AskPat 522 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 522 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Alrighty! Here's today's question, from Daniel.
Daniel: Hey Pat, this is Daniel, from createmytherapistwebsite.com. First off, I just want to thank you so much for the content that you create. I swear, if I could reach through the internet and hug you, I would. You have changed the trajectory of my career, and my life.
My question is about monetization of my blog. I'm only three months into blogging, and I'm trying to build my list, and my big goal, my main focus, is to create a course to sell that will help therapists and counselors build their own websites. I'm wondering how I should monetize it. I've got affiliate links in there. I'm wondering if I should strictly focus on the course itself, just work on that, and make that great. Or should I maybe, have some other products in there that are kind of cheaper, that I could offer people in the meantime, to kind of build momentum and that sort of thing. Trying to be patient, but also wondering if there are some quick things I can do in the meantime. Thanks!
Pat Flynn: Hey Daniel! Thank you so much for the question today, I really appreciate it. Here's a virtual hug for you. I don't know what that grunting noise meant, but virtual hug, and I appreciate all the kind words and all that good stuff. Thank you so much for the support.
To help you out, monetization, great job that you were thinking about this. Even though you're only three months in, I think it's fantastic that you're doing it this early. Everybody, even when they're just starting, should think about monetization. It doesn't necessarily mean that you should monetize from day one. Because you have to build a relationship, you have to understand who your audience is, and all that sort of stuff. But, you should at least think about what you could potentially do to monetize, so that you can have a business. A business is not anything really unless you're earning money, and making it a business. ‘Cause that's what a business is. So, this is great news.
In terms of monetization, Daniel, if I were in your position, I would first consider that maybe a course isn't actually the best option. It may very well be, but I wouldn't make that decision yet. What's nice is, now that you're early in the blogging process, you have the ability to reach out and connect with people who are on your email list, and in your comment section, and in your social profiles, in your social following. Really make that connection now, and discover exactly what their pains and problems are. It might not even be the fact that it is something to help them build a website. But, you want to make sure that you are able to solve their biggest pains and problems. And if you find that, well, building their website and setting up their own shop online is a pain point that they have, and something that you know you could provide an answer for, well then, that's great.
Then the secondary question is well how you can best provide that solution. Is it a course? Which, of course, has certain implications. They have to buy the thing, and then they have to take action on what it is that they do on what you teach, to be able to create that course. Which is perfectly fine, a lot of people want to do things by themselves, and that's what a course allows people to do. There's also the other end of it, Daniel, which may be a service. So, you have to discover whether or not these people want to do it themselves, or whether they want somebody else to do it for them. Now, of course, a service isn't necessarily going to be passive, at least not immediately. But it just shows you that they want somebody to do this for them. But, there is a solution to productize that particular service.
Instead of a course, where you're actually teaching people how to build websites for therapists, you can serve up and provide a website yourself, that is already designed, or that you designed for these people, but, instead of working one on one with clients, which can often be a long, drawn-out process, you can actually productize that service. Where people then by a website from you, and there's a certain expectation on what it will look like already, and what will be provided with it, and takes away a lot of the unknowns that are in the beginning. You could charge a lot more for that, than a course, and it's something you wouldn't charge as much for as sort of a customized, white glove service.
There's a great interview I did with Brian Casel and you can find that at smartpassiveincome.com/session158. That was in session 158. Again, that URL is, and I highly recommend that you listen to this, especially if you have a service-based business, and you want to learn how to productize it. That is smartpassiveincome.com/session158. In that episode, Brian reveals a three-step process for productizing your service. Which means, if you're providing something, like, say for example, you are building websites for people, which is exactly what Brian did. He was able to productize that. That means being able to sell that as a package, essentially, with a particular outcome, a particular deliverable. The way that it is passive is that you are hiring other people to help create this for you, or creating tools to help really make this. To document the procedures and streamline the workflow so that you can hand it off to somebody else, so that you can just work with people and work on the marketing, and getting them to by this quote service from you, where really, it's just productized. It's such a cool solution to scaling the service-based business. So, you want to check that out, again, smartpassiveincome.com/session158.
