The following is the full transcript of Remarkable Episode 11: Jared Easley on Growing Your Podcast Through Generosity and Collaboration
In this episode of Remarkable, I have a conversation with an experienced podcaster, author, and co-founder of the world’s largest international podcasting conference.
He’s an entrepreneur, salesman, and networker, or rather, a connector, who is known for his generosity and willingness to go out of his way to help others.
During the interview we discuss the impact of podcasting on his business success, why going after big names might not be the best idea, the downside of a great launch, and one big reason you shouldn’t worry about your download numbers.
He also shares creative ways to get more people to discover you, how to use events to grow your show, and several methods you can use to monetize your podcast.
He’s the author of Podcasting Good to Great and co-author of Stop Chasing Influencers. He’s co-founder of the Academy of Podcasters Awards and the Podcast Movement Conference, and he’s the host of Starve the Doubts, and he’s one of the most generous people I know, here’s Jared Easley.
Dave: Jared, welcome to the Remarkable Podcast.
Jared: David Mooring. I like your last name because I think ‘David More, not less.’ That’s your nickname.
Dave: I thought you were going to mention something related to you living near the ocean, and a mooring and a boat. That’s usually what I get.
Jared: See, I probably should have done that, but I wasn’t smart enough to do that. So, I’m thinking ‘more, not less-ing.’
Dave: Well, I appreciate it. Welcome to the show. I appreciate you giving us some time today.
Jared: Likewise, and I look at the, the group of people that you’ve had on the show so far and I kind of feel humbled. I would say, if your show was a neighborhood, me being a part of moving into the neighborhood, I feel like I’m the ugliest house, but I’m in the neighborhood, baby. I’m in the hood.
Dave: Nah, that’s not true.
Jared: The neighbors might not like me, my grass might not look good, you know, the HOA’s after me, but I’m in the David Mooring neighborhood now, so that’s how it is.
Dave: Well, I’m going to have to throw a compliment back your way, but I wouldn’t have the guests if I hadn’t gone to the Podcast Movement conference. That’s where all this came to be about, so Kudos to you for that.
Jared: Well, I’m sure we’ll talk about some of that. A cliffhanger.
Dave: Let’s step back in history just a little bit, because I don’t know your background. Tell us a little bit about maybe what you did coming out of college, and how did you get from that time period to what you’re doing these days.
Jared: Well, I was in the military, and enjoyed the time in the navy. I got to live in New England, and Hawaii – which, if you ever get the chance, go for it. When I got out, I really wasn’t happy with the role I was in in the navy.
What’s funny Dave, is that I didn’t really dislike the navy, I actually liked the navy, I just didn’t like the job that I had and I made every effort to try to transition to a different role and they would just not allow it.
I thought that just seems kind of counterintuitive. They’re going to lose good people in the military that would probably stick around. I might have stuck around for several years, who knows?
But they said no. You have to stay in this job that you hate, and who wants to do that? There’s too much life to live. I gave them several years, and I was like ‘okay, time to go.’ And so I moved on.
At the time, my sister who I grew up being very very close to, David, she and her family live in Orlando. She encouraged me ‘hey, come on over to Orlando, let’s reconnect, if you want to go to school or work or whatever.’ Because I wasn’t real sure what I wanted to do when I got out.
So I moved to Orlando, more or less to be close to my sister and her husband. At the time my nephew- they now have two more, so there’s three nephews now. I moved to Orlando, and Orlando ended up being a good place for me, because some good growth came from that.
Long story short, I met my wife in Orlando, she’s originally from South Florida. Now I live in South Florida, and that’s because my wife’s from there. I left out a lot of stuff, but I got into this podcasting thing because I got into a personal development journey a few years back when I was pretty dissatisfied with a job that I had.
It sounds like a repetitive thing with me, doesn’t it? I’m the common denominator! What’s wrong with me?
But I wasn’t real pleased with the situation. I remember complaining to my wife about it. We were on a cruise for our anniversary, and it was kind of a weekend cruise. I’m sitting here complaining about ‘oh, this person did this, and this situation happened, and can you believe this.’
She very graciously said ‘hey, no more. I don’t wanna hear it. We’re on our anniversary cruise. Don’t talk about it. Either quit or find another job. I don’t want to hear it. Stop it.’
It was consistent with some friends who had very kindly said the same thing – hey, you’re being negative. And when I heard that from these people that I like and trust and know they’re looking out for me, I knew it’s not necessarily the circumstances, it’s my attitude.
And that led me to reading books and listening to podcasts, and ultimately compelled me to say ‘hey, it’d be fun to start my own podcast.’ And wow. What a journey that’s been. It’s been over three years that I’ve been doing the podcast that I have, and over 300 episodes.
Those podcast episodes, while it’s been a lot of work, and it’s certainly been trial and error, I would say that there’s been a blessing that’s come from that. I’ve connected with a lot of interesting people, I’ve had ideas that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
It’s encouraged me to take steps and be brave and try some things in a business sense that I might not have had the audacity to try in the years before. There’s been some great things that have come from it with connections and with business.
Just learning something and growing personally. I love this meeting, I love the fact that you have your own podcast. I’m grateful to be talking to you today on this. I’m a big fan of podcasting and that kind of led into the event that you loosely mentioned earlier, which is Podcast Movement. I’m sure we’ll touch on that again.
Just a number of wonderful things happened, like starting the event. I had a company that I tested for a little while. That was a company that I had a business partner with. It was making money, it seemed like it was going on a reasonable path. Then
Then I realized that this guy I was working with was stealing money.
Dave: Oh no.
Jared: I know! Oh man, what a painful lesson to learn in business. This was a guy that used to be a youth pastor, somebody that I thought was completely honest. You’ve got to really be smart with who you’re dealing with, what’s going on.
