Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Dave jackson (@schoolofpodcasting ) Our guest is Dave Jackson is an award-winning 2018 time tester hall of fame, inductee who has been helping. People do understand the technology and harness its power.
For over 20 years, he has been known for lunch in the school of podcasting in 2005, with over 2.3 million downloads. They first bought Gus show lunch on April four, 2005, and helped tons of people launch their podcasts, and asked to be speaker at the conference. And in 2017, they won the best they can podcast in people’s choice award.
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Miko Santos: Welcome, Dave Jackson. Thank you for your time
Dave Jackson: I’m so glad to be here. I’m looking forward to this. Thank you so much.
Miko Santos: So let’s start at the beginning. in your book, you tell a story, how did you start that? So my first question why did you ask this question “Do you have a lemonade stand?”
Dave Jackson: I asked that just because it’s. When you’re an entrepreneur, it, I still kind of just now realized, Oh wow. I was an entrepreneur. Even when I was growing up. I was the guy that and again, I’m not ancient, but I’m not young, but at one point they were paving my street for the first time.
I don’t know what I barely remember what it was before it was paved, but there’s all this construction going out on, on the street. And so it was a hot summer day and I went out with lemonade and sold lemonade and was like, well, that was pretty cool. That was pretty easy. All you had to do was be in the right place at the right time.
And then later when I was growing up, this is before they had vending machines in schools. And I didn’t realize it till later, but Hey, guess what? You’re poor. Like your family doesn’t make a lot of money and I wanted to do stuff and I needed money and I took some gum to school one day and I took out a put and put it in my mouth.
And the guy’s like, Hey, can I have a piece of that? And I was like, huh, you know what? There is no place to get gum in this school. And so I started selling people gum at school. I would go down to the local store and buy it and then turn around and sell it for a profit. And so at the time, I would just consider that doing.
What’d you do to get by or whatever? And so that’s kinda why I asked that it’s like, cause that is the person that when you kind of look back, you’ll kind of realize that, Oh, wow. I didn’t realize that even at a young age, I was you know, finding a way to find an audience find out what they needed and then give it to them and earn a profit.
Miko Santos: How is the podcasting came up
Dave Jackson: Back then I teach and taught a lot of Microsoft office in QuickBooks and customer service and things like that for over 20 years. And so this goes back and I was at the time I used to teach people how to send email because they didn’t know what it was. When the internet came around, I was teaching people how to build websites with Microsoft front page, which makes me giggle right now and how to surf the internet.
Because nobody knew what it was. And there were things like Lycos and hotpot and all, you know, this is way before Google. I had a website and I was putting out a newsletter for musicians and a friend of mine. And as again, kind of dates it, he said, do you know how you missed the MySpace boat?
Because at the time MySpace was the biggest thing and I was kind of late to that. yeah, I know I kind of missed the MySpace boat. So a Friend of mine just came back from this marketing convention and he goes to me said the next big thing is going to be podcasting. And I remember I went to Google at the time and searched it and there were one and a half pages of results.
And I was like, I think I broke the internet because. I’ve only got a little intimate. And so I kept trying, and they’re just was, this was back in 2004 and I was just was like, Holy castle. When I finally found a couple of websites and figured out how to put one together. And I remember I uploaded my file to a website and then fired up this ancient software and it came down to my computer and I was like, Oh, okay.
I see what this thing does. This is going to be pretty cool. And at the time everybody was saying podcasting was going to be the next big thing. And membership sites are going to be the next big thing. And at that point, I had been let go of my job. And I was going to go back to school to get an actual teaching degree, even though I’d been teaching, my original degree was an electronics.
I just kind of fell into teaching, but I needed an actual teaching degree. So I went back to school and I needed something to keep me in my car and my phone and insurance and everything like that. So I started the school of podcasting. I was like, well, if membership sites are going to be big and podcasting is going to be big, let’s start a membership site about podcasting.
And it took a while. The first couple of years were. Horrendous because nobody knew what a podcast was. And once you finally explain what it was, they didn’t want anything to do with it. And that’s why the really first kind of big surge of listeners was all the kind of technical geeky people because they’re the only people that can figure it out. So that’s kind of how I got into podcasting.
