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SPI 699: Real Business Talk, Tweet by Tweet with Matt Giovanisci

When your business is optimized, you hit a button and money happens. But, many entrepreneurs make mistakes that stop them from reaching that level. I’m no different, and it really hurt when today’s guest made me realize that.

I just had Matt Giovanisci on the show in episode 595 to tell us all about his work at Swim University and Money Lab. He’s a classic example of finding riches in the niches, so make sure to listen in on that incredible conversation too!

Today, Matt is back for a powerful deep dive into the entrepreneurial mindset. I follow his Twitter account, and the knowledge he shares there really hit home with me. I had to invite him on the show to go tweet by tweet with us and expand on vital concepts that can make or break our businesses.

This is a wide-ranging discussion about filtering and prioritizing your ideas, building an ATM-like email list, simplifying your marketing, short-form versus long-form content, and even lip-syncing!

I know this session will be a game-changer for many listeners, so don’t miss out!

Today’s Guest

Matt Giovanisci

My name is Matt Giovanisci. I’m self-employed and work from home.

I started a website in 2006 called Swim University. The site now makes over $600,000 a year but it took 10 years.

In March 2015, I started a coffee education website called Roasty. I sold it in 2018 for $55,000.

I created Money Lab in 2016 so I can build more brands, make more money, and write off my homebrewing hobby. Speaking of which, I started a homebrewing site called Brew Cabin.

I design and code all my own sites by hand. Write the words. Film and edit the videos. Produce the podcasts. Illustrate the graphics. But now I have a team that helps me with writing and editing podcasts.

You’ll Learn


SPI 699 Real Business Talk, Tweet by Tweet with Matt Giovanisci

Matt Giovanisci: When I started selling my own products, that is when it all changed. It was like I hit a button and money happens. Like it just does. And that is really hard to see when you’re only doing affiliate marketing or you’re only doing banner ads, it doesn’t really hit until you go, oh, right, I have a product to sell and I have an email list full of people who actually could use this product, let me tell them about it, without even really being all that salesy, and they buy it.

Pat Flynn: Today we have a really fun episode with a previous guest on the show who I invited back because his tweets hurt me in like the best kind of way. Cuz when I read his tweets, they were so like on point that they made me realize I was making some mistakes. And you know, I had flashbacks of the past and all that stuff.

And I wanted to bring this to light today to make sure that you don’t make these same mistakes that we’re gonna talk about today. I’m talking about none other than Matt Giovanisci. Way back in episode 595, we brought him on. He is a perfect example of somebody who has riches in the niches. In fact, his website at Swim University helps people with pools, and I actually found him during the pandemic because, I needed help with pools.

Now, I knew about him earlier from FinCon and some other days. He’s also a very creative artist and rapper. But today we’re talking about his tweets cuz his words are on point. And we’re gonna go line, by line. Actually, some of the tweets that he shared that I wanted to bring up and get his take on it, why?

Why did he say that there’s gotta be something deeper there or what does that actually mean? So we’re gonna go tweet by tweet with Matt Giovanisci. You can find him again back in the previous episode 595, Swim University and @MattGiovanisci on Twitter. Anyway, let’s have some fun, and here he is, Matt Giovanisci.

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. His home office, which once looked like a sophisticated adult office, is now filled with Pokemon products everywhere. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Matt, welcome back to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for taking the time.

Matt Giovanisci: No, thanks for having me again.

Pat Flynn: You know, you were on fairly recently, like about a hundred episodes ago, and and often we wait several more episodes till a person comes back. But I wanted to bring you on because I gotta say, you have one of my favorite Twitter profiles out there, and I recommend everybody go follow it first, number one.

Matt Giovanisci: Wow. Thank you.

Pat Flynn: And the, the reason I say that is because some of your tweets hit hard, like sometimes they hurt. Yeah. Because they’re just honest truths about being an entrepreneur and, and being a business owner. And so the plan for today is to have me read some of them out and then we can just jam on them.

And I want to hear like, where did this come from? There’s gotta be a story behind them or, or something. And I think we’ll have a good time. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Before that, in case anybody doesn’t know who you are, give me the one minute rundown, one or two minute rundown of, of who you are. And you know, I’ll have everybody listen to that episode 595 after this if they wanna get like the full story.

