Welcome to my October 2017 Monthly Income Report! It’s been a busy but extremely enjoyable month. I’m happy to share what I’ve been up to, and how the businesses have been progressing. As always, I share all of the ins and outs of my business so that you can get motivated, and learn from both my wins and my failures. Some months are up, others are down, but there are always lessons to be learned, which I’m happy to pass on to you.
Beyond that, I also love to share what’s coming next, and with the year coming to an end very soon, team SPI and I have been putting a lot of effort into what’s coming in 2018. So, without further delay, let’s get right to it!
Important Goings-On in October
In October, I did more traveling than I had ever done in my whole life.
Before I even get started, I just have to say, I’m so thankful to have an an amazingly supportive wife at home. April basically works overtime when I leave to speak at conferences, and with how hard it is to be a stay-at-home mom, I definitely can understand how much more challenging I make it for her when I leave. She’s always been 100 percent supportive and never makes me feel bad for leaving. For that, I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world.
So, where was I off to first?
On October 11, I traveled to Los Angeles for VidSummit, a conference run in the video and content creator space by a man named Darrel Eves. It was just a couple of hours north of San Diego where I live, so it was a fairly easy and convenient conference to get to.
VidSummit was unique, however, in that I did not come to teach. I specifically came to learn, since YouTube and video creation is going to be a large part of the strategy moving forward into 2018.
I attended several sessions. And beyond that, I met so many friendly and super talented creators. It was awesome. I was thankful to have the opportunities to learn more about them, their stories, and their amazing journey into YouTube. Several of them own channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and some even with millions.
From Roberto Blake, Owen Hemsath, Jeremy Vest, Rob Sandie, Shonduras, Dan Lok, Judy & Benjo Travis, Sean Cannell, and many more.
I even ran into a number of my friends at the conference, such as Caleb Wojcik, Michael Stelzner, Luria Petrucci, Richie Norton (from SPI Podcast Session 270), Gary Vaynerchuk, and also several SPI fans. It was a ton of fun, and I learned a whole bunch about the YouTube space and strategies for performing well on the platform.
I started my SPI YouTube Channel a long time ago, back in 2009, and initially it did very well. As soon as podcasting was added to the equation, I put all of my focus into that and sort of just let the YouTube channel sit there. Well, over the years, the views declined, and although I had about 60k subscribers, new videos were only getting 1-2k views, at most.
Consistency, I’ve found, is very important, because like many of these other platforms where we post content, algorithms can make or break your views and engagement.
Beyond that, I also learned that watch time and session time are some of the most important metrics to pay attention to when it comes to YouTube favoring or highlighting your videos. The longer you can keep people watching your videos (total minutes watched, not percentage of videos watched), and the more you can keep viewers on YouTube itself after your video is over, the greater rewards. If you can have that approach, your videos will be better off than most of the videos that are uploaded to YouTube each day.
At VidSummit, I also attended an hour-long session that was specifically related to the thumbnails of your videos. The thumbnail, I’ve found, is one of the most important aspects of your video because it’s what people see before they click. In this crowded space, it’s easy to get lost. But if you put an effort into it, it can also be easy to get noticed.
It was a very successful trip, and I did manage to film quite a bit while I was there. Those will be posted soon on my YouTube Channel, so make sure to click here to subscribe if you haven’t already!
Also, big shout out to Derral Eves, the man who put on this amazing event. It was absolutely well done. I had an amazing experience, and I’d love to be back again in 2018!
Make sure you check out Derral’s YouTube Channel here—it’s full of info for those of you looking to make an impact in the world of YouTube. He’s the guy to follow!
As an official advisor to LeadPages, Converted 2017 is a conference (run by the LeadPages team) that I look forward to speaking at each and every year.
It’s held in Minneapolis, MN, and over the years I’ve had my fair share of COLD. I’m from San Diego, CA so I’ve become very spoiled when it comes to weather. This time, however, the weather was absolutely perfect, so I knew it was going to be a good trip.
And it was.
I flew in on Tuesday October 17, and set to speak the next morning. As always, I went straight from the airport to the hotel to begin rehearsing, like I always do before I speak. I always like to put in some final, last-minute improvements to my presentations.
The next morning, I woke up, went to soundcheck, and got “in the zone,” which is where I begin my breathing exercises and start pacing up and down the back area running through the first few minutes of the presentation in my head. To me, those first few minutes are the most important. If I can get past the first few minutes, the rest sort of takes care of itself on autopilot.
