Editor's note: Jared Lichtin sent us a fantastic post about how he launched his podcast and brought it to 25,000 downloads in just three months. Part one focuses on his inspiration and motivation to start, and Part two (tomorrow) focuses on the ten lessons he learned in three months of podcasting. Stick around!
25,000 Downloads with No Following and Little Marketing
March 19 – June 25, 2015. That’s how long it took me to get 25,000 downloads. I believe at three months and 25,000 downloads is a good time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned, and pay them forward. I want to let you new and future podcasters know the mistakes to avoid, what worked for me, and give you a solid blueprint for how your podcast can be successful.
I am 28 now, and at the age of 26, I found myself fresh off the bar exam, working for one of the largest oil and gas law firms in the country. From the outside looking in, it was a great job. I had a predictable salary, benefits, travel, paid overtime, and, as a recent law school graduate, I was employed. Well, soon after I started, I found out that big law-firm/corporate lifestyle was not all it’s cracked up to be. The long hours, monotonous work, travel, and push to crunch out hours was exhausting. It wasn’t the hardest job in the world, but its one where you look yourself in the mirror every day and think, “WTF am I doing with my life?”
Shortly after I started work, I found myself flipping houses on the side. It was slow at first, but between 2013-2014, I got a good bit of experience doing it and using my own money. As the months drove on, and mental stress repurposed itself into physical stress (sitting and staring at a computer 10 hours a day), I realized something. I realized that if I just put the same energy and focus into building my business that I put into everything else in life, I would be able to easily replace my income within a year of quitting my job.
So, I went out looking for a deal, and one fell into my lap. I negotiated hard for three weeks, and I purchased a 1919 three-story colonial in a trendy area of Akron, Ohio. I spent $50,000 on a house I knew would be worth over $150,000 fixed up. I closed on that home on January 26, 2015, and quit my job a few days later, on February 6. But there was more than just house flipping on my mind!
I knew that there were entrepreneurs out there doing pretty incredible things, like selling subscription bacon, blogging about extreme travel hacking, and dozens of other crazy ideas I heard on Entrepreneur On Fire, my favorite podcast to listen to on my long work days. There were a string of episodes in particular that motivated me to tell my boss to quit:
These stories resonated with me. Whether it was the travel intensive stories of Scott Dinsmore, or the brutal entrepreneurial path of a fellow Texas attorney, J. R. Johnson… I was inspired to do my own thing.
My thought process was this: I am already building a sustainable house flipping business. It’s nothing like the craziness portrayed on HGTV, I think people would really benefit from learning what I had learned the past few years, and enjoy following my journey. So I decided to create a semi-live podcast, called ‘Flip’ which followed me through my real estate investing journey. I could have an interview each week with a real estate professional, and also ‘update’ episodes, explaining what I did, how much things cost, and the daily problems I faced. I could record intermittently but release the next day, with very few edits. I felt I had to, like Gary Vaynerchuk says, BE DIFFERENT. No one out there is going to listen to me if there’s something else out there exactly the same.
Shortly after quitting my job in February, I joined John Lee Dumas’s Podcasters' Paradise, and my podcasting knowledge exploded. Within six weeks of quitting my job, I was able to launch ‘Flip’ on March 19. The downloads were really slow at first, but with some planning, diligence, and focus, I found myself steadily receiving 300-500 listeners a day, with no Twitter bombing. I repeat… with NO Twitter-bombing!
In tomorrow's post, I’ll give you my top ten lessons I learned from my first three months of podcasting. I hope this gives you current and future podcasters out there a little perspective, hope and actionable advice.