AskPat 444 Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 444, 444 of AskPat. Thank you so much for checking me out today, and I cannot wait to share this question for you. You'll hear in this guy's voice . . . he just sounds like an awesome person. He almost sounds like somebody who works for James Bond or something, but you'll hear that in a second.
Before we get to Richard's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it incredibly easier for all of us out there and the 3 million small businesses that this company already serves, helping us manage our finances from the income that we have, the expenses, and also invoicing. They make it incredibly easy to organize everything. It connects with other third-party products to help us keep track of our books and all those sorts of things, but also it makes it easy come tax season to print out certain forms and just make it easy for us to see the reports that we need to make sure that we have all our numbers straight. If you want to get a 30-day free trial to this amazing piece of software that has helped me and, like I said, 3 million other small businesses, you can check it out for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Alright, here's today's question from Richard.
Richard: Hi, Pat. My name is Richard, and I'm a designer in the auto racing series Formula 1 in the U.K. Lots of people dream about working in Formula 1, going to Monaco Grand Prix or designing Ferraris for a living, but only a lucky few get to do it for real. It's very difficult for young people who want to work in Formula 1 to find out how to get involved. Inspired by what you have achieved with the Green Exam Academy, I created a blog in 2013 called JobinF1.com, which provides free advice and inside tips to anyone who's interested in working Formula 1. It's been a massive success, and earlier this year, I published my first ebook, which is now a best seller in the motor sport category on Amazon. I got a ton of positive feedback, and I'm really grateful to you for the inspiration that you've given me. Thanks a million.
My question is about how to take advantage of the spikes in traffic that I get on my site on each race weekend, when I get around four times the average number of page views? How would you promote a product to get maximum sales at those times? Thanks again for everything, Pat. Maybe we can get you to a Grand Prix next time you are over in Europe.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Richard. Thank you so much for this question. I love your voice, and I think the mic that you used made you sound even cooler, but also I would love to take you up on your offer if I'm ever in Europe for any reason, which is a potential. I haven't been there yet, and I would love to go. There are potential speaking opportunities there every single year for me, so you'll probably hear on the blog or on Twitter or on Instagram at some point when I make my way over there. Man, to witness F1 in person would be amazing.
Anyway, I love this question because you had mentioned how Green Exam Academy inspired you. Green Exam Academy, for those of you who don't know, is a website I created back in 2007 actually. It turned into a very successful business helping people pass an exam in the architecture industry, and I love that you've taken that and put it into your own niche, Richard, which is great.
Now, in the Green Exam Academy space or the LEED exam space, there were also seasons. Now they weren't quite as well-known and probably as popular, and I didn't get 4X traffic come these seasons, but there were certain times of the year when I would see certain spikes. For example, not the holidays because people who are professional architects and people in the design space took time off at that point. When the new year happened, when people got back to work in January, I saw massive spikes in my sales just in general, in traffic. The summer months, not so good because people are spending time with their kids. They're not thinking about work and those sorts of things, but after summer when the kids are back in school and people are focusing on their career building, September, October, those are great months as well for that particular business.
I think it's important for everybody out there listening to understand: What are the seasons in your business? There are fluctuations. There are trends. Going to Google Trends is a great place to actually see based on when people are searching for certain keywords what the trends are in your space as well. Everybody, you could do that right now. Go to Trends.Google.com. Type in your search terms or other secondary tertiary search terms related to your topic, and you'll see. You'll get an idea what the trends are, and you'll also get some interesting articles that pop up, letters that indicate certain spikes and why these happened in your space. Could be very interesting actually and enlightening to see that.
Anyway, going back to your question, Richard, how do you maximize and take advantage of the attention spikes that you receive on race weekend? Well, first of all, you have to know when they're coming up, and obviously, you know this already. Planning ahead, even months ahead, can help you moving forward. What I would do is actually I would take out a giant calendar, a yearly calendar. Mark off those race dates and work backwards from there to see when you can fit in certain promotions. The best thing to do is have stuff leading up to race week so that you can at that moment in time, when you have that giant spike, have a lot of people's attention and have already made contact with people in that space, so that when they see you come out with these special promotions and seasonal deals, if you want to go that route, which is one option we'll talk about more in a sec, you're going to be more likely to convert people.
I think more than anything, because you're getting more traffic, in addition to trying to sell more, you might even benefit more by just having people subscribe to you in some sort of way. That way, whether they purchase from you then or purchase from you later, you're going to have their e-mail address. So you can have them in your system and can pitch them later, offer them value later, inform them and help them later when other deals come out, when other news in F1 comes out as well.
