Recently on one of the podcasts I host we have been talking about multiple streams of income. The question came up of If you had to start over what would you do? Hal did an excellent job of answering the mindset and process of how he would start but that question really got me thinking about starting over and the bare minimum you (as a podcaster) would need in your toolbox to start bringing in money.
I’m going to assume you already have a few things in place including a topic and expertise that add value to your audience, your needed podcasting equipment (Need some guidance on equipment? Check this out), and that you already have your podcast feed set up to deliver to the directories like iTunes and Stitcher, and lastly something of value that people are willing to pay for. This could be a product or service of some sort, or like many of my clients it could be a coaching program. You might have a wordpress website or you might not. Either way these are the three tools you need to start significantly profiting from your podcast.
An Autoresponder: The most important asset for your fledgling business is your email list. With a podcast, you are regularly adding value to potential clients. By adding value you will start to grow your relationship with them and it is very likely that they would be interested in purchasing a product from you. However, getting someone to go directly from listening to a podcast episode to purchasing is a very difficult conversion. They need to remember the URL you send them to and remember to go back that after they stop driving or get back to a computer.
From the podcast you should drive listeners to an email list. This is a small investment on there part. You are basically making a sale but instead of it being for cash it’s for their email (which is more important to some people). Once they sign up to your email list you are then able to create an even deeper relationship by adding value to them with an email series. We will be talking much more about auto responders and email series in the future as I believe it is a foundational piece of an online platform but for now know that the first tool you should get is an auto responder.
There are numerous auto responders out there, Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, OntraPort, and I’ve worked with many of them. My recommendation for starting out is Aweber. It’s a great, easy to use, and powerful service at a very affordable rate.
Opt-In Page: Along with your auto responder you will want to have a few items to make the most of it a) an added value piece. This you will give away as an extra bonus to incentives people to sign up for your email list b) An Opt-In page. At the very basic level Aweber will allow you to create a landing page that can be hosted on their servers but the page is…well kind of ugly. It works if you are in a pinch and I have definitely used them in the past but when you are ready to step your game up to the next level there is only one choice in my mind….. Leadpages.
This is a phenomenal service that allows you to create opt-in (and many other) pages for you business in a snap. I really cannot say enough about this software. I have multiple accounts and use it with every single one of my clients. One, because they are effective and two, makes me look like a website genius.
Another added benefit is you don’t need to have a website (though it integrates seamlessly with wordpress sites). They will host the pages for you. I would recommend purchasing your own domain name but if you want to forward that to a Leadpages page it’s no problem at all. Seriously, check them out. You will not regret becoming a Leadpages user.
Payment Processor: Ok now you have a great way to capture your audiences emails, and are able to communicate with them in their inbox on a regular, systematic basis. The final tool you need to start profiting from your podcast is a payment processor. If your audience can’t send you money, you don’t have a business.
I am a huge fan of Gumroad. It is very mobile user friendly, which as a podcaster is big because most of your audience is listening from their mobile phone. They have a very clean look and feel, and it’s easy to set up from your end. They are great for stand alone digital downloadable products whether that’s an audio course or ebook. They even offer a subscription service, which when paired with Awebers auto responder ability allows you to send a new digital file as a monthly membership. I love that!
The one downfall about Gumroad is that currently you cannot sell services through them (major buzz kill). So if you are a coach or website builder or run podcasts for others *cough* my business *cough*, we are forced to use another solution. My fall back recommendation is PayPal. You can set up buttons for one time payments or subscriptions for ongoing monthly services. Both can be sent directly over email, which I really like.
Don’t wait to start
There you go, the exact tools I would use if I was starting my business and looking to profit from my podcast. Are there plenty of other options, are their fancy customer relationship management systems, or payment processors that take small percentages? Yes, there are. But way too often we get so caught up in finding the exact best option that we forget the most important part of starting a business. You need to start!
You could spend hours looking for better options or you could spend that time working to make your first sale. Choose the latter. Once you got your business up and running, then look to optimize, then look at your options for different opt-in pages. Take action now. Your business is in your hands
Sign up for the 5 Day Get Started Podcasting Challenge