Look, I get it. Podcasts can be challenging to monetize, especially when you have a small audience—or if you’re just getting started, no audience at all! The good news: you don’t need a large audience to build a substantial income from your podcast.
Of course, there are many ways to monetize your podcast, selling sponsorships being one of those. But unless you already have a large audience, I’d recommend looking for other, more lucrative ways to monetize your podcast and build sustainable income streams.
By Brian Casel
This is a guest article by Brian Casel, founder of Clarityflow, a tool loved by coaches for async coaching, courses, and community.
- Podcasting and Coaching: A Match Made In Heaven
- Take a Closer Look at Your Audience
- Coaching, Courses, and Community: What’s the Deal?
- Using Clarityflow to Power Your Coaching, Courses, and Community Business
- Next Steps?
Podcasting and Coaching: A Match Made In Heaven
Assuming you’ve already got your podcast rolling, you’ve most likely got an idea of who your audience is and what they’re tuning in for. This is where you need to tune in. Somewhere between that “who” and “what” is your gold—a product you can sell to unlock a consistent income.
In my opinion, the best and most direct opportunity is to offer your audience coaching, courses, and/or community. Better yet, offer all three of these (they work even better together). I talk to hundreds of coaches who use Clarityflow, and I can’t help but notice so many of them have podcasts!
As a podcaster, you’re uniquely positioned to offer coaching, courses, and community spaces. You’ve got an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you and your insights.
They’ve deemed you a smartypants and are willing to spend 30 to 60 minutes listening to what you have to say. Use this to your advantage!
It’s no wonder so many coaches have podcasts and use their presence on the airwaves as the “top of funnel” entry point for growing a strong customer base. Both podcasting and coaching can accomplish similar things—building trust and a glowing reputation with your audience.
Can Any Podcaster Start Coaching?
Some podcasting categories are easily transferable to coaching. Think business, entrepreneurship, parenting, and personal development. But even the less obvious ones can offer up some coaching opportunities. It all depends on your skill set, what you’re willing to share, and what your audience is looking for.
For example, a true crime podcaster might look into teaching storyboarding and scriptwriting. A fashion podcaster might offer style coaching. Even podcasts that rely solely on entertainment can provide coaching on creating a great podcast! Your audience is there for a reason—tap into that, and the sky’s the limit.
You’d be surprised by how many different kinds of coaches are out there, all valuable in their own unique way. And if you genuinely cannot think of a coaching opportunity for yourself, the option of building a community is still there.
Take a Closer Look at Your Audience
Before you knuckle down, let’s spend a minute analyzing your audience. Yes, they’re already tuning in. But we want to really zero in on why they’re tuning in. A simple way of doing this could be creating a survey that listeners can fill out (“If you like what you hear, let’s try and keep it that way – head to BlankPodcast.com/survey and tell us more”). Of course, this becomes much easier if you’ve got an email list to notify listeners of your latest episodes. But that’s an article for another day.
By surveying your audience, you not only get to know your audience, but you’re able to see what they want more of. The added bonus is that you get to see how invested your listeners are! Here are a couple of tips on surveying your audience:
- Keep it short and simple. Filling out a survey takes time, regardless of how short it is.
- Mix multiple choice with free-form inputs. Multiple choice helps you focus your survey and organize your data, while free-form inputs give you more detailed insights.
- Aim at confirming assumptions. As I said before, you already sort of know why your audience is listening. Let’s try and prove (or disprove) those theories.
If your audience is still relatively small, a survey may not give you the insights you need to jump into course creation. Instead, start small—a simple one-liner like, “What are you working on, and what is your biggest challenge right now?” is a great way to build a clearer idea of what your listeners may be interested in.
Coaching, Courses, and Community: What’s the Deal?
Alright! We know what your audience likes, what their struggles are, and what they’re interested in. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of it all – the three “products” you can offer your podcast listeners:
This is the fastest, most direct way to offer value to your audience. Even if you have a small audience, you only need a couple of good coaching clients to start this income stream.
Because you already have the knowledge, your main barrier to entry is choosing a platform to host your coaching sessions. You could go the traditional route of hosting live calls (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.), but consider trying an asynchronous approach! This way, you don’t have to fill up your calendar with Zoom calls, and you allow clients to work at their own pace.
Besides being relatively easy to set up, coaching is also easy to scale. By offering group coaching, you can maximize your time while providing value for several clients. Group coaching is also a great way to connect your clients with people who are similar to them. The only caveat—even with group coaching, the “product” you’re selling is your time and attention in every single session (asynchronous or not). If you’d prefer a less hands-on approach, consider creating a course.
Courses can be a great way to build more passive income since customers can enroll in your course at their own pace. You can even leverage key ideas in your podcast interviews and use these in your course content and case studies.
Another obvious benefit of courses is that they free up your time! As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to host your students – once you’ve created your course, you can sell it over and over again. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be updating and refining your course as time goes by!
In my opinion, the best way to help customers succeed with your course is to offer coaching along with the learning material—something Clarityflow specializes in.
Yes, it means taking a more hands-on approach, but the results you’ll achieve are worth it. Happy clients = great testimonials = more happy clients. I guarantee you’ll see your efforts reflected in your client and listener base.
Your audience is already part of your community. By creating a space where they can connect, you’re simply bridging the gap from my community to our community! Remember, listeners of your podcast are likely very similar to one another. They’re interested in the same topics and aspiring to similar goals. Connecting them in a shared community is a no-brainer!
A private membership community can be a great way to earn a recurring subscription income. Clarityflow offers the ability to sell subscriptions and manage private community spaces. Alternatively, you can offer the community as a free benefit to listeners, which can be a great stepping stone into your paid courses and/or coaching. This is a great combo to have a 2-way connection with podcast listeners and for listeners to connect with each other!
Using Clarityflow to Power Your Coaching, Courses, and Community Business
With async messaging at its core, Clarityflow lets you have conversations asynchronously using video, audio, and text. It’s a great way to start communicating with your podcast listeners (and coaching clients) directly—no matter where they are! And without being on the spot on a live call, you and your clients have space to think and contribute thoughtfully. Plus, no more scheduling nightmares!
Use Spaces for Group coaching, Communities and Memberships
One of the most effective ways to grow your podcast audience is to connect them with one another! Communities for your podcast listeners are perfect for this.
Offering a community space is also a great way to monetize by charging for membership access, or helping listeners feel more connected (and share your stuff with others).
Clarityflow’s Spaces feature lets you give members access to a dedicated space for group interaction and conversations and run group coaching cohorts or grow a thriving community.
Use Programs for Online Courses and Interactive Content
As I mentioned above, combining courses with coaching is key. And since Clarityflow is made for coaches, we’ve tailored it to their specific needs with our Programs feature:
- Courses and coaching in the same place. Each client gets their own instance of your course in a private “conversation”.
- Personalized courses for each client. Store your re-useable coaching content and build programs for curated courses.
- Templateable conversations. For when your advice is just too good not to share! Add your golden insights to your coaching library.
- Integrate Programs and Spaces. Clients within a space can go through a program’s content together and gain insights from you and each other.
Selling with Coaching Packages
Since we’re talking about monetizing your podcast, being able to sell coaching packages is vital. Simply connect your Stripe account to Clarityflow, configure the products you wish to sell, and you’re good to go! We allow coaches to offer and sell subscriptions, one-time purchasable products and instalment plans.
We’ve covered a lot here, but I hope this article has sparked some ideas for monetizing your podcast. Remember, your audience is there for a reason—tap into it.
If you’re not podcasting already, look no further than The Podcast Host’s How to Start guide and free Alitu Showplanner. They’ve got you covered with all the resources and tools you’ll need to get going. And when you’re ready to monetize your podcast with coaching, courses and community (or all three!), I invite you to try out Clarityflow. You can start with a free trial or request a personalized demo and consultation.