01:28 – A year’s worth of podcasting
05:47 – The theme of consistency
07:08 – Why the iTunes perspective isn’t everything
08:20 – Big fish versus smaller players
10:47 – Reviews and volume
14:18 – It pays to transcribe
17:51 – Why less can be more
20:57 – Sponsorship and how it works
24:12 – How the ads get in
28:56 – The financial arrangement
29:15 – The whos and hows of editing
33:44 – Where Tyrone is focusing
35:33 – The impact of physical mail
37:33 – Property investment and education
41:40 – What could be in store
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 693. And I’ve brought back a repeat guest, Tyrone Shum, to talk about his podcast and the further developments he’s had since we had him on episode 592. Just for context, that was about 100 episodes ago, and at that point, he was sharing a story of how he went from zero to 40,000 downloads per month on his property podcast. Well, now Tyrone’s back, and I’m going to speak with Tyrone about the results he’s been getting in just over a year from when we last recorded. Hello, Tyrone.
Tyrone: Hi, James. How are you going?
A year’s worth of podcasting
James: I’m doing great. As you can see, we’ve put in about a hundred podcasts since we last caught up just over a year ago. So I’ve been busy. And you’ve been busy too.
Tyrone: Yeah, absolutely amazing. A hundred podcasts in a year. Gosh, time flies, doesn’t it? And I’m trying to look back, what have I done in terms of how many podcasts – I actually need to count that. I think about it, actually.
James: Well, it’s only when we started numbering that I was sort of conscious of it. But we do two podcasts a week. That’s been our cadence for 2019, and we will publish a hundred podcasts in 2019. And that seems to be about the right number for my audience that they can keep up with and enjoy. And it keeps the business flowing nicely for SuperFastBusiness. It’s attracting members to our coaching membership. And I also enjoy learning; I learn so much on these podcasts. I’ve had such a purple patch, which if you don’t know what that means, if you’re listening to this, that means a good run of podcasts where I’ve had world famous experts like Jay Abraham, had book authors like Nir Eyal, and a few others sharing amazing tips. I often take notes, and today will be no exception, because Tyrone, let us know, how many downloads have you had of your podcasts since we last caught up?
Tyrone: So since then, we’ve hit over 1.2 million downloads on the podcast alone. And it’s been an absolutely phenomenal journey, because I guess I did set a goal to hit a million, and we’ve hit that, more than actually 1.2 mil now, actually, since we’ve been talking. But yeah, that was at least a big milestone that I went, Oh, great. Love to have a chat around in one to thank James for bringing me back on to share that.
James: That’s amazing. I mean, that’s literally thousands of downloads every day. That means by the time we finish this episode, there will have been dozens more downloads while we’re talking.
“Podcast works 24/7.”
Tyrone: Yeah, absolutely. It’s kind of amazing, because podcast works, I guess, 24/7; it’s not like as though it stops forever. The great thing is, once you’ve actually released all the episodes there, people tend to go back and download them, and it continually helps with, you know, guiding down the downloads and increasing those numbers hence, engaging the audience, which is the key component that I’ve learned from podcasting since starting from day one.
James: And the thing that I think is really fascinating is when you put a number to it. For example, my own podcast, we can get up to a couple of thousand downloads a day. And then when I think about school, right, which is a terrible memory for me, but when I think about it, a classroom had about 30 people. And that seemed reasonably big when I was a school kid – our entire school had, I think, around 1000 students. And then I’m thinking about like, I get two schools’ worth of people listening to my podcast every day. If you were to add up a month’s worth of podcasts, like 50, 60,000 downloads, imagine that would actually fill a sporting stadium, like a big one. Imagine you’re down there in the middle of a sporting stadium with a microphone, and just talking with a friend like we’re talking now. And there’s an entire sports stadium listening to that. That’s what happens in a month with your podcast and with my podcast. That really is mind-blowing. I think I’m up to 3,400,000, something like that downloads at the moment, but I’ve been doing it for 10 years. The thing that’s really interesting with you is just how quickly you’ve been able to get that up and running.
So what I’d love to do is break down the tactics and the tips that you’ve got, Tyrone. That’s a lot of alliteration there, TTT. If you could just, you know, spill the beans, share the goods, what can I learn as an established podcaster that I could refine and boost my listenership? And what could someone else learn if they’re just starting out? Because it really seems to me that podcasts are having a brand new awakening. I’ve been coaching students who are publishing podcasting courses. I’ve got a stake in a podcasting production agency. I have, you know, seen some of my friends and students go particularly well in the podcasting space lately. And maybe it’s because it’s in everybody’s car. Normal regular people know what a podcast is, and they listen to it. It’s kind of choking free-to-air radio. So what can we do to boost our podcast?
Tyrone: That’s a really, really good question. And I guess when I first started – I probably should just give a little backstory; I started off with absolutely nothing like zero downloads when I first started. And, you know, I want to just put things into context so that people don’t go wow, you know, he’s got like over 1.2 million downloads, and you know, he was able to do it in XYZ time, which it has been, but it’s been a sort of a slow, but also organic and exponential growth towards, you know, where it led to today.
