Michael Greenberg talks about how you can make money podcasting without dealing with the administrative side of things with Tom Morkes on the In The Trenches Podcast.
Tom Morkes 0:01
Hey, Hey, welcome back everyone to the broadcast In The Trenches. I’m your host, Tom Morkes. And today, I sit down with Michael Greenberg, who is a serial entrepreneur, strategist, founder of Gentleman Of Technology, and the CEO of Call For Content, a white label podcasting agency. In a nutshell, Call For Content helps agency owners book podcasts for their clients. So instead of going the typical straight to client approach, they sell their services to agencies who then go and resell the service to their existing clients. So it’s kind of a brilliant remix of a simple concept. But in a space where I don’t think this is happening very much, or at least is the first time I’ve heard of it. And that’s why I brought Mike on the call today because I thought it was just kind of a really clever restructuring remix of a really solid business strategy. And that also leads to my big takeaway from today’s call. Which is that if you already do client-based work, consider what a white label b2b type structure would look like for you because it’s possible there are already competitors out there doing it. But if you already run a great service, why not try white labeling, why not try selling b2b. Then you don’t have to deal with the pain of client generation, lead generation, closing new sales, etc., right? Especially if you are somebody who really likes the implementation side, but you struggle with the sales side. Instead, you could hypothetically land just a few agency clients. And then they can go ahead, repackage, repurpose and sell your work at a markup. So they make money, and you make money. And you don’t have to deal with any of that administrative kind of front end nonsense and the client generation side, which, again, I see it as a potential win-win. Depending on you know, the type of work that you’d like to do. So there, of course, downsides to the model. Like the potential for the agency, trying to bring that fulfillment in house. But for spaces that are kind of still relatively green or underdeveloped or new, like podcasting, I think this is a really great approach. So I’ll leave it at that. Listen to today’s conversation, hopefully, give you some ideas and help. We really enjoy it. And if you do, make sure to leave a review on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play anywhere you find In The Trenches. Thank you in advance for your support. Alright, without further ado, let’s get to today’s conversation. Mike. So let’s kick things off. I want to hear a little bit about your background, we’re going to get into this topic of authority positioning we were just talking about before we hit record here, and I do want to get to that, but I want to know how you even got into this space in the first place, and I know you’ve done quite a bit of work in the b2b space, and you have a pretty extensive background and portfolio. Give us a little bit of like, kind of what led you to what you’re doing today.
Michael Greenberg 2:41
Yeah, so I come from a family of entrepreneurs. It’s something that I was around growing up, and so I knew this was a direction that I ultimately wanted to head in pretty early on, but I was going to college for economics, I decided to take a semester off to go to a coding boot camp. I got hired by a startup out there, didn’t go back to college for quite a while, and left the startup but love the lifestyle and started consulting as a b2b growth strategist. From there, I worked with a number of agencies and realized that I should really build my own agency and show them how to do it right. And so Call For Content got started as a b2b content marketing agency, we developed this system of authority marketing. And then about nine months ago, we launched a white-label podcasting service to other agencies and saw really good results with it. Scrapped everything that was not podcasting related. And at that point, our authority marketing, we had already started doing the podcast for almost every client, so it was a very easy transition.
Tom Morkes 3:55
So let’s break down what you’re doing now on the podcasting front, and I don’t know maybe go higher level first, if that makes more sense, like, depending how you want to talk about it, but I’m kind of curious how you guys approach this because you mentioned Oh, it was like great results from this. So presumably then unlike the client front, so tell me a little bit about how clients are like, taking advantage of being on podcasts, I guess. And then I’m happy to kind of go back a little bit if we have to.
Michael Greenberg 4:19
Yeah. So for us, we decided to go white label with our podcast production. And so I’m going to break that down. We’ve got three lines of services with Call For Content. Authority marketing, which is our flagship, that’s the highest price point and also the most effective that’s done for you. And then b2b content marketing. We’ve got podcasting services, which is consulting and monetization, audience growth for existing podcasts. And then we’ve got podcast production, which is, I don’t have a show, but I want to have one, help me make it. And what we did is we white labeled our podcast production services and offered them to agencies that I knew in my work as a consultant and said, Look, we’ll be your podcasting team, all you need to do is bring us a client that wants to make a podcast, and we’ll handle the rest. And it’ll be your client, you own that relationship. We bill you, and you bill your client. So it’s not our brand at that point. And we don’t control the full success around it. And so that works really well for us because people want to make podcasts and agencies want to be able to sell you podcasts. And that’s how we expanded that part of the business. So it was less based on the success of client shows, as it was based on our agency partners, having clients who were happy with the results.
