The transformation you'll witness today is absolutely incredible! My returning guest has made unbelievable strides in his business since our last chat. Not only that, but he has been able to quit his job and go all-in on entrepreneurship. That's what I'm talking about!
Mark Savant is back for a Where Are They Now? session to remember. I had him on the show for episodes 1165 and 1196, but the Mark we hear from today is a new man. Niching down has done wonders for his brand. On top of that, his online community is now bringing in enough recurring revenue to replace his old job.
Listen in on this episode to hear Mark's vivid (and hilarious) description of what it was like to work full-time and grow a business on the side. Let's just say that he's saving himself a lot of hurt!
This is a great chat about standing out in your industry and finding the perfect messaging to attract a highly targeted audience. Join us today to learn how you can do the same!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Unstuck, to get tips, tools, and my best advice for creating a thriving online business.
AP 1262: Where Are They Now? Mark Savant
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 1262 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a Where Are They Now? episode with somebody who was once coached here on the show, who's now back to give us an update on what has happened since, and today we're speaking with Mark Savant.
I met Mark through his podcast, The After Hours Entrepreneur, and I got to know him in his business and I invited him on AskPat because he needed some help. He needed some help. He was helping businesses and entrepreneurs create and repurpose digital content to grow their online business and repurposing content is, is awesome.
It's a great thing to do. It's a wonderful service to offer. But Mark was having issues with his positioning, like, who is this really for? Like who, specifically? Entrepreneurs and online business owners. That's such a, a wide net to cast. And so we talked about that in the last episode, and you can check that out in 1165.
But here we are nearly a hundred episodes later and man, things have turned around. Things have turned around. You're gonna hear Mark not just like the new positioning of what his business is and, and who is it for, but you could even, like, if you were to do like a side by side comparison of each episode, the tone of his voice, the confidence that's there, a lot can happen in, in less than two years, my friends. And I look forward to sharing this with you.
You can definitely check out Mark, by the way, over at marksavantmedia.com. But don't go there yet because that might spoil what happened because we're about to dive into it right now. Here he is, Mark Savant.
Pat Flynn: Mark, welcome back to AskPat once again. We followed your journey for quite a while now, and first of all, it sounds like there's some really amazing good things happening in your life right now, and I, I definitely wanna dive into that. But can you remember what we chatted about the last time? Because you have this agency and it took a while to get the positioning right and I feel like you nailed it and then stuff started to happen. So can we go back into time a little bit for those who might not know your story and kind of catch 'em up a little bit?
Mark Savant: Sure. So, wow, it's been a journey. It's been a minute since we last chatted too, Pat, because, yeah, we just continuously niche down baby.
We just keep nicheing down and I don't know about all the other entrepreneurs out there, but this is something that I've struggled with a lot. It How broad do I go? How niche down do I go? And you know, I was talking to Chris Doe about this on my show, the After Hours Entrepreneur the other day, and because it's not always obvious, it's not always obvious.
So last time we were speaking, messaging was a big part of the chat, right? Yeah. And I still have the media agency, and at the time my tagline was I helped people create better content and less time, better content and less time. But as I've evolved, as I've worked with more clients, I've recognized the type of clients I wanna work with, and I recognize the types of problems that I wanna solve.
And I don't know if, if any of my fellow agency owners out there can empathize with this, but you kind of run into this circumstance where you'll just work with anybody. Anybody that's gonna give you money, you'll take on. And it becomes very difficult to set up a framework and set up solutions. So now I'm solely focused on podcasting, and specifically my tagline is to help busy professionals build status and sales with podcast.
Pat Flynn: Ooh, status and sales with podcasts. I'd love to uncover where status came from. How did you discover that that's like an important word to put it there, and that's something that people want?
Mark Savant: So a lot of trial and error, a lot of feedback, a lot of listening. Also looking at what the experts are doing.
