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June 25, 2020

166: The Many Ways to Become an Influencer Today [John Lee Dumas Interview]

166: The Many Ways to Become an Influencer Today [John Lee Dumas Interview]

John Lee Dumas is one of the most influential rockstar entrepreneurs out there, and it was an honor to interview him for my podcast. You will learn a lot in this episode on John's story as to how he became an influencer through podcasting but also his recommendation for you if he were to do it all over today.

Key Highlights

[02:32] Introduction of Podcast Guest, John Lee Dumas

[05:49] Why John Started Podcast

[08:11] Should You Podcast If You Want To Build Influence?

[13:27] The Demand Aspect of Podcasting

[14:22] The Steps John Took To Become Successful

[15:10] Creating Solutions For Your Audience's Struggles

[17:33] How To Get Started on Podcasting

[18:27] Connect With John

Notable Quotes

  • I was podcasting four days per month, and doing just a weekly show, which everybody else was doing, it would have taken me forever, if ever to get good, but I was doing it every single day I put in the reps. And I did 2000 episodes in 2000 days, like I bought the work. And you know, it slowly caught on, I stayed consistent. I stayed true to my vision.
  • It is absolutely not too late to start your podcast to build your platform. Because podcasting to me is this, it will always hold a special place in people's days in lives.
  • One of my other favorite things about podcasting, too, is I like to say, podcasts are powerful, because they're free, they're on demand, and they're targeted.
  • I had no products, no services, nothing to offer. When I started. All I said was you know what, I'm going to deliver free, valuable and consistent content. And there's nothing more valuable or free or consistent than a daily podcast that's just as consistent as you can be.
  • Podcast is a great way to build up organic free traffic that knows likes and trusts you this then you know, potentially going to consume your product or your service or invest in that. But if you don't already have a product or a service, do not create one before you start a podcast because you don't know what the heck you're going to create.
  • If you want to get started on podcasting, or just on building your overall brand, you do need to choose a platform like you need to choose a platform where you're going to be sharing free, valuable and consistent content, because that's how you're going to build that audience that knows likes and trust you that you can then ask them what their struggle is, and then create that solution for them.

Links mentioned in the show:

John Lee Dumas' Website: https://www.eofire.com/

My being interviewed on Michael Stelzner's Social Media Marketing Podcast: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-strategy-with-neal-schaffer/

My being interviewed on John Lee Dumas' Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast: https://entrepreneuronfire.libsyn.com/615-neal-schaffer-maximize-your-social

Episodes mentioned in or related to this one:

164: How to Skyrocket Your Qualified Organic Traffic [Farzad Rashidi Interview]

140: Want to Excel at Social Media Marketing? You Need to be an Active Consumer of Social Media First

Reference Links for Neal Schaffer

My Website: https://nealschaffer.com/

Learn more about this podcast: https://nealschaffer.com/maximize-your-social-influence-podcast/

The Age of Influence Free Preview: https://nealschaffer.com/age-of-influence-preview

