While there are several platforms to promote your business, podcasts remain on top of the most credible tools to demonstrate your expertise and serve more people. But not many business owners know how to leverage podcasts.
In this episode, Travis Albritton, founder of Honest Podcasts, joins our conversation to talk about podcasting and the required business mindset that will accelerate you to becoming the go-to person for your customers.
As far as his clients can testify, the works of Travis are top-notch, and they drive great results. That’s because Travis tailors how he can help each business that comes to him!
If you’re ready to pivot from your mistakes and make your business profitable while genuinely serving people, you’re in the right place!
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Real-life advice for pre-launching and validating business ideas
- Ideas on pivoting businesses that best suit you
- How Travis scaled a podcast production agency in six months
- The changes in the podcasting landscape you should be aware of
- Delivering and overperforming for your clients
- Podcasting tips and secrets from the podcast expert
Links & Resources:
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
Kwadwo Sampany-Kessie’s Links:
Travis Albritton’s Links:
Please support the podcast by giving an honest Rating/Review for the show on iTunes!
I would much rather handpick the accounts that I know that I’m confident I can deliver the results they want at a high level and over perform their expectations so they become clients for years and and never think twice about the investment they’ve made in me. So some of it is just like practical. Like it doesn’t make sense to sign on clients where it’s not going to work out long term. And then some of it is just a good human thing to do. Like, if you can help somebody guide their steps instead of thinking about everything transactionally as, how do I turn your money into my money, then that’s just kind of how I choose to operate.
Hey again. I’m Kwadwo. I’ve been coaching with Rick inside his accelerator for about three years now, and he’s given me the awesome opportunity to interview a previous accelerator. And this accelerator story is going to motivate you so much, and you’re going to leave with super good strategy for an online business owner or online course creator? In this episode, I interview Travis Albritton, who has a background at Buzzsprout and is a podcast production agency owner. He started building and selling courses back in 2017, and he’s a former accelerator. So the reason this episode is so motivating for you is because we’re going to explain how he went from making $125,000, Oopsie mistake to listening to Rick’s free advice, to having his first five figure launch, to joining Accelerator, and then to pivot into being a podcast production owner. And at the end of this video, stick around because he’s going to share what the top 1% of podcast are doing right right now and how you can implement that for your podcast and crush it. So listen up because he’s dropping strategic online business nuggets of gold, especially for you. If you have a podcast, you’re an online course creator or an online coach. All right, Travis, I’m excited to have you on this podcast, mainly because you were an accelerator before and you have a good story that I feel like so many listeners like you guys. If you’re thinking about Pivoting, listen to what Travis has to say. So, like, Travis, first, can you fill us in? How did you and I meet and accelerator and what was your business then?
So my business at the time, I was selling courses and memberships to Christians and Christian leaders that wanted to start online ministries, social media ministries, that kind of thing. And we met an accelerator, I believe this was in 2020. So it was like right in back and of 2020, beginning of 2021. So that’s when everything online was kind of blowing up as people were just kind of hanging out with their stimulus checks at home, wanting to learn something. And so that was the context of how I met you and you were coaching in the accelerator. And I was very eager to learn and sok up as much as I could.
So give me more context here because, yeah, I was coaching an accelerator, met you, then you had this business, you were super qualified for accelerator, enjoying life. And then, well, tell me about this Pivot and what went into it.
So to back up so before I jumped into accelerator, I had been selling courses online since 2017. So quite a while, right? I was relatively early. I mean, time scales on the internet are kind of weird, right? So it’s like I’ve been podcast for seven years, that feels like an eternity, but for anything else, it’s like, that’s nothing, right? And so I started selling courses in 2017, and at the time, thinkific wasn’t a thing. These fully integrated platforms like upload videos, collect payments, email management, you had to stitch all that together manually, have build your own custom website, all that kind of stuff. And so it was just like step by step, while I’m working a full time job, can I get this course business up and running to the place that it can replace my income and I can focus on that as my full time gig? I think that’s really the coolest part of courses online, courses specifically, is you capture the knowledge that you already have and you share it with people that want to learn from you and you cut out the middleman. And so you just have a direct connection, direct relationship, and you’re able to build this really long term impactful connection with the people that you serve. And you can make a course about literally anything. So, like, an early mentor of mine, he shared a story about somebody that he worked with that made six figures teaching people how to do handstands. That was his course, was how to do handstands. Like how to stay in a handstand for longer than a couple of seconds. He made six figures. I’m like, that’s nuts, right? And so there’s always these weird outlier stories, and those are the ones that you hear about, or you hear about these multiple seven figure launches, and those are revenue numbers, typically. And you think, man, well, I know a lot of stuff. People think of me as an expert, maybe I can package my knowledge and sell it. And so I had been doing that for several years, learning on my own, wearing every hat in the business because I would work for free and nobody else was willing to. And I really enjoyed the process of building the business that I had. But then after about three or four years, I reached the point where I decided, you know what, I really need to up level my capabilities as an executioner in this particular niche of a business online, right? So it wasn’t enough where I discovered it wasn’t enough to just know what I’m talking about, be able to teach people really cool stuff. I needed to know how to execute marketing, sales, funnels ads, delivery of everything. It’s like you realize there’s so many moving pieces that are all happening at the same time. And I fully believe that if I could find the right person to partner with that had that expertise to pair with mine, that would help me accelerate. And so then it just comes down to, well, who is the right person to partner with?
