The Ugly Truth About Podcasting – A Behind The Scenes Look At What Really Goes On…
James Schramko and Luke Moulton lift the lid on the subject of Podcasting…. Luke Moulton used to co-host a podcast with Tim Reid. I also co-host a podcast with Timbo so this episode was a bit of fun to make.
Highlights from this podcast
- How professional do you need to go for your first podcast?
- Does a recording studio help?
- Do you need an official ‘bumper’?
- Broadcasting with no pants…
- Setting the stage quality wise for recording from the start
- How to invite interviewees to record with you
- Building a podcasts into a powerful and strong community
- How to start a podcast
- The key to getting good stories from interviewees
- Leverage your audience to the fullest extent possible
- The reason why you need to have a range of products that are appropriate products
- Podcasts are a more do to with traffic rather than being a product?
- Having a traffic source builds up traffic to the front door
- How to build authority build trust
- Are people in a position to take action when listening to your show?
- Selling versus developing authority
- How to reassure the audience that you are worth working with
- How to measure sales from podcasts using a trackable link
- Detailed podcasting strategy
- The biggest potential pitfalls and what you would might do differently
- Are podcasts growing or in a declining trend?
- The way people consume media is changing
- How does the apple iTunes algorithm work?
- Do you polarise an audience or go with the grain?
- Don’t try and be everyones cup of tea
- Production quality for podcasts are less onerous than video
- Why pro podcasting production values can create a difference
- The importance of keeping your sound levels consistent
- Press record and do it yourself
- The famed double headed recording technique
- Stats you can use pod track to discover data about your audience
- How you can tell what browsers people use.
- Why you should know your audience so that you can optimise the content
- Is podcasting for everyone?
- How to install your podcasting plugin to a blog then retro add it to iTunes
- The three most popular podcasting formats…
- What equipment is good?
- Why Amazon S3 might save you some headaches
- In iTunes should you target tight or broad?
- James special Facebook campaign around your experts name to bring new listeners trick
- The Authority Leverage process for leveraging a podcast after publishing it
James: James Schramko here, and today we’ve got a special guest who is no stranger to the expertise of podcasting. I think podcasting is a hot topic right now. So I went out and I tracked down my podcast partner’s other partner Luke Moulton. Welcome to the show.
Luke: How are you James?
James: Or should I say Lukey, Lukey, Lukey. Would that feel more familiar?
Luke: Yeah it does actually. It feels pretty good and a former podcasting partner too James. Timbo and I have kind of gone separate ways in the podcasting arena. But that’s all good.
James: So I thought it’ll be pretty funny to have a podcast with you because we’re both used to podcasting with Tim and I’m just wondering what will happen here. In our show, Tim is the one who sort of keeps the time and asks me the questions and pushes me around a bit.
James: I don’t know how it works in yours I guess. Is that him in your show or are you more of the time keeper?
Luke: I’m probably more the time keeper but he’s definitely the pushy one. (Laughs)
Luke: Timbo knows I love him and love him dearly as I’m sure you do James.
James: I do. He makes me laugh. I mean I think he carries our show. The one I do with him. It’s his humour and his entertaining nature that I think makes it work. Could be interesting to see what comes out today.
Luke: Yeah. He’s going to love hearing that. He’s got a great interview technique as well I think. So he will continue to do well in podcasting I’d say.
James: So let’s talk about the topic of podcasting. You’ve been doing it for around about 3 years.
Luke: Sure have. I cannot believe it’s been that long. And it’s been fantastic. I mean getting to speak to people like yourself James. I think we interviewed you in September, 2012 might have been. I guess getting to talk to experts, learning from it and certainly I guess building authority as well. It’s been a fabulous vehicle for that.
James: Well I remember when you asked me to do an interview. That was pretty much my first involvement in a more professional podcast and by that I mean you guys had the official bump in and the disclaimer bump out and then the established show and you booked a time with me and phoned me up and we talked. I wasn’t sure if it was live or not because you were calling from a studio. You actually went to a professional recording studio.