Unfortunately some people smile and talk the game, but you know when you’re not looking, they might be doing something different. So yeah, I had some frustrating lessons I had to learn early on.
Dave: What line of work were you in about the time that you started podcasting, 3-4 years ago?
Jared: I was in project management. Prior to that I had worked for a company where I had kind of climbed up the ladder and done really well. I became the top biller in this organization, and just a lot of that happened from the personal development kick.
I realized that ‘hey, I need to work on me. I need to be kind to people, I need to treat others well. You know, treat customers well. I need to really focus in. In doing so, I had some really exciting wins with that company.
Another organization kind of stole me away. They said ‘hey, we know that you’re doing well here and we want to offer you a job with more money.’ I made the decision that the grass was greener.
I look back now and I realize that may or may not have been the right thing to do. But, at the time, I was like ‘well, that’s more money so I’m going to take it.’ And I did, but what happened David, and I couldn’t have foreseen this, there was no way to know – is a little over a year after that, it was December.
Christmas was coming up, and the CFO calls me into his office, and that’s not a big deal because I was friends with him, I talked to him often, and he said ‘hey, we gotta let you go.’ I was like hey, what’s going on?
You know, it was just the financial health of the company at the time. It wasn’t because I did anything wrong, it’s just what happened. I didn’t see that coming, but some positive things still happened from that.
I later was able to go back to the company I worked with prior to that and work out a deal to be a consultant and a contractor with them. So I still work with them and do some projects with them, and it’s fantastic.
I’m in a position to be able to continue to grow a business, but also, I have a client that I used to work for full time.
That’s a nice source of income for our family that’s pretty consistent, that I probably wouldn’t have had had I not weathered that storm during the days that I wasn’t real happy there, but was able to work on myself and do the right thing and excel, and then ultimately leave on good terms.
Which allowed me to be in a position to come back later on.
Dave: That’s great. And that’s one of the questions that I have as I interview other podcasters, but it’s kind of hard to tell if there’s an alter ego. If the podcaster is making a living podcasting, or, most of the time it seems to be some sort of hybrid or a side project.
So, it sounds like it’s a little bit of both for you.
Jared: Oh, yeah, I don’t pretend at all that my podcast is a big revenue generator. I know that it’s not.
Dave: So the consulting is your full time?
Jared: Yeah, yeah. There’s other little things that I do on the side that provide income for me, and the podcast is more or less a way to grow my network and to learn, and it gives me ideas for some of the other stuff that I do.
I’ve not really made money from my podcast. If I have, it’s not been anything worth talking about on this show.
Jared: So if I’ve given anybody the impression that ‘yeah, I’m killing it with my podcast financially, then yeah, we can squash that rumor right now. That’s just not true.
Dave: No, I’ve never gotten that sense, I was just …
Jared: I am in no way negative towards podcasting. I love podcasting. I’ll continue to podcast. There’ve been times where I thought ‘should I continue to do the show that I do?’ Because like anybody, I get discouraged.
I don’t see a certain result that I think I should have, and that makes me question what I’m doing. But as soon as I start to lean towards that path I’m reminded through a tweet or an email, or somebody contacts me and has benefitted from what’s happening there with the show, and that continues to encourage me, and I think ‘no, this is a good thing. You’re building your audience or your network or people are getting something out of it, and for now, this is a new thing.
I would say that the conviction that I’ve had recently, is that I’m getting a lot more personally out of the podcast episodes where I chat with people who are kind of climbing up the ladder, rather than the people on top of the mountain.
You know, nothing against the people on top of the mountain, it just seems like I can relate better to someone who’s in the trenches, and who’s working hard, and whose generous.
Not to say that people on top of the mountain aren’t, but I’ve met a number who – while they’re kind to give you your time, you don’t really grow unless you’re paying them exorbitant fees, or something super substantial is in it for them.
So while some of those people are kind, I’ve realized that not putting my focus on those people actually allows me to serve the people in the podcast that are listening, and connect with good people who are collaborative in spirit, and that is actually allowed the show to grow.
In the beginning, when I started, I thought I’ve got to have these major guests on the show that are big names, and if I can’t do that, then the show’s not going to be great. No one’s going to give me any credibility and no one’s going to listen.
I realize now that wasn’t true.
Dave: Yeah, that’s a really good perspective. So, if you can think back to that point in time, what was your goal or objective for starting the podcast? What did you hope to get out of it when you started?
Jared: Oh man, it was delusional. I thought I’m going to interview these big names: authors, people who’ve had success with entrepreneurship, and there’s going to be an instant transfer of audience, where people who are in their camp are going to also be in my camp.
Then you accumulate that over a hundred episodes or so, and the next thing you know you’ve got this massive platform, and massive online audience. None of that happened.
Dave: Were you hoping to build that audience to sell books, or what were you hoping to accomplish with the audience?
Jared: You know, at the time I didn’t have anything to sell so it was more growing the network was the focus. But since then, I’ve put out two books. I’ve been a part of other projects and stuff. But a lot of those ideas came from interviewing guests on the podcast.
I’ve got to really credit the podcast as to being the incubator for me. It’s been the workbench if you will, where the light bulbs have come on a few times. Okay, I know I can go and do something kind of in my own way, but use some of the same strategies from other people used, and have my own results. That has served me well for the most part.
Like anything, there’s no guarantees. You can test to a point to see if something’s going to be valid or not. But I think, what Aisha Tyler said at podcast movement last year – she talked about success as ‘persistence through failure.’
Failure’s so hard David, it’s so brutal. I realize now I’m a baby when it comes to failure. I like to lick my wounds and ‘awww, this wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I wasn’t supposed to lose, I wasn’t supposed to struggle.’
