by   on November 21, 2022

5 Ways Pat Flynn’s SPI Pro Helped Grow My Business (For Free) – The Complete Review

Running a business is hard work. Entrepreneurship sounds cool. But running your business as a business owner is a lonely job. If you are a solopreneur or run a small business, you do everything in your business. Creating products, offering services, marketing your business, making sales calls, and filing taxes. That’s why many business owners desperately look for good membership communities.

I was (and still am) a part of several Facebook Groups. But the endless chatter (and sometimes silence) is something I just couldn’t take. But two years ago, right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, we witnessed many paid communities come about. I signed up for many of them. But the only paid community I’m still a part of is SPI Pro by Pat Flynn and Smart Passive Income.

Two years ago, I was stuck.

In 2020, I decided to consolidate my courses business. After contemplating multiple options, I decided to create a subscription-based model. The plan was to let entrepreneurs signup for my courses individually or by paying a monthly fee.

But after a couple of months of working on a website and creating the offers, we were hit with the unpleasant news – COVID19. Struck with fear and infection, people around the world stopped spending online. I ran into three problems.

1. Diversify my revenue streams.

Up until 2020, my business was in the podcasting niche. I taught people how to start and grow their podcasts. But with the pandemic, people shifted their spending from “nice to haves” to “must-haves.” So I needed to go beyond just selling courses for podcasters. I needed to find and create newer revenue streams for my online business.

2. Needed a steady flow of highly-qualified leads.

Given that most of my lead generation focused on just podcasting, I needed to find ways to generate leads for the other revenue streams I decided to focus on. But I was also particular that we needed to generate marketing-qualified leads (not just leads).

3. I needed to find more people like me. A community of online business owners.

The times were lonelier than usual during the pandemic. And I felt the need to find more people that were on a journey like me. I wanted to have someone to talk to every week, give me feedback, offer support, and help me learn something new.

Not too long ago, I did none of this.

I worked a full-time job for over fifteen years. In 2016 I decided to take a career break to explore my interests and opportunities. I started my first podcast in a different niche. Ever since I have figured it all by myself.

Started creating content.

I started a podcast, wrote my first ebook, grew my email list, and grew my podcast to over a quarter million downloads in eleven months. I drank from the proverbial firehose.

The only resources I used were Pat Flynn’s YouTube videos on how to start a podcast, his free course on how to write an ebook, and the Smart Passive Income podcast. My testimonial was featured on the Smart Passive Income website for a long time, too (thanks to the poster-boy formula I learned from Bryan Harris on the Smart Passive Income podcast).

posterboy smart passive income karthik vijayakumar

Connected with people

One of the first entrepreneurial communities I joined was the Smart Passive Income Facebook Group. This is where I met some amazing entrepreneurs and made some friends too.

But 2020 was different. Business owners were struck with fear. Demand had dropped. Many business owners even shut down their businesses. And then came the big news – The Smart Passive Income Facebook Group was shutting down too.

The frustrations of not finding the answer you seek.

Here I was, trying to diversify my business, generate new leads, and desperately trying to find and connect with more people like me. I had joined three different communities at this point. And then, one day, as I was listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast, I heard Pat Flynn talk about SPI Pro. It was a series of episodes where they talked about what SPI Pro is, its features, etc.

I was tempted to join. But I was holding on to my decision. I was already spending close to $200 on three other communities. So I waited out. A quarter went by, and I had already started to take action on a few of my action items. I had diversified my business to launch my copywriting services and focus on growing an affiliate business.

Of the communities I had joined, two were around course creation, and one was on paid lead generation. But I needed help outside of these. I never was interested in paid lead generation at that point. After four months of trying to wait and watch, I decided to stop paying for these communities. And I was contemplating joining SPI Pro. Two thoughts in my head at that point:

  1. Pat’s resources helped me start my entrepreneurial journey.
  2. Thanks to the communities I just exited, I knew exactly what I didn’t want from a community (but I still didn’t know what I wanted!).

The best way to know whether a community works for us (or not) is to experience it. So I decided to give it a shot.

SPI Pro Membership Community

First off, this is not a community about Pat Flynn. You don’t get to ping him and get your questions answered. That’s just in case you are a fan of SPI or Pat. And that also explains the core focus of this community. It’s about you, the business owner. They use this platform called Circle for the community’s online presence. But there’s much more to the SPI Pro community than Circle. Let me explain.

This is how the team at Smart Passive Income describes SPI Pro:

SPI Pro is our private community for growth-minded entrepreneurs motivated by purpose, committed to self-discovery, willing to do the work, and eager to create their success.

What do you get inside SPI Pro?

Before I tell you what you “really” get from joining SPI Pro, let me walk you through the five key features of this online community for online business owners and solopreneurs.

1. Private Community

SPI Pro offers a private entrepreneur community built on a robust platform with features including forums, channels, and personal 1:1 messaging. There are dedicated channels for affiliate marketing, podcasting, email marketing, social media, advertising, video, websites, and SEO.

2. Curated Masterminds

Once you join, you can throw your hat in to participate in a mastermind mixer. Team SPI will pull together members with similar areas of focus into mastermind groups. Once you are a part of a group (typically 3-5 business owners), you can together decide the frequency and other “house rules.”

3. Exclusive Content

You get access to exclusive recorded workshops that Team SPI has to offer. Plus, you get access to events and workshops hosted by other experts inside the SPI community. These are mostly live, but recordings are available if you cannot make it to these events.

4. Peer and Expert Community Access

There are a few different ways you can access the SPI Pro community. First off, there’s the monthly AMA with Pat Flynn. He’s typically available for as long as there are questions. Members schedule hangouts every other week (or more) when you can just jump on a zoom call and meet fellow Pro members. These events are casual and sometimes with an open agenda – great ways to get to know others inside the community.

5. Earn Passive Income as an Affiliate

The courses at Smart Passive Income are of high quality. And they aren’t available to the general public to signup as an affiliate. But when you are an SPI Pro member, you can promote SPI Courses and earn a significant affiliate commission. More about this later.

Related read: Also read my review of the 7 Best Podcasting Courses by the World’s Best Podcasters.

How Has Joining SPI Pro Helped Grow My Business?

Okay. Everything I mentioned so far is what Pat Flynn and the SPI team will tell you too. But now, I want to share my side of the story. SPI Pro has played a big role in growing my business. Let me walk you through the five ways my business grew because of SPI Pro.

1. $7061.00 Passive Income in 15 Months

The first thing I did when I joined SPI Pro was to update this blog post with my affiliate link for the Power-Up Podcasting course. That’s it. I didn’t do anything else. This helped me generate almost $5000+ plus $2000 from links in my follow-up emails and $18,776 in sales for SPI (I learned this technique from Pat in his 123-Affiliate Marketing course). Because of this, I’ve doubled down on affiliate marketing.

spi pro affiliate income


2. 60+ Email Subscribers In One Day From Teach Friday SPI Podcast

While inside SPI Pro, you can also access many “specials.” These aren’t advertised by the SPI team or Pat Flynn explicitly. One such is an opportunity to be a guest podcast host on the Smart Passive Income Podcast!

Can you imagine what this can mean to your business? In my case, I got over 60 very high-quality leads on day 1 of my episode going live on the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Over the last few months, my list has grown by more than 120 people (not counting the unsubscribers).

karthik vijayakumar on the smart passive income podcast with Pat Flynn


3. New Client Referral From Mastermind Groups

I have been on several masterminds. But the one inside the SPI Pro membership community will always remain close to my heart. My mastermind members are passionate about their businesses, and they bring in everything to help you succeed. One of my mastermind mates referred a copywriting client from some Facebook group that I never knew existed!

spi pro client referral


4. New Client From SPI Pro Member

The SPI Pro community is a bunch of busy business owners (just like you and me). Sometimes you don’t see much chatter in the forum. But don’t let that deceive you. That’s simply because everyone’s busy minding their businesses!

