Interview with Guest John Lee Dumas
so I'm really excited. We have John live now. What? We're gonna dio he's over in the Philippines. It's extremely early, so I want to make sure you guys are all excited. Give him some great questions. I'm really honored that he's here. So it's John Lee Do miss from entrepreneurs Fire one of the top business podcast in all of ITunes. And he's created an incredible community and tribe just from his podcast and a six figure monthly income from his podcast alone. So we're going to dive into that and have him share those juicy nuggets that you're looking for. So I know we're gonna be Oh, here he is. Welcome, John. We're so excited. Toe, have you here? We know it's really early and you're over edited bet, but we really appreciate you taking time t join us. So we wanna have you dive right in right away. I want you to talk about really the foundation of how you started to build your community. And then we're gonna go into monetizing cause I know the 1st 6 months was all about epic contact Creat...
ion first. Before you ever ever thought about monetizing. So I want you to share a little bit about that. And how you came up with that foundation. Chris, I'm honored to be here. Welcome from the Philippines. It's great to be here, but yeah, absolutely. I heard you talking right at the end there about your strategy. New first launch, your podcast and my was very similar. It was number one to build those connections and those relationships with those great successful entrepreneurs that was huge. But number two it was to build my audience, to build Fire Nation, to create valuable content for them on a daily basis so they could really keep coming back for more every single day and begin to know, like, and trust me as a host. And that's exactly what I did. For the 1st 6 months, that was my sole focus was to produce high quality, valuable, free and, most importantly, consistent content. So fired a shot started trusting that was gonna be waiting there for them every morning when they woke up for their commute to work for their morning exercise, walking the dog, whatever it might be. And just like you, monetization wasn't my first priority. It was building that audience having those connections. And then when the audience got large enough that that switch was kind of flips and I started actually kind of going down the other side of the hill, where now I had sponsors coming to me, you know, I had people reaching out, wanting to be in front now of a massive audience, which was Fire Nation. And then I came up with my number when it came to sponsorships, and that's when I really decided, You know, now is the time. I'm not the six month mark. I built up a lot of social credibility. I built up a lot of really social just credit with my audience. I know that they'll understand how hard that I am working and that bringing in sponsors at this point, as long as they're very relevant and very focus on entrepreneurship could benefit everybody involved. Absolutely, we're going to go into a little bit more about that in a second, but I want to talk about the void that you fill. That's been a big conversation we've been talking about for new podcasters to really go in, research the marketplace and find the area they can fill that niche in that void. And I want you to talk about how Entrepreneur on fire started a five days turned into seven days and how that happened for you. So I'm a huge believer that right now is the year of the niche podcast Crest. I mean, I couldn't be more excited for people that are really diving deep into niches and building powerful audiences there for me. Back in 2012 there wasn't so much buzz in the podcasting world, and I was that person that was driving to work every day. I was a commercial broker. I was listening to podcast the Pat Flynn's The Andrew Warners of the World. They're coming with great content, but just sporadically once every two weeks for Pat and then it just a handful times a week for Andrew and I was running out of content and and I finally just said, Wow, there's a huge void that exists out there. There's a niche that needs to be filled, and that niche for me would be somebody coming up with a seven day week podcast or just a daily parkas. So when I woke up every single morning like, hey I know that there's a podcast waiting for me toe to accompany me on my commute to work on my work or whatever that might be. So that was the day that entre you're on fire was born and you're right. It started out back in September 22nd as a five day week podcast. I was soon like, This is so much fun. I'm going to start doing a weekend question and answer show so soon turned into seven days as soon as I launched. Like within a few weeks, I was doing human a sections on the weekends. Those were a blast. But when I was realizing you know what? My podcast is really growing a ton right now because of the guests that I'm having on and them sharing with their audience on train. You were on fire, exposing my podcast, their massive audience literally five days a week. Why don't make that seven instead of 20 times a month? Why not make that 30? So that's one another switch