Then, at 9 a.m., Clay Collins, co-founder of LeadPages, introduced and invited me onto the stage.
I was a little nervous about this presentation specifically because I was testing a lot of brand new material I hadn’t offered to live audiences before. I was interested in how the crowd would react to certain stories I was going to tell, because depending on how it’s received, I can use those stories in presentations in the future, including webinars and other places where I’m in front of an audience.
Well, it went off without a hitch, and I’m thankful that I had such a welcoming audience to enjoy my talk. Thank you to everyone who was there. It was awesome!
With this conference in particular, I get a little competitive. Each year there’s a survey for the attendees and one of the questions is who their favorite speaker is. Since the conference started three years ago, I’ve been voted best speaker each time, so I wanted to make sure I delivered for LeadPages and the audience like I had done in the past.
I haven’t heard anything back yet, either way, but Clay promised me he’d let me know once he finds out. Hehe!
Another significant moment of the trip was when I met with the new CEO of LeadPages, John Tedesco. Clay stepped down as CEO recently to focus on some other projects of his, and John stepped in with a ton of professional experience to help the company grow even more than it has. He was super friendly, and I’m excited to work with him into the future to help the company grow.
It was just two days in Minneapolis, but a lot was accomplished. The night after my presentation, I met with a lot of Team Flynn who was in town for a planning session, and we had some BBQ and played some games to bond even more. For many team members, it was their first time meeting each other in person, which was great!
The morning after, I held a meet-up at a local co-working space for about 30-35 entrepreneurs and SPI fans who were in the area. I had a blast! It was so great to share some insights on what’s coming into the world of SPI next year, gain some feedback on that, and also answer as many questions as I could for a couple of hours. I always love meeting SPI fans when I travel. It doesn’t always happen, but I love to get everyone together to meet each other if possible. I know a lot of new friendships were made that day.
Thanks to everyone who came out!
Success Incubator and FINCON17
After a few days at home with the family, it was time for another trip the week after. On Monday, October 23, I made my way to Dallas, TX to visit some friends over at the Success Incubator Conference (Formerly known as Digi-colab), and FINCON!
Although this was the longest trip of the month out of all of my travels (four days), it went by so fast—partly because I was so busy, partly because I had a lot of fun!
At Success Incubator, I spoke in front of an audience of about sixty highly enthusiastic entrepreneurs and taught them how to use an editorial calendar to plan not just their blog content, but also their launches, and how planning launches actually influence what the blog content should be about.
After the talk, I heard some rave reviews of my presentation, and saw about a dozen people in the audience start to fill out their editorial calendars for the next year of content. It was great to see them take action right then and there!
I also sat in on a number of great presentations from people like Darren Rowse (Problogger), Steve Chou (MyWifeQuitHerJob.com), Leslie Samuel (Become a Blogger), and several more. Although I came to speak, I actually learned quite a bit while I was there. One extremely helpful thing I learned came thanks to Steve Chou, who opened up the backend of his business and shared his exact email funnel strategy. The one thing I learned was that I needed to simplify, and not think too hard about some of these things.
As a result, I had a chat with my team the next day, and I actually hired someone to help me define my funnels a little better. Now that there are a ton of lead magnets and courses in my business, I need to put the puzzle together a little better—and, like I said, make things a little easier.
The next morning, Success Incubator continued. But this time, instead of presentations, there were roundtable mastermind sessions. I sat with eight other entrepreneurs in a roundtable and we each had a turn for thirty minutes to share something we need help with. I got a lot of tremendous feedback, specifically about my upcoming affiliate marketing course, and how to best promote that for the segments of my audience I’ve already built.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, I have an affiliate marketing course coming out this month on Cyber Monday. It’ll be a 72-hour limited beta launch only available to the first 500 students who sign up, so click here to get on the waitlist now so you can be one of the first to be notified!
FINCON, a four-date event, started the next day, but I only planned to attend the first day knowing I had more travel coming up during the month, I wanted to get back home and provide support for April and relieve her from the kids for a while. Even though I was there for only a day, it was a ton of fun.
First up, basketball. That’s right. Traditionally, FINCON starts off with a friendly basketball game between attendees. It’s a pick-up game, so nothing formal, but for the past two years we’ve had about twenty to twenty-five friends come out to play. This year, we played at a local college gym, so the venue was the best we’d ever had. Best of all, we had about fifty-five basketball players show up this year!
