Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Launch a Podcast and Get 100,000 Downloads a Month with John Dumas

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JohnDumasHeadshot

Have you ever thought about launching your own podcast but aren’t sure where to start?

Would you like to build a reputation as a thought leader in your niche?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by John Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire.com and in this interview you are going to hear John and I discuss:

  • why he started his show
  • his monetization plan
  • what he did to achieve 100,000 downloads a month so fast
  • how he got his explainer video produced
  • how he finds and recruits his guests
  • how he hosts his show
  • how he creates feeder podcasts to massively boost his exposure in the iTunes store
  • which parts of his business he outsources
  • his favorite tool for getting options from video
  • which tools he uses to record and edit his show
  • and so much more..

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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Transcript

Trent: Hey there, Bright Idea Hunters, welcome to the Bright Ideas
podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast for business
owners and entrepreneurs who want to know how to use online marketing and
sales automation tactics to massively boost their business. And to make
that happen, I bring interesting, smart, experienced guests on the show.
And on the show with me today is a fellow by the name of John, and I hope I
pronounce this correctly, is is Dumas?John: Dumas.Trent: Dumas, Dumas. All right.John: Right. I want to make sure you got it.Trent: John is the guy behind Entrepreneur on Fire, and he is also an
ex-serviceman, so maybe he’ll tell us a little bit more about that when I
hand it over to him here in a second, so John, welcome to the show.

John: Thanks, Trent, excited to be here.

Trent: So for folks who don’t know who you are yet, maybe you can tell
us a little bit who are you and what you do, what’s all this Entrepreneur
on Fire thing all about.

John: Sure, I’ll give you the quick background. Do you want me to go who I
am, or just Entrepreneur on Fire?

Trent: Oh no, no, no, who you are first.

John: So grew up in Southern Maine for the first 18 years of my life, then
I went to Providence College on an ROTC scholarship, where I spent four
years as a cadet and student. Then I graduated 2002 at 22, and was
immediately commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army, where I
spent the next four years as an active duty officer. Highlighted by a 13
month tour of duty in Iraq as an armor platoon leader, which means I was in
charge of four tanks and sixteen men, in Fallujah, Ar Ramadi, in Habbaniyah
[sounds like 2:03]. And in 2006, my active duty component was over, so I
entered the Reserves, and spent the next four years, a bunch of that time I
was traveling in Guatemala, India, and Nepal.

Then I started to get serious, and I started law school, but that
wasn’t exactly for me, so I jumped ship after one semester and got into
finance, corporate finance with John Hancock in Boston, which was great for
a couple years. Then I moved into an internet startup company in New York
City, which was a very good experience for about six months, until that
folded.

So then I decided to take off for the Gold Coast out in California,
San Diego specifically, where I spent a couple years out there as a
residential real estate guy, and then I moved back to Maine, almost two
years ago now, to take a job as a commercial broker with a local firm here
in Maine. So it’s my first return back to Maine after being gone for 13
years after I graduated high school, so it’s kind of a cool homecoming. And
I spent a year as a commercial real estate broker, but then just in June of
2012, I’ve really kind of had my own entrepreneurial aha moment. I was
driving around, realizing there was a niche that needed to be filled, so I
turned in my paperwork in June of that year, and started Entrepreneur on
Fire.

Trent: Very cool. So I get, the reason that I wanted to have you on
this show is, I get a lot of people that e-mail me to say, you know, like,
‘I want to start my own show? How do I start my own show? What’s involved?
I like this interview model.’ and I thought, rather than explain myself,
I’d bring somebody else on who is doing the same thing as me. So we’re
going to get down and dirty, and I’m going to ask all the tough questions,
because I know there is a whole bunch of people who want answers to, you
know, ‘Is this a viable business? Can you make any money doing this, and
how do you set it up, and how do you get it going?’ So first off, are you
making any money yet?

John: Making some money, it’s not enough to retire early, but there is a
pretty steady stream of income coming in through different areas, such as
affiliate, and different sponsorships I’ve been setting up.

Trent: Okay.

John: So you definitely can make money in this, but not something that you
can just turn on on day one.

Trent: Correct. It does not happen overnight. So anyone who thinks you
can start your own podcast to make money in your first month, probably not.
I mean, you might make some money, of course, but probably not the most
realistic goal. You really need to have kind of a longer term view and a
longer term strategy, and I’m happy to share what mine is, but I’m curious
as to what yours is. Before we talk about, you know, how you create the
episodes and all that stuff. What is your monetization plan? Because you
don’t do this without a monetization plan.

John: You don’t. One reason why I really believe I was able to jump on the
scene with Entrepreneur on Fire, and so quickly gain such a large audience
and a large following is for a number of reasons, but one of those being
that there is a niche that needs to be filled. That niche was, Entrepreneur
on Fire is the only daily podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring
successful entrepreneurs. I knew that there was a lot of people out there
like myself, who are driving to work, who are exercising daily, that who
just really love and enjoy a fresh podcast, waiting for them every morning
when they woke up, so Entrepreneur on Fire was officially launched on
September of 2012, I had 40 episodes backlogged to make sure I was ready
for it. Since then it’s grown to garnering over 100,000 downloads every
single month in over 100 countries, and one reason I believe I was able to
jump into that niche so quickly is getting some monetization aspect of this
is that there’s no real clear path for a podcast to monetize.

