I’ve been looking forward to bringing you this episode for quite a while. If you made it to FlynnCon1, it was an amazing family-friendly weekend in my hometown of San Diego, California. We had all sorts of great guests, an all-ages Mario Kart competition, a special introverts hangout lounge, the SmartBar, and so much more. I just had Michael O’Neill on SPI Episode 391 to interview me about what it was like to throw my own event, so check it out to get a behind-the-scenes look.
We also did a very special version of AskPat. It was an hour-and-a-half long, so we’ve split it into three episodes. I took questions live on stage, and this episode features three entrepreneurs with three very different challenges. We get so many submissions for folks to be on AskPat, and for a number of reasons I can’t get to everyone. It was great to be able to do something live and be able to help right then and there, and maybe in the future, we’ll take this show on the road.
So in this episode, we take you live to the FlynnCon1 stage for a lightning round of AskPat, where I talk to Gillian Perkins from Startup Society, Kevin Trovini from The Writing Dojo, Sue Monahait from Gift Biz Unwrapped, Ali Melody from Food Heals Nation, Todd Lawrence from NJSchoolJobs.com, and Dollie Freeman from Blog to Business. They have a wide variety of questions, from how you can get your audience to stick around after you help them, what’s effective for promoting a podcast, to how introverts can get more comfortable with public speaking.
It was thrilling to get a chance to talk to so many interesting people doing exciting and engaging things. If you feel like you missed out, don’t worry. Tickets for FlynnCon2 are already available at flynncon2.com. Come join us in San Diego next July and see what it’s all about!
Pat Flynn: Hey what’s up—oh crap.
Crowd: Keep it.
Pat: Are we keeping that? Oh geez. Okay. We’ll put it in there somewhere, but I want to do a legit intro so let me go back once. Oh my gosh. I can’t believe that happened. This is real life guys. This is real life. All right, here we go. Three, two, one.
What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to AskPat episode I don’t know what number this is because we have no idea where it’s going to go, but it might sound a little different to you, why? Because we are coming at you live right now from FlynnCon 1 in San Diego, California. Audience, let’s hear it. Yes, we are at FlynnCon, and we’re having a great time, aren’t we guys? We’re here live. We’re experimenting with something that we may take on the road. Who knows? But we would love for you to listen in and have fun as if you are here with us. By the way, you can also get your tickets to FlynnCon2 at flynncon2.com. See what I did there guys? I just plugged in there. Yeah. Good. Okay, cool. Now here’s what’s going to happen. We’re just going to go right into questions, and I have a couple special guests coming on, and we’re going to get started right now with a question from name business, if you have one, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
Gillian Perkins: Hi there Pat. My name is Gillian Perkins, and I have a YouTube channel that’s my name, and I run a company called Startup Society. I’m thinking about possibly starting a podcast. My question is what have you found to be the most effective way to market your podcast?
Pat: Thank you, Gillian, appreciate it, and I’ve seen her YouTube channel. It’s amazing. Go to it.
Gillian: Thanks so much. This event has been amazing. Thank you.
Pat: Thank you, and so how do you market a podcast? I mean there’s a number of different ways you can do it. A number of people default to promoting podcasts on social media, but my problem with that—and they go through this whole extensive purpose of repurposing an episode, ripping the audio out, putting it on a video, and then taking clips, and that’s kind of fun, but guess who’s seeing those? People who are likely already subscribed to your podcast, right? So it’s doesn’t work. It’s not very effective for growing your show. My favorite way to grow a podcast is to have your superpowers displayed on somebody else’s podcast, right? So be a guest.
Seth Godin recently said that podcasting is the new blogging, therefore, I feel guest podcasting is the new guest blogging. When you can tell a person, “Hey—” this isn’t how you want to do it, “Hey, I’d love to be on your show.” It’s, “Hey I’ve noticed that you haven’t had anybody come on to talk about this before. I’d love to share this information with your audience, and let’s set that up,” and so get on other people’s podcasts.
Gillian: Thanks so much. That’s great advice.
Pat: Thank you, Gillian. Thank you. Alright, next up.
Kevin Trovini: Hi Pat. My name is Kevin Trovini. I’m a college English instructor from Detroit, Michigan, and about six months ago I decided to press start on my side gig, The Writing Dojo.
Kevin: I kind of fancy myself as the Bill Nye of English.
Pat: I like your bow tie.
Kevin: Thank you. So I didn’t get into teaching for the money, but I would like to kind of maybe get some of the costs back of all the investment that I’ve put into the video equipment and web hosting and whatnot. But I’m also targeting primarily students and other teachers, people who don’t really have a lot of money, and people that I don’t want to be seen as taking advantage of. I think you’ll be a great person to answer this question. How is the best way to serve an audience and really try to bring value to them while still making it something that you can maybe get a little bit of money out of?