flicked in my head and I was like, You know what? I am going to do. A seven day week interview on Lee Business Podcast 365 days a year. And Chris here we sit in March of 2014 were just awarded best of ITunes 2013. We have now over 500 episodes that have gone live, and a new one goes live every single day. It's amazing. And to come to that revelation of what you've been ability and I give you so much credit for the amount of production that goes into that. So I want to talk really quickly. We've had a lot of questions about systematize ing. How do you implement systems in your business? They're huge. They're so important. And I can kind of point back to my days as a military officer. I was an officer in the US Army for eight years, and soon as I graduated college Boom, I was a platoon leader of Ah, Tank Platoon four tank. 16 men were deployed to Iraq and very quickly after that, I really realize that, you know, we need to have systems in place. We need to have discipline in place. This is a life and destiny area that we're in. We're in Iraq hair, So I really quickly learned how important how critical systems can be. But more importantly, I really learned Parkinson's law. Chris, which is tasks will expand to the time that you a lot that. So when I was a lot a whole day for training, it would take us a whole day to train. And sometimes that wasn't acceptable because we weren't getting to everything we needed to dio. So when I would only a lot four hours for guess what? Lo and behold, we got done that training in four hours and any of us that have been to college and wait until that last day to write that big paper magically, it gets done by the end of the about the end of the night, right? Like it just gets done. This Parkinson's law. So I applied that batch mentality that I like to call into podcasting, because when I launched Chris, you know some of my biggest people that I looked up to my mentor, my mentors in the field Cliff Ravens scrap the podcast. Answer man. Jamie tardy the eventual Maynor. You know, there are very supportive and they gave me so many great ideas, but they both said, you know, unanimously, John, there's a reason why nobody's doing a seven day week podcast. That's all that you would be doing. You would just be interviewing scheduling interviews and be all you did and nothing else would happen. And that's why it's not done. So just do a weekly podcast like everybody else. And that's when I said, Chris, Wow, If these people, the top people in the industry, are saying that this is impossible, that's even more of an opportunity. That's even more of a blue on ocean that I want to dive into. So I created my systems, Chris. And not only do I do entrepeneur on fire a seven day week business bought gas. I do it one day a week. Every Monday morning. I'm up and you know, because you've been a guest on the show and I started 8 a.m. In every hour on the hour. I'm having another interview with another entrepreneur for eight straight hours. Yes, it's a very long day. Yes, I'm exhausted by the end, but guess what? By month, by Tuesday morning, I wake up. All of the interviews for my show have been completed because of Parkinson's law. I've bashed him. They got done. I woke up Tuesday morning and the rest of the week is my oyster. I love it and that's what we've been talking about, creating your content Creation day. You're publishing your marketing and having our systems in place. So let's dive right into the sponsorship, because I know that's a big question, and you really are the king of sponsorships when it comes to podcasting. So I want you to talk about Let's start with first. When is the right time to bring on sponsors? I know a lot of my students have had people approach them. Some have brought them on some of her questioning. And then we have questions from the audience of brand new podcasters. What's the right way to do that and to bring them on to start? So podcast sponsorships are a great opportunity to monetize entrepreneur fire monetize to the tune of $35,000 every single month and growing because as our download numbers grow, that monetization number gross. So I'm a big believer and having podcast sponsorships crest be a win win when it needs to be a win for you. The podcast does. This is your show and he's via win for your sponsor. I mean, they need to be seeing a return on their investment. And it used to be a win for your listeners. Well, they need to be getting some sort of value off of that sponsorship. So for me, that's how I really approach my sponsors. When they started coming to me and saying John, like, we want to be in a ball with auctioneer are Fire person foremost I had my number and I really recommend everybody having their number. My number just happen to be $ per episode. I don't really have a great reason why I came up with that number, but I just knew that if I waited until I could achieve a $500 per episode number, that would be That would mean that I'd be generating $15,000 a month, which would have been a lot of income for May, which was a lot of income for me at the time. And that would've been a great way for me to start to bring on sponsorships