AskPat 2 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up? Pat here, and welcome to Episode 2 of AskPat.
Today's episode is brought to you by LeadPages. My good friend Clay Collins is the co-founder, and I'm actually an advisor for the company too. Quick, out of the box, beautiful landing page templates to help you generate more subscribers to your list and leads for your online business. Check it out, SmartPassiveIncome.com/LeadPages. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for LeadPages.]
Now, today's question comes from Sean, all the way over in Australia, and it's a perfect question for anyone looking to grow their business in some way, especially now that we're starting off with the new year. Let's hear it.
Sean: Pat. Sean Allen here from western Australia. Quick question about people who are looking at the difficult side of the upwards growth curve. We're trying to get goals with our online business and the question is, what kind of goals should we set? Should we set a number of subscribers for our blog or for our website? Should we set an amount of content with our podcast and number of subscribers? To give us an idea, obviously we can set financial goals, but to help us get to our financial goals, how should we go about it? If you can let me know in one of your podcasts, that would be great. And again, Sean Allen from Western Australia, and my website is MartialArtsBusinessCoaching.com and podcast is, Martial Arts Training on iTunes. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Sean. Thank you so much for your question on goal setting. And I like how you mentioned the fact that there are goals other than financial goals that we should be thinking about. That's very important, because when you focus on these subscriber goals and production goals, and other goals that we'll get into, the earnings and the income become almost byproduct of meeting those goals. Now of course, the financial goals are important as well. It helps drive our decision making, but you have to be very careful when you start to set financial goals, and blogging, and podcasting and entrepreneurship, because if the money becomes the primary motivator . . . it should motivate you, and yes you need to make living . . . but if it is the number one thing that drives all of your decisions, at least in my experience, I've seen my work turn into work that I just wasn't proud of, or work that I wasn't clearly passionate about. And those projects would just die out. You know?
Whenever I put my audience first though, the needs and struggles and pains of my audience first, with monetization in mind, and these other goals that we'll be discussing in this recording, I've seen much more success. Just a few things to keep in mind. Now onto goal setting. There are obviously a ton of different areas of blogging and online business that you could and should be setting goals for. You mentioned subscriber counts for your blog and your podcast. That's smart to do. Its good to set a goal for subscriber counts and the number of people who are coming to your site. It's always good to give yourself a hard number to shoot for by specific time. But it's hard to give you, or anybody out there listening, a specific number right now, because we're all at different levels of growth. As long as you're growing, that means . . . that's good, right. Growth is good.
But it's good to have these numbers as well that you want to strive for. I would give yourself a reasonable number to shoot for. Something attainable and then add 25 percent on top of that, for that extra push. For example, if you're at 1,000 subscribers right now, we'll just use 1,000 because it's a nice round number. And you want to grow to 3,000 subscribers by the end of the year, that's 2,000 more subscribers you have to attain. Now add 500 more. So instead of shooting for 3,000, you'd shoot for 3,500. You always want to be pushing yourself, which is why I love to add on this extra 25 percent and when you break it down, if you're giving yourself a whole year, I mean that's only an extra 42 subscribers per month. That extra 25 percent, beyond the 167 you'd be averaging per month at 2,000 subscribers a year, if you're giving yourself 12 months.
With any of these goals, it's always good to break them down. You want 2,500 more subscribers for the year, you've got 12 months. What does that look like every month? Well, 2,500 divided by 12, that's 208 new subscribers per month. When you break it down like that, it seems a bit more attainable. From there you can actually then determine what you need to do to make that happen. Maybe that's one or two guest posts per month for example. And as you're going along during the year, maybe the first month, you only get 100 of that 208, well you're short 108, then you can catch up. You can step it up a bit or pivot, or try something different the next month to get back on track.
Other goals you can work on: consistency. That's a great goal for everybody. Consistency is the fuel that drives traffic to your blog, because over time, you'll have more content, but your audience will also have become used to your rhythms. Make a conscious effort to stay consistent, or as consistent as you can, which means you have to give yourself a goal. How many posts are you going to write each week or month? Once you internalize that, it becomes real and you can make it happen. Or you'll see when you're falling behind. If you just say, “Oh, I'm going to post every once in a while”, then what does that mean? Is that three times a week, twice a month? If you don't have these production goals and consistency goals, your content will fall behind, and you'll keep making excuses, you'll keep pushing it back another day, another week, another month. And your audience is just not going to stick around.