Tom Morkes 5:49
Tell me a little bit about that. How did you figure that out? Like How’d you know that like podcasting would be the thing, I mean, I love the idea like connected agencies who are already doing this stuff for clients, and it might not be in this particular skill set that isn’t in their wheelhouse. You can provide it for them, but I think that’s kind of a model. I won’t say anybody can replicate, but like, not necessary for this. But I like to think about that. If they can think about that and use that framework, because it’s like, Where do I find need? Or Where’s their need with these agencies. There’s something I like a lot about because you’re just tapping into something that’s already existing, they’ve already done the hard work of generating clients leads, and you’re just providing them a very valuable service on top of it. Tell me a little bit about the genesis of that idea and how you went about implementing it.
Michael Greenberg 6:36
First off, thank you. I’m glad to hear that somebody else thinks it’s a good idea. Like I mentioned before, I was consulting with agencies as a growth strategist, and the white label had come up with a number of agency services. And white label exists in SEO services. It’s a large part of the SEO market. And what I realized with podcasting was, so long as I systematized and essentially productized that podcasting service to borrow from. If you heard of Brian Castle, productize services is very much I think something he’s staked his name too. But I saw this opportunity to productize podcasting, and if it was in that format, and if we had one or two kinds of shows that we could explain easily to our partners so that they could sell them. Then we had something that we could push through these reseller channels. And the white label is my personal favorite approach because it gives us a great reason never to share client information because that’s one of the things I see a lot of people do that I just facepalm about all the time.
Tom Morkes 7:57
What do you mean exactly in that front, just so I understand?
Michael Greenberg 8:01
In the agency world, if you list out all your clients, somebody’s going to try to poach them.
Tom Morkes 8:06
Oh, yeah. Right.
Michael Greenberg 8:08
And so, the white label means, we might list one or two white label partners. But the fact that we have this program and that it’s built out enough to handle scale means that we know what we’re doing. And it means that we can service a much larger base of clients with a lot fewer logos attached.
Tom Morkes 8:31
Hmm, no, that makes sense. So would you say that then that conversation with these agencies was pretty natural like it was something that they actually needed? It wasn’t both natural or also easy, they’re not easy is a word. Nothing’s ever easy, but it seems like it would be kind of a natural congruent fit. And who was, when you think about this, and you don’t have to give names of specifics. But I’m curious what types of agencies would you be targeting for something like this?
Michael Greenberg 8:55
So the agencies that we see this work well for have been SEO agencies, communications agencies, and then full-service digital marketing agencies. And the full service has been the most successful for us so far. That’s because when they can offer a specialist service, and they can take a very specific margin every time they sell that, that’s generally a happy thing for them. Because they want just to expand and take as much of a client’s budget as possible.
Tom Morkes 9:28
Interesting. Yeah, no, that’s fascinating. That was the way you kind of got into space. And does that continue to be kind of the number one thing you do? Like connecting through agencies, or do you guys market this outside of the white label space.
Michael Greenberg 9:43
We’re now marketing it outside of the white label space. That happened just a few weeks ago now. And with that, we launched our podcast or services, all that consulting and audience growth and monetization. And really what this all is. It’s us taking authority marketing and the big packages that we’ve had in the past and saying, okay, we now have a defined enough process for SEO when it comes to podcasting, that we can roll this out as a single item. And if we want to play somebody as a guest on podcasts, we now have this process down to the point where we can offer it as a single service, rather than the whole package.
Tom Morkes 10:24
How do the agencies feel about you guys rolling out your own thing? Does that get into any fine? Like, is it all good? Or is that an issue? Is that a challenge? Or like, Is there anything there where it’s like, well, we have to tread carefully because you’d been white labeling it before? Is there anything that pops up like that? I’m just kind of curious about that kind of transition.