It comes from with what you do with that podcast, which is grow an
audience, and actually today an Entrepreneur on Fire, MJ DeMarco of the
Fastlane Millionaire, his interview on my show went live, and his quote
that I really took, back when I interviewed him a couple months ago, it
really adds one of the major driving visions of Entrepreneur on Fire, is
that if you want to make millions, you need to inspire millions. And
literally if you look at my tagline on iTunes or Stitcher Radio for
Entrepreneur on Fire, right at the bottom my tagline is, Inspiring
Millions, because that is the goal of Entrepreneur on Fire, is to inspire
millions, and then everything else as far as monetization, I know, will
fall into place from that. And one reason for me, I was very fortunate with
some of my past business successes, I didn’t need to monetize Entrepreneur
on Fire from day one, and I haven’t really tried to do that. I’ve really
just been trying to build the highest quality, best podcast possible,
knowing that my audience, and the growth of it, will lead to bigger and
better things.

Trent: Very true, very true. So 100,000 a month within a couple of
months, that’s an awful lot of downloads. Was there anything particular
that you, aside from creating really great content that people love to
hear, and aside from producing an episode every single day, we’re going to
talk more about the behind the scene mechanics of that in a bit. Is there
anything else that you did that you think contributed to such a high volume
of downloads in a relatively short period of time?

John: I really subscribe to Michael Hyatt’s philosophy in his book that
came out recently called Platform, and so I really focused back in June
when I was starting. I just wasn’t going to start recording episodes and
then launching them, I really wanted to make sure I had my platform in
place. So I made sure that all of my social media was squared away, my
website was squared away, everything was ready, so that once Entrepreneur
on Fire went live as a podcast, people saw that it just wasn’t an interview
show, but it was an actual viable business, it really had all the blocks
squared.

And I actually have three full-time virtual assistants who help run
Entrepreneur on Fire, each of them are working 40 hours a week in different
capacities, one is my social media manager, another girl does all my admin
and designs, and another girl literally works 40 hours a week doing all the
transcribing of the podcast. So I really built this entire platform, so
that once people saw what Entrepreneur on Fire was all about, and they saw
that my pledge was to come with a daily podcast, and they saw the backing
platform behind it, they trusted that. And they began to know like and
trust me and my brand that I was building, and that just keeps them coming
back on a daily basis, which really keeps those download numbers steady and
a snowball effect, as more and more people are learning about it every
single day.

Trent: Now do you give a particular call to action in each one of your
episodes, do you think that causes any type of viralocity, you ask people
to go to the iTunes store and give the show a rating, there must, because I
know I have a certain call to action, and anyone who listens to my show
knows what it is, I don’t need to explain it here again, it will be at the
end, just listen.

John: I have called to actions in every intro and every outro. I have
changed throughout my show. I now have, as of today, 94 episodes have gone
live, and again, that goes up by one every single day, literally, I’ve done
over 150, in total now, that are in the, quote/unquote, queue, and I do
change up my call to actions, because I really have different messages that
I want to get across to my audience as my business grows, and as I develop
different products or different services.

So I’m always changing my intros and outros, but they always do have
that call to action, and a consistent one definitely is a rating and review
in iTtunes, or a favorite and a like in Stitcher, and because of that,
Entrepreneur on Fire has over 200 five star rating in iTunes, which is an
incredibly high number for such a young podcast, especially if you compare
it to some other podcasts that’s been out for years, that haven’t focused
on that, and therefore don’t have nearly as many.

Trent: So you mentioned Stitcher, and I have to confess, this is the
first I have ever heard of Stitcher . . .

John: What?

Trent: . . . so why don’t you tell us what that is, yeah?

John: Stitcher Radio is the savior for all podcasters. They are taking
podcasting to the next level on every single level. I just got back from
New Media Expo by Blogworld in Las Vegas, where I was asked to speak on the
podcasting track, on the state of podcasting, and about Entrepreneur on
Fire specifically. But one area that I did focus on, and they were there
representing themselves, was Stitcher Radio, who have, if you go to
Stitcher, I think it’s stitcher.com, or maybe StitcherRadio.com, they have
. . .

Trent: Stitcher.com

John: . . . stitcher.com, like the best app of 2012, and all they do are
stream podcasts. You don’t need to download, it’s just streaming, but their
sole focus is on podcast, and the podcasting state in general, and the most
exciting thing they’d done, Trent, they’ve actually inked deals with Ford,
with BMW, with Chevrolet. Stitcher Radio is going into the dashboard of
these cars in 2013, so just like SiriusXM Radio, you can just turn to that
dial, you can do this thing now with Stitch Radio and go to Entrepreneur on
Fire, and go to Bright Ideas, and have that streaming in your car radio, no
longer porting your little iPod to your car, tuning your FM station, or
plugging into your outlet.

Trent: Very cool, you can bet I will be signing up for Stitcher very
soon.

John: They’re amazing.

Trent: Now to upload to Stitcher, like I use a plugin Blueberry that
automatically, just as soon as I publish a post containing an audiofile,
puts it up to iTunes for me, it’s very painless. Is there a similar plugin
to upload your stuff to Stitcher?

