Podcasting is not just entertainment. Done correctly it can deliver immense value to a wide audience and be a sustainable source of income. Discover why Podcasting is the sleeping giant of content marketing!
In this episode:
00:23 – We care about you
03:04 – Why podcast?
05:55 – Hunting versus farming
07:48 – Nurturing an audience
08:45 – A look at the numbers
10:04 – How James got into podcasting
14:10 – Frequency counts
16:27 – IOS rules
22:11 – Podcast structures
29:12 – What do people really want to know?
31:29 – Where do ideas come from?
34:42 – The tools of the trade
41:04 – The role of images
46:09 – Content is everywhere
48:18 – Don’t do this yourself
51:34 – Our list building tools
54:05 – Product promotion
57:40 – Get onto other shows
59:15 – Encourage feedback
1:01:12 – In summary
Learn how to podcast like a professional.
James: James Schramko here and I’m also here with Ezra Firestone. Good day buddy.
Ezra: Ladies and gentlemen… That was my version of hello buddy.
James: That was like the best intro you could hope for. It was kind of better than the intro we had at an event that we spoke out recently, it was like this particular presentation live and it was hilarious but what we thought we’d do in the good old nature of the leverage of the Internet is to grab the slide deck and to run through thee slides with a little bit of commentary that we could share with people who are special and dear to our heart so that we could get the message out there.
Ezra: And like the funny thing is people say that kind of stuff right? Like people who are special and dear to our heart but I think we are the only dudes who actually mean that. Like we really care about you and your business and how it goes, what’s going on and whether or not you have accurate information, we genuinely care about it.
James: Yeah, we don’t actually really have anything to sell except the idea that we want to give value and hopefully this will inspire people to create and to get as much reward out of podcasting as what we have which have been substantial and we’ll cover that in the slides so are you ready for it?
Ezra: Let’s roll. I’m sitting on a bouncy ball by the way.
James: Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.
Ezra: Yeah, it’s got a little back support. It’s got these little handles like I can bounce around the room.
James: Yeah? Well, last time we’re sitting down together before the presentation that we just did recently, we were presenting it at my event and something strange happened at that event, I put it down to this, the cup of tea you’re having for your sore throat or whatever sickness that you were bestowed when you travel, sometimes, you get out of shape, but that led to something unusual.
Ezra: Well, I don’t know how unusual it is and why everyone just won’t let this go? That happens.
James: It is unusual, I’ve never seen it before?
Ezra: You’ve never seen anyone pee before?
James: I have but not halfway through the presentation. OK, not halfway..
Ezra: You know sometimes, you just got to do it. It was near the end right? We were almost done. In fact, I even checked with you, hey, are we done?
James: Yeah and I was like, almost…
Ezra: Basically, I just had to get up and pee and I had to do that and I even got back and answered the question I haven’t even heard.
James: You know, the interesting thing is that, I didn’t think you can top that but I was wrong. The last presentation that we did, you had a confession that you’ve broken some magical, mystical ring that Clay Collins had loaned to you. And we had a stray dog allegedly and a runaway child or the other way around, I’m not sure.
Ezra: There was definitely a stray dog… no..
James: It was kind of weird.
Ezra: It was very strange. It tends to happen when we get on stage together. So yeah, we’re strange but we also know about this podcasting stuff.
Why Do We Podcast
James: Yeah, so we’re going to cover why do we podcast and get into that. A big reason is that changes in Google’s search engine algorithm really shook up a lot of website owners in the last three years. There was of course, the big Panda. There was the Penguin which was probably even more severe for most business owners and then now we’ve got Hummingbird.
So the real theme here is that Google keeps changing the platform, and it’s not the only place you have to play. You don’t have to be Google-dependent. Now as a search engine optimizer and running a successful business in this space, it’s still very popular and lucrative and worth getting results for.
But podcasts will add an extra channel to it. It will get you onto a different platform that is not SEO-dependent. However if you use some of the things we talk about you will pick up SEO as a by-product, and I am talking specifically about the way you set up your website and structure your show notes.
Ezra: Well, it’s channel diversification, right? It’s like, ever since I’ve been online, there have been different channels that were very effective to market in – Google and Facebook and Amazon and iTunes.
It’s a wide-open channel for people who like to create content and have conversations with communities of people, which is basically anyone who has a business should have – a content marketing arm, should be owning the racecourse, should be communicating with that community of people about more than just the products they’re selling and then making them additional and relevant offers. And podcasting gives you probably the best way to do that.
James: Beautiful. Now in a global data snapshot, and these numbers apparently come from the U.S. Census, or the U.S. stats department, whatever that’s called, the 7 billion people, 2 ½ billion of them have Internet, and 6 ½ billion of them have mobile subscriptions, so…
Ezra: Six and a half billion.
James: It’s like 93 percent penetration.
Ezra: I guess the billion of those have iOs devices.
James: A lot of them will have iOs devices. The reality is your iTunes show is probably easier for someone to get access to than a general web-based application, that’s my main point there.
So this is what an episode looks like in an iPhone, people can see your show, you have a picture, a description, a topic, they can easily push one button to subscribe and that will pull in every episode you ever published and they can download past episodes.
So that’s a pretty cool feature and this is just up in iPhone5 but your show can be on somebody’s iPhone that’s the keypoint and it continually updates with that one press of the button once, very powerful.
Hunting Versus Farming
So probably one of the most interesting topics we covered is the hunting versus farming thing. The hunter is the one out there, looking for the next meal, you know, shoot the prey eat it and then it’s gone. But podcasting is probably a lot more like farming where you building and nurturing and tending to the fields, the orchards or the grapevines so that you have a continual harvest.
So podcasts pay, you build up an audience, then you can run offers to that audience, you can build and continually grow your audience numbers and you will find that this is a long-term, sustainable traffic machine but it can also be very profitable and we’ll give you some examples of how we made profit.
Ezra: It’s one of the best business models from the standpoint of continuing to pay off over time.
James: Yeah, it just grows, think of it like an orchard, you can just go out and pick the fruit anytime you want, it’s always there, you don’t have to constantly find the next meal.
Ezra: And you can grow cherries, or watermelons or grapes or pears, it depends on what kind of content you want to put out and you know what’s weird with it, you grow things like rambutan, a little bit strange.
James: I don’t even know what that is but you can definitely grow it.
Ezra: You can grow fungus if you want.
