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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 1074: What Is Superfans About and Who Is It For?

AP 1074: What Is Superfans About and Who Is It For?

By Pat Flynn on

This week, we take a break from the usual coaching call to talk about a project I’m working on that I’m extremely excited about—my next book, Superfans. When I first got started selling courses to pass a key architecture exam, I got a message from someone offering to take me out to dinner. You see, Jackie was so thankful for my help that she wanted to show her appreciation for me. In the months to come, she convinced everyone in her office that I was the real deal and that they needed my guide. I saw almost fifty new customers come in just from Jackie. It was my first experience of having a superfan.

The truth is that there are a lot of topics I could’ve written a book about related to all the different parts of my business. A topic like podcasting, affiliate marketing, or tactical online business monetization would honestly probably make me a bit more money. The reason I chose to write Superfans, however, is because it really is the number one thing that I think any business needs in order to thrive. It wasn’t until I read Kevin Kelly’s famous 2008 essay, “1,000 True Fans,” that I actually came to believe that this was something I could do, that I could build my business and succeed and live the life I wanted to live. Superfans is the how-to manual for making the following you need to stay in it for the long haul.

I also share my experience writing this book and some of the decisions we made working with NEWTYPE Publishing. I took part in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers Month, and that extra accountability allowed me to hit my goal by putting in steady work, page by page and day by day.

I wrote Superfans because I believe it’s the best advice I can possibly give you about anything you want to succeed in. I really want you to spend some time with it. To make that easier, we’re making you a special offer. If you pre-order Superfans before August 13th and go to, you can submit the receipt to get the audiobook for free. I know you’ll love this book as much as I’ve loved writing it, so don’t miss out.

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Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 1074 of AskPat 2.0. This is a podcast where, normally, we do a coaching session where I bring on an entrepreneur just like you. If you’d like to get coached like the several others have here on the show before, all you have to do is go to and you can fill out that application there. I might select you for a future episode. But today’s episode’s a little bit different. Why? Because we are getting ready for the launch of my brand new book, Superfans, which is coming out later in August of this year. August 13th, to be exact, which is a little bit of a ways off. But I wanted to, first of all, do a couple things. Number one, answer a bunch of questions that a number of you have had and have asked me and answer them for you. Secondly, to let you know that if you pre-order the book before August 13th, you’ll actually get the audiobook for free on launch day. So we’re collecting pre-orders now, and it’s available via Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon, of course. No matter where you pre-order it, if you go to and you submit your receipt there, that’s where you can get the audiobook sent to you when the launch date is. Which is, again, August 13th. Thank you to everybody who has already helped support. If you haven’t submitted your receipt yet, all you have to do is go to

Really excited about the book launch. For those of you who don’t know what this book is about, it’s called Superfans. The idea behind it is to help you build superfans in your business. There was a very famous article by a man named Kevin Kelly written back in, I think, 2006 or 2007, which was very instrumental to me when I started my business because it helped me realize that I didn’t have to create a blockbuster hit to do some amazing thing and build a very successful online business that could help support the life that I wanted. Whether you are a musician, an artist, an entertainer, an entrepreneur, creator of any type, you don’t need a million fans. You just need a thousand. The thousand’s important because it really brings perspective into what we do and how big we need to bring it to and how simple it is and how easy it is to grasp this idea of building something successful.

Imagine you had a thousand true fans, and those were the people who, if you’re a musician, they’ll drive eight hours to see you just because they love your music. Or if you’re an artist, they’re there at every auction to buy your stuff, or if you’re a creator, like a YouTube creator, they’re there to watch every single video. They’re going to comment on every single one. If you are a podcaster, they’re going to listen to every show, but not only that, they’re going to share it with everybody they know. That’s what a true fan is. If you had a thousand of them, and if they were only paying you, let’s say, for example, a hundred dollars a year, just a hundred dollars a year. That’s less than ten dollars a month. That is less than most people pay for stuff that they don’t even use. That’s a hundred thousand dollars, a thousand people times a hundred dollars a year. That’s your six-figure business. It just shows you, you don’t need to have, like Kevin Kelly says, that blockbuster hit, which is why I’ve been able to build a successful business in the LEED exam space.

