Welcome to the Average Joe Finances Podcast. | The #1 Personal Finance Podcast in Hawaii!
Jan. 9, 2022

76. Building a Business with a Podcast with Sarah St. John

76. Building a Business with a Podcast with Sarah St. John

Join Mike Cavaggioni with his guest, Sarah St. John, on the 76th episode of the Average Joe Finances Podcast as they talk about how to build a business through podcasting. Sarah has created several startups in her decade-long career as an entrepreneur. Nowadays, she manages the podcast production agency, PodSeam, and hosts the Frugalpreneur Podcast. Today, Sarah breaks down the different ways to make money online, detailing all the must-haves for your online business.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The value of startups and trying out different businesses to see what works for you.
  • How podcasting can help you build connections with like-minded entrepreneurs.
  • The power of self-education when starting a business with almost no capital.
  • Why having your own website is essential when managing an online business.
  • How it is never too late to get into podcasting and what you need to get started.
  • And much more! 

About Sarah St. John:

Sarah St. John is an entrepreneur, podcaster, online course creator, and author. She has created several startups throughout her entrepreneurial career of over a decade. Through her books, blog, and podcast, her goal is to show people how to launch and manage an online business on a budget. 

Sarah is currently the owner of a podcast production agency called PodSeam. Not only that but, she is also the host of the Frugalprenuer Podcast, helping people launch and manage an online business on a bootstrapped budget. Many of the tools she discusses in detail are ones she uses for her own businesses, and the majority are either free or inexpensive. She aims to show people how they too can reserve most of their business budget for marketing and advertising.

Find Sarah St. John: 
Website: www.thesarahstjohn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesarahstjohn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesarahstjohn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesarahstjohn/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-stjohn/

Average Joe Finances®
Our social media links can be found here: https://flow.page/avgjoefinances
Check out: https://averagejoefinances.com
Balance Your Portfolio with Passiv: https://averagejoefinances.com/passiv
Buying or Selling a House? https://averagejoefinances.com/realtor
Interested in getting your real estate license? https://averagejoefinances.com/prepagent
Use the same Audio/Video Editing Team that I use: https://editpods.com
Host your own Podcast here: https://averagejoefinances.com/buzzsprout
Social Media Management Tool: https://averagejoefinances.com/social-media
Podcast Book I'm Published in: https://averagejoefinances.com/daniel-larson

Free Stocks:

  • Robinhood: https://averagejoefinances.com/robinhood
  • Webull: https://averagejoefinances.com/webull

Consolidate debt: https://averagejoefinances.com/sofi-loans/
Get Life Insurance: https://averagejoefinances.com/ladder
Average Joe Finances Swag: averagejoefinances.com/resources/shop
*DISCLAIMER* https://averagejoefinances.com/disclaimer
If you are interested in writing for Average Joe Finances or joining us for an interview on the podcast, please visit https://averagejoefinances.com/contact
--------------
Trop

Join me at the Real Estate Wealth Builders Conference in Phoenic, AZ this March 10th-12th.

Get your conference tickets here: https://rewbcon.com
Use promo code MIKE to get $50 off.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/avgjoefinances)
Transcript
Average Joe Finances:

All right. Hey, how's it going everybody? So today's guest is Sarah St. John and Sarah is an entrepreneur, podcaster, online course, creator and author. She has created several startups throughout her entrepreneurial career of over a decade. She currently owns a podcast production agency called podseam, and she's also the podcast host of frugalpreneur, building a business on a bootstrapped budget, which aims to show people how to launch and manage an online business on a budget, which is something I'm really excited to talk about. So Sarah, thank you so much for coming on the show and joining us today.

Sarah St. John:

Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. This is the way I like to start every show off with this first question, because I hit like a little bit of wave tops of who you are and what you're all about. So if you could share a little bit more about yourself, share your story, like how did all of this get started?

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. So my entrepreneurial journey started in 2008. I had six different jobs that year. Not at the same time, but throughout the course of the year and realized that I needed to work for myself or build something for myself. And so the first thing I started a photography business. But I realized I was doing mainly weddings and portraits, but I realized that while I liked taking photos of, animals, landscapes, architecture, I didn't like taking photos of people, but that's where the money is, at least when you're starting out. And but the bigger issue was actually just the expense to maintain equipment and software and lighting and all that. So I decided to switch over to an online business model, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. So I tried several different things like drop shipping, blogging, affiliate marketing, and all these different things. And it was in that process that I discovered all these free or affordable tools and resources and software that people could use to help run a business on a budget. And so I got the idea to write a book called Frugalpreneur to go over like the different types of online business models and how to run them on a budget. But it was during that process that I got the idea. I should probably start a podcast to coincide with the book just as an extra marketing avenue. It was only going to be 10 episodes or something like that interviewing some of the people that were either the CEOs or someone within the company of some of the software programs that I recommended throughout the book. The podcast was getting more leverage and traction than the book did. So I just, and I love the relationships and connections and networking and all that. So I kept the podcast up. I'm almost at a hundred episodes now, a couple of years later. And and I ha and then I released a couple other books and, but I'm all in on podcasting now. That's my main focus now is my podcast, but then also a podcast production agency. And I am working on a course, which I've put on the back burner for right now, while I'm launching the agency and things like that. But yeah, so I'm all in on podcasting, but it took over a decade of trying this, that, and the other thing to get to that point.

