Pat Flynn: Online Business 101, How to Generate 6 Figures of Passive Income and Create a Cult of Superfans | E256
Pat Flynn: Online Business 101, How to Generate 6 Figures of Passive Income and Create a Cult of Superfans | E256
Pat Flynn is a serial entrepreneur, industry influencer, author, and startup advisor. He is the founder of Smart Passive Income, or SPI, and the host of the Smart Passive Income podcast.
In this episode, Hala and Pat will discuss:
– How he lost his dream job, but found his passion
– The lightbulb moment behind his online business
– His journey from blogging to multi-platform business
– Developing community-powered courses
– New trends in affiliate marketing
– How to build a community of superfans
– Why superfans can accelerate the growth of your business
– How to learn your audience’s language
– Whether to mix your personal life with your personal brand
– Ways to make your audience feel special
– Integrating your audience as co-creators
– And other topics…
Pat Flynn is a father, husband, and entrepreneur who lives and works in San Diego, CA. He owns several successful online businesses and is a professional blogger, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and host of the Smart Passive Income podcast. He is also the founder of Smart Passive Income or SPI.
Pat’s Website: https://patflynn.com/
Pat’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGk1LitxAZVnqQn0_nt5qxw
Pat’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatFlynn
Pat’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patflynn/
Pat’s Podcast: The Smart Passive Income Podcast
Pat’s Courses: https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/all-access/
Pat’s book Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business: https://www.amazon.com/Superfans-Stand-Tribe-Successful-Business/dp/1949709469/
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[00:00:00] Pat Flynn: Hey, hello. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.
[00:02:48] Hala Taha: I am super excited for this conversation because you are an OG in the podcast space, in the marketing space, in the blog space. really just happy to have you on and pick your brain on so many things.
But before we get started, I did want to talk about your career journey, because I found out in researching your story that you actually had a whole other profession before online marketing. And you lost your dream job at one point. So talk to us about that story. How did you lose your dream job and how did that evolve to you then starting
[00:03:19] Pat Flynn: your blog?
Throughout high school, I wanted to be an architect. I kind of knew that early on and I was able to become an architect, went to school for it, got a great job in the Bay Area in California. And I was set. I mean, I was planning for my future. I was contributing in my 401k, like doing all the things. And, uh, three months after proposing to my girlfriend and she said, yes, I got laid off.
And this was the great recession of 2008. So it was so weird because things were happening so well. And, and I was on the path that I was supposed to be on, you know, the ideal path. And then it was all just kind of like swept out under me in an instant. And that was very difficult. I didn't have a plan B because I was doing everything As best as possible and following the plan.
And yet here I was getting let go. And it was a tough time for me. I was depressed for two or three months trying to figure things out because I didn't. Have a plan B. I was begging for positions in the architecture space for a while, just kind of calling around and nothing was happening. And it was around that time that I discovered podcasts.
This is 08. So this is like really early on. And there was one episode of a business podcast that I listened to, they were talking about internet business. And there was an interview with a guy named Cornelius Fitchner. He was telling his story. He was helping people pass a very particular exam in the project management spaces is called the PM exam or the project management exam.
And he was making six figures a year. online helping people pass this exam. And that was my big light bulb moment because I had taken several exams on my way to becoming an architect. I wasn't a licensed one yet, but I was on my way and there were so many different tests and there was one test in particular that was so hard that most people failed.
I almost failed it on my first go, but it was very difficult. And in studying for that, I picked up a lot and thought, you know what? Could I do this? Could I teach people how to pass this exam was called the lead exam and it's very specialized about green buildings and sustainable design and whatnot. So I built a website to share my notes and all the things that I learned about this exam and lo and behold, in a few months I started to get some traffic.
People started to ask questions in the comments section. I started to answer them. I started to find that my website was being linked to and all these. Official green building design websites and stuff and people were sharing it around. And then later that year, I wrote a study guide, put all my notes into a PDF file.
I didn't really know what I was doing. I was just kind of figuring it out as I was going. I just used PayPal to kind of manage that transaction. And in October of 2008, I launched that book for 19. 99. And I had generated a total profit of 7, 908. 55. Which just was like, I could not believe it. I mean, every day I woke up literally to a bigger PayPal balance and, and I, it just didn't seem real to me.
I thought that at some point during that month, the FBI SWAT team was going to come and just be like, illegal, like stop doing that because it just didn't feel like I had spent five years in school for architecture and did all this stuff. And then here I was in just a few quick months generating more revenue than what I did in my architecture job.
And. That was like a huge thing for me, and then I just leaned into that, you know, the next month I started to make, you know, over 10k a month and then 14k a month, May of 2009 was our biggest month, 30, 000 in a single month, I had to raise the price of my book and everything, and that's when I started smartpassiveincome.
com because a lot of people were like, Pat, how did you do this? How did you not just survive during the recession, but how did you figure out a way to thrive during it? And I said, I need to unpack this myself because I'm kind of just, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I I'm figuring it out and I'm just going to post everything I'm learning.
And that's where smart passive income really started to take off because it. Was a way for people to learn entrepreneurship from the things I was learning as I was going, right? It was kind of in real time, if you will. And I loved talking about all the mistakes I made and the things that I wish I had done differently.
And I think that's why people loved it because I wasn't selling anything. I wasn't trying to say like, Hey, the internet secrets are here, but you got to pay money. It was just like, no, here's what's going on. And that grew and that blew up and I've written books and I've gone on stage now and I have this giant audience now related to this and over the years I've generated nearly 2008.
It's not just me now, I have a team of people and I have several other businesses, I've invented a physical product to explore that world, I have a number of YouTube channels, one in the world of Pokemon that's kind of exploding right now. Just all these kinds of different things that I've been playing with, and I just love to share the results.
Like everything I do is a case study, whether it works or not. And it's a way for me to teach people along the way.
[00:07:51] Hala Taha: I love that backstory. And today on your website, Smart Passive Income, you've got a lot of different courses and you've evolved from like this blog and eBooks to having this whole like community and platform.
Can you talk to us a little bit about your current business model today and maybe how it's evolved over the
[00:08:10] Pat Flynn: years? For sure, in the beginning, I mean, I didn't start generating revenue from the entrepreneurial blog until 2011, so a couple years after, and that was just done through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is recommending other people or other companies products. And essentially getting a commission if you send anybody over. This is different than advertising where a company will pay you up front. This is a company who will pay you when a customer goes through. And I started to generate several tens of thousands of dollars a month doing that by sharing the different tools I was using to build business, the different.
