Ask the Expert: Passive Income, Growing an Audience, and Leveling Up with Pat Flynn | POP 840

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A photo of Pat Flynn is captured. He is a blogger and business consultant. Pat is featured on the Practice of the Practice a therapist podcast.

How can you future-proof your business to remain successful and relevant in your niche? Can you bet on yourself as an advantage? Is your community the key to your leveling up?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about passive income, growing an audience, and leveling up with Pat Flynn.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using TherapyNotes. They make billing, scheduling, notetaking, telehealth, and E-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available 7 days a week.

You don’t have to take my word for it – Do your own research and see for yourself – TherapyNotes is the #1 highest-rated EHR system available today, with 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google.

All you have to do is click the link below, or type promo code JOE on their website, and receive a special 2-month trial, absolutely free.

If you’re coming from another EHR, TherapyNotes will import your demographic data quick and easy at no cost, so you can get started right away.

Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time, and try TherapyNotes.

Meet Pat Flynn

A photo of Pat Flynn is captured. He is a blogger and business consultant. Pat is featured on the Practice of the Practice a therapist podcast.

Pat blogs at The Smart Passive Income Blog which has recently become one of the fastest-growing blogs in the online marketing and blogging industry. He also hosts The Smart Passive Income Podcast, which was at one point the #3 overall business podcast on iTunes.

Pat didn’t go to business school and isn’t an expert copywriter or genius marketer. He is, however, a person who knows that building a successful business is about helping serve others first, and then building a team, or systems, to lean into those services even more.

Visit Pat Flynn’s website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

In This Podcast

  • Why you should look for your superfans
  • You are the advantage!
  • The value of community
  • Pat’s advice to private practitioners

Why you should look for your superfans

I find that whenever you can serve first, you always get rewarded back.

Pat Flynn

You find your superfans by locating the niche that they are in and serving them first. Where do your skills, expertise, and passions intersect with a need in your local population or community?

What is it that you know, have, or have experience in or knowledge about that can heal a pain point and help people develop their lives? Locate that, focus on it, and brainstorm from there.

As I often say, the riches are in the niches, you now have less competition [and] you can speak the same language as your audience, and they’re going to start recommending [you] … when it comes to clinical work, specifically and especially, that recommendation and referral goes a long way.

Pat Flynn

Your superfans will support you by purchasing your products and being happy to pay for subscriptions because they will know, like, and trust you.

They will often refer you first to friends, family, or colleagues if they think that you can help them too. 

This is to me the way that you future-proof your business. This is business insurance.

Pat Flynn

You are the advantage!

You are unique. Your experience, personality, outlook on life, and methodology are entirely your own. No one else on the planet has had the same experience with the same personality, so there is no other combination of knowledge and experience.

Your uniqueness is a key factor in your success, and you can use it well to bring people into your space and connect with them.

People connect with other people, right? They don’t want the information, they want the results … they don’t want to be [taught], they want to learn from somebody.

Pat Flynn

Of course, you may feel nervous about this or about putting yourself so fully out there. However, this will get the right people to like you even more because they will resonate with your truth and with the authentic way in which you portray it.

What makes you you, why don’t people know that? This is how you differentiate yourself from others because the truth is [that] you are your own advantage.

Pat Flynn

If you are here for the long-term with your audience, then don’t be afraid to put yourself into your work.

The value of community

A community space, whether in-person or online, is not just about the interaction between the host and the participants: a community is also about the interaction between the participants themselves.

People want a sense of belonging, to be heard, seen, and welcomed.

When you can facilitate these interactions … it can do nothing but elevate your brand.

Pat Flynn

People will come for the content, but they will stay for the community.

Pat Flynn’s pro tip: every week for 30 minutes, send DMs to your followers and those who interact with your content. Show them that you are invested in them and appreciate their support because it lets them know that you truly care.

Pat’s advice to private practitioners

Good luck! You are more than capable to do the things that you feel inspired to do, so get started!

Books mentioned in this episode:

