AskPat 405 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 405 of AskPat. Thank you for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help answer your online business questions, five days a week. But before we get today's question from Selin, I do want to thank today's sponsors.
First of all, we have Lynda.com. Lynda is making it super easy for us to learn on the best platform out there that has the most on demand video courses to help you strengthen your business, your technology, and creative skills. If you want to check it out and get a free 10-day trial, head on over to Lynda.com/AskPat. That's L-Y-N-D-A.com/AskPat. I've used it myself to learn a lot of things about DSLR cameras and PhotoShop and even Adobe Audition which is what I'm using right now to record this. Again, check it out. 10-day free trial. Lynda.com/AskPat.
All right, here's today's question from Selin.
Selin: Hi Pat. Thanks for the opportunity. My question for you is: I have some credit card debt that I'm paying off currently. However, my dream is to have an online health food store and create my own product and I've been looking at the process for doing that. I'm wondering if you think that is a smart business decision to do or to go the route, currently at least, of creating a blog with affiliate links of health products that I absolutely love. Of course, there is quite a difference in the net profit that I would make from each of those but I was wondering what you thought about that. Thank you so much, and I hope to hear back.
Pat Flynn: Hey Selin. Thank you so much for the question today. I really appreciate it. The first thing that I want to mention is I was very curious of the reason why you mentioned why you were in credit card debit up front. I actually think that has a lot to do with where I'm going to go with this answer and like most things, I think the most important thing is to make sure you do what you can to get rid of that first, before anything. I think it's going to. . . If you were to start an ecommerce business with credit card debt, it would be a little bit more difficult because you're going to be stressed out and you're going to be potentially borrowing money depending on what you've learned about what it would take to start this ecommerce health food store business.
Which, I think is a great idea. Obviously it's a trend. It's something that's very hot right now and if you come in with your own special position in the market that's there right now great things can happen. But I do want to mention first, work on getting that credit card debt settled. I think that's the most important thing.
Now, in terms of your sort of follow-up question, should you start your own ecommerce retail food store or start your own blog and build an audience that way and perhaps do affiliate links? Well, first thing I want to mention is, I'm glad you're doing your research on what it would take to start that food business. I think there is a lot that goes along with that. A lot more than might be found on the surface or we might think on the surface.
For example, you have to think about, “Okay, where is this food being created? Where is it being distributed?” All that sort of stuff. If you're creating it in your home, there's going to be a special license and that's going to depend on the different city or state that you live in. You're going to have to do research on that. That's going to cost a little bit of money and again, we're getting into a lot of the start up cost here which is going to affect how. . . with your credit card debit and all those things are going to be one your mind but then also, getting that website up and getting the manufacturing and then how to get the word out there with something that's just coming up from scratch. I mean, there's a lot of businesses that have succeeded like that but they definitely need a boost of some kind. Where they're getting. . . I know a lot of people who have become very successful in this kind of space through Shark Tank, for example. They get a boost because they've shown up on Shark Tank or somebody influential who they know who has a large audience kind of goes out there.
It's going to take a lot of work to get into maybe some local stores as well. A lot of whole food type markets would be probably happy to talk to you about it but then, whenever you sell food there's something very interesting that you have to think about because you have to think about people's health as well. There's a lot of test that have to go in and I've never done it before but I can imagine it can be very strenuous, that process but obviously very rewarding as well if you come up with something great that a lot of people will love. A lot of times if that happens, the marketing just kind of happens on its own because people love it, they share it. Especially health food people. They always hang out together in the gyms. They let each other try each other's stuff. That kind of thing will work out very well for you.
Now, of course, I hope you're at a point or thinking at how much it would cost to make this happen to create your first run of product, for example. What would it take? Then, who out there exists in this market you could potentially partner with. Those are important things I want you to think about.
But, going back to your other thing, well what if you started a blog? What if you were to make money through affiliate marketing first. Talking about the items out there that you love. When you said that in your question I could feel like. . . I felt like you really have a list of these things that you could potentially talk about and do reviews about. Maybe even get in contact with the owners or people who work there to talk about how these things are made or where the idea came from and all those sorts of things.
