Chris Michael Harris 00:00
This is Episode 226. Today we’re talking about how to monetize your podcast.
You are listening to Entrepreneur Hour. Unleash your true inner potential and scale your business beyond your wildest dreams and live the life you deserve. Now, your host Chris Michael Harris.
Chris Michael Harris 00:25
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Hostgator. In this episode today, we are talking about monetizing podcasts. Part of that is getting them to your website and having the functionality get them to your email list. In order to do all those things the best platform for that, with all the functionality, is having a WordPress website. Having a WordPress website requires a host. It’s not dissimilar at all to the relationship between your podcast host and being on Apple podcast for example, it is the exact same relationship. Hostgator is one of the best ones I recommend, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s a great starter kit type platform as a website host, and it’s the one I used when I was getting started out for my first WordPress website, chrismichaelharris.com/hostgator. I think they have plans going as low as a couple of bucks a month, so it’s a great deal, good service, and highly recommended. Michael Greenberg joins me today on the show, and he is the founder of Call For Content. I was going to say founder and CEO but he is no longer CEO as he has handed those responsibilities off. So what we’re going to talk about today, is breaking down into the specifics of monetizing podcasts. One of the things that I get, as someone who hosts a podcast myself, from both students and clients alike is, there’s a lot of intrigue around podcasting, but there’s not a lot of know-how in terms of how to monetize it, how to make money off of doing and so what I see a lot of is people that are kind of stuck in hobby mode. They’re just doing it for years on end, or they have the proper set of expectations and the Internet, and within a month they’re done because they’re not making money and they thought they would be. So we’re going to talk about that today, we’re gonna break down some of the myths of podcasting. A lot of people think that advertising is the way to go, and we’re going to tell you why it’s not the way to go. We’re going to tell you why, and I know you heard that I have a sponsor spot as I know you heard me say that, but we’re going to talk about why, and some of the things that I do and how I use it, but I also still use it to grow my own products and services as well. We, both Michael and I, agree that the best way to use a podcast is to use it to grow your business, not as a business. If you follow my stuff, you’ve heard me say that a billion and a half times. Using your podcasts to grow your business is an amazing networking tool, and it’s an awesome way to get content off the ground where you don’t have to be all dolled up and have your camera right and your lights right and everything like that. It’s just super easy. The cost of entry is super cheap just get a microphone, and you can spend less than a couple hundred dollars, and you’re ready to rock and roll and that’s a matter of a few days to get all that ready. So all that’s well and good, we talked about the technical specifics on the show, but let’s talk in-depth about monetization with my guest today Mr. Michael Greenberg from Call For Content. Welcome back to Entrepreneur our podcast and Entrepreneur our TV, where we create superhuman entrepreneurs. Today we’re talking about a subject that has come up all the time being a media podcaster, and I don’t always use that term. I always say I’m an entrepreneur with a podcast, but I’ll go and claim it, I’m gonna own it. I’m a podcaster and one of the questions that I get is, how do I monetize my podcast? So stick around that’s what we’re gonna talk about; we’re going to dive deep into that. All we are going to talk about the entire hour is how to monetize, or ways to monetize your podcast and kind of giving you the facts. Like what’s out there, what’s the reality of it, what have you heard? We’re going to debunk some myths, and I’ve got a special guest to do so with me today, Mr. Michael Greenberg How are you? Welcome to the show.
Michael Greenberg 04:03
I’m doing great. I’m really happy to be here and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Chris Michael Harris 04:07
Man sometimes I have guests that come on and their microphone just sounds so amazing that I feel I have to up my game. You are definitely in that category your microphone sounds amazing.
Michael Greenberg 04:19
Thank you. I’m using a Sennheiser E385, with a blue icicle.
Chris Michael Harris 04:27
Show the icicle. For those watching on YouTube show the icicle. I didn’t know this existed and tell everybody what this is.
Michael Greenberg 04:32
So this is my secret weapon and Shure makes one as well, that’s a little more of a professional grade. It’s an XLR to USB converter. So it takes XLR, which is the professional microphones that you see in studios and everywhere that’s the standard audio cable, and converts it to USB. So you can use a much higher quality mic, or much more specialized mic that might not be available with a direct USB connection.
Chris Michael Harris 05:00
And so you don’t lose any of the quality in that process of transmitting the signal so to speak, do you?
Michael Greenberg 05:06
I lose a little but this is essentially a mini converter. Do you know how they sell little 4 Channel boxes now?
Chris Michael Harris 05:16
Yeah, I saw Road has a new product like that, I think.
Michael Greenberg 05:19
Yeah, this is one channel.
Chris Michael Harris 05:21
Interesting. That’s really cool man, I like that a lot. It sounds fantastic, it really does, and I know XLR. For those who don’t know what the difference is, basically your XLR is your input cable and it depends on how it’s going in. Mine just has a USB I plug directly into the side of my computer, but an XLR is a little bit different. It’s like your traditional one prong that you see on the end of microphones, so usually, you have to have sound tables or something like, the little box you’re talking about, mixer sounds. But if you have this little converter thing that turns into USB, that sounds like an awesome option. I’m assuming it’s significantly cheaper too.
Michael Greenberg 06:00
Yeah. I think they maybe range from 50 or 60 to 100 bucks.
Chris Michael Harris 06:06
That’s worth it to have an XLR mic. It’s totally worth it.
Michael Greenberg 06:09
The mic was 80, so maybe 200 for the whole setup.
Chris Michael Harris 06:12
You paid $80 for that microphone.
Michael Greenberg 06:13
I think so though it might be less.
Chris Michael Harris 06:17
For an $80 microphone, man it sounds tremendous.
Michael Greenberg 06:19
This is the base level vocal mic from Sennheiser.
Chris Michael Harris 06:23
Well, we are talking about that too. So we’re gonna jump into all kinds of talk. We’re going to focus on monetization, but obviously there are some things I’m going to talk about right now, like having a vocal. I’ve heard it been called a dynamic mic, I don’t know if that’s considered the same thing or not.
Michael Greenberg 06:36
I have no idea honestly but I know that this is specifically for vocalists, for performers on stage where you might have a lot of other noise around. It has a very narrow capture and a very close one, which means I have to keep the mic closer, so it changes your mic work a little bit, but gives you an added advantage. I live next to the highway, and half the wall is glass so that would get noisy.
Chris Michael Harris 07:06
The biggest issue that I hear from a lot of people too in line with monetization, which again we’re going to get into, is the reverb, the echo in their room. They spend all this money on these paddings and stuff like that, that they look like they’re building an insane asylum room in their home or something. That and then also my dog goes crazy or, like your situation, I’ve got the highway. So having a microphone like this built specifically for voice is going to eliminate a lot of that as you have to be right in front of it. Now if I back away you can tell pretty quickly that the sound quality is not good,
Michael Greenberg 07:38
You cannot really hear me back here.
Chris Michael Harris 07:39
I can’t hear you at all. And you’re maybe three feet, for those that are listening.
Michael Greenberg 07:43
Oh, maybe two. This is one foot away. And then this is right up with my lips next to it.
Chris Michael Harris 07:51
Wow. See, I’ll be right on top of that thing.
Michael Greenberg 07:53
Chris Michael Harris 07:54
Wow. Cool man. Awesome. Alright, so let’s go and get into your background, what led you. I’m curious to find out because I know you’ve played in a lot of different verticals and spaces. A lot of B2B, SaaS, plays and stuff like that. It sounds like you guys race around to fund institutional funding and things of that nature. So it sounds like there are some other things going on and now there’s this emphasis on podcasting, and working with podcasters to help them develop strategies and monetization routes and things of that nature. So kind of back up a little bit, and then what led you into doing the work that you do and who are you?
