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SPI 667: The State of the Creator Economy with Roberto Blake

If you want to stand out online, going the extra mile matters. Even in a crowded space, very few creators have the capacity and know-how to fully serve everyone in their niche. The extra mile is never saturated!

But, with limited time and financial resources, what aspects of content creation should you work to become exceptional at? What are the best investments you can make in this capacity, and which free tools will best grow your audience?

These are some of the topics of today’s conversation with the incredible Roberto Blake. His step-by-step advice is priceless for the modern content creator, so don’t miss out!

I was also recently a guest on his podcast, Create Something Awesome Today, where we talked about growing my YouTube channel, Deep Pocket Monster, to half a million subscribers in under two years. Be sure to check that out as well.

Creators who understand and put their audience first always win. Today’s conversation will help you find your competitive advantage and create more compelling content. Listen in, take notes, and enjoy!

Today’s Guest

Roberto Blake

Roberto Blake is a Creative Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker, and currently the head of Create Awesome Media and the Founder of Awesome Creator Academy, where he and his team help other Creators grow their audience and income to become full-time Creators.

Forbes named Roberto as one of the 20 Must-Watch YouTube Channels That Will Change Your Business.

Roberto is considered one of the leading minds on the Creator Economy, Content Platforms, and Monetizing Social Media. He is an advisor for Creative Juice, SuperFans, Tubebuddy, and other Creator Economy Startups.

His content focuses on topics around the Creator Economy, with an empowering motivational message that has allowed him to impact the lives of over 500,000 subscribers.

In recent years he has become known as an impactful Keynote Speaker at industry events like Social Media Marketing World, Creator Economy Expo, PodFest, and VidSummit.

Roberto also hosts the popular Create Something Awesome Today podcast, where he discusses various topics around modern entrepreneurship and the Creator Economy with guests such as Sara Dietschy, MKBHD & Chris Ducker.

You’ll Learn


SPI 667: The State of the Creator Economy

Roberto Blake: You have to find something that you are willing to not make an excuse towards and say, “I will be exceptional in this one area, if nothing else, until I can be at least above average in other areas. I will at least be exceptional in one lane. I have to accept that when people say no, it’s because they have an abundance of options of people who can provide something that I can’t. I need to qualify for people’s attention, and that means accepting that I have to deliver something to them. And that if I can’t, someone will.”

Pat Flynn: When I think of the creator, you know, I think of a number of different people who represent who a creator is, right? There’s all different kinds of creators out there, but there’s one person in particular who I invited on the show today that really embodies the idea of a creator in this economy right now, and that is Roberto Blake. And he’s here with us today to talk about essentially like the state of the creator economy. And he’s got always, every, every single time I talk to him, he’s got some incredible insights cuz he’s a creator himself. He teaches a lot of creators. And we talk about YouTube, we talk about short form video, and a lot of other things that are very important today as a creator.

And to build a business for yourself off the creations that you publish online, no matter where those publications are, short form, long form, text, video, audio, et cetera. I think this gonna be a really, really important episode for you to listen to. And it’s just always, always great to download Roberto Blake’s wisdom and to hear what he has to say so you can check him out, or Roberto Blake on YouTube. And you can check out this episode, session 667 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for being here today, and let’s not wait any longer. Here he is, Roberto Blake.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he had to quit playing World of Warcraft in college because it was affecting his grades. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Roberto, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for being here, man.

Roberto Blake: Thank you so much for having me, Pat. You know, I Enj always enjoy talking to you.

Pat Flynn: I always enjoy talking to you too.

And I remember the last time we chatted, we started off the year, I think 2022 and you had said something very profound that I’ve just was, was a sound clip that I shared over and over again, and it was after I asked you a question about how do you approach a, a niche or a space or a market that seems to be so totally saturated?

I mean, it’s just so populated and, and that’s how a lot of us are feeling today when we’re starting businesses. And you had fired back with probably one of the most profound things we’ve heard on the show, which was, well, are those niches saturated with quality content? Are those niches saturated with, you know, good kindhearted people who go out of their way to, to serve that audience?

And obviously the answer, well, no, and this is our opportunity, right? Are you still feeling that? That answer probably even more now?

Roberto Blake: I’m feeling that answer even more, Pat, and I’ve also been able to clarify it down to more actionable steps in terms of anyone who’s like, oh, everything’s already saturated.

Oh, it’s too late, so on and so forth. This applies to basically every platform, content creation, every medium, whether this is podcasting, YouTube, social media as a whole, writing. All of it. Business. What I found is this, there are very few people who, one, genuinely add high value to a lot of these niches that everyone says is saturated.

The majority of people are not in a position, it’s no offense to them, it’s like the, was the market full of, it’s full of people that are level zero, level one, level two, level three, very few people they’re at the highest levels in terms of what they’re even have the capacity to deliver on. So do most people have the capacity, lifestyle circumstances to make even acceptable quality content?

