The lifeblood of your business is the strength of your audience and the number of people you can impact on demand. Pat Flynn is an expert at getting and keeping raving fans, and on this episode of Freedom Fast Lane, Ryan Daniel Moran dives into what Pat does and doesn’t do as a way of monetizing his audience.
Pat’s income reports are 6-figures a month, but don’t include products or courses, and he believes that just because you can launch something doesn’t mean you should. There has to be a sensitivity of trust that has been built, so it is best to be wary about releasing something. There is a solid income from affiliate commissions in sharing product recommendations not on what you must use but rather a process. Through the process, the tools and services come to light and are pre-vetted.
Money and success have a history of changing people, but Pat is aware he needs to retain who he is for the sake of his audience and family.
Playing the Long-Term Game
Before doing anything now, Pat asks himself how his audience would respond, and tests and validates the ideas with audience members beforehand via Skype. This gives the audience the ability to provide direction, which empowers them and enables them to become even bigger fans. This practice is in the monthly schedule to reach out to people and have conversations to keep him in check and on the right path. An important process in the validation process is Pat thinking about what his children will think thirty years into the future.
Filtering Partnership Requests
If a request comes in for a product Pat hasn’t used, then it goes through a different vetting process. If it’s a product that has already been used and liked, then the conversation will be continued and he sees if it the product or tool will benefit the audience. Decisions never start with the commission but rather asking ‘how can that benefit my audience.’ Nothing is ever recommended within two months of getting the offer, as Pat needs to make sure that it helps himself before he truly knows if it will help the audience.
Treat the product as if it is your own so you can make your audience feel more secure about what it is that you are offering. People want to see what they’ll get before they get it, so the cool strategy is to do the unboxing video. ScreenFlow and Camtasia are great ways to share the unboxing to capture the moment. Sometimes recommendations don’t come with an affiliate program, but if the item is helpful for the audience, it will pay you back in some way in the long-term game.
The website is undergoing a huge redesign to better serve the audience and segment them. This will lead into the process of offering courses. In order to lead by example, this is necessary. The big focus is for people to self-segment based on actions and posts they read. This strategy will help personalize information in terms of the kind of content that gets shown on a webpage based on the email list, clicks, and products the reader has. Different content can be shown to different people based on where they are on their individual journey.
The curse of knowledge is that if you know something, it is almost impossible to know what it’s like to not know it. When you teach someone something, it’s hard to get yourself in the learner’s shoes. Taking complicated things and breaking them down in to a way that is easy to understand is Pat’s superpower. When the topic of conversation turns to your niche, yours is the name you want people to talk about.
Virtual Assistant vs. Virtual Team
People are willing to spend money on learning how to do something and not willing to spend on getting it done. Pat’s team is 12 people who work part-time and have their own super power that they contribute to the brand. There is a difference between having a virtual assistant and having a virtual team. A VA doesn’t do anything beyond completing the task you’ve requested and time allotted. A virtual team member, however, will do things without being asked, as they know it will help the business. Pat is now in a position with his team that his project manager finds the people to join the virtual team and Pat does things that only he can do.
The One-Hundred-Million-Dollar Idea
Ryan is convinced Pat is sitting on a one-hundred-million-dollar empire without doing anything that violates the brand that has been built. The vision is that Pat conspires with other thought leaders and he could write a blog post that will put companies on the map. Companies would give equity in order to have the type of exposure Pat can offer. Naturally, there would need to be an extensive vetting process as to what is a fit for the brand and the audience. There is scope for a Shark Tank style empire where there are new brands that are ready to be incubated and pushed out, but don’t have the exposure, so would be willing to give up equity in order to have the impact and ultimate exposure.
Ryan’s Prediction & Diffusion Theory
Ryan believes Pat is one or two strategic relationships away from a personal valuation of $50-100M valuation of a company just by putting them on the map.
Diffusion theory is the way products get into the marketplace, and it starts with early adopters. This is also known as the ‘grind’ and getting enough customers in order to get mass appeal. If you have funding, you can grind a lot faster but have a high burn rate. Going to the ‘customer store’ is partnering with people who have existing audiences and offering a piece of the company in exchange for being put on the map and work equity arrangements with respect to the exposure. This is the way business building is going, as it allows breakthrough companies to be made a lot faster if they are married together with audience providers.
1,000 True Fans
Everyone has an audience. Kevin Kelly’s idea is that if you have 1,000 fans and charge each $100 a year, then you make $100K annually by being the top in a small space and can grow from there. If you are struggling, then narrow down and have your raving fans build the pyramid for you.
Ryan’s Final Thoughts
If you control the eyeballs, you have the freedom and longevity in your business.
Links to Resources:
Made to Stick (book)
Will It Fly? (book)