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SPI 760: Series Marketing is Serious Marketing

“If you like this, smash that subscribe button!”

We always hear this nowadays. But people don’t subscribe because they enjoy a single piece of content — they subscribe because they see value in what’s coming next. Most creators get this wrong!

In this episode, I want to share a strategy that’s working really well for me right now. This is a great way to grow your audience as a podcaster, blogger, YouTuber, or creator of any kind. Listen in because this is a simple and effective framework that you definitely should know!

Once I explain the thought process behind getting new subscribers, I’d love for you to try this strategy out for yourself. There’s a right and wrong way to do this, so tune in today for tips that make all the difference!

By the way, I also mentioned this in my Unstuck newsletter. Subscribe to get more of these tactics delivered straight to your inbox!

SPI 760: Series Marketing is Serious Marketing

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 cried a little when he used Zillow to see what his childhood home looked like again. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Hey, happy Friday! Pat here. I wanna go over strategy that is working really, really well right now for myself and has worked for a while for several others. And this is something that you may have noticed other people are doing, but I don’t think anybody’s really ever talked about it or have really broken it down in the way that I hope to break it down for you today. And my goal here is to help you get more subscribers.

Whatever platform you might be on, whether it’s a podcast, maybe it’s a YouTube channel, your blog, a newsletter. Maybe it’s TikTok or Instagram, Facebook. Doesn’t matter. X or Twitter. I want you to get more subscribers.

And so what I’m gonna go over today is first the really inherent nature of what it means to subscribe. Because I think once we understand that, then a lot of things that I’m gonna share with you make a lot more sense. And I think it’s important to start with this. What is a subscriber doing anyway? Because most of us creators are thinking about it all wrong.

When you watch a YouTube video or you go to a website and you read a piece of content or you listen to a podcast, what do you often hear? You often hear something like, hey, if you enjoyed this content, please hit the subscribe button. Hey. If you like what you saw, Hit subscribe.

If that resonated with you, smash that like button and hit that subscribe button. Right? Don’t use smash in your stuff. But and what we’re essentially doing when we do that is we are reducing that phrase, subscribe, to just a quick vote of momentary approval, as I like to call it. Hey, did you like this? Did it resonate with you? Then if it did, hit that subscribe button. And that’s that’s not right. The reason I’m talking about this now is because I got a lot of Great feedback from a newsletter, our Unstuck newsletter, and I where where I wrote about this.

And I wanted to expand on it here because I think there’s more ways that we might be able to consider how to create our content in a way that allows us to get more subscribers and do it in a in a fun and Interesting way that can excite our audience and truly build fans, which is which is my whole goal here. But the whole point of a person subscribing in their mind, as it should be, is not a vote or a like, but rather, an I want more. I subscribe because I want more of that type of content. I expect that the next time I see a piece of content from you, it will be just as valuable or something similar or something that can also help me. Right.

Every individual piece of content, yes, can be different, but there has to be some sort of thread or some sort of connection between 1 piece and another. And if you can eloquently or just even visually or perhaps through the stories that you share, help a person who’s watching or listening or viewing your stuff or reading it, help them understand what’s coming next. And it could be as explicit as in the next newsletter or in the next episode, this will happen. You can say that, and I think more people should. Right?

And this means, yes, you have to plan ahead. This is why creating a content calendar can be really amazing because you can plan these things. You can actually create groupings of different pieces of content. You can see how they all interplay with each other. So they’re not all 1 offs, But rather, they are 1 piece of a larger whole.

And this is where I want you to think about this year in some way, shape, or form, very soon, creating a series. Series marketing is serious marketing. Just made that up. It may or may not work, but now you’re not gonna forget it. Series marketing is serious marketing.

And the reason this works so well is because inside of a series that you create. It can be an always an ongoing series, or it could be a specific group of pieces of content. Maybe it’s a month’s worth of blog posts or 8 weeks in a particular newsletter or, in my case, 3 videos in a video series. This is why the PLF, the Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker works so well because that was actually built as a series, which Part 1 would engage and get people interested. Part 2, unveil more of the story, earn a lot of trust.

And part 3, boom, there goes the sale. And when it’s done that way, it always proves to be much, much better at converting. But on your public pieces of content Inside of your YouTube channel, for example, inside of my YouTube channel, the Deep Pocket Monster YouTube channel, we accidentally stumbled upon a series, and it is working really, really well. So let me give you the background about this, and hopefully, you can pull some inspiration to create a series of your own. We’ll go through some different ideas too on how to go about doing that.

