Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 455: How to Build a Trustworthy Brand in a Crowded Space with Rob Maurer from Tesla Daily

One of the questions I get asked all the time as a podcaster is “what podcasts do you listen or subscribe to?” This might surprise you, but there’s really only one show that I absolutely have to listen to . . . every week. Actually, every day. Like, I’ll literally drop what I’m doing (unless I’m with the family of course) and listen to each episode when it drops.

The show is Tesla Daily, which is why I couldn’t be more thrilled to have its host Rob Maurer on the show today!

If you want a behind-the-curtain peek at how someone with over 100,000 YouTube subscribers produces a hard-hitting podcast every day, you’re in the right place. Rob built this show from the ground up and incredibly, launched his first episode from concept to publish in just 48 – 72 hours. Even more impressive is how Rob’s built a trust-worthy brand in such a crowded space.

What does it take to keep up production with a daily show like this? Why does Rob do what he does and how did he get started? How do you combine an audio-first podcast with the power of YouTube? And what does Rob do when Elon Musk posts a controversial tweet? All that and more today — press play, y’all!

Today’s Guest

Rob Maurer

Rob Maurer has been a Tesla retail investor since 2013 and started the Tesla Daily podcast in 2017 to help people understand the company and contextualize the flurry of news surrounding Tesla. In 2019, Rob expanded the podcast to YouTube, amassing 100,000 subscribers in less than a year.

YouTube
Twitter

You’ll Learn

SPI 455: How to Build a Trust-Worthy Brand in a Crowded Space with Rob Maurer from Tesla Daily

Pat Flynn:
Hey, welcome to 2021 my friends! Thank you so much for being here on the Smart Passive Income Podcast and I couldn’t be more thrilled to invite our special guests on to kick off the year with us because this is in fact, a podcaster, a personality, an expert on a topic that I care about deeply, and this is somebody who I listen to literally every single day. I have a lot of people ask me, “Pat, what podcasts do you subscribe to?” This is the literally the only one that I have to listen to. In fact, when I get a notification that this person comes out with a new episode, unless I’m with my family, I’m literally dropping everything to listen to the episode.

This person has helped account for several six figures-worth of income coming into my family. This person has accounted for me feeling very good about situations that perhaps had me reeling a little bit and had me very worried, and I’m talking none other than about Rob Maurer from the Tesla Daily podcast. Yes, a daily podcast, which is interesting, because it’s audio first … but where do I consume it? I actually watch it on YouTube and his YouTube channel, again, from an audio-first podcast, he just repurposes it on YouTube, has gained over 100,000 subscribers at this point, and tens of thousands of views within hours after publishing new episodes.

Rob’s got an amazing story, and this was a … The interesting thing about Rob is he actually discovered me a while back before he got started, and now I’ve recently discovered him, and I listen to him daily now. It’s just been really cool and I’m just really excited about this episode, because I’m, number one, just thrilled to have this conversation with Rob. He’s such a down-to-earth humble dude and his work ethic is just incredible and I hope that this inspires you.

I don’t want you to think that you have to do a daily thing. No, you don’t have to do a daily podcast or a daily YouTube video, and he’ll share more about his productivity schedule and how he stays on top of things and things like that, but I’m just so inspired by Rob. Again, like I said, he’s accounted for several six figures of income coming in because of the knowledge and the investigation and the research that he does and how he reports it.

I am, full disclosure a … First of all, I have driven a Tesla since 2016. I got very interested in the company as a driver, and then an investor. I’m an investor in the company. I’m holding long, and I’m excited to chat about this. We’re not going to get into investments and into strategies for stock market. This is growing a brand, showing up, making pivots when necessary, and even sacrifices. Rob going full time with this, eventually. We’re going to uncover that story and more and learn about his growth on YouTube and as a podcaster right after the intro. Here we go.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host — if he could play any character in any movie, it would be Marty McFly — Pat Flynn!

Pat:
What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to 2021 and session 455 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too, and we’re going to kick off the year with a great one. Again, I’m so so stoked that I get to chat with somebody who I listen to daily, and here he is: Rob Maurer from Tesla Daily.

Rob, welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for being here, my friend.

Rob Maurer:
Hey Pat, thanks for having me. Really excited to talk to you.

Pat:
You are in my ear, every single day now with Tesla Daily, your podcast. I actually watch it on video, although I know you have an audio show as well. I want to go back into the history of the Tesla Daily podcast, because I know you quit your job to do this full time and there’s so many ins and outs I want to get into about just how you do what you do. I think it’s going to be really inspiring to people, but let’s go into your origin story. Tell me about the early days and where Tesla Daily in fact came from?

Rob:
So I’ve been a Tesla investor since early 2013, mid-2013, and became obsessed with the company. I just spent hours every single day after work reading about the company, finding different forums to post on and discuss with people and started out with a small investment. Over time, it just became and bigger and bigger part of my portfolio and a bigger part of my personal interests, just because I saw how disruptive the company was, that’s really fascinating stuff. I’ve always been interested in the overlap between business and technology, and just had a natural interest in investing.

