Are you an aspiring or current podcaster that wants your show to earn more recognition? A podcaster with a shoestring budget- or no budget but so passionate and have such well-meaning intentions with what you want to do? Today, Mathew Passy talks about how podcasters can elevate their efforts, elevate their messages, and ultimately put more people in front of more potential audiences. Mathew is a podcast producer and consultant with over a hundred shows. Join us and learn how you can make your show be heard!
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Earn More Recognition For Your Show With Podcast Consultant Mathew Passy Of Causepods
I have a guest on the show that we honestly should have had a conversation before. We have both been in the podcasting marketplace for quite some time, and I can’t believe we haven’t actually connected yet. Mathew Passy is a phenomenal podcast coach consultant. He’s The Podcast Consultant. That’s how he’s known in the industry. He has a show called Causepods that we’re going to talk about. I think it’s a great show and it’s a giveback into the marketplace. Mathew is a podcast producer and consultant at The Podcast Consultant, a podcast agency that helps individuals, brands, and small businesses develop, launch, produce, and promote podcasts.
He’s behind Audit My Podcast, an instant podcast audit, a service offering a full review of podcasters production and searchability, discoverability, marketing, and in order to ensure that they’re not hindering their ability to succeed. This is where Mathew and I are highly aligned. We do this all the time at Podetize, and it’s such a critical factor, and I wish no matter who you use, go get an audit of your show if you’re already podcasting. It’s the critical factor in making sure that you are discoverable. Whether you go to Mathew, you come to us, I don’t care, as long as you’re getting an opinion on this from someone who knows what they’re doing.
He also hosts Podcast Me Anything and Causepods. Podcast Me Anything is like a Q&A show, and Causepods is so fascinating and so fun because it’s a give-back to social good enterprises. I want you to read all about the creation, all about Mathew Passy, so go check out the rest of this episode and listen in while we talk about Causepods.
Mathew, thanks so much for being on the show. I’m so glad we’re finally connecting here and getting to know each other and we’ve had such a great pre-chat and we’re like, “Let’s get to our interview here,” because I want everybody to hear all about Causepods.
It is such a pleasure to be on and yes, this is definitely one of those times where I wish all that stuff we talked about was being recorded and it was part of the show.
It’s so we could dish about the industry and what’s going on and everything. Causepods, you’re over 100 episodes, congratulations on that. What’s the niche area? I think it’s underserved. I think we don’t get enough social good podcasts talked about because they are different than business podcasts, than ones that have a mission of getting marketing accomplished for you. They’re marketing their mission and they’re also trying to change hearts and minds. That’s hard.
It is hard for these folks to be Causepodders. A lot of them are shoestring budget, no budget at all, work for a nonprofit, low on staff, low on resources, low on bandwidth, but they are so passionate and they have such well-meaning intentions with what they are going to do. The whole point of this project was to elevate their efforts, elevate their messages, try and put more of these folks in front of more potential audiences. Truthfully, yes, as a podcast producer, consultant, somebody who has a business in this space, having your own podcast is naturally a marketing product.
To me, this is like the CSR of our business. I have been very blessed, very fortunate. I’ve been in the space for a while. I went from being myself, doing it alone, growing it to where we are now with over 100 shows, a team of over 20 folks, the revenue that’s been growing every year. I am fortunate that there are people who want to pay us to help him with a podcast. This is my way of giving back, finding these podcasters who are doing such good in the world. I love my clients, but most of my clients are wealthy folks using their podcasts to make more money.
Nothing wrong with that. Good for them. I’m happy for them. I’m a big fan of capitalism, but it feels good to invest my time, effort, and money to help these other folks over here who have such well-meaning intentions, don’t have the support, don’t have the network, don’t have the ability to amplify themselves and get them on the show, and the conversations are great. I enjoy it.
I enjoy meeting these folks, but honestly, the thing I love best about doing the show is when the recording is over, I usually spend about 20, 30 minutes with most of them doing a free consulting call like, “I was looking at your show. You should be doing this.” It’s like all the stuff that people pay good money for.
You can gift it to them.
I’m so thrilled to be able to help them in little ways to help them improve their efforts.
