AskPat 234 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 234 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. We've a great question today from somebody who I actually had breakfast with, and he'll tell you how that happened in just a second. This is Dan.
But before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, a super, amazing, easy to use cloud accounting solution for keeping track of everything involved with your finances for your business. So you can join over a million different small businesses and use FreshBooks.com to help organize your finances. Especially if you're doing everything from coaching to consulting, where you eventually have to create invoices, when you can get paid faster with professional looking invoices that are super easy to use and create. Again, FreshBooks.com. If you'd like to actually get a free trial of FreshBooks, all you have to do is go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. It's that easy. Again, GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Sweet.
Now, let's get to today's question from our good friend Dan.
Dan: Pat Flynn, what's going on? It's Dan Gheesling. Hey, before I ask my online business question, I do want to share a quick story with your audience about how awesome you actually are and you back up everything you say you do. So, about two years ago I opened a Christmas card from my wife, and you know, it's a typical Christmas card. It says: Hey, Merry Christmas, I love you. But at the bottom. it said something a little different. It said: Hey, P.S. You're having breakfast with Pat Flynn at New Media Expo. And after I had a fanboy meltdown, it really hit me, you know, that everything you say you do online, and you tell your audience to do, you actually do yourself. And so it's not some gimmick or anything, and I know anyone listening to this podcast doesn't think that of you, but just to reiterate how awesome you are, I did want to share that story with you.
And back in 2012 at New Media Expo, you actually helped me with my niche site back then. My site is HowtoGetOnRealityTV.net, and on the site I give, you know, free casting advice about how to get cast on reality shows for normal people, you know, like myself. And there's also a guide, video course audiobook for coaching. I do video audition video reviews. There's fourteen hours of free podcasts, tons of free articles, and I feel like I've taken the niche site as far as I possibly can take it. It's very cyclical in nature, so that when there's a lot of casting going on, twice a year, it sells a lot of products, and other than that the site kinda slows down. But my question to you is, when you've built a niche site up, and you've taken it as far as you think you've can, you've provided all the value and free content that you've can, what's the next move? Do you hire someone to continue to grow it? Where do you turn? What do you do when you've taken it as far as you think you possibly have, and you've nothing more to give on that front? I really look forward to your answer, to see what you think on that.
Also, I know you're a huge fan of Back to the Future, and I've one quick question for you: If you had the opportunity to meet any actor or actress from the entire Back to the Future series, who would it be, and why? Pat, thanks so much, I appreciate all the support, and I know everyone else loves everything you do as much as I do. So thanks so much, man. Keep doing what you do.
Pat Flynn: Dan, what's up my man? Thank you so much for the question. I love you, because you always ask great questions. And for those of you out there, like Dan was saying, we were together in 2012 at New Media Expo. We had breakfast, and I'll talk about that in a second, which is pretty cool, but Dan was at my presentation, and he came up to the microphone at the end and asked me a great question, and it was something along the lines of, you know, when's your next . . . when's your course coming out? When can we pay you back for all the content that you've given us? And I just want to thank you for that. That was really awesome of you to do that, especially in front of everybody there and to share what you've shared here about, you know, the fact that I am who I am online, offline as well. And, you know, I would hope that would be the case, and I appreciate you saying that, Dan. I appreciate that. Now, I remember when your wife asked me to go to breakfast with you. That was the first time anyone's ever done anything like that. It's only happened like one other time, actually, and it's crazy. I can never get used to that sort of thing, and it's weird, because I'm like, you know, you could have just asked me out to breakfast. I mean, I'm just a regular guy, right? Like, I don't feel like a celebrity, and, you know, I love breakfast. So, I'll go to breakfast with anybody. I love breakfast. I love bacon. Bacon. I think . . . I hope Eric Fisher's listening to this. But anyway, bacon. No.
Your question is a great question, Dan, because I know, for you in particular, you've done a great job of . . . I don't want to say tapping into everything that you need to do for your niche, but I would just say rounding out your brand in the way you have. You've come across all these different mediums and are serving your audience in every which way that you probably think is possible right now. But I think I would recommend, especially for everybody else out there listening, you know, you might get to a point in your business where you feel like you've done all you can, and I would really stress making sure that that's the case and doing everything you can to validate that that is actually the case, and you might actually be leaving a lot on the table. Not just in terms of what you can do to serve your audience, but how to reach new audiences as well.
So, you know, people coming into your site . . . Are you actually having people come in where they should? You know, maybe they're not finding you on a certain platform yet, and maybe you can optimize then. And I think it's really cool, because once you get to this point, like where you're at now, Dan, you can pinpoint one particular area and focus on that 'cause everything else is currently working. So, for example, I don't remember you mentioning, you know, YouTube presence, but perhaps that could be the next sort of leg of your brand, and that's where you can focus on for a while. And I think, if you don't have that already, you absolutely should for this target audience that you have in terms of reality TV and things like that.
