Pat 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 and AskPat podcasts, which have earned a combined total of over 50 million downloads, multiple awards, and features in publications such as The New York Times and Forbes. He is also an advisor for LeadPages, ConvertKit, and other companies in the digital marketing arena.
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3 Key Points:
- The best way to grow your online business is to get offline and then go out to meet people.
- You have to meet people in person because that’s how you’re going to be remembered, that’s how you’re going to stand out, and that’s how you’re going to learn about what you can do differently to better serve your audience.
- You only make opportunities for yourself when you make opportunities for yourself. Nothing’s going to magically happen. You have to put yourself out there in order to see some results.
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Audio Masterclass Show Notes
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
- Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Grow Your Business By Attending Conferences and Events with Pat Flynn
- [01:38] – Pat shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
- [03:07] – An overview of what will be covered in today’s masterclass
- The importance of live events.
- How to manage live conferences, and how to pick the best ones to attend
- [04:05] – Why should more online business owners get out from behind their computer, get offline, and attend conferences and events?
- The best way to grow your online business is to get offline and then go out and meet people.
- It’s all about the relationships. Every single important thing that has happened in Pat’s life and business has been as a result of the relationships he has built. There’s no easier and better way to build a relationship than in person.
- You have to meet people in person because that’s how you’re going to be remembered, that’s how you’re going to stand out, and that’s how you’re going to learn about what you can do differently to better serve your audience.
- If you are in-person with somebody who’s in your target market, and you ask them what the biggest challenge is for them in their business, then you’ll have the opportunity to get a reply right away and also ask further questions.
- [10:48] – How can people decide which conferences they should go to?
- You have to realize that this is an investment.
- If you have an audience already, ask them what conferences they are planning to go to.
- When you become the reason that your people meet each other, that’s community. Community isn’t just you talking to your audience and your audience talking to you. It’s your audience talking to each other.
- Look for a conference that would be cool for you and for your audience.
- [17:56] – Pat shares some tips – for introverts, too – to help you maximize your conference experience.
- That nervousness or fear just means that it is important to you. So you just have to channel that energy and use it to build relationships.
- Remembering why you’re there and why you’re doing this can help give you that boost you need to go and have those conversations.
- Pat talks about the “3-second rule”
- Saying something in the beginning gets it going. That person is likely just as nervous or introverted as you are.
- Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
- [22:20] – Which conferences have stood out for Pat over the years?
- Social Media Marketing World, which happens in San Diego every year around March.
- The other one is FinCon—a financial blogger conference.
- You only make opportunities for yourself when you make opportunities for yourself. Nothing’s going to magically happen. You have to put yourself out there in order to see results.
- Pat shares a story about attending the Youpreneur event.
- [30:27] – Pat shares some big news!
- Pat will be putting on his first event next year in San Diego near the end of July 2019.
- There will be special guests, but they will be unannounced.
- Visit FlynnCon1 to get on the waitlist and learn more about Pat’s event!
- [35:45] – Pat talks about the announcement he made at Podcast Movement
- Pat has created a podcast with his son about business, life, and personal development.
- It’s called “All of your beeswax”
- [37:58] – Pat’s parting piece of guidance
- Come out with one or two things that you know you now need to do, and make them your priority. Once you do those top two things, which will create a domino effect that will likely make other things happen, it makes it so much easier to focus because there’s a lot that you’ll learn. Unless you start taking action, it will all be for nothing.
John: What is shaking, Fire Nation? JLD here and I’m sure by now you are getting pretty used to me saying that the audio master classes that I have are awesome. Well, I take a lot of time and care in selecting the people to bring to you so they are all awesome. But this one is a little special. There’s few people that I can say had a massive impact on launching Entrepreneurs on Fire and Pat Flynn is one of them. And he is today’s guest.
We are gonna be talking about how to grow your business by attending conferences and events. And Pat is somebody who I’ve attended many conferences with, who I’ve spoken at many conferences with. He’s just an incredible father, husband, and entrepreneur. He lives and works in San Diego. I used to live near him, now I don’t anymore, in Puerto Rico, but we still try and stay in touch as much as possible. I actually had him out to Puerto Rico back in April of 2018 and such a cool time.
He owns a lot of successful online businesses. He’s a professional blogger and keynote speaker and a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and of course he’s the host of Smart Passive Income and Ask Pat podcasts, which have earned a combined total of over 50 million downloads, multiple awards, and he’s been featured in publications like the New York Times and Forbes. And this guy is just the real deal, holy field. Pat Flynn, he was episode No. 1 of Entrepreneurs on Fire. I’m having him back today, well past episode 2000, and we’ll be diving into some great content when we get back from thanking our sponsor.
So Pat, say what’s up to Fire Nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Pat: What up, Fire Nation? Thanks for having me, JLD. Appreciate coming back on again. And as a reminder, which I always have to remind people, I was episode one.
John: One. Literally.
Pat: Episode one. Which you all know, that’s not my fun fact. My fun fact, which is hard for me to think about because at the beginning of all of my shows I put a fun fact about myself that most people usually don’t know about. So I had to dig deep for this one, but this is a good one. It relates to my son Keoni, who you recently met at Podcast Movement, which is super cool. And thank you for the gift you gave him, by the way –
John: Oh, he’s the best.
Pat: – one of your journals. He was the first baby I ever held in my entire life.
John: What? I did not know that.
Pat: I was so scared of breaking other people’s babies that I never held a baby before him.
John: Breaking other people’s babies. I love that phrase. Definitely gonna use that next time somebody tries to hand me their baby and be like I don’t wanna break your baby.
Pat: I literally said that.
John: Oh, Fire Nation. Well, you know Pat Flynn. I gave a killer intro of him, of course, at the beginning of the show. And we are gonna have an amazing audio master class on how to grow your business by attending conferences and events. And there is nobody that I personally know that’s gonna deliver more value on this topic than Pat Flynn. Yes, episode one, and he’s been on a few times as well since then. But now we’re well past episode 2000 and he’s joining us, again, way over 2000 days later, which is super cool, from his first episode. Now, Pat, give us a little teaser, just a little tease of the few of the things we’re gonna chat about today.
Pat: Yeah, so we’re gonna talk about live events, like in-person events, which I know a lot of you attend those, a lot of you are a little apprehensive to go to those. We’re gonna talk about why those are important, but not just why, but what to do when you’re there. I think a lot of people go into those like I’m gonna go watch a few people speak and just kind of hope for the best. But there’s actually strategies and things that you can do while you’re there to maximize the impact that you have in your own business.
And also, finding other relationships that you could start building, too. We’re gonna talk about how to manage those live at conferences like that. And also, how to pick the best ones. And I’m gonna tease a little bit of a something-something that’s happening next year that I’m putting on that I’ve never done before that we’ll talk about later.
John: Fire Nation, you’re gonna wanna stick around for that because what Pat’s going to be talking about later when it comes to what he’s got going on in San Diego 2019, you are not gonna want to miss this opportunity. So definitely stick around for that. But let’s just get into the meat and potatoes of all this jazz. Why should more online business owners actually get out from behind their computer and get offline and attend conferences and attend events? Why?
Pat: I mean, there’s so many different reasons. I once heard that the best way to grow your online business is to get offline and to go and actually meet people. And that’s one of the primary reasons because you’re gonna meet other people in the same space or industry that you’re in. And you know, JLD, how important this is. I know a lot of your Fire Nation listeners know this, too. But it’s all about the relationships. Every single important thing that has happened in my business, in my life, has been a result of the relationships that I’ve built. And there’s no easier and better way to build a relationship than in person because it’s one thing to make friends online, which you should do as well.
And there’s a lot of ways to connect via social media or even having a conversation on Zoom or on a podcast or on Skype. But when you meet somebody in person, there’s a certain vibe that you can get off somebody else that you can take with you after you get back home and then you can form a mastermind group potentially, you can partner up with people, which I’ve seen happen before. Or even just pick people’s brains in person because you guys are sitting down for coffee, or having a meal, or just passing each other through the hallways.
No. 1 reason to go is so that you can build and foster these relationships. That’s before going to conferences to learn. You go to build relationships, which I know makes some of you nervous because that made me nervous, too. Because meeting people in person is a scary thing. This is partly why we become online entrepreneurs so that we don’t have to meet people in person. But you kind of have to meet people in person because that’s how you’re gonna be remembered, that’s how you’re gonna stand out, and that’s how you’re gonna learn about what you’re going to do to better serve your audience.
That’s another benefit. Not just relationships to help you grow your business in terms of partnerships and mastermind groups, but relationships with your audience. So if you go to conferences where your target audience exists, whether you go to speak or just to go attend, you can meet people who you serve. Whether they’re a customer or a subscriber of yours or not, they’re your people. Have conversations with them. They’re gonna wanna be in a conversation just like you wanna be with them and you can do some research.
And I love using those opportunities to ask questions like so, okay, you’re here, you’re learning about – what’s been the biggest struggle for you related to this? Very similar to what you might do in an email or on social media, but in person, a person has to respond, right? It’s not like online where you can send an email and go hey, what are you struggling with and you may or may not get a response back. If you were in person with somebody who is in your target market and you go, what’s been the biggest challenge for you recently about this? It would be weird for them to just not answer and turn around and walk away, right? That’d be actually really rude.
Pat: So you have the opportunity to not just get a reply right away, but also ask further questions. And you’re there and in person, and maybe you’re sharing a meal together or sharing a drink or something. I mean, you get to know the real meat of why a person is either struggling with something or what they need help with or what they’ve tried and didn’t work out. You get to do research while you’re there, too.
And then I think the other reason is because it’s just smart to get away from the computer every once in a while. It’s a nice break from the normal work that we do as online business owners, to go and be there and meet people, but also have fun and get out, get outside and get some – I was gonna say get some sun, but usually it’s like blast AC, not sun. Unless you go to Puerto Rico for a mastermind event of some sort.
John: Right? In a pool.
Pat: In a pool, which we’ve done before and it’s super fun and unique. But, yeah, I mean getting out, just getting out and talking to people. That’s really what this is about.