But everybody struggles, everybody who’s had any kind of success in most cases, who’s been through the trenches, have had plenty of losses, have had plenty of wounds that they’ve had to lick and move on.
So I’ve had mine, too, and I’ve got to say – there’ve been times when I thought I don’t know about this. But then I hear some more encouraging stories, and I get some emails and people are saying ‘hey, this is good stuff.’
That encourages me to continue to be bold.
Dave: Do you recall, what was your first big wakeup call when you first started the podcast that it wasn’t going to be as easy or as big as you were hoping.
Jared: Yeah, there’s an eight week window when new podcasters launch a show, and it’s exciting because if you have a little bit of strategy with your podcast launch, you can be featured in iTunes in a section called New and Noteworthy, and there’s some reasonable traffic that can be created from that opportunity.
It’s a nice discovery place where people can learn about your show, and there’s a number of people that will check it out. What’s good about that, is you’re potentially being exposed, and you’ll have greater visibility.
The problem with that is you might not be a great podcaster, so you’re getting exposure, but you’re show’s not awesome and people will kind of judge you based on that.
So what happened was we had a nice spike in the beginning, but as soon as that honeymoon period was over, the thrill was gone if you will. The numbers dipped so dramatically that I almost quit. I realized this might not be worth it.
Because I got excited about the idea that I’m on a podcast and I’m going to talk to as many people as possible. That’s a handful of people. It’s easy to say those people don’t matter, it’s got to be a lot more than that for it to matter.
My encouragement is not to consider the numbers, if you’re standing in front of a group and you’re speaking to 25 people, you would likely be prepared and want to be professional and want to do the right thing by those 25 people. I think there could be a trap of podcasters saying ‘okay, I can just mail this in because there’s not a lot of people listening.’
I would encourage you not to subscribe to that idea, to definitely do your best with whatever it is you feel compelled to do. If it’s podcasting, serve those 25 people if that’s all it is. Don’t be worried about having 2500 if you don’t have that. Start by levels of 25 and then you can build on it.
Dave: Yeah, that’s really good advice. Is that kind of what got you through that slump while you stuck it out?
Jared: Definitely. I got an email from someone who encouraged me and said that they got something out of one of the shows. That’s when it occurred to me that the best way for me to start growing was to kind of do it the hard way.
One of the guests I had on the show who’s an author, and someone I really look up to is Seth Godin. A tremendous author.
Dave: Yeah, I’m a big fan.
Jared: And rightfully so. He said something on the show I’ll never forget. He said sometimes the shortest route is the long way around. And I’ve thought, okay, if I’m going to really be all in on this podcast. I need to be really to take the long route.
It’s getting to know people, it’s becoming friends, it’s genuinely connecting with the 25. So that became my mission, how can I start noticing other people that are listening, how can I be someone that is a friend to them, not someone that says follow me?
Because there are plenty of people out there that are like that. So that said, that’s exactly the strategy that I’ve followed. I’ve started to notice people and to be really authentic with that. We’ve talked about this before, David. Reciprocity and rapport is created, and I’ll just touch on that for a moment.
Dave: Yeah, please.
Jared: When you’re noticing people, in most cases, David, it will be like ‘hey, this guy Jared is a nice guy. He noticed me and I know I feel that way. If David notices me, I’m like ‘hey, that David, he’s pretty cool guy! I think I like him.
That’s probably what I’m going to think. And over time, if David and I have that rapport that’s created from him being generous and nice and noticing me, then it might come time that David launches a book, or something comes out that he’s involved in, I might say man I really like David!
David has this book coming out, or this thing he’s created, and I want to help David, because he’s been generous to me. I want to check it out – or even if it’s not something I’m super interested in, I want to buy it because I like him and I want to support him.
Or at a bare minimum, I want to share it on my social media because I like David and I want people to know what he’s up to. And imagine if you multiply that by ten people, or even 25, and they really like David.
That’s what we call creating the army. Nobody notices you when you’re by yourself, but when you have an army with you everyone notices. But the way you create the army is you start with a handful of people, and everyone notices. So you be generous, you create that rapport, and eventually that rapport will help the process.
When you create that army, more people are going to say ‘what’s David up to? Let’s check it out.’
Dave: To add to that, as you were talking, I was reminded that I think a lot of people are so caught up on their numbers, trying to get their hundreds, that they overlook the first 10 or 15, 20, 25, like you said. You can never get to 100 if you don’t start with the first 10 to 25. That’s a really good point.
Jared: So true.
Dave: So, what’s been something that’s been really successful. You kind of got through the dip, referring back to Seth Godin. You keep going and you keep going. Was there a particular point in time over the last three years where you hit a big spike or a big win, or was it just a steady climb the whole time.
Jared: I think there’s been some encouraging things that have happened. When we say big win, I want to caution that, because, you know, what’s big to one person may not be big to someone else.
I saw someone else right a book, and they self-published it, and then they hit number one in a particular category that they were in in Amazon books or Amazon Kindle. I remember at that moment I thought, ‘wow!’ Number one I’m super excited for my friend, but then also, I could do that, too.
I should do that, if he can do it. I didn’t say that to belittle his accomplishment. It was just encouraging to me, saying, hey, I want to do that to. And so writing a book and having it be number one in its category in Amazon.
Again, that may be old hat for some, but for me that was a big deal. Launching a crowdfunding campaign, and having that campaign be successful. That was another win. Getting with friends, and getting with people within the podcasting community and asking them to be a part of an event, and then seeing that event grow over the last three years.
It’s a lot of hard work, certainly not a lot of financial gain, but we’ve seen some exciting things. Just the last couple of weeks we announced that Dropbox is the platinum sponsor for the event that I’m talking about, for Podcast Movement.