James: Why would you want to grow fungus, do people eat that?
Ezra: Yeah. Mushrooms are very popular. I’m not talking about fungus on your body dude. Yeah, I’m not talking about toenail fungus.
James: ‘Cause I know you have talked about that before.
Ezra: I have.
James: OK so when we look at our site stats, a lot of people are coming back and that’s different to the hunting thing. If people are coming back, you’re a farmer. If more than half the people come back, you’re probably farming and it’s a good thing. You’re going to continually have that income and traffic stream.
The idea here is you can reach your consumer whenever you want, you just have to publish an episode. Now think about it like little baby turtles that I saw down here in Cabo, Mexico.
These little suckers here they look after them, they put them in a sand pit, they date it, they bring them out with gloves they gently let them crawl back into the ocean and they have a much higher chance of survival. They grow into huge, big, super fat sea turtles, like massive.
Like you couldn’t pick it up the size and that’s what we’re doing with our audience, we’re nurturing them like little baby turtles and growing them up into big mature customers. It takes a long time right, this is farming.
Ezra: However, it continues to pay dividends year over year. It’s not a one-trick pony you know. It doesn’t fruit one time and then go away. It’s like this thing like our number… well, we’ll get to that.
James: Look at you, you know it’s coming. Fancy that. I’m just going to zoom in on a graph but this is how long people visit the site. I found that 57.5 percent of people visiting the site will opt-in. Of all the opt-ins, more than half of them opti n the first time because we got some good on-page conversion elements and we’ll share the exact way that we do that.
The most interesting thing to me is that 20 percent of my opt-ins opted in in that 12-30 day period. So they’ve come back, they say this is pretty cool and I’m now ready to give you my email address.
Thats a fifth of the visitors and that disproves the commonly held belief. you know, that if you don’t get them the first time they’re gone forever. Not so true. Not if you have something useful and less hypey, less pitchy, less pressurized.
Ezra: You know, it’s a trend that we’re seeing in marketing. Relationship marketing, people engaging with your content and engaging with you a couple of times before they actually go as far as joining your email list or engaging with one of your product offers, right?
Like this is a… you’re missing out on… basically what this displays is if you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on 25 percent of the opportunity.
Can You Make Money Podcasting?
James: Yeah. And also, this thing sells. It sells like crazy. In fact, the reason I got into podcasting was, I was invited to go on someone else’s podcast. And I didn’t know how it really worked. I didn’t know if it was live, or pre-recorded, because they were doing it in a radio studio and I dialled in.
So I was on the telephone, they interviewed me, they published the show. This is Tim Reid and Luke Moulton on Small Business Big Marketing. And you can go and look up that old episode.
So I talked about my course there, and people bought my course like crazy, and it was enough for Tim to go, “Hello hello hello, I can actually make money from a podcast.” And Tim invited me to join him with a new podcast, and we called that Freedom Ocean. And I got to learn how to set up a podcast, the show format, how to sort of take it up a notch in terms of audio quality.
So Tim was kind of like my founding instructor on the podcasting technique, and then I’ve been able to carry that baton along with Ezra and we started our podcast one year ago from when we’re recording this. And now that I’ve got my podcast in tune, I make sales every single day for even just affiliate products, but certainly for my own business.
This works for all different businesses – ecommerce, affiliate marketing, service professionals, furniture stores. I did a podcast about stand-up desks and people go and start buying stand-up desks from the store. This thing works.
Ezra: You know, it comes back to the fact that the podcast is the medium where you have the highest engagement with the consumer. You build a relationship. Like they’re with you for an hour at a time. You’re in their ears, so you can be a bit more influential over that group of people. High-ticket sales are a great thing to do on podcasts.
Podcasting Is Building Up A Show
James: Yeah, and the thing is, you’re building up a show. It’s a show rather than just a podcast. The first one that hit number one was Freedom Ocean. The next one is I actually went and just submitted my Internet Marketing Speed blog to iTunes. Even though I had audios, I wasn’t putting them on iTunes. And I just retrospectively hooked it up to iTunes, and it smashed it into number one.
And then SuperFastBusiness was my next one, and then ThinkActGet, our show. That’s four in a row out of the four that I’ve produced. Now I’m running three of those but I’m starting a new podcast this year, and I expect it will hit number one as well. Now the other thing is, I’ve also been able to do this for many clients.
There’s so many people in the SuperFastBusiness membership community who have podcasts, and I’ve also got clients who have released them, and all of them have done spectacularly well. In fact, if we have a little look, our first episode from about a year ago, Ezra, has now almost had 8,000 listens.
Ezra: It’s our number one podcast episode of all time.
James: It’s the number one that I’ve recorded, yeah, our first episode. And why is that? It’s because people join the show later on down the track, and we’re up to somewhere like episode 39 at the time of recording this, and people go “You know what, this is pretty cool, I’m going to go back and listen.”
And just to give you a sense of the variety, the other episodes that were popular were with Noah Kagan and the startup niche, with Victoria Gibson about Facebook marketing, I had a SilverCircle intensive behind the scenes with Steve O, had SEO information… So varied topics, but all very popular.
Now if you were to calculate the cost of getting those cost per clicks with paid traffic, or Facebook ads, then it would actually add up.
In fact, I’m fortunate enough to get up to four and a half thousand episode downloads in a single day these days. It’s quite common to get thousands, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I get a significantly higher volume, the way that my business is continuing to increase in volume. And I’m sure you’re seeing the same sort of things on SmartMarketer.com.
Ezra: I do get quite a lot of views. I’m very happy about that.
James: Cool. So, where are these things coming from? This screenshot is really interesting to me because although I’m not tracking SmartMarketer.com, I am tracking SuperFastBusiness, ThinkActGet and FreedomOcean, my top three podcasts now.
SuperFastBusiness is an interesting one where I have long form interview podcasts, like we do on ThinkActGet and FreedomOcean, they might be 40 minutes, it might be two people. But then I also inter-splice that with three to five minute videos that we strip out the audio and turn into a podcast.
But the overwhelming outcome here is that high volume, even if they’re short, is going to smash it for overall listenership. It’s literally five, four or five times more powerful having a higher frequency, and it doesn’t even matter if they’re not long episodes.
Ezra: It’s good to know for podcasting, like the most popular podcasts that get the most listens, are the ones that are produced every day. We try to go for weekly on ThinkActGet. If you can get to weekly, that’s a pretty good frequency.
