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How to become a Full-Time Podcaster with Courtney Fretwell [transcript]


Buzzsprout podcaster Courtney Fretwell shares her journey of leaving her job in criminal justice to pursue podcasting full-time.

Listen to Courtney's Podcast, "Forensic Tales"

Links from this interview:

  • How to take a break from your podcast
  • Patreon
  • Teepublic
  • Podcorn
  • Power Up Podcasting Course


Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.


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 2021-04-16  41m
 
 
00:00  Courtney
Being so passionate
00:00
about the cases and the stories,
00:04
you know, that I'm talking
00:04
about, you know, also keeps me
00:07
motivated.
00:08
It's so much easier to stay
00:08
motivated and to keep to a
00:12
consistent schedule when you're
00:12
when you're passionate about
00:15
what you're talking about.
00:23  Alban
Hi, everybody Today, I
00:23
have Courtney Fretwell. She is
00:27
the host of forensic tales. It's
00:27
a weekly podcast about forensic
00:32
science. And it's just a really
00:32
awesome True Crime podcast. And
00:36
we connected over email talking
00:36
about monetization, going full
00:41
time with your podcasts. And so
00:41
I'm really excited to bring her
00:43
on to the podcast. Courtney,
00:43
thank you so much for being
00:45
here. Yeah,
00:47  Courtney
thank you so much for
00:47
having me. I'm super excited.
00:49  Alban
So could you walk us
00:49
through a little bit of your
00:52
history of what brought to you
00:52
to being a podcaster?
00:56  Unknown
Yeah, so I've been a
00:56
podcast listener for several
01:01
years, you know, podcasts really
01:01
came into my life when I got
01:05
into actually endurance sports,
01:05
running marathons and doing Iron
01:09
Man's and I just got kind of
01:09
sick of listening to music on
01:13
replay, and jumped into
01:13
listening to podcasts. I've
01:17
always been a huge True Crime
01:17
fan, so I kind of gravitated
01:21
towards the true crime genre.
01:21
And yeah, started listening to
01:25
podcasts, during training runs,
01:25
and long training rides. And
01:30
after a couple years of
01:30
listening, I decided, hey, why
01:33
can't I you know, start my start
01:33
my own show and start my own
01:37
podcast in an area of course,
01:37
which is just your crime and
01:41
forensic science, my number one
01:41
passion. So yeah, that's kind of
01:45
how I got started.
01:46  Alban
Do you actually have a
01:46
background in forensic science?
01:49
That's what you went to school
01:49
for?
01:52  Courtney
Yeah, I do. So I've
01:52
got a master's degree from
01:56
Arizona State University in
01:56
forensic psychology. So I have a
02:01
background in studying violent
02:01
crimes, mass shootings, death
02:06
penalty. And prior to being a
02:06
podcast host, I also worked in
02:11
our local criminal justice
02:11
system here.
02:14  Alban
So tell me, how did you
02:14
make this transition to getting
02:19
into podcasting, a lot of people
02:19
start, I also listen to a ton of
02:24
podcasts on runs, and you start
02:24
listening to podcasts, and you
02:27
really enjoy it. And then you
02:27
start thinking, well, what if I
02:30
want to bet on the other side of
02:30
the mic? How did you make that
02:33
transition? Yeah, I
02:35  Unknown
think I made that
02:35
transition when I was listening
02:38
to shows and I thought, you
02:38
know, wow, this episode would be
02:43
really great. Or the show would
02:43
be really great if they
02:45
incorporated this aspect into
02:45
their show. And again, for me,
02:51
it was mostly true crime shows.
02:51
And I thought, gosh, you know
02:54
what, it'd be cool if they could
02:54
discuss, you know, the
02:56
psychology behind that offender
02:56
or that victim. And for me, it
03:02
was like, Okay, if I got on the
03:02
other side of the mic, and had
03:05
my own show, I wanted to bring
03:05
those elements that I thought
03:10
other shows did it differently.
03:10
And I thought, you know, I
03:13
thought it'd be really great if
03:13
I could cover different aspects
03:15
to a case.
03:17  Alban
I love it. And so was
03:17
there a moment that you decided,
03:21
I'm ready to do it? I'm ready to
03:21
jump in. Do you have any
03:23
hesitation doing it?
03:25  Unknown
Yeah, I think it's
03:25
natural to have some hesitation
03:29
about putting yourself out
03:29
there. You know, to to have your
03:33
voice heard. And, and, you know,
03:33
I think it's definitely scary to
03:38
be vulnerable. And to put your
03:38
creativity out there. So I
03:42
definitely, in the beginning had
03:42
my moments of self doubt, but I
03:48
really relied on, you know,
03:48
getting support from my fiance
03:53
and really close friends and
03:53
family that told me no, you can
03:55
do this. You can be on the other
03:55
side of the mic, you can let
03:58
your voice be heard. So once you
03:58
get over that initial fear, it's
04:01
worth it.
04:02  Alban
I there I read a profile
04:02
about you where you told a story
04:06
of how Tony, I think is your
04:06
fiance's name. Yes. Yeah. To
04:10
push you over the edge to
04:10
starting the podcast. Would you
04:12
share that with us? Cuz I loved
04:12
it. It was so it was just like
04:15
incredibly kind.
04:16  Courtney
Yeah, he I had talked
04:16
about starting my own podcast,
04:19
you know, probably for months.
04:19
And I think he just eventually
04:23
was in the most loving way
04:23
possible. kind of got sick of
04:27
hearing me talk about Okay, we
04:27
want to start this year crime
04:31
podcast. You know, when are you
04:31
When are you going to launch it?