Average Joe Finances:

Awesome one of the reasons why I'm so excited to have you on the show is because I am doing something very similar, right? I feel that spiritually, when you said, that you're working on launching a course and it's been put on the back burner. Oh my goodness. I feel that in my soul. Okay. Because I'm doing the same thing and building a course, especially when you're trying to build something that, will be a quality product for people is very time consuming. And it takes a lot of care. Yes, I feel that a hundred percent. So I want to kind of rewind back to how this got started, right? So you're talking about how, this one year you had to, you were working like six different jobs, not all at the same time. But then you got into photography and realized that I guess maybe that's where the entrepreneurial bug hit, right? You didn't quite like taking pictures of other people and doing weddings and things like that. But like you said, that's where the money's at in that business. So looking to change things up a bit, you started looking at doing an online business, which again, another reason why I'm so excited to have you on the show. I did the same thing, like looking through different things. I tried my hand at affiliate marketing. I did the whole Shopify store thing. I've even flipped websites before for a profit, which was actually super awesome. Like I built a store and then turned around and sold it on a website called flippa.com for a profit, which I was like, oh, this is cool. It's almost like flipping a house, but this is digital real estate. Not quite the same, but yeah, not as many tax benefits right? Just trying your hand in all these different things. So it's, you're like a serial entrepreneur, so that's why it's super good to have this conversation now. As I'm sitting here I, like I said, I like to take notes. You started the podcast with the idea of only wanting to do about 10 episodes. The whole thing was to promote your book and everything, but then the podcast started taking off and now isn't podcasting so much fun? This is one of the things I enjoy so much and then being able to bring someone like you on the show to talk about your story. I get to talk to so many awesome people.. And it's kind of a little bit of a selfish thing for me, right? Like I said, as I sit here and take these notes, I get, I gained so much knowledge from the people I bring on and just get to pick their brains. And, it's just, for me the podcasting aspect of everything has been out of any other side thing that I've done the most fun. And I guess the most to me specifically, like gratifying that I feel like I'm making an impact and it looks like you too, with doing your podcast and everything, you're making an impact because of the responses that you're getting right? And being able to put a show out there that's going to help other people is just one of the best feelings in the world. I want to talk about that. You said you've been podcasting for how long now? How long have you been doing that?

Sarah St. John:

A couple years. A little over a couple of years.

Average Joe Finances:

Okay. So what do you enjoy the most? I hope I didn't steal any of your thunder there with talking about what I love about podcasts, but what do you enjoy the most about hosting a podcast?

Sarah St. John:

Yeah, I would say definitely the connections in networking. So like you said, almost the selfish aspect of getting to know people and you never know might know so-and-so and then it almost is a snowball you of meeting people. Like I was on one person show. Who happened to know Mike Michalowicz, which I don't know if you're familiar with him, but he has a bunch of entrepreneurial books. Oh yes. Yeah. Like profit first. So I actually recently, I got the introduction and I got Mike Michalowicz what's on my show. That episode. It came out like a week or something ago. And, just so things like that that you don't, plan on, they just happen. But from the other side and probably more so important is just the impact, like you said, that it's making, cause like when you put out a podcast, you don't really know. You can go and check your analytics and see how many downloads, but you don't know how many people is that and all of this. And but then when you get like LinkedIn messages or Instagram messages or whatever And then people say, oh, I listened to this episode and, and they tell you like maybe what they learned from it or what they, I know a lot of people appreciate like the different like software that I recommend and stuff and things like that. So yeah, I would say just the impact, that's the most important because I believe that when the whole point or goal of the show is to, I think so many people assume that launching a business is expensive and it can be, especially if it's not online and it's like a brick and mortar or retail type of business. But an online business is so affordable. And I feel like even if someone has a stable job, if they have any kind of entrepreneurial bug in them, That it's wise to at least have a side hustle and to build it up because you never know, like 20 20 showed us people could lose their jobs overnight or what have you. And so just to have a backup plan even if they're not planning on, quitting their job and having their own business, at least that at least they can have extra income while they have their own job, but then, if something happens to that job or if they decided they like having a business more than their job, so I think, just being able to show people the different types of options and how to do it affordably is where I think the biggest impact from the podcast.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. You're allowing them, or you're giving them the necessary tools. To be able to start their own, side business or side hustle something that you see. And I think that's super important, with what 2020 showed us with this pandemic how quickly you can lose your job or how quickly you can be replaced. I think it's super important that, sure you take your money and you you invest it right towards your retirement. That's one of the things we talk about on the show as well, but if you're looking to, start another business or start a side hustle, I think it's also good to take some of your money from your main hustle from your nine to five, your main job, and invest that into your side hustle. Right. And it can be little things like starting a podcast, you need to go buy a microphone, maybe a camera maybe a piece of software, maybe, you could even start off with all that stuff, but then, it's, it might not sound the greatest and you might not get the, a bunch of listeners. when I started my podcast, I started on a free hosting software, a free hosting site. I was on anchor. I recently switched to a paid one I'm on Buzzsprout now. And just because I liked the analytics better and I liked some of the options and I can actually narrow down now where my listeners are. I could see what cities I'm getting the most listens from and things like that. Where on anchor, I was only able to see like what countries I was getting lessons from. And I used to be really big on the numbers. And I think you made it pretty apparent too, that a lot of times, those numbers really don't matter because. You don't know how many of those did somebody listen to your entire episode or if you really dig deeper into your analytics, how many people just listen for five to 10 minutes and then turn it off? Or they started listening on their commute, but they never finished the episode. Right. So you never know. But when you get those messages on, you get those DMS on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn and all these different areas of somebody saying, Hey, I listened to this and I thought it was great. Or, Hey, I listened to this and it changed my life. I've ha I've gotten messages like that. And it's just amazing. And I'm like, oh my goodness. Thankful number one, thank you so much for listening. Number two. I'm glad it made an impact in your life. Right? So I think that is huge. So you pointing that out is just validating, some of the things I've talked about in the past when it comes to, starting a podcast and doing things like this. So thank you for that. That is a hundred percent awesome. Now I would like to talk a little bit about your podcast in particular, right? You touched on a little bit, like you bring on different CEOs of different companies or things like that, but can you talk a little bit about like frugal preneur and like what is it that you guys dive deep into? I know you said that you give like software recommendations and different things like that, but what are some of the things somebody can get when they listen to your show?