Michael Greenberg 10:44
Not particularly, we’re not very active in lead generation, because partnerships are a large portion of our sales. And most of the agencies we partner with are either in industries that we don’t really do lead generation and that we’re not focused on reaching. Or they are specialist agencies like ours because we’re not going to sell you everything, we sell these three lines. And we might have a few packages in each slide. And that’s our offering list. And we stay in our lane by keeping our services narrow.
Tom Morkes 11:24
I know you guys are kind of fresh and new in that piece with a kind of rolling out yourselves. And so I don’t know if there will be an answer to this, but I’m kind of curious. Is there with white labeling, as far as I understand it, my experience in that kind of space, which is very limited, but I’ve done a little bit of work. The typical thing is that the person is gonna be raising the price. So I’m gonna obviously raise the price, and whenever you guys charge me for it, so I can capture some margin. What would keep just the client from just jumping ship and joining you guys, and I guess like, you know, something like that.
Michael Greenberg 11:58
It’s a white-label, so they don’t know we’re servicing their company.
Tom Morkes 12:02
Okay, so yeah, so they don’t even know. Okay, interesting. They have no idea it might as well just be part of the agency they’re already working with.
Michael Greenberg 12:10
Tom Morkes 12:11
Got it. I just want to make sure. That makes a lot of sense now interesting. I’m kind of curious what you know, as far as you’re concerned, like kind of rolling out your own platform for that and kind of doing your own lead generation for this new service. You know, what you just described to me with the white label thing seems pretty ingenious, a great fit, because I just can’t imagine most agencies ever wanting to spin up their own podcast production division or something like that. It just seems to the niche but also relevant enough where they still want to have it. Why expand in that space? What are you hoping to accomplish? Like, where does this go for you?
Michael Greenberg 12:45
So our goal really is to be the podcasting agency. And that means if it comes to the business of podcasting. Or the business of marketing, a podcast, we want to be the best in that field. And so when we look at the avenues that were expanded in. The way we expand our podcasting services now is almost exclusively by reaching out to podcasters. And that’s because we want to build a big community of podcasters. So that we know exactly what the pulse is of the podcasting community. And so it’s kind of a cloak media relations program for us. Or at least that’s how it started. And now it’s turned into some weird hybrid. That plus lead generation because people have actually wanted our services. And that was not something I was expecting with the podcasters. So it’s been a happy coincidence.
Tom Morkes 13:45
And then tell me a little bit about this authority. The way you kind of approach authority, like within terms of like kind of serving the clientele to, and obviously you guys are taking the approach of podcasting for this. But maybe break down like what your approach is on the lead generation and authority positioning, that kind of stuff, you guys are kind of teaching and showcasing and effectively like working with professionals on these podcasts and in different contexts to like to help them, you know, position themselves as an authority. So maybe you can break down your system or your structure for that.
Michael Greenberg 14:16
Yeah. So the real point of differentiation that I like to focus on how we do authority is that our two fundamental rules are that authority is based on specialization and relativity. And so in order to become an authority in a market, you have to know laser-focused who your audiences that you’re trying to reach because the authority that you generate is only valuable if it is the authority that they see. If it is an authority in relation to them. And then the other side of that specialization is that the more tightly defined the niche, the more focus we are on a single small audience of high value. The easier it is for us to establish you as an authority.
Tom Morkes 15:08
So it helps to really niche down and get super focused.
Michael Greenberg 15:11
Yeah. I’ve got the authority marketing playbook that, the first half of it is just about positioning. We don’t even get to talk about how you actually generate authority, or how you generate leads with that. Oh, it’s actually three quarters positioning. So it’s not until about 75% of the way through this actual playbook on authority marketing, that we get to the part where we start doing the marketing.
Tom Morkes 15:39
In your experience, you find a lot of people you work with. a lot of clients, that actually kind of already get that? Their spot on with their positioning? Or do you find that that’s actually a struggle? That a lot of people have, and that’s something you have to work through with them?
Michael Greenberg 15:56
It’s almost always a struggle.
Tom Morkes 15:58
Yeah, I imagine. It’s one of those things where you when you see somebody else who’s got it locked down tight, as you know, good brand, good positioning like it’ll make sense. But to do that from scratch, even if you’re working. In my experience, when I’m working with clients and stuff like that in different contexts. That a lot of times, even if they’re doing well, they still struggle maybe with the positioning to itself, like they can actually have a really thriving business and still not be as specific as you were just describing. Or as focused as they could be. What’s your take on this? And what do you recommend?