04:35
And he really was the catapult.
04:35
In the beginning. He he signed
04:38
me up for a podcast kind of
04:38
startup course, that really laid
04:42
out all of the foundation to get
04:42
me started from zero to 100. And
04:46
he bought it for me as a
04:46
Christmas present and said, Hey,
04:50
here you go. We're starting this
04:50
podcast.
04:52  Alban
That's incredible. So
04:52
when did you you first start
04:56
your podcast in January 2020.
04:56
Yes, yes. pretty quickly, you
05:00
decide to kind of take it a
05:00
little bit deeper. JOHN tell the
05:04
story of just kind of
05:04
transitioning from being a part
05:08
time podcaster to taking it full
05:08
time. Yeah. So
05:11  Unknown
forensic tails launched
05:11
in January of 2020. And it was
05:16
at a time where I was juggling,
05:16
doing the weekly podcast, and
05:20
then also juggling my full time
05:20
career at the court. So which is
05:27
which is difficult to balance
05:27
all of that, of course, I made
05:32
the transition. In July of 2020,
05:32
I decided to leave my full time
05:39
job at the court and pursue
05:39
podcasting full time. So that
05:44
was about seven, eight months
05:44
into after the show had
05:49
launched. And since then, I'm
05:49
still podcasting full time, and
05:55
it's probably the best decision
05:55
I've ever made.
05:57  Alban
That's incredible. I love
05:57
it. So you've switched full
06:01
time, what does it look like now
06:01
when you're full time
06:05
podcasting? So you have a full
06:05
week, and you have a weekly
06:08
show? What does it look like as
06:08
you prepare, research? edit, do
06:13
the whole process.
06:14  Unknown
Yeah, so my weekly
06:14
routine since going full time
06:18
podcasting has completely
06:18
changed, right, you're used to
06:21
going into an eight to five job
06:21
where it's a little bit easier
06:27
to be structured in a job like
06:27
that. But when you're on your
06:30
own full time podcasting, you've
06:30
really, from the beginning have
06:34
to be very structured. And that
06:34
all comes from yourself,
06:38
determining, okay, Mondays,
06:38
these are my These are my tasks.
06:43
Tuesday, I've got to get next
06:43
week's episode uploaded to
06:46
Buzzsprout. By Wednesday, I've
06:46
got to be creating my social
06:51
media posts. So that really is
06:51
so so important to my success,
06:57
that I've created a schedule
06:57
that keeps me on track, and then
07:02
also accounts for life, you
07:02
know, and counts for my personal
07:05
life. So that's very, very
07:05
important.
07:07  Alban
How do you actually
07:07
implement that structure?
07:10
Because what I could see
07:10
happening to me is, if I was my
07:15
only boss, and I was the only
07:15
requirement was getting an
07:19
episode out, it'd be very easy
07:19
to wake up at 1030. I decide I'm
07:23
going to go for a run. Maybe I'm
07:23
not even sitting down until
07:27
lunchtime, and then we're going
07:27
I'll grab a bite to eat. And
07:30
it's 1pm. before I've even
07:30
really started on the podcast,
07:34
you could totally see
07:34
procrastination slipping in. How
07:37
do you remain disciplined when
07:37
really the main requirement is
07:42
your own time and your own
07:42
effort and what you think needs
07:45
to go into every show?
07:46  Courtney
Yeah, that's
07:47  Unknown
that's such a great
07:47
point. And I'm so glad you
07:50
brought that up. Because as a
07:50
human myself, I know I made that
07:55
mistake, you know, early on when
07:55
I first jumped into podcasting
07:59
full time of, Okay, I don't have
07:59
to get up as early anymore. I
08:03
can kind of take my time. But I
08:03
think that quickly, um, I found
08:10
out that was not going to work.
08:10
I think the first week when you
08:14
get to the end, and you're like,
08:14
Oh my gosh, I still need to
08:17
record Monday's episode. And
08:17
it's it's now, you know,
08:20
Thursday afternoon, I think one
08:20
time you go through that you
08:23
realize, okay, I've got to set a
08:23
schedule for myself. I'm the
08:29
only one that's going to hold
08:29
myself accountable. And, you
08:34
know, I go back to why I'm doing
08:34
this. And I go back to, you
08:40
know, my responsibilities. As a
08:40
podcast host. You know, my, my
08:44
audience expects and a new
08:44
episode every Monday. And these
08:48
are the things I need to do
08:48
during the week to make sure
08:50
that they don't miss an episode,
08:50
and I don't miss an episode,
08:53  Alban
you just touched on
08:53
something really important when
08:56
you said my audience expects an
08:56
episode every Monday. So we
09:00
often recommend for people to be
09:00
releasing at least once a month
09:04
or once a week, on the same day
09:04
of the week. Why is it important
09:07
to you to release every Monday?
09:10  Unknown
For me, it's it's about
09:10
consistency. So you know, since
09:13
I launched back in January 2020
09:13
there I released a new episode
09:18
every Monday, so I've never
09:18
skipped a week even during
09:23
Christmas during the holidays,
09:23
right? Um, I can prepare ahead
09:26
of time and maybe batch a couple
09:26
of my episodes so I can take
09:30
time away and spend time with my
09:30
my family. But then I'm also not
09:34
i'm not missing an episode, my
09:34
listeners know that when they
09:37
log on, they can have a new
09:37
episode of forensic tales every
09:40
single Monday.
