Do you ever think that a weekend away at an Airbnb (in your own hometown) with a whiteboard could be just the catalyst you need to totally shift your entire business around?
Well it happened to Joe Casabona and he spilled all the "tea" on the latest episode of The OMG! Show.
Joe Casabona is the brain behind Podcast Liftoff and up until May of 2022, spent 20+ years deep in the WordPress space as a developer and instructor creating multiple courses, books, live teachings, and more.
After some motivation from his peers and some deep reflection with his trusty whiteboard in hand, he made the commitment to go full send on helping other podcasters turn a profit.
After all, he does host the "How I Built It" podcast which is in the top 1% of podcasts.
In this case study, we're going to be looking at how Joe has positioned his course, what his offer is, and how he is able to deliver it while also being a father to three children and a husband.
So let's start with the most important element, his offer.
A "Search Engine" Helping Podcasters Generate $10K In Profit
When more people think course, they think of a course in the traditional sense.
A collection of knowledge broken up into different modules with lessons found in each. For Joe, he realized that a lot of people weren't actually completing his course.
This led him to doing away with his LMS (Learning Management Software) altogether and creating a rather intuitive way for his customers to get value out of his course.
For the sake of time, I'm going to use the team "course" as a way to describe how Joe is able to leverage his knowledge for income, also known as info-marketing or info-products.
Now what Joe did realize is that his customers did not want to sit through an entire course. Instead, they wanted answers to their questions - right away.
If someone wanted to learn how to get more sponsorships for their podcast, rather than having to scroll to the right section or have to sit through a "drip" course release, they simply search for it and Joe's website would bring all the relevant information to the customer.
Want to know how to land guests on your podcast?
Just search for it and you have all the resources you need to take action and implement.
Want to know how to conduct better interviews?
Bam! There it is.
The really cool thing about Joe's method is that it also allows for customers to go through the entire course, "module" by "module" - in the traditional sense - if they want.
Joe has turned the "course" structure on it's head. As he puts it:
“Don’t Make A New Thing, Market the Old Thing Better.” – Joe Casabona
So what is Joe's "course" about?
Helping podcasters generate their first $10,000 in profit.
The course is a collection of videos that helps podcasters:
- Launch their podcast the right way
- Create engaging content on autopilot
- Land sponsors and interesting guests
- Different ways to monetize their podcast right away
- Resources, planners, and templates to help podcasts grow their shows
Joe calls this his "Playbook" and pricing starts at $299.
For those podcasters that want more of a personal touch and access to Joe's support, Joe offers the "Extended Edition Playbook" which gives customers:
- A 60-minute 1:1 coaching session
- Access to group calls and hot seats
- Unlimited email access to joe at a special inbox with a promised response within 72 hours.
The price for the Extended Edition starts off at $599.
Giving Podcasters The Resources To Become Profitable
Most people imagine that they need to have a super complicated sales funnel in order to be successful.
Sure, your funnel can have all the bells and whistles you want in your funnel, however, that doesn't mean it'll bring about more success - in most cases, the more links in the chain, the more that could go wrong.
For Joe, his funnel is simple and effective.
At the moment, Joe's funnel is comprised of primarily creating content his ideal customer would consume and sending them to a landing page to build his email list.
After someone signs up, they are presented with a highly-relevant and focused low-ticket offer:
At this point, they are on Joe's list where he has an email automation sequence built out to welcome new subscribers to his world.
This is where he overdelivers on the value by providing additional resources to help podcasters become profitable and continues to build the connection.
From these email, Joe will send subscribers to his offer page in order for them to sign up.
At some point in the future, Joe would like to have an evergreen webinar funnel set up so that he can consistently drive traffic and enroll new customers into his Playbook - automatically.
Now that we've take a peek into Joe's sales funnel, let's break down who he drives traffic.
Relevant Content to Relevant Masses
For Joe, he's a LinkedIn guy and leverages the platform as his number #1 traffic source.
Having amassed over 3,000 followers (and counting), Joe sticks to a schedule and posts a carousel a few times per week.
When he does, he makes sure that the post has an engaging description and relevant hashtags. On top of that, he'll also ask his audience questions or for recommendations. Posts that get high engagement.
However, Joe has realized that LinkedIn really likes it when a post receives a lot of comments.
In order to increase his impressions, Joe is part of a morning co-working group that meets together everyday at 8:30AM EST.
Together, they all "like, comment, and share" on each other's posts in order to feed the algorithm.
A strategy that Joe recommends others to do as well - to have a LinkedIn accountability buddy or group.
Aside from posting carousels on LinkedIn, Joe also hosts workshops.
The workshop ideas come from previous posts, content, emails, subscriber generated ideas, and by analyzing the trends.
The workshops are free and are used to provide a massive amount of utility to those attending, really building that "Know, Like, & Trust" factor.
Of course, at the end of the workshop, Joe either invites them to join his list or offers one of his paid resources.