So I don’t know, I just became really fascinated with the company and it just started becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life. I don’t know how long you’ve followed Tesla, for but around middle of the decade, in 2015 to really up to now, probably the last year so, the media coverage hasn’t really been the best. You would see articles in mainstream media publications like CNBC, or Bloomberg that they would have details about Tesla but oftentimes a lot of missing context or just, I don’t want to go as far as saying poor reporting, but just not telling really the full story, which for someone that was spending hours a day researching about Tesla was just frustrating.

This would happen so often. So a great example of this would be like, there would be an accident and a Tesla would catch fire in that accident. CNBC would obviously cover that and there would never be any information about the frequency of fires in electric vehicles. It was like, “Oh, my gosh, this electric vehicle caught fire, this technology’s going to work.” But if you actually spend five minutes doing the actual research, the frequency of fires in a Tesla is like, 10 percent of what it would be in internal combustion engine vehicle.

So from a fire perspective, it’s much safer. So stuff as simple as that. And when those articles from CNBC would come out, the stock would drop 5 or 10 percent and it just became frustrating. I had lot of friends investing in Tesla, they’d always text me and be like, “What’s going on? Do I need to sell my stock?” I’m just like, “No, here’s the context.” So simultaneously to that happening, I was to the point in my research where I felt like I wasn’t quite learning as much about the company, and I could probably be putting my time to better use.

So I felt like, well, I’m frustrated by this, let me go out and try to help people contextualize this. There’s always so much Tesla news. I’ll just start this podcast and try to help people understand it. That was really the essence of the idea.

Then the other reason I chose to do Tesla Daily as kind of a daily podcast was because at that point in time, I was really, really driven and motivated in my career and I felt like the thing that was going to hold me back in my progression to where I wanted to be long term was my speaking ability.

I’d been reading at the time a lot about neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to actually physically reform itself based on what it’s doing. I was like, okay, well, I’ve spent my entire life sitting in a classroom listening and reading, obviously I’m not going to be a great talker, speaker. So I need to do this more often so I can actually rewire my brain to be strong at that. I need to work it out … Work out that skill set. So that was why I chose to do it daily, I was like, well, I’ll be speaking every single day. That’ll build up those neural connections, and I’ll be a better speaker, and that’ll help me advance my career. And obviously, since then, things have taken a different turn. It has helped me advance in my career, but my career is now different than it was before. So those were kind of the things that generated the idea. I just felt like there were some podcasts on Tesla at the time, but not as focused on the business and that was really what I was missing.

Pat:
That’s really cool. I can definitely attest to what a podcast, and I do one weekly, I do a couple weekly, can do for communication. And to do one daily, obviously, that just exponentially grows things. I’ve seen something similar happen by going live on YouTube every day, just the ability to come up with stuff on the fly has become a lot easier. I think that is definitely because of just the continual practice of that.

When you started your podcast, I want to know what was going through your head with getting the tech set up and just a lot of times people have a lot of things to say, but then immediately they go, well, there’s a brick wall, I don’t know how to do this, or technology is harder, or there’s just so much involved with that. What kept you going? What drove you to actually follow through and continue to do this daily?

Rob:
I’m kind of laughing here, because, honestly, you were a big part of that. I had listened to the SPI podcast quite a few times around this period of time where I was having this idea to even start a podcast and I would say your journey had inspired me a lot at that point in time. When I started the podcast, I never had any ambitions of like, this is going to be a full time thing for me. I thought maybe I can make a little bit of money to eventually helped me afford a Tesla. I never thought it could be something that would sustain me or anything like that.

So that was not my motivation. It wasn’t like, I’m going to take this and make a lot of income from my side hustle here. It was really just trying to spread good information and prove myself through this process. So, in terms of actually the technical challenges of starting the podcast, there’s so much information out there available, whether it’s a podcast, whether it’s on YouTube, whether it’s on somebody’s blog, just to help you walk through those steps.

We’re so fortunate to live in an age where there’s people out there sharing that information just because they want to help people do what they do. You’re a perfect example of that. I watched your videos on like, how to set up a podcast, how to set up Bluehost to have my website and then how to publish from my website to all these different podcast feeds and stuff like that.

So honestly, I had the idea, I was on an eight, nine hour drive and I was listening … I’d searched for some Tesla podcasts, I found a few. Some of them were really, really good podcasts, but again, just not necessarily as updated as I was hoping for or as business focused as I hoped for. So I was like, I’ll do this. After that trip, I drove home and I just sat down, I made my logo, I watched some videos, and within 72 hours, probably 48 to 72 hours, my podcast was there. I recorded that Sunday and published it on Sunday night and that was it. That was the podcast. I did it straight for the next 100 weekdays, and it just all sort of happened really quickly, but the motivation was there just to make it happen. That’s what it was.

Pat:
Obviously you being able to help other people who are also frustrated … and I started to notice the same thing too. I really started following Tesla after getting my Model X and just really falling in love with the vehicle. I know this is a very common use case, somebody drives in one and then all of a sudden they’re obsessed with the company. I followed that too and then I started to invest in it as well, which is then when I found you.

So first of all, just really trippy to hear you say that you were listening to me, because I now listen to you every single day, Rob. You and Steven Mark Ryan and a few other people who are in the Tesla community on YouTube. Did your podcast start out as an audio podcast or a video podcast or was it both at the same time?

