Jonathan welcomes Harry Duran, Host of Podcast Junkies and Vertical Farming Podcast and Founder of FullCast. In this episode Harry shares his insights on what it takes to be a successful podcaster, including the importance of focus, productivity, and building relationships.
Harry and the FullCast team also helped launch the Mindful Money podcast and support Jonathan in the production and marketing of these episodes.
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22:23 – If you want to start your own business, there are plenty of free resources available. You don’t need to pay for everything up front – only pay for what will get you there faster. Focus on learning what you need to take the next step, rather than hoarding knowledge.
26:20 – On building a personal brand – Take the time to build a strong personal brand that will attract an audience and make you stand out from the crowd.
31:59 – The most jarring thing for entrepreneurship, coming out of that disciplined 9-5f is being responsible for your own time and having the disciplines to put in some structure.
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Jonathan DeYoe: Hi there, and welcome to the 18th episode of the Mindful Money podcast. On this episode, I’m chatting with Harry Duran. He’s the host of the popular podcast Junkies, the author of around the podcast campfire, and the founder of Fullcast Co. A full service podcast production company. He’s also the guy I chose to help me launch the Mindful Money podcast. The reason I chose him, aside from his experience and knowledge, is that he never tried to sell me anything. He was consultative throughout, helped me learn about the industry, helped me learn all kinds of stuff and get comfortable. And I think the process took 18 months to 24 months for him to finally say, yeah, go ahead and do it. Um, and he seriously loves podcasts. So, Harry, thanks for joining me on the Mindful Money podcast.
Harry Duran: Thanks for having me on. Jonathan, it’s been a real pleasure to be working with you these past few months, and, uh, excited to see the growth in your podcast journey.
Jonathan DeYoe: And, uh, I’m really excited to have you here and hopefully sort of help other people get to the same place. Where do you call home?
Harry Duran: Uh, Minneapolis. My heart probably still belongs to New York City. That’s where I grew up. And, uh, if we’re getting really accurate, I was born in El Salvador. My parents brought me to New York when I was a year old, so most of my adult life was in New York, Yonkers, New York, to be specific, just outside. But I have lived in Manhattan, in Brooklyn. So, um, definitely have some love for New York. And then I had a stint for about four years in La prior to Minneapolis. And then when people ask me what I’m doing in Minneapolis, the short answer is love.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I get that for. That’s probably why I’m still in Berkeley. Um, love. Ah, it’s a driving force. What kind of lessons? Probably none in El Salvador, but probably lessons in New York growing up about money. Kind of lessons did you learn?
Harry Duran: Well, interestingly enough, I think, um, my parents being immigrants, there’s definitely a work ethic, there’s definitely a reminder to save. I mean, I vividly remember being in the south part of Yonkers in an apartment that was with, uh, three siblings, so four of us total. And my parents having this drive and this passion to get us to buy us that first house. And so definitely just seeing every possible manner we could to save. And a lot of rice and bean dinners. Back then they were really focused on living that dream and they were able to make that happen. So it was like late seventy s, seventy eight, I think is when we moved into the house that they still call home. Um, and that’s my childhood and where I grew up. And then, um, I think it was just instilled in me by my dad, just the importance of savings and not getting into debt. And I didn’t really necessarily follow all those to A-T-I somehow had to learn some of those lessons myself. The hard way. Yeah, for sure.
Jonathan DeYoe: There’s a lot of research on immigrant culture being very entrepreneurial. I’m wondering if you had any of those lessons. I’m sure that your parents had multiple jobs, but did they have their own gigs?
Harry Duran: No, I think my dad, I think, was working in a factory job when he first got here. But I don’t know what or where the inspiration came from. But there was these magazines that he says he remembers reading and at the back of the magazine. And this has got to be like in 70s, late 70s, where, uh, there’s talk about these computer education, like learning computer systems, computer repair, something along those lines, but something that triggered something in him where he realized this was going to be a better option. So he went back to school to learn basically how to repair. Because I guess the headlines at the time were like, computers are the future. He, uh, had a calling for that and he went back and as an immigrant, learning English was the first challenge for him. And then going back and working at these companies to learn, he, uh, eventually ended up working. I think some of the companies that I remember early on are TrW systems and then eventually Exxon at some point had like a computer department that he worked on. But I really credit my love and passion for computers to him taking that leap and really deciding, like, there was an opportunity for a better chances for our family if he had a job that paid more, a job that had some growth potential in it.
Jonathan DeYoe: So there was a leap to improve education and an openness to, uh, new things. Where did the entrepreneurship thing come for you? I mean, where did that arise?