And there’s a little disclaimer at the end as well in a in a in a really important piece of advice I need to give you with relation to this because there is a wrong way to do this. So on the Deep Pocket Monster YouTube channel by the way, we just celebrated 750,000 subscribers. We are on the road to one million! And you know me. I like to do things that bring the fans together, that create these moments of time that we could all get behind.

I’m kind of on a tangent now. I’ll get back to what I was talking about in just a second, but I just this just happened yesterday. We created a t shirt that we’ve sold on Shopify for our Deep Pocket Monster audience and community that says subscribed before one million. And the call to action being, go grab this shirt so you can be 1 of the OG subscribers to the brand before we hit a million. And within a 1 hour period during a live stream when I started mentioning this, we had already sold over a hundred of those shirts.

People also got a signed card in a commemorative 750 k Deep Pocket Monster coin. Building community is easy once you understand the language of it and how it works. People want to root for something, and they wanna show off how involved they are with something that they love. And you can do that too. This it’s just mind blowing what is happening over there. I’m so so excited.

Anyway, 2 months ago, I filmed the video, and the video was a challenge. The challenge was to finish a set of Pokemon. The set was called Pokemon 151. It was a anniversary set that sort of brought back a lot of the original 151 there’s over a thousand now, which is insane. But the originals were featured with new artwork, and it was a beautiful set.

I challenged myself to finish that set from scratch in 151 minutes. So a fun little, you know, timer, challenge, wordplay, 151 is the name of the set, 151 minutes, which is 2 hours and 31 minutes, and I failed the first one. I was 1 card short. Right. I went to an area where there were a lot of vendors and card shops, and I was one card short.

We inserted a timer. I bought a kitchen timer, and I put eyes on it and named it Steve. And this character, or which has now become a character, is kind of who I’m battling against and who, you know, I’m always getting angry at because he’s he’s rushing me and all this kind of stuff. Right? We we put that character into the play, and when he came back for round 2, because I had to try it again.

And in round 2, Steve was there, the timer. Again, Steve won. I was short by two cards this time at a different location. And what’s interesting is that this was not on purpose to fail, by the way. I have traditionally either failed or passed these tests, these challenges, and then moved on to the next one.

But I wanted to finish the set, and I wanted to finish it in 151 minutes. I failed the first time, failed the second time, And I’m doing it again. In fact, I’ve already filmed it and me doing it again. I haven’t yet shared that video, so I’m not gonna share the results of that right now. You could find that on Deep Pocket Monster if you’d like.

But even even in this little example that I’m sharing here, you’re curious. Did I end up doing it or not? The third I already filmed it, like I said. In the third and final round, Did I finally do it? And the reason I say final is because and we lean into this in the third video, which we’re editing right now.

I can’t possibly keep doing this challenge because it’s getting very expensive. Part of the consequence of not completing these challenges, uh, is I have to give every card that I’ve collected away, And I just did that on the 750,000 subscriber livestream giveaway. Both of those first challenge binders were given away to to lucky members of the audience. And so now this third round, Steve is back, and I’m in a different location. The stakes are higher.

And even just by saying, I’ve done it twice and failed and I tried again, you, the listener are curious. Well, did you finish or not? Even if you are not interested in Pokemon, you wanna know what happens because there’s a story there. Anyway, we Inadvertently had created this series that has become a huge hit inside of the channel right now. The second video just published 8 days ago at this point.

And at this point in time, 8 days after the second video, it has more views than the first video did after 8 days. It has 419,000 views after 8 days. The second round has more views than the first round. And there’s so many people now going back to watch the first round now, and people still discovering the first round now going to the second. And especially for you YouTubers out there, series content works so well.

You might have heard of Ryan Trahan and his penny series videos. He’s got several penny series. He’s got the lived off of a penny for a week Series where he started with a penny, and he lived off of that for a week because he traded it up, and he was able to turn that into something, then something, and then go buy McDonald’s, and then had just, like, a little bit of money left after that, and then turned it into something else, just change. And there were 7 videos that went a whole week of him just starting with a penny and living off of just that was all the money he started with. The first video in that series by Ryan Trahan, guess how many views it has?

24000000 views. And the entire series has well over a hundred million views. He’s turned that into a trading a penny into a house series within a week. It’s just fascinating, and he’s done that kind of challenged very, very well. There is a person named Chris who started a sock store. Involving Chris, that’s the name of his YouTube channel.

The name of that video that started this series was I Tried Starting a Custom Sock Store. What happened? Well, that’s a great title because now I wanna know what happens. I know what happens because I’ve watched this series. But there are several parts to this series.

