Imagine a restaurant owner who goes to the corner deli to get lunch… Not so confident in their own food, eh?? If you find that out, how confident would you be eating there (in spite of the owner themselves not doing so)?
If you have a business, and have a product or service, then why go after other sponsors? You are your best sponsor. Also, I’ve often seen this with some other big-name podcasters, who have so many products and services of their own, but they promote third-party products. Wait what??? Makes zero sense to me. And we’re not talking about promoting the occasional affiliate product that are closely related to your own. Like I occasionally promote certain themes and plugins and online tools that are closely related to building an online business, on my own podcast. I’m not promoting third-party advertisers at the expense of my own products and services. And that’s what I see some of these marketers doing today.
If you don’t have the confidence to promote your own products & services on your own show, then 1) It doesn’t say much about your product or service, or 2) It doesn’t say much about your audience’s engagement (or the lack of it).,
Also, from a pure monetization potential, Sponsors and Crowdfunding are great - for making a little bit of income on the side - at least for most podcasters who don’t have a huge “crowd”. Most podcasters are not going to get tens of thousands of downloads per episode. Very few people have a big enough “crowd” (aka listeners) to earn a full-time living from it. Now, there’s nothing wrong if you just want to make a nice side-income to pay for hosting and software and cool toys and a dinner-and-a-movie. Maybe you love your job so much that podcasting is just a casual hobby. If yes, then my response is not for you.
But if you love podcasting and content creation and owning your own time and freedom so much that you want to do it full-time, then it has got to be able to pay the bills. And that’s when there’s no better way to monetize it than building a business behind your show, and not just rely on crowdfunding or sponsors. Because it’s very hard to make money FROM your podcast, but a lot more practical and feasible to make money BECAUSE of your podcast. And once you embrace that, you’ll see that you don’t really need thousands of downloads or tens of thousands of customers - you just need, like Kevin Kelly said, 1,000 true fans.
Check out my video above that I created for one of my online courses where I refer to 3 case studies about this.
– Ravi Jayagopal
Product First? Or Audience First? Listen to my take at: