How do you provide value and stay on target with your podcast mission? We find out in this episode as Tracy Hazzard sits down for an interview with the host of the Nonprofit Architect Podcast, Travis Johnson. Travis and Tracy talk about how Travis got started on the path of podcasting for nonprofit organizations and what he’s learned doing his podcast. Travis also shares tips on starting your podcast and finding your voice. Learn more tips and tricks for your podcasts by tuning in.
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Deliver on Your Podcast Mission Just Like Active Duty Podcast Host Travis Johnson, the NonProfit Architect
I’ve got an architectural podcast. No, not really. It’s the Nonprofit Architect Podcast. I love that name. It’s fun and unusual. It implies such importance to the planning and architecting of your nonprofit. If you want to make an impact, these are the things that you want to do. I’ve got Travis Johnson. He’s the host of the Nonprofit Architect. Travis shares his perspective as the former Vice President of Books by Vets, a board member at the Shine Foundation.
He’s donated over $30,000 that volunteered over 1,500 hours and raised more than $500,000. Helped start six nonprofits event coordinators and is also a published author. Plus, Travis is serving as an active-duty officer in the United States Navy. He’s married with two children and an aunt who is move number 50. For those of you in the military and military families, we all know what that’s like. I was a military brat as a young child. We did a lot of moves, but not 50, though. Hats off to his family.
His humble beginnings include 36 moves before graduating high school at 17, 6 states, 5 foster homes and surviving 2 murder attempts. I didn’t ask him about that on the show because he sent me his bio after. Now I wish I did, but I bet you out there there’s got to be a podcast interview with Travis where he talks about that. Although this was always rough for him, there was always a person, group or church willing to help him in his family and now he’s in a position to give back. He made it his mission to help the helpers, which is why his show, the Nonprofit Architect, exists.
He’s doing some deep-dive things. He’s talking about some issues that most nonprofits don’t think about. They think about the mission, the message, the impact that they want to have, but they don’t want to always think about, “How am I going to structure this? How am I going to make it work? How do I fundraise? How do I make these things happen?” Those are the conversations that he’s diving into on a show. It’s an interesting take and different from a lot of the other podcasts out there focused on the nonprofit area. Let’s talk to Travis Johnson and hear some more about how he started and has continued posting with all this going on in his life and continued publishing his podcast.
Travis, we’re going to talk Nonprofit Architect. I love that title because it gives you so much room to go. It gives you so many places you could take your show in different directions and I love it when it has a nice broad term, but it also has an audience appealing term. How did you come up with the name?
I wanted something that would invoke building architects. It turns out you can’t name your company architect unless you are an architect. I went to the Oklahoma Board of Architects and they were like, “No, can’t do it,” so my business name is some other nonsense. Not related, but I could still have a podcast called the Nonprofit Architect. I got excited about being at a few different nonprofit boards and when I got stationed in the Kingdom of Bahrain and I wanted to know how I could keep doing some nonprofit way of stuff.
Someone was like, “You do have that golden voice. You could do a podcast. You certainly have the face for podcasting.” I took a slight offense but I know I’m not the prettiest guy out there, but I wanted to keep providing value in the nonprofit world. Since I knew some, but not all, I wanted to have other guests on that could teach you how to build a stronger nonprofit and that’s what we did.
In this area of nonprofits, there’s a lot of podcasts out in the arena, but they are focused on one side. You’ve decided to be able to flip sides. You’re talking about the nonprofit organizers, the boards, the people who might be investing, so you’ve got a broad range here. That’s what a good name has allowed you to do. Is there a strategy to which side you want to talk to?
I look for people that want to share their out their how-to. When I was researching different shows and trying to figure out what I would be focusing on, I know I wanted to provide legitimate value. I know there are so many podcasts in general out there but getting down to the core of the value of the episode. When I looked at the top 25 or the top 50, there wasn’t a how-to show among them.Even if you’re an industry expert, you still have a lot to learn from all the different people you talk to. Click To Tweet
Not a single person was giving you the down and dirty how to do this stuff. I think that’s one of the places that nonprofits fail at large. I’m not saying failure like they’re a failure, but they don’t take the time to learn about the industry and how to do it better. There is too much in the complete slog of doing things and getting things done.
There’s nothing wrong with that, except for you never learn how to do it better except through your own experience. You’re not learning different tips, tricks, trades. There’s not a lot of like nonprofit industry shows out there or meetups. There’s a couple of conferences that some people do good, but unless you’re going to those, unless you spend the time to learn that stuff, you never know how to do it better. You see what’s out there.
