JENNA KUTCHER: “One thing that you and I talk about often is we could be seen as competitors in the business space, right? We're right next to each other on the charts. We’re always cheering each other on. And the reason why is that podcast listeners listen to podcasts, not just a podcast. And so, like, I know I listen to a wide array of different genres and different shows. And it's not as competitive of a space in that people want to listen to a variety. They want to have different voices. The reason why podcasting is so powerful is that you can literally invite someone into your life while you're washing the dishes or commuting to work or putting your kid in daycare or whatever that looks like. Like, you can have somebody in your ear.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: If you're looking for a new podcast recommendation, listen up. Entrepreneurs on Fire, hosted by my dear friend John Lee Dumas, offers major inspiration and shares strategies to fire up your entrepreneurial journey and create the life you've always dreamed of. John's been a guest on my podcast many times, and he always delivers. On his podcast, he recently did an episode called “How to Design, Build, Launch, and Grow a Small Company,” and it was brilliant. I get asked questions about starting and growing a business all the time, and this was a great podcast to answer that question. Find more episodes like this by searching for Entrepreneurs on Fire wherever you get your podcasts.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. I’m so very glad you're here.
So, I've got a question for you. Have you shared this podcast with a friend yet, anyone who wants to or has already started their own business? My goal is to support entrepreneurs on their journey so they can grow their business so much quicker than I ever did. If you could, I'd be so grateful. Please do share this episode or this podcast with a friend.
Okay. So let's talk about today's episode. Something I get asked often—heck, I even have podcast episodes about this—is, “Amy, if you were to start from scratch, what would you do?” And my answer is always, “I'd start a podcast, and I'd publish every single week. If I could do two episodes a week, I would. And I'd create a free resource and promote it on the podcast to help me grow my email list.” That's what I would do if I were literally starting from scratch. I would start a podcast.
Now, here's why it boils down to a podcast. In my opinion, it works way better than any other free platform. Now, I will say that YouTube is a top contender, but for me, that just requires too much work. But podcasts? Oh, yeah. I can roll out of bed, turn on my microphone, press Record, and away I go, delivering valuable content.
My guest today, Jenna Kutcher, is the host of Goal Digger Podcast, and I can promise you she feels the same. And so who better to chat with about podcasts?
Jenna is no stranger to my world. If you've been here for a while, then you know that I adore her podcast and I love her business sense, and she's someone I talk to on a regular basis. So we thought with all of the changes that have happened in the podcasting world over the last year and a half, it'd be fun to put our heads together and have a little chat about podcasting.
Now, we talk about the changes in the industry, what kind of goals you should set if you're just starting out, if it's too late to podcast—is this oversaturated?—and how to monetize and grow your list with your podcast, and a whole lot more. This episode is, honest to God, one of my favorite episodes that I've ever done with Jenna. It was such a blast to go back and forth about something that is so near and dear to our hearts. So without further ado, please help me welcome the infamous Jenna Kutcher.
Hey, Jenna, welcome back to the show.
JENNA: It's so good to be back. Thank you so much for having me.
AMY: Oh, my goodness. I'm delighted to have you because I love talking podcasting, but I love talking podcasting specifically with you because you've done so many cool things with your podcast. But before we get into it, your life looks a whole lot different today than the last time you came on the show, so what's new? Fill us in.
JENNA: It's crazy, because literally minutes before this interview, Drew was running the baby in so I could feed her and then running her out. I was like, “You’ve got five minutes, Quinn. Let’s go.”
So I have now a three-year-old and a little one. And it’s just crazy how fast time is going but, also, what’s stayed the same. And I think it’s beautiful to look at both of those things because I think a lot of times as entrepreneurs and women and multi-passionate people we can focus on everything that’s changed. But for me, still sitting here and recording today is proof of podcasting, which is why I’m so excited to talk about this.
So, life looks a little bit busier. The juggle is definitely more real. But it’s beautiful, and it’s full, and it’s fulfilling, and it’s just been awesome to look at my friendship with you and how it has stood the test of times and that we’ve gotten to grow and evolve as women together, which is amazing.
AMY: So very true. It's really fun to see you navigate this new season, and you talk so openly about it, which I love. And so you share, you know, what's hard and what you're loving and what you're cherishing, and I really think it's a beautiful season for you. So I'm so glad, though, that you made time to be here, because we've got a great combo going on.
JENNA: All right. Let’s do it.
AMY: Let’s do it.
Okay. So, I want to talk to you today—actually, I just want to geek out on all things podcasting because this is a conversation you and I talk about a lot through text message and voice text and all that good stuff, so now we're just bringing it to the podcast as well. And in the last year, there have been a lot of big changes in podcasting. So what do you think is important to know about those changes and how those changes interact with using a podcast to grow your audience and your reach?
