Podcasting to Accelerate Sales for Course Creators with Craig Hewitt from Castos
Learn how to use podcasting to accelerate sales for course creators with Craig Hewitt from Castos in this LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Castos is a podcast hosting platform that allows you to host your audio files and create your RSS feed, and that is what can be sent out to platforms like iTunes.
When Chris talks to people who are interested in LifterLMS, he often hears that they discovered LifterLMS from a YouTube video or from a podcast episode. Podcasting can be a terrific source of lead generation, and it can serve as content marketing or inbound marketing for establishing authority in your space.
Often times course creators are concerned about the size of their audience, so if they aren’t getting as many downloads as they would like to see, they can become discouraged. Craig speaks to how the size of the audience doesn’t matter at all. If you’re creating content in a specific niche and only a few people are listening, you still have an audience tuning in to listen to what you have to say consistently, and that is something really rare.
Starting a podcast is all about getting into the habit and building up a portfolio. When you’re first getting started you won’t have a huge catalog of episodes, but as you continue over time it will feel like you’re amassing an army of content. But it can be a struggle if it doesn’t feel like you’re building a lot at the start.
Good audio is something Craig recommends, as it makes the process of recording and editing so much easier.
One advantage to entering the podcasting space at the moment is that distribution is easily available. With companies like Spotify, Apple, and Google Play looking to promote that content, it can allow for an easy means of distribution.
If you’re looking to start a podcast, be sure to check out Castos.com. They have a free trial, and there is a lot of content dedicated to helping podcast hosts there as well. Craig shares a special deal with the LMScast audience, so if you upgrade to one of their paid plans you can use the code LifterLMS50 for 50% off your first three months on a subscription.
They also have a WordPress plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting that allows you to manage your podcast in a similar way to how you manage blog posts from your WordPress website.
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, another podcaster. His name is Craig Hewitt from Castos. Welcome to the show, Craig.
Craig Hewitt: Hey, Chris. Thanks so much.
Chris Badgett: It’s really fun to meet with you. You’re one of those people that has been on my radar for a couple of years. I’ve heard you on other people’s podcast. I listen to your podcast, Rogue Startups, and really the reason I wanted to bring on the show is because of Castos. Can you describe what it is real quick?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. Castos is a podcast hosting platform, so for shows like this you host your audio files and create your RSS feed somewhere. That’s where your podcast lives, and Castos is one of those places.
Chris Badgett: For the course building community and people building training-based membership sites, podcasting is in terms of content marketing or inbound marketing, it is what I would recommend if I could give everybody the gift of podcasting, which is why I’m happy to bring you on and really geek out about it a little bit. When I talk to people as a software company, we do have some courses but predominantly as a software company, when I ask them how did you hear about us? The most popular answer is either, “I heard you on a podcast, or I saw you on YouTube.”
That’s the number one answer we hear 80% to 90% of the time. And as an expert or a course creator, oftentimes they get a little focused on building the content that’s behind the pay wall or in the course. They have a hard time finding time to blog and do this content marketing thing, but podcasting doesn’t… You can get a lot of bang for your time. That’s why if I could give that gift to everybody, I would. I want to talk to you about it and help people understand the opportunity.
Craig Hewitt: Relative to what a lot of people do, you’re getting double or triple the bang for your buck with doing video. We do some webinars, which we were talking about before we started recording. We really like it because one of the powers of doing a webinar with video like native video is you can repurpose it so many ways. You’re doing the same thing here today. We’ll talk for an hour, and you’ll get a YouTube video and a podcast episode and a blog post kind of thing, and transcribe it maybe or whatever.
It’s for an hour’s worth of work, and then you have somebody handle all the backend production stuff. It’s magic for productivity.
Chris Badgett: Totally. I’m about 300 podcast episodes deep on this show, LMScast, which I think is about five years old almost now or maybe it was four, but from the very beginning, I decided to do video too, because why not? You’re already here. Even if most people listen on the podcast, I still look at the YouTube. I see the views. This is a very niche podcasts like course creators, people building training-based membership sites is not a huge audience, I don’t know, like beginner entrepreneurs like Gary V. or something like that.
Even though some of our YouTube videos have low view counts, we’re getting into something super specialized for a specific audience. So, it’s not about the numbers. Do you have any thoughts on audience size and how to think about that?