And for those of you that don't know, Dan won Big Brother a number of years ago. Like he won the reality show Big Brother, which is super cool. And so he has a lot of authority in this space, and he's been invited back on as like a coach, and I watched that season, just because I knew Dan was on there. It was pretty cool. So Dan's awesome and, Dan, I really, again, appreciate you asking this question 'cause this is a lot of, you know . . . We never want to be complacent. I think that's a scary thing. In life, of course, we don't want to be complacent and just settle for where we're at now, but we also don't want to settle for how we're building our businesses as well. I feel like there's always more we can do, and once you get to a point where things are working and things are on automatic, you know, on autopilot, you do want to be conscious about what else you can do.
Now, yes, when you get to this point, you can sit back a little bit and you should give yourself time. You know, those mini-retirements like Tim Ferriss talks about. I mean, I'm at a point now with Green Exam Academy where, you know, I only touch it once, well, one or two hours a month. You know, just to make sure things are rolling and things are optimized. Now, with that being said, I feel like I left that site a little too early in terms of my mental, you know, like checking out of that site. I let it go on autopilot, and it's been doing really well, and it's sort of fallen in terms of income a little bit, but that's partly because of the industry, but also because I've been focusing on other things.
And that's the first thing I would mention is perhaps you are “done with the site.” Although, I'm sort of reluctant to use that word. But I would say, how can you enhance where it's at now? Not just in terms of reaching out to new audiences, perhaps on other platforms, but also, what happens when people come to the site? Is your email list absolutely converting the highest it could? Are you split testing those product headlines? Do you have various landing pages depending on where people are coming from? Are you getting in front of audiences that other people have built, that you can then provide value to? Do you have all the product funnels in place to sell the products that you need to sell in an automated and like fashion?
So those are some things to think about as well, but I also want to consider, because when Green Exam Academy was doing really well and then I started Smart Passive Income, I started to focus a lot more on Smart Passive Income, which was more of a blog I couldn't walk away from because there's consistent content that has to be on there, and then I expanded into a podcast, and YouTube channel, and other things. And yes, I did create other niche sites which have been doing really well, but with Green Exam Academy specifically, I felt like I walked away at a point where I could have enhanced it and, you know, even more, by staking it vertically. What I mean by that is not shifting over to another site like Smart Passive Income, although obviously that was a great decision for me. But if Smart Passive Income didn't exist, I would continue to stack vertically, or add products vertically in that niche. So not just the fact that I had an ebook and I could have created an online course, which I didn't do, but the fact that when people take that exam, for example, they're done, right? They don't need my set anymore. I could have still continued to serve them. I could have partnered with, or created products to help them pass the ARE exam, so, the Architectural Registration Exam, and get prepared for that and that one . . . oh my gosh, let . . . if I went into that space, it could have been extremely lucrative because there's seven, at least in California . . . I feel like there's like seven different exams that people have to prepare for, including an oral exam and those each could have been a course.
So thinking about what happens when people arrive on your site and get the content they need, what happens next? Where do they go? How can you continue to serve them in one way, shape, or form? Maybe there are ongoing, you know, with you specifically Dan, and the niche that you're in, maybe you've helped people get onto a reality show, although what happens next? How do they win that reality show? And that's a product that people who aren't even in a reality show could potentially, you know, benefit from. Or how could one continue, or perhaps distribute that one video that they have made for themselves for one particular show to several different shows all at the same time? So what happens if they get rejected? You know, how can they use what they've already built and the knowledge that you've taught them to go somewhere else? Maybe it's giving them access to a particular list of places they can go and audition and, again, what happens when people win? I mean, what do people do with all that money? That's another vertical, you know.
Again, you're serving this audience as they go through and, you know, become successful and run through your stuff. So, think about that. How can you serve these people vertically? And also making sure that you've covered all the different ways that you can serve them in the way that you want to serve them. And I think surveys go a long way with that, having actually conversations with people as well who are in the industry, who have taken your course, and who have found success with it. What else can you do for them? I mean you have a ton of experience in this space. How else can . . . I mean there's gotta be some stuff inside of you that people want, and you just have to give them an opportunity to tell you what that is. So getting on a Skype call with people on your email list is, I feel, a great way to go about it 'cause you can understand deeply what else they need and have those conversations where you get five or six levels deep within that particular question to then understand and discover what else you can do for them.
