How a Half-Time Dinosaur Podcast Turned a Full-Time Enterprise

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Sabrina and Garret

There’s by no means been a greater time to construct an internet enterprise round a subject you care about.

This week’s The Facet Hustle Present company are proof of that.

Garret Kruger and Sabrina Ricci are the husband and spouse team behind IKnowDino.com, which began as a aspect hustle and is now the world’s #1 dinosaur podcast.

Not dangerous for a few non-paleontologists!

It wasn’t an in a single day success. Actually, it took 6 years for the 2 of them to really feel snug going full-time within the enterprise.

However they’ve had a blast alongside the best way — interviewing paleontologists, speaking about dinosaurs, and constructing a passionate dino-loving group.

Tune in to The Facet Hustle Present interview to listen to:

  • how Garret and Sabrina grew their viewers
  • the other ways they monetize their present
  • the way you might be able to borrow a few of the identical techniques for your online business

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The Concept to Begin a Dino-Associated Podcast

Garret and Sabrina rediscovered their childhood love for dinosaurs whereas relationship, and even had a dino-themed wedding ceremony.

“After the marriage, we didn’t wish to cease speaking about dinosaurs so we determined to start out a podcast,” Sabrina advised me.

Sabrina added that she might see that there have been paleontology podcasts on the market already, however none that had been actually targeted on dinosaurs.

We’re within the “Golden age” of dinosaur discovery proper now, Sabrina defined.

New dinosaurs are being found on a weekly foundation, so she and Garret noticed a niche and a necessity for a podcast that was going to cowl these new discoveries.

Aggressive Evaluation / Concept Validation

Garret mentioned that once they began their web site again in 2012 and their podcast in 2015, they handled it as a interest and thought it would generate a little bit of aspect revenue at greatest.

Garret advised me there have been two essential sorts of competing podcasts on the time:

  • Reveals that had been purely educational
  • Companies promoting dinosaur-related merchandise that began a podcast for additional publicity

Neither of them was doing what Sabrina and Garret wished to do. So, there actually wasn’t a lot competitors on the time.

The draw back was that they might see these reveals didn’t have any sponsors and so they couldn’t see a transparent path to monetizing their very own podcast at the moment.

Gaining Traction and Rising an Viewers

A number of strategies and advertising strategies Sabrina and Garret have used to achieve preliminary traction and develop their viewers over time are:

Timing the Launch of the Present With the Jurassic World Film

Sabrina advised me they timed the discharge of their present across the launch of the Jurassic World film in 2015.

They launched their first episode a couple of months earlier than the film got here out. Sabrina mentioned that is what helped them get featured on Apple Podcasts.

Entrance-Loaded Content material

Sabrina advised me additionally they front-loaded quite a lot of content material and launched two reveals every week for the primary eight weeks.

This helped them additionally get featured within the “New and Noteworthy” part of Apple Podcasts which was nice for publicity.

Collaborations With Different Reveals

Sabrina and Garret have at all times been open to showing on different reveals, in addition to inviting different podcast hosts onto their present.

Numerous their listeners immediately inform them they discovered the I Know Dino podcast by listening to different reveals, Sabrina advised me.

How Lengthy Earlier than You Noticed Some Traction?

Garret advised me that he assumed they might see some development by search engine marketing early on as he had arrange their web site and podcast itemizing to seize search phrases associated to “dinosaur podcasts”.

Actually, on the time of penning this, once I search “dinosaur podcast” in Google, I can see I Know Dino is rating #1.

Nonetheless, the spikes in viewership actually got here once they had been featured by Apple as a brand new and noteworthy present.

“I believe we had been getting roughly 50 downloads a day after every week or two,” Garret advised me.

Shortly after, the present was featured by Apple once more and after the spike settled they had been getting a couple of hundred downloads a day.

Utilizing Annual Listener Surveys to Enhance The Present

One thing Sabrina and Garret began doing as a manner of gathering suggestions to enhance their present was to ship out a listener survey annually.