Rob:
So it was audio. So basically, what I would do every day is I would just record 5, 10 minutes of my thoughts before I would go to work in the morning. So I’d get up maybe 5, 5:30 and I had done most of my research the night before, and then just caught up on some things that maybe had happened overnight. Then I’d just turn on the mic and for me, I’m a perfectionist. So it takes a long time to … I don’t think people understand how long some of this stuff takes sometimes.

Initially, my podcasts were five or 10 minutes, but there’s hours of research that goes into it and then there’s hours of production that goes into it. I was turning things out really quickly and it’s just an audio podcast, a relatively low production, but that would still take me hour, hour and a half to get that 5, 10 minute episode of out on top all the research. So that was what I originally did. I didn’t have any time in my day. I was working when I started the podcast again, just as audio.

I was doing my full time job, the commute was like 45 minutes, I was there for nine hours. So I’m away from my home for 11 hours a day, 10 hours a day, whatever the case is and then the rest of my day, I would pretty much be working on the podcast. So I was working probably 80 hour weeks for, I don’t know, two years, maybe, just trying to get this audio podcast out. The growth in the podcast sustained me and my belief in what I was doing, from a mission perspective sustained me but it just became really, really tough to continue to do that for such a long period of time where I got to this inflection point of, I need to either not do this podcast anymore, because I’m making too many personal sacrifices, or I need to really, actually fully do this podcast.

It’s sort of similar to your story. I definitely didn’t get laid off, like what was your example was, but there was a lot of … So I worked in corporate retail. Obviously not the best market with Amazon just dominating that whole sector. So there wasn’t a lot of growth, it was tough to progress like I had wanted to progress, and the company offered this voluntary buyout opportunity. So it was like, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, we will … If you want, no questions asked, whoever wants to take it, they can take this voluntary buyout.

So it’s like, a few weeks of pay and like a little small bonus, and if you take it then no hard feelings. It’s, you resign, and you get the small bonus. So this was occurring right when I was at this inflection point of like, this is just way too much for me to handle. I don’t want to drop the podcast, I really care about my career, but I need to make a choice and that just happened right at that period of time where I was like, okay, I have this opportunity, I might as well just take this and see what happens with it.

So that was in August of 2019. So a little over a year ago now, where I decided to really commit to this, do this full time and that was when I … A few months after that was when I started adding the YouTube components of it. So I switched over from just doing audio to … It’s really still an audio podcast, but I do a lot of graphics and charts and things to try to add to it, add value to the people that are watching the videos.

So I’ve been doing that for, probably have like a couple hundred episodes now on YouTube and that’s been just phenomenal. It’s, my audience has 10X’d just from … In the last year just from doing YouTube. Because with podcasting there’s no algorithm pushing your content to anyone, they just have to find it. Like they just have to happen to cross it. Someone tells them, their friend tells them, or they happen to search for like Tesla. If they don’t do that they’re never going to see it. Versus on YouTube, if they watch one Tesla video, well, YouTube is going to know that and they’re just going to continue to push Tesla content to them and eventually one of my videos might slide in there.

There’s a lot of Tesla content out there, but hopefully someone finds my content, they like the thumbnail, they click on it, then they like what they hear and they end up subscribing. Snd that’s just been extremely helpful with growing the podcast, which going back to my original purpose of starting the podcast was really to get good information out there. So that’s super well-aligned with what I’m trying to do. Just grow the audience, get more people to understand this, and I think that’s been helpful to a lot of people.

Pat:
Yeah, the YouTube play, obviously very smart and not always possible for some people, because unless you include those visuals like you said you do, it’s not really worth it watching at all. And you don’t have to have the video camera on. In fact, you hardly ever show your face on those videos. It’s simply B-roll and some images and charts and stuff. This is … I actually use your podcast quite often as an example for somebody who starts with an audio podcast and turns it into video, but still having to do a little bit extra work. How much extra work does it take to take that audio file and add video? Can you work through that workflow and the timing?

Rob:
Absolutely. It’s a ton. So originally, I was doing all this stuff myself, like I’ve always … The audio podcast, it’s always just been me doing all the research, the recording, the editing, the publishing everything. And starting out on YouTube, it was the exact same. So I was already spending probably a full day working on just the audio podcast, because it became more robust, actually, after I actually took it full time, just in terms of the research and the length of episodes and stuff.

So then trying to add YouTube onto that, you get done … Basically my process is to just record my audio podcast, and then I put that into Premiere Pro, and I just add things to it to make it more interesting, to make it more valuable, to make it more informative, whether that’s charts or B-roll or whatever. That can … It adds a lot of time. People again, I don’t think really understand how long editing takes. It’s not the most difficult thing, it’s just extremely time-intensive and if you want—

Pat:
Like, how long? I want people … I know you might share this with your audience, too and your audience needs to know how much hard work you put into this. Because I think we take for granted just all the amazing research and the time and the effort that you put in. So just tell us honestly, how long does that take you to do?

Rob:
End to end?

Pat:
Yeah.

Rob:
I don’t know. The thing about being an entrepreneur is you just work all the time.

Pat:
This is true, this is true.

Rob:
I’ll get up and immediately I just start reading about Tesla. So it’s like, I’m just on the clock I guess, if you want to put it that way, immediately. When I go to bed, I’m reading about Tesla, in the afternoon when I’m eating lunch, I’m reading about Tesla. So I don’t even know honestly. If I had to guess, I’m probably still working most weeks, probably 60 to 80 hours, but it’s stuff that I enjoy doing. I was already doing this stuff before I had any of this. It’s different now that it is my job, but a lot of it I do still obviously enjoy.