Like, okay, moderately acceptable? Do they have the ability to do multiple times a week consistently, and never miss a week. Most people don’t have that capacity. So that’s an area where you can’t be competed on by that many people. It’s not 90% of the market. 90% of the market of content creators cannot do multiple uploads a week of a podcast or a YouTube video multiple times a week.

They just do not have the capacity. And do they have the capacity to do it? That’s not the lowest quality, the like lowest entry level, cuz again, even in business, even in your career, the market is saturated at the entry level when there are fewer barriers to entry, content creations, barriers to entry keep getting lower and lower and lower, but the quality that the consumer will tolerate, that bar keeps going up and up and up and up in terms of where they will make the strongest commitments.

As consumers, you have to think about your own consumption. How many amateurs are you watching versus people who are out at that higher level. So the thing is to give yourself the competitive advantage in a niche first of all, higher quality content can win. I’m not saying you can’t, but the thing is, what level. There’s an acceptable threshold to quality for your niche in tech, it might be higher in video podcasting, it may not be that high. In news and journalism, the broadcast quality, the like, that may not be that high. It may not be, and by that high, I mean it may not be a financial barrier to entry in terms of disposable income. But Pat, most people. Do not have it to spend even $1,500 on a video lighting and audio setup.

Doing that alone, you beat an overwhelming majority of the market in production value and quality. If you then put in the work to develop your delivery your performance on camera, you take a couple improv classes, how many people are gonna do that? You take a few public speaking classes, you do toastmasters.

How many people are gonna do that? You get some speech or voice coaching or training. How many people are gonna do that? The extra mile matters. The extra mile is never saturated. I learned this as a distance runner, is that the saturation will be the people that can only maintain a certain pace, if they even finish, if they even finish the race, if they even finish the marathon.

So I still believe that there are not people who are going the extra mile on quality or consistency or care. And I think that that matters.

Pat Flynn: If a person is hearing this and they’re like, well, I don’t, I actually have $1,500 to spend on higher quality camera work. You know, I understand that that can help for sure, but what if I don’t have access to that?

Am I doomed? Am I, am I done?

Roberto Blake: No. Pick one area of improve, pick one area of improvement at a time. And for most people, the era of improvement that they could commit to is coming with an extra $100 to improve the audio quality to make their content much more, because again, the reason you’re investing in these things is for the, is investing in the experience that your audience will have and saying, my audience deserves something that that can’t give them the best. They need something that is more than acceptable and is not uncomfortable for them. And so obviously talking into your phone versus even a 30 to $100 microphone, the 30 to $100 microphone is so much better, Pat. And that’s a commitment to make to an audience. And again, you don’t have to start that way, but you do have to feel like at some point you do get there.

And even if it’s not that you make money off your content to reinvest into it, it’s like there are hobbies you’ve surely spent a hundred dollars into. There’s Starbucks coffees that add up to, you know, 20 Starbucks coffees. Add up to that a hundred dollars, get maybe an Elgato microphone and just say, I’m gonna give my audience a slightly better experience.

Okay, great. A hundred dollar microphone, hundred dollar lights. Now at that point, you’ve given your audience at least a decent experience. And, and the thing is that those things are small improvements, but they’re not the only improvement. Another one is even if it’s not that, even if you are just using your phone, okay, if I can’t win on quality and production value, Am I, I can reply to every single comment.

I can reply to every single comment, and not just a thanks, but a thoughtful reply to every single person that bothers to engage with me. Something they probably are not gonna get on 90% of the content they’re interacting with. They’re just speaking into a void and nobody is showing them any appreciation or any care.

And if you aren’t gonna win on quality, then you can win on consistency. If you don’t have all this high fancy production, don’t miss a, don’t miss a week. That’s going to be, there’s plenty of people who have higher quality than you that are not consistent at that point. You have to find something that you are willing to not make an excuse towards and say, I will be exceptional in this one area, if nothing else, until I can be at least above average in other areas.

I will at least be exceptional in one lane. Because otherwise I have to accept that when people say no, it’s because they have an abundance of options of people who can provide something that I can’t. I, so I have to be fair to the viewer. I have to say it’s less about how I feel or about me being discouraged as much as I need to qualify for people’s attention, and that means accepting that I have to deliver something to them.

And that if I can’t, someone will.

Pat Flynn: For me, it would be an investment into learning how to story tell better. I mean, that’s where you can by far go ahead of many, many other people in your spaces with the stories that you tell, especially if you’re a YouTuber, and then learning how to use video to sort of enhance the stories or even a podcaster.

How do you as an interviewer, pull stories out of people that perhaps others cannot. And so finding, like you said, one or two things, that you can just kind of be the best side of that space. It might not be camera quality. For me in the Pokemon space, for example, when I got into it, and I know we’re gonna talk about this on your podcast, so you should all check out where can people go to listen to that once it comes out.

Roberto Blake: So they could find that on everywhere podcasts are found, it Create Something Awesome Today Podcast on YouTube. If they even just type in Roberto Blake podcast, I made it easier to find since people are looking for me specifically. So yes, and we’ll link to that. Whenever it’s ready.

