Thinking of starting a podcast? Awesome! I'm glad you're reading this then.
Now, you're probably thinking about starting your shiny new podcast because you want to generate more leads for their business, right?
Yep, totally get that.
But before you go too far down the rabbit hole, I have to ask the 7 million dollar question: will a podcast actually do that?
I know you may have seen a webinar on podcasting, or read an article that got you excited about the potential, but in this article, let's get real about what your business really needs.
(Keep reading, because this right here is important. Getting this wrong can be disastrous for your business. I've seen it over and over.)
First, let's take a step back and I'll ask you an easy one: how do you currently make the majority of money RIGHT NOW in your business?
If you're a coach, consultant, creative, healer, independent professional or a service provider then you probably make most or all of your income from 1:1 advice, services, packages of time and expertise, then the way you would *most likely* turn new leads into clients is by having a simple conversation, right?
Whether it's some kind of free consultation, discovery session, or enrollment conversation -- through technology like Skype and Zoom, by getting on the phone with them, or even face-to-face conversations.
Are we getting warm yet?
So, as as a business owner with this kind of business model, how do you get *more* clients and make more money?
Easy: you have AS MANY initial consultations or enrollment conversations as you possibly can.
So, if that's the way you make money, it make total, no-brainer sense that most of your marketing efforts should TOTALLY be talking to leads and scheduling that initial free consultation?
Most business owners like this would dedicate a day or two a week to having sales or enrollment conversations, and the rest to actually doing the work of the business.
So let me ask you -- where could a podcast fit here?
I mean, I get it.
On today's Internet, we're told we MUST build a list. We're told that we MUST HAVE a podcast. AND be on social media. And do all these things.
But... if you only make money when you get on the phone with people, then a podcast will most likely bankrupt you, for FOUR big reasons:
- instead of getting people on your CALENDAR, your website will now be asking visitors to subscribe to your podcast and maybe 1% will. Newsflash: not all of us are podcast listeners, or even in the market for a new podcast. This is where you'll lose the MOST amount of money. So you'll immediately start to feel the "pinch".
- the time you would have invested into having enrollment conversations is now taken up by your podcast -- researching, recording, interviewing and creating your new episodes. (You're *still* not making money, ugh)
- now your after-hours time will be sunk into marketing and promotion for your podcast to try to get the word out (and you're *still* not making money, and you're at your desk at 10pm)
- finally you publish your new podcast (which of course doesn't in itself bring in new clients) because FIRST, someone needs to listen to it, and SECOND, they have to be impressed enough to want to contact you to hire you, which is notoriously difficult to do -- even for the experts
- so you're back to marketing your podcast, competing against all the other podcasts, creating new episodes, in the hope you can attract enough listeners so that you turn a few of them into clients ... when you could have been having a handful of conversations a week, and turning a large proportion of them into paying customers.
I see so many business owners doing these "indirect marketing activities" INSTEAD of just keeping it real and getting on the phone with people (which is, at your stage of business, the fastest, easiest, most direct path to clients), and as a result, they really struggle to make sales.
I get it -- the podcast business model is super-sexy. Who doesn't want to be the voice of authority, at the top of the podcast charts and watching the clients roll in.
But it's a fantasy that the "gurus" are selling you.
The reality is that podcasting isn't a business growth strategy that can work when you're at less than $1MM in yearly revenue.
There's 2 reasons I can think of that they do this:
First: it's because that's where they were when they first started to make big money. And for some gurus it's easy to develop amnesia about how they actually got there -- because it's not nearly as sexy as teaching the big money stuff.
And the second possible reason is that these are the tactics and strategies that are working for them NOW, not the strategies that got them there.
So if you're ever in doubt about whether to buy a course or program from someone who's promising big results, ask yourself and even ask THEM -- are these strategies that are working for them NOW in their business?
Or are they strategies and tactics that GOT them to where they are now?
And always remember that you can't make money in your sleep until you know how to make money while you're awake. :)