09:41  Alban
That's great. And if
09:41
anybody wants to learn more
09:44
about how to take a break from
09:44
your podcast without missing a
09:47
week, I will link probably up
09:47
here to a video that we just did
09:52
about that so that you can go
09:52
ahead and watch it. One thing
09:55
that struck me as I read more
09:55
about you and your podcast and
09:59
everything you've done is you're
09:59
in a very crowded space. A lot
10:03
of times when people say, what's
10:03
the most popular type of
10:06
podcast, True Crime comes up.
10:06
And there's tons of really,
10:11
really well produced True Crime
10:11
podcasts, you're going up
10:13
against teams with dozens of
10:13
people on the team and totally
10:19
professional. You know,
10:19
everything being done by just a
10:23
large group of people, how do
10:23
you compete? How did you find
10:26
your space in kind of a crowded
10:26
category?
10:29  Unknown
Yeah, and that's,
10:29
that's a great point, you know,
10:32
to crime is very, very popular
10:32
now. And, you know, as a one
10:36
woman show, for the most part,
10:36
it's definitely intimidating.
10:40
It's intimidating to go into a
10:40
genre of podcast that is very
10:45
crowded, that is very pop
10:45
culture right now. And I think
10:49
it's okay, I allowed myself to
10:49
feel okay with being intimidated
10:53
by a lot of the bigger, bigger
10:53
shows out there. But I also
11:00
learned a lot from them. As a
11:00
listener, you know, I subscribed
11:04
to a lot of the big True Crime
11:04
podcasts. And I was listening
11:07
for what they did, how they told
11:07
their stories, what they
11:11
included in their episodes, what
11:11
they didn't include. So for me,
11:14
I really, once I got over being
11:14
intimidated, I started looking
11:18
at them and seeing what I liked
11:18
what they did what I thought I
11:21
could incorporate it to my show
11:21
to make it unique and something
11:25
different.
11:26  Alban
One thing that kind of
11:26
struck me was because of your
11:31
actual your career, your
11:31
background, working in the court
11:34
system, and then your education,
11:34
being a forensic psychologist,
11:39
that you are able to bring
11:39
different aspects to true crime.
11:45
A lot of times, I think people
11:45
end up in categories, because
11:48
they think, Oh, I probably could
11:48
do well. And they don't really
11:51
do a lot of research. And maybe
11:51
they aren't truly passionate
11:55
about whatever topic they pick,
11:55
and it's easy to fade, and start
12:00
missing weeks, if you aren't
12:00
passionate. Your Passion
12:03
definitely comes through. And I
12:03
think that's probably why you've
12:06
been able to go for well over a
12:06
year now, however, missing a
12:10
week, and while constantly
12:10
bringing new stories and new
12:14
angles to stories people might
12:14
have already heard before, but a
12:18
totally unique perspective.
12:19  Unknown
Yeah, absolutely. And,
12:19
you know, being so passionate
12:23
about the cases, and the
12:23
stories, you know, that I'm
12:26
talking about, you know, also
12:26
keeps me motivated. Going back
12:31
to talking about keeping a
12:31
schedule as a full time
12:33
podcaster it's so much easier to
12:33
stay motivated and to keep to a
12:39
consistent schedule, when you're
12:39
when you're passionate about
12:42
what you're talking about when
12:42
you're excited to research a
12:46
case that you're going to be
12:46
covering next week. And you're
12:48
excited to record it because you
12:48
get to talk about the case
12:51
again. So for me, that really
12:51
helps and it helps me to, yeah,
12:56
bring my, my, my professional
12:56
experience my education into the
13:01
stories that I talked about. So
13:01
it's very beneficial to be
13:05
passionate about it.
13:06  Alban
One thing we haven't
13:06
touched on that I know as soon
13:09
as you said I was going to go
13:09
full time with my podcast, the
13:12
thing that kind of blew up in a
13:12
lot of our listeners minds was
13:16
like, Okay, I can't do that. I
13:16
have to make money. I can't just
13:21
take a break from my job. And so
13:21
I want to talk to you about
13:25
podcast monetization, because
13:25
you've started, at least to my
13:30
three different ways of earning
13:30
money from your podcast, through
13:35
merchandise, Patreon, and pod
13:35
corn. So I'd love to walk
13:39
through those with you. That's
13:39
all right.
13:42  Courtney
Absolutely, yeah.
13:43  Alban
So first off, Patreon.
13:43
How have you incorporated
13:46
Patreon into your podcast? How
13:46
has that been for you? Do you
13:50
feel like that's successful?
13:51  Unknown
Yeah, so Patreon. For
13:51
me, that was the that was the
13:54
first monetization tool that I
13:54
launched with forensic tails. I
13:59
would say I had my patreon site
13:59
up within the first couple
14:03
months after launching. And you
14:03
know, initially, of course, you
14:08
get a handful of like friends
14:08
and family who sign up who want
14:11
to support you. Um, but once I
14:11
started incorporating Patreon
14:16
into my episodes, as well as
14:16
incorporating it on my website
14:20
on my social media links, that's
14:20
when the word started getting
14:24
out about Patreon. And it's
14:24
continuing to grow.
14:27  Alban
What is the experience
14:27
been like being on Patreon? Have
14:30
you been able to connect more
14:30
closely with your audience? Can
14:34
you talk maybe a bit about
14:34
different tiers and how you've
14:37
set that up? Because I know a
14:37
lot of people would like to do a
14:40
Patreon but they're kind of
14:40
afraid. And we have to create
14:43
all this extra content. You
14:43
know, how do you manage that?