Michael Greenberg 08:31
I am Michael Greenberg. I like to call myself a gentleman of technology. I’m a multi-generational entrepreneur on both sides of my family. Going back three, four generations, pretty much since the family came to the US on both sides. People work for themselves.
Chris Michael Harris 08:57
Did you find that to be added pressure?
Michael Greenberg 09:00
I had a lot of pressure to not go into entrepreneurship.
Chris Michael Harris 09:03
Interesting. Because we know the reality of it.
Michael Greenberg 09:08
Yeah, you can fail. Professional careers, especially once your family has enough money to send you to school for that sort of thing, are going to provide a much more stable income. So I went against the family’s advice. I dropped out of school, went to a coding boot camp, did the startup thing, and raised a little money. Then I stopped doing startups and focused on consulting B2B growth strategy, and a little bit of fundraising for seed-stage companies. The focus was on looking at SaaS and B2B service places. Along the way, I got to work with a podcast network and a marketing agency simultaneously and saw a lot of the parallels in the content and production work. A few years later that turned into a Call For Content, which is my podcasting agency today.
Chris Michael Harris 10:12
So I’m trying to connect all the dots here. I know a lot of people have created a podcast. What they do is, they start a podcast, and then they start to understand the ins and the outs of the podcast world. And oftentimes it’s pretty obvious people aren’t making money doing this, and they’re putting all this time and effort into it. Or people don’t know how to handle all the technical specifics of starting a podcast, so they start to realize the opportunity in the space. So it sounds like that’s not how your trajectory ended up. You didn’t enter in, have a podcast and realize these are the problems. You wanted to enter into this because you were exposed to it in another way.
Michael Greenberg 10:51
Yeah, I entered the podcasting space very purposefully. I came into it from a background in podcasting that gave me insight into a highly profitable operation. I did not come in thinking podcasting was a place where you don’t make money. I came in exclusively from a B2B background, which I think makes a huge difference. Podcasting is much more effective for business to business than anything else. It’s the nature of the medium, both the depth and the niche audiences that it tends to build. When I came into podcasting with Call For Content, we started with podcasting as part of a B2B lead gen strategy. And then we moved out from there. As we’ve learned how to do other parts of podcasting, we’ve started to offer those services to podcasters.
Chris Michael Harris 11:49
Were you focused on creating inbound opportunities that people were searching into, as far as enhancing your discoverability, or were you doing it to nurture already built or previous relationships that you had established?
Michael Greenberg 12:04
Nurturing relationships for content creation by re-purposing the content from the podcast. And then for what Sweetfish Media has now coined as content-based networking. Back in the day, I just called it the warmest cold intro you could have to a podcast and then using it to generate either new partnerships or direct leads if the sale value was large enough.
Chris Michael Harris 12:30
Now, where was your main focus then to generate new inbound opportunities to then nurture them with re-purposing content like podcast audio?
Michael Greenberg 12:41
For the inbound, we were going to be using ads. We still do use ads. I love ads with content.
Chris Michael Harris 12:47
Okay, Google, Facebook, ads, all the above.
Michael Greenberg 12:51
It depends on the audience. Based on the personas, that will tell you where you should be buying ads.
Chris Michael Harris 12:59
Give me an example of an area where you would use a Google ad versus, a Social Media ad or a YouTube ad or something like that.
Michael Greenberg 13:06
If I’m trying to hit say, bootstrap founders, that’s SaaS in a digital agency mostly, a Quora ad might be the best thing for my buck. And then I might want my re-purposing on Facebook. Whereas if I’m going after a Fortune 500 CEO, Google is a potential option. If they’re searching for something very niche, everybody uses Google. Social is going to be pretty much useless for me.
Chris Michael Harris 13:42
With the CEO types.
Michael Greenberg 13:44
Yeah. They don’t have time. If you’re that busy, if you’re that important, you just don’t have time to use Social Media. And what we’re looking for then, as they probably only have one podcast or magazine, is a very account-based approach. These 30 are very likely to be common HBR readers. And so if we want to actually make it in the door with them, then we have to get our client in there. How do we get our clients in there? Well, the best agencies I know have a 30% success rate. So we need to have a really good story that’s research-based and has a compelling thesis. If we’re going after a part of that group that is a little more vocal, maybe not the Fortune 500 but say 5000, LinkedIn is probably going to be a great place for us to look and we know for LinkedIn, we’re going to need a five-figure ad spend because it’s not cheap to play in those waters.
Chris Michael Harris 14:54
Interesting. Now you’re sending them to podcast audio, but is that embedded as an epic blog piece of content that you’re sending to as a landing page that has an embedded podcast or how are you doing that with that type of targeting on Social or even on Google for that matter?
Michael Greenberg 15:11
Yeah. So again, it comes down to the audience. For somebody like the CEOs, they’re not going to listen to a podcast, so we are writing blogs from the podcast episodes.
Chris Michael Harris 15:21
Transcriptions or actually writing unique content for it.
Michael Greenberg 15:24
We will take the transcription and re-purpose it into a unique content. And then we have coaching clients and consulting clients where, in those cases, we’re going to be pushing to some sort of download where the email sequences then tied into pushing to the podcast.
Chris Michael Harris 15:48
So there’s some kind of a lead magnet associated with that piece of content.
Michael Greenberg 15:52
Yeah, we’re not pushing directly to the podcast. We use the podcast content and we might use videos cut from the podcast or other clips for the advertisements, but we don’t want to push straight to the subscribe because we want to capture the email in between,
Chris Michael Harris 16:07
Right, I tell people this all the time. There are situations where I will personally send somebody from one content medium to another. So for example. I found that I’ve had a pretty decent success when we started a YouTube channel. It is extremely small, but one of the things that I noticed as I was pushing out IGTV videos that were little snippets of my videos like we’re doing here, and just playing around with it, was that I was picking up subscribers from it. Because they’re seeing it, they’re engaging with it, boom. One of the things that I wasn’t seeing, just looking at the analytics was pushing something out and saying there’s more to learn on this blog that I created. What we weren’t seeing was a significant amount of click-through rate on that specific platform to my website. So we’ve really been using it to grow YouTube and the click-through rate on YouTube is ridiculous. We even made direct sales. We made a significant amount of direct sales on my wife’s channel because it’s larger than mine. She’s been doing it for seven or eight years, and I just created a basic intro offer of $9. That thing took off just talking about teaching value-driven content with a mini-course that I created for these nine bucks. And I was making sales like gangbusters from the minute that it was released up until right, now until I’ve started recording this. So I guess what you’re saying, and I’m going to emphasize it, is that you always want to try to be funneling down to the email list. Not come here, and then subscribe to my podcast, which is great as you will have a ton of subscribers. But now you don’t have any money to pay your bills, because you’re so focused on subscribers and downloads. I think those vanity measures kind of cloud our judgment.
Michael Greenberg 17:49
I’m a hardcore digital marketer, coming from the consulting end of it, so the only thing I care about is where can I build real ROI in value and I’m going to trim all the other fat out of what I’m trying to do and I want an email list. If I’m doing digital, I want to build as big an email list as possible because people don’t care about other stuff in the same way.
