10,000 monthly downloads
Launched in August 2017
3 episodes a week
Hello! What’s your background, and what’s your podcast about?
My name is Sigrun and I am from Iceland and live in Iceland and Switzerland. I originally studied architecture but then moved into computer science before I also studied business. I was a CEO for 10 years for small businesses before I became an online entrepreneur. I started my business in 2014 and I help female entrepreneurs build a six to seven-figure online business.
I started my content marketing with blogging. At some point, I gave up after about 30 blog posts because it was just too much of an effort to sit down and write a blog post for several hours. I was looking for a way to communicate to my audience, both those who are not on my email list yet, and also those who are on the list already, and also my clients. Podcasting was something I had been thinking about for a long time. It sounded a lot more doable, actually, than blogging. Finally, in August 2017, I launched with 100 episodes in 100 days and then we moved over to 3 episodes a week.
I host The Sigrun Show, a podcast about everything around building an online business. The target group is female solo entrepreneurs who want to build their dream business and scale it to 6 or even seven figures. I will cover everything from mindset, marketing to masterminds. These are my keywords. Then, I’ll interview successful online entrepreneurs. I also do on air coaching where I coach a client live on the podcast. Then I have solo episodes.
The solo episodes are stories from my own business, how I built my 7 figure lifestyle business. Also, this can be a story that covers maybe a four-year period, but also it can be a story that just covers one day in my business. An example of an episode that I am recording actually today is the costliest mistake I’ve made in my business and how it came about and how I fixed it.
I’m sharing the ups and downs of entrepreneurship so that my audience hears about the reality. Not just the successes, but also the failures and how they can learn from it and be inspired to build their own business.
The podcast has enabled me to nurture a client base into a multi-million dollar business
What was the motivation behind starting the podcast?
The motivation was I knew I needed content marketing. I’d given up on blogging. I never found the time or the energy to sit down and write a blog post. It took me somehow forever.
Videos, I had done hundred of webinars in two-and-a-half years and I got a little bit tired of that format.
I was looking for a new venue that felt easier and, yes, I found it with podcasting. Podcasting was just a way for me to communicate with my audience and it’s the best format that I know.
I launched the podcast August 2017. I was on track to make a million dollars in 2017, but I was not there yet. Actually, I was just only one-third of million dollar was in the books and it’s interesting how the podcast, with everything else I’d been doing, I was also launching a big program, I was also kicking off new mastermind groups. I also did a live event about one-and-a-half months after launching the podcast. All of this was happening within six or eight weeks, and was the catalyst of securing the $1 million in revenue in 2017.
What went into launching the initial podcast?
Launching it, that was the most difficult, the challenging piece, and it’s not the technology. I think a lot of people waste too much time on worrying about the technology. I did not do a course, I did not hire a coach. I just read a couple of blog posts on how to start a podcast. I decided to hire an editor right away because I was not going to waste my time on editing.
But a lot of my time went into brainstorming the episodes. I wanted to launch with 100 episodes in 100 days so, obviously, I needed to know upfront what I was going to talk about and who I was going to interview. I spent a lot of time on that. I created a master Excel sheet that I was organizing again and again and again until I was happy with the order of the episodes.
I started to record the first episodes and probably as anyone who’s ever launched a podcast will know, I probably recorded that first episode three to five times. But after that, it got a lot easier, of course.
When you have a new project, like podcast, it’s most difficult to launch it. At some point, I realized that I had to set a deadline so that I wouldn’t be overthinking. I had decided in March to launch a podcast. I was doing all that research and buying a microphone in May and June, and then, I realized that I had to set a date.
I set the date for August 2, 2017, and then, I really got to work. I was able to secure the interviews and start really recording and we were able to launch the podcast at the right time.
How have you attracted listeners and grown the podcast?
It’s been pretty organic. We didn’t run Facebook ads or very little. We’ve tried with a couple of episodes, but that wasn’t working as we had hoped for, so it’s been mostly organic. Some guests have shared, but I do not expect that from my guests. I know it’s not something you can expect but you hope for of course. The listeners are mostly clients, but the base is growing and it grows really organically, I would say. It’s only once we had 200 episodes and 100,000 downloads that I told my Facebook ad manager that we now wanted to go all in on advertising the podcast with the most popular podcast episodes.