Luke: We were very lucky. Tim knew the producer of Hamish & Andy. He was actually able to get us studio time at Fox FM here at Melbourne. It was a very nice way to start a podcast. We had a professional studio, we’re actually sitting in the same studio that Hamish & Andy would do their broadcasting from. We were very lucky in the older days.
James: And for our overseas listeners, Hamish & Andy are very popular duo in Australia they’re right up there. I guess they’re quite funny and you must have felt weird sitting in the same studio.
Luke: Yeah, I can certainly remember going in there I think on a Friday and I do this segment on a Friday called Pants Off Friday. With radio you never actually know whether they’re taking a piss or whether they’re actually doing it. They were just sitting in their boxes. And it was wonderful and I guess it sort of set the stage quality wise for the recording. You know we actually had Sam who was the producer doing our sound as well. We were really lucky to have I guess, get that quality from the start. Also, actually inviting these interviewees, into the studio was like, it was a good way to get a leg up, we weren’t just recording from our garage and we were able to invite people to a professional space to do interviews.
James: Well that’s a good discussion point. Certainly when I came in as a guest, it was first time I’d heard terms like show-notes. It was really interesting from that perspective. But also straight after the episode aired there was a wave of sales so I realized the power of having that audience and the community. How do you think you built up such a strong community there? What would you do differently if you were starting a podcast today as many of our listeners will no doubt be entertaining straight after they find out why it’s so important?
Luke: Well first of all I think how do we build an audience? One was consistency. We actually go into the studio probably once a month and record. Sort of 4 or 5 shows and then rip them out obviously over the coming weeks. So it was just being really consistent. Getting good interviewees who have a really good story to tell. I think we also certainly tried to leverage their audience as well. Inviting people along that had an audience. Probably like yourself James. We were able to put it out there. I think they’re probably the main things.
What would I do differently? I supposed for me for and one of the reasons why perhaps for those of your listeners who listen to Small Business Big Marketing probably know that I have recently left that podcast. Probably one of the reasons why is I don’t really have the means to leverage that podcast. So I guess I put the cart before the horse. I suppose I’d probably do different, I’d probably build up a range of products that are appropriate for my audience. Timbo and I certainly did produce a few products here and there but the focus was really always the podcasting not the product.
James: That is such a point. I’m going to jump in there because I’ve had a lot of to and fro discussion with Tim over the last year where I finally figured out the answer. That podcast is a traffic rather than a product and for me, having a traffic source has been really beneficial for the rest of my business by building up that front door, letting people get to know you and being able to transport yourself to their smart phone. They can listen to you while they’re jogging and walking. For them to go and investigate what else you have has been highly profitable for me so I totally understand why if you only had the podcast then that must be very frustrating.
Luke: Yeah definitely. I think it probably would’ve been a different story if it was sort of 6 or 7 years ago. I had a web development business here in Melbourne for about 7 years and I sold that 4 years ago and it was actually just after that, well not long after that that I started podcasting with Tim. If I had had that business, podcasting would’ve been a fantastic platform to get my name out there.
Target of the audience at that time was small businesses and providing websites to small businesses. Not unlike obviously some of the services that you provide James. So that would have definitely been a fantastic platform to be able to build authority, build trust and attract my target audience.
I suppose, probably speaking fairly honestly I got a bit burned out with this service based business and certainly if I knew some of the things I knew now I would’ve done things a lot differently and that might not be the case. So I guess I never really went into the podcast with an intention of selling something off the back of it. It was really just initially a bit of fun and yeah it did end up doing well but then I got to the position where it’s like, hang on, what am I leveraging here? I’m really not leveraging anything.
James: So the real key point here is that it’s good to have a strategy when you’re setting up your podcast, have enough understanding of where it leads to and what comes next. Would you say that’s fair?
Luke: Oh absolutely. Yeah. I think one of the big problems with podcasting as a medium is that quite often people aren’t in a position to take action. So you know, we used too big on sales mediums whether it be a video or a sales page where you’re actually trying to sell to the customer.
Podcasting is really I don’t think about selling. Sure we can recommend products and services that we think are of good value and maybe the listener will take that up but I think it’s certainly more about developing and building authority and reassuring the audience that you are worth working with or you’re information’s going to be good that you’re selling off the back of it.
