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AP 0858: What Are the Pros and Cons of Sharing Personal Information with My Audience?

AP 0858: What Are the Pros and Cons of Sharing Personal Information with My Audience?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 858 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to AskPat. This is Episode 858. I can’t believe we’re closing in on 1,000. Thank you so much for being here, and for subscribing to the show. It really means a lot to me. We have a great question today coming in from Darcie, but before we get to her question I want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks.

A company that’s been helping me in serving myself and also millions of other small businesses with helping us keep track of our business finances from income to expenses. Which, by the way, they could do automatically by just connecting your credit card to it. It just makes it incredibly easy to help you manage your finances, and understand with various reports exactly what’s going on. It’s really helpful come tax season.

Plus, they also help you with invoicing. I use them for invoicing as well. Under 30 seconds it takes to create a professional looking invoice, and you can keep track of who opens them, and who has paid, and all that stuff. It’s fantastic. If you want to check them out for 30 days for free they’re offering you that trial at Remember make sure to enter “Ask Pat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section.

All right. Now here’s today’s question from Darcie.

Darcie: Hi Pat. My name is Darcie and I have a website called, where I provide online ergonomic resources specifically for HR, consultants, and as a general resource for office workers. I am focusing right now on building my email list via ConvertKit with a lot of free downloads, and blog posts, but I’m finding it difficult to get attention out there. I notice you and other media entrepreneurs share information about your personal lives on podcasts, broadcast emails, and social media accounts, and I’m contemplating doing the same.

What is the value, and pros and cons of sharing personal information? Have you seen it translate into more subscribers? What would you recommend doing? Well thanks again Pat for all that you do. You are truly a rock star, and I’m really looking forward to hearing about what you say about this. Cheers.

Pat Flynn: Hey Darcie, thank you so much for the question. Before I answer the question I want to tell you something about when I’m recording this. I’m sitting here at my desk, it’s a Friday at 7:53 a.m. In about three hours my wife and I, we’re going to be on a plane. We’re heading to San Francisco to go to a convention. This convention is for one of our favorite TV shows called The Walking Dead. I’m super stoked.

Just trying to get a few episodes in before I leave, so that I don’t have to worry about them next week when I recover from the show. Now it won’t take much to recover, but it’s just I like to give myself a couple extra days after a vacation or a trip to just kind of come back to life, and get right back on the saddle, but not right away, and give my mind a little bit of time to just reflect on the good times that I’ve had.

Anyway. What just happened there? This is true, I’m about to get a plane with my wife, the kids are at the grandparents house, we’re going to San Francisco, but even though that doesn’t have anything to do with online business, it has to do with me just sharing just a sliver of what’s happening right now with you. What does that do? That humanizes me, it immediately kind of transformed you into the story that I was telling. Which again, is true, and now you know a little bit about me. That often times I like to take trips just with my wife, that I like to go to places related to shows that I watch, and we watch together, and we’re going to a convention—The Walker Stalker convention—and it’s going to be fun.

Now consider somebody who is a good friend. Is that something you might know about them? That they would do such a thing? Yeah, and in this online business world where everybody’s fighting for each other attention, the things that are going to help you stand out, the things that are going to help you be remembered, are the things that help you become friends with your audience. That’s really what it comes down to, and so you can be as open or as closed as you want, but I do recommend sharing even tiny bits of information like that.

Maybe I even told that story a little bit too long. You don’t even have to talk about it very much. In the beginning of each of my podcast episodes for Smart Passive Income, when you think about it I spend six seconds, or I don’t even spend. My voiceover guy spends six seconds telling you a little random fact about me, and on the surface it might not seem like it has anything to do with what I’m talking about, but actually it has everything to do with building a relationship, and the relationship is between myself and you guys, my audience.

In this world of online business, that’s the thing you want the most, is that relationship, and that trust, and that bond. When you share a little bit of your life, and again that line is different for everybody. Don’t feel like you have to start sharing where you live. I actually wouldn’t recommend that in terms of like your address and stuff. Like I always mention I’m from San Diego, but even then some people don’t want to go that far, and you don’t have to. It could be whatever.

It can be about your hobby. I remember following a guy named Jeremy Shoemaker from way back in the day when I was starting out, and learning about affiliate marketing. He was into UFC, and he would Tweet, and mention on his site every once a while referencing UFC championship fights, and battles, and bouts. Not battles, but bouts. That would be a little thing where even though I wasn’t really a UFC fan the fact that I knew that he was one, whenever I saw UFC come on it just made me remember him without him even having to tell me to remember him.

There are a lot of benefits to that. It won’t directly translate to subscribers, although it might. Oh I like this person, because they do the same thing as me, I’m going to follow this person. Yeah, it could actually do that, but what it will do directly is help you form that relationship with your audience, therefore have them more likely to want to follow you for who you are.

The last thing I want to touch on just don’t worry about excluding people by sharing these things that other people may not relate to. Yes, there may be some people out there who say oh well you talk about your kids a lot, I don’t have any kids. No, not really my style. That’s okay, right, because “your vibe attracts your tribe,” as my good friend Chris Ducker says. And the more you can be yourself, the more likely people are going to respond to you, and the way that you teach, and the way that you live, and the offers that you make, the products that you recommend, so on, and so forth.

Cons about it, yeah I mean you could obviously share way too much, and have it be an issue, but just use your best judgment, use common sense, and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Darcie, you may want to explore just by sharing a quick story related to something that happened in your life that you don’t mind sharing. Remember, if you’re talking about other people in your life too, you want to make sure they’re okay with it as well. That’s my wife and I talk about a lot. Related to us and our kids. Make sure it’s okay if you’re mentioning other people, but you don’t even have to use their real names. It’s more about the story, and how it’s impacted you, and the lessons that are involved with that that can help others too.

Darcie, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you. I want to offer you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. We’ll send that your way. You’ll hear from my assistant in the next couple weeks or so, and we’ll reach out to you to get that info. Again thank you for the question. Thank all of you for the questions, because guess what the show wouldn’t exist without you.

This is called AskPat, but somebody needs to be asking questions, and that’s you guys, and that’s why I wanted to create the show, and why I want to feature you guys. I want to continue to do this. In order to submit your question all you have to do is go to Just head on over there, and ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and here’s a quote to finish off the day by Martin Luther King Jr. He says, “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” That’s deep. All right, guys. Take care. Thanks so much, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye for now.

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