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How to Launch a Podcast and Get 100,000 Downloads a Month with John Dumas
Have you ever thought about launching your own podcast but aren’t sure where to start?
Would you like to build a reputation as a thought leader in your niche?
In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by John Dumas ofand in this interview you are going to hear John and I discuss:
- why he started his show
- his monetization plan
- what he did to achieve 100,000 downloads a month so fast
- how he got his explainer video produced
- how he finds and recruits his guests
- how he hosts his show
- how he creates feeder podcasts to massively boost his exposure in the iTunes store
- which parts of his business he outsources
- his favorite tool for getting options from video
- which tools he uses to record and edit his show
- and so much more..
More About This Episode
The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.
It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today — all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.
Read on Full Transcript
Trent: Hey there, Bright Idea Hunters, welcome to the Bright Ideas podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to know how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost their business. And to make that happen, I bring interesting, smart, experienced guests on the show. And on the show with me today is a fellow by the name of John, and I hope I pronounce this correctly, is it Dumas?
Trent: Dumas, Dumas. All right.
John: Right. I want to make sure you got it.
Trent: John is the guy behind Entrepreneur on Fire, and he is also an ex-serviceman, so maybe he’ll tell us a little bit more about that when I hand it over to him here in a second, so John, welcome to the show.
John: Thanks, Trent, excited to be here.
Trent: So for folks who don’t know who you are yet, maybe you can tell us a little bit who are you and what you do, what’s all this Entrepreneur on Fire thing all about.
John: Sure, I’ll give you the quick background. Do you want me to go who I am, or just Entrepreneur on Fire?
Trent: Oh no, no, no, who you are first.
John: So grew up in Southern Maine for the first 18 years of my life, then I went to Providence College on an ROTC scholarship, where I spent four years as a cadet and student. Then I graduated 2002 at 22, and was immediately commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army, where I spent the next four years as an active duty officer. Highlighted by a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq as an armor platoon leader, which means I was in charge of four tanks and sixteen men, in Fallujah, Ar Ramadi, in Habbaniyah [sounds like 2:03]. And in 2006, my active duty component was over, so I entered the Reserves, and spent the next four years, a bunch of that time I was traveling in Guatemala, India, and Nepal.
Then I started to get serious, and I started law school, but that
wasn’t exactly for me, so I jumped ship after one semester and got into finance, corporate finance with John Hancock in Boston, which was great for a couple years. Then I moved into an internet startup company in New York City, which was a very good experience for about six months, until that folded.
So then I decided to take off for the Gold Coast out in California,
San Diego specifically, where I spent a couple years out there as a
residential real estate guy, and then I moved back to Maine, almost two years ago now, to take a job as a commercial broker with a local firm here in Maine. So it’s my first return back to Maine after being gone for 13 years after I graduated high school, so it’s kind of a cool homecoming. And I spent a year as a commercial real estate broker, but then just in June of 2012, I’ve really kind of had my own entrepreneurial aha moment. I was driving around, realizing there was a niche that needed to be filled, so I turned in my paperwork in June of that year, and started Entrepreneur on Fire.
Trent: Very cool. So I get, the reason that I wanted to have you on
this show is, I get a lot of people that e-mail me to say, you know, like, ‘I want to start my own show? How do I start my own show? What’s involved? I like this interview model.’ and I thought, rather than explain myself, I’d bring somebody else on who is doing the same thing as me. So we’re going to get down and dirty, and I’m going to ask all the tough questions, because I know there is a whole bunch of people who want answers to, you know, ‘Is this a viable business? Can you make any money doing this, and how do you set it up, and how do you get it going?’ So first off, are you making any money yet?
John: Making some money, it’s not enough to retire early, but there is a pretty steady stream of income coming in through different areas, such as affiliate, and different sponsorships I’ve been setting up.
John: So you definitely can make money in this, but not something that you can just turn on on day one.
Trent: Correct. It does not happen overnight. So anyone who thinks you can start your own podcast to make money in your first month, probably not. I mean, you might make some money, of course, but probably not the most realistic goal. You really need to have kind of a longer term view and a longer term strategy, and I’m happy to share what mine is, but I’m curious as to what yours is. Before we talk about, you know, how you create the episodes and all that stuff. What is your monetization plan? Because you don’t do this without a monetization plan.
John: You don’t. One reason why I really believe I was able to jump on the scene with Entrepreneur on Fire, and so quickly gain such a large audience and a large following is for a number of reasons, but one of those being that there is a niche that needs to be filled. That niche was, Entrepreneur on Fire is the only daily podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring successful entrepreneurs. I knew that there was a lot of people out there like myself, who are driving to work, who are exercising daily, that who just really love and enjoy a fresh podcast, waiting for them every morning when they woke up, so Entrepreneur on Fire was officially launched on September of 2012, I had 40 episodes backlogged to make sure I was ready for it. Since then it’s grown to garnering over 100,000 downloads every single month in over 100 countries, and one reason I believe I was able to jump into that niche so quickly is getting some monetization aspect of this
is that there’s no real clear path for a podcast to monetize.
