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Unlocking Podcast Profitability
Key Times To Listen
00:18:13 Building a sellable podcast asset.
00:24:00 What Sponsorship is not lucrative.
00:27:18 The most effective way to monetize.
00:36:10 Expert positioning builds confidence and sales.
00:39:03 Add value, make friends, sell
00:45:38 Clear podcast names are important.
This episode provides valuable insights and actionable strategies for podcasters looking to maximize their potential and tap into new avenues of profitability.
Niall Mackay, The Podcast Guy, is a renowned podcasting expert with years of experience in the field. Through Smarter Podcasting, he shares invaluable knowledge, tips, and success stories to help aspiring podcasters flourish in an increasingly competitive industry. Niall’s passion for podcasts and his expertise make him a go-to resource for all things related to podcasting.
Niall is joined by Adam Schaeuble, a seasoned podcaster who has achieved notable success with his show Podcasting Business School. Adam’s unique insights and practical experiences add depth and relevance to the conversation, making this episode a must-listen for podcasters at any stage of their journey.
Five Important Takeaways:
- Niche is Key: Niall and Adam emphasize the significance of finding a specific niche for your podcast. By narrowing down your focus and targeting a niche audience, you increase the chances of connecting deeply with your listeners. Explore your interests, identify a unique angle, and carve out a niche that resonates with your passion and expertise.
- Quality Content Matters: Producing high-quality content consistently is vital for the success of your podcast. Niall and Adam stress the importance of delivering value to your audience through engaging conversations, insightful interviews, and well-researched topics. Focus on providing actionable information, inspiring stories, and entertainment to keep your listeners coming back for more.
- Monetization Beyond Sponsorships: While sponsorships can be a significant revenue stream for podcasters, Niall and Adam encourage exploring alternative monetization methods. They discuss strategies such as merchandise sales, crowdfunding, affiliate marketing, and creating premium content or courses related to your podcast’s niche. Diversifying your income sources can provide stability and open up new avenues for financial success.
- Engaging with Your Audience: Building a strong connection with your audience is crucial for podcast growth. Niall and Adam emphasize the importance of engaging with your listeners through social media, email newsletters, and community-building efforts. Actively listen to feedback, answer questions, and involve your audience in shaping the future of your podcast. By nurturing a loyal community, you create a solid foundation for long-term success.
- Collaboration and Networking: Collaborating with other podcasters and industry influencers can greatly expand your reach and visibility. Niall and Adam discuss the benefits of guest appearances, cross-promotion, and participating in podcasting events or conferences. Building relationships within the podcasting community opens doors to new audiences and opportunities, helping you grow your podcast faster and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
How to Apply These Takeaways: To implement the insights from this episode, consider the following steps:
- Define Your Niche: Reflect on your interests and expertise to identify a niche that aligns with your passion and has an audience hungry for content.
- Elevate Your Content: Dedicate time and effort to produce high-quality episodes consistently. Research your topics thoroughly, invite engaging guests, and incorporate valuable insights and stories into your episodes.
- Explore Monetization Options: Beyond sponsorships, consider diversifying your income streams. Explore merchandise sales, affiliate marketing, premium content, or crowdfunding options that resonate with your audience.
- Foster Audience Engagement: Actively engage with your listeners through social media, email newsletters, and community platforms. Encourage feedback, respond to comments, and create opportunities for your audience to participate and contribute.
- Foster Collaborative Relationships: Reach out to fellow podcasters and industry influencers for potential collaborations. Seek guest appearances, cross-promotion opportunities, and engage in networking events or conferences to expand your podcast’s reach.
- Summary: In this episode of “Podcast Prosperity Unleashed,” Niall Mackay and Adam share invaluable insights for podcasters seeking success in an increasingly competitive landscape. Emphasizing the importance of niche targeting, quality content, diversifying monetization strategies, audience engagement, and collaboration, they provide actionable steps to elevate your podcasting journey. By implementing these takeaways, you can enhance your podcast’s growth, establish yourself as an authority, and unlock the path to podcast prosperity.
- Remember, success in podcasting takes time and dedication, but with the right strategies and a genuine passion for your topic, you can thrive in this exciting medium. So, grab your headphones, tune in to this enlightening episode, and embark on your journey to podcast prosperity!
Remember, success in podcasting takes time and dedication, but with the right strategies and a genuine passion for your topic, you can thrive in this exciting medium. So, grab your mic, hit record and use this advice on your podcasting journey!
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Niall Mackay: [00:00:00] Hey, it’s Niall Mackay, the podcast guy here with another exciting episode for you of Smarter Podcasting.
Niall Mackay: In this episode, I’m joined by an industry expert who helps people not only monetize their podcast. But he only works three days a week. I’ve been in the podcasting game for quite some time now, and I’m passionate about helping fellow podcasters succeed.
With multiple podcasts under my belt now, I’ve experienced the highs and the lows of this podcasting journey. And that’s why I’m here, to share my knowledge with you and talk to the experts they know way more than me to help you navigate the podcasting world quicker and more effectively. Joining me in this episode is none other than the host of the podcasting business school. He is a full-time podcaster, business consultant and the host of this top rated show that allows him to only work three days a week.
He helps frustrated podcasters like you and me. Stop hearing [00:01:00] crickets and start monetizing today even with a small audience.
He specializes in service providers, getting more clients and ramping up the revenue by leveraging the podcast.
As someone who listens to every episode of his show, reads every email and takes on every piece of wisdom that he shares. I am so excited to share with you today, Adam Schaeuble from the Podcasting Business School.
With his extensive background in both podcasting and business. He is the perfect guest to shed light on the challenges and triumphs of building a podcasting business.
In this episode, we’re gonna talk more about a common problem that all podcasters face monetization.
Adam shares his own experiences in insights on how to effectively monetize your podcast and turn it into a thriving business.
So if you’re a podcaster looking to take your show to the next level and generate income from your passion, then you are in the right place.
So Adam, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of “Smarter [00:02:00] Podcasting.” I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you. I’ve been on your podcast before and you are the Host and Founder of “The Podcasting Business School.” so what was your background then before “Podcasting Business School”?
Adam Schauble: I owned a fitness facility here in the States. And so I started out as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Trainer, then I opened up my own gym. Kind of created a program that really took off, ended up with almost a thousand clients. I had 30 employees. We had an 8,000 square foot facility. Like it went pretty well.
And I did that for 15 years. At about year 12, which is 2015, I launched my first podcast. That was where it was a health show, and I just kinda wanted to teach what I was teaching my local clients, expand my brand a little bit, build an international audience. And that was a rough road, but I fell in love with the medium of podcasting and that’s kind of where things spilled [00:03:00] out from there. I started to build a lot of momentum, eventually, figured out how to monetize. And then that is when I really fell in love with podcasting and the whole concept of what I do with Podcasting Business School.
I was working a lot of hours with a lot of employees and a lot of clients, and when I figured out that I could flip on a microphone, work at my house, not even have to wear pants and make money online, and build an international online audience, I was like, “Whoa.” And charge a lot more. I was like, “This is a lot, you know, ELF. Easy, lucrative, fun.”
Like, this is way, you know, easier, way more lucrative, and a lot more fun. And, you know, I was a dad of two kids at that time. A toddler, a newborn, and a five-year-old. And I was like, “I kinda wanna be around more for them.” So the podcasting dream that I saw other people, out there doing, I was like, “There are other people that don’t seem that different from me, that, [00:04:00] you know, have income coming in from sponsors and selling programs and products and services, and they’ve got good shows.” And I feel like I could do that too.
So I kind of just pinned my ears back, decided to set that goal, and took me seven years to get there. I went full-time after five but, you know, it’s something that is totally worth it for me. All that effort’s really, really worth it.
Niall Mackay: Wow. And really important question, just to follow up on that, are you wearing pants right now?
Adam Schauble: Currently wearing pants. Yes. All
Niall Mackay: right, Just checking
Adam Schauble: It’s a nice… My workout shorts, you know, it’s they call it “The Athleisure Brand”, you know, it’s very comfy. Anything comfy we can wear as podcasters.
Niall Mackay: I love it. I mean, podcasting for me, it started as just a hobby and now I’ve just become a complete fanatic. And for similar reasons, just love the medium and it’s something that, you know, you can just get behind a microphone and suddenly reach people across the world. It’s an incredible medium. So your first podcast was your business podcast [00:05:00] about your fitness. When did you transition then to podcasting about podcasting?
Adam Schauble: Yeah, so 2015 is when the “Health Show” launched. 2018, is when I started “The Podcasting Business School Podcast.” And at late 2018, then I ended up, selling my fitness facility. At the end of 2019, before the pandemic started lucky, lucky me and really lucky. So, didn’t have to deal with any of that.
And I was already working from home. And it’s funny ’cause I was like, “I sold my business…” And at the end of 2019 I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna take about six months off.” And it was like everybody took about six months off. So that was ironic. And anyway, so I really leaned into The Podcasting Business School brand, eventually, sold my Health Show and brand.
And that’s [00:06:00] something people don’t realize about a podcast, that’s a brand asset. And it’s sellable where I sold the show, package with my email list, packaged with my social media profile. I got a 10,000 person email list. Over 10,000 followers on Instagram. We were doing 25,000 downloads a month with that Health Show.
That’s an asset for somebody. That’s purchasable. So, sold that and I’ve been just doing Podcasting Business School, the last three, you know, two and a half years basically. That’s the only show. So that’s kind of the transition. But overall, we’re getting ready to do episode 400 of Podcasting Business school.
I’m approaching about a thousand episodes total in my podcasting career across the board, which is very exciting.
Niall Mackay: Wow. You definitely are, a somebody I look up to in the industry and Ithink it’s incredible what you’re doing. This is now just an episode of Live In and you know, more than anybody how challenging podcasting is. How the time it takes to make one. And I [00:07:00] disheartening it can be sometimes, and you’re definitely an inspiration.
When I look at your episodes and you’re up to episode 400, I’m like, “Niall, you’re only at episode 11. You have to keep on going and going.” I was listening to one of your episodes recently and it was just talking about, I think you said it took you about 50 episodes. Maybe you can correct me on that, until you really started to get your flow, and that’s something I definitely take on both ’cause I’m looking, I’m like, “Niall, you’re only on episode 11. Just keep on going, keep on going.”
Adam Schauble: Yeah, I used to say the first 52 episodes if you at least one episode per week. That’s about a year of podcasting. But now I’m like, it may be your first a hundred episodes where you’re just trying to figure out how to be a podcaster for somebody who just launches a fresh brand or a brand new show.
And I had to do this twice cause I launched in health space. I had to figure that out. And then I launched in the business space, a totally different niche. No following in that brand, no social media, no email list, no podcasting background. So yeah, it took me about a hundred-ish [00:08:00] episodes for each one to really get my sea legs and go, “Okay. Here’s the content that my people like. Here are the people that are showing up to listen to the show, and here is the pathway that seems to be the easiest for transforming passive listeners into super fans and super fans, you know, into people that pay me for stuff.”
So that’s kind of the goal as a service provider.
Niall Mackay: Well, this is now my third podcast and it’s been humbling because the first one I didn’t even realize kind of how well it did immediately. And then now when you start this, I similar again, starting from scratch, new industry. It’s like, “Ah, okay. Yeah, back to square one as well.” And I do actually have an issue I have to take up with you because I was gonna post every two weeks because that seemed easier.
Then, I listened to one of your episodes that said, “You have to post every week.” And I guess I already knew this deep down, and I was like, “F**k you, Adam. Okay, yeah, I gotta do it. I gotta do it every week.” So now I’m on a weekly [00:09:00] schedule. Which is obviously double the work from doing it every two weeks, but why do you advise to post every week?
Adam Schauble: Well, let me add a little caveat to this. Putting out any content is better than putting out no content or never launching your show. So that’s, you know, I’m not saying do it every week or nothing, or you know, or you suck.
Niall Mackay: See, that’s what I hear though. I’m like every two, every week. Oh no. So I do it every week.
Adam Schauble: Or fail. It’s like the movie “Talladega Nights”, are you a Will Ferrell fan?
Niall Mackay: I love that movie.
Adam Schauble: If you’re not first, you’re last. I mean, that’s not what we’re talking about. So get, Ricky Bobby’s dad out of your head, Niall. So what we’re looking at here is one of the ‘podcasting superpowers’ that’s unique to podcasting. Which is it’s unlike email marketing.
It’s unlike social media. It’s unlike TikTok. It’s unlike YouTube. The way people consume our content is that we are in their earbuds and they can do other things. They can multitask and still effectively [00:10:00] consume our content. So what happens is our content gets ingrained into their schedule, into their life routines.
And so like people have their favorite show like this. If this is somebody’s favorite show, they’re gonna listen to it on a specific day, at a specific time while they do a specific thing. The example I always give is I listen to a daily, news podcast called “The Newsworthy.” It’s a 10 minute news, kind of get my update and I listen to it while I eat breakfast, then I go for a walk and I listen to The Newsworthy, every day.
If Erica decides to stop airing episodes, I will listen to something else while I walk, and she may not get that real estate back. So that’s where weekly podcast episodes come in. Once you get inserted into somebody’s life routine, we do not want to give that up to somebody else cause we may not get it back.
So even like I’ve got a client and she’s like, “I really wanna take it easy this summer.” I’m like, “Put out summer reruns.” She’s got 200 something episodes. I’m like, “Go back. Get in the way back machine and [00:11:00] get like your top 12 episodes and play those all summer.” And she’s like, “This has been so easy and my downloads are going up.”
I’m like, “Yes.”
So that’s why I promote weekly content.
Niall Mackay: And I cannot advocate that enough. I do that with my main podcast. My first podcast, “The Vietnam Podcast” over 200 episodes now. Andthat’s on the long hiatus for now while I focus on this podcast. And so I do two things.I call them “Pod-pasts” and I post old content.
Adam Schauble: Nice.
Niall Mackay: Which incredibly does better than the first time around than just putting out that new content, the downloads go through the roof.
And then, I do also what I call “Pod-swaps.” And I’ve done this with other podcasts that are in the same niche as me. I’ve now started doing it with other podcasts that I produce. But as long as they’re in the same niche of Vietnam. So I have some ‘beer podcasts.’ It’s about craft beer in Vietnam. A tourism podcast that I produce, and I’ll post those.
And they still go through the roof. Like the downloads are incredible without producing any new content and the biggest tip I [00:12:00] give to other people what I just did with the last episode. If I appear on another podcast, I will ask for permission from that podcaster to use that audio. And I’ll repackage it.
I’ll do another intro. I’ll edit it to fit the content that I want to put in there. I won’t just do it the whole thing exactly. And if they give me that permission, then I’ll post that on my podcast. So I haven’t even created that content. And again, the downloads will go through the roof. So that would be a big thing.
And the thing that I’ve, after now doing over 200 episodes with that show, and maybe you’ll notice this as well, because your content is, from what I listen to “Evergreen,” and that’s something that I’ve focused on. Over 80% of my downloads now come from the past content, which blows my mind.
So there was two weeks ago where I have no new content at all, and I had over 700 downloads that week, which for me was like three, four times an usual week, and it was because there had been this big [00:13:00] article that had gone out about Vietnam podcasts. So I guess people had then found my show, even though it wasn’t even mentioned in the article.
They must have gone ahead and found my show. So I’m getting more downloads than I ever have. You can see the graph just going up and up without producing any new content at the moment.
Adam Schauble: Yeah, it’s incredible and that’s such a good sign. And this is one of the benefits of having a longer running show. 200 episodes, you’ve got a nice back catalog and people, like, let’s say you run some ‘podpasts,’ which I love that terminology. And so I was like, I already listened to this one, so I’m gonna go back into some of the old episodes, before my time and listen to some of those. And there’s so much for them just to go back and binge. And now we’re in the summer travel season and people are like, “I’m gonna listen to five hours of podcasts while I drive to Alabama, or whatever.” And that’s a huge advantage of having that back catalog, and that’s a really great sign that people are binging on your show, which means you have great content.
