Today we're speaking with Dan Bennett, known as The Antipreneur. He helps entrepreneurs make better videos, tell better stories, and build better businesses.
He's got all the pieces, all the ingredients—he just needs to put them together in a recipe that makes sense. And today's conversation helps him with just that.
Dan has a lot of experience on YouTube and building audiences. He does a great job connecting with people in person and he needs some help bridging the online and IRL worlds so he can have the same effective conversations with people online.
We talk YouTube and storytelling, quizzes and lead magnets, the awesomeness that is SPI Pro, and even live podcasts.
There are a lot of golden nuggets you'll pick up in today's episode, little things that can change the game for your audience-building and community-building efforts. This is a fun one, so here we go!
AP 1209: How Do I Be More Personal and Engaging with My Audience Online?
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1,209 of Ask Pat 2.0. This is Pat Flynn, and I'm happy to welcome you to a conversation between myself and an entrepreneur, just like you. And today we're speaking with Dan Bennett, who is known as The Antipreneur. You can find him at The Antipreneur on YouTube. He's got a couple thousand subs, or nearly that, and he helps people make better videos, tell better stories, and build a better business. And what's really amazing about today's conversation is that there are a ton of breakthroughs. You can actually hear it in Dan's voice. And he actually says, "Wow, that was a great idea," a number of times. And these are things that as somebody who has had a lot of experience on YouTube and building audiences, which is exactly what he's doing, he's got all the pieces, he's got all the ingredients. We just need to put it together in a recipe that makes sense, and he's already doing some of that.
Pat Flynn: But a lot of these things, these little golden nuggets that you can pick up in today's episode, just like Dan did in our conversation, can totally change the game. And specifically, we're talking a lot about how Dan does a great job in person to connect with somebody, to get them to understand that he's there to help, to get them to want to get more help from him. And he has some clients, and he has some, obviously, subscribers and some people who are potentially going to get into courses and things like that. But how might he have that same feeling that he has in person or when he's talking to somebody live, how might he get that in a more prerecorded sense? How might he bring that onto his YouTube channel? How might he bring that in content? Well, this is going to be really helpful for you, too. So I hope you enjoy this. This is Dan Bennett, The Antipreneur. Here we go.
Pat Flynn: Dan, welcome to Ask Pat 2.0. Thanks for being here with me today.
Dan Bennett: Hey, Pat. Thanks for having me. This is a thrill.
Pat Flynn: I appreciate it. Tell us a little bit about you and what you do.
Dan Bennett: Yeah, it's taken a long time to get here, but I help entrepreneurs look and sound great on camera, and that's everything from getting the right gear to learning how to make video on their own and even helping them get it out into the world.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I like it. And for those of you listening, you can't see this right now, but Dan looks really good. Obviously, he sounds really good. He walks the walk. He doesn't just talk the talk. So I love that. Where can people go and check out your stuff?
Dan Bennett: I'm known as The Antipreneur. So Imtheantipreneur.com. Everything's right there.
Pat Flynn: The Antipreneur. Where'd that come from?
Dan Bennett: I wish it was a great story, man. But I was just ranting and raving because I'm a no magic pills, no silver bullets kind of guy. It's one of the reasons I relate to your work so much is because we're trying to keep it authentic and do it in a nice, wholesome way, but make money at the same time. And I was just so fed up with all the guru type stuff that was floating around. I'm like, "I'm not even an entrepreneur." Back in my day when someone said entrepreneur, they'd look at you and say, "Oh, you don't have a job, huh?" And then it became a trendy term. So I'm like, "I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm an antipreneur," and it stuck.
Pat Flynn: I like it. I like it. Cool. So what's been going on lately? What's on your mind?
Dan Bennett: I'm building community, and I tell you what, the summit you guys put on, a lot of the work you've been doing recently, it's like you made it all for me. So thank you for that.
Pat Flynn: You're welcome.