But tell us what you do and, and you know, how’d you even get here?

Matt Giovanisci: 2004, I started a website called and I still own it. And that’s my full-time job. And I teach people how to take care of their pools and hot tubs online.

Pat Flynn: When you were back on at 595, that was very much a riches are in the niches situation.

Right, and I know those are k kind of some of the things you, you talk about. Which leads me to our first tweet here, in fact, which is, and this was a pretty recent one. It says you’re probably doing too many things right now, and I’m curious like where this came from. Does this speak to something that you have found yourself doing too many things and like why share this?

Matt Giovanisci: Okay. This has a story and it’s a relevant recent story.

Pat Flynn: I thought it did.

Matt Giovanisci: Yeah. So I hear this advice constantly, and I’m sure you hear it too, which is do one thing in business, do it really well. Do it for a long period of time and you’ll win. Right? Do not chase shiny objects, all of that kind of stuff.

And I always heard that and thought, yes, I agree. I agree a hundred percent. That’s why I only have Ace Media. My one business, which is technically an umbrella company for like three brands. So I don’t really have one thing. I have three things, right? And all three of those things do different things. So like I have a media company by, you know, I guess a very loose standard.

So, so I was like, yeah, I do one thing. I don’t do one thing. I do lots of different things and they’re all over the place. And recently I’ve decided to cut two of them off and just focus on Swim University, which has been my bread and butter since really full-time, since 2011. And I’ve always sort of kept it at arm’s length, you know, I’m like, oh, this thing makes the most money and pays for my entire, you know, living and hobbies and life and all of that stuff.

But like, that’s my day job and I don’t really want to work on that all the time, so I’m gonna go do these other fun things, you know, which are like playing business. You know? They’re not, they’re not bringing in like the, the good money. And so this was something that I have been telling myself and decide it this year in 2023, as I approach 40 years old.

I’m gonna be married this year. Congrats. And I’m like, new chapter, pair down. Focus on one thing. Do it better than everybody else. For the rest of your life unless you sell at some point, which that’s another bridge will cross when I get to it if I ever get to it. And so I needed to hear that. And so I figured at that point with zero context, someone else needed to hear it.

Pat Flynn: It’s funny cuz I had just sunset my long lasting podcast, AskPat. Yeah. Which is why this is relevant on my mind too. And it’s so funny because I got a lot of private messages that were like, Pat, you’re so brave for closing that show down. I’m like, I was so not dumb for keeping it for so long, but like you, it was like, is that where my time is best leveraged?

And it, and it wasn’t. And so, you know, I’m grateful for the show. I’m thankful. I’m sure you’re thankful for the experiences you had in those other businesses. Oh, for sure. Pruning down so that you can double down on the other things that are working or, or, or that are generating revenue and also, that you have fun with is, is really important.

If you could provide a filter for yourself for the future, Matt, as far as other shiny objects that might come your way, what might that be?

Matt Giovanisci: Local only. That would be the, the thing that I’m saying to myself today, which is I’ve been on the internet as an online business owner for so long, and I’ve always been behind the scenes with Swim University, like, yeah, yeah.

My face was on camera. Yes, I’m on on no thumbnails like. You know, it’s there. But I started these other businesses because I wanted people to know that I existed, you know, just on the internet instead of just being this behind the scenes person. Because back then, when I was living in New Jersey at the time, I, I didn’t have anybody else in my world, local or online, that did what I did. Over the, you know, last 10, 15 years I’ve built up an online community of like, friends and I’ll, I’m putting that in air quotes because like, we’re not, they’re not hanging out in my brewery. They’re not here. So it’s like, it feels very different.

And so my filter going forward for business is local only, meaning you cannot start another online business. You have one. It’s very big. It’s very good. It’s taken care of. It is taken care of your lifestyle. If you want to get into more business, it has to be physical and local. And that’s, that’s, that would be my filter.

Pat Flynn: I like that. And everybody’s filter is gonna be different. I think it’s just important to, you know, have one. That’s great. Another tweet that you recently shared that I’m very curious about is what you call the most underrated business book I’ve ever read, Jim Henson, the biography, the biggest lesson for me was to own everything, your name, your business, your platform, your products. Own it all. Tell me more.

