2018 has been an amazing year for SPI, and I’ve had a blast digging deep across the board, whether that’s on the blog, the podcasts, or YouTube. For today’s post, I decided to challenge myself a little bit by selecting the top five pieces of SPI content from each category. It was a daunting task—there were over fifty episodes of the SPI Podcast this year alone—but I was able to distill each category down to five videos, podcasts, and blog posts.
It’s not that I didn’t have a total blast creating the hundreds of other episodes, posts, and videos, because I did. I just don’t want you to miss out on this hard-hitting stuff before 2019 really gets underway. So keep reading below for my favorite top five SPI sessions, AskPat episodes, YouTube videos, and blog posts from 2018. Let’s get ready to crush it in 2019. You rock!
My Top 5 SPI Podcast Sessions of 2018
Man, it’s been an awesome year for The Smart Passive Income Podcast. The show grew to over 52 million downloads this year, but numbers aside, we had some amazing guests come on the show this year: authors, successful entrepreneurs, and new entrepreneurs getting started with a bang, to name a few. I was inspired, challenged, and lifted up, and I know you were too. Here are my five favorite sessions from 2018:
#1: SPI 299: The Humble Beginnings of Hmong Baby
Session 299 kicked off 2018 with an impactful and inspiring episode about a couple—Mykou and Touger Thao—who started a business together. One of the reasons why their business is so inspiring is the mission behind it: Preserving a culture. They founded Hmong Baby, after several unsuccessful ventures, to help preserve the Hmong Culture through childhood education, and the results are amazing. Enjoy!
#2: SPI 309: How to Create a Marketing Funnel That Works (with Molly Pittman)
Understanding your customer’s journey is fundamental, from the minute they find you to a purchasing decision. The way to design that journey is through funnels, and I knew when I hired Molly Pittman that it was going to change my business forever. She came onto the podcast to talk about strategies for the customer journey, how to implement them in your business, and how to keep them simple so you’re not overwhelmed. If you don’t have a funnel strategy in your business yet, now’s the time, and this podcast is a great place to start.
#3: SPI 317: Make Money with Your Skills—Creating Awesome with Roberto Blake
This was the second most downloaded session of 2018, with over 100,000 downloads! It’s pretty obvious why: It featured the truly awesome Roberto Blake, founder of Awesome Creator Academy and Create Awesome Media, and it was all about how to create a personal brand. Using my own story to create an experimental scenario, I asked Roberto what he would have said to me, way back in 2008 when I was laid off from my job, about creating a personal brand. This is an awesome episode, whether you’ve already started building your brand or not.
#4: SPI 325: How to Be an Amazing Coach with Michael Bungay Stanier
My top business book of the year in 2017 was the Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier. I finally got to chat with him in Session 325! When you think about it, everyone’s a coach; if you are helping anyone else in any sort of way, you are a coach. But the thing is, you aren’t supposed to just tell someone what to do. If you want to be a great coach you have to listen and ask the right questions. Honestly, this is probably the most useful book I’ve ever read. There’s so much great actionable content in this episode, so take a listen and order a copy of the book if you haven’t read it yet. It will change your life. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
#5: SPI 337: The Riches Are in the Niches—The Advantage of SMALL
This was easily the most downloaded solo episode of 2018, but it was also one of the most responded to episodes of 2018, period. I wanted to motivate the listeners out there who are hesitant to really dig in and get started, and I did that by highlighting a huge advantage they have: The fact that they are just starting. In this episode I walk you through the five major advantages you have by being small and niche—press play and get fired up!
My Top 5 AskPat 2.0 Episodes of 2018
This year I launched AskPat 2.0, where I reformatted the show into a one-on-one coaching call. Hundreds of thousands of listeners tuned in and took some critical lessons home for their own businesses. I even had some of those guests back on the show later in the year on follow-up episodes, and the results were amazing. The new format has served so many entrepreneurs, guests and listeners alike, and I’m so thankful that I get to keep doing it in 2019! Here are my top five favorite episodes of AskPat 2.0 from 2018:
#1: AskPat 1011: How Can I Use Superfans to Grow My Online Business?
