Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 792: How to Find Data to Support Your Content

Your content can connect with people and drive action. Other times, it can fall flat and never stand out. Have you ever wondered why?

For one, storytelling is an essential part of successful marketing. Regular listeners know I talk about that a lot on the show. That said, we don’t often discuss the other important ingredient in the secret sauce…

In this episode, I share how you can leverage data to support your stories and add an extra element of believability to your message. Numbers don’t lie, so join me to learn how to collect and present relevant figures to your audience. Don’t miss out, because this is a fantastic way to level up the engagement you’re getting!

So where do you find data to support your content?

We’ll look at everything from uncovering relevant scientific research to the AI tools that can help you get information fast. I’ll also talk about my hugely popular income reports and why I’ve stopped sharing those numbers.

Injecting data into your marketing is an easy strategy you can implement for better results. Listen in to find out more!

SPI 792: How to Find Data to Support Your Content

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 thinks every listener of this podcast deserves some good luck today. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: This past week, we spoke with John Ainsworth from and also the host of the Art of Selling Online Courses. And again, that juxtaposition, that crossover between the data and the art, the numbers with the feeling and the sort of experience that you have is really interesting. And I’d recommend you definitely listen to that episode if you haven’t done so already.

That’s episode 791. But this is 792 and I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into data because have you ever wondered why some content sticks and resonates and drives action versus content that you might be creating that kind of just falls flat or just kind of blends in with everybody else’s? And the secret often lies not just In the storytelling, which we talk about so much.

I mean, your story, the story is so important, but the data that goes along with it helps earn trust. It helps build authority. So when you can collect data and inject and insert data into the communication that you have, things just become that much more believable. And of course, you don’t want to make up the data.

You want to collect this data in different ways. So we’re going to go over in this episode, different ways that you can collect data to kind of immediately enhance the content that you are coming out with, right? We want to do this ethically. We want to integrate it well. And so we’re going to talk about all these things, whether you’re writing an article, crafting a marketing campaign, a sales page you’re building, and even just posting on social media, having data to support your words and your thoughts and your opinions and positions, it’s so strong.

So for me, when I first started out, I didn’t know how to collect data. In fact, I know that I could do a better job of that. And I want you to think about some of your favorite business books. Oftentimes, you’ll see a lot of data within those books. This is why I loved Malcolm Gladwell’s books so much, that it just came with data that supported all these efforts and all these positions that he was taking, and it really supported his points. And I love that. You know, the numbers don’t lie, as they say. I mean, you can obviously position numbers in a way to get a point across in a way that may or may not be persuasive, but the numbers definitely help. That’s for sure. So where did I get my numbers?

I got my numbers from results from creating things and sharing those results. And that came first in the form of an income report that was published on the SPI blog for eight years plus. And these were numbers based on my revenue, my expenses, and just sharing these inside of charts and tables. And they were absolutely the most popular blog posts that I had written. Of course, come late 2010s, the landscape of blogging has changed, those numbers we started to not include on the website anymore because they were just growing so big and weren’t relatable anymore. And so I shifted to data and analysis and reports based on campaigns or specific things, not just the business overall.

And the most popular one came out in 2016, I think it was, it was a year after Will It Fly was published. Will It Fly was my self published book. And I shared all of the numbers behind that, how well it did during launch, how it continued to sell on Amazon, how many sales it made, how much money it generated, how much long tail revenue it made, not just from book sales, but also from book to email list to course.

And overall, just within a couple of years, actually, it was 2018 I think that this came out, so it was a few years after Will It Fly came out, the book itself had helped to generate over a quarter million dollars, which was really eye opening for a lot of authors, especially who didn’t have a traditional book publishing deal or weren’t seeing the book as a part of a, of a bigger system inside of a business versus just like, I just need to make sales of the book on its own.

That was really helpful. And so, again, these popular posts and these popular reports were because of the numbers. And where did I get my numbers from? By just making those numbers happen. I mean, whatever the results would be, would become the data to support the points and the lessons that I would make.

And that would be where I would recommend you start. If you have that, whenever you can be the one to create those numbers, whether it’s through your own efforts or surveys that you do, that is always going to work best. But by far, because it’s coming from your own work. That being said, research goes a long way as well.

So, in addition to your own surveys and polls and your own testing and your own results, public databases and public research or research done with studies and those kinds of things are often included inside of books and inside of content to support one’s point, right? I’ve been doing a lot of research on learning lately and how much people are getting overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s out there, how much people are confused on where to go and all that kind of stuff.

Podcast data I’ve been really diving into, right? This stuff is so supportive of the content that’s being created and it’s public information. You just have to find it, right? So where can you find this? Well, you can find it. from trusted resources. That’s going to be the number one thing. You want trusted resources.

There are people who create studies or just make up things. You don’t want to push forward those numbers in support of something that you have, because if people find out that these studies were done incorrectly or if they were not truthful, then of course that hurts you as well as somebody who is trying to support your own case.

So, there might be government databases, research institutions, CDC, World Bank, Google Scholar is a place that a lot of people potentially find some things. Magazines have a lot of information. I know there’s a lot of science magazines and science reporting that happens on certain experiments that are done, certain studies that are done.

That are done as well. I think, you know, we see this a lot in self help books as well. Certain studies, you know, there was a control group of 100 children who did this with a marshmallow. And then he was another control group who, you know, we’re told not to eat the marshmallow and they get a second one if they waited a little longer.

