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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 1010: How Do I Grow and Scale a Super Niche Site?

AP 1010: How Do I Grow and Scale a Super Niche Site?

By Pat Flynn on

About This Episode

Today’s coaching call is with Ethan Clarke, who has a really cool niche website called The site helps men plan their unique marriage proposal, and everything is written from a guy’s perspective. Ethan has a good start, but he wants to grow and scale his site, especially in terms of his client/vendor relationships. How can he boost his business through connections with proposal/engagement photographers, for example? How can he expand his reach?

Through our coaching call, I help Ethan develop strategies for working with vendors and stretching the reach of his website. We talk about how he can build his email list, source feedback and future content from his audience, and build authority in his niche, and Ethan creates a game plan for the future.

What You’ll Learn:
How to grow and scale your niche business through vendor relationships, your audience, and your website content.

AskPat 1010 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Yo, What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 1010 of AskPat 2.0. I’m excited because today we’re talking to Ethan Clarke who’s from What is that exactly? Well, we’ll get into that in just a second. I’m excited to introduce Ethan to you and coach him through this process. To remind you, if you haven’t listened to AskPat yet, AskPat is a show where people apply—you can apply as well at You tell me a little bit about your business and what you need help with, what your pains and problems are. I select one every single week, and we feature a coaching session here on AskPat 2.0.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, I highly recommend you do it because we have these coaching calls happening every single week. So far people are loving them because they’ve only been happening since Episode 1001. Back in the past it was a voicemail question that I was answering, but I wanted to go deeper; I wanted to actually help people live right there. That’s what we do here. Thank you for listening in. Make sure you subscribe if you haven’t already.

Before we get to Ethan and our little coaching session: If you’re self-employed and you’re starting a business, just thinking about dealing with all the admin and the paperwork and the finances, calculating expenses, creating invoices—if that puts you on edge, I’m excited to let you know about FreshBooks. It’s a tool that I use to help me keep track and manage income, expenses and especially invoices which you can create literally in less than thirty seconds. You can also create project proposals too. If you do any sort of freelancing and you’re bidding for a project, you can create really, really professional-looking proposals through FreshBooks as well.

That’s a brand new feature. You can include an outline of your project, scope of work, a timeline for your deliverables, all that stuff. Of course, that is the first impression that you have with a potential client. It’s really important to do that. Now, there’s so many more features of FreshBooks. I’ve used it for years. They’ve been a sponsor here on AskPat kind of since day one, which has been amazing. I want you to check them out for thirty days for free. If you go to and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, and they’ll hook you up with a thirty-day free trial. You can check it out yourself.

That’s that and let’s get into today’s coaching session with Ethan Clarke from Here he is.

Hey, what’s up, Ethan? Thanks for coming on to AskPat 2.0. Welcome.

Ethan Clarke: Thank you, Pat. Really appreciate you having me here.

Pat Flynn: Why don’t you tell all of us kind of what do you do? What are you up to?

Ethan Clarke: All right. I have a side business. The website is What that is is it teaches people the steps to planning a marriage proposal. Basically puts all of the steps within one source where you can learn all the different things that hopefully make a marriage proposal less stressful. It is written from a guy’s perspective, so it has that type of insight. That’s what I really try and do with my website.

Pat Flynn: Nice. I like that. I could have used your info back in 2008 when I almost set fire to my apartment.

Ethan Clarke: Oh, well I could use it too back when I proposed to my wife too, and that’s really what inspired me to do this, is that I did a lot of research for my marriage proposal. It was in a bunch of different places and not one cohesive website that allowed a guy to really go through the different steps of potentially one of the most stressful—but also exciting—moments of their lives.

Pat Flynn: For sure. In terms of like, how is it a business, what are your business models and monetization models there?

Ethan Clarke: Currently it is really only ad revenue and then affiliate. I do want to get into creating an ebook. My idea for an ebook is actually a discreet way to research a marriage proposal, because obviously when you’re researching marriage proposal you want to keep that a little bit secret from your potential future wife or partner. What I want to do is create an ebook that will allow you to download all the information that you’d get from the site, plus some bonus information, then download it into a file that is not labeled “The Marriage Proposal,” but labeled “2014 Taxes” or something like that that they could keep on their phone or on their desktop and continue research in secrecy.