James: Weekly would be a great standard to live by. We haven’t got there, obviously, we’re only up to 39 in a year., for various reasons. But if we could do 50 episodes a year, it would be…
Ezra: Well, I guarantee you we can get to 50 episodes in 2014.
James: What we notice was when we had a slight lag, that our site visits and listenership dwindled a bit. And some people actually told us, “Hey, because you weren’t putting out episodes I had to go and find something else, and I found another podcast,” and you know, forget about ours.
So we actually lose listeners if we don’t keep the frequency. And I found the opposite is true. With SuperFastBusiness, the more frequently I can put out episodes, the more chances I have. It’s like long line fishing. The more chances I have of people finding my podcast, and that’s why it’s significantly more powerful.
In fact, I’ve now crossed a million downloads. When we presented, we were on the verge of it. We reached it that day, and it’s powering along. And I think we’ll get to two million much faster than we got the first million.
In terms of what devices people are using, half of them are iOS. iPhone, iPad. That’s a lot of Apple stuff going on there. And then there’s the Windows in the orange, and then the green is the Macintosh.
Ezra: You know, if we look at what happened with podcasting, it got really popular when the iPod came out, right? And by the way, if you think about iPad, it just sounds like someone with a Midwestern accent saying “iPod.” iPad. Anyways, the point is that… Yeah, I just wanted to throw that out there… That podcasting got really popular when the iPods came out.
And then it got like significantly more popular in 2012 when the number of tablets in the United States, tablet owners doubled in a single month, doubled over Christmas. So basically everyone has one of these iOS devices, and they all have access to your content right there in their hand, and so there’s so much listenership.
James: Yeah. Yeah, the iPad, really, is what’s tipped it over. And it’s the perfect device for reading and for listening to media.
Ezra: I just gave mine away.
You Can Do Podcasting Anywhere
James: You could be doing this anyway. You could be walking the dog, driving a car, on a plane…you don’t have to watch something, you can just listen, and it opens up the potential. At the gym, doing a workout, etc.
The reality is, you can be your own superhero right now, you don’t have to go through the book publishing process, you don’t have to commit to rich media or video, even though I highly recommend it if you can. The audio medium is available for you.
It’s simply a case of connecting up your website to iTunes using a plugin that guides you through every step of the way and you need so little to get started. You need to really, just flip on Record, with a good quality mic, which we’ll cover in a minute, and you’ll be able to get yourself a show.
And suddenly you’ll develop all that power that comes with having a show. In fact, I got asked to speak in Thailand, to another popular podcast. Tropical MBA guys had an event there, and they built a whole community off their podcast and monetized it with a community, and their event, and they asked me to come and speak, so it really opens up opportunities.
And of course, positioning yourself as an expert speaker or authority is just one of those glorious power authority things that happens when you’re a published author and it creates more of a following, it increases conversions, it helps you with your price points, it creates more opportunities.
It’s like an opportunity machine. So the podcast is really how that came about, because these guys found me from Freedom Ocean.
Now if you Google my name, or Ezra’s name, what you’ll find is that people are looking for the things that I actually sell. Products, websites, SEO. My product names, TrafficGrab. They want to see my Twitter. They want to find interviews. That’s exactly what I want. I want to control my own reputation.
And the same for Ezra. They’re looking for his e-commerce, his Brown Box Formula. Ezra from New York City. His mastermind.
Ezra: They want to know about my…
James: I get it, it’s the ponytail, right?
Ezra: I don’t know, man, I think that’s just the strangest thing ever.
James: Maybe you’re just like a most hot bachelor, they want to see if you’re available. But you’re not. Beautiful wife.
Ezra: I am off the market.
James: OK, so, we even created some fans who started designing things for us and sending us in website skins, T-shirts and stuff. It’s that show feel. We’ve even had someone say that it reminds them of a craft beer label. You know what craft beer is, Ezra?
Ezra: Well, we’ve just recorded an episode… I have no… I thought it was like a brand of beer, right? Like I’m not up on the beer lingo, I don’t know, man. But apparently it’s…
James: I know. But anyway, it creates its own little tribe.
Ezra: It does. And people start… well, there you go.
James: That’s Jared’s ears.
Ezra: And his nose, that’s pretty funny. But yeah, you end up with this like, such a… I’ve never seen a more engaged community. I’ve never been part of a more engaged community other than a forum community, right? It’s as engaged as a forum community, which is incredible, really, if you consider that people are just listening.
James: Yeah, they’re really engages, and they make a lot of comments, and we’ll cover how you can maximize that. In terms of podcasts, it really is a big platform, as you have with you…
Ezra: Fill me in on Crackle, here.
James: Don’t know what it is, but…
James: I mean, I haven’t dived into that, you know, I couldn’t really care less about MBA or NHL. But my point is, it’s such a big platform. It’s right up there with all the big ones. And I noticed that, just in the Australian iTunes, in the iTV, the Apple TV, we’ve got Red Bull now, which is pretty cool. I just saw that yesterday.
So we’re talking about what is the podcast. It’s basically Apple’s own platform, and you can choose a category. And you’ll find a category for your own show. John Lee Dumas is in the Business category, he’s done really well in a short space of time.
And he’s got a community of podcasters as well, and we’ve got a community of podcasters. In SuperFastBusiness, our membership has a lot of podcasters as well.
Structuring Your Podcast
You probably want to know how you structure it. So there’s a few different structures. One I like to call the Robinson Crusoe. It’s where it’s just you, recording. You’re doing it by yourself, on your Pat Malone, alone, and that’s just turning on the mic and talking. And there’s quite a few podcasts like that.
Probably not the easiest one, unless you’re very comfortable with yourself, and it is potentially, could be boring unless you’re extremely witty or something. If you take a slight twist and turn it into an Oprah format, that’s where you interview someone.
Oprah’s the interviewer and she pulls out the flavor from each of her guests, and that’s pretty much how you run Smart Marketer and I run SuperFastBusiness. I get guests on and I talk to them, and the other ones are just me, by myself.
Ezra: And I want to point out, I want to make a note on that, that you’ve got to be careful not to just become… like you’ve got to add value, you can’t just interview people, otherwise you’re not seen as… you know what I’m trying to articulate.
James: Well, I think you’re referring to what Seth Godin said about why he won’t do interviews with some people.