Matt Giovanisci: I’ve been in lots of partnerships that did not work out. Good or bad, you know, not, not saying that they were bad. Decisions, not saying they were bad setups, not saying the people I were partnering with were bad people. They just didn’t work for me.

And I think per, perhaps it was because I’m more of a control per like, I like the control and I like the ownership of being able to make a decision, even if that decision is, I don’t want to do anything today. You know, like I’m just not feeling it today and having another person in my life who is like a partner in a, in a business, their money and livelihood depends on my work ethic and vice versa.

That doesn’t work for me because of either two things that’ll happen. One, is that I will outwork them, which is, you know, not always the case, but I have very good work ethic I’ve always had since I was a kid, and so like resentment comes with that and when I don’t outwork them and they outwork me. I start to feel again, nothing to do with them, I start to feel like I’m not pulling my weight. And so that gives me stress and so does the other thing. And so I realized that just who I am as a person, I’m just not good in partnerships. Doesn’t mean I can’t work as a team with people. I definitely can do that. I just can’t share the feeling of ownership when there’s actual money and stakes on the table. I can relinquish control to a team, right? That, you know, like right now, my business is family owned, meaning it’s me, my fiance, and my brother. That’s it. And we act as a team. I am not in charge of anyone. They’re not in charge of me. We all kind of work independently and that’s great, but we’ve set those expectations.

But I am truly the only owner. And so at the end of the day, it all hinges on me and it’s my responsibility to keep the company afloat, and I prefer it that way.

Pat Flynn: Got it. And I’m sure in that biography there’s some stories about Jim making decisions or maybe making very poor decisions.

Matt Giovanisci: No, not making poor decisions. Making all the right decisions, oh, okay. From the get, yeah. So he had this thing of like owning the Muppets, just like he owns the Muppets. He will license you the Muppets, like he will, he licensed Sesame Street. But he had creative control over what Sesame Street did with those, because he licensed them.

Same with when they did the cartoon version of the Muppet Babies. Yeah. It’s like, that’s not Muppets, that’s cartoons. It’s a totally different thing. And so he worked, I I, if I remember, is a long time since I’ve read it, but like that was a tough position for him because it was relinquishing control and making sure that the product of the Muppets remained, you know, to his standards. And that’s the other thing too, is like I have, I hold myself to such high standards in, in whatever I create, whether it’s in my, just like, you know, a beer that I make or a you know, anything that I make online. And so I want everyone to be held to that same standard. And it’s hard to control that when you don’t, when you like say, oh, I don’t own half of this, so I don’t really care about half of this.

And I’ve done that and in, in, in and out. And that particular book always resonated with me of like, yeah. You know, I want to be Jim Henson. I want to own the, whatever the Muppets version is of like Swim University, I guess. But yeah, yeah, yeah. It was just this weird lesson that came from this book that has like nothing really to do with business.

There’s a little bit of business kind of in the beginning, and then there’s like obviously like decision points in the business throughout, but it was all about like Jim Henson is the owner of The Muppets. He never partnered, he never relinquished control because it was all about like, his creativity and how he wanted the Muppets to be, you know, presented to the world and his vision.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, for an artist, that’s gotta be really, really important. But I mean, we, business owners are artists in a way as well with our brand and our name on things, our face out there, relinquishing control, I, I mean, I’ve seen it before, businesses who have relinquished a little bit of control, they almost are now puppets in, in the situation. Or Muppets anyway. Didn’t mean to go there.

Matt Giovanisci: But, you know, jumping off of that too, it’s like, personally I’ve always considered myself artistic. I would, you know, like I’ve always been a creative and a business person second. And the same with Jim Henson, which was like, he did Muppets first and then was like, I have to figure out the business of Muppets.

And so that’s, you know, how I’ve always considered myself because I used to want to be a full-time musician. My dad is a musician and he always used to tell me that musicians make terrible business owners or business people, and I hated that saying, and I worked so hard to not be the, you know, struggling, starving artist.

And and learned business and then just fully went into business and gave up, you know, music. But I still can have that like artist creator mindset, you know?

Pat Flynn: Right. I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man. Yes, Jay-Z. Speaking of raps, I remember some of your raps from FinCon, genius. So good. Oh yeah. You are a great artist.

Matt Giovanisci: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: This next tweet. I really enjoyed because it’s something I tout all the time, and so I just wanna double down on it. And this is your tweet. My email list is an ATM. When I need cash, I send an email, took me 15 years to realize two things. One content is king. Two email is God. Tell me how you really, really feel about email.

