AskPat 835 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 835 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, and we have a great question today from Justin.
Before we get to that, I just want to say hey, if you're just getting started in the online business world, I have something that could be perfect to help you get started on the right foot. That is my new course, it's called Smart From Scratch. Actually, it is collecting new waitlist members for our upcoming launch in a couple months. We currently have a batch of over 500 students in there actually, who are going through the process of validating their first business idea, testing their products, and doing the market research required to make sure that they don't waste their time and money.
The community there, more than anything, is actually going to be the most beneficial thing for you so you can see that a) you're not alone; b) you're going to work through these things together with other people just like you. If you want to check that out go to SmartFromScratch.com and enter your name there to get notification when it comes out again. All right, now here's today's questions from Justin.
Justin Mendez: Hi Pat, this is Justin Mendez and first I want to say thank you so much for everything you do, especially your podcasts. I run a website called, LogicalHarmony.net with my partner Tashina, and I always do my best to take action every listening to your podcasts. Because of SPI, we started surveying our audience. We're using ConvertKit, we're in the middle of a site redesign, and a complete content audit of our 900-plus posts and pages. It's been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.
Our website is focused around beauty products, so we do product reviews, downloadable shopping guides, makeup tutorial videos, that type of content. The vast majority of our income is from Google ads, and affiliate programs with a very, very small amount coming from sponsored content. We're looking for a way to generate income that's a bit more under our control. We have an easy time finding what problems we can solve for our audience, but so far those problems are all currently being solved on our site for free. We have not discovered the problem that people are willing to pay us to solve for them.
Oh, and we're concerned about a large up front investment, and all the other issues with creating a physical product. Pat, do you have any suggestions on what type of product we could create, or how we figure out what to create? Thank you so much for taking the time Pat. We appreciate everything you do, and thank you so much for all the amazing content that you create.
Pat Flynn: Hey Justin, thanks so much for the question. First of all, congratulations on all that you're doing. Thank you for being a follower, and listening in, and taking action. 900 pieces of content, already monetizing in various ways, diversifying in that realm, and that is fantastic. Let's see if we can figure out how we can diversify and add to your income stream with some of your own related stuff.
Now, the one thing I will say is that no matter which direction you go, you will be able to test. Whether it's a physical product, or a digital product, or something else. There are ways that I talk about in my course, or in my book Will It Fly?, that allow you to test the waters before you actually go full steam. The idea of committing right away to something that could potentially cost a lot is untrue. I mean you can actually test these things ahead of time.
Now, what's really cool is with the connections that you may have already made with a lot of other companies out there, if you feel like a physical product is something that would be most helpful I wouldn't let the fact that, yes you may have to pay some money to have these things manufactured, or shipped, or what not. I wouldn't let that stop you from testing. One thing you can do is work with Kickstarter, or another crowdfunding campaign, just to test to see if that's something people actually want. And at the same time, collect money up front for these ideas if it is something people want.
What's really cool about that as well is you'll be able to move the community that you've already built, get exposure to other people who have yet to find you in that campaign, and it could work out very well. You'll get a lot of exposure, and have a sense of community who has sort of helped to make this thing come together for you. Now, I would definitely get involved with other people who have done something similar, or at least talk to them, or try to get into mastermind groups with them so you can understand exactly what the ins and outs of that are. I wouldn't expect you to understand everything up front related to that kind of thing. If it's a physical product and you want to test it, you can. Kickstarter, you'll get paid ahead of time.
Or here's another way you might go about working with physical products, perhaps one of the sponsors that has come onto your brand to share one of their own products, perhaps you are at a position with the amazing following that you have to command potentially a partnership in some way, shape, or form. A product that you create in your head, an idea that you have that you then share with this company, and you work out a deal so that they will be the ones that manufacture, and create that product. It's almost like a celebrity who comes in and says, “Hey cologne people. Can you put my name on this, and we'll make it, and this will be for my audience and anybody else who wants it. But my name will be on it, but you're going to be the one who makes the fragrance, and ships it out, and gets it distributed.” That sort of thing.
I don't know if fragrances are the right analogy here, but you know what i mean? You can partner with a company out there who can do those things for you. I've done similar things in the software world, and it works out really well because it's a win for everybody. The cool thing is, you can have a physical product out there without you actually having to create the thing. You're sort of piggy backing on the resources of another company, and they're piggy backing off of you, and the loyal following that you have. That's one idea that you could sort of work with.
I would also, if there are digital related things that you can create, or courses, I know that even if you are solving problems already in one format, creating a more significant solution to the same problem can bode very well for you. This is similar to what I did with my book Will It Fly?, that literally gives people everything they need to know to start their own business, and validate their ideas. Yet even still, people wanted a more detailed, more hand holding, and more accountability, plus access to me and a community to help them in that way. That's where Smart From Scratch came from. It's literally walking people through the same process, but everybody in there is so happy because they have now a structure, it's more convenient to get access to that content in a more online course sort of format.
Don't be afraid to take solutions that you've already created in one way, and make them better, and more in depth, and allow people to give or have a little bit of access to you and each other. A lot of times the community that's involved with those kinds of things, are worth the price alone. That's another idea that you can have, and that's something you can test. You can perhaps hold a webinar, or even start collecting email related to an opt-in that is sort of the beginning processes of that, so that hey, if you don't get any registrants or people who send emails, well then you wouldn't have wasted all that time creating a course that nobody wanted. But, you can use those initial people who are interested to actually create this thing in a way that is going to make the most sense for your audience, so that when you share it publicly with everybody, after sort of a founding group goes in, or a beta group sort of validates for you. Well then it's going to be built the way that it should be built.
Now speaking of community, and this is the last idea I have. A lot of great brands in different niches utilize their community in the sense of getting involved to monetize in a way that doesn't ask them to pay for anything new that you're creating, but essentially pledge a little bit of money here and there for the great content that you're producing. No, not everybody's going to want to do that. It's similar to how PBS is supported by viewers like you, right? It's getting your community, your patrons involved, and supporting you with something as small as a dollar per post, or five dollars per podcast episode, or video. Those can go a long way, especially when the community builds up.
There's a tool out there, a resource you can use called Patreon.com. There are many successful podcasts, brands, and personalities that have utilized that tool alongside their community to make loads of great money, and have everybody feel happy because they're contributing to the great work that you're doing. Somebody might pledge a dollar per podcast episode, and if you come out with one podcast per week, that's four dollars per month, right? From a single person, who if they love what you do and they really are getting value out of that content, I mean it's almost a no brainer they're going to want to support you in that way.
Again, this is one dollar only. Some people will pledge even more for that. Now imagine four dollars a month times 100 listeners, or times 1,000 listeners. Well now you're starting to get into significant income, and you're able to better plan knowing how many people are patrons on that website, your income for the future. Which is a little bit more predictable than say, creating a digital course, and having to re-launch it every once in awhile.
Those are some options for you, I wanted to just plant those seeds. Justin, thank you so much and congratulations to you once again, and all the best. I want to encourage you to just keep going, cause you are on the right path. Keep testing, keep experimenting, that's what really entrepreneurship is all about. Thank you so much, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Finally, just as a reminder. If you want to sign up for the wait list for the next and upcoming launch of Smart From Scratch. Head on over to SmartFromScratch.com and sign up there. Then here's a quote to finish off the day for you from Eddie Rickenbacker. He said, “Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.” Oh, that's deep. All right guys, take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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