Michael Greenberg 16:36
I mean, you can replace strategy with just brute force. That’s how a full-service digital marketing agency comes into existence. That’s how a lot of service businesses, a lot of businesses in general, happen. Somebody has good enough skills in business development and sales, and they will go out there and pound the pavement and hustle until they reach their numbers. And that’s definitely a way to build your business. But I am very lazy. And so I like high traction. I prefer every time I focus on the sniper rifle focus, that laser focus, rather than any sort of shotgun approach.
Tom Morkes 17:21
When it comes to podcasts. I’m curious, maybe an example of the sniper approach for the podcasting agency. Like who would it be?
Michael Greenberg 17:29
Yeah, so for us, when we talk about authority marketing, it’s a consultant or coach with a business that is already over six figures. They likely have just brought on their first assistant. And we know that when they’re entering into working with us, they normally have some content already created. They normally have some small email list already. And they are getting to the point where they need to focus on sales and servicing their clients. And they’re looking to offload, essentially all of their marketing. And so our job then is to come in and develop that program. And we’ve got four different personas that actually I can pull those up. We could talk a little about them here that we use for authority marketing. And each one of them is based on a specific person that we have either worked with in the past or are still working with. So we built our personas from specific people. Each one represents a category of maybe 10,000 potential clients for us.
Tom Morkes 18:45
Have you guys been using, well you’re on this podcast right now? So have you been using podcasts to generate leads for this?
Michael Greenberg 18:50
So I did last year, took a break when we were making the shift to podcasting. And now I’ve started to get back into it. This is, I think, the fifth or sixth show on this tour. And I’ve got another dozen booked or recorded and not released. So we’re going big on podcasting for this.
Tom Morkes 19:14
Do you have any sense of what the ROI is from something like this? Like for me on a podcast?
Michael Greenberg 19:18
That’s a really interesting question. So, ROI, in particular, I can’t place just for being on a podcast, but I can give you a few key details about if you want to get leads from podcasts.
Tom Morkes 19:34
Yeah, let’s do that.
Michael Greenberg 19:35
Number one is consistent appearances over time and a focus on ensuring that you have multiple appearances. I cannot stress enough; one podcast does not do it. The general way that somebody that at lead comes in from podcasting is either they listened to an episode with you, and they contact you immediately. Or, more likely, they will listen to an episode with you, stop, think about it, and then maybe try to download another three or four episodes with you. And so you’ve got to have those three or four episodes there. And they’ve got to be fairly recent, and on shows that are big enough actually to show up when the person searches. And for me, I expect anywhere from three months to a year for a podcast tour to really pay off. And the leads that I get in from having listened to me on a show close at a significantly higher rate than any other sort of lead. And I think that’s because, by the time they come to me, they’ve already heard me have multiple conversations on the topic and on what they’re coming to me to purchase.
Tom Morkes 20:47
What does work then to get people to reach out from podcasts? Like what do you do to incentivize that?
Michael Greenberg 20:57
So everyone should go to authoritymarketingplaybook.com, which will redirect you to the authority marketing playbook, which is the download that we use with the show. So what we do is, we generally create some sort of download ebook, lead magnet, whatever you want to call it. We’re starting to get into a lot of audits and like assessments now as well. But you call that out on the show, we normally try to get a unique domain name to point to that piece of content as well. And then we use that to drive the traffic. So that specific call to action centered around a piece of content that is related to the topic that you discussed on the show.
Tom Morkes 21:44
Got it. So you guys produced like a full-on, almost like a long-form sales page type, landing page for this. Which is pretty cool.
Michael Greenberg 21:52
I mean, this is just the book. This is literally the playbook. It’s got a table of contents on the side of everything.
Tom Morkes 21:58
Hmm, that’s good. That’s interesting.
Michael Greenberg 22:00
If you really want to work with us, download the templates, or book office hours and then you get to the site. Then you get in the funnel, but what we’ll generally do is we’ve got all of our targeting pixels. And we’re going to retarget somebody who lands on this page if they fit our firmographic profiles on LinkedIn. Then retargeting will come up and will advertise the case study for authority marketing to them. And so in that retargeting is really where we’re starting to see better capture.