Dan Bennett: I really got focused. Lost everything in 2020, like many people did. I call it The Great Band-Aid Rip of 2020. And when it came time to bounce back and refocus, I got really, really specific, and interacting with your content helped a lot. And then I made the decision to join SPI Pro, and holy moly, are there some incredible people in there willing to help, and it's been so cool. So focused really closely on either working on one-on-one with people, if their budget permits, or doing the community aspect where all the resources are there, but they can move at their own speed.
Pat Flynn: Nice. And when you say community, where is this housed? Is this Facebook group or another Circle community? What does the community look like right now?
Dan Bennett: It's Circle. It's so funny, too, because I updated my membership software on my website, which is an annual membership, and two days later Circle opened paywalls, and I was like, "Oh." But I went over, tested it out, and it helped me bring things that were in six different places all into one, which is thrilling for me. So yeah, I'm over on Circle and SPI Pro is right there in my dashboard so I can switch in between and keep it alive.
Pat Flynn: Nice. I hope you've been using a lot of what you've been getting from SPI Pro in your own community. For anybody who listening who's like, "Oh, this community that Dan's putting together sounds great," what is the big thing about joining your community? What's the purpose? What's the transformation?
Dan Bennett: Moving all those things that were fragmented into one spot is really the most helpful thing. So there's coursework there. Learn how to shoot great video on your own. There is a space in there called The Video Sandbox where people can come in and spread their wings and stretch their video content creation muscles in a safe environment, so they can put content up and get feedback from professional peers without having to throw it out to the trolls quite yet. And then there's a lot of resources, workshops, that sort of thing that we capture and keep in there and drop little nuggets here and there from my YouTube channel, stuff like that, too, just to help people out along the way.
Pat Flynn: That's fantastic. Are you attracting a certain type of videographer in there?
Dan Bennett: I'm hyper focused on entrepreneurs, and that's, I feel like, one of my differentiators. You can definitely go find all the information in pieces all over the internet. But I find a lot of times it's geared toward either videographers or YouTubers or someone like that, and I focus solely entrepreneurs because they want to create great video. They just don't know where to start sometimes, and oftentimes they start with me.
Pat Flynn: That's great. Do you ever get into how to help people create a sales page video or videos that talk about products and support their email list growth and all that kind of stuff? I'm assuming that's the big thing that you talk about in there.
Dan Bennett: Yeah, for sure. I go over that information in the group, and I'm kind of an A/B thing, either work with me and I'm doing it with you, or DIY, and that's the community. A lot of the one-on-one work I do with people is strategy. And my thing is I call it, "Hiding the medicine in the cheese." The cheese is video. That's how to get the dog to take the pill, and the medicine is story and story development. I know you're huge on story. I love how excited you get about story when you talk about it, and oftentimes I'm tricking people into telling a great story because they're focused on the video and I'm focused on getting to know them and getting those things out there. So yeah, we do focus on strategy and what kinds of videos to make after we get them all set up.
Pat Flynn: I like that. So the strategy is like, "Okay, we need to increase watch time because it's a YouTube video. How do we hook them in?" Okay. Well, I want you to think about a story, and you're like, "Okay, fine." I love that. That's so genius. That's great. So where might I be able to help? What is maybe the biggest challenge that you're having right now that we can unpack and talk about?
Dan Bennett: Yeah. When I first ran across your work, man, which was probably about six or seven years ago at this point in time, and you may made it so easy, and I'm not saying this to be nice, you made it so easy to get to know you without sitting in a coffee shop with you or going to FlynnCon or any of those cool things, and I'm trying to do that. So in real life, works like a charm. Word of mouth, referrals, if I'm on someone's show like this, if I'm on an interview show, if I contribute an article to a blog, people are already warmed up a little bit, and then we talk, and it's good fit, bad fit, and we go, and it's so easy.
Dan Bennett: And I've really felt like the IRL, the in real life, and the digital have been so far apart that I've called it a chasm. And credit to SPI Pro, so many people in there that are so talented are like, "Dan, it's not a chasm. It's a gap, but it's not a chasm, and you can build a bridge across that gap." So what I'm trying to do is take some of those things I'm really used to in the IRL kind of world, the in real life things that work and build digital versions of them so people can get to know me before they get to know me.