So I don’t know, if I was going to do a 10 minute episode end to end, like just the research, the recording, the video editing, the publishing, it’s probably going to take at minimum, best case, six hours maybe. That’s just like straight through. But in terms of just getting the audio podcast and the video, that probably ends up taking, I don’t know, between the time to export and upload, probably a couple hours. Best case scenario, if I’m doing just like a really quick edit. So, you get done with your six hours of podcast and then it’s like another two hours of, I just have to do this annoying editing. Some people probably love editing …

Pat:
Your YouTube channel’s exploding and like you said, the idea of the algorithm to help and support you, this is non-existent in the world of audio podcast. So super smart play to get onto YouTube. Plus, there’s a community there, people can chat, you can have conversations with people. This just doesn’t exist on—

Rob:
Which is so frustrating. Like, what is Apple doing? Why are they not—

Pat:
Oh, they have a chance.

Rob:
I think Spotify is heading down that path, which is great, but, Apple just blew it. It’s frustrating.

Pat:
Spotify definitely is taking over, and of course, they just purchased the Joe Rogan podcast and also the video too. They’re taking video into their platform as well. So it’ll be interesting. I imagine one day we’ll see, if not already, Tesla Daily video on Spotify, which will be really cool.

Rob:
One last quick thing I want to say about the editing. So I did bring on an editor a few months ago to help me with this. So basically, as we do this weird process that works for us … Basically, as I’m recording, again, I’m a perfectionist. So I’m like, pretty heavily editing these things as I go. Probably a lot of people don’t really realize that, but I’ll send over chunks of the episode as I’m recording to him so he can start working on the edit because obviously with a daily podcast, we got to get this stuff out quickly.

So he’s kind of working simultaneously on adding the video as I’m working on the latter half of the episode. So I’ll send him three or four chunks of the episode and he’ll just work on that simultaneously to me, and that’s been hugely beneficial, because then I have more motivation to have … To spend more time doing research, spend more time actually talking on the podcast, the things that I’m really good at. I don’t bring a lot of value from an editing perspective, I bring value from my research and from the things I’m talking about.

So I would say anyone that’s in a position where they’re like, maybe I should bring someone in to help me a little bit with something, go ahead and do it. You can always go back, but you’re probably not going to want to and it’s probably going to make your business a lot better. It definitely has for me. So I think … huge thank you to my editor for helping.

Pat:
Thank you editor. I can thank you as well.

What makes your Tesla information unique is just like you said, how deep you go into the research. There’s a lot of great YouTube and also audio podcasts out there that talk about Tesla and a lot of times you go into those videos and they’re in the stock charts and they’re showing wedges and megaphones and different stock prices and stuff and you don’t necessarily get into that. You get into the research and what is actually happening and I appreciate you for that. How do you do that kind of research? What is your method of the madness? How do you organize that? I think there’s a lot of people out there who are also in love with companies in a similar way or other things and just would love to go deep, but just don’t know how to organize that and turn that into content. How do you organize and make that research happen?

Rob:
So for me what I’ve … A lot of it comes down to just having the experience. I’ve always been interested in business, I’ve always been interested in investing, I’ve got just a lot of natural knowledge in that space, and then that helps me contextualize everything that’s going on with Tesla. So basically, my entire process is just to read everything that I possibly can. I’m always, always always reading stuff, not necessarily books, but just everything online. Whether that’s various different blogs, whether it’s different forums, whether it’s Reddit.

I think Reddit is an amazing place just to get so many unique perspectives from so many different people that are specialists in all these different areas. There are so many engineers out there that have this knowledge of the company that I could never have myself, because I just don’t have that experience. I’m more of a business type of person, but I can do the research. I can … There’s so many different YouTube videos out there that explain how batteries work, how this technology works, and aerodynamics of vehicles. You can … If you’re motivated, there’s resources. You just got to find them and take the time to learn.

So that’s what I’m always doing. I’m always just trying to get out there and read as much as I can, understand as much as I can and help again, just provide … Because not everyone has eight hours a day to do research. So what I view my value is just like, I’m going to go out there and do that research for you, and I’m going to share what I find. Like, if it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad, it’s bad. I don’t care, I just want to get the facts out there to people, so that they can be well informed.

That’s … I think that’s … When I think about telling other people how I organize and how I approach my podcast, it’s like, I just want to add value, and I think if you just focus on that, you’re going to be successful.

Pat:
Love it. You had mentioned earlier, it took you about a couple years to get to the point where you started to feel like you’re getting in this groove. Then of course, now, you’ve reached that inflection point, and boom, exponential growth has been happening and obviously, Tesla has been growing itself as a company with—

Rob:
Doesn’t hurt.

Pat:
Yeah, obviously doesn’t hurt at all. How much pressure are you feeling now that you’re where you’re at, and you are a well-known name in the Tesla news space now, you’re even getting on to news stations on television, you’re having these verbal battles with bears — and bears and bulls are stock lingo for people who are in favor of the company growing, who are betting on the company winning. Bears being, well, hey, this company is not going to do as well as we think and you’ve been involved in those debates. How much pressure are you feeling now with where you’re at? I know you didn’t really expect this when you first started, maybe you did, but here you are. You have this big name in the Tesla space now. Tell me about the pressure that you’re feeling, if any.

