Is it true you can get ads and sponsorship for your podcast? The short answer is yes. But, while it’s true that ad dollars are flooding to podcasters from video and TV advertisers, the vast majority of those ad dollars are going to major media outlets and networks who are making podcasts (aka: The Gimlets of the world)
My professional advice: You’re much better off sponsoring yourself. The easiest way to do this is by making sure that everything your listener hears, sees, touches, or feels in relationship to your podcast, is leading them to becoming your client.
I know self-promotion can suck, but you have to do it and you can; in strategic ways. So, how do you make money off of your podcast? Here is a quick list of ways you can begin to monetize.
Your Podcast as a Lead Magnet: Well, first of all, your content and your podcast are hopefully leading you to recruiting clients. Be sure you are including a call to action in every episode. Prompt your listeners to contact you if they have any questions. Encourage them to reach out to you. And for some of those people that contact you, you might be able to help them really quickly. But they also might have a more complicated question where they need to hire you and, BOOM, there’s a new client for you!
Create Video/Online Courses and E-Books and Promote Them: Online courses are another way that you can monetize your podcast simply by promoting the courses on your podcast. Courses can be self-guided or live courses. Because your listeners have an authentic relationship with you and they trust you, they’re going to be more willing to buy a course from you. The same concept is true for an e-book. If you have a topic that you want to go more in-depth on, then you could sell an e-book for a low price on your site or on Amazon. And, then promote the book on your podcast.
Create Packages and Promote Them: Do you have packages that you sell for your clients? For instance, I have production packages for people that have podcasts. They range anywhere from $297 a month all the way up to $947 a month. The packages provide my clients with certain levels of editing, production, noise reduction and more. I talk about these services in an authentic way and that’s something you can do too. Promote your own packages and use them as a solution to problems that you talk about on your podcast.
Coaching as An Extension of Your Podcast: Are you a coach? Could you do some form of coaching that could be an extension of what you’re talking about on your podcast? Maybe you could start a mastermind group. Maybe you could start a group coaching program where you are facilitating a group helping people learn from you, but also learning from each other at the same time.
Share Your Consulting Success Stories: Maybe you are a consultant. How could you share stories of your consulting successes, wins and case studies on your podcast that would lead people to hire you as a consultant? Perhaps you’re an author and you’ve written books. You need to be mentioning those on your podcast as well, because people will then buy them and get interested in going more in depth with you.
Live Events, Trainings or Conferences: As you start to build a community through your podcast you can also start to think about hosting live events, conferences, or trainings where you could get groups of people together to, again, go further in depth into the services you provide and explore ways you can help them with their problems.
Public Speaking Engagements: If you are a public speaker looking to book more gigs, you can use your podcast as a platform for sharing your ability to speak. Consider mentioning your availability on your podcast because it may lead to extra bookings.
Affiliate Relationships and Links: Affiliate links and relationships are another way to make money from your podcast. This is different from promoting your own products or services, but still a valid option for monetizing. An affiliate relationship is a situation where you enter into an agreement with some other service provider or a certain product you like where you will get a commission off of sales of that product or service if people use your unique affiliate link you provide (in your show notes or verbally in your podcast episode) to buy said product or service.
A simple way to get started with affiliates is to create an Amazon Associate account. By doing so, you can include resources or products that you use on your website or mention them in your podcast. Amazon will give you a commission on that purchase if someone makes it using your link. And even cooler, Amazon will also give you commission on anything that that person buys within 24 hours of clicking your link. It’s in Amazon’s best interest because you’ve driven traffic to their site.
Ask for Donations or Build a Fan Club: The last way to monetize your podcast is relatively simple. Ask for donations. Doing so can be as simple as setting up a PayPal Donate button on your website. However, I’m much more of a fan of creating a fan club or a crowdfunding situation. The most popular site for doing this is Patreon. Patreon is a service that allows you to create a fan community where people can donate to your show on a monthly basis. You can set up different giving levels where your supporters (aka Patrons) get a benefit or a reward of some type for the donation level of their choosing. Patreon is also a way that you can create an exclusive area for loyal fans or listeners of your podcast to give people more access to you and your content and create a feeling of exclusivity. Many podcasters have seen great success creating a community on Patreon. I highly recommend you check that out, especially if your podcast is more of an entertainment-based show; one in which you don’t have a lot of products or services that you can offer to potential clients.
Monetizing your podcast does not need to be hard or difficult and you don’t need to bend over backwards for sponsors. You can sponsor YOURSELF simply by following the examples listed above. You’ll then be well on your way to having a money-making podcast.