AskPat 11 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What’s up, everybody? Welcome to Episode 11 of AskPat. I am Pat Flynn, and I'm here to answer your online business and blogging questions every single day, five days a week.
And, as always, at the top of every episode, I mention a resource or a link or a book or a sponsor. And today, I want to mention a book, and this is a book I've recently picked up and I'm enjoying. And I mention it because it has to do with today's question. And that book is To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink. My Amazon affiliate link for that is SmartPassiveIncome.com/human. Again, it's To Sell is Human by Dan Pink.
It's not just another how to sell book. It's beyond that, and it very much aligns with everything that I talk about in my business. And so, today's question is actually by a woman named Nora, and she asks about a couple things: One, if you have a very sensitive topic you're building a business around or blogging about, how do you sell to that audience, and also what's the best platform to launch on. And actually, let's get into the question by Nora right now.
Nora: Hi Pat, my name is Nora, and I'm a fifty-year-old wife and mother to an eight-year-old boy, and I'm police officer in Chicago. In 2005, I successfully recovered from postpartum psychosis. I want to start a blog or a podcast. I'm not sure which would be more effective for my topic of postpartum depression and psychosis. Even though the subject is a serious one, I want to bring laughter to my audience, and I want to hear tragedies that have turned to triumphs. Please advise what you believe would be the best approach to launching this subject. And how would I make money by selling to my audience without seeming insensitive? My goal is to help families through this time and to celebrate those who have come through it. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Nora, I love the way you phrased every part of your question, and I want to sort of analyze it here. I want to analyze your answer here, because, in doing so, I think we can definitely answer your questions in the process. First, you told us exactly who you were and a little bit about your background. Fifty years old, a wife, a mother, and you mentioned that you were a police officer. I love that you mention that, because you didn't need to put that in there. That didn't really have anything to do with your question or what you were seeking help about, but I wanted to point this out because it's really important. For those of you listening, when you share little bits and pieces of yourself like that, even though they might not have to do with the topic you're blogging about or creating a business about, it has everything to do with building a real relationship with your audience.
I talked about this in a recent presentation, actually, how when you meet somebody for the first time, it always starts with that small talk, that sort of surface-level conversation. And then all of a sudden, one of you shares something that both of you have experienced in the past, and then immediately you're having a conversation like you're best friends. Why? Because you can relate to each other. You have something in common, and different and unique to talk about that helps you stand out from everybody else out there. So I always encourage everyone to share bits and pieces about themselves just like you did, Nora. You're a police officer.
And you know what, when you said that, I immediately thought of my mom, because she's a security guard. And even if those of you listening don't know a police officer or a security guard, that little fact about you, Nora, quickly turns you from just Nora, the random caller, or somebody who left a voicemail for AskPat, to Nora, a police officer. And of course, the idea of a police officer portrays a little bit of authority, and of course you mentioned that you're a wife and a mother too. So thank you for sharing that, because that's a really important point I want everyone to pay attention to.
Well, what does this have to do with your question? Well, your first question was about the best platform or best approach to launching a site of this nature. Before I get into that, let me tell you what you said next. You told me your story. And it was just a few seconds, but hearing your voice tell us about how . . . I think you said in 2005 you overcame postpartum depression and psychosis. I mean, your story was more powerful coming from your voice rather than if you had just sent me an email, for example. And then you went into why you want to create this resource. Your goal is to help families and celebrate those who have battled the same battles as you and overcame them.
So I think you might know where I'm going with this. You sort of said this yourself. Maybe unconsciously, but you said, and I quote, “I want to bring laughter to my audience.” And then you said, “I want to hear tragedies that have turned into triumphs.” Laughter. I want to hear. Subconsciously, I think you already know that you have to start a podcast. And I know everyone else out there is probably in agreement with me. Either that or perhaps a video channel. Something where people can hear your voice, get to know you, Nora, and your story in the most personal way possible, and that would give you an easy way to share the stories of others too, and laugh together as well. I mean, that's something you cannot get with just text. So a podcast.
