You may know Pat Flynn from his highly successful YouTube channel where he provides entrepreneurial knowledge and passive income advice to hundreds of thousands of viewers. You may also know Pat as an author of multiple books including the Wall Street Journal Bestseller: Will It Fly? Or what about his company SwitchPod, one of the most versatile tripods on the market? At the end of the day, however, he runs a Pokemon YouTube channel, Deep Pocket Monster, where he takes a different outlook on Pokemon TCG content creation setting him apart from the ever-increasing Pokemon TCG video space on YouTube.
Pat Flynn as a creator…
For those that don’t know Pat Flynn, he has been on YouTube since 2009 after he was laid off from a job in the architecture industry. Fast forward over a decade and Pat has created many successful projects and businesses with the idea of passive income in mind. Now his Pokemon channel “Deep Pocket Monster“has garnered nearly 20,000 subscribers in three months thanks to his videography and information-rich content. From a Pokemon TCG perspective, he has found a space to use his life skills with his passion. “Being a creator and an entrepreneur has given me great tools in a new space where I was noticing opportunities within YouTube. I thought with my skills and years of experience I could probably bring something different, so far people have been responding well to it.”
Pat takes inspiration for his videos from content creators like Casey Neistat and Peter McKinnon, and it’s easy to see how they have led to his cinematic style in the Pokemon space. “There are very clear examples of me taking a very Casey Neistat approach to the videography, and cinematography, creating time lapses and a lot of motion in the videos by using multiple camera angles and that sort of stuff.”
Pokemon TCG is a visual related field and that has allowed for Pat’s cinematography to flourish. “These cards are things we hold, feel, and look at all the time. By creating quality videos, we can have a great experience watching that too. I wanted to bring as much quality as possible, so much so that it almost feels like you’re holding the cards or seeing the shine and the glimmer of holos.”
“I’ve always tried to approach life by giving as much as I can and it has always come back to me even further. A lot of people are seeing that now with my Pokemon content. I’m giving back as much as I can. I live by the idea of serving first and great things will happen when you care about helping others.”
With the rise of prices across the TCG landscape, the price of box breaks on YouTube and Twitch have understandably risen. Pat takes a different approach, however, by taking inspiration from YouTube’s biggest philanthropist: MrBeast. This year Pat told his audience that his goal is to give away $40,000 worth of Pokemon products by the end of 2021 and with $3538 given back so far there is still a long way to go.
“I’m nowhere near MrBeast status, not even close. He’s a massive inspiration, I’ve met him in person, he is as humble and as giving in his videos as he is in real life. The idea of giving in videos and creating a story, sometimes trying to pull at the heartstrings a little bit that evokes an emotion in a viewer is what keeps people connected, more willing to give you their time”.
Pat has so far given away a box break of XY: Evolutions live on stream to viewers as well as 36 packs of XY: Generations in celebration of hitting 5000 subscribers. Most recently, the full contents of a large mystery box were given entirely back to those watching the video creating a real connection with his audience.
“I’m still figuring out exactly what YouTube and the audience wants from me.” Pat’s content ranges from documentary-style videos, for example, a video where he looked into the history of the Lucky Stadium card from 2001 filled with rich content from heavy research and input from Pokemon historians to Mystery Boxes which as Pat puts it “works well with YouTube, the algorithm, the mystery of what’s inside, and I can see the retention rate hold to the very, very end”.
At the same time, Pat doesn’t want Deep Pocket Monster to be another mystery box video channel. “I like to mix it up, so even if the documentary-style videos don’t necessarily garner as many views, I’m still going to do them because I’m learning and I want to teach. I think that then talks about a whole other side of Pokemon that a lot of people often forget: some people think it’s just about the collections or about the money aspect of it or the investment side of things. Whereas there’s a lot of these underlying stories that I feel with my skills of videography and storytelling, I can highlight and hopefully educate other people because the more information people have, the better.”
There’s also another factor, a connected audience. Pat brought up that within his live streams there’s a sense of community and due to this, content creators have in some respects their own Sports team for people to be a part of. “They have names right, PokéRev’s PokéCave for example. When your team scores the winning goal, you high-five and hug people and that’s what Pokemon brings.”