Website hosting platforms and email service providers. And that was the fun part about what I was doing. I could just share all the information for free, right? It wasn't behind a payroll. It's like, here's all the things I'm doing. And you know, step three, here's a link. If you want to use the same tools, me step eight, here's the same tool that I used and I started to generate a lot of revenue by just sharing all the information for free, however.
In 2016, I had a lot of people ask me for much more in depth information, and that's where online courses started to come into play. And my first one came out in 2017 about podcasting, and that, still to this date, is our most popular course. And I just walk people through the entire process to go from idea to launch to building an audience to then monetizing and doing that in a genuine and transparent way.
And we've had tens of thousands of students go through our courses since then. However, in 2020, things started to change, not just in the world, but in our business too. We had sold at this point, maybe two and a half to 3 million worth of online courses, getting really, really high ratings and very, very high completion rates.
But we started to notice that the completion rates started to become a little bit less. And that was very troubling to us. You know, we're not in this just to make money. We're in this to help people. In fact, The more that we serve people, the more money we make. So we started to notice that maybe the courses, there was just so many from so many different people now that it just wasn't working the way they used to.
Information now is freely available really anywhere, right? When you think about it, you could look up anything back in the day when I started like in 2012, 2011 information wasn't as freely available. So just by having the information that was valuable now having the information. That's almost adding to the overwhelm that people have.
And so we discovered that, okay, we need to add some new elements to this educational platform that we have in order to make this continue to work and thrive for our students. And so we decided to shift into building a community. And we love it now because it's, we didn't coin this term, but we definitely are owning it.
And it's the idea of community powered courses. And we have now two communities. One is our SPI pro community for people who have established businesses. But then we have also our all access pass. And here's the big difference, right? Our podcasting course, for example, we had sold it for years for 499, right?
Uh, which was tremendous value. Once you get back from return is, is huge, but it was pretty high price point for a lot of people. And that's one course. And now we have over a dozen. So if you stack all those together, that's thousands of dollars worth of courses. However, With the All Access Pass, you can get access to all of those courses, a community of people who are going through them with you, access to my team and instructors to guide you along the way, pathways through those courses that relate to where you are at in your journey, and what's really popular in our, uh, community is what we call our accelerators.
So we just launched one a couple weeks ago for our members where you can go through a course together with an instructor and it's like week by week, you go through these modules, you go through these lessons, and then there's office hours if you need help. The course material is the course, but there's real time learning and feedback and questions and answers happening at the same time, sort of a hybrid cohort based model, and the completion rates are through the roof, like absolutely tremendous, and it's just so much better, and you can get access to all of those things for what is the equivalent of 59 a month, so yeah.
It's a lower barrier to entry. And what the hope is, is that people won't just take the one course that they want right now, but they see the next course in their future after that. Right? So they might start a podcast and then go, you know what? I'm building this audience. Now I want to build an email list.
All right. You already have access to email marketing magic. So go into that and go into this one and then go into this one. And the idea being it's a win for everybody because it's a lower barrier to entry, but then hopefully people will stick around for several months or if not years, and everybody will generate more revenue over time in that way.
If and only if we are providing value versus a larger upfront payment. So the community now we're trying to take the lead in the space with community powered courses, trying to set the example for our colleagues as well. And it seems to be working. I
[00:12:43] Hala Taha: that as such a huge trend. So I launched my first course earlier last year.
I'm one of the biggest influencers on LinkedIn. So I launched a LinkedIn masterclass. And as a part of this, intuitively, I was like, okay, I'm going to build a community around this. Anybody who joins the course, they can pay a small fee. Join us in a WhatsApp group, we'll support each other's links, I'll do twice monthly office hours, bring in other speakers.
And to my surprise, everybody's favorite part about the whole thing is the community. And they all hang out together, they meet up with each other on, in conferences. And they always say like, the course was amazing, it gives everybody common ground to talk about and have some sort of like foundation where they've got things in common.
But it's really the community and they help each other and have peer calls and they've like taking it off on their own in terms of what it is. So, I guess my question in that is how do you make sure they communicate with each other as a community? What are the ways that you are, like, fostering community within your course, I guess?
[00:13:43] Pat Flynn: You have to lead by example, right? Just having a space, like an empty space. Like, imagine, like, the physical version of that, right? You have an empty gym and you're like, Okay, guys, like, come in here, we're all together. And then you just kind of leave them there. And, you know, that's not really, you need some sort of direction.
And so, if you can go into that space and create the safe space for people to come, but then you're also showing up and you're leading by example. If you want people to post stories and post videos, you Well, you got to go in there and post stories and videos yourself. And when you do that, It unlocks that ability for others to do it because nobody wants to be the first one to do it.
And they just want to see somebody else do it first. And then they can kind of follow that lead. So that's number one. Number two is finding who might be the future leaders in that community, right? You are a leader yourself because you've created this thing and you've facilitated it. But within that community, there's going to be some people who seem to rise above the rest as far as like their excitement for being there.
Those are the people you can really lean on to turn into. administrators or moderators, if you will, or shine a light on them a little bit and they'll shine it back on everybody else. And so finding out who those people are in your community, not everybody will be that some people love to lurk and are just in the background.
And to them, the community is still valuable because they're reading the conversations and they feel like they're part of something without feeling like they have to show up in a way that's uncomfortable to them. But there's going to be people who are more extroverted in those spaces who do show up.
And when you recognize those people, they will show up even more. And it just. Eventually, the community begins to have a heartbeat of its own. In the beginning though, it's lifeless and you gotta get in there and you gotta do it yourself for a little bit, but once you recruit some people from the inside and even some people on the outside to help manage the community as well, you start to see things take off on their own and you get to that tipping point where you could even just sit back and just Watch it happen on its own.
It's such a beautiful organic thing as you're seeing in your community as well. People will connect with each other. They'll make partnerships together. They'll hold each other accountable, create masterminds with each other, even without you having to really facilitate that because you've done the job of finding those people who, like you said, have that common language and that common sort of understanding of why we're here.
And it's just like at the baseball stadium, right? If your home team hits a game winning grand slam, you're high fiving and hugging people who are just wearing the same ball cap, even though you don't know their name because you're there for the same reasons, right? And you can win together, you lose together, all that sort of stuff.
I also think thirdly, having some rituals, if you will, things that are happening every week or every month on a ongoing basis that people can look forward to. This is great for a number of reasons. One retention, especially if it's great and it's valuable. People are going to. Not imagine their life without it, right?
So they're going to stick around and continue to be a part of that. But it also trains them to kind of get involved in a way that they can look forward to every single month. So one thing that we do in our communities, for example. As we share wins of the week, it's very simple one that you can do, but it also encourages and motivates people who might not be participating, but also still just reading on the inside.
