SPI 309: How to Create a Marketing Funnel That Works (with Molly Pittman)

No matter where you are in your business journey, it’s fundamental for you to understand your customer’s journey. What happens after a person comes to your website? How do you go from the minute they find you all the way to a purchase? I knew when I hired Molly Pittman that it was going to change my business forever, specifically with funnels. She’s here today to talk about strategies for your customer journey, how to implement them in your business, and how to keep them simple so you’re not overwhelmed.

Molly is the former VP of DigitalMarketer—the company that puts on the Traffic & Conversion Summit every year in San Diego (an amazing event). I brought Molly on to help me and Team Flynn manage all of the pieces of our business so that we can better optimize the customer journey. What does that mean? Well, it means taking the free stuff, the paid stuff, the lead magnets, and combining them all into a funnel which then leads to an offer.

What happened before Molly was kind of a mess—a lot of failed attempts. Things weren’t working as well as they could, but Molly, with her superpowers, delivered something that made complete sense. We’re getting deep into all of that and more today so sit back, relax, and let’s talk about the customer journey with Molly Pittman.

And, if you’re interested in starting a podcast (and want to see how these funnels work!) you can check out my mini course at HowtoStartaPodcast.com.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Molly Pittman for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • How Molly got her start with online marketing.
  • Why funnels are so critical for a successful online business.
  • The big three platforms that Molly targets for website traffic.
  • The big mistake most businesses make when they start marketing.
  • Why your funnel should mimic a real-life relationship.
  • Why it’s so important to have congruency between your lead magnet and convert stage.
  • Why the upsell stage is so critical to the sales process.
  • How Molly’s strategies have helped me sell more of my courses.
  • Why simplicity is so important in a sales funnel.
  • Why your sales message shouldn’t be any different than other messages to your audience.
  • How to motivate customers to be ambassadors for your brand, and more!



How To Make Passive Income Online (3 Business Models)

The internet is an amazing place, folks. I probably don’t need to tell you there’s more than one way to make money online. And today, I’m going to give you the lowdown on three strategies you can use to do just that!

I’ve built several businesses since 2008 using one or more of these models. I’ve been featured in magazines and articles across the globe, and since I started my journey I’ve generated over $5M in earnings from these businesses. All of my income and expenses for those businesses dating back to October 2008 have been tracked publicly on SPI.com.

But you don’t have to read all of my income reports to learn how I’ve made these three strategies work for me—or how they can work for you.

In this post, I’ll distill what I’ve learned into three business models you can choose from to decide which path you want to go down.

Those three models are the FP, AA, and EP models.

“But those are just acronyms, Pat! Tell me what they meeeeeaan!”

Fear not. I’ll explain them all, and help you figure out which one suits you best.

A Quick Primer on Passive Income

But first, let’s about talk passive income! What is passive income? There are many different definitions out there, but mine goes something like this: Passive income is all about building online businesses that can work for you, that allow you to generate income, and grow and scale, without a real-time presence. In other words, you don’t trade time for money. You build something up front that can continue to work for you over time.

“But Pat,” you might be asking, “is this really possible?” It’s definitely possible. And you don’t need a huge investment, either. Unlike investments such as real estate or stocks, you don’t need a ton of money to start to build something.

But there’s one thing you need to be super clear on. It’s definitely not easy to do. Some people may tell you there’s a magic button or blueprint you can use to get rich, all by doing nothing. Don’t get me started on people who say you can make it happen overnight. No way, no how. It takes a lot of hard work. You’ve got to put in the hours.

You have to work hard now to build assets that will continue to work for you later. But once you start to build that passive income stream, you start to gain a little flexibility and freedom. You have a little more time to do more things, build even more passive income streams—or do fewer things, if that’s what you prefer!

So as I introduce these three business models to you, realize that yes, they all take time, but that time will also be very much worth it.

Cool? Okay, let’s get started.

The FP Model: Starting with Active Income

FP is the Freelance to Product model. In this model, you start by freelancing, then you find a problem that can be solved with a product.

Yes, we’re talking about passive income. And yes, freelancing is active income. So what’s the deal? To be perfectly honest, I believe freelancing is the #1 way to get started a building business of your own. You’ll learn a lot of skills, and you’ll get paid a lot quicker, too. You need some active income first!

But the biggest reason I recommend starting with freelancing is you’ll get to know the industry you’re in really well. You’ll learn it so well, that you’ll be able to find the holes, the opportunities, that allow you to create a successful product-based business.

Let me tell you about my friend Brian Casel. He was a freelance web designer who used to bill all his work by the project and sometimes by the hour; it was all tied to his time. He could only fit in a certain number of projects, and he was basically living project to project. It was not an ideal situation.

Brian had found a huge need for web design in the restaurant and food truck space. After getting tired of working with client after client, he decided to turn his service-based business into a product-based one. He made his services more standardized and productized. He eliminated all his client work and created templates and products to serve that market instead. And it’s been going great for him.

You can check out my interview with Brian in the Smart Passive Income Podcast #158.

All active businesses can be turned into more passive businesses by using products you’ve already made, by using software to do a lot of the legwork, and even having other humans do some of the work, too.

The AA Model: Advertising Your Way to Income

Next up, I’ll tell you how I made my first bit of passive income in 2008 with business model #2: the AA Model.

AA stands for the Audience and Advertising Model. It’s one of the most-used models for building passive income online—but it does come with a fair number of warnings, which I’ll share with you in a minute.

If you’re a YouTube personality, this is how you generate your income. If you’re a blogger who gets a lot of traffic to your site and uses advertising or sponsorships, then you’re also following the AA Model. Got a podcast with sponsorships? Same deal. You have an audience, and you have advertisers that want to get in front of that audience, so you marry the two and get paid for it.