14:47  Unknown
So for me, Patreon is
14:47
very low maintenance very
14:51
manageable for me. Since I
14:51
launched I started my account
14:56
with three different tiers. I'm
14:56
only at four tiers. Now I just
15:00
recently added a higher one for
15:00
some merchandise. But it's
15:04
overall very low maintenance for
15:04
me. One of the biggest aspects
15:08
to my Patreon account is getting
15:08
early access to episodes. So
15:13
patrons of forensic tales will
15:13
get to listen to new episodes by
15:17
the Thursday before the launch
15:17
on Monday, I also offer ad free
15:22
options. So for some of the
15:22
higher tiers on on Patreon, not
15:27
only do they get early access,
15:27
but they also get to enjoy the
15:29
episodes ad free.
15:31  Alban
Oh, that's great. And
15:32  Unknown
as far as Yeah, and as
15:32
far as you know, extra work, I
15:35
covered bonus content. And
15:35
again, in the in the true crime
15:38
world, there's updates to cases
15:38
all the time. And that's
15:41
something that I do probably
15:41
once a month. So it's not, it's
15:45
not time consuming. And it's
15:45
definitely added a lot of value
15:49
to the listeners.
15:51  Alban
So got early access, we
15:51
have some exclusive content, we
15:55
have ad free feeds, which we
15:55
need to talk about ads. And the
15:59
second, I think those are all
15:59
really great ways. I've seen a
16:03
lot of people on Patreon, what
16:03
they do is they are releasing a
16:07
video every week on YouTube or a
16:07
podcast every week. And they're
16:10
going okay, Patreon. So I have
16:10
to do a whole nother batch of
16:14
videos and podcasts or even
16:14
better to entice people to go on
16:18
to Patreon. And when I look at
16:18
that, I'm like man that is.
16:23
That's, that's tough, because
16:23
you've just doubled the amount
16:25
of work you have to do. And some
16:25
of your best content gets kind
16:29
of hidden away and no one ever
16:29
finds out about it. So I love
16:32
how you found sustainable ways
16:32
to run a Patreon. So next, let's
16:38
talk about merchandise. You have
16:38
a T public page where you have
16:44
merged for the podcast. Can you
16:44
tell us how that you kind of
16:47
grew into that?
16:48  Unknown
Yeah, so I've been
16:48
teepublic has been the only
16:51
vendor that I have used for
16:51
merchandise. And it actually
16:55
came about because listeners
16:55
listeners as well as patrons
16:59
reached out and said, Hey,
16:59
Courtney, we want we want to rep
17:03
forensic tails, where can we buy
17:03
it? Where can we buy it. And
17:06
initially, of course, I had some
17:06
fears about you know, creating
17:10
merchandise because you've got
17:10
to worry about quality issues
17:14
and you don't want to buy a ton
17:14
of merchandise and have it
17:18
stored in your apartment for
17:18
four months. So I started using
17:22
t public and they've been
17:22
wonderful, they have wonderful
17:25
customer service, the quality
17:25
was great. And it just provided
17:29
another value to my loyal
17:29
listeners who want it to some
17:33
rep some merchandise.
17:35  Alban
That's awesome. Have you
17:35
found that to be pretty hands
17:38
off because I know teepublic if
17:38
they manage everything people
17:41
buy from them, and then you get
17:41
a cut of the proceeds but then
17:46
they manage all shipping returns
17:46
all that right.
17:49  Unknown
It's completely hands
17:49
off which again as a one woman
17:52
podcaster that the more time
17:52
that I can get back to the other
17:56
things I have to get done the
17:56
better and teepublic handles
17:59
everything you create your
17:59
storefront which is super, super
18:02
easy. You can create different
18:02
logos if you want and you get to
18:07
decide what merchandise you want
18:07
to sell if you don't want to
18:10
sell hoodies, you don't have to
18:10
sell hoodies if you want to sell
18:13
coffee mugs, you can sell coffee
18:13
mugs and once you set that up,
18:18
which is probably a couple hours
18:18
it's completely hands off to
18:22
public take care takes care of
18:22
everything.
18:25  Alban
How do you promote the
18:25
public page?
18:29  Unknown
So I I kind of hinted
18:29
at it in a couple episodes when
18:33
I was going to be launching the
18:33
storefront so it was a teaser
18:36
for a couple episodes saying Hey
18:36
friends, it tells listeners
18:39
we've got some merchandise
18:39
coming. I teased it on my social
18:43
media site. And once the
18:43
storefront was live I made a big
18:48
big deal about it. It was on my
18:48
website it was in episodes in my
18:53
intro as well as all over my
18:53
social
18:56  Alban
so let's talk about the
18:56
third piece which is I think why
18:59
we first got connected and that
18:59
is pod corn. Have you used then
19:04
I listened to a few of your
19:04
episodes and I heard that you
19:08
working with some brands are
19:08
those all through pod corn deed
19:11
connected with them?
19:12  Unknown
Yes. So I right now I
19:12
exclusively use popcorn for my
19:17
sponsorships for forensic sales.
19:19  Alban
Yeah, how did how has
19:19
that process been and how did
19:22
you first get connected with
19:22
them?
19:24  Unknown
And it's been
19:24
absolutely wonderful. My
19:27
experience with popcorn has just
19:27
completely revolutionized the
19:32
show and how I look for
19:32
sponsorships prior to getting on
19:37
pod corn when I first had the
19:37
idea of Okay, I want to start
19:41
monetizing. I want to start
19:41
getting sponsorships, it the
19:45
first question is, you know,
19:45
where do I go? How do I do that?
