For today’s very interesting and exciting episode, we have with us, Paul Blais, who is a serial entrepreneur and host of 2 podcasts, Doubt the Doubts and the Potter’s Cast. Doubt the Doubts’ audience is a highly targeted group of “wantrepreneurs”, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. These people are action takers looking for the tools that will help launch their dreams to the next level. The Potters cast was born out a combination of Paul’s love of business and his love of clay. The Potters Cast is all about the love of clay and the how-to’s for the business of clay. This podcast has quickly become the number one listened to ceramic themed podcast in the world.
Paul and I know each other from the Podcaster Paradise, a community of podcasters started by John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire.
In this episode filled with nifty tricks and strategies on how to increase your podcast downloads, Paul will also share with us:
- 4:29 – How he came into the world of podcasting
- 7:15 – Myth or Fact: “A podcaster has to have huge numbers of downloads per episode to directly monetize a podcast.”
- 12:15 – What percentage of America is listening to podcasts?
- 20:04 – 4 important keys to consider when building your podcast audience.
- 33:06 – How to utilize episode outtakes to increase your email list.
- 37:29 – The importance of releasing every episode on a strict schedule.
- 49:26 – How Paul used different social media platforms to market his podcasts.
- 59:07 – The importance of hashtags!
- And much, much more
Mentioned in this interview
- Doubt The Doubts
- John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire
- New Business Podcast by Chris Ducker
- Podcasters Paradise
Where to Find Paul
- Follow Paul on Twitter
- The Potters Cast
- Check out Paul’s Instagram posts
- How my Podcast got 809,131 downloads in a single month
Full Episode Transcript
0:54 Lorna: Hello powerful change makers. This is Lorna Li, speaking to you from Southern California, where I am here speaking with Paul Blais over Skype. Now, let me tell you about Paul because I really admire what Paul has done to explode his podcast audience over using social media. So Paul is a serial entrepreneur and is a host for two podcasts “Doubts the Doubts” and “The Potters Cast’’.
1:28: Now Paul and I know each other from Podcaster’s Paradise which is a community of podcasters started by John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire. Now, John Lee Dumas has had amazing success with his podcast. I think he gets over a million downloads a month these days and Paul, I believe you do too, am I correct?
1:51 Paul: Yeah, I think John is either just coming up on a million a month. I think the last Saturday he has chased me. That was like last month I heard him said something like that in an interview with what was on creative life. He was doing a class and I think he was a chasing a million a month. Not quite there yet but I could be wrong until it could be. In last 30 days, we had 1.8 million in the last 30 days for Doubts the Doubts. So, yeah, John is rock and rolling.
2:21 Lorna: And so are you.
2:22 Paul: Yeah.
2:24 Lorna: Great. I can’t wait to discover your secrets on how do you–social media explode your ITunes audience. Now first, I’d like to really understand who you are and where you came from, what is your business and what inspires you to do these podcasts?
2:40 Paul: My background is that I have been an entrepreneur basically. I feel like the words have a bit overused entrepreneur but I still use it a lot but let’s just say, a guy that does his own gig. That’s what I’ve done most of my adult life. I’ve worked for other businesses, I’ve done other deals but for the most part, I really like doing my own gig. So, what that looks like is that I have had a number of businesses that I’ve done for profit. I’ve even started some non-profits, I even started some that were supposed to be for profit that ended up being as nonprofit, just didn’t make any money of it.
3:20 My main business that I’ve rent in the last little while was a company called the Electric Connection. Electric Connection was still it is but it’s more closer it was than is, but it was a high-end lighting design custom home type of a business where I would go in and design everything that needed the system involve basically, so it was lighting systems, security systems, sound system, home theatre system, electrical design. So anytime you add the word system, you’re also adding just money to the project. So we could easily take a project from a ten thousand dollar project to a thirty thousand dollar project, or I even have one project that we did a bid. I think my bid was 25-thousand dollars was our original bid.
4:09 By the time that we’re done doing the job, I think we exceeded a $150,000 for it. So it’s all high-end beautiful houses. I’m very fortunate to be able to work with that caliber builder and the customers that really enjoyed nice things. It’s a huge pleasure for me.
4:29 So that’s my background but then, I was diagnosed with cancer at last year in 2013 and with that, came the reality that I needed my body to work and without a working body, I no longer had a working income. My income was devastated, so, in the last six or since I was diagnosed from February, I’ve been off work for 11 months. I’ve been in surgery or treatment or surgery. That was actually surgery to surgery to treatment back to surgery and then I never had treatments since then. It’s been quite the process.
5:12 So I had to figure out, Lorna. I have to figure out way how to make a living without having to make my body work. I stumble on this world of podcasting and saw the potential for it and I went after t and I said, “This is it man. I can make a living doing this. I can make a living and talking to people.” Lorna, I love to talk to people. So, I’m going for it.
5:38 Now, it’s not exactly what we’ve been sold. I mean, I feel like guys have sold a lot of new podcasters, a brochure, a travel brochure, where we thought of buying was a roadmap and instead of getting that roadmap, we ended getting up the travel brochure. And so, I had to figure out after I realized what I was buying was a brochure, the dream, the picture, what the end result possibly could be. I had to figure out. What I really need that time was a roadmap. I have to figure out what that roadmap is and that’s a whole different deal altogether. Just to figure out how get to that point where you can turn your cast into cash and that was the deal.
6:24 Lorna: Yes, so that’s interesting how you mentioned your brochure versus the actual roadmap because I think I went through a similar journey with podcasting as well like one thing I discovered in that journey, when I discovered that what I’ve acquired was also brochure is that a podcast really isn’t a business. I mean podcasting is a lot of fun, I really enjoy talking to all these amazing people like you and many other people whose wisdom and advice I’ve certainly benefited from but to think of podcasting as a business, you really have to have pretty huge numbers to actually start to directly monetize your podcast. So what ends up happening for a lot of podcasters…
7:12 Paul: I don’t agree with that.
