Transcript: Ep #078 Podcasting to Profit: A Course Creator Case Study with Joe Casabona
[00:00:00] Oscar Garcia: Hey everybody, and welcome back to the OMG Show, the podcast that helps course creators grow their business with profitable paid traffic funnels. My name is Oscar Garcia and it’s my mission to help you, the course creator, drive more traffic and convert more customers so that you can have a thriving and sustainable business.
Now, in today’s episode, we’re gonna be taking a look to see if there’s a simpler way of leveraging our knowledge for income without necessarily creating a full blown course. Generally we think as courses as the number one way of leveraging our knowledge for income. But what if there was a different way to go about it that allows us to do more with less, that allows us to get started faster?
Well, that’s why today we’re joined by none other than Joe Casabona, who’s quote unquote course podcast liftoff. Helps podcasters become profitable. However, rather than having modules, Joe decided to do away with his entire learning management software and go a different route when it came to providing utility to his customers.
Now in this pretty eye-opening episode, we’re also gonna learn into how to automate most of what is happening in your business to buy back your time. We’re gonna link at unique ways to add more subscribers to your email list and how you can leverage LinkedIn Firm more sales. Now before we get into the meat and potatoes of the episode, make sure you stay until the end of the podcast to discover how you can join a community, of course creators that will give you the attention, accountability, and access to the resources to help you launch, run, and scale your business from anywhere.
Let’s get started
, Joe, how’s it going? Good morning to you today. first of all, I’m super excited to talk to you, about your course and for you to highlight the ins and outs of your business. so go ahead and tell us a little bit about, what your offer actually is.
[00:01:40] Joe Casabona: My pleasure. Well, Oscar, thanks for having me. I’m always excited to talk about course creation because I have, been a course creator for like the better, over a decade now. I used to teach in the classroom, and then when I moved away from my alma mater where I taught, I decided to make online courses and I made courses for LinkedIn learning and stuff like that.
So like, I’m, I love this stuff. today as we record this, I have one offering. I actually emailed my list and I told them that I was shutting down creator courses.com, which is where all of my courses lived. so as we record this, I have one offering. I’m real excited about it.
[00:02:15] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:16] Joe Casabona: In May of 2022, I decided I was gonna only focus on podcasting.
That’s a break from all of my other courses, which are like programming and things like that. So, I have the podcast Liftoff Playbook. This is a video library that has a self-paced course kind of component to it, but it’s really a one-time membership. so you pay, once you get access to my library, it’s almost like a Netflix or a masterclass where you can pick and choose and make your own stuff.
[00:02:43] Oscar Garcia: Oh, cool.
[00:02:44] Joe Casabona: and the playbook will teach people how to launch, grow, and monetize their podcast. And every other month we have some sort of live component, whether it’s like a cohort or just like accountability meetings. so that’s like, those are the two of three aspects. And then the third aspect is the lab.
That’s the one I’m really excited about. And that’s just where I post things that I’m experimenting with on podcasting cuz people wanna learn from me like how the best way to do the podcasts. And I wanna be really transparent with my students. Like, I’m trying this, this month we’re gonna see how it works out.
I’ll, I’ll tell you the results. So, self-paced videos, l a live component of some sort. And then the lab where I’m experimenting with, new ways to launch, grow, and monetize podcasts.
[00:03:32] Oscar Garcia: Wow. It’s incredible. And I mean, as a podcast for myself, I’m already intrigued by, by the offer. Right. But before I go deeper into your offer. I kind of wanna pump the brakes and backtrack a little bit, because that was a big decision you did in, in May when you’re like, I’m only gonna focus on this.
Right. So talk to me a little bit about that. Let, let’s dive deeper into the, the mythology behind that.
[00:03:52] Joe Casabona: Yeah, so I, you know, as you can imagine, you know, you’re a creator and an entrepreneur, you probably feel the pull to try a bunch of things, right? And whether it’s, that’s just general curiosity or, you have this great idea that you want to execute on or you panic because you’re not making as much money as you thought and you need to roll out yet another product.
you get to a point where you’re doing too many things. And I was at that point last year, I mean, I was at that point, well before last year, but it really settled in. And so I had, I stole this idea from Bill Gates of like the idea of like a think
[00:04:29] Oscar Garcia: weekend.
[00:04:30] Joe Casabona: where like he, I mean he goes to like an island or whatever, but I went to like an Airbnb in my hometown,
And it was just me away from, I have three small kids at home. so it was just me in this tiny little house on a farm and I brought a portable whiteboard and I wrote out everything I did and then what I should be focusing on. And the big result of that think weekend was I need to only focus on podcasting. Cuz for the last almost 20 years I was a web developer and a WordPress developer and I had multiple courses and books and, live teachings and talks published about WordPress. And if I really want to do this pivot the right way, I need to let all of that go and focus only on podcasting. And so my friends and people in my mastermind have been telling me I need to do that for years.
And in May I finally bit the bullet and decided I’m gonna do it.
[00:05:24] Oscar Garcia: Wow. What, what? When you were whiteboarding all this out, right? And you see, okay, this is the stuff that need to be focusing on. What was that mental shift that happened? Because you said that you had plenty of people telling you that this was going to happen, right? Or that you should be going in this direction, but for you, it just never clicked.
What was it about that weekend in that farm that, that made it click for you?
[00:05:45] Joe Casabona: I think seeing laid out everything I was doing and everything I was trying to promote because like, and, and the fact that my certain course, so I’ll just straight, I’ll just straight up say I come from the WordPress space and like people in the word press space are cheap. I like, that’s like a, maybe a mean thing to say, but it’s true.
and there’s a lot of like, you know, why would I buy this when I could figure it out myself mentality. And so some of my courses did pretty well, but constantly selling to, to a list that people were not interested in buying from. And and then the other aspect was when you do a technical course, right, maybe some people listening do that.
[00:06:28] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
things change rapidly and you need to keep it updated. And so like several of my courses, I made and I sold and they did pretty well initially, but they, they weren’t subscription based and the sales dried up and I felt like I had to keep them updated. Nobody was asking by the way, like, here’s like number one rule of course creation.
[00:06:48] Joe Casabona: If nobody’s asking for it, don’t do it. but nobody was asking. But I felt like, oh man, this is like several versions behind now. I need to keep this updated. and so seeing it all laid out on that whiteboard made me realize these are things that are taking my time and making me no money.
[00:07:05] Oscar Garcia: Mm,
[00:07:05] Joe Casabona: And as a business owner with a family to support, I just can’t do that anymore.
And I really feel like if, if, you know, if you follow like Wayne Gretzky’s advice, like go where, like skate where the puck is going, I feel like the podcasting industry where I already had a foothold in, is going to blow up. and so I need to start now to establish my authority and build an audience only in that of qualified leads who wanna buy my course and my my teachings.
[00:07:37] Oscar Garcia: I think I, that was such an important distinction that, that you, that you mentioned that I don’t want people to glance over where you’re, you’re talking about your, your customer and you mentioned that, and in some cases your customer is very, “I’ll figure this out,” And in that cases, that may not be an ideal customer, if you’re trying to scale a business, right.
Because they’re gonna look for a different way of doing it. and that kind of goes against the grain in which what, with many advice you find online where it’s like, you know, people are always looking for an a z solution. But the thing is that, again, if you create that a z solution and you’re not constantly updating it, and, and, and let’s say you’re in that kind of WordPress space where you have to constantly update it, people will go somewhere else or they may not ever, ever come back to you, right?