You know, those kinds of studies are very interesting. And of course, you don’t just include them to include them, you include them to support the points you’re making. So what’s really neat is you can use a tool like ChatGPT or Claude to start the researching process. I would be very, very careful with what’s called what is it called when a AI system just a hallucination.

That’s what it’s called. You don’t want to believe everything AI tells you. It can be a great tool and a great starting point for you to find research and to just verify that these things that AI is telling you is true, or at least start that research process. You can ask Chat GPT, where might I get the best information for studies related to blank, for example, and it might point you in the right direction.

And it’s still going to be up to you to verify and do the research yourself. And I think that’s going to be important to it really almost doubles down what it is that you’re creating content about. It actually can get, can get you more excited about it, right? When you get excited about some data that you’re finding that then supports your cause, your opinion, your position, not only does it make it more authoritative to an audience, it just gets you more excited about it as well.

Now watch out for confirmation bias, again, this is something where you find something that seems to match what you’re saying. And then of course you are like, yep, I was right. And look at the other side as well. The scientific approaches is looking at things from different angles to make sure that something is indeed truthful.

And that’s kind of approach that you want to take. So where else or what other kinds of data might you be able to offer? Well, depending on what it is that you’re doing, you might have some analytical data that goes with what you are doing and what you’re supporting. There might be, for example, if you are somebody who is helping restaurants with their you menu, you might have some data from restaurants on the most popular menu items.

And that might be through analytics that you have access to with these restaurants that are some of your clients, for example. So looking at web and social media analytics can be great. Social media, by the way, is an amazing opportunity to collect some quick data as well. It might not be as formal as some of these things like studies and research institutions.

But running a poll can be a great way, or even getting people’s opinions based on a question you ask. It’s not necessarily heavy on the data driven authority, but it is data nonetheless, and it’s actual numbers and polls and comments and replies that again, can make a case for what it is that you’re offering.

Now, of course, the less strong or the weaker, the data, the more opportunity there are for people to poke holes in it. But you know, some analytical tools can be great if you are in an industry where there’s a lot of numbers, right? If you are doing. stock analysis and all these kinds of things. I mean, this is where it’s obvious.

There’s a lot of stock related YouTube channels that I follow and they use a lot of charts and they use a lot of graphs to support their case. And, you know, it really makes things more believable insights. I know Facebook has insights. Any social media tools have insights on everything from engagement to, you know, directly polls that you offer on your posts as well.

I find that Instagram stories and polls within Instagram stories are probably the easiest to do. Again, there’s not a ton of information as far as how many people engage or, you know, you got to be careful again. And I think it’s important to be honest with how you collected this data, but again, it can still support what it is that you’re doing industry reports and case studies.

I think I briefly mentioned this already. This is where you can get a lot of information from magazines. Online magazines are great. A lot of universities have certain colleges within those universities that post papers and studies. Another tool that you could use is something like Adobe Acrobat Beta because they have something now called the AI assistant. You can use other tools for this, but this is what I think Adobe is really good at. With Adobe Acrobat Beta, you can actually download these papers and use Adobe Acrobat Beta to not just look through these articles and then you can kind of ask it questions and you can do research.

It’ll actually summarize it really well. And it’ll also cite what parts of that document that it’s collecting this data from so you can verify much easier what AI is telling you inside of something like Adobe Acrobat assistant. So just something to keep in mind again, Adobe Acrobat beta and their AI assistant inside of that is really useful.

Case studies. You might find that there might be other bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers who have run case studies, using them as examples and linking to them, giving them credit as well, obviously, but then inferring certain things, creating support for your points. Not just copying and obviously, you know, just repurposing or republishing their work, but using that work as a starting point to add more value, educate people about that thing.

This is very common in the YouTube world for people who teach YouTube. It’s a little meta, but a lot of YouTubers who teach YouTube use other YouTubers as examples and they show their videos, they show their thumbnails, they, share the view count and all those kinds of things. And that is obviously great support for the points that they’re making about why they should do certain things or why you shouldn’t do certain things, right?

Presenting that data, you know, if you are doing something like video or blogs, visualizations are very key. I think that that can help support infographics can be great as well. I think there was a. time, a number of years ago where infographics were like the thing, I think this was back when Pinterest was kind of the major new kid on the block for how social or on the social media platform list and infographics were very popular, especially among more business and data driven types of industries.

And I still think they can be very key and are shared quite more often than just text alone, but they aren’t as popular anymore. But that might be a great reason to get back into that. If you can create an easy to digest visualization of the data, that that is what you’re using to support your points and make your position, then great.

I think that’s amazing. And again, be sure to cite your sources for credibility. And also it’s just the right thing to do, right? For ethics. And it’s a way to support those creators and those institutions and those resources and sources to make sure that your users can know where that’s coming from. I think if you don’t cite, things are almost not as believable.

I mean, it’s just how it is. So go get some data, use it to support your points and have some fun with it. I think you’ll be very surprised of what happens when you include data, especially in the beginning parts of your content to support your points. It could really help a person stay hooked on what you’re saying.

It almost removes that wonder of, is this real? Is this, is this just made up news? No, here’s some data. And again, be sure to cite your, your sources. So good luck to you. Use that data. Thank you again. And yeah, let me know what you think. Cheers. Peace out. And I’ll see 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!

Share this post

Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

Weekly interviews, strategy, and advice for building your online business the smart way.

Get Unstuck in just 5 minutes, for free

Our weekly Unstuck newsletter helps online entrepreneurs break through mental blocks, blind spots, and skill gaps. It’s the best 5-minute read you’ll find in your inbox.

Free newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime.

Join 135k+