That's a pretty quick way to shortcut. What are all the professionals doing? What are they doing, and how can I try to, not necessarily replicate, but take the winning common denominators. But from what I can see, most of the time when someone is creating a podcast, it's for those two reasons, right? They either wanna generate more income through their sales, through their business, or they want to be more well known. They wanna build their personal brand. They wanna be, they want their peers to look at them and be like, whoa, did you see what Jim's doing? He's got a podcast. You know, he's showing up, he's building his network, he's building his status within that field. And so I settled on status as sales being the two things I felt like I can really deliver on.
Pat Flynn: I like that. You know, I think status is something that, we entrepreneurs always inherently build into what it is that we're offering, right? We're helping people get more traffic so that you can be found and make a bigger impact, have more authority. But that word in particular, I haven't really heard used in this context, but really, that's what at the root, what people want. We want status in our communities, in our niche, and in our markets. You just hit it straight on, which I think is great. So there's no sort of like beating around the bush, like, this is gonna help you and your status with your business and online. So I, I love that.
Do you think now that you are finally on quote unquote, the other side of now nailing the positioning and who your target market is, do you think it would've been possible to start here and kind of do maybe better planning before execution to get here or do, do you think that the actual starting broad and figuring it out and making mistakes was actually a very important part of the process?
Mark Savant: It was an extremely important part, right. Before I started podcasting, I didn't have any experience in broadcasting and digital media creation. I was running an insurance agency. I'd been doing that for a decade, right. It was only through listening to shows like yours, I was like, I gotta, I gotta get on it.
You know? I'm listening to SPI while I go jogging, I'm like, podcasting seems like a maybe that could work for me. And, and it's kind of funny to see where I'm at several years later, but I, the short answer is I don't think so, Pat. Sure. I could have hired an expensive one-on-one coach consultant to get me there faster.
One of the things that I accepted moving into this early reading, Tim Ferris's, the Four Hour Work Week is you're just gonna have to get comfortable with discomfort. I fully embrace that and I don't wait for perfection. I don't get that paralysis by analysis. I just go out and I put it out there and I figure out, well, that sucked.
I don't wanna do that again. You know, I, I worked with this type of client, I don't wanna do that. Did going through the pain help get me to the pleasure as it were, and I just kind of briefly mentioned this, I finally, finally, finally was able to leave my day job four, just over four years into the hustle, and I was able to leave my day job about four months ago and woo, let's go.
Pat Flynn: That's huge, Mark. Good. Congratulations to you on that. So what is now opened up for you as a result of letting go of that? What, what do you have now that you are able to do?
Mark Savant: Well, for one thing, my brain feels a lot better. I'm not being pulled in multiple directions. It felt like when I was running my side hustle, like I got one foot on this side of the fence on the right side, and my, my other foot's on the other side of the fence and I'm just, you know, smashing my groin against the fence all day every day.
You know, that's literally what it felt like. Just getting pulled too many directions, right, bro. So it feels good that I can wake up with a focus purpose and I can spend all my time doing the same focus thing. It was really draining. I think spending all that, all that time, you know, you get home from work and you're already completely drained and okay, now it's time to put in the real work that that's tough.
It feels really good. My health is better, getting better sleep, exercising a lot more, reading a lot more. I've become a reader. If my current day Mark could go back and talk to my Mark of 15 years ago and be like, Mark, you're a reader. I'd be like, what are you talking about? I'm just gonna go back to playing World of Warcraft.
Pat Flynn: Right. That's so funny. I, I'm curious about how you got to the point where you were comfortable letting go or, or were you even comfortable sort of letting go of your, of your day job? What got you to that point finally to say, you know what? I'm done. I'm moving on.
Mark Savant: And I actually recorded a specific episode on this and it was, it was title, my, my community, My Small Ticket Offer Helped Me Leave My Day Job, you know, in, in this business, my main income is from the high paying clients, clients paying for the podcast launches, clients paying for the month-to-month services, the week-to-week services, right? That's the bulk. The problem though, with that type of model is there's a bit of feast or famine.
