By Mitch Stephen — In mid 2016, my educational coaching and mentoring business, 1000Houses.com, had been in existence for just under five years. In the first years, my team and I were seeing growth with every year, but around the beginning of the fourth year we started to plateau. By the end of the fourth year we were declining. It was becoming very apparent that the pool of interested people we’d been able to cultivate was stagnating.
We tried all kinds of things to reach a new audience but nothing seemed to work.
Then one day a friend and industry leader suggested I start my own podcast.
Right off the bat I’m thinking, “OK! Here we go…more technological stuff for me to fail at!”
In the process of learning how to teach “The Art of Owner Financing” to students across the country, I had conquered more than a few personal technological hurdles. That being said, I’m a long way from competency when it comes to computers, technology, and the Internet. I’ve learned over the years to embrace the things we don’t know or understand, and to hire an expert when you need to cover your weaknesses. That’s exactly what happened.
I found a company that would handle it all for me. We worked together and got things to the point where all I had to do was show up, login, turn on the record button, and start the interview with whoever my guest was for the day. And that’s how the Real Estate Investor Summit Podcast was born; REInvestorSummit.com
It didn’t take long for me to start seeing all the benefits. I started interviewing people and putting out podcasts 3 times a week. In the first month we had 7,148 downloads. In the second month we were up to 7,663 downloads. In the third month we jumped up to 17,973. Near the end of the fourth month we had 24,108 downloads and our sales, as a direct result of the podcast, were $55,245 over that four month period. But there was more going on than just sales.
The first thing I noticed was how much clout having a podcast provides the host. It’s almost like writing a book and earning the title Author. You are perceived differently the minute your book is published and offered to the world. Some of the people who were agreeing to interview with me would probably not have had time for me otherwise. They’d agreed to give an hour of their time in the hopes of expanding their own exposure to the world. My guests also garner yet another little piece of content they can use in their own social media promotion and a lot of the people I interview are always looking for content.
Remember this: when you ask an intelligent and very in demand person, “Can I take you to lunch and rake your brain?” you’re probably going to get a resounding “NO!” But when you ask a person, “Can I interview you?” you start hearing the word “YES!” more often because you have changed the game.
The game changes because podcasting is one of the hottest and fastest growing forms of media available to business owners. But don’t fall into the tempting mental trap of thinking that you waited too long to get started, and because of that lost time, you somehow missed the wave. This is the perfect time for you to get started.
Here’s what I mean. Podcasting despite all of its growth is still relatively new so there is still a huge upside. Getting started now means you still have opportunity to ride a lot of the momentum. But I don’t want you to take my word for it. So I asked my good friend, Stephen Woessner from Predictive ROI if he had any third-party research that would be helpful to share.
Here are some data points featured in Stephen’s forthcoming book, “Profitable Podcasting.” According to a recent report from Edison Research, for the five-year period from 2009 through 2013, around 12 percent of the total U.S. population age 12 and over listened to podcasts. In 2016, that number increased to 21 percent, which represents a 75 percent jump in just three years. Excellent.
Plus, 41 percent of podcast listeners earn annual household incomes of $75,000 and more with 15 percent of listeners earning $150,000 or more, versus 9 percent for non-podcast consumers. Awesome!
And even more impressive is 12 percent of podcast listeners spend 10 hours or more per week listening with the majority spending one to three hours per week. That is a lot of listening and likely speaks to the increasing popularity of on-demand content based on the specific topics we as consumers want to learn more about.
You can find the full report here: http://www.edisonresearch.com/media-research/podcast-research/
So let’s get back to the power of the interviews.
I also noticed that I was getting smarter with every person I interviewed. The people I interview are sharp and experienced. Their insights are significant and their decision making processes are a testament to their success. It’s hard to listen to a multi-multi-millionaire and not learn a thing or two about how to improve your own business or quality of life.
I learn and grow with every podcast interview I do.
Eventually I came up with ideas on how to monetize the podcast through selling peripheral products and services that were not my own. When I learned how to do this an amazing thing started happening. I started getting paid to generate leads for my own products and services. Wow! I hadn’t planned on this at all!
A lot of the people I interview have podcasts of their own. Suddenly, each introduction had two possibilities; I could interview them and then, if I was a fit, they’d agree to interview me.
As if all these unforeseen perks weren’t enough, I also ended up making some real friends. Today I do business with some of my favorite podcast guests. They are some of the most genuine people I know. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but maybe when you’ve shared in the experience of entrepreneurial combat, you have a common understanding and a bonding point. Today when I travel there’s almost always someone interesting to visit.
My podcast has introduced me to places and people I never would have found otherwise. And it has connected me with private lenders, sellers, buyers, and mentors unplanned. It has led me to inspiration unexpected and has given me aspirations I won’t soon forget. I hope you will join me in this great experience!