Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit with John Lee Dumas

Jake Randall


Jake Randall: I want to jump right in today. JLD, welcome to the Profit Junkie Podcast.

JLD: I love the name, love the brands. Let’s ignite.

Jake Randall: Awesome. So, hey, I want to talk a little bit. You’re obviously the podcast genius and the go-to guy for people. I want to ask who should, or maybe the question’s better answer, who shouldn’t consider starting a podcast?

JLD: Listen, podcasting is not for everybody. I’m a big believer that there’s a medium that’s out there for you. Some people love video, like short-term, quirky videos like YouTube, TikTok. That’s great. Some people love taking pictures and doing things along those lines like Instagram, Facebook. Those are great mediums for you. And then there’s just people that just love consuming audio. They love audiobooks. They love listening to podcasts. They get the medium. Those people that resonate with podcasting typically make great podcasters as well because they just, again, they understand the medium.

I’ve seen a lot of people try to transition from different mediums that they kind of created really a lot of success and had a lot of big brand awareness in not successfully make the transition to podcasting because it’s just not this same playing field as all these other mediums. They all have their little nuances. They all have things that you need to really understand about them. So if you have a voice and a message and a mission that you want to share with the world and you like and understand and know the form of podcasting, of audio, podcasting is a great thing.

Jake Randall: Now, we have a lot of listeners who are … All of our listeners are business owners. A lot of them are self-employed, solopreneurs or things like that, maybe in different service industries, as well as coaches and things like that. So some of them are maybe geographically localized. Is there still … talk about podcasting and how that might be … Is that a good idea for somebody who’s maybe a local, let’s say like a real estate agent or trying to take over an area or is that maybe one of those areas where it’s maybe not quite as profitable to build something like this?

JLD: This is the best time ever to launch a regionalized podcast because listen, it’s a saturated market. I launched Entrepreneurs On Fire in 2012. I could count on one hand the number of business podcasts that interviewed entrepreneurs, and I could count on one finger the amount that were doing it daily, me. And guess what? That’s why I won because it wasn’t saturated. I filled a void. I found an absolute niche that I can dominate, and I dominated it, and now I’m 2,500 plus episodes in still having that first movers advantage, still having that opportunity to continue to have that snowball effect for my business as it’s gone down that hill.

But for somebody that’s thinking about launching a podcast today interviewing entrepreneurs, it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to work because you are in a busy, saturated, crazy market. But if you instead are willing to niche down into a very specific market, into a very specific topic and you’re really willing to just get down there and crush it, that’s how you’re going to get that initial momentum, that initial traction. So niching by region, become very specific with the content you’re going to produce, and going regional is just one of those ways.

I mean, what’s going to happen if there’s a family in Laguna Beach, California, and they’re like, “Okay, listen. We’ve been living in this three family house now for five years. It’s time; we want to step up. We have a growing family, we want a five bedroom, blah, blah, blah. What do we do?” Well, guess what? They’re going to go to Google. They’re going to go to Apple. They’re going to go to these different search engines and they’re going to type in houses in Laguna Beach, all these different areas, and now with Google Podcasts, you’re literally coming up on Google search results.

You’re literally coming up on all these different search results of, hey, podcast episodes of how to transition from a three bedroom to a five bedroom in Laguna Beach, that specific episode. And guess what? That real estate agent should be making that type of specific episode for that exact reason. And then guess what? That’s how you get that initial momentum and traction because this agent, why would you care if you have 10,000 listeners when only 10 of them are actually potentially ever going to be your clients? Only speak to who your clients are in that example.

Jake Randall: I love that. I love that. You’re always good about getting laser focused on stuff. I love that advice. Let’s talk about traffic. I think there’s this idea in podcasting, or I guess an unknown. Is it sort of an if you build it, they will come? When you’re talking to new people starting a podcast, how do you think about telling, teaching them how to get traffic or how to get listeners or downloads to their podcast?