When I started building my architecture-related business in 2008, I made my first dollar through advertising. I’d spent a lot of time and money building the site and getting traffic. Then one day I threw an ad on the site one day, and I made $1.18. Sure, I could find that much under my couch cushions—but that’s not the point! The point is that I was able to build something online, put an ad up, and make money without having to do anything. I learned it was possible, and it motivated me to move forward.

Eventually, I put more ads on the site. Traffic continued to grow, and I started earning between $30 and $50 a day just from advertising.

Then I built a brand-new site, got even more traffic, put ads on it, and . . . didn’t make more than $50 after six months of advertising. And therein lies one of the downsides of the AA Model. Ads are not super-predictable, especially auto-generated ones like those through Google AdSense.

There’s a second downside to this model. Although I’ve done advertising and sponsorships in the past, and have made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so, the truth is it takes a lot of time for this business model to start to generate income for you, because you need to build that audience first. In addition, what happens when you build your audience on a platform that ends up changing its algorithm, affecting how often you actually get seen by the audience you’ve built?

In order to build an audience, you need to have a platform. You need to have something worth following and sharing; something that’s valuable to others. And that, of course, takes time. That’s not to say you can’t build a huge audience in a short amount of time. But as much as we hear about the people who’ve succeeding at doing this, we don’t hear about the millions of others who are struggling every day to get just a few more fans and followers.

Long story short: the AA Model, while it can work for you, should be approached with care.

The EP Model: Making Money by Being Expert Enough

But the great thing is, you don’t need a huge audience to generate passive income and make money online!

That’s why if I had the choice, I’d go with the EP Model.

This is the Expert to Product Model. Now, don’t let the term “expert” scare you away—because it’s probably not what you think it is. Most people think an expert is someone who’s a master at something. Someone with a special degree or training, who’s put in those 10,000 hours, who is just great at what they do.

That’s not the kind of expert I’m talking about here.

What I mean is that you can be an expert in the eyes of someone else just by knowing a little more than they do. Because guess what? You have experiences, ideas, and opinions that are all unique to you. The goal is to become expert enough to earn the trust of others so that they’ll want to learn even more from you.

Quick story: Remember that $1.18 I found in the couch? Even when that increased to $30 to $50 a day, it still wasn’t enough to live on. So I looked for other options. In August 2008, after people started to know who I was and how I could help them pass the LEED certification exam through my blog, I wrote an ebook. It included all the information I knew about passing this exam, and I sold it on my blog for $19.95.

On October 2, 2008, when I finally put the book online, I sold my first copy, which was an amazing feeling. Fast-forward through October 2008, and I ended up making $7,126.91 just from ebook sales!

The craziest part of this was I’d wake up in the morning and there would be more money in my bank account, from people who had bought my book overnight. When you think about it, an online store that sells something that’s digital is something that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Using tools, software and systems, you can automate the delivery process so you literally don’t have to do anything to serve that audience. That’s super powerful.

What’s also really important to realize here is that when I took the exam I was teaching people to study for, I didn’t get a perfect score. In fact, I didn’t even get close to a perfect score. I passed. But I also knew a lot about this exam—way more than somebody who was just getting started diving into studying for it. And it was because of that, because I was just a few steps ahead of them, that they trusted me to help them with that information. To support this, I provided a lot of great free value to help them along the way. I engaged in conversations and interacted in comments sections and on forums. Most of all, I just really cared about those people, because I struggled big-time with that exam myself.

Here’s the truth: a successful business is something that successfully solves a problem. And that business can make more money in two ways: solving more people’s problems, or solving bigger problems. The cool thing about the EP Model is that sometimes these products don’t even have to be yours. You can generate income by recommending other people’s or companies’ services or products. This is called affiliate marketing. It’s actually how I’ve made most of my money since I started in 2008.

The first time I did affiliate marketing was way back in the day on my architecture exam website. I connected with a company that sold practice exams, which gave me $22 for every person who bought one of their exams via my site. Since then, I’ve generated over $250,000 simply by recommending that product alone. Again, this is a product that was not mine, but one that has still been helpful to my audience. This was all done with thousands of visitors a month. Not millions, or even hundreds of thousands.

So how do you get started with the EP Model? First, you need to be an expert in the eyes of those you’re looking to serve. And again, you don’t need all those qualifications and credentials. A lot of people gain expertise and credibility just by sharing their experience learning something, which is something I’ve done on SPI.com. If you think about it, many people in the personal finance or fitness space establish their authority by sharing their journey and their process. They do it by sharing their experiences—and you can do the same thing, too.

Another great way to get started is to identify an area of interest you have. Then, go out and start talking to people. Ask them, “What are you struggling with right now? What are your biggest pains? What’s something you wish existed that doesn’t?” That’ll give you some ideas about where to get started.

Active Problem Solving + Automation = Passive Income Success

Remember, a successful business solves people’s problems. At first, you’re going to have to do the legwork and put in the time. But it’s about building something now so you can reap the benefits later, with the help of software, tools, automation, and people you hire. In this way, you can then turn this business that solves people’s problems into something that generates passive income for you!

What model resonates with you most? Leave a comment below with your pick!

How to Increase the File Upload Limit of WordPress

Have you tried to upload a file and received the unfortunate: “Exceeds the maximum upload size for this site” message. Many servers provide a file size limit of 2-5 MB which in most cases is not large enough for audio files to be uploaded. This article others multiple strategies to help you increase the file upload limit of your WordPress site.


This tutorial may not work successfully for shared hosting. If you can not expand the upload file size the best solution is to contact your hosting provider for further support. 

Always create a back up of your site when making changes.


What is the File Upload Limit of My WordPress Site?

To check the upload limit of your site you can complete the following:

  1. Click on ‘Media‘ and then on ‘Add New‘.
  2. Under the ‘Select Files‘ button, the maximum upload size for your site is listed (see image below).


