Banner Image

Monetizing Your Podcast by Establishing Credibility

Monetizing Your Podcast by Establishing Credibility

  • Apr 02, 2024
Nathan Gwilliam

In this episode, Gordon Glenister shares the secrets behind leveraging influencers to help promote and monetize your podcast. Join us as we learn strategies to establish credibility quickly through high-profile guests and repurposing content across multiple platforms. From this episode, you’ll walk away with numerous tactics to score sponsorships, use exclusive member content, and build a podcast network. Don’t miss these key insider tips that can grow your audience and turn your podcast into a profitable venture.


Nathan Gwilliam: Hello, Incurable Creators. Today, I'm joined by Gordon Glenister. Gordon is an influencer marketing expert. He is the host of "Influence the Global Podcast" and "The Membership World Podcast." He's a columnist for the London Evening Standard. He's the author of the business book of the year finalist, Influencer Marketing Strategy.

He's also the founder of the Meetings and Events Support Association, Membership World and the Branded Content Marketing Association's Influencer Division. Thank you so much for joining us today, Gordon.

Gordon Glenister: Thank you, Nathan. Lovely to be on your show.

Nathan Gwilliam: Gordon, can you start off by sharing with us your journey to become an influencer and podcaster?

Gordon Glenister: It was a bit of an accident, actually, to be honest, because I, for many years, was running an industry trade body, which was the British Promotional Merchandise Association, and I did that for 11 years. But after a time, I thought I was going to do it for two years. And what they say is when you get into a role or you love the industry that you're in you can spend a lot more than you actually think.

So in 2018, I decided to go out on my own and start my own consultancy to help other trade bodies and professional membership bodies with their strategy, membership. And the first comp, the first organization I came to was the Branded Content Marketing Association. And I met the CEO in a hotel in London. We sat down, we talked all about branded content, but then I just, we were about to leave. I said to him, what about this whole influencer space? It's crazy, isn't it? And then I said to Andrew, but who's representing this industry? Who's representing it from a, from an industry body point of view?

And he looked to me as if to say, oh my God, nobody is. So we decided to create a different division for that. And I'll never forget the launch party as well as in a big London nightclub. We did it on a shoestring, but we got we got loads of influences there. And it was such a magical event, magical experience.

I even remember the goodie bags, we gave out these amazing goodies worth about, $150. So quite something special, but then some of these influencers would come to get their picture, get their free drink, get their goodie bag and then like off to the next event. And that was a bit of a lesson for me is keeping the attention of these people was something else.

And then not long after that, I realized there was an opportunity to have a podcast and I hadn't really got involved in the podcast scene before. But I thought it was a really good way to, to interview some amazing people around the scene. And that's what I did. I started that in 2019, and we've now done over 120 episodes all around the world with some amazing people.

And I've, I'm, it's a real privilege to be a podcast host actually, and I'm sure You would echo that. And then after that, I realized that I was at a marketing show and I realized there was an opportunity to there was very few books on influencer marketing. I felt from a layman's point of view.

And I said, have you got any books on influencer marketing to this? To this publishing company and they said actually, no, we've got social media. So I pitched the idea back to them. And I tell you what, I pitched this idea without having a clue about the industry that I had now found myself in. I thought I'll write a book that will actually help me.

Anyway cut a long story short, I got a contract, which was a bit insane. And then I and then I started writing it but what I did do, I think quite differently is I interviewed some amazing people in the sector. And the reason why the book has done so well is because it's packed full of insightful case studies, commentary, practical tips, things that, it makes it really easy for anybody to either become an influencer or indeed actually run an influencer campaign. And that was always my purpose. Sometimes in the marketing industry they overthink things and they overcomplicate things for people, and that's what I wanted to do was, debunk that in a way.

But the highlight actually came about a year later, Nathan, when I was invited to have the book translated into Portuguese for the Brazilian market. And I spoke to the publisher in Brazil and I said, this is great news. I'm really excited about this. Brazil, of course, is a very big market for influencers. And and they said we're thinking about making a documentary film as well to support the launch of the book. Would you be interested in being part of it?

