AskPat 146 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 146 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
Now, before we get to today's question from Jo over in the UK, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks.com is the easy-to-use cloud-accounting software that's helping millions of small business owners, including myself, save time with invoicing, with keeping track of expenses, especially during tax season, when I can just one-click and send all the forms I need to send to my CPA. Now, you can actually try Freshbooks for free today if you go to FreshBooks.com and enter, “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. You could start your free trial today and I'll talk more about it at the end of the show. But let's get to today's question from Jo.
Jo: Hey Pat. So, my name is Jo Gifford. I live online over at DexterousDiva.co.uk and my thing is all about working smarter, dreaming bigger, and living brighter, and I am an online entrepreneur. I run programs like the Blogging for Business Bootcamp and all sorts of cool stuff like that.
I am also a mom and I really, really love your whole ethos about spending time with your kids as your definition of success and I totally agree with that. In fact, my kids love the fact that when I wash up they know that I'm always listening to AskPat. Like, in our house when I'm doing chores, it's always kind of AskPat time. I'm also a newbie in podcasting thanks to you and to being inspired by your stuff. I've added that into the mix of my stuff and it's really helping me push my biz. So, thank you for all that you do.
My question is around social media: I'm always really thrilled that whenever I've tweeted you, or said, “Hi,” or, “Thanks for the show,” that you get back really quickly. Now, Pat, just between you and I, right—shh, because no one else is listening—is that you doing all of it? Because surely if you're trying to spend time with your kids and do a podcast every day and do Smart Passive Income and stuff, then you must outsource some of your social media and I would love to hear how you manage your stuff. You know, your social presence online and how you remain so engaged with your audience, in what feels like a personal way. I won't be at all offended if it's not actually you. So, anyway, it's Jo Gifford here, DexterousDiva.co.uk. Thanks for all that you do. Over and out. And that's my cue, thanks, bye.
Pat Flynn: Jo, thank you so much for your question. First of all, I love the idea of AskPat time. That's my ideal situation: If people listen to this everyday at a specific time, that would be awesome. I know some of you have messaged me and said that you do that; so, for all of you who put AskPat in your life, you're amazing, thank you. Thank you Jo, love your accent, it's awesome. And also, just congrats on being a newbie podcaster, I think that's so cool.
Now, when it come to social media: I'm going to fill you in on my secret of social media and how I'm able to engage with my audience while doing everything I do. Yes, I do do it myself. I have yet to get to the point where I'm okay with having someone else do my social media stuff and pretend to be me; I don't ever want anybody to pretend to be me. Now, as many of you might know, I did hire Jessica, my executive assistant, to help me with email and I made it very clear to her: Do not answer as me, answer as Jessica my executive assistant, on behalf of me. And she's done a wonderful job.
There might come a point in the future where I might have somebody do that for social media, although—just still, for social media especially, because it's so real-time conversation—I just can't imagine having somebody else answer for me, or pretend to be me. I always talk about social media like a big, giant party with a bunch of conversations going on. Like, imagine having a conversation with somebody in person, but the person who I have hired next to me would just answer all the questions for me, and be like, “Yeah, my name's Pat.” That would be weird, right? So, I don't do that for social media.
Now, your question might be, after hearing that, “Well, how do you do it? How do you remain so engaged when you're with your family and you're doing all this stuff?” Well, I have very specific times during the day. It's actually in my calendar or—it's not in my calendar anymore—I just know that at these times of the day I go on social media and I interact with people. And Jo, you probably were just one of the very lucky ones who every time you just happened to be answering me, replying me or at-replying me or whatever, I just happened to be on. I'm not on all the time and I don't get notifications, I just know that at certain times during the day, about four or five times during the day I sign in to Twitter, either on my desktop, which I use Tweetdeck for to help manage that. There's a lot of other pieces of software out there to help manage your social media stream. Hootsuite is another one that I heard was very good, although I haven't gotten into that yet. But I go in and sign in on TweetDeck for Twitter, to check during those times of the day—and they're very specific times of the day, again. And then also on my phone, if I happen to be out and I'm on my phone, I try to limit the phone, especially when I'm with the family but I'm home most of the time and if the kids are napping, at that time I check. When I'm cooking dinner and I have to wait for something in the oven, or I'm sautéing something and I just started and I just have to wait for the pan to fry up—those little moments like that, I know to check.
It's typically around four to five—sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on what I'm doing. But four to five times during the day—where I go and check those accounts. Again, Facebook and Twitter. Those are the only two that I really spend most of my time with. A lot of people get into trouble when they put themselves on several different social media platforms. And yes, there's other software out there that will help you manage all of them, but it gets crazy. I say focus on two social media platforms and again, Jo, you probably were just very lucky in terms of whenever you at-replied me or messaged me I just happened to be on at those times. Because I don't usually respond to people immediately. Now, I will if I happen to answer, or ask a question and I'm on for a couple of minutes at a time. So, if I see an at-reply right away, I'll keep replying and then spend a little bit more time on those platforms.
But typically, again, specific times of the day is the best thing you could do. You don't want social media to rule your life, just like email. I think the hardest part about this strategy, even though it is the most practical in terms of inserting social media chat and conversation into your life, having those specific times during the day. I think the most challenging part is knowing that, well, there's conversations going on when you're not there. Right? Like people might be at-replying you or messaging you on Facebook and you might not be there when you're not on. You might miss some of those messages and that's just something you have to get over. Especially when you grow to the size that I am, I think people understand that their messages may not be answered right away. And I'm very clear about that on my contact pages as well and I think people sort of get an idea. If they can't respect the fact that I have other things in life that I want to do besides be on social media, then I don't really want them to be following me on social media.
But if you're smaller, social media is a great opportunity for you to connect immediately and directly with your audience. So, perhaps, more than four or five times is right for you. Depends on your schedule, depends on what else is going on in your life. You could be creative with when you check your social media accounts and reply. Like, if you're on the can or something, which I admittedly do. I'm not going to lie—that's my little secret. No, I don't have somebody managing my social media accounts, but I do check Twitter on the toilet. And now I'm going to get a whole bunch of tweets talking about that.
If you want to make fun of me for tweeting on the toilet, even though I know most of you do it too, send a tweet with #AskPat146 and every once in a while I'll check on them and just have a laugh. It will be fun. We can all have a laugh together.
That's my answer, Jo. I hope that helps you in one way, shape or form. I look forward to hearing how you are able to better manage your social media time with your family time, and everything else you have going on. Again, you don't want it to control your life but it is something you need to control. Because it is actually beneficial to your business and especially when you're first starting out, it's a great way to engage with your audience and make those real connections that could help you grow really fast. Again, Jo, thank you so much for your question. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be sent over the pond your way.
And for those of you listening out there, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com; you can ask right there from that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. Again, an amazing company that allows you to easily organize and keep track of your expenses and your income, and also send the invoices out super fast and get paid for what you need to do. And not waste time with trying to organize everything—it does it all for you. They also have an award-winning mobile app, so you can check and deal with your finances on the go too. So, again, if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter, “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section, you'd start your free trial today. Again, “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section at GetFreshBooks.com.
And as always, I end with a quote, and today's quote is by John Jantsch and that quote is: “Bring the best of your authentic self to every opportunity.” Cheers, thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Again, remember, #AskPat146.
AskPat listeners get a thirty-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.