven and asked them all the same question. “Hey, I'm looking to potentially figure out how to become a security guard here in California, and how would I go about doing that?” And they're like, “Oh, well you have to take this eight hour training and so on and so forth, and you have to get your license and things like that.” So I was like, “Okay.” You know your guard card is what they call it in California at least, and I was like, “Sweet.”
So as I was learning that information, I was creating blog posts, sharing it in a way that was easy to understand, and you'll see if you go to SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, any of those articles about any of the states in the U.S. are very, very clear and easy to use, and that was the whole point. I wanted my users, a.k.a. myself, to be able to easily understand how to go about that process, and I did the same thing for about 15 different states before 73 days. It got to number one in Google. I made the mistake, one that site got to number one in Google, of stopping, because that was my goal. When I did Niche Site Duel 1.0, you can find out more information about creation of this site and my food truck site at NicheSiteDuel.com, I stopped because that was the goal, to get to number one, and that was unfortunate because I was accelerating pretty fast, and then I all the sudden just stopped writing, and I stopped writing for months and the site continued to stay at number one. However, I lost the opportunity of growing even further, getting more long tail keywords out there that people could have found me for, and potentially making a lot more money.
Eventually, I got my head on straight, and I actually hired somebody on Elance to fill out the rest of the articles that were missing, so completing the remaining 35 states by doing the exact same thing, calling security guard companies and posting that information, and then having me look at it before I actually published it. So, they drafted those articles for me in WordPress, which was super handy and really fun, and then after that, it was research to figure out, okay, I've already posted what it takes to become an unarmed security guard, somebody who does not carry a firearm. Well, what does it take for me to, if I wanted to, carry a firearm, as a security guard? There's a whole new set of training, a whole new set of requirements in each of the different states, and then I hired the same writer to go and make calls and figure that out, too.
All that stuff is posted on the site, so this site has become, and still is, the number one resource for figuring out, no matter what state you live in, how to become a security guard. And again, I'm not a security guard, but I did the research, and I put in the time and the work and the effort to make sure that the site was there to serve that audience, and that is the main point. Now, I guess if this internet thing doesn't work out, my food truck doesn't work out, if I can't get back into the architecture industry, Plan D is to become a security guard, maybe.
My food truck site, pretty much the same thing. I started with keyword research, and I found a key word “food trucks for sale.” That was incredibly high demand, although very underserved, and then that's when I started doing more research on the food truck industry in general, and saw that there were no sites out there really helping people get started and keep going, when they start a food truck. There's a few books out there on Amazon and things like that, but no real blog or resources like I had for the security guard training site for people looking to start, or who have already started a food truck. So, I decided to create that site too, and I approached it the same way. Well, how would I start a food truck? The crazy thing about that was it wasn't as easy as it was for SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com because not only does every state have a different set of requirements, but actually within each state, every city has a different set of requirements. So, in an ideal world, if I had a magic wand and I could magically create all the blog posts that were necessary on FoodTruckr.com, it would be an article for every single city that was structured the same way that they are on Security Guard Training HQ about how to start a food truck, step by step. But, it's so difficult. This industry is very new, and cities are still changing and trying to figure out how to deal with food trucks because a lot of restaurants get upset because they feel food trucks are taking business away. That's a whole ‘nother debate and a whole ‘nother set of topics to write about, which have been written about on the site as well, but anyway.
Moving forward with the site, we just were like, “Okay. Well, how do we start a food truck? What are the main themes out there going to be the sort of universal, no matter what city people start in?” And that eventually became a series of blog posts over a span of six months that people really enjoyed, and that sort of validated the information and enabled people to comment and add or update things if things required updating. That eventually became, those blog posts over the span of six months, our first product: How to Start a Food Truck: The Definitive Guide. And that's been selling really well. I get maybe one or two sales a day of the book, and that's pretty cool. That might not seem like a lot, but when you consider a book ranges between $37 and $147 dollars, and most people are buying at the top tier price, that's quite a bit of money. So it's making between $1,500 and $4,000 dollars a month now depending on the season, or if we're running any sales or promotions, and that is awesome to see that. Hopefully, it's inspiring to you to know that.
Again, I'm not a food truck owner, but I went and did the work. I talked to a lot of food truck owners as well. That was probably the biggest thing, more than anything, to help us understand what can we do to provide for that audience, was actually having real conversations with those people. That told us a ton of information that was not out there that we can then, or that I can then, and my team, we could then put out there and have this site become a major resource in this industry.
Now, there's a podcast to go along with it, and again I'm not a food truck owner, so how am I going to teach people to start a food truck, not being a food truck owner? I get guests to come on. Just like when you think of John Lee Dumas. When he started, he didn't really have a business of his own yet, but he got entrepreneurs to come on his show, Entrepreneur On Fire. I was guest number one, actually, and he started learning. He started applying those principles. He started sharing. He became an authority on his own, just through that association, and now Pat Flynn is an authority figure, in some respect, in the food truck industry, because I have this podcast, because my voice is out there, because I'm connecting with important people in the industry, and because I have a site that has become that resource for people, that people go to and share.
That's your goal, no matter what niche you're in, and it can be done in a niche that you are not necessarily experienced in. But you really gotta care about helping the people in that niche. That is the deciding factor, and I have started projects before in spaces where I actually didn't really care about the people and it was mostly about the money, and all those projects completely failed. This was back in 2009 and 2010. I started a number of blogs, based off of keyword research only, not really caring about the people on the other end, just for money, and those sites never produced any money. So, there you go.
Benjamin, great question. Thank you very much, and an AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page. There's still time to get a question in before the end of the year. A lot of questions are coming in daily actually, which is awesome. My assistant's going through them. I'm looking through and finding the best ones to answer. We have plenty to go through, into 2015, but I am looking at all of them and picking out the ones that are sort of hot topics and . . . That are really interesting questions. So, hopefully, you can come in and ask an interesting question, and again if your question gets featured here on the show, I will send you, for free, shipping included, an AskPat t-shirt. Over 200 people have those roaming around the world now, and I'd love to have another 200 more next year as well.
Thank you again so much to ZipRecruiter.com, today's sponsor, because they make life so much easier, like any good company does. If you're looking to hire more people in your business, whether you are a solopreneur or an entrepreneur with at team, if you want to expand, go through ZipRecruiter.com/pat because they're going to make your life so much easier. Instead of going out there and posting job descriptions on all the major job sites, they will do it for you with a couple clicks, and they will find the best candidates for you, and to fill in that role as well. So, again, ZipRecruiter.com/pat.
And finally, as I always do, I love to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Albert Switzer, Schweitzer, Albert Schweitzer, sorry. And he says, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you next episode of AskPat.
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