19:50
Do Do I have to have X amount of
19:50
downloads and with popcorn. I
19:56
created a profile in 30 seconds
19:56
and right there in front of me
19:59
the first time I Dawn was 50
19:59
sponsorships, and I thought, Oh
20:03
my gosh, these are 50 people
20:03
that I can reach out to to see
20:07
if what they're offering is a
20:07
good fit for my listeners or
20:10
not,
20:10  Alban
were you able to get
20:10
people to get to sponsor the
20:15
podcast right away when you
20:15
started pitching?
20:18  Unknown
I was I was pretty
20:18
fortunate, I believe the first
20:21
couple days that I was on there
20:21
and started sending proposals to
20:25
different companies that I
20:25
received my first sponsorship
20:28
within the first couple days.
20:30  Alban
And can you give us an
20:30
idea of where your podcast was
20:33
as first listeners when you've
20:33
landed your first deal? Because
20:37
I know some people feel a little
20:37
bit nervous that maybe their
20:41
podcast isn't big enough to land
20:41
a sponsorship. So could you
20:45
dissuade any of those fears?
20:47  Unknown
Yeah, and let me let me
20:47
be the one to hopefully get rid
20:51
of any of those fears to any
20:51
other podcast hosts out there
20:53
that feels like that your show
20:53
is not big enough, and you don't
20:56
have an insane amount of you
20:56
know, of downloads, because I
21:01
certainly am, I'm not the
21:01
biggest to crime, fish podcasts,
21:05
you know, out there. So for me,
21:05
when I was getting my first
21:08
sponsorships, um, you know, as
21:08
far as downloads, it's would be,
21:14
you know, 1500 to 2000, in the
21:14
first five days or so. So not
21:19
not huge, huge numbers.
21:21  Alban
And it's very good to
21:21
hear that, because then you
21:25
realize, we can start the
21:25
monetization earlier in the
21:30
podcast lifecycle, which allows
21:30
us do things like, hey, maybe
21:36
I'm going to not take extra
21:36
hours at work, or maybe I will
21:40
go full time with this, or, you
21:40
know, once we start building up
21:44
some of these revenue streams,
21:44
or maybe for some people is just
21:47
they want to buy a road caster
21:47
Pro, and they want to be able to
21:50
actually take the podcast to the
21:50
next level, you can do it, and
21:55
you can justify it when your
21:55
podcast actually is become an
21:58
income stream.
21:59  Unknown
Yeah. And I also want
21:59
to say that, you know, with with
22:01
popcorn, it's, you're not going
22:01
to spend a ton a ton of time,
22:06
you know, trying to land the
22:06
sponsorships. You know, it's
22:11
it's a very simplified process,
22:11
as long as you can, you know,
22:15
create, create, you know,
22:15
personalized proposals. It's not
22:20
something that's time consuming.
22:20
As far as looking for
22:23
sponsorships, which is great.
22:24  Alban
How do you determine
22:24
which sponsors you want on your
22:28
podcast? Are there certain
22:28
criteria that you use when
22:31
you're looking for them?
22:32  Unknown
Yeah, so that's, that's
22:32
one of the biggest things for
22:34
me, when I when I made the
22:34
decision to start having
22:37
sponsors on the show, I wanted
22:37
them to mean something I wanted
22:41
them to, to be product services,
22:41
or even other shows that I felt
22:47
like my listeners would want to
22:47
hear. I didn't want them to be,
22:52
you know, something completely
22:52
irrelevant. And I didn't think
22:55
my listeners would want I want
22:55
it to be something that they
22:57
could benefit from if whether
22:57
it's a product or a service or
23:00
another another show they might
23:00
want to listen to. So I think
23:05
that's so important. And what
23:05
popcorn is great for is because
23:10
I can read all about the company
23:10
before I even submit a proposal.
23:16
And I kind of control Okay,
23:16
who's who's someone I want to
23:20
work with or not.
23:22  Alban
We just did a video where
23:22
I think I said something like,
23:26
with great trust comes great
23:26
responsibility. And like our
23:29
podcasters, we build an
23:29
incredible amount of trust with
23:32
our listeners, especially if
23:32
somebody has been listened to
23:34
your podcast now for over a
23:34
year. Listen to every episode.
23:39
They do trust you. And it's not
23:39
it. It's not just a commercial
23:44
that's popping in, it's your
23:44
voice. You're reading and
23:47
saying, Hey, I really think this
23:47
is a great company. Why don't
23:52
you work with them. And so it's
23:52
really important for us as
23:57
podcasters to go through the
23:57
process of making sure we're
24:01
comfortable recommending the
24:01
product, you know, if it's
24:04
something you would never use,
24:04
you definitely don't want it to
24:08
be on your podcast. And people
24:08
can hear it, you know, if it's
24:11
coming through in your voice,
24:11
that you're just reading off
24:15
something that you don't care
24:15
about at all that comes through,
24:18
and there's not going to be a
24:18
lot of sales. And eventually,
24:21
the sponsorships move on when
24:21
they realize you're not selling
24:24
the product. But if you can find
24:24
something that you're already
24:28
passionate about, especially if
24:28
it overlaps with what the
24:32
podcast is about has some
24:32
connection. You know, that's
24:35
this just perfect area where
24:35
you're able to bring everything
24:39
together the listeners, the
24:39
trust of the podcast, what
24:42
you're known for, and recommend
24:42
products that people will love
24:46
and hopefully enjoy.