Some months you've got a ton of clients, you've got three new shows that you're launching, and then the next month you maybe don't have any new clients coming in. So, there's a bit of variance there, and we talked about this in our last session. I think that was episode 1196 of the show. At the time. I had been playing around with like a group coaching and I had built out a six week program, but now I have much like the SPI Pro community, I've got a monthly membership program, so I know each month I'm gonna be getting something coming in. And it, it really helped to kind of smooth out the edges with my income.
Pat Flynn: That's really great. Tell me more about the membership. Like what do you offer there? What is the price point? And in case anybody's curious, like where can they go to find it?
Mark Savant: The Podcast Savant Pro Community. Podcast Savant Pro Community is, is what it's called. It's really focused on growing and monetizing your podcast. Which coincidentally is what I do in my, in my job or my , my, my company. It's really what I just, again, focusing all of my effort around that common. And that's the theme.
There's a lot of groups out there that are either much more expensive or more broad. I love what you've done with the SPI community, SPI Pro community, which you've got a new offer out now, which I'm, I'm gonna be taking you up on. I'm taking you up on, I just heard the ad. Oh, awesome. So, so anyway, the community is specifically designed for that purpose.
I launched it in January of last year. I started on Patreon. I ended up shifting it off of Patreon onto Mighty Networks because the problem I had with Patreon, I don't know if anyone else can empathize with this, is it's very much like you're getting extra access to the creator. But I wanted to build a community, a community where other people are contributing, other people are posting their questions and other people are, are adding and contributing to other, to one another.
So that's kinda a big driver behind that. Yeah, huge. And, and just continuously listening to like, what did the members want. And we just actually had a, a good sit down this last Thursday. We meet once a week in like a Zoom style meeting. And what everyone kind of mirrored was, we want more structure, more structure into like, you know, what the meetings are gonna be like, what my processes are gonna be like.
We want more accountability. Yeah. Huge. So, moving up to this point, accountability piece is, to your point, the, the challenge that I've, I've had is that you know, everyone in the podcasting, everyone is at different levels of the podcast. Some people are just launching, some people are two years in, right?
People are different levels. So what I had been doing is I would lead a particular topic, or I'd give it a specific piece of homework based on a specific facet of podcasting. The problem was, this might be great for Jim, but Stacy over here is at a different place. So what we're gonna be doing and I can talk about this too, but what we're gonna be doing is focusing more on self-driven structure.
So beginning of the year everyone's gonna build out their short-term, their medium, and their long-term goals, reverse engineer that. What needs to happen for you to reach these goals and then try to set up accountability partners to, to see that through.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, I love it. It sounds very similar to what we're doing in the All Access Pass, and we've discovered that through the communities that we've built, when you combine the community and the connection and the account, with the information that's already there. I mean, that's the thing. Information is now freely available everywhere, right? Anybody can go search to figure out how to do anything. But that's similar to like a teacher handing you a textbook and going like, Hey, like good luck.
Here it is. Here's all the answers. Yeah. Like that's not motivating. Nobody has the time and it's just not an environment of a great space to learn and grow versus. Okay, here are the, here are all the textbooks. Here's a library that you can have access to, and here is where you're at and where we think that you should go next.
And here's your path, right? Here's your, your guidance to your point structure behind it. And there's some people elements in there to hold you accountable and keep you going along the way. But it's also not as heavy as like a traditional cohort based course where it's like, you're meeting every day for an hour and like have to turn in homework every day.
And, and people don't have time for that either. So I love that you're also doing this too, because in that niche that you're in, those people will have the same language. They're gonna have the same problems. They're gonna likely have already solved some of those problems to help the people who haven't yet solved those problems.
