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In the episode:
00:19 – What audio can do for your business
02:04 – The advantages of recent technology
02:50 – How James started podcasting
05:24 – Working through networks
06:10 – Using frameworks
05:58 – Are you creating value?
08:49 – Busting some myths
10:27 – How to repurpose content
11:57 – Better than an ‘avatar’
13:16 – Who is your product not for?
13:45 – When it’s good to be general
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James Schramko here, and today’s episode of SuperFastBusiness.com are some tips on repurposing and improving your podcast content.
It’s important to note that I realized audio is very, very important for your business. In fact, 10 years ago, when I was starting online, I was listening to Internet marketing audios from people like Yanik Silver and Marlon Sanders. I knew that other people in business like Brad Sugars had been successful, and Anthony Robbins and Jay Abraham, by recording information products onto cassettes.
I’d even been given some cassettes by some of my most successful clients and associate salespeople when I was selling at BMW and Mercedes-Benz. I’d learned the Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy on audio cassettes. I learned about Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics on audio cassettes, and Bob Proctor’s Born Rich. All of these were on audio cassettes. Back then, cars had cassette players. Now, we get cars with the ability to play iTunes. Pretty much every stereo has a Bluetooth device or a USB connection. That’s why it’s important as marketers and business owners to be producing audio.
So when I started the transition to information products, I knew that audio information products were a good way to package ideas because I had consumed ideas that way. Even on my drive to work, as some of the old-timers say, I think it was Zig Ziglar, that your car is a “Mobile University.”
I started interviewing people online, firstly for information products, and then for podcasts. But I didn’t actually have an iTunes-submitted podcast the way that I do now. I was just streaming audio from my website. I’d figured out how to create a player and upload media, but I hadn’t submitted it to any of the big marketplaces.
Now these days, with the prolification of iTunes and smartphones, iPads, iPods, tablets, I mean these things weren’t around 10 years ago, of course; with the prolification of these, it is so easy for people to get to your audio content. It makes so much sense. So I’d been building up these blog posts and I had audio interviews that people could listen to. But I wasn’t really being syndicated or push notified.
An introduction to podcasting
Now, don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. I’ll explain in a minute. I recorded my first event and I had it produced on DVD, and then I had the discs delivered from a company called Disk.com. They would reproduce them in high quality, and whenever an order came in, they’d ship it out from their fulfillment center. So this was really good. Then I attended some guest interview spots. One of them was on Small Business Big Marketing with Timbo Reid and Luke Moulton.
Straight after that episode, they had a massive amount of sales of my information product that we’d promoted on the show. You see, they weren’t an affiliate. They got so much of a reaction and lots of money, that Timbo came to me and he asked me to do a podcast with him.
We teamed up for what is now famous, the podcast called FreedomOcean. So that is when he sent across a how-to list of how to set up the plugin, where to submit to iTunes, and I’ve got all the workflow from one of the experts at the time, I think it was the Podcast Answer Man, and it showed me how to do it. I still use Blubrry plugin and I use WordPress for my core website.
Now, once I submitted it to iTunes, that was it. I realized, this is really powerful. So I went back to Internet Marketing Speed, which was my blog at the time, before SuperFastBusiness.com. I submitted my site to iTunes, and guess what happened? It retrocasted all of my interviews. So I picked them up and back catalogued them to the dates they were published.
This is a wonderful trick with iTunes, is that if you submit old audios, they will actually retrocast from the date that they were posted. So if you want to change episodes or you want to change dates on episodes, just change your WordPress posts, and it will actually move the date on your iTunes chart.
So now it’s in the iTunes marketplace and eventually, we branded that SuperFastBusiness.com, and then I added a whole bunch of other podcasts: ThinkActGet with Ezra Firestone, KickingBack with Joel Ozborn, SalesMarketingProfit with Taki Moore, and these podcasts all went really well. They’re running simultaneously now.
So I’m a big fan of podcasts and I’m getting some really good downloads, like more than a thousand downloads everyday, sometimes 2,000. It’s really great way to get the message out. Because people don’t play discs anymore, in fact, even the modern computers don’t come with disc players, these days, if you want to produce good stuff, put it into audio format.