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. So when I first started the podcast, I did interview CEOs or people within the business of these particular software programs. Then I started interviewing people that I followed within certain. Niches of entrepreneurship, whether it's podcasting, affiliate, marketing self publishing, these different areas. And then in 2021, I shifted gears a little bit and have been trying to interview people who started a business with under a thousand dollars. Didn't get any kind of outside capital or investment or loans or credit, or, any of that stuff, but bootstrapped their business all the way to at least a million dollars not per year, but total. So I've had a few bit, it's been difficult finding people who match that precisely. But I've been able to interview a few people who started with a hundred bucks or a thousand bucks and There's been some people. Okay. Like one guy in particular, actually this episode has the highest number of downloads so far. And I don't know if it's because he shared it with his audience maybe or what, but he came from, I can't remember what country, but from Africa, he came from there to America. We're just a hundred bucks and was able to bootstrap his way to three different businesses that are in their seven figures now by, like he would start one business for, I guess a hundred bucks is what he used. Then when he made like 2000 from that then he would take that 2000 and then he bought a camera. And so then he got into the photography thing. And then when he got that, he just I guess I would call it like. Stair-stepping maybe

Average Joe Finances:

kind of consensus, he consistently scaled up,

Sarah St. John:

right? Yeah. And different businesses, cause then once he had, he paid the 2000 for the camera now he's doing weddings like I was, or he now can charge 2000 per, wedding. And so then he's scaling faster than he's taking that money to then build. And so now he has a few software programs that are in the millions. And I've had a handful of guests on with kind of similar stories where they started with very little, some of which they came from other countries to America and was able to build, a one lady She actually sold, she built up a photography, but it's weird. Everything's coming back to photography here, but she built up a photography business and sold it to bill gates. Like he approached her or his team, whatever.

Average Joe Finances:

That's interesting.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. Sold it for, I forget now how much, but it was in the millions. Yeah. So anyway, anyway, just interesting stuff like that. And I think the whole kind of point or goal of interviewing people like that is to encourage other people, including myself, that it is possible to start with very little and, eventually grow or scale to a very successful company without really having to rely or depend on outside investors. And th not that there's anything wrong with any of that stuff, but I guess my whole thing is trying to. To build a business on a budget without incurring debt along the way.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. So listen for those of you listening right now, obviously you need to start a photography side hustle. That's just where we're going here. Okay. No kidding. But it's, it does seem to be a good read. I have a couple of friends myself too, that actually started doing photography on the side and then quit their jobs to be full-time photographers, which is just absolutely amazing doing weddings and things of that nature portraits. And so it's a it's pretty amazing what you can do if, as long as you have that bug, right. That entrepreneurial spirit, that it's something that for a lot of us, you just can't get away from it. You can't escape. Right. And, being able to push yourself to do things like that is just amazing. We're talking about scaling businesses, right? So you were talking about how that, that one person scaled from just having a hundred dollars, they moved to the country with just a hundred dollars in their pocket and they were able to do it. So there's a lot of people out there that say, oh, that's not possible. And I can't do that myself. You can, you really can. It's a lot of times you have to just stop making excuses and I'm not trying to be offensive to anybody, but at the same time, I am because it's like, Hey, if you get offended by that, then maybe the thing is you need to change how you think about it, how you think about money how you spend your money because a hundred dollars. It might not seem like a lot of money to you and me or like that, but a hundred dollars is a lot of money to some people. And, even to me, still a hundred dollars, a lot of money. If I go spend a hundred dollars on something, I need justification as to why I'm doing that. For somebody be able to come here and scale up from that to now having multi-millions Absolutely amazing. And so I talked to a lot of real estate investors, right? Cause I also invest in real estate myself. And one of the popular things we talk about is, Hey, how do you get started in real estate with no money? We use something called OPM, right. Other people's money. And you can do that pretty easily in real estate. Everybody talks about it. Like it's a lot easier than it is. It is a little complicated to be able to do it, but it's possible. You have to educate yourself. You have to do the research and learn how to do it. But. You're proving to me right now that you can do this in almost any other business you can scale with almost nothing. It just a matter of your self motivation and drive that you're going to keep pushing to that next level. He could have easily taken that first $2,000 in profit that he made and went out and bought himself something nice or whatever to celebrate his win and things like that. No, he went and spent that on a camera, a nice camera, so he could start doing photography and he taught himself how to do that. So like little things like that is just shows you how a little motivation a little drive can really push you to that next level. Right. Speaking of that, Now there was one of the things I wanted to talk to you about about having your own website. Right. And this is one of the topics I wanted to talk to you about, because I've heard you say that it's important to have your own website. So I want to know why is it important to have your own website and not just depend on like social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. And of course, I think it's important to have social media, but don't depend or rely just on that. Cause I know a lot of people who, all they have for their business is a Facebook page. My space basically disappeared overnight and it could happen with Facebook who knows or any other social platform you never know, or something else comes along that people jump on and plus you're not getting. Generally speaking, you're not getting access to those. People's like email address and things that where you can directly communicate with them. So I think having your own online presence outside of social media is important because not only do you control it and own it in case something happens to your social media but also like to create, you can have a lead magnet on your website to, give away something free. Basically I give away my, the PDF versions of my books for free in exchange for an email address. So then you can email to people because they say there's only really two things. On the internet that you own, and that's your website and your email list.

Average Joe Finances:

I've heard that before somewhere. I can't remember where maybe I was listening to one of your shows and that's where I've heard it. I've heard that's that definitely sounds like, yeah, like legit, because it's yours, right. It's not, Mark Zuckerberg could turn off Facebook tomorrow and then that's it. Or China can have some type of major crackdown and TikTok's gone. Boom. So things like that. So yeah. That's super important. Your website like that's yours. It's going to go away if you shut it down.

