Podcasting has grown in popularity, and it’s no wonder that it’s an excellent method to share your knowledge and communicate with your audience. But how do you make money from a podcast? Our host Trent Dyrsmid has been in the podcasting field for over ten years and has made $1 million in revenue from podcasting in the last two years, and today, he shares his knowledge on how to make money while creating digital content.
In this episode, Trent talks about the challenges that new podcasters face. He looks back on the major blunders he made along the way to becoming a podcaster. Finally, he spills the beans on his million-dollar secret to a successful podcast.
Tune in to this episode to learn more about podcast monetization with Trent Dyrsmid!
Click here to read transcript
[01:19] Here is the five biggest mistakes that I’ve made over the last decade as the host of the Bright Ideas Podcast.
- Number one: not having an editorial calendar. In other words, just kind of taking an ad hoc approach and producing content about this, or about this, or about this. You don’t want to do that. You want to plan out your content in advance. Think about what it is that you’re trying to sell, when you want to sell it. If you do product launches, or things like that, you want to make sure that you’re producing episodes in an order that supports your monetization initiatives. The way to do that is to have an editorial calendar.
[02:06] Now, mistake number two is not producing content consistently.
- If you’re not producing a show every single week, or three days a week, or whatever it is that you tell your audience to expect, if you start missing out on that, they’re going to start tuning out. Many, many years ago, there was a lot less competition, and you could kind of get away with that, but not anymore. You need to be producing content on a regular basis. So how do you do that? Batch it. Build it into your schedule so that over a period — let’s say one week per quarter, or two weeks per quarter, that’s when you want to do all of your interviews and create all of your content, so that you have that content in your production queue, so that you can make sure that you’re publishing every single week, week after week after week.
[02:56] Mistake number three is your content is not niche specific enough.
- People want to be everything to everybody because they don’t want to exclude anybody. This doesn’t just apply to having a podcast or anything; it applies to your overall business. The moment you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you’re a generalist. When you’re a generalist, you really kind of appeal to no one, and you’re going to be commoditized. The way around that — and I have made this mistake extensively with my show. As a matter of fact, when I picked the name “Bright Ideas”, I picked a name that gave me the latitude to go all over the place, which in the beginning, I thought was a great idea, but in hindsight, if I was starting another show now, I would pick a much more specific name. Now fortunately, I can call it the “Bright Ideas eCommerce Podcast”. If I decided I don’t want to do e-commerce anymore, I could call it the “Bright Ideas SAS Podcast”. I do have the ability to make it niche.
- But my point here is this — make sure that you have a very focused audience in mind. Those are the people who you want to be in your community. Those are the people who you want to buy your products. Those are the people that your sponsors are going to want to get access to. So, super important to have a very specific audience in mind. That’s one of the reasons why—so we get sponsors from time to time for the show. I never reach out to any sponsors. They always approached me and I think we make about $40,000 or $50,000 a year — somewhere in that neighborhood, from sponsors that come in and buy our sponsorship packages, and I do absolutely nothing other than produce the show to attract those particular sponsors.
[04:52] Number four: doing audio-only and missing out on YouTube traffic.
- For years, and years, and years and years, my show was audio-only, and I don’t know why. In hindsight, maybe I just wasn’t paying it—probably, I just wasn’t paying attention. But absolutely, video is the way to go. Every single episode that I now record is recorded in a video format, and then my editor—God love them—strips the audio out for iTunes, and all the other places that don’t support video. But you absolutely want to make sure that you are capturing videos so that you can leverage YouTube because it can be a fantastic source of traffic for you.
[05:32] Then, number five — here we go. We will unfold that thumb now. Number five: relying on social media promotion to grow your show. What’s the problem with that?
- The problem is that if you’re just doing organic promotion, you’re only really showing your show to people who already follow you. That’s not going to do a whole lot to help you to grow your audience. To grow your audience, you need to use either paid social, or ideally, get yourself on other podcasts because if you think about even paid social, someone’s got to click an ad and then they’ve got to go on to their phone—there’s a bunch of clicks by the time for them to actually go from clicking that ad to actually listening to the episode. Whereas if you were, say, running an ad for just a landing page, it’s a lot less clicks. I don’t think I did a very good job of explaining that. Nonetheless, ads aren’t the most effective method for growing your show. What is much more effective is getting on other people’s shows because that way people you already know that they’re a podcast listener because they’re listening to somebody else’s show.
- This is another way that YouTube actually can be rather beneficial because your episodes can show up as recommended videos, and people might — while they’re surfing around on YouTube, see your episode and or maybe see a snippet or a clip from your episode, which I talked about in our Content Repurposing Modules — I don’t know why I’m calling it modules. I have other videos and other content on content repurposing, and that’s where we cover that. By the way, if you want to learn more about content repurposing, in the Flowster Marketplace. We actually have an entire playbook for that. We’ll put a link to that in the description of this video because it makes the content repurposing really, really easy. To sum up, make sure that you’re relying on more than organic social media promotion.