[00:08:16] Joe Casabona: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And like you know, I was, it was a little bit of a misunderstanding with who I wanted, my audience, who maybe who I thought my audience was versus who I wanted them to be. and so, yeah, the DIY folks, like if you’re an early adopter, like again, the courses that did the best for me were courses where I hopped on a piece of software early, made the course, got a bunch of freelancers who wanted to learn this more effectively.
And then I would also say like, oh, hey, you can license this course for your customers and include it as training for them if you want. but again, like, you know, the early adopters are great. but the mentality in the WordPress space is eventually like, oh, everything should be free anyway. So again, it’s not, it wasn’t a sustainable business model for me.
[00:09:05] Oscar Garcia: Gotcha, gotcha. So now kind of going back to, to your offer now, which, it’s called Podcast Liftoff.
[00:09:12] Joe Casabona: Yeah. Podcast liftoff is, is the brand and the, the actual offering is the playbook, the podcast
[00:09:17] Oscar Garcia: the playbook. . Got it. So that’s kind of, it kind of makes sense now as to why it’s kind of more of like a, a membership, if you will, where you have the content, but then, I’m assuming you’re constantly updating with fresh material as these updates come out, right?
[00:09:30] Joe Casabona: Yeah. And, and it’s still, it’s still a one-time fee for now. If the, you know, I guess this is the other thing, right? Is I’m, I’ve slowed my role a little bit. Like I would roll out these courses and think it’s gonna make thousands of dollars, just by virtue of existing. and that’s not the, that’s never the case, right?
and so with this I was, I said I’ll build my list, I’ll test the waters. My friend challenged me to 10x the number of podcast liftoff customers, cuz I did have a standalone course just called Podcast Liftoff. and then see what works and what doesn’t work there. So I’m taking a much slower approach.
[00:10:06] Joe Casabona: If the live events, you know, or the, the cohorts are something that’s popular or I do find myself adding new content like every week or every month, then it will switch to a subscription. But at this point, my current audience
[00:10:21] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:22] Joe Casabona: probably wants to know a specific thing and then get some access to me. And so that’s a good one-time fee.
There is a upsell, like the extended playbook that gets them a, a one hour coaching call with me. and then, if later this year I suspect, I find like, Hey, this should be a subscription, then for new customers, it’ll be subscription based, or it’ll be like one time for this subscription for this other stuff.
what’s the big promise behind, the playbook? what’s the big promise that you’re offering in terms of getting people into the course?
[00:10:55] Joe Casabona: It’ll, so the, the tagline up until this point, and I like it hasn’t changed as we record this, is you’ll make your first $10,000 as a podcaster. I wanna change that a little bit to, it’ll make you a profitable podcaster. cuz I think a lot of people who podcast are doing it, and they’re not making money either cuz they don’t want to, like it’s their hobby or they just don’t know how to, and, I think saying that you’re going to be a profitable podcaster kind of implies like you’re serious about it.
You are a business owner or a, a consultant or an author and you want to use your podcast to generate income for your business.
Now, earlier you mentioned that you feel like the podcast, world is gonna blow up. What indications do you have of that happening? many people would’ve say that it could, it already came and gone, but
[00:11:41] Oscar Garcia: What’s that Magic bean that’s telling you it it’s gonna blow up, pretty soon.
[00:11:44] Joe Casabona: Yeah, I think a lot more people are interested in launching. It’s gotten a lot easier to launch and, there’s, Edison Research every year has, their statistics. They put them out I think in February or March, where they cover like year over year growth in podcasting. And it’s been growing at a steady rate, basically since like 2013, 2014, right?
Like lore and serial came out and people started to learning what started learning what podcasters, or what podcasts are. in November, November, October, maybe, they put out a creator study and they learned that most people who are starting podcasts
[00:12:21] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
Have been listening to podcasts for less than a year.
[00:12:26] Joe Casabona: So we’re seeing that trend that that little upswing, the technology’s getting easier. like this moment now reminds me of like blogging circa 2003, 2004,
[00:12:37] Oscar Garcia: Yeah.
[00:12:38] Joe Casabona: where all of a sudden blogs blew up because like WordPress was out and movable type was out, and you didn’t need to have any technical knowledge to blog on a website or to even set up a website.
Today with Descripts Studio sound and automatic transcripts and idea generation with ai, it is easier than ever to quickly and affordably set up a podcast and I think more people are going to recognize that, this should be a part of my marketing strategy, and that’s where I want to position myself.
[00:13:20] Oscar Garcia: I love it. It, it’s, it almost makes too much sense.
[00:13:23] Joe Casabona: I know, right? I’m like, this sounds too good to be true. Usually I’m suspect of that.
it’s fascinating that you mentioned that the most people that are starting podcasts have been listening to podcasts for less than a year. like you mentioned, the barriers so low so many more people are coming in, but it’s like, how many of those will actually find success? How many of those will actually find their footing and be able to create something that’s going to, drive their marketing efforts?
[00:13:46] Oscar Garcia: Right?
[00:13:47] Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. And, and that’s a good question, right? And I would say, This reminds me a bit of, YouTube, right? On YouTube there’s, I mean, the last time I checked it was like 31 million. It’s probably a lot more than that now. but let’s just use those stats. 31 million active YouTube channels, right?
And still today people are like, you need to get into YouTube. You need to get into YouTube. YouTube is definitely a thing that if you are going to build your authority and build your audience, you need to be on. There are by some estimates, less than 2 million active podcasts where active means published a new episode in the last 90 days.
[00:14:30] Oscar Garcia: Wow.
[00:14:30] Joe Casabona: So that’s like, a fraction, one 15th of what’s out there on YouTube. So people who are like, oh, podcasting’s already saturated. It is far from saturated. and YouTube is getting into podcast. Like the fact that like YouTube is throwing their hat into the ring means that YouTube sees the value of podcasting.
And that’s another reason why I think more people are going to get into it, right, is because now YouTube is throwing their monetization weight behind podcasting, rolling out audio-only ads for, I mean, what could that possibly be for? Right? It’s not gonna be for videos. They’re not just gonna show a blind screen with a logo for an audio-only ad.
You know, Google knows what podcasts are, so YouTube is gonna know what podcasts are like, proper podcasts. And so we’re gonna see that evolve over the next couple of years and they already have a strategy to make money themselves and then give that ability to podcasters via YouTube.
So there’s definitely a huge opportunity, and I know listeners are now probably asking, okay, like, should I start a podcast? Do I wanna start a podcast? Like what? Like, there’s so many questions in terms of like the production, the effort, right? So, In your mind, what is the best return on effort when it comes to podcasting that you could give to, business owners or course creators?
[00:15:49] Joe Casabona: What a, this is such a phenomenal question because I think. When most people hear podcasting still, they think, well, it has to be an interview. It has to, we have to talk about tech, or it has to be like a true crime or fiction podcast. It doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be, right. I think the best format for people who wanna start a podcast today is the mini podcast.
It’s just you and a microphone talking for 20 minutes or less about something in your area of expertise. Because podcasts are a great way to get people to know, like, and trust you. And so if you’re thinking, how can I do a podcast today? I’ll give you the quick like three to four step rundown. Number one, define your mission statement.
Who does your podcast serve? What problem does it solve? Because painkillers sell or are shared more easily than vitamins. So if you’re solving a problem, it’s true, right? if you’re , if you’re solving a problem, then people are more likely to listen and share. So first, figure out who you serve. Then, come up with 20 to 25 topics. If your podcast is in your area of expertise, you probably already have this, you have blog posts, you have newsletters, you have a bunch of ideas rattling around in your head.
[00:17:04] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:05] Joe Casabona: Then make a couple of outlines for two or three tests and record those episodes. If you are comfortable doing that, then record 10 more, schedule them weekly.
Now you have like three months of content, and now it’s just a case of uploading it. I say just right. it’s still work, but it’s not research guests, fine guests, get them on, make sure they don’t sound like garbage, right? Like, like Oscar, what you’re doing here is like high risk , right? Like I could have a crappy internet connection.
I could be using, the built-in microphone for my monitor, which is gonna sound like trash. I could have screaming children in the background, and that’s nothing to say a video, but like you’ve been doing this for three to four years. That’s daunting for someone who’s just starting. But if I’m telling you, just talking to your microphone for 15 minutes about something that you already know really well, you could do three or four of those in an hour and a half, and now you have a month’s worth of content
[00:18:01] Oscar Garcia: A hundred percent. And I’ll be a testament to that because when, when this show first started, if you guys wanna go back to episode one, it sounds like I’m underwater. And that’s because I was recording on my phone,
[00:18:09] Joe Casabona: Yeah.
[00:18:10] Oscar Garcia: and I was in my closet in my apartment because that was the best audio. and then, yeah, I agree that it’s consistent and I think the, you know, outta the tips that you recommended.
What, what’s easier now, you alluded to this earlier, with ai, it’s like with ChatGPT you can even ask it, Hey, when it comes to this specific market, give me 10 different, possible topics and it’ll list them out for you that are super relevant that you could expend on with your own expertise.
[00:18:33] Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. I, I don’t know if this episode is coming out by this, by like Friday, probably not. But my next live stream is going to be exactly about that. Like, how can I integrate ChatGPT or other AI into my workflow? How can this help podcasters? Because one of the biggest questions I get is like, how do you come up with ideas when the well runs dry?
And I am like a fountain of ideas. Like I, I find ideas everywhere, but that’s like a learned skill. And so if you have something like ChatGPT that is just putting, and you know, it learns from a bunch of stuff, right? So these are ideas that people have probably already covered, right? It’s not just inventing them out of nowhere, but just like with blogs, right?
Like, I think we’ve gotten over the “I can’t write a blog post about this cuz somebody else wrote a blog post about that.” Right? I can’t do a podcast episode about this cuz there’s already one about, but it’s not you talking about it, it’s not you and your experience and your point of view. And so ChatGPT can definitely show you like, Hey, these are things that people talk about on the internet. Throw your hat into the ring and tell us how you feel about it and your experience with it.
[00:19:42] Oscar Garcia: I love how you mentioned how you feel and your experience, cuz I think, and I’m not sure if you teach it this way in within your course, but I think it’s like, it’s an important way for someone to, distinguish themselves from others is by talking about their experience and their feelings and using their story to leverage and to create something unique and different.
[00:19:59] Joe Casabona: Yeah. I mean, this is why every recipe blog has like a thousand words before the actual recipe, right? Because making chocolate chip cookies, like you’re always gonna use like eggs and flour and chocolate chips or whatever. but. Like the first time that you ate a chocolate chip cookie, like maybe that reminds you of your grandmother who passed away last year.
Right. And that, that forms the human connection, right? Sorry, my New York accent. Just the, that forms the human connection. and that, that is what makes your content stand out because maybe somebody reading that goes, my grandmother used to make the best chocolate chip cookies and she passed away last year too.
And now I feel something reading this. And I feel a connection to the creator.
[00:20:38] Oscar Garcia: Hmm. Powerful. let’s talk about your course structure,the different modules in that course. Cause it’s really intriguing, like how you are gonna help someone, become profitable. And since we’re talking about stories and, using that to connect, is that part of your curriculum?
and where is that exactly? Within the curriculum?
the way that the playbook is structured right, is I learned a while ago that there are the people who, who are gonna take it from module one to module whatever, 25 in a row and just take the whole course.
[00:21:08] Joe Casabona: Most people, including these people, probably after they take the whole course,
[00:21:12] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:13] Joe Casabona: are looking for something specific that they want. They wanna solve a problem, right now. And so I noticed that people weren’t completing my courses. They were looking for specific whatevers, specific modules on how to find your first sponsor or how to set up a membership site.
and so with the playbook, I decided, you know what? I’m just gonna get rid of the LMS completely.
[00:21:31] Oscar Garcia: mm
[00:21:31] Joe Casabona: Uh, and I am going to create these videos. I’m using WordPress. and so every video is in a category and subcategory. And so you could still take the, the, each video in the order that I’ve defined it almost like a playlist, but I also made sure to include a very robust search feature
[00:21:52] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:54] Joe Casabona: you can just search automation or sponsors and all the videos will come up there.
So I call, I call the courses collections. Now it’s a collection of videos, and you could take them in order or you can just search for the one video you’re looking for, and like not get bothered that you, Hey, hey. you’ve only taken like half of the videos in this course. Are you gonna take the rest
[00:22:14] Oscar Garcia: time out. This, this makes too much sense. So , because again, and, and, no, that’s probably my bad, right? Because most people assume that a course follows like a modular structure, but in your case, you’re kind of creating like a. Like a quick like Swiss Army knife when it comes to, Hey, look, you’re a podcaster, you’re trying to be profitable.
What is it that you need to do? Okay, you need to create an intro, boom, type an intro. Here’s the videos on intro. You need to figure out how to get a sponsor. Boom, here it is. So it’s kind of like, what is your need? And let’s get you the solution. Right? So it’s pretty cool how you are kind of like diagnosing what the problem is and then, you know, immediately providing that prescription right then and there.
So it creates, I’m assuming, would be a huge amount of value for the people that are going through it.
[00:22:55] Joe Casabona: Yeah. That’s, that’s the, the idea, right? And then the beauty of this is as I add more videos, I don’t have to think, how does this fit into this specific course? I’ll just throw it in the resources or bonus section. Right? That’s what I would used to do.
[00:23:09] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:23:10] Joe Casabona: Something that maybe fits somewhere, right? But also if I wanna create a new course, right?
Let’s say I wanna create a launch your mini podcast course. a lot of it’s gonna look the same, right? How to come up with content ideas, how to upload your audio to your audio host. and maybe there’s just like a, a new intro telling you what a mini podcast is. Now, I don’t have to spin up a new course, copy those modules over it cuz most, most LMSs don’t let you share lessons or modules between courses.
So I have to copy those modules. I don’t have to do that with, with this structure. I can just create a new category called “Launch Your Mini Podcast” and then add the videos I want in the order. I want to that new categor.
[00:23:57] Oscar Garcia: Dude, I am now questioning reality. That is such a smart way of doing it,
[00:24:02] Joe Casabona: Yep. And I’ll
[00:24:03] Oscar Garcia: That is super
[00:24:04] Joe Casabona: the drawbacks, right, is I don’t have reporting, right? I, there’s no certificate of completion, but I think the benefits out outweigh, the, the pros outweigh the cons. I don’t know what the other word for like opposite of benefits is. or I can’t think of it right now.
and masterclass, I love the masterclass.com. They’ve taken a similar approach, right? Yes, they have these self-paced courses, but they’ve been promoting these collections where it’s like, Hey, do you need videos on leadership? Well, here’s Bob Iger talking about it. Here’s Daniel Pink talking about it.