You model something after it and you give it a shot. There’s probably the big reason for such a huge nonprofit turnover. Every 12 to 18 months, you’re getting a new executive director, getting a new director of volunteers or whatever else because you don’t have the time to invest in your people. Something like the Nonprofit Architect gives you the no kidding, how-to steps in order to build a stronger nonprofit.
I love that model because you need collective learning because when you have so much change over all the time, you’re losing that. You need a place in which you can go and gather that rebuild again. That’s a big issue for a lot. Architects and I know a lot about it because industrial designers and architects have a similarity, but architects, that’s what they do.
They learn from failures on buildings in the past and what are they going to build better next time. Your name is so perfect for the show. It’s a great name. It’s attractive and covers art as well. You named it right. You did some of the things right at the beginning, but I can imagine it wasn’t as easy as you thought it was going to be when you went to start your podcast. What did you find the most challenging?
I thought it was easy, except I sucked.
In what way?
As a host, you don’t know what the heck you’re doing until you start unless you have some interview background. I know there’s a couple of styles. You can do a solo show, co-host a show, interview show. You can do a panel discussion, but I had never interviewed people before and because I’ve hadn’t interviewed people before and I also have never had my own podcast before. In the first 10, 15 episodes, and I’m pretty sure it’s the same for about everybody out there, you suck. You don’t know your voice in the industry. You don’t understand what you’re trying to say and pull out of the guests. You don’t know a whole lot, even if you were an industry expert. You still have a lot to learn from all the different people you talk to.
You’re trying to build not only who you are but what the voice of the podcast is going to be and how to fine-tune your target audience. If you go back and even your shows, I’m sure back when you started at whichever podcast you started on, the first couple of episodes were crappy. I know that mine was. Not for lack of fantastic guests, but I didn’t know how to interview people. I didn’t know how to do the right research and understand the golden nuggets I wanted to pull out of their story or out of this show to make that happen. I started right away with a team doing the backend stuff because I knew where my talents lay and where they did not lay.
I’m a 5’8 fat guy. I’m not going to be playing in the NBA. I know my talents don’t lay there. I knew I wasn’t going to have at the time. I was still full-time active duty Navy and not going to have the time to do all the backend stuff. I hired that out right away, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to do that but I didn’t know how to book people or where to find the right people or who the people I was looking for.
I identified who I wanted my audience to be, but I didn’t know if they were going to be listening. You have all these unknowns. The best thing I did for that was start doing the show, even though you’re terrified. “How are people going to look at me? Who am I to have a voice in this industry?” Whatever it may be. Getting started helps you figure out most of those problems.
I don’t think your beginning was so rough because I always go back, listen to the first episode, listen to more recent episodes. It’s my process. I evaluated your show and I don’t think it was that rough for a first interview at all. You did a good job there. You have grown in terms of how you shifted. Your most recent episode that I listened to was talking to a dog trainer, which seems diametrically opposed to talking about nonprofit.
What does that have to do with anything? You angled it and brought it in quickly. The guests did a great job too of following your lead. Your interview skills have gotten better over time. That’s for sure. I would say that’s not your roughest side. I’ve heard some that are pretty rough at the beginning of not knowing how to interview and you don’t have that. You have some seamlessness throughout the shows.
I’ve had the gift of gab for the vast majority of my life. The ability to talk to people and get into it and roll with the punches, BS when I need you to, I’ve had that for a long time. Probably that helped out quite a bit. I even hosted a trivia when I was stationed in Bahrain, out at a bar in town. I have that ability to interact with people and play the crowd a little bit but I was not sure how that would translate to the podcast world and what that might look like. It’s nice to get feedback from another industry professional like, “Your show is pretty good.” I’m glad.
You got something good going on. Don’t stress about it. Keep going. You mentioned time and I want to dive into that because that is such a hard thing for most podcasters out there. You’re active US Navy. You’ve got nonprofit boards that you’re on. Sometimes you’re not stationed at home. You’ve got a lot going on. How do you manage besides a team that is doing post-production for you? How do you manage to find the time to even do the podcast?
