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SPI 615: What’s REALLY Working in Online Marketing Today with Amy Porterfield

Things are not like they used to be. (You’ve noticed, I’m sure.) But the best ways of adapting to an ever-changing business landscape are maybe less than obvious.

So what should you do to reach more people? What are the marketing strategies that actually work right now?

I’m incredibly excited to have Amy Porterfield back on the show to share her expertise with us. Amy is among the most knowledgeable marketers you will ever listen to, and she absolutely delivers in this essential episode. Not only that, but she’s an amazing friend and one of my favorite people in the world.

Today we get an inside look at how Amy runs her multimillion-dollar company and the tactics she focuses on to grow her audience. This chat is jam-packed with golden nuggets for entrepreneurs at any level.

We get an email marketing masterclass, an in-depth look at webinars that convert like crazy, and podcast growth tips galore. And that’s just scratching the surface! Amy and I go deep on video content, courses, surveys, quizzes, and much more. You’ll also hear me trying to convince Amy to move back to San Diego from Nashville, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

I know that this will be one of the most valuable podcast episodes for you. I can’t wait for you to listen in—enjoy!

Today’s Guest

Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield is an ex-corporate girl turned online marketing expert and CEO of a multimillion-dollar business. During her corporate days, Amy worked with mega-brands like Harley-Davidson, as well as Peak Performance Coach Tony Robbins. After one fateful boardroom meeting and witnessing the lifestyle, financial, and work freedom an online business has to offer, Amy developed her nine-to-five exit plan and never looked back.

Through her best-selling courses and top-ranked marketing podcast Online Marketing Made Easy, Amy has helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs turn in their two weeks’ notice and trade burnout for freedom, income, and impact. Amy’s action-by-action teaching style provides aspiring business owners with the tools they need to bypass the overwhelm and build a business they love.

Amy empowers women across the globe to take their futures into their own hands and find professional autonomy, independence, achievement, and success far beyond what a corporate glass ceiling would traditionally allow.

Amy’s work has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, CNBC, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and more. Her company has twice been awarded the Inc. 5000 Award as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.

Today, she runs her growing business from Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Hobie, and their Labradoodle, Scout.

You’ll Learn


SPI 615: What’s REALLY Working in Online Marketing Today with Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield: I’ve never seen these kind of numbers before. A buyer who had a freebie in pre-launch and got on a webinar was more likely to buy than a buyer who just got a freebie, like a lead magnet, but didn’t get on the webinar or a buyer that just got on the webinar. The more free resources they interacted with before I sold my course the more likely they were to buy.

Now our goal is to at least have everybody who comes through our launch have at least two to three tags of some kind of great free value before they ever hear about my course.

Pat Flynn: That is Amy Porterfield. One of my favorite people in the world. One of the most prolific marketers you will ever listen to. And this episode absolutely delivers. We get some gold nuggets. We get some insider looks at exactly how she runs her pre-launch to launch strategy for her courses. It’s an absolute epic time.

And I came out of this just so, so happy. Not just because I got to reconnect with an amazing friend, but that I know this is gonna be one of the most valuable podcast episodes you will ever listen to. And it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, there’s a lot to aspire to. There’s a lot of things that you can implement right now that Amy is going to tell you. So I’m done talking, let’s get right into it. Here we go. Amy Porterfield from

Announcer: 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, he would take a spaceship to Mars, but only if he knew it could come back to earth someday. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Amy welcome back to Smart Passive Income. I’m so happy you’re back. And it’s just good to see you again. We’re on video. But even if you’re just watching, just hearing your voice makes me so happy. Welcome back to the show.

Amy Porterfield: Oh my goodness. I’ve been looking forward to this all week. It’s been way too long.

Pat Flynn: Way too long. What happened?

Amy Porterfield: I think COVID happened.

Pat Flynn: That did happen.

Amy Porterfield: When we were off camera. I was saying like, how we used to see each other all the time at marketing events and all the places we would go. We’ve been to Vegas and Philippines together and all these different places. I haven’t seen you forever, but I’m hoping that’s gonna change now that the world’s opening up.

Pat Flynn: I hope so. Although I have to say you did leave me in San Diego. How much do you miss San Diego?

Amy Porterfield: I miss it so much, so much. I’m secretly hoping more people move to Nashville that live in San Diego. But I come back to California a lot because you can’t beat the Palm trees in 70 degree weather.

Pat Flynn: Well, we miss you over here for sure. And next time you’re in town let me know. But I mean, Tennessee’s amazing. I know Michael Hyatt’s out there. Somebody who’s a great mutual friend of both of ours. And a lot of entrepreneurs are moving. Tell me about the scene over there. Like, are you meeting up with other entrepreneurs a lot and whatnot. Like what’s going on?

Amy Porterfield: So entrepreneurial, I love that about this place. And I already had some friends here when I moved here, which was really fantastic. But I will say the girls dress up fancier. Every time I go somewhere, I’m like, whoa, what’s happening. It was way more laid back in California, which I prefer, but Nashville has the nicest people I’ve ever met.