Matt Giovanisci: Yeah. Wow. I’ve always struggled with email marketing. I, I don’t know why it, it is content. 15 years. It’s a long time ago. Yeah. It’s, it is content. It’s just, I think in the same way that social media, it feels like it doesn’t feel evergreen sometimes. You know, you’re just like kind of putting something out and then you don’t know if you can reuse it or anything like that.

And I’ve always looked at content creation as like, I wanna make, I don’t want to make magazines. I wanna make novels, if that makes any sense. You know, it’s like a magazine you just kind of throw away and, yeah, they have to rewrite it and it’s usually sometimes the same articles come over and over again.

And email kind of felt that way to me. And you know, just the tech side of email and the fear and to this day, the fear of hitting send. You know, like yesterday I sent an email to a hundred thousand people and it’s still like, did I mess something up? Did you know? Cuz it’s like I can’t change it once it goes out.

But yeah, I’ve always struggled with email. And then when I started selling my own products, that is when it all changed, It was like I hit a button and money happens. Like it just does. And that is really hard to see when you’re only doing affiliate marketing or you’re only doing banner ads, or you’re only doing this sort of more, you know, I guess we can call it passive income or passive monetization techniques.

It doesn’t really hit until you go, oh, right, I have a product to sell and I have an email list full of people who actually could use this product. Let me tell them about it without even really being all that salesy and they buy it. And I thought, you know, after a while that, you know, you burn, that burns out over time, right?

And it does. But if you keep collecting people and you know you have new things to sell or you improve the old things, which is even better, or you sell the same thing over and over again, which is something new to me, which is like in the course world, it’s really hard to sell a course over and over again.

But it’s really easy to sell, you know, I’m trying to pick something up, a bottle or something that like is a consumable, so that’s a new world for me. Chlorine? Yeah, chlorine or, or like just, just looking at like weird things. I have like chapstick and sunglass stuff and I have some hop water here. Yeah, protein powder.

Protein powder. Yeah. Like things that are, and you just, I get an email and this is no joke. I looked at this yesterday and I again, fear, totally fear. I bought a Traeger last year, a Traeger, you know, electric smoker, right? Every single day they send me an email and it’s not content. It’s not like, here’s a recipe, you know, here’s a, you know, tip.

No, it is sales pitch, sales pitch, sales pitch every single day. And guess what? I open up every one of them, mainly cuz I’m probably a marketer, but also like, I’m like, oh, why am I so afraid to send an email, pitching something that like people actually need. And you know, sometimes I open those emails and I’m like, yeah, I kind of want that barbecue sauce.

Or like, yeah, I kind of want that like grill brush. You know?

Pat Flynn: I mean, you expect those emails, right? Like they’re not, yeah, I think that’s the big difference, right? A lot of us marketers, like we say, like join the free email newsletter, we’ll send you tips, and then when we sell something, that’s not what people subscribe for, right.

Versus you sign up for Traeger’s list knowing that you know you’re gonna get all the different kind of wood chips and all the different kinds of barbecue sauces and stuff.

Matt Giovanisci: You don’t even opt in. You buy the thing. Oh, yeah. You know what I mean? Like you didn’t, I didnt, I might’ve, you know, I might’ve checked the box or something, but like I had a tweet that was a poll and I asked like, how often do you, do you send emails or how often do you think it’s okay to send emails to your list?

And like overwhelmingly once a week, so in the month of May, I’m challenging that I’m, I’m doing a Traeger move. I’m sending an email every single day. Helpful pitch, helpful pitch, helpful pitch, you know, sometimes helpful and pitch together. You know, like if you’re constantly helpful and you’re constantly delivering value and delivering value, which again, like is one of those words, but value could be, I have a product that you need.

Will you buy it? You know you should buy it. That’s value sometimes, you know.

Pat Flynn: How are you getting people on your list?

Matt Giovanisci: I have a bunch of places that all basically sell the same opt-in, which is a pool care cheat sheet. Nice. And so on YouTube, on TikToks, on Instagrams, on our website, three places. Popups, like the whole, anywhere I can get you, I can kinda get you.