JENNA: Yeah. So some of the changes you're talking about, so get this stat. This, like, totally surprised me. But the number of valid podcasts on all platforms doubled from one million to two million between December 2019 and December 2020. So those are, like, pandemic podcasts, born in the pandemic. And now the number is 2.4 million podcasts. But what's interesting is that with one platform, which is Apple Podcasts, one of the top podcast-listening platforms—I'm sure many listeners are using it right now—the stats show that the number of active podcasts decreased in 2021. And so what happened is that I think a lot of people got super ambitious, got super excited. They maybe had more time or more bandwidth to do it. And so we want to make sure that all of those people that have those beautiful ideas and those passions are able to continue to sustain them. So from 2021, they actually almost were cut in half on Apple Podcasts, from almost a million to over five hundred thousand.
And so it's like people are really excited about starting podcasts, as they should be. Like, it's this incredible way to share your voice and your business and your expertise or your passions. But the key to successful podcasting these days is to find a way to produce content sustainably and have these systems in place that allow you to show up and then keep running so that you don't just create this pod fade, where you come out to the world and then you kind of fall off track. So I'm really excited to talk about some of those things today.
AMY: Okay. That's exactly what we're going to get into: how to get started with a podcast, but most importantly, how to sustain that and make sure that two, three years from now, you’ve still got a thriving podcast. So I started my podcast in 2013. So I've been podcasting a long time. When did you start yours?
JENNA: Oh, gosh. Now you’re putting me on the spot. I believe it was five years ago. So five years ago, 2017.
AMY: Five years, okay. That’s a lot of podcasting time.
AMY: Like, I’m so proud of us that we have still continued to do this. But I have to say that—you hit it on the head—it's the systems, it’s the processes that have allowed us to show up every week. Now both of us are doing multiple episodes a week. I'm not going to say it's easy, and I know you definitely have to carve out time, especially with two little ones now. But it's so rewarding. I think we could both agree with that.
JENNA: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I started my podcast as this experiment. It was back when I was a wedding photographer, and it was during my “off season.” And I was like, “I'm just going to see what happens and maybe commit to, like, twenty episodes.” I truly have this mindset block of, like, I'm going to run out of things to say. I'm going to get twenty in, and I'm going to have nothing, which is hilarious. Now with five hundred episodes out there, I apparently have a lot to say. But it's crazy now because I—and I know the same goes for you—my podcast is the foundation of all of the things I do. It's the thing that I am known for, the thing I'm recognized by, the way that I'm introduced. And so it’s insane how it can really start as something for fun or this passion project or an experiment, but now it is the core of all of the other things and the content that I produce.
AMY: Absolutely. I totally agree with you. And I always say it's top of funnel, where a lot of people just get introduced to me through my podcast first. Someone shared an episode; they started listening. So totally agree with you. Very foundational. And that's why I wanted to have this conversation.
So, let's first talk about setting goals for your podcast. If someone's just starting out, what kind of goals do you feel are realistic for them, both production wise and metric wise?
JENNA: Yeah. So someone had recently just reached out to me, and they were like, “My team keeps saying, I need to start a podcast. I don't even know what it would be about. I don't know all these things.” And I said, “Well, you don't need to know everything to begin.” I think a lot of times people get the excitement about the idea of a podcast, but what holds them up are these things that don't even matter: the title, the album art, the frequency, the sentence structure. Like, all of those things were things that literally kept me from hitting Record, which is the one required thing of doing a podcast. And all of those things have changed over the years for me, and they've changed successfully without any pushback.
But when we're looking at why you should do a podcast or how to really begin one with confidence, you have to look at what the goal is for you and why you're doing it. And we've talked about this in so many different ways of your business or a course or anything that you create, what is your why? And for you and I, like we just said, our podcasts are the top of the funnel. It's that introduction, that handshake. It's that invitation that then gets people into our ecosystem so that we can serve them at a deeper and higher and a more intimate level.
Now, for other people it might just be setting themselves up as a credible expert in an area or getting the media coverage that they're hoping for or having the opportunity to interview people that they wouldn't have been able to interview had they not had a platform to share. And so you really have to get super clear on what that goal is, understanding that that goal can evolve as you or your show evolves. But really getting honest about, like, what do I hope to drive in terms of results?
And something I've been so fixated on as an entrepreneur is what is my ROI? I feel like because my time and my energy are so very limited as a parent, I want to make sure that I'm not just investing my money in the right way, but that I'm investing my time and my energy in ways that really give me results. And so the same goes for starting a podcast. If your podcast isn't getting you results, you're going to have a really hard time carving out the time and the energy to record it.
