Coffee N5 - Billy Saleebey

Episode 92 – Coffee N5 – Why You Should Launch a Podcast Now with Billy Saleebey

Have you ever thought of starting a podcast? This episode is for you! Today we talk to Billy Saleebey about podcasts and why this is a great time to start one. During the pandemic, many people jumped into podcasting, only to realize it’s not for everyone.

We talk about how to monetize podcasts because often they don’t bring in the dough based on views alone. Billy has a few tips on different ways to make money off your podcast.

Billy talks about what it takes to start a successful podcast that has longevity. For example, you need to examine your “why…” If you’re in it for the fame, you need to know that it likely won’t happen right away. But if you’re passionate about your topic, that will make a huge difference when it comes to sticking with your podcast and not giving up soon after starting. We also go over some of the technical aspects of podcasting, production tips, and tips for choosing guests to have on your show.

Billy Saleebey is an entrepreneur and award-winning filmmaker. He also recently served as Head of Global Sales & Product Training for Tesla.

What you’ll learn:

  • Boom in podcasts during the pandemic
  • Importance of promoting your podcast 
  • How to monetize your podcast
  • The draw of the human voice in radio and podcasts
  • The right reasons to get into podcasting
  • Technical aspects of podcasting
  • Choosing guests for your podcast

Connect with Billy on LinkedIn and through his Website

Listen to his podcast here.

Follow our host Lara Schmoisman on social media:

 Instagram: @laraschmoisman

Facebook: @LaraSchmoisman

LinkedIn: @laraschmoisman

Twitter: @LaraSchmoisman


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Lara Schmoisman 0:03
Hi, everyone, welcome back to coffee number five. I’m excited to be here today because we’re gonna be talking about my first love. My first law was radio. And I have to tell you the story because it’s very unique. I, you guys know, I was a fat girl. And every summer, my parents will take me to the beach. For me, the beach wasn’t a pleasant place, I was 14, body shaming society. And I was to the beach. And also you see how I am. So me and the sun never mix really well. And so I was born as hell. And confession, I really don’t like the sound. But I was at the beach. And I saw this tent, and there was a radio in the beach, and having a program every day from the beach. And so I went in, I say, of course, I want to see what this is about. And they had a contest, and I won that contest that day. But the contest was to go to a nightclub. I was 14. So I could not go to a nightclub. And I think that the guys felt really sorry for me. So what happened next, they offered me to be their assistant for the day. And guess what they liked me. So they asked me to come back next day and the following day and the following day. And that’s how I started in radio. And then they told me that you haven’t hit boys. And you have a lot to say. So you know that there is a theme show? What would you like to be part of that show in the evening? I wasn’t sure I’ll do it. And that’s what I was 14 and I had a career in radio, which was insane. So every summer I will work in radio. And oh, over the years, I could work in a radio, as you know, moved to television. And that was something that it was always in the back of my head, how much I love it and how much fun I had. And over the years, I had to learn a new language because as you know, I didn’t speak a word of English. And I started having this idea of having a podcast and I ran it by a few friends. And their feedback was, I don’t know you should do that, who’s gonna want to listen to you. And with an accent. I never heard podcasts with someone with an accent. And I had to make a decision there either to cry or just to back off. And I decided to go for the second one. And here we are in coffee number five with over 100,000 downloads. Thanks to you in the other side. And thanks to our amazing guests. Today, I want to celebrate and I want to invite someone special that has this passion for podcast as well. So welcome, Billy. We’re gonna let you say your last name. Oh, I suck. So just tell us your last name.

Billy Saleebey 3:00
You’re good. Yeah, it’s a Saleebey. It’s a Lebanese last name. And most people don’t know how to pronounce it. So, so great to be with you, Laura. And I’m excited to dive in and talk about podcasting, something that we both have a passion for.