Sarah St. John:

Right. Exactly. So yeah, so I think. Plus, you can do more with a website than you can with social media, like showcasing. Yeah. You're going to have pictures on social media, but there's just, there's so much more, customization that you can do. And with like blog posts and different I use WordPress yeah. Which I like how you can customize things. There are so many different plugins you can use. And actually I used to have a Wix site and I think I tried Weebly. I think the only thing I haven't tried at Squarespace, but for someone starting out who just wants to get something thrown up there, I think those are fine. But if they really want to customize it and use all these different plugins. Cause I switched to WordPress, I was so hesitant to, because of the learning curve and there is a learning curve, but then once you get used to it, it becomes easy. But I switched because of a plugin that I wanted to use called simple podcast press, I think where every time you have a new podcast, it'll create a new blog post with that. So I switched to WordPress just so I could have that plugin. And then of course I've noticed a bunch of other plugins that I now use. In addition to that,

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, no, we're WordPress is fantastic. And I've actually, I found myself recently, like really concentrating on actually fixing up my my website. That's strictly for my podcast. So it's averagejoefinances.com/podcast. And I really, I was like, you know what? I focused on cleaning that up and making it look super nice. So that when people ask me about my podcasts, that's where I send them. And of course I have all the buttons on there that you can listen to it on any other platform. But now when somebody asks me like, oh, Hey, where can I listen to your podcast? I send them there instead of sending them like the apple link or Spotify. But it's also getting me more traction on my website. And then, they can listen to an episode or two, whatever. Like I have every single episode there. Or or while they're there and they listen to an episode, they can browse around and maybe find something else that they like, because there's a blog on there and other things like products and things like that. I don't know why I wasn't doing this like sooner. Why did I not focus on making my actual website cleaner? So I think that's super important. And I really liked that you're pointing that out because like you said, WordPress is a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get it, it's not too bad. And the other part about it is when you log into that admin panel, they have different videos and like courses and stuff to help you learn how to use it properly. And that if you use like a premium theme and you buy like a premium theme and things like that, you can learn how to use that particular theme. So I have a couple of different WordPress sites and each one of them has a different theme. So like I use like the Sydney pro theme on average Joe finances. And then on my podcast editing site, I use a different theme. I use a Divi, right. Which is a very popular one. It's little things like that. So when I'm switching back and forth in between sites, sometimes I can, I might forget like what I was doing and be like, oh, I messed this up. I gotta go fix it. Cause I thought it was the other theme. So it's a, it's kinda funny how that works, I think you're really hitting the nail on the head with why it's so important to have that website have that mailing list. Because again, like you said, you, you own that that's yours. And sure anybody can unsubscribe at any time, but really if you're putting out good content and you're not just spamming people, they're likely not to unsubscribe. I usually send out like a weekly newsletter. And it's not even really a newsletter. It's just Hey, here's our latest blog posts and our latest podcast episodes and here's what's going on and Hey, we're doing an Amazon gift card giveaway for, leaving a review and inviting people to the Facebook group, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, things like that. Just like some like current events that, that we have. And it's simple. It's nothing crazy. And so I've noticed that I don't have a huge bounce or like unsubscription rate which is pretty awesome. And I think it's due to the nature of not being spammy. You don't wanna, you don't want to sound spammy to your email list, but I do find that I probably get more podcast listens from my email list. Probably more than I do from posting it on social media. And I think so you kind of really hit the nail on the head there.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. I usually send out there's different opinions on how often you should send an email out. Some people say once a month, some say once a week, some say once a day, multiple times, anyway, I usually. try to stick to about once a week. And it's usually when I have a new podcast out. And actually since we're talking about podcasts and email news letters, and I had mentioned earlier that I mentioned tools and resources and software, my podcasts the email platform that I use is actually free up to, I think, a thousand. When I signed up, it was up to 3000. No, actually it's sendFox. Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. MailChimp and mailer light are the only other two that I know of that ha I think Aweber now does two . Yeah. So with sendFox. Yeah. It's free up to a thousand and then, but what I really like about it is that you can, especially for any kind of content creator, like a podcast or blog or YouTube, or is anytime you have a new podcast, episode blog, post YouTube video, you can put in your RSS feed or YouTube channel and it'll automatically generate a newsletter and you can have it set up to automatically send it or to save it as a draft. And then you can go in and add other stuff to it. But that's what I love is cause it'll automatically. They're from appSumo for people who don't know AppSumo is basically like a marketplace, for various they have some e-books and courses and things, but it's mainly for software where it's generally like businesses who are just launching, or maybe they've been around a while, but they need more funding. So what they'll do is they'll do like these lifetime deals where, you'll save I dunno, I've boughten a few. Is that a word bond? I've whatever. I've bought several different software programs on there that it's a one-time fee of, you know, let's say 50 bucks or whatever, when it would normally cost, 50 bucks a month or something like that. So you save a whole bunch of money. Right? Right. Anyway, so that company actually, they have some of their own products and send Fox is actually one of them. I also use king Sumo for my giveaways, which is free. And also by them, they have tidy cal, which is like a new it's like Calendly, but it's, so they have a few different things

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, I might have to explore they're a little more than in play around because now you got the gears turning up here right now.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. On my website, there's actually a. Link at the very top called 27 tools I use. And so it's all the software that I use and most of it, or a lot of it is free or like really cheap. And so I think I have sendFox and king Sumo and some different ones on there, but yeah, I just, I love their products. Sorry. Now it sounds like an infomercial for AppSumo, but I'm not that wasn't,

Average Joe Finances:

this is great information, especially like for somebody listening to the show that maybe wants to start a podcast or start their own side hustle, anywhere you can find. Software programs that can be useful or helpful that's what this is about. Right. That's what podcast is all about is we're trying to get this information out to help other potential entrepreneurs with starting their own side hustle and starting their own business. So definitely does not sound like informational. This is stuff that you're using yourself. Just I wouldn't promote products, I don't use, because it's just not, why would you sit here and try to tell somebody, Hey, you should use this when you don't use it yourself. But so I want to talk about, I want to kind of transition this into like deep diving into podcasting itself. Okay. So you talked about all the different softwares and tools and different things that can help you with a podcast. But I want to know at least for you, why do you think. Podcasting has become so popular lately. Podcasts have been around for a while, right? Just like blogs have been around for awhile and then blogs hit their peak and then died down. But podcasting started off and it was just like this for years, just, it wasn't really something you talked about now. Podcasts are like a everyday conversation people have, oh, Hey, do you listen to such and such? Or, whatever it's a much more talked about thing and people know what podcasts are, where if you would've asked three or four years ago, what a podcast is, some people would even know. So why do you think it's so popular lately?

