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EXECUTION How to Build A Million Download Per Month Podcast (AND WHY)

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by BrooklynHustle, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hi Guys, I'm back on a new mission to build a large, valuable, influential podcast and thought there would be value in sharing the process. Let me know...

    If there is interest, I will continue to update over time as I progress and figure things out.


    Why Podcasting?

    Over the long term, I think there is tremendous value in having a highly engaged audience who you've served and provided value to (see Spotify acquires Gimlet & Anchor).

    I believe that in business, you want people to know, like and trust you first (not exactly an original idea), so podcasting is one way to accomplish this on a large scale, even if it takes a long time, and even if you are not monetizing the relationship directly or aggressively. It's definitely not a short term play, nor do I ever see podcasting being my "main thing".

    I also find having a podcast to be a great networking tool and an incredibly fun way to share with other entrepreneurs and like-minded people.


    Why the Ridiculous Goal?

    Why not? I want it to be as impactful and valuable as possible. I also know that it will take time. Between here and 1 million per month, I will just try to hit each intermediate goal and then immediately raise the bar so that I am always making progress and pressing.


    Where We Are Now

    Launched my podcast, "Game of Grow" on February 27th, six weeks after making the decision that it should exist

    (bought the domain and grabbed @gameofgrow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that night.

    namechk.com will let you know if your desired name is available as a url and which social channels it is available or not available on, in case you want to switch up)

    In a short period of time, the show has ranked as high as #94 in Business and #55 in Marketing (on iTunes, the 800 lb gorilla of podcast marketplaces),

    and it has also been selected at various points as "New & Noteworthy" in Business, Health, Education, Marketing, Self Help, and Training.

    New & Noteworthy Business-topcorner.jpg



    It took 11 days to cross 1000 downloads, and ~3 weeks in, we are just short of 5000 downloads.

    So numbers are not exactly huge yet but there is certainly momentum.




    upload_2019-3-23_8-46-34.png

    Key Success Factors to Date

    Other than knowing my audience, and creating content they want to hear... (obviously the foundation)

    Driving Subscribers & Reviewers has been key. You want your listeners to Subscribe and Review (and also refer the podcast to friends).

    From my online research, it appears that new subscribers to a podcast have the single biggest impact on its rank, at least in the iTunes store.

    While I am not exactly sure how reviews affect the algorithm, it is not unreasonable to assume that they are factored in as well... and even if they aren't, they are going to have a certain social proof effect.

    So I have been near fanatical about making those things happen as much as I can.


    Backstory & Focus

    One night in the coffee shop after a long day of work, I found myself asking myself a few questions, such as...
    • “What if I placed the demand that any business I build leave every person that interacts with it better off? What would that look like?”
    • “How could I make it impactful at a scale I have not yet reached before?”
    • “How would I need to change & who would I need to become to make that possible?”
    • “How can I share the process with people with similar goals?”
    Out of those questions comes my new podcast/project "Game of Grow", in which I will document my entrepreneurial journey.

    The name is kind of a play on "Game of Thrones" plus the Game of Entrepreneurship, the journey of growth and development that comes with it, the growth mindset needed to succeed, etc.

    The show is for others like myself who are working to start and grow businesses and level up.

    One of my central message is that it doesn’t matter where you start or where you currently are. It’s about acquiring the skills you need to accomplish your goals (AKA, "Entrepreneurship is a Process" -TMF)

    I am not positioning myself as an "expert". Rather, I make it abundantly clear that I am a student of the game and I am sharing my journey.

    Instead of having all the answers, my goal is to transparently document and share the highs, lows, and lessons of my journey and bring as much value as I possibly can, hopefully producing one of the most valuable pieces of content my audience hears each week (it releases weekly on Wednesday mornings).

    While I still love the App Game and will continue to talk about, teach, and execute against that, I realized I also wanted a more inclusive platform where I could help more people, and let them get to know me.


    Before Launch...
    • Defined & refined podcast name, topic and structure
    • Conducted 10 calls with "perfect listeners" to help shape content
    • Worked with designer to create podcast artwork for tile
    • Didn't need to purchase equipment (already owned "Blue Yeti" mic)
    • Purchased & set up hosting with Libsyn (used my wife's affiliate code "HUSTLEPRO" for a free month and change... she already has a successful podcast and a relationship with them)
    • Set up Apple Podcast account (As well as Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, etc)
    • Had simple website created
    • Created social media accounts on FB, Twitter, and IG, as well as a FB group
    • Recorded, edited, and posted first 3 episodes
    • Started posting story posts to social media and emailing my list 2-3 days before to get a bit of buzz going

    Launch Day


    I went live on February 27th with 3 episodes and posted my "It's Live" announcement to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my Facebook groups, as well as emailing my list.

    I also thought about all the friends, people who I knew were eagerly awaiting the show, and people who owed me favors, and reached out to them directly to ask them to Subscribe & Review.

    Soon after, I also added the Podcast as a new job on LinkedIn, which caused a flurry of semi-automated messages to "congratulate me on the new job", which allowed me the opportunity to tell them about the podcast in my response and potentially pique their interest in becoming a subscriber.

    I also thought about all the different channels where I would be able to talk about the podcast to people who would naturally want to hear about it, knowing that some percentage of these folks would become listeners. This included groups from college, grad school, past extracurricular activities, etc... The important thing that I looked at was that I would be able to add some value rather than just take, or I did not do it. Other than that, I tried not to leave any stone unturned, since you never know which channel will be the most fruitful.


    Post Launch

    I've kept things simple and continued to focus on how I can bring the most value to my listeners through the content, which channels I can add or double down on to increase listenership, running lots of crazy experiments, and, of course repeatedly and persistently encouraging everyone possible to subscribe to the show and leave a review.

    With that said...


    If and only if you enjoyed this post & got value from it, please do check out the podcast here: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Web

    And if you enjoy it, Subscribing & leaving a Review would be a huge help


    Episode 6 tells the story of how Rohan Gilkes became a millionaire by starting a cleaning service, and I look forward to sharing many more stories like this going forward.

    IMG_9494.PNG


    I can see a clear path to reaching 10,000 downloads in the relatively near future (perhaps in April), and 10,000 downloads per month should be doable as well, but getting to 50,000 per month, 100,000 per month, or more will take a lot of doing... I am up for the challenge, and will take it on step by step, and I am willing to share what I learn along the way.


    As I said before, if I see there is interest, I will continue to update this thread as I progress closer to my goals and continue to learn more.

    If there are any questions I can answer, let me know!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  2. Chandler Ruffini
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    Chandler Ruffini New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Really great insight on how to start and got me pumped to start working on my own podcast since I've been putting a lot of thought into doing something very similar, as I'm in the process of starting my first real business and really beginning my road as an entrepreneur. I think the idea of sharing your experiences and giving real VALUE to people is great! Gary Vaynerchuck talks a lot about building a personal brand and podcasts are a killer way to do it. Thanks for the tips and good luck, I look forward to seeing where you can take this!
     
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  3. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Definitely my pleasure, man. And really appreciate it!
     
  4. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Was able to hit 6000 downloads for the month. Would love to 10X in the next couple months, but even doubling the rate of growth would be phenomenal

    (always keeping in mind that my primary goal needs to be helping my listener to achieve results, otherwise there are only numbers, and no value or influence)

    Also made it up to #52 in Marketing briefly, but honestly chart position has been all over the place, so it's more of a vanity metric than a real way to measure

    Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 8.01.45 AM.png
    My next moves for GROWTH:

    1. Doubling and tripling down on Instagram, as I see a “competitor” podcast in my space winning big based off of their 2yr investment there. They have done a MASSIVE amount of downloads in about 9-10 weeks of existence based on this investment. Started working on the research 2 days ago and will put in more time today and this weekend

    2. Podcast tour, potentially. Distilling my message that can add the most value and taking it on the road in front of as many relevant audiences as possible

    3. Forming a deeper connection with more audiences live via speaking engagements. Will test out a few first before trying to scale that channel. Face to face is great for building a connection, but expensive time & effort wise. We shall see.

    4. Crossover content with my wife, since she has an already established business podcast with a very large audience. Will tap into that source of listeners without becoming dependent on it. Lots of other work to do as well

    That's all for now. Hope this is bringing you value, and if you're listening in, let me know!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  5. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Great feedback so far on my first guest episode, so I thought I would share...

    --

    He did accounting for 10 years, despite hating it from day 2, because.... BILLS. 10 years later he was laid off.

    3 years later, he’d built his first multimillion dollar business by learning to use the internet to acquire customers for home cleaners.

    Far from the $65K salary he left behind, the group of entrepreneurs he works with now bring in $60 million per year combined.

    Rohan Gilkes inspiring story shows a blueprint by which ordinary people can choose to change their circumstances and achieve extraordinary outcomes, and I am so honored & excited to bring it to you on the Game of Grow Podcast.

    Listen, Subscribe & Review on your favorite platform:

    iTunes: gameofgrow.com/itunes
    Stitcher: gameofgrow.com/stitcher
    Spotify: gameofgrow.com/spotify
    Episode Link: gameofgrow.com/6

    IMG_9494.PNG

    --

    Integrating more amazing guests will definitely be part of the strategy.

    Also need to do a better job of getting them to share with their networks.
     
  6. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Crossed 10,000 downloads in just over 5 weeks, so I think things are accelerating slightly. Just under 85 ratings/reviews (hope to hit 100 soon).

    Will update soon with some meatier content and takeaways.
     
  7. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    A podcast episode that has been live approximately 30 days averages 141 downloads. If you have over 3400 downloads you are in the top 10%. If you have over 9000 downloads you are in the top 5%. Lastly, if you have over 50,000 downloads per episode (again after having it live for 30 days) you are in the top 1%.

    ~Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn (As quoted by SchoolOfPodcasting.com)


    Since we've already crossed the 1,100 download/episode threshold to reach the top 20% of podcasts, the next target is 3,400 downloads per episode for top 10% (and of course the priority remains audience satisfaction & results while all this is happening. Can't lose sight of that)

    --

    Top 50% - 129+ downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)
    Top 20% - 1,100 downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)
    Top 10% - 3,400 downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)
    Top 5% - 8,300 downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)
    Top 2% - 20,000 downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)
    Top 1% - 35,000 downloads per episode (within 30 days of release)

    Source: 137 Podcasts As Solutions and Check The Facts - Official Libsyn Blog
     
  8. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Record day so far, with 769 downloads for the day. Need to push to 1000, 2000, etc. Reviews holding steady at 85

    Btw, I use post Libsyn (my podcast host), as well as Podtrac (external analytics platform) to measure my audience numbers.

    They are both industry standards, but use slightly different methodolodies and so most people I speak to get slightly higher readings from Podtrac. Completely free to add on, so I would recommend that anyone starting a show us both from the start (I missed about 10-11 days initially before installing Podtrac.

    The slow and steady growth continues. Onward.
     
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  9. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Realized last week ended with just under 2500 downloads, meaning we're nearly on pace for 10,000 per month.

    Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 4.25.34 PM.png

    Will have to wait for today & tomorrow's numbers to see if we maintain that pace.

    iTunes rankings are extremely volatile, even within the same day, but starting to appear more regularly within the Top 200 Business podcasts (usually between 90 - 140)

    Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 4.33.58 PM.png

    One of the podcasts I have been monitoring though has been able to blast their way into the top 20, without even having any celebrity host, famous guests, or external promotion. They are driving everything through the community they have built up on Instagram over the last 2 years. Really need to get on that. Grateful to have spotted the example.
     
  10. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Since we're basically at 10,000 per month, all we need to do is 10X it, and then 10X it again,

    and then voilà... 1 million per month :party:

    Cakewalk :rofl:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Crossed 15,000 downloads (data below omits the first 10 days, when we earned at least 1,047 downloads, per Libsyn data)

    On pace for 11,000-12,000 downloads this month, up from 7600 last month.

    Also reached a high of #89 in Business and briefly held the #1 spot in New & Noteworthy podcasts for Marketing

    1 million per month remains a long way off in the distance, but setting my sights on 20,000 - 30,000 seems reasonable in the near near term

    Providing value to the audience & growth remain my main objectives for now.

    Screen Shot 2019-04-20 at 9.53.58 AM.png
     
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  12. jcvlds
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    jcvlds JC Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Very nice progress. Keep it up.

    I tried looking at the initial post but couldn’t seem to find what your end-goal is.

    You mentioned it being a long term play and seems like you don’t have short term monetizing on your mind, but what is the long term play your shooting for? What objective will this podcast help you achieve? Or what would be the long term monetization play for you?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. BrooklynHustle
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    BrooklynHustle Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @jcvlds Thanks, man. And great question. I never did properly articulate that...

    Long term, I would consider this a powerful attention channel that I CONTROL with a big C.

    This means I can introduce products and services that I recommend to an audience that knows, likes, and trusts me after receiving value from me over a long period of time. This includes my own products and services, as well as select other people's products and services that I love and am willing to stand behind (def not promoting a bunch of crap, as that would ruin the relationship I've worked hard for)

    As Gary V often puts it, "Attention is the Asset"...

    Hope that makes sense, but let me know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  14. 365
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    Love what you're doing! Attention is the internet's scarce resource and once you're at scale there should be plenty of opportunities to monetize.

    How do you think about the mix of episodes in which you talk about your own experience vs. inviting a guest? Do you test downloads/feedback to the different episodes to see what gets better engagement?

    How much content did you produce or sketch out ahead of time? And how much time do you invest in your weekly episode?

    Any successful podcasts that you used as model/inspiration?

    Oh, and a couple months into the project, what are the biggest lessons so far?
     

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