Aside from LinkedIn, Joe also uses some special "tech" to help drive more traffic.
UpScribe, a service provided by SparkLoop, allows for new subscribers to also subscribe to other relevant newsletters as soon as they join a list.
For example, if Sam subscribes to list A, they are presented with an option to also sign up for lists B, C, and D.
This allows for the owners of list B, C, and D to also gain a few subscribers. Almost like a newsletter referral network.
By using this service, Joe has been able to get his newsletter in front of other people - who just subscribed to a different newsletter with similar interests.
This has allowed Joe to get a few more subscribers than he otherwise would.
Last but not least, Joe also has not one, but two successful podcasts including "How I Built It" which averages about 60,000 downloads per month and "The Profitable Podcaster" - both of which also help drive traffic.
Now, in order to make all of this work, Joe has a solid team in place.
Buying Back Time With VA's & Automation
As a father of three, Joe takes his time very seriously, so he values time and realizes that it takes a team to make the dream work.
Joe's team consists of his trusted VA who handles a lot of content. Making sure that content is being posted on time, in the correct manner, and formatted properly.
In addition to content, his VA knocks out specific repeatable tasks such as uploading Joe's podcast episodes.
Outside of his VA, Joe does work with a few independent contractors that help him edit his podcast, transcribe episodes, and take care of other tasks that he himself does not enjoy doing or knows isn't his strongest function.
Aside from his VA and team of contractors, Joe is fascinated with automations.
So much so that once he is done producing the content, his automations take over and distribute the tasks to the person responsible.
This allows him to run lean, stay highly efficient, and profitable.
Something that he teaches his Playbook customers how to do as well.
Now let's take a look at all the tech Joe uses in order to facilitate his course.
Simple Tech That Produces Big Results
As we mentioned before, Joe decided to do away with his LMS (Learning Management Software).
In most cases, course creators typically turn to hosting their course on Kajabi, Thinkific, Coursera, ThriveCart, LearnDash, or some other platform.
For Joe, his WordPress powered website is enough.
He uses the "categories" and "sub-categories" function of WordPress - the same function that you would use to organize your blog posts on your WordPress site - to layout his "course."
All of the content is protected behind a paywall. That paywall and the access is controlled by a membership plugin called Paid Memberships Pro.
The core of Joe's business runs on a popular EMS (Email Management System) called ConvertKit.
ConvertKit manages all the forms needed to collect new subscribers, the email automations that continue to nurture those subscribers, the email marketing campaigns to generate sales and all the email marketing as well.
Joe also uses Vimeo to host all of the videos for his course and primarily uses Canva as his design platform of choice.
To stay organized, he uses a combination of Google Docs and AirTable as well.
As mentioned earlier, a big component to Joe's success is the use of automations.
Automations that he recently transferred over from Zapier and into Make allowing him to buy back his time at a much more affordable rate.
To give you an idea of how Joe uses automation, let's take a look at this use case:
- Joe uses his VA to post on LinkedIn but Joe is the one creating the content.
- So what he does is he creates a Google Doc with some valuable content - a carousel post - aimed at his market
- In that Google Doc, Joe highlights the text that he wants posted as the description in red. Whatever is not in red is to be used for the carousel.
- Once Joe is done creating that doc, "Make" will create a new entry in AirTable for a LinkedIn post.
- On top of that, Make will grab the date of the last carousel post that was scheduled and add two days to it. That way, it creates a process where Joe's VA is posting every other day.
- From there, Joe's VA is notified automatically to create the carousel and posts it.
Just like that, Joe has saved himself countless hours and time spent going back and forth in messages.
Spending an hour or two to really fine tune your automations will pay you dividends down the road.
However, Joe was nice enough to offer his podcasting automations and planners which you can claim here:
First of all, I just really want to thank Joe for being so transparent about his business and allowing us to take a peek inside.
It's important to show other course creators, regardless if they are just starting out or if they're scaling, how successful course creators are doing it.
To see which bits and pieces we can walk away with and apply in our own businesses.
For one, the fact that Joe got rid of his LMS opens up the opportunities for so many people to begin leveraging their knowledge for income - faster.
This in turn means there is less in your way to start taking action, making an impact on people's lives, and start moving closer to your own version of freedom.
It can be as simple as putting all the Q&As you've been doing behind a paywall and begin monetizing right away!
Make sure you go and follow Joe (here's his LinkedIn profile) and if you're a podcaster or thinking about starting one, get on Joe's list (click here to get his awesome freebies) and start learning from someone who is actually in the trenches doing it.
Now if you want help to kick start your course, then come join my community over at Marketing & Mojitos.
It's free for the first 100 beta members and it's all about helping you start, run, or scale your course based business - from anywhere!
I would know, I was able to build a 6 figure business in 8 months and travel the US out of my self-converted van (and I want you to be able to do that and more!)
Click here to request access and let's get your surrounded by the right people that want to see you succeed!