24:47  Unknown
Yeah, I think that's so
24:47
important. And you know, and if
24:50
I could just share like a quick
24:50
success story, speaking to that
24:55
very point about offering
24:55
services and products that I
24:58
think my listeners would really
24:58
benefit from there was a company
25:02
that I, I worked with through
25:02
popcorn, they ran for four ads
25:08
for mid roll ads. And they
25:08
provided me with a promo code
25:13
that I could provide my
25:13
listeners with it was, you know,
25:16
a 20 30% off offer. I thought,
25:16
okay, that's even, that's even
25:21
better. It's a product that I
25:21
think they can benefit from, and
25:23
they can, they can save some
25:23
money on it. Well, I was just
25:27
contacted two weeks ago from
25:27
from the company. And they told
25:31
me that they've already had
25:31
three sales from my listeners
25:34
that they they can track because
25:34
they're using that forensic, you
25:37
know, promo code, and he emailed
25:37
me and said, we've got three
25:41
tracks sales, this is better
25:41
than what we could have
25:44
expected. Um, can we buy more
25:44
ads from you?
25:49  Courtney
So that's a win.
25:51  Unknown
And that told that told
25:51
me, you know, as a host, that,
25:54
hey, this was a product that my
25:54
listeners out there they want,
25:58
they want that, and they got,
25:58
you know,
26:01  Courtney
it was a kind of a win
26:01
win. Yeah, that's
26:03  Alban
definitely a win win. I
26:03
think we miss, you know, when we
26:07
watch TV, and you're watching,
26:07
like, I don't know, you're
26:10
watching maybe dateline or
26:10
something. And then a bunch of
26:12
commercials Come on in the
26:12
middle, they've nothing to do
26:15
with the TV show, you know, they
26:15
often are just random things are
26:19
stuck in and it's very easy to
26:19
like, tune them out, or take
26:23
that time to go get a drink or
26:23
grab something to eat, you're
26:26
going to doing other things. And
26:26
then you come back to the actual
26:29
show, you're trying to avoid it.
26:29
But when is the host telling you
26:34
hey, here's what I love, here's
26:34
a product, why I like it. And
26:37
here's actually a code, so they
26:37
actually get a discount. It's a
26:41
totally different experience.
26:41
And it's so much more engaging
26:45
for the audience. And I think
26:45
that a lot of advertisers are
26:49
getting smart, and realizing the
26:49
return on our investment here is
26:54
so much greater, because we are
26:54
using the host as a spokesperson
26:58
of the company, rather than just
26:58
getting, you know, some random
27:03
actor to come on. And just like,
27:03
you know, kind of read something
27:08
to you on a commercial. So,
27:08
let's talk a little bit about
27:13
podcast growth. How have you
27:13
been successful in growing your
27:17
podcast? Since you went full
27:17
time?
27:21  Courtney
Great question.
27:22  Unknown
So I definitely want to
27:22
leave this off by saying that
27:26
prior to launching and prior to
27:26
starting forensic tails, I had
27:31
zero audience, I didn't have a
27:31
company. And I the audience, for
27:37
me was friends and family who,
27:41  Courtney
you know, that was in
27:42  Unknown
my immediate network.
27:42
So, um, I want to be open and
27:46
honest that you know, I had zero
27:46
audience prior to launching. And
27:49
so everything that I've been
27:49
able to, to to create now has
27:54
been totally out of grassroots,
27:54
from the beginning. And I think
27:57
that's important if anyone
27:57
thinks that you already need an
28:02
audience to start a podcast,
28:02
which you don't. So for me, in
28:05
the beginning it I really
28:05
created a huge launch campaign
28:10
leading up to the actual
28:10
dropping of my first episodes, I
28:14
was doing a huge launch, two
28:14
months before the show was even
28:18
even available for download,
28:18
which started with immediate
28:23
friends and family. I created an
28:23
army of friends, I killed army
28:27
friends and family in the
28:27
beginning. And I asked them to
28:33
help me promote it two months
28:33
before the show even launched.
28:36
So I'm getting to my network
28:36
plus their network and their
28:39
network and their network.
28:42  Courtney
And
28:43  Unknown
that was really
28:43
successful for me, because when
28:44
I launched my my show and
28:44
dropped the first three
28:47
episodes, I had a audience, a
28:47
small audience, but it was
28:52
there.
28:53  Courtney
And then since then,
28:55  Unknown
it's been growing the
28:55
audience outside of my immediate
29:00
network.
29:01  Alban
One thing that stuck to
29:01
me about why I thought your
29:04
podcast might be successful as
29:04
you have a very clear name,
29:07
forensic tails is very easy to
29:07
understand. I know what this
29:12
podcast is going to be about a
29:12
lot of potty guests really do
29:16
grow by word of mouth. And so
29:16
having a podcast that people
29:20
enjoy, and having a very clear
29:20
way for people to explain what
29:24
your podcast is about. They
29:24
could say it's true crime, but
29:28
she has a forensic lens on
29:28
everything and is able to come
29:33
at it from this forensic
29:33
psychology angle. And from your
29:36
past experience in the court
29:36
system, like you have a lot of
29:40
interesting insights into these
29:40
cases that may not be on other
29:46
even more largely produced
29:46
shows. And so for people to be
29:49
able to say that I think is
29:49
incredibly valuable. Have you
29:52
found word of mouth to be an
29:52
important growth channel for
29:55
you?
29:55  Unknown
Oh, absolutely. I would
29:55
say that word of mouth is
30:00
Probably one of the biggest
30:00
tools for growing my audience.
30:05
And I think word of mouth can
30:05
happen a number of different
30:07
ways. Of course, people who know
30:07
each other who work together I,
30:11
I get emails from people saying,
30:11
my co workers and I listened to
30:15
your show, can you cover this
30:15
case? Or, or you know, people
30:21
are sharing word of mouth in
30:21
different Facebook groups and
30:26
read it in different online
30:26
communities where they're
30:31
talking about true crime shows,
30:31
or they're talking about a
30:34
particular case that I covered
30:34
in a previous episode. So
30:38
they're definitely word of mouth
30:38
is huge for my growth.