If you’re going to sell goods, then I suggest that you use USB sticks instead of DVDs if you’re thinking about easy distribution and compact, brandable, and can be played on anything. That’s the way to go. So here are some tips on improving your podcast content and the quality of it.
Tips on improving your podcast
The first thing is your network. If you want to get an interview with someone, then find someone that you have in
common with, and you’ll have a direct introduction. You get in the game and then you can refine the game by working through the networks. So when you start accumulating best sellers on your podcast, it really lifts the bar on your whole podcast, and it actually makes it easier to get the next interview guest. It’s this improvement cycle like Kaizen, where the quality of the guest increases. Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc. So it’s like this chain of links that get strengthened, and as you go around the chain, each link gets strengthened. So if you know someone who has interviewed someone you want to interview, ask for a connection.
Then there’s frameworks. I’m using a framework when I’m on a podcast, which is usually invisible to my guest, but it means something to me and it means the content is actionable. It does mean that people will take quite a few notes and they’ll feel like a lot of their objections are covered and that they know what they’re supposed to do next. That’s the mark of a good, actionable podcast. If you want to see how that works, then check out my post on SuperFastBusiness.com that covers how to create your free training course because it’s pretty much the exact same framework. It’s the format framework. So I have a post called Tried and Tested Tips for Fast and Easy Training Course Creation. That gives you the download template that you can use to get exactly that framework happening for you.
Now as a podcaster, you need to create value. The whole point of doing a podcast is to create value. You have a responsibility to your listener to deliver this value if you want to earn their ears for next time because there’s so many choices they could make, including doing nothing. So if you create good value for them, you’ll build up a following and a core audience is anything that you want to do. If you want to run a live event, it’s so easy because they are onboard. That core audience is behind it. If you want to run a retreat, let your podcast audience know about. If you want to sell a book, let your podcast audience know about it, because they’re going to be behind it. Once they’re onboard, your core audience is powerful.
Now the interesting thing is when you’re in that marketplace when you’re in iTunes or Stitcher and you put in your episode out, a lot of your subscribers will find out about it because their device will automatically update the subscription. They are getting what’s called a push notification. So everytime you upload the episode, they give a little alert, and it’s now added to their phone, ready for listening. So it’s literally like another email database, but this time, it’s a device database. That’s why on my home page menu, currently, I link directly to my iTunes feed because I want people to become subscribers.
Now you need to be relevant and interesting to deliver value. So some people are being really boring, like they do the same thing all the time. Same questions for every guest, same format, they don’t mix it up at all. That means that they might get a result of volume or reach, but they might not have longevity there because people generally tire of that. So I’d suggest that you pay attention to how you can be interesting and relevant for your customers and not the same as everyone else.
Now these people also say you must release with five episodes, and that you’ve got to have certain lengths, and that you’ve got to get lots of comments. It’s not true at all. What I found, and I’ve tested this multiple times, is that you can launch a podcast with one episode and the thing that will get it into New and Noteworthy is a thousand downloads in a reasonably short span of time. Even a few days or a week, it’s possible. So if you have a few episodes, great. But don’t feel like you need to do 10, or 20, or 30, or even five, or four or three. If you have one or two episodes, start, because you can get into New and Noteworthy easily by launching that and getting a thousand people going through that.
Now every time you add an episode and every time you add subscribers, of course you’ll more quickly get to that thousand. If you get comments, then it means that people probably have to listen to it to comment, and that’s why I think they’re getting the benefit of that, but I don’t think it’s true you need a lot of comments.
All of these things have been found to be for my own experience having five podcasts and many, many podcast customers. So don’t worry too much about replicating someone else’s formula. Be original with the way you approach it. Have a really strong premise. If you listen to any of my podcasts, you’ll notice that they all have different premises. Some of the strongest premises are the SalesMarketingProfit show, which is all about case studies. It’s proven case studies with real results. One of the other show premises is where you have two guys talking and sort of disagreeing, and having a little bit of tension, that’s the ThinkActGet episode, where you have two completely different people, polar opposites, and that creates the fun in the show.