[00:24:36] Joe Casabona: Here’s Chris Voss talking about his negotiation tactics that he gives to leaders. and so I really love that model and it, this gives me more flexibility.
[00:24:45] Oscar Garcia: Mm. Yeah. Not only that, but it’s also kind of like the use of time, because how much time is, is spent on recreating things that you’ve already created in past, you know, and it’s kind of like, like you mentioned, you know, creating a little course on many podcasts, rather than having to start from, okay, here’s step one, here’s step two, here’s step three.
It’s like, forget it. Let’s just get right to the meat and potatoes of it and give people what they want, which is the meat and potatoes
[00:25:07] Joe Casabona: Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly right. And you know, this is, I think this is medicine for another ailment for a lot of course creators, which is, I have an idea for a course, I’m gonna create an outline, it’s gonna be a six hour course, I’m gonna record it all and edit it all. And then release it and it’s gonna take me four months and then no one’s gonna buy it,
[00:25:28] Oscar Garcia: Yeah.
[00:25:29] Joe Casabona: Whereas with this method, I can kind of test out new material more easily and then add it to the playbook. And then if I’m like, wow, lots of, cuz I use Vimeo for my videos and so I can still see like how many people are watching these videos if I’m like, dang, 90% of the playbook watched this video that I recorded, like real quick in an afternoon.
Maybe I should formalize this a little bit more. Right. Or if people are asking like, Hey, you did this video on podcast swaps, but like, how do I find the email addresses of podcasters? Oh, okay, great. Now I know I can make this right. So it allows me to have a faster, iterative process as well as a better feedback loop,
[00:26:07] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. And for me, like I, I believe speed is king when it comes to, to business and just getting things out, and also just marketing and the fact that this, this process gives someone so much freedom in terms of, you know, it doesn’t need to be perfect. You just gotta put out there, see what happens, because like you said, you don’t wanna create a course and four months later no one buys it.
It’s just crickets. Right. And then the other idea that most people have when it comes to creating courses is like, do the beta first. Right? Do like a, a a drip kind of thing where you have certain members and you really sit on a week by week basis. That also kind of goes out the window with this method, because again, now you’re just creating, like, you’re, you’re almost creating, like you mentioned earlier, a, a Netflix, but it’s more so like a, your own search engine for the relevant content that your market really desires.
[00:26:48] Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. And this is because I, I have all those, I, I made all those mistakes, right? I made a, a course just on how to build a podcast website, and the very first question I got from the very first person who bought my course was, yeah, but how do I launch a podcast? I’m like, okay, great. Now I need that part.
and so I made all those mistakes. So I have a library of content. If you’re starting out, I recommend, right? Like, you know, the, the way that most people do it, like do the webinar to test the idea, pre-sell the course and then do the beta, right? But if you have, if you’re like me and you have all this content and you’re like, what do I do with this?
[00:27:24] Joe Casabona: Like, no one’s buying it. Maybe I should make a new course, Don. Don’t make a new thing, market the old thing better. And that’s what I decided to do with the playbook and it’s working out for me so far.
[00:27:37] Oscar Garcia: I love that. I love that. So let’s talk about, well, if you don’t mind sharing what price point is, is this at
[00:27:42] Joe Casabona: yeah. As we record this today, it is at $299 for the playbook and $599 for the extended playbook, which gives you access to like office hours and a coaching call with me. but that’s how much it’s priced at right now. and I did it that I kind of did that way as like a guess, right?
Pricing is so hard, but the original course was sold at like $199 and I thought, well there’s more of me in this course. There’s a lot more content in this course. Webinar replays, right? this is another thing I do cuz I do a, about a monthly webinar on podcasting replays are only available for 48 hours and then they get added to the playbook. and so like that’s a, a high value thing. And so I thought I’ll start it at $299 and again, if these live events like start to do better, I’ll probably either increase the one time price or turn that into a annual subscription.
[00:28:37] Oscar Garcia: Hmm. How many people would you say go from the $299 and actually take you up on the $599 offer?
[00:28:43] Joe Casabona: Yeah. so far it’s been about 10%, which is not bad. and again, this is,
[00:28:48] Oscar Garcia: That’s pretty
[00:28:49] Joe Casabona: yeah, and this is really new, right? it’s really new. I, I think I did a pretty poor job of like marketing my old courses and capturing like, the excitement of when people first sign up. I’m doing a lot better job of that now.
So I’m certain that there are people who bought podcast liftoff. I brought them over to the playbook, right? Because they, again, they paid for, they paid a one time fee and I, I, I wanted to see the community, the almost community a little bit, but I also wanted to do right by those folks. and so, I think as I start to sell more
[00:29:23] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:23] Joe Casabona: and I get my like, webinar to sales flywheel going a little bit better, I think that will increase.
because. The people who I have been coaching, are finding a lot of value in the things that I tell them.
[00:29:38] Oscar Garcia: Mm.
not to toot my own horn, but that’s what people are telling me.
[00:29:42] Oscar Garcia: Well, I mean, that’s generally what happens in like, you know, I mean, you’re, you’re an expert in your field, right? You’ve been doing this for some time, but it’s kind of like, people always value that one-to-one access, right? Where they can get, you know, kind of much like what you did with, with, I wanna call it a course, but it’s not really course, it’s like, again, like a search engine, right?
It’s, it’s, it’s a , but it’s like I can find out exactly what I want from my podcast, or I can go straight to the source and get the answer from them. And that to me is, is way more valuable. So it justifies the price point. And you know, just from my own personal experiences, 10%, on the upsell take rate is actually pretty, pretty good to start off at, from, you know, I’m assuming is a warm audience, so
[00:30:15] Joe Casabona: yeah. Absolutely. And I, I think you’re absolutely right about the, you know, I think a lot of, especially course creators or like knowledge information sellers, right?
[00:30:24] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:26] Joe Casabona: I think that they worry that they’re gonna give away too much of their information for
[00:30:30] Oscar Garcia: a hundred percent.
[00:30:31] Joe Casabona: But the way I think of it, right, is the free content.
I’ll give away all of my content over time, right? Like it’s just eventually I’ll run outta something to talk about and I’ll pull from a video on the playbook and I’ll just talk about it on, on LinkedIn. the free content is general advice. The paid content is the specific advice for you.
[00:30:52] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:52] Joe Casabona: And that’s, that’s where we make our money.
And so like people who are buying the playbook, yes. They’re buying to get the videos and get them in the right order, right? And not just like a random Facebook post or a random LinkedIn post, that I closed the loop on like six months later, right? They’re buying the expediency of having all of that now, but they’re also buying direct access to, an inbox, right?
This is another part of the extended playbook as they get access to an inbox only for them. Where I respond within, I say within 72 hours. It’s like really within 24 business hours. So like they’re getting that expedited access to me and that’s like, Hey, I launched and like nobody’s listening. Like, what can I do to get downloads faster?
All right, well you can do these three things, right?
