To celebrate the 500th episode of The Cliff Ravenscraft Show (aka Podcast Answer Man), I invited a very special guest, my wife Stephanie, to join me. In this episode, we share our “Origin Story” or “Our Podcasting Journey” of how we turned something that started as a hobby into a very successful online business. We hope you enjoy!
Would you like to create an online business around your podcasting efforts? Or would you like to your existing online business to the next level? If so, we would love to invite you to join us at our Next Level Workshop hosted right here in the Next Level Studio. Click here for more information and to get registered.
Jerry, a listener to the podcast, recently sent me an email that contained the following statements.
“God is using your podcast to help change my life – not an exaggeration. I just listened to “Will Watching TV Make or Keep You Poor?” and loved every minute of it… It might be something you've already done somewhere, but I would really like to hear you talk about how you fit all of life in; how you get the “big rocks” in, as I'm sure you know the parable of the jar and the rocks, sand, and water… You talk about working so hard, watching all this TV (and all these movies), listening to a ton of podcasts as well as other things AND having what sounds like a healthy family life…
I go to work, come home and spend some time with the family, struggle through a few things, go to bed too late, get up early and do it all again without really being able to make any headway. What little time I actually give to these things, I mostly end up jumping from one project to the next without anything to show for it.
A lot of this, I think, comes from just not knowing what I should be doing at given times and wondering if I've given enough time to the most important things, which is why I'd love to hear how you do it.”
This episode contains my response to Jerry's question.
Recently, a friend of mine posted a quote from John Rohn that said “Poor People Have Big TVs. Rich People Have Big Libraries.” Over the years, I've seen a number of successful entrepreneurs who wear the fact that they don't watch television as a merit badge. I've even heard a few folks who have passed judgement on those who might enjoy binge watching a television series on Netflix.
In this episode, I share my very authentic response to this Jim Rohn quote. After that, I share a total of eight benefits that entrepreneurs can get by enjoying a great television show or more every now and then.
In this week's episode, I answer a question from a listener who's mother had been diagnosed with dementia and where the content was sort of a journal of the mom's progress. Family members had expressed concerns about the details being shared in the podcast and this person wanted my thoughts on how much personal information is okay to share in a podcast.
Since December 20005, I've created over 30 of my very own podcasts with over 3,600 podcast episodes. As you might imagine, I've become quite comfortable behind the microphone.
In fact, I've developed a method of creating content that I call “Live To Drive.” What this means is that I simply hit record on my recorder, I include everything I want to have in my episode, into the episode, as I am recording (including intro, outro or any other audio clips), and when I'm finished, I simply stop the recorder and I don't do any editing on the episode at all. In these “Live To Drive” episodes, my audience gets to hear everything that happened during to recording of the episode without a single edit.
Now with that said, there are still times when I record a podcast where, afterward, I think to myself… “hmmm, I might want to do a bit of editing on this.” There have been some episodes where I recorded for as much as an hour and fifteen minutes and, after editing, the final episode that was released was only 43 minutes in length, after I finished cutting out significant portions of audio during the editing process.
Recently, I recorded a lengthy audio segment that I knew I wanted to include in episode 497 of Podcast Answer Man / The Cliff Ravenscraft Show. After recording it, I knew that I wanted to do a “deep dive edit” on this recording before allowing it to be published to my audience.
I decided to fire up my Facebook Live Stream to share my editing process with my community. Those who were watching live and who have watched the replay on Facebook said that they found this over the shoulder look into my process very helpful.
For this reason, I've decided to the recordings from my Facebook Live Stream with you here. You'll notice that I broke the process into two separate Facebook Live Streams. The reason for this is that in the middle of editing, I needed to leave to go have dinner with my family. After I returned for dinner, I launched the second live stream and finished the editing of this audio segment.
In this week's episode, I talk about some of the thoughts shared in the first section of the book Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Essentially, if you believe that making money is a selfish activity, it will undermine your chances of financial success. I hope that this episode will be a catalyst for helping you develop a deep conviction about the intrinsic morality of operating a business.
In this week's episode, I talk about having wealth, defined as “having more than you need to survive. For most of my life, I had considered wealth as a limited resource. I also grew up thinking the the pursuit of having more than I needed to survive was wrong.
By listening, you'll learn how my Christian upbringing actually fueled this warped
mindset about money and wealth. I also share one of the first pieces of online content that helped me understand that wealth is not a limited resource and that when you create products and services, and sell them, everyone becomes wealthier in the process.