The cool thing about that idea, and a lot of you know I resonate with that because that's kind of how I started. I started with building an audience first. Whenever you build the audience first, although you're not going to make money upfront, when you build an audience, the limitations are very little in terms of what you could potentially do for that audience. Again, I say that because your goal is to serve that audience but when you build that audience they will tell you and they will give you direct feedback whether or not something is going to be actually useful or beneficial to them or not. That way, you don't go the other way, which is you build something first that you think people will want and then all of a sudden you build. You do advertising and start to think about trying to market and then, it doesn't work. When you have an audience and they're very focused and targeted. It’s like, yes, it's still a little bit risky to sell stuff and promote things but it's like putting it into a giant hole. You can't miss if you listen to your audience and if you let them speak up and if you build that audience in a very targeted way.
I also feel like affiliate marketing would be much easier for you in terms of building relationships with other companies, like I said, and also promoting their links as an affiliate. That could be very good. Then, of course, as you start to promote all these other things you're going to start to build a following. Now, it's one thing to just say, “Hey, this is a product I use.” Right? So, Selin, I want you to make sure that when you do these reviews and talk about these other products, if you do indeed go down this route, that you give the best reviews out there. You talk about these things in a way that's different than anybody else out there who's doing it. You find that position. You look at and see what other people are doing who are successful doing this stuff and you try to take it to the next level. What's that one thing? If people were to talk about you and what you're doing on this website, try to imagine in the future, as you're becoming very successful with this, what is that one thing they're going to say? “Oh, you've got to check out Selin’s site because she has the site that does ‘blank.’” What is that ‘blank’ that people are going to talk about?
It's like how with Smart Passive Income and my site, everybody is like, “Oh, Pat Flynn, he's the one who does the income reports.” Right? Those are the things that people will say because that's that unique selling proposition, that thing. That word gets thrown around a lot and I know a lot of people, it just goes over their head but it's very important for you to have a unique position so when you talk about these things, maybe you do a YouTube review of some kind and you take it to that level. Or, you do some sort of scientific analysis of these or I don't know. You have to do something special though because if you just do what everybody else is doing you're always going to be no better than second place. You've got to go and try to be the best resource out there for this type of thing.
Then, when you build that audience and that trust with these reviews, with these other things, it's going to be much easier for you to then launch your own particular health food item. Then, you'd probably have some sort of money. You could even kickstart that as well. So, you don't even need money up front at that point, you have an audience already and you can get on KickStarter for example to help bring your crowd together and crowdsource whatever it is that you're thinking of doing and crowdsourcing is also another great way to validate the things that you're doing too.
Selin, I hope this answers your question and gets those gears running as well. I'm actually doing this live on Periscope right now. I've seen a lot of people just kind of validating what I've just said, which is great. I want to encourage you to keep moving forward. Think the first goal is to cut through that credit card debt. I think you're going to feel really great after that and that's going to motivate you to keep moving forward. I advise to start building that audience and coming in, reviewing these other products and talking about the ones that you love but then talking about them in a way that nobody else is doing it. Bringing it to that level where people can say, “Wow. Selin, she's the woman who does it like this and nobody else is doing it that way.” That's how you need to come into it.
Then, I feel like the next progression from there after you build that audience and trust, again, make sure you collect their email addresses. You can then start your own product, whether you kickstart it or create it on your own. You'd have some money coming in as well from the affiliate relationships that you have and the rest is history. Selin, thank you so much for the question today. I really appreciate it. I also would love to just send you a t-shirt because everybody who gets featured here on the show gets an AskPat t-shirt.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page thanks to the widget from SpeakPipe.com. Selin, my assistant is going to email you in the next couple of weeks to collect your information so we can send that to you free of charge.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you listening in today and always I like to end it with a quote. Today's quote is from James A. Owen and he says, “Admitting your faults isn't a weakness. It's a strength. Having your weaknesses pointed out isn't a slur on your character, it's an opportunity to improve your life.” Cheers. Thanks so much and I'll see you in episode 406 of AskPat tomorrow. Thanks. Bye.
Try out all of Lynda.com's courses for free for seven days. Go to Lynda.com/AskPat to get started.