And boy, some of them got game. I held my own, especially as one of the shorter guys there, but everyone won because no one got hurt, and we came away with some great memories.
The next morning, I had a panel scheduled with Grant Baldwin, a good friend who teaches people how to become great speakers. This panel, however, was unlike anything I’ve ever participated in before. Grant and I, as seasoned speakers, found a guinea pig to present an upcoming talk in front of us (and the viewing audience) so that we could interrupt the presentation to better improve it as it went along.
It was purely experimental, and I have to thank Erin Chase from 5dollardinners.com for being such a courageous presenter!
As Erin began her presentation, Grant and I watched from the side with a microphone and got very nit-picky with what she was doing. We talked about her storytelling, how she moved, the pauses she took, how she integrated with the audience, and a whole lot more. Afterward, the attendees in the audience told us it was one of the coolest and most informative panels they had ever seen! Win!
Nice job, Grant! And thanks again, Erin!
@5dollardinners having the peanut gallery of @PatFlynn @grantbaldwin break her ignite talk down #superbrave #magicalinsights #fincon17 pic.twitter.com/ZvligQ1QuO
— Peita Diamantidis (@PeitaD) October 26, 2017
The final part of October was spent focused on two things:
- Halloween with the family (one of our favorite holidays), which includes watching The Nightmare Before Christmas at least a dozen times. The kids know the tunes better than I do. It’s awesome!
- Preparing for the biggest presentation of my life.
I was invited months ago to speak at a conference in Nashville, TN called Business Boutique, a Dave Ramsey-affiliated event hosted by Christy Wright of BusinessBoutique.com. I didn’t realize how big the conference was until Christy had me on her podcast, and I started to receive dozens of messages from future attendees telling me how excited they were to hear me speak.
That never happens; especially at that scale.
I learned about a couple of friends who spoke at the event the year before, and they said it was one of the most well-produced and biggest presentations ever. But when I finally found out there were going to be 3,000 people there, I nearly fainted!
Truth. I still get scared before I speak, but I do it anyway because it’s fun once I’m up there, and the impact I can make on a person’s life while on stage is unlike anything else. But, catch me right before, and I’m basically dry heaving backstage. LOL. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you!
But 3,000 people, that’s four times the biggest audience I had ever spoken in front of before, and for the Dave Ramsey team too! I needed to make a great impression on this crowd, which I think added to the pressure I had leading up to my presentation.
The event didn’t happen until early November, so I’ll save the details of what happened while I was there for next month’s report, but I did bring a camera crew with me to capture the moment, and here’s an Instagram post showing you a bit about that nervousness in action:
So, the end of October’s work consisted of me focusing on Business Boutique, and the two presentations I had to give. One was a breakout session about creating content that crushes the competition, and the other was about the proven path to passive income. Topics I know a lot about, obviously, but also I wanted to knock it out of the park while I was there.
Lots of late night rehearsals, slide tweaks, and pretending to speak in front of people in my home office. All worth it, because that’s how you get better!
I also brought a film crew with me to capture the moments in Nashville. So, like I said, look out for next month’s report where those videos will be. And if you want to catch them as soon as they come up, subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Build Your Own Brand
Among all of the hectic travel, my team and I were still hard at work producing content for you. Beyond the normal blog and podcast content, I published a new course!
It’s a free course called Build Your Own Brand (BYOB for short), all about helping you define your brand position, build your website, plan your website’s content, and finally make your mark on the internet! If you haven’t yet taken the course, it’s open, so feel free to get access to it now—it’s a full-on, highly-produced course within the Teachable platform.
The reason it’s free is two-fold:
- I’ve already produced two premium courses during the year: Smart from Scratch, and Power-Up Podcasting®. I felt it was time for an incredibly valuable free course within the brand to bring new people into the SPI ecosystem.
- It perfectly fits into the already existing structure of what else is being offered.
For example, for those who validate their business idea using Smart from Scratch, they are likely ready to build a website, and BYOB is there for them. Since it’s in the same Teachable platform, their username and login is already in the system and it’s a simple one-click unlock to get free access to it. The same with Power-Up Podcasting. Podcasters need websites, and now there’s a step-by-step walkthrough to help them make it happen, for free.