What is a LEED exam? That’s the first architecture website and online business that I ever had. It was to help people pass that exam. Most people don’t know about it, but you know what? For the people who do, they will do anything to help themselves pass that exam. That’s what I built, a successful business to create a study guide and affiliate marketing for practice exams and those sorts of things. It did very well. Within a year after monetizing that website, we made over $203,000 on that website, and I did have my very first fan on that website. Yes, a fan from a website that teaches people how to pass an exam. The crazy part about this is this fan, she not only sent me a message asking me out to go to dinner because she was just so thankful that I helped her pass this exam and it helped to support her family, it helped her get a raise, all this stuff. Her name was Jackie. The other cool thing about this was that she said she was going to share my course with everybody in her firm. People say that kind of stuff all the time, but man, she went above and beyond. I saw thirty, forty, fifty new customers come in quite shortly after that because she convinced everybody in her office, including her boss, that I was the real deal and they needed to get my guide. She could have easily just shared her guide that she purchased herself and shared it with her coworkers, but no. She wanted to make sure I got credit for it, and it was amazing. I’m very thankful to Jackie.

That really inspired me as I created Smart Passive Income and the Smart Passive Income podcast and the AskPat podcast to do what I can to help build superfans here. Even if you’re not a superfan yet, hopefully, you’re getting value from a lot of what you’re hearing here. Of course, hey, by the way, the audiobook, you’re probably into audio if you’re listening to this. If you want to get the audiobook for Superfans for free, all you have to do is pre-order Superfans, go to, and that’s where you can submit your receipt. Thank you ahead of time for those of you who have already done that. Alright. Back to our regular show. Just got to keep plugging that in there every once in a while for you. I don’t normally do that, but hey, I’ve been working hard on this book, putting my heart, time, soul, money into it, and I’m very excited to get it into your hands because it’s literally going to teach you the how-to for Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” essay. He’s the more inspirational. That’s the theory behind it. This is the how-to.

From the moment people come across you, whether it’s on social media, on your website, your podcast, your video for the first time, it’s all about creating that trigger moment where they go, “Whoa! I like this person,” or, “Whoa! I need more of this in my life.” To go from there to, “Wow. Now I want to be a part of this community,” and then a number of things you can do to help that person become a superfan. That’s what Superfans is going to help you do.

It’s something that I think every business should pay attention to, no matter what size right now, because social media’s becoming awkward. Right? We’re not able to reach as many people as we’d like, as we had hoped. People say they want to follow us, but they don’t still see our stuff. It happens on YouTube as well, but when you have superfans, they will go out of their way to make sure you are in your life, even if the algorithms get in the way. They’re going to defend you from trolls, if the trolls pop up in your business world, and they will market for you for days without you even asking, without you even having to pay them. It’s just the most amazing thing. You don’t need a lot of superfans to do some really amazing things. I even had a student of mine, Phil, who took my podcasting course, who got his first taste of superfans after creating his podcast because he was able to make a connection with all the other people in the scanner space. Scanners like those radios that you can scan and listen to the radio and police signals and things like that. He started a podcast called Scanner School. Great job, Phil. He sent a message in the Facebook student center about just how weird it was and how incredible it was to have people come to every livestream that he put together, to comment on every single podcast episode on Twitter and on Instagram, and follow him everywhere. It’s just awesome. I’m just proud of Phil.

I know anybody can do this. I think it’s every businesses job to build superfans because the by-product of that is an amazing brand that creates experiences that are unmatched for that person. You can become somebody’s favorite. That’s what this is about. How do you become somebody’s favorite? That answers my first question about Superfans, which is, “What is Superfans about?” But the other questions I have about it are, “Why are you self-publishing this book instead of traditionally publishing this book?”

The truth is, we’re kind of doing a hybrid model. We’re not traditionally publishing it. It is self-published, technically. However, we’re using a company to help support the publishing of this, meaning it’s not CreateSpace again. CreateSpace is run with Amazon where—and this is with Will It Fly?, and Will It Fly? still is this—when you order it, Amazon then prints it and sends it to you. In this case, we’re working with a company called NEWTYPE Publishing, which we’re really excited about because it’s kind of like traditional in the model that they’re going to help with distribution. That’s why the book is available, even though it’s self-published, on Target and it’ll be available at some airports, as well, after it comes out and even Barnes and Noble and, of course, definitely Amazon. But the royalties are mostly ours. There’s a 75/25 split versus just like a ridiculous, very heavily favored toward publishers in the traditional model where you might be getting paid ten cents per book. We’re definitely going to be getting paid more for that, but we also have full reigns over the creative, the cover, what’s inside the book, how it works in the rest of my business. We don’t have to worry about a traditional publisher, mostly from the old school world of publishing, who think things have to be a certain way when we all know things are changing.