I would definitely try to, if anything, during that time, even if you were to only do this during those race periods, during the attention spikes, to have more opt-in forms than usual on your site. What I mean by that is perhaps use pop-ups, or there's this thing called OptinMonster, which is great. LeadPages, for those of you who use LeadPages for building and increasing your conversation rate into your e-mail list. They have an option for this as well. When somebody comes to your site and they leave, you can offer them something before they leave in exchange for their e-mail address.
That's going to help you, and more than anything, I think some live stuff would help out as well. If you are using Periscope, for example, or you're doing some webinars or you're creating really special events for your brand around these other special events that are happening in your industry as well, it could really, really help you. I think one thing you could do is have race weekend recaps, where you then sell or pitch these other products that you have to offer as well. You can get creative with this. I think you could potentially, because this happens multiple times throughout the year, test to see what works well for you.
Now I had mentioned earlier creating deals and special promotions and things like that. I used to do that on my site too. I'd have a “Welcome back from summer” coupon code or “Let's start the New Year off right” deals and all those sorts of things. I've been hesitant lately to consider using coupon codes on certain products because I've heard from a lot of marketers out there recently that it essentially says that your product that you're selling with the coupon codes in it isn't actually as expensive or as valuable as you are initially placing it for. When you put a coupon on something, you're still making money off of it. People know, and it cheapens your product, so I would hesitate to do that.
What I would do is have special race weekend bonuses, for example. There might be some bonus access to interviews with certain racers and maybe pit crew members and that sort of thing, maybe special bonuses related to getting special jobs or special . . . Maybe you have a list of special jobs that are available just during that weekend which you can give people access to either by giving you their e-mail address or purchasing your product and all those sorts of things as well. Again, I think the most important thing is to collect people's e-mail addresses. You're going to get heightened traffic, and traffic . . . It's easier to sell to people who have some sort of relationship with you instead of who are coming to your site right then and there who are likely finding you through Google and other spots and other links, for example, who are just meeting you for the first time. Collect their e-mail address before anything, but then you could get them down a funnel or pitch some stuff.
Then when race weekend comes along, then you have the idea of, “Okay, well what are these limited bonuses that they can get access to just this weekend?” You would have some sort of deadline to it as well, which would help you increase the sales as well. Because whenever you put scarcity into something or there's a limit, there's going to be that FOMO, that F-O-M-O, fear of missing out. People hate to miss out on deals. People hate to miss out on information that they could have gotten access to earlier and all those sorts of things. I would definitely make use of scarcity and these limited deals that only happen during these race weekends. I would hesitate to use coupon codes and cheapen your product. I would be more likely to include certain bonuses that are only available those weekends.
Richard, I hope that answers your questions. Kind of a lot. Definitely a brain dump here, as I'm reminded of the things I used to do and the things I wish I'd done better, but I hope that helps you. I would love to stay in contact with you to see how this works for you because I think this would be a great case study, something that we could share on the SPI podcast as well at some point. If you're interested, reach out to me. If not, no worries, but we're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt anyway for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much. You're going to hear from my assistant, Jessica, the next couple of weeks for having your question featured so we can collect your information and send that over to you. For those of your 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. Thank you so much.
Thanks to the guys over at Speakpipe.com as well for making it easy for me to collect your questions because of course, the show wouldn't even be around if it wasn't for all of you and your questions as well. Again, thank you Richard. Thank you to everybody who's left a question out there. I'm answering as many as I can, five days a week here on AskPat. Whoo! Slow down a little bit, right?
Now I also need to thank FreshBooks.com for the amazing work that they do to make our lives easier as entrepreneurs when we're spending money, when we're earning money, when we're invoicing. It just makes it incredibly easy for us to organize all of that so we spend less time trying to reorganize everything we organized incorrectly the first time, like what I did when I first started, which was organize everything in Excel. Now that was somewhat helpful, of course, and when I hired a CPA, my charts sort of made sense, but FreshBooks just makes it super easy. With a couple clicks of a button, you can see your profit and loss, your balance sheets, and everything else that you have going on in your business, so you can make wise decisions based on your finances and move forward without the headaches and stress. If you want to check it out for 30 days for free, go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Thank you so much.
Alright, here's a quote to end the day and this episode by Sonia Simone, who's the CMO, chief marketing officer, of Copyblogger. She said, “The secret is to spend most of your time and creative energy building assets that you control.”
Again, Richard, going back to your question here, when you build that e-mail list, that's an asset that you can control. When you just have traffic coming to your site, unless you collect those e-mail addresses, you might not get those people back, and you won't be able to have control over them.
Cheers. Thank you so much. Take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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