Pat Flynn: We’ll have that conversation there to go deep into Deep Pocket Monster and how that all started.

But when I started, I consider the same questions. You know, this space has a lot of creators in it. How or what can I bring? And so a lot of it was, okay, well can I bring an amazing collection? No, I’m just starting. There’s no way I can compete with somebody who has been collecting literally since 1999 and has, you know, all his knowledge about it.

Can I collect on expertise? No, because there are people who’ve been in that space teaching people stuff that nobody else knows because they have this unique angle and they’ve landed that, that is their niche in the space. And, and I can’t compete with that. So I had to find, and it took some time, it took some time to figure out my voice in the space.

But the, the challenges and the storytelling around that has become what I’ve become known for in this space. And it took several months to figure that out. There were a lot of videos that we experimented with tried, and I think a lot of creators who are starting out are afraid to try something that doesn’t work.

Can you speak to the creator? Who is afraid to put in the time and effort and then see no reach on social. You know, I, I know a lot of people experiencing that on TikTok, cuz TikTok is like the holy grail of algorithm and then they put themselves on there and they get nothing. Or YouTube or podcasting.

Roberto Blake: That’s marketing. Everyone’s told that everyone can go viral on TikTok and they’re told, oh, you can just use your phone, low effort. All these things. It’s, I I think that that, I think that TikTok has been over promoted in our space, as you said, the Holy Grail. What is the Holy Grail? The Holy Grail is an omnipotent wish granting device.

That means that you get to circumvent all the effort of actually producing and creating this value by hand because this omnipotent wish granting device will be your shortcut to the desires of your heart. See, like, Holy Grail the perfect word to describe some of these things in terms of what they promise and why they’re alluring or why they seduce people.

To the creator, who feels intimidated as I have nothing. I’m broke. I don’t have all the equipment, I don’t have all the experience. I don’t have the, I think that there’s a couple of angles to take. First of all, one thing you could do is you could explore what it is like for someone like you to try something, and you can showcase that and you can document that and the excitement and the intrigue and people could root for you, win or lose, succeed or fail.

You will be more relatable. You will be more relatable as a broke person trying to figure out what is real and what is not, and how to do something than somebody who has no risk, is already successful, already has all the things. Their performance will be better, their production will be better. Maybe even to some extent, their ability to authentically convey their personality will be better because they have all these advantages and lived experiences.

Yet somehow there are people who actually grow all the time from nothing, and a lot of the reason is is because they bring a different perspective. What they add is a voice we have not already heard. What they add is often layers of relatability that have been left behind. As someone succeeds, they become proportionately less relatable.

You can still like people, successful people can retain likability, but realistically, how relatable is it for a working class person to relate to a multimillionaire, how relatable is it for someone who barely can scrap together a few bucks to leave their hometown to relate to somebody who travels around the world first class. It’s, there’s a, so there is a disconnect there. Those things also are a matter a lot of times of storytelling. Sorry for Phoebe. She, I don’t, she likes spark at the this is real life as they pass by. That’s real life, right? But see, that’s, that’s another one of those things is like how realistic is something and when somebody has nothing, you’re the most realistic person.

But what you might not be is you may not be the most interesting, exciting person in the world. So you have to, as a normal person, one, start the journey to becoming above average at something through doing hard work and realizing that the reward as the other things, the other things, attention, reach, audience, subscribers, money, those things are rewards, but they should be secondary rewards.

You should think in terms of primary, secondary, and tertiary rewards. Most people have never been taught this at life, but you learn it to some extent. In sports, if you work out and you train and you still lose on game day. Do you know what, like what the first level of reward from working out in training to be a soccer player, baseball player, basketball player, what’s the, what do you think the, the primary first level of reward is for doing all that, Pat?

Pat Flynn: I mean, it’s not winning the games. It’s feeling fit, being confident. And you know, even team camaraderie if you’re working out with other people.

Roberto Blake: Exactly. So the first level and primary like reward system for doing anything is the process and experience itself and what that offers in improving and adding value to your life.

So by doing something, if you decide to become a content creator, you’ll learn a lot of skills, so that’s like a first level reward is you have skills and capabilities you did not have before that journey, and those skills and capabilities are something that actually could position you regardless of what else happens to elevate you in your career, in other areas of life.

And it just gives you a capacity to do things you could not do before you started this. So there’s that. There’s self-improvement and self-discovery. I became a much more confident person, better communicator, better speaker, because I became a content creator. I invited and met more like-minded people in my life and have a lot of the relationships like you and I.

You’re somebody that, I was a Pat Flynn fanboy and now I’m a friend of Pat Flynn. So that’s like, that’s a big transformation. That’s a big leap would’ve never happened without creating content. There’s, so the primary rewards are look at how your life is different, and that’s in itself a reward. By going through this process and going through your hero’s journey, a secondary level reward.