Rob:
I think it’s nice to hear that question, because I think you as a creator understand that. I think it’s tough for people that don’t necessarily create content to really understand that. This should be a dream job for me, no questions. I’m doing exactly what I want to do. This is perfect, but there are days that still just suck, like it just sometimes sucks.

Pat:
Thank you for saying that.

Rob:
There is a lot of pressure, especially with a daily podcast. I need to … Every single day, I got to deliver a great product, and if I don’t, the fear for me, which is probably not rational, but the fear is like, if I have a bad episode, I’m going to lose people. There’re going to be people that listen to that episode that don’t like it, and don’t see value in it, and they’re going to … Maybe they don’t unsubscribe, or whatever, but they’re just going to stop listening, because it wasn’t a valuable episode, and if you string a few of those together, you can be successful and then that can all change extremely quickly.

I’m pretty aware of that. So, it feels great to have a big audience, have a lot of engaged active listeners, but that can all change really quickly. So for me, that pressure is there every single day to try to deliver something great and it’s tough, because not every day there’s going to be news. So sometimes I have to make a pivot where I’m, instead of covering news, I’m doing something that’s maybe a little bit more of an analytical deep dive.

Maybe that takes a little bit more time and maybe I’m spending … There are days that I literally have published my … I wake up at maybe like nine or 10, I’m a night owl type of person, but work all day, and maybe I don’t even get the episode out until 6AM the next day. That’s the kind of time that it sometimes takes and that’s the type of pressure. Like if I didn’t feel a ton of pressure, I wouldn’t be spending 20 hours on a single episode. Sometimes that is and sometimes that is there, and again, maybe it’s not the most rational point of view, but people have expectations of me and I don’t want to let them down and it is pressure. It’s good, like at the end of the day, it’s good, but …

Pat:
It is good. It’s a wonderful problem to have if you will, and again, I can’t thank you enough for stepping up to do this. How do you fight through that pressure and perhaps that anxiety or that mental sometimes blockages that can happen? I’ve gone through moments in my content creation career where I’ve just continued to level up to a point where I’m like, I can’t do any better right now. How am I able to do this? Or if I might say something incorrect, or the next one is not to that standard, then like you said, you might lose people or let people down. What keeps you going anyway—

Rob:
And you just feel bad about that.

Pat:
Right. What keeps you going?

Rob:
I think it comes back to just like, my goal is to help people stay informed. That’s really what I want. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted. I never really had any aspirations of this being a business. I never advertised on the audio podcast, even when it got big enough to the point where I could easily bring on advertisers. I still don’t have ads in the audio podcast, and it’s just like, why not? I don’t really know. I probably should have ads in the podcast, but it just for me, somewhat, dilutes what I’m trying to do, I guess. I don’t need to have them. So I don’t have them. Again, it’s probably stupid, but that was a sidetrack. What was the original question that you had asked?

Pat:
How do you fight through the mental blockages that happen with the pressure around you?

Rob:
So it’s like the mission. So for me, it’s just like, I want to help people stay informed and if I have a down day where I’m not feeling motivated, that provides motivation. I think secondarily to that is, weirdly enough, me naming the podcast Tesla Daily has also been extremely motivating because I can’t miss episodes, because it’s Tesla Daily. I already take the weekends off and people get mad. If I miss a day, people get mad. There’s so many reviews on iTunes, or Apple podcast saying that this podcast is great, five stars. I just wish it was every day. I’m like, come on.

I do like 250 episodes a year, I miss like a week throughout the year, but that is motivating. I think if I hadn’t named the podcast, Tesla Daily, I probably wouldn’t be able to find the strength to do this every single day, but stuff like that just … It’s frustrating and in and of itself, it also motivates me.

Pat:
I think that’s smart. That’s smart. So you don’t regret naming it Tesla Daily?

Rob:
Depends on the day. Overall, it’s been a positive thing, and I would say for content creators, consistency and frequency, I’m sure you talk about this all the time, but those are two huge elements. If you can be consistent, you can be frequent. The more episodes you put out, the more opportunity someone’s going to have to see them, more opportunity they’re going to have to subscribe. Obviously, don’t sacrifice the quality of the content for that but if you can have that same frequency, it’s going to go a long way for you.

Pat:
Thank you for that. So this is your business now, and we’ve talked about what you’ve done to create content and to build this audience, but tell me more about the actual business part of the business. Revenue … me as open as you’d like, you don’t have to share anything that you don’t want to but tell us, where’s the income coming in from and how’s it going?

Rob:
So like I said, originally it was just an audio podcast, just kind of doing it for myself and a few listeners, and I became familiar with the website, Patreon. So it’s just a recurring subscription, monthly sort of like support website that listeners can go to and sign up. From the start, I’d created that, again, with the hopes of eventually just maybe earning a few hundred dollars a month from that to offset, like a payment on a Tesla. So that was sort of the original just, ideal state, but I never did ads.

