AskPat 202 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 202 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.
Before we get to today's question from Rene, I want to talk about something: a big mistake I made when I was first starting out. And that was not getting set up with an email service provider, meaning I didn't have a way to collect and automatically send emails out to everybody; even send broadcasts out to everybody on my list. It was a big mistake I made twice. Both on GreenExamAcademy.com, my first business selling study guides. I didn't collect emails, and that was bad because when I started to create more products, I didn't have people who were already customers to send an email to. What a big mistake. And then I started SmartPassiveIncome.com, and I didn't start my email list until a year and a half later. I missed out on a ton of opportunity. Not just to deliver content, but to build a relationship with my audience, which is what I use email marketing for.
Now, if you want to get with AWeber—And I feel like it's the best email service provider out there when you're just starting out—Best service, best customer service, best templates, everything, just go to AWeber.com/askpat, and you'll get to try out AWeber for one month for $1. That's it. And even if you don't like it, they're going to give you your $1 back. It's that good.
All right, now let's get to today's question from Rene.
Rene: Hi, Pat, my name is Rene from AbsoluteTelemark.com in Quebec. My question is, I’ve been running this blog for two years. It's been generating money for one year, now, so I've been around the clock once. And now I'm in improve everything mode, but I have a difficulty choosing what to improve first. So, my product is selling online tutorials and I have a great product. I want to keep doing more, but also I'd like to redo the past episodes with greater audio and greater stuff. So I'd like to improve the conversion rate, I'd like to improve my autoresponder, I'd like to improve so many things. So, my question is, how would you start and plan your second or third year of monetizing your products? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Rene, thank you so much for the question. First of all, congratulations to you for having a site up for two years and already monetizing after a year. I think that's great. A lot of people would love to be in that position, and it's so cool because you're now thinking of, “Okay, how can you make improvements moving forward?” And I think that's something we should all be doing in our businesses, on our websites. It’s something I'm doing right now. I'm almost six years into this now, and actually am going hardcore next year with some major improvements, so this question is right on top of mine right now.
So there's three things I want you to think about, and within those three things we're going to have a lot of discussions here. But, really, I want you to think about . . . And you could, perhaps, even make lists to help you out here. This is something everybody can do. So make a list. You're going to divide your piece of paper into three different lists for three different columns, and on the first list, you're going to go into your analytics, or you can just think about, “Okay, what's working right now?” What is working for your business? What's actually working and it's making money for you, and you just love how things are going right now. What's working?
Second column, what's not working? What's, perhaps, something that you feel could be improved, something that you set up and it was meant to do something, but it's not really working the way you had hoped. What's not working?
And then in number three, you want to add, “What's missing?” What's something that you know you should be adding, or know you should be improving upon, or should just implement that you haven't got around to yet?
So those are the three things I want you to think about. That's going to help you shape and . . . because we're going to prioritize these things, we're going to find out how we can optimize what's already working, perhaps dump what's not working, things like that. So that's why this is important.
So first, again, what's working? What's not working? And what's missing? Now, when it all comes down to it, you really want to think about what's working first and how you can improve that experience for your audience and the conversion rates, and the funnel for yourself and your business. That's the big thing. A lot of people, when they think about improving, they start to add new things, and they just start to make thinks more confusing, or don't put enough attention to what's already there to get it to a point where it can then be switched. Your attention can be switched off of that onto something new, and then you can implement something else.
So going into what's working, you want to think about your conversion rates. I'm really glad you said that. Because you had mentioned that in your question, because that's, again, something a lot of people forget about. They want more traffic. You know, it's always, “Traffic, traffic, I want more traffic. SEO guest post. Traffic, traffic, traffic.” But what happens when people come on your site? You've taken care of people coming to your site with more traffic, sure, but then you're missing out on what happens when people get there. What do they do and how do they go through your site? And how do they eventually land on things that help make you money?
That's why conversions are really important. And when I say conversions, I want you to also think about the funnels that people go through, because wherever people land on your site . . . I mean, we could spend an hour talking about this, but you have to think about where people are coming in. So what are your most popular posts? What do people seem to gravitate toward? What do people seem to be most excited about? What do they do after they get there? And then where do they go from there? And then where do they go from there? Until, eventually, leading into whatever it is that you have to sell. So, those sales funnels. You want to think of it as a funnel; big group of people coming in all the way down, narrow into a point where you're actually selling them something specific.
So what do those funnels look like? And I would even draw those out and see if those can be improved. A lot of times, it's just removing a few steps. Other times it's improving what the user experience is on those pages. And I think . . . I don't think, I know one thing you should do in all of this is to get feedback. Even speak to some of your existing audience. Speak to some of your existing customers. Maybe give them a little bit of access to you in exchange for asking them some really deep questions about how they go through your site and what they're thinking of. Because you can assume that people think a certain way, but when you actually get feedback on what is going on directly from the customers going through your site, you're going to be able to make drastic improvements.
And that's how I've been able to make drastic improvements in the past was by simply emailing people. Currently don't sell anything on Smart Passive Income, but I've learned what I can do to improve by simply asking people who are on the site. So I would randomly email people on my email list. They may be groups of 20 to 50 at times. And, again, just completely random segmentation. And I would send them an email and say, “Hey, what was your real experience going through this?” Or, “How did you feel about this?” Or, “What was your first impression when you came on my site?” And those emails that I got back were gold. Just pure gold.
