Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 516: The Numbers Are Vital, but This Is More Important

We’re going to talk some numbers today—and we’re also going to go beyond the numbers. Here’s one number: This podcast has gotten 65 million downloads and counting, which is awesome. And it’s important to share numbers like that, because they represent social proof that the podcast is worth paying attention to. But there’s something much more important than a number like 65 million: the people at the other end of it.

On Wednesday, I spoke with Dustin Bakkie about accessibility and universal design. We talked about how creators and entrepreneurs can make our content more accessible to those who may be hearing or sight-impaired, or have another disability. Everyone should have an equal ability to access the things we’re creating. So, go ahead and listen to episode 515 if you haven’t already. It’s a great one on a topic that’s so important.

That episode also got me thinking about numbers—big numbers like 65 million, and small numbers like ten. And how getting fixated on the numbers can cause us to make bad decisions, like not making our content accessible to everybody just because “enough” people can still access it. Most people who visit our websites and social channels are not going to need additional help to see or hear our content. So, does that mean we should ignore everybody else? No. If that were the case, then you wouldn’t see handicap ramps or parking spaces anywhere.

That’s really what this is all about to me, serving the people in your audience no matter who they are, no matter where they’re from, no matter what challenges they might have. And that’s why I still, every single month, love having direct conversations with people in my audience. That’s where that number ten comes in, and it’s what I want to talk about in today’s follow-up Friday episode.

SPI 516: The Numbers Are Vital, but This Is More Important

Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host, his club thumbs look like Among Us characters: Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn:
All right, we’re going to talk some numbers. We’re going to talk some numbers today, but don’t be scared. I don’t mean numbers like how many downloads this podcast has had (65 million downloads, by the way). See, even what I say it like that, I can’t pretend to just be cocky like that. It just makes me feel icky. Yes, we have gotten 65 million downloads, and I think it’s important to not be cocky, but be confident and let people know your credentials, and it’s social proof. It allows for people to, in their brain, go, “Wow, okay, so other people listen to the show, then maybe I should listen to this show too. Oh, they’re associated with this person. Cool, maybe I can learn something from them as well.” It’s important to share these things, and numbers are something that we can share and should share, but I think it goes way beyond the numbers.

It’s about the human, the person, the actual living being on the other end of that number. And you’ll hear marketers all the time talk about these numbers as their driving force for why you should buy or why you should pay attention. No, it should be in support of why you should pay attention, something that helps you further believe the case that they’re making. But if they are not sharing how they can help you, if there is not something relatable or if they are not understanding what you’re going through, then all those numbers are just, they’re trying to cover up something else.

Now, that’s not where I thought this episode was going to go, but we’re going to go there. We usually have these Friday follow-up episodes go as a result of the previous episode that we recorded. And it kind of has to do with that, because we spoke with Dustin Bacchae, who spoke about accessibility online. Yeah, like your websites and your audio and your video being accessible to those who may be hearing impaired or those who might be visually impaired, and so on and so forth. And it should be equal for everybody, in terms of the chance that a person has to consume your content. We do not want a person’s disability, if possible, to stop them from still consuming the great content that you’re creating. So, go ahead and listen to episode 515, if you haven’t already. It’s a great one. It’s one that, in fact, Dustin came up to me and he’s like, “Pat, nobody is talking about this stuff, but it’s so important.”

And it makes me wonder about the numbers and why people aren’t talking about this. Are we not focused on accessibility online because, well, it doesn’t make sense for the numbers? Most people who visit our websites in general are not going to need additional help to get that content. So, does that mean we should ignore everybody else? No. If that were the case, then you wouldn’t see handicap ramps or parking spaces that are actually of value and help and serve those who need it. And that’s really what this is all about to me, serving those who are in your audience, no matter who they are, no matter where they’re from, no matter what challenges they might have. And this is why I still, every single month, love having direct conversations with people in my audience.

I try to make it happen every month. Ten people. Usually it’s actually initiated on a direct message nowadays, on Instagram or Twitter, sometimes on Facebook, but I’m not very active on there anymore. Before it was me reaching out to people on my email list, and I still try to do that, in fact, because those are warm people who are on the list, warm human beings who have challenges, who have struggles, who need solutions. And if I can go in there and find out what they might need help with, then I can better serve them and everybody else. This is why I love shows like AskPat, because on AskPat, I can invite a person on who is struggling, who is on my list, who I can coach, and I can ask deeper questions to go further, to find the answers.

Now, this Friday episode is not going to be about accessibility. Go and listen to 515 if you haven’t already. This episode is going to be about connection. And this ties into superfans because my book Superfans, which is again, thank you so, so much, I’m not marketing it, it’s marketing itself. And I think that speaks to how important this kind of stuff is, but I also think it speaks to just how much we all realize that, that’s how it should always be. And by it, I mean, not building for followers, not building for subscribers, not even building for customers, but building for an experience that an individual can have so that they can become a fan.

Some of this happens in a one-on-one capacity. A lot of it can happen from a one-to-many capacity. So, make sure if you haven’t done so already, make sure you check out Superfans. Thank you. This is like the first time I’m asking people here in the podcast to go check it out. Maybe you haven’t even heard of it. I have been doing a very poor job of marketing it in that way. However, we’ve been doing a great job of still seeing it go out there, and the reason I know this, is because I see the sales numbers and then I see the check come in every quarter from my publisher, and it’s just an amazing feeling. Thank you so, so much. Again, those earnings are a byproduct of how well the book serves the audience, and that audience, you are sharing it with others. And it just makes me so happy.