Pat Flynn: That is true. That Southern hospitality is, is a real thing. How’s business going, cuz it’s been a while since we’ve chatted. I think the last time we chatted, you just launched your, your DCA, your Digital course program. And, and that was off to the races.

That was a big move for you actually, because you had sort of put everything that you had done all all into one thing. Like how often does that launch, is that a once a year launch situation?

Amy Porterfield: Yeah. So Digital Course Academy is usually once a year in the fall, once in a while. We’ve done it a few times a year. But it’s my big signature program, so I always teach my students, let’s have a few things on evergreen and then maybe one thing you launch once a year. So you get the best of both worlds.

So I’m gonna keep that on live launch at least for a while, but it was. Scariest digital courses I’ve ever created because I combined two courses, one about courses, one about webinars, and then built this big program based on two courses that were doing fairly well, but I knew they needed to come together.

So it was a risk, but it it’s really put me on the map. So I’m glad I did it.

Pat Flynn: I like the idea of this signature program, just kind of what you become known for this is I’m sure inspired by, you know, B school with Marie Forlio and, you know, Stu McLaren and his, his program for memberships and such. So, you know, the, the, the thing that I always worry about with that kind of thing is like, if you miss the mark you’re screwed with that launch. Do you feel that pressure and, and what do you do to help yourself?

Amy Porterfield: Yeah, you make a great point, especially because I launched this in September, so I don’t have a lot of time to recalibrate if it doesn’t go well, but here’s the thing, what I’ve done over the years is I’ve made sure that I have a few, you would appreciate this, cuz I probably learned it from you years ago, multiple streams of revenue.

And it’s my biggest stream of revenue, but not my only one. And so we have two evergreen programs, plus I do some affiliate marketing. And in addition to that, I have a membership. So I have money coming in throughout the entire year, not just September, but let’s say I really miss the mark with September.

I do have a plan B always in place. There’s one or two things I can promote in quarter four to at least make up for the gap. So it is something that it worries me, but I always have a plan B.

Pat Flynn: Gotcha. Thank you for that insight with your DCA, your once a year sort of launch that happens in September, you said, how early are you planning for that and can you give us some insight on kind of what’s entailed with a big launch like that?

Amy Porterfield: Yeah. So one of my secrets to success is I always say, do not reinvent the wheel. Once you’ve done it successfully, let’s make some tweaks, but let’s not start all over or chase the next shiny thing. So I think part of my success has been, I I’m like a dog with a bone and I think you have some of this too, where if something works, we’re gonna go for it, do it over and over and over again instead of going in a hundred directions. So because of that when I launched it every year, first time I launched it, I think it was 2019. I never have to start from scratch.

So we start probably about, may we start planning for the September launch, but we pre-launched for 60 days. So all of July, all of August, we’re doing pre-launch strategies. New lead magnets, new Facebook Lives, new fun activities. We do a challenge, a bootcamp, that kind of stuff to warm up people for so they’re ready to actually create a digital course. So if we started May we work through May and June and then July we’re off to the races.

Pat Flynn: And then you had mentioned there’s some evergreen stuff happening when you were in pre-launch mode and launch mode are those things put on pause or how are you coordinating this web of things?

Amy Porterfield: Yes. I love this question and it shows that you’re a sophisticated marketer, cuz most people aren’t thinking of that. And I didn’t think of it in the beginning. And then we thought, wait a second, we’re running ads and literally competing with our own ads.

We’re running ads for evergreen and then for our live launch and now we’re competing with ourselves. So what we do is we turn off all ads for evergreen starting in July. So in July and August, I’ll make less money and evergreen because I’m not running ads. And so we just build that into our projections, but when we didn’t do it, it really stung.

So we we’re wasting money. So yeah, we have to turn off ads. Got it.

Pat Flynn: Okay. So that’s really helpful. Again, I’m just trying to unpack the business because you know, it, it, it was such an interesting shift from my perspective. I mean, you had multiple courses and affiliate revenue and other things coming in and then boom, Nope, I’m just gonna package it all into one.

And so I know it’s been successful. You’ve had a ton of success stories coming out of it. And you had mentioned not reinventing the wheel, but I’m sure there are some things that you’ve learned from 2019 that you’ve implemented and sort of improved on what were maybe one or two of the things that you learned from those initial launches that you really make sure to take care of in your later launches?

Amy Porterfield: You know, it’s funny you ask that because I feel like even from 2020, what I did in 2020 isn’t necessarily working as good now in 2022. So we can talk about that too. Kind of the things we’ve changed since then, but starting in 2019, when I first launched this, what we’ve really paid close attention to is the messaging around it.