And eventually, and what we're hoping as well is it gets to the point where it just naturally has, its its own heartbeat and it's just kind of living, it's like a living, breathing entity now on its own. And you can come in and, and, and sort of like, provide more value on top of that, and that's how you build long-term future proofing of your business when you build that community behind it. Cuz that's something that's u gonna be uniquely yours, Mark. Our community is uniquely ours, even if the information is the same. Right? And that's, that's what's awesome. And some people will want to learn from people like you versus people like us and et cetera, like back and forth.
So, dude, I love that you're doing that. And you had mentioned that the low ticket offer, so is a low ticket offer, your membership and through the membership is where you're sort of recruiting people to come into the, to the higher end products, from there, is that kind of the flow on how it's working?
Mark Savant: That is, that is. So that's kind of like the bigger picture type of strategy. And by the way, one of the things that I really liked about what you've done with the SPI Pro is, you know, you're the captain of the ship. But there's a lot of other people that are helping keep that ship going, which makes, to me it, the community aspect much more scalable for sure.
Oh, a hundred percent. That's another thing that I want to roll out in this coming year is, sure, you get the, the sessions that I'm guiding once a week, but we're bringing in guest experts, like maybe yourself, maybe, I don't know.
Pat Flynn: Dude, let's, let's do it. .
Mark Savant: Alright. Right. It's called, called a gotcha, gotcha. Hooked him in.
Pat Flynn: That was the whole purpose of this, this episode was to, to lead into that. Right. I'm just kidding.
Mark Savant: Hey, let, you gotta risk it for the biscuit, right? Yeah, man. And, and then also member driven sessions. Cause one of the things that the members really wanna do is they wanna get their voice out in front of more people.
They wanna provide more value. And then I also brought in all the members of my production agency. Cause I'd kept the production clients over here and the group members over here. But by merging them together, it gives me a more unique offering for my services based business. Now you get a, a unique experience with Mark Savant Media that you wouldn't get with any of the other podcast agencies that are out there, right into your point.
To answer your question in a, in a less roundabout. The, the kind of, the goal is, and I got this from Alex Hormozi's book, $100M Offers, like solve a small problem for someone, they're gonna come back to you for a slightly bigger problem. When you solve that, they're gonna keep coming back for bigger problems.
And so the, the idea here is help people out with these small problems, the, you know, the membership problem. And then eventually when they're ready to outsource the podcast or pay for a higher ticket offering, who are they gonna go to? They're gonna go to the person, the team that helped build, you know, solve all the smaller problems leading up.
Pat Flynn: Exactly. Exactly man. Start small to go big. That's what I always say. I mean, this is how you train essentially, I don't like using that word when it comes to people, but it, it kind of is, you are training a person to f to to get rewarded from being a part of your community and getting involved with your stuff and the quicker you can get a person to a result, like you said, starting small.
I agree. $100M Offers is a great book. Definitely check it out. Hormozi, I saw him speak on stage about six months ago in Vegas and super impactful, super powerful. He, he knows his stuff and he knows how to make it simple, right? It sounds simple. Start small, start by solving a small problem and then go bigger.
But for whatever reason, we often try to like, overcomplicate everything, and, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Now that you are here on the other side of now quitting your job, you have niched down and you have a very good system in place and a membership and the higher end offers and such, what are the new challenges that you are coming across at this stage?
Challenges that maybe those listeners who aren't quite there yet can prepare for because you, you are there now. What's, what are the new challenges you've unlocked at this stage?
Mark Savant: I've got some good challenges working on right now, and it's, it, it reminds me of like a video game. Chris, Chris and I were talking about this too.
It's like as you level up, it's like you get the better sword and you get to fight the better demogorgon and you know, now it, it was Charizard, now it's Meta Charizard and how am I gonna defeat that, that monster don't get me started on Pokemon, by the way my kid is, is, yo, she's obsessed now, so. Oh, awesome. I love it.
We could, we could talk about Deep Pocket Monster. Your, your, your videos are really funny, but we, I, I forgot I got off track here, where were you?
Pat Flynn: No, it's okay. I was thinking about Pokemon too and I got off track. What are the new challenges? Like let's, what, what are the new dragons you're slaying these days?