John: So there’s a lot of things that I took away from that. The two things I really wanna make sure that you, Fire Nation, are really taking in, you go to build and foster relationships. That’s with your peers, that’s with your audience. That allows you to ask those further questions because like Pat said, they’re not gonna walk away from you when you’re face-to-face asking them a question.
And then also, take a break and get out of your common routine, that common circle that you’re in. I mean, I literally am called Bubble Boy in Puerto Rico because we live in this community and I never leave when I’m here. But of course I’m always going out to conferences and places around the world, but I never get out of my little bubble here to go to other places in Puerto Rico. So that’s one thing that we gotta get ourselves out of just that habit, that bubble, Fire Nation, because you can just do so many cool things.
And Pat, real quick I wanna share these two stories because they’re so relevant to you and to conferences and I think they’re so important for a number of reasons. Back in June of 2012, okay, this is three months before I launch my podcast, but I knew I wanted to, I went to BlogWorld in New York City and I went and I watched your talk and a bunch of other people speak as well. And I was just blown away by the content. I loved it. It was at the Javits Center in New York City back in June 2012, like over six years ago. It’s crazy to think.
And then you and Derek Halpern threw a get-together party right on a roof deck overlooking Madison Square Garden. And I got to go because I had hired Jaime Masters as a mentor so she was able to get the invite and I went with her as her guest. And you were there and Derek was there, you guys were surrounded by people that were talking. And I was like wow, that was so awesome. You just presented now he’s just here hanging out like a normal person.
And I’ll never forget this. Truth, true story. And I’ve never mentioned this to you. But I started walking over towards you to just, you know, wait around and stand and then go get a drink and hang out and say hello to you, and you looked over for whatever reason and you kind of just put your arm out, like very open, embracing, like hey, get in here, man. You recognized me because I had asked a question at your talk. And you brought me in and I was just like oh my god, this is amazing. And it was such a cool experience for me.
And then fast forward six months later, I had launched my podcast, I had hired Cliff Ravenscraft to be my mentor and because of that there was a last minute dropout to speak at New Media Expo, January in Las Vegas, January 2013. And I went and I spoke there and I was so freaking out to speak, but what happened? Pat Flynn to the rescue. I wasn’t gonna have a wireless mic, but you had brought yours so you came into my room and you hooked it up. And I was just like oh my god, I went from just being in his presence, in attendance at his talk six months ago to now he’s helping me with my speech. And it was just such a cool experience.
And, Fire Nation, that was all because I got out of my little studio apartment in Maine with my mentor Jaime Masters, who’s a mutual friend of both of ours, and went to these conferences. It was absolutely game-changing. Everything changed for me that day going forward, the credibility, everything. It was so important.
But, Pat, one thing that I wanna share with you right now, and I want you to share specifically with Fire Nation is, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of conferences. I mean, it seems like there’s just more and more building up. Like back when we started there was one or two that were pretty consistent in our industry, then four and five, and then it keeps growing out. So there are a lot. How would you recommend people actually decide which conferences they should go to and actually spend the time and money at?
Pat: Yeah, I mean the tough part about these conferences is that they happen during a specific time of the year, at a specific place, which may or may not be easily accessible to you or affordable. And so you kind of have to realize that this is an investment, No. 1, because these are things that do cost money and time. It’s not just the time at the conferences, but the time to travel there, the time to travel back and realizing that when you get back you’re gonna get back to normal, which takes some time and there can be some transition lull time in there as well. So keeping those things in mind. That combined with where is your target audience if that’s your goal, or the influencers you wanna meet, or the kind of content that you wanna learn. All those things mixed together.
What I would recommend doing is making a list of ones that are possibilities. I would also, if you have an audience already, ask them, email or social media, what conferences are you planning on going to next year? Those would be good targets for you to go okay, well those are the ones I need to research. Maybe you could even speak at some of them too, which you might wanna consider. Speaking has definitely changed my business. I know it’s changed yours as well, JLD.
Pat: And so I’d recommend that. I know another thing that we missed, which is a big benefit of going to conferences, is knowing that if that’s where your target audience exists or some of your fans or people are, putting meetups on. This is something that I learned from you and I mean I guess you learned from me because you talked about that Derek story.
Pat: We kind of learn from each other here. But we bring our fans together and we get them to meet each other. And those are some of the most amazing moments that happen at conferences. It’s a great excuse to put on a little meetup, whether you just get a small space at the conference event for free from – that’s not in use, or you meet in the lobby or something, or you meet at a local restaurant, or you go so far as what Derek and I did, we rented a rooftop bar and you can rent out a restaurant. However you wanna do it. Doesn’t really matter.
What matters is you’re bringing your audience together and you can have this be another reason for your audience to go. And you get to meet them and you get to do that research I was talking about, but you also get your audience to meet each other. And one thing that I’ve definitely realized over time is that when you become the reason that your people meet each other, that’s community. Community isn’t just you talking to your audience and your audience talking to you, it’s your audience talking to each other.
There’s no better way to do that than in person. And it’s a great casual, relaxing, relatively, excuse to get people together versus putting on a giant conference. You can put on a small meetup that is sort of like a side thing that happens during a conference that’s already being put. So it’s another great excuse for people to come and meet you. And that’s how you get your raving fans because they have these experiences that not everybody in your audience has. It becomes a moment to remember, it becomes something that they can talk about, something that they wanna share with people because their other friends didn’t get to go. And so those are all great, great reasons to go to events as well.
