What I Learned from SPI Fans at NMX

SPI Fan and Kelly Kapowski ShirtI’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.

Convinced yet? Click here for my 100% Free, no-email required 100% Podcasting Tutorial.

“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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

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.

Thank You!

Whether you were at New Media Expo or not, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you – the SPI Fans.

The Flynnaddics.

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.


  • http://www.positivepanicattacks.com/ Tim

    I started building websites back 2008 and had moderate success with one but most have been complete failures. I came cross your website about 12 months ago and have been glued to it ever since. I was getting disillusioned with the whole make money online thing & SEO but your personal nature and willingness to share stuff in detail and be open has been a breath of fresh air. You also opened my eyes to other good guys (and girls) in this industry. I spent the last few months listening to your podcasts whilst walking the dog and you have given me the inspiration to push forward and succeed and get out of the 9-5 job. Massive thanks Tim

    • http://www.myworkathomeventures.com Melissa at MyWorkAtHomeVentures

      I’ve had a similar experience as you. I started a real website (as opposed to the free ones I’d had before) in 2006 and since then have started 5 others of my own, and am just now breaking into a little bit of money with Adsense finally (used Adsense on my first site and only made pennies a month if any at all! lol). Thanks to finding Pat early last year! I was getting pretty disillusioned too, but I’m addicted to creating websites lol.

    • http://perfectearningtips.com igbalaye Olayemi

      You have said it all about Pat. i have read a lot about Pat work and podcasts and it has been helpful and really helping my blog to move forward. i think for any newbies, the first right place to visit for learning is Pat blog.

  • Ling-en

    Hi Pat !

    Thanks for the insights. Very interesting :)
    90% knew u from the podcast :O wow. Inspiring…

    Happy new year and looking forward to follow what u ll be doing this heart (Happy new year btw)

    Hope to see u one day (I’m in Europe :/)


  • http://www.BiggerPockets.com/renewsblog Brandon Turner

    Hey Pat – I started blogging thanks to your advice and leadership, which led me to my dream job and being able to wake up everyday excited to build something great. I hit #1 in the Kindle Store for Real Estate books last night from my first Kindle book release – which I wrote after listening to your Podcast about Kindle books.

    Next comes our Podcast, which I hope has similar results (I’m coming for you, Pat, in that Top 10 business Podcasts list!) so I’ll be obsessing over your Podcast tutorials in the coming days.

    Wish I could have been there in Vegas to say Hi in person. I owe ya!

    • http://ciriongroup.com Justin Westbrooks

      That’s awesome – congrats! My team and I are in the process of writing our first book and we’re definitely looking into e-publishing. I’d love to hear more about your journey from beginning to end! I think our biggest issue is that we are super good at content creation but actually getting the book out there is where we’re having an issue sitting still.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert Farrington

    Pat – I’ve learned so much from your site over the years, but for me the biggest was starting an email newsletter. I never listened to any podcast until last November, and yours was first. I stumbled upon your site years ago because I was trying to take my blog to the next level, and your site had a ton of great information.

    Maybe people’s perceptions were all based on how they originally found you – since you are EVERYWHERE!

    Sorry I couldn’t make it to NMX and meet you in person, but I’m going to try to put together an SD meet-up this spring and maybe we can meet!

  • http://JordanFried.com Jordan

    Hey Pat – Great post. NMX looks like a great conference and I’m definitely going to trek out that way next year. Getting tired of living vicariously through all your awesome tweets and pics from the event! 😉

  • http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/ Antonio Centeno

    Pat – it was a pleasure meeting you in person this week. You are as humble, smart, and kind in person as you are on this website.

    As you know – ebooks the smart way opened my mind and helped me build a larger email list than I thought possible over the last 2 years. You are having a powerful impact on the world and I am proud to know you and call you a friend.



    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      I’ll hijack this reply and say it was great meeting you Antonio. You are not only my new go-to style resource, but even just the way you carry yourself in a conversation and introduce yourself was a class above most.

  • http://onlineworkandplay.com Leonard “Leo” Jackson

    Hey Pat,

    Ur great, I look forward to the day I have the time to make it to some events and meeting you and others like you that actually care about their readers.

    You’re a true inspiration and role model to anyone just getting into IM or who would like to learn more. Your family is truly blessed to have you.

    Thanks for everything and I look forward to seeing what you have for us in the new year.


  • http://www.myworkathomeventures.com Melissa at MyWorkAtHomeVentures

    Pretty cool Pat! I’d have to say that my answers to your questions would be right there along with the majority! Sounds like you had a pretty awesome time. Would be pretty neat to be able to make it to one of these meetings someday. :)

  • http://zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

    Quality stuff Pat, I missed you at Blog World in NY last year and unfortunately couldn’t make it out to Vegas this year. However I have been listing to all of your podcasts lately while driving around and love them. All great interviews and topics. Keep up the great work and thanks for being real!