This is an important question. It is because at the beginning, I was in the Middle East. My family was in the US. I wanted to have something to do that would take up some of my time on purpose to make sure I was doing something productive. When I started, it was almost easier to be in the Middle East than be in America because I didn’t have to worry about grocery shopping for the family or getting a kid to practice or to school or home or coordinating my work schedule with my wife’s schedule. I was doing work, then I had the rest of the time. It was free time to do whatever I wanted, which was nice. The hardest part was getting back to the States trying to re-integrate with my family, do the Navy as much as the Navy needs me, which they’re needing me a lot and still be able to do their show.
One of the ways I started doing that was changing my schedule to only be available at certain times. Initially, it was open. Whenever I wasn’t working, I had a wide-open schedule. Being eight hours different from the Central US. I had to have early mornings and late evenings I had to have available to meet with guests. I ended up interviewing a couple of people in Europe and New Zealand and different places, which was a lot of fun but having the time right for the guests to get in there. When I got back to the states, my wife was like, “You are doing this stuff all the time. The Navy had you for a year and I need you. I need you for our time and our family.”
“This is me time.”
“You had you time. I need me time.” I quit doing any weekend scheduling events then I stopped doing the afternoons. Only the mornings on Mondays and Wednesdays is what I got down to. That’s my dedicated time for the podcast. You’re going to be able to meet me there to do a pre-interview. I’m a big fan of the pre-interview. I know a lot of people are not because it takes up time. It’s another time to schedule, but if you have a dedicated morning or two where you can interview a bunch of people, 2, 3, 4 interviews, you have all of your stuff done for the month. As we’re recording this at the 31st of August, I have enough episodes recorded to take me through Christmas.
You’re banking them up. You’re staying on schedule. I love it. It keeps it easier to be committed to it when you’re not behind.
Yes, and that happened to me. It’s part of the learning process. I have a bunch of episodes come out. I had them recorded. I was doing and probably week to week, trying to figure out how to do some schedule. My family flew out for Christmas to Bahrain. We did New Year’s in Dubai, which should you get a chance to do that. I highly recommend doing New Year’s on the beach in Dubai. It’s like 75 degrees. Everyone’s excited. It’s a lot of fun. I didn’t have enough banked-up episodes. My numbers took a hit in January because I didn’t publish anything. I learned that if I’m going to be doing this, I have to meet my mission thing. If I say I’m doing a weekly show, I’ve got to have them have recorded up.Businesses should be more like nonprofits and nonprofits should be more like businesses. Click To Tweet
If I get in a car wreck and I’m in the hospital for three months, my show is going to keep on producing itself. My backend team is going to do the editing. I’ve got all the things in the files that I need to. They’ve been trained over time to do what I need to do and do it the way I want it done. It runs like a seamless machine. I gave a little bit of tweak. If you’re in the aviation world, a little stick and rudder. If you’re in the ship world, a little bit left or right, “Come right three degrees.” A little bit of guidance to keep them going down the track I want them on and everything runs smoothly.
Let’s jump into some of the three things that we talked about. You mentioned refining your guests over time. How do you go about getting great guests? What is your process now?
The biggest thing that I care about is, are they going to provide value to my audience? Yes. I have to meet that metric. If they don’t meet that metric, why would I have them on the show? Are they going to be able to teach something or get down into a topic? I’m going to make sure that they’re meeting my mission statement of the podcast, whether that’s the name, have a separate mission statement, whatever that is.
That’s the promise you make with your audience on the product that you’re going to deliver to them each and every week, day, month, depending on how often you do your show. I initially went to where are my nonprofit leaders at because I interviewed nonprofit leaders, business leaders, and consultants. I reached out to the groups I was already a part of.
For the nonprofit world, there are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that deal with these things. There are people in there that are in their learning. Some nonprofit leaders, some startup leaders, there are consultants that are in there that have their expertise that they teach. It’s a veteran entrepreneurship group and I know they can teach leadership or they can bring business and to the nonprofit world.
I’m a firm believer that businesses should be more like nonprofits and nonprofits should be more like businesses. The only way to bridge that gap is if I have the right type of guests willing to come on and share her expertise. Most of the people I’ve interviewed in the past aren’t regularly scheduled guests on other shows. I have to do a pre-interview to find what their magic is. Can I keep them on message?
I’ve had a couple of times that I’ve had to re-interview guests. We got through the thing and they got so excited that they went way off the rails and I wasn’t getting a good enough post to rein them back into the message and the thing we wanted to talk about. One, very much in my first season, within the first ten episodes, she got so excited that we had to reschedule. I had someone this season that’s not out yet. She’s a professional, but she normally speaks to other professionals in her industry.