So I thought, wow, this is pretty amazing. So we did that and I created a course for them, which they subsequently translated into Portuguese. And when the documentary was actually launched. They flew me over to Brazil to this cinema and it was insane. There were like local press there. There were people taking films. I was three hours signing the book and I'm just thinking, I'm just this regular guy that has found myself in an industry that, I've only recently been involved with. And yeah, it was it's been a bit of a journey and a half, should I say.

And then just to move on a little bit, we, I got involved in the membership site space because during COVID the influencer industry was hampered a little bit, if I'm honest, and I'd always been involved in association. So I came, I created a community called membership world. And I started a podcast just for the association and membership sector.

So we can talk a little bit about that as well.

Nathan Gwilliam: So Gordon, I'd like to go back to some of these key points you made when you were describing your journey. You talked about how one of the best benefits that you saw when you started your podcast, one of the biggest reasons you wanted to do it was the relationships that you are going to be able to make.

With these guests and I agree with you that I published a show every day for a year. And one of the greatest benefits I received was the relationships I established with these guests, these people that became my friends and learning from these people who are some of the best experts in my niche.

I feel like I got a master's degree in my niche learning from these top experts. Can you talk a little bit more about the specific benefits that you received? By building these relationships from and learning from these expert guests you had.

Gordon Glenister: Yeah I talk a lot about I've run a program actually, which is all about personal branding and influence. And one of the things I say is you can leapfrog to the top of your industry very quickly by being an author, a podcast host, a community founder of some description. And the reason I say that is because you get the credibility by association. So what you're doing is you're tapping into your guest's audience.

And for example, the David Letterman show in America, or it's if you're a host of any description, people then start to see you as this authority figure. And what I wanted to do is not only learn and learn more about the industry that I was in, but also by the types of questions that I was asking and the free flowing conversation I felt that people were saying.

Yeah, I love the show, not just because it's not overly pre-scripted. What it is a conversation between two individuals that really understand the sector they're in. So a lot of my guests would say to me, thank you for the interview. Really enjoyed it. I really liked your questions because ultimately, what you want to be is seen as a semi equal, if you will, to the to the guest.

But also, you want the guest to be promoted and marketed and if you haven't got the size audience, which you're not going to have at the beginning by having a guest on there. And then sharing the content on their socials, you're going to find that you leapfrog quite quickly.

And I've certainly seen that with some episodes in particular, and obviously because it's about influencer marketing, I've seen some of my influencers that have got, over a million followers in some instances, all they need to do is to just share that or, encourage their followers to listen to the episode on one episode alone could almost go viral for you.

There's a multitude of reasons why having the right guests on there is really important. And of course, as you get bigger guests on there, suddenly. It's almost as though, and I was really pleased to have Ivan Meisner, who is the founder of BNI, that if BNI is a business network, international global community of businesses.

He's very, he's called the sort of the godfather of of networking. And he standout guests. But it's been a great experience, I have to say.

Nathan Gwilliam: So Gordon, in your last answer, you talked about how having a podcast and having a book both gave you so much credibility.

Can you talk a little bit more about how a book and a podcast go together and the kind of doors that opened for you? For example, it seems like that opened the door to the Brazilian market for you, is having the book with the podcast.

Gordon Glenister: No, absolutely it did. And I've begun to continue as a lecturer at university because that's good. So I've done some really great projects with Nottingham Trent University with 500 marketing students and 30 brands over three years now which has been really exciting. And it's a real sense to see these into these students really come up with some amazing ideas for influencer campaigns.

And I think having a book has made a big difference. There's giving you that sort of authority. I think the biggest benefit has been as a keynote speaker and a panelist. When you're a book and a podcast host, people start to see you in that line. They're almost all coming together.

Do you see what I mean? It's not one thing in isolation. It just gives you that sense of, you don't have to prove yourself when you're there. In other words, you've got the stage and people can see what you've done. And more importantly, when you've been independently rated as I was for the the book awards to get the book business book of the year finalist was just the most magical thing, actually.

And for somebody that had a bit of imposter syndrome writing that book, given my, relative lack of experience that was beyond my wildest dreams, to be honest. You don't make a huge amount of money in books. I know that in business books, you don't, but it is the best business card you could ever have.

People just look at you differently. And that for me has been a great experience.  