that was worth it for me. So that was a win for me because the value was there. And then, of course, I had to make sure was a win for my sponsors and for my listeners. So I only brought on sponsors that made sense and, like a great example, is 99 designs. When they approached me, a sponsor entrepreneur Fire, I said, Okay, what's enough for Fire Nation? And they said, Well, let's get back to you And they came back to stay said Listen, we can offer your own landing page 99 designs dot com slash fire. We can welcome the entrepreneur fired listeners, and we can give them a $99 power pack for free if they go through that link. So they're my listeners now are getting value. And now 99 designs is getting back because they're being put in front of their ideal target market, which is Fire Nation. And that was way back last year. In February, Crest Night first signed up right? First signed 99 designs onto the team in just last month. You know, they've been partners this entire year. Plus, they just signed up for episodes and cute, too, because they're our ally is so amazing. So that's an example of a win win win all around and getting back to that number. So my number was $500. I knew that I was only gonna have a maximum of two sponsors per episode. And anybody that listens Entrepreneur Fire knows without a doubt, that's fine. I've only had two sponsors per every single one of my episode like that's very critical that I'm not over saturating the actual market with, you know, with my podcast. With that Exactly. I love that. So let's talk about, though, when is there when should people bring sponsors on? And maybe when Shouldn't Because we've talked a lot about, you know, diluting podcast because of what happens with if you're doing, like, one show a week or whatever, whatever it might be that you may dilute your podcast. So I know for me when we've talked about sponsors, if you have one show week, maybe it's not the right time to bring him on or you might not want to have a different strategy with that. So let's talk a little bit about that for other podcasters who are doing more of a one show a week. So again, it always really does come down to your number. Like, what is the lowest number that you are willing to accept to bring sponsors on your show because it is going to dilute your podcast in some way, shape and form. It's gonna send your listeners, you know, elsewhere and potentially like to 99 designs or the audible or LegalZoom. You know it's going Teoh take away from the the actual content that you're creating with your great podcast. So I mean, you do need to think about that. You shouldn't just be bringing sponsors on, you know, for dollars and for pennies and dollars, like it needs to be a realistic amount. But one key point I want to make you. Even if you have a weekly show, you know what's really, really critical Christlike when you boil it down to like the actual breaking a sponsor on, you know, is is it that win win win scenario? Are you all going to be benefiting from it? Because if your sponsor doesn't benefit, they're not gonna come back for more than that. Return of this is not there yet. So you do have to have an audience of some sort built up. When you're a brand new podcaster, you're not gonna have that audience right away. That's gonna be like, Oh, Chris recommended this. I'm gonna go get it right now. Like half full in just just just started having sponsors with his pot guests. All that social credibility that he's had over the last two years was smart, passive income. Not having sponsors means that he is killing it for his sponsor right now. And that is so valuable for the sponsors valuable for Pat. And that was valuable for his listeners who are getting the value of the sponsor, what they're giving to his listeners say that's really critical. Exactly. And building that audience building that trust, cause that does take time today. So let's talk about the numbers, though. So tell us about I'm gonna let you break down the numbers Just how you can explain that of really what the numbers look like and what people can expect for what the sponsors air looking for so you can create that win win relationship. Okay, so I'm gonna break down the numbers right now, so basically, I do want to make a point that your sponsors will be paying you a proportion of you know, proportionately of what your audience is. So that's what that's what's really exciting to sponsors, Chris, Because, like with on train on Fire, you know I have, you know, like, say, 20,000 listeners per episode in So they're going to be paying me a certain proportion because of that number of listens. And so some podcasts only has downloads for their episode. Her episode there would be paying them 1/20 of that so that our why it might be the same for the two podcasts. It may be just as happy sponsoring that podcast because they're all they care about is you Are alive. So even the small podcast have a great opportunity for sponsorship. So that's what I'm really saying. 2014 is the year of the niche podcast, but let's really dive into the numbers. Okay, so I do. I do a package, and this has really become the industry standard. I'm a big believer, and this way it really works. Rochman Rocket fire. And if anybody's listen to a show, you'll hear exactly how this sounds. But I have what's called a pre roll in a mineral. And and that's the package that every sponsor has to buy. So the pre roll is 15 seconds at the top of the show. So right after my audio intro, you'll hear me for 15 seconds. Talk about that sponsor like, Hey, guys, 99 Designs is great. If you want a logo, go to 999 dot com slash fire and get your $99 power back Boom. It's done. I'm into the podcast. The middle is 60 seconds at some point in the middle of your podcast and as a host, it's up to you when you insert that I insert mind right before the lightning round, so it works out pretty well. You know, I just say, Hey, Chris, right before we dive into the lightning round, let's thank our sponsors and boom I sponsors for 60 seconds and then we dive into the lightning round, so that works out really well. So, dollars and cents wise with a pre roll, you're gonna get paid an industry average of $18 per 1000 lessons, and for minerals you can get paid an average of $25. Her listens so What does that mean? Combined is a package you're gonna have what's called a $43 CPM. So $ per 1000 lessons. So let's do the math for entrepreneur Fire back in Q two for sorry back in Q one for Q one I was averaging going into Q one, I was averaging about 16,000 listens. Her episode, so 16 times is $688. That means that every sponsor was paying me $688 for one episode of Entrepreneur Fire. I have to sponsors crisper episodes. Those 6 88 times two is $1376. Entre manure fires a seven day week show 30 days a month. So, um, 13 76 times, Um 30 is about $41,000. Now I do have to pay 20% of that cut to a company that I utilize for sponsors actually go out. Some find sponsors for me and make the deals and the contracts. That's like the quote unquote broker. So they take their kind of that. So that's where I come up with my number of about 34 $35,000 per month, and I'm netting through sponsorships, which is, you know, really exciting on a monthly basis. So I wake up every morning and I know my episodes already gone live. I know I've already made $1376 before I even turn my computer on. That's amazing opportunity for podcasters to create that passive income, to set it in place and to have it going forward. And for Q two Chris my numbers $20,000 profit. So it's not gonna be multiplying 43 times. 20 and thats where the actual sponsorship revenue increases exponentially. Yeah, it's so excited, and I love how you've broken that down so simply so people can actually figure their numbers out. And it's just proportionately John's talking about. So you can really niche into key categories in key areas for your content and for your passion for your podcast. So let's go into What I want to talk about is when you're talking about with a sponsorship, where do you see what's happening with sponsors? Because sponsors have really, in the past 12 months really jumped into the ITunes and the podcasting listeners because it's such an affluent and, you know, in thrived listener tribe. Where do you see that going with sponsors for the future? And what do you see? What happening for the future with podcasting, So sponsors are loving podcast. There's a number of reasons for but here's the main reasons. Chris, you are the podcast host. You are the leader of your tribe, so your listeners know, like and trust you. Your listeners are engaged. They're literally inside like you're inside their head because a captive audience they're driving in the car. No work, no, they're running along the beach there at the gym. 20 for our fitness, working out. You have a captive audience. It's unlike anything else. And not only that, but it's you, Chris. It's you talking to your audience about a product or service that you know and like and trust. And so your audiences, just because of that, going to know like and trust that product that service and they're going to go forward and utilize it when it makes sense for them. There's no obligation, obviously, but sponsors are seeing this incredible our ally like, for instance, a radio CPM averages like 2 to $5 per 1000 listens, whatever. Some ridiculously low number But sponsorships commands such a higher CPM because they have such a higher return on investment. And I'm only seeing that go up. I have to sponsors and Q two for next for next quarter that are paying $60 CPM. So these numbers just keep going up. Both my downloads and the CPM some seen going up and another great trend that I'm seeing Chris. Miss sponsors used to lock me in for a month at a time, and that was great. They pay for a month. I give him a months of some of the sponsorships and we would come back to the table and we talk about the next month, whatever that might bait. Now I'm now about in September of 2013. I was like, You know what? I'm gonna start me. The supply of the demand for my podcast is far outstripping. The supply that I have is I only have 180 spots per quarter. I only have two sponsors per episode, so I was like, Put my foot down. I'm like, I'm gonna lock people in. They have to. They have to they have to commit to a quarterly sponsorship, and I thought, there's gonna be a lot of kickback on that. But there wasn't so for Q four. I had everybody in September 1st commit for all of Q four, and so I just knew the beginning. That quarter I had already locked in sponsorships the entire quarter. It was set that I did the same thing for Q one. But a funny thing happened at the start of key one Chris, those sponsors who I made. But I was very insistent that they locking for 1/ came to me and said, John, can we just lock you in for all of 2014 like we would wrap like, not price wise, but just lock you in his sponsors and, like, we'll come back to the table every quarter, and it just, you know, as necessary as your downloads reflect what the higher CPM should be. But we want to make sure that we don't lose you as a as a podcast. So now sponsors are really coming, and there won t even longer term contracts, So audio books and fresh books for me they're locked in for all of 2014 there was like, Hey, we just want to be in two of my other sponsors locked them for the 1st 2/4 back beginning of the year. LegalZoom and squid. Not Squarespace, but another one of my sponsors, that great 99 designs. Yeah, that's that's what we're talking about here. But you're really focusing in on creating that epic content. So you have that ability to create that engagement with your listeners. The last thing I want to ask, John, what are your What are your top three tips for the brand new podcaster to grow a thriving community? Okay, so I wanna in the first tip I really wanted just focus in on this create high quality niche to free, valuable, consistent content. View your podcast. Let's all wrapped up in one tip right there. Like, literally do all of those things. Tip number two is going to be Get a mentor. Somebody in that's in the podcasting field. You know, find that mentor for me. It was Jamie Tardy. She was the podcasts. The podcast host of the eventual millionaire. She did amazing things for May, and this is gonna be tipped to a within this is go to conferences. That was the first thing that Jamie Tardy told me to do. Shit. John Goodall conference Goto Bloggers speaking, I will introduce you to people in your industry. So, for the podcast is out there the future podcasters. What is your niche? What's your industry? Find topics in your industry. Go to those conferences. Engage of the attendees, engage of the speakers. Ask them to be guest on your show. Whatever that might be at those converses. That's where we can all start. And then to be Chris is. You see, I'm squeezing this out right here to be is joined a mastermind. Really? Join the masterminds? I mean, that was so important for me. I joined Clipper and Scraps, podcast mastermind when I first started and that was so, so, so valuable to be surrounded by other podcasters and have accountability and support within that sort of my mentor at my mastermind, I was going to conferences in my industry that was so so massive. And that really kind of just those two really just kind of sum up. Chris, invest in yourself like you need to be able to willing to invest in yourself and that mention that mastermind, you know, in programs like Cliff asked, Podcasting a disease, which is amazing. You know, we have podcasters paradise, which is incredible. There's opportunity. Chris has amazing opportunities out there is a mentor and as coarse as well, like invest in yourself broadcasters. It will pay you back tenfold. Um, you know are less Income Report was $189, Gross. 106 $6000 net. I mean, there's really money when you create a real audience. And the number three Chris is my biggest regret. I call it my $100, mistake and it really waas It's just launch. Stop worrying about your logo. Stop worrying about the name of your podcast. Stop worrying about even your topic so much. All of those things can change after you launch. I've changed my logo six times. I've changed my intro eight times. You know, the only thing I haven't really changed is the logo and I mean is the name of the podcast. But that could change too. It does. So stop using all of those little things as reasons why you're not launching your party gas. Oh, I'm not good enough yet. As apart casos. I was horrible. Like when I started podcasting. I was really bad, but I only got better by actually starting. So just launched your podcast. Get it out there, Start interacting people in the community. And that will be literally your key to success. Absolutely. Well, this has been absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for taking time out early in the morning and sharing all those amazing tips. And everybody got so much out about out of it. So thank you, John, for joining us. Thanks, guy. And you can find John Oliver it entrepreneur on fire overnight teams and find out about this podcast. So that was a lot. A lot of information. A lot amazing information to share with you. But remember, it's getting launched, taking that first step and moving forward and then talking about really creating that contact, that epic content so that you can have the platform then to go into these monetization strategies