In this week's episode, I share a podcast episode that inspired me greatly this week. I talk about how I can be super passionate about a topic that I want to cover in my show, but how that passion can die down if I put off recording about it for a few days.
And most importantly, I share a story about how I once felt shame for charging clients money for the valuable service that I provide. More importantly, I share how my mindset on this matter has changed over the years.
In this week's episode, I share some entrepreneurial thoughts that have been on my mind over the past week. I also share the number one skill that has helped me more than anything else as it relates to the growth and success of my online business.
One of the benefits of having a podcast is the ability to connect with people who you might not, otherwise, be able to connect with. By building a loyal audience around a particular niche focus, you have something of great value to offer to others. Exposure to your community.
Inviting leading industry experts, your favorite authors, etc. to be a guest on your podcast is a great way to build your personal and/or professional network. You also have the ability to gain a bit of credibility by association through the process.
However, if not done well, a podcast interview can harm a potential relationship and damage the credibility you have with your audience. Over the years, I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to podcast interviews.
I devoted the second half of episode 315 of my podcast to providing a total of 22 tips to help improve your podcast interviews. I've taken the audio just from that portion of the episode, cleaned it up a bit with editing and embedded the audio file above.
I'm going to share the list of 22 tips below. However, if you listen to the audio, embedded above, you will hear me go into great detail about each of these tips. It's worth a listen if you have the time.
22 Tips To Improve Your Podcast Interviews
1. When inviting a guest for an interview, be sure to clearly communicate the name of your show, the website address of your show, and what your show is about.
2. Explain why you would like to have this guest on your show.
3. Clearly communicate how long you are requesting for the interview to take place.
4. Be prepared by offering at least two to three time slots for the guest to choose from. Be flexible if those are not a good fit for their schedule.
5. Once you confirm a date and time with your guest, be certain to communicate how the interview will be conducted. Provide applicable information such as phone number or Skype contact ID, etc, and clearly communicate who is going to initiate the call.
6. If the interview is scheduled more than a week in advance, be sure to send a follow up reminder one week prior to the scheduled interview.
7. Regardless of when the interview is scheduled, send a follow up reminder the day before the interview. Be sure to communicate, again, how the interview will be conducted, the contact information, and who will be initiating the call.
8. Be sure to include the time and TIME ZONE when sending requests and any confirmations or follow ups related to the interview.
9. Consider sending an outline of questions that you will cover in advance of the interview.
10. If something comes up on your schedule, that would conflict with your scheduled interview, do not put this off, immediately contact your guest and let them know. Make sure to confirm that they received your message about the conflict.
11. Always mark off at least 30 minutes before your scheduled interview to prepare for the call.
12. Call your guest ON TIME! Seriously, be very respectful of their time.
13. Do not go over your time scheduled for the interview.
14. Follow up with a thank you note. This can be done via email, but it has more impact when you send a card (or gift) by mail.
15. Be prepared to give an introduction of your guest rather than asking them to introduce themselves.
16. When asking a question, don’t continue speaking and answering the question for them.
17. Don’t interrupt your guest when they are speaking.
18. Don’t give verbal agreements to every statement that they make.
19. Avoid questions that allow for simple one word answers.
20. Have an idea of the main points you desire to have come out within the interview, ask questions that get you to reach those goals and allow the conversation to flow.
21. Listen to your guest while they are speaking.
22. Make sure to learn how to pronounce your guests name correctly.
I hope that these tips will help you make you a great first impression with those you interview on your podcast.
This post is a part of my weekly podcast development email newsletter. Every week, I share the best tips, advice, tools, techniques and strategies related to podcasting. Register today at http://podcastanswerman.com/newsletter.
Thank you for being a part of my community.
Until next time, I encourage you to take everything you do to the next level!
In this week's episode, I'm joined, once again, by my great friend, Mark Mason. Mark joined me to have a discussion about the various options that we had considered for implementing a email support ticket system into our online businesses and which one we both ended up using. We also talk about WordPress themes and a few other items that we've been working on to take our businesses to the next level.
Help Ticket Conversation starts at 00:07:05
WordPress Themes Conversation starts at 00:48:08
This week's episode is a bit unique. I was recently watching a SnapChat story from my friend, Sarah Stahl, where she was talking about how difficult it is to grow your own business. I can certainly relate to experiencing the struggles that one goes through when getting a business off the ground. However, Sarah shared that she had been working on her business for four years and that she was still struggling to figure out what next steps to take. This week's episode is almost like listening in on a coaching call between myself and Sarah.