A lot of the episode was filled with technobabble that’s industry-specific speak for whatever they’re talking about. As we got done with the episode, I said, “We had some bumps in there that I want to re-interview with you.” She was very gracious to hear some feedback because I wanted to make sure that her message wasn’t lost on my audience simply because they didn’t speak the same language. An engineer can talk about resistance and electronic circuit using ohms volts and amps.
Everyone’s eyes roll on the other side because they’re like, “I don’t know what that meant.”
I can explain the same concept talking about water flowing through a garden hose and how if you kink the hose, everyone can understand the concept. I don’t have to use industry-specific terms to make sure everyone gets the message.
This was a challenge when we had our 3D print show, so I understand that. It is a challenge that sometimes you have to step back and explain. In our case, we were lucky because Tom spoke the technobabble, but I spoke the human language at the end of the day. I would say, “I didn’t understand a word those guests said. Explain that to us.” It worked out great, but you do have that issue. I’m so impressed Travis, that you would re-interview and your guests have been so gracious to do that. A few people do that I’ve come across here. That is a sign of a quality show of what you’re putting together here because you are being very curated about what your audience is receiving.
I want to make sure I cover different topics. When you talk about the nonprofit world, you’ve got some things that are standard. You’ve got boards, fundraising, events. You can get those, but how do you do those things differently? We’ve got my interview with Steve Sims. Now, Steve Sims is not a nonprofit guy. He wrote Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen.
It’s an amazing book. If you haven’t checked it out, please check out Steve Sims’ book. He does world-class events for millionaires and billionaires. In fact, he runs Elton John’s Red Carpet event, Oscar event every year as a nonprofit, as a fundraising event. We walked through what it looks like because he’s done and that’s for both millionaires, billionaires and nonprofits. “What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong?”
To get an almost like an outsider’s opinion. He’s British but now has his American citizenship. To get his perspective on what’s working, what’s not working and why is his world-changing. I’ve had people come in and talk about how to create partnerships with businesses that aren’t putting their logo on a website or around t-shirts but creating value for all sides involved.
How to create a website in such a way that it drives content and people to raise between $3, $6 or $9? He’s got three nonprofits making $200,000 a month automatically recurring without doing fundraising. Talking about all these different concepts that show it differently than everyone else was doing it, to have new things to try. I think that’s where we’re meeting our audience’s needs and also getting to showcase different things in the nonprofit world.
You’re putting so much thought into this front end. I think the net result is so good because of that. I’m sure it’s why your audience is loving the show and coming back for more. That’s why you have binge listeners there. Let’s talk about those listeners. You said you weren’t even sure if they were going to be out there and listen when you started the show. None of us are. We put it out there and we spoke out there. You’ve had some time in here. What are you seeing that is helping you increase listeners over time and how are you encouraging engagement with that audience, so you can find out that they’re out there?
I took Russell Brunson’s advice. He’s the co-founder of ClickFunnels. You’ve got to get in groups where you’ve got a million people that you care about. That might be 1, 3 or 5 or 10 groups of your core audience. Where does your core audience live and how can you engage with them? If you’re local, you’re going to be at bars, pubs, clubs, the rotary club, the chamber of commerce and the school board and all those organizations. Where do your people live?
I’ve found that nonprofit people congregate in different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. I go in there and I engage with them and I answer questions. I add the people that are engaging. The people that are asking or answering questions because I want them to see my podcast-type stuff. I don’t say, “Check out my podcasts.” Unless I’ve talked to the owners of the group and they say, “It’s okay to promote.” Some people are, some people are not. If you get kicked out of a group, then you don’t have access to those people. I go in there and provide real value. Every time I do an interview, I learn something. It’s like having a private master class with the expert.
That’s my favorite part.
I got Steve Sims on. I’m like, “Let me ask you about all this stuff.”When you provide value without expectation, it has all these unintended consequences, the vast majority of which are positive. Click To Tweet
You get to apply it somewhere else and share it with others. That’s what you’re doing in that group dynamic is you’re sharing this. It’s like, “I heard this when I was interviewing him.” Yes, it’s mentioning your show, but it’s also sharing what you learned.
When you provide value without expectation, it has all these unintended consequences, the vast majority of which are positive. People are like, “This guy’s here, he’s giving. He’s not here only promoting his stuff.” I’m not one of those guys that post online, “Buy my stuff. Did you hear that you should buy my stuff?” Hopping in people’s DMS and doing all this stuff. I’m building a real relationship with them. I’m providing them value and when they land on my personal page, they see that I post one of my five pieces of pillar content. I care about nonprofits and podcasts and my family. I care about asking the people in my sphere of influence about them like, “Tell me something,” even if it’s not related to any of my stuff.