  • http://entrepreneurcrunch.com Kudzai at EntrepreneurCrunch

    Hey Pat, got the details of your presentation from FB post you shared. Well that was awesome. That level of detail and planning, I really admire it. I would see what you presented posted on SPI for, of course, my heavy consumption.

    You making things happen man.

  • http://www.mobilemixed.com Greg Hickman

    Pat, my man. It was so fun chilling with you at NMX. It was a blessing and seriously feel like we’ve been friends for years.

    I think that’s how most people feel which is why it’s so easy to connect with you and what your’e doing.

    Whether people believe it or not you’re inspiring people to take control of their career and provide for themselves and hearing your story and then just getting to meet you it’s clear how possible everything is.

    Sometimes it just takes an awesome dude who is so giving of his time and knowledge for people to see that.

    We appreciate you!

    P.S. Beer pong rematch again soon!

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      P.S.S. You’re going down. Again.

    • http://www.viamaverick.com Chris Altamirano

      Haha epic!! Maybe some wagers should be made next time?

  • http://makedogsyourlife.com Fernando

    Pat, you’re awesome as always. I read, listen, watch, follow, etc many people online and out of all the tips and tricks I get from them all I always come back to you. You’re so genuine and are my role model for online business. Thanks so much for all you do and the next time you’re presenting in the NYC area I’ll be one of the many there looking for a hand shake and to say “thanks” in person.

    Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

    I think you should try to keep that voice. The Barry White thing works for you. ; )

    Thanks again for organizing such an awesome meetup. I loved meeting everyone there. It was very generous of you.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but as far as constructive criticism goes, I would recommend you create an annual calendar of projects to repeat on an annual basis. In particular, I think it would be cool if you did the niche site duel over a two month period every year, like March-April. I remember once you gave the advice of giving readers something to come back for on a monthly basis (in your case, your monthly income reports). The annual niche site duel would give people a reason to come back on an annual basis.

    Maybe you could also walk someone through the process of setting up a podcast over a series of posts over a couple of weeks. You could use your video tutorial (which really helped me) as the basis, but the fun would be in using someone as a guinea pig.

    BTW, I wrote a review of NMX and I wholeheartedly agree that you need to get out there and meet people. That’s why I came to NMX and I’m so glad I did. I’ll email you a link to my review.

  • http://www.passiveincomesystem.org Tim Da Man

    Welcome back Pat. Back to work now. I,too am inspired by your drive and commitment. I’ve taken on a slightly different curve. With everyone so absorbed with blogging, I’ve devoted my efforts to show that a conventional site can out rank a blog and produce revenue. I have a high comp keyword that I’m squarely sitting on page one in the top position. There are blogs with the same keyword, but I’m crushing them. I’m more of a purist. I don’t think a blog necessarily out ranks a normal website page. At least not anymore. That keeps me from having to feel like I “MUST” post everyday. And just focus on driving traffic and building links. Once again, welcome back!

  • http://delisatoole.com Delisa Toole

    Hi Pat,
    I love 30,000 ft. fly over of conferences. Thanks for sharing. I saw your interview with FIZZLE. Just loved your humbleness. You seem easy to connect with your model. Gratitude.

  • http://viamaverick.com Chris Altamirano


    Congratulations on another successful presentation bud! Minus the glitch of course lol – can’t wait to see what Chris recorded.

    I would also say “just keep doing what you’re doing.” Of course there could always be more start to finish video, written, and podcast tutorials – but that will all come with time and execution.

    Aside from business, you’ve helped not only me but a lot of other readers of SPI to become better people. We see how much you care about your family and it reflects back on your work here at SPI.

    Keep being awesome!

    – Chris Altamirano

  • Kevin


    You look exhausted–get some rest!

    I completely agree with you about the club thing by the way–I’ve never understood ever (even in college) why they were so great unless you were dancing. You can’t hear anything, you can’t talk, and it is incredibly difficult to connect….

    I think there is a niche there to be served there.

  • Wes


    First and foremost, congrats on your trip. It sounds like it was as good for you as it was for those that came to see you.

    Secondly, I wanted to provide my input to your questions above.

    How have you been able to help me?

    That is a tricky question. I have not been successful (at least in the traditional, monetary sense) online yet. I have a ton going on, and tend to get sidetracked by numerous issues at home. You have, however, provided me with both inspiration and entertainment. The inspiration may be an easy one to understand, but the entertainment might be more difficult, so I’ll explain. I enjoy seeing people succeed. Almost to a fault. There are many times when I would rather watch someone else succeed than succeed myself. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. Watching your success, and the success you help others create makes my day every time a new post goes up. The comments are often as insightful as the article, in their own way.