Pat Flynn: Nice. I like it. I mean that’s definitely a special moment in a guy’s life for sure, and a woman’s life obviously too. It’s something that I know a lot of people spend a lot of time thinking about and oftentimes a lot of money too. That’s really awesome. Let’s see what we can do to help you out today. Let’s start with just, what’s on your mind?

Ethan Clarke: Sure. My main focus is building my community. Now the challenge with that is that a marriage proposal, as I just talked about, is a lot of times research in secrecy and also hopefully once in your life. It’s not something, a lot of times, you come back to. What I’m working on right now . . . I kind of have two tracks. I have the track of the website, which focuses really on the end-user, the person who would be doing the proposing. Then on my social media, a lot of what I’m doing is I’ve been promoting vendors for the proposal space. Mostly photographers. People who either photograph in proposals themselves or do engagement shoots after somebody gets engaged.

What I’m trying to work on is a way to connect the two where what I’m actually doing on the social media is I promote people who are great photographers across the country. Then after I promote them, their work, I reach out to them and see if they want to do a guest post on my website, specifically for proposal locations in their local city. Because one of the things that I found works in terms of my organic ranking very well is when I do proposal locations in X city: Proposal locations Miami, which is where I’m located or proposal locations Albuquerque or Omaha, or all these different places across the country, and they rank very well on Google.

That’s what, a lot of times, people are searching for. That is my content strategy, but what I’m trying to figure out is how to take the vendors and the end users and create more of a community where both benefit from that connection.

Pat Flynn: How are you making it easy for them to connect right now?

Ethan Clarke: I’m not, really. That’s something that I’m basically trying to figure out how to build, either through a preferred vendor list or some type of way for people to ask for a lead or recommend a vendor in that market. The only way I am really doing it right now is with the guest post. Obviously when somebody does a guest post about proposal locations in their city—and the way I also convince them to do it is also saying, “Hey, I’m going to link this to your social media. People who will be researching proposal locations will potentially book you as a photographer for their proposal or their engagement shoot or their wedding or their first child, and all the way through life.”

That is how I am connecting it now, but it’s not a formal, like “here’s my preferred vendor list” in each city.

Pat Flynn: How are you getting paid from those vendors?

Ethan Clarke: I’m not, currently. The only way I’m really being paid right now is through the content that they give me, which is something right now that I’m happy with, because this is a side business for me. I work a very demanding job, sixty hours a week or so; I don’t have time to write a bunch of content on my own, as well as I want to be confident in my recommendations to people. I don’t know proposal locations in Albuquerque if I’m located in Miami. That’s where I leverage a local person in those markets to make those recommendations and particularly photographers mostly, because they know their markets, and what places are beautiful and romantic in most cases.

Pat Flynn: Right. What have you done to try and perhaps solve this problem already, if anything?

Ethan Clarke: Well, I’m really just trying to get started on this. What I’m trying to see is if you had any suggestions on ways to monetize a client/vendor relationship, besides basically like, reselling the leads would be a potential way, or the vendors paying to be on my website. I’m just trying to figure out a unique way that will be attractive for vendors to really sign up to be on a vendor list on my site.

Pat Flynn: I’m curious. Before we get into that, because I do have some thoughts on that for sure—and you had talked about this in your proposal for AskPat 2.0 as well, and it was the fact that we want it to be a one time thing, right, for a person who is looking for this advice. They go through the proposal and really that’s it. Are you thinking of, or have you done anything or any thoughts in terms of okay, well, what happens after their proposal?

Ethan Clarke: That is also part of the things I’m thinking about next, is really the steps after a proposal is obviously, you share that with the world. One of the things that I do now is I reach out to people to do featured proposal stories where they write up their proposal story, I put it on the site, and they share it with all their friends on their social media. That’s a way that I am broadening that community. Some of the next things that I am thinking about is, particularly because of the photographer angle with vendors, is talking about how to plan your engagement shoot. Really, eventually take the site to the different steps.