One time I was like, “Keep it PG but tell women some relationship advice.” I had 500 comments. The next week, “Ladies, keep it PG but give men some advice,” and you get some interesting comments. There’s a little bit of sniping in there, but nothing too crazy. You’re caring about the people in your sphere and you end up following them into like, “I have a Facebook group,” which I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be on Facebook, but we’ll still have a group where people can engage. I’ve never invited anyone to my group. I don’t want a number of people in my group. I want the people that want to be there because they want to be there. Having 10,000 people in my group doesn’t matter if I get three legs in one comment for every post.
It’s that engagement that counts that activeness in that community because that’s going to be a give and take between the two of you. That’s what we want with our audience as well. We want active listeners. The numbers don’t matter for a lot of my clients and for all of my shows as well because I want the ones who are there to gain something, learn something and go on and share that with others.
Once they’ve gotten in my group, I now have permission to market and sell to them if I have something I want to market and sell to them. It’s very interesting because people talk a lot about ads and monetization. That is the lowest amount of monetization. It takes the longest to figure out.
You’re transitioning to my third section. Let’s talk a little bit about monetization. I like to put it as a return on investment in time because that’s what most of us podcasters are looking at. Did we get a return on investment from the time we spent? Yes, we’re spending money too, but the money is not as big as the time that we’re putting into everything. Ads are not that critical but what do you see for you is the biggest return on investment benefit?
I’ve had a couple of paths of monetization. I had a Patreon early that was getting more than $100 a month coming in, which was nice. It helped cut down the costs of the initial work there, then I had t-shirts. I was taking a quote from every episode that I thought was valuable put on a t-shirt with my logo on it and always the person that you interview onto buying one. That’s a couple of dollars coming in. Usually, they promote it to their fans and you might get 3 or 4 or 5 sales or whatever thing is. I realized it was nice to do and it was nice to have, but it was a lot of pulling out a quote then putting it on a t-shirt to send to the t-shirt guy for him to add to the website. There were a lot of things in that chain.
There’s a lot of processing.
Listening to my audience, I got a lot of nonprofit questions early. After about a year or so, I started getting more podcast questions than nonprofit questions. I changed what I was offering based on what my audience was telling me they wanted. I bought a how-to podcast guide like everyone buys. there was a podcast marketing guide and I was like, “This guide is not the best.”
The story goes here is that when we started our first podcast, I read a dozen books because that’s who I am. I like to do a lot of research. I listened to about as many podcasts. Tom is a video guy. I sent Tom all the videos about the equipment and stuff because I didn’t care about that part. There are probably at least twenty of those. By the time we were done, we consumed all this stuff and thought, “There’s so much junk here. This is not the important part.” We navigated our way to exactly what the result was. That’s why people came to us and said, “Would you start my podcast for me,” rather than, “How do I do this?” That’s how it ended up happening on our end. I can see that there’s a lot out there that is not useful.
There is a couple of steps like, figure out your target audience, make a name, get cover art. You can find that on any website for a couple of clicks for free. “Here’s a couple of pieces of equipment that you could get involved in.” If this has a video, see my mike in front of me or whatever. When it gets down to it, that has almost nothing to do with podcasting.
That’s the interesting part. It’s a business and a relationship-building exercise at the end of the day. If you’ve already got those, you can handle this.
I was belly-aching to my friends. I was like, “I can’t believe I bought this thing. It was so many dollars.” There was a couple of nuggets in there, but by and large, I was upset that I had purchased this thing. Someone’s like, “You’re always a doer. If you want to be Mr. Entrepreneur and get things done, why don’t you write a better one?” I was like, “I will.” It took about five weeks. I researched some of the regular stuff out there that fills up the content or whatever. What was I doing differently than other people that had the results I had? I started putting this thing together.
We had about five weeks and I started selling our Ultimate Complete Podcast Guide for $27. I have made thousands upon thousands of dollars of this thing. It hasn’t even been released for a year yet and immediately people are like, “What’s the course? Where’s the course?” I’m building the course now. I’ve got a team that’s building this and we’re getting it accredited for college. We’re going to have the first podcast course at the university level anywhere.
Congratulations on that one. You put the ultimate guide together. I love it. Let’s give us some tips. What are some tips out of the ultimate guide?