Harry Duran: I think it came later on. I think, um, he always had the nine to five job, and then there was a point when he left, or I think his job got eliminated and he was in between jobs. So he was trying to do something entrepreneurially related. And because of his, uh, experience with computer repairs, I remember creating business cards for him. He had the business he was going to call pc prescription, and then he kind of looked into that and the cost of getting a real estate and an office, because this was still like probably 80s, late 80s when he was considering this. And thankfully my mom talked him out of that and he didn’t go down that route. He ended up getting a job at a university. And then for me it was always just side things because I was in my nine to five world as well. Um, I got my first job in banking, I think, when I was like 22 and really didn’t look back. And then probably towards maybe 15 to 20 years in corporate and I would do one off things like, my friend had a promotion company, he wanted me to help start that with him. It wasn’t until I got into mobile apps. And this is, uh, probably late 2014. No, probably. I tried a couple of things because I always wanted to see what was an opportunity because I realized, oh, this is something that I want to be a part of. Needless to say, that didn’t pan out. And I actually ended up cashing out my four hundred and one k to just sustain me. And that’s huge. No, no, I’m sure, in the world of personal finance and planning, but I really saw it as an opportunity to learn and to just dive feet first into this world. So year and a half, probably later, it didn’t pan out. And thankfully, I had my corporate godfather who always was able to get me new positions and I ended up working with him in three different companies, five different positions. So he was always good to me from the day I started in the bank. So I ended up coming back probably 2001, and was working at JPMorgan Chase then for a little bit, but the bug had started at that point, I’m like, oh, what can I do differently? Or how can I take control of my own destiny? I reunited with my half brother at the time who lived in Atlanta, and he owned a construction company, of all things, masonry company and siding. We connected. I went to visit him. He’s like, you should come down. And I was like, sure. He’s like, you can be the general manager of my company. And I was like, sure. I was literally, like, in it consulting. And I went down to Atlanta right after 911. I mean, hard hat scaffolding. I had to learn how to do takeoffs of blueprints. And so it wasn’t necessarily entrepreneurial, but I really felt like I was in control of my own destiny, because I was like, well, if this takes off, then this will be a great opportunity for me. And it was his company, but I was really helping him as the GM, so helped them build an office, scale that up. But as they say with anything family, um, related, after a couple of years, it was clear that wasn’t going to work out. And so the way I tell the story is I flew back in 2004, essentially with my tail between my legs to go back and live with my parents, because it was like, okay, I tried that. That didn’t work out. Thankfully, I maintained my connections in the corporate world, got a job back in corporate, and kept doing that for a while. And then I just was always looking for opportunities to do something entrepreneurial. I have a passion for electronic music. I grew up djing, like, literally vinyl turntables. I still have those in my basement, so I break those out every now and then. So at the time, I helped, uh, a friend of mine helped create a mobile app. It’s called know your dj. And it was sort of like Pandora, but just for electronic music, just for djs. And so he helped me build the app, and we were starting to do some marketing. And I said, uh, I was listening to. I just had gotten into podcasts, and I was like, these are interesting. And there was one that I used to listen to called resident advisor. I was like, I want to start a podcast to help promote the mobile app. So in 2014, I went to a conference called New Media Expo. And this probably dates it because it was blogging, YouTube, and podcasting. Those are the three tracks. So I went there with the intention of starting a podcast to interview djs. I quickly realized how hard it was going to be to interview globetrotting djs, but I saw other podcasters there. Some people in the podcasting world might recognize some of these names, but, uh, Pat Flyn was there, Amy Porterfield was there. And I was like, oh, this is interesting. I want to learn about the podcasting world. What better way than just to start a podcast and interview these podcasters? So I sort of shifted the plan for the podcast, and I started what is my first show in 2014 called Podcast Junkies. I obviously tried a bunch of different things and a bunch of different hobies. One of them was acting. So I was always a fan of the show inside the actor studio. So I love that model of learning, like, getting a peek into the real world of these actors, because you would have an hour long conversation, and you would see them on screen. But it was only when James Lipton was asking these personal questions that you’re like, oh, wow, it’s a real person. He’s got some real hopes and aspirations. And so that’s how I modeled podcast junkies after that show. And I said, what’s the story of the podcasters behind the mic? You’ll hear their polished version on their shows. How did they get there? What inspired them to start the show? And then, a little bit selfishly, I said, I, uh, don’t know anyone in this industry. What better way to develop a relationship than to start having these hour long conversations with people? And back then, I was really clear that I wanted the video. Right now, we’re using squadcast, which makes things much, much easier than it was back then. But I was using Skype, uh, with a tool called call recorder so I could record the audio. I wasn’t recording video at the time, but I could see the person. And so, naturally, when I would go to a podcasting conference, they would say, hey, Harry, that was a great hour long conversation we had. It was really nice to connect with you so slowly. I just started building relationships with these folks, and at the same time, my consulting job was winding down, and I was like, I need a plan b here really quickly. And so I hired a business coach, and that combination was really just what put me on the path to where I am now. And, um, it’s a program called Black Belt. And at the time, it was a big investment. It was a $1,500 a month investment, which is no small change when you’re coming out of the corporate world. But I was really like, I can’t believe that I’m paying this person this much money. And in hindsight, I realized it was like he could get me there faster, and I was paying for his iP, like, his intellectual property of all the frameworks he had. That was my deep dive. Into the world of digital marketing. I call it digital Narnia. I was like, wow, I didn’t realize you could have these entrepreneurs making six figures, seven figures, with these small teams doing it remotely. I started doing a lot of reading, folks, in the inspirational space. And the one that stuck out for me the most was Jim Rohn, who says, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And I was like, well, this is like. So that was how I jumped into that world. And I’ll pause there. But that was really like an awakening for me of something that I didn’t even know.
Jonathan DeYoe: Mean, there’s two, three things that threads in there that I want to pull on. The first one, and this kind of goes backwards a little bit, is you mentioned a corporate godfather. Like, somebody, you would try something and you would come back to him, and he’d get you a new job, and you’d leave and try something else. You’d come back to him. My brother had that same. And my brother, he’s the one that died last year. When you told a couple of stories there, it just hit me as, yeah, my brother had that exact same relationship with a guy named Tim Cattrell. And he went from company to company to company, and he always said, hey, dave, come do this. And in the middle, he and I would try to do something. Um, you know, in the last episode, you heard me introduce one of those things we tried to do together. It was very interesting. That really hits home. Never got to experience working with my brother and have it not work right. We never got to that point. Always, uh, wanted to, but it’s a lesson maybe I didn’t need to learn.