[00:31:39] Oscar Garcia: Gotcha, gotcha. Makes sense. A lot of sense. Okay. Soyou mentioned that you’re working on your webinar, funnel, but is there a current structure in terms of how you’re getting traffic or how you’re attracting that traffic at the moment?
you know, this is the thing I struggle with the most, I think, and I always have. I think it’s just always, again, I was unfocused and I was doing things too many things at the same time and people didn’t know what they could follow me for. and so the things I’m doing now to build my audience, I think it’s like.
[00:32:08] Joe Casabona: Three, we’ll say a three-pronged approach, cuz like three is like that magic number, posting on LinkedIn. Honestly, Twitter has d done very little for me. especially with recent changes like where you have to be like Twitter blue to like get more eyeballs on your, you know, I mean, people who are watching the video can see that my mic is verified.
I’m not verified though. I’m not paying eight bucks for a blue check mark, I paid eight bucks for these stickers and that’s fine. and, so, but posting on LinkedIn, I’ll tell you, I post, I made a post last week, and it, it gained me about 30 new followers, which is a lot I that like, that was, that’s a lot at one time for me at least. And I got really good engagement. And so LinkedIn has been doing well for me. I’ve been getting people in my dms there saying like, Hey, your stuff is super helpful. Can I pick your brain a bit? Or, you know, I’d love to get a coaching call with you, or I’d love to do the playbook.
[00:32:59] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:00] Joe Casabona: And now there are people who only know me from podcasting, which was like, seemed like an insurmountable go, goal last May.
Like I was so entrenched in WordPress and then somebody was like, I love your podcast. I’m like, yeah, how I built it. Like, you know, WordPress, whatever. And she’s like, what are you talking about? Like, I’m talking about your profitable podcaster podcast. I’m like, what? it was so, it was like super rewarding.
LinkedIn is really working for me there. the other, the other thing I’m doing is UpScribe, which is from,SparkLoop. SparkLoop is a service. They integrate very tightly with Convert Kit.
UpScribe is a relatively new feature where, you can list a couple of recommended newsletters when people sign up for yours, very similar to how
[00:33:41] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.
and a few people have, have added my profitable podcast or newsletter to their recommendations. And I’ve been getting subscribers that way, which is cool. and then the third way is going on other people’s podcasts.
[00:33:54] Oscar Garcia: What? No
[00:33:55] Joe Casabona: So I tell my students this, if they want to grow their podcasts, I’m using it to grow my newsletter.
So, if you stick around till the end, you’ll hear about a custom landing page that I made just for listeners of this show. And the freebie will be relevant to what we talked about on the show,
[00:34:11] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:12] Joe Casabona: it gets them onto my mailing list. And that’s been, that’s also been really effective.
[00:34:17] Oscar Garcia: Yeah, absolutely. let’s take a, a step back and look at LinkedIn, because I think LinkedIn is kind of like how you feel about podcasting. I think it LinkedIn’s about to blow up
[00:34:26] Joe Casabona: Yeah.
[00:34:27] Oscar Garcia: effective it is when it comes to specifically b2b, marketing. But when it comes to LinkedIn, like are you, are you posting articles?
Are you, do you have a LinkedIn newsletter? Are you just making posts? Like what, what’s your strategy with LinkedIn?
[00:34:39] Joe Casabona: Yeah. I’m still pretty much in the experimentation phase here. For a while, I was just taking my Twitter threads and putting them on LinkedIn. I was using a service from Taplio where you could take a Twitter thread and turn it into a carousel. and then I decided at the beginning of 2023 that I was going to do a LinkedIn first approach.
[00:34:59] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:59] Joe Casabona: And so it’s still like, I’m still doing carousels, but I’m not using like my Twitter threads. I am writing thing. Actually. This is a very, if you’ll indulge me,
[00:35:09] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead.
[00:35:12] Joe Casabona: Because I also love automation. Like one of the reasons I’m a profitable podcaster is because I automate so much stuff. but the crux of it is I created a LinkedIn carousel template in Canva.
And so I’ll write everything out in a Google Doc and then I’ll convert, I’ll move that into the Canva template and I’ll post that. But the automation part of it is that I have a folder called LinkedIn Posts on Google Drive. I’ll create a new Google Doc called whatever, right? five places to find podcasts to do podcast swaps.
when I do that, I’m using “Make” formerly IntegroMat, that will create a new entry in Airtable for a LinkedIn post, and then it’ll grab the date of the last post and add two days to it. So I try to post like every other day. and then I create the Google Doc. And my VA goes, grabs the text from the Google Doc.
[00:36:06] Joe Casabona: I highlight like the text that I actually want her to post in red, and then the rest is the carousel. So she makes the carousel and then posts it on the day and air table. and so, I mean that’s like the clever.
[00:36:18] Oscar Garcia: that, no, that is super cool because it’s kind of like, you know, people who are listening to this are kind of like, what is going on here? But it’s a, it’s a systematic approach. Right. To creating and posting content on LinkedIn. Right. So it, it’s, it’s pretty clever, man. I like the way you set it up in, in the step by steps, and I think I, I, I want more people listening to, to take that approach because I do the same thing with like Instagram reels, right?
Like Instagram reels and TikTok reels and YouTube shorts. It’s all the same video, but it’s like I’ve automated the process behind the scenes to just, you know, stream flow, that entire content creation process so that I’m not spending hours, days, weeks figuring out what to create or how to create that content, you know?
[00:36:55] Joe Casabona: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So like, I’m part of like a morning co-working group where we get together every morning, 8:30 AM Eastern time, and just for a half hour we work on something. And I use that time to get, make a back catalog of LinkedIn posts and then like we’re in a group together where we post our LinkedIn posts and then we comment and like, or whatever, right?
Because like, I guess LinkedIn really values comments. and so, you know, that has been an effective strategy to like find a group of people where you can have like a LinkedIn buddy. But, as far as the system goes, right, it’s, I’ve got three small children at home. and so if, if I want any sort of consistency. I need to have a system in place. and so I like the writing part, but like, I don’t need to do any of the other parts. and so my VA has been super valuable for that. And then, and then I actually go in and, and comment and engage obviously. but like if I need to post every morning at 9:00 AM and like there’s a two hour delay because it snowed, I’m well, like, I’m not posting at 9:00 AM Right.
so, and I know that there’s like services that can do that for you, but my VA is super valuable. She’s really great. I know that she’s gonna do it the right way every time. And, and so, that has been, and, and it’s fun to experiment with automation as.
[00:38:09] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. Yeah. Not only that, but it’s kind of like, you know, using schedulers, although they won’t say this, you won’t find an article that says this, but through my own research, I feel like if you use a third party scheduler to post the content, as opposed to just uploading it directly, you do see some penalization happening there, either in terms of impressions or reach, you know, again, this is just, you know, my, my, experimentation out there in the field, but it’s, I’m, I’m in, I’m with the same mindset of like, it’s better to just natively upload this content if you have the, if you have the ability to do so,
[00:38:35] Joe Casabona: Yeah. I, I agree wholeheartedly. And so to close the loop on this, what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll try to do two carousels a week, and then two short form like questions or things, like just text every week. and so like today it’s like, happy Monday. let’s ama day ask me anything about podcasting.
and or like I ask people for podcast, like people love giving their recommendations. So like, I ask for like, what’s the best podcast you listen to in 2022? so stuff like that. That way I’m not like, Writing an essay a day, right? On LinkedIn, because that is also a lot of work. And the final, like, secret sauce here is like, I take those and then I turn them into my newsletter. I turn them into episodes of my mini podcast. but having it in a Google Doc is the format. And then like, you know, I do take it and I post it on Twitter, but I don’t expect anything from Twitter anymore. LinkedIn has been, very rewarding for me.