It comes from with what you do with that podcast, which is grow an audience, and actually today an Entrepreneur on Fire, MJ DeMarco of the Fastlane Millionaire, his interview on my show went live, and his quote that I really took, back when I interviewed him a couple months ago, it really adds one of the major driving visions of Entrepreneur on Fire, is that if you want to make millions, you need to inspire millions. And literally if you look at my tagline on iTunes or Stitcher Radio for Entrepreneur on Fire, right at the bottom my tagline is, Inspiring Millions, because that is the goal of Entrepreneur on Fire, is to inspire millions, and then everything else as far as monetization, I know, will fall into place from that. And one reason for me, I was very fortunate with some of my past business successes, I didn’t need to monetize Entrepreneur on Fire from day one, and I haven’t really tried to do that. I’ve really just been trying to build the highest quality, best podcast possible, knowing that my audience, and the growth of it, will lead to bigger and better things.
Trent: Very true, very true. So 100,000 a month within a couple of
months, that’s an awful lot of downloads. Was there anything particular that you, aside from creating really great content that people love to hear, and aside from producing an episode every single day, we’re going to talk more about the behind the scene mechanics of that in a bit. Is there anything else that you did that you think contributed to such a high volume of downloads in a relatively short period of time?
John: I really subscribe to Michael Hyatt’s philosophy in his book that came out recently called Platform, and so I really focused back in June when I was starting. I just wasn’t going to start recording episodes and then launching them, I really wanted to make sure I had my platform in place. So I made sure that all of my social media was squared away, my website was squared away, everything was ready, so that once Entrepreneur on Fire went live as a podcast, people saw that it just wasn’t an interview show, but it was an actual viable business, it really had all the blocks squared.
And I actually have three full-time virtual assistants who help run
Entrepreneur on Fire, each of them are working 40 hours a week in different capacities, one is my social media manager, another girl does all my admin and designs, and another girl literally works 40 hours a week doing all the transcribing of the podcast. So I really built this entire platform, so that once people saw what Entrepreneur on Fire was all about, and they saw that my pledge was to come with a daily podcast, and they saw the backing platform behind it, they trusted that. And they began to know like and trust me and my brand that I was building, and that just keeps them coming back on a daily basis, which really keeps those download numbers steady and a snowball effect, as more and more people are learning about it every single day.
Trent: Now do you give a particular call to action in each one of your episodes, do you think that causes any type of viralocity, you ask people to go to the iTunes store and give the show a rating, there must, because I know I have a certain call to action, and anyone who listens to my show knows what it is, I don’t need to explain it here again, it will be at the end, just listen.
John: I have called to actions in every intro and every outro. I have
changed throughout my show. I now have, as of today, 94 episodes have gone live, and again, that goes up by one every single day, literally, I’ve done over 150, in total now, that are in the, quote/unquote, queue, and I do change up my call to actions, because I really have different messages that I want to get across to my audience as my business grows, and as I develop different products or different services.
So I’m always changing my intros and outros, but they always do have that call to action, and a consistent one definitely is a rating and review in iTtunes, or a favorite and a like in Stitcher, and because of that, Entrepreneur on Fire has over 200 five star rating in iTunes, which is an incredibly high number for such a young podcast, especially if you compare it to some other podcasts that’s been out for years, that haven’t focused on that, and therefore don’t have nearly as many.
Trent: So you mentioned Stitcher, and I have to confess, this is the
first I have ever heard of Stitcher . . .
Trent: . . . so why don’t you tell us what that is, yeah?
John: Stitcher Radio is the savior for all podcasters. They are taking podcasting to the next level on every single level. I just got back from New Media Expo by Blogworld in Las Vegas, where I was asked to speak on the podcasting track, on the state of podcasting, and about Entrepreneur on Fire specifically. But one area that I did focus on, and they were there representing themselves, was Stitcher Radio, who have, if you go to Stitcher, I think it’s stitcher.com, or maybe, they have . . .
John: . . . stitcher.com, like the best app of 2012, and all they do are stream podcasts. You don’t need to download, it’s just streaming, but their sole focus is on podcast, and the podcasting state in general, and the most exciting thing they’d done, Trent, they’ve actually inked deals with Ford, with BMW, with Chevrolet. Stitcher Radio is going into the dashboard of these cars in 2013, so just like SiriusXM Radio, you can just turn to that dial, you can do this thing now with Stitch Radio and go to Entrepreneur on Fire, and go to Bright Ideas, and have that streaming in your car radio, no longer porting your little iPod to your car, tuning your FM station, or plugging into your outlet.
Trent: Very cool, you can bet I will be signing up for Stitcher very
John: They’re amazing.
Trent: Now to upload to Stitcher, like I use a plugin Blueberry that automatically, just as soon as I publish a post containing an audiofile, puts it up to iTunes for me, it’s very painless. Is there a similar plugin to upload your stuff to Stitcher?