The theme of consistency
So I think the key thing I just want to point out is this: firstly, I just want to put the theme out there is consistency is the key point, that it’s made to allow me to grow to that kind of level. Because the thing is, if you don’t put that consistency in, you know, one month, you might have a little bit of downloads, and another month you might have a spike. It really doesn’t, you know, help with the listeners following it through. So I just want to put that theme out there, is that consistency is one really key point that I’ve learned over the course of this journey that I’ve been going through with podcasting.
The other thing is, is just like you, James, I’m averaging on an average about two episodes per week in terms of release and production as well. We did have roughly about three, and we may actually go back up to three maybe next month, because we’ve got some extra guests coming on. The other thing is, is we’ve had 197 iTunes reviews as well. So that’s also helped boost the ranking and also being found on iTunes, all in total. And total, I think I’ve got over 367 episodes. I haven’t actually been counting every single episode, but we’re up on that mark. So that’s been a really, really big highlight of what we’ve been doing, is the consistency, the number of episodes, and also the actual, I guess tie-back in terms of subscribers in also, iTunes reviews, because it all sort of counts. And it’s just like these little things that you do on a day-to-day basis will actually compound to become where it is at this point in time.
Why the iTunes perspective isn’t everything
So in terms of tactics, I guess what I’d probably want to just share with people is, one thing I do is I don’t necessarily just focus on the aspect of the podcasting from iTunes point of view. A lot of people will say, you know, if you want to get found on iTunes, you got to do X, Y and Z – you’ve got to try and make sure that you get as many people to subscribe to your podcast, as many reviews and so forth. Yes, that’s one aspect of it, and even trying to list on maybe the feature podcast or even try and get on to the new and noteworthy. But I haven’t gone down that path. Because, you know, what I’ve tried to do is I built up those relationships with a lot of the past guests, and actually worked closely with them to be able to share the podcast instead. And that seems to have organically helped it grow dramatically.
An example is, every time we finished actually getting the podcast and published and so forth, I’d reach out back to the past guest and hey, look, you know, your podcast is out there, would you like to share it with your audience? There’s no, absolutely no pressure to do so. But if you do feel like it, here’s also the link to it – share it on social media, send it out to your clients. And also, if you’re interested, we can do some kind of exchange agreement where we can basically promote to each other’s email list. And that’s what’s been really very powerful, is that if they’re happy to do that, where I give them a free giveaway to their list, and then likewise, they give something away to my list, it helps us build our email list and email database up there.
Big fish versus smaller players
So I think that that’s been a really powerful strategy, one of the ones that I’ve been using. And funny thing is that the larger ones, let’s say, for example, the well-known guest speakers who have been on the podcast previously, they do have a very, very large list, but they’re not as responsive as say, you know, a smaller player in the market who has a reasonable size list, but they’re a lot more responsive and engaging. And that’s what I’m noticing, not necessarily when you get the big names on board that you’ll get a huge spike, it’s usually the smaller ones who have got more closer friendships or relationships with their clients that they seem to have a lot more engagement. So yeah, that’s kind of like a big picture overview of one of the strategies that I’ve been using that has been working really, really well.
James: Yeah, that’s a really good one. So your first two points there are consistency, I definitely have noticed our listenership ramp up as we just stuck to two a week all year long. And I have had patches in the past where I’d go for a while without an episode, and then I’d put a flurry of them. We would just upload them when they were already. I think my team now, they’ve got plenty in reserve, and they just set a routine and a publishing schedule that I think our audience get used to. So that’s a great tip. Definitely, since you and I spoke last time to now, we’ve been getting our guests an update. When we publish, we send them the material and the links in the updates. And they often do share. In fact, Jay Abraham shared the podcast with his entire email list. So that was significant.
James: And it was a real bonus for us. And that was a great opportunity for us to spend a little bit of advertising to promote that episode, because it got so much traction. And just for example, we got a lot more shares of that episode. So having a more well-known name, or a big fish type guest, can definitely get some more shares.
“A smaller player can actually do some heavy lifting.”
And I also have experienced that thing where someone with a better relationship with their list, a smaller player, can actually do some heavy lifting. For example, when someone’s interviewing me on their show, and I promote their show, they always get extra visits, because I have a good relationship with my audience. Whereas some of the bigger names often will just dismiss it, or you know, you’re doing them a favor by having them on your show, but they probably think they’re doing you a favor by being on the show. So there is a bit of that.
I think what I can learn and take away from this is the email side. Because social shares are great, but if someone could email the episode, and that’s what happened with the Jay Abraham one, it got significantly more shares and listens, and it pushed it up. And it makes me inclined to think about ways that I might be able to have my guests email their audience. And the giveaway sounds like a tremendous idea.
Reviews and volume
Some other things that I thought were interesting: your reviews were pretty solid a year ago; it seems like they’ve slowed down in the volume that you’ve added. And I’ve got virtually no reviews on my podcast, I should, at this point, have a call to action in my episode and say, Hey, if you’ve been enjoying SuperFastBusiness podcast, please go to iTunes and leave a review, it would be really great. How have you got reviews? That’s one question I’d love you to answer. And the other thing is, you had about 150 episodes a year ago, and you’ve had 367 now, something like that. So you’ve added a couple of hundred. Were you doing a lot more than a couple a week for a while there, and did you pull back?
Tyrone: Yeah, yeah. That’s a really, really good question. So in terms of the reviews, yes, I was actually having a call to action in the podcast to get people to leave reviews. And that was working to a substantial amount there, and also I was sending it out by email. But what I was finding was that when people left a review, I kind of didn’t get the contact details. And what I was doing was I was driving people away, I guess afterwards, and they weren’t necessarily coming back. So what I did was I changed the call to action to say, sign up to get like a free ebook, and so forth. And I kind of moved towards more about giving them value to give them more content, rather than asking them stuff. Because I guess in the back end side of things, we’ve been pushing more or less to try and I guess convert them over to potential sales for certain things that we talk about, you know, shortly anyway, late in the podcast about monetization. So that kind of changed that a little bit.
But yes, initially, when I first started, the first thing I got to do was get them to subscribe, and also to leave a review on the episode. But now as we’re being, I guess, shifting away from that, and using the call to actions to drive them back to the website, and also too we’ve been monetizing with sponsorship, we’ve had to sort of, I guess, cut back on the usage of that too, because I’ve got quite a number of spots that have been intentionally put aside for sponsorships such as like, we’ve recently had like, NAB, National Australia Bank, and also ING have come on as well too, and past sponsors like CPA, like CommBank, and also ME Bank who sponsored the show. So I’ve obviously, because they’re paying us sponsorship, we’ve had to give them a preference to be able to come onto the show and block those out mostly for them. So that kind of answers that side of things about the reviews.
In terms of the numbers of episodes, yes, I definitely was on a streak of doing like five to seven episodes a week, which was literally one a day. It got to a point where we’re going, wow, this is quite challenging, especially when I was having a lot of editing and so forth. So we gradually started cutting it back down. And we started noticing that by cutting it down to say maybe about four a week, it wasn’t actually even affecting the downloads. It was actually, people were still engaging, we were still growing. So I thought, let’s just test this out and reduce it down to say, three. And at three, it was kind of like the optimal. And then, as I noticed there was a lot of episodes already, people going back to the previous episodes, I cut it back down to two. And since two, it’s still been growing.
So it’s been quite interesting just to sort of see and kind of find the ideal, I guess, sweet spot for our podcasts. Because obviously, you know that there’s a lot of content out there, and people can only consume so much. And once you get to a certain point, like if you have maybe one a day, it becomes a little bit overwhelming. And I was actually getting feedback from my listeners saying, Hey, you know, I’m happy with, say, three, you know? That’s probably enough for now. And I just took their feedback and made some changes, and that’s where we are at.
And the great thing is that it’s actually less work for me, which is fantastic, allows me to better leverage my time to do other things, which is towards more the outreaches, the monetization, and so forth. And, yeah, that’s kind of been one of the things that have also helped me change in regards to allow me to focus on more sort of SEO things and also trying to grow the podcast through the website, too.
It pays to transcribe
Which actually kind of brings me back to another tactic I actually want to share that we’ve been implementing recently and starting to see how that’s also been impacting. Because before, when we were actually just releasing our episodes, we only had like, show notes, which was just basically a summary, some key points in the actual episode with just a few links to say, for example, the things that we talked about, and what we were finding was we weren’t getting that much traction from that, people were actually not really reading it. But what we decided to do, and I know this is what you currently do as well and you’ve been doing it for a long time, James, is that we took the whole transcript and actually turned it into a full blog post. And then by putting imagery and videos and all that kind of stuff, we actually turned the engagement a lot higher, and we’ve noticed that people are actually visiting these. And furthermore, we’re actually optimizing with more keywords in these long-form articles.
So for example, one of our blog posts could be anywhere in the vicinity of about three to 4000, even up to 5000 words. And that’s because of the full transcript that we record over the full hour. And that’s been having a huge, huge benefit to our website, because what I’m noticing is that when people are just searching for specific keywords that are not found in just a small, say, you know, two or 300 article, like 200 or 300 word article, it’s actually been found in these very, very long-form article and people are actually staying on to read them, which is quite interesting. So I think, moving forward for us, everything that we’ve been doing, we’ve just been putting the full transcript, just taking our names, like the guest’s name and our names out of it, but putting in the full narrated transcripts with just imagery, such as video, audio, and also text as well all mixed together.
James: Wow, okay. So I’m just going to have to dissect this. You’ve just given us a feast.
Yes, SEO, solid. I mean, I’m a long-term SEO guy. I think even our podcast from before shows up on the first page of Google when you type for Tyrone Shum. But it just made sense when I realized that anything I say in a podcast will be typed and then put on a Google search-readable page. And it’s very likely you’ll pick up a lot of long tail conversations to improve your SEO. And we do get, I think, 38 percent of the traffic to SuperFastBusiness.com is SEO search results. So all those people have forgotten about SEO; it used to be so cool and trendy seven years ago. Now it’s all about Instagram and TikTok and whatever else, the latest blockchain. Well, SEO never went away.
“SEO never went away.”
Tyrone: That’s right.
James: We are crushing it with SEO, and we publish the entire episode on our post. And here’s the thing – we also package it up into a really nice, concise, easy-to-read downloadable PDF which people can opt in for. I often reference the episode. For example, this one – if you go to Episode 693 at SuperFastBusiness com, you would see this episode fully transcribed, broken up into some little quote images and tweetables. And people sometimes socially share them. And people do opt in, and that’s how they get into my email system where we start talking about how I can help them grow their business.
“You can have too much of a good thing.”
But I also love how when you just mention any resource or name, particularly for our industry, it can start attracting traffic for it. I’ll give an example. You’re talking about the optimal frequency of publishing. I too used to publish five days a week for a while there. And I’ve also listened to a few episodes, some podcasts that publish every day, and they have so much volume and body of work that people just start fading or unsubscribing. It’s like banner blindness for advertising. You can have too much of a good thing. And it just becomes blunt. And so these shows that talk about daily publishing and big subscriber downloads, I think they’re churning their subscribers as well.
Why less can be more
And just like you, I tried pulling it back to three, and then two, and then one, and then back to two. And guess what I discovered? And I also spoke to Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, who I speak to just about every week, and he had exactly the same findings. When he went from five to three, it made no difference in the actual engagement and downloads and the number of people who buy things. Three to two, virtually no change. But if you go to one, then it does start to change significantly. So I found two podcasts almost doubles one, but there’s not much difference between two and three.
Tyrone: And that’s so true. I’ve known that exactly to. And I think it could be because just in general, like, I’m an avid podcast listener, too – I still listen to so many different podcasts. I can only consume so much in a day. Like, I might at most listen to one episode while I’m on commute. And that usually goes for about 45 minutes or so. After that, you know, I just don’t have time to be able to consume every one. So if I was to do one a day for one podcast, specifically, I wouldn’t be able to listen to the other podcasts I want to listen to because I don’t have as much time. So I think that’s what people like, is that having that balance. If you only have two, they’ve still got other ones that they want to consume as well. And you kind of respect each other’s sort of time and space. But at the same time, they’re so engaged because I’ve got a whole hour with them minimum every week to be able to share knowledge and you know, stories like this as well.
James: Well, here’s the hilarious thing. I don’t listen to podcasts.
Tyrone: That is hilarious, actually, James.
James: It is, you know? Like, seriously, I create podcasts. I believe there’s two main sort of modes, there’s creation and consumption. And a lot of people obviously are stuck in consumption mode. They’re just consuming, consuming. They’re always learning and they’re not really practitioning. Then there’s the creation mode. I do a lot of creation.
I tell you what people do have the tolerance for – that’s kind of unlimited short videos. One, two, three-minute snack-size videos, they will watch the whole thing. Anything under two minutes, they’ll pretty much watch most of the video; 85 percent of people watch most of the video. So I send out videos every day (by “I”, I mean my team does). I can make two weeks’ worth of videos in about 10 to 20 minutes.
And then I can make my two podcasts for the week in anywhere from 40 minutes to 90 minutes. It will be rare that I go over that. But I don’t do them like, I don’t do two a week. I already did a podcast this morning, and I did one yesterday. So there’s a week and a half’s worth, and I might not do one for another couple of weeks. In fact, I think when I went to the Maldives, I don’t think I recorded a podcast for about four or five weeks. I had to remind myself the SOP when I started. Because I built up about 25 podcasts in my reserve.
And it’s great when you have a surplus and you’re running in advance, because you can be quite picky. But because I don’t listen to podcasts, I guess I’m not picking up some of the typical podcast-isms. One thing, for example, when you listen to this podcast, is absolutely no ads. The only things being promoted on this podcast might be the guest’s URL, or my own products or programs of my partners. And that’s why I publish. I publish and publish and publish, because I want to put the message out there and find my perfect customers for SuperFastBusiness coaching, for SilverCircle, or to become a partner in a business.
Sponsorship and how it works
James: So that’s why, I know I’m missing out on revenue, and I wanted to specifically ask you about how does sponsorship work, and what would one do if they did want to monetize a podcast with a sponsor. So I’m doing just fine, because I can sponsor my own podcast, and I can have natural organic mentions of my products where it’s appropriate. And that’s my payoff for doing this podcast, aside from the fact that I get to connect with really cool people and learn the most. I mean, I’ve attended every one of my own podcasts, so I get a front row seat for the education. I’m one of about two or three people on the planet who’ve listened to every podcast I’ve ever made.
Tyrone: That’s so cool, isn’t it? Well, to answer your question, in terms of that, when I first started the podcast, I intentionally actually had a space put aside just for that, because I had planned to initially put those sponsors in eventually. So when I first started, I had like a, what we call an intro, a mid roll, and also an outro as well. So wherever we’ve edited everything, it’s always had that. It’s been consistent all the way from day one, so the listeners are pretty used to it, knowing that okay, about midway through the podcast, there’ll be a little break to introduce whatever it will be – an affiliate product, or promote whether it be a call to action for them to sign up for a new giveaway of a book or a sponsorship.
And the way I guess I’ve approached this is I’ve actually not done it myself, I’ve actually gone out and asked, like, a hosting company that I’m working with right now to look for a local one that’s actually around Australia. I actually would probably give them a shout out. The name of the company’s Whooshkaa, and Whooshkaa’s been very, very helpful in the sense that they’ve pitched out to a lot of large sponsorship companies, also large companies like the banks that I’ve mentioned on the episodes of just CPA, NAB, ING, and they’ve helped me do a lot of the grunt work for that. And that gave me a lot of exposure, because by doing that, you know, it saved me a lot of time, but at the same time, I didn’t have to worry about how I get that pitch in there.