[07:31] Then, mistake number five — number six. Man, I can’t even count today. Number six is not repurposing your content.
- For years, I also did this. I would produce an episode, and it would get shared on Twitter a couple of times, and it would get shared on LinkedIn a couple of times, and it would get shared on Facebook a couple of times, but that was really it. Then, we kind of went on to do the next episode. Now, thanks to this Content Repurposing Playbook that we have available — Social Media Video Content Engine, that’s the name for it in the Flowster Marketplace. That is just absolute black magic because what it is—it’s a complete system that allows you or ideally, your VA, to take your episodes and chop them up into all sorts of little clips and Audiograms, and so forth that you can then put on Instagram, and you can put on Twitter, and you can put on LinkedIn, and you can put on YouTube.
- You can get literally dozens, and dozens, and dozens, and dozens of social media posts from one single episode, which as you might imagine, more posts creates more opportunities to capture more eyeballs. Again, there’ll be a link to that if you’re an existing Flowster user. That playbook is absolutely free. If you’re not yet a Flowster user, you’ll find that Flowster is very, very inexpensive with plans starting at the time of this filming — starting at about $29 a month.
[08:59] Alright, so here’s my big secret about podcasting by the way.
- It is without a doubt, the very best networking tool on planet Earth. I like it better than going to conferences because I can literally take out my laser pointer and say, “I want to know that person” or “I want to know that person.” If you do—if you don’t have a podcast, cold emailing a stranger to say, “Hey, can I have an hour of free advice?” generally speaking—doesn’t work very well. However, if you change the wording of—if you have a podcast, and you change the wording of your email to something along the lines of, “Hey, I would love to have you on my show”, the chances of them engaging with you go up exponentially and you’re still going to get your free hour of consulting.
[09:47] I talked about $1 million from my podcast, so I want to tell you exactly how that happened.
- Remember, I mentioned podcasting is a fantastic networking tool. I used it to build a relationship with an affiliate, then start subsequently for several years, promoted my flagship product, and I’ve made a million dollars over roughly about two and a half year period as a result of that one affiliate. Had I not had a podcast, I would not have had that million dollars, and that was a life changing million dollars, I can assure you. It is really, really the very best networking tool. When you have a podcast, we do this thing called a “podcast swap” where I’ll go to somebody else that has a podcast and I’ll say to them, “Hey, how about you interview me and I interview you, and we call it a podcast swap?” It is a very effective way to grow your audience.
[10:41] Alright, let’s do the summary.
- Mistake number one: no editorial calendar. Mistake number two: lack of consistency. Mistake number three: lack of choosing a specific target audience. Mistake number — I don’t know if I can count today — mistake number four is producing your show in audio only. Mistake number five is not doing sufficient social media promotion, and mistake number six is not repurposing your content. In other words, chopping it up into all sorts of little clips that can then be spread around on social media to increase your awareness, and your engagement, and your views, and your downloads, and all the good stuff that you want.
Trent Dyrsmid’s Bright Ideas
- Plan Your Content.
- Maintain Consistency
- Niche Your Audience.
- Produce Audio and Video Content.
- Promote Your Content on Social Media.
- Repurpose Long-form Content.
Plan Your Content
Taking an ad hoc approach when producing content is ineffective when you desire good social engagement. An editorial calendar is one of the best tools to organize your content in advance for better optimization.
Key Tip: Think about what it is that you’re trying to sell and when you want to sell it. If you do product launches, you want to make sure that you’re producing podcast episodes in a way that sustains your revenue goals.
As the number of podcasts has grown, keeping your listeners engaged has become more important. If you don’t create new content regularly, your audience will stop listening.
Trent provides some steps you could implement for regular publishing:
- Batch your content. Build it into your schedule over a certain period. For instance, one week per quarter or two weeks per quarter.
- Doing interviews ahead ensures that you have content in your production queue.
- Effective planning allows the regular publishing of content.
Niche Your Audience
“People want to be everything to everybody because they don’t want to exclude anybody.” When you appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one. Therefore this generalist approach may result in lower-quality content that becomes unappealing to your listeners. Trent made the same mistake and now advises other podcasters to focus on a niche audience.
Why should you have a specific podcast audience?
- It attracts sponsorship offers for more money. Your audience consists of people interested in buying your products or premium content. Thus, sponsors would like to access your audience to advertise their business.
- Sponsorships are highly lucrative. According to Trent, he never reaches out to any sponsors and lets them approach him instead. He can earn up to $50,000 annually from mere sponsorship.
