AskPat 445 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 445 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 and today, we have a great question from Jim.
But, before we get to Jim's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is www.Lynda.com, the online learning platform with over 3,000 on-demand video courses to help you strengthen your business tech and creative skills. I actually use it myself. The best thing that I've used it for was actually to help teach me how to use my DSLR camera. I also use it to keep up-to-date for a lot of pieces of software that I use. Photoshop, for example. You can actually get a ten-day free trial right now to all of the videos. These aren't just little YouTube videos. These are highly produced, studio-quality videos. You can get all access by going to www.Lynda.com/askpat.
Here's today's question from Jim.
Jim: Hello, thank you for doing this. My question for you and the listeners is, how does someone pick a subject for their podcast? For instance, in the past, I did podcasts, ebooks, and blogs about financing for small and medium-sized businesses, like a loan for equipment, for real estate, or start-ups, acquisitions, etc. I did a lot of podcasts on those with not a lot of success. I also love learning about and sharing ideas on marketing, helping businesses generate more revenue, things like that. Also, more on a personal side, I like inspiring and helping others with things. I created a book called Words to Live By. It takes words and helps people think about them, like “blame,” for instance. Don't blame others, take responsibility for your life. Taking action is very important in life. An idea is nothing without action . . . those sort of things. My name is Jim. Can you help me? How do I pick? I can't do all three, obviously. I enjoy them all. Help. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jim, what's up? Thank you so much for the question. You know what? I'm really excited that you called in because a lot of people who are starting something, whether it's a podcast, a blog, or what have you, they have multiple interests and a lot of times, people try to combine them all into one and then, for an audience, it just doesn't make sense. I'm very encouraged that you're reaching out and you're asking for some clarity here because it's obvious that you have an entrepreneurial mind. You have multiple things that you're interested in, and the cool thing about each of the things that you are talking about . . . this book that you have and the love that you have for helping people with marketing and making more money with their business . . . it just shows that you want to help.
I think that's the first and most primary thing that every successful entrepreneur should have: that want and that need to want to help others. That's great, that's all good. Now, the most important thing is to think about it on the other side. What is an audience member going to listen to? The thing that an audience member is going to get the most help from is somebody who can help them solve their problems. Again, we're going to the foundation of what makes a business successful. When we think of a podcast, for example, if you listen to a podcast, you listen to one that is there to help you. You typically listen on a consistent level, and you want to make sure that that content is always going to be helpful for you.
I would narrow down your focus to the one that does two things for you. One is that you're very passionate about and you feel that you can contribute a lot to helping this particular target audience out. But, number two, that there is a specific need and specific problems, pains, and issues that this particular target audience would have and you understand the language about that. It might take a little bit more research or digging into that particular audience or audiences that span across all three of these things. So, find that one that you can really focus on. The goal is, you want to find that avatar. That's a word that's thrown around a lot today in the entrepreneurial world, but it's thrown around because it's very, very important. You have to understand who it is on the other end that's going to be listening and what it is about their life that they need help with, that you can come in and provide a solution for.
Now, you had mentioned earlier that there are podcasts out there that are available for people who you are potentially going to target, but they're not good. Why? Again, you want to dig deeper. Why is it that people aren't listening? Are you listening to those episodes and trying to find out, “Well, yeah. These aren't really that interesting or they're kind of all over the place.” Again, when you align yourself and what you're doing with the problems of your audience, it's going to be much, much, easier for you to figure out what it is you're going to talk about. There's kind of two levels of what it is you're going to talk about, what is your show about, and who is it for? Also, within that show, what kinds of content can you share? Again, it's all based off of that research that you do.
I actually read a great book recently and I'm about to feature . . . actually, I had featured Ryan Levesque, the author of Ask on the show. That's a book I recommend everybody read, especially you, because you're going to learn how to do the proper research to discover these things about your audience that are really important for you to understand so that you can A, pick the right one, in terms of what you want to do, but also, B, understand exactly what kind of content you want to share with your audience. That's what I initially thought. What happens here when I create these AskPat episodes is Jessica, my assistant, she listens to these questions, and then she puts the questions into a spreadsheet here, Google Sheets. Then, I read the question, and then I play it. I listen to it fully to understand the tonality and the emotion behind it. What you had said in your question was different than what I had thought. So, I read what Jessica put, “How does someone pick the topic for their podcast?” That's what she put. I thought this episode was going to be about, “You have an audience. How do you discover what kinds of things to talk about on your podcast?” You have blogs, you have videos, you have podcasts. How do you figure out what to do on your podcast?
Your question is much different, but I do want to address that question too, because I know a lot of you out there have started. You have an audience already, you are marketing to a particular audience, and you are trying to figure out what else can you talk about. There's two things that you can do. One, is if you have an email auto-responder or if you have any sort of channel where you can collect responses to something . . . Maybe it's social media. But, I also like including this question on your email auto-responder because you get immediate feedback and constant requests for content that you should always be writing about. In an email auto-responder or on your social channels, ask questions like, “What else do you want me to write about?” or, “What kinds of content would you like me to feature?” or, “What would be the most helpful for you?” Probably, the number one question is, “What are you struggling with?”
If that's in your auto-responder, you're going to get a constant stream of questions from your target audience. Again, making sure that you've done the foundational work to get a target audience. You're not going to have any problems figuring out what topics to pick. Also, if you have a blog already and you've started a podcast recently, go to your analytics, and see what the most popular blog content is and see how you can further than conversation in a podcast episode. You've already validated that topic in your analytics, you might as well talk about it and go even deeper with it, as well. I love to use the blog level one, podcast level two, or video level two conversation or strategy with the content that I have. Why try to invent something completely brand new? You can take something that is already popular and make it even better or put a different spin on it, bring a guest on the show, for example, that can talk about it in a different way, and all those sorts of things.
Keep those things in mind for the future, Jim, as you move forward with this particular topic that you have. Again, related to what it is that you want to do and pick, you really have to pick one, and that's the main lesson here. Again, you have an entrepreneurial mind and that's great. Pick the one, go with it, and focus. F-O-C-U-S. Follow one course until success. That's the acronym. I got that from John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneur on Fire. Follow one course until success, and what that means is, you might start by picking one, but then, your brain is going to want to move onto something else, or you might not get the results you want right away. Then, what happens is, a lot of people quit or move onto something else right before that inflection point when stuff is going to happen. Amazing things happen, and a lot of times, it takes that dip, as Seth Godin says, to be able to find that rise on the other side of it. Again, just make sure you give whatever it is that you choose a chance to succeed. There's going to be hard times. This entrepreneurial thing doesn't happen overnight, and there are ups and there are downs, a lot of downs. But, as long as you keep moving forward, you will get back to those ups and rise even higher.
Jim, I hope this answers your question, at least, gets your gears turning and helps you focus on that one thing, which is really, really important to do. Jim, thank you so much for the question. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. You'll hear from my assistant, Jessica, in a week or two to collect your information for that, totally free of charge. For those of you listening or watching on Periscope right now, if any of you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to www.AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much for your time and attention today and as always, I love to end with a quote. This quote is from Lee Odden, “Content is the reason search began in the first place.”
That's such a good quote because we always talk about search and climbing the search engines, but the whole purpose of that is just to find the best content. Stick with the roots and stick with what you know works, which is great content that's unique, helpful. Cheers, thanks so much, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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