Liz recently asked… “Hi Cliff! I have a question regarding being transparent, especially with things you're working on and the challenges/obstacles you face in your day-to-day work life. Do you ever worry about giving away the “secret sauce” about your biz as you're sharing what you're working on and your goals? Do you think that gives your competition an edge or gives someone an idea to do the same thing that you've shared you're working on?”
I share my answer to Liz in this week's episode of the podcast. I also share my thoughts related to Mark Mason's reaction to last week's Product Launch Fatigue episode.
In this week's episode, I invite my great friend, Ray Edwards, to join me for a conversation about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. There seems to be a growing trend, within the podcasting community, to pollute the content stream with excessive product promotion.
In this week's episode, I talk about the idea of including a little bit more of your personal life and thoughts into your podcast. I also talk about how I choose to prioritize my days, another amazing benefit of having a weekly email newsletter and thoughts on people who leave negative reviews on iTunes.
In this week's episode, I share why I have gone heavy into video production mode this week, what additional camera I would love to purchase and how awesome it is when content starts to feed other content. There's actually a whole lot more in there as well. I hope you enjoy.
Since December 2005, I've produced a total of 30 podcasts with more than 3,600 of my very own podcast episodes. One question that I'm asked quite often is… “How do you consistently come up with new content for your podcast(s)?”
I covered this topic in the middle of one of my podcast episodes a few years back. Rather than point you back to that old episode and have you forward to the spot where I talked about this topic, I went ahead and created the following audio file which contains just that portion of the episode. Have a listen.
Below is a list of the sources I mentioned
– Questions and comments from your community.
– News feeds from your niche.
– What struggle are you currently facing? Ask your community for help.
– What obstacle have you recently overcome? Share how you did it.
– What are people talking about in social media?
– Be on the lookout for stories in your every day life.
– Share the success of someone else.
– Invite a guest to come on your show for a “conversation.”
– Search the archives of others in your niche “for inspiration only.”
Earlier this year, I made a commitment that I would publish a new episode of this podcast by 5am on Friday, every week in 2016. I am happy to report that I have made good on this promise. Recently someone suggested that this type of commitment might come with problems, that for some, it might be better to go a week without an episode than to put out something that is “crap.” I processed my thoughts out loud in this episode.
Also in this episode, I share a breakdown on how I did on the goals that I had set for 2016, why I haven't been very “social” over the past few weeks and two gadgets that I'm excited about.
In this week's episode, I share a few thoughts about what I've learned about myself and my brand throughout this year as I was laser focused on seeking greater discernment about my identity moving forward.
App Mentioned In The Episode
In the open of the episode, I talked about the iOS app called UMMO.
What if my podcast is so successful that I have less time to podcast? Andrienne Olsen recently sent me an email saying… “I have a question for you. The time management piece of this is tricky for me. The more I get the podcast and training materials up, the more clients I get, and less time for podcasting and serving. What are your thoughts on that?” I spent the first half of this episode sharing my thoughts on this.
The Inspiring Podcasting Journey of Curtis Stone
The title of this week's episode is based on the feedback that I received from Curtis Stone who had finally decided to “just get started and see what happened” with his podcast. In April 2014, he and his daughter launched the Geekin' On WDW podcast. I share the amazing email that Curtis sent that talk about how it took him several years to get around to launching his podcast and the amazing things that have happened as a result of his podcasting journey.
In college, I was a theatre minor. In acting classes, they teach you that regardless what is going on in your real life, you simply must put it aside when you are on the stage. You are there to perform for the audience and you are expected to “play the character” that is prescribed for the production.
Every now and then, it's easy for us, as podcasters, to feel like we need to “put on a performance” for our audience. I understand the need for someone, like myself, to build a professional reputation to represent my business well. However, I feel that it is important that we don't lose touch of the importance of authenticity.
In this week's episode, I share a few emails that reminded me just how valuable it is when I'm just being myself behind the microphone, sharing my authentic journey, week after week.
Truly Passive Income:
In this week's episode, I share a step by step breakdown of how I set up each part of the automation for my Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sale. After this setup process, my family and I headed out to NYC for Thanksgiving. I was away for five whole days and didn't even take a laptop computer with me. Everything went as scheduled and I returned home, having generated more than six thousand dollars while I was away.