    I also like how everyone is a part of your journey, or at least it seems that way. I feel like the few comments that I’ve made have contributed in one way or another, and maybe they haven’t, but that is how you make people feel. I had made a couple minor suggestions that you moved forward with (clickable map for your SGHQ and an Android app for your site). Whether I actually gave you those ideas or not doesn’t really matter to me. The way you present yourself and your work makes people feel like they are a part of it.

    What would I like more of?

    More posts and podcasts. The ones you put out are such high quality that I know they take a lot of time to create. I just cant get enough.

    I would also like to see more “experiments” like the SGHQ Niche Site Duel. Those are some of the most exciting things to watch. While that was actively going, I found myself checking the site daily (at a minimum) to see if there were updates. I just couldn’t get enough.

    Thanks for everything you do for your community Pat!


  • http://www.buy-cheap-food.com Jessica

    You are an inspiration, and honesty seems to be rare on the internet! You just keep me going by the inspiration (the tutorials are nice though;). Whenever I get frustrated with the slow pace I just remember that you didn’t get here overnight either, and that yours is a lasting business. NOT get rich Quick crud. Keep up the good work, can’t tell you how excited I am for your 2013 stuff!

  • http://wanttoquitmyjob.com Christian Erick

    Hi pat! I have been a regular reader at spi for about a year probably and I have never heard your podcast.. I enjoy too much reading but I’m not a good listener, I’m currently studying an MBA and most of my teachers work with the case method, its really the best way to study and learn even if you don’t let out all your results at least you put everyone to think about what could happen or what would I do, I think this is the reason your niche site duel is the most liked post series in your blog and I hope to see a new one coming, congrats and thank you for all your help!

  • http://www.codeconquest.com/ Charles

    What you said about podcasting allowing for deeper connections is true. Often I read someone’s writing, or I just hear about them and dismiss them as not interesting, but after seeing them in a video or hearing them in an audio interview, that’s when I warm to them.

    Also, I know it’s old but I probably would have had a hard time recently figuring out how to use my free trial of Market Samurai if it weren’t for your webinar recording. That’s something that really helped me.

  • http://www.nohives.com Shinzow Hives

    Certainly good and very long article. The curve is very long and there is always space for improvement. I personally started more than a decade ago and since than, a lot of things have changed in my web marketing carer , however you been my first inspiration at the first moment of i started ,
    thank you pat for sharing everything with us

  • http://www.orangemasala.com rahul

    nice to hear your experience…your popularity among your fans describes your success

  • Juan

    Hello Pat , what caught my interest in this blog post was this “I LOVE constructive criticism, so please be honest with me just like Joshua Natella was with me.”
    So before i give you my honest constructive criticism let me tell you that i read your blog and listen to your podcast because you sound honest and genuine and because of your success in making money online. But mainly because you sound real. There are millions out there talking about making money online but they are more like salespeople trying to sell you something.
    Now to the constructive criticism;
    I am more impressed with the security guard experiment than the green exam success , and that is because the green exam thing was based on you being there at the right time ,maybe it wouldn’t be the same right now.
    But the security guard website really proved that it can be done , and i followed that one from the start .
    I think projects like the SPI and the Security guard should have an evaluation moment by you ,not a public one, but one that will tell you if you are really helping people. By this i mean there has been tons of information put out there by you , the question is “What are the results of all that work” and i mean the REAL results not the amount of people that read your blog or the money you make , but how much people have been successful thanks to your hard work .
    The question you should ask your followers (and tell them to be honest ) is;
    1.-Are you making more than a thousand dollars a month with your blog thanks to what you learned in the SPI Blog? if not how much
    2.- How long have you been trying to make money online?
    In other words like a market research on how effective your product (SPI Bog) is really to your readers.
    You may find that you are more in the entertaining business than the teaching business, i do not really know this is just a guess.

    I will give you my answers from my own experience

    I am making about 3000.00 a month with my websites
    my websites do not have anything to do with teaching people how to make money online.
    I make my own products and sell them on my websites
    I have learned a lot from your website mainly on SEO , and branding
    but not only from your website but from everywhere.
    I tried for 2 years to make money online with a website similar to yours in which i would teach people how to make money online , i gave up , to much work and zero money.
    I tried adsense , made 100.00 in 6 months ,don’t do it anymore
    I think that there are to many people trying to do the same thing already (teaching to make money online)
    So conclusion:
    What i would like is;
    1.- Another similar security guard start (with videos)
    2.- Turn your podcast into a videocast
    3.- Learn from the people that have not been successful in making money online and give them what they need to be successful
    Everything said here is with good intentions , i have not included my website link or any information to it .
    Thank You for your hard work

    • http://www.facebook.com/sincerny Maxime Sincerny

      I like everything Juan said in his last post. I would really like to see a blog post about how people are doing ( a little bit like podcast SPI 24/25, but from people who were helped by your blog.)

