This is a guest post from Vernon Foster. Vernon is Founder & CEO of Pod Parrot and Host of MicScience.

6 Podcast Strategies That Will Make You a Profit

So you have a podcast. Maybe your getting some downloads, maybe you’re still hearing crickets. Either way, I can’t help but to ask how much time you’ve invested into your strategy? The ready, fire, aim approach may be your tried and true method of learning. I’m of the opinion if you want this to be a part of your business aka not a hobby, it’s essential to treat it like one.

Would you start a business on a whim without knowing who you were going to sell to? Or not knowing your product? Of course you wouldn’t. But I see podcasters do this all the time with their show. They have a thriving business (or none at all), launch their podcast, and expect to be the next industry authority.

How much time was put into their strategy? Zilch. Zero. Nada. It’s the mistake I had to learn the hard way back in 2013, and I’ve vowed to never go down that path again. By the time I launched my second podcast I had figured out a thing or two. It’s an ongoing process as with anything in life, but you can take the shortcut by using one or all six of these strategies so you don’t have to face the same struggles I did.

  1. Name Your Podcast Using Popular Keywords

I was chatting with Matt Theriault from The EPIC Real Estate Investing Podcast the other day. One thing he said that has stuck with me is that “You have to decide if you want to be a podcast celebrity or drive leads to your business.” Those require different approaches and I see so many people making the mistake of not determining their objective and researching the best name. They want to build a personal brand or business, but they haven’t taken the time to do their due diligence. What are your potential customers searching for? Generic and boring keywords beat trendy and cool every time. The name “The eCommerce Marketing Podcast” isn’t sexy, but listeners know exactly what they’re going to get.

  1. Create Content That Solves a Specific Problem

When people search the Internet they’re trying to find the answers to their problems. Your podcast needs to be the answer!  The classic problem, agitate, solution model guarantees that your content will be customer facing and drive listeners back to your sales funnel. You must think like a marketer. 80% of your time should be spent marketing and promoting your podcast, while 20% should be spent on creating. Good headlines go a long way. “How to Win More Business in 90 Days or Less,” “Why Content Marketing Beats Paid Ads,” “7 Ways to Build a $100,000 Business Next Week” are all examples of headlines that stir up emotion and create a since of urgency.

  1. Start Networking with the Top 5% In Your Industry

The “podcast gurus” will tell you interview shows are dying, but this is the best way to grow your rolodex of contacts and build authority. You can literally go from being a no-name rave promoter, turned event planner and become an industry authority in twelve months! That’s exactly what happened to me back in 2014. I built relationships with people I had no business hanging out with because my podcast gave me leverage. Find the top three conferences in your industry. Who are the speakers and presenters? Even better, who are the organizers? Those are the people you want to interview.

  1. Ditch The Traditional CPM Mindset

The traditional CPM model that has been carried over from radio is great for advertisers, but you could be potential underselling your show. Imagine owning a billboard on a one lane road that has the potential to become a super highway in three to five years. I can pay you “X” now and keep my ad on the sign along your highway forever (assuming your show lives on in perpetuity). That’s kind of a big deal. I don’t see Outfront Media or Clear Channel Outdoor making those kind of deals. You need to sell your own products and services indirectly. And do it in a way that doesn’t make it feel sleazy. No one likes to be sold too, but everyone likes to buy. If you do decide to go the sponsorship route, consider ways to get creative beyond the traditional pre and post roll ad placement. Think of sponsorship in terms of a partnership and natively integrate your partners branding into content beyond your podcast.

  1. Invest Time in Building a Community

If you’re reading this, you already know the power of podcasting, but you may not be fully connecting with your audience. Driving listeners to an open Facebook group, Twitter or Slack Chat and keeping the conversation going is essential. Donald Kelly, host of The Sales Evangelist Podcast, is a text book example of someone who’s doing this to a T. Guess where he goes when he wants to know what his listeners are struggling with? Exactly. His Facebook group. Does it take work? Absolutely. Will it pay divides? No question. The closer you can get to your listeners, the stronger the bond.

  1. Create Joint Venture Opportunities

If you’re doing interviews, make sure you’re not overlooking opportunities to work with past guests or to create joint venture opportunities. Often times we’re in such a hurry to get the interview booked that we forget these people have products and services that could benefit our customers. Dr. Krister Lowe PhD., host of The Team Coaching Zone Podcast, built his business using this model. His past guests called upon Dr. Lowe to fill roles for organizations that they either didn’t have the expertise or time to allocate, and vice versa. Always be thinking of ways you can help your guests to improve their business and it will surely come back your way.

These six strategies are being put into practice by the some the top business podcasters in the industry and you can easily use them too. All it takes is looking beyond the obvious, getting clear on how your podcast will serve your audience, and taking massive action. Don’t expect to hit a home run out of the park when you’re stepping up to the plate for the first time. Podcasting takes patience and dedication to your vision. Things will change. You’ll have to tweak and adjust as you go. Continue to hone your strategy and be open to trying new things. Most importantly, remember to treat it like a business.

About Vernon Foster

Vernon is Founder & CEO of Pod Parrot and Host of MicScience. He’s a highly sought after podcast educator, speaker and consultant. Vernon continually seeks out new ways to innovate and strategically leverage podcasting as a viable platform for startups, CEOs, and professionals.

Have a question? Feel free to connect with Vernon to evaluate and discuss your podcast business strategy at: 1(888) 307-1775 or http://podparrot.com/contact  or check out some of his best articles and case studies at: http://podparrot.com/blog


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