And I’ve got to say, that’s a miracle to be able to say that. I remember a couple of years ago, it was just an idea. It was a crowdfunding idea we tried in Dallas, and now we’re to a point where a company like Dropbox is willing to invest in our event and be a part of it.
They’re not the only ones. There’s a number of other organizations that are involved in that event now. Now that’s a miracle, that’s amazing. There have been some wins, but don’t think those wins have said the day and that I’m sitting on the beach with a laptop sipping mai tai’s. Never working and never having to be conscious of money or bills or responsibilities.
That’s not where I’m at today, but that said, I’m thankful for the opportunities that have opened up and I’m thankful for the wisdom that was gleaned from conversations like this, David, where I learned from people.
That gave me the encouragement to say me too, and let me try to take some baby steps towards some goals. And then seeing some progress happen.
Again, like we mentioned earlier in the show. As many nice little exciting things that have happened, there’s been probably ten times the failures that have popped up. I mean yesterday was a challenging day.
Little things popped up here and there, and at the end of the day I thought, man I feel discouraged today. And you know, I even put a message on my Facebook. I was like hey, how do you guys deal with discouragement?
And it was amazing. A number of people said well, when I deal with discouragement, here’s what I do. It was answers that was kind of funny – from I bust out the Remy Martin, or somebody said ‘hey, I read a book, or I listen to music, or I exercise, or I talk with friends that have my back. I read my Bible, or I pray.
All these different answers. If anything, it reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for, even in the challenging days. I’m very very blessed, and I know that it helps me to be grounded and to remind myself – just one day at a time. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.
Dave: It’s always good to be reminded that you’re not alone. You’re not the only person that’s going through tough times from time to time. It’s really helpful to have that community of support.
Jared: And you know this better than anyone, David. You might have a rough day, but man, your rough day isn’t anything compared to someone in a third world country who’s struggling to survive. It’s all perspective. I’ve very blessed, I’m very grateful. Some days are better than others.
I try to remind myself what’s important and stay focused on those things.
Dave: Let’s talk about the Podcast Movement a little bit. I don’t know a whole lot about the history of it. I attended last year, and I’ll be there again this year, but how did that come about?
I know that you teamed up with a couple of other people to start it and you’ve alluded to a kickstarter campaign, and that rings a bell, but where did the idea come from and how did you get it started?
Jared: Well, I attended a large event in Las Vegas that had podcasters attending but they weren’t the main attendees of this conference. I had a number of different tracks and learning activities and one of them was podcasting.
That was a big place for podcasters to come together back a few years, and I remember chatting with a number of podcasters at this event, and a lot of them were saying ‘why isn’t there a podcasting event?’
When I heard it I thought the same thing. Why I’ve thought that, why isn’t there one? I was crazy enough to think that maybe myself and a couple of other people could create this. We had listened to enough business podcasts, David, that we knew it’s not wise to just pour a ton of resources and time into something that you have no idea is going to work.
So we tested with kickstarter. We said ‘okay, we’re going to reach out to podcast friends. We’re going to try to get people together to say hey, we’re going to attempt to create a podcasting event. We need your help. Number one would you speak at this event, would you share it with your network, would you support it financially?
Because you know, it’s not free to do events. We need at least enough money to secure the venue and things of that nature. And we decided let’s do it with a crowdfunding campaign. If people support the campaign through their wallet we’ll move forward.
If they don’t, then we don’t need to waste time creating something that people don’t want.
Jared: And so we tested with a kickstarter thinking ‘man, it’d be awesome if we could get $11,000. That might be asking too much!’ And, you know, within that first day, within 24 hours, we had 11,000 David. At the end of 30 days we had $30,000. So we basically had three times what we needed.
That was a big validator. Within the course of that campaign, to the actual first event, we changed venues three times. Because we kept outgrowing it! We were like, okay, what’s going on?
And then we learned a lot of things we didn’t know, like ‘okay, if you’re going to book a real good venue for a reasonably sized conference, you’ve got to book it a year in advance.’ So, there was a lot of stuff that we learned in year one.
I’ve got to say, Dan Franks who’s my business partner, he was absolutely relentless. He poured so much effort and time into this. I did my absolute best to hang with him and help him. I have to say, he was the glue for sure. Without Dan, we wouldn’t have gotten to the level we’ve gotten to.
We basically pulled ourselves together, did that first event, we decided hey let’s do it again. We pre-sold the second year. We didn’t do another crowd funding campaign, we just pre-sold tickets. Now we’re doing our third year, which will be in Chicago.
To see all the lessons that we learned from year one to year three. We’re talking year one, we thought, could we get a hundred people together. That turned into 600 David. Year two we had over 1200. At year three we’re expecting at least 1500 in Chicago.
So, you know, we’re just continuing to see tremendous growth. I mention that Dropbox is a part of it this year. Audible from Amazon. You know, a number of other companies, I don’t mean to name drop, but it’s just impressive to see how this thing has taken a life of it’s own.
It’s been tons of work, it’s been very encouraging, but also discouraging. I remember last year, we were working really hard, and we thought this might be the year we actually get a paycheck from this thing – then, you know, we realized once the event was over there was still some payments due, and we ended up not being able to pay ourselves even after year two.
I remember that was a discouraging moment.
Dave: Yeah, I can imagine.
Jared: That was a hard conversation to have with my wife, I remember thinking ‘man, we’ve poured so many hours into something for two straight years, and it hasn’t given us a dime.’ That was heartbreaking.
I remember after a week or so, just pick yourself up. For me, I prayed about it. I just said alright, we’re not giving up. We’ve proven we can put together something good. Now we need to learn from our mistakes and put up guardrails to protect ourselves and try to make this things sustainable, financially.