This is what I was thinking as I was going through your show and I was skipping around episodes going, “That’s a great business. That’s a great mission.” I was thinking of all the podcasters in my network who should have them as guests on their show. This is what I’m going to encourage my readers to do. If my readers are out there trying to figure out how you can occasionally get in, at least try once a month bringing in a social good aspect into your show. Think about that. Go through Mathew’s show, go through Causepods. It’s picks of them because he’s already vetted them for you.
They’re already right there and they’re amazing. If you want to do something that’s related to kids, I interviewed The Friendly Podcast Guide, Andi Smiley, and I totally love her. I heard the episode about the kids’ podcast and the author and I thought, “They have to meet each other. She needs to be on Andi’s show.” These things need to happen because we all need to raise awareness to them, and it might be perfectly in our niche. You’ve got them all lined up for us.
I wish that we had a better categorization system, so you could say, “We’re focused on mental health,” here are all the shows that talk about mental health. “We are focused on kids,” here’s all the show about kids. You could scroll through and from the image or from the title, you can get a good sense of what these folks are doing.
Most of them, nearly all of them, authoritative, smart, good. They are passionate about what they’re doing, so they are great guests. They show up, they bring their A-game, and we’re always told, “Interview in other podcasts is a way to grow your show.” You interview someone, you’re like, “That person didn’t promote anything.” These folks are going to promote because they know being on your show is going to help them as well.Interview other podcasts as a way to grow your show. Click To Tweet
They got to get their word out. That’s the only way they get more donors and they get more members into their communities. They only have that. They’re going to do a better job. I love that. That’s a great focus for you. You’ve been in and around the podcast industry for a long time, more than a decade, and this can’t be your first show. What are some of the other shows you’ve done over the years? I know because I have eight, so I know you’re in that category with me.
The first show I ever launched, I was working for a talk station here in New Jersey. We packaged up the morning news and put it out there. I went to work for a larger media organization, Wall Street Journal Radio Network. My job there was to produce podcasts, host them, create them, whatever. Over there. I hosted about 7 to 10 shows over my span of working there. Two of the ones over there I was super proud of was Getting Married and Getting Hired. My friend over there who is now over at CNBC, we both got engaged around the same time.
She’s a personal finance reporter. “Let’s talk about her experience getting married and share all these stories and hints and tips and write like the pitfalls to avoid.” That was a ton of fun. She left, went to CNBC and then I decided to pivot to getting hired because it was the financial crisis, and we needed jobs.
I would interview HR recruiters, hiring managers, people like that and find out like what are they looking for? What are people doing wrong? Those were a lot of fun. Once I got out of that business, the Dow Jones decided to like just end the radio network, laid off all of us, and that’s how I found myself doing this on my own. The first one that I did on my own was PodUp podcast, which was a horrible name. I’ve had some bad name podcasts.
You get to pivot them.
That’s true. PodUp was when I first started that was like, “I’m going to interview other people. That’s going to help me grow up my podcast business,” which it probably did, or at least it got me connected with more people in the space. I did the Pod to Pod Podcast when I was working for that podcasting news. It was one of the most popular podcasting newsletters, pre-Podnews. Once Podnews came along, I looked at the guy who found it, his name was Joseph Berman.
I was like, “This guy’s going to eat our lunch and we either need to step up or get out.” We were like, “No. James is too good at this. Podnews, the floor is yours.” I walked away from that. Podcast Me Anything. The joke there is an ask me anything, podcast me anything, an AMA-style podcast. It’s had a lot of different iterations, but the one that I keep is my way to find out what going on. Truthfully, Podcast Me Anything, I hope people listen. I know people listen. They tell me they like it. It is such a selfish endeavor because it allows me to interview other people.
That’s what this one is for me. I think I get way more out of it, but I do hear from listeners and I’m glad they’re listening, but I get a lot more here.
The fact that when Charitable first came out and I was able to get Dave Zorb on the show, I was like, “The only reason I got him was because I had a podcast. Dave, I’m a random podcaster. Can I ask you a question?” He might have tried to sell me, but we had this great connection and it was a lot of fun. Podcast Me Anything is a very selfish thing, but I’m excited to get back into it, interview other folks and see what’s going on. The space is getting fascinating out there.
It’s getting interesting. I agree with that. What are some of the things that, from doing all those shows, do you find to be the hardest thing to keep going and keep podcasting?