Lara Schmoisman 3:14
Yeah, absolutely. And this was very interesting. As you know, I own an agency and marketing agency today and didn’t pandemic, I had so many people that we had to extend my production team from my podcast to accommodate my clients that they want to do podcast, then pandemic, I feel like everyone and their siblings and their mothers want to do podcasts. Do you feel that that happened to

Billy Saleebey 3:39
Yeah, we got into this mode where everyone felt they needed some outlet, some creative outlet, they were home. It could be baking bread, it could be gardening, or it could be starting a podcast and to your point. So many people started a podcast in 2020, and even in 2021. And so what we saw was this boom. And I think the good news is it brought even more awareness to the podcast space. And the other reality is that we’re now getting back into a state of life back to normal as normal as it could possibly be. But a lot of people who started podcasts, they may not do it anymore. So we saw a lot of podcasts start, saw a lot of podcasts stop. And I think right now we’re in this phase in this evolution of the platform where I think we’re really starting to become almost like a teenager, right? We we were, you know, in the early days in 2004 2005, we were a baby. And then we became a toddler. And then we had our, you know, preteens and then I think now we’re a teenager and when you’re a teenager, that’s when you really start to have your own identity. And I think podcasting is in that mode right now, where we are beginning to establish what this medium will be as an adult. And as it matures.

Lara Schmoisman 5:04
we even see that platforms are flirting with podcasts, even Facebook, podcasts. And today yesterday, we’ve got announcements. I’m not gonna be uploaded anymore. So I think finally podcast is really finding their space and where it belongs and what doesn’t belong.

Billy Saleebey 5:24
Very true. And you never know why someone gets into a space. And what I mean by someone. I mean, you got these juggernauts like Facebook, what made them decide to do it to begin with? And how much effort did they actually put it? I think they, they were testing the water. And they decided to abandon the the strategy and not do it. And that’s their right to do. And I think ultimately, what they probably realized is, podcasting is not easy. And I think that’s what most people don’t realize. Yeah, it’s not

Lara Schmoisman 5:59
that well, it’s not easy at all. And also, I think, I mean, at the end of the day, it’s revenue, Facebook, one revenue. And the reason we do podcasts is to grow at some point do the podcast for pleasure to, but how easy is to get money in podcasts, like you said, and I think you’re totally right, where teenagers, and these teenagers need to start making money.

Billy Saleebey 6:24
That’s right, we keep the paper out. And you know, the small odd job here and there is only going to do so much. And like anything, it does come down to the money, the financial part of it. And I think a lot of things are still up in the air in terms of monetization, I think what I’m seeing happen more and more, is figuring out the right method of monetization for each individual shows. And so we get into that if you want, but yeah, absolutely.

Lara Schmoisman 6:51
I would love to get into that. Let’s do it. Because I feel like a lot of people consider to they feel like they have a message, they have something to say, but they want it to turn days. Like a lot of people during the pandemic, they want to turn their hobbies into money. That’s right, buddy. See, success overnight doesn’t happen.

Billy Saleebey 7:11
Yeah, well, podcast is a lot like a book, if you think that you’re gonna write a book, and then all of a sudden, you’re gonna be a best selling author. Without any promotion, you’re gonna be disappointed. And podcasting, when you make a podcast, it’s like throwing it out into the ocean and expecting somebody will find it. You have to create a magnetic pool to the to your show, and you’re in marketing. So you understand the importance and the value in establishing a connection between a product good or service, or something like a podcast media, and making it easily accessible, making it easily findable. And I look at the new person starting to podcast and most of the time, they have the wrong expectation of how they can monetize their show. Well, what’s

Lara Schmoisman 8:02
that? What’s our expectation?

