Cliff Ravenscraft is a podcasting expert and has learned how to earn a full-time income by being an expert online. In fact, he earned $16,000 in only 10 days a few years ago. He shares that story and gives tips, advice, and suggestions for how each of us, as YouTube creators, can monetize our audience by making money as an expert in our field and industry.

Today, we are going to talk with the Podcast Answer Man about different ideas he has for how you can monetize your YouTube audience as an expert.

Turns out, we’re like neighbors almost. And he’s been doing some of the stuff with the podcasting world that I’ve been doing on YouTube. But he’s been doing it for far longer than I have. Great guy doing a lot of awesome stuff.

And you are an expert, a podcasting expert. And I would be a YouTube expert, some would call us. And so I’m wondering what ideas that you have for people who are experts, developing audiences online, whether through YouTube, podcasting, whatever the case may be. Some way that they can really build a business, make a monetizable income stream through the audiences that their developing online. What have you seen works really well?

Gained Loyal Following

Well, one of things that I see people turn to, first and foremost, is they’re an area expert. They’ve gained a loyal following of people who turn to them for insight and information into whatever it is they happen to be an expert in.

And they figure, well, I’ve got this audience. The easiest way for me to monetize is to turn to advertisers.

Oh, OK.

And while that can work for some folks, but the problem is to have an advertiser really be interested in you, you need to have somewhere between 20,000 people per episode that are really following you. And really, they don’t get real excited until you get to about 100,000 to 150,000 people per episode who are consistently following the content that you’re creating.

The podcast world? Is that for–

Yeah, that’s definitely podcast world. And I don’t know what the correlation with–

On YouTube, it’s probably around 2,000 views consistently on average per video, pretty predictably. That’s when you can start having a conversation.

Right. And even then, when we start talking about advertisers just getting excited, we’re talking maybe $200 an episode or $400 an episode. And some people might think that that’s a lot of money. That’d be really exciting, right?

One-on-One Consulting

Well, the fact is that I found that the best way to generate income, being an expert, is giving people access to that information from you that you could provide that they would be willing to pay for. One of the things that I did starting out– and it’s not necessarily scalable– is one-on-one coaching and consulting. But I definitely recommend this as a source of revenue because it allows you to get to know your audience.

Tim, I think you and I just had lunch. And you were telling me about how folks who were consistently saying, man, you have no idea how much value you have to bring to the table because of all the things that you think everybody knows.

Right, yeah. And I was like, oh, people don’t know some of these things. It was kind of mind-blowing to me.

Yeah. You were showing me that you were working with one client, and you said they actually showed you the results of their views as a result of what it was like before they worked with you and then the day after they worked with you.

So the reality is that sometimes what we think other people know isn’t exactly what they know. And so I found that working with people one-on-one gave me a lot of insight into the questions that they have and also the value that I actually have to offer to folks.

And I’ll never forget that when I first started doing one-on-one coaching and consulting, I was only charging $50 an hour.

Which it could get you started, you can feel out the water a little bit.

Well, and the thing is that I thought I was charging a lot of money. I came from the world of being an employee all my life. And the reality is that I’ve found that a lot of people, when I was only charging $50 an hour– and I’m using that language intentionally, “only charging $50 an hour”– the reality is a lot of people didn’t want to hire me because they didn’t think that I valued what I had to offer.

I wasn’t charging enough. And the more I charged, the more serious people took me. In fact, the higher my rates went, the more I closed the sale on the people who were showing interest in hiring me.

With consulting one-on-one, it’s not necessarily scalable. You can only work with people so many hours in a week. One of the things that happened to me is there was one day, out of an entire day, I worked with four different clients, two hours for each client.

Had two calls in the morning, two calls in the afternoon. All four of those calls, I was teaching somebody how to use Adobe Audition to edit their podcast from scratch. I started from scratch. And after two hours, they knew everything that I needed to share with them.

And then right after that call, I did the exact same thing. Did it two more times in the afternoon. And by the end of the day, I’m like, I really am getting tired of teaching people about Adobe Audition.

And I realized that this is the same– I’m getting hired to teach people the same things over and over again. And as a result of doing all this one-on-one coaching and consulting, I realized what people most wanted to hire me for.

Email Marketing

And so at the time, I had a mailing list with only 200 people on my mailing list. I had just been convinced–

Email list, right?