7:13 Lorna: You don’t? Really? Okay.
7:15 Paul: I don’t. I think you have to have significant numbers. Significant means at least a thousand downloads per episode. That’s significant. Anything less than that is really not going to be able to be too much value, but having said that, it depends on your niche too or niche depending what you want to say niche or niche but it depends on where you’re going to be like for instance with the Potter’s Cast, my second podcast that I started in April, that show is fully-funded for the fourth quarter and it was fully-funded to the third quarter and partially funded to the second quarter. No, I don’t want to take it back. Partially funded as the third quarter, that’s when I started to make a living off and makes money of it and now, it’s fully-funded.
8:06: That was with the show that was giving minimum of a thousand downloads per episode. That’s where I was guaranteed and because it was a niche product, niche show, that made that show of value to the ceramic industry which is what that show is all about, the Potter’s Cast. So I could go to specific companies like I’ve got georgies.com and also skutt.com. Skutt is a kiln company and Georgies is a company that provides products for ceramic artists whether you’re potter or fine arts artists that does clay. The point is that those two are only looking for outlets that go to advertise and I have the perfect audience for them, the perfect audience.
8:58 So, I can make money off on through selling to that. We’ve grown since and I’m getting 5000 downloads an episode now with that show and I have raised my prices with them yet and I need to and I was guaranteeing them a thousand downloads an episode with the idea that I knew I was getting minimum of 2000 and then when it came time for the third to fourth quarter to come and it came time to renew the contracts, I kept it at the same place and even though I knew that by that point I was getting 4000 to 5,000 downloads an episode. I just want to bring my company, my advertisers a very strong return for their investment, return or their ROI.
9:45: They’re getting a lot more exposure than they were before. I don’t know how to agree that I have these huge numbers. In our niche now, the entrepreneur niche, oh, we’ve been so inundated with content creation, not with listeners but content creation has been huge. So the market is very difficult in this market to find a really good to find customers or I should say, advertisers. There’s a lot of competition. Yes, in this genre, you do need to have really good kind numbers to do that and then I’ve got a lot of opinions about what those high numbers mean and also what type of advertisings that we do or how we can monetize that because there’s definitely tactics for that there, not necessarily just you’re doing what I’m doing with the Potter’s Cast that to be able to monetize that. That’s my thought. So that was my interruption and I apologize for that.
10:45 Lorna: Not a problem at all. That was a good interruption because I’m so glad you debunked this idea. Because I had this sense that you needed to get in the tens of thousands of monthly downloads to even become remotely interesting to advertisers. But I’m glad that you’ve distinguished the fact that it does definitely depend on your niche and certainly the entrepreneurial market is very oversaturated, I would completely agree with you. It seems like there’s a new podcast almost every day it comes out about entrepreneurs and I see the same guests showing up on their shows and it’s like, “Okay. Well, you know, like how many times can we listen to this person and they have a lot to share.” But you could imagine from the audience perspective might get a little ADD.
11:34 Paul: Yes. And I agree with you. I mean, the thing about podcasting is that the gurus and I use that term a little bit loosely. But let’s just say the people that are selling to podcasters, they are telling us without reservation, they are saying that podcasting is exploding and that the opportunities are seemingly limitless. They do these great sales pitches of like, “Look how much money I’m making at this. Now, let me tell you what I did.” And that’s what we’re buying when we do it. We’re buying that story. But the reality is, there has not been a huge explosion in podcasting, as far as listeners goes.
12:15 Listeners, in the last two years, the listenership in America was 12% of America’s two years ago who was listening to podcasts or even knew what a podcast was. We’re not talking about people that are really full on geeks and that’s all they ever listen to. That segment of America grew from 12%, in two years, to 15% which is what we currently are right now. From 12-15%, we don’t call that a tidal wave, we call that a ripple. That has been a very small, nearly insignificant in growth. That’s like 1 ½% growth if we are talking about putting our money in a place where it’s going to have growth that we are all given is 1 ½% return on our income or of our investment, we would be pulling out our money from that place and putting it somewhere else.
13:15: So the tidal wave has not been in listenership, the tidal wave has been in podcasters showing up to try to make a living of it. So we have this huge influx of podcasters, such as yourself and me that has shown up to try to make a living off of this and worse, fishing from the same little pond that we’re supposed to draw from to be able to get those crazy download numbers. And this is just not going to happen, that’s why most podcasters right now are only getting about 144 downloads per episode or 109 even though you don’t know how you do the math for this stuff. That’s why we’re only getting that many downloads per episode is because there’s just not this big enough listening audience out there yet. Now will it come? Maybe.
14:03: With the things that are going on with iTunes right now being making podcasting, a native app on their iPhone, you can’t get rid of it. Yes that will help, making it native to cars, the inboard dashboard that they’re going to have Stitcher on every car that’s out there. They have these specific models that they are going to have those on there. Yes, that will help but let’s be honest. Just because they were in the dashboard of cars, who’s buying brand new cars? The highly-educated and also the wealthy.
14:34: And so the general population of America which is the vast number of people that are making less than a $100,000 a year are not out buying these brand new cars or have the in dash access to podcast. Therefore we’re going to see the same slow, methodical growth that we’ve seen in the past, I see can be taking place in the next two years until those new cars become used cars. That’s when we’ll start to see the growth, the new cars becoming the used cars then we’ll see more growth in that. But right now, I don’t see a huge tidal wave coming; I see potential for a lot of growth but as far as current podcasters’ concern, I don’t see huge growth. That’ why it’s so difficult for everybody to be getting attraction because they are all trying to fish from one place, iTunes, not going to grow.
