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SPI 636: The Video I Deleted the Moment I Published It

My 30-day TikTok challenge isn’t going great. In fact, my numbers so far are pretty abysmal. Even so, I just decided to delete a video that really had the potential to go viral (in more ways than one). I knew it was a mistake the second I uploaded it to my TikTok account.

You’ll have to listen in on today’s episode to find out what was in the video, but let’s just say that podcasting can get nasty sometimes!

What I want to talk about today is much more important than one post. Really, it applies to everything we create and can help us define how we want to show up on social media.

You see, being honest with ourselves about the value we provide and the message we want people to know us for is vital. To help you stop chasing vanity numbers and discover your most powerful voice, I want to share the series of questions I always ask myself when I create content.

Join me for this quick update to learn more! Enjoy, and stay tuned because I have a lot to say about what this TikTok experiment has taught me.

SPI 636: The Video I Deleted the Moment I Published It

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 believes the most underrated household item anyone can have is a fire blanket. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: All right, so if you didn’t know this, I’m in the middle of a 30-day TikTok challenge, and I’ve seen some of you there.

As soon as it was announced, maybe a couple weeks ago, three weeks ago, actually, many people came over to the TikTok, @Pat_Flynn, and you’ve seen that I have been, in fact publishing videos consistently every single day. But I wanted to tell you about a particular video, as you probably saw in the title that I deleted as soon as I hit publish.

And this was in fact, on TikTok. And I wanna tell you why I deleted it. And the lesson that kind of comes along with it. It’s a, it’s an important lesson that I need to remind myself and hopefully by sort of sharing this, I mean, it’s almost like I’m recording this episode for me as much as I am for many of you.

And this is a trap. This is a trap that I’ve fallen into before and thankfully I was able to catch myself, not before I hit publish, but as soon as I hit publish, I knew exactly what was going on. So let me tell you the quick story. So you know, halfway through this TikTok challenge. I’m at that point where I’m like, oh no, tomorrow is coming very soon. I need to film a video of some sort. And that’s the nice thing about the short form videos. You don’t have to necessarily plan a ton. Planning does help. And the videos where I do plan a little bit further and I try to create a story of sorts or I understand that there’s some sort of punchline and maybe something comedic or something, I know that it’s gonna get a good response. Or at least a better response.

And the numbers so far, at least at the point of this recording, have been pretty abysmal, but that’s okay. You know what? Because I told myself I’m gonna keep going for 30 days and we’ll see it through. Now, what’s also interesting is I’ve been taking these videos and I’ve been publishing the same video on Instagram.

And on Instagram, I’m getting a lot, much more reach, but that’s mostly because I probably have a much bigger subscribership. The whole thing here is I’m looking for additional growth outside of my current audience growth. I want the algorithm to kick in and it’s kicked in a little bit, but not as much as I was hoping.

Now that might change by the time this episode comes out, we’ll see, and you have to go to the TikTok @Pat_Flynn and we’ll see what happens there. But, back to the story. So I’m scrambling for a video idea and I’m thinking, Hey, what, what would capture a person’s attention immediately? What would be something that people might be able to share and kind of spread and talk about?

Well, I look at my microphone and you know that I’ve been podcasting for quite a while and I’m looking at my microphone and all my microphone. I have what’s called a pop filter. And a pop filter is this little extension that floats sort of above the microphone to remove the plosives in my voice. The plosives are the Bs and the Ps and other words that start with those letters that have a lot of air that comes out, so it stops that air.

Now, air coming from our mouths typically comes with germs and bacteria, and this microphone, which I speak very close to apparently was looking nasty. Like I caught it when I had a, a big white screen on, I think it was Google Sheets or something, and I look at my screen through my pop filter and oh my gosh, I almost threw up.

I was like, like I’m talking into this thing that has all these germs and it, it’s like growing and you could see it. It’s just like, you know, it’s supposed to be a clear mesh. Half the little holes in the mesh are like, I’m, I’m trying not to make you sick here, but it was darn right nasty. It was nasty with a capital N. Nasty. Okay. I think you get the idea.

So of course me being like, oh, this would be perfect for TikTok. This is great. I’m gonna show off my nasty little microphone and I’m gonna start the video with a couple seconds of me looking grossed out, saying like, I couldn’t believe this. Or, you know, I almost threw up.

Or, you know, this is so, I’m so grossed out right now. And I think because I wanted to be cool, it was like I’m so grossed out, rn, which for those of you on the older side means right now, so I’m so grossed out right now. It’s me looking sick. It cuts to a slow zoom of my microphone through the wind screen or the pop filter into the white background, so you could clearly see the nasty looking stuff right there, and then it cuts to me looking like I’m throwing up. And then it says at the end, how am I still alive right now?

And the caption was, I quit podcasting after this. In my mind, this is a viral video. I’m like, great. I can imagine people doing a duet with it. Also kind of looking disgusted and grossed out.

I imagine people talking about this being like, Hey Pat, happy to be on the interview today. Did you clean your microphone? Yes, I did. Well anyway, I hit publish and it was in sort of review like it always is for just a few moments after TikTok gets a hold of it and I’m like already planning part two cause I know there’s gonna be comments about it.

I know that people are gonna go, yuck, that’s gross. Did you clean it? And so I’m already cleaning it cuz literally the first time I’m seeing this, I don’t know why. I don’t really look at my windscreen, pop filter. Excuse me, my wind. I use them interchangeably. I know they’re different. Don’t hate me. It’s the first time I’m getting a really good glimpse of this and paying attention to it.