So kudos to you.[00:14:00]
Niall Mackay: Thank you. And I have one last tip on that. What I did as well. Are you a Star Wars fan?
Adam Schauble: Oh yeah. Yeah. Who isn’t?
Niall Mackay: Yeah, I know right. And you know, they bring out new episodes when in the two thousands and like digitally remastered.
Adam Schauble: Right. Yes.
Niall Mackay: Well, I went back to my original episodes where I was using like a Blue Yeti mic in a big echoey room and the sound quality wasn’t great, and then put that into Descript, turned on the ‘studio sound,’ increased the quality to make it sound amazing. And so brought those out as digitally remastered podpast episodes.
Adam Schauble: Nice.
Niall Mackay: Just to get that, you know, you can listen to it again, but it sounds even better. So that was a great one. I wanna backtrack on something that you mentioned earlier. You talked about you sold that asset. Now, I would assume that that asset, and you can correct me if I’m wrong here, was built on your personal brand. How were you able to separate yourself from the brand and then sell that?
Adam Schauble: So that’s a great question. [00:15:00] And really what it came down to was, you know, with podcasting, with social media marketing, with my email marketing, the interest through line interest, I should say, was ‘weight loss.’ So everybody was showing up for weight loss advice and tips. So when I went to sell it, that was the main selling point, is like, “I’ve got this audience that is hot on nutrition fitness primarily for a weight loss journey. If you can take the baton in this relay race and keep that type of content going, then this is gonna be a home run slam dunk.” And Nate Palmer bought the brand and he has just crushed it. He’s the author of “The Million Dollar Body Program”. And the downloads, like, he sends me download, he’s like, “Yeah, we’re up to 40,000 downloads a month.”
And I was like, “Yes.” Like just, I mean, it’s just continued to grow and grow and grow. So that was the key, was “Getting somebody to understand this is what the show is about, this is what people are [00:16:00] expecting from this show.” He’s a great personality fit. He’s kind of, jokes around a lot. Like I like too, and he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
So it was a great personality transition. And we brought him on for an episode to kind of do the passing of the guard andhave the whole thing. So we transitioned effectively. Because I was like, I mean that was important to me. Like I spent years building this brand and this social media, and email list, and curating relationships, and I was ready to graduate on into the business adventures.
And soit was very important to me to make sure that there was an effective transition. But again, the key was that through line connection, he understood what he was getting into. He was a great fit personality wise, and it’s just been really, really good for the brand.
Niall Mackay: That’s something that I personally haven’t actually thought about before and it’s great advice is building that asset that’s sellable. ‘Cause I didn’t actually think about how I would separate that asset from myself, but I guess if you bring somebody on like that and transition them in, then it can totally be done, which will now with [00:17:00] Podcasting Business School, one of the things that makes me insanely jealous is when you talk about you now work three days a week.
My first question is, is that really true?
Adam Schauble: It’s a hundred percent true. It’s like, it’s weird, Niall. I am at the point where if I tried to work on one of my normal non-work days, it’s just terrible. Like I don’t get anything done. Like I had some big project I was working on. I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna just sit down on a Friday and knock stuff out. I’m just gonna get it all done.”
I got nothing done. It’s like once Thursday night happens… I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I cannot focus on anything work related. I am done. And it’s totally weird. But you know what? It’s my non-work days are so full of family stuff and I’m coaching sports teams, and our kids are active in multiple sports all at once.
And you know, there’s, you know, [00:18:00] friends, family relationships, fitness, I’m jumping in my cold bath and I’m doing workouts, and the whole thing. So, I’m so full. And I just spend so much time learning. that’s the thing that really drives me is like, “What am I gonna learn about next?” And so, my four days that I don’t work are very, very full.
But yeah, it’s a hundred percent true, you know. When I teach people this concept, I allow people to define, “What counts as work? What doesn’t? And kinda set their own rules.” So my personal rule is on a non-work day. So for me, I work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I do not work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
But on those non-work days, I allow myself up to 30-minutes to put out a fire if I need to. So I can check my email, I can just kind of scan, make sure nothing has gone totally crazy. If there’s some sort of customer service issue, I can take care of it. So I allow myself a 30-minute buffer on any of those days, and it still won’t count as a workday.
That’s my own personal rule.
Niall Mackay: Nice. Well, so let’s talk [00:19:00] about how you managed to achieve that. This is the ‘panacea’, is that how you pronounce that?
Adam Schauble: That’s a fancy word. You know, I was born in Indiana.
Niall Mackay: So what you’re describing there is almost the number one goal for most podcasters to be able to monetize for one, make it your full-time business, and then actually only do it three days a week.
So you must be getting a lot of sponsorships then.
Adam Schauble: Niall, no, I have zero sponsorships. So this is definitely a controversial topic, but I won’t accept sponsors for this brand. I’ve done that in the past. My Health Show, you know, and so I’ve experienced that. And my personal belief for service providers is that we can make so much more money selling our own programs, products, and services.