John: You give them your RSS feed, the same one that you have, and it’s
automatic.

Trent: Nice, okay, easy as pie.

John: Yep.

Trent: All right. So let’s talk a little bit about some more of the
nuts and bolts, some things that I want to know the answers to. So you have
a pretty decent explainer video on your site, and for people who don’t know
what an explainer video is, go to entrepreneuronfire.com, and you’ll find
the explainer video. It basically explains what the show is all about. I
like your explainer video, where did you get that done?

John: Thank you. I worked very hard on that, because back in June of 2012,
just when I was starting, I was at the prior New Media Expo, which was in
New York City, and there was a speech by Jason Van Houten about coming up
with your avatar, your target audience, who do you really want to be
speaking to with your business, with your brand. So I came back from that
and say, you know, I really want to build who I think I’m speaking to as
Entrepreneur on Fire, as a founder and host, of this podcast. So I went out
and I found a company, and they’re called Piehole.tv that’s the name of
the website, and Priscilla, specifically, became my point of contact, and
we developed a script with complete visuals, voice overs, music, it
explained exactly who Entrepreneur on Fire was speaking to, and for me it
was this guy who I call ‘Jimmy’. And Jimmy was a guy that woke up in the
morning, who’s about to drive to work, he hated to drive because the radio
was horrible with Miley Cyrus and talk radio, he just couldn’t figure it
out, there are so many commercials. But then he found Entrepreneur on Fire,
and his commute to work and his daily exercise regimen just took a turn for
the better, because now he is consuming this passionate, motivational,
inspirational content, and it showed kind of his journey, after he found
Entrepreneur on Fire, climbing the mountain of success, and then driving
off into the sunset of inspiration, so to speak, so it was a really fun
video to make. It’s 60 seconds long, and it really helped me nail down who
I wanted to speak to. It was a lot of fun doing it, and I think it’s a big
help for people that kind of land on my site, not really knowing why they
did or what Entrepreneur on Fire really is all about, in 60 seconds it
really sums it up quite well.

Trent: And how much did you have to spend to get it made?

John: It was $3,500.

Trent: Okay. Now I imagine you probably get analytics on the drop-off
rate of that video, and I’m curious because I use a self-recorded, you
know, me in front of the camera video, and I don’t, one of the questions I
don’t have the answer to, because I look at my drop-off rate, and, you
know, it kind of goes down and then tapers off like most every other video
I’ve ever produced, and what I can’t figure out, because I get most of my
opt-ins from the home page, is A, does the video suck so badly that people
don’t want to watch it? or B, or is it so good they’re opting in before
it’s over? So with your . . .

John: You know, it’s probably the prior, but I can tell you what, have you
ever heard of LeadPlayer?

Trent: LeadPlayer? I’ve heard of it, I’ve never used it.

John: So my buddy Clay Collins developed LeadPlayer, which is incredible,
so you can use LeadPlayer on your website, and above, whenever you find
that drop-off rate starting, right before that drop-off rate, you can have
a pop opt-in box, and that will increase your conversions hundreds and
hundreds of percent.

Trent: Does that only work with You-tube videos, or does that work
with any video?

John: So it works with, I’m pretty sure it works with any video, but how it
works is it’s actually a widget on WordPress, as you download into your
Wordpress, and then it streams through YouTube on your site, and you can
customize everything about when that pop in, when that pop up, coming up,
etc, whatever, and what it says, and I think that they do integrate with
Vimeo and some others, I’m not positive, but YouTube for sure.

Trent: Yeah, well, it’s easy enough to change the video place holder
and put a YouTube video instead of my [inaudible 16:26].

John: Well, you should have it on YouTube anyways, because that’s the place
that, you know, people can just, can be searching for Trent, or for Bright
Ideas, and they come across that video, that should be available on YouTube
as well.

Trent: Yeah. Now I notice that you don’t do audio, or at least that I
was able to find, you only do, sorry, you don’t do video of your interviews
like I do, you only do audio, is there a reason for that, production cost?

John: Well, the reason for that really right now is because the focus of
Entrepreneur on Fire is just to produce a daily audio podcast for that
avatar, for that person who is driving to work, or just running along the
boardwalk, or walking their dog. However, I know the power of video, it is
something I absolutely want to integrate into Entrepreneur on Fire, and I’m
still like putting together the pieces, and giving my assistants more
[inaudible 17:16], or if I have the time to be able to set something like
this up, so you are definitely going to be seeing video become a major part
of Entrepreneur on Fire in the future.

Trent: Okay. All right. What’s next on my list, how do you find your
guests?

John: That is a very consistent question that I get, because especially
doing a daily podcast, I have people saying, ‘John, you are going to get
burnt out, you are going to run out of guests, you are going to burn out
your audience members’ and I kept getting this over and over again, and
none of this has come to fruition for a number of reasons. For one, when
people like look at me as doing a daily podcast, I literally do, it’s a
very taxing day, and I work really hard, and I’m very exhausted by the end
of it, but I do 8 to 10 interviews every single Monday, and that’s it. I do
nothing else the rest of the week when it comes to recording and editing my
podcast. So yes, it’s one very painful and long day, but I have Tuesday
through Friday, Saturday and Sunday if I’m working on the weekends, to do
all the other aspects of my business, and to rest and to recuperate, so
there’s been anything but burnout on my end.