We love to have community challenges. We've done these challenges inside of SPI pro, you know, used to do the monthly, but we've brought it down a little bit because it was just a little bit too overwhelming, which goes to the fourth point, which is just to always continue to remain connected to them and listen and understand.
We've adjusted our communities. I mean, I feel like they're adjusting always because the community is like a living being that has different needs and changes over time. So we've been able to prune certain spaces in our community. We've been able to add new things based on what people want it. So again, just being there to listen and engage is really key.
It's probably the least passive thing you could do. I will, I will be honest. Even though the brand is Smart Passive Income, we knew that we had to be very active in order to best serve our audience.
[00:17:23] Hala Taha: Yeah. One hundred percent. And I think that's the trend now. I think there's so much on demand that people just really are craving connection and real time information and things like that.
And that's sort of the trend that's happening right now. And you have my wheel spinning because when you mentioned about like, you know, those shining stars that sort of take the lead of the community, I remember talking to my assistant VP. And we had this guy that was just like really doing a great job.
And I was like, we should pay him. He should be a moderator. And she was like, no, no, he's so happy. He'll be fine. Fast forward, like move too slow. You know what I mean? People will. If they don't get appreciation right away, they'll start to lose interest in what they're doing. So to your point, you really need to shine the light on people that are doing a really great job for your community.
[00:18:10] Pat Flynn: For sure. And then there's a few ways that we do that. Uh, you know, with my podcast, I'll give them the microphone every once in a while. They literally will actually have the mic for 20 minutes in a, in, in their own episode on, on our Fridays episodes, uh, which are a little bit shorter and it again puts a spotlight on them and it makes them feel like even more part of the community.
Another thing that we did recently is we actually hired a person in our community. They're actually on our team now because we just love her so much and what she's been able to contribute. And now she's actually helping other community members feel more welcome because, and she has this voice that I can never have as a former community member herself versus from the top.
Yeah, sure. Pat Flynn. Cool. But like Heather, no, she was. A Pat Flynn fan who joined the community, who leveled up and is now actually a part of the team and literally on our payroll now, which is awesome. And that encourages other members in the community too, that's like, Oh, you were just like us and conversations that can be had with her are different than what can be had with me.
we just talked a little bit about the trends, of course, is how they're becoming more community based with these mastermind type offerings, right? When it comes to affiliate marketing,
[00:19:24] Hala Taha: I have no idea. I've just never really got into it, right? But in 2023, it feels like there's so many different ways to do affiliate marketing. I see a lot of influencers who use like Amazon stores and like, that's really hot right now. So I guess what are, what are the hot trends with affiliate marketing
[00:19:41] Pat Flynn: right now?
Yeah, it's, it's less of a, of a trendy thing. Versus just a way for you to generate revenue by directly bringing customers to a company. And that's always been a thing. When I first started out, I discovered affiliate marketing with my architecture website, actually. So I was selling my own product, right, for 19.
99. And there was this other company that was paying me 100 a month to essentially sponsor my website or have a banner ad on my website. So I thought it was, I was like, wow, I just have to put a logo on my website and link to your website for 100 a month? Absolutely. Well, they had a product that was complimentary to mine.
It was a online exam simulator and it was a 79 product. And they had an affiliate program and I said, what's the affiliate program? And they said, well, it's kind of like a referral program. Every person who you refer who comes in and becomes a customer will pay you 20. And I was like, okay, so if I just bring five people in, then that'll make up the cost of what it would be to just do the sponsorship like we've been doing.
So I send an email out with my affiliate link. A company will give you a unique link that's tied to you and your account so that they can track who you're bringing in. I think we brought in 200 customers that first month for them. So I had made 4, 000 in an instant by just doing that versus the 100 a month that I was making.
And here's the kicker. They still let me do the banner ads on top of the affiliate marketing. So I was kind of double dipping, which is really great. The holy grail of affiliate marketing these days are often with things like software or anything that has a recurring payment, like if you are an affiliate for Descript or ConvertKit or whatever, right, they will pay you every month that a customer you bring in stays on.
So these things stack over time. And so we have some companies that we promote who have a recurring affiliate program where we're generating 10, 12, 000 a month. Knowing that it's just going to be bigger the next month and they just continue to stack, right? So where I would start is, well, what products, what things are you already using or you already involved with that you can set up an affiliate partnership with those companies?
The other cool part about this that is sort of like the next level in what we teach in our course is once you start producing some volume, and this should be pretty simple for you as well, especially with your authority and the size of your brand. Also, very key, you don't just want to promote something because it can make money for you.
If you promote the wrong products to your audience, you can ruin your reputation in an instant. So it's very, very important to select the right products, the ones that you know are going to serve your audience and everybody wins in that situation. But what I'm saying is, well, you could take this one step further.
Many of the companies that I had been once an affiliate for, I'm now an advisor to those companies. Because I was able to come to them with even more value than just customers. I was able to bring them some feedback and advice and some, some thought about the future of their companies and how it could be even better.
And so some of these companies have brought me on now where I'm still an affiliate, but now I can say I'm an advisor. I'm an advisor for ConvertKit, for example, and I've been able to directly influence some of the decisions that that company has made, which has benefited the company, but also has benefited me.
And benefits my audience as well. And so I literally own shares of the company now as a result of that. And of course that can lead into much bigger payouts down the road. And it just allows me to feel even more of a tie to the brand and the company and Nathan, the founder. So there's a lot of things you can do with those partnerships.
Many times you can't get to that level, but there are some other additional things that might happen. For example, if you get in good with a company in that way, you're producing a lot of volume for them. You have even more permission to go, Hey, Canon cameras. We sent over a hundred people your way last month.
Are there any products coming out that I could review on my YouTube channel that, you know, you might want to send my way that I can get behind a lot of companies will send stuff early to people or even give things to those people. in exchange for, you know, the volume that they know that they're going to produce.
So there's a lot that can be done there. And, and of course we teach this in our all access pass as well. But, uh, I hope that helps and maybe more gears are turning now as a result. Oh,
[00:23:55] Hala Taha: 100%. And so with my podcast network. I'm all about doing 360 campaigns. So it's podcast ads, social media, newsletters. We get all of those types of platform sponsored.
And what happens is because I'm also focused on digital promotions, not just podcast ads, we get a lot of link clicks and rebuys, right, which is. Pretty rare in the podcast world. In the podcast world, you tend to get, a lot of people get ads and it's sort of churn and burn because there's no conversions typically because it's really hard to go memorize a link and when you have time, remember it, remember the promo code and have a conversion.
But online, you just click a button and people can convert. So my question for you is with affiliate marketing, where do you see the most click conversions? Like what is the most successful for you typically, or what's the best approach?
[00:24:45] Pat Flynn: All the approaches work, so on the website, we teach something for free, like here's how to do this, and here are the steps required, and in those steps, because that is a high value article.
It literally gives away everything, but within those steps, here are the tools that you can use. And we found, I mean, probably the best example of this, this goes a little back in the day, but in 2011, I built a website from scratch in a space that I knew nothing about to show people how it was done. And I did that in the security card training industry.
I'm not a security guard. My mom happened to be one, but that didn't really matter. I was showing people from scratch how I was doing this. Here are the keywords that I'm selecting. Here is the tool that I'm using to do that. Here's how I built the website. Here's how I wrote the articles. Here's where I hired writers to do that and do the research.
Here's how all this happened. And I remember on day 73, I was kind of Like a case study sharing the progress every single day on day 73 this brand new website hit number one in Google and on that day, my affiliate earnings for all the tools that I mentioned in that process just went through the roof because people saw.
Whoa, he did it and he showed us every step along the way. I want to do it too. I'm just going to follow the same process and get the same tools. And now I'm able to generate revenue that way. So by open case studies and that could be on any platform, obviously, but on a blog for search engine optimization and such, that worked really well.
Podcasts work really well too. And one thing that I love to do on a podcast is not just talk about the product. And talk about how it's used and how awesome it is, whatever the product may be, but I love to invite the company onto the podcast. So I invited Nathan Barry, the founder of convert kit, an email service provider that I'm now an advisor for onto the podcast.
Not to talk about ConvertKit and how awesome it is, but to get into his story. Why did you even create this product? What were the struggles building this thing from the ground up? And through that, the audience begins to build a relationship, not just with me, but with the company who I am now promoting.
And so now there's more of a genuine feel for, Oh, I understand that this product is here to help me for the right reasons and what it can do for me. And now I even know the founder and through the podcast, right? So you can use your platform to do it that way too. YouTube. is a great platform for affiliate marketing.
I did a video for Descript, which is a podcast editing tool and a video editing tool. They're, they're really innovative with AI involved and stuff. And there's a tool in there called Overdub, which allows you to read a few sentences, and then it kind of mimics your voice and it's both awesome and scary at the same time.
So I created a video about that, but also how useful that could be, especially for a podcaster. And that video in nine months saw over a million views. And of course, I included a link, an affiliate link to Descript. And I use, on my website, I use a WordPress plugin called Pretty Links to take that affiliate link, which is often filled with a bunch of characters and stuff that you can't memorize, and turn it into something like website.
com slash Descript, right? Or website. com slash ConvertKit. So that way, on a podcast or on a YouTube video, it's much more easy to remember and it still goes through that affiliate link for you. That's just a small tip, but this video has now accounted for a total of 40, 000 in commissions. Like that is my take home after all the people who have seen that video and then clicked and then now are a member or a user of Descript as well.
And that's just one of the dozen plus tools that I've talked about on my YouTube channel. So you can imagine just what the revenue might be like across the board across those different tools. But that's a more recent example that again, just to kind of show you this is still working and working really well today.
[00:28:27] Hala Taha: I love it. You're making me want to negotiate getting like some sort of affiliate deal with all my brand sponsorships. I've done it a little bit, but haven't really leaned into it. Okay. So before we can sell anything, we actually need to create an audience. And I know that you have a book that came out in 2019 called Superfans.
So first things first, how do you define a superfan?
[00:28:47] Pat Flynn: Yeah. So a superfan and, and, and this book is very much inspired by an article that was written, I think in 2005 or 2006 by senior editor. Of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly, and he wrote an article that is pretty pronounced in the entrepreneurial space called A Thousand True Fans.
The whole premise about true fans, and he defines this and I define superfan in the same way, is a true fan or a superfan is somebody who, if you are a musician, this is the person who will drive eight hours to listen to your set and then kind of wait for you backstage just to get an Instagram photo with you because they're, they're, you know, very much in love with your music.
You know, Swifty, right, is a version of that. If you are a business or have a product, this is like the people who will wait in line overnight just to be first to get access to that thing, right? Like what we see with Apple sometimes when a new phone comes out. But you don't have to be a celebrity or a huge company in order to have those kinds of fans.
Because anybody who has a message and who has a platform will develop fans over time. And over time those fans can become true fans or super fans. The people who will. Buy your product without even reading the sales page. The people who, when there's a troll or somebody who says something negative about you, they're going to step up and defend you.
Like you won't even hear about it because they're in the front lines, right? To defend you from those trolls. These are the people who make your podcast, your YouTube videos, your blog posts a part of their daily ritual to listen to while Eating a biscuit and having coffee in the morning or what have you, right?
It's just like they can't imagine their life without your brand or your message or your voice or your podcast anymore. That's a super fan, but a super fan is not generated overnight. They're not there. The moment they discover you, they're created by the moments that you create for people over time for those people over time.
And there's a, there's a ladder, or I like to call it the pyramid of fandom that I take you through in the book. And there are different conversion points to go from. The bottom of the pyramid, your largest portion of your audience, which is your casual audience. These are the people who just found you.
Maybe a lot of you listening or watching this right now, maybe you're a part of my casual audience cause you just discovered me for the first time and you might be curious about my website and all these other things, right? You're a casual audience member and this makes the largest part. Uh, whenever you are paying for ads, whenever you are showing up on search engines, this is bringing people into the bottom of this pyramid, the casual audience.
And our job is to convert them into an active audience member. They are now a subscriber. They now know who you are and they kind of like your stuff. They will be there to read it. They might even be a customer. They're not quite yet elevated to super fan status yet, but they at least are active in what it is that you're doing.
From there though, this is where we then convert them into a part of our community. The connected community is where magic happens. It's where not just you're talking to them and they're talking to you, they're talking to each other and you've done a really good job of this. This is something I'm very focused on.
And naturally some of those people will become super fans just because they can't imagine life without it. They feel an identity as a fan of your brand. But there are some things you can do to convert people who are maybe on the fence or who are a part of that community to become a super fan. And one of my favorite ways to do that is just by offering a, what I like to call the what's up, a small moment of surprise and a personal reach out just to see how a person's doing.
Actually, I can demonstrate this for you right now. Yeah, sure. So I'm going to go to Instagram and you're just going to have to believe me because I'm not going to share my screen, but I'm going to go to Instagram and I'm going to go to a comment on one of my latest posts on Instagram and I'm just going to see.
Okay, this is. Omer. So I'm gonna go to Omer's Instagram, he's somebody who just left a comment on one of my latest posts. And I'm gonna go to a message, and I'm gonna go and do a video. Hey Omer, it's Pat Flynn here, I hope all is well, I know this might be random, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for following the channel, and I appreciate you.
If you have any questions about anything that I can help you with, let me know. Have a good day, bye. I sent that to Omer. How long did that take? Less than 10 seconds, right? On Friday, I walk my dogs around the neighborhood for one hour, two leashes in one hand, my phone in the other, and I'm just doing these quick little messages to people on social media for one hour.
So I'll get through 60 to 80 in that one hour. 95 percent reply rate. And of those replies, most of them say, Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you took the time to send me a quick message, or that just made my day, or thank you so much for thinking of me. I can't believe you reached out to me, right? No, this is not 100 percent scalable, but not everything in business should be 100 percent scalable, especially when it comes to the human to human interaction.
This is something that you can do that is free. That doesn't take anything but time and consideration. And many of those people have become super fans just because you're giving them something that other brands are not. Just a little bit of attention. And that goes a very, very long way. In fact, many of those people will screenshot those messages and share them out and go, Pavlin reached out to me, this is insane.
Like, I, I didn't feel like I was that important. Right? And that's what people want. We just want a sense of belonging. We want to know that there's other people out there who, who are there for us or who see us. And that's the beauty of community. It allows for that to happen more often because especially in this world where we're all feeling so alone and so disconnected and even though social media was supposed to bring us closer together, it's actually pushing us further apart.
But those like you who are stepping up to create those communities and then taking those superfan strategies and actually giving people a little bit of time and attention, I mean, you are now creating a business that is future proof because let's say LinkedIn goes away or YouTube goes away or whatever.
I mean, hopefully you have an email list as well, but if you have superfans. You could set up shop anywhere and they'll come and support you. And that's a great feeling to know that you have that insurance policy of superfans in your brand. Yeah,
[00:34:29] Hala Taha: 100%. I'm like profusely nodding if you're not watching me on video.
I see it. Yeah. I built my communities and I know what you're saying is right. You have to go out of your way and reach out to people without selling them anything. You know what I mean? And just give them value, give them Like affection and show up for them. So
You say focusing on the experiences that create super fans is the most important thing that you can do for your business. Why is that? What is it that super fans do that can help accelerate your business?
[00:35:01] Pat Flynn: Well, number one, they become your marketing team without you having to pay them anything.
I mean, You've already paid them enough in terms of the experiences that you've offered them. This is their way to pay you back. They will talk you up. They will hoist your flag high. And I've had people tell me that they annoy their friends so much with how much they talk about the brand or SPI or, or, or me.
And I'm like, that's kind of funny. They will talk about you and become your marketing strategy. And this is what I love so much about this is if you think of that pyramid growing, right? You want your user base to grow. You want to scale up. Many people will go outside of their brand to do that. Let me pay for ads to bring new people into the brand.
Let me do search engine optimization to show up when people search for this thing or show up on YouTube, whatever. And that grows your pyramid, sure, but from the bottom, right? And again, you got to work hard. It's reverse gravity. You got to go up this pyramid, which takes work and energy. And then you have to convert them into all those different spaces that I told you about.
But if you are serving your audience and providing value and giving them those experiences, those super fans. We'll do the talking for you. And when they bring other people into the community, this is growing your community from the inside, right? And guess what? No matter how big your brand is or how small it is, there's already people who are there who you could serve in this way, who may do this for you when they bring new people in, they're not coming in cold.
They're not coming in as a casual audience member now because of that trust that they've built together with Zuckerberg who said the best. Growth strategy is a recommendation or something like that. They're coming in already active, if not already a part of the community because they're coming from the inside.
So you can grow and scale your business by growing the experiences that the people who already are in your brand have. And again, it's not just about selling them something. That could be one part of the experience, but what happens after they buy something? One thing I talk about in the book is this tool called Bonjoro, B O N J O R O.
And what's really cool about that is you can set up a system in which case when a person purchases your product or becomes a member or even joins your email list, you can get a notification on your phone that says, you know, Hala just joined SPI Pro or whatever the case may be. I can, in a moment's notice, click on that notification, it pops up a video.
Um, recording opportunity and just literally personalize a welcome to the community for you and use your name and welcome you and I can even collect more information up front to then include in that message. So imagine. You just bought something and the founder or a person who works at that company sends you a personalized video message welcoming you.
I mean, you're already feeling like, okay, I think I spent my money in a good place here. Like I can be more confident with, with this decision that I just made. You're reinforcing that decision that they'd made. And when people buy something often, especially when it's educational, it's like, there's always that worry.
Like, is this really going to work? This helps. Soften that opportunity to have a person even think that now they're thinking, wow, this is a great first impression and now that carries forward into everything else they're doing. It is about the experiences though, because those are the stories that people can share, right?
People are more likely to share. They're going through the transformation they had versus, Oh, you got to check out Pat's course because lesson five about launching your show was amazing. No, it's. You helped me start a podcast and get more connected to my audience. And that one time I had a question, you had an answer for me, it just meant so much.
And that's what people are saying every single day. And of course, those people also become the people who create the best testimonials. I mean, who become the best guests on your podcast. I mean, it's just, it's self perpetuating at that point. It's, it's amazing.
[00:38:43] Hala Taha: Yeah. And something that I want to call out is that this organic approach to building an audience is really profitable.
I knew that when I started my LinkedIn masterclass. I tried. An organic approach where I'd post it on my LinkedIn and we were just getting sales, sales, flying off the shelves, you know, never had to do a paid ad. Let's say six months into the course, we were doing it monthly. I was like, let's try paid ads.
We'll just, you know, expand our audience. But what I found is that we'd pay all this money for paid ads. People would come in as casual audience members like you were talking about. They wouldn't even show up to the webinar. There was like a super low conversion rate because to your point, they didn't know me.
They didn't trust me. They didn't know my stuff. It was like we had to teach them from scratch who I was. And so we ended up wasting a whole ton of money testing this out. And then I was like, forget it. Let's just lean into the organic approach because that's obviously working and converting a lot better.
[00:39:35] Pat Flynn: A hundred percent. I love that. So
[00:39:36] Hala Taha: let's talk about the lyrics. You say we have to learn the lyrics of our audience. So how can we get better at the language and understanding the language that our audience members uses?
[00:39:46] Pat Flynn: Yeah, this reminds me of my wife, in fact, because she's a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys.
