AskPat 726 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 726 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.
Now, here's today's question from Brandon.
Brandon: Hey Pat, my name is Brandon Shaw. I have a blog and podcast at StartupMusician.co. My question for you is this, at what point should you develop your products to sell to your audience? I've had my blog for just about a year. I've gotten a lot of great feedback and some decent traffic. I have ideas for digital products to sell through my site, but I don't know if it's too soon to start selling to my audience. Do I need a certain number of visitors per month or comment, like engagements on blog posts? Number or email subscribers? What are your thoughts on timing of when to start selling a product through your blog? Thanks so much. Looking forward to hearing the answer. Love everything you do. You're awesome. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey. What's up, Brandon. Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate this and I think a lot of people will appreciate this too, because this is a question that likely is to be on a lot of people's mind. At what point do you start selling to your audience? Now, if you've built an audience first, you know, you actually don't really need a very large audience in order to sell, because who does? There might be some people in that small audience of yours that could truly use your help. You can use their help to create a product that would then serve all the other people that are coming in the future.
One thing that I wish I did sooner, was create products of my own. This is across all of my websites. I wish I had gotten started selling sooner. There's a lot that goes into that. There's the mindset of, well, am I qualified to sell? Am I going to sell something that's actually useful and I have a actually great book, about how to validate your product ideas. This goes for people who are just starting out or people who have had businesses and audiences already. You can validate your ideas and make sure that they're ones that your audience is going to pay for first, before you actually spend all that time, and money, and effort actually developing it.
Even before you develop, you should first test your product idea. One thing I would recommend doing is actually trying to get an audience into a webinar. Where you're giving away free information about this thing that you’re putting together or this kind of information that you have to offer. Here's the thing, if you can't get anybody to sign up for a free webinar to learn about this, then that's a good sign that, well, that's not a good idea. That's not something people are interested in. If you do get a webinar with a lot of registrants and you have a lot of engagement during that, you can at the end of it . . . This is what my book kind of leads into. You can sell your idea, even before you create it. You can get a founding member's group or a bunch of students who are going to be the first round of, for lack of a better turn, beta users. Who are going to help you actually create this course with you or help you develop your product.
It's very much like Kickstarter, right? They're pledging money for an idea that hasn't even been made yet. Just to essentially vote that, yes, this is something that they way. You know what? The people who create Kickstarter campaigns that fail, that's actually a good thing for them, because they know they have to go back to the drawing board or try something different. They didn't spend all that money, time, and effort manufacturing something yet, because they weren't able to gain that audience to get those pledge dollars for it.
How much of an audience do you need? Well, I would say that, if you have an email list of a hundred people, that's enough for you to potentially have an idea that you can then sell to them. Yeah, you're not going to get 200 customers in your first go around. I mean, that could potentially happen and I've seen it happen before even with a small email list. We've talked about small email lists quite a bit. Brian Harris did a podcast episode with me back awhile ago. He's over at videofruit.com. He talks a lot about he's helped people and even himself, with some of his other businesses, with small email lists have been able to make big time dollars.
There's a lot of things you can do there. I wouldn't let the audience size stop you, Brandon. I would just start utilize that audience and because it's small, you actually have an advantage. You're able to chat with these people. You're actually able to connect with them one on one, and ask them questions like, what are you struggling with? What's something I can help you with right now? Like I said, if you can get a few people onto a webinar, for example, or start to direct message a few people who are interested in a particular topic. You can then say, hey, do you want to be one of the first 10 members of my new course? Do you want to be the first 10 to actually take part in this product that I'm creating. If yes, if I get 10, I'm going to do it. If not, then I know it's not something I should do. That's a quick and easy overview of what I talk about in my book, Will It Fly?, at willitflybook.com.
At what point should you develop your first product to sell? I think as soon as possible. That's I would say, if you want to put a benchmark to is, a hundred emails on your email list. You can begin to start determining what it is that you could sell. Again, from that point forward, you’re just adding zeros to your email list and dollars in your pocket, if you have something that's actually serving your audience.
Brandon, I hope that answers your question. Best of luck to you. I 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 like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you. Here is a quote to finish off the day by Meena Kapoor, the founder of Oyehelp. “I asked every stupid question in the book, because that's the only way to learn.”
Cheers. Take care and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye now.