“I think now more than ever, it’s the community aspect that’s bringing a lot of people together to feel included, to feel like a sense of belonging, to feel like they can be weird around other weird people without feeling bad about it. So I think those are a lot of components that I think Pokemon has, that a lot of other communities don’t necessarily have. And when you put all those things together, it just creates magic.”
As a collector…
Unlike other content creators we’ve spoken to previously, Pat grew up a Magic the Gathering! player with a brief connection to Pokemon through his job at Toys R Us where he would set up and supervise children playing Pokemon TCG together. “I was 16 years olds and have vivid memories of stacks of Base Set Pokemon in rubber bands coming out of kids’ pockets. Now that I’m a collector I kind of cringe when I realise how much value there probably was in there – but I also remember the amount of fun the kids had playing”.
Now a father, he began collecting Pokemon cards through his 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. “as a father I like to do whatever they’re doing and it allows me to learn the same language they’re speaking but also have fun and be a kid again. With pokemon, I just started to really fall in love with it, so much so that I think I’ve surpassed my kids with how much they loved it”.
With the opportunity of interviewing Pat, I wanted to know if he had any advice with collecting that he may have learned throughout his years as a successful businessman. I asked why specific goals are so important when it comes to collecting?
He said, “This is a concept that I learned from business that has helped save me lots of money and lots of time and this business concept applies to collecting anything, especially Pokemon cards.”
“The riches are in the niches.” The idea of removing certain cards from your periphery by narrowing down what you want to achieve. This allows for a laser-focused approach leading to the achievement of your goals.
When Pat began collecting a friend asked “What are you collecting?” Pat’s reply was simple enough, “I’m collecting Pokemon.” To which his friend responded by saying, “no, like, what are you collecting within Pokemon.”
“That was a really important question because at the time I just wanted everything. When you can understand that you want to collect a certain set and that’s your focus it allows you to have a greater ability to find those cards because you start to understand more about the language of that card and where they exist, who else is an expert on that particular topic, or it allows you to not look at the entire map, but just a particular area of the map that might have what you need.”
“And thus, it reduces the number of resources you might need to get there. It reduces the idea of just feeling like you’re never going to get to your goals, versus actually seeing a light at the end of the tunnel where you are making your way toward completion.”
“You could have multiple things that you can collect. It’s not like you only need one, but at least some direction gives you the ability to make decisions. To say yes, when it makes sense to say yes and to say no when it makes sense to say no.”
“That ability for you to confidently say no. gives you more ability to build your collection further.”
What the future holds…
With almost 20,000 subscribers in less than three months on his Deep Pocket Monster channel, Pat’s number one goal this year is to invest $40,000 back into his community. “A lot of people were asking me whether I had bought a pack from Logan (Paul) or not.”
He decided to release a video explaining why a person would purchase into the largest Box Break of all time but then chose to give the money he would’ve spent on a pack back to his audience. “I want to give it to people who likely couldn’t get access to things this year because I feel like I’m in a really good position and I can even if no ad revenue comes in. I’m happy to pay that out of my pocket. I’m in a very good position, and I’m very grateful for that. I just want to pay it forward into the community and hopefully be an example of what can happen when you give back, for my kids and for others who are watching.”
In just three months, his influence has even spread to other channels in the Pokemon space leading to content creators reaching out and stating his inspiration. “I love that because that means their audience who, whether they find out about me or not, get a better experience.”
“There are also other creators who are doing very well but losing out on opportunities because they don’t see the business in the way that I do. I’ve had a tonne of entrepreneurial experience and there’s a lot of creators who I think could better support their lives and provide a better experience for their audience at the same time and I’m here to sort of, you know, maybe lead that charge within this space as well.”
Pat would also like to reach 100,000 subscribers on Deep Pocket Monster by the end of the year and most of all, a relationship with The Pokemon Company. “I’d love to have them understand that I am of service to the traditions of the game, and the collectibles. To see how we might be able to use my platform to voice a way to keep the hobby going in the right direction because I can see what it’s doing for not just me and my family, but bringing a lot of other families and a lot of other people in communities together.”
In terms of collecting, Pat’s long-term goal is a complete set of PSA WotC sealed booster packs, including all variations. As he works towards this project, he continues to add promo cards that fuel his passion for stories that are so apparent within his content creation.
Read more interviews here.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
Have a story? Let us know