Chris Michael Harris 18:13
So I have this belief and maybe this is just me, and this might be a little bit off topic but I’m going to go with it. You have watched my video on Podcasting Pros and Cons. I think it was my last episode at the time of recording this. I said one of the biggest challenges that you experienced with audio, one of the biggest issues that I’ve seen is that people when they’re listening to podcasts are doing something else. They’re engaged with something else because it’s convenient to just listen to a podcast while walking the dog, or while making dinner, or while doing the trash, or while doing the dishes. That’s the perfect time to listen to a podcast. It’s not a time for you to be grabbing my unique link in my show notes, or my show description and browse over and check out something that I’m offering you even if it sounds amazing. Or even if it’s an affiliate that I mentioned, like driving for Uber. You might remember later that I said something about Uber, but you’re not going to come back and find my link because you were probably driving at the time that you heard me talk about it. So it’s almost futile to a large degree. And I think some people get so fascinated and invested in growth and pitching their hearts out on their show, that they’re not making sales or generating revenue.
Michael Greenberg 19:33
Yeah. That is very common.
Chris Michael Harris 19:36
So that’s why I like that you are using it in the same way that I use it, as more of a nurture. We talked before we started recording, and you said you try to use it as a nurture tactic. So when do you start using that? Do you funnel them down to join an email list, and then send out podcast episodes weekly to continue nurturing and building that relationship taking them from fans of super fans?
Michael Greenberg 19:58
That again very much depends on what we’re trying to do. We drop a lot of seasons these days, just from a planning perspective, they’re a lot easier to produce. And from a promotion perspective, they fit better into existing content calendars. So that’s been a shift that we’ve started to work with.
Chris Michael Harris 20:21
Do you not lose interest when you have long gaps like that with seasons, and continuous evergreen content every week?
Michael Greenberg 20:28
We like to use seasons as part of a larger content strategy. They’re not going to stand on their own in the same way.
Chris Michael Harris 20:35
Michael Greenberg 20:38
A season with a blogging strategy, we see real efficacy with because the season replaces say an Ebook.
Chris Michael Harris 20:47
Michael Greenberg 20:50
And the season gives us a lot of content for the blog at the same time. So there are reasons why we would do a season but we would always have consistent content published.
Chris Michael Harris 21:03
Interesting. And when you do a season it’s isolated to whatever you’re promoting for that specific person.
Michael Greenberg 21:10
Chris Michael Harris 21:11
Michael Greenberg 21:12
And that sort of season drop is going to really spike the downloads on it, which a lot of people like because then they can talk about high download numbers.
Chris Michael Harris 21:23
And they’re discovering it through the blog content. They’re not likely discovering it through, let’s say, Apple podcast at that point, in that specific example.
Michael Greenberg 21:31
We don’t really use podcast SEO very much, because it’s kind of a pain.
Chris Michael Harris 21:39
Because it doesn’t exist?
Michael Greenberg 21:41
Yeah, well you’ve got to do it with each platform. So make sure you’re on Spotify and you’re on Apple and you’re on the others. And then our primary focus is trying to push any new audience to a website first.
Chris Michael Harris 21:56
Michael Greenberg 21:59
We generally do specific URLs that can be shouted out for specific campaigns.
Chris Michael Harris 22:08
Interesting. So the slug is different or do you actually have an entirely new URL? For example, I have a book club and I’m planning on doing a 30-day reading challenge every quarter. What that effectively does is, you join my reading challenge and then I take you through what it’s like to be a part of my book club. The process is one hundred percent free, and I teach you methodology or some kind of topic. What I’m doing now is the power of habit and in the end, you’re going to get a little bit of a pitch to join my book club. So the URL that I was using was a slug. It was chrismichaelharris.com/challenge, but what I’m thinking about doing is getting learnwithcmh.com, and then using that as the shout because that seems to be easier to remember than a slug. Would that be something you would advise?
Michael Greenberg 22:54
Yeah, for example, I’ve been on a lot of shows promoting my authority marketing playbook. I own authoritymarketingplaybook.com.
Chris Michael Harris 23:04
Michael Greenberg 23:11
I’m pretty certain I’ve got podcastmonetizationplaybook.com for the same reason, but if I don’t, I have some other variation that I’ll shout out by the end of this episode.
Chris Michael Harris 23:23
Yeah. People do that all the time with their books. Marie Forleo has everythingisfigureoutable.com, and her book is Everything is Figureoutable. You see authors do that a lot, and there’s another slug that is easier and it’s free, but you can get those URLs pretty cheap. I think people get caught up in the technical aspect of it, but it’s so easy. You are a developer on that, what is it called pointing it to, once you buy it?
Michael Greenberg 23:48
Chris Michael Harris 23:49
Forwarding thank you
Michael Greenberg 23:52
It turned out I’d forgotten to set up the forwarding on podcastmonetizationplaybook.com. So I did that just now and it took four clicks after buying, having bought the domain at some point in the past.
Chris Michael Harris 24:10
Yeah, super easy, and it’s good to go. There’s nothing else that has to be done, as long as you know the URL that you’re forwarding it to, it’s done.
Michael Greenberg 24:20
That makes a huge difference in your CTR. When it comes to podcasting.
Chris Michael Harris 24:26
On podcasting, it does.
Michael Greenberg 24:28
Just in all sorts of podcasting. Yeah.
Chris Michael Harris 24:31
Michael Greenberg 24:33
If you want to know how authors sell books on podcasts, that’s one of the main reasons that they can.
Chris Michael Harris 24:39
Interesting. We’ve really just jumped into the specifics, and I want to keep doing that because I like to have depth, and I think a lot of people have asked a lot of questions. So this gives them a lot to chew on. Maybe more so than they thought they were going to get already in the first 26 minutes of this discussion. But let’s talk about some of the don’ts. We talked about that you are approaching it the way that you are because I’m running around producing two a week, so in your eyes, I might be overdoing it.
Michael Greenberg 25:14
Not quite. If you want to grow listenership, if that’s your primary, then consistency and the number per week is going to matter. The more you publish, the faster you’ll grow.
Chris Michael Harris 25:31
Sure, and on the other end of that, we use our direct podcast every week. I’m nurturing my email list with new content, and I’m giving them something that I feel I need to teach. So what I’ll do is write a pretty lengthy value-driven content in my email newsletter about that specific topic. Then if you want to watch or listen to this, that’s inserted there as well. So for us it is that nurture over time, and usually, we’ll do that in between promotions. So its: This is who I am, Top of Mind, create value, give value, give value, taking a Seth Godin approach, and really be more of a purist in your marketing. Then when you get to the point and you’re ready to promote then you have gone too far. This is the thing that I don’t like about people, and I want to make sure it’s abundantly clear because I don’t want them to take your advice the wrong way. A lot of people build an email list and they don’t talk to you at all until it’s time to promote. And then you don’t even remember joining the email list because it was a year ago and you have not heard from them at all and now they are promoting something. So I think people go a little bit too far on either extreme with that. That’s my opinion. I don’t know if you’d agree with that or not.
Michael Greenberg 26:47
Yeah, I’ll say from experience, I will not spend any time writing a newsletter for a list under 300 people.
Chris Michael Harris 26:57
Sure. Of course not.
Michael Greenberg 26:59
I want it to be in the mid-hundreds before I spend any time on newsletters. But after that point, I would probably agree. That being said, we have seen success with people just having really good promotion cycles. Maybe having a four-week promotion cycle for something and then two weeks off in sight and going back and forth like that with no real newsletter, just a lot of big ups and downs with promotion around your content.
Chris Michael Harris 27:31
Interesting. Okay, I was leaning that direction. What are some of the major don’ts that you see when you start working with somebody? Maybe it’s isolated to B2B, or maybe it is on a case by case basis. What are the major don’ts that you see or misconceptions that people have when they’re getting ready to start their podcasts or their early in their podcasting career?
Michael Greenberg 27:51
Big common mistakes we see are spending too much money on production when you have no real content strategy. It’s really easy to spend 15 grand on having great audio, but that doesn’t matter if you do not have good content. Not promoting the show is a big one. That’s very common. Having no re-purposing strategy from the show going back to content strategy. If you really want to grow a show or take full advantage of it, then you need to make sure that you are properly planning ahead in terms of what you’re going to turn each show into from the content. Because you can embed specific questions that you need answered for your blog into your interview if you know ahead of time that blogs are going to be produced. Not having a monetization plan at all. That’s really common with shows. So having no way to turn what the show is doing into money.
Chris Michael Harris 28:54
Michael Greenberg 28:56
That’s probably the most common one we see.
Chris Michael Harris 28:59
Okay. Now, for one of the things that I mentioned when we got started. Let’s say I have five different content buckets. Everything I’m talking about is on Social Media. I have different things that I talk about, although not everything that I am promoting. But one of them is going to be my main focus which is my book club. So I’m going to talk about an educational piece from a book that I learned something about, and I’m going to plug my book club because that’s what I was talking about. So is that what you mean when you’re saying, having an idea of how you’re going to promote what you’re going to sell? Or what would that look like as you see it for somebody? Here’s what I’m asking you but let me back up real quick. I don’t want somebody to think that just because they dropped their link in their intro bumper that that’s what they’re promoting, that that’s their monetization strategy because I think it needs to be more in-depth than that. I think they need to treat some episodes like a webinar. This is what I’m teaching you and what I offer. This is how I do it, especially in the B2B space, kind of showing off and flexing a little bit. I think that’s not the right word per sé.
Michael Greenberg 30:08
I think flexing is not the wrong word. Part of what we do when we’re building the first episodes for clients is to make sure we put case studies in. Those case study episodes are going to have re-targeting setup, and that re-targeting is going to be focused on selling the product that its case studying. We like to see business around the podcast because the podcast in itself can be a business, but then you need a whole marketing plan for the podcast too. We work with podcast networks and the work we do for them is very different than the work we do for single shows.
Chris Michael Harris 30:52
Interesting. In what way?
Michael Greenberg 30:55
Podcast networks need to grow audience in a very different way than shows do,
Chris Michael Harris 31:00
Because they’re focused on advertising dollars?
Michael Greenberg 31:03
Monetization channels are different. They know ads are part of their monetization, and the know events are likely going to be part of their monetization. But they’re really focused on broader markets so that they can find scalability. Smaller, single host shows, or really small networks of two, three shows can operate very differently when they have that ability to stay very niche. So for big networks, even the way we look at them is as a bunch of small networks that are focused on a specific demographic and so they’ve got the six shows that touch all of their interests.
Chris Michael Harris 31:41
Hmm, okay, that makes sense. Alright, so what are some of the things you see people doing wrong? That was a good one.
Michael Greenberg 31:47
Thanks. Not promoting your show, is a big one. Social Media isn’t content promotion, nine out of 10 times. I don’t care if you’re posting about it, but you need a couple hours a week or more dedicated to growing your following. That means when you’re small on something like Instagram, sitting down and liking and following a lot of people so they follow you back and really boosting your numbers up so that you have the reach you need takes effort. Appearing on podcasts is a great way to talk about your podcast and get more podcast listeners because audio transitions to audio better than many other formats, just like video transitions to video better. Having a promotion strategy is missing for most people. And that’s not just podcasters, that’s all content creators.
Chris Michael Harris 32:51
Sure. I totally agree, and I think YouTube is even worse in many cases.
Michael Greenberg 32:55
Yeah. 60% of content creation is promotion.
Chris Michael Harris 32:59
I’m glad you say that because I think this is the big misconception people have. I already said that, because it feels so unorthodox or it feels so against our human nature tendencies to say things over and over and over and plug and plug because we think that everyone hears us. But in reality, no one heard us. And I’ll give an example, I’m going to validate my statement that I just made. I had been doing my show for a while, and in some cases to this day still do this, just not as much because I’ve really gotten to the point where I’m promoting shamefully to a large degree because it assumes that everyone’s paying attention and it assumes that everyone heard you, and neither are true. So after two and a half years of doing my show, I would post something, I would have to guess but I think it was a Barbara Corcoran that I published on Social Media on Facebook. And I would have close friends of mine say I did not know you had a podcast. To which I would reply that I’ve done 150 episodes. What are you talking about, you didn’t know I had a podcast. So I think we interpret or we act as though we would act in real life. If you’re the guy at the table that’s telling the same story over and over and over again, you’re kind of weird, why are you doing that. I had Laura Roeder on the show, and we were talking about how hard that is to overcome when you’re talking about re-purposing because it feels like you’re saying the same things over and over again. But the reality of it is, the internet is vast and there are people out there that have never heard of you or your message ever. You could say it a million times and you’re still going to find people that have never heard that message before. And also, furthermore, I like to think not just about how I perceive the world through my eyes, but how the world is perceiving me through their own eyes. So think about it this way. When have I ever been upset with someone that I admire, say Brendon Burchard or Marie Forleo for talking about something that I’ve heard them talk about before. I’ve never been upset to hear Marie, talking about Marie TV. I’ve never really been upset to hear Brendon Burchard talk about his YouTube channel. So we assume that people are going to like us when they hear us promoting all the time. When have you ever done that yourself? The people that do get upset with that are not the right people for you. The people that do need to hear your voice are going to need that reminder and will thank you and say: This is why I follow you. This is why I love you.
Michael Greenberg 35:30
Yeah. I think to sum up my agreements, simply. When I look at a client’s marketing, if I see nothing that could potentially turn me off, I know they’re not doing a good job with their messaging, because I want polarization that is strong enough to make some people rabid fans and some people hate me?
Chris Michael Harris 36:01
Yeah. Where do you draw the line on that? Because I know that’s a concept that Russell Brunson talks about a lot with polarity, how you can’t be mainstream and vanilla. You have got to have some degree of polarity but not the extreme. Where do you draw the line or where do you recommend your clients draw the line with that? You that’s a really loaded question. There’s no way you can answer that directly but you personally.
Michael Greenberg 36:23
That’s an economic problem. I will push them as far as they’re willing to go.
Chris Michael Harris 36:29
Michael Greenberg 36:31
For most of my clients, they can go to the far end and we’ll make a million or two a year.
Chris Michael Harris 36:38
Interesting. The world and the internet are vast places. If you sell expensive things, you only need a few people to care. So for people that don’t know what we’re talking about, we’re talking about polarity. Give an example maybe of what you mean by I’ll push them as far as you want to go. What would that entail? Would that be just their core beliefs about their specific trade or their opinions about Donald Trump? Because they could be far-reaching, or both.
Michael Greenberg 37:03
Yeah, I don’t like to get outside the realm of expertise.
Chris Michael Harris 37:07
I don’t either.
Michael Greenberg 37:08
Because that’s a bad decision. It’s a great way to show that you’re not an expert in anything, by showing how badly you mistake your own expertise in one subject for transitioning over to another. I like to keep them within their realm, but we make sure that they publish contrarian opinions. There’s been a lot of pushback in the past year or two about hustle.
Chris Michael Harris 37:39
I hate that word at this point.