So over time, I just continued to get more and more people that were willing to support what I’m doing, which I think, again, comes back to just really having that mission focus and really trying to provide value. I think a lot of people respect that, a lot of people want to support people like that, because we live in a day and age where everything is like, it’s so click-baity, and just focused on getting attention versus providing value. So I really wanted to be like, the antithesis of that model, where I don’t really care about the attention, I just want to provide value and see if that sort of works for me.

I think that has resonated with a lot of people in my audience to say like, yes, we want to see sort of this change, too. So up until I went full time, 100 percent of my revenue was just from Patreon. Like, that’s it. So I was making less than probably $1,500 dollars a month when I decided to go full time from the podcast. So not a lot, and just from listener support, though, and I knew worst case, if I can put some ads on the podcasts, then maybe I can squeak by here.

So when I went full time, I told people this: If there’s ever been a time where I need support, this is it. I’m taking a risk, I just want you to take a small step with me here for this giant leap that I’m taking, and overnight the Patreon support tripled. Then it’s like, I can make … Not overnight but within a couple days. So it’s like, this is actually something I can do now. This is real, this can be a full-time thing and I’m so thankful and so fortunate to have an audience that has been so supportive of me.

I think the reason that is is because, up to that point, it was two years straight of me just delivering daily value with really asking for nothing and not pushing anything on my audience. So, I just built up that relationship, built up that respect, built up that trust with my audience and then when I needed support, they were there for me.

So that model is not going to work for everyone. I don’t have anything in particular against ads or anything like that. Again, I probably should just be doing that. I don’t think people really care that much, but for me it was just a choice I made of like, okay, I just want to focus on this and not distract myself with trying to … Because once you introduce ads, you start caring about your clicks and your downloads and stuff like that. Just sort of changes things a little bit, and I’ve seen that to some extent with YouTube. I try to avoid all that as much as I can, but it does influence you, unfortunately.

Since then, taking it full time. I started YouTube, so now I earn money on … I do have YouTube ads on. So the intro ads and some mid roll ads and stuff. So now it’s just revenue from Patreon and revenue from the YouTube ads and that’s kind of it right now.

Pat:
That’s fantastic. What you just shared is a classic example of what Gary calls jab, jab, jab, right hook. You’ve been jabbing for so long, you finally had that ask and it wasn’t a hard ask at all. People were more than happy to support you, which is really cool. So thank you for sharing that, and it took time. I think that’s what a lot of people need to hear is some of this stuff takes time. It takes time to become that expert in a person’s eyes or build that relationship online, and this is just a perfect example of that.

Might you entertain a couple scenarios, and I want you to walk me through how you react in these certain scenarios. I just want to get inside your mind a little bit with relation to the content and how you do what you do, if you don’t mind. Is that cool?

Rob:
Yep. Sounds good.

Pat:
Okay. So Scenario number one, Rob: Elon, who we all know is a genius, but also kind of crazy sometimes, especially on Twitter, he says random things at random times. It’s 10PM, you’re thinking of going to bed, you’ve finally put that final note into your podcast, it’s going to come out soon, and then all of a sudden, Elon tweets something about something that’s happening, or something that’s being revealed. There’s some really interesting piece of information that just like, you know people need to know about. What do you do?

Rob:
So that’s definitely occurred.

Pat:
I know.

Rob:
… on a few different occasions. The most recent example, I think was like, I don’t know, it was probably like, 10 or 11 in the morning or something and Elon, during market hours, tweeted, “Stock price is too high, in my opinion.” I’m like, great. Which, I don’t mind, I’m a long term investor, I don’t really care about the day to day fluctuations, but a lot of my audience, maybe some of them care a little bit more. So—

Pat:
Some are traders, we’re investors.

Rob:
Yeah, exactly. So I still want to … This is not an urgent thing, but a lot of people are going to be wondering about this, like, why would he say that? What’s going on here? In that situation, I’m just like, I got to get an episode out as fast as I can, again, to just try and provide context and help people understand this. Because for me, following Tesla for as long as I have, almost eight years now, I’ve actually seen Elon do this so many other times in the past. So I have that in my head of like, oh, this is nothing new. But a lot of people, newer investors in Tesla, and newer people in the company, which there are a lot of, don’t really have that context.

So I just immediately started going back to Google and just putting time filters on it of like, Elon saying something similar. I just pull all these different examples, like seven or eight different examples of when Elon has said that the stock price is too high. Then we fast forward to today, and like the stock price is way, way higher. So it’s like, even if Elon says that, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean you need to sell your stock. He’s talking in a very short time horizon, but he always, at the end of the day, comes back to like, yeah, Tesla’s really high right now, but in a few years, the stock price is probably going to be higher. That’s what he ends up saying.

Pat:
Do you drop everything you’re doing to now talk about this?

Rob:
Pretty much, yeah. It depends on I guess the severity, for lack of a better word of what’s happening, but at the same time for me, I’m not focused on … If I don’t need to get something out super quickly for my audience, I’m not super focused on being the first to report on something. That’s not what I do. I’m there to provide the context and the analysis on stuff. I’m not there to break news. So it’s helpful for me from a YouTube view perspective, if I can get something out more quickly, but at the end of the day, doesn’t matter too much. I’m there to provide context, help people understand things and if that happens a few hours later, it’s okay. So sometimes I do have to shut myself off a little bit and say like, well, we’ll get to this tomorrow.

Pat:
Cool. Thank you for that, Rob. Scenario number two, you pop a video on YouTube. It’s really great. People are loving it. But then you start to hear some noise in the comment section and even people on Twitter or what have you start to take that very bearish stance or even a troll-like positioning against your work or against just the news that most bulls will consider. How do you take emotion out of the equation for certain things like this, or do you, or how important is that to you?

The thing I like about you, not that I don’t like the others who talk. I love Solving the Money Problem with Steven Mark Ryan and he’s funny and he’s witty, and he just drops F bombs all the time. That’s cool—

Rob:
Different vibes.

Pat:
Different vibes for sure, but you can tell his emotion is very much into it. He’ll actually have videos where he’s responding to somebody saying something. He’s like … He just gets really into it. Versus you, you always have this sort of stoic, but very informational position, but do you get emotional? Do you get upset? Does your blood boil sometimes and how do you continue the path?

Rob:
That’s a great question. Everybody has different personalities, different dispositions. It’s kind of funny because my natural disposition is hyper rational and that can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing. Not to say that I don’t have emotions. I definitely have emotions, and somewhat strong emotions at a lot of times. I don’t necessarily let that pass through the filter of the microphone or the video, but behind the scenes, they’re there.

I’ve actually, back in my career in corporate retail, that’s a very emotional sort of culture in that space. There were so many times in my career where I was actually criticized for being … lacking passion. Because I just wasn’t showing it on the surface and it was always so frustrating for me, because I am so passionate about this. If you could just be inside my head and understand my actual feelings, you’d understand that I’m extremely motivated, extremely passionate about this, but just because I’m not sitting there and in your face, like super excited and yelling about it doesn’t mean I’m any less passionate than someone sitting next to me doing the same thing. It’s just a different expression of your feelings and your emotions.

So I don’t know. In my career, I was just always extremely frustrated by that, and I do think to some extent, it held me back. I think for everyone, whatever position you’re in, it can either be an extreme positive or extreme negative, just depending on the circumstances, but for me, it’s just my natural disposition and how I just approach things is try to just be as rational and as calm, and especially from an investor perspective, those traits are … You kind of need to have those. So that’s why I try to carry through.

Pat:
Cool, thank you for that. I have two more questions for you. I know you’re a busy guy, obviously, and I’m almost feeling bad that I’m taking your time because I know that you have other things to do—

Rob:
No, this is a dream, actually, for me to be on this podcast. We were talking a little bit before, it’s kind of surreal, because again, I listened to you, before even starting all this stuff. It’s just like, for anyone in the audience that is in that circumstance, thinking about maybe, “Oh, maybe I should start this thing:” just do the thing. The worst you can do is fail, but just do it and maybe you end up on SPI some day. I never thought I would, and now I’m here. It’s just weird.

Pat:
Here you are, man. Dude, it’s such a pleasure for me. This is cool to talk to you, and I hope more people watch this because this is going to be, or watch or listen, because this is going to help a lot of people. I think people will hear the real story behind the overnight success that you’ve had. I’ve had some people share that about you, like, “Wow, this guy Rob just came out of nowhere.” No, you didn’t. You’ve been at this for a while, and that’s true.

Question number one here relates to the community of YouTubers and other Tesla creators and everybody from HyperChange to Steven Mark Ryan, to just all of … How are you, if at all, involved in that community? Do you have mastermind meetings with them? I always wonder, do you guys meet each week and just talk about who’s doing what, or how do you get involved in the community, if at all, and what’s it like to be in that community? I’m curious.

Rob:
It’s interesting. I think Tesla has a huge community on Twitter, on YouTube more so, recently. There are definitely a lot of people out there putting out amazing content on Tesla. I think a few years ago, it wasn’t really that way, but Tesla’s kind of exploded and just captivated so many different people now that there is that huge, massive community. It’s been building up for years, there’s always been people out there that have been extremely passionate, but for me, I don’t know, I’m naturally more introverted.

I’ve never been the type to be out there and just be engaging with everyone. I’m just kind of here doing my research and putting out what I think is hopefully helpful content, and that’s sort of been my focus more so than trying to build my audience through networking and going on a lot of other podcasts and things like that. That’s a great path too. It’s just, I think everyone has to figure out what works for them.

So I’m definitely active in those communities. We don’t have like mastermind groups, but I would say Gali, in particular, he’s been super helpful. Having me on the HyperChange channel a few years back, like we always talk about Tesla and stuff. So definitely check out HyperChange, he does a great job too. We’ve met up at events and stuff and there’s always a group of people there that it’s fun to see and front of talk to. They all have similar sort of perspectives and experiences to you. So that is one of the nice things about doing this as a job is like all the connections and cool people you get to meet through the process.

Pat:
For sure. Big shout out to Dave Lee on Investing as well. He’s big into the Tesla space too, and I’ve gotten to connect with him on his stream and his channel. It’s just so interesting to see everybody’s different style. Gali’s so, hyper is the right word for him in terms of his brand and who he is. It’s just amazing, and then we have Steven Mark Ryan and Dave is a little bit more analytical as well, and definitely more into the stocks and just investing practices in general. You with deep research, and that’s the cool thing that I’ve learned about any niche, any community. You can find the good people and connect with them and network and that can just add a whole level of flavor to the work that you do, and it brings a level of excitement.