How Can I Upload Media Files to My WordPress

Many people upload media files to their WordPress site using the simple drop or select files option under the ‘Upload New Media’ section. We have a tutorial on WP media uploader. Although this method is easy, it is good to understand that there are in fact many different ways of uploading media to your WordPress site.

  1. Uploading media by accessing the online file manager through your hosting provider
  2. Connecting to your server via FTP (for example by using FileZilla)
  3. Directly upload your files from the WordPress Dashboard (a popular method of uploading files)

Method 1) Increasing File Upload Limit by Adding Code to the Themes Function

For some sites, this simple method will work. This method involves adding three lines of code to the functions.php file.

Step 1) Click on the ‘Editor‘ under the ‘Appearance‘ menu.

Step 2) From the list of ‘Theme Files‘, choose ‘Theme Functions‘ (functions.php).

Step 3) Add the following code to your functions.php content:


Method 2) Adding Code to the PHP.Ini File to Increase Upload Size

This method involves accessing your WordPress site’s root folder through the use of FTP. Once you are in your sites directory on your hosting accounts cPanel dashboard, you may or may not see a file titled: ‘php.ini’. If this file does not exist you will need to create it. Simply create a file titled ‘php.ini’ and upload it into the root folder. In your ‘php.ini’ file, add the following code:


If this particular code does not appear to be working, try changing the maximum upload size. You can adjust the code according to the maximum files size you wish to upload. Below is alternative coding for those who want a maximum file upload limit of 20MB:


Method 3) Modifying the .htaccess File to Increase Upload Size

This method involves modifying the .htaccess file in the root directory to achieve an increased file upload limit.

To complete this method you will need to add the following code into your site’s ‘.htaccess file‘ towards the bottom beneath the words ‘End WordPress’:

php_value upload_max_filesize 64M
php_value post_max_size 64M
php_value max_execution_time 300
php_value max_input_time 300

Method 4) Using a Plugin to Increase Maximum Upload Size

For those who are not familiar with adding code to your WordPress site, there is a simple way to increase the file size. Using a plugin to increase file size is not the best way although works well for inexperienced WordPress users.

There are multiple plugins available to handle increasing maximum upload file size. It is entirely up to you which one you choose although the ‘Increase Max Upload Filesize‘ plugin is a popular free choice amongst WP users.

  1. Click on the ‘Plugins’ menu and ‘Add New’.
  2. Search for Increase Max Upload Filesize and install a plugin of your choice.
  3. Once the plugin is activated it will increase the maximum file upload size of your WordPress site.

Using the plugin mentioned above I was able to increase the maximum upload size of my WordPress account to 250MB (shown below).


Method 5) Contacting Your Hosting Provider

If none of the options above work for you then you will need to contact your hosting provider. Most hosting providers will up the file upload limit size for you, however you have to contact them directly to do this. For shared hosting they may not be able to make this modification to your server and they may request you go on to a hosting plan that will better fit your needs.

Hopefully this tutorial has helped you to increase the file upload size of your WordPress Site. We’d love to hear below which method worked for you!

How to Increase the File Upload Limit of WordPress originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ


SPI 308: Sunny Lenarduzzi on Bad Dream Jobs, Building a YouTube Empire, and Using Video for Business

Today’s guest is Sunny Lenarduzzi, an amazing woman with a giant YouTube channel and a brand-new podcast. She’s here today to talk about her story, and to lay out tactics for using YouTube and other content to drive email subscribers, engagement, and traffic for online business.

Sunny’s story is truly inspiring. Imagine you work years to land a dream job, but you get there and it’s not what you thought it would be. You realize the dream job was just that: A dream in your head. What would you do? That was exactly Sunny’s experience, which she’ll be sharing with us today.

I got connected with Sunny literally over Twitter. I’d heard her name before, but when I was posting about doing some more YouTube collaborations, Sunny was quick to say “Pat, I want to work with you!” What she had built blew my mind—her channel with over 130,000 subscribers, for example. I knew that one day she was going to come onto the show—today’s that day!

This episode is full of great tips and blueprints for boosting your YouTube channel’s visibility and growing and engaging your audience. Make sure you put your devices away—this episode is a loaded one and you won’t want to miss out. Let’s get started!

And if you want to get started in your own podcasting journey, I have a new, free three-day mini course that you can check out. Visit HowtoStartaPodcast.com to learn more. I’ll teach you everything you need to know to get set up, launched, and on iTunes.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Sunny Lenarduzzi for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • How Sunny landed her dream job, and how her journey led her to online business.
  • Why YouTube is one of the best ways to build trust with your audience.
  • How to use YouTube to build your email list.
  • Sunny’s top tips for getting started with building an audience on YouTube.
  • Strategies and tactics for keeping viewers engaged on YouTube.
  • How to structure your videos to maximize engagement, views, and conversions.
  • How to create collaboration videos on YouTube when you’re just starting out.
  • How to use your other social channels to boost your YouTube engagement.
  • Why Sunny is starting a podcast after all of her success on YouTube, and more!



Is SPI Better Than Business School? 9 Lessons One Reader Used to Grow His Business

Welcome to our first of (hopefully) many SPI community member features! On our SPI Facebook Group, we have over 30,000 amazing entrepreneurs across all stages of business, and I wanted to start highlighting some of the amazing work the community members are doing with their businesses here on the blog.

Brendan Hufford, our Facebook Community manager, wrote this post to highlight Salo Mizrachi and his business, EzPacking.

You can also check out Brendan and his work at Photo MBA.

And if you haven’t done so already, click here to join the Facebook Group and be a part of the community!

In 2015, Salo Mizrachi took over his family business, grew it to six-figures in 2016, and doubled that in 2017.

Additionally, Salo saw NPR’s popular “How I Built This” podcast feature his business in a 2017 “How You Built That” story.

Sounds impressive, right?