Craig Hewitt: I think it doesn’t matter at all, right? If you’re podcasting or creating content like if you just have a YouTube channel for your specific niche. This applies to course creators a lot because I can only imagine the types of courses that people create on Lifter. They can be left-handed violin playing courses or something. If you have 50 people listening to your podcast or watching your YouTube videos, that’s massive, because you’re talking to a really specific niche.
We talk to our business, B2B customers about this a lot, because they say like, “I want to be Tim Ferriss and have 10 million downloads an episode or something.” We’re like, “Dude, if you have a 1000 downloads an episode, you have 1000 people that are listening to everything you say every week, and that is really rare.” You can’t get that level of engagement with blogging, YouTube channels probably in a different way, but at a similar engagement level. Podcasting is great for that and I think that people, especially if they’re just getting started, shouldn’t worry about their numbers at all, but just how specific you can get to your target, your topic and your target audience.
Chris Badgett: Just to sell you one more level, podcasting, I think I heard this from Clay Collins, is unique because it’s portable content, which there’s only so much types of media we can take away from the stationary desk or computer or whatever, but you can do the dishes with podcasts. You can go exercise. You can walk the dog. You can drive and these are things that a lot of other media doesn’t transfer to except for audio books and music. So, podcasting really is a unique opportunity.
For the people that are a little just deer in headlights on the tech, and I remember this being really hard for me when I was getting started with podcasting is, “Can you just describe the pieces that come together to go from like, “I’m going to…” Let’s say we show up to set. We use Zoom or something to record the video or the audio. What needs to happen to get it to our listeners’ ears? What are all the technology pieces that come together to make podcasting what it is?
Craig Hewitt: In a nutshell, and we have a huge blog post about this that maybe we could link to or something. I think before we get started, this is a really important thing. You shouldn’t get in the weeds about this. If you’re just getting started, I’m sure four or five years ago when you got started, your whole setup was totally different. The audio quality was terrible probably, right? Because you didn’t know, but luckily, you got started, and you learned, and you iterate it from there. Now, you’re 300 episodes in. You have this huge catalog of content.
So, I think that’s where we see a lot of people get stuck is they just don’t get started because they look at the tech and understand it. They say, “Wow. This is a huge mountain to climb. I’m just not going to do it.” That’s a shame. I think they figure out what the easiest path for you to get started is, and take that and just get started and know that you can iterate from there to improve the audio quality and the content and all that stuff later.
Generally, I think the first place to start is having a good microphone, because if you record good audio, it makes the editing and the post production process so much easier later on. A microphone like the one I’m using, the Audio Technica ATR2100, there you go, is the workhorse of the amateur to beginner level pro market.
Chris Badgett: 80 bucks.
Craig Hewitt: 80 bucks with the boom arm and the pop filter, it’s $100 on Amazon. It’s great. It sounds really great. So, get that. Just go to Amazon and get it, and you’ll never have to think about your microphone again. I like the little earpiece thing or the [inaudible 00:07:41].
Chris Badgett: Tony Robbins. I call it the [inaudible 00:07:43] microphone, but that’s because I needed to be able to go to the board for some other stuff I do.
Craig Hewitt: No, it’s great, because when I give talks, it’s always, that’s the thing. That’s the rig at conferences. A microphone, however you want to get that done, but the Audio Technica mic is great. If you can’t afford it or don’t want to, just use the Apple earbuds. They actually are pretty good. I’ve selected the wrong mic a few times for my podcast, and it sounds pretty good if you’re in a good environment to record. So, get a good mic.
Then recording, something like Zoom. If you’re calling somebody across the country, Zoom is pretty good. It has some free tiers. It has paid tiers if you’re going to talk for a long time or something like that. They’re specialized tool just for podcast recording. One is called Zencastr. Another new one on the block is called SquadCast. It’s the one that we use these days. They’re both really good because they make local recordings of you and your guests, and it’s not dependent on the internet connection like we have today.
If the internet here goes kaputs, then the video and the audio will sound all garbled and stuff, and they record a really high quality audio file. The big thing you want to remember there again going into post production considerations is to record multiple channels for your sake or for each episode. So, I would have my own channel, and you would have your own channel, so, that when you go to edit them or when you send it off to get it edited later, they can treat my channel and your channel differently in terms of volume levels and editing and equalizing and all that stuff.
