1. Tell us what’s going on with your business now?
So many things. I just released a new podcast actually. I don’t know if you know about this, but I had a very successful podcast called, The Smart Passive Income Podcast, eight million downloads, and in the past, I used to add voicemail questions from the audience at the end of the shows, but it would kind of extend the length of the episode, it would change the topic of it, so I stopped doing that, but so many people wanted that part of the show, I actually created another show that was just that. Now I’m answering voicemail questions from the audience on a show called Ask Pat, at AskPat.com. I just launched it a month and a half ago and it just passed a half a million downloads, I’ve got sponsors for the show now, we have a t-shirt that we actually send out to people whose questions get featured and I have dozens of questions coming in every day.
What I love the most about it is not only am I answer questions, which also as a side benefit to me, I get to answer emails by just saying, “Hey, listen to this episode,” so I’m alleviating my emails there.
I get to feature a lot of my audience, my community, and so people in my community, even though they might not get featured, they might be like, “Oh, I’m not alone, I have that same question.” When you feature one person in your audience, they sort of represent everybody and it allows you to create a deeper connection with your audience that way.
2. I’m sure that a lot of your audience is like me. When I listen to you, I’m out running, that’s when I’m listening to you, I’m working out or I’m running, I’m doing stuff like that. The other night I heard you, the other evening I was running, and your interview, I think it was a magician from Europe, that was a great one.
Yes, Ken Kelly from the UK. It’s funny you mention that you listen to me while on a run because a lot of people do that. That’s what I love about podcasts, better than video and better than blog posts, people can consume your content on the go, in the car, on the way to work, on the way back from work, at the gym, on a walk, wherever. I must have traveled to every country in the world, I must have ran at least 10 billion miles with all the, as much company as I’ve been giving people through my podcast.
3. Tell me what kind of reception you’ve gotten from those.
I created a tutorial for people just wanting to get into podcasts, PodcastingTutorial.com, totally free, no emails or anything, and the reason for that is because I’ve just benefited so much from my own podcast that I wanted people to not have anything holding them back from starting their own. The only thing that’s required of people who take that course, is that they commit to it, because it is a commitment. I must have helped over 1,000 people start their own podcast, be able to share their voice and get comfortable with sharing their voice and making an impact on the world through the power of podcasting. Just podcasting in general, there’s nothing like it. I talked about videos and blog posts, maybe people will spend 10 minutes reading one, but people will spend 45 minutes to an hour listening to you. Their earbuds are in their ears and nothing else but your voice is in there. It’s so powerful and that’s why actually my presentation here at Social Media Marketing World is about how to get your podcast to the top. It’s done so much for me, not just being able to connect with my audience, not just building a better, not just getting more traffic, but actually it’s led to book writing opportunities, it’s led to more public speaking opportunities, it’s actually also helped me land a little bit of a role in Hollywood, too.
4. Tell us about that.
A Hollywood producer found my podcast on iTunes, reached out to me and said he’s doing an independent movie, he wanted some help running a social media campaign and I’m sort of a movie-file so I was like, “Yes! I’m totally for this.” I got to go on set and be in the movie and do the social media marketing campaign, I helped grow their social media page or their Facebook page from 1,000 people when I came on to 200,000 people. The movie wasn’t like a blockbuster movie, it was a very cult movie in the lacrosse industry actually, it’s called The Crooked Arrows, but anyway, it’s gotten sort of my foot in the door with Hollywood. Now I’m actually working with some Hollywood stars who are somewhat popular, helping them with their social media and also being able to be backgrounds in their movies, too.
5. This is my take, is some people might see you, you’re a giant in this field of podcasting, and people see you that way, how can the ordinary business person or somebody who wants a niche and really get it down in one specific area, how can podcasting help their business?
There’s nothing like the power of the human voice and if you have an audience of any type, no matter how big it is, you are not making a deep enough connection with them if you’re not using your voice. Even with podcasting and being able to, like I said, talk to them for an hour every day, I mean, your brand, your business, your message is in their lives every day. I mean, you said I was on a run with you. I mean, people listen to me daily, it’s a part of their routine. Any brand would kill for that sort of brand exposure and podcasting is definitely the way to do it. It’s a little bit technical, but once you get over those technical boundaries, there’s nothing like it, it has absolutely changed my business in ways I wouldn’t have ever dreamed.
6. It seems to me you had a, lack of a better term, a little reluctance to try to monetize your podcast and I sort of saw, and almost like you were almost embarrassed by it in some ways. How is that going for you? How is that being received?
Well, in episode 97, I talked to John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire and I told him that for the longest time, I was against having sponsors for my show because I wanted it to be completely free and the sponsors that were interested in sponsoring my show wanted to change the show, they wanted to have a minute up front, and a minute in the middle, and a minute at the end, and it was just not the way I wanted my listeners to experience it.
But I did connect with some companies who I’ve worked with in the past who I use, whose services I use, who are willing to work with me in putting the sponsorships at the end of the show. My take was, if people listen all the way to the end, those are going to be the more engaged people, they’re the ones that are most likely to take action and an ad spot at the beginning of the show, it’s going to be forgotten after people listen all the way through. This is AudioBooks.com, actually, that was willing to work with me and they just actually have expressed interest in re-signing the contract for an extended period of time with me. It’s been going very well. I mean, it’s money in my pocket that wouldn’t have come if I didn’t just realize that there were companies out there willing to work with me and it was because I expressed, this is the way I want it and this is the way it has to be, are you willing to work with me? Some companies weren’t, but I’m very happy to be working with the ones that are.
7. If you’re starting off as a podcaster, what recommendations do you give the podcasters on how to expand that audience, how to grow that audience?
One great thing to do is to bring guests on your show, because when you bring guests on the show, they are the featured person and they are more than likely to share your podcast with their followers, too. Not only are you going to get in front of an audience that you would’ve never gotten in front of before, that connection you made with that person, I mean, you’re talking to them for half an hour to 45 minutes, I mean, that’s huge and you have that relationship that can build and turn into other things, too.
So I think the number one best tip is to just connect with people who are influencers in your brand, in your niche, have them come on your show, feature them, highlight them, and work off of that networking and that connection that starts from there.
8. So how important is it that people speak in their own style and their own voice and be themselves? How important is that?
I mean, I think it’s absolutely crucial because nobody likes a fake, you have to be you. I mean, that’s the best thing about what we do is nobody is like any one of us, we are ourselves, nobody is like us. We have to use us to our advantage. I mean, there’s so many people getting into podcasting now, there’s so many people into blogging, so many people into YouTube videos, the best advantage you have is you and what you are and the experiences you’ve had and that you’ve shared. The more you can become a real person online, the better chance you have of making that real connection that people can connect with.
People come up to me at conferences, they’re like, “Pat, how is your fantasy football team doing?” I’m like, “I don’t want to talk about that right now because it was a bad season,” but they knew that I was a fantasy **** [0:08:36.9] or they know that I’m afraid of spiders or they know that I was in marching band, these things that on the surface may seem like they have nothing to do with my business, but everything to do with building a real relationship, because that’s me. Therefore, it actually has everything to do with building a business.
Watch our video interview with Pat Flynn at Social Media Marketing World