Ezra: What’d he say?
James: I think it was along the lines of he’s sick of people, you know, just utilizing him but not adding any extra value than being just a guy asking questions.
Ezra: Yeah, so if you’re going to do an interview model, make sure that you’re coming to the table to talk to these people about stuff, and you’ve got things to say about whatever you’re going to be talking about.
James: And not everyone interviews very well. I’ve had a lot of interviews, and sometimes they give you nothing. They just like, they ask question after question, they give you no comments or replies other than the standard response. And it’s hard to work with. You feel like it’s not giving the best value of what you could be giving.
When someone’s more interactive, they maybe even debate slightly… The best interviews I’ve had are where I bring on a guest, and I did this with Pat Flynn, I did it with John Lee Dumas, and I did it with Derek Halpern, where I have a bit of a debate with them, where I sort of put a different point of view to them and ask them about that and I get their reaction on it.
Those were wildly popular episodes. I did it with Dane Maxwell, as well. It really made them think, and it turned the interview into something more magical for the listeners, because it’s like, “Yeah, he’s asking the questions I really want him to ask,” which is one of the techniques we’ll cover in a minute.
So for my show, this is what it would look like on Apple TV. It’s got a description, it has the genre, the format… You know, the length is short for a lot of them. In fact, this one’s one minute long. It was really that simple. One minute.
And all I did was take someone else’s video, put it on my site (they give me permission to do that, of course) and then I just made a commentary about what the key lesson is. But the key with that one is frequency.
This is your show, Ezra. It’s got the description, the genre, the episode
length. And people can scan down and find the topics that grab them. So it’s really important to put a good headline.
Ezra: That’s a good-looking picture.
James: So the other format’s like the Batman and Robin. That’s where one guy’s like the superpower and the other one’s sort of the assistant. That’s kind of like the way Freedom Ocean started where I was the expert, and Tim was asking all the questions like the Robin. “What about this?” “What about that?”
And now it’s turned more into a different type of show, because we sort of ran out of genre with that. Tim didn’t want to continually play the guy asking the questions, and I totally understand that. It was easy for me to always be the expert, harder for him…
Ezra: Is that show dead now?
James: No, it’s still going. It’s basically, the last episode we did was at the end of last year. Maybe we’ve done one since. No, it looks like the end of last year. It’s still going but I’m starting a new one. Because, you know, I have far more time abundance than Tim does, so I’ve just got to keep rolling.
Now our sort of show’s like the Starsky and Hutch, we’re both on a level playing field, and it’s cool. So ThinkActGet, we’re both…
Ezra: Who am I? Which one are you? Which one am I?
James: Obviously, you’re the blond one, and I’m the dark haired.
Ezra: That’s right. Well there you go.
James: As if it needed to be asked. But anyway, the deal is we’re equals, we bring different flavors to the show, and we work together on it. And that’s a really good, sustainable format.
What happens when this shows up in the marketplace, is our other shows pop up underneath it. And that’s a great way to leverage a podcast, is to have another podcast. And obviously the audience will jump around between yours and mine and our joint show, so we’re aligning ourselves in the marketplace. And we’ll come back to this slide and show you what else you can do as another tip.
Podcast Format Interview
Now here’s a podcast format interview, and I have to give some credit to Dan Andrews from Tropical MBA. On one of the interviews I did, I sort of dredged out of him his format. And I like this. It’s pretty much what formed the basis for our show as well.
A funny audio grab before the intro, a professional-sounding bumper, then a little narrative about the episode, what’s the title of the show, the topic, we tease what’s coming, we make a joke – we try to, if we were funny, we’d make more. Content, which really is the meat of it…
James: Go on.
Ezra: That was meant to be funny, that was just a funny sound.
Ezra: That was just a total fail. You can’t try funny. I feel like everytime I try to be funny I fail miserably.
James: Oh, no. I had a fail just recently, it was this morning. I was reaching down to get something on the bottom shelf of the fridge, and I found myself in a surfing position and I thought that was hilarious. I went, “Hey, check this out, I’m surfing.” I got no reaction at all. Anyway.
Shouts from the web. That’s where you read out comments that people make about the show. And that’s a really important part. We’ll touch on that again. Questions. iTunes reviews. Tips. An outro.
And then I’ve sort of just put a couple of questions, that’s kind of like the John Lee Dumas format. What strategy have you been using? What led to you using this? Have you faced problems? What were the results? And have a response.
Now interestingly, John Lee Dumas has the same format for every single show. Like, same questions for every guest. I think it’s absolutely boring. But it’s obviously working. He’s got so many listeners. It’s probably part of it, the consistency. So a consistent format is probably a recipe for success. But pick one that you’re happy to roll through each time.
Your role is to ask questions that people want answered, if you’re interviewing someone. Not just the generic ones that everyone asks. I mean it’s so boring.
“So tell us a bit about yourself.” You know, “What’s your background?” and “How did you stumble into Internet marketing?” and you know, “If you were to start from scratch, and you only had a hundred dollars and thirty days to make a thousand dollars, what would you do?”
These questions suck. They’re the worst questions. Ask something no one’s ever heard before. Ask questions people really want to know. You know, like, “Do you actually work as much as you say you do?” Those sort of things are far more interesting.
Are you still there, buddy?
Ezra: Oh I’m with you. I’m just letting you roll, baby, this is your show.
James: You know, this is a joint venture here.
Ezra: Alright. Well OK, I’ve got stuff to say. I mean I’ll get in here. You know I’ve got stuff to say. I don’t actually have anything to say about this particular topic, because I’m not sure what we’re talking about. I was totally spaced out, man, I wasn’t paying attention.
James: That’s alright. I know my voice lulls you to sleep. Controversy. It’s good if you can have controversy. We use controversy in our show, don’t we, Ezra?
Ezra: We do. People really like it when we don’t agree. And let’s face it, man, we don’t agree on stuff from time to time.
James: We don’t agree on some stuff. Like you saw a speaker at this event that you thought was terrible and I thought…
Ezra: I thought he was horrible!
James: And the reality is, a lot of what he said is probably actually accurate, but it doesn’t make it right.
Ezra: Right. It doesn’t make him not a jerk, is all I’m saying.
James: Oh yeah, he’s still a jerk.
Ezra: And everyone loved him. And one of the things I was so blown away by, and guys, you can take this to your podcast, is people really liked the…
James: They were drawn to it.