15:23 Lorna: Wow! That’s really a good wake up call. So Paul…
15:29 Paul: Nobody’s teaching that Lorna. Nobody out there will tell you that. Everybody’s going to tell you. “This is how you get in the new and noteworthy. This is how you grow your audience on iTunes. This is how you grow your audience at Stitcher.” That’s all well and good but it’s false because you can only throw so many fishing lines in a pond where there’s just not enough fish out there, so not everybody’s going to be catching fish. That’s just the sad reality right now.
15:56 Lorna: I agree with you. I see similar thing too where you have gurus teaching email list building, but they don’t necessarily tell you that there’s different quality leads that you can get from different sources. So it’s a lot of it’s like the devils in the details and I’m really glad that you are being so direct and frank and just spelling it out. So I’m curious to know Paul. Do you think that there is any value to getting into podcasting if you’re a new and aspiring podcaster?
16:27 Paul: Yes. There is value in it. There is value in it, totally. But I think we need to dispel some of those ideas that it’s a sprint. It’s not a sprint to our living. And actually, let me just say this Lorna, it depends on the purpose. If your purpose is for fun and your purpose is to have a neat hobby, then absolutely we can totally do that. If your purpose is to make a bigger impact in the world, you are definitely building a platform that way. Is it possible to grow your audience from zero to a million? Absolutely, it totally is. Because someone else has already done it that’s proven the point that it can be done.
17:09 So yes, there’s value in it. What we need to do though is to go into it, not with the idea that I can make a sprint to the money six months to six figures, that’s probably not going to happen more than likely what you’re going to do is six months to figure out that what you were taught was not working. Not figure out…
17:30 Lorna: [Laughs] Didn’t John Lee Dumas go from six months to six figures?
17:38 Paul: He did. But let’s pick a part John Lee Dumas, the guy’s a genius. He’s a really bright guy, really good guy, love John lee Dumas. Here’s what the difference between him and most podcasters: he for one came into it before there was a tidal wave of content. Secondly, he’s the boulder that was strong in the middle of the pond that created the ripple effect of bringing in a lot of people that wanted to get into podcast. So he’s a big reason why a lot of people jumped into podcasting work because his story is six months to six figures. That is his story. He also though, before he ever made a dime, he spent $13,000 of his own income out of his bank account in investing in infrastructure, VA’s and education.
18:28 The vast majority of podcasters coming into podcasting do not have $13,000 of disposable income to be able to throw like that, nor does the vast majority of podcasters right now have the ability to go full-time where not only do they –when I say $13,000 of income, that’s not including the work time that he quit because he quit his job and he did this full-time. Before even podcasting, he had quit and gone full-time in this. So he’s a different bird.
19:00 We all have to invest that $13,000 whether it is in real cash or real sweat equity. We have to pay the dues because any business out there, as an entrepreneur, I know, it takes money to make money. You have to invest with it somehow whether that money we’ll just call that resource because it takes treasure to cash in, before you can find more treasure.
19:23 And your treasure is probably going to be your time. And then you got to go to the learning process, how to do these all. So if you are planning on doing it for pleasure, for fun, absolutely it’s worth it. If you’re planning to do it for business, then there’s very specific need, you have to be thinking about to be able to do it as a business because I look at this as this is not just that I’m podcasting, I’m looking at this as a media business. And that’s how we’ve got to be thinking about this, this is a media business.
19:56 Lorna: Okay. So how do we put on our media business hats? What would you recommend to us to start thinking about how we do podcasting?
20:04 Paul Okay. Number one is you’ve got to think volume also, you have to think world, and that is true for any business. Every business has to be reaching customers, okay? You have to be reaching customers, so in order to be successful at that, you have to be growing that customer base. Now you can get to the point where you have a big enough customer-base and now you just maintain and that’s okay, you can do that. But in an information-driven business, you have to be expanding that customer base.
20:38 So volume of listeners is critical. I have heard, I pause for dramatic emphasis, Lorna, because I’ve been in so many podcast webinars where people are complaining that they’re only getting 150 downloads a day or an episode on their podcast. And what these other people will say, they’ll say, “Stop and think about it. If you had a room full of 100 people in there, think about they will all listen in you, that would be amazing. So pat yourself in the back, that’s an amazing accomplishment.” Another dramatic pause, because that’s a bunch of bull. You would never come into this into any business and think that as an electrical contractor.
21:39 In my business, if I had one customer, I would not be blown away at the fact that I have one customer. Think about it Paul. You have one contractor who listens to your every word and let you put wire in that house. That’s what we call bankruptcy, one customer. And when you come to podcasting, it is not true that you need to be excited about having 101 downloads, what you need to be excited about is how to get 101,000 downloads. That’s what you got to get excited about and that’s where you have to create the volume. So number one, its volume is critical. You have to be reaching a lot of customers.
22:19 Number two and this is one of the things Lorna that I have really blown it on and I’m trying to correct is not only the relative volume of listeners. And the volume of listeners is critical in case if you ever plan on doing any type of ads space marketing then that matters for that purpose. But I think that there’s different ways there’s few different ways to make money from your podcast and ads space advertising is one of them because that’s what most of us dream of this having a great show good enough to wear 99 designs – Let me be your sponsor on your show. That’s all well and good. That’s what most podcasters dream about.
23:03 Now, having said that, now the second step is the area that I made a mistake in is – not only listeners but list, so listeners and list. So we need to be thinking if we are in an information-based media business, we have to be building that list. The list is specifically an email list because here’s the gig, Lorna, we are using, when you make all of your marketing strategy based upon iTunes, you are now functioning unrented space. You are building business on rented property. The same is true with any social media stuff when you went onto Facebook and you build a business on that type on social media for Facebook, it’s a rented space.
23:55 And Facebook is the perfect example of why it’s so critical to get people off of there and onto your list because Facebook demonstrated within the last year or so, within that short period of time, they had made it more and more difficult for me to go to my audience, my followers, my friends on Facebook and cut off my ability to reach them. They now put a set of throttle on that that at most, whenever I post anything, I will reach about 2-10% depending upon a couple of variables but that’s the most I can reach unless I say, “Hey Facebook, how about I slip you 100 bucks? Let me reach more people. Let me get a hold of more of my friends that I’ve cultivated relationship with.”
24:51 Then that’s okay for a 100 bucks I’ll do it for you. And they keep putting on those throttles in there. Now what’s a necessary, a perfect example is that I was doing my webinar for podcast movement. I’m sorry, not podcast movement, podcastafterburner.com – when I was putting together that webinar, I went onto Facebook and I personally wrote emails to everyone in my podcast friends. This was not a shock and thing where I loaded up and just clicked all my friends and just said, “Hey, Lorna and Pat Flynn and so on and so forth” and just people that I’m friends with on Facebook, it wasn’t like that then just send out one big email that gets to all these people in one shot.
25:38 That’s not what I did. I wrote to each person individually telling them about my event that was coming up. And it took me about 8-10 hours to do that process of writing all those people. Okay? I’ll admit I did do some copy and pasting but the point is, it was still individual.
25:57 Facebook came and warned me and said. “Paul, if you keep this up, we’re going to turn off your instant messaging ability. We’re going to turn that off. You won’t be able to chat with anybody again.” So they basically… because what I was trying to do was I was trying to do it for free and they don’t want that. They want me to pay it or not.
26:15 Now, I get that day. I get it, they’re business, they’re entrepreneurs, they have to make money, publicly traded money. I copy. I get it. They have to make money but I feel a little duped in building a bunch of friends on there and I can’t tell them all about the same idea individually. I’m not allowed to do that. They’ll cut me off from Facebook and won’t even do it anymore. So we have to get them off of their platform and get them on our list. So listeners and list are the two things that are really critical.
26:44 The next thing that you have to build is because we are Media Company, you have to build content. You have to be putting lots of content out whether that is if you’re blogger, that’s a media company and you want to be able to make money out of your blog, you have to put lots of blogs or at least really good blogs that come out consistently. If you’re a podcaster you have to make sure that you are on time with your show. You get it out on time.
27:12 Yesterday it was for me. Today we are recording on November the 17th 2014. And yesterday was a day where I got busy doing other things. And I was just about to head off to bed that it dawned me that my episode for today, episode 262 had not been uploaded nor even edited properly. So that it dawned on me that’s “Oh! I got to do my show.” So I got to sit up, instead of going to bed, I had to stay awake for the next hour and a half putting everything together because I have to collect it and find the notes and do all that stuff that, well plus I watched a little YouTube and then goofed around a little bit.
27:54 So that is part of the hour and a half, I’ll admit but nonetheless it was still my bedtime got postponed because I had to get it up on time. It had to be available. I couldn’t just wake up in the morning and say, “I’ll do it in the morning and just hit it up by some time tomorrow and I’ll be good enough. Still the same release day and nobody’s going to know.” No, we have to do it all on time and get it out there. So, here we go listeners, list and content. Those are the three things that we have to be building. That content can be divided into a couple of things. It needs to be going to our people in our list. It needs to be going out to try and to find people to get onto our list. And it needs to be able to go out and be just good content for other people concerned.
28:42 So there are three purposes for that content that we’re supposed to be creating it for. Now, the last thing is marketing. We have to market our shows. I wish I can tell you at the top of my head about the name of this company. There were two major companies at the turn of the last century that were soda companies. And I can’t tell you the name of the first one because they didn’t market. But the second company I can totally tell the name because they did market. They’re called Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola company blew up and grew like crazy because they did this crazy marketing things like, they created a Santa Claus that wasn’t a red suit with a white ruffles around him.
29:25 They put that out there in such a big wave that people started to associate Coca-Cola with Santa Claus. And so they did these amazing marketing tactics and I can’t remember that other soda company because they didn’t have any marketing tactic. They didn’t have a way to get their message to other people. So that’s why I say for us, what most podcasters are doing is they’re trying to do their podcasting only through word of mouth. And though that is strong and good, it’s not necessarily the best way.
29:59 Most were trying to do iTunes and though that’s strong and good, it’s really fished out platform because like I said, 15% of America, it’s only grown by 15% or by 3% and we have a huge number of people that are trying to do the exact same thing than I am. So those are the four things that I’d say will be critical for a media-type business.
30:24 Lorna: You definitely bring up a number of really important points. So I want to cycle back to one of the points that you made which was around getting the listeners onto your list. Now, given the fact that most people are listening to the podcast as they’re shopping for groceries or in their car, how do you get those people your audience onto your email list?
30:47 Paul: Okay, so that’s a great question. I’ll tell you the things that I am discovering, not the things that I am practicing because those are two different things, the discovering and what I’m moving towards and that’s what I’m heading towards, okay. For one, is that on your website, you should have a place where you do capture people’s emails and addresses, okay, because the list is the thing that you own. What I have on Facebook, what I have on Twitter, what I have on Instagram or what I have on Pinterest or what I have even on iTunes, those platforms are the other people’s customers. They’re not mine, right?
31:26 So what I want to do is to have as many opportunities that drive people. Those are what we call the “spokes” and the hub is now where our real business can take place, okay? So the hub is how we’re going to be directing people back to the hub and that’s our list, okay? The list is what we consulted. So on our show or on our website, which can be where our show notes pages, where we do our blogging, email capture there, a pop-up there, a landing page that people are interested, but also now when we go to the other platforms like Facebook, we should be giving them reasons to leave Facebook and come to our site and to get onto our list there also. But now let’s talk about specifically in a podcast, okay? In a podcast, what we ought to be doing is giving away a compelling reason to want to go to our website to sign up.