Pat Flynn: Of the social media platforms, which one’s working out best for, for that purpose? YouTube count. YouTube, yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Matt Giovanisci: I was gonna say, none because, yeah, Instagram maybe. Not, not really. No, not really.

Pat Flynn: When I think of you, I think of you as, as a, a YouTuber, right? As as far as your primary platform.

And I’ve just like in the pandemic, I mentioned this in the last episode, like that’s how I like, was reminded that you did pool stuff. Cuz we had bought an above ground pool and it started turning green and I was like, need help. Go to YouTube. Oh, snap. It’s Matt. I didn’t even know. Yeah, yeah, it was great.

Next tweet, lip syncing is not content. Why do you say that?

Matt Giovanisci: Oh, man, I, this one really ticks me off. I still get mad at about this.

Pat Flynn: What do you mean by by lip syncing?

Matt Giovanisci: Are you on TikTok?

Pat Flynn: I am on TikTok, yeah.

Matt Giovanisci: Do you consume it?

Pat Flynn: I am, I used to consume way too much of it.

Matt Giovanisci: I understand. Yeah. Yes. Not I, I understand TikTok and Instagram.

This is really bad. I see this a lot. I don’t see this really on Shorts, but it, I’ve seen this a lot in pool and home brewing content, unfortunately, where I, the content, right, is memeing, I guess. Right. And I, this, I have another tweet that’s like, memes are not content either. Like, you know, write your own jokes essentially.

Yeah, yeah. But it’s the same thing where they’re taking a joke, which is an audio clip from a movie or television show, and they’re selling their brand and they’re just lip syncing the thing. But they’re not, it’s nothing. It’s just you’re stealing IP from someone else, essentially what it is. Yeah. You know, and I’m like, what?

What is this? Because I’m not entertained by it. It’s the same thing. So like I see it a lot in beer on, unfortunately, which is like most of my Instagram, like most of the things that I consume in life are beer related, cuz that’s my hobby. If I, if I haven’t made that very clear in this, in this conversation. And I just see breweries do this.

I see home brewing content do this, and it just, it makes me like question like, what, how is this a net positive for anyone? The thing is, is like obviously they keep doing it because their numbers are going up. Right? They wouldn’t, I would imagine they’re not, they wouldn’t do it if they weren’t.

Pat Flynn: And that’s the sad part about this is people watch these things. Right?

Matt Giovanisci: What is it doing for, what’s the action they’re taking though? Like I don’t, it’s not that I laugh at it, I go, wait, well I just, the whole time I’m going, well, where’s that from? Like, I wanna know what that original audio is and also why did you spend the time to learn that? And then for, I learned nothing.

I’ve gained nothing as a viewer besides you just wasted 60 seconds of my time. And I, I feel the same way about carpool karaoke. So, I mean, that’s just my own thing.

Pat Flynn: But so for example, like if there, I’m thinking like I’m tapping into my beer thing, pun intended. If there was a video that showed a person who was like on the phone or something and they were holding a tube and it, the tube like had broke or had leaked, and it was like the Liam Neeson sort of quote, like, I will find you.

Yes. Yeah, or something. And then you look scared at the camera and it’s like you’re just using an audio quote and sure, maybe it makes sense because you’re angry at this company that made this tube, but like, okay, so what?

Matt Giovanisci: Well, yeah, it’s, I, I keep the one, I keep hearing that’s not even a lip sync. It’s like, It’s, I don’t even know where it’s from, but the audio is, why do you do this? Because I love it. Right. That’s it. That’s the whole clip. And then it’s just showing like people’s, like, it would be like me showing my, my brewery or something and like, or like me brewing beer and going like, why do you do this? Because I love it. It’s like, what is that? How am I, how am I any better for watching that? Like, it’s nothing. It’s, it’s, I don’t know. It it’s still, it’s driving me nuts. Like even just talking about it.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, yeah. No, this is, this is a perfect conversation. Like I’m, I’m trying to play devil’s advocate for, for people who do these kinds of things.

So it’s like, Hey, I, I did that meme thing and it got seen by, you know, 500,000 people. Like that’s my brand now exposed to 500,000 people. Isn’t that a good thing?

Matt Giovanisci: You did a video recently talking about Shorts, right?

Pat Flynn: I did. I love how you’re using my own thing as an argument against my own thing.

Matt Giovanisci: And I agree with all of it, with the caveat that like, obviously we don’t all make our money if we’re, if we’re like a real creator that’s like got a business behind the creator part of it.

If like we’re selling a product, for example, like we don’t make our money from the ads, that ad sense or whatever that comes, comes from Shorts. Cause like yeah, we do shorts and we make like a couple cents per video. It’s insanely small. The thought process is, is that, the way I’ve always looked at it is it’s commercials for the long form. That’s how it should be, right? That, that’s how I envision it. Now, here’s the thing. Most of what I’m seeing are like those lip syncing things, they’re exclusively only doing those. So what is there after that to absorb or connect with, like you, I mean, you make this argument of like, yes, if you’re doing it and it’s it, it allows you to discover something that you didn’t know about.

Like, oh, this person has an entire business, or this per, you know, like I can give the example of like a brewery, right? They do a meme and then like people are exposed to this brewery and it’s like, oh, I didn’t know this brewery exists. But ultimately, you know nothing about the brewery. Like, all you know, is that like there was a, a girl lip syncing on in, in their tap room.

Okay, now what? Like, it, it tells no brand story. It gives no context. You kind of have to do your own digging and I kind of feel like it’s not good for business. Like just getting eyeballs is only good for YouTube. Or only good for Instagram. It is actually not good for your business and it’s vanity metrics at the end of the day.

Pat Flynn: It’s so true. Right? It’s so true. Versus you’re telling a story that is still interesting, but it’s coming from you and it connects in some way. Yeah, to the viewer.

Matt Giovanisci: I mean, if you do meme content every once in a while, totally cool because then I find your Shorts or they start getting you know, fed to me through the algorithm and you have educational content or you have, you know, some other type of entertainment that is valuable and that will actually help your business, you know, in some way.

But if it’s all a hundred percent mean content, then I’m like, well, I kind of feel like you’re doing this for Instagram and not for yourself. Or you know, name, you know, insert platform name here.

Pat Flynn: Or you’re just doing it to make yourself feel better cuz you’re getting a load of views and, and that’s what’s important to you.

Matt Giovanisci: Yeah. You get that. It goes back to the vanity metrics. Like it’s, you know, that’s something we’ve, it’s really hard, especially for people who are like, not, have not been in this game for a long time. They still, vanity metrics are like still kind of like candy, you know? It’s still pretty good. Whereas like, at the end of the day, like I, I know, you know, it doesn’t actually feed our, you know, mouths, it doesn’t pay the bills, and so, and that’s the thing, I think you’re seeing a lot of creators that’s gonna, it’s gonna happen.

This, I, you know, I say this I don’t wanna be a predictor of things, but like, remember Vine, you know, it’s like, what are, where did they all go? They all went to YouTube, right? And had frigging successful careers, like super huge, right? And it’s like, what’s gonna happen with TikTok, whether it gets banned or not, which they may not, but like eventually they’re gonna go, I don’t have anything like, let’s, you gotta take this somewhere else and then they’re forced to do long form and whatever. But I don’t know this, it’s just really the lip syncing thing. It’s just bothers me, it drives me nuts.

Pat Flynn: No, I love it. This that was a great conversation. A couple more tweets here. You had mentioned algorithm.

This, this one mentions the algorithm as well and I really loved it. It’s if you are nervous around every Google algorithm update, then you’re doing something wrong. Why shouldn’t we be nervous about Google changing things? And then all of a sudden my, you know, rankings change overnight. And like, how do we shield ourself from such dangers?

Matt Giovanisci: Align your interests with Google’s interests.

It’s the same with all of these other platforms, right? Yeah. YouTube. Yep. Mm-hmm. What do they want? Figure that out. It’s not hard. Right? And then in the, in the case of Google, for example, what they want to be is correct, always, right? So for example, if you type something into Google, if you have a question or you have something, Google wants to be correct right out of the gate. Them being incorrect, they people will lose trust in Google and not use it anymore. Right? Which is why ChatGPT scares me so much about like getting fast answers, but that’s a whole different conversation in this case. So if your content is correct and well-made and unique and has a voice and all of those things, and you’re not just regurgitating incorrect information or you know, just trying to make something quick just to gain rank.