Is now when those things are yielding things. So it’d be, you know, oh, winning the big game or qualifying for not a participation trophy, but for some award, for some accolades you did in the process. Even if you didn’t win or become number one, there might be an award, primary example, track and cross country.

There were some awards in medals I won, but I got a award for leadership for leading my team. So that’s something I was second team, all county. It would’ve been nice to be first team, all county. It would’ve nice to have been state level, but I didn’t get those things. But what I got aside from the comradery, the experience, washboard abs, all of those things, and confidence and also more respect from my peers in school, I got my leadership acknowledged by my coach and was given a plaque for that, for good character and leadership and going above and beyond. So when you do things, there are these, now again, I had those things without the reward. The reward was just symbolic of those things. So you have to realize that there are tangible results in the process in doing the work, having a body of work, the skills, the abilities, the mindset change, the transformation you go through. There’s that. Then there are results that the transformation itself produced that are observable, measurable, more concrete. And then there are the social rewards that come from that. And there are higher, there are another level up, but the thing is so many people, Are looking at those social rewards that they miss the, you know, real, tangible things and they miss the internal changes and the things that their experiences, they don’t value the experiences of the process, Pat, and that in some ways the work has been itself rewarding to do if the work is rewarding to do, I know that with you, with making these videos that this is so rewarding for you to see other people’s excitement. It’s rewarding for you to also engage with this with your son and spend time with him, and it’s rewarding for you to also just have a different experience of creating content than your previous experiences create content.

Pat Flynn: For sure. And I love that you mentioned the relatability part of it. I think that’s something that a don’t even consider the fact that because we’re not an expert, we actually do have an advantage over those experts like you had said. Right. And especially if you can capture that story.

I mean, it’s like the difference between, you know, we all know and and love Mr. Beast and he goes huge with his videos. There’s this idea of the Beastification of YouTube and everybody trying to go big and go grand. But then you have these creators like Ryan Trahan who are awkward and weird and so likable as a result of that.

Right, and he knows that and he plays into that. He has this little like laugh that he does that where it’s like a self-deprecation, like hmm. Like when he does something awkward and dumb, but then we fall more in love with him and then we root for him more. As a result, because he’s putting himself in that story himself, getting uncomfortable, going to a Shrek convention and, and being in a costume.

Roberto Blake: Putting himself in socially awkward situations that we, ourselves are afraid or nervous to do.

We, if we’re afraid and nervous to do very basic things, Pat. Ask somebody out, go to a concert alone or whatever, seeing this kid do all these interesting and weird things and interact with sa strangers. It’s like, if he can do that, why can’t I do something basic. It so there’s encouragement that comes from watching a beginner, and it’s also encouraging to see someone like Ryan.

You know, people think Ryan Trahan came out of nowhere. He was making YouTube videos before he was making videos about being a state champion runner before, and he was making some content around being an athlete. People don’t understand that he did some basic things on YouTube before he became Ryan Trahan, as we know him today. There was a learning curve for him. He made over a hundred videos. And that’s the ones he kept up on the channel where we can see his journey and see his past. Like we have no idea how many YouTube channels or videos he made like before that that we never got to see or the stuff he never uploaded.

So there was like this process that he went through, he wasn’t just an overnight success, it’s just that you hadn’t heard of him, but, and why? Cuz he hadn’t done anything that would reach you as relevant to you if you weren’t a runner you had no reason to be interested and fascinated with Ryan Trahan.

So your point, storytelling what most people don’t look at is they don’t look at what’s the most interesting thing or interesting about their life. And you don’t have to have lived this larger than life thing. You don’t have to make a hundred million dollars like Alex Hormosi to have a story worth telling. If you look at some of the most interesting stories, the most interesting stories there, you know, once upon time, in the old days of you YouTube back in mine, hey back, like there was a point where the biggest YouTuber was like a World War II veteran who was just telling stories about his life and he was basically the Internet’s grandpa, he passed away in the early days of YouTube, but there was a point where he was the single largest content creator on YouTube in the early days of the internet, or the modern internet of social media’s era. You know, this is like maybe 16 years ago. And a lot of people don’t know about this, and there’s a lot of people who on YouTube, the Vlog Brothers, John and Hank Green, in a way, created a story of two adult brothers who weren’t necessarily particularly close in childhood, deciding to communicate each other exclusively in vlog format each and every week. And we got to share those stories that they were telling each other and we got to participate in them. We got to build a community around that.

This was the Vlog Brothers, you know, and, they created a story by deciding to throw a twist into their own life and let you watch and participate and be a fly on the wall in some way by throwing a twist into, these are guys who are already like adults with careers and jobs and getting married and all the things.

These weren’t your typical teenagers on YouTube, and this is like from way back in the day. And, and so it was this interesting experiment, social experiment in public storytelling, and they just decided to live their life slightly differently. There was no high production, there was no going on adventures.

There was very little travel involved. It was just a, let’s look at basically these open letters, between two brothers, two adult brothers who are living very separate lives from each other, it like across the country. And let’s see how they connect and communicate and let’s see what we can learn from them.