Pat: You should be rewarded for helping others for sure. I would ask you, what is their biggest pain? What are their biggest problems right now? You can answer back if you’d like. Feel free.
Kevin: Well, teachers, I think trying to plan lessons, and students just trying to figure out how to get an A in their class.
Pat: So the interesting thing about marketing to students is guess what? They don’t have a lot of money usually, but who has the money? The parents often, sometimes not. But you have to think about well what is the real goal of these students? What is the real goal of these teachers? Jocelyn mentioned it specifically for the teachers earlier on stage, how her lesson plans for elementary school librarians was not to create lesson plans, that’s not what she was offering. She was offering timesavers. So anything that you can do to save people’s time is something that is totally valuable for people who are stressed out, who are just overwhelmed with the complications of things. If you can help make things easier, and the best advice I can give you right now, and this is for everybody, you need to nail what it is that you’re solving. The best way to do that is to have more conversations those people, and just find one customer for one problem, because where there is one customer, there are many, many more.
Kevin: Thank you.
Pat: Cool? Thank you. Great questions. Let’s keep it going.
Sue Monhait: Hi Pat. I’m Sue Monhait with the podcast Gift Biz Unwrapped, helping women turn a hobby or a craft into a profitable business. My question is around Instagram stories. I am one who can go live. I’m not afraid to go live, et cetera. My challenge is integrating it into my day because I get into my day, and I’m intent on the activities of the day. You are an awesome story teller, and you’re showing up live with yourself, your family, et cetera. How do you do that and integrate it in with everything else you do during your day?
Pat: Great question and Chalene came on earlier to talk a lot about Instagram stories and how important that is, so I love that you’re asking this question, Sue, thank you. For me honestly, knowing how important it was to continue to provide content in that platform, which I love because it’s very easy, right? It’s very raw. You just have to remember to do it. For me, whenever I need to remember to do something, I schedule it. I literally put it in my calendar to remind myself for certain things where it’s—I know it’s going to be okay to do that—to post a story every once in a while. It’s just that intention, right? Sometimes we need some help with that intention, and for me that was scheduling it into my calendar.
Sue: So two or three times throughout the day, you will say, “Okay, this is the time I’m going to go on and I’m going to do a story.”
Pat: That is correct yeah, and what happens is you just start to build that habit of being open to the possibility of, “Oh, is this something I can share?” It’s not a natural instinct because we aren’t born with the idea of, “Okay, let’s share our lives with everybody,” right? But we can train that muscle, we can train that muscle. I would say start with one per day at least so that there’s always something, right, so there’s always a story for people to see. If you get to past twenty-four hours, then there’s nothing. So for me, something that helps, which maybe isn’t the best thing, but it’s knowing that that thing is going to expire makes me keep going for more. Now there’s obviously a line there. Have you ever seen those Instagram channels where it’s like at the top you know how there’s a dash for everyone, and it’s like dash-dash-dash-dash-dash. You’re like, “I’m not going to sit here and scroll through five hours of Instagram stories,” but I think you can just train that muscle over time and start with one per day.
Sue: Thank you.
Pat: Thank you. Next.
Ali Melody: Hey Pat, Ali—
Pat: Hey Ali.
Ali: . . . from Food Heals. My question is really, you are such a natural speaker, and as an introvert, I know that that doesn’t come easy. So my question is really about giving advice to fellow introverts, and we heard a great story earlier from Chris Ducker about how you prep, and it actually made me feel better because I was like, “Yes, all the preparation.” But even if I prep that much, I still don’t know how to always come off natural. So what advice would you have for those introverts playing extrovert who need a little bit of next-level help with the speeches?
Pat: Thank you for this question, Ali, and this is something that I wish I knew a long time ago, but it’s not about being on stage talking to people. It’s not about being on a podcast and having a load of people listen. It’s about the individual, just like how right now we’re locking eyes, I’m talking to you, I’m answering your question, there happens to be other people in the room. But knowing that that’s just a real person that I’m trying to help, whether on a scalable level, many people are just one, picking a person, somebody in an avatar or a real-life person I can speak to makes it easier, because I am really good at having conversations. When you do it on a scalable level, you forget that you’re still having conversations, right? So that’s been really helpful for me, and I’m not a natural-born speaker.
The other piece of advice I can give you is practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it. The nervousness I’ve learned does not go away. It never goes away. I’ve just learned to flip that script in my head and say, “Oh, this nervous energy is good energy. It means that I’m excited about this. It means that I actually care.” I’d be actually more nervous if I wasn’t nervous. Does that make sense because like, “Oh, maybe I’m not doing it.” Then the last thing is I got coaching. So in 2014, I hired a guy named Mike Pacchione who is here in the crowd somewhere, and he was vital in helping me understand the mechanics of putting on a good show, and just you get better over time, so just keep talking.
