The Solopreneur Hour's Michael O'Neal answers your questions on episode 355: fan mail Friday edition!Happy Fan Mail Friday, everyone! You guys rock, as always. On episode 355 of The Solopreneur Hour we’ve got fan mail Friday: I take your questions and provide the answers.

If you want to join in the festivities find my weekly question request in our Proudly Unemployable Facebook group here. Til then enjoy this edition of The Solopreneur Hour!

More About Fan Mail Friday

Q: A few weeks ago I saw my first ever Instagram ad… Have you seen any yet?
A: Yes I have!

Q: What does it mean for people using instagram to promote their business that the platform now has ads?
A: It means for people who learn and are early adopters they probably can do a lot of good promotion with these ads.

Q: Will it change anything on Instagram?
A: Yes I imagine it will change everything. The engagement we get now will go down unless you pay to promote that post.

Kinch Reindl
Q: What Facebook page type do you recommend for podcasters? The entertainment category would seem like the logical place since it has options like ‘radio station’ but they don’t have ‘podcast’ in there.

A: Good question. I put Entertainer on mine, I don’t know all the different types. I think you have to go with the content of your show. If your show is about auto racing then sports figure would be appropriate. Go with the overall content of your show, that’s probably the move.

Brad Brown
Q: Hey Michael, if you were launching a new podcast right now, with no existing audience or brand to leverage off of, what would you be aiming for from a numbers/downloads perspective?

A: I think the litmus test is at least 500 downloads a day then you could call it a reasonable success. The watermark of very successful is 1,000 downloads a day; if you’re getting 30k-60k downloads a month that’s a pretty good draw and you can monetize that show. My bar for sponsorship is 2,000 a day.

That’s not to say you can’t have a podcast if you only get 200 a day but that switches it from a business model or moneymaker to a hobby, but that also depends on your strategy. Dr. Mark has a big upsell strategy: if he brings someone into his licensing program it’s worth $15k or more! So he has a platform that helps, so it depends on your business strategy and your niche.

Scott W. Mulvaney
Q: Have you put your mic and audio kit recommendations back up online yet? You’ve definitely already been through the beginner gauntlet so being able to research the different package themes you’ve put together is valuable.

P.S. For YouTube video content do you recommend going to the zoom level over a basic AT lapel mic jacked through an iPhone for selfie or iPad stand recording?

A: It’s not me, I didn’t pull them. BSW did. When they revamped their stuff 5 months ago they pulled all their kits down. I did reach out to them the other day and asked where it stands with them, hopefully they are back online.

I’m curious about you the listener: what is your favorite USB interface? I have a Beringer that isn’t great so it’s the one piece I’m upgrading.

To answer your question about the YouTube video content I have the new Sennheiser clip mic digital. It has the real Sennheiser ME 2 microphone capsule, and it’s great for video. If you’re doing high end recordings with a DSLR then I love the Zoom H6, their shotgun microphone is rad.

Niel Reichl
Q: I have just made my first $10 through the podcast Ultimate Guide to the Filipina through a PayPal donate button on my site!!! Thank you to you Michael for the lessons and experiences you have shared.

My downloads are around 200/day at 3 episodes a week. I have a mailing list of 12 people. (Yes, only 12 out of 35k downloads). I also do have regular interactions with 7 of them.

My question is: should I create an ebook and sell to the audience who have been downloading but have not signed up to the mailing list at this time or still continue building a list to a thousand and only then start selling a digital product? Or create a freemium version of the ebook, get their emails and then sell the ebook to the list?

A: Over anything you have to work on whatever your opt-in is. At a couple hundred downloads a day and you only have 12 people on your list means a couple of things: either your integration is off or your offer is off?

You want to make sure you have the Pretty Link plugin installed on your site. Have something compelling for your listeners to download like the Ultimate Guide to the Filipina Woman, or Ten Great Tips For Attracting The Most Beautiful Filipina Woman.

Then make that a PDF download, use Aweber, Mailchimp or ConvertKit or some other email program and make a landing page for the PDF. Take the URL for that PDF, then create a pretty link for it and repeat the URL on your show multiple times. It’s okay to tell your listener what you want them to do!

Niel Reichl
Q: Oh, the episode where you featured Matt of the smoking tire is incredible!! Not just because it’s car talk but the way he described his business!

A: I agree, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on that episode. Even if you aren’t a car person it’s worth a listen. If you haven’t yet check it out here.

Kinch Reindl
Q: If you haven’t recently covered “steps to relaunch a podcast”, like say you have not been consistent in the past but you are now what do you recommend?

A: This is a full circle thing. If you do have a podcast where you are getting 10s of downloads a day and aren’t seeing 10% growth a month. If you don’t go from 5k one month to 5500 the next then you may not have hit the mark. If you hope to monetize it you haven’t nailed it.

Think of it like a TV pilot: there are a couple hundred pilots that come out per year. The networks pick out 20 pilots out of the 200 out there, for example. So 180 didn’t make the mark. Those 20 will be aired, out of those maybe 2 or 3 will be reasonable hits and maybe one will be a smash hit. So 1-3 out of 200. There’s no reason to think podcasting will be any different.

Try to figure out why your show hasn’t taken hold. Has your concept been done? Figure out a different angle. You’ll see this when Joel Comm launches his new show, you have to innovate. Content is so easy to find and consume, you’ve got to be better than the Joneses and not just keep up with them.

We know a few things stop the success of a show: bad audio quality and consistency. So if your show is supposed to be out three days a week it better come out three days a week. If people don’t know when your show is coming out that will drastically reduce the viability of it. And you have to be a good podcaster. If the old content was good you can use it, cut off the beginning and the end. Or you can add it as a bonus in between shows. So all is not lost.

Generally if your show didn’t hit the mark and your show hasn’t gotten 200-500-1000 downloads a day by the time you’re a couple of months in. So we have to work on your marketing or the show itself: that happens. It’s just one more pilot that didn’t land.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What did you learn from today’s episode that you’ll be applying in your business? Let us know in the comments below!

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