The final question I have for you, I’m just curious: Since starting Tesla Daily, what has been the coolest thing that’s happened so far as a result of starting your work?

Rob:
For me, it’s just been the ability to go to the Tesla events and see them in person. So like the Cybertruck event, I think a lot of people are familiar with that, where Tesla’s chief designer throws a steel ball against the window and it shatters.

Pat:
Did you get special access because you are “press?” Did they give you special access because of the podcast?

Rob:
No, not anything like that but just having the … And actually, the only reason I was able to make that Cybertruck event was because … Well, actually, the first event that I went to was the Model Y unveiling and the only reason I was able to actually go to that event, which was back in March 2018, I want to say, maybe 2019, was because one of my listeners had an extra invitation. So through my audience, rather than through Tesla, I was able to actually go to an event.

I think the audience also … I’ve connected with so many different people that are just listeners that have really cool backgrounds, cool experience that are super interesting people to talk to, and people to know. So that’s a nice thing about it. Then just in terms of the Tesla events, being able to be there and experience some of those things in person has been really cool. I’ve gotten to meet some of the executives at Tesla, I haven’t met Elon yet, unfortunately, but hopefully someday.

Just having that experience, and again, that does come back a little bit to the community, just from whether that’s people at Tesla being aware of what I’m doing, people in the audience that maybe they’re in the investing space, and they can help me learn a little bit more about how all that works, because I’m just a guy from Iowa. No really connection to Wall Street growing up other than just my interest in it. So it’s just, it’s cool to have some different exposure to a lot of these different things.

Pat:
That’s awesome. Might you be able to finish off with a tip for the content creators that are listening to this, who are inspired to go out and go deep with a topic? What piece of advice would you offer those newbies out there, or those who are still a little bit in the early growth phases of their business?

Rob:
For sure. I was going to say, your example of how there’s all these different creators in the Tesla space, you might look at that and be like, “Oh, that’s saturated,” but everyone has their own unique approach and everyone … There’s always opportunity to look at something from a different perspective. So don’t be discouraged, I would say. If there’s other people doing what you want to do, just go out there and do it and try to find a way that you can either do it better or do it differently, but if you really want to be in a space, just get in the space and do it.

That’s what I would say, and I think the Tesla YouTube, Twitter space is a great example of that. There’s just so many different creators out there doing it, and people watch all of us. You watch all of us. People want to hear different people’s perspective. So there’s always opportunity. You just got to find a sort of different way to approach things. So that’s what I would say.

The big thing is like Nike, just do it. Stop thinking about what you’re doing. I set up a podcast in 48 hours, you can too. You can set up a YouTube channel in literally a day. It doesn’t take long. So get off the fence, start creating, don’t worry about stuff. You’re going to improve over time, it’s going to suck at first. You’re probably going to hate it, but if you stick with it, it’s probably going to take you to a good place

Pat:
Dude, so good. Thank you so much, and I’ve been trying hard not to start my Tesla channel, because I know I don’t need that.

Rob:
Except for you, Pat. Stay away.

Pat:
Yes, thank you. Rob, this has been such a pleasure. Where can people go and listen and/or watch you?

Rob:
So the YouTube channel, it’s just called Tesla Daily. So you can just search for it there. Otherwise, any podcast platform will have it. The other thing I would say, I do write a column at TheStreet.com for Tesla. So if you don’t have 10 minutes a day to watch a video, and you just want to get the summary of the day in a minute or two, I do have a column there at TheSreet.com/Tesla. So you can find me there too, and on Twitter @TeslaPodcast.

Pat:
Tesla Podcast, that’s what we talk about. Rob, thank you so much for coming on. We appreciate you. Thanks for all the hard work. Thank you personally for what you do as well, and I’m sure to represent the audience, thank you for sharing how you do what you do too. Appreciate it.

Rob:
Likewise, Pat. All the same comments to you. Appreciate all the work you’ve done.

Pat:
Thank you.

All right, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Rob from Tesla Daily. If you go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/session455, you get all the links to all Rob’s stuff and everything that we talked about today. Of course, we’d love to hear from you as well. If you’re happening to be on Twitter or Instagram at the moment, @PatFlynn and @TeslaDaily on Twitter or Instagram. We’d love to say hello to you, just hear what you thought about the episode and Rob, thank you again for coming on. Thank you for all the hard work that you put into this.

Like I said, you’ve had a significant impact on the retail investing side of my life. So I appreciate you for that and keep up the good work. I’m here for you. If you need anything, let me know, and for you, the listener, if you need anything, let me know. I appreciate you. Hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already, especially if you’re brand new, coming perhaps from Rob’s audience and want to know more about investing in your future, not necessarily through retail investing in the stock market, but through investing in yourself, in businesses, in creating something that could serve others later and can continue to work for you over time, in a way that you can also invest your time and money to help grow your future too.

So hit that subscribe button. Thanks so much. We got a great lineup here in 2021 for all of you who are listening to the show, and be sure to check out my other podcast too. There’s likely another episode for you to check out there as well. You could look it up. It’s called AskPat, where I do a coaching call with an entrepreneur just like you. So I recommend you subscribe to that one too if you haven’t already. Thank you so much for today and I look forward to serving you next week. Cheers, take care and as always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace out.

Announcer:
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast, at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com.


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+

Subscribers