Rewinding a little bit, I want to talk a little bit more about this validation, this idea of, “Well, you have to talk to your audience.” Again, like I said: because you're just starting out and because your user base isn't as huge as other peoples', it gives you a great opportunity to actually have a deeper connection with these people, and to discover what their biggest pains and problems are. I go through this whole process in my upcoming book called Will It Fly?, get more information about that at willitflybook.com, but this research part, and discovering what those major pains and problems are, is a huge component, and then validating that.
What I would actually do, as you move forward, Daniel, whether you—no matter how you determine to best provide these solutions for your audience, you want to validate, which means, before you even create that course, or before you make this thing an actual product or service, you validate with a small segment of your audience. It's taking these big, large-scale items, these courses, these products, these services, and turning them into small-scale experiments, with a controlled group of people, such as a beta group, or early-bird adopters, or what have you. That allows you to see if there is a demand there, and to see if people will actually pay for it. And yes, you are getting paid for these things up front, even before you make these things.
I know this might sound outlandish to a lot of you, and I actually talk about this in the book, but, this is something that's happening all the time now.Bryan Harris, Noah Kagan—these are people who I feature in Will It Fly?—who have validated their business ideas before creating them. Additionally, we're used to doing this now through things like Kickstarter. When you purchase things on Kickstarter, a lot of times that thing isn't even created yet, but it's a way for people to say, “Yes! I want that thing.” And it's a way for that product owner, who has that idea, to make sure that that is worth continuing. Of course, if they don't get the pledge money, well then, they know that something is up and they have to reassess and figure it out before they actually build it. This is as opposed to what most people traditionally do, which is they build something, and they shout from the rooftops, and they say, “Buy my thing!” And then nobody buys it and they don't know why.
Well, the validation process is an iterative process, or methodical process, whereby you know what's happening at each stage, and if something doesn't check out, you don't move on to the next one. At this stage, you're doing a great job, because you're building that audience, you're building those relationships, you're discovering exactly what people need, you're coming up with this hypothesis on what people what, and then you validate it by having people pay to get access to these things, and to work with you, as you build them, beforehand. You don't need a lot of people to vote with their money, I guess you could say. Because you can't have a lot of people who say, “Yeah, I would totally buy that.” But then, when push comes to shove, and you put a sales page in front of them, they don't. So, you need to make sure beforehand, that this is something people want before you build it, and it will make you feel more comfortable.
Daniel, if I could, somehow, go into the future and give you my book already, I would do that. Although of course, like I said, it's coming out, willitflybook.com is launching February 1st. That's how I would go about it. So, Daniel, hopefully that answers your question and gives you a lot of things to think about, and I continue to wish you the best of luck moving forward, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future, to see how you roll with this. Let me know how it goes, I also want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much.
And for everybody out there who is asking questions, thank you. Just head on over to AskPat.com, you can ask right there on that page, and yeah, once more, I want to mention willitflybook.com coming out February 1st. Super stoked about it, and just like I teased a little bit in this episode to answer Daniel's question, it's all about validating your business idea, and also goes a lot into market research, too, to help you discover what the biggest pain points of your audience is so you can determine exactly what to do moving forward, and if it's going to check out or not. Go ahead and check it out, one more time, willitflybook.com launching February 1st.
As always, I like to end it with a quote, and today's quote comes from Mark Zuckerberg, of course, founder of Facebook, he says, “If you just work on stuff that you like, and you're passionate about, you don't have a master plan with how things will play out.” Which is really interesting, but goes back to what I said earlier, like Daniel, he's thinking about how to monetize his business, which I think is really important. That is going to help him figure out how this all plays out. It starts with what you're passionate about, but it's not just that, it's about building a business too, and hopefully you're doing that.
Thank you so much, I appreciate it, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of Ask Pat. Bye!