But when people are posting in forums, they mean what they say. I have been on four podcasts hosted by SPI Pro members and even got an SPI Pro member as a copywriting client. There’s inbuilt trust inside this community, which I like the most.

5. Traffic Growth Strategy from Free Workshop

I learned a ton from this one, the Traffic Booster Workshop, which you will get access to when you join Smart Passive Income Pro. Pat has never been this generous with sharing strategies in any other course. Well, I mean to say that this course is worth more than even the most expensive course he’s created. That’s just my personal opinion. But if you are just starting a business or entering a new niche (like I was), don’t miss this when you sign up for the SPI Pro membership community!

Related reads: Also read my post reviewing the 7 Best Podcasting Courses from World-class Podcasters.

But SPI Pro is Expensive

Yes, it is. As I write this blog post, the new member pricing is $299/quarter or $990/year for SPI Pro.

Let’s put that in perspective. The community has 672 members today. And the number has been in this ballpark for over a year now. The SPI team has been clear that its goal with SPI is to create a very good experience for the Pro members. When you fix the total number, the price tends to go higher to cover running costs.

spi pro member directory

I strongly recommend you join, even at this price point. Simply because the benefits far outweigh the costs. Consider joining if any of the following topics resonate with you or your business:

  1. Affiliate marketing
  2. Lead generation
  3. Partnerships and JVs
  4. Create and sell courses
  5. Email marketing
  6. You host a community or membership

Note: Read on to learn how I use SPI Pro for FREE. You will see how you can pay for the SPI Pro community and get back that money (and a lot more).

Built for Busy Business Owners

When I joined SPI Pro, I didn’t have time for anything extra. I needed to stop an ongoing project (my subscription business website) and kick off three initiatives (diversifying revenue streams, lead generation, and community).

But SPI Pro gave me an instant boost with the Mastermind. The support I received in the form of advice and referrals is priceless. Plus, the forums are always helpful so long as we know how to use them well.

Maybe You Don’t Think Now Is the Right Time

I wouldn’t be writing this if I thought that way. From my little experience launching and growing a business, there is no “right time.” There’s just “now” or “never.” And in some ways, Pat and the SPI team have understood this. They won’t let you make that mistake of signing up for SPI Pro on a whim. You need to apply first.

SPI Pro opens just a few times every year. And you only get to know if your application is picked and you are on the waitlist. So here’s what I’d tell you if you don’t think now is the right time. Just apply.

Here’s the Real Deal with SPI Pro

Sure, you get the private community, curated masterminds, exclusive content, direct access to the SPI team, and earn passive income as an affiliate.

But here’s the real deal when you join SPI Pro:

  1. 40% Affiliate Commission: Every time someone signs up for any Smart Passive Income courses, you will earn up to $399 per sale. That’s truly passive income.
  2. Generate High-Quality Leads for a Lifetime: When you are inside SPI Pro, make sure you apply to teach on a Teach Fridays episode. When you do it right, you can use this opportunity to generate high-quality leads for your business.
  3. Get Referrals, Partnerships, and JVs: You can get on others’ podcasts, get guests for your podcasts, do partner webinars, get new clients, and more.

Everything I said before is still valid. But the above three are the real deal. Now I have something to share with you. Not everyone inside SPI Pro has successfully generated leads from being on the SPI Podcast. Not everyone uses affiliate links to generate passive income. But if you want to do that, I’m giving you my SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle.

You can download the SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle for Free – right now!

What’s Inside the SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle?