I used to launch it as how to create a digital course business. When I came outta the gate, that was the messaging. And although it did well. What we realize is not everyone wants a digital course business. You know, this cuz your audience could really relate to this. Some people just want an additional stream of revenue, whether it be passive or live launch revenue, they want different ways to bring money into their world.

So we we’ve changed the messaging significantly as we’ve learned about our audience. But I always tell my students, you won’t learn any of that unless you get in there and do it like you’ve got to launch in order to learn the most important lessons of what your audience wants and doesn’t want. So messaging has definitely changed over the years.

Pat Flynn: What specifically are you doing to understand the messaging that will hit the nail on the head for your audience.

Amy Porterfield: Okay. So number one, we always do non-buyer survey after every launch. We do this with evergreen and live launching, and not everyone of course is gonna fill that out. Maybe 15% of the people will fill out a non-buyer survey, but we are asking them, you know, what were you looking for?

What did you not find in this program? What stopped you from buying? So we get a lot of great Intel there. And then I study my students who have had success. I have studied them very closely. And one thing I learned over the years is nobody follows the course to a T. I shouldn’t say nobody, very few people.

My success stories are usually, Amy, I took that one module you taught, but then I changed it a little, cause it didn’t really work for me in this way. And then I did that in this and it worked. So I started to realize this is part of our messaging. You do not have to be a perfect student for this to work.

You just need to understand the concept and the model and make it your own. So that’s one thing that I’ve learned along the way, and it gives people permission to not have to be perfect. So that was a big one as well.

Pat Flynn: I love that. Going back to your launch. So pre-launch, you had mentioned going live, just showing up and you know, I’ve seen, you’ve gotten very, very pronounced on Instagram and, and even TikTok, I think I’ve seen you on.

Amy Porterfield: Okay. That’s very new, very awkward, but I’m doing it.

Pat Flynn: Wait, why do you say that?

Amy Porterfield: Okay, so I’m not naturally silly and funny. I mean, you know I am, because we’ve been around each other when I’ve been drinking, but I’m not typically drinking on TikTok.

Pat Flynn: Well, that’s the answer. You just take a shot.

Amy Porterfield: I just solved it. I’m gonna be viral on TikTok in no time.

Pat Flynn: I dare you to do that by the way. No, maybe you shouldn’t.

Amy Porterfield: No one wants to see that, but I just feel really awkward on TikTok. So here’s what I did. I, I know this is a little off track. I had to say, I’m just gonna do this on my terms. You’re not gonna see me dancing to a Lizzo song, even though I think that’s fun.

And I’m not going to be like outwardly just like wild and crazy, but I’ve got some, a really good message to share, and I’m just going to do that and I’m gonna pay attention to what’s working and what’s not working on different types of videos. Like, let me share something really fast. I’m on a video and I usually just do talking head like this and share what I wanna share one to three minutes and I’m out. Well, one time I opened up a can of LaCroix, poured it into a glass, took a sip, walked around my house. That video is the most viewed video. I don’t know why something like that would work, but if it worked, why don’t we just do more videos where I’m kind of doing something in the video and those are the things I try to pay attention to.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, that makes sense. People wanna see other people doing things and other people’s surroundings and such, and I like that for you to experiment and challenge yourself to get out of talking head voice, right? And just explore the surroundings. I think that could be really cool. And I know you have some beautiful scenery out in Tennessee.

You could probably film while hiking or doing some other things, maybe fishing or whatever.

Amy Porterfield: Wow. You’re really pushing me now.

Pat Flynn: Yes. And then maybe you can come back to San Diego, move back and, and then like your TikToks will blow up. So I, I think that’s the answer. You come back to San Diego.

Amy Porterfield: I, I think you just said a really good strategy for me.

Pat Flynn: Okay, so prelaunch like a lot of that stuff, and again, just what’s the messaging during prelaunch. I’m curious because during launch it’s, you know, Hey, the call to action, get the course and whatnot, but like what kinds of content are you creating to warm people up?

Amy Porterfield: Okay. I’m gonna tell you what we did to get the themes for that content. It’s more sophisticated and I don’t think any of my new students need to try this, but it is something to aspire to. So do you know Phillip Stutts, you know that name?

Pat Flynn: I don’t.

Amy Porterfield: Okay. So he does a lot of analysis of different niches, markets, audiences. Okay? And he did this free report. So anyone could get the free report that he did. And he talks about different types of audiences you identify, which one is most like your audience. And then he tells you how to talk to them. What do they want most? What are they struggling with in this economy we’re in right now?

It’s incredible. So I interviewed him for my podcast. I learned about this free report he did. And I started to kind of dissect what my audience was like. But then I took it a step further and you can pay the guy to do an analysis of your audience. So I think the free report is incredible for people just starting out. Going the next mile, I paid him to do a whole analysis of my own audience and he does it through pixels, different pages. I have pixels different audiences. I’ve coming to my webpages.

Anyway, I found out as much as I can about the audience who would buy Digital Course Academy. I found out what words they’re using, what they’re struggling with, where they are in their life right now, what do they want more of?