And as far as finding guests, I literally have such a long list of
guests that I still want to reach out to, in the thousands, literally,
every time I get my Entrepreneur, Inc., or Fast Company Magazine, I’m
overwhelmed by the amount of people that I want to have on my show, every
time I watch Shark Tank, I get multiple e-mails every single day from
entrepreneurs themselves, or from PR firms, promoting their entrepreneur or
their client to be on Entrepreneur on Fire, just because, again, they’re
reaching an incredibly massive audience over, now as of, literally the last
couple of weeks, Entrepreneur on Fire has been downloaded at over 5,000
downloads every single day. So we’re more like a 120,000 clip for the
course of a month, again, in a hundred countries.

So I’m just getting inundated with people reaching out to me, and
just me seeing people out there in the universe, there’s an endless supply,
I just gave a ton of resources that I do currently use on another really
great one that I don’t utilize, because I just don’t YouTube, but I know
it’s there if I ever need to for whatever reason, it’s called Haro, H-A-R-
O, .com, Help a Reporter Out. And that is, I know Trent you said you don’t
what a, that is will be just the listeners that may not, you can literally
post a query. Like a month ago, I launched another podcast called The Great
Business Experiment. Kickstarter, where I interview ten successful
Kickstarter campaigners, and we talked about their kickstart in campaigns,
and what made it successful, and the failures that they had, and what they
would do differently if they could. And it was so easy for me to find these
10 people, they ran Successful Kickstarter Campaigns after I came up with
the idea for The Great Business Experiment Kickstarter, because I just
hosted this query on Haro that said, ‘This is what I’m doing, this is what
I’m looking for, I would love to hear from you.’ And I got 30 e-mails
within an hour of all great candidates, of which I cut it down to ten,
reached out to them, scheduled ten interviews for one day, recorded all ten
interviews, had the podcast up and live two days later, and it ran for,
well it’s now on its sixth or seventh week as a podcast, still number one
in the iTtunes new and noteworthy section, just getting a ton of downloads
and getting a lot of exposure to my brand, and to Entrepreneur on Fire as
well, which is my feeder podcast. So there’s a plethora of ways to get
quality people for any industry, so that’s a great hint for listeners that
are looking for gardeners, or scuba divers, or cat lovers.

Trent: Yeah, in the entrepreneur space, just think about how many
companies are being started every year. You could do ten interviews a day
and never run out of people, it is endless. I am so far behind in the
number of interviews that I’ve recorded versus the number I need to
publish. It’s not a problem, trust me, finding guests is not a difficult
thing to do.

John: But it’s everybody’s biggest fear when they start.

Trent: Yeah. So you mentioned this other podcast, are you planning on
continuing to produce episodes for both of these podcasts on an ongoing
basis?

John: No. So Entrepreneur on Fire will continue to be a daily podcast, the
Great Business Experiment Kickstarter was just a series of ten podcasts
that I’ve released, that’s now number one in the iTunes New and Noteworthy
section, which is by far the best real estate in the entire iTunes podcast
store. So that podcast will run for eight weeks, it will remain in that
unbelievable real estate at the top of iTunes New and Noteworthy, where my
intro says, ‘If you like this series of podcasts, absolutely check out
Entrepreneur on Fire, which is my daily show.’ At the end of those eight
weeks, I’m going to come out with another Great Business Experiment, which
is going to be The Dark Side of Groupon, where I’ve interviewed ten
companies that have horrible Groupon experiences, some of which lost their
companies because of it, and then that will run for eight weeks. And again,
eight weeks trend is the time frame that I use, because that’s the longest
you can be in iTunes New and Noteworthy, then you drop off into the abyss
of the thousands and thousands of podcasts that are there, so you can
really take advantage of the eight weeks you launch your podcast, to have
this incredible real estate, boom, people first log into iTunes, there’s
your podcast, and for me, I’m using it as a way for people to get great
content, but also find out about Entrepreneur on Fire.

Trent: Now I got into the New and Noteworthy section with Bright
Ideas, I honestly don’t have a clue what I did to get there. Do you have a
specific, repeatable strategy, because I’d love to hear it.

John: So it’s not difficult at all to get into the iTunes New and
Noteworthy. They allow the top 100 new podcasts, which means for iTunes
less than eight months from the published date, are considered new and
noteworthy, and they publish, or they promote the top 100 for those eight
weeks. There are really, really few podcasts that come out on a daily
basis, and especially there are really few, very serious podcasts that come
out on a very consistent basis, so it’s extremely easy to, A, get into the
New and Noteworthy, and then B, once you get there, you are literally in
the best real estate of the iTunes store. So people are searching, going to
the iTunes store to organically look for content, and they’re finding you,
and they’re subscribing, and that’s just kind of continuing the snowball
effect.