And I found somebody who was working in a similar space, who had worked with course creators like me and had really great testimonials and was like a full service agency for people that wanted to launch their expertise online. But the price tag was substantial on the order.
What are we talking? Substantial.
So I ended up spending between one hundred and twenty five k and one hundred and forty k on this particular investment.
We’re all operating at this pretty established level online business. That is a significant investment.
Yeah. So some of it was the track record that he could show be like, these are other people that we worked with, here are the results, we got them, here’s the process, here’s what we do, here’s what you do. And it really was like a full service. All you do is show up, you teach, and we do everything else. And I connected with them on a personal level, so that always helps. Right. The know, like and trust factor. What I was really looking for, though, was that kind of like silver bullet magic moment where everything just kind of turns a corner very quickly. Where you go from grinding just consistently over time and seeing incremental gains or you don’t have a good month followed by three bad months, and you’re like, okay. I was really optimistic because it was working, and now it’s not working so much and just trying to have that persistence to stick with it because you believe in what you’re doing. And so I was at a time where we were selling our house, about to move to another house, so I had some liquid assets there and I was basically able to cobble together the money to make this investment because I’m thinking I’m at the point now where I want to see where this can go. And I’m willing to make this investment even if it doesn’t work, because at least I will know that I gave it everything that I had.
Okay, hold on a second. Can you dive into how you were feeling at that point? Because I think we can all relate to it’s, maybe us doing the business and our spouse is supportive and wants to see us succeed, but we have that conversation, oh, there’s this course, there’s this thing I know I need, and the business needs it, honey. But it has this price tag. Can you tell us what that looked like for you?
Yeah, so that was a very interesting conversation, to say the least. Be like, I want to take the equivalent of a small starter home and invest it in this marketing growth opportunity for my business. How do you feel about that?
The whole home?
Well, yeah, not anymore. Real estate is kind of nuts now, but back not too long ago, 125K could buy you like a two bedroom.
House somewhere or a multifamily.
Yeah, it’s a lot of money, right? Not insignificant amount of money. And so the calculation was, if it doesn’t work, then we’ll be able to claw our way out in between five and eight years just on my salary. If it does work, the upside is seven figures annually. And so that was really the calculation of there’s risk associated with anything. There’s no such thing as a guarantee. And so you’re really just trying to figure out what’s the upside, what’s the downside, what’s the likelihood of each? And then just betting on yourself, not knowing if it’s going to work or not, but making sure that you’re not selling the farm as you go into it. I made sure that making this investment, while it may have been borrowing from the future of just, like, our financial health, that it wasn’t going to get in the way of, like, we have a place to stay, we have food on the table, we can put gas in the car, and all the things that mattered to her and to the family. And so we kind of isolated. These are the things that no matter what, we’re not touching these things and then together having the conversation about investing in this thing. And there’s actually a funny story because at this point, I had an old 401K from a previous employer that I basically pulled the cash out in order to make this investment okay. But Andrea, my wife, was listed on the policy, and so we had to go and get it notarized in order for them to pull the cash out. And so we go to the bank to get it notarized. And the banker is looking at me like, are you sure you want to do this? I’m like, oh, yeah, 100%. She’s like, no, I’m not asking you. I’m asking her. I’m asking your wife. Do you want to do this? Because your name’s on this too. You can say no. And she says, I trust my husband if he thinks this is a good call. Like, this is what we want to do. And so that made my day. And then I was like, okay, I really want this to work. Fast forward. It doesn’t. So we get to the place where the funnel is built. We’re doing live webinar launches. So an hour of training with an offer on the back and three day open cart and then recycling. So every single week I’m doing these webinar launches and we’re running ads to it. We’re getting pretty good cost per lead. And then we get into the webinar and it’s like people aren’t showing up.
Hold on for context. This is when you were coaching with Rick inside of the accelerator and I was coaching with you too.
That’s when we booked right before that. This is still before accelerator.
Okay, can you go with the story?
Yeah, this is still before accelerator. So then we’re doing these launches and people aren’t showing up. And so even though I’ll convert 20%, 25% of the attendees, I’m still spending $3 to make $1. Right. So I’ve already invested the upfront investment to to make build the funnel out. And now we have the ad spend and the maintenance on the ad spend. So I’m basically writing a check every single month for $10,000 and I’m earning like two. And so after two months of this, it was basically like, okay, I have literally nothing left to give into this. If I had an extra 100K, maybe we would have enough time to tweak it and figure it out and make it profitable.
But I basically just ran out of Runway. I ran into my heart, stop. This is the maximum I can put into it.
You’re writing a check for ten K a month, but bringing in two. You’re like, my heart goes out to you. One, because that sounds a bit terrifying and had to have taken a lot of courage to continue too, because I’m a little scared because that reminds me of like 8th grade word problem math and I can’t figure out how much that is. After two months, it’s 20,000. And then you read 4000 in two months, right?
Yeah. After I spent 80 or 90K between travel because I would go out, I’d fly out to him to do like these multi day intensive so travel, hotel, food, plane tickets, and then capital investment. 80 or top of the that was the initial investment. And then ad spend plus ongoing maintenance and management. So I basically say I’ve run out of money. I can’t keep doing this. We need to shut it down. I have to stop the bleeding somehow, knowing that I still own everything, like I own the funnel, everything’s in place. I can try and run the ads myself, but at that point, because I was trying to increase the value of the offer on the back end, I had an upsell of a new membership program that I had not started yet. But it was like, if you pay, you’ll get this entry level deal. I think it’s $10 a month or $15 a month. And I’m going to do this weekly training in this other avenue that’s slightly related and that actually went well. And I was like, oh, that’s great. So the membership saved the courses business in the sense that I was able to get enough traction to make my minimum debt payments on all my loans and everything to not be completely broke. And I was able to scale it to the place where I then sorry.
