AskPat 762 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 762 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 good question today from Jason, but before we get to his question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is www.FreshBooks.com, one of my favorite companies because they're helping me, not only with managing my business finances, which is obviously very important as we come in to the end of the year here that's going to be even more important because of taxes, and all that stuff, but they also help with invoicing. In less than 30 seconds you can create a professional looking invoice that you can send out to your students, the company that you're consulting with, or whoever you're billing, and what's really cool is FreshBooks has a system that allows you to not only keep track of who has paid and who has not, which is obviously sort of standard, but they also help you keep track of who has even opened those invoices.
You can, with one click, resend invoices to people who haven't even opened them yet and follow up and get paid much faster. It's super cool, so if you want to check this out for 30 days for free, if you're a freelancer, doing any kind of coaching, or anything, or any kind of billing of any kind, I highly recommend it, so go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section. Again, that'll give you a 30 day free trial. All right, and now here is today's question from Jason.
Jason: Hey Pat, my name is Jason Anderson. I have been running a photography blog over at CanonBlogger.com for a number of years and traffic on that has seemed to have fizzled out. I've tried launching a new podcast called Camera Question, and that doesn't seemed to have gained much traffic, which is telling me that the photography space has pretty much been super saturated, and it's going be tough to start something new in that particular space on a matter of how niched down it is. In that vein, I'm interested in putting a new kind of website together that can provide some kind of service or some kind of content that can benefit people, and I've got a lot of experience in technology spaces, whether it's website development, WordPress, or photography.
I'm currently working in the telephony sector and I've got about 10 years experience in the IT sector as well, so I'm trying to define or find a space that is underutilized, and I'm having trouble with your long-tail searches, I was wondering if you could delve into that in a little more detail, as far as finding out a niche in that particular space that might be under served, or might be better served by introducing myself into the mixture there. It's kind of tough though because it does seems like a lot of areas that I have worked in both personally and professionally are super saturated with people who have tons of knowledge out there and I'm wondering if you have any ideas on how to proceed.
Thanks very much. I appreciate everything you've been doing, and I listen to you everyday on my drive home from work. Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you. For as far as the t-shirt goes, you don't have to send one to me, you've actually answered a question for me before about Canon Bloggers specifically, so, feel free to provide a t-shirt as a giveaway towards someone else. Really would've been best to be hearing your suggestions on how to find a new niche in the IT space that is underserved or could be better served in some capacity. Thanks, have a great day, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jason, thanks so much for your question once again, and I appreciate you, continuing to listen to the show and all of your support. I appreciate that, and thank you again for offering the t-shirt to somebody. For anyone out there who wants a t-shirt, use the hashtag #AskPat762 and respond with a piece of advice for Jason and I'll just pick somebody at random who uses that hashtag and leaves a piece of advice on Twitter or Instagram if you want. I’ll randomly select you a week after the show goes live, which is a little bit after Christmas, and I'll make sure to get that information to you so we can send you a shirt. So Jason, thank you for that. I appreciate it.
Okay, so everybody listen up. We're going to help Jason out together and . . . so, here's my thoughts. So, first of all, let me sort of dispel this myth that there's always going to be a niche out there that's too saturated. I don't believe in that because we all have our own experience to offer, which is 100 percent original, so no matter how saturated a market may be, which again, I mentioned this to a woman named Brandy a couple episodes back in 760. You know the fact that there are a lot of people out there already in the space, means that, well, there's a market out there and that's great. Potential partners. JV partners and, there's more people out there to tell you or who have done the work to pave the way, to see where there may be holes in that space that you can come in and fill, and come in with your position.
I would recommend checking out my book Will It Fly? There's a number of chapters in there about how to do market research related to rather saturated markets that allow you to . . . or that you can find signs in terms of what the next position should be for you. What's nice is that when you come in with your own voice, your own spin on something with your own angle, it's going to be something that's different, even though there may be a lot of people out there talking about similar things, because it's coming from you, it will be different. One thing I would recommend doing actually, and this is sort of, a trend now, and that's starting an interests list first, before you start a website.