Pat Flynn: I like it. So what would be an example of a IRL thing that you're doing now in the digital space?
Dan Bennett: Yeah, so I was on a podcast recently where they actually have a live audience, so they do it on YouTube, and people can tune in and watch and do a Q&A at the end. And because I was on someone else's show and they trust that host already, because they tune in all the time for great marketing tips on that show, I didn't even pitch. I got three DMs at the end and then had three sales calls and landed two people, and it was just so natural and easy because they were warmed up little bit already. So that's one version. And then, of course, word of mouth from other people I've either worked with or have seen me working for a long time and know that I'm credible.
Pat Flynn: Great. So showing up in places, obviously, and just being yourself is important, but doing it live, what do you think it was about the live situation that was different than, say, for example, a prerecorded situation like what we have right now?
Dan Bennett: Yeah. There's just such a dynamic difference between someone saying, "Hey, Dan. All I got is a smartphone. How do I get started?" And that same person reading an article I wrote about, "All I got is a smartphone. How do I get started?" There's just something about being able to answer them directly where they feel empowered and then they trust me a little bit more and want to know more. So that's that little disconnect that I deal with sometimes.
Pat Flynn: One thing I love to do to enhance that ease of getting to know you would be to, if you had a chance to take what you did in real life, so in this case it would be maybe a snippet from that podcast where you answer that specific question and then be able to utilize that, share it out, repurpose it in different ways so other people who have that same question can get an answer, but it's not just an answer from you. It's an answer with you actually engaging with somebody else who was live. It's not live anymore, but it was live. And that gives off a little bit of that feeling. It's not exactly like real life, but it is a little bit of that. And even if you aren't able to capture that particular moment, you can create moments like that, right?
Pat Flynn: You could have people send in questions, for example. And maybe in your case, it would be a fun challenge for, "Hey, send me a video question that you have this month, and I'm going to feature some of you on my YouTube channel." And now you are actually answering people live, quote, unquote, "live," but they're real people. They also promote your community because they come from your community, and it's a great way to promote that as well. So there could be fun, creative ways that you could bring ... Maybe live isn't the right word. Maybe it's real-time help is happening, and capturing that real-time help to then, in a prerecorded sense, send it out and share it. It could be really interesting, again, to get people to know you because people see the real you when you are able to react in real time. It's almost like it's hard to imagine a person completely genuine the first time they find them in a pre-edited video because they could have edited all the bad parts out or whatever, right?
Dan Bennett: Yeah. Pat, this is why I was so excited to be on the show, man. That is such a great idea. And it's that thing that, again, I can't really say enough how cool SPI Pro has been for me. It's that we really smart people like yourself are closing that gap so I can see the connection points and go, "Ah, I could go do that." And I had a coach last year tell me, "Every time you're on a podcast, list it in a spreadsheet so you can go back to it." And there's so many shows out there I've been on where I could go grab a snippet and it was a human talking to me and someone else could relate to that human. That's so good.
Pat Flynn: Get those right now. You can go get them right now, or find a VA to go and get them for you, right? Another thing that's often fun is to wrap these interactions in a challenge, right? You know this, being in SPI Pro, and I swear I did not pay Dan to say all this stuff, just so you know, if you're listening.
Dan Bennett: Not at all.
Pat Flynn: We do these monthly/quarterly challenges inside of SPI Pro, and sometimes they're very simple, but other times are a little bit more extensive that it requires a person to film a video of themselves or do a pitch of some sort. And then there's some sort of live reveal of the top winners or the notables or honorable mentions or what have you, and that then, again, brings not just the community within SPI Pro together, but we publish that live on YouTube, the results part of it, right?
Pat Flynn: And you have a community already. We did this also recently with Tony in the group with our demo day, right? The last demo day we had, and demo day, for those of you who don't know is within SPI Pro, you come in there, and once a quarter, you get to essentially set a goal and pledge that you're going to reach that milestone by the end of the quarter. And by the end of the quarter, you then show and tell, like you did at school, show and tell on your progress in which you did. It becomes a platform that we have for you to share your progress, and it becomes a great accountability tool, especially because the rest of the group is there.
