Have you ever wondered what makes Pat Flynn such a likable, personable, and not to mention, wildly successful entrepreneur and online personality?
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
Succeeding in online business isn't easy to do, but there's one guy who makes it so easy a caveman could do it. The first time I saw him speak, the emcee stood at the front of the room and asked the audience to raise our hands if we've been positively impacted by this person. Almost every hand in the standing-room-only presentation hall went up.
Pat Flynn has been doing online business since he was laid off in 2008 from his architecture job. Anyone who does business online or has an interesting in affiliate marketing and passive income can tell you Pat's story. We can also tell you where he lives, what video games he likes, and even what his favorite movie is.
No, we're not all internet stalkers.
We're all Pat Flynn's raving fans.
Over the past few years, I've had the chance to meet Pat multiple times. Here we are at New Media Expo in 2014…
and again at Podcast Movement 2015…
and I even got to have him on my podcast when I was just getting started! You can find that episode here.
I don't show you these pictures to brag (ok, maybe a little), I show you because Pat has been able to elevate himself to near rock star status using the tools I'm about to share with you. These 9 tactics have built Pat an audience in the hundreds of thousands, helped him generate millions of dollars in affiliate income, and help him become one of the most sought-after speakers in the world.
How Pat Flynn Creates Raving Fans
1: Define the Problem
Pat introduced me to the concept of defining the problem in his “session” 46 with Dane Maxwell, owner of The Foundation. I remember eating my lunch outside the cafeteria on the first floor of my office at Dell and listening to this episode. I knew I was hooked when I heard Dane quote Jay Abraham, saying,
If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they will automatically assume you have the solution.
Pat Flynn has become an expert at defining problems. He's created loyal, raving fans by defining a problem so well that they assume he has the answer. And, he usually does.
Whatever the problem your audience, clients or customers are facing, define it down to the last detail. Whether it's about creating transparency surrounding online business, the strategies you use and the income you make or about how to start a high-quality podcast for less than $200, be specific.
2: Put Some “You” Into Your Brand
The first thing you'll see when you go to the about page on Pat's site (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/about/) is a picture of him and his family. Pat knows his brand is about him and his family makes him who he is.
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Pat also has a fantastic podcast that continuously tops the iTunes charts. Instead of a static introduction to every episode, Pat has the announcer share random fact about him. That's how I know he never beat Oregon Trail. What a great and fun way to put some “you” into your brand!
3: Be Human
I remember watching one of Pat's broadcasts on Periscope a few months ago. He was playing the piano and his young son Keoni walked in playing with cars or a toy light saber or something. Pat was telling the viewers about his favorite pianist and how much he loved his music.
With a look of deep concern on his face, Keoni tugged on Pat's shirt and whispered,
Daddy, you said the naughty word!
It doesn't get more human than that.
4: Harness the Power of the Quick, Small Win
If you focus on helping your audience get quick, small wins, you'll build a following of raving fans.
Some of the most effective opt-ins are the ones which offer checklists or resource guides. These quick tips help move the needle for people very quickly. In the restaurant business, food court samples provide quick wins. Free consultations and $15 off your first month of service are also tactics you can use to help people fast.
Of course, you have to back up the quick wins with something of real value and substance, but the small win is something you should consider when helping your fans.
5: Don't Just Ask Questions, Ask for Answers
Most people try to show their expertise by sharing the answer to questions. How to solve ___. 8 Ways to Eliminate ___.
But Pat suggests we also ask for answers. He says your audience wants to share their answers and their expertise, and it's true! We all want to be seen as a trusted resource and as an expert at something. So, if you're in a position to make other people look good and add value to other members of your audience, you should.
6: Give a Factory Tour
Everybody loves a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. When I was in college, I had the opportunity to tour the Tabasco factory on McIlhenney Island in southern Louisiana. Though I’m not a fan of Tabasco sauce, I still remember the tour.
Your audience, customers, and clients would love to see “behind the curtain” and get to know more about how you do business. Transparency in how and why you do business will help you sell the what of your business. Don’t be afraid to give people a factory tour. Show them the tools you use, how you plan your day, and hold little back.
You don’t have to give away all of your secrets, but giving people a peek into how you do your magic is a powerful thing.
7: Create Gigs
Pat Flynn and Cliff Ravenscraft are friends, so it's no wonder they'll both tell you to create opportunities for your clients, customers, subscribers, listeners, etc., to meet and get to know one another.
Just as people want to see their favorite band play and sing along with their favorite songs, the people who follow you and your business want to see what you're up to. It's for this reason that so many companies have started hosting multi-day conferences for their clients to see what's happening, get to know one another, and feel like they're part of the story. Combine your gig with an exclusive factory tour and BAM, raving fans!
8: Reach Out
Have you ever heard your name mentioned on a popular podcast, radio show, or TV show? It's intoxicating!
Find a way to highlight your most active community members and they'll become your raving fans. My friend and fellow blogger Joe Lalonde does a great job of this over on his leadership blog. People love seeing their names on the sites they follow and they'll love the recognition.
If you have a physical store, try emailing your subscribers about your featured partner of the month or your #1 fan on social media. The TV show Bones does this every week after every episode where they feature their fan of the week.
9: Create Memorable Moments
One of my most popular podcast episodes was #49. In that episode, my wife, Ashley, interviewed me and we discussed the unfavorable circumstances under which I found myself unemployed and unemployable. There were tears and raw emotions; it was a truly unfiltered look at our lives. And, it was memorable.
No other episode has resulted in so many supportive calls, emails, and private messages from listeners. That episode stands out because it was memorable, it provided a “factory tour” of our marriage, and it was incredibly human.
Or, you could do what Taylor Swift did in 2014 and stalk your fan's on social media.
In preparation for her upcoming album, Taylor decided to generate buzz, show her human side and create incredibly memorable moments for some of her fans. She stalked her fans on social media, found out what they liked, and sent them a big box of goodies with their favorite things inside. Some of the unboxing videos found their way to the internet and every Taylor Swift fan got to share in the excitement.
Over to you! How are you building an audience and creating raving fans? Share your best tip in the comments below.