Sponsors mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] A new year, a new you, yeah, how about a new year, a new private practice? If you’re ready to start a private practice this year, or maybe you just got one going and you’re thinking, did I do it right, how do I do it right, how do I leave this full-time job, I have a 28-step checklist just for you to walk you through the initial steps of starting a practice. Just head on over to Again, that’s This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 840. I am Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I hope you are doing amazing in this first month of the year. I hope you are kicking off your solo practice, growing your solo practice, maybe you’re adding clinicians to your practice or growing your group practice. Wherever you’re at, I hope things are kicking off great for you. If you missed it, episode 837, Quarter by Quarter Planning to Reach Your Goals this Year, I walked through the exact process that we use with Practice of the Practice to think through our quarter by quarter planning. So that would be terribly helpful for you if you need a little bit of help in regards to your quarter by quarter planning. We’re doing a few episodes here that’ll give you a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into our Ask the Experts. We do ask the experts every single month with our membership communities, that’s Next Level Practice, Group Practice Launch, Group Practice Boss, and Audience Building Academy, are all allowed to come to Ask the Expert. So ask the Expert, we bring in amazing people that are talking about all sorts of things that we think is important, but also the community gets to suggest experts that they think should come and talk. These are people that often cost thousands of dollars an hour or more. If you’re talking keynotes, they come in, I interview them for 10 minutes or so, and then people just get to ask questions. We are going to be doing four of these over the next five episodes. We have an Ask Joe that’s in there. But it’s really awesome to hear this behind-the-scenes to be able to see like, whoa, these are some high-level people that you could be learning from if you were in one of our communities. Today we’re going to be hanging out with Pat Flynn. Pat Flynn has one of the top business podcasts, the Smart Passive Income Podcast. He also wrote a book, Will It Fly, he wrote another book called Super Fans and is just so good at connecting with people. When I think about heart-led leaders that aren’t just about the numbers, they’re not just about making money, but they’re into their families, they’re into doing business ethically, Pat has become a friend that really embodies that. So in this Ask The Expert, we’re going to be talking passive income. We’re going to be talking growing an audience, leveling up, ways to think through how to have super fans and how to use social media in a different way than maybe how other people are. You’re going to absolutely love it. So without any further ado, I give you Pat Flynn. [JOE SANOK] Well, welcome everybody to Ask the Expert. This is our monthly Ask the Expert and today I’m so excited that we have Pat Flynn. Every month we do this where in our membership community, we bring together experts that are influencers that are doing amazing things. A lot of times we buy you their book, which is the case with Pat. So this week your superfans book should be arriving at your door. I just want to tell you a little bit about Pat and why I’m so excited about having him here today. I remember in 2012 I was mowing the lawn every Saturday. We had just had our baby and every Saturday I would listen to the Smart Passive Income Podcast and I had my private practice and I’m thinking, how do I have affiliate links or different things through my counseling private practice? I would have Pat’s voice in my ears every Saturday and I’m just thinking, I don’t know how to do any of this. For years, Pat was a virtual guide for me in regards to passive income, in regards to just thinking differently about business. Actually, when I was in early college, I was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door and taught all these slimy business methods and I thought, business is slimy, it’s gross, it’s icky, it’s just terrible. I’m selling these $2,000 vacuums like door to door at trailer parks and that’s what I thought business was. Then Pat Flynn’s podcast came into my ears and honestly everything changed. I took his free podcasting course, launched the Practice of the Practice podcast, we’re now 550 episodes and all of you are a part of this membership community. Pat really was that first person for me that virtually mentored me through his podcast. So to have Pat today here to teach us and to be at the point where all of you, if you are first meeting Pat, he just wrapped up 365 days of YouTube in a row. He’s just going to teach us about being, having super fans. He’s going to teach us about thinking differently about business. For about 20 minutes I’m going to just be interviewing Pat, asking him questions and then for 40 minutes we’re going to have a bunch of time to just ask Pat questions. So Pat, welcome to Next Level Practice. [PAT FLYNN] Hey Joe, what’s up? Thank you for having me today. I love to always hear the origin story of how people find me and then what it’s done for them and to see what you’ve done and the podcast and your practice and your membership, it’s just so amazing. You are an action taker and that’s obviously, we all have to take action and you’ve definitely done that. You’ve been a great example. And I’m here to help. Whatever I can do to serve you and your community, this is what I’m here for. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. Well, why don’t we frame out who is here in the audience. So we have practice owners, some of them are just getting started with their private practices, we’ve got counselors, coaches, and some of them are our group practice owners. We have our Group Practice Boss community as well was invited into this. So they have more of a clinical side, but they want to grow their business. But then I would say almost everyone here also is thinking, man, I want to build passive income beyond my own time. I’m sick of just showing up and doing counseling either virtually or in-person. If I don’t show up, if I’m sick, I don’t make money. So we’ve got that side too. I think if we just start with the idea of superfans, the idea of building an audience, like teach us around that a little bit and then I’ll just ask some follow-up questions. [PAT FLYNN] Yeah, actually, I’ll tell you a little bit of the origin story behind what really became this book and where this really mission came from. It was an article written in 2006 by a man named Kevin Kelly who was the senior editor at Wired Magazine. This article was called a thousand True Fans. Now, at this time, I wasn’t yet an entrepreneur. I was working at an architectural firm. I was laid off in 2008 from my architectural job and then started doing business online like you, found a whole bunch of slis and then I found a few good people that I really hung onto that really helped push me forward. It was this article that I found when I was trying to become an entrepreneur that really inspired me and helped me realize a lot of things. This article, a thousand True Fans is what it’s called. It basically says you don’t need a blockbuster hit. You don’t need millions of subscribers, millions of fans, you just need a thousand true fans. A true fan being somebody who, if you’re a musician for example, they’re going to drive eight hours to your set, then they’re going to wait for you backstage because they just want to hang and take a selfie with you hopefully. If you have a product, they’re going to go to your sales page first and click on that by now button before reading anything because they already love you, they know you, they’re first in line. If there’s a troll or some person who’s disrespectful in your audience or in your community, you won’t even know because those fans are going to be sort of your first line of defense and they’re going to sort of switch those people away. So true fans really, really important. Let’s do some math here, a thousand true fans, let’s imagine that each of them are paying you a hundred dollars a year for your art, your craft, your service, your practice, membership, whatever it might be. That’s on a low side of things. That’s $100,000 a year, that’s less than $10 a month. So you multiply, 1000 people times $100 a year, you already have a six-figure business. I think when I first started, especially just maybe you realize that, okay, I don’t need to create the next Uber or PayPal or eBay or Fidget Spinner or whatever. I just need to find a little pocket of the world that I can show up for and become their favorite. That’s exactly what I did. My first business was actually helping people in the architecture space, so that’s the big world of architecture and then a little tiny world in that space called the lead exam, people who are studying for this particular exam. I just wanted to show up as much as I could and help out and serve. I found that whenever you can serve first, you always get rewarded back. Now you have to include opportunities for people to pay you back. We’ll talk about some of those things I’m sure at some point here but I started to see results pretty soon because when you niched down, and as I often say, the riches are in the niches, you now have less competition. You can speak the same language as your audience and they’re going to start recommending when it comes to clinical work specifically, and especially that recommendation, that referral goes a very long way. Something really interesting happens when you build these fans. Not only are they supporting you by paying you, by showing up, et cetera, they’re supporting you by referring you. The cool thing is when they refer new people in, those new people aren’t coming in, not knowing who you are. You’ve already got the endorsement from somebody who is within, and then they come in warm and then you don’t have to work as hard to focus on them. So all this growth can actually happen from within the business, from the even small few people who have access to you and your craft and whatever it is that you offer. This is so different than what we learn in internet marketing where it’s all about the funnel. We’ve heard of this thing called the funnel so many times. And the funnel is important. It’s important to automate a lot of that stuff. That’s where the passive parking come from, getting these things that need to happen in your business, remove yourself from that process. Yeah, you have some magic coming in so you can focus more of your time and effort into the things that do require you and your time but the problem with the funnel is you build it and then it’s like, okay, well this is why it’s beautiful. You just pour from the top. Like, let’s just get traffic. So let’s pay for traffic, SEO, all the traffic things, traffic, traffic, traffic becomes a center of attention. Then what happens when people get there? It’s not a grade of experience as it could be because fans aren’t created the moment people find you. They’re created by the moments you create for them over time. It’s like when you find a song on the radio, you’ve heard it for the first time, you like the song, you’re not a fan of the band yet. You have to like hear it a few times and then you buy their album or check out their playlist on Spotify, and then you eventually get tickets to their first concert and then all of a sudden you realize you’ve collected all the bobbleheads and dolls and you’re like questioning anybody else who hates that same band. It’s like this is what happens. This is a journey that you can take people on. My book, Super Fans, which you have access to, will walk you through this process of how do you get people from the moment they find you to become a super fan? There’s a lot of tactical things that we can do in our businesses, especially online. That’s the advantage we have doing things online. There’s little moments that you can create that facilitate this amazing growth into a super fan. Again, you don’t need very many to do some incredible things. To me, honestly, I’m going to stop talking just to give you some the ability to redirect this if you’d like, but this is to me the way that you future-proof your business. This is business insurance, because the truth is, algorithms are changing all the time. Social media platforms are changing all the time. There’s new ones coming up, old ones die. We all thought MySpace was going to be around forever. I’m actually thankful that it’s not because I could only deal with so much glitter on a page, but I’m so thankful to have fans because no matter what happens, even if all the social media accounts go away, even if my website were to go away, I still have my fans and they’re going to still back me up wherever. So that’s the importance of this and why I think we need to talk about it. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. So when we think about people that have professional service businesses, so counseling, coaching, highly skilled, highly educated, I know you’ve helped so many people, you’ve interviewed so many people, when you think of a professional service person, what are, what’s some low-hanging fruit that is like, here’s five things or a handful of things that like you could start doing today to help building those super fans, to start building those super fans? [PAT FLYNN] It makes me, what it makes me think about, like when I hire a professional or I work with a professional, there are some professionals that are great, that I love, that I would recommend and there are others that obviously are not. So what’s the difference here? I think we have to start from the beginning. I think the number one thing is connection, having a person understand that you know what they’re going through. When you can nail that, as I like to call the lyrics, going back to the music situation, when you can nail the lyrics that a person will respond to, they’re more likely to continue to come back and to continue to refer. You could have the best solution in the world, you could have the best expertise, but if you don’t speak the same language, you’re not going to connect and it’s not going to work and you’re definitely not going to get that recommendation and you might not get that person to come back. So nail those lyrics. And of course, it’s important to know what the problems are that you’re solving, but the language is even more important. I think it was Jay Abraham, a very famous marketer who once said, if you can define the problem better than your target customer, they’re going to automatically assume you have the solution. A lot of practices and businesses in general that I see with websites and even sales pitches and whatnot, it’s like, okay, look at me, here are my credentials, me, me, me. It’s like, okay, cool. Well, everybody else is talking about how awesome they are too. But if you can switch it to go, okay, well, before I talk about myself, like what do you need help with? Let’s sort of narrow down the focus to you, then it becomes much, much more likely that this person’s going to go, oh, you actually care about me, let’s move forward. That’s one thing we can do is just nail that language, if you will. Another thing that I think is really important is this idea of the small quick win. Now we might want to change people’s lives, and I hope many of us do with the practices and the businesses that we have, but here’s the thing, in order to change a person’s life, we can start by changing their day first. So a lot of times I see this, especially in fitness, it’s like, okay, we’re going to help you lose 50 pounds. We’re going to run a marathon in a year. That’s a very, very heavy feeling. But let’s break it down. Let’s just get off the couch tomorrow and just walk across the block and see how you feel after that. Or hey, you want to change your diet? Okay, cool, but let’s start with this week just cutting out sugar for one week and seeing how you feel after that. So taking these big things and making them a little bit more achievable, like the first level of a video game, can you imagine a video game, any video game where the first level is like too difficult? Well, you’re done playing. How are games designed? They’re designed to actually hook you in. Like the first level of Angry Birds is you have three angry birds on the left-hand side, you have one bad piggy on top of this building, you hit any part of it, you’re going to win. Then of course they have the lights and the sounds and the points, and then later on you forget to pick up your kids at school because you’re at level 45. This is the thing that has to happen, small quick wins. In fact, you could write articles that answer questions, that’s a quick and easy way to provide small, quick wins. You could simply flip the switch to, well, what’s your most pressing thing right now that’s holding you back? Okay, let’s solve that problem. Even if you do it for free now, this person’s going to come by and go, wow, I’ve already gotten a reward. There’s some psychology here. There’s the reptilian part of our brain that when we get in a reward from somewhere, we continue to go back, we continue to go back, we continue to go back, but if we try too heavy too soon, it’s not going to work. So focus on those small quick wins. Then finally, oh, go ahead. No, go ahead. [JOE SANOK] I was just, I just wanted to say, so it’s like I’ve been working with Rolfer down in San Diego and she in the first session was like, I want to see you stand. I do standing-desk all day long and she’s like, you lock your knees. So even just as you were talking, I’m thinking, okay, I’m not locking my knees. She gave me that quick win and it’s like, I’m going to go see her a ton more times because in that first session it was like, here’s the one little thing you can do every single day and it’s going to remind me of her as well. So yeah, I didn’t, I just wanted to throw that in there. You said you had one more. [PAT FLYNN] Yeah, I have one more. Although on top of that, I will say using again, the internet, there’s really easy ways to provide a small quick win. Let’s say that you have an email list. Your very first email should be one that blows people away, that gives them something that they can do within 10 minutes or so. I think that’s really key. We’ll talk about more strategies for email and what messages to share in a little bit when we sort of climb this pyramid and get from people who just found you to super fan. But the other thing, and this is really key, is to be yourself, is to embrace your weird. I always say that because I’m super weird. I have back to the future memorabilia everywhere in this place, and that’s just something that’s unique about me. On one hand it’s like, okay, well what does that have to do with entrepreneurship or your business or whatever you see, like helmets back here, just as, I’m a super nerd from the 80s. This is, I game all that stuff. That has nothing to do with entrepreneurship or business. But here’s the thing, it has everything to do with who I am and I want to build a relationship with people. This is stuff that we know about each other as friends, and the more that I can bring my personality, I’m not saying you have to like tweet about what you have for breakfast every morning, but who makes you or what makes you you? That should come out in your practice. If it’s in person, like throw some artwork on there about your favorite, whatever. It can spark a conversation. It can get people to know you. In fact, a lot of the people who I started focusing on when I was learning business back in the day, I focused on, not because they had the best information, but because I just connected with them as people. For example, there was a guy named Jeremy Shoemaker who had a website called The Shoe Money. He, every once in a while, would blog about the latest UFC fight. At the time I was into UFC and I thought that was like, wow, that’s really, really cool. He would often tie it into the practices that he was teaching as well, which is really interesting. So again, this allowed me to sort of become a real person because people connect with other people. They don’t want the information, they want the result, but they don’t want to get taught to, they want to learn from somebody. So this is where the relationship that you build comes into play and the personality and all that stuff. That can be a little unnerving for some, it can be a little bit uncomfortable. It’s like, well, what if people don’t like me because of a certain thing? I know we get in our own way with that regard sometimes, but the truth is, you’re going to get people to like you even more. You have to make some common-sense decisions, obviously. Like I wouldn’t necessarily throw out your political statements everywhere or that thing. But what makes you you, why don’t people know that? This is how you differentiate yourself from others. Because the truth is you are your own advantage. You are a hundred percent original. Nobody’s like you. I think online we often approach the online space with, ooh, I can hide a little bit. I can only, I can put like only the things that I think people would want to see. But I’m here for the long-term with my audience and I know you are too with your clients and such, so yeah, don’t be afraid to put yourself into your work [THERAPY NOTES] As a therapist, I can tell you from experience that having the right EHR is an absolute lifeline. I recommend using Therapy Notes. They make billing, scheduling, note-taking, telehealth and e-prescribe incredibly easy. Best of all, they offer live telephone support that’s available seven days a week. You don’t have to take my word for it. Do your own research and see for yourself. Therapy Notes is the number one highest rated EHR system available today with a 4.9 out of 5 stars on and on Google. All you have to do is click the link below or type promo code [JOE] on their website over at and receive a special two-month trial absolutely free. Again, that’s and use promo code [JOE] on the website. If you’re coming from another EHR, Therapy Notes will also import your demographic data quick and easy at no cost so you can get started right away. Trust me, don’t waste any more of your time and try Therapy Notes. Just use promo code [JOE] at checkout. [JOE SANOK] So you said we’re climbing the pyramid, Pat, so take us up a little bit on that pyramid, so you start to build that connection. Where does it start to really transition into super fans? [PAT FLYNN] Yeah, so there’s, it doesn’t happen right away. There’s some stuff in between. This is where community really comes into play. I mean, we’re all here connecting right now. This is a sense of community and a sense of belonging and the cool thing about community is it’s not just now interaction and engagement between you, the person and your audience. It’s actually interaction amongst each other. You had mentioned earlier that I had streamed for 365 days on YouTube. Thank you for sharing that. We finished the other day, it feels really great. But the cool thing was I started to notice not just people were showing up for me, but that there was actually more value because of people finding each other. This is the cool thing, people want to belong. People want a sense of belonging. That’s all people want to be, is to be heard and to be loved and when you can facilitate those interactions, just like you are doing right now here, it can do nothing but elevate your brand. I remember going to a conference once and, whenever I go speak somewhere, I usually run out a restaurant or something and I bring fans and other people there who might have some fun meeting me and getting to know each other. I remember one time it was like four hours we were having pizza and beer and at the end of the night there was this one woman there who I didn’t even see the entire night. I went up to her and I apologized and I was like, ” I’m so sorry that we didn’t get a chance to talk. Maybe we can chat later.” She’s like, “Pat, no offense, but I didn’t come here to see you.” I was like, dang. She was like, “No, no offense. I listen to your show every day, but I never am able to find other people like me. I can’t talk about business with my husband, I can’t talk about business with my kids. This is exactly what I needed.” That taught me, wow, the more I cannot just show up myself, but bring a space that’s comfortable for people to come into and share with each other, they often say that people come for the content, but they stay for the community and you can build that into your stuff too. From there, naturally some people are going to become super fans. But there’s one other thing that you can do. You can create memorable moments by surprise. This is what gets people to really, really get to that super fan level. It’s the difference between, let’s say you have a spouse, you go to bed with them every night, you say, “Goodnight, honey, I love you. Goodnight honey, I love you. Goodnight honey, I love you.” t just becomes routine. It doesn’t mean it means less, but it feels like it means less because it’s just expected. But it’s that time you go into her office at 3:48 PM on a Tuesday with a box of chocolates and some flowers and she goes, “Why did you do this?” You go, “For no reason, just because I love you.” Bam, that’s what gets remembered. That’s what gets talked about. That’s what gets the other people in the office to go, man, I miss, I wish my spouse did that for me. Like those little things go a very long way. We have access to something on our phones, direct messages to our audience where we can send them little messages of surprise. I swear if you do this every Friday for 30 minutes, it’ll change your business. You reach out to people in a direct message on Instagram who has recently commented or who follow you and just send them a message for no other reason than to just stay connected. You just let them know, “Hey, I see you. I hope you’re well. If there’s anything I can do for you, I’m here for you.” This blows people’s minds. This absolutely knocks their socks off. Nobody else is doing that. Number two, to know that you are thinking about them, how could they not stick around? So try using those practices. It’s cheap, it’s free, it just takes a little bit of time. Every Friday I’m walking my dog, I’m just out doing this, hey, it is just so fun and people respond right away. It’s so cool. [JOE SANOK] Ah, so awesome. All right, Billy Eldridge you are a Killin’It Camper. You are one of our podcasters. How are you doing Billy? What’s your question? [BILLY ELDRIDGE] Doing great. Thanks for the opportunity. Good to see you guys. [JOE SANOK] Oh, Brandy as well. What’s up Brandy? [BRANDY ELDRIDGE] Good. [BILLY ELDRIDGE] So just, you answered a lot of our questions and what you just said, but we have a small podcast, Brandy and I called Beta Male Revolution. We talk, our topics are more existential life growth stuff and we’ve had a hard time monetizing it. We have about 150 to 200 listeners per podcast and we’ve just stalled out on growing it. It’s been a sizable financial investment and time investment so we’re trying to figure out where to go from here on growth. We’ve talked to Joe about rebranding but just looking for some encouragement because it’s just after a year, we’re about, right out about 10,000 listens overall and 50 episodes in we’ve lost our fire so it unmonetized itself. [PAT FLYNN] Well, let me give you some fire for you to bring some perspective. 200, 150 to 200 people per episode, imagine getting into a room every week with 150 actual human beings because guess what, those listeners are actual human beings. Of course, if you were in a real room with them, you’d be able to chat further with them to interact with them. How are we trying to do that on the podcast? Have you actually gone deep and heavy into who are those listeners? What are their names? What are their problems? What are their struggles? When you do that, you can then determine maybe what other podcast episodes that you can create that will in fact resonate with them, which will then attract more people. You’re going to build super fans in those interactions which will attract more people. You start to realize that you don’t have to guess when you have even a small group of people that you can interact with. So work really hard to try to get those people who are listeners to try to get in contact with them, email list, et cetera. That’s sort of like mindset framing, number one. Number two, in terms of monetization, obviously if you understand more about their problems, I mean, what if you beta tested a group of a few of those people to run through a new program or some coaching, whatever they need. I don’t know, you can take the guesswork out again by relying on them in fact, and having this relationship where you both help each other out. Thirdly, in terms of monetization you probably don’t have enough to have sponsorships and advertising, which is typically where people start with monetization. But you could try like selling your own products if you have any, or bringing people into some sort of way to level up into some of the other stuff that you have. Affiliate marketing can be a part of the situation too. Or there’s even a fourth option called Patreon, which is where people support you through just because they’re fans of yours. But I think that really where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck is really diving deep into like, let’s make the focus of the next month. Who are these listeners and what can best serve them? That in of itself, when you hear people go, wow, I love your show, I listen to it all the time, it’s really affected my life, now it doesn’t even matter how many you’re listening, let’s just get more. Now you can remember the reasons why you did this in the, in the first place. That, and also, here’s the thing, anybody who has a podcast, the best way to grow right now is to be a guest on other people’s shows. Because not only will you show up in a place where people already have their app open, which is a struggle, that’s a friction. That’s why social media doesn’t work very well for growing a podcast because you got to get people to click on this then this, then hit play. They weren’t there to do that in the first place. People listening to a show and you’re getting endorsed by somebody, that goes so, so long. That’s an evergreen episode that’ll help drive more traffic and listeners to your show too. So hopefully that helps. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. All right, we’re going to go to Sue and then we’ll go to Choya. Sue, what’s your question? [SUE] Hi, good morning. You mentioned an email list, can you talk a little bit about how to go about developing that? [PAT FLYNN] Yeah, so an email list is great. Now, if you’re just starting out, you don’t need anything other than just interest from other people and asking them, “Hey, if you want more information like this or if you’d like me to keep you updated, just send me your email and I’ll keep you updated.” That at least gives you validation that okay, you can have something or you have something that in fact people are interested in. Then you can go a little bit bigger. You can sign up with different tools. Joe, I’m sure you have a tool that you recommend for email and you can go through Joe’s affiliate link for that. I have a couple suggestions. I’m an advisor for a company called Convert. I mean, there’s many out there. Then the best way to grow that email list is to, number one, when you get those people who are interested, again, similar to what we just spoke about, dive deep into who those people are, even if you have 10 people reach out to them, get to know them. I still get on a phone call every single month with 10 of my email subscribers who are brand new because I want to know more about what they’re going through, the language they use, like I mentioned earlier and what they want. That’s where you’re going to get a huge, huge amount of advantage over others who aren’t really diving in. But here’s what you do, next on your public platforms, any social media platforms, any blogs, podcast videos, whatever you might have, try to develop a lead magnet. That’s like a giveaway, a PDF, a quick checklist, a quick start guide of something, a small win perhaps that’ll get people to go, oh my gosh, I need that. Here’s my email. You give that to them immediately. Now they’re on your email list and you can follow up with them. The cool thing is you can turn the passive knob up over time and you can have autoresponders, which means emails that you write ahead of time that now get sequentially sent out automatically after new people subscribe. And you can lead people into other parts of your blog or, or your practice. You can eventually, after a couple weeks after warming people up, getting people to know, like, and trust you, send them to a sales page to get involved or call you for an appointment or what have you. That’s essentially how we start that process. Then there’s a million ways to make it more complicated, but we don’t need to get into that right now. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. All right, Choya, go ahead. What’s your question? [CHOYA] All right, how’s it going? How’s it going, Pat? All right, Pat, I’m a big-time fan. I’ve been following you for a while because of, since probably around 14 or 15. Anyway, so I love it when you have Shane and Jocelyn on and you’ve been talking a lot about community lately. My question is, I’ve started a Facebook group to supplement my income as a practitioner and it’s for social workers, and I’ve used it to get business for my practice from another end. But the question is I’m looking for ways in the future on how to monetize this group. For someone who is offering something that’s free on a regular basis, how do, I know you went through that back in the day, how do you make that shift to start monetizing things for that, for a group or for your community? [PAT FLYNN] Yeah, great question. There’s a number of different ways to do this. First of all, Shane and Jocelyn are some of my favorite people. If you want to listen to their story, episode 121 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. They actually are now focusing on memberships and communities as well, so if, in fact, if you’ve been following them, they have more info on that too. But monetization comes from value. When you have something that can save people time, make something more convenient, or help them through some sort of struggle, that’s where it makes sense and is justified to sort of like get a payment. The cool thing about a Facebook group is you have the ability to connect with a load of people at the same time. Here’s one way that I know some people have done it. I have a friend named Nick, is a Facebook ads, Facebook group, a little Meta, but here’s what he does. He does a poll asking people what they want to learn about next. He might pick four or five things and have a poll. So literally the group will decide what that topic is, and then here’s what he does. He does a workshop, a paid workshop. He justifies it because he needs to take the time to put it together and all this stuff, and it’ll help people with whatever the transformation is that they’re asking for. He puts together a workshop, it’s promoted in there, people already have been asking for it, it’s validated from the poll, and then he sells it for probably $49. It’s just a live two-hour, three-hour workshop to run through that thing. Here’s the cool thing. He now has the recording that he sells for $99 later. He actually sells it for more later. So now people are intrigued to come in live because they know they’re going to save money, and then he has this backlog of things that people can get at a higher price so people are buying those things later. But here’s the other thing, you can also include those $99 things that were once $49 as bonuses. Let’s say you’re doing a workshop later or another course launch or something. Hey guys, by the way, we’re going to also throw in $400 worth of workshops, real things that had real value, not just made-up numbers. We’re just going to put them in there for you too. Now people are, this is a lot of value coming their way as a result. That’s one way to do it. Another way to do it would be to, in fact, number one, figure out what their biggest pains are and go, “Hey guys, I’m going to run a little test group. I want to find 10 of you and I’m going to take you through a four-week program that I’m putting together as we go along, so we’re actually building this together. It only costs a hundred bucks, it’ll likely cost hundreds of dollars later, but this is my thanks to you for coming in, but it’s not built yet. Let’s pretest this. You’ll be my founding group, my beta students.” So now you actually can build the thing, whatever it is, a coaching program course or whatever with those people and at the end you get, get them the result. If you got them the result, cool, now you know and have the confidence to sell it, and you’ll have testimonials to go along with it. If it doesn’t work, well, good thing you only tested it with a small group of people. Those are a couple ideas for you. [JOE SANOK] Oh, so awesome. That’s exactly, Pat, what we did with Next Level Practice, where we had our first cohort three years ago where I think cohort 14 or 15 now, 55 bucks a month. Some of you are in cohort one. How many different platforms did we go through in the first month for our webinars? I think it was five or six. Just like, there were