To gain influence, podcasting your way through the top of your industry’s pyramid is the answer. In this episode, the “Note Guy” Scott Carson talks about how he started podcasting with the Note Closers Show and what influenced him to do so. Going through the positives and the negatives, Scott shows us how to market and attract great guests as well as how to tackle problems and trolls online that usually come our way – be that in podcasting or closing deals. As a popular podcaster himself, Scott gives some teasers into what he does to become one of the biggest players in the industry.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Center Of Influence: The Note Closers Show with Scott Carson
I have another influencer to talk with you. This is unusual because I don’t think I’ve written an article about the real estate industry yet. My first real estate influencer and it should be Scott Carson, the Note Guy. We’ve known each other for many years. You have been an active real estate investor since 2002. It was quite some time ago and you’ve been through the ups and downs of the industry, which seem to be rumored that we might be heading into again. Tuning into your show would be ideal. You have The Note Closers Show. Scott does a lot of videos, audio and blogs. He’s got the whole thing going on for him.
You’ve got multiple shows but everything is at WeCloseNotes.com. That is an Austin, Texas-based real estate firm and you purchased over $500 million in distressed debt for your own portfolio and purchases assets in over 30 states across the United States. You have a lot of experience in different jurisdictions and other things and you’ve helped thousands of other real estate investors make money along the way. You are a highly sought-after speaker on distressed debt, marketing and raising private capital. You’ve been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal and Inc.com. Scott is also the host of the popular podcast, The Note Closers Show, which has a couple of spinoffs. You have a YouTube channel, Facebook and growing social media channels everywhere.
You are an avid sports fan, which I know because you and Tom always have some rivalry when it comes to baseball and football. You also love pets. Scott, thanks for joining me on the Center of Influence. I can’t think of someone more adept at marketing in the real estate niche than you have. I’m excited to talk about that in specifics because it’s a little bit different. There are a lot of people marketing in here that are big companies and then there are also a lot of scams.
We see a lot of that in the real estate side of things too. Flash in the pan, people that are not walking the walk before they talk the talk. I’ve been around since 2002. We had the mortgage run-up. I owned a mortgage company for years as an active investor and then the music stopped in 2008. I got off the mortgage thing as the markets crashed and jumped onto buying of distressed debt side of things. It still is a very nichey thing, but there was nothing around for that niche that opened up. It’s a true secondary market. I was fortunate from long ago, I had some good mentors. Roland Frazier was a mentor of mine long ago. He’s a good guy. He helped change my mindset a lot when I was in the real estate side. I realize that I was in marketing for the most part and that we’re all in the marketing phase. A lot of people are like, “I’m in sales.”
Everybody’s in sales. You’re always selling somebody something, whether it’s your spouse or your kids.
ABC, Always Be Closing.
You have to always be marketing too.
ABM, Always Be Marketing. I’ve always embraced that aspect of things. I went to school for mass com, to begin with, before I got into the business. I liked the whole idea of that video and webinars that we’ve done for years has helped us grow our niche because there was nobody teaching my little niche thing of distressed debt over the last ten years. We’ve leveraged media and webinar. We’ve embraced the podcasting thing in the last couple of years to hone in and own our niche of distressed debt. There are maybe 10,000 true note investors in the country out there and there are a lot of other real estate investors. I’ve always believed that we run a media company now more than anything else.
What made you decide to get into podcasting as a part of it? Had you been listening to other podcasts or had you been watching that? I know we might have pushed you a little bit.
We had a couple of students that started a podcast. That was one of the few note investing podcasts. They’re my good friends, previous people that worked with me and I was excited about them starting new things. I was like, “That’s their thing. It’s not that many. I don’t want to step on their toes and copy them.” I’m proud of them and then I found out that they were stopping the podcast because they were going their separate ways. I see an opportunity there, “Let’s jump into it.” I’ve met you guys a few months earlier and we’re talking about that. You’re doing podcasts for somebody else. When Tom told me that I didn’t need to do a lot of extra work above and beyond what I was already doing as far as regular videos and0 regular content, I was doing Facebook Lives almost on a daily basis already. He was like, “I’ve got to do all this editing. You either or you don’t for the most part. I know people who could do that.” I’m like, “What? I don’t have to do it all and my staff? Let’s do it.”
You don’t have to do it all and you can leverage what you’re already doing and maybe shift it a little bit. You pivot it a little bit.
