(By Scott Carson) Last weekend I was one of over 1,000 podcasters and marketers to arrive in Orlando for the fifth annual Podfest Multimedia Expo. The founder of this event, Chris Krimitsos, and his team have done an amazing job of growing the event from 100 podcasters attending the first one to what it is today. This year was my third year of attending Podfest and as always, I walked away with a ton of new tools, tactics, and tricks to help me expand my audience and monetize my podcast. And after careful review of my pages of notes I’ve settled on three tactics to focus on that I think you will find valuable with your podcast endeavors as well.
1). Track Your Links. One of the most important “ah ha’s” of the whole weekend was Michael O’Neal’s (The Solopreneur Hour Podcast) sharing how he tracks the click through actions of his listeners and website visitors to his sponsors, affiliates and guests websites or offerings through the use of a Pretty Link (Prettylink.com) or a bit.ly link. By tracking clicks (and affiliate links) he can get a much clearer image of how valuable his podcast is to his sponsors and affiliate partners when it comes to negotiating with them for long-term deals. He also shared the need to know the Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) of your listeners to your sponsorships. For example, there is a different value and monetary benefit to potential sponsors if your listener signs up for a product that is $60 or $6,000. Knowing your numbers has added value when approaching new sponsors in being able to deliver real and accurate data versus just a download number! “We had 1,000 downloads on an episode where 650 people clicked on our sponsors offer and 200 purchased at $75 a piece” is a much stronger “pitch” or offering when you can deliver true value to your backers. O’Neal also discussed the need to be able to identify What’s in It for Them (WIIFT) instead of what’s in it for you in adding value to your sponsorships or affiliates. It’s with this info that I’ve immediately started going back through my podcast blog and videos to replace links with trackable URL’s. Duh!
2). Add Affiliates. Several sessions throughout the weekend talked about adding potential affiliates as a way to monetize your podcast and several fellow podcasters also added some nice affiliate websites where podcasters can go to review offers from companies looking to leverage podcasts as a way to market their product or service. If you are looking for affiliate or sponsorships check out Podcorn (Podcorn.com), Commission Junction (CJ.com), Impact Radius (Impact.com), Tapfiliate (Tapfiliate.com), JVZoo (JVZoo.com), Awin (Awin.com) and First Promoter (Firstpromoter.com) to increase affiliate opportunities or to leverage your own products across different networks. You can also go a lot farther in growing your podcast by working with other promotors or affiliates who are willing to share your message to their audiences or customers as well.
3). Keep It Simple and Be Yourself. Podfest wrapped up on the final day with two amazing keynote speakers. The first being Brant Pinvidic who is the author of the best-selling book, 3 Minute Rule and producer of numerous television shows including Bar Rescue and Extreme Weight Loss. Brant shared that in this world of increased media and exposure that we as podcasters need to keep in mind that we need to make sure and keep our pitch short and to the point when it comes to our podcast, show, or idea and that if we can’t explain it effectively in 3 minutes or less, then it’s probably not a great idea. He suggested that we’ll have a much more loyal audience and increase our subscribers if we get direct and to the point of the episodes sooner or follow up with a quick pre-cap before diving into the full episode.
The final keynote speaker was Ronsley Vaz (author of the best-selling book, Amplify, and the guy behind Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast) who stressed the importance of finding your own message and voice as the world has enough Gary Vee wannabe’s. He also stressed the fact that we need to share our journey more with our audience as our listeners are often experiencing hardship and difficulties of their own and that our journey can help light the way for them to find success.
There were a ton of other nuggets and topics to choose from when writing this article, but these three items stood out the most when it came to identifying actions that would help you the most. If you attended Podfest, I would love to hear what your biggest takeaways from the event was!