So year three, is lessons learned collectively from year one and year two. This may be the year that we actually profit from it. But regardless, whether we do or not, hopefully we do, we’ve got a community that’s excited about it, and is supporting it and sharing it.
We’re seeing a really exciting thing happen in the podcast community. Podcast Movement is definitely a massive part of that. I think that’s the encouragement. You’re not going to know everything, David, and we didn’t know everything, but we got advice from people we trust and had some experience, and then we did our best with the responsibilities that we had and we learned what we didn’t know.
Dave: That’s awesome. Do you have future plans in mind, or are you just taking it one year at a time? I mean, do you have kind of an ultimate goal what you’re trying to get to?
Jared: I think yes and no. We’re flexible on the growth and the direction it’s heading in. At the same time, we already know where we’re going to be next year. We already have the venue secured. We’re for sure having an event next year.
This event’s in Chicago, it takes place in July, the following year will be in August, in Anaheim California. It’s on, it’s happening. In that case, yeah, we have ideas of what we think is going to work. We’re not necessarily going to make all this public yet, but in a sense you kind of have to take it year by year.
There’s some things you can’t learn until you go through it. There’s feedback that will come from this event that will be brand new that we’ll learn from that and apply that into the following year.
Dave: So is it public knowledge yet, where it’s going to be in 2017?
Jared: I don’t know that we’re publicly announcing it, but I don’t mind sharing it. It’s not like we’re hiding it. Yeah, it’ll be in Anaheim, in 2017.
Dave: Awesome. Let me kind of scale back down or come back down to a smaller viewpoint. I really appreciate the insight on that, and as someone that attended last year, that was I thought a very good conference. Very well done.
Like you said, the people there were just amazing. The community is amazing. I can’t wait to get there again and just reconnect with some people I met, and also to meet a lot more new people. So kudos to you all for doing that.
As far as your podcast, tell me kind of where are you today with your podcast. I know you have multiple guests and co-hosts or things like that, when did you kind of get into kind of multiple co-hosts and how did that come about?
Jared: The show has gone through a number of pivots, and one of the things that I learned over, probably about a year and a half, was if I could include more people it seems to have a better result.
It started with just having a guest. Me having a guest, and that kind of involved into maybe it would make sense to not just having a guest but maybe have a co-host, a guest co-host, and myself and a guest co-host would interview the guest.
Then that kind of turned into let me try a permanent co host. That kind of involved into let’s try panels and different things. I’ve tried a number of variations and tests for the podcast, and the one that seems to work well is when it’s me and usually one or two other people, and sometimes three.
It could be a focus on a specific person, and we’re in a sense interviewing one person, or it could be a panel discussion where we’re saying today’s topic is ABC, and each of us give our perspective on ABC.
What I found is when you include more people, more people will talk about the episode. They’re more likely to share it. I think the reason for that is that they’re involved, they’ve been a part of it. When you’re a part of something you’re probably more likely to talk about it, because it involves you.
So thats a key take away, whatever your idea is, whatever you’re wanting to pursue, the more that you can incorporate other people into it, the greater the visibility that is likely to have on your idea. Other people will talk about it because they’re involved. That’s a lesson that I learned from the podcast, actually.
When it was just me and a guest, and the guest would never share it, it was just me sharing it. But when I started bringing a guest co-host on, it was funny. The guest of the show would likely start sharing it because there was two co-hosts. It’s almost like there’s a social – what’s the word I’m looking for?
Dave: Kind of like they felt obligated?
Jared: Yeah, like a pressure, a peer pressure kind of, which is cheesy. I think it was psychological. We never said ‘please share the episode.’ We said ‘hey, here’s the link and you’re welcome to check it out.
But I saw a greater number of guests start sharing the episodes when I had a guest co host. I think part of the reason that it was not just me it was another person. An when it was another person it was kind of like ‘okay, now I’m potentially burning two people if I don’t share this’.
It wasn’t true for everyone. I would also credit, David, that the shares were increased partially because the show had more episodes, it had been through more time, and I think more people were aware of it. I’m sure that was part of it, too.
Dave: Yeah, so tell us a little bit, for those that might not have listened to your show, you’ve alluded to a little bit. What’s the goal, what’s the value-add for people to listen in? What do they get out of it?
Jared: Well the show is called Starve the Doubts. In most cases it’s a person or multiple people sharing stories of how they’ve navigated some kind of hurdle, and how they worked through that, and the results that came from it, good and bad.
It’s not always someone talking about how they’ve started a business and they don’t work a day job anymore, it’s turned into ‘hey, here’s a lady who’s husband passed away and now she’s gotta raise three kids. What was that like? What happened when the water heater broke and she didn’t know how to fix it? How did she manage that?’
There was a story about a young girl who had a dream to be the first Asian American female to ride a bike across the United States. She just decided she was going to do it and she did it. It’s an amazing story. AngieAcrossAmerica.com is that website you can check out, but Angie was on the show.
Again, another guest was a lady who loved Etsy, which is kind of like the eBay for handcraft stuff, and she basically took over a podcast that had thousands of listeners, because the host of the podcast just stopped doing the show. They were pursuing another dream.
And she listened to the show religiously, and when it stopped she reached out to the host and said ‘why did this stop?’ She said ‘oh, I’m pursuing something else now.’ And she said ‘well, can I host the show? Can I take it over?’ And the lady was like ‘sure!’
And so now she’s the host of this podcast and has thousands of listeners, more listeners than I have for sure. And she just inherited a show by asking. I think well that’s a miracle! There’s so many other stories.