That’s what we did and it took off like crazy. We own our niche more than anything else. It’s done so much good stuff for driving in listeners and people to our workshops, people that want to invest in deal and people that want to buy deals. That’s helped us out tremendously so much that we’ve changed our focus. Instead of it being the WCN, the We Closed Notes brand to being The Note Closers Show as one of the most focal brands that have helped us grow in spreading the word on what we do on a regular basis. I do almost a daily podcast episode, at least three episodes a week. We’ve got to 500 episodes in our first three years. We’re south of 400,000 downloads. We’re now on seventeen AM/FM radio stations across the country. We’ve embraced that media brand and tried to leverage every facet that we can to help spread our note web across the country.
You had a pretty decent size list before you started. Have you seen some changes in that? Have you seen lower attrition rates? What have you seen in nurturing that list for yourself?
We’ve worked hard to build that list. We didn’t buy a list. It’s all been from my ten years of blue-collar going out and speaking 30, 40 times a year at different real estate clubs or sponsoring different conferences and doing that. I’ve seen a couple of good things have happened. As the markets change and rebounded, we got a lot more people coming in that had found our information from our videos and from our podcast episodes or me appearing on other people’s podcasts. We’ve seen our opt-ins increased dramatically. We’ve seen the people that subscribed to our YouTube channels and to the podcast exponentially grow because we’ve added another channel with the podcasting side for people looking for stuff and the engagement. We’ve always done well on our YouTube videos as far as engagement in average times, but it’s amazing to get phone calls from people that said, “I heard you on somebody else’s show. I binged your six months of videos in your episodes and I’m ready to sign up for your coaching program. I want to put $100,000 with you.” I’m like, “Hang on, slow down a little bit. Let’s talk first.”
You’re the first person I ever heard who uses the term “coopetition.” You have a lot of competition on your show and you believe in that. I think podcasting is known for that. It’s known for us all like, “You have a marketing company too. Come on my show, no big deal.” That’s interesting. Has that helped in relationship building in that community?
It’s hard to say that because it has its pros and cons. One big pro is people have always known me. I’ve even had my rivals say, “Scott Carson, he knows how to market. He knows how to close deals.” I chuckled because we do. That’s what you should be if you’re in the real estate business and education side. We’re doing closing deals and the people you teach should be doing the same thing as well. It’s what we’ve always pride our self on. People who discounted me earlier on have been like, “We can’t ignore Scott now.”
He’s everywhere now. We can’t ignore him.
They’ve come to me and say, “We’d like for you to help us market.” I’m like, “I’m about to be pumped.” That’s been a good thing. The reverse side is that we’ve grown in other places. We built a name for ourselves. You’re not going to make everybody happy. Luckily, I’ve had some great mentors along the way that taught me that I’m not going to make 100% of people happy. I’ve got 33% of people that are going to love you no matter what you do. 33% of people are going to hate you because they don’t know you. They don’t know what they don’t care. They got a dark soul. Your focus should be on the 33% of people that you love and then that middle part that doesn’t know you.
That’s interesting because we both know Aaron and Michelle Young. Michelle once said to me that one of her mentors who is a psychiatrist was telling her that in school, they were taught that there’s going to be a third of the people who are going to be successful no matter what you do. Your job is not to get in their way. They’re going to be successful. For whatever reason, they believe they need a guide. There’s a third that will never be successful no matter how hard you work with them. It’s not going to happen. It’s the ones in the middle. That third that you can take action with something you say, something you do, something you provide them is the catalyst to move them into the top third. That’s the biggest role that you have is, “What do I need to be for that player? What kind of information do I provide for them? How can I move them forward and how can they move forward?” That’s one of the reasons I love podcasting is because in a way, it’s passive. You start wherever you are and you move yourself to where you need to go by what you consume.
I love the same thing too. What’s funny is if you look at people that have been around as educators in the real estate space or the note space for a while, there are two schools of thought. One is the old school of thought where I’m going to hoard all the secrets. I’m not going to share. I’m going to give you a little bit and then blow smoke up your tail to get you to run to the back of the room and sign up with your credit card for a big coaching program. It doesn’t deliver anything. The new school, which I believe in because I was very fortunate to have mentors that helped me out early on in the note space for years. I’ve always believed that if somebody is truly hungry and you give them the tools, they’ll go in that middle 33% and then they’ll move to the top 33% and you win because success breeds success and the cream rises to the top. That’s how we’ve focused.
