In this episode of The Multimedia Marketing Show, we speak with Dan Andrews from The Lifestyle Business Podcast about a topic he’s incredibly passionate about, Podcasting. In the interview we discuss how to get started building an audience and authority through podcasting. We also discuss why you should create your own show. So, sit back, relax and listen to the full episode.
Over the past 5 years, Dan has built a 7-figure e-commerce business while living in many exciting places. Now his job is to help others to do the same.
- Dan’s background – A quick overview of what he’s done.
- Podcasting – Why start your own podcast channel.
- Become an authority– developing and building an audience.
- Spotlight Marketing – Find out what this is.
- Why should you Podcast? – The top reasons to start your own podcast.
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Introduction: Welcome to the brave new world of cost effective communications, tips, trips and tricks, how to’s, why to’s and what not to do’s and using the power of web-based content marketing to easily promote whatever you’d like.
Welcome to the Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Hello and welcome back to the Multimedia Marketing Show. I’m your host Jake Hower. I’m so glad you could join us again today. It’s a great episode so I’ll introduce our guest in just a second. Before I do I’d like to let you know that if you listen through to the end of the episode I’ll be giving a couple of shout outs to a couple of extra iTunes reviewers. If you haven’t left your review just yet head across to the iTunes store or Stitcher Radio or below the post even and please leave your review and some comments and feedback. I’d love to hear from you. That’ll be really fantastic. Just let me know what you think of the show or how you’re enjoying it. It would really add heaps of context for me and allow me to focus on improving these shows for you.
Our guest today is Dan Andrews from The Lifestyle Business Podcast. Dan is an awesome, awesome guy. I got to know him a few months ago through his podcast and I was lucky enough to meet him while I was in Bali about two months ago. He is a really cool guy. If you haven’t heard of the Lifestyle Business Podcast, I’d suggest you go across and check it out. In fact, it’s probably a great source for you to get a little bit of extra context to this particular episode as well. We won’t delve too much into his background because we want to bring you some actual tips.
Now of course given Dan’s expertise in podcasting that’s the topic for today’s episode. It’s a great source of traffic. It’s brilliant for building an audience. He I guess was probably the inspiration for me starting this podcast and I can tell you right now the people I’ve been meeting or networking with, the guests I’ve been bringing on the show and will continue on the bring on show are such a high caliber and I really feel I wouldn’t be able to get access to these people without doing a podcast.
Now let’s get back to the Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Okay welcome back listeners as we’ve just discussed, I’ve got Dan Andrews from The Lifestyle Business Podcast on the line today. Dan how are you?
Dan: Fantastic Jake, thanks for having me man.
Jake: No problems at all. This will be our first guest to focus 100% on podcasting for the episode and if I was to look at all the different podcasts I listen to, you’d be or you certainly where, top of the lists to bring on the show, so I’m glad you could spare a few minutes today with us. So why don’t you start off with a little bit of history with about yourself leading up to your coming online and to The Lifestyle Business Podcast.
Dan: Sure, so my initial history before I started my businesses, it was podcast that helped inspire me and educate me on how to get started building a business. I had been doing it for about two years. We have a company that creates products for the hospitality industry like portable bars and we also create a line of consumer cat furniture for cat owners, and I was looking around the Internet like try and listen to more people who are interested in traveling while running their business and there wasn’t a lot of people publishing that kind of information.
I sort of thought well there’s an opportunity here for me to start my own podcast and tell people how I travel, but also I run a real business in the sense that we have a warehouse, we have employees, we have QuickBooks, and all that normal business stuff, but I still manage to travel around. So we started in 2009 a show called The Lifestyle Business Podcast and yeah, we’ve just been doing every week since then.
Jake: That’s fantastic. It’s, I guess, what’s … what I really want to dive into today is I guess getting around the mindset of why you decided to start a podcast, how you went to doing that, and I guess 2009 to 2012 was pushing on, pushing closer to 4 years of being online podcasting now. So I want to get an indication of the differences between when you started out and how it is now for you as well.
Dan: Well, first of, when we started out, we were nervous to do it and our content was shaky and it wasn’t particularly good, and I think one of the mindsets that we went through is we knew that that would be part of the process and we thought to ourselves, it’s worth the investment to get good at communicating and speaking, and so we were willing to power through those first awkward months and no one really listening in to your stuff at that time any ways. That’s not so bad.
I think when you look at it from a strategic perspective, holding the audience and developing and cultivating an audience is really a new opportunity for entrepreneurs. We’re still sort of getting used to what that means for business, and I think we saw early on that that was going to be a powerful, powerful opportunity.
One story that taught us that is at the same time we started our cat furniture business, one of our favorite bloggers in that space Kate Benjamin from moderncat.net started a cat furniture blog, and you can probably guess what the punch line is five years later who’s doing better in that niche, it’s definitely Kate. 27,000 subscribers strong, she’s got a passionate audience that put her at the focal point of the industry. She can talk to anybody. She’s got better information, and if she wants to start a cat furniture business, she is in a much better spot than me sitting in a quiet room somewhere having some great grand vision of what my next piece of cat furniture is going to look like.
Jake: That’s incredible and you’re right. As an entrepreneur and business owner myself, I am just starting to realize that there are such great opportunities out there to become an authority in the market and of course that’s the premise of the show is that we’re trying to introduce our listeners to all forms of content marketing and give them some strategies on how they can just get out there and implement it in their business. Obviously podcasting for you has been incredibly successful and beneficial for you. So, what I need you to explain to our listeners a little bit about some of the stats focused around The Lifestyle Business Podcast.
Dan: Sure. The Lifestyle Business Podcast is an entrepreneurial training podcast mostly or inspirational podcast. I’m focused on digital nomads or the group of people that they really want to grow a business so that it can help them to travel. That’s sort of our scene, and so in the back end, we developed the products called the dynamite circle which is basically a private membership group that allows entrepreneurs to sort of meet each other as they go around. I mentioned that because that’s how we monetize the podcast. I think there’s a bunch of things we could do to monetize it. We could start services.
That’s the cool thing about audience, right? You can, you’ve got a group of people listening to your show that need all kinds of stuff, and they are a captive audience, you’re in their ears, but anyway we decided to do this networking group, so that just clicked over to 500 members now, so that’s good. There are people all on retention, billing, arrangements. Regarding the downloads, I haven’t looked at it for a while to be honest, but I think we’re are a little bit under monetized, but are you looking for like numbers on how many people listen to our show and stuff like that?
Jake: Yeah, yeah, that’ll be I think, give listeners a bit of perspective as to how powerful it’s been for you.
Dan: Yeah, I actually think for someone has been podcasting for nearly three years, our numbers aren’t that great, but I think the interesting thing to think about when you look at the way these numbers work is that to me, someone who listens to your podcast is like someone who gives you their address, their home address and their phone number on your opt-in form. It’s like when they’ve decided to put you into their ears and let you speak to them for long interrupted periods of time that’s much more powerful than someone who just breezes by and checks out your newsletter in my mind.
That said, I think each episode is getting about 10,000 listens between 7 and 10,000 listens. We’ve got about 5,600 people on our mailing list that cascades down to about 4 to 5,000 unique visitors on the web site every month, which cascades into 500 people in a private billing situation. So that’s kind of what we would call the traffic trickle. It starts large in iTunes with the 10,000 people every episode and then kind of over the course of three years, 5,600 of those have managed to get on the mailing list one way or another.
Jake: Sure. Okay let’s jump back to the start, to give listeners a bit of perspective. So you started this three years ago. Dynamite Circle is now … what is it? Would it be just over a year old? Is it?
Dan: That’s correct.
Jake: So you’ve got two-year laid time for Dynamite Circle, which I guess the question that comes to mind for me is in starting the podcast, did you envision that this is the way you’re going to monetize or did you play around with some other forms of monetization early on.
Dan: We played around with stuff, yes. We sold our back catalog at the beginning. It was kind of a throwaway thing and it wasn’t well thought out. At the beginning I knew that membership sites were an opportunity but I didn’t have an articulation for it. I’ll tell what, it was a mindset shift for me. I was having a very difficult time in my mind just to find charging our listeners to join a forum, and one of the things that helped me but I would help, I thought it would be useful though to charge them to be in like a networking situation and the problem with looking at stuff like vBulletin is it just doesn’t work for that.
So I was looking at stuff like Vanilla Forums and all that kind of stuff and then I stumbled onto a very successful private membership site that was being run by Simon Black at sovereignman.com. Remember I was like, it’s like 400 to 500 bucks a year or something, and I was like looking over my friend’s shoulder and I said what is that? That’s awesome. He’s like that’s Ning and I was like, “Shit!” sorry, shise, this is a family show right. I ran back to my developer and I said let’s stop doing this custom thing. We’ll just get Ning. It’s like 60 bucks a month for the premium program and when I saw my small group of inner circle and beta members inside of that Ning software, I was like this is something I can charge for. So that was a big turning point for me.
Jake: Yeah, absolutely, and I guess you’ve also got Tropical MBA. Can you explain to our listeners a little bit about that particular portion?
Dan: Yeah so, I mean if I could do it all over again there wouldn’t be two web sites. So at the beginning I was like well I have a blog, so I’ll start a blog and then I was like well I have a podcast, so I’ll start a podcast, but I should have just had it all be Tropical MBA. Tropical MBA started out as a recruitment tool. I was in the Philippines hiring Filipinos and I think the turning point was one of the developers who’s really talented he’s like and this was like three years ago, he’s like, “All right well, I want you to pay me a $1,000 a month to work for you.” I just remember thinking like, “First off screw all these marketers who told me the Philippines is the cheapest place on the planet.” The second thing is I would have worked for $1,000 a month. To be able to live in the Philippines and to ride on motorcycles and work whenever I want, it was just this awesome lifestyle, and so then it wasn’t a week later that I had a big, my very first blog post was a job ad. Like, “Hey, I’m a digital nomad. I’m here in the Philippines, why don’t you come join me, I’ll pay you 1,000 bucks a month,” and that’s why I called it the Tropical MBA.
It’s kind of like an internship thing and from there I just started using it as an outlet for my thoughts and that site in particular has inspired about 20 internships, 10 from my company and 10 for close friends, and it’s also turned into a podcast and stuff like that, so it’s basically Tropical MBA is like my personal blog.
Jake: And what is it, you said you’d have one site if you had to do it all over again. Of the two that you’ve got now, which would have been your choice?
Dan: Well, just in terms of branding I think Lifestyle Business Podcast is a more generic brand than Tropical MBA. I would just have a Tropical MBA Podcast and a Tropical MBA blog, and that way we could focus all of our energy there. I don’t think it makes sense to switch it at this point, but if I could give a suggestion to people it would be … I kind of think especially with the way that the technology and way that people are moving around online now, the best strategy is to have your core-marketing brand be like your spotlight.
Schramko does good job of these website, Internet marketing speed is where you follow him and then whenever he wants to point his spotlight on something like a new product, he would just talk about it on Internet marketing speed, but it sounds like he is going to start a blog over at whatever this thing is megamillionaire.com or not. He’s not going to market out that domain. I think that’s a new trend and something to take note of because the kind of marketing that you’re talking about Jake is expensive to execute and so you want to focus your energy on one product or one core outlet.
Jake: The other thing I think which is quite relevant and it’s something I’ve been struggling with, well not struggling but considering, the whole thing is building your online audience. Now that is where a lot of your future, potential future income comes from. Now if you’re building sites on a particular brand here and there and then you want to sell off that particular brand, if you haven’t got a central hub, then you’re potentially losing your entire audience once you’ve sold off that brand.
Dan: Great point. It’s a fantastic point.
Jake: And I think that’s I guess if we do talk a little bit about James Schramko and what he’s doing, he’s very smart that way where he’s got already set a lot of services but which he could easily sell off without losing his audience.
Dan: Yeah, I call it spotlight marketing. Your core asset is your spotlight, and when say you create service that helps people edit their podcast or whatever, we call it a podcast product where you shine your spotlight over on that for a few months, and you build up a customer base over there. That’s a fantastic asset for somebody who wants to buy it but then you still get to hold on that spotlight, which would be the Jake Hower show. Whatever you’re going to chose as your spotlight. What domain are we publishing at by the way?
Jake: Well, this is at the Multimedia Marketing Show
Dan: Yeah perfect.
Jake: I think that’s where I’ll be moving as well. I’ll built up a lot of my personal online audience under whatever travel brands and I’m just annoyed now that if we’re ever to sell this travel agency that I’ll lose my entire audience if I continue down that route. I think for me the Multimedia Marketing Show eases that central hub where the property itself wouldn’t easily be transferable but that’s because it’s me building a connection with my audience, with the listeners and then we build up satellite brands around that, which potentially have a value or sale value.
Jake: Okay. So podcasting, let’s give some tips to our listeners. Do you have top five reasons why someone should be podcasting?
Dan: Sure. First of it’s easy to create content relative to video and to writing. Second of, it’s more engaging than both of those mediums. This is anecdotal but I’ll put it out there. People that have elected to put you into their eardrums while they go about their life, let you speak to them, that is the way to build trust with people because you’re talking about long periods of engagement over the course of time. That’s massively powerful marketing. So I love that element to it.
Number three, it’s so much easier to network with other people vis-à-vis podcasting. I would never want to write a guest post for your blog because it’s so hard to write. I would never want to come on to a video show because I don’t have the technology and it’s too much time in marking around but I’ll absolutely get on the horn with you and talk with you, and I’m just a small fly but you could manage to get really influential people on the phone and become friends with them and network with them.
I think that’s a massive benefit to podcasting. It’s just your ability to network with market movers. I don’t know, I can’t think about industry that’s an exception really, I mean think about industries where this kind of swapping of notes and podcasting isn’t the norm. I looked at it with … my friend just started a podcast called smartdrugssmarts.com and his first episode was with one of the leading scientist in the world about the stuff. Well, there’s not that many inbound phone calls that that scientist is, that are exciting, and this is a big opportunity. It’s all of a sudden; it’s a media inquiry, an opportunity for them to reach a broader audience. So I think those are three explosive reasons right there to start a podcast. I can probably list 25 for you.
Jake: I guess I’m a member of the DC or the Dynamite Circle, and it’s certainly big in there don’t have everybody talking about podcasting and it was probably the final straw for me to actually start this podcast itself. I know I’ve been going there for a month and I’ve pumped out 6 or 7 interviews. Not all would have been aired yet but those three reasons that you’ve just discussed. They’re already forwarding out right in front of me. The networking I’ve done so far with my guests is incredible and there is no other way that I would be able to get in front of these people.
Dan: That’s it man and it’s just incredible value that you’re offering people is access to your audience and an opportunity to share their message.
Jake: Sure, and I guess that’s a good thing, how easy it actually is to get a podcast up there. You say it’s easy for you to just record some audio. What is that? Is that simply a marker phone and a pacer software on the computer?
Dan: I would say that if you want take the 80-20 way to get in a quality podcast shipped, you would buy Skype recorder, call recorder, or Pamela so that you can record your Skype phone calls. You would buy a USB mic and it can even just be a call center mic and all of most like I would say 80% of our audio is from $40 a Logitech call center mics, and as long as you’re plugging them into the USB and not into the small little circular hole on your computer, it’s going to sound good enough, and then you can record it on your call recorder, you toss it into Audacity, you apply some EQ, a little bit of compression, and you normalize it, and boom! You’ve got yourself a podcast. That’s all it takes.
Jake: Absolutely and then the submission to something like iTunes which potentially most of our listeners out there will be listening to this on. It’s a one-time submission. It’s relatively easy but if you’re not technical enough to be able to do it you could pay someone $50 to get it set up for you.
Dan: Absolutely, no question.
Jake: Okay, Dan, what does the future hold for The Lifestyle Business Podcast? Are you looking at changing direction in any way or you’re continuing on in the same manner or?
Dan: Well, that’s a good question. I was thinking about it today actually. We’ve been continuing on in a very consistent manner for the last two years, just been a weekly every Thursday morning. For the foreseeable future we are going to continue down that route. We got a bunch of other products in the pipeline so I don’t know. This is a great question I have no idea. We are at a bit of a turning point right now. We just closed the Dynamite Circle. We are 500 members.
I think we need to ask ourselves what would market leadership look like in 2013 and if I am such a big proponent of developing audiences and just building businesses that way I think that that there are some limitations to our current publishing outlets. In particular, they focus on Ian and I’s time. So I think, we’ve pretty much got two options for growth. One will be to go to the Adam Carolla route and sell off all of our business and only focus on audience. So basically just become a daily show like Howard Stern or Adam Carolla or Oprah Winfrey, that kind of audience route, and then the other way would be to go like a Huffington Post route where you instead pool the communities’ content and publish that. I think that’s kind of the natural decision point that we’re at.
Jake: I’m sure not a very easy decision to make because as you say, this is I guess, this publishing side of your business probably only represents 50% of your total I would imagine.
Dan: Oh it’s 5%.
Jake: 5%, so a very small number so it would be a big call to go into that. On the other side of the coin as you said particularly with podcasting, it is such a personal and a private thing that you’re asking your audience to do, so to bring on others to your show can completely change the dynamics, you’re almost going to the pub. Someone like, there is a number of podcasters out there who have a number of shows in their stable and I guess that’s something that you’d potentially consider.
Dan: Yeah, I mean, you’ve seen it happen a lot with like rate blogs that kind of go bad when they bring in other writers and so far, our blogs have been this kind of personal love affair. We’ve been kind of obsessed with them. They’ve been our babies, and that’s a bit of a red flag when anything in your business becomes babified or entrepreneurfied so, I don’t know. I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do right now, but it should be fun.
Jake: All right. Okay. The listeners that haven’t started a podcast yet, the majority wouldn’t have, we’ve discussed a number of things here to help them get started. Just looking at that point, we’re just discussing then. Would you do something different if you were to start, if you were to start fresh again today? In terms of branding and being able to scale with that increasing the amount of time it takes you to do.
Dan: Well, I like the idea of increasing velocity. Whatever it takes, forget the intra music, forget big long episodes if you can’t put. Just get stuff shipped as soon as possible. I think the biggest thing that we did right and that we’ll continue to try to do today as we differentiated ourselves. Try to give people a real reason to listen to your podcast aside from this is not just the next podcast but there is a reason why you would listen to this one. Coming to that, that’s the same mantra that we would keep if we were to start, start today.
Jake: Little bit of trivia or a little bit of history on your show. You’ve got 10000 listens per show roughly now. How long did it take before you started getting a decent number of listeners?
Dan: That’s an interesting question because I always say like I podcasted into the dark for six months but it wasn’t really, I think probably for the first three months, three or four, we had like 44 subscribers and you mentioned like until you got interested or relevant well to me being able to speak to 44 people on a weekly basis is an extraordinary opportunity. Podcasting got interesting almost right away and when you look at the guys that you see who are starting their new shows like Smart Drug Smarts and Terry Lin’s Build My Online Store.
It’s got like 600 subscribers in just a couple of months and it’s not surprising nowadays because people are there, they’re more attuned to podcast, they know how to subscribe faster, they know how to consume the content better, and podcasting is bit of a learning curve to become a consumer, but it’s becoming more main stream. It’s coming into cars, it’s coming into dashboards and homes, and I think there’s still a ton of growth opportunity for the marketplace out there, so it’s not so surprising to think that you could get a 100 subscribers if you posted it in a popular form like that in a course of a couple of week well. What business owner doesn’t want the opportunity to talk to a 100 people every week about their business? I think it gets interesting right away.
Jake: It’s fantastic for listeners out there. Okay Dan, I think we’ve covered quite a lot in this episode. Thank you again for coming on. Where can listeners find out a little bit more about you and some of the services you offer?
Dan: Sure, just check out lifestylebusinesspodcast.com. It’s my favorite hour of the weekend. In fact, I’m off to go do it right now.
Jake: That’s fantastic. One more thing Dynamite Circle is closed. Do you have a writing next for people wanting to get on?
Dan: Sure, yes, people who want to have a business setup and they’re interested in traveling while they work, they can go to lifestylebusinesspodcast and just put their E-mail address there and we’ll E-mail when we open back up.
Jake: That’s great and I’d recommend to all of our listeners, the podcast is exceptional and the Dynamite Circle if you’ve got a business and you’re looking to increase the velocity and improving your income then that’s a fantastic source as well. So get on and check out both of those resources, and Dan thank you very much for coming on.
Dan: Cheers Jake!
Jake: Thank you.