In today’s episode, we welcome back Mark to celebrate his success and help him determine his next steps.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey y’all, on today’s podcast we welcome back Mark to celebrate his success and help him determine his next steps.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online and now we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right, let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on everybody, welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast, it is great to be back with you again today. Really, really excited about today’s guest. This is someone who’s been on the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast before. It’s someone we have met in person at one of our Flip Your Life live events, and it’s someone who’s doing some amazing things in the online business world. Our guest today is Mark Taylor. Mark, welcome back.
Mark Taylor: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me back on the show.
Shane Sams: Now, remind everybody where you live at? Because it’s definitely not Kentucky from the sound of your accent, you know what I’m saying?
Mark Taylor: It’s not. It is the UK, but it’s not the University of Kentucky, which I think we were talking about last time. Yeah, I live in a village called Rode, which is about 60 miles just north of London over here in Great Britain.
Shane Sams: I think it’s amazing that you live in a village. We don’t have villages, we’ve got towns, I wish we had villages.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, we’ve definitely not used that word, village. But I am quite obsessed with the UK actually. I think we might have talked about this before. I’ve actually traveled there once and I would love to go back again some time.
Shane Sams: I think we’re going to come soon Mark.
Mark Taylor: Great.
Shane Sams: They’re about to pass all those laws.
Jocelyn Sams: About the visas.
Shane Sams: Where we’ve got to have visas now, the United States people to go to the EU, but I know England’s going to let us in once they get out of there. They’re Brexiting.
Mark Taylor: Absolutely, I think everyone will be welcome.
Shane Sams: We’ll just come to England, we’ll just hang out with you.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, so I love British culture, I’m kind of obsessed with it. I’m a big tea drinker. I drink English Breakfast every morning, so I feel like I have a real kinship with you.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, sure. I do the morning breakfast followed by the mid-morning breakfast, followed by lunch, followed by afternoon.
Shane Sams: Second breakfast, third breakfast and tea.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, sure.
Jocelyn Sams: Believe it or not, southerners, we are big tea drinkers. It’s more iced tea usually but I do drink a lot of hot tea.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, love it.
Jocelyn Sams: All right, well let’s jump into a little bit of background for the listeners, for people who maybe have not listened to a podcast with you on it before. Tell everybody a little bit about you, about your background and what you’ve been doing online.
Mark Taylor: I obviously live here in the UK. My background’s in music. My passion is music, I’m a professional musician. Moved to London and went to music college and studied there and I’ve had the great honor really to play with many of the UK’s leading orchestras and organizations. Through that I’ve had the opportunity then to become an educator, teaching drums, teaching music and played all over the world and extensively also through the UK.
Mark Taylor: What’s been really exciting is I’ve been able to transfer that passion into my online world through Education On Fire. I live here with my wife and we’ve got three children and we have a really lovely life. We talk a lot on the podcast about the ability to have that sort of balance in life and I’ve always had that. My wife and I decided always that we wanted to split the childcare and that she spends a lot of time and we’ve always managed to do that, being freelance and a musician means that we have a little bit of control of our schedule but of course, if you’re not actually away touring or you’re not away working then you don’t quite have the financial freedom that you might have, which is where some of the online ideas came from, in terms of trying to monetize the sorts of things that I was doing. My life really fits into that three pattern really. It’s music playing, music education and then the music and the online education, through Education On Fire.
Shane Sams: The last time you were here, which was, what was that podcast?
Jocelyn Sams: It’s 189.
Shane Sams: All right, for those of you who want to catch that episode, it’s at flippedlifestyle.com/podcast189 but we talked a lot about your podcast, Education On Fire. Now at that time it was more just a passion project, right? It was just something almost like a hobby that you were doing because you had something in your life going on that you really wanted to get involved in the education space, correct?
Mark Taylor: That’s exactly it. I had three children going through different parts of the education world and as we know in the media, and the kind of thing, education’s got a bit of a downer at the moment. There’s lots of testing, lots of people taking their kids out of school and homeschooling. You’re not quite sure how it fits in with the modern world and the passion project really came from the fact that because I was going into schools delivering music workshops, I was also seeing some fantastic teaching going on, some fantastic ideas and things being very creative.
Mark Taylor: What I wanted to do was just really to flip that slightly and the podcast came out of, I want to share inspiring, creative ideas that people were actually doing, so yeah, it was literally a passion project just to support my kids and to support other teachers and people involved in education to feel like, ah there’s great stuff going on over there, maybe I can copy that, maybe I can replicate some of these things and actually make my school a different environment based on what I’m hearing from other places.
Shane Sams: Yeah. But like all passion projects, they take time. There eventually comes a point when you’re like, okay, if I’m going to be putting so much time into this I’m going to need to monetize it. We need to figure out, well how can this not only support the passion, not only support the listeners and not only support the kids, but how can it support and my family a little bit better? That’s the gist of the last episode. We talked about that, tell you a little bit about what’s happened since episode 189 when you came on, what did you do differently after that episode and how have you grown the original podcast?
Mark Taylor: It was really your input and your suggestions. I wasn’t sure what to do, where to head, even where to structure my thought really and you said, speak to your audience, see what it is that they need, see who they are, which is something I found really interesting because I thought well, of course, they’re teachers, they’re people working in schools. I did exactly that, I tried to get some information, ask some people who were listening that I knew and they said, “Well actually some of us are teachers but actually, some of us are parents and actually, I really enjoyed sharing some of this stuff with my adolescent children because actually they’re struggling sometimes and actually were quite interested in the fact that you’re talking slightly differently. You’re talking about things that are outside the box or things which aren’t restrictive. You’re talking about being creative and inspiring.
Mark Taylor: I thought, well that’s really interesting but what I do from there? I could create the odd bonus episode but my Education on Fire podcast, as it originally was, was themed seasons, so if I was talking about English or talking about PE, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fit that in, bar the odd extra episode. Luckily, the platform that I was using, I was chatting to them about it and they said, “Well, you can have a separate feed and why don’t you actually niche down even more and actually create more than one podcast?”
Mark Taylor: So out of that came Learning on Fire, where I basically share conversations with people who are successful partly, but really about living life on their terms. They’re fulfilled in what it is that they’re doing. Some of those interviews are multi millionaires and some of them are actually just people living their dream, doing everything in a very small way, but they’ve actually found a way of creating the life that they want. Just through a series of questions and a conversation, we get to hear a running theme often, about people following their passions, the sort of advice they’ve been given, exactly where their journeys went. Actually whether it was in a straight line, which of course we know is very rarely the case. It just veered off and so from that, this brand new podcast opened up and I essentially just found myself running a network of two podcasts.
Shane Sams: You accidentally started a podcast network.
Mark Taylor: Yeah.
Shane Sams: I don’t think anyone’s ever done that on the show, man. You just accidentally fell into that.
Mark Taylor: Exactly. Yeah, I just thought that running one podcast was so much work that the easiest thing to do was to start another one.
Shane Sams: Oh right, exactly, it’s so simple.
Jocelyn Sams: Totally logical.
Shane Sams: Yeah, we’ve had to do that in past though. One thing we started doing, especially on our YouTube channel, flippedlifestyle.com/youtube, take you right there on the redirect. But we actually had to divide up our stuff a little bit because Flipped Lifestyle is very much helping people start podcasts start their content, start their business. Do the next level things, and we thought that the travel stuff would compliment it, but we found the people that were watching our travel videos were not always interested in the entrepreneurial space. So we actually re-categorized the place on our blog just for those, our YouTube videos, it’s got its own playlist where we just put all the travel review videos. We really don’t even talk about those much on the show because it’s related enough and you think it’s related enough but like you were saying, maybe I’ll throw in an extra episode for two different segments and you realize nope, I’m just going to start this over here and go a different direction. Once you get your workflow, it’s not that bad, right?
Mark Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting because I think inside my mind I went from being just sort of a passion project and doing something on the side, to people suddenly taking a bit of notice and saying, well actually you’ve got a network so therefore you must have something to say. Of course, as soon as you start generating more podcasts and there’s more show notes and more blog posts, all of a sudden your website looks quite authoritative.
Shane Sams: That’s right.
Mark Taylor: All I was doing was the same stuff. All I love doing is chatting to people and sharing their stories. It grew and grew and grew and I was really lucky, at the same sort of time I was involved in a charity called the National Association for Primary Education and I loved being involved in that because not only are they trying to support teachers and parents and everyone involved in education really, from birth to 13, they also have, because they’re a national organization, they do have conversations with ministers, they have a certain amount of influence, as much as anyone does on policy and where education was going. Then I thought this is great because I’m actually able to talk at that level, I’m also able then to talk to teachers and schools and now I’ve got this Learning on Fire podcast, which is for parents and their kids.
Mark Taylor: Then they were just wanting to grow their audience, their membership. They wanted to get their message out there and they said, “Well, you’re already doing this kind of thing.” I said, “Well, yeah I am really. Why don’t we just combine the whole thing?” Two was fine, but why not have a podcast network of three? I said, “Let me produce a podcast for you and then we’ve got all these things then running through this network.” Then they said, “Well that’s great.” I said, “It is quite a big time commitment and it’s really going to need some professionalism really, just to make sure we can keep the regularity and equality going.” They said, “Great, well how about we sponsor the whole network and then we can get our message out through the stuff you’re already doing and then you’ve also got our individual message by the podcast you’re producing specifically for us.” Education on Fire effectively then became a three podcast network all in the space of a few months really and then it’s almost like a full time job, but also it’s part of my professional playing and my teaching as well.
Shane Sams: That’s incredible, and it’s also because really this all came from just a discussion, a simple question like I’m doing something, I’m creating something, how can I make this something that becomes professional and makes money? Well, you grow your audience, you get multiple channels, multiple segments, a big organization takes notice and they’re willing to give you money to be the advertiser on the show. Now you get to make cash from doing this podcast, which is incredible. Tell us a little bit more, you came to Flip Your Life Live last year. You won the award for the longest travel person. No, it wasn’t.
Jocelyn Sams: No, the Australians.
Shane Sams: It was really close, there were some Australians. We had some Australians, you were from England, so you were the European representative of Flip Your Life Live last year. But you had some things that were going on before that, how did that play into getting the sponsorship and professionalizing this network to where you are making money. You’re talking about living the dream, you’re getting paid to podcast, that’s pretty incredible.
Jocelyn Sams: To talk about something that you love talking about which is really cool.
Shane Sams: That’s right, exactly, so how did that play into everything?
Mark Taylor: Well, I think part of it is like you said. It was a passion project that moved in, and what’s really exciting is I was kind of doing what I was talking about, which is that you don’t know where these things are going to head. Follow your dream, follow your passion and see what happens. I was getting to meet so many amazing people. What Flip Your Life Live really did for me was the fact that it just made me think about how you can combine the two. It’s not like if it’s a passion project, that’s okay but don’t really talk about it. Or your professional life is like this and you don’t really talk about it. It was the fact that there were so many similarities in everything that was going on. In terms of if I want to grow my audience I want to do this, if I’m thinking about email marketing, if I’m thinking about social media, I’m thinking about how to build a community.
Mark Taylor: All these things were going on within Flip Your Life and then through the live events and all the prerequisites that you were doing it was like, ah I suddenly start to see how it’s about relationships, how it’s about bringing people together, how it’s about just getting that message out there and actually how you do that. It was those skills that I was learning that I was then able to speak to the National Association and say, “Look, I understand what it is that you’re trying to do and I think we can do this, this, this and this. I think actually that’s going to make a difference to what you’re doing.” There’s no guarantees, we don’t actually know, but I was able to articulate it in such a way by talking in the way that we’ve been doing and how we’ve been chatting within the community and certainly on those Zoom calls and just be able to think, oh actually I really understand it. I can actually see it and because I now understand it, I can get that message across.
Mark Taylor: They jumped onboard and said, “That sounds great. We’ve got no idea how to do that but you’re already doing it. Let’s go for it.” It really is just that sense of the skills that you need to actually created a thriving business, whatever that happens to be, whether it’s online or not actually are often the same in many ways.
Shane Sams: Oh yeah, for sure. What Mark’s talking about here is our live event works really, really differently than other conferences. We actually have weekly now, well we did monthly trainings I think the first year that we did Flip Your Life Live and now we’re doing weekly prerequisite trainings where I am personally guiding people with accountability, through the Flip Your Life blueprint. We get deep into marketing, how to talk to your potential client. Your potential client was this charity. They wanted to sponsor your podcast. Selling an ad is no different than selling a shirt or selling a digital course. How you market that, how you present that, building community around it.
Shane Sams: In the modern world, if you’re not building a community around what you do you’re not going to have a sustainable business. Why do you think 50 million people watched Game of Thrones last week? Because they’ve built this community around this show, around their network and that’s what you’re doing there. I’m just glad that all this has blown up man, because like you are one of the nicest people we have ever met. You’re just a great guy and a lot of people say they have a passion but I’ve always felt like you really are truly in depth passionate about this topic. Even, you were an overnight success because you got this sponsorship and it started paying substantial money each month to be able to sponsor a show but you built these two podcasts and you got deep with your audience and you communicated with them even before it was monetized. How long did you do the podcast before you made this sponsor agreement with the network?
Mark Taylor: It must have been, I think I launched originally in December 2016. 2016, yeah that’s right. Then the sponsorship came through just as we were going to Nashville, so that was August September 2018, so a good 18 months or so.
Shane Sams: You’re an 18-month overnight success.
Jocelyn Sams: How does that make you feel, Mark?
Shane Sams: How does that make you feel? Everyone else is looking in and being like, “Wow, you met the right guy at a party and got a sponsorship in one day for podcasting.” You’re like, “No, that is not what happened. That is not true.”
Mark Taylor: Yeah, I think maybe I’m getting better though because it was like a 10 year success to become a professional musician, so maybe I’m getting the hang of it a bit better.
Shane Sams: Hey, once you do it once you can do the next thing faster. That’s what we always say, right?
Mark Taylor: Yeah, for sure.
Shane Sams: When people come into the community, sometimes they’ll say, “Boy this is a lot of work and I just don’t know if I’m going to … what if I put in all this work and I don’t make it?” We’re like, “At least you learned all the skills.”
Jocelyn Sams: What if you do?
Shane Sams: Yeah, what if you do make it? But at least you learned all the skills so your next pass is a month instead of year, when you try to build something new.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay Mark, it’s been really exciting watching your journey so far and we are just really proud of you and I can’t wait to see what is next. With that in mind, let’s start talking a little bit about how we can help you to grow to the next level you would like to get to.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, so having been to the live event and I really had a really good think about what it was that I wanted to do, what I wanted to focus on and of course, keeping that passion going as well. Being a musician, I decided that I was going to create something music related. The one thing I’m always really grateful for is the fact there was so much music going on at my school that without that, I just wouldn’t have even had the opportunity.
Mark Taylor: I wanted to do something to support teachers and certainly here in the UK there’s a lot of places where they have to teach music but they’re not particularly trained and primary teachers here have to do of course, the whole curriculum, and it’s really quite scary and fearful to suddenly have 30 kids with instruments and know what to do with it. I decided I’d combine the passion that my expertise and I’ve created Primary Music on Fire which is really that initial hand holding teachers into the first things that they can do when they want to do music and giving them some resources and a community where they can come together and just take the fear out of exactly what those initial stages are. That launched in February this year and we’ve had a few members coming. We have one member join before it even launched. I managed to do all the marketing in the way that we talked about in Nashville and amazingly it worked even before the launch day.
Shane Sams: It’s amazing what happens when you take action on what we say on stage. I tell everybody that, because we had people making sales in the room at that day, during sessions people were like, “I just made a sale because I did that last slide.” It’s like, when you do it, it’s crazy what can happen.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, it really is. It was just amazing, it was that kind of, ah. That intermediate result, which like you say, is sometimes the overnight success takes many months or years. Even though it had taken me a few months to put the whole thing together and to kind of work it out and get all the tech in place, I felt like it was a natural progression because it’s still under the Education on Fire brand and I was able to tag everything within the website.
Mark Taylor: I just thought it was a way of me, I’ve been talking about creative and inspiring things and following your passion and I thought well, this is a way for me to say, “Hi I’m a musician and I’m a music educator. This is me doing my passion stuff where I can actually give you direct access to me and also a community and the skills that you’d need just to do that.” It can be just as simple as you’re really scared about doing music tomorrow, come in, sit the kids in a circle, here’s a whole load of rhythm games you can do, which over the 20 years or so I’ve been doing it I know they love and they get so much stuff. I can talk about how you put that into the curriculum, various things.
Mark Taylor: It’s really exciting. We’ve had a few members in there, we’ve done a beta launch and just make sure everything works, which it is. Now I’m literally thinking right, how do I move this forward, how do I get more people in, how do we get people excited about it and start to grow it?
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, so in terms of monetization, what is going on right now? You have the membership, right?
Mark Taylor: Yeah.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, and you’ve officially launched that to your podcast and to your email list?
Shane Sams: Who did you launch this to? Just people who raised their hand that they were interested?
Mark Taylor: Yeah, initially it was the people that I’d had on my email list to say look, this is coming up and people that had been listening to the podcast. Then I did a short podcast season just basically counting down to the fact it was going to be live and people who wanted to be involved. That’s where I got my first few people in from, and so now I’m comfortable that I kind of know how it works, the sort of things that are going to happen, I’m ready to open it out even more.
Mark Taylor: I did start to do a few Facebook ads, which work really well, grew the email list a little bit, so that seemed to be working well and now I can just sit back and see if I can tweak a few things with that and just decide where to go from then. Because one of the interesting things was the fact that when started to talk about this with people they were saying, “Oh that would work great actually in my school.” Then I had some other people through the podcast saying, “I’m a homeschooler and actually I’d really like to learn the ukulele because I could actually do this and learn it with my kids. The other thing I can do is I can then learn a little bit of the basic music stuff, so I don’t need to get an expert into my house to teach it one on one, I can actually do it online.”
Shane Sams: Yes.
Mark Taylor: I thought that was great because they came to me to talk about that and it’s suddenly taken me in a whole different direction, so I’m thinking maybe doing a five day challenge to learn the ukulele. I’ve got someone who does this locally and we’ve got a few videos that we’re working on and just get that going. Then we can incorporate that into the membership as well.
Shane Sams: How much are you charging a month for the membership right now?
Mark Taylor: Well, this is a big thing, is that at the moment all we’re charging is 4.99 a month.
Shane Sams: Is that pounds or USD? What are we talking about here?
Mark Taylor: It’s pounds, but it doesn’t make that much difference.
Shane Sams: That’s right.
Mark Taylor: The reason behind that was because there are organizations and there are things out there which charge, even the most full kind of membership or place where you can get content for music over here are around 250, maybe 300 year. It’s not a massive market and school budgets are what they are. What we found when people were asking us about it, it was often the teachers saying, “Look, we don’t know we what to do but we want to do something.” They were going to put their hands in their pocket to do it. It was really testing the water to see whether actually for the price of a cup of coffee, you could get somebody in to see it and then start to grow it from there. I wanted to start it small enough that we could just test it and get people to go. I fully expect it to go up but I don’t know how much that will be for.
Shane Sams: For sure. You can do a series of raises, like you can go $9, $14.
Jocelyn Sams: Pounds.
Shane Sams: See how far you can push it before sales stop and then you just dial back one, you know what I mean? We’re homeschoolers and we usually look for resources that are in that $10 a month range because we signed up for, what’s it called, Reflex?
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah.
Shane Sams: Reflex Math. It’s like math games. There’s another one coming out next month called like Adventure Academy, we’re looking at to give kids that supplemental thing. As a homeschooler, that stuff adds up. If you’re doing a Math one and a Science one and a Music one and an English one, all of a sudden you’re paying 50 bucks a month on a $5 a month thing. I think it is smart to keep it low because the market’s infinite. It’s the schools, it’s the teachers, it’s the homeschool market. You’ve got a ton of people, you’re only going to need … if you get 1000 people in the world to do this thing then that’s still four or 5000 extra dollars a month of top of what you’re already doing, basically.
Mark Taylor: Yeah.
Jocelyn Sams: I feel like with your experience with the sponsorships, you might even be able to get people to come in and do sponsorships on the site. A lot of times, people who do lower-cost recurring revenue models, they will supplement with other people advertising on their platform. Maybe it’s companies who sell to educators who might be interested in doing that, if that’s something that you might be interested in bringing in to supplement that.
Shane Sams: Or even like instrument companies or you partner with somebody and if you can grow this thing to 100 people and you tell the ukulele company, “Hey, why don’t you be the official ukulele of Primary Music on Fire? I’m in all these schools, I’ve got all these teachers.” Then all of a sudden they’re like, “Yeah, I will do that for another couple of hundred dollars a month.” Basically, at the beginning of your lesson like, “I got my ACME ukulele here.” Whatever, you just give a little pitch. It’s almost like a product placement. It’s unlimited how much you can do with it once you get inside.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, you don’t want it to be a total pitch fest the whole time. I hate it when I pay for something and there’s still super intrusive ads. I don’t like that but I feel like if you can say to people, “Okay, I play this particular instrument, I really like it. I do get an affiliate commission from this if you purchase it but it costs you no extra and it helps to support the site.” I’m okay with that.
Shane Sams: Tying that back into your sponsorships, let me ask you this. Currently you have a sponsorship with this one company for your podcast, is that exclusive? Is that completely exclusive?
Mark Taylor: It’s exclusive for the first year. Amazingly, they wanted to do this for the long haul, which I’m really pleased about because the organization needed a bit of support from a tech point of view, so I helped them do that as well. I said it’s going to need time to grow, so they’re an exclusive sponsor for this first year, which will finish in the summer but then as they start to bring their sponsorship level back a little bit, the agreement is that I can then open it up to new sponsors as well, so yeah it does certainly infinitely give me more and more opportunities.
Mark Taylor: One of the great things I like about the idea of the instrument sponsorship idea is that I’d thought not so much about that, the affiliate thing a little bit more, because it’s actually such a low entry level I thought actually that kind of being able to promote resources that I use all the time in schools would be a good way of doing that, and actually having a bit of an affiliate income coming through that. But actually having a specific sponsor for the various things that we’re doing is a brilliant idea.
Shane Sams: Yeah, if the drum lesson was 100 bucks a month and then you had the ukulele was 100 bucks a month and then something else was … all that adds up over time. Let me ask you this, you said you promoted this Primary Music on Fire though within the network, correct? Even though they’re the exclusive title sponsor that’s paying you this four figure a month income, you still promoted Primary on Fire on your podcast, correct?
Mark Taylor: Yeah, that’s right. The National Association for Primary Education, they’re the official sponsor, they’re the ones that are the guiding light at the moment for this year, but I was still able to bring Primary Music on Fire there as my own kind of sponsor, as it were, just to show that that was the case. I’ve got a few intros, a few outro sponsorships that I can do for their own it and it’s quite prominent on my site as well. I think of that feeds itself because I’ve got people coming into one part of the podcast listening about English and then they’re thinking, oh, there’s a bit of music there. I think that sort of cross-promotion seems to work quite well.
Shane Sams: See, one I would talk to your sponsor about this too, but they seem to be okay with you promoting your own stuff, right?
Mark Taylor: Yeah.
Shane Sams: Not as an external sponsor. I would really start thinking if you want to really grow Primary Music on Fire, and at the same time prepare for the big revenue increase, which is when your exclusivity ends and you can go out and basically find three more title sponsors at that price and then work out where you put your spots in the show to be able to advertise all these things. Once that ends, which is this summer, in a few months, you’re literally going to be able to go out and find two or three more sponsors and boom. Your income is going to triple, just like that.
Shane Sams: But the real growth is if you can put 5000 people in your membership, that’s huge. You could go ahead and start working within that framework, which you’re already in right now and really formalizing where ad spots go, not just the title sponsor, where do you read them at? Do you talk about them at the beginning, or what do you do?
Mark Taylor: Yeah, it’s really at the beginning. A little tag at the end and then they’re on the show notes.
Shane Sams: Okay, perfect, so what do you need to do is leave them at the beginning right now because they’re the exclusive sponsor. I would dedicate a whole middle spot to Primary Education on Fire every week and maybe give out a free lesson to get the opt in. Then I would probably formalize the ending into less of a throwaway, oh and don’t forget our title sponsor. That’s a third commercial spot, basically and you really treat it like an official place because what’s going to happen is basically you’re going to bid out the next sponsor and if they pay more, they become the front sponsor. Your thing goes in the middle and whoever’s left goes on the end, or wherever you want to put them.
Shane Sams: You could even rotate them through the different shows, every sponsor doesn’t get every single episode. It’s more like, okay, this package we’re doing one a week for three shows, so this package includes 10 spots. You may have a total, if you do three, four, 12, you may have a total of 12 spots and they can buy a package of six or 10 or whatever. That’s where the real money is going to come from, but you can go ahead and start practicing this now and put two spots in for Primary Music on Fire every single episode. I bet you can go ahead and start pouring more of these next level beta members in to really push the ramp up. You could even go ahead and raise your price and try now and just use that as a commercial, treat it like a sponsor is paying you to do that spot. Don’t just mention it like, “Hey, I’m launching this other thing.” That’s how you instantly start getting more people because this is just an awareness thing. You’ve go three podcasts that people are actually listening to, so every podcast they just need to know about the ways that they can pay you and you’re going to be off to the races with that. What do you think?
Mark Taylor: I think that’s great, and interestingly, it feels exactly the same as when I finished the podcast we did before. It’s that kind of, oh yeah, it’s taking me to a new professional level in the way you’re thinking about that and actually placing it and feeling like every bit has its own place in how you utilize that. Interestingly, one thing which I thought was a negative a little while ago, as I started to have marketing people contact me and say, “I’ve got so and so who wants to come on your show.” I was like, well I’m not quite sure if they’re an exact fit. But having got some on, they’ve been brilliant guests and they’ve really bought into the whole ethos of what I was doing. A lot of those people are working with companies who have got things that they want to promote, so it feels like there’s going to be a natural progression and a way of working with these people, going forward, and I think the sponsorship idea, like you say, once it starts to really feel like it’s something they can get into, will be fantastic.
Shane Sams: They key is right now, imagine Primary on Fire is led by the CEO Mark Taylor and another Mark Taylor is running the podcast network. You literally have made a deal with Primary Music on Fire, just like you did with this charity, to be a title sponsor. Now how would you treat that ad spot now? You wouldn’t treat it as, oh Mark I’ve got this new thing. I’d like for you to try it, if you’re interested, you can if you want to, go email, whatever. It’s now like, “And remember, today’s episode is also brought to you by Primary Music on Fire, another part of the network.” Another thing that you do, do you advertise your other shows on each show? Do you do that?
Mark Taylor: Not on each show. I’ve got better at cross promoting it in a more natural way throughout the conversations, so that’s been a bit better and then I’ve occasionally done the odd specific show just to say, of course I’m doing this, this and this. But actually not as an official short pitch on each episode.
Shane Sams: I would formalize that process because that’s the power of a podcast network, that’s where the leverage actually comes from. Every podcast in the network promotes every other podcast in the network, which grows every other podcast in the network, and that way you have more leverage when you’re negotiating these advertising fees. Then try to figure out a way to get three to four spots in, maybe one of the spots is to promote one of your other shows, “Don’t forget we also do Education on Fire if you’re an educator or you know an educator, go do this. Advertise your own thing and then you can have two title sponsors, your prices will probably go up as the audience goes up. All of a sudden you’re looking down and you may have a five figure podcast instead of a four figure podcast, just like that.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, I think that’s great and it’s perfect timing I think because like I said, I’ve got probably another three or four months at the most before the exclusivity finishes and if I start thinking about putting those foundations in place now I can really hone that ready to open the doors later on in the summer.
Shane Sams: You should start finding advertisers right now, even though you can’t advertise them yet. You don’t want to wait until you can lose the exclusivity, you want to have it ready to go out the gate, you know what I’m saying?
Mark Taylor: Sounds fantastic.
Shane Sams: All the negotiation’s done, the contracts are signed, you have a start date, it’s all good to go.
Mark Taylor: Brilliant.
Shane Sams: How else have you decided to monetize the podcast?
Mark Taylor: Those are the main ways of the moment. I did wonder, because I’ve had so much positive feedback from parents through the Learning on Fire podcast, because they’re just wanting to support their teenagers, they know the sorts of angst that they go through, they know how difficult it is to impart what we deem to be really great information. I always think of it as if it’s really a half an hour conversation where you’re trying to give all the great advice and things that you’ve learnt, to your children in one go. It’s that sort of fireside sit down chat, but we know in reality, certainly with two teenagers in our house, it’s very difficult to have those conversations sometimes.
Mark Taylor: I was chatting to someone the other day and they were like, “Yeah, it’s almost like what we want to be doing is we want to be sitting in the car listening to the podcast.” A few things get brought up and then the conversations just start to come. “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that. Oh yeah, I’ve read that book or I listened to that podcast. This or that advice that was given to me by a mentor that I was doing. That’s brilliant, how does that work?” Then they were just saying it’s much more natural feel. I wonder whether creating something like Patreon or including something like that might be a way of being able to give my audience a chance to buy into what I’m doing, because I really feel like they’re really feeling like it’s something that they want to be able to support their children with.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, I like the idea of trying it. It really can’t hurt anything to try it and see what happens.
Shane Sams: This does seem like a place where it would work.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, I agree. I think that it could definitely work. I would definitely try it. I love the idea of having multiple revenue streams, I think that they will feed off of each other, like you were saying. I can’t wait to see what happens, I think that you’re onto something really cool.
Shane Sams: The thing about Patreon really in this case because you don’t have to do much to make it work, you could even just have a simple, you get to listen to all the podcasts a day early if you support me on Patreon.
Jocelyn Sams: There’s one podcast, I’m obsessed with True Crime podcast, so there’s one podcast in particular that I support on Patreon and pretty much the only thing that they do is they release it one day early for people who support them on Patreon and it’s also ad free. That’s a very simple thing that you can do.
Shane Sams: Ooh, yeah.
Jocelyn Sams: But for me it’s worth it because they come out every Monday and by the time Monday rolls around I am freaking out because I want the podcast to come out so bad, so for me it’s worth it because I get it that one extra day early.
Shane Sams: You can even do something like, especially I feel like you’re feeling this is more the parent angle, that’s what it sounds like when you’re talking about this. Would the parents be more likely to support you on Patreon than say, buy the thing.
Mark Taylor: Yeah.
Shane Sams: You could do, “Hey, you love listening with your kid on the thing, well guess what? There’s an ad free version on Patreon. You get to listen to the ad free version a day early and then maybe you just record one bonus episode a month that’s really geared towards that thing that they like that you get to say in front of your kids, you know what I’m saying? Maybe there is that bonus episode. You could even call it the Kids in the Car episode. You’ve specifically made this thing for them to listen to with their kids in the car. Like a sneak attack on their kid for wisdom. But that’s all you’ve got to do, it’s not any extra work at all, you just have someone edit the commercials in one episode, out the other and you just post it in different places and people are more than willing to pay for that stuff, absolutely.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, it’s like the Stealth Learning Podcast.
Shane Sams: It is, and again, that’s another fake ad. It’s not a fake ad but it’s another ad spot that you could even go ahead and implement right now, like your next podcast could have Primary Music on Fire in the middle, don’t forget to support us on Patreon at the end and then you’re already ready to show advertisers, hey I’ve got multiple ad slots here for you.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, brilliant.
Jocelyn Sams: All right, Mark, it has been a really fun conversation with you today and we’re really, really excited to see where this thing goes to next. But before we go we always ask our guest what is one thing that you plan to take action on in the next day or so, based on what we talked about here today?
Mark Taylor: I think the thing I’m going to do straight away is actually segment down the ideas of how I can make the advertising work, how I can put the pitches in place, using what I already have and then I think, think of that as that next professional level, in terms of how I can then grow that going forward. I think that’s going to be great advice and something that’s going to work really well.
Shane Sams: There’s a strategy out there called the Dream 100 strategy. If you just sat down one day and were thinking about it, who are the 100 perfect sponsors? You may not get to 100, you may only think of 20 but think of the 100 perfect sponsors for your audience and your topic, write all those people down and then start reaching out to them and see if you land four of those 100 perfect sponsors that you’ve identified as perfect for your brand, that way you can pitch them exactly like they need to be pitched to realize they’re perfect for your brand. If you land three or four of them you’ve basically four extra business overnight and all you’ve got to do is put in a little bit of legwork to reach out to them. You’re good to go.
Shane Sams: Now if you’ve got the platform ready when you reach out to them you can say, “Hey, I’ve got a spot at the 10 minute mark that I’m using right now but I would love to plug you in there. It’s 1000 bucks a month, it’s 2000 bucks a month. It’s whatever it is a month, then you’re ready to roll and you’re going to be able to knock those sponsors out really quick too. That might even be something you can do next level, once you figure that out, who are the 100 perfect sponsors for this podcast? I’m going to reach out to every single one of them.
Mark Taylor: Yeah, absolutely love it. I think that’s a great idea.
Shane Sams: All right man, well listen, thank you so much for coming back on the show, Mark, man, it was good to catch up with you, haven’t talked in a little while, haven’t seen you since Flip you Life Live so it was great to hear your voice again and man, thanks for sharing your success and sharing your transparency and sharing the fact that it takes a long time to become an overnight success. Man, just keep going because I think you’ve stumbled into something that has unlimited potential if you just keep pushing it.
Mark Taylor: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it and thanks again to the community for everything they do and supporting inside there. My lasting memory of Nashville, I think the first time I saw you I was on my way back to my room, we were just walking along the corridor and you’re like, “Hey, Mark,” and gave me a big hug. I was like, ah I’m in a community that I love here. This is fantastic.
Shane Sams: I’m a hugger, Mark. I’m a hugger man.
Jocelyn Sams: We’re very happy to have you as a part of it.
Mark Taylor: That’s very kind of you, thanks so much.
Shane Sams: All right guys, what another great discussion with Flip Your Life community member, Mark Taylor. Man, he is doing great things. He’s taking massive action and he’s building a business that he loves. We want you to do the same thing and the best way that you can take your online dreams to the next level is to join me and Jocelyn at Flip Your Life Live in Lexington, Kentucky this September. Maybe you will run into me in the hallway and I can give you a hug too. We would love to see you there. It’s an amazing event. We are right now starting our weekly prerequisite trainings. We train our members on how to get the most out of this live event. Nobody else, no other business conference does this. You’re going to get weekly training, weekly accountability with us so that we can help you be prepared to take advantage of Flip Your Life Live and then take your life and business to the next level after the event.
Shane Sams: You can learn more about Flip Your Life Live 2019 at flippedlifestyle.com/live. That is F-L-I-P-P-E-D-L-I-F-E style, S-T-Y-L-E.com/live. Go to flippedlifestyle.com/live to see if there are any tickets left. We are almost sold out of the event so you want to make sure you go there today, you secure your spot and we will see you in Lexington, Kentucky this September. All right, guys that is all the time we have for this week. Thanks for listening. Until next time, get out there and take action. Do whatever it takes to flip your life. We’ll see you then.
Jocelyn Sams: Bye.
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