I don’t necessarily want to go all the way to weddings because there’s so much incredible competition on that space, and that’s where I kind of came up with the idea of The Marriage Proposal. I was listening to you back before I had anything. I was trying to think of things that I researched a lot that I did not see a good source for. There’s a million sources for wedding information, but there’s not that many for proposals. I’m preempting the wedding industry in being in that space. That’s where I’m trying to think of the steps after engagement, but not all the way up to a wedding. You’re right. That’s where I’m trying to go to expand the community there as well.

Pat Flynn: Cool, because there’s definitely even more money involved after the proposal obviously. What’s really exciting about this is you’re kind of like . . . Everybody talks about the wedding industry and it starts with the engagement, but what about before the engagement? If you’re able to A, build a relationship with these people before the engagement and B, perhaps your vendors get recommended to them before . . . I know from my experience we’ve had the same photographer for years just because we had such a good experience. Likely a person who would do photography for a proposal would likely perhaps be at least considered for the engagement and potentially the wedding, and then the baby or whatever.

Ethan Clarke: Exactly.

Pat Flynn: Right? I mean, I think that’s really smart of you to go outside of the norm when it comes to this wedding stuff. Have you done any—and again we’ll get into more specifics about solving these problems really quick, but this is just really exciting to me so I’m just riffing here. What’s really cool is you’re positioning yourself as an expert with something that most people don’t have much information about. It allows you to get in front of rather large audiences sometimes, because you have this sort of niche specialty. Have you don’t any outreach? Instead of having people come in right to you, have you ever thought about writing on other sites or coming on as a guest on a podcast to maybe tell some of these stories, or share some advice for people? Because this is so niche-specific, I love it. It provides a great opportunity for people who are in the wedding industry or who serve men and/or women to get really excited about just this portion of that entire sequence. Have you done any outreach to kind of build your audience that way?

Ethan Clarke: I’ve done a little bit, but I’m certainly open to doing that. I would love to expand the brand. I’m a salesman in my normal job, so I love talking to people. That’s what I do. I would be happy to be on other people’s podcasts and talk about collaborations and do guest posts for sure.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Because it’d be pretty cool for you to just become that person like, “Oh yeah, Ethan. He’s the wedding proposal guy,” right? That’s really, really interesting to me. That allows you to—going back to what you had asked earlier, it allows you to when you get these features especially once you start reaching the status where you’re getting on these well-known blogs or well-known publications, you can use that as social proof for the vendors, for example, that you connect with. “Hey, vendor. I was featured on this site. I have the reach of this many people, and it’s coming not just from my stuff, but from other outlets too that you may have heard of before. Maybe there’s a deal we can work together.”

I mean I would definitely recommend when it comes to monetization with these vendors . . . I mean these vendors, they want targeted audiences. I remember when I first started out. My thought was “Oh well, just advertising is the only way because it’s just easy,” right? I think you’re at a point now where you can upgrade to a little bit more personal touch with those vendors, knowing that you have this incredibly targeted audience behind you.

That could be structured in several different ways. It could be, “we have a list of vendors in these cities, but if you want to be a preferred vendor who are the ones that we first recommend or who have . . .” You have this website. A website is an amazing asset when it comes to advertisers beyond just normal advertising because it’s “oh, we can have your own landing page. We can create a landing page for you. We can put ads in certain places on the website.” If you have an email list . . . Do you have a email list, Ethan?

Ethan Clarke: I’m building it, yes.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Good. The cool thing about the email list for you is you can have touch points with people such that okay, if a person is already engaged, you can have them remove themselves from that portion of the list and go into phase two, if you want to call it that, and then serve them to vendors with different language behind it because you know that they’re at a different level. I mean you can start to almost have different custom audiences in your audience now, one who is . . . They’re just getting started. They haven’t proposed yet. “Hey, if you propose now, you’re going to go to this step. Hey, guess what? I’m still going to be here to help you along the way.” What’s cool about that—this relates to making sure to keep people on even after that initial thing is done that they came to you for. I think what’s really cool is this is such an intimate moment in a person’s life. If you are there to help guide them, they’re going to want to continue to get your guidance. Is that something you’d be open to do in terms of like okay, it’s not just the proposal, but it’s all the stuff that happens after, and this relates back to the email list and the vendors, and connecting them even after the proposal?