Billy Saleebey 8:04
Well, what they see is they see all the other podcasts out there, they see that they’re advertising, and they think that traditional advertising is the right method. But the stark reality is unless you have hundreds of 1000s or millions of downloads and episode, traditional advertising won’t work. Because it’s a CPM model. It’s a, you’re getting paid for every 1000 downloads or listens 3040 $50 at the most. So it doesn’t take a math genius to figure it out. There’s really four methods to monetize a podcast, the most commonly thought of as advertising. But again, let’s take that aside. Because most people can’t really make money that way. The second way is you get a sponsor. And the sponsor works great if you have a very definable, and it’s clear who your audience is. Niche oriented shows highly targeted, I have a friend, somebody I interviewed in Harry German, and he’s got a show. It’s called the vertical farming podcast. And it’s very hyper nice. And sponsors want to talk to people in the vertical farming space. So now he’s got tier one, tier three tier four packages of sponsorship. And if you get, you know, 1000 $2,000 per sponsor, the third way is you sell other people’s products through affiliate links or products you believe in. And the fourth way is you sell your own product, or you market your business, you use it as a way to find clients, either who are your client could be a guest that you’re interviewing, or it could be somebody that listens to your show. The easiest and the quickest way to monetize is the last way, right you you have a product, a digital product or a hard product that you sell, and you use your podcast as a way to create awareness. That’s the easiest way to do it. That’s the landscape and then if you want to go into any one of those, we can talk about it.

Lara Schmoisman 9:56
Yeah, no, I mean, I love how clear you were and all Also, if there is one more that I want to mention, I don’t know, maybe probably you put it in inside the other one of the categories that you mentioned, and is paper play, when you reach some points of so many downloads in order to have it because you’ll become popular, you’ll have people that they want to pay to in your podcast.

Billy Saleebey 10:24
Yeah, that is another way. And I think the and by the way, there’s a lot of other movement happening, such as a subscription based model, or people who want to donate to your show, there’s Patreon. And there’s tons of other models where if you have a big enough audience, people will say, hey, I’ll pay $2 $3 $4 $5 a month to get special bonus content for your show. And so that’s another way that people can monetize their platform. And it’s something that’s really trending right now. But to your point, some people, they have the ability, I have a friend who’s got a Crypto Show, it’s a web 3.0 show. And people are like pounding down his door to get on his show. And guess what? He started to charge them to be on the show. So that’s another way you can monetize. Absolutely,

Lara Schmoisman 11:13
yeah. So why did you start the show?

Billy Saleebey 11:17
You know, it’s, it’s a great question. I started because I love learning about people. And I love creating things. So I I left Tesla, I was a global leader at Tesla. And I had a great run. Next question. Yeah, yeah, we could talk about it, I had a great run there. And I loved being part of a company that was doing something meaningful. And so I wanted to do something that was going to make an impact. And I saw the momentum building in the podcast space. And I just saw the trajectory of how we could communicate on a very intimate level. With an audience. There’s nothing more intimate than hearing the sound of someone’s voice, the vibration of their voice. And that’s powerful. And guess what, it’s not a you know, it’s not just a two minute thing, you know, you you talk to somebody for 20 3040 minutes, that’s deep,

Lara Schmoisman 12:09
I have to tell you the best the biggest crush in my life was with a voice, Oh, someone that I will listen to every night seven to 11. Yeah, every single day. connection with a voice is so unique.

Billy Saleebey 12:27
It really is. It’s special. It you can’t, you can’t quantify the feeling and the emotional connection that you make with someone who you spend a lot of time with. And I’m really, really, I’m excited to see where this where this industry goes where podcasting generally goes, because to your point, you never know the connection, you make you like the person who you made that connection with, they may not have known that that connection existed. Because it’s a, it’s a passive listening arrangement where you’re speaking and then maybe, asynchronously, it could be at the moment, if it’s radio, but in a podcast, it can be in a year somebody hears you, they resonate with you, they respond, they connect, and that is super meaningful. And so in the same way that Tesla could make an impact, I feel that Podcasts can make an impact on the lives of other human beings, which is why I decided to go that direction.