So I think that when you look at setting a goal for your podcast, there are a few different things that I would personally look at, and I'm sure that there are a million more that I won't even list. Could it be a list builder? So you and I are obsessed with email lists, right? I literally was in your ecosystem as a listener of your podcast long before we became friends and downloaded every single resource you created and then was able to be served by you. So I’m literally proof that this works. Is it a way to establish credibility? Is it a way for you to pivot what you've been known for and pivot into a new space? Is it a means of connection? Are you really pursuing that desire for community or to be able to “pick your mentor's brains”? And so establishing what that looks like for you is going to help you to start successfully, and then your results will depend on what that goal is. But without that goal in place, it's really hard to measure what results are possible.
AMY: Okay, fantastic. I love that you started way at the top. Like, let's get really clear on why you're doing this, because you're totally right: when it gets hard, when you want to be consistent and things get in the way, if you don't have a clear understanding of why you're doing this, it's going to fall apart. So perfect place to start.
Okay. So you mentioned list building. I want to talk list building and monetizing a podcast. So first off, how do you use your podcast to grow your email list? What does that look like in your world?
JENNA: Yeah. So I'm always inspired by you, and I'm, like, “Amy does this so well. I need to do this better.” But a lot of times we have these lead magnets or opt ins or pieces of value that we want to offer our audience. And if you've been on social media lately, we know that only 3 to 6 percent of our audience sees what we're posting, let alone takes action on those posts. And so social media isn't necessarily the place that we should be trying to sell. When it comes to podcasting, we're already providing value so that rule of reciprocity is already in play, where it's like we are giving, freely giving. Somebody just has to hit Play, and they get that value. And so when we invite them to go a step further and get additional value—oh, my goodness—people jump at that chance.
And so what's amazing is you could create just one freebie, or maybe one or two or three, and rotate them through your shows as extra pieces of value, inviting people off of a platform, whether it's Apple Podcasts or Spotify or Stitcher, that you don't necessarily control, and into a place where we can continue to serve them at that higher level and extend invitations that can then lead to greater profit. So list building is an exceptional way. And with reciprocity at play, man, you are providing so much value that people would be crazy.
So just including little call outs, like “If you want to learn more about this, head to this page and sign up for this freebie.” And man, it is a really great way to grow your list. And we know that our list health is very exemplary of the health of our business in full.
AMY: Yes, yes. You know, when I teach webinars, I always say, “You're earning your right to sell because you're giving immense value for, like, forty-five minutes before you ever ask for anything in return.” You just hit it on the head. I've never thought about it like that. But in a podcast, we're earning our right to promote whatever we want to promote on our podcast because we give immense value for free, always up front. So—
AMY: —I love that part of a podcast.
So the other day, I was asked to help throw a party. I got to be honest: I do not thrive when it comes to throwing parties. For me, it’s just stressful. Did I invite the right people? Did I order the right amount of drinks? And after all the planning, imagine if people showed up and then, like, five minutes later, they left. Like, it makes me nervous. So what does this have to do with online marketing? Well, with HubSpot, dedicated marketing collaboration and SEO tools help you optimize your website and campaigns, so you'll never have to guess why your customers are leaving the party. See what I did there? Easily orchestrate your next big marketing bash with team-collaboration tools like an integrated marketing calendar and in-app commenting so everyone's on the same page. Yes, please. Learn how your business can grow better with ease at hubspot.com.
So, let’s talk about monetizing a podcast. So how soon should someone consider monetizing? Do you need to monetize your podcast? Talk to me about that.
JENNA: Day one. So let’s talk about this.
AMY: Oh, I’m totally surprised by this answer. Okay, good. Tell me more.
JENNA: Okay. So, if we’re looking about driving results and we want to really make sure that all of our efforts are being tied to a result, one of my greatest regrets—and I really don't have many when it comes to podcasting—is that I wasn't thinking about those early episodes as episodes that people will continue to go back to. We might be five hundred episodes deep, but people are still going back to episode one today. So if we start thinking about results and driving results from day one, we could be creating intentionally and strategically to set ourselves up so that even three, five, seven, ten years later, when people hit episode one, it is tied to a result.
So what does that look like? You're probably not going to get sponsors off the bat, right? Most of us do not have the platforms or the ability to say, “Here's what I have to offer. Pay me to promote you.”
But there are so many different ways that you can drive results. So one, you could use it as a list builder, which is highly recommended. It should just become a part of your workflow so that you are getting that value. But two, what about if you did an affiliate play? So what I think is incredible here is there are so many things that you are likely already using in your life, and it could range from an email-service provider to a food service. So many of them have “refer a friend” links that you could share. And so when you can share about something that you use and love, and even just share a “refer a friend” a link, you could be driving value. You could be already showing people, “I'm open to having sponsorships in the future.”
You can also be sharing resources with your audience so that they can start to be influenced by you so that down the road, if the structure changes with direct sponsors or joining a network, you can already say, “I've gotten these results.”
And I did this from the very beginning. It was kind of funny. I was probably maybe twenty, thirty episodes in, and Drew and I have used HelloFresh for, like, six years. I mean, we are like, I don't know, it's just something we've always done. And I literally got us groceries for, like, a year free, just from using my “share a friend” link. It was before people would really pay me.
And so it can come in different ways. But again, it’s just using your influence and thinking ahead as to how you can continue to serve or create content that will make sense years from now.
AMY: Okay. I love this. It’s so simple.
AMY: There are so many opportunities out there to use those affiliate links. And also, now it makes perfect sense to start promoting on day one. I didn't even—I did not think you'd say that, but now it makes sense, because you're right. People are going back to our early episodes. Why not optimize those from the get-go?
JENNA: Yes. And that's the thing is, a lot of times when we're starting out, we're so worried about having the perfect structure and things like that. It would be really painful for me to listen to my episode one. I'm sure you might feel the same way.
AMY: Ah. I thought about that when you were talking about it. I was like, “I do not want to listen.”
JENNA: No. But if we can set things up right—like, I think part of having blueprints or having mentors or having people that have gone before us is that a lot of times we don't set things up optimally. And then in hindsight, we're like, “Shoot. I could have done that better,” or “This was a more strategic way to do this.” And that's why I take on mentors these days is that I'm like, “If I can set this up right and know that the things I'm doing today are still going to be working for me in the future.”
So that's my advice for people that are just getting started is don't be afraid to provide resources and to use those “share a sale” links or “refer a friend” links because you can still be reaping the rewards years from now. And it's something I didn't do, and I wish I would have.
AMY: Oh, so smart. I love that.
Okay. So, taking a little bit of a turn, a lot of people look at, let's say, Apple Podcasts, with over a million active podcasts, and they think, “I'm getting into the game too late. It's too late to start a podcast at this point.” What do you say to those people?
JENNA: You're crazy.
AMY: I agree.
JENAA: One, it's never too late. But two, there is no one that is you. And I know those are things that we say all the time. But truly, there could be a million podcasts on a certain topic, but no one will approach it like you. And one thing that you and I talk about often is we could be seen as competitors in the business space, right? We're right next to each other on the charts. We’re always cheering each other on. And the reason why is that podcast listeners listen to podcasts, not just a podcast. And so, like, I know I listen to a wide array of different genres and different shows. And it's not as competitive of a space in that people want to listen to a variety. They want to have different voices. The reason why podcasting is so powerful is that you can literally invite someone into your life while you're washing the dishes or commuting to work or putting your kid in daycare or whatever that looks like. Like, you can have somebody in your ear. And so it is never too saturated, because podcast listeners are always seeking things out, and no one can do it the way that you can. So please don't let that hold you back. That would be crazy.
AMY: It’s so true. And I would tell people all the time if they're like, “Amy, I want to start a platform. Should I do podcasting, blogging, or a video show?” I always say, “I'm very biased, but start with a podcast.”
JENNA: Yeah, same.
AMY: Like, it's never too late.
JENNA: Same. And we, I think, too, we are the same in that, like, I do love longform content, but my podcast is literally like a directory of all of my best work. So you could search a topic and find a full-blown episode, whereas a blog post, like, you can find that, but are you going to read the whole thing? And for me, you are the same way. We don't love being on video, and we can get caught up in the production of it. So the fact that you can literally just hit Record and speak, you can wear whatever you want, you can look however you want, it's amazing.
AMY: I started to do these podcast interviews with video, but we don't use the whole video. We just use snippets. But even that is just a little extra work that sometimes I'm like, “Is this really worth it?” because I just like to just throw on anything in the morning, get on a podcast, and don't worry about getting ready or whatever. And that is my most favorite part of podcasting, not worrying about the video.
JENNA: Yes, yes.
AMY: So that's another reason why I feel like a lot of people, if they're going to do a video show, there's going to be more hurdles to get something like that going versus a podcast.
AMY: Easier to entry, I think.
Okay. So, this is kind of a loaded question, so do your best with this one. But if your podcast was dropped from every platform—God forbid. Like, knock on wood, it's not going to happen—and all your episodes disappeared and you had to start over again, what would that look like for you? Like, how would you plan it and launch it and promote it? What would that look like?
JENNA: Okay. So, I've thought of three different things that I would do differently. So the first one is when I started my show, I started as an interview-only show, so I actually did not see the value in what I personally could bring to the table. I thought my gift would be the connections I had in interviewing other people. So I definitely would have, if I started over again, I would have more confidence in what I personally could bring to the table.
The second thing is I would really harness the power of micro influencers. So I think a lot of times when we look at podcasts, we look at these huge names, and we're like, “Gosh, that would be a dream.” And of course, it is a dream. Like, sometimes I'm interviewing someone, and I'm like, “This is my job. This is insane.” However, one thing that I've learned is that people that are in the stages of growing or in the place of really becoming what they are, what they're known for, to them it is such a valuable opportunity to come on somebody's show and to be interviewed and to be getting asked these questions. They are the people that are going to share their episode from the rooftops. They're going to engage with your community. They're going to prepare so that it's such quality content. Whereas some of these big names, they're interviewed every other day. It's no big deal for them. They're probably not going to share it. They're probably not going to talk about it. But for people that really value the opportunity that your podcast is presenting them, man, they will go to bat for you, and they will really shout your podcast from the rooftops. So harnessing the power of people that really value that experience would be number two.
And then, number three is I would definitely look at batch recording, which is something I implemented a little bit later in my journey, but using it as a way to really look at the strategy of my show and to make sure, like, are episodes dropping out in a way that is serving my bigger goal? Is it going to drive results in the way that I've designated it to drive results? and kind of looking at it from more of a bird's-eye view than less of this catch-up view or like, “Oh, I've got to get this episode done so I can publish it.” So just being more strategic in the creation and the thought behind that creation process.
AMY: Ooh. so many good tips. Yes, yes, yes, Okay. I love that.
So recently, there's been a lot of talk about a subscription-based show. Quite honestly, Jenna, I don't even know a lot about that, but I was curious what you think about it. Can you tell us what is that, and give us a little info about what you think about it?
JENNA: Yeah. So people are switching to a more, like, paid model. And so it's kind of like a membership site or something like that, where you're delivering value. It's kind of like Patreon for podcasting.
AMY: I was going to say it sounds like Patreon.
JENNA: Yes, very similar. And a lot of podcast hosts can actually make a decent living by doing a Patreon for their show, where, essentially, it's people that support their show that value their content are pitching in five dollars a month or ten dollars a month, and they'll usually get some sort of extra value for doing that.
Now, the reason why I don't personally love this, especially as your exclusive use of podcasting, is, again, I just truly believe in the value of reciprocity and giving people such great valuable content for free. And, Amy, you talk about this often, where you’re like, when you serve people so well at a free level, they are going to be so eager to jump into your paid offers because they're like, “Holy cow. I'm getting all this for free. What did she do that's paid?” So I think it could be a great addition to a free podcast. However, if you are looking at getting into podcasting, I personally don't think it is the best route, and I would encourage you to start out with a free model and then shift to paid after you've really built up that value and built up that credibility and trust.
So it's something new in this space. It's an interesting way to monetize. I think there are better ways to monetize and shift, and I think we'll talk about that in just a minute. So I think it's fascinating, and I think it's really cool. And honestly, it's that entrepreneurial spirit of us being like, “Wow, can I monetize something I'm passionate about?” But I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a starting place for podcasters, maybe something that you expand to in the future.
AMY: That’s what I was thinking. I think it's a great, cool model to expand to, to add on. But you're right. I wouldn't do it as the sole thing, because one of the things that a podcast is grow to your audience—
AMY: —grow as your social-media platform, grow as your email list, but grows your audience overall.
AMY: If you're behind a paywall, that's a whole different ballgame.
AMY: And so if you did that, if you did a subscription-based podcast, you’ve got to ask yourself, “And how am I growing my audience? What's the vehicle I'm using for that?” So, yeah, totally on the same page.
Okay. So, you alluded to this, and let's talk about it. We are both part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. You went first, you told me about it, and then I decided to look into it, and I joined as well. So tell me why you joined the Network.
JENNA: Yeah. I love this. So, Amy—for those who don't know, Amy and I literally talk almost daily, and I feel like she is my peer, my coworker. I just, I love our relationship. And so anytime we're doing something new, we clue each other in on it. It’s just been amazing to go on this ride. But it is a big deal that both of us joined a network recently, and it's something that we had both independently grown our podcasts and our platform. And the proof was in the pudding. We had done hundreds of episodes, at the point that we joined a network.
Now, I joined the Network for a few different reasons, and they might, actually, be slightly different than your own. But one, the Network simplified our work process so much. So before joining the Network, we were working with an ad agency. We would get different ad reads for every single show. Recording these ad reads would actually take quite a bit of time. And of course, it was worth it because it was how we were monetizing. But joining the HubSpot Network actually streamlined that whole process for us because we were able to talk about one thing and really share about it in different unique ways that would allow our audience to really build that trust and hear that messaging time and time again, because one of my biggest frustrations with the podcasting space is that ads would buy one ad spot and want results. And it's like as humans and consumers, we need to hear about something multiple times and understand the benefits and how it will actually service or help us before we dive in. So I loved that idea.
I also loved that now I'm a part of something bigger. I get to be a part of something with many other talented shows with many diverse hosts and really be a part of this community where now we're sharing resources, we're able to connect, and we get to help each other grow our shows. We talk about community as entrepreneurs. I mean, we have never been through a more isolated time in our lives or in our entrepreneurial journeys. So this desire of, like, “My gosh, there's a monthly Zoom call. We get to communicate, and we can ask each other questions.” And I just loved that.
And then, lastly, it was a really great financial play for us. So joining the Network not only streamlined our sponsor or our ad process, but it also gave us this consistent revenue coming in from the podcast, that we were able to say, “This is 100 percent worth recording these shows.” Every time I sat down or was spending time away from my kids, I was like, this is worthy of this because I know that, one, this is going to help pay all of the team members that helped create this show. But that is also going to be driving a really tangible result at a time in my life where I wasn't totally sure what other things I was going to be doing as a business owner.
What was it like for you, Amy? because we're kind of coming at it from different angles.
AMY: True, because I wasn't doing ads on the show before I started working with HubSpot, So I didn't have the headache and the challenges of having all these different ads I needed to record. And I love what you said, that they’re on the show one time and they're looking for results, and you're like, “It's only one episode for thirty seconds. I can’t work magic here.”
AMY: So I can see why you did that.
For us, we were looking to monetize for the first time, really. We've dabbled with ads, but nothing consistent. So we are looking to do something more substantial, more consistent, because we put so much time and effort into our podcast.
I have a full-time employee working on my podcast, plus efforts from the content team and the marketing team. It's a production. And so we wanted to make sure that this podcast was profitable for us, but I also wanted to leave room on the podcast to promote my own thing. So when I've got a list-building workshop coming up or Digital Course Academy, I can still promote my heart out, but also have these two spots for HubSpot.
Now, here's what I love about the HubSpot Network. Number one, they have one spot on my show, like you said. Each week, finding new ways to talk about them is really cool. But the second thing is I love that one spot is I'm promoting somebody else's show.
AMY: So you were the first show I got to promote, which I absolutely loved. And then I've promoted some other shows as well, and that means those shows for an entire month are promoting my show.
AMY: And you said it earlier, that podcast listeners listen to podcasts, and they love recommendations. I love recommendations. Just this morning I was listening to a podcast, and they recommended another show, and I literally jotted it down, like, oh, I got to listen to that.
AMY: Of course, it was true crime. It had nothing to do with business. So that's really why I did it. One, we were ready to monetize more consistently, wanted to do it, like you said, in a really streamlined way. And two, I love that we're sharing each other's podcasts in a very authentic way. Like, they're not going to pair me up and have me share a podcast that has nothing to do with anything my podcast is about. So it's really with integrity as well, so I like that.
JENNA: Yes. I know. I love it, too. And I think, too, what's really cool about our journey is we did everything independently for so long, and then now it's like, “Okay. Now here's an opportunity to move in a different direction.” And two years from now, who knows where we’ll go or what we’ll decide? But I always encourage people. I’m like, “Start out independently,” because I think there does come this pressure of, “I'm getting paid to do this,” versus “I have this deep desire to do it.” And I'm so glad that I had the foundation laid, and the proof was in the pudding. Like, this show is going nowhere, so now I am fully ready to commit, and I understand what that decision means. So I love that.
AMY: Okay. Love that piece of advice. You guys, if you're multitasking, come back to us because that was big. Start out doing your own thing.
AMY: You don't need a network to start out with. You don't need a bunch of people paying you for ads of a podcast you're just getting started. Do it because you're passionate about it and you love it, and do it on your terms. Because let's make no mistake. When you're in a network, you've got some rules to follow now. And so we did have to kind of accommodate a little bit. It wasn't just us doing whatever we wanted. Not a lot of rules, because both Jenna and I would be like, “I don't think so,” but enough that we have to make sure that we meet, you know, what our commitment is. And so, yeah, start out solo, do your own thing, and then make some really smart decisions as you get going. I love that.
Okay. So, tell me this: what do you love about your own podcast?
JENNA: So I love that it is my voice in people's lives. People are literally inviting me into their life. And as a busy mom, it takes me, like, three days to get through an hour-long podcast because I'm like, I want to listen; I want to be present; I want to be a part of this. And so the fact that I can envision people in their life listening to my show is bananas to me. It’s so crazy.
One time we were getting sushi in Hawaii, and somebody recognized me from my voice. They didn't even know what I looked like. They were like, “I just listened to your show, and I was just listening to it on the beach today.” And I was like, that is so stinkin’ cool.
I also just think, though, too—and I kind of referenced this earlier—but our podcasts are literally this reference library for so many topics. And if we're not an expert in it, we get to invite the experts in. And so I have been given access to so many brilliant minds and incredible leaders and experts in their space and literally been able to interview them and ask the questions I'm dying to know. So it's like I get my soul filled, but, also, I get to share those conversations with other people.
I also just think, like you said, the barrier to entry is so minimal. I was recently just talking to a makeup artist. She was doing my makeup, and she was like, “Oh, I would love to start a podcast.” And I was like, “Literally pop in your earbuds and hit Record on the voice note app on your phone while you're driving to a job and talk about something.”
The production value doesn't matter. It's about the message. It's not the means that the message is delivered, and it doesn't have to be perfect. I don't have a sound-booth room. You know, most of my shows have been produced in a closet. And so I just love that the barrier to entry is so low that your excuses should be very minor in why you can't do it, because I totally believe that you can.
And I think that that’s very rare these days. I think there are a lot of things that we get into analysis paralysis over that really don't matter that keep us from doing what we're called to. And I think podcasting can be simplified in such a beautiful way that makes you think, “Yes, I can hit Record, and me hitting Record is me taking one step at making a greater impact.”
AMY: Absolutely. So very true.
Is there anything that frustrates you about your podcast?
JENNA: When my dogs bark.
AMY: Yes, me, too. Come on.
JENNA: Yes. But besides that, I would say that it does require stamina if you do big batching days, which is something that I love to do because I'm like, “Let's just knock them out. Like, we got this.”
AMY: You're a master batcher.
JENNA: I am a master batcher. But it does require a certain level of energy and stamina to be on interview number five and make it feel like number one. And I have ADHD, and so I feel like sometimes my brain is like, “I wonder what I'm going to eat for dinner. Oh, what about that yellow dress from Anthropologie that I meant to look up?” And it's like, “Stay with me. Stay with me.” And so it requires a certain level of focus that I really almost have to, like, train for so that when I'm in an interview, I am all in and so excited and that it’s, like, the best-produced content for my audience.
AMY: And it always is my friend. You are a master podcaster. Like, if I'm thinking, “Who does it right?” I always think of you.
So with that, I wanted to take an opportunity to tell people about your free masterclass because I think it is exceptional. So, of course, it’s all about podcasting, and it’s called “Three Reasons Why Launching a Podcast is Actually Way Easier Than You Might Think.” I love this topic because you're going to talk about, I'm guessing, that barrier of entry being so low that people can get started right away. But tell me a little bit more about this free masterclass.
JENNA: Yeah. So it actually is going to go way deeper than what we've covered on this episode, and we've touched on a lot of the things. But I am literally showing you and explaining how to do these things, from what kind of microphone you need to how do you monetize from day one, and what does that look like? to how can you just simply hit Record and get started without second guessing all of these things that really don't matter or don't impact your level of success as a podcaster?
And I think, when I look back at my own journey, I was inspired to start my show because of you. I was literally listening to your show in the shower, and I voice noted my friend, who was working for me at the time. And I said, “I've got this idea. We're going to do a podcast.” And you made me believe it was possible. But it was so funny because from that idea, I delayed in every way, shape, and form. So I thought I needed to know exactly how it was going to go, what it was going to look like, what the cover art would be, all of these things that didn't matter. And so I want to simplify all of those decisions so that hitting Record is this natural and exciting thing for you. So we dive into monetization, what you need to record, how to plan out your episodes, all of those things, and I simplify it so that after you watch this webinar, you’re like, “I am ready to launch my podcast confidently, and I understand that my voice brings something to the table that is not currently in this space.”
AMY: You guys, if you've ever thought about starting a podcast, this is exactly where you start. So go to amyporterfield.com/startmypodcast, easy as that. Amyporterfield.com/startmypodcast. Totally free masterclass. Jenna is a master at doing these trainings. Like, she's really, really good. I promise you you'll walk away with, like, oh, this has given me total clarity on how to get started and what I need to do. So do not miss it. It’s so fantastic.
Okay. Jenna, before I let you go, I started something new on the podcast that I didn’t do last time you were here, and I’ve got a rapid-fire five questions. Are you game?
JENNA: I’m ready.
AMY: Okay. Number one, who is someone that's inspiring you at the moment, and why?
JENNA: The person I'm staring at on my computer screen.
AMY: Stop it!
JENNA: Amy Porterfield. Honestly, though, you have been a friend in my life that is literally my “phone a friend.” I tell Amy she has the VIP spot on my phone. I must have pinned our text thread at one point.
AMY: She did. She’s like, “I accidentally pinned it, but there you are.” I’m like, “I’m honored.”
JENNA: There you are. You’re at the top.
But I think that these last few years have been so isolating, even more so than entrepreneurship is, and so having somebody that is pushing you, that is challenging you, that is sharing about the behind the scenes of what's going on has really been transformative for me. And the fact that we have walked through so much life together beyond just business has been really, really key.
So if you are listening and you don't—this is rapid fire. I'm failing—if you are listening to this and you don't have a business BFF or someone that you really can call on, I challenge you to jump into one of our Facebook groups. We both have Facebook groups for our podcast. Get out there. Put yourself out there because it can totally change your entrepreneurial journey for you.
Okay. Back to rapid fire.
AMY: But I love you so much, and I feel the exact same way. So I so appreciate you saying that.
Okay. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
JENNA: Okay. It's from you as well, and it's start simple; get fancy later. Same thing goes with podcasting. Start simple; get fancy later.
AMY: Yes. We just literally got pencils, Jenna, and we etched that into the pencils—
JENNA: I love it.
AMY: —that we're using on our team. So, yes, yes.
Okay. What is something you're most proud of?
JENNA: I am proud of how I mother. I genuinely believe my children will never say that I wasn't a present mom for them, and to me, that matters more than any of the work that I'm doing.
AMY: I'm obsessed with both Coco and Quinn. I love them so much. And it’s really fun to see them on social. Like, just Coco's voice, I just wanted—
JENNA: Oh, I need to record it for a podcast episode—
JENNA: —because it's—I record it a lot because it's so precious.
AMY: I was going to say bottle that up, for sure.
Okay. What is something you are most excited for to come this year? Oh, if you don't say the thing I think you're going to say, I'm going to be so mad at you.
JENNA: Yes. Yes. I am so excited for my book to come out. Amy has literally walked through this whole process with me. It’s been so fun doing it with you.
My book How Are You, Really? is coming out in June. You can find out about it at jennakutcher.com/book. I am so proud of this work, and it's something that you and I both were, like, we'll never do it, and now we have the most compelling reasons to do it. And it's been just a labor of love. And I won't say it's my life's work, but it is a very important piece of my life and my work, and it's a beautiful marriage of them both, and I'm so excited for people to read it.
AMY: I’m so excited. You guys, I'm going to be talking about the book a lot because I'm that excited. I already got an advance copy. It's incredible. And Jenna and I are doing something special with it, so stay tuned. If you're on either of our email lists, you'll hear about it. But I'm really excited.
Okay. So, last question: any favorite tools or resources that you'd share with my audience? What's something you're loving right now? Actually, Jenna, I got to say which one I want you to talk about, because I was going to ask you the name of it. What's that tool you told me that could read for you?
JENNA: Okay. That’s what I was going to say.
AMY: Oh, good.
JENNA: Okay. So Speechify is something that I am obsessed with. It is literally a tab on a computer. It says “The ADHD Brain.” But what Speechify does is if you create outlines or even scripts for a podcast or presentation or anything, you can upload that text, and it will read it to you so you can hear how it sounds when it's read. And for me, when I was coming out of maternity leave, there was tons of content I needed to record that we had written months ago, so I needed to be refreshed on it, I wanted to make sure it was complete, and that nothing had changed.
And so you can literally load it in. Go to speechify.com. There's a free option and a paid option. I ended up upgrading. It's fairly, fairly, fairly affordable. And you can choose even different accents or different tones or different people to read it to you. There's a Gwyneth Paltrow one in beta. It's hilarious. So Gwyneth can read your notes.
But it's been amazing because it's a really great way to quickly review something. And then, as I'm listening to my podcast outlines, I'm like, “Oh, I want to interject this story,” and I can type it in. And it's saved me a ton of time, but been a great way to refresh on content. So Speechify is something new that I've been using in terms of podcasting, and I love it.
AMY: I'm going to use it for reviewing chapters of my book.
JENNA: Yes, yes.
AMY: Such a cool software. So, absolutely.
Okay, my friend. Thank you so very much for joining me. It’s always so much fun to have you on the show. I love that we got to talk about our favorite topic: podcasting. Everybody, amyporterfield.com/startyourpodcast. Go there now.
Jenna, I love you so very much. Thanks for being here.
JENNA: Thank you so much for having me back on the show. It feels like home to me.
AMY: Oh, love it. Love you, friend.
JENNA: Love ya.
AMY: So, to wrap up, if you've been thinking about starting a podcast, here's your sign. If you haven't, but now you're intrigued, follow that curiosity. Honestly, Online Marketing Made Easy has been such a huge joy and revenue driver and lead attractor in my business. I want the same thing for you. But here’s the thing: don't just wing it. Go and check out Jenna's masterclass and let that give you all the guidance you need to get started. Go sign up right now and don't wait, because if you wait for the next time we have this conversation, you will have wasted a full year where you could get your podcast up and running and reaping the rewards. So amyporterfield.com/startmypodcast. That's where you go to grab your free seat in Jenna's masterclass. And I promise you you're going to love every minute of it. It's not only incredibly valuable and insightful, it's also really a lot of fun. She does a great job with this training. Amyporterfield.com/startmypodcast.
All right, my friends. Thank you so very much for tuning in. I can't wait to see you same time, same place next week. Bye for now.