You’re going to make the most money from listening to your audience and providing something that solves their problem, whatever the thing is. If that’s an eBook or a course or a program or stuff that fits into that realm, that’s where you’re going to make the most money. I’ve made a little bit of money advertising. Not from the standard like $20 per 1,000 downloads. It takes a while to build up that kind of audience. I provided advertising for a guy that was doing an event very specific to my niche. I provided him with 80,000 emails. I didn’t give it to him. I sent out his stuff to our audience. I had a couple of people in the industry that piled on and helped with that.
We ran it for the show or a specific number of weeks based on a price tag. I made money for a specific event. That was nice. Audiogram is using headliners as most people do, but I take out five clips, so I have something every day to use to promote my show. I make sure that anyone that I talked to, either as a potential guest or anyone in the nonprofit world, I’m sending them episodes that meet their needs. I’ve got like a how to use the Google Ad gram, how to utilize and maximize a Google Ad gram. I’ve got a guy that teaches you how to your website into an active employee.
This is how you use blogs, vlogs or podcasts to generate content on your site because most nonprofit sites are a digital brochure that has no value other than, “Here’s our mission statement. Give us money.” How do you drive traffic to your website? If you stop reading to this now and you google Nonprofit Architect Podcast, you’ll find that me or some of my stuff is the first four and a half pages of Google. The first 45 results are me. We show you how to do that in the guide. We use our sphere of influence and the people that are connected to us to help be part of a marketing solution.
Every time I talk to someone, they get eight recommended podcasts that are going to help solve their problem. When we have a guest on, I make sure to send out where all the links are. Here’s the link of Libsyn, Apple, YouTube, which I use repurposed that IO. I also provide the live video. I put the unedited raw version. You get to see all the outtakes, which is a funny way to say that I didn’t take any time doing any editing.
I’m going to step in here, Travis, because that is a non-authority building ma model that we don’t teach here on The Binge Factor and Feed you Brand, on my shows. Don’t use your Apple link, Libsyn link. You should never use your host link. It has no value to you at all. It only gives them power, not you. If you’re a nonprofit, whatever it is that your website if you’ve got a website strategy. You should always use the link from your website for everything. At the end of the day, it will add to that power that Travis is talking about, that Google power.If you don't have the avenue to accept the money the way that people want to pay you, you've lost a customer or a donor almost instantly. Click To Tweet
It will add to a higher degree and create greater cross-linking and greater cross-checking in terms of people like cross clicking. Clicking into you and that is going to be the highest power because also there are too many other links. It’s like, “Do I choose Spotify? Do I choose Apple? Where do I choose?” If you keep it to that one thing, you’re going to power up exactly what Travis is talking about here, which is so important. You’ve got to make sure that your guests are sharing with you. If they’re not, then it’s not working for you.
I have an eight times higher view rate on guests that share than guests that don’t share.
That’s great that you have that stat and you’re checking that stuff out. Travis, before we go on any further, I got to ask you. Did you know at some point that you had binge listeners?
Yes. We migrated our website. We had it hosted on Libsyn. We had my URL, NonprofitArchitect.org linked basically to the Libsyn page, the podcast page. When we migrated that page over to its own independent website, this is a note for you people up, sometimes your RSS feed changes and I didn’t know this. I’m on 50 podcast channels like most of us are. On my outputs, because the RSS feed changed, they stopped getting populated.
The places that these people were listening to, after a couple of weeks, they were like, “Did you stop your show? I’m not getting any new content.” I had those binge audience that was following me on different channels, they were able to alert me to the fact that our show wasn’t being published. Even though we were still publishing a show every week, those channels weren’t getting updated.
For you guys out there, don’t freak out. This is a common Libsyn, Anchor and SoundCloud problem. With those companies, when you start to shift and make changes to your website URL, it is not a common problem across every hosting platform. It doesn’t happen in Podbean very often. You’d have to break something over there. It definitely doesn’t happen here on Podetize ever because we’re always monitoring and making sure your RSS feed and your website are connected at any given time. It’s a technical hosting problem that Travis is talking to but so grateful that your audience reached out and said, “It’s not working,” because otherwise, you might not have never known it.
I had friends that are not in the nonprofit industry at all reaching out to me with questions and different things about my show. I had no idea there were, A) Listening and B) They’re not in my target market at all for what I’m talking about, even though my show translates to not only startup nonprofits but startup business as well. Almost every single episode translates over, which is wonderful. People I’d never expected to be listening were like, “Remember when you were talking about this?”
