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SPI 660: RPGs (It’s Not What You Think)

Today I share an unusual tool for audience growth and engagement that you can have a lot of fun with!

RPGs—Ridiculous Public Goals—are something that I’ve noticed a few creators use. I’ve leveraged this tactic at Deep Pocket Monster at times, but never intentionally. That said, now that I’m coining the term, this is something I intend to explore in a lot more depth.

From what I’m seeing so far, RPGs are a powerful way to keep your viewers, listeners, and readers coming back for more. But what exactly does a Ridiculous Public Goal strategy consist of?

Listen in on this episode for my thoughts—you can use this over and over again to craft the kind of posts that social platforms like to reward. RPGs are a great way to humanize your content and connect with your audience on a deeper level!

I always say that basic knowledge is available all over the internet. It’s your unique personality that grows your following and business. Join me to learn how to showcase your character and have people rooting for your success through RPGs!

SPI 660: RPGs (It’s Not What You Think)

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 can’t keep his office clean for more than two days in a row. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Today I wanna talk to you about RPGs. Now, I’m not talking about the video games.

We’ve talked about video games before here, and I have talked about it in my book Superfans and in my presentation. The idea that in a video game, of course, you want the first levels to be very easy to provide the player with small quick wins, and you as a creator or an entrepreneur, you need to do the same thing with your audience.

Help them get to level two. Yes, you want to ultimately get them to beat the boss, whatever it is the equivalent of the boss would be for your audience. But you gotta start with level one because that’s how you get to learn the controls. That’s how you start to provide these feelings of reward early on.

And when you do that, people will continue to come back, just like we continue to keep playing video games to up level and eventually your level 60 Paladin in World of Warcraft and then you forget to pick up your kids from school right. Now, definitely go pick up your kids from school if you need to, but I wanna talk about not RPGs, the video game, which stands for role-playing games.

There’s many of them but a different kind of RPG something that I’ve been thinking a lot about that in fact, a lot of creators do and use, and I myself have done this in the past, perhaps not as, intentional as I would’ve hoped or have liked. But now that I know this, and I’m sort of coining this term, RPG, ridiculous public goal, a ridiculous public goal.

You know, one of the struggles that we have as creators today is that oftentimes people come across our content and they get what they need. And they leave. There’s nothing really there to keep them coming back. Now, of course your personality can help cuz there’s something to connect with them with the small quick wins, which we just discussed can be great too because they’ll potentially want to come back for more.

But in many cases, when a person watches your video or listens your podcast or reads your blog. It’s very easy to just get what they need and then leave. But when you have an RPG, a ridiculous public goal, this is a goal that is not met in one video or not even met in a single month or year. It’s an ongoing challenge that you as the creator have that is made public for your audience.

And what ends up happening is your audience starts to root for you. Your audience starts to get involved, your audience starts to potentially help you with these larger goals. Very large, right? And it becomes a language within the culture of your brand and community. It becomes a thread that connects a lot of the content together.

An example of this is from a creator, Ryan Trahan. He’s a YouTuber, a very, very good storyteller. Doesn’t have the best camera quality, but it doesn’t matter cuz he tells stories. He’s very engaging. And a couple years ago he decided to create a sort of a joke. He says that he never really got to meet his grandpa, so he’s gonna pick somebody that he idolizes in life and try to make him his grandpa.

And that was Dr. Phil. And it was ridiculous and it was public, but, and it was just said once, but he said, you know what, I am going to try and have Dr. Phil adopt me as his grandson. Right. Again, kind of ridiculous. And you know, Ryan is more of an entertainment channel, but keep listen. In later videos, Ryan came up with a strategy.

He actually reached out to Dr. Phil’s team and said, Hey, I would like to meet Dr. Phil and his team, cuz he wasn’t able to meet Dr. Phil through calling in, said no. And then what happened is he said, well, you know, I’m a, I’m an inspiring YouTuber, Dr. Phil has a YouTube channel, if I can beat the number of subscribers that Dr. Phil has, can I at least just talk to him and say hello? And this became a ridiculous public goal that Ryan had throughout several of his videos. And it allowed people to want to subscribe because they wanted to see this happen. They wanted to see him surpass the subscriber count of Dr. Phil, which was in the millions.

And eventually meet him. And at the end, or even throughout the middle of some of his videos, just very lightly, he would say, oh yeah, and by the way, I wanna meet Dr. Phil. He, I wanted to be my grandpa and I need to get as many subscribers as him. And we’re about halfway there, so if you could get subscribe.