But what if I also told you that in 2014, Salo was still in college for business, and his only “practical experience” came from reading the SPI blog and listening to the SPI podcast?

I had been following the SPI blog for almost two years by the time I started my business and a lot of the tactical, day to day ideas I was experimenting with I learned from Pat (not my college professors).

Like you, Salo realized you can learn almost everything you need to know on Google / YouTube.

But also like Salo, to see results you have to take action on what you learn.

Wanting to start “doing” the things he was learning about in business school, Salo graduated in three years instead of four.

Little did he know, his mom was brewing up a business of her own.

Frustrated with the packing process and wanting a way to easily organize her suitcase, Salo’s mom started a small company called EzPacking. She created a clear system of packing cubes to help other moms, like her, be organized.

She invited Salo on a trip with her to China to source materials and while he intended to go just to keep his mom company, the trip to China opened his eyes to the possibilities available for ecommerce businesses.

And yet, Salo’s real reason for joining his mom has nothing to do with business:

I joined my mom because she needed help. She needed a partner to accompany her on the roller coaster of entrepreneurship and someone to share the work/stress/euphoria. My mom had helped me out so many times in life that I wanted to at least get her set. If things went well, I could continue helping her. If other opportunities presented themselves, I could pursue those. It was so fun and exciting to run the business that I never looked back!

Their first customers were other women that his mom knew from his local community in San Diego. Salo can still recall the day he received his first batch of inventory:

We had worked all day unloading a container, got home at around 5 p.m. and already had three people that were desperate to have our product before leaving on vacation the next day!

While word of mouth was great to get initial feedback and support, it wasn’t a long-term strategy. This led Salo to split-test selling at a farmer’s market and selling online, but other than reading SPI and listening to the podcast, Salo had no experience with selling online so he wasn’t sure how successful it would be.

By the third week, they made more online daily than in a full day at the farmer’s market.

Since then, Salo Mizrachi has bought out his mom, runs his family business, and is having his most successful year ever.

How’d he do it?

Here’s nine business lessons Salo Mizrachi learned from SPI that he didn’t learn in business school:

1. Take your Email Marketing Strategy Seriously

Salo didn’t have a strong email strategy before reading Email the Smart Way. He was collecting email addresses on his website but he didn’t have a clear strategy for monetizing his email list. Pat’s guide helped him come up with ideas for our autoresponders that have dramatically improved his funnels. Yes, even physical product companies should use funnels! Recently, he’s noticed a large increase in conversion rates from implementing them.

2. How to Grow Your Business With No Budget

One of the big ways Salo grew EzPacking in the beginning (especially when they had no budget), was to collaborate with bloggers. He got this idea by reverse engineering Pat’s success as an affiliate. Salo chose to follow the lead of companies that Pat works with which have great affiliate programs (like Bluehost [Affiliate link: Pat will earn a commission if you purchase through this link]). Salo now has dozens of bloggers collaborations under his belt and many affiliates.

Salo even tells all of his new affiliates to sign up to Pat’s list to receive Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way so that they have the right mindset when working with him! Salo credits building EzPacking to over six figures to working with affiliates and reverse engineering Pat’s affiliate marketing methods.

Even if you don’t see yourself as being in the affiliate marketing business, you can use your knowledge to build an incredible affiliate program for your own products.

3. You Can Produce Engaging Content In a “Boring” Niche

Salo remembers listening to Hotseat #7 from Pat and Chris Ducker’s 1 Day Business Breakthrough Podcast. This podcast was extremely helpful for Salo because Pat and Chris talked about a bird feed company that didn’t know how to produce content around it’s niche. Salo was feeling the same thing at the time, not sure how to make his products interesting to prospects even though there were so many different topics to tackle.

Listening to this podcast stirred his creative juices and helped him realize he could write about all sorts of topics, ranging from smart packing tips to behind-the-scenes of EzPacking. Most of the content in their post-purchase and opt-in email sequences came from Salo’s brainstorming sessions after listening to this podcast.

4. Build Community Around Your Physical Products

In episode 269 of the SPI Podcast, Pat interviewed Tom from Chubbies shorts.

Chubbies is in a crowded market but they were able to stand out, making this podcast huge for Salo. He had thought about these kinds of companies before but had never broken down their formula for creating a strong brand in a crowded market. EzPacking has many competitors in their space and Salo learned so much in this episode about using content and social media to build a tribe in a crowded market. It definitely helped shape his strategic plans for the rest of the year.

As a result of listening to this episode, Salo totally changes his thinking around who they sell a product, but they could also create a community around organizing. Salo is creating an active facebook group for his customers to interact, meet and share. Above all else, this episode helped Salo clarify his brand’s tone to really focus on his target audience and create a culture based on participation in the community.

5. You Can Start Without Any “Experience”

Despite having gone to business school, Salo still credits Smart Passive Income with teaching him most of his “applicable” knowledge.

Salo remembers the exact moment when he listened to episode 122 of the SPI Podcast—a now famous episode where Pat interviewed Shane and Jocelyn Sams about their transition from teaching to rocking it in online business:

I was riding a bus in Rio de Janeiro in November 2014. I had graduated college and was solo traveling in South America. I didn’t have any business ideas yet but I knew I wanted to do something when I returned home. Shane and Jocelyn’s story was so inspiring to me. It made me feel like I could reach their levels of success. It was even more relatable to me than Pat’s story because they had started so recently and had no previous experience. My bus ride ended halfway through the episode but I stayed at the bus stop until the episode ended because I had to listen all the way through!

With the inspiration gleaned from this episode, Salo started his first niche website while on his trip and while he’s since shut the site down, he honed all of the basics (site design, research, etc.) with that first project.

6. Business Ideas Don’t Fall in Your Lap

In another immensely popular podcast episode, SPI #46, Pat interviewed Dane Maxwell. This episode was a huge value bomb for Salo. He was in college at the time and thinking about entrepreneurship but didn’t know how to get started.