Lara Schmoisman 13:22
Absolutely. And I feel for me was for two reasons that I started with a podcast, first of all, because I love the radio, and I want to connect with people in a special way. But the other reason was because I really was tired of people being taken advantage of. I feel like also the pandemic, there was this growth of people that they were, they can coach us, I’m using quotations here because their coaches have something that is not proven, or she has coaches off. They believe that they can teach, they tried to make an easy buck. And I feel like I want to bring those people in, I have a conversation with a real thing so I can get my audience tips and tricks and education that is comes from the real leaders of industries.

Billy Saleebey 14:23
Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Because when you have that platform, you can highlight and elevate the people that shouldn’t be elevated, but also educate in a way that will help prevent people from learning from the wrong people or going down the wrong path. Because to your point. I mean, it seems like everybody’s a coach these days. Well, we know when everybody is a coach, not everyone should be a coach, and you’re the type of person that will will will help to shine a spotlight on the right people and avoid the wrong people.

Lara Schmoisman 14:55
Oh, absolutely. And I feel in my industry at least you’re always Have a friend or a sibling or someone whispering in your ear and telling that because it’s really easy to do Instagram or Facebook or because you have the tools, but it’s the same. I always say to me, I work with doctors, and I can go and buy a surgical kit doesn’t mean that I should use it.

Billy Saleebey 15:18
Yes, exactly. They’re practicing for a reason.

Lara Schmoisman 15:22
So what are the right reasons for someone to do a podcast?

Billy Saleebey 15:28
I think the first thing you got to figure out is, why are you going to do a podcast? What is your intention? And everything should be built around that. Most people who start a podcast, they get excited about an idea, but they don’t really think through? Why is it that they want to do this? What’s the long term proposition or goal of doing this show. And if it’s to become famous, nine times 99 times out of 100, that won’t be the result. So figure out what’s important to you, and map out a strategy that will allow you to reach the goals that you have kind of look at it from the with the end in mind, if you know what the end looks like. And by the way, the end shouldn’t be six months or a year down the road. Think 510 15 years, podcasting is a long, long-term sport. And so figured out ways to give yourself the the, the timeline and the time horizon to do the things that you want to do. To answer your question more specifically, I think anybody that wants to share a message wants to talk about something they’re passionate about, should consider a podcast. But also consider not doing a podcast, looking at it from all angles. Don’t obsess, don’t get overly analytical, but get analytical enough to think through like what’s the long term reason that you’re doing this and find something that you’ll have what I call a sustainable interest in a long term sustainable?

Lara Schmoisman 17:02
Because I always call it the sustainable strategy. Yeah. So you mentioned before that don’t podcast is hard, why is hard?

Billy Saleebey 17:13
There’s a lot of things that go into it from the standpoint of, is it an interview? So do you need to find guests, or if it’s not an interview show do you need to prepare the content, do the research, and then everything else that goes into it, the editing is the marketing, that making sure that you’re doing every part of the equation to the best of your ability, what happens more often than not, is things get abandon, most of the time, it’s the marketing, people think they should spend 80% of their time on the content 20% of their time on the marketing, I say flip that around, spend 20% of your time on the content, and 80% of your time on the marketing. Now, everyone’s a little bit different, some don’t have the bandwidth. So maybe you need to hire a team to help. But a good percentage of the time spent, whether it’s your own time, or the time of a team, that you hire a team that you have internally, a good percentage of that should be spent in audience development, develop your audience. Because if you if you don’t develop your audience and build a community around your show, you’re just talking to a microphone and no one’s listening. And that, I mean, that might be good for your feeling. But it’s not really doing anything what you probably intended, which is to share something with someone else. And so I say flip the the priority, I mean contents important not saying it’s not. But it shouldn’t take up 80% of your time.

Lara Schmoisman 18:37
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And you need to support it either with a Facebook group, email marketing, there’s so many strategies on social, but you need to make sure that you create like an ecosystem around your podcast.