Harry Duran: Yeah, it’s interesting. What I thought was interesting was, um, David Fleischel is my old manager, and we still are friends this day. We’ve gone on to play poker since he’s retired, and so we’ve maintained that friendship. But I started as a teller, and I remember I would wear my suit to work, and then he was like, oh, he would promote me to select services, which is like the window, where the people with all the corporate accounts come to the window, and then the higher clientele. And there was, I think, a drive in the bank at the time. I started at manufacturers Hanover, which became chemical bank. So this tells you how far back it goes, but we would have to remember the clients names or say the customers names. And I remember writing down Acme products, Jonathan, like, uh, Joe’s Deli, Michael. And I’d have a list of names, and he would come back every once in a while to say hi to the tellers, and he’s like, what’s this list of names that you have? Like, it looked really sketchy. And I was like, no, I mean, we’ve been told that we’re supposed to have these customers names to remember. And he just thought that it was so amazing that I was so disciplined that I was writing down because I would get the check and I would see the name of the company, I’d be like. And then I would say the person’s name to be like, oh, wow, you remembered my name. But that was enough for him to promote me to the front of, um, the branch now as a sales rep or whatever you called them at the time, just opening up accounts now. And then I got promoted to select sales rep, and then he left to start a new program. And then he took me with him, and he always told me, he’s like, you know what you hire who you know and who you trust, rather than trying to interview people. I already know your work ethic. You may or may not have the skill sets needed at the time to do the job, but I know what you’re capable of.
Jonathan DeYoe: This is customer service. This person is working to serve the customer right. And so that’s someone I can trust, and we’ll take care of that role, which is really important. Another thing that was in that stream of consciousness you shared three, I think you call it new medias. This is 2014. New media was YouTube podcasts, or there.
Harry Duran: Was one other blogging.
Jonathan DeYoe: Blogging, right. So has that changed, or are those still the three forms of new media? I mean, it’s interesting because I’m trying to think of what other things are out there, and that’s still the core content. Producers use podcast, they use blogging, and often the podcasts and the blogs end up somehow recorded on YouTube. So it’s like, YouTube captures a lot of stuff, but is there something else in there? I mean, what other avenues can people, uh, produce content in?
Harry Duran: No, I think it’s a variation of that. And what’s interesting, if you break down those three mediums, it’s, uh, written, audio, and video. And so whatever exists now, I think, is just a function of that. So newsletters are very popular as a form of content creators can just literally have a newsletter, and that’s resulted in the birth of services like Substac. And what’s interesting is I always tell people it speaks to what, uh, you’re comfortable with. So, for me, I don’t consider myself a writer. There’s people that can just hammer out 3000 word blog posts like every week or newsletters. And I struggle to just get my newsletter out every week. So that’s why it’s been taken so long to get it out. Normally I would send out every Friday. And there’s some people that love video. There’s some people literally are just comfortable waking up every morning and doing like a 32nd insert video channel of choice, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, shorts, reels. I lose track of what they’re all called now, but it’s essentially the same concept, like get LinkedIn Live, whatever it is. It’s just this ability to just get on camera and really be comfortable and share your story or whatever it is you want to promote. And then there’s some people that just like to talk and that’s for me where I’m more comfortable behind the mic. And that’s why I gravitated towards podcasting, because I love talking to people and the introduction of video came later, but I just having long form conversations with people in a relaxed setting and then just all you have to do is publish the video. I’m sorry, publish the audio as essentially a conversation. Because, uh, those are my favorite types of podcasts where people are just talking and you’re just hearing stories. And I think that’s what makes podcasts so special. But what I tell people all the time is just you gravitate towards the medium or the format where you’re most comfortable.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’m a money guy. I want to keep money within the context of life. It shouldn’t always be about more, should be about enough, et cetera, et cetera. This season I want to talk about how to turn expertise into income. Just a couple of questions and just break this down to the best of your ability. Can you give us a couple actions that a content entrepreneur, blogger, um, podcaster could take that would absolutely benefit life and financial outcomes? And then a couple of actions they could take, or they could stop taking that the world tells us that we should be taking, that we’re like, you know what? That’s not really worthwhile activity. Just highlight a couple of things that are positives and highlight a couple of things that are. This doesn’t really work.
Harry Duran: I think, from a positives perspective. In the beginning, people who are trying to be content creators, they’re trying to find their voice, they’re trying to figure out what they’re either an expert at, and they’re probably not going to be an expert at anything much in the beginning because they’re going to be copying what other people are doing. But I think it’s really finding a passion, like finding something you specifically, uh, love and love talking about. Like when it comes to podcasting, I tell prospects and clients, is this something you want to keep talking about six months from now, twelve months from now? So in that same vein, is this something you want to be writing about or posting on social media about? What happens is you need to find your voice and need to develop an expertise in something. I wasn’t intending when I started my show that I was going to start an agency, but I just realized when I started podcast junkies, I did everything myself. I said I recorded the content, scheduled the interviews, created the graphics, wrote the post, created the website, created the socials, promoted on socials, and found the guests. Uh, and I did all those things because I was like, I’m uh, a solo creator. So these are all the things that I need to do. And then I realized, because I put myself in a position where there were other people who were successful, and I think that’s one key takeaway, like find people, find a coach, find a mentor. It bears repeating, even like, tiger woods still has a coach. If he still plays golf, I’m not sure he still plays golf, but find someone who can give you that shortcut to teach you the things that you don’t know, and you can figure out based on what that coach has as a specialty to apply your own skills. So, for example, for me, he was a coach of coaches, he helped you scale. So I took some of those tools and I said, there’s a lot of people in the space who are paying him money, so they understand opportunity costs and they understand what an hour of their time is worth. So what I saw, what I was doing is I was saving people time. I said I learned all these things for a year about how to produce a podcast. These people are starting to express interest in this new medium of podcasting. I’m going to create a done for you service that packages everything up and showcases all the stuff that I can do really well into, um, a concise offering. So anything that you can do that saves people time, that people understand who are successful, opportunity costs, and that when they need something done, the people who are successful ask themselves, uh, not how can I do this, they ask themselves who can do this for me? So when you think about all the places where people are struggling or they need help, especially business owners who are growing, they’re going to need help with their social, they’re going to need help with their content. If you’re great with words, there’s people that need people that can be good copywriters and produce content for them on a consistent basis, but do things that light you up.
Jonathan DeYoe: There are people that want to start up or who are in the process of starting up that just, they simply don’t have the resources to outsource. Right. So I understand mentorship. Like, you want to find somebody that can help you along the path to get you started. But there’s some people, I mean, when we met, I had resources, like, I could easily have afforded the done for you aspect, and by the way, I would not have done it any other way. And if anyone’s listening, it’s a good way to go if you have the resources. So what can you tell folks that don’t have the resources? What are some of the tools that they can access that are supportive and helpful?
Harry Duran: Well, for people that want to start their own endeavors, there’s plenty of free resources. And, uh, a lot of times I tell people the stuff that I’m giving you and that I’m teaching you is not anything new. It’s stuff that you can find. And so if you don’t have to your point, if you don’t have, uh, the resources to hire someone who can do it as a done for you service, then you’ll have to figure, uh, out most of it is free. Like, there’s even captivate, one of the partners we use for host, they’ve created a whole free course on, um, how to start a podcast. And it gives you all the specifics in there, so you shouldn’t feel like there’s a need for you to pay for some of this stuff. Really, the only time when it makes sense for you to pay for something is if someone can get you there faster. And that’s where paying for a done for your service is helpful. But if you’re just looking to get started as a creator, whether it’s, let’s say, as a podcast, for example, really, uh, your first episode is not going to sound good, and you’re going to be questioning yourself about whether you should be even doing this, but your 10th is going to sound better than your first, and your 50th is going to sound better in your 10th. So you need to put the reps in, and that’s whether you’re doing a podcast, whether you’re starting a blog or starting a YouTube channel. I think some people mistakenly think, like, everyone’s going to find their content right away and they’re going to rock it to the top of the charts, especially when it comes to podcasting, it’s important to really think about why you’re doing this. If you’re trying to create a site or show that’s going to get millions of downloads, that’s going to be extremely difficult. On average, if you’re getting about 150 downloads per episode, you’re already doing better than half of all shows. So, um, you need to have a model that says, I’m going to get sponsorship for this because I’m speaking to a niche audience, or I’m just happy with my little show and I don’t have any immediate plans to monetize. So I think it’s really important to think about the end in mind as well.
Jonathan DeYoe: Can you give us a couple of things that people do that don’t? I’m going to go back to that question that not important they should avoid doing.
Harry Duran: I think it’s challenging in the beginning because people just copy what everyone else is doing. Um, and then the other thing is the impulse to just take a lot of these courses and watch a lot of these training videos. One thing one of my early coaches told me is the distinction between just in time learning versus just in case learning. And so in the beginning, you’re trying to learn how to do like a marketing funnel, learn how to do like a lead magnet, learn how to create a website, and you’re sort of hoarding all this knowledge, but you don’t really need it in the moment. And so it’s important to figure out what do you need to learn to take the next step in your business and whether it’s learning how to build a functioning funnel so that when people download your lead magnet, it immediately gets them onto your email list. And then learning how to build, um, once you have people on the email list, maybe the next part would be how to, ah, create an engaging email sequence. So best practice would be to have a five part welcome sequence. And so focus on that. And then as you start having people coming in and going through that process, then you start to figure out, well, how do I engage the people that are on my email list and how do I stay more consistent? And so you have to think about each step in the process, but, um, not get overwhelmed with trying to do too many things and shiny object syndrome, just not having a specific thing that you’re a subject matter expert in because it’s sort of like what, uh, is a jack of all trades, master of none. There’s an interesting exercise that you can do. It’s called the six I think it’s called the six word statement. This was from one of the coaches, I think, that I was working with early on, but it says, what are you good at? I help blank do x thing. So in the beginning, it’s like I help business owners amplify their message through done for you podcasting services. That was an early version for me. And then one additional thing you can tack on to that is that. So that. So I help b two b business owners, uh, create podcasts and, uh, amplify their message so that they can get their word out and spread their message to their intended audience. That’s a very rough version of it, but I think it’s helpful, because when people ask you what you do, it should be something that allows people to lean in and want you to ask, uh, clarifying questions. Oh, yeah. Tell me more about that, or how do you do that?
Jonathan DeYoe: Don’t give them everything right? Just make them. You want them to ask a question. I think to summarize a little bit of that, the thing you said early on was the, um, just in time versus just in case. One of the things I’ve noted as I started the podcast and started thinking about blogging and sort of thinking about how to monetize this platform, um, separately from my advisory stuff is everyone has a course, everyone has something that they want me to listen to for an hour, that gets me to buy their course, that gets me to subscribe to their blog and subscribe to their newsletters, and there are hundreds and thousands of them out there, and they’re all doing the same exact thing. And it’s very, very difficult to say no when you’re like, oh, this was really good. That hour is fantastic. I want the next thing. But reflecting back on just in time, do I need this right now? What step am I on in this process? And just focus on that step. I think that’s, uh, don’t get sucked into the next thing when you’re not done with this thing.
Harry Duran: And the other thing that’s really important, Jonathan, is, and that’s been helpful for me. I love productivity and I love systems. For our agency, we write standard operating procedures, sops. But I think as I look back and as we’re having this conversation, I think about all the things that I’ve learned that have helped me become a better entrepreneur. There’s a book called Work the System by Sam Carpenter, which talks about the importance of building if you’re eventually looking to get help with your business down the line. There’s also the war of art, which is a fantastic book. It talks about this process, uh, this thing called the resistance. And it’s something I keep telling myself I need to reread every year, because.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’S a real Steven Pressfield, he’s got, like, books you can read. He has eight books.
