AskPat 365 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 365 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you're doing well, and as always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a question today from Joel, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, the super easy-to-use cloud accounting solution, helping you manage all of your business finances. They're actually helping over 3 million small business owners, and they can help you, too. You can actually get it for free for 30 days if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Check them out. They've got great invoicing structures, and also a mobile app to help you check the health of your finances on the go as well for your small business. Check it out: GetFreshBooks.com, and enter AskPat.
All right. Here's today's question from Joel.
Joel: Hello, Pat. My name is Joel Hiscutt of Look Like a Local, a travel and tourism podcast, where we interview local residents of travel destinations to find out where the locals go to eat, play, shop, etc. One of the easiest aspects that I thought of this idea would be to contact the recommended businesses of the podcast and get them to share the podcast within their network. For example, if someone recommends Bob's Barbecue on the podcast, I would contact Bob's Barbecue through Facebook, email, or phone, or whatever, and say, “Hey, you were recommended. Would you like to share it with your network?” and they would say, “Of course,” because it's free advertising. It's word-of-mouth advertising. I'm finding a 10% success rate. I have done it through Facebook, email. I've called them, and I get a positive reply, like, “Hey, yeah. That sounds great,” but rarely do they actually share it with their network. I was hoping that you would have some ideas where I could up that success rate to try to get the word of mouth advertising about Look Like a Local out there so that I can grow my audience a little bit quicker. With that said, Pat, thank you so much for everything you do, man. You've been a big inspiration, and I hope you have a great day. Bye, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Joel. What's up? Thank you so much for the question today. First of all, I love the idea that you're interviewing locals so people can look like a local. I think that's a fantastic idea, and I think you've taken it a step further and have gone about it in a really smart way in terms of promoting it. Whenever anybody recommends a business, which they all will do, obviously, when any of the locals recommend a business, you reach out to those businesses and say, “Hey, you were featured. Why don't you help share this resource with your people?” I think that's a great idea. I can see why the success rate is only 10%, because a lot of people might not really think that it's actually going to help them. Although it is free advertising, they might not know by how much. Also, a lot of these business owners, if you are indeed talking to the person in those businesses that are the decision-makers … Which is the person that you'd want to get with or talk to. That's the first thing, that you're sending emails out. You're sending Facebook messages. Sometimes those people are going to be the Facebook managers or the social media managers or the receptionists. You need to get to the decision-makers, the PR person within their company. That's the first thing that I would mention. Try to get in contact with those people.
Secondly, even if you are contacting those people or even talking to the business owners, perhaps, they're going to be very busy. They have a lot of things on their mind. I know, because I'm a multiple business owner myself. I get these opportunities that come my way that seem great, and there's no reason for me not to do them. There's just a lot of things going on, and I either forget about them, or they just aren't going to be a top priority for me. One thing I will say and recommend that you do, Joel, is that you follow up. The fortune is in the follow-up. The fortune is in the follow-up. Follow up with the people that you've reached out to. If you reach out to somebody via email, for example, follow up with them two weeks later if they hadn't shared it, and just say, “Hey. I just wanted to make sure that you got this.” A lot of times, those follow-ups are the key for a promotion effort like this.
I'll give you an example. When I was starting my site at FoodTruckr.com, I reached out to about 300 food truck owners via cold email, telling them about the new website, and also asking them a single question, which was, “What's one thing you wish you knew before you got into the food truck business?” hoping that they would answer that question to get featured, to get free, essentially, advertisement, to get free exposure on the website in this roundup post that I was creating. It was about 5% that responded back. I only got just a handful of responses back, but a couple of weeks later, I followed up with everybody else who didn't reply. Of those people, about 40 people replied. It was incredible, and the responses from those people were like, “Oh, my gosh. I remember seeing this. I just didn't have time, but thank you for reminding me.” A couple of people had said, “Oh, I actually didn't get that initial message,” which maybe they were just being nice, or maybe they did but didn't want to tell me. Whatever the case may be, there was no reason not to follow up. I mean, you are actually doing them a service by telling them about this. If they aren't using it to their advantage, it only makes them look better, too. There's no reason not to do it.
Now, there's obviously a line. You could email that person every single hour of every single day for a week and just be annoying. You don't want to do that, obviously, but I think if you reach out and then you reach out again a couple of weeks later, that's totally fine. There's nothing wrong with that. What's the worst that can happen? They just won't reply, and then they are a business that doesn't want free exposure. You're going to get the businesses that do care to reply and also respond.
Now, the final thing I want to say, Joel, is to make sure that when you are sharing this resource with these businesses that people are recommending, make it easy for them to share. Make sure you're sharing something where they are obviously featured, where there's a link that they can go to and see right then and there. If you just give them your homepage, then they're not going to really either believe you, or not see right away where their site or business or establishment is mentioned. Wherever you tell them to go, make sure that they are shown there and seen there and featured there in one way or another. That's going to make it more likely that they're going to share it as well.
If you wanted to go a level further, you can even create something like, for example, a click to tweet, so a pre-written tweet that you create that then promotes that page that they can just really easily click a button or that they go to a special link and they click a button, and it tweets out that predetermined message for you to their followers. It just makes it really easy. Again, just trying to save them a lot of time. It shows that you've already done something for them, and taken the time to create that for you. Again, I'm just thinking out loud here. Maybe you create a video. I'm thinking about what works on me, because I'm so busy and I have a lot of attention going here and there.
Now that I say this, I'm probably going to get a lot of these, but that's okay. When people take the time to send me a quick video, I can't help but watch it. People take the time to send me a video, and I know that even though it's fairly easy to create, which is good for you, I just feel like there's time that people put into it, even though they might not … They might not even spend as much time doing a video nowadays on their phone as opposed to the time it takes to write an email. Whatever the case may be, it's still high value, the video. If you wanted to shoot a video and just say, “Hey, Bob's Candy Shop.” I don't know who Bob is or why he would own a candy shop, but, “Hey, Bob's Candy Shop. You were mentioned by a local in your community that you are a great place to go to. Here you are featured on our website. Here's the link below, and the description here in this private video on YouTube. Thank you so much, and if you wanted to share this, here's a link that you can share with all of your followers as well, showing how awesome your establishment is. Cheers. Thanks. Take care. Joel.”
Awesome. Yeah. That's how I would go about it if you wanted to take it to the next level. Maybe test out. Test it out, and also follow up, too. Hopefully that helps, Joel. Thank you so much for your question today. I really appreciate it. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you who have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page, thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it super easy for you to keep track of your expenses, your income, and everything that's going on financially with your small business. They help over 3 million small businesses, and they should be able to help you, too, like they've helped me as well. Get it for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat.”
Thanks so much, and here's a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt to end the day, and that is, “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.” Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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