How to repurpose
Let’s talk about repurposing content for a minute because this is such an easy way to leverage a podcast, is you go back through your existing stuff, your blog posts, any seminar you’ve run, any books you’ve got, any notes from things, even if you went to a movie, like I did today. I went to a movie, I made about 10 little notes in my Notepad after the movie, which I can now turn into blog post if I want.
Even book reviews are great. And who hasn’t read a book? It’s the most amazing thing. Just recycle content into your podcast. So you’ve probably already got content in a written form. If not, have someone go and research and write some notes for you, and then break that down. Chunk it into something that’s an extract. Come up with a theme for it and turn it into a different media type. And then publish it again.
Example, you book read. I went motocrossing with my son. I read a book while he was out on the track. I took down some notes, added the content to my monthly live webinar with my members, and then I extracted that, and I could turn that into a podcast. Chapterize slides. If you’re ever doing a webinar, chapterize your slides into sections so that each one can become its own stand-alone piece of content in a different life form. You can turn that into a podcast. Post it to your blog, put a strong call to action and then sell the rest of the training of all the other modules that you didn’t put in the extract.
So there’s a few ideas around repurposing your content.
Target consumer vs. Customer avatar
I want to talk about understanding your customers, because until you do that, it’s really hard to make these great podcasts. I want to talk about the target consumer versus the customer avatar. So you can have a target consumer in mind, but I like to look for clusters of commonality instead. You see the customer avatar is absurdly specific when it alienates the bulk of people who would actually give you money.
I’ll give you an example. When I go and sit at a local meetup for my SuperFastBusiness membership and I look around the table, not one person has much that you would be able to pin down. If you were to say my avatar’s Bob, he’s 43, he’s a got a job in accounting, etc., etc., I mean, it’s silly. I got men, women, large, small, short, tall, expats, locals, just everything about them is different, except they’ll have some clusters of commonality. They will all be prepared to invest $79 per month in their education. They will all come to a meetup to network with each other. They will all be keen to grow their online business. They all have some courage to take it on. They’re all self-driven, but they like a bit of a hand. So they’re the clusters of commonality and that’s my preferred method for thinking about my customer than a specific avatar that’s just ridiculously specific.
And then you exclude people who can’t really relate to what you’re saying. So I could think of all the people who my community is not for, and often, it’s easier to describe who shouldn’t be interested because that helps you realize who should be. It’s not for people who need spoon feeding. It’s not for people who won’t spend a dime on themselves or invest in their own future. It’s not for people who don’t want to be better off, for example. So there’s a lot of things you could do to exclude people. It’s not for animals. It’s only for humans, for example.
Now if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that I’ll actually keep getting rewarded for being reasonably general rather than super specific. And that’s a weird thing. When every other marketer is saying, “You’ve got to be specific. You’ve got to niche down. You’ve got to have a specific avatar.” Well, what I did was niche myself up from super specific, where I was selling software that only worked on a Windows desktop where people could build websites, that they had to have a certain level of ability, etc. I had this super small niche but I actually maxed it out. I outgrew the niche and then I had to go on to the next phase where I created information products for everyone who already had the software. And then I had to level up for people who had a website but wanted to grow their business.
So I found being a little more general is actually being good. You don’t have to segment your customer down to skin, color, age and job. Just remember you can segment other ways, like the things that are actually in common. Clusters of commonality.
So in terms of reaching out to your audience, we’re talking about podcasts because they are just so reachable. We really dig into that in episode number one. And as I mentioned then, I was using USB sticks because I realized that some people can’t stream things all the time. But with podcasts, they stream so easily on phones. Have you ever noticed how much faster your phone works than a laptop if you go somewhere with patchy Internet? That’s why the podcast is good. And it also will download to someone’s device while they’re in a connection that they can still listen to later on. So that’s how that works.
I’m James Schramko, thank you so much for listening to SuperFastBusiness.com. If you do like this podcast, feel free to leave a review in iTunes. And also, if you want some help in your business, come along and check out SuperFastBusiness.com/membership, where there’s a whole bunch of people helping each other grow their businesses more profitably online.
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Thanks James for summarizing your learning points – great content and got a lot from it
Thanks James for summarizing your learning points – great content and got a lot from it
James Schramko says
Thank you Sean !