AskPat 45 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? This is Pat Flynn. Welcome to Episode 45 of AskPat where I answer your online business and entrepreneurship questions five days a week.
So excited you're here. Of course I want to mention our official sponsor of this episode, which is FreshBooks. If you don't know what FreshBooks is, it's accounting software which makes everything so easy. I only wish I had gotten started with it sooner, because we wear so many hats in our businesses, and when it comes to the finances and accounting and bookkeeping, the sooner and the better the tools you have to organize all that stuff just the less headache you're going to have down the road, so I recommend FreshBooks. It's great. It's on the cloud. You could use it from anywhere on any browser, and so if you want to get FreshBooks and a sixty-day free trial, check it out. You can go to GetFreshBooks.com, and then type in “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, so they know you came from here, and that would be awesome.
Now on to today's question from Guy, and he's asking about something where you're going to be selling or perhaps asking someone to pay who is not necessarily in your target audience, or your user base. Now, what does that mean? Well, let's get to Guy's question, and he'll tell you more about it right now.
Guy: Hi, Pat. My name is Guy Hauptman, and my website is ChemVideoTutor.com. As a licensed chemistry teacher for over ten years I created an online video series called 100 Ways to Pass the Chemistry Regents, which is designed to help high school chemistry students in the state of New York pass an end of year state exam. My question is, although the students are the ones who will ultimately be watching my video series, it's their parent that have the credit card, so how do I market to or target the parents so that they will buy it for their children? Thank you for all that you do, and for sharing what you've learned.
Pat Flynn: Guy, thank you so much for your question, and I want to first point out that I'm extremely encouraged by your question because it shows that you know what's going on in your business. You understand that your end users, your high school students, aren't going to be the ones that are going to be ultimately paying for your service or product, that is your parents of those high school students. A lot of companies don't realize . . . This is where they get it wrong, or they mix up those messages, and sometimes they'll address the end user, and sometimes they'll address the person who's going to be buying, and it just mixes up those messages, and the conversions go way down because of that, so it's great that you're asking this question, and I'm going to do what I can to help you.
This sort of reminds me actually of just a really quick story I want to tell you. I was maybe five years old, and Nintendo had just come out, and then there was a magazine that came out called Nintendo Power, and there were infomercials for this magazine. You know, “Get Nintendo Power, and you get to understand how to beat Super Mario in ten minutes,” or whatever. You know, all these tips for Zelda, and things like that, and I remember seeing one of those commercials. Again, I was five years old, and I called Nintendo Power, and I was this little kid and asking to get this magazine, and I remember getting to a point, because I remember the story being told to me later on when I was older: Apparently I had given them my address, I had given them my phone number, and then they actually asked me, a five year old kid, for a credit card number. I don't know who was working on the other end there, or how they did business back in the 80s, but I had put the phone down and yelled to my mom down the stairs, and I said, “Mom, can I have your credit card number?” She's like, “What?” She went up, and she's like, “Who's this?” She found out that I had called Nintendo Power, so definitely they were trying to sell to somebody who couldn't ultimately buy, and so what did my mom do when she picked up the phone? Obviously she hung up. Then she tried to understand what the heck was going on, but again that's an extreme example, but it's just a funny story that I'm reminded of that I wanted to tell you.
Now, there are a number of different approaches you can take, and I think the obvious one is to just target the parents, and I'll go over my favorite strategy, and it's going to be kind of ninja, but I'll talk about that in a second. I was thinking hard about that one, and that would be the approach that I take, but before that I mean there's an obvious approach of targeting the parents because they are the ones that ultimately have the money, and they're going to be paying for this, so what I would do, is I would do as much research as I can to tap into the minds of these parents who could be potentially paying for your product. You want to understand what their pains, problems, and issues are related to education, and related to this exam that you want to take, and you want to discover the language you want to use, and what's going through their head, so you can directly address those things at the sales page or the point at which they're going to be purchasing. Because the more you can address exactly what's going through their head, the more likely they are to feel like you have the solution, so that's really important. So determine where that audience is, and then share information with them about what you can do to serve them, and then talk to them in their language, and talk to them about the things that they're thinking about.
Another thing to think about is when you're addressing the parents here. You know, I've seen companies do this, and I did a little research before answering this question, and I was looking for companies out there for the SATs and other tests that are available to high school students, and I was seeing how some of these companies are addressing or selling to either the student or the parent. Now, most of them have mixed messages. You don't know if you're selling to the parent or to the student, so I think wherever it is that you have these strategies, you want to make sure you're very purposeful, and you understand exactly who is on that page. Each page should be for either a student or a parent, and on that page should be language specific for them. So going back to the parent, you know one thing you want to do is make sure that you mention their kids. Their kid, “Your son, your daughter.” A lot of these other companies that I found before would mix up the messages and say things like, “Our students will learn this.” Or, “Students often tell me that this course blah, blah, blah.” No. You want to say stuff like, “Your son will learn this,” or. “Your daughter,” or, “Your child will understand exactly how to do this, so that he can pass this exam.: You want to do the features, but also the benefits as well, and address specifically their kids, because they're not going to care. “Okay, your students. Okay, who cares? What about my kid?” Address their kid specifically in any sort of campaigns or strategies you use that target the parent.