If it’s just you recording, then using a tool like Audacity, which is a free open source tool, you can record, and you can edit on it. It works on Windows and Mac. So, audacity is our go-to recommendation for local recording and for editing. Then once you have mixed in things like music and intro and outro, stuff like that, then you have to put it on a media hosting platform like Castos. That both hosts the audio files, it’s a content management system where you can create episodes, and it creates the RSS feed, which is the thing really that places like iTunes or Apple podcasts and Spotify and Stitcher all read to show information about your show as a whole.
So, the name of your show and the cover image and the description and your name as the host, and then every time you publish an episode, it populates into the RSS feed. Then places Apple podcasts and Spotify. Read that and say, “Chris has a new episode. Let’s show episode 287,” and then you’re audience gets that downloaded or streams automatically.
Chris Badgett: That’s the real power of podcasting is the distribution. So, you’re getting distribution by these big companies like Spotify, Apple, Google play, right? Isn’t that what it’s called?
Craig Hewitt: Yep.
Chris Badgett: It’s really amazing. Cool. Well, if somebody is going to outsource, let’s say, all that video editing, audio editing level stuff is intimidating. What do you recommend people do? If they’re showing alarm bells about like, “I’m not an editor. I don’t do editing.” What should they do?
Craig Hewitt: If you definitely don’t want to do it, there’s two good options. I think one is if you’re in this space, you’re an entrepreneur and relatively tech savvy, you know of places like Upwork. Going there is a perfectly reasonable place to go find an audio editor. You should expect to pay something like $20 an hour maybe for a pretty good audio editor and you’ll set it up with them and say, “Hey, I’m going to be doing an episode every week. I’d like to send you the files in Dropbox. You have my music and intro and outro. Just use that same one every time, and then send me the finished MP3 file back.”
If you want to do a little bit of the work to manage the person and the schedule and find them and vet them and test them and all that stuff, that’s perfectly fine and there are services out there that do all of this for you to where you go to a service. Actually, this is how I got started in the podcasting world, is I also run a business called Podcast Motor, which is a product service for podcast editing and production where companies like Buffer and Hotjar and Elementor come to us and say, “Hey, we want to do a podcast here. Please go. Just take our stuff and make it happen,” and we do that.
So, for customers who are looking to not have to go to Upwork and find this person and vet them and all that stuff, they can go to a service like Podcast Motor, and just say, “Please go do all this stuff.” We have packages per episode or per month depending on what you’re looking for.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. One more tech question. We’ve got the podcast hosting, which creates the RSS feed, which goes to places like Apple and Spotify. What about the actual posts on our website with show notes? What’s involved in making that happen?
Craig Hewitt: There’s a couple of ways to do it really. You definitely need a hosting platform, and the biggest reason you need a hosting platform is like you would use Wistia or YouTube for video hosting. You don’t want to put those big huge video files on your WordPress server, if you’re using WordPress as a content management system. The same thing is true for audio. The audio files are a lot smaller, but they’re still huge compared to how much is deployed when you pull up a webpage, so, you want to dedicate a platform to host those audio files.
If you’re using a conventional audio hosting platform like SoundCloud maybe or Simplecast, then you would publish your podcast content in those platforms, and then go recreate that in WordPress as well. So, using WordPress as your content management system. One of the things that makes Castos unique, it’s actually how the business got started, is we also own and manage a WordPress plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting that lets you do all of this stuff from WordPress. It connects right to the Castos hosting platform, and, so, you go into WordPress, create a new post, upload your file right from WordPress, and the file gets sent to Castos.
Then you just create the new posts like you would normally schedule it and publish it right from WordPress, so, that the files are hosted on a dedicated platform, but then you manage both your RSS feed and your content from your WordPress site, which for you and like us, that’s where we manage all of our content anyhow for a lot of folks, it makes sense.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thanks for clarifying on that. Then, well, I guess one more tech question. I don’t know if you’d know you have a response to it or not, but I believe iTunes, there’s some things going on with Apple and iTunes where things are changing a little bit in terms of… Is that going to affect podcasting at all or what’s going on? Are you aware of what I’m talking about? It’s okay if you have a dog. I have dogs and kids. They could interrupt at any moment.