My friend Jeff and his wife, their daughter struggled with cancer, and they had to go to St. Jude, and that whole story. There are so many great stories on Starve the Doubts. More than just the person that, you know, like I said was not happy with the job but moved to an entrepreneurial opportunity.
There are some like that, but there are plenty other stories too that are about life. They’re about losing weight, they’re about being healthy, they’re about overcoming something that’s really hard.
A story of a lady recently who paid off $56,000 in debt, and I was like man, there are so many people that feel stuck with their finances, and this lady was right there with them. She made a few changes, she shares her changes, and then a few years later, it took time, but she reached her goal.
Yeah, man, I like Starve the Doubts. I think it’s a great show. But I think people should listen to your show first, and then when they run out of episodes, and are waiting on your next episode, then if they decide they should think ‘hey, let me add one more, I’ve got time to another episode.’
Dave: You’re very generous.
Jared: Hey, I believe it. I think you’ve got a great show. People listen to your show, they’re doing the right thing, they’re very smart, they’re being proactive. That’s part of making the moves, they’re being wise.
Dave: Well, thanks Jared. Just a couple more questions about how you’ve grown your audience. Just a little bit of background, you’ve spoken to our North Carolina podcasting meetup a few weeks ago and provided some really great tips. Not to go through that whole presentation again, but for somebody that’s listening that’s trying to think about how they can grow their audience, or how they can connect with more people.
What’s one or two of maybe your most favorite tips that you would recommend for maybe thinking outside the box or doing something different? You just mentioned having multiple co-hosts or getting more people involved. I think that’s a great tip.
Any others? Maybe one or two others that come to mind?
Jared: Yeah, totally. I love events, so when possible try to attend live events. I would encourage you not just to attend a live event, but consider doing a meet-up as a part of an event.
So if you’re attending a conference, maybe go ahead and use that hashtag and find a local Starbucks where you can get people together in an informal setting, and pick a time that’s not conflicting with the event.
Use eventbrite.com and create an event. Say ‘hey, this is the meet up for this particular conference or whatever, it’s going to be on this day or at this time at Starbucks, and if you like you can register here.’
I’ve started doing that a few years ago, and I still do that to this day. Sometimes when I have to travel for my day job, I’ll be in a certain city and I’ll be like hey, let’s just do a meetup! I’m not in this city for podcasting, but let me see if I can create a meetup where some podcasters can get together.
I’ve done that a number of times, and it’s always real powerful thing, David, because when people are able to come together with like-minded folks who get it. It just creates that synergy and it’s an encouraging thing. It’s a value-add, too. People appreciate it.
Going to conferences are great, because you can meet people and interact with people face to face. If you can take that a step beyond that and maybe have a meetup where you can host yourself or maybe a couple other people, maybe a blogger or another podcaster, a video person that’s in the same niche or same space as you, same category.
That could be a fun thing, too. My friend Dan and I, we did a meetup in Dallas.
I’m not from Dallas, I live in Florida. I was going to be in Dallas for a conference, so I reached up to Dan who lives in Dallas and I said ‘hey, I want to do a meetup. Could we combine our audiences? Could I share this with my podcast audience and you share this with your podcast audience?’
And we just had a meetup there in Dallas. He said yeah, let’s try it. I didn’t know if anybody was going to come to this David, but we found a little place where we could have an informal meetup. It was just at a restaurant, and we put it out to our network, we put it out to our podcast.
We said Dallas Texas, on this day, at this time, here’s where it is, here’s the website where you can go register. We just used a free Eventbrite page. And a new podcast that didn’t have a ton of social proof and a ton of these things – that was such a huge encouragement to both of our podcasts.
To be able to say hey, we’ve been able to collaborate here, and now we’ve got people that are coming together to this meetup. And that’s not something we charge for or anything, it’s just hey, can we get people together.
In that case we were able to, and we were able to accomplish things. I love meetups. I say go to events, and then when it makes sense try to collaborate with someone and hold meetups at that event.
I think that’s a really great way to continue to grow your network and continue to grow the visibility of what you’re working on.
Dave: Yeah, great tips. Anything related to digital marketing or online that you’ve done that seems to work to build your audience or promote your show?
Jared: There’s so many good things you can do online. We use Facebook ads for podcast movements. I don’t claim for a moment that I’m an expert in Facebook ads. We have a really awesome Facebook community.
A lot of our conversations are happening on Facebook, but we also are having conversations on Twitter and Instagram, some other places. I kind of have a bad joke about that. I like to tell people ‘hey, I try to stay fit. I use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.’
We do some things like that. Another idea is writing a self-published book. That’s actually not too difficult. I’ve seen a number of podcasters take a number of their own episodes, and transcribe them, and they kind of clean them up a little bit into a little book on Amazon.
I think it’s a smart move, even if they don’t make a lot of money. It’s a place for people to discover them that are probably not listening to podcasts. I’ve experienced that myself. I have a self-published book in Amazon.
There’s a number of people that find out about me me through Amazon that don’t listen to podcasts. They have no intention of going to Podcast Movement.
So yeah, there are a number of ways. Be active in other communities online, and add value to those groups and generously connect with those people. If it makes sense, take something that you’re already working on, repurpose it into a self-published book and sell it on Amazon because there’s gonna be a number of people that find you through that.
It’s a tremendous discovery tool. Those are some ideas. Maybe not the answer you’re looking for, but those are some things you can try.
Dave: No, it definitely is, and I’ll include a link to your book. So tell us the name of your book? Just so they can hear it?
Jared: Well that book particularly is ‘Podcasting Good to Great: How to Grow Your Audience Through Collaboration.” And the purpose of that book is, how can I collaborate with people with people with the sense of growing what I’m working on? In that case, it’s podcasting.
Although, it’s applicable to more than just podcasting. I’ve had a number of people say hey, this is a networking book. So I thought that was kind of a nice compliment.