Sarah St. John:

Yeah, that's true. Let's see. Podcasting started and I think it was 2004. So between 2004 and 2019, so 15 years, I think there were only 800,000 podcasts. And then from 2019 to 2020 in just one year that it doubled and now to like 1.6 million, and now we're actually over 2 million in 2012.

Average Joe Finances:

So you can't even blame the pandemic for that because it started skyrocketing in 2019 and yeah, we're over 2 million now. That's insane.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. And so in some ways people think, then why should I start a podcast? Because won't, isn't there too much competition, but actually in relation to blogging, last I knew there were 600 million blogs, but that was like a year ago when I checked.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. I think it's closer to 700 or 800 now. I think the last time I looked, cause I've looked at these comparisons too because people have asked me that same question. Like, why would I start now? I was like, look, I started my podcast when there was 1,700,00 or 1,800,000 podcasts. And it's been very successful. You just gotta be able to stick out, but at the same time, when you think about it, 2 million podcasts is not a lot when you compare that to everything else, that's out there on the internet.

Sarah St. John:

Right? Exactly. So that's what I tried to let people know.

Average Joe Finances:

How many YouTube channels are out there? I don't see any type of ridiculous number, an active YouTube channels, not just like ones that somebody created it to go leave spam comments. Like I'm talking about active YouTube channels. There's a lot, way more than there are podcasts. And people are still building new YouTube channels and blowing them up and making them go viral.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. And I think the thing with podcasting, why it's getting so well, a few reasons. I think the biggest thing about podcasting is that. People can multitask when they're doing it. They can be driving, on a commute. They could be doing the dishes, riding a subway cleaning the house, even mowing the yard, whatever. And they can multitask because unlike, reading a book or watching a YouTube video, it doesn't involve your eyes. So people are more likely to listen to an hour long episode then by, with a podcast then to watch an hour long YouTube. Usually YouTube videos have to be like five or 10 minutes to, be successful. But and because people are listening for so long, they're really getting to know and trust you. And they almost feel like they, they actually know you, and so there's more of a personal connection, there. And and I think as far as. So I think that's why podcasts are popular or their consumption rate is really high. Like you said earlier, someone could be on a 30 minute commute, let's say, and the podcast episode is 45 minutes. Maybe they won't finish the last 15. Although I always finished the podcast, I listened to, I just sit in the parking lot and finish it, but, or I'll push pause, and then pick it up later or whatever. That can happen. But still the percentage wise of consumption rate is much higher with a podcast than really anything else. But then, so many big people are creating podcasts like Joe Rogan, for example, who in his a hundred million dollar Spotify deal. And so I think people are hearing the word podcast thrown around. It's more in the media and the news and whatnot. And then. Yeah, anyone and everyone can create a podcast, but what's interesting is that all these bigger people are starting to do it too. It's especially during the pandemic, I think a lot of people were creating podcasts because they had the time to, and of course, I'm sure a lot of those have pod faded or will stop doing it once they're back to their normal routine. But and then there's, those are so many podcasts that turned into TV shows now, like I think Dr. Death is now a TV show. Oh, what was another one? I don't know. There's at least

Average Joe Finances:

one of those true crime ones turned into a TV show as well, or at least they started taking some of those stories. Cause those seem to be like popular ones, like true crime podcasts, like those things take off. And but I just want to touch on this a little bit because, so I usually listen to just podcasts in my particular niche, right. Stuff that I'm interested in, which is, finances investing real estate and things like that. And like you, I will sit here and listen to a podcast, so on my commute to work. So usually in the morning, it's about 22 to 25 minutes to get to work. And then on my way, home it's between 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes because traffic here in Hawaii is wonderful. So it gives me the opportunity to listen to, full episodes and a lot of the shows I listen to are an hour long or, sometimes 45 minutes, sometimes an hour and a half. It just depends. one of the things that I like about it is I'll listen to some of it on the way into work. If I'm not in a good spot where I'm ready to pause it yet, I will. I'll sit in the parking lot for a little while until I feel like, okay, this is, oh, they're switching to us a sponsored segment. Now I'll hit pause, and I'll come back later. So things like that, it usually works out that well, that way that you know, about 25 minutes into the show, then they start talking like the sponsors and things like that. So it usually works out pretty good for me, for my commute, for a lot of the podcasts I listened to. And then I pick right back up on my way home from work. And to me it's just, it just helps me with my mindset. It reminds me as to why I'm doing what I'm doing, on the side right now, while I'm still in the Navy, but why I'm doing like these different side hustles and why I'm so motivated. And so hell bent on being an entrepreneur when I retire well, actually not even when I retired from the Navy I am one now. I've, I'm doing these different things right now. I think it's super important that if someone's going to listen to a podcast, you listen to something that's relatable to you. It's something that you're going to enjoy. And that if you're going to do a podcast that you're talking about something that's relatable to you, and it's something that you're going to enjoy, because like you had mentioned earlier, like a lot of these people that start podcasts, they'll get this thing called pod fade. Right. you'll get like seven to 20 episodes in and you're just like, I just, I'm not feeling this anymore. I'm a member of multiple different Facebook groups for podcasting and I see multiple people posting and they're like, ah, yeah, I'm on like episode 18. And I'm not really getting a lot of downloads. I'm not really sure if I want to do this anymore. And a lot of times I'll reach out to them and be like, Hey, what is it that's making you not want to do this anymore? Go back to your why did you start a podcast? What was the whole point of doing this? If you don't have a good why then there's no point in even starting, you know what I'm saying? So it needs to be something you want to do because you enjoy it. I'm a big talker. I love to talk we talked about this before we even hit record. I was probably talking your ear off. Right. But I enjoy it and when the pandemic hit and I started my podcast and at the end of July, 2020, right. So the pandemic hit and so all the I'm a social butterfly. Right? So a lot of the things that I used to go do, go out and meeting up and doing these social events I couldn't do anymore. And I'm like, ah, I need to talk to people. And I was like, how do I talk to multiple people? So the podcast was born. That's not quite how it started, for me, I use it as an opportunity to continue networking, like you said. And I've built such an awesome network from people that I brought on the show and I've even gotten some investment deals out of it too. I get emails that hit my inbox every day with Hey we're going to be purchasing this property. Would you like to invest with us? Hey, we're going to be doing this. We're gonna be doing that. All these different things. And it's all thanks to this network that I built. And then this email list that I have now, and it's just been super fun. So if you're not enjoying it, then maybe it's not for you, but if you can find joy in any type of side hustle that you're doing then that's the way to go. I've said this before my show several times if you're doing a job or anything that you enjoy is, it really work at that point. Like I don't consider this podcast work and it does make a little bit of money. Which is cool. I've got some sponsors and affiliates and things like that. But I 100% enthusiastically enjoy doing this. This is just one of the fun highlights of my week is when I do my Saturday interviews, I absolutely love this. And I think that's super important as to what you're talking about with how podcasting has become so popular. If you're going to sit here and start one, enjoy it and really show that you enjoy it. So your audience, they feel motivated with you, okay. I want to stick in this topic here and ask you what you think the future of podcasting is. What does the future hold for us podcasters and for the people that are listening.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. Of course there's a bunch of different things coming out that are audio based like clubhouse. And now I guess Spotify has green room Twitter spaces Facebook's coming out with something, or maybe you already did. And then mark Cuban just announced that he has one called fireside chat. I think. So there's a bunch of these different like audio platforms coming out where it's live audio versus recorded audio like a podcast. And some people have had concerns about that, killing podcasting, but the issue, the difference is, with those platforms it's live. And so you have to be available and present to hear it versus with a podcast you can listen to any time. So I don't think that's going to happen. I think it's just an extra way to, to consume audio, and there's audio books, which is a completely different thing because it's not a conversation, but so I think, despite these other forms of audio coming out, I don't think anything's going to change podcasting. I think it's going to continue to grow. Maybe not as quickly as it has cause you'd think that. Unless someone creates a new business or has a new idea, then yeah. More podcasts will be created in the future. But I think during the pandemic in particular that if someone was already thinking about a podcast, they probably started during that time. So I, I don't know if the growth, as far as the number of podcasts is going to be as high or that quickly, but I think podcasts listenership though, I think it's just going to continue to grow as more and more people learn what podcasting is or for example, me. I only started listening to podcasts about probably a year before he created mine. And I actually never thought I would listen to a podcast before that because. I am a big music listener. So anytime I was in the car, I'd only listened to music as soon as the DJ came on us or talking, or as soon as a commercial came on, I would switch the radio station to find music somewhere else. So I thought I'm not going to like podcasting because I viewed it as talk radio. And I think maybe that's the problem. A lot of people think that's what it is. But then I started hearing about specific podcasts or specific ones were recommended to me, entrepreneurial ones. I'm like, oh, that sounds interesting. I guess I'll give it a try. And then I fell in love with it. I was hooked. I'm addicted, obsessed with it. I subscribed to almost 30 podcasts. And

Average Joe Finances:

I might have you beat there.

Sarah St. John:

Oh really? How many?

Average Joe Finances:

I, it might be over 30 or I'm pretty darn close, but

Sarah St. John:

oh, wow. They say the average is seven, the average person subscribes to seven shows. But yeah, there's obviously people out there like us who

Average Joe Finances:

Well if you subscribe to seven subscribed to two more subscribed to average Joe finances and frugal preneur.

Sarah St. John:

That's right. And that was a good little promo there. But I, so with podcasting, the thing is versus, radio is that first of all, it's niche down it's about a particular type of topic, whereas a DJ could be talking about anything and everything. And, some podcasts do have the occasional ad or commercial, but usually it's something that's targeted to you. And relevant.

Average Joe Finances:

It's not like radio commercials where it's 10 minutes of commercials before the next song comes on. You know what I'm saying? It's probably about two minutes tops.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. Yeah. Usually 30 seconds per I think once people realize that, cause I've talked to some people where I'm like, Hey, have you checked out this podcast? Or do you even listen to podcasts? And they're like, oh no, they're like how I was a few years ago. They're like, oh no, I'm a big music listener. I would never listened to a podcast. And I'm like, okay so what topics interest you? What do you like to learn about talk about. And whatever it is, and then I'll be like, I'm sure there's a podcast for that. Or if I know of one, I'll point it out. So I think it's just a matter of people learning and discovering. And as they do, I think it's just going to continue to cause several people I know who didn't listen to podcasts, a year ago. Now listen to podcasts. So I think it's a, I think everyone has probably heard the word now, at least maybe in America, I don't know about other countries and stuff but even though they've heard of the word, some people still might not understand what that really means. And it almost takes someone actually finding one. That sounds interesting. And then they get started and then, and it might not be for some people, maybe some people. It's not their thing, but I don't know. I just feel like no matter what your interests are, there's going to be a podcast for that. That would, like the whole, there's an app for that. There's a podcast.

