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A $250K+/month Podcaster Shares His Strategy

John Lee Dumas is the founder of podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire. Starting from zero, with no contacts and a recording “studio” that cost about $100, he created one of the most successful podcasts in the world, regularly grossing $250-400K per month in sponsorship revenue, affiliate commissions and product sales. His podcast guests include some of the biggest entrepreneurial names (and, incredibly, he landed all his guests within 90 days of starting his podcast, with no influence or contacts. How did he do it? Being the owner of a podcast was credibility enough.)

Dumas is generous with his know-how and here’s a round-up of how he built his podcasting business from scratch.

  1. Identify where your passion and expertise overlaps. Dumas suggests taking a piece of paper and drawing a line down the middle. For the next five days, on the left side list your passions, on your the right side list your expertise. After a while, you will see where your passion and expertise overlaps. That is a clue as to the podcast you should start.
  2. “Someone else is already doing what I want to do”. Dumas says this is the most common objection he hears. His advice? This is a good thing – it’s proof of concept. You simply: do it differently; add your unique selling point and add your personality. Remember, there are lots of songs, lots of singers; lots of films, lots of directors; lots of cookery programs, lots of cooks…
  3. Identify your one perfect listener. Identify your perfect customer avatar. Not a demographic, not a group, not a type – but a specific, fleshed-out image of your ideal listener. This avatar will determine the content you make; the people you interview; the advertisers you feature; the topics you cover – everything. You work for this avatar. Everything you produce is about helping this avatar solve their problems and accomplish their goals.
  4. Create your podcast. Dumas started his show with a computer, $30 headset, $60 microphone and Adobe Audition editing software. His current setup is not much different – just with slightly better equipment. Don’t let equipment not be a reason to start. Dumas records his show; edits it in Audition; uploads it to podcasting host, Libsyn; Libsyn generates an RSS feed link which Dumas pastes into iTunes which pushes notification to his listeners that a new episode is available. That’s it. Dumas advises you have three shows created before launching your podcast. Then you must publish regularly, never missing your deadline.
  5. Promote your podcast. Leverage the power of podcast directories like iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Spotify. Ask your interviewees to share the show they feature in with their audience. Post your show on your Facebook page. Promote it in your  Twitter feed. Engage with all the main social media networks. Reach out to influencers, thought-leaders and group-leaders and request an interview.
  6. Monetize. Dumas makes his six-figures per month through a combination of sponsorship fees, affiliate marketing, membership subscriptions, coaching and product sales.

Action steps

  1. Dumas started from scratch. He’s proof it’s possible. Are you sitting on a podcast idea but doing nothing with it? Why not start today? Just try. You’ll never know where it might lead. You have the strategy outlined above – the only thing stopping you is you.

Photo credit: TimWilson via Foter.com / CC BY




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