I have to stop. Yeah, I don’t hear that. Often the initial membership saved everything.
Yeah, because again, so much more about that. This is COVID. And so everyone’s or the course business and the membership business is going really well. And I had a very particular niche because again, I was training Christians basically how to share their faith and minister to people on social media. They’re all stuck at home. So if they’re thinking in that way, that’s kind of something that’s really important to them, then this becomes a really easy vehicle to sell to them. It’s like, listen, you’re already on Facebook, why don’t you do this? I’m going to teach you how to do it. Oh, awesome. Sign me up. And so it was really good timing for the offer that I had and what people were looking for.
And so I was able to scale the membership quickly to 5000 a month, which at the time was what you needed to qualify for Accelerator. And I had done some Ads training from Rick in the past and so I was like, okay, maybe Rick is the guy that’s going to help me scale this and get to the place where at least I can pay off all of the debt that I have accrued from this previous investment. So that’s where Quajo enters the picture. That’s where Accelerator comes in. I was on the back end of this big investment that didn’t work out, but I still believed in what I was doing and I still believed that in the long run I was going to figure out something. And I learned a lot through that experience. So like looking back, even though it was more money that I should have spent at the time, I’m grateful I did it because I learned some really valuable lessons. But yeah, that’s where Accelerator enters the picture.
Wow. So when I met you in Accelerator, how far out of the 125K investment? Like, how far out of that debt were you at that point?
I was basically still in it. So I ended my contract with him in October, and that next February I joined Accelerator.
Wow. Okay. All right. And so the whole time your wife is just cool with this because Accelerator, I mean, Rick is a phenomenal coach and there’s so many just case studies and testimonials, you know, like you can read it on the website, but that’s whole it’s completely different than experiencing it in person. We know on the other end that joining Accelerator kind of a no brainer. Right, but, but what conversation did you have with your wife after the then you’re like, I want to put down at the time how I think it was a different price back then. But what was that conversation like for the second big investment?
Yeah, so that was again, more along the lines of, well, this time she was more skeptical, but you would assume so. Right. It’s like we just went through this whole mess, didn’t even share the story about throwing up consistently and I couldn’t eat. And just like the stress and the anxiety of everything happening all at once, I was convinced I had a stomach ulcer. And I went to the doctor and he’s like, are you experiencing any stress in your life right now? Oh yeah, a lot. He’s like, well that’s what it is. That’s all that it is. Your brain is rejecting your body is rejecting your brain and saying, you are an idiot. Stop doing what you’re doing. Said as soon as you can remove yourself from that stressful situation, all the stomach issues will go away. And they did. So the conversation was a little bit different because I had basically experienced Rick through training before. So I was more eyes wide open to the upside and downside possibilities because this other opportunity, it was like, we’re going to do everything for you. We’re going to build this business from the ground up. All you have to do is show up with Rick. It’s different. You’ve already established something that’s working and you want to accelerator it or become more well rounded, or you want to implement best practices so you’re not a slave to your business. You can actually have it work for you. And so what appealed to me about accelerator is it felt more grounded in reality and less about the sensational over promise based on a few handpicked case studies, which is still very pervasive in marketing now, it’s like these five people had great results. It’s like, well, what about the 900 that didn’t make it? No, an accelerator was a different kind of offer. And so because I had already here’s what did it. I’m remembering all these things now because it’s a couple of years ago, I took his free training on how he was doing his launches. So he’s doing these Facebook groups and doing like multi day trainings and it was like a two week launch lead up in Sale. And it was a really unique way of doing it that I hadn’t seen before because I was kind of burned out on webinars after my last experience. And so I was like, oh, I can show up on Facebook alive and teach. Like I can do that and engage with people and answer questions. And so I basically took that script. And from that script I had my first five figure launch in January. Like, this is right on the tail end of that previous debacle. And so I did a launch beginning of the year in January and had my first five figure launch. And it was because I implemented that strategy and it also implemented some of his Ads training that he had done before. So the conversation was, I’ve already implemented a small piece of what he teaches and these are the results I’ve gotten so far. So I want to make this investment in getting more direct connection with him, being able to interact with him and ask specific questions and also get in the room with other course creators that were operating at a high level to learn from them what they’re doing. That’s working because that’s like 80% of Accelerator is the connections and the networking that you make with other people. People that are both a step ahead of you and then also a step behind you. So you can kind of be in that middle ground of both serving as a mentor. Because when you teach something, you really start to solidify in your own mind, like the things that work and the things that you know, but then you’re also able to tap into the knowledge and the expertise of people that are where you are right now. But it was just like three or four years ago. So that was a conversation, was if you think this is going to work and it’s paid dividends so far with this free training he’s done, then the paid training, okay, we can do it again. Just make sure we’re not going to lose the house, we’ll have food to eat and those kind of things. So that was the conversation for Accelerator. And it also helps that there’s a payment plan so I could stretch it out. It wasn’t all one big chunk.