32:28 Now, the best place to put that could be or should be at the end of the show because that’s where you’re going to find the committed fans have listened all the way to the end. So those are the people that are like, “Oh yeah. I love Lorna. I got to hear every word that comes out of Lorna’s podcast because everything that comes off in the show is valuable. I’m going to listen to the end.” And so, at the end is a great place because you’re going to be reaching your committed fan base. So you put it at the end of your show, you put a compelling reason to go there.
33:06 Now, for instance, Chris Ducker at the end of his show, he has a New Business Podcast. He has at the end of his show; the seven-day boot camp for entrepreneurs and at the end of each one, he says as part of his outtake is, “You’ve been listening to Chris Ducker’s New Business Podcast. Don’t miss out our seven-day boot camp where I’ll give you actual advice to yada yada yada.” So then he tells you where to go get onto that list. That little thing has brought to him, because I heard him talk about this just the other day, 10,000 people to his email list. Lorna, I am one of them.
33:55 Lorna: Wow! Okay, so that must be really compelling, because I’ve got these calls to actions in the beginning and at the end, but I can’t say that I’ve gotten 10,000 people to sign up for my email list just thru iTunes.
34:09 Paul: Well, he didn’t do that. Change that. Not just through iTunes, it was podcast. That’s two different things.
34:16 Lorna: Okay. All right.
34:21 Paul: This is through his podcast. He’s not doing that to iTunes. Now, IT happens to be on iTunes. Yes, but he puts that on his podcast. And so that also didn’t happen overnight that those 10,000, he didn’t put it out there one time and get 10,000. This has been since he started his podcast. The new business podcast has now been going, I think, for a year and a half maybe two years. I can’t remember how long it’s been going but he’s been going for a while. And so that’s how many he’s brought in over that time. So that’s still a pretty significant number even though it’s been over a two-year period. That’s significant number and he markets that to that group of people quite consistently. So because I’m on his email list, I get his email for about one to three times a week.
35:05 He sends out some communicate telling us what going on, some tips, tactics, tools, and then he’ll sell to us every once in a while, and he does well. He does very well. So, given that compelling reason to go to your website, and it could be something like, if you’ve got a call to action on yours. That call to action could be like, “Hey, here’s my five top tools every entrepreneurs should use”, and that’s one of the things that I do, as I have the top tools that people could use for an entrepreneurship.
35:42 And so, they go there, they give me e-mail address and they get that list of that PDF file. It could just be a PDF file, but something that’s compelling. And that’ll drive people to your e-mail list.
35:54 Lorna: So you mentioned, putting out lots of content on time. So this is really interesting because I’ve looked at a lot of different podcasts and some people are absolutely religious about publishing at the same time on the same date. And other people, other podcasters are a bit more lacks-a-daisical. And I have to say, like, in my process, I do my best to publish my show every Tuesday at 6am Eastern, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Sometimes, it comes out at 7 or 9, but we do our best to get it out on the same time.
36:32 Now, tell me, do people notice, do people care if you publish a little off your schedule, do you get a surge of protest from people e-mailing, tweeting, or Facebooking you, like, “Hey! Where’s the episode?” How do you know that this is an important factor? The timeliness.
36:55 Paul: Well, I’ve always released at the right time, so, I wouldn’t have a great answer on that. I’ve always kept it comes out every day at the same time, so, I can’t remember an instance, Lorna, where it came out later in the day or not because I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I’ve always had it come out at the same time. So, let me just say this then because you’re bringing out a good point. Podcast episodes are perineal, so, say if I did exactly what you suggested.
37:29: You don’t get out until 9 o’clock that morning. That may not matter as much as I think it is as important as that I think it is because they could pick it up the next morning. Especially if they’re subscribed, they’re just going to show up. It’s going to just show up there and it’s going to download when it’s available. But, the thing is that I have reasoned from this is that if people are on a set schedule and they are used to listening to you on Tuesday mornings, it’ll be a little bit frustrating for them to go, “Oh, I don’t know, it’s not on time.”
38:10 They may get frustrated once it’s not available. Now, just think about if we’re talking about a media company. Every media company is like this. It’s that NBC has a schedule that their stuff comes out on. It comes out at the same time, every week.
38:27 The newspaper is printed every day at the same time. Radio stations have their shows start and end at the same time. When we talk about a media company, that’s what professionalism does. Professionalism has a schedule and they keep with it, when we tell someone that it’s going to be that way.
38:50 Man! It goes a long way to do that., if I go off the online world, and into just the electrical contracting, if I tell a customer, “It’s going to be here by such and such a date” and it’s not, then I have to account for that. So, that’s why I say, yes, it’s a little bit more important than just being lacks-a-daisical. I think, it helps to show our level of commitment.
39:14 Now, having said that, there are some companies, there are some podcasters that I know of that in general they are episodic in nature. They’re more like a season in nature. So, I think that for instance, like this is your live podcast from Michael Hyatt, he does them in seasons, if I’m not mistaken, where he’ll put out ten or fifteen, then he takes a break. Then he puts out ten of fifteen more, then he takes a break.
39:47 So, that can totally work. Or if you go to Alex Blumberg, who puts it out about every two weeks. I don’t think he has an exact date when that comes out on, but it comes out about every two weeks. The guy’s number one in the world right now with his podcast as far as business goes. I mean, he’s rocking and rolling. By his third episode, he was getting sponsors coming and giving him $6000 an episode for the privilege to be on his show. But he’s coming into with a huge audience and people are going to be listening to it. To him, very dedicated.