The hardest thing about it is I’m so busy with the day job, and this is the same excuse that all the clients have. Most of the people who are reading this who have their own podcasts, who do it as either part of their job, are so busy that it just falls in the priorities. If I don’t prioritize, it’s very easy for me to go weeks and months at a time without doing an episode. I understand folks when you say, “I want to do this, but over here, I’m actually making money with this time. Over here, I want to do it.” You got priorities. You have mouths to feed and people to take care of, and clients who need answers most of the time yesterday.
It’s the same problem. Do you have tools, systems, processes, advice that you give out to your own clients and things that you try to put in place for yourself to force you to be more accountable?
The best advice that we give people when they are launching is we tell everyone to Start with at least 4 to 6 weeks’ worth of material before they launch. It is so easy to be excited, launch a podcast, do it week 1, do it week 2, something happened, and you don’t release week 3. Once you miss that first episode, it’s so easy to make excuses and not do it. The minute you miss an episode and there’s no reaction to you missing an episode, you’re like, “Nobody misses me.” It’s easy to make excuses in your head, “I don’t need to do this again.” Staying ahead of schedule, staying consistent and staying organized. We use Click Up for our backend for the business. I love what it can do. I don’t always love the way it does it but that’s a story for a different day.
It’s also somewhat unreliable. We use that for Keeping the shows on track as well, and so that’s always good to have organization. Of course, it also helps to have people to help you. For a long time, Causepods is not only my CSR, but it was a great playground and testing space for new editors. And new writers we were hiring and new services. If somebody was coming along they wanted to work for us, I would say, “Great. Go edit this episode of Causepods.”
It’s my show, so I can live with problems on that show. I would never do that to clients. Causepods became this great space for other people to show me what they could do and test it out. If it went late, so be it. Not the end of the world. Now I get to enjoy the conversational aspect of it and somebody on my team does all the rest of it. It makes it so much easier for me to keep going on because I can just enjoy the conversation.
It’s your give back. At least you’re getting that out of it. It makes you want to keep going.
The people who work with you, the people that work with us, that’s what we provide. We provide that ability for them to enjoy the conversation and not stress about all the nitty gritty, all the laborious parts of having a podcast.
Your sound is amazing on it, which it should be. I heard a rumor that you’re opening a studio. Is it open yet as we’re speaking?
It is open. We signed a lease for the studio. We took the keys. Literally, we’re like, “The pandemic is finally breaking. People are going to want to get out there. It’s time.” I’ve been thinking about the studio for years. Let’s finally do it. The afternoon that I got my keys, I started hearing this thing, “Let’s talk about the Omicron variant.” I’m like, “Come on.”
We opened the studio. It took a couple of months to get ourselves situated, get everything in place that we wanted to, get it to work the way we wanted it to work. We’ve been open. We’ve got a bunch of clients who are coming in. It’s exciting and we’re actually already starting to eye new locations because we’ve learned what we should have done better and we’re going to, we’re expanding and growing and thinking about all these things.
Do you record video and audio in the studio?
Correct. We have good high-quality RE320 microphones in there. We’ve had a couple of different systems of cameras in there, but the idea is to be able to get ISO track so that either we can produce very high-quality video or we can give you high-quality stuff and have you take it a run with it. It’s called Towncast Studios. The real dream behind Towncast is to create excitement and enable more folks who want to create content about their community, that farm to table content creator.
I’m sure, like many of your clients, many of our clients may have a very big national focus. They are trying to hit as many people as possible coast to coast, around the world. That’s great, but they are competing with so many other big brands that are doing the same thing. What we are finding, we’ve got lots of accountants and financial advisors. The accountant comes along, “I’m going to launch a show.” I’m like, “What’s it going to be?” It’s going to be about accounting.” I’m like, “Okay. How many different ways can you tell me two plus two is four?”
It’s very hard to differentiate yourself and very hard to niche down, which is super important. What we’ve been finding is that folks who ignore that aspect of it and instead take a focus on the demographic that they’re targeting, talk about their community, talk to interesting business leaders in their area. They get so much more out of it because they are serving a niche that is underserved in lots of different ways. They are networking with all these people who are a bigger potential for using their services. I think it’s filling a void of the death of local media that we’ve been seeing for decades.