Yeah, I do need to add as a coach, an Accelerator, but then also as just a human being in Accelerator. And I should remind you too, I did participate, like as a paid member in Accelerator way back in 2019 when I was living in China and had that online Chinese business that the, you know, what virus killed. But that is one of the best things is every time people come into the accelerator, I’m just like, these are quality people. And I’m like, Rick, how do you do it? He’s like, that’s intentional quayjo in his interview process. Like, so many online marketers are like, apply to my program. And you know, it’s just a marketing tactic to create false scarcity. But having worked on the inside of the business as a coach with Rick now, like going on several years, it’s true, he turns away people that revenue wise are more than qualified for Accelerator because he really does pick an ideal balance and it’s a special environment. And so I just had to add that. I said to add that for the podcast. So you’re listening right now and you’re like, can I trust this Rick guy? Of course, you know, you can if you’ve been listening to him for a while, but at the same time, yeah, you can. So Accelerator, you have pivoted past this 125K mistake. For the people that kind of scrubbed to the middle of the podcast. For the good part, accelerator wasn’t the 125K mistake. That program, that person will go unnamed. But you invested 125K. Then you had your first five figure launch after that other thing didn’t work, you had your first five figure launch because of a free launch training from Rick and his Facebook Ads training. Now, was that just Facebook Ads program or a lesson?
No, I got on his email list somehow and it was like a thing. It was less than $200. It was just like an hour and a half deep dive on setting up Ads campaigns and the targeting strategies that he was using that were working at the time. And so it was not like a full course. It was literally just like a paid training. And even at the beginning, this is not a webinar, I’m not upselling you at the end. This is valuable just in and of itself. Use these strategies and go forth and conquer.
Okay, so your first five figure launch congrats, and then you tell your wife it’s time to join Accelerator.
Because you’ve already learned so much from Rick, so you’re in Accelerator now, your business is going strong, you’re paying off the 125K debt from the previous, let’s call it the whoopsie with that whole done for you program thing. Your wife is happier with you now.
Yeah. So things kept going, doubled down on the membership, gradually increased. The price point was doing launches to the membership and then was able to take feedback from people in the membership that wanted more. Or when you start interacting with students and your clients, you’ll hear recurring trends of things they’re looking for. And the recurring theme was, man, I would love to do a version of what you’re doing. Like, I would love to build some kind of online thing that’s ministry oriented because I was serving a Christian audience. Do you have training like that? Because I wasn’t training the how behind what I was doing. And so I said, well, let me try and beta launch this. So just in the Facebook group of the membership, I said, here’s the offer, here’s what I’m putting together. It’s eight live training sessions. You’re going to learn these things. And then here’s the guarantee that I’ll make at the and and the guarantee, because it was a business opportunity, like, I’m teaching you how to make money selling this particular kind of knowledge in this particular kind of way. The guarantee was if you implement everything that you learn and at the end of twelve months you haven’t made back your investment, I’ll give you a refund good guarantee. Because I didn’t want them to feel like I’m just promising again. This is like a lot of what you put in your marketing copy comes from your own personal experience. And for me, it’s like, I don’t want anyone to have to experience what I experienced. So I’m not going to make any qualms about you’ll become a multimillionaire if you just implement this five step program. And so the guarantee was because I’m going to teach you how to make money if you don’t make back your investment after twelve months and you’ve implemented everything you’ve done the work, then I’ll give you a refund, because I don’t want you to feel like I’m just setting you up with false promises. And I just presold it. I just drove it to a stripe checkout page, and that was it. And I was able to sell ten seats at $500 a pop in 48 hours.
Whoa, hold on. Okay, let’s pause. There has to be a couple of online business strategic nuggets there, because you and I both know you having been in Accelerator, me having coached a lot of people with Rick inside of Accelerator, the first time somebody hears about selling a course, a presell that they haven’t made yet, they’re like, what? No, that doesn’t make sense. So can you break that down? How did you do that?
So I was 80% sure that what I wanted to teach was, like, solid, but I wasn’t 100%. And so in the past, I had made the mistake of building the course first, then selling it and getting feedback and realizing it’s like, the 80% solution. It wasn’t actually everything that somebody else needed to replicate the results that I had gotten. It was my own process, but it didn’t take into account all the variables of the students that are coming in.
Please. So important.
Yeah. And so by doing it live, I was able to do the teaching the way that I thought that I needed to. And then the last half of it was just Q and A because it’s live interaction. We were doing it on Zoom. And so everyone’s in their own little box, everyone can raise their and and I was basically able to gather the questions for things that I thought were super clear when I was teaching it that weren’t clear or things that I hadn’t considered before, because I just took it for granted that I knew it, but maybe somebody else wouldn’t know it. So by having it be live, I was able to adapt and pivot. I think the last three lessons were different than I had originally planned based on the feedback that I gotten through the process. And it also has a higher perceived value from your students, because what would you pay more for? A pre recorded video or a live interaction with the person you’re learning from? I was able to basically justify the cost of $500 because I was basically selling eight live trainings with me. And this, these were the things we were going to learn together as a cohort. And so that’s a different value proposition than here’s a pre recorded course that I promise will likely work for you if you go through it. And here are the case studies and testimonials. So it’s just a different way of thinking about selling information, right? And putting a premium on access to you and live interactions with you, with all the other stuff, like, you can get the recordings, we’ll do handouts and worksheets and continued support and. All the things you would normally do, but you’re basically able to live in a room, work through the material with students, and get real time feedback on what’s working, what’s not, what’s clear, what isn’t. And you’re able to pre sell it at a price point that’s higher than you think you probably should, because you’re essentially selling access to you, not necessarily.