Dave: Yeah, yeah, so it can be used for really anybody that’s doing their craft, whether it’s podcasting or building a business.
Dave: And you’ve got another book that’s been recently published, is that right?
Jared: Yeah, that kind of goes back to what we were talking to earlier. That book is called ‘Stop Chasing Influencers.’ And the purpose of that book is to say hey, you know, there’s a common mistake that a lot of people make online.
That’s focusing on the guru, trying to do what the guru does. There’s wisdom in learning from people that have experience. The problem is that some people get so wrapped up in the guru that they don’t take actual steps themselves.
So the book is more of encouragement and a strategy on how you can grow your own influence and how you can make some progress with your own efforts rather than being so focused on someone else that you’re putting all your money and your time and your resources into someone else’s dream rather than your own.
Dave: And that leads me to another question about marketing, and this will be my last question about marketing specifically, but have you seen – is there any common knowledge or things that are maybe shared by gurus or what people are thinking they should be doing that you, or somebody that’s been around a lot of time sees that doesn’t work?
Is there any misleading information about how to promote or grow a show that you think needs to be corrected for the record?
Jared: There’s a long laundry list. What I can say is rather than being worried about what doesn’t work is, don’t worry about numbers. That’s a booby trap. We were ready to just hit on that a little bit – love on the handful that are gracious enough to check out what you’re doing. Get to know them. That is a good strategy.
It’s a long term strategy and you have to subscribe to that. If you’re not willing to be patient when you’re podcasting, or really whatever idea you feel compelled to pursue, that’s probably not going to be something you’re going to last long with if you can’t go ahead and say ‘hey, I’ve got to be patient and I’ve got to work on this.’
And that’s unfortunate, but there’s a number of people that give up way too soon. I’ve had a lot of friends who I’ve seen try things. They’re like I’m not getting this desired outcome, so I’m going to just move on.
A part of me is a little sad when I see that because I think, this person has great potential, and maybe if they would have just been a little more patient.
Dave: Just given it a little more time.
Jared: Yeah, just given it a little more time, maybe they would have hit that tipping point. And so that’s the thing I see – be willing to be patient.
I heard this once, and I really think this is a nice way to put it. Success could be, for some people, success could be the person who’s willing to outlast the lucky and outwork the lazy. If you can stick around and be consistent over the long term, you’re going to outlast the lucky and outwork the lazy.
That’s a form of success. I think that’s a great way to put it.
Dave: I like that quote. Do you have any podcasts that you would consider your favorite podcasts? What do you like to listen to?
Jared: You know, I’m not listening to as many business podcasts anymore, but there was a time when that was all I consumed, and it was fun at the time. Then I heard a lot of stuff that was repetitive and I was like ‘I’ve got to listen to some other stuff. Because this is, over time it just wore on me.’
I’m not listening to as many business and marketing podcasts. But if business and marketing podcasts are your thing, a couple that I do think are very quality and that give good value, is Jody Mayberry’s show.
Jody is a good friend, and I love what he does. I really like Donald Kelly. He does a show called The Sales Evangelist, for somebody that’s wanting to increase their sales, and do better at sales, that is a great free resource. Awesome podcast.
Another podcast out there that I think is valuable is Crowdfund Genius, if crowdfunding interests you, and you think hey someday want to create a crowdfunding campaign for this idea that I have, then that’s – you cannot beat that free resource. It is fantastic.
So those are three that stick out, at least in a business marketing kind of realm. And then a couple others that I know have really been something I enjoy is – I listen to a number of church podcasts. I know not everybody’s going to be into that.
One that I really like it’s a podcast called Providence Church, they’re based out of Dallas. I really like the pastor of that church. So if you’re into that, that’s a great one to check out. Criminal is a great one, Phoebe Judge, she’s going to be at Podcast Movement.
That’s a show that each episode they talk about a different crime and how it played out, and it’s pretty fascinating. They do a good job with that. And then, ‘The Way I Heard it” With Mike Rowe’ is really good, it’s short stories. It’s kind of like Paul Harvey used to do, the Radio Legend where he talks about the rest of the story.
Mike Rowe, who is from Dirty Jobs. He does The Way I Heard It. It reminds me of Paul Harvey’s’ ‘The Rest of the Story.’
Dave: Yeah, I just listened to him being interviewed by Tim Ferris. Which Is great – it’s long, but it was very good. And yeah, he mentions that’s kind of what he was going for. It’s on my list to check out as well.
Jared: Absolutely, I listen to every episode of that. And, if it’s okay, I’ll just do one more. One more that I think is worth checking out. I’m going to say the last one that’s worth checking out – depending on what you’re into you may or may not like this one.
This is called Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. It’s a comedian named Chris Geffard. He’s having random phone conversations with people he doesn’t know, and they have an hour to talk about whatever they want, and at any point they can hang up.
I know that sounds random, but there are some really really humorous episodes that come out of that show. So that’s what I’ve been enjoying a few episodes of. There can be some language and some situations in that show that may not be for everybody, but that said I think it’s a pretty great show and very creative.
Dave: If I were to ask you what the most remarkable podcast you listen to is, is there one that stands out as just kind of being in a class of its own?
Jared: No, I mean, there are so many good podcasts out there. It’s really hard to say. There are so many people I look up to, too, that do podcasting their own way. And that’s the beauty of podcasting. Podcasting is not regulated in the sense that you can just do whatever you feel compelled to do.
For some person that’s going to be sharing a short story that they wrote, for some people that’s going to be an interview. For some people that’s going to be super meticulous editing, and layering stories, and there’s so many cool things you can do with audio.