But in terms of which events to go to, we kind of covered it already. Topic, obviously, is really important, but influencers that you wanna meet and where are your people at. Those are the main things. And obviously considering location and time and investment, too. But really, it’s just up to you. And I would have conversations with people about conferences they’ve been to and which ones they like and don’t like and why. If you’ve never been to conferences before that’s the best way to start. Determining which one you might wanna go to is to just talk to people about it. Hey, what were your favorite conferences last year? Which one would you recommend that I might go to? Or what was the most memorable conference that you went to recently?
John: Meetups are such a great point. I’m so glad you brought that up. I mean, I have been piggy-backing off of Podcast Movement for five years now. You and I actually just, a couple weeks ago, got back from Philly, great Podcast Movement conference. You were the keynote speaker. You rocked it on stage with your son. You guys were both incredible, I loved it. I was obviously front row cheering you on. And every year now for five years I’ve been throwing a podcaster’s paradise meetup at Podcast Movement.
Because guess what? I’d love to throw a Podcasters’ Paradise conference. It would be awesome. It would be fun. There’s over 3,700 people in podcaster’s paradise. It would be amazing. But guess what? It’s a huge production to put on an event, which Pat, I’m sure you’re finding out right now as you’re getting ready to throw your event and it’s almost a year away and it’s still like oh my goodness, there’s so much going on here.
So what do I do instead? I rent out an entire restaurant at every single one of these Podcast Movements and I have all the Podcasters’ Paradise come. And we provide food, we provide drinks. Yes, we rack up a pretty big bill, but it’s four hours of absolute fun. We get to give out shirts and gifts and we had all these giveaways. And it’s a chance for my community, podcaster’s paradise, to come together every single year. And we have hundreds and hundreds of people that attend. Pat, you have been to a few of them as well. I have you in a video hanging out in one of them. I mean, we have them every single year.
And so guess what? If you’re listening right now, you don’t have to say okay, I’m gonna throw my own conference right now, look at a conference that you think would be really cool for you and your audience and then say hey, the five or ten or 20 or 100 people that I have on my private Facebook group for this specific community, let’s go to this conference, let’s get together, let’s have a dinner, let’s hang out. That’s how it can start. That’s how it can definitely make sense. So love that point, Pat.
Pat: Even if it’s like five people, or even three people, you are sitting there and you’re getting to have a conversation with them. I mean, those are gonna be moments for all of you to remember. But what are the chances that those people who attend your meetup are gonna come back and continue to wanna be a fan of yours and be an ambassador of yours? The chances are far more likely when you give them those kinds of experiences.
John: I promise this is the last story, but this is just too good to pass up right here because of what you just said. So when I went to speak at New Media Expo, I had somebody reach out to me, and I’m withholding his name for a reason for right now, and he said John, I wanna put together a Fire Nation meetup. He’s like let’s just announce it on your podcast and then we’ll have a meetup at the In-and-Out Burger that’s nearby and we’ll have a blast and we’ll all just get to know each other. I’m like awesome, let’s do it. And I’m like I have an audience? Wow, I didn’t really know that yet because I had just launched my podcast.
And so sure enough we did it, we put the announcement out. And then guess what? I went to the In-and-Out Burger and it was him, one woman, Shea, who is by the way still a podcaster and in Podcasters’ Paradise and rocking, and me. There was three people at that entire meetup. And so only one person actually showed up besides the two of us. But, you know who that guy was who put it together? It was Jared Easley, the founder of Podcast Movement. How funny is that?
Pat: Oh, no way.
John: So, hey…
Pat: At the In-and-Out Burger.
John: At an In-and-Out Burger in Vegas, Fire Nation, my first ever meetup and we laugh about it every time. It was really two people, well three people including myself. So three people total. And you know what? It’s all good.
Pat: A little side tip if you’re doing a meetup is, because I know the Vegas layout, In-and-Out’s not close to everything.
John: No, it was a bad location. It was really bad.
Pat: Pick something that’s easy to go to and you’ll have more people show up.
John: I actually decided to walk there, too, because I’m like oh, it’s a mile and a half away, but it was over – it was the worst idea in the world.
Pat: Like 100 degrees.
John: I was sweaty. We could talk for hours about that.
Pat: Sweaty burgers, okay.
John: So, Pat, I am not an introvert. Chase Reeves, not an introvert. But we are in the minority. I really believe like 70 to 80 percent of people identify themselves as introverts. And you are a self-proclaimed introvert. So give us some tips for people, especially introverts in the crowd, that can help them maximize their conference experience. Because I know a lot of them are just like I’m an introvert, I’m gonna be horrible at conferences.
Pat: Those two things don’t go together. Because you’re an introvert, it doesn’t mean that you’re gonna have a bad experience. It means that you’re gonna be nervous about people. People suck energy from you versus extroverts where you have to be around people because that gives you energy. But that’s not a bad thing. What I’ve realized is that when I get nervous when I’m about to meet people or about to go in a group kind of setting like that, that nervousness and that fear is just – it just means that this is important to me. And so I just kind of channel that energy and turn it into energy that I’m gonna use to build relationships.