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

This is the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners, build, leverage and monetize their influence in digital and social media. Welcome to episode number 166 of the maximize your social influence podcast. For those of you that are new here, my name is Neal Schaffer. I am a digital marketing author, speaker consultant. And I am on a mission to provide you with innovative marketing strategies and tactics through understanding this concept of Digital Influence. So today, we have a very special interview with a very special guest, Mr. John Lee Dumas, otherwise known as the lead entrepreneur at entrepreneurs on fire. Since you're listening to this podcast, and I know a lot of your entrepreneurs, perhaps you already subscribed to his podcast. You know, it's really interesting because I started this podcast, not as a influencer marketing tactic per se. Although I have come to understand that podcasts are a great way to build your influence in your industry. And this is something I want to explore more in future episodes. But I came at this from a content marketing perspective back in 2013. So I started recording podcasts, and I published maximize your social, sort of like, you know, I revved up this podcast, again, it's been around since 2013, I only started really publishing weekly again, starting with, you know, q4 of 2019 with the release of the age of influence, so with maximize your social, which was the original branding for this podcast, I released the book and then all of a sudden, I appeared on social media examiner's Social Media Marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner. Now it's funny, because if you were to do an analysis, if you're in the social media industry, first of all, hopefully you are subscribed to that podcast, because it's excellent have appeared on that podcast three different times now. But when I appeared on it, I'll never forget Michael Stelzner, saying he kneeled. Have you done many podcast interviews, and my podcasts at that time was 100% solo episodes, it's only fairly recently, over the last year where I've switched to half interview half solo, but in the conversation, I go, you know, no, this is like my first podcast interview, you know, imagine that on a top five, Marketing Podcast, no less. And he goes, Well, Neil, once you get interviewed here, you're gonna have a lot of people reach out to you for podcast interviews. Well, one of those people was John Lee Dumas. So I think, wow, it was back in maybe 2014, or 15. And I'm gonna include a link in the show notes, I appeared on entrepreneurs on fire, not knowing much about the podcast space, because if you listen to a previous episode, which I'll include in the show notes about how you need to be a consumer of content on that network to understand it, and I was not the active podcast consumer that I am today, I didn't realize how influential his podcast or he was. And here we are today. It's funny, if you were part of this book, giveaway marketing book giveaway that I recently did. One of the questions I asked to vet people was go to the Amazon review page for the age of influence. And who is the number one or who is the top author that's indicated in all the blurbs about my book, who, who appears at the top of that list. And it's John Lee Dumas. And I didn't decide that ordering my publisher HarperCollins leadership decided that ordering. So you have now a traditional publisher that also understands the influence of John Lee Dumas has so I thought he would be a perfect guest, because he really understands the role of influence and the role that podcasting Complan influence. But I think his story is really fascinating because like me, I didn't intend to become necessarily influential my field, just sort of something that happened based on my wanting to serve my community and serve my customers and serve the people that read my blog and what have you. He had another objective for starting and continuing his podcast until he's become who he is today. And I think for all of you that you want to become more influential, or you want your business to become more influential, it comes to content creation, obviously, but it also comes with a clear objective. That is passion backed. That's gonna keep you going on the long haul. Pat Flynn has, I don't know I listen to ask Pat. I never listen to Smart Passive Income, believe it or not, so I doesn't ask Patty's over 1000 episodes, I think entrepreneurs on fire is close to 1000 episodes as well. I'm still here at lonely 166 But onward and upwards. Right. But that's one of the key messages. And you know what, as John mentions, there are other options outside of podcasting. So once again, it comes down to what are your superpowers? What do you love to do? What are you passionate about because it is going to be a long term marathon, not a short term. sprint. Without further ado, it's a pretty short and sweet interview but I think it's really packed with a lot of great advice. Here is my interview with John Lee Dumas John Lee Dumas. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast. How you doing today,

John Lee Dumas:

Neil? I am fired up to be here, brother. Thanks for having me.

Neal Schaffer:

I would expect nonetheless, John. So for those of you that don't know, I was actually a guest on John Lee Dumas his famous podcast Entrepreneur on Fire back on June 28 2014. Wow, come on 652,000 episodes ago. Indeed. Right. So, John, when I think of influencers that made it that made their name, do podcasting, obviously, you're the one who comes to mind. So, you know, everybody was listening to podcast wants to know how they can grow their influence. Why did you start that podcast? And did you think you would go on that journey that led you to where you are today? What did you think what happened when you started podcasting?

John Lee Dumas:

Honestly, I loved the idea of into cool people like I really looked forward to having conversation with Neil's of the world, the Tim Ferriss with Gary Vaynerchuk. Like, to me, that was like exciting. And like, those are conversations that I wanted to have. Because I as a consumer of podcasts for years was like, Man, these are such cool conversations. But why are people only having one episode per week or two episodes per month? Like where's that daily podcast? And I went to find that Daily Show, Neil, it didn't exist. And to take a little quote from Gandhi, I said, Well, why not be the change that I want to see in the world, I want the show to exist, why not fill that void that is obviously there, at least for me. hopefully other people will want the same. And back in 2012, I launched with a very audacious goal of doing seven episodes every single week, so 365 episodes per year. And guess what it kind of worked, but it kind of worked, because I kind of sucked as a podcast host. But guess what, the only way to get better something is to do that thing. So if I was podcasting four days per month, and doing just a weekly show, which everybody else was doing, it would have taken me forever, if ever to get good, but I was doing it every single day I put in the reps. And I did 2000 episodes in 2000 days, like I bought the work. And you know, it slowly caught on, I stayed consistent. I stayed true to my vision. And here we are talking today, eight years later, 85 million listens later, a million listens every single month. And you know, a business that is not just generating, but netting over seven figures every single year.

