PC 106 | Profit and Success Stories Part 1

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Profitcast FeedburnerIt’s a bittersweet installment of Profitcast this week. As excited as we all are for The Real Brian Show to begin and for Brian to let the Real Brian loose, there will be many things to miss about Profitcast. In the words of Geoffrey Chaucer, the late 14th Century poet who knew how to write about love and loss, “All good things must come to an end.” (That’s from Troilus and Criseyde if you’re looking for some light summer reading.) Unlike the tragedies of our favorite dead poets and playwrights, the saga of The Real Brian will continue! This is real life, people.

Success Stories Part 1

To commemorate the incredible journey of Profitcast and to celebrate successes, as we like to do here, we’re going to spend the final episodes checking in with those fabulous individuals who’ve sat in the co-host seat next to Brian.

Troy Heinritz
We first heard from Troy in episode 10, when Under the Dome was still a thing and The Blacklist Exposed was just a blip on the Internet’s radar. Troy has some awesome news to share about how his television podcast grew beyond his own imaginings.

Jason Cabassi
Before Troy, there was Jason. Yes, it was all the way back at the end of July in 2014 when we first heard from Jason in episode 6. Brian and Jason chatted about growing a podcast’s listener base, and now Jason has some updates about how his love for podcasting has opened up many incredible doors in the form of Walker Stalker Conventions and how it encouraged him to launch his own network.

Rich, The Armchair Ninja
More recently than either Troy or Jason, we got to hear from Rich of The Armchair Ninja podcast in episode 87. Extreme hustle was the name of that game, and Rich also has an amazing story of the success he’s seen and the benefits he’s reaped from niching down, pursuing his passion, and unashamedly loving what he does.

Kevin “The Podcast Overlord”
Last, but certainly not least, is Kevin Bachelder of Tuning Into Sci-Fi TV, Arrow Squad and, most recently, Tales of The Black Badge. We first heard from Kevin in episode 2! He was Brian’s first official guest. Though I count it a privilege to podcast with Kevin on a regular basis over at Arrow Squad, I am beyond thrilled to see the success that has come with his podcast about the Syfy show Wynonna Earp. Have you heard the stories about a podcast taking off? About a true fandom rallying for an exciting new series? About writers, producers, show runners and actors volunteering their time to come on the show? Well, you’re about to.

Send in your success stories!

Be like Troy, Jason and Rich and send in your success story! Even if you weren’t on Profitcast, you have been part of Profitcast and we count you as one of the family. How have things changed in the last two years for you? What successes have you seen? What lessons have you learned?

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PC 104 | Your Podcast Is ALL About YOU

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Profitcast FeedburnerWho is your podcast really about? Is it all about you? Is it all about your listeners? This is the topic Brian tackles in this week’s episode of Profitcast! Reminding us of Brian Ibbot’s mantra, “Listeners come for the content and stay for the host,” The Real Brian takes a closer look at what this shocking and outrageous statement, that our podcast is ALL about us, is really getting at! It seems that there is a healthy balance between acknowledging our listeners deserve respect and that our content should honor the reason they found us in the first place while also realizing that, ultimately, without us there would be no podcast.

Crazy, right? A balance?

As I’m not one for drawing attention to myself, this aspect of podcasting has always been one that I’ve been less keen to embrace. There is a great degree of self-promotion involved, but I often forget that within this self-promotion there is a continuum of personalities that interpret this as anything from conceited arrogance to authentic realism. As I, and most people, dislike the former, I disregard it altogether — which is neither healthy nor helpful! At least for a time, perhaps when we’re just getting going, if we don’t toot our own horn, build up our image and reach out to a greater array of people, we are relying on mere chance to be noticed. There are some who look at self-promotion through the lens of, “People need to know I’m the greatest!” There are some who look at it through the lens of, “I have this incredible idea and I just want to share it with the world.”

What I enjoy about Brian’s perspective, and general attitude toward his podcasts, is that he draws a distinction when owning the “My Podcast is About Me” perspective. It is about us to the extent that our listeners are choosing to hear about our topic (or discussion or analysis) filtered through our own world-view, which is important in making us unique. Our personal narrative should, hopefully, add value to the listening experience. The disconnect seems to come from when we lose sight of how we are to add value to our listeners. But as passion podcasters, when we keep our eyes on the driving force behind our mission and purpose, it should be a reciprocal relationship between using our world-view to impact others and allowing others’ world-view to impact us.

What do you think? Is it a dangerous notion to believe “my podcast is all about me”? Or is it necessary to enable us to retain our identity? Sound off in the comments!

Level Up Mastermind

Interested in joining the Level Up Mastermind? Check it out, and get it while it’s hot!

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PC 103 | What Benefit Do You Offer?

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Profitcast FeedburnerNot long ago I came across a word math meme that simply said: Underestimating Time + Overestimating Capacity = Being Overwhelmed. Living in an on-the-go culture, as we do, underestimating time is such an easy thing to do. We think we have more than we do, we always need more than we have, and it never rolls over into the next month. If we were to do a study about why people do or do not listen to podcasts (or certain podcasts) or even why they would or would not buy into a product/service being offered, I’d hazard a guess that being overwhelmed with life is a top reason. “I’ve got too much going on to try that new thing.” Or… “I know I have to spend a little money to make a little money, but I’m too overwhelmed with bills to even consider it.”

Even if someone’s current routine is inefficient, they will more likely stay with the way things are rather than risk screwing up something that works for something that might work. Or, maybe that’s just me?

Brian hits on a lot of points this week that we’ve heard in various places, perhaps some things we’ve been concerned about, but it’s stuff that we desperately need to keep in the forefront of our minds. We can provide an excellent product, entertainment, resources, advice (and so on and so forth) and yet still see no returns on that investment from our listener base. Why? I have information people want, I have experience very few other people have. Why am I not seeing profit?

It’s not me, it’s them.

In all seriousness, it is them. But it’s an issue that stands between me and every listener. Each individual brings their own baggage, their own capacity, their own threshold for input, before hitting the play button on your podcast. It is my responsibility to reduce that barrier that stands between me and the people I’m speaking to. We’ve talked in previous weeks about the importance of not just providing a podcast that we, ourselves, love… but one that will bring value, edification, encouragement, education, etc. to the listener.

At some point, we need to align the passion and desire we have for producing a podcast with the benefit it will provide to others. If you’re looking to make money with your podcast, then this is something that absolutely must be understood when heading into business. It isn’t a general, vague idea of what could possibly bring about benefit, it’s having a plan, understanding your capabilities, and finding a way to insert yourself between the margin of another person’s inability to estimate time and capacity. When we don’t obviate a stressor, or at least help to reduce some, we fall victim to the pile of podcast episodes that will be listened to when “life calms down a bit”.

1 on 1 with TRB!

Check it out: 4 1-hr Skype or Phone sessions with Brian to help YOU finally clear that last hurdle standing between you and success! Right now you can get started on your breakthrough by snatching up this sweet deal for $997. Ready. Set. GO!

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PC 102 | Simplify and Focus with Marc Gunn

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Profitcast FeedburnerThis week’s guest was particularly exciting for me because I’ve been listening to his show from the beginning. Marc Gunn of the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast joins the Real Brian to talk about the success he’s seen in the last 10+ years around his very popular fan-supported podcast.

I vividly remember the various transitions of the podcast Marc talks about, from the booming success upfront to the podcast stream switchover to the revival and patreon implementation, and it was increadibly cool for me to hear the details of what actually went on behind the scenes during that time. While I was confused, as a listener, during these various transitions (experiencing some of the download issues he mentioned), Marc did an excellent job of communicating what I needed to know in the midst of those issues without over-communicating the irrelevant details. His weekly show was not the place for the full story. But here, on Profitcast, this was the right place for these stories.

It may be the case that my rose-colored glasses remember only the good aspects to the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast, and I’m not recalling some tangent stories Marc gave back in the day, but this situation made me start thinking of the stories we often share with listeners that have very little to do with the current episode and more about the meta aspects of podcasting. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast where the hosts(s) go(es) on a tangent, only circling back to the main topic of discussion 10 minutes later, that is what I’m talking about.

In Marc’s case, where the problems encountered were unexpected, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you need to communicate every little detail to your listener. But consider, for a moment, the fact that the listener is already frustrated by the problems they’ve encountered while trying to obtain your podcast; then they are listening to the podcast and you spend a great chunk of time relating the details of why it was so hard for them to obtain it. Some listeners will say, “Oh, that makes sense! Thank you!” Some listeners will say, “Aaaand you just wasted another ten minutes of my time.”

Where’s the balance?

Reveal relevant information that is pertinent to your listeners’ understanding the situation. Thirty seconds of their time, to say something like: “Thanks for listening! We’re so sorry about the issues many of you are having while trying to download the latest episodes of the podcast. Our new webhost isn’t efficiently handling the number of downloads in demand, so we’re working on finding the best solution to this problem.” Is worth more to the listener than ten minutes of a story that could be summed up in thirty seconds.

And then, if you’re like Marc and get invited onto Profitcast, you finally have an opportunity or an avenue to tell the whole story. That listener base will be empathetic and understanding. And even, perhaps, there will be listeners (like me) who remember the problems you had and find it fascinating to hear the other side of things.

Not every story needs to be told. Considering context and relevance should help gauge whether the story is necessary or useful, and when it is not, don’t worry about it! Put it on the back burner and save it for a time when an audience will receive the story well.

One thing a lot of Arrow Squad’s negative comments have in common is that we tangent a lot, or we don’t follow a structure when discussing an episode. Most people don’t care; listeners who are committed to the podcast do not care to any extent that matters enough for us to change this. But it quite likely is a point of dislike that prevents us from seeing growth. Podcast hosts that consistently talk about irrelevant topics, go off on tangents that explain things we don’t really care about, or spend too much time advertising for something instead of giving us what the podcast has promised us, these are the podcasts, most often, that see stagnation or limited growth.

Even in this observation, however, there is a balance that can be achieved. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that Marc’s primary deliverable on his podcast is exposing his listeners to Irish and Celtic music. Whether he’s found new bands or recycling already-heard ones, he delivers a lot of music every week. Supplementing this podcast, then, are three important things:

1) A thank-you to his Patreon supporters and shout-outs to the newest supporters, with details on how you can also support via Patreon
2) Short and sweet advertisements about Marc’s annual Irish and Celtic Music Invasion Vacation
3) A reminder to support the artists featured on the podcast, to reach out to them and thank them for providing the track to Marc AND to tell them that you heard their song on the podcast

By starting with the music, the primary deliverable, Marc makes it relevant to hear how the podcast is supported, other ways to get involved with the music, and gets you to reach out to the bands featured on the podcast in order to complete the proverbial back-scratching circle. Not only do I support Marc on Patreon, now, but I also reach out to bands that I hear on the podcast and thoroughly enjoy! I also enjoy hearing updates on his two daughters, on his music career, and on the Invasion Vacations he’s gone on, because he first cares about delivering what he’s promised and secondarily gives short updates that make me care about his life.

Balance.

The Magic Feedback Phrase

“What are you doing while listening to this podcast?”

Marc says he stole the magic feedback phrase and encourages you to do the same! If you don’t think your podcast is inspiring feedback, try asking this question and see if it inspires responses. After a few weeks, tell us (and Marc) your results!

1 on 1 with TRB!

Check it out: 4 1-hr Skype or Phone sessions with Brian to help YOU finally clear that last hurdle standing between you and success! Right now you can get started on your breakthrough by snatching up this sweet deal for $997. Ready. Set. GO!

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PC 100 | Looking Back at 100 Episodes with Emilee O’Leary

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Profitcast FeedburnerApollo 15 launched on July 26, 1971 and lasted for just over 12 days. It was the ninth manned mission to the moon and the fourth consecutive Apollo mission to land on the moon. The three Apollo missions prior to 15 all landed successfully on the moon, but the astronauts on those missions were all limited in their ability to explore the Moon’s surface. An objective of Apollo 15 was to find a way to give the astronauts a greater range from the Lunar Module in order to collect broader lunar samples. As such, the Lunar Roving Vehicle was introduced to the mission and the procedures for launch, which had made the three missions prior successful, began to change.

All things considered, the mission was a success. But it did experience issues, partly related to the additional weight from the new equipment the astronauts were bringing with them… partly due to the upgrades on the Command Service Module (the biggest panel in the spacecraft). After an anomaly with the S4b (the engine that fired for orbit insertion) which gave the astronauts only a couple minutes to gaze back on Earth while still in its orbit, the most significant technical flaw encountered on the Command Service Module required a couple mid-course corrections while floating to the Moon. Other problems, tied more directly with the complexity of the machinery, decorated the remainder of the mission… The degree of the malfunctions would freak out people like you and me on a typical basis, but the crew endured by working with Base to resolve the issues and, most importantly, relying on each other to pull from their collective reservoir of knowledge in order to resolve these issues in-flight.

I bring this up because I recently came across the Apollo 15 Launch Checklist, a document spanning over 120 pages of the detailed itinerary of tasks needing to be performed at each stage of the mission’s pivotal points. It’s not just pre-launch items, but each stage of the mission. But dang – it is extensive.

As Brian and I were talking about what type of discussion would be useful concerning co-hosts, I thought about the incredible interviews he’s had over the last 100 episodes of Profitcast and how many of them concern the importance of being prepared prior to podcast launch. While the scale of criticality between a podcast launch and an Apollo launch is almost incomparable, it does expose the fact that there will inevitably be things that go wrong after a launch, in spite of extensive preparation and checklists.

What is comparable is the quality of the team you’ve assembled around your mission. Without the knowledge of each team member on Apollo 15, without their clear-headedness and acute attention to detail, without their team-centric mentality and concern for both the lives of their crew members and the value of the mission NASA had equipped them for, Apollo 15 would have been a failure.

To celebrate Brian’s 100th episode of Profitcast, I have the privilege of joining him behind the mic to talk about a pre-launch item that can be a game changer when confronted with mid-flight course corrections: co-hosting. Who do you want in the co-pilot seat when your podcast encounters technical flaws?

Brian and I met in the summer of 2014, the summer prior to the series premiere of The Flash, for which it was our intention to rock another Golden Spiral Media podcast together. As a trial run, of sorts, Brian invited me onto one of Arrow Squad’s summer installments, since Kevin, his co-host for that show, was unavailable.

Very quickly into the recording session, we knew that everything was going to work out quite nicely! We had a very unique chemistry, got along well, and shared a lot of the same interests. Even though we only co-hosted Central City Underground for half a season, before handing it over to two incredibly qualified guys over at Golden Spiral Media, we were eager to keep co-hosting together. Shortly after handing CCU over to Tony and Joe, I was invited to join Arrow Squad full-time. A year and a half-ish later, here we are!

While Brian’s and my partnership and friendship may be unique or rare in the podcasting world, there are a lot of translatable lessons we’ve learned through our various team-ups. These things are important enough, I believe, that they should be one of the driving forces in helping a podcaster choose a co-host. We hope to provide you with the motivation and encouragement to seek out a co-host that will provide value to your listeners, complement your personality, and be that trusty co-pilot who will take over the controls if you need to take a leak.

1 on 1 with TRB!

Check it out: 4 1-hr Skype or Phone sessions with Brian to help YOU finally clear that last hurdle standing between you and success! Right now you can get started on your breakthrough by snatching up this sweet deal for $997. Ready. Set. GO!

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PC 99 | How did Tim Ferriss Grow His Podcast?

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Profitcast FeedburnerAuthor of 4-Hour Work Week, 4-Hour Body, and 4-Hour Chef, it was no surprise to anyone when Tim Ferriss’s podcast took off after his April 2014 debut. And why shouldn’t it? Established fan base, established author, calculable results; Tim raced to the top of Best Of iTunes lists in both 2014 and 2015, experienced extraordinary numbers for total downloads, and locked down interviews from the hottest names of the decade.

Some people have all the luck.

If that is your mindset, that Tim experienced luck, then you haven’t been paying close enough attention.

Brian takes a close look at the article Tim published, taking a look back on how he’s seen success come in droves since starting his podcast, and breaks down the different aspects to his approach and to his quantifiable success. Some of it is broadly applicable, some of it is unique to Tim and his situation. But we can all stop for a moment and acknowledge that it’s worth taking a few moments to look at the world through the eyes of someone experiencing the success of Tim’s level.

Whether or not we can reproduce Tim’s model in order to find similar success is not the objective. We’re all in this business for different reasons. But we are passion podcasters! This is what we do; we see successful, working models and start poking at them to understand what is really making that method tick.

Brian’s takeaways are excellent, and they’re great reminders that nothing comes free. There are many moving parts to keeping a podcast alive and thriving, it’s not just getting behind the mic and talking for an hour once a week. Producing a healthy, vibrant podcast takes work, and we should snatch up every opportunity to analyze success stories and interpret it for our own paradigm.

1 on 1 with TRB!

Check it out: 4 1-hr Skype or Phone sessions with Brian to help YOU finally clear that last hurdle standing between you and success! Right now you can get started on your breakthrough by snatching up this sweet deal for $997. Ready. Set. GO!

Links!

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