Nathan Gwilliam: I love that three different ways comment. I haven't heard that before that, but that makes a lot of sense. And if you have a podcast and you have a book, that's two different ways. And then maybe from that credibility, you get invited to speak at some conferences. And that might be your third way, or you might get invited to give a TED talk or you start to become these credibility signals that people can pull from to infer that, that you're credible on this niche you're talking.

Gordon Glenister: And then if you want to start a program like an education program or masterclass or something like that, it becomes a lot easier because people know that you've been and done it and you've got the recognition that they see as important for them to invest in some money rather than you just having started an influencer program from scratch, I've done it, I've been there and I've written the book on influencer strategy.

So in a way, it helps give confidence to your intended audience and just on the speaking front, as it's relevant, I was able to partner with the podcast show in London, which was absolutely fantastic. This year, and we're going to do something again this year. And I did that on two ways. A, because we're able to bring the Bradley content marketing association as a media partner, which gave gravitas to the BCMA.

But also I was able to get a keynote position, which is often I might add for lots of conferences, limited to big name brands, speakers or if I'm honest, people that are going to pay money to the conference speakers. So to be somebody that isn't either of those things was quite an achievement and the subject matter, which I feel quite strongly was, how to monetize your podcast with not subscribers.

And I felt that was something that people might want to come and listen to because so often as content creators. We keep churning out these things. They take a lot of time and effort. And often people have said to me, yeah, but it's not really making me any money. And I thought let's share some ideas that could make them some money.

And that's what I did at the show.

Nathan Gwilliam: Okay let's go to that topic of your show in just a minute. There's two more questions I want to ask you first and let's definitely go there. So you talked about a little bit earlier, the Brazilian market and how you thought it was such a great market. And I agree with you.

I've helped build five ventures in Brazil and it feels a little bit like cheating because it works so well in Brazil, it feels like the Brazilian market is starved for entrepreneurship and new ventures. And it's so difficult in Brazil to start a business. They have more than a hundred percent tax on employees.

For example, if you hire an employee for 40,000 dollars a year, 50, 000 dollars a year. You have to pay more than 40, 50, 000 dollars just in employment taxes for that person. There's a lot of policies that make it very difficult to do business in Brazil and it restricts entrepreneurship a lot. So the people that are willing to go to Brazil and do business in Brazil it feels like they're starved for those opportunities and there's not a glut of entrepreneurship there is in the United States.

And so when I've been able to do these businesses in Brazil, help start an airline in Brazil they tend to do really well. Because there's just, isn't the competition that there is here.

Gordon Glenister: That's for sure. Interesting point that you make that actually, because one of the things I realized about YouTubers if you've got a million subscribers, you're just an average YouTuber.

In other words, because they don't have so many of them, the ones that they do have such enormous audiences, even the lady that was Bianca, that was part of my documentary. She has 29 million on Instagram. It's insane. And I was reading a little while ago as part of the launch that Brazil has the highest conversion rate of products bought through influencers than anywhere else in the world.

Nathan Gwilliam: Yeah, I've told our team here that as we start going global, after the US market, the Brazilian market and Portuguese is the very first global market we go after there's just so much opportunity there.

Gordon Glenister: Yeah. And you're right. They do have a desire. My, my partner's Portuguese actually they really have a desire to want to be entrepreneurial.

They see the excitement of what goes on in the rest of the world. And this is why I think teaching and inspiring other countries around the world. I'm writing the second edition of influence and marketing strategy at the moment, and I really want to try and get that translated or into more countries.

And almost rinse and repeat what we did in Brazil, because there is a real appetite for this. And, what I do in the book is talk not only how to do it, but how to do it properly. One of the things I don't want to help people do is buy followers or actually try and find ways around influencer marketing, the people that are successful are the people that create amazing content. They know the stats. They know and understand what a media deck looks like. They know how to pitch to brands. They know how to run campaigns because they've done it right. And they've used best practice principles. And that's what I want.

That's what I'm passionate about is doing it right. And not just being followed by wannabe individuals, because there's, unfortunately, there's a fair few of those.

Nathan Gwilliam: Okay, one last comment before we go to the topic of your speech. You made a comment about memberships and podcasts and how those two can work synergistically together.

Can you talk a little bit more about how podcasters can leverage memberships?