So whenever you get a chance to speak to your audience . . . I did it through email, and I've also done a few Skype calls as well. More recently I've been doing Skype calls. And yes, you can only reach fewer people by doing that one-to-one thing, but you get deeper and deeper into the minds of your target audience. And, then again, you'd be able to understand, “Okay, what's missing?” So maybe it's certain kinds of copyrighting on that page, or maybe people get hung up on one page that you didn't think would happen. Again, your analytics will tell you things using tools like Crazy Egg. If you're not using that, it's a great way to just find immediate improvements on your site. What are people clicking on? What are people doing? And what are people not doing on your site? Again, CrazyEgg.com is a great analytical tool with heat maps and confetti maps and things like that. If you're not using that, that's almost required, I would say. If you're really looking to improve. And you're already making money. Make that investment. Crazy Egg.
But, beyond that, you also want to split test. You're at a point now where you're making money. You want a split test. Split test your sales page, split test the copy, split test even, if you can, different sales funnels within that process. Because that's going to tell you exactly what's working. And, again, your audience. Speaking to them is very valuable. Getting direct feedback from them, getting deep into their experience on your site is going to be tremendous to what you can do moving forward. But it's one thing to hear that from a customer, or potential customer, versus “What are people actually doing?” And again, tools like Crazy Egg will go deeper than Google analytics in terms of telling you what people are doing when they go on your site, for example.
So keep those things in mind: getting that feedback for improvements, split testing, funnels and conversion rates. In terms of what's not working, you also want to be able to prioritize and see, “Well, how could we make this work?” Getting more on the second section, now. “What's not working?” “How could we make this work?” And “Is that worth it?” Or “Is my time more valuable working on something else?” Whether it's another thing that's not working, or something that is working that needs more time to be optimized. Again, this is all about optimization, because you don't want to lost those opportunities when people come to your site.
And then, finally, “What's missing?” Now, you might have to talk to people in the Mastermind Group, for example, I think that's another valuable thing. If you aren't in the Mastermind Group and you're at a point where you're making money, you should definitely get in the Mastermind Group. Everybody, no matter what level you're at. Even if you're just starting out.
If you have the ability or the possibility of getting into a group of people who can meet and hold each other accountable. They don't have to meet in person, you can meet online. I'm in three different Mastermind Groups all who meet on GoToMeeting, or Google Hangout, or just a teleconference call using FreeConferenceCall.com. We get on, we hold each other accountable, we share each others' goals. Every week, one person's in the hot seat. And you have four or five brains who are in the same world as you, focused on you and your issues and what you're doing, who can give you advice, who can give you proper feedback, who will give you honest and brutal advice. Which is what you want, because you give it to them too. I mean that's incredibly valuable. That's going to help lift your business forward and that has been the case for me as well.
I'm kind of talking about a whole bunch of different things here, and that's good, because there's a lot of ideas and a lot of ways to improve your site. But again, the best thing you want to do is think about those three things: what's working, what you can do to improve those, what's not working, should you continue you to work on those, or should you dump them. One of the hardest things to do is to say, “No.” Trust me, one of the hardest things to do is say, “No.” And I've had to say, or learn how to say “no,” to a lot of things in order to make room for improvements that needed to be made on my site. Again, that Mastermind Group like I talked about will help you through those decisions. Because those are not easy decisions to make. But, seeing that outside perspective or hearing that outside perspective is completely valuable, because we're so into, we're so laser focused and within our own business, that it's hard to see what it's like from the outside.
And then, again, what's missing? And talking to people to help you find out how to fill in those gaps, if there are any. Or maybe you're good and you just completely focus on optimization and funnel and things like that.
Now, here's a big one. If you want to improve your sales, best thing you can do is . . . I would definitely recommend first improving what's working already. Getting that to a point where it's optimized and focusing on those other things. But once you get to that point, here's the secret for making a lot more money: add new products to your product line. You can then do new launches you could sell to your existing customers. I'm hoping that you have an email list with all of your existing customers. You'd, perhaps, be able to help them help you creating whatever that new product is. Maybe an advanced version of what you have, and take a few members of your existing customer base and work with them to create something that not only is valuable for them, but something that would be amazing. An amazing product for you and other customers down the road who you, potentially, aren't necessarily serving—quite obviously right now—with your existing products.
So the best customer you have is your existing customer, because they've already said that they are happy to pay you for whatever it is you have to offer them. And the more you can provide, the better it's going to be. And so, again, optimize and then add new products to your product line. And perhaps even target other segments of your target market as well to get the whole vertical within your niche.
So, awesome. Thank you, Rene, for the question. This has been fantastic. I hope it answers your question and gives a bunch of you out there some ideas on how you can make improvements and what you can do, even if you're just starting out, where you have already begun to monetize or not.
So, Rene, an AskPat t-shirt is headed your way 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 AskPat, just head on over to AskPat.com. It's really easy. You can just listen to the existing episodes there or if you have a question, just hit that Speakpipe button and you'll, with just whatever mic you have available, just send it in. I don't care about sound quality as long as it's legible. This is real stuff from real people in the audience and I like to keep it raw like that, because that's real life.
So, guys, thank you so much for listening. I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com/askpat. You can try out AWeber and experience it for yourself and how awesome it is because I love it. You can try it out for $1 for your first month. It's been an amazing five years with them so far. And they're great. I mean, you pay for how many people are on your list. So if you're worried about how much you're going to pay, when you're starting out it's actually very, very, very, very cheap for what you get. And, of course, like I said, the customer service is fantastic. Live chat, and I've also had direct email back and forth with their staff as well. And it has seamless integration with WordPress, Facebook, PayPal, Shopify, and any other software that powers your business.
So, again, AWeber.com/askpat. You can get started for $1. And I also want to end with a quote, like I always do. So again, thank you for listening to the show, and this quote, to finish off this episode is from Robert F. Kennedy. And he says, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Cheers. Thanks so much, and I'll see on the next episode of AskPat.
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