Average Joe Finances:

Absolutely. Absolutely. I'd like to touch on this a little bit cause I agree with you a hundred percent when it comes to like clubhouse Spotify greenroom and all these other live different things that are happening. Right. I jumped on clubhouse when it first came out. I thought it was pretty neat. I got to sit here and attend this thing that Elon Musk was talking about and I got to sit here and listen to this man live, at the time he was the richest man in the world. I think he's second now, again, I think Bezos topped him out again, being able to sit here and listen to him, talk about like the future of Tesla and SpaceX and just other things, other projects, like Starlink different things that he's working on was super cool. But at the same time it was. Really late at night for him talking. So it was at a good time rate for me now, I live in Hawaii. A lot of the people that I want to listen to their live stuff, they're doing it on east coast time and it's usually I'm in bed or I'm at work. And I don't have the opportunity to sit here and listen to these different things. I go back to podcasts, right. So I always go back to podcasts and I do when I have the opportunity to sit here and listen to somebody live, I will, I think it's great. But at the same time, there's a lot of people that will take their live broadcasts and stick it on a podcast. I know a couple of podcasts that do that. They do a lot of stuff where they just stream it live, then they clean it up and they'll put it out as a podcast episode. A lot of times, if you're looking to consume content for something relevant that you're looking for, podcasting really is like the best way to go. I listen to podcasts when I'm working out. I listened to them when I'm like I said, like when I'm commuting sometimes doing things around the house, like I'm doing a project in the garage. Sometimes I'll switch back and forth between music and a podcast. If my wife's around, I'll put music on because she doesn't want to sit here and listen to other people talking about the stuff that I'm always talking to her about. So she, she gets tired of that. But it's all good. Different things like that is, are the reasons why I agree with you. That I don't think we're going to see podcasting and go going away. Like you said, we might see it start to cap out with like new podcasters coming out. But I think the folks that are established and not pod fading are going to continue going and they're going to continue getting their downloads and listens and they're going to continue growing. Because there, there is a demand out there for it. It's just, it's one of the easiest ways to consume content. I, I remember for awhile I would listen to YouTube videos for things that I really enjoyed listening to, and I would put the phone down and have it go through my Bluetooth speakers in my car and listen to that before I even started listening to podcasts. And then I realized, Hey, some of these people that I'm listening to have a podcast and they're talking about the same exact stuff, what am I doing? The very first podcast I listened to was the bigger pockets podcast because I was getting into real estate investing and a friend of mine said, Hey listen to the show. And I was like, oh, I've never listened to a podcast before, but sure. And that's how I got started. And I got hooked instantly. And it's just been going that way ever since okay. So not only do you do podcasting. But you also, like you said, you, you published a book,, this is how everything started. Or actually how the podcast started was to promote your book. I wanted to ask you like what steps, and this is going to go for both. Right. But what steps would you recommend for somebody who is wanting to launch a podcast or publish a book and can the two of these coincide with each other?

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. I have seen it becoming more common for people. Like when they're releasing a book to release some kind of short form podcast to go along with the book, I didn't even know that was a thing, but I guess it is. Yeah. So as far as the steps to launching a podcast you have to have a place to host your files. Like we'd talked about you used anchor and then buzzsprout. I use captivate, but I been keeping an eye on Buzzsprout and really like them. And then, yeah, I recommend, getting a mic of some sort. I have an ATR 2100, which was only like 60 or 80 bucks. And I think there's the Samsung Q2 U, which is similarly priced. So you really don't have to spend a lot. I launched my podcast for under a hundred between that, and then. Like the boom arm and all of that stuff, the F the filter and all that all of that combined was under a hundred. And so I would say that I would recommend doing that. And then plus, having earbuds or headphones if you're, especially if you're doing interviews because then the sound is coming through that versus it coming out of your computer speakers and creating an echo. I think a lot of people think that starting a podcast is expensive because they're thinking in terms of a broadcast studio, but really, if you could start for free with earbuds, for the, your mic and your headphones and, anchor, but I recommend, doing the a hundred dollar budget with an actual mic and had.

Average Joe Finances:

So real quick speaking about recording studio if you're okay with talking about this, but where are you recording from right now? Cause I'm recording out of my closet.

Sarah St. John:

I am too,

Average Joe Finances:

See? You don't need a crazy expensive studio or anything like that. So I just have a green screen up behind me. I use, I, you used to be able to see my closet, but now I got a green screen up. So

Sarah St. John:

yeah. And a closet is a good place to do it because of all the clothes it helps muffle or dampen or whatever so yeah, I that's, I would recommend getting a mic and most people already have a computer. The mic that I use is a USB mic. So you plug it straight into your computer. And then, you can, I haven't even done this, but you can start to, upgrade stuff over time if you want to. So those are the kinds of steps to get started anyway. And then as far as a book. So I self-published, which is the route that I recommend so traditional publishing, if you're some well-known person like Oprah or something, then yeah. Go that route. If you're the average, Joe, then I recommend self publishing just because the chances that you'll get a traditional offer are slim to none. And especially if you're doing a non-fiction, the issue is the speed factor with a self publishing. You can, you could publish a book tomorrow, if you really wanted to that's not likely 30 days is usually the lowest end of the spectrum, as far as how long it will take you to actually write it and publish it and everything. But with a traditional book, the whole process takes so long. Even once you have, a deal it's just so slow. I hear can take, even once the book is done, it can take like another 18 months for it to come out. If you have a non-fiction book, especially you're talking about an 18 months. Like for example, I probably need to go back through actually my book. Cause maybe some of that software that I recommend doesn't exist anymore, who knows? So things change so rapidly I think in the nonfiction world. Yeah. I don't know, I just recommend self-publishing route, and it really doesn't cost anything. I did it through Amazon and it's free. So basically they take a cut. So you're not really paying anything upfront. You're you don't have to house a bunch of books. It's like the drop shipping model, but with self publishing where you don't have to keep an inventory, it's more like when someone orders something, they create it, they ship it. You don't have to worry about it. And yeah. So

Average Joe Finances:

I didn't know that, I didn't know that Amazon did that. Yeah. I knew you could publish them, but I didn't know that they would actually like print books. As people order them, like that might be a game changer for me. I might have to really figure out how to finish this book that I'm writing.