Ethan Clarke: Yeah. I would definitely be into that. The thing that’s also been the most rewarding about this is I have gotten comments and emails, things like that, that I really help people out in their proposal. The monetization stuff aside, that’s been the most rewarding part of this whole process is knowing that I potentially helped somebody in their huge life decision at that moment.

Pat Flynn: I love that. Okay. Let’s start here because it seems like you really do care about the story that a person creates, and just you having the ability to affect that story. Let’s say I’m a person who is in love with this woman and I just need help to propose to her because we’ve been dating for so long. I go to your website. I land on your website. What do you want me to do first?

Ethan Clarke: Well, when you land on the website, there’s two options. You either go to step one of the website, which will bring you through the seven steps of planning a proposal, or you can go to my blog, which will talk about the latest thing that I’m talking about in that moment, whether it’s proposal locations in a city or trends or Valentine’s Day, or whatever is going on with the blog. Those are really your two options when you come to my site. Most of the time people go towards the step one because that’s really what they’re there for, is to plan a proposal. Then it walks you through the steps of buying the ring, finding a proposal location.

Pat Flynn: Do you give info about ring-buying too?

Ethan Clarke: I do.

Pat Flynn: Nice. I needed that so bad. Okay. Cool.

Ethan Clarke: I’m definitely not a jeweler, so I’ll just say that right now.

Pat Flynn: The four C’s, right?

Ethan Clarke: Yeah. The four C’s, yes. I’m definitely not a jeweler, but I bought a ring. I went through the process.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, no, I mean you’ve done it and other people haven’t. That’s great.

Ethan Clarke: I researched a lot. You have to figure out the ring size and all those things. Asking the father, if that’s something that you want to do, which I recommend because I’m an old school kind of guy, but that’s completely up to you if you want to follow that tradition. Then also just what to say on one knee, what you’re actually going to say when you’re down there. My advice is keep it short and to the point, because you’re going to probably be nervous as hell. You don’t want to pull out a bunch of flash cards and go through a huge speech, but just to the point and make sure it has “will you marry me?” at the end, and then you should be good.

Pat Flynn: Do you have any incentive for me to subscribe to an email list?

Ethan Clarke: Not currently. That is something that I’m trying to consider. I’m following Ebooks the Smart Way, and I’m working on the ebook, and that’s going to be my next big thing. I’m not really sure what I would offer to subscribe right now. Potentially . . .

Pat Flynn: Chapter One.

Ethan Clarke: Say it again? Chapter One?

Pat Flynn: I said Chapter One. Just get me so excited about planning this day and I’m going to want the rest of it.

Ethan Clarke: Okay. I like that.

Pat Flynn: Make it easy.

Ethan Clarke: That is easy. I like it. Keep it simple.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, exactly. Then, now I’m in and now you know where I’m at too, right? What would you say would be my next steps after I join this email list? You know me and where I’m at; what might you do to continue to help me at that point?

Ethan Clarke: Well, there is the option which—obviously a not non-time consuming option—where I could reach out to people for consulting or one-on-one advice, because a lot of times people are really lost in these moments and want somebody to talk to. My only challenge with that is I work a normal nine to five job. It’s not normally nine to five; it’s normally seven to seven. The hours involved with one-on-one consulting may not be something that I could actually do to the fullest of my ability, and I wouldn’t want to have people feel like they’re not getting the attention in that moment.

Pat Flynn: Is that something you really want to do?

Ethan Clarke: Probably not. There could be eventually, maybe a course I could offer or something like that, but that would be something I would potentially look at doing after I wrote the ebook, is what I was considering.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Let’s not even think about that.

Ethan Clarke: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: Let’s get it off our plate to make room for things that are important now.

Ethan Clarke: Yes, exactly. I don’t want to get too far in the future.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, no. That’s good. What’s really important is okay, what happens after I propose? In order for you to know where I’m at, I think I need to get on your email list, right? You’re helping me and you’re giving me some information. From your perspective, where might be a good place to now—based on what you said earlier is one of your goals, is connecting the vendor—how do I as a new email subscriber, you know exactly where I’m at, how do you best connect me to your vendors?

