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Monetizing Your Podcast with a Small Audience: How to Make $37,000 with 28 Listeners
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In this blog post, Michael Whitehouse explains how he generated $37,000.00 in sales through his podcast, that only had 28 listeners! Join us as Michael shares the framework for how podcasters can turn a show with a small audience into a lucrative revenue source without spending any money beyond the cost of hosting the podcast. Get ready to learn how to attract high-quality leads and convert them into paying clients using only your podcast!
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Read the Blog Post: Monetizing Your Small Podcast: How to Make $37,000 with 28 Listeners
What do you need for a successful podcast? To answer this question, you first need to define: What is a successful podcast to you? Many people think of someone like Joe Rogan when they hear the term “successful podcast.”
They think of a million downloads or sponsors giving them as much money as if they were an NBA star.
That is indeed one way to have a successful podcast. But it’s just one of the ways. But if you are like everyone else, you probably do not have a budget of thousands of dollars per episode to put together a production.
I will talk to you about another form of success for a podcast. Your podcast can be a wonderful platform to meet the people you need to connect with and learn from.
In 2021, I made tens of thousands of dollars with my podcast, The Guy Who Knows A Guy. And that was despite most episodes being downloaded no more than a hundred times.
Another one of our guests, Ina, turned her tiny podcast into a cash machine. You can read her story here.
How I Monetized My Small Podcast
It started when I met the person who would be the first client of the program I was going to launch.
I did not even have an offer. I did not have anything to sell. But eight months later, he became one of my first clients when I launched the program.
He then introduced me to my second, third, and fourth clients. That’s how the revenue came indirectly.
On top of that, I had dozens of incredibly successful people come on the show and teach me what I needed to build a business and monetize it.
These are people who really know what they are doing. They might have charged $1,000-2,000 for an hour of private coaching if I had hired them to coach me.
But in a podcast, they were happy to share very similar knowledge. Sometimes I would even ask them, “Well, in my situation, I have X, Y, Z. What do you think about that?” And just like that, I was getting private coaching live on the show!
This was not cheating the system.
They were getting real exposure, even if it was to a small audience. Many very successful coaches have high-ticket offers. The right person might hire them for $5,000, $10,000, or even $20,000.
Even if your podcast is only heard by 20, 30, or 40 people, one of those people might be the one they need to meet. It’s not about getting on a show with a hundred thousand downloads.
I have even been on shows with hundreds of thousands of downloads and had very little engagement on some of them.
Then I was a guest on another show with less than 100 listeners, and 10 of them got on my email list!
You never know what the results will come from, and your potential guests understand that.
Few ask me before the show, “What is the size of your audience?”
Occasionally this is out of curiosity. When I tell them, the response is usually, “Cool, hopefully, one of my people is in there.”
The Kind Of People You Need on Your Show
If you want to monetize a podcast with a small audience, these are the people you need.
So who do you want in your show to get these results? You want four types of people on your show: the four P’s.
Philip Pucciarelli taught me that. I do not know if it came from him originally, but I credit him because he’s the one who shared it with me. He taught me the first three P’s, and I added the fourth.
These are the people who might become your clients. But you are not going to pitch them on the show. You just need to have a conversation with them, and learn about them and what they do. The goal is to build a rapport with them.
People love to share their stories, and you are giving them the opportunity to do that. After the show, you’ll have the opportunity to have a conversation with them that might lead to something.
More on the topic: how to host podcast interviews that “wow” your audience
You might team up with these people in a joint venture of sorts.
You could also do a webinar swap, or they could invite you to their super cool podcasting summit. Who knows?
These folks could promote you to their audience, much like partners, but a little more targeted. Possibly do an affiliate arrangement.
#4 Purveyors of knowledge
Some of the best results I got last year have been what I have learned from my guests. I did not know what I did not know. But when I saw how successful all these other people were, I knew I was missing something.
But I couldn’t afford to have a deep conversation with these people by hiring them. But I could get them on the air and ask them, “What did you do?”
So I often opened my show with the question, “What makes you awesome?” Who would not want to answer that question?
I got some really interesting responses, but those reactions always started by telling a story.
Why Would They Come On Your Show?
Why would a coach who makes $2,000 an hour come on your show that you just started and that has no listeners? There are several reasons why they might.
They get to share their story.
Who does not love to tell their own origin story? People love the opportunity to tell their story, toot their own horn, and share what’s great about them.
It’s one more opportunity.
Even if you only have 20 or 30 listeners, even if it’s just your family and friends listening. Maybe one of them needs to meet or hire the guest. Maybe they recommend the guest to someone else. Or, at the very least, they start listening to the guest’s podcast or download their freebie; you never know. For the cost of 30 minutes, the podcast guest gets another chance to get more exposure for their brand.
They do get to meet you.
Many of us entrepreneurs love to have face-to-face conversations. We just do not have time for them. But if I can justify meet-ups as a podcast interview, that’s great! Let us do it and see how it goes.
It’s an opportunity to teach.
One of the best ways for a guest to show how great they are is to teach on the air. If you say, “Well, I have this challenge myself, what do you think?”
Then they can actually coach you live on the air. The audience will say, “Oh, wow, they really know what they are talking about. They can really add real value.”
They do not get a lot of these offers.
Let us say you want to talk to leaders of manufacturing companies.
No one invites the CEO of a mid-sized manufacturing company for a podcast interview. If you invited them for an interview, they’d say, “Oh yeah, of course, I’d be happy to be interviewed. That’s fantastic.”
You are giving them a 40-minute interview that’s recorded live, and you’ll share it. For people who are not used to being in the public eye, it can be a really exciting opportunity to be interviewed.
How Do You Find These Guests?
Assuming you do not already have a list of people you want to contact, how do you find them? There are a few different ways.
Online directory services.
I use PodMatch because it gives me more guests than I can handle. Even as a guest, I get as many shows as I have time to attend. So PodMatch is a fantastic tool.
You can also use Facebook groups. Always check the rules before you post saying.
You get someone on the show, you interview them, and at the end, you can ask them, “No one is as good as you, but who is almost as good as you?
Who else do you know that I could interview?”
You can also ask your network of contacts, friends, family, and neighbors. If you are an entrepreneur, you may have clients, vendors, and people in networking groups.
You can go to events like Speakers Playhouse and say, “I have a podcast, and I am looking for people who do this and this.”
The point is that the podcast is not about the audience. It can be if you are doing this type of show. There are certainly some shows that I listen to that are highly produced.
They are more like radio documentaries or something you would find on Netflix.
But the kind of podcasts that many of us do are much more about networking. It’s about a conversation that we invite people into.
That’s what we do – we use a podcast as a networking tool to build connections.
Even if the focus is on sales – if you do not sell or have a business – you can not lead with sales. You have to lead with service.
Whether serving your clients or running your podcast, you are there to share and provide value in everything you do.
Hopefully, you’ll make a sale and monetize your small podcast, but that’s at the very end. First, you need to give and provide that value; a podcast is a fantastic way to do that.
About Michael Whitehouse
Michael Whitehouse is The Guy Who Knows a Guy. In 2014, he came to Groton, Connecticut, knowing no one at all. A year later, after diving into networking with both feet, he was a major connector in the local community. In 2020, he went global and began connecting entrepreneurs, investors, speakers, and others around the world to people they need to know. He offers services as a networking concierge, making connections and building strategic alliances worldwide. He hosts the daily Morning Motivation Podcast and the Guy Who Knows a Guy interview podcast.