Update: The email service provider I recommend now is ConvertKit.
AskPat 369 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 369 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
All right, here's today's question from Michael.
Michael: Hey, Pat. My name is Michael DeVaux. Let me say, if I get featured on this show, I'm gonna flip out … in a good way, of course. My question is, how would you turn followers in to relationships? Let me explain. So a few years ago, I published some very popular video editing and color correction tutorials on Vimeo and YouTube. I've responded to almost every comment on my videos and blog, but I never really utilized the tools to capture their email or build a relationship. How would I go about that now? Love your show; love the Smart Passive Income show as well. Keep it up. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Michael. What's up? Thank you so much for the question. Don't flip out, even though you have probably flipped out already that you've already heard your name and you voice here on the show; lot of people do that, actually. It's so cool. We are going to send you a t-shirt for having your question featured in the show … would love a picture of it at some point. But anyway, let's get to your question.
So, how do you turn followers in to relationships? I love this question, and I'm going to answer this by sharing five different things that we can all think about when it comes to how to build a good relationship. I want you to think about just relationships in general, not just with your followers online, your people on social media, or your blog, your podcast, your website, but with people in your real life, and that's how I am going to approach this question.
So, the first thing to ask yourself is, “Well, when you form a relationship with somebody, what's one of the first things you do?” Well, maybe you are at party or something, and you like somebody and you want to hang out again, you want to text each other, you want to keep in contact with each other. So this first question you have to answer is, “Well how will you keep in contact with each other?” So, it's really important to, like you said Michael, is to find a way to contact that person and get to contact that person again. The easiest way to do that is to have them subscribe to your email list. Now, if they have loved something that you have done, you are going to have a more likely chance that they are going to sign up to hear back from you later. It's almost like getting digits from them, so that you guys can make a connection later on. That's in real life; online, they are subscribing to your email list so you can hook up with them in the future. Not hook up “hook up,” if know what I mean, but hook up with them so you can provide more value, and perhaps they will maybe purchase something from you down the road, or offer some value of some kind.
So, how can we contact each other again, and have them subscribe to your email list? One of the best ways to do that is to set up an email list at an email service provider like AWeber, which is the one I recommend here on the show; AskPat.com/AWeber. Or, you can perhaps try something else like Infusionsoft. There's also Oz Report or Constant Contact or iContact, or MailChimp. There's whole bunch of different kinds … doesn't matter. What matters is, you set up a landing page. That landing page offers something, some other incentive for people to subscribe, some kind of lead magnet. Maybe you are doing these videos, maybe there is a few other videos they can get for free if the subscribe, and this is something with a landing page with a URL that you would want to mention as much as you can at the end of these comments that you share, and the end of videos that you are posting. Perhaps, go back to these older videos that are working for you and put it in the description: “Hey, if you guys like these videos and want more, sign up for my list here and I will give you even more value that what you've gotten here in this video. So set up that landing page; that's how you are going to collect that information so you can keep in constant contact with each other.
So next, number two. Think about what can you do for each other, and offer, “How can I help you?” That's something I would actually ask that person. Once they have subscribed to your list and you've contacted them, ask them … this is something I do with my email auto-responders, it's automatically asking them is question … “Well, how can I help you? What kind of blog posts would you like to see me write? What are you struggling with? What kinds of video content would you like me to create for you?” When you give your friends permission to share with you how you can help them, a lot of times they are going to take you up on that offer and actually tell you what they want. If you have this in your auto-responder, again, emails that you have pre-written that get sent out sequentially over time when people subscribe, you are going to get a constant stream of your target audience tell you exactly what they want to hear, what they want to see, and what they want written about, what they want podcast episodes about, what they want videos out. It's going to help you with the content that you create, not just the free content you create on platforms like that, but also products, and coaching, on software and things like that. So, really asking the question, “Now that we are friends, how can I help you … what can I do for you?”