I was like, “You’re listening to my show? This is so cool. I had no idea.” They’re like, “I can’t get enough of your voice, Travis.” I was like, “What?” I have someone book time with me and get on my Zoom and we were chatting. Twenty minutes in and she’s like, “I have a confession to make.” I was like, “Confession? What are you talking about?” I was completely blindsided. She’s like, “I wanted to see what you looked like.” I was completely shocked and blown away because that’s not how I think about myself.
“I got see the face that goes with this voice.” I think video might be in your future, Travis. You may have a face for video. Do you have any idea what your binge factor might be?
I don’t know. I’ve been told I have a voice for ASMR. Do you know what ASMR is?
I do know exactly what that is. We have quite a few people we’ll talk about that here who have different podcasts that are related to that. It’s that soft voice. You have a great voice. There’s no question about that, but that’s not the reason because it only goes so far as someone listening to a voice that they like. It might work for meditation or something like that, but it’s not going to work for something where you’re going to invest it 45 minutes to an hour of time a day or a week. What is that binge factor and how do we do that?
What I see in your show clearly, Travis Johnson, your Nonprofit Architect show has a mission. You have clearly decided that you are going to provide extreme value to all aspects of the nonprofit marketplace every week, by the guests you choose by the topics you focus on. By the way, you curate that. You are delivering on that mission, so why wouldn’t people want to show up to something where someone says they’re going to do something then they give it to you. That’s logic. We want to go to people we can trust to deliver for us and that’s what you do week after week on the Nonprofit Architect.
Thank you. I appreciate that feedback. I was going to say, I know we have engaging conversations. I know we get right into the meat and we distill it down to exactly what the thing is. I had a conversation, it’s not published yet, but we’re talking about cryptocurrency and how nonprofits can use cryptocurrency, how they can accept it, what it is. It was a lot of technobabble. We spent a lot of time dissecting and boiling down the key factors of cryptocurrency words like blockchain and coin versus token and what this looks like, how you can accept it with a crypto wallet, then how you can either hold it or convert it right to dollars to work in your nonprofit away.
That’s such a hot topic too. In any business, I could see lots of other of your startup business people going like, “I need to learn that too.” Not only the nonprofit.
This is any business or nonprofit. If you don’t have the avenue to accept the money the way that people want to pay you, you’ve lost a customer or a donor almost instantly. It’s like, “Do you have the Cash App? Do you have Venmo? Do you add your do business at all in the 20th century?”
Do I have to fax it to you?
I’m going to avoid that completely. That’s one of my hot-button topics. I’m not going to dive into it. I’ve decided I’m going to leave that one alone. If you have a nonprofit and people want to give you something, they want to gift to you stock or they want to gift you crypto or the cash and you don’t have a way to accept it, they’re going to go find someone that meets their needs.
You have to have the ability for different generations to interact with your nonprofit or business in a way that makes sense to them. “It’s on my website, so they’re going to hear me and they’re going to go to my website. If they have questions, they can call me.” Who has time to do that? No one has time. I don’t have time to do that. Of course, I’m in the Navy full-time. I run a podcast. I have a family.
Apparently, I have friends and hobbies too, so like, “I don’t have time to do that.” Who is going to listen to your speech and take the time to go to their website, and if that also doesn’t answer the questions, they’re going to call you? No one. Not a single person is going to do that. If they can’t find what they need in three clicks, they’re done. You’ve lost them forever. They’re onto the next thing. In fact, if your website takes three seconds to load, I’m already not looking at it. The most engaging copy ever gets me to click on something, takes three seconds to load, they don’t know what they’re doing.
That’s such good advice. I appreciate you saying it that way, Travis. That’s great business advice. It’s great podcasting advice and it’s great nonprofit organization advice as well. We need to make this all frictionless. That’s the ultimate ideal. Before we go, I want to ask you, what’s next for you and your show? What do you want to learn? What challenges do you want to face for yourself in your podcast next?You have to have the ability for different generations to interact with your nonprofit or business in the way that makes sense to them. Click To Tweet
I’ve been considering starting another podcast or two or changing the way that this one interacts with people. There’s a lot of conversations I want to get into that I don’t know are nonprofit specifically. I have been spending time worrying about mindset, being focused on the abundance mindset of people versus people that are in scarcity or they’re in survival mode. If you’re in scarcity or survival mode, I already know that I don’t have time for you. I don’t have time to work in your nonprofit or in your business because you’re not willing to listen to me anyway. Why would I spend any of my time with you? What does that look like to go into the abundance mindset? How do we use to fix all of our problems in society?