Michael Greenberg 37:42
Yeah. But there was a time when that was huge, and at that time that’s when I was telling my clients, even the ones who are big on hustle, hustle but actually be smart about it.
Chris Michael Harris 38:02
Yes. I think I think there was an article that was on Medium called hustle porn. And it had Gary Vee space on it with a red X, and I felt kind of bad that Gary got blasted for it.
Michael Greenberg 38:16
He’s great to just pump up. A lot of his content is very pumped up. He’s a smart guy and he has great advice. My favorite guy to hate, to really disapprove of for content production is Neil Patel. His freshest, newest content is normally pretty okay. But then, because most of the stuff never gets updated, it’s bad. A lot of it is just outdated content. I think coming from his background he, as a marketer, probably doesn’t look over at all when it’s written under his name. I certainly don’t for a lot of the content I put out, and that can dilute your brand over time. It’s not an issue when you try to get to a certain size, but it’s part of the dilution that occurs with that sort of polarity.
Chris Michael Harris 39:17
Yeah. Well, here’s the deal, too. You just mentioned Gary, and I think there’s a really valuable point to bring up here. For the people that jive with that message, they need that message. For people that are out there already crushing it, to use his words quite literally, they don’t need that message. They need to be more calculated and not kill themselves working 20 hours a day because they’re already hustling and grinding. So I think that your point about there are millions of people out there is that there are millions of people out there that need your specific message. I think sometimes we just dilute that trying to appease everybody versus this is who I am. I think the other thing, when you are so convicted about something and you are building a podcast around a business, is that those are the people that want to do business with you because they have an alignment with what I feel to be a tribe that is like them. Seth Godin talks about people like us. So if they can align themselves with you because you’re not being vanilla and you’re standing with your convictions, they will love what you stand for and what you believe in. I don’t agree with Grant Cardone in a lot of ways, and Grants been on my show, but to Grant, everything is just working harder. I almost killed myself working harder. That’s not the answer for me, to be more strategic, but it worked for him and that’s fine as other people need that message. But I think some of his ideologies are antiquated. That’s my opinion. So I think that, and this is where you get into people thinking this space is saturated, there’s only been one you and there’s a market for what your message is. And that’s all you have to compare yourself to. But if you do try to be like everybody else, you’re right, it is saturated.
Michael Greenberg 40:56
Yeah, that’s a very good way to put it. I think I think in my experience, you can build a business, especially in B2B on an audience size of 10,000.
Chris Michael Harris 41:08
Interesting 10,000 a month downloads?
Michael Greenberg 41:11
No just 10,000 total.
Chris Michael Harris 41:14
Total downloads, network or subscribers.
Michael Greenberg 41:18
None of those things.
Chris Michael Harris 41:19
None of those things. Okay.
Michael Greenberg 41:20
The B2B total potential audience size. From a potential accounts perspective for your business, whatever it is.
Chris Michael Harris 41:31
So social media accounts, email lists, LinkedIn, etc. and downloads included.
Michael Greenberg 41:36
When I say accounts, I mean like businesses to sell to. So if you get niche enough, if you get targeted enough, that there are only 5000 potential clients, and if your average sale sizes in the hundred thousand a year, you’re still good.
Chris Michael Harris 41:58
Yeah, you’re good. Yeah, you’re good. Alright. So we covered that. Any others that you see. I know there’s a lot of confusion around advertising. People say they need to get more downloads, or some sponsors, right?
Michael Greenberg 42:10
Ads are never going to pay your bills.
Chris Michael Harris 42:11
Right. So nothing more to say on that then?
Michael Greenberg 42:20
If you have 10,000 plus come talk to me, and I’ll tell you if you can make money with that, because there’s a pretty good chance your audience is worthless.
Chris Michael Harris 42:30
Interesting. And that’s 10,000 downloads a month they come talk to you otherwise not worth it.
Michael Greenberg 42:35
Yeah. In B2B you can get by with 2000. If you have a niche B2B audience or a niche B2C audience of high value, you can find a sponsor for that audience and make some decent money with it, but it’s an integrated campaign. It’s a real partnership, and it’s not going to be just an ad sales.
Chris Michael Harris 43:00
Yeah, I was going to say they’re more performance-driven. Can you convert things for them, and thus, you might as well sell your own stuff at that point. Because you’re gonna take a pretty small piece of the pie.
Michael Greenberg 43:11
You might not want to sell your own stuff, for any of a number of reasons, and if that’s the case there’s an avenue there. I know of a couple of networks that have built themselves on selling six-figure sponsorships for their shows before they launch.
Chris Michael Harris 43:29
Michael Greenberg 43:30
Because they’re very niche shows with very niche audiences.
Chris Michael Harris 43:34
Okay, what would an example of one of those be?
Michael Greenberg 43:37
So one of those is Oil and Gas. If they get 100,000 downloads an episode, that’s fantastic. Though that’s going to be worldwide, and that might be every Oil and Gas. They might have a show for Oil and Gas Executives, and every Oil and Gas Executive listens to that show.
Chris Michael Harris 43:58
That’s super niche.
Michael Greenberg 44:00
Its the new show that interviews Oil and Gas Executives that specialize in the Permian Basin, which is one of the big Oil and Gas reserves in Texas. And so that’s a very niche topic show produced for a very niche audience where they can get a large amount of money upfront, because Red Wing boots who makes the boot that every guy on every oil rig uses, is going to want to be there. And IBM with their Watson technology is going to want to be there, both for the same audience.
Chris Michael Harris 44:31
Interesting. So this is the part people are confused about, and maybe it’s the exact same people who talk to me about affiliate sponsors. I’ll tell them that it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done, it took me five minutes. You just Google: Uber affiliate program and there it is, and you apply. They have to approve you, and they have to look at what you’re trying to do so you have to send them links and stuff like that. But for the most part, it’s way more simplistic than people make it out to be. What you’re talking about, the hundred thousand dollars before you have even published an episode, how does that look in terms of sponsors. Your more traditional sponsors, versus something like an affiliate marketing sponsor?
Michael Greenberg 45:06
So that’s coming in saying, we have this existing audience, or we have built audiences in the past, and these are our projections with this amount of sponsorship on who we’re going to reach over this time period. This is the demographic we’re targeting. We see it is also your demographic and you spend the money here. Would you be interested in spending some of that money with us to get a good deal on a new potential channel?
Chris Michael Harris 45:34
But is this happening via an email that you send or do you need to have an existing relationship?
Michael Greenberg 45:39
This could be an email, this could be a call, or this could be a LinkedIn message. This is us building a list of probably 20 or 30 different potential sponsors who would be good fits and who are spending money, and then reaching out on an individual basis to the correct Brand Manager, or Marketing Manager, or VP, or CMO at each one.
Chris Michael Harris 45:59
Are they going to want to see a track record? Because obviously anybody could say, and people really wouldn’t know even if they’re being honest or dishonest, I am going to have 100,000 downloads. That sounds more like a wish and not an actual plan.
Michael Greenberg 46:14
They have to see a track record.
Chris Michael Harris 46:16
Okay, so there has to be some kind of track record. So I would imagine that in many cases, this can’t be a new show, or they have to have a sizable email list already from something else they’ve been doing. So let’s say Dell launched a podcast. My buddy works at Dell and his podcast is internal, for company morale and stuff like that. But let’s assume that it wasn’t. Let’s assume that it was outbound and that the world was going to be able to listen to Dell’s podcast. Dell is Dell, and they have a lot of brand clout. So I would imagine in that situation, they could start a podcast reach out and many people would realize it’s Dell, as they have that proven track record. So if you are a solo host so to speak, it’s probably not the avenue you want to go even if it was a potential opportunity, because you’re not going to have the track record. If you have those relationships, you’re not going to have the track record, they’re probably not going to pay you anything because you have nothing to show for it.