That’s what we’ve always done with our podcast is give a little nugget here. It’s like a chain. We give a link to the chain each day with either the people that we bring on or some rivals, which is great. I’m fine to have them on. It doesn’t bother me. Hopefully, they’ll market it and share that episode so I’ll get more subscribers. It’s the idea. The thing too is that I give away a lot of content that most people have never given. They’re like, “Why would you give that away?” I’m like, “Why not? It doesn’t do me any good.” I’m using it for my business and my students. If somebody else is going to see the value in it, they’re going to realize, “That Scott Carson might just know what he’s talking about.”
There might be more there. Normally, I ask everyone what interesting or funny things happened to you, but you had some not funny things happened to you. It’s more common. I did a whole episode on being trolled. I get trolled very frequently as Inc. columnist when I write about women in tech. I write about women in gaming and it’s even worse. I get trolled on Twitter and I had to have people shut down. We get podcasts trolled as well. You’ve been more than that. You’ve been completely social media trolled. Do you want to tell a little bit about how those things happen and then what have you been able to do about that?Jealous people aren't going to do the things that you do. They would rather throw mud than do the work. Click To Tweet
This is a big thing. In any investment, things don’t always go right. Sometimes they go good and sometimes they’d go weed. The beautiful thing about what we had done is we have done hundreds and hundreds of deals. Being through the up and the down, we always keep moving forward. We’ve had a couple of deals that have dragged out a lot longer than expected because we’re busy foreclosing and a variety of other things. We’ve always taken care of our investors. Even if it did go south, I wrote a check out of my own pocket to take care of them. We’ve had a couple of investors that didn’t want to agree to payment plans or things like that. They decided to take their voice to the public. They go online and share, “Scott’s behind. He’s been sued all these times.” I chuckled like, “Yeah, I’ve been sued.” If you’re in real estate, as our buddy, Aaron Young, says, “It’s not if you’re going to be sued. It’s when are you going to be sued?”
Talk about product design. It’s the same thing.
I’ve always prided myself, even from the downturn over a decade ago, we’ve always taken care of our investors. You’re not in business for ten-plus years if you haven’t done that. Unfortunately, in this day’s social media, you’ve got one troll and then you’ve got anybody who dislikes you, anybody that you’ve had as a client.
Anybody who’s a little bit jealous of what you’re working on and your success.
We’ve had a lot of people that jumped on. It’s been very stressful for the last few weeks, but it’s okay.
What always shocks me about it is that there are people who don’t even know you. They have no experience in that. We just had popped up our page and we had somebody on it writing us a bad review and they weren’t one of our clients. Unfortunately, social media tools have this ridiculous recourse. You can’t even get through the process to get stuff pushed down and removed. For the most part, it’s difficult to even make any of that happen.
We’ve had people that have reached out that wanted to get my opinion on things. I’m like, “I’m glad to comment to you.” I’m not going to go onto social media and get in a fight or a mudslinging contest because it only makes you look bad. We’ve chosen sometimes a difficult thing because sometimes you want to fight with somebody. We’re in Texas, but I’m not threatening anybody. We’ve taken the high road. We talked to our counsel and talk to stuff like that. We’re doing the right thing. Keep doing what you’re doing. People will say ugly things. That’s the thing that you have to realize, people get jealous. People aren’t going to do the things that you do. People would rather throw mud than do the work. That’s what we’ve seen, people who don’t know me, never have taken a class from me, never invested with me throwing mud. I have to sit here and chuckle.
I work with a lot of Amazon sellers and we see this happen all the time. We have a lot of counterfeit products and people pop up bad reviews. Now, the big thing is good reviews. They write overly good reviews, which trips the algorithm, which sounds like you bought your reviews and you get shut down. It’s crazy like this stuff that they’ve managed to come up with. This is all going on here. I think the point that I also want you to talk a little bit about is that you have to also recognize that you have some sponsors on your show and that costs you. It costs you your sponsors, whether it’s temporary or permanent. It’s still too early to tell, but you got to communicate with them as well but they have to protect their brand and that’s what they do.
That’s the thing that we did immediately. I reached out to our closest allies, our closest friends, sponsors and communicate, “I’ve got this going on. We’ve got a couple of deals that are dragging on. We’ll be done with this in 30 days or 60 days.” We did have one sponsor who canceled with us. They’re like, “We’ve canceled this for a while. Get cleared up and we’ll talk about coming back on after a while.” They appreciate the fact that we’ve helped grow them dramatically over the last couple of years. We’ve been their biggest referrer of new accounts and things like that. I went to reach out and say, “Here’s what’s going on.” I think that’s the biggest thing for people to realize, you want to communicate that with your close friends or close sponsors. The people that are helping out with that so that they know what to expect when a troll pops up. I have to laugh because it is a good work of fiction that these people are saying. They’re saying all sorts of things like that’s never happened. You have to realize, people will throw that and you don’t want to get into mudslinging fight. I have a friend of mine who literally was all excited and got on there. I’m like, “I appreciate it but you’re making it worse for me.”