Ethan Clarke: Well, that’s actually a very good question because what that actually puts into my mind is if somebody signs up for their email, I could put out an automated response that asks them where they are in their proposal planning process, which based on their response, I could then send them whatever the next step is. Then once they get to a point where a vendor wouldn’t be appropriate, and if I have a vendor—say I eventually get a bunch of jewelers to sign up—if they’re looking to buy a ring: “If you’re located in these cities, here is our preferred vendors in those cities.” If they’re actually at the moment where they’re about to propose and they’re looking for somebody to video tape it or to photograph it, I could send them the vendor list at that moment as well.

Pat Flynn: I like that because now you’re asking me “Okay, what’s the next thing that you need help with?” It makes me feel as the subscriber like you really care, which you do. You’re amplifying that through that. Depending on my answer, and there’s a number of ways to do that technically, right? If you use something like ConvertKit, you can have, “here’s the seven step process. Click on the one where you’re needing help with next.” Then from there you can actually take me to some of the free content that you have on your website to just further get me down into your ecosystem. That will help me just right away understand that okay, you’re the person I need to go to. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Going back to what you were saying earlier about like well, it might be cool to do consulting, I don’t know, and we already discussed that we’re not going to do that, but I think it would be nice for you to ask questions every once in a while for understanding where the bigger pain points are in the process. If there was an email in an autoresponder that came out that said, “Hey, Pat. Do you have any questions? What are you struggling with right now related to your proposal? Shoot me a reply. I can’t guarantee I can answer you back right away, but I will take note of that. I’ll be creating content to help address those things.” Then you can take what most people are talking about and create some new content about that or create a video about it or whatever. That can help influence some more decisions from there.

I still want to work a little bit more on the vendor side. I want you to get paid, right? There’s two places you can get paid in this scenario, right? From me, the guy proposing, and I would pay you if you A, made things easier for me or saved me time or B, you were able to . . . I mean really it all comes down to just time and convenience, right? That’s really what people would pay for here in this situation. You could do that, or you can get some money from the advertiser. That’s for either sending a lead or for getting my brand, if I was a brand, getting in front of X number of people for traffic or getting preferred listing. If I knew you had a place where there were people that were going and I could get a preferred listing, that would be beneficial for me because then I can be above all of the other competitors there.

Where’s the low hanging fruit for you, do you think,, in relation to monetization here? Obviously the book I think is going to be something that a lot of people . . . People love reading books. They’re going to want to consume this, especially outside of a website. I really like that idea for consumption. Again you’re making my life easier doing that, but where else might there be some opportunity, you think?

Ethan Clarke: Well, I do think the lead generation to the vendor is something that will eventually be there. I do think I need to have the site be a little bit more of an authoritative site, more traffic to it in almost every single . . . Not every single city, but every major city in the country is really one of my goals, to have an article written about it. In terms of the other low hanging fruit, after they download the ebook, maybe from there there could be some type of thing that goes directly into a vendor list and connecting the two of them. I’m not sure exactly what that would be, but . . .

Pat Flynn: Let’s unpack that. I like what you’re talking about. Let’s take it from my perspective. I’m in need of some help. I want providers. I need vendors. What’s the easiest way for you to serve those people to me?

Ethan Clarke: Well, if they download the ebook, then I would get their email. I would basically potentially reach out to them and say, “Hey, noticed you’ve downloaded the ebook. Can I ask you what city you’re located in?” Based on that response, I could then say to that person, “Here are the vendors in this city.” Then reverse-engineer it where I’d be able to go to vendors in that city and say, “Hey, I have this much traffic coming from these specific cities; these many people downloading my ebook in these particular markets. It costs X to be on the preferred list that goes exclusively to the people that download the ebook or the most likely to contact you for your services.”

