The most important point we want any client to understand before they launch a weekly podcast or consistent YouTube series is this: it only makes sense to invest a high budget if you are selling a high ticket product (based on your extensive expertise) that needs a longer sales cycle to build trust and relationship with the audience. If you aren’t selling a product or service from your show (whether that’s your audiences’ attention through sponsors or your own product), it doesn’t make sense to invest a high budget for a consistently published show.
If you have a low ticket product — something that is designed to appeal to a mass audience — or if you aren’t selling anything yet and are doing the show for networking or creative exploration, keep the budget low. The quickest way to burn out and lose faith in a media production like a podcast is to over-invest before the production can give you back a greater ROI than you put in.
Here’s some specific examples of how this works.
1. Let’s say you are a coach and sell coaching packages for $5K. If you are looking to vet ideal clients and warm them up to your style, expertise, and value before they buy, it would make sense to spend $1K a month on a weekly podcast if you were closing one new client every month from the show. That would be a 5x return on investment — great ROI (and that’s just the monetary side of things).
2. Let’s say you sell a physical product, like a productivity planner, that costs $30 and you want to podcast about productivity tips to increase interest in the journal. It would make sense to spend $60 a month on a weekly Instagram livestream that you strip the audio from and place on a podcast feed. If you sell 5 extra journals a week from the livestream show, you’ve made a 10x return on your investment and a long term ROI of brand and product awareness.
3. Let’s say you sell tickets to a live event that costs $500 to attend. If you want to pre-sell an audience to come to the event, it would make sense to spend $600 a month on a weekly podcast that is made of 20 minute solo episodes where you highlight the main concepts and value that is going to be shared at the event and reveals your expertise as a teacher of that content. If you sold 4 extra tickets a month from the podcast, you’d get a 2.5x ROI and empower your audience to do your word of mouth marketing for the event.
Now let’s talk about when we’ve seen podcasts get this wrong and over-invest before their audience or product is ready to give them back the ROI they are looking for. This is most common when a great client sees a peer making a show that seems to bring in all the riches and fame they desire but . . . they don’t see the backend of the budget, product line, expenses and profit, or how that show is actually paid for. They assume that if they just make a high budget show, the ROI will come back in the same way. But that’s not the case — especially if they haven’t developed their audience size and quality OR they haven’t built a proven product to sell that matches the quality of show.
Our goal is always to empower you to make the smartest decision for your budget, your business, and your audience and guide you along the growth journey at the right pace and investment. We do this in our initial calls with clients, as well as the entire development process of a show, and we often recommend clients start with a lower budget show if we don’t see their audience is ready to give them back the ROI that a high budget show would demand. On the other end, if we can see that the audience and product offering is ready, we’ll recommend you invest a bigger budget in your show because we know the long term ROI it can bring your business (that few other marketing channels can).
Here’s a last takeaway tip for you to apply to your own weekly podcast idea: If you can’t immediately and confidently see the ROI of the budget you are considering, start smaller, do more with less, and scale your budget as you scale your audience. It will pay off in the long run, we promise.
More resources on choosing a platform for your media:
- EP 40 Understanding Your Budget and Getting an ROI
- Contact us if you’re interested in discussing how we can produce your long form media with you!