So the way to do it, is when you launch your podcast, you want to
launch with a minimum of three podcasts on day one. If you’re going to do a
weekly show, you need to launch with three podcasts, and then explain in
the intro, that you will be coming out with a weekly podcast every Friday,
every Tuesday, whenever it is. But right now you have three to begin, and
then form this point forth, this is going to be your consistency. And then
you need to reach out to everybody to your list, to your friends, to your
family, in the intro of these podcasts, and say, listen, I really need you
guys to take a second and to rate and review this specific podcast, because
the iTunes algorithm is number of downloads, ratings, and reviews, and
subscribers. So when you have three podcasts, someone is much more likely
to, ‘subscribe’, because they’re going to see three, than if they’re just
seeing one, they’re just going to press the play button and listen to that
one, and not become a subscriber. And then there’s also a math equation in
there. If you have a hundred downloaders in the first week of one podcast,
that’s one hundred. But if you have three up there, everybody presses the
‘download all’, just because there’s a button right there, makes it simple,
you’re going to have 300 downloads, and then you’re going to organically
move up in the rankings because of that, with your ratings and reviews,
helping you out as well, and people are going to find you, and your
snowball effect is going to continue to bring you up to the front, and
that’s exactly the methodology I used for the Great Business Experiment,
Kickstarter.

Trent: So you’re, it sounds like then you’re planning on every eight
weeks to launch another podcast, just to get this piece of real estate to
use it as a feeder podcast for your main show.

John: Absolutely.

Trent: And when you do that, because you need an RSS feed, do you just
do like a new domain and a basic WordPress install as a place to give you a
feed, and you don’t really build out the site because you’re not thinking
people are going to go there, or how much of that periphery do you work on?

John: I use Libsyn.com, L-I-B-S-Y-N .com, which is short for short for
Liberated Syndication, as my media host. I host all of my media there for
Entrepreneur on Fire, and for The Great Business Experiment, Kickstarter. I
only copy the download link from Libsyn and post it in Blueberry, the
PowerPress, of my widgets, so I don’t host anything on
entrepreneuronfire.com, it’s all hosted through Libsyn. So when I published
a new podcast, I just start a new RSS feed, a new podcast within the Libsyn
community, and then publish that RSS feed to iTunes, to Stitcher Radio, so
it’s all within Libsyn, it has nothing to do with my website.

Trent: Okay, so the blueberry plugin has really nothing to do with
starting these extra episodes, or the new show, it’s just all within the
confines of Libsyn. Libsyn gives you the RSS feed, and then you publish to
Stitcher and iTunes.

John: Absolutely.

Trent: Saves a lot of work, you don’t have to build a site, you don’t
have to register another domain, branding, logos, all that other stuff.

John: Exactly.

Trent: Well there it is, there’s Trent’s golden nugget right there,
love getting the golden nugget in the show, that is. Fantastic, thank you
for that.

All right, I want to ask you now, so which gets more traffic at this
point, your website or your podcast in terms of downloads in iTunes?

John: So Entrepreneur on Fire is getting between 4,000 to 5,000 downloads
every single day, just from the iTunes Store. Stitcher Radio has their own
set of statistics, which you’ll find very interesting, Trent, because
they’re extremely specific. You can see the average time per listen, what
percentage people are dropping off at, the percentage of people that
actually start and finish pod, they have incredible statistics at Stitcher
Radio. And Entrepreneur on Fire is a really good way to look at exactly
what just a podcast can do for a website, because I have nothing else.
Entrepreneur on Fire is just the headquarters for my podcast, Entrepreneur
on Fire, and my website right now is getting about 600 unique visitors
every single day to it, and that’s solely being driven from Entrepreneur on
Fire, the podcasts.

Trent: Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought, because my downloads are
far, far, far higher in iTunes than they are on the website themselves. All
right, so do you find then that you’re having success in converting, like
how big is your list, your subscriber list so far? Because that’s a key
part of monetization. If you don’t have a list, it’s really difficult to
monetize.

John: That needs to be everybody’s first step, is when they’re building a
platform, they have right, front, and center, there call to action on their
website, is a great giveaway, or a great reason for somebody to subscribe
to their e-mail list. Entrepreneurs on Fire had a very average one for
about the first three months of my site, just when I got back from New
Media Expo, I was collaborating with some people out there like Pat Flim,
Jaime Tardy of Eventual Millionaires, some other people in that area, and
they gave me a great idea to publish an ebook of the top ten insights from
the top ten Entrepreneur on Fire interviewees. So I created this ebook that
features Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, Chris Grogan, Seth
Goden, Gary Vaynerchuk, people who I’ve had on my show, who have given
great insights to Fire Nation, and I’ve condensed it into ebook, and now
right at the front center of my website, you see that, one of the first
things you see is join Fire Nation and receive my ebook. And so, before
that, I was getting pretty much between 15 to 25 e-mail subscribers every
single day, which was great, because I did have a good giveaway. But since
I’ve done that, and really mean a great giveaway, I’m getting over 30 e-
mail subscribers, and sometimes it’s into the forties and fifties every
single day, which has grown my e-mail subscriber list in just over three
and a half months, to about 1,200 plus subscribers.

Trent: Nice, very nice. All right, now you also have, we’re kind of
going back to monetization here, because these are all just questions that
I want answers to. You’ve got this coaching button, anybody buying those
coaching packages off you?