What do they want less of? And I took all of that and I found themes for my audience. Themes like my audience wants to be the hero of their own story. They wanna do things on their terms their way, and they wanna move away from what’s no longer serving them and become that hero of their story. So you can bet I will be talking about what that looks like in my pre-launch strategies.

My audience wants to find their one thing, what is it that they really are good at their expertise that they can add value to the world. So I created a freebie of how to find your one thing. And then my audience also is very ambitious, but their values aren’t necessarily all about making money, money, money anymore, used to be that way, but they’ve really changed.

And they’ve, they’ve kind of reevaluated, especially since COVID. Work life balance is almost important as important to them as making good money. And so I address that as well in one of the quizzes I created. So the moral of the story here is I learn as much as I can about my audience and that guides my content creation for a pre-launch before I move them into it’s time to create digital courses.

So essentially I try to meet them where they’re at.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean that’s what you need to do. Can you tell me the name of that person again? Cuz that’s, I’m sure people will be interested in this.

Amy Porterfield: So Phillip Stutts, and he’s got this free report that is so good that he is identifying different audiences in the market today.

Pat, you’ll totally see like one of your audiences in there. It is so much great insight.

Pat Flynn: And you’re not an affiliate for him?

Amy Porterfield: I’m not, no. Saying it genuinely. Yes.

Pat Flynn: I love that. On the pre-launch content, obviously you’re there to connect. You’re there to show that you understand where they’re at and that captures attention.

What’s your call to action for them before the launch even starts? What, what are you having them do?

Amy Porterfield: So what, we actually have one quiz and two free lead magnets over three months or two months. Okay. And so I’m having them opt into whatever they think is valuable. And then what we also do, and this is, you know, if we talk about what’s working.

Something new that I’ve never done before 2022 is we are doing a paid bootcamp and it will be the second time we’ve done it. I did it earlier this year for a list building bootcamp. Now I’m gonna do it for a course creation bootcamp. And when I say paid it’s $47. So it’s the cheapest thing I’ve ever offered.

And we get people into a bootcamp and I genuinely give them great content to decide if they’re ready to create a course or not. So they walk away whether they ever buy from me or not with great value. So I’ll do a quiz and then some lead magnets and then something more of a commitment, which is a $47 bootcamp for like a week.

And then I invite people into my webinar if they wanna learn more and where I sell my course. So it’s, it’s very strategic. I think one of the reasons why you and I have been friends forever and respect each other’s businesses, cuz I think we both care deeply about the content. So there’s not one thing that I’ll do that doesn’t relate back to I can add value whether they buy from me or not. And I think that’s what makes the pre-launch so valuable for people.

Pat Flynn: So much to unpack there. The $47 boot camp is really interesting to me. Why not just do a free bootcamp?

Amy Porterfield: Okay. In may, I’ve done free boot camps last year and they worked out good and they actually converted well into a digital course as well, lower than a webinar.

So I’m talking like 5% versus maybe 12% on a webinar. So it’s different, but I do the bootcamp and webinar. So I do both. Free bootcamp, we got like 20,000 people in it. And that converting at about 5%. The thing is because the conversion is low, I thought if people pay for it, the group will be smaller. I won’t have 20,000 people in my bootcamp, but I can serve them in a bigger way.

And, and you are literally just talking about this. You’ve got that amazing community. You cap it at what a thousand you said?

Pat Flynn: If y’all didn’t know that, it’s true. There is a cap at a thousand and we’re very close to approaching that.

Amy Porterfield: Okay. I think that’s incredible. And you cap it because, you know, you can serve a thousand people in a way that can just like blow their minds.

But if it was 20,000 people, which you could easily get if it was free. It’s a different world. So I want less people that I can serve immediately. And also this is not always the truth, but it is in many circumstances when people pay, they pay attention. Okay. This is what was crazy. Pat, when we did a free bootcamp, the engagement was so-so.

We did a paid bootcamp in May. The engagement on certain days was 80%. 80% of the group was engaging in a group that had 6,000 people in it. And so I’m all about now that’s where we’ve seen where we’ve struggled, getting engagement up in communities. And when the minute it wasn’t free anymore, I saw a huge shift.

Pat Flynn: 6,000 people pay 47 bucks.

Amy Porterfield: That one was 37. The list building was 37.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, that’s still an incredible thing. And then you have the DCA launch after that, for people who are already engaged, they’ve already gotten the value from you. Yeah. You’ve proven it. This is sort of their, as we used to call, you know, trip wire, if you wanna call it that.

Although I don’t like that term.

Amy Porterfield: They know how I teach they, I I’ve introduced them to success stories. So the thing is I don’t want them just buying digital course academy because they’re like, oh, I hope this works. I want them buying, being like, I like Amy as an instructor. She actually has success under her belt and she knows what she’s talking about.