It doesn't matter what the rhythm is, as long as you're consistent with it. And yes, you can play around with it a little bit. You can experiment and test different frequencies of posting and publishing, just to get your rhythm down, but once you get that rhythm, once you find your voice and get that rhythm, stick to it. Stay consistent. Another goal I like to set as a blogger is reaching out. Actually, this is something I know a lot of people don't do and when I tell them this they're like, “Wow, you should totally do this”. Another goal I like to set as a blogger is reaching out to a certain number of my subscribers every week. Sort of randomly. I try to at least have five email conversations with five different subscribers, at random. Just to see how things are. They feel appreciated, because they're getting time with me. I'm actually asking them for their input. It's surprising, so it's something that catches their attention. And it helps me, the person reaching out understand what I can do better to improve the site and the user experience.
If I'm making the effort to reach out, a lot of people, a lot of the times, will make a big effort to tell me the truth about how they're experiencing the site and I've learned so much from just reaching out to the people of my audience and asking them, “Hey, what's working for you right now? Or what can I do to improve?” It also brings you to their level and it shows that you are actually listening and wanting to improve. Now another sweet call that I suggest everyone start implementing right away is some sort of split testing. You should be split testing something at all times. Now, split testing, what that means for those of you who don't know, is you can test different things on your site. You can have half of your visitors see one version and half see the other, and you can test to see how or which one works better. If there’s a certain goal in mind, for example, how many people on test page A click on the “buy now” button versus test page B? And there could only be one difference between the two. And you would know, “Okay, I know this one performs better so I'm going to continue with that.”
You should be testing something all the time. By the end of every month I do at least one test every month. At the end of every month, I run a test where I know one thing is better than another thing. You can use Website Optimizer on Google Analytics to help you split test, or a paid tool. There's one called Visual Website Optimizer. You can use that to make it even easier. You can split test things like the copy on your page, on your bell page for example, the copy next to your subscriber buttons. You can actually test the copy on your subscriber buttons, not just “Subscribe Now,” or “Go,” but it could say, “Free Instant Access” for example. Which one performs better? The only way to know this is to test it. You can split test different layouts of your pages, different colors of your action buttons, different calls to actions on specific pages. If you have sales pages for any products, you should be split testing your headline, your “Buy Now” button, your testimonials, your order of things on the page. As many things as you can. Yeah. Make it a goal to split test something every month, so you know you're always making progress in your business or blog.
Other goals you can set for yourself is to always have a record month in all aspects. Traffic earnings, bounce rate, time on site, all the numbers. Try to beat your numbers every single month if you can. You won't always, you won't always. There will be those down months, but when you start keeping track of these numbers month by month, if for some reason you notice one of them goes down, you can adjust accordingly to correct those numbers and get back on track. You should always be growing and generally be heading up the curve, not down. If you see two or three months where you're consistently going down on one of those areas, then you have to do something or see what possibly is making that happen and then you can adjust.
There are thousands of other types of goals that you can create for yourself and I think you should be creative with them. Pick a few things that are meaningful to you and your brand and turn them into goals. Having those goals is so important, because it will drive you to actually take action and make things happen, and make decisions that will help you get there instead of just nonchalantly proceeding and keeping yourself busy without trying to meet these goals, which is the most dangerous thing you can do. That is, working just to stay busy, with no real purpose or no real goals. Sean, thank you so much for your great question today. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way for having your question featured here on AskPat. And I'm stoked to have an Aussie represent the show, so thank you. And if any of you out there listening have a question, you'd like answered on the show, anything to do with business, entrepreneurship, blogging, podcasting, whatever you'd like, head on over to AskPat.com to submit your question totally free. It's easy and you can win an awesome AskPat t-shirt too.
New questions answered every single day here on the show, so head on over to AskPat.com and I'll see you there. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening to episode 2 of AskPat. Again, today's episode was brought to you by LeadPages. Just an amazing piece of software, that's going to help you build a bigger email list faster, with beautiful, simple, email template and landing page templates. They have this really cool thing called LeadBoxes and LeadLinks now, it's going to blow your mind. Again, check it out, SmartPassiveIncome.com/leadpages. Remember I am an advisor and affiliate for the company so if you have any questions about it, please let me know. I want to end today's episode with one of my all time favorite quotes. I'm going to be ending every episode from this point forward with a different quote. I didn't do the last one because that was the first episode and I just introduced the show to you, so I had a little bit more things to say.
But, this time, I'm going to end with one of my all time favorite quotes, from Henry Ford, and he said, “Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.” How you believe in yourself, whether you think you can do something or you don't think you can do something, completely matters in how it will actually turn out. Whatever your next project is, with whatever you are fearing or having doubts about right now, know that you can conquer it. You can do it and you have to believe in yourself, because if you don't, then it's never going to happen. You can do it. Find the right help. Ask the right questions and I'll see you in the next episode.
Create beautiful, responsive landing pages with LeadPages today. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for LeadPages.]