Produce Audio and Video Content
For a long time, Trent’s podcast had been audio-only until he discovered the wonders of YouTube Traffic. “You absolutely want to make sure that you are capturing videos so that you can leverage YouTube because it can be a fantastic source of traffic for you.”
Every single episode since then, Trent would record in a video format. Then, his editor would configure and edit them to cater to different social media platforms such as iTunes.
Promote Your Content on Social Media
According to Trent, “The problem is that if you’re just doing organic promotion, you’re only really showing your show to people who already follow you.” Hence, it is wise to guest on other podcast channels to grow your audience.
You could use paid social advertising as well. However, the promoting strategy can also be ineffective for a couple of reasons:
- Your audience needs to click several ads to get through your content.
- It could be a hassle for your potential audience.
YouTube can increase the social engagement of your free and premium content because it could appear as recommended videos to other users. They might watch a snippet or a clip from your episode, and it could lead them to subscribe to your podcast channel.
Repurpose Long-form Content
Trent expresses that his content is also shared on multiple online platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Repurposing content for each social media platform is an essential marketing strategy for podcasting. The Flowster Marketplace consists of an entire playbook about the simple ways of content repurposing.
The goal of The Social Media Video Content Engine is:
- To provide a complete system of smart listener engagement strategies.
- Allow you, or ideally, your VA, to format your videos and audios according to the setup of each social media platform like Audiogram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram for multiple revenue streams.
Remember: “You can get literally dozens, and dozens, and dozens, and dozens of social media posts from one single episode, which as you might imagine, more posts creates more opportunities to capture more eyeballs.” Don’t forget to take this opportunity and maximize the engagement of each online platform.
What Did We Learn from This Episode?
- You should lay out a schedule first before publishing content.
- Consistent production of content for an engaged audience is a must
- Targeting a specific group of audiences is a profiting strategy.
- A podcast should have both audio and video content.
- Content Promotion shouldn’t be entirely dependent on social media.
- Repurposing long-form content increases the frequency of social engagement.
[1:09] — The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- VAs are the single greatest addition to Trent’s business arsenal.
- Significantly increases productivity at an affordable cost.
[1:37] — Costs of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- Trent typically hires most virtual assistants from the Philippines, while his personal assistant is from Mexico.
- You can hire a Filipino virtual assistant for around $4 an hour. Trent’s executive assistant in Mexico gets paid about $6 an hour.
- Aside from being less expensive, it also saves costs from providing healthcare benefits.
- An hour-to-hour basis allows you to terminate them without hassle when they don’t perform.
[2:26] — The Role of a Virtual Assistant
- Allows you to focus on more critical tasks instead of $10 an hour jobs.
- You can hire a general VA for all the tasks you don’t want to do. Hiring a specialized VA can help you with specific tasks like project management and content creation.
- Accomplish a collection of tasks that do not require experience. Some examples of these tasks are:
- Making phone calls and contacting venture partners and clients
- Doing first-level research tasks and project management
- Order management
- Create content, graphic design, digital marketing, social media management, and email management
[5:28] — Where and How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
- Trent typically hires from the Philippines and Mexico. He hires VAs from Mexico to be in the same timezone as them.
- The best places to find virtual assistants are Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph.
- Make sure to put a unique code in the job description that you want applicants to put in their application. It will allow you to filter out qualified candidates more quickly.
[8:28] — The Applicant Screening Process
- Trent’s wife handles the hiring process of all their VAs.
- They have them complete a test task to filter out applicants who will do a good job.
- Test tasks are usually one to two-hour jobs. But instead, they tell them it could take up to eight hours and that they will get paid by the rate.
- The test task works as a trial run to find out who among the candidates does the job most efficiently.
[9:56] — Common Mistakes When Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- They don’t put a code word in their job posting.
- They do traditional interviews instead of straightforward project-based interviews.
- There’s no clearly-defined process and instruction documentation in place for the virtual assistant to follow.
- They set unrealistic expectations far from what they have to offer.
Which of Trent Dyrsmid’s bright ideas sparked something in you? And what new things about money podcasting did you learn from the episode? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us.
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Trent Dyrsmid is a serial entrepreneur, husband, and father. He is the founder of BrightIdeas.co, Flowster.app and a 7 figure eCommerce business. With almost 10 years of experience with digital marketing and eCommerce, Trent eagerly shares his knowledge with others. Profit Magazine named Trent’s first company as one of Canada’s PROFIT 100 fastest growing companies for two years in a row before he sold it in 2008. Business in Vancouver magazine named Trent a Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneur. Trent’s current company ranked 254 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list and 622 on the 2020 Inc 5000 list of America’s of the Most Successful Private Companies.