And so those are some things that just come to mind. I'm sorta just talking off the top of my head here for you Dan, but, you know, I feel like you and I could sit down for breakfast or maybe even lunch one day and, you know, go back and forth about this for hours. But, you know, we are approaching the ten-minute mark here on the episode, so I'm trying to keep these shows nice and to the point. So, again, to quickly sum up your answer: If you feel like you're done with your site or you reached a point where you can no longer do more with it, first validate that. Are your systems in place? Are you optimizing people coming into your email list? Are you perhaps exploring other forms of bringing people in? Other platforms? Maybe paid advertising as well. That's another step that a lot of people do once they get to a point where they're organically doing really well. They then start to, you know, push down on the gas a little more and start paying for people to come to their site and get into their funnel. Perhaps it's doing things like webinars to get in front of other audiences where people have already built trust with them, so they can come over to your site and see what else you have to offer them and get into your funnel as well. And then also, what happens to the people after they go through the content that you have to share with them? What else beyond that? What happens next in their life after they go through your course or perhaps get on one of these shows? Can you then provide value for them there? And that could be, I don't know, I'm just again spit-balling here, what if somebody gets on a show? Maybe you can coach them a long the way? Now, I don't know if that's against the rules, and I guess it depends on what show, or what realty shows is. That person's gone on but, again, you kinda have to be creative when you get to that point.
But there's no limits, I feel. Now, there is something to be said if you feel like you're getting bored with it. And at that point you gotta be careful 'cause you don't want to stop providing value, and yes, you could hire other people to make sure it's still moving forward, but I would also say, make sure you have all the systems of automation in place as well. Where are there parts of your business that require some sort of transaction or maybe even a human touch? Does that have to be your human touch? Or can it be replaced by some sort of system or software, so that you can step away from it, but it'll continue to work and you can check in every once in a while? But then you can devote that time that you have now and the money that's coming in to something that's, perhaps, bigger. Maybe within that same space, in vertical, or maybe there's some big worldly thing you want to do to give back.
I mean, for me right now, I'm really big on exploring things like building schools in Africa. I just finished up a campaign to build two schools in Africa, and I'm really excited to be going there next year. And again, that's beyond me. That's beyond all my businesses, just trying to help out in any way, shape, and form that I can. And, like you know Dan, when you give, no matter the way you do it, it always seems to come back, right? And I know you've done a great job of that. I've listened to your show a couple times in the past and, you know, you're just a great guy who cares and really wants the people who are their audience to succeed.
So yeah, man. Just thank you so much for the question. I hope it answers it or at least gives you something to think about. For those of you listening, you can check out Dan's site at DanGheesling.com. You can also go to AskPat.com to get the link right there on the shared notes. Again this is episode 234 of the AskPat podcast, and to answer your last question there, Dan, which is probably my all time favorite question on AskPat so far . . . Obviously, for those of you who've been following me for a while, Back to the Future is my absolute favorite movie in the world, in the order one, two, and three actually. I love the original. And so, to answer your question: Who, or what actor, would I love to have breakfast with, or bacon with at one point? It would be Marty McFly. Michael J. Fox, actually. I call them by their character names, that's how much I love the movie, or I wish I was like in the world. But, yeah, I mean, Michael J. Fox hands down. I mean, one of the . . . I mean I just love that guy. And, yeah. So that would be . . . yeah. I think another person that would be interesting to have breakfast with would be Red. You know, the drunk guy who's on the bench when Marty McFly comes back to the future a minute early. He . . . or a couple minutes early. He's the guy who goes crazy drunk drivers. I think he'd have an interesting perspective on everything, sort of, not obviously one of the main actors, but just somebody who was there and could talk about some interesting stories and things like that while on the set. So, his name is George Buckflower, I think is his actor name.
But anyway, thank you Dan, I appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt will be happily sent your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question, like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there.
And I also want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. One of the pieces of software, out of a few, that I wish I got started with sooner to keep track of my finances in the beginning because I didn't really know what I was doing. I was using Excel, and it worked okay, but come tax season it got all crazy. And the last thing you want to be in April when you have to fill in all those things and send in all your forms and whatever is crazy and stressed, because that's when you gotta be chugging along in your business. You're, you know, at the end of the . . . or right in the middle of the second quarter. You gotta be chugging along. You don't need to stress about that stuff. So go ahead and get FreshBooks. Check it out seven days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Try it out for free for seven days, again, GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
And to finish up, I'd like to end with a quote to finish off this week, and that quote is from George Herbert Allen. He says, “We must be the epitome, the embodiment of success. We must radiate success before it will come to us. We must first become mentally, from an attitude standpoint, the people we wish to become.”
Cheers, everyone. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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