“Don’t defend me, although I love it. Thank you for that.”
“Take it down. I don’t need you. We’ll handle it.” That’s what happened is that people will have their 30 minutes of bashing and trying to take a pound of flesh. Just sit there and keep doing what you’re doing. We’ve kept doing episodes. We keep closing deals. We’re business as usual because we know we’ll work it out. We’ve communicated with our closest allies to say what’s going on. That’s the thing is it’s not fun.
We’ve had that happen with a couple of guests. We’ve had some guests on and their spouses write nasty notes and reviews about what a scam this is. It makes you think as a host, it makes you worried. You’re like, “Did I bring someone on that wasn’t ethical? I thought I did some research on them.” You come to find out, it’s a nasty dispute in the background that has nothing to do with business. I’m like, “We don’t have to take this down.”
What’s funny in some of these posts is that people have reached out to me and said, “We read everything. That sounds like business as normal is what happened to you.” You can see those crazy people will crazy themselves like people are creating fake profiles and Twitter account. I laugh at this and this is the only thing you can do. I have to laugh at the effects that some people will do who hide behind fake stuff trying to bash you because that means they’re not closing deals. That means they’re not the ones that are working the work. We’re going to keep cranking out and keep doing our stuff. I talk to Steph, who’s my spouse, and say, “In six months, this is not going to make a bang, but in 30 days, we’ll be on this and we’ll be rock and rolling and be better and have thicker skin for the better part. We’ll make some changes business-wise. It’s okay. I’m not a crook.”
He’s totally not, guys. He’s the opposite of that.
If I was, I would not be where I’m at now. I’d be somewhere else.
I’ve met many of your students who rave about everything and even if they’re not good at it like even if they said at the end of the day, “This is not for me. I could never do what Scott does, but they rave about the service that you gave them in the interim.” Let’s talk a little bit more about podcasting. What is some advice you have to someone who wants to start out who thinks that this might be good for their business?
It is good for every business out there. I’ll give you an example of what we’ve done. We’ve inspired my trainer to start his own podcast. Steph is doing her own pet podcast.
I’m so excited. I heard she’s done some new episodes. It’s Furbabies.
That’s the thing is it works for everybody because what happens more than anything else, especially in the real estate side, people are like, “I’m a Keller Williams agent or I’m a JBGoodwin or I’m a RE/MAX agent.” Nobody cares about the brand. They care about the person. We joked earlier about how we’re all in sales, we’re all in marketing and we’re all in media. Podcasting gives the listeners the opportunity to share your image, your message, what makes you different than just a billboard or one video because your listeners will listen to you. I’m not for everybody. I’m the first one to tell, “I am not everybody’s cup of tea and I don’t take offense to that.”
I know I’m not going to make everybody happy. The thing is that 33% that will love you, they’ll listen to it and they’ll love you even more because it’s such a great way. As long as you’re honest and you’re not sitting blowing smoke up and being fake on a podcast, being who you truly are, it will help every industry. In the years that I’ve been podcasting, I’ve worked and talked with a lot of people at different podcasting summits and if I find out that people have podcasts, I ask them about it and what goes on with it. Just be yourself and it’s become one of the most valuable things in their businesses because it does drive business. Steph and I had a big podcasting event and they were talking about how listeners of podcasts consume 86% of the content, where it’s 11% for YouTube videos or 1% is a Facebook Live thing.
That’s the thing you’ve got to realize is that you’re in the media business. You want to be where the ears are at. More and more people are coming to the ears to listen to get more stuff done. Podcasting, don’t wait, just do it. It’s a lot easier than I ever expected. Most people like to overthink it. They think it’s a lot of energy and high tech. It does not have to be that way. We filmed one episode with my phone for Steph and uploaded it to YouTube. It’s very simple technological things. Thank God, you’ve got good production staff.