Pat Flynn: I like that. Now if I say, “Hey, I’m from San Diego,” you can be like, “Oh by the way Pat, we have all these vendors in San Diego.” For me as the proposer, where would I go to see those things? I like the fact that you’re like, “Hey, vendor. I got all these people in San Diego. You’re in San Diego. We can strike a deal.” I think we don’t need to get into the specifics about how that deal might look like. You’re a salesman; you’d be able to handle that for sure, but for my experience, how do you present that to me?

Ethan Clarke: You are the . . .

Pat Flynn: I’m the person proposing and I live in San Diego.

Ethan Clarke: I would send them to a link in their email—it would be a list, and that would potentially go to a specific page on my website that talks about The ones that potentially paid the most would be at the top of the list, and then potentially have a way for people to rate them. If we’re talking about bigger scale stuff, we’ll start getting ratings.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Let’s not even go there. We’re again thinking way ahead of the thing here. I like what I’m hearing. That’s one way to do it, create a directory, right, that I can just click to go to. That’s probably something that you could either send to me directly or a person can find on search engines because it’s going to have all the best information there. If there is traffic there, as a vendor I’d be like, “Yeah. Of course, I want to be the top preferred photographer there. I’ll definitely pay for that.” Let me ask you a question. Are there any non-location specific things that a newly-engaged couple needs? Anything online?

Ethan Clarke: Well, yes. I mean there are national . . . A newly engaged couple or somebody who is still planning?

Pat Flynn: Somebody who had . . .

Ethan Clarke: For people who are planning, there’s a couple different national online jewelers who sell globally. That’s something that is definitely not location specific. From a past proposal, one of the things that some of the affiliate links on my site are about—traveling and also during when people are proposing, because a lot of times like, where I proposed was on a vacation. If you are planning your proposal, one of the nicest things to do is do it during a great vacation because you’re already in a happy space. You’re in some place unique, potentially beautiful, romantic. They go together perfectly. Being able to book a trip while you’re planning your proposal is one of the affiliate links that I do have on my site right now.

Pat Flynn: Cool. Okay. I like that. You’re kind of covering all the bases there. In my head, I’m feeling like if you provide so much value upfront with the ease of figuring this proposal thing out, which is a very scary thing for a lot of people . . . I mean I remember how scared I was just because I never really, obviously had done anything like that before and knew how to do it. I remember as a newly engaged couple, there were so many decisions I had to make. I’m thinking after the proposal, right? There were so many decisions. There was a lot of money spent and a lot more vendors that entered the picture at that point.

For me, I’m wondering what you might think about this, but if there’s maybe a little bit of money coming in from the pre-proposal to proposal, if you were to keep that person on and serve them even more, I think that’s where . . . Do you believe that there would be more monetization opportunities after the proposal?

Ethan Clarke: Definitely. What I want to focus on now is more the vendors for a proposal.

Pat Flynn: Like nail that down, right? Get all that situated.

Ethan Clarke: Exactly. Once I have a vendor list and there’s a clear structure of a directory, that could easily then transform to people who are wedding vendors. Once you’re proposed or once you’re engaged, you’re starting to look for those types of services. Wedding planners, venues, dress shops, all those things that go into planning a wedding. If I have the leads of people who have just gotten engaged and they’re in that moment ready to go to the next step, it would be easy connection once it’s all built.

Pat Flynn: That’s exciting. The tone of your voice changed when you were talking about that stuff. That’s pretty cool. I love that. Oh man, it’ll be so cool. I could imagine you getting invited to all these people’s weddings. You know what I mean? Just because you’re making it so easy for them, especially the dudes, or you’d be invited to the bachelor parties and stuff.

Ethan Clarke: I don’t know if my wife would like that.

Pat Flynn: Maybe not that part. Out of everything we talked about, what would you say the most important first steps are in this situation?

Ethan Clarke: I think setting up the email list.

Pat Flynn: I would agree.

Ethan Clarke: I love the idea of giving away the first chapter of the book because that will actually motivate me to write it sooner than later. That will be something I’d really like to do, and then focus on being able to ask the questions in the emails. See what kind of responses I get back because I think that will also take me down some directions that will make this whole process a little bit easier if my consumers are telling me what to do. It kind of guides me.