This is a great investment. So I think people get into DCA, more confident that I can help them. If I do this bootcamp.

Pat Flynn: What do you teach in the bootcamp? Because that’s the tricky part. You know, if you’re teaching everything, then there’s nothing else to sell. You also don’t wanna hold back.

Amy Porterfield: We have mutual friends, Jill and Josh Staton of Wealthy Course Creators. Okay. So they actually trained me in paid boot camps. Like they actually, I paid them to teach me their model because their model is really solid. One of the things they taught me was don’t overwhelm people with too much content because of course, they’re gonna be like, oh, this is too much.

I can’t do this. You want people to realize how doable it is to do whatever it is you’re gonna teach them. So we do three days of training. So I create personalized training. I’m live, I’m doing the training and for a digital course, things like it’s where people normally get stuck. What would I even create?

Like what would my topic be? I’m not certified. I don’t have tons of years of training in this or that. What do I teach? So I teach people how to choose their course topic, how to price their course, because they wanna know, is this gonna be lucrative for me? Can I actually make this kind of money? And then I also teach ’em list building because anytime someone wants to create and launch a course, they’ve gotta have a list.

So I do three different trainings around topic and the offer and pricing and list. There’s so much more to course creation, but at the end, I want them just to think, is this something I wanna do? Does this feel exciting to me? If so, take the next step with me. If not, then don’t. So I teach the things that I think are most pressing to a newbie course creator.

And then I also do mindset sessions. I do 15 minute mindset sessions for about a week, and those are more popular than anything. How to get your head in the game when you’re gonna do something new.

Pat Flynn: The mindset session is that for the bootcamp students?

Amy Porterfield: Yeah. And in the one I did in may, they got one every single day and they were more popular than my three trainings. And so who knew, but that’s the cool stuff. In 2020 things worked that don’t work in 2022. And actually I’ve been in business for 13 years and it was the first, really big change that I saw that I was like, oh, what we’ve been doing is not working as well as it used to.

And so trying these boot camps and learning what’s working, it’s, it’s exciting. And also very scary. Like what if it didn’t work, now what do I do? So we’re in a weird time in market.

Pat Flynn: What was working, that’s not anymore?

Amy Porterfield: So one of the things that doesn’t work for me at least as well is I used to during a pre-launch get on Facebook Lives and I would do it two to three times a week for at least a month.

And I would plan all my trainings. I’d use a slide deck, I’d teach all this great content and I’d get like over a thousand people on my Lives. And then the replay would get more like tons of thousands of people. That is not happening for me anymore. And that just might be my audience, but we are not seeing the kind of numbers on Facebook Live.

So we did it again this last launch I did in 2021, I’m like, why are we doing something that is just not working? So that’s when we started to think about the bootcamp and do something different. So that was a big one for us that just wasn’t working. Webinars are working still for us. And they’re working for a lot of my students.

That is one thing that I I’m biased. I teach webinars, but our show up rates are still strong. Our conversion rates are still strong. However, I think that you’ve got to warm people up more so before a webinar and in the past it could just be invite people to a webinar they show up and they’re engaged.

No, you gotta work a little harder for

Pat Flynn: those. So you’re no longer doing ads to a webinar, to cold people. You’re doing something else first to sort of warm them up nowadays.

Amy Porterfield: Okay. Yes. And I’m so glad you asked this. So get this, we recently did a whole analysis of our last Digital Course Academy launch 2021.

And although this sounds like, duh, of course, I’ve never seen these kind of numbers before. What we found is that we looked at all of our buyers and a buyer who had a freebie in pre-launch and got on a webinar was more likely to buy than a buyer who just got a freebie, like a lead magnet, but didn’t get on the webinar or a buyer that just got on the webinar.

So the more free resources they interacted with before I sold my course the more likely they were to buy. Although that sounds like, yeah, duh, they’re more engaged. I never even knew that. So now our goal is to at least have everybody who comes through our launch have at least two to three tags of some kind of great free value before they ever hear about my course.

So that there’s more trust there. And that was big for me. But imagine if you go into a launch being intentional, I want everybody who just comes through my launch to have two to three free resources before they ever hear about my course, when you’re intentional about that, you’re gonna show up differently.

Pat Flynn: Oh yeah. You’ll, you’ll show up differently. You’ll be received differently. Yes. Right? How are you getting people to get access to these lead manages? Not like technically, but how are you putting it in front of them and how are you getting more people to find them?

Amy Porterfield: So we still rely heavily on paid ads. We have a big Facebook ad budget.

We do Instagram ads and we’re just starting to do Google ads. I used to do Google ads years ago. And for some reason we stopped doing them. So we started to do Google ads as well. We got a little nervous though, because in 2021, in early 2022, Facebook ads were so expensive. Like, yeah, holy cow. We’ve never seen numbers like that before.

