AskPat 262 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 262 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
If you have listened to the last two episodes this week, you will have noticed that by the end of the episode, I didn't really have a voice left. That's because the last week I lost my voice, and I'm just getting it back. However, today I feel so much better, and I suspect I will be able to last to the end of the episode without coughing in your face. Thank you so much for all of your patience with me getting my voice back. You know, it's hard to lose your voice when you're a podcaster. I'm really glad—I'm glad to be back.
Anyway, today we have a great question from Michelle. Before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. An amazing, super-easy-to-use cloud accounting solution to help you with all of your business finances, and keeping all that stuff organized, especially when it comes around to tax season, and you just need a click of a few buttons to get all the reports you need to give to your CPA, or whoever's taking care of your taxes. Seriously, they have a mobile app that is so easy to use as well. You gotta check them out. Over 5 million users are using FreshBooks.com right now. You can be 5 million and one. You can try it out for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Check it out there.
Thanks so much, and here is today's question from Michelle.
Michelle: Hey, Pat. It's Michelle. Thank you for all that you do. I've learned so much from you, and you have greatly impacted the way that I will do business. I appreciate you. Listen, here's my question. I'm a physician, and want to market some educational courses for other physicians. As you can imagine, that's serious business. I am not so serious; I'm much more laid back. I enjoy medicine, but I also enjoy laughing, and just doing regular stuff, and would like my website to reflect that. I'm wondering, how do I combine the two? I want physicians to have confidence in me and my courses, but I also want to draw them with nonscientific content. I'm wondering: on my website, should I have a menu tab that takes people from my not-so-serious website, to a URL that will offer my educational courses? I'm not sure how to set that up. I'm also concerned about penalties that I would get for back-linking to another site. The final question I have is related to curating content—not copying, but curating content, and the penalties that I might see from Google if I curated content on my website. Thank you for your help. You are awesome.
Pat Flynn: Michelle, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate this, because I feel like a lot of brands could benefit from putting a little more personality, and injecting more of themselves, and some fun into their brand for sure. Now, yes, being a physician and physician education is serious stuff, but it doesn't always have to be serious. I think people can better connect with you if you put some of your personality, and some fun into the learning of it. I mean, I remember doing the same thing for GreenExamAcademy.com, in the content of my ebook, and on my website. I put a little bit of myself in there too; I wasn't afraid to put my picture up on there, and talk about the funny experiences I had while taking that exam, which is what that site was all about. I think you could do the same thing, and do it very, very well. I have some tips for you to help you combine the seriousness, with the fun, and the excitement, and the laidback style that you have, which of course I could relate to, 'cause I'm from California, and all of us, we wear flip flops all day long. Not really, but a lot of us do.
Now, here are some tips to help you combine the seriousness and the fun in what you're about to teach, or what you are teaching to other physicians, which I think is really cool. The first thing, one, number one rule is you want to make sure your content is always helpful. No matter what tone it's in, no matter what, maybe you put jokes in there, whatever. It has to be useful information. If it's not useful, it could be the funniest thing in the world, it's not going to help, and it's not going to do anybody any good; nobody's going to follow you, or spread the word of you and your brand. You want to make sure that the content that you have is always helpful. By far, number one, the most important rule.
Just because it's helpful, doesn't mean it has to be like a college lecture after lunch where everybody falls asleep. It can be fun. The second piece of advice I have for you is to always make sure you put your own voice into it. Just be yourself. It doesn't have to be scholarly like you're at a podium like I said, at a lecture. Just speak. Be yourself. I use words like “awesome,” and “dude,” all the time. Maybe there's a few people out there who are disgusted by that; maybe there's some people out there who just know that's me and don't even pay attention to that anymore. You know, it's awesome because that's who I am, and if people aren't going to resonate with who I am, then I don't want them on my site. I want people to connect with me for who I am, and you want to do the same thing for you. You know what? There's nobody else like you, Michelle. For everybody out there listening, there's nobody else out there like you. You have to use you as your advantage. That's your number one advantage over everybody else in this world. It's the one thing you have over everybody else, and that is you, and your experiences, your voice, and your personality. Put your own voice into it, and it might take time for you when you start to open up a little bit, and be yourself in your content, whether it's blog content, podcast content, video content, or webinars. Some of those other ones, it's a little bit easier to kind of put yourself into it because you're recording yourself, like you're listening to me right now on my podcast, or when you watch my videos. You see my little quirks, and my hairs sticking up. I mean, that's all me, right? When it's just written word, it's a little bit harder.
Another piece of advice I would give you, and this is number three, is pay attention to and be conscious to sites that you resonate with. What do they do that you can really connect with? What sites do you keep coming back to, and why? You might find that they might have a few phrases that they say at the end of a lot of sentences, or have a certain way of delivering content that you can adopt for yourself too. Not to say that you should copy what they do, but just be inspired by the fact that they're doing something that is pulling you in. What could you do something similar to pull other people in as well? For me, I say things like “Cheers” at the end of all my content. I don't know where that came from; that just became who I am online and in my blog content. Now, it's funny: whenever I talk to people over email, I mean, they tend to end with “Cheers,” too, just because that's what I say. Again, like I say “awesome,” and “dude.” That's very SoCal of me, Southern California. People can connect with that. Maybe there's some sayings or things you say that make you unique, that you can inject into your content as well. Again, just paying attention to and being conscious of other sites that you resonate with, and figuring out why so you can adopt that for your own site as well.
