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AP 0886: How Transparent Should I Be With Retailers?

AP 0886: How Transparent Should I Be With Retailers?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 886 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 886 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. 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 Vicki, but before we get to that, I just want to thank today’s sponsor of this episode, and that is ZipRecruiter. If you’re hiring, it can be very difficult. Right? Do you know where to post your jobs to find the best candidates? Probably not. Finding a great candidate can be very, very tough, but with the ZipRecruiter you can post your job to over 100 job sites with just one click. Actually, over 80 percent of jobs posted on ZipRecruiter get a qualified candidate in just 24 hours. Super cool, and actually you can try it out for free. That’s right. Free. All you have to do is go to Again, that’s and try it out for free. All right. Thanks so much. Here is today’s question from Vicki.

Vicki: Hi, Pat. My name is Vicki Weinberg, and I have a small company called Tiny Chipmunk which produces premium baby products. I started up my business last year, and as part of that I set up a blog to run alongside it. I wanted to blog about my experiences with the business for two reasons. One, to make myself more personable and so the company was about me, not just like, a faceless corporation. It’s something I’ve heard on your podcast a few times actually. The other one was to maybe help or inspire other people who wanted similar businesses. I’ve been really open about what I’ve done and what’s worked, mistakes I’ve made, and I thought it might be useful.

My customers seem to like it, but I’m now getting to the stage where I’m starting to look at relationships of retail, as in distributors. I’m feeling a bit vulnerable about having this blog that so publicly tells anyone who wants to that it’s just me, a mom of two, working from my kitchen table. I’m wondering if, from this perspective, should I shut it down? How open should I be about the fact that it’s just me, if that makes sense. There’s always a tendency to, I think, to pretend you’re bigger than you’re not. I’d really just appreciate your thoughts and advice please. Thank you so much for your time. Bye.

Pat Flynn: Hey, Vicki. Thank you so much for the question and for being open and honest here on the show and for sharing a little bit about how you run your business. I think it’s a great idea in terms of what you’re doing. You’re letting people know about who’s running this company. I understand your predicament; I understand that you might be feeling a little bit vulnerable as a result of the openness that you’ve had. I will say, and I think a lot of people would agree me, although there may be some who don’t: What I would say is go with your gut, Vicki. I think it’s important for you to be comfortable with what you’re doing more than anything, because if you don’t do that, then it’s always going to be done in sort of a not-genuine way. It’s going to be done in a way that’s sort of half-done, and you won’t be the best you can be.

Here’s my take, and you can probably guess what I’m going to say, Vicki, since I’m the sort of open and honest, authentic, transparent guy online. I would just continue to be open, authentic, honest and transparent online as well. For me, that has always been the best strategy. For me, I think it can actually be used to your advantage because you’re going to have a deeper relationship with some of these other people who these advertisers might be looking at. You can go back and say, “Well, you know what? How honest are those people with their audience? Can they say with full honesty that they are somebody who is just—insert this brand into their life so much that it’s just become a part of who they are?”

There is nobody else who believes in this brand and who understands it as much as I do, and that’s why I put myself out there because I want people to know exactly who I am and how much I care, not just about this brand, but all the other important things that are here in my life. This is why I’ve been able to build an amazing, trustworthy relationship with my audience. Trust with an audience is sometimes much more important than just the numbers behind it. I would much rather advertise in front of a person who has 100 completely loyal fans than a person who has 1,000,000 fans who are just . . . You don’t even know their names, and you don’t even know—there’s no trust there at all., I would say keep going with that you’re doing.

It definitely fits the brand, I feel, in terms of you as the person there. Once you start to pretend to be bigger than you are, I mean, I feel like then that’s when you lose some genuineness, and I think that’s probably what makes you very special online, is that you’re doing it in this way. I think that’s what would make people resonate toward you more, and I think that’s what people resonate with you with, listening to your question here on the show. Consider that as you move forward.

You know what I would also say is that, what’s not to say that you can grow from here? What about when you start to add team members on and what that like? Imagine two years down the road when you have a team of people working in this business with you and what that story is going to look like. To see where you came from to where you actually end up going, and to have that be fully-transparent along the way, I mean that’s huge. I think a lot of people know that’s where business is going these days. If you can be one of the first ones in the space to do it, I think it will say a lot about you and your brand and the care that you have, not just for the products that you offer and the recommendations that you share, but also the care that you have for your audience too. Trust is the most important asset that we have with our business online. When you try to be bigger than you are, you might get some people who might not resonate with you once they find out the full story.

Vicki, that’s just my opinion. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on this as well. Hashtag #AskPat886 on Twitter if you have any thoughts about this. Let me know what you think. Yeah, I appreciate you, Vicki, for calling in and asking this question. I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show, like we do with everybody who gets their questions featured here on the show. You’ll hear from my executive assistant not too far from now so that we can collect your physical address and send that to you free of charge. Doesn’t matter where you are. It sounds like you’re living elsewhere, or maybe you just have this amazing accent in the U.S.—either way, we’re going to send it to you.

Then, finally for anybody else who has a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

All right, and finally here’s a quote to finish off the day, and this is from Baltasar Gracián, “Wise men appreciate all men, for they see the good in each and know how hard it is to make anything good.” I love that. Obviously it’s not just men: Men and women, everybody. Love you guys. Take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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