Ali: Well thank you.
Pat: You sound great.
Ali: Well thank you very much.
Pat: Thank you Ali. Take care.
Todd Lawrence: Hi Pat. My name is Todd Lawrence. I’m teacher from New Jersey. I own a job board for the last twenty years that advertises education jobs for school districts and educators throughout New Jersey, so it’s been pretty successful. My problem, and I’m looking for, is how would you suggest that I potentially grow my community? So for instance, the job seekers really only come to my site for one thing when they need to be employed. I’m looking to try to create a community where they come back for more content. I don’t know what the best form would that be—either blogging, or starting a podcast, et cetera, and wanted to hear what you thought.
Pat: What do you think they would want to come back for?
Todd: Well, I think two things. I think number one, career advice, whether there’s changing positions. I also know that those entering the workforce need some assistance. I do workshops throughout the state giving college students that information, and every time we’re done they always say to us, “Oh, that was so helpful. Why didn’t I know this earlier?” That’d be one thing, and potentially professional development which is required in the state, for them to have an opportunity to attend workshops that I’ve given, et cetera. In that aspect I think—but I would like to create a community so they don’t just come to me once and leave. It’s nice that they come every year because new people are graduating, but I’d like to retain them more.
Pat: Right. So one mistake I made with my initial website, Green Exam Academy, which helped people pass an architectural exam is after they’ve passed the exam, there was no reason for them to come back. What I should’ve done was think about, “Okay, what is step two? After they get a job, or after they pass this test, what might the next thing be that I can serve them with?” Then as soon as they pass that test, or as they are taking the tests and being encouraged, or as they are looking for a job and are able to sort of somehow mention that they got a job, or you are there at that moment, you can then take them in that hype and say, “Hey, we were able to help you with this. What if we were able to help you with this? Come here so you can continue to . . . ” fill in the blank, meaning achieve your goals.
Because the goal is not to get a job, necessarily. The goal is what happens after the job is created, and there’s many more steps after that. What I would hone in on is the one next step that they need, and build a community there where then people can understand that you’re not just somebody to help people get a job, you’re helping somebody with their entire life starting with that job. The job thing is almost like a lead magnet, right? You’ve given them that quick win, now what else? The truth is not everybody who is served by your website is going to be interested in that. But once you start to get a few people, here’s some interesting things that happen.
Even when you have a small community, you can have individual conversations with them, and understand what else they need help with. The biggest thing for community is for people to feel like they belong to it. The number one way to help a person understand that they belong to something is to speak the same language as them. Sometimes it’s really hard for us to sell something or convince a person to join our community if we aren’t saying the right lyrics, which is—
Todd: I have an advantage of being a teacher, so I’m in the system currently working, and I’m running the site as well.
Pat: Then I would focus on the one next step in building a community to help people achieve that after they seek a job from you, and then they’re going to understand that, “Wow, this person’s helpful in so many ways. I’m going to stick around and even bring new people in.”
Todd: Alright. Thank you very much.
Pat: Thank you. We’ll take one more question. Here we go.
Dollie Freeman: I’m Dollie Freeman, and my blog is Blog to Business where I teach bloggers how to identify their unique factor and build their authority around it to build a six-figure business and beyond.
Dollie: Yes, and so I’ve listened to many podcasts before where I’ve been introduced to another authority through a lead magnet and then been pitched their product. I would really love the opportunity to do that with my business, but I have a couple of holdups in my head because my product is a closed cart product. So podcasts are evergreen. Can you explain to me two things? Number one, how do I build those positions or build those relationships where I can get in a position to be on a podcast of my target market, and then second, what is the strategy of taking that lead magnet with a closed cart product to take advantage of that position?
Pat: Right, because it’s a closed cart. If somebody is in a closed cart season well then they’re kind of lost, right?
Pat: So to answer that question, why don’t you build a waitlist, give a person a reason to just completely want it?
Dollie: Which I do.
Pat: Which you do, which is great. How do you continually engage them between open season?
Dollie: Between open season or close season?
Pat: When you open the cart—when it’s closed, what do you do to get them to continue to add value to them, to continue to have them realize that they are in the right spot, to continue to feel hungry for this thing that is an open program?
Dollie: So I start the emails letting them know what they’re missing by not having this, basically stop doing what’s broken and start doing what works.
Pat: But they can’t get the solution right now.
Dollie: They can’t get the solution. So I give them a taste of what’s inside to kind of wet their appetite, to let them kind of get that through a workshop, and then through that, the cart’s opened.
Pat: Part of me feels like if you’re just giving a taste, it’s almost like a huge tease, especially if I can’t close with you.
Dollie: That’s my problem is because it cannot be an open cart. I can’t even do a deadline funnel because I want to be a part of their process to answer their questions to get them success.