Because I did try to approach, for example, a few of these big banks personally, myself, but the actual timeframe that it took was going to be anywhere between six to 12 months to actually get the foot in the door. And because they already deal with so many of these – they’ve had, like, Optus, they’ve had NRL, they’ve had a lot of them on the different podcast channels that they have there, and they’ve just reached down their focus mostly on Australian podcast. And that’s really, really been, you know, the easiest way for me anyway, just to get the foot in the door, because it helps with leveraging the brand; having the association with large banks like this makes this brand or the property investment podcast a lot more reputable. But also at the same time, it saves me time having to actually go out and find these. So that way in the future, if I do actually ever go back to say look, you know, maybe to Westpac or St. George or whoever I want to approach, I’ll say, Look, I’ve really had these past sponsors on the show; would you like to come on? It makes it a lot easier to sell to them as well too, which I probably will be doing down the track anyway.
James: Right. So at the moment, you’ve got a broker, and later you might do it yourself?
Tyrone: Yeah, that’s right. So the broker has been helping me in that side of things, because, honestly, I don’t have as much time as I wish I could actually focus on getting sponsorship. And that hasn’t been necessarily the main monetization revenue model that I’ve been going for. Because I guess these things come in spurts. But the good thing about it is that they are actually quite lucrative because they are very large amounts that they do come in at once.
James: Right. So if the NAB marketing team is listening to this podcast, I’d appreciate it if they shave a quarter or half a percent off my merchant facility. That’d be great, for all the free publicity.
How the ads get in
So how does it work? When the sponsor pays you, they pay for some inventory. Does that get delivered and then it’s done? Or does it get retro fitted to your previous podcasts using magical technology that can change an ad? What’s going on there?
Tyrone: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So the thing I love about using this technology here is that yes, I can insert the mid-rolls, outros or intros anywhere you want. So basically, every time we’ve uploaded an episode, there is an option for you to be able to select the points where you want an outro, whatever, the call to action you want to put in there for the messaging, and it will automatically insert it in for you. So for example, if you want to run, say, an NAB ad for the whole month, it will go out to every single present and past episode that’s on the show as well. And that gives them heaps and heaps of exposure, because people do listen to the back episodes, and if they want to actually get exposure there, they also have that chance to be able to promote it through there, too. So that’s a really, really good technology, because, you know, before when I first started, we had to insert our own outros and intros manually. And every time I wanted to actually promote an episode, I had to actually go back and reedit it. But now, we don’t have to do that anymore because this technology allows for that.
James: Okay, so what technology, please, Tyrone? You’re killing me here.
Tyrone: I don’t know that. It’s actually their private software technology. This is the ad platform that they’re using.
James: So this is the ad platform, is it?
James: Right. So when you’ve done an episode, you just give it to them?
Tyrone: No. Well, we just basically upload it into the platform. So inside the ad platform, it has that option. Say for example, you select the campaign, and you say look, I want to run for NAB for the next month. You select the date, the time, you know, where you want to place it, and it will just go out there. And you have, like, basically targeted amount of downloads.
James: And excuse me, but does that feed them to wherever you’ve got your podcast?
Tyrone: Yes, yes. Anywhere and everywhere.
James: So is it like a mirror or a redirect or something?
Tyrone: I don’t know if it’s a redirect. What it does is, it just automatically inserts it into the audio file. So wherever you’ve distributed, like SoundCloud, or you might have it on Spotify, whatever, it distributes it together with the actual ad in it. So when someone’s downloaded, it’s got the ad already placed in there automatically.
Tyrone: I don’t know how it works exactly, but it’s all automated in the background. That’s what I love about using this technology.
James: Gotcha. So if I have a podcast like I’ve obviously got, and I wanted to run ads, could they come and just help me turn it into an ad platform and then feed that to wherever my current feed is being pulled from?
Tyrone: Yeah, they can. Basically they’ve got some kind of a deal at the moment with a lot of podcasts. And that’s the reason why they’ve attracted a lot of the podcasting community in Australia to actually come on board. What they offered me when I first started with them, because I was originally with Libsyn for probably a good 12 months or so, and then they came and approached me because they noticed that I was ranking up in the top five positions for property podcast in iTunes and so forth. And they said, Look, you know, I noticed that you have a very big show. You’ve got X, Y & Z, blah, blah, blah. And they said, Hey, you know, would you like to come across? And I said, Well, what’s the catch? Well, you don’t have to pay anything. But we’ll find sponsors for you and we’ll insert it for you, and we’ll just, you know, work out some kind of…
James: They’ll take a cut?
Tyrone: Yeah, take a cut. And then they’ll be happy with that. It’s worked out phenomenally well, because they’ve done a lot of the work, and I still get quite a large, you know, substantial amount from that. So yeah, it’s not that hard at all. They will help you move, migrate everything across; you just have to change your hosting provider to them.
James: Right. It’s very similar to what we do on some of my infinity projects. We’ve talked about this on my show before – it’s the projects my team can do in the background, when they’ve got nothing else to do, and there are big content sites where we publish stuff, and we’ve got some help from an ad serving platform, and they actually manage the ads on our site, they optimize the placements and the speeds and they control the sponsors. And they just send us a big fat check, more than I was getting from, you know, standard sort of suppliers like Google AdSense.