Tom Morkes 22:34
Oh, so you guys actually run retargeting like ad campaigns on top of this? And to anybody who lands on this page, right?
Michael Greenberg 22:42
Yep. And those campaigns are a mixture of a case study for direct sales, as well as campaigns of other episodes that I’ve been featured on, talking about authority marketing.
Tom Morkes 22:55
That’s very fascinating. Okay, what else is critical in the authority piece or Legion piece from a podcast or anything else that you think professionals would think about. And anybody who’s considering this or thinking about it’s like, I’m not selling it, and I don’t really preach it, but I’ll bring it up a lot. I think the podcast is one of the best things I’ve done for myself, for my business and I’ve shared that on other shows. When I think about it I think it’s one of the best things. And I think blogging was really good for me in the beginning too. But I think podcasting is a great way to connect to people. And so I’ve always been a big proponent of it but from your vantage point. You know, what are your recommendations for people who are curious about either getting on podcasts or starting their own podcasts? Like what’s one of the things we need to consider or factor in or think about before we make the leap?
Michael Greenberg 23:41
So there are two major things for getting on podcasts. What the question I like to ask people and the frame that we use to frame cut podcast appearances or having the podcast for that matter is as equivalent to a speaking engagement. Not a blog placement. Would you mind sharing how many downloads you have on the show? Or per episode?
Tom Morkes 24:06
Podcasts? I mean, I don’t know. Definitely 10s I, I think I’m over at 100,000 in total but like I had to shift. This is strange, but when I shifted from, I was on like Lipson, then I went to Rainmaker. Then I went to like Podbean. And I did it pretty amateur, I guess. But I basically wiped out my podcast when I switched platforms. So basically started fresh, but you know, I’d say up there and thousands per episode, you know, give or take.
Michael Greenberg 24:37
I’ve never spoken to 1000 people in a room before. I’ve never given a speech to 500 people. But people listen to me on a podcast. Thousands of people listened to me on a podcast like this one. And so similarly, you having a show, that’s like you have that audience listen to you. Every week, and that’s it, people have difficulty because they think of podcasts too much like blogs. And it’s great to turn your podcast into a blog after you record the episode. But when you think about the audience for a podcast, I think of it much more in terms of speaking engagements.
Tom Morkes 25:20
Hmm. So is that from the vantage point just because this is very meta-conversation? Multiple levels of it, really, but specifically in the context of if I were running my own podcast, to think of it as a speaking engagement, or is it the person that is going to be interviewed on podcasts also think of it that way?
Michael Greenberg 25:42
Tom Morkes 25:44
Okay, so what does that mean, though? Like, okay, I get that it’s a lot of people listening, and I get that, and it is pretty cool to think about. But what does that mean? How do I have to change up what I’m doing? When do I think of it from that vantage point?
Michael Greenberg 26:00
It’s less about the change-up of what you’re doing but about the change up how you think about the value of it. Because one of the biggest things that I run into with new clients, especially those who have some good authority behind themselves already, is that they don’t think it’s worth getting on a show with only 200 or 300 listeners an episode. But they can’t get 20 people in a room. And so that’s the first shift to think about because most shows are not going to get big audiences. A show breaking 1000 downloads in the episode is amazing. Like that’s putting you in the top 10 or 20% of all shows.
Tom Morkes 26:42
Yeah, well, I’ve always been in, I think the top 10% of everything I do, you know, so I taped it, right? No, this is interesting. Let’s riff on that for a second because I’m actually kind of curious about this. Knowing that that’s how you should think about it. I get that right because it is one those things were like, it’s been really hard for me to track directly what I’ve earned from the podcast cuz I don’t do ads, and I never will. I just don’t care. I don’t care about that. I don’t care about sponsorships, but the indirect revenue I made from it is pretty wild. I think if I actually were to really go in and zoom in on it. The clients that have come from it just from hosting my own podcast, speaking engagements, and things. I’ve been invited to speak, present because of the podcast, so lots of just amazing things. Again, I just think people probably should consider a startup podcast that’s not, you know, we’re talking about it you guys obviously have a service. I’m just saying that broadly speaking, like even if people were just doing it by themselves, obviously go to you guys if they have questions. And I think it’s solid, and so I never came at it from the perspective of this is just a blog but in audio format. I didn’t think of it like speaking from a stage, I thought of it like I want to connect with really smart people and I want to learn from them. So it’s very selfish, but then on, I guess on the spinning at the front is I wanted to share those interviews with other people and make that a benefit than the person I’m interviewing. And then everybody wins, hypothetically. And I think that has actually been the case. So I’m curious to think of it as a platform? Does that influence? Is that more just like, hey, just like, know that it’s not going to be like, you know, you’re going to get 10,000 clicks to this page here, you know, wouldn’t burn 1% conversion rate over here? Is that why you’re sharing that and saying that? Or should we also consider how we present on a podcast or what we should be presenting or sharing or talking about?