So meaning you build your email list, and you start to reach out to people about a particular idea that you might have, and we'll talk about how to find that idea in the long tail searches and stuff like that in just a moment, but once you get something of interest to you, something that you're thinking to yourself, “hmm, this could actually work or this could be very different.” I want to see if there's anyone interested in hearing me talk about it. Well then you go out there, and similar to what we talked about in the 100 email challenge, to start, you go out there and just start reaching out to people and say, “Hey, I'm thinking about starting a website about this,” even if it's not people who you know that are in your target market, you can start to begin to get interest, to begin to collect feedback and maybe even get people to refer their friends to you.
This list you're creating that you don't even need an email service provider to create this list, you just want to know if people are interested and then with a few of those who sign up, even if you only get five or 10 or even a couple, those are great resources because they have marked themselves as being interested in what you have to say and you can talk to them about your idea and you can actually ask them, well what would make sense. How would this be different than these other websites that are out there and again, reaching out to your existing network to see if you can start to build that list is a very common thing to do and a smart way to go about it because then you don't have to worry about building a website, and coming up with the products, writing all these posts, and then going out there and say, “Okay, now who’s interested in this stuff that I've already spent all this time creating without actually validating.”
That's one way to go about it. Now in terms of IT, when your question was being played, I was getting all these thoughts about, okay, how can we combine IT and photography, because you know a lot of photographers, they are amazing artists, and a lot of amazing artists are terrible web designers, are terrible at technology, that kind of thing. So, how can . . . I know there are a lot of services out there, building websites and agencies that serve specifically photographers and even though there are ones out there already, you can do it in your own special way, in a different way based on your experience and your knowledge. That could be one thing that you could do.
So, you could reach out to your photographer friends and say “hey, I'm looking to create a resource to help photographers with website management and social media. If this is something you're interested in, let me know and I'll just put you on a list” and see if you can get any interest from that, if that's something that interests you. Obviously you want whatever it is that you're going to dive into to be something that aligns with your goals, but that could be something very interesting. I also know a lot of professional photographers who are worried about backup and . . . especially wedding photographers, if they were to lose that file after they shoot, they're screwed, right? I mean, they've just ruined somebody's day and their day of marriage and so how do you . . . this is where I'm thinking as an amateur photographer, if I want to go into business for myself, how do I make sure I have all the backups in place and the technology lined up so I don’t screw up my clients work?
That's another thing that can help. So, what you could do to help you determine these kinds of topics, this is a great one, and all these websites you say are competitors out there, go to those websites and start to dive into their content. What is the most popular stuff? You can use tools like, what is it, BuzzSumo, which I think you have a couple rounds of free access to before you have to start paying, but there are tools like that, that allow you to see what the most popular content is about specific topics that people are talking about and then you can go in there and say, “Okay, well, these are popular because these are of interest to people.” So even if a website is talking about that topic, it doesn't necessarily mean that that is what they're an expert in, or that is something they're going to be talking about a lot, but that's a good sign for you that maybe that particular long tail, not through searches, but through discovering it on existing websites, that maybe that's the way to go.
So, Jason hopefully that helps, and give you some information to get started here. I want to wish you all the best. Like I said earlier, everybody who has some advice to give to Jason, if you want to get an AskPat t-shirt also, potentially, I'm going to select somebody at random who also offers Jason a piece of advice on Twitter. Hashtag #AskPat762 and I'll find somebody in a week who has done that and randomly select you to win the t-shirt and if you don't win that way, you can also win a t-shirt by asking a question and getting it featured here on the show just like Jason did a while back and also did today, although he gave that shirt away.
So, thanks for doing that Jason. Thanks again for your question. I want to wish you all the best, and again, if you have a question to ask, go on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Thanks again to FreshBooks.com if you want check them out for 30 days for free, like I said earlier, they are awesome, you can go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section and then finally here's a quote from B.C. Forbes, and that is “If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”
Cheers. Take care and I'll see ya'll in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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