And like let’s just enjoy watching them communicate with each other and talk to each other about what they’re thinking, feeling, or their lives or about the world, the stay of the world. And that was something that was powerful and compelling enough for millions of people to watch. How basic can you be?

And yet it’s still worthwhile because what it does, Pat, is it interjects novelty. And what people don’t understand is if you interject even a slight, a bit of novelty into your life, it becomes interesting enough to a stranger.

Pat Flynn: That’s true. I’m thinking of like somebody who’s trying to, you know, take this and put strategy behind it.

Right. And it’s like the, the, the difference between a video that 20 year public speaking veteran would create, you know, 10 things that you can do to become a public speaker today. You know how to get on a Ted, Ted Talk stage and all this kind of stuff. And it’s coming from this, you know, professor who, who’s just so knowledgeable about the topic and that that would be a very valuable video and that’s of an advantage to them for the experience they have to create a video like that.

But then there’s the person who’s never spoken before. They could likely create a more compelling, more educational video than that person by just saying, Hey guys, in one month I have my first live presentation and I’m scared to death, so come watch me either crash and burn or get through this and triumph.

Roberto Blake: I have the perfect video title and thumbnail for that. What is it? I tried public speaking as an introvert, and this is what happened. And the thumbnail is them on stage. And the thumbnail. The thumbnail is a wide shot of them on stage, and the text in a thumbnail is, I threw up a little bit and because who would not click on that?

Because now there’s a story, there’s like a, did they actually throw up on stage? So first of all, there’s like a, did they actually throw up on stage and you’re like, or is it the standard joke of, oh, I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit, which might actually be real. And then it’s the relatability of, oh God, Because now we have this wide shot.

You see the stage, you see the people and you’re like, yeah, I’d probably throw up on stage. Or it’s like I’d probably go like, cry afterward, or I like what happened? You wanna know, well, what happened? Because that’s actually the key to a click on YouTube is the, so what happened when we talk about storytelling, sometimes a lot of people, they’ll tell you, they’ll pose a declarative statement and you’ll be like, so what happened next?

They’ll set up a prompt and you’ll go, well, what happened next? And that is a compelling story, right?

Pat Flynn: Like what’s the, so what happened next to a video titled like The Best Live Streaming Software for Mac users, right? People who create those videos, you could still find a way to make it happen.

Roberto Blake: I switched from Windows to Mac as a live streamer or like Windows fanboy switches to Mac, you know, for live streaming.

Pat Flynn: Ooh. Like now I wanna know what happened. Exactly. I wanna know how you reacted to that.

Roberto Blake: Adobe Fanboy tries Final Cut Pro for 30 days. Adobe fanboy switching to Final Cut Pro for 30 days. There there’s this, this thing is what’s the most interesting.

Of this story and what’s also the tension, what’s the conflict? Why does it matter that you’re on mac? It’s like, well, if I’ve been a diehard PC gamer for 10 years and I’m switching to Mac, there’s a reason. There’s tension. It’s like, why would you do that? You’re portraying Windows for Mac use, like you sold out, you like, Fanboy.

It’s like no. Or like you’re an Adobe user. You’re, you’re portraying Adobe after 10 years. Or, oh, did Adobe betray you after 10 years? What happened? Why are you moving on? Why are you breaking up with ado? Like, that’s the storyline. The storyline is, it’s like, you know, after 20 years, I’m quitting Adobe Software forever.

That’s a title. That’s like a compelling title of, okay, well why, what’d they do? What happened? Or what’d you do? Or what made you move on? It’s about the emotional investment.

Pat Flynn: And then YouTube will do the job based on that. And based on who’s watching of going, oh, here are people who use Adobe, or who have somehow in some way interacted with an Adobe, you know, video.

Let’s see how this performs. And then of course, if you have that.

Roberto Blake: Or with Adobe competitors or watched videos about Adobe competitors or watched videos about free versus paid software or watched videos. In their previous watch history about the goal that the software is trying to achieve YouTube algorithm is predicated largely on a phenomenon called previous watch history, as well as user profiling.

Meaning that it’s all about, YouTube is not there to find viewers for the purposes of serving a creator and pushing a creator’s videos. It’s actually there for the purpose of the consumer and saying, here is more of what you have been consuming. Here is more of what you would like to consume because you consume this, you will also like to consume this because 80% of the other people who consume the way you also consume these things you have not considered. So the person, right? This is why we say the The creator who puts their audience first and the creator who understands their audience best will always win all long enough timeline.

The ability to anticipate the audience means that you know how to serve them because you know what they want, what they have always wanted, and you can anticipate what they will want in the future. And then somebody who goes deep enough with that for long enough, pat gets to decide what they want and what people like this want when they dominate the niche, it goes from anticipating a trend to creating a trend.

Pat Flynn: Creating it, right?