James: You’re right. Well you know from my own experience I’ve been able to measure my podcast as causing sales because you’re probably aware, every single one of our transcriptions and every one of our emails to customers has a trackable link and I can actually trace them back to goal conversions in my cart.
I believe that marketing should be tracked and measured but I really think branding is actually the new black. I think having really strong brand names, having a way to keep reaching your customers so that when they are ready to buy, they have a fairly quick recall of who you are is good. And my tracking actually indicates that, yes, they do come and buy stuff which is great.
This is good. This is like the podcasting strategy part that really no one talks about. Everyone talks about formats and how you actually set one up and that’s a great thing for us to discuss next perhaps. But I like the fact that we’ve covered some of the strategy elements and the pitfalls and what you do differently.
It seems that a few years ago podcasting was a little less well known but all of a sudden, I don’t know whether it’s because we brought it to the heart of my own community with the FastWebFormula appearance, whether it’s because so many of my own customers have engaged with podcast now, but I’m seeing a lot of podcasts spring up. I’ve helped a few customers setup podcasts and they’ve taken to iTunes very well. Do you think that this is a growing trend or is it in decline?
Luke: I think it’s a growing trend. I mean obviously the way that people consume media now is changing. People want stuff on demand instead of being pushed at them, obviously in the case of commercial TV and commercial radio. So I think certainly iTunes isn’t going anywhere.
Podcasting is a very popular medium to consume content. I certainly think the likes of our peers James have certainly taken to it in Australia. You know like Ed Dale, Pete Williams. And there’s been heaps and heaps of local podcasters that have been started up around business and marketing.
I definitely think it’s the increasing trend and obviously where Apple’s going with their technology as well. You know the Apple TV and probably the Apple stand-alone TV that may well be coming out. I think it’s something that will keep increasing in popularity.
James: Yeah, I’ve had an Apple TV for a while and I can’t imagine why every household in Australia doesn’t have one. It’s just incredible.
Luke: I’ve been wanting to ask you about your Apple TV James.
James: Go for it. This is the great place. I want to talk Apple and I also, I want to talk about the iTunes secret ranking algorithm as well. So let’s talk Apple for a minute and iTunes.
Luke: First of all, I understand that your internet connection is as bad as mine. How do you go when you download stuff on your Apple TV?
James: What we need to do is we need to think about what we want to watch at around about lunch time or mid-afternoon, and we select something. I have 2 separate internet connections here which is something that I actually saw Jen Sheahan Facebook about once. I thought that’s so clever and I looked around and sure enough there’s about 10 phone lines into this place because like most large properties it had sort of an office function in one part.
I actually setup one whole connection just for downloads and uploads. That way I can download things for the Apple TV and also I can upload all the videos that I’m taking which is every single day and I can run webinars on it which is something I do every single day and the family can still suck the other one dry. You know they’ve got about 25 iPads and iPhones and iTouches and iMacs and Macbooks and then we even have a wireless printer and PlayStation. It’s just hammering that poor little thing. I don’t know how many hundreds of Gigabytes we use here but I think we have up to a thousand Gigabytes on our combined 2 lines and I damn well use it.
Luke: Nice. I think I have to do that myself.
James: Get the second line. That’s a no brainer. If you have such a poor connection. In fact sometimes you can even throttle the two together. Join the modem somehow, we’re not even fast enough to do that unfortunately.
Luke: Nice. Well I’m actually on wireless broadband so it can get a bit sticky at times and expensive too.
James: Yes, well that’s it. What do you think about the iTunes ranking algorithm? They don’t publish it like Google. How do you get an iTunes show ranking well in the store and does it make a big difference to the numbers?
Luke: I think there are a number of things, I think Tim actually tried to or did get in touch with someone at Apple once and I just quoted touch points. I think there are a number of things that affects where you’re ranked in iTunes. First of all is how many people are looking at your podcast iTunes profile. But probably more importantly how many people are hitting the feeds. The RSS feeds that goes along with iTunes. I’m pretty sure it’s how many people are essentially hitting that feed and downloading your podcast.