Newspapers, television, radio, all that stuff is getting regionalized and nationalized and newsrooms around the country have been emptied out and whittled down, and I think there’s a big opportunity for more people to get back in there, fill that void by being their own independent, localized content creators.Newspapers, television, and radio are getting regionalized and nationalized. Newsrooms around the country have been emptied and whittled down. There's a big opportunity for more people to get back and fill that void by being their own independent,… Click To Tweet
I think that’s so true, and this is what I want to point out to the readers. We have lots of chiropractors, doctors, professionals, and they don’t always talk about I, and I hope they don’t always talk about like the technical part. We coach them not to, but we have a great show actually in your area, in New Jersey. Expect Miracles. I love the host there because he made this decision that he was going to buy a practice, take over someone else’s practice. He decided to start the podcast as a way to introduce himself and what he cared about.
He cared about the miracle of improving your health. That’s why he calls it Expect Miracles. Plus, he was saved by chiropractic. He literally had a, “I’m never going to walk again,” injury. Dr. Kevin Pecca. He was able to start this podcast before he got the practice starting. He had some time to fill it, do his couple of months and get that in.
He had that all launched so that when he came into the practice, he could introduce himself to his potential patients and hope that they would stick around. What happened was that he’d started to talk to them more and he started to network in with the local area. What he found was that he was ranking higher than other chiropractors, even though he rebranded the practice itself because he kept mentioning where he was, in Northern New Jersey.
People would type in best chiropractics in West Orange, and all of a sudden he would appear on the list because he had way more content than they did. That was working for them. I believe that if they work in this model from a strategic standpoint and all the technical is working for them to localize with Google, they’re going to end up in exactly the right place with way more business than they expected to in a much lower marketing spend.
Not only is he improving his search ability, which we could talk for hours about how that is good for you, of course, but he’s endearing himself to his community. You have a conversation with someone about West Orange, not about chiropracticing.
The golf courses in West Orange, this is one of the topics that they’ve talked about and how do you get back on the course? It works its way into the, “I might need a chiropractor for that.”
You interview the owner of the local golf course and now that person knows who you are. After the interviews, they say, “What do you do?” “I’m a chiropractor.” They’re going to go, “Great. I just met this person. I had a wonderful time. I had a great conversation. I feel like I built a relationship with them.” When somebody asked me for a chiropractor, who am I going to say? This amazing person who I met.
“My back is killing me. I can’t play golf today.” The pro is going to go, “We have the perfect chiropractor for you.”
“We have this amazing interview with this chiropractor nearby,” and you’ve endeared yourself to the community the same way you would if put your name on the back of the kids’ jerseys who are playing Little League.
That’s going back to that model, where the dentist, the orthodontists, the real estate agents, they were advertising. Our kids have a jogathon every year, and I always think. “That’s great that they’re still advertising. They’re still doing these things. They’re on the banner, they’re sponsoring the ice cream social.” When it came time to select my orthodontist for my girls, this is the first thing I thought of. I was like, “They sponsored the local school,” and they were on the list of referrals from my dentist. I’m like, “I’m going to pick them.” That’s how it happened.
They are part of your community. That’s exactly what it is, and the ease at which you can do all the other pieces of it. Marketing, promotion, Live interviews, monetization. It’s so much easier to do all of those things when it’s right outside your door versus having to connect with someone on the other side of the country. “Would you like to sponsor my podcast there in California?” “Who are you? Where are you from?” Now if I want to get a sponsor, I can say I, “I’ll stop by the office tomorrow. We can have a quick chat.” Easy enough.
I love that model. I think that’s going to work so great for you. I’m glad someone’s thinking local. When we think podcasting, we think broadcast. I think that’s missing the point. I can see that you are starting to think that and dive into that and build services, products, and places. Towncast, I love it.
Hopefully, there’s a Towncast coming near those reading.
Let’s get this franchising out. Let’s get this moving.
That’s the dream.
Let’s start talking about a few of the things that I know you give expert advice whether we talk about it with Causepods, although I do want to talk about it slightly on Causepods bend to it, because that’s our topic for our show that we’re featuring. When I ask all of my guests how they get great guests for their show, I also want to know what are you doing to screen them, to vet them, to check them out. In Causepods, that’s a risk because if you’ve got these social good companies, are they truly 501 (c)(3)s? Does it matter? You’re going to give them some amount of publicity and authority. It’s always risky if that’s not a legitimate organization. What do you do to vet that?