40:22 Most of us don’t have that huge audience that we’re dragging along with us into the podcast world, where usually most of us are coming to into with zero. And so, it becomes a little bit more important for us to be even that much more ambitious for being on time. Does that make sense?
40:38 Lorna That does make sense. Yes. Okay. Great. So, I’m curious to know then. Okay, so, definitely, you mentioned getting the episode out to the people on your list. So, does that mean every episode that you publish, that e-mail goes out to your list the same day or next day?
40:57 Paul: No. I don’t use my list to advertise my episodes. I do know people who do that, like for instance, Jeff Goings does that with his podcasts. He podcasts about writing, that’s what his whole deal is. He does send out an e-mail to everybody on his list. Everyone in his list knows that he has a podcast out there and he gives a little explanation to that. To me, that doesn’t matter so much. Lorna, let me just say this. I could be wrong because I’m just a guy.
41:33 Yes, I’m getting 1.8 million downloads in the last thirty days, but, that doesn’t mean that I’m the expert. I’m just giving you my opinion at this point, okay? So, Jeff Goings is doing this and he does do that for every episode. Me, I don’t do that because I feel like my list needs to be treated differently than that. So, I use that list to give tips. I give that list to build relationships and to have an opportunity to sell something.
42:12 Lorna: Yes, I’m thinking about just doing, like monthly newsletters with a roundup of my podcast episode just to make sure that people are getting them, but, sometimes, people are busy and they might just miss the episodes on their iTunes or Stitcher, so, it’s always nice to have an extra prompt because we aren’t an ADD social media information overloaded world. So, it’s always nice to have an extra reminder.
42:42 Paul: Yes. And there’s nothing immoral, illegal or fattening about what you just talked about. I think that it’s a personal preference. You’re an entrepreneur, you can do it any way you want to. There are no rules to being an entrepreneur, except that you have to be making money. That’s the only rule about entrepreneurship. If we’re doing that, then we’re doing okay.
43:04 Now, so, you can treat your list the way that you want to. I just want to make sure that they’re getting a bang for their buck. They gave me the privilege of having their e-mail address; I want to make sure that I’m treating that with respect. Now, it could be very well – you said something that was really good. It’s that we do live in a society where lots of things are jocking for position for our listeners’ attention and so, they may not listen to every episode. In fact, that’s probably more likely than not.
43:40 It’s that most people won’t listen to every episode and that should be okay. So, because they don’t listen to every episode, sometimes, it’s good to send a reminder saying, “Hey, if you are interested in yada, yada, yada…, this is a good one for you” and so, that would be really good. The round up at the end of the month could be really helpful. With the links to every one of them, perhaps, with a direct download, or you got the iTunes, or your website or whatever, however you’re going to do that, you would put that link in there and then, you can get some more traction that way for your downloads, definitely.
44:10 Lorna: Okay. Awesome. I just want to be mindful of time because you are such a wealth of information and I really want to get to the juicy nugget of how do you reach people beyond iTunes. Now, you had mentioned that you had been leveraging social media to get to wider audiences. I’d love to know what has been working for you, like what are the most effective strategies that you’ve found to grow your audience listenership.
44:38 Paul: Yes. Good question and thanks for watching the clock for me. I’ve been watching that clock tick by or two and so, yeah. Let me just back up and recap – not recap, but reiterate that 15% of America knows what a podcast is and listens to them. So, that’s the first thing to remember. Now, second thing to remember is that the number one podcast promoter right now is iTunes.
45:04 So, that’s the second thing to remember. But, the biggest problem with iTunes is that there is way more content than listenership – there’s way more content than listenership. So, we have to say iTunes is not necessarily the biggest place or the best place to be focusing on. Yes, focus there, but not put all of our focus on there. When I think, in terms of, okay, 15% of Americans are listening to iTunes, that means that 85% are not, and they don’t even know what a podcast is.
45:48 So, I want to market to them. When they come into podcasting, I want them to discover me first. Let me give you an example for that. With the Potter’s Cast, I had a guest in my show. I interviewed her, in fact she was just, I think her episode was just released just last week, and I believe – doing this from memory, and I could be wrong – but I’m pretty sure it’s Bianca Groves that I was interviewing. When we finished the interview, I so wish I had left my recorder on because what she said was so precious to me, personally, and now it’s just a memory. I can’t go back and re-listen to it – again and again and again because it was that precious. She said that the Potter’s Cast was the second episode or the second podcast she’d ever listened to.
46:40 First one, was ‘This American Life’ – which is what Alex Blumberg is from, that was her first podcast. The second podcast she ever discovered was the Potter’s Cast and that was when I first released the show. So I had just released it, she discovered it, she downloaded it, and she’d been a faithful listener since then. And then, I wrote to her randomly to be a guest on my show, and she was so shocked and frightened about coming on the show because she thought she was so admiring of all the other guest that we had, that she thought, “I’m not even in the same league” is what she felt, which is not true.
47:16 She is an amazing artist but that was so precious to me to find that we reached someone that was not part of the 15%. I brought her into the fold, but she was not part of the 15% before that, right? So, I helped bring her into the fold. I’ve got to admit, ‘This American Life’ helped also, okay? I’m going to give that to them.
47:37 Lorna: So, how do you bring them into the fold? How do we bring these people into the fold?
47:43 Paul: Yes. So, I stopped marketing towards iTunes. In other words, I don’t care where I rank in iTunes, which is what everybody is so concerned about, Right?
47:53 Lorna: Yes.
47:53 Paul: Is really getting into new and noteworthy because that’s what everybody says you have to be. It’s you got to be ranked here and ranked there. That stuff is important, yes because you are still marketing to the people that do come to iTunes, but that’s not the end-all. So, what I did for both of my shows is I do a really minimal, I mean, super, super minimal – well, that actually that changes. I do all of my marketing on social media.