Tip number four: this is another great one, is imagine that the people who are taking your courses, or who are consuming your content, imagine when you're creating that content, you're doing that for your best friend. That makes it really comfortable for you as somebody who is putting that content together, but it's also really comfortable for somebody who is absorbing that content as well. That's why in emails, or in blog content, or here on the show you'll hear me being very real, and not being very structured like my English teacher would have wanted me to be. I'm just being me. You'll hear this on a lot of other shows that people can connect with like Tim Ferriss, and Gary Vaynerchuk. I mean, especially Gary Vaynerchuk, you should listen to his show, “Ask Gary V.” You'll just hear how he's just being real, and being the person who is there listening to him is just there in that room with him. That's kind of how you want it to be like. I'll often just put “Dude” at the beginning of a sentence, which I would never do in an English course, and maybe not even do in a public presentation. Although, I do like to inject some of myself, or a lot of myself in a setting like a public speaking setting. I feel like that helps me connect with my audience more, and you can do the same thing for you as well. Again, just imagining those people on the other end as if you were just talking to them for real, at a coffee shop, or just at home with some cheese and wine, and just hanging you. You being there, and being yourself in a comfortable environment, but delivering as much as value as you can.
You know, there might be some times in your content where you might be serious, and you might have to say that to kind of pull away from that joking, sort of lightheartedness of your content, and you can be like, “Hey, guys. Okay. I know I like to have fun, but this right here is really serious. You have to pay attention to this.” That's really cool, because you can really hone in on parts that really are important. Not to say that other stuff you're saying isn't important, but when there's a juxtaposition there between the seriousness and the silliness, not to say that you want to be just cracking jokes all the time. Again, just being yourself. When you can go back and forth, you kind of create this rhythm, and a nice sort of pattern that people can stay engaged with. When you flip from one to the other just like in a public presentation, it reengages people, and it gets them to make sure to pay attention. I know from a public speaking experience, when you sort of switch the tone a little bit, you can actually notice people sort of creep up on their chair a little bit, and raise their necks because you're about to say something that is different than everything else you had just said. Using those sort of things can help you engage with your audience, and just help you deliver better content. I mean, again, going back to rule number one, always make your content awesome, but then always put your voice behind it as well. Again, just be yourself.
Michelle, I hope that answers that particular question. You had a couple other questions, which I'm just going to breeze over. Penalties for back-linking, can you have penalties for … I mean, we've all heard about the penalties in Google, and putting you in the sandbox, and penalizing you, and putting you down on the ranks of Google for doing certain things. By far, again, going back to rule number one, this is a theme that is just constant throughout the world of the internet and online business. Just deliver valuable content. I wouldn't even worry about Google penalizing you. If you're going to link to somebody, make sure it's something useful. I mean, I think you would get penalized if you started linking to adult sites, and Google would be like, “Why are you doing that?” Unless, I mean, no. You don't want to do that, obviously. I think somebody would get docked for doing that. You being the person, and the helpful kind of person you are, you're going to link to useful things. Things that are relevant to the things you're talking about. Even, yeah. I mean, no, you don't have to worry about that.
In the terms of curating content, it's the exact same thing. Obviously, you don't want to copy that content and post it on your site. If you do copy portions of it, say you're citing it; you obviously want to leave credits and links back to those particular posts, or podcast episodes, or whatever piece of content you're curating. If you have other pieces of content that you're linking to, and you're just becoming a hub where people can collect that useful information, that's helpful too. I don't think you have to worry about that, unless you were curating content that has absolutely nothing to do with what you're talking about, and stuff that shouldn't be there. Just again, keep top of mind, be helpful, you have nothing to worry about.
Michelle, thank you so much for your question. An AskPat T-shirt is going to be headed your way thanks to your question being featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page thanks to the Speakpipe.com widget that you can find on that page. Just any mic that you have available; I just want to hear your voice. We get questions coming in every day, and I answer one five days a week for you.
Of course, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. You gotta check it out. You can actually try it out for 30 days for free. Put it into practice, just organizing your finances from the beginning because you don't want to give yourself a headache in the future. You want to give yourself sort of relief, and take that weight off your shoulder, and put it in the power of FreshBooks. It's a piece of software there that's helping you manage your finances. Money coming in, money going out … they also create really, really nice-looking invoices if you're invoicing anybody for your business as well. You know, just make it easy for yourself so you can focus on the things you need to focus on for your business. Try it out 30 days; go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Boom. Thanks so much. I appreciate all of you. To finish off the show, as always, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote comes from Zig Ziglar—the late Zig Ziglar himself. He says, “With integrity, you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” Amen. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you all in the next episode of AskPat.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when they enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.