Craig Hewitt: We have a dog and the kids will be home any minute, so, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Fearsome guard dog. The few things I know that have happened and are happening with podcasts these days, about three months ago, so, the middle of 2019 here, Apple rolled out new categories. This is pretty disruptive for a lot of people because they had to go in and update that RSS feed to say, “Okay, I used to be in the business and management marketing category. Now, it’s just gone.”
So, your podcast was still alive, but nobody could go in and find it by category taxonomy.
Chris Badgett: I might actually have to fix that myself. I didn’t even realize that’s what happened. What do I do?
Craig Hewitt: So, you go to wherever your RSS feed comes from. If your media hosting platform creates it or if you’re using a plugin like [crosstalk 00:15:28]
Chris Badgett: Currently using blueberry, but how would you say it.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, power presses the plugin that blueberry uses. If you run it through there, then go into wherever your feed is managed and update the categories there. And they should have a tutorial for you, I’m like, okay, these ones are gone, these are the new ones and you can get an update to the most applicable ones. So, that was a thing a while ago. And now the thing that we’re hearing is like, and I don’t know if either of these are what you’re referring to is that Apple is taking out inactive podcasts.
Chris Badgett: Is that what it is? Okay.
Craig Hewitt: And they’re taking a lot of them out[inaudible 00:16:09]
Chris Badgett: There’s a lot of people star and crash and burn. Right? They just totally keep going.
Craig Hewitt: Like creating courses, right? Like people come in and say, “I’m going to be a course creator and they create like three modules and then maybe launch it and get a couple of customers and say, “This is too hard. I can’t do all the marketing and upkeep and all that stuff.” And I think one of the things we’ve seen in the last couple of years, Apple has gotten a lot more active in the podcasting space.
It’s [worldly 00:16:40] where it started. But for the longest time there was like, you just send your RSS feed into this black hole probably when you started your show. And when I started my show, it was the same way. Like you just went into the iTunes application and submitted your feed and then just kept checking back every couple of days to see if it was there and now there’s a dashboard and they have some analytics and all this stuff. And I think the reason that this is happening is because of Spotify. Right? Because [crosstalk 00:17:07] Yeah, for everybody.
And, so, I think that’s why they’re going into clean up some of these old shows that are not active anymore because there’s just a ton of junk.
Chris Badgett: It makes them look bad.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: That sounds cool. That’s some good news. Was there something else?
Craig Hewitt: No, that was it. Did I get the [inaudible 00:17:27] that you were talking about?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that was good stuff. I want to switch more to some strategy for course creators. So, the show that you’re listening to right now is called LMScast and I see a podcast is really, well, let me back up and say, when I look at selling, whether you’re selling courses, software services, whatever, there’s three types of selling. There’s inbound or content marketing, there’s outbound prospecting and then there’s relationship selling. For podcasting you really have two options. You can use it to build relationships in your industry where I think you do for rogue startups, maybe and you can use it for content marketing for your audience.
LMScast is a little bit of a hybrid because I’m building relationships with people in the industry, but I’m also creating valuable content for course creators and people who want to build a training as a membership site.Can you just speak to that at all? In terms of podcasting for lead generation versus relationships and what you advise people on how to look at it and perhaps the mistakes people make and how they choose what to talk about or who to interview.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. We could do hours to talk about this and I’d love to hear how you think one aspect or the other is more effective for your business. I’d love to hear that. But yeah, we typically coach people and we do a lot more coaching on the podcast motor side of things because folks come to us and say, “Help me do this really good.” And on the Castos side, it’s much more of just a software tool and people come and sign up and we have a lot of content around how to be successful there. But we have a lot of one on one consultations at podcast motor. The way I break it down is depending on how high touch your businesses defines which of those avenues you should take.
So, think about like a consultant or when we were starting podcast motor, it’s a $600 or $700 a month engagement. We used the networking aspect of the relationship building part of selling as why we had a podcast. And, so, I would get on a podcast with, these consultants and leaders in the podcasting space and stuff like that. And, so, that really helped us grow that business. That was great and now like several years later that’s been really successful. I think if you’re… Gracious. Excuse me just a second. It’s all good.
