377: Pat Flynn: Test Your Business Before You Invest

If you’ve ever invested time, energy and money into a business only to have it fail because there wasn’t a market for it you are in good company! And you will love Pat Flynn’s latest book; it’s called Will It Fly?.

On episode 377 of The Solopreneur Hour, Pat and I dig into the impetus for this book, what publishing route he chose and why, as well as his alternative to the traditional customer avatar advice.
More About Pat Flynn
If for some reason you haven’t heard of Pat or have missed his previous visits to the show (which are all here by the way), Pat got into the online world 8 years ago as a blogger and a self-professed “crash test dummy”.

He’s the founder of Smart Passive Income, a site he created after getting laid off as an aspiring architect/job captain at an architecture firm. The site was built to show people how he had successfully sold an online course helping architects pass their LEED exam, and how he grew an audience in the process.

Over the years he’s continued to be that “crash test dummy” for his audience and try new things, validate or invalidate them and then passes along his results. People love him for it, as well as how genuinely kind and authentic he is. Over and over again when his fans meet him they tell him he’s the same person online as he is in real life, something that had been sorely missing in the online community before Pat came onto the scene.

You’ll Also Hear:

What was Pat’s scariest moment on stage?
Why did he avoid labeling himself a CEO for so long?

Why a pre-launch group is so powerful.

Why real world feedback is critical to the success of any endeavor.

How Pat is using a hybrid of self-publishing and working with a publishing house.

And so much more!

One of the things his audience also says to him, whether in person or online, is how much they want something that is just Pat, and is more than blog posts and podcast episodes. Hearing those requests along with his new CEO mindset Pat decided it was time for a book and so Will It Fly? was conceived.

In true Pat Flynn fashion he gathered a pre-launch group of around 500 people and tested his early drafts on them. In exchange for early access to the book this group was asked to give feedback, provide their favorite quotes and leave reviews on Amazon. It worked like a charm, and helped both the group members personally and professionally and helped Pat flesh out what worked and lose what didn’t work til he had a final product both he and his audience loved.

On today’s show Pat shares more details on why he went with a pre-launch group, the three phases of the book’s release, and his chapter on discovering your customer’s P.L.A.N (versus creating a customer avatar).

His chapter on discovering your customer’s P.L.A.N. is a great lesson for anyone in any industry. If you’re stuck where you’re at or you’re creating a new business you’ll want to take note of this.

The traditional advice is to create a customer avatar and while Pat feels that’s important he also knows firsthand the value in empathizing with your audience. He has always felt his people’s struggles and challenges, and that’s one of the things that has made him so successful.

So rather than creating an avatar he encourages people to create a customer P.LA.N. He breaks it down like this:
P is for problem:
You are discovering your customers’ problems. You need to know what problems they have so you can solve them.
L is for language:
Knowing how your customer describes their problems, knowing the phrases and the overall language they use, helps you connect with them. When they see you “speak their language” you instantly gain credibility and trust in their eyes, crucial elements to sales and success.
A is for anecdote:
What are the stories your customers they tell about this issue?
Source: Solopreneur Hour

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