I mean, we saw that with like Peter McKinnon, who for so long had been creating like how to do videos, how to do photography, how to do Lightroom, all that kind of stuff, to then literally doing whatever he wanted and actually now like creating trends in the, in the space.

Roberto Blake: So he’s like a tier three creator tier.

Tier one, you hop on a trend that’s already there. Tier two, you anticipate a trend before it exists. Actually, Peter McKen be tier four cuz then tier three is you have the capacity to create trends. Tier four, you can ignore them all together. You are the trend essentially. You are the trend. Exactly. So like you could go.

So that’s why I would say if there are if there are four levels, then the fourth level, that’s ascendancy. That’s a ancy to where it’s like you yourself are a trending topic. So it doesn’t matter at that point. Cuz the first level is, I gotta get into this trend and I’ve gotta be early and I’ve gotta jump on this wave and I’ve gotta benefit from this wave of like, then it’s to, hmm, I know what the next wave is gonna be and I will be there.

I will be first, I will be early. I’m positioned for it. I’ve got it locked in. Dialed in to I can create trends and people will copy me and people will react to me. And then level four is I am, I am a trending topic. Nice.

Pat Flynn: Okay. Last thing I wanna talk about, and this is kind of in our world right now and a lot of people are talking about it, A lot of people are making videos about this, and this is, AI, specifically ChatGPT. I love it. I’m very curious about your thoughts on it, how to use it, what might be the best use cases for it and, and maybe even what to worry about potentially, if anything.

Roberto Blake: Let’s start with the positive side first. Let’s start with some great use cases. You can definitely use it for a lot of ideation and there’s a lot of ways to do it.

You could even like basically build the persona of the chatbot to help you brainstorm and to go back and forth with you in refining your ideas. A lot of people are just typing in, oh, give me ideas on this, gimme ideas on that. But they’re not, and they might include parameters. You could set the prompt of the chat bot to give it a personality to the extent to where if you’re a solo content creator who doesn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of, you can program a persona into this chatbot and give it parameters, and you could explore blue sky ideation with this chatbot going back and forth with you.

And it’s not a human being, but it’s for a solo content creator, it’s better than being completely in your own head.

Pat Flynn: Right. So what, what would those prompts look like? Like how do you code that or how do you program that?

Roberto Blake: Well, for one thing you could say, Hey, ChatGPT, I want you to have this personality type, and you could describe for it your avatar of your audience.

And it’s like when. Go back and forth with you and chat, when I, when I speak to you and chat, I want you to answer as if you are this person. Like if my avatar is okay, my ideal viewer is Raul and I build out his character sheet almost like his Dungeons and Dragons, right? And I want. ChatGPT to simulate how Raul will respond to my ideas and to go back and forth to with me about these ideas.

And I want every answer I get to be from Raul’s perspective. That’s a really good way to kind of set up like, okay, now these things will be contextual within this every response. From every prompt will be in the context of this avatar. Now I can ask it about generating ideas for a video in this niche with this goal.

So give me X amount of ideas in this niche with this goal for my viewer, or that should make my viewer feel this thing. And then you can ask it that. Then you can say, okay, great. Refine these ideas and now give titles for those ideas that also utilize this keyword and also, okay, great. Give me a version of this title that’s under 50 characters and make this something that is accessible at a eighth grade reading level.

Oh, well, that’s now refined your title consider, so you’ve now done ideation, you’ve done title copywriting. You wanna do SEO and keyword research. You could ask it, Hey, give me 25 keywords for SEO around this topic, but I would expand it and say, and give them to me and label them for broad match, phrase match and exact match. For those who are familiar with SEO and research you understand how valuable that is, and now you’re contextualizing. The value of some of these keywords and realizing that, ah, there are people who are going to search for things and so the search part is okay, sometimes exact match. How close is it to the exact query phrase match? Does the con query contain most of these words regardless of order?

And then broad match, does it contain these words at all? And therefore you, your video. Might be able to identify who it should be surfaced to, which means that’s matching closer to intent. Pat, people think SEO is designed to give them more traffic, give them their more views. That’s a consequence of labeling content appropriately to match the intent of the people looking for it.

Pat Flynn: Hmm. Right. So AI in its use case of ideation huge. I talk about that all the time. You should, like, I think a lot of people go, oh, can I just tell it to write me an entire blog post and, and I can just copy and paste that and put on my website? And I think that’s, you know, we’re always looking for, people are always looking for the easy way out, right?

And some people are using it in that manner.

Roberto Blake: I don’t believe that you, I don’t even think they’re using it in that matter as efficiently as they could, cuz. If you go through the process I just talked about before you get to the video script or the blog post, you could then ask it to write that blog post with those 25 keywords in mind or that script with those.

But before you even write the whole script, you could ask it. Now write me four options for an intro hook. Optimize around a decent number of these keyboards, like write me an intro hook that eight to 15 seconds optimize around these keywords and phrases. Now the intro hook is better than it ever could be.