I think if you’ve got a list and you’re able to push to that list, it’s very helpful. But then, I think the more people that subscribe the better. With Small Business Big Marketing we’d always see fluctuation. Obviously we’d go down in ranking when we hadn’t put a podcast out for a while. So I think there’s also a bit of frequency in there as well. If you’re frequently putting podcast episodes, I think iTunes would tend to float you to the top.
James: Yeah, I’ve seen where you’ve resurgences and it sort of came back and all the episodes start to float out again and sort of give it a new life.
Luke: That may be linking from more recent episodes back to older ones. It may just be new audience finding new episodes, it may also be mentions, if yourself and Tim have mentioned of it as well, I think people tend to go looking and download all our older episodes.
James: Well I think that customers have a collection mentality. Quite often they say to me, “Okay, I’ve just found your show and I’m working my way through from the start and I’m up to number x.” I think they actually do go back and replay this sequence.
Luke: Yeah, definitely. I’m sure you have the emails that say I’m going through your back catalogue and I’ve listened to every episode twice. Yeah I think people do go back, for sure.
James: Now, what are your thoughts on how you tune towards the audience? Do you like to polarize or do you like to sort of go with the grain and sort of work within the constraints? Both Tim and I have lost audience members. He lost an audience member for talking about his sphincter being tightened slightly, and I lost one for religious reference.
Luke: Yes I heard. Hang on it was Santa Clause, someone else and someone else.
James: The Easter Bunny is that someone else. But I guess you could say that’s sort of polarizing. What are your thoughts on that? Have you had any experiences like that too?
Luke: Yeah I think in the early days. I mean we’re not everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t think you should try. You can’t please all the people all the time and I think if you aren’t polarizing then you’re probably just middle of the road which I don’t think is a good strategy.
I think being yourselves and the people that enjoy your format and the way that you talk will gravitate you. And they’re the audience that you want. You really want passionate fans and we’ve certainly seen with Small Business Big Marketing, that you do build passionate fans that stick around and they’re the ones that email you and also recommend good content and support you and there’s going to be others that come and go. I think it’s really about the quality and I think it’s good to polarize people. Tim can be pretty out there.
James: He can be because he’s a big boofer and he’ll just say something crazy.
Luke: I’m glad we don’t do it on video because I’m cringing most of the time.
James: He’s actually said to me before like video ruins a good podcast sometimes. I’ve seen some shocking videos and the amount of production level involved to make videos is substantially higher. I know this. I’ve been making videos every single day lately. I mean I’m specking my gear, you start to use up Gigabytes instead of Megabytes and there’s an editing process.
Now you had a guy doing the sound and I have someone doing the sound on my FreedomOcean podcast. How important is that, what sort of difference is that over you just sort of editing yourself from putting yourself in the view of someone who’s thinking okay I’ve got products so I can make money from this.
I want to increase my traffic with podcasts. I get the fact that I can do this with voice and have a pretty rapid authoring process. How much of a difference is having a professional sound make to a show?
Luke: I think it really depends on the format. One of the tricky things for us was what we actually did in the early days. We do an interview but we also do an intro and an outro. Quite often we’d actually jump in and split up the interview and put in little segments. And because we’re always recording in different environments the continuity was pretty awful and I was the one doing the editing and let’s be honest I’m no sound engineer. We were actually getting complaints about the sound.
People will be listening to it in their headphones and sound levels go up and they come down and I think that certainly affected the quality. So definitely getting Liam on board, who’s the sound engineer that does Small Business Big Marketing was fantastic.
That being said, I don’t think people should consider that a barrier to entry. It really comes back to the format. You know if you’re recording from start to finish with the one microphone and maybe doing another Skype or maybe in the same room as someone, then I think it’s pretty simple to press record on, I use Garage Band or Audacity or Skype Call Recorder and then just top and tail it.
James: That’s it. I’m on a crappy internet and I still run interviews with Call Recorders and Skype because sometimes you just can’t have the other person on the other end recording their side, which is the ideal scenario. We should talk about that. Let’s talk about the double headed recording. How does that work?