Ezra: Yeah, they’re drawn to like, you know, if you like to be mean, or if you like to say stuff that’s controversial, or like, if you want to just tell the truth… man, I’ll tell you, man, people were really really applauding Perry on stage when he was being, you know, a little, when he was being, I don’t know, they just really responded to controversy and outlandish type things.
Ideas For The Show
James: Yeah. Beautiful. So where do you get ideas for these shows? This is the mandatory pink elephant slide.
Ezra: I have no idea what this elephant is about. I feel like he needs like a margarita.
James: Oh, that’s a good suggestion. We could probably enhance it. The team created this. I’m very proud of their….
Ezra: Maybe like a bowl of guacamole to snort.
James: Snort? I don’t know, I think they use their mouth, bro.
Ezra: Alright, whatever.
James: So keep your Evernote handy. Whenever you’re traveling about, take notes. Put some ideas down that you could bring up on your conversation. I have a little file…
Ezra: You know, I will comment on this. I’m going to interrupt you now.
Ezra: Which is that what people want is your opinion on the topics, conversations, problems that are going on in your community. So whatever’s relevant to your community, people want to know what you think about it. They don’t care about generic stuff. They want to know what do you think and why.
So if you find yourself thinking something about a topic in your community, if your community is cycling and Lance Armstrong’s drugging himself up, and you’ve got something to say about that, that’s the stuff you want to write down in your Evernote.
James: Do you think he took drugs?
Ezra: I mean, I know he took drugs, but everyone took drugs. It was like our drugged up guy beat your drugged up guy, and then everyone was all pissed off about it. Every single one of those cyclists was on drugs, bro.
I followed this pretty closely. And I’m not saying it was right. I mean, I’m not for steroid use. I think it’s really bad for your body, and it shrinks your testicles, and it’s just horrible all around.
James: Yep. Yeah, I’m not even going to go there. So when you’re out and about, take pictures and talk about it. You know, people who aren’t out and about really want to know what you’re experiencing out and about. It’s why we watch reality TV, it’s why we watch TV in general.
Not me, or you, but most people. They really want to know what’s going on out there, and you can be the reporter. And what a great job, to fly around the world reporting on amazing events like America’s Cup.
Ezra: Yeah. I do a behind the scenes video for every event I’m at and it’s always super popular.
James: Really? Is it face to camera, or is it audio?
Ezra: Well, if you go to SMart Marketer, check it out. I mean it’s both. But basically it’s “Hey, this is Ezra, I’m going behind the scenes at this event and I want to share with you what’s going on.” And I show a little footage from it, and I talk about it, and that kind of thing.
James: Perfect. Yeah. Be your own broadcaster, that’s the deal. And start with general topics, and work your way down to specific stuff. So general is podcasting on iTunes. Specific is how to set up your Android to receive podcatchers or whatever. It’s not as important to the rest of the people.
Like half the people use iOS, so they’re gone. They don’t care about Android. So start with the big general topics to increase your listenership, and then get a bit specific, so you can really dial in for the people who want something amazing.
So How Do You Produce These Things?
That’s the big question we get asked. This is what it looks like in our Dropbox. We have some sounds that we use in our episodes. We have the pre-intro underlay, we have the intro, we have a weekly challenge sound signature. We have a comments one. And Ezra, you put these together for us, your team does these, so it was really nice to have it and it gives you a consistent feel of the show.
Ezra: And they were terrible by the way
James: Oh yeah.
Ezra: James did not like them
James: Maybe because of the Aussie accent. It was a very unappealing Australian accent.
Ezra: We should redo that at some point, but the actual music was not bad.
James: Music was good.
Ezra: All original anyways.
James: All original and by the way, we turned it into a bit of debate with our audience so we could put questions to our audience.
Ezra: Yeah, totally engage your audience with questions. Ask them how they think about how you’re doing it and that kind of thing.
James: And whether you act on it or not is all up to you. We ask people what they think about swearing. We ask people all sorts of things. Now here’s my favorite equipment items.
We’re going to list them from left to right. On the left is Rode SmartLav, that’s a good device. If you only had one mic, I guess that’s all you’d want if you travel around and it plugs into your iPhone or your iPad or your Mac and I have recorded plenty of interviews just on that.
Ezra and I have done once at our Hawaii retreat, I’ve recorded on the road by wrapping it around the sun visor. I record in the hotel rooms, clipping it to the lid of the computer, that’s the one I did with Clay, all with that one device. And if you got a little windsock – that looks like a dead cat, it’s also good outdoors.
Just immediately to the right of that is the ZoomH4N, that’s a full high-end XLR cable, digital quality recorder. You can record to a shotgun mic or pin mic that needs 48 volt phantom power. Very high quality, super strong, lasts for ages, excellent portable recorder if you want to take something a little bit heavier, that’s a better quality item.
Moving along down the bottom, you see the Rode Shotgun mic. That’s the sort of mic that I use for my videos ‘cause I don’t want to get lived up, I don’t want to be clipping things on I don’t want to see something on my shirt. So I put this just out of shot pointing at me, you do need a quiet environment for that.
You do need power for it and the quality of it is fantastic, it’s like semi-professional, I use an NTG3 and I mix that into a powered mixer on my camera and that goes into the camera then I strip out the audio for my SuperFastBusiness shows from that device and the device that Ezra and I are talking on now is a Rode Podcaster mic, that white one on the top right.
We use a shock mount, it’s that little elastic cradle that it sits in and a swinger to bring it in right close to where we’re talking and that’s a USB powered microphone, plugs straight into your computer. It’s the easiest to use, the best quality sound, best value price, super reliable and I highly recommend that for home podcast.
James: Yeah, so that’s what it looks like…
Ezra: No, no, sorry, no I’m with you. My brother just got here with a big bag of poker chips and some crackers and peanut butter. You want to say “Hi,” Adam? Right in here
James: I hear he’s a really good poker player, too.
Ezra: He’s a very good poker player. So we’re going to have a little poker night here in a little bit.
Ezra: But I was following along. Yeah, I’m cool. I was following along and I just want to say that I now get feedback from my community and the folks who follow my blogs on my e-commerce stores that like our content sounds so much better than everyone else’s. And we’re just recording with Rode SmartLav and Rode Podcaster microphones. So it really does…
James: Sound quality is very important when people put headphones on. You want to be sounding good. So what we do is we both record at our end, and if the line’s patchy or broke up, we take the separate recordings and join them back together later on, that’s called a double-headed recording.