John: Yep, so again, when I started Entrepreneur on Fire, it was all about
focusing on building a leverage-able scalable business in a brand,
Entrepreneur on Fire, that was going to reach millions of people. So I’m
not in the business of trading time for dollars, that’s never been
something I’ve wanted to do, and because of my past successes in business,
it’s not something I have to do currently. So I accepted four people to be
coached by myself, and just actually this past January, one spot opened up,
which is why I reopened that coaching slot, but it’s actually already been
filled, so I need to close it back down now. So I have four people who I do
mentor on an ongoing monthly basis, so that is one way that I’m really kind
of engaging with my target audience, and really learning, from my aspect,
exactly what their pains and struggles are, so I can continue to provide
products and services for Fire Nation as a whole. But yeah, coaching is not
a focus, it’s not an area that I’m going into anymore than I already am in,
and just been enjoyable interacting, you know, one on one basis, on a
limited level, where the Fire Nation dance.

Trent: And what type of people are these people who are signing up for
coaching? Are they people who aspire to have a show, or are they business
owners that are looking to gain insight into growing an existing business?

John: Three of the people are looking to produce their own podcasts, I’m
giving them a lot of assistance there. One person is not really
specifically looking for a podcast anytime soon, but they’re going to be
having a blog and things along those lines, and they don’t currently have a
business, but they’re looking to become an entrepreneur, and to start their
first business.

Trent: Okay. So let’s go and talk about your virtual assistants, and
your post production process, because I’m curious as to how yours may be
similar or different than mine. Mine, I’ll explain very quickly, it’s
pretty darn easy. I use GoToMeeting, which we’re in right now, HDFaces,
which is, I think, about a hundred bucks a month for this piece of
software. I record the screen with ScreenFlow, I have a pre-roll and a post-
roll that I got off of Fiverr, so as soon as I’m done the episodes,
ScreenFlow saves the media file, I drop in my pre-roll and my post-roll as
soon as I’m done the interview, I do my little call to action, and I can
literally have the, and so then I save it all, I peel out the Mp3, that
goes into garage brand, because I put a different pre-roll and post-roll
for my audio file than I do for my video file, because video is visual,
audio is obviously for your ears, and I can have all of that stuff done
completely two versions, video and audio, edited and ready for upload in
about 20 minutes. And I was going to have a VA do that, but because I’m on
a Mac platform, most VA overseas don’t use Macs, which was going to
introduce a whole layer of extra complexity. Because they all a .mov file,
and ScreenFlow, you would have to actually export it, and then upload it to
Dropbox, and then they could down . . . by the time I’ve messed around with
all that, it was just quicker to edit it myself. How’s it different for
you, or how is it similar for you?

John: So what I use is Adobe Audition in Skype. So every single Monday
morning, my interview start a 8:00 a.m., and I have between 8:00 to 10:00,
running every 75 minutes. So somebody will call in, or I will call somebody
via Skype, I’m going to have Adobe Audition, which is the recording
software that I use, up and ready to receive. I have my little pre-chat
intro, and then I literally hit the record button, and then we’re talking
for the next 25 to 35 minutes, recording directly into Adobe Audition,
through Skype, and then when it’s done I’m hitting the stop button, and
then I’m actually just exporting that, as what’s called an SESX file, it’s
a session file, and I’m saving that for the future, because again, I’m
actually at a two month buffer right now, so I’m not immediately converting
anything.

Then at the end of that Monday, I do have these eight to ten
interviews that are complete, and I do personally go back, because at this
point, I’m just very conscious of releasing only the highest quality audio
and the best possible show that I can, so I do go back, and if there is any
talking over each other, I record on a separate tracks so I can take that
out, any excessive ums and ahs, or background noise, I can silence out, and
I make it a really tight, clean, audio version of it, save it once again as
a final SESX file, and then I just store it Dropbox for when I get to that
point, a week or two out, for when that show is going to go live. Then I
take it back out, whatever my intro and outro was going to be at that time,
whatever call to actions I’ve decided that I want to use at that specific
date, I will implement, convert it into an Mp3, upload it with the artwork
and all these show notes, and the titles, etc, to Libsyn, and schedule its
release. And so right now I have the next ten episodes are scheduled to be
released on Libsyn at 3:00 a.m. every single morning, so I can literally go
to Tahiti for ten days and come back, and each one of those ten episodes
will automatically release, corresponding with Entrepreneur on Fire where I
have show notes up every page, going be published at 3:00 a.m. the exact
same time. So as soon as that podcast is released from Libsyn to go live to
Stitcher and iTunes, and Zune Radio, which is Microsoft, my blog is also
being released and going live on my website.

Trent: And you have to schedule Libsyn, and you have to schedule your
post in WordPress, the two don’t, one does not talk to the other, there is
no sync there, is there?

John: No, they do not talk to each other.

Trent: Okay. It’s interesting that you delay the, it’s a good idea,
actually, that you delay the final editing, so you know what the call to
action is going to be, because you have that buffer, and that’s a good idea
for me, because I’ve been putting them in the can right away, as soon as
I’m done, because I use a fairly standard call to action at the end, and it
doesn’t allow me the flexibility to know what I might want to talk about
at, closer to when that episode is going to publish, so I might have to
switch up my strategy a little bit.

Now with Adobe Audition, that piece of software runs on Mac or PC?

John: Yes.