With Causepods, it’s interesting because when I first started it, the idea was you had to be a 501 (c)(3). Everybody who came on, the idea was, “We’ll create your own GoFundMe page, and we’ll drive donations to your cause,” and it quickly got too complicated and too onerous, and it wasn’t going to work. We backed off from that and we said, “You don’t have to be a 501(c)(3), but we’re still going to help promote a good cause in the area.
We’ve actually made it easy in that I’ve got a scheduling link right there on the website. You go ahead, you put your information in, you find the time that works for you. I have to approve it. I would say 98% of the, I approve it. I could tell by looking at the title, looking at the description of the show, this is a good fit for it. Even faster, I could look at something and be like, “No, you’re selling services. Sorry. Not a good fit.” Let’s say we met via PodMatch. I’ll get a lot of people reaching out like, “I’ve got a great person for Causepods. They are the number one philanthropist.” It’s easy to say, “Do they have a podcast?” “No.” “They’re not a fit.”
This is that one caveat. You have to have a podcast. I say to them, “If they launch a podcast, they’re welcome back.” Going beyond Causepods, and anybody reading, if you have a cause-based podcast, don’t hesitate. Go sign up. I’ll be happy to have you on. I’m excited to talk to you and hear your show. When it comes to our clients, when it comes to other shows, I find that when I’m going out there looking for guests, I simply ask. There are people who are like, “How do you do this? It’s so complicated.” I ask. I make it clear to the person that I think they are interesting. They can provide value, we can share their message or we want to learn from them.
Short of those folks who say, “I only do shows with a minimum of 10,000, so I can promote my book,” or the person is like, “I’ll be on your show for $500.” It’s fine. If you want to do that, that’s fine. I’m not going to pay you for it. I’m not upset that you do that, but I’m not messing with that. I find 90% of the time, if you say to someone, “Tracy, I think what you’re doing is interesting. Can I ask you about it? Can I learn more about it? Can I share what you’re doing with folks?”
I’m going to be like, “No, you can’t share me.”
“No, you can’t dote all over me. No, you can’t talk nicely about me. No, you can’t. Find out what I’m doing and share it with your audience for an hour.” It’s hard for people to say no if you are genuinely curious and interested in them.
We were talking about this prior to our episode recording here that I was talking to Alex Sanfilippo from PodMatch, which is how Mathew and I reconnected up here, and he said that he has improved the machine learning that is basing on it. If I wanted to type into PodMatch, I have a question about this, you’ll be able to do that in the near future. That will be very cool. Not only can you say, “I want someone who has a podcast,” because you can screen that out through that system, but I also want someone who has a podcast, this is on this particular answer to this question and that would be so cool.
By the way, on the flip side, because our email is in a lot of RSS beats, we get a lot of cold emails from people pitching guests and they always start with, “Loved your last episode, love listening to the show. Hey, Tom.” It’s like you emailed Mathew at The Podcast Consultant, why are you leading off with, ‘Hey Tom?’ Why are you telling me you listen to the show for Causepods? You listen to the show, but you pitch somebody who doesn’t have a podcast. The minute I know that you are full of it, I’m putting you in the inbox and I’m blocking you.
They block them. That’s why even if they were a legitimate guesting organization, they’ve blown it right there and they’re never going to get through my inbox again.
No, and having worked in radio and news for a long time, the way good PR folks do it is they build a relationship. They talk to you. They find out because 90% of my shows, they don’t want outside guests. They are interested in what they’re interested in. They don’t want to sell your books for you. They’re curious about what they’re curious about, so stop wasting your time emailing us about it.
The person who does build a relationship and say, “Let’s talk,” and then they say, “I do have a guest for it.” They nail it or at least they show that they’re paying attention. I’m going to take their pitches. I’m going to be proactive. I’m going to say, “You know what we’re looking for. Who do you have for me?” It’s going to work so much better.
That’s going to do a lot of the heavy lifting then at that point. The second thing that I ask everybody about is increasing listeners. This is the big thing that everybody wants to do is how do I get more listeners? What have you done at that has been working for you and what have you done for your clients?