Tyrone: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And that’s what I love about using them. You know, I kind of give them a bit of a plug on their service. And, you know, they’ve been really, really supportive and everything.
James: I’m sure they’re very excited about this episode. Like, we have a strong listenership and they’re action takers, so I’m sure they’re going to hit it up. And of course, Can you remind us about your podcast, you said propertyinvestory.com? Is that right?
Tyrone: Yes, that’s right. So we’ve also got the Australian domain as well, so you can visit that, propertyinvestory.com.au. And yeah, the podcast itself is just mainly stories about successful property investors who have invested into the Australian property market. I do have a few that are actually on the US market as well, now. And what’s been amazing is a lot of people who actually listen to the podcast love it, because it’s story-based rather than the how-to tactics. We do definitely go into a little bit of that from time to time, but the whole call behind it and the reason why I started this podcast was because there was no one out there that was actually getting to the heart of every property investor’s stories, from people who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions and millions of dollars doing development. And that’s the reason why this podcast, in my opinion, has done so well, is because it just touches the heart and the why behind people investing into property.
The financial arrangement
James: Right. So with the sponsors, do they pay you one-time, or on a recurring basis?
Tyrone: Yeah, they pay on a recurring basis. I’ve got one at the moment, which I can’t disclose how much they’re paying, but what they’ve done is that they’ve locked in for like, a three-month campaign. And if everything continues to go well, which it usually does, then they’ll just come back and just renew and keep going from there.
The whos and hows of editing
Switching topics, of course it’s easy to come up with an idea – I’m going to do a podcast, you know, you could probably record it on your iPhone these days, it’d be good enough. It only costs $100 or so to get a USB microphone that’s podcasting good enough. It’s all I use, actually; I don’t have any high-tech gear or whatever. But I do want to ask you about the gear. Let’s say we record the thing. But then the work begins. Now we have to sort of edit and upload and all of that. What do you do when it comes to that? And I know you’ve got, for context, you used to run an outsourcing team; you used to be good at this. So you have mad skills there. Who’s doing the editing, and how does it happen?
Tyrone: Okay, it’s definitely not me. I will be honest, I’m not an editor, nor am I really good at any of the stuff that they do. They do an amazing job.
James: At least you got one thing, you’ve got one advantage over me – you’re actually good at the podcast part. Six hundred and ninety-three episodes in, I’m still haven’t got the hang of it yet. But I reckon I’ll get there if I keep persisting. Ten years so far.
Tyrone: You’ve done well.
James: I sucked at editing and I hated it. And one day, I went to my team and said, I just don’t want to edit another podcast. Like, it’s bad enough listening to me the first time around. I don’t want to spend another two or three hours pulling out uhms and ahs, and balancing the levels, putting in an intro and outro. And luckily, because of the way that I do my podcast, very conversational, we don’t have that much cleaning up. But I’m glad to hear you don’t do it. Because that part, you know, that’s not the highest value for you.
Tyrone: Oh, no.
James: You have an in-house team, or do you have an external supplier?
Tyrone: Yeah, I have an in-house team who does it. I hire them from the Philippines. So as you said, that’s correct. I have been in outsourcing for a very, very long time. And I still use those skills to this day, to be able to hire my team and find the resources that I need. It has taken a long time, like, you know, 10 years to where I actually started, now I think about it. And those skills I picked up have been lifelong skills to be able to find a great resource. Just like you, James, you’ve got a great team over in the Philippines to actually help you do all this work.
It’s all about setting up the systems, you know? I use Notion to manage all my project management system. I use SOPs, like, standard operating procedures – everything’s all laid out and checklists and step-by-step. And, you know, I have like, monthly meetings with my team and say to them, Look, this is the kind of things that we need to just review and improve and make things better. You know, they’re so, like, collaborative in these approaches to be able to help grow the podcast. It’s because of them. I give a lot of credit to them, because I can never do the stuff that they do. Like, if you were to hear my podcast, to actually get to that kind of professional level, to have all the music in the background, the right spots, to have all the intros and the outros, and all that kind of laid out really well, you know, you’d have to actually go to a proper agency to do all that. But they do just a wonderful job. And not only that, they also manage uploading it onto the website for me, get all the images, just everything, you know, from that back end.
“If you find really, really good people, just hold on to them as much as you can, and give them as much training as possible too, and encouragement and support.”
Initially, yes, I had to set all that up, and then train them all that. But once you train them up, gosh, and give them so much, like, support and encouragement and just continue feedback, they just thrive. And that’s what I’ve learned about working with teams, especially if you find the right, you know, really, really good people, just hold on to them as much as you can and just give them as much training as possible too, and encouragement and support.
James: That’s such good advice. I’m a huge advocate of team building. I’ve helped people find their team members. Of course, I’m involved with visionfind.com, where they can get people, just like the exact same source where I got my people. But they won’t have skills with online marketing, yet – you have to train them. But if you can, and you’re patient, and you take your time, they’ll be very loyal. Mine are coming up to 10 years now, which is crazy.