We’ll make you sound good no matter what. There are no problems there. You’re in a crowded market. Real estate has some of the most amounts of podcasts, but they also have a lot of pod faded minds as you mentioned in the beginning. How do you stand out there and what’s your strategy to utilize multiple shows? You have Note Night in America and other things like that. Was that part of the strategy for how to stand out?
Not really. It’s turned into the strategy. It was like, “Let’s get it up there.” We have the main 50,000 blow torch, The Note Closer Show. It’s three to five times a week, 500 episodes. One of the things that we’ve always done that I had mentioned earlier, we were doing webinars back in 2011. Almost every Monday night we were doing a webinar. We rebranded it a couple of years ago from being the Monday Note to Note Night in America like Football Night in American, Baseball Night in American or Hockey Night in America.
There’s got to have something on Monday night.
We did Note Night in America and it made sense to create its own separate podcasts because it’s a different type of show where we’ll bring on vendors or more specific deep dives of at least an hour in contents on that. I decided to add that and then we did a special purpose like a three-day workshop called Note CAMP or four-day workshop. We decided we’ll make each speaker that spoke on there its own special episode in that special purpose event. We’ve done that event three times now. We’re going to upload another 27 episodes to it because it’s been its own thing. People like that because they can listen to that content. It also becomes a marketing ploy. If somebody types in Scott Carson looking for it, not only The Note Closers Show is showing up on their screen now. Those multiple shows help. It’s not been any more work than what I would’ve done already because we were doing an online event. We always record it. It costs us some money to create it into its own podcasts. Note Night in America don’t have the massive amount of downloads as we do for The Note Closers Show, but it’s still substantial enough that people love it.Podcasting gives the listeners the opportunity to share your image, your message, and what makes you different. Click To Tweet
I would think it’s a good taste of, “Do I want to take your boot camp?” If I check out a couple of episodes, I’d be like, “I want to check this out.” It also probably helps close sales.
It does and people will never ever accuse me of not delivering content.
It’s always there. I think that’s such an interesting strategy though for you in particular because Note Night in America is a little bit more advanced. People who’ve probably done a deal or more and that kind of thing. You are able to help different levels of people through that where your boot camp is more of one-on-one and get started.
Usually, people that are listening on Note Night in America are those that have been listening to me for three or four years. It was an opportunity for them to listen to it. It may not have a huge amount of episodes, but it still averages more per episode because we do it once to twice a month now. It averages more per episode because very serious people listen to that.
Let’s dive into our five tips. These are the ways that you’ve maybe become successful. We want to look at different ways to do these from different people’s perspectives. I’ve been asking every podcaster that I interviewed these questions. What are some of the best ways you found to book great guests?
Listen to their show first is the most important thing if they have a show. Do some due diligence. Talk with them first if you get a chance to meet with them. It’s important versus blindly booking them for the most part. If they’ve got a media one-sheet, that comes in handy. You can see what shows they’ve been on it. That’s pretty easy to do by jumping on iTunes or any of the podcasts and type in the name. See where they’ve been guests on and listen how they’ve approached other shows. If it’s the same content saying regurgitated questions, I’m hesitant to have them on or I’m like, “I’ve heard you on other shows. That’s great stuff for you, but we’re going to do something different.”
I don’t want it to be the same because that doesn’t do any justice to my listeners. Listening to people’s interviews. We’ve got podcasts where it gets pitched on shows. I turned down a lot of people that want to be on my show because they don’t fit my niche. I am not a podcast prostitute, opening up my show for everybody because that sounded bad. It sounded better in my head when I said that.
There are a lot of people that do especially in a lot of real estate shows, “We’re going to have anybody on,” and that confuses your audience. My show is a niche on the note side, so people don’t fit specifically into my niche. I’ll bring on some entrepreneurship in business and market. I had a young guy who has got a book coming out called Decoding YouTube. He’s a friend of mine. That’s a valuable aspect to my audience. Somebody coming on who’s a financial advisor and I’ve already had two people on in the last few months so it doesn’t make sense. That’s not helpful because those shows didn’t draw as well as the other ones. Be protective of your audience. It’s important to do that. Some people will say, “We’ll pay to be on your show.” I’m like, “No.”
I did a whole webinar on that about how at the end of the day, it degrades your show.
Don’t open up your show to anybody else.
What are some ways that you’ve been able to increase listeners?