Usually for our podcasts, we’re just using Skype, and Call Recorder for Mac. And that gives us a good, high quality recording that we can send off for editing.
Now the show notes look like this in our Google doc. Ezra types out a Google doc, and we work our way through the Google doc as we do the show, and we can both see it live on screen, and it’s got a check list, like we make sure we’re recording, we count down three two one…
Ezra: It really helps to have your thoughts organized ahead of time and so you’ve got something to follow, you know?
James: It does. Professionals prepare. And that’s something we’ve learned.
Ezra: I just want to say really quickly… Be critical of your own content. Be willing to scrap an episode if it…
James: Yeah. We’ve thrown a few away, haven’t we?
Ezra: We’ve thrown two away, and…
James: Yeah, we got to the end, and we’re like, naw. That wasn’t good enough. And we binned it. Not that we’re super perfectionists, obviously, you’re watching this. But we do have a minimum standard and it’s important over the long haul to have brand preservation.
So we get comments on the show with our Disqus commenting system and we also get people commenting in iTunes and they dial in on SpeakPipe, it’s a little widget. There’s another one called Japkin which does pretty much the same thing but also has video which they’re strongly encouraging us to test. I saw them at the show.
Ezra: Oh God those guys are all after, they’re after me man.
James: Haha, they’re after me too. We met three of them and shook their hands three times each. Anyway, SpeakPipe is like the original one that we’ve been using and it’s been very very good and lends itself well for audio mediums. But I think if you want to capture videos for a video show, maybe there are other options like Japkin.
But people just record, and then it gets put into your file, we download it, we play it back on air and then we respond to it. And this is all done behind the scenes and it’s a pretty simple process.
What we also do is we illustrate every post. Your nose looks like a lion there. I just thought it looks quite cool.
Ezra: That looks nothing like me.
James: We actually have a custom picture for every post to make it more engaging on our site when people visit but it also gives us SEO opportunities to get ranked higher.
Ezra: James will create these pictures for you by the way. I think if you could do them in a batch of 15 or something like that right?
James: I think it’s 10. Ten at a time or something.
Ezra: Ten, yeah, you could do that at SuperFastBusiness.com services.
James: Yeah, SuperFastBusiness.com, click on the products tab and you’ll be in the website section. Now, what do you think of when you see this slide, Ezra, the bananas?
Ezra: Aahh, I think of a very strange time in my life.
James: The reason I put this is we use our pictures on the show to illustrate the important points of the show. The important point of this show was how at one stage in Ezra’s life he thought it was perfectly fine to eat a couple of dozen bananas in a single day. And of course, I had a lot of fun.
Ezra: I had a very skewed…
James: We did a poll at this event and I don’t think we had anyone go past 10 a day. I think we lost most people at 5.
Ezra: I don’t think we’d even gone past 5 dude.
James: Yeah, 5 and it was out. So it was way off, way off and that’s the fun of the podcast. We discover the differences and the craziness that goes on. The other slide I put up is where I went down to the beach in front of my house here and I drew “sex” on the sand and I took a picture of it, because we had an episode about sex. And who did we record that with?
Ezra: That one was with my mom. We had my brother on this episode, my mom on that episode… And that’s just because she’s got really interesting viewpoints on that topic.
James: It was. It was a lot of fun playing with the concept that we were talking about sex with Ezra’s mum. It was the least commented-on episode and one of the most listened-to. And I have to admit, I walked about a hundred meters away from my house when I made this and then I quickly rubbed it out.
Ezra: You did what, now?
James: Don’t try it on. So it goes very quiet after I sorted him out at the event.
Ezra: Sorry. What happened was someone at the event tried to call James out and James smashed him.
James: Yeah, I did. I’ve had training though, from a comedian, so it was good. Not in being funny, but in handling hecklers, because as a speaker you need to be able to handle hecklers.
So we had my mum on the show as well. So we had your mum and my mum. My mum was talking about networking, which was a far more publicly, you know, acceptable discussion. And it had a lot of comments.
Ezra: Most popular episode to date.
James: It was like the easiest way to say, “Listen Mum, if you’re going to friend all my friends on Facebook, why don’t you just come on my show? Just go straight to the source.”
I thought I’d leave it at that, but surprisingly for me, when I went to my next meetup of SuperFastBusiness members, which we do once a month here in Sydney, and there’s about 25 people… I was having dinner, and a lady next to me says, “Oh, I had lunch with your mum the other day.” I’m like, aww, seriously? So in terms of networking, she’s like the gold A-grade standard.
We have here interesting pictures from travel. This was the Reclining Buddha, in Thailand, I think it’s the third largest one in the world. And so we take pictures of where we are and we talk about it in the show, and we bring people into our world. And then we had a bit of a messy one with the “Leadership” episode.
The first picture we used was of Adolf Hitler. We had to replace it with this picture of George Patton because it was extremely unpopular. We had almost hate comments on Facebook from how can we.
Ezra: And it wasn’t like we were like endorsing Hitler.
James: We weren’t saying he was the greatest leader ever. We were just saying that he had some very interesting persuasion techniques that allowed him to lead a nation off a cliff basically.
And it’s interesting to observe that in hindsight and I’d just watched a documentary about “The Third Reich,” it was fascinating and people didn’t take it the right way so that was where we had to make a judgement call and say “You know what? People probably misunderstand us so let’s just give them something they can understand and relate to.”
Also, just revealing personal stuff. I talked about riding my mountain bike and stuff so we put pictures. We talked about early days at school. In an episode that I had, I put a picture and I talk about travelling light and I put a picture of the backpack.
People want to relate visually and if you can bring people back to your show on the Internet as well as in iTunes, what can happen is they join your email list and if you want, you could drop a remarketing cookie to be able to reach those customers while they’re visiting other websites on the Internet, there’s a good tip for you.
Now, in terms of spontaneity, I went to an event in Sta. Barbara and another attendee there was looking for a lift back to Los Angeles and I had a rental car. I offered him a lift on the basis that he goes through the notes from the event. So, we did our behind the scenes show. You can see in the middle of the screen there.
Ezra: I mean, you did a behind-the-scenes show before the event was even over at this last event. The point here is like there are so many content.
James: So many opportunities.
