AskPat 210 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 210 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions—blogging, entrepreneurship, podcasting, startup questions, or anything else related to those things—five days a week.
Before we get to today's question from Peter, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks.com, the super easy to use cloud accounting solution that is helping millions of small business owners save time and headaches and all that stuff that comes along with keeping track of your finances.
It was something that I wish I found sooner because before I was using plain old Excel to keep track of my finances, which was pretty difficult for me come tax season, which always seems to roll around much faster than we want it to. Anyway, if you'd like to get your hands on FreshBooks for a free trial, go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Awesome, now let's get to today's question from Peter.
Peter: Hi, Pat, my name is Peter McGee, and I'm about to get started on my very first B2B podcast. What I'd like to know is whether I should record one episode and then focus group it out to make sure that it's entertaining and informative and all the things that a good podcast should be, and if so, how do I actually go about finding people to participate in the focus group? I don't really want it to be my friends and colleagues because they're just going to tell me that it's great and I'd really love some constructive feedback, maybe even from other podcasters.
I was wondering if you have any insight on that. I want to say thanks very much for your website. It’s been a great help to me and a great inspiration in getting this thing moving. Thanks very much, Pat, looking forward to your response. Cheers.
Pat: Peter, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it, and congratulations on your new podcast. If you already have it live, there are some things you can do to get constructive feedback, which I'll talk about in a second, which I think's cool and applicable for a lot of people out there listening. If you have yet to publish your first episode, there's also a lot of things you could do, which I think is great. I think, first of all, let's just talk about how important this is.
I think, Peter, you are taking the smart approach to this, because you want to get things right before you launch. I think that's really cool. You can ask for feedback from your target audience to just figure out what's working, what's not, and you never know until you have somebody else listen exactly how good or bad your episode might be. It's really important to get that information sooner than later. Of course, as you continue to publish podcast episodes as more and more people actually listen to them out in the world, you're going to have to keep your ears open and eyes open on comments to make sure that you can continually improve over time.
That's something I continue to do with AskPat, on my Smart Passive Income podcast, my new one over at FoodTruckr.com, and anything else that I do, really. I always see what I can do to continually improve. This is really smart, because even before you get your foot in the pool, you're asking people how the water feels. I think that's really cool. There's a number of things you can do before you launch your first episode, like you said, find that focus group. That is really cool, especially because you're looking for ways to get honest opinions, honest, constructive feedback. I agree with you, when you ask your friends, when you ask your family, depending on who those people might be or what kind of personality they have, they might want to sugarcoat things for you.
They won't want to hurt your feelings. Maybe there are family members and friends who will completely want to hurt your feelings. Either way, it might not be the best advice for you. There's no better advice than you can get from those that come from people who really don't know you. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to find somebody in your target audience, although that could be very helpful. If you are just starting out and you have a blog or some sort of following, even a little following on Twitter, you can tap into those resources or those assets that you've built, those followings and use those.
I think going directly to your target audience and having them understand that they're there doing this to help you, which is going to help them in the future. I think you'll get some constructive feedback. You might not get the completely honest feedback; not even just doing that, you're going to get a lot of good, golden information that is going to help you move forward and probably help you find some obvious things that, because we're so involved in our own projects, we don't really necessarily know or feel or hear ourselves. I would start with your followers; those that already know you are there providing this information.
If you don't have anybody, that's okay. There's a lot of different things you can do and places you can go to. I was hopeful because there's actually a website out there that does this sort of thing, allows you to share your brand or your website with other people who you don't even know who they are. They're sort of anonymous. There are ways to pay for the service so you can have it be shared with people in your target audience or at least in the same marketer genre. However, unfortunately, this is just for websites, for mobile sites, and for mobile apps. If you have a website, for any of you out there, Peter or anybody, this is a great tool that was recently discovered on SPI podcast 129 when Josh Shipp came on board to talk about how to scale your service-based business.