I’m a big believer that you should share your show everywhere. I share it everywhere. If you’re not doing video, add video because that’s what everybody’s doing. You’d be silly not to add a video to have Google and YouTube, the two biggest search engines in the world, not being able to find your content. Sharing everywhere is one of the biggest things. It doesn’t mean you have to create new content. You can take one episode and reshare it in seven or eight different ways and share it across different platforms. You never know where your listeners are. Just because you’re on Instagram and maybe you’ve got older audience, maybe they’re not on Instagram. Maybe you need to spend more time on YouTube or Facebook. The biggest thing is knowing where your audience is and then going to those platforms that they’re at to engage. We do a lot more on LinkedIn than we do over on Instagram for the most part. We do have an Instagram but we get more engagement from where we’re at.
You’re going to spend your energy where it matters. That’s another one that I usually ask which encourages engagement. You’re saying that with encourage engagement, you look for the platform that makes the most sense for your audience to make sure that that’s where you personally show up and participate.
You have to be in those places. What’s also been helpful is I set a goal and you know this at the beginning of the year to get booked on 100 podcasts for 2019. That’s helped tremendously because I’ve got an assistant that helps me out with that. She reaches out, books, send a short video where I talk about my expertise so that those that are looking for guests, they get a little of my energy because it’s a video versus just a media one-sheet. I’m glad to talk with them on a variety of things. That’s been helpful getting more listeners because they hear about my energy and they see what we’re doing and then they end up checking out the show.
Producing in a professional way, I know you got us, but what do you do on your end that helps you produce it more professionally?
I take it seriously. I think the most important thing they have to do is take it seriously. Every day when I walk in the office, we spend an hour of marketing. A lot of times, that’s either me recording an episode or me appearing on somebody else’s podcast. That’s the first thing. We take it very seriously. It is a focal point, not a side thing we do. We do it daily. It’s a big focus and that’s why it’s done well. We treated it as a business. The second part of that is us getting ego bait and other things from Podetize. We don’t just let that sit. We take that and we repost it ourselves across our buffer accounts, our social media accounts. Our staff, Shannon, my marketing gal, she takes the blogs that you guys write and shortens them down a little bit and then repost them to LinkedIn as its own separate media piece with links back to the audio back to our website.
We’re taking it, regurgitating a little bit of it, tweaking it a little bit and making its own unique content across our social media platforms to help drive engagement out there as well. We’d love it if all of our guests share that stuff, all their ego bait, but that doesn’t always happen. We make sure and take that extra step to go ahead and share it, tag them in it and make sure that people are being seen. Even if they don’t read the email and they’re not willing to share, that’s fine. We’ll go and share it for you.
What are some of the best ways to monetize it? It doesn’t have to be the show itself, but it could be in your business.
Everybody talks about sponsors. “How many downloads do I have to have to have sponsors?” We’ve taken a three-type approach to mind. One is we didn’t want to wait until we had half a million downloads before we got sponsors. What we did is we went out to our vendors that we are already doing business with and approached them, “Do you want to be a sponsor for the podcast? We’ll have you on, on a regular basis.” One of the things that we did was that we directly affected how much they paid for sponsorship by how well we did as a show. We started people pay $1,000 a month. You can get one episode a month with us because we’re doing 20 to 25. If we get 10,000 downloads, it’s $1,000 in that month. If we go to 20,000 downloads in the month, it bumps it up to $2,000. If we hit 30,000, which we hit 35,000 in July, our best month so far, it goes to $3,000 per month.
We have to maintain that for at least two months for that to take place so it’s not a flash in the pan. They see value in that. We share all their information. We cross-leverage our vendors who are already driving business. That was the easiest thing to get it. The second thing that we did that was a game-changer. We realized as a podcaster if you’re doing it on a regular basis, you have regular ears listening to you. I was out talking to people about how they monetize their show, they’re like, “I sell t-shirts at $20 a pop or something.” I don’t want to have an online store. We’ve got some notes swag.
What we did is realize we’ve got our loyal listeners. We’ve got students that wanted to get a little bit of extra more information, but they couldn’t afford one of our $500 or $1,000 classes or coaching. We decided to come up with a membership, the WCN fan club or the Scott Carson fan club. We said, “For $97 a month, each month we’ll send you out swag. It may be a t-shirt, a hat or a coffee mug, t-shirts like the Game of Notes instead of the Game of Thrones.
I liked that one. I saw you on Instagram on it.
