AskPat 573 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what is up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 573 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I am here to help you by answering your all night business questions, 5 days a week.
Okay, here is today's question from Serena.
Serena: Hey, Pat. I am Serena from ThriftDiving.com. Okay, so my problem is this: I don't know who my target customers are and how I should be creating content for them. So I have been getting up at 4:00 a.m. daily, working on my one thing which has been business planning, and I have got some semblance of a business plan done and now I am working on my marketing plan editorial calendar. So the problem is that I have got several categories of content, everything from showing off things that I find at the thrift store to furniture makeovers to power tools and home improvement projects. I love doing all of these creative things, but as a result, I have several segments of customers and I don't know who my one target customer really is. So my question is this: When you have got a site that offers several categories of content which may have different segments of customers, is it okay to even have several target customers?, number 1; and, is it okay to just rotate your content among the categories to satisfy several target customers?” So that is what I would love to know. Thanks, Pat. I love your show. You are awesome and I look forward to hearing from you.
Pat: Hey, Serena. Thank you so much for the question. You know, if you are just starting out, a lot of times it is massively important to find out who your target customer is. I think that this is massively important, and if it ranges—and I know this because on Smart Passive Income, for example, it absolutely ranges from all different levels to all different niches and all different kinds of monetization options and ways that people like to share their content: blogging, podcasting, video, it reaches across all of those. Over time I have learned that it is okay, it is okay to have different kinds of content for different types of audiences.
But I will say that if you are just starting out, it is going to be very, very difficult for you to stand out and grow. Because imagine you find a brand new site that has content that you love, and you subscribe to it because you want more, but then all of a sudden, you start to see these other articles that are not for you. You are going to realize quickly that this is not a site for you.
What you want to do, in the beginning especially—don't worry, you can always expand out and expand your reach, and the nice thing is over time you will be able to know what those categories are. But I would absolutely pick one or two and just focus on those right from the beginning. So that hopefully they kind of cross pollinate or relate to each other in some way so they are not completely different. That way, people who love you for one particular thing can also get some value out of the other thing. But just pick one or two and focus on that. It is going to help you in so many different ways and here is why: because your content is going to be much more in alignment with who your target customers are, and yes, it will mean you will have to sacrifice a few in the beginning, and that is totally okay. That is what you want to do; it is how you better stand out from the competition. It is how you “niche down” and become more of an expert in a field, even though that field might be smaller than you ultimately want it to be. It will help you get to authority levels much, much quicker, and when you do that seriously, the “riches are in the niches,” as they say.
Then you could branch out from there, and you are going to find your voice. You are going to be able to have better content for those other categories that you expand out to because you will have some practice focusing on that one or two. There is an article out there called “A Thousand True Fans,” and I would highly recommend you read that, Serena. Just look it up on Google. It is by a guy named Kevin Kelly. He is just a big guy over at Wired Magazine, and he has been blogging for years. Super, super smart guy. This article, “A Thousand True Fans,” will help put into perspective why it is really important to narrow down your niche. Again, like I said, “the riches are hidden in the niches.”
So, all of this work that you are putting into business planning and marketing, great, it is not put to waste for sure. But put a lot of those categories aside for one or two that you really want to focus on. How do you know which ones need the most focus? Well, which ones have the biggest problems? Which ones can you provide the most solutions for? Which ones excite you the most? You want to absolutely find out what the best one is in terms of a combination of all of those three kind of aspects and focus on that. That is cool, because then you are going to have a much more narrow focus; you are going to be able to really drive in and help out those people, and you will be able to start collecting email lists and begin to segment them in a much easier way.
When you are starting out, it is hard to segment your email, and it is not necessarily something that you can do in the beginning if you're boot strapping and do not have access to software that can do that. A lot of email service providers can do that, ConvertKit is the one I would recommend, and it is possible but it is going to be a lot more confusing if you have a lot of different categories. What you ultimately want are different buckets in your audience and a different email list for each of those buckets, so you can serve them information that is better geared toward them. So you can drive traffic back to articles that are written just for them, so you can sell them products that are just for them too.
So, Serena, I hope that answers your question, or at least gives you some thoughts. I know it might not be what you want to hear, but it is what you have to hear. Because you really need to narrow down; you need to focus on one or two of those categories and become that expert, that trusted resource for that particular group of people. Again, that is not to say that everything you had planned to do is going to be going to waste. It is just, you are more strategic about the approach.
So, Serena, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it, and I wish you all the best. I am going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. My executive assistant, Jessica, will email you in the next couple of weeks to collect your information and we will send you that free of charge.
Anybody else out there listening, if you have a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask it right there on that page.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and here is a quote to finish off the day. And this quote is from Pablo Picasso, and he said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.” Serena, for you I think this is an especially important quote, because it seems you are doing a lot of planning, and planning is great, business planning, fine, but a business plan is just a guess, it is just an estimate. And what you really want to do is take action. That is what is going to help you find your voice, it is going to help you better hone in your message to your particular categories that you choose to focus on at first, and it is what is going to get you those results.
So, Pablo Picasso, thank you. “Action is the foundational key to all success.” Completely agree. Cheers. Take care, and I will see you on the next episode of AskPat. Bye.