So I go into the bathroom and I get some soap and some vinegar and some hot water, and I’m like, you know, disinfecting it and all this stuff, and I’m, I’m filming this. I like have the phone hanging off the edge of the sink so I could capture me with a little toothbrush, not my toothbrush, one that I opened for this purpose, to scrub it and like, boom, it’s clean, like I’m speaking into it right now.

And it’s fine. It’s, it’s fine. And so I’m thinking, what value am I adding here? First of all, my other thought was like, what if this goes crazy viral and I’m on the news tomorrow morning and it’s like, you know, a professional podcaster, Pat Flynn’s microphone looks like a bacterial colony for disease. And you know, the cops come cuz they think it’s unsanitary and they take the kids away.

This is what our brain does. We think of the worst case scenario. Obviously that likely wouldn’t happen. It’s like a zero one chance of that happening. When I thought about that question, what value am I adding here? What does this do to help serve my audience? I mean, sure, I’m making up excuses, like, okay, this is entertainment, but what am I trying to teach here?

I mean, yes, I could have made a case for, okay, hey podcasters, clean your mic because this could happen. But I didn’t want this video to be out there. I didn’t feel like this was my best way to add value. Right. And also I didn’t wanna be known for being gross. So here I am telling you exactly what happened because you know it happened.

And I’m going to sacrifice the potential grossness of this. And maybe you coming to me at a conference and being like, Hey Pat, like don’t get too close to me cuz your microphone was nasty. I clean it. Okay. I’m fine. I go to the dentist. We’re all good over here. We’re all good. All right. Hopefully you’re laughing having a little cackle out of this too, and I wanna make a lesson out of it, but that’s not what I wanna be known for, right?

I want to have valuable videos that tell great story go viral because they help people. That’s it. And it’s helping me define who I wanna be on these platforms. And again, remember, I’m still in the middle of this experiment. Am I gonna be continuing to do this? I don’t. I don’t know. I know that it does take time to create, even though it’s short form, even though there’s a lot more flexibility and room for just kind of imperfections.

But it is taking time. It’s also taking creative time, which is more than the however many seconds of the video it takes to record. And there’s also editing involved. I mean, editing videos on TikTok. I mean, it’s really neat how the platform allows you to craft these stories and add texts and these voices and effects.

I mean, you, there’s some incredibly amazing storytellers who know exactly how to use TikTok and I’m, I’m learning, you know, I’m getting much better at it. I’m getting much faster at the captions and the editing and how to get it precise and unlocking and sort of like, Finding new parts of TikTok to make it even easier and faster.

But I’m also finding that as a, this is kind of just me giving you an update on the lesson now of this experiment, not just the nasty microphone. That’s nasty. I’m finding that by being on TikTok to create TikToks I find myself getting down some rabbit holes while consuming TikToks.

It’s very difficult to create for a platform and not also consume on that platform, right? You kind of have to consume on that platform to bring your best, because you can learn and get inspiration and find ideas, and especially on TikTok. I mean, if you wanna win on TikTok, you gotta get with the trends. You gotta do what’s hot, and there’s only one way to do that.

You consume TikTok. But because of the way TikTok is built, I’m finding that I’m wasting hours on it. When I ask, not just what value am I providing to my audience there or potential audience, I’m also asking what value does TikTok provide to me? And all I can say is it’s made me laugh. It’s made me cry.

There’s been some incredible stories, but quite honestly, it has not helped me as a consumer. It has not helped me yet. Mind you, there’s very business savvy, smart people who are using the platform for their business, for growth, for exposure. I haven’t unlocked that yet, and there are people who are spending a lot of money on ads.

I mean, I’m talking tens of thousands of dollars per day and getting some really incredible leads and making money off of it, which is fantastic. I mean, this is where people are at. But it’s a different game. It’s a different game and I’m gonna continue to experiment with this cuz I gave myself 30 days and I’ll come back after those 30 days.

You probably won’t hear from me exactly after 30 days because we do record these ahead of time. So you might hear from me like a month from now. You know, even though I’m. You know, a little over or just at halfway through this experiment, you’ll hear from me a little bit later by the end of the year, for sure.

Yeah. I’m gonna keep it going, but I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter, Twitter’s a whole thing right now at the time of this recording, it’s just going through some stuff, but I am still there. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens with it. But @PatFlynn on Twitter or @PatFlynn on Instagram, those are my two homes that I’m usually at.

And I’d love to hear your thoughts on these short form video platforms. I’m actually looking really forward to Shorts and what’s coming in the next year. I’ll talk more about that in the next, in the next Friday episode probably, because I’m just, you know, when you get into these experiments and you give yourself time to obsess over things, right?

This is the, the whole thing, this is a lot of what my next book’s gonna be about. Controlled obsession, right? You need to get obsessed about these things in order to succeed, but you don’t want it to be uncontroled. You have to have what I like to call rumble strips, right? Like when you’re driving down the road and you kind of are just in automatic mode, but then you kind of, we weave to the left or right a little too far.

You have those little notches in the road that kind of make a noise when your tire hits them to wake you up and get back to where you’re at. Right? That’s the thing. Anyway, we’re talking about my book now. Anyway, that’s coming later too. But thank you so much for listening to the show and hearing just my honest thoughts and my clean microphone.

Yep. I just looked at it again. It’s good. We’re good now. We’re good now people. Peace out. Don’t be nasty. And I’ll see the next one. Cheers. Thanks.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, 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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