We’re back with Episode 3 of The Numbers Game! This week, we take a look back at everything that made The Podcast Host what is it today. That means doubling down on content, learning new tools, changing our focus for the future and bringing on new employees.
Our lesson, this week, is around the time and effort it takes to induct new staff. I’ll give some tips on how to make it easier. Then, in our experiment, we continuing with custom leadmagnets. I found a great article from AppSumo which gave us some brilliant benchmarks and answer the question – What is a good optin rate?
Finally, your homework: sign up with an email marketing provider and start growing your own list. I show you what we use and why Enjoy!
Story | Future Focused: Finding Staff and Sacking Clients
By April 2016, Robert had joined the team as a Content Manager and the company was really doubling-down on content.
From January until March we had been releasing a solid one post per day, but this did little for audience growth. We weren’t entirely sure how to feel, but by around September the effects really kicked in. At that point we were up to 900 users a day – a 50% increase on the start of the year.
“It just showed me, I know it’s a cliché these days, but content takes time to kick in… And man, that was a long time!”
On top of that, we started looking at dropping clients because just weren’t scalable, and from that came two things. Firstly, we planned to create a membership site to replace the income from clients. Then, off the back of SMART match funding from Scottish Enterprise, we looked at developing software for creating branded videos and quality podcasts from just one raw piece of footage. This was when we first started delving into SAAS (software as a service)
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In terms of revenue, by January 2016 our affiliate income was up to around $3100. This stayed pretty steady for the first three months of the year but slowly started to grow from April onwards.
“To give you a benchmark, and that’s what we’re about, we were on 950 unique website visitors per day by September. That was generating over $4000 in affiliate revenue every month.”
Lessons | The Big Time Suck: What to Expect When you Employ
This week, the main lesson being discussed is staff training.
Having brought on Robert for the content marketing work, the big issue was the amount of time that had to be set aside to explain how to do things, or to answer any questions he had. It took a couple of hours per day for the first three months, showing him how to work the different tools we use.
It became clear, especially with a team of people, that there’s a huge job in getting to know the tools we use. I completely underestimated how complex our systems were. We had built up this network of tools over a few years, including Dropbox, Evernote, Trello, Slack, GMail, GCalender, Calendly, and on, and on. We link them together in a whole range of ways, and not always in ways intended by the creators.
We’d start with one, then add another 6 months later, then another, and another. Because we did it over such a period of time, it didn’t seem too complex to us. But to someone new, trying to learn it all in just a few weeks, it’s like a big spider web of systems all linking in weird little ways.
So, the lessons to take away are:
- If you’re taking on someone new, set out at least a couple of hours per day for training over the first few months.
- Try not to get annoyed or frustrated. Keep in mind that you take this stuff for granted, and if you’ve created good systems, they probably won’t be something that can be learned in an hour. Take it as a compliment!
- Now, we’ve created Standard Operating Procedures to help guide people through the processes, and this saves us hours of time!
Experiment | Setting a Baseline: What’s a Good Email Optin Rate?
This week on the experiment section we’re back to email optins.
A recent article by SumoMe revealed that the top 50% of optins get a click rate above 1.8%, which is good seeing as we’re already above that on a few of ours. But still, we want to do better.
The average optin gets a click-rate of 2.9%, which is a lot higher. So how do we fare?
Well, our Skype popup is sitting at 1.5%, Kitbag at 0.4%, Fiction Podcasting at around 1.4% and our general ebook at 2.3%.
So, currently the custom popups aren’t doing great compared to the more general posts. But, let’s give them a chance. Perhaps my headlines aren’t great, or the image could be improved. I’ve been testing the General eBook optin for a LOT longer!
Actions | Sign up For, or Change, your Email Provider
Now for your homework. Over the last two week you’ll have created your lead magnet and installed SumoMe. Now it’s time to take what you’ve done and put it in an email provider.
There’s a tonne of options out there for providers, including Convertkit, which is what we use here at The Podcast Host.
Convertkit allows you to create an email sequence tailored to each user. When they’re done with that sequence they can make a choice, which then leads them onto another personalised sequence based on that choice. That means your audience ends up following a really personalised path, which increased the value they get and their loyalty to you
So, this week’s tasks:
- Sign up to the Convertkit website (if you use our affiliate link, that would be appreciated!)
- Create your first form and set it up to deliver your lead magnet as the 1st welcome email (easy peasy once you see the settings!) Lastly, you can tell SumoMe to tie together one or more of it’s popups with that form in the integrations section.
- If you use a different tool? Let us know what one you use by tweeting us @thepodcasthost
What do You Think?
We love to hear your feedback here, so get in touch on Twitter.
- What do you think of the format (by splitting the show up into sections)?
- Have you been watching the videos or just the audio? We'd love to know what’s more popular.
Otherwise, please do get onto iTunes, review the podcast and enjoy your week!