Yeah. It’s inevitable. If you are on a more low touch situation where you’re selling, maybe a low price course or if you don’t want to have a high touch sales and engagement with your customers, then using podcasting as a content medium to educate your audience is the way you want to go and use it as more of like a classical content marketing set up. Is how I would think about it.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s really good. I don’t have any insight onto which is better because they both seem to work, I just do both sides. Any other counterintuitive tips you have for podcasting as a business function?
Craig Hewitt: I think the one thing that we touched on but to peel the onion a little bit is, if you choose the former strategy that we talked about we are like, “You’re starting a podcast as a networking opportunity for your business, the podcast is not about your audience, it’s about you and the people that you’re getting to know directly.” And you make a podcast anyhow. But that’s not the reason that you’re podcasting is not to provide value for your audience, it’s to get to know these industry leaders primarily, right?
The result of all that is that you have a podcast and that’s great and hopefully you’re creating good content for your audience like you’re doing. But I think a lot of people’s primary goal should be… I want to start a podcast to build authority and connections in my space. I’m going to select the people that I talk to and the things that we talk about with that in mind. And then the podcast is the result of all that but not like the driving force.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Could you speak to how to do your own podcast but also do guest podcasts? I’ve seen you pop up on so many podcasts and like how do you mix like, “Hey this is my show versus I’m just adding value in the industry to whoever wants to talk about it.” Because they’re different strategies. You don’t even have to start a podcast. You can work at seeing if you can get on other shows and add value to their community. And you did both. I do both. How did that happen for you? Why do you do that?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, my podcast started as an interview podcast and went that way for a while and we still have a fair amount of interviews and that’s a cool way to network and get to know other people and have interesting folks on to share their experiences and share their knowledge with our audience. And I think that’s really valuable to spice it up a little because the rest of the time it’s me and my co-host Dave [Rodenbaugh 00:22:56]. And I would imagine for our audience to hear, Dave and I talk every week is just like, “Oh man, come on like this.” The same old stuff. It’s really cool. I think the [false one 00:23:05] journey but it’s also cool to spice it up a little and have some variety.
But I think you’re right on that having guest podcasting as a strategy is really sound and maybe it’s, if you want to get into podcasting but you don’t want to commit to starting your own show that to say, “Okay, I know Chris and I can go on his podcast and I know Craig and I could go on his podcast and if you can come up with a handful of others, then like doing that and being on a podcast once a month for six or seven months is a really strong way to get your name and brand out there. And then maybe you start your own show on the back of that.
We talked about podcasting is like a really efficient content creation tool. But like for you it’s really great and for me for my own podcast it’s really great but the best is what I’m doing and being on your podcast because I just show up and talk for an hour and then you go do your stuff. And the same would be true if you’re on my show is we would go do a bunch of stuff and put it on YouTube and all this stuff. But it is the most efficient hour that most of us will ever spend to share our perspectives and knowledge and thoughts with your audience and then spread the word about what we’re doing.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s awesome. Just thinking about the time it would take to do a guest post on somebody else’s platform that’s well thought out and whatever. It’s like 10 times the time or a hundred times the time to do something of similar length.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. And just to put a point on that. This is our main growth strategy at Costos these days, is creating content and me being on other podcasts because for me it’s the most efficient use of my time. Then we are doing a lot of guest blogging and stuff like that but we just find that this is like the thing that moves the needle the most.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. A lot of entrepreneurs will… They get shiny object syndrome and keep switching strategies and trying new things. But once you discover this one, like doubling down and amplifying it is, I agree with you, it’s a solid strategy. You do some on your website where you’ve done weekly office hours and I’m a big fan of high touch and doing things that don’t scale and actually talking to people. And I drank the drift Kool-Aid, the chat company and one of their key tenants of conversational marketing is optimize for conversations, not conversions or whatever. That’s not exactly how they say it. That’s how I say it. But tell me about your office hours. Why do you do it? How’s it going? What happens when you make yourself accessible to your audience or inbound leads or just human beings that are interested in what you’ve got going on?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, I think that we are still asking ourselves a little bit like who we’re doing it for and we should have nailed that down to start with. Now it’s what we tell everybody. It’s like first of all decide who you’re podcasting and what’s your podcasting about. And it started out being either as a really top of funnel, like how to podcast content piece. So, the format is I present 10 or 15 minutes a little micro topic on podcasting and then the rest of the hour is questions and answers from the people that come in. And, so, a little bit, it’s like people who haven’t started a podcast yet and just want to, and like we were talking about earlier, have no idea what to do understandably because there’s a lot of noise out there.