And I’m so incredibly happy, not just because that it means that there’s more money coming in, but because it’s working for you and you are trusting the process and getting value from it, enough to then go and share it with others. And that’s really cool. Anyway, what I talk about in Superfans is this idea that people want to be heard, they want to be seen, they want to be recognized, they want to feel loved. And online, because we’re hiding behind our keyboards or behind our microphone sometimes, we feel like, well, just creating content is enough, but it’s not. It’s actually getting into the conversations and learning about who it is that’s in your audience and giving everybody an equal chance to be heard. I think that’s really key.

And if you are just starting out, you actually have a huge advantage. You have an advantage being smaller, starting out from scratch, because I can’t possibly have a one-on-one conversation with everybody. It’s literally impossible for me to do. However, my way to still solve problems is to have as many conversations as I can and try to deduce the patterns of what people need help with and how I can help the most and hopefully, reach more people that way. But if you’re just starting out, you have the ability to reach a larger percentage of people who are in your target audience, who have gotten to know you or learn about you. And that can happen in a little group, somewhere, a Facebook group, a Circle group, a LinkedIn group. It might happen in a community that you live in. It might happen in a WhatsApp group text that you might have, or within a certain hashtag on Twitter.

And as a result of that, you can have these one-on-one conversations and learn more about who else you might need to find out there. And no, it’s not that scalable right away, but it shouldn’t be because when you start to scale up, you start to amplify what you have. And if you don’t have much knowledge about who your business is or who it is you’re serving in your business, then you’re just amplifying that fact. So, when you start out, you got to get that foundation of who is it that you’re serving, what language do they use. How do you know that? You have conversations with them. Use the direct message platforms that you have on your device, literally, in your hands right now, or in your pocket, or next to you in the car or chilling on the floor because you’re at the gym and you don’t want to hold the phone because it’s distracting, because you’re pumping iron.

You have access to a tool that allows you to connect with people for free, yet how much of your day are you actually doing that? Or are you rather focusing on those things that scale? And what are you scaling? Probably something good, hopefully, but it could be made better through these conversations. And when you have these conversations, people are stoked. This is very unusual, still, especially when it’s meaningful and purposefully coming from a place of service. Because a lot of times, these DMs that come our way, I mean, I get dozens a day that are like, “Hey, I read your last post and I believe that you could utilize our SEO services.” It’s like, “Hi, nice to meet you too.” That’s not cool.

But when you generally and genuinely reach out and actually trying to help people and asking questions, and there’s an art to that and that takes practice, but again, start a conversation. It’s casual; it’s not confrontational. You can turn it into something that could be amazingly beautiful for both of you. I mean, this has happened. This is what I teach in my book Will It Fly?. And Will It Fly?, that’s about validating your business ideas. So, going out there and chatting with people about what they might need help with and then potentially offering them first, look at your course or free coaching to go through a process. And then you learn as you go. And you might find that you do like it, or you don’t like it. I don’t know, you’re validating it. That’s the whole point of my book Will It Fly?.

But with this, with Superfans, I mean, you’re making connections that could last, and you could become friends and those people become fans. You start talking about you with others because here’s what you’re doing, and I learned this from this analogy from Jordan Harbinger, who has been on the show here before—go ahead and check out the Jordan Harbinger Show if you haven’t. What you’re doing here, when you reach out to your community one-on-one and you have conversations with no intention, other than learning how you can better help them, you’re not there selling. You’re not reaching out to them and saying, “Hey, Jody, thank you for following the blog and the podcast. I appreciate that. By the way, I have a new ebook that came out. I know we’ve never met before. I know that you listen to me, so go buy from me now.” What? That’s kind of rude.

Hopefully, maybe if you can’t have a one-on-one, they’re at least getting into an email list somewhere and you’ve given them some value upfront, and then you continue to deliver value, you continue to tell stories and relate and prove your expertise and share how you’ve helped others. And then, okay, there’s the ask. Go on a couple of dates first before you ask for the whatever. But Jordan said, “You want to dig your well before you’re thirsty, because if you’re digging your well when you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.” So, I challenge you to get more connected to your audience. I challenge you to have more conversations. And it’s simple; you don’t even need to type anything because what you could do is use these platforms.

Like for example, Instagram, you reach out to somebody who happens to be following you on Instagram. Maybe they’ve commented on a recent post about a topic that relates to what it is your niche is about. You reach out to them, send them a quick little video. It doesn’t have to be professional—in fact, if it’s professional, it’s too staged. Be genuine, be real, heart to heart, have a conversation with no other intention than just to connect and see how they’re doing. You could use a voice. If you don’t want to put your cell phone camera on, just use the voice message thing. It’s right there next to where you type. You hold it down, it’s a microphone, and then you talk. And it sounds very intimate, it sounds very personalized.

And whenever I do this, this is how I reply to most of my DMs. I don’t always have a chance to, because I’m not in a place to talk. But if I do, maybe if I’m in the car or if I am on a walk or something and I can speak, I just have my AirPods on, 99% reply rate, 90% of those people are blown away. So, I challenge you to give that a shot. And then I challenge you to, if you haven’t already purchased this, go ahead and check out Superfans, because it would mean the world to me for you to take action on that and build what I feel is long-term business success. And that is through the building of fans, true, real experiences that are worth sharing, that make people feel special, that make people feel like they belong, that they are seen and recognized for something.

And no matter what happens in social media, no matter what happens on all the platforms out there, when you have superfans, they’ll follow you no matter where you go. Thank you. And again, listen to 515, the last episode prior to this one with Justin Bacchae, to learn more about accessibility online, very important. And I’m glad to have been able to use this platform to amplify that message. And I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for all the reviews. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in next week’s episode. Until then, peace out, take care, and as always, Team Flynn for the win. Cheers.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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