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Here's the deal, I chose an appropriate title for this blog post that is very genuine and does fit in with the content of this story that I want to share with you. However, for those of you who may not read this entire post, I want to tell you that my client is not upset with me. He's upset with what he perceives social media and online marketing to be.
There are times when my work as a consultant / coach in podcasting and new media is easier than other times.
I love it when I gain new clients like Barry and Lynne Morgan, from http://SimpleGoodLifeNetwork.com, who when they came to me, already understood the extreme value that social media tools like blogging, podcasting, twitter, and facebook bring to real life relationships and how they can be used to build an online community around a shared passion or even a brand. I encourage you to listen to Episode 208 of Podcast Answer Man where I interviewed Barry & Lynne (Interview starts about 20 minutes into that episode).
At times, I bring on a client who is excited about the possibilites that they have heard about in the social media space, but they really don't, yet, understand how the new social space works.
The first signal that lets me know that I have a potential client like this is when they say things like, “I have no desire to use Twitter or Facebook,” “I don't want to read about what other people are having for lunch or look at the photos from their family picnic,” or “This stuff is not for me, I'm too old and the only people using social media are just kids who are wasting their lives away and forsaking the age old value of face to face relationships.”
Each time I consider bringing on a new consulting / coaching client that “just doesn't get it,” I have a few qualifications that stand above all the rest.
First, I ask myself if this client has something of extreme value to offer to the world. Would the world be a better place if this person could learn how to embrace social media and they were to find a way to effectively share their passion or knowledge with a loyal following online?
I then ask what is the likelihood that this client's mindset can be changed to where they can understand the power of building an online community?
A third question is equally important. What are the chances that this individual will be willing to invest the time and energy in building relationships with such a community/tribe?
One such client that I was very happy to bring on, several years ago, was Marcus Carey. Please understand that Marcus has been an extreme pleasure to work with over the past few years. He originally hired me when he had a local radio show on an AM Station here in the Cincinnati, OH / Lexington, Ky area.
I was able to successfully convince him to take the audio recordings of his radio show and make it available as The Marcus Carey Perspective audio podcast.
However, like so many others, Marc decided he wanted to create an entire network of content that covered everything from Hunting/Wildlife, Technology, and Politics. I typically asking my clients to spend at least six months building a community around a single show before launching additional podcasts.
Here's the thing, Marcus has always had a very popular blog, at http://BlueGrassBulletin.com, about politics and that was certainly the main focus of his radio show/podcast. However, he insisted on launching additional shows such as “The Woodsman's Hour” and “Tech Talk For Old Dogs.”
As is common with so many people who try to do a show about every passion they have, right out of the gage, Marc seemed to have got burned out and stopped producing all online content, with the exception of his written blog.
Just recently, Marcus contacted me because he needed some technical support on a site that he created at http://ScannerShirts.com. Please note how this product that Marcus' product just so happens to fit in perfectly with his niche of political opinion. Through some email exchange, Marcus asked if I knew anyone who was having anywhere near the success that I was having online with their podcasts. I responded with an email listing several clients, of mine, who have found extreme success online.
About an hour later, I saw the following twitter status update from Marcus in my timeline
I encouarge you to read the whole post that Marcus made by clicking here. However, here are some excerpts from the post…
What I learned today that has me so upset is that there is a whole generation of kids out there who apparently love to plug their ears with podcasts about such important things as……how to podcast. Oh, and if the newest podcaster wants to become successful, all he needs to do is run a podcast about how to make money off of …wait for it…..podcasting.
When I was 12 years old I placed an ad in the back of a boys magazine that said “send $1 for guaranteed tip on how to make a million dollars”. I actually made about $30 bucks off of it. What did the people who sent me a dollar get in return? I sent them a 5 cent post card with this advice “How do you make a million dollars? Sell something for a dollar to a million people. Thanks for your help”
I used to see books with snazzy covers teasing that the contents held the secrets to becoming rich. I always though of my post card advice.
Today I see people making tons of money selling advice online. “How To Monetize Your Blog”, “Make Money From Home On The Internet”, “5 Easy Tips How To Become Debt Free”. I see this stuff and get pissed.
First, I'm upset that what I outgrew after my business venture at 12 continues to make money for folks. I'm also upset that I can't seem to bring myself to be such a blatant self promoter.
Like it or not, I either have to keep up, get trampled or be left behind. This country and the cause of liberty mean too much to me to give up, and as long as I'm able I refuse to be left behind.
I'm not so sure I'm going to be able to reach the audience of kids (anybody under 35) who are mesmerized by technology for technology sake, but maybe, just maybe, if I jump into their crib they won't be able to ignore me, and then at least I've got a shot at getting through to a few of them.
I read Marcus' full post and then I submitted the following comment on his blog.
Oh, there is soooo much I could speak about the beginning of your post about kids doing math and reading books. BTW, I'll just answer your question, my kids can do math in their head and they actually are reading books like crazy. Yes, they have iPod Touch, GameBoy, Wii, Computers, and text messaging. But they can just as easily get lost in a good book like “The Hunger Games.” http://HungerGamesPodcast.com
You wrote… “What I learned today that has me so upset is that there is a whole generation of kids out there who apparently love to plug their ears with podcasts about such important things as……how to podcast. Oh, and if the newest podcaster wants to become successful, all he needs to do is run a podcast about how to make money off of …wait for it…..podcasting.”
As one who has a podcast about podcast at http://PodcastAnswerMan.com, I am eager to point out that while I have thousands of subscribers, the average age of my listener is 40 something.
In fact, you have mentioned to me, in the past, that you would never have time to listen to a podcast. But if you could just take 5 to 10 minutes and look at episode 208 of Podcast Answer Man. Here's the link: http://goo.gl/hedgC Do me a favor and click play and let the player load for just a minute and then click in the middle of the player to advance the playback to 20 minutes into the episode. There, you will hear the GREAT SUCCESS of Barry and Lynne Morgan who are in their mid 60's! You can check out their site at http://simplegoodlifenetwork.com.
Here's the deal, I think you may be looking at podcasting (and technology) in a different way than I do.
The idea is that you already have a legitimate business or are going to build one.
For me, my business is consulting/coaching about how to start podcasts.
For. Dr. Lamar, at http://spinalcolumnradio.com, his business is being a Chiropractor .
For Dr. Joe Valenzi, podcast found at http://goo.gl/mqwQX, his business is being a dentist.
The types of people finding success through podcasting, blogging, and other forms of social media are not just people who are teaching people how to make money. There are TONS of legitimate businesses that have been around for ages who are finding great success with their podcast.
You are viewing the world of social media as a group of people who are only looking to sell success advice online. There is NO DOUBT that there is a ton of that junk out there on the net. But this is not new. You said it yourself, you saw this crap in the back of magazines when you were a kid.
My goal as a podcast and new media consultant/coach is not to teach how to make money from their podcast. Look around http://PodcastAnswerMan.com and see if you can find any place where I talk about any products or services that I offer that will help you MAKE MONEY with your podcast. Yes, I have one product called Passive Income Strategies for Podcasters, but that is it. And it's actually not easy to find on my site for a reason!
My goal is to teach people how to build a community around your business/brand or a shared passion.
I believe WORD OF MOUTH REFERRALS and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS is the best way to build any business.
Once I get a client, I build a relationship with them. I do what I do best and I do it above and beyond their expectations. I even spend 30 minutes writing an email, 10 minutes reading the blog post, 30 minutes composing a comment like this, (and now another hour composing a blog post about my client is on the verge of a breakthrough in this space).
With my audio podcast, I have methods of providing ongoing, FREE support and continued education one a weekly basis. I don't charge for this. There are currently over 200 hours of me answering people's questions about podcasting at no charge at all and less than 1% of my content has ANYTHING to do with making money.
I happen to have SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE about how to create audio podcasts and to build a community around them. People paying me is no different than people paying for a college course to learn a subject.
Here's the beauty of podcasting. Each individual client gets the personal value from me to them from listening to each of my weekly episodes. They feel like they have personally receiving something of great value from me to them directly as the result of the valuable free information I provide.
I've done the work of creating this content only once and it benefits THOUSANDS of existing clients and potential new clients.
Through giving away free advice related to the products and services that I typically charge for, people get a great feel for who I am as a business person, my teaching style, my level of knowledge and experience for what it is that I do, etc. This way, if someone does find me as the result of a google search, they actually end up listening to my podcast before they ever call me. Typically, it's about three weeks. Over the course of listening to ten to twenty episodes of my podcast, this brand new potential client already feels like they “KNOW ME” and almost feels like they already have a RELATIONSHIP with me.
It's at this time, three weeks later, that they call and say, hey Cliff, you don't know me but I know you…. I found you as the result of a Google search and I have listent to x number of episodes. I know that I want to hire you to help me launch my podcast, when can I get on your schedule.
That's my typical first email from almost every new client who is not a direct referral.
The making money part comes from having a legitimate business and legitimate products and/or services. The podcast is RARELY the product.
And yes, there are many people out there who are using social media, like blogs/podcasts/twitter/facebook/etc, to make money by teaching others how to make money.
I think my email response to you recently may have prompted this post. However, you asked in the original email to me… “Please give me some example of people who are “making money” FROM THEIR PODCASTS.
But there are tons of people who are NOT INTERESTED in using their podcasts to “make money” but to build a better relationship with their existing and new potential customers/clients.
I created a video all about this at http://thecliffravenscraftshow.com/business
Need to see an example of a LAWYER finding GREAT SUCCESS online? Check out http://stayhappilymarried.com by Lee Rosen. He is a divorce lawyer and has done more than 150 episodes on giving advice to couple on how to STAY HAPPILY MARRIED!!!!
Look at Lee Rosen's profile picture at http://Twitter.com/LeeRosen You'll see he doesn't fit the “kid stereotype” who listens to my podcast about podcasting to learn how to make money with his podcast.
Lee was one of my first clients. When he hired me as a consultant two years ago, he took some convincing to understand the value of Twitter. Today he has a VERY SUCCESSFUL podcast and has more than 18 THOUSAND followers on Twitter.
So in summary….
* I agree, there are people who are making money of trying to teach people how to make money online by teaching people how to make money online by teaching people how to teach people how to make money online.
-This is not the circle of people I hang around
* I disagree with what you said about there being a “whole generation of kids out there who apparently love to plug their ears with podcasts about such important things as……how to podcast. Oh, and if the newest podcaster wants to become successful, all he needs to do is run a podcast about how to make money off of …wait for it…..podcasting.”
– This is simply not the case.
– I have thousands of subscribers to Podcast Answer Man
– The average age of my audience is 40 something
– The listeners are listening to learn tips on how to…
– Become more efficient with their podcasting workflow.
– More effectively engage in relationships with their audience.
– Continually improve the sound of their show
– Stay on top of technology changes related to podcasting
* I'm an Apple Fan Boy and love technology. But not for technology's sake. I love it when it can help me become more productive in my day to day work. I do own and iPad. But I do NOT own an iPad 2, nor do I have any desire to own an iPad 2. I own an iPad because of the functional things it allows me to do with in my business operations. iPad 2 did not offer any compelling new functionality that made it a worthwhile purchase.
As someone who also produces a podcast about Apple Products at http://HelpIGotAMac.com, I am on top of the Technology fan community and I think they are a great deal more sensible about their purchases than you give them credit for.
* And finally, you wrote… “I'm not so sure I'm going to be able to reach the audience of kids (anybody under 35) who are mesmerized by technology for technology sake, but maybe, just maybe, if I jump into their crib they won't be able to ignore me, and then at least I've got a shot at getting through to a few of them.”
-I somewhat disagree with this Marc. If you jump into the crib aka “Online Social Media Word” (with these people in their mid 30's, 40's and 50's) with the mindset that you currently have about them, they will likely ignore you no matter how loud you are. That's the beauty of Social Media, it's so easy to find genuine, authentic people and weed out and ignore the snake oil sales people and the people who “just don't get it.” Ask Mr. Weiner about his understanding of how to effectively use Twitter!
These are my thoughts on your post. 🙂
Marcus emailed me and said that I had some valid points and said that his blog post was meant to be the first post to lead up to the new launch of a new project that he's working on. The link was to a new YouTube channel that he had created and here's a video I'd love for you to watch.
Here's the deal. I really believe Marcus has a lot of value to offer as far as passion and knowledge about his niche field of political opinion. It's my hope that I can convince Marc that that he could attract a loyal following of thousands of people who are of his age. That there are MILLIONS of people who do watch YouTube videos, who do read blog posts, who do listen to audio podcasts.
Marc's come a LONG WAY since I first started working with him. I'm so happy to see that he's sticking with his BlueGrass Bulletin brand and that he's seemingly going to stay focused on what he's most passionate about instead of trying to create a show for each and every passion he has.
My next big step is to convince him of the value of engaging his audience and the value return on the investment of time in building relationships with the community of people who would consume his content, and benefit greatly from it.
Would you do me a favor? Would you respond to Marc here in the comments section of this blog post? Answer his questions that he posed in the video above. Do you read blogs? Do you watch online video posts? Do you listen to podcasts? If so, when and where do you consume these things? And by golly, please tell Marcus how old you are as well!
I see light at the end of the tunnel for Marcus and I hope that some of you will consider subscribing to his YouTube channel and hopefully we'll get his new video updates put into a video podcast feed you can subscribe to in iTunes.
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