Ezra: So many types of things that you could talk about. And so the reason why we’re harping on about this is one of the most common things that we hear from would-be content creators is “I don’t feel like I have anything to talk about,” but it’s just not the case.
James: That’s just ridiculous. Like if you’ve ever presented, for example, you could do what we’re doing. Go through your slides and talk about it. I put in, I don’t know, maybe five or six hours of effort to build these slides on the airplane. I don’t want to use them just once.
Ezra: Beautiful slides by the way, absolutely beautiful.
James: Oh, thanks man. Well, it’s a combination, my team and me. I’m not the illustrator but they illustrate well. But this guy, I never met him before in my life but we had a great trip down to Los Angeles. We recorded on the smartLav between the hanging off the sunvisor.
People really liked the show and it was great way to get value from that event. This was, again, using that little windsock and smartLav in the hotel room in San Diego. I interviewed Clay Collins the night before we presented and the next day…
Ezra: The day before I broke his ring.
James: Yeah, it was. This was the day we reached a million downloads but the blog post went live. I just handed it off to the team, they published it, they tag it, categorize it, they illustrate it and we had 631 downloads by the time we went up on the platform and this was recorded the night before, the day before, so this just shows the power.
If you think about how much would it cost you to get 631 people to visit your site using an Adwords campaign in the Internet space, I’m sure it’s going to be a dollar a click as a metric. So, it’s really powerful.
Now, there’s a big tendency people want to know all the tools, they want to do this themselves: don’t do this yourself. Maybe in the beginning, but don’t do it yourself for the long term. It’s not sustainable and you’ll end up getting sick of it and you’ll stop doing it.
So, what I do is I have a Dropbox and I put my audio in there and the team takes over. They add in the intro music and outros, they cut “uhms” and “aahs,” they edit it all up nice, they clean it up on.
So this is what it looks like behind the scenes. We have the images that go with the show, we’ve got the mp3, we have our show sounds and then the transcription. They join it all together and make a blog post out of it. But before they do that, they run it through Auphonic.
And Auphonic is a wonderful app that will pretty much replace a sound engineer. It will balance and level different speakers, it will remove background noise, I mean heck, it probably even makes you a cappuccino, it’s that good and it’s free and it doesn’t actually make you a cappuccino by the way, I just threw that in there in case anyone thought. It also comes in your iPad or iPhone.
You can record straight into your iPhone, into Auphonic with your Rode smartLav and then upload it to your Amazon account or Libsyn account or Dropbox account and have it on your site or SoundCloud. So, I know Ed Dale records on Auphonic and he just talked straight into his phone and then it balances and levels and it loads straight up to his SoundCloud that’s it.
That is the entire process of production – talk, upload. It’s almost too easy isn’t it? Now, we use Amazon S3; other people use Libsyn. It doesn’t matter which one you use, they’re both going to be cheap, they’re both going to be good. This is where you host your media.
Do not host your media on your website. That is a bad idea. You’ll eventually choke up your server. It will give people a sloppy download speed and it will slow down your website. So, you’ll want to put it away from your website.
So How Do You Publish This?
Well, we suggest you have your own platform. I’m really big on this and it has paid me big dividends. Put it on a WordPress website that loads fast that works on any screen, this is called responsive. We build websites at SuperFastBusiness, you can check out our products page. We build websites. We built ThinkActGet, we built SuperFastBusiness and we built FreedomOcean.
We know how to create a podcast website if you want help with that. And then you install Blubrry Powerpress plugin. It’s free and it will guide you through setting up iTunes.
It shows you the link to submit, it tells you the size of the artwork which I think is 1400×1400, you get to name your show, you tell it where the media is and away you go. Every time you do a post, then your episode is published. You only have to submit it once ever.
And also I suggest you build a list. So we build an email list from ThinkActGet and everyone who opts-in, we tag for the show. And we only use that list to broadcast show episodes and that’s important as part of the agreement that I have with my co-show hosts like Ezra and Timbo.
And this is how we collect emails. On FreedomOcean, we have an above-the-fold opt-in and we’re offering podcast updates, transcripts and bonus PDF reports.
And you can see also, we have tabs pointing to my site and Tim’s site. On ThinkActGet, we have an above-the-fold opt-in to get alerts whenever we update and we have a tab pointing to my site and Ezra’s site. So this is how we drive traffic to our products.
We also, on SuperFastBusiness, have an above-the-fold opt-in that offers a free course.
And then on the sidebar, I have two courses that I give away, and since I’ve been doing this, I’ve gone up to around 3,000 opt-ins a month. That’s what it’s running at right now.
We also have landing pages directly. You can put a specific URL. For example, I talk about Wealthification.com or OwnTheRacecourse.com, they lead to squeeze pages. Now, I used to drive my banners to the squeeze page and I was getting 32 percent opt-ins for one course, 67 for the other.
But what I’ve done now is put LeadBoxes, the Clay Collins thing, we’ve linked the banner to a LeadBox which pops the opt-in right in front of the page, doesn’t take the customer anywhere, and so far, when I first put that on and I put this up the first day, the opt-ins are stratospheric.
They’re stabilized a bit now but I can tell you it looks like it’s a winner and the stats show that I should continue to do that. So I recommend LeadBoxes.
So, we also have a little yellow thing that flies up or the Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box and it’s a free plugin for WordPress and that gets a lot of opt-ins. It only engages when people scroll below the fold. And that means they’re engaged and interested in the site so they’re more likely to put an opt-in.
And here are our sponsors. Ezra and I don’t let anyone else put their advertising in our show unless it’s an affiliate offer or something like a book that we recommend on Amazon. We put our own products and our own events into the show.
Ezra: And you can monetize the show yourself and you really should. I mean you really should be monetizing your content.
James: We think it’s the best deal. And other people sell their show to sponsors and that’s fine if you get a million downloads but I don’t think that’s the best business model for us and probably not for most people. This podcast will be the perfect thing to promote any service or e-book or e-commerce store or whatever. Just keep driving people to your offer.
So, how we do it? I have a products tab on the top of SuperFastBusiness and I drive people to that. On our site, we have a products tab as well and we mentioned your Brown Box Formula and we sold how much of it?
Ezra: Sold about 40 grand just from that. I was really surprised by how much we sold just through the podcast.
James: And they went straight to you. I didn’t share that one. That was all your stuff and it’s because it was your product.
