So, you want to connect with potential investors online. But how do you go about building a thought leadership platform? What kind of content should you create? And how do you best serve your audience so that they are ready to invest when a deal comes up?

Pat Flynn is the creator of Smart Passive Income, the premiere learning and development platform for online entrepreneurs. He got into online marketing out of necessity in 2008 when he was laid off from his dream job as an architect. Since then, Pat has built several successful online businesses and impacted millions of people around the world. He credits his success to serving others first, and then building systems to lean into that service even more.

On this episode of Apartment Building Investing, Pat joins me to explain how he got into the online marketing space and why he thinks EVERYONE should build a thought leadership platform. He offers insight into the power of podcasting, sharing how YOU can start a podcast of your own for under $100. Listen in for Pat’s insight on what to consider as you create an online platform and get his top tips for producing consistent content that serves your audience!

Key Takeaways

How Pat got into the online marketing space

  • Let go from dream job as architect in 2008 with no Plan B
  • Inspired by podcast to build website on LEED exam
  • Published study guide, made nearly $8K in single month
  • Started Smart Passive Income to help others start businesses

Pat’s response to the Why Me? objection

  • Don’t have to be expert, just few steps ahead of audience
  • Show up as person and connect to build superfans

How Pat defines smart passive income

  • Not get rich quick, have to put in work
  • Mechanisms in place to pay back later

The business model for an online venture

  1. Pick target market, research needs
  2. Create platform to demo authority
  3. Monetize (sponsorships, ads, products, affiliate marketing or pledge)

Why Pat thinks EVERYONE should build a platform online

  • Place to connect (nobody’s like you)
  • Build relationships and authority

What to consider in building a platform

  • Choose 1 format to start (e.g.: blog, podcast, YouTube channel)
  • Commit to producing content consistently

Pat’s tips for producing regular content

  • Planning session every quarter
  • Focus on questions people ask

What Pat loves about podcasting

  • Ease of creation (after initial setup)
  • Build amazing relationships with listeners
  • Evergreen content

How to start a podcast

  • Decide on topic and how helps people
  • Establish name, artwork and branding
  • Get mic + hosting service (<$100)

The biggest mistakes new podcasters make

  • Launch with single episode (at least 3)
  • Try to fit in specific time vs. range
  • Don’t publish regularly
  • Edit every breath or ‘um’

Pat’s top advice for aspiring platform builders

  • Consider what you’re missing out on by NOT doing it
  • Get started with intention of helping 1 real person

Connect with Pat Flynn

Pat’s Top Resources

Pat’s Website

Smart Passive Income


Deal Maker Live

Michael’s Free Platform Builder Webinar

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Traffic & Conversion Summit

Internet Business Mastery

Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business by Pat Flynn


SwitchPod DSLR Tripod




Gary Vaynerchuk

Tim Ferriss

Pencils of Promise

The Joe Rogan Experience

Ask Pat

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Spotify Podcasts

Stitcher Radio

Pat’s YouTube Tutorial on How to Start a Podcast

Samson Q2U Mic


Adobe Audition


Podcast Show Notes

Review the Podcast on iTunes

Michael’s Website

Michael on Facebook

Michael on Instagram

Michael on YouTube

Apartment Investor Network Facebook Group