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AP 0951: How Do I Connect with Leaders in My Niche?

AP 0951: How Do I Connect with Leaders in My Niche?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 951 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Thank you so much for joining me in Episode 951 of AskPat. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have a great question coming in today from James, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter. They help make hiring super easy, because it’s one of the hardest things to do, right? How do you know where the best candidates are? How do you send out a job description and make sure they are seen by those people who would be perfect for that job? So that’s what ZipRecruiter does; they help you find those people. With one simple click, you can send your job description out to 100 plus different websites, including social media and also they help you screen those candidates too. They have a database of a ton of people who might be able to fill in that position too and they help you get rid of all the emails and the calls and text messages and all those things that have to happen during this process. It’s all done for you in ZipRecruiter, so if you want to check it out, you can check it out for free by going to Once again, that’s

Right, now here’s today’s question from James.

James: Hi Pat. My name is James and I just started a resource website where I learn life skills and I teach them as I’m learning, called One thing I’ve learned from you by listening to your podcast is that you’re super organized when it comes to creating content. I’m about a month ahead in content creation and I’m trying to use the time that I have to connect with my audience, but it isn’t going well. I’ve identified current leaders in my niche and I have no idea what to say when I reach out to them. I want to have something to give, but I have no idea where to start when it comes to offering something of value. I appreciate you so much for being like a virtual mentor on AskPat. Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Hey James, what’s up? Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you and your support and seeing me as a virtual mentor. That just means the world to me, and hopefully I can help you out in this episode too.

Okay, you’re doing a lot of things right. You are creating content, which is fantastic. You are even ahead of your content, which is great. You are concerned about what it is that you can do to help your audience, which is fantastic, and you’re reaching out to them and you’re trying to connect. But how do you connect? What do you say?

Well, before you even start those conversations, I want you to ask yourself, well, what would be the benefit of you connecting with your audience? And it’s not just, “Oh, so I can grow my business,” but what would actually . . . What would that do for you? What would that help you do and what kind of information would you need to know in order to better serve them? So, thinking about those questions ahead of time might help you out. Some of those things might be like, “Well, it would help me understand exactly what they’re going through.” Okay, well then you know what to ask. For example, “Tell me about a struggle that you’re having right now and tell me about a time when that really affected your life,” or, “I’m here sharing information to help you. I’d love to sort of hear from you so that I can help you better. Help me help you.” That kind of thing.

So, you can see how framing your mind in terms of, what is it that you want to learn about your audience? Well, that helps you understand what to say to them then and also, it’s probably going to make them feel more comfortable with, “Who’s this person reaching out to me?” If you’re already building relationship through your content, you are and you have permission to ask people to see if they want to come and engage with you in a different kind of way.

So, you might be able to engage with them, not in a Skype conversation, although I would highly recommend that if possible. All the best information I’ve gotten from my audience have been through one on one conversations. If you can somehow meet them in person, that’s the best. If not, try to get on a phone conversation or a Skype call with them, which I know is a little bit scary, especially to a person on the other end, but direct messages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram are a great place just to develop that relationship too and just simply be there of service to them. I think that you know this.

When you serve others, you will be rewarded and when you ask what you can do to help, you will get a lot of information back and you may not be able to help that person straight away. You may not be able to even ever help that person, but at least you can be able to frame your mind in terms of who is it in your audience that needs help and what do they need help with. More than that, you’ll also be able to help pull stories out of them and I think that’s one of the best things that comes with meeting people in person. It’s like, what do you do when you’re sitting at a bar or sitting at a coffee shop with somebody? Do you just tell facts to each other? No, you tell stories to each other, right, and that is what fosters those relationships, that’s what builds those relationships, that’s what friends talk about.

So, if you can have your audience tell you stories . . . Hopefully you’re telling stories to your audience too through this content that you’re creating, but if you can have your audience tell you stories back—and again, it doesn’t even have to be one on one. I mean, what if you actually had a challenge where you could challenge your audience to then tell you a story through a comment on a blog post or to submit it to something that you can share and maybe pick a winner or something, or you wouldn’t even need to do that, just to have people share with you their story can make it very powerful for you to determine—why are you doing this in the first place? What else can you do? How can you challenge yourself so that you can help your audience even more?

So, just some ideas for you, James. Hopefully that makes sense, but really you’ve got to come from a frame of mind of, “Well, why am I doing this in the first place? Why would I even want to reach out to others?” Well, hopefully this gives you a frame of mind to do that and it’s going to be hopefully motivating for you too. Keep me posted, James. I want to continue to be your virtual mentor here. I would love to meet you in the future and I think that’d be a lot of fun. Anyway, James, thank you so much. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show and for those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thanks so much. I appreciate you, and here’s a quote from another James. This is James Bryant Conant and that quote is, “Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” Go to put yourself out there, guys. Cheers, take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Love y’all. Bye.

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