Pat: It’s just like taking a class.
Dollie: Exactly. I want to be present.
Pat: You can’t enroll at the beginning of a class in the middle of a class session. So what I would really be a proponent of is you having enrollment periods that people can look forward to, just like how we enroll for school during certain times of the year. And that will help you and your team focus on the content that you can create to help get people to understand that they have this problem, that there are solutions out there, and there’s some little things that you can do. But with your course—which comes out later—they’re going to be able to get it all.
You are focused heavily on the students that are in there right now and where you’re going to be closing up with them soon. You can even share wins from your current students in your class with those people to get them fired up about what’s to come, and share little tips here and there about things that they have done that have worked and say, “I can’t wait to welcome you in the class when it opens in enrollment a little bit later.” Having that wait list is key and keeping them engaged, sharing the wins and featuring yours and spotlighting your community is going to be, I think, a big thing. Then basically you are just, you’re piling all that water behind that dam, and then on launch day, boom, then it’s a rush, and that’s how I would approach it. Then to your second—or first question, actually, about how would you promote yourself on podcasts and things like that and—
Dollie: Build those commitment or build those relationships.
Pat: . . . how would you build those relationships, the best way that relationships for built are where you serve those people first, right? Glen Allsopp who is a friend of mine from viperchill.com, he was on my podcast recently, and I was asking a very similar question, especially coming from . . . My question to him was, “Hey, if you had no connections, no followers, and you wanted to get in good with an A-lister just from complete extreme, how would you do that? Is that even possible?” Most people assume that, “Oh well, you have to have a certain amount of subscribers, or a certain amount of emails in order for you to even gain access to that person.”
Glen said, and this was right when SwitchPod was about to be launched, he said, “Pat, you know what? If somebody random came up to you and said, ‘Hey Pat, I happen to know a guy who knows Casey Neistat,’” who is one of the biggest vloggers in the world who would be a dream for us to have hold our SwitchPod and promote it. “‘I happen to know a guy who knows Casey Neistat and I can ask if he would love to send an email to kind of introduce you to the product because I think it’s great and I think he would like it. What do you say?’” I don’t care who that person is. They are my best friend at that moment because that’s the biggest need that I have right now.
Pat: Right? Glen was so smart to pull in something that he knew I was interested in in that time and go there, and I think that’s very smart versus just, “I’ll be on your show if you’re on my show.” It’s like no, I had more important things that were on my mind at that point, and he knew it, and he targeted that, and it was so smart. So I think I would pinpoint certain people that you want to connect with, and then figure out—what is it that they’re really needing right now. It might not be followers. It might be a connection, and those little things mean so much, and can go a very long way.
Dollie: Okay, and then is there a timing that I should be thinking about knowing that it’s closed cart? Does timing matter?
Pat: No. All the time.
Pat: All the time, and just continual to mention when it’s open so that no matter when a person’s listening, they’re guided into there.
Dollie: Okay, so talk season versus date.
Pat: Thank you.
Dollie: Thank you.
Pat: Alright, and that’s not the end of the actual show yet. Actually this is broken down into three different parts because AskPat Live, which again happened at FlynnCon1 in San Diego, California, was actually an hour and a half. And there were two other segments with special guests that you’ll hear in the next upcoming episodes within the next two weeks. So in Episode 1092 and 1093, I have special guests who come on to help me answer questions live with people there at FlynnCon. Speaking of being with people, and special guests, and amazing entrepreneurs, and family-friendly, cool, introverted people who feel like they’re in the right spot, you can come to FlynnCon2 and join us.
So all you have to do is go to FlynnCon2.com, get your tickets right now because they are selling out. Ticket prices go up at the end of every single month. You want to get in as soon as you can because it’s awesome, and we’re going to do a lot of fun stuff. It’s a family-friendly event in San Diego. That means none of the special guests or myself will swear on stage. It means that none of the FlynnCon sanctioned events have alcohol served at them, and it also means that we’re doing some special things that will keep the kids occupied. We encourage them to come and watch the sessions as well. But there will also be activities and other sessions for the kids too to teach them things like budgeting, and entrepreneurship, and all the things, and to have the kids connect with each other, as well.
There were some really cool friendships made between the kids ranging from ten to eighteen at FlynnCon1, which is really exciting. So flynncon2.com, again, one more time, flynncon2.com. Get your tickets today. Thank you so much, and make sure you hit subscribe because we’ve got two more parts to this AskPat Live show. Who knows, maybe this AskPat Live show will go on the road, and I might be able to answer your question in person one day. We’ll see, we’ll see. But let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram, @patflynn. Let me know what you think of the format, and I’d love to see you at FlynnCon2, so we’ll see you there. Thanks so much, and Team Flynn for the win.
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