Why would we give up that airtime and that advertising real estate to somebody that may pay us this month and then be gone? Or they may be out of [00:20:00] business or they may do something controversial that makes everybody look bad, and sponsors are a lot of work. And I think a lot of us get into the podcasting biz.
We’re like, “Yes, MeUndies and Athletic Greens, and you know, the mattress companies and all that stuff that our favorite podcasters are being sponsored by.” So like we’ve got a goal, like, “Can’t wait for all my friends that listen to my show,” which really don’t. That they’re gonna hear, “I’m sponsored by MeUndies”, and they’re gonna worship the ground that I walk on.
It’s like this big ego thing. And then, you realize like, “Man, even if you do get a sponsor, they’re not gonna pay you very much. And they’re a lot of work.” So yeah, I’m big on, “Let’s sponsor my own show with my own programs, products, and services.” And with Podcasting Business School, I do have people that reach out and I just say, “I just kind of kindly decline, like I don’t do sponsorships.”
Niall Mackay: And this goes against what nearly every podcaster hears before they get into podcasting, once they’re in the industry, it’s what you see all [00:21:00] the time, is you people think we’re gonna get in and then podcast sponsors are gonna be lining up. I mean, I’ll be honest, yeah, when I started that’s all I thought about was, “How do you get sponsorship?” And you’re gonna love this. So recently one of the clients I was working with, she has a tourism podcast and she’s working with someI think it was a marketing agency. And I could not believe it when she told me this. They were giving her advice on getting not only sponsorship, but they mentioned to her that she should target something like Walmart as a sponsor.
Adam Schauble: Oh my God. That’s… Yeah, those people get need to get fired.
Niall Mackay: I was a little bit like, “Who gave you that advice?” So tell the listener why is that a ludicrous proposition?
Adam Schauble: So when it comes down to it, like brands are not paying Podcasters. It’s complete crap. So let’s say there’s a company out there looking to, you [00:22:00] know, spend some ad money, and they will spend $5,000, $10,000 on a radio ad or a magazine ad. Radio and magazine, the stuff that’s like dinosaur dying, you know.
You know, how many people actually listen to the radio? And people will drop 5K, 10K, no problem. And then, in podcasting, thanks to our hero, John Lee Dumas, he set up the CPM model of $18 for everyone, thousand downloads. And only 20% of Podcasters do a thousand downloads per episode. And at that, so 20% of podcasters are eligible to make $18. And these people that are paying five or 10 grand for radio and print ads, are gonna pay you $18 for a thousand downloads of… the way I look at it is, let’s compare medium to medium.
If you run a radio ad, you have to hope that the right person is listening at that exact moment, and then it goes away. [00:23:00] In a podcast, that can be Evergreen, always there. And it’s the exact right audience and it’s always there. So, how in the hell are we only charging $18 for a thousand exposures to the ideal person forever?
And you know, as long as that show is out there on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, people can find it. So that’s just completely insane to me. And that’s the model. And all these big brands now know it, and most big brands won’t even talk to you unless you’re doing 20,000 downloads a month. And so it’s just a model that’s kind of built for the giant Joe Rogans of the world, you know, Tim Ferris’ show and all these people that have, you know, driving Lambos to the podcast. Bat cave or whatever. But it’s like the regular podcasters, like Niall and myself, like we’re sitting in our house just rocking the show out and it’s just like $18 isn’t gonna cut it.
And that’s something that you [00:24:00] know, again, as a Service Provider, if you’ve got a $500 course or you’ve got a $2,000 Consulting Offer.
Let’s sell that instead of getting $18 from MeUndies. Period.
Niall Mackay: So hearing that right now can be massively disheartening. And it was for me when you realize that the only people that make money from podcasting advertising is the people in the top 1% really. And to be in the top 1%, most of them are already. A household name like a “Joe Rogan” for example, or a big celebrity that’s been signed up by “Wondery”, and they’re already driving to their podcast in a Lamborghini like you mentioned. So far, independent Podcaster to break into that top 1% it’s not impossible. Nothing like that is impossible. But it’s really, really difficult. And so I think that can be really disheartening to hear that.
And you’re like, “Oh yeah, I’m never gonna do that.” But then, somebody like you comes along and says, [00:25:00] “Hold on a minute. There is a way to monetize your podcast.”
So should somebody focus on building their audience first before the attempt to monetize the podcast, or when should they start?
Adam Schauble: This is a great, kinda the chicken and the egg question. The monetization or the growth. So I think you can do both. But when it comes to monetization, there are specific types of offers that you should put out first that a smaller audience will be more receptive to. So as you grow, you can monetize.
So for me, we always work on growth that’s always there. Like we work on the marketing, we work on the, you know, collaboration opportunities. The paid advertising, if we have a budget for it or whatever, that’s always going. So growth is always good. The monetization method that I prefer people to start with is some sort of simple coaching or consulting offer.
So, let’s say that Niall and I had a [00:26:00] show about social media marketing and Instagram. Let’s really niche down. “Instagram Marketing for Millennials”, that’s what our showis gonna be called. And so we could create a coaching or consulting offer where people can pay us to coach them on how to be a better millennial Instagram Social Media Marketer.
And like, that’s how simple it is. You have your content and you go, “What do I have more experience in than my average listener, if there is a 10-step path and I’m on step three, four or beyond.” Then you can be a coach or consultant because most people that are finding the show are on step zero or one, and you’re ahead of them.
So doing simple coaching consulting offers are easier to sell to a smaller audience because anything that is one-to-one contact with you, they’re more likely to go, “Oh yeah, I’m in. I’m in on that.” We have to take advantage of being a smaller brand and have [00:27:00] more face-to-face time on social media, more face-to-face time with our paid offers, and our audience will respond to that.
Then down the road, as the audience grows, we have more people. More people means we could do things like ‘membership offers’ or ”masterminds’ or ‘events’ and you know, Online Evergreen Courses where people are like, “I’ve already done some one-on-one. Now, I’m gonna go and do his newest online course.” You’ve got a bigger pool to Phish in.
But upfront, I mean I’ve got people that are doing a hundred downloads an episode or so, a hundred to 200 downloads an episode, and they’re making over $10,000 a month US with coaching consulting offers. And the other thing is one-on-one services like that we can charge more for. So, instead of doing a $49 online course, we can have a $2,000 coaching consulting program, sell five of those per month, and we’re doing $10,000 a month.
And that’s, you know, you mentioned the word [00:28:00] ‘disheartening.’ That’s maybe not disheartening. That’s kind of scary to some people that have never even considered themselves to be a Coach or a Consultant before. But that’s like the going rate. Whenever somebody hires me to help them develop their offers, I’m like, “We’re not going lower than 1,500 USD. Like, we’re not going below that in any niche.”
And I’m like, “All we have to do is add enough value that you’re comfortable charging that.” So we can always add more one-on-one calls. We can always add a bonus companion course, if we wanna develop that. We can always add, you know, unlimited voice Q&A on the Voxer app, or email access, or whatever.
We can just keep adding stuff. But I want you to be able to sell just a few of these per month. You’re getting your bills taken care of. And you mentioned the dream of replacing our income, going full-time, working fewer days per week. I feel like we can’t under price ourself with these super, super [00:29:00] cheap offers and be like, “Okay, to meet my $5,000 I’ve gotta sell a hundred of these $50 courses, or I can sell two $2,500 offers.”
I like selling two more than selling 100. To me, that number, that’s gonna take a lot less effort. So that’s kind of a long explanation, but that one, I need to kind of paint that picture a little bit. I feel like.
Niall Mackay: No, no, thank you. That’s great ’cause I was thinking, I’m listening and I’m getting wide-eyed with fear, like you’re saying, you know, and for that person that’s listening like me, if you’re listening right now to this and you’re thinking, “I just thought I would make a podcast and then I would get sponsors, and I would sit back and the money’s gonna come in. What Adam’s describing, that’s too much and that’s too difficult.”
For somebody that’s thinking that, how do they overcome that fear? What’s the first thing they should do? And I do work with a client who I have coached based on listening to you saying, and she held some of my previous podcasts about doing a podcast course.
And she said, “I don’t know what to teach. I don’t know what I should do a course about. [00:30:00] What do you say to that person?
Adam Schauble: I think we have to lean into our content a little bit, and go, “Okay, what are the hot button pain points that get the most downloads, that gets the most reaction, and really start to unpack that?” And go,”If that’s the appetizer, what’s the main course? What’s the meal that comes after that?”
So like for me, people are like, “I don’t know how to monetize.” Or they’re just confused about this whole monetization conversation. So I talked to them, they realize sponsorship isn’t for them and they’re like, “Okay. I need to develop my first coaching consulting offer. And they can pay me to help them build that out, you know, ’cause I’ve got experience doing that.”
So that’s kind of where we have to think about like, “What are the major pain points as you talk to your audience, as you produce content.” These are the hot button things. So for me, there are three main ones. I’m not making any money. My show isn’t growing, not getting the downloads, and I’m not getting any audience engagement.
If I [00:31:00] can continuously solve those three things in different offers, I’m always in business. I can make as much money as I want and I just have to keep showing up and I can serve at different levels. So, you know, like I’ve got a membership that’s $97 a month. I’ve got $5,000 plus offers, and I can serve anywhere in between there.
So I think with, with charging more, it helps if we have expert positioning on our show. Kind of just lean into that expert role. We have to own it and go, all right, “I’m gonna do more solo episodes. I’m gonna do maybe some coaching style episodes, which I’m a big fan of. I’ve got a rule for Service Providers.”
If you are someone trying to sell your own programs, products, and services, I call this “Adam’s Two-Thirds Rule of Expert Positioning”, and that means two-thirds of your content, I want you to be the expert. Because if you only do interviews, your audience views you as the person that interviews experts and the other [00:32:00] person is the expert.
I had a client the other day that freaked out. She didn’t interview and I don’t think she did her research on who she was interviewing, ”cause they end up being very similar to her and what she offers. And she had more than one person email her after the episode went live thanking her for helping them find this other person who they hired.
And it’s almost the same offer as what she provides. And she was like, frying pan over the head, ‘dung’. Like, one of those cartoons, you know, ‘bam’. And she’s like, okay, “I’m in on the two thirds content rule. I’ve gotta switch this up because I just lost a lot of money.” So that’s kinda the way we have to think.
Expert positioning that builds our confidence. That also, Builds our positioning to prime the audience for viewing us as an expert and wanting to purchase from us as that expert. And then we can charge more because there’s more demand.
Niall Mackay: This is probably one of the biggest takeaways that I’ve taken from everything [00:33:00] I’ve listened that you’ve produced. And I read all your emails that you send out and I hate to tell you, I now advise my clients to do the same things as well. And it’s now changed how I make my podcast as well.
And because it just was like for me, almost a big frying pan as well. And for some of my clients, I was working with one recently, and he did the same thing that I’ve done before. At the end of the episode, he’s like, “Okay, tell us about your services.” And the guy has like a special offer. “Go to my website, you can download my book for free.”
And I said, I messaged them afterwards, I edited it and I said, “Have you guaranteed that this guy can say this on your podcast?” And he is like, “Yeah, I have.” And I was like, “Going forward, I would not do that for the exact reasons that you’ve just given. You’re giving him free advertising. You should be promoting your own business.”
And I talk about this two thirds rule and that their clients are taking it on board as well. They realize that it makes sense. And even with this podcast that you’re listening to right now, you’re gonna hear me probably not as much as two thirds, but you’re gonna hear me more than I would’ve. I remember before I ever first started this [00:34:00] podcast, I was like, “Oh, I’m just gonna interview people, give them the whole show. I don’t need to do that much work. And that’ll be fine and easy.” So I think that is definitely one of the biggest takeaways from the advice that you’ve given.
Adam Schauble: Good. Good. I’m glad that you’re soaking that up. Like, I am just really preaching this as often as I can, so I’m glad that people like yourself are picking that up, running with it and telling other people, ’cause I think more Podcasters need to realize this.
Niall Mackay: You did mention there a word that people hate and people run away from and they get really scared about and it’s the word ‘sales’. And to do anything like coaching courses, consultancy, you have to sell yourself.
Now, fortunately, I don’t have that bone that you’re born with where you don’t like to sell things and sell yourself. So for me, it’s not too much of an issue. Thankfully, if you listen to this podcast, you’ll probably be able to tell that, but only because I believe in what I do and I believe in what I sell.
So I have a little bit of a sales background. But my sales [00:35:00] was selling charity. So my job, my career, has been in fundraising for not-for-profits all around the world. And so I massively believe in that. I couldn’t sell banking products and no offense to anybody who sells banking products, but that for me is not something I believe in.
I believe in charity and changing, and helping the world for good. I believe in podcasting and what it can do. So for me, that’s not an issue. But for somebody listening to this and going, “I don’t wanna sell. How can they overcome that fear? And how can you promote your business, or your coaching, or your consultancy, or your courses without being too salesy?
Adam Schauble: Okay. I love this question, Niall. I’m not fearful of sales. I’m just not great at it. I’m much better at what another technique that I’ve kind of coined as friending people into submission. So I just initiate friendship. I’m great at making friends, and that’s like the self hypnotherapy I’ve done on myself.
I’m like, “All right. I’m really good at making friends. I’m just gonna make a lot of friends, [00:36:00] and I feel like good things are gonna happen. And I’m just gonna keep adding value and showing what I can do and showing that I am of value if you need help in this area.” So, That’s how I kind of got over it, where I’m like, “I’m not gonna sell. I’m just going to friend people into submission and friend them and friend them and dump a big bucket of friendship on their head as often as I can.”
And And the way I do that is with things like on my show, I do “Podcast Audit Episodes.” So I’ll invite a listener on. And I’ll, you know, have a conversation where I help them level up with the three pain points, the monetization, the download growth, and audience engagement.
We spend 30-minutes together. It’s free. And I get to show that off in my show, in my content, every single Friday. And it’s awesome. And after I had released about 50 of those episodes, I noticed something happening. And what was happening is that people that listened to my show had listened to dozens of those types of episodes, [00:37:00] and then they would come on for a podcast audit and they would either at the beginning or even sometimes in the middle, which created kind of an awkward moment, they’d be like, “Hey, I wanna talk about working together.”
Like they would bring it up, not me. And I was like, “Whoa. This is weird. Because I didn’t even have to ask for a sale there.” And then now I’ve done over a hundred podcast audits. And about definitely more than 50% closer to 80% of the people that do podcast audits eventually do some sort of business with me in some way, shape, or form.
And very few, like, I really don’t have to have sales conversations of like, all right, now let’s get down to brass tacks. So that’s one example. But really it’s just like I add value. I have so much expert positioning on my show. And I have people know how to get in touch with me to do like a ‘discovery call.’
I’ll sponsor my episodes with like, “Hey, if you wanna do a podcast profit potential discovery call, here’s the link. I’ll hop on. We can talk about doing business together if you think I can help you out.” And people just sign up for that. And they’re [00:38:00] pretty much ready to go because it goes back to that expert positioning.
And with sales and marketing, we talk about touchpoints, like, “How many advertising touchpoints does it take before someone buys?” And just think about somebody that’s listened to dozens of my podcast audit episodes of me coaching, you know, in an episode format that just shows off what I can do as a coach.
Like, I’m already a coach in their head. And then when the timing is right, they’re just reaching out to get started with no sales funnel, no email, anything. No hard sales conversation. I just don’t do that. Like, I don’t do that at all. And I feel like my right fit clients are finding my show because of the way that I market it, and they’re eventually making, traveling down that path.
It’s so weird, Niall. It’s still, it shouldn’t be weird, but it is weird. I have people, they’ll pop up my calendar on a Tuesday. I do a lot of my consults on a Tuesday. And though this situation happens [00:39:00] a lot, they’re like, “Hey, I just found your show last Wednesday. I’ve listened to like 30 episodes over the last five days. I’m ready to work together and I just want to use this time to figure out what the best thing I need to buy.”
As I’m like, “Okay. Cool.” Those are my sales calls. So having that bingeable content with all the expert positioning, it’s a superpower for people like you and I that are Service Providers.
Niall Mackay: Incredible. I absolutely love it. There’s just so, so much value in there and you know, it goes back to the number one rule of podcasting. Create great content. Provide value, be passionate, be yourself. I’ve just read an interview this week and I forget their guy’s name. Big, big podcasting name from Spotify who’s just left and just talks about, yeah, just creating great content that’s genuine.
The model of hiring celebrities to front podcasts is not really working. So don’t get too disheartened if you see these big [00:40:00] podcasts with these big celebrity names. And yeah, they might be getting thousands of downloads, but is it great content or have they just been shoehorned in because they’re a celebrity name?
There’s two massive celebrities that have just canceled a 20 million dollar deal with Netflix ’cause they could only manage to make 12 shows. And then, apparently it wasn’t that good and they didn’t make any more because they were a big name, interviewing big name celebrity. So for anyone listening, don’t be too disheartened about that.
And just keep going. Like you’re up to How many episodes now?
Adam Schauble: Almost a thousand total in my podcasting career. Like, it’s crazy to think about.
Niall Mackay: Incredible. And we all want the quick fix of instant overnight success. One of my favorite things is when somebody who’s been busting their ass for years, like a singer or something, and then it’s like, “Oh, they’re an overnight success.” And it’s like, “Yeah, that 10 year overnight success was amazing.”
So just make sure you set your expectations for that. So before we finish, tell me what are the biggest mistakes that you’ve learned from in this [00:41:00] podcasting journey?
Adam Schauble: Oh, wow. So I think we covered the sponsorship one, like thinking that’s the only way or the best way to monetize. That’s definite. We covered that. We knocked that one out. I feel like another thing we touched on is that a lot of podcasters assume that podcasts means we only do ‘interviews’, and like I really think podcasters should think about that.
Like, “Do I need to do any interviews?” Like, “Should you stop doing interviews?” That’s a question we need to pose. Like, “Is this needed?” I’ve got clients that only do coaching episodes and that’s it, and their business just flourishes because of that. So that’s another important question. The other kind of, podcasting pitfall that I see a lot of is just people have weird names for their show that don’t make sense.
I talk about that a lot in my podcast audits where I’m like, “If when I read it, I don’t know what it’s about and who it’s for. You’re not there to explain it to anybody.” So that’s very important. So we gotta have like a keyword in there [00:42:00] and some sort of identifying terms. So they go, “Oh, this is what it’s about. Oh, and this is why it’s for me.”
So I’d say those are the three giant things that I’m just preaching on any opportunity that I get. It’s like, “Let’s talk about monetization without sponsors.” “Let’s talk about the whole naming thing and then let’s talk about maybe you shouldn’t do interviews, may not be the best move for you.”
Niall Mackay: Well, I’ve done an Instagram Live with you and before I started this podcast and that was one of the big takeaways I took from that. This podcast was gonna be called “The Podcast Guy” ’cause that’s what I’ve been going with now. And you said, “Yeah, it doesn’t really explain what it does, it needs to be more clear.”
So that’s where eventually I was gonna be “Smart Podcasting” and literally, right before I started it, I then changed it to “Smarter Podcasting.” And again, that was by getting feedback, asking for people like what do you think of this getting advice? So that’s a great one with a name ’cause you do see that.
And one of my biggest pet peeves about podcasting is, when you see somebody starting a podcast about anything and everything.
Adam Schauble: Yes.[00:43:00]
Niall Mackay: And if you actually go on Spotify and type in anything and everything, there are countless podcasts already called that. And I’m like, “What are you doing man?”
Adam Schauble: Yeah, they’re all about everything, Joe, with awesome Adam. And just like, “Okay.”
Niall Mackay: But on that note, I did tell this pet peeve to a guest recently and he said, “Well, you know, if that’s what somebody wants to do…” Then and I was like, “Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh. If they just wanna go have a podcast, get behind a microphone, have some fun. I shouldn’t judge them too much, but I’m still judging you.”
Adam Schauble: Yep. If you’re not, first, you’re last Podcaster with incredible name..
Niall Mackay: Adam, thank you so, so much. I’m not gonna let you promote your services at all because, this podcast is all about me and my services. So don’t you dare. Do not go and listen to the Podcasting Business School. It’s a terrible podcast with terrible advice. You won’t find any value there at home.
Only ever listen to Smarter Podcasting. No, adam, thank you so, so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to [00:44:00] you. I could talk all day and just keep learning from you. You’re definitely somebody I look up to and I do listen to your podcast and I told you already, I take so much advice and value from it.
And so I hope we can keep this conversation going and keep working together.
Adam Schauble: Yeah. Niall, my pod pal. I appreciate you. Thank you for sharing your platform. Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to spread a positive message out in the podcasting space, a realistically positive message, which is people like, “That’s what you and I are doing.” So let’s keep the ball rolling and for all you listening in, thanks for tuning in and make sure that you go and smash the old subscribe or follow button. Leave my pod pal, Niall, a five star rating review. That’s the way we put the tip in the tip jar of podcasting. Let’s do it
Niall Mackay: Awesome. Adam, thank you very much. Cheers.