Michael Greenberg 47:09
Exactly. But here’s a rare example that we’re working on, that breaks that mold. It’s a solo host show, that has never done a podcast before and has very little social media presence, but he owns a social media agency. He’s Instagram verified and he’s interviewing professional athletes or former professional athletes. People who have large followings already. That is a show that we can arrange for sponsorship to cover the production costs and maybe some of the advertising, without too much of an issue, because somebody will throw 20k at that.
Chris Michael Harris 48:01
Michael Greenberg 48:03
No just a one time 20k.
Chris Michael Harris 48:04
Okay, one time, 20k. That’ll probably cover a quarter or so. Okay, that’ll cover quarter. Okay, and then you’re back on the hunt for more depending on how things go.
Michael Greenberg 48:14
Maybe they re-up. Maybe they say, Hey, you guys didn’t really show the growth that we expected, we’re going to walk away. But now we’ve got a sponsor. We can talk about having had a sponsor, and we have a market rate.
Chris Michael Harris 48:31
Yeah. And you put that on your website and say we’re sponsored by so and so. And that’s huge brand credibility.
Michael Greenberg 48:36
Exactly. That’s really how we leverage into others.
Chris Michael Harris 48:39
Okay, so and in that specific example, that’s not a B2B play. It sounds like that’s just more basic general entertainment.
Michael Greenberg 48:47
Yeah, but the work that we’re doing, the sales were doing and the media work in terms of finding those sponsors. Media sales are B2B, so we understand that realm.
Chris Michael Harris 49:01
Yeah. But I think what you’re talking about is where people get caught up. They have a show they want to talk about their big Trekkies. So they want to talk about Star Trek.
Michael Greenberg 49:09
Yeah, that show needs 10,000 plus before you can think about anything, and you should not spend a dime on it until it’s there.
Chris Michael Harris 49:16
But is there any other way in those situations? And I don’t know that I have anybody like that. I think most of my audience, they’re entrepreneurs. And so they’re here with their business and they’re going to use their podcast, not to build as a business, they’re going to use it to build around their current business. I preach that all the time. So I’m glad you agree with me, and I’m glad that’s been the results that you’ve seen as well.
Michael Greenberg 49:37
Yeah, the first podcast production playbook we dropped was B2B podcast production.
Chris Michael Harris 49:42
Got it. So let’s say that there’s a random straggler here that’s listening, that it is a Star Trek fan or wants you to create some kind of show built around that. Let’s say there is a B2B play potential but they just don’t see it. In that situation, what would you suggest? For example, let’s keep on with the Star Trek example. What if they got onto Teespring and created t-shirts that were little things that they say on this show. Canva has a new template where you can create t-shirt designs inside of Canva, and you can actually have them made directly on Canva. It’s pretty sweet, but they are 20 bucks, so they’re not cheap, and you would definitely be better to go into Teespring. But maybe there are ways that they can create, that they don’t see a monetization path for because they’re just pure creators, but they’ve kind of approached it like a hobby. So, in those situations, I think that’s where they kind of get confused and they think that sponsorship is the only answer. I went to a podcasts outlier conference, and there were a lot of people like that and that said the advice you gave us was great, but I don’t have a business. So what do I do if I’m just doing this because I enjoy Star Trek? I was trying to give them other examples, and that was when I thought of this. Sell some kind of merchandise, sell something like that, or host a meetup where you charge people a nominal fee, and other ideas that they can have to monetize what they’re doing so it’s not just a hobby.
Michael Greenberg 51:11
Yeah. And we like to plan those from the start whenever possible. We find a lot of hobbyist shows are in a position where they’re not going to be able to make money. The host is unwilling to spend the money to get it to a level where it can be monetized in any other form. And they end up in this wasteland, where you’re stuck, you enjoy doing the show, but they started with some costs. They continue to have those costs incurred, and they don’t really have a way to grow large enough, because they don’t have the resources to put in. And resources can be time or money. But you need a plan to monetize from the start if you really want to make money from it, and that plan can’t be, we’re going to sell ads.
Chris Michael Harris 52:04
And I think a lot of people say we’ll just kick it around and see what happens, but it sounds like what you’re saying is that that’s the wrong way to approach it. You should not just say I want to start as a hobby and see where it goes, but to really be a lot more concise and intentional about it.
Michael Greenberg 52:20
Yeah, you start as a hobby you stay as a hobby. We help shows we call going pro, and it’s not easy.
Chris Michael Harris 52:33
Because to make the transition is not easy you mean? Why is that? Because they’ve already been firmly entrenched in this being a hobby mentally?
Michael Greenberg 52:41
Yeah, the people we see success with, they start the show thinking I have a career now and I want to go be a professional. The podcast is part of my content plan to position myself for this thing. Those people have a clear plan. I want to be this thing in the end, I have a goal, the show is a vehicle to achieve it. But the show is almost never a good idea as an end in itself. If you want to write a book, doing a show to interview all the subject matter experts for the book is a great way to promote the book at the same time. But if you just interview a bunch of subject matter experts, and you’ve got no book at the end or no other way to turn that all into something cohesive, you’re stuck.
Chris Michael Harris 53:27
Yeah. Do you think part of it is also training your audience, as far as the expectations of what they will get from your show because you have talked about promotion before? I think another aspect of it too, is they would love to support you, they just don’t know that you do anything because you haven’t talked about it, and then all of the sudden you start talking about it. I bring that up because of this. We’ve had people where we started and then all of the sudden we start selling something. Or not even that, take YouTube for example. You create YouTube, they join an email list and they get a promotional email, and then they’re shunning that person. This is a few bad eggs, and most people are not this way. But sometimes they will say they really appreciated it when you were just putting out value as the expectation is that you should just put stuff out for free and that you shouldn’t sell anything. Marie Forleo talks about people who get really angry at her when she sells B-School every February because they’re so accustomed to Marie TV just being free. So people get almost repulsed and say they will never listen to that again as it was supposed to be free. I don’t know why we have that expectation, but sometimes people do have that expectation so you have to retrain them and understand that they just don’t get that. So I would agree with what you’re saying. I think that’s tough.
Michael Greenberg 54:40
Yeah, I come from technology. We build apps that take your data and sell it for money. You get free stuff.
Chris Michael Harris 54:49
You get the free stuff. What about Patreon?
Michael Greenberg 54:58
Why? If you’re gonna sell a subscription to your show, just sell a subscription to your show, but I write donations to charities.
Chris Michael Harris 55:12
What do you mean by that? You’re not gonna write donations to a content creator, you do it to charities, is that what you’re saying.
Michael Greenberg 55:21
Yeah. If I want a content creator to put out content for me, I’m going to write them a check to literally create that content for me, directly. I am a big fan of patronage, but I believe in direct patronage and I don’t really like the subscription model in the same way. That’s a personal preference. I know some people succeed with it, but I think a lot of people think it’s a great idea, and they’re really not set up to use it. It’s just another way to sell a membership.