[00:39:24] Oscar Garcia: Nice. Do you repurpose those carousels over on Instagram by any chance, or
[00:39:27] Joe Casabona: I don’t, and I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t curated the type of audience. Like if you go to, Twitter or LinkedIn, right. I’m a podcast coach and I talk mostly about podcasting. I Twitter, I’ll always talk about the Yankees,
[00:39:38] Oscar Garcia: Yeah.
[00:39:39] Joe Casabona: like, I try to use the hashtag so he can mute that hashtag.
[00:39:41] Oscar Garcia: But on LinkedIn, if you go over there, it’s like my kids and cigars. and I should say like my kids and cigar. It’s not my children with cigars. I wouldn’t hold it back.
and so I’ve, I’ve really kind of kept Instagram a little bit more personal.
[00:39:58] Oscar Garcia: Gotcha, gotcha. Okay. So an any paid traffic at all or just strictly organic at the moment?
strictly organic at the moment. you know, I think a mistake that people make with paid traffic is, I’ve made this mistake as well. so maybe I’m just projecting on everybody, but it’s like, it’s. You need, you do need to have a strategy. You need to have the right budget, and you need to know your outcome, right?
[00:40:20] Joe Casabona: So like I would post like a webinar I was doing in Facebook ads, but I didn’t really know my audience. and I wouldn’t do it. Like, I’d be like, yeah, 10 bucks a day for five days of the week before the webinar. Great. and like, I didn’t have the right copier, whatever that would attract me. So like, if you’re gonna do that, like you need to, there needs to be like, this is why there are industries based on that, right?
I just never did it right. And so if I’m gonna do it again, I wanna make sure I’m gonna do it right. But the organic has been working pretty well for me. I mean, we’ll see. I have a webinar and a, a week and a half. the first one did really well. This is a new topic, but we’ll, we’ll see. we’ll see how well this one does to, I try to recalibrate after everyone in experiment, like little experiments, you know.
[00:41:06] Oscar Garcia: no, it’s, it’s pretty cool cuz like, I mean, I come, I’m a paid ads guy, like I’m, I’m paid traffic all the way. But it’s really cool hearing the other perspective as far as like organic traffic and the fact that LinkedIn is really working well for you in terms of building that, that audience and curating that audience.
Cause I think for me, at the end of the day, whether you go paid or organic, the fo the key is to focus on building an audience. , you know, you gotta be able to do that
[00:41:28] Joe Casabona: Yeah, for sure. And that’s, you know, that’s, like I said, like I’m, I’m fully aware that anytime I tried paid traffic and it didn’t work, it was like, it was, it was me. I didn’t do it right. it’s not something that you could just like, decide to do one day and then just like do it really quick.
[00:41:43] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. No, it, it takes time. It takes trial and error a hundred percent. I mean, the first time I tried, you know, it was about six months of, credit card debt accumulation. So it was a lot of good times, , but you ended up figuring it out. now what’s really cool about your business is that, like you, you mentioned you kind of gave up your, your LMS.
So let’s take a second and just talk about the tech that, that you use to kind of run all this, because I know you mentioned WordPress, but, and I know you have a lot of different automation processes in the background kind of going on, but as far as like your main tech stack, what does that actually look like?
To, to run the business?
[00:42:14] Joe Casabona: Yeah, great question. So if we talk specifically about, let’s talk about the membership site first. I really wanted to streamline this process, right? So I was, I was using LearnDash full disclosure and Learn dash sponsors my podcast. I really love Learn Dash, but again, I wanted to eliminate the LMS part.
I knew that this site would become more of a membership site, so I set up a completely new site separate from the marketing site over at playbook.podcastliftoff.com. and that uses Paid Memberships Pro full disclosure paid memberships. Pro. As a sponsor of my podcast, I, here’s, here’s. Here’s a free tip for you on, if you have a podcast and you’re looking for sponsors, go to people you use and know and talk to because you can speak most genuinely about those.
So, like I used Learn Dash before they sponsored my podcast. I used paid memberships for a well before they sponsored my podcast. Like all of these tools I’ve used and I’m like, Hey, I used your tool. It helps me. I think it can help other creators anyway. but I will disclose anytime they sponsor like that, that’s really important to me.
so spoiler alert, there’s gonna be a couple more disclosures. but paid Memberships Pro, I’ve like been around the block with a bunch of membership plugins for WordPress and paid memberships Pro I think is just the easiest and the most flexible. and I’m a big fan and like, I mean, I know the owners, like they’re some of my oldest friends in the WordPress space and they just make such a great product.
I’m a really big fan and because I have like little Like special things I want to do. Like maybe you could get away with like a restricted content pro, which is another WordPress plugin, but like I wanted to do a couple of specific things and paid memberships Pro made it very easy for me to do those things.
[00:43:51] Joe Casabona: So
[00:43:52] Oscar Garcia: like, like what? Like what specifically?
well one is that a lot of membership plugins are subscription centric.
[00:44:01] Oscar Garcia: mm-hmm.
[00:44:02] Joe Casabona: so for example, I was looking at restrict content pro and I didn’t want a recurring charge, right? but the way the checkout page looked if you don’t have a recurring charge, was very confusing with paid memberships pro, they make it crystal clear it is this much today and $0 for the rest of your life.
and so I liked that. there’s a couple of like custom code snippets that they provided. oh, like one was automatically downgrading. Because with the extended, playbook, right, you get access to the stuff for a year. like and the coaching college just for me. So, with paid Membership Pro, I was easily able to downgrade them from extended playbook to core playbook after a year, right?
and you might be wondering, well, why don’t you just charge a subscription for theThe extended playbook Then I didn’t wanna muddy the language, right? I didn’t wanna say like, oh, it’s one price for this and then it’s annual for this. If people want more of my coaching time after that year, then they can pay me directly for the coaching and they’ll still have access to the playbook.
[00:45:01] Joe Casabona: And actually, if you become a, a coaching client of mine, you get your own custom page in the playbook where I surfaced the plays that are relevant to our discussion. That’s another reason I wanted to do it this way. and so stuff like that, paid memberships pro just made it really easy and I love it.
[00:45:16] Oscar Garcia: that, I love that you brought that up because I think it’s something that many overlook when it comes to picking tech specifically for like a membership. And, you know, like there’s two ways to go about it. They can either build on like rented land or you can use kind of your own tech. And I’m a big fan of WordPress and you know, in my time I’ve used plenty of software and, what’s always interesting for me, it’s like, is the, like you mentioned, the checkout process where it’s like some membership platforms are so hard to upgrade members or downgrade members, or to sell just courses separate from the membership.
Like, it’s just, there’s so many different things, but it’s really cool. And I have used paid memberships pro before and I agree great product as well. So, yeah, highly recommend it.
[00:45:52] Joe Casabona: Yeah, it’s, it’s great. And so that’s the site. the rest of my business is pretty much run through Convert Kit,
[00:45:58] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:59] Joe Casabona: full disclosure, previous podcast sponsor, current social media sponsor. but I love Convert Kit. I think it’s great. I am using them. So something I hadn’t mentioned up until this point is I do have a pro version of my podcast.
Where people can pay five bucks a month for that. It’s a totally separate offer. I pretty much only sell it on the podcast.
