[00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Microphone, a podcast about podcasters and the stories of how their shows came together, grew, and what they discovered along the way. So before we get into our interview here today, I’d like to talk very briefly about hosting. I mean, as a podcaster, there’s a lot of different options for you out there.
Adam Baruh: There’s, you know, Libsyn and there’s this, that, the other thing. Um, I mean, Zoom, obviously. And, you know, I will be transparent and tell you that the platform I’m going to tell you about, um, we are a partner with and, uh, if you’d like to help us out, there’s a nice little, um, link in the partner resources page on, um, our website, which is podtask.
com where you can, you know, click to sign up to Riverside, but I want to tell you a little bit about Riverside and I’m not telling you this really just promotionally, but I’ve been using it, [00:01:00] you know, I produce four podcasts and I’ve been using it Pretty exclusively. I use zoom a lot in my other life.
Zoom isn’t going to get you, you know, if you’re going for high production value, or even just to have the ability to like do a little bit more with sound. Sometimes you’re interviewing somebody. And, you know, there’s something with their track or whatever that you need to tweak. I mean, without the ability to have the tracks split out like Riverside does, it’s going to make things a little bit harder.
Um, but Riverside’s great. It’s been great for us. I mean, yeah, we’ve run into some technical stuff with people’s internet and files getting uploaded, but kind of once you understand how, how that side of thing works, you know, for, For its own ability to handle low latency and bad internet and stuff like that.
Like it’s actually a really great tool. They, they render what they call like a synced. Um, audio or video file, um, as its output, you know, if you’re outputting to like, which I’d recommend mp4 or wave for audio, [00:02:00] um, it does, you know, it synchronizes the timeline, which is great because we also use descript for editing.
So we simply take the synced video, you know, two files, if it’s me and a guest, and I drag those two at the same time over into descript and everything gets lined up and. It’s been really easy to kind of seamlessly go from Riverside to Descript and then ultimately, um, to publishing, which we do through Buzzsprout.
So, check it out. Use our link if you’d like to. We would, um, be very grateful for that. So, uh, check out what Riverside is going to offer you. It’s, it’s just a fantastic tool.
And with that, let’s go ahead and introduce our guest today. Her name is Sarah St. John, a podcast producer, author. Animal lover. And I can tell you, I know that to be true because she’s got a dog circling around her and I said, don’t worry about the dog because I’m an animal lover too.
And dogs are gonna be dogs. Um, also a world traveler. Definitely want to get into that because I love traveling [00:03:00] and host of the podcast frugalpreneur building a business on a bootstrapped budget in which her listeners can learn how to start an online business on a budget and How to get started for just 5 and maintain an online business for under a hundred dollars a month.
Her podcast has an excellent listen score of 31 and it ranks in the top 5%. So great job with that, Sarah, and welcome to be onto the microphone.
Sarah St John: Oh, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it
Adam Baruh: Yeah. And you know, we are recording here, July 5th, 2023, you know, right after July 4th, although we are publishing not till September. So for those of you listening, you’d be like, what’s going on? But, uh, how was your fourth? Did you do anything fun?
Sarah St John: Uh, I went over to a friend’s house and we watched well, she cooked some food and I brought dessert and we watched like two war movies, which i’m not usually into war [00:04:00] movies, but One was hacksaw ridge, which was actually pretty good and then I thought I had seen Saving Private Ryan, but maybe I hadn’t. So we watched that one.
Oh, and then we watched Air. It’s a new movie about Nike
Adam Baruh: Yeah, yeah.
Sarah St John: So we watched three movies. So, yeah.
Adam Baruh: Um, the first one, like what? What war, like, what time period,
Sarah St John: I think it was World War II.
Adam Baruh: Oh, okay. I don’t know. Like, for some reason, I get way into those books and that genre. Um, I don’t know. There’s something that fascinates me about that time period. Um, so I’ll have to check that out for sure. And so, you know, let’s start with podcast producer.
