Manager Tools: Making Money from Podcasting

by David Spark on September 29, 2009

This interview is part of my series “Making Money from Podcasting” (read summary “9 Successful Techniques for Making Money from Podcasting”) where I interview podcasters who are actually generating revenue from their podcasts. There are many techniques, and here’s one person’s tale of how he’s making money from podcasting.

Mike Auzenne, Co-host of Manager Tools podcast

Mike Auzenne, Co-host of Manager Tools podcast

Build your brand to sell your services

Mike Auzenne is the co-host of the Manager Tools podcast, which is also the name of his management consultancy. The podcast is a weekly show that offers easy concrete advice on how you can be a better manager. Auzenne and his partner Mark Horstman have a rather lofty objective, and that’s to improve management across the world. People have had bad bosses and careers have been ruined as a result. Through their podcast, Auzenne and Horstman hope to create a world of better managers.

Interview (Time: 10:52)

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Manager Tools

Since launching their podcast four years ago, Auzenne and Horstman have built their “Manager Tools” brand by offering great actionable content every week, says Auzenne. To build an audience, it’s very important for them to continue to do that. Auzenne didn’t want to create a model where he would only give away half of a solution and then require the audience to pay for the rest of the solution. He’s all about laying it out all there, providing as much value as he possibly can.

Auzenne and Horstman’s business model is to simply build an audience and maintain trust, so when their audience eventually needs management consulting services, they’ll go to Auzenne and Horstman first. Auzenne’s not worried about giving away too much. There’s simply too much information out there, he said. There’s no way for the two of them to capture it all within their show. And even if they do talk about it on one of their shows, and a potential client calls to hire them on that topic, Auzenne will simply point them to the free podcast instead of taking their money.

Egalitarian moves like that have resulted in an ongoing and strengthening foundation of trust. While the audience is getting an education about management, they’re also learning the duo’s management philosophies, said Auzenne. Their audience knows them through their podcast. They’ve built a relationship with them for four years. When the time comes that they do come across a management problem, all of their listeners will be thinking about two people, Auzenne and Horstman.

It’s this long relationship of trust and delivering results to an audience because of the Manager Tools advice, that creates a compulsion to give back when the need arises. That’s when they get hired.

Working as management consultants isn’t the only revenue stream that’s resulted from their four year long podcast. They also offer premium content, which are show notes and slides of the podcast, at a cost $15 a month. They also have a monthly conference series where Auzenne and Horstman travel to cities around the world and people must pay a fee to attend. In addition, there’s a resume review service and a 16-part series on how to interview. Auzenne admits they’ve had multiple offers for sponsorships, but they’ve turned them all away because the advertising model doesn’t currently fit into their model and brand of building trust.

They do no marketing at all. They have built a Manager Tools media network through their podcast and their blog. All of their business, every single piece, comes from people who have listened to their podcast, said Auzenne. Since the duo started podcasting, Auzenne estimates that business has grown ten-fold.

Listen to my interview with Auzenne as he explains and offers advice on how his podcast has translated into this phenomenal growth for his business.

More episodes of “Making Money from Podcasting”

  • Never Not Funny (Technique: “Partial show for free – full show paid”)
  • Personal Life Media (Technique: “Build your own media network of programming and sell advertising against it”)
  • Pregtastic (Technique: “Get your own sponsors”)
  • Elsie’s Yoga Class (Technique: “Sell an iPhone application along with your podcast”)
  • Mac OS Ken (Technique: “Give away five shows for free, make them pay for the sixth”)
  • Alaska HDTV (Technique: “Get your own sponsors”)
  • Duct Tape Marketing (Technique: “Build your brand to sell your services”)
  • ScreenCastsOnline (Technique: “Give away every other episode. Make them pay for the rest.”)
  • Izzy Video (Technique: “Give away every other episode. Make them pay for the rest.”)
  • Slate Gabfests (Technique: “Integrating sponsorship with the show’s editorial”)
  • Wizzard Media (Technique: “Got audience? We’ll get you sponsors. Or, get sponsors on your own and we’ll insert the ads” PLUS “Sell an iPhone application along with your podcast”)
  • (Technique: “Build an audience and sell premium podcasts”)
  • ESPN (“Build your own media network of programming and sell advertising against it”)
  • Mevio (Technique: “Motivate your audience”)

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