Carey Green—the founder of Podcast Fast Track—firmly believes that there is a specific type of monetization strategy that each podcast should follow. He’s found that people jump into podcasting thinking they’ll immediately get sponsors and run ads. But that isn’t isn’t necessarily the best or smartest approach. Why?
Think about the shows you know that have big sponsors. Carey thinks of Tim Ferriss right off the bat. The first 15 minutes of his show are ads! Carey hates it. Who really listens to podcasts and wants to hear ads? That’s why the ad approach isn’t always the best route.
Option #1: Promotion through sponsored ads
Carey notes that if it is a model that fits your show, you as the podcast host are the guardian of your audience. But they’ve given you their attention. You must hold it in high regard. Ensure that you are protecting them from advertising that doesn’t serve them. You might have to say no to some sponsors. He emphasizes that you should only take sponsors that will fit your audience. You make it worthwhile for your sponsor and your audience. What does Carey prefer instead?
Option #2: Sell your own products or services
You can sell your own products or services to monetize your show. It can’t be salesy or pushy. Instead, it can be done through content marketing. You’re giving loads of great content that’s valuable and showing your expertise. Then—in your outro—you can share a quick call to action. It takes a while to gain traction. But as you do it well, people will come to you when they have a need for your product or service.
Option #3: Interview your target market
A lot of the listeners to this podcast are B2B marketers. They’re looking for additional ways to propagate content and establish themselves as thought leaders in the space. They want to be more attractive to their customers.
So how do you monetize? Carey recommends a strategy that will blow you away. He calls it the “Ideal client as your guest” strategy. You don’t just interview big names in your space. Instead, get on social media and build relationships with your ideal clients. Get on a first-name basis and invite them to be a guest on the show to talk about something they’re good at. It is a no-brainer for them to be on the podcast. It’s a way to short-cut the marketing process, and it’s simply inviting someone to have a conversation.
After you “stop” on the recording, the real magic happens. Your guest is now comfortable with you. One of Carey’s clients (Casey) will then ask, “So how’s business going?” They unload on him. They share the struggles that he knows they can solve. Then he asks specific questions that demonstrate that he knows what he’s talking about. He’ll say, “Hey, my company does XYZ that you just mentioned. Could I send you a quote for what we could do that for?” They almost always say “yes.” Casey has a 70% close rate from guests he’s invited onto his show. That’s what most B2B companies would find to be the best means of monetization. The lifetime value is off the charts.
When you look at the ROI, the production costs become a no-brainer. If you’re spending $1,000 a month to get your show produced but one deal makes $5,000, and it regenerates every six months? You can’t come up with a scenario that sounds better.
Speaking of production costs, should you DIY your podcast? Or outsource audio production to someone who knows what they’re doing? Carey shares his thoughts on this topic—and much more—in episode #48 of the Content Callout podcast!