There’s a number of people I look up to. I love podcasting for that reason. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I know people just hit record, and they read their blog post. And for them, that’s great. Their audience appreciates that.
It doesn’t have to be over the top, if it’s good value, then there’s a lot of people that are likely to listen to it.
Dave: Do you have any insight or predictions for where podcasting is heading for the next year or two? Do you ever think about that?
Jared: You know, it’s very likely there’s going to continue to be growth in podcasting, because of it’s on demand nature. Because more and more people have mobile devices, and vehicles having easier access to podcasts. I do see growth.
Apple TV, things like that. I don’t think it’s going away. You’re going to see a lot of good shows, and really creative stuff that’s coming up. I think you’re going to see some networks develop things that are kind of like paywall.
Kind of like Cable TV in a sense.There’s going to be kind of like a paywall – where if you pay a subscription fee, you can subscribe and get access to a certain content. Kind of like HBO, or something like that.
I think you’re going to see something like that happen with podcasting. There’s going to be plenty of free stuff that’s high quality and really good, and then there’s going to be some paywall subscription stuff that also has really good stuff.
And, you know, if you want to get access to that you’ll just have to pay a little bit. For some it will be worth it, for some it won’t be. I think you’re going to see a lot more of that kind of thing. There’s plenty of room for growth in podcasting.
There’s plenty of stuff that we haven’t even thought about that I’m sure we’re going to start seeing in the next several years. So that’s exciting too.
Dave: So have you seen anybody monetize their podcast in an unusual way, other than maybe ads or selling a course?
Jared: Yeah, I mean – of course, the donation method where people can support, you know like a Patreon, or a crowd funding in the sense of ‘here’s my show – if you like you can contribute and there’s different rewards.
Some people will jump on that wagon and contribute monthly, so I’ve seen that. It’s likely to see growth in that. That tends to be really valuable for people that have larger audiences. For the little guy, I think there’s going to have to be new opportunities that are created for the little guy.
There’s not a lot of opportunities for the little guy, there’s not a lot out there right now. I think for the little guy, don’t get discouraged. Just continue to make something really good and really valuable. I think if you do that long enough, there’s going to be a lot of good opportunities that open up.
Monetization in podcasting. Everybody wants it, but it’s not as easy to come by. I’ve seen some people, they charge to have a guest on their show. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Some folks do that. Some folks, like you said, they sell a product or service.
If you’re going to get a sponsor, it’s typically valued by how many listeners you have. Sponsorships can be a challenge. It’s not impossible, though, my friend Niel Guilarte, he started a show and didn’t have a massive audience and he was able to get some sponsors
He leveraged like a full package, where it’s like you’re being talked about on the show, you’re getting different real estate on my website, you’re getting mentions each day on social media.
He created a full package that he then took to a sponsor and he was able to sell them something that was valuable to them, so it exists. I think it’s who wants to be creative, who wants to try something different, and what organization is going to find value in that.
Partnerships, I think the people that do get sponsorship money, in most cases, if they’re little players they have relationships with the sponsors and they’re in a partnership in the way that ‘hey, I’m helping your business grow and you’re helping my podcast grow.’
So keep that in mind, too. If sponsorship is something that is interesting to you, you need to be thinking that you want to build relationships with someone who may want to sponsor the show. Because that’s step one. Everything else is putting the cart before the horse.
If you’ve got a show that’s got thousands and thousands of listeners, getting a sponsor is not going to be that hard. You can do that pretty easily. But for the little guy, you’ve got to build relationships. And that’s a good thing.
Dave: Yeah, Glenn the Geek talks a lot about that. I interviewed him, and he had some really great tips on even just starting out with some small sponsors at $50 a month. Just start where you are.
Jared: He is absolutely the expert on that, and he’s done fantastic with it. He’s treated his sponsors with such care and such love that they are raving fans of him and the Horse Radio Network.
Every month, they’re signing up. We’re in, we want to be a part of this, and it works. The listeners love it, it brings value, and the sponsors get something out of it. And it’s provided income for Glenn and his family.
He’s an absolute great person to model, if that’s something you want to do, with sponsorships. It’s kind of not the standard way that podcasters are doing it.
Dave: Yeah, he’s full of great information and a different perspective. Kind of coming from the outside world to the world of podcasting, that was really good.
Dave: Well, Jared, where can people go to learn – where do you want to send people?
Jared: Well, they should be checking out your podcast first and foremost.
Dave: No, this is about you. Let’s make this about you.
Jared: Let’s make this clear, listen to every episode on this show first, and once you’re waiting on the next episode, if you want to listen to Starve the Doubts, that’s the name of my podcast, you can easily check out a number of episodes there while you wait for David’s next episode.
So Starve the Doubts is the podcast, and then the event that we were referring to earlier, that’s Podcast Movement. You can check that out at PodcastMovement.com. If you use the promo code, that’s $50 off the reservation. ‘Launch’ is the promo code.
It’s cool, you can check it out, maybe say alright maybe next year. No worries either way. But definitely keep being subscribed to David’s podcast, this is a great thing.
Dave: You’re so generous. Well, I’m going to say if you’re listening now, to please, if you’re interested in podcasting or if you’ve already got a show, come join us at Podcast Movement. I was there last year, and it was early stages of me getting my ideas together for my show, and I don’t think I would even have a show if I didn’t go.
I look forward to getting back there. I’m definitely going to include that discount code on the notes page, but I do highly recommend it. It’s a really great event.
Jared: I appreciate that David. Coming from you, that means a lot.
Dave: Thanks. Well, Jared, I really appreciate your time. Thanks for all your insight and giving me some time and tips today.
Jared: Of course, David. My pleasure, man. We’ll be in touch.
Dave: Yeah, definitely. Take care.
Jared: Thanks again. Bye.