And again, remembering why you’re there and why you’re doing this can help give you that boost you need to actually go and have those conversations or do those things. One rule that I have is called the three second rule. And I learned this from a book called The Game, actually, by Neil Strauss, which is a book about the underground world of pick-up and dating, which I read just for fun, just so you know. Truly. Because I was already happily married. But it was a bestseller and I was like this is interesting. But –
John: I thought April does listen to podcasts? Isn’t this a safe zone?
Pat: This is a safe zone, but I’m still always gonna be authentic and honest here. But there was a rule in there that hey, if you’re nervous, if you wanna chat with a girl or something or somebody who looks good on the other side of the room, don’t give yourself more than three seconds to psyche yourself out. You just go and just say hello. And after that hello, after that first initial sentence that you say, everything else gets so much easier because we always psyche ourselves out before the thing happens.
I think even Will Smith talked about this when he went skydiving. He was talking about his skydiving experience and how he was so fearful of it when he was on the plane. But once he finally got pushed off the plane, it was like bliss. And even though that’s the point at which maximum fear should be there because it’s the most dangerous part when you’re falling. You’re actually really safe in the plane. That’s the most blissful part. So the fear is kind of unnecessary.
And so not giving yourself more than three seconds to psyche yourself out when you wanna say hi to somebody or meet somebody. If in your head you go I should meet that person, you just go and do it. Don’t give yourself time to psyche yourself out.
That’s helped me so much because once you start that conversation, this is the next tip, is just saying something in the beginning gets it going. I mean, likely the person that you’re speaking to is just as nervous, even though they might not look like it, but they’re just as nervous or introverted as you might be. And so just keep that in mind. And so when you start, then things start to happen.
Even if you’re sitting down and getting ready to watch a presentation, somebody sits next to you, practice. Don’t give yourself more than three seconds to look over before it starts, don’t be rude and start talking after it starts. But look over and just say hey, hello, my name is Pat. Where are you from? And then you can just kind of go from there and you can feel out the conversation from there. Based on a lot of their initial responses you might find that well, they don’t wanna be talked to and that’s fine.
I mean, honestly – and here’s the third tip, asking yourself this question. And this is a tip that I’ve used across all of my businesses in all different ways. And that tip is asking yourself this. What’s the worst that can happen? Just ask yourself that. And when it comes to talking to people, the worst thing that can happen is they’ll say sorry, I’m busy right now, or no. They’re not going to go why are you trying to talk to me? You’re disgusting looking and I don’t like the sound of your voice. Nobody does that. And if they do, that’s not anybody you’d wanna chat with anyway. So just get the courage to go up there and start and don’t give yourself time to psyche yourself out because hey, what’s the worst that can happen?
John: Okay, three second rule. Key, Fire Nation. Make that happen. And then ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen? And believe me, when you start to put those kind of simulations through your mind you realize not that bad. So, Fire Nation, if you think that we have been dropping value bombs, you’d be thinking correctly. And we have some more value bombs coming up after we thank our sponsor.
So, Pat, we’re back and, brother, I can go back over the years, we have been at so many conferences together and you’ve actually been to a ton that I haven’t been to as well. You just – you speak from so many stages, you attend so many conferences. So I am super curious, super, super curious, which conference, or maybe a couple conferences, have really stood out to you over the years?
Pat: Yeah, I’ll talk about a couple. I’ll call them, like, good intro conferences for people, even though there are advanced things that happen here. I think they are great, safe conferences with a lot of friendly people, which is kind of around the people you wanna be with. So two I wanna mention.
No. 1 is Social Media Marketing World, which happens in San Diego. And that’s every year around the March time. And I’ve spoken every year, been there every year and I love it because it’s – it’s a large conference, it’s a little intimidating, but you do find your people there and everybody’s really friendly and they’re so much great help. Plus, the conference is one that really is very well organized. So it’s kind of easy to get around, it’s in beautiful San Diego, and like I said there’s great people there. Everybody’s there to meet each other and there’s some great content on stage, too.
The other one I would recommend is FinCon, which is the financial blogger conference. And although it started in 2013 for basically the financial blogging world, it’s since expanded to become much more than just a place for financial bloggers to go to. A lot of bloggers across the entire blogosphere and even podcast-sphere and YouTubers, they all show up because it’s a well-run event by a guy named Philip Taylor, PT for short. He puts on a very well-run event. And, again, very similar, family-like feel with the people that are there and the community that’s there, too. And plus there’s a lot of fun that happens at those conferences.
Now, those two conferences are much bigger. And so those are conferences where you’re gonna see a lot of people presenting at the same time so you’re gonna have to make some decisions on okay, which speaker do I wanna go see and things like that. It’s also a great opportunity to meet some influencers, too. You can watch them speak and hang around afterwards. Most speakers will stay and have a chat a little bit, which is great.