And it works the other way around too. Those who get into BYOB, maybe they’re looking to start a podcast, in which case it’s an easy offer to get into Power-Up Podcasting from there. And the Affiliate Marketing Course (1·2·3 Affiliate Marketing) coming out later this month will be a great continuation from the BYOB course.
In addition to all of that, there are affiliate opportunities within BYOB. For starting a website, and for those who choose to follow my advice and start an email list too, offerings for hosting packages, and email service providers are mentioned as well.
Already, the results of BYOB have been amazing. With over 5,300 students enrolled, the daily emails that are coming in with people’s wins and new websites are the best part. Here’s an email I got the other day that really made me happy:
It’s easy to go through, and crafted with love, so if you haven’t yet built your website because you just don’t know what to do, now you’ve got a free resource to go and make it happen!
Click here to get free access to the Build Your Own Brand course!
In other news, a fun one to share with you. The name of my course, Power Up Podcasting®, is now a registered trademark!
It’s not really for marketing purposes, but rather more for protection purposes. Now that I’m finally building my own products and courses (versus affiliate marketing, which I’ve been doing for years), I want to make sure I do my best to protect these assets I’m building for business and my future. Registered trademarks are just one part of that puzzle, but an important one.
The worry up front was that no parts of the mark are very specific. It could have been rejected because “Power Up” doesn’t really tell much, and “Podcasting” is too general to own. Put them together, it’s all good!
Smart from Scratch was also trademarked, although I never really announced that before.
That’s a ton of info about what happened in October. But, like I said, all good stuff. I have one more trip for the year, a trip to London to support my best friend Chris Ducker and his inaugural Youpreneur Summit. I’m stoked to be giving the closing keynote at the event! Around 350 entrepreneurs from around the world are going to be here, and I’m super proud of my boy for selling the event out and really making it happen. I was there in conversation with him when this was all just an idea!
There’s no better way to end the year of public speaking in my opinion. In fact, the day this income report gets published, I will have just finished my closing keynote the night before! So, if you catch me on Instagram (Instagram.com/PatFlynn) you might find some pictures and stories related to the event.
And yes, I’m bringing a camera to vlog this trip too, so in case you couldn’t make it, I’ll show you what it was like!
Let’s get to the income report for October 2017!
Some of the items in the list below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase through that link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
What I Learned in October
Going back to VidSummit, another key lesson I learned while I was there is “the hook.” That is, when you start a piece of content (whether it’s video content or other content), how quickly you get people committed to finishing that content all the way through before they make the decision to leave (aka “bounce”).
This relates back to increasing watch time and session time, two of the key factors YouTube looks at in their algorithm.
I realized after hearing about the importance of “the hook” over and over again at this conference, that in all of my content—the blog, the podcast, and especially within my existing videos—the hook is something I never really tried to do well. I just sort of started, and would hope that I would set it up nicely so that people would want to continue to read down the page, or listen to more of a podcast episode, or stop themselves from clicking away from watching a video.
In 2018, you’ll notice a significant attempt (hehe, attempt) to get better at hooking the audience to keep you intrigued. I also learned not to bait and switch people either. Meaning, if you create an amazing hook, but don’t close that loop, or deliver on that promise, your audience will actually turn away even harder, and probably never come back.
You need to keep your promises. But, on the other side, I know personally I can do a better job of letting people know what those promises are right away.
And on the other end of this are your open-ended teasers. To keep people going, you need to also let them know what’s coming next. It’s partly how Netflix shows reel us into the next episode as soon as one finishes.
For us, it’s how we can get people to keep reading, watching, and even clicking.
So, I’m going to practice that right now.
This month, Ask Pat Episode 1,000 goes live on Monday, November 20. It’s a special episode of the podcast, not just because it celebrates 1,000 episodes since February 2014, but also because I’m going to announce an important and significant change to the format of the show.
After 1,000 questions answered, this new direction is needed, and it’s going to give me an opportunity to give you even more value down the road, maybe even directly related to you and your business situation.
What is this new change and how will it affect you? Well, you’re going to have to subscribe to the podcast and listen to episode 1,000 when it goes live next week.
To subscribe to AskPat, visit AskPat.com, or click here to subscribe on iTunes.
Thanks so much for your time and attention here in this month’s income report! Wishing you all the best, and here’s to an amazing end of the year!