5 Steps to Monetizing Your Podcast with a Digital Product
Table of Contents
In this post, Steph Taylor shares three main things, 1) Why a digital product is the perfect low-risk monetization strategy, whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting out. 2) What makes a good digital product in 2022 and how to develop a profitable digital product idea, even if you’re not an “expert” in anything. 3) Why you don’t need to build a library of products—it only takes one digital product to totally change the trajectory of your business, for real. This strategy is how Steph turned a $197 product into $750,000 of sales in under 12 months.
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Read the Blog Post: 5 Steps to Monetizing Your Podcast with a Digital Product
How do you monetize your podcast with a digital product? That’s the topic of today’s conversation. But first, why should you monetize our podcasts with a digital product?
- You can launch and validate your product even before you put the work into creating it.
- You can sell 10 or 1000 copies for the same amount of labor and overhead that goes into making it.
- You can start creating your digital product from day one of your podcasting journey.
- You can also start creating, selling and monetizing your podcast with a digital product before you even have your first listener.
- You can help your listeners get bigger wins, which in turn will make them more engaged because they are now more invested.
I am going to share with you my five-step process for monetizing your podcast with a digital product. I’ll also share how I made $750,000 in 12 months with a digital product teaching people how to start a podcast.
Step 1: Listen
This is the best way to come up with ideas, but as podcasters, we are so used to doing the talking that we often do not stop to listen to our listeners. I know that can be a real challenge, especially because of the way podcasting is designed, which is as a one-way conversation.
But we need to ask our listeners to engage with us outside of the podcast and find out what they need help with.
This is where it really helps to pay attention to what people keep asking you.
That’s a really important clue that you may be able to help them with a product that addresses the problem or challenge.
In my case, the idea for the product came to me because people kept asking me how to launch a podcast, and I thought, “Maybe there’s a potential product here.”
So I created the podcast launch plan, which I’ll use to illustrate each step I show you in this process.
Step 2: Ideate
People do not want more content. In the past, people may have wanted more content, but today there is more free content than we have hours in the day.
So people want something that will help them get those results as quickly as possible, not something that is just content that they can consume for content sake.
What is the exact outcome you are promising someone, and how can you deliver it in a way that makes it as easy as possible for the customer to get that result? Is it a group program?
Is it a membership? Is it an online course, an eBook, templates, an audio training series, or a paid newsletter? What format do people want it in?
What format works best for you to deliver it? How can you help them make that transformation or solve that problem as quickly as possible? I started the podcast launch plan as a group program first because I knew that was the easiest way to offer it.
I did not have to create anything in advance.
I did not have to invest all that time in creating a course or an eBook only to find that no one wanted it. Also, I was at a point in my business where I needed money fast. So I thought, a group program.
That’s the best way to go, at least for the first round, because I can now teach them week by week.
I can do it in a small, intimate setting, and I can help them work through their struggles.
So I decided to launch it as a group program.
Step 3: Validate
So you can sign up.” I ended up selling only two spots! This is despite more than 10 friends asking me to help them launch a podcast. The moral of the story is: until people put their money where their mouth is, you do not have a validated product idea.
So what I did was go out. I started talking to people who had asked me to show them how to start a podcast. I asked them, “Why did not you sign up for the group program?” This is where I gained the best insight.
Everyone thinks that validation is just about checking to see if people want your idea or not. But it’s more than that.
Validation expands our view of what people want and what they need beyond what we have considered before.
When I interviewed and talked to these people, I found that they did not actually want to learn how to launch a podcast in a group program. Some of them wanted to do it in four weeks. Others wanted to do it in six months. They wanted to do it self-paced. Simply put, most of them could not commit to participating in live calls.
They were not sure they could learn best in a group setting. That told me all I needed to know to pivot completely. I then relaunched the program as a Trello board with step-by-step instructions. This was not even an online course, but a self-paced Trello board with every single step you need to check off to start a successful podcast.
This time, people bought it.
Step 4: Create
You do not have to do all these fancy things.
If you can teach it live the first time, great. If you can put it together in a Trello board, great. Get the Minimum Viable Product out there instead of getting stuck on getting it perfect the first time.
Too many people get stuck comparing sites to host their course.
They then sit there thinking, “Should I launch it in Kajabi? Should I use Thinkific? Do I use Teachable?” They’ll spend more time figuring out which platform they want to offer the course on than they will getting their listeners to the point where they are willing to buy the course if they offer it.
If it’s a course or a membership, can we make it a profitable product by teaching it live on Zoom? Once you have taught that first round of students, maybe you can invest in a portal.
After that, you can consider investing time in recording content.
I see a lot of people stuck in this step for months in the creation phase. Yet this should be the simplest part. The hardest part is selling the digital product. The hardest part is figuring out what people want and delivering that to them.
Once we figure out what people want, creating it should be a breeze. Do not get stuck here for months. Remember, the longer you are stuck at this stage, the longer it will take to help people make that impact.
That was the reason I launched a Trello board. I wanted something that would be the minimum viable product. It was going to help people achieve what they wanted in that self-paced way.
Step 5: Promote
This is something that most podcasters are not very good at by nature, especially when we are used to putting out so much content for free on the podcast all the time.
Sadly, when it comes to asking people to collaborate with us or promote something, we do not want to sell.
Even though your podcast is a great way to promote your new digital product, I want you to get away from the idea that a digital product is just there to monetize your podcast. Instead, how can you use your podcast to grow your email list and then promote that digital product to your email list?
Can you host a free masterclass and promote that free masterclass to your podcast listeners? This is how I turned the podcast launch plan into a $750,000 product- by hosting multiple free masterclasses.
Once I knew the messaging was perfect, I recorded the masterclass and automated it. Then I started giving constant calls to action for people to sign up for my free masterclass on how to launch a podcast.
So how can you get your digital product in front of your listeners as often as possible? Can you incorporate it into the content of your podcast? When you talk about your podcast on a show, how can you incorporate little bits of that product? How can you keep incorporating little references?
You could say, “Hey, in my podcast launch plan, I am going to go a little bit deeper into the exact equipment that you need depending on where you are recording your podcast because it’s not the same for everyone.”
Then go on to talk about the rest of your podcast content instead of just promoting the product the whole time. If you have success stories about your digital product, can you interview them in your podcast, create case studies, or include testimonials in your podcast content? How can you deliver content in your podcast that gets listeners to the point where they are ready to buy your product?
For example, I know that one reason that holds many entrepreneurs back is that they do not know if they have something worth listening to. So a good podcast episode would be “7 things you can share that are worth listening to” or “How to uncover your perfect podcast idea.”
That gets them to the point where they are ready to commit to creating a podcast and buy my product.
Digital products are a really low-risk high-reward way to monetize your podcast.
You do not have to be an expert to create a digital product. You just need to be able to improve your listeners’ lives in some way. You can just be a few steps ahead of them and walk them through something you have already accomplished
You do not need a whole library of products. All you need is one really good product that you can sell over and over and over again.
And these five steps to monetizing your podcast. Listen, brainstorm, validate, create and market.
About Steph Taylor
Steph Taylor is a digital product launch strategist for business owners who are tired of selling services and want to scale with their first digital offer. Whether it’s starting a podcast or selling a digital course, Steph helps her students reach more people, grow their audience, and become the go-to in their industry. She’s the host of the Socialette podcast, with over a million downloads to date, and has taught more than 100,000 entrepreneurs how to launch their own podcasts and digital products. In her spare time, Steph enjoys adding new plants to her indoor jungle and making wine, peanut butter, and coffee disappear like magic.