Billy Saleebey 18:51
You said it, look at it, like you’re a media company, don’t look at it, like you’re a podcaster. So there’s so many things, there’s a newsletter, there’s your Instagram, there’s your YouTube, your have whatever assets you have. podcast is, is one pillar, but you have all these other pillars. And collectively, they create really a media company. So there’s Are you looking for partnerships or collaborations? It’s not just one dimensional, you really have a wider breadth of what you do and who you speak to. And that’s why the community building is so critical.

Lara Schmoisman 19:30
Y’all got me thinking because also, I mean, I see a lot of people that they don’t take into consideration the technical part of the podcast, there’s nothing worse than having a bad audio experience. And I mean, if I hear something that I cannot understand the person who’s talking or there is too much background noise, that’s something that I will not go back. It’s very interesting where they will say I just cannot it’s just annoying.

Billy Saleebey 20:00
Yeah, and I think it’s pretty easy to get good sound, you just have to do a few things right to your point, the background noise. Yeah, and you never know, it could be an air conditioner, a fan, it could be the, the computer making a noise, an appliance or refrigerator. And it does become distracting. That’s why getting the, the room and the environment as quiet as possible. And what I always remind people is get soft things around you, your audio your own voice wave carries. And when you get soft things, it could be pillows, it could be blankets, it could be towels, it could be a couch, soft things absorbs sound. And so the more soft things, the better, I joke that a hoarder would make a great podcaster because they got all this stuff for

Lara Schmoisman 20:49
me. And also, something like for me as a mass and podcast is always to have a producer presence task. So they can always be listening, if there is something happening. And they can give us warning saying hey, something happened, let’s retake it. Or the other thing. I’m a big, big fan of off recording in two channels, at least. So you can if you need to fix the one voice you can, or the other one, I mean, you will never can guarantee your guest. I mean, in this case, you are fantastic guests, you have your microphone and everything. But some guests, they don’t. And it’s having those noises, if you can clean it up across production for me is make it isn’t user experience, you need to make the experience of your user better and better each time.

Billy Saleebey 21:40
Yeah, you can’t control your guests. But you can guide your guests and direct them in the right, the right path. Because to your point, sometimes you get a guest and they may not have all of the things they need to get a great sound audio recording. And yes, having separate discrete channels for your guest for you, for anything else that will be included, will help to create not only a better end outcome, but easier on the editor, it’s always better to get a good solid recording than it is to try and clean something up in post I always say, you know, focus on three things with recording. Number one is the environment and the surroundings, which we already talked about the soft things and things around you. Number two, is your mic technique? How close you speak to the microphone. Like if I my microphones, we just set that to testing. It’s right there. You want to get

Lara Schmoisman 22:34
right above my head

Billy Saleebey 22:37
right above your head. Yeah, so good. So yeah, so getting the microphone as close as you can. I use the four finger rule. So it’s like four fingers from my mouth.

Unknown Speaker 22:46
My knees like five? Yeah.

Billy Saleebey 22:49
So so get it as close as you can. The closer the better. Because you’re gonna I mean, it’s just it makes it sound so much better. Yeah, you gotta get you gotta get that. And then the equipment itself, right. So just getting the right equipment out of the equipment is the last on the list, because honestly, any mic is better than no mic at all. And so just getting getting a microphone, that is an external microphone, as opposed to using your computer microphone is always going to be better. Yeah.

Lara Schmoisman 23:20
Let’s go through the process of having a guest is every guest good guest? How do you with a good guest?