Garret mentioned they’d give a shout-out on their present and share a hyperlink on their social media accounts to try to hold the responses inside their viewers.

He even has a query on the survey asking how usually — or if in any respect — the particular person filling out the survey listens to the present.

This permits Garret to strike off anybody who says they aren’t listening to the present and take the suggestions from common listeners extra severely.

The suggestions has been invaluable over time in serving to Sabrina and Garret enhance the present.

Actually, it was the suggestions from listeners that helped Sabrina and Garret understand they’d a difficulty with the audio on their reveals.

Banter can also be one thing that’s come up over time. Some listeners mentioned there wasn’t sufficient banter, some have mentioned it was an excessive amount of.

Two years in the past the suggestions was that the banter was about proper. Garret mentioned he was completely happy to get that proper after years of attempting!

Beginning a Patreon Marketing campaign

Beginning a Patreon marketing campaign round 6-8 months into producing the present has been enormous for Sabrina and Garret.

This was instrumental in validating that they had been releasing a present individuals had been thinking about and extra so prepared to pay for.

“OK, we’re making content material and individuals are paying us for it — from then on we didn’t take into account stopping,” Garret advised me.

Changing into a Patron is the principle name to motion Sabrina and Garret use throughout every of their reveals.

Through the years they’ve eliminated decrease tiers and added greater tiers as they’ve been capable of supply extra perks, and it’s turn into a dependable recurring supply of revenue for them.

Patreon additionally supplies quite a lot of integrations to assist out creators. Garret mentioned they make use of as many of those as they will to drive extra signups.

The most important one they use is the Discord server integration. New Patrons robotically get added to Sabrina and Garret’s Discord server, so long as they’ve a Discord account.

As soon as in Discord, Sabrina and Garret are capable of higher talk with their Patrons.

They ask their members if they’ve questions for his or her company, give them entry to different options, and it helps carry them nearer to a few of their listeners.

Present Patreon Membership Ranges

The present membership ranges and perks that Sabrina and Garret supply are:

  • $4/mo – Entry to prolonged interviews, Discord server entry, the power to request a “dinosaur of the day”, and a Patreon-only content material feed.
  • $8/mo – All the perks within the $4/mo plan plus a shout-out on air.
  • $10/mo – All the perks within the $8/mo plan plus ad-free reveals.
  • $20/mo – All the perks within the $10/mo plan plus free copies of all their ebooks.
  • $100/mo – All the perks within the $10/mo plan plus an unique annual reward.

The present annual reward for the $100/mo membership is a steel print of Sabrina’s dinosaur artwork, in order that’s fairly cool!

Garret advised me that individuals typically “choose the center one” in relation to pricing. By default, Patreon reveals the $4, $8, and $10 tiers with $8 within the center, so most of their Patrons select the $8.

You may see the I do know Dino Patreon web page right here.

Constructing an Electronic mail Checklist

Sabrina and Garret even have an e mail listing that they use to carry individuals into their ecosystem.

They offer a shout-out on their present for individuals to pop over to their web site to enroll. When somebody visits their web site, a pop-up seems with a suggestion for a mini audiobook if somebody opts in.

When new subscribers join, they’re despatched a couple of informational welcome emails.

Subscribers additionally get despatched the present notes for every episode of the present, and after a while might be invited to their non-public Discord server.

Totally different Income Streams

Sabrina and Garret have monetized their podcast in a number of methods past Patreon, together with:

“Our first sponsor was a few 12 months into it,” Sabrina advised me.

Sabrina and Garret went on a dinosaur street journey visiting a bunch of museums and interviewing museum employees.

A pal of theirs instructed they method the museums and ask if they might sponsor their present, telling Sabrina and Garret that museums have advertising budgets.

So, that’s what they did.

After build up some rapport with museums by visiting and interviewing varied workers members, Sabrina mentioned they’d ask them in the event that they’d prefer to sponsor their present.

One museum mentioned sure straight away. Garret mentioned this wouldn’t have been potential with out placing within the “face time” and visiting these museums in particular person.

You probably have a podcast and are in search of sponsors, Sabrina recommends testing Podcorn.

Popcorn is a market that connects manufacturers with podcasters and so they’ve used it to seek out further sponsors.

A few others I learn about are Gumball.fm, and AdvertiseCast.

Programmatic Advertisements

Garret mentioned they’re utilizing Art19 to host their podcast and have arrange programmatic adverts by Art19.

All Garret has to do is mark the locations in his episodes the place he’s prepared to run adverts, and Art19 will fill the areas with adverts the place relevant.

Ebook Gross sales

Sabrina has a background in publishing and has authored numerous dino-related books.

All of their books can be found to buy from their web site, Amazon, and another locations on-line.

Donations

Garret mentioned that individuals had been reaching out to him saying they wished to make a donation or pay them a recurring quantity completely different to what they’re providing on Patreon.

So, he arrange a Stripe integration on their web site the place individuals pays any quantity at any time.

Merch

Sabrina defined that they work with an artwork design firm that produces logos and artworks, and she or he then syndicates the artwork throughout varied merch gadgets.

A few of their merch gadgets embody:

  • Numerous gadgets of attire for youths and adults
  • Face masks
  • Wall artwork
  • Mugs
  • Cellphone instances and stickers

Sabrina and Garret additionally ran a fan competitors for a few month. They invited members of their group to ship in their very own paintings.

They’d about 22 designs submitted, and members of their group voted on which designs they wished to see added to their line of merch.

The winners had their designs added to the shop.

Sabrina and Garret are utilizing Teepublic as their print-on-demand supplier. The perfect half for the winners of the competitors is that Teepublic additionally sends them royalties each time one in every of their gadgets is bought.

Web site and YouTube Advertisements

Sabrina and Garret have Google show adverts on their web site and in addition make some cash from advert income by their YouTube channel.

Most of their YouTube movies are their podcast episodes with static photographs. They do additionally add another dino-related movies and do reside streams infrequently.

Going Full-Time With the Enterprise

Garret left his full-time job to work on I Know Dino full-time a couple of years in the past, and Sabrina adopted a few 12 months in the past.

“I’d say we’re nonetheless not totally snug,” Garret advised me.

Garret mentioned his stress stage is immediately associated to what number of sponsors they’ve queued up.

With out good sponsors, there are nonetheless instances when issues are tight. However Sabrina and Garret are totally dedicated to engaged on the enterprise full-time and it’s nonetheless rising.

What’s Subsequent?

Sabrina mentioned they bought some good suggestions of their final annual listener survey asking them to revisit a few of the extra fundamental dinosaur matters.

She’s excited to create a few of this content material. It’s been some time since she’s labored on that type of evergreen content material.

Figuring out extra about search engine marketing and methods to create content material now, each Sabrina and Garret suppose they will do a greater job revisiting a few of the questions and matters they lined a couple of years in the past.

They’ve additionally launched a podcasting course which you’ll find at CompletePodcastingCourse.com.

Right here Sabrina and Garret share every little thing they’ve realized alongside the best way on their very own podcasting journey and another ideas for brand new podcasters.

Sabrina’s #1 Tip for Facet Hustle Nation

Be constant.”

Garret’s #1 Tip for Facet Hustle Nation

Choose a subject you’re obsessed with.”

Hyperlinks and Assets from this Episode

Obtain Your Free Bonus: The Podcast Starter Package

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Get the free Podcast Starter Package

The Facet Hustle Nation information to podcasting tools and software program, producing a high quality present, rising your viewers, and earning money.

I will additionally ship you my greatest aspect hustle ideas and weekly-ish e-newsletter.
Choose-out anytime.

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