Mark Savant: The, so the biggest dragon is the profitability dragon and the, the, the IRS dragon as it were. So the past few years I've been doing what we call bank account bookkeeping, because I wasn't, running a very profitable business. I was using my day job money to fund my education and my team and my systems over here, and so this year I'm like, we're making money.
We're profitable. Now I gotta figure out what to do with the profit. I was speaking to an old accountant and she said, oh, well just send me over 30%. We're gonna pay 30% of what you think that your profit is, and I start doing the numbers. I gotta send you that much money. That's a lot.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Welcome, welcome to the club
Mark Savant: I was like, that's that's a lot. I'm like, what can I do here? And she's like, well, let's look at your bookkeeping. And I was like, the, the what? You know, because I've been doing everything through my bank. I haven't had QuickBook setup, I haven't Fresh Book set up. I haven't had those systems. So that's the dragon that I'm slaying right now.
And I just hired an awesome accountant who's walking me through it. And it's not quite there. Tomorrow is gonna be a big, is a big meeting where finally everything is gonna start coming into, into vision. But like, you know, time and time again, knowing your numbers right, knowing your numbers is, is really important.
And a very important dragon to slay now is getting the books in order, baby. So it's a good, good problem to have.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. When, when you get the books in order, you, you begin to find new opportunities and, and really begin to use data and the profitability as a means of making decisions now, which is really great.
And this is where I'm grateful that I have Matt on my team, who's the financial guy and the wizard, so that I can stay over here, you know, as a visionary and more of a creative. And I'm so excited for you cuz that that's gonna be a huge step. Absolutely. I mean, I remember what that was like when I started generating an income finally online and just how hard it was to, it was such a big change to, instead of paying taxes for every paycheck, I was paying a quarterly estimate.
And every single time I wrote that check, was like on the brink of tears cuz I just was like, this is all that I've worked for. And I'm just like giving it away and there's still potholes on the street near me like what is this for? And it was just like, and, and again, it's the game we play as entrepreneurs in the US at this stage and, and you know, I don't even wanna begin to start talking about the ins and outs of that and the politics and all the things involved, but we can save that for maybe another SPI episode or something.
Mark Savant: But I do have a question.
Pat Flynn: Oh, yeah, yeah. Go ahead.
Mark Savant: I, I have a question on this line because, you know, one of the problems, you know, so I made a post about this.
I, I tried to a weekly post where I keep everyone up with like my weekend review and what, what I'm working on. Yeah, that's great. And I had made this post in this last couple weeks, you. I'm trying to solve this problem of being too profitable. I need to spend this money. And someone had made the remark, like something along the lines of, you shouldn't wanna spend money to avoid paying taxes.
And, and I'm, I'm not saying avoid paying taxes, but I want to use the money to build my business, not go off to, you know, whichever bureaucrat is controlling the budget this year. Right, right. So what do you spend your, like, I don't, I don't, I don't need to get too specific, but do you feel like that's a bad perspective or do you feel like it's better to spend it?
Pat Flynn: No, I mean, there's the, there's a lot of ins and outs of this, right? It's, if you are paying a lot of taxes, that means you're doing pretty good, right? Like that was the first thing that I had to get over in my head was like, okay, I am not happy that I'm signing this check over to Uncle Sam, but I'm proud of the fact that I can.
Because a lot of people can do that, right? So that was like number one. Like, okay, I'm doing pretty well and here you go. Let's keep doing business, and then you move on. But the other part of this is, is indeed I am spending money, not just like, cuz a lot of large corporations have budgets, right? And those managers who own those budgets, lose, like they don't carry over until the next year.