And that tends to be, we’re finding like most of the people that come and ask the questions are people that really want to get started but, but just can’t for whatever reason. But the reason we started it is, so, we use help scout as our help desk software and help scout does this as a trial onboarding tool. So, they have weekly or every other week something like office hours where it’s a webinar anyone who’s in the trial can register and come and they walk through a really thorough demo of the tool. And then there’s live Q and A afterwards. And, so, that’s why we started doing it.
Chris Badgett: So, it’s like a customer success thing.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. But I think what we’re finding is that’s just not who’s coming. And it certainly is not who’s asking the questions. So, we’re six additions into it at this point. We’re doing them every week. And at this point, I was talking with Denise, our head of marketing yesterday, it is pretty solidly like a really great top of funnel content piece for us to help everybody. And a lot of people that come on our office hours webinars are not our customers. I hope there’ll be, but they may never be. And if we can help them be podcasters, that’s awesome. And if we can help them become podcasters and some of them become our customers, that’s cool too. But like you’re talking about, we’re doing this as a super high touch scale is a little bit, because you could-
Chris Badgett: Have many, right?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. I mean we had 20 people on our webinar yesterday and that could be 200 at some point. That would be a lot of questions probably. But that would be cool. And then we might have to do them twice a week or something like that. So, that’s why we do it. And I think that honestly we’re still searching for exactly how and where it fits into the business. Like you’re saying, I really like it and I can tell our team, “We’re going to figure out how to make this work and makes sense financially for us and for our time and energy going into it because it’s the right thing to do and a cool thing for us to be able to do for the industry and our potential customers and stuff like that. It’s like a good thing.”
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s awesome. We have a weekly office or I call it a pre-sales office hours thing and I just tested the idea once. I sent an email to my prospect list and I was like, “Hey, does anybody have any questions.” I just did it 20 minutes before our morning tea meeting and I just popped in and open zoom link and like 40 people came in there and it was like chaos. And I was like, “Oh wow. I guess[crosstalk 00:29:39] the man here.” And what I found is that some people like to chat, some people like to email, some people like to talk on the phone and some people really like to come into zoom, especially if there might be a screen-sharing component and stuff like that.
So, I just kept doing it. That was two years ago and I just put it in the weekly rhythm. It’s scalable because it’s one to many and I’d constantly experimenting with it. The other thing we did is we added office hours mastermind, I call it to our top product, which is a weekly office hours mastermind with our best or whatever. Like people who are paying the most customers is really just a value add. And I’ve had people come to that for years. They ask all kinds of stuff.
Craig Hewitt: That’s cool.
Chris Badgett: Both those sides give you incredible insight into you’re the person that you serve or the people [pill 00:30:37] that interests with you that allows you to challenge your assumptions and that whole thing like whoever’s closest to the customer wins. It’s a real thing. And if you can put two hours on your calendar every week to have that competitive advantage and also just build that relationship, it’s a no brainer. My [boat 00:30:58].
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. Do you use it for people that are already engaged with you and the brand and are considering buying but haven’t started a trial or bought yet. Is that it?
Chris Badgett: Pretty much. Well, on the front end. Yeah. It can be really anybody. It’s like, we’ll see what happens. And people come in either just cold off the street or they might be in our, we have a $1 trial, which is like a 30 day demo. They might be in that. They could and they’ll come with all kinds of different questions or they might be using our free plugin and they jump in and they have a bunch technical question, so anything goes.
I wanted to ask you about a couple things. So, another benefit of podcasting is that you get to get free consulting that you would normally have to pay a lot of money for. So, and I wanted to add as much value as I possibly could for the course building community, but I have a few selfish questions myself which may also still add value to everybody, to you that’s listening out there. So, I asked people on online, because I’ve hosted with SoundCloud for a long time and I’m using the blueberry Power Press thing and I’ve been wanting to switch for a long time and I ask on social media, “Hey, what’s the best podcast hosts?” And it’s like,” Castos. Castos.”