I don’t wanna jinx myself, but we’re seeing in this pre-launch those numbers coming down a bit. I hope it’s a trend who knows, but we also introduced a lot of new content where last year we used a lot of the same stuff this year, we changed it up and we’re thinking maybe that’s why our ads are a little bit cheaper this time around.

I don’t know, but we do rely heavily on paid advertising and our email list.

Pat Flynn: Yes. So email is for sure the lead magnets are still the thing that’s growing the email list the most. And, and I think you have a quiz, you said too.

Amy Porterfield: A quiz is like our, our gold mine. Our quizes they’re a little bit more expensive to create.

We use a quiz creator, and of course we run ads to them. So they’re a little bit more expensive, but the quality of lead is really amazing. And here’s why I love quiz. Let’s say somebody went through one of your quizzes during a launch, the outcome page like now that you’ve taken the quiz, they opt in to get their quiz results and you give them their outcome. We make sure that that outcome is really valuable. Meaning like they’re gonna get something out of this no matter what, but after we give them their outcome of what their quiz results mean, we always send them to the next place.

So right now, if you took the quiz, your next step might be to get another free lead magnet. But when my bootcamp opens up, you can bet that the next step will invite you to the bootcamp. When my webinar opens up, the next step will invite ’em to a webinar. So it’s a really nice thing that you can change on the backend throughout a pre-launch.

So we take advantage of that.

Pat Flynn: What are you using to manage the sequences and backend and all that stuff?

Amy Porterfield: So we’ve used, and then we’ve also used. What’s the other one. You would totally know what it is. Ugh. I feel bad.

Pat Flynn: Outgrow. Convert Kit?

Amy Porterfield: No, it’s a quiz platform. Oh, I feel bad. I cannot remember.

But is a great one.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Yeah. The other one I’m familiar with is I don’t know if that’s the one you were thinking of, but, okay. So you’re using that to manage the, the quizzes. And then as far as like next steps and such, that’s all managed within the quiz as well, depending on sort of what their outcome is.

Amy Porterfield: Yeah. We’re just changing webpages essentially on the back end.

Pat Flynn: So one thing I know that you had become known for is, and this was back in the day, your podcast, obviously, and having the probably best example of somebody who’s able to build an email list from a podcast specifically. Is the podcast still doing an awesome job to help you grow leads, and, and if so, what’s what’s working? Is it working the way it was or, tell me about it.

Amy Porterfield: So I will say, and this is something we have to, I, I always like to be, of course, as honest as possible. You’re right. My podcast grew my email list. That was a huge factor. And we used to do a freebie per episode for like over a year.

That became way too much. That was way too much work. So we stopped doing a freebie, a new freebie per every episode. However, one thing that we’ve noticed is we recently hit, this is a big milestone. We were, we were going for, we recently. A million plus downloads a month. And for some reason I just could not get there.

And I’ve tried so many different strategies. And then finally we put together a formula and it worked so over the last six months, it’s been really consistent, which means our email list should be growing really quickly if our podcast is such a lead gen. However, I haven’t seen massive growth in my email list from my podcast.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m not getting enough new listeners on my podcast and where I need to do a better job is to introduce new people to my podcast. So that all those freebies that have been baked in for years and years will start producing growth in my email list. I just noticed with, you know, we went from like 500,000 in December to over a million in January.

That should have been a big boom for our email list and it wasn’t, but we added an extra episode a week, so it could have been recurring listeners, just listening to another episode every week, which is wonderful, I love it. But I need to do a better job of new listeners.

Pat Flynn: I think that assessment is correct.

Obviously having a second episode is gonna double essentially your, your downloads. Are you doing any other things to increase listenership?

Amy Porterfield: Yeah, one of the things, but again, this is, I don’t necessarily think it’s a brand new audience, but it’s people on my email list that might not be listening to the podcast so it absolutely could be. But we did, we did something really cool where again, I love quizzes. We put together a special quiz just for podcast listeners and we had them kind of evaluate where they are on their entrepreneurial journey. Based on, we gave them 10 episodes that they can listen to right away that they could kind of cut through all the noise.

When you have over 500 episodes. It’s like, what do I’m supposed to listen to? That did really, really well. And it grew our email list and I think it got some new listeners for sure. So that was one thing we did. We also, every quarter we do a podcast promo where we’ll look for something new, some new way to introduce the podcast or promote it.

The quiz was one of those promo weeks. That’s proven to be really successful what I’ve learned with my podcast. And I don’t know if you feel the same way cuz you’ve had a podcast longer than me. But I have to be really intentional about how to grow it. It’s it’s not just always gonna grow organically for me.

It will a little bit, but not at the rate I want it to go. So I have to be intentional about it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, yeah. Again, things have changed. Yeah. It’s kind of a, a theme here before you could just release the podcast episode. And because there weren’t that many, and because especially in the business category, this was pre all the big names coming on.