Michael Greenberg 28:30
Tom Morkes 28:32
Okay, so break that down that piece for me in terms of that maybe that content piece?
Michael Greenberg 28:36
Yeah. So most people listen to podcasts because podcasts are offering them conversations they’re not having. So just like you think about when you’re creating a speaking engagement. You want to give the audience something that they’re not thinking about or that maybe they are thinking about, but you want to give them aside from that they haven’t considered before. Podcasts are the same way. You want to start an open conversation for them to continue. And so the content that you put out around it, the number one way for a podcast to spread is word of mouth. Which means that if your podcast leaves the audience wondering something, and you can get your audience to talk with you, or to talk with each other about it. That’s a successful show.
Tom Morkes 29:33
I love it. No, it’s great advice. All right. Well, hey, you know, I have respect for your time Mike, and I appreciate this is really good. Is there anything else that you would say that I didn’t ask, but you think should be covered something that we should highlight here in regards to either authority or the podcasting piece?
Michael Greenberg 29:48
Yeah, even if nobody listens to your podcast like literally nobody just having guests and the connections you can make there will likely make it ROI positive.
Tom Morkes 29:59
I’m going to echo that and say that’s exactly what I was getting at before I really I just didn’t mention the fact that like nobody, but obviously nobody was listening in the beginning, you know, but I was still able to build relationships with people. And many of those original interviews became relationships and friendships and sometimes working engagements and stuff like that. I completely agree. Let me ask you this real quick, sorry because that made me think of another thing. What do you think about getting a lot of podcasts that don’t actually get a lot of downloads? How do you promote a podcast, get more downloads, something I actually really don’t even think about or care about. But I’m actually really curious now because hearing the stats that you just gave me because I don’t know. I’m just fascinated by it. What do you guys do? What would you recommend on that front? Like to actually get more people downloading a podcast?
Michael Greenberg 30:47
We focused on a combination of placing the host on other shows to promote their show. And then, ads.
Tom Morkes 30:56
Ads, okay, interesting. Let me ask you about that. If you’re doing ads, what are you spending, and what are you measuring? Like, am I trying to get like a $5 a download or something like that, or what?
Michael Greenberg 31:08
$1 a download? Pretty good $2, $3 if we’re going for b2b
Tom Morkes 31:13
Yeah. Interesting. Can you measure that effectively?
Michael Greenberg 31:17
It’s getting a lot better.
Tom Morkes 31:18
Do you have any tools, any software, anything I need to be able to measure something like that if I were running ads to my past?
Michael Greenberg 31:25
So Pod sites are cross-platform analytics and attribution tools for podcast advertising. And so they allow you to do things like retargeting your listeners, which can be very useful. And then, on the other side, Megaphone is one of the best platforms you can use for hosting your show. And they give you many of the tools to do that as well. One of the big things to mention, though, is that we really make sure that our shows have a web presence. Because we want ideally every listener to hit that web page at least once.
Tom Morkes 32:06
Like, show notes, for instance, as a typical event. Interesting.
Michael Greenberg 32:11
And that’s for retargeting ads because generally, it’s going to be either a video teaser or show notes from an episode that we’re promoting and then retargeting somebody with subscription and download of full episodes.
Tom Morkes 32:28
Where do you see podcasts going in the next five to 10 years? I mean, you guys are all in, so I think you’ve already actually answered that question. But I’m just kind of curious about your take. How big can podcasting get like I don’t believe it’s gonna be supersaturated. But there’s obviously more and more people starting podcasts. There are more and more people. I mean, I think obviously listenership I think is, if I’m not mistaken, is growing. I know it’s growing. But how big can it get? And where does the podcast fit? You know, alongside things like you know, we’ll just say actually just an example. Blogging like in the next five to 10 years.