Gordon Glenister: One of the great things about it's all about the quality of the content. So there are definitely podcasters that actually can use exclusive and highly valuable content behind a paywall. And it might only be like a few dollars a month.

This is the same thing we see on Netflix, isn't it? We've got great films, got great programs, episode or content that people want and they pay a membership for it. They don't pay much for it, but they pay for it. So I think having a membership is a very good way of doing this.

But I actually on membership world which is largely by the way, a community for people that run memberships a lot of it's about professional membership bodies, trade associations, trade unions, charities. And so I thought to myself, bearing in mind, I'm talking to that audience, who would benefit most from that audience and particularly at a senior level, and I thought immediately it will be the suppliers to that sector, typically event tech platforms, CRM systems.

And so I happened to know some of those companies and I reached out to them, just one of them in particular to say, look, I'm going to be running this podcast very soon, this is what it's going to be about. And these are the types of guests that I'm going to have on the show. And as part of this sponsorship, I'm going to introduce you to those guests as well. And that was quite a pivotal moment.

So they started to see me as a lead generator for driving opportunities to them, because they've got somebody else. Advocating for them and almost warming up the conversation. And in some cases, this particular partner was prepared to give me guests that were in their sweet spot were in their ideal target list. And of course I reached out to them and I said, would you like to be a guest on the show? And let me also introduce you to our partner, RD mobile. Who are an event platform provider and it's worked really well.

What I also did is I gave them the opportunity to sponsor a series. So I always say don't give your guests an opportunity to sponsor one, just do a limited series. And it's also very affordable. So it's about 3, 000 for six episodes. But for that, I also brand the person the cover with the logo of the brand. I make sure that there's a link in the show notes. I make sure they've got a 15 second advert in the mid role. And I also talk about them at the beginning of the show as well.

So actually it's a very cost effective way for them to reach their target audience, but he's also cause I was just to be told, oh, you'll never get sponsorship until you've got at least 10, 000 download subscribers. And I got that from membership world right at the start, because what I did is I pitched the proposition to them and therefore they saw in the average, we spend thousands of pounds at exhibitions and we don't necessarily get anything. And what we've got now is at least six personal introductions, but we've also got an outside audience and we're involved with a, with an international thought leader. On the, on our target audience.

So one of the, one of the lessons I would say to your listeners is think about putting together a really great media deck which, and position themselves as though they were the person spending the money. What would they want? They want leads, they want opportunities, they want brand awareness. So are there sorts of things that you can do as part of that? But also just by you introducing your guests to your sponsor. That is quite a big opportunity for them. In fact, I met somebody at a show and I said to them what we could do is for a series of 11, not only will I introduce you to them, but I'll go and find the types of companies that you want to work with.

And I'll find the suitable guests that have got a story to tell. So basically they sent me an NDA. Non disclosure agreement with about 50 different companies within that. And as long as I was able to find individuals within that to be honest, we can always find stories within those types of companies. They were happy.

And here's the thing, Nathan, they weren't that even bothered about the size of my audience because they thought if Gordon could introduce us to these 10 people and we can use the content on our own website and build the brand as well, that is a very cost effective lead generation tool bearing in mind, the average sale for this customer is a hundred thousand dollars. So can you see straight away? It's a very effective way for them to reach out.

And I want to tell you lastly about one other thing that we did on the influence one. And again, we got sponsorship twice. With an influencer marketing platform. And the reason I want to tell you about this one is because it was still a series. But it was a limited edition series. So normally we only publish every two weeks. So what I said to them is how about we do a series of five, we interview five top fashion influencers, you select them from your platform. And we will have the same subject heading, which is influencers are the new retailers, and we'll just get a different individual within the five. But here's the most exciting thing for you. Let's drop them every single day during London fashion week.

So normally they would only have been every two weeks, which would have come and gone during fashion week. But so what I did is I actually changed it to having a limited edition series and we changed the format. So the normal show just ran every two weeks as normal. But what I did for them is create a limited edition series. And that was the the key component in them going ahead with it.

Nathan Gwilliam: I love that. It's like native advertising where you turn the advertising into content and it's content that provides value that people want to consume.

Gordon Glenister: Exactly, yeah.

