I’m back home from New Media Expo in Vegas, and WOW – what an amazing trip! A lot of you have been asking if I’m going to publish my presentation (especially after hearing about it on Twitter), and the answer is that it will be published as soon as it’s done being edited. It’s a special presentation that requires some additional edits in order to get the full experience.
In the meantime, before I publish my December monthly income report next week, I just wanted to write briefly about what I had learned these past few days – not from the presentations that I attended, but directly from the SPI fans who I had a chance to meet and speak with while at the conference.
I spoke to hundreds of fans individually in the halls of the Rio Hotel (thanks to this), after my presentation, at the SPI meetup and at the evening networking events. During those conversations I was able to hear what most people were excited about, appreciated and needed help with. The information was invaluable to say the least, not just for me, but for anyone looking to build any rabid fan base.
Here’s a summary of what I remember most from those conversations.
(And a thank you to Jared for the Kelly Kapowski T-shirt.
She’s It’s perfect!)
What 90% of My Fans Mentioned First
The most interesting fact from the conversations I had with fans this week was that after a greeting, 9 times out of 10 they would mention that they listen to my podcast first. Some would then mention specific parts of my blog that helped them, including the Niche Site Duel and my Podcasting Tutorial, while others mentioned or asked about how my family was doing or how my presentation was coming along, but not very many people mentioned my blog first.
Maybe this is because those who listen to my podcast hear my voice so when we chat in person it’s the first thing they are reminded of. Or maybe it’s because the podcast allows me to create deeper relationships with my audience and those are the people who feel like they know me well enough or feel comfortable enough to talk to me.
Either way, it just shows the power of podcasting.
As I mentioned in my Be Everywhere presentation in Los Angeles 2 years ago, a survey revealed that podcasting is the number one way that people first hear about me or my brand (18% with over 7,500 respondents).
Today, it’s even more apparent that podcasting can have a huge impact on the success of your brand. This is reflected in the success of new shows that have recently come about, such as Entrepreneur On Fire by Jon Dumas (a recent favorite show of mine), and also in just how many people were there at the convention to attend presentations in the podcasting track and also the standing-room-only award show for the podcast awards.
“How Have I’ve Been Able To Help You?”
One of my favorite things to ask my fans when I meet them in person is, “How have I helped you?”
This question allows me to truly understand what has made the biggest impact on my audience, which can help me decide where to focus or what to work on next.
When asked, most people would mention one or more of the following:
- They appreciate the inspiration – the drive that has helped them take action which was not there before. In other words, the understanding of what’s possible. Many people on different legs of the journey have started new lives because of SPI, which is incredibly fulfilling!
- They appreciate the honesty – the fact that they know that what I publish is real. Another way to rephrase this would be thanks for leading by example without hype or exaggeration.
- They appreciate the free information.
It’s always good to dig deeper, however, so I’d typically ask a follow-up question such as, “Is there anything specific that you have learned from me that you have implemented?”
I got a lot of great answers from all over the board, most of them mentioning at least one the following:
- The Niche Site Duel
- How to Start a Newsletter (this one surprised me!)
- eBooks the Smart Way
- My Podcasting Tutorial
- Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way
I think the big lesson here is that while looking at this list above, I can see that these are all epic, step-by-step tutorials with the exception of maybe Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way, which is more “mindset” than the others.
When people use a tutorial and it helps them create something new, such as a brand new website, an email list, an eBook or a podcast – people are going to remember that and want to support you because of it.
Are you publishing content that is “just sort of interesting”, or are you publishing content that helps people take action and create something huge?
“What Do You Want More Of?”
Another favorite question of mine is “what do you feel is missing?” or “what do you want more of?”
By asking this question, I can get direct feedback from my audience and figure out what may be lacking.
Of course, many people would answer with something like: “Nothing Pat, everything is perfect just keep doing what you’re doing.”
I know for a fact not everything is perfect so I’m guessing that most people were just scared to be honest to me when I asked that question in person.
I LOVE constructive criticism, so please be honest with me just like Joshua Natella was with me in this post.
A few people, however, were happy to share their thoughts and most people wanted more case studies, just like the Niche Site Duel. More experiments, from scratch, and examples people can follow.
A few others wanted more podcast episodes, including those that feature success stories from regular people in non-blogging or non-make money online industries.
Those were always the most popular.
Whether you were at New Media Expo or not, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you – the SPI Fans.
I’ll never get used to the idea of people coming up to me asking to take my picture or tell me that I changed their life one way or another, but I appreciate it every single time. Thank you.
Here’s a quick video I shot before I left my hotel room with some more words of thanks, some information about the podcast awards and a few lessons learned, big and small.