Other conferences are a little bit different where, for example, Chalene Johnson has some good conferences where it’s just literally mostly her on stage the whole time. Her and her family come on stage and it’s very much there to help her build their brand, but her to serve her audience. And it’s a lot of effort from Chalene for sure, but it’s very well done, very well produced. About 800 people all in one room watching the same stage the entire time versus having ten presentations going on at the same time and having you have to make decisions on which one you wanna go to.
When I run my conference, which I’ll tell you about in a little bit, it’s gonna be run very similar to Chalene’s because we are definitely personal brands versus, you know, Social Media Marketing World definitely has Michael Stelzner behind it. If you’ve watched the journey, he is becoming more of a face of the brand. But it’s still overall conference for the world of social media. FinCon, PT likes to remain behind the scenes. Chalene, she likes to step up and I’m gonna step up, too. I imagine if you run an event one day, John, it’ll be very similar to Chalene’s because you are such a powerhouse brand and everybody’s there for you.
John: Thanks, brother.
Pat: Yeah, man. And then there are smaller ones that I’ve attended before. Too many to mention names, but there’s like 100-150 people. Those are great because you get to get very intimate with the audience. And although the audience is usually smaller when you speak there, it’s a lot easier to meet more people and people tend to find each other a lot more.
Other conferences that I’ve enjoyed have been very specific to certain goals that I’ve had. So, for example, last year I went to VidSummit, which is a conference that is put on by a guy named Derral Eves. He’s in the YouTube video space and I’ve been looking to get into YouTube. And I went there to meet a lot of people and to learn and I did both. And as a result of that, I’ve built some amazing relationships that have turned into collaborations on YouTube, great relationships where we’re now partnering, as JV partners with each other and those kinds of things.
And since that conference and since implementing what I learned, I’ve grown from about 80,000 YouTube subscribers to now, we just passed today, 130,000 YouTube subscribers thanks to mostly what I learned there and the relationships built there, too.
So you can learn at these conferences. I know we didn’t really touch on that much, but obviously you can go to conferences to learn to grow your business, too. But honestly, most of that growth, as a result of that conference in particular, was a result of the relationships that I built once again. So, you know, and putting yourself out there.
I think going back to your last question on what are some tips, it’s gonna be a challenge for some of you, especially you introverts like me, but when you put yourself out there you create opportunities. If you were to hide in the corner or in the nap room – I like Social Media Marketing World because there’s a little corner of the conference where it’s the nap station and there’s people there napping or the introverts are – like the introvert hangout where nobody’s talking.
And I’m like that’s so cool that they have that for us, but I also am like, come on, like I saw you there two hours ago and you’re still sitting there reading a book. Like come on, get up, go meet people. You only make opportunities for yourself when you make opportunities for yourself and nothing’s gonna magically happen. You’re gonna have to put yourself out there for sure in order to see some results.
John: All great recommendations, FinCon, Social Media Marketing World for those bigger conferences, Fire Nation. And I wanna give a couple quick shout outs. You know, one from my home state of Maine, my friend Rich Brooks puts on Agents of Change, which is kind of going with what Pat was saying with those single track conferences. I personally love those where you just bring a handful of great speakers. Pat, you’ve rocked the stage at Agents of Change before, and it’s just a really cool single track conference where you’re just there, you’re with a crowd, you’re gonna be experiencing the same thing every single time, and it’s a really cool experience. And then let’s be honest, my man, we gotta give our brother from another mother a shout out.
Pat: Ducker. Ducker.
John: You knew where I was going with this.
Pat: I knew where you were going.
John: Because we do have a lot Fire Nationers, listeners, in Europe, so why don’t you give a little detail about that for us?
Pat: Yeah, the Youpreneur Summit is amazing. I mean, Chris puts on all kinds of events. He used to do the Tropical Think Tank, which was a 50-ish person event in the Philippines. And now he’s brought it to Europe with him and England and has made it much bigger and much more expansive and an even better experience. I was a keynote speaker, the final keynote speaker last year when it – in it’s inaugural year. Doing it again this year, I think tickets are almost sold out at youpreneursummit.com.
And Chris just puts every little detail into it, more than – I know Chris is listening to this and was like dude, bro, why didn’t you mention me? I think I mention it too much everywhere else and I wanted to give other people some shout outs, dude. But I think, and I’m glad JLD mentioned it, top notch events that are in Europe for sure and unlike anything else because of the – just the caliber of speakers, obviously, and the content is great. But the way he gets you to wanna participate and the way he gets you to feel like you’re a part of the Youpreneur community, even if you’re not in Youpreneur itself. It’s just really great and I had a wonderful experience in England. And plus, obviously England’s a beauty.
John: I was so impressed with London. It was my first time ever in London. I had been to Ireland and to so many places on the mainland of Europe, but never to London. The city blew me away and the conference is literally in the shadows of Westminster Abbey. It is so beautiful. You can throw a rock and hit Big Ben from when you walk out the doors. It was super cool. And Pat did mention he was the closing keynote, I, Fire Nation, was the opening keynote. And if you can tell me a better way to start and finish a conference, I don’t know if there is one. So pat on the back for you, Pat, and I guess myself too, right? But it was a great conference. It was so much fun on every single level.
And this is what you gotta find is your conference location-wise. What do you want content-wise? These are all the different things that are really important to think about when you’re looking for the right conferences for you.