Chris Michael Harris 55:56
I’m a patron of this awesome YouTube channel. I was telling somebody this because one of my students was talking about how she could just get on Patreon. Her content is in that same vein of: I don’t sell anything directly from what I’m providing, but it might be good for me to build an audience that I would sell something directly from at some point. That’s kind of the methodology or the thought process there. I think that there’s a huge misconception about the sheer figures that you have to have to get enough patrons on Patreon with traditional advertisers. These people have almost 1.8 or 2.8 million, and they’re struggling to get 400 patrons and the options are $1, $5 and $30 and they’re really struggling. They announced that to produce one of their episodes, that cost them 40 thousand dollars. These are live-action renditions of Wolverine vs Wonder Woman and it’s really professionally done and apparently highly expensive to produce these things as they do it on their own nickel. I thought surely people are going to commit to Patreon because they have a raving fan base, so I became a Patreon and when I looked at it, it was 357 people.
Michael Greenberg 57:28
I’d get that content right off the bat. If you’re putting five figures into your production costs, there should be some sort of gate. That sounds like the sort of group where, in that case, I would tell them here’s half a dozen networks we work with, pick the ones you like, and we’ll make the introductions.
Chris Michael Harris 57:53
As in podcast networks?
Michael Greenberg 57:55
Chris Michael Harris 57:55
Do you believe in those?
Michael Greenberg 57:57
I work with them.
Chris Michael Harris 58:01
Give me the pros and cons, the ins and outs of those because I’ve been pitched by a million of them, and I’ve said no to all of them. I just feel it’s basically people that can’t market themselves. That’s my interpretation. Tell me why I’m wrong.
Michael Greenberg 58:13
Some of them have good marketing operations. They can aggregate for media sales which is a big advantage, and they can lower production costs. Those are the big things.
Chris Michael Harris 58:28
In what would they lower your production costs?
Michael Greenberg 58:29
Chris Michael Harris 58:32
Such as equipment.
Michael Greenberg 58:33
Right. I personally can start a podcast network for, call it maybe 50 grand a year, because I can just hire that whole team in house and go acquire shows. To run a podcast network, you need a digital marketer, you need a creative producer, then you need somebody to wrangle hosts, and you need an audio guy.
Chris Michael Harris 59:07
Let’s say I joined a network, would they handle a lot of the editing aspects of what I’m doing, or would I still be responsible for that? Because I assume they would have control.
Michael Greenberg 59:13
Super network dependent. Podcasting is pretty much the Wild West when it comes to network agreements.
Chris Michael Harris 59:20
They seem relatively new, the last five years or so.
Michael Greenberg 59:24
There’s no consistency in them, literally none. There’s no consistency in team sponsorship arrangements. Only pm based ad sales have any sort of real consistency and monetization, so that’s great for us because it gives us room to play. But as a podcast, dirt means there’s not really any sort of reliable best practice.
Chris Michael Harris 59:47
Yeah. Someone had pitched me and they had a smaller following across all their networks than what I had myself.
Michael Greenberg 59:53
That’s a red flag unless they’re brand new and they’re coming from a very specific background. I know of a venture back network, where they went from having 30,000 or 50,000 downloads a month on their in house shows. And then they acquired a show with 150,000 downloads a month. So they went from small to big, because they have a great production team who’s done this before in other industries and they raised money, so they were new.
Chris Michael Harris 60:29
Do you think that’s the future? That feels very out there, and this is my interpretation. I said, you’re taking something new and beautiful in this digital space that we now live in and you’re trying to cram it back in the radio box. That was my interpretation of it.
Michael Greenberg 60:46
I think big media is a corrupting force, in most places that it goes, but it will go into every form of media and exist. Podcasting simply lends itself better to niche audiences. So it is much more difficult for them to find success
Chris Michael Harris 61:08
Michael Greenberg 61:09
Yeah, that makes sense. Because that is tough, especially having a show where I talk about all these various things. I’m probably a good fit for them. One of the things that we found is that I might have 10 episodes in between an episode where somebody who’s following is looking for podcasting news, or updates or teaching. In the meantime, I’ve talked about health, wellness, meditation, sales, and email lists. So I’ve had to really focus on what am I going to be known for? What do people come to me to listen to? I don’t think people actually go through and strategically think about that. But from a network standpoint, they don’t want you to be a super niche. So you have to make a decision about what you are going to be with this thing? Yeah. Networks, when we come in and we look at them like I mentioned before, it’s a very different process. When we look at individual shows, we’re looking to find one niche audience we can monetize with. When we’re looking for networks, we’re looking for generalized demographics we can build a community of shows around and capture as much of their time as possible.
Chris Michael Harris 62:19
Sure. I didn’t ask you this when you’re talking about the size. You said 10,000 accounts, is what somebody needs to create. I don’t know what revenue milestone you would use at that point. Are we talking six figures at that point?
Michael Greenberg 62:34
Six figures with that should be pretty simple if you have the time and grind.
Chris Michael Harris 62:38
Right. I know it’s all case by case, but what are people’s expectations as you have two ends of the spectrum. You have people that think that they should monetize immediately. If I’m not making 10 grand by the first month, I’m done with this, and I’m not going to pursue it. Then you have people on the other end that are martyrs. At some point, that light bulbs are going to turn on, and I’m going to start making money and monetizing this thing. So maybe they’re not being as strategic as they need to be or they’re not waiting as long on the other end, like I said, so what do you think is a normal expectation for somebody to have? Is it a year? Is it to figure out what their audience really wants? Is it, they should come out of the gates and at least be making something? What should be some expectations as far as monetization?
Michael Greenberg 63:33
Yeah, so if you do your research properly upfront, you should have a pretty good idea of a monetization opportunity that can pay the bills and is viable, within the first 90 to 180 days.
Chris Michael Harris 63:53
Michael Greenberg 63:56
It’s going to have to come from the people that you interview.
Chris Michael Harris 64:01
You are leveraging the size of their audience?
Michael Greenberg 64:04
Yeah, or leveraging their personal connections, or targeting them as your leads for the business.
Chris Michael Harris 64:11
Which is a thing that nobody talks about, but that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve benefited from with this show. A networking power tool for me is, what do I need, who do I need to contact, who’s that key person that I need to speak with, they come on my show and there you go. I know, by the way, that this is what you are doing too right now because you pitch me and then you want to go on my show. So I know that so you guys do it. So kudos to you because that’s smart. Build the relationship, come on my show, and let’s talk about it.
Michael Greenberg 64:35
Yeah. I appear on a lot of shows. We run a lot of networking campaigns, and we network with content almost exclusively. So we’d like to reach out with that sort of value-first approach. Interviewing people on podcasts works. If you can target that audience well and invite them on your show, and you know how to qualify very well before inviting them on, and then you ask the right questions on air, you can get a 10 or 20% conversation rate afterwards.
Chris Michael Harris 65:11
Yeah, that’s tremendous.
Michael Greenberg 65:14
Those can be very high-quality conversations. For a consulting business or coaching business, some business where you can get that five-figure average client value. You can build that six-figure business in a year.
Chris Michael Harris 65:29
Yeah. I would say my cold outreach, not that you asked but I’ll tell you, with the guests that I’ve had, because the biggest thing we leverage is the name clout of the guests we’ve had, I would say I’m well over 80% of conversion. Cold.
Michael Greenberg 65:45
We see fantastic rates.
Chris Michael Harris 65:47
Yeah, unbelievable. In what capacity could you tell me I could get a B2B intro to someone in an hour of their time at an 80% conversion rate, that’s unheard of.
Michael Greenberg 65:58
And that’s why we use podcasts. That’s where I started with them.
Chris Michael Harris 66:04
That will validate and justify me never selling anything on the show itself. If I can make direct sales, again using the podcast to make sales not using it as a business, it justifies itself 10 times over. The relationships that I’ve built, paid for everything that I’ve done, and then some by like, 10 over.
