If you’ve already gotten into podcasting, you probably know it takes a ton of hard work, not to mention valuable money and time.
And while most podcasts don’t make any money back, it’s becoming more common for podcasts to be seen as businesses in their own right—meaning they generate actual revenue! Of course, the prospect of actually doing that can be pretty intimidating, especially when you aren’t sure what kinds of offers actually convert. How do you find the strategies that won’t waste your effort?
When you’re worried about making your show work for you, it’s important to take a few foundational steps as you start monetizing your podcast. Here’s what you need to know:
Know What Your Listeners Need
It all starts here: your listeners won’t put money down on a product or service they don’t need. If you don’t actually know what listeners need—by listening to them—then how can you possibly offer value?
And how do you know what they need? By asking them! This is easy to do if you’ve built up a Facebook group, if you send out surveys and polls, or if you generate an email blast asking for feedback.
Once you understand what your listeners want from you, it’s time to start sharing free help and tools they can start with. This is a great strategy to generate trust and show that you actually provide value, and it can help you get those leads through the door. For listeners who need more than the basic tools you’ve offered for free, you can go from there to the next step in your plan: paid subscriptions to your service, one-on-one coaching, or products to solve their problems.
Engage Your Audience
Simply providing a product or service isn’t enough, not in the world of podcasting. If you want to make money from your audience, you have to actually engage them.
How many lead generators do you have going? Are leads reaching out to you? Are listeners on your email list? Do you have a social media community for them to gather in? Do you talk about what you offer?
You’re not standing in a booth selling to them; you’re cultivating a relationship! Share your mission, communicate with listeners, and make genuine connections to show them they can trust your brand.
Offer Memberships and Sales
Here’s a caveat: only once you have a high level of engagement should you move on to this step. Memberships can be a great strategy for super active and committed listeners, but you have to get there first! Otherwise, you’ll be putting in a lot of work for a very small number of people.
Harnessing the power of your audience engagement, you can create membership and sales strategies that give your listeners exactly what they want—which gives them huge value without wasting all your time on offers that don’t convert.
Though there are as many ways to monetize a podcast as there are podcasts, these key tips can help you understand the foundations you need to set before you even think about selling. For a full breakdown of the tips you need to know, from finding new customers to selling a product, check out my interview with podcast coach JJ Flizanes for more info! From “Sell it first, make it later” to the best lead generation strategies, JJ has a ton of helpful insights to help any new or veteran podcaster.