There’s a lot of fans of you on Twitter, let’s just say that.
Craig Hewitt: Awesome.
Chris Badgett: But I noticed on your site you mentioned some migrations and switching or whatever. What do people get or how do you help them switch? Is it like instructions or do you guys actually help with it? Because it’s scary for me a podcaster to see my baby, that is like 300 hours of audio. Like, “Oh what’s going to happen? Am I going to lose some SEO juice or whatever? How does it work when somebody comes to Castos from something else?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, there’s really two or three things that you need to think about if you want to migrate your podcast. The first is you need to set up a place for it to go, right? So, if you’re on SoundCloud right now, you need to find another hosting platform like Castos or there’re others out there. Set up your RSS feed. That’s like the metadata, the title of the show and your name and the description and the cover image and all that stuff. And then you need to port over all of the episodes and all of the files, most importantly, right?
Because you probably don’t have all 300 of those audio files on your computer still. To the new place. So, you’re basically creating an exact duplicate of what’s on in your case, SoundCloud in the new hosting platform. Once you’ve done that and you’re exactly sure that both the feed, the Meta information and all of the episodes are exactly the same, then you redirect your RSS feed from the original place to the new place-
Chris Badgett: So, that means a logging into iTunes and Spotify?
Craig Hewitt: No.
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Craig Hewitt: It means logging into SoundCloud and there’s a place in there that says redirect to a new RSS feed. And you put in your Castos RSS feed there.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Craig Hewitt: So, what happens then is next time Apple or Spotify looks at your show and SoundCloud, SoundCloud has a little [301 00:34:22] redirect. It says, “Hey, this feed is no longer located here. Go look at Chrisshow.castos.com. And, so, that way you don’t have to log into Apple podcasts and Stitcher and Google play and everywhere else that your podcast is, you just update it one place and then it propagates everywhere else. Spotify is a slightly different animal. You probably have to log into where you’ve submitted to Spotify just because they do things a little different than everywhere else. But generally that’s the ideas. Recreate your whole feed and all the contents somewhere else and then redirect from the old feed URL to the new one by putting that new feed URL into your old platform. And each of them have a place for that.
Chris Badgett: You’re right, I don’t have all these episodes of my computer. I’ve been through three Magwood pros this time. [inaudible 00:35:15] I do have them all on Dropbox. Does that mean I have to upload all those MP3s again to Castos?
Craig Hewitt: No, we have tools that do it automatically. Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Without going into my Dropbox. It just pulls it from the other one or how does that work?
Craig Hewitt: So, we just pull it from your existing RSS feed and we basically just grab the RSS feed and pull the whole thing into our system. So, the episodes, the audio, the feed itself into our system and it’s all automatic. With 300 episodes it takes a bit of time.
Chris Badgett: That’s good.
Craig Hewitt: And we do it for free for anybody who wants to do it.
Chris Badgett: Nice. Well, one of the people that lifter LMS serves is what I call switchers, which you deal with as well because people switch [toll 00:35:59]. Think about project management tools, base campus on a [Trello 00:36:03]. A lot of people out there, maybe you’ve tried them all and sometimes switching or like email marketing, ConvertKit, drip, active campaign, MailChimp. Sometimes you’ve got to switch, but it’s painful and it’s not always the easiest customer to deal with. But if it goes well you have that person for a long time and it’s a challenge for software companies, myself included. So, I’m just[inaudible 00:36:26] Did you have something you want to say?
Craig Hewitt: No. Yeah. It’s a huge task if you’re not with a platform that does this for you. So, if you’re looking at moving from, somewhere like SoundCloud that doesn’t really have all the bells and whistles that you want for a hosting platform to a more modern platform and you have a lot of content, I would definitely make sure that they’ll transfer it all for you.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s an excellent point. I’m really excited to hear that you guys do that. Selfish question number two. So, we were talking earlier about your strategy as a podcaster and content marketer and we were talking about how entrepreneurs sometimes go from shiny object to shiny object, but sometimes it’s better to amplify and double down on what’s already working. What already works for us it was all a [mess 00:37:22] is content marketing, YouTube and podcasting. I am considering launching a new podcast. I’m going to keep the old podcast going. That’s not going away, but a more targeted niche podcast that really focuses on a specific topic within our niche. If you’re going to have multiple podcasts, how do you recommend staying organized and dealing with that? I have no problem making content and making tons of content. It’s not that it’s more the architecture of having multiple shows.