And I also want to mention a service: if you’re listening to this, and you don’t have a team, or you’re not ready to build one, but you do have a podcast and you don’t want to be editing yourself, check out valhermedia.com. Charley, who’s a regular guest on this show, has already put together that service. He just takes your raw media, and they do the rest. And I’ve been helping Charley grow his business. He’s doing a great job, and he also has a background in team building, and he’s very systems-oriented. And he’s also a podcasting nerd, and I say that in a nice way. he loves podcasting, so he set up his dream business, and he’s helping a lot of my clients in getting great results. So I just want to put that option out there. Because I think the last thing you should be doing if you have a podcast is your own editing. That’s very joblike and it stifles your ability to grow it.
Where Tyrone is focusing
So where are you spending your time, Tyrone? Like, what are you focused on? And I imagine research and development or strategy is a part of that?
Tyrone: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And also team-building. That’s also a key component. But I think the biggest thing now is that I’m in this monetization and outreach mode at this point in time for the business, because it’s got to a level where I can let the podcast run and sort of cruise along where it needs to be. I mean, I want to still continue to grow further, you know, two million, three million downloads, over the course of this journey that I’m going through. But the main focus right now is the monetization strategy.
And I’ve actually been focusing on three main things. The first thing is, and this actually came out of a little bit of a pain point that I had especially when I get so many emails from property investors saying to me, hey, Tyrone, can you refer me to, say, maybe a mortgage broker, or help me find a buyer’s agent around my local area? And I keep getting this constantly and frequently. I thought to myself, gosh, I could keep doing this forever, and just email them back and forth. But rather than doing that, I thought, why not set up a directory that’s online, that has reviews and ratings, very much like a true local Yelp, specifically for the property investor market, and turn that into a monetization model using the membership method, which you’ve been one of the greatest fans of for the longest time I’ve known you, James, and it actually came out of your idea, to actually run a membership model.
So it’s a little bit slight tweak behind it – instead of actually having members sign up to a course or anything like that, they’re actually signing up to get exposure on the podcast. And furthermore, also too, they get a recurring subscription of, like, a printed monthly newsletter, which is actually not on property, but on marketing. So it kind of adds value to their business as well, because the type of people coming on today’s business listings are actual property investment business services that actually help property investors. So I actually made a win-win situation for them. And that’s been one of my main focuses.
The impact of physical mail
And funny thing is, is that a lot of that marketing behind the scenes is actually printed marketing. I’ve actually gone back to old school, and it seems to convert a lot better than when I was actually sending off just PDF attachments or emails to them to promote offer. As soon as they actually get these in a letter, I find that they’re calling me, because I get my interns as well, because I’ve got a bunch of interns helping me print all this out and send it out and so forth, but also getting to hand-write the letters. And when it looks like it’s personally written, they seem to open it and then just call me and say, Hey Tyrone, I’m actually interested in the offer. Because they actually spent time to sit down and read it, surprisingly. Because I know when you send stuff by email, it’s very easy to get distracted. So I went back to the old school method, and I think I picked that up from Dan Kennedy, who actually was doing that as well, very, very successfully. And gosh, it actually still works surprisingly, really, really well.
James: Yeah, well, ssshh. It’s a bit of a secret. I’m sitting here with a stack of envelopes. I send out mail every single day. I’m a huge fan of lumpy mail. You know why? You get 100 percent open rate.
Tyrone: Yeah, absolutely.
James: If you’ve got someone’s address, and you have an online business, and you’re not sending stuff in the physical mail, you’re severely missing out. Like, that is where all the profits come. I send out lumpy mail. I’ve got a magazine here from my buddies, Matt and Joe.
Tyrone: Me too, from Evergreen Profits.
James: Evergreen Profits, right. I was just having a chat to them this morning. They’re building a subscription business off the back of their podcast.
I’m a huge fan of subscription business. I don’t care if it’s a membership or a service or a directory, whatever you’ve got cooking. I know that is the key to predictable, scalable growth. I think that’s a tremendous idea for you to be the industry leader of the referral source, because it’s definitely worth it for your members, especially if you allocate some ad inventory for them and rotate them into your podcasts; they’re going to get stellar results.
I’ve helped a few property buyers and I work closely with some property negotiators, developers, and also mortgage lenders. And I’ve seen their businesses. It’s quite interesting how they’re sort of stuck in the old ways, you know, so you’ve just moved into their space and become the dominant player. And you are going to own the racecourse, which I think is terrific.
Property investment and education
It also leads me to just a completely different question, nothing to do with your podcast. But since you’ve been interviewing all these people, and you’ve now become somewhat of a passionate aficionado of this market, what do you think about the property investment market now, compared to when you started the podcast? Do you feel like you’ve got a massive education, and have you got stronger philosophies around it, and is it helping you with your own personal investments?
Tyrone: Totally, totally. It’s funny that you asked me that question, because when I first started, it was actually for selfish reasons. But I wanted to actually meet these people and interview them. And you know how sometimes it is quite challenging to actually get to their workshops, and you know, attend their events and fly over here and there, to actually call them and say, you know, Would you like to share your story and podcast and it, and for me to actually ask you questions about what you’ve done, and how you’ve done it, and so forth? It allows me to connect with them and have the opportunity to learn so much from them.
So yes, I definitely will say that I’ve learned so much and my scope of education in terms of the property investment space has increased, which has allowed me to also invest into a lot of different deals as well, too. Because when you get and surround yourself with all these people, they usually send you information and deals and and you start to form joint venture relationships, which I’m doing right now, actually, at the moment, with a few people doing some development deals. And, gosh, if I didn’t ever do this podcast, I don’t think I ever, ever had that opportunity to be able to tap into these.