I talk about them in the beginning of the book, in fact. And I didn't know how much of a fan she was until she took me into the closet and then showed me this bin of all these things, including bobbleheads of the Backstreet Boys and framed pictures of Nick Carter. Who was her boy crush back in the day.
And I started to ask her like, How did you, when did you fall in love with this band so much? Like, I just got very curious about it. And she gave me a very specific moment in her life when she remembers really enjoying the band and really when this whole journey started for her. And you know, she's gone to concerts and has met the boys and stuff, her boys as she calls them.
Anyway, and I'm an NSYNC fan. I don't know how we ended up together, but we did. She said that when she was 15, this was a while back, right? And so there was no Spotify. There was no iPod. It was just the radio, right? And she said that she was listening to the radio moments after she had broken up with her boyfriend.
I mean, it was a bad breakup. She was like crying in her bed, you know, a teenage girl in her bed, crying over a breakup. And she heard a song on the radio, and she, she even said this, she's like, I heard the song plenty of times before, but this time it meant something different. Because every lyric in that song was describing everything she was going through in that moment.
And that song was Quit Playing Games With My Heart by the Backstreet Boys. And when you read the lyrics to that, you can understand how it would connect with a girl who's going through that in their life. And she told me that that's when she really started to dig deeper into the band, wanted to buy the album, and then ended up going to a concert for her birthday that year.
And all this kind of stuff started to happen simply because the lyrics matched where she was at in her life. And a lot of times in business, we struggle because our lyrics that we're sharing with our audience for what our product is, and you know, just the stories that we're telling. Aren't necessarily matching the lyrics that a person in our audience is going through.
We need to match the words and the descriptions of those problems. As best as possible. And I think it was Jay Abraham, a very famous old school internet marketer who said, if you can define the problem better than your target customer, they're going to automatically assume that you have the solution.
It's one of those cases where when you hear a person describe what you're going through so well that you're just like, yes, thank you. You understand me now. If we can get our audience to think that way, they're going to be more likely to listen to what we have to say, to take our recommendations. To purchase our products and all those kinds of things.
So it's not just one thing to understand the problems and pains that our audience is going through the challenges. That's key. But what is even more important is how are they describing those problems? In fact, one of my favorite things to do and offer to my students is to run a survey to your audience because in that survey, you can literally ask the question, what's your number one challenge right now related to blank, whatever it is that you're serving them with.
And you want that to be an open ended question because you want to, you want to get back the typed messages in the words that your audience is using. And then here's the cool part, and it almost feels like cheating. You take those answers and then you just give them back to everybody else in your emails and your sales copy.
And it's like you get people going, wow, how did you know I was feeling that way? And it's like, because I found other people like you and literally asked them to tell me. And it's, it almost feels like cheating in that way. But it's so great. I mean, I've had people comment and go like, you just seem to know exactly what I'm going through in, in, in life right now.
How did you know? It's like, cause. In a way, you've told me already and now I'm just giving it back to you. And that validates, wow, this is the person I should listen to. This is the person I should learn from. This is the community I should join, etc. So that's how important understanding the lyrics is.
This is why I think of a couple artists like Taylor Swift. Who every lyric in her songs are just they they're so cutthroat because they just matter so much to her audience And they're very relatable same thing with Olivia Rodrigo right now I mean her words for a teenager are just like spot on if you will and that's why they're growing so much in addition to Musical talent and such, but the lyrics matter.
So are you matching the lyrics that your audience would respond to? That's the question I want to ask your audience.
[00:43:54] Hala Taha: Since you brought up Taylor Swift a few times, I know that she calls her audience Swifties. Can you talk to us about the importance of labeling your audience or naming them?
[00:44:04] Pat Flynn: Yes. So this can happen on its own.
Your audience will kind of over time make up their own name. But in some cases you might need to nudge a little bit, and this is really important because this is where a person can then start to put a name to who it is that they're following and why, right? And it allows an opportunity for those people to kind of find each other too, right?
I imagine when a person who's a fan of Taylor Swift, I'm not a Swiftie, by the way, nor am I a Belieber or a part of Beyonce's Beehive. You can see how these names, a person can connect with another person. Hey, are you a Swifty too? Cool, now we have this common language and understanding in an instant. We know some stuff about each other just through that naming convention.
And so one thing that we did on SPI was I had actually Not forced you kind of have to still have it be a little bit more natural and it can take a little bit of Choreography to do this, but I ended up calling my audience team Flynn So team Flynn why because we're all a team we're in this together, and I'm just the team captain But I'm gonna pass you the ball sometimes you're gonna score, but we're all gonna celebrate cuz we're in this together, right?
So team Flynn And there's like Team Gary Vee, right? And Team Tim Ferriss, I'm just Team Flynn. And uh, what it really did was allowed people to feel like they're connected to me a little bit more and also each other in that way as fans of the brand and fans of the channel. I think it was Seth Godin who said, you know, naming things is really important because that's when you start to create substance for something that a person can now talk about and connect with and it's that important in your brand and community as well.
[00:45:41] Hala Taha: totally makes sense. And I call my yap fam or young improfiter. So yeah, same thing. Yeah, fam. Yeah. Okay. So let's talk about mixing business and personal. One of the biggest questions that I get, I talk about personal branding a lot. People are always like, should I mix my business with my personal life?
What's your opinion on that?
[00:46:00] Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, there's a different line for every single person, right? And it's not like, okay, if you say yes to that, okay, and now I have to live stream myself eating waffles for breakfast. Like that, that's not what we're talking about here. What I feel like we need to discover is like, well, what makes you, you right?
As a person, that's the biggest advantage you have over everybody else in the same space that you're in is nobody's like you, you are a hundred percent different than everybody else. That's doing the same thing or talk about the same thing and that's a very unique advantage that you have so to not share those things about yourself that make you you would put you at a disadvantage, right?
It reminds me of there was a website that I used to follow a long time ago. This was back in my early affiliate marketer days. Jeremy Shoemaker was his name and he had a brand called shoe money and I didn't really get. involved in his brand very much. But I did follow him simply because every once in a while, he would talk about UFC, you know, being in the octagon and some of the fighters that were going to be fighting in the octagon.
And because at the time I was somewhat into that, I was like, Oh, that's cool. A fun, interesting fact about him. And it makes me more connected to the brand. Does he talk about it all the time? No, but it is something that shows up and it makes me go, Oh. That's a human with that interest that is similar to mine.
That's kind of cool. In a very similar way, I talk a lot about a movie, one of my favorite movies called Back to the Future, quite a bit on my brain. It just comes up naturally. I'm not like forcing that on anybody. I don't talk about it all the time, but when it does come up, people can see that I do get jazzed about it and I kind of nerd out about it a little bit and that's just a part of who I am.
It's a movie that's played a role in my own history and it's, it's just, I love it. And now, like I remember in 2015. That was a big year for Back to the Future, because that was a 30 year anniversary, it's also the year that Marty McFly travels into the future, and so it was a big year. And every day that year, whenever there was any news about Back to the Future happening, or, you know, the cast was on some talk show or something, I would get linked to it.
All the time. Pat, did you see this? Hey, back to the future is on. I just thought of you. Now I'm able to, like inception, be a part of a person's life simply because they know that about me. And that's how that personal part of my brand has played a role in providing more of a relationship with my audience versus a transaction with my audience, right?
It's the difference between a relationship and a transaction. And it's these things like the things that my friends know about me. I want my audience to know about me as well. Maybe not everything. But, you know, the things that make me, me. If my audience knows that too, then we can be two people who could start a relationship together in that way.
And, and that rapport just means a little bit more when those things are coming out. So, you know, I know, for example, Chalene Johnson, she's a big snowboarder. She's told stories before about snowboarding and wanting to get into that industry as an entrepreneur and then backing out because it would affect her fun that she would have with that space.
So whenever I think of snowboards now, I think of my buddy, Chalene Johnson. Right. I think of another friend of mine, Thomas Frank, who is on YouTube and how he used to play Magic the Gathering because when I was a kid, I used to play Magic the Gathering and nerd out on that too. And apparently I have this whole giant side of my audience that are all marching band nerds because I was in marching band when I was in high school and in college.
And I also did drum corps as well. And it's funny because I remember to finish off the story really quick. In my podcast, the Smart Passive Income podcast, I have a fun little fact about me shared by my voiceover guy in the beginning of every episode. And there's nearly 750 of those now that are out there.
And it's funny because when I go to conferences, people will bring up those fun facts that they remember. There was one time this woman talked about how she also had a very large baby when she had a baby because I was 11 pounds 12 ounces when I was born. And that like random little fact just made her go, Oh, like connected her to me a little bit more.
So again, you could see how these things can play a role. They're not the center and you don't want them to be the center, but they add more color and flavor to the brand and allow people to connect with you on a little bit deeper of a level. So
[00:50:01] Hala Taha: smart. I love all these tips. So I'm going to read an excerpt from your book that I thought was really great, summarizes a lot that you just said.
You say, instead of spending money on ads, spend more time on people, instead of worrying about the latest growth hacks and strategies, worry about identifying and addressing the biggest pains and problems of your target audience. Instead of figuring out how to optimize your conversion rates, figure out the rate at which you're able to connect authentically with your audience and make them feel special.
So speaking of making them feel special, I interviewed the CEO of Thrive Cosmetics and she's like obsessed with making her audience feel special. She even names products after her best customers, which I think is awesome. What are some great ways to make our audience feel
[00:50:43] Pat Flynn: special? Well, we talked about one of those ways earlier, which is just to give them a little bit of time, the little what's up strategy that I talked about putting a spotlight on your audience, just like how we talked about putting a spotlight on some of your community members before that can be absolutely key when you actually showcase and take the spotlight off of you and put it on your people.
This is what Donald Miller talks about in his book, Story Brand. Your audience becomes the hero of the story. The Luke Skywalker's or the Princess Leia's. You are just the Yoda now that everybody wants to go to. So they can have the same transformational story that they did. So featuring their story, uncovering that case study, and really getting into the before and after and celebrating them.
will in a way also celebrate your entire audience. And even though you're just focused on one person at a time, people can relate to that or see a future version of themselves in that transformational story, which is key. And that makes them feel really special. Even just mentioning them. I love the idea of naming a product after I think for a cosmetic line, that's absolutely genius.
Mr. Beast invites some of his audience into challenges that he has. There's a lot of brands that do a really good job of doing that. Lego is another one that I talk about in my book because they actually have a website called ideas. lego. com. So Lego ideas, any fan can create a Lego creation out of the bricks that they have uploaded.
And if it gets enough votes, it will be considered to be actually manufactured by Lego itself. And you get a little bit of a royalty on that product if the community votes it up too. So what a way to recognize the people who are actually buying your products by allowing them to get involved in the, in the design process.
I think even the founder or CEO said, you know, we have like hundreds of designers in house, but we have hundreds of thousands of potential designers out of house that we could. Put a spotlight on and reward as well. So I think this is an awesome opportunity for you and your team, anybody listening or watching to get creative with how can we make our people feel something.
And if you want to. You know, get even more meta with it. Bring one of your own people into that meeting. I mean, what a way to make them feel like a part of the process, but also they're going to have a voice of the community that will enable you to do that even more. And
[00:52:55] Hala Taha: so you're teasing out this concept that you talk about in your book called co creation, right?
And I know that Amy Porterfield, who's in my network and one of my close friends. She does a really great job of co creation. Can you give us some examples of how an influencer or somebody who has a big audience can co create with their audience?
[00:53:13] Pat Flynn: Yes. Uh, so there's a number of different ways to do this on a smaller scale.
If let's say, for example, you have a book coming out, you could simply offer a few different choices for book covers and say, Hey, everybody, which cover do you like best? Or do you have any suggestions? And this is a cool way to kind of get people involved. It gets people A little behind the scenes, it opens up the factory door a little bit, but it also gives them an opportunity to have a voice in something, which I think is really cool.
Um, one thing that we're doing is we're bringing a few of our community members, not just on podcast episodes to spotlight their transformation, but we're actually giving them the opportunity to teach something. We know that we have a lot of people in our community who are much smarter at certain aspects of business than I am or my team is.
So why not invite them on and have them become an expert that can be seen in front of everybody. And that is a way for us to add to the SPI curriculum from SPI members itself, which is really amazing. I mean, again, I think that when you are creating anything, asking yourself the question, how might I be able to get my audience involved in this?
Is wonderful. I think there's a lot of opportunities that a lot of creators have to do that. And collaborations are another great way to do this. If you are a YouTuber bringing another person on who is another YouTuber into your community and shooting a video together is a great way to do that. A lot of people I see today are collaborating on building their email lists, like I'll share your list with mine if you share mine with yours.
There's a lot of interesting ways to do that. And I think collaborations, we see that a lot in going back to the music world, Bruno Mars first song that everybody heard him on was not his own song. It was A guy named Travi, who is a rapper who, uh, had the song Billionaire. I wanna be a billionaire. Bruno was the chorus, he was not featured.