The episode made him realize that you have to be proactive about finding a pain point by conducting interviews. He uses Dane’s idea extraction process all the time in his business, interviewing a few customers each month to find new pain points for new products that he can make and new sources of information he can provide to make their website and content even more helpful to his customers.

For example, Salo learned that a subset of his customers have difficulty organizing their purses and handbags. He’s currently developing new products to solve those pain points, keeping those customers in the loop to make sure he’s solving their specific need.

Additionally, Salo discovered that a segment of his customers, new moms, had a lot of questions around traveling and organizing for their newborn babies. Creating content for that part of his audience has been a big focus for 2018.

7. Don’t Be Afraid of New Mediums

For Pat’s Let Go Challenge, Salo submitted a video and was selected as one of the winners!

Salo didn’t get to meet Pat in San Diego, but did get on a call with Pat where they spoke about creative ways to expand Salo’s content strategy and use non-traditional mediums like co-marketing and conferences to spread the word.

Salo had a bit of resistance to these ideas but quickly realized he was nervous about them because he was inexperienced. Based on Pat’s advice that his “nervous” feeling meant it was a prime area for personal (and business) growth, Salo did a full evaluation of all the areas in his business that made him nervous (growing his team, expanding overseas, co-branding deals) and made a plan for addressing those opportunities.

For example, Pat recommended that Salo seek out blogs that had reviewed specific organizing books because that would mean they’re already a great fit to work with Salo. Pat also recommended co-branding deals with influencers or brands, and while Salo is still nervous about pursuing that, he’s stepping into discomfort and taking action toward it.

8. Learn to See (and Conquer) “Superhero Syndrome”

For some reason, Salo didn’t hear Pat’s chat with Chris Ducker in episode 103 of the SPI Podcast until he had already started running his business. He was drowning in his to do list and this podcast opened the possibility of hiring out extra help.

Salo remembers hearing about outsourcing before but it was something he was nervous about: mostly because he didn’t understand how it worked and he didn’t believe it would work for him. It seemed like the moment Salo started down the path of conquering his “superhero syndrome,” he encountered yet another dreaded monster of entrepreneurship: “analysis paralysis.” With so many pieces of advice and options when it came to hiring, Salo relied on people like Pat and Chris Ducker, especially their advice to “just do it.”

After those massive mindset shifts, he has made a few key hires, including a virtual assistant (VA), writer, and designer, to help increase EzPacking’s impact on their customers. Here’s how:

One year ago, their website had almost no content on it. Customers would come to the site, buy, or leave.

With the additional team members, Salo now has the ability to add content to the site, educate his customers, and build loyal fans. His writer is doing most of the writing work, while the graphic designer is creating infographics, packing lists, and checklists. Then, his VA is putting everything together by interfacing between the other team members and adding the posts to Shopify.

There are so many tasks that you can outsource to talented people and Salo recommends starting off with social media management, customer service, graphic design, and going from there.

9. 1-to-1 Marketing Matters More Than Ever

In his July 2017 Income Report, Pat mentioned that he was using Bonjoro to send personal video messages to his customers.

Salo was extremely camera shy but after recording that video, he was more open to the possibility.

When I heard about Bonjoro, I was in the right mindset to give it a try. I’ve been using it for a month. I send a video to each new customer and it has made such a big difference. We used to do email follow up but these videos are so much more personal. My customers LOVE them and we are getting so many more reviews on our website and customer referrals because of this new follow up we are doing. It’s made a big impact in our business and it doesn’t take that much time.

Note: The only other time in his life that Salo had recorded a video of himself was for the Let Go challenge, above!

So, What’s Next for Salo and EzPacking?

He’s working on doubling his business again next year by growing his team and network of freelancers to improve efficiency.

This team will help him by allowing more time and freedom for Salo to spend time creating new products to sell online, focusing on content marketing, building their email list, and improving their SEO.

Long-term, Salo’s goal is to build another brand and replicate his success, like Pat has again and again with niche sites.

So that begs the question, what’s next for YOU? What’ve you learned from SPI in 2017 that you’re going to put into action in 2018? Let me know in the comments below.

Helpful Resources:


SPI 307: Copyright Infringement and DMCA (with my Attorney)

What if someone copied your written content, online course, or digital products, and used them to make money? What would you do? How would you respond? This happens to me all the time, but it doesn’t have to weigh you down, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to respond. That’s why I invited Richard Chapo from SoCalInternetLawyer.com onto the show, my attorney of almost a decade, to answer these questions and give you practical strategies for responding to copyright infringement.

This happens all the time; you may even be dealing with this right now. But even if you’ve never run into these issues, please listen closely. Stealing other people’s work on the internet is so easy these days, and it’s important to know how to handle these cases. It could easily happen to you, and once you reach a certain level with your business, it almost certainly will.

Richard will be talking specifically about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): what that is and how to use it to your benefit if someone’s using your content without permission. He’ll also be talking about how to protect your site if you allow users to post to it. Throughout the episode, we’ll be referring to real-life examples from my own experiences.

Richard and I get a little technical, but he always does a great job of explaining things in a way that’s easy to understand. As always, you can refer to the transcript for today’s episode by clicking below, and I highly recommend taking notes. The strategies Richard outlines could be the arsenal that you need to protect and defend your online business in the future.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Richard Chapo for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • What the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is and how it applies to your online content.
  • When content is illegal, according to the DMCA, and when it isn’t.
  • Whether or not posting content with a backlink to the source is copyright infringement.
  • If reposting content with permission can be considered copyright infringement.
  • How to submit a DMCA takedown when someone uses your content illegally.
  • In what situation you should file a copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • How to handle DMCA infringement with an entity outside of the US.
  • At what point your online content (such as a course) is copyrighted.
  • How to do a fair use analysis using the four elements of fair use defense.
  • How to get infringing content taken down on social sites like YouTube.
  • How to protect your site from copyright infringement when you allow user posts.
  • How to complete a DMCA agent registration for $6, how this protects you, and more!