But Isn't Discounting A Bad Idea?
Over the years, I have noticed that not many of my online marketing friends offer Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. In fact, my friend, Derek Halpern from Social Triggers, created the following video three years ago explaining why offing discounts for these sales is a very bad idea.
In the episode, I share my thoughts related to the points that Derek brought up in the video above. I also share why I have continued to offer a Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale every year in spite of this advice.
When you are trying to get something new off the ground, there seems to be an ever increasing list of high priority projects that need to be accomplished. I know, from personal experience, that trying to do too much can be overwhelming, stressful and potentially lead to burnout.
In this week's podcast, I share five steps that I have learned to take to avoid overwhelm, stress and burnout when it comes to consistently taking my online business efforts to the next level.
1. Commit to having a mindset of gratitude and positivity.
2. Consistently reprioritize your ongoing project list.
3. Choose one thing to focus on and say not to all other projects.
4. Embrace Grace. You can't do everything!
5. Never neglect the top five priorities outside of work. (sleep, physical fitness, family, friends and recreation)
A few months ago, my great friend, Ray Edwards, shared a series of podcast episodes where he broke down the framework that he has developed for those who are looking to start an online business. I invited Ray to come and share the seven phases of his framework, with my community, in this week's episode.
Ray Edwards' Framework For Starting An Online Business
Phase 1 – Design Your Life: The idea is to ask yourself, what do you want your life to look like? What are you willing to do and what are you not willing to do?
Phase2 – Person-Problem-Pain: In this phase, you clarify who it is that you are wanting to serve, you decide what problem you want to solve for them and you discover what pains these people are experiencing related to this problem.
Phase 3 – Product: In this phase, you determine what products and services you plan to offer your customers. This could be one-on-one coaching/consulting, online/digital courses, physical products, etc. Also, in this phase, you should decide when you will make these products and/or services available.
Phase 4 – Copy: Everyone should be clear on the value and benefits that they bring to the table. Not only that, you should have pre-determined language at your disposal to communicate what it is that you offer. In fact, Ray suggests that “everyone should have a sales letter.”
Phase 5 – Marketing: Once you have your product(s) and you have you have your copy that clearly communicates the value you offer, it is time to begin marketing what you have to your target customers. This is where want to find out where these people hanging out? Better yet, where are they looking for solutions already? This is where can start building an audience with a blog, podcast and an email newsletter. This is where you begin setting up your landing pages and possibly even begin advertising.
Phase 6 – Optimization: In this phase, you take what you are already doing and focus on making it better. You try to improve email opt-ins and open rates. You try to optimizing conversations from your ad campaigns. Etc.
Phase 7 – Scale or Sale: When it comes to the SCALE of your business, is your business a mission or a means? When it comes to the SALE of your business, is your business even something that could be sold? Or are YOU the business? What is your number? What will you do after the sale?
In this week's episode I share my advice for those who feel that they missed their “window of opportunity” with New & Noteworthy. I also share the initial results following the official launch of my new email strategy.
In this week's episode, I share my recent experience of being interviewed by my friend Dan Faulknor. Dan had just launched a new podcast called This Could Be Interesting. I had such a great time during this interview due to the format of his show and the software solution that he came up with to randomly generate the questions that we would answer.
I've finally done something that I've been wanting to do for more than a year. I've moved my mailing list to ConvertKit (Affiliate Link) and completely deleted my Aweber account.
In this podcast episode, I invite my great friend, Mark Mason, to join me so that I can share all the reasons for this change in an actual conversation.
After listening to the episode, be sure to go to the landing page that we mentioned at the end of the episode. Mark has put together some amazing email marketing tips and at the bottom of the page, you can opt-in to our free six-day e-course that demonstrates the power of email marketing.
The Power of Conferences
In this week's episode, I have a conversation with my great friend, Mike Stelzner. Michael is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers and the man behind the single greatest social media conference, Social Media Marketing World. He is also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society and host of the weekly Morning Social Media Marketing TALK show.
In our conversation, Michael and I talk about how much value we have both received, personally and professional as a result of the relationships that we have built with like minded individuals that we met at conferences. Have a listen to the episode to learn how Michael was inspired to create Social Media Marketing World, what makes it stand out from other events and why I believe you should register today.
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