I did another one that looks like the Hustler t-shirt, but we called it the Note Hustler, which all the guys and even more gals were like, “I want that.” We have different people that have books as guests. When people come on and they have a book, I’m like, “Would you mind donating 100 copies?” What we do is each month we send out a swag bag with a book or two in there. We reached out to our vendors or people at events that we speak at or other services say, “Would you mind giving a discount code or do an affiliate split with us? If you give a big discount, it will go out to our loyal listeners.” People are like, “Yes, your listeners close. Your listeners show up. Your listeners do things.” That’s what we did, $97 a month. I always tell people, if I can’t make you or save you $97 a month on your membership, I’m doing something wrong. The first month we had 75 people sign up for the $97 a month. That’s almost $7,500 roughly. We have a few people sign up, we lose a few people each month, but the average person has been there for over a year now.
You keep serving. You over-serve your audience. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing the way that you do it. That’s really good.
Just keep giving. Do we make some money off? Yes, it costs us an average of $30 per person to ship it. If we had to buy the books, we’ll buy the books that month or to get the t-shirt, that’s fine. We’re usually in that $30 to $35 range. We’re still netting $60 to $65 per person per month on it.
It helps to offset the cost of your show and stuff. That’s great. You said there was a third way.
The third thing is easy. Everybody could do it. If you start getting listeners, we do affiliate splits with some of the people that we have on. Whether it’s our sponsors, if they have an event, we’ll come on and help promote the event. They’re paying to be on, but then we ask for an affiliate split. If they sell tickets to people to sign up for their workshop or their coaching or whatever their training, we get a split of those sales. That’s a great thing that everybody can do. I’ll make sure I get special codes. I got a check for $200 from somebody on an affiliate split. I got an email alert that six people signed up for somebody else’s and renewed for another month. I got little checks that come in and those add up quite a bit at the end of the year.
I think more importantly than the money on it, this is how I always look at it. It adds up into helping you track your conversion rate and that can be useful for talking to your sponsors in the future. You’ll say, “I do this little thing” and it’s not even 100% relevant, which you are to my audience and look at the conversion rate on what’s happening and actions that are being taken. It’s testing that out and it’s a great easy way to do that because there are lots of people out there looking to make sure that an audience sees their product or their service.
You want to make sure that the product lines up with your listeners. I know some people that try to affiliate everybody’s digital product. You can’t do that.
That was another conversation I had in the webinar. This is my thing. I have a red alert if someone says, “I would like you to affiliate my course,” but then they won’t share the course with you for you to even check it out. That’s a big red flag to me because I need to make sure it’s right for my audience. That it’s got enough in it and it’s not going to be this dead and at the end, it’s all sales and they’ve learned nothing in the process. That’s reflected me. That you for saying relevance matters. You’ve had a lot of successes. What’s on the forefront? What’s coming up? What do you want to do with your show next?You want to help people but at some point, you've got to focus on filling your cup first before going that route. Click To Tweet
We have had that question quite a bit for years since we hit 500 episodes and we’ve been figuring out. We want for sure to get to 1,000 episodes. As far as downloads, I don’t know. Everybody likes to measure themselves as far as downloads.
I don’t look anymore. I got to the point that I don’t even know. Somebody asked me the other day and I was like, “I don’t know. I never looked.”
What I did a couple of years ago is I spent a lot of time on the road, 50 flights and 45 to 60 cities in a year. That drives me crazy a little bit. We’ve done such a good job in 2018 doing everything online and moving everything. I think we might get back out on the road a little bit.
I looked at my fall because we had this little friendly competition that we were going to each be on a lot of podcasts. I fell off the wagon seriously because I started doing so much traveling and it got harder and harder for me to put so many people on my calendar. There’s no way I’ll make it. You’re totally beating me. I’m speaking from now until the week before Thanksgiving. I have a one-week break. I may even speak on the week of Thanksgiving in another country. Until mid-December for my birthday, I’m speaking all through then. That’s when I’m done for the year. I was like, “How did I book up that much and I didn’t even realize it?” I see a lot more live events coming on the forefront. I’m just doing so many more.
I’ve turned down speaking events at some of my regular events that I would go to because there’s nobody new there. There are small things. I’m always constantly like, “Let me go somewhere that I’m not at.” There’s podcasting convention or a bigger summit or doing some other things. I think that’s been important because I’ve turned down like, “It doesn’t make sense for me to come to your event and market your event when I’m not going to get anything out of it. I love that but I’ve worked hard for my audience. I don’t want to let my audience down. That’s the thing you get to realize is you’re putting all this work in and momentum. You want to help people but at some point, you’ve got to focus on filling your cup and going that route. I see myself doing a lot more podcasts from tropical locations.
