AskPat 756 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 756 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.
All right, now here's today's question from Jules.
Jules: Hi Pat, this is Jules up in Portland, Oregon. First of all, I just want to thank you so much for everything that you do. Your podcast, your blog, I read Will It Fly?, loved it. It’s helped my business so much. Yeah, I've been listening to your podcasts probably for about a year and half now, and my business has grown tremendously in that time. I owe a lot of that to you, so thank you very, very much. I'm grateful for all of your help and knowledge, and just everything that you put out into the world it's really wonderful. I am grateful.
Anyway, I run theunlimitedcreative.com, where I offer creative coaching for artists. I also give advice for artists who want to create passive income with their art. After reading Will It Fly? I went to my clients, and my followers, and my subscribers and what not, and asked them sort of what was missing from what I was teaching. One of the biggest responses that I got was how to promote their art online. It got me thinking about creating an ebook for that purpose, to teach them how to do that. As I was outlining the ebook, I realized that, “Wow, this is really more like a course.” I would like to include videos, and audio, and all kinds of things. Now, I'm stuck sort of wondering, “Should I write the ebook first?” It would be sort of a condensed version, simplified, shorter, because I feel like I can knock that out pretty quick. Week or two, maybe three or four. We'll see. Once that is out, work on the course which would be more complete, and thorough, and of course a higher price point. Or should I just put all of my energy and time into creating the course? I feel like that will take longer. Couple months probably, because I will have to go through some learning curves, I've never put together a course before. I don't know how to do the whole ScreenCast thing.
Yeah. Anyway, I'm just wondering, do you think it would be a good idea to write the ebook first and then create the course, or should I just go for it and put all my time and energy into creating the course? Anyway, that's my question. I would really appreciate an answer if you have the time. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Thanks Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jules, thank you so much for the question. I truly appreciate all the support, so I'll do what I can to help you here. Now, the one thing I would say, is you don't want to just create a piece of content in a specific format because you just want to create a specific piece of content in a specific format. You want to always deliver, especially when it's something more than just a blog post or more than just a podcast episode. You always want to deliver that content in a way that's going to best help your audience. I would ask you and challenge you actually to consider the question, “What's the best way that you could provide this helpful content to your audience?” It sounds like based on what you were saying, that the course would be the way to go.
However, you are absolutely right. A course it will take a little bit more time than an ebook to write. However, I would say that the course is what you want to shoot for. There's going to be a lot more profit involved with that, and I think an ebook, although a great idea, could potentially be something that you could use for lead generation and what not, and lead capture later. The one thing I would do now that you've already started reaching out to your audience, is validate the course itself first. You can even be honest with your audience and say, “Hey, after talking to a lot of you I was thinking about writing an ebook to put this information in. I just realized there's so much more here. There's going to be opportunities for me to help you much better with videos, and worksheets, and all these other things.” You want to validate that, and not just by asking, but by getting people to sign up who are interested in learning more about the course specifically.
There are many ways to do that. However, the one thing I would suggest is actually create a webinar. Create a webinar that again, upfront you're telling everybody what's happening. You're going to deliver some value, you're going to share some of these things on a higher level. Similar to what you're going to put in an ebook, but it's going to be a little bit faster for you to just come up with an outline. Because you know these things, just talk about them on a webinar. At the end of the webinar, you're going to validate the course. I would do it in a similar way that I did with a recent course that I launched called Smart From Scratch. I actually launched it to people who were just starting out, had no business at all, and I did that in a very similar way by actually collecting payments for x number of spots. I told myself, “Well, if I get past x number of spots from people who've pre-ordered, then I'm going to create the course.” You are actually able to create the course with your initial founding members. That's what you want to call it. You want to call them your founding members, your founding students. That way you're making them feel special to be a part of this process.
The price point isn't going to be a big deal at this point. Now you could potentially make quite a bit of money and do very well on the first go around, even with a limited run and limited spots available for founding students. The goal here is just to see if you can collect interest. It's done in an iterative process. Think about it. You're setting up this webinar, talking about exactly what you're going to do, you're going to share some information about an upcoming course that you're going to come out with, and you're going to put it out there and see if people will register. If people do not register for the webinar, well it's a good thing that you did it that way because you didn't spend two months on a course creating something that people weren't going to buy. You're validating it up front, but what is most likely going to happen, is you're going to have many people be interested. You're going to get people onto a webinar, you're going to be able to talk to them, answer questions, deliver all this value. Even if people don't end up buying, they're going to get value from that webinar.
