Beyond editing and managing, making money from their podcast is one of the top things clients want help with and I don’t blame them!
First things first, not every podcaster is wanting to make money from their podcast. If that’s the case, they may also not be looking for help from a podcast manager, so keep that in mind!
If your client is interested in monetizing, I highly suggest creating a plan and implementing it as soon as possible. Have you ever followed someone for awhile and then they started selling you on things you didn’t even know they had? Consistency and transparency build trust so being upfront with what your audience can expect from you is smart.
(To read more about what to think about when starting a podcast, including why monetizing is important from the beginning, click here.)
1. Sell a related product or service
If your client already has a business, this one is a no-brainer. They can use their podcast to share information about their business and the products or services they offer. These could be digital or physical products, an ebook, a course, services, etc.
No one likes listening to 10 mins of ads in the beginning of a show though. It’s important to strike a balance between offering really valuable, great content that the audience is interested in, while pitching related products you’re selling. Listeners need to know you have their best interest in mind and come from a place of integrity. If your number one goal is to make money, listeners will know and not return.
2. Affiliate links
Whether your client has an existing business or not, anyone can share links to products and companies that they love and that align with their audience, thereby creating some income through affiliate links.
Affiliate links can be a great way of monetizing your podcast, as long as you’re sharing honest recommendations and these recommendations supplement and support your client’s content. When done right, sharing affiliate links can come across as helpful tips for your audience rather than a sales pitch.
The most important thing is to choose companies that align with your client’s listeners and their message. You should also always inform your listeners when a link you’re sharing is an affiliate link.
Most of the time listeners are happy to use affiliate links because they enjoy your podcast. If your client recommends something and they decide to purchase it, they’re happy to have it help you out as well. Plus, you can sometimes set up sweet deals for the audience where it benefits them and you with an extra discount or another special offer.
Have you heard of Patreon? This is a site for creatives (artist, musicians, writers, and the like). It’s often recommended for hobby podcasters. Basically, it’s a platform that allows people to donate any amount of money monthly to you to thank you for whatever you’re creating. The perk of donating is that they then get some sort of bonus. For podcasters, this often looks like you doing a bonus episode every month for only your “patrons” to access.
Keep in mind that while this method can bring in money, it also requires extra work for your client. Also, your listeners may not want or have time for another episode, so that particular incentive may not be enough for them to sign up and donate regularly to your client’s show.
With that being said, it’s important to know your audience when creating a bonus or perk in Patreon. Be creative and think of other options to share as a bonus for your patrons at different levels—just be sure to keep in mind the amount of work, time, and maybe materials any of those bonuses will take.
For a list about monetizing your podcast, I have to cover ads, right? This is often the first way people think of to monetize their podcast, but I’ve got it last on my list because it is the hardest and most time consuming way to monetize a podcast.
The rule of thumb is to have traditional, spoken ads you typically need to have 10k downloads a month (after 90 days.) That’s a lot of downloads! Podcasts with less than 10k downloads a month do land advertisers so don’t let this discourage you from trying. Know that download numbers, who your audience is, and how engaged they are are keys to landing great sponsorships.
If you’re wanting to pursue this route, you’ll want to start with a stellar media kit that captures the most important stats for your podcast (and platform!) It’s smart to reach out to companies that are in total alignment with the topic of your show, not only will this serve your audience but it will increase your chances of getting the attention of the company.
Combining these strategies can build a great monetization strategy for your client’s podcast! Every show and audience is different so testing out different strategies is smart.
Now, I hope your wheels are turning and you’re considering ways to help your client monetize their show! If you’re still developing your skills as a podcast manager, I invite you to check out The Podcast Manager Jumpstart course where I teach freelancers how to edit, manage, promote, and launch a podcast for clients! I’d love to work with you!