And then, guess what, his album came out later. But we all already fell in love with his voice and his style. So, doing that in our world as entrepreneurs, collaborations, um, bringing and inviting people into your LinkedIn group or Facebook group or whatever. And having them take the lead every once in a while is a great way to do this and kind of create and serve the community together.
[00:55:15] Hala Taha: Well, you just dropped so many gems. Young Improfters, if you want to go get super fans, I'm about to make it required reading for several of my team members because it's just so good. Especially if you're building a community, you need to read this book. There's so many things we didn't even cover.
So, Pat, as we close out this interview, I want to ask a few questions about the future of the marketing industry, which I feel like would you would you say you're a marketing expert? I feel like you're very heavy in this world. I
[00:55:42] Pat Flynn: have a lot of experience in the industry. Evolution of marketing. Yes. Yeah.
[00:55:48] Hala Taha: think so. So talk to us about what are the biggest things that you've seen changed? And in 2023, what are the biggest things that you're focused on in terms of just staying on top of all the change that's happening?
[00:56:01] Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, to do that, the ladder to stay on top of it, it's just to listen and to offer avenues to listen.
We do something in our community called a town hall where we invite people to come in and actually express their voice and express their opinion and share what they have going on. And if you don't create a space for that to happen. It's everything's just going to be in a vacuum, right? And then you're not even going to be able to hear it.
So that's number one. But number two, community, community, community. This is going to be the future of business. And this is where a lot of businesses are now actually scrambling to figure it out because they know that things that once worked did not. Search engine optimization is not as successful as it once was.
It wasn't as much of a hand me out as it was back in the day. There are a lot of different changes in different industries that are happening where, you know, at the center of it all is just. How do we bring our people together? And I think that's always been the case. We've maybe lost that over the years as these new technologies, new platforms have come out.
But I think we're looking for ways to bring that even together now. And you're even seeing platforms like a YouTube and Twitch figure out how to better create that membership experience in those platforms. And I think we as entrepreneurs can step up and do that for our own people in our own unique ways too.
So. Again, when you step up to facilitate and bring their community members together, that does nothing but heighten your brand and develop that sort of insurance policy of community that will, uh, go with you no matter what happens, uh, into the future.
[00:57:20] Hala Taha: Well, thank you so much for all your insights. I end my show with two questions that I ask all my guests, and this doesn't have to do with the topic of today's episode.
You can say whatever you want. Okay. What is one actionable thing our young improfiters can do today to become more profitable
[00:57:35] Pat Flynn: tomorrow? My favorite thing to do, and I still do this, is I reach out to people individually on my email list, brand new email subscribers, and I try to get on a Zoom call with them, and I just wanna, I just wanna chat, get to know them, hear the lyrics from their own mouths, and understand what their biggest challenges are in real time, and people are very surprised that I do that ten times a month still with an audience of millions, but it's so helpful, and even just one of those conversations can turn into gold for you as far as the understanding of Who you're trying to help and how.
So that would be my best recommendation. Try to get on a Zoom call or a phone call or a DM at least exchange to one of your, with one of your audience members. And just kind of dig a little bit deeper than you normally do.
[00:58:17] Hala Taha: You hear that, young improfiters? Learn the lyrics. And Pat, what is your secret to profiting in
[00:58:24] Pat Flynn: life?
Honestly, just serving first. Uh, that's a mantra of mine. You know, my earnings are a byproduct of how well I serve my audience. So it's all about serving first and, you know, doing that without even asking for anything in return because this world has this amazing way, the law of reciprocity, right? The universe just We'll in some way, shape or form pay you back one way or another.
It might not be monetary. It might be through honest feedback, constructive feedback. It might be through recommendation, but when you step forward to serve others, the world has a way of serving you back.
[00:58:53] Hala Taha: I love it. Where can our listeners learn more about you and
[00:58:55] Pat Flynn: everything that you do? Thank you so much.
So smartpassiveincome. com is the website. Everything from our all access pass to SPI pro is. And the podcast is linked there. Um, and I have a personal website to Pat Flynn dot com, or you can find me at Pat Flynn on most social media platforms. Amazing. He
[00:59:12] Hala Taha: is not hard to find, but I will stick all the link in the show notes.
Thank you so much, Pat. Thank
[00:59:16] Pat Flynn: you.
[00:59:17] Hala Taha: Yeah fam, I just love it when I get to speak to an OG like Pat Flynn. He is one of my role models. And he's got such awesome insights on how to build a meaningful community for your business and brand. People are really craving connection right now. But it takes work to harness that craving and to satisfy it.
Pat talked about how he sometimes thinks of his online courses as a physical empty space. A space that he needs to proactively show up in. One that he needs to make others feel safe and welcome in. If you want others to post stories and videos on your platform, then you've got to get into that space first and post your own stories and videos.
You've got to get that ball rolling yourself and set an example. And once it's rolling, your community will take a life on its own. People will connect with each other, they'll make partnerships together, they'll hold each other accountable and start to do things without you always having to be involved.
But you'll all start to feel like you're part of the same team. You'll win together, lose together, and bond together. And if you can turn those followers into what Pat calls superfans, then you'll have what's basically an unpaid marketing team at your disposal. You've paid them with experiences and insights you've provided, and they'll pay you back in turn.
They'll hoist your flag high, as Pat puts it. In fact, I remember when I first launched my LinkedIn Secrets Masterclass, I poured so much time and energy into it. And the people who took it felt like they got 10 times more value than what they paid for. And before I launched my affiliate or referral program, I was getting testimonials left and right, video testimonials, comments on all my posts, proactively trying to convince people to take the course.
Your superfans will literally sell for you if you provide them value, especially if they want to see their community grow with more like minded people. Finally, sometimes creating a new superfan can take just a few seconds of your time. Pat still does this to this day. He's so famous already. He's got millions of people that already follow him and he still does this every single day.
He'll send a quick little video message to respond to his followers comments on social media and he gets a 95 percent reply rate. People are thrilled to hear from him personally. Sometimes it's just that simple. Thank you for being a part of this young and profiting community. If you listened, learned, and profited from this conversation with the inspiring Pat Flynn, please share this episode with your friends, family, and online community.
And if you did enjoy this show and you learned something new, then why not drop us a five star review on Apple Podcasts. If you're a super fan of ours, I want to know about it. You can also find me on Instagram at Yap with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name, it's Hala Taha. And before we wrap, I have to give a big shout out to my incredible Yap production team.
You guys are awesome. Thank you so much for all that you do behind the scenes to make these interviews possible. This is your host, Hala Taha, AKA the podcast princess, signing off.
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