A Simple Guide to Adding Font Awesome Icons to Your WordPress Site

Font Awesome is a popular set of icons that can be added to your website. Adding ‘Font Awesome’ icons create a user friendly website that is visually appealing to your target audience. ‘Font Awesome’ icons are CSS fonts (not images) so it loads faster.


Why Do Website Owners Use Font Awesome Icons?

  • The icons are vectors meaning that they can be displayed at any size without becoming disfigured.
  • They are completely customizable. You can change the color and add animation to the icons.
  • Font Awesome icons work on all browsers.

Adding Font Awesome Icons to Your Website Manually

I generally prefer to add Font Awesome icons to my WP site manually. You can load the Font Awesome CSS library by adding a little bit of code to your theme’s functions.php file (or a custom plugin file).


  1. In your WordPress admin dashboard, click on the ‘Editor’ menu under ‘Appearance’.
  2. Click on the ‘Theme Functions’ link on the right-hand side of the screen (functions.php).
  3. Copy and paste the following code into the Theme’s functions.php file and then click ‘Update File’:

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'tthq_add_custom_fa_css' );

function tthq_add_custom_fa_css() {
wp_enqueue_style( 'custom-fa', 'https://use.fontawesome.com/releases/v5.0.6/css/all.css' );

You can now use the HTML code to show the icons on your site. Below is an example:

<i class="fab fa-github-square"></i>

Adding Font Awesome to Your WP Site Using a Plugin

You can add Font Awesome icons to your website using a free plugin. This method is recommended for those who are not able to manually add the library using the code mentioned above.

  1. Install and activate the Better Font Awesome plugin on your WP site.
  2. On any post or page, use the inserter of this plugin to embed a range of icons on your website.
  3. Click on the icon you wish to insert. It will now appear on your post or page.


A Simple Guide to Adding Font Awesome Icons to Your WordPress Site originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ


SPI 306: Rise of the Youpreneur with Chris Ducker

Today I have a very special guest: Chris Ducker of ChrisDucker.com and Youpreneur, and author of the new book Rise of the Youpreneur!

Chris and I have been friends for eight years now. He’s been on the show before but we’ve never gotten this deep. A lot of people may not be familiar with the side of Chris we’re going to be talking about today. We’ll be discussing a time in Chris’s life when he was actually hospitalized due to burnout. That event, and everything that happened after, ultimately led Chris to a successful, enjoyable, and fulfilling business.

Chris understands how to be the best version of you, how to portray that so that you can hire people, coach people, and get your audience to trust you. This translates into every facet of his business: branding, content, and how he interacts with his audience. He’s going to be sharing some of his strategies today—you won’t want to miss out.

We’re also talking about legacy. What happens to your business when you’re no longer here? This is important. Online business hasn’t been around for a long time, and it’s necessary to have these kinds of conversations so that we can continue to make an impact in the long-run. What kind of legacy do we want to leave behind? How do we do that?

Today’s episode is packed and personal. You may even want to give it a second listen so that Chris’s experiences really sink in. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Chris Ducker for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • Why Chris burned out in 2009, and what happened afterward.
  • Why Chris decided to relaunch and rebrand.
  • What critical realization Chris had . . . after a water balloon fight at my house.
  • Why being yourself in your business is so crucial.
  • The one thing Chris wishes he’d done from day one.
  • How to inject your brand with your own unique personality.
  • How to understand your audience’s needs.
  • Why Chris hired eight people in one year.
  • How Chris wrote Rise of the Youpreneur quickly, and who he wrote it for.
  • How Chris is creating a legacy for himself, and why that’s so important.
  • How to future-proof your business, and more!



Top 10 Podcast Recording Tips to Sound Like a Podcasting Pro

I believe podcasting is one of the most powerful tools available to build your brand and your audience. And when it comes to creating a great podcast, the real magic happens when you’re recording.

Over several years and hundreds of episodes, I’ve uncovered several crucial tips that have helped me improve my craft and produce podcast content that keeps people engaged and coming back for more. And I wanted to share those tips with you!

Without further ado, just click on the video above, or read below for my top 10 tips for recording a killer podcast episode!

#10: Watch Your Mouth!

This tip is really important—be consistent with the position of your mouth relative to the mic when you’re recording. If you drift away from the mic or even look away briefly, that will reflect directly in the sound quality of your episode. I’ve recorded hundreds of podcast episodes, and I still forget this sometimes! The key is to stay consistent throughout the whole recording. It can help to have a cue to help you here, so I always remember to have the tip of my nose or the tip of my lips touching the pop filter when I’m speaking. That’s how I know the sound quality will be the same throughout the entire episode. It takes some practice, but you’ll get used to it!

#9: Stay Out Of the Red

This tip has to do with your sound levels. Your levels will show up as a little scale in the application you’re using to edit. Usually this is a series of bars that go from green to yellow to red, depending on how loud you are. There’s one basic rule of thumb here: Do not go red! You don’t want to record in the red—because once you go red, you can’t go back. You’re much better off recording in the green and the yellows, because it’s easy to go back and bump up the levels in your software later on if you need to.

The best practice here is to try and get as close to red as possible without actually going into that range. This’ll give you get a great volume level without distorting the sound. If you’re using a portable sound recorder, it can be a little bit easier to control the levels, as the recorder will usually have a button or knob you can adjust on the fly to tweak your levels. But if you’re recording into software, it might not be as obvious how to adjust your input levels. So make sure to identify ahead of time where to do that in whatever application you’re using. Then, before you start recording, run some tests to calibrate your levels. Speak naturally, record a couple of run-throughs to see where your levels are running, and adjust accordingly. And remember, don’t go into the red!

#8: Keep it Consistent

One of the most common questions I get is “How long should my podcast episodes be?” This is actually a pretty common question for any sort of publishing platform, whether it’s a book, a blog post, a video, or a podcast episode. The simple answer to all those questions? As long as it needs to be. How much time do you need to get across your message? There’s no magic number, really. It all depends on what kind of content you’re going to produce, and on your style, too. There are plenty of great podcasts out there that are just three to five minutes long. And there are some podcasts that are longer—twenty minutes, thirty minutes, sometimes even an hour. You know your audience and the type of content you’re putting out there. Whatever show length you feel is right for you and your audience is the right answer.

That said, whatever show length you decide on, my main piece of advice is to stay consistent. You don’t want to record twenty minutes with one episode, five minutes the next episode, and then one hour the next one. Getting into a nice rhythm will be helpful for you, AND for your listeners so they know what to expect and know how much time to allot for listening to your show each time.

#7: Grab Them With Your Intro

I definitely recommend having an intro. It’s great for branding purposes, but there are different ways to approach it. And again, just to reiterate, this is your show. You can do whatever it is that you want to do with it. You have a lot of freedom here.

Now, as with any sort of presentation, whether it’s a blog post, podcast, video, or even a live presentation, the best thing you can do at the beginning is to tell your listeners or readers what they’re about to experience. This helps them understand what to expect, and gives them something to look forward to. For a podcast episode, you could even include a little teaser of the show’s content, to get people intrigued about listening all the way through. If you haven’t heard the SPI podcast before, I start each episode with a voice over saying, “This is the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn, session number [X],” followed by some intro music. Then I spend about a minute going over about what I’m going to talk about and who I have on the show as a guest that episode.

The next thing to think about when it comes to your intro is music. Music can be a great way to set the mood and “grab” the listener right off the bat, but you also need to be very careful. The last thing you want to do is get in trouble for using music you don’t own, and to which you don’t have the rights. The key here is to look for music that’s royalty-free, which means you have the right to use it for any purpose. There are different variations of royalty-free music, so whenever you find something you like, make sure you go over the terms and conditions on the site where you found it. You can even contact the support team of that site to make extra sure you’re allowed to use the music for your show. It’s better to be safe than sorry here! Thankfully, there are lots of sites where you can find great royalty-free music. I got my music from istockphoto.com. Even though it’s mainly a photo site, they also have a music section. There’s also soundsnap.com, and you could do a search on Google for other royalty-free music websites.

#6: Charm Them With Your Outro

I’ll keep this one short and sweet. In addition to your intro, your outro is very important. And frankly, I see a lot of podcasters missing the ball on this one. Remember, your outro is the last thing people hear and remember when they’re listening to you. So put it to good use. How do you do that? You provide a call to action. It’s as simple as that. Keep the engagement going. The listeners who have tuned into you for the entire length of your episode are primed for you to tell them how to take the next step, whether that’s to subscribe to your list, purchase something, or even just leave a review or subscribe, which is helpful for your rankings in iTunes. Whatever that call to action is, it’s so important to have it in there.

Now, you can keep the call to action the same for every episode if you want to, but I actually recommend changing it up each time, just so that people who listen to other episodes have different options for how to follow up with you. Maybe they already subscribe to your email list, or they’ve already left your podcast a review, so you want to be sure to give them something new.

#5: Wow Them With Your Website

It’s important to direct people from your podcast back to your website.  Why? Because people can’t click on what they’re listening to! It’s really smart to remind people to come back to your website, because that’s where all the action happens.

The best place on your website to direct people to is your show notes. Your show notes are a collection of links, summaries, an episode transcript, and/or other helpful resources related to a specific episode. Show notes are a great resource for your audience, because they provide an alternative to memorizing all of the great stuff you mentioned in your podcast episode. Instead, a listener can just come to your blog and find it all in one place.

What’s the best way to direct people to your show notes? Add a mention or two in the episode audio, telling people to come to your website and directing them to find the show notes for your podcast episodes. The outro is a great place to do that, but consider adding reminders elsewhere in your show, too. In my case, visitors to SmartPassiveIncome.com can click on “Podcast” in the navigation menu and scroll down to find the show notes for a particular episode.

If you wanted to make it even easier, you could get fancy and use a redirect. If you have a WordPress blog, this is actually really easy. I use a plugin called Pretty Links to do this. It’s one of my favorite plugins, because it allows me to take any link, no matter how long and ugly it is, and turn it into something pretty and much easier to remember. With my episode show notes, for instance, the URL on my blog might be something unruly like smartpassiveincome.com/spi001-introduction-podcast. If I mention that particular URL on the show, it’s going to be really hard for people to remember. But using Pretty Links, I can set it up so that when people go to smartpassiveincome.com/session1, they’ll get redirected to the long URL with my show notes. Super easy! And I’ve used this system for a while, so my listeners are used accessing my show notes with this format.

Finally, this goes without saying, but when you direct people back to your blog or your show notes, make sure you leave a good first impression. Do something to get them to come back for more. You collect their email addresses and get them to subscribe. Again, the blog is where all the clicking action happens.

#4: Say Yes to Segmentation

My next tip is to break up your show into different segments. This is an especially good idea if you are going to produce a longer show, say, in the forty-five-minute to 1.5-hour range. It’s totally fine to have longer episodes like this, but if you do, you have to be a bit more careful about how you break up the content so it’s more organized and digestible. Think of it like reading a book. If a book didn’t have any chapters at all and was just one huge chunk of text, it would be a pain to read. Having chapters and sections and paragraphs lets the reader know what to expect so they don’t feel overwhelmed, and also gives them room to breathe—some space at points to reset a little bit.