30:42  Alban
Have you done anything to
30:42
see those discussions, like in
30:46
Facebook groups and in on Reddit
30:46
forums? Or is that just totally
30:50
hands off? Other people have
30:50
taken upon themselves to write
30:54
with you? Yeah, that's
30:55  Unknown
a great question. I
30:55
would say it's probably 5050.
30:58
You know, I'm definitely as a
30:58
true crime fan myself, I'm
31:01
definitely involved in several
31:01
different Facebook groups that
31:05
are dedicated to true crime,
31:05
True Crime podcast,
31:09  Courtney
I
31:09
definitely participate in those.
31:11
But then also, um,
31:13  Unknown
it's a lot of hands
31:13
off. If I discover and I
31:16
interact with one of my
31:16
listeners, and I say, hey, how
31:19
did you find my show? And they
31:19
tell me, it was talked about on
31:23
Reddit. I don't use Reddit. So
31:23
that tells me that that
31:28
interaction is happening without
31:28
my involvement.
31:31  Alban
How do you approach
31:31
promoting your own show? So if
31:36
you're in a Facebook group, and
31:36
people are talking about
31:38
something that you think is
31:38
related to your podcast? How do
31:41
you do that without coming off
31:41
as being kind of scammy? Or just
31:46
like, being self promotional?
31:49  Unknown
Yeah, that's a tricky,
31:49
that's a tricky thing. Because
31:53
as a podcast host, you never
31:53
want to come across of Hey,
31:56
listen to my show, or listen to
31:56
my show, right? I would say that
32:00
I really only do that if I feel
32:00
like, I'm in a discussion where
32:07
people are talking about
32:07
something, whether that's a case
32:12
or a certain aspect of a case,
32:12
if I really think that my
32:16
episode and my show can really
32:16
bring them benefit, or really
32:22
contribute to what they're
32:22
talking about, then I would
32:25
introduce it. But it's a very
32:25
kind of a careful thing to not
32:29
be constantly in these groups,
32:29
saying download my show,
32:32
download my show.
32:34  Alban
It To be clear, these are
32:34
true crime, Facebook groups,
32:38
they're not podcast, Facebook
32:38
groups, one thing I see all the
32:41
time is, in our group, we've
32:41
always had to be extremely, I
32:47
feel like our rules have always
32:47
had to be really tough about not
32:50
being self promotional of your
32:50
podcast, because we are all
32:54
podcasters in the group. So we
32:54
have 16,000, or 20,000,
32:57
podcasters. And everybody wants
32:57
to tell each other about their
33:00
shows. If we do that, it's just
33:00
total chaos. So you're in the
33:06
groups related to your subject
33:06
matter. And when you write these
33:12
comments, are you giving more
33:12
context? Are you is it we're not
33:18
just dropping a link? Right,
33:18
we're getting you're getting
33:20
more context around it?
33:21  Unknown
Absolutely. Yeah. And
33:21
these are definitely true crime.
33:25
I mean, a handful of them on
33:25
Facebook, these are true crime
33:28
podcasts. And they're members of
33:28
listeners, as well as other
33:31
podcast hosts. So when I'm
33:31
chiming in, and it's really
33:36
about not just saying, here's my
33:36
subscribe button, here's the
33:39
link to listen to the episode.
33:39
It's really connecting with them
33:44
saying, hey, you're talking
33:44
about the nightstalker. And this
33:49
aspect, or you're talking about
33:49
a case that's just been updated
33:52
in the news recently. And it's
33:52
about saying, you know, I, I
33:56
covered this, and this is what I
33:56
had to say about it, or this is
34:01
what I talked about in the
34:01
episode. Or I simply say,
34:05  Courtney
Hey, I didn't know
34:05
that
34:06  Unknown
when I was researching
34:06
the case. You know, I didn't
34:08
know that. So it's more of like
34:08
a discussion to it's not just
34:10
constantly trying to plug, plug
34:10
my show.
34:13  Alban
Yeah, if we're not
34:13
providing some value in the
34:15
comment, then people are not
34:15
going to click it, you know?
34:19
Yeah, really. Maybe when it was
34:19
AOL in 1994. If we saw a link,
34:23
we would just click it and
34:23
wonder where it went. Now on the
34:26
internet, we know if I don't
34:26
know what this link is going to
34:28
I'm just gonna pass I have no
34:28
interested clicky and ending
34:32
upon some scammy website. Yes,
34:32
those are great. Best Practices.
34:38
Are there other best practices
34:38
that you would recommend to new
34:41
podcasters especially around
34:41
growing a show?
34:45  Unknown
Absolutely. And I would
34:45
say the one biggest thing is
34:49
consistency. I know I've talked
34:49
about it already as far as
34:52
producing a weekly episode, but
34:52
also being consistent with my
34:57
brand, making sure that my
34:57
website They don't go to
35:01
forensic tails.com. And it looks
35:01
completely different than what
35:04
they see in the directories. And
35:04
making sure that I'm consistent
35:08
with blog posts. So every
35:08
episode gets a blog post, making
35:13
sure the blog posts are
35:13
consistent. My social media
35:16
sites are consistent. So I would
35:16
say my biggest piece of advice
35:19
is to, um, yeah, is to be
35:19
consistent about it. And what
35:25
you do aligns with your brand
35:25
with your show. And I think
35:28
Pete, that's really important to
35:28
people, they, they can expect
35:31
certain things out of the show,
35:33  Alban
if there's somebody else
35:33
out there who wants to start. So
35:36
we're actually on a way back.