Luke: Well we’re actually doing it right now which is pretty cool. So double headed recording is James you’re recording on your end. You’re probably using both Call Recorder and perhaps something else like Audacity. I’m actually recording on my end. I’m only recording my voice. I’m recording it in Garage Band but I could be using something like Audacity and what we do after that is basically James you probably get your sound person to bring those two channels together and what that means is basically it ends up better quality. You know if our Skype connection drops out or gets flaky you don’t get that kind of thing happening and you’re able to bring those two channels together and it sounds really good.
James: Let’s talk about the how there. So you’ll actually after this call you’ll export your recording of your side and I will export my recording of my side and you’ll put yours in a Dropbox for me won’t you.
Luke: Correct. Yes. So I’ll drop mine in Dropbox and you’ll drop yours in a Dropbox and you’ll probably give it to one of your team members to edit.
James: And they just add them together and a handy technique at the beginning of this is just to both countdown three, two, one and that’s like the line-up of where the recording starts. Hey, just want to ask you about stats for a second. Probably some of the listeners are saying how do you actually know how many people are listening to your podcast?
Luke: Good question. When you have used a service called PodTrac which works with the PowerPress Plugin which is a podcasting plugin for WordPress and that’ll give you stats around number of downloads, number of subscribers, what episodes have been downloaded the most, where in the world, it was really interesting getting some stats. I think we had 55% Australians and then it went down through US, UK, and a lot of other different countries. So PodTrac.com is a good place to get to basically run your stats through. And that’s a free service as well.
James: Have you got any numbers on how many people are listening to the ep isodes?
Luke: I’m not sure if Timbo will be happy with me divulging but it was certainly in the 5 figures a month.
James: Gotcha. Cool. Well you know I’m using BluBrry for statistics on my InternetMarketingSpeed podcast which is the one we’re on now. And I will share some stats because I guess I’m my own partner on this one. I’m just looking at last month and I had 21,000 people listen to a podcast. So if you think about that, that’s actually quite good reach for just one guy popping out of recording every couple of weeks. I probably put out only 2 for the whole month. But looking at it, and this ties back to what you’re saying before about people being able to buy things. 8,000 of those were from web browsers. That means that most of my customers are sitting right there on my blog.
They’re actually on my blog at the time or listening to it in a browser so they’re more than likely able to buy something. There’s a whole bunch of them with tablets and podcatchers I’m not even sure if I know what that is. There were a few mobiles and a couple of TV setup ones. It looks like a majority of my users are using Windows and Firefox. Wow I have a lot of people in Germany of all places. Who knows why? But obviously people from Australia, the UK, US; but it’s worth knowing this. And this is also a free metric and it comes with the BluBrry PodPress thing. You just create an account and you can start tracking by episode as well. So far so good. Do you think podcasting is for everyone or is it something that only some people should consider?
Luke: I think it depends on the way you like to communicate. I mean some of us are writers, some of us are talkers. Timbo’s definitely a talker. And some people are happy to be seen in front of a video camera. I think it really comes down to what medium you’re most comfortable communicating in.
I think it also depends on the format James. Maybe that’s another good point that we can talk about next. I guess if you’re going to sit by yourself in front of a microphone, personally I think it can get a bit stale after a while. So having a co-host helps but then also getting interviewees like you’re doing with this podcast James is a good way to mix it up a bit and get some variety. Also, I personally couldn’t sit in front of a microphone and wx lyrical week after week and I think I certainly found it with Small Business Big Marketing, I found it helpful getting interviewees to have a chat to.
James: Okay, let’s further develop this format. Firstly I’ll give you a back story on this particular podcast. I installed the podcasting plugin so that I can put my interviews up. I did a lot of interviews with people like John Carlton and lots of people that I’ve met when I travel overseas about their particular thing, everything from using competition marketing, etc.
Then what I did is I thought you know what I could probably make my blog more feature rich and actually turn it more into a podcast so I started actually reading out my posts. It was just me reading the post. Whereas all the podcast will have the podcast and then transcribe it. I started with the transcription which was my blog post and just read it out.
Then when I actually hooked it up to iTunes, it retro indexed all of my interviews. So by tagging them all podcast, I was able to back fill my catalogue even though I did it in the last 12 months, I’ve got years’ worth of episodes there and although I don’t publish very often, it’s got a good variety. It’s either me reading a post; sometimes my podcast is only 2 minutes long. It could be a very short post. Then I’ve got a lot of interviews so if you don’t have a co-host then interviews are the way to go.
Now one of the benefits of having your own show is that you have 100% control. You can take it any direction you want. And you can monetize it fully with any device that you like. There are obviously constraints with partnerships and you and I have both done that. With partnerships you have to consider the sum of the team. Everyone’s a stakeholder then and you have to work together and there may be compromise at times but also from that you can leverage the strengths of each other. So what other formats have you seen? Like would there be a top 3 formats that one might consider?
Luke: I think you’ve probably covered them James. There’s the one person sitting individually in front of the microphone, 2 – co-host, so chatting to each other and then 3 – the interview which can be obviously a combination of 2 people chatting to one or one person a bit like a mixogy, he’s basically getting people on and interviewing them. I think they’re probably the main three and there are obviously variations on those.
James: If someone’s listening to this, they want to get podcasting today, what equipment do they need? How do they get going?
Luke: It’s really quite simple. I mean a good microphone is good but you don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money. I use a Blue Yeti but before that I was using something that’s not quite as expensive. I think the Blue Yeti’s a couple of hundred bucks and then basically a recording app or piece of software, Audacity. Audacity’s free. I’m on a Mac so I use Garage Band. Garage Band comes with the Mac and then to publish it basically WordPress with a podcasting plugin.
Then you just have to get yourself setup in iTunes. People actually think that they actually had to manually go into iTunes and push out an episode every time you do one but iTunes just actually references your WordPress blog and you’ll setup a custom podcasting feed and iTunes then just syndicates that content automatically.
James: I think some eyes just glazed over then. Referencing fees.
Luke: Where’s the fun book?
James: What you’re saying is that you submit it to iTunes ones and from then on they’ll go and find it when you put new stuff on your blog.
James: Yeah and on your blog there will be a little encoding section at the bottom of the post where you paste the link to wherever you’ve loaded the mp3 to and I use Amazon S3 for that. Did you use the same or something different?
Luke: Yeah absolutely Amazon S3 was the way to go. We do actually have all the audio files sitting on a HostGator account which when we started to get big just didn’t work anymore basically.
James: That would’ve been a bandwidth compromise. I like to host all my media away from the server that my sales sites are sitting on coz I like my sales sites to stay up.
Luke: Yes well it was one of those things that we figured out along the way James.
James: Now just tell me one more thing. If you’re going to do the interview thing, is it hard to get people to do an interview with and do they need much arranging in terms of what they have to do to contribute. Because they’re not tech savvy, they may not even understand what it is that a podcast is supposed to be doing. How do you approach it from the interviewee point of view?
Luke: Well I suppose as we mentioned there’s what you can try and get people to record locally but really you know as you’ve probably done most of your interviews James, you just use a plugin to Skype called Call Recorder and it just records the interviewee’s audio. It actually records it in a separate channel so that your audio guy or you can go and muck around with the audio to make sure it sounds good.
But I suppose how do you get interviews, in the early days we were lucky I suppose with the draw card of having a great studio but then as we developed authority and started ranking well in iTunes, we were able to show people, this is who we are, this is what we do, this is we’re ranking number 1 in iTunes in the business section, we’ve got x number of listeners we’d love to get you on the show. I think it’s just about asking. I think people are more often than not people are flattered just to be asked, to be interviewed and to talk about the area which they are the expert.
James: Yeah good point. So you’ve got the interviews and you start to publish into your blog and they go up to the iTunes. I just want to step back one layer there. In iTunes, if you’re going to setup a podcast, do you have to target very tightly or do you go broad when you’re setting up a show. I mean you chose a small business target for marketing. Is that right for Small Business Big Marketing?
Luke: That’s correct, yeah.
James: Okay, did that restrict a medium or large business from the radar so you really just drilled down on that? That versus the other podcast I Love Marketing they sort of got a broader catch I think. They’re just saying well we’ll take on the whole of marketing regardless of business person. We’ll just cover that broad topic. What do you think the approach could be there for someone looking to setup their own podcast?
Luke: I think if you’re just starting out it’s probably best to try and niche it down. I mean there’s pros and cons. The longer that you do a podcast I guess the longer you are trying to find new things to talk about and sure the broad aspect is attractive. But I think when you first publish your podcast, if you’re trying to get leverage, trying to get into a particular space then I reckon niche it down.
James: Okay, cool. One final question, this is a weird one. How important is it to have it absolutely perfect because I know there are perfectionists on the call and I had a recent episode where my interviewee was eating breakfast at the time…
Luke: Okay… I listened to that one. That’s a good one.
James: We’re pretty much recording and then part way through, he said, “Man this is good stuff are we recording it?” I had Call Recorder running anyway we were just casually chatting before the interview and the chat just turned into good content. So I actually just went with it and I thought you know what I don’t think the customers will mind and I’ve got good feedback from it. Have you ever had situations like that? Or do you think that’s unprofessional?
Luke: I think a lot of people have a mental barrier to podcasting and a lot of things because they believe they have to do perfectly. I think you should really just get out there and start shipping and start creating content and not worry too much about being perfect. God bless his heart Timbo is a bit of a perfectionist and I think that’s good because I’m not and I think that certainly making sure that Small Business Big Marketing was of a high standard I think was good but I don’t think you should do that at the sacrifice of not doing it. I think you should really get out there and give it a go and basically turn the microphone on and have a crack and don’t worry about it if Skype starts dropping out, it goes all crackly. Don’t worry if your interviewee’s eating breakfast. I’ve listened to that episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also read the transcription as well. So I think it ended up being fantastic content.
James: Yeah in that one I just pasted the transcription as the blog post so we did the recording and I just had it transcribed, I just pasted it in. The team actually made up a video by putting the audio and some pictures together and we got to publish that on YouTube as well. And to top it off, this week we’ve been running a Facebook campaign pointing people back to the interview. That’s a really nice little side doorway of promoting my guest.
Luke: Can you tell me a little bit more about that Facebook campaign? I’m interested.
James: Yeah. Well the person I interviewed, Noah, is quite well known in the start-up industry and to target those sort of potential customers who perhaps know Noah but don’t know me, we have Facebook campaign targeting that particular blog post.
They click on an Ad on Facebook and they come to the interview under the context of free interview with Noah Kagan and James Schramko. So they come from Facebook back to the blog and then if they like that the hope is that they opt-in and I have seen my opt-ins increasing and then they become our future subscriber and I can see that my views or my listening stats for that particular episode are increasing. It also, I think pulled a page 1 listing on Google for his name which is certainly my intention and then we supported it with a press release. It’s actually a process called Authority Leverage. And that’s what I do after I do a podcast or a blog post and it’s the process of really leveraging that. I think that’s pretty cool little process. It involves a few bits and pieces. You’ll also notice there’s an image in that podcast episode which has been Pinterested.
Luke: I think you alluded to this process this week
James: You probably gone quiet coz you’re writing notes down are you?
Luke: No. You gave away this process on FreedomOcean James, I think, I believe. The sort of process you go through after you’ve interviewed.
James: Exactly. And I’ve put a mindmap, I made a mindmap of it and turned it into a product and I just gave it to all the members of FastWebFormula yesterday and they’re pretty excited about it.
Luke: Nice. Can I, this might be digging a bit too deep but I’d like to go back to your Facebook campaign and just have a little quick chat around. How do you measure the ROI of that campaign? Do you put value on an email address sign up?
James: Yes. $1.
Luke: (laugh) That makes it easy.
James: So I just put a Google Analytics trackable link and I give the Facebook advertising team which is Jen’s team, Jen Sheahan, FB Ads Lab. Fantastic, the most incredible. I give them like 5 tracking links so that they can use different tracking links for each campaign and then I just have to login to Google Analytics and lookup goals and I can tell my conversions. And I can go back to them and say, “Well this one here is working, C, is getting the best conversions. Whatever you’re doing for that one, do more of that. This other one getting nothing.” And so on and so forth. So it’s pretty exciting. It’s totally trackable and let’s call it a dollar per subscriber, the value to me.
Now I was running a campaign for my FastWebFormula prelaunch and I built up a list of five hundred and something people from Facebook just send them to the squeeze page to tell them that they’ll be sent an email when we launch and I’ve been able to convert some of that traffic into paying members. Now on a recurring monthly membership, my campaign will be well and truly in the black. Not hundreds. It’ll be probably thousands of percent in a year from now.
Luke: Speaking of which. How’s the FastWebFormula launch going?
James: There are 258 members a week after launch so it’s going pretty well.
Luke: Fantastic. Well done.
James: Yeah. Very happy with that. Great community. We talk about all these sort of things. In fact podcasting is one of the hot topics right now in there and that’s partly inspired our conversation. It’s very timely. And I’m saying that it’s really impacted my business because when I survey people, one of the questions I ask them is why did you buy?
Quite often they say I started listening to Small Business Big Marketing, from there I went to FreedomOcean, from there I went to FastWebFormula and from that I’ve come here. So I can track it. They actually type this for me. In fact they preface that with, “Hi James, I know you really like tracking so here’s the story.” And they actually list it all out for me.
A lot of members of my community have followed through from that original podcast episode that I did with you which I think resulted in Tim and I setting up the second one coz he approached me about that. Which has just kept developing and growing and now we’re just up to episode 40, we’ve just recorded episode 40 and I think it’s starting to mature and find some legs. Because I do have those backend products and services, it’s quite effective for me and I think anyone with an established business should look at it.
The customers that I’ve helped setup podcasts in other niches have done spectacularly well with it. I want to thank you for sharing some of these insights. It’s rare to get someone with 3 years’ experience with a very successful show, the most successful show in Australia, for the business category to share these ideas. I really appreciate that Lukey.
Luke: It’s a pleasure James. Thanks for inviting me on.
James: Now there is one other topic that you are a specialist at amongst many I’m sure. I know you’re good at getting haircuts but you’re a bit of a techno expert on gadgets and tips and tools and stuff. But I’m wondering if I can invite you back for a future episode to discuss that sort of stuff.
Luke: I’d love to James. That’ll be great.
Luke: We’ll go head to head on some of our favourite tools.
James: Yeah and you know what, I’m going to see if I can have less tools than you. That’s my thought.
Luke: I reckon, having listened to quite a few of your podcast James, I think you use more tools that what you’d like to admit.
James: Well you know if you’re looking at old episodes I probably don’t use those tools anymore. I like to ditch tools if they no longer serve my purpose.
Luke: Mate, maybe before we do the recording just go back and have a look at TrafficGrab at the RSS section of TrafficGrab and have a good think about it.
James: Well you know TrafficGrab 2 is coming out and I think you’ll be delightfully surprised at the elegant simplicity of it.
Luke: I’m looking forward to it.
James: Yeah. Because you know when I go to Manila, we actually pull out a huge piece of paper and we list down every single tool that we use in our business and we see what we can cross off it based on the three rules. Rule #1 is: Do we absolutely have to have this tool? If we can’t live without it and if it fails that test it doesn’t even go to #2.
Luke: I love that processes and I think probably one we can talk about more but it’s a good process to go through that, that purging process is asking about every single thing that you use day to day. Do you really need it or is it just a distraction?
James: In business question everything, that’s what my mentor drummed into me. Question everything, every single assumption. So I’m looking forward to that episode. Thanks again Lukey.
Luke: Pleasure James, thank you.
James: And by the way. Have you got any sites or ventures that you want to plug-in the show? Have you got somewhere to send people?
Luke: Well for the moment go to LukeMoulton.com that’s a very unloved blog but until I have something else people can go and check me out there.
James: Thank you very much.
Luke: Thanks James.