Well, I guess and a podcast host. Like, what… I would like to start with like, you know, what was your entry into the podcasting world? I mean, were you just an avid listener and at some point, you know, it clicked like [00:05:00] the connection between perhaps, you know, podcasting and business and, you know, what was your journey like in, into, you know, entering this podcasting space?
Sarah St John: So, I kind of say it’s kind of an accident. I mean, Obviously, I intentionally created a podcast, but the goal wasn’t To have some show like i’ve done the show for four years now and initially it was only going to be like 10 episodes to Coincide with this book. I was releasing called frugalpreneur and it was just Uh, gonna be like an extra marketing kind of avenue or exposure, but I got more traction and leverage with the podcast and love the networking and connections and even friendships that I formed through that, so I just kept doing it, still doing it, um, and now I’m like, I love it so much that, and I was producing my own show, I’ve always [00:06:00] done my own show, I was like, I should just start a business where I do this for other people.
So I did that, and I go to podcast conferences all the time, and I just, and now I’m working on an education platform for podcasting called, um, It’s so new, I forgot the name of it for a split second. Podlab. pro. Like these mini courses on very specific topics within podcasting.
Adam Baruh: that’s awesome. And how do you offer that? Is that something that’s, um, people sign up on your website for? Is that like a Patreon? How do you, how do you offer that?
Sarah St John: Oh, the Podlab?
Adam Baruh: Yep.
Sarah St John: That’s, um, It’s its own website. Podlab. pro And so it’s got, like, You could join it On a monthly basis and get access to like all the courses because they’re drip feed, um, or you can pay individually, um, like nine bucks a course individually [00:07:00] because they’re like very 20 minutes to an hour at most, but very like, like software walkthroughs and. With podcasting, like you were talking about Riverside earlier. Like if I were to do one on that, it would be very like show you all the different things you can do, that kind of thing. So, um, or some are education based, like on a very specific topic. So yeah, that’s what I’m focusing on on the education side.
And then. ThePodPlanet. com, that’s the production side, but I felt like I really like the education side, so I’m doing both right now.
Adam Baruh: That’s great. And yeah, I, huge advocate for education as well. I think, uh, you know, I personally feel there’s, there’s, You know somewhat of a common misconception that happens. I think I probably ran into it for sure when I started to get into podcasting I mean, you know on one hand you get [00:08:00] into it with like a lot of passion and purpose You know many of them wanting to make a difference save the world type of thing And then kind of the reality like the business side of being a podcaster, you know starts to creep in there because you know, it makes sense like you start to If there’s a lot of passion and you’re getting energized by it, you want to do more and more of it.
Right? And so the first thought at least is, well, how can I get this to pay for itself? Right? Like all the everything I’m doing, I mean, you know, most people are managing other jobs or families. And so podcasting kind of starts out as a side thing. And the misconception is like how to monetize, right? So how do, um, you know, I think.
You know, just as a listener, like what we hear most of when we’re listening to podcasts are sponsor based ads. And, you know, the misconception is to think that, you know, you’re going to get into podcasting and that’s going to. Be a lucrative monetization tool [00:09:00] for you. I mean, that, that I think is very rare, obviously can be done, but there’s a lot of work to, to build up, you know, that size of an audience where you’re going to attract sponsors.
And so tell us a little bit about, you know, just as a frugal preneur and entrepreneur and building a business, especially bootstrapping it, how does the, how does the just. Passion and purpose podcaster become a frugal preneur with the mindset of being like, like an entrepreneur that also has a podcast.
Sarah St John: Okay, so do you mean like if someone’s creating a podcast as kind of more of a hobby or a passion project versus like a business or supporting a business?
Adam Baruh: Either way, I mean, just the, just the kind of like going from, you know, concept to reality to then, you know, [00:10:00] trying to become a business person in podcasting so that, you know, at a minimum, like you’re, you’re generating revenue where, you know, at least it’s covering the expenses for running your podcast.
Right. And maybe even beyond that, like, you know. Become like, you know, what are the paths to like having it become like a full time job if that’s what you want it to do.
Sarah St John: Yeah, so there’s a few different options. You had mentioned sponsorship, which. Usually you need to have quite a few, like, you know, at least 10, 000 downloads an episode for that to become really profitable if you do it the typical way where it’s a CPA method, um, but
Adam Baruh: Mm
Sarah St John: done is if there is a particular, let’s say, course or software program or, uh, well, it’s usually software, um, That would really make sense for my [00:11:00] audience, I’ll approach those companies directly and work out a deal with them to where, it’s still a small figure overall, like you’re not going to be able to live full time off of it, but I would still get a better deal that way than the CPA and then a lot of times if you do like the traditional route with sponsorships, Thanks. Especially if it’s like the dynamic ads, you don’t, you can’t always control like what kind of ad it’ll be and it might have nothing Not, might not be relevant at all to your audience So if you’re gonna go the sponsorship route, I recommend like only doing sponsorships that are companies that you either use or recommend or You know that they’re That it just makes sense and that, um, [00:12:00] you know, and reach out directly to them ideally.
Uh, but affiliate marketing is, it’s kind of like that, but instead of getting paid up front, you get paid, like you could sign up for an affiliate for a course or book or, uh, a conference or a software. And, To where they don’t pay you a specific amount up front, but if you were to make a sale Because it was mentioned on your podcast or in your show notes Then that’s how you get paid then I think that’s a pretty good way to go about it and might actually be more lucrative depending on the revenue share of that Um, and then obviously if you have a business, you know, any kind of service or product on the back end, especially if your podcast is related to that, um, because a lot of people will start a podcast to, to [00:13:00] get new leads and clients and customers for their business.
Um, so yeah, if you have a service or a product, I definitely recommend having a podcast as a way to. Get that exposure and get people to know, like, and trust you and then hopefully buy your products or services. And then, of course, there’s other things like creating merch, but I wouldn’t recommend that because I’ve never sold any merch.
Like, if I created a t shirt, I mean, I think you’d have to be a big well known show for that to even make sense at this point.
Adam Baruh: Right. And, you know, there’s probably a bigger cost to that because you have to like, you know, pay for all that. You know, material and the merchandise, you know, and then, and then hopefully sell it where you can mark it up, but, um, that’s okay. So that’s great feedback. And I, okay. So just, you know, to summarize, cause I think you, you gave some great advice there.
So the most realistic way to monetize a podcast for most [00:14:00] people are going to be like, if you have a product or service to use your podcast. Towards, you know, building that business and obviously the affiliate marketing I mentioned the Riverside link on on my website. Um, that’s an affiliate link, right?
And, um, yeah, and so I get a little, you know, each month people that have signed up for descriptor Riverside. Like it’s it’s nice to get a little a little kick. And like I said, I mean, really, it just I use that to kind of pay for it’s not gonna like, you know, put food on the table, but it’s gonna help pay for the hosting costs of this podcast or, you know, other stuff.
I wanted to kind of stick with, you mentioned about going direct to some different sponsors that can seem intimidating for most people. And it, you know, kind of begs the question, like, where do you even know where to go? Who do you, who are you going to contact? How are you going to find somebody’s contact information to send them a pitch?
What does that pitch even look like? Can you tell us a little bit about that process? Maybe share some experience you’ve had there, like how you actually were able [00:15:00] to penetrate that.
Sarah St John: Yeah, so a lot of the sponsors I’ve been able to get so far are people who, like, first of all, they’re the CEO of, like, it’s a relatively small company overall to where I have direct access, and I’ve already gotten, kind of gotten to know these people because they’ve been past podcast guests, like, here, I’ll just give some examples, like, um, I used Captivate for my podcast hosting and got to know Mark Askwith, the CEO.
And so I reached out to him and he sponsored a couple episodes and then Webinar Ninja is another one that I had had Omar on my show. And it’s like, I’m not having people on my show for this reason because this is like a year later or something. But… Just, you kind of keep in touch with these people here or there [00:16:00] once every few months.
Check in. And then he sponsored 10 episodes. Um, and then, yeah, so like if it’s, especially if it’s like a software that you use and they,
Adam Baruh: hmm.
Sarah St John: And they know you’re a customer or they can easily look that up or whatever. Uh, and then especially if you have had direct conversation with them in the past with the CEO or whoever.
Um, that has definitely helped. So, so far I’m trying to think. I think that’s how most of my sponsors have, it’s kind of like a relationship had already kind of been there.
Adam Baruh: Okay.
Sarah St John: Um, I, I reached out to several companies, but like ones I had never talked to and were bigger and whatever. And a lot of those I didn’t hear back on or heard that that’s not really how we don’t really do podcast [00:17:00] ads and things like that. So, so far my success has just been with people that, smaller companies that I’ve had direct conversations with in the past, and am a customer of.
Adam Baruh: Now, what about like the joint venture? I hear that term kind of being bounced around a lot. How does that differ from just like a, you know, kind of what you’re describing, um, via like a sponsor based ad type of situation?
Sarah St John: So I haven’t done that, but I, I believe it’s like where two people, or two companies, or at least two, there could be more, um, kind of joined forces, and They either create something that doesn’t, you know, so like say they have their separate companies, but then they come together and create a third thing that they then, I know a lot of people who have like created a course, for [00:18:00] example, together, but they have two different companies.
So that could kind of be a joint venture, I think, but then also. Like where you’re promoting each other’s things. I think that could also be kind of an example of joint venture.
Adam Baruh: Yeah, that’s that’s kind of where I’ve had experience of it. I mean, so I’m actually under way on one right now. And, um, you know, where I’m kind of seeing the differences are like the joint venture is more kind of like a fixed amount, you know, for given some time period. Right. So, um, I invested in. A season of the partner that I, that I have and what, I mean, she’s not only done like host read ads for my platform, um, in her, in her show, which would be kind of like that sponsored ad type of, you know, thing, you know, on my side that she’s doing for me.
Um, but also then mentioning and all of her social media and really promoting, [00:19:00] um, the joint venture platform that, that, that she’s working with me on. Um, And then, you know, in return, like where there’s opportunity for me to kind of, you know, mention her company, creative marketing and that sort of a thing.
So it is, it’s kind of a win win, although I did, you know, pay into that. There’s, there’s been more that I’ve gotten out of that, you know, investment that, you know, just kind of. Spun out because like we’ve built like kind of a cool little business friendship, you know, um, so it’s less traditional. It’s more, you know, very collaborative, I would say.
So, you know, that that’s an option out there for people to look at as well. Um, so let’s get back into your podcast. I mean, you know, you mentioned that you kind of, it just kind of like came out of like, you didn’t really expect to kind of go that route. So, you know, What you remember about the concept phase, right?
Like thinking, I can have a podcast, I can talk about these subjects. I think you [00:20:00] mentioned something about initially doing a 10 episode run around, you know, a book release. Um, which is very interesting because I’m actually supporting someone in another podcast. I produced the same thing, like a 10 episode series, you know, leading up to her book launch.
Um, so that’s, you know, it’s interesting that that was kind of your experience as well. But. You know, like being in that concept, like, how do I get started? What equipment do I need? Like, what’s the format? Like, what do you remember about just the experience of like trying to put your podcast together?
Sarah St John: Oh, man. Because I feel like I know so much now, because I’ve read so many books and listened to so many podcasts, I’m trying to remember back then, where did I get my information? I mean, I probably did order some books back then or listen to some podcasts and still do on podcasting. [00:21:00] Um, I imagine, you know, I think Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. He had several like little ebooks and blogs and stuff like that on podcasting, I believe. And Entrepreneurs on Fire with John
Adam Baruh: Mm hmm.
Sarah St John: I think both of those were definitely big, um, like blogs, podcasts, ebook type situations that I, um, what is the word? Devoured, I guess. I don’t know.
Adam Baruh: Okay.
Sarah St John: That might be a little bit strong of a word.
Um, and then I think like the podcast host, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. I think it’s the podcast host. com.
Adam Baruh: Mm hmm.
Sarah St John: Uh, Colin Gray. He’s behind the software Alitu, if you’ve heard of that.
Adam Baruh: Yeah,
Sarah St John: Um, I know that was another big one that I… So yeah, just basically research online through books and [00:22:00] podcasts.
Adam Baruh: Okay. And then how is, how has your podcasting evolved over time? Like, um, you know, as we kind of come to a close here today, I usually ask a couple questions on the theme of discoveries. And so the first is, you know, what have you kind of discovered along your journey? How is your podcasting, whether as a host, how has that evolved?
You know, how has, how has it evolved in terms of like producing and the education that you spoke about? What, you know, Tell us about that. What discoveries you’ve made just going through the evolution in podcasting? Mm
Sarah St John: Uh, I would say like I’m learning… What types of episodes people are more likely to, first of all, click on, let alone, like, listen all the way through. And I’m discovering that shorter episodes, 20 to 30 minutes, do a lot better than 60 minutes. I’ve learned that having at least an occasional solo episode that’s like 5 to 10 minutes is [00:23:00] helpful.
Um, so that you can still be an expert in addition to your guest episodes. Um… And then, uh, creating like different calls to actions or, or having, oh, here’s another one, like having different series almost within your podcast, like one week I released an episode, it’s usually a once a week, but there was a period of time where I released an episode like every day for like two weeks just on podcasting and then, um, One a week for about a week just on self publishing a book and then like different topics for a period of time and Like software recommendations within that and stuff like that.
So yeah, those are a few things that I’ve kind of learned to work
Adam Baruh: Yep. Alright, so final question, again on the theme of discoveries. What discoveries have you made [00:24:00] personally about yourself through your podcasting experience?
Sarah St John: Oh, well, I mean, first of all, how much I love podcasting. I discovered that, um, and the friendships that I’ve formed through podcasting. Um, and I guess also just the ability to, one thing I’ve learned about myself when I’m interviewing someone is my ability to. Listen intently, but then be able to form the next question based off maybe something they just said or point out something that they said and then share a story or tie that in or, um, yeah, I guess that that would kind of be a self discovery there is just the ability to kind of keep it flowing.
Adam Baruh: Yeah, like active listening,
Sarah St John: Yes.
Adam Baruh: important, uh, and I can, yeah, I think I’ve gone, gone through [00:25:00] that discovery myself. Um, awesome, well thank you so much for being my guest here today and for taking the time to come on the show this morning, so thank you, Sarah.
Sarah St John: Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Adam Baruh: Sarah St. John is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and author. She owns a podcast production and marketing agency called PodPlanet. She’s also the host of Frugalpreneur, building a business on a bootstrapped budget, which aims to show people how to launch and manage an online business on a budget. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you’re listening, as well as to our YouTube channel.
You can find all of these links in our episode show notes, and if you’re looking to help get help and guidance in your own podcasting journey, I’d love to help you with that, and I’d love to help you find direction and strategy so that you can turn your passion and purpose into a business where you can manifest amazing content.
For your listeners, please reach out to me through www.eiqmediallc.com [00:26:00] so that we can take your passion and purpose in podcasting to the next level. Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next time on Beyond the Microphone.
EIQ Media: Beyond the Microphone is produced and distributed by EIQ Media Group, LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on entrepreneurship, overcoming adversity, stories of emotional courage, women’s health, aging, and more. [00:27:00]