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Stop Worrying About Your Downloads

· Time to read: ~4 min

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(By Ed Ryan) When you have a great show, and you have a loyal audience, you have something of value to advertisers. The real question is how hard are you willing to work to get through to those advertisers.

Stop obsessing over downloads or how to get yourself in New & Noteworthy. It’s not a smart use of your time. No matter what your show is about, whether it’s about something that will attract a national audience, a niche topic you’re passionate about, or a local show in your home town that the community has latched on to, if you are passionate about your show, deliver it consistently, always strive to improve, and you will find advertisers.

However, advertisers are not going to come running to you. Make a list of national, regional, and local advertisers that align up well with what you talk about during your show. RecordĀ  a mocked-up ad about an advertiser you think fits your content and start making sales calls. Get on their radar. Yes, be a bit of a pest. In radio, nothing is more convincing to a local advertiser than to hear a creative spec ad. That is a lost art in the radio business these days. You can step in where they’ve dropped the ball.

Another way to speed along your revenue train is to find an advertiser who is willing to test out your show. And, remember, a test is not one ad on one show. Passionately read their ad for 10-13 weeks. Genuinely tell your listeners how much you love the product yourself. Most importantly, follow up with that advertiser every two weeks. Is it working? Do you want to promote something else? Do you want to come on the show for a few minutes? Make that advertiser love you.

Most podcasters are not going to make money at this unless they take the bull by the horns. Set aside an entire day where you make 30 sales calls on that list you created. Send them something about your show in the mail. Be creative. Advertisers want ideas and they want to stand out. Explain to prospective advertisers that your listeners have to work hard to hear your show. They have to know what a podcast is, how to listen to one, and how to find your show. And they do it over and over again. Tell them your listeners are passionate and they will take action if you believe in a product or service.

It will take time. Get ready to put in the extra effort. Don’t give up if they don’t return your phone calls. It takes about eight sales calls on one account before a sale is ever closed. Keep your funnel full. Don’t let advertisers talk you into all that CPM gobbledygook or how many downloads you have. Tell them about how passionate your listeners and followers are. Let them smell the excitement you have for your show.

Here’s something that should help you stay jazzed about turning your side hustle into a business. On Wednesday at the Radio Show in Dallas, Conal Byrne, who sold How Stuff Works to iHeartMedia for $55 million, said the following: “Only 10-15% of podcast listeners skip ads. That’s the lowest in media.”

That is a money-in-the-bank stat for all podcasters.

There are more advertising dollars out there than ever before.

Advertisers at every level are looking for ways to stand out in the crowd.

You have a way to make that happen for them.

Ed Ryan is Editor of The Podcast Business Journal and hosts a weekend show with his wife called Beach Talk Radio_. He can be reached at edryantheeditor@gmail.com_


Robert Crandall -

WOW Ed.As an old radio guy both on air and sales . You nailed it.

#### [Conal O'Herlihy]( "") -

What great advice Ed! I have never heard this. I am doing it all!

#### [Brett Johnson]( "") -

Thanks for bringing this back to the forefront for podcasters who have begun the journey of sponsorship. This is tried and true information, and always needs a refresh to catch the eyes of new podcasters.

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