Then I kind of feel like if you really, really think about the end user, right? If somebody has a question about something, answer it, over-deliver, give them everything they need. Google will just reward you for that because it makes them look good, right? SEO and all of the like tactics around, that’s what everybody wants to know.

They wanna know all the tricks, and this has not changed like this has been around for forever. Right? And the thing that has never changed, even back then when it was like, you know, just get as many back links as possible. You know, like create as much content as you can. It’s still about like basically creating the best thing on the internet to answer the question or solve the problem of the searcher.

That’s all Google cares about, because again, it just makes them look good. So that’s just been my MO for, I don’t know, since, since I got dinged in 2008 for doing all the wrong things. And so I was just like, oh, what if I actually sat down and wrote the definitive guide to getting rid of algae in your pool?

Like, what if I just actually tried? And of course I tried, and I’ve never lost a ranking in like 20 years. It’s like, because even if somebody comes in and writes something better, I care more about my and I, this is another tweet I’ve had too, is like, I care more about my thing than you do about yours.

And so I will just go, oh wow, that guy, or that person did like a great, you know, had a great answer. I’m gonna just one up them. You know, and it could just be like, make a better video, make some interesting graphics that like not everybody can do. You know? Maybe build a little mini plugin tool to like help them calculate how much shock they need to kill, you know, kill.

It’s like just provide like the best thing and you’ll never have to worry because you know, at the end of the day, like you did exactly what Google wants and it should align with what you want.

Pat Flynn: That reminds me of Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique that he coined. Just see what’s out there. Build a bigger or better skyscraper and that that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Matt Giovanisci: Yeah, and a lot of people take that, I feel like, because I get this question constantly, it’s like they take it literally like build a bigger skyscraper. It’s like, oh, that person has 1200 words. I’m gonna do 1400 words. Oh, that person has 25 best. Whatever I’m doing 26 best. It’s like, I, you know, to me the way I looked at the, the whole 25 thing, you know, like, alright, say somebody has like 25 best pool cleaners, right?

It’s like, okay, wow, that’s a lot of pool cleaners to pick from. Yeah. I’m gonna create an article called the best, the one, right? This is the one, right? It’s solves the, again, it’s the searcher intent. It solves their problem instantly. Right? And that is what Google wants.

Pat Flynn: Genius. So good. Last one here. Is, if you can’t explain it simply, your marketing message, is wrong. And this is something that I know in my audience and, and even I struggle with often, which is just simplifying the message so it, it can be understood. I think we suffer from the curse of knowledge, which means we know the thing and we don’t know what it’s like to not know the thing. So communicating with people who don’t know the thing can be difficult.

What do you do to simplify your message? How do you nail the messaging so well so that you can continually bring new people in and sell more product, then what do you do?

Matt Giovanisci: Okay, two things. One, ask, just ask. Right. If you have a person that like emails, you like one of your customers and they’re having a problem, just be like, what’s wrong?

Just tell me what’s wrong. Okay. And then solve their problem. Right? Just one-on-one. Okay. Now you’ve just written an article in your head, right? Cuz you’ve solved a problem for somebody, assuming you are the expert knowledge or whatever. Even if you have to Google it, that’s fine. Or if you have to do your own research.

So once you understand that you, the problem that you’re trying to solve, and that’s the, that’s essentially the message. This works especially well for my audience. I find and this, and this is like, I, I would think universal too. In pool care, it’s very complicated. It’s, there’s water chemistry, there’s, you know, seven point, there’s decimals, right?

There’s, there’s, there’s acronyms, there’s all these things. And I am, so I talk in this language all the time and I kind of assume that everyone else does. People don’t know what pH is. You know, it’s like that. That’s, that’s real. So there’s, there’s two things that I do. One is I’ll write the message outta my head, like you have to get it out, right.

Write it first. I’ll stick it into a few tools. One of those tools is Grammarly. That is just like, you know, cleaning up the, the structure of it and making it like just a little bit easier to read. I also stick it in the Hemingway app and then cut sentences because the one thing that I’ve learned, or at least how I became a better writer with no college degree and failed every English class in high school, was Hemingway. Just reading Hemingway and being like, oh, I don’t have to know or use semicolons. In fact, I barely have to use commas if I don’t want to. Right. If I just use periods, it’s actually better for the, for the reader. I enjoy reading that stuff. Like there was a, a book by the 37 Signals Guys way back, I think it was called like Getting Started or I forget what it was, but it was about software design.