[00:46:19] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
and I’m using Convert Kit Commerce for that.
[00:46:22] Oscar Garcia: Gotcha.
[00:46:23] Joe Casabona: Not as robust as, other membership or subscription platforms. You don’t even know when people churn as we record this.
[00:46:30] Oscar Garcia: Oh, what?
[00:46:31] Joe Casabona: And I just thought it was a really simple implementation.
but that, that was disappointing. I’ve put in a, you know, I, I suspect it’s gonna evolve. I, maybe that’s hope on my part, but, evaluate the tools. I guess. Like, I just thought like everything, you know what? The newsletter is gonna be a core component of my membership moving forward, and my newsletter platform allows me to sell subscriptions.
[00:46:51] Joe Casabona: What I hadn’t considered was, the other core part of that offering was a private podcast through my podcast host, Castos, and, and I need to know when someone churns so I can revoke access
[00:47:04] Oscar Garcia: yeah.
[00:47:05] Joe Casabona: right now at this point, it’s not that big of a deal if someone churns out and I forget to revoke their access.
But as the show grows, right, if I’m leaving like, I don’t know, a thousand dollars a month on the table, right, I, I’ll, I’ll want to recoup that. If I’m leaving only five bucks a month on the table, you know, it’s, it hasn’t become enough of a headache for me to look into. so, that I’ve like provided that feedback to Convert Kit.
But anyway, convert Kit, all of my forms, all of my automations, all of my marketing, not all of my automations, out of my emails, all of my emails go out through Convert Kit, and that’s a really core part of my business. and then all of my automations as of today, the day we record this are through Make.
I used Zapier and I was like a Zapier Stan. That’s the only generation z, gen Z word I’ll use, for a long time. And then I was listening to a podcast where they were talking about how great make is, and then I just, and then they mentioned, oh yeah, and I’m only paying like 10 bucks a month for 10,000 auto, 10,000, tasks or whatever.
[00:48:11] Joe Casabona: And I
[00:48:11] Oscar Garcia: I’m taking a look at that after
[00:48:13] Joe Casabona: what? Yeah, because I went to Zapier. One of the other things I started to do at the end of last year was move all of my annual build subscriptions to monthly.
[00:48:23] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:24] Joe Casabona: And with Zapier, they charged 33% more. And so I was paying 50 bucks a year, 50 bucks a month for Zapier on the annual plan. And that jumped to $73 a month on the monthly plan.
And I thought a 90% difference in monthly cost. Is absolutely worth me spending some time in January to see if I can switch. And it took me about two weeks to learn, make, and move stuff over. but I was able to move stuff over. I was able to move some things natively. So like I was using a Zap to watch a Dropbox folder to upload videos in that folder to to Vimeo.
[00:49:06] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:06] Joe Casabona: Vimeo Does that natively? I didn’t know that cuz I always had the automation and so I’m like, yeah, it’s better if Vimeo does this obviously. or like, you know, I have like a whole outre, like a guest outreach automation where I would, I would put things in a Google sheet,
[00:49:21] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:22] Joe Casabona: fill it all out and it would put together a pitch, a personalized.
Like Madlib style though. And when I set a, a field to ready to send as as, yes. Or one Zapier would watch that Google sheet and send out the email, well, I, I moved that into Airtable cuz that’s where the rest of my operations are. And I don’t need an automation anymore because, in Airtable it supports that,
[00:49:46] Oscar Garcia: Look at
[00:49:47] Joe Casabona: when you set a field to a certain thing, it could kick off its own automation to send an email.
[00:49:51] Oscar Garcia: This, this is, this is such a good, sorry to , but this is such a good point to like, look at the current tech you have and see what automations they currently offer because they constantly update and change,
[00:50:01] Joe Casabona: Yes, yes. And here is you want as few links in the chain as possible. Let me tell you a horror story. it was November, October, November, 2021 and I was gearing up for my first big properly done Black Friday sale, which did pretty well. but I realized. At the beginning of November that nobody had joined my mailing list in like a month.
And I’m like, that is, I mean, I wasn’t getting a lot of subscriptions at that time anyway, but like nobody in a month is weird. And so I decided to like see what was going on. I hated the way that Convert Kits forms, were being displayed in WordPress. And so I decided I’ll make the forms in gravity forms, they’ll look super pretty, and then I’ll just use a Zapier, zap to send that form information to convert kit. yeah, I totally did that except I forgot to turn on the Zap.
[00:51:06] Oscar Garcia: Oh no.
[00:51:07] Joe Casabona: And so not only did I miss out on the subscribers, but I turned off the automatically log. Forms. So like just lost, lost subscribers into the ether. and after that I was like, you know what, I’ll just, I’ll use the native convert kit forms.
And in the time from when I tried it to that point,
[00:51:30] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
[00:51:30] Joe Casabona: it got a lot better and you could actually style the forms a little bit better as well. But they did a better job of loading faster. Cuz that was the other thing. They, they used to take a long time to load. They did a better job of loading faster and adopting the styles of the website.
So, definitely evaluate your tech stack test and have as few links in the chain as possible because if one, you know, this is like, like 70 style Christmas lights where if one goes out, they all
[00:51:58] Oscar Garcia: Boom.
[00:52:00] Joe Casabona: It’s not like today’s where like if one goes out, the rest are still basically on.
[00:52:03] Oscar Garcia: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Got it. So, I love your tech stack. It seems, it seems to really work with the current flow and structure that you have within your business and the fact that you’re using all the automations Now, the other key component you mentioned earlier was that you had a va. So tell me a little bit about your team.
Is, is it just you and the va? Do you have more people behind the scenes helping you grow? what does that look like?
[00:52:24] Joe Casabona: Yeah, I have a team of three or four contractors. my VA is a VA in the Philippines. I try to pay her well above what they make on average there. because she is an inter, you know, she does a lot of the stuff that I don’t really want to do. and so like she handles, like uploading to my YouTube channel and, and things like that.
She, I mean, at this point I can’t even, all of her tasks are an Airtable and I don’t, I just know that things are happening and, and well worth what I pay. I actually, if I don’t have enough new work for her, I still pay her a minimum
[00:52:55] Oscar Garcia: Mm.
[00:52:56] Joe Casabona: like, I just, I don’t want her to leave me . so like, I gave her a raise last year and I said, you know what, even if.
I will pay you for like a minimum of eight hours a week or whatever. And so like, even if you’ve only worked six, I’m gonna pay you the eight because I want you to stay. and so like, yeah, she does a ton of stuff for me. I have an, a podcast editor because editing podcast is my least favorite part of the job, and I’m bad at it, and he’s very good at it.
there are a lot of automations in that workflow, where like, once I’m done recording, I’m basically done. And so like my editor will automatically get an email to edit my, I have a transcriber. She’ll automatically get an email to transcribe. Then my VA will automatically get an email to upload new episodes.
I’ll like Airtable and make are like the linchpin of that. and then, I have a, well, I have an accountant, I don’t know if that counts. She’s a contractor. I pay her
[00:53:42] Oscar Garcia: that, that’s important,
[00:53:43] Joe Casabona: to do my
[00:53:44] Oscar Garcia: especially
[00:53:44] Joe Casabona: Yeah. she, she proved her weight in gold our first year because like, she like restructured how I filed and I got like $8,000 back in taxes.
and I’m like, well, I’m stuck with you forever now,
[00:53:55] Oscar Garcia: Forever. Yeah. A hundred percent.