Harry Duran: It’s an amazing book. It’s an amazing book. And it’s these things that help you understand mindset, productivity, how to manage your time. Like, when you get up in the morning, what’s your day going to look like? Do you have a system for tracking how you’re going to get stuff done? Because if you just wake up and it’s just like, I don’t know what I’m going to get done today, or I don’t know what the priorities are. I like time blocking. So if you look at my calendar, it looks like a bunch of Lego blocks, because I just like everything color coded. This is client work. This is individual work. I’m very adamant about managing my time when it comes to opening up my calendar. It’s very easy now with tools like calendly and acuity, to just open up your calendar to everyone. And I always cringe when I see people invite me to stuff and I see their calendar, and the whole week is open, and I’m just like, all slots, Monday through Friday, I’m just like, that’s for them to work through. But one of the things I learned from my coach is this idea of blocking, of leaving open, like, the middle of the week. And so, in an ideal world, I’ll have my Wednesdays full and then my Tuesdays and Thursdays full, and I leave as much as possible. My, um, Mondays and my Fridays open for just my deep work. Uh, Cal Newport, that’s another great book. Deep work talks about the importance of really staying focused and doing, um, work in 90 minutes segments. So there’s a lot of systems, things that make you better have this discipline that you don’t really learn when you’re coming out of a nine to five job, because the discipline is instilled, uh, into you, because you have to show up at a designated time, and then you have to do the work or not do the work and pretend that you’re doing the work, depending how lax your boss is. But what’s the most jarring, uh, thing, I think, for entrepreneurship, coming out of that disciplined nine to five is sort of being responsible for your own time and having the discipline to put some structure, because I’ll tell you in the beginning, when you have that freedom and you don’t know what to do with it. You’ll be surprised how quickly the day goes by or the week goes by, and you’re like, well, I’m not sure how much I really got done, so that was a big part for me, just learning the hard way sometimes, like having the discipline, um, taking control over my day, and then being really adamant about how I let other things influence and take away from my time. Things like my inbox. I’ve heard people say your inbox is a collection of other people’s agendas. So just being these little things and these little tidbits that you just pick up over the years. But I think in aggregate, they’ve been very helpful for me to just get better and better about how I structure my time and, uh, grow my business.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, the whole idea of incremental improvement, 1% better every year and very soon, or 2% better every year, and you so quickly get better, it’s pretty awesome. Can we talk a little bit about the specifics of the podcast world? Can you describe the business model? How do podcasters make money? Is there room for. I mean, there’s thousands of podcasts. I log in, there’s probably seven mindful money podcasts. There’s a whole bunch of podcasts that have the same title. So is there room? How do you start all those kinds of things?
Harry Duran: For folks that are looking to monetize a podcast, there’s two models when it comes to sponsorship models. The first one most podcast users are familiar with is, um, the CPM model, and it’s, uh, the roman numeral M. So it’s meal, uh, so it’s cost per thousand. And the way that model works is that for every thousand downloads your podcast gets, a sponsor will pay you. Uh, and the going rate right now is about $25. So we’ll use that in this example. The challenge is you have to get into the tens of thousands, 50,000, 100,000 downloads per episode, which, as I just mentioned early on, is really difficult to get. Some of the best shows that you see, the Joe Rogan’s, the Tim ferrisses, the Jordan Harbinger shows, they get into the millions of downloads, and that’s why that model works for them, because they end up making tens of thousands of dollars, if not more per episode, because they’ve gotten to that point. And you have to be like a top 20, top 50 podcast. So for most folks, that model is not going to really work that much, unless you want to try to push yourself into that celebrity podcaster status. The level you’d have to get to, to not only perform at that level, but succeed at that level is really challenging. So we work with, uh, business owners who want to start a show. And I have them thinking from day one like, what are sponsorship opportunities for the show? So in 2020, I started a second show called the Vertical Farming podcast. And specifically my thought process around that was, uh, initially to see if we could create our own client, our podcasting client. But I was really specific about this industry because I had read a book, uh, that someone had gifted me called abundance by Peter Diamondes. And it was about, um, talking about all these future technologies and vertical farming was one. So I did my research. Big industry, lots of VC dollars coming in. And, um, I realized that this was an opportunity because VC dollars translates into marketing dollars. So I was like, okay, I’m going to try to get a sponsor for this podcast. I made it very simple. It’s called the vertical Farming podcast. So thinking SEO, don’t make people work harder to find your content. I could have called it the two guys on the farm, but nobody’s searching for that term. And so now if you Google vertical farming podcast, those three words, it’s the very first thing that shows up in the Google search. And as a result, thankfully, I mean, for whatever the timing was, it just ended up being very prescient, I guess, now in retrospect. But this was when the pandemic hit. I was speaking to these, uh, companies. The podcast specifically focuses on conversations with ceos and founders, so it gets a lot of visibility in the space. And long story short, I was able to secure a sponsor before I even launched the show because I realized they’re spending $20,000 on a booth for conferences they can’t go to anymore. So they need those marketing dollars to be spent somewhere. So all that to say, that was the thought process for me. And that’s how we think about when you create a show, if you just want to do it for fun, that’s not to say if you want to have conversations with your friends about dungeons and dragons, by all means you want to start a show, do that and realize that it’s something you’re going to do for fun and just to get your feet wet, to learn how to podcast, to learn the ins and outs of microphones and hosting and everything you need to do. And that could be your very first fun one. And then later on you could figure out if you want to monetize it. But if you’re serious about a podcast for growing your existing business, really put some thought into the content. The more niche, the better. I always tell people, like, if you’ve niched down, how could you possibly niche down even one level more? We’re even thinking of launching a second niche show within vertical farming, specifically on shipping container farms. And my goal is to just get a sponsor for that and just say, hey, we’re going to build this. We’re going to interview these 15 founders. Do you want to sponsor the show? And my goal is to not publish it until we get the sponsor first. So I’m already thinking ahead. What’s been fascinating about that approach, Jonathan, is I’ve had that show for two years. I’m now being asked to consult on, um, these indoor farming projects because people see that I have visibility in the space. So it’s amazing how much authority you can build in a niche space just by being curious about it and just being thoughtful about what you’re building, who you want to speak to, and the beauty of podcasting, which is so wonderful, and something you’ve probably come to experience is you’re creating a stage, you’re creating a virtual stage where you’re inviting whoever it is you want to talk to. And if you make it enticing enough, we all know that when people say, hey, can I pick your brain? Or can we grab some coffee like that? That’s code for can I get some free consulting? But if you say, jonathan, I, uh, have this podcast where I’m interviewing the world’s best financial managers, just as an example, financial planners or rockstar financial planners. And I think your story would be incredibly inspiring to my audience. Would you be interested in joining me for a conversation on my podcast? It’s a completely different dynamic, and that’s just why I’m so gung ho about podcasting, about this ability to sort of create the conversations that you would like to have and the people who you want to share a stage with.