It’s such a generic cop out answer. There are lots of good podcasting hacks out there. They would be a guest on other shows, have more podcast guests on your show, run ads on other shows, do this on social media, have the email list, etc. Yes, all those things will give you incremental increases to your show, and over time they will get you there. What works best is to create content that is compelling, interesting, and is delivering value to your audience. Most podcasts, we give these away for free. It costs you nothing to listen to the show, but I still have to invest 20, 30, 60 minutes of my time to listen, and I’ve got a lot of options out there.
The only way that you are going to succeed is if you create content that is truly valuable. Tell us what you were going to give us. You deliver on that promise and you appeal to the emotions of your listeners. Lots of people, when they’re promoting their stuff on social media, they say, “Check out the latest episode where we talk to.” I sit there reading the social media piece. I’m like, “I’m bored reading this out loud.”
I’ll read a ton of stuff on Twitter. It’s all going to bore me. What gets us to stop is somebody who can make me feel something in their post, in their intro, in their description, even in the way that they talk to someone. They solicit some sort of emotional response even if that response is anger. Even if I think to myself, “I do not like this person,” I’m still going to go back.
You want to hear what that’s about.
The reason why this is important is because 90% of the time, the way people discover new podcasts is someone they know or trust says, “Tracy, I know you’re into this podcasting stuff. I heard a show about X.” If Tracy loves, trusts, respects, whatever, she’s more likely to check it out than some random podcast ad that she comes across her social media feed. Create content that makes your audience excited to tell right people about it. That’s it. That’s not easy.
When you hit that, that’s what works. I’m going to interrupt our three things because we could talk about monetization. I know you and I are going to go through the rest of our hour on that. Before we get to that, I want to hit on your binge factor because it’s my job to psychoanalyze your show, and give you your binge factor.
This is the thing that I love the most about Causepods because it’s a very unique setup of what you’ve done with this compilation of social good podcasts that you’re featuring on your show. Here’s why it works so well. When you’re talking to them on the show, you’re building in this exact thing that you’re telling the audience to do here, which is you are building in and hitting at the heart of the conversation.
Why is this podcast worth listening to? How is this supporting your mission and where is it going and what are the members, the people that you want to build in this community? What’s the essence of this? You get right to that right away in your episodes, and I think that’s why it makes me go, “I want to click on this episode and listen to it,” and then I listen to the whole thing. Before I know it, you pulled me right in by anchoring it with the purpose at the beginning of every single episode.
It’s funny because you can always tell how passionate that person is, but also how passionate I am about that person. We had a woman on who helps people getting out of cults and things like that, and right away, Indoctrination Nation, you hear that story right away, “I don’t care that I’m recording a podcast. Tell me more.”
You’re in it and you forget what you’re doing. There are others where you hear them talking, you’re like, “Let’s get onto the podcast and stuff.” You can tell when that passion isn’t there. Only once or twice have I ever not aired an episode because it wasn’t a good fit or didn’t work, or the person clearly wasn’t a cause-based podcaster. I would say for others, if you’re not going to hit the mark, if you’re not going to have that emotional appeal, don’t air it. Do as I say, not as I do. It’s okay to not air an episode that doesn’t work, that doesn’t hit the mark or doesn’t deliver the value that your audience wants.It's okay not to air an episode that just doesn't work, hit the mark, or doesn't deliver the value your audience wants. Click To Tweet
You’re trying to build a bingeable show, which is, at the end of the day, if I’m getting this in 90% of your episodes, I’m totally in. I know that there are going to be some that you can’t control. I’m a seasoned podcast listener. Most binge listeners are. They’re going to know and they’re going to be forgiving about a couple of ones that aren’t as amazing. If you’re doing it most of the time, which you are, I’m going to keep going.
What’s interesting is by the nature of what we do, it is not a very bingeable show. We will have people who listen. You’ll see episodes that spike because the person shared it or it’s a topic that’s interesting, like a mental health show. It spikes. Next week we’re talking about whatever. Genetic disease. Rare genetic disease, and it’s like, “I’m not interested in that.”
You might have people who jump all over because the causes aren’t appealing to them. By the title they’re going, “Not for me.”
