The Profitable Podcaster

If you’re talking to no one, why are you talking?

I wanna share with you something fantastic advice my 5-year-old daughter gave me today about podcasting we were driving her to school. See, someone cut me off, which lead me to mutter under my breath. When she asked what I was doing, I said I was talking to nobody. And she said,

“If you’re talking to nobody, why are you talking at all?”

And that my friends, is what we’re going to address today. Because if you don’t know who you’re talking to, your podcast isn’t going to grow, and it’s not going to make money.

Show Notes

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Something happened to me this morning that derailed what I was actually going to talk about in this week’s episode. And it’s that my daughter posed a very interesting question to me. See, I was driving her to school this morning and somebody cut me off. So, I did what any responsible adult with children in the car would do. And I just muttered to myself instead of doing some grand road rage thing. And in muttering to myself, my daughter heard that I was saying something and she asked me what I was saying. I said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. I was just muttering to myself.” And then she asked me what the word muttering means. Again, she’s five years old. Very inquisitive about words, which is great. I love that. And I said, “Oh, it basically just means I was talking, but I wasn’t talking to anybody.” And she said this, “If you are talking to nobody, then why are you talking at all?” And that my friends is the subject for today’s episode. Because your show is never going to grow, it’s never going to be monetized if you don’t know who you’re talking to. Or as my daughter put it, if you’re talking to nobody.

Hello! And welcome to Make Money Podcasting, where I teach you how to make your first $10,000 with your podcast. On this show, you’ll learn tried and true methods to increase your revenue and turn your podcast from a money pit into a money maker.

Hi! I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And my podcasts have been making money from day one without a lot of downloads. I’ll share everything I know with you here on Make Money Podcasting. 

Joe Casabona: Okay. So that question once again was, if you are talking to nobody, why even talk at all? or then why are you talking at all? And I think that this is a topic I want to cover because I think it’s something that a lot of podcasters suffer from. They know they want to start a podcast. They vaguely know the topic. Maybe if you’ve been listening to this show for a long time (long time is relative). If you’ve been listening to this show, then, you know that it’s really important to me that you figure out why you’re podcasting and who you’re talking to. Right? I did an entire episode on a mission statement. 

So a lot of people, I believe start a podcast. They don’t really think much about it. They’ll just think I’m…I’ll interview people who are interesting to me, and then they’ll go on. But to put my daughter’s question into a different kind of phrase, right? Podcasters try to talk to everybody. And if you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. And this is true, right? If your main goal is just to get like thousands or millions of downloads, then yeah. You’re trying to talk to and please a lot of people. But unless you are a giant network or you’re doing like true crime or some other kind of fiction podcast that has mass appeal, you know, if you’re like Joe Rogan or a political podcaster, then maybe you can get millions of downloads. but it’s going to take a long time.

If you’re trying to Make Money Podcasting, and if you’re trying to make podcasting a part of your business, you likely have a limited addressable audience. And if you are not talking directly to that addressable audience, then you’re not talking to anybody. And if you’re talking to nobody, then why are you even talking? Right? So your goal, whether you’ve already started a podcast or whether you’re getting ready to start a podcast, you can change things, right? What you decide to do on episode one is not set in stone. 

And I think podcasting is a lot of experimentation.  So if you’re not experimenting, I think you should. And if you’re worried that what you’ve decided to do is the thing that you have to keep doing, don’t worry about that. right? This show started in January as something kind of different. And then I pivoted in June. And, as a result, I’ve been seeing a lot more downloads because of it. So experiment, especially in the beginning. Do what works. But either way, figure out who you’re talking to.

The way you do that is to have a mission statement. Again, I did a whole episode on this. I’ll link it in the show notes. But your mission statement is basically who are you talking to? What problem do you solve for them? and how do you solve that problem? 

So my audience for this show are podcasters who want to turn their podcast into an integral part of their business. Their problem is they don’t know how to make money with their podcast. I solve that problem by giving listeners actionable advice every week for how to focus, grow, and monetize their podcast. That’s how I do it. Right?

In my other show, How I Built It, the audience is creators and small business owners. Their problem is how can they create content in such a way that grows their business. And I solve that problem by interviewing successful creators in what amounts to be a free coaching call. So that’s the mission of both of my shows. 

My third show is a little bit lost at this point. It had one mission. It wasn’t working out. And so now I’m trying to rework that mission. And I’m confident that once I figure out exactly who I’m talking to, I’ll be able to create really good content without sweating it too much. Without trying to think too much about it.  Figuring out what am I going to talk about this week Right? Because that’s the other problem that you fall into when you’re trying to talk to everybody. When you don’t have a clear mission for your show, you get to wondering, “Well, what am I going to talk about this week?” I have a lot of ideas which 1:00 AM am I going to pick? Or I don’t have any ideas. Now I got to come up with something. But I have a whole list of ideas for this show. And I try to batch a couple of these episodes in a row. I happened to run out and it was just kind of serendipitous that my daughter asked me this question. Maybe if you’re interested, I’ll do an episode on inspiration, like finding inspiration. If you are interested in that, email me at joe@podcastliftoff.com, and let me know if you want to hear that. But having your mission statement is your guiding light. 

Once you have your mission statement right? Now, you need to figure out who, or you know, who you’re talking to now. Right? So now you want to figure out how to, I guess, talk to them effectively. Right. Because the other thing is that if you’re not…if you say you talk to…if I say I talk to podcasters and then I just talk about how to get sponsorships on TikTok, like yeah. Podcasters can take that advice, I guess. But I’m not talking to podcasters. I’m just talking generally about how to get a sponsor. And that’s a bad idea because I don’t know how to get sponsors on TikTok. 

So you want to define your mission statement so you know who exactly you’re talking to. What problem you’re solving for them? And then you want to do that effectively because then your target audience, the person that you’re talking to knows that you’re talking to them. 

So I think there are two ways, kind of two types of shows that you can have that really do this effectively. The first is to start a mini-podcast. This is going to be a drama mind-beating I beat for a while because again, I did an episode on that. I’ll be sure to link that in the show notes as well. You can get all of the back catalog over at [makemoneypod.com].

But a mini-podcast is a show with a hyper-focused message. This is a mini-podcast. It’s just me talking to you for 20 minutes or less about a specific topic. So again, I help podcasters make money.

What are all the ways I can help podcasters make money? Okay. I can tell them about my SMASH Framework. I can tell them how to get sponsors. I can tell them how to calculate CPM, or overall reach to figure out how much to charge for those sponsors. I can tell them about memberships. I can tell them how to effectively create affiliate links. I have a bunch of ideas because now I’m talking specifically to a person about how to solve a specific problem.

So, if you are thinking about this, start a mini-podcast. Listen to the mini podcast episode. I kind of give you all of the reasons why. But again, you have your mission, come up with let’s say 10 or 20 topics. Look for inspiration everywhere. Right? This inspiration came to me from my daughter asking me a question after somebody cut me off. And I was annoyed about it. And then she asked me this question. I was like, this is a great question. So, you can turn those ideas into episodes pretty quickly. And you are talking to someone specific. 

Now, if you have an interview show, I have an interview show. If you’re just starting, I really recommend not doing an interview show, or at least not starting off that way. Right? Again, your format can change like I’ve talked about earlier in this episode, I talked about how you can experiment. You can experiment with different formats and I’ve done that on How I Built It. 

On How I Built It, I have like a bunch of interviews and I thought maybe I should do a solo episode. Maybe I should do a gift guide episode. Those gift guide episodes kill it. So people love being told what to buy, I guess. So you can experiment. But I think if you’re starting off and you want to decrease that barrier of entry, doing a mini-podcast means you don’t have to come up with an hour’s worth of content. You don’t have to coordinate schedules with anybody. You can kind of get your sea legs for this, and then you can start interviewing people.

So if you interview people, find people who solve the problem from your mission statement. This is really important. My weakest, I’ve been doing How I Built It now for almost seven years. (Geez. That is a long time.) it’s just over six years, actually. We are in the seventh year. And my best episodes are really focused on the mission. And the mission of that show changed too. I wanted to tell stories about how WordPress developers started their businesses. And so I got successful WordPress business owners. And I got them to tell their stories about how they came up with the idea. Failures that led to their eventual success.

And then this is where the name comes in, how they built their product. And we talk about tech stack and things like that. And I had a very specific audience for that show. And the really popular, this is why I think it got popular in the beginning because the mission and the guests were so aligned. And there was a very specific audience I was talking to. WordPress Developers. 

So this is something that I think you need to do too. Oh, my ultimate point there was that my weakest episodes were the ones that had nothing to do with the mission. I interviewed Peter Hollands, one of the most popular YouTubers. I mean, his YouTube channel is huge and he’s an acapella singer, right? Anybody does it really well. And I was really interested in his process and I’m a big fan of his. And I got him to come on the show and it was a week episode. I thought it was going to crush the download records that I had. But it didn’t because he has nothing to do with WordPress. He’s not a developer. And his main area is YouTube, a very visual medium. So even if he liked tweeted, which he did, he tweeted out the episode. His audience probably wasn’t listening to podcasts. His audience wanted to see it on YouTube. And I, being the knucklehead that I was didn’t put it on YouTube as well. 

So that episode really was eye-opening to me. And it made me realize I shouldn’t stray from their mission. If I had him on the show today, I think it would do a lot better because now the mission is to help creators and small business owners create content to grow their business, which is exactly what Peter Holland does. And I’m putting the episodes on YouTube now. And so I think it would do a lot better today. But that’s because today, he’s more aligned with my show’s mission. 

So, all of that to say, interview people who solve the problem from your mission statement. Don’t just have your friends on, or your colleagues on, or your people who you’re a really big fan of. Find the right people. How do you find the right people? Follow helpful people on YouTube who are tweeting about the problem you’re trying to solve. Look for people with similar podcasts, right? So if you’re looking for podcasters, I’m a good person to have on your show. Or if you’re looking for online educators, my friend, Chris Badget has a podcast. He’s a great person to have on your show. So find people with similar podcasts in your similar niche or niche. Look for the one thing that these people are talking about. 

Okay. So whether it’s like Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or whatever, look for the one thing. My friend, Justin Moore, the one thing he talks about is brand sponsorships. All he talks about is brand sponsorships. He’s going to be on my main podcast soon. And we’re going to talk about how as a content creator, you can get brand sponsorships. That it falls in line with the mission. He’s a literal brand sponsor coach. Or he is a little sponsorship coach. So my audience is going to get a free coaching call from Justin for how they can monetize their content sponsorship.

And then the last thing you can do is ask your audience, your listeners, or if you don’t have a lot of listeners yet, maybe you’re pre-launch, maybe you’re just launching, ask your social media followers or your email list, or the people you’re most engaged with. Ask them for recommendations for who they want to hear from. Because they’re following you because you’re good at what you do. Right? You talk about whatever. You solve the problems you’re trying to solve. And people are following you because you’re doing a good job of helping them do that. Ask your audience for recommendations. Hey, what other people are also solving this that you want to hear from? What questions do you want to ask them? And now you’re getting people that your audience knows are your audience already thinks are helpful. So getting those people on the show aligns well with your mission. 

So, if you’re talking to no one, then why are you talking at all? A great question that my daughter asked me. I didn’t have a good answer for it. Besides, well, some people just like to talk. And if you like to talk, that’s fine. I love to talk. I talk maybe too much. But the time and effort and money it takes to create a podcast are not worth just liking to talk. You could just talk. You could talk for free. If you want to talk into a microphone, you could do that for free. But if you have a podcast, you need to know who you’re talking to. And it can’t be everybody because if you’re talking to everybody, then you’re talking to nobody.

And that’s it for this episode of Make Money Podcasting. I hope you enjoyed it. 

If you have any questions, let me know. Send me an email, [joe@podcastliftoff.com]. If you liked this episode, give it a rating and review it on Apple podcasts. And if you want to get all of the episodes I talked about, as well as be willing to Apple podcast to do that rating and review, you can head over to [makemoneypod.com]. 

Thanks so much for listening. 

Until next time. I’m Joe Casabona, and I can’t wait to see what you make.

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