Billy Saleebey 23:29
First, it comes down to your show, right? And be an advocate for your audience? Who would your audience loves to listen to? Who would your audience be so excited about listening to that they cannot wait for your episode to drop. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is have high standards, you’re gonna get people as a podcaster, banging down your door to come on your show. And just because they’ve asked doesn’t mean you should say yes. I mean, you have to have some clear vision on who is the right guest for your show. So think about it from a perspective of, if you’re going to write out, call it a paragraph of the type of guests that would make a good guest for you. And it could be a variety of things. Maybe it’s their experience, maybe it’s milestones in their career, maybe it’s social media following maybe it’s, you know, there’s so many different things that you want to look at the add to this recipe for your guest. And the more clear you are, the better. So for example, so I have a show inside out. So it’s like I want to talk to world changers, people who’ve done something so significant, that the world is different as a result of them being here. So maybe they’ve broken a record, maybe they’ve influenced X amount of people, maybe they’ve changed an industry maybe they’ve done something so significant that we know who they are because of their contribution into the planet. And then you know, I got another show for the love of podcast, where I’m interviewing podcasters. It’s like, okay, this person either wants somebody in the podcast Hall of Fame, or somebody that’s interviewed some extraordinary people, somebody that has X amount of downloads, like all these variables, collectively helped to create benchmarks for what you’re looking for. And then just continue to refine this, get as clear as you can about who the right guests are. And then you make a list from there. And then get specific when you reach out. Don’t just reach out and say, Would you like to be a guest though? Like, hey, I love your show, or I love this, or I, I saw this article that you wrote, It resonated with me, here’s why. I have a show that edited it, and I’d love to have you on.

Lara Schmoisman 25:47
Yeah, absolutely. And something that I feel like a lot of people are missing out is the audience of their guests. Because you’re gonna get a big exposure through the your guests to totally, so it’s that their audience could be a good match for your audience. It’s an important factor for me.

Billy Saleebey 26:08
Yeah. And it goes with you going on other shows, as well as them coming on your show that there’s needs to be some, some synergy between the audience type, they don’t need to be exact, but some crossover, some carryover. So the guests that come on your show, if they’re nice enough to promote, and suggest people listen to the episode they were on. And they do that, and they have a big audience that can help grow your audience. Likewise, if you go as a podcaster, you go on other shows, in your niche, don’t look at them as competition, look at them. As collaboration partner, always.

Lara Schmoisman 26:45
Absolutely. So before we go, because we’re running out of time, and I always say that the podcast shouldn’t be longer than a car ride, because I will wait in the car like two or three minutes for a podcast to finish. But I will never go back. So I want to ask you this question that I asked absolutely every guest, what was a mistake that you made, and beginning or later making portraits, but that the mistakes that you learn, you learn so much from it,

Billy Saleebey 27:16
the biggest mistake I made was doing it on my own without having a guide. I think there’s so many people that have been down the road that I wanted to go down. But I, I kind of just figured it out on my own. And I think if I had a guide, somebody that’s done it, who’s been where I want to go, who’s been where I want to go and can share it with me that would have helped accelerate my growth in my journey. And so I wish I could have done that earlier on, and incorporated people who I respect and admire, who could give me some of the steps I needed to take to get to where I wanted to go a lot faster.

Lara Schmoisman 27:58
Yeah, I totally believe in mentorship. So Billy, where people can find you and where they can find your show.

Billy Saleebey 28:05
Yeah, well, I already mentioned inside out and so it’s insights out show or the love of podcast.com. Also, I have a podcast production company and that’s part of Fi pod i f y.com. Feel free to schedule a strategy session. I’m happy to work with you and learn more about your show. And in for anyone that’s active on LinkedIn. I’m very active there. You could check out my posts. I do a lot of posts about podcasts, and then send me a DM and let me know that you heard this show. And I’d love to connect and learn more about you.

Lara Schmoisman 28:37
Absolutely. I’m gonna be connecting right now with you on LinkedIn. And I’m gonna make that connection. Well, thank you so much for having coffee with me today.

Billy Saleebey 28:47
Thank you for having this opportunity to have coffee and I’m excited to listen and and learn from you and I appreciate what you’re doing and putting it out to the universe. And I’m so glad that you started despite the naysayers, because if you listen to the naysayers, then you’re letting other people dictate what you do. And that’s never the path to success.

Lara Schmoisman 29:07
Never. I never was a good listener, so why just start now. So you guys, I’ll see you next week to have more coffee on coffee number five

 

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