But now what they could have done is just done the sponsoring the episode every two weeks, but the relevance of having this limited edition series meant that it was their brand being promoted every single day for five days during London fashion week and associated with influence and fashion together.

So it was a. Double here. And what we got was all the influencers sharing the content. We've got the platform sharing the content. We got the BCMA sharing the content and me personally sharing it and tagging in the London fashion week Twitter handles and logos. It's the whole sense of, if you want to move the needle, you've got to do it all together in one go.

And that's what we were able to do.

Nathan Gwilliam: I love it. Thank you for sharing this monetization strategy. This seems to be one of the biggest problems that podcasters face. The help that they ask for is, how do I monetize this thing? You just shared with us some phenomenally valuable advice on doing that.

What other advice can you share with us on how podcasters can effectively monetize their podcasts?

Gordon Glenister: Obviously the big way to do it, I think, is to use YouTube and TikTok shorts is taking little snippets out of their show. And almost if you're doing a half hour or 40 minutes show could you create.

Like five different 30 second snippets and use that on your Instagram or TikTok. I must admit, I don't do that as much as I've seen other people do it, but I know it's a very successful way because what you want is you want drivers to your main show. We're now in the attention economy. I'll tell you an interesting stat is the average person scrolls the length of the Eiffel Tower every day on their phone, which is phenomenal. You've got milliseconds to grab their attention.

I would also not be despondent in thinking when I published my show on LinkedIn, nothing ever happens. It doesn't happen for anybody. The reason being is because LinkedIn isn't a driver for podcasts. What matters is having a community that is registered and signed up to, to listen to you.

I think also reminding people to share the episode, rate the show as well. And if I'm honest I haven't done it, but put some money behind some paid media. If you think there's a really good show that you know is gonna grab the attention of people, but the reality is just not enough people are hearing it. Why don't you just put a hundred dollars behind it and just see what happens? That makes a big difference.

And then lastly, I belong to a thing called the marketing podcast network, and we now have 75 or more shows within that community. Now it was set up by a friend of mine, and it is grown and grown.

And one of the benefits that we've got there is that we are, as podcasters, we're all related to marketing in some way. That's the that's what brings us together. And it's like using the Amazon story, isn't it? You bought that book and so we're going to suggest you that book as well. And so what we found is that we've been able to grow our community and our individual podcasts by being part of a bigger collective.

So on my show, for example, in the intro, I will say we're delighted to be a member of MPN, the Marketing Podcast Network, where you can listen to other marketing and influencer shows. What we've also done is we've also, a lot of us have rated each other's shows. And that of course helps the algorithm in seeing higher ratings.

And we've been able to come together for regular meetings once a month and talk about what's been good, what hasn't, if there's been changes in the market, if we're going to move from one platform to another. Currently we're on megaphone, but there's been talk about us moving out.

Also an advertiser by being on one platform together, it means that we combine all of the listen numbers together, and that of course is great. LinkedIn ads, for example, has been a company that we've partnered with and they're able to get their advert on, best part of 70 odd shows, which is and it's marketing related so it's very powerful.

So for those of you that are listening to this if you're not part of a podcast network, why don't you start one? Why don't you speak to some other people in your niche and it could be wellness or something. And you might want to just start with half a dozen of you, six or seven, maybe.

And just see what happens and start to collaborate together and see whether or not you can combine an advertiser, as long as you're all on the same podcast platform, that's the only sort of rule, but as long as that's possible. It could be a great way for you to come together as a community and a larger one at that.

Nathan Gwilliam: You just shared some phenomenal marketing secrets. I love this concept of building a network and helping promote each other and helping sell ads together. There's definitely a power in joining a network like that. What other strategies do you have for us? Anything else that can help get podcasters over the hump to a point that they can really monetize it and turn it into a venture?

Gordon Glenister: We've talked about having amazing guests on there as well. That definitely helps. But think about one of the things I've found is that if you even if you ask guests to share stuff, they don't always do it.

So maybe really think about what's in it for them. How can you really help them do it because ultimately you do need them to share the episodes. That is the transformational difference. So really think about your guests' experience rather than thinking just about they're on my show. I'm going to promote them.

Some of these big guests and the bigger ones you can get the better. Don't forget they're often paid to attend and do stuff because they're a celebrity or something, so you shouldn't always assume they're going to do something for nothing. So you really have a think about reaching for the stars but really thinking about what could I offer to them that's going to really help support them in some endeavor, it may be that, that they're supporting a charity. And you could find a way to promote the charity involvement that they're in. So that could be something.

Nathan Gwilliam: I love it. Give value first before we expect anything back from them.

Gordon Glenister: Absolutely, yeah.

You could run competitions you could use merch to promote your show. I'm somebody that used to be there. British promotional merchandise association. I have my own merchandise as well. But I think it's I think it's a really good way to promote the show at every opportunity on business cards, on t shirts, on stuff that you could give away to your audience.

Think of your show, like a radio, because that's what it is in a way, what a radio shows do that you can draw from could you sponsor an event, for example could you partner with something, could you do a a live podcast at a conference, for example, an interview the keynote speaker, and you become a media partner to that show. That could be a really good way.

Nathan Gwilliam: What is the hardest thing that you had to go through on your journey and how did you get through it?

Gordon Glenister: Funny enough, I think a bit of self belief. When I left the BPMA, I was an industry icon, if I'm honest, everybody knew who I was. I'd walk in the room and everybody, when you're running the industry body as a director, everybody knows you are. And then I literally walked out of that into an industry where I knew nobody and writing a book when I wasn't even sure that I'd be doing this and how would people perceive it? Who's this new kid on the block? What's it like to be a podcaster host who's never been there? And so I had a lot of those stuff going in my head.

And then I thought to myself you can't dictate what people are going to think of you. I always say one little phrase, a brand is what somebody says about you when you're not in the room. It's not what you think it is. It's what other people think it is.

So as long as you are warm, friendly, you listen to people, you give people the time of day, you thank them profusely for their time and the effort. You're just a nice person it's amazing how those qualities really shine through and I've tried to put trust at the heart of everything I do.

I'm very genuine in what I say, I give a damn about people, whoever they are and wherever they're from and I think that comes over in everything that I've done. And so those qualities of determination and caring for other people have probably made a difference to the success of where I am today to be honest.

But look, I still have challenges. We've had a horrendous pandemic that affected me as much as any other business. I even had to get what we call a bounce back loan because suddenly my business, evaporated. I had friends of mine that were international speakers that were earning, considerable sums of money in a year just fall off the cliff.

But what that does is it makes you really think about what you want out of life, and what you think is really important, your family, the employees that you work for when you're a business owner, having a team and knowing that they look up to you, they depend upon you.

Your customers and the service that you provide being able to deliver, not just a service, but amazing wow experience that they want to share that with their with other people that they work with or share it online, getting great testimonials. And I've been privileged to have hundreds of testimonials, LinkedIn profile.

And I think, why are people taking the time to do that? Because, they feel that I've been able to give them something of value. And I was encouraged that all of the time. There's a danger in all this because you can be the person that gives out loads of free value and you forget actually, you've still got to make a living at the end of the day.

But I don't know. I also believe in good karma as well, Nathan, if you look after people, they look after you.

Nathan Gwilliam: If our audience has enjoyed this episode, as I have Gordon, and they want to learn more about you and your products and services, what are the best ways for them to do that?

Gordon Glenister: That's very nice of you.

Thank you. It's gordonglennister. com and there's only one of me, I think. So that's you can find that on my website. I'm on all the platforms, LinkedIn, Instagram, X. And TikTok, or that's my smallest audience that I've got to get better at TikTok. And you can buy the book influence of marketing strategy at most bookstores online, Amazon and others as well.

It's been a privilege to be on your show, Nathan, thank you so much and wish you all the best for 2024.

Nathan Gwilliam: And that's a fabulous book. I highly recommend it to everyone. I have it. It's upstairs. And. And I fractured a vertebrae in my back snowboarding this last weekend. So I wasn't able to go up and get it.

Otherwise I'd be holding it up right now as I recommended it to everybody. But Gordon, thanks for your time. And I wish you all success in your influencer marketing strategy. And as you work to monetize your podcast.

Gordon Glenister: Great. Thank you, Nathan. All the best to you.

Subscribe now to the free Podcasting Secrets newsletter, and we send you our Ultimate Podcast Monetization guide at no charge!