Pat Flynn: But this last time we did it, we published the show and tell for SPI Pro who were all in Zoom with us together, but it was being broadcasted on our YouTube channel as well. So similarly, people on the onsite were like, "Whoa, SPI Pro does that?" And look at all these people who are making these incredible results, and they can now hear and see you in real-time interacting and also getting a sense of, "Wow, there's probably a lot more interaction happening that I'm missing inside of this group."
Dan Bennett: Yeah, it's a fantastic ... Like I said, I'll say it as many times as I can because I've been in about a month. I've known about it forever, and man, the planets just aligned in so many ways, and I got in, and everyone was like, "It can be like a fire hose," and I'm like, "Give me all the water. I don't care." And oh my gosh, I've gotten so much just in the first month. And a lot of it is, man, extra brains, extra sets of eyes, being really open about what you're trying to accomplish and then getting that great feedback from people who are helpful, because I'm also helpful, and I've got to remind myself sometimes, "Ask for some of that help, too."
Pat Flynn: Oh, absolutely. I mean, you give and take and give and take and give and take, and everybody wins. So thank you for that. So what else is going on that I can help you with? Right? I think we perhaps at least gave us a few things to start with in terms of bringing more personality out and real timeness into the prerecorded space, but what else is going on? How can I help you?
Dan Bennett: So a decision I made recently, and I just wanted your opinion on this in a general sense, was to ... Man, I hate saying this, too, but I've always been anti lead magnet and funnel in the sense of the terms, because they get overplayed and overused a lot, and I try and be as genuine as possible. So I'm like, "Okay, if I'm going to have something I'm trading for someone's information, what can it be?" And I've landed on quizzes, and I feel like I can really get to know where someone's at on their video content creation journey with a quiz. So I'm excited about that, but the funnel is not built yet. So I would love maybe some of your thoughts on where a quiz could lead after I found out, "Are you an eager beginner or a veteran looking to level up?" and what I could do with that information after.
Pat Flynn: I don't think I have to say this, but for anybody else out there, if you approach lead magnets and collecting emails as, "I want to get as many as possible and I want to collect email," if that's the language you use, then that's how you're going to treat your subscribers, right? Instead, we have to change the language that we use with relation to what this is. I think a lead magnet is absolutely key because we can better serve our audience when they're on our email list. How do we activate a person on the outside to come inside? And this is a way to enable us to understand that it's about, "What is it that we can do to get a person to understand that we have something of value?" And I think a quiz is absolutely perfect because a quiz can provide immediate value and it's personalized, in a way.
Pat Flynn: There's a lot of tools out there that can do this for you. There's one in particular called Outgrow.co that does integrate with a lot of email tools and whatnot. There's many other ones out there. There's Bucket.io from Ryan Levesque and several others that can do similar things. And you can also gerry-hack your way through a version of a quiz with ConvertKit, even, if you wanted to, on the front end. But anyway, I definitely think that's a great idea. And as far as quizzes are concerned, the sooner I can get to a result, the better, right? We don't want to have 100 questions and a person is taking 30 minutes, right?
Pat Flynn: Secondly, if you can nail the language based on the answers, so if they're a beginner, you don't want to start flashing aperture and focus point and all that stuff into their faces at this point, right? But if they're an advanced person, you can start using a lot of those terms. So a person on the other end who gets those advanced results goes, "Ah, okay. This person is speaking my language. Okay, where do I go from here?" And that's the other biggest thing, always answering the question, "Well, where do I go from here?" or "What's next?" Right? Very important in onboarding into memberships, very important when a person comes into your email list or attempts to take a quiz. They get the results. "Okay. Now what?"
Pat Flynn: How can you continue to provide that value? How can you continue to have that conversation with them in some way? And perhaps that's an opportune time for them to get on a discovery call with you. Perhaps that's an opportune time for them to go check out a particular podcast episode based on those results, specifically. So that personal journey starts with the first quiz result, and I think that more people need to do quizzes. We need to do a quiz, honestly. We've been talking about it for years, and we just haven't implemented it yet. So you're ahead of me on that, and I think it's a great idea.