John: You give them your RSS feed, the same one that you have, and it’s automatic.
Trent: Nice, okay, easy as pie.
Trent: All right. So let’s talk a little bit about some more of the
nuts and bolts, some things that I want to know the answers to. So you have a pretty decent explainer video on your site, and for people who don’t know what an explainer video is, go to entrepreneuronfire.com, and you’ll find the explainer video. It basically explains what the show is all about. I like your explainer video, where did you get that done?
John: Thank you. I worked very hard on that, because back in June of 2012, just when I was starting, I was at the prior New Media Expo, which was in New York City, and there was a speech by Jason Van Houten about coming up with your avatar, your target audience, who do you really want to be speaking to with your business, with your brand. So I came back from that and say, you know, I really want to build who I think I’m speaking to as Entrepreneur on Fire, as a founder and host, of this podcast. So I went out and I found a company, and they’re called Piehole.tv that’s the name of the website, and Priscilla, specifically, became my point of contact, and we developed a script with complete visuals, voice overs, music, it explained exactly who Entrepreneur on Fire was speaking to, and for me it was this guy who I call ‘Jimmy’. And Jimmy was a guy that woke up in the morning, who’s about to drive to work, he hated to drive because the radio was horrible with Miley Cyrus and talk radio, he just couldn’t figure it out, there are so many commercials. But then he found Entrepreneur on Fire, and his commute to work and his daily exercise regimen just took a turn for the better, because now he is consuming this passionate, motivational, inspirational content, and it showed kind of his journey, after he found Entrepreneur on Fire, climbing the mountain of success, and then driving off into the sunset of inspiration, so to speak, so it was a really fun video to make. It’s 60 seconds long, and it really helped me nail down who I wanted to speak to. It was a lot of fun doing it, and I think it’s a big help for people that kind of land on my site, not really knowing why they did or what Entrepreneur on Fire really is all about, in 60 seconds it really sums it up quite well.
Trent: And how much did you have to spend to get it made?
John: It was $3,500.
Trent: Okay. Now I imagine you probably get analytics on the drop-off rate of that video, and I’m curious because I use a self-recorded, you know, me in front of the camera video, and I don’t, one of the questions I don’t have the answer to, because I look at my drop-off rate, and, you know, it kind of goes down and then tapers off like most every other video I’ve ever produced, and what I can’t figure out, because I get most of my opt-ins from the home page, is A, does the video suck so badly that people don’t want to watch it? or B, or is it so good they’re opting in before it’s over? So with your . . .
John: You know, it’s probably the prior, but I can tell you what, have you ever heard of LeadPlayer?
Trent: LeadPlayer? I’ve heard of it, I’ve never used it.
John: So my buddy Clay Collins developed LeadPlayer, which is incredible, so you can use LeadPlayer on your website, and above, whenever you find that drop-off rate starting, right before that drop-off rate, you can have a pop opt-in box, and that will increase your conversions hundreds and hundreds of percent.
Trent: Does that only work with You-tube videos, or does that work with any video?
John: So it works with, I’m pretty sure it works with any video, but how it works is it’s actually a widget on WordPress, as you download into your WordPress, and then it streams through YouTube on your site, and you can customize everything about when that pop in, when that pop up, coming up, etc, whatever, and what it says, and I think that they do integrate with Vimeo and some others, I’m not positive, but YouTube for sure.
Trent: Yeah, well, it’s easy enough to change the video place holder and put a YouTube video instead of my [inaudible 16:26].
John: Well, you should have it on YouTube anyways, because that’s the place that, you know, people can just, can be searching for Trent, or for Bright Ideas, and they come across that video, that should be available on YouTube as well.
Trent: Yeah. Now I notice that you don’t do audio, or at least that I was able to find, you only do, sorry, you don’t do video of your interviews like I do, you only do audio, is there a reason for that, production cost?
John: Well, the reason for that really right now is because the focus of Entrepreneur on Fire is just to produce a daily audio podcast for that avatar, for that person who is driving to work, or just running along the boardwalk, or walking their dog. However, I know the power of video, it is something I absolutely want to integrate into Entrepreneur on Fire, and I’m still like putting together the pieces, and giving my assistants more [inaudible 17:16], or if I have the time to be able to set something like this up, so you are definitely going to be seeing video become a major part of Entrepreneur on Fire in the future.
Trent: Okay. All right. What’s next on my list, how do you find your guests?
John: That is a very consistent question that I get, because especially doing a daily podcast, I have people saying, ‘John, you are going to get burnt out, you are going to run out of guests, you are going to burn out your audience members’ and I kept getting this over and over again, and none of this has come to fruition for a number of reasons. For one, when people like look at me as doing a daily podcast, I literally do, it’s a very taxing day, and I work really hard, and I’m very exhausted by the end of it, but I do 8 to 10 interviews every single Monday, and that’s it. I do nothing else the rest of the week when it comes to recording and editing my podcast. So yes, it’s one very painful and long day, but I have Tuesday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday if I’m working on the weekends, to do all the other aspects of my business, and to rest and to recuperate, so there’s been anything but burnout on my end.
And as far as finding guests, I literally have such a long list of
guests that I still want to reach out to, in the thousands, literally,
every time I get my Entrepreneur, Inc., or Fast Company Magazine, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people that I want to have on my show, every time I watch Shark Tank, I get multiple e-mails every single day from entrepreneurs themselves, or from PR firms, promoting their entrepreneur or their client to be on Entrepreneur on Fire, just because, again, they’re reaching an incredibly massive audience over, now as of, literally the last couple of weeks, Entrepreneur on Fire has been downloaded at over 5,000 downloads every single day. So we’re more like a 120,000 clip for the course of a month, again, in a hundred countries.
So I’m just getting inundated with people reaching out to me, and
just me seeing people out there in the universe, there’s an endless supply, I just gave a ton of resources that I do currently use on another really great one that I don’t utilize, because I just don’t YouTube, but I know it’s there if I ever need to for whatever reason, it’s called Haro, H-A-R-O, .com, Help a Reporter Out. And that is, I know Trent you said you don’t what a, that is will be just the listeners that may not, you can literally post a query.
Like a month ago, I launched another podcast called The Great Business Experiment. Kickstarter, where I interview ten successful Kickstarter campaigners, and we talked about their kickstart in campaigns, and what made it successful, and the failures that they had, and what they would do differently if they could. And it was so easy for me to find these 10 people, they ran Successful Kickstarter Campaigns after I came up with the idea for The Great Business Experiment Kickstarter, because I just hosted this query on Haro that said, ‘This is what I’m doing, this is what I’m looking for, I would love to hear from you.’ And I got 30 e-mails within an hour of all great candidates, of which I cut it down to ten, reached out to them, scheduled ten interviews for one day, recorded all ten interviews, had the podcast up and live two days later, and it ran for,well it’s now on its sixth or seventh week as a podcast, still number one in the iTtunes new and noteworthy section, just getting a ton of downloads and getting a lot of exposure to my brand, and to Entrepreneur on Fire as well, which is my feeder podcast. So there’s a plethora of ways to get quality people for any industry, so that’s a great hint for listeners that are looking for gardeners, or scuba divers, or cat lovers.
Trent: Yeah, in the entrepreneur space, just think about how many companies are being started every year. You could do ten interviews a day and never run out of people, it is endless. I am so far behind in the number of interviews that I’ve recorded versus the number I need to publish. It’s not a problem, trust me, finding guests is not a difficult thing to do.
John: But it’s everybody’s biggest fear when they start.
Trent: Yeah. So you mentioned this other podcast, are you planning on continuing to produce episodes for both of these podcasts on an ongoing basis?
John: No. So Entrepreneur on Fire will continue to be a daily podcast, the Great Business Experiment Kickstarter was just a series of ten podcasts that I’ve released, that’s now number one in the iTunes New and Noteworthy section, which is by far the best real estate in the entire iTunes podcast store. So that podcast will run for eight weeks, it will remain in that unbelievable real estate at the top of iTunes New and Noteworthy, where my intro says, ‘If you like this series of podcasts, absolutely check out Entrepreneur on Fire, which is my daily show.’ At the end of those eight weeks, I’m going to come out with another Great Business Experiment, which is going to be The Dark Side of Groupon, where I’ve interviewed ten companies that have horrible Groupon experiences, some of which lost their companies because of it, and then that will run for eight weeks. And again, eight weeks trend is the time frame that I use, because that’s the longest you can be in iTunes New and Noteworthy, then you drop off into the abyss of the thousands and thousands of podcasts that are there, so you can really take advantage of the eight weeks you launch your podcast, to have this incredible real estate, boom, people first log into iTunes, there’s your podcast, and for me, I’m using it as a way for people to get great content, but also find out about Entrepreneur on Fire.
Trent: Now I got into the New and Noteworthy section with Bright Ideas, I honestly don’t have a clue what I did to get there. Do you have a specific, repeatable strategy, because I’d love to hear it.
John: So it’s not difficult at all to get into the iTunes New and
Noteworthy. They allow the top 100 new podcasts, which means for iTunes less than eight months from the published date, are considered new and noteworthy, and they publish, or they promote the top 100 for those eight weeks. There are really, really few podcasts that come out on a daily basis, and especially there are really few, very serious podcasts that come out on a very consistent basis, so it’s extremely easy to, A, get into the New and Noteworthy, and then B, once you get there, you are literally in the best real estate of the iTunes store. So people are searching, going to the iTunes store to organically look for content, and they’re finding you, and they’re subscribing, and that’s just kind of continuing the snowball effect.
So the way to do it, is when you launch your podcast, you want to
launch with a minimum of three podcasts on day one. If you’re going to do a weekly show, you need to launch with three podcasts, and then explain in the intro, that you will be coming out with a weekly podcast every Friday, every Tuesday, whenever it is. But right now you have three to begin, and then form this point forth, this is going to be your consistency. And then you need to reach out to everybody to your list, to your friends, to your family, in the intro of these podcasts, and say, listen, I really need you guys to take a second and to rate and review this specific podcast, because the iTunes algorithm is number of downloads, ratings, and reviews, and subscribers. So when you have three podcasts, someone is much more likely to, ‘subscribe’, because they’re going to see three, than if they’re just seeing one, they’re just going to press the play button and listen to that one, and not become a subscriber. And then there’s also a math equation in there. If you have a hundred downloaders in the first week of one podcast,that’s one hundred. But if you have three up there, everybody presses the ‘download all’, just because there’s a button right there, makes it simple, you’re going to have 300 downloads, and then you’re going to organically move up in the rankings because of that, with your ratings and reviews, helping you out as well, and people are going to find you, and your snowball effect is going to continue to bring you up to the front, and that’s exactly the methodology I used for the Great Business Experiment, Kickstarter.
Trent: So you’re, it sounds like then you’re planning on every eight weeks to launch another podcast, just to get this piece of real estate to use it as a feeder podcast for your main show.
Trent: And when you do that, because you need an RSS feed, do you just do like a new domain and a basic WordPress install as a place to give you a feed, and you don’t really build out the site because you’re not thinking people are going to go there, or how much of that periphery do you work on?
John: I use Libsyn.com, L-I-B-S-Y-N .com, which is short for short for Liberated Syndication, as my media host. I host all of my media there for Entrepreneur on Fire, and for The Great Business Experiment, Kickstarter. I only copy the download link from Libsyn and post it in Blueberry, the PowerPress, of my widgets, so I don’t host anything on entrepreneuronfire.com, it’s all hosted through Libsyn. So when I published a new podcast, I just start a new RSS feed, a new podcast within the Libsyn community, and then publish that RSS feed to iTunes, to Stitcher Radio, so it’s all within Libsyn, it has nothing to do with my website.
Trent: Okay, so the blueberry plugin has really nothing to do with
starting these extra episodes, or the new show, it’s just all within the confines of Libsyn. Libsyn gives you the RSS feed, and then you publish to Stitcher and iTunes.
Trent: Saves a lot of work, you don’t have to build a site, you don’t have to register another domain, branding, logos, all that other stuff.
Trent: Well there it is, there’s Trent’s golden nugget right there,
love getting the golden nugget in the show, that is. Fantastic, thank you for that.
All right, I want to ask you now, so which gets more traffic at this
point, your website or your podcast in terms of downloads in iTunes?
John: So Entrepreneur on Fire is getting between 4,000 to 5,000 downloads every single day, just from the iTunes Store. Stitcher Radio has their own set of statistics, which you’ll find very interesting, Trent, because they’re extremely specific. You can see the average time per listen, what percentage people are dropping off at, the percentage of people that actually start and finish pod, they have incredible statistics at Stitcher Radio. And Entrepreneur on Fire is a really good way to look at exactly what just a podcast can do for a website, because I have nothing else. Entrepreneur on Fire is just the headquarters for my podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire, and my website right now is getting about 600 unique visitors every single day to it, and that’s solely being driven from Entrepreneur on Fire, the podcasts.
Trent: Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought, because my downloads are far, far, far higher in iTunes than they are on the website themselves. All right, so do you find then that you’re having success in converting, like how big is your list, your subscriber list so far? Because that’s a key part of monetization. If you don’t have a list, it’s really difficult to monetize.
John: That needs to be everybody’s first step, is when they’re building a platform, they have right, front, and center, there call to action on their website, is a great giveaway, or a great reason for somebody to subscribe to their e-mail list. Entrepreneurs on Fire had a very average one for about the first three months of my site, just when I got back from New Media Expo, I was collaborating with some people out there like Pat Flim, Jaime Tardy of Eventual Millionaires, some other people in that area, and they gave me a great idea to publish an ebook of the top ten insights from the top ten Entrepreneur on Fire interviewees. So I created this ebook that features Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, Chris Grogan, Seth Goden, Gary Vaynerchuk, people who I’ve had on my show, who have given great insights to Fire Nation, and I’ve condensed it into ebook, and now right at the front center of my website, you see that, one of the first things you see is join Fire Nation and receive my ebook. And so, before that, I was getting pretty much between 15 to 25 e-mail subscribers every single day, which was great, because I did have a good giveaway. But since I’ve done that, and really mean a great giveaway, I’m getting over 30 e-mail subscribers, and sometimes it’s into the forties and fifties every single day, which has grown my e-mail subscriber list in just over three and a half months, to about 1,200 plus subscribers.
Trent: Nice, very nice. All right, now you also have, we’re kind of
going back to monetization here, because these are all just questions that I want answers to. You’ve got this coaching button, anybody buying those coaching packages off you?
John: Yep, so again, when I started Entrepreneur on Fire, it was all about focusing on building a leverage-able scalable business in a brand, Entrepreneur on Fire, that was going to reach millions of people. So I’m not in the business of trading time for dollars, that’s never been something I’ve wanted to do, and because of my past successes in business, it’s not something I have to do currently. So I accepted four people to be coached by myself, and just actually this past January, one spot opened up, which is why I reopened that coaching slot, but it’s actually already been filled, so I need to close it back down now. So I have four people who I do mentor on an ongoing monthly basis, so that is one way that I’m really kind of engaging with my target audience, and really learning, from my aspect, exactly what their pains and struggles are, so I can continue to provide products and services for Fire Nation as a whole. But yeah, coaching is not a focus, it’s not an area that I’m going into anymore than I already am in, and just been enjoyable interacting, you know, one on one basis, on a limited level, where the Fire Nation dance.
Trent: And what type of people are these people who are signing up for coaching? Are they people who aspire to have a show, or are they business owners that are looking to gain insight into growing an existing business?
John: Three of the people are looking to produce their own podcasts, I’mgiving them a lot of assistance there. One person is not really specifically looking for a podcast anytime soon, but they’re going to be having a blog and things along those lines, and they don’t currently have a business, but they’re looking to become an entrepreneur, and to start their first business.
Trent: Okay. So let’s go and talk about your virtual assistants, and
your post production process, because I’m curious as to how yours may be similar or different than mine. Mine, I’ll explain very quickly, it’s pretty darn easy. I use GoToMeeting, which we’re in right now, HDFaces, which is, I think, about a hundred bucks a month for this piece of software. I record the screen with ScreenFlow, I have a pre-roll and a post-roll that I got off of Fiverr, so as soon as I’m done the episodes, ScreenFlow saves the media file, I drop in my pre-roll and my post-roll as soon as I’m done the interview, I do my little call to action, and I can literally have the, and so then I save it all, I peel out the Mp3, that goes into garage brand, because I put a different pre-roll and post-roll for my audio file than I do for my video file, because video is visual,
audio is obviously for your ears, and I can have all of that stuff done completely two versions, video and audio, edited and ready for upload in about 20 minutes. And I was going to have a VA do that, but because I’m on a Mac platform, most VA overseas don’t use Macs, which was going to introduce a whole layer of extra complexity. Because they all a .mov file, and ScreenFlow, you would have to actually export it, and then upload it to Dropbox, and then they could down . . . by the time I’ve messed around with all that, it was just quicker to edit it myself. How’s it different for you, or how is it similar for you?
John: So what I use is Adobe Audition in Skype. So every single Monday morning, my interview start a 8:00 a.m., and I have between 8:00 to 10:00, running every 75 minutes. So somebody will call in, or I will call somebody via Skype, I’m going to have Adobe Audition, which is the recording software that I use, up and ready to receive. I have my little pre-chat intro, and then I literally hit the record button, and then we’re talking for the next 25 to 35 minutes, recording directly into Adobe Audition, through Skype, and then when it’s done I’m hitting the stop button, and then I’m actually just exporting that, as what’s called an SESX file, it’s a session file, and I’m saving that for the future, because again, I’m actually at a two month buffer right now, so I’m not immediately converting anything.
Then at the end of that Monday, I do have these eight to ten
interviews that are complete, and I do personally go back, because at this point, I’m just very conscious of releasing only the highest quality audio and the best possible show that I can, so I do go back, and if there is any talking over each other, I record on a separate tracks so I can take that out, any excessive ums and ahs, or background noise, I can silence out, and I make it a really tight, clean, audio version of it, save it once again as a final SESX file, and then I just store it Dropbox for when I get to that point, a week or two out, for when that show is going to go live. Then I take it back out, whatever my intro and outro was going to be at that time, whatever call to actions I’ve decided that I want to use at that specific date, I will implement, convert it into an Mp3, upload it with the artwork and all these show notes, and the titles, etc, to Libsyn, and schedule its release. And so right now I have the next ten episodes are scheduled to be released on Libsyn at 3:00 a.m. every single morning, so I can literally go to Tahiti for ten days and come back, and each one of those ten episodes will automatically release, corresponding with Entrepreneur on Fire where I have show notes up every page, going be published at 3:00 a.m. the exact same time. So as soon as that podcast is released from Libsyn to go live to Stitcher and iTunes, and Zune Radio, which is Microsoft, my blog is also being released and going live on my website.
Trent: And you have to schedule Libsyn, and you have to schedule your post in WordPress, the two don’t, one does not talk to the other, there is no sync there, is there?
John: No, they do not talk to each other.
Trent: Okay. It’s interesting that you delay the, it’s a good idea,
actually, that you delay the final editing, so you know what the call to action is going to be, because you have that buffer, and that’s a good idea for me, because I’ve been putting them in the can right away, as soon as I’m done, because I use a fairly standard call to action at the end, and it doesn’t allow me the flexibility to know what I might want to talk about at, closer to when that episode is going to publish, so I might have to switch up my strategy a little bit.
Now with Adobe Audition, that piece of software runs on Mac or PC?
Trent: Okay, so that helps with the, if you want to outsource, most outsourcers using PCs, so you wouldn’t have the issue that I have in using ScreenFlow. There was one other question I wanted to ask you, and now it’s slipped away into oblivion, so hopefully it will pop back into my mind a little later on. Oh yeah, when you replay, I mean, you got eight episodes that you’re doing on a Monday, and you’re going to listen to them all again to remove ums and ahs? For folks that are only listening to the audio version of this, and you didn’t see the image of John basically just held his fingers to his head like a pistol, and more or less metaphorically said he’s crazy, which I agree. You’re out of your mind, man, that’s way too much work.
John: I am, although I will have to be honest on one point, is that I really am a big believer in keeping it as natural and the conversation flowing as possible. So my Entrepreneur on Fire audio podcasts typically run about 25% of me talking, and 75% of my guest talking, on average. It differs, some’s 80/20, some’s 70/30, what have you. I pretty much just keep whatever my guest is saying, completely normal. Most of my guests are very well-spoken, they know what they’re doing. What I’m mostly doing is going through my audio because for one, it really improves me as an interviewer and as a speaker, to hear myself speak, and to see the little ums, ahs,ands, so’s that I’m really saying, and these maybe repetitive words like awesome, or wicked, cool, because I’m from Maine, you know, things along those lines that, you know, things that just really crop up again, and again, so that improves my self-speaking, and it’s only about 25% of that 30 minute audio. And another thing that I really just do is sometimes you ask questions, and I tell my interviewees take as long as they want to think of an answer, so it’s normally not that long, maybe it’s five, six seconds. That kind of sounds like a lot of dead air when you’re listening to it in the car, so I can just very quickly, it’s called a ripple delete, it just zips those right together so it almost seems like a seamless answer. So I would say each time I do an interview, and I’m editing that interview, it probably takes me 20 minutes to do a complete edit, which is still a significant amount of time, when you’re realizing that I’m doing eight of these in one day. But it’s not like I’m sitting there listening to the entire interview, I’m really skipping over those big chunks, of when my guests are giving these long, great answers, I’m not listening to that at all.
Trent: You’re the only one that I have talked to in our space that does that. I don’t think Jaime does that, I know Andrew over at Mixergy, I know he doesn’t do that, because I’ve been on the show, and he’s like super, super minimal on what he does, they don’t even put links to their website’s guest on the actual post, sorry, yeah.
John: Most people are very proud about the fact that they don’t edit, and I am very proud of the fact that I produce the highest quality podcast on a daily basis that I can possible do.
Trent: Yeah. Well, good on you, because we all got to have our
Trent: All right. So last three questions. What are you most excited about for 2013?
John: Podcasting. Like I said, I went to New Media Expo in June as a, well, as an attendee, I guess is the best word, and attended all the podcasting tracks in New York City, and it was good, but there wasn’t really that much excitement, and I was fortunate enough to be to attend New Media Expo in Las Vegas this past January of 2013 as a speaker. I don’t know, if you wave, if you wanted me to . . .
Trent: No, no, there’s a fly flying around my mouth, and I’m trying to swat the damn thing away.
John: In the podcasting track, see I would have edited that out, incredibly smoothly, in my podcast, but it’s a kind of a cute little thing (?)
Trent: I won’t bother. I won’t bother.
John: And the podcasting tracks were packed. There were hundreds of people at my speech, as a new podcaster, whereas is I was going with some of the bigger podcasters six moths prior, and there was 22 people in the room, so there is this certain buzz that’s going on about podcasting, people are just realizing the reach, the accessibility, the passion, the targeted content, on demands, smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi, they’re really seeing,that both audio and video podcasting are just reaching an incredible amount of people. I mean, a show, which is why I’m really excited to get into video later on this year, is because now people can literally be looking down at their smartphone on a train, and there’s great Wi-Fi, so they can be streaming this video, without, you know, having to rely on 3G or 4G, which probably would be a little choppy. It’s just really exciting where that’s going, and the expanse that is happening. People are finding out for the first time ever about podcasting every single day, and they’re falling in love.
Trent: Yeah, yeah, I agree, I love it, I have no end of fun doing these shows. I absolutely love having interesting guests on, having these conversations, and they’re so easy to record and share, I think it’s a wonderful medium. And now I’ll tell you, in my business life, never ever,ever ever, did I think I’d be a talk show host.
John: Right, yeah, me neither. I mean, now, I had no experience.
Trent: No, definitely not. What books, or book, are you reading right now?
John: So I just interviewed Robert Greene, who wrote the books 48 Laws of Power, and his most recent release is Mastery. I was an American Studies Major in college, I love history, and this guy goes back and talks about the most historical figures . . .
Trent: Does he ever.
John: . . . of our world, I’m talking, you know, the Napoleons, the
Edisons, the Benjamin Franklins, you name it, it gives you a different angle on these people’s lives that you can’t get in biographies or from history books, and pulls out incredible life and business lessons. I love his writing, he’s the most in-depth serious writer, I think, of our generation in a lot of ways, and I can’t get enough of him. I love him.
Trent: I was stunned at what a dick Ben Franklin was. He, nobody liked that guy, at least not initially.
John: He was just too serious, in like a real quick story, that Robert tells that Benjamin Franklin went over to London to work in a press, and they always had this beer fund, because they would take five beer …
Trent: Yeah, that’s what I was referring to.
John: And Ben’s like, ‘I’m not going to pay, I don’t drink, I’m not going to pay my meager salary for you guys to drink and waste your time, let’s get some work done.’ And all of a sudden he started seeing all these errors coming up in his work that he’d already proofed, and he realized a valuable lesson in life, you need to just accept certain things and become, and join the herd in certain areas, otherwise you’re going to be sabotaged.
Trent: Yeah, yeah, and that’s, it was an interesting read for sure.
For people that want to get in touch with you, what is the easiest and best way to do it, Twitter, e-mail, or your website, which one?
John: Entrepreneuronfire.com is definitely my headquarters, that’s where everything happens, all of my podcasts are aired there, all my social media platforms are easily linked to there. I know the word entrepreneur is very difficult to spell, so I actually also own the domain eofire.com, which will get you to my website, that’s a nice little short way of doing it. But yeah, you can go there, check out the podcasts. You can go to iTunes and just type in entrepreneur on fire, and you can subscribe to the podcast right there, everything is very accessible, and I have everything linked up on Entrepreneur on Fire for the home base, so that’s the first place I’d say to go. And my e-mail is email@example.com I love getting e-mails, so go ahead.
Trent: There you go. Well all right, John, thank you so much for being on the show. I learned some really good things, got to go get myself a Stitcher account, maybe delay my editing a little bit so I can put in some more time-sensitive calls to action. And I’m not using Libsyn, but I’m going to check that out, because the New and Noteworthy, right, if definitely, when I got new and noteworthy, my downloads really, really took off . . .
John: Oh yeah.
Trent: . . . and continued to do so, though I don’t think I’m in New and Noteworthy anymore, maybe I am, I haven’t actually checked.
John: Because you produce good content that people stuck with.
Trent: Yeah, and then that’s another thing too, by the way, if you’re listening to this, and you’re thinking of starting a show, people will write you if you do a good show, people will write you all the time to thank you for doing these shows. I guess they perceive that this must be a great deal of work, and I guess the dirty little secret is it’s really not that hard, I actually find it much easier to produce content this way than I do to sit out and write a blog post, I think for me that’s a lot of work. So if you’re thinking about doing it, go for it. It’s a lot of fun, you’re going to meet a lot of interesting people, it’s the best networking tool on the planet, as I’m sure you know. I mean, we get to have one one one conversations with all these thought leaders that charge insane amounts of money for their time, and they do it for us for free, because it gives them exposure as well, and I think that’s, another one of the reasons why I think it’s such a fantastic medium to use in your business.
John: I’m having Suze Orman on my show.
Trent: How did you make that happen?
John: I will give you the e-mail of her POC.
Trent: Cool, because I’d like to have her on too.
John: And for your listeners, Trent, they should know that you are going to be a guest on Entrepreneur on Fire, and we get to hear your journey as an entrepreneur, your failures, your aha moment, what you’re excited about right now, your vision for the future, and of course, I’m going to put you through the lightning round wringer of five, incredible questions that are going to produce nuggets of invaluable information.
Trent: I will say this, if you want to hear about my failures, you’re going to need longer than 35 minutes. So you’re going to have to take your pick.
John: Oh, love it.
Trent: All right, thanks so much for being on the show, John. It’s
been a pleasure.
John: Thank you Trent, it’s been great.
Trent: To get access to the show notes for today’s episode, head over to brightideas.co/29. Another URL that you’ll want to check out is gotobrightideas.co/massive traffic, enter your e-mail address and you’ll be given free access to the massive traffic toolbox, which is a compilation of all of the best traffic generation ideas that have been shared with me, by my guests here on Bright Ideas. If you’re a marketing agency owner, and you want to get access to the 2013 Marketing Agency Industry Report, head over to brightideas.co/2013 report, that’s 2013 report.
So I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid, that wraps up another episode of the podcast. If you really enjoyed today’s podcast, please head over to the iTunes store and leave a five star rating, and as well as some comments and feedback. Every time you do that, it helps the show to get more exposure, and the more people that become aware of the Bright Ideas podcast, the more entrepreneurs that we can help to massively boost their business. Thanks very much for tuning in, I’ll see you in a future episode. Take care.
Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
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