And on top of that, I’ve been able to also establish a few new relationships where they’ve actually come to me and said, Hey, Tyrone, I’d love to be able to work with you to create a podcast for our business as well. So I’m working currently with a property developer who’s quite well known in this space, and we’re actually putting together a property development podcast. Because on the back end of that, he’s also got a property development course that he’s offering as well. But not only that, I get to also tap into his years and years of experience. Because he retired about when he was, like, 25, and he’s made like 30 plus million dollars from just property development alone in the space. So I’m so privileged to be able to work with him on a very, very close basis that I can actually, you know, ask him questions, and he can also, I guess, guide me along my property development journey as well to get to what he’s done in the past as well.
So definitely, I will say more than 100 percent that the education I’ve gained from all this, speaking to all these wonderful people who have been so, so open and sharing their knowledge, and even their time and their stories, it’s just been so, so phenomenal in my journey and it’s impacted me. So I can definitely say, yes, I bought more property, I’ve invested in more deals. And, you know, on the back end of all this, which kind of ties into actually what I’ve been doing, I try to put it all together, where not only have I created a business listing, I’ve also asked investors to see if they’d like to partner with us to do more development deals. And that’s kind of one of the major parts of our business, is that we have hundreds and hundreds of investors who say, Look, I’ve got equity, I’ve got cash, I just don’t have time to go and find a property, can you also invest it for me? And they get, like, a phenomenal return, like a 15 percent return of just investing their money with us, better than sitting in the bank. And that’s kind of the things that we’ve been doing over the last 12 months as well – finding deals for them, looking for opportunities that work, and forming these wonderful relationships which helps them to actually generate some additional income on top of what they’re doing at the moment with their money.
James: That’s where my brain was leading me. I could imagine you having a Grant Cardone style fund where you just collect and amass the funds from your audience and go and invest in bigger projects where you can get leverage from all the contacts that you’ve made.
James: It sounds like you’re well down the track.
Tyrone: Yeah, that was the actual Aha! moment for me, to be honest, because I was thinking, gosh, I got all these investors asking me a lot of questions, wanting to learn, wanting to be part of it. Then we thought, Gosh. And the funny thing is, you ask them a few questions and they’ll tell you how big their portfolio is, how much money they’ve got. And they’re just eager to actually invest into something, because the next thing they want to do is just to continue to grow their portfolio or to just continue to invest. None of these investors like to just have their money parked stationary in an offshore account.
So that kind of just grew out of a need, really, you know? Speaking to so many people. And that’s kind of where we’ve been heading down for the last twelve months or so. We’re setting up all the structures, all the systems in place, and my account has also been helping me with that as well. And we did talk about potentially setting up a fund, but probably that will probably be down the track later on, because we just want to start off small, do smaller developments so that way we can build that trust for all our investors, and then continue to grow from there, and then see what the future brings us.
What could be in store
James: Well, I imagine we’ll tune in in the future and see where the future did bring you. I would love to reserve, like, Episode 790 something, because I think in another year from now, it’d be really fascinating to see what you’ve done and where you’ve come, because we’re kind of documenting this growth curve. And I also love that we get to have interactions. You’ve helped me market SuperFastBusiness Live event before with your videography. You’re a brilliant marketer. You’re a great student, as well. I’ve observed you inside SuperFastBusiness membership, helping other people. I love our conversations back and forth. They’re very stimulating. So you’re really generous coming and sharing this, and you’ve dropped some great lessons about consistency, sponsorships, editing, SEO, potential ways to monetize a podcast, getting shares going offline, real letters. Lots of gold here, been tremendous value. Thank you so much Tyrone, again.
Tyrone: You’re welcome. And thank you so much for bringing me back on to the podcast. I have to say, James, if it wasn’t for your community, and also all your generous support and all the coaching that you’ve helped me in the past and to this day, I don’t think I would be where I am today. So you know, I have to say, firstly, a big thank you for having me as a student of your community. And not only that, but also to give me the guidance and really get me started. Because when I look back two years ago, I was still uhming and ahring, deciding what to do for probably a good 12 months. And then that kind of just went, okay, I got to do something. And because of that little push, it’s taken me to where I am now. So I’m forever grateful for that.
James: Well, you know, the best thing someone can do is just take the ideas and actually implement them and get a result. I love speaking with people who are in that sort of circle scene and get great results, sharing that success and the joy. It’s really inspirational. Someone listening to this who’s been thinking about it on the sidelines and hasn’t started, you know, they would be inspired that you’ve started publishing a podcast to a whole episode catchment of 20 to 30 downloads, right? We all start from nothing.
Tyrone: That’s right.
James: And things can escalate quickly. You are in a huge trajectory now. I love being along for the ride. Thank you for sharing. Let’s catch up again next year, and see what you’re up to. If you’re down for it, I am.
Tyrone: For sure, for sure. I’d be more than happy and thank you so much for inviting me back on for next time.
James: There you go. Tyrone Shum from propertyinvestory.com. If you do like property investments, if you’re interested in podcasts, check it out. Leave him a review as well. And send him some love, because he’s really shared so generously.
Tyrone: Thank you.
James: I’m James Schramko. This is SuperFastBusiness.com.
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