Podcast Monetization — Content Systems Before Sales with Kate Erickson

Pickture of Kate Erickson in a blue tanktop smiling next to the words, "Monetization Priority #1: Content Systems"

What do content systems have to do with monetizing your new podcast?

Everything!

So, if you are launching a podcast and thinking “How do I get sponsors?”

Or, even these questions:

How do I get sponsorship BEFORE I launch my podcast? 

How do I get a sponsorship now that I’ve launched, but I am nowhere near 5000 or 1000 downloads per episode? 

You’re going to want to read all the way through to set yourself up for sponsorship success.

Listen, I’ve got my ear to the ground and I can 100% verify that these questions come up a lot, not just here and there, but all the time — and have almost since podcasting came to be.

Well, I met with Kate Erickson — a content systems and workflow expert, as well as the engine at Entrepreneurs on Fire, an award-winning podcast (and so much more) featuring John Lee Dumas interviewing inspiring entrepreneurs — to get her take on the best approach. 

Are you ready for some answers?

Her typical response to most of those sponsorship monetization questions is…don’t focus on trying to monetize your show when you’re first starting out. 

Right?

But wait! It doesn’t end there. 

Says Kate, “I have seen shows get a sponsor before they’ve launched. I’ve seen shows get a sponsor without 5000 downloads or even 1000 per episode.” 

How? 

Simple.

  • They have amazing content.
  • They have an engaged community, 
  • And they have a niche. 

Those are the keys to creating a great podcast that’s serving an audience.

 

The Necessary Engaged Community

By “engaged community,” Kate is referring to an audience that is eager to talk about your podcast without you having to ask. They proactively share it with friends and family, they interact with you on social media, they ask questions and offer valuable feedback. 

Building that community takes time, your personal engagement and most importantly, creating continually compelling content. 

“When we first started out, our biggest focus was on how we were going to create consistent, valuable content that our audience wanted or needed,” explained Kate. 

“That was so key for us because of the consistency of being a daily podcast. We also focused on putting content on our site that was SEO-friendly to get us organic traffic. 

Without that, we would never have built the business that we have today. We don’t do paid ads, we don’t do paid advertising. Our content is what has helped us build our business and grow our audience.” 

 

All Systems Go

But, attaining consistency means having systems and processes in place. You need the infrastructure, the setup or the system to help create content. 

You need guests lined up. 

Then, there’s that blog you need to write that’s supposed to go live tomorrow. 

The goal is to be able to front-load your content, and always be ahead of it. Otherwise, you’re just, and I quote, “on a hamster wheel constantly struggling to keep up with what is really the foundation of your venture.”

Those systems and processes need to be in place to stay ahead of content.

 

Recognize the Value of Your Time Investment

So what’s the timeframe to expect when launching a podcast? What can you realistically predict in terms of being set to take advantage of opportunities to monetize?

I think initially, there’s a learning curve,” begins Kate. “Start with an outline or structure to build the system that you want — write out a set of steps, find tools and automation that can help you.” 

Explore if you can delegate parts of that, then document it and make it repeatable.” 

“This is going to take a minimum of six months. Maybe you have a system set up in the first few weeks. Over the next month or two, you’re going to find efficiencies, you’re gonna find that maybe a tool you thought was going to work isn’t working, and you need to find a different one.” 

“Use these months to set up solid systems that function well enough that you can begin to trust their efficacy. But truthfully, our systems and our processes are still evolving today — 10 years later. if it’s a good system and you’re a good manager of that system, you’re constantly finding new ways to make it better.”

What you are doing by putting systems in place is building a foundation to eventually make money on a consistent basis and help you scale. It’s after those systems are set up and running well, that you begin sprinkle in the business layer.

 

Opportunities Await!

Systems place, check.

Content is running, check.

Bank of content, check. 

You’ve freed up time that you can now spend looking for opportunities.

  • Can I create a course for my audience? 
  • Can I create a community for my unpaid community? For my audience? 
  • Can I reach out to sponsors at this point?

You can and you should. 

 



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