And that would be the first portion of the script. Now, you could ask it to write you calls to action for a specific thing that you want the audience to do and tell it write me those things, and then you could say, okay, refine this and make that call to action less wordy or simplify it for a person at this level of understanding or simplify it for this age group, or, hey, refine it to match more in line with this particular goal.

Specificity of instructions. See, I don’t think that AI and ChatGPT and all this stuff will make regular people as successful or rich as they, as they’re being promoted in content and videos because it’s a better title to say, oh, this will make you rich. It will make people who are already very smart, very thoughtful, and good communicators, rich, because it will scale, refine, and it will reduce decision creep for them.

And the thing is, if they’ve already produced or written a large amount of content, it could even say, do all these things, but do in my style and in my voice, and you can reference where to pull from from that using ChatGPT, which means that if you’ve already written 500 pieces of content, made a thousand videos, done so many podcasts, it now can contextualize this in a way that sounds much more like you because all it’s doing is using you as the point of reference, taking everything as a second brain for you when you can’t remember everything you’ve ever said, everything you’ve ever done, it can, you can’t access and pull up all the things you’ve ever done. It can, and now it can come up with an approximation of a goal that you spent that’s very specific, that is in line and consistent with your lived experience and past as it exists in the public.

And that’s incredibly powerful for scale, but it’s not as powerful for someone who is a beginner. A beginner will have to do that off of the backs of the giants that have come before, but a creator can do it off of the back of themselves, which is a very different value proposition.

Pat Flynn: That is so interesting, man.

I think we could talk for hours about AI for sure. And we are gonna talk for another hour in fact on your podcast. So we’ll make sure to link to that in the show notes cuz I wanna finish up here and then head on over to your channel to be able to talk to you there.

Roberto Blake: Yeah, I’m happy to come back sometime and talk about AI for content creators and ChatGPT and Midjourney a lot.

Because yes, we could literally go on for an hour just about the implications of that.

Pat Flynn: I mean, I’m just, I’m just scratching the surface on it. I tend to be a late comer when it comes to trends cuz I am so protective of my time and I don’t just wanna jump from this new hot thing to this new hot thing. So I always let others figure things out first and then come into it.

I guess I heard once somebody say, once that it’s, like I act sort of like how Apple does in the world of, of iPhone innovation. It’s like, oh, you, you’re kind of waiting for everybody else to figure it out and then you create like the best version of it after, which I wasn’t sure how to take it, but I’ll, I’ll take it as a compliment, I guess.

Roberto Blake: I’m taking that approach to course creation right now actually.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Are you? Yes. Tell, tell me about that real quick.

Roberto Blake: Well, I’m finally starting into course creation and I think part of what inspired it was the value like that came from writing my book in, writing my book, and or realizing I created an organized and ordered resource.

That consolidates a lot of information. The value of the appendix alone can really expedite just being the ability to say, I know that there’s an answer to this thing in this book. Oh, every chapter that I wrote addresses a reality that a content creator will experience because like my book creates something awesome, how creators are profiting from their passion in the creator economy.

I wrote this as the entry level book to being a content creator and parti, creator economy and understanding it to the extent that if somebody has a kid, like let’s say you weren’t the legendary Pat Flynn and your son, Kai decided that he wanted to come up to you and he wanted to say, I wanna be a content creator.

I wanna be like Mr. Beast or Ryan Trahan one day and you didn’t know how to help him. And the internet, social media, all that just felt overwhelming. You could pick up this book, you would understand what is he wants to do. You would understand what the career implications of that are. You would understand what the realities, the mental health struggles are of experienced people and understand what is realistic and what is not.

And you would be equipped and empowered. To help the young person in your life, in your case, your son or your daughter, to become a content creator, or to how to explain it to ’em or to realize how serious they are, how passionate they are, how to enable them, how to empower them, how to educate them about it.

And you would have a way to do that with consistent information that is realistic and it’s an easy enough read. A content creator who doesn’t feel validated, their friends and family don’t support them. They would be able to pick up this book and they would understand what to expect, but they would also feel seen, feel heard, and they would have some actionable advice in terms of areas that they can specifically improve on.

Realize there’s some red flags to look out for in their career. Realize that, that mistakes are normal. That slow growth is the norm, not the explosive growth that they constantly hear about the highlight reels. They would realize, Hmm, you know what? Struggle is more normal than I would’ve thought, and I now have more realistic expectations and I don’t feel like I’m being talked down to.

I also don’t feel like this is some impossible thing. I’m getting acknowledgement that the difficulty that I’m experiencing is normal. So like I, I wrote a book from that perspective and it, it occurred to me, it occurred to me that, okay, so what’s the resource that does the same thing in a consolidated way that exist for someone whose first instinct is not reading a book or whose ability does not suit reading comprehension specifically. It’s an online course. It’s an online course.

Pat Flynn: Exactly. And you realize that too. When, when I wrote Will It Fly? Same thing. Even though people had picked up the book, they were like, Do you have something that’ll get me through this even faster?

Do you have videos to, to walk me through this? So we, my first online course came as a result of my second book, Will It Fly? And I love to see that you’re following the same process too. So where, where can people, great minds check out exactly where can people check out the book and also the online course that might be coming.

Roberto Blake: So you can find the book, Create Something Awesome, how creators are profiting from their passion, the Creator Economy. You can find that on Amazon. It is paperback, Kindle, and hardcover with an audiobook coming later this year, I hope. Nice. Which as you already know, is a challenge to do in your own voice.

Also, they can get it at their local Barnes and Noble. I made it accessible to your public library if you can’t afford it, to order it into your public library and at your public library. The Libby. Has the ability for you to check out the ebook for free, if that’s what’s, you know, your circumstances in your situation right now.

That’s cool. So I went out my way path to make the book as accessible to people as possible.

Pat Flynn: Love it, man. And then the course coming soon, hopefully.

Roberto Blake: I’m working on two courses right now, a course on brand deals. To help people with sponsored content. Creators are woefully underpriced. They don’t have a process.

They don’t have consistent information. They don’t know how to negotiate. They don’t know red flags for working with brands to avoid being scammed. They don’t know how to price package, build a media kit, so many other things. So I have that course coming out soon, Pat. The thing that I learned, and one of the things I even learned from you was sometimes in addition to these things, like I said, it’s about coming in, like you said, like Apple and.

What do I feel is missing in a space? Or what do I feel is missing in courses and where do I fill that gap? And I’ve realized that sponsored content is still a black box to a lot of people. And then even content creation and growth on YouTube, people are missing systems and processes. There’s a lot of information they think, they think the information they need, which I can definitely give them is growth in audience.

The, the thing that’s not sexy, that they don’t realize Pratt, is that they need time freedom back. So they need a way to systematize and streamline this process to let it not take over their life. Because the advantage that a young person like Ryan Trahan has is they have the luxury of being obsessed with YouTube and going all in on YouTube.

You have less of that the day that you have a kid, you have less of that the, when you have a 40 hour week full-time job, cause you have bills to pay, you have less of that post 25 post 30 post 35 post-marriage. You have so many demands on your time that you can’t necessarily recreate the conditions of a teenage or twenty-something year old YouTuber who blows up.

You can’t recreate those conditions, not cuz you’re not capable of making great content that deserves to be watched, but because you don’t have circumstances that allow for you to make a certain level of impact because you’re probably using leftover energy after work and after kids and after all this stuff.

So, Your time is limited. You have less energy and less efficiency as a result of it. You don’t necessarily have a plan and a process for executing on that leftover energy. What you have is passion. What you have is passion. You don’t have a plan. You don’t have a process, you know, and you usually don’t have a path.

So that’s like very, very hard to turn into a fruitful venture no matter how hard you work, which is why people can feel like, okay, I’m working so hard now, get results. And it’s like, well, you might have the talent. But do you really have the time? Do you have a way to use the time effectively? Do you have the tools set?

Do you have the tech stack? Do you have the training? Like, and those things would all matter. Luke Skywalker famously said that talent without training is often nothing. And he was explaining that as talented as grow goo baby Yoda is raw talent. It’s like, okay, you have this raw, unrefined talent. It’s gonna be squandered without the proper training to know how to put it to good use, how to be effective with, how to be efficient, when to use that power, when not to use that power. And a lot of people don’t realize the energy that they’re wasting and not getting results largely comes down to the fact that they don’t know what they don’t know.

There are questions they haven’t thought to ask cuz they’ve thought so much about how do I get an audience? What’s the hack? What’s the trick for this? Versus how do I get the same results I’m getting with six hours instead of 20? Because now that means that with the remaining 14, I can either do this more or I can make it five times better.

That alone would be worth it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. Oh yeah. For sure. For sure. So Roberto, thank you so much for coming on the show once again and giving us sort of a update from your end on what you got going on. Create Something Awesome. Checking out on Amazon, roberto obviously, and looking forward to chatting with you again soon.

Roberto Blake: Yeah, absolutely Pat. Thanks.

Pat Flynn: So, all right. I hope you enjoy that interview with Roberto Blake, one of my favorite people. I just hope that we get to cross paths in person again soon cuz he’s just so fun to hang out with and he’s always got even in person such wisdom to share like he did today. And, and a lot of really amazing perspectives.

You know, I often go to Roberto when there’s something going on in the industry and I wanna like get a different perspective on it, a real perspective. If you aren’t following him on Twitter, you should absolutely do that obviously, cuz that’s where he shares a lot of this kind of stuff in real time as it’s happening.

And then also his book Create Something Awesome. Go ahead and download it, check it out. You can find it on Amazon and I would highly recommend it. So again, thank you so much Roberto. Thank you for listening all the way through. I appreciate you and keep being awesome. Keep creating awesome things. And if you aren’t subscribed yet, well then you can become, just hit subscribe. thank you so much. I appreciate you and I look forward to serving you in the next episode.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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