You and I had basically were like shooting fish in a barrel. It was so easy to get new listeners. So many people were finding podcasts for the first time. And there we were at the top of the rankings. And now that organic growth without intention is almost impossible. Intention is something that should always be there anyway. I think, you know, maybe we got complacent a little bit for, for a while, but I love that you’re doing that intentional sort of quarterly push for it. So the quiz was one idea. What was another push that you did for, for podcast growth, at one point?

Amy Porterfield: We did a contest. So we did a contest one quarter where you downloaded like five episodes and showed us that you did. Five or 10 or something like that we wanted you to actually download them. And then you were entered into win, like an entrepreneurial prize pack.

That one worked, but not nearly as good as the quiz. And I think it’s just that, you know, people love free stuff, but our audience is serious. They wanna make their business work. And they’re like, give me what I need right now.

And so the quiz worked better than the contest, but the contest still worked. I mean, we have seen growth month after month with these different promos. So I’m really glad we do them and then keeping it simple. So I don’t know if you do this, but every single week, I email my list with a link to the new episode that’s on Thursday.

Do you email your list every single week, Hey, I’ve got a new podcast episode, go listen to it?

Pat Flynn: We should be, but we’re not, although that’s gonna change.

Amy Porterfield: Oh, but here’s the deal. You might not do that, but your podcast is bigger than mine. And so maybe you don’t need to do that. So that’s the thing.

Like we gotta all figure out like what works for us, but I, if I don’t email on a Thursday, I will see downloads go down. I gotta remind my list I’ve got a new episode and here’s, what’s in it for you.

Pat Flynn: Email is interesting in that way where it’s like, you know, for us, it’s like, well, we know our audience’s email is already crowded.

Yeah. And so we don’t wanna add to that something that they could probably, or are already subscribe to you elsewhere, but at the same time, like you said, there’s gonna be some people who might need a little push or a reminder, or might not even know that exists. How are you feeling about the inbox nowadays?

Email marketing obviously is, I mean, this is your quote, the strength of your businesses align to the strength of your email list. Do you still believe that to be true? And how are you not upsetting your email audience?

Amy Porterfield: So that’s an interesting question. What would upset them?

Pat Flynn: There’s just so many emails coming in. And it’s, you know, a sale or another ask or, you know it’s just, it’s just more noise.

Amy Porterfield: Yes. So we actually had to take a really big look at the health of our email list and what was working and what’s not working. I actually just recently hired an email marketing specialist.

Like his expertise is around email marketing. And the reason we did that is I still believe to my core, the, the strength of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list. And without an email list, I would never, ever see the kind of revenue I have in my business. I absolutely believe that social will never, ever compete with my email list.

And it’s something that I, again, have to be super intentional. However, we started to see our open rates were declining at one point or deliverability, that was an, another big one as well. So we really struggled with some deliverability and I realized, wait, our list isn’t as healthy. One thing we were not doing is taking people off the list that weren’t opening our emails, like my good friend, Jasmine Star, every 60 days if, if you haven’t opened up something in 60 days, you’re off.

Now, she’ll warn you and give you a chance to stay on if you want. She keeps that list clean. Another thing she does is she will segment the list and the people that have opened up an email last week, they’re in one segment, if you have an opened up an email in 30 days, that’s another segment, they’re all getting the same email, but she’s segmenting them.

And I really do believe that shows you kind of the activity and the habits of the different type of people on your list. So my point being is what, what have we seen? We definitely saw the health of our email list declining, but I really do believe it’s cuz we weren’t paying attention to it. We paying attention to grow it, grow, grow it.

But like what about the health of it? So now we are tracking everything. Subject lines, open rates, click through rates, like, every single email is in a spreadsheet. And that sometimes feels like overkill to a smaller business, but I don’t have any excuse. I have a bigger business, but we needed to see what was working.

And for us really short subject lines are working way better than anything we’ve ever done with subject lines. And, and that very first part of that email something we changed, we keep it super conversational. And so it’s something like, holy cow, like, have you noticed that XYZ is happening? Me too. Just kind of be like, so they can raise their hand, like, yeah.

Yeah. So they kind of stay with you through the email. We had to change that first one or two sentences. Once we started to do that, we noticed we’ve got more clicks. So we play around with this stuff all the time. It’s a huge focus.

Pat Flynn: See, this is why I wanted you back on the show. You always deliver, even without asking, like I didn’t, you, you didn’t have to drop that tip and you did, and that’s, that’s super valuable.

People are gonna love that. As we finish up here, and again, this is, first of all, we’re gonna have you back on, cuz I just, can’t not continue to wait so long between the times. And I know you have a book coming out in the future and we’ll do what we can to support you with that. Cuz I love everything you create.

You’ve helped me out so much and, and we love you. So we’ll talk about that in the next episode when you come on, I think in February, perhaps of next year, but I wanted to ask you about video. Video and you have an interesting relationship. I know it always has you and I both had our live studios built at the same time.