Miko Santos: During your younger day, as a bagger in grocery you get fired because you’re not talking to the customer, but now you are a Podcaster .
Dave Jackson: if my 16-year-old self could see me now, they’d be like, no way that’s not going to happen. But yeah, I was I didn’t have a whole lot. I still don’t have a ton of self-confidence. I think we all have that kind of imposter syndrome going on, but I got a job as a grocery bagger and I thought I was doing okay. I was stocking and getting the carts and all everything else. And they just pulled, pulled me into the office one day and they said, yeah, we’re going to let you go.
And I was like, Oh. he goes you’re a nice guy. He goes, but we need you to talk to the customers. And he goes you don’t seem to talk to anybody. And I go, I talk to the cashiers and it’s like, yeah, well, we’re just, you know, he goes, you’re just a little too shy. And I was like, Oh, okay.
And, uh, I went, I had gotten that job through my high school. And the teacher that got me the job kind of pulled me aside and said, Hey, I heard what happened. He’s like, yeah. He goes, I need you to, to be more like my best friend, whose name was Scott, he goes, you need to more be more like Scott or my friend Scott was the direct opposite of me.
He was who’s Mr. Outgoing and Hey, what’s going on in Rio? And I was like, I can not be here that, and he just said, look, here’s what you have to do. I want you to act the way you want to be. And someday you will be the way you act now today we call that fake it till you make it. But it was good advice back then.
So I just decided I will start pretending I’m outgoing and it just kind of got you going. And I ended up taking a speech class and realized that if you can use humor. In a presentation. If I can get people laughing, then I feel a lot more comfortable. So it’s a, it’s one of the things I still laugh. I’ve, I mean, I made a living for decades as a teacher, so I’m standing in front of people doing that.
But if I’m doing a presentation, if I’m doing a keynote or something like that, it’s always kind of funny and it’s completely normal. But about five minutes before I go on my hands turn. Incredibly white and they’re freezing and I’m like, Oh, it must be time for me to go on. I just get a little nervous, but once I start, then I hit the stage. I’m fine.
But my 16-year-old self was definitely not an outgoing person. Now you can’t shut me up.
Miko Santos: What do think about imposter Syndrome. What do you advise to a business owner or entrepreneur who is starting up a podcast?
Dave Jackson: Podcasting can be a good benefit for them, but sometimes they’re not able to do that because they thinking. they cannot do it. It’s hard to do podcasting because of imposter Syndrome.
Yeah. You always have the thing, like who would listen to me. And so there are a couple of things about the number one everybody has an impact. I mean, every, like I just listened to an interview where John Lennon’s kid, Sean interviewed Paul McCartney of the Beatles and he explained how, when they were going through.
They didn’t like, they can’t read the Beatles, can’t read music. I was like, you gotta be kidding me on that. And because of that, they didn’t feel like they were real musicians. I was like, wow. And Garth Brooks was a guy. That God that he was deemed the most successful solo male artist of all time and outdoing, Elvis and everybody else.
And he was going to do a concert in New York city’s central park. And he was worried nobody was going to show up. I was like, you just heard you sold more records than anybody. Like, what else do you need? So we all have that. And I had that when I, and I still kind of occasion that’ll pop in my head and there are a couple of things you have to remember.
When I was a teacher, there were times when I would have to teach an advanced class and you’re always worried, you know, about, Oh, do I know this stuff inside and out? And one of my mentors told me, he goes, look, you don’t have to know everything. You just have to know more than your students. And I was like, that’s a good point.
And the other thing is You don’t have to worry about people. So many people, especially when you’re starting a podcast, you’re like, well, I’m going to put this out for everyone. And while it is going to everyone, not everyone is listening yet. So don’t get worried about these big numbers. Cause when you first start, you’re not going to have big numbers at all.
It takes a while to, build-out the audience. And the other thing we kind of jokingly say on my podcast is nobody’s going to punch you in the face. If you do a podcast and. People don’t like it, they just delete it. They just don’t listen. And so the more, you know, your audience and if you’re a business and you’ve already been running a business, you kind of already know your audience, you know what they want.
The more, you know, your audience, the better the content can be. And then the podcast for a business is not the business. It’s the marketing arm of the business. Now, one of my favorite phone calls I’ve ever received actually has a phone number on my website. And on occasion, I will answer that phone and I pick up the phone and I’m like, Hey, this is Dave.
And the guy goes. Dave Jackson. And I go, yeah. And he goes, you answer your phone. And I go on occasion. He goes, I’m driving from Minnesota to Georgia. He goes, I’ve been listening to you for three straight hours. And I go, man, that is a lot of Dave.
And so that’s what you’re doing is you’re building that relationship with your potential customers because. And this is why we say, if you can share a little bit about yourself, but not just like, Hey today, I’m going to talk about my cat. That’s not really going to do it, but if you need to make a point. An example of that is I talk about how, when you first start, because you don’t have a huge audience, when you start it, it can be a little soul-crushing when you spend five hours on that first episode.
And it goes on, you’re like, wait, I got 30 downloads. Holy cow, wait, what? But. I say you have to have a lot of passion. And so I did an episode on this once and I said, you need to have the passion of a 16-year-old who wants their driver’s license? I said because when I was married, I had a stepson. He was 16.
And every time he sees me, he would say, Hey, can we go driving? Hey, can we go driving Kate? That’s all he thought about. That’s all he wanted to do. And I said, you kind of need that passion. When you first start out, this is something that even if somebody wasn’t paying you, you would be talking about the topic.
Cause you love it. And you love to serve your audience. I said that’s the kind of passion you need. So I put that story out. And I, my audience replied and said, Oh wow, Dave, I’m going through the same thing. My daughter almost killed me last week. And so then now I’ve got somebody contacting me. Now I can start that conversation.
And so that’s a way that they kind of get to know you, and then if you deliver good advice, then they trust you. If I say, Hey, go try this product. It’s actually pretty cool. And they do, and it works. They’re like, Oh, That person seems to know what they’re talking about. And so they know you, they liked you, and now they trust you.
If you can. I always say whatever the schedule is, I do a weekly show, but some people do it twice a month. Some people do it three times a week, whatever it is, pick a schedule and then stick with it. For me,, I publish every Monday. And so people know every Monday you can count on Dave to be on your phone.
So now they know you, they like you and they trust you. So when you do say, Hey, I’ve got a new book profit for your podcast, they go out and buy it. So that’s really what the podcast does. It takes, it’s not the end of cold calling, but the people that listen to your show are much warmer leads than those people that aren’t.
Miko Santos: So you’re saying you have to have a value and serving your audience with the benefit to be them. Do you believe in 100 true Fan ?
Dave Jackson: Yes, if you can get a thousand true fans that literally would just do anything for you because those thousand true fans are also going to tell other people that are really, somebody ties it’s.
Amazing how people will, will just start telling their friends and this and that. So it’s, and it obviously depends on what your market is and what your business is, but when you get a thousand true fans, right, it means you’ve got about 9,000, not super-duper fans, but you got a lot of people that really like your stuff.
So when you have a thousand people because one of the things I talk about in the book is a crowdfunding thing like Patreon. And I said, the more I researched this. It was around 3% of your audience are the people that are actually going to take action to get more information or whatever they’re doing.
So that means 97% of your audience. They like you, they trust you, but they’re not really ready to take action yet, or things like that. So if you have a thousand true fans and that’s 3%, that means you have a generous audience. So yeah, I would definitely think it’s. And then I think that’s the key.
There are a thousand true fans, not a thousand Dave’s okay. Kind of fans.
Miko Santos: Do you believe because of the rating review, you get your places on Apple podcasts.
Dave Jackson: So that’s what everybody says. That’s what everybody says. And that’s an absolute, it’s a falsehood. It’s one of those things that. It’s been repeated so often rate and review the show. It helps us get found. It helps us get found. It helps us get found and it absolutely a hundred percent. And you can prove this so easily. It does not help you get found. Now what it is, it’s social proof. And I know of one instance where it came in handy, where somebody was trying to get a sponsor.
And they went out to their show on Apple. I was like, wow, you’ve got, you know, a fair amount of reviews. And they said, yeah, we have a really active audience. That’s beneficial, but it’s not, I have a friend of mine, Paul Culligan right now that has a client who was number five in the fitness realm.
And he had a screenshot of it and he goes, that person at number five has zero reviews. He goes now the guy’s at one and two and you’ll see where like, number one has like 135 reviews. And number two has. 18 and number three has 47 and you know, he has zero. So it’s just one of those things that have been repeated so often that everybody believes that it’s true and it’s just not.
And if, you know, if people would take a second, to do some research, they could see that that was the other one too. People used to say, you have to launch with at least eight episodes because when somebody subscribes you’ll get eight downloads and I’m like, that takes five seconds to, To just test.
And when you do, if I launch with eight episodes and I subscribe, I get one, download the other seven episodes, the person has to manually go and then click on. And so it’s just one of those things where, you know, nobody does their homework. They’re like, Oh, really great. And off they go. And I get that. If you’re hearing things from somebody that you trust, but the problem is when you get bad information out there that keeps getting.
Repeated and repeated, in the early days of podcasting, somebody said the blue Yeti was a good microphone and it’s not a bad microphone, but nobody said, Oh, by the way, be sure to read the instructions so you know how to use it. And I see video after video. Of somebody who sounds like they’re recording in their bathroom, talking into the top of a microphone that you don’t talk into the top of it.
You talk into it on the side and there’s a setting where it will be, it can pick up every single direction which you don’t want, or you can put it on a setting to only pick up from the front. And so many times people are. Way, far away from the microphone with it set wrong and talking into the top of it.
So there’s always those things where it’s like, well, yeah, somebody said that’s a good microphone, but now they miss the details. And that’s where, um, that’s where people like, uh, like you and I come along with the life and breathe podcasting to say, Hey, you need, you need to tweak that a little bit.
Miko Santos: The next question I have for you, Dave, is that what has been your most unexpected surprise during your podcasting journey so far?
Dave Jackson: I contacted him this year. I had an email from a guy and he said, I want to let you know. I was in a bad place in my life and my best friend of decades I’d grown up with this person died suddenly.
I had lost my job of 20 years and I was waiting to hear. If I had cancer or not, and I was pretty sure I did. And Halloween is my favorite day of the year. And I decided that I was going to take my gun and end my life on Halloween. And he goes, but I heard your podcast.
He goes, obviously, I need to talk to somebody because when you’re seriously considering suicide, you probably should go talk to somebody. He goes, but I just want to let you know. He goes, I consider you the fact that you saved my life, if it wasn’t for your podcast, I’d be dead by now.
And it’s hard to make me speechless, but that one made me cry and I printed it out. And I showed it to my brother and he’s like, you’re kidding me. And I’m like, I go, it’s just me in a spare bedroom talking into a microphone. I go, I didn’t expect any of this kind of stuff. And I was at an event. And a friend of mine is Ken Blanchard. He does a show called speak life and Ken’s got a military background. He’s also a pastor. And, because he kind of connects more with military people. He goes, he goes, I’m not trying to one-up you.
He goes, I got five of those and I go, you’re kidding me. He goes, yeah. He goes, he goes, I had one guy call me. Uh, cause he ends his show. He goes, uh, uh, by the way, I love you. And there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s how he ends his show. And he said he had a guy calling who was literally on the top of a building ready to jump.
So those are the things that. You have no idea. Cause it’s just you, if we go back to that imposter thing, right. It’s just you and a microphone.
I said, so don’t think about losing a hundred pounds. How about if I said let’s lose 10 pounds. Could we do that? Yeah, I think it could do that. Great. I said, and then just lose 10 pounds, 10 times. And about eight months later, I get this email, Hey Dave, I did it. And I’m like, great. What’d you do this podcast is brought to you by AskPat syndicate powered by kangaroo fur and media lab.
You got to kind of be careful what you say. but you also don’t realize how you are affecting people I always say podcasting is a little more like cable television. Than, it is radio because cable television has all these super, you know, the animal planet, weather, channel, cooking channel. These aren’t meant for everybody. These are kind of just one topic, super deep. So the only people that know what it’s like to have colon cancer are those people and the people that find that show is like, I thought I was the only person going through this.
And so now you don’t feel alone. And that is, that is so powerful to have somebody who feels like they’re the only person in the world too, to now I have a whole community. That’s so powerful that and that’s where I really see podcasting, making a difference for people.
Miko Santos: So you’re saying that’s the power of niche, so you have to have your own niche.
Dave Jackson: It just not, well, that’s where the, It can you, you end up with that, those super fans, you don’t have to have a niche, but if I do a show where I’m going to talk about sports and money and society and culture, That’s every TV show out there. That’s the news. So it’s it’s kind of different that way.
So when you have a niche, now I have people I’m talking about a subject that you can’t get anyplace else, especially in a deep dive. I think my favorite example of that, that is just like, wow, you cannot get more niche than that is a guy that contacted me that does a show about a chameleon, the little kind of lizard thing, chameleon breeding.
And I was like, you’re kidding me. And he goes, yeah, he goes, I make cages for chameleon. So I do the show where I give tips about how to breed them and how to raise them. And, Oh, by the way, if you need a cage and, uh, he actually said at one point he was going to, um, his manufacturer, the guy that made the cages said, Hey, can you kind of quit talking about the cages so much on the podcast because we can’t keep up.
And he was actually thinking about doing that. I said, no, my friend, you don’t. You don’t, you don’t turn it down, you turn it up and you get a different manufacturer. I go, so, you know, that’s, that’s great like that. So yeah, you don’t have to niche, but when you don’t, you end up sounding kind of like everybody else.
Anytime I see the title random, you know, where we interview random people, blah, blah. I’m like, Hm. Cause even if it was a show, let’s take a niche. Let’s say I wanted to do a show about blues music. Okay. Is it electric? Blues? Is it, old Delta blues stuff, or if it was a show about the guitar, is it for the beginner?
That’s like, here’s the name of the strings? Or is it for the shredder who can already just play their face-off? Because if it’s for the beginner, the advanced person is going to be bored. And if it’s for the advanced person while the beginner’s lost. So when you focus on. A particular niche. Yes. You’re cutting out some of your audience.
That’s absolutely true. But the people that go like, Oh my gosh, I thought this was for me. Another example, I had a client of mine that I was coaching. And she did a show. Her son was fairly high on the autism spectrum and she loved Disney. And so she did a show called a special mouse, and it was all about how to take people with special needs to amusement parks.
And she was when you talk about somebody who knew the ins and outs, she was not, she knew everything, every single law that parks had to follow and things like that. And she never had thousands of downloads, nowhere near, but the people that found that show was like, Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only person going through that.
And she actually got a sponsor. She found somebody in Florida where the parks were that specialized in transporting people with special needs. So you don’t always need a giant audience to attract sponsors.
So do you have any final advice? Anything else you want to share with our business owners or entrepreneurs who may be considering, starting their own podcast?
Yeah. Those questions that you are tired of answering are great episodes. , I have a website best podcasting gear because people would say what’s the best microphone for under a hundred dollars an hour. And I answered it said for more information, go over here and then they go, well, who should I use for a media host?
Am I go? I recommend Libsyn, but here’s a, if you want more information. So all of those common questions that you’re like, man, if I have to answer that again, make those episodes because if somebody’s asking you that, that also means they’re probably typing it into Google. And how this works is when they come to your website.
And there’s a player on there because really all a podcast is it’s a blog post with media, attached to it. There’s, there’s more to it, but, you know, bare-bones, minimum, that’s it. And so what happens now is they go to that website, they click play and they might be reading your notes, but they’re listening.
But to Google’s eyes, they sent somebody to that page and they stayed there for 10 minutes. And Google goes, that must be really good information because every time I send someone to that site, they stay there longer. And so that will actually help you in the rankings of Google because Google starts to say, that must be very valuable because people spend a lot of time on that website.
So if you’re not sure how to start a podcast and things like that, you know, that’s a good place to do that is, of course, you know, you can always join the school of podcasting and I’ll help you with that.
Miko Santos :Thank you so much. So any parting words before we wrap up the podcast show?
Dave Jackson: No, just thanks for having me on and I really appreciate it. And I’ll just reinstate my, my little inside joke. Nobody’s going to punch you in the face. If you start a podcast, I always say you will either. Come across with a great marketing piece or you’re going to come across with some sort of lesson that okay. That wasn’t for me, but it does take a little time to get up and going.
But once it gets going, it’s like a train, you know, the train starts off slow. Once they build up while then it’s hard to stop them. And that’s kind of how a podcast is. Thank you for your time
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