The Profitable Podcaster

Is Your Podcast a Painkiller?

Are most of the podcasts you listen to for fun, or for growth? If you’re like 74% of podcast listeners, you listen to podcasts to learn new things. That’s why your podcast should be a painkiller. And today, I’m going to give you all the reasons why. 

Show Notes

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I’m going to give you two scenarios here, and I want you to think about what you would do? 

In the first, you go to the doctor and everything looks good, but the doctor gives you some recommendations. One is to start eating healthier because maybe some of your blood work showed that you have high cholesterol. Your blood sugar was a little bit high. 

And the second was to start taking a multivitamin. Something that will give you the nutrients that you’re not getting from your current diet. And you think that’s all well and good. But then you go to order a bottle on Amazon or you are at the grocery store and you think, that’s more money than I wanna spend. And am I really gonna take two or four pills in some cases every morning, when I could just maybe change my life? And so you skip out on the vitamins. It’s something that you know you should do, but you’re not going to start doing. 

Now, I want you to think about this situation. Let’s say you wake up. It is a Tuesday morning. You have a lot of work to do. Maybe you have to record your podcast, but you have a splitting headache. A headache so bad you can’t really concentrate and you think maybe it’ll go away. Maybe I just need some water. Maybe I need some coffee. But you also reach for the bottle of Ibuprofen and you take two, maybe three depending on the dose, pills of that. Because you currently have a pain and you want it resolved, I’m guessing a lot of us tend to take those pain killers more often than we take the vitamins.

And that’s what I want to talk about with you today. I want to ask you, is your podcast a vitamin or a painkiller? Is it something your listeners feel that they should listen to, or is it something they need to listen to? I think, if you answered vitamin, you should strongly consider making it a painkiller.

Having a profitable podcast is like having any other profitable business. You need to make money. Sure, but you also need to grow. You need to spend your time wisely, and you need predictability. A couple of sponsors won’t make you a profitable podcaster, but having systems to stay consistent, create steady growth, and generate predictable income will. That’s what you’ll get with this show.

Hi. I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And my podcasts have been profitable from Day 1. I’ll share everything I know with you here on the Profitable Podcaster. 

All right. I hope you’re doing well. I want to tell you a little bit about vitamins and painkillers and why I think your podcast should be a painkiller.

So this analogy is very often used when it comes to startups, businesses, or products. And there is a great article by Kyle Sandberg over on Medium that I will link to in the show notes for this episode, which you can find over at three…(Oh,  I’m sorry.) You can find it over at []. You can also find it in your podcast app of choice right now.  

But he talks about the difference between vitamins and painkillers. And he breaks it down in this neat little table, right? So a vitamin is a nice to have. It improves an existing solution. And it’s something that you should do. Examples he uses are, this is very app-centric, technology-centric. And so the examples he gives are, To-do list apps, fitness trackers, or the app next door. These are all nice to haves. They improve a solution, right? Some people would consider podcast transcripts a vitamin. I think it’s a painkiller, but that’s neither here nor there. So when you think about the things that you consume in your life, how many of them are nice to haves? how many improve an existing solution versus the painkiller?

The painkiller is a need to have. It solves an unmet customer need, and it’s something that the person, the customer, the listener, wants to use. So examples he gives here are Google Maps, Amazon Echo, Lyft and Uber. 

Again, these are maybe painkillers for him. Google Maps I think certainly is one. So it’s Lyft and Uber, right? If you don’t have a ride from the airport, Lyft or Uber are going to be a massive pain killer for you. 

And then he goes on to talk about building killer products, right? And he makes, he asks you what are your favorite products and what makes them so special. So he talks about the first…his first iPhone. Spotify, Netflix, Overcast and dark chocolate, right? There are other products that have unmet needs, but these are the ones that stood out to him. And I think this is really important, right? Because you might say, looking at this list, Spotify is a vitamin, not a painkiller. But he talks about the importance of streaming music and choosing the music that he wants to listen to. And how Spotify makes it easy for him to find that and find new music. 

So going into this, painkillers and vitamins are going to be subjective, right? So, for me, I would say that my stream deck is a pain killer because it makes me do a lot of things. it helps me do a lot of things a lot easier than I normally would. 

I think Descript, which is what I’m using recording this episode in is a painkiller, Because editing a podcast is literally painful for me. I usually hire it out. I usually, so I have an editor for my other podcast, but Descript makes editing this podcast a lot easier.

So, I want you to think about this. What is your podcast? Because here’s the thing. Let’s start here, Actually. think about the podcast that you listen to. Are they for fun? Are they for growth? There’s probably a mix. Butt if you are like 74% of podcast listeners, you listen to podcasts to learn new things, and I think that’s why your podcast should be a painkiller. I’ve talked about the need for defining a mission statement. In that mission statement, the first thing we talk about is who you help and what problem you solve. This positions your podcast to be a painkiller. It should solve someone’s problem to the point where they need to listen to every episode.

One example of this for me was Nicholas Scalice Landing Page School podcast. I was terrible. Terrible at making landing pages. Terrible. But thanks to his podcast. I actually don’t think he’s producing it anymore, but it ran its course. But thanks to his podcast, I started building much better landing pages. So, yeah. He stopped producing this in 2021, as some people would say. But there were a lot of…there was a lot of great content, very short. I think that’s the perfect, like a perfect mini podcast. 

So Landing Page School was a painkiller for me. If we look at some of my other podcasts, 865, that’s entertainment, I would say that’s a vitamin. Of course I listened to it on long car rides, so maybe it was a painkiller, right? Because it kept me awake and engaged.  

Advisory Opinions is a legal podcast. I would consider this one a pain killer because I’m very interested in how our legal system works, especially the…in the United States, especially the Supreme court. And the hosts, Sarah and David make it easy to digest. They do a good job of explaining it. 

AskPat 2.0 BADASS courses. Those are both painkillers for me. And so the list goes on and on. 

So most of the podcasts I listen to are painkillers. And so I want you to do that exercise too. Look at the podcast you listen to and think about why you listen to them. Are you trying to learn something new? Are they solving a problem for you? or is it purely entertainment, right? Serial or suspect. the Trojan Horse files is  another, the Trojan Horse affair.  Those were entertainment for me. And so those were vitamins. And I usually binge those, but my daily drivers are painkillers.

So there are a few benefits to making your podcast a painkiller. 

First of all, you’re creating a great product with a specific audience in mind. Again, this is your show’s mission statement. If you haven’t defined your show’s mission statement, you need to do that. Check out  the episode of this podcast where I talk about that. I’ll link that in the show notes as well. 

This will also allow you to connect with potential sponsors who are also solving that problem and trying to reach the same audience. So if your podcast helps people solve a specific problem,  let’s say it helps them  fixed bicycles. Right. So let’s say that your podcast is all about how to fix bicycles, right? I’m sorry. These are bicycle enthusiasts. Maybe they have an electric bicycle, and, they want to diy, fix themselves. Fix it themselves. You are a pain killer for those people. They have a broken bike. They wanna maintain it properly, they want to fix it when they can. So maybe you find a sponsor that has like a bicycle fixing kit where they sell this special wrench to fix,  spokes on a bicycle, right? You’re both solving the same problem. So there’s really good audience alignment there. 

And then it will also allow you to build an audience you can sell directly too. This could be a product, a course, coaching services, whatever best serves your listeners. Because again, if your podcast is solving a problem and you’re helping your listeners solve a problem. they are developing trust in you as the authority for solving that problem. And so when you’re ready to sell a course or consulting or some product, they’re going to look to you and they’re already going to be a warmed up audience. 

So by making your podcast a painkiller, you are telling people that you understand their struggle and you will help them. 

I think there are a few ways you can do this. One is by building in public, right? So something I like to do is publicize the experiments I’m trying with my podcast. things that I’m doing to maybe get more sponsors,  or build my mailing list or sell more of my product. So building in public shows people that you are doing the things you’re talking about.

Number two, answering questions you get from your audience. Some of my best content comes from that people’s comment on my Linkedin posts or my blog posts, or they email me with a question and I put together those questions, and every so often I will do a listener feedback episode. You can do this by repurposing content. It’s a little behind the scenes work right here I am building in public. 

This episode part of my newsletter already. I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about today and this came up. I posted it on LinkedIn, almost verbatim from the newsletter, and it’s being very well received. And so I thought this is a great topic to cover no matter what stage of podcasting someone’s in. Whether you’re starting or whether you’re a hundred episodes in, you can make some small tweaks to make your podcast a painkiller. 

So repurpose your content. Show people what you’re always talking about, right? Dickie Bush says you don’t wanna say a thousand things. You wanna say one thing a thousand different ways.

And then do case studies. For me on this show, we’ve had one, I have a few more lined up. But as far as case studies go, I’m doing live coaching calls, right? So I’m recording coaching calls. I have..and I’m releasing them as episodes on this podcast.

I’m also working on some content for success stories for people who have gone through the podcast Liftoff program or who have gotten one-on-one coaching with me. And then as a result, they’ve gotten a sponsor if they or they’ve launched their podcast. 

So these are the things that show people you understand their problem. You understand their struggles, and you can help them.

A Pain killer podcast opens up lots of doors for direct and indirect monetization. It opens lots of doors for you to be a consistent podcaster to put the right systems in place tyo get to a a point where you are batching your content because you are talking about problems you know how to solve. This is why I think a mini podcast is great. And I think your mini podcast should be a painkiller. 

This, I believe is the path for most people to a profitable podcast. 

So that’s it for this episode. I hope you liked it. Let me know. Write in [].  Tell me, is your podcast a vitamin or a painkiller? Have I convinced you to turn your podcast into a painkiller? Again, that link was [profitable]. 

Thanks so much for listening. You can find all of the show notes over at []. 

And until next time. I can’t wait to see what you make.

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