48:22 Now, I’m saying minimal, I do a little bit on Facebook because I’ve lost interest in Facebook. I know that there are people like Valerie Shoopman, and Nick Unsworth where they just wrote a book on this and probably a really good book to get out and read, and they believe it – very deeply in the marketing on Facebook. Okay. I, personally, am not a fan of it because they’re going to change the rules. Facebook will change the rules next month, they’ll change the rules a month after that and we never know where the target is. So, it’s always changing so, I’m not a big fan of that.
48:56 So, I just do minimal marketing on there, just like ‘Episode released today’ and that was it. So, the rest of is I go to because I’ve got two shows: One is very informational, the other one, actually I would say, both of them are informational, but one of them is philosophy and idea driven, and the other one is on a subject that is very visual. So, with the Potter’s Cast, it’s a very visual driven topic: Pottery.
49:26 So, I do a lot of marketing on Pinterest and on Instagram because both of those platforms are very visual. I can post a picture on Instagram and it will reach a few hundred people right of the bat. People are, like, checking out that pottery, that picture that I just released, right? I can go on to Pinterest; my wife runs that part of it. She does all the stuff on Pinterest and she’ll put on there all the picture from each episode because I’ll have, like, eight to ten picture for each potter, each artist have on our show and we’ll put those on the show notes page. So, we post all those also on Pinterest.
50:16 Those photos have direct links going directly back to my website, where they discover, “Oh, this isn’t just a pretty face, this also has a lot of informational content here” and so, they can read what was said, they can also have the opportunity to click and listen to what’s being said. So they can find the podcast there. And when I look at my metrics, for the Potter’s Cast, the website page, I see a lot of traffic comes directly from Pinterest and we get a lot of people finding that show to the tune of the last thirty days with that show, we have a 105,000 downloads in the last thirty days from it. So, that’s a lot of traffic that’s being driven to that show and it’s growing that show.
51:12 Lorna: What about ‘Doubt The Doubts’, which is more about ideas driven in business related…
51:18 Paul: I’m going back. That’s where I was headed to next. Now, I do know people that would do the same thing with Pinterest with that and they’ll do photographs on there and then they’ll put some kind of bio or a quote from the show that’ll be in there and there’ll be a link back to their show notes page and that’s all good too. That works. I just have found that it’s not as effective because people aren’t usually clicking through those types of images as readily.
51:44 So with that show, with ‘Doubt The Doubts’ I put a lot of emphasis on doing Twitter marketing with that show and so, I’m trying to reach a people group that is tech-savvy because they’re on, at least, on…
52:01 Lorna: Twitter.
52:06 Paul: Twitter, thank you. I had a brain-fog. Fog came in, and then, it settled and it wouldn’t leave so, thank you. So, on Twitter, that’s a group that is going to be tech-savvy, but also, the beautiful thing about it is the vast majority of them – vast, vast, vast majority of them have in their hand the very device that I want them to listen to my show with. They’ve got a smartphone, a smart-device. That is more than likely not an iPhone, but more than likely a Droid of some kind. Some kind of smartphone because that’s by far the biggest market that’s out there is the non-iPhone smartphones. They have a huge hold in the marketplace.
52:49 Now, the reason iPhones are the industry’s standard is because I’d did Air quote so you’d really have a hard time seeing those in a podcast, but the reason that they become the industry’s standard is because they only have a couple of models. It’s the iPhone. Yes, it’s the 4, the 4s, it’s the 5s, it’s the 5, the 6, yes, but it’s still the iPhone. With the Android phones you have like, 50, 60, a hundred different types of droids that are out there. That genre of phones, there’s a bunch of different types, but they use a very similar operating system. So, anyhow, they’re holding the exact device I want them to be listening to my show on. So Twitter is a great, great tool that I send people to.
53:41 Now, I’m really persnickety in the way that I market that. I send out tweets that are very effective in grab – actually, Lorna, there’s a whole lot more to this than just strictly doing the – do just a good Twitter account. I also really believe highly in making sure you show is worthy of marketing in this way because if you just market the way that I going to describe in here in just a moment, you’re just going to get traffic with no conversions. We want to get conversions. The one that can become rabid fans of the show, okay? So, we’re not going to talk about that part. We’re just going to assume that we have a good show and that it’s structured correctly for this type of marketing, okay? We’re just going to assume that and we’re going to have to deal with that at another time. But, when I start thinking about that type of marketing, like I said, I’m very persnickety on how that should go.
54:38 I believe in something looking clean. When I do my electrical wiring, I want my houses to be amazing when they’re done. So, I want it to be pleasing to the eye. If it’s not pleasing to the eye, then people are going to click away. They’re going to go right past it. And now, the way that I look at it is this way. I’ve got a three part process for building a tweet that is going to get traction for anything that you are trying to market. Be it a podcast, a blog, a product. There’s a three parts that I believe need to be added together and that the three shall not be mixed.
55:21 Part one. They have to have the bait. That’s the very first thing that the eyeball sees when they’re looking at that one. I say the bait what we want to do is think in terms of a juicy tidbit that someone would love to grab a hold of and eat, okay? They say I want to consume that. If you’re thinking about fishing, you want that to be a beautiful lure, you want that to be beautiful worm, you want it to be beautiful something, a bait that is trying to get someone to take the bite.
55:52: So, that’s the first thing. Bait is the first thing, and then, you have plus ‘Bitly’. The next thing I want to have on that – on that construction is I’ve got the bait, but then the Bitly is basically, it’s the hook. It’s the URL shortener. Now, I say Bitly because it’s the most trusted URL shortener. It’s better than an Owly. It gets more click throughs than Owly. It gets more click throughs than TinyURL. It gets more click throughs than Google URL shortener. It is the best URL shortener out there. It gets on average of about 9% more click through than the other ones.
