Is Pat Flynn From Smart Passive Income Wrong?

Profile picture of the author smallbusinessguy by smallbusinessguy Posted: 09/13/2011
Yesterday I received an email from Pat of smartpassiveincome titled "This is how Social Proof Made Me over $3000 in 3 days"

Now, I am not trying to rant here. This post is just to show that I disagree with what he has to say and would like your opinion as well.

I will not republish the entire email here as he has mentioned that it's for his newsletter subscribers only. So, I need to honour that.

The basic idea is to get something to promote as an affiliate and get the product creator to give one or two products for free on your site. He also recommend buying additional copy if you cannot get the product creator to give away his product.

The trick is to host it as a contest so that people interested to "win" the product says how they will make use of it and how it might help them to get their job done. Mind you, the link shoudl be an affiliate one.

Now, I dont disagree with this idea. It sounds great.

The reasoning fails when he says the following

When people leave their comments (there were almost 300 comments on that post), everyone else sees what everyone is saying about that product. That's promotional material - not from you but from other people, which is much more powerful. That's social proof at it's finest right there.
That's quoted directly from the email.

However, my questions is

How is this a social proof?

People are not giving you their ACTUAL experience. They are saying how it MIGHT help them. These people have no more knowledge about the merit of the product other than reading reviews or visiting a sales page.

So, that counts as social proof? Proof of what?

Pat sends great emails and I was actually shocked with such a silly reasoning in this mail. It's plain simple. People checked out the sales page due to the exposure of the contest and since the copywriter did a good job, a few people got hooked. They bought probably because they did not win the contest or did not think they had a chance.

Another thing I would like to mention to Pat is that you shoudlnt leave such large whitespace in your emails. Especially towards the end of the email near the unsubscribe link (You use 2 huge white space). That's an age old trick for making people stick to your email list. If somebody wants to leave your list, let them do it easily!!!

What do you think?

Is persuation using contests as Pat mentions worth pursuing? Is his reasoning sound?
#flynn #income #passive #pat #smart #wrong

  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by smallbusinessguy View Post

    How is this a social proof?
    In your example, the social proof is having hundreds of people just like you who are clamouring to get their hands on the product. They don't need to have already bought it - the fact that so many of your peer group want it sends a powerful message to potential buyers that this is one hot item they should also be interested in.

    This sort of stoking of demand is a standard component of most pre-launch hype.


    Frank
  • Profile picture of the author smallbusinessguy
    smallbusinessguy
    Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post
    In your example, the social proof is having hundreds of people just like you who are clamouring to get their hands on the product. They don't need to have already bought it - the fact that so many of your peer group want it sends a powerful message to potential buyers that this is one hot item they should also be interested in.

    This sort of stoking of demand is a standard component of most pre-launch hype.


    Frank
    Does 100's of people trying to get their hands on a freebie produce the same effect as a few positive reviews from people that actually used the product and found it useful?
  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by smallbusinessguy View Post
    Does 100's of people trying to get their hands on a freebie produce the same effect as a few positive reviews from people that actually used the product and found it useful?
    Both can be effective, if properly used. It doesn't just have to be one or the other.
  • Profile picture of the author butters
    butters
    Originally Posted by smallbusinessguy View Post
    Does 100's of people trying to get their hands on a freebie produce the same effect as a few positive reviews from people that actually used the product and found it useful?
    I'd say if he is making 3k in 3 days, it's working pretty well for him .
  • Profile picture of the author PLRExpress
    PLRExpress
    We all see so many product everyday and many of them have several reviews about them included on the sales page or nearby. There are also many "reviews" being written on posts out there from bloggers and marketers. They call them "reviews" but they are mainly just affiliate promotions.

    Many people then have no idea who to trust and they're looking for the popular products that are out there on the market.

    In some ways, it may be that even just people showing interest in a product leads others to believe that it is popular or important. In a community such as Pat's at Smart Passive Income, it's a very strong community and people there comment and read the comments of others. If they see that someone in the comments (someone that they have been interacting with for a while) is interested in a product it may encourage them to be a little more interested also.

    While it's not directly a "review" of a product, sometimes the comments from people that you know or even just getting ideas as to how you could use this product may encourage you to buy. This has to be worth more that those sites that just say "XXX Review" but are really just promoting. A comment from a face you know and trust is worth more than a stranger waiting for an affiliate commission.
  • Profile picture of the author Tmill
    Tmill
    Pat Flynn makes like $40k a month. He knows what he is talking about and usually doesn't talk about a subject unless he is educated on it. I always read his stuff because he speaks the truth and isn't trying to sell something directly. He suggests products but never says you NEED it.
  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    Patrick
    Originally Posted by Tmill View Post
    Pat Flynn makes like $40k a month. He knows what he is talking about and usually doesn't talk about a subject unless he is educated on it. I always read his stuff because he speaks the truth and isn't trying to sell something directly. He suggests products but never says you NEED it.
    How do you know he makes $40K a month ?
  • Profile picture of the author oogyboogawa
    oogyboogawa
    Originally Posted by schwarzes View Post
    How do you know he makes $40K a month ?

    My Monthly Report – August 2011 | The Smart Passive Income Blog


    Substantially less than $40k (at least in August, I haven't watched too closely other months), but that would be how people know how much he makes.
  • Profile picture of the author 36burrows
    36burrows
    Originally Posted by schwarzes View Post
    How do you know he makes $40K a month ?
    Because he reads his blog
  • Profile picture of the author Patrick
    Patrick
    Originally Posted by oogyboogawa View Post
    My Monthly Report – August 2011 | The Smart Passive Income Blog


    Substantially less than $40k (at least in August, I haven't watched too closely other months), but that would be how people know how much he makes.
    Anyone can write that stuff down and decorate the text so that people notice it. Whats the big deal ?
  • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
    Matt.Lake
    It is a bit misleading for what it's worth. It should be "This is how Social Proof Helped Make Me over $3000 in 3 days".

    Maybe he would have made $3K without the comments? A lot of IM'ers like to teach how they did something when they don't really have the evidence to say what the real reason was for it working. It just makes them look smart.

    I'm not particularly hating on Pat here. I drop into his blog every now and then. I'm not a loyal fan or anything but I also wouldn't say I dislike him. I do though prefer to learn from and get advice from people that are more "in the trenches" though. He obviously tries and tests lots of things but at the end of the day he makes more money from his "make money" blog than he does from actual "real" online businesses. Each to their own obviously but that's something that always leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    Originally Posted by Tmill View Post
    Pat Flynn makes like $40k a month.
    His income report would state otherwise. He still does well by most peoples standards but you're about $10K off I believe.
  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    Ryan David
    I would still call it social proof, I would just argue of it's impact on sales.

    Effective social proof that would drive sales is 1000 product reviews from existing customers. Not sure if 1000 blog comments would have the same effect.

    But still....300 comments at least show people are interested.

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