Neal Schaffer:

That's incredible, John, and there's so many important takeaways from what you mentioned there. But first of all, it's hard work. It doesn't happen overnight. And that might be one of the most important things people need to realize. But for an entrepreneur today that's listening to this podcast, since you started your podcast, you have YouTubers that have become famous, we have Instagram, we have tick tock LinkedIn is now having a resurgence. There's a lot of different ways a lot of different platforms, a lot of different content mediums. Would you still recommend for someone that wants to build influence today? Would you still recommend podcasting? And if so, why?

John Lee Dumas:

Before I answer that question directly, let me just say this, every single day, I get people that email me that messaged me and they say, John, oh my god, like I can't believe I missed the podcasting train like I, I thought of doing a podcast two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, fill in the blank. And I just didn't do it. And now I'm just like, I see that Joe Rogan just signed for $100 million with Spotify. Like what was I thinking? Podcasting is huge. And they're right, podcasting is absolutely huge. But at the same time, you brought up a great point, Neil, when you were talking about all these other platforms, and this is what I always share with people. I'm like, Listen, you may have missed the quote unquote first mover's advantage of podcasting, you know, meaning like 2010 2011 2012 When I and a few other people like myself, launch their podcast before anybody was like really paying attention or thought the podcasting was cool or had any legs. That first mover advantage is real. So yes, you didn't miss that. But guess what, number two, a lot of podcasts have launched since then, that have gone on to great success in theme as well. So it's not like you need that first mover's advantage. But also just want to kind of plant that seed for people is that something else is always coming. It's just over the horizon. Like you had mentioned. Neil, Pinterest, Instagram, Tik Tok, you have all these things that have come Snapchats fill in the blank. And guess what people decided to be first movers in those areas. Like look, look at all these people that were first movers in vine, then vine goes away. But guess what a lot of them were able to become first movers in Instagram because they have built the skills through vine to transition to the next platform. So it's always over the horizon, the next opportunity that could definitely arise so keep your eyes open. And when that next opportunity arises, maybe you do You want to jump in? But now to go back a second and answer your question directly. Listen, it is absolutely not too late to start your podcast to build your platform. Because podcasting to me is this, it will always hold a special place in people's days in lives. For people who enjoy listening to podcasts, which by now is very obvious by looking at the numbers is 10s of millions of people around the world. And guess what podcasting is gonna hold that special place of people while they're commuting to work, while they're going for a jog while they're walking their dog while they're folding their laundry while they're doing the dishes. These are all places that people listen to podcast, why? Because they can't do other things. You can't be watching video, you can't be writing a blog post, you can't be doing a lot of things while you're doing certain activities in your life. And podcasting fits this perfect void and always will. So if you want to capture that portion of people's lives, a podcast is a great place to do just that. And I

Neal Schaffer:

think John what a lot of people forget what I like to remind people about building influence. There's lots of different social media platforms. But at the end of it, there's only four different content mediums, right? Instagram is not a content medium Tick, tock is not a content medium. Podcasting is it's one of the four. So it just in that it yields significance. And I think also, I don't have the data to support this, John. But I know that when I talk to millennials about podcasting, I find that I think that audience is growing, probably because younger audiences are listening to it more, I don't know if you've seen that, or, or update around that. But that's what I'm finding.

John Lee Dumas:

I'm definitely seeing that people of all generations are finding podcasting to be the perfect fit for certain parts of their day. I mean, listen, you're never gonna see a millennial sitting around in the evening with their friends or family or by themselves. Just like sitting in front of a fireplace, listening to a podcast, that's not going to happen, they're gonna be watching quibbling on their phone, they're gonna be watching Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, you name it, that's what they're gonna be doing then. But for all those areas that I shared before, when you're driving, or you're working out, or you're, you know, walking your dog, like, these areas are always going to be opportunities for people to multitask by consuming content and still getting other things done. Like for me, man, I used to hate doing yard work, like I just wanted to do it, like, you know, going out and like watering trees or picking up debris or this or that. But now almost like you know what, like, if I can just be popping in a podcast that I really enjoy, and be outside. Like, I don't mind doing tasks like that anymore, because it's actually a time for me to just kind of relax, catch up on my favorite podcasts, and just kind of zone out, I go for a walk every single evening here in Puerto Rico, because I love to get outside and breathe the fresh air have the salt breeze, get the vitamin D from the sun, and catch up on my podcast. So it's definitely a niche that fits for a lot of people, whether they're millennials, or whether they're whatever the demographic above the baby boomers are like, that's always going to exist.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I agree, John, and I've become someone over the last two years that whenever I drive, and I'm a music person, man, I'd always you know, windows down here in Southern California sunroof open, blasting music. And I've turned into a podcast listener, and I'll go out of my way to drive a little bit more to finish up.

John Lee Dumas:

But also, that's one of my other favorite things about podcasting, too, is I like to say, podcasts are powerful, because they're free. They're on demand. And they're targeted. And that number two is what I'll say for you. As a lot of times, when you were listening back in the day to your favorite talk radio show, you would have to drive around the block a couple times if you wanted to keep listening because if you stopped then guess what, when they kept going, it was live or you know, you couldn't press the pause button, both podcasting, I press stop whenever I need to press stop, and I pick it up the next day or that or later that day, whatever that might be. That on demand aspect is a very, very powerful aspect of podcasting that allows you to listen to what you want, when you want how you want.

Neal Schaffer:

So John, one of the other important things we look at in this podcast is not just growing your influence, but actually monetizing productizing it. What were the steps you took, because obviously when you started this, I don't believe you bought a product, correct me if I'm wrong, but you've also obviously been very successful with your business. What were the steps you took to get the ideas, test them and then become the success you are today?

John Lee Dumas:

I had no products, no services, nothing to offer. When I started. All I said was you know what, I'm going to deliver free, valuable and consistent content. And there's nothing more valuable or free or consistent than a daily podcast that's just as consistent as you can be. A podcast is as free as you can be. A good podcast is as valuable as you can be. And when you bring people like Neil on the podcast, like that's a valuable podcast like you better believe it. And so guests What I did over the months, I created an audience through that I built an audience that knew liked and trusted me, because I was delivering them that free, valuable and consistent content. And then what did I do now? I turned to my audience when it reached a certain level and I said, Fire Nation, what are you struggling with? What are you, my listeners, having obstacles, challenges and struggles on right now. And then I listened, I listened to what their obstacles or challenges their struggles were. And then I chose one of the common themes that kept cropping up. And I created the solution for that struggle. That was my first product. That was my first service. That was the first community that I created. And I kept doing that over and over again, as my audience grew. And as I really was able to deliver an amazing solution, build systems and automations around it to get it up and running. And then I would go to the next one and the next one. And so now as you and I are talking, I have nine revenue streams on a very consistent basis. And you know, this is something that we take pride in with transparency is that for 81 months in a row, now, this dates all the way back to 2013. We have been publishing monthly income reports that shows all the revenue that comes in all the revenue that goes out all the mistakes that we make, and all the successes that we have, because that's the kind of transparency that we want to bring to the game.

Neal Schaffer:

That's awesome. And once again, so many important points there, building community, listening to community. And you can even start your journey as an influencer without without that product, right. And I know a lot of people listening to have have businesses, they already have products. So it's even easier for you. But that's the problem, right? You can't push product, you need to offer solutions. And that's where a lot of people fail, don't they?