Another thing that goes along with that, and this is number three, is to listen. A good friend listens. A relationship happens when people listen to each other. Bad relationships happen when somebody's just jibber-jabbering the whole time, and I've been in relationships online where it doesn't feel like a two-way street, because I'm subscribed to these email lists where there's just a constant barrage of offers of “buy this” and “buy that,” and they don't really take the time to get to know who I am. So again, going on with what I said in number two, listen. Just make sure you are always listening, and not just on the emails too, but in those comments. Actually, truly listening to what is going on. Understanding each and every part of their pains, their problems, their wants and needs. What are their goals, where do they hang out, what do they want to accomplish, where are they at in the process? Know them better than they know themselves, and like Jay Abraham says, “If you can define the problem better than the target customer, they're not automatically assumed that you have this solution.” So think of that.
So, after you listen, here is a cool thing you can do. This is something that I always do, and I always love doing both in real life and online, even though online is real life, but you know what I mean … offline and online. Surprise them. Surprise them. This is something that gets noticed, this is something that gets recognized, this something that gets appreciated. It doesn't even have to be a big surprise either. If you think about … and I tell this story in presentations sometimes … think about when you go to bed at night. Maybe you are married, or you have a partner, and you're sitting next to each other, and every night before you guys go to bed you say, “Goodnight, honey. I love you … Goodnight, honey. I love you,” every single night. It becomes expected, right? There's that time you don't say it where it becomes awkward or weird and you are like, “Are you mad at me?” “No, I just fell asleep.” But then there is that random, “I love you.”, at 3:48PM on a Tuesday for no reason at all. That's what gets remembered, that's what gets talked about, that's what people share: that random surprise. So surprise your audience in that email. Give away something special without them even asking for it. That's going to make a true impact. That's how you build a relationship, that's how you get people to remember who you are. Not only remember who you are, but say, “Yeah, we're going out now … Yeah, he's my boyfriend, or we are going out … he's my girlfriend, she's my girlfriend,” or whatever. You know what I mean? That's when people start to share and talk about with others. Those surprises are really important.
Okay, and finally, number-five thing to help turn your followers in to relationships. On the other side of things, you want to make sure that you share that you have a relationship with these people too. So at any point in time, somebody in your audience takes your advice and does something great. Share them with everybody else in your audience. Feature your users. When they do something great, feature them, thank them, but thank them publicly. What this does, is it shows you're there listening to your audience; it shows also everybody else in your audience that people like them are actually taking action and finding success from what you are teaching, but also they can relate to that person, and they feel like they are that person, in that you are showing them love. Even though you aren't showing each and every individual person some love, that person is representative of your entire audience, and you are showing them love in turn.
So, that is actually going to help you a lot. I do that quite often obviously on the podcast. You guys have even said before the fact that you hear people's voicemail questions on this particular episode, or on these episodes of AskPat, it makes you feel more connected to not only the person who is asking the question, but for me for answering, because you feel like you are like that person if you have that same question too. So, I'm actually talking to you. Right now, as you hear my voice, I am talking to you.
So, my final tip, number six … bonus tip! … Again, surprise! … is to try and have a real conversation with the person, whether through Skype or even a podcast, where they can hear your voice. Videos are great too for this because written content only goes so far in sharing emotion and dynamics, and the little things that help us attach to people. I mean, you think about long-distance relationships, that's almost like when people read your blog and that's it. But a little bit closer is when they hear your voice and they get to start to get closer to you and feel more connected to you in that way, and they don't just become a follower, you start to build a relationship with them that way. Whenever I go to conferences and people tell me that they listen to my podcast, they always say the same thing, “Pat, I feel like I know you.” That's what you want somebody who has a relationship with you to say … right? “Hey, man, you know, I get you. You're my bro.”
To finish off the week, I just want to thank you so much for listening in. Michael, thank you for your question. For having you question featured on the show, of course you are going to get an AskPat t-shirt headed your way, so you will hear from my assistant in the next couple weeks so we can collect your information and send that over your way. We also want to send a thanks to everybody that's out there to who's asking questions. Go ahead and go to AskPat.com; you can ask right there on that page, if you have a question you would like to potentially featured here on the show.
Thank you so much for listening in. Again, I appreciate it. To finish off today, here's a quote from Max Lucado. He said, “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” Cheers! Take care. I'll will see you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks so much.