Buy This Crap Podcast Course
May 24, 2021
Today I'm going to rant and then I'm going to give you three cheap (under $20), actionable and very specific things to focus some time on that will not only help your podcast but will always be useful to you.
There is no quick fix
That's it, that's the content. Thanks for listening!
Alright, I know I'm being a little facetious here but this situation is so distressing to me that if I don't act like that, I'll end up quitting work and becoming a hermit here in the hills of Yorkshire, only leaving my cave to test out new <£100 podcast microphones on YouTube.
When I started my first ever web design business in 2007 (ish) I loved a silver bullet.
This was the early days of SEO and of internet marketing as we know it today and I got into it. I spent time learning how to code websites and how to create content for them so that they'd rank well in the search engine listings.
I also spent a lot of time designing simple marketing funnels that would step-sell clients into spending a little more.
One Saturday morning I spotted an opportunity: I could create a simple web design and build package that also included some business cards & some other basic printed promotional materials and, with some nice patter, market that as a £297 starter package to new businesses.
It was a great package and, if I targeted new local businesses, I could get to know them, plus up-sell them a logo and some ongoing website updates on a recurring basis and do that via Direct Debit, which no one locally was offering.
I spent Saturday morning building a simple three-page website and targeted the search keywords around “web design Barnsley“.
It worked really, really well.
My website became top of Google for those terms instantly and, although the search volume wasn't high, it was high-quality in its specificity – the leads were great and the enquiries were hot.
New businesses loved the package because everyone else was charging them thousands upfront and as a new business they simply didn't have that kind of money – they were young and scrappy and had a few hundred quid from their family or friends or savings and because I also had other, bigger clients I could afford to take a bit of a risk on them.
The website has been offline for years now, but remnants still exist if you're curious.
That Saturday morning netted me tens of thousands of pounds of revenue over the next few years, led to a contract worth over half a million pounds and built relationships that still exist to this day.
One morning of work.
A silver bullet.
Three years of learning to code.
Three years of learning how to “do” SEO.
Two years of working with clients to understand what they wanted.
Countless sleepless nights worrying about emails from clients or if I'd get paid on time.
But… it was only one morning of work!
Wrong. It wasn't. It was one morning of pulling together years of experience into the first idea I had for generating recurring revenue using a high-quality, relationship and skills-based marketing strategy.
The challenge as podcasters, then, is that we're often trying to emulate the success of others who have those years of experience, without putting the years in!
Two important lessons
I want to impart two important takeaways from this.
Firstly, recurring revenue is brilliant.
You sell once and, as long as you do a good job, you keep making money on a predictable and value-led basis. I do good things for you and give you results and you keep paying me a bit each month.
Scale that and you have a nice business.
The type of business that everyone wants to build. Including online “entrepreneurs” & course creators – more on that later.
Secondly, I could package how to do that and sell you a course on it.
If I marketed it well, you'd buy it.
It'd be called something like “How to 10x Your Income With One Morning's Work” and I'd create content marketing around it like “Use This ONE Simple Hack to Create The Life You Want” or “Three Simple Ways to Live Your Dream Life By Quitting The 9 to 5”.
It'd cost $297 (reduced from $997) with a free strategy session from me and bonuses worth $10,000.
That pricing would be specifically set to entice you. It's called “charm pricing” and it's been around for years. There's nothing wrong with it, as such. The problem comes from marrying that psychological “trick” with the delivery of crap content.
Actually, that's unfair.
The content wouldn't be crap. The content would be fine but you would not reach the outcomes that you expected from it.
Because you don't have my background.
You don't have my gut instinct or the ability to slightly alter plans and tactics on the fly, nor do you have my resources or time and you sure as heck don't have my obsessive focus on projects that forces you to dive so deep into things that interest you that you forget to eat or drink (legit).
So, you'd get to the end of the course (if you were lucky) and have learned how I did it.
And you'd be wondering why it wasn't working as well for you, after all: you just copied what I told you!
You'd have learned some concepts and overarching ideas that would help you to progress your thinking but you'd struggle with implementing. You don't have time for that and you don't know how to do keyword research, for example.
So you'd tell me that and I'd tweak the course to give you a really high-level overview of how to do keyword research and basic SEO and that's all I'd be able to do. I couldn't go any deeper.
Not because I'm lazy or trying to rip you off; it's because the course would be six weeks long if I did that in such depth and at that level, it'd be called something else: a qualification.
And I'm not qualified to teach you to that level, nor are any of the “entrepreneurs” online.
They can only take you so far because they got into this game to work less – so when the hard part of building something starts and when you're ready to ask the tough questions, they don't want to answer because it requires time and usually, they don't know the answer.
Because they're busy trying to be less busy so that they can create a course that teaches YOU how to be less busy and so that they can sell you that, too.
It'll be called “Finally Understand Why You NEVER Finish Anything in Just 24 Hours (My EXACT Blueprint)”.
Then… it'll all happen again. The cycle begins anew.
Because we love silver bullets.
Podcasting is not immune to this
Sadly, it's not.
There are podcast coaches all over the place now. That's not a bad thing.
I'm a huge fan of passing on knowledge and getting paid for it and, if you've started a good podcast, you are qualified to help someone get to the same level as you.
The problem is that most podcasting gurus are great at going from zero to one – from nothing to launch – but they flounder beyond that because they simply have not done it. Period.
To reiterate: there is nothing wrong with teaching people what you know. Teach what you can teach, always.
But never sell what you cannot teach.
As a podcaster, we're inundated with courses and promises of glory if we just follow this “exact playbook” of complete crap.
And it's expensive.
There's always an up-sell because that's how businesses work.
Why do you think anyone who has a book gives away “bonuses“?
A Facebook group or a resource centre or some templates – helpful but intended to hook you into the ecosystem. Again, there's nothing wrong with that when it's done in a non-yucky way but let's be crystal clear on what's happening.
There is no quick win to grow your podcast – there is no silver bullet and there never, ever will be
But that's ok.
Just because there is no quick win, it doesn't mean that we can't get wins, quickly.
“Quick win” vs “quick wins”.
There's a big difference, you see: “quick win” implies the shortcut to a final destination and comes with an air of finality that can be associated with that ending; “quick wins” are a series of wins that lead to a consistently growing endeavour.
When we seek a “quick win” we're looking for that silver bullet.
Problematically, we're also looking to copy something from someone and we're hoping to be given a set of instructions that will lead us directly to the place that they have found themselves.
That's why the courses that you buy are always called things like “The Secret to Podcast Audience Growth – Learn How to Achieve Financial Freedom in Just 10-Days with My Exact Playbook”.
This type of language is rooted in “NLP” – each course or product is very specifically titled to hit your desires: your triggers.
Look at the above.
First, I tease you that a secret exists that you don't (yet) know about and then I give you the destination (“audience growth” – if I was more ballsy I'd give you a big audacious figure like 10,000 listeners, but if I do that I risk alienating those who ALREADY have 10,000 listeners).
Next, I tell you that I'll teach you something desirable – “learn financial freedom from me, and achieve it with a podcast” (which doesn't feel like a job so it's the best of both worlds) – and finally, I use time-binding and a “proven” path to make you think “10-days isn't long, I can do that and look, there's a risk reversal because it's the exact stuff that guy did – I can't fail”.
You can see the structure now – you'll spot it all over now that you've seen it.
Remember to watch out for scarcity, too, when you see things like “Limited to the first 500″ or “Down from $1,497 for a limited time only” – it's intended to make you feel like you have to “take action” now.
The same when you're baited into that action, too: “This course is ONLY for action-takers who want to see real results” – sure, that's you – who wants to admit it's NOT them?
Again, there is nothing wrong with this. It works and if it's partnered with a quality product that genuinely takes you to the promised outcome then I'm fine with it and actually use it myself – what I will never do is give you the promise of an outcome that I can't guarantee that you'll hit nor will I imply that anything is easy or that all you ever have to do is copy what I say.
That's dangerous. A quick win can be dangerous.
At best, the pursuit of a quick win will inspire us and teach us some concepts and overarching thought patterns. It moves us forward.
At worst, a quick win will set a precedent for product hopping: trying to find the next thing that will take us to that place of success by allowing us to copy a tried and tested set of steps that worked for someone else.
That leads to disheartenment and a perpetual cycle of feeling like you're never achieving what you set out to achieve and thus, you'll be even more susceptible to the next course because THAT is the big one that will FINALLY do it for you!
So what should you do?
I suck at golf.
Actually, I suck at chipping and driving.
I'm great at irons and putting.
There was a field near my house and my parents bought me a 7 iron when I was 8 years old. We also had a carpet at home.
I learned how to hit a 7 iron and a putter and I've never, ever forgotten.
It's so ingrained in me that I'll always feel comfortable doing it. I can't unlearn it. It's all useful to me when I'm trying to get better at the other aspects of golf.
When I was in my early 20s, I learned how to code websites and do basic SEO. I also learned how to communicate with people who wanted to buy something from me in such a way that I nurture genuine, long-lasting relationships with them.
I have never, ever forgotten that either.
In fact, I've built on those skills since then and have a wide range of strategies, tactics and thought patterns that allow me to build businesses that help people in really positive ways. And that mean I can pay my mortgage.
When I learned to code, though, I had progressed from not being able to.
I'd gone from zero to one. Stop to start. Off to on.
I'd achieved the first of a series of quick wins that meant I could upgrade my worst case: no longer did I not know how to code and so, no longer was my worst case job working in a job I hated – now, I could always make money coding.
Next, when I learned SEO, I had the next in my series of quick wins. One that built upon the last but that didn't replace the last and that only enhanced my knowledge.
You can do the same.
You can achieve a continual series of small, quick wins by investing the same amount of time that you would on a crappy course from a guru into skills that will not only help your podcast to actually grow but that will also give you skills that you can use in any walk of life.
Here's what you should do
These three skills will enable you to grow and market anything.
They need building upon but they will give you the foundational knowledge you need to understand how to get more attention for your podcast online.
They're complementary to each other and I'd suggest that you read them in this order.
Firstly, learn some copywriting skills. I recommend a book called “How to Write Copy that Sells” by Ray Edwards.
While you're there, look at the tagline of the book and spot the NLP-esque nature of it. This book actually delivers on its promise so get to it.
Next, learn how SEO works. Buy a book called “SEO for Growth by Jon Janstch.
Again, look out for the tagline – see how that's written?
You'll learn the basics of quality SEO and how to do it. That will never, ever get old. Sure, you may have to top it up with practice but it'll never stop being useful to you.
Lastly, learn how to understand content marketing by reading “Content Machine” by Dan Norris.
You don't need to do everything in that book, but it'll teach you how to research & produce content well. (Bonus: “Content Mavericks” by Andrew & Pete is also excellent).
I make no money from these, by the way. Don't think this is just one big affiliate marketing email. That's why I haven't put book links in – get them from your bookstore of choice.
These books teach you actual skills that form the foundations of a high-quality and successful marketer. They're just books. They have no inherent risk and you don't need a refund guarantee – all you need is 20 minutes per day reading them.
Ask yourself what's better: learning to copy someone else, or learning to succeed AND up-skill yourself for less than $20?
This is The Podcast Accelerator, helping busy podcasters to grow their audience in specific, actionable ways.
I’m your host Mark Asquith, The British Podcast Guy and CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media, the podcast tech company that creates the Podcast Success Academy, Podcast Websites, Poductivity, Rebel Base Studios & Captivate.fm, the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host where you can get your first month of podcast hosting for just one dollar and transfer an existing podcast in, completely free.