Jonathan DeYoe: It took me two years to sort of, I guess, peel the band aid off like it was slow going. Lots of stuff happened, right? Um, but I remember it probably six times. You’d email me, hey, just checking. Know you have this great idea for this podcast. Just checking in, how’s it going? And I’d be like, you know what? Something happened. I got to put off two more months. I got to put off three more months. I got to put off five more months. Call me back then. And every single time you’d be like, yeah, calling you back, checking in. How’s it going? Um, but you’re right. After having some conversations with these people. And it was amazing to me. My first guest was somebody I had not stalked, but I’d paid know. George kinder is incredible. And I paid attention to everything he wrote for so long. Uh, and then I said, hey, I’m having this podcast called mindful money. I was like, yeah, I’ll be your anchor episode. Absolutely. And I was like, I’ve never spoken to the man before, but just having a podcast and doing some outreach, he was like, totally, man, that’s great. Let’s do this. And it was a lovely conversation. It was just fantastic. Um, and so the podcasting has become the fun, the monetization, whatever. I mean, someday that’ll be cool, but just having the conversations and just having a platform and just talking to people, it’s been pretty great. But the point that I’m trying to get across is how people can earn, uh, from this. So, can you describe the business model? Were your podcasts the first one? Did you make money on that? Was that profitable or not? And did you become profitable through podcasting? Or was it when you started the agency that you started being profitable?
Harry Duran: The, um, short answer is, when I started the agency, as I started being profitable, because essentially I took everything I had learned about podcasting and was able to package that ip into something that was desirable for people who wanted to shortcut where I had gotten to with my show. But the interesting thing about the first show, podcast junkies, is I’m closing in on episode 300. It’s been eight plus years, and I’ve honed the ability to have a long form conversation with people for an hour. And it could be a topic I’m not even a subject matter expert in. So I was really growing skills that were going to be applicable for me. I’ve now since acquired a sponsor for podcast junkies as well. Shout out to focusrite, which is, um, one of the, uh, soundcard vendor. And what’s interesting, in my first show, I had this mantra. It says, treat your guests like gold. I always wanted the guests to have a fantastic experience. That’s why we bend over backwards in terms of what we send them all the marketing materials. With vertical farming podcast, my mantra has now been augmented to say, treat your sponsors like gold. And so you just heard me mention focus, right? My current sponsor for the vertical Farming podcast is cultivated, which is a, uh, farm broker. So if this is something that’s interesting for you and you want to follow this model, if you’re going to make the effort to establish these relationships with sponsors, do everything you can. For them. So when I not only mention my sponsor on my show, I’m mentioning it on shows that have nothing to do with vertical farming, like this one, because I’m like, you never know who could be listening. And, uh, we tag them on socials, we tag them in our newsletter, we make announcements when they renew for the sponsorships. So that would be the model. Think about the end in mind when it comes to building a show. If you’re just doing it for entertainment, by all means talk about something you’re really passionate about. And I think what’s going to happen is the more passionate you are, there’s a possibility that you could grow a following for the show, and you may not need those tens of hundreds of thousands. You could go after individual sponsors. If you’re doing, um, dungeons and dragons is just top of mind for me. But if there was like manufacturers that made the pieces or the board games, if they saw that you literally have a couple of hundred folks that listen to the show, but they’re diehard folks that really love it, then that could be something that really interesting for them. There’s a podcast, I think there’s one in the medical equipment supply business. It’s specifically focused about that super niche. But if you think about the price point for some of that gear in medical technology and tools, those are pretty high price points. And I’m assuming if you were really laser focused on speaking to people in that industry, you could find sponsors who just, they have marketing dollars. In some ways, you have to sort of reverse engineer if your goal is to monetize it. But I would lead with your passion first. Lead with something that you’re either very interested in learning about. Like I was with vertical farming or something that you have a subject matter expertise in and you just want to grow your relationships in that industry.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love it. What are some of the, um, big mistakes that people make when they’re launching?
Harry Duran: I think they get too focused about trying to get that first episode to be perfect. And nobody likes the sound of their voice, uh uh, to a person. All the major podcasters that you hear, when you hear them speak at a conferences, even Pat Flynn did this once. He played like his cringeworthy first episode and I think he had like a heavy metal music for some reason as his backing track and he played it and he just sound so incredibly awkward that it was just funny to listen to. But like I said, you just have to put the reps in and you just have to get your feet wet and be comfortable. A lot of times you can record your first episode and you don’t have to share with anyone. You don’t even have to publish it anywhere, just like literally the act of recording it or inviting a friend over and saying, let’s record something together. You don’t have to overthink the gear. I mean, I’m using a fancier m mic here, which is the sure SM seven b, but there’s a little brother to this called the MB seven. $250. And then the Samsung makes a great mic called the Q two u. $70 dynamic mic. Sounds perfect. Pretty much that’s all you need. The headphones that I’m using now are like $15. They’re just Sony collapsible headphones. And don’t let the gear get in the way. A lot of these, uh, remote services you can get started with really early on, but I think the focus is just do a little bit each time to move yourself forward. Don’t get overwhelmed with thinking about all the moving parts. As I mentioned, captivate has a really fantastic course for people who want to learn how to do it yourself. So captivate FM to learn more about that and just get started. There’s people that have started podcasts and have done like ten episodes and then decided they don’t want to do it anymore. There’s a term called pod fading. The number changes depending who you ask. But if you get past seven or ten episodes and, um, you haven’t pod faded and it shows that you have an interest in there. So just make a commitment to just hit that ten episode mark and then see if it’s something that you like. It should be something that’s fun for you. I know when I see interviews on my calendar, I get excited, like for podcasting on kitchen, vertical farming, podcast, being a guest on other shows. I just love the format, and it should be something that lights you up, and that’s really how you know if podcasting is going to be for you.