JLD: I mean, listen, I think a lot of people spend too much time trying to get traffic to their podcast when their podcast sucks. I mean, listen, you can get all the traffic in the world to your podcast and if it’s not a good podcast, it doesn’t matter because people aren’t going to stick. It’s like sending all the traffic in the world to a sales page that doesn’t convert. It’s never going to work. It’s never going to happen. You have to back plan first what’s.

So what’s the first step in that process? Have a great podcast. Hone your interview skills. Actually make something worth listening to. It’s not going to happen overnight. So, so many people are so stressed out about the launch of their podcast and all of this different stuff. Nobody’s going to listen to your podcast, and even if they did, they’re not going to think it’s good because it’s not, so just stop worrying about it, launch it, get it out in the world, get good over time, make it really great, and then you can start worrying about traffic.

And then once you get to that point where your podcast is actually good, like for instance, I feel great now about sending people to Entrepreneurs On Fire because 2,500 episodes in, I’ve been able to turn it into a pretty good podcast. It wasn’t a good podcast episode one. It was okay episode 100. It was pretty good at episode 1,000, but here I am eight years, 2,500 plus episodes, 85 million downloads, over a million listens per month. Now it’s a good show. I can send people there.

So once you actually get to a point where you feel like your podcast is worthy of listeners, then you can go into let’s get into marketing mode, get into major traffic mode, and one of the best ways period, ever end of story, and I’ll share in a second way I’m living, breathing proof of that, is the reality that podcast listeners listen to podcasts. Guess what, everybody that’s watching this video or listening to this episode right now, they are already committed. They are already converted into podcasting. I’m not going to have to retrain them or reeducate them. I’m just going to have to say, “Hey, if you like some of the value that I’m sharing here and you think that you might need to get more value from me, well go listen to my podcast, Entrepreneurs On Fire,” and it’s just as simple as them going add podcast, boom and boom, I’m in their rotation because the average podcast listener listens to seven podcasts. So I just need to become one of those seven and then prove myself to them with the episodes that I’m coming out.

So why am I living proof, as I shared earlier? Because you are my second of 20 episodes that I’m doing today because podcasts listeners listen to podcasts, so I commit one day per month, one day per month to be on 20 to 25 shows. And that’s one day per month, it’s back to back. I could share my screen right now and you would just see every 15 minutes I’m on a different show, and I do that one day per month because listen, I don’t care if you have 10 listeners or 500 listeners or 5,000 listeners, every single one, every single person hearing my voice right now is very, very likely to at least go check out Entrepreneurs On Fire or is it least in a position where they understand the medium and are going to take that step and take one of these calls to action.

So it’s a great use of your time to once you have a podcast that you are proud of, that you know is of high quality, get on other shows. And I have a whole system for that. I won’t get into it right now, but it’s not overly complicated. It’s just essentially getting yourself out there in front of the right audience, which are podcast listeners.

Jake Randall: That’s awesome. At what point did you … I mean, one thing I love about you is you, and for everybody that’s listening, you should go check it out at his website, EOFire.com, but it’s you publish your actual profit and loss and your financials on how you run your podcast business, which I think is just brilliant for one, because it’s so transparent and two, there’s so many lessons to be learned there. But a big portion of your revenue comes from sponsorships, right? At what point did you start thinking about sponsorships? Was it out of the gate or was it like it just naturally happened when you started having enough listeners?

JLD: Sponsorships were always part of the long-term plan, but I knew, thanks to my mentor that I had hired before I launched, what the numbers looked like, and sponsorships don’t really start to make sense until you have big numbers.

So a lot of people come to me like, “John, I want to launch a podcast, and hopefully in the first couple of months I’m going to get a sponsor.” I’m going to be like, “That’s just really not reality.” That’s not a great way to go about things because the fact that I last month made $75,000, just in that month alone on sponsorships, that’ll make people’s eyes go big a little bit because a lot of them think, rightfully so, “Well, if I only do 10% of that, $7,500 in one month for sponsorships, that’s a lot of money,” which it is, but I have over a million listens per month because the average CPM, cost per 1,000 listens, of a podcast is around $25 to $30 per thousands.

So if you have a podcast that has 1,000 listens, which, by the way, is about seven and a half times bigger than your average podcast so you’re already crushing it, you’re going to make 25 bucks for that episode. So the numbers don’t make as much sense until you get to scale, until you get to big numbers.

So I always say to people, “Listen, sponsorships is something that I always had as a longterm goal of mine to actually have as part of a revenue stream, but I understood the numbers from the beginning so it was not my short term or my near term goal,” and what I recommend for a lot of people, especially when their launching podcasts now, and they’re launching the kind of podcasts that we’re talking about here today, which are very specific, very niche, very focused, I say, “Listen, all you need to do is build an audience that knows, likes and trusts you. 10 people, 100 people, if you are crushing it, 1,000 people, and then guess what? Go to them and say, ‘Audience, my listeners, what is your one biggest struggle right now?’ And then listen to them, and then you create the solution for them and then you offer to them on the outros of your podcast via your email newsletter, via social media, and you will make a lot more with that call to action on your podcast to a real solution, to a real problem than that 25 bucks, that that sponsor is going to pay you for those same 1,000 listens that your episode got.”

And guess what? You’re pushing people at that place. You’re pushing people away from your brand and you. You’re saying, “Hey, go listen … ” Listen, I have a sponsorship right now that says, “Go listen to Russell Brunson’s Marketing Secrets Podcast.” That’s crazy in some ways because what am I doing? I’m telling my listeners to go listen to another podcast, but guess what? He’s paying me thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars per episode to do that, so financially it makes sense.

We all have a number, and so I’m happy to promote my buddy Russell Brunson and his Marketing Secrets Podcast on my show because I know they’re very complimentary. I know it’s a great podcast. I know my listeners are going to love it. And I know that as long as I keep my show great, I will remain one of the top seven podcasts that my listeners listen to, period. And so that’s an example of that.

So focus on your products, your services, your solutions to your listeners’ real problems, and you’re just going to build a much stronger business than wasting your time and your energy trying to find sponsors, trying to create the reads for them, have them improve the reads, beg them to stay because their ROI’s not great, and then even if you do get people to take action, they’re spending money with somebody else. Keep it. Keep it for yourself.

Jake Randall: Yeah, that’s great advice. So real quick, if somebody wants to learn more about running a podcast or starting a podcast, where should we send them in the show notes and everything like that? Besides your podcast.

JLD: I have a completely free podcasting course. It will teach you how to create and launch your podcast. Incredibly professional videos, tutorials, the whole nine yards. FreePodcastCourse.com.

Jake Randall: Great, great. And then definitely check out his website too because I think you’ll learn some interesting lessons on his financials that he publishes, which is a really cool.

JLD: Thank you. I’ve been doing that for 81 months in a row now.

Jake Randall: So you do like every day. Is that something that you just want to do because you want to do more content or is that something you recommend to your clients as well?

JLD: Listen, I think what you need to do as a podcast host is sit down and before you do anything else, and this is covered in that free podcast training, craft your avatar, your perfect listener, and then you make the show for that perfect listener. My perfect listener wanted a seven day a week show, so I made the show my perfect listener wanted. Don’t get too far in the weeds right now hearing my voice. That tutorial that I have in Free Podcast Course will really go into detail. You’ll be fine, but always make your show for your perfect listener.

Jake Randall: Awesome. And the URL one more time. We’ll put it in the show notes as well.

JLD: FreePodcastCourse.com.

Jake Randall: And definitely go listen to Entrepreneur On Fire, and you are going to love it. Thanks, JLD, for making some time to be on the Profit Junkie Podcast.

JLD: It was awesome, brother. Take care.

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