I firmly believe that every problem that we face is based on a scarcity mindset. If you look at the political spectrum, pick a side. They say that you’re worried about your future because of A, B and C or the other side is a different A, B and C. All of that is scarcity. Someone’s going to take your job or they look different than you or they have a different political view than you, so you’re under fire or you should be scared. That is scarcity. I grew up in trailer parks and foster homes. That could be the same as the barrio, the ghetto, the trailer park and a foster home. All of those curates the same type of mindset.
There’s no reason if you look at my stat sheet as a person that I should be anywhere close to where I am being a commissioned officer in the Navy flying for them, have a successful podcast, top five of five countries. It shouldn’t be possible, but it was not easy for me but very logical to get to where I am. Whereas some people in that mindset think it’s impossible to get to where I am. They’ve decided in their head, in their mindset, that they’re not worth anything, that someone else is responsible for the problems and they’ll never be anything in life. Who the heck decided that? If someone else is responsible for your problems, good luck getting the rest of the world to go to therapy to fix your problems. Good luck.
I think spinoff shows are in your future, Travis. I even have some name ideas, which I won’t announce on the air because we don’t want somebody to take it before you do, but I’ll tell you off air. It’s got me thinking that your gifts are broader than the tactics that you can provide to nonprofits, the growth ideas. Travis, I am so glad you decided to start podcasting, share your gifts with all of us. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing the Nonprofit Architect and everything that goes on behind the scenes.
Thank you so much for having me on the show, Tracy. Due to your advice, find out more about us at NonprofitArchitect.org. Don’t go anywhere else.
There you go. Good advice.
I said it when I talked about his binge factor, Travis Johnson has a mission and delivers. The nonprofit mission is so important to him and so important to get them to plan and look at things differently and think about things differently. He is delivering on that with every single interview that he does. That’s amazing that he can do all of that with everything that he has going on in this life, with all the moves, his family, all the active juggling duty, all of those things going on. I think if you’re sitting back here, you’re got to start thinking yourself, “I don’t have an excuse that I don’t have time to podcast.”
I think this is the theme of the month as we go through. We had Kerryn Vaughan’s podcast, Get Off the Bench and now we’re talking about this. You guys have no excuse out there. If you’re not podcasting and you’ve been talking about it, researching and reading my show to get your show started, there’s no excuse. Travis puts that right in perspective for us. If he can do it, you can do this. Go on out and get your podcasts started. Take some inspiration from Travis Johnson. I did.
I realized I’d been holding off on our six podcasts and because of the interview, I was like, “That’s it. It needs to get out there. I need to push myself to make sure that I keep up with the recording rather than bank them up. I need to force myself to keep up on it.” My sixth podcast is launched, The Next Little Thing. You can go check that out. That is all because Travis made me and Kerryn Vaughn, both of them. They made me get off the bench, get my podcasts moving with no excuses. You guys need to do the same thing.
Remember, you can find Travis Johnson, The Nonprofit Architect and everything about all of our podcasters at TheBingeFactor.com. You can also find The Next Little Thing at The Binge Factor. We’re going to be having both sites mixed together, so you’ll be able to find the new podcast there as well. I want to thank you all for stuffing me feedback, for sending me suggestions for a podcast. I appreciate that. Keep that up. When you start podcasting and you get your feet wet, you get some ground under you, messaged me. I would love to feature your show as well. Thanks, everyone, for reading. I’ll be back next time with another Binge Factor success story.
- Nonprofit Architect Podcast
- Shine Foundation
- Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen
- Ultimate Complete Podcast Guide
- Feed you Brand
- Get Off the Bench
- The Next Little Thing
About Travis Johnson
Host of the Nonprofit Architect Podcast
Travis shares his perspective as the former Vice President of Books by Vets; a board member at the S.H.I.N.E. foundation; he’s donated over $30,000; volunteered over 1,500 hours; raised more than $500,000; helped start 6 nonprofits; event coordinator; and published author. Travis is currently serving as an active-duty officer in the United States Navy, married with two children, and on move #50. His humble beginnings include 36 moves before graduating high school at 17, 6 states, 5 foster homes, and surviving 2 murder attempts. Although this was very rough, there was always a person, group, or church willing to help him and his family. Now that he’s in a position to give back, he’s made it his mission to “Help the Helpers”.
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