Pat Flynn: I love that. Perhaps even getting their location at the same time so you can kill two birds and just kind of get a sense for where people are finding you from. Dude, I love it. You said exactly what I was going to offer. How does all that stick with you? How does it feel?

Ethan Clarke: It does feel good. I do want to ask you one thing before we end this call. Would you be able to tell me how you proposed?

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Hey, this is good radio right here. Thank you. I worked in an architecture firm. I was still working at the architecture firm at the time. My wife worked at another place. I took the day off from work to clear out all the furniture from my apartment and literally just put it all on the back where it couldn’t even be seen because everyday after work, April would come into my apartment and come into the bedroom, and we would just hang out there all day and watch movies. It was just like, our daily ritual to watch movies. I decided to take all the furniture out. I decorated it with white candles, white furniture. I put drapes over a few things to just make it really romantic.

I had lit candles in the shape of a heart around me in the center with the ring in my pocket. I had my little Apple thing ready so that as soon as she walked in, our song would play. When she came home . . . Actually it was funny because she was late so I was like, even more nervous. Then she came in and I was just like, “Hey, I’m in the bedroom. Come on in.” Then I go. She opens the door and then I click on the thing to play the music. She comes in. Her hands are over her mouth and she just can’t believe it. I walked right into the heart. This is where I almost burned down the apartment, because there was like 50 or 100 candles, like tea candles, in the room. Totally not cool. We danced, and then we went and grabbed a dinner. It was just an amazing night, I’ll never forget it.

Now I didn’t know this, but after the wedding several months later she told me that the reason that she looked even more surprised was because she had to go to the bathroom so bad, but felt so terrible about like saying, “Sorry. Hold that thought. I need to go to the bathroom.” I remembered like, how she just stormed in the bathroom after the dance was over. I thought that was really weird, but I never thought twice about it until months later when she told me she just had to pee.

Ethan Clarke: That is great. Yeah, I do recommend flameless candles if you are doing an at home proposal.

Pat Flynn: See? There you go. That’s something I wouldn’t even have thought of.

Ethan Clarke: My wife was so surprised that I had to ask her twice, “Are you going to say yes?” She said, “Yes, stupid.” That’s kind of our joke. That’s what she said during the engagement.

Pat Flynn: Cool man. You learned some stuff? How did the call feel?

Ethan Clarke: It felt great, man. It was great to talk to you. I really appreciate it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, man. Hey, good luck. Thank you. Do you mind if we check in with you? Maybe at some point in the future we can get you back on and talk about how things are going.

Ethan Clarke: I would love that.

Pat Flynn: All right, man. Thanks, Ethan. Appreciate it.

Ethan Clarke: Thank you, Pat. Really appreciate it.

Pat Flynn: All right, guys. Thank you so much for listening in today. Hope you enjoyed that coaching session with Ethan Clarke from Fellas, if you’re looking for some more info on how to do exactly that, you know where to go now. Good luck to you and hopefully you all got a kick out of the story that I told about April just now.

Anyway, hey guys, remember FreshBooks that I talked about earlier? You can get access to that for thirty days for free. It’s not like they hold back anything for you. Thirty days free trial. If you go to, just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section and all will be good.

Also, make sure that if you want to get coaching just like Ethan did today, all you have to do is go to Scroll down a little bit. You’ll see the application button right there in the middle of the screen. Click on that. Let me know a little bit about what you got going on, and I might be able to help you out. Finally . . . Well, actually two more things. One, make sure to subscribe to the show because we have another call coming next week for you.

Then finally, if you haven’t yet started your email list, if you have a business and you’re kind of, “I don’t know about email,” or maybe you’re just not happy with your email service provider, I switched over from a bunch to end up on ConvertKit. ConvertKit is one of my favorite tools of all the tools I use to help me run my business. I’ve grown with the company as an advisor since 2015. I love it to death. I know that you will love it too. Actually, hey, this is a special deal that you can’t get anywhere else except on my podcast. If you go to, you’ll get a forty-five-day, free trial with ConvertKit. That’s not available like, to regular people. You guys aren’t regular people. If you go to, you’ll get a forty-five-day free trial for that. Check that out. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Hey guys, thanks so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you on the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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