35:36
They've just been listening for
35:39
a long time, maybe they've been
35:39
listening to your podcast, and
35:42
they're thinking, alright, I've
35:42
got to start a show, what
35:46
recommendations would you give
35:46
to that brand new podcaster?
35:49  Unknown
I would say, number
35:49
one, you know, take it take
35:52
yourself seriously about it, you
35:52
know, even if you can take it
35:55
seriously, even if it's just a
35:55
hobby, you can have a serious
35:58
hobby about it. Um, and take
35:58
yourself seriously with it, you
36:02
know, know that you have a space
36:02
here you have a voice, know that
36:07
there are so many people out
36:07
there that can benefit from
36:11
hearing your voice and what you
36:11
have to share. And once you get
36:15
over that initial fear, it's
36:15
about creating the brands, you
36:19
know, the image, what do you
36:19
want to represent? And what are
36:24
some of the things that you're
36:24
going to go about creating, you
36:27
know, that brand, whether that's
36:27
going to be on social or whether
36:29
you want a website, or you don't
36:29
want a website?
36:32  Alban
Are there any tools now?
36:32
I you're not in your studio
36:36
today? So I caught you on a day
36:36
when you're outside the normal
36:39
studio there. Is there any tools
36:39
or gear that you would recommend
36:43
that have been important in you
36:43
launching your podcast?
36:47  Unknown
Yeah, so So for me,
36:47
this is going back to how I
36:50
started the show. I was my
36:50
fiance purchased Pat Flynn's
36:56
power up podcasting course, for
36:56
me, that's how I got started,
36:59
which I know Pat Flynn is
36:59
involved with
37:01  Courtney
Buzzsprout.
37:02  Unknown
So that's how I got
37:02
started, which really helped me
37:04
know which kind of microphone to
37:04
buy. Um, because even just a
37:09
microphone, if you're starting a
37:09
podcast, you, you know, Google
37:13
podcast microphone, or you go on
37:13
Amazon, right, you're gonna get,
37:18
you're gonna get a million
37:18
different, you know, from $5 to
37:22
$5,000. And it's like, Whoa, um,
37:22
where do I even begin? And then
37:29
you get into what kind of
37:29
software you're going to use,
37:32
what kind of headset you're
37:32
going to use. So for me having a
37:35
course, in the beginning did
37:35
help me know, okay, I don't need
37:40
to go out and spend $5,000 on a
37:40
microphone.
37:42  Alban
What microphone did you
37:42
end up with?
37:44  Unknown
I have a Samsung
37:44
Samson. Two Q. One that. Yeah,
37:49  Alban
we love it. The Samsung q
37:49
two u is the microphone for you.
37:54  Courtney
I love that.
37:56  Alban
Hey, that's been my kit
37:56
hold myself back for like some
37:58
silly cheesy comment. But like
37:58
it's a $60 microphone. That
38:03
sounds so much better. And I
38:03
remember one of the first times
38:08
I ever spoke on stage about
38:08
podcasting, someone said, I only
38:12
have $10,000 to spend on my
38:12
recording setup. And I was like,
38:16
if I had $10,000 to spend on a
38:16
recording setup, I would put
38:19
like 9500 of that in a bank
38:19
account or a stock market or
38:24
something. And then take that
38:24
maybe a few $100 like when
38:28
you're starting out. It's not
38:28
the gear. It's not the software.
38:33
It's none of the tutorials. None
38:33
of that is what's holding you
38:37
back it is most often our own
38:37
insecurities around fear that
38:43
people aren't going to like
38:43
this. They'll think I'm just
38:45
copying another show. My voice
38:45
actually sounds pretty goofy.
38:50
Oh, this editing is so much more
38:50
difficult than I thought. What's
38:54
up podcast host on the podcast
38:54
host What's a Buzzsprout? Doing
38:59
and Apple podcasts and iTunes?
38:59
What How do those Connect? Like,
39:03
you know it? We're working
39:03
through all of that. That's the
39:06
difficult part. You know, don't
39:06
overcomplicate it with 1000s and
39:10
1000s of dollars.
39:11  Unknown
Yeah, absolutely. And
39:11
you know, and don't be afraid to
39:14
to reach out. Reach out to the
39:14
different shows that you listen
39:19
to or get involved in the
39:19
Buzzsprout Facebook group which
39:23
I which I absolutely use every
39:23
day probably and get connected
39:27
with other people doing
39:27
podcasts, ask them questions,
39:30
and I think a lot of other
39:30
podcast hosts out there are more
39:33
than willing to, to to help you.
39:36  Alban
Well, Cory, if people
39:36
want to learn more about you,
39:39
where should they go? Yeah,
39:41  Unknown
so if you want to learn
39:41
more about me, my website is
39:43
forensic tales calm. My podcast
39:43
is available on every podcast
39:50
platform. You can find me on
39:50
Instagram at forensic tails and
39:53
I'm also on Facebook at forensic
39:53
tails and also emails you're
39:57
more than welcome to email me
39:57
You can email me at Courtney at
39:59
burns. Tails calm and I would
39:59
love to connect with any other
40:02
podcast hosts or anyone thinking
40:02
of starting a podcast. Well,
40:05
thank
40:05  Alban
you so much for being on
40:05
the podcast. We're excited to
40:08
have you on Buzzsprout and we
40:08
hope everybody learned a lot,
40:13
especially about monetization,
40:13
growing a podcast, and maybe
40:16
even taking it full time. Until
40:16
the next time, keep podcasting