The Most Effective Podcast Monetization Strategy Business Owners Skip

When you think about podcast monetization, what comes to mind?

Too often, people think about ads and sponsors. Perhaps you like to listen to a podcast where there’s always a commercial break or two or where someone on the show reads a sponsor ad out loud.

But that’s not the only way to make money from your show. In this episode of The Most Profitable Podcast, you’ll learn how to stop looking for sponsors and start using your podcast as a sales tool so you can make money even faster!

4:07 – The most critical thing you need to understand about your show

7:53 – What it looks like to use your podcast as a sales tool

10:43 – Why trying to follow the “80/20 rule” can lead to a struggle to make money from your podcast

13:05 – One thing you will never hear me say on this show

15:40 – One thing that can hurt some business owners looking to use a podcast to help generate sales

17:55 – How content is key to having purposeful, high-converting sales calls

21:45 – What happens when you shift the way you think about monetizing your podcast

Mentioned In The Most Effective Podcast Monetization Strategy Business Owners Skip

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I want to talk about podcast monetization strategies today, because too often when I'm talking to podcasters, they're thinking about monetization only in terms of ads and sponsors, but that's not the only way to monetize your show. In fact, if like me, you're a service-based business owner, which if you listen to this show I'm guest and you are, it's not the most effective way to monetize your show. Today I want to talk about how we should be monetizing our shows and why it's a lot easier.

It can happen a lot sooner and it's a lot more profitable. Let's get into it. Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey and this is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you, to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team, because your show should be built to generate and convert leads, so let's get into it.

This is going to be a good one. I'm going to do my very best not to get ranty, but I'm just going to put this warning on here right now. The soapbox is literally right next to me, so it might come out because this is such an important component, and it's funny because I have these conversations with podcasters all the time around the right way to monetize their show. The best way, the most profitable way, the easiest way, whatever it is, but it's I want to be generating revenue. What if I could make enough money to cover my production costs?

Well, if you are not using your podcast to generate revenue, you shouldn't be paying anyone production costs, but monetizing your podcast is not limited to sponsors and ads. It's not limited to bringing in someone else to sell to your audience. Why would you go find someone else to sell to your audience instead of cutting out the middleman, and really stepping out of the role of the middleman and sell them your products, sell them your services.

for those of us who are service-based business owners, using a podcast as a way of being visible because that's often what I hear people talk about their podcast as, "Oh, it's a visibility tool, it's how I get visible." Cool. Podcasting is not a visibility tool. It can be when used inefficiently, but it's a sales tool. The visibility is part of that sales process, but it's a sales tool. I'm going to be honest, the soapbox is definitely coming out today.

We're going to dig into that in today's episode. We're going to talk about why this is important. We're going to talk about some of the ways we do this. It's going to be a good one, stay with me. Before we get into that though, I do want to remind you, and it ties so beautifully into what we're talking about today. I do want to remind you that we have just a few podcast strategy intensive spots open for October, and that will be the last month I have intensive availability this year.

If you want to sit down and talk about monetizing your show in the way we're going to talk about it today, and you do, book a time for us to have a chat. We can check fit, we can check timing, we can do all of that together. Just head over to, book a call. Let's have a conversation. If now's not the right time, we can get you pre-booked for Q1, if now's not the right time but you're interested in something else, we can figure that out too.

The call is completely free. Again, to learn more and book our chat. I'm excited. What I want to express today is the importance of you understanding your role in your show, because yes, you are the host, but you are not hired talent. You are not a radio personality, you are not a celebrity who is going to talk to other celebrities and sell minivans. I think we all know that that ad, that pre-roll.

I cannot express to you how often I'm sitting down with business owners who are treating their show, like it is a consumer show, like it is content for the sake of content. Like it is a TV show or a radio show where it's all about giving value, having conversations, featuring interesting guests, and then they want to know why they're not making any money. Well, I just can't seem to sell anything from the podcast. I'm going to get ads and sponsors, or it never occurs to them that they could be selling through their podcast, and so they think, "Well, to subsidize this"... which is really what it becomes, "I'm going to bring in a sponsor or join a podcast network where they're going to help me place ads in my show."

Whatever it is, and in a lot of these cases, they end up giving up some level of control of their show. Either they're in a network where a certain minimum is required as far as ads. Often they're paying to be a part of these podcast networks, or for someone to do cold outreach for sponsors, it hurts my soul to even say it, but it's what I see every single day and it's because they're missing a really, really critical understanding of their role in the show. You, your business, you are the sponsor of your podcast. You already have a sponsorship.

The problem is your sponsor is not giving you ad copy. Your sponsor is not actually using the show to run ads, and this is where I talk about this confusion around it being a visibility tool. It absolutely will help you get visible 100%, but that's not its core job. That visibility is a part of its role in your sales process as a contributing member of your sales team, I sometimes call it.

That is a piece of it. It's not the whole of it, and that's often what I see, and when I think when you think about this as a visibility tool, the best way I can kind of describe how ineffective that is, is think about it as the same way as if you were deciding to pay to run Facebook ads as a visibility tool.

You've got a podcast, you're putting out great content, tons of value, and you're sharing it and there's no call to action or you pretend there's a call to action, because the outro at the very end of your show says, reach out for a free discovery call and that's it. That's not a call to action, and having an episode go out like that and thinking it's going to help you gain visibility, help you grow your email list, convert into sales is kind of like running a Facebook ad and leaving out the link.

Running your podcasts without your own ads, without strong calls to action is like running a Facebook ad and leaving out the link. You are paying to get in front of people and then not doing anything once you get there. You have to stop looking for sponsors and start actually using your podcast as a sales tool.

That means strong calls to action. That means more than one call to action. That means integrating sales and purchase opportunities in your content.

How often when you listen to the show, do you hear me mention some of the ways you can work with us, uncommonly more? Maybe it's talking about the way something came up in a quarterly call with one of our production clients. Maybe it's referencing something we did in a podcast strategy intensive.

Maybe it's talking about conversations we're having inside the profitable podcast or mastermind, and let's note that not all of these are purchase calls to action, because maybe it's me telling you about the Podcast Newsroom or the podcasting for Profitability Roundtable, which are both free to participate in and hang out, and guess what?

You get on my email list and you get new updates about this show and you get pulled into other episodes, which have other calls to action in most episodes I have 2 calls to action minimum. There's generally a free one upfront. Right now we're talking about podcast strategy intensives everywhere because there's only a couple left, and I have been doing this long enough to know that we've got to tell people lots of times that things are available when they're available, especially when they're usually available all the time, and we're coming up on a window of time where they're not going to be available.

Instead of having like the podcast newsroom up front and keeping the intensive to the end, I drop the intensive up front, and guess what we're going to talk about Intensivess at the end, because this content, I'm just going to pull back the curtain and show you how it's made here. This content is built to sell a podcast strategy intensive. Do you want to know why? Because figuring this out is what we do in a podcast strategy intensive.

Whether you have a brand new show, whether you have a well-established show, whether you are planning a show that's not yet launched, but you want to launch it on the right foot like we talked about last week. Regardless of where you are, this is the work we do in an intensive. There is not some certain amount of episodes you need to put in before you can monetize. There's not a certain amount of value you have to hit before you can sell.

This is the thing, okay, the soapbox is out underneath me. This is the thing that frustrates me so much about the 80/20 rule. When we talk about 80% of your content should be value and 20% of your content should be sales, because I don't think any of us understand math, because everybody I've ever seen who go, "Oh yeah, I follow the 80/20 rule on my podcast. It's 80% content, 20% sales." Is struggling to make money from their podcast, is struggling to generate sales from their podcast, because they're so concerned with not letting that 20% become 25 or 30, that it never actually hits 20.

It ends up being like 95, 5 in the best of scenarios because you're so worried, you're so stuck in this possibility that you might be selling too much, that you might be selling too aggressively, that you forget to sell at all. Or you go through the motions of a call to action without any real intention, without any real understanding of how the content around that pitch impacts it. One of the things we talk a ton about in podcast strategy intensivess in our quarterly production calls with our clients, and really in our month 3 content inside the Profitable Podcast or Mastermind, is how we start a strategy.

The first step, one of the first set of questions I ask, what are we selling? Who are we selling it to and how are we selling it to them? These are what I ask first, because until we know these things, we cannot take a step back and go, "Cool, how do we get them there?" What do they need to know before they take action on the how? Which we know because we know the what and the who. We have to know where we're going so that we are building content that drives them there.

Does this mean every single listener of every single episode will immediately buy stuff? No. No, because the data is showing that it takes more touches than ever to convert. It's no longer 7 or fourteen, it's like twenty one or twenty eight. We need to hear about things more times, possibly because we're hearing about a lot of stuff all the time, possibly because we've become more cautious about how we purchase, but for whatever reason, it is imperative that we are consistently not just talking about what we do, not just talking about our expertise.

Not just teaching our expertise, but telling our listener how we can help them get from where they are right now, to where they want to be, and that means not just content, not just value, not just visibility but calls to action. Sales pitches, clear, undeniable next steps consistently, again and again. You will never, and I don't say never very often if you've listened to the show for a while, there's not a lot I say ever, never and always to because there's nuance, because there are shifts and preferences and all of these things, but you will never hear me run an episode of this show without a call to action, to something paid. Ever.

Because this show, the time I put into this show, the money I put into this show is my sponsorship of the value, and that sponsorship has to have an ROI. If it doesn't have an ROI, it's a hobby. I don't have hobbies inside of my business. I do have hobbies that I have to work very hard not to turn into businesses, but I think that's just our curse. Side note, but I don't have hobby, I don't do anything in this business that's not necessary to run this business. You want to know why? It's because I have enough things to do that are necessary.

Why would I spin my wheels and waste my time doing things that are not going to help move you and I forward? Let me be clear, moving you and I forward does not mean you hire me tomorrow. It may mean that you listen to the show long enough to realize that I am not for you. That is a critical job of this show because if you've been listening to this and you're like, "Well, I don't have a business. I want to build an audience and my podcast to be my business, and the thing I'm selling is the audience, I'm going to sell them to sponsors. I don't want to deliver a service. I don't want to deliver a program, I don't want to deliver a course, I don't want to sell products. I just want to create content and make money from the content."

Cool. That's not the kind of show we produce. That's not the kind of show we talk about here, some of the things we talk about may still be really impactful for you, but it's not our priority, it's not our specialty, it is not my focus, and so it's easy for someone then to go, "Cool, I need to go find something else." And guess what? There is something else. There's lots. There are a ton of shows where that's the focus, where that's who they're talking to, and this is one of the things that really hurts business owners who are looking to use a podcast to help grow their business, to help generate sales.

Is they get stuck in courses and program and content put out by people who are teaching the people who want to sell their audience, not sell to their audience, but where the audience is the product, because their customers are sponsors. Their customers are other brands and companies that want to go get in front of the audience that that host has built, it's cultivated as created, and it's a different strategy and when you focus on that, when you are building strategies for that, you are going to struggle to sell and that's why I talk so aggressively, so emphatically, so consistently about using your podcast as a member of your sales team, as a piece of your sales strategy.

I get onto sales calls. I was talking earlier about the podcast strategy intensives and these thirty minute calls, I get into those calls and 99.999% of the time, that person's already made their decision. They know they're going to hire me, they know they're going to book this. They just have a couple of boxes they need to check as far as making sure what's in this is the right thing. They want to make sure that they've chosen the right offer.

They want to make sure that they need an intensive or would the the Mastermind be a better fit, or should they just jump into full production so that they have support all the time, whatever it is, but they generally already know they're going to hire us. They generally already know that they want Uncommonly More to be a part of their support team before they get on the call. This is why I can safely have thirty minute sales calls because I convert at a really high rate, because our sales start here.

I've already given you a ton of information. My sales calls are gut checks. That's what I call them. They're the opportunity for you to jump on the show or jump on the phone rather, and make sure that I'm the same person on this podcast and in delivery, because quite frankly, that's not always the case and I get that, and that's why we still have sales calls, because I want you to know that you, and I talking is going to have the exact same energy as me talking to you right now.

It's going to feel the same, sound the same. I'm going to say a lot of the same stuff annoyingly enough, but it's going to be consistent, and so that sales call is your opportunity to confirm that. Make sure we put you in the right container for where you're at right now, and prep you for our onboarding next steps. That's the purpose of my sales calls. Not to try to talk you into buying. I've already done that.

I did that with quality content that moved you through your questions, that moved you through your concerns, because when I sit down to plan this show every quarter, I go, what am I selling? Who am I selling it to? How am I selling it? Cool, what do they need to know to make this decision? These are the episodes we run. It's really that simple. That's literally the third month of curriculum and the Profitable Podcast or Mastermind.

That's literally a podcast strategy intensive. That's literally a quarterly production call with us. That's it. That's what happens. That's the secret sauce. Arguably the secret sauce is that we do it together, but that's it. That's the formula, that's the framework. There you go. Go use it. Do this. Even better let's sit down and do it together. Let's sit down in a podcast strategy intensive in October so that you finish this year strong, and start next year knowing who you're talking to, and why you're talking to them and letting them know what their next steps are to actually see results.

To actually relieve the pain, scratch the itch, whatever cliche we want to insert there. I want you to shift the way you think about your podcast. I want you to shift the way you think about monetizing your show. Stop looking for sponsors. Stop looking for ads that you can run. Ad networks or or podcast networks with an ad component, or a sales person on your team who is specifically focused on cold pitching brands to get ads. Stop. Stop spinning your wheels with it. Stop considering it. Stop putting it in a place of priority over using your podcast to sell to your audience.

You don't need your audience to be the product. You have services and products to sell already. Sell those. It will be faster, it will be more profitable, it will be easier. It will also be more fulfilling frankly, because it changes how you show up for your show. It changes how you engage with this space. I have no problem sitting down and getting into this and recording. Sometimes it takes me a little while to find my feet again, just because like I talk about all the time. This is a muscle, and when I have one of those big gaps between recording periods, I'll have to sort of warm up the muscle a little bit, but I always know what I'm talking about here.

I always know what I need to say here. I always know what I need to rerun where, because I start with knowing what I'm selling and who I'm selling it to, and if you know that we can answer all of the other questions together. That's what happens inside of a podcast strategy intensive. If you want to book yours and you do, go to and find the time to chat with me. We'll have a chat and then we will get your intensive booked.

We can do it right on that call, or I will send you the calendar after the call and you can go ahead and get your purchase handled, and your checkout all good and easy breezy. Cool. I'm excited. I will see you right back here next week. I'm going to tell you right now, spoiler alert, we have a guest next week. It is super fun conversation. We're talking about books, so if writing a book is also on your to-do list, tune in next week because we are writing some books. See you there.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about podcast strategy intensives, or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is over, and if you haven't yet signed up for the podcast newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step.

If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes that's over, and the last favor I will ask because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating or review for this show. If you go to rate this, that's the easiest way to do it, but I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you. I can't wait to chat with you, so this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

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