Ezra: Little plug for what a good guy James is.
James: Then we do stuff together. We thought it’d be cool to go to Hawaii and so we basically talked about it in the show, put a couple of pictures and we ended up having people join a retreat and there’s us recording with a smartLav in the middle of a dinner table.
Ezra: There’s Carrie, she makes it into most episodes.
James: The far right there. And it was a great event. It was really a good proof of concept but it was a magical event. A small event and we had a house in the North Shore right there at Pipeline.
Ezra: I have this feeling if we do it again, we’re going to get a significantly larger crowd.
James: Yeah, I’d say so.
Notes Versus Transcription
Now, here’s a question. Show notes versus transcription? What I found is that shownotes are ample. We only do show notes on ThinkActGet. I do transcriptions for my other shows but it’s more expensive and it takes longer. I think the easiest way is to have show notes which is just bullet points summarizing what’s talked about in the show.
Once you publish, you’ll want to promote so I talk about in OwnTheRacecourse people will be familiar with the Octopus. iTunes is one of the tentacles the other ones are “tell your list about it,” if you have affiliates, put a link, YouTube, you could put pictures to an audio and have it go there, you can tag your images properly, put show notes and turn transcriptions into PDF and get Google love.
You can mention it in forums like your latest episode. You could do banners to promote your show and I suspect we probably should do that with Adroll at some point.
And all of these things feed the head of the octopus. But of course social media is a big one, so get yourself on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and if you’re in a “businessy” market LinkedIn, and if you’re in a different market whatever that social forum of maybe Tumblr or Instagram.
Put tweetables to make it easy for people to share your content, so put a little sentence that people just simply click to tweet and it pops up in the timeline.
And remember, you’ve got to get people to subscribe in as many places as possible. I call this a list guarantee. After someone opts-in to my email, I actually suggest that they subscribe on iTunes, that they join my Facebook page, the grab my YouTube channel. You want people to be subscribed to the main places you publish.
Look at this picture of you Ezra, this is a classic.
Ezra: I can’t see it. It’s a little bit of a lag. See, that does not look like me I have to say. Well, the illustrator was handling a few too many in that.
James: Maybe. So, what we do is we always post to social media and we tag each other and it pulls in a picture from the post. That’s why you really must have a picture on every post. Pulls a picture in, it’s far more engaging and social media seems a lot about visual.
Now, if you want people to have you on their show, tell people that you’re available for an interview. Just put it in your P.S. subject line and tell them “Hey, if you’ve got three episodes, I’d love to do an interview with you” and do this for everyone else that shows up under your show.
So, I think we’ve been on all of these shows and that’s how you get your audience. Like, your audience are listening to these shows because they show up under your show and you want to be on each one of those shows pointing people back. And I went on Chris Tucker’s show recently and I picked up a Mastermind student because of it.
So it’s really a very positive thing to do. And when you interview famous people, put a picture of them and add a quote and stick that out on social media pointing back to the shows.
So I’ve got John Carlton, Clay Collins, Chris Farrell, Sam Carpenter are all in up there on my podcast and then I draw people back. And I have Larry Benet, John Lee Dumas, Derek Halpern and Pat Flynn. I actually love Pat Flynn’s quote – “Creating the passive income is not passive, it takes a lot of work.” So there you go.
Now, when you broadcast your email list, put a picture that relates to the podcast and have very clear specific call to action – “Click here to listen.” That’s very clear, you can’t be more clearer than that so you’ll get a high clickthrough and open rate. And if you do really good work, you’ll end up getting syndicated by people for free without even an affiliate program.
Yanik Silver sent out to his whole list about an interview that I did with Clay Collins and that was very generous and that brings me a new audience from the list of people who may not have heard about me.
Also, if you become reachable, you’ll get great feedback. So, I reply to emails and I put that in some of my emails – “Hey, P.S. I reply.” People reply back they go “Hey, do you know about?” or “Have you heard?” or “I really loved how…,” “Thank you so much for everything you do,” all these things.
Now, underneath the podcast, let people download the resources you talk about or a PDF of the show. This gets wild opt-ins. And also have sharing widgets on your post so let people share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
Let people click on an icon that takes them to iTunes so they can get on to that subscription feed and let people play it and download it from the website so that they don’t have to go to iTunes.
And God help some people, they don’t even have an iPhone or an iPad yet so they need to be able to stream it from your site or download it to their computer. Every time I’ve removed this, I’ve had complaints so it’s better just to put it up there.
Now, if you do a fair bit of content, you can even stretch it further by having a weekly digest and bring together the best of the week. John Lee Dumas said it was the best weekly digest he gets. Killer idea and I think he started it too.
He sent me a specific feedback about that so it’s a great technique to leverage it. And ask your guests: Who else would be great to have on the show? This is a great way for you to get extra guests referring each other. Of course, install a remarketing cookie into your show and you’ll be able to reach people with banners even when they’re not on your site.
And just a final tip, you can actually reinstall a current blog to iTunes. Just get out your microphone and talk some of your blog posts and then add it to iTunes and you’ll have a show right now. So that’s our final note.
In summary, podcasting is a really good thing to do because people have access to phones, it builds you a long-term audience; that is farming that you can make offers to, you can make a lot of money with it. If you would like to be far more profitable with it, be sure to listen to Ezra’s SmartMarketer.com and see what he’s doing with it.
Have a look at SuperFastBusiness.com and see what I’m doing with it. Make sure you subscribe to ThinkActGet.com, our joint episode show. Have a look at FreedomOcean to see how my original one turns out and get into SuperFastBusiness Membership.
Our community is where I talk about this stuff on a higher level, it’s the best place to learn behind-the-scenes stuff and specially if you want to evolve into the video stuff and take it to the next stage and if you want to build a business strategy around it.
SuperFastBusiness.com/membership, see you on the inside. Ezra, thanks so much for going through these slides again and creating something that we can share with our community.
Ezra: Thank you man and sorry that I was so quiet. It’s not usually my style as you well know.
James: I know you’ve got poker to attend so I’m going to let you go.
Ezra: I do. Alright, well, thank you guys so much. We really highly suggest that you get into podcasting. We think it’s the predominant form of information consumption for entrepreneurs and business owners and it will become the predominant form of information consumption for long-form like educational style education for most markets so check it out, get into it, give questions about it, join JamesSchramko.
James: Thanks, see you buddy.
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