      I also think that it is true that SPI is part of the entertainement category focused on making money online. ( I like it, it is not meant to be negative)

      The 3 last points are also something I would like to see.

  • http://www.ethicalbehaviorboy.com Michael Belk @ethical be3havior

    Pat, I hope you had fun and learn some things you can share with us on the site.

    You were a winner before you even left for Vegas. You are blessed beyond your years, I just hope you learnt some things you can apply to your business.

  • http://www.byjanet.net/purple Janet

    I never listened to your podcast and never got into podcasting but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Maybe I should finally check it out. Wouldn’t know what content I’d put out though. I’m new to your blog as well. Of course, I’ve heard a lot about you but never took the time to actually read your blog much until now. It’s great stuff and I bet I can delve into it for hours especially on the case studies and experiments. So more on that is great and engaging. Coming up with an ongoing thing so your readers would be hooked for more and stay around.

  • http://PoorDoctor.com Buck Joffrey

    As soon as someone says they are an “internet marketer”, I read or watch very carefully–sort of like keeping your hand on your pocket book amongst a sea of pick pockets. The idea of being honest and delivering high quality content seems SO simple yet is so rare. That’s why you have a big following and that is what I’m trying to model after you on my site (with a slightly different angle). Thanks. My podcast will start in a month or so and am hoping you’ll be one of my first guests.

  • http://www.internetentrepreneurconnection.com Hector Avellaneda

    Hey Pat! Congrats on you presentation and I’m glad it went great!

    To answer your question, your eBook experience was the sole reason that I became inspired to write my very first ebook and publish it on Kindle – an I did! On Nov5th 2012 (election night) I published my very 250 page eBook titled De-Class-ified: the fall of the middle class and rise of the internet entrepreneur. I’ve had some sales since then but definitely no where near where I want to be, so I am definitely working hard now to do more marketing and bring more attention to my book.

    I think you made an interesting point about people coming to you and not necessarily mentioning your blog, but your podcast first. I think this may be because peoples attention span is deceasing more and more and instead of actually reading a post, they want to be engaged – in comes the podcast!

    That’s why right now I am working on doing the voice over for my book and creating an audio version that I plan to make available on the web for download. I definitely think my book has information that people just cannot afford to miss and making an audio version of my book (with my own voice narrating) will not only be a great way to engage my potential customers but it will also be a great way to possible get more lotal readers to the IEC blog.

    Anyway, I think one the things thatI would love to see here the more is your own passive income experiments. Affiliates are always good but why not do something like a web app, similar to when you had Dane Maxwell on the podcast or maybe another niche book or nice site.. I always enjoy seeing your experiments and how you are able to monitize and make them successful.

    Take care Pat!

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Wish I could have been there! Can’t wait to see the video of your presentation – heard nothing but awesome things about it on FB and Twitter!


  • http://emilyjacques.com Emily

    Insightful to know that people didn’t mention your blog per se first. But makes sense – individuals relate/get helped by specific things.

    I am finally going to get back into podcasting, b/c I realize that a lot of people who might not ever find my blog or even videos may find my podcast.

  • Kris King

    Other than the podcasts mentioned above, who else do you listen to or do you recommend we listen to in the blogging/entrepreneurial field? Looking for some really good podcasts to subscribe to as I’m on the road often. Gone through all of yours twice!

    Thanks for all that you do!

  • http://dentingmyuniverse.com Meron Bareket

    Hey Pat,
    It was terrific meeting you at NMX!

    You are such an amazingly genuine, kind, modest and generous guy, and no matter how many people voted for ESPN fantasy football – fact is you are changing lives with your podcast and blog. I hope 2013 will bring you nothing but happiness and success! :)

    Proud SPI fan,

  • http://www.cloud65.com Online Income

    upto I saw the draft which was of $5159, I have faith that my neighbour was really erning money parttime from there new laptop.. there aunt had bean doing this 4 only fourteen months and by now cleard the debts on their appartment and bourt Infiniti. read more at, Cloud65.com

  • http://www.empowernetwork.com/lipi/ Soumik Roy

    Thanks for sharing your experience.. You are really an admirer for most of us

  • http://cheap-garden-sheds.com Mistie

    Great tips and looking forward to more in the future! Keep it up.

  • http://www.patrickwagner.com Patrick Wagner

    I love your podcast and truly hope to hear you in person some day. I am still trying to get that down. I like that you are not stingy with your knowledge.

  • http://www.bloggingformakingmoney.com/ Heru Prasetyono

    In fact podcasting can have a huge impact on the success of your brand. This is a good news. So there is another way we can do to promote our business online. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuru Michael

    Thanks Pat for the update! I love all your stuff, and yes, your podcast does rock and that’s probably what I would have said if I met you face to face too lol. Thanks for all you do again, and I’ve been using a lot of your methods to be successful online. Be blessed.