My email list. I had just been convinced to start a mailing list where people could give me their name and email address. And so there are only 200 people on the list. However, now I will tell you this, it says, if you want to be notified of the next time I have a product or service to sell you, sign up on my mailing list.

It’s not like what I’m doing here where I give you guys a free ebook about how to grow your YouTube audience if you sign up type of thing.

Yeah, these are people who are waiting for something to buy for me. But it’s 200. That’s not a lot of people. So what I did is after I had these four consulting calls doing the same thing, I decided, you know what? I’m going to create webinars.

Produce a Tutorial

I’m actually going to teach this for a large group of people who will pay me ahead of time to be there live. And I’m going to record this in high definition video, high definition audio. This is going to be a really well produced tutorial.

And what I did is I mailed those 200 people one email and said I’m going to do a seven webinar series teaching them things that I’m most hired to teach people– Adobe Audition, Audacity 101, how to use GarageBand, and all these other things. And what I did is I sent that email out, and I made $16,000 in 10 days.

Wow. Cool. With an audience of 200?

With an audience of 200 people on the list.

There you go.

And I basically had about 100 people for each one of those webinars. I turned them into recorded, downloadable tutorials that people could purchase one-on-one. And since then, I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of those.

That’s awesome. Cool. So you could do consulting. You could do video training, like a course. A lot you guys are DIY, home repair, crafting people.

Like my brother-in-law does a lot of construction work. It’s like, hey, you do this to help people replace the floor in their house so many times. There’s so many people that would just like, hey, if I paid $99, I could watch your whole course on how to install a new kitchen floor or something like that. I was like, you should do that.

And I know a lot of you guys have a lot of gifts, and talents, and abilities out there that you could do something like that as well. Just like I do here at “Video Creators.” I got courses, you’ve got video courses, that we sell to help train people on the questions we help them with all the time.

Affiliate Marketing

So the next thing is affiliate. So we talked about advertising a little bit. But affiliates are different than advertisers. Affiliates are where people will pay you for each sale that you actually bring their way.

It’s nice because you don’t have to worry about reporting stats, and numbers, and worrying about how much you get paid based upon how many views you have. It’s literally, am I delivering you results? You as a company.

And so for example, as a podcast coach, there are a lot of people who come to me and say, Cliff, where do I get started? Well, the first thing is, do you have a website? Well, no, I don’t have a website. Well, let’s set you up with a hosting provider and install WordPress on it.

Well, I have an affiliate account with Bluehost, and I get a significant commission every single time somebody uses my link to sign up for their hosting account. Same thing with certain products or services. So for you, Tim, I would imagine you could probably have these lighting kits.

Yeah, I have B&H Photo as an affiliate. Amazon is one. But when I talk about a product or for a review like a GoPro camera, like, link below, and people can go click it. And if they buy it because of the review I did, then I get a certain commission based on that.

Absolutely. And then hopefully, you get to the place where one day, you are so successful at this one-on-one coaching and consulting, your products are selling like wildfire, everybody wants your attention. They want specific, targeted answers to their specific questions.

But unfortunately, you don’t have enough time in the week to be able to help all of those people. And one of the additional sources of income as an expert that I’m able to bring in is referral commissions. So I actually have had a number of people who have followed me and said, Cliff, I’ve learned all of this stuff from you that I’m actually willing to start helping people.

And these are people that I’ve come to know, like, and trust, knowing that they actually have the same values that I have. They actually follow a lot of the same principles as to how to treat people, what kind of content, audio quality, production value, and all of those things.

And I’ve said, you know what? I trust referring people to you. And we came to a relationship where I actually generate a percentage of income as a commission for each person I refer to them. So I may not be able to help people one-on-one as much these days, but I’m able to still provide value to them by connecting them to somebody who can help them one-on-one.

So that’s awesome. I’ve love to hear from you guys in the comments below. What ideas you guys have as experts in your fields that are developing your audiences and your communities here on YouTube. What have you found works really well from you?

And if you are one of those people, definitely check out the comments that people are leaving down there. Cliff, the community here is awesome. They’re always helping each other out. And I learn from you guys all the time because you’re helping me out too. So thank you so much for that.

And if this is your first time here, first of all, you should check out Cliff, the Answer Man. Where would they go, the Podcast Answer Man?

And what will they find there?

You’ll find a ton of information about helping you take your message, your business, and your life to the next level by creating content that makes a powerful difference in people’s lives.

And you do talk about some of these types of things in some of your podcast episodes as well.