  1. Teach Fridays Pitching Cheatsheet: How to pitch your episode to the SPI Pro team, so your application gets noticed.
  2. Teach Fridays Episode Content Cheatsheet: How to turn your guest host opportunity inside SPI Pro into a lifetime free flow of high-quality leads for your business.
  3. Affiliate Win-back Cheatsheet: How to use your affiliate links to recover the cost of your SPI Pro investment (and make a passive profit).
  4. Podcast Guesting Cheatsheet: How to use your connections and the Membership Directory inside SPI Pro to create outstanding content as a podcast guest.
  5. Bonus – Growth Strategies that Work: I will share the growth strategies I have learned from listening to 500+ episodes on the Smart Passive Income podcast.


The Bottom Line – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

The short answer is a YES, apply to join SPI Pro today. If you’re looking for a longer answer, here’s it.

Who is SPI Pro ideally for?

The SPI Pro membership community is for you if you run an online business. If you focus on any of the following areas, apply to join SPI Pro right away:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Online courses
  • Community building
  • Create the content on YouTube
  • Run a service-based business

At what stage of business should you consider joining SPI Pro?

Inside this premium membership community, you’ll find everyone from new business owners to entrepreneurs that run established businesses. But here’s my recommendation:

  • For new business owners: Join SPI Pro to find a niche and leverage the Masterminds.
  • If you have found a product-market fit: Join SPI Pro to grow your network and leverage the courses to tighten some business basics.
  • For businesses looking to scale: Find new team members, shortlist partners for JVs, and leverage the Masterminds.

Why you should not join SPI Pro?

By now, you understand why you should join. But there are reasons why you should not join too. And I want to save you the trouble of filling out the application form if you are considering SPI Pro for any of the following reasons:

  1. You have no time to help other business owners. SPI Pro is a community where you need to take time for others. If you are busy and just need others to help you, please don’t apply. Consider hiring someone on Upwork instead.
  2. You are not serious about online business (at least, not yet). Perhaps you are working on a side project but not too serious about it. Or maybe you’ve been listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast and heard Pat talk about SPI Pro. Please note that SPI also has a Learner community for those not ready for Smart Passive Income Pro. Consider applying for the SPI Learner community membership instead.
  3. You haven’t experienced SPI. This is not mandatory, but I recommend you at least listen to the Smart Passive Income podcast before considering joining or applying for SPI Pro. You can also read the Smart Passive Income blog or signup for Pat Flynn’s courses.
  4. You are a complete newbie. If you are a total newbie in business or entrepreneurship, that’s wonderful. I recommend you apply for the SPI Learner community first, get your feet wet, and then upgrade to SPI Pro once you gain momentum with your business.
  5. You don’t share similar values as Pat Flynn. Seriously? Let me explain. Pat shows up in the community once a month (at this point). But the entrepreneurs inside the community have come together because we resonate with Pat and his ways of building or growing a business. I don’t mean to say that all members are Pat-value-clones. Nah! But we all believe in a few values like respecting each other, giving a lot before we ask for help, and building a business with long-term growth in mind. This is not an all-encompassing list of Pat’s values. But I hope you get the point. Go ahead and apply to join SPI Pro if you’re cool with this.

Take action now.

If you’re reading this, you have decided to join Smart Passive Income Pro. Or maybe you have a whisker of doubt or perhaps a question or two. That’s why I created the SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle. I created a bundle of checklists based on my experience inside the SPI Pro community and making the most of the membership community.

Use the form below to signup for the bundle. Once you get the bundle, reply to my email and ask me any questions you may have about SPI Pro. I respond to every email that comes my way. Thanks for reading. And when you join SPI Pro, don’t forget to look me up in the Member Directory and say HI! Cheers.

SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle

Download the Cheatsheets!

Enter your first name and email to get a copy of the SPI Pro Cheatsheet Bundle in your inbox.

From our podcasting desk: I hope you found this post helpful. Listen to The Launch Plan podcast if you are a business owner or content creator. On the show, every episode is a mini-course helping you level up a specific area of your business. Learn how to create irresistible offers in a multi-part series, create opt-in pages that convert, use guest podcasts to grow your business, pitch partners, nail your messaging, and much more. Visit the podcast page to start listening.

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