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So, you mentioned drift earlier and they did this earlier this year-
Chris Badgett: Can I call that a podcast network?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Because they have a marketing show, the product manager show the whatever. I don’t know. Seeking wisdom. I love all those. So-
Craig Hewitt: And maybe it’s me and something happened on my phone but I don’t get seeking wisdom anymore. Maybe I deleted it, it’s possible but I use that as an example of you have this one show.
Chris Badgett: Are you saying be careful?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah, a little bit. It’s a lot of things with content like communicating with your audience and giving them an expectation of what’s to come is super important. Right. And the same thing happened with the tropical MBA guys. You follow the tropical MBA like they had-
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I’m probably one of their original listeners and they’ve actually never met me, heard of me, whatever. It’s so funny because I have a couple shows, sorry for the brief rabbit hole. I just think in my head sometimes if this person knew, I’ve been listening to them for eight years. It’s just they have no idea who I am. I just think that’s funny. What happened is they rebranded from lifestyle business podcast to Tropical MBA.
Craig Hewitt: Yes. And I think they did a good job because they basically had a final episode for the lifestyle business podcast and said, “Hey look, instead of having these two going at the same time and it really being confusing. Why would you listen to this one or not that one?” Everything is going to be over on the tropical MBA show now. So, they put that out as a podcast episode and I’m sure they emailed their listeners and all that stuff. And so that’s cool. And I think the opposite of that happened with drift where they had the seeking wisdom show and within the seeking wisdom show in that single RSS feed, they had the product thing and the marketing thing and the leadership series, you might call them. A group of episodes, but still within that one feed and now they’ve broken them out all into their own shows, into their own feeds.
And the difficulty of that I think is, someone like me again and maybe I deleted the podcast from my phone or something. I am subscribed to the seeking wisdom podcast, not all these other new ones. Right? So, you actively have to like convert all of your listeners to this show to the new ones or as many of them as you want. And, so, I’d say from a tactical perspective that’s the thing to consider is, you probably want it to be its own feed, so its own separate podcast and then you definitely want to promote it from this show to that new show and say, “Hey, go search in iTunes or Apple podcasts or Spotify for whatever you’re going to call the new podcast.” And then people have to go out and do them. You’ll have a link in the show notes and all that stuff, but-
So, that’s probably how I would do it. And the other option is drift [day 00:41:06] at the beginning is to have like a notation and the title of the episode, like marketing, whatever title. So, everything is in the same feed. So, someone like me who’s subscribed to the seeking wisdom podcast gets all of the episodes but then you run the risk of someone who’s not interested in a lot of that content, you’re giving them a bunch of stuff that they don’t really want. So, those are the two approaches I would take.
Chris Badgett: Proceed with caution. I appreciate that. That’s some [wanted 00:41:35] advice. Well, Craig Hewitt, he’s from castos.com podcast hosting. And you mentioned you had a special offer for the audience listening to LMScast here. What can they get over at castos.com?
Craig Hewitt: Yeah. For sure. So, if folks who are looking to start a podcast, definitely please go check us out. Both, get started trial and knock around the software and get started there and we have a ton of content on our blog. So, if you’re looking how to get started just castos.com/blog and when you start your trial and are looking to upgrade to one of our paid plans, you can use the coupon code lifter LMS 50 the number 50 to get 50% off the first three months of your subscription for any of our monthly plans. So, get in there, give it a try. We have two weeks to get yourself settled and get some stuff published and then when it’s time to upgrade to a paid plan, you can use that coupon code for a pretty sweet discount I think.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Craig, well thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it. It was a lot of fun to geek out about podcasting. And I hope you listening out there, if you haven’t, consider starting a podcast. It’s a good strategy for content marketing. I know you’re busy as a course creator, and you’re already good at making content because you make video lessons or audio lessons and worksheets and all that stuff. So you actually have an advantage, because a lot of people struggle with even just creating content. But you don’t have that problem, so podcasting is a natural fit for you. Craig, thanks so much for coming on the show.
Craig Hewitt: Awesome. Thanks, Chris.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet.
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