I want to make sure we mentioned PodCamp. It is coming up. It’s not totally tropical, whatever fall in Florida is. I don’t know if you can consider that tropical, but I live with palm trees every day.
We’re excited about that. You, Tom and I are talking about this a while back and finally putting it into place. For International Podcast Day and the day after, we’re doing a two-day true podcasting roundtable. It’s not like a pitch fest or a workshop. It’s truly 50 to 100 podcasters of all different types getting together and sharing best practices. This isn’t for somebody who’s brand new who hasn’t started a podcast. This is for people that have a podcast and had been doing some stuff. I’m looking forward to that because I think that’s going to help hone our skills. You came out to Austin and there was a small group of us.
There were ten or twelve of us or something. It was small and it was so worthwhile. It was the best roundtable mastermind that we did all year. We’re looking forward to it. I know we’ll be there. We’re looking forward to it because that is so true here. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my columnist that this is exactly what people are looking for. They’re looking for ways to move forward and while they may be successful, they have a next tier they want to go. They all are pushing themselves. A lot of the trade shows that are out there are focused on the new people and not on the people who already have shows and where they should go and where they should move.
Podfest is great. Podcast Movement is the bigger one, which is good too. I like Podfest better with what Chris Krimitsos has done there. The thing is I see so many podcasters out there and it’s such sad to hear that you have so many people that start and fade off.
Pod fading is so high. It breaks my heart. I’m proud of this, Scott. We checked our statistics on our site. We have less than 2% pod fade for our shows. I’m so proud of that. I think part of it is that we provide a lot of coaching and support, but I’m also thinking it’s that we don’t accept anyone. They have to want to work this hard. They want to make this a part of their business. That’s in there as well and then we take a lot of the tech stress out. Maybe that kills a lot of people early on. I think the people who pod fade after 100 episodes, it’s not the tech that killed it. It was the strategy. It was the lack of support. It was not understanding where they were and what they were doing.
It’s the whole field of dreams. You have to build it and it will come. You’ve got to put the innings in. You’ve got to put the hours in to do this and realize it’s got to come from your strategy. Those that suffer from pod fade are the ones that don’t make it a focal point, don’t make it a part of their regular activities and make it a habit. It’s #PodHabits.
I think you’re very right about that. Integrating it into your marketing efforts or shifting the ones that you do. That’s where you’ve been so successful is that you’ve shifted a little bit how you ran your webinar, changed up how you capture the information, but you didn’t change your content at all. It got more and more focus but that was about it. That’s useful. Thank you so much. There’s so much knowledge that you have. I’m so glad you’re doing PodCamp and thank you so much for coming on and sharing that with us. Are there any big-name guests or anything that you haven’t been able to get that maybe some of my audience might be able to help connect you up with? Something you’d like to do that we could help you out with.
I would love to have Warren Buffett on to talk about the market and things like that. I’m one degree away from Seth Godin, who I’m a big fan of as well. You referred me to a guy who is putting me in touch with Kevin Harrington. That has been a good thing. What I’ve found though is I get better downloads from somebody who’s not a big name.
I think people don’t realize that until you’ve done both types of shows. If your show can get you access to Warren Buffett, you should do it, just for your own conversation purposes. That’s how I look at that question and how I think about it, but what an original answer. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate everything that you’ve shared with us and done. We love having you as a part of our network. You are such a joy to work with. We’re excited to see Steph moving forward with Furbabies. I can’t wait for that one as well.
It’s the same here. We love you, guys. People, if you’re not working with Podetize, do it now.
For everyone, I love bringing you new podcasters with new exciting features, new ideas, new processes and new methods that they’re attacking the podcasting world. I will be back with another one. This is Tracy Hazzard from Feed Your Brand.
- The Note Closers Show
- YouTube – We Close Notes
- Facebook – Scott Carson
- Note CAMP
- International Podcast Day
- Podcast Movement
About Scott Carson
Scott Carson (aka “the Note Guy) has been an active real estate investor since 2002 and solely focused on the distressed mortgage and note industry since 2008 where he buys and sells non-performing mortgages directly from banks and hedge funds on properties all across the country.
He is a highly sought after speaker on distressed debt, marketing and raising private capital. He has also been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal and Inc.com. Scott is also the host of the popular podcast, “the Note Closers Show” and provides regular content across his YouTube, Facebook, and other social media channels. An avid sports fan and reader, he spends his free time attending sporting events, concerts, and traveling to new places.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Feed Your Brand community today: