AskPat 793 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everyone, Pat here and welcome to Episode 793 of AskPat. Thank you for taking the time to listen in 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 Simone but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.
One of my favorite companies because they've helped me and millions of other small businesses not only manage our business finances from keeping track of the income, the expenses and all that good stuff, plus come tax season it just makes it really easy to print out all the forms we need to get that done. But also with invoicing. I’ve been doing a lot of invoicing lately with students and other things that I bill for and FreshBooks makes it really easy and under 30 seconds you can create a very professional looking invoice that will help you get paid faster. It's also cool cause it helps you keep track of not only who receives those invoices but also who opens those invoices. So you can actually see who has yet to open those invoices that you send out, so you can properly follow up with them. Super cool, so if you want to check out www.FreshBooks for free for 30 days go to www.FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section.
All right, now here is today's question from Simone.
Simone: Hi Pat, this is Simone Henry and I wanted to ask you a question about business members of my site. I am working on my sales funnel with the trip wire and everything for paying customers, but I also have a segment of my community where. . . who service other members of the community like a business directory. So I was wondering if you had any suggestions for reaching those people and getting them to sign up on my website. Thank you so much for all that you do, I look forward to hearing from you.
Pat: Hey Simone, thank you so much for the question. You know in the past I've dealt with this issue of trying to get businesses to sign up for my directories. I've done this on www.SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com and some other sites, niche cites that I was working on. And it's definitely a challenge because businesses have a lot of things going on and they probably get a lot of people asking them for something similar. They get a lot of snail mail, they get a lot of emails from people saying, hey sign up here, sign up here, it only costs this much. The one thing I would say is you need to make it really clear for these businesses why they should sign up on this directory.
Now, if the directory is large enough that's already going to work in your favor. Meaning if you have 100 businesses on there already, it's going to be very easy for you to say “hey by the way we already have 100 businesses on this directory, they're collecting business off this website, here's our traffic, sign up here.” It's going to be a lot easier to convince them because there's social proof there. There's not only traffic to your website, which is obviously very important, which, I would mention no matter what if it's something worth mentioning. But also, if they see 100 other competitors there, or other people like them on there, they're going to want to get on it too because they don't want to miss out on it.
You also want to mention how easy it is to sign up. So that was one thing that was very difficult for me with www.SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, one of my websites, was that it took a little bit of time to fill out all of the information and that was a big, sort of stopping point for them, because they already had other things to do that seemed more important. To get 5 minutes of a business owner’s time is very difficult. You, again, need to make it clear what the benefits are too.
Another thing is a lot of businesses don't want to pay for things that they don't know about or isn't proven yet. This is particularly true when you're just starting out. So my solution that did see a little bit of promise but I didn't think I pushed on the gas pedal quite hard enough which you may be able to do instead, but I told people that they could get on the business directory for free and they would be able to stay on for a number of days for free. And if they enjoyed and liked what they saw, then they would be allowed to get featured on the upper parts, or upper tier sections, or the highlighted sections of that directory for a price. So that's when I actually started to collect stuff: information from businesses because they saw “Oh, well I could pay for this but actually I could get it for free and if it's working then I can pay for it.” So not collecting money upfront but collecting money from people after they kind of see this thing growing and actually getting results from it. And that's the strategy I would recommend if possible to have set up on your directory.
So have businesses be able to sign up for free, but also share with them, create that anchor that hey, you can pay a little bit more to get highlighted and you may get some fish to bite on that, which is great, but don't expect it upfront. But as you get more and more people coming in, they start to see, oh well there's a lot more people here, my competitors are here so I need to start paying a little bit. And obviously if they're seeing results from it, which is something you can hopefully give them, then they're going to be a little bit more inclined to share a little bit of money with you to get featured and be a part of this directory.
So, in terms of reaching those people to get them to sign up, you know after all that's in place, I would just simply reach out and start to make connections. You know, you could send an email blast out to everybody, you know, at the same time but I wouldn't do that. I would reach out one to one at the start. I mean you got to hustle, you got to go one to one, you got to be personable right up front and that's how you can start to begin to grow this. I think the more you can inject personal touches into any parts of your business the better. At the time at which you are starting this business, or starting this directory, or starting anything new, that's the time that you have the advantage over other people who already have these things set up for them.
When you're small and you're just starting out, your advantage is that you're able to make these connections much easier and better than anybody else out there so take advantage of that advantage. And I wish you all the best of luck. So Simone I really hope that helps. Thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show.
And for those of you listening, if you have a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to www.AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much, I appreciate you and also thanks again to FreshBook. If you want to try them out for 30 days for free head on over to www.FreshBooks.com/AskPat and make sure to enter “AskPat” in the How Did You Hear About Us section.
And finally here's a quote from Andrew Jackson and that quote is: “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” Take care guys, I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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