The link to that episode is SmartPassiveIncome.com/Session129. In that episode, he mentioned this tool at Peek.usertesting.com. “Peek” like you're peeking into something, not “P-E-A-K.” But Peek.usertesting.com. What you could do is, even for free, you can put in your website URL and you're going to get recordings back from real people. Five-minute videos of a real person using your site or app. It's a little bit scary, but I know a lot of people since listened to that episode who have gone through this service. Again, that's Peek.usertesting.com. I’ve gotten just some incredible information from people that I don't even know.
A lot of times, the people who are coming to our sites are people we don't even know. You can get that real feedback. Unfortunately, like I said, Peter, you can't really have people do your podcast or listen to your podcast episode. Of course there's time involved with that. You could potentially find people that you could pay to do this. That's going along with my next advice. Until Peek adds that ability to find people to listen to your show, you can use a lot of different places. Fiverr could be a good place to start. You know you can pay somebody. There could be people on Fiverr.com, that's F-I-V-E-R-R.com. There's a lot of people on there who are willing to do lot of things for five bucks.
You can go on there and find somebody to give you a review of your show. That could be very interesting and helpful, although I would also look at these other ways, as well. I would even go through people in your network. We talked about not really going through people in your network, but not getting direct feedback from them. Perhaps you have a good relationship with them. You can ask them to pass along, maybe even make them feel like they're getting some sort of insider information or secret information that they could pass along to a few select people in their audience, perhaps, in exchange for something to get that honest feedback from people who are in your target audience through these people who are in your networks that you know.
Not getting direct feedback from the people that you know, but getting direct feedback from the people who follow the people that you know, if that makes sense. You could also run ads and trying to think how that might work. You could set up a Facebook campaign, for example, targeting specific people in your niche with those same interests, as if you were promoting a product, even. Maybe your ad is for people to listen and leave feedback. Perhaps there's a form underneath a particular file that they can play on a website and there's a form underneath and you can say that, “If you fill out this form, you leave honest feedback.” Maybe in the middle of the episode there's some sort of word that you say at a specific time period, just so you know that they listened to it. You give them a $5 Amazon gift card or something.
You do twenty of these, even $100 worth. Twenty honest feedbacks is going to be completely valuable and definitely worth that kind of money, I think. You could also go to different groups where your target market is online as well. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, things like that, communities where there is your target audience, where you can go and introduce yourself and talk about what you're trying to do. Just put it out there. You're going to get some people who are like, “Oh.” You're putting yourself out there giving people opportunities to judge you, but that's kind of what you want to happen. You're going to get some people who aren't going to care, but you might get some people who are interested and, of course, if your show is valuable and even if you have a specific person on your show who those people might know, then they'll be more likely to listen.
Then you can ask for honest feedback and you'll probably get it, especially in those forums and in those groups where people tend to be quite honest, actually, from time to time. Forums, groups, and things like that would help too. Peter, I think that gives you a few places to start. If you already have your show out there, one thing you could do, just like I do here on this show and all of my other shows, is I just ask my audience. “Hey, is there anything I could do to improve your experience listening to this show?” When you open that door, and you give them permission to say those types of things exactly how they feel and honest assessments about what you're producing for them, they're going to want to improve their own experience. They're going to tell you what they want and that's going to help you, which is going to help them, and just build that trust and authority over time.
Tapping into your existing audience. If you already have a podcast, just mention it a couple times. I think opening up the kimono and being vulnerable a little bit helps a lot in the long run for your brand and for the improvement of your site and the usability and the user experience through it. Why don't you give that a shot?
Peter, thank you so much for your question today. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way for free as a result of having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. Did you know that they also have an award-winning mobile app? You could check all your finances on the go. Money coming in, money going out. You can even do really professional invoicing with the FreshBooks software. If you're a coach or consultants, or you have clients, for example, you can use FreshBooks to bill them and easily get paid for what you do for that so that you can focus on just helping more people and making more money down the road.
Awesome, if you want to get hooked up with a free trial of FreshBooks, just go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. As always, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote is from Sara Blakely. She says, “Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning because what you don't know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you next episode of AskPat.
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