Dan Bennett: I'm so excited about it because, again, that chasm, I keep talking about bringing it down into a gap, I feel like someone could know that I care quicker. You know what I mean? And when I'm answering them directly, of course they know I care because I'm like, "Oh, your specific situation. Here's an answer. Even if it's high level, we know where we're going next." And I really feel like I could do that. And if it's okay to say the one that I use, it's called tryinteract, tryinteract.com, and they have a Circle community that you get as part of your monthly spend. And it is so good, and they are taking care of everyone.
Dan Bennett: And so it excites me to know that someone could take it, and maybe if they were a little bit apprehensive about having a small budget and just a lavalier and a smart phone, that's all they got, they could see, "Oh, that's actually part of the journey, and Dan actually can help people that are right in that same spot," and also catering what I give them and how I nurture them after, based on where they're at, just really excites me because I don't want a PDF. I want to know if you can help me. So that's where I'm at.
Pat Flynn: I'm setting myself a note about Interact because it actually does integrate with all the tools. That's great. Great find. Thank you for that. Teachable as well. Wow. Slack, neat. Okay. So let me ask you, a person takes a quiz and they get a result. What is the perfect journey that they're on with you?
Dan Bennett: I think half of my discovery call doesn't have to happen now. I feel like that's it. So they finish, they're an eager beginner, I tell them, "Hey, here's a couple quick wins right now. Here's the YouTube video I made about five great tips to shoot with just a smartphone. Keep an eye out for those emails. They're coming just for you and where you're at." And then when we have a discovery call, half an hour is gone already because they know I help people find the right gear. You don't have to spend all your money to do this, and I work with people of all levels so they don't have to question, "Am I far enough along, or am I good enough?" So that's what I'm hoping for and shooting for. And it's all brand new to me, so their hopes and plans at this time.
Pat Flynn: And you are open to doing discovery/sales calls for specific clients and whatnot?
Dan Bennett: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: How far or how deep have you've gotten into good sales calls and those kinds of things? Because that could be tough for a lot of people.
Dan Bennett: Yeah. I got to tell you, Pat, I'm so fortunate, for lack of a better term, because I have a great sales coach, and have for over a year now, and his methodology is just asking great questions. So I'm really on a discovery to disqualify people, and I could do that very fast, in a loving way. So I've actually had fun with them, and they don't even feel like sales calls. They feel like advanced discovery calls where I'm like, "Hey, if this wastes your time and mine, let's not do it. Is that okay?" And they're like, "Wow, you care enough about me to ask that question up front? Yeah, let's go."
Dan Bennett: Usually, people, especially with creating video content on their own and their comfortability levels and where they're at on their journey, they're pretty versed. They might not know the strategy or what they're going to do with video or how they want to advance, but they've generally got a sense already. And if you can create a safe environment for them to share, "I'm apprehensive about this, Dan. But I got this in the bag." Man, that makes it so easy for me. So the sales calls are like, "Let's hang out and discover you even more." And then I have that A/B choice, and if one works for you, cool. And if not, I'm still here rooting for you.
Pat Flynn: That's great. So it's not a, "Sell me this pen," situation. Who's your coach, if you don't mind me asking?
Dan Bennett: John Hill. His nickname is Small Mountain. He's got a recent book out, and it's all about just to sell is to be human, and he let me read it before it came out, and we didn't even know each other that the time. We were just getting to know each other. One of the first paragraphs said, "To be a salesperson is noble because if you're actually helping someone's problem, it's noble of you to give them a solution, and if you just ignore them and let them continue to have the problem, that's terrible." And I was like, "Whoa, maybe I am a salesperson," because one of his things is everyone just says, "I'm not a salesperson," because they think of a car salesman or whatever, and actually we all are in our own businesses. Most of us, anyway. So yeah, John Small Mountain Hill. Everything is based in poker and Kung Fu, which are both in his background. So there's just this fun swirl of like, "Wow, sales is a lot different than I thought."
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Okay. The name one more time? John Hill.
