AskPat 595 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Welcome to Episode 595 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 Mark but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks, an awesome company helping us all keep our headaches away because it can be a headache to manage your business finances. Keeping track of your money can be quite stressful but it doesn't have to be and you can use FreshBooks to help keep everything in order; from the income, to the expenses, to the invoicing that you do. They serve over 3 million small business owners, including myself, and they can serve you too. If you want to check them out for 30 days for free go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat, again, that's FreshBooks.com/AskPat; and make sure you type “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us” section.
Alright, here is today's question from Mark.
Mark: Hey Pat, this is Mark Kennedy from healthynomics.com. Firstly, thanks for all you do, you educate and inspire many, many people including me, so for that, I thank you. I have a site where I focus on helping beginner runners. I built my email list to just over 3,000 subscribers with most of them signing up to my free email course for beginner runners.
My questions is, how do you best transition or prepare your audience for something that is paid when they have been accustomed to, or perhaps even attracted to my site and guidance, because they're not getting pitched anything? They have come to get my course for free, basically. I'd love to hear your thoughts or strategies of how you would transition from free to paid.
Pat: Hey Mark, thanks so much for the question, I really appreciate this, I like that you're doing a site for beginner runners because I was once a beginner runner. And, I know this sounds kind of weird for some of those who are listening but beginner runner in the sense that when you want to get serious about running maybe you're going to start to do 5Ks or 10Ks or even half marathons like I did, I needed some coaching, I needed some help, and working with some people online and getting access to content about running and how to actually do it well and not get hurt, is very useful. So very encouraged by that Mark and it's cool to know that you've already built a list of 3,000, which is great.
Now to your question, “How do you transition people from paid, or from excuse me, from free to paid?” I think this is something that I'm definitely qualified to talk about because for the longest time in several different businesses that I've owned, I've transitioned from free to paid. And there are, I'm gonna talk about three different ways to sort of think about or wrap your head around doing that. The first thing, actually, four things I'd guess you could say. One sort of mindset thing, and then three actions that you need to be taking or three different options that you have.
So the first thing, the big mindset thing, is to know that you have something worth paying for. And, I think this is really important because a lot of us, we feel like when we give everything away for free, that we don't feel like people should be paying us. We don't feel like we have something worth people's money to offer them and if you have that kind of mindset you're definitely not going to succeed and it will come across in your copy when you do try and sell something, it's not going to be convincing. And, you need to be confident and know you have stuff to offer and stuff worth paying for, that's the first thing.
Now to these three, sort of, options I guess you could have and they could all be mixed with each other in one way or another too. I'm just going to go down by them one by one, just wrote this right before I started speaking here and recording this episode.
So the first thing provides so much value with your free stuff and this is what I always do because your earnings are a byproduct of how well you serve your audience and I feel the best way to serve your audience is just to give everything away for free as much as possible. Because when you do that the law of reciprocity comes into play and people will want to find ways to pay you back. Now, I do that in a number of different ways, by offering courses, by publishing books, but also affiliate marketing of course for those of you who have followed me. Giving people a way of paying me back without actually having to pay me but by buying stuff that they're already going to buy anyway but through a specific link that then, helps me earn a commission through that.
So that's one thing you could do but if you have your own stuff provide a lot of value people are going to want to buy your stuff anyway. A great example of this was my first business at GreenExamAcademy.com, which is a site that helps people pass an exam in the architecture industry. When I started that site, seriously I was giving away everything, you didn't need to buy anything else in order to to pass this exam. However, when I came out with my study guide people purchased it and when I ran a survey with my customers a number of them had actually paid for the product even though they had already passed the exam with my free stuff. I followed up with many of them and I asked, “Well, why did you do that? You didn't even need to pay for this because you've already passed the exam.” They said, “Pat, when you came out with your study guide, you finally gave me a way to pay you back for helping me pass my exam.” So it was clear to me that you know, the more you help people the more you get back in return.
So that's the first thing, so provide a ton of massive value up front. That, in addition to, this isn't number two yet; this is sort of the second part of number one. When you combine providing massive value with building a relationship with your audience. Either on a one to many scale like typically you would do anyway through a blog or podcast but on a one to one level too. That's why I think Gary Vaynerchuk is really big on SnapChat right now. You can do these quick, one to one interactions, to sell your thing, to provide massive value, but also connect with a person on an intimate level, one to one, personal level, one to one. When you combine that massive value that you give with building a relationship, I mean that's just a recipe for success right there. So that's the first thing.
The second thing, is you could offer, I guess, I don't want to say part one for free and then part two paid but I think you know where I'm coming from. So you give away a lot of information for free and if you want to get the next part of it, or the next level of it, or the next steps for example, you have to pay to get access to those things. There's a fine line there between bait and switch in terms of giving people a bunch of stuff for free and saying, “Hey well, in order to complete this puzzle, you need to get the last piece by paying for it.” No, you don't want to do that, but there is a fine line there so you definitely want to walk that line carefully.
There a lot of different examples that you could probably think of where you get a lot of stuff for free but in order get to the sort of higher level part of it you want to get paid, or paid for that. A lot of people will want to pay because they know that it's going to help hold them accountable, they're going to have skin in the game because of that transaction. That's why even though I have access to things for free sometimes, I pay for them. You know for example, when I started doing P90X, which is an at-home fitness program. I had a bunch of friends who were like, “here, Pat borrow my DVD” and I said, “No, I need to pay for this because that's how I know that I'm actually going to be more likely to complete it because I've actually had some sort of transaction.” So that's another thing to think about.
Okay, number three—and this one is one that I love and I have participated on in both sides, in terms of me providing the value and the free stuff, but also the one of the receiving end and purchasing stuff after I have gotten a lot of information for free. This is you give stuff away for free but in order to get access to you, that's the differentiator. In order to get access to you, or access to a community, or access is the big word, access to something, then that's when the payment comes through. That becomes a very clear benefit in terms of having that accountability, that one on one interaction that you don't normally get with that free stuff. So I think that's quite clear on how that actually commands a price point.
So, Mark I hope that answers your question or at least gives you some things to think about. I want to thank you for the question today, I really appreciate it and I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much you'll hear from my assistant Jessica in the next couple weeks to collect that information so we can send that to you.
For those of you listening if you have a question that you would like to potentially be featured here on the show just head on over to askpat.com, you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much, I appreciate you and I appreciate FreshBooks too for all the awesomeness that they provide to help, help me keep track of my finances and everybody else out there who they serve. They also make invoicing really easy so if you have any clients or you do any consultation or coaching, FreshBooks makes it really easy to get paid because they make it just really professional and it's great. So if you want to check it out for free for 30 days head on over to freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us section.”
Thank you so much again for listening in and here is a quote to finish off the day like always and this quote is from Sam Walton. He said, “High expectations are the key to everything.” Take care, I'll see you in the next episode, bye.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.