Eric Siu • May 30, 2017

Why I Decided to Start Podcasting

Neil Patel and I have been doing our Marketing School podcast for almost a year, and I’ve been doing my Growth Everywhere podcast for three years. So why did I decide start podcasting in the first place?

Why I Started Growth Everywhere

Over on my Growth Everywhere podcast, I interview a lot of different entrepreneurs and really enjoy it every single time. I thought that it would be good to kind of pay it forward in the beginning—I really didn't have any profit motives when I was starting my podcast. I just wanted to see who would listen and find out if it actually added value to people’s lives. Fortunately, there’s been a lot of good feedback.

Growth Everywhere interviews

Surprisingly, it’s led to a ton of different opportunities. For example, I get leads from the podcast, people reaching out to work with me and in some cases work for me as well. Some of the people who have approached me from the podcast have turned into some of my best employees. There's only been one time where I've ever regretted letting somebody go, and he now works at HubSpot.

I bring this up to show the quality of people you may encounter through a podcast. It's a medium that’s still catching on and hasn’t seen true penetration yet. The people who listen to podcasts tend to be very motivated, sophisticated and intelligent.

Podcast Consumers

You're able to build relationships that may lead to speaking engagements and a lot of things you wouldn't expect. I’m pretty sure Neil wouldn’t have even known who I was if not for Growth Everywhere.

So even though podcasting can be a pain and a huge time commitment, it’s really worth it. I still haven’t monetized Growth Everywhere yet, and I’m not really worried about the ROI, because the feedback we've been getting has been amazingly positive. People are actually tuning in to my podcasts and listening to them while driving to work.

Not everyone likes text-based content; some people like videos and some people like audio. So if you produce content in different formats, you'll get more readers and more listeners all around. It’s always going to be a win for you in terms of your brand awareness.

Learn More: How We Built the Growth Everywhere Podcast to 109,000 Listens per Month

What’s the ROI of a Podcast?

One of the first questions people ask me when they find out I’m doing these podcasts is “What's the ROI going to be?” The answer is I have no idea. But I've learned a lot from podcasting and have lots of followers who prefer podcast or audio files over text.

In fact, Neil was actually a bit skeptical of podcast ROI himself. I had to hound him for a whole year and speak with him on at least six separate occasions about the merits of podcasting before he agreed to do Marketing School with me.

Fast forward just 30 days — he decided to add a tab to Neil Patel that just lists out all the podcasts. I promised him we’d get over 100,000 downloads in the first 30 days, and we did. As soon as Neil saw the potential, he wanted to ramp it up to half a million downloads. And we’re well past that goal now, too.

Marketing School Podcast downloads

The other day I met Jordan Harbinger, one of the co-founders of The Art of Charm, a podcast that gets millions of listeners per month. They've been doing it for 10 years.

I’ve said time and again that content marketing is all about consistency. That’s what it really takes. Click To Tweet

That’s why I'm playing the long game. I know that being on a podcast, having videos, having blog content, having Facebook ads, etc., are all just different ways for me to engage with my audience and continue to build goodwill and trust.

What’s the ROI of all this long-term content marketing? Ask Neil. He can’t go a day without someone telling him, “I see your stuff everywhere!” He’s become completely ubiquitous in the world of digital marketing because of his commitment to consistent content.

Learn More: How Do You Get into the Game of Podcasting?

The Only Downside of Podcasting

I’m going to gripe a bit now about what I see as the only downside of podcasting. The stats and analytics for podcasts are really archaic. You can only see listens. And anytime someone listens for a second, that counts as a listen when it shouldn’t. So your actual engagement count is going to be lower than the listed number.

It’s sort of like when the Internet first came out and there was GeoCities and Tripod. You were only able to see your website hits, so everyone had those little cute counters on the bottom of their web pages.

Website visitor counter

But there were no real analytics, so it was hard to optimize your presentation. It’s the same with podcasting right now.

On one hand, this sucks for podcasters who want to give their listeners the best content possible. On the other hand, it’s a golden opportunity because it shows you that podcasting is nowhere near maturity yet. Gary Vaynerchuk always talks about day trading attention; this is your opportunity to get into podcasting right now and build a great brand with a receptive audience.

Related Content: 8 Unforeseen Benefits of Podcasting

Successful Podcasters Are Living Large

If you look at a lot of the popular podcasts out there, the podcasters are generating really good income, either from advertising or from selling books and courses.

John Lee Dumas publishes his income stats on EOFire. He’s making $500K per month. Tavares makes really good money from podcast advertising and he has a big brand from books as well. Pat from Smart Passive Income told me that podcasting has been amazing for him. In fact, when Pat was just starting out, his podcast was what put him on the map.

Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income

I think the next step after you become successful with a podcast is to try and break into video. Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich was telling me how videos have done amazing things for him. Video takes more work than podcasting, though, which is why you want to get good at podcasting first. Think of it this way—if you can create a compelling and engaging podcast that’s audio only, you’ll get even better engagement on well-produced videos.

Want to Get into Podcasting?

Andrew Warner from Mixergy has a course on how to interview your heroes. In fact, that's how I initially started out. He has great tips if you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around some of the steps, like how to find people to interview.

Mixergy

I also recommend that you either interview someone for each episode, like I do on Growth Everywhere, or you do a conversation-type podcast with someone, like Neil and I do on Marketing School.

Related Content: 9 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Blog Content

The benefit to the interview-style podcast is that the burden of creating interesting discussion or content is not on you at all—you just have to make sure that you ask the right questions. Also, when you interview people, you can get them to promote the podcast as well and get more visibility.

For Marketing School, Neil and I just wanted to talk about what we've learned and have a platform for discussing our own experiences. So we don’t interview people, but it helps that we already each have sizeable audiences.

Whatever you choose, just make sure you stick with it. Be consistent, build goodwill, give people what they want to see and hear, and you will be rewarded.

This post was adapted from Marketing School, a 10-minute daily podcast in which Neil Patel and Eric Siu teach you real-life marketing strategies and tactics from their own experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. Listen to the podcast version of this post below:

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