Trent: Okay, so that helps with the, if you want to outsource, most
outsourcers using PCs, so you wouldn’t have the issue that I have in using
ScreenFlow. There was one other question I wanted to ask you, and now it’s
slipped away into oblivion, so hopefully it will pop back into my mind a
little later on. Oh yeah, when you replay, I mean, you got eight episodes
that you’re doing on a Monday, and you’re going to listen to them all again
to remove ums and ahs? For folks that are only listening to the audio
version of this, and you didn’t see the image of John basically just held
his fingers to his head like a pistol, and more or less metaphorically said
he’s crazy, which I agree. You’re out of your mind, man, that’s way too
much work.

John: I am, although I will have to be honest on one point, is that I
really am a big believer in keeping it as natural and the conversation
flowing as possible. So my Entrepreneur on Fire audio podcasts typically
run about 25% of me talking, and 75% of my guest talking, on average. It
differs, some’s 80/20, some’s 70/30, what have you. I pretty much just keep
whatever my guest is saying, completely normal. Most of my guests are very
well-spoken, they know what they’re doing. What I’m mostly doing is going
through my audio because for one, it really improves me as an interviewer
and as a speaker, to hear myself speak, and to see the little ums, ahs,
ands, so’s that I’m really saying, and these maybe repetitive words like
awesome, or wicked, cool, because I’m from Maine, you know, things along
those lines that, you know, things that just really crop up again, and
again, so that improves my self-speaking, and it’s only about 25% of that
30 minute audio. And another thing that I really just do is sometimes you
ask questions, and I tell my interviewees take as long as they want to
think of an answer, so it’s normally not that long, maybe it’s five, six
seconds. That kind of sounds like a lot of dead air when you’re listening
to it in the car, so I can just very quickly, it’s called a ripple delete,
it just zips those right together so it almost seems like a seamless
answer. So I would say each time I do an interview, and I’m editing that
interview, it probably takes me 20 minutes to do a complete edit, which is
still a significant amount of time, when you’re realizing that I’m doing
eight of these in one day. But it’s not like I’m sitting there listening to
the entire interview, I’m really skipping over those big chunks, of when my
guests are giving these long, great answers, I’m not listening to that at
all.

Trent: You’re the only one that I have talked to in our space that
does that. I don’t think Jaime does that, I know Andrew over at Mixergy, I
know he doesn’t do that, because I’ve been on the show, and he’s like
super, super minimal on what he does, they don’t even put links to their
website’s guest on the actual post, sorry, yeah.

John: Most people are very proud about the fact that they don’t edit, and I
am very proud of the fact that I produce the highest quality podcast on a
daily basis that I can possible do.

Trent: Yeah. Well, good on you, because we all got to have our
differentiators, right?

John: Yeah.

Trent: All right. So last three questions. What are you most excited
about for 2013?

John: Podcasting. Like I said, I went to New Media Expo in June as a, well,
as an attendee, I guess is the best word, and attended all the podcasting
tracks in New York City, and it was good, but there wasn’t really that much
excitement, and I was fortunate enough to be to attend New Media Expo in
Las Vegas this past January of 2013 as a speaker. I don’t know, if you
wave, if you wanted me to . . .

Trent: No, no, there’s a fly flying around my mouth, and I’m trying to
swat the damn thing away.

John: In the podcasting track, see I would have edited that out, incredibly
smoothly, in my podcast, but it’s a kind of a cute little thing (?)

Trent: I won’t bother. I won’t bother.

John: And the podcasting tracks were packed. There were hundreds of people
at my speech, as a new podcaster, whereas is I was going with some of the
bigger podcasters six moths prior, and there was 22 people in the room, so
there is this certain buzz that’s going on about podcasting, people are
just realizing the reach, the accessibility, the passion, the targeted
content, on demands, smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi, they’re really seeing,
that both audio and video podcasting are just reaching an incredible amount
of people. I mean, a show, which is why I’m really excited to get into
video later on this year, is because now people can literally be looking
down at their smartphone on a train, and there’s great Wi-Fi, so they can
be streaming this video, without, you know, having to rely on 3G or 4G,
which probably would be a little choppy. It’s just really exciting where
that’s going, and the expanse that is happening. People are finding out for
the first time ever about podcasting every single day, and they’re falling
in love.

Trent: Yeah, yeah, I agree, I love it, I have no end of fun doing
these shows. I absolutely love having interesting guests on, having these
conversations, and they’re so easy to record and share, I think it’s a
wonderful medium. And now I’ll tell you, in my business life, never ever,
ever ever, did I think I’d be a talk show host.

John: Right, yeah, me neither. I mean, now, I had no experience.

Trent: No, definitely not. What books, or book, are you reading right
now?

John: So I just interviewed Robert Greene, who wrote the books 48 Laws of
Power, and his most recent release is Mastery. I was an American Studies
Major in college, I love history, and this guy goes back and talks about
the most historical figures . . .

Trent: Does he ever.

John: . . . of our world, I’m talking, you know, the Napoleons, the
Edisons, the Benjamin Franklins, you name it, it gives you a different
angle on these people’s lives that you can’t get in biographies or from
history books, and pulls out incredible life and business lessons. I love
his writing, he’s the most in-depth serious writer, I think, of our
generation in a lot of ways, and I can’t get enough of him. I love him.

Trent: I was stunned at what a dick Ben Franklin was. He, nobody liked
that guy, at least not initially.