Dan Bennett: Yep. And Small Mountain is his nickname, which is a hill. So that's what he goes by. His author name is John Small Mountain Hill.
Pat Flynn: You'd said Kung Fu and poker, so I'm all in.
Dan Bennett: It's so fun, yeah. Selling From Scratch is his book. And it's so funny, too, because accidentally I created the cover for him. I have a long history of graphic design, and I was like, "Let's put something in place just so you've got a placeholder," and they liked it and they printed it, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I have a book cover under my belt. Now this is kind of weird."
Pat Flynn: That's dope.
Dan Bennett: It was fun. Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Love it, dude. I feel like we could chat for hours, honestly. Definitely, definitely in alignment in terms of value, I can tell, and why we're doing what we're doing. What is your game plan one to three years from now? Where do you want to be? Tell me what the future is like.
Dan Bennett: Yeah. So 2020, losing everything and starting over, I literally went out into the Michigan wilderness to find myself, and I got all these micro epiphanies from just taking a whiteboard on my thoughts. And one of them was I had accidentally ended up in this agency model and helped a lot of people, but I didn't like it. And I'm like, "Okay, if I'm starting over, I'm doing it my way this time." So the YouTube channel, The Antipreneur, is a huge push for me. I've been on YouTube for 12 years, but never did it on purpose. So I'm doing that on purpose now, and it's been incredible, and really focusing on helping people who are already awesome create video content so they can get their message out quicker.
Dan Bennett: So I don't write scripts. I don't create stories for anyone. I don't do anything on their behalf outside of capture who they are and how awesome they already are. So that's the journey I'm in. Everything's just the Antipreneur. If you can type that, you can find me, and no matter where you find me, that's the kind of people I'm trying to help. And the community part I want, in a perfect world, I want to be 75% of my revenue and 25 I want to continue to be the one-on-ones and working with bigger companies with bigger budgets and that deep work I get to do part of the time. So 25/75/25 done with you, 75 DIY, but I'll be in the group with you.
Pat Flynn: Love it. And the membership is a recurring payment, a little bit easier to manage and predict, and I love that. So dude, that sounds awesome, man. One more time, where can people go to find your work? We talked about Antipreneur on YouTube, or The Antipreneur on YouTube. Go and subscribe if you can, and where else might they go and find you?
Dan Bennett: So the community itself is 1minmedia.com. So that's number 1, M as in Mary, I-N as in Nancy, media.com. And it's a landing page, but it's pretty informational. And of course, I do video, so there's a video on there showing you inside the community and all the fun stuff. And then Imtheantipreneur.com has pretty much everything else. So I'm super approachable. I love helping where I can. Like I said, I've followed you for a long time, and I love that you wear help on your sleeve, and I try and operate business the same way.
Pat Flynn: Thank you, man. Well, I appreciate you. Thanks for all the plus ones on the SPI Pro, and I'll see you in there.
Dan Bennett: Awesome.
Pat Flynn: Thanks, my friend.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Dan Bennett. Dan, thank you so much. And hopefully everybody checks out your YouTube channel, The Antipreneur. You've got some amazing videos. I'm looking at the channel right now, especially some great stuff related to sounding good and telling great stories. This is all stuff that obviously is very important to me as a podcaster, and no matter what kind of content you create, the storytelling is key. It's absolutely key. So I hope you enjoyed this conversation between myself and Dan. Again, The Antipreneur.
Pat Flynn: I hope you will continue to stick around and listen through because we got a lot of great content coming your way. Make sure you hit subscribe, if you haven't already, and a big shout-out and thank you to everybody who has left a review or has left a rating on Spotify, which I don't know if you knew you could do, but you can do that now. I can't believe it took this long. But hey, if you happen to be listening to this or if you'd like to help out the channel and help out the podcast, head on over to podcast on Spotify and check out Ask Pat, and you can also check out Smart Passive Income there as well. Got a lot of great stuff coming your way. Make sure to not miss it, and until then, piece out. Thank you so much. And as always, team Flynn for the win. Cheers.
Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to AskPat at askpat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.