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I Wanted a Million Dollars and Instead Got a Million Dollar Network
Recently I had the honor of interviewing Racheal Cook for The Biz Chix Podcast and we had a very real and at times raw conversation on what it is like to be a Work at Home Mom, run a business, a home and take care of our children. I felt immediately like I had connected with a kindred spirit across the country (a cool bi-product of this job and not the first time I have bonded quickly and deeply with a guest).
When Racheal asked if I would participate in her Biz That Loves You Back blog tour, I couldn’t raise my virtual hand quick enough. In fact, be sure you check out Claire Pelletreau (http://clairepells.com/biz-love-blog-tour/
) who posted yesterday and Kimberly Riggins( kimberlyriggins.com
Back when I “only” had one business and two kids in 2013, I got the idea to launch a podcast. There are many reasons I wanted to become a podcaster.
Podcasting fulfills a childhood dream I have of being a talk radio host. I also wanted to give voice to more women’s stories and create the kind of content I was yearning to hear. Of the male hosted podcasts I was listening to at the time, women were only being interviewed about 10% of the time. When they were interviewed, the young, single male host didn’t ask the types of questions I wanted to have answered.
But if I am honest, really honest with you, the truth is I thought I could do all the above and have another big bonus. I thought I could make piles of money too. There are a few podcasters out there right now that are killing it and making multi-six figure and 7 figure incomes from their podcast
So fast forward from my launch Januay 2014 to now April 2015. Am I rolling around in piles of cash simply from launching a podcast.
I am not a millionaire. I am not making a six figure income from my podcast. In fact, I am not even making a 5 figure income from my podcast and the BizChix brand. It took me a full year to even start monetizing in any way.
I could have monetized a lot sooner, but Baby Jett changed my focus. Towards the end of my pregnancy the time was right to test the monetization waters. But I was too tired and trying to prepare for a maternity leave from interviewing. Once Jett arrived, I didn’t feel like hustling to work with clients or build a digital product when I had a newborn to hold and cuddle.
At the beginning of this year, I began working with the Biz Chix community. I have launched two paid masterminds, engaged a few coaching clients and even experimented with sponsorship of the show for one month. I decided not to continue with sponsorship for now because I want to promote programs I am offering through Biz Chix or have my other biz ScheduleMAX.com sponsor the episode.
While I have certainly been disappointed with the slow build to monetization, podcasting has had a surprising effect on my life. I haven’t built a million dollar bank account, but I have built a million dollar network.
The show has expanded the depth and breadth of my network. I have been able to interview women that I would never meet otherwise or even have access to. A special report is built during interviews and almost every time the guest ends our call by asking me to let them know how they can support me in the future. I have called in a few of those favors with winning results.
The podcasting community is another huge bonus. I have never been part of a more supportive or collaborative community and the women in this community are the best. I have new besties all across the country that completely understand my business and my life in ways many local friends can’t.
The best thing I did relating to the Biz Chix brand was launch a private Facebook group for my audience that is filled with female entrepreneurs and women that want to be entrepreneurs. I get to see relationships developing and women doing business with each other all as a result of the podcast.
This year I have learned something about myself that has come as a big surprise. I really want to teach more people how to podcast. It is so powerful to get your voice out there and I want to help more people do that, especially bloggers. Bloggers already have an amazing pool of content and adding audio to their blogs is really a no brainer. It also allows their audience to connect with them on a more intimate level.
Podcast listeners tend to listen through their smartphones using earbuds and you can’t get much closer to someone’s heart,mind and soul.
I think the more senses we can connect with people in this New Media age, the better. We all really need to be considering blogging, podcasting and video in that marketing toolbelt I mentioned before. Video is my next frontier!
So in answer to my new friend Racheal’s question on how is my business loving me back? Right now BizChix isn’t throwing piles of cash at me, but there is huge potential in the foundation I built so far. Podcasting gave me access to an industry full of new friends, a professional network beyond my wildest dreams and even more importantly the chance to fulfill a childhood dream of being behind the mic.
The Truth About Podcasting
I’m the member of a number of private Facebook communities for Podcasters and almost everyone is trying to figure out the same thing. How do I make money from this thing and why don’t I have enough downloads yet to warrant sponsorship? It is an ongoing conversation that I see repeated day after day in group after group.
The truth is that podcasts very rarely get sponsored. They don’t have the kinds of download numbers to warrant an interest from big brands. Some clever niche podcasters have been able to sell advertisers on the benefits of direct access to he exact customers they are looking for. This takes a lot of creativity and effort and it is being done by a small group of people.
What podcasts are best suited for is as one tool in your Marketing tool belt. Podcasts are one of the most intimate mediums out there. I have released 171 episodes so far and there are some people out there who have listened to every single one. Imagine being in someone’s ears for 171 hours That is like someone listening to me 24/7 for one week straight. It is mind blowing.
This kind of connection allows podcasters to build a tribe of followers that know, like and trust them. I run a private Facebook group for my community filled with female entrepreurs and women who want to be entrepreneurs. It is very engaged and one of my favorite places to be.
I launched a Mastermind for my community and 1/1 coaching program in early 2015 as my first means of monetizing. It has been so rewarding to start to work with my community and provide value.
While I was hoping to contribute and provide to my Mastermind, they ended up providing me great feedback as well. While I provide a ton of business value, I have a skill and industry knowledge that a lot of people don’t have.
I know how to podcast. I understand how to launch, build and monetize this medium. I am passionate about podcasting and they want to learn more about it from me.
None of the podcasts I was listening to had hosts I could relate to. My favorite at the time was Entrpereneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas. But Johns life is not at all like mine. He is a 30 year old single guy with no kids who works 80+ hours a week and has kept up that pace for over 2 years now.
I thought it would be cool to interview women like me. Women balancing work and kids. There were questions I wanted to ask them. How do you do it? What is the secret? Do you have balance? What I found is that most of them have the same answer as me. I am trying to figure it out day by day. Some days I feel I have perfect balance, while other days life feel a bit out of control. The secret sauce or holy grail of balance does not exist.
My other motivation for starting a podcast was to create another income stream for my family.