One thing you could do that might be fun to experiment with is a Facebook campaign, so try to determine sort of the average age of parents who will have kids in high school, so thinking about me I'm thirty-one right now. When my son's in my school around that age I'm going to be forty-three. I don't know, I can't do math right now. Maybe target people between the ages of forty and fifty, right? Target people who have kids at that age, and so you would know that your ads are being put to those parents. Maybe that test is in a specific location as well, so you can get really, really specific in your targeting, and then you could talk to people in those ads in the language that they know, or address those specific and most major concerns, and you can test and see how those pages and those ads convert, and of course with Facebook if you get it to a point where it's working, you know those ads are converting, and you know that you're making money by the number of people who come to your site and the conversions, you know you're making more money than you are spending on ads, then it's just a cash cow. You can just spend more to make more at that point. You're trading dimes for quarters, or quarters for dollars depending on how well you're doing, but again I'm not a Facebook expert. There's a lot of Facebook experts out there. AmyPorterfield.com. Also Rick Mulready from Social Media Insider. He's a great resource for Facebook as well, but that's just something to think about when it comes to targeting specifically the parents.
Now, if you're going to target the student, which I would recommend actually, I would actually start with the student because here's the thing: If you can get somebody's child to say, “I want to purchase this to help me have a better education”—I mean, I used that all the time when I was growing up. “Hey, I want this notebook. It's going to help me study better.” Okay. Well, I mean it wasn't always that simple, but you get the idea. When a child can tell their parent that something out there is going to help them learn something better or perhaps pass an exam, or in this case perhaps help them get into college, yeah I think a parent would be more likely to pay for it if that message is coming directly from the student. So what I would do is, I would target the student, but I would target them in a way where I'm providing something to them for free. Something amazing. Something like maybe a free set of videos, or maybe it's practice exams.
I know for a fact that practice exams do really well. That's how people like Cornelius Fichtner who teaches The Project Management Exam, or how to pass that exam, he gives away I think 100 exam questions for that exam. Gives them away, but that's how he builds his list of about 30,000 people, by giving away that list, and then he upsells the products that he has through the autoresponder in that funnel.
Now, what I think you should do, and you can try this out, is I would create a set of practice exams, or maybe it's a set of videos that people can get for free. The videos might be a good idea because, Guy, you said that you provide videos in your paid products, so it might be a good way to sort of connect people to what they're going to get after they purchase, so they can get to know you and build that relationship. The video is good for that, but whatever the case may be, at the end of providing all that information—and again, I love practice exams because people love to see if they know everything, and if they don't they're going to want to pay so they can learn everything.
What I would do is, I would target the students. Give those things away for free; make it easily shareable. You want that to be spread as far and as wide as possible, and you know how connected students are today. I mean, once they find something that rocks and that's awesome they're going to share it. Especially if they know it will make them feel cool because they've helped out a friend, so try to get that to be shared as much as possible, but don't forget at the end of that practice exam or maybe the end of that free video series, you want to tell them to tell their parent about you. Again, that's the call to action, and a great way to do that would be to maybe have them send their parent to a specific link that's just for them. For example, at the end you say, “Hey, great job. If you feel you're ready, awesome. Here's a few tips for you. If not, I have a whole series of videos and more tutorials that you can go through. If you go to this website you'll see a link there, but actually I want to talk to your parent first because I want them to understand how important this is for you, and if you feel comfortable with this, knowing that there is a paid course on the other end, feel free to send your parent to this link here.” I would give them that specific link, and on that specific link that they give to the parents which they would say, “Hey, I took this free course. It's awesome. I want more, but I have to pay for it, but I think it can help me. This guy told me to give you this link because you're my parent.”
When parents go to that link—and of course I would test all of this, I don't know if this is going to work, but that's what I love about online business. You can try things like this and test it, and as long as you track you can see what's happening. If you find that parents are landing on this page that I'm about to talk about, and nobody's converting, then don't do that, and you change the call to action for the student at the end, and try different things. Maybe you can split test. You can have half of your students who take this exam go to one call to action or one landing page, and half of them do another one, and just see which one converts better. Again, that's why I love this. It's so much fun. Anyway, for these parents that land on this page I would say something like, “Hey, great job. You are an awesome parent because you have a son or daughter who is proactive with their education. Just first of all kudos to you. Secondly, this is what they've been up to. They took my free course or my free practice exam, and they feel like they need a little bit more help, and I'm going to be honest with you, I can help, but this is my job, so I'm going to have to”—not have to, but you know—”I have all these other resources and products. If you want more information about it call me or send me an email and I'd be more than happy to answer your questions. Here's a screen recording of what it might look like inside just so you know what your kids are up to. There's a sixty-day money back guarantee if you or they don't feel like they're getting the benefit from it feel free to call me. No questions asked. I'll refund your payment.” All those good things. All that stuff that you would include in the sales page anyway, but again addressing that parent specifically, and talking about their student who was the one that sent them there, so again just something interesting to check out, and of course along all this I would build my email list along the way and sort of test other things as well.
But Guy I hope that answers your question. I hope it gives you some ideas as well, and for those of you out there I hope you can see just the benefit . . . I mean, this question might not be relevant to you exactly as far as parents and the younger ones that might be your end users, but I hope you see sort of my thought process here and how you can use it in your own business as well.
Thank you so much, Guy. An AskPat teeshirt is going to be sent your way. Please keep us updated because I'd like to see the outcome of this, or even if you try this, or maybe have other suggestions from the audience or try other things as well. Again, an AskPat teeshirt is going to be sent your way. If you the listener have a question you'd like featured here on AskPat, feel free and head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask a question right there using the widget from SpeakPipe.com, and lastly I want to give a shout out again to the great folks over at FreshBooks.com. [Full Disclosure: As a Speakpipe affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] Again, I've had great experiences using FreshBooks, and seriously the sooner you get it, the sooner you can focus on your work and not your paperwork. Again, they have that sixty-day free trial to make everything a breeze for you. You can get started by going to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. That's GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section when signing up.
Thank you so much, and of course I'm going to end with a quote as I always do, and this is a quote from Henry Ford. He says, “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Think about that, and let's take some action. Whatever it is that your were working on, get it done. Get it done. That's what I want you to do. All right. Take care, thanks, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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