What do I do to market the podcast? We always share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. For Instagram we do little video files that’s like a 30-second file where you hear a 30-second audioclip from the podcast and you see a moving audiobar. Those are quite fun to watch. I think these work well and just sharing also quotes from the podcast to Twitter and other places.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue with having the podcast?
The business model is that I have a coaching business where I have online courses, group programs and mastermind groups. The business model didn’t change with the podcast, but it has allowed me to reach out to a bigger audience.
Being able to interview many of the people that my audience follows has elevated the business. It’s almost like if you had a choice between hiring two coaches and one of them has a podcast with 200 episodes and the other person does not have it, maybe they just blog. I would go for the person with a podcast. It builds a certain authority. It is, in my view, very similar to writing a book or something like that. It is something you expect an established coach to have today.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome when it comes to running the podcast? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
I am actually very happy how we launched the podcast and the podcast team I have. We have an editor, a show notes writer and my online business manager takes care of the rest of images and the blog post. So my job is to secure guest speakers, to record the episodes, and then, I’m done. I cannot see how we can optimize the process further.
If there is anything that is challenging is that, from a timing perspective, the solo episodes are, obviously, more work. Some of them are scripted. I maybe sit down for two or even three hours and write a script, and then, record it. That is probably the biggest challenge to find that time to do it. I don’t script many episodes, but if I have the feeling I might forget something or if I need to tell something in a certain order, I rather script it fully.
My episodes are not super long, so it’s about four pages of a script. That’s about 15 minutes. Many of my solo episodes are of that length and typically guest episodes are 30 minutes.
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I think building that master Excel sheet in the summer of 2017 was probably the best thing we have done to plan the podcast. Hiring a good team that were experienced in this field, experienced podcast editor, experienced show note writer.
As I said, I did not read a book or join a course or hire a coach or do any kind of training to learn about podcasting. I’m a tech-savvy person. I’m used to jumping into the deep pool, whether it’s doing webinars or podcasting, and I just figure it out by myself.
I would say automating the whole process. When I have secured a guest speaker, I just send them a link to book in their slot. They fill out all the details about their business, their bio, upload a picture of themselves, and everything is automated. I use Zapier to take all that information that is put in the scheduling tool and it automatically creates a Google doc. When the show note writer or my online business manager need any information for an episode to create images or create show notes, it’s all there.
Only time when this doesn’t work is when some people start to follow up and send us separate emails. What we are starting to do is just say, “You need to reschedule because we have a completely automated process and it just costs us more time going back and forth with people.” I think automating the whole process, having one sheet that our whole team looks at and works after, is the best.
Then, we communicate over Slack which helps us immensely. I have to record a podcast episode today, for instance, that’s going live tomorrow and my team is waiting. Once I’ve recorded it, I gave them a ping, and then, everybody can get to work.
What’s your advice for podcasters who are just starting out?
I think the biggest mistake I see is that people think this is an overnight success. This is a very long marathon. You have to go into it knowing that it might take you one or two or even three years to get to your goal.
I’m just at the one-year mark now of the podcast and we reached 100,000 downloads and our best episodes are at 1,000 downloads. In my eyes, that doesn’t sound a lot, but if you think about actually 1,000 people listening to one podcast episode, it is a lot.
A lot of people just give up too soon. They launch with too few episodes. They maybe just go live with one or two or three episodes. They do the episodes weekly, and then, after a year, they are still at 2-300 downloads and they’re thinking about giving up. I hear this again and again and again. Even though I didn’t read a lot about podcasting, I actually anticipated this. I knew that if I launched with few episodes and only did this weekly, I would probably be in those shoes today.
That’s why my recommendation is to be very realistic with your goals. If you’re going to do a weekly podcast, know that it will take you longer to build your audience. I, on the other hand, wanted to launch with 100 episodes in 100 days to have a massive impact fast. I think it’s about being realistic about your expectations. I think that’s the biggest one.
Then, get help. Don’t try to do this all on your own. Whether you outsource the whole thing to a company or try to find a solo editor or show note writer, whatever, get a team. Don’t try to do this all on your own because it is not your zone of genius to do the whole podcast process.
Your zone of genius is to use your voice to build your business.
Where can we go to learn more?