Podcasting is a big business, but making money as a podcaster isn’t always easy especially when starting out. So when should you start seeking money from sponsors for your podcast? We caught up at the NAB Show New York with Jessica Kupferman, who is the co-founder of She Podcasts and the Podcasting School for Women, and Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn, to find out how to make money in podcasting.
Kupferman urges people to think of sponsorship more as a science than an art. She recommends having, “either…at least 2000 episodes [downloads] or I say you have to be podcasting for at least 6 months to a year. By then, they should have [enough] if they’re consistently working…[towards] number[s] they need.” Walch says, “You need to work on growing your audience.” He adds, if the number of downloads for each podcast is small, because the content is a niche community, “then I give them the advice to go out and find a magazine, find an advertiser in the back of a magazine and contact them that way.” Kupferman points out, “Yeah with this show, “She Podcast” we’ve never broken [with the exception of] I think one or two episodes…. [an amount] like 5000 [downloads], [but] most of them are half that. Walch agrees, “podcast about podcast never break 5000.”
Kupferman points out that she’s actually created a tool to help podcasters know if they are ready for sponsorship. She says, “I’ve created a quiz that’s called “SponsorReady.com.” It’s basic
As for how to grow your audience, Walch says it’s all about being able to be found and word of mouth. Watch believes, “it’s about word-of-mouth advertising. It’s what is really going to grow. The only advice I can really give people, other than create great content, is make sure your show is everywhere! So I’ll look at some shows, because I think they’re super eager. Their numbers are marginal… and I’ll look at that man say the only destination you said I push [is] your Feed? You’re not in Google Play. You’re not in iHeartRadio… [You need] your show everywhere at least then people can discover it, and you have the discoverability option. Kupferman agrees, “The same with me. They say they’re ready, I look at their Twitter, I look at their Facebook, I look at their Instagram, I look at their website, how well it’s done and then I’m almost like I can’t even believe I have to write back to this person. Like how is this not obvious to everyone including the person [who] is asking?”
Kupferman says there’s one important thing to remember, it’s all about the audience. She advocates, “The trick is I just started realizing this little saying…your content is not your product. [The product that you are selling to advertisers and sponsors] is the audience that is your product.” She emphasizes, “a lot of podcasters don’t want to hear that though, because they worked so tirelessly at perfecting their content.” Walch agrees, “Build it [building that audience] and they [advertisers and sponsors] will come. That is how it works with advertising. You have to build your audience.”