Jonathan DeYoe: You’ve, uh, worked with a lot of podcasters as they’ve launched. What are some of the biggest fears? Obviously, I’m going to sound like an idiot. That’s probably one. But, uh, what are some of the other biggest fears that people come up with? Uh, right out of the gate, I.
Harry Duran: Think, um, they struggle, especially with an interview format. They don’t know what they’re going to be talking about. I was the same way when I got started. I had a list of people that were know podcast famous, and I was like, oh my God. I was really nervous about talking to people I think the very first person that I interviewed, chase Reeves, I had my mic, I couldn’t get it to work, and I ended up just recording through earbuds. But I remember just like, sweating because I was like, oh, my. Like, I’m so embarrassing. This person’s know, um, and a lot of times we’ve all been there. And so I’m gracious when I meet new podcasters to just relax, which is easier said than done. And you’re going to have the questions, but you get better if this is something that you want to improve in terms of your craft. Like, I remember, I remember flashbacks of my childhood, my dad sitting front of the tv to watch 60 minutes or 2020. And I think in hindsight, I have a respect for the art of interviewing. It’s something that’s really fascinating for me as I do more and more of it. But you can have those questions in the beginning, but just recognize if they’re yes or no questions. You’ll have that guest who just answers them. And then ten minutes in, all your questions are answered and you don’t have anything else to talk about for the next 45 minutes. That happened to me because I had, uh, John Lee Dumas on, who’s a famous podcaster on. He’s famous for just giving you 30 minutes. So I remember it was a midday interview, and I just realized, I was like, there’s no way I’m going to get to these questions in any meaningful way. So I just tossed them. I’m like, uh, so what’s going on? How are you doing? And then we just had a really nice conversation. And that was the first moment when I realized, okay, this is just a conversation. I always tell people, if you go into a bar, there’s 50 people in the bar, there’s 50 stories there. But you have to be genuinely interested. Um, everybody’s got a story to tell, and you just have to be curious. You just have to ask open ended questions. You have to be a good listener. You have to be able to just pull threads away. And I tell people in a podcast conversation, there’s three people, the host, the guest, and the listener. And so, uh, these are just skills you learn over time. When you’re a podcast host, you realize right now it’s just Jonathan and I speaking in this moment, at the time of this recording. But we’re also conscious that there’s going to be a listener when this is published. And so it’s just thinking about those things, and it gives the listener a feeling like they just pulled up a bar stool and they’re just watching. Two people have a conversation and they feel included, which I think is really important because we’ve all been, uh, at a conference or public event, two people are talking and we come over and we’re like, are they going to let me into the conversation or not? It’s that awkward few seconds and you’re like, and when they’re not, you just kind of like moonwalk your way out and you’re like, well, I don’t want to join your stupid conversation anyway. So you don’t want that to happen in a podcast. It’s interesting. What’s been happening in the vertical farming space is I just went to two conferences this year in indoor farming. My tickets were paid for because I provided a platform for the conference on my podcast. So I would promote the podcast. That second ticket, indoor agtech NYC, that was an $1100 ticket. And they’re like, just show up, we just need you to do an ad read in there. And so then I showed up there, I came home with 20 plus new interviews for the show. And even more interesting, I’ve had a couple of the companies there. One company specifically wants to work with me to produce a new show, um, and produce maybe something with video on site. And so opportunities are opening up for me in the space. I had someone reach out to me who’s creating a mobile app to help people learn how to grow produce in their homes more effectively. It’s in beta. He showed me the beta and he’s like, if you’re interested, I’d love your feedback and you can maybe be an advisor. And I made it clear, I was like, the only engagements I’m working with right now for new companies are in an advisory role with equity. This is an opportunity that would not have happened had I not started the podcast. I did not know that these opportunities existed, Jonathan. I was just like open to this and open to learning about this. But because the show is produced professionally and because it’s got visibility and it’s now the number one show in vertical farming because we’re creative about different categories and I could go geek out on how we did that, but it established me as much as that. I hate that phrase, thought leader, but visibility in the space, so where people are now reaching out to me. So it’s been really fascinating because that wasn’t the intention. I was just looking to just generate revenue from marketing dollars. But as my visibility in the space grows and I build these relationships strategically, uh, mind you, because I made a point to make sure I speak to ceos and founders, so just think about those relationships that I’m building, those connections I’m building. I showed up at the conference, and I was shaking hands and saying, hey, Harry, that was great. Like, really enjoyed our conversation in much the same way that happened with podcast junkies. So it’s interesting how that’s beginning to develop. And then in the podcasting space specifically, I’m, um, building a marketplace called the Potter Sphere, and it’s just another function of me being observant. Um, there’s a couple of companies in the podcasting space that I advise, and it’s because I have visibility in the podcasting space. Um, I’m an advisor of squadcast, which is the tool that we’re using now. And I met them at a podcasting conference in 2016. I started working with them for a year, but because I had the visibility in podcasting space, I started introducing them to the people in the space, and they valued the opinion. Now, folks like Pat Flyn and Jordan Harbinger are actually advisors on the company as well. There’s, uh, one of my good friends, Dave Jackson, who runs the School of podcasting, and he’s what I call an OG podcaster. He loves telling these because of my podcast stories. And I think what you’ll find if you step into this world and you’re consistent with it, you probably may not be able to see right now the opportunities that can open up for you as a result of creating this platform. And you may just be pleasantly surprised at the connections you’re making and the opportunities you’re building for yourself.
