AskPat 836 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey. This is Pat Flynn. Welcome to AskPat. This is Episode 836 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.
Just thanks for being here guys. I'm here to answer your questions. We have a great question today from Jeanette, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks, an awesome company that I've been using for years now to help me keep track of my books, meaning my bookkeeping right. They help me keep track of income and expenses.
FreshBooks also helps you with your invoicing, so they help you keep track of who owes you money and you can determine who opens those invoices. It's actually a really, really handy tool, and I highly recommend you check it out. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat, and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. Okay, now here's today's question from Jeanette.
Jeanette: Hi Pat. This is Jeanette from CraftWhack.com, and I was very excited to hear that you answered my last question so thank you. I got a lot of good information from your answer, but I was disgusted to hear my voice on there sounding so completely monotone, so I'm trying to sound like I'm actually alive this time. I have a question that I cannot figure out the answer to, so obviously I come to you.
Okay, on my blog, I am drastically changing the direction I'm going with it, and instead of art projects, I've stopped doing that now and I'm focusing more on writing and turning it into more of an old school blog where I'm writing and trying to just build more of a community.
My question has to do with my mailing list. I've stopped sending out my weekly newsletter because I feel like the audience that I built was mostly around people who wanted art projects, and I don't know whether to start up that newsletter again and try to weed out people by asking them to unsubscribe if they don't like the new direction I'm taking, or do I just start over again from scratch? Which would obviously be a lot cheaper too because I have about 11,000 subscribers. I am eager to hear what you have to say. Thank you very much.
Pat: Hey Jeanette, thank you so much for the question. To your comment earlier about you being disgusted by your own voice, guess what? I think we all feel that way, and hopefully, maybe just this laughing becomes relevant because it's like hey, things happen and we don't always sound perfect, but that's okay. We can always still cheer people up or offer people value. It doesn't matter what your voice sounds like, what matters is that you are there to serve, and you're sharing great information in whatever platform you chose to do that with.
You are changing the direction of your blog, which I think is super cool. A lot of people don't want to do that because they're afraid of everything that's involved with that, but I think, internally, if you are confident that this is the direction you want to go, well then do it, and that's exactly what you're doing. I wouldn't be afraid of your email list or your blog and your followers that are following you just for what you had previously talked about. Yeah, if you're making this decision, guess what? Some of those people are not going to want to follow you anymore because it's not going to be relevant information. However, there's likely going to be a large percentage of those people who, even if they weren't initially coming to you for the advice or the content that you're going to share, they're going to want to continue to learn from you about those things because they just like you and they've enjoyed what you've been offering them, and they're going to want to learn more about what you're up to.
What I would do, relating to your email list, is to give yourself a certain date at which point you are going to “start over.” I don't mean start over like you're just going to wipe it clean and start from scratch and start building a new email list, but essentially what you're going to do is, within or between now and that date, you're going to do a few things. One, let everybody know on your email list that you're making this change. You want to be very open and honest about that. You're going to get a lot of people who are immediately going to unsubscribe because they don't want what's coming, and you want to let them know what is coming, not just say, “Hey. I'm doing something new,” and then set them up for potentially disappointment because they're maybe expecting something related to arts and crafts, related to what you used to talk about. Don't just leave anything out. Always be open and honest and upfront about where you're going.
What I would do is give people a month or two for example, and send them emails about what's coming and get them excited about it. That essentially, like you said, weeds out the people who don't want more, so you're going to get unsubscribers from there.
You're also going to get a number of people, or an opportunity to actually clean your list based on who doesn't even open those emails, so you can remove those people after a certain amount of time as well. But the specific launch date, yes it's the same website, you're just changing the brand name.
I would have a specific launch date where this announcement that you're leading up to, reveals this new site. It doesn't necessarily reveal it because you've already revealed what it becomes, but it just showcases it, and it makes a big deal out of it and it turns it into an event, which gives you a great excuse to build a lot of excitement leading up to it, and on that day, to get more shares and exposure for the new direction you're going into, while all at the same time, removing the old people on your list without having to start literally from scratch, a brand new email list. You're essentially, like you said, weeding people out and then keeping the people on there who want to stay on there.
That's the plan I would do because it's not just a passive thing that you're doing behind the scenes. You're making it open and you're allowing people to get excited with you, and it becomes a great moment for you to then mentally make that change on a specific day, “Hey, this is when this is happening, and this is the direction I'm going in, it starts now.” Then boom, you're into the new era and anybody new who you collect in so far as emails, you know that you would get them related to the new direction that you're going into.
I would keep a lot of the old content on there too, on the blog, for now. You want to make sure that you don't just delete everything because I'm just thinking about okay, well are you changing your website as well, and yeah, that would be the case, but does that mean you'd delete all your old content and just start new? No, because those are things that are likely going to be found in Google. People find you for that reason, but when you have people sign up to your email list, you want to make sure that it's very clear what they are signing up to, and that perhaps on all of the older posts, you may want to just adjust them a little bit and say at the top of each post, “Hey, this is a post that was created on this date,” or perhaps just, “Hey, this was a post that was written before I switched to the new direction,” just to again, let people know in honest and upfront ways, what it is that your site is now about.
I think doing that will give you, along with the launch and all that stuff, it's just going to be a great way to set you off on the new path.
Jeanette, thanks again for the question. I appreciate it. Best of luck to you, and I'm going to send you another AskPat t-shirt and we'll see if you want that one as well. Maybe you want to give that to somebody else. My assistant Jessica will reach out to you in the next few weeks, and will collect your information so we can send you another shirt if you want it. Thank you for the question, and thank you to everybody who's asking questions because guess what? AskPat wouldn't exist without your questions, and thank you.
If you want to ask another question, head on over to askpat.com and you can just ask right there on that page. I also want to thank FreshBooks today for being awesome and offering everybody a 30 day free trial to their software. You can go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section for that. Then finally, heres a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte. He says, “The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue. Courage is only the second virtue.”
All right, thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Cheers.
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