It should be the same for your podcast episodes. One of my favorite shows is Internet Business Mastery. There are many reasons why I became hooked on this show, but one of the main things I loved about it was they broke up their relatively long show into different segments. They started with their intro, where they talked about what the show was about, the episode number, and things like that. Then they did a short personal piece where Jeremy and Jason would just chat for a little bit. Then they would go into the featured segment, and at the end they would mention a short tip or resource. Between each of these segments, they’d have music to denote each new section. They used this structure in every episode, so it helped set expectations each time you listened. So, if you’re going to be producing a longer type of episode, think about breaking your episode into different chunks to keep your listeners listening and give them room to breathe a little bit!

#3: Forget the Fluff

This tip is simple: minimize the fluff. And what is fluff, exactly? It’s the extra stuff people talk about that doesn’t really have anything to do with the focus of your episode, that’s not going to be helpful to your audience—that’s just a waste of time, basically. What counts as “fluff” is going to be different for every audience, so the key is to think about it from your listeners’ point of view. Ask yourself, what do they want to listen to? They want to listen to stuff that’s going to help them, of course, so you want to get the meat of your content as quickly as possible.

That said, personal stuff is also pretty important, because that’s what people can connect to. That’s why I include a lot of personal stuff in my show. I talk about my kids and my family, as well as my hobbies and things I like to do, because that’s what helps me connect on a deeper level with my audience beyond just the content I produce. A lot of people come up to me in conferences and tell me stories about their personal lives before they talk about anything business related. So, the personal stuff and the stories, that’s what people remember and what lets them connect with you. But you don’t want too much of it. For me, the right amount is one or two little personal things at the beginning of the show or toward the middle. Just use your common sense. I’ve listened to shows in which the first ten minutes was about something I have absolutely no interest in, and I stopped listening. So be careful.

#2: Avoid Over-Editing

My next-to-last tip is to not edit too much! You’re gonna make mistakes when you record. But it’s really easy to notice them all, because you’re the one recording them. When you’re producing your shows, it can be really easy to edit too much, to hear all those mistakes and want to go in there and try to connect everything—to slice and dice and splice everything. Don’t do that. It’s a waste of time, and the more you rely on editing, the less you’re gonna actually improve as a person behind the microphone. You’ll have to do a certain amount of editing, for sure. You’re going to have to edit in your interviews. You’re going to have to edit your intros and jingles and things like that. And yes, there will always be a couple of clear mistakes in the middle of your recording that you’ll need to edit out. Fix those. But don’t try to make it “perfect.”

So trust me here. Don’t go too crazy with the editing. If you just force yourself to do it without editing too heavily, you’ll find it actually helps you improve in your craft. I’ve become such a better speaker behind the microphone, partly because I force myself not to edit my shows and rely instead on improving my craft of speaking. It will happen over time. It won’t be overnight, but you’ll get better. If you go back to my very first podcast episode, well, it sucks. I don’t like listening to it. And even if you go back to my first videos, I dare you to, because they’re just terrible. I cannot listen to them without cringing. But over time, I’ve gotten much better, and it’s because I don’t edit my shows too much. It just improved me so much.

#1: Have Fun!

The last tip here is to just have fun! Podcasting is amazing. At no other time in history have we been able to produce a show from the comfort of our own home or even on the road, something millions of people can listen to and listen to you, and it’s just so amazing. It’s such a wonderful time and opportunity, and the more you have fun with the process, the more your audience is going to pick up on that and have fun with it themselves. And here’s the thing: once you’ve produced a large number of shows, you’re going to reach a point where you’re just not having fun anymore. I’ve reached that point myself, and every podcaster I’ve talked to has reached that point where they just say, “Oh. I gotta record another episode . . .” But when you hit that point, just think about when you first started, and think about the possibilities. Because podcasting has the ability to open up so many doors. It has for me. Just remember why you’re doing it in the first place, and try to just have fun with it. If you find you’re getting bored with it, add something new, or try something different for a little while.

Well, those are my top 10 recording tips to help you improve your podcasting! I hope you find them helpful. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast and need a helping hand to get things off the ground, go to HowtoStartaPodcast.com and access my free 3-day mini course that’ll walk you through everything you need, step by step, to get your podcast up and running.


SPI 305: The Funnel After the Funnel with Nicole Walters

Today’s special guest is Nicole Walters of NicoleWalters.tv, who’s talking about the funnel after the funnel, what that is, and why it’s so critical to her mindset and success. We’ll also be talking about how she quit her job . . . in front of a live audience! Since then, she’s built a seven-figure business while being an amazing mother too. She’s here to talk about all that and more, today on The Smart Passive Income Podcast.

There are things that we purposefully focus on that help us grow and scale our businesses. For Nicole it’s her incredible community. We’d spoken at an event together—Business Boutique with Christy Wright, in Nashville—and after the event I swear we didn’t go ten feet without someone stopping Nicole to ask for a selfie or an autograph.

The value Nicole provides for her community is incredible and her journey is inspiring. From a high-level corporate career, to the world of online business and a buzzing community, her story is unique, and what she’s built because of those experiences is truly special. She’s learned some essential lessons, strategies, and techniques along the way, and she’s here today to share all of that with you!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Nicole Walters for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • Why Nicole decided to quit her job in front of a live audience, and what happened afterward.
  • How Nicole’s commitment to her family drove her to succeed.
  • The stories behind Nicole’s two viral videos.
  • How Nicole distinguished herself when she started her online business.
  • How Nicole fosters her community, both online and offline.
  • How Nicole scaled her membership group to a million-dollar group.
  • How Nicole applies both a service-based philosophy and corporate strategies to her business.
  • Why Nicole transitioned her community from Facebook to her own membership portal.
  • Why and how Nicole hired a Head of Operations.
  • What the funnel after the funnel is, and how that mindset plays into Nicole’s business.
  • What Nicole’s top tools are, why they’re so critical, and more!