It was just like, short sentences, boom, boom, boom. And they, it was like super concise and I was like, it was the easiest read of my life. And I’m like, oh, this is great. But in the most like last few months, the best tool in the world for this is ChatGPT. Because what I’ll do is like, I’ll write an email and like I have to ex, it’s not even a complex thing I have to explain, but it’s like, so we, we just wrote a book, right?

And we’re getting it printed, but that book is also available as a pdf. Right? And you and I can sit here and go, that makes total sense. I understand the difference. But if you’re 80 years old, you, I’ve never worked on the pool in your life, but you want it clear for your grandkids. You don’t understand the difference between a digital copy and a physical copy.

You know, you’ll order the digital copy and expect when to get your physical copy. So what I’ll do is I’ll write the email as if like I’m just talking to you, and then I’ll stick it in the ChatGPT and I say, write this at a third grade level. And it just takes it, distills it, and makes it like idiot proof.

And I, and then I, you have to do a little bit of tweaks to it, but like, ugh, that’s, that’s what I think, like the best benefit of something like ChatGPT is, it’s like, take what I’m thinking and make it better or make it, you know, it better in this case or like easier to understand, however you wanna look at it.

Pat Flynn: I have a friend who just wrote a cookbook, but he’s never written a cookbook. He doesn’t know the structure of cookbooks, but he knows how to like, put this in here and you, you know, add this to the thing. He put all the things in his own mind, on paper into ChatGPT and then said, write this like a cookbook would be.

Then it made it, it formalized. It made it simple, made it just like you said, like just here are the steps, because we don’t know how to do that necessarily. So I love that use case, and it’s not like you’re telling ChatGPT to write anything for you from scratch. It’s coming from you still. It’s just simplifying it and I’ve never heard that particular use case before for a marketer like that makes total sense to me. And is that the specific prompt? Like rewrite this email for a third grader?

Matt Giovanisci: I say write this at a third grade level. At a third grade level. Okay. Yep. Colon, and then paste the whatever I wrote. Yeah. And then it just goes, it sometimes like, it sometimes takes it in a more sillier direction, like a, like for an actual third grader, it’ll use language, I’m like, okay, we don’t need to go, we don’t need to go cutesy. And like, we don’t need to use that kind of language, but I’ll, that stuff I’ll clean up. It’s like, but it does, like especially in, you know, pool care, when I have to explain like what a product does, I’m like, oh, this removes biofilm from the inside of your hot tub plumbing. To me, that sounds completely normal, right? And people are like, one, what’s biofilm? Two, what’s plumbing? Right? It’s like, oh, this flushes the gunk from your pipes. Boom, you know? Done. Yeah.

Pat Flynn: Love it. Matt, this is super great, man. Thank you so much for letting me and dissecting your tweets with me. This has been super fun.

It’s fun. Where could people go to learn more about you and, and check out some of your stuff?

Matt Giovanisci: Honestly, if you have a pool or a hot tub, go to

Pat Flynn: And then your Twitter account is?

Matt Giovanisci: @MattGiovanisci, my name.

Pat Flynn: All right. We’ll have all the links in show notes. Bro, this was super fun.

Thank you again for being here and, and hopefully the audience got some golden nuggets, which I’m sure they did.

Matt Giovanisci: So yeah, thanks for having me. Appreciate it, man.

Pat Flynn: All right. Hope you enjoy that episode. This is 699. The big 700 is coming next, and it’s one of our Friday episodes, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that.

And all the other great guests that we have coming on the show later this year. Thank you to Matt and thank you for listening all the way through. If you wanna check out the previous episode and learn about how Matt became the Swim, swim king, the king of Swim, the swimmer king. I don’t even know if he has a name for himself in that way, but he’s just really cool and I hope you enjoyed this episode.

It was actually a ton of fun to just jam on this stuff because he’s got some good tweets. And again, if you wanna check ’em out, @MattGiovanisci on Twitter. If you wanna get the show notes and also know how to spell his name, it’s at Again,

Thank you again, I appreciate you. Looking forward to hearing about your feedback on this episode. And the rest of the episodes come, they’re gonna be great. Make sure you hit subscribe, peace out. Take care. As always, Team Flynn for the win. Bye.

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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