So they're looking to just spend, spend, spend so they can, you know, unload those budgets because that's what they've planned for. And we try not to operate our business in that way where it's like, okay, here's a set number of dollars, and like if you don't use it, you lose it kind of thing. Versus if you find opportunities to grow and invest into the business, whether you have a budget as a director or not, let's talk about it so that we can see if this is an investment that will pay us back in the future. And a lot of our investment recently has been in team, specifically related to community. That's where most of our money is being spent right now as we're building the All Access Pass and things to kind of keep that running and structured.
And so thinking about it as an investment is great because, you know, buying a thousand Sharpies because you know you're gonna eventually use them as not necessarily like an investment just because you have that money, right? It's like, cool. I'll never run outta Sharpies ever again versus. How can we perhaps find people or tech software that can help run our systems better so we can get more time back?
How do we invest into marketing and advertising such that we know that we're gonna get more clients or more students on the backend? Right? So that money being spent always having a way to come back in some way, whether it's short-term or long-term. Thinking about it as an investment into the future of the company is, is really what's been helping us.
Mark Savant: And that's very similar to the perspective that I have, you know, looking forward to where I want to go from here. It's, you know, how do I charge more for my services? How do I charge more in, you know, the best way to charge more is to provide more value. And one of the ways I think I can provide more value is managing the add traffic to shows.
So I've just, pouring money into, you know, where's the best place for me to spend marketing dollars to drive more listeners to my podcast? Right? So that, that's, that's where a lot of that over, you know, that that extra profit's been going to, that profit has been going to to marketing advertising for my podcast.
It's good r and d now, well not r and d, but it's good research. Cause now I can go back to my clients, say, this is what I did for my show. We can do this for your show. This package. Yeah. So that's kind of where my head's at.
Pat Flynn: And some of that stuff won't pan out, which will still be information that you could pass forward to your clients as well.
So you're sort of like eating your own dog food in a way, which is, which is really great. So, dude, I love that. I'm so proud of you for getting here. If, if people go back and listen to the earlier episodes that you were on, I mean, 1165, I think was the first one where the messaging wasn't clear at all and we just exercised through that and, and that I think was a, a, turning point for you because you were able to on your own craft the message that related and that turned into now the niche that you're in. And like here you are like full-time with it now. So just really proud of you, Mark. Wait a set an example. And as you can see, it doesn't happen overnight, but you keep at it, you keep going, and here you are now.
So well done, Mark. Where can people go to check out membership, your services, your programs, all the things that you have, where should they go from here?
Mark Savant: Best place is MarkSavantMedia.com. MarkSavantMedia.com. And you can find Mark Savant Media all over the web.
Pat Flynn: You're a podcaster because you say that like three times, like you're running a an ad script, right?
Mark Savant: I learned from the best bro. I learned from the best. What could I say? You know, I listen to SPI hear what the best people. Oh, that's so funny. I don't reinvent the wheel. What are the best people doing? And how can I replicate that in a, in an unique and original way if I had to go back and teach myself one thing, it is that don't try to reinvent the wheel.
You know, see what's working.
Pat Flynn: Love it, man. Yo, thank you so much. Appreciate you, and we'll have to catch up in the future.
Mark Savant: Will do. See you. Pat.
Pat Flynn: Alright, I hope you enjoyed that catchup with Mark again. You can find him and his podcasting specific servicesat MarkSavantMedia.com. Your podcast should drive status and sales.
He ain't messing around anymore people. Wonderful job, Mark. Thank you for taking action, which is just the best way to thank me, right? This is just like, do something with the advice and it, and it doesn't have to be the exact thing. It's just do something because that's the only way to find something. And so you've, you've found yourself and you've found this and it's going really well.
Well done. The website looks great. Again, MarkSavantMedia.com.
And thank you so much and thank you, the listener for sticking around listening all the way through. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration here as you are finding your voice and figuring things out out there. Sometimes it takes time. We talked about this last week with Stacy as well, but once you find it, hmm, things just start to roll.
So hopefully things are rolling for you, and if not yet now, then hopefully soon. Cheers. Thank you so much and I look forward to serving you in the next episode. Until then, cheers and peace out.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, 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.