John Lee Dumas:

Yeah. And to jump in for a second. I mean, if you are one of those people, already a product or service is proven like yeah, podcast is a great way to build up organic free traffic that knows likes and trusts you this then you know, potentially going to consume your product or your service or invest in that. But if you don't already have a product or a service, do not create one before you start a podcast because you don't know what the heck you're going to create. Your audience will dictate and tell you what they need. And then you'll provide the solution. So many people think they know and then guess what they spend months creating that thing, not launching their podcast, not building their audience, and then they offer to the world. And guess what, they have no audience then they have no know like and trust. And nine times out of 10 they were wrong with what the audience wanted or needed. And they fall flat on their face.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, so true. So John, for those who want to start on their journey, I know you have some great resources. But what what do you recommend those listening, maybe they started a podcast, they want to do a reset, or they want to get started? How would you recommend they do that?

John Lee Dumas:

Listen, if you want to get started on podcasting, or just on building your overall brand, you do need to choose a platform like you need to choose a platform where you're going to be sharing free, valuable and consistent content, because that's how you're going to build that audience that knows likes and trust you that you can then ask them what their struggle is, and then create that solution for them. That's the process is not very complicated. And for podcasting, we have a completely free, unbelievably valuable course, called free podcast course, which is available at free podcast course.com. It's completely free. It'll teach you how to create and grow your very first podcast, and we take a lot of pride in helping people

Neal Schaffer:

out. Awesome. We're gonna link to that in the show notes. John, just finally, where can people find you? What is your latest project? How can we help you

John Lee Dumas:

all the magic happens at eo fire.com? We have free courses there. Like I mentioned the podcasting course we have other free amazing courses for entrepreneurs. And the only thing that I would ask is, hey, if you feel the need, if you feel the desire, please check out entrepreneurs on fire. I've interviewed over 2600 amazing entrepreneurs like Neil like Tony Robbins, like Seth Godin, and Barbara Corcoran, Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, fill in the blank, and I would love for you to listen to it and gain free value from that content.

Neal Schaffer:

Thank you so much, John. I hope everyone listening this podcast has already subscribed to your podcast. But if you're still new to the game, definitely check it out. John, your legend, thank you so much for being so generous with your time and offering up all your advice to all of our listeners.

John Lee Dumas:

Thanks now much appreciated. Have a wonderful day.

Neal Schaffer:

You too. Take care. Alright, I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as I did. And I hope that you will hit that subscribe button so that you can keep tuned in for future interviews in clear transparency. Just as John talks about, I also record interviews in batches. So he is the last interview from the last batch and everything going forward are going to be new interviews. Not that Jon's interview was just like a week or two ago but I don't pre plan these like six months in advance because then you know you're listening to someone that isn't even talking about what's happening with Coronavirus. Even though it really impacts our daily life, so I try to keep it real, and I try to keep it recent, so make sure you subscribe. I also want to thank everyone for the reviews not only of the age of influence, and if you haven't read it, it's available everywhere. I sometimes get asked Neil, is there an audiobook version? Is there an ebook version? And the answer is yes, yes, yes. And yes, just go to Amazon or wherever you buy books. I also want to thank those who have taken the time to review this podcast. This review comes in from my friend Farzad Rashidi. Now Farzad was the guest on episode number 164 on how to skyrocket your qualified organic traffic. You know, getting traffic to your website is a big objective for influencer marketing for wanting to yield influence so I hope if you haven't listened that episode, you'll check it out. Farzana is a great guy he wrote best influencer marketing podcast by far I've been following Neil's work for years on his blog, and I'm an avid listener of his podcast on my way to work in the morning. I must say there's very few people that create this many high quality practical pieces of content consistently over the years. And personally, I've learned a ton from Neil. It goes without saying it was an honor coming on the show, episode number 164. and chat with him directly, highly recommended to anyone interested in marketing and influencer marketing in particular. Thank you so much, Farzad, here's sort of a hint for you. I have a waiting list of over 50 people right now that want to come on this podcast, if someone was one of the come on this podcast, and was to write that sort of review, and say, by the way, Neil, the name of my podcast is such and such. I'd love to be featured on your podcast. Well, guess what? Those are the people that I want to interview that those that they went out of their way to write a review. This is like influencer outreach, one on one if you really want to get noticed by an influencer. It's not hard. If you're authentic and genuine. And you understand what sort of social signals have more value, get more noticed, get more thanked than others. So I'm going to leave you with that note today. Wherever you are in the world, make it a great virtual social Day. Bye Bye, everybody.