Not too long ago, Brian covered a listener question that was: when should I monetize my podcast? (That was episode 40.) Based on current models and expectations of sponsors, trying to monetize too quickly can often yield frustrating and discouraging results. But this week, Brian chats with Espree Devora of We Are LA Tech and finds that someone is finally defying the traditional safe, though nonetheless calculated, approach to finding sponsorship for your podcast. And finding it before launching a podcast.
Honestly, it’s best if we just let Espree explain her methodology, because her passion and excitement outweigh any feeble attempt I make here of regurgitating her words! Instead, I’d like to get you excited about what this woman is up to in podcasting and encourage you to take a close look at her approach to a super niche.
On the day that I listened to this interview, ironically, I had received an email from another woman at work earlier in the day. It simply said: “This made me think of you :)” and had a link to this article about the general lack of female programmers and software engineers. Listening to Espree talk about her newest podcast, Women in Tech, and the passion for seeking out women in the tech field which led her to launch the podcast was very impactful to me. I was primed for this interview after reading this article, and clearly society is starting to take notice of women in tech roles as well.
By day, I am an application developer for a company located in Minneapolis, MN. I am the only female developer on my team, though there is a female digital designer in the company, and according to my manager I am the first female they’ve hired for this developer role since the company’s origin (1999). Because of how immersed I am in this world, having been involved in building websites since I was 16, I often don’t stop to think about being a woman in programming or application development.
This niche Espree found for the Women in Tech podcast is the perfect example of a “filling a void”. The article I linked to above describes a documentary, in which many people are interviewed about the state of women in tech positions. Even though gender issues are rarer now than they have been, historically, it’s still rather uncommon to see women in certain roles. Hearing the statistics, and general comments of the rarities of being a woman in this field, makes a podcast like this so well timed. Driving women into these roles by encouraging them with the evidences of women who are successful in these fields is an amazing niche.
Likewise, Espree’s podcast We Are LA Tech also found a niche for the business minds and has the distinction of being the first podcast about startups in LA. What’s more, the passion that Espree brings to her podcasts make them not just a specific “super niche”, as we’ve been discussing on Profitcast lately, but she is well within the bounds of her interests and curiosity. It is curiosity that drives her to talk with startups and deliver high-quality content.
There is a ton of information in this week’s podcast about how to think differently about sponsorship and monetizing podcasts. While certain challenges will always be present, Espree presents a unique perspective on the state of making money with podcasting and how her own curiosity has enabled her to be successful. Espree’s track record is a pretty huge indicator that finding a sponsor is possible.
One particular tip that Brian takes away is this idea Espree brings up about experimenting with contacting companies about sponsorship. Find companies who might share the same customer or listener pool as your podcast, get to know them, and then talk to them about potentially sponsorship! And Espree brings up a good point, you don’t want to just read about these companies you contact, you want to really know things… things that will make you less of a 7-second elevator pitch and more of a couple friends sitting down to catch up. Where are their “pain points”? What times of year do they make monetary decisions? Why would they enjoy your podcast?
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