We find a lot of the audience participation is topic-specific and host-specific. That host is so enthusiastic and they’re sharing it like crazy? Yeah, the numbers are spiking. That person, they don’t care as much. They’re not putting as much passion into it or the topic doesn’t have broad appeal. Yeah, a lot of people are going to be like, “I’m going to use this time better for something else.” That’s okay.
It’s the challenge of a show like yours. It is the challenge of making it as bingeable as possible, but even still, even if you only end up with 10% of your listeners that are binge listeners, those are the ones that are recommending. Maybe it is like I’ve been out there looking for the right social good program to invest in or I’ve been out there looking for these things. The ones that are doing that and binge-listening are the ones that are recommending you and that’s worthwhile, even if it’s only 10% of your audience.
We don’t always have in every single niche area and every single thing that we don’t always have those people who, it’s awful to say this, the sneezers. I almost don’t want to say it, but that’s what causes something to go viral. The sneezers, that’s actually what they’re called. We don’t always have sneezers for every type of niche, but you might have a few that make the difference for you.
I think the underlying theme that. Everybody can listen to is those folks who are thinking about a cause-based podcast. Getting the advice, getting the insight, getting the wisdom from folks who have been there before. For me, my mission is to help these podcasters get more recognition. I will fully admit, I probably do more good for them outside of the recording than we do by producing the episode.
I spend 20, 30, 40 minutes with them after them saying, “You need to do this, you need to fix this, you need to do that,” which will help their show regardless of whether or not we air their episode. I feel like I’m always accomplishing the mission of the show even if we don’t see a spike in numbers for that particular episode.
Let’s talk monetization because I definitely want to get to that before we end here. Causepods is probably not something you’re going to monetize and not every show is, but you do help others monetize and so I’m sure you have some great advice. What are some of, I’m going to call them the most alternative ways you’ve seen monetization happen that you think are might be right for some podcasters out there?
It’s so hard to call them alternative at this point because I feel like so many people are tapping into them. What I will say is advertising is obviously the most popular and advertising works. Every 1,000 downloads, you get paid a certain rate, and right now, like the average rate for 1,000 downloads is $25. You do a show, an ad for $25 across an audience of 1,000 people, you’re earning $0.025 per person that listens.
If you do some sort of direct monetization model, whether it’s a Patreon and you’re asking for donations or it’s a premium and you’re restricting access to your show only to people who pay for it, or you’re creating some sort of membership or club where that access gets you additional things beyond the show, you are getting whatever you charge them that month or that week or whatever per person.
If you’re charging $5 a month for a person to join your group to pay you, that is a whole heck of a lot more that you’re getting per person than two and a half cents. The other thing is there are lots and lots of ways to deliver value, to deliver premium benefits that don’t cost you anything. One of my clients, one of the first things he did, he set up a Patreon and he said, “$2 a month. That’s it. For $2 a month, I will mention your name at the end of my show as a supporter, and I’m going to email you ahead of time who the guest is so you can submit questions and I’ll read those to the guest.”
Nothing there costs him a dime, but it became this cache in his niche for people to pay him $2 a month because now they get to say, “You heard me on that show,” or even better, “I got to ask this person a question through that host.” It cost them nothing to start getting money directly into his pocket. Truthfully, when you talk about donations versus premium models versus membership benefits, they are all the same stupid thing and it’s a matter of how you brand it.
If I am asking you for $20 a month, it doesn’t matter if I’m asking you to do it as a donation or if I’m charging it to you for access. It’s the same exact thing. The difference is if you’re a Fortune 500 company, don’t come to me with your hands up going, “Please support us, sir. We need the money.” Not going to happen. If you’re a nonprofit, don’t tell me, “Our content is highly exclusive. You have to pay $20 for it,” when I know you’re doing this without a mic, without anything. You are a nonprofit. Ask for a donation. That’s what people want to do. They want to support you.
All of those models with all their tricks, all the things that they can offer, they all work the same way. You just have to make sure that you are branding it correctly for your audience and that’s what’s going to help make it stick. There are a million ways to offer value for direct monetization, and a lot of them don’t have to cost you anything and you can get started right away. Once you get 1 or 2 people doing it, momentum builds.
Since they already have donors and sponsors, do you have Causepodders who do that model with their audience? If I’ve got already a sponsor who might be sponsoring my organization, say, “You can get sponsorship on the podcast as well if you pay for my production cost per episode?”