In this case, with NEWTYPE Publishing, again, Ryan over there’s been amazing. We have a lot of control, but he’s also helping with distribution. We’re also printing them out ourselves. There’s a little bit of a gamble, it feels like. With CreateSpace, it’s print on demand, so once a person orders it, it gets printed and sent, so we don’t have to worry about inventory. In this new way with NEWTYPE Publishing, we are definitely going to be printing over ten thousand copies, based on our numbers and estimates and hopefully selling out of those. Hopefully, you can help with that. Again, It’s just really exciting, so we’ll see what happens.

Another question I had recently was, “What are your goals with Superfans?” Superfans is a book that was written primarily just to help you, honestly, because there are many other kinds of books that I could be writing in my business right now that would help support the more money-making opportunities that I have, such as with the podcasting stuff, the affiliate marketing stuff, a lot more of the tactical online business monetization-related things. Superfans, however, is really important to me because it really is the number one way that I’ve been able to grow and sustain my business. If you want to talk about future-proofing your business, this is the way to go about it, to build those superfans who are going to follow you no matter what technology there is or isn’t. If Facebook goes away, hey, they’re still there. That’s really important to me. It doesn’t really inject itself well into my business as well as, for example, Will It Fly? did, but it’s a book . . .

This isn’t about me. I think sometimes it’s very obvious that a book is published because it’s supposed to do one thing and then do another thing and then sell you into this thing and then sell you into this thing. There is a companion course that goes along with this, but it’s absolutely free. Hopefully, you can gauge that I’m in this for the right reasons, and I hope that you agree with that. I hope after you read it, you will see that there’s a lot of great stories in there and a lot of great advice to help you build your business and take it to the next stratosphere so that you can build that brand that will be future-proof and kind of grow itself after a certain point. It does take work though. Building superfans does not happen overnight. It’s something that takes a lot of work and effort and time, but that’s what separates the businesses that succeed and the ones that do not. Obviously, the ones who pay more attention to the experiences that they offer their communities.

Then the final question I have related to Superfans is this: the question was, how did I write Superfans? Because I’ve got a lot of things going on. The AskPat Podcast, the Smart Passive Income Podcast, the blog, obviously, the email list that we’re taking care of, all the social media channels. We’re putting together FlynnCon1 this year. We are also doing the SwitchPod. There’s some other things going on as well. How in the world are we able to also produce a book on top of this and even write it? Because writing it is one of the hardest parts, to sit down and find time. Honestly, that’s what I had to do. Back in November of 2018, many of you may remember that on social media I was doing a daily writing exercise, tracking how many words I could write per day for thirty days.

In November, there is a thing called NaNoWriMo. It’s short for National Novel Writers Month. That is a yearly event that happens that challenges writers and authors of all kinds to put together a fifty-thousand-page book and see if they can do that. I wrote every single day in November, and it did spill over into December. I didn’t finish the book in November, but I did write every day. I held myself accountable. I kept track of my words on an Excel sheet and shared that on my social media platforms every day. Eventually, guess what? I got it done. Really, when it comes to producing anything as big as a book—because a book, trust me, is a big, tall order and I remember with Will It Fly?, I struggled for years trying to get that thing going. This one was a little bit easier once I sat down and started writing it myself because I used this challenge to hold me accountable and get started. There was a start date and a finish date, which I didn’t end up finishing on November 30th, but hey, I got most of the way through, so I obviously had to keep going. Secondly, the accountability. Third, just that commitment. That’s the most important thing, that commitment. That’s the answer.

That commitment to you is always going to be there. I’m committed to you, and I’m committed to helping you. I want to thank you again for being here on AskPat and for listening to a different kind of episode here while I very honestly pitch Superfans to you. I really truly hope that you go forward and download or get that book right now. If you go to, you can click “step one” to go and get that book and pre-order it before August 13th. Step two, you can submit your receipt at and fill out the quick Typeform there so we can have your name and email so we can send you the audiobook for free when it comes out.

The audiobook, usually, is more expensive than the hardcover and paperback books as well, depending on the length of it. This is not a short book. It’s not a super long one either, but it’s about average for a business-type book. I promise you it’s going to be a quick read, especially because there’s a lot of great stories, and the way it’s structured, it’s going to help you. I promise you I really hope you take advantage of this offer right now. So,

Thank you to everybody. I appreciate you. If you want to get coached just like not today, but in all the previous episodes and all the upcoming ones, all you have to do is go to and I might select you., fill out that application there. Again, one more time, Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me. We’ll see what happens, but Will It Fly? became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. We’ll see what happens here, but you’re all part of this with me, Team Flynn. This is our book, and this is really a testament to you, the superfans and fans of SPI and AskPat who have helped support me along the way. This is the how to do that because I want you to do the same thing because you can. Cheers. Take care. I’ll see you in the next episode. Team Flynn for the win.

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