Jonathan DeYoe: With a podcast, in my mind, it.
Harry Duran: Goes back to this.
Jonathan DeYoe: Two things you’ve been talking about. One is find the topic or the thing that you love that you can talk about for a year, two years, and never exhaust that conversation, and then just engage the people. And if you just engage the people, stuff happens, and you just have to be patient and keep going. And yes, you’re going to sound stupid, but keep getting better and keep getting better and keep getting better. Uh, what did you say? You said, uh, your 10th podcast is going to be better than your first, and your 50th is going to be better than your 10th, right? That’s just. You got to put in the reps. I’m on rep 18. We’re getting close to the end here. I appreciate your time, Harry. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Harry Duran: Last thing? Oh, interestingly enough, my partner and I are pescatarians. Um, and it’s more a function of just avoiding the whole factory farming system. But what we’ve recently started doing is slowly incorporating venison. And the first time we did it was venison that her father had actually hunted, because we were from Minneapolis, and he grew up hunting. And it’s interesting when you have a direct connection to the food that you eat, honor. It’s a sacredness to understanding that whole chain is something that you have a direct connection to. We go to his house, and he’ll fish something at a lake in their house up north, and he’ll bring it to the garage, and he’ll gut it, and we’re eating it within a couple of hours. So it’s really interesting to have that direct connection. So we’re experimenting more. There’s, uh, also a vendor in Hawaii called maui venison. And short story there, there’s a portion of the island that’s overrun with deer. I think it’s, like, 60,000 deer. And they’re trying to cull the population down to 15,000. So they literally are very intentional about the experience. The deer lives its full life. They have, like, night vision goggles, so they’re, like, one kill. They prepare and dress it literally on site. And we just got our first shipment of that. And I’ll tell you, it’s been a while since I had meat, and we just had, uh, these medallions, and I was, like, blown away. You literally eat it medium rare, which I normally wouldn’t eat meat like that, but it was interesting. I was like, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had meat this good. So long winded answer, but just kind of opening my mind up to being more intentional. Know, not having hard and fast rules about what you will and won’t eat just based on what it is, but just be more intentional about where it’s from and honoring the animals.
Jonathan DeYoe: So next season, when your father in law says, hey, harry, you want to go hunting? What do you think?
Harry Duran: It’s one of those things that, uh, I’ve never shot a gun. So I was like, maybe I should do that. I like doing things that put me out of my comfort zone, but just to experience it that first time, I’d definitely consider it. I don’t know how far down the road I’d get in terms of actually dressing the animal, but there’s something to be said for having that visceral, close connection to the thing that you will eventually be eating and honoring it and respecting its life. So I would definitely consider it if I’m asked.
Jonathan DeYoe: I was, uh, eleven when my uncle said, you want to go hunting? And my cousin and I went hunting, we got a deer, dressed it on the spot, um, did the whole thing, and I haven’t done it since. So you can do it once and not do it again? Um, for sure. Is there anything that people don’t know about you that you think that you really like them to know?
Harry Duran: One thing that’s been coming more awake for me is this, uh, tapping more into my spirituality. And I’ve been on the journey probably since late 90s when I was introduced to Buddhism, and that sort of like opened door for me. And then the new age movement. And, uh, I know that the Budhism is something that you can definitely relate to, and it just literally everything, crop circles, ancient civilizations, light workers, channeling. I started just going down the complete rabbit hole, but it was always something that was like I kept to myself. And now with fullcast, my agency, I tell people when they ask me what I do, I said, I’m the cosmic conduit for awakened souls ready to transmit their message to a global audience. And as, uh, you might imagine, that’s either going to repel you or attract you pretty quickly. But for me, it’s like, I want people like you who are not only just doing a podcast for just the sake of growing their business, but because you have, uh, an intention behind what you want to do and you want to make the world a better place. And as I get older, I just want to work with people that have that message, that have that voice inside them and need to get it out. And I want to help them with all the technical stuff and just let them focus on their genius, which is like having those conversations stations and so just been wearing coming out of the spiritual closet, as I like to say. And it feels good because I’ll have people randomly dm me and be like, wow, I didn’t know you were on this path. We should talk. And so it’s been really exciting and it’s something that I tell people all the time, let be vocal about what it is you’re passionate about, because that way you’re going to start to attract the people that vibe with you sooner. I just love it.
Jonathan DeYoe: I just love everything about it. Um, so we can help more people, uh, find you, uh, who have that passion. I didn’t memorize everything you said there, but that have a cosmic message they want to share to everyone else. How do people find you?
Harry Duran: So if you want to learn more about the agency, it’s Fullcast co. Uh, and then I’m pretty active on LinkedIn and Twitter. Uh, most recently, Twitter is Harry Duran fC. And then you can find me Harry Duran on LinkedIn. You’ll see that messaging on LinkedIn as well, which is not something that you commonly see on LinkedIn. But I’m just like, yep, this is what I’m doing. And it’s interesting to see people who are typically coming from business world realizing that that’s part of their personality as well. So it makes for an interesting mix of folks as well.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s so important to have both sides. So I appreciate it. I’m going to say thank you, and, um, I’ll probably talk to you again in a week about something else on the podcast, so I appreciate it. Thanks for coming on.
Harry Duran: Sounds good. Yeah, and I appreciate the opportunity for letting me share your story. Uh, it’s not often I get to go that far back to talk about everything that’s inspired me so far, so I appreciate you, and I hope this was valuable for your audience.