[00:53:56] Joe Casabona: and and then I have a, a video editor sometimes. He, he was an integral part of my team last year, but as I reevaluated how I was gonna do YouTube videos, I decided to focus more on quality over quantity. and so I have that ability. I don’t mind editing YouTube videos or I don’t mind editing videos.
And I’m gonna do a lot fewer this year on my podcast Liftoff channel. And then on my main channel, which is just like Joe Casabona, those are gonna be like more like one-off quick videos. And so like, I’m really just focused on getting information out there on that channel, not doing like the big please, the algorithm type videos that I’m gonna do over on Podcast Liftoff.
[00:54:39] Oscar Garcia: So then, so going, going forward, ut will be kind of part of your traffic generation
[00:54:44] Joe Casabona: Yeah. And it was, it was for a while, but I wasn’t doing it right. so like, I, I’ve had a YouTube channel for like 10 years, and it was mostly a place for me to upload webinars, or do like quick like WordPress tutorial videos. But in May when I was like, I’m not gonna do WordPress anymore,
[00:54:59] Oscar Garcia: Yeah.
[00:55:00] Joe Casabona: I was like, what’s this channel gonna be for?
And I’ve decided it’s gonna be like a build in public.
[00:55:04] Oscar Garcia: Mm.
[00:55:05] Joe Casabona: so I still use WordPress, and I still think WordPress is the best platform for creators, right? I mean, you’re probably not gonna have a gum road situation with WordPress, right? and so over there I’ve like kind of extracted myself from the WordPress community and that I’m not so entrenched in the everyday goings ons of the development. And so I still use WordPress and that’s what my tutorials are gonna be about moving forward, or my videos are gonna be over there. and then yeah, on the podcast Liftoff channel, that’s going to be a place for me to, generate new organic traffic by putting out somewhat infrequent but high quality videos.
[00:55:45] Oscar Garcia: Hmm. I like that. I like that especially. Yeah. I, I still think YouTube has huge potential. and I think it’s more so, like you were talking about the quality as opposed to the quantity, when it comes to those types of things. Now, I like the fact that your team is pretty lean. Like you have your va, which I think is like the number one hire anyone needs to do right outta the gate.
you know? Did you, did you find, did you find your VA through, for example, Upwork? Or did you go through a separate site?
I found a site, there was a site called Online jobs.ph, which is basically specifically to find a VA in the Philippines. Mm-hmm.
[00:56:20] Joe Casabona: and I thought like, I’ll just do this short term, like while my business makes money or while my business is not making a lot of money, but I still recognize I need a va.
[00:56:27] Oscar Garcia: Mm-hmm.
and I’ll treat them as well as I possibly can financially.
and then I’ll like move to somebody in the states like when I can afford it. But like, I really like my VA , so I’ve just been kinda like increasing her pay over time. and so like I’ll probably, I’ll do it again this year, because I really value the work that she and I probably, if I am to like, if I hit my certain profit goals, not revenue goals, profit goals,
[00:56:49] Oscar Garcia: Big
[00:56:49] Joe Casabona: yeah.
Right. if I hit certain profit goals, I probably will hire another VA here in the states to do more of like email management strategy stuff, right. Because my VA in the Philippines is really good at doing the specific repeatable tasks. uploading my podcast, creating these LinkedIn carousels. but I’m not gonna sit down and like, strategize with her or like build out a new Airtable base for like sponsorship management, right?
That’s, that’s something that I would want to do with, you know, a a somebody who has a different skillset.
[00:57:24] Oscar Garcia: Gotcha. All right, Joe, well I think I have a super clear understanding of your entire process now, from the offer to the funnel, to the traffic, to the team, to the tech. And I gotta say, man, I’m super impressed. Yeah. I’m definitely blown away by, you know, the, the way you changed the whole course structure. I think that to me is like the biggest takeaway from this.
And then the fact that you have a team that can help you run it and you use a bunch of automations to help you free up your time, I think is one of the other biggest takeaways. So seriously, I just wanna say thank you for being on. Thank you for showing us, and I wanna give you the opportunity to run up.
Just tell the audience to know where can they come and find you. Where can they know more about you? Where can they come and sign up, you know, for your program.
thanks so much, Oscar. This has been so great. I think I just realized that OMG are probably your initials,if people wanna learn more about me, you can go to podcast liftoff.com/omg. There, you’ll find links to my podcast and obviously, the playbook. You’ll also get, there will be an email opt-in for my Airtable podcast planners, and then it has like the automations built in.
[00:58:25] Joe Casabona: There’s a YouTube planner in there too. But, so you’ll get that free for signing up. And then if you use the code OMG at checkout [email protected], you’ll get 50 bucks off the playbook at any level.
[00:58:40] Oscar Garcia: Hey, look at that. Hey, thank you, Joe. Thank you, sir. I much appreciate that. I might sign up for that air table just so I can take a peek.
[00:58:48] Joe Casabona: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like, it’s fun. You know, something I didn’t mention, but part of the playbook is also my automations library. So like, again, I’m, I’m big on building in public and showing people what I’m doing and so, members of the playbook will get access to like all my, I, I guess I’ll have to change the links to, to make links.
But, all of the automations I used to run my podcast are are available there as well.
[00:59:08] Oscar Garcia: Got it. Wow. All right, Joe, one last question before we to part. If you were to do it all over again, what’s the one thing that you would do differently?
[00:59:16] Joe Casabona: I would absolutely do a webinar to pre-sell a course first,going into a hole for four to six months and building a course and then nobody buying it is just like demoralizing for so many reasons. And so absolutely I would test new topics and especially today, like my, the webinar I’m doing in a couple of weeks comes from a particularly popular LinkedIn post that got a lot of traction and I thought, okay, I can probably do a webinar on this.
and then like the next live cohort in the playbook will be all about that as well, as long as people buy at the end of the webinar. So, testing ideas is something I would definitely do more.
[00:59:58] Oscar Garcia: Awesome. All right Joe, thank you so much. I really appreciate you having on Wish you the best of luck and keep us updated with any new enhancements you got. Cause I feel like you got something brewing that’s gonna pop off and I’m excited to see your journey man.
[01:00:09] Joe Casabona: Awesome. Thanks so much Oscar. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.
[01:00:12] Oscar Garcia: So, there you have it. Joe just unlocked the secrets in terms of how you can get started quickly leveraging your knowledge for income. Forget about creating, a 10 module course with four different lessons inside each different module, et cetera, et cetera. If you have a collection of knowledge and experience, it’s totally and perfectly okay to go about and putting that behind the paywall in an organized fashion, creating a sort of search engine, for questions that you’re constantly getting asked.
I think that’s such a smart way of going about it that’ll get you to where you want to go a whole lot faster, and of course, can be amplified with paid traffic. now. There’s nothing better than having a community in order to help you navigate these waters, right, which is kind of why I want you to go ahead and head over to www.oscarmgarcia.com/beta and come and join us inside Marketing and mojitos.
It’s completely free for the beta members. And it’ll be free until we get the first 100 people inside the group. But again, the whole idea behind this community is to give you access to the resources, to give you accountability, to give you the assets you need to start, run, and scale your core space business.
So once again, come on over to www.oscarmgarcia.com/beta to join us inside the Marketing Mojitos community. Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. We look forward to seeing you again here in the next.