How Do You Make Money from Your Podcast

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Full Written Transcript of The Episode

How Do You Make Money from Your Podcast

MATT: How do you make money from a podcast? The truth is that it’s not through advertising or sponsors, at least for the most part. Only about 3% of all podcasts have enough listeners to even qualify for third party monetization. Advertisers and sponsors. So downloads and listens are not really the factor in how you make money from a podcast.

So how do they make money and how can you use a podcast to grow your business and increase revenue and results? In today’s episode, we’re joined once again by Eric Johnson. He is the podcast talent coach and Senior VP of programming for iHeartMedia. Eric is going to give us the secrets on how to make money from a podcast.

Welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that makes marketing easy to understand and simple to do. I’m Matt Tompkins of two Brothers Creative, where we believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. We are always just a mindset shift away from success. Oftentimes we get hung up.

We get caught up with the things behind the scenes. We get lost in the weeds, as they say, with the things that don’t really matter to everybody else. We think they matter because we see them day in and day out and we obsess over them and egos involved. But the reality is that a lot of things when it comes to running a business and hosting a podcast don’t matter as much as we think they do to everybody else, to our listeners, to our customers.

Podcast downloads and how you make money from a podcast is a perfect example of this. I want to ask you this When was the last time you based your decision on which late night television show talk show you watched based on how many listeners or viewers they had in the ratings the week before? I don’t think I’ve ever said, you know what, I’m going to watch Stephen Colbert because he had 4.6 million viewers last night.

MATT:: And Jim, Jimmy Fallon only had 3.8. No, you’re going to watch the ones that you like. Do you have an emotional connection with? We make those decisions based off of emotions.

Nobody really cares about the ratings. They’re more of an industry insider. Thing of value that matters because that’s what all the sales and advertising dollars are based off of. Podcast downloads are different in that because podcast downloads aren’t even made public, you have to get an obscene number of downloads just to qualify for third party monetization. I believe it’s like 5000 downloads per episode.

And so people oftentimes in the podcast world and this happens in business too, or people in business, you know, we obsess over the things that nobody about us is obsessing over. It’s a hard pill to swallow when we say nobody cares about our business but us. All the customers care about is what our business can do for them. How can it improve their lives? And a podcast is the same, same thing. It’s no different.

People don’t care how many downloads you have. They care about what your podcast can do for them. So when we get hung up on like ratings and how many downloads a podcast has, it’s just a distraction. It’s an ego driven distraction.

And considering that only about 3% of all podcasts even qualify for that, that threshold for third party monetization and a small percentage outside of that will sell their own ads and sponsorships.

MATT:: That is not how podcasts make money, and that’s not how you can leverage your podcast today, because podcast ratings and downloads are not shared publicly because it’s all based off of perception.

People see you hosting a show just like every other famous podcaster out there. It is an incredible opportunity for you and your business because people aren’t going to distinguish between you and Joe Rogan or whoever else that they follow. Nobody cares about how many downloads you have, and downloads are not how you’re going to make money for your podcast. Eric Johnson has spent over 30 years as a radio coach. As a podcast coach. He is the podcast talent coach at podcast talent My brother Ben and I, we worked underneath Eric for a number of years in radio.

He’s our program director and he is still the VP of programming for iHeart Media. So he’s got a little bit of experience here and focusing in on what matters and what matters to any business is how do I make money from this? How do I generate money from this? It is not from downloads, it’s not from ratings, not with podcasts and with your business. It’s a very, very similar through line. We focused.

We need to focus on the things that actually make our business money. Now there are a lot of different ways you can make money from a podcast. A lot of ways you can leverage a podcast to grow your business. So we’re going to talk about those in today’s episode. There are actually nine different ways you can make money from a podcast today.

ERIK:: Podcast allows you an opportunity to really connect with your prospect and bring them into whatever it is you’re selling. Now. I say there are nine great ways to to generate revenue with a podcast. There are so many more than that. There are just nine that I really, really enjoy.

So many people think the only way to make money with a podcast is through advertising, advertising and sponsors.

So many podcasters, coaches, entrepreneurs, information experts, they come to me and they say, I say, What’s your biggest challenge? And they say, I’m having a tough time growing the audience and landing a sponsor for my podcast. I want to get a big audience so I can get sponsors.

And I said, Why? Why would you ever do that? Why would you want to get sponsors and advertisers for your show? That’s probably the worst way to make money.

MATT:: This is an important distinction to make. People are not seeking out advertisements. They are not seeking out ads. So if you’re putting out something, whether it’s a graphic, a video, an audio commercial, whatever it is, any form of content, and it comes across as an as an ad, if it looks like an advertisement, it’s likely going to fall short because people are not seeking out more advertisements. We are bombarded by thousands of ads every single day.

I think it’s around 3000 ad impressions made on the average person every day. This just an insane amount of stuff, noise just being thrown at us. What people are seeking out is great original content and that’s why there are so many streaming platforms and choices today.

People are turning to podcasting because podcasting doesn’t have commercials, it doesn’t have advertisements, at least not in the traditional sense.

ERIK:: People are fleeing traditional media to get away from ads and sponsors. They don’t want to listen to that. That’s why they’re subscribing to Hulu and that’s why they’re subscribing to Netflix so they don’t have to put up with the commercials. They’re going to podcasting because podcasting doesn’t have commercials.

MATT:: There are a lot of creative ways that you can make money from a podcast that are close to advertisers and sponsorships but don’t require the massive number of downloads. And one of those is through affiliate partnerships.

ERIK:: If you’re marketing something on your podcast that is right in line with your audience, it’s an inch wide and a mile deep, right? Everybody that is listening to the show wants what you’re offering. So it’s a much stronger relationship with that audience.

But advertising agencies want to treat every audience the same, and that’s the CPM model for podcasting is the exact same as the CPM model for radio. And the fact of the matter is the audiences are not the same. The audience between two podcasts aren’t the same.

MATT:: I think interviews are probably the number one secret weapon when it comes to podcasting that and guesting on other podcasts. So guesting on the podcast is actually the number one way to grow any podcast. I believe guesting on other podcasts is the number one way to grow your business.

Here’s the thing when you host a podcast, you are given a license to go pitch yourself and topics to other podcasts and they will consider you. They will have you on because you have a podcast. If you’re just a business pitching your services, they’re going to say, No, listen, we’re not an infomercial unless you want to pay to be on our podcast. No, but if you say I’m also a podcaster, let’s collaborate, let’s partner. Do an interview.

Let’s have a conversation. Let’s talk about this topic X, Y, Z topic. They are much more likely to say yes. When they do say yes, you are now cherry picking the audience you want to speak to.

Each podcast is a niche. There are riches in the niches podcasts. There are so many niches that you can you can go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole with these niches, but you find the niche. So instead of just a shotgun approach where you’re on social media hoping that you hit your target audience, it’s a mile wide and an inch deep approach. Now it’s an inch wide and a mile deep. It’s an audience that just keeps on giving.

You know, every single person who’s listening is a podcast listener because they’re listening to you on a podcast and you know they’re interested in your subject matter because you pick a podcast about your subject matter to be. On the other side of that is having people on your podcast and doing interviews.

MATT:: Think of it this way like if you wanted to land that ideal client, let’s say you have a dream client, you have no other way. You would know no other way. You would have any sort of introduction to them.

They don’t know you. They don’t care to know you. Nothing to do with. There’s no mutual friends. You don’t play, you know, badminton or pickleball together and so you don’t have a way in, you know, sending them a cold call email or making a cold phone call is probably not going to be that impactful. Inviting them to be a guest on your podcast is extremely effective. We’re playing to people’s egos and think of it this way

You can set up as many as 5 or 6 touchpoint conversations from when you reach out and you initiate the invite to be on your podcast to when the episode premieres.

At the end of that period, you have nurtured a real, genuine relationship. So then when you go to make the sale or when they need it, they have this relationship built much easier for you to land the deal, for to close the sale, to get that ideal dream client. And so having them on your podcast, they will say yes. Most of all, I would say 80 to 90% of people say yes. People love to be the center of attention.

You’re going to wow them. You’re going to impress them. You’re going to demonstrate that you are an authority and expert in your field, that you have credibility, that you’re legitimate. I mean, that is an impression that is worth it alone because that impression is going to last for ever.

ERIK:: I think the number one way that many people forget and overlook are podcast interviews. A lot of people think we’re going to interview somebody on the show to create some great content for our listeners, right? We’re going to entertain them. Your podcast entertainment value of the Interview is probably third on the list because you should be interviewing that person for for a specific reason. They should even either be a prospective client. So if they’re a prospective client and you’re interviewing them, it should be with the goal to help them overcome a challenge and show them what’s possible by working with you. If you’re a bookkeeper, partner with a tax accountant. So you you’re both reaching the same people, but you’re doing different things for them and a complementary way. That’s the number one way to grow your audience.

MATT:: Thank you so much to Eric Johnson for joining us here today on the podcast, and thank you for listening to this episode of Midwest Mindset As a token of our appreciation, we would like to offer you a free download of our seven step checklist to get yourself booked as a podcast guest.

We talked about guesting on other podcasts. Here’s here’s a big secret Don’t pitch yourself. Nobody knows who you are.

Don’t even pitch myself. Nobody knows who I am and nobody cares and I don’t blame them. You want to pitch something else? So we’re going to tell you what that is. We have the seven step checklist to get yourself booked on other podcasts because, as we talked about today, guesting another podcast is the number one way to grow your business. And it is the biggest secret weapon to grow your podcast and your audience as well. You can find the link to download this free checklist in the show notes and we’ll see you on the next episode.