Anyway, that's the one approach you want to have with that webinar. Make it high value. You're going to share how you teach. You're going to give examples of how you teach through just sharing this free information on this webinar. At the end you're going to say, “Okay, this kind of information, there's so much available to help you sell your art online. What I wanted to do initially was write an ebook for you, but I decided that a course would be much better for you. That way you'd be able to learn all the things that you need to learn. There's videos and again, the whole lot. You share all the ins and outs and the benefits of going through it. Then you say, “Okay, well here's the deal. I'm going to be collecting pre-orders right now. If you're interested, if you're not interested in it right now that's fine. Maybe it's something you could be interested in later, but if you want early access to this, I'm going to see if I can get ten people.”
Typically, it's going to be 5-10% of the people who register for the webinar is going to be your goal. It could just be a hard number at 10. You want to say that. “Hey, I'm going to collect pre-orders. It's this much money. If ten people sign up, then I'm going to be creating that course along with you. If not, then I'm just going to refund your money and no harm, no foul. This is just a way for me to make sure that I'm going to be spending my time exactly where it needs to be spent for you later on.”
What's cool is after you validate this and you get people to pay for it, you're going to get a little bit of cash up front which is great. But again, the money isn't the big deal here, it's the fact that they transacted with you. Then, you can put them all in a Facebook group, for example, or have them all in an email list or something where you can then reach out to them, keep them informed. But then guess what? With those people who have purchased, you're going to have the fire lit under you to actually get the work done to create this course. It's amazing.
I didn't even have a course available when I launched Smart From Scratch. You can all actually check out the sales page for that at www.SmartFromScratch.com if you wanted to. You can be on the waitlist for the re-opening in February or March of next year, which is really cool. Again, that's www.SmartFromScratch.com. I'll tell you when I had those initial set of customers, it definitely lit a fire under me to get the stages done for the course.
Now in terms of software, again, you don't even need to know how to to do that in order to collect pre-orders. You might want to collect pre-orders using a tool like Gumroad, if you don't have one already available to you. Or you can literally just say, “Hey, PayPal this much money to this account here and then you'll be on that list.” In terms of software to help you create the course, I'm using Teachable. I love Teachable, it makes it really easy. What might take most people months to do, trying to create software, find the right one, Teachable has already for you so that you can just create the videos and put them in there, drag and drop them in there. Put text in there, worksheets, quizzes, all those kinds of things. It's just laid out very, very nicely. They have a team of 20 plus people over in Brooklyn, and I visited their office last month. It's all dedicated to just helping people create their courses, and helping the course students actually get through the courses, and deliver value that way. That's the first thing I would recommend. Go ahead and go to AskPat.com/Teachable if you want to check that out.
Finally in terms of screen casting, that is something that would be really helpful for you as well, like you said and you hinted at. Screenflow, if you have a Mac, would be the software of choice in my opinion. That's Screenflow by a company called Telestream. I think it's only like $99, and it's just one of the most amazing tools out there. I use that tool for editing videos that I don't even do any screen cast for. I import my videos from my camera on there, because it just makes it really easy to slice, and dice, and edit, and all that stuff. Screenflow would be the one of choice. If you are on a PC, Camtasia Studios would be the one.
Jules, I hope that answers your question and gives you some food for thought. An ebook can always be written later, or you can take one component of your course or maybe even once you have the course ready and it's already out there, you can take one lesson and turn that into an ebook. You don't have go into just fitting content across the board, but go pretty heavily on one piece that would maybe use the most asked question or something. You can turn that into an e-book that can be either put on a landing page to generate email subscriptions, or that's even something you could advertise with on Facebook to get interest, and then get people into your funnel, to hopefully then see your course being offered at the end of that.
Great. Thank you so much Jules. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, and I want to wish you all the best of luck. Please keep me posted on the process. Yeah, shoot me a picture of the shirt if you have the opportunity to. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much, I appreciate you, and here's a quote to finish off the day by Howard Schultz the CEO of Starbucks. He says, “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” Wise words.
All right, take care and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Bye.