AskPat 821 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 821 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.
We have a great question today from Josh, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Vistaprint. You've probably heard of Vistaprint. They're awesome because they support small business owners like you. They offer a ton of custom products for home and office needs, from business cards to flyers and invitations, things like that. I've used them before myself. I use them for both business and personal related things.
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All right, now here's today's question from Josh.
Josh: Hey Pat. My question to you is: how do entrepreneurs start their journey online to making money when they have no followers, no email subscribers, no Facebook likes, no Twitter followers, basically starting from zero. How do you do it?
Pat Flynn: Hey Josh. Thanks so much for this amazing question. Short and sweet but very powerful. You know I would recommend starting with the process that I talk about in my book, Will It Fly?, which is not about setting up anything. I think one of the biggest things that people do first when they're just starting out which is a mistake, is to sort of create their website first, you know things like that. They have an idea and they want to build something really quick so they can start collecting subscribers and getting followers and getting traffic, but I think that's the wrong approach. You want to make sure that you are very honed in on the market or the niche or the type of person and the specific problems that you're going to be solving for those people.
So my book, Will It Fly?, goes through the process of helping you understand after the initial mindsets and the commitment to becoming an entrepreneur and knowing what your strengths are and those sorts of things, why you're doing this in the first place. Beyond that then it's just finding interests that you have, that you want to dive more into and help solve problems for. There's many different ways to come up with different ideas so the ideas search is really, really the beginning part but then from there it's the validation. Not just whether those ideas are things that you're excited about but combining that with, well is there an actual problem that you want to solve, is there a group or market out there. So I go through a number of exercises in my book, Will It Fly? Also, through the course Smart From Scratch, which just came out. The doors are closed for that unfortunately, but you can get on the waiting list actually, it's going to re-open in June this year and you can check that out at SmartFromScratch.com.
That takes you again through the same exact process, same process that's talked about in Will It Fly? but at a little bit more hand holding, a little bit more accountability and doing it on a schedule, so you can check that out. Really when you're starting from zero you go out there, you put yourself and get involved in that particular community and just talk to people. Ask questions and find out what their needs are. Just from that alone you're going to start to collect followers, you're going to start to gain relationships.
You're going to start to understand who the top players are in the niche, what kind of products are being served to them already. What are their likes and what are their dislikes and that way you can sort of find your position. Once you find your position that's really important. That's your unique selling proposition. What is it about, what it is that you're going to offer that's different than what's out there and that way you can start to begin the half conversations knowing that some people are going to want your solution.
Then you can begin from there whether you end up validating a product that you are actually getting paid for that idea up front which is the process I take you through, through my material or you validate that that's something that people are interested in and then you begin starting your email list, like I teach you in a 100Emails.com which will walk you through the process in 72 hours. This is a completely free sort of challenge if you will, so in 72 hours if you go to 100Emails.com, it will walk you through the process of actually how to, based on your interest in this thing that you're looking to help people with, collect email subscribers, so you can start from scratch there.
Or you build your website and your social profiles and then you go out there and actually just start making connections and just start posting amazingly, helpful, valuable content and yes, in the beginning you might have just a few subscribers. You might just have a few people visit your website but that's where it starts. Then there are obviously some other techniques you can use to scale that process like featuring other top players on your website or other people who are also growing their business in the same realm, featuring them on your website and sharing those links with them so that they'll share it as well. You can interview them. You can ask them questions. You can connect with them, all those sorts of things.
I think that's the big thing as well as you can tell from my answer here, is that the relationships that you have with people are going to be very important. Not just your audience as well and not just the market that you're getting into so you can discover what those problems are, but also other people who are already serving that audience. They're not competition, they're potential partners. They're people who have paved the way that you can help add value to, who can then in return add value back to you in whatever it is that you're doing. So that's how you start.
Then the money comes from serving your audience and finding … And better solutions for those problems that you're solving. You know sponsorships come from when people start to flock to your website, you know it's hard to get sponsors right away and I wouldn't even worry about that. So don't worry about that, don't worry about sponsors, yes put them in the back of your mind and know that that's something you have to do or else it's just a hobby, it's not a business but to start just focus on the next one thing, which is discovering what problem it is you want to solve and then building that thing that can do that or at least start to establish your expertise in that realm or begin to talk about it, so that other people who really resonate with the way that you share that information or the way that you help them, they're going to continue to follow you and hopefully become that sort of raving fan, that can then help spread your brand and your message for you even more.
So Josh, hopefully that helps and answers your question. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show and you'll hear from my assistant in the next couple of weeks, so we can collect your information and send that to you.
I also mentioned a couple of links in this episode so Will It Fly?, my book, you can check that out at WillItFlyBook.com and also the more detailed course that walks you through the validation process of your ideas, you make sure that you're not wasting your time and money on something that may not work out in the end based on the market research and what not, so that's at SmartFromScratch.com you can sign up for the waiting list there for the June launch.
Thanks guys, I really appreciate it and as always just hook me up with a review on iTunes, if you have the opportunity, if you just happen to stumble upon iTunes in the next day or so. Thanks again, here's a quote to finish off the day by Janis Joplin and that quote is “Don't compromise yourself, you're all you've got.”
Cheers, take care and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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