We’ve had a handful of people who did. We’ve suggested it to dozens of others. Go talk to this 501(c)(3) that we’re promoting on the show for you and say, “Even if it’s not monetary, we’ll tell our audience about your cause and to donate. Can you put a mention of us in your newsletter? We’ve got an audience of 10,000 people listening.”
If there’s alignment, it’s worth it.
Certainly, there are some folks who got a Patreon right there asking for a few dollars. Maybe they’re offering ad-free content. Maybe they’re offering an extra episode. Maybe they’re creating a group where you can do an AMA with that audience. Spend an hour with Mathew as a Causepodder for $5 a month.
“Ask me anything,” I love it.
My time costs a heck of a lot more to other people, but you can get it for $5. There are ways to do this that don’t cost you anything. If I get one person, that’s $5 a month, it is going to take me months to get the 1,000 listeners to get the $25 per episode. It’s a better way to get started.
You’ve been giving advice and helping support podcasting community. I’m sure you feel like a broken record on that, but what is one thing you wish podcasters asked you before they got started?
I ask them a lot of different questions before they get started, but usually the question that I want them to ask me is, “What am I going to get from this?” So many people have been sold this bill of goods that podcasting is this automatic panacea to riches, to wealth, to absolute success. They go and they copy the model of the people who’ve done it beforehand, and then they’re like, “Why isn’t this working?” My sense about podcasting is just a delivery vehicle.
If they ask that question, “If you know what you want,” I can make it work for you.
That, or I’m much more inclined to work with someone who says, “I have this passion about X. Does the podcast make sense to get it out?” Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you should be writing. Maybe you should be doing video. Maybe you should be going on a public speaking circuit. We can make most things work as a podcast, don’t get me wrong, but if you come to me and saying, “I want to do a podcast, I just don’t know about what,” you have no chance. If you are out there saying, “I am bursting with passion to talk about. Will a podcast help me?” Yeah, because again, podcasts are not special.
We have been talking to each other. We have been broadcasting conversations. We’ve been sharing conversation for eons. All we’ve done now is slip it into an RSS feed to make it a little bit easier for people to access. At some point, that technology is going to change. The fact that we are having a conversation, it’s a human experience, and that will never change. Don’t focus on, “I need a podcast,” focus on, “I need to accomplish X or I need to share why,” and then figure out how you can shape this message to work for you and how to shape that delivery to work for you.
That ties right back to the other advice you gave us earlier, which is if you’re making great content, if you’re already passionate about it, you’re going to make great content, people are going to share it. You’re not going to have a problem growing your listener base.
I’m nothing if but consistent.
Mathew, thank you so much for coming on the show. I’m so glad we connected back up here, and we are able to bring you out to our Binge Factor audience.
It has been such a pleasure. Thank you for having me on.
I hope you read all the synergy that was going on and the mind share and all the things going on between Mathew and I. This is why my show is useful to my business, and I want you to be clear on that. The majority of what I’m doing here on the air is for you. I’m bringing you shows that I’m truly interested and truly curious about. I’m at a certain level in my podcasting career and my business of podcasting, so when I bring you somebody on, I’m as interested in them and creating a relationship with them and building up with them and doing future things with them.
I can see we’re going to have a great relationship moving forward. Mathew and I are going to have some more talks in the near future. We’re going to be able to, and I already did, because I’m recording this a little bit after we recorded our interview, but I already did share shows with him that I think would be highly valuable to him.
It’s a giveback from all of the people who have been on The Binge Factor before or came into my network and got me aware of their show. It allows me to make those cross-references back and forth, and that’s what Mathew and I are going to do together. Most often, I’m so excited by Towncast Studios. I think that’s going to be a great model moving forward and out of the pandemic.
I think there are a lot of podcasters coming into the world that needs that on-air support. They need it as the recording. I also believe that when you’re going to go into a studio, it’s a way to hold yourself accountable. Show up, make sure you do it. I think this is the right timing for Mathew to shift his whole business into that model, and I look forward to seeing how Towncast Studios does.
If you’d like to connect with all of the ways to meet up with Mathew Passy, check out Causepods. Come back because there are going to be more great podcasters that Mathew is going to share with me on this show. I would love for you to share this show with other podcasters. Thanks, everyone, for reading.
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