And I’m curious because I’ve definitely leaned into video a lot lately, not just on the Pat Flynn channel, but even like on Deep Pocket Monster and the Pokemon thing, it’s been really fun. And I finally found comfort in video and I think you and I were very similar early on, which was like, you know, we’re, we’re kind of shy.

We don’t like to put ourselves on video and I’m curious to know your stance on video now. And are you doing YouTube or like, how is your head space around video nowadays? Cuz it’s pretty important to have some videos coming out in some form.

Amy Porterfield: I agree. Like basically I think it’s a necessity. My students will say, do I really need to do video?

And it’s rare that I’ll say yes, you need to do this. And I will say absolutely. I don’t think there’s any way around this. It’s not going anywhere and it’s only getting bigger. I haven’t really explored YouTube. I haven’t done a lot on YouTube. I think it’s probably our next big initiative in 2023. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.

However, what I can say is I’ve really found my groove with video, like getting on video with you. If, if I heard wait, it’s a video interview. If this was like two years ago, I’d be like, no, can we just do audio? What does that have to be video?

Pat Flynn: I can hear you saying that.

Amy Porterfield: Right? But now I’m just like, yeah, of course I do video every single day in my business.

And why I love that you asked this question is because you know me well and years ago I hated it. I cringed, I did everything to not be on video. And then when I finally I’m competitive and I’m like, this business means the world to me, we’re gonna figure this out. So it just became something that I did, even though I was uncomfortable.

To the point that it was something I did cuz I was comfortable. It, it will happen for people if they stick with it. So I think video’s necessary. I think it’s inviting and engaging and we gotta do it now. One more thing. I’ll add. I’ve always struggled with my weight and it will be up. It will be down.

It’s just, unfortunately a thing that’s been my, my life since I’ve been very young. And when I take care of myself, I might not be at the optimal weight or look exactly how I wanna look or whatever. But when I take care of myself mentally and physically, no matter what it looks like on camera, I feel better.

So I have learned, I do 10 minute meditation in the morning. I move my body. I try to eat clean and that makes it easier to show up and show my face. So, I don’t know who needed to hear that, but it does make a difference.

Pat Flynn: That probably felt like a gut punch to some people listening right now out of nowhere. But it’s something that I think needed to be said because that has definitely played a role in my productivity and creativity as well.

When I take care of my body, my I can do what I need to do. And I’m at my top performance capability. You know, you can have an awesome looking car, but if you don’t put the right gas, It’s not gonna work the way it should. And that confidence is key. You’ve taught me that when you, like, I think it was you who said this, whether on stage or somewhere, it’s like when you believe your course, your program or whatever is a solution that will help people you at the core, you know, that you’re going to just.

Exude that when you sell it, when you email, when you market and people will feel that they’ll see that if you’re not confident in what it is that you’re promoting, then it’s gonna be very difficult to sell it. Right. And absolutely that confidence in showing up on camera, regardless of how it makes you look, you feel better.

And when you feel better, you create better. And when you create better, we receive it better.

Amy Porterfield: Ooh, that’s so good. Yes.

Pat Flynn: You know, so I love that you went there and I think this is a great way to finish off this episode, Amy. This has been absolutely incredible. People know to go to or Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, but like, what’s the one spot you want people to go right now?

Amy Porterfield: Ooh. The one spot that I want, well, I want people to go to TikTok. I need to grow that channel. Okay. So come find me at TikTok. It’s @Amy.Porterfield. I don’t even know if I’m saying that right. It’s for some reason I had to put a period in there. So Amy period Porterfield, how would you say that?

Pat Flynn: Amy dot. Yeah. Oh, that sounds like a website, but yeah, you’re you’re right.

Amy Porterfield: This is the first time I told anybody to go to TikTok. So thanks for asking.

Pat Flynn: See, that shows how you’ve grown in confidence. You’re literally telling us all to go watch you on video now on a platform that you just, you are awesome.

That’s what you are, Amy. Thank you so much for today. We’ll pull all the links and the show notes and stuff, stick around for the closing statements and why that ask closing statements. It sounds so weird. Anyway, just thank you all for listening.

Amy, thank you for being here. I appreciate you.

Amy Porterfield: Ah, thank you, Pat.

Pat Flynn: I’m telling you, Amy always delivers. And that’s exactly why we’re gonna invite her on again in the future. But I hope you enjoyed this episode, find Amy on TikTok. And when you do tell her that you heard her on this show, I think she will appreciate that a ton and you can follow her there and see exactly how she’s getting outside of her comfort zone.

And hopefully she listens to the challenges I gave her with what to do on TikTok. I think that would work very well, but also check out all the things that she has going on. We’ll have the show notes at That’s where you can get all the links and resources that we mentioned today. And well, thank you so much, Amy. You are incredible.

And thank you for listening all the way through. I look forward to serving you in next week’s episode, and also this Friday with a Follow Up Friday, like we always do. Cheers. And as always Team Flynn for the win.

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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