Pat: Oh, and there’s hundreds, right? You have to do the research.
John: So many.
Pat: Especially in the micro niches. I mean, you gotta do them, right? And even though it’s a micro niche that you might be in, you can still become the authority there. And when you go, you become like a little bit of a celebrity. I mean, John and I become a little bit bigger celebrities because we have bigger audiences, but in micro niches you can become very similar in your own little space. You just have to go there and show up. And even if it’s a few people who meet you, they’re gonna be, like, super stoked about meeting you because they hear your voice or they read your blog or they watch your videos. Give them those opportunities and you’ll see what kind of magic can happen.
John: As I mentioned already once, Pat was the opening keynote of Podcast Movement. He rocked it with his son in front of 2,000 people. And it was just so much fun to see him up on stage doing his thing. And Pat, you shared some pretty big news. Why don’t you enlighten Fire Nation?
Pat: It was that I was gonna be putting on my first event next year in San Diego, July 2019, end of July 2019. We’re still finalizing dates and by the time you listen to this likely all that stuff will be nailed down. And we’ll give you a link in just a minute so you can go find it and check it out. But I’m so excited about this. And it’s about time. I’ve been doing business for – my ten year anniversary was this year since getting laid off.
John: It’s crazy.
Pat: In this month that you’re listening to this, it’s the ten year anniversary since smartpassiveincome.com started. And so I figured it would be a great way to kind of get people excited about coming and celebrating and being a part of the experience. And really that’s what it’s gonna be. It’s gonna be an experience. I’m not calling it a conference, even though it’s in the name of the conference, which is called FlynnCON. FlynnCON1 is what it’s called, colon, Press Start. And the way we’re positioning it is every year it’s gonna be different. So FlynnCON2 will be something else, FlynnCON3 will be something else. And it’ll be something new and exciting and a little mysterious every single year.
And we’re thinking of making it really – a really great experience for fans of SPI and even people who aren’t. But we’re also gonna do some things to make it a little bit different. For instance, this is pretty much one of the only conferences that happens in the middle of the year because most conferences happen during work season, not summer. So because I live in San Diego and because I’m a big family man, I’m gonna make it family friendly. I’m not gonna say – I’m not gonna sell tickets to 12 and under or anything like that, but I will say that it will be family friendly content. I’m also not gonna have alcohol at it either.
And it’s gonna be a little bit different, one of those conferences where I can imagine a family with mom, dad, two kids. Hey, if they were gonna pick one conference to go to and bring their family to tour around the city while the wife or the husband’s at the event, San Diego, Legoland, Sea World, all the other places around. I think it’ll be a good one. Hey, if you’re gonna go to one conference, go to Pat’s because it’s also fun for us, too. That’s the kind of feel I want.
And in terms of content I’m not gonna share because it’s a little bit mysterious in terms of the way the event’s gonna be run. Like I said, it’s gonna be run similar to Chalene’s in terms of you’re gonna see mostly me, my wife’s gonna get involved too, my kids. You’ll see us on stage. There’s gonna be a lot of storytelling, a lot of multimedia experiences in there. And it’s gonna be about community and building the relationships between people who are there attending live as well.
There will be some special guests, but they will go unannounced. I know a lot of people use conferences and special guests to promote those conferences. Like hey, Seth Godin’s gonna speak and buy your ticket because Seth is gonna be there or Gary V.’s gonna be there. It’s not gonna be like that. You won’t even know who they are until they’re there. So it’s gonna be definitely positioned a lot differently.
And we’ll see what happens. This is something that I’m deathly afraid of doing and that’s why I know I have to do it. That’s why I know I have to do it because I put a lot of time and effort into – if you’ve ever seen me it’s – if you’ve ever seen me speak on stage, you know I put a ton of time and effort into each individual presentation. It’s about time that I do that for my own conference. And I think bringing people to me and to San Diego will be a lot of fun. So FlynnCON1: Press Start is the theme in July of 2019. And you can check that out at entrepreneursonfire.com/flynncon.
And we’ll get a special deal for Fire Nation as well. I’m learning a lot now about pricing and selling tickets and whatnot and price increases over time is very usual. I’m gonna make sure that everybody in Fire Nation who listens to this and this alone gets a special deal where there’s no pressure. And yes, tickets may sell out, but I’m not gonna increase the price on you.
And this is something that I’ve worked with when I promoted other people’s conferences. That was really cool for my audience so I wanna do that for you and for Fire Nation, too. So whatever the base price is, it’s gonna stick at that for you, Fire Nation. And again, the link is entrepreneursonfire.com/flynncon, F-L-Y-N-N, C-O-N. And more information will be there although I’m definitely gonna be hiding some stuff because I want it to be a surprise and a great experience.
John: Yeah, so Fire Nation, and by the way that obviously link will work, but if you have trouble spelling Entrepreneurs on Fire, then you can just go to eofire.com/flynncon.
Pat: Oh, there you go. Sorry about that.
John: No, both’ll work, both’ll work awesome. So eofire.com/flynncon, that’s two N’s in Flynn, one N in con. So FlynnCON. And you’re gonna get that base price that Pat is so generously extending to you, Fire Nation. And I’m gonna say it up right now, this event is going to be life-changing for a lot of people that attend. So I hope you’re one of those people that attend, I hope you’re one of those people that does literally have their life change because that is going to be happening there, period. Eofire.com/flynncon. It’s gonna be amazing.
I mean, I saw what Pat did at Podcast Movement with his keynote. And if that’s what he did for his keynote, it’s gonna be mind-blowing what he does for his entire conference, FlynnCON1: Press Start. And Pat, let’s end by sharing what I was actually kind of eluding to when I said your announcement from stage at Podcast Movement, it has something to do with beeswax I think?
Pat: Yeah, oh thank you. No, thank you for setting it up. Yeah, so my son – so I brought my son with me to Philly and we were like – I wanted to hide him the whole time because he was gonna be a big surprise in the middle of the keynote presentation because the end of the keynote I announced a new podcast that I created called All of Your Beeswax and it is co-hosted with me and my son. And my son is eight years old.
These are conversations that I’ve had with him about business, life, personal development that are really fun, interesting, and exciting. And I’ve had a lot of people who don’t even have kids listen say they got a lot of value out of it, too, which is pretty cool. My favorite comments are the ones that are like man, you inspired me to be a better parent, which I’m like that’s supercool. But anyway, it’s called All of Your Beeswax because that’s like, you know on the playground where they say none of your business, none of your beeswax.
John: Oh, I’ve said that multiple times.
Pat: Yeah, this is All of Your Beeswax. And we got a really cool theme song that has already been stuck in a lot of people’s heads. And I brought him on stage after I announced it as a surprise, and I had him on stage for about ten minutes and we did a little interview and he rocked it. He’s only eight, but he was in front of 2,000 people and he answered some great questions and elaborated on a lot of things, he even was able to compare the benefits of doing a podcast versus doing YouTube, which was really interesting.
And then he came into the networking party that night with 200 people and he was having these amazing conversations with people and was able to survive a three hour long meetup and was shaking hands with people and telling them – telling everybody what he wanted to do when he grew up and what he loved about podcasting and what his plans were.
So season one is out right now. You can find it, All of Your Beeswax, on iTunes and wherever you listen to podcasts. All nine episodes of season one. We’re recording season two now, which will be live in about a – actually, season two may be already live by the time you all listen to this. So you have nearly 20 episodes to listen to all straight through. And we talk about everything. It’s so much fun I’m not even gonna tell you, from the topic.
John: I can’t wait. This is gonna be so cool. So I just wanna say this. Pat, you are always giving so much value to everybody who consumes your content in every way, shape, or form. So give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance that you think could be a key takeaway or wrap-up summation of what we talked about today. What would that be?
Pat: Yeah, I think a good piece of guidance for you is, and this is something that I implement too and it’s because it was a struggle for me to go to these conferences and take in so much information. And I know a lot of us are in consumption mode a lot when you’re listening to podcasts, or you’re reading blogposts, or watching videos, or you’re going to conferences. There’s so much information out there it can really overwhelm you and paralyze you sometimes.
And so the one tip I have for you, whether you’re listening to a podcast or you’re going to conferences and you’re absorbing all this information, you’re making all these relationships, is come out of them with the one or two things that you know you now need to do and then make them your priority. Yes, there may be hundreds of things that you now know you need to do, thousands of tips that you’ve learned, but what’s the top two? Because once you do those top two things, and likely those are things that are gonna create a little domino effect that are gonna make a number of other things happen, it just makes it so much easier to focus because there’s a lot that you learn.
And unless you start taking action it would have been all for nothing. I don’t want you to go to conferences or I don’t want you to listen to podcast episodes and I don’t want you to watch YouTube videos where you just watch them, you consume them, and then life is back to where it was before. I mean, things have to be different. But things can only be different if you take action on those things. Even if it’s just one or two small things, they can really start to add up over time.
So whenever you go to a conference, come out of it on the last day, go what’s the best thing, the top two things I learned and what should I be doing next? That’s the only thing you need to focus on. You can go back to your other notes later. What are the top two things? Implement on that and you’re gonna start to see some results. Just like you should be doing that right now. In the closing of this podcast, what are the one or two things you can take away and implement the next time you go to a conference?
John: Fire Nation, you, yes you, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with Pat Flynn and JLD today. So how about you keep up the heat and of course head over to eofire.com. If you type Pat in the search bar, this episode is gonna pop up as well as the other ones he’s done. Maybe have some fun today and go back and listen to episode one with Pat Flynn and myself. You’ll hear two different people. Six years ago. So crazy, so much fun.
But of course the strong call to action is this, Fire Nation. Head over to eofire.com/flynncon. Just check out what’s going on over there, see if that makes sense for you. Again, he’s making this an incredibly family friendly event, no alcohol. So if you’ve ever said I just wanna bring my family, I wanna experience San Diego, I wanna have a great time, wanna do this and that, this is an experience for you and it’s going to be a mind-blowing experience. So eofire.com/flynncon1. Pat thank you for sharing your truth with Fire Nation today. For that, brother, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Pat: Thank you, man. Thank you, Fire Nation.
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