John: He was just too serious, in like a real quick story, that Robert
tells that Benjamin Franklin went over to London to work in a press, and
they always had this beer fund, because they would take five beer …

Trent: Yeah, that’s what I was referring to.

John: And Ben’s like, ‘I’m not going to pay, I don’t drink, I’m not going
to pay my meager salary for you guys to drink and waste your time, let’s
get some work done.’ And all of a sudden he started seeing all these errors
coming up in his work that he’d already proofed, and he realized a valuable
lesson in life, you need to just accept certain things and become, and join
the herd in certain areas, otherwise you’re going to be sabotaged.

Trent: Yeah, yeah, and that’s, it was an interesting read for sure.
For people that want to get in touch with you, what is the easiest and best
way to do it, Twitter, e-mail, or your website, which one?

John: Entrepreneuronfire.com is definitely my headquarters, that’s where
everything happens, all of my podcasts are aired there, all my social media
platforms are easily linked to there. I know the word entrepreneur is very
difficult to spell, so I actually also own the domain eofire.com, which
will get you to my website, that’s a nice little short way of doing it. But
yeah, you can go there, check out the podcasts. You can go to iTunes and
just type in entrepreneur on fire, and you can subscribe to the podcast
right there, everything is very accessible, and I have everything linked up
on Entrepreneur on Fire for the home base, so that’s the first place I’d
say to go. And my e-mail is john@entrepreneuronfire.com I love getting e-
mails, so go ahead.

Trent: There you go. Well all right, John, thank you so much for being
on the show. I learned some really good things, got to go get myself a
Stitcher account, maybe delay my editing a little bit so I can put in some
more time-sensitive calls to action. And I’m not using Libsyn, but I’m
going to check that out, because the New and Noteworthy, right, if
definitely, when I got new and noteworthy, my downloads really, really took
off . . .

John: Oh yeah.

Trent: . . . and continued to do so, though I don’t think I’m in New
and Noteworthy anymore, maybe I am, I haven’t actually checked.

John: Because you produce good content that people stuck with.

Trent: Yeah, and then that’s another thing too, by the way, if you’re
listening to this, and you’re thinking of starting a show, people will
write you if you do a good show, people will write you all the time to
thank you for doing these shows. I guess they perceive that this must be a
great deal of work, and I guess the dirty little secret is it’s really not
that hard, I actually find it much easier to produce content this way than
I do to sit out and write a blog post, I think for me that’s a lot of work.
So if you’re thinking about doing it, go for it. It’s a lot of fun, you’re
going to meet a lot of interesting people, it’s the best networking tool on
the planet, as I’m sure you know. I mean, we get to have one one one
conversations with all these thought leaders that charge insane amounts of
money for their time, and they do it for us for free, because it gives them
exposure as well, and I think that’s, another one of the reasons why I
think it’s such a fantastic medium to use in your business.

John: I’m having Suze Orman on my show.

Trent: How did you make that happen?

John: I will give you the e-mail of her POC.

Trent: Cool, because I’d like to have her on too.

John: And for your listeners, Trent, they should know that you are going to
be a guest on Entrepreneur on Fire, and we get to hear your journey as an
entrepreneur, your failures, your aha moment, what you’re excited about
right now, your vision for the future, and of course, I’m going to put you
through the lightning round wringer of five, incredible questions that are
going to produce nuggets of invaluable information.

Trent: I will say this, if you want to hear about my failures, you’re
going to need longer than 35 minutes. So you’re going to have to take your
pick.

John: Oh, love it.

Trent: All right, thanks so much for being on the show, John. It’s
been a pleasure.

John: Thank you Trent, it’s been great.

Trent: To get access to the show notes for today’s episode, head over
to brightideas.co/29. Another URL that you’ll want to check out is
gotobrightideas.co/massive traffic, enter your e-mail address and you’ll be
given free access to the massive traffic toolbox, which is a compilation of
all of the best traffic generation ideas that have been shared with me, by
my guests here on Bright Ideas. If you’re a marketing agency owner, and you
want to get access to the 2013 Marketing Agency Industry Report, head over
to brightideas.co/2013 report, that’s 2013 report.

So I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, that wraps up another episode of the
podcast. If you really enjoyed today’s podcast, please head over to the
iTunes store and leave a five star rating, and as well as some comments and
feedback. Every time you do that, it helps the show to get more exposure,
and the more people that become aware of the Bright Ideas podcast, the more
entrepreneurs that we can help to massively boost their business. Thanks
very much for tuning in, I’ll see you in a future episode. Take care.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
Check us out on the web at brightideas.co

About John Dumas

JohnDumasHeadshotJohn Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a daily podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs. EntrepreneurOnFire tells the journey of the spotlighted guest, sharing their early failures, AHA! moments, and insight into what is working for them now and why. Every show ends with a 5-question “Lightning Round” that pulls priceless nuggets of information from these incredibly successful Entrepreneurs.

 

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  • I came to your website after I heard your interview with John Dumas of EOFire from his website. It was excellent. You had a lot of helpful information. Just now, within the first 5 mins of you interviewing him, (watching from your site now) you mentioned something very very important. I never had a word or term for it. “Monetization plan” Very cool. I will continue with the interview now.

    • Trent Dyrsmid

      Glad to hear you are finding instant value in our content 🙂