Michael Greenberg 66:20
Yeah. The way I like to think of it is podcasts are great social capital generators, but they’re very bad financial capital generators.
Chris Michael Harris 66:30
Yeah. I gotta let you go, as we are running out of time here, but on the flip side. You did mention before that if somebody is not in that space, they’ve been doing it for three years, they didn’t start off on the right foot, and they missed their 90-day window where they could have been doing the right things and working with you to do that. What are some steps you recommend? Is it going back to the drawing board? Is it rebranding a new show? I know a lot of people are frustrated, and they think, maybe I should just start a new show with a new name. Are you opposed to that? What would you do right now if you were in their shoes?
Michael Greenberg 67:05
When shows come to us in this position we do what’s called an ARV, audience research and valuation. We go in, we do demographic research on the audience, we look for topics that they like more, and we try to build personas. We try to build profiles of who’s listening, and we try to do direct interviews whenever possible. We look to see if we can turn this into a group that we can monetize. If the answer is no, which in many cases it is, then we ask what the topic of the show is, and if we can reposition the show or reposition the people we have on the show so that we can use this show for whatever your other business is. If you do not have that other business, can we sell coaching or consulting as our number one off of this? If not, then we’re in a quagmire.
Chris Michael Harris 68:00
Okay. Let’s say their coach will come on. You could still use those old interviews displayed on the website to show some kind of brand clout to where they’re incentivized, as seen in, and you would put Forbes in to level up your own brand clout in relation to their brand clout, in addition to providing value-driven content.
Michael Greenberg 68:25
Yep. And we’ll probably take a look at the backlog and take a look at where the host wants to go within their own career. We will probably say you’ve got enough episodes. If they’ve been doing it for two or three years, they’ve got enough episodes where we can say, you’ve got a book on this topic here so let’s get this out and jump you off.
Chris Michael Harris 68:46
I’m not an expert, that’s why I wanted to ask you. This was my thinking. I’ve played in the offline space, as have you, to a degree, not in the content creation space. Let’s put it that way because there’s no such thing as an offline business in this day and age, everybody’s online in some capacity. So content creation space. The thing I love the most about it is you can re-purpose anything. There’s no such thing as a lost cause. I was in a service-based business and if we botched a $50,000 or even 100, $200,000 contract, there’s no reuse that, it’s learned, so we don’t make this mistake again. But in the content space, if a piece of content didn’t work in the way that I thought it was going to, how can I now re-purpose it? Can I put it on epic blog content? Can I re-purpose on social media in a different capacity than what I thought? Can I put it in premiered on my website? Every single thing you create is an asset that can serve you in some way. It’s just a matter of figuring out how it’s going to serve you. Am I wrong in saying that?
Michael Greenberg 69:52
I do not think you are. But I would add one additional point to that. Some content cannot serve you for your current goals.
Chris Michael Harris 70:05
Sure hundred percent agree.
Michael Greenberg 70:08
And that you need clear enough goals that you can make that distinction to be able to re-purpose effectively.
Chris Michael Harris 70:13
Okay, and that’s diving into the analytics and seeing that if you create a blog, this is getting a lot of hits. What can we do to create more content like this or to boost up even further this content that is performing well, because we know this is what people want to hear about or want to learn about.
Michael Greenberg 70:28
Yeah, so for example. We had a client come to us who had a show who was a former police officer, and they started to get away from police work and criminology in their show. Downloads were starting to drop because their audience really cared about that very specific thing. They tried to move their business into coaching entrepreneurs at the same time.
Chris Michael Harris 70:54
While talking about criminology How did that happen?
Michael Greenberg 70:57
There’s actually a crossover with Psychology.
Chris Michael Harris 71:00
Okay, cool. That sounds like a weird pivot.
Michael Greenberg 71:03
Yeah, there’s a lot of crossover but the positioning was not there. They needed that transition point and they needed to create content to help them walk through that. They weren’t in a place to do that and the coaching practice refocused back on people in law enforcement, and that worked out. We need more card to scrape what we can
Chris Michael Harris 71:28
Wow, interesting. So the best decisions are made in numbers. I’m glad you’re validating that because sometimes you just have to have your finger to the pulse of what people are reviving with and you’ve got the data to do that. Not as much on podcasting as I’d like, I’d like more data than what I see and what I’m given. I’m sure you do. Even just broad strokes, looking at your downloads based on the topics you talk about, the titles, the way you structure it, all those things matter. You have to test and keep refining and keep analyzing those things so I’m glad you validated that because I think a lot of people just don’t do that. They just keep running in that hamster wheel. We talked about the bad thing about hustling. Hustle mode puts the blinders up and you don’t see things for what they are. Sometimes those three hours of perspective work, just taking a step back and looking at things objectively creates that velocity in that right direction you’re looking for and then you get back to hustle. So look at that tied it all together. Let’s talk about Call For Content, which is your business. Where can people go to learn more about what you do? I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people that are listening that don’t know half of what you were talking about but need help. So where can they go to learn more about what you do and how you can help them?
Michael Greenberg 72:37
You can go to callforcontent.com, and it talks about all the different things we do. We do everything with podcasts. From creating them to producing them and monetizing them, to helping get people placed on them. We used to be a B2B content marketing agency, so we still do a lot in the background with that. Our flagship program, the first one I launched called Authority Marketing was positioning people as authorities in very niche topics for coaching and consulting, which is why I’ve brought it up a lot during the episode. That is Call For Content in a nutshell. It’s got a great team. I actually, as of this year, have stepped down from being the CEO of the company. I am happy to say that I’ve got a team in place that can manage it without me. All the strategies are still there, the ones I made, and I keep a close pulse on those since that is the core of our work. That’s why you hire an agency. Our playbooks walk you through pretty much everything we do. So if you book a call with the team, and it turns out you’re not in price range, we will just give you the playbooks to do it yourself.
Chris Michael Harris 74:03
And the playbooks, can they go and get them your website? Is that after a consultation where they figure out where things are with what they are doing?
Michael Greenberg 74:08
They are on the website if you go to callforcontent com, you will find the playbooks there. Callforcontent.com/playbooks, authoritymarketingplaybook.com, podcastmonetizationplaybook.com, and three other URLs that I’m forgetting right now. That’s Call For Content, the podcasting agency. It’s a lot of fun. That’s business number one and hopefully, you’ll let me come back to talk about South Africa talent, which is the new one this year.
Chris Michael Harris 74:44
Sounds interesting. I appreciate you taking the time to join me. I know we gotta let you go. We are at our exact stopping point. So I’ll let you go, but thanks so much for sharing all of your knowledge and wisdom with my audience. I hope you got a lot of value out of that. There’s a lot more than we could have talked about and maybe we’ll have a second go around. We can talk more about that specifically and other interests that you have Michael, but thanks so much. I wish you all the best and we’ll talk soon.
Michael Greenberg 75:05
Awesome, thank you.
Chris Michael Harris 75:06
See you, buddy. Big thanks to Michael for taking the time to be on the show. Make sure you browse over and check my show notes for all the links to connect with Michael, as well as all my social media links, @HeyCMH. You can find me on all platforms. Check out my 30-day reading challenge right now. It’s chrismichaelharris.com/challenge, and we’re going to be covering the book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, one of my favorite books to teach. It’s a hundred percent free to join my challenge, and you can check that out on chrismichaelharris.com/challenge. You can also watch these interviews on YouTube, youtube.com/chrismichaelharris. All those links are included below.