And of course, you can head on over—anybody out there who wants to start a podcast—you can head on over to PodcastingTutorial.com to help you get started for free. No opt-ins required or anything. That's my own free how-to resource, a step-by-step tutorial, six high quality videos to help you get started. Anyway, with that said, again, that's PodcastingTutorial.com. With that said, even though I'm suggesting you start with a podcast, you do need a website as well to host your podcast. And a website is important to have, because people still like to read. You know, you want to make sure you capture everybody in every way that they like to consume content.
And also you need a place or a home for your brand that you control to also collect email addresses so you can send emails directly to your audience, so you can keep them up to date and in close contact with you, and perhaps sell things, which we'll talk about in just a second when we address your second question about selling without seeming insensitive. A website also has text, which can help you get found in search engines. It's where you can deliver more content to your listening audience, where you can link to helpful resources outside of your own, and also easily connect people to everything else you have to share: your other episodes, other shows, links to those you feature, products and services, and tools to help.
But yes, a podcast definitely I think is in your future, and plus, you just seem to have such a friendly voice, Nora. Like you and I could just chat about stuff for hours at a coffee shop or something and laugh and have a good time like you said. You'd be a great host. And I think people would be able to connect with you and with each other as a result of you bringing this community together. I think it would be awesome. I think you would be doing your audience a disservice if you didn't sort of share your voice with the world.
Now, to address your second question, how to make money without seeming insensitive. Really comes down to mindset and realizing the purpose of what you're doing here. If the purpose is to solely make money, then it will seem insensitive no matter what you do. Your sales copy, the products you create and sell, it'll all be for the wrong reason, and everybody can see that. They'll read through it. Again, if money is the primary motivator. But I don't think it is for you, because you've said it yourself. Your goal is to help, and when your goal is to help, to be there as a means of support, as a solution to a pain or a problem or an issue that people have in their lives, then if you do that, money will become a byproduct of helping people and providing the solutions. As I always say, your earnings are a byproduct of how well you can serve your audience.
Of course, you can't just help and all of a sudden money's going to appear in your bank account. You have to sell. And you have to realize that selling is okay. It's human to sell. That's why I mentioned Dan Pink's book. A lot of people think selling is bad. Selling with money as a primary motivator, selling just to make money is bad, yes. But selling to be helpful, selling because you know what you're selling will help someone, selling because you . . . I mean, you may be doing your audience a major disservice by not selling, because sometimes people are looking for ways to pay you back for the help you've given them, and sometimes people need that transaction. They need to give money to have that mindset to actually take action and make changes in their life.
If you truly have the best interest of your audience in mind, you develop a relationship with them first before pitching anything, and then understand their true pains, their problems, and issues and listen to them, listen to them. That's really important, and a lot of people don't do that with their audience, they don't listen. But if you do, then you're going to be totally okay, and you will make decisions in your business, moneymaking decisions that will be a win for everybody. Your customers are going to love you because you're helping them, and you'd be getting paid to deliver that value that you're providing.
Now, Nora, you're going to have to dig deep into your own experience and listen to your growing audience at the same time to determine and understand what the best methods of serving your audience is, and generating an income in a manner that is sensitive to these issues, from what to sell, whether that's information in a book, a course or perhaps webinars or access to community, to the exact language you use in your sales copy and what you say in your podcast to promote these products. That'll take time to figure out, and you're going to have to continue to have that sort of sensitive understanding of who your audience is to make it work. And as long as you're conscious about that, I don't think you'll have any issues, Nora. And I can't wait to see what you come up with.
So I hope this answer helps you and all the listeners out there today. And, of course, Nora, an AskPat t-shirt is being sent your way since your question was featured here on the show. Thank you again for submitting your question. This is AskPat episode 11, and if you have a question you'd like potentially answered on the show, head on over to AskPat.com, leave me a voicemail, and it may get featured here on the show. So thanks again for your time today, and I want to leave you with this quote before you continue with your day today, and this quote is from Dan Pink's book, which, again, I mentioned at the top of the show. My affiliate link for that is SmartPassiveIncome.com/human. This book is To Sell is Human.
He said in his book, “Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and up-serve instead.” I love that. “Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and up-serve instead.” Up-serve, I love that. Serve your audience and amazing things will happen. Cheers. Thanks again. This is Pat Flynn, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe.
An excellent book on how to get comfortable selling to people. [Full Disclosure: As an Amazon affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]