Sarah St. John:

Oh yeah. Yeah. It's they call it, KDP like Kindle direct publishing. And so you can have the ebook and then you can have a print book. So I actually have three books, but they're all pretty small, like 10,000 words under a hundred pages. And so for example, print books The cost. So basically you set your price and you charge whatever, and then they'll deduct the cost of the actual printing and all of that stuff, which I think is only like $2 or $2 and 50 cents or something. And then the, and then after that, then they take, I think, 30% of the sale. So yeah, it's, I've enjoyed it. It's yeah, it is hard to get sale sales in a way. Yeah, you're on the biggest, platform in the world to get sales, but for people actually find your stuff. I guess it's like a podcast you have to market it and promote it and things like that. But. I think it's worth doing more, actually, for me, it's more of a lead magnet. Like I give the PDF version away for free and then but yeah,

Average Joe Finances:

and you're able to collect emails with that. So that, that works out.

Sarah St. John:

Right. And say you were to go to a conference or something, you could actually print up a bunch of books, order a bunch of yourself and you can actually just pay the print costs when you order they're called author copies. And so you're actually just paying cost of what it costs to print them. So it could be like a $2, $3 business card basically, but it's obviously going to be a much better business card than an actual card. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think any kind of business owner in particular. having a book and or podcast of the two, I thought book was the route to go because they whole, they say the whole book as book has a business card. Which, like I said, I think is good if you're at a conference and things like that, where you're going to be around people, whenever that's a thing again, I still prefer podcasting. If I had to pick one, I would still go with podcasting.

Average Joe Finances:

I think so too, especially in the middle of writing a book right now, it is it's painful. So I'm in the middle of editing right now. It's about 22000 words and it's painful trying to just go back through everything and making sure all the I's are dotted and T's are cross it's. Whew. Yeah.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. So I would say. Or are you going to self-publish? Is that what you were planning on? Or? Yeah. So with self publishing, like I said, it doesn't cost money to actually publish it. The, You might want to hire someone to create the cover? I just went to Fiverr.

Average Joe Finances:

Yep. No, I definitely, I am not afraid to outsource when needed. I've used Fiverr and Upwork several times for different things like my podcast, artwork, intro, outro, all that stuff. And I tell other people too Hey, don't be afraid to outsource. If it's not something you're comfortable doing or something, you can't like make look really good because you don't want to just make shifts. I've done that before. I've put like makeshift stuff together and I'm like why is this not getting the attention? I thought it would as well, because it's gross. So it's you gotta, some, sometimes you got to cough up a little bit, Fiverr and Upwork and different things like that, like you can find quality work at a very decent price.

Sarah St. John:

The other area I would recommend maybe spending some money on if you're self publishing would be an editor at the very end. But the editor I used, they did the three editing. There's three parts of editing, there's like the content, the proofreading, I don't know. There's three different things. And they did all of them for 2 cents a word. And for a 10,000 word book, which it wasn't even, I think, I don't remember how many words it was, but anyway, it was like under $200 to get the book edited.

Average Joe Finances:

Yes. It's what I do in my day job right now in the Navy, I get a lot of administration and editing, so I don't really have a problem doing that. It's just, it's what I do at work. And it's I don't want to do that when I go home and I'm working on this thing now, it's oh, it's and so to me, it's just painful like that. Cause it's th it's more tedious than anything. But yeah, so awesome. Sarah this has been like awesome. Like we have touched on so many different things. I think the whole point of this particular episode in interview is man, start a side hustle start a business, start a podcast, write a book, do something that you enjoy. And we've touched on so many different things. I, I didn't even get to ask you some of the questions. About some other things like affiliate marketing and other things like that, that I want to, but we've been talking for awhile. I think we're going to have a round two another time. I'm definitely going to have you back on the show because you are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to starting a side business. And you've been there done that, got the t-shirt you wrote the book and it's and it's super cool. And I just want to say I'm super honored that you took some time to talk with me today, but before we end this, I have to ask you the most important question. And that is because of all the things that we've talked about. Like I said, it was so many different things and people listening right now are probably wondering, Hey, how do I learn more from Sarah and what she's doing, with all of her side hustles. And then also I'm interested in her podcast services I'm interested in, in, in other things that she's offering. I definitely want to get a copy of her ebook. Where do I sign up for that? So with all that said, where can people find more information about you? Can you share your website, any social media profiles that, that you're comfortable sharing publicly, that would be awesome.

Sarah St. John:

Yeah. Sure. The podcast is frugal preneur, which if you just type that into any podcasts listening platform, it should pop up the website. You can actually get the, my book for free at theSarahStjohn.com/free, and that Sarah with an H and then S T J O H N. Let's see. I'm pretty much on social media, everywhere at the Sarah St. John, because Sarah St. John was taken for some reason, I'd like to meet this person and see if I can buy that domain or whatever. But anyway so yeah, these are St John and then the podcast production services is pod seam.com O D S E a m.com. And then yeah, if you just go to the main website, it had the 27 tools I use Yeah, that's about it, I think.

Average Joe Finances:

Okay. Awesome. Hey, thank you so much for sharing that. So everybody that's listening. If you're driving, don't sit here and try to write that down. It's going to be in the show notes so you can just copy and paste it later or click it. All right. Cause like we said, we know a lot of people that are listening to podcasts are usually doing it on their commute or doing other activities. Be safe as I just wanna throw that disclaimer out there. But we'll make sure all of that information is in the show notes. Cause cause Sarah, you've definitely got some great things going on. And I'm really excited to share this with my listeners. Again, I want to say thank you so much for taking some time to come on our show today and have this conversation with me. I'm truly honored.

Sarah St. John:

Thanks so much for having me. I've had a blast I've I think this is one of my favorites episodes or interview it, interviews that I've done. So

Average Joe Finances:

that's good to hear. Thank you very much for that. All right I'm going to go ahead and cut this off, but I want to say again, thank you so much. This an absolute pleasure.