Michael Greenberg 33:02
So, podcasting in China is a little over $7 billion a year industry. That’s over 20 times the size of the US market right now. And one of the big reasons for that is the Chinese market is primarily driven by subscription shows, whereas the US market is primarily driven by ad-based shows. And so I think the big thing that’s coming in podcasting is diversification of business models. Within the podcasts. We’re going to see more entertaining shows do live events. We’re going to see more other shows create subscriptions and other sorts of dedicated services alongside, and that’s the real shift that I see coming is moving a little farther away from ads. Because it’s so hard to get the big show, but if I can get 1000 listeners, and they’re each paying me $3 a month to subscribe to my show. I’ve got a nice little business.
Tom Morkes 34:04
What? Well, I thought we’re gonna wrap up. But if you got a few more minutes now, I gotta ask about this. Let’s do it. Okay, if you’re seeing that in the space, or you already see it’s happening in China. And maybe there are even some platforms who are joining in the US. I’m actually not familiar with any necessarily, maybe I would be if I thought deeply, but how would you? When and how would you recommend the idea of moving to a paid subscription type podcast? Like when does that become like the type of business move to make, I guess, especially if you’re not going to be doing ads, you don’t think you’ll ever get up to enough downloads to make sponsorship or ads like really make you a significant amount of money?
Michael Greenberg 34:45
So I would start a show that’s related to your business. First off, so make the show part of your marketing. If you want to expand beyond that if you’re talking like the podcast as a digital media business, I think you probably want to have 1000 or 2000 downloads, if you’re trying to monetize without having any sort of existing audience. If you have some existing audience or if you have like content ready to go, that is worth paying for. If you have, you know, enough stuff to make a 10-week audio course, then launch your subscription show from the start. And so that’s really what it comes down to is, do we have something? Do we have monetizable content to go with that show? And if not, do we have an audience to then develop monetizable content for?
Tom Morkes 35:41
Okay, this is fascinating. I’m really curious about this and where that’s going to go. Is there any software that people use for that right now? Or like, how would you sell it just like through the typical like, I don’t know, like iTunes channel. It’s like, okay, I pay for my subscription. Because where my head goes immediately is I’d love to use Pay what you want pricing for something like this? And I’m like, well, then how would I hook up all the tech deliver it? How can it be on these platforms? Would it have to be exclusive to something like iTunes or something like that? If I’m not on iTunes? Does that hurt? I know there’s a lot of variables there. And that’s also kind of a question, but also just like a statement that’s really broad. Again, on the implementation tech side of things, is there stuff that’s already out there that makes it easy to do this?
Michael Greenberg 36:23
So there are a few offerings out there, the most common way is a private RSS link. And I know Patreon offers that. Quartz has launched a system or no, Slate launched a system, called Supporting Cast, that allows you to offer that sort of membership platform for podcasting.
Tom Morkes 36:48
What was the first one you mentioned?
Michael Greenberg 36:49
Tom Morkes 36:50
Oh, yeah. I know that piece. I’m curious. How would that tie into the delivery though of the podcast?
hael Greenberg 36:57
So the way it’s done is you would have a private RSS feed link that you send somebody.
Tom Morkes 37:06
That’s pretty straightforward. So it’s not that complex. Interesting. Well, this is food for thought. Now you got me. You got my brain spinning. So I love the idea of paying what you want related. Not to say to this podcast, but maybe there’s something else like a related topic. I don’t know. I got things to think about.
Michael Greenberg 37:22
Yeah, time to start a new show.
Tom Morkes 37:24
That’s it, Mike. Well, hey, thank you so much for being In The Trenches. Where can people reach out to find you, Mike?
Michael Greenberg 37:28
You can find me at callforcontent.com. I host office hours every week. So if you want to talk with me directly, that’s hands down the best way. You can find playbooks on everything that I talked about there as well. And otherwise, you can reach out to me at gentoftech on all the social media.
Tom Morkes 37:54
Mike, I really appreciate it, man. This has been a really enlightening conversation. I think you guys are doing some good work, and I appreciate you being on In The Trenches.
Michael Greenberg 38:00
Thanks for having me on. It’s been a lot of fun.