And the first 1, which was published in October of 2019, has over a million views. And I’m gonna read some of the comments here for you because they really truly speak to this idea of the power of a series and sort of creating something that’s broken up into multiple parts. I love to see this type of video where you show your workflow and all of your thinking. Thank you so much for the effort and the amazing content you deliver. Can’t wait for part 2.

Really looking forward to part 2. You have me on the edge of my seat. Please come out with part 2 soon. I can’t decide if this is a tutorial or a documentary. So good.

Create a series. I have my 151 series that’s going on right now. They each add on to the next. And the beauty of that on YouTube is because when you help a person go from one video to the next video, that signals to YouTube that they gotta push the series out more to people. Now, the same thing can happen on your newsletter.

The same thing can happen on your podcast. What I would do is consider a block of time on the calendar and go, okay, this month or these 4 weeks or these 8 weeks, we’re gonna turn this into a series where each of the pieces of content stack on the next. And together in the end, you will have blank. I even did this back in 2010 I did this. I wish I sort of was able to understand what I was doing at the time, but in retrospect, I was doing exactly what I’m teaching you right now, creating a series.

I had what’s called the niche site duel. This was in 2010 where I was competing against somebody. It doesn’t always have to be by the way. It just so happened that I was versus another person, and we were trying to do this just so who could do it better, to build a website from scratch about a topic we knew nothing about and generate revenue from it. We did this in 2010.

I chose security guard training. And for every week, for several weeks, I journaled and wrote and published about what I was doing, here’s how I chose the keyword security guard training, and here are the tools that I used. By the way, this was amazingly successful for affiliate marketing because once we got to day 73 And people saw, wow, this actually worked because, yes, on day 73, I started generating massive revenue from this website because I got to number one on Google on day 73. And then all the hosting and the tools I was using, the affiliate income for those shot through the roof. But I documented the story and I shared it.

And people subscribed because they wanted to know what would happen next. So what can you do to start something where people need to know what happens next. I think that is more powerful than a 10 week email newsletter series about blank. Right? That can still help too.

Right? I will teach you how to do this in 10 weeks and each lesson stacks on the next. Sure. But I think, really, the power comes from the behind the scenes and the not really knowing what’s coming next. And whether it’s reporting in real time or you take something that has happened and you chunk it up into different pieces that then together create the storyline or this education or series where that unlocks blank at the end for somebody, that’s gonna be what’s really powerful.

So try that. Try that. Now the one thing I will say about this, the sort of Caveat here, the the asterisk is don’t just take a piece of content that you have and purposefully divided into smaller sections so that you can have a series around it. I’ve seen some people do that with podcasts. I it’s a very common question, in fact, That people ask me with relation to longer episodes that they record with guests and breaking them up into smaller ones just to kind of get to a certain time code or a certain time frame for that episode.

And I always say don’t do that unless you have a clear ending or a clear break that doesn’t just leave people hanging. I don’t want you to just cut something up to turn it into a series and then, like, none of those things can stand on their own. Right? You need to deliver. You need each of those pieces to provide value.

But together, the value of all of them together is much better and bigger. And just the story that you tell or the the the thing that gets revealed or or what have you. It’s why I mean, I think of Netflix. Right? Most Netflix series that are great uncover some story.

I mean, I like the F 1 Formula 1 racing, it’s like you you go through a football or soccer team or a basketball team season. And even though you don’t know who these kids are, and even though you you never even heard of the school before, you’ll follow because you need to know what happens next. So how can you create a series that people can follow, they can get behind, they can feel the emotion around it? This is what gets a person to subscribe because they wanna know what’s coming next. They can already know what it is that they’re getting, and they’re less likely to back out of that.

So try it. Series marketing is serious marketing. Thank you so much for listening in today. I appreciate you. I will be getting a little bit more strategic with a lot of these episodes.

I’ve been going pretty heady the last year or so in these Friday episodes, but I do wanna get back to some strategy for you. Thinking around that, I’m not trying to make excuses nor am I saying what I was doing was wrong. I’m just telling you where I’m going with this. I do wanna be more strategic here. I think the reason why I hadn’t been on these Friday’s episodes is because, well, we get pretty strategic on the Wednesday episodes with these interviews.

But at the same time, I didn’t want to overload you with too many strategies. But I’m gonna say that you are smart enough to know which strategies you wanna use. It’s my job to even give you more of a menu to choose from because it just might be that one additional strategy that maybe I wouldn’t have shared, but now I will, That gets you to unlock something and and get unstuck, and I do a lot of this stuff on the Unstuck newsletter as well. So check out the Unstuck newsletter, Anyway, cheers.

Thanks so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode. 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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