Rodney Holder is a music business coach who used to play drums with heavy metal bands all over the world. He had an awesome career, but now he has two kids so he came onto AskPat 2.0 because he wants to find a more ideal lifestyle through online business. Rodney had a lot of questions about how to approach and grow his online business through his superfans, so I walked him through a handful of strategies for online courses, membership sites, affiliate marketing, customer funnels . . . this coaching session is packed with useful takeaways, so don’t miss it!
#2: AskPat 1014: How Do I Upgrade My Site and Serve My Audience Better?
Stephen Pasquini came onto the show because he wanted to serve his audience better. He helps Physician Assistants and is the go-to resource in his niche, but was having a little trouble on the technical side. I worked with him in this coaching call to help him upgrade his membership site and content, pinpoint some of his fears about moving forward, and outline strategies for better serving his audience. There are some great mindset-related exercises in here as well. And you can hear how everything went after that, because I had Stephen back on the show in Episode 1043 to follow up!
#3: AskPat 1018: Why Didn’t Our First Launch Go Well?
This was an interesting episode because I actually coached two entrepreneurs, business partners Michael Allen and Ri’keam Kenebrew, through a debrief from their recent course launch. They run a service-based music video production business that they had recently expanded online. They developed a course teaching people how to create their own music videos. They validated and even pre-sold their product, but the launch didn’t go well, so I helped them evaluate the launch and coached them through some strategies for the future. If you ever plan to launch an online course, I highly recommend this episode.
#4: AskPat 1022: How Do I Sell but Still Help People for Free?
Walid Azami is a super-successful photographer who wanted to create ways to help other photographers, too. He turned to online business to make that a reality but was having some trouble with the idea of monetizing; he still wanted to help his audience for free. He had two unpublished ebooks as well, at the time. In this call I helped Walid develop a game plan for future online courses, personal coaching, and more. The transformation was huge—which is why I had him back on in Episode 1044. Which brings me to #5 . . .
#5: AskPat 1044: Where Are They Now? Walid Azami (From AP 1022)
Walid was pretty reluctant to sell in Episode 1022. He didn’t know what exactly to sell or how to price it, and he wanted to make sure he was still providing as much value as possible for members of his audience who might not be able to pay for help. The transformation between the last episode and this one is obvious right off the bat. Walid launched both his ebooks in the meantime, so he relays how that went and we talk over some next steps and future strategies. I highly recommending listening to 1022 and 1044 back-to-back: Transformation can happen so quickly once you get in motion, and that’s a powerful lesson. Enjoy!
My 5 Favorite Videos from My YouTube Channel in 2018
As many of you know, I really dug deep on YouTube this year, posting at least one video every week and growing my subscribers to 160k. I had so much fun creating every video I published this year, from my “Tactics in a Tesla” series, to tutorials, to videos on how to get started. It’s been a blast, and the growth I’ve seen this year has been phenomenal. Since January, I’ve gone from 100k to 300k monthly views, and from 4k subscribers per month to just about 8k each month. I can’t wait to create more awesome videos for you in 2019, but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on my favorite five videos from 2018 either. Here they are:
#1: How to Make Passive Income Online (3 Legit Models From Someone Who Made $5+ Million Online)
This video has been the cornerstone of my YouTube strategy this year—it’s the first video you see when you visit YouTube.com/patflynn, and it’s quickly approaching one million views—super exciting! I have it featured on my YouTube page because it’s the perfect starting point for anyone looking to make passive income online. The fact that it has three options was intentional: I didn’t want to just say “here’s how to do it” to any newcomers. I wanted them to know that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to online business. Anyway, if you’re looking to get started with online business yourself, or maybe you know someone else who’s been toying with the idea, this is where you start.
#2: Content Creation (5 “Sniper” Tools for Creating Winning Content)
I had such a blast with this one. I took the “sniper” motif in the title and kind of ran with it using a Nerf gun—the audience loved it! The video walks you through five super awesome tools that I use to find out what my audience wants to know, which allows me to create amazing, targeted content as a result. Honing in on what your audience really needs and wants to know is super crucial in entrepreneurship. This video will help you do that.