So Dr. Phil could be my grandpa. That’d be great. Great. Again, really silly. More of a joke. But people started commenting and people started to follow along and people subscribed because they wanted to see this happen. And even though most of his videos were not about this in particular, the fact that it continued to show up again and again became a thread and a through line throughout a lot of this story of Ryan in the growth of his channel and then eventually spoils, I’m gonna spoil it a little bit for you. He surpassed Dr. Phil, and there was a video of him reaching back out to his, to the Dr. Phil team and said, Hey, I did it. You know, I, I called you two years ago and you said that if I get as many subscribers as Dr. Phil, that I’d be able to meet him. And guess what? He created a whole video about the journey of going over to the studios where Dr. Phil works. And meeting him and then being able to get to interview him. And it was totally awkward. It was, and Ryan is kind of an awkward person, purposefully. He has this funny laugh where he lasted himself very self-deprecating. Very cute if you will. But that video was amazing. I saw it a couple times in fact, cuz it was all we were waiting for.

Right. On the Pokemon Channel, I mentioned very early on that I had a ridiculous public goal. This is the Pokemon channel that I have at Deep Pocket Monster. It’s mainly a YouTube channel, but we have a Discord and a community. We currently, in fact, have 2,500 paying members on the YouTube channel. They’re paying only $3 a month, but 2,500 on automatic, which is really amazing and a big shout out to anybody who’s a part of the Gem Mink Club, which we call that community there. But early on in the journey of this channel, I had mentioned that I had a ridiculous public goal. And that ridiculous public goal was, and this might not mean anything to you if you’re not a Pokemon collector, but to collect every wizards of the coast pack art sealed and graded, and again, that language probably doesn’t mean anything to you, but it’s a very, very difficult goal because a lot of these older packs from the Wizards of the coast era of Pokemon, which is 1999 through 2003, are very expensive. There’s usually four packs per set, and there’s dozens of sets, and so dozens of pack.

That costs hundreds of dollars each, and I was only maybe 15% of the way through, but then several videos later it talked about an update added to that collection 25% of the way through. I did an entire video about it later showing how I got to 40% with a spreadsheet that I created and all that I had to do to get more of it.

And it just has become this through point that lives inside the brand that one day I’m gonna continue to get to this point where eventually, I’m gonna have meant that goal, and then I’ll need to probably create a new goal and I have some new goals in mind. I don’t wanna spoil them for anybody because I’m not sure exactly when they’re gonna launch.

But these ridiculous public goals are pretty amazing. I can imagine that even if it’s not necessarily about your brand, much like how Dr. Phil really has nothing to do with Ryan other than he wanted him to be his grandfather. It just becomes something to root for, something to follow, something to get interested in, and the Pokemon stuff obviously that I have is related to the Pokemon Channel and people are interested in that.

But maybe you have this goal to run a marathon, and then as you’re talking about your content, you can let people know, Hey, if you have any tips for running a marathon, I know this is a channel about business and finance. Like I’m gonna be running a marathon. I got tickets to the Boston Marathon, or I or I got entry into the Boston Marathon.

I have seven months to train and I’ll just keep you posted on my journey. It could be something that you do on social. It can make its way into your show every once in a while. And again, these ridiculous public goals become something that not only help people create a thread line throughout most of your content, not only help you create something of interest to follow along with, it just humanizes you.

It allows you to do something that is personality based and different than every other personality that’s out there. I’m gonna continue to say this. I’ve been saying it over and over again, but there’s so much information out there right now, and it’s all free or can be found for free that you as a brand, whether it’s just you and your personality, or you have an entire team of people, even if you’re a software, you have to bring some human elements into the game. In an RGP a ridiculous public goal. RPG. RGP? Role playing game. Yeah. RPG. I did it right. Okay. Sorry. I was looking at my notepad and I thought I had it wrong the entire episode, but I’m gonna keep that in. An RPG can be an amazing way to create some personality, some interest, and yes, not everybody’s gonna be interested in that, but it’s a part of you and therefore it becomes a part of the brand and it helps you stand out from the other people that are out there.

So what’s an RPG that you might have and be able to share publicly and kind of create updates on from time to time? You can insert those updates in the bottom of your newsletter every once in a while, or you can be a little bit more forthcoming and upfront with them. You can share them on social media or you can bring them up every once in a while on your podcast or YouTube videos.

It becomes something that people can follow along. It’s beyond just the information. You need to create connection and you need to give a person a reason to subscribe, right? That’s one of the main reasons why my main YouTube channel, the Pat Flynn YouTube channel, was so difficult to grow and, and still is difficult to grow because a person doesn’t know what they’re subscribing to.

Yes, they see what they just watched, and yes, it perhaps, and I hope it was valuable, but to answer the question, well, what can they expect in their inbox next? It’s really confusing. And what’s, what’s gonna keep them coming back for more, I don’t know. But on the Pokemon channel, it’s very clear. Anyway, I hope it’s clear for you too from this point forward.

And I wanna wish you the best of luck in your RPG, your ridiculous public goal. What is it? Tell me on Instagram or Twitter at Pat Flynn and let me know what you think of this concept. Testing it out, wanna share it. Something I’ve noticed. And I think it’d be fun. Something fun to keep your audience interested.

And guess what? When they’re interested and involved, they invest, invest time, and perhaps money as well. Cheers. Take care and then wish you all the best. I’ll see you in the next episode. Peace.

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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