56:36 Now, 9% may now sound like a big number, but, because it is 9% that means more. So, therefore, I go with Bitly instead of the other one because more people would just click on Bitlys. Now, the Bitly is the hook. That’s where I’m trying to get them to bite. So, I’ve got this juicy tidbit at the very beginning and the very next thing I want them to see is where I want them to go to is that hook. They’re going to click on that and they’re going to go to somewhere very specific that I am going to send them to. Now, that is going to be one of three places that I’m going to describe. You want to send them to your website. You want to send, I’m going to say four places, okay?
57:12 And actually, there can be a multitude of places, but I’m going to just–for the sake of conversation, I’m going to give you four. You send them to your website. You send them to iTunes. You send them to Stitcher, and you send them to a direct download, from Libsyn. And then you can also do more than that, like you could have a SoundCloud. You could send them to a SoundCloud Player. You could send them to iHeartRadio if you’re on there. If you’re on Blubrry, you could send them to a Blubrry Player. Any place where that product that you created that hook, anywhere where your podcast can be listened to, or your blogpost for that matter.
57:54 Wherever that it’s going to be consumed, that’s where you would send them to is any one of those places, but, the most common places are your website, iTunes, Stitcher and a direct download, so, those are the three things. So, that’s your hook, the Bitly. So, you got your bait, your Bitly, the last thing is your boost, where you’re going to put that bait, going back to the fisherman’s deal. Think about it in terms of, like, if you’re a fisherman, or, Lorna, I’m sorry, a fisherperson.
58:28 Lorna: Fisherwoman.
58:29 Paul: Fisherwoman, yes. If you’re a fisherwoman and you’re standing up in the front of that bass boat and you’re trying to get that bait in the specific spot where you know the fish are going to be biting. You don’t just throw that thing willy-nilly wherever. You want to send that to a specific spot, a specific location where you know the bait will be in front of the audience that you want. The bait is covering the hook, and the boost is telling you where you’re putting that. It might be that old snarled fallen over tree that’s got that big old ancient bass living under there–a trout living under there.
59:04 Lorna: So, what is the boost in the world of Twitter?
59:07 Paul: Here’s what the boost is. The boost, now, is the hashtag, #marketing. The hashtag is doing one of two things. It has a targeted topic or a targeted crowd. So, you are either targeting a specific topic or subject that that bait is about, that the Bitly is about. You are giving them the topic, the topic that people will be interested in is going to be part of that reflecting back to the front bait thing, right?
59:45 So, it’s also targeting the specific people. So for instance with my particular show, I have Doubt the Doubts, I will put in there, Lorna, I will put in there, #business, because a particular subject might be related to business. This will be a good way. Let’s just use today example for today’s show. Today show is called entrepreneurs that change or change in the world by entrepreneurship socials. So it’s about social entrepreneurship and so this gal, Juliet, was talking. She’s a creator of Miss O. which is a teens and tweens and girl, website that is making an impact for them, giving them direction, help, hope, life, that episode.
60:34: So I know that audience that I want to reach with that is social entrepreneurs, parents of teens and tweens and I also have to be careful that I’m also not trying to get the wrong crowd. So I started doing #business, #social, #parents, #teens, #tweeners and I thought about doing #girls but when I search that I came up with too many porn sites and I didn’t want to have been having people being directed for. I don’t want porn-seekers finding myself.
61:17 Lorna: So all the same, all these hashtags are one tweet, that’s a lot. Don’t you think it looks spammy?
61:22 Paul: No, no, because of the way I constructed. I said the three shall not be mixed. I don’t put those hashtags at the front, never at the front. I never put in there like particular hashtag, might have been something like here’s one, entrepreneur that change the world. I didn’t put hashtag entrepreneur but I did put on entrepreneur hashtag after that on the other side of the Bitly because this is what I’m doing is I have a visual thing, the very first part of it, it’s very clean, it’s devoid of any hashtags and all the hashtags are placed at the end where people won’t care and won’t notice them at the end. All they’re going to see is entrepreneur that change the world than they’ll see the Bitly, than they’ll see the hashtags. Any other way makes a look cluttered.
62:13 Lorna: Do you use a hashtag tool to help identify which hashtags are being used because I know it could be hard for people to come up with the right hashtags?
62:22 Paul: You have to because if you don’t use some tool, you got to figure out whether those hashtags are overused and good or not good, okay? It’s like going out in the yard and yelling over your neighbor. If they’re not in their backyard and you are yelling barbecue in five minutes and you try to go back in your house, that’s pointless. You actually have to make sure the windows open, are they’re in the backyard. You got to make sure that message gets to the person.
62:49 Yeah, the best place to go is that you can go to ritetag.com or maybe .org. It’s one of those two. Or you go to hashtag.org. Those are great ones. Those are actually numbers, there’s a bunch of them when I do techniques like each one those has got different tools. There’s hash it is hashit.com. That’s a good one. That’s hashtagify.me is another good one. Hashtags.org, ritetag is a really good one. That’s it. Those are the ones that I go to regularly. I don’t go to the one. I like to go to a bunch of them, trying to figure out which ones are the best ones.
63:45 Lorna: Awesome. Thank you so much for all your wisdom and advice. We’re at the end of our segment. How can people best stay in touch with you, Paul?
63:51 Paul: If they want me, they have two ways. They can either go to my website for doubtthedoubts.com or they can go to my website thepotterscast.com. I’m also on twitter @pdblais, that’s PD, Paul David Blais and that’s the same one, same that I have on Instagram.
64:11 Lorna: Awesome, thank you so much and you have a beautiful afternoon.
64:14 Paul: Thanks for having me. Lots of love to you, Lorna.
64:17 Lorna: Likewise, goodbye.
[END OF RECORDING]
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