#3: How to Start a Podcast (2018 Tutorial) ? Equipment & Software
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am a huge advocate of the power of podcasting. I’ve created premium courses on the topic—Power-Up Podcasting, plus Amp’d-Up Podcasting, which opens in February—as well as HowtoStartaPodcast.com, my free three-day mini course. Well, podcasting videos took off on my YouTube channel this year, and this one is the first in my how-to tutorial, with over 200k plays!
#4: What REALLY Happened to My Income Reports
I get asked a lot of questions, and by far the most asked question of 2018 was this: “What the heck happened to your income reports?” My income reports were a regular staple of my content for a long time, and the decision to stop doing them was not easy. In this video I explain my decision, and what my plans are moving forward.
#5: THE MILLION DOLLAR TWEET ???
You might be kind of surprised to see this one on the list, because it didn’t get a ton of views (just about 7k). Regardless, I’m super proud of the way it was shot and the message behind it. In March of this year, Nathan Barry, founder of ConvertKit, tweeted that the company had hit $1 million in MRR, which is massive! But the most important part of Nathan’s announcement was the follow up series of tweets thanking specific people that have helped the company get to where it’s at today. It’s actually one of the most valuable tweets I’ve seen, and I decided to dissect it in this video so that you can follow Nathan’s lead in building your own company. Super cool. Add this one to your watchlist if you haven’t seen it yet. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
My 5 Favorite Blog Posts of 2018
This year on the blog, a major strategy was to actually go back to older posts and update them. Obviously there are a lot of older posts which have valuable content, but in the fast-changing online business environment, tools and tactics change quickly. So I wanted to make sure this valuable content is as up-to-date as possible and give you my latest thoughts and advice. Here’s a mix of my five favorite posts that were published on the blog in 2018, just in case you didn’t see them:
#1: Five Truths About the Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur
If there’s one make-or-break quality I’ve discovered about entrepreneurs, it’s gotta be mindset. In my time as an entrepreneur—over ten years now—I’ve seen people start businesses from scratch, and I’ve even seen successful entrepreneurs start all over again. Regardless of where you are in your own entrepreneurial journey, mindset is everything. This post goes over the five biggest lessons I’ve learned about the entrepreneurial mindset.
#2: How to Create and Sell an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide
When I finally decided to start creating online courses for my audience, it completely changed my life. I wanted to pass that life-changing experience on to others, which is why I decided to create this Ultimate Guide post. It covers three key principles and ten practical steps, aiming to get you well on your way to amazing, profitable courses that change the lives of your students.
#3: How to Plan Anything (So You Actually Get It Done)
The key to GSD (getting stuff done) is planning it, and that’s what this post dives into. I know that my readers plan all kinds of things—online courses, book launches, you name it—so I wanted to create a formula that could be broadly applied (hence the “Anything” in “How to Plan Anything”). The result was my PAT formula, and yes, it involves Post-it Notes (big fan). Whether you’re planning the outline of your next podcast episode or a new book, this post can help you make it happen.
#4: Top 10 Podcast Recording Tips to Sound Like a Podcasting Pro
This post was just one of the updated posts my team and I worked on this year. We did a top-to-bottom sweep of the entire post, checking for outdated equipment, adding extra strategies and tactics, and basically renovating the whole post for 2018 and beyond. Podcasting is about way more than just hitting record and talking, and the quality of your finished recordings can have a major impact on whether or not listeners come back for more. This post will help you ensure that your podcast sounds crisp, professional, and engaging.
#5: How to Start Freelancing (And Get Your FIRST Client!)
I’ll start out by saying that this post was one of the most underrated of 2018, but it’s a critical how-to that can help you get started in the world of online entrepreneurship. I wrote this piece in response to you, the SPI Community, where I was getting a lot of questions about how to freelance. It’s a good question, because freelancing is the number one way to start making money online. You just need one client to get the ball rolling, and this post is all about teaching you how to do exactly that.
I’m stoked to have created over 200 pieces of content this past year to serve you with, and I hope some of this content has been helpful to you! There’s going to be more coming at you in 2019, so stay posted. I can’t wait!