ones that you couldn’t do webinars on the iPad and people had set aside time and they’re on the iPad like, this isn’t working. But because they knew they were the beta test group and we were working out the kinks, they were just helping me learn as well. Christie, you are so active in Next Level Practice. I’m so glad that you’re here. Let’s unmute you and hear your question. [CHRISTIE] Awesome. Thanks so much for being here, Pat. I’ve loved learning from you. My question is, speaking of this may just segue from what we were just talking about. I actually just did my first, in the middle of my first, I guess, beta group, that’s something outside of my counseling practice. It was a goal-setting group. So we’re getting towards the end of it and I’ve just realized, I’m like, oh my gosh, I don’t even know what to do next. Should I do this again? Should I, I know I’m definitely going to get feedback from the group about what they loved and what they didn’t, but I would love to hear what you would do if you just finished successfully. I guess we did an eight-week, I guess, mastermind type thing on goal setting, what your suggestion would be to where to go from there. [PAT FLYNN] Great question. Congrats by the way, on nearly getting to the end there. That’s huge. That’s huge. The first thing I would do before getting feedback from the crowd, before checking your revenue or ROI or any of that stuff, is just check in with yourself. This is really important. Did you like it? Is this something that would continue to light you up? Because if it doesn’t, then why would you continue to do that? Like let’s see how this inserts into your own life. And can you imagine doing this a year from now, two years from now, if it does light you up, well then that’s a good sign, that’s a green light to move on to the next step, which would be then to collect that feedback. Really, I would, if it’s a beta group, I don’t know how, how many students do you have in there, Christie? [CHRISTIE] I had about six, six or seven [PAT FLYNN] Six, okay, so this is good because you can actually have like one-on-one conversations with each of them. I think that’s more important than a survey where you don’t necessarily get the right language and it feels very like edited. A person could, like, even if it’s open-ended questions, it could be edited versus, “Hey, I’m going to give you an offboarding call. Like, I want to finish up with you and help you find your next steps,” when in fact, they’re also helping you find your next steps. So they’re going to feel like it’s value to them as well. You probably didn’t even mention that earlier, so it seems like a bonus and what you do is you just ask questions about, like you said, what they liked, what they didn’t like, what they should do next. Because that also is clues for what a secondary product could be for you down the road, like what’s the next set for them. Now you can potentially imagine this line of, okay, this is the first product. Once I get it built out, here’s the second one coming after that, after you automate the first one. So there’s some really cool things that can happen there. Collect the before and after story, have them talk about it and record this by the way, and then ask permission if you can use it. Because these stories, one way to build super fans and to get people excited is to pull the hero stories that come out of your community and spotlight them. This is Donald Miller StoryBrand type stuff, and this stuff works so well. Honestly, they’ll do a better job of selling your stuff than you will just because they were in it. Have them answer questions like, so what were some of the biggest struggles you had before or what were some of the pain points that you were dealing with that made you want to go through this? Now what is life like after achieving these results? Because now people are going to see the before and after and they’re going to go, okay, I’ll have what they’re having, that kind of thing, and they’re going to want to go with you. So this allows you to do that and you can publish those on podcasts, you can share them on blogs or whatever, and make sure to always have a lead magnet pointing to the wait list or the next time this thing’s going to come out. So that way it’s sort of like seating that for the next time, that’s what would be my next step. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. Question in the chat. How do we get it on other podcasts? [PAT FLYNN] Number one, I would focus on, so here’s what often happens, and I know this because I have a podcast and I literally get dozens of people asking to be on my show every day, do not send an email that says, dear host of Smart Passive Income. At least use a person’s name number one. That’s number one. Number two, I wouldn’t even say it that way. I would try to develop a relationship first. In fact, it’s so easy when you have a relationship first. Now you might not have a relationship, in which case you might have a relationship with somebody who does have a relationship. So get a referral or get a introduction if you know. One thing to do would be to go into their backlog of podcasts to just see who else has been on the show. You might know somebody and that would be potentially your way in. Thirdly or whatever number we’re on, know what your superpower is because the truth is if you approach it as, “Hey, can I be on your show,” you’re taking a very self-centered approach to that versus you need to take the opposite approach, “I’ve noticed that you haven’t spoken about this topic. I can help you and your audience fill in those gaps for you.” Quick story, there’s a woman who was wanting to start a podcast in dog training. She didn’t know how she was going to compete with all these other dog trainer podcasts that were already out there. So we had to figure out what her superpower was that she was going to own. She decided that she was really good at helping people who had very violent dogs, like very vicious, rabid dogs. That was her specialty. She didn’t really know that was her thing, but it was something she was good at. But we positioned herself as the expert on that. Now it’s so easy for her to be a guest on these other shows. They actually welcome her. They’re no longer competitors, they’re now complimentary because they don’t have that focus. Now what happens is when people go, “Hey Jim, do you have anybody who can help me? My dog’s pretty violent.” “Oh, you should listen to the episode with Amy because Amy’s the expert on that.” So this is how you can break in, knowing what your superpower is, how it fits into an another person’s catalog and then you can go that way. [JOE SANOK] Love it. All right, another question, if you want to start a business that is passive, what’s your best advice for finding someone who will run the business for you as well as you would be as the owner, you would be the owner? [PAT FLYNN] There’s a book called Rocket Fuel that is absolutely life changing. This book talks about the idea of a relationship between two people that need to happen in order for a business to thrive. This is where passive can come from because you’ll see in just a moment. This is the relationship between the visionary, so the entrepreneur who has ideas, who’s forward thinking, who’s just like crazy and wants to do all the things, which is, I know that’s me and I know that’s probably many of you. Then the person on the other end is the integrator. So the visionary, the integrator, the person who’s showing up, who maybe is like, if you imagine a newscaster, they’re showing up, they’re reading the cues, they’re the person that everybody sees on TV, but in their ear there’s a person backstage who’s actually running the show. Now you can just show up and essentially be the talent or share your expertise. That’s what you need, this book again, called the Rocket Fuel and it’s the visionary integrated relationship. Sometimes they’re also known as the online business manager, a right-hand person who can help you. I found my right-hand person in 2014, his name is Matt Gartland. I’m at a point now where all I have to do is I can come up with the ideas he creates the plan for it. When we’re executing on things, I’m only doing the things that only involve me. It’s just such a beautiful situation. It is definitely a person worth their weight and gold, though they’re not cheap, but they can completely change the game. If you can’t hire or find somebody like that, at least find out, okay, what are the things that you can write down that maybe are things that need to happen in your business but you don’t want to do or shouldn’t do? The second one is the kicker. What are some things in your business that you’re probably doing that you shouldn’t do? This is the difference between scrappy entrepreneur who wears all the hats and the CEO of your company. We want to be more on the CEO side of things. [JOE SANOK] All right, awesome. Nikisha, you’re up. [NIKISHA] Yes. Hi, thanks so much Pat, this is just amazing to be in the room with you, so we just really appreciate you, Joe, doing this. I just want to ask you, what did you do early on in your career and transitioning to entrepreneurship that just really changed the game for you? What was that thing that, and maybe personally or professionally that was a game changer in your career for you? [PAT FLYNN] Thank you. I’ll tell you a personal story, when I was a kid, I would come home from school with a Math test of a 97% score. That’s pretty good. But unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough. My dad would work with me for the next three hours on all the three problems that I had got wrong until I got it right because I had to be perfect. When I got laid off and I learned to become an entrepreneur, it was very, very clear to me that my perfectionism would be the thing that would hold me back. I had to learn my way out of perfectionism and realize that failure is actually awesome because when you reach those failure points, those become lessons learned. I mean, if there were 50 hours, we wouldn’t have enough time to talk about all my failures, honestly, but there are so many that have taught me how to pivot, which direction to move, what not to do anymore. True failure is just giving up after reaching a blockage of some kind. So I mean, I could tell you about the time I spent $15,000 trying to build a software without validating it first and completely being a waste of time. The moment that I built a relationship with somebody without doing my due diligence and them turning their back on things and actually almost ruining my entire business because of that, there are so many failures, but all of them have turned into something beautiful on the other end. So that’s sort of like the biggest thing is just realizing that failure is okay. I had to unlearn that because I was conditioned and I know many of us are because A+, that’s what we want, 4.0, that’s a hard thing to get over, especially if you’re my age and that’s how you grew up. So failure’s okay and the thing that got me through that was talking to other people who failed too, which is why groups and cohorts like this is really great because you can all sort of like feed off of each other and go, oh, I’m not alone in this. Okay, let’s work through this together. That’s the other thing, I was a shy kid and as a result of that, I never wanted to meet new people, talk to other people. I was always in the back of the class, never raised my hand but as an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the other people who I’ve connected with. So now, even though I’m still an introvert, I’m still afraid. I, if I’m at an event, I implore the three second rule, the three second rule. If I see somebody and I know I should probably say hi, I don’t give myself more than three seconds to psych myself out. I develop a relationship and I see what I can do to help them first. I get interested in them and in turn I get interested back. This is the sort of key here, stop trying to be so interesting and start getting interested and it always comes back, so those two things hopefully can help you. [JOE SANOK] Awesome. Pat, just want to give you a chance in the last minute to give any closing inspiration. Thank you so much Pat, for hanging out with us today. This has been amazing and you’re such a giver and I appreciate your work so much and appreciate you just investing in this community. Closing words for our audience here. [PAT FLYNN] First of all, thank you so, so much for having me, Joe. It’s just been an honor and to all of you with practices and your places online and off, I just wish you the best of luck. I’m excited to see how you enjoy super fans and you read through that. I’m sure there’s a few tips that you might be able to pick up from there. To quickly answer Rebecca’s question here, I saw in the chat she’s feeling overwhelmed because there’s a lot of emails in everybody’s inbox. How do we stand out? How do we not just be like another person in the inbox that is just blending into everybody? The way that I approach that is how can you set up upfront, even before they’re on your email list or within the first emails that they get, that even though these are just emails, yours, they cannot miss. If you take that approach well that’s going to provide the content that you need to have that effect where you can stand out. Of course, subject lines and all those tactics are very important too, split testing if you wanted to go down that route but have emails worth opening. Like, let’s set, let’s claim that. Let’s prove that and let’s just make that the habit that people have when they, whenever they see your emails. So anyway thank you so much., Smart Passive Income Podcast, the ASPA podcast, and a billion other things. Anyway, all that stuff’s connected there. And Joe, thank you again. Thank you everybody for the kind words and I appreciate you. [JOE SANOK] Well, thank you so much for hanging out with us today and listening to this Ask the Expert. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. It was just an amazing time. If you want to join our membership community for solo practices we’re going to be opening that back up in March. Make sure you’re on that wait list so that you get all those emails and information. We’re going to be doing some open houses where you can ask questions before you sign up. But that’s going to be in March that that opens back up so now’s the time to put your name on that list over at, where you can request to be invited into Next Level Practice when that opens up next. Also, we could not do this show without our sponsors. Our sponsors help really us be able to do such creative and innovative shows here. Therapy Notes is our sponsor today. They are the leading electronic health records out there. Use promo code [JOE] at checkout to get some free months and they’ll also help you transition from your current EHR. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for that intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers or guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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