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AP 1106: How do I manage creating new content with my busy life and schedule?
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Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 1106 of Ask Pat 2.0 which you're about to listen to is a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. And today we're talking with Sean Kenneday from striyve.com. That's S-T-R-I-Y-V-E. And he's a brand new entrepreneur who is looking to figure out how, amongst his job and his family, to become more productive, especially in the realm of content production—writing on his blog. And should he be having guest posts come in to share their productivity tips and other things, which is related to his website at striyve.com? Let's check it out. We've got a brand new entrepreneur today. Let's help him out. Listen in. Here we go.
Pat Flynn: Sean, welcome to Ask Pat 2.0. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Sean Kenneday: Thanks so much for having me, Pat.
Pat: Yeah, I'm stoked to learn about you and help you out. If you could give us a little bit of a rundown on who you are and what you do, that'd be great.
Sean: Sure. First of all, I want to thank you again for having me on. I'm a huge fan, so I really appreciate it. Yeah, my name is Sean Kenneday. I just started a new blog called Striyve, S-T-R-I-Y-V-E. And it's all about helping side entrepreneurs with their productivity, time management and mindset. Kind of think of it as essentialism meets the one thing, meets kind of zen philosophies, if you will.
Sean: Yeah, so what I'm running into lately is that it's time. As we were talking a little bit about before we got on, I have a five month old daughter, I also have a day job, which I love, leading engineering teams and that's where I've learned a lot in my productivity and systems. But it's just kind of getting time right now to actually put work into Striyve. I had a couple ideas, if you wouldn't mind me running them by you.
Pat: Yeah. Essentially what you're looking for is just how to maximize the time that you have on the side. Because not only do you have this day job, but you also have a five month old, and you are your own audience essentially at this point. And you obviously have credibility because you're living it too.
Sean: Right, exactly. It's kind of scratching my own itch while I create something that's hopefully super valuable for people.
Pat: Yeah. Awesome. What are your ideas? What are you thinking?
Sean: I've kind of set all my systems in place, and I feel really good about that. But my writing, I'm an engineer so I'm just trying to get some posts out there. I have my first three posts up. And one thing that maybe occurred to me, because I won't be able to have a good blog post frequency, was opening up Striyve to guest posts from other side entrepreneurs to kind of fill in, get a little bit more frequency on the blog and more content a little bit quicker. And then maybe they would share their productivity tips as well. And yeah.
Pat: I think crowdsourcing content is a good idea. A lot of people who I know have done that and I've done it very successfully. One that comes to mind is Michael Stelzner who has socialmediaexaminer.com which later turned into Social Media Marketing World, as an event here in San Diego every year. And majority of his content, actually I would say it's 99% of his content in the beginning was from other people who were doing social media. The benefit of that was that those people had this amazing platform with a lot of people and they were driving a lot of traffic to it, and so I'm curious now, this is a good idea. Have you attempted to start to do this yet? And how might you kind of go about creating a system for that?
Sean: I haven't and I'm hoping to get a little bit of guidance from you on doing that, but I want to keep the quality really high obviously and I want it to kind of fit in with Striyve philosophy. I would set up maybe a landing page for people that wanted to start a guest post, to kind of give them the guidelines of what I'm looking for and obviously I would read through and vet it and then stuff like that. That was kind of my idea up front, and then going to any kind of contacts that I have that of people doing this and my social media to kind of contact people to see if they would be interested.
Pat: Yeah, I think that the tough part and the thing that you're going to run into is a lot of those people aren't going to have time to write a guest post either. There's a couple things you can do. There's a lot of people who are very proficient writers and bloggers and podcasters and YouTubers who do talk about productivity. You could start there because you would know that they already know how to talk about what you want them to talk about. You can already get a sense of their quality. You would likely spend less time editing and helping that person figure out how to get their ideas out of their brain and into some content of some kind. And it would also benefit them in terms of the fact that you have a very similar website in a space that they're in and you can just build that relationship with them, which is really cool.
Pat: I would start there. If you have anybody in your network who does already speak about productivity or who you know is a proficient writer, I would definitely start there. But even then, it's going to...it's how might you make this easy for them to do it? Because the more friction there is, the less likely that it's going to happen. I remember being asked to do blog posts and guest spots back in the day where I would be happy to do it, but then I would get these guidelines and I would, it was just too much work for me. I just wanted to write. And so how might you encourage these writers to actually produce this content for your site, do you imagine?
Sean: That's a good question. I hadn't thought it through that much, but just coming to my mind is it would be a little bit more their experiences and their favorite productivity tips, or time management or even mindset. The guidelines would be a little bit more on the editing and making sure that it's kind of quality before it's sent in. But the topics could be their own, to their own devices.
Pat: I think another place to go and find writers and people who can create content would be people who also really want to be featured on other websites and these would be other brand new bloggers and creators just like you. And there's likely a number of other websites or people who are sharing their journey who are looking for exposure. That's another benefit for them is, hey, they'll work a little bit harder for you to make sure it's great because you have this asset: a blog that you are allowing them to write on and these are the people who are going to be definitely energized to do that. Versus if you were to try to find like a Tim Ferriss for example, who obviously has a lot of productivity tips and strategies, but they just, number one, don't have the time. And number two, it wouldn't be worth their time. No offense.
Sean: No, I get it.
Pat: But for somebody brand new, this is what I encourage in the podcasting space: If you're looking to, if you have a podcast and you're trying to interview guests, why don't you interview the new podcasters who are new and noteworthy, who are in that phase of their creation where they want to get as much exposure as possible. You might be able to find some people, people that you might not even know that you could reach out to. And here's what I would encourage you to do, because it's going to teach you so much. Find one. Just work on getting one person to do this, and work with them, and it's going to take a little bit more manual effort to do up front. But that's going to teach you so much about how to do it in a systematic process that'll be easy for both sides.
Pat: It's going to teach you what questions that you didn't even know that person was going to have. And that way you can kind of refine that process upfront so that the next time you reach out it's just going to be so much easier. Or you might literally do this once and be like, that was, I'm never going to do this again because it just didn't fit. And I think it's smart to explore, but I always go, okay, if you're going to explore something, how can you make this the easiest to just test? What's the micro test that you could do? And so try it with one person and see how it goes. That's definitely what I would recommend.
Pat: The other thing in terms of content creation that I think may be quite beneficial would be to, if you are strapped for time, I've noticed that audio content has been a lot easier to produce than written content. Podcasting, yes, it takes a while and there's a lot of technical things, but even just audio in general, perhaps you might be able to dictate some of the stuff that then gets transcribed and is more easily edited versus you sitting down at a computer and trying to write from scratch. And I've done that to write a book once and that's been really helpful to get a first draft out. And I do that a lot with a lot of my blog posts. I actually, the way that my team and I write blog posts now, is typically I will be dictating the blog post, transcribing it, and then my team takes it and edits it and turns it into a blog post. And that's helped cut out hours in terms of content creation for me.
Sean: Okay. That's something I definitely wouldn't have thought of on my own for sure.
Pat: Yeah. And I think that's why connecting with these other productivity people is great because then you can kind of learn from each other. And I think there's a lot of tactics like that that exist that may benefit you. And so yeah, you could try that out. And just, I use an app called Rev, R-E-V on my phone to record and then I can just press a button and it gets transcribed. That's a little bit more expensive because it's a human transcribing it on the other end. But honestly, these AI machine-learning machine-generated captions and things like that that exist today, there's a few. Otter.ai, Temi, T-E-M-I, there's a bunch. They're mostly accurate and if you're just editing that to turn into a blog post, then it would be good enough and could save you hours.
Sean: That's awesome. Thank you.
Pat: Yeah, you're welcome. One idea, crowdsourcing to get more content posted on your website. That's great. I would imagine that you're already thinking about, because you mentioned essentialism, it's like, okay, let me just do what I need to do to do what I want to do. And meaning—you could probably write about a billion things in terms of productivity, but are you choosing the things that you know are the most helpful, the things that are going to move the needle? That way you're kind of focused, and one thinging your content creation and what will actually make movements on the website.
Sean: Yeah, the basic philosophy is kind of step by step essentialism or step by step the one thing. Just really how to do this as a side entrepreneur. And so you don't get shiny object syndrome or anything like that. And just to stay focused. I have a mini email course. It's a three day course to actually take all the things in your brain and figure out what is your most important task.
Sean: Yeah. Which I'm happy about. It's just trying to get people to come try it out and see how it works.
Pat: Yeah, I would just take your own medicine. All the things that you are excited to teach others. You're needing to do that yourself. And what's cool is as you are doing it yourself, you can document that. And because you are a member of your own target audience, that content, your experience is just super helpful. You might even be able to combine the work that you do for your website to grow your website and to expand it and to find new people with the actual content that you create. And it could be a really nice case study. Similar to how when I started, it was a lot of, "hey, here's this new business idea. I'm going to try it out and I'm going to report back to you." And all that was content that was just kind of organically being created over time while I was growing the website. And so you can kind of, if you aren't doing that already, you can use your own efforts to find time and be essential to create content.
Sean: Yeah, yeah, that's exactly what was part of my plan. To have some that's case study blog posts and then because it is, it's scratching my own itch and things that I'm learning. I'm not perfect obviously. The things I'm learning as I go: How I've started and where I've gone to after a while of doing this. I think that would be great to post.
Pat: Cool. Love it. What else is on your mind?
Sean: That was one idea. Like we said, I'm really short on time, but fortunately with my day job and leading engineering teams that I do have money that I could invest, to help accelerate. I just wouldn't know quite how to do that because most of what I hear is kind of people bootstrapping what they're doing, which is great, and that's kind of been what I'm doing. But I was just wondering if you had any ideas. That could be mentors, it could be freelance writers instead of the guest blogging or anything that you can think of there.
Pat: Yeah, the freelance writer situation because I'm sure that's an idea that a number of listeners might've had. It's like, oh well why don't you hire other people to write for you? And I have mixed feelings about that because you need to find the good writers and those people come at a premium. If you do have income to invest, again I would micro test that just to see how it works and what it does for you. If you could even find somebody and that's often very difficult to do. But if you can then you obviously want to hold onto them if possible. But I've heard of people working so hard to try and find good writers and they end up spending more time editing and changing things that it would have just been worth their time to just do it themselves.
Pat: It kind of depends on that. But again, that's another piece of content. Hey guys, I'm going to experiment with finding help for me to write this and this is how much I'm investing. This is what happened. And this is the first draft. And you can read this and just tell that this is not to the level of standard that I had and I actually spent more time editing it and this is a good example of what to do and what not to do. And it just becomes another good case study from your own experience that can help people. And so even using a little bit of money to experiment with productivity methods and productivity tools can also double up and become some great content for you as well. Maybe a little bit of investment there.
Pat: I think that where you could benefit would be in, I don't know if you thought about this, but writing a book. Productivity books do really well often. I know a number of people who are in that space on Amazon. And what's really neat is that it adds a lot of authority and trust to audiences that are coming your way. And your blog posts that you create wouldn't be just to get more traffic, but ultimately you would want that traffic to end up buying your book, which then gets them more into your community and learning and getting more results hopefully. I don't know if that's in your future or if you've thought about that, but that could be something neat to work toward. That could also help pay you back for some of these things. And then of course investing money in an editor for that book, in a book cover, and those kinds of things. It does take a little bit of money to invest to write a book like that, but just publishing it on the Amazon and using Amazon's printing services for print on demand can work really well.
Pat: What I would focus on, and this is a big question a lot of people ask me is like, "Hey, if you had $1,000, what would you do with it?" And I think the answer always depends. My answer typically is one of two things. Number one, it's often, go to a conference where your target audience exists. And if you're strapped for time, that's not easy to do, especially if you have a little one. But the benefit of that is you're meeting people in person. You can learn so much by having real life conversations and meeting people and shaking hands and learning stories and empathizing with your audience and meeting other industry leaders there too. There's a huge benefit to going to conferences and meeting people like that.
Pat: If that's not possible, what I would go is, okay, first of all, essentialism, what is the next thing that you need to be focusing on? And I would invest money into learning or even getting mentorship or coaching about that. Let's say for example that you did choose to want to write this book. I would invest money in somebody to help me through that process or a course or a ghost writer who can interview me and then get and extract all the stuff out of my brain to then package this for me and then turn it into a book. That again to me is like, wow, what a cool case study. You were able to write a book with a five month old and a side job, here's how. You invested a little bit of money, all that stuff becomes another cool case study. And I think determining what your next steps are and then using your money to be productive toward that is the answer.
Sean: Okay. That sounds, yeah, that sounds great. I really like the idea of using the money because what my productivity tools that I use and it's something that I was going to ask, but you kind of answered it without me even having to ask, which is awesome. I was thinking about at some point when I want to monetize the website is affiliate marketing. I know you're really into that and I really like the idea of that. But all the productivity tools that I use are free. But they do have paid versions of that so I can test out the paid versions and maybe it even helps my productivity. And then kind of do case studies on what I've found with those paid versions.
Pat: Yeah, I love that. And the deeper you go into those products and the deeper you share those products and highlight them, even to the point where you're even kind of doing tutorials, which can be very simple. You just kind of turn on your phone for example, and turn the screen recorder on and boom, there's your content. And you can just write a little bit of a blog post behind that. But when you show people the results that you're getting as a result of using these apps, it's like, especially with what you unlock at the pro version, that can work out extremely well and you can sort of showcase that. And I really love that idea and adding affiliate marketing on top of it would work really well.
Pat: But I would get to the point where there are three or four. Start with one, but maybe there are three or four just tools that you always talk about that are just in your life that you recommend everybody use because it's, and then you have the tutorials and maybe they're videos that also live on YouTube. That's bringing new people in because a lot of people are likely looking on YouTube about how to use certain things. They don't know who you are yet, but they will because they're going to find your videos, dive into your website, see all this other productivity stuff. But again, it's just one step at a time. But I would love to get to the point where you go to Sean, you go to Sean's website and you're like, here are the top three tools that I recommend and you can go deep into them and here's why you need to unlock the pro version. And that of course pays you back.
Sean: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Because there is one tool that I think is amazing, but the free version is super powerful.
Pat: Do you mind me asking what that is?
Sean: Yeah, it's called Asana.
Pat: Oh yeah, Asana. Fantastic.
Sean: It's a fantastic tool. It's amazing. And you can set up templates and that's how I set up all my systems. I'm a big systems guy, being an engineer, so it's a great tool for sure. The pro version has some really cool adds onto it, but it's more for teams of people using it. And so may maybe focused on a kind of different market than say a solopreneur or something like that.
Pat: Well, when you build the audience that uses a product and gets more people to use it, you can make money in other ways. It's maybe it's not necessarily from your customer or your audience. Perhaps the money comes from Asana itself, as sort of a sponsorship or partnership sort of situation. When you have a highly targeted audience like you will, which is side entrepreneurs who literally are strapped for time, that's very clear to companies that help people with that and they are willing to pay money because they're paying loads of money elsewhere to get in front of a target audience like what you're building and through you and the trust that you're building with them. That's the big benefit that they can never get themselves.
Pat: Man, I think there's a lot of opportunity here for you. I think that just again, following your own advice and keeping it simple, one thing at a time, being essential with the action that you do take and then sharing those case studies along the way because you are probably even more strapped for time than a lot of the people who are going to be coming to your website. Because not only do you have a side job, but you have a five month old. It's going to take time. But with direct and conscious action, I think that it could go well. And so I'm looking forward to following up with you in the future to see how things are going. Do you mind if we reach back out to you, maybe do a follow up episode to see how not just you and the family are doing, but how the business is doing on top of that?
Sean: Yeah, I would love to.
Pat: That'd be awesome man. Thank you so much. Can you tell everybody where to go and find you and get access to everything?
Pat: Cool, we'll have it in the show notes. Thank you so much Sean, appreciate you and best of luck.
Sean: I really appreciate it, Pat. Thank you so much.
Pat: All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview and coaching session with Sean Kenneday from striyve.com. Again, you can find him, S-T-R-I-Y-V-E. And like I was saying earlier, especially when you're just starting out, it's going to be a slow start. But once you get your systems in place and you start to get your voicing, and you start to figure out what works and what doesn't. And most of all, once you start to figure out who it is that you're serving and having communication with them, that's when things really start rolling. You do have an advantage starting out small. You can have much easier of a time making connections directly with your target audience and serve them much faster and better and more personalized than a big brand could.
Pat: Keep that in mind moving forward and I just want to wish you all the best, Sean, and everybody listening to this. If you haven't hit subscribe yet to the show, make sure you do that because we got a lot of great content coming your way very shortly here. And as always, just keep rocking it. Thank you so much. If you want to get your question answered here or coaching from me here on Ask Pat, all you have to do is go to askpat.com and you can submit your question and your little application there. And I look forward to serving many of you here later in the year 2020. Until then, and I again want to wish you all the best. Hit subscribe and thanks for all the reviews. Cheers. And as always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace.