AskPat 884 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 884 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
We have a great question today coming in from Stephen from FullTimeFBA.com, so why don't we listen in? Here we go.
Stephen: Hi Pat, this is Stephen Smotherman and I blog over at FullTimeFBA.com, where I help people make full-time income by selling online via Amazon FBA. Now, my blog has grown to over 10,000 subscribers, with so much thanks to you and listening to your podcast.
In the past, I used the have great difficulty dealing with all of the email questions I get on a daily basis, until I heard your interview with your executive assistant on SPI Session Number 115, where you suggest hiring an assistant to take care of frequently asked email questions with prewritten, canned responses. So, thanks to you, my email is under control but I still need help with social media. Full-Time FBA is very active on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and that's where my question comes from to you today.
I get countless questions and comments every single day on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook . . . Oh, there's another one. So, when I first started, I was able to reply to every single one of those questions back at the beginning, but now I've grown to a place in my business where it would seriously be a full-time job for me to reply to everyone. What do you think is the best plan of action to deal with all of these questions and comments? It seems like it would be a little harder to do canned social media replies from my assistant, especially since people would assume it's coming from me. Also, what about the questions that don't have a ready-made reply? At some point do you just ignore some of these comments or questions? I don't want to be rude to my followers, but I know it's not a wise decision for me to stop growing my business in order to answer all of these questions.
Pat, I admire you greatly as a man of character and integrity and I look forward to hearing your answer to this question. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey Stephen, thank you so much for the question. I totally resonate with the question because it's been a while now since I've been at that point at which it's been very difficult for me to reply to everybody. In the beginning, it's a great strategy—one of the best things you can do. It'll help you stand out from you audience, or for your audience, from and amongst everyone out there in the space. Obviously Stephen, you've lived that, you've been doing it, great. I'm glad you're getting ahold on the email now, but social media is a little bit different, right? And for me, social media is not something that I actually want to hand out to anybody else, at least at this point, and even at this point I can't see myself ever doing that, because it's me, right? That's a direct connection to me that I feel should come from me.
But that's my take, and there's a lot of people out there who do have assistants that manage social media accounts that do respond with canned responses or have a great knack for understanding the voice of the influencer, and that's okay too. But for me, it's just something I don't want to pretend is me. Not that I do that with email anyway; Jessica, my executive assistant who's awesome, she answers as herself on behalf of me.
But anyway, what can you do to manage social media replies? Well, for me, the number one strategy that I've used is making sure I block out a specific time of the day where I go in and the mindset going into that hour—or actually, it's about a half hour to forty-five minutes of time each day—is to just literally go in and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, respond to as many people as I can.
Typically, I can get through most of them because I'm just batch processing all of those things. I would turn off notifications. I do like how you did that; I don't know if that's something you did just with a button to time it that way, but it worked out. I thought that was really cool. But I would turn off notifications, because every time that notification pops up, or every time you log into Twitter and Facebook you're going to see more messages, and what is that essentially? It's the same as email. It's people who require or are asking for your attention at a time at which you probably don't need to give them your attention right now. People don't necessarily expect a response so soon.
Now, that is, if you have a product and there are issues related to customer service, then yes, social media, you need to respond as soon as possible, and that's a good time to have an assistant just to kind of have an eye and an ear out on what's happening so that, in an emergency situation, that assistant can ping you can say, “Hey, so-and-so on Twitter is having a problem. How should I respond?” Or, “Can you respond to that?” That's how I think an assistant can be used and should be used, at least at this stage, for social media, to make sure you see the things that you need to see. Just like email, right?
But batching the responses by you at a certain time period each day or certain times of the week is going to be enough to suffice to make everybody happy, to make you happy because you're not going to let everybody be ignored.
Also, the last thing I want to say is that I always mention the expectation. That is, well, I cannot get to everybody at this point, but I will do my best, and I have an assistant that is able to help. Even then, it's getting so that there's so much volume that I can't possibly get to everybody at the time at which I would want to, but I will try. What that does is, it sets that expectation of “Hey, you know what? If I email Stephen or message Stephen on social media, I might not get a reply. If it doesn't happen, that's okay. He's probably just really busy.” But if that's the expectation but then you do reply, or that person does get helped out, well then it just blows their mind. Make sure that expectations are managed up front, and you always over-deliver on that if you can, and that's how you do it.
Stephen, hopefully that's really helpful, and I want to wish you all the best. Thank you so much for calling in, I appreciate you, and I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt from Jessica. She's going to message you and collect your physical address so we can send that to you. I want to thank you again for the question. For everybody else out there listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Just click the record button and ask away.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you all so, so much, and head on over to iTunes if you can and leave a quick review for AskPat. I do appreciate that. Finally, here's a quote to finish off the day by Martha Graham. “No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that others are behind the time.” Your time, guys. Cheers, take care, thanks so much, see you in the next episode. Bye.