The information and the direction of the course. The direction of the program always changes. It never goes exactly how you planned with your outline. And the quickest way to figure that out is with real people right there giving you live feedback in the Q and A after the unit or the lesson that you’re delivering, right?
Yeah, and I loved doing it on Zoom because then it felt more like we’re going through it together. It felt less presenty. Right. So if you’re, like, live streaming into a Facebook group and people are typing comments, that’s better than nothing. But if you can have somebody, in their own words, talk through their questions, then you’re actually going to capture better what they’re thinking, because there’s always, like, a translation process of, this is my thoughts. Now let me type something to get a question. It’s much easier, and there’s less friction in kind of pulling out the real question. If you’re able to follow up, go back and forth. And then for them, they’re like, wow, I’m actually having a conversation with this person I see as an expert, and they’re actually giving me real time feedback. This is super valuable. And even though, fast forwarding, some of the students ended up not going forward with the business plan, none of them asked for a refund because the value of the live training was so great. They were like, I would never even consider asking for a refund because of how much you’ve already invested in me to this point. So for some, it was helpful to get over the hump, to get into the program that I was that confident that would work, and if it didn’t, I’d give them their money back. And then after the fact, they were like, this was great. I had one guy who is a seasoned sales guy say that the way you describe sales and marketing is better than I’ve ever heard it described in 30 years in the industry. But that itself was worth the price of admission. So that was really validating, right? Like okay. Cool. I actually know what I’m talking about. People will benefit from this. This is great. And that also gave me the confidence to increase the price point every time I launched it after that.
Okay. All right, so you’re listening to this podcast right now. Scrub back or take a screenshot because these last seven ish minutes super valuable and you may not know it until you listen to that section a couple more times but you’re just going to have to take my word and go back and listen like coach so many people through that step. Validate your idea first pre launch that don’t spend the whole summer when your kids are out of school trying to put this courses together and then launch it and expect everybody to come pre sell that. See if there’s interest first. But don’t take my word for it. I have set you up. That’s why I asked Travis to share about this, because it works and it works time and time and time and again. All right, so we’re going to take a quick break for a message from our sponsor. And this episode is sponsored by me, my Facebook Ads management boutique studio. So if you need help with your Facebook ads, what does that mean? Maybe you want to do ads yourself, but you would like me to look at your Facebook ads. I’ve been managing Facebook ads for clients for two years now and tell you the right way to set up your campaign so that you can get the highest quality of client at the lowest cost per lead. Maybe you would like to consider having me manage Facebook ads for you. Maybe you want me to look behind the scenes at your funnel and step by step, help you maximize the conversions at each piece of your funnel so that the leads that are coming into your funnel are worth more at the end of your funnel. All that, you can go ahead to my website, quayjo.com. That’s quayjo.com. There’s a link in the show notes below and fill out a simple application, and we’ll be in touch to see how I can best serve you and your business either in the area of Facebook ads consulting or Facebook ads management or fixing your funnel. Thanks. Now back to the show. Okay, cool. We’re back. Travis, everyone has been patiently waiting to hear the rest of your story, like how you went from that initial 125K investment okay, a little bit of mistake didn’t quite work out. To listening to Rick’s advice and having your first five figure launch, to coming into accelerator, to growing your membership, which remind me the name of that membership again.
So that one was Digital Missionary Academy. That was the name of the membership.
And then you had the successful courses.
Too, which was called online ministry launch.
That you pre validated and then helped people with. Right. Because selling is serving. Like, if you’re not here to serve people, then what are you doing? And I believe not just you, Travis, but everyone you who’s listening. You’ve been blessed with the ability to help people with your passion online and so go out and serve more people. But Travis, how did you then go from having a quite successful online course to what you do now, which is own a podcast production agency?
Yeah. Seems like a little bit of left field, right?
So a couple of additional background, context things. So while I’m an accelerator and I’m doing these course launches. I was also working at Buzzsprout, which is a podcast company running all of their content. So YouTube podcast content, did blogs for a hot second and was basically working with podcasters on how to make and grow and launch successful shows. And a couple of things happened on the back end of several successful launches. And then one that wasn’t so successful. One, you’ve learned to never take anything for granted, right? So just because you have one successful launch doesn’t mean if you just repeat the recipe exactly the same way, six months from now, you get the same results. Because I kind of forecasted, oh, well, if I get these results and then just double my ad spend, I’ll get double the sales.
And it didn’t work. It didn’t work like that. There are all kinds of mitigating factors, like launching in June versus launching in January or totally different animals. But essentially, I had been doing the courses long enough and the membership long enough that I knew what it would take to reach the level of success that I wanted or needed in order to make it my full time focus. And I was also just at a point of looking to see, is this really what I want to do for 1015 years? Because in the beginning, it’s very exciting. The possibilities are endless. Like, you can go any direction you want, and then as you learn more and more about it, and you discover the reality of, well, there’s a lot of hard work involved in this passive income thing. And I was just at a point where I was open to, do I keep launching this, do I keep tweaking it? Because I had hit a ceiling, like a profit selling that wasn’t quite enough to shift from my full time job. And I was like, okay, well, if it takes three, four, or five years to do that, I’m willing to have the patience to let it happen naturally instead of trying to force things through like I did before. And in that time frame, while I was considering what my next steps were, what I wanted to do in the business, I had an old friend reach out to me and say, hey, how would you feel about changing to another company and doing podcast production over here? And at the time, I was like, super not interested. I’m like, I’m not interested in going from one job to a different job. Like, I’m very happy with the job that I have and having my side hustle on the side, and so I’m not looking to jump companies.
He didn’t tell you this was for Buzzprout?
Well, no. So he worked somewhere else. I was working at Buzzprout, and he wanted to basically got you bring me over to the company he was working at.
Okay, all right.
But I had a thought, and the thought was, well, I could totally do this as, like, a consult on the side. Why not, right? I know how to run podcasts. I know how to make this thing happen. I know how to do a much better job than the agency. They’re currently paying six figures. So, yeah, here’s how much it would take for me to do this, and here’s what I’d do for you. And I basically pre sold a business and having no idea what would happen. But one of the other things I had learned in accelerator was the great financial opportunity of hiring overseas, which is something I’d always been skeptical of, but then learning from you and your trainings on VAS.
I do like to hire VAS from the Philippines.
Yeah. I was like, let me try this. Let me try and hire a Filipino VA and a buddy of mine that can do some editing and let me actually try and manage it as an agency model where I’m not actually doing the work. I have a team that’s doing it, and I’m just kind of responsible for the deliverables, and I made sure that there was enough profit in there to make it worth it. And after about two, three months of that, you know, and this this company is writing me, like, a $4,000 a month check. It took me, like, six years to get to $4,000 a month in my last business. It took me 14 days to do it in this one.
This is not a plug for service based businesses, but no. Oh, aren’t they beautiful?
Yeah. It’s just a totally different beast. And it wasn’t something that I had considered before. And so then I started poking around, and I was like, maybe this is something that I could do. Maybe this is something that I could build to see if I can gain enough traction quickly enough that maybe I can do both the education business, the courses, and the service business. And it’s a whole other animal. Like, being a service business is a whole different beast. Some things you’re really grateful for, you have more control over, and a lot of things you have less control over. So, like, for me, since I do podcast production as an agency, that means that I’m relying on my clients to send me recorded content so I can edit it for them and publish it on time. That doesn’t always happen. So it’s like, then how do I pull out of you work that I need in order to continue for you to be able to justify this retainer that you have me on? If you’re just doing courses, it’s like, listen, I made the course. If you watch the videos, that’s on you, man, you got to decide to put in the work. So agency model is a little bit more like, babysitting, I feel like, than an education model, but for me, I was just open to possibilities. And sometimes you don’t even realize the expertise that you have until somebody offers to pay you for it. And so I had never really considered selling my expertise in podcast because that’s what I did for my job. And I felt like that was different somehow, like there was a disconnect internally. It’s like, no, I’m the online ministry guy, not the podcast guy. But then I started asking around and I was like, no, you’re the podcast guy. Every time somebody asks you for advice outside of your business, it’s about podcasting. And so I said, okay, well, let me see if I can get some more clients. And I was able to, so I said, okay, well then let’s try this for a season. And so I basically decided at that point it didn’t make sense to keep both the course business and pursue the agency business at the same time. And so because I was on a launch cycle and I had recurring revenue from the membership that was still coming in, I put a pause on my launches and I devoted that energy to building an agency and I committed to it for six months. So I’m going to try this for six months. If it works, great, if it doesn’t, I’ll just launch another course. Like I already know how to do that. And so for me, it was just like the timing and how people perceived me and my expertise and my reputation. From my work at Buzzprout, I was able to scale really quickly and just over a period of a week decided, I really want to give this a shot for six months to see what happens. To the point where yeah.
So I want to know, especially for people that are listening, that are considering starting a podcast or considering switching to work with a podcast agency rather than self produce and go through all of that. What was it? Humbly. So but what was it that you did differently that really helped you to scale your podcast production agency in those first six months?
So I looked for holes in the market and asked, what can I do that nobody else can replicate? Because also when you’re first starting and a lot of agencies, they scale to the place where you don’t actually talk to the founder, you don’t talk to the person running the company, you talk to account managers and strategists and that kind of stuff.
And so I was basically like, I’m going to create a white label concierge level service for business, right? Because I can do that and I can offer a level of strategy and knowledge and expertise that others can’t match or it doesn’t make financial sense for them to do so. And so not only was I doing the actual nuts and bolts of editing, but I was also editing it better, meaning like there was more soul in the edits. So one of the things that you have to watch out for with agencies of any type, whether it’s social media, marketing or podcast or anything is that they have templates and those templates allow them to work efficiently, but then it kind of just becomes like a boilerplate. Everything’s the same.
And so if you look through their portfolio, it’s like, oh, well, this show is exactly the same as that show, except they use blue instead of red. And that’s like the difference. And so for me, I approached each project as its own living creative entity and had enough background teaching all these different ways that you could do it that I would know. Okay, for you, this is the best approach for your podcast and your business and marketing goals and how we’re going to tie those two things together. And then here’s how we’re going to really make it stand out and make it the best in your niche so you become the go to business and company because people perceive you as being the best. And in addition to that, I’m going to help you grow it. We’re going to work through monetization and tie it into your offers. And I had did a consult recently about like, here’s how you pitch sponsors for a small podcast in a niche that’s valuable, and here’s how you can sell $10,000 a month getting 1000 downloads per episode. Here’s how you do that. But those are the things that agencies yeah, those are the things that agencies typically don’t do. They say, here are our standard packages. If you want us to churn out content, record the stuff, give it to us. But there’s very little wiggle room on what they’ll do for you and how they’ll partner with you to make sure that the podcast really is a win for you. And it’s not just you pay us money, we make things.
I liked that when I had reached out to you because you’re literally producing this episode and the other interview ones I’m doing. Right? So I thought that was really cool when before I decided to start doing this mini four part interview series that you offered to kind of coach me along so that my individual solo episode podcast game could be better. You’re like, we could do that for you. And I was like, what? Seriously? That would help so much. So I just like that level of service that I’ve already personally experienced from you. But then now hearing you say that you do that for the people. Give us the tip, please. Inquiring minds, my mind, selfishly want to know what are the top let’s call the top five, not even top 5%, top 1% of podcast, like doing right now. That’s just like working for them. That us little guys. And maybe the not so little fish in the sea can imitate. The ones that are listening right now can imitate and implement to just start crushing it.
Yeah. So a couple of things have shifted in the podcasting landscape in the last year or two. The Internet moves very fast. AI is teaching us that right now. Podcasting is no different. It used to be that if you wanted to get as much distribution and exposure as possible, all you needed was a microphone. But now YouTube is the number one podcast consumption platform in the world. Used to be Apple Podcast. Spotify gave it a run for its money. Now. It’s YouTube. And so it’s like, okay, well, if you’re going to record the content, turn on a webcam, like, go ahead and record the video so you can put it on YouTube because people are searching for things there. And if your podcast meets a need and an episode that you do is related to a topic that people are looking for help with, that gives you one more place for people to find you and reach you. And then if you’re creating short form videos that can be used as shorts or reels or TikToks or Facebook has Reels now, then once you have the video, you can repurpose that in so many different ways that now you’re seeing podcasts go from just an audio experience like Radio on Demand to we’ve now added video and become a media company with the same content. Because you can take that long form video content, you could turn it into ads, you can turn it into shorts and reels, you can repurpose it for blog posts. There’s so many different things that you can do with video content that podcast it as an audio first platform really limits you. So that’s one thing that you’ll notice is the top 1% shows. They’re all adding video. Do you have to? No, there’s no rules. But it’s just like if you want to be in the top 1%, this is what the top 1% are doing. They’re adding video.
There you go.
So that’s one thing. I think the other thing that is becoming more and more clear is the power of guest podcasting. And so one mistake I see a lot with podcasters is they spend all their time and energy on producing their own show and then hope that people just discover it. But half the battle is marketing, right? It’s just like making a course. Like you can build it doesn’t mean they’re going to come. It’s the same with podcasting. I encourage my clients if they want to pursue free growth strategies, so not paid marketing is to divide their time equally between producing the podcast and being a guest on other podcast where there’s an audience overlap. And the reason that that’s really powerful is because you’re reaching podcast listeners that have already decided, this is a topic I’m not only interested in, but I’m interested enough to invest 45 minutes a week into learning about it.
And so they’re pre qualifying themselves, not just for your business, but for the content you’re making.
And the reason they listen to particular podcast typically, is they come for the content at first like, I want to learn how to start a business, or I want to learn how to run Facebook ads, or I want to learn how to be a better course creator. So that’s how you stumble on art of online business and then you stay because you connect with Rick. Like, there’s a reason you love hearing Rick’s perspective versus one of the other 4 million business podcast that are talking about similar things under that video.
No, not quite 4 million, but it seems that way, right? And so then you now have people tuning in to learn something very specific and from someone they trust. And now this person that they trust has brought you into that space and said, here is another person who knows what they’re talking about and can offer something valuable to you. And we now have a long form conversation. It’s not 3 seconds of video of you on Facebook. It’s 45 minutes an hour of us sitting down and talking about something that you want to learn about. And now I, as a person you’ve trusted as a podcast host, have positioned this other person as being trustworthy. And you can hear them talk for 45 minutes an hour, however long the interview is. So then at the end, when they say, where can people find you? And say, here’s my podcast, guess what they’re going to do? They’re going to follow you back to your podcast because they want to hear more if they liked what you had to say and they feel like there’s a compelling reason to add your podcast to their library, they’re going to go do that. And so the more that you can spend time not just creating your podcast, but really getting in front of those pre qualified listeners that know how to subscribe to a podcast in a podcast app, right? Five years ago, it was like, what’s a podcast? What’s a podcast app? I’m pretty sure I don’t have that. No, it’s default installed on your phone. Just type podcast, it’ll show up. So it used to be you had to train people like, here’s how you find a podcast, here’s how you listen to it. That’s not so much the case anymore, but even so, by guest podcasting on other shows, you’re reaching an audience that knows how to do all those things, right? So that’s the most powerful free thing that you can do that just takes your time to grow your show, because that’s, you know, the the main thing, the main pain point that I see with podcasters is I’m making great content, no one’s listening to it. And that’s the best thing you can do is just spend at least half your time being a guest on other shows, building your network of connections, learning how to pitch yourself as a guest and using that as leverage to bring people back to your content where they can develop a longer term connection with you. And then when you have a launch and you tell people about it, they’re like, I’m ready to go.
Travis established courses creators just learned how to launch their next offer. Presale just learned how to take their podcast to the next level. Like, if they want more of this advice, fire, where are they going to find you in the interwebs? And if they want to have you or your business produce their podcast for them with the white glove service that, might I add, is quite affordable, where do they go to do all that?
So it’s funny you ask at the end of a podcast interview where people should go, because then I’m going to tell them about my podcast that you were a guest on recently, where we talked for an hour about funnels. And so I know that’ll be really relatable for a lot of people here. So my podcast is called Honest Marketing proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Without Selling your Soul. And so some of the topics we talk about are very specific to online business. Some of them are more philosophical in nature. So the pros and cons or the strengths and weaknesses of using AI in your business, how to leverage it, things to be aware of, warning, danger signs and all that in between to how do you set revenue targets as a business owner? What makes sense, what’s healthy, and really doing it from an integrity driven perspective. So if that sounds interesting to you, you can find Honest Marketing on YouTube or anywhere else you listen to podcast. And then my agency is called Honestpodcasts. So you just go to honestpodcast.com. I’ve got a free PDF you can download that I’m sure I’ll link in the show notes when I’m putting this episode together for Quajo that you can download. And it goes through all the steps of how to make one make a podcast if you haven’t made one yet. And then on the website, you can schedule a strategy call. We’ll sit down and talk through your business, what you’re looking to do, and even if outsourcing to a podcast agency makes sense for you. So, like Rick, something I picked up from Rick is if you’re going to have an application process, actually make it an application process. And so I turn applicants away consistently if I feel like as a fiduciary in their shoes, it’s not the right time. So I’ll have business owners approach me and say, hey, I think I want to make a podcast. And I ask them some questions, and I’m like, this isn’t the right investment for you right now. You should spend that money over here because you’ll get a better ROI. It’s not a sales call. We actually sit down and work through your business and figure out, does it make sense for you to outsource a podcast right now? And if it does, then what does that look like for you? How do we integrate it in with everything else that you’re doing and really make it a win win.
Awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And I like how you use the word Fiduciary. Can you break that down for the less advanced people? Including me?
I hear that in real estate or no, in investment, in personal finance all the time. Before we say goodbye, what is Fiduciary?
Yeah, sorry about that. It used to be in the financial investment space that you would look to a money manager, someone who’s going to manage your retirement accounts, your investment accounts, your stock accounts, right? And they would say, here’s what I recommend. I recommend these packages and I recommend them for these reasons. But they didn’t have to disclose how they chose what they recommended or what options they presented to you. So they would self select down the options that either had the best payouts for them, like the best commissions for them, or the ones that they were incentivized to sell. So, like, if you have a company that creates a mutual fund and they say, hey, if you sell our mutual fund, we’ll give you $10,000, $20,000 for every new account. So these money managers were not selling investment opportunities for your retirement accounts based on what was best for you. It was about what was best for them. So it’s kind of like when you type in like, what’s the best mattress? And you go to the website and it’s ranked one through ten. Number one is the highest affiliate commission payout and number ten is the lowest. And that’s how they rank them based on which links they want you to click. Not because the mattress is actually the best, but because it’s the one that pays them the most to recommend.
That’s kind of how it’s like somebody you can trust.
Right. So Fiduciary in the stock market sense is legally required to sell you the best options for you. And there’s actually restrictions on how they themselves trade that if they are going to buy or sell stocks, that they’re in their own account, that they’re actually managing for you as well. They have to make those moves first in your account before they can do that themselves. So they’re not able to use their knowledge to their own benefit without it actually benefiting you as well. So it’s like a legal separation between a money manager and a Fiduciary. But the way I internalize it, just in business is I have knowledge you don’t have. Right. That’s why you’re approaching me, that’s why you’re asking me questions about a podcast 100%. And so I can look forward in the future and say, this is the likely outcome of this particular investment or this particular vehicle or opportunity for you. And so rather than keeping that knowledge a secret and be like, oh yeah, this is totally going to be great, this is going to be well worth it, knowing six months from now you’re. Likely going to realize I should have spent that money elsewhere. I’m just going to tell you on the front end, like, knowing what I know, this is not the greatest thing for you to do right now. This is what you should do instead. This would be my recommendation. You could ignore it, but this is my recommendation. And this is why I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking you on as a client. Because for me, the agency world is all about churn. And so it’s not even just, like, I’m trying to be a good person, which I am, but it’s not in my best interest to be signing up four or five new accounts every month and having four leave. I would much rather hand pick the accounts that I know that I’m confident I can deliver the results they want at a high level and overperform their expectations so they become clients for years and never think twice about the investment they’ve made in me. So some of it is just, like, practical. Like, it doesn’t make sense to sign on clients where it’s not going to work out long term, and then some of it is just a good human thing to do. Like, if you can help somebody guide their steps instead of thinking about everything transactionally as, how do I turn your money into my money, then that’s just kind of how I choose to operate.
Spoken like a true guy who likes to help people. And thank you for being here on this podcast. I can’t wait to talk to you again. And, yeah, you shared so much, like, you shared so much. Thank you for being here, Travis.
Thanks for having me.
All right, bye. Hey, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Travis. And if you want to connect with him or see how you could have his podcast production agency produce your podcast, I linked everything up in the Show Note descriptions. If you haven’t yet left a rating over on Apple podcast, please take like 10 seconds to go and do so now. That would super help the podcast, and if you’re not a subscriber, please go and subscribe. And if you’re on Spotify, you can go ahead and hit that follow button. Finally, if you need Facebook ads help, whether that’s to have me troubleshoot your and campaigns, optimize them. Make sure they’re working the best way they can for your business, or you need my eyes on your funnel to help it convert better. Or maybe you’re just considering having ads management head over to quaidjo.com that’s quayjo.com so we can see how I can best help you out. The link to that is also in the Show notes. Until next time, thank you for listening and be blessed.