This is the first of what I hope will be a long series of updates on what is at this point my main project, PodcastMotor. In this series I hope to detail what is happening with the business, what I’ve learned so far, what challenges I’m facing, and how I’m planning to move the business forward in the next month.
These updates will be 100% transparent, as this blog is purely about me and my journey. My journey is not just about making money or creating a successful business, but rather it is about creating a lifestyle, a legacy, and a purpose that I am proud of and supports my goals in life. Much more on goals and priorities another time, but for now on to the update of PodcastMotor.
This is absolutely not going to be yet another “Income Report”, but rather a journal of my business evolution. The blogosphere is chalk full of wannabe studs mascarading around as the next John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn. I am not either of those guys, but I am building a legit business that is solving real life needs for other business owners, and that is something I am proud of and take very seriously.
PodcastMotor was founded almost exactly 1 month ago, and it’s goal is simple: To allow Podcast hosts the freedom to focus solely on creating great content in their shows, and we’ll take care of everything else. I am a podcast host myself of 2 different shows in the “Management and Marketing” section of iTunes. One is called the Nights and Weekends Podcast, and along with my co-host Ken Wallace, we are doing essentially what I’m hoping to do here on the blog: chronicle my journey in business towards my ultimate goal. Along the way this has, and will continue to, allow us some introspection and reflection on what we’re doing, what’s working, what we could do differently, as well as keep each other accountable for our business goals.
The other show I do is called Rogue Startups, and is the show I originally started myself, but brought on a co-host named Dave Rodenbaugh a couple of months ago. This has been a great move, as a purely interview only show is pretty tough to do well, but having a co-host makes things so much easier to produce. Dave and I talk a lot about our businesses, but we also bring on guests, share tactics and strategy in general about business and marketing, and are hoping to build a show that people will come to as a reference for certain topics.
Well, as you can imagine once both shows started running concurrently, with weekly release schedules, I quickly saw what a time drag editing, producing, writing show notes, and posting episodes was for just me. Imagine if I was the owner of a large corporation that just wanted to have a podcast to accompany their other inbound marketing efforts!
Well PodcastMotor was born with 1 goal in mind: Do everything needed to create a show after the recording stops. We edit, mix in music, do audio engineering, post to media hosts, create show notes and custom featured images for each episode, and schedule the release of each episode so that the hosts of the shows can focus on Job #1: Creating great content.
This is a fair amount of work, and for each episode I spend about 5 hours editing, producing, and publishing a show.
As far as the actual business update, in the month of March I actually landed 2 customers for the Concierge Service. At a price tag of $495/month this gets me pretty close to a 4 figure per month run rate. Not too shabby for a first month.
With 2 customers on board both regularly producing shows, along with the two shows that I do myself, I quickly started running out of time to do any real work ON the business. I was too busy working IN the business. Any of you who have read the E-myth know exactly what I’m talking about.
The bottle neck of my time was easy to identify: editing podcasts was taking me much more than 50% of my available work time, and so I hired someone to do that for me. I found a 20 year veteran audio engineer on Odesk and am quite happy to pay him the per episode fee so that I’m free to work ON the business instead of working IN it.
With the audio editing and producing out of the way I’m now looking at avenues of marketing. My initial customers came by word of mouth and relationships I have in the industry. I have considered both outbound and inbound marketing efforts and have decided that both are probably appropriate.
Because I am positive cash flowing at this point, but still have a day job that supports me and my family for now, I’m choosing to reinvest all of my profit back into the business at this point. I will do this all in marketing. Since this is a productized service business I don’t need to create a “product” per se, and can focus solely on the business processes, and marketing. Since the business process is something that only I can control, it only makes sense to outsource the marketing.
The Month Ahead
Looking forward into April (ok, granted it’s already April 15, but give me a break, this is my first update!), I am going to set up inbound marketing efforts in the form of Twitter ads, and outbound marketing efforts in the form of cold emails. I use FancyHands as a VA service and they are compiling for me information about both avenues, and I will be using a Ghost Blog Writing service to create blog articles for PodastMotor. I plan to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 in the month of April on this and unfortunately I don’t know that I’ll be able to measure the results of that for at least another month. At a price point like $500/month there are a lot of unit step functions (for all you engineer dorks out there) in revenue.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this breakdown of my business thus far. I sure have enjoyed talking about it. It helps to get everything down on paper so that I can start seeing things in my business clearly. Many people talk about Journaling as a main way of keeping your thoughts organized, and I can see why. I think doing this regularly will be hugely helpful in me keeping perspective on what is going on with my business, and my priorities.
Until next time…