AskPat 811 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 811 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.
We have a great question today from Tyron, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. FreshBooks is an awesome service that allows you to easily manage and keep track of your business finances, from your income to your expenses, and especially your invoicing. If you do any invoicing for anything, you bill anybody for anything, you can do it through Fresh Books really easily. Literally within 30 seconds you could send people a very professional looking invoice, you are able to keep track of who opens those invoices, and be able to follow up when you didn't get paid on time either.
It's a great, great tool that you can use for your business no matter what kind of billing you do, and I highly recommend it. You can checked it out for 30 days for free if you go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and you enter, “Ask Pat,” in the, “How did you hear about us?” Section. All right, now here's today's question from Tyron.
Tyron: Hi Pat, my name is Tyron Giuliani. My wife and I started a wedding dress rental business in Tokyo Japan, TIGDress.com. We're actually ranked number one in Japan now, and we serve over 3,500 couples yearly. We were very poor at collecting data, and really haven't monetized it. Reading recent articles, the wedding consumer is someone who's really more prepared to spend money and receive advertising that's related to pain points during wedding, and milestones after a wedding. Over the next few years I think we can collect over 10,000 couples data. I want to start to market to this list, but really don't know the best way to begin.
My question is, how's the best way to monetize this list, and serve our customers beyond our wedding business? We actually do have a beauty clinic, which is an obvious first tie up. I want to deliver true value to these customers, and also provide an extra revenue stream for our business. Thanks Pat, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Tyron, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate this. It's interesting cause I made a mistake that was similar when I first started out in business in 2008. I started out selling an ebook. It did very well, and I wasn't collecting data from those customers. I wasn't even collecting email addresses. I have a very limited amount of resources to be able to reconnect with those customers, and sell them more stuff as I came out with it down the road. It was definitely a big mistakes. It happens, it happens. The best thing you can do is start the right way from this point forward, and that is when you get new customers, you collect as much information as you can comfortably do at the time. You can always collect more data points and information further down the road, but I think the most important thing's to collect up front are email address and other contact related information, and things like that.
Other ways to go about building this community, and then being able to serve that list, or that group of people even more, you might be able to utilize things like a Facebook page, Facebook group. What's nice about using social media like that, and even Instagram, is related to your wedding dress stuff. I mean, that's stuff that people love to share, and love to announce to other people. When you are tagged, or when you are shared along with it, it will just expand your exposure as well at the same time. Utilizing social media is great too.
What's really cool after you start building these lists, is you can actually reach out to them and start offering other products. Whether they're your own products, or you have formed a partnership or an affiliate or referral relationship with another company, I mean it becomes a lot easier for you to start helping people out. What I would recommend is not just do it in sort of a, “Hey, I have this list, and hey, here's a product.” I would actually try to get really deep with the relationships that you have with your current customers. I think if you have any sort of contact information with them now, I would just start to build those relationships without even selling them anything.
It sounds like you're going to be starting from scratch, or related to building this community. Well, do it the right way, and build these real relationships where you get to know these people by name. You get to talk to them, you get to understand where they're at in their lives. If they can see you as a resource, not just as somebody's who trying to ping them with pitch, after pitch, after pitch. But rather somebody who knows people in this industry, who can offer help when they come across these different eras of their life after marriage. It can be really helpful. I mean, there's many aspects to life after marriage obviously, that you could help provide services for, or contact information for. You could simply provide a lead to a financial advisor for example, or you can offer things related to taking a honeymoon vacation, travel, gifting, all those kinds of things go along with it.
If you are there simply as a company who's just pinging them with pitch after pitch, they're not going to want to hear it anymore. They're not going to feel like you actually care. That's why I feel like the approach of going, “Okay, let's build this relationship first, and then try to understand where these people are.” If you can get to the point of segmentation as well based on interests and where they're at. Based on how many years after they were married. Inserting, for example, when they were married and when their anniversary is, that way you can reach out to them and wish them well. Those kinds of things, things that friends and family would do, are things that you can do to. As a company it'll help you grow, it'll help you build trust and authority. When you do that, they're going to take your recommendations and trust you much, much more.
That's where I would start. It might be a slow crawl, but what I would do is if you really want to nail this down, I would actually start and try to get 100 people on the line. Literally talk to them, follow up with them. I think you're going to be amazed at what happens, Tyron, if you were to reach out to these people. If you have any sort of information, I mean even a phone call, just reaching out to a couple that you had served way back in the day and say, “Hey, I just know your anniversary's coming up. I just wanted to see how things we're going, I remember you had a dress, and you looked beautiful in it. Just wanted to know kind of how things were going and if there was anything else we could. We have a lot of partnerships and relationships with people who help married couples. I'm not pitching anything to you right now, but I just want to know is there anything you might need help with?”
If not, then that's fine. But you still have impressed them by offering, which I think is really cool. It's offering from a place of value, not offering from a place of, “Oh, well I want something else in return.” Tyron, just a lot of conversation and things here just to keep in mind, but again, it all starts with building this audience. I think doing it in the right way, like I just mentioned, is the right way to go about it. Then asking them, “Okay, what did they need help with?” Then down the road you can get into some more advanced, like I said, segmentation where you'd be able to collect even more data related to where they're at, and what their needs are. You'd be able to cross promote things, or only serve certain recommendations after they've gone through a different program, or have gone through something else already just to make sure it's in the right current chronological order.
Then obviously there's things related to having kids, and babies, and all these sorts of things that relate as well. I definitely think it's definitely a potentially very profitable business, sort of side thing. Or it could potentially become your full time thing, offering more than just wedding dresses. That was just sort of your entry into this point, and into their lives, and now you're going to offer other things too. Tyron, hopefully this information is helpful, inspiring to you, it gives you some ideas to work with. I want to thank you so much for your question today, and I also want to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show.
For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd love potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and here's a quote by Peter Drucker. He says, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” Amen. Cheers, take care. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Again for those of you who aren't aware